Less than half of Americans satisfied with 9/11 investigations

Published: Tuesday May 23, 2006

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According to a new Zogby poll, less than half of Americans are convinced that that the events of September 11 have been thoroughly investigated, RAW STORY has learned.

In the telephone survey of 1200 individuals, just 47% agreed that "the 9/11 attacks were thoroughly investigated and that any speculation about US government involvement is nonsense." Almost as many, 45%, indicated they were more likely to agree "that so many unanswered questions about 9/11 remain that Congress or an International Tribunal should re-investigate the attacks, including whether any US government officials consciously allowed or helped facilitate their success."

The poll is the first survey that has attempted to gauge the level of Americans' doubts about 9/11 and was carried out for the "9/11: Revealing the Truth, Reclaiming Our Future" conference to be held in Chicago in June.

Not surprisingly, Republicans as a group were the most supportive of existing investigations, with 70% expressing their satisfaction -- about the same percentage that has expressed approval of Bush's performance in recent polls. Sixty-four percent of those earning over $75,000 were also skeptical of doubts about 9/11. The groups most likely to want the attacks re-investigated were Hispanics at 67% and African-Americans at 64%.

Other groups also skewed one way or another, but with the majority position generally not above 58%. Overall, the breakdown on the question closely followed the usual political divisions in the country: Republicans vs. Democrats and independents, whites vs. minorities, the wealthier and better-educated vs. the poorer and less educated, people over fifty vs. those under fifty, men vs. women.

This rough balance in opinions is itself a striking finding. It suggests that doubts about the officials accounts of 9/11, far from representing an extreme fringe position, have become a standard component of anti-establishment attitudes.

When asked specificially if they thought there had been a government coverup of evidence that contradicts the official story, the results were again not far from an even split, with 48% rejecting the idea of a deliberate coverup and 42% supporting it. Belief in a coverup was the majority position among Democrats, 18-29 year olds, and a few other groups.

In an attempt to focus more specifically on the attitudes of those who were best informed about the events of 9/11, the poll asked its responders if they were aware of WTC Building 7, whose collapse on September 11 for no obvious reason was not investigated by the 9/11 Commission. Only 52% answered that they were aware of the collapse of Building 7, but out of that subgroup, 73% believed it should have been investigated.

On a related topic, those polled were asked if they felt the Bush Administration had exploited the September 11th attacks to justify the invasion of Iraq or if Bush had been right to go into Iraq because Saddam Hussein supported terrorism. Here the country was divided exactly, 44% to 44%, with the answers following party lines more closely than those to the 9/11 questions. Among Republicans, 72% felt the invasion was appropriate, while among Democrats 69% felt it was not.

A final question asked about the media's performance regarding 9/11, including coverage of victims' families, unanswered questions, theories that challenged the official account, and how the attacks were investigated. A majority of 55% rated the media as only fair or poor, while only 33% rated it as good.

Surprisingly, the groups most likely to rate the media positively tended to be those that were also most skeptical about official accounts of 9/11, including African-Americans, progressives, and those with lower incomes. The media were rated poorly by roughly 60% of Republicans, conservatives, and the more affluent and better educated. Libertarians and extreme conservatives, at 74% and 67% respectively, were the most negative of all.