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Reader Poll: Did 9/11 "Change Everything"?
Back around 2002 to 2003, it was common for people to debating the role of government in the national security area to say that "9/11 changes everything." The idea was that the attacks of 9/11/01 had so substantially changed our sense of the terrorist threat — or at least should have — that it called for a new set of responses to traditional problems in the area of national security. Of course, this was a hotly contested idea: Some people believed that 9/11 changed everything, and others strongly disagreed. But it was a common phrase that was frequently invoked in debates over privacy and security.

  I'm curious to know if VC readers agree or disagree with this statement today, almost 8 years after the 9/11 attacks. Here's a reader poll on the question that asks if you agree or disagree, how strongly, and where you generally fall on the political spectrum.

Some people believe that "9/11 changed everything." Do you agree?
I strongly agree: My political views generally are left of center.
I strongly agree: My political views generally are right of center.
I strongly agree: My political views are "other" (center, libertarian, etc.)
I somewhat agree: My political views generally are left of center.
I somewhat agree: My political views generally are right of center.
I somewhat agree: My political views are "other" (center, libertarian, etc.)
I somewhat disagree: My political views generally are left of center.
I somewhat disagree: My political views generally are right of center.
I somewhat disagree: My political views are "other" (center, libertarian, etc.)
I strongly disagree: My political views generally are left of center.
I strongly disagree: My political views generally are right of center.
I strongly disagree: My political views are "other" (center, libertarian, etc.)
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Recovering Law Grad:
Although I responded with "I somewhat agree: My political views generally are left of center," I should clarify by saying that I don't agree that 9/11 changed the basic role of government with respect to national security issues, but, rather, that it changed the paradigm for how gov't should and must think about those issues.
8.10.2009 4:37pm
Commentor (mail):
I answered similarly to Recovering Law Grad. I do not believe that 9/11 fundamentally changed the role of government, but it did force government to be aware of and anticipate threats that were previously minimally perceived.
8.10.2009 4:42pm
Houston Lawyer:
Although I somewhat agree, the phraseology of "changed everything" is over the top. The attack required a re-think of how to control non-state actors. Even Obama, who prior to taking office believed that there were easy answers to these questions, has had to acknowledge, in acts if not through words, that the prior paradigm was inadequate to the task at hand.
8.10.2009 4:45pm
troll_dc2 (mail):
Ditto.
8.10.2009 4:46pm
dearieme:
If a sympathetic foreigner may say so, I suspect that both your government and your populace overreacted to 9/11; or, more precisely, reacted hysterically and unintelligently.
8.10.2009 4:47pm
troll_dc2 (mail):
More interesting to me than the specific results is the political breakdown of the poll takers. In terms of L, and O, when I first totalled them, the numbers were 26-26-38 (90). When I did so again, they were 33-35-47 (115). I have no idea what the numbers presently are, but I am struck by the high number of left-of-center voters on a blog like this.
8.10.2009 4:49pm
DennisN (mail):
"Everything" covers an awful lot of turf. But I guess it depends on "what the definition of 'is' is."
8.10.2009 4:50pm
Michael A. Koenecke:
Wow, if a "sympathetic" foreigner thinks we all reacted "hysterically and unintelligently," I'd hate to see what an unsympathetic one says...
8.10.2009 4:53pm
Cold Warrior:
Let me continue the trend. As a medium-core libertarian, 9/11 certainly changed the way I analyze some important issues. For example, it pushed me more in the direction of the low-intensity conflict "war" model of combating terrorism, as opposed to the criminal enforcement model. But then some significant overreaching by the Bush Administration caused me to pull back a bit. 9/11 also tempered my enthusiasm for a much more open immigration system, causing me to re-emphasize a commitment to American ideals amongst our prospective immigrant pool. But no, that doesn't count as "changing everything.". But I can't analyze a whole host of issues today without 9/11 coming to mind as a factor. As they said about Kant: you can philosophize with him, or you can philosophize against him. But you can't philosophize without him. 9/11 still cannot be ignored in a wide range of legal and policy debates.
8.10.2009 4:57pm
neurodoc:
dearieme: If a sympathetic foreigner may say so, I suspect that both your government and your populace overreacted to 9/11; or, more precisely, reacted hysterically and unintelligently.
i) What in your considered opinion what would have been at the time an appropriate response, that is one other than "hysterical" and "unintelligent"? ii) Can you point to "intelligent" responses in your own country (which is...?) or any other one to anything remotely like 9/11, so we might learn by example?
8.10.2009 5:02pm
Don Kilmer (mail):
I answered "somewhat agree" but why are libertarians lumped in with 'center'? Libertarians are not moderates.
8.10.2009 5:07pm
A Law Dawg:
If a sympathetic foreigner may say so, I suspect that both your government and your populace overreacted to 9/11; or, more precisely, reacted hysterically and unintelligently.


Setting aside the adjectives, could you describe what you believe the populace and the government did that constitutes a reaction to 9/11? I am curious to see if your answers may be different than a US Citizen's.
8.10.2009 5:08pm
A Law Dawg:
Just be clear, I said "reaction", not "overreaction".
8.10.2009 5:08pm
Ariel:
I think 9/11 should have changed things more than it did, so I said that I somewhat disagreed.
8.10.2009 5:09pm
Ben Abbott (mail) (www):
I think the reaction by the US has changed much more than the events of 9/11 did.
8.10.2009 5:10pm
MCM (mail):
I answered "somewhat agree" but why are libertarians lumped in with 'center'? Libertarians are not moderates.


I agree... "centrists", libertarians, and the anti-statist left all in the same category? Not surprisingly, they appear to be all over the place on their opinions as well.
8.10.2009 5:11pm
OrinKerr:
I answered "somewhat agree" but why are libertarians lumped in with 'center'? Libertarians are not moderates.

Actually, the category is "other." In parentheses, examples are given of two groups that generally do not self-identify as either left or right: libertarians are one such group, and moderates are another. This does not imply that libertarians are moderates, or are "lumped together" in any sense except for not self-identifying as right or left.
8.10.2009 5:17pm
Mike& (mail):
9/11 "changed everything" for others; not me. I am a rational person. I realize that my chances of dying in a terrorist attack are lower than being hit with falling debris. I also realize that being an obese slob, smoking, or doing all sorts of other stupid things (like skiing) will have more impact on my mortality than cave-dwellers.

Did you know that as many (or more) people died post 9/11 from driving than actually died in the terrorist attacks?

Yeah, morons started driving instead of flying. But driving is so much more dangerous than flying. Here's the study showing how stupid people believed that 9/11 "changed everything."
8.10.2009 5:18pm
MCM (mail):
I tend to agree with Mike&, in that 9/11 was more about a change in perception than anything. I can only shake my head when people say we were "just minding our own business on 9/11".
8.10.2009 5:21pm
Monty:
Certainly 9/11 has changed a few things, but I strongly disagree with the notion that it 'changed everything'. It certainly made us more aware of the risk of terrorism, and it certainly changed the reaction passengers have to anyone threatening thier airplane, but it is no where near the sort of paradime shifting event that changes everything. Those are few and far between. Pearl Harbor changed everything, The great depression changed everything, the civil war changed everything. Those events fudmentally shifted all of American society. Can you really compare the aftermath of 9/11 to the change America went through during those periods? For most of us, life is exactly the same as it was ten years ago, or at least what changes there have been were unrelated.
8.10.2009 5:23pm
Aldous Orwell:
"Somewhat agree" vs. "somewhat disagree" is confusing. "Somewhat agree" seems to actually disagree more than "somewhat disagree" because the "somewhat" qualifier indicates that for the most part you disagree.

Calling the reaction hysterical and unintelligent is hysterical and unintelligent. It was an overreaction. But it hardly qualifies as hysterical. We have regrettably less civil liberties, but still more than most of Europe. And we regrettably used harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects, but less harsh than regularly used by the police 50 years ago here, and currently used by the police in those suspects' countries of origin.
8.10.2009 5:25pm
troll_dc2 (mail):
One change that seems quite clear to me is that the government is more aggressive in dealing with hints of a terrorism threat than it was heretofore. It is much more in a prevention mode than formerly.
8.10.2009 5:27pm
Alexia:
I'm not even sure what the question means. Obviously everything changed-we lost a lot of freedom and gained a lot of government. The police started treating we the people as the enemy.

The changes that would have actually provided the biggest benefits would have been on the foreign policy front, but nothing seems changed there.
8.10.2009 5:33pm
Shepherd:
I can only shake my head when people like MCM imply that we deserved the 9/11 attacks.
8.10.2009 5:33pm
Pseuss (mail):
It certainly changed everything in the sense of ushering in a new era of geopolitics (analogous to the Berlin wall falling).
8.10.2009 5:39pm
Kara:
9-11 was a sucker punch because a few minor things in airline security would have prevented it all. So I hope we changed to being a little less prone to sucker punches. Although, I voted somewhat disagree.
8.10.2009 5:40pm
AnthonyJ (mail):
This was a difficult poll question because it depends on interpretation. I don't think there's any question that 9/11 changed how people perceived the problem, but I'm not convinced that it makes much difference in terms of what solutions are wise or practical.
8.10.2009 5:42pm
Danny (mail):
I'm not sure whether to interpret that sentence as an endorsement or an empirical observation. Empirically yes, Americans panicked like children, shredded the constitution, held chicken farmers in Cuba without trial or accusation, poured $1 trillion down the drain on a country that didn't attack us, all without capturing Bin Laden or really even improving internal security. Americans played right into their hands. Exactly the opposite of what Britain or Israel would do.

In principle of course it didn't "call for" any of that. It called for a rethinking of priorities, like whether America is really benefiting from its colonial empire.
8.10.2009 5:43pm
Oren:

have no idea what the numbers presently are, but I am struck by the high number of left-of-center voters on a blog like this.

This is easily the best spot on the internet for (libertarian-) right-of-center news and opinion. If I read this plus Slate (and the NYT + WSJ), I feel like I've covered my ideological bases, so to speak.
8.10.2009 5:44pm
Oren:

Actually, the category is "other." In parentheses, examples are given of two groups that generally do not self-identify as either left or right: libertarians are one such group, and moderates are another. This does not imply that libertarians are moderates, or are "lumped together" in any sense except for not self-identifying as right or left.

Very true.
8.10.2009 5:45pm
soldier of fortune:
I think the US government underreacted to the attacks. Only a minute percentage of the Arab population was detained; I would have favored a more massive detention policy (using old military bases would be an option.) There are very few heavily armed police; I would favor a system of military checkpoints around vulnerable targets. Civil liberties have hardly been touched; I would have never allowed the press to report from Iraq or Afghanistan. The First Amendment stops at the waters' edge and foreign governments don't need to let reporters in. I would have imposed press censorship on reporting on the War on Terrorism. Bankrupting one or two newspapers and throwing reporters in jail for 20 years would get the message across. The courts only work if someone else enforces their rulings, so if they disagreed, let them enforce it.

With a Republican Congress this might have happened if Bush showed any guts; but with the Democrats in charge we are doomed.
8.10.2009 5:46pm
Splunge:
Changed everything? At best this is historically myopic.

The First World War changed everything. So did the Great Depression, or Pearl Harbor, or Three Mile Island and Chernobyl (although that chain is harder for folks of average intelligence to trace out). The debacle in 1975 in Vietnam. The fall of the Soviet Union.

I've only lived through the last three of those, but each had far more lasting and profound effects than 9/11/01, unless you count endless annoyance at the airport and a new Federal bureaucracy for the poor taxpayers to feed.

Although..I guess if your "everything" is limited to political debates in the pages of "Foreign Affairs," the letters column of the NYT, or impassioned sophomoric debates about whether if the INS searches your laptop at the border without a warrant OMFG!! then can the black Marias and gulag be far behind? -- and you don't notice stuff like the price of things, real GDP growth or inflation, national courage, et cetera, then conceivably 9/11/01 changed "everything."

Actually, when I think about it, I think the introduction of the automated poll (online or Rasmussen robocalling) has probably changed 'everything' more than 9/11/01.
8.10.2009 5:48pm
Pro Natura (mail):
Objectively, the restructuring and reorganization of executive agencies in the wake of 9/11, e.g., as in the PATRIOT ACT, was as great or greater than the reorganization of the military departments and intelligence gathering agencies after WW II that was initiated by the National Defense Act. Also there was a major change in policy makers' attitudes towards intelligence and espionage; the first such since the Church Commission gutted US humint in the 1970s. at a minimum, these are (or portend) major changes in how the US government operates.
8.10.2009 5:49pm
Kara:
Now, if the question is, 'did the economic melt down of 2008 change everything,' we will just have to see.
8.10.2009 5:53pm
Kelvin:
I kind of doubt that anything that actually changes everything, needs or evokes bloviators to make such loud and extravagant pronouncements.
8.10.2009 6:02pm
guest890:
The problem is that "changing everything" is extremely vague. I voted that it didn't, because Orin's explanation made me interpret the question as what I think the government's role is in national security and what powers it has when acting in that role.
That said, the first few responders have a reasonable point that it should change the methods and priorities if not the basic role.

However, this is interpreting the question as my opinion of what should be, not what is. I still don't think things should have significantly changed, but I'd probably agree that they did (war, PATRIOT act, wiretapping, people being terrified of normal everyday Muslims, etc.). It remains to be seen whether or not the changes are permanent.
8.10.2009 6:14pm
Pendulum (mail):
I assumed it was asking normatively rather than descriptively.

So I answered "strongly disagree", which to my mind is the only correct answer for a thinking person who was capable of conceiving of and contemplating mass terrorism before 9/11 (and did so), as well as contextualizing a single (albeit horrific) act within a society of 300 million people.
8.10.2009 6:25pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
Am I really the only person here whose first thought on looking at the poll was "Why is he using a colon where there ought to be a semicolon"?
8.10.2009 6:54pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
I can only shake my head when people like Shepard imply that recognizing we played a non-zero part in 9/11 is the same as saying we deserved it.
8.10.2009 7:03pm
Cody:
I think the poll question is confusing because it doesn't adequately distinguish between objective reality and subjective impressions.

My inclination is to say that 9/11 changed nothing. Yes, a lot of people who had convinced themselves that the world was full of happiness and unicorns (c.f. "the end of history") discovered that this was, in fact, untrue. But the world didn't change, and was just as dangerous and screwed up on 9/12 as it was on 9/10.

Or, for another example, see Alexia's comment above, who claims that one impact of 9/11 is that the police started treating citizens as the enemy. Alexia's impression of how the police behave changed, but I don't think the actual reality of police behaviour changed significantly. (Thanks largely to the War on Drugs, the police have been acting as an occupying army for decades. 9/11 had little or no impact.)

So, if the poll question refers to people's impressions, I'd say 9/11 changed a lot. If it refers to reality, then I'd say it changed nothing.
8.10.2009 7:05pm
CheckEnclosed (mail):
Now before I go to the airport I have to think about what pair or shoes will be easiset to take of and put on, and what containers of fluid are 3 oz. or less. I also realize more clearly that cowards (a la Cheney) think torture works. What else has changed?

P.S. We can also see that our government does not yet feel that the U.S. has been threatened enough to let gays serve in the armed forces -- or to keep the War On Drugs (Poppies Bad!) from interfereing with the proper conduct of a real war in Afganistan.
8.10.2009 7:15pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
I promise this is a sincere question. Is soldier of fortune serious, or is his satire so deadpan it confounded my irony filter?
8.10.2009 7:17pm
MarkField (mail):

Wow, if a "sympathetic" foreigner thinks we all reacted "hysterically and unintelligently," I'd hate to see what an unsympathetic one says...


I suspect that was the point.
8.10.2009 7:39pm
Kevin Forrester (mail) (www):
8.10.2009 8:44pm
Guest99:
There should be an option for "should have changed everything, and did for a little while, but then we got complacent, and now it looks likely that it will end up changing very little, until something worse than it happens again."
8.10.2009 8:58pm
I Callahan (mail):
Guest99,

You stole my thunder. That's the basic option I was looking for...

TV (Harry)
8.10.2009 9:06pm
Lior:
@neurodoc/Law Dog:
i) What in your considered opinion what would have been at the time an appropriate response, that is one other than "hysterical" and "unintelligent"?

ii) Can you point to "intelligent" responses in your own country (which is...?) or any other one to anything remotely like 9/11, so we might learn by example?


(i) Taking out the Taliban was an appropriate response. Improving the fire-safety and evacuation capabilities of skyscrapers was another.

Claiming that terrorism was threatening the American way of life was a hysterical response — especially when the government response was the threat, not terrorism. Instead, explaining to the US people that terrorism was (and still is) a negligible threat to the US would have been the right thing to do.

The core of the hysterical response was passing various anti-crime legislation pretending that it was needed "to fight terrorism", incidentally serving to continue the hysteria and thus leaving the way open for more such legislation. Examples include the USAPATRIOT act and its renewal; restrictions on banking; fingerprinting all foreigners at the border; increasing the release of military surplus to local police forces, ostensibly due to the "anti-terrorism" function of SWAT teams.

Several additional responses (such as requiring IDs to fly and take the bus; the no-fly list; federal control and licensing of "dangerous" chemicals to the point where home chemistry sets are illegal) have no reasonable function except continuing the hysteria.

(ii) Here are some figures from Israel: Since 2000, terrorism casualties have been 1,183 dead and 8,341 wounded [figures are from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, and include security forces]. Between 2003-2008, 2792 people have been killed in road accidents. For comparison, in the US there are about 43,000 deaths annually due to motor vehicle collisions (and 55,000 due to toxins) [figures from Wikiepdia].

In other words, in Israel terrorism is a risk comparable to traffic. In the US the terrorism risk is negligible compared to driving, even if one includes all instances of domestic terrorism and assumes anti-terrorism efforts have been unusually lucky so far, so that actual terrorism deaths underestimate the risk.

Nevertheless, the US response has been surprisingly close to the Israeli response, such as searching people who enter sports arenas.
8.10.2009 9:15pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Prof. Kerr:

Welcome back from your sandblasting Sotomayor. :-;

Did 9/11 "Change Everything"?
Of course. Particularly the Constitution and the rights it confers (in particular through the BoR). Any sane person can see that what is permissible is clearly a function of current political and societal considerations and exigent concerns.

Cheers,
8.10.2009 9:33pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Houston Lawyer:
Even Obama, who prior to taking office believed that there were easy answers to these questions, has had to acknowledge, in acts if not through words, that the prior paradigm was inadequate to the task at hand.
Obama took office in 2009. What "prior paradigm" were you talking about?

Cheers,
8.10.2009 9:44pm
fishbane (mail):
I answered somewhat disagree.

I agree that the attack certainly changed the nation's response to non-state actors who represent threats, and it certainly caused a wide number of changes in the law, in the terms of politics, and geopolitical factors.

It didn't change, by and large, the way the U.S. relates to the world, or the way the vast majority of the body politic views things, or the set of incentives that drives the important voting blocs.

My cynical side kept changing that to "9/11 excuses everything", and still does.
8.10.2009 10:29pm
Jam:
It changed the speed at which the FedGov is taking control of all areas of our lives.

My answer is,

I somewhat agree: My political views are "other" (center, libertarian, etc.)
8.10.2009 10:48pm
Jeff Walden (www):
(I was somewhat, right of center.)

As I see it, 9/11 was a stark reminder that organized evil in the world is real and can have a direct and devastating impact on our country as a whole. We were desensitized by essentially-solitary actors (such as the Unabomber and Timothy McVeigh) and by organized attacks that may have affected us but only at a distance (USS Cole, embassy bombings, etc.). 9/11 reminded us that you can't let sleeping dogs lie.

On the other hand, the actions whose import suddenly became apparent had always been the responsibility of the country and its government, so I can't "strongly" agree that it changed everything. It strongly changed how we view the world, yes, but it didn't change our duties and responsibilities within it.

Regarding the car-crash statistic and why that sees less attention than terrorism: it is the duty of government to prevent the malign use of force by others to infringe on the rights of others. Fighting terrorism is directly preventing the use of force to infringe on the right to life. What malign use of force is there to prevent in car crashes, in general? I have some difficulty understanding how someone can in good faith suggest that the two problems, seen from the perspective of government goals and actions, are comparable in any meaningful manner.
8.10.2009 11:34pm
Ben P:

Obama took office in 2009. What "prior paradigm" were you talking about?


I would think that would be relatively obvious.

The prior paradigm is one that's evidenced by Obama making the (somewhat) bolder statements about detainees than he's been willing or able to put into place as president.

It's difficult to reconcile a strong commitment to ideals and the peculiar status of the terrorist detainees.

We could very easily unilaterally decide they're prisoners of war, but then we have to ask the question what happens if we never think the war will "end" and secondarily, what if there's some people that we don't intend to let go even if the war were "over."

We could unilaterally declare them criminals and try them, but then there's the possibility of some who we rationally don't want to let go getting out for lack of proof, no matter what sort of tribunals are set up.


Then there's something in between. Which is something a great many democrats were against, and Obama campaigned against, but has since backed off of attempting to eliminate.
8.10.2009 11:41pm
http://volokh.com/?exclude=davidb :

If a sympathetic foreigner may say so, I suspect that both your government and your populace overreacted to 9/11; or, more precisely, reacted hysterically and unintelligently.

We'll bomb you for saying that.
8.10.2009 11:42pm
Buck Turgidson (mail):
After about 1200 votes, the trend is rather obvious. Both "agree" categories are dominated by "right of center" and both "disagree" categories are dominated by the "left" and "other" in roughly similar numbers.

Now, since the question being posed really cuts between black and white--no grays allowed--someone has to be right and someone wrong. Either 9/11 "changed everything" or it didn't.

So, who are the sane, rational people here? What is most amazing, however, is that even while proclaiming that "everything changed", those "right of center" have not adjusted their ideology in the slightest. Is that your final answer?
8.11.2009 12:25am
Sum Budy:
I check off "Somewhat disagree - left of center."

For whatever it's worth, I was in the World Trade Center on 9/11 and luckily had the ability and the common sense to move away as quickly as possible.

Thus, the question of whether 9/11 "changed everything" is a little more personal in nature to me.

My beliefs before and after 9/11 remain largely the same -- We should not let our desire to get the bad guys cause us to abandon the freedoms that we cherish, because then we just become like them. On the other hand, I also freely admit that the Constitution should not be interpreted as a death pact.

Trying to reconcile my statements above is more effort than a short comment response can cover. Needless to say, I believe this both before and after 9/11, although the experience of 9/11 has made me wonder whether there's a sliding scale of goalposts that we may need to recalibrate every so often.
8.11.2009 12:28am
Randomguy:
Wouldn't it be more useful to sort the data by political identification rather than, or in addition to, by opinion?
8.11.2009 12:51am
Doc Merlin:
911 taught Americans that they need to be personally involved in their own security. No longer can we sit idly by when we are hijacked or attacked. It is evident now that every person has a duty to those around them to fight back.
8.11.2009 1:18am
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

Back around 2002 to 2003, it was common for people to debating the role of government in the national security area to say that "9/11 changes everything."


actually, it's still used now, more often then, as now, as, "when our lives were changed forever"- maybe the biggest hack cliche ever coined. Screw it. Into action.
8.11.2009 2:27am
Brian Mac:

I think the poll question is confusing because it doesn't adequately distinguish between objective reality and subjective impressions.

There is no spoon.
8.11.2009 3:41am
Leo Marvin (mail):

There is no spoon.

In my reality there is no Keanu Reeves.
8.11.2009 4:27am
Brian Mac:

In my reality there is no Keanu Reeves.

Well spoon is British slang for "a foolish person," so I'd say we're in agreement.
8.11.2009 4:40am
libertarian soldier (mail):
I was stationed in Berlin where the Libyans blew up a disco and killed two serevicemembers.
I was in Belgium where the Red Brigades were blowing up NATO pipelines.
I was in Saudi assigned to OPM-SANG, whose HQ was blown up, and living the Eastern Province where the Khobar towers were.
I was living in France when the Corsicans were blowing up Metro stations.
I was in an embassy in Africa when the embassies in Dar and Nairobi were blown up.
I was on the CENTCOM crisis action team when the Cole was attacked.
So, when the plane impacted one wedge over from my Pentagon office on 9/11, it was SOS.
The difference was the US finally took terrorism seriously--for a while.
So, I voted strongly disagree--other.
8.11.2009 6:39am
RPT (mail):
"SOF:

With a Republican Congress this might have happened if Bush showed any guts; but with the Democrats in charge we are doomed."

Really? No GOP Congress 2000-20006? Does Tom Delay and Bill Frist know this?
8.11.2009 7:42am
martinned (mail) (www):
Being a sympathetic foreigner myself, I'd be hesitant to comment here, much less vote. (Where would I put myself on the political spectrum???) All I can do is express my agreement with Lior's 9:15 comment.

In other news: Yesterday, the 4th circuit mostly upheld the conviction of a CIA interrogator for an assault committed during an investigation in Afghanistan. Mr. Passaro's claim that he had insufficient notice that the assault statute would apply to his "battlefield interrogation" was roundly rejected. US v Passaro. So I guess not everything changed...
8.11.2009 10:36am
Bob from Ohio (mail):
Right of center. Voted "Strongly Disagree".

Because I agree with:


The difference was the US finally took terrorism seriously--for a while.
8.11.2009 12:25pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
Oh yeah, forgot to add, FU "dearieme".
8.11.2009 12:27pm
jsmith (mail):
I voted with Bob. But I'm of two minds about this, or perhaps three. I think, in actuality, it hardly changed anything of substance other than hardening previously held beliefs on both/every side.

But I think it should have changed "everything." And the fact that it didn't is a problem.
8.11.2009 12:48pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I was stationed in Berlin where the Libyans blew up a disco and killed two serevicemembers.
I was in Belgium where the Red Brigades were blowing up NATO pipelines.
I was in Saudi assigned to OPM-SANG, whose HQ was blown up, and living the Eastern Province where the Khobar towers were.
I was living in France when the Corsicans were blowing up Metro stations.
I was in an embassy in Africa when the embassies in Dar and Nairobi were blown up.
I was on the CENTCOM crisis action team when the Cole was attacked.
So, when the plane impacted one wedge over from my Pentagon office on 9/11, it was SOS.
So, in other words, you're saying that you have no alibi for a bunch of terrorist acts?
8.11.2009 2:05pm
Danny (mail):
LOL!!
8.11.2009 3:04pm
CJColucci:
How do you answer if you think that 9/11 didn't actually change much about what we ought to be doing and how we ought to go about doing it, but you also think that lots of strategically-placed people think it did and that that change -- whether objectively justifiable or not -- is itself a big deal?
8.11.2009 3:23pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
David M. Nieporent, you beat me to it. I think we finally have the credible suspect truthers have been looking for.
8.11.2009 3:26pm
jeanie (mail):
The TSA was an hysterical and unintelligent response to 9/11.
8.11.2009 3:37pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
libertarian soldier:

I was stationed in Berlin…
I was in Belgium…
I was in Saudi…
I was living in France…
I was in an embassy in Africa…
I was on the CENTCOM crisis action team…
…one wedge over from my Pentagon office on 9/11


Are you sure your name isn't Forrest Gump? Zelig, maybe?

I think you're either dishonest or incredibly unlucky. If the former, please go away. If the latter, would you please tell us where you're going next, so we can make sure to be somewhere else? Also, please tell us what stocks you're buying so we can sell them.
8.11.2009 3:39pm
OrinKerr:
Oh yeah, forgot to add, FU "dearieme".

Bob From Ohio,

That is not a civil comment. If you would like to post here, be civil: Otherwise you will be banned.
8.11.2009 3:42pm

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