There has been relatively little alarm in official circles about the approaching 9/11 calendar date. We are no closer to formally ending the wide-open Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) of that fateful time, and closer than ever to another war authorization in Syria. The official Long War doctrine authorizes the permanent spread of counter-terrorism operations, including drone wars and CIA paramilitary units, in multiple regions of the world. At home, funding is steadily cut for education, health care and programs to fight climate change. The cancer of domestic surveillance is weakening the internal fiber of democracy. It is imperative the Congress and the Obama administration either strike down or sharply narrow the 9/11 AUMF before an invisible empire suffocates democracy.
Are we safer anyway? It is a good question. The "liberation" of Libya from Muammar el-Qaddafi's iron grip led directly to tribal wars, the spread of insurgency to Mali, and the mysterious attack on US spy station in Benghazi. Almost forgotten is that another US embassy, in Tunis, was attacked two days after Benghazi, in which 100 vehicles were burned and an American school demolished. US facilities will always be exposed to lethal attack in the asymmetrical warfare at the center of the war on terrorism.