Monday, September 11, 2006

Now You, Too, Can Relive the Events of September 11th, 2001 in Real Time!

Hope everyone had a good weekend.

I went to this morning, as I always do, and noticed that to commemorate the five-year anniversary of 9/11, they were offering their network's coverage of the attacks in real time streaming video. You can find it here (it's under the "Watch Video" section). The video, which is divided into two parts, starts two minutes after the first plane hits the north tower and goes till about an hour after both towers have collapsed. Like most people who were either at work on the east coast, or asleep on the west coast, I didn't watch this event as it unfolded. I was in the "asleep on the west coast" group. By the time Peggy and I got up and started to catch up with the calamity, everything the terrorists had planned for that morning had either been finished or foiled. So I watched the CNN coverage of the attacks for the first time today and it's compelling viewing.

One of the most striking things about the footage is how unwilling the newscasters are to say that the plane strikes were intentional, even after the second plane hit the south tower. The plot that Kaleid Sheik Mohammed, Osama bin Laden and Mohammed Atta carried out that morning was so outside our comprehension we couldn't take it all in. Hijacking planes, we got. We understood it. Bad guys land the plane, plane sits on the tarmac, hijackers make demands, SWAT guys rush the plane and America waits to see how bad it went. But to hijack more than one plane, and then send them and their hapless passengers into skyscrapers? Where had we been? When had the bad guys stopped being just bad and become unfathomably ruthless? We couldn't really comprehend the enormity of such a malignant intelligence at work in our nation's cities. It might as well have been an alien attack. The on-air-anchor for New York's NBC affiliate was wondering aloud about a navigation system glitch so bad that it could send two planes into the same set of buildings.

Frightening as the world seemed after I woke up in Glendale, California, watching the video from that morning I can see how shit-your-drawers terrifying the world would have seemed to those awake and watching elsewhere shortly before ten in the morning EST. It was then that a viewer tuning in would have seen both towers burning while hearing the first reports of an explosion at the Pentagon. As the minutes ticked by that morning, it was impossible to know how or when the attack would end, something it's easy to forget looking back five years later. A litany of dire news items, delivered one right after the other: reported explosions at the Capitol building, emergency evacuations of the White House, the State Department, the United Nations building, the Sears Tower, reporters in Washington talking about a jet plane circling ominously overhead, an explosion in a field outside of Pittsburgh, the second tower collapses and the city's suddenly encased in dust. It was enough to inspire a nation into shutting down their higher brain functions, locking their doors and hiding out in their basements for a few months. Maybe it's a credit to us that we didn't succumb to that feeling. At least not for long.

Anyway. The dirge-like news that's been preceding this five-year mark will now finally end, and I'm glad for that. More tomorrow.


harwell said...

You know, I hadn't really thought about the fact that so many people never saw this stuff as it unfolded. We had just moved to cincy and I didn't have a job yet and Gretchen's class was later in the day. I turned on the radio and heard them say that there had been an explosion of some kind at the World Trade Center. I didn't think much of it, but then went and turned on the television. We didn't have cable so I saw the network version and they were already all over it. If I remember correctly this was before the second plane hit, which of course is the image most of us will never forget. For me, it was reminiscent of watching the Columbine shootings unfold. I remember watching when they had the cameras on the school as some kid crawled out of a window and left blood on the wall as he slid out. It was a similar feeling that I shouldn't be watching what I'm watching. But of course I couldn't do anything BUT watch.

I remember my mother calling worried about her son in a new city that of course had its own skyscrapers. Suddenly everything was a target. To this day I think this loss of innocence is the greatest victim of 9/11. Our country just isn't the same. We are ruled by Fear, be it the fear of terrorism, the fear of our nation's response to terrorism, the fear of global warming, the fear of Kim Jong Il, the fear of Iran, the fear of Hurricanes, and on and on and on.

It's sort of a miserable way to live, isn't it? And how long will it take for us to move back to a state of blissful ignorance?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Al Queada is a US asset.

blankfist said...

cThose of us that had to actually be at work [unlike Mr. 'I'm too busy writing my blog and painting murals to work a job' Crane] in the am on 9/11/2001. I typically don't switch on the tv when I get ready in the morning, but Teanne and I had Eddie Rouse staying in our apartment, so I believe he was watching tv while we were getting ready. Anyhow, I think both towers had already been hit when I started - although I'm not sure if I didn't see the second plane hit live. What I do remember is arguing with Teanne because she wanted me to 'hurry up and get ready'. I knew I wasn't going to work, but, you know, Teanne was [and is] kind of a sociopath.

Thanks for bringing us all down, Crane. Thanks for that.

Brian O'Malley said...

Did anyone else watch that documentary on ABC called The Path to 9/11?

Anonymous said...

Yeah - it was pure bullshit.


To basically lay the blame squarely on the Dems is preposterous and unjust - not to mention when there is indisputable proof to the contrary.

Furthermore, what smells worse is the craven political timing of this, with Bush cutting in for an advertisment on his fake WAR ON TERROR - which started under that other holagram called Reagan. I'ts blantantly obvious that this is a character assasination of Clinton as well as a way to demonize "ALL" democrats as being pro-terrorist.

A tactic that will surely backfire.

Brian O'Malley said...

You're missing the point, liberal. It was a documentary, so that means it's a scientific fact.

Anonymous said...

Pardon me Republofacist while I tell you that this is not documentary, but government propaganda . Man, you people are flat worlders! Are you religious, because to believe something this biased smacks of wanton faith gone awry!

Obviously, you are confused. Very confused. Your "facts" are engineenered by policy imperatives from the likes of Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan and the other NEocon stooges. Like all idealogues, you want to believe in the inherent supremacy of your masters.

I say believe, but don't cover us in your slime.


Anonymous said...

A timeline of lies...

Or this....

Great pics from one of the typical militaristic/christo kumbayas!

- Or tell me if you fit this profile?

With much Grecian Love,


Brian O'Malley said...

Dearest misguided PAPA,

I never meant to cause you any sorrow. I never meant to cause you any pain. I only wanted to one time see you laughing. I only wanted two see you laughing in the purple rain.

You keep owning less and less of the house so you know the old adage if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I'm not all that sure what that has to do with purple rain but I know it has a lot to do with my prayers being answered every night when God Almighty! puts less and less of you heathen liberals in my government. Amen.

Anonymous said...

O'Malley - I am gay and I want you.

Send me a pic