What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: peace chicken
Like many others, I have questions about 9/11.
Readers of this blog may correctly know me to be one who enjoys asking questions. Evidence of this is found in just the last post I wrote.
The events surrounding the attack and collapse of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, perhaps provide an unrivaled opportunity to question an “official” story. Questions have been asked (and often left unanswered) regarding attacks—both foreign and domestic—throughout our nation’s history. But 9/11, unlike any other event in recent decades, has become the object of skeptics, doubters, patriots, and conspiracy theorists the world over.
Why is this so? What is there in the government’s official 9/11 report to question? Are there unanswered questions? Are the questions that have been answered solid and truthful? Why do an astounding 67% of Americans believe that the government had something to do with this day’s events?
Being one of the 67% in this poll, and having had a desire in recent days to share some thoughts with friends of mine on this subject matter, I offer the following questions and comments regarding the events surrounding 9/11, with the hope that the reader will remain open-minded and take the time to consider the content provided herein.
Please note that what I write here is far from comprehensive. I make no attempt to cover every subject matter or conspiracy theory, nor do I desire to do so. I simply desire to discuss what I see are some of the important issues. I encourage the reader to follow the links I provide in an effort to better investigate an issue discussed here only in brevity.
The best place to start in addressing the problem of 9/11 is the government’s official report: the 9/11 Commission Report.
Polls show that 36 percent of Americans and more than 50 percent of New Yorkers lack confidence in the 9-11 commission report. Many 9-11 families who lost relatives in the attacks are unsatisfied with the official story.
Why are the U.S. media untroubled that there has been no independent investigation of 9-11?
Why are the media unconcerned that the rules governing preservation of forensic evidence were not followed by federal authorities?
Why do the media brand skeptics of the official line “conspiracy theorists” and “kooks”?
Some may think that the 9-11 commission report was an independent investigation, and others will protest that we have the National Institute of Standards and Technology analysis, which explains the collapse of the Twin Towers as a result of airliner impact and fire.
The 9-11 commission was a political commission run by Bush administration insider Philip Zelikow. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the head of which is a member of President Bush’s Cabinet.
Zelikow was a member of President Bush’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a neoconservative stronghold. In February 2005, Zelikow was appointed counselor of the U.S. Department of State. Obviously, there was zero possibility that the 9-11 commission would hold any part of the Bush administration accountable for the numerous failures of U.S. government agencies on Sept. 11, much less would the commission investigate for any complicity.
Before accepting the validity of the government’s report, we must ask some basic questions before accepting it as truth:
- How did the commission come about?
- Who were its members? What credentials do they have?
- Were there any potential conflicts of interest?
- Can we fully believe a report where the government investigates itself?
- What was the commission’s objective when created? Was that objective fully met?
- Since its publication, has the report been criticized, debunked, or opposed by anybody with qualifications to do so? What contradictory evidence has been offered?
Again, the list of questions can go on. But as Roberts points out, the commission (as well as NIST) was a political body with indirect executive oversight. How can we expect a forthright and thorough investigation when the government is investigating itself? Would it not be better to have such an inquiry be independent, such as when one entity is audited by an external one to prevent corruption, censorship, and fraud?
As Latter-day Saints, we understand the need to scrutinize material before accepting it as truth. Were we to receive new scripture, we would ask some basic questions:
- Where did this scripture come from?
- Who was involved in its translation/publishing?
- What events surrounded its receipt?
- What are the qualifications of the individual presenting said scripture to the Church membership?
Such basic questions allow us to determine if we should accept proposed material as truth. These questions, while specific to religious scripture, can and should be applied to secular scholarship at large. We should be initially wary to trust others, always realizing that the elect can be deceived.
Therefore, before accepting the Commission’s statements as fact and truth, it is incumbent upon us to learn who was involved, what their qualifications were, if there were any problems or controversies with their appointment to the Commission, and what, if any, hidden agenda or ulterior motive they might have.
Granted, some such questions are difficult to research conclusively; they are, however, crucial before accepting their findings as truth.
The Commission’s report has been examined and rebuffed by some individuals, chief among them Dr. David Ray Griffin. Griffin has called the Commission’s report a “571 page lie” and has published his response to the report in a book titled 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions.
In this book, Dr. Griffin lists over 100 lies he claims to have found in the official report. These lies, both of commission and omission, demonstrate the numerous holes, discrepancies, and fallacies to be found in the report.
The predominant issue showing the report’s inaccuracy is that of WTC 7. A popular website discussing this issue describes WTC 7 as follows:
Building 7 was the third skyscraper to be reduced to rubble on September 11, 2001. According to the government, fires, primarily, leveled this building, but fires have never before or since destroyed a steel skyscraper.
The team that investigated the collapse were kept away from the crime scene. By the time they published their inconclusive report in May, 2002, the evidence had been destroyed.
Why did the government rapidly recycle the steel from the largest and most mysterious engineering failure in world history, and why has the media remained silent?
World Trade Center building 7 was 610 feet tall, 47 stories, and was not hit by an airplane. It would have been the tallest building in 33 states. However, no mention of its collapse appears in the 9/11 Commission’s “full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.” And 5 1/2 years after 9/11, the Federal government has yet to publish its promised final report that explains the cause of its collapse.
Now, lest the reader gloss over this issue carelessly, it merits reiteration: a steel skyscraper, not hit by an airplane, fell to the ground on the afternoon of 9/11. Widespread media silence regarding its collapse followed. And the one report, issued by our noble government, claiming to be a “full and complete account” of the day’s events refused to discuss it whatsoever.
Do you still think that the Commission’s report is accurate and thorough?
The questions regarding the collapse of the twin towers, as well as building 7, are numerous and merit a truthful response. There are many questions awaiting official reply, yet our government either does not answer them (omission) or provides weak and incorrect answers (commission) to satisfy those who are inquiring.
Some of those persons asking questions are family members of people who died in the attacks. In 2002, the Family Steering Committee was formed to demand an investigation and receive answers to some questions regarding the events of 9/11. Following the Commission’s report, the FSC rated their questions based on responses received, ultimately giving the official report a failing grade. Notice how many of the ratings fall into Box 3, identified as a “question [that] has been generally ignored in or omitted from the Report”.
Do you still think that the Commission’s report is accurate and thorough?
Many of the questions are quite puzzling, their true answers perhaps contradictory to the government’s stated story. Consider:
- If the WTC towers were designed to withstand a Boeing 707 attack, why did two of them fall from an attack by a very similar plane?
- What is the nature of and reason for the war games being played on and around 9/11, leading to a failure in domestic military response?
- Why was Seargant First Class Buswell fired from his position and demoted after sending out an email to fellow soldiers questioning the government’s official 9/11 statement?
- Contrary to basic forensic procedure and analysis, why was the steel from the towers immediately shipped off and recycled to China?
- Why is the FBI holding 84 tapes of the Pentagon crash, refusing to release them even though they claim they show nothing?
- Why was Cheney running the country on 9/11? Where was Donald Rumsfeld, commander of the US armed forces? Why didn’t American Airlines immediately alert the FAA headquarters and the military at 8:20 when the airline first learned from flight attendants onboard that a hijack was underway?
Numerous other questions abound. They continue to pour in, just as the number of skeptics, doubters, and concerned citizens increase. Notable among the masses are:
- 110+ Senior Military, Intelligence Service, Law Enforcement, and Government Officials
- 210+ Engineers and Architects
- 50+ Pilots and Aviation Professionals
- 150+ Professors
- 190+ 9/11 Survivors and Family Members
- 100+ Entertainment and Media Professionals
The comments and views of these persons, making their voices heard and demanding their questions be answered, merit perusal and pondering.
In Roberts’ article, he describes a few more individuals who have questioned the government’s report:
Some of NIST‘s own scientists are questioning its reports. Dr. James Quintiere, former chief of the fire science division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, recently said that “the official conclusion that NIST arrived at is questionable” and called for an independent review of NIST’s investigation into the collapses of the WTC towers.
Quintiere has called attention to many problems with NIST’s investigation and reports: the absence of a timeline, failure to explain the collapse of WTC 7, the spoliation of the evidence of a fire scene, reliance on questionable computer models, the absence of any evidence for the existence of temperatures NIST predicts as necessary for failure of the steel and a Commerce Department legal structure that instead of trying to find the facts “did the opposite and blocked everything.”
On Aug. 27, 2007, a prominent member of the National Academy of Sciences and recipient of the National Medal of Science, Dr. Lynn Margulis, dismissed the official account of 9-11 as a “fraud” and called for a new, thorough and impartial investigation.
On Sept. 5, 2007, U.S. Navy Top Gun fighter pilot and veteran airline pilot Ralph Kolstad said that the flight maneuvers attributed to the 9-11 hijackers are beyond his flight skills. “Something stinks to high heaven,” declared Kolstad.
When faced with disturbing events, the Romans asked a question, “Cui bono?” Who benefits? This question was conspicuously absent from the official investigation.
Indeed, “cui bono?” This is the question to ultimately determine who did what on 9/11, and why. Again, more questions come to mind:
- Who stood to benefit from 9/11?
- Did anybody immediately benefit, financially or otherwise, from the day’s events?
- What has happened concerning our government, legislation, and civil liberties since that day?
- Has that day been used as a pretext by any body of persons in pursuing an agenda? (answer)
- In the past six years, are we better or worse off as a free society?
As Roberts noted, the report was altogether silent on this issue. That does not mean, however, that politicians aspiring for an office have not opined on this issue. The argument offered by most is that some Arabs with box-cutters did it because they hate us.
Why, pray tell, do they hate us?
“Because we are a free and Christian nation”.
And so it is alleged by those in control of our government that we were attacked by an external force who despises our liberty and religion.
This continuously propagated fallacy is what magicians call sleight of hand. By offering this logically empty argument, the electorate at large is kept ignorant of the real reason we were attacked. That reason, discussed by only a minority of politicians, is crucial if one desires to understand who brought about 9/11, and why.
As one who previously accepted whatever the government said as truth, I know full well how difficult it is for some to pursue legitimate truth. I understand the mentality of refusing to question the official line. I know how especially difficult it is for some Latter-day Saints who have been raised and ingrained with a desire to stay far away from any “taboo” material, that which is critical of what they perceive to be correct, just as they would stay away from anti-Mormon material.
But truth involves asking questions—sometimes hard, challenging ones. As Goethe once said:
It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter liest in the depth, where few are willing to search for it. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, via Quoty)
As time progresses, and as the so-called “9/11 truth movement” gains support, the conspiracy theory becomes not the accusation that the government was either complicit in, knowledgeable of, or totally unprepared for the 9/11 attacks, but instead becomes what is contained in the official report offered by the government as being factually sound and truthful.