To the editor:
Seen from the point of view of a military strategist, the 15-man squad of hijacker terrorists that destroyed the World Trade Center and struck the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, was an enormous success. Only the four pilots themselves needed to know the purpose of the hijacking. The goal of Osama was to destroy the American way of life. He succeeded.
Before 9/11, we followed the Geneva Convention against torture. Before 9/11, we adhered to the Constitution, the rule against illegal searches and seizures, the rights to a speedy trial before a jury of your peers, habeas corpus and the right to face your accusers. We had a right of privacy and a policy against assassination. Now all of that is gone.
Now we are under almost constant surveillance, have to submit to body searches to get on an airplane, have virtually no privacy and have our phone and email communications monitored by the National Security Agency.
People have been seized, spirited out of the country, taken to foreign countries and tortured. Others, called "enemy combatants," have been held for years without a trial in a concentration camp on foreign soil called Gitmo. Thousands of illegal immigrants have been interred in 240 camps pending deportation and without legal representation. Our drones patrol the skies over foreign countries and bomb places where we believe there are enemies.
All this is in response to the actions of a criminal terrorist organization that knows no borders and wears no uniforms. The Soviet Union bankrupted itself trying to keep up with the U.S. arms race. Now we are borrowing ourselves into penury to pay for foreign wars. Osama's 9/11 attack has caused the United States to self-destruct and it only cost him four pilots and 11 thugs. Cheap.
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Harley L. Sachs