Americans’ Embarrassing Short Term Memory Loss on 9/11 Attacks

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At the end of Missoula, MT, article on presidential poll numbers in Montana, I found this line:

Just 68 percent [of poll respondents] were able to identify the correct year of the 9/11 terrorist attacks (2001).

Which reminded me of these videos:

If you’ve watched those videos, you’ll know why I’m struggling to think up any insightful commentary. Is it worth pointing out that every society has its share of blissfully uninformed citizens, or that through the dark arts of video editing anyone can be made to look stupid? Or should I point out that we now realize the “Never Forget” slogan was at once overly optimistic and incredibly naive, considering the character and attention spans of the American people?

Actually, no. You know what? These videos are a great indication that the terrorists didn’t win. If the terrorists wanted to intimidate the American public or create a paradigm shift in the public’s thinking, they completely and utterly failed. Terrorism is the most important issue in the upcoming election for one percent of Democrats and five percent of Republicans. And, apparently, some of us think the September 11th attacks happened on August 16th. Take that, Osama.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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