Progressive politics, ideas & culture


an unanswerable question — but a good one

This Magazine Staff

Three years ago today I was running late for work because of a bad headache, and I stepped into a local coffee shop on my way to the office, only to be stopped, like everyone else in the world, by a television and a crowd of silent onlookers.
Today, riding a city bus downtown with my kids who were both in the womb on 9/11, I was forced to think about the world they’ve always known — the new reality we’re so often reminded of.
The current New Yorker has a fantastic, very long profile of Al Gore, a guy who lives on a street in Nashville, Tennessee, goes to a lot of concerts and surfs the internet every day checking out news about the culture of uncertainty he might have had a hand in preventing.
I held a good, long, internal debate about making a political statement on this day, but then I read Donald Rumsfeld’s partisan tribute during his speech at Arlington. So, screw him.
It strikes me that no-one in the media has pointed out something startlingly obvious. Al Gore, being one of the architects of the Clinton plan for containing Al-Qaeda, would not have ignored the August 01 memo warning of an imminent attempt to hijack planes and crash them into buildings. There is, in fact, an excellent chance a President Gore would have prevented most if not all of the events of three years ago — simply because it was on his to do list from his old job as VP.

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