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Seymour Hersh’s ‘Justice’

5:39 PM, Apr 12, 2012 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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We’ve hit intelligence rock bottom in America. As this is being written, nearly three months after the September 11 terrorism attacks, the intelligence community still cannot tell us who was responsible, how the assassins worked, where they trained, which groups they worked for, or whether they will strike again. Did Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network pull it off themselves, as the Bush administration constantly claims, or was at least one other Mideast terrorist group involved, as Bob Baer suggests? We don’t know, but I’m betting that the facts, when they emerge, will back up Baer’s instinct that the attacks in America were not solely the responsibility of someone operating out of a cave in Afghanistan.

Back then, Hersh was “betting” that Baer was right, and that Iran and Hezbollah helped al Qaeda pull off 9/11. Note that Hersh thought this argument was a useful cudgel for going after the Bush administration.

Amazingly, more than two years later, the 9/11 Commission did find ties between Iran/Hezbollah and the hijackers. A last minute discovery of intelligence reports showing these ties was written into the commission’s final report on pages 240 and 241. In a section entitled, “Assistance from Hezbollah and Iran to al Qaeda,” the 9/11 Commission concluded that the issue “requires further investigation by the U.S. government.”

Hersh wasn’t interested in pursuing this story, however. It would have complicated his blame Bush, turned blame America, narrative.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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