We knew 9/11 was coming.
Eight months prior to the attacks of September 11, 2001, something called the Hart-Rudman report was issued which spelled out explicitly the likeliness of the events of what would ultimately occur, and it was almost universally ignored by all. Most elected officials that the report was written for never read it, and the media barely mentioned it. The most prominent story on it was a blurb on page 23 of the New York Times in early 2001. https://www.aspeninstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/files/content/docs/pubs/jsp-Alarms-Unheeded.pdf
We knew 9/11 was coming and we did nothing. We didn’t take it seriously, and we didn’t change a thing that could have prevented it, even though we had several choices, and the report made a myriad of recommendations. And all of us are to blame, because Americans, writ large, waved away such a suggestion as absurd and arrogantly suggested nothing like that could ever happen.
We are about to repeat our history, with much graver results.
We know the next 9/11 is coming and for this one, we don’t need a report, we just need open eyes and common sense. But for those who require gravitas, look no further than the director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, who has begun publicly sounding the alarm about the impending doom that awaits America. Incidentally, when a figure of his stature begins saying things like what he did last week to the media, it means he’s been saying it to anyone and everyone he could within our nation’s institutions and has been universally ignored. We call it “going loud,” or put less delicately, “covering your ass.”
Not only do we know that the next 9/11 is coming, we also know that America will quite literally crumble into disarray, infighting, panic, and total chaos when it occurs. We know this based entirely on our own recent history, in which we have demonstrated the fundamental shift in our society which is undeniable; we are no longer, in any way, the United States. We are angrily divided in ways that make it impossible for us to coalesce around anything; in fact, the first thing we do at the sign of trouble is panic, followed swiftly by blaming, and culminating with rage filled in-fighting and a form of national self-immolation.
Our response to Covid-19 is almost too obvious and lazy to cite, but it was, for many of us, the ultimate vindication. I have been sounding the alarm for more than a decade, warning that the days of America rallying together were over. Anytime such heresy was uttered I, and people like me, were shouted down, and told that America has always fought bitterly within but will rise to whatever challenge it faces as a whole. Remember the rallying cry for the Coronavirus? “We’re all in this together.” What a joke. As we ran over each other to stockpile toilet paper (something that to this day makes zero sense), we were far too busy showing that we had neither trust nor care for our fellow Americans to be in anything together other than bedlam. And then, we swiftly shifted to blaming Trump, Democrats, Fauci, and each other for everything. There was absolutely nothing that united us; and ironically, we had an exterior entity we could have laser focused our contempt on and we never even gave it a thought. From the beginning, we knew that the virus came from China. Whether accidentally, maliciously, or from a bat, the America of old, right or wrong, would have turned its’ angst and anxiety shoulder to shoulder towards the Far East and demanded answers, while remaining united. Instead, we got into fist fights over masks, childishly tried to hide from a virus (which is like hiding from oxygen and gravity), and destroyed countless lives in so many ways. Even now, as America has led the way to emerging from the pandemic, something we should be celebrating, we fight about doing so, as so many insist on continuing to wear masks for no justifiable reason, and demand that we stay home longer and longer and longer.
Just weeks ago, when The Colonial Pipeline, which provides 45% of fuel to the Eastern third of America, was hacked via a Ransomware attack based in Russia, Americans reacted by literally creating a crisis. There was absolutely no shortage of gasoline, nor any need to panic. In fact, had Americans gone about their lives as per usual, nothing would have come of the story. Instead, people rushed the gas stations and filled up their vehicles, gas cans, plastic tubs, shopping bags, and other random containers, with gasoline they didn’t need that has now since expired and is not usable. In doing so, they created a shortage that was completely unnecessary and totally avoidable. Does that sound like a nation ready to confront a national calamity?
Just last week, the world’s largest meat supplier was also hacked by Russians; and Americans did what they do best; panicked. Meat purchases soared, as did prices, for no justifiable reason. We are a petrified nation of children with no interest other than our own and feeding our irrational fears. As much as I genuinely appreciate Brandon’s optimism, it took all I had to not be more of an ass than usual when last week he suggested on the RAD radio show that if the recent reports of UFO’s lead to first contact with alien life forms, it would bring humanity together. With all due respect, there is absolutely no basis for that sentiment. Covid was supposed to do that, remember? How’d that work out? https://www.politico.com/news/2021/06/05/how-ransomware-hackers-came-for-americans-beef-491936
Which brings us back to knowing the next 9/11 is imminent, sans action on our part. FBI director Wray last week told the Wall Street Journal that “The scale of this problem is one that I think the country has to come to terms with,” adding “ransomware ranks among the gravest threats to national security the United States has ever faced.” https://www.cbs58.com/news/fbi-director-sees-parallels-between-challenge-posed-by-ransomware-attacks-and-9-11
Here’s the fun part; unlike 9/11, this threat is far broader, far more expansive, and much more difficult to even begin trying to prevent. Identifying terrorist cells and working directly with U.S. airlines would have been child’s play (had we bothered) compared to what it will take to stop a massive cyber attack on the United States. Countless private sector industries control our way of life, and all have their own individual forms of cyber security. Getting all of them ramped up in hyper-speed will be more laborious than birthing an elephant. None of that begins to address the origin of the threat. The attacks occur within Russia, but are not identified as state sponsored, even though the whole world knows that nothing in Russia happens without Vladimir Putin signing off on it. Despite that, Putin enjoys plausible deniability on the world stage making traditional militaristic threats moot. Instead, America will have to decide if and how it is up to the challenge of fighting fire with fire…and given the state of our union, even getting agreement on that might take years; years we don’t have.
Russia has been studying our culture for decades. Still reeling from the crumbling of the Soviet Union, they have remained ever vengeful, and have never stopped looking for ways to literally make us implode. Having seen our national reactions to the elections of 2016 and 2020, as well as how America internally turned on itself during Covid and over racial equality, the time is nigh, and Russia knows it.
And to prove my entire point, consider this; The America of old would hear the imminence of the threat and unite, laser focused on never allowing another nation to even consider bringing us down. The America of today hears the story of how we got here and ignores the gravity of the threat and rather immediately begins blaming Trump and Russia-gate or Hillary and Benghazi, or Biden and his son and China, or Biden appearing weak, or Trump being too soft on Putin because he’s afraid of being blackmailed….and on and on the bickering goes, while Russia works on shutting down America and lighting the fuse that will burn us down from the inside.
In the last two weeks, Russia (a close ally of China, by the way), has demonstrated the ability to disrupt, at will, America’s fuel and meat supply. These are what we call “test runs.” And what did they see? Relative ease at doing it and utter chaos within pockets of the United States. Imagine what this nation would look like if it suddenly and simultaneously had no electricity, no fuel, no access to banking, no internet, and no cell phone service. With the total lack of faith and trust in both the U.S. government and each other, it would literally take only hours for the country to dissolve. https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/03/tech/ransomware-cyberattack-jbs-colonial-pipeline/index.html
Or how about this; at any given time, there are approximately 3,500 commercial planes in the air over the Unites States, peaking at 5,500 in the summer time. That’s well over a half million passengers…imagine if a massive hack caused them to plummet to the ground, killing everyone on board and untold numbers on the ground, not to mention the structural damage and fallout from the fires, toxic gasses, and explosions that would occur. Sound ridiculous? In early 2018, Aviation Today said that hacking of aircraft was already going on. Their report quoted Alan Pellegrini, president and CEO of Thales USA, (a defense and security company), as saying there had already been hacks of aviation-related systems including IFE, data communications between pilots and on the ground controllers, as well as airline operations systems. Whoever was doing that hacking has had three years to perfect it. https://simpleflying.com/are-commercial-airliners-at-risk-of-being-hacked/
In just the last few days, streaming companies, public transportation, and radio and television stations in America’s largest cities have all been hacked and crippled. Coincidence? Or a second wave? https://threatpost.com/cyberattack-cox-outage-tv-radio/166680/
The point of this isn’t to create endless horrifying scenarios of what could happen or how it could happen; it’s to highlight the horrifying reaction that we would have as a people and a nation.
We know the next 9/11 is coming and we’re doing nothing about it, and we don’t care that we aren’t. We’re not all in this together, and we haven’t been in decades; don’t believe me? In a week when UFO’s and an imminent cyber attack on the nation dominated all forms of media, the American public is focused on…Dr. Fauci’s emails and what he knew and when he knew it. High five, America! There’s a train bearing down on you and you’re arguing with your wife over where to go for dinner. Stay on track and stay focused…pun intended.