Open and Shut

Four years later, we still have ten big questions

The 9-11 Commission did not address this topic in the body of its final report. In a single footnote, the panel said it didn't have the expertise to talk about the air testing, but let the White House off the hook for influencing EPA press releases. Then�EPA head Christine Whitman told the commission that she had met with a top Bush economic adviser "regarding the need to get financial markets open quickly," but denied any pressure to fudge the air quality readings. A group of 12 people has sued the EPA over health problems they blame on poor air quality near the site after the attacks. Meanwhile, the EPA just last week approved a plan to test and clean apartments south of Canal Street.

9. What exactly did Zacarias Moussaoui plan to do?

Was he the 20th hijacker? Or was he supposed to pilot a fifth plane on September 11? Or was he a backup for Ziad Jarrah, the Flight 93 hijack pilot, whose disagreements with Mohammed Atta almost got him dropped from the plot? Or was he a pilot for a "second wave" of attacks, as captured Al Qaeda leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is quoted saying in the 9-11 Commission report?

photo: Joe Zeff


See also:
  • Running From the Truth
    9-11 Commission dealt with several issues by simply ignoring them
    by James Ridgeway
  • Last April, Moussaoui pled guilty to conspiracy charges, but claimed that he had nothing to do with 9-11 and instead was planning a separate attack to try to free Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman.

    The Department of Justice hasn't said publicly exactly what Moussaoui did�stating in court filings merely that Moussaoui "participated" in the 9-11 plot�but it does want to execute him for his alleged role

    10. What's on those blanked-out pages?

    "The Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001," which was released in late 2002, included 28 pages that were blanked out, apparently concerning the possible role of Saudi government officials. Those aren't the only blank spots in the public record. As the Voice reported in October, there are multiple redactions in the FDNY oral histories that in some cases seem to concern the radios or suspicious activity near the WTC site before and during the attacks.

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