Why 9/11 Happened Essay

Words: 2769
Pages: 12

The attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 were the direct result of the failure of US agencies, ranging from the White House to airport security, to recognize vulnerabilities present in the various symptoms. The reason why these vulnerabilities were not acknowledged and repaired is that these various agencies were trapped in a cognitive dissonance cycle of thinking. After the Cold War, terrorism was seen as a regional problem (9/11 Commission, 92). The majority of terrorist groups were either groups sponsored by governments or militants trying to create governments (i.e. Palestine Liberation Organization). As a result, the tactics used for fighting terrorism were centralized mostly in the Middle East and were restricted to …show more content…
The cursory security was easily bypassed, as it is believed that the September 11 terrorists got their knives through the X-ray machine simply by lying them on their edges between two books, so that to the inspector the blades appeared as nothing more than a dark line (Easterbrook, 168). Airline security is even more culpable because, prior to 9/11, there had been numerous warnings that improvements were necessary. For example, the report of the presidential commission on airline security, chaired by Vice President Al Gore, strongly recommended that the federal government begin certifying the contractors who run airport screening stations (Easterbrook, 169). Furthermore, "Red team" inspectors, who staged tests of airport security, found it alarmingly easy to smuggle weapons onto planes or enter the tarmac areas without identification (Easterbrook, 164). Due to the cognitive dissonance of the people in charge of security at airports, they were unable to stop the 9/11 attackers. When warned that their security was not strong enough, FAA officials gained information that was contradictory to that in their cognitive system. They used the technique of twisting beliefs to fit this data into their old cognitive model. Rather than realizing that terrorism had changed, they told themselves that because there had been no recent incidents of massive terror in the