Repercussions of 9/11
What are some of the ongoing repercussions of the 9/11 attacks?
On September 20, 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush announced that the United States had declared war on “a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them.” The U.S. government initiated a Global War on Terror, sending troops to Afghanistan in October 2001 and later to Iraq. The 9/11 attacks prompted calls for new strategies to keep the nation safe. The USA PATRIOT Act, passed in October 2001, expanded the government’s intelligence-gathering tools and its ability to detain and deport immigrants suspected of terrorism. Many people continue to debate whether the methods used after 9/11 effectively protect national security without compromising civil liberties.
The 9/11 attacks also continue to affect individuals’ health. Immediately after the collapse of the Twin Towers, layers of thick gray dust and ash coated the site and surrounding areas. Days after the attack, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared the air in lower Manhattan safe, but the dust—made of destroyed building materials, industrial chemicals, and electronics mingled with jet fuel residue—was later determined to be hazardous.
More than 400,000 survivors, first responders, rescue and recovery workers, cleaning crews, lower Manhattan residents, and others are estimated to have been exposed to these toxins on 9/11 or during the nine-month rescue and recovery operations at Ground Zero. Tens of thousands nationwide are now suffering from chronic illnesses, including respiratory diseases, mental health issues, and more than 100 different types of cancer. More than 2,000 of those exposed have died.
These primary resources include speeches, executive orders, legislative acts and debates, and government reports.
September 14, 2001U.S. President George W. Bush Executive OrderDebate in the U.S. House of Representatives on House Joint Resolution 64 Authorizing the Use of United States Armed ForcesStatement by U.S. Senator Russ Feingold on War Powers
September 18, 2001Authorization for Use of Military Force
October 25, 2001Debate in the U.S. Senate on the USA Patriot Act of 2001
October 26, 2001USA Patriot Act
November 13, 2001Military Order of November 13, 2001
November 25, 2002Homeland Security Act of 2002
November 27, 2002U.S. President George W. Bush Signs 9/11 Commission Bill
September 7, 2003U.S. President George W. Bush Update on the War on Terror
November 13, 2003Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004
July 22, 2004The 9/11 Commission Report
December 30, 2005Detainee Treatment Act of 2005
June 29, 2006Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
September 5, 2006U.S. President George W. Bush Discusses Global War on Terror
October 17, 2006Military Commissions Act of 2006
June 12, 2008Boumediene v. Bush
September 13, 2016Veto Message from President Obama for the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism ActSeptember 28, 2016Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act
Suggested Reading List
The Hunt for KSM: Inside the Pursuit and Takedown of the Real 9/11 Mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Terry McDermott and Josh Meyer. Little, Brown and Company, 2012.
Shell Shocked: The Social Response to Terrorist Attacks
Gérôme Truc and Andrew Brown (Translator). Wiley Books, 2017.
Dust: The Inside Story of Its Role in the September 11th Aftermath
Paul J. Lioy. Rowman & Littlefield, 2010.
City of Dust: Illness, Arrogance, and 9/11
Anthony DePalma. FT Press, 2010.
Fallout: The Environmental Consequences of the World Trade Center Collapse
Juan González. New Press, 2002.
Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad
Peter Bergen. Crown Publishers, 2012.
The Black Banners (Declassified): How Torture Derailed the War on Terror
Ali Soufan with Daniel Freedman. Norton, 2020.