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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    I Remember, and I Will Never Forget

    Monday, September 11, 2006, marked the fifth anniversary of the devastation that was wrought upon the peoples of New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, and ultimately, the people of America.’ It is all too easy to revise history to paint the current American regime, the one that captivated our hearts and minds in the days after this terribly tragedy, as the saviors and bold men of this new era.’ ABC has done just that in that network’s recent airing of ‘The Path to 9/11.” While it may be comforting to believe that the Republican leadership is the competent hero in the face of the Democratic gang that couldn’t shoot straight, it is the easy way out- I am not the one to take the easy way out.’ Unlike many Americans today, I read the news with a critical eye.’ I remember, not only the sense of admiration we all had for our president on that day five years ago, but the actions of our president since then.

    There was a memorandum that reached the desk of President Bush on August 6, 2001.’ It was entitled ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.” On September 11 of that year, he did.’ There was no cry to Congress to authorize more funds to combat terror.’ In fact, according to senior State Department official, in April 2001, ‘a senior State Department official [told] CNN the U.S. government made a mistake in focusing so much energy on bin Laden and ‘personalizing terrorism” (CNN 4/30/01).’ I remember that, Mr. President.’ And I will never forget.

    The protectors of this country, the leaders of national security, met 100 times in the months that preceded September 11.’ Terrorism was the focus of two of those meetings (AP 6/29/01).’ Is that Clinton’s fault?’ Was the specter of the previous Democratic government preventing you from properly handling your job?’ I remember that, Mr. President.’ And I will never forget.

    Condoleeza Rice, then National Security Advisor, was schedule to give a presentation on September 11, 2001, outlining threats to this nation.’ Terrorism was not
    on her agenda.’ She was to speak on ‘promoting missle defense as the cornerstone of a new national security strategy’ (Washington Post, 4/1/04).’ To clarify, more than a decade after the Cold War had ended, the National Security Advisor to the President of the United States considered missile defense a ‘cornerstone of a new national security strategy.” I remember that, Mr. President.’ And I will never forget.

    After September 11, 2001, we fought a war in Afghanistan.’ Many Americans do not know that we are still fighting there.’ We are still fighting the Taliban. Donald Rumsfeld told Larry King on December 18, 2002, that in Afghanistan, ‘the Taliban are gone. The Al Qaeda are gone’ (CNN 12/18/02).’ Opium exports are up several hundred percent since the invasion of Afghanistan. We are fighting a well-armed Taliban now, as we were in 2001.’ Are we winning the war on terror there?’ It would seem not.’ I remember that, Mr. President.’ And I will never forget.

    There is no link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s regime.’ The CIA knew this all along, and the Senate just figured this out in a recent report it commissioned, backed by the Republican majority.’ And yet, time after time, as recently as this past Sunday, September 10, 2006, the Bush administration insists that there was.’ This is at the same time that they insist that they never made that claim.’ ‘There were ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda,’ Secretary Rice told Fox News this past Sunday (Fox News 9/10/06).’ Vice President Dick Cheney has repeatedly uttered this lie in recent years as well.’ Saddam hated Al Qaeda as much as we did, for the simple reason that they threatened his regime.’ There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq before the American occupation.’ I remember that, Mr. President.’ And I will never forget.

    It is now the year 2006.’ We check less than 5% of shipments that enter our shores.’ This government gave permission for a Middle Eastern-based company to take over American ports not one year ago.’ Our food and water supplies are left grossly unguarded.’ A tiny fraction of the money spent on airport security made its way to mass transit security, per capita, leaving cities like New York vulnerable to further devastation.’ This is not on the Democratic watch.’ This is on your watch, Bush.’ I remember that, Mr. President.’ And I will never forget.

    As many as six million illegal immigrants entered this counry through our porous border with Mexico.’ That constitutes 5% of the total population of this country- they came in under the leadership of George W. Bush.’ When these illegal immigrants come in, without documentation and background checks, with the possibilty of belonging to terror organizations, they write down false SSNs to obtain employment.’ At the end of each fiscal year, Bush’s Treasury issues these illegals what is known as a Tax ID for the express purpose of allowing these men and women to file tax returns and get checks from the government.’ When law enforcement and the INS asks for the name and addresses of these people, they are denied that request.’ When you or I, as citizens of this country, are under investigation, this information is handed over without delay.’ I remember that, Mr. President.’ And I will never forget.

    Citizens like me pose a threat to men like the president.’ We read the news and remember history as it happened.’ I am immune, I would like to believe, to the revisions and lies that are foisted upon us by trusted sources, who promise a fair, balanced, and accurate reporting of events as they unfold.’ As you finish reading this, I hope it leaves you unsettled about the current regime that has dominated American politics since the dawn of the 21st century.’ In the words of MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann, one of the few journalists with a voice, ‘When those who dissent are told time and time again, as we will be, if not tonight by the president, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus, that he is preserving our freedom, but if we use any of that freedom, then we are somehow un-American; when we are scolded that if we merely question, we have forgotten the lessons of 9/11.’

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