Real Progressives

Episode 150 – Unanswered 9-11 Questions with Ray McGinnis

It’s one thing to understand the US government will not protect us from certain types of abuse by corporations. We see it in the weakness of labor laws as well as environmental and consumer protection regulations. We know the government has no problem sending poor and working-class men and women into harm’s way to protect corporate interests overseas. But how much farther will the state go to protect the interests of global capitalism?

Ray McGinnis doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but he’s here to remind us of the questions that need to be asked. The title of his book says it all: Unanswered Questions: What the September Eleventh Families Asked and the 9/11 Commission Ignored.

It took a year for George Bush to decide on forming a commission to investigate 9/11. He appointed Henry Kissinger as chair. This was ironic (and outrageous), given Kissinger’s connection to that other 9/11 — the September 11, 1973, coup in Chile to overthrow the democratically elected president, Salvador Allende. Henry Kissinger was responsible for atrocities as far back as the carpet-bombing of Cambodia and was known for keeping secrets from Congress and the people.

A group of women from the 9/11 Family Steering Committee visited Kissinger to voice their concerns. As Kissinger served them coffee, one woman got straight to the point:

“Dr. Kissinger, we just want to make sure you don’t have any conflicts of interest. You don’t have any business clients by the name of Bin Laden.” At that point, Doctor Kissinger pours the coffee all over the table, partway falls off the couch, blames it on a fake eye, and resigns the next day.

It was clear from the start that Congress had no will for this investigation. McGinnis reminds us that up to $80 million was spent investigating the Clintons in the ‘90s; the 9/11 Commission was given $3 million. Chairman Thomas Kean was on the board of a corporation with interests in building a pipeline across Afghanistan. George W. Bush had begun his presidency with plans for regime change in Iraq. The outline of the eventual Commission report was written before any evidence was examined.

For 20 years, thousands of the 9/11 families have been pressing for an investigation into Saudi complicity in the attacks but have been stonewalled by the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations. In April of 2020, Attorney General Barr and a representative of the NSA appeared before a judge to argue against releasing documents regarding a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia, claiming it would harm American state secrets and national security.

The families are scratching their heads: how is our lawsuit to find out if there was Saudi Arabian complicity in the attacks on September 11th possibly going to harm American national security and state secrets? What state secrets would those be?

What secrets indeed? It’s been 20 years since the events of 9/11. For those of us fortunate enough not to have lost a friend or family member, some of our questions may have faded. Ray McGinnis brings the inconsistencies back into focus and adds some new ones.

Ray McGinnis was educated in political science, religious studies, and history, and graduated with a B.A. from the University of Toronto. He also earned a Diploma in Christian Education from the Centre for Christian Studies. He was an educator with the United Church of Canada, working at their national office for 9 years. He subsequently worked at the Naramata Centre in rural British Columbia. From 1999 to 2020 he taught writing workshops. He is the author of Writing the Sacred: A Psalm-inspired Path to Appreciating and Writing Sacred Poetry. McGinnis is interested in the stories we tell, the ones we ignore, and how this shapes our worldview.

https://unansweredquestions.ca/
@RayMcGinnis7 on Twitter

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It’s one thing to understand the US government will not protect us from certain types of abuse by corporations. We see it in the weakness of labor laws as well as environmental and consumer protection regulations. We know the government has no problem sending poor and working-class men and women into harm’s way to protect corporate interests overseas. But how much farther will the state go to protect the interests of global capitalism?

Ray McGinnis doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but he’s here to remind us of the questions that need to be asked. The title of his book says it all: Unanswered Questions: What the September Eleventh Families Asked and the 9/11 Commission Ignored.

It took a year for George Bush to decide on forming a commission to investigate 9/11. He appointed Henry Kissinger as chair. This was ironic (and outrageous), given Kissinger’s connection to that other 9/11 — the September 11, 1973, coup in Chile to overthrow the democratically elected president, Salvador Allende. Henry Kissinger was responsible for atrocities as far back as the carpet-bombing of Cambodia and was known for keeping secrets from Congress and the people.

A group of women from the 9/11 Family Steering Committee visited Kissinger to voice their concerns. As Kissinger served them coffee, one woman got straight to the point:

“Dr. Kissinger, we just want to make sure you don’t have any conflicts of interest. You don’t have any business clients by the name of Bin Laden.” At that point, Doctor Kissinger pours the coffee all over the table, partway falls off the couch, blames it on a fake eye, and resigns the next day.

It was clear from the start that Congress had no will for this investigation. McGinnis reminds us that up to $80 million was spent investigating the Clintons in the ‘90s; the 9/11 Commission was given $3 million. Chairman Thomas Kean was on the board of a corporation with interests in building a pipeline across Afghanistan. George W. Bush had begun his presidency with plans for regime change in Iraq. The outline of the eventual Commission report was written before any evidence was examined.

For 20 years, thousands of the 9/11 families have been pressing for an investigation into Saudi complicity in the attacks but have been stonewalled by the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations. In April of 2020, Attorney General Barr and a representative of the NSA appeared before a judge to argue against releasing documents regarding a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia, claiming it would harm American state secrets and national security.

The families are scratching their heads: how is our lawsuit to find out if there was Saudi Arabian complicity in the attacks on September 11th possibly going to harm American national security and state secrets? What state secrets would those be?

What secrets indeed? It’s been 20 years since the events of 9/11. For those of us fortunate enough not to have lost a friend or family member, some of our questions may have faded. Ray McGinnis brings the inconsistencies back into focus and adds some new ones.

Ray McGinnis was educated in political science, religious studies, and history, and graduated with a B.A. from the University of Toronto. He also earned a Diploma in Christian Education from the Centre for Christian Studies. He was an educator with the United Church of Canada, working at their national office for 9 years. He subsequently worked at the Naramata Centre in rural British Columbia. From 1999 to 2020 he taught writing workshops. He is the author of Writing the Sacred: A Psalm-inspired Path to Appreciating and Writing Sacred Poetry. McGinnis is interested in the stories we tell, the ones we ignore, and how this shapes our worldview.

https://unansweredquestions.ca/
@RayMcGinnis7 on Twitter

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