Now, I should have said that the American people behaved remarkably well in the weeks and months after 9/11: There was very little panic, and much more tolerance than one might have feared. Muslims weren’t lynched, and neither were dissenters, and that was something of which we can all be proud.

But the memory of how the atrocity was abused is and remains a painful one. And it’s a story that I, at least, can neither forget nor forgive.