Thursday, November 02, 2006

Giving 9/11 families some closure

The last few days, we've heard about the discovery of remains of people who died in the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center, found under utility access covers (f.k.a. manhole covers) and in other out-of-the-way places near Ground Zero. Today we learned that some of the remains have been identified as belonging to a flight attendants on one of the hijacked planes that was flown into the WTC towers. We also hear that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is resisting calls by survivors to bring in outside specialists to make sure that they really have located and identified all possible remains, as the city had previously claimed they already had.

First of all, we owe it to the people who died at the World Trade Center to do everything reasonably possible to locate and identify those remains — and the measures we're talking about today are not beyond what is customary and reasonable. It is inexcusable to stand in the way of bringing in outside experts when the city has done such an obviously incomplete job to date.

Secondly, I would hope that the revelation today that remains of one of the flight attendants have been located will lay to rest the persistent conspiracy theories about how the U.S. government and/or military somehow fabricated 9/11. An essential piece of those conspiracy theories is that the missing airliners were spirited away somewhere else and that military jets armed with missiles were what actually flew into the twin towers. Of course, the hardcore conspiracy theorists will just brush aside this new evidence, claiming, no doubt, that the all-powerful all-knowing government planted the flight attendant's remains at the site to throw people off the scent of the "real" story. However, I've heard many people who aren't from the tinfoil-hat brigade repeat many of the claims of the conspiracy theories, and I think this evidence will thin their ranks considerably.

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