9/11: One man’s observations

Published 14 years ago -  - 14y ago 34

243447335_f84923d414_bImage courtesy of slagheap under CC BY-SA 2.0.

By now, we all know the official government explanation of how the terrorist attacks occurred. In fact, we were told everything we needed to know within weeks of that pivotal day. We found hard evidence of who the terrorists were, for whom they worked, how they got into the country, and how much they tipped for their lap dances before the attacks. We were told about the unfortunate breakdown in airport security, the unforeseen vulnerability of our air defenses, the porous nature of our immigration department, and the failure of our intelligence services to connect the dots.

Immediately, our attention was turned to retribution and prevention of recurrence. We had all the evidence we needed to know who planned and executed the atrocities. We were stunned by the horror of 9/11, so we trusted the government’s evidence, although we were never shown this irrefutable evidence. As rescue workers pored through the mountains of rubble in Manhattan, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, searching for body parts, most sane and logical Americans expected an immediate investigation into the attacks to find out what went wrong, and how to prevent such a thing from ever happening again. We all figured heads would roll, since we spend billions of dollars every year on intelligence to know who the bad guys are, millions more to prevent hijackings of our commercial airliners, and untold billions to create and maintain the best trained, most advanced defense force in the history of civilization. And since they all failed miserably that late summer day, we expected serious consequences for those in charge. But we were told by the Bush administration that such an inquiry was unnecessary, since we knew all we needed to know in order to round up or kill the evildoers. Besides, we were now anticipating many years of fighting terrorists around the globe, and an investigation would only tie up resources needed to wage this war on terrorism the right way. Rather than firing key military and intelligence officials who failed miserably that September day, we decided instead to immediately promote many of them, probably because they did the best they could.

We couldn’t take our eyes off Ground Zero, still smoldering weeks after the attack. We wondered how two steel skyscrapers built to withstand the impact of a Boeing 707 jet had just collapsed, straight down, vaporizing tons of concrete in a flash. It appeared almost as if the Twin Towers, as well as WTC 7, had been systematically demolished, and a demolition expert named Van Romero had been quoted saying the same thing. But our minds and our hearts were focused on the dead and on the grieving. We mourned the innocent victims, and the courageous rescue workers who gave their last true measure of love for their fellow men. We wished it had all been a bad dream, but it was real. As weeks passed, we marveled at how quickly the debris had been removed from lower Manhattan and from the Pentagon. Romero soon recanted his crazy theory, and experts from MIT told us on TV why the buildings actually fell. We were relieved that the cleanup was swift, since we too longed for a return to normalcy.

As the first bombs dropped on Afghanistan and our troops began spelunking for Bin Laden, we turned our attention to an anticipated war, if there ever was such a thing. We watched the first smart bombs hit, and once again we began to feel safe. We were absolutely justified in our moral righteousness to wage this war, since it was us who had been attacked. We felt no ambivalence as we had waging wars of murkier justification in Vietnam, Kosovo, Iraq, or Grenada. We thanked God that we had such a leader in the White House to comfort us in our loss, and assure us in our righteous crusade against those plotting our destruction and usurpation of our precious freedom. And though our defense had proven suspect, no one in their right mind could question our offense.

Shortly thereafter, congress hastily passed the Patriot Act, giving intelligence and law enforcement greater freedom to hunt and detain potential terrorists. It was for our benefit, since the old ways obviously hadn’t worked. The changes would make it harder for evildoers to do evil, and since most of us are not evildoers, we agreed that these measures were necessary in times such as these. Even Grandma would gladly remove her shoes at airport security if that meant arriving alive in Pasadena. Of course there were a few politically obtuse Democratic legislators who whined that they had not been given a chance to read the bill before the vote, but partisanship comes with the territory in Washington. Even worse were the liberal internet-based conspiracy theorists, hell bent on blaming the Republican administration for the attacks. These blame-America-first Bush haters spouted all kinds of insane theories about 9/11…Bush knew, Israel did it, Rush did it for ratings! Thank God Bush and Cheney set the record straight, telling us not to give any credence to any of these hair-brained conspiracies. You know what happened, they said. You saw it plainly yourself on television. And you saw the Bin Laden videotape, the “smoking gun.” Pretty simple, even Dan Rather and the rest of the liberal media could figure it out. Case closed, we proceeded to the sentencing.

Then in early 2002, the airwaves and newspapers were suddenly filled with administration officials talking about the imminent threat posed by Iraq. There was talk of the possibility of preemptively attacking Iraq if Saddam refused to turn over his WMDs. At that point, something changed inside this writer. I had serious moral problems with us attacking another sovereign nation. I remembered the outrage I felt when Iraq invaded Kuwait. And even though I had voted for Bush, and for every Republican presidential candidate since Reagan, I had a strange inkling that something wasn’t right. In my mind, the war in Afghanistan was justified. But hadn’t Iraq been officially absolved of any connection to 9/11? So, why Iraq? Why Iraq now? I wondered if there might be motivating factors other than possible WMDs. Besides, since the inspectors had effectively disarmed Iraq in the nineties, they could do it again. But we were told not to fall for an acquiescent Saddam. The fact that he invited inspectors to search for his weapons meant that he had them, and was hiding them. When we finally deployed inspectors, and they found no WMDs, we were told that we needed to pull the inspectors out and change the regime militarily. The lack of WMD evidence was even further proof that he had these horrible weapons. Huh???

As I pored over the Internet, trying to make sense of Bush’s Iraq position, I stumbled upon a most interesting site. It is called The Center for Cooperative Research, run by a man named Paul Thompson. As I began reading what he called his 9/11 timeline, I underwent what only can be described as a mind-blowing epiphany, my first since my college days in the early eighties, which I can assure you was not achieved by reading. Thompson had assembled a massive collection of “mainstream” news articles dating back to the eighties, many from foreign sources, which in some fashion, were relevant to what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. Taken alone, each article was innocent enough, detailing political, military, and intelligence news. But digested together, they forced this conservative, Bush-backing, flag waving American to conclude that we were not being told the whole truth about 9/11 or the War on Terrorism. Thompson is an impartial chronicler of history, and his site does not serve to prove what really happened, but rather to prove what didn’t happen. I challenge anyone searching for objective truth to read the timeline and still believe the “official” government version. I certainly had no preconceived agenda when I read it; in fact, I hated to draw the conclusions I drew. They contradicted what I thought I knew about the Bush administration and our so-called “free” press. Why hadn’t I been told about The Project for a New American Century on CNN? Why hadn’t I heard “peak oil” discussed on Crossfire? Why hadn’t I read in Time Magazine that our pipeline negotiations with the Taliban in the summer of 2001 had broken down, and we had warned that military intervention could start as early as the fall of ’01?

I now realize that mainstream American news is like NyQuil. It is a multi-symptom elixir. A dash of reporting, two doses of entertainment, a rounded heaping of thought control, and a pinch of maternal nurturing. The net effect is drowsiness and eventual slumber. At least NyQuil comes with a warning label. I have also come to believe that incessant griping about “liberal” or “conservative” reporting misses the larger issue of media self-censorship. Read Into The Buzzsaw, by Kristina Borjesson, for a full analysis on this issue, complete with first-hand accounts of failed attempts by principled reporters to challenge the “official” government accounts of events such as the 2000 Florida election fraud and TWA flight 800. I have come to accept that it is my responsibility as a citizen to not only discern and draw my own conclusions, but to search for the story behind the story. I must connect the dots on my own. The Internet offers the opportunity for curious Americans to investigate a wide range of foreign news sources, as well as independent analyses not yet beholden to profit pressures or government/industry influence.

Contrary to what Americans are led to believe, there still exist a mountain of unanswered questions about September 11. Many of the 9/11 widows are refusing to let the issue die along with their spouses. The questions and the inconsistencies go far deeper than warnings unheeded by our administration. They involve potential involvements of both the Israeli and Pakistani intelligence services, as well as our nation’s absolute dependence on cheap petroleum for not only transportation, but power-generation, agriculture, and industry. The Kean Commission is being stymied by the administration at every turn. Why? We will be told that it’s all political, but my hunch is that there is more than politics at play here. I do not know how and why 9/11 happened, but I have my theories. But today I am absolutely convinced that the “official” explanation is not true.

Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”

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