-- In his Washington Post article, "9/11 Panel Suspected Deception by Pentagon," Dan Eggen reported, "Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon's initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public. . ."
"We to this day don't know why NORAD told us what they told us," Commission Chair Thomas H. Kean said. "It was just so far from the truth."
-- According to a new Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll, "More than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East."
Still more surprising, 16 percent think the collapse of the World Trade Towers was expedited by controlled demolition while 12 percent suspect the Pentagon was struck by a missile, not Flight 77.
Eye-opening as these results are, they're not unprecedented. According to Scripps/Howard, "The level of suspicion of U.S. official involvement in a 9/11 conspiracy was only slightly behind the 40 percent who suspect 'officials in the federal government were directly responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy.'"
Kean's colleague, 9/11 Commisssion vice chair Lee Hamilton, conceded the results of the poll. "A lot of people I've encountered believe the U.S. government was involved." But he remains unmoved. "Of course, we don't think the evidence leads that way at all."
What Hamilton doesn't get is that he's only contributing to this monumental lack of faith in our own government. Just as when the commission blocked testimony about explosions by the likes of White House-honored 9/11 hero William Rodriguez.
Three decades before, when President Kennedy was killed, it was bad that enough the exuberant national mood he personified (one of his few accomplishments) was punctured. But the Warren Commission, no doubts in the interest of that our sainted "national unity," took the easy way out and refused to face the complexities of the case and their implications. Feeding the public facile explanations credible only to those with a vested interest in blocking the truth seeded our national disaffection with the government. It's since grown like a weed.
In the long run, the Warren Commission and 9/11 Commission have proven as injurious to the country as the crimes they were appointed to investigate. Sure, we'd be traumatized if we discovered that government figures colluded with the Mob to kill Kennedy. Or that some element of the government, whether sanctioned or rogue, facilitated fanatical Islamist's machinations by means of controlled detonations.
But if parties were indicted and tried, it would go a long way toward restoring the public's faith in the government. Also, note to the powers that be: If conspirators were RICO'd to smithereens, it would strip conspiracists of their theories. Once proven, a theory morphs into a crime, and the theorist is back at square one looking for a new one to champion.
Oh, for the halcyon days of yore, when conspiracy theorists were paranoid-schizophrenics, not respectable citizens like today.