Tell us the truth

by Jack Moseley
Arkansas News Bureau
Friday, Jan 16, 2004

While wanting to know more and more about the private lives of our fellow citizens, the Bush administration has a seemingly overzealous desire to keep information from the American people. Nowhere is this more evident than in the lawsuits brought by several widows of men killed in the 9-11 terror attack. These women refused to accept fat checks from the more than $1 billion Uncle Sam has paid out to the families of the victims of that assault on America.
(Don’t ask me why survivors of 9-11 got about $1 million each while survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing did not.)

The Internet is full of explosive, anti-Bush reports about these women and assorted others who are less than fond of our president. Some border on the ridiculous, but the concerns of the widows, which have failed to generate much mainstream media attention, raise some valid questions that deserve public answers.

Presumably, it was seen as unpatriotic to write or comment about such things as the unexplained flight of a jet carrying an undisclosed number of Arabs out of this country at a time when all private and commercial air traffic in this country was grounded immediately after 9-11. Some say family members of Osama Bin Laden were aboard that flight. I don’t know any such thing as a fact, but I would like to know.

Other questions the widows have raised:

-Why were 29 pages of the original 9-11 committee report on 9-11 censored at the request of the White House?

-What happened to the black boxes and voice recorders of the suicide airliners that hit New York?

-What about the multiple intelligence reports for years before 9-11 that terrorists were planning to use airliners as flying bombs against major American targets? How many of those reports were there? Were those warnings ignored as simply impossibilities?

-Why were records of a flight school in Florida removed and, according to Internet reports, flown out of the country? If this happened, where are those records now? What’s in them that is so terrible that it cannot be revealed to the American people?

Ellen Mariana, one of the 9-11 widows who has gone to court instead of accepting a cash settlement from Uncle Sam and promising not to sue anyone, says Bush is keeping secrets at the same time he and his representatives can search your home without a warrant or tap your telephone under provisions of what she considers an unconstitutional Patriot Act hastily enacted in the interest of homeland security.

If the people of the United States are being fed erroneous or outright false information about 9-11 by those who hate George W. Bush and want him defeated, that’s all the more reason for the White House, which can “out” a CIA agent in an act of revenge against someone it does not like, to set the record straight.

Slowly, the information that has been circulated on the Internet is receiving increasing attention. In September, Bill Moyers devoted a portion of his Friday night PBS broadcast to interviewing four widows who refused what Bush-bashers have labeled “hush money” from the settlement fund.
The things I have mentioned here are mild when compared to claims of deliberate cover-ups of failures in our air defense system after it was known that three airliners had been taken over by terrorists. Many of the flight control tapes and records that would show who knew what and when they knew it have been sealed. What is there to hide?

Knowing more about the 9-11 attack on America would not threaten national security. The truth may not be what the White House would like it to be. It may not be what the American people want to hear. It indeed may reveal human mistakes and misjudgments. Whatever the truth is, whatever is being hidden from the American people, is far superior to wild rumors and speculation that fill the political chat rooms and underground media on the Internet.

The special commission appointed to determine if 9-11 could have been prevented has challenged the White House’s wall of secrecy and promised to reveal the truth. I believe that it will do just that. Americans can take the truth, regardless of the political fallout.