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THE SEARCH FOR 9/11 TRUTH
Told Of First Attack On 9/11 Before He Left Florida Hotel
ABC News reporter John
Cochran told ABC's Peter Jennings:
contradicts Bush's statement that he made on two separate occasions, that he first
learned of what was going on in New York from watching a television outside of
the classroom as he prepared to talk about education with a group of Florida schoolchildren.
Piqued by what I at first deemed a crackpot "conspiracy theory", I plunged into the world of 9/11 research some years ago with no doubt I'd quickly expose its advocates for what I thought they were: nutjobs. Within 72 hours of sustained online research I was convinced to the contrary: we'd all fallen prey to the biggest con ever foisted upon the citizens of this planet. The first serious book I read on the subject was "The New Pearl Harbor" by a gentleman I consider to be arguably the foremost authority on the subject: Prof. David Ray Griffin. For those of you who may not have had the opportunity to read any of Griffin's books on 9/11 - indeed those who may still be skeptical about 9/11 having been an inside job - I highly recommend the following synopsis by this outstanding scholar..."
The American Empire and 9/11
David Ray Griffin
The American Empire
As Bacevich also pointed out, however, this had all recently changed, so that even right-wing commentators were freely acknowledging the existence of the American empire. As columnist Charles Krauthammer put it in 2002: "People are coming out of the closet on the word 'empire.'"
Given this consensus about the reality of the American empire, the only remaining issue concerned its nature. This empire was generally portrayed, especially by neoconservatives, as benign. Robert Kagan spoke of "The Benevolent Empire." Dinesh D'Souza, after writing that "America has become an empire," added that happily it is "the most magnanimous imperial power ever."
Commentators from the left, however, presented a radically different view. A 2003 book by Noam Chomsky was subtitled America's Quest for Global Dominance. Richard Falk wrote of the Bush administration's "global domination project," which posed the threat of "global fascism." Chalmers Johnson, once a conservative who believed American foreign policy aimed at promoting freedom and democracy, described the United States as "a military juggernaut intent on world domination."
Bacevich, although still a conservative, had come to accept the left's assessment of this empire. He ridiculed the claim "that the promotion of peace, democracy, and human rights and the punishment of evil-doers--not the pursuit of self-interest--[has] defined the essence of American diplomacy." Pointing out that the aim of the US military has been "to achieve something approaching omnipotence," Bacevich mocked the idea that such power in America's hands "is by definition benign."
historical evidence clearly supports this non-benign view of the American empire.
Part of this evidence is the fact that U.S. political and military leaders have
arranged "false-flag operations" as pretexts for war. We did this to
begin the wars with Mexico and the Philippines and to begin the full-out attack
This history shows that U.S. military and political leaders have not been averse to using the same tricks as military and political leaders in other countries with imperial ambitions, such as Japan, which in 1931 manufactured the Mukden incident as a pretext for taking control of Manchuria, and Nazi leaders, who in 1933 set the Reichstag Fire as a pretext for rounding up leftists and annulling civil rights, then in 1939 had German troops dressed as Poles stage attacks on German posts at the Polish border, allowing Hitler to present his attack on Poland the next day as a "defensive necessity." In each case, evidence was planted to implicate the people these governments wanted to attack.
A False-Flag Operation?
A few months later, however, another colleague suggested that I look at a website containing the massive 9/11 timeline created by Paul Thompson. I found that it contained an enormous number of reports, all from mainstream sources, that contradicted the official account. This discovery started a process that led me to publish The New Pearl Harbor, which summarized much of the evidence that had been discovered by previous researchers---evidence, I concluded, that provided a "strong prima facie case for official complicity." I will summarize some of this evidence in terms of six questions.
How Could Hijacked Airliners Have Struck the WTC and the Pentagon?
In the first few days, military officials said that no fighter jets were sent up by NORAD until after the strike on the Pentagon at 9:38, even though signs that Flight 11 was in trouble had been observed at 8:15. That would mean that although interceptions usually occur within 15 minutes, in this case over 80 minutes had elapsed before any fighters were even airborne. This story suggested that a "stand-down" order had been issued.
Within a few days, a second story was put out, according to which NORAD had ordered fighters aloft but they did not arrive in time, because FAA notification had unaccountably come very late. Critics showed, however, that even if the FAA notifications had come as late as NORAD's timeline indicated, there was sufficient time for interceptions. This second story did not, therefore, remove the suspicion that a stand-down order had been given.
The 9/11 Commission Report, issued in 2004, gave a third account, according to which, contrary to NORAD's timeline of September 18, 2001, the FAA did not notify NORAD about Flights 175, 77, and 93 until after they had crashed. As I showed in books published in 2005 and 2006, however, this new story contains many problems.
In August 2006, Michael Bronner, who was an associate producer for the film United 93, published an essay, "9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes," which popularized the 9/11 Commission's new story and emphasized tapes supplied by NORAD, purportedly from 9/11, on which it is based. This new story was further publicized by the simultaneous publication of Without Precedent by Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, the chair and vice chair, respectively, of the 9/11 Commission. This book and Bronner's essay caused a minor sensation with their suggestion that the account given by the military between 2001 and 2004, which only partly absolved the military from responsibility for failing to prevent the attacks, had been a lie. The new story puts all the blame on the FAA, except for a little confusion on the military's part, thereby lessening the grounds for suspicion that the military had been given a stand-down order. This new story has been widely accepted.
in my most recent book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, I show even more fully than
I had before that this new story is incredible. Besides contradicting many well-documented
reports, it is inherently implausible, because it claims that military leaders
lied in a way that made them look worse than does the truth (as described by the
9/11 Commission). This new story does not, accordingly, remove grounds for suspicion
that a stand-down order had been issued.
First, WTC 7 also collapsed, and in roughly the same way. This similarity implies that all three buildings collapsed from the same causes. However, unlike the Twin Towers, WTC 7 was not hit by an airplane.
Second, the fires in these buildings were not as big, hot, or long-lasting as fires in steel-frame high-rises that have not induced collapses. In 1991, a fire in Philadelphia burned for 18 hours; in 2004, a fire in Caracas burned for 17 hours. But neither fire produced even a partial collapse. The World Trade Center's north and south towers burned only 102 and 56 minutes, respectively, before they collapsed. WTC 7, moreover, had fires on only a few floors, according to several witnesses and all the photographic evidence.
Third, total collapses of steel-frame high-rise buildings have never been brought about by fire and externally caused structural damage. All such collapses have been caused by explosives in the procedure known as "controlled demolition."
Fourth, the collapses of these three buildings all manifested many standard features of the kind of controlled demolition known as "implosion," such as: sudden onset (whereas steel, if weakened by fire, would gradually begin to sag); straight-down collapse (as opposed to falling over); collapse at virtually free-fall speed (indicating that the lower floors, with all their steel and concrete, were offering no resistance); total collapse (indicating that the massive steel columns in the core of each building had been broken into many pieces---which is what explosives do in controlled demolitions); the production of molten metal; and the occurrence of multiple explosions. Although none of these six features can be explained by the official theory, let us focus on only the last two.
To begin with the molten metal: Many people have been led to believe, by misleading TV documentaries, that the Twin Towers collapsed because their steel melted. But steel does not begin to melt until it reaches 2800°F, whereas open fires based on hydrocarbons such as kerosene---which is what jet fuel is---cannot get much above 1700°F (even with an ideal mixture of fuel and oxygen, which seldom occurs in building fires). Nevertheless, molten metal was produced, according to many witnesses. For example, Peter Tully, president of Tully Construction, which was involved in the clean-up operation, said that he saw pools of "literally molten steel" at the site.
That would be no surprise only if the buildings' steel columns had been sliced by the use of high-temperature explosives, such as thermite, thermate, or RDX, which are regularly used to cut steel. That this is what happened is supported by reports that sometimes when steel beams were lifted from the rubble, they were dripping molten metal.
With regard to explosions, literally dozens of people---including journalists, police officers, WTC employees, emergency medical workers, and firefighters---reported hearing explosions in the Twin Towers, with some of them explicitly saying that the collapses appeared to be instances of controlled demolition. One fire captain said: "I hear an explosion and I look up. It is as if the building is being imploded, from the top floor down, one after another, boom, boom, boom." One paramedic said: "[I]t was [like a] professional demolition where they set the charges on certain floors and then you hear 'Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.'" One firefighter said: "It seemed like on television [when] they blow up these buildings. It seemed like it was going all the way around like a belt, all these explosions."
Steven Jones, a physicist who long taught at Brigham Young University, has pointed out that to believe the official account is to believe that some very basic laws of physics were violated.
Given all the features that indicate controlled demolition, it is not surprising that when a controlled demolition expert in Holland was shown videos of the collapse of WTC 7, without being told what the building was (he had previously thought that only the Twin Towers had collapsed on 9/11), he said: "They have simply blown away columns. . . . A team of experts did this. . . . This is controlled demolition." It is also not surprising that two emeritus professors of structural analysis and construction at Zurich's prestigious ETH Institute of Technology say that WTC 7 was "with the highest probability brought down by explosives."
All evidence suggesting controlled demolition is ignored in The 9/11 Commission Report, which simply assumed the truth of the official story. Indeed, after FEMA, the first agency given the task of explaining the collapse of the WTC, said that its best explanation for the collapse of WTC 7 had "only a low probability of occurrence," the 9/11 Commission avoided the problem by simply not finding room to mention this collapse in its 571-page report.
This behavior is no surprise given the fact that the Commission was run by its executive director, Philip Zelikow, who was virtually a member of the Bush-Cheney administration: He had worked with Condoleezza Rice on the National Security Council in the administration of the first President Bush; when the Republicans were out of office during the Clinton administration, Zelikow and Rice co-authored a book; Rice then, as National Security Advisor for the second President Bush, asked Zelikow to help make the transition to the new National Security Council, after which he was appointed to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board; Rice later brought in Zelikow to be the primary author of the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States of America, which used 9/11 to justify a new doctrine of preemptive warfare, according to which the United States can attack other nations even if they pose no imminent threat. The idea that the 9/11 Commission was independent and impartial is, therefore, ludicrous.
If the first two reports on the WTC collapses (FEMA's and the 9/11 Commission's) were carried out by investigative bodies that were closely tied to the Bush-Cheney White House, the same is true of the supposedly definitive report produced by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). It is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, headed by Bush's secretary of commerce. It could hardly publish a report that contradicted the official story. In any case, NIST's explanation of the collapses of the Twin Towers---at this writing it still has not published a report on WTC 7---itself collapses when scrutinized from a scientific point of view. As I show in Debunking 9/11 Debunking, for example, the NIST scientists, who knew molten metal could not have been produced by the fires, handled the problem by casting doubt on its existence, in spite of the abundant evidence for it.
Could the Official Account of the Pentagon Possibly Be True?
First, Flight 77 allegedly, after making a U-turn in the mid-west, flew back to Washington undetected for 40 minutes, even though it was then known that hijacked airliners were being used as weapons and even though the U.S. military has the best radar systems in the world.
Second, in order to get into position to hit Wedge 1 of the Pentagon, the aircraft had to execute an amazing downward spiral and come in at ground level, which according to some pilots would have been impossible for a Boeing 757, even under the control of an expert. Hanjour, moreover, was known as "a terrible pilot," who could barely fly a single-engine airplane. Russ Wittenberg, who flew large commercial airliners for 35 years after serving in Vietnam as a fighter pilot, has said that it would have been impossible for Flight 77 to have "descended 7,000 feet in two minutes, all the while performing a steep 270 degree banked turn before crashing into the Pentagon's first floor wall without touching the lawn." It would, he added, have been "totally impossible for an amateur who couldn't even fly a Cessna to maneuver the jetliner in such a highly professional manner." Ralph Omholt, a captain-qualified 757 pilot, agrees: "The idea that an unskilled pilot could have flown this trajectory," says Omholt, "is simply too ridiculous to consider."
Third, terrorists brilliant enough to outfox the U.S. military's defense system would not have struck Wedge 1, for many reasons: It had been reinforced, so the damage was less severe than a strike anywhere else would have been; it was still being renovated, so relatively few people were there; the secretary of defense and all the top brass, whom terrorists would presumably have wanted to kill, were on the opposite side of the building; and hitting Wedge 1 required a difficult maneuver, whereas crashing into the roof--of, say, the area with the offices of Rumsfeld and the top brass---would have been much easier and deadlier.
Fourth, there is considerable evidence that the aircraft that struck the Pentagon was not even a Boeing 757. Unlike the strikes on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon strike did not create a detectable seismic signal. Also, according to photographs and eyewitnesses, the kind of damage and debris that would have been produced by the impact of a Boeing 757 was not produced by the strike on the Pentagon.
With regard to the debris, the eyewitnesses include Karen Kwiatkowski, who was then an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel employed at the Pentagon. She writes of "a strange lack of visible debris on the Pentagon lawn, where I stood only moments after the impact. . . . I saw nothing of any significance at the point of impact---no airplane metal or cargo debris." Another eyewitness was CNN's Jamie McIntyre, who said during a live report from the Pentagon on 9/11: "The only pieces left that you can see are small enough that you pick up in your hand."
The lack of the expected debris inside the Pentagon has been reported by April Gallop, who, along with her two-month-old son, was seriously injured. She says:
I was located at the E ring. . . . [W]e had to escape the building before the floors . . . collapsed on us. And I don't recall at any time seeing any plane debris. . . . If I wasn't informed [at the hospital that it was a plane] I would have never believed it. I walked through that place to try to get out before everything collapsed on us . . . . [S]urely we should have seen something.
With regard to damage, Omholt, discussing the photographic evidence, writes: "There is no hole big enough to swallow a 757. . . . There is no viable evidence of burning jet fuel. . . . The expected 'crash' damage doesn't exist. . . . Even the Pentagon lawn was undamaged! The geometry of the day certifies the 'official' account as a blatant lie." Significant testimony is also provided by Army Reservist Isabelle Slifer, whose fourth-floor office was directly above the strike zone between the first and second floors. Even though a 757 has a very large tail fin, her office was not damaged by the impact.
Fifth, the Pentagon is surely the best defended building on the planet. It is within an ultra-restricted zone. It is only a few miles from Andrews Air Force Base, which, assigned to protect this zone, has at least three squadrons with fighter jets on alert at all times. (The claim by The 9/11 Commission Report that no fighters were on alert the morning of 9/11 is wholly implausible and contradicted by the military's own website. Also, the Pentagon is reportedly protected by batteries of surface-to-air missiles, so if any aircraft without a U.S. military transponder---a military transponder radiates a "friendly" signal---had entered the Pentagon's airspace, it would have been automatically shot down---unless officials in the Pentagon had deactivated its anti-aircraft defenses. Accordingly, whether the Pentagon was struck by a military or a non-military aircraft, the strike had to be an inside job.
A sixth reason to be dubious of the official story is that, as at the World Trade Center, evidence was quickly destroyed. Shortly after the strike, officials picked up debris in front of the impact site and carried it off. Shortly thereafter the entire lawn was covered with dirt and gravel, so that any remaining forensic evidence was literally covered up.
FBI agents, moreover, quickly confiscated videos from security cameras on nearby buildings. The Justice Department, after long refusing to release any of them, finally in May 2006 released one purporting to showing a Boeing 757 striking the Pentagon. But it did not. Even Bill O'Reilly of Fox News had to say: "I can't see a plane there." If there were any videos giving clear support to the official story, would we not have seen them as often as we have seen the strikes on the World Trade Center?
These six problems, besides conflicting with the official account, collectively indicate that the strike on the Pentagon was orchestrated by forces within our own government.
In the light of these first three challenges to the official account, we can reflect on President Bush's advice not to tolerate "outrageous conspiracy theories about the attacks of 11 September." This is excellent advice. But it deflects attention from the fact that the truly outrageous conspiracy theory is the official theory, according to which a band of Arab Muslims conspired to defeat not only the most sophisticated defense system in history but also, in the attacks in both New York and Washington, some basic laws of physics. The problems in the official account, moreover, do not end there. A fourth question is:
IV. Why Did the President
and His Secret Service Agents Remain at the School?
This behavior was very strange. The president's location had been highly publicized. If the attacks were indeed unexpected, the Secret Service, having no idea how many planes had been hijacked, would have suspected that the president himself was one of the targets: What could be more satisfying to foreign terrorists attacking high-value targets than to kill the president? For all the Secret Service would have known, a hijacked airliner might have been bearing down on the school at that very minute, ready to crash into it, killing the president and everyone else there---including the Secret Service agents themselves. It is, in any case, standard procedure for the Secret Service to rush the president to a safe location whenever there is any sign that he may be in danger. And yet these agents, after allowing the president to remain in the classroom another 10 minutes, permitted him to deliver his regularly scheduled TV address, thereby announcing to the world that he was still at the school.
· Would not this behavior be explainable only if the head of the Secret Service detail knew that the targets did not include the president? And how could this have been known unless the attacks were being carried out by people within our own government? The 9/11 Commission, far from asking these questions, said only: "The Secret Service told us they . . . did not think it imperative for [the president] to run out the door." A serious inquiry into this matter, therefore, remains to be made.
V. Why Did
the 9/11 Commission Lie about Vice President Cheney's Activities?
It had been widely reported that the vice president had gone down to the PEOC shortly after the second strike on the WTC, hence about 9:15. The most compelling witness was Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, who testified to the 9/11 Commission that when he entered the PEOC at 9:20, Cheney was already there. The 9/11 Commission Report, however, claimed that Cheney did not enter the PEOC until "shortly before 10:00, perhaps at 9:58." Mineta's testimony was simply omitted from the final report of the Zelikow-led 9/11 Commission. Why would the Commission go to such lengths---telling an obvious lie and omitting publicly available evidence---to conceal the true time of Cheney's entry into the PEOC?
One possible reason would involve the testimony
of Mineta, who said:
that this conversation occurred at about 9:25 or 9:26.
Mineta's account also implies that Cheney had issued stand-down orders. Mineta himself did not make this allegation, saying instead that he assumed that "the orders" were to have the plane shot down. But that interpretation does not fit what actually happened--the aircraft was not shot down. It would also make the story unintelligible: The young man's question whether the orders still stood would not make sense unless they were orders to do something unexpected---not to shoot the aircraft down. By omitting Mineta's testimony and stating that Cheney did not enter the PEOC until almost 10:00, the 9/11 Commission implied that Cheney could not have given a stand-down order to allow an aircraft to strike the Pentagon.
The full brazenness of the Commission's lie is illustrated by the fact that it contradicts Cheney's own account, which can still be read on the White House website. Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press" five days after 9/11, Cheney said: "[A]fter I talked to the president, . . . I went down into . . . the Presidential Emergency Operations Center. . . . [W]hen I arrived there within a short order, we had word the Pentagon's been hit." So he got there, as Mineta said, some time before the Pentagon was struck, not 20 minutes afterwards.
The lie about Cheney's entry into the PEOC was also important to the controversy over whether the US military shot down Flight 93. The 9/11 Commission, simply ignoring a vast amount of evidence that the plane had been shot down, supported the official claim that it was not shot down by claiming that Cheney, having not arrived at the PEOC until almost 10:00, did not issue the shoot-down order until after 10:10---which would have been seven or more minutes after Flight 93 had crashed (at 10:03, according to the official account). But in addition to the evidence that Cheney had been in the PEOC since about 9:15, we also have evidence---including statements from Richard Clarke, who was the national coordinator for security and counterterrorism, and Colonel Robert Marr, the head of NORAD's northeast sector (NEADS) --- that Cheney's shoot-down order was issued well before 10:00.
The 9/11 Commission's obvious lies about Cheney's activities give reason to suspect that it, under the leadership of Philip Zelikow, was trying to conceal Cheney's responsibility for the Pentagon strike and the downing of Flight 93.
Cell phone calls
technically impossible in 2001
Did the Bush-Cheney Administration Have Motives for Orchestrating the 9/11 Attacks?
Afghanistan: Zbigniew Brzezinski's 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard, said that establishing military bases in Central Asia would be crucial for maintaining "American primacy," partly because of the huge oil reserves around the Caspian Sea. But American democracy, he added, "is inimical to imperial mobilization," which requires "economic self-denial (that is, defense spending) and . . . human sacrifice (casualties even among professional soldiers)." Explaining that the public had "supported America's engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor," Brzezinski suggested that Americans today would support the needed military operations in Central Asia only "in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat."
for these operations was generated by the 9/11 attacks plus the claim by the Bush-Cheney
administration that these attacks had been planned in Afghanistan by Osama bin
Laden--a claim for which the administration refused to provide any proof and
for which even the FBI admits that it "has no hard evidence."
Given the fact that the attacks on New York and Washington occurred on September 11, the U.S. military had time to get logistically ready to begin the attack on Afghanistan on October 7.
Iraq: Some key members of the Bush-Cheney administration---including Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney himself---had in the late 1990s been active members of an organization, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), that advocated attacking Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein, establish a strong military presence, and control the oil. PNAC's Rebuilding America's Defenses, released late in 2000, reiterated the idea of a permanent military presence in the Gulf region, saying that the "unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification," but "the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."
Immediately upon taking office, both Paul 0'Neill and Richard Clarke have revealed, the Bush administration was intent on taking over Iraq. The only question was "finding a way to do it," as O'Neill put it. "The terrorist attacks of September 11," said Bob Woodward, "gave the U.S. a new window to go after Hussein." Although no Iraqis were among the alleged hijackers, the Bush administration was able to use 9/11 as a pretext to attack Iraq. Given the state of fear created in the American psyche by 9/11, the administration needed only to fabricate evidence that Saddam was acquiring nuclear weapons while also suggesting that he had been involved in 9/11.
Increased Military Spending: A second possible motive was provided by PNAC's more general goal of increasing America's military superiority sufficiently to establish a global Pax Americana. This goal had already been asserted in the 1992 draft of the "Defense Planning Guidance," written by Wolfowitz and Libby under the guidance of Cheney, who was completing his tenure as secretary of defense.
In 2000, Wolfowitz and Libby were participants in PNAC's project to produce Rebuilding America's Defenses, in which this goal showed up again. This document also contained an idea perhaps derived from Brzezinski's book: After saying that the desired Pax Americana "must have a secure foundation on unquestioned U.S. military preeminence" and that such preeminence will require a technological transformation of the US military, it added that this process of transformation will "likely be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event--like a new Pearl Harbor."
When 9/11 came, it was immediately
treated as "the Pearl Harbor of the 21st century," as Bush reportedly
called it that very night. It was also characterized as, in Bush's words,
"a great opportunity," with Rumsfeld adding that 9/11 created "the
kind of opportunities that World War II offered, to refashion the world."
This idea then showed up in the previously mentioned Rice-Zelikow document, The
National Security Strategy of the United States of America for 2002, which brazenly
said: "The events of September 11, 2001 opened vast, new opportunities."
On the evening of 9/11 itself, Rumsfeld held a press conference. Senator Carl Levin, the chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was asked: "Senator Levin, you and other Democrats in Congress have voiced fear that you simply don't have enough money for the large increase in defense that the Pentagon is seeking, especially for missile defense. . . . Does this sort of thing convince you that an emergency exists in this country to increase defense spending?" Congress immediately appropriated an additional $40 billion for the Pentagon and hundreds of billions more later, with few questions asked.
Conclusion: The Pre-eminent Importance
If this conclusion is correct, then exposing the falsity of the official account of 9/11 should be high on the agenda of all people committed to reversing the present policies of the U.S. government, for at least four reasons.
First, 9/11 has provided the pretext for at least most of the malevolent and destructive policies carried out by the Bush-Cheney administration since that day. When any objection is raised to this administration's illicit policies---from illegal invasions to torture to illegal spying to weaponizing space to talk of a nuclear first strike---the answer is always the same: "The critics fail to understand that the world changed on 9/11." Until the truth about 9/11 is exposed, it will remain a blank check for virtually anything desired by this administration.
Second, the truth about 9/11 is one truth that the American people would not tolerate. They have proven remarkably, even disturbingly, tolerant of many other things---such as the clear indication from the Downing Street memo that the Bush administration planned to "fix" the intelligence about Iraq's WMDs---that should have led to demands for impeachment. But the American people simply would not allow an administration to stay in power after learning that it had orchestrated the attacks of 9/11.
Third, the orchestration of the attacks of 9/11 goes far beyond any previous instance of "high crimes and misdemeanors" that have previously been cited as cause for impeachment. The attacks were---in the words of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld themselves---heinous crimes. Any U.S. citizens who participated in planning, carrying out, and/or covering up these attacks are guilty of treason, as defined by Article 3 of the U.S. Constitution, because these attacks were acts of war against the United States---again, according to the assessment of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld themselves. If this treason is not publicly uncovered and prosecuted, there is little hope for the survival of the democratic forms we still have. If we fail to have a serious investigation of the prima facie evidence for such treason---especially given the fact that this evidence, once examined, is overwhelming ---we will in effect be telling the perpetrators that they can get away with virtually anything.
Finally, to reverse the policies of the Bush-Cheney administration will require more than simply removing this administration from office---something that could be legitimately done for any number of reasons. The attacks of 9/11 were orchestrated to further the project of creating an American empire of truly global scope and, as we saw earlier, this has been a long and bipartisan project. Differences have involved strategy, emphasis, and demeanor more than the goal itself. The replacement of the Bush-Cheney administration by a Democratic administration for some reason other than 9/11 would probably simply result in a reversion to the subtler, more sophisticated, and hence more effective form of imperialism that the United States previously exercised.
What needs to be publicly recognized is that the bipartisan global domination project is, as I have put it elsewhere, "propelled by fanaticism based on a deeply perverted value system." Those who read books and magazines about U.S. imperialism know that there has long been abundant evidence for this assessment. But the public revelation of the truth about 9/11 could have an educative value extending far beyond the circles of those who read policy-oriented books and magazines. If Americans came to see that the attacks of 9/11 were, in the minds of those who planned them, justified by the goal of creating an all-encompassing empire, this realization could lead to widespread revulsion against the goal itself and the values implicit in it---values that are diametrically opposed to basic values embedded in all the world's religions and ethical systems.
Perhaps not merely coincidentally, 2006 was a year of unprecedented publications intended to undergird the official conspiracy theory and of unprecedented attacks in the press intended to discredit the alternative theory. The main efforts to reinforce the official theory---in addition to the Bronner article and the Kean-Hamilton book mentioned earlier---were Debunking 9/11 Myths, put out by Popular Mechanics, and NIST's "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions," in which NIST sought to rebut the claim that the Twin Towers were brought down by explosives. I respond to all four of these efforts in my Debunking 9/11 Debunking, showing that whereas these writings may seem impressive if one has not studied the facts, they are completely unimpressive if one has.
The attacks in the press came not only from the mainstream but also from the left. Although I discuss both in Debunking 9/11 Debunking, I will here simply discuss two of the most prominent attacks from the left, "The 9/11 Faith Movement" by Terry Allen (In These Times) and "The 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts" by Alexander Cockburn (The Nation), both of which attack my writing in particular.
Allen, citing the Zogby poll indicating 42 percent of our population believes there has been a cover-up, begins her article by writing: "Americans love a conspiracy. . . . There is something comforting about a world where someone is in charge." This psychologizing explanation ignores the fact that the most comforting belief is surely Allen's own: that our government did not attack its own people.
As her title indicates, Allen's main point is that the 9/11 movement is based on faith rather than facts. (Indeed, in response to ITT senior editor Salim Muwakkil's question, "what happened to Griffin?" she reportedly said: "part of it is that he's a theologian who operates on faith." The facts, she says, do not support "the conspiracists' key charge that World Trade Center buildings were destroyed by pre-positioned explosives." How does she know this? "Structural engineers found the destruction consistent with fires caused by the jet liner strike." With this allusion to the FEMA and NIST reports, she takes on faith the public claims of engineers working for agencies of the Bush administration (just as people many years ago took on faith the claims by tobacco-company scientists that smoking does not cause cancer).
Assuring us that, having studied the issues for months, she found it "relatively easy" to undermine the movement's "facts," she explains that WTC 7 collapsed because "it was damaged by debris, and suffered fires eventually fueled by up to 42,000 gallons of diesel fuel stored near ground level." These fires could not be put out, she adds, because "the collapse of the towers had broken the area's water main." She takes on faith, in other words, the official story that the buildings were brought down primarily by raging fires. This is, however, faith in the sense of "evidence of things unseen": As mentioned earlier, photograph show no raging fires in WTC 7. Even her claim about the water is false: Fireboats were pumping up great quantities of water from the Hudson.
Andrew Cockburn's main reason for calling members of the 9/11 movement "nuts" is that we think the attacks succeeded because of conspiracy rather than incompetence. But he fails to point out that in The New Pearl Harbor---the one book that he mentions---I devoted an entire chapter to this issue, showing that an incompetence theory becomes a huge coincidence theory entailing "that FAA agents, NMCC and NORAD officials, pilots, immigration agents, U.S. military leaders in Afghanistan, and numerous U.S. intelligence agencies all coincidentally acted with extreme and unusual incompetence when dealing with matters related to 9/11."
With regard to the failure to intercept, Cockburn's position implies that although our military would not have been efficient enough to pull off this operation (even though it had engaged in exercises involving just such attacks), al-Qaeda operatives would have. Is that not the nutty view?
like Allen, that it is easy to give answers to our questions, Cockburn suggests
that the Twin Towers fell because "they were badly built . . . and because
they were struck by huge planes loaded with jet fuel." The fact that this
theory violates laws of physics and all historical precedent does not prevent
Cockburn from endorsing it. Also, not shy about revealing his ignorance, he says:
"People inside who survived the collapse didn't hear a series of explosions."
Allen and Cockburn both conclude
with the basic complaint found in leftist attacks on the 9/11 movement: It is
a distraction from the government's real crimes. Christison disagrees, saying
that if the charge that 9/11 was a fraud is true,
I call on readers who have not already done so to follow Christison's example by examining the evidence and then, if you find it persuasive, add your voices to those calling for a true investigation."
David Ray Griffin: David Ray Griffin is professor of philosophy of religion and theology, emeritus, at Claremont School of Theology. He has published 32 books, the most recent of which include "The American Empire and the Commonwealth of God," (with John Cobb, Richard Falk, and Catherine Keller), "9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out,"co-edited with Peter Dale Scott), "Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action," and "Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory." (American spelling throughout article)
Andrew J. Bacevich, American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002), 30, 218-19.
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