"[This book] embodies the Buddhist wisdom about change, life, and the
world more than anything written after the events of that day."
Robert Stone

September 2012 Archives

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September 17, 2012


Today marks the 150th anniversary of the single bloodiest day in American history--the Civil War battle of Antietam, which claimed four-to-five thousand among Union and Confederacy ranks. See pages 346-348, the coda, of Watching the World Change.

September 11, 2012


A day for commemorating, for honoring, and yet, for continued vigilance.

An important column to digest today is the riveting op-ed piece in The New York Times by Vanity Fair's Kurt Eichenwald. He cites memo after memo--prior to the infamous August 6, 2001 briefing (in which George W. Bush and his administration were warned by intelligence officials that Osama bin Laden was "determined to strike in the U.S.")--in which sources were saying, clearly and consistently, that an al-Qaeda attack had gained momentum and was imminent.

Eichenwald details warnings that came on May 1, June 22, June 29, July 1, two on July 9, and July 24, 2001. And he describes the following situation: "Officials at the Counterterrorism Center of the C.I.A. grew apoplectic. On July 9, at a meeting of the counterterrorism group, one official suggested that the staff put in for a transfer so that somebody else would be responsible when the attack took place, two people who were there told me in interviews. The suggestion was batted down, they said, because there would be no time to train anyone else."

This is chilling reading on the anniversary of this coldest of days.