Open the 9/11 books
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Most of the public has likely forgotten that the congressional report on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington contained a secret section. It’s still secret. But kudos to U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) and a colleague for their bipartisan effort to uncover these surely unnecessary secrets.
Lynch and his co-sponsor of a resolution requesting the president to declassify the relevant 28 pages have been permitted to read the material themselves.
“These pages contain information that is vital to a full understanding of the events and circumstances surrounding this tragedy,” Lynch said in a statement announcing the resolution.
His colleague, Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.), hinted at the nature of what’s being hidden: “The information contained in the redacted pages is critical to our foreign policy moving forward and should thus be available to the American public. If the 9/11 hijackers had outside help — particularly from one or more foreign governments — the press and the public have a right to know what our government has or has not done to bring justice to all of the perpetrators.”
If some government — or part of a government — helped the attackers, did it know what they were up to? What was the help? Money? Advice? Instruction?
Did the administration of then-President George W. Bush extract some favor in return for keeping quiet? Did the administration fear that open punishment would alienate an ally?
The questions matter and, as always, secrecy encourages belief in the worst possible situation.