A news item from yesterday’s MSNBC once again brings up the possibility of a 9/11-related conspiracy to hide information from the American people. The first public accusation of a conspiracy came just two weeks after the attacks from then-Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), an act that contributed considerably to her loss in her re-election bid in 2002. Others have made similar accusations since then, often to public ridicule and disbelief. Now major media outlets are giving these accusers some vindication.
The Secrets of September 11
The White House is battling to keep a report on the terror attacks secret. Does the 2004 election have anything to do with it?
April 30 — Even as White House political aides plot a 2004 campaign plan designed to capitalize on the emotions and issues raised by the September 11 terror attacks, administration officials are waging a behind-the-scenes battle to restrict public disclosure of key events relating to the attacks.
The report was completed last December; only a bare-bones list of “findings” with virtually no details was made public. But nearly six months later, a “working group” of Bush administration intelligence officials assigned to review the document has taken a hard line against further public disclosure. By refusing to declassify many of its most significant conclusions, the administration has essentially thwarted congressional plans to release the report by the end of this month, congressional and administration sources tell NEWSWEEK. In some cases, these sources say, the administration has even sought to “reclassify” some material that was already discussed in public testimony — a move one Senate staffer described as “ludicrous.” The administration’s stand has infuriated the two members of Congress who oversaw the report — Democratic Sen. Bob Graham and Republican Rep. Porter Goss. The two are now preparing a letter of complaint to Vice President Dick Cheney.
Graham is “increasingly frustrated” by the administration’s “unwillingness to release what he regards as important information the public should have about 9-11,” a spokesman said. In Graham’s view, the Bush administration isn’t protecting legitimate issues of national security but information that could be a political “embarrassment,” the aide said.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Goss, a staunch Republican (and former CIA officer) who in the past has consistently defended the administration’s handling of 9-11 issues and is considered especially close to Cheney.
“I find this process horrendously frustrating,” Goss said in an interview. He was particularly piqued that the administration was refusing to declassify material that top intelligence officials had already testified about. “Senior intelligence officials said things in public hearings that they [administration officials] don’t want us to put in the report,” said Goss. “That’s not something I can rationally accept without further public explanation.”
McKinney’s accusation on September 25, 2001 seems to have better foundation in fact than most Americans were willing to admit at the time.
Surely, before we grant more powers and massive resources to our law enforcement, military and intelligence communities we should be examining why they didn’t detect the threat of these and other attacks. Especially, since we’re being told the attacks last week were sophisticated, involved many people over a considerable period of time and maybe even involved assistance from a foreign government. We knew, or should have known, that Bin Laden was capable of attacking our major cities. Just 7 months ago during the trial of suspects charged with the embassy bombings in Africa federal prosecutors detailed the Bin Laden network in open court. Details of Bin Laden’s business and financial history, his international terror network, as well as, his hatred for America were all systematically dissected by federal prosecutors. Given these revelations it was clear, or should have been clear, that our nation and its citizens were in grave danger from Bin Laden and his supporters.
Some of the conspiracy theories with the least public support suggest that the administration more than knew about the attacks ahead of time, they were involved in the actual perpetration of one or more of the plane crashes on 9/11. There are assertions that there was more than one plane involved in the crash at the Pentagon. There are assertions that the alleged telephone calls from Flight 77 were impossible.
The only thing that seems to be crystal clear about 9/11 is that we, the public, do not have all the information necessary to come to a reasonable conclusion. The best way to end the conjecture is to open up all the files for public scrutiny.