An Inclusive Litany

10/23/01

Writing on SFGate, a website associated with the San Francisco Chronicle, "longtime journalist and iconoclast" Harley Sorensen advanced another conspiracy theory: that U.S. military jets shot down flight 93 in rural Pennsylvania and is now lying about it. Sorensen's evidence: "Flight 93's 'black box,' the flight recorder, has been recovered, but so far the government hasn't seen fit to allow the press or the public to hear what was on it. The government also refuses to give out the names of the fighter pilots known to be flying in the vicinity of Flight 93. Because we don't know who they are, they can't be interviewed."

Sorenson also makes much of Vice President Cheney's relatively low profile at a time when President Bush was often available to the press. "Cheney's absence doesn't pass the smell test. It smells fishy. Is he hiding because he doesn't want to answer questions about Flight 93?" Sorenson also repeats a now-discredited assertion first advanced in May by Robert Scheer, that Secretary of State Colin Powell presented the Taliban with a $43 million check as part of the War on Drugs, allegedly to pay farmers not to grow opium. In fact, the reference is to a food assistance program administered by the United Nations and associated non-governmental organizations. At the time, Powell specifically stated that the aid "bypasses the Taliban, who have done little to alleviate the suffering of the Afghan people, and indeed have done much to exacerbate it."

[Ed.: Come to think of it, we haven't heard from Pierre Salinger about his thoughts on recent events. He must know too much about the downing of Flight 800 a few years ago....]

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