Revolution #60, September 10, 2006
9/11: Cracks in the “Official Story”
On the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks and over two years after the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, it is clear that the people still do not know the full story of what happened on September 11, and that the truth is being suppressed.
Last month, the Washington Post reported that the staff and some members of the 9/11 Commission (the official group that conducted a so-called “investigation” into the attacks) “concluded that the Pentagon’s initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public,” and that “suspicion of wrongdoing ran so deep that the 10-member commission, in a secret meeting at the end of its tenure in summer 2004 debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation.”
This highlights questions such as why Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)/Air Force procedures for scrambling fighter jets in the event of a hijacking were not followed. David Ray Griffin, a retired Claremont School of Theology professor and the author of two in-depth studies of Sept. 11,* writes that the government has “given three explanations, each of which is contradicted by the others and none of which is a satisfactory explanation” of why U.S. jets failed to intercept any of the hijacked airliners. According to Griffin and others, the military’s various stories, as well as other evidence, point to the possibility that a “stand down” order, commanding U.S. fighters not to strike the airliners, may have been given.
Many other cracks have emerged in the official narrative of 9/11. For example, in the official story, it is taken as an assumption that Al Qaeda, acting without any U.S. government knowledge, staged the attacks of September 11. However, there is evidence of ties between Al Qaeda and other Islamist forces and U.S. intelligence agencies and other pro-U.S. regimes. There is no mention in the government’s 9/11 report that General Mahmoud Ahmad, the head of the Pakistani Intelligence Service (ISI), had ordered $100,000 be sent to Mohammed Atta, alleged to be the head of the 9/11 hijackers, or that General Ahmad met with CIA chief George Tenet the week prior to Sept. 11, 2001.
The U.S. armed and built up Al Qaeda and other similar forces in the 1980s to combat the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan. But this support did not end with the collapse of the Soviet occupation in 1989. UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus Peter Dale Scott writes, “What is slowly emerging from Al Qaeda activities in Central Asia in the 1990s is the extent to which they have acted in the interests of both American oil companies and the U.S. government.”
Bush refused to testify under oath to the 9/11 Commission and demanded that Vice President Cheney be by his side. He said that he had no idea that there were Al Qaeda cells in the U.S. or that there was any imminent threat, when there is repeated testimony that he was told about the likelihood of an attack and was given a presidential briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.” on August 6, just a month before September 11. Why did Bush lie? In the months before Sept. 11, why were various warnings by FBI agents in Phoenix, Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York of suspicious activity at flight schools and possible attacks ignored or suppressed?
Much of the way Bush acted on 9/11 is inconsistent with the story of a surprise attack. Why did Bush proceed with a photo-op some 15 minutes after news broke of the crash into the World Trade Center, and why did he stay another 30 minutes, rather than being whisked away by the Secret Service, when the country was supposedly under attack and he would presumably have been a target?
Among many other questions raised by Griffin and other investigators:
- Why did United Airlines Flight 93 crash over Pennsylvania? “The Commission also failed to discuss the considerable evidence that Flight 93 was shot down by the U.S. military, perhaps when passengers were about to wrest control of it,” Griffin says.
- What accounts for the collapse of both WTC towers, which Griffin argues is inconsistent with the physics of burning steel-framed buildings, but is consistent with a controlled demolition? In particular, why did Building 7 collapse, even though it was not hit by a plane, and, according to Griffin, “steel-frame buildings had never before been caused to collapse by fire alone, even when the fires had been much bigger, hotter, and longer-lasting”? And why wasn’t this discussed in the 9/11 Commission report?
- Why did the U.S. invasion immediately focus on ousting the Taliban and occupying Afghanistan—not capturing Osama bin Laden? And was bin Laden allowed to escape?
On October 7, 2001, the U.S. began a large-scale military attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan. The U.S. claimed that this was because the Taliban was giving support and sheltering Al Qaeda training camps. However, there is a large body of evidence that indicates that a U.S. invasion of Afghanistan had been planned long before September 11, because the Taliban was not cooperating with U.S. plans for a pipeline through the region that would link Caspian oil fields with ports on the Red Sea. For example, according to a BBC report Niaz Naik, a Pakistani diplomat, was told by senior American officials in July 2001 that “military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October…before the snows start to fall.”
David Ray Griffin provides some historical context for wars justified by lies. “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,’ the Spanish-American war, with its ‘Remember the Maine’ hoax, the war in the Philippines, with its false claim that the Filipinos fired first, and the Vietnam war, with its Tonkin Gulf hoax. 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.”
And what about Pearl Harbor itself, where 2,400 people were killed in the Japanese attack? U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the U.S. War Department knew (despite their claims of surprise) that the Japanese fleet was about to respond with a naval offensive. Secretary of War Henry Stimson wrote in his diary: “When the news first came that Japan had attacked us, my first feeling was of relief that the indecision was over and that a crisis had come in a way which would unite all our people.”
* The New Pearl Harbor—Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11 and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. A new book edited by Griffin and Peter Dale Scott, 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out, is due out in September 2006. back
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