As September 11 approaches, I find that a wash of memories and emotions have settled on me once again. Not vague, fuzzy memories but moments of intense clarity, where even the smells and sounds of that day are as clear as if it were happening today.
As was said over and over again at that moment, 9/11 "changed everything." That meant they felt themselves freed to do all the mad things we now know they did, from preemptive wars and occupations to massive programs of torture and kidnapping.
We will remember the 2,977 people from more than 90 nations who were killed as a result of the horrific terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. More than 400 of them were people who responded first to the attacks.
The easiest reaction is to just pick a side. Either the 9/11 hijackers were normal, or they were insane. Ten years after that day, this false dichotomy continues to distort explanations of why the U.S. was attacked.