cover image The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions

The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions

David Ray Griffin. Olive Branch Press, $20 (352pp) ISBN 978-1-56656-584-4

The 9/11 commission report ""simply cannot be trusted,"" concludes this retired Claremont School of Theology professor. Following up on his call for an official investigation in The New Pearl Harbor (2004), Griffin revisits the cataclysmic events and deconstructs the government's probe. He offers two mind-numbing versions of an ""alternative conspiracy theory"": that the Bush administration ""deliberately"" failed to prevent the attacks or, more chillingly, ""was actively involved in the planning and execution of the attacks."" Why? To spur the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and the occupation of their valuable oil and natural gas resources. Embracing the complicity theory, Griffin claims the 9/11 Commission's report, labeled the Kean-Zelikow Report here to underline the White House allegiances of its Republican chairman and director, was neither thorough nor non-partisan but rather a ""cover-up"" designed to back up the Bush administration's view of the day's events. Among the problems Griffin says the commissioners fail to address are discrepancies in the hijackers' identities; the behavior exhibited by President Bush and his Secret Service contingent in Florida; and the charges of obstruction by higher-ups made by FBI agent Coleen Rowley and other mid-level officials. In fact, ""revisionism"" was the Commission's major goal, argues the author, since the report reconstructs the timelines of the hijackings, officials' teleconferences and the plane crashes to absolve the military of mishandling jet fighters' intercepts of the doomed passenger aircraft. Supported by news media reports, government documents and readily available secondary sources, Griffin's research raises valid questions about the Commission's political aims and investigative methods. But unless future Woodwards and Bernsteins dig up evidence to the contrary, the author's theories about a government role in the 9/11 plot will remain pure speculation.