Since Mark Steyn is still on a working vacation, it's a good time to review some of his insightful 9/11 columns, especially for newer readers.
From our Archives, Sept. 11, 2009:
Mark Steyn, excerpts from 2002:
"The other day, Johnelle Bryant, an official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, gave an interview to ABC News in which she revealed that Mohammed Atta and three other September 11th terrorists had visited her Florida office seeking government loans.
At first," she says, "he refused to speak with me," on the grounds that she was, in his words, "but a female."
Ms. Bryant says the applicant was asking for $650,000 to start a crop-dusting business. His plan was to buy a six-seater twin-prop and then remove the seats. "He wanted to build a chemical tank that would fit inside the aircraft and take up every available square inch of the aircraft except for where the pilot would be sitting."
"He asked me," recalls Ms. Bryant, "what would prevent him from going behind my desk and cutting my throat and making off with the millions of dollars in that safe."
...Mr. Atta then spotted an aerial view of Washington hanging on the wall behind her. He told her he particularly liked the way it got all the famous landmarks of the city in one convenient picture, pointing specifically to the Pentagon and the White House. "He wanted that picture really bad."
"He said, 'How would America like it if another country destroyed that city and some of the monuments in it,' like the cities in his country had been destroyed?"
Mr. Atta then moved on to other prominent landmarks in other American cities, and enquired about security at the World Trade Center. Ms. Bryant had a Dallas Cowboys souvenir on her desk, and he asked her about their spectacular stadium and, specifically, the "hole in the roof."
At that point, the chit-chat turned to Mr. Atta's own country, which he claimed was Afghanistan. "He mentioned Osama bin Laden," she says. "I felt that he was trying to make the cultural leap from the country that he came from. I was attempting, in every manner I could, to help him make his relocation into our country as easy for him as I could."
There'll be more of these stories, tales of men virtually screaming their intentions but up against a culture sensitivity-trained into a coma." ..............
Mark Steyn, excerpts from 2005:
"With hindsight, the defining encounter of the age was not between Mohammed Atta’s jet and the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, but that between Mohammed Atta and Johnelle Bryant a year earlier.
For four years, much of the western world behaved like Bryant. Bomb us, and we agonise over the “root causes” (that is, what we did wrong). Decapitate us, and our politicians rush to the nearest mosque to declare that “Islam is a religion of peace”. Issue bloodcurdling calls at Friday prayers to kill all the Jews and infidels, and we fret that it may cause a backlash against Muslims. Behead sodomites and mutilate female genitalia, and gay groups and feminist groups can’t wait to march alongside you denouncing Bush, Blair and Howard. Murder a schoolful of children, and our scholars explain that to the “vast majority” of Muslims “jihad” is a harmless concept meaning “decaf latte with skimmed milk and cinnamon sprinkles”.
[M]ulticulturalism is a kind of societal Stockholm Syndrome. Atta’s meetings with Bryant are emblematic: He wasn’t a genius, a master of disguise in deep cover; indeed, he was barely covered at all, he was the Leslie Nielsen of terrorist masterminds – but the more he stuck out, the more Bryant was trained not to notice, or to put it all down to his vibrant cultural tradition.
[T]he more the Islamists step on our toes, the more we waltz them gaily round the room. [A]nyone can be tolerant of the tolerant, but tolerance of intolerance gives an even more intense frisson of pleasure to the multiculti masochists. Australia’s old cultural cringe had a certain market rationality; the new multicultural cringe is pure nihilism.
Like Doc Hasan, Atta wasn't even trying to hide it anymore. Like the last kid playing Hide-n-Seek after his playmates were called home, we were the only ones hiding."........
Mark Steyn, excerpts from today, in 2009:
"Two joint terrorism task forces became aware almost a year ago that Major Hasan was in regular email contact with Anwar al-Awlaqi, the American-born but now Yemeni-based cleric who served as imam to three of the 9/11 hijackers and supports all-out holy war against the United States. But the expert analysts in the Pentagon determined that this lively correspondence was consistent with Major Hasan’s “research interests”, so there was no need to worry. That’s America: Technologically superior, money no object (not one but two “joint terrorism task forces” stumbled across him). Yet no action was taken.
On the other hand, who needs surveillance operations and intelligence budgets? Major Hasan was entirely upfront about who he was. He put it on his business card: “SOA.” As in “Soldier of Allah” – which seems a tad ungrateful to the American taxpayers who ponied up half a million bucks or thereabouts in elite medical school education to train him to be a Soldier of Uncle Sam. In a series of meetings during 2008, officials from both Walter Reed and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences considered the question of whether then Captain Hasan was psychotic. But, according to at least one bigwig at Walter Reed, members of the policy committee wondered “how would it look if we kick out one of the few Muslim residents”. So he got promoted to Major and shipped to Fort Hood.
And 13 men and women and an unborn baby are dead.
Well, like they say, it’s easy to be wise after the event. I’m not so sure. These days, it’s easier to be even more stupid after the event. “Apparently he tried to contact al Qaeda,” mused MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. “That’s not a crime to call up al Qaeda, is it? Is it? I mean, where do you stop the guy?” Interesting question: Where do you draw the line?
The truth is we’re not prepared to draw a line even after he’s gone ahead and committed mass murder.
Ezra Levant, my comrade in a long battle to restore freedom of speech to Canada, likes to say that the Danish cartoons crisis may one day be seen as a more critical event than 9/11. Not, obviously, in the comparative death tolls but in what each revealed about the state of western civilization. After 9/11, we fought back, hit hard, rolled up the Afghan camps; after the cartoons, we weaseled and equivocated and appeased and signaled that we were willing to trade core western values for a quiet life. Watching the decadence and denial on display this last week, I think in years to come Fort Hood will be seen in a similar light. What happened is not a “tragedy” but a national scandal, already fading from view." ..............
Me: Like Doc Hasan, Atta committed actual crimes in that interview that were ignored for "diversity's" sake. I knew Fort Hood felt familiar, may they Rest in Peace. But does one slap in the face deserve another? We already put WTC bombers in on trial in a New York courtroom once, after the '93 bombing.
For our trouble, we got damaging national security leaks, holdout jurors, escape attempts with severely injured guards, further terror plots hatched from behind bars, defense lawyers collaborating with terrorists and more attacks. Yet we're told that this time it will be different, that the terrorists will have a change of heart this time when they once again behold the majesty of our legal system. Right. A terrorist explains that majesty:
“Tell them, ‘I don’t know. I’m not talking to you. Bring my lawyer.’ Never talk to them. Not a word. ‘My lawyer’—that’s it! That’s what’s so beautiful about America.”
We put them on trial--and eight years later there was another attack on New York. And now...we're going to do it again?
By the way, it's eight years after 9/11. Have a Nice Day." .............
|2016: And Have a Nicer Day soon!|