How Have the Attacks on September 11, 2001 Affected You, America, and the World?

Since the attacks on September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania, and the anthrax attacks on US senators, the United States Federal government has pursued foreign and domestic policies that would seem completely intolerable; almost as if Osama Bin Ladin and the Taliban took over our own government.

According to the government, the 9/11 conspiracy involved nineteen suicidal Middle Eastern Muslim terrorists, their hearts full of hatred for American freedom and democracy, who hijacked four airliners, crashing two into the Twin Towers of New York City’s World Trade Center and a third into the Pentagon, near Washington, DC. The fourth airliner reportedly crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to overcome the hijackers. To add insult to injury, this whole incredible Mission Impossible operation, which defeated a forty-billion-dollar defense system, was under the total control of a dying Muslim cleric using a computer while hiding in a cave in Afghanistan.

The new era of big government can be tracked back to a 14-month period between September 2001 and November 2002. During that time, government authorized unlimited war around the world with the AUMF, launched the War on Terror, ratified the Patriot Act, founded the Transportation Security Administration and created the Department of Homeland Security.

Below are examples of the loss of liberty, privacy, and freedom Americans, and others around the world have suffered as a response to the attacks, allegedly for the benefit of our safety.

The Impact of the War on Terror Here at Home:

Death and Destruction of Families and Communities: With the exception of the Civil War battle of Antietam, more American lives were lost on September 11, 2001, than on any other day in U.S. history: 2,996 people were killed — 265 on the four hijacked planes, 125 at the Pentagon and 2,606 at the World Trade Center and surrounding area. More than 411 emergency workers died on 9/11, and the total number of rescue and recovery workers who have died has more than doubled since the attacks. The wider population is also suffering: As many as 400,000 people are estimated to be affected by diseases, such as cancers, and mental illnesses linked to September 11, much of it likely due to over 400 tons of asbestos in the WTC towers. Imagine the torment this is causing families across the country.

The loss of American soldiers and suicidal veterans: There are reports that over 5000 US soldiers have died fighting the war on terrorism. Beyond lives lost in The War On Terror, there is the catastrophic loss of life occurring when warriors come home. As of 2012, in the United States, every 80 minutes a U.S. Military Veteran dies from suicide. That’s 18 per day, 6,570 per year. The families back home are devastated. By 2012, military suicide surpassed war as the leading cause of death, most of which occurred in the US.

The loss of freedom of speech: In addition to designating anti-government activists, hippie communes, and Americans with seed libraries as potential terrorists, the federal government has made a habit of punishing individuals who attempt to shed light on the government’s crimes.

A crackdown on journalists and whistleblowers: Since 2001, more American citizens have been indicted for allegedly violating the Espionage Act of 1917 than all other previous periods of history, including during the Cold War. Though the law was designed to punish WWI German spies, and rarely used since for indicting those selling secrets to the enemy or efforts to undermine the American way of life, it is completely obsolete. More whistleblowers and journalists have been jailed, gagged, silenced, or threatened than any time in our history.

The Rise of A Surveillance State: Following the passage of the USA Patriot Act and the creation of The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) more and more surveillance cameras began appearing on street corners and government buildings. Warrantless wiretapping and surveillance of everything from phone calls to texts to e-mails to Internet browsing histories to which books were checked out from the library became the standard tools of government in the “war on terror.” Anyone who spoke out against the rising surveillance state was quickly accused of not understanding the danger of terrorism or — worse — siding with the terrorists.

The militarization of the police: The Pentagon’s 1033 program has faced intense scrutiny for arming local police with high-powered military gear, from armored vehicles to battle regalia. This program has emboldened SWAT teams and other local police — paramilitary wings of law enforcement armed to the teeth — to increasingly raid the homes of private citizens. Police departments all over the nation are using cell-site simulators to vacuum up all mobile phone traffic within range, in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The Patriot Act: The PATRIOT ACT was the first piece of US legislation shortly after 9/11 which stripped many freedoms away from the American people. The PATRIOT ACT was signed into law on October 26th, 2001, just 45 days after 9/11. It was written before 9/11 and pulled off the shelf for the occasion. Seemingly unrelated to the War on Terror, The Patriot Act has been used overwhelmingly to prosecute non-violent drug “crimes” and has helped to create the world’s largest prison population. In addition, the Patriot Act has allowed the government to seize assets without probably cause, require the release of records from telecommunications and financial services companies without any court order, spy on citizens using a Cold War-era statute designed for tracking the covert activities of Soviet agents, and imprison American citizens without proper due process.

The Right to a Fair Trial: The right to a fair trial has been increasingly eroded by elements within the justice system since 9/11. An Irish judge recently refused to extradite a terror suspect to the United States, citing fears he would endure cruel and unusual punishment.

NDAA and Indefinite Detention: The NDAA is a United States federal law which besides other provisions specifies the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense. The detention sections of the NDAA affirms that the authority of the President under the AUMF includes the power to detain, via the Armed Forces, any person, including a U.S. citizen, “who was part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners”, and anyone who commits a “belligerent act” against the United States or its coalition allies in aid of such enemy forces, under the law of war, “without trial, until the end of the hostilities authorized by the AUMF”. The text authorizes trial by military tribunal, or “transfer to the custody or control of the person’s country of origin”, or transfer to “any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity”. It has been used to fuel militarization, enrich the military industrial complex, expand our empire overseas, and purchase military and other enormously expensive equipment that we do not need and in large part does not work anyway. They wrap all of this mess up in false patriotism, implying that Members who do not vote for these boondoggles do not love their country.

The Department of Homeland Security: In November 2002, the Department of Homeland Security was formed. Since it’s founding, Homeland Security has cost taxpayers nearly $700 billion. The cabinet department has spied on Americans, been engaged in inappropriate data mining on American citizens and illegally intercepting mail. In addition, a Homeland Security database meant to track people who are considered threats to national security has been filled with members of groups that comprise about one-third of the American population, including pro-gun, anti-death penalty, pro-abortion, anti-abortion, pro-Second Amendment, anti-war and Tea Party activists.

TSA scanners and pat downs: Millions of Americans routinely huddle in cramped airport security lines, removing their shoes and flashing their private parts to security agents via X-ray machines so as to avoid more invasive groping. Racial profiling is allowed by the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the TSA. Meanwhile, children in wheelchairs, the elderly, and otherwise innocent Americans are forced to endure what would amount to sexual harassment in any other environment. But rest assured, if travelers pay a special fee, they can bypass security lines. Americans have already spent over $60,000,000,000 on TSA funding since 9/11 and this is not counted in Defense budget.

Flying after 9/11: Flying has become a horrific and humiliating experience since 9/11 due to the TSA. In addition to naked scanners and pat downs, we pay more for fewer flying alternatives, including higher taxes and fees to pay for more stringent security at the airports, while the airlines have cut jobs and lost a ton of money.

The Impact of the War on Terror Abroad:

The cost of the war on terror: As of 2016, it has been estimated that the US has spent $4.79 trillion on wars and homeland security since 2001, adding trillions to the national debt. Interest costs for overseas contingency operations spending alone are projected to add more than $1 trillion dollars to the national debt by 2023. By 2053, interest costs will be at least $7.9 trillion unless the US changes the way it pays for the wars. Imagine what we could have done to improve the lives of our citizens had we chosen a different route.

A drone war in multiple countries: The first targeted drone strike by the United States occurred on Feb. 4, 2002 in Afghanistan when a CIA Predator drone fired on a group they believed included Osama bin Laden. The targets, all killed, were civilians gathering scrap metal. Since then the US government has killed over 4700 with over 400 drone strikes in just 3 of at least 6 countries where drones are being used.

Millions of refugees: The refugeee crisis in Europe began with the US response to the attacks of September 11. It has been estimated that 10.1 million refugees have been created.

War in the Middle East & the War on Terrorism: This never ending war on terror began days after 9/11 when, without evidence, neocon lobbyists, the White House and mass media organizations began the drum beats of war in the middle east and accused OBL and his suicide squad of perpetrating the attacks. Iraq and Saddam Hussein were immediately implicated by the same lobbyists, who called for regime change years before 9/11 even occurred.

Death and destruction abroad: It is estimated that over 4 million Muslims have died as a result of the endless war on terror in the middle east.

Cognitive dissonance: In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress (discomfort) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values; when performing an action that contradicts existing beliefs, ideas, or values; or when confronted with new information that contradicts existing beliefs, ideas, and values.

For those Americans who do their own research, they have learned what has been proven over and over again. The WTC towers were demolished by unknown insiders who pre-planted the explosives. That is both important and tragic, for 9/11 is the crime and cover-up of the century. It is the most serious issue of our day, the cause of massive death, destruction and wars and one that is deciding the increasingly dismal future that may not be able to sustain a healthy living environment for those who are following us. The 9/11 lies and cover up are the elephant in the American living room. As Dr. Gary Kohls wrote for Global Research:

To continue to ignore the truths uncovered by the multitudes of thoughtful, highly intelligent and courageous prophetic voices world-wide and to continue to believe the absurd official theories when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary is to helplessly go along with the evil agenda of shadowy, exploitative, psychopathic powers that are not your friends; nor are they the friends of your children, your nation or the earth. To continue to be oblivious about the Crime and Cover-up of the Century will be putting our children and their planet in peril.

So what? The attacks of 9/11 happened 16 years ago. What can I do? Besides sharing this article with others and discussing how 9/11 and the American government’s response have altered the course of world history, you can speak to your local city, county, state, and US representatives about the need for a new investigation into the crimes and cover up of 9/11. You would be surprised at how many share your views and fear for our future.

Take the first step be signing this petition asking for such an investigation. Where you go from here is up to you.