bin Laden

The Day Before
September 24, 2001

Credit administration officials with this: They took to the airwaves in record time to calm the American public. Only the administration officials weren't from the Bush administration. Sandy Berger, William Cohen, Richard Holbrooke, Bill Richardson--the networks paraded the entire Clinton national security team in front of the cameras for wisdom on America's day of grief. And, if the Bush team has any sense, it will do exactly the reverse of what they recommend. That's because the Clinton administration offers a template precisely for how not to respond to terror.

Smoke Signals
September 24, 2001

Hiding out somewhere in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden must be a happy man. U.S. officials have identified him as the principal suspect in the disasters visited upon the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. And there are several reasons why. First, the operation required recruits sufficiently well-motivated that they were prepared to commit suicide. Bin Laden's group, Al Qaeda ("the base"), employed suicide bombers in the 1998 attacks against two U.S. embassies in Africa and in the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen eleven months ago.

It Happened Here
September 24, 2001

"Senseless," "unimaginable," "crazy," "unfathomable": as the World Trade Center fell and the Pentagon burned, those were the words that came to the lips of many Americans, on camera and off camera. We must beware those words. They have a way of carrying the war against us away from us, of fortifying our incredulity against the evidence of our eyes, of shutting down thought when thought is required, of lifting the obscenity that was visited upon America back out of the realm of possibility. But the legacy of September 11, 2001, must be nothing less than a new sense of what is possible.