Before September 1, 2001, terrorism had been considered a criminal offense, not an act of war. The Constitution stipulates procedural rights and guarantees that protect citizens from an overzealous government as a criminal offense. The basic idea is to allow people to respond to the accusations within a judicial process. However, the Bush Administration declared the attack on the Twin Towers an act of war, negating the judicial process and opening the door to invade Iraq and other countries without the chance of rebuttal. On September 13, 2001, only two days after the attack, Congress passed the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) Act, which gives the President the authority to: “use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.” On the same day, President George W. Bush signed the act into law, giving Congress the authority to fund the war on terror. In the first sixteen years, the government used AUMF to justify military operations in 14 countries. According to the census bureau, there are 3.3 million veterans who have served since September 11, 2001.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey agreed to privatize the World Trade Center in 1998. In April of 2001, Larry Silverstein already owned World Trade Center Building 7, which collapsed into its footprint within minutes of the incident even though a plane never hit it. He signed a 99-year lease from the Port Authority of New York for $3.2 billion for the Twin Towers and Buildings 4 and 5. With only 4.0625% down, $14 million, Silverstein Properties could close the deal. Silverstein insisted that insurance had to be double the previous coverage, from $1.5 billion to $3.55 billion, as a prerequisite to finalizing the agreement. He also emphasized that the Silverstein Group had the explicit right to rebuild and expand the structures should they be destroyed. Only six months later and within hours of the incident, Silverstein pressured his lawyers to claim separate insurable events instead of one. Silverstein spent years in the courts attempting to win $7.1 billion from his $3.55 billion insurance policy, and in 2007 he walked away with $4.55 billion, the largest single insurance settlement ever. Silverstein then sued United and American Airlines for a further $3.5 billion for negligence. Silverstein’s profit comes to more than $7.5 billion! That is a 70-fold return—not bad for a 14-million-dollar investment!
President George W. Bush waited 441 days before appointing the 9-11 Commission, naming Dr. Henry Kissinger as chair. Kissinger’s first appointment was with family members of 9-11 victims. When a family member asked him if he had any Saudi clients, he stalled, stammered, and resigned the next day. President Bush then appointed Thomas Cain and Lee Hamilton to co-chair the commission. Both chairs and four other commissioners expressed concern that the authorities were misleading the group during the process. Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton wrote a book published in 2006 titled Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission. The book explores the coverup and explains how the political insiders set up the commission to fail. The commission considered bringing charges against Pentagon officials who had lied to them at one point. Although the 9-11 whistleblowers have done everything possible to tell their story, they have been ignored, vilified, shunned by colleagues, smeared by the press, and fired from their jobs.
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