Tuesday, September 08, 2009

In Support of Van Jones

Camus said somewhere that one must, in the end, side with the humiliated. Here goes... You don't have to be a Washington insider to think it is possible that the hijackers had a bit of help on the inside to pull off 9/11. But perhaps you have to be a Washington insider to declare that idea "absurd".

Is it possible that Wall Street has a "man" or two inside the Treasury Department?
Is it possible that the drug cartels "own" some corner (or at least one or another agent) of the DEA?
Is it possible, indeed, that the CIA has a mole rumaging around in al Qaeda's back yard?

Of course it is.

When something really bad happens, and when the authorities that are charged with protecting the population fail to do so, is it really so far-fetched to go looking for someone "inside" the system to share part of the blame? Blaming al Qaeda alone for the effects of 9/11 is a bit like blaming only Mother Nature for the effects of Katrina.

Van Jones was just asking reasonable questions. He was standing shoulder to shoulder with at least forty people who lost their loved ones that day. And if David Corn had helped Americans to understand the reasonableness of those questions back when they were being raised, rather than ridiculing a whole class of questions by emphasizing their most speculative (or, if you will, "tantalizing") variants, Van Jones would not have been so vulnerable today.

We have the names of nineteen individuals that David Corn thinks were "evil" enough, "ballsy" enough, and "competent" enough to pull it off. Expanding the list of suspects to include a few that happen to have American citizenship, security clearance and ... perhaps, perhaps, perhaps ... official titles is not at all unreasonable. I, of course, am in no position to suggest any names or speculate about what they might have been able to do for the bad guys. But it is puzzling that the received view of what happened on 9/11 so confidently rules out the possibility. An investigation has not even been deemed necessary.

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