Meanwhile, through the usual channels, there was lots of chatter all summer about how bin Laden was up to something. The directors of the FBI and CIA both had their hair on fire about it.
So, as far as we can tell, Bush/Cheney and NSA did not decide to start collecting all of your data because of 9/11, because 9/11 had not happened yet. They decided to do it in spite of the fact that they obviously did not care about terrorism and then persisted in ignoring all of the warnings about it.
So, how come nearly every article I see about the spying program has a phrase saying that the program was started after or because of 9/11?
I bet there's a simple answer to this simple question. Grrr.