A former Obama administration official running for a U.S. House seat in Florida once penned an article claiming the U.S. response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was a “moment of hypocrisy.”
Lauren Baer, who worked for the State Department under both Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, also criticized the country’s “shameful history” while hoping the attack, which killed nearly 3,000 people, would make America more "humble and humane."
Baer, a Democrat, is now running for Congress in Florida's 18th District against incumbent U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, a Republican. The district is along the state's Atlantic coast, north of Miami.
But Baer has not received an endorsement from former President Barack Obama, who has opted against endorsing any Democratic candidates in Florida this year.
Baer’s writings came during her years at Harvard University, when she worked for the Harvard Crimson, a student-run publication. Her column titled “From Hypocrisy to Humanity” appeared Oct. 10, 2001 – just a month after the attacks.
The column by Baer was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
“Some people speak of wanting an America to emerge from these events that is stronger and more proud ... I wish to see an America emerge that is humbler and more humane."
“Some people speak of wanting an America to emerge from these events that is stronger and more proud,” Baer wrote. "I wish to see an America emerge that is humbler and more humane."
She then wrote that America had a “shameful history” when it comes to standing up for its values.
"Everyday the world is plagued by more mundane battles ... These events were just as much an affront to justice as were the events of Sept. 11."
“At the same time that America calls on the world to ardently preserve our sacred values, it must live up to a shameful history of having so rarely stood up for those values itself,” the now-Democratic candidate wrote.
Baer went on to minimize the significance of terror attacks against the U.S., criticizing those saying the attacks against the U.S. were an “attack on the world.” In her view, “every day the world is plagued by more mundane battles” and those are “just as much an affront to justice as were the events on Sept. 11.”
“By the rhetoric of an attack on American values anywhere being an attack on security everywhere, they should have warranted a meaningful U.S. response,” Baer wrote. “But the U.S. response to these atrocities was meager, if it existed at all.”
The candidate now sees the 9/11 attacks differently, according to a campaign email sent out Tuesday, the 17th anniversary of the attacks.
“I was on the cusp of adulthood, and our country was on the cusp of changes that would define my generation," she wrote in the email, according to the Free Beacon. "We didn't know yet then about how we'd be called to defend American values at home and abroad.
“But we understood, on some deep level, that we would have to come together. We knew that in the face of tragedy, we would have to unite as a community and a country,” she continued.
“On this 9/11, as we remember all those who perished that day, and in the struggle to defend our values that came after, let us all pledge to keep coming together, to keep taking care of each other, and to keep reaching out to our neighbors to make our country stronger.”
Baer, if elected, would become the first same-sex-married member of Congress. Her opponent, Mast, was a reserve in the U.S. Army when the terror attacks occurred and went on active duty afterward. He lost both of his legs when an explosive device detonated during a 2010 mission in Afghanistan.