“. . . the official story has never been publicly defended against
informed criticism by any member of NIST, the 9/11 Commission, or the
Bush administration.” David Ray Griffin, “9/11: The Myth and The
lecture delivered March 30,
2006, Grand Lake Theater, Oakland, California. Listen to or download
mp3 file of the KMUD radio
broadcast (runtime: 01:07:27).
9/11: The Myth and the Reality
Although I am a
philosopher of religion and theologian, I have spent most of my time
during the past three years on 9/11—studying it, writing about it, and
speaking about it. In this lecture, I will try to make clear why I
believe this issue worthy of so much time and energy. I will do this in
terms of the distinction between myth and reality.
I am here using
the term "myth" in two senses. In one sense, a myth is an idea that,
while widely believed, is false, failing to correspond with reality.
In a deeper sense,
which is employed by students of religion, a myth serves as an orienting
and mobilizing story for a people, a story that reminds them who they
are and why they do what they do. When a story is called as a myth in
this sense—which we can call Myth with a capital M—the focus is not on
the story's relation to reality but on its function. This orienting and
mobilizing function is possible, moreover, only because Myths with a
capital M have religious overtones. Such a Myth is a Sacred Story.
to note that a story functions as a Myth in the religious sense is not
necessarily to deny its truth, a story cannot function as a Sacred Myth
within a community or nation unless it is believed to be true. In most
cases, moreover, the truth of the Myth is taken on faith. It is not a
matter of debate. If some people have the bad taste to question the
truth of the Sacred Story, the keepers of the faith do not enter into
debate with them. Rather, they ignore them or denounce them as
According to the
official story about 9/11, America, because of its goodness, was
attacked by fanatical Arab Muslims who hate our freedoms. This story has
functioned as a Sacred Myth for the United States since that fateful
day. And this function appears to have been carefully orchestrated. The
very next day, President Bush announced his intention to lead "a
monumental struggle of Good versus Evil."1 Then on September
13, he declared that the following day would be a National Day of Prayer
and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks. And
on that next day, the
president himself, surrounded by Billy Graham, a cardinal, a rabbi, and
an imam, delivered a sermon in the national cathedral, saying:
to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world
of Evil. War has been waged against us by stealth and deceit and murder.
This nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger. . . . In
every generation, the world has produced enemies of human freedom. They
have attacked America, because we are freedom's home and defender. And
the commitment of our fathers is now the calling of our time. . . . [W]e
ask almighty God to watch over our nation, and grant us patience and
resolve in all that is to come. . . . And may He always guide our
country. God bless America.2
unprecedented event, in which the president of the United States issued
a declaration of war from a cathedral, French author Thierry Meyssan
observed in 2002, "the American government consecrated . . . its version
of events. From then on, any questioning of the official truth would be
seen as sacrilege."3
That attitude has
remained dominant in the public sphere until this day, as the official
account has continued to serve as a Sacred Story. When people raise
questions about this story, they are either ignored, ridiculed as
conspiracy theorists, or—as Charlie Sheen has recently
experienced—attacked personally. When anyone asks what right the
administration has to invade and occupy other countries, to imprison
people indefinitely without due process, or even to ignore various laws,
the answer is always the same: "9/11." Those who believe that US law and
international law should be respected are dismissed as having "a
Given the role the
official account of 9/11 has played and continues to play, the most
important question before our country today is whether this account,
besides being a Myth in the religious sense, is also a myth in the
pejorative sense—that is, whether it is simply false.
As a philosopher
of religion, I would emphasize that the fact that a story has served as
a Myth in the religious sense does not necessarily mean that it fails to
correspond with reality. Many religious accounts contain at least a
kernel of truth that can be defended in terms of a rational examination
of the relevant evidence.
In many cases,
however, stories that have served as religious Myths cannot stand up to
rational scrutiny. When such a story is stripped of its halo and treated
simply as a theory, rather than an unquestionable dogma, it cannot be
defended as the best theory to account for the relevant facts. The
official account of 9/11 is such a theory. When challenges to it are not
treated as blasphemy, it can easily be seen to be composed of a number
of ideas that are myths in the sense of not corresponding with reality.
Using the word "myth" from now on only in this pejorative sense, I will
discuss nine of the major myths contained in the official story about
9/11. I will thereby show that the official account of 9/11 cannot be
defended, in light of the relevant evidence, against the main
alternative account, according to which 9/11 was an inside job,
orchestrated by people within our own government. I will begin with a
few myths that prevent many people from even looking at the evidence for
this alternative account.
Myth Number 1:
Our political and military leaders simply would not do such a
This idea is
widely believed. But it is undermined by much evidence. The United
States, like many other countries, has often used deceit to begin
wars—for example, the Mexican-American war, with its false claim that
Mexico had "shed American blood on the American soil,"4 the
Spanish-American war, with its "Remember the Maine" hoax,5
the war in the Philippines, with its false claim that the Filipinos
fired first,6 and the Vietnam war, with its Tonkin Gulf hoax.7
The United States has also sometimes organized false flag terrorist
attacks—killing innocent civilians, then blaming the attacks on an enemy
country or group, often by planting evidence. We have even done this in
allied countries. As Daniele Ganser has shown in his recent book
NATO's Secret Armies,
NATO, guided by the CIA and the Pentagon, arranged many such attacks in
Western European countries during the Cold War. These attacks were
successfully blamed on Communists and other leftists to discredit them
in the eyes of the voting public.8
Finally, in case
it be thought that US military leaders would not orchestrate such
attacks against US citizens, one needs only to read the plan known as
Operations Northwoods, which the Joint Chiefs of Staff worked up in
1962, shortly after Fidel Castro had overthrown the pro-American
dictator Batista. This plan contained various "pretexts which would
provide justification for US military intervention in Cuba." American
citizens would have been killed in some of them, such as a "Remember the
Maine" incident, in which: "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantánamo
Bay and blame Cuba."9
At this point,
some people, having seen evidence that US leaders would be morally
capable of orchestrating 9/11, might avoid looking at the evidence by
Myth Number 2:
Our political and military leaders would have had no motive for
orchestrating the 9/11 attacks.
This myth was
reinforced by The 9/11 Commission
Report. While explaining why al-Qaeda had ample motives for
carrying out the attacks, this report mentions no motives that US
leaders might have had. But the alleged motive of al-Qaeda—that it hated
Americans and their freedoms—is dwarfed by a motive held by many members
of the Bush-Cheney administration: the dream of establishing a global
Pax Americana, the
first all-inclusive empire in history.
This dream had
been articulated by many neoconservatives, or neocons, throughout the
1990s, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union made it seem
possible. It was first officially articulated in the Defense Planning
Guidance of 1992, drafted by Paul Wolfowitz on behalf of then Secretary
of Defense Dick Cheney—a document that has been called "a blueprint for
permanent American global hegemony"10 and Cheney's "Plan . .
. to rule the world."11
goal would require four things. One of these was getting control of the
world's oil, especially in Central Asia and the Middle East, and the
Bush-Cheney administration came to power with plans already made to
attack Afghanistan and Iraq. A second requirement was a technological
transformation of the military, in which fighting from space would
become central. A third requirement was an enormous increase in military
spending, to pay for these new wars and for weaponizing space. A fourth
need was to modify the doctrine of preemptive attack, so that America
would be able to attack other countries even if they posed no imminent
elements would, moreover, require a fifth: an event that would make the
American people ready to accept these imperialistic policies. As
Zbigniew Brzezinski explained in his 1997 book,
The Grand Chessboard, the
American people, with their democratic instincts, are reluctant to
authorize the money and human sacrifices necessary for "imperial
mobilization," and this refusal "limits . . . America's . . . capacity
for military intimidation."12 But this impediment could be
overcome if there were "a truly massive and widely perceived direct
external threat"13 —just as the American people were willing
to enter World War II only after "the shock effect of the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor."15 This same idea was suggested in
2000 in a document entitled
Rebuilding America's Defenses, which was put out by a neocon
think tank called the Project for the New American Century, many members
of which—including Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz—became central
members of the Bush administration. This document, referring to the goal
of transforming the military, said that this "process of transformation
. . . is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and
catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor."15
When the attacks
of 9/11 occurred, they were treated like a new Pearl Harbor. Several
members of the Bush administration spoke of 9/11 as providing
opportunities. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said that 9/11 created "the
kind of opportunities that World War II offered, to refashion the
world."16 It created, in particular, the opportunity to
attack Afghanistan and Iraq; to increase the military budget enormously;
to go forward with military transformation; and to turn the new idea of
preemptive warfare into official doctrine. This doctrinal change was
announced in the 2002 version of the
National Security Strategy,
which said that America will "act against . . . emerging threats before
they are fully formed."17
So, not only did
the Bush administration reap huge benefits from 9/11. These were
benefits that it had desired in advance. The idea that it would have had
no motives for orchestrating 9/11 is a myth. But there is one more myth
that keeps many people from looking at the evidence. This is
Myth Number 3:
Such a big operation, involving so many people, could not have
been kept a secret, because someone involved in it would have talked by
This claim is
based on a more general myth, which is that is impossible for secret
government operations to be kept secret very long, because someone
always talks. But how could we know this? If some big operations have
remained secret until now, we by definition do not know about them.
Moreover, we do know of big some operations that
were kept secret as long
as necessary, such as the Manhattan Project to create the atomic bomb,
and the war in Indonesia in 1957, which the United States government
provoked, participated in, and was able to keep secret from its own
people until a book about it appeared in 1995.18 Many more
examples could be given.
We can understand,
moreover, why those with inside knowledge of 9/11 would not talk. At
least most of them would have been people with the proven ability to
keep secrets. Those who were directly complicit would also be highly
motivated to avoid public disgrace and the gas chamber. Those people who
had knowledge without being complicit could be induced to keep quiet by
means of more or less subtle threats—such as: "Joe, if you go forward
with your plans to talk to the press about this, I don't know who is
going to protect your wife and kids from some nutcase angered by your
statement." Still another fact is that neither the government nor the
mainstream press has, to say the least, shown any signs of wanting
anyone to come forward.
I come now to
Myth Number 4:
The 9/11 Commission, which has endorsed the official account, was
an independent, impartial commission and hence can be believed.
One needs only to
look at the reviews of
The 9/11 Commission Report
on Amazon.com to see that this assumption is widely accepted. Perhaps
this is partly because in the Preface, the Commission's chairman and
vice chairman tell us that the Commission sought "to be independent,
impartial, thorough, and nonpartisan." But these terms do not describe
the reality. The Commission's lack of impartiality can be partly
explained by the fact that Chairman Thomas Kean, most of the other
commissioners, and at least half of the members of the staff had
conflicts of interest.19
The most serious
problem, however, is that the executive director, Philip Zelikow, was
essentially 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 wrote
a book together. Rice then, as National Security Advisor for the second
President Bush, had Zelikow help make the transition to the new National
Security Council. After that, Zelikow was appointed to the President's
Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Zelikow was, therefore, the White
House's man inside the 9/11 Commission.
And yet, as
executive director, he guided the staff, which did virtually all the
work of the Commission.20 Zelikow was in position, therefore,
to decide which topics would be investigated and which ones not. One
disgruntled member reportedly said at the time, "Zelikow is calling the
shots. He's skewing the investigation and running it his own way."21
insofar as the Commission was supposed to be investigating the failure
of the Bush administration to prevent the attacks, the Commission was no
more independent and impartial than if Dick Cheney had been running it.
(The only difference is that no one got shot.)
ideological and personal closeness to the Bush administration is shown
by one more fact that has until now not been widely known, even within
the 9/11 truth movement. I mentioned earlier the Bush administration's
National Security Strategy
statement of 2002, in which the new doctrine of preemptive warfare was
articulated. The primary author of this document, reports James Mann in
Rise of the Vulcans,
was none other than Philip Zelikow. According to Mann, after Rice saw a
first draft, which had been written by Richard Haass in the State
Department, she, wanting "something bolder," brought in Zelikow to
completely rewrite it.22 The result was a very bellicose
document that used 9/11 to justify the administration's so-called war on
terror. Max Boot described it as a "quintessentially neo-conservative
We can understand,
therefore, why the Commission, under Zelikow's leadership, would have
ignored all evidence that would point to the truth: that 9/11 was a
false flag operation intended to authorize the doctrines and funds
needed for a new level of imperial mobilization.
that 9/11 was a false flag operation brings us to:
Myth Number 5:
The Bush administration provided proof that the attacks
were carried out by al-Qaeda terrorists under the direction of Osama bin
One of the main
pieces of alleged proof involved the claim that the baggage of Mohamed
Atta, called the ringleader of the hijackers, was discovered at the
Boston airport, from which Flight 11 departed. This baggage, besides
containing Atta's passport and driver's license, also contained various
types of incriminating evidence, such as flight simulator manuals,
videotapes about Boeing airliners, and a letter to other hijackers about
preparing for the mission. But the bags also contained Atta's will. Why
would Atta have intended to take his will on a plane that he planned to
fly into the World Trade Center? There are also many other problems in
this story.24 We appear to have planted evidence.
Another element of
the official story about the alleged hijackers is that they were very
devout Muslims. The 9/11
Commission Report said that Atta had become very religious,
even "fanatically so."25 The public was thereby led to
believe that these men would have had no problem going on this suicide
mission, because they were ready to meet their maker. Investigative
reporter Daniel Hopsicker, however, discovered that Atta loved cocaine,
alcohol, gambling, pork, and lap dances.26 Several of the
other alleged hijackers, the Wall
Street Journal reported, had similar tastes.27
The Commission pretends, however, that none of this information was
available. While admitting that Atta met other members of al-Qaeda in
Las Vegas shortly before 9/11, it says that it saw "no credible evidence
explaining why, on this occasion and others, the operatives flew to or
met in Las Vegas."28
Another problem in
the official account is that, although we are told that four or five of
the alleged hijackers were on each of the four flights, no proof of this
claim has been provided. The story, of course, is that they did not
force their way onto the planes but were regular, ticketed passengers.
If so, their names should be on the flight manifests. But the flight
manifests that have been released contain neither the names of the
alleged hijackers nor any other Arab names.29 We have also
been given no proof that the remains of any of these men were found at
any of the crash sites.
One final little
problem is that several of these 19 men, according to stories published
by the BBC and British newspapers, are still alive. For example, The
9/11 Commission Report named Waleed al-Shehri as one of the
hijackers and reproduced the FBI's photograph of him. It even suggested
that al-Shehri stabbed one of the flight attendants shortly before
Flight 11 crashed into the north tower.30 But as BBC News had
reported 11 days after 9/11, al-Shehri, having seen his photograph in
newspapers and TV programs, notified authorities and journalists in
Morocco, where he works as a pilot, that he is still alive.31
But if there are
various problems with the government's story about the hijackers, surely
it presented proof that Osama bin Laden was behind the operation?
Insofar as this belief is widely held, it also is a myth. Secretary of
State Colin Powell promised to provide a white paper providing proof
that the attacks had been planned by bin Laden, but this paper was never
produced. British Prime Minister Tony Blair did provide such a paper,
which was entitled "Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the
United States." But it begins with the admission that it "does not
purport to provide a prosecutable case against Usama Bin Laden in a
court of law."32 (So, evidence good enough to go to war, but
not good enough to go to court.) And although the Taliban said that it
would hand bin Laden over if the United States presented evidence of his
involvement in 9/11, Bush refused.33
This failure to
provide proof was later said to be unnecessary because bin Laden, in a
video allegedly found in Afghanistan, admitted responsibility for the
attacks. This "confession" is now widely cited as proof. However, the
man in this video has darker skin, fuller cheeks, and a broader nose
than the Osama bin Laden of all the other videos.34 We again
seem to have planted evidence.
moreover, other problems in the official account of Osama bin Laden. For
one thing, in June of 2001, when he was already America's "most wanted"
criminal, he reportedly spent two weeks in the American Hospital in
Dubai, at which he was treated by an American doctor and visited by the
local CIA agent.35
Also, after 9/11,
when America was reportedly trying to get bin Laden "dead or alive," the
US military evidently allowed him to escape on at least four occasions,
the last one being the "battle of Tora Bora," which the
London Telegraph labeled
"a grand charade."36 Shortly thereafter, Bush said: "I don't know where
he [bin Laden] is. . . . I just don't spend that much time on him. . . .
I truly am not that concerned about him."37 (Sometimes the
truth slips out.)
In any case, the
idea that the Bush administration has provided proof for its claims
about Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda hijackers is a myth. I turn now
Myth Number 6:
The 9/11 attacks came as a surprise to the Bush
Nothing is more
essential to the official story than this idea. About 10 months after
9/11, for example, FBI Director Robert Mueller said: "To this day we
have found no one in the United States except the actual hijackers who
knew of the plot."38 There is much evidence, however, that
counts against this claim.
The Put Options:
One type of evidence involves an extraordinarily high volume of "put
options" purchased in the three days prior to 9/11. To buy put options
for a particular company is to bet that its stock price will go down.
These extraordinary purchases included two, and only two,
airlines--United and American--the two airlines used in the attacks.
They also included Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, which occupied 22 stories
of the World Trade Center. The price of these shares did, of course,
plummet after 9/11, resulting in enormous profits for the purchasers.
These unusual purchases, as the
San Francisco Chronicle said, raise "suspicions that the
investors . . . had advance knowledge of the strikes."39 It
would appear, in other words, that those who made the purchases knew
that United and American airliners were going to be used in attacks on
the World Trade Center.
Commission tried to show these suspicions to be unfounded. It claimed,
for example, that the purchases for United Airlines do not show that
anyone other than al-Qaeda had foreknowledge of the attacks, because 95
percent of these options were purchased by "[a] single U.S.-based
institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al Qaeda."40
But the Commission thereby simply begged the question at issue, which is
whether some organization other than al-Qaeda was involved in the
Commission ignored the other crucial point, which is that US
intelligence agencies closely monitor the stock market, looking for any
anomalies that might provide clues about untoward events in the works.41
Therefore, regardless of who orchestrated the attacks, the US government
would have had intelligence suggesting that United and American
airliners were to be used for attacks on the World Trade Center.
Bush and the
Further evidence of advance knowledge is shown by the behavior of
President Bush and his secret service agents during the photo-op at the
school in Florida that morning. According to the official story, when
Bush was first told that a plane had struck one of the Twin Towers, he
dismissed the incident as merely a "horrible accident," which meant that
they could go ahead with the photo-op.42 News of the second
strike, however, would have indicated—assuming that the strikes were
unexpected—that terrorists were using planes to attack high-value
targets. And what could have been a higher-value target than the
president of the United States?
His location at
the school had been highly publicized. The Secret Service agents should
have feared, therefore, that a hijacked airliner might have been bearing
down on the school at that very minute, ready to crash into it. It is
standard procedure for the Secret Service to rush the president to a
safe location when there is any sign that he may be in danger. And yet
these agents allowed the president to remain another half hour, even
permitting him to deliver an address on television, 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 planned attacks did not include an attack on the
Commission, of course, did not ask this question. It was content to
report that "[t]he Secret Service told us they . . . did not think it
imperative for [the president] to run out the door."43
Maintaining decorum, in other words, was more important than protecting
the president's life. Can anyone seriously believe that highly trained
Secret Service agents would act this way in a situation of genuine
The attack on the Pentagon, as well as the attack on the World Trade
Center, was said to be a surprise, even though it occurred over a half
hour after the second strike on the Twin Towers. A Pentagon
spokesperson, in explaining why the Pentagon was not evacuated before it
was struck, claimed that "[t]he Pentagon was simply not aware that this
aircraft was coming our way."44 The 9/11 Commission claimed
that there was no warning about an unidentified aircraft heading towards
Washington until 9:36 and hence only "one or two minutes" before the
Pentagon was struck at 9:38.45
But this claim is
contradicted by Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta's testimony
about an episode that occurred in the Presidential Emergency Operations
Center under the White House. In open testimony to the 9/11 Commission,
Mineta gave this account:
During the time
that the airplane was coming in to the Pentagon, there was a young man
who would come in and say to the Vice President, "The plane is 50 miles
out." "The plane is 30 miles out." And when it got down to "the plane is
10 miles out," the young man also said to the Vice President, "Do the
orders still stand?" And the Vice President . . . said, "Of course the
orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?"46
Mineta said that
that this final exchange occurred at about 9:25 or 9:26.47
According to Mineta's account, therefore, Cheney knew about an
approaching aircraft more than 12 minutes before 9:38, when the Pentagon
was struck. Assuming that Cheney would not have kept this information
from his good friend Donald Rumsfeld, Mineta's testimony contradicts the
claim of the Pentagon and the 9/11 Commission that there was no advance
knowledge, at least not sufficient advance knowledge to have evacuated
the Pentagon, which would have saved 125 lives.
This example gives
us one of the clearest examples of the fact that the Zelikow-led 9/11
Commission cannot be trusted. Having claimed that there was no knowledge
that an aircraft was approaching the Pentagon until the last minute or
so, it simply omitted Mineta's testimony to the contrary, which had been
given in open testimony to the Commission itself, from its final report.
Then, to rule out even the possibility that the episode reported by
Mineta could have occurred, it claimed that Cheney did not even arrive
in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center until almost 10:00
o'clock, hence about 20 minutes after the Pentagon was struck.48
But this claim, besides contradicting Mineta's eyewitness testimony that
Cheney was already there when Mineta arrived at 9:20, also contradicts
all other reports as to when Cheney had arrived there, including a
report by Cheney himself.49
In light of this
information about the put options, the Secret Service, and Mineta's
testimony, we can reject as a myth the idea that the attacks were
unexpected. However, even if the attacks had been unexpected, should
they not have been intercepted? This brings us to:
Myth Number 7:
US officials have explained why the hijacked airliners
were not intercepted.
Actually, there is
a sense in which this statement is true. US officials
have explained why the US
military did not prevent the attacks. The problem, however, is that they
have given three
explanations, each of which is contradicted by the others and none of
which is a satisfactory
explanation. I will explain.
standard operating procedures, if an FAA flight controller notices
anything that suggests a possible hijacking, the controller is to
contact a superior. If the problem cannot be fixed quickly (within about
a minute), the superior is to ask NORAD—the North American Aerospace
Defense Command—to send up, or "scramble," jet fighters to find out what
is going on. NORAD then issues a scramble order to the nearest air force
base with fighters on alert.
The jet fighters
at NORAD's disposal could respond very quickly: According to the US Air
Force website, F-15s can go from "scramble order" to 29,000 feet in only
2.5 minutes, after which they can fly over 1800 miles per hour.50
Therefore--according to General Ralph Eberhart, the head of NORAD—after
the FAA senses that something is wrong, "it takes about one minute" for
it to contact NORAD, after which, according to a spokesperson, NORAD can
scramble fighter jets "within a matter of minutes to anywhere in the
United States."51 These statements were, to be sure, made
after 9/11, so we might suspect that they reflect a post-9/11 speed-up
in procedures. But an Air Traffic Control document put out in 1998
warned pilots that any airplanes persisting in unusual behavior "will
likely find two [jet fighters] on their tail within 10 or so minutes."52
procedures had been carried out on the morning of 9/11, AA Flight 11 and
UA Flight 175 would have been intercepted before they could have reached
Manhattan, and AA Flight 77 would have been intercepted long before it
could have reached the Pentagon.
are routine, being carried out about 100 times a year. A month after
9/11, the Calgary Herald
reported that in the year 2000, NORAD had scrambled fighters 129 times.
Do these scrambles regularly result in interceptions? Just a few days
after 9/11, Major Mike Snyder, a NORAD spokesperson, told the
Boston Globe that "[NORAD's]
fighters routinely intercept aircraft."53 Why did such
interceptions not occur on 9/11?
During the first
few days, the public was told that no fighter jets were sent up until
after the strike on the Pentagon at 9:38. However, it was also reported
that signs of Flight 11's hijacking had been observed at 8:15. That
would mean that although interceptions usually occur within "10 or so"
minutes after signs of trouble are observed, in this case 80 or so
minutes had elapsed before fighters were even airborne. This story
suggested that a "stand-down" order had been issued.
Within a few days,
however, a second story was put out, according to which NORAD
had sent up fighters but, because notification from the FAA
had been very slow in coming, the fighters arrived too late. On
September 18, NORAD made this second story official, embodying it in a
timeline, which indicated when NORAD had been notified by the FAA about
each airplane and when it had scrambled fighters in response.54
however, that even if the FAA notifications had come as late as NORAD's
timeline indicated, NORAD's jets would have had time to make the
interceptions.55 This second story did not, therefore, remove the
suspicion that a stand-down order had been given.
Hoping to overcome
this problem, The 9/11 Commission
Report provided a third account, according to which,
contrary to NORAD's timeline of September 18, 2001, the FAA did not
notify NORAD about Flight 175 until after it had struck the south tower
or about Flight 77 until after it had struck the Pentagon. But there are
serious problems with this third story.
One problem is the
very fact that it is the third story. Normally, when a suspect in a
criminal investigation keeps changing his story, we get suspicious.
Let's say that the police ask Charlie Jones where he was Saturday night.
He says he was at the movie theater, but they say, "No, the movie
theater has been closed all week." Then Charlie says, "Oh, that's right,
I was with my girl friend." But, the police say, "No, we checked with
her and she was home with her husband." If at that point Charlie says,
"Oh, now I remember, I was home reading my Bible," you are probably not
going to believe him. And yet that's what we have here. The military
told one story right after 9/11, another story a week later, and a third
story through The 9/11 Commission
Report in 2004.
A second problem
with this third story is that it contradicts several features of the
second story, which had served as the official story for almost three
NORAD's timeline of September 18, 2001, had indicated that the FAA had
notified it about Flight 175 exactly 20 minutes before it hit its target
and about Flight 77 some 14 minutes before the Pentagon was struck. The
9/11 Commission maintains that both of these statements were
"incorrect"—that, really, there had been no notification about these
flights until after they hit their targets. This, it claims, is why the
military had failed to intercept them.56 But if NORAD's
timeline was false, as the Commission now claims, NORAD must have been
either lying or confused. But it is hard to believe that it could have
been confused one week after 9/11. So it must have been lying. But if
the military's second story was a lie, why should we believe this third
about this third story arises from the fact that it is contradicted by
considerable evidence. For example, the Commission's claim that the
military did not know about Flight 175 until it crashed is contradicted
by a report involving Captain Michael Jellinek, a Canadian who on 9/11
was overseeing NORAD's headquarters in Colorado. According to a story in
the Toronto Star,
Jellinek was on the phone with NORAD as he watched Flight 175 crash into
the south tower. He then asked NORAD: "Was that the hijacked aircraft
you were dealing with?"--to which NORAD said "yes."57
Commission's claims about Flights 175 and 77 are also contradicted by a
memo sent to the Commission by Laura Brown of the FAA. Her memo stated
that at about 8:50 the FAA had set up a teleconference, in which it
started sharing information with the military about all flights. She
specifically mentioned Flight 77, indicating that the FAA had been
sharing information about it even before the formal notification time of
9:24. Her memo, which is available on the Web,58 was discussed by the
9/11 Commission and read into its record on May 23, 2003.59 But Zelikow's 9/11 Commission Report
fails to mention this memo.
Because of these
and still more problems, which I have discussed in my book on the 9/11
Commission's report and also in a lecture called "Flights of Fancy",60
this third story does not remove the grounds for suspicion that a
stand-down order had been issued.
moreover, ear-witness testimony for this suspicion. An upper management
official at LAX, who needs to remain anonymous, has told me that he
overheard members of LAX Security--including officers from the FBI and
LAPD—interacting on their walkie-talkies shortly after the attacks. In
some cases, he could hear both sides of the conversation. At first, the
LAX officials were told that the airplanes that attacked World Trade
Center and the Pentagon had not been intercepted because the FAA had not
notified NORAD about the hijackings. But later, he reports, they were
told that NORAD had
been notified but did not respond because it had been "ordered to stand
down." When LAX security officials asked who had issued that order, they
were told that it had come "from the highest level of the White House."61
idea that the attacks could not have been prevented is a myth. I turn
Myth Number 8:
Official Reports have explained why the
Twin Towers and Building
7 of the
World Trade Center
This claim suffers
from the same problem as the previous one: We have had
three explanations, each
of which contradicts the others and none of which is anywhere close to
adequate. The first explanation, widely disseminated through television
specials, was that the buildings collapsed because their steel columns
were melted by the jet-fuel-fed fires. But this explanation contained
many problems, the most obvious of which is that steel does not begin to
melt until about 2800 degrees F, while open fires based on hydrocarbons
such as kerosene—which is what jet fuel is—cannot under the most ideal
circumstances rise above 1700 degrees.
explanation, endorsed by The 9/11
Commission Report, is a "pancake" theory, according to which
the fires, while not melting the steel, heated it up sufficiently to
cause the floors weakened by the airplane strikes to break loose from
the steel columns—both those in the core of the building and those
around the outside. All the floors above the strike zone hence fell down
on the floor below the strike zone, causing it to break free, and this
started a chain reaction, so the floors pancaked all the way down. But
this explanation also suffered from many problems, the most obvious of
which was that it could not explain why the buildings collapsed into a
pile of rubble only a few stories high. The core of each of the Twin
Towers consisted of 47 massive steel columns. If the floors had broken
loose from them, these columns would have still been sticking up a
thousand feet in the air. The 9/11
Commission Report tried to cover up this problem by claiming
that the core of each tower consisted of "a hollow steel shaft."62
But those massive steel columns could not be wished away.
explanation was supposed to be the third one, issued by the National
Institute of Standards and Technology, often simply called NIST. The
NIST Report claimed that when the floors collapsed, they, rather than
breaking free from the columns, pulled on them, causing the perimeter
columns to become unstable. This instability then increased the gravity
load on the core columns, which had been weakened by tremendously hot
fires in the core, which, NIST claims, reached 1832°F, and this
combination of factors resulted in "global collapse."63
But, as physicists
Jim Hoffman and Steven Jones have shown, this account is riddled with
problems. One of these is that NIST's claim about tremendously hot fires
in the core is completely unsupported by evidence. NIST's own studies
found no evidence that any of the core columns had reached temperatures
of even 482°F (250°C).64 A second problem is that, even if
this sequence of events had occurred, NIST provided no explanation as to
why it would have produced global—that is, total—collapse. The NIST
Report asserts that "column failure" occurred in the core as well as the
perimeter columns. But this remains a bare assertion. There is no
plausible explanation of why the core columns would have broken, or even
buckled, so as to produce global collapse.65
And this is only
to begin to enumerate the problems in NIST's theory, all of which follow
from the fact that it, like the previous two theories, is essentially a
fire theory, according to which the buildings were brought down
primarily by fire. In the case of the Twin Towers, of course, the impact
of the airplanes is said to have played a role. But most experts who
support the official theory attribute the collapses primarily to the
fires. NIST, for example, says that the main contribution of the
airplanes, aside from providing jet fuel, was to dislodge a lot of the
fire-proofing from the steel, thereby making it vulnerable to the fires.66
But these fire-theories face several formidable problems.
First, the fires
in these three buildings were not very hot, very big, or very
long-lasting, compared with fires in some steel-frame high-rises that
did not collapse. A 1991 fire in Philadelphia burned 18 hours,
and a 2004 fire in Caracas burned 17 hours, without causing even a
partial collapse.67 By contrast, the fires in the north and
south towers burned only 102 and 56 minutes, respectively, before they
collapsed, and neither fire, unlike the Philadelphia and Caracas fires,
was hot enough to break windows.
collapses of steel-frame high-rise buildings have never—either before or
after 9/11—been brought about by fire alone, or fire combined with
externally produced structural damage. The collapse of Building 7 has
been recognized as especially difficult to explain. It was not hit by a
plane, so the explanation has to rely on fire alone, and yet, because
there was no jet fuel to get a big fire started, this building had fires
on only two or three floors, according to several witnesses68
and all the photographic evidence.69 FEMA admitted that the
best explanation it could come up with it had "only a low probability of
occurrence."70 The 9/11 Commission Report implicitly admitted that it
could not explain the collapse of Building 7 by not even mentioning it.
The NIST Report, which could not claim that the fire-proofing had gotten
knocked off the steel of this
building, has yet to offer an explanation as to why it collapsed.
And NIST, like the
9/11 Commission, evidently did not want citizens asking why Building 7
collapsed even though it was not hit by a plane. On its Website, it says
that one of its objectives is to determine "why and how World Trade
Center buildings 1, 2, and 7 collapsed after the initial impact of the
aircraft"—thereby implying that building 7, like the Twin Towers,
was hit by a plane.71
In any case, a
third problem with the official account of the collapse of these three
buildings is that all prior and subsequent total collapses of
steel-frame high-rises have been caused by explosives in the procedure
known as "controlled demolition." This problem is made even more severe
by the fact that the collapses of these three buildings manifested many
standard features of the most difficult type of controlled demolition,
known as implosion. I will mention seven such features.
collapses began suddenly. Steel, if weakened by fire, would gradually
begin to sag. But as one can see from videos available on the Web,72
all three buildings are completely motionless up to the moment they
begin to collapse.
Second, if these
huge buildings had toppled over, they would have caused enormous death
and destruction. But they came straight down. This straight-down
collapse is the whole point of the type of controlled demolition called
implosion, which only a few companies in the world can perform.73
buildings collapsed at virtually free-fall speed, which means that the
lower floors, with all their steel and concrete, were offering no
resistance to the upper floors.
mentioned earlier, the collapses were
total collapses, resulting
in piles of rubble only a few stories high. This means that the enormous
steel columns in the core of each building had to be broken into rather
short segments—which is what explosives do.
quantities of molten steel were produced, which means that the steel had
been heated up to several thousand degrees. Witnesses during the
clean-up reported, moreover, that sometimes when a piece of steel was
lifted out of the rubble, molten metal would be dripping from the end.74
to many fire fighters, medical workers, journalists, and World Trade
Center employees, many explosions went off before and after the
collapses. For example, Fire Captain Dennis Tardio, speaking of the
south tower, 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."75
Firefighter Richard Banaciski 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."76 Thanks to the
release in August of 2005 of the oral histories recorded by the Fire
Department of New York shortly after 9/11, dozens of testimonies of this
type are now available. I have published an essay on them, which will be
included—along with an essay on "The Destruction of the World Trade
Center," which I am here summarizing—in a forthcoming book on 9/11 and
A seventh feature
of controlled implosions is the production of large quantities of dust.
In the case of the Twin Towers, virtually everything except the
steel—all the concrete, desks, computers—was pulverized into very tiny
theory cannot explain one, let alone all seven, of these features—at
least, as Jim Hoffman and Steven Jones have pointed out, without
violating several basic laws of physics.79 But the theory of
controlled demolition easily explains all these features.
These facts are
inconsistent with the idea that al-Qaeda terrorists were responsible.
Foreign terrorists could not have obtained access to the buildings for
the hours needed to plant the explosives. Terrorists working for the
Bush-Cheney administration, by contrast,
could have gotten such
access, given the fact that Marvin Bush and Wirt Walker III—the
president's brother and cousin, respectively—were principals of the
company in charge of security for the World Trade Center.80
Al-Qaeda terrorists would also probably not have had the courtesy to
ensure that these huge buildings came straight down, rather than falling
over onto other buildings. They also would not have had the necessary
fact is that evidence was destroyed. An examination of the buildings'
steel beams and columns could have shown whether explosives had been
used to slice them. But virtually all of the steel was removed before it
could be properly examined,81 then put on ships to Asia to be
melted down.82 It is usually a federal offense to remove anything from a
crime scene. But here the removal of over 100 tons of steel, the biggest
destruction of evidence in history, was carried out under the
supervision of federal officials.83
Evidence was also
apparently planted. The passport of one of the hijackers on Flight 11
was allegedly found in the rubble, having survived the fire caused by
the crash into the north tower and also whatever caused everything else
in this building except the steel to be pulverized.84 As a
story in the Guardian
said, "the idea that [this] passport had escaped from that inferno
unsinged would [test] the credulity of the staunchest supporter of the
FBI's crackdown on terrorism."85
To sum up: The
idea that US officials have given a satisfactory, or even close to
satisfactory, explanation of the collapse of the World Trade Center
buildings is a myth. And they have implicitly admitted this by refusing
to engage in rational debate about it. For example, Michael Newman, a
spokesman for NIST, reportedly said during a recent interview that "none
of the NIST scientists would participate in any public debate" with
scientists who reject their report. When Newman was asked why NIST would
avoid public debate if it had confidence in its report, Newman replied:
"Because there is no winning in such debates."85 In that same
interview, Newman had compared people who reject the government's
account of the collapses with people who believe in Bigfoot and a flat
earth.86 And yet he fears that his scientists would not be
able to show up these fools in a public debate!
In any case, I
come now to the final myth, which is:
Myth Number 9:
There is no doubt that Flight 77, under the control of
al-Qaeda hijacker Hani Hanjour, struck the Pentagon.
There are, in
fact, many reasons to doubt this claim.
We have, in the
first place, reasons to doubt that the aircraft that hit the Pentagon
was under the control of Hani Hanjour. For one thing, the aircraft,
before striking the Pentagon, reportedly executed a 270-degree downward
spiral, and yet Hani Hanjour was known as a terrible pilot, who could
not safely fly even a small plane.87 Russ Wittenberg, who
flew large commercial airliners for 35 years after serving in Vietnam as
a fighter pilot, says that it would have been "totally impossible for an
amateur who couldn't even fly a Cessna to maneuver the jetliner in such
a highly professional manner."88
Moreover, as a
result of that very difficult maneuver, the Pentagon's west wing was
struck, but terrorists brilliant enough to get through the US military's
defense system would have known that this was the worst place to strike,
for several reasons: The west wing had been reinforced, so the damage
was less severe than a strike anywhere else would have been. This wing
was still being renovated, so relatively few people were there; a strike
anywhere else would have killed thousands of people, rather than 125.
And the secretary of defense and all the top brass, whom terrorists
would presumably have wanted to kill, were in the
east wing. Why would an
al-Qaeda pilot have executed a very difficult maneuver to hit the west
wing when he could have simply crashed into the roof of the east wing?
A second major
problem with the official story: There are reasons to believe that the
Pentagon was struck only because officials at the Pentagon wanted it to
be struck. For one thing, Flight 77 allegedly, after making a U-turn in
the mid-west, flew back to Washington undetected for 40 minutes. And yet
the US military, which by then clearly knew that hijacked airliners were
being used as weapons, has the best radar systems in the world, one of
which, it brags, "does not miss anything occurring in North American
airspace."89 The idea that a large airliner could have
slipped through, especially during a time of heightened alert, is
Also, the Pentagon
is surely the best defended building on the planet.90 It is
not only within the P-56-A restricted air space that extends 17 miles in
all directions from the Washington Monument, but also within P-56-B, the
three-mile ultra-restricted zone above the White House, the Capitol, and
the Pentagon. The Pentagon is only a few miles from Andrews Air Force
Base, which 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, as I have explained in my critique of
this report.91) The Pentagon, moreover, is reportedly
protected by batteries of surface-to-air missiles, so if any aircraft
without a US military transponder were to enter the Pentagon's airspace,
it would be shot down.92 Even if the aircraft that hit the
Pentagon had been Flight 77, therefore, it could have succeeded only
because officials in the Pentagon turned off its missiles as well as
ordering the fighters from Andrews to stand down.
A third major
problem with the official story is that there is considerable evidence
that it could not have been Flight 77 because it was not a Boeing 757.
For one thing, the strike on the Pentagon, unlike the strikes on the
Twin Towers, reportedly did not create a detectable seismic signal.93
Also, according to
several witnesses and many people who have studied the available
photographs, both the damage and the debris were inconsistent with a
strike by a large airliner. That issue, however, is too complex to
discuss here, as is the issue of the what should be inferred from the
conflicting eyewitness testimony.
topics to another time, I will conclude by pointing out that the
suspicion that the Pentagon was not struck by a 757, as the government
claims, is supported by the fact that evidence was destroyed. Shortly
after the strike, government agents picked up debris and carried it off.94
Then the entire lawn was covered with dirt and gravel, so that any
remaining forensic evidence was
literally covered up.95
Also, the videos
from security cameras on the nearby Citgo gas station and Sheraton
Hotel, which would show what really hit the Pentagon, were immediately
confiscated by agents of the FBI, and the Department of Justice has to
this day refused to release them.96 If these videos would
prove that the Pentagon was really hit by a 757, most of us would
assume, the government would release them.
It would seem, for
many reasons, that the official story of 9/11, which has served as a
religious Myth in the intervening years, is a myth in the pejorative
sense of a story that does not correspond to reality. One sign of a
story that is a myth in this sense, I have pointed out, is that it
cannot be rationally defended, and the official story has never been
publicly defended against informed criticism by any member of NIST, the
9/11 Commission, or the Bush administration. An illustration: After
Charlie Sheen had made public his skepticism about the official story,
CNN's "Showbiz Tonight" wanted to have a debate, about the points he had
raised, between a representative of the government and a representative
of 9/11Truth.org. But the producers reportedly could find no member of
the government willing to appear on the show. In this unwillingness of
the government to appear on an entertainment show to answer questions
raised by an actor, we would seem to have the clearest possible sign
that the government's story is myth, not reality.
If so, we must
demand that the government immediately cease implementing the policies
that have been justified by this myth.
When charges were
brought against some members of Duke University's lacrosse team in March
of 2006, the president of the university immediately cancelled all
future games until the truth of the charges could be decided. But
surely, as serious as the charges were in that case, the charges against
the official story of 9/11 are far more serious, for this story, serving
as a national religious Myth, has been used to justify two wars, which
have caused many tens of thousands of deaths; to start a more general
war on Islam, in which Muslims are considered guilty until proven
innocent; to annul and violate civil rights; and to increase our
military spending, which was already greater than that of the rest of
the world combined, by hundreds of billions of dollars, partly so that
weapons can be put into space.
Congress needs to
put the implementation of these policies on hold until there is a truly
independent investigation, carried out by qualified individuals who are
not members of the very circles that, if 9/11 truly
was a false flag
operation, planned it, carried it out, and then covered it up.
"Remarks by the President in Photo Opportunity
with the National Security Team", quoted in Thierry Meyssan,
9:11: The Big Lie
(London: Carnot, 2002), 77.
"President's Remarks at National Day of Prayer
and Remembrance", quoted in Meyssan,
9/11: The Big Lie, 76-77.
9/11: The Big Lie, 79.
Zinn, A People's History of the
(1980; New York: HarperPerennial, 1990), 150. Richard Van Alstyne,
The Rising American Empire
(1960; New York, Norton, 1974), 143.
Creighton Miller, Benevolent
Assimilation: The American Conquest of the
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982), 11.
McT. Kahin, Intervention: How
American Became Involved in
(Garden City: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1987), 220; Marilyn B. Young,
Vietnam Wars 1945-1990
(New York: HarperCollins, 1991), 119.
Ganser, NATO's Secret Armies:
Operation Gladio and Terrorism in
(New York: Frank Cass, 2005).
memorandum can be found at the
National Security Archive, April 30, 2001. It was revealed to US readers
by James Bamford in Body of
Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-secret National Security Agency
(2001: New York: Anchor Books, 2002), 82-91.
J. Bacevich, American Empire: The
Realities and Consequences of
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002), 44.
Armstrong, "Dick Cheney's Song of America,"
Harper's, October, 2002.
12.Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand
Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives
(New York: Basic Books, 1997), 35-36.
for the New American Century,
America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century,
September 2000, 51.
16."Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with the New York Times,"
New York Times, October
12, 2001. Similar sentiments were expressed by Condoleezza Rice and
President Bush. On Rice, see Nicholas Lemann,
"The Next World Order: The Bush Administration
May Have a Brand-New Doctrine of Power,"
New Yorker, April 1, 2002,
"Remarks by National Security Adviser
Condoleezza Rice on Terrorism and Foreign Policy," April 29,
2002; on Bush, see "Bush Vows to ‘Whip Terrorism,'" Reuters, Sept. 14,
2001, and Bob Woodward, Bush at
War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002), 32.
National Security Strategy of the United States of America,
September 2002, cover letter.
R. Kahin and George McT. Kahin, Subversion as Foreign Policy: The Secret Eisenhower and Dulles Debacle
(Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995).
9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on
Terrorist Attacks upon the United States,
Authorized Edition [New York: W. W. Norton, 2004], xv. David Ray
Griffin, The 9/11 Commission
Report: Omissions and Distortions (Northampton: Interlink
Books, 2005), 285-95.
20.Chairman Thomas Kean and Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton, in their
Preface, say: "The professional staff, headed by Philip Zelikow, . . .
conducted the exacting investigative work upon which the Commission has
built" (The 9/11 Commission
Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks
upon the United States, Authorized Edition [New York: W. W.
Norton, 2004], xvi-xvii).
21.These statements are quoted in Peter Lance,
Cover Up: What the Government is Still
Hiding about the War on Terror (New York: Harper-Collins/ReganBooks,
22.James Mann, Rise of the Vulcans:
The History of Bush's War Cabinet (New York: Viking, 2004),
"Think Again: Neocons,"
January/February 2004, 18.
24.See Rowland Morgan and Ian Henshall,
9/11 Revealed: The Unanswered Questions (New York: Carroll
& Graf, 2005), 180-83.
9/11 Commission Report,
26.Daniel Hopsicker, Welcome to
Terrorland: Mohamed Atta and the 9/11 Cover-up in
(Eugene: MacCowPress, 2004). These details from Hopsicker's book are
summarized in his
"Top Ten things You Never Knew about Mohamed
Atta," Mad Cow Morning News, June 7, 2004, and in an
interview in the Guerrilla News Forum, June 17, 2004, summarized in
NPH, 2nd ed., 243n1.
Stag Parties," Wall
Street Journal, October 10, 2001.
9/11 Commission Report,
29.The flight manifest for AA 11 that was published by CNN can be seen
online. The manifests for the other
flights can be located by simply changing that part of the URL. The
manifest for UA 93, for example, is
9/11 Commission Report,
"Hijack ‘Suspect' Alive in Morocco,"
BBC News, Sept. 22, 2001. Several other alleged hijackers were reported
to be alive in David Harrison,
"Revealed: The Men with Stolen Identities,"
23, 2001. At least one of these claims, that involving Ahmed al-Nami,
was based on a confusion. The al-Nami contacted by Harrison was 33,
whereas the man of that name who was supposedly on Flight 93, which
supposedly crashed in Pennsylvania, was only 21. See Christine Lamb,
"The Six Sons of Asir,"
Telegraph, September 15,
2002. But no such explanation seems possible with Waleed al-Shehri,
since the FBI photograph is clearly of a still-living man of that name.
32.Francis A. Boyle, "Bush, Jr., September 11th and the Rule of Law,"
which can be found in The
Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence: Could The
US War On Terrorism Go Nuclear?
(Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2002) or
33."White House Warns Taliban: ‘We Will Defeat You'" (CNN.com, Sept. 21,
2001). Four weeks after the attacks began, a Taliban spokesman said: "We
are not a province of the United States, to be issued orders to. We have
asked for proof of Osama's involvement, but they have refused. Why?"
(Kathy Gannon, AP,
"Taliban Willing To Talk, But Wants U.S.
"The Fake bin Laden Video."
35.Richard Labeviere, "CIA Agent Allegedly Met Bin Laden in July,"
Le Figaro, Oct. 31, 2001. This story was also reported in
Anthony Sampson, "CIA Agent Alleged to Have Met Bin Laden in July,"
Guardian, Nov. 1, and Adam
Sage, "Ailing bin Laden ‘Treated for Kidney Disease,'"
36.Telegraph, Feb. 23, 2002; Griffin,
The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions
and Distortions, 60.
37.President George W. Bush, Conference,
March 13, 2002.
38.Philip Shenon, "FBI Gave Secret Files to Terrorist Suspect,"
Sept. 28, 2002, citing Mueller's testimony to Congress on June 18, 2002.
Sept. 29, 2001.
9/11 Commission Report,
499 n. 130.
41.Investigative journalist Michael Ruppert, a former detective for the
Los Angeles Police Department, has written: "It is well documented that
the CIA has long monitored such trades--in real time--as potential
warnings of terrorist attacks and other economic moves contrary to U.S.
Details of Criminal Insider Trading Lead Directly into the CIA's Highest
Ranks," From the Wilderness Publications (or
here), Oct. 9, 2001. Nafeez Ahmed,
besides quoting Ruppert's remark, points out that "UPI reported that the
U.S.-sponsored ECHELON intelligence network closely monitors stock
trading," citing United Press International, Feb. 13, 2001. See Nafeez
Ahmed, The War on Freedom: How and
America Was Attacked September 11, 2001
(Joshua Tree, Calif.: Tree of Life Publications, 2002), 120.
42.CNN, Dec. 4, 2001, The Daily
Mail, Sept. 8, 2002, and ABC News, Sept. 11, 2002.
9/11 Commission Report,
44."Air Attack on Pentagon Indicates Weaknesses,"
Newsday, September 23,
9/11 Commission Report,
46."Statement of Secretary of Transporta-tion Norman Y. Mineta before
the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, May
23, 2003" (available
9/11 Commission Report,
49.See the summary of evidence in Griffin,
The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions
and Distortions, 241-44, which includes discussion of the
fact that the Commission cited no evidence for its revisionist timeline.
50.Cited in Griffin, The 9/11
Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, 140.
Oct. 13, 2001, and Glen Johnson,
"Otis Fighter Jets Scrambled Too Late to Halt
Sept. 15, 2001. At an average of 100 scrambles a year, fighters would
have been scrambled about 1000 times in the decade prior to 9/11. One of
the many falsehoods in an essay entitled "9/11: Debunking Myths," which
was published by Popular Mechanics
(March 2005), is its claim that in the decade before 9/11, there had
been only one
interception, that of golfer Payne Stewart's
Learjet. This essay's
"senior researcher," 25-year old Benjamin Chertoff, has (on a radio
show) tried to reconcile this claim with the fact that fighters are
scrambled about 100 times per year by saying that these statements speak
only of scrambles, not interceptions. But Chertoff's position would
require the claim that only one of the 1000 scrambles in that period
resulted in interceptions—that the other 999 fighters were called back
before they actually made the interception. Besides being highly
improbable, this interpreta-tion contradicts Major Snyder's state-ment
that interceptions are carried out routinely.
54.Griffin, The 9/11 Commission
Report: Omissions and Distortions, 141-43.
Brown, "FAA Communications with NORAD on September 11, 2001," available
Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, May
23, 2003. Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste, who read the memo into the
record, reported that he had been told that it had been authored by two
"high level individuals at FAA, Mr. Asmus and Ms. Schuessler." However,
I was told by Laura Brown during a telephone conversation on August 15,
2004, that she had written the memo.
60.Griffin, The 9/11 Commission
Report: Omissions and Distortions, 155-226; "Flights of
Fancy: The 9/11 Commission's Incredible Tales of Flights 11, 175, 77,
and 93," Global Outlook,
12 (Fall-Winter 2006), and in
Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11 (Louisville:
Westminster John Knox Press, 2006).
61."My Observation of LAX Security Events on 9/11," by an Upper
Management LAX Official. Although this official needs to remain
anonymous, he has said that he would be willing to take a polygraph test
if his anonymity could be protected.
9/11 Commission Report,
541 note 1.
Final Report of the National Construction Safety Team on the Collapses
of the World Trade Center Towers
(Draft), June, 2005, usually called the NIST Report, 28, 143.
64.And, as Jim Hoffman says, NIST's claim about these tremendously hot
fires in the core is especially absurd given the fact that the core "had
very little fuel; was far from any source of fresh air; had huge steel
columns to wick away the heat; [and] does not show evidence of fires in
any of the photographs or videos." All the evidence, in other words,
suggests that none of the core columns would have reached the
temperatures of some of the perimeter columns ("Building
a Better Mirage: NIST's 3-Year $20,000,000 Cover-Up of the Crime of the
Century," 9/11 Research, Dec. 8, 2005.
65.See Hoffman, ibid., and Stephen E. Jones, "Why Indeed Did the WTC
Buildings Collapse?" in David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott, eds.,
9/11 and the American Empire:
Intellectuals Speak Out (Northampton: Interlink, 2006); also
66.The NIST Report (xliii and 171) says: "the towers withstood the
impacts and would have remained standing were it not for the dislodged
insulation (fireproofing) and the subsequent multifloor fires."
Office Building Fire One Meridian Plaza Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,"
FEMA; "Fire Practically Destroys Venezuela's Tallest Building.”
68.Chief Thomas McCarthy of the FDNY said that while the firefighters
"were waiting for 7 World Trade to come down," there was "fire on three
separate floors" (Oral History of Thomas McCarthy, 10-11). Emergency
medical technician Decosta Wright said: "I think the fourth floor was on
fire. . . . [W]e were like, are you guys going to put that fire out?"
(Oral History of Decosta Wright, 11). These quotations are from the 9/11
oral histories recorded by the New York Fire Department at the end of
2001 but released to the public (after a court battle) only in August
2005, at which time they were made available on a
New York Times
69.A photograph taken by Terry Schmidt can be seen on page 63 of Eric
Hufschmid's Painful Questions: An
Analysis of the September 11th Attack (Goleta, Calif.:
Endpoint Software, 2002) or on Schmidt's
website. According to Schmidt, this
photo was taken between 3:09 and 3:16 PM, hence only a little over two
hours before Building 7 collapsed. It shows that on the north side of
the building, fires were visible only on floors 7 and 12. Therefore, if
there were more fires on the south side, which faced the Twin Towers,
they were not big enough to be seen from the north side.
70.FEMA Report #403, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, May
2002, Ch. 5, Sect. 6.2,
"Probable Collapse Sequence."
71.Reported in Ed Haas,
"Government spokesman says, ‘I Don't
Understand the Public's Fascination with World Trade Center Building
Report, March 21, 2006, referring to NIST's
"Investigation of the Sept. 11 World Trade
Center Disaster," as accessed on March 20, 2006.
72.See Jim Hoffman's
website and Jeff King's
website, especially "The World
Trade Center Collapse: How Strong is the Evidence for a Controlled
Professor Allison Geyh of Johns Hopkins, who was part of a team of
public health investigators who visited the site shortly after 9/11,
wrote: "In some pockets now being uncovered they are finding molten
steel," Magazine of Johns Hopkins
Public Health, Late Fall, 2001. Dr. Keith Eaton, who
somewhat later toured the site with an engineer, said that he was shown
slides of "molten metal, which was still red hot weeks after the event"
(The Structural Engineer, Sept. 3, 2002: 6). On the dripping steel, see
"Handheld APP Eased Recovery Tasks,"
Government Computer News,
21/27a, Sept 11, 2002 and Jennifer Lin,
"Recovery Worker Reflects on Months Spent at
Ground Zero," Knight
Ridder, May 29, 2002.
75.Quoted in Dennis Smith, Report
from Ground Zero: The Story of the Rescue Efforts at the
World Trade Center
(New York: Penguin, 2002), 18.
76.Oral History of Richard Banaciski, 3-4. See next note.
77."Explosive Testimony: Revelations about the Twin Towers in the 9/11
Oral Histories," in Griffin,
Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11. It is also
911Truth.org. The oral histories of
9/11 recorded by the Fire Department of New York are available at a NYT
"The North Tower's Dust Cloud: Analysis of
Energy Requirements for the Expansion of the Dust Cloud Following the
Collapse of 1 World Trade Center," Version 3, Oct. 16, 2003.
The available evidence, Hoffman says, suggests that the dust particles
were very small indeed—on the order of 10 microns. Also Colonel John
O'Dowd of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said: "At the World Trade
Center sites, it seemed like everything was pulverized" ("The World
Trade Center: Rise and Fall of an American Icon," The History Channel,
September 8, 2002).
79.Jones, "Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?" See also David
Ray Griffin, "The Destruction of the World Trade Center: Why the
Official Account Cannot Be True," in Paul Zarembka, ed.,
The Hidden History of
(Amsterdam: Elsevier, March, 2006), and in Griffin,
Christian Faith and the Truth behind
9/11. This essay is also available at
911Review.com, December 9, 2005).
For Hoffman's analyses, see his
"Building a Better Mirage: NIST's 3-Year
$20,000,000 Cover-Up of the Crime of the Century,". For
videos of the WTC collapses, see in particular
"9/11/01 WTC Videos.”
80.See Griffin, The 9/11
Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, 31-32.
81.The official investigators found that they had less authority than
the clean-up crews, a fact that led the Science Committee of the House
of Representatives to report that "the lack of authority of
investigators to impound pieces of steel for examination before they
were recycled led to the loss of important pieces of evidence" (see the
Will Recycle World Trade Center Debris," Eastday.com, January
83.This removal was, moreover, carried out with the utmost care. Each
truck was equipped with a Vehicle Location Device, connected to GPS.
"The software recorded every trip and location, sending out alerts if
the vehicle traveled off course, arrived late at its destination, or
deviated from expectations in any other way" (Jacqueline Emigh,
"GPS on the Job in Massive World Trade Center
Clean-Up," July 1, 2002).
84.Another problem with this story is that there were at least two
versions of it. One said that the passport was found in the rubble the
day after 9/11, the other that it was found minutes after the attack
(see Morgan and Henshall, 9/11
"Uncle Sam's Lucky Finds,"
Guardian, March 19, 2002.
86.Haas, "Government spokesman says, ‘I Don't Understand the Public's
Fascination with World Trade Center Building Seven.'"
May 4, 2002, and CBS News, May 10, 2002, quoted under "Was Hani Hanjour
Even on Flight 77 and Could He Have Really Flown It to Its Doom?" in
"Did Flight 77 Really Crash into the
Pentagon?," Oct. 19, 2003. Even
The 9/11 Report
acknowledge that Hanjour was "a terrible pilot" in some passages
(225-26, 242, 520n56).
"Former Vietnam Combat and Commercial Pilot
Firm Believer 9/11 Was Inside Government Job,"
Lewis News, Sunday,
January 8, 2006).
PAWS, Watching North America's Skies, 24 Hours a Day."
90.Besides the fact that this is what we would expect, this is evidently
what Pentagon officials tell their employees. April Gallop, who was
working in the Pentagon on 9/11, has reportedly said that during her
classified tour when she was first assigned to the Pentagon, she was
told that it was the best-defended building in the world (John Judge,
"Pentagon and P-56 Preparations and Defenses
and the Stand-Down on 9/11," Ratville Times, Jan. 11, 2006).
91.See the evidence in Griffin,
The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions,
92.Thierry Meyssan, who has referred to these anti-missile batteries (Pentagate
[London: Carnot, 2002], 112, 116), has said with regard to his source of
information: "The presence of these anti-missile batteries was testified
to me by French officers to whom they were shown during an official
visit to the Pentagon. This was later confirmed to me by a Saudi
officer." John Judge, co-founder of 9-11 Citizens Watch, has reported
that he learned about the missiles from his father, John Joseph Judge, a
WWII Army Air Corps veteran who worked at the Pentagon after the war
until his death in 1965. Young John Judge, whose mother also worked at
the Pentagon, spent much time there. In the late 1950s, he says, his
father pointed out the location of an air-to-surface missile. Judge also
reports that in 1998, he was given a tour of the Pentagon by Colonel
Robinson, the long-time director of security. While they were outside
talking about threats from terrorists, Robinson pointed to the roof and
said, "we have cameras and radar up there to make sure they don't try to
run a plane into the building." Since cameras and radars by themselves
would not stop anything, Judge concluded, Robinson's statement
implicitly referred to anti-aircraft missiles (John Judge,
"Pentagon and P-56 Preparations and Defenses
and the Stand-Down on 9/11," Ratville Times, Jan. 11, 2006].
The Pentagon, to be sure, has denied that it had any anti-aircraft
batteries at that time, saying that they had thought them "too costly
and too dangerous to surrounding residential areas" (Paul Sperry,
"Why the Pentagon Was So Vulnerable,"
WorldNetDaily, Sept. 11, 2001. But can anyone believe that Pentagon
officials would have let such considerations prevent them from
93.Won-Young Kim and Gerald R. Baum,
"Seismic Observations during September 11,
2001, Terrorist Attack.”
94.Karen Kwiatkowski, who was working at the Pentagon that morning,
reports that "any physical remains of the aircraft that hit the Pentagon
were quickly carted away to some unknown location, so we have no
physical evidence that the aircraft really was Flight 77 or even a
Boeing 757" ("Assessing the Official 9/11 Conspiracy Theory," in David
Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott, eds.,
9/11 and the American Empire:
Intellectuals Speak Out (Northampton: Interlink, 2006).
Photographic evidence of this removal can be seen on Eric Hufschmid's
video, "Painful Deceptions" (available
95.A photograph showing this literal cover-up can be seen in Ralph
"9-11 and the Impossible: Part One of an
Online Journal of 9-11.”
96.On the confiscation of the film from the Citgo gas station and the
Sheraton Hotel, respectively, see Bill McKelway
"Three Months On, Tension Lingers Near the
Times-Dispatch, Dec. 11, 2001, and Bill Gertz and Rowan
Scarborough, "Inside the Ring,"
Washington Times, Sept. 21, 2001. Scott Bingham, who has
tried to get videos of the Pentagon strike released under the Freedom of
Information Act, has his lawsuit and the official response posted on his
website. See also
"Government Responds to Flight 77 FOAI
Request," 911Truth.org, Aug. 2005.
© David Ray
911truth.org hereby grants to all readers of this website permission to
link to any and all articles found in the
public areas of the website, so
the full source URL is posted with
April 5, 2006