by Melissa Rossi
Author, What Every American Should Know about the Middle East (Plume/Penguin,
February 10, 2009
Patrick Leahy has a point when he urges President Obama to open investigations about the Bush administration. However, he’s not pointing at the issue that we need to start with. Namely, September 11th. What really happened? More than a few people know – and I am not alone in calling for those who know to start talking and fess up. Let’s not let this go the way of the JFK assassination – and whether with subpoenas or on their own volition, I demand that Dick Cheney, George W. Bush – both of whom refused to testify under oath during the 9/11 Commission proceedings — Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, Larry Wilkerson, George Tenet, Robert Mueller and the rest – as well as Bill Clinton and Al Gore (both of whom also refused to testify under oath) — start talking, and in a public arena. And I’m calling on the Obama administration to open up a probe and unravel the web of deceit.
Before we tuck the Bush administration into bed and hiss, “Nighty Night, you lying scoundrels,” before we go on to lock the door on that heinous era of American history, we do indeed need to probe what happened under their watch. But the event that most concerns me is what happened on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Oh yeah, that’s history, old news, the 9/11 Commission figured it all out, right? Except that members of the 9/11 Commission say it was “set up to fail” and that the investigation was severely hampered. So do assorted former members of the CIA, who demand a fresh look at the events of that day.
So, President Obama – leader of a new era in the United State – serve your people: pull out that can opener and pry open that can of worms.
Digg this article! Now that Huffington Post has allowed the need for 9/11 investigation to finally grace it’s (very well-read) pages, let’s support them with a quick Digg, so people understand that this issue is indeed supported by many readers. Click here to digg it .
In following posts, I will outline some of the most mysterious coincidences and events that deserve re-examination – and there are many, including how strange things happen whenever Dick Cheney’s around and the missile defense program is slated to be cut as I note here and here. But let’s start with the premise that all was not told, and we deserve to know the truth about this catastrophic event that so changed the world — and boosted the military budget to new highs.
While the Obama administration is fresh – and even though we’re all grappling with this economy – I urge Americans to demand that this be a top priority, and not to let Obama shrug off this “mystery” that was cloaked by his predecessor.
To be continued…. (Part 2 follows here:)
So many dastardly acts were committed during the Bush administration (many of them by the Bush administration) that it’s hard to nail down the worst. Senator Patrick Leahy recently suggested formation of a “Truth Commission” to investigate the interrogation, torture, and shredding of civil liberties that occurred as part of the Bush administration’s “War on Terror” and as Sam Stein reported here directly approached Obama about opening investigations.
I humbly suggest that the Obama administration should start by investigating the event that set the dominoes tumbling and would so shake the world that it would lead to a panicked Congress giving the previous administration a blank check for military funding (which now chomps more tax dollars than anything else in the government budget including Social Security) and a steadfast nod to questionable military adventures that sucked us into a black hole (Iraq and Afghanistan), while Congress effectively shut its eyes to the erosion of Americans’ rights, the boosting of power of the executive office, the gagging of the press, and a nonstop disinformation campaign to hoodwink the American people – as well as the Bush administration’s approval of extreme treatment of suspects and prisoners that might constitute war crimes.
I’m still troubled by September 11, 2001. Not merely the terrifying events of the attacks that day, but the fact that it still hasn’t been fully explained. It could be and it should be. The Bush administration never came clean with “what really happened” – but the Obama administration needs to set history straight on what unfolded that day, and detail the role played by the Bush administration in it.
As more new information has emerged contradicting the official 9/11 Commission report or appearing to fill holes in it – reports about finding the black boxes of the hijacked airplanes, inconsistencies about Flight 93 (did it explode from a bomb onboard, was it shot down, or did it indeed crash as a result of the passenger rebellion?), contradictory
reports about the identities of the hijackers and other reports that point to a number of Cheney-commissioned war games ongoing that day that the Bush administration never fully brought to light – and as the weakness of the 9/11 commission itself has come into the public arena — the Obama administration owes it to the American people to reopen that can of vipers and in this sifting through the events try to figure out what really happened to debunk the fallacies – be they conspiracy theories that don’t hold water or the suffocating blanket of disinformation continually dropped on Americans by the Bush administration.
Only with a new investigation into 9/11 can the needed light be shed on this dark moment. This time we need a commission:
- that is properly funded (the previous commission started with a piddly $3 million budget compared to $50 million to investigate the Space Shuttle disaster ),
- duly empowered (the previous commission, noted its co-chair Lee Hamilton “had a lot of trouble getting access to documents and to people” and was hesitant to use its subpoena power),
- given unfettered access to needed information and parties (Bush, Cheney, Bill Clinton and Gore refused to testify under oath),
- with members that owe and want no favors to or from the parties involved (executive director of the 9/11 commission Philip Zelikow had been vying for a job with the Bush administration when he served on their transition team in 2000-2001 and post-investigation was appointed to the weighty federal post of counselor of the State Department in 2005),
- willing to “name names” and point fingers,
- conduct its hearings in the light of day – not behind closed doors – and make interviews part of the public record.
To aid future historians and to help the American people understand what truly unfolded over the past eight years, to set the record straight and answer the many unanswered questions, we need to petition Obama to spend but a few million dollars to dig further into the details of 9/11. And as part of that investigation, the investigation needs to look long and hard at how the Bush administration’s (particularly Dick Cheney’s) preoccupation with missile defense, which it was making the number 1 focus of its lobbying efforts, directly influenced the tragedy that unfolded on that tragic Tuesday in September 2001.
Melissa Rossi is the author of What Every American Should Know about the Middle East and What Every American Should Know about Who’s Really Running the World