We've been told that 9/11 changed everything.
Is it true?
- The Afghanistan war was planned before 9/11 (see this and this)
- The decision to launch the Iraq war was made before 9/11. Indeed, former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before 9/11, and inserted "crap" in its justifications for invading Iraq. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill - who sat on the National Security Council - also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before9/11. And top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change one month after Bush took office
- Cheney apparently even made Iraqi's oil fields a national security priority before 9/11
- The Patriot Act was planned before 9/11
- Cheney dreamed of giving the White House the powers of a monarch long before 9/11
- Cheney and Rumsfeld actively generated fake intelligence which exaggerated the threat from an enemy in order to justify huge amounts of military spending long before 9/11. And see this
- Cheney and the rest of the neocons lamented - before 9/11 - that America could not truly project its power globally without the justification of a "new Pearl Harbor"
- The government's spying on Americans began before 9/11 (confirmed here and here. And see this)
- The decision to threaten to bomb Iran was made before 9/11
- The government knew that terrorists could use planes as weapons -- and had even run its own drills of planes being used as weapons against the World Trade Center and other U.S. high-profile buildings, using REAL airplanes -- all before 9/11
- The government heard the 9/11 plans from the hijackers' own mouths before 9/11
- Cheney was in charge of all counter-terrorism programs for the United States before (and on) 9/11. See this Department of State announcement, this CNN article and this essay
- It was known long before 9/11 that torture doesn't work to produce accurate intelligence, but is an effective way to terrorize people
So did 9/11 really "change everything"? Or was it simply an excuse to implement existing plans?