Few people on the right realize that beyond all the leftist/libertarian/anarchist truther nonsense there is an alternative interpretation of the events that led up to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Primarily 9/11 happened not because Bush was a baby-eating monster that destroyed the towers because he wanted an excuse to invade Iraq, but because of a strong Bush-era policy in place that banned racial profiling accompanied by a singularly disastrous affirmative action hire.
While today both Democrats and Republicans agree that only the all-seeing, all-knowing Sauron eye of the NSA can keep us safe from terrorism, typically pointing to 9/11 as the perfect example of the necessity of the NSA, in reality the 9/11 plot was only a hair's breadth away from getting blown out of the water by the FBI prior to the attacks. Surprisingly it wasn't more data that they needed, nor did they need more lax security laws that would allow them to snoop through your porn folder.
All they really needed was the ability to racially profile.
Let's wind back to a few months before the attacks happened. At least 2 FBI agents, Greg Jones and Harry Samit, were already hot on the heels of prospective terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, an accomplice of the 9/11 hijackers, at least a month before the attacks in August 2001. After getting notified by a Minneapolis flight instructor that an Arab was trying to learn how to fly a plane but not land one, the FBI arrested Moussaoui on Aug 16, nearly a month prior to the attacks. So what was the problem? The FBI supervisor for the agents tailing Moussaoui, Michael Maltbie, never even pursued the possibility of getting a warrant to search Moussaoui's computer. A warrant in this case would have led directly to Moussaoui's incredibly important contacts in France who were involved in plotting 9/11. All these details and contacts could have been exposed weeks, possibly months, prior to the attacks.
Amazingly, Agent Samit petitioned Maltbie an astounding 70 times for the warrant that could have stopped 9/11. No response nor even any formal application for a warrant to search the apartment was even made. The hypothetical prevention of 9/11 was suffocated in the womb.
Needless to say, after this epoch-making failure Maltbie was, of course, promoted.
So what was the holdup, exactly? Why couldn't they get a warrant? The answer may surprise you.
Today not many remember, but when George Bush entered office in 2000 he did so while campaigning under the banner of "compassionate conservatism," or what in practice should be called "Republican social justice." Specifically Bush complained in the debates that profiling against Arabs was "racist" and any such practices, should he become President, would be stopped immediately. Thanks to the fact that Internet video still wasn't much of a thing back then, this opinion unsurprisingly fell down the collective memory hole.
Thankfully it exists today and can be seen here.
At the 47:28 mark Bush begins his lecture on how evil and racist it is to ever suspect a Muslim of anything.
This whole mode of thinking apparently permeated policy under the Bush administration.
The following is a direct quote from the US air ticket agent, Michael Tuohey, who let in Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers.
I got an instant chill when I looked at [Atta]. I got this grip in my stomach and then, of course, I gave myself a political correct slap... I thought, "My God, Michael, these are just a couple of Arab businessmen."
Mohamed Atta, leader of the 9/11 hijackers; it was apparently too racist to consider him suspicious-looking.
As you can see, he seems well schooled in the fine art of checking his privilege. Not only did he let it one of the greatest mass murderers of the 21st century, but he mentally chastised himself for even considering that a scary-looking Muslim person could ever mean anyone any harm. As far as we can tell he was following the Bush-era policy of letting in all Arabs, without so much as a second thought, to the letter.
With this in mind it's not hard to put 2 and 2 together. The warrants to search the apartment of a suspected terrorist, the warrants that could have broken the
9/11 case wide open, the warrants that could have saved thousands of American lives, prevented two major wars, and possibly changed world history as we know it, may not have been filed because DAT BE RACIST. After all, wasn't that Minnesota Flight school instructor, who noticed that an Arab man was wanting to learn to fly a plane but not land one, using his White male privilege to unjustly judge someone? What if the Arab was innocent? As we have seen with the clock boy fiasco of 2015, wrongly suspecting an Arab of terrorism is far, far worse than letting a potential Arab terrorist kill innocent people. When FBI Supervisor Michael Maltbie refused to file those warrants requested by his FBI agents in the field, one of whom expressly communicated his suspicions that Moussaui was likely to be planning to fly a plane into the World Trade Center, was doing what every White man today is harangued to do constantly: Maltbie checked his White male privilege. They had all the evidence and all the reasonable suspicion in the world, yet they did nothing, and as a result lots of American citizens, including people of color, whose lives actually matter, died.
FBI supervisor Michael Maltbie. This dipshit wouldn't let FBI agents get a warrant to search a 9/11 plotters house, possibly because he thought it was "racist"; this led to a promotion.
This exact story was repeated on the other side of the country in Arizona when FBI Agent Ken Williams sent a report of his suspicion that Middle Eastern flight school students in Arizona were Al-Qaeda agents training in order to crash into the Twin towers. This report never made it out of FBI headquarters and was entirely ignored.
In Palm Beach, Florida, where the majority of attackers, including Mohammed Atta, were training at a different flight school, a crop duster named Willie Lee called the police to report Arabs coming up to him and asking suspicious questions about his plane and the chemicals he used. This report never even made it out of the local jurisdiction, and was entirely ignored by the police.
One thing to keep in mind is that Arabs were already terrorizing the US at this point so it was not as if all suspicion thrown on them was unfounded.
In October of 2000, at the same time as those very debates where Bush was complaining about racism against Arabs in America, Al-Qaeda attacked the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen, killing 17 American servicemen and injuring 39. In 1998, 200 people were killed in an Al-Qaeda attack on the US embassy
in Sudan. And of course, in 1993, the World Trade Center had already been targeted by Ramzi Yousef, the Kuwaiti nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, former Al-Qaeda senior member and 9/11 mastermind. On top of all this, there were warnings from the CIA for months prior to 9/11 that Al-Qaeda had plans involving planes and possibly New York City in the works.
Here's a quote directly from a recent article in the Atlantic that details the apathy of the White House to Al-Qaeda's movements.
The warnings continued. On July 11, the CIA sent word to the White House that a Chechen with links to Al-Qaeda had warned that something big was coming.
On July 24, the Daily Brief said the expected Al-Qaeda attack had been postponed but was still being planned. Finally, on August 6, the CIA titled its Daily Brief: Bin Ladin Determined to Strike the US. The briefing didnt mention a specific date or target, but it did mention the possibility of attack in New York and mentioned that the terrorists might hijack airplanes. In Angler, Barton Gellman notes that it was the 36th time the CIA had raised Al-Qaeda with President Bush since he took office.
No steps were taken, however, certainly no steps involving detaining or even checking suspicious-looking Arabs who had only been in the country a short time.
This brings us to the next farcical detail leading up to the greatest government fuckup in national security history. At the time of the attacks we were under the leadership of our first African American female National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice. Rice, for her part, didn't seem to care much about Al-Qaeda. When National Security Council counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke came to Rice requesting the ability to freeze Al-Qaeda assets and launch covert military strikes months prior to the attacks, in order to cripple their operating ability, Rice let the request rot on the vine. She seemed far more concerned with bumping up military spending on Cold-War-era ballistic missile systems than with protecting the country from foriegn terrorism. Incredibly, when Clarke brought up the danger of Al-Qaeda to Rice in person, even after months of hounding her with memos, not even a flicker of recognition crossed her face; according to him, it was as if she had never even heard the term "Al-Qaeda" before.
On July 10th, CIA director George Tenet and CIA counterterrorism advisor Cofer Black begged Rice to reconsider and to aggressively target Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden. Instead Rice dismissed their concerns and went back to her plan to spend $600 million on the obsolete and irrelevant missile defense system.
Later, a Jew and close personal friend of Rice, Philip D. Zelikow, whom Rice hired on as an aide to the State Department in 2005, and who was later appointed as the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, conveniently downplayed this meeting as unimportant. Still Tenet maintained afterwards that it was the most important pre-9/11 meeting, and the biggest botched opportunity for stopping the attacks. Of course it must just be coincidence that the meeting also happened to be overseen by a Black female affirmative action hire.
Given all these facts—the affirmative action hires, the refusal to carry out warrants on suspicious Arabs, the abolition of profiling, etc.—it doesn't seem out of the question to suggest that political correctness is at least partly to blame for federal government's complete lack of ability to stop 9/11.