Background Briefing: September 9, 2021


A 9/11 Widow on the 20th Anniversary and Why the Killers of 3000 Have Yet to Be Put on Trial

We begin with the 20th anniversary on Saturday of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the attempt to destroy the Capitol and speak with a 9/11 widow and activist Kristen Breitweiser who is known for pressuring Washington to provide a public accounting of what went wrong on the morning of September 11 and in the months leading up to it. She testified before the Joint Inquiry of Congress in September 2002 and the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in August 2004 with regard to national security reforms and is the author of Wake Up Call, The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow. Kristen joins us to discuss her article at The Intercept, “My Husband Died on 9/11. I Am Still Waiting for a Trial of His Killers” and question why nobody has been brought to trial for the murders of 3,000 and the lack of clarity on the role of the Saudis in the planning and execution of the attack.


Biden’s Foreign Policy of Pragmatism and Realism

Then we speak with Stephen Wertheim, a senior fellow in the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the author of Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy in World War II. He joins us to discuss his article in Foreign Affairs, “Biden the Realist: The President’s Foreign Policy Doctrine Has Been Hiding in Plain Sight” and how during his presidential campaign Biden insisted that U.S. service members should be sent into combat only to defend the United States, stating “The responsibility I have is to protect America’s national self-interest and not put our women and men in harm’s way to try to solve every single problem in the world by use of force.”


The Republican Party as the Party of the Confederacy

Then finally, we speak with David Blight, the Sterling Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University. He is the author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory and Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom and his research was used in an Amicus Brief supporting Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s order to remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Richmond’s Monument Avenue on Wednesday. And we also discuss how much today’s Republican party is the party of the Confederacy.