by Sarah Cowgill via LibertyNation.com,
How things have changed in 18 years and how they have scarily remained the same…
It has been 18 years, and for those Americans who watched the horror of Sept. 11, 2001, unfold on every major news market, the images are indelibly burned into their minds. Who could forget the day that changed the way US citizens lived as confident and secure to immediately afraid as high-value targets of terrorists, all in the name of Allah?
Most Americans had not experienced that level of hate in their lifetime. Our free capitalist society – heralded around the globe – lost the easiness of hard-earned independence with the minutes-long hijacking of four jetliners, fueled to capacity and weaponized into killing machines.
Nearly 3,000 died that day, more than 6,000 others were injured.
Among the victims were first responders – 343 firefighters and 71 law enforcement officers. Sadly, thousands of people who worked and lived in and around Ground Zero during the attacks and shortly thereafter are being diagnosed with cancer and other chronic diseases even to this day.
How Did They Get So Far In The US?
The Center for Immigrant Studies published a report one year after the attacks to enlighten the public on how the events were allowed to unfold:
“They have come as students, tourists, and business visitors. They have also been lawful permanent residents (LPRs) and naturalized US citizens. They have sneaked across the border illegally, arrived as stowaways on ships, used false passports, or been granted amnesty. Terrorists have even exploited America’s humanitarian tradition of welcoming those seeking asylum.”
Imagine! This country once experienced national security shortcomings that opened the door to the worst terrorist attack on US soil. And is America on the brink of yet another act of war from our enemies?
The Used And Abused Patriot Act
Democrats and Republicans – all Americans – demanded that 9/11 never be allowed to happen again. The late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was interviewed on Sept. 12 and warned the terrorists behind the downing of the four airliners: “May God have mercy on your souls because we won’t.”
The 107th Congress went into protective mode and drafted legislation – based on then Sen. Joe Biden’s (D-DE) 1995 Omnibus Counterterrorism Act. It labeled the legislation “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001” – commonly known as the USA Patriot Act – which passed easily with a vote of 357-66 in the House and 98-1 in the Senate.
In a nutshell, the Patriot Act provided federal agents the right to:
Surveil and wiretap to investigate terror-related crimes.
Request court permission for roving wiretaps in tracking a specific terrorist suspect.
Seek federal court permission to obtain bank records and business records to aid in national security terror investigations and prevent money laundering for terrorism financing.
Sounds a bit more like former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s last two years of hunting Halloween characters and less like seeking the next suicide bombers’ whereabouts. And Mueller loves the Patriot Act. In his 2004 testimony before the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, he declared:
“The Patriot Act has proved extraordinarily beneficial in the war on terrorism and has changed the way the FBI does business. Many of our counterterrorism successes, in fact, are the direct results of provisions included in the Act …”