Let the researchers and writers involved in this search for truth, let anyone who wants to learn the truth to preserve our republic, think of stories we can tell. If we quote witnesses, the witnesses ought to have names. If we know of incriminating evidence found in the towers’ remains, listeners want to know who found the evidence, what they did with it, and who analyzed it. Listeners want to identify with real people who interact with other real people, and who do things. Why do you suppose the government did not reveal the life stories of the people who attacked us on 9/11? It did not do so because it has too much to hide. It could not personalize the attackers’ stories without revealing information that it would prefer to keep hidden.

Stories about actual people lead to reasoning about motives and actions tied to those motives. Early Kennedy researchers focused, among other things, on the Warren Report and its weaknesses, medical reports, forensic evidence and its interpretations, as well as basic facts gleaned from photographs and eye witness interviews. That was necessary preparative work, but it did not become truly persuasive until researchers sought to attribute motives to the actors. The idea that the Kennedy assassination was a coup remained unpersuasive unless the conspirators had a motive for murdering the president. In books like James Douglass’s JFK and the Unspeakable, we could see at last why the conspirators wanted President Kennedy to die. Douglass tells a complicated story to reveal those motives.

The same narrative methods ought to drive 9/11 research. Which is more persuasive, to say that tiny chips indicative of nano-thermite were found in the towers’ dust, or to relate details about who discovered it, and what happened after that? Assemble first person accounts and fashion them into narratives we can compare with the government’s version. If we don’t have enough good accounts now, find people who were present that day and ask them to write down everything they remember. Banish the passive voice from all investigative reports, and replace it with a narrative that explains who acted, when they acted, what they did, and why.

We can still find out what happened that day. We used to think that the more time passed after November 22, 1963, the more difficult it would be to learn the truth about Kennedy’s assassination. If anything, books about the assassination during the last ten years have been as rich and detailed as you could ask. Evidently we needed the Kennedy research pot to simmer for a long time. Patience yielded persuasive results.

9/11 research does not have such a long time to simmer. Fifty years ago, conspirators killed our president. We let them get away with it. Thirty-seven and a half years later, another calamity struck in lower Manhattan. We let the conspirators get away with it again. When U. S. armed forces tipped bin Laden’s weighted body overboard and let it sink to the bottom of the ocean, we did not reach the end of this story. When we assassinated Osama bin Laden, we did not complete our responsibility to our republic, to 9/11 victims or their family members, or to ourselves as citizens. We have to know what actually happened on 9/11 before we can do that.

Burial at sea.