Diana West

Towers would fall, he underscored the terrible truth, often forgotten, that we now live in the Age of the Unthinkable. Seared into our consciousness is that the Twin Towers could and did fall -- as could the Empire State Building, the U.S. Capitol and the Superdome. Our children know, as we never before imagined, that passenger planes may become guided missiles, and skyscrapers may turn into scorched rubble. Islamic jihad has indeed expanded our consciousness.

But if we look back on the blinkered bliss that ended with the catastrophic triumph of a despicable Islamic conspiracy, we also see the shining wellspring of courage and sacrifice the day revealed. It is painful to behold, but it has steadied and strengthened a reeling nation. What could be worse, two and a half years later, than to watch it sullied by a poisonous government commission?

There is a strange pathology in the 9/11 Commission that goes beyond the Bush-bashing grandstanding of the old days (remember Richard Clarke?), back when the president of the USAG (United States of Abu Ghraib) was taking it on the chin for not having enacted serious measures, pre-9/11, to stop Islamic terrorists -- such as putting women's underwear on the heads of racially profiled Muslim men at airport check-ins, I suppose. In the commission's findings, there now emerges a weird sense that what happened on 9/11 -- when out of the most heavenly azure sky, Al Qaeda simultaneously launched four air attacks on American cities -- was something the Big Apple should have planned and drilled for to the point of preventing all casualties. Indeed, according to commission thinking, it is almost as if New York's response to the Al Qaeda attacks created all of the mayhem in the first place.

Built into this twisted point of view is the equally bizarre notion that, given enough taxpayer-funded analysis, the federal commission will discover just what caused 3,000 Americans to lose their lives on 9/11 -- and, in so doing, presumably make New York City safe for terrorism. Forget about a surprise attack launched in broad daylight by soldiers of an extremist Muslim army hidden from detection by our own politically correct blinders. Were New York's Finest at fault? Were New York's Bravest sloughing off? Could Mayor Giuliani have done more?

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).