As we ponder the lessons of 9-11 over the next several days, it is important to remember our state of mind and way of thinking (or not thinking) before the attacks. And by our, I mean pretty much everyone.
For example, a newly obtained video shows us that four of the five hijackers who boarded the Pentagon-bound plane at Dulles were pulled aside to undergo further scrutiny after setting off metal detectors. Eventually, as we know, they were cleared.
A failure some at some level of airport security (either what to look for or how to look for it)? Of course.
But there is more to it than that. There is simply no way five guys all matching a profile that raises red flags – who exhibited behavior that was in any way suspicious – are getting on a plane in the nation’s capital today.
From the Oval Office to our airports to our living room couches, our entire frame of reference and perception of the world has changed. Ultimately that may be our best defense.