After 9/11 and before the passage of the Patriot Act a month later, our great national terror was the anthrax attacks waged against the mainstream media and Congress. Democratic Senators Daschle and Leahy, both targeted, had been well positioned to oppose the Patriot Act on constitutional grounds, and perhaps lead their party to do the same. The anthrax attacks changed all that, putting Bush and Cheney in total control.
As with so many things under the Bush administration, the political reality of what had happened was transparent, but the political reporting remained vague. The writing was already on the wall for members of the power elite, and folks were starting to hide from their duty behind the Voltaire phrase that it was a dangerous thing to be right when your country was wrong.