Reflections on 9-11 over time from SDSU CS301 Computers&Society Students
Kris Stewart stewart@sdsu.edu 01Feb2012

One assignment I give the CS 301 students is to reflect on 9-11 and its impact on them. The given statement is:

Weekly Topic/Forum#1 - Your thoughts on 10 year anniversary of 9-11
If you were listening to KPBS radio last fall, you will have heard their reporting on the 10 year anniversary of the 11 Sept 2001 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City. I would like the class to individually reflect on what you were doing a little over 10 years ago – 11 Sept 2001.

Where you flying somewhere? Do you know anyone who was flying somewhere in the USA and was grounded?
What has changed since this event?
Please provide specific references to support your viewpoints and opinions.
You might start with the wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11 for background.


Kris Stewart's thoughts after reading over 100 posts of students from a very wide variety of backgrounds 1) foreign (sweden, mexico, middle east ...) and 2) ages (7th grade to USMC Boot Camp to USNavy wife on 11sept2001). This caused me to reflect on my 7th grade world-event, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, while we were stationed at MCS Quantico, VA. Yes I am proud to be a Marine Corps brat.
I also recall Timothy McVeigh (23Apr1968-11June2001) who detonated a truck bomb in front of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City 19April 1995. When the news first began reports on the explosions, it was said to be Middle Eastern terrorist. But turned out to be our own "home-grown" individual. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_McVeigh.

There is a HBO documentary called Hate.Com: Extremists on the Internet http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0288039/ that I would play in class for students in CS440 Social, Legal and Ethical Issues in Computing. You can get it from Netflix.

18Oct2006 CS 440 assignment statement with several URLS http://www.stewart.cs.sdsu.edu/cs440/assign/ch5-assign-group.html.
I found this to be a good "group project" to get students thinking and debating how to express their thoughts on some "not-policitally-correct" topics.


This is a sampling of the web-addresses student provided to support their statements for the CS 301 assignment - Spring 2012. They are given in no particular order.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/11/showbiz/all-american-muslim-lowes/index.html
(CNN) -- Lowe's has pulled its advertising from the reality TV show "All-American Muslim," which the retail store called a "lightning rod."
"All-American Muslim" is an eight-part series that follows five Muslim families living in Dearborn, Michigan.
"Lowe's has received a significant amount of communication on this program, from every perspective possible. Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lightning rod for many of those views. As a result we did pull our advertising on this program," the company said in a statement Saturday.
"We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance."
The conservative Florida Family Association, which is pushing advertisers to drop "All-American Muslim," cheered Lowe's decision. The group called the TLC show "propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values."
But the company's decision was decried by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and at least one of the show's cast members.
Both CAIR and Shadia Amen-McDermott, who is featured on the show, posted links on their Facebook pages to a petition, calling on advertisers to continue their support.
Late Saturday night, the petition had some 2,300 signatures.
"This is NOT about standing up for All-American Muslim - This is about Standing Up Against Bigotry and Hatred in this Country Founded on Peace, Justice, and Equality. Let's Stand United against Bigotry," Amen-McDermott wrote.

http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/09/22/325821/park-51-islamic-community-center-maligned-as-ground-zero-mosque-opens-without-controversy/?mobile=nc
Park 51 Islamic Community Center Maligned As ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Opens Without Controversy
Last year, Islamophobic activists, allied with a number of right-wing politicians, attacked the construction of the Park 51 Islamic community center, maligning the project as a “Ground Zero Mosque” being built blocks away from the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City.
Yet despite all the heated rhetoric from opponents of Park 51 in the recent past, the cultural and community center opened its doors in lower Manhattan yesterday with an official ribbon cutting ceremony that faced no protests or public controversy:
There was no sign of protest at the Park51 community center last night. It opened its doors to the public in lower Manhattan Wednesday, without the opposition that had surrounded the project for a year.
The center was crowded for most of the evening — with visitors who said they came to see the new photography exhibition and others who were interested in the place itself. Brooklyn’s Jean Stevens said she’s not surprised the event went off without a hitch. “It seems like there’s not much of huge response to this reception or to the mosque anymore, and so I wonder whether if people have forgotten it now that its not such a hot topic.”

http://www.fpri.org/enotes/2011/201109.delisle.911.pdf
Jacques deLisle is Director of FPRI’s Asia Program and Stephen A. Cozen Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. In several respects, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington led to improvement in United-States-China relations. But what has been good for the U.S.-China relationship has not been as good for the United States and, specifically, the American interests at stake in the bilateral relationship.
Initial responses to the incidents ten years ago brought warmer U.S.-China relations. A “shocked” Chinese President Jiang Zemin was quick to express sympathy for the United States and the families of the victims and to condemn “all violent activities by terrorism.”1 Beijing supported Washington’s call for cooperation and responsive action, including the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolutions that condemned the attacks, called on all states to take measures to combat and prevent terrorist activities and organizations generally and al-Qaeda and the Taliban specifically, endorsed international efforts to oust the Afghan Taliban regime that had provided shelter and support for al-Qaeda, and demanded that Iraq cease obstructing UN-mandated inspections for weapons of mass destruction2.

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=11949
Cato Institute, Individual Liberty, Free Markets, and Peace Terrorism: Why They Want to Kill Us by Doug Bandow
Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. He also is the Robert A. Taft Fellow at the American Conservative Defense Alliance and the Senior Fellow in International Religious Persecution at the Institute on Religion and Public Policy. He served as a Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan.
Added to cato.org on July 2, 2010
This article appeared on The Huffington Post on July 1, 2010.
The horrid attacks of 9/11 led to the cry: Why do they hate us? Most Americans seemed to believe that it was because we are such nice people. But the Times Square bomber reminds us that terrorism is mostly a response to U.S. government policies.
After 9/11 President George W. Bush reassured Americans: we were attacked because we are beautiful people, spreading freedom around the world. But often the actions of our government are seen by others as less than beautiful. To seek an explanation for terrorism is not to excuse monstrous attacks on civilians. But understanding what motivates people to kill could help reduce terrorism in the future.
Terrorism is not new. It was used against Russian Tsars, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and British colonial officials. Algerians employed terrorism against the French and later Algerian governments. Basque and Irish separatists freely relied on terrorism. Until Iraq, the most promiscuous suicide bombers were Tamils in Sri Lanka. In none of these cases did the killing occur in response to freedom, whether in America or elsewhere.

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=64944
Nine-month Army Deployments to Begin in 2012 By Rob McIlvane Army News Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2011 – Beginning Jan. 1, most soldiers will deploy for nine months, giving them more time at home between deployments, Army officials announced today.
Army Secretary John M. McHugh signed a directive instituting a nine-month "boots on the ground" policy for deployed soldiers, providing more "dwell time” at home for soldiers and their families.
"Implementation of this change is based on the projected demand for Army forces, and remains contingent on global security conditions and combatant commanders' requirements," said Lt. Col. Peggy Kageleiry, an Army spokeswoman.
Corps units and above, and individual augmentee deployments will remain at 12-month deployments, officials said, adding that the goal for the corps units is eventually to get to nine-month deployments.
Most augmentees -- those with particular skills or those in low-density skill sets and grades -- will remain on 12-month deployments.
This change in policy, to be implemented fully by April 1, will affect soldiers in all named operations, including Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Noble Guardian in Kosovo and Multinational Forces Sinai in Egypt.
Reserve and National Guard unit tour lengths will be the same as active duty -- nine months. In their case, though, officials noted, deployment and mobilization are two different issues. Even though these units may still be mobilized for 12 or more months, they will spend only nine months of that mobilization deployed.
It is clear to Army senior leadership that there are still issues tied to Guard and Reserve forces that will need to be worked out, Kageleiry said.
Soldiers deploying under the change in policy will not be granted environmental morale leave -- known as R&R -- but commanders will retain the option of granting emergency leave and leave for special circumstances, according to Army regulations and local policy.
"This policy will enhance operational success by reducing the friction that comes with having 10 percent of a commander's personnel being away on leave in the middle of a deployment," Kageleiry said. "Operational continuity is enhanced, and risk to the individual soldier is reduced by not having to move a warrior around on the battlefield to go on leave.”

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/multimedia/911-change/index.html
Defense and Security
Less than a month after the 9/11 attacks, U.S. military operations were underway in Afghanistan. Two years later, the United States invaded Iraq. In 2008, President Obama campaigned on winding down military operations in the wars, but tens of thousands of Americans remain in both countries. Afghanistan is now the longest war in U.S. history fought by an all-volunteer force with no draft. After 9/11, budgets for defense-related agencies rose: Homeland Security's discretionary budget jumped from $16.7 billion in 2002 to $43.5 billion in 2011. The Coast Guard, TSA and Border Patrol budgets have all more than doubled since 2001.

http://www.alpa.org/portals/alpa/pressroom/inthecockpit/ALPAIssueAnalysis_10YearsAfter9-11Attacks.pdf
Aviation Security: 10 Years after the 9/11 Attacks
The 9/11 terrorist attacks resulted in a sea change for aviation security through the combined efforts of government, industry, and labor. ALPA’s view is that aviation security progressed significantly because of these efforts, but ongoing improvements will always be needed to stay ahead of the ever-changing threat.
To take aviation security to the next level, the government needs to continue to transition to a proactive, human-centered, and threat-driven security system that harnesses the expertise and experience of all parties—regulators, airlines, airports, and labor. As part of this endeavor, there must be a shift away from focusing solely on the detection and interdiction of threat items and toward a determination of the presence of hostile intent.
Trusted airline employees should be positively identified and used as the “eyes and ears” of security. A new paradigm for cooperation, coordination, and communication among all affected parties will enhance our ability to detect and counter all terrorist threats. ALPA has a long history of building strategic alliances among stakeholders to achieve our common goals, and we are enthusiastically engaged in this challenge.
ALPA represents more than 53,000 pilots who fly for 39 airlines in the United States and Canada. The union’s 80-year history as an independent safety and security organization gives the Association an unparalleled perspective in analyzing the current state of aviation security and how it needs to change to keep airline passengers, crews, and cargo secure in the future.
What follows is a description of the most important accomplishments of the past 10 years, and the most needed additional improvements.

http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/ethicalperspectives/profiling.html
Racial Profiling in an Age of Terrorism By Peter Siggins
Earl Warren, 14th Chief Justice of the United States, has become an icon to generations of Americans who believe in the gains for civil rights and personal freedom that were the hallmark of his tenure on the Supreme Court. In 1940, Earl Warren was the attorney general of California, and he delivered a speech where he cautioned against bigotry based upon national origin. He said,
It should be remembered that practically all aliens have come to this country because they like our land and our institutions better than those from whence they came. They have attached themselves to the life of this country in a manner that they would hate to change and the vast majority of them will, if given a chance, remain the same good neighbors that they have been in the past regardless of what difficulties our nation may have with the country of their birth. History proves this to be true . . . .We must see to it that no race prejudices develop and that there are no petty persecutions of law-abiding people.
Then, in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor, by January and February 1942, Attorney General Warren directed the preparation of maps showing all Japanese-owned lands in California, called upon the state's district attorneys to enforce the Alien Land Law against Japanese landowners, and said the presence of Japanese in California provided the opportunity for a repetition of Pearl Harbor. And by March he advocated the exclusion of all Japanese from within 200 miles of the California coast.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the interest in preserving the safety and security of the nation was put in direct conflict with the American democratic ideal of racial equality. The noble cause of equality in that circumstance yielded to our concern for security. Subsequent experience shows that exclusion to be one of the great injustices of WWII visited upon American residents. Congress has since passed laws ordering reparations from those American residents separated from their homes, businesses and lands. Although the Supreme Court's holding in Korematsu, that the Government in time of war had justified racial discrimination in the name of national security is still the law of the land, many lower courts have recognized the injustice wrought by the Japanese internment and we should not forget it.
It is against this historical backdrop that we encounter post-9/11 efforts to combat terrorist acts on American soil, and examine the role that race should play in an effective effort to deter future attacks. But before assessing whether our government's response to the events of 9/11 betray a pattern of racial profiling, I first want to identify what it is.

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2011/09/10/effects-11-were-felt-thousands-miles-away-on-us-mexico-border/
The Effects of 9/11 Were Felt Thousands of Miles Away on the U.S.-Mexico border Published September 10, 2011 EFE
Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2011/09/10/effects-11-were-felt-thousands-miles-away-on-us-mexico-border/#ixzz1l6WLE19W The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, forever changed the dynamics of life along the U.S.-Mexico border with increased militarization, the use of technology and sanctions against undocumented immigrants.
Though the attacks occurred thousands of miles away from the Southwest, this was the region most drastically changed as a result of them.
Over the next 10 years the number of Border Patrol agents was gradually increased, the border fence was extended and for the first time the National Guard was deployed to defend the southern border.
"The first enormous, fundamental change we saw after the Sept. 11 attacks was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, which included the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, whose functions were previously under the Department of Justice," Jennifer Allen, director of the Border Action Network in Arizona, told Efe.
"We saw an enormous investment in militarizing the border, though no real threat to national security has ever come across the border from Mexico," Allen said.
The increase in security along the border with Mexico, particularly in the Arizona desert, has been justified by the government as a fundamental part of its plan in the war on drugs, arms trafficking, undocumented immigration and the violence of Mexican drug cartels.
During her July visit to Arizona, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that the state's border with Mexico has been provided with unprecedented resources, since between 2004 and 2011 the number of Border Patrol agents had been increased from 10,000 to 20,700.
The secretary also said that aerial drones keep watch on the border from California to Texas.
In the last two years the confiscation of undeclared cash has shot up by 75 percent along the Mexican border, while the seizure of drugs has risen by 31 percent and of firearms by 64 percent.
"The increase in border security created a funnel effect that has led undocumented migrants to try and cross the Arizona desert because the California and Texas borders were closed," attorney Isabel Garcia, director de the Arizona Human Rights Coalition, told Efe.
One of the most indelible effects of the 9/11 attacks, she said, was the generalized association of the word "undocumented" with the word "terrorist."
"For the first time we saw the criminalization of the undocumented immigrant justified, and it continues to be justified," she said.
Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2011/09/10/effects-11-were-felt-thousands-miles-away-on-us-mexico-border/#ixzz1l6WTm61e

http://gizmodo.com/5762605/two-tsa-agents-have-stolen-over-160000-from-checked-luggage
Two TSA Agents Stole Over $160,000 From Checked Luggage
Two TSA Agents Stole Over 0,000 From Checked Luggage In yet another bad look for the TSA, two agents at New York's JFK Airport 'fessed up to pilfering $160,000 from passenger bags.
How'd they do it? They'd screen the bags through security x-rays looking for money, then they'd flag the luggage for private inspection and steal the money there. One passenger en route to Argentina had $39,400 in cash sitting in his bag. Now the two men will be charged (and presumably convicted) of Grand Larceny. I'm not quite sure who keeps money in their checked luggage (except for crime bosses and drug kingpins), but apparently people do. If you ever need a reminder as to why you should always keep your cash on you, this is it. [NY Post]

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/discoveries/2006-08-06-brain-study_x.htm
Study: Emotion rules the brain's decisions Updated 8/6/2006 7:02 PM ET By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY
The evidence has been piling up throughout history, and now neuroscientists have proved it's true: The brain's wiring emphatically relies on emotion over intellect in decision-making.
A brain-imaging study reported in the current Science examines "framing," a hot topic among psychologists, economists and political hucksters.
Framing studies have shown that how a question is posed — think negative ads, for instance — skews decision-making. But no one showed exactly how this effect worked in the human brain until the brain-imaging study led by Benedetto De Martino of University College London.
De Martino and colleagues asked 20 men and women to undergo three 17-minute brain scans while being asked to gamble — or not — with an initial pot of English pounds worth about $95. When told they would "keep" 40% of their money if they didn't gamble, the volunteers chose to gamble only 43% of the time. Told they could "lose" 60% of the money if they didn't gamble, they rolled the dice 62% of the time.
Their chances of winning the money were carefully explained beforehand, and participants knew the odds were identical. But the framing effect still skewed their decisions significantly.
The brain images revealed the amygdala, a neural region that processes strong negative emotions such as fear, fired up vigorously in response to each two-second (on average) gambling decision. Where people resisted the framing effect, a brain region connected to positive emotions such as empathy, and another that activates whenever people face choices, lit up as well, seeming to duke it out over the decision.
"We found everyone showed emotional biases, more or less; no one was totally free of them," De Martino says. Even among the four participants who were aware they were inconsistent in decision-making, "they said, 'I know, I just couldn't help myself,' " he says.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1531304,00.html
Why the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Won't Go Away
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1531304,00.html#ixzz1l6XjSKND
Take a look, if you can stand it, at video footage of the World Trade Center collapsing. Your eye will naturally jump to the top of the screen, where huge fountains of dark debris erupt out of the falling towers. But fight your natural instincts. Look farther down, at the stories that haven't collapsed yet.
In almost every clip you'll see little puffs of dust spurting out from the sides of the towers. There are two competing explanations for these puffs of dust: 1) the force of the collapsing upper floors raised the air pressure in the lower ones so dramatically that it actually blew out the windows. And 2) the towers did not collapse from the impact of two Boeing 767s and the ensuing fires. They were destroyed in a planned, controlled demolition. The dust puffs you see on film are the detonations of explosives planted there before the attacks.
People who believe the second explanation live in a very different world from those who believe the first. In world No. 2, al-Qaeda is not responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Center. The U.S. government is. The Pentagon was not hit by a commercial jet; it was hit by a cruise missile. United Flight 93 did not crash after its occupants rushed the cockpit; it was deliberately taken down by a U.S. Air Force fighter. The entire catastrophe was planned and executed by federal officials in order to provide the U.S. with a pretext for going to war in the Middle East and, by extension, as a means of consolidating and extending the power of the Bush Administration.
Read more: read more

25 most powerful images
9/11: The 25 Most Powerful Photos
One decade after 9/11, an unsettling number of images from Ground Zero and its environs remain seared in our collective memory -- unsurprising, perhaps, given the scope and scale of the destruction. But the fact that the deadliest, most visually arresting attacks occurred in New York City also meant that many of the world's best photographers were, in effect, already on the scene when the terrorists struck. Here, to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and in hopes of lending coherence to our shared, turbulent recollections, LIFE.com presents the 25 most stirring, visceral photographs from that day, featuring pictures from the likes of James Nachtwey, Joe Raedle, Spencer Platt, Mario Tama, and other celebrated photojournalists (and one intrepid amateur). These are the pictures we remember: wrenching, indelible photographs that tell the tale of a still-resonant late summer day that changed everything.

http://news.yahoo.com/9-11--could-twitter-or-facebook-have-made-a-difference.html
Could Twitter or Facebook have made a difference? Social media facilitated the Arab Spring, broke news of a plane landing on the Hudson River, and now assists in the battle against the Texas wildfires. Social sites are not just where we share trivial updates about our day; they've become a part of how we act and react in a time of crisis.
So could Twitter and Facebook have made a difference on 9/11?
Social media experts disagree wildly on this topic, with some saying it would have made the situation worse and others saying lives could have been saved. And although revisionist history can be frustrating and even inappropriate, a look at how the events of 9/11 might have unfolded with social media could help us prepare for another attack.
The most jarring theory about how social media might have changed 9/11 is the idea that it could have prevented the terrorist attacks altogether.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/21/911-responders-screened-for-terror-ties_n_852198.html
9/11 Responders To Be Warned They Will Be Screened By FBI's Terrorism Watch List (EXCLUSIVE)
First Posted: 4/21/11 05:24 PM ET Updated: 6/21/11 06:12 AM ET WASHINGTON -- A provision in the new 9/11 health bill may be adding insult to injury for people who fell sick after their service in the aftermath of the 2001 Al Qaeda attacks, The Huffington Post has learned.
The tens of thousands of cops, firefighters, construction workers and others who survived the worst terrorist assault in U.S. history and risked their lives in its wake will soon be informed that their names must be run through the FBI’s terrorism watch list, according to a letter obtained by HuffPost.
Any of the responders who are not compared to the database of suspected terrorists would be barred from getting treatment for the numerous, worsening ailments that the James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Law was passed to address.
It’s a requirement that was tacked onto the law during the bitter debates over it last year.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2011/09/911-to-now-ways-we-have-changed.html
9/11 to Now: Ways We Have Changed By: Jason Villemez and dalia mortada
The decade after the 9/11 attacks reshaped many facets of life in America. Some changes were temporary -- an immediate response out of concern for our safety -- while some proved to be more lasting transformations in American life.
The American lexicon was one of the things that changed drastically in the months and years after the attack. Among the words or phrases (9/11 being one of them) that entered everyday language: al-Qaida, Taliban, ground zero, radicalism, extremism, anthrax and the Axis of Evil. Their usage dramatically increased and soon became part of Americans' everyday lives.
*** lots of good info""""

http://www.cbs8.com/story/15430949/how-flying-has-changed-since-911
Posted: Sep 09, 2011 7:15 PM PDT Updated: Sep 09, 2011 7:15 PM PDT SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It's a day in history that America will never forget. This Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Since that day, airport security has completely changed.
One of those changes is that the second you buy your ticket the government is already looking into who you are.
"We're partnering with the Customs and Border Protection to identify those who are not a threat," Lindbergh Field Federal Security Director Mike Aguilar said.
It's part of a new program called Secure Flight, just implemented last year. And while that may be new information for some, everyone who flies is aware of the physical changes to security.
"We no longer use the hand-held wand, they actually do a physical pat down," Aguilar said.
Passengers are also still yanking their shoes off and taking off metal objects to go through the metal detectors, but the major security feature added to the mix full body scanners.
"Based on the image he tells these two officers whether they're clear or not, or if there's something unusual or out of the ordinary," Aguilar said.
The agents that actually clear the picture are in this area, but they aren't allowed out until those passengers have cleared the concourse. That's to ensure no connection can be made between the image and the passenger.

http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/2005/12/1220133/
Osama bin Laden: a ‘worthy enemy’ By Michael Scheuer
America is engaged in a war of survival against an enemy unlike any our country has fought. We have been so engaged for the best part of a decade, and yet we have not begun to understand our opponents.
Led and personified by Osama bin Laden, our enemy is at once more complicated and more simple than has been recognized. Religion is the key to understanding our enemy, and so far we have fought shy of making that judgment.
Bin Laden and those he leads have presented to us a struggle we cannot avoid, a conflict in which the choices are not between war and peace, but between war and endless war. We cannot talk our way out of this war. And we cannot — and must not — try to appease our way out of this war. At the same time, we cannot win and survive if we use the only two tools now available to us: intelligence operations and military actions, although harsher and more prolonged applications of each will be required.

HOW THE WAR BEGAN
The stage was set for our present dilemma more than 15 years ago. Mikhail Gorbachev held power in a Soviet Union that was failing economically at home, militarily in Afghanistan and as an imperial power in Eastern Europe. The winds of political change blew strongly, surprisingly, as though nature itself had embraced the cause of human liberty, and through most of the 1990s the United States and the West sidelined reality in favor of cant about the “end of history” and the approaching triumph of globalization. We said we believed in the inevitable spread of democratic political systems, capitalist economics and secularism.
On the eve of “history’s end,” in 1988, an expatriate Saudi named Osama bin Laden and a few confederates formed an organization they called “al-Qaida” — in English, “the Base.” The Western media took no notice of this new entity, the men who formed it or the goals they established. But Western intelligence services did no better than the media, and that’s a pity.
Bin Laden and his associates, Islamic zealots all, formed al-Qaida to ensure there would be no dissipation of the momentum emerging from what clearly was the Soviet Union’s coming defeat in Afghanistan. These men acted to institutionalize the organizational networks that provided manpower, money and expertise to the Afghan mujahidin and their non-Afghan Muslim allies. They sought to make al-Qaida the central source from which Islamic resistance groups and insurgencies around the world could draw military training, funding, combat veterans, travel and identity documents, religious guidance and other sinews of war. Bin Laden and his lieutenants also meant al-Qaida to be the point around which Islamist groups would rally and find strong inspiration, leadership and, over time, an enduring and historic symbol of resistance, perseverance and piety.
This vision for al-Qaida can be compared to an inspiring symbol that arose serendipitously during our own Civil War. That symbol was born when several South Carolina regiments rallied on the “Stonewall” Brigade commanded by the Virginia-born, Presbyterian zealot Thomas Jonathan Jackson at the battle of First Manassas in July 1861. Al-Qaida’s leaders built their group to be the same sort of rallying point, one from which other Islamists would draw inspiration and, as Gen. Robert E. Lee might have said, to decide themselves to “assume the aggressive” against the United States.
Today, al-Qaida stands as an unqualified success in the role it sought as an inspirer and facilitator of Islamist insurgencies. Al-Qaida veterans are assisting Islamic insurgencies around the world as combat soldiers, military trainers, financial experts, medics and logisticians. The scope of al-Qaida’s activities can be seen as a simple recitation of some of the places where its members are supporting Islamist insurgencies: Kashmir, Somalia, Chechnya, Eritrea, Iraq, Algeria, Mindanao, southern Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, western China and Afghanistan.

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/state&id=8348539
Border security improvements post-9/11 Friday, September 09, 2011 Eileen Frere More: Bio, E-mail, Recent Stories, News Team
SAN YSIDRO, SAN DIEGO (KABC) -- In the wake of the September 11th attacks, security increased dramatically along the U.S. border. There have been many changes over the past decade. Border agents are working to prevent potential terrorists from entering the United States.
Authorities constantly search for contraband at the San Ysidro-Tijuana border. Customs and Border Protection officers look for anything suspicious.
Every day more than 80,000 people, on average, pass through the San Ysidro port of entry.
"The scope of this port is huge. We're the biggest land border crossing in the world," said Frank Jaramillo, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Area port director.
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, many people crossing into the U.S. have noticed changes.
The closer scrutiny includes having proper documentation, such as a passport. "Our mission is first and foremost to prevent terrorist and terrorist weapons from entering this country," said Jaramillo.
Authorities say they have better technology since 9/11, such as radiation-detection equipment, and X-ray machines that can discover drugs and humans hiding in cars.
Officers tore open one vehicle after an imaging device tipped them off. Hidden in the firewall were 17 bags, 30 pounds of methamphetamine. The 44-year-old Mexican driver is arrested.