White House 9/11 Talking Points: Al Qaeda Is ‘Irrelevant’

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NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 12:   Construction continues as the memorial footprints of the twin towers are seen (C) on August 12, 2011 in New York City.  More than 2,700 people were killed when al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked U.S. passenger jets and flew them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Nearly ten years after the crippling attacks on Lower Manhattan, business, tourism and new construction like One World Trade Center have rejuvenated the formerly devastated cityscape.(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 12: Construction continues as the memorial footprints of the twin towers are seen (C) on August 12, 2011 in New York City. More than 2,700 people were killed when al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked U.S. passenger jets and flew them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Nearly ten years after the crippling attacks on Lower Manhattan, business, tourism and new construction like One World Trade Center have rejuvenated the formerly devastated cityscape.(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Government employees were given documents by the White House that instruct them on how to commemorate the tenth anniversary of September 11 depending on their audience. American consulates and embassies abroad were delivered one set of guidelines, which stress that 9/11 "is not 'just about us,'" while domestic federal employees received a different one-page document:

The guidelines list what themes to underscore — and, just as important, what tone to set. Officials are instructed to memorialize those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and thank those in the military, law enforcement, intelligence or homeland security for their contributions since.

They also stress "a positive, forward-looking narrative" and note that following the death of Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda isn't even worth mentioning: Although they "still have the ability to inflict harm ... Al Qaeda and its adherents have become increasingly irrelevant."

White House Issues Guides on Sept. 11 Observances [NYT]
Related: The Encyclopedia of 9/11 [NYM]