Report from Islamabad: In an 11-minute segment today on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” HERE, co-host Steve Inskeep relates that many Pakistanis regard Osama bin Laden favorably — possibly a majority since his 2011 death. He visits the site of Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad raided by U.S. Navy SEALS who killed him there and later dumped his body in the sea.* The compound has been razed, in part for fear it would become a shrine.
One Pakistani interviewed sees the Sept. 11 attacks as “a drama orchestrated to justify an attack on a Muslim country” (as an interpreter worded it). Inskeep: “This man endorses a conspiracy theory, for which there is no evidence, that America attacked itself.” About half the Pakistanis surveyed in a recent poll reportedly said the U.S. government was responsible for 9/11. Another interviewee said many Pakistanis have high estimation for Bin Laden because he is “portrayed as a good man by the state.”
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‘The Imagination of the Terrorist’: On Day 3 of its series “9/11 20 Years Later,” the Springfield Republican yesterday ran Jim Kinney’s report headlined “How safe are we because of 9/11? Security evolved to meet challenges posed by terrorists.” (Subscribers can read an online version HERE.)
In it, Jane F. Garvey, an Amherst resident who headed the Federal Aviation Administration 20 years ago, recalls the skies: “The pilots call a day like that ‘a severe day.’ It’s perfect for flying.”
Garvey said a positive change resulting from the attacks is intelligence information sharing by the FBI, the CIA and other agencies that used to work less cooperatively than they do today.
”You can put all the technology you want in the world, but when you are dealing with the human mind, which is what we are dealing with, it’s the imagination of the terrorist,” she said. “You need to know who they are.”
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Accidental Witness: Albany Times-Union reporter Paul Grondahl took the train to Manhattan on another assignment on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, expecting to stay just for the day. He stayed for five. Read his look back on the experience, headlined “Days that churned with grief and dust” in today’s newsprint editions, HERE.
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George Will and Secrecy: In today’s Times-Union, syndicated columnist George Will focuses on President Biden’s “tentative step in the right direction” in ordering review and declassification of some federal documents related to the September 2001 terror attacks. The T-U headline: “End secrecy over Saudis and 9/11.”
Two things about the column. Will conveniently ignores the role of the mainstream media, of which he is a shining example, in keeping the public in the dark for three years about Senate Resolution 610 that “documents related to the events of Sept. 11, 2001, should be declassified to the greatest extent possible.” And, why declassify just material related to possible Saudi involvement in the attacks?
To read the column online courtesy of a Michigan newspaper, click HERE.
— Mark Channing Miller
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* The operation is examined by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in a 10,000-word piece published by the London Review of Books in 2015. Click HERE to read it.