On 9/11, All Failed

On 9/11, All Failed But Rugged Individuals

by James Ostrowski by James Ostrowski

"The first truth to be discovered about human action is that it can be undertaken only by individual u2018actors.’. . . There are no such things as ends of or actions by u2018groups,’ u2018collectives,’ or u2018States,’ which do not take place as actions by various specific individuals."

~ Murray Rothbard, Man, Economy and State

I read the description of the hijackings on 9/11 in the commission report and one thing is clear. Everyone failed on 9/11 to prevent the hijackings and subsequent attacks — the government and the highly-regulated large corporate airlines and their employees who had responsibilities for preventing hijackings or defending against hijacked planes — everyone failed, except the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93.

Facing dangers most of us will never face, and displaying courage few of us possess, they forced the terrorists to crash the plane in a field in Pennsylvania. The terrorists had been a mere 20 minutes from Washington D. C., where they certainly would have tried to murder thousands of people.

The passenger assault began at 9:57. It lasted about five minutes. They evidently tried to break into the cockpit. Most likely, they used a service cart to ram the cockpit door. The terrorists responded by rocking the plane right and left, and, when that didn’t work, pitching the plane up and down. Both tactics failed to stop the determined and desperate assault.

At 10:00:26, one passenger said, "In the cockpit. If we don’t we’ll die." The terrorists knew they had been defeated. The report continues:

"With the sounds of the passenger counterattack continuing, the aircraft plowed into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 580 miles per hour, about twenty minutes flying time from Washington, D. C." (Emphasis added.)

On 9/11, big government failed; big business failed; the corporate state failed. The lone individual, facing impossible odds and certain death, acting jointly and spontaneously with his like-minded brethren and sisthren, rose to the challenge. The paper pushers failed; the cart pushers prevailed.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15-13. How about a national monument to these amazing heroes?

Christian Adams Patrick Driscoll Waleska Martinez Lorraine G. Bay Edward Felt Nicole Miller Todd Beamer Jane Folger Louis J. Nacke Alan Beaven Colleen Fraser CeeCee Ross-Lyles Mark Bingham Andrew “Sonny” Garcia Donald A. Peterson Deora Bodley Jeremy Glick Jean Hoadley Peterson Sandra W. Bradshaw Lauren Grandcolas Mark Rothenberg Marion Britton Wanda A. Green Christine Snyder Thomas Burnett, Jr. Donald F. Greene John Talignani William Cashman Linda Gronlund Honor Wainio Georgine Corrigan Richard Guadagno Deborah A. Welsh Patricia Cushing Leroy Homer Kristin Gould White Jason Dahl Toshiya Kuge Joseph DeLuca Hilda Marcin July 26, 2004

James Ostrowski is an attorney in Buffalo, New York and author of Political Class Dismissed: Essays Against Politics, Including "What’s Wrong With Buffalo." See his website at