Daily Archives: September 9, 2011

9/11: I Woke Up To A Different World

Very few days are so embedded in my mind as to recall almost every moment of the day. Among them are November 22, 1963 when I was a sophomore in High School and President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, my final trip home from Vietnam and the days my daughters were born. Ten years ago, September 11, 2001 was added.

Like most of the rest in America, I went to bed the night of September 10 with few cares or worries in regards to terrorism. I recall hearing that terrorist chatter had increased in the weeks leading up to the fateful day, but our embassies and posts overseas were put on alert, not America. The idea that we were going to be sucker punched just didn’t occur to us. After all, except for the February 26, 1993 attempted bombing of the World Trade Center, all terrorist activity remained outside of our borders.

A little after 6 AM my clock/radio went off that Tuesday morning. Unlike the rest of the days, I did not hear the music I was used to hearing, but heard news of the World Trade Center being on fire, having been hit by an airplane. Like I’m sure many others did, I assumed another accident, a wayward airplane of some sort impacting the building as happened back in 1945 when a B-25 bomber flew into the Empire State Building.

I turned on CNN News and was shocked to see the smoke pouring out of the building. I tried understanding how an aircraft could just fly into the building, seeing it was such a clear day. I began thinking it was a novice pilot in small plane as even the news wasn’t saying it was a passenger airplane yet.

Being in the Northwest, much had already happened as I continued viewing CNN and trying to wrap my groggy mind around what was unfolding before my eyes.

All notions of an accident disappeared quickly when I saw the second airplane hit and explode. My wife was just waking up herself and asking what was happening. I just looked at her and very somberly said, “We’re at war,” and remembering my own time in Vietnam.

I continued watching, feeling numb, not knowing what would come next. The news spoke of the Pentagon being hit, aircraft being grounded and mass confusion it seemed as they tried to land all of the across the country.

News came out that some could not be located and fighters were scrambled to seek them out.

This is not my America, I thought. We do not come under attack like this. We learned our lesson at Pearl Harbor decades earlier.

This was not the world I fell asleep in just last night. How did we change so rapidly and overnight? How did all of our high tech defenses fail to prevent this?

Two names entered my head, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Both had been irritants to our country for some time and had been in the news frequently for a number of years.

I thought about my sons-in-law, both being of age to be called if a draft was reinstated. I thought of my grandson, one a toddler and the other an infant and would they be in danger. I thought of my daughter in Dallas, Texas, far away from where I might protect her. But overall, I was just stunned to see what was unfolding in front of me on TV. Scenes switched back and forth between New York and Washington D.C. with reports of as many as 10,000 people may be trapped in the World Trade Centers.

The TV screen switched back to New York for a breaking news moment, the reporter said. Behind him, he began describing another explosion maybe, a lot more smoke pouring out of the south tower and him saying he couldn’t tell for sure what was happening.

I yelled back at him through the TV, “My God, you can’t tell the building is collapsing?” Again, my thoughts went to all who were trapped, feeling surely no one could get out in time.

By now, it was time for me to go to work and I set off, still trying to wrap my mind around what was going on as I drove. Somewhere along the drive I realized some of my senses from Vietnam had returned as I was watching the roadside, watching the skies and looking at other people very warily.

During the time I drove to work the North Tower collapsed as well.

The radio was on at work all day as updates continued. President Bush came on speaking of the tragedy. News of Flight 93 crashing came out as well as warnings throughout the day of other buildings being weakened, leaning and expected to also collapse, WTC 7 doing just that later in the day.

I don’t think many of us accomplished much work that day, all trying to come to grips with what happened and how did it happen.

Within weeks, we invaded Afghanistan followed by Iraq a couple years later.

I saw Americans come together as I had never seen before. The divisions that still existed since Vietnam seemed to have been put aside as Democrat and Republican alike rallied behind President Bush and our Troops. The few anti-war voices raised were quickly ignored and cast aside.

For a little while, at least.

As tragic as was the terrorist attacks, those that twisted our intent in finally fighting back for political gain were even worse.

The divisions seen during the years of Vietnam returned. Those directing the defense of America were demonized and ridiculed. Incidents against our Troops were much less than during returning Vietnam Veterans, thanks in large part to Vietnam Veterans who as a group vowed “Never Again.”

Very craftily, America was changed from being the victim to being the aggressor by those who twisted events and used every incident possible to score political points, some right within America’s government.

After at least 15 Terrorist Attacks against American interests between 1979 and 2001, it was time to fight back, not score political points.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

9/11: Hanson on Mysteries That Persist

Writing for National Review online, historian Victor Davis Hanson outlines some of the post 9/11 mysteries he thinks are quite enlightening the to the nation’s response to 9/11. Here’s the piece. Here are some highlights:

THE NATIONAL SECURITY RAMP UP AND AMERICANS’ VIEW THAT SAFETY IS A BIRTHRIGHT THAT SHOULD COST LITTLE:

“It was almost as if the more we caricatured the often silly security measures at the airport, blasted Guantanamo Bay, and ridiculed renditions, the more we assumed that our security, initially thought permanently imperiled (“not if, but when”), was once again our birthright. Someone somewhere did something that kept us safe, but we were strangely afraid to acknowledge that there was any utility in the very protocols and foreign operations that had weakened our enemies to the point of an inability to replicate 9/11.”

THE LEFT’S ATTEMPTS TO DISMANTLE THE BUSH RESPONSE TO 9/11 ATTACK TO THE PERIL OF THE SAFETY OF AMERICANS. AND THEN, AFTER RECKLESSLY CAMPAIGNING ON THE MICHAEL MOORE AND CODE PINK AGENDA, BARACK OBAMA FINDS OUT THE TERRORISTS ARE REAL AND AFFIRMS ALL OF THE BUSH PRINCIPLES.

That about-face, I think, was the most radical political development of the last quarter-century, and was treated with near silence by the media. It was as if Moveon.org, Code Pink, and Michael Moore had simply vanished from the face of the earth sometime around January 2009….A cynic would say that the anti–War on Terror movement did its job in helping to elect Barack Obama, and then moved on, so to speak, when Barack Obama likewise did his job in continuing his predecessor’s anti-terrorism policies.

WE KILLED A BUNCH OF BAD GUYS AND TOOK THEM OFF THE BATTLEFIELD.

We are in a new age when we “beat” or “subdue” the enemy but do not admit that we do that often through killing him. The Iraq War has become a story about troop levels, hearts and minds, and training the Iraqis, but not much about a shooting war in which thousands of jihadists lost.

WATERBOARDING KSM SAVED LIVES. HE WAS A CONFESSED AND PROVEN TERRORIST. OBAMA KILLS SUSPECTED ONES WITH HELLFIRE MISSILES.  WHY IS DICK CHENEY “A WAR CRIMINAL” AND THERE’S NARY A PEEP ABOUT OBAMA? 
READ THE REST OF VICTOR DAVIS HANSON’S PIECE HERE.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

9/11: Richard Carson PDX Is Ready for a Bike Ride but Not an Emergency

By Rich Carson 

Victoria asked me to write an essay for her blog and do an interview about the “city planning aspect of 9/11.” So I put this question out on the Internet and got an amazing answer. Mohamed Atta, the Egyptian at the controls of the jet that crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center, was an urban planning student pursuing his masters degree in Germany. That did stun me. 
My initial response to Victoria was “I have been a planner, a veteran, a father and a husband. No, they are not all terrorists. But they do make pretty good communists and fascists. Planners want organization and for all things to be predictable. The profession came into being in the 1960s. So they tend to believe in the issues spawned in the day. They are environmental socialists. In other words, they believe in collective environmentalism (Gore) and not individual environmentalism.”

The world in general and the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area specifically have changed as a result of the terrorist attack on September 11th (911). The Pacific 




Northwest, like much of America, has become a nation divided between the individualist/survivalist versus the socialist/collectivist. 

I do consultant work for local governments in order to help them be more productive and efficient. The wake-up call for me was that some of us are now living “off the grid” and others are “living on the grid.” I was working in San Diego, California in 2009. And I was shocked that their big problem was so many people living off the grid.

As the planning director for METRO, the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area’s regional government, I learned that this region is hit by the Cascadia Subduction Earthquake about every 345 years. The same type of earthquake in the Indian Ocean was caused by subduction and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the, killing over 230,000 people in fourteen countries.

The point here is that no one is ready and everyone is clueless in Portland. I will make a prediction that will come true. Portland will be hit by a 9.0 earthquake. And Portland is not ready for it. It is not about terrorists. It is about stupidity and not being prepared. 


That is what planning is about folks. It is not about bike lanes, mass transit or new idiotic taxes. It is about your life. And no one is planning for the next 9/11. Because your elected officials are too distracted by social trivia and not human devastation.

Richard Carson is a doctorate student at Washington State University. He is a former planning director for METRO that planned for the 1.5 million people, 25 cities and three counties in the Portland region.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

9/11 Coverage on the Blog

This is beyond Where Were You When?

Today on the VictoriaTaft.com blog I’m rolling out contributions about 9/11 from my regular contributors as well as pieces I that believe are extraordinary such as the one by professional planner Rich Carson and thought provoking pieces from national figures. Time Magazine has done a wonderful job of getting the oral histories from some of the major players–including President Bush–which I’ve linked up here.

My story is next.

I was awakened with the story of the World Trade Center attacks in my ear on the radio station I was listening to. I immediately turned my TV on.

The morning wore on as if in slow motion. There were kids to get up for school. I called my oldest daughter’s school and said she wouldn’t be in because she went to school near a federal building. I took my youngest to school to keep her out of the house.

At school the adults just looked at each other and shook their heads.

Back home my 14 year old daughter and I sat on the couch and watched it all.

I lived under the flight path of PDX at the time. The skies went silent. It was caucaphonous.

When I heard the screams of the Oregon Air National Guard F-15’s scrambling some time later, I ran out of my house and waved my arms shouting, “Thank you! Thank you for protecting us!”

I know it was silly. They couldn’t even see me. But it was just a reflexive response.

And then we went to war. It took George Soros, John Podesta, the MoveOn.Commies and Code Pinkos about two minutes to start going after George Bush for “War Crimes,” “Lying Us Into War.” The Michael Moore movie, “Farenheit 9/11” was timed to throw the election in favor of John Kerry in 2004.

The left had forgotten they were Americans too. All America is to them is power and politics.

Treachery.

Years later at a Tea Party in Vancouver. The Oregon Air National Guard did a fly over. I was so moved that I told that 9/11 story. I laughed and said, “I know they couldn’t see me.”

Later a woman approached me and said her husband was in the Air National Guard. She said, “He saw you.”

9/11: Wolfowitz’s Reflections

Jewish members of the Bush Administration and allies were derisively called “neo cons” by the America hating left. The left did everything it could to tear down Deputy Sec Def Paul Wolfowitz. They failed. As evil always does.
Here are his reflections of 9/11. Time Magazine deserves credit for running this series.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

9/11: Petraeus Tells His Story

He Served His Country and Was Vilified by the Left

He was in Bosnia and then he came to lead an Army to victory.
General David Petraeus eventually oversaw the counterinsurgency strategy that led to victory in Iraq in the wake of 9/11 and our war against the Taliban of Afghanistan.
Like “Blackwater” and “Halliburton,” private companies pressed into service in the war effort; the left attempted to demonize the multiple degreed, Harvard educated certified smart guy in charge of the war.
It was this full page ad in major newspapers that eventually led to the realization by mass numbers of the country that the left had totally lost it. They appeared to be wishing for the United States to fail in war. It was an accurate reading of the situation.
The Soros/Podesta led MoveOn.Commies made Jane Fonda look like an angel.
The left did everything it could to bring him down to help win the 2004 election Swift Boat Fraud, John Kerry.
Here.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

9/11 Rummy Tells His Story

PHOTO: TIME MAGAZINE

Tell me, hatas, that he wasn’t a competent man for after a 9/11. Here’s his story.He’s not lovable but he’s competent.

Time Magazine Interview with then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The transcript and link are below.

Donald Rumsfeld 9/11 memoir is here.

On Sept. 11, 2001, I went to the Pentagon early in the morning and was hosting a breakfast for a group of members of Congress to talk about the defense budget. They were concerned about an increase in the defense budget, which I was convinced was needed. And they were worried about what was called then the Social Security lockbox. They wanted to be supportive, but they were afraid of the political implications if they took money and someone could contend that it was shorting Social Security, which of course it would not be. 

Read the rest at the above link. 

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

9/11: President Bush Tells His Story

President Bush tells when he goes to Ground Zero. Thank you Time Magazine for this wonderful history.
George W. Bush

I had choppered into the scene, into New York City, with Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki. We took a quick motorcade to the Ground Zero area. I got out, and all my senses were on alert. It was kind of a dismal environment. It was gray, sloshing through water, the stench was



profound. I was quickly briefed on what to expect and started heading down into what I called the pit. The place was lined with rescue workers who were there to see the President. I tried to shake every hand. I wanted to encourage people as best I could — to support them to the best of my ability. At first there was kind of a politeness, and then it seemed like people wondered who I was, whether or not I had the leadership capabilities necessary to seek justice. There was bloodlust, a lot of emotion. People were calling me by my first name, which was fine. I didn’t mind that at all.

I felt like I needed to say something. I got up on a pile of rubble. I wanted a firefighter to be with me, as a statement of solidarity. So I get up on what turns out to be a fire truck that had been destroyed and was handed a bullhorn and started to speak. A guy yelled: “I can’t hear you!” And then I ad-libbed: “I can hear you, and they’ll hear from us.”

Read the rest at Time Magazine here.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

9/11 Has Our Security Improved?

The 9/11 Families for a Secure America have issued a report card on the US response to the 9/11 Report. Here is their report card. The grade is D+ Here are a couple of lowlights.

  • Lack of an Entry-Exit system to determine if visitors leave our country after they have entered it;
  • Failure to secure our borders, thus enabling terrorists to enter our country and commit future terrorist acts;

More during the program today. Tune in to “Noon O’Clock” at 12:05 to hear one of the authors of the report card. 

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

9/11: I Woke Up To A Different World

Very few days are so embedded in my mind as to recall almost every moment of the day. Among them are November 22, 1963 when I was a sophomore in High School and President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, my final trip home from Vietnam and the days my daughters were born. Ten years ago, September 11, 2001 was added.

Like most of the rest in America, I went to bed the night of September 10 with few cares or worries in regards to terrorism. I recall hearing that terrorist chatter had increased in the weeks leading up to the fateful day, but our embassies and posts overseas were put on alert, not America. The idea that we were going to be sucker punched just didn’t occur to us. After all, except for the February 26, 1993 attempted bombing of the World Trade Center, all terrorist activity remained outside of our borders.

A little after 6 AM my clock/radio went off that Tuesday morning. Unlike the rest of the days, I did not hear the music I was used to hearing, but heard news of the World Trade Center being on fire, having been hit by an airplane. Like I’m sure many others did, I assumed another accident, a wayward airplane of some sort impacting the building as happened back in 1945 when a B-25 bomber flew into the Empire State Building.

I turned on CNN News and was shocked to see the smoke pouring out of the building. I tried understanding how an aircraft could just fly into the building, seeing it was such a clear day. I began thinking it was a novice pilot in small plane as even the news wasn’t saying it was a passenger airplane yet.

Being in the Northwest, much had already happened as I continued viewing CNN and trying to wrap my groggy mind around what was unfolding before my eyes.

All notions of an accident disappeared quickly when I saw the second airplane hit and explode. My wife was just waking up herself and asking what was happening. I just looked at her and very somberly said, “We’re at war,” and remembering my own time in Vietnam.

I continued watching, feeling numb, not knowing what would come next. The news spoke of the Pentagon being hit, aircraft being grounded and mass confusion it seemed as they tried to land all of the across the country.

News came out that some could not be located and fighters were scrambled to seek them out.

This is not my America, I thought. We do not come under attack like this. We learned our lesson at Pearl Harbor decades earlier.

This was not the world I fell asleep in just last night. How did we change so rapidly and overnight? How did all of our high tech defenses fail to prevent this?

Two names entered my head, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Both had been irritants to our country for some time and had been in the news frequently for a number of years.

I thought about my sons-in-law, both being of age to be called if a draft was reinstated. I thought of my grandson, one a toddler and the other an infant and would they be in danger. I thought of my daughter in Dallas, Texas, far away from where I might protect her. But overall, I was just stunned to see what was unfolding in front of me on TV. Scenes switched back and forth between New York and Washington D.C. with reports of as many as 10,000 people may be trapped in the World Trade Centers.

The TV screen switched back to New York for a breaking news moment, the reporter said. Behind him, he began describing another explosion maybe, a lot more smoke pouring out of the south tower and him saying he couldn’t tell for sure what was happening.

I yelled back at him through the TV, “My God, you can’t tell the building is collapsing?” Again, my thoughts went to all who were trapped, feeling surely no one could get out in time.

By now, it was time for me to go to work and I set off, still trying to wrap my mind around what was going on as I drove. Somewhere along the drive I realized some of my senses from Vietnam had returned as I was watching the roadside, watching the skies and looking at other people very warily.

During the time I drove to work the North Tower collapsed as well.

The radio was on at work all day as updates continued. President Bush came on speaking of the tragedy. News of Flight 93 crashing came out as well as warnings throughout the day of other buildings being weakened, leaning and expected to also collapse, WTC 7 doing just that later in the day.

I don’t think many of us accomplished much work that day, all trying to come to grips with what happened and how did it happen.

Within weeks, we invaded Afghanistan followed by Iraq a couple years later.

I saw Americans come together as I had never seen before. The divisions that still existed since Vietnam seemed to have been put aside as Democrat and Republican alike rallied behind President Bush and our Troops. The few anti-war voices raised were quickly ignored and cast aside.

For a little while, at least.

As tragic as was the terrorist attacks, those that twisted our intent in finally fighting back for political gain were even worse.

The divisions seen during the years of Vietnam returned. Those directing the defense of America were demonized and ridiculed. Incidents against our Troops were much less than during returning Vietnam Veterans, thanks in large part to Vietnam Veterans who as a group vowed “Never Again.”

Very craftily, America was changed from being the victim to being the aggressor by those who twisted events and used every incident possible to score political points, some right within America’s government.

After at least 15 Terrorist Attacks against American interests between 1979 and 2001, it was time to fight back, not score political points.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

9/11: Hanson on Mysteries That Persist

Writing for National Review online, historian Victor Davis Hanson outlines some of the post 9/11 mysteries he thinks are quite enlightening the to the nation’s response to 9/11. Here’s the piece. Here are some highlights:

THE NATIONAL SECURITY RAMP UP AND AMERICANS’ VIEW THAT SAFETY IS A BIRTHRIGHT THAT SHOULD COST LITTLE:

“It was almost as if the more we caricatured the often silly security measures at the airport, blasted Guantanamo Bay, and ridiculed renditions, the more we assumed that our security, initially thought permanently imperiled (“not if, but when”), was once again our birthright. Someone somewhere did something that kept us safe, but we were strangely afraid to acknowledge that there was any utility in the very protocols and foreign operations that had weakened our enemies to the point of an inability to replicate 9/11.”

THE LEFT’S ATTEMPTS TO DISMANTLE THE BUSH RESPONSE TO 9/11 ATTACK TO THE PERIL OF THE SAFETY OF AMERICANS. AND THEN, AFTER RECKLESSLY CAMPAIGNING ON THE MICHAEL MOORE AND CODE PINK AGENDA, BARACK OBAMA FINDS OUT THE TERRORISTS ARE REAL AND AFFIRMS ALL OF THE BUSH PRINCIPLES.

That about-face, I think, was the most radical political development of the last quarter-century, and was treated with near silence by the media. It was as if Moveon.org, Code Pink, and Michael Moore had simply vanished from the face of the earth sometime around January 2009….A cynic would say that the anti–War on Terror movement did its job in helping to elect Barack Obama, and then moved on, so to speak, when Barack Obama likewise did his job in continuing his predecessor’s anti-terrorism policies.

WE KILLED A BUNCH OF BAD GUYS AND TOOK THEM OFF THE BATTLEFIELD.

We are in a new age when we “beat” or “subdue” the enemy but do not admit that we do that often through killing him. The Iraq War has become a story about troop levels, hearts and minds, and training the Iraqis, but not much about a shooting war in which thousands of jihadists lost.

WATERBOARDING KSM SAVED LIVES. HE WAS A CONFESSED AND PROVEN TERRORIST. OBAMA KILLS SUSPECTED ONES WITH HELLFIRE MISSILES.  WHY IS DICK CHENEY “A WAR CRIMINAL” AND THERE’S NARY A PEEP ABOUT OBAMA? 
READ THE REST OF VICTOR DAVIS HANSON’S PIECE HERE.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com