Thursday, September 08, 2011

September 11 retrospective: What we don't know

Robert Scheer writes on How Little We Know About the Origins of 9/11 and the Religious Zealots Who Perpetrated It Truthdig 09/08/2011. He makes a very important point:

How little we know about the origins of the Sept. 11 attacks is laid out in the disclaimer on Page 146 of the official 9/11 presidential commission report. A box on that page states clearly that the conventional narrative of how those portentous events unfolded is based largely on the interrogation under torture of key witnesses who have never been permitted a single moment in a publicly observed court of law.

As the bipartisan commissioners ruefully conceded, their examination of the motives, financing and actions of the alleged 9/11 perpetrators had to "rely heavily on information from captured al Qaeda members" that the commissioners, despite having been granted the highest security clearance, were never allowed to seriously vet:

"We submitted questions for use in the interrogations but had no control over whether, when, or how questions of particular interest would be asked. Nor were we allowed to talk to the interrogators so that we could better judge the credibility of the detainees and clarify ambiguities in the reporting. We were told that our requests might disrupt the sensitive interrogation process."

That sensitive interrogation process included the waterboarding of the key witnesses, led by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was scheduled to go on public, civilian trial in Manhattan last spring, until the Obama administration caved in to hysterical Republican-led pressure and called off the trial.
Now, we do know the basics of the history of Osama bin Laden and Al Qa'ida and the issues energizing them. But Scheer is right to point out that we never had a proper criminal investigation and prosecution because of the extra- and illegal methods the Cheney-Bush and Obama Administrations followed in the handling of the accused perpetrators.

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