Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Historian Max Holland reviews Philip Shenon's new book on the 9/11 committee, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation at Washington Decoded. He likens it to Edward J. Epstein's Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth, in that Shenon makes criticism of the 9/11 Commision respectable, without indulging in wild conspiracy speculation.

It may do for the 9/11 Report what Edward J. Epstein’s 1966 book, Inquest, did for the Warren Report—or more accurately, what Inquest did to the reputation of the Warren Commission. Epstein made skepticism of the Warren Commission’s probity mainstream and respectable, as his book inexorably drew attention to forensic irregularities that had been swept under the rug rather than frankly explained.
Holland, however, is well-known as a supporter of the Warren Commission's conclusions. He is no more open to conspiracy speculation about the events of September 11.

The parallel with Shenon’s book is not exact; for one, there is not the outstanding question of “whodunit,” notwithstanding all the Oliver Stone-like conspiracy theories about the Bush administration. Still, the revelations contained in The Commission are bound to have a negative effect on the public’s perception of that panel.
I have always felt out of my depth in commenting on 9/11. Researcher Daniel Hopsicker has encovered a wealth of anomalous data surrounding Mohammed Atta's time in Venice, Florida as an earlier generation of researchers did for Lee Harvey Oswald's summer in New Orleans. Nonethess, I am not yet persuaded that 9/11 was an inside job, and I am very skeptical regarding the claims that the twin towers were brought down by controlled demolition, or that the Pentagon was hit by a missile.

I am convinced, however, that we do not yet know the truth about 9/11, and that a new investigation is required. Let us hope that the next President will be a Democrat and that he or she will launch that investigation. Congressional investigations are well and good, and should be encouraged, but if the Kennedy assassination has shown us anything it is that there is no substitute for a full investigation by the Justice Department and the FBI, which the Kennedy assassination never received.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about shanksville

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that any future re-investigation of 9/11 (or JFK or other political assassinations for that matter), if it is to have any credibility, must be as far removed from having US government sponsorship as possible. A panel of people from all walks of life, like a trial jury, supported by a carefully chosen and extremely competent university research staff might be a good way to go about it, IMHO.

9:53 PM  

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