Local Coordinator Program

20 years later: what have we learned?

The tragic events of 9/11 had a profound impact that would have been difficult to comprehend. 20 years later, what have we learned?

It’s hard to imagine what went on in the minds of those who witnessed 9/11; the sheer, unfathomable horror, and the realization that the U.S. was not invulnerable.

But what’s just as hard to comprehend is how dramatically it would affect both the U.S. domestically and America’s presence around the world. We’ve had 20 years of endless war and nation building; thousands of casualties, both in the armed forces and civilians; domestic surveillance, and a black hole of ever-increasing institutions we pour money into whose usefulness and legitimacy is highly questionable. 

We accept that sweeping executive powers, granted through an emergency authorization of war and the Patriot Act, are just the new normal.

We suffer arduous and degrading procedures when we travel, while the TSA manages to miss upwards of 90% of weapon smuggling.

We look over the fact that the government wiretaps phones and intercepts our communications in direct violation of the 4th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, yet they’re unable to stop tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombing.

We claim to be free and prosperous, while we steer our society into combat over the next new threat every few years.

And what exactly do we have to show for all this sacrifice? We need a return to an era in America where we didn’t surrender our basic rights and tax dollars to ever larger and more intrusive organizations that supposedly represent us. 

We need to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force of 2002 act, sunset the Patriot Act, and end the FISA surveillance program once and for all. 

America is the land of the free, not the land of the surveilled, militarized, and subjugated.

This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions.


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