Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Reader's Diary #1605- Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón: The 9/11 Report

Thanks to Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón I am convinced that most reports should be turned into graphic novels. Have you seen the original, non-illustrated 9/11 Report? It's huge. Plus, as important as it is, it has the connotations of a report: long, difficult, dry reading. If someone can use visuals to help condense the message, help people understand it, and even encourage people to pick it up, why not? I hope someone adapts the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as well.

A few notable things jumped out at me:

1. Donald Rumsfeld started capitalizing on it from day one, on the evening of the attacks encouraging Bush to think broadly about who might have harbored the attackers, naming Iraq and Iran, yet notably not Saudi Arabia

2. While the report seems largely balanced and fair, I thought a line that criticized the FBI for spending more on fighting drugs than on terrorism missed the mark. Illicit drugs DO kill more people than terrorism, why wouldn't they?

3. At one they state that little or none of the weapons that the U.S. gave to the Afghani people in their fight against the Soviets was given to Osama Bin Laden. I don't consider myself a conspiracy theorist, but at worst this statement smacks of the U.S. trying to cover its own ass and at best, I'd find it incredibly dubious to suggest that they didn't wind up in Bin Laden's possession.

Despite those things, I did find it to be a compelling read (the timeline of the 9/11 attacks at the beginning is amazingly well done). Plus, it's a stark reminder that the U.S., and arguably the rest of the world, has still not healed entirely from those events. Nor, dare I say it, learned from it, despite a plethora of recommendations. One of the recommendations was for the U.S., to "offer an example of moral leadership committed to treating people humanely, abide by the rule of law, and be generous and caring to [their] neighbors." I ask you: how is Trump accomplishing any of that?

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