It’s been 11 years to the day since the 9-11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington DC and the aborted attack that ended in a field in Pennsylvania.
Most people can remember exactly what they were doing and where they were when they learned of the attacks. The images of the burning towers are branded into the memories of people all over the world. It was a most tragic event with many lives lost — and that’s not something we can or should forget.
It doesn’t matter that in Moose Jaw, we live in a different country than where the attacks took place. Some of us may have lost people we know in the attacks. Some of us might not have lost anyone, but that shouldn’t become our reason to stop caring or to not feel anything for these people.
The world changed after 9-11. It was the largest and most devastating terrorist attack in North America in the 21st Century. Security got higher in airports, but most significantly it became the excuse for war in 2003. It’s an atrocity that the death of thousands resulted in the death of thousands more.
The Iraq war that followed the horrific event was claimed to be because of Al Qaeda links with Saddam Hussein to the bombing. However, in a 2005 CIA report released in 2006, it was discovered there was no evidence of formal links between the Hussein and the bombings.
What may be even more haunting is the resemblance of 9-11 to the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. American news outlets such as the Washington Times and CBS News, reported a few days ago that there were newly released CIA documents.
The documents revealed a U.S. federal report, Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why, was released to the government on Sept. 11, 1999.
The report warned the executive branch of the U.S. government that Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network may hijack an airliner and bomb it into the Pentagon or another government building. It stated that suicide hijacking might be a possible retribution for the 1998 American military airstrike against bin Laden’s camps in Afghanistan. These reports were also not made available to the public.
Similarly, prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the government received intelligence warning them of a possible bombing of Pearl Harbor. Why didn’t the government respond?
You can spend hours wondering what if or what could’ve been had the U.S. government, on two occasions, acted on possible threats that turned out to occur and take thousands of lives. You can drive yourself mad trying to figure out the whole story and how much else the government is withholding from Amercians and the rest of the world. And it’s possible you may never know all of the answers.
If there is anything we can learn from the events, it’s that we should never stop asking questions and never blindly believe what we are told from the authorities. We need to stay critical.
But we can’t change the past. It comes down to the people who died, who suffered and who still may be in pain from the events that happened over a decade ago. Today is a day to remember and honour the people affected by the attacks.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.