The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

On September 10th

Posted on | September 10, 2011 | 27 Comments

Front page, The Washington Times, Sept. 12, 2001

Ten years ago, I covered a press conference in D.C. and wrote an article that appeared in The Washington Times:

Coalition watches
war on drugs for
rights violations

Letter calls for grilling Bush nominee

By Robert Stacy McCain
A broad coalition of conservative and civil liberties groups wants assurances that the Bush administration’s war on drugs will respect constitutional rights and the privacy of citizens.
Bringing together such diverse groups as the American Civil Liberties Union and the social conservative Eagle Forum, the ad-hoc Coalition for Constitutional Liberties has asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to question President Bush’s top drug-policy nominee on issues of electronic surveillance and other law-enforcement tactics that they say violate citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights.
In a letter to the committee, the coalition led by the Free Congress Foundation asks that John Walters — nominated as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy by Mr. Bush — be questioned during confirmation hearings today about his views on how “drug policy drives government surveillance and invasion of privacy.”
“As a taxpayers’ group, we don’t like the idea of paying the government to abuse our rights,” Robert Fike of Americans for Tax Reform said at a press conference yesterday announcing the coalition . . .

The story went on from there, but I don’t know whatever happened to the Coalition for Constitutional Liberties and I frankly doubt anyone paid any attention to that article because it was published on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

That morning, I was awakened by my wife, handing me the phone. It was my brother Kirby calling from Georgia. “Turn on Fox News,” he said. “A plane just hit the World Trade Center. It’s a terrorist attack.”

Still half-asleep — my workday didn’t usually start until noon — I stumbled into the living room and stared at the TV showing smoke pouring out of the WTC tower, but I couldn’t believe terrorists were responsible. Maybe, I told my brother on the phone, it was some kind of accident. “No, Stacy, it’s terrorism,” Kirby insisted.

I hung up the phone still unconvinced, and was thinking about going back to bed when the second plane hit. Obviously, this was no accident, so I decided to get ready for work. While I was still in the shower, one of the WTC towers fell, and then the second, and in the meantime we learned that a third plane had hit the Pentagon.

By the time I got to the office, they were already putting the finishing touches on a special early edition of the paper and the rest of the day was lost in a blur of work. What I do remember, however, is when the TV news that night showed crowds of Muslims dancing jubilantly in the streets, celebrating this attack on America.

Those ugly little scenes are seldom mentioned nowadays, but are burned into my memory. Say what you will, I know who the enemy is.

Not so with Georgetown Law professor David Cole, who apparently decided to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9-11 by demanding that Obama pursue war-crimes charges against Bush administration officials. Donald Douglas at American Power writes:

Behold the mind of the progressive left on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the attacks. For radical progressives, it’s America that’s the problem, not the fanatical killers who continue to wage war against us.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Linked by Melissa Clouthier and by Duane Lester at All American Blogger — thanks! — and welcome, Instapundit readers!

Meanwhile, I just printed my boarding pass to fly to Tampa. Flying on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 doesn’t exactly thrill me.

I’m sure all those terrorism concerns are just phantoms conjured up by worry-warts and over-excited bureaucrats. But I spent Saturday night watching 9/11 documentaries and so it’s kinda creepy to think about boarding a plane in a few hours.

Nevertheless, there’s a CNN/Tea Party Express debate Monday night in Tampa, and I’m flying down Sunday to cover it.

And there’s absolutely nothing to worry about, right? Right?


27 Responses to “On September 10th”

  1. MrPaulRevere
    September 11th, 2011 @ 12:58 am

    Stacy, isn’t that professor who was arrested for incest employed by Georgetown? ‘Nuff said.

  2. Adjoran
    September 11th, 2011 @ 1:14 am

    I normally would have been up cleaning up the breakfast dishes for my elderly father, but Dad was in the hospital for relatively minor complaints and being waited on hand and foot by the staff (he believed in tipping orderlies, so was always treated nicely) so I slept in.  My fiance called to ask when I was going to the hospital, but then said she had to go suddenly, someone at her work had some emergency. 

    Then she called back and told me a plane had crashed into WTC and to turn on my TV (this was maybe 8:50 – 8:55) so I did, saw the fire and thought of the plane that got stuck in the Empire State Building years ago, how this one must have been bigger and carrying more fuel to cause a fire like that, and the impossibility of fighting a fire in a building that tall.  Realizing I was going to be up now, I put on a pot of coffee and came back to the TV just in time to see the second plane approaching.

    I thought, man, that plane is low, surely the pilot isn’t rubber-necking, how irresponsible!  Then it slammed into the other tower and I jumped off the sofa.

    Like much of America, I was glued to the set, alarmed by the news from the Pentagon, and despairing of fighting the fires in WTC.  Still, I thought, it was an amazing architectural achievement that they were still standing at all.

    And then, they weren’t.  Among the most horrible things imaginable, happening live before our eyes.  I’ll never forget it, or who did it.

    Glad that clip of the dancing ‘stinians survives, just in case someone disputes the facts.  I saw a song by an idiot truther the other day, some people are truly gullible.

  3. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2011 @ 1:31 am

    Well by God it’s about time someone showed the savages celebrating. This should be given more prominence than the scene of Bush in that elementary school in Florida. Hell I’ve seen more a hundred times more footage of Pearl Harbor. We’re at war it’s about damn time someone told the American People who with. 

  4. MrPaulRevere
    September 11th, 2011 @ 2:00 am

    “I know who the enemy is.” I can recall watching on TV as a ten or eleven year old boy when the PLO blew up the hijacked airliners in the desert, followed by a jubilant Arafat with the headscarf and pistol on his hip. I knew instinctively this man and his followers were the enemy of all civilized people. 

  5. The Other McCain: On September 10th | All American Blogger
    September 10th, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

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  6. ThePaganTemple
    September 11th, 2011 @ 4:11 am
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  8. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2011 @ 4:34 am

    Stacey, Socialists have always tried to rewrite history. This Kipling poem is one I read as often as “The Gods Of the Copybook Headings”, and for similar reasons.

    “The eradication of memories of the Great War. -SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT ORGAN

    The Socialist Government speaks:

    Wisely, but yearly, filch some wreath-
    Lay some proud rite aside-
    And daily tarnish with Our breath
    The ends for which They died.
    Distract, deride, decry, confuse-
    (Or-if it serves Us-pray!)
    So presently We break the use
    And meaning of Their day!

  9. M Simon
    September 11th, 2011 @ 4:50 am

    Ah. I see you got my message – along with your own personal history. Good on ya.

    BTW can you imagine Drug War policing applied to abortion? I can. Which is why I want the government to stay out.

  10. NukemHill
    September 11th, 2011 @ 5:25 am

    “The story went on from there, but I don’t know whatever happened to the Coalition for Constitutional Liberties and I frankly doubt anyone paid any attention to that article because it was published on the morning of Sept. 11, 2011.”

    Wrong date.  Off by a decade….

  11. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2011 @ 5:34 am

    Ack! Fixed that!

    Newspapers have what’s called the “copy desk” to catch idiotic typos like that. Here, I rely on keen-eyed commenters.

  12. Classical Values » “Disharmoniously” NOT leaving 9/11 behind
    September 11th, 2011 @ 2:08 am

    […] UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds (who noted pre-9/11  conservative opposition to the “Drug War) links the best retro headline. […]

  13. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2011 @ 6:48 am

    Agreed.  I hope it is not offending our host’s good offices if I speak frankly here: everything I have learned about the Palestinians since long before 9/11 has convinced me that they are the cockroaches of humanity. They have produced nothing but bloodshed and misery for the past three or four thousand years.  I am frankly baffled why the European Left and self-hating socialist Jewry have adopted them as their mascots.  They are despised even by other Arabs and Muslims, and there must be a reason why.  I’m sure there are individuals among them who are enlightened, intelligent, humane and admirable in all respects, and certainly they have no monopoly on wickedness, but on balance they are a plague on all their neighbors. My sympathy for their plight is completely exhausted.

  14. egoist_capitalist
    September 11th, 2011 @ 10:43 am

    Maybe they can play that video during the Palestinian-bid for statehood in a couple of weeks. Of course, in this up-side-down world where we feed / clothe / defend (by strangling Israel), that video would likely be a catalysts to statehood. 

  15. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2011 @ 11:57 am

    I was working and my nurse told me that an airplane had hit one of the towers. I told her not to worry, this had happened to the Empire state building back in the twenties and nothing much came of it. Later she told me they heard on the radio that it happened again and I thought the news people were just repeating themselves. Finally, she told me that it was jets, two of them, one for each tower, and people were jumping out of the windows. This is when I knew it was a terrorist act. I told her and the drug rep delivering samples that If I were the president, I would have leaflets dropped on Baghdad telling folks to get out of town for a twenty mile perimeter, because it won’t be there in four days, and then nuke it. Much cheaper than what we did and probably more effective.

  16. rosalie
    September 11th, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

    My husband and I were in the Minneapolis Airport on September 10.  We were very lucky to be in our own home on 9/11.   My brother’s daughter worked in the city.  She joined the people who were running from the city not knowing what was going to happen next.  She was able to get a ride and ended up in a tavern where her husband picked her up the following day.  I volunteered at a blood mobile that week where I witnessed lines of people extending outside the building and beyond.  I never saw anything like that before.    

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  18. AngelaTC
    September 11th, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

    There are also images of Iranians holding  candlelight vigils and openly crying with us.    But like you said, some people are truly gullible.

  19. FenelonSpoke
    September 11th, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

    I was  gathering for a  regular prayer group with several other clergy members.  After the second plane hit we all knew it was an act of terrorism .
    My brother-in-law worked for Marsh and McClellan on the 72nd floor of the first building He still has some survivors guilt. He had a day off that day but would have been pulverized to dust if he had been in.

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  21. keyboard jockey
    September 11th, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    Bill White Imus’s Guest on Imus In The Morning Fox Business News.
    Three Days after the attacks of September 11th 2001, Bill White and the folks at Intrepid, decided to change the view of what OBL would be viewing on his television. Turns out Bill White was right OBL, liked to watch the response to his handiwork. Bill White, we changed what he would be watching when he turned on his tv, it was like giving him the middle finger.I will never forget – I will never submit.September 11th, 2001 “A Room With A View”

  22. Jim Turgeon
    September 11th, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

    It wasn’t Baghdad–remember– it was Saudi Arabians who did this to the world. No one will punish them because it would do away with a huge portion of the world’s oil supply. 

  23. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

    Which is precisely why we needed to go into Iraq as the first step in cleaning up the whole area: geographically well located, with an oil supply we could get back on stream while the Saudis continued to supply Europe. Once we had Iraq to replace them, glass the Saudis, get them back on stream, then take out the mullahs in Iran. Or vice versa.

    What we forgot to do is take out our Fifth Column first, so the disloyal opposition couldn’t interfere.

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  25. Anonymous
    September 12th, 2011 @ 1:07 am

    There should be footage of that too split screened with Obama saying that we shouldn’t interfere with their elections.

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