Bush re-enters the room.
The official observances for the twentieth anniversary managed to be even more wretched and grotesque than I'd expected - the most obvious affront being Bush's equivalence between the perpetrators of 9/11 and the "perpetrators" of 1/6: They were both "children of the same foul spirit", he declared, diminishing the three thousand victims of the former by comparing them to a congressman who had to hide in the stationery cupboard because some goofball was taking selfies with his feet up on the desk.
Twenty years ago, the forty-third president's entire executive branch totally failed the nation. Sample quote from page 184 of America Alone:
FAA Command Center: "Do we want to think about scrambling aircraft?"
FAA Headquarters: "God, I don't know."
FAA Command Center: "That's a decision somebody's going to have to make, probably in the next ten minutes."
FAA Headquarters: "You know, everybody just left the room."
"Everybody just left the room": Your federal government in action. Under Bush, no one paid a price for it: That's your "foul spirit" right there, Pericles. It will be the same when the Chinese yank the rug out from under the dollar: Everybody just left the room - at the White House, at the Fed, at the Treasury ...but not at the IRS, where they're still hard at it freezing the savings accounts of January insurrectionists' nine-year-old grandkids.
Six months to the day after 9/11, Dubya's Immigration and Naturalization Service (as it then was) mailed out two student visas to Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi at their Florida flight school. Unfortunately, Messrs Atta and Shehhi were unable to avail themselves of their new American visas as they had neglected to have their mail forwarded to their new address at Big Smoking Hole in the Ground, Lower Manhattan.
So the forty-third executive branch, on its new money-no-object war footing, is handing out visas to deceased terrorists whose pictures have been on the front pages of American newspapers? No way was Bush putting up with that! He acted decisively - and moved Janis Sposato "sideways" to the post of "Assistant Deputy Executive Associate Commissioner for Immigration Services", where she needed a much longer business card that stuck out awkwardly from her breast pocket, which is kind of embarrassing at cocktail parties.
America is a land that rewards failure (see Thoroughly Modern Milley's chest), which is why it lost the war. On 9/11 Bush had left the room to read My Pet Goat to grade-schoolers, after which he spent the day being flown to one "secure location" and then leaving the room to fly to another (presumably even more) "secure location". On Saturday, he was speaking in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where twenty years ago, after "everybody left the room", the ad-hoc militia of the fourth plane provided the only good news of that grim Tuesday: If the twin towers were Pearl Harbor, Flight 93 was the Doolittle Raid, and on the very same day.
Bush owed a debt to these men for acting while he was invisible. Yet his brief remarks barely mentioned those heroes, and none by name. Instead, he retreated to the lame tropes of the ruling class, and started yakking on about "nativism" and "religious bigotry" (ours, not the hijackers') in contrast to those admirable Americans who "reaffirm their welcome to immigrants and refugees". These are surely pitiful consolations for the Afghan debacle, and weirdly irrelevant to the heroes of Flight 93, who were rather deplorably unicultural - "white male frat jock yuppies". As for "welcoming immigrants", one might think that, even for as oblivious a ruling-class man as Bush, that would be in somewhat bad taste given what happened twenty years ago. From page 249 of After America:
In the 7-Eleven parking lot in Falls Church, Virginia... four young men obtained the picture ID with which they boarded their flight on September 11th.
They did so by bribing a Salvadorean illegal immigrant to certify that they all lived at his address. Hundreds lived in his modest flat: it's part of the non-gaming of the non-system that is not only tolerated but venerated by the Uniparty.
Among the beneficiaries of the 7-Eleven ID scam was Ziad Jarrah, who led the team that stormed the cockpit of Flight 93 and who took the pilot's seat.
Which is why Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Jeremy Glick, Tom Burnett and thirty-six other passengers and crew are dead.
Read the whole thing.
George W Bush is so attentive to his own security that, ahead of his state visit to the UK, he demanded the Queen replace every window at Windsor Castle. (Her Majesty told him to bugger off, as well she should.)