Thursday, 25 November, 2004

The 9/11 Commission Report

Browsing the bookstore last night, I came across The 9/11 Commission Report.  Although I realize that the document is available online, I opted to lay down the $10 for a bound copy.  I don't particularly enjoy reading electronic documents, and it'd probably cost more than the $10 for paper, ink, and a binder if I printed the thing myself.

The first chapter of the report (which is as far as I've gotten) describes the events of September 11, 2001 from about 6:00 am until 10:30 am Eastern time.  It details the events on each of the four hijacked flights, and discusses the reactions of the airlines, the FAA, and the military.  It's quite an interesting read, and puts to rest many myths that have been repeated as fact.

If you believe the report, that is.  I'm sure that there are plenty of people who will consider the report a cover up or a whitewash.  Although I'm sure that many details were left out, the version presented in the report jibes with my common sense interpretation of events.

Subsequent chapters examine events leading up to the attacks, focusing on why and how Usama Bin Laden and his group of fanatics targeted the U.S.  I'm surprised at how readable the report is, and how engaging.  Unlike most government reports I've been forced to slog through, I actually look forward to sitting down with this one.

I'm going to withhold my observations on the report until I've read it completely, and possibly until I make a second pass with all of the end notes.  Why use end notes, by the way?  Footnotes are much more convenient for the reader.