Dave Winer is doing a great job covering this tragedy as it unfolds with links to significant stories, including a London Times article on the attack being celebrated in the West Bank, reports from Cameron Barret in Brooklyn, and report that Akamai co-founder Danny Lewin was on board the American Airlines flight from Boston to Los Angeles.
Over at Blogger.com, Evan has posted a page of blogs focused on the day’s tragedies.
Eric Raymond reviews some of the lessons learned from the day in this email he sent out:
>Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 16:22:11 -0400 >From: Eric S Raymond
>To: firstname.lastname@example.org >Subject: Decentralism against terrorism -- First lessons from the 9/11 attack >Reply-To: email@example.com > >Some friends have asked me to step outside my normal role as a technology >evangelist today, to point out in public that a political panic reaction >to the 9/11 terrorist attack could do a great deal more damage than the >attack itself. > >Today will not have been a victory for terrorism unless we make it >one. If we reward in any way the Palestinians who are now celebrating >this hideous crime in the streets of the West Bank, that wil have been >a victory for terrorism. If we accept "anti-terrorism" measures that do >further damage to our Constitutional freedoms, that will have been a victory >for terrorism. But if we learn the right lessons, if we make policies that >preserve freedom and offer terrorists no result but a rapid and futile >death, that will have been a victory for the rest of us. > >We have learned today that airport security is not the answer. At >least four separate terror teams were able to sail right past all the >elaborate obstacles -- the demand for IDs, the metal detectors, the >video cameras, the X-ray machines, the gunpowder sniffers, the gate >agents and security people trained to spot terrorists by profile. >There have been no reports that any other terror units were >successfully prevented from achieving their objectives by these >measures. In fact, the early evidence is that all these >police-state-like impositions on freedom were exactly useless -- and >in the smoldering ruins of the World Trade Center lies the proof of >their failure. > >We have learned today that increased surveillance is not the answer. >The FBI's "Carnivore" tap on the U.S.'s Internet service providers >didn't spot or prevent this disaster; nor did the NSA's illegal >Echelon wiretaps on international telecommunications. Video >monitoring of public areas could have accomplished exactly nothing >against terrorists taking even elementary concealment measures. If we >could somehow extend airport-level security to the entire U.S., it >would be just as useless against any determined and even marginally >competent enemy. > >We have learned today that trying to keep civilian weapons out of >airplanes and other areas vulnerable to terrorist attack is not the >answer either -- indeed, it is arguable that the lawmakers who >disarmed all the non-terrorists on those four airplanes, >leaving them no chance to stop the hijackers, bear part of the moral >responsibility for this catastrophe. > >I expect that in the next few months, far too many politicians and >pundits will press for draconian "anti-terrorist" laws and >regulations. Those who do so will be, whether intentionally or not, >cooperating with the terrorists in their attempt to destroy our way of >life -- and we should all remember that fact come election time. > >As an Internet technologist, I have learned that distributed problems >require distributed solutions -- that centralization of power, the >first resort of politicians who feed on crisis, is actually worse than >useless, because centralizers regard the more effective coping >strategies as threats and act to thwart them. > >Perhaps it is too much to hope that we will respond to this shattering >tragedy as well as the Israelis, who have a long history of preventing >similar atrocities by encouraging their civilians to carry concealed >weapons and to shoot back at criminals and terrorists. But it is in >that policy of a distributed response to a distributed threat, with >every single citizen taking personal responsibility for the defense of >life and freedom, that our best hope for preventing recurrences of >today's mass murders almost certainly lies. > >If we learn that lesson, perhaps today's deaths will not have been in vain. >-- > Eric S. Raymond > >"The power to tax involves the power to destroy;...the power to >destroy may defeat and render useless the power to create...." > -- Chief Justice John Marshall, 1819. > >