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Did the Internet Mess Up 9/11?

Yesterday should have been a somber, reasoned reflection on the events that occurred in 2001. We should have been celebrating the rebirth of the World Trade Center, which will be the tallest building in Manhattan as long as the city has a heart. We should have been coming together as we did that day 11 years ago. We should have had a little class.

What did we do instead? The maker of a virulently anti-Muslim video gleefully posted a clip on YouTube, with the full knowledge of the reaction it would create. Then the idiot pastor who burned the Koran (protests of that directly resulted in 21 deaths) promoted the video all day yesterday. And these toads don't feel at all responsible for the murder of Chris Stevens, our ambassador to Libya and three other Americans? I guess it's OK since this time only four people died. 

And how do the folks in Cairo and Libya celebrate their new-found freedom? By attacking us on a day of mourning. Class. Pure class.

Meanwhile, on our home turf, politics can't even pause for 9/11. Early yesterday, before the protests even started, an embassy worker in Cairo sent out a statement condemning those that insult the religious feelings of Muslims, and indeed all religions. In a bizarre twist, the Obama administration felt compelled to disavow this statement.

Meanwhile, thanks to the Internet, all of this is happening in near real-time.

According to a Presidential candidate not named Ron Paul, our President was "disgraceful" because somebody in the Cairo embassy sent out an unapproved message viewed as an apology to Muslims, and this came out before Mr. Obama had a chance to formerly address the tragedy unfolding in Libya (and after Obama disavowed the message). Does this campaign have some kind of faulty dialup connection and can't keep pace with what is actually happening? Is that why you attack a sitting President on specious grounds on 9/11?

The Internet changes everything. Before you cram your foot in your mouth, refresh your browser!

It was horrible when Keith Olbermann attacked John McCain night after night, and it is just as bad when the talking heads do the same on the right. By the way, the only sign on my lawn is Scott Brown for Senate. If you want to attack me, attack me for being non-partisan. 

Is there any way to take politics out of politics? And if we can't take the politics out of politics, can we at least take it out of 9/11? Your thoughts welcome at

I probably should have spent the evening watching ESPN.

Posted by Doug Barney on 09/11/2012 at 1:19 PM

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Sep 19, 2012 BWJ Texas

I agree with Keith. This is a techinical publication and I would like to read opinions on technical issues, not political. There is a much better way to address technology's impact on political situations such as this - add your opinions to the technology, not the political, part of the story. I've already been visiting Redmond Mag less these days. Keep it up and you'll lose myself and even more readers.

Fri, Sep 14, 2012 Ray New York

Dan, if you think this started because of a movie, you have no grasp of the situation. Romney is just pointing out the facts. As it turns out the administration may have had knowledge two days prior. If they did and didn't act, then that is what's inexcusable. I agree completely with Mike's comments.

Fri, Sep 14, 2012 Mike

Don't be silly. The Obama Administration's "World Group Hug" policy caused it. It has emboldened our enemies by portraying America as week. We (America) need to rule through strength. There's no other way. Given a chance these radical mutts will attack us. No amount of apologies and hugs is going to change that.

Fri, Sep 14, 2012 Dan Iowa

Romney's response was inexcusable. He jumped in without knowing what was going on, and while the Embassy was being attacked, he joined in with verbal assaults. It is telling that once he makes a mistake, he won't admit it or adjust direction. That said, most of the comments I've seen on this event are equally ignorant. The Libyan embassy where the people died was only indirectly related to the movie. It was a planned terrorist attack executed under the cover of demonstrations in response to the movie. Now as to the movie, anyone who defends that trash under the guise of "free speech", is assaulting the freedom of religion aspect. We do enjoy the right of free speech. But you also reap the consequences of what you say. I have the same level of respect for those who insult Islam as I do for people who insult Christanity or run around burning the American flag. They are no different. Does that mean America should be blamed for the movie? No. It just means that anyone who's not willing to openly condemn the movie despite the free speech is definitely not speaking up for the Constitution. Your right to free speech is bestowed by the same entity that bestows others the right to choose their own religion. You can not claim one without recognizing the other.

Thu, Sep 13, 2012 Russell Scotland

If the perpetrators of hate and violence had been stopped in the first instance, 9/11 would not have happened. Liberalism is fundamentally ill-equipped to deal effectively with those who have already made the decision to kill. Whether in the skies over New York, a theater in Aurora, Colorado, or our consulate in Benghazi, if the Castle Doctrine had been applied at the threshold there would be fewer innocent victims.

Thu, Sep 13, 2012 KenKadz Thailand

Well written, thanks.

Thu, Sep 13, 2012 Jim OREGON

So, by reasoning, if someone were to kill themselves or someone else because they subjected themselves to reading the excrement above from one who possesses the title "Editor in Chief" of a technical magazine, we would be correct in blaming you for the deaths? Hmmm... Ones right to free speech should not be squelched because there exists idiotic people that may react insanely to what they hear or see. Remember, your right to free speech is what allows you to print what some may see as an insightful column, while others will see it as garbage. I happen to to believe it to be the latter.

Wed, Sep 12, 2012 Jim

Not liking a video does not give you the right to kill innocent people. Anyone who feels it does is a coward and doesn't belong on this planet.

Wed, Sep 12, 2012 Doug Maryland

Thanks for addressing a serious concern. Regardless of political/religous affiliation, the knee jerk responses broadcast world wide only serves to fan the fires of hate and mistrust. This column is a opinion piece and it is nice see an opinion that addresses technology impact in the world view occasionally. As technology professionals we should respect the impact of our work which can be used to create weapons of mass distruction or kill just as many by sowing the seeds of hate.

Wed, Sep 12, 2012 Keith Ohio

I don't subscribe to this newsletter to hear anyone's political views. If there's much more of this I'll be getting my technical news and opinion elsewhere.

Wed, Sep 12, 2012 Greg

You are an apologist. Changing free speech support so that you do not upset insame Muslims is stupid. We need to glass the earth in the middle east and solve the problem!

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