CBS News was first with a broadcast of news of the attack, and NBC later broadcast a more comprehensive report from Honolulu. Honolulu’s station KGU broadcast this that evening: “No one would believe when reports …”

It was unbelievable … just as when the 2nd of the World Trade Center towers was struck by an airplane and it became clear that there was more afoot than a terrible accident.

Then, as now, various and sundry misfits advanced overly-feverish theories blaming the government: Roosevelt “let” the attack happen, Bush “masterminded” the WTC collapses in order to create a casus belli for a Holy Crusade.

Not then, and not now; we just forgot what a treacherous place the world really is, and let down our guard. The difference, then, is that America was willing to unsentimentally get about the business of killing the SOB’s; today, we are not.

Democracies do fail from the inside &#0151 yet another of history’s lessons that we’ve failed to learn.

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