9/11 Anniversary: Are we safer?
The date of September 11th, 2001 will be indelibly etched in the collective memory of every American. Upon learning of the devastation and the tremendous loss of lives, our nation gasped in horror at the senseless loss of life.
On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, two (2) planes hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. The third plane hit the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth plane crashed in field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Almost three thousand (3,000) people perished and countless lives are forever changed. In commenting on the horror that occurred on the morning of Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, President Bush proclaimed that, “Our nation was deeply wounded.” President Bush went on to say that, “Out of evil came good.” I wonder. Are we safer?
Here is what I know has occurred after September 11th all in the name of keeping Americans safe from further terrorist attacks: critical domestic programs that provide necessary support have been disseminated; billions of dollars have been moved from domestic programs to the defense budget line; Vice President Cheney’s company, Halliburton[i], received a no bid government contract worth billions of dollars; a nation was bombed back into the Stone Age based on the specious claim that there were “Weapons of Mass Destruction”[ii]; countless people have lost their lives fighting two wars; individual citizens rights to privacy have been severely compromised by the Patriot Act; people presumed to be terrorist were being held indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base [iii]—-that is just off the top of my head. Were these wise decisions for our nation? Do you feel safer?
Here is how out of evil can come good: 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance
September 11 has been designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance. In response to the atrocities that were committed on Tuesday, September 10, 2001, a movement grew to have good concur with evil via provision of community service nationwide. The 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance was established into law by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009, and is consistent with President Obama’s overall call to service, United We Serve.” (Corporation for National and Community Service website).
In honor and in celebration of the almost 3000 persons that lost their lives on 9/11, please join me and countless persons nationwide participating in service and remembrance activities on September 11, 2012—-in doing so, we can hopefully make some good come from that devastating day in American history.
Sources: Corporation for National and Community Service website. Wikipedia. MSNBC. Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
[i] “From 1995 to 2002, Halliburton Brown & Root Services Corp was awarded at least $2.5 billion but has spent considerably less to construct and run military bases, some in secret locations, as part of the Army’s Logistics Civil Augmentation Program. This contract was a cost plus 13% contract and BRS employees were trained on how to pass GAO audits to ensure maximum profits were attained. It was also grounds for termination in the Balkans if any BRS employee spoke of Dick Cheney‘s being CEO. BRS was awarded and re-awarded contracts termed “noncompetitive” because BRS was the only company capable of pulling off the missions. DynCorp actually won the competitively let second contract, but never received any work orders in the Balkans.” (Source: Wikipedia)
“In November 2002, KBR was tasked to plan oil well firefighting in Iraq, and in February 2003 was issued a contract to conduct the work. Critics contend that it was a no-bid contract, awarded due to Dick Cheney’s position as vice president. Concern was also expressed that the contract could allow KBR to pump and distribute Iraqi oil. (Source: Wikipedia)
“On January 24, 2006, Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown and Root) announced that it had been awarded a $385 million contingency contract by the Department of Homeland Security to build “temporary detention and processing facilities” or internment camps. (Source: Wikipedia)
“It was anticipated that Halliburton’s $2.5 billion “Restore Iraqi Oil” (RIO) contract would pay for itself as well as for reconstruction of the entire country. Plans called for more oil to be exported from Iraq‘s northern oil fields than actually occurred. Halliburton’s work on the pipeline crossing the Tigris river at Al Fatah has been called a failure. (Source: Wikipedia)
[ii] “In his final word, the CIA’s top weapons inspector in Iraq said Monday that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction has “gone as far as feasible” and has found nothing, closing an investigation into the purported programs of Saddam Hussein that were used to justify the 2003 invasion.” (Source: MSNBC, April 24, 2004)
“After more than 18 months, the WMD investigation and debriefing of the WMD-related detainees has been exhausted,” wrote Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, in an addendum to the final report he issued last fall.” (Source: MSNBC, April 24, 2004)
[iii] “The facility was established in 2002 by the Bush Administration to hold detainees from the war in Afghanistan and later Iraq.” (Source: Wikipedia)