Some people ask, “Why do conspiracy theories get such traction in people’s minds?”
Perhaps because the arguments against them are not entirely dissuasive, but I have to say, if nothing else, it’s largely because of stories like this one, that actually lend credence to people’s suspicions by providing them with objective proof of the government’s attempt to obfuscate and withhold vital information.
Whether it is done in order to prevent embarrassment, or to protect themselves from prosecution, the fact remains, Bush officials in Washington were more concerned with covering their own butts, than publicly revealing an inconvenient truth. Even if it meant that national security might be improved and a similar event avoided.
As of today, it has been revealed via a FOIA request made by the ACLU, that Attorney General John Ashcroft, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and CIA Director George Tenet sent a letter dated January 16, 2004 to the members of the 9/11 Commission that there was an investigatory line it was “not allowed to cross.”
The line was in questioning the terrorist suspects that the Bush Administration was busy torturing, in violation of both U.S. and international law. In other words, the Commission was not allowed to question the accused.
Hardly a high point for American jurisprudence.
Subsection #3 is perhaps the most obscene part of the letter, as it is quite pointedly, a bald-faced LIE. It claims that detainees are receiving “humane treatment”, at precisely the same time as they are being waterboarded over 180 times, subjected to sleep deprivation (or what torturers of the Middle Ages called “Tormentum Insomniae”), stress positions, sexual humiliation, beatings until several deaths resulted, etc., etc., etc…..
Personally, I don’t think these three Bush Administration officials should have feared any commission headed up by a man like Lee Hamilton: your go-to guy for worthless commissions that assign no responsibility, impose no accountability, and even hide inconvenient evidence if necessary. He does have a history of placing bipartisanship over truth, as he did during the Iran-Contra investigations where he literally shuffled off evidence into a Senate storage room in the Hart Office Building that proved Bush Sr. and other Reagan officials (like now SecDef Gates) went to Paris & made backdoor deals with the Iranians to keep the hostages incarcerated until after Reagan was inaugurated.
Between Hamilton and Bush insider Zelikow, there was basically no chance that anyone would have to face punishment for their actions (or lack thereof) on that day.
Because of all this, asking those critical questions, and the attempts to find answers to them, gets left up to the general public, as the compliant corporate press happily takes whatever the government feeds them, rather than acting like the Fourth Estate – the literal guardians of the truth, who should at a minimum, regard those in power with rational skepticism, not blind belief.
So the answer is to my initial question is simply this – conspiracy theories get traction because all the people who SHOULD be doing their jobs ferreting out the truth, AREN’T.