I’m all in favor of declassifying the documents related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Regrettably, in the absence of commitment to a timeline or to exposing any actual content, the move to declassify the documents seems more declarative than substantive. According to the DOJ’s letter, the FBI will “review its prior privilege assertions to identify additional information appropriate for disclosure. The FBI will disclose such information on a rolling basis as expeditiously as possible.” The smokescreen surrounding the 9/11 attacks is an example of an error that governments keep making. Hiding the truth, any truth, about any event in history, denies us the ability to draw correct conclusions for the future, and we all pay for it.
As in the case of the move to declassify the 9/11 documents, the motive behind seeking declassification is often monetary compensation. However, compensation of any kind does not tell us what really happened, and if we don’t know what happened, we are missing the more important lesson: What we should do in order to prevent such misfortunes from happening in the future.
Every catastrophe/disaster/debacle in history gets different interpretations from different people according to their personal perspectives. Therefore, even after we expose the “truth,” we should keep looking for a “truer” truth, for deeper reasons, and for new insights since there will always be more to find.
To me, the reason for exposing the truth is not to blame anyone. Human nature is rotten from the core, as we’ve known since Biblical times, so I do not expect people to be righteous or believe that compensation will do any good to anyone. The reason I think we should always be looking for the truth is that if we want to build a better tomorrow, can we do this if we do not know our past?
The more we know about why people do what they do, what is their nature, what moves them and why, the more we will be able to establish a stable and solid society. Transparency is key to the proper building of a society. If we hide nothing from each other, we will be able to communicate more easily, we will know what to expect from one another, what to avoid, and how to strengthen our connections. This is why I think that the truth matters. Not for revenge or compensation, but as a lesson for the future.