New York, Year Eleven

Monday, 03 September 2012

America moves firmly into service and remembrance mode this week as the anniversary of 9/11 looms. Leaders will exalt the victims and promise to secure “the land of the free and the home of the brave” against fundamentalist threats that have not recurred in a decade. There is every reason for regarding this as a psychopathic display of hypocrisy and deception.

The official account of what happened is a flimsy conspiracy theory and the government and the federal courts steadfastly block an independent investigation. The most striking feature of 9/11 is that so many people continue to believe that three skyscrapers crumbled to dust because of office fires, the only time this has ever happened in history.

In September 2009, Judge Edward Lehner was hearing arguments on whether to allow New Yorkers to vote on a proposal to investigate the attacks on the World Trade Centre. He was told that one of the biggest questions was why Building 7 had come down. “Building what?” asked the judge. Eight years after the event he did not know that a third building – WTC 7, 47 stories tall – had also collapsed on 9/11. Although he had clearly not bothered to do any homework, Judge Lehner went on to reject the application.

The official 9/11 Commission Report published in 2004 after more than two years of investigation did not even mention Building 7. By contrast, it was discovered in 2007 that the BBC had reported the collapse some 26 minutes before it happened.

No adequate explanation was forthcoming. It may be a sign of our times that the average citizen is so media punch-drunk (or brainwashed) that he or she is pretty much prepared to believe anything. Thankfully, the evidence shows millions of normal people are still prepared to think independently, research the facts and demonstrate that the official explanation is nonsense.

The same cannot be said for most journalists. The mainstream media demands obedience and it’s no surprise that sustaining the myth of an attack planned by Osama Bin Laden from a cave in Afghanistan is the priority. It matters little that the FBI does not list 9/11 as one of the attacks for which he is wanted because, as a spokesman admitted, “the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11”.

Far more disturbing is the substantial effort made by “progressive” journalists to ridicule and dissuade serious investigation of 9/11 – because it distracts from a larger structural and systemic understanding of the world. This is described as the “Left gatekeeper phenomenon”. Given that 9/11 established the idea of permanent war and led to the shredding of the US constitution, among much else, this is a dead herring. Vitriol is not limited by ignorance.

Here is Guardian columnist George Monbiot on the film “Loose Change” that challenges the official narrative: “There is a virus sweeping the world. It infects opponents of the Bush government, sucks their brains out through their eyes and turns them into gibbering idiots. ..Scarcely a day now passes without someone possessed by this sickness, eyes rolling, lips flecked with foam, trying to infect me.”

Noam Chomsky, doyen of the Left, claims 9/11 research – which includes peer-reviewed papers by eminent scientists – fails to understand what evidence is. “Even in controlled scientific experiments one finds all sorts of unexplained phenomena, strange coincidences, loose ends, apparent contradictions, etc.  Read the letters in technical science journals you’ll find plenty of samples. In real world situations, chaos is overwhelming, and these will mount to the sky.” This is unhelpful if not meaningless.

Matt Taibbi who writes for Rolling Stone called 9/11 investigators “idiots’ and described their scientific evidence as “rank steaming bullshit”. In a debate with theologian David Ray Griffin, a leading member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice, Mr Taibbi was unable to produce the turd. He is a talented journalist; but like a vast array of prominent figures in the established American Left media – from Amy Goodman of Democracy Now to David Corn at The Nation – he is in 9/11 denial.

Part of the explanation is that corporations increasingly fund the Left, which then sees those who are not muzzled as a threat to its credibility. There is also the observation that the Left is actually revolted by the thought that 9/11 may be an inside job; that ugly, ruthless Americans, capable of almost anything, call the shots. If this was true – and it’s easy to believe – both the Left and its pretensions would be irrelevant. The blowback theory – in which the attacks are seen as a response to US foreign policy – is accordingly the sand in which the Left prefers to bury its head.

Early in 2006, I interviewed Dr Shyam Sunder, who led the official investigation by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) into the collapse of the Twin Towers and WTC 7. He was candid – he had not bothered to test whether explosives had been used. “We were not looking at a bomb. We knew what the source of the problem was, which was the airplane impact. There was substantial evidence for that so we didn’t really need to understand what caused the building to collapse. We knew what started the process.”

He hadn’t studied the actual collapse either because “once the large block of building at the top has started coming down the calculations are obvious…this is the equivalent of adding two plus two equals four in mathematics in elementary school”. With regard to WTC 7, which was not hit by a plane, he said “there always remains the possibility that we may not reach a specific conclusion because the building doesn’t exist anymore”. None of this was in the least convincing but I guess I was expected to play the game.

The Environmental Protection Agency followed instructions when it was ordered by the White House to declare the air at Ground Zero safe to breathe. Now over 50,000 workers have respiratory problems and already more than 350 have died. It’s predicted the death toll will surpass that of 9/11 itself. In Iraq, it is estimated that more than a million people have died because of an invasion based on a lie.

There is no mystery about how the WTC buildings collapsed. They were brought down by controlled demolition and the evidence is unassailable. The real question is whether a widespread culture of manipulating the truth – “spin” as it is known in the UK – will provoke an equally dramatic implosion in societies that are already acutely dysfunctional.

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