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9/11 – My Beginning

I’ve spent most of today reading and reflecting on my education over the last decade. I don’t remember the first time I heard the word Al Qaeda. I don’t remember the first time I ever heard the name Osama bin Laden. I do remember where I was on September 11, 2001. I had been up most of the night taking care of trauma patients and I was sleeping in the morning. The phone rang and it was my mother-in-law. She is and was the Sentinel. She was always scanning the news. She called to tell us to turn on the TV. She said something terrible happened in New York. I thought she was crazy and misunderstood what she had seen. I handed the phone to my wife as I grabbed the remote control and turned on the television.

I’m sure over the next several days that there’s going to be lots of blogs and television shows which are going to reflect on what has happened in the last 10 years. The New York Times is already started the series on 9/11. I just want to revisit some of the information and data that we’ve learned over the last 10 years. I’m not going to spend much time talking about the Patriot Act and how it has been abused over the last decade. I’m not going to talk about civil liberties and how Republicans have taken advantage of 9/11. I’m sure that these topics will be adequately covered by many others in the blogosphere.

In my opinion, the key to understanding the failure of 9/11 lies in the arrest and interrogation of Ramzi Yousef. Ramzi Yousef was the mastermind behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Once he was captured, authorities began to see into the mind of a Muslim extremist. Ramzi Yousef was associated with Osama bin Laden. The uncle of Ramzi Yousef was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. After escaping the country in 1993, Ramzi Yousef attempted an assassination of Benazir Bhutto in the summer of 1993. He then attempted to bomb an Israeli embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. These attempts failed. Yousef, a Sunni Muslim, bombed a Shiite holy site in Iran in June of 1994. He then made his way to Malaysia, where he began to plot the Bojinka plan (also known as the Manila plot). He and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed planned to blow up 12 US airliners as they flew over the Pacific Ocean. As they were preparing their 12 bombs, a fire broke out in Yousef’s apartment. One thing led to another and authorities got a treasure’s trove of information from his apartment.

At the very least, authorities have an opportunity to see what one man was capable of doing around the world. The mistake that was made was that everyone assumed that this was just one man and not a movement. Only a few in the intelligence community understood that he was one of many. It wasn’t until 1998, the embassy bombings, that many in the United States began to take notice that this was a serious threat. For some, it took until 2000, the USS Cole bombing before they believed that Al Qaeda would stop at nothing.

Ramzi Yoursef is currently in a maximum-security prison in Colorado.

How did you first become aware of Al Qaeda or Bin Laden or the fact that we were a serious target? Where were you 10 years ago?

More tomorrow on 9/11 and Al Qaeda.

By | 2011-09-04T21:02:13+00:00 September 4th, 2011|9-11, Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, National Intelligence|Comments Off on 9/11 – My Beginning

Grab Bag – Tuesday Evening

I don’t know how other bloggers like Steve or Markos come up with their ideas of what to talk about. I don’t know if they sit down in front of the computer, like I do, and scan multiple news sites before they find something that clicks. Sometimes, I can spend more than an hour just looking for the right thing to write about. Anyway, I threw a few ideas together in tonight’s grab bag.

  • I’m not sure what went wrong when Israel decided to stop a flotilla in international waters. The flotilla was heading for Gaza. They suspected weapons or terrorists or both. Several people are dead. Turkey and Israel are pointing fingers at each other and we’re in the middle.
  • The guys over at Crooks and Liars have written a new book called Over the Cliff: How Obama’s Election Drove the American Right Insane. I’m buying a copy and I hope you are too.
  • Labor unions are pulling out all the stops against Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln, who has consistently sided with big business over labor.
  • If you and I and all of our friends in the progressive blogosphere donate $50 to help strengthen financial reform, could we change Congress? Could we change the bill? I doubt it. The financial sector is simply awash in truckloads of money.
  • The teeth in the financial reform bill was an amendment named after Sherrod Brown and Ted Kaufman. The Brown-Kaufman amendment would’ve limited the size of banks and held the amount of risk that they could take. How did 27 Democrats vote against this amendment? How did this amendment go up in flames so quickly? It is clearly a testament to the power of Wall Street.
  • I know that people are clamoring for president Obama to do something with this oil spill but for the life of me I can’t think of what it is he would need to do. Send in the Navy? And do what? How would the Navy stop the oil spill? By the way, how come we’ve been drilling off the coasts of the United States for over 30 years and we don’t have a viable plan of how to fix it if something goes wrong?
  • The Prince of Persia is really a good movie. My wife and I just saw it and we both enjoyed it. It is a little clichéd at times but still very enjoyable.
  • Finally, I feel sorry for Al Gore and Tipper Gore. They should be able to suffer through their divorce in private.
By | 2010-06-01T22:49:35+00:00 June 1st, 2010|Big Oil, Economy, Israel|Comments Off on Grab Bag – Tuesday Evening

Think Progress needs our help

As I look out over the progressive blogosphere, there are only a handful of major blogs that really inform us of what’s going on. The Daily Kos, Crooks & Liars, Talking Points Memo, the Huffington Post, FireDogLake and Think Progress are the mainstays of my progressive diet. I’m going to try to do everything that I can to keep these blogs going. I have thrown in my 2 cents. I would encourage you to do the same.

Earlier this week, we asked you to consider donating to ThinkProgress. Hundreds of you responded to our request — thank you so much for your support! If you haven’t already done so, we’d greatly appreciate any level of contribution you can make. Click here to do so. The amount we receive will determine just how ambitious to make our plans for 2010.

Watch the video:

By | 2009-12-06T02:32:14+00:00 December 6th, 2009|Blogging issues|Comments Off on Think Progress needs our help