I just climbed back down from my Brooklyn rooftop. An airplane has flown into the World Trade Towers. There's thick black smoke billowing out of several floors of both towers.
Let me pause for a moment to say with all the lucidity I can muster that it is the strangest sight I have ever seen in my life.
I can hear the sirens of multiple emergency vehicles, 360 degrees around. There were people on other rooftops in my neighborhood, some of them talking on their cellphones. Down in the street below me a workman was shouting in some language other than English for the rest of his work crew to come out of the house they're renovating and see what's happening. I couldn't make out a word of it, but there was no mistaking the sense.
Patrick called from the office. He says from where I'm standing I can't see the big hole in the side of one tower.
And Cory wrote:
The Internet's major news sites have been shut down by a massive flood of traffic as everyone in the world calls and emails everyone else in the world to tell them the news. God, this feels so apocalyptic. Five people have just called me to tell me about this, and more — all flights in the US have been grounded, the Pentagon's been hit, the flights were hijacked commercial airliners… Holy crap.
And Mark linked to this prescient piece by Dan Gillmor:
What happened on Tuesday was an act of war. The American government and military should and will respond in kind. If law enforcement and national security agencies declare war on the American people in the process, they will give the terrorists a gift. The despicable people who planned this will triumph if we add to the damage.
On 9/11, Boing Boing linked to this, from John Perry Barlow:
Control freaks will dine on this day for the rest of our lives. Within a few hours, we will see beginning the most vigorous efforts to end what remains of freedom in America. Those of who are willing to sacrifice a little – largely illusory – safety in order to maintain our faith in the original ideals of America will have to fight for those ideals just as vigorously.