UNANSWERED QUESTIONS: What the September Eleventh Families Asked and the 9/11 Commission Ignored, by Ray McGinnis (NorthernStar Publications, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2021, 421 pages).
Book Review by Dennis Moore
November 14, 2021 (San Diego) - Having been a juror in the “San Diego Citizens Grand Jury – Presenting the Evidence of the Crimes of 9/11” on April 14th, 2007 at San Diego State University, this book by Ray McGinnis resonates with me on so many levels.
Unanswered Questions is a brutally persuasive book for those who want answers to the real origins of the Afghanistan war. Ray McGinnis’ book digs deeper and hammers harder for the unvarnished truths, Ex-President Bush, currently on a good-guy speaking tour speaks without remorse or responsibility for the unmitigated catastrophe he set in motion 20 years ago, according to many. President Bush famously said, in another of his statements that everyone seemed to relish; “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” But he rejected an offer by the Taliban to hand over bin Laden in exchange for the U.S. to stop bombing their country.
There are many unanswered questions in this well written and thought-provoking book by the author, but one of the most profound is a Question to President George W. Bush; “Who approved the flight of the bin Laden family out of the United States when all commercial flights were grounded … a privilege not available to American families whose loved ones were killed on 9/11?”
Another unanswered question in this well written and documented book is a Question to NORAD, which states: “Why Weren’t NORAD Jets able to Intercept the Hijacked Planes if they were Airborne Within Eight Minutes of Notification?”
McGinnis states in his book that Carol Ashley, a member of the Family Steering Committee, spoke before the 9/11 Commission about her own circumstances, stating: “On September 11th, 2001, my beautiful 25-year-old daughter, Janice, was killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. She worked on the 93rd floor of Tower One. Janice’s dad, her 18-year-old brother and I were devastated by her death. Like the families of nearly three thousand others killed, our world became surreal, controlled by overwhelming, mind-numbing grief. Our close-knit family was shattered. Many of our dreams for the future died with Janice that morning. She was a joy, a light in our lives for twenty-five years. My heart aches. The pain of losing her will be with me until the day I die.”
As everyone probably knows where they were on that fateful 9/11 day, McGinnis states in Unanswered Questions: “On September 11, 2001, I was in Joshua Tree, California. Just before dawn I woke to go for a walk in the desert to see the sunrise at about 6:25 a.m. (PST). As the sun rose from behind the hills of the Mojave Desert, a plane flew overhead heading east. After about fifteen minutes, I headed over to a meeting hall where there was a session about to begin with stretching and yoga for the sixty participants in the retreat in which I was enrolled.”
McGinnis would subsequently state: “We were informed that there had been an attack at the World Trade Center and on the Pentagon. She told us four planes had been hijacked. Both of the Twin Towers had collapsed. I remember the reaction of people in the room, including one couple who had a money manager who worked in one of the Twin Towers. Some people in the circle began to shriek. Others began to sob. Everyone was in shock, disbelief.” My memory of that fateful day was that I was in downtown Chicago at the time at the EEOC, not knowing what had transpired until I saw it on TV monitors.
McGinnis points out that Colleen Kelly, co-founder of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, was the sister of Bill Kelly Jr. Kelly recalled, “My brother, Bill Kelly Jr., died in Tower 1. He wasn’t supposed to be there. He didn’t work at the Trade Center. Ironically, Bill’s prior visit to Windows on the World was in December 2000 to receive an employee recognition award. Who knew that the one-day conference Bill was attending on September 11th, the conference he cajoled his boss into letting him attend, would be an event from which he would never return.”
In January 2004, as described by the author, the 9/11 Commission was over half a year away from issuing their final Report. But Colleen had witnessed enough of the proceedings to write an endorsement for a book alleging a cover-up and calling for a new investigation. The book was titled The New Pearl Harbor, by David Ray Griffin. In his book, Griffin highlighted the multiple opportunities the CIA had to kill Osama bin Laden. The al Qaeda leader was America’s ‘most wanted” criminal. And yet he was in the American Hospital in Dubai in July of 2001 and safely visited by CIA agent Larry Mitchell.
Ironically, much of David Ray Griffin’s writings and DVDs were disseminated at the aforementioned “San Diego Citizen Grand Jury” on April 14th, 2007 at San Diego State University, that I was a juror. At this event there was a robust discussion by the many presenters, along with whom should be indicted. I still have a copy of a DVD and film by David Ray Griffin from this event, 9/11 The Myth and the Reality.
David Ray Griffin sums up this insightful book by stating: “McGinnis offers a uniquely humane perspective on 9/11, presenting superb new research on the official but unanswered questions of families who lost loved ones.”
Dennis Moore has been the Associate Editor of the East County Magazine in San Diego and the book review editor for SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine. Mr. Moore can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on Twitter at: @DennisMoore8.