Monday, August 8, 2005

Book Review - The 9/11 Commission Final Report

When the 9/11 Commission was first formed, I was deeply against the concept. Not on the basis that I did not care to know the mistakes we, the United States, had made which allowed al Qaeda to overtake four airplanes that fateful day and slam them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, killing thousands of innocent Americans. It was not for the fact that the gut-wrenching images of this day would be revisited and plastered on the news for weeks, if not months, to follow.

My personal opinion is that we should take heed to the phrase “Never Forget” and truthfully never lose sight of the images of the planes slamming into the buildings, people trapped inside the burning buildings falling to their deaths to avoid suffocation, or the catastrophic images of the aftermath and devastation moments following the collapse of the towers, and the somber days that would follow in our never ending pursuit to bring justice to the bastards that did this to us. I do not want the events of September 11th to be hijacked like the bombing of Pearl Harbor, another tragedy in American history which harkened the phrase “Never Forget”. I do not desire to see the devastating memories of that day be washed away and placed into the back of our culture’s mind until some money grubbing movie studio develops a half-assed version of the historical truths, playing right into the hands of the political-correctness crowd in their efforts to place the finger of blame squarely on the Bush Administration and American society in general. We should truly “Never Forget” the horrifying images of that day and do our very best to envision those images when the times get tough and we feel to despair in our venture of pursuing terrorists to the ends of the Earth in order to bring them to justice.

What I argued against the commission initially was over the prominent partisanship it would go on to present in their public hearings which, in all honesty, were better described as three-ring circuses then anything the least bit professional in atmosphere. The American public clearly saw the Democratic members of the Commission, Bob Kerrey and Richard Ben-Veniste amongst them, rail and rant against members of the Bush Administration, including then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, while at the same time throwing soft-ball questions and soap-box statements toward members of the Clinton Administration, not to mention flaunting around Richard Clarke’s “Against All Enemies” like it was the freakin’ Bible. John Lehman, as well as other members of the Commission, came out following the release of the final report and described the events of the public hearings as being “hijacked by VIACOM”, the media conglomerate which owned the publishing company for Richard Clarke’s book as well as the C-BS network that aired the “60 Minutes” interview”, all scheduled conveniently around the time of Clarke’s public hearing before the Commission.

But all the partisanship which been demonstrated in the public hearings seemed to have melted away when it came down to the Commission’s ultimate goal of creating an unbiased report on the events of September 11th and present a thorough evaluation as to how we can improve on tactics and methods in winning the war against terrorism. Though I personally did not agree with every single proposal developed by the Commission, particularly the creation of an intelligence czar, they are definitely measures we as Americans need to reflect on in these tumultuous times.

And lastly, another great aspect of the 9/11 Commission’s Final Report was that it finally put to rest the numerous myths concocted by conspiratorial theorists, particularly the erroneous and outlandish claims made by Michael Moore’s propagandist piece, “Fahrenhate 7/11”. The report found that the Saudi government did NOT fund the 9/11 hijackers (though they certainly looked in the opposite direction when it did occur prior to September 11th – they have since become more cooperative, though not entirely), the members of the Bin Laden family were NOT allowed to fly out of the country prior to the ban on air travel being lifted on September 13th (more importantly, it was not President Bush or any other appointed member of the administration but rather Richard Clarke himself who has admitted to allowing the Bin Ladens fly out of the country, following a FBI-conducted background check, which he was right in doing), and President Bush did NOT know of the events beforehand.

Whether you are a Republican, a Democrat, a Green-Party member, a Libertarian, a Conservative Democrat, a moderate Republican, an Independent (hope I haven't forgotten anything), or just plain undecided when it comes to the 2004 Presidential election, the 9/11 Commission's Final Report on the events of September 11th should be required reading for every American wanting to know the truth of the matter and not having to deceiver information from partisan-biased media. The report plainly imparts to the public why these people hate us, why we must continue to fight the war on terrorism, what we did wrong on that day (while at the same time not blaming anyone directly for not being prepared for event no one could have ever fathomed), and how we can improve and, God willing, win the war on terror.

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