Yes, we know by the time you get to read this, the tragedy known as 9/11 will be gone and possibly even tucked away in our consciousness for one more year. But because as I write this, memories and reflections of the actual day are being recounted by various commentators and TV personalities, and videos explaining what REALLY happened are all over the Internet, they stir me to comment as well.
Will the truth about 9/11 ever be made clear and believable? That is the question. We would all like the answer to be yes, or to know that it already has been made clear and believable — but that leads us on to other questions, such as whose truth, or which truth, or how would we know the truth when we hear it? And how will knowing change our lives and everything we believe about our government?
Just as stories about who killed JFK and why circulate every now and then when an anniversary rolls around, so it will be with the real story about who was behind the collapse of the Twin Towers and why, until the story that surfaces one day will be the bottom line truth, from an unimpeachable source, and totally provable beyond any shadow of a doubt.
As usual, all the various truth-tellers and inside information informants come out of the woodwork to tell their take on the tragedy, along with all those who believe in and further retell the official and accepted government-approved version — not that any of them deliberately turn their back on the truth and choose rekindling lies to perpetuate an easier-to-accept story of what happened, since for all we know, much of that official story could be true — certainly those who gave their life to save others is true no matter what; and all those who died are just as gone from our life no matter who was behind the tragedy. But because this is the way it is — several versions and therefore different versions — no one can stand up and decree they have THE definitive version. The reason for that may rest largely on the fact that the tragedy was not investigated as a crime in the sense of needing to preserve the crime scene and, therefore, preserve any evidence of the crime that could be used to determine who was involved or who was not involved.
One could literally spend hour upon hour listening to those who “know the truth” and have made a video to share with the world on that subject; but if so inclined to watch them all, one might just decide to believe a version of the truth one likes best and never really know if it is the truth.
That’s the sad story behind any truth that is disputed: how do we know who is lying, who is filling in the blanks with supposed truth, who is mixing in creativity with the facts, and who really does know the truth? I suppose we can say that is why we have our court system, since we start out with at least two versions of the truth: the one that points to the guilty party and then has the prosecutor do his or her best to show why that party is actually and beyond a shadow of a doubt guilty as charged; and the one who declares his innocence and tries to prove that innocence beyond a reasonable doubt. But the truth behind the who and why of the Twin Towers tragedy is not that “easy” a thing to determine — even sixteen years after the fact.
It isn’t likely that new evidence will surface to swing the unvarnished truth over to the side where it really belongs, but who knows? Can we even imagine that our government — no matter who might have been involved in this, if indeed anyone in our government was — would someday come out and admit that it was an inside job? Besides the shock and astonishment and every other emotion that might be part of learning such a thing, learning it as the undisputable truth, what might happen to the administration that breaks that news, and to the administration that was responsible, and to all those who knew but hid the news from the country for whatever reason, and to the country itself, when such news becomes a part of our nation’s history.
Sometimes — as we’ve all learned over the years — a “necessary lie” becomes a necessary piece of fact-shaping to ward off a bigger disaster than the lie it is hiding. Of course, Hillary is very well versed in fact-shaping for her own good, as we’ve all seen, whether we like her or not and whether we wanted her to win the election or not. How nice it would be for her to just once kind of admit what she did wrong and kind of accept the fact that maybe something SHE did was the reason she didn’t win the election. Every single one of us knows that we all make mistakes and that things don’t always turn out the way we expected them to turn out, so maybe her popularity rating would rise if she could ever be so humble.
But then, when in politics, lies fade into fact-shaping, and fact-shaping is apparently necessary to keep an inconvenient or devastating lie from seeing the light, and all those involved in that lie must have some kind of a pact that they believe is good for the country and allows them to sleep at night and helps them to believe they are being loyal to a concept and/or a “higher good” of some sort.
Of course, that is only for those who share in a lie, or share in the keeping of the truth away from the light of day and/or for the good of the country. Although the older we are, and the more presidents we have lived through, the more we have likely found out that lying is very much a part of politics. Yet somehow I’m thinking that this particular issue — who is REALLY behind the 9/11 tragedy — is the biggest of them all; and if the truth is more than any of us can handle, then I’m betting (well, figratively speaking anyway) it’ll be a while yet before the country as a whole gets to know the unvarnished truth.
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at email@example.com.