The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, February 12, 2004  

Still Unanswered

Let’s play Twenty Questions.

Except this isn’t a game. It’s real life. People died. Many people died. And people continue to die.

Two years after the infamous terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, William Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News asked 20 questions -- 20 damned good questions -- about those events and the Bush administration’s actions beforehand and afterward.

Bunch’s article, which received nowhere near the attention it deserved (I blogged about it, but that hardly counts for anything), appeared five months ago.

And with the vast majority of what passes for “the media” in this country either asleep at the wheel or passed out in the back seat with nearly every national politician of both major parties, Bunch’s questions, which I reviewed again tonight, remain unanswered. Every single one of them, with the possible exceptions of numbers 11 and 15.

Here they are again, and while it may appear that I’m swiping a full column from Bunch, I am not, because he attached to each question commentary raising still more questions.

1. What did National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice tell President Bush about al Qaeda threats against the United States in a still-secret briefing on Aug. 6, 2001?

2. Why did Attorney General John Ashcroft and some Pentagon officials cancel commercial-airline trips before Sept. 11?

3. Who made a small fortune “shorting” airline and insurance stocks before Sept. 11?

4. Are all 19 people identified by the government as participants in the Sept. 11 attacks really the hijackers?

5. Did any of the hijackers smuggle guns on board as reported in calls from both Flight 11 and Flight 93?

6. Why did the NORAD air defense network fail to intercept the four hijacked jets?

7. Why did President Bush continue reading a story to Florida grade-schoolers for nearly a half-hour during the worst attack on America in its history?

8. How did Flight 93 crash in western Pennsylvania?

9. Was Zacarias Moussaoui really “the 20th hijacker”?

10. Where are the planes’ “black boxes”?

11. Why were Donald Rumsfeld and other U.S. officials so quick to link Saddam Hussein to the attacks?

12. Why did 7 World Trade Center collapse?

13. Why did the Bush administration lie about dangerously high levels of toxins and hazardous particles after the WTC collapse?

14. Where is Dick Cheney’s undisclosed location?

15. What happened to the more than $1 billion that Americans donated after the attack?

16. What was the role of Pakistan’s spy agency in the Sept. 11 attacks and the subsequent murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl?

17. Who killed five Americans with anthrax?

18. What happened to the probe into C-4 explosives found in a Philadelphia bus terminal in fall 2001?

19. What is in the 28 blacked-out pages of the congressional Sept. 11 report?

20. Where is Osama bin Laden?

It’s time to put aside the unseriousness. It’s time for some answers.

[Post-publication addendum (February 18): Reader S.B. writes to remind me question number nine is widely considered answered. Check here and also here.]

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