We really have recovered from 9/11. Back then, it would’ve been political suicide to say anything remotely sympathetic about Osama bin Laden’s anti-American-interventionist views, because mass murdering civilians was rightfully considered an inherently wrong way to make a political point.
Now, when Joe Stack flies a plane into an IRS building, a pro-military (the military still relies on IRS-gathered tax revenue to operate) and moral-absolutist (i.e. believing that there is such thing as right and wrong in this world, no matter the circumstances) Congressman can say, in a row-back apology for earlier remarks: I understand the deep frustration with [American civilian building targeted for murder to make a point against the American way of life].
Maybe the difference is that Stack only managed to kill one man (Vernon Hunter, an American serviceman who served two tours in Vietnam). If he had killed a thousand, maybe there’d be less room for moral equivocating. But it’s hard to give him the benefit of the doubt that if he had the resources, he wouldn’t have tried for a more destructive attack; after all, he burned his own house down and left his wife and family homeless.