The tenth anniversary of September 11 draws near, and conspiracy theories still abound concerning the event. Voicing them always puts you at risk of being labeled a kook, but things like the collapse of building 7 still raise questions to those paying attention. A recent article highlights some of the questions that I have wondered about myself:
In the months leading up to 9/11, the United States’ vaunted intelligence agencies lost track of 19 foreigners, most of whom had overstayed their visas, and could not catch up to them even though some of them were living with FBI informants and others were enrolling in flight schools where they sought to learn to fly — but not land — airplanes. They were living the high life and not showing any evidence of trying to hide. In July 2001, according to an article in Germany’s daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies received warning signals through the Echelon spy network that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons against important symbols of American and Israeli culture. Yet we are told the attacks came as a complete surprise. How could this happen?
Recent papers released by WikiLeaks indicate that in the weeks before 9/11, American intelligence services were on the trail of another group of five men with terrorist ties who were staying in California. They slipped away in the days after 9/11. Were they a fifth team of hijackers who did not complete their mission for some reason? How were they able to escape the massive U.S. dragnet?
Two days before the 9/11 attacks, the “Lion of Panjshir,” Ahmad Shah Massoud Khayin, who was the leader of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, was assassinated by two suicide bombers posing as journalists. In the early morning hours of Sept. 11, a van occupied by Middle Eastern men pulled up to The Colony Beach and Tennis Resort in Florida, where Bush was staying. They said they were there to interview the President, but didn’t have an appointment. They were turned away. Are these two incidents related?
Two hours before the planes slammed into the Twin Towers, two employees of the Israeli instant messaging service Odigo received messages warning of the coming attacks, according to the Israeli publication Haaretz. Who sent the messages and why? Who else was warned ahead of the attacks?
At 8:44 a.m., during a working breakfast on missile defense with Congressional leaders, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld predicted a terrorist attack would come, saying, “Let me tell you. I’ve been around the block a few times. There will be another event.” Did he know about the attack in advance?
How did that passport of Satam al-Suqami survive the crash? The plane was exploded into a giant fireball upon impact with WTC 1. Yet the passport exited his pocket or luggage and fell unharmed to the ground near the tower, where it was spotted by a passerby and turned over to police despite the bedlam going on all around? How is it that his was the only identification found out of all the passengers on the plane?
At 8:50 a.m., four minutes after the first plane struck, Tenet was made aware of the crash and realized it was no accident. Yet there is no indication he made an effort to stop Bush from making a scheduled appearance at Booker Elementary School in Florida, despite the danger he may have been facing were a highly coordinated attack being carried out. Before entering the classroom, Bush paused to speak with then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. Later, Bush said he learned of the first crash before entering the classroom when he saw the plane crash into the building on television. There was no video of the first crash until much later in the day, and the school principal said there was no television in the area that Bush could have seen anyway. Why this discrepancy? Was Bush lying?
According to media reports, a number of the passengers on the hijacked airliners supposedly used cellphones to call loved ones and authorities. But cellphone technology in 2001 didn’t allow the use of phones above 10,000 feet. How were the calls possible?
Witnesses reported seeing a white jet that looked like a fighter plane trailing United Airlines Flight 93, and a sonic boom was reported in the area over Pennsylvania. Was there a second plane? If so, where did it come from?
Some witnesses also reported seeing Flight 93 on fire before it crashed into the field. Why were these witnesses hushed up and why weren’t they allowed to testify for the 9/11 Commission? What was the plane they saw and did it shoot down Flight 93 upon orders from Vice President Dick Cheney?
If the plane flew into the ground intact, how did a large portion of the engine fall more than a mile away from the crash site? How did lighter debris wind up as far as eight miles away?
In the days following the attacks, at least 60 Israeli citizens were arrested and held secretly — some of them with ties to Israeli military and intelligence. Fox News’ Carl Cameron was the first mainstream reporter to break the news. It was weeks later before other mainstream news outlets picked up on it. His four-part series that provided evidence that the Israelis had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks has been scrubbed from Fox News’ website. Who were these Israelis, what did they know and what became of them? Why did Fox News scrub the stories?
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is tasked with protecting American airspace. Yet even though the Federal Aviation Administration notified NORAD of the hijacking of American Airlines Flight 11 at 8:38 a.m. and other flights in the minutes that followed, it wasn’t until long after the last plane hit the ground that NORAD planes showed up. Where were they and why did NORAD sit on news of the hijacked planes for several minutes (which NORAD admits to but won’t explain) before scrambling any fighters?
When the 9/11 Commission tried to get answers to these questions, NORAD stonewalled and its representatives lied. What were they covering up and why? Why do they continue to stonewall to this day?
Firefighters and reporters arriving on the scene of the WTC fires claim to have heard numerous explosions before the buildings collapsed. What caused the explosions? Were they deliberately set to bring down the twin towers?
How did fires cause two skyscrapers to fall? It’s the first time fire ever brought down a skyscraper, and it happened to three buildings in one day. Why did they pancake down as if in a controlled demolition? If fire weakened the support beams, as the official stories suggest, why didn’t the towers fall to one side or the other rather than pancake down as if in a controlled event? Many engineers and architects at AE911truth.org say it could not have happened as we’re told. Why are they being ignored? Better yet, if these architects and engineers are lying about their theories, ask yourself what they stand to gain from lying and what is their motive?
Traces of an explosive called thermite were found in the rubble of the WTC and melted steel was found beneath the columns. What is the source of the thermite and what caused the steel to liquefy? Burning jet fuel does not reach a temperature high enough to liquefy steel.
What caused WTC Building 7 to fall?
The maneuver required to fly an airliner at the trajectory of the one that hit the Pentagon would be difficult for an experienced pilot, and some of the air traffic controllers watching the flight believed it to be a military aircraft at the time. How did a terrorist with limited — and by all accounts very poor — flying ability pull off such a maneuver without crashing into the ground prior to reaching the Pentagon?
Why was the hole in the Pentagon wall too small to accommodate an airliner — both in width and height? Why were no identifiable parts of a Boeing 757 found at the crash site? Why was an engine turbofan from an A3 Skywarrior found at the crash scene? If Flight 77 did not crash into the Pentagon, what happened to it and its passengers and crew?
In the weeks and months after the attack, men alleged to have been the hijackers and supposed to have died in the attacks began turning up alive. At least seven of them have been seen since 9/11 and one was found to have died prior to 9/11 in an airplane crash. What is the explanation for this?
Why did Bush begin talking to cabinet members about attacking Iraq while the Afghanistan attack was being formulated?
If we attacked Afghanistan with the intention of defeating al-Qaida and killing Osama bin Laden, why are we still there? Al-Qaida is no longer in Afghanistan and bin Laden is reportedly dead.
Why did the Pentagon participate in a cover-up and attempt to mislead the 9/11 Commission?
Why do members of the 9/11 Commission believe there are still many unanswered questions regarding the events of that day? Why did Commission members say they believed the Commission was set up to fail? Why have there been no charges of obstruction filed against those who stonewalled and lied to the Commission?
Read the whole thing to hear the preface to the above (the official story). The past is past and cannot be changed, though. My hope for this year is that there is no terror attack commemorating the decade anniversary. My hope is that if Obama knows an attack is coming, he does all he can to prevent it, as opposed to letting it happen and swooping in as the savior he seems to want to be. My hope is that the Obama Administration would never allow people to die to serve a re-election agenda. It is sad to say that my hopes for this third installment of Bush police-state-warfarism are almost diminished. Obama has used violence abroad to his own end quite often in the past few months. I would like to hope I can put it past him to do the same at home. The last thing this country needs is violence, especially to serve the whims of a narcissistic, any-means-necessary bureaucrat. Say your prayers, kids.
[Edit: Glenn Greenwald always has pertinently harsh words to offer the war on terror shenanigans. Behold:
We are now enduring a parade of wistful, contemplative, self-regarding pundit-meditations on The Meaning of 9/11 Ten Years Later or, far worse, self-righteous moralizing screeds about the nature of “evil” from war zealots with oceans of blood on their unrepentant hands (if I could impose one media rule, it would be that following every column or TV segment featuring American political commentators dramatically unloading their Where-I-Was-on-9/11-and-how-I-felt tales, there would be similar recollections offered from parents in the Muslim world talking about how their children died from the pre-9/11 acts of the U.S. and its client states or from post-9/11 American bombs, drones, checkpoint shootings and night raids: just for the sake of “balance,” which media outlets claim to crave). Notwithstanding this somber, collective 9/11 anniversary ritual descending upon us, the reality is that the nation’s political and media elite learned no lessons from that attack.
The mere utterance of the word Terrorism (which now means little more than: violence or extremism by Muslims in opposition to American or Israeli actions and interests) is — at least for America’s political and media class — as potent in justifying wars, civil liberties assaults, and massive military spending as it was in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. And worship of the American military and all that it does — and a corresponding taboo on speaking ill of it except for tactical critiques (it would be better if they purchased this other weapon system or fought this war a bit differently) — is the closest thing America has to a national religion.
. . .
Those who wield true political authority as part of an empire are vested with immense power over other people, but those who exercise that authority as part of wars are more powerful still. That kind of power not only attracts warped authoritarians and sociopaths like moths to light, but it also converts — degrades — otherwise normal people who come to possess it. That’s not a new development, but rather as old as political power itself. Those bolded quotes are a pure expression of a demented, amoral God complex. That’s the mentality that produces Endless War, and Endless War, in turn, breeds that mentality.
This is why there is nothing more dangerous — nothing — than allowing this type of power to be exercised without accountability: no oversight, no transparency, no consequences for serious wrongdoing: exactly the state of affairs that prevails in the United States. It’s also why there are few things more deeply irresponsible, vapid and destructive than demanding that citizens, activists, and journalists retreat into Permanent Election Mode: transform themselves into partisan cheerleaders who refrain from aggressively criticizing the party that is slightly less awful out of fear that the other party might win an election 14 months away, even when their own party is the one in power. Renouncing the duty of holding accountable political leaders who exercise vast power makes one directly responsible for the abuses they commit. To see the results of that mindset, re-read that paragraph from Davidson about what the U.S. is doing not in 2004, but now more than ever, in the name of Endless War.]