Has questioning 9/11 become more acceptable?
Despite the media’s best efforts to dismiss 9/11 conspiracy theories, one in two Americans doubt the government’s narrative and skepticism is slowly seeping its way into the mainstream.
Twelve years on from the events of September 11, 2001, and a
seemingly nightmarish deja vu has gripped the United States and
its war-weary citizens.
Again, the public is told that destructive weapons in faraway countries pose a critical danger, and that despite wearing the clothes of humanitarianism, a military solution that will inevitably harm civilians is the only meaningful response.
The main difference today is that after an abstract decade-long ‘War on Terror’, Washington finds itself fighting in Syria on the same side as Al-Qaeda and those who are sympathetic to the alleged culprits of the 9/11 attacks.
The international relations landscape has changed dramatically over the past 12 years, and in the build-up to another US military intervention in West Asia, a handful of leaders are today more willing to ask common sense questions about the official line toed by Washington, such as: how can the Obama administration assert that Assad used chemical weapons before the UN team of experts on the ground has even published its findings?
World leaders have cast doubt on Washington’s stories before, but that the leaders of major countries have – ever so gently – insinuated that Washington may be complicit in a ‘false flag operation’ to justify military escalation in Syria is quite significant.
As the diplomatic spectacle around Syria unfolds and the anniversary of 9/11 looms, these times prompt the question, “What else could they be lying about?” The reluctance that many average Americans have shown toward questioning the events of 9/11 is manifold; for many professionals and academics, being associated with conspiracy theory puts one at risk of career suicide. For laymen and others, many feel more inclined – for emotional stability and other reasons – to maintain their world-view of American exceptionalism and that the government would never put Americans in harm’s way.
Resistance to alternative accounts of 9/11 has been steadily
reinforced by mainstream media, which does its best to portray
those who question the government’s version of events as loony
tinfoil-hat wearing crazy people.
Are you one of those ‘conspiracy theorists’?
Contrary to how the US media has presented them, movements that have questioned 9/11 continue to gather momentum and are often led by increasingly vocal scientists and academics that claim the account presented in the official 9/11 Commission report could not possibly be accurate.
Take for example, the irregular rapid onset of destruction exhibited by the Twin Towers and WTC7 that collapsed at nearly free fall speed, indicating that the structural integrity of these buildings had to have been comprised, and that office fires could not have been the sole cause of the collapse. One can recall seeing the massive steel sections ejecting outwards from the building as it collapsed, indicating explosions from within; numerous witness testimonies also corroborate these claims.
Consider that the NYPD discovered several tons of molten metal in the debris, which office fires have never historically produced. What I consider to be some of the most compelling evidence was published in a peer-reviewed study issued by the Open Chemical Physics Journal in 2009 that confirmed the presence of highly explosive thermitic chips present in the dust samples produced by the destruction of the World Trade Centre.
The 9/11 Commission was chartered to provide a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the attacks, but even former commission vice-chairman Lee Hamilton wrote an article in the New York Times in 2008 describing how the CIA obstructed the 9/11 investigations, destroyed evidence and failed to respond to the commission’s own lawful requests for information – plus it’s also widely known that the 9/11 Commission report relies heavily on torture testimony.
Others such as Allen M. Poteshman of the University of Illinois
have noted the unprecedented buying of put options
in the days prior to 9/11, indicating foreknowledge and insider
trading on American Airlines and United Airlines. As far as
scientific evidence goes, several advocacy organizations have
given NIST and the 9/11 Commission a run for their money, the
most prominent being Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, an
association of over 2,000 architects and engineers that has
recently raised enough funding to do something that would have
been unthinkable a few years ago – putting a
billboard up in Times Square encouraging others to
“rethink” the events of 9/11.
Sign of the times
It’s not easy to reliably gauge public opinion figures on this issue, but in 2008, a comprehensive international poll showed that 54 percent of respondents believed that parties other than Al-Qaeda were responsible, as reported by Reuters. A new poll conducted in September 2013 by polling firm YouGov found that one in two Americans have doubts about the government’s account of 9/11.
Mainstream press has responded to the growing shift in perceptions by publishing scathing attacks disguised as ‘personality assessments’ on activists and the 9/11 truth movement more generally – some of which contain criticisms that are deserved, while others are patently attempts to delegitimize and censor. Time magazine’s assessment of the growing popularity of the movement claimed that “the idea that there is a malevolent controlling force orchestrating global events is, in a perverse way, comforting” to a traumatized American populace. In its criticism of activists and academics that supported a new investigation, mainstream press has focused disproportionality on pigeonholing these figures into a conspiracy-inclined personality type while seldom analyzing the alternative evidence on offer. That simply isn’t fair.
If the United States continually lobbies its population to intervene in unpopular new military conflicts using unsubstantiated claims and questionable evidence, there is little doubt that greater numbers of people will reexamine 9/11 and endorse more critical perspectives of it, especially as those campaigns mature and become more sophisticated. There are many who have looked at the evidence and are convinced that Washington is lying, but the real juicy question is who exactly is responsible?
Kevin Ryan of the Journal of 9/11 Studies recently published a book, “Another Nineteen,” which is perhaps the most comprehensive analysis of the political and military command structure that spectacularly failed to act on the morning of 9/11. The task at hand for 9/11 advocacy movements is grasping both the scientific and political totality of events and bringing that scrutiny into the mainstream, which it is steadily beginning to do.
There will always be mocking and scathing criticisms of those who question 9/11, but if scientists and experts disagree over the technical fundamentals, this enough is sufficient ground for advocating a new and comprehensive investigation.
As it stands, this transformative event that radically altered American foreign and domestic policy and led to the deaths of over a million people has not been sufficiently explained.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.