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Included among the questions, the signatories wanted a new investigation to answer: “How were the FBI and CIA able to release the names and photos of the alleged hijackers within hours, as well as to visit houses, restaurants, and flight schools they were known to frequent?” and “Why haven’t authorities in the U.S. and abroad published the results of multiple investigations into trading that strongly suggested foreknowledge of specific details of the 9/11 attacks, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of traceable gains?” The campaign tested the wisdom of the aphorism that “there is no such thing as a stupid question.”
Gore Vidal contended in his post-9/11 bestseller Dreaming War that “we still don’t know by whom we were struck that Tuesday, or for what true purpose.” Though the attackers remained a mystery to the colorful novelist, the president’s motives were clear. George W. Bush “allowed the American people to go unwarned about an imminent attack upon two of our cities in anticipation of a planned strike by the United States against the Taliban in Afghanistan.” Anticipating Michael Moore’s insinuations in Fahrenheit 9/11, the octogenarian author continued that “the conquest of Afghanistan had nothing to do with Osama. He was simply a pretext for replacing the Taliban with a relatively stable government that would allow Union Oil of California to lay its pipeline for the profit of, among others, the Cheney-Bush junta.” A decade later, there is no pipeline—and no bin Laden.
Scores of Democratic candidates for federal office, including 2008 Democratic presidential candidates Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich, have courted the Truther Movement. Finding “many disturbing facts consciously ignored by the 9/11 Commission,” the Colorado Democratic Party’s 2010 platform called for a new grand jury investigation “to find the truth of the September 11, 2001 attacks.” “I’m in the assisted-it-to-happen camp,” former California Congressman Dan Hamburg explained. “I think there was a lot of help from the inside.” And then there is Van Jones, President Obama’s ill-fated selection as green jobs “czar” who lost his post in the administration after his embarrassing activism as a Truther became public knowledge.
Partisanship is a disease that can prove fatal to rationality. It can compel one to see political adversaries behind nefarious deeds such as mass murder. It can cause one to minimize a massive national victory when engineered by the president of the opposing party. Partisanship is an obstacle to patriotism.
May 1, 2011 was a day of celebration for Americans. But for Democrats who imagined their domestic partisan enemies behind the 9/11 attacks, one can’t help but wonder if they think that Obama executed a framed man.
Daniel J. Flynn is the author of A Conservative History of the American Left (Crown Forum, 2008), Intellectual Morons (Crown Forum, 2004), and Why the Left Hates America (Prima Forum, 2002). He writes a Monday column for Human Events and blogs at www.flynnfiles.com.
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