Crouere: Never forget the tragic lessons of 9/11
Published 12:13 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2022
One of the many lessons our country should have learned from the tragedy of 9/11 is that we must remain vigilant. Sadly, during the eight years of the President Bill Clinton administration and the first eight months of the George W. Bush presidency, our nation had been lulled into a false sense of security.
Even though the Cold War was over, the United States was still facing serious threats, but it was not from the Soviet Union, it was from Islamic jihadism. In the preceding decade, our country had been targeted by a series of terrorist attacks from the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 to the U.S.S. Cole bombing in 2000.
The country should have been on high alert on Sept. 11, 2001, but, unfortunately, a series of national security blunders allowed 19 Islamic terrorists to hijack four commercial airplanes.
The terrorists crashed the planes into both World Trade Center towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and would have crashed the fourth plane into either the White House or the U.S. Capitol if not for the courageous actions of passengers who brought down the plane in Shanksville, Pa.
The attacks resulted in the deaths of 2,977 innocent people, while thousands of others were injured. The friends and family members of the victims and billions of other people worldwide still feel the emotional scars of that tragedy.
The hijackings on 9/11 were the deadliest terrorist attacks in world history. In the aftermath, the country launched a major military buildup, started two wars, created a new government bureaucracy, changed security procedures at airports and passed an intrusive new law giving the government vast powers to surveil innocent Americans.
Of course, none of the 9/11 hijackers were American citizens. They came from four Islamic nations — Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. They were able to enter the United States on visas and were members of the Islamic terrorist organization, Al-Qaeda, which trained in Afghanistan under the supervision of the group’s leader, Osama Bin Laden.
Although we were fortunately able to kill Bin Laden in a daring military mission in 2011, we were unable to secure Afghanistan despite 20 years of war. In 2021, President Joe Biden decided to hastily leave the country and remove our remaining military force of 3,500 soldiers.
This announcement gave the terrorist organization, the Taliban, the green light to overrun the country. They quickly overwhelmed the Afghanistan army, which had been trained by the United States. In our quick exit, we left behind $85 billion in military equipment and abandoned the massive Bagram Air Base, which was a strategic facility that had been upgraded many times in the preceding 20 years.
In our final few days in Afghanistan, a terrorist attack killed 13 of our United States military heroes who were providing security at the Kabul airport. In the chaos that erupted, both Afghan allies and American citizens attempted to leave the country in a mad dash. Tragically, despite his promises to evacuate every American from Afghanistan, approximately 9,000 of our citizens were left behind.
Among the 79,000 Afghan nationals allowed into our country in the six months after July 2021, many were not properly vetted. According to a report by Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) did not always have critical data to properly screen, vet, or inspect the evacuees.” Cuffari noted that “some information used to vet evacuees through U.S. Government databases, such as name, date of birth, identification number, and travel document data, was inaccurate, incomplete, or missing.”
Most troubling was the finding that “DHS may have admitted or paroled individuals into the United States who pose a risk to national security and the safety of local communities.” Since these individuals were not “fully vetted,” Cuffari found that “dozens” of potential terrorists could have been allowed into our country.
In the view of U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), “The lack of appropriate screening and vetting of Afghan evacuees by this administration is reminiscent of a pre-9/11 security mindset.” As Portman noted, these lax procedures are incredibly problematic considering that two Islamic terrorist groups, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS-K, are currently operating in Afghanistan. As evidence, Al-Qaeda terrorist leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was in Kabul, Afghanistan in early August when he was killed by a U.S. drone strike.
Another straightforward way for terrorists to enter the United States is our open southern border. Upon taking office, President Biden immediately stopped construction of the border wall, eliminated a range of policies that were working to limit illegal immigration and basically invited individuals worldwide to enter the United States.
Surely among the citizens from over 160 nations that have entered the country illegally during the Biden administration have been terrorists. While the U.S. Border Patrol has captured 56 individuals on the Terrorist Screening Database at the southern border, an untold number of others may have slipped into the country. U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) believes that “it is a near certainty” that among the 500,000 “got-aways” since last October, are individuals on the “Terrorist Screening Database.”
With all these threats allowed by the Biden administration, the United States is in more danger today than at any point in our history. Along with the prospect of terrorists roaming around our country, the threat from China has never been greater, yet nothing is being done to stop them from achieving their expansionist goals.
While we have spent at least $60 billion on the war in Ukraine, our military is in disarray and does not have the equipment it needs to protect our country from our enemies. We are not meeting recruitment targets and the military leaders appointed by President Biden have decided to focus on asinine goals such as the use of proper pronouns and teaching critical race theory. No wonder not enough Americans want to join the military today.
Under these Biden administration policies, all Americans are in danger.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award-winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs nationally on Real America’s Voice Network, AmericasVoice. News weekdays at 7 a.m. Central Time and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America’s Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on Crouere.net. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.