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Joseph E. Stiglitz writes: "The September 11, 2001, terror attacks by Al Qaeda were meant to harm the United States, and they did, but in ways that Osama bin Laden probably never imagined. President George W. Bush's response to the attacks compromised America's basic principles, undermined its economy, and weakened its security."

Ricky Parada visits the grave of his brother, US Marine Corporal Nicholas Rodriguez, at Arlington National Cemetery after news of Osama bin Laden's death, 05/03/11. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Ricky Parada visits the grave of his brother, US Marine Corporal Nicholas Rodriguez, at Arlington National Cemetery after news of Osama bin Laden's death, 05/03/11. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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+40 # Lee Loe 2011-09-05 22:10
It did NOT make sense to attack Afghanistan. Osama could have been taken the way he was finally killed, only not killed, but brought to an international court of law. 19 of the attackers were from Saudi Arabia, not Afghanistan. Family members of persons killed on 9/11 walked from DC to NYC to say that they didn't wish any oother families to suffer what they had -- and the main media didn't report this. Lee Loe, Grandmother for Peace
+16 # leedeegirl 2011-09-05 23:52
Quoting Lee Loe:
It did NOT make sense to attack Afghanistan. Osama could have been taken the way he was finally killed, only not killed, but brought to an international court of law. 19 of the attackers were from Saudi Arabia, not Afghanistan. Family members of persons killed on 9/11 walked from DC to NYC to say that they didn't wish any oother families to suffer what they had -- and the main media didn't report this. Lee Loe, Grandmother for Peace

AGREED! why did we have to take on an EXPENSIVE military operation in reaction to a CRIME??? (a BIG crime, yes, but still a "crime")
+12 # seeuingoa 2011-09-06 01:55
Dear Lee Loe, Grandmother for Peace,
I fully agree, and hope you will be on Freedom Plaza, Wasington DC, 6th October.

See you there!
+52 # barkingcarpet 2011-09-05 22:43
Bah. Homeland insecurity is a travesty and a bullshit lie, which has only impoverished our country and world, while enriching those who pedal death, destruction, and waste.

Real security comes through education, community, and sharing our creativity with each other in ways which build trust, and healthy relationships. Is "Love your neighbor" just too hard?

Our current crop of politicians are mostly corporate creeps who are in it for individual profit and empire, and seem to care little for anybody or anything outside of their greed. Few of them work for or care about being stewards for the future, or leaving the world a better place for those who follow.

We need to put better folks into office.

Eisenhower said it best, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
+24 # Anarchist 23 2011-09-05 22:46
It also pays to investigate-911 was not bin Ladin in a cave somewhere-it was done by a shadow government within this country which was able to neuter the air defenses and protect the patsies while the gullible public-used to Hollywood versions of things watched as buildings fell at free fall speed and accepted the explanation that hydrocarbons like jet grade kerosene could melt 100,000 tons of steel in 50 minutes. OBL was killed because dead men tell no tales, just like LHO in 63. The Official History can be refuted from any point but alas the establishment intellectuals just keep retelling the threadbare lies and the killing and destruction goes on and on.
+11 # Dion Giles 2011-09-06 02:19
Anarchist 23 makes sense. All those consequences are fulfilling the dreams on which the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) was and is based. Would this shadow government use foreign terrorists to do its dirty work, and give them the logistical help that they need for the job? Of course they would - look at the captured documents showing how the CIA worked with the terrorist Gaddafi regime's torturers in Libya. The Twin Towers murders had the wanted effect - bring the American Republic to its knees as it is replaced by an American-BASED (but not American) empire. Logic including "qui bono" considerations supports a conclusion that the "9/11" atrocity was carried out under covert direction within the USA. No wonder OBL was silenced before he could blab in a public courtroom.
+11 # angelfish 2011-09-05 23:07
Bin Ladin accomplished his goals beyond his wildest imagination with the help and complicity of the Bush/Cheney Regime! They continue in his endeavor as I write this. The ENTIRE ReTHUGlican Party, now known as the K.N.F.P (Koch/Norquist Fascist Party)are as determined as he (Bin Ladin) EVER was in destroying John Q. Public and our, One GREAT, Nation! His weapons? Fear, Ignorance and Blind Rage, ALL the attributesr of the ReTHUGs! They are EVERY bit as Religiously Fanatical as Al Queda and the Taliban, but lack the Evil genius of a Cheney or Bin Ladin. Dolts like McConnell, Graham. Cantor, DeMint and their morally bankrupt ilk are in charge at the Will and Direction of The Koch's, Norquist and their Moneyed ME FIRSTers whose SUPREME Goal is to see President Obama Fail! Sadly, they don't care if the Country goes Belly up in the process! I ask again, WHERE is Accountability and JUSTICE?
+10 # maddave 2011-09-05 23:17
Unstated above, the military bears responsibility for its complacency in he Middle East wars. The Nuremburg Trials settled the significance of military commanders' responsibility under international law. This includes torturing prisoners, launching unjust & illegal wars, ignoring the provisions of the Geneva Convention and suffering wanton or needless civilian casualties . . . all of which (and more) having been alleged or proved in the ME Wars.

Aside: regarding senior officers' incompetence: Medals, yes. Stigma, no.

Since "The ME wars' onset, no flag or general officer has VOLUNTARILY resigned his commission in protest to ANY illegal, immoral or irregular decree, act or judgement made by Bush, his appointed officials or other senior military officers. However, to their great credit, General Eric Shinsiki corrected Donald Rumspeld's low-ball estimate of ME troop requirements, and Admiral Fox Fallen flatly opposed & criticized irresponsible loose talk from the White House about invading Iran. Both were quickly forced into retirement. All remaining general & flag officers, choosing a "go-along-and-g et-along" policy received medals, promotions & prosperity.

Judicial resignations by prominent Flag Officers WOULD certainly have meant a different & shorter ME war.
+18 # motamanx 2011-09-05 23:36
We still don't know what really happened on 9/11. The 9/11 Commission had no time and no money to do a proper job, and there are still many pages of sealed documents which for some reason cannot even now be scrutinized. The hole in the Pentagon wasn't big enough to allow a 757 Boeing to fit into it and there was no tail section, no wings no, motors, no seats or baggage, or people ever found. This does not make me a conspiracy theorist: it makes whoever covered it up conspiracists.
+12 # futhark 2011-09-06 06:21
The Kean Commission was set up to find out how 19 Box-Cutter-Wiel ding-Islamic-Te rrorists were able to execute these attacks. It was never charged with actually finding out what REALLY happened and was totally under the control of its executive director, White House stooge Philip Zelikow, who kept the hearings on task to confirm the preconceived conclusion that the attacks were the work of the Islamic terrorists. The real conspiracy was the obstruction of justice committed by the Cheney/Bush cabal to prevent the revelation of any evidence contrary to their politically convenient conclusion.

Alternative hypotheses should also be entertained and investigated without being tagged with pejoratives like "conspiracy theory".
+5 # Regina 2011-09-05 23:39
Aren't we lucky that Shrub wasn't president when the Pearl Harbor attack occurred?
+11 # John Gill 2011-09-06 00:33
I cannot remember now where I read it, but I believe Bin Laden was quoted as predicting quite closely the sort of damage he expected as the outcome, not in any mystical prophetic way, but in a pretty straightforward way. The fellow simply anticipated what would happen when a big nasty empire got so full of itself, and so careless about the important things that it could be goaded into a costly ridiculous war. I mean, Afghanistan? How does that make sense, please? Sure..worked for the British Empire, right? and for the Russian bear too. Sheesh...maybe next we could try over-running Russia with with infantry and cavalry some time in the late fall the late fall. No one's ever tried that before either, right?
+9 # Gurka 2011-09-06 02:14
Thanks for the Eisenhower quotation – truly words of wisdom. Think about parts of this: --- spending the genious of our scientists... for keeping up a life- and consumption style so old- fashioned, so outdated and and so helplessly dependent on never-ending US theft- and burglar missions to other parts of the world, in order to keep on running for a few decades more. Instead of welcoming the situation as a great challenge to the human mind, instead of letting a thousand geniuses bloom to create new inventions and technologies, letting millions of good ideas in neighborhoods be rewarded, and finding peace-making processes and decentralized technical solutions and encougage them, the denial and the repression of ideas and inventions go on and on and on.
+9 # Billy Bob 2011-09-06 05:22
People are so willing to throw away what our country stands for at the slightest hint of confrontation.

Yahoo is running a headline today:

"AP Poll: OK to trade some freedoms to fight terrorism"

Our country no longer deserves the Constitution our forefathers put their lives on the line to defend.

America, it was fun while it lasted.
+3 # RLF 2011-09-06 05:29
USSR acted with arrogance and militancy...loo k where it got them. The only way out of the hole we are in is through inflation...mak ing the dollar is the end of the dollar as the world's predominant currency. What comes next is the impoverishment of this country until it once again builds an honest economy...not one based on ripping off the tax payer or using third world cheap labor. We are at the point where we can't even afford cheap Chinese junk! (Unless you're of the 1%...then you are invested in Euros or gold already)
+7 # RCW 2011-09-06 06:31
Much of the damage to human lives is irreparable, but it would at least bring some satisfaction to see Bush and Cheney tried as the criminals that they are. As punishment I would recommend that they get life carrying the bedpans and and trash in a military hospital; however, neither one is fit to be in the same room with wounded men and women.
+9 # reiverpacific 2011-09-06 09:01
First off, to even give the "Department of Defense" such a title is a misnomer or a bad joke. It should be the "Department of Making War at any Cost"!
A true "Department of Defense" should NOT be bigger than the rest of the world's armed forces combined. It should be a very well-trained, disciplined, transparent and accountable set of forces small but vital in number but mobile and ready to actually defend the county AND PROMOTE DEMOCRACY AT HOME FIRST! IT SHOULD NOT be a cumbersome force hugely draining on the economy as the article stated, and over-armed with deadly force like nukes and depleted-uraniu m bombs, in the hands of young people at the whim of an often stressed and pressured president, or a psychopath like Cheney or Nixon.
And I disagree that Bin-Laden could not have imagined the extended damage which the attack on the Twin Towers (and the mysterious "collapse" of Building seven) wrought under Bush/Cheney. Their response was entirely predictable and don't forget that the Bush dynasty (die-nasty!) was entirely familiar with the Bin-Laden similarly dynastic family of construction professionals and must have been a subject of study for the perpetrators all the way down the line through the Saudi connections.
+12 # fredboy 2011-09-06 09:40
I continue to be amazed by the way the political right wing of this nation continue to milk 9/11--all the while ignoring the fact that they were in charge of our national defense on the day of the worst U.S. national defense failure in U.S. history.
+6 # Activista 2011-09-06 10:17
the first war in history paid for entirely on credit (mostly Chinese credit card).
Stiglitz is consistently "on the money".
Bush is gone - but 3 years of Obama are even worse - military spending, wars and deficit growing - we have to STOP militarism in 2012 elections.
+8 # SteveH 2011-09-06 10:18
Is anyone else troubled by the tenor of blame that has predominated our political process - on both sides?

Does anyone else see that the stage we are at in our nation's evolution has been a long time coming?

Aren't the more educated people writing these comments aware of the US's deep historical complicity in countless actions that have been occurring for decades in clandestine actions and efforts to repress people throughout the world by supporting their dictatorial rulers and training their security forces in tactics that undermine democratic rule?

Are we aware of the contradictions between our nation's words and our actions?

When We the People have allowed our choices to be restricted to two parties beholden to the Corporate Oligarchy, what should we expect?

We have had better choices in the past that were rejected by We the People because we accepted the social programming and indoctrination to respond to our fear not our strength.

Perhaps that is the human condition - to self-deceive and blame others when we, as a nation, have chosen to protect our interests at the expense of others'.

We have other choices but do we have the courage to make those choices? Or do we think blaming others will solve our problems?
+10 # SteveH 2011-09-06 10:57
Continued: The issues outlined above have solutions. Here are some in no particular order:

1) Short of a desired Constitutional Convention, an amendment to allow only public financing of elections;
2) Reducing our overseas presence to diplomatic embassies;
3) Halving (at least!) our military budget;
4) Eliminating the politically controlled Commission for Presidential Debates, replaced by an independent commission;
5) Revamping the tax code, eliminating all corporate subsidies, lifting the cap on FICA;
6) Instituting Single-Payer healthcare;
7) Spend what we save on the proposed defense budget cuts to cover tuition costs for deserving students;
8) Increase gasoline costs to cover their true environmental costs;
9) Fund far more R&D into alternative, sustainable energy sources;
10) Increase public transportation.

There are far more solutions than the above. Everyone reading this is encouraged to add their own suggestions.
+7 # reiverpacific 2011-09-06 11:24
Quoting SteveH:
Continued: The issues outlined above have solutions. Here are some in no particular order.
(quotes eliminated to give me more characters)
There are far more solutions than the above. Everyone reading this is encouraged to add their own suggestions.

Agreed! here are a few (but not limited to) more:
11) Eliminate life appointments to the supreme court and make them accountable for abuse of their appointments.
12) Take away "Corporate person-hood".
13) Eliminate the "Patriot Act".
14) Eliminate the Black Budget.
15) Eliminate private military contractors.
16) Save public education and subsidize youth travel as fact-finding parts of the curriculum.
17) Establish a high-speed rail network country-wide.
18) Establish stiff penalties on large companies who move jobs overseas without a "Mother -ship" anchored in the USA and divert the funds to small businesses.
19) Encourage multi-culturali sm and teaching immigrants via English as a second language.
20) Eliminate Corporate "Grants (a.k.a. "Advertising"" to Public Broadcasting and return it to the public domain.
+3 # Activista 2011-09-06 12:14
USA is spending like ONE trillion of TAX revenue on military (exactly BORROWING ONE trillion for military) -
REPORT: U.S. Military Spending Has Almost Doubled Since 2001 ... - CachedApr 11, 2011 – A new report released today by SIPRI, a Swedish-based think tank, reveals that U.S. military spending has almost doubled since 2001
look at present deficit and economy. Wars now became Obama's employment machine. Example Boeing - 30+ billions military contract ..
VOTE for candidates who want to cut military - at least 50%
+3 # seeuingoa 2011-09-06 13:12
Dear Barack,
Why not let your presidency have a new try as from the 6th October, Freedom Plaza. Washington DC.

Take the hand of LEE LOE, granmother
for peace and let her guide you.

She knows the way, you have lost yours.

And don´t say no because of a tight schedule, it is only a few hundred meters from the White House!

Come on, Come on, you will be in a good
company with a lot of nice people.
0 # OpenMind 2011-09-07 11:54
seeuingoa, could you please do a little write-up about the October 6 rally for the Reader Supported News "Events" tab of their website? That section seems a bit out of date. Thank you in advance!
P.S. - It would be great if those of us on the west coast could organize a simultaneous rally in SF.
+3 # DLT888 2011-09-06 17:20
911 was an inside act of High Treason

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