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The story that John Farmer, Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission, tells is one of monumental bureaucratic failure encompassing our entire government. Farmer exposes "the story behind the story", as the false congressional testimony given by an array of agencies and individuals, as well as misleading reports in the media culminated in the Commission staff's dawning recognition that the public had been seriously misled about what occurred during the morning of the attacks. What emerges with painful, stunning clarity is that "at some level of the government, at some point in time...there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened." The implications of this are profound. And Farmer argues that these lies have prevented real and necessary changes that would make our nation more secure and responsive to subsequent threats and catastrophes--domestic, man-made and natural. Farmer pulls no punches in drawing these conclusions, or making explicit what will have to change to make our nation safe. There is a dispassionate beauty in Farmer's writing and the way in which he allows the facts of this story to unfold. He takes the readers through these terrifying events and revelations with calm, impartial and utterly compelling relentlessness. "The Ground Truth" is the definitive account of all the needs to happen following the tragedy of September 11th.
A primary contributor to the 9/11 Commission report draws on subsequently declassified records to identify what the author believes to be an institutionalized disconnect between authorities on the ground and the individuals in power, in a revisionist account that presents evidence that exposes misleading untruths in the original report.
One of the primary authors of the 9/11 Commission's report, John Farmer was proud of his and his colleagues' work. Yet he came away from the experience convinced that there was a further story that demanded to be told, one he was uniquely qualified to write.
Now that story can be told. Tape recordings, transcripts, and contemporaneous records that had been classified have been declassified, and the inspector general's investigations of government conduct have been completed. Drawing on his knowledge of those sources, Farmer reconstructs the truth of what happened on that fateful day and the disastrous circumstance that allowed it: the repeated, institutionalized disconnect between what those on the ground knew and what those in power did. He reveals terrifyingly -- and illuminatingly -- the key moments in the years, months, weeks, and days that preceded the attacks, then descends almost in real time through the attacks themselves, revealing them as they have never before been seen.
Ultimately Farmer builds the inescapably convincing case that the official version not only is almost entirely untrue but serves to create a false impression of order and security. The ground truth that Farmer captures tells a very different story -- a story that is doomed to be repeated unless the systemic failures he reveals are confronted and addressed.