Long Live The 9/11 Conspiracy!
Anyone still care about the heap of disturbing, unsolved questions surrounding Our Great Tragedy?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Here is your must-read for the month. Here is your oh-my-God- I'm-sending-this-piece- to-every-smart-person-I-know hunk of outstanding, distressing, disquieting media bliss.
Here it is: an absolutely exceptional inside scoop on the white-hot world of Sept. 11 conspiracy theories [ http://nymag.com/news/features/16464/index.html], writ large and smart by Mark Jacobson over at New York magazine, and it's mandatory reading for anyone and everyone who's ever entertained the nagging thought that something -- or rather, far more than one something -- is deeply wrong with the official line on what actually happened on Sept. 11.
See, it is very likely that you already know that Sept. 11 will go down in the conspiracy history books as a far more sinister affair than, say, the murky swirl of the Kennedy assassination. You probably already know that much of what exactly happened on Sept. 11 remains deeply unsettling and largely unsolved -- or to put another way, if you don't know all of this and if you fully and blithely accept the official Sept. 11 story, well, you haven't been paying close enough attention.
But on this, the third anniversary of the launch of Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq by way of whoring the tragedy of Sept. 11 for his cronies' appalling gain, what you might not know, what gets so easily forgotten in the mists of time and via the endless repetition of the orthodox Sept. 11 tale, is the sheer volume, the staggering array of unanswered questions about just about every single aspect of Sept. 11 -- the planes, the WTC towers, the Pentagon, the fires, the passengers and the cell phone calls and the firefighters and, well, just about everything. It is, when you look closely, all merely a matter of how far down the rabbit hole you are willing to go.
Verily, Jacobson, in his New York mag piece, encounters crackpots and fringe nutballs and those who think Sept. 11 was connected to aliens and electromagnetic fields and the Illuminati. It can, unfortunately, get a little crazy. But there is also a very smart, grounded, intelligent and surprisingly large faction -- which includes eyewitnesses, Sept. 11 widows, former generals, pilots, professors, engineers, WTC maintenance workers and many, many more -- who point to a rather shocking pile of evidence that says there is simply no way 19 fanatics with box cutters sent by some bearded lunatic in a cave could have pulled off the most perfectly orchestrated air attack of the century. Not without serious help, anyway.
Whose help? This, of course, is the biggest question of all, one which many of the more well-researched theories go a surprisingly long way toward answering.
You have to sift and sort. There are disturbing questions about collapse speeds and controlled demolitions and why the towers fell when the all-steel infrastructure was designed to easily withstand the temperatures of any sort of fire, even burning jet fuel. There are questions of the mysterious, media-documented blasts deep in the WTC towers that took place after the planes hit. There are questions of why there was such a short-selling spree on shares of American Airlines and United Air Lines the day before the attack, huge doubts about the failures of NORAD and the FAA, the bizarre case of the missing plane in the Pentagon crash, and also the downing of Flight 93 where, according to the coroner, no blood or major plane wreckage was actually found. There is, ultimately, the stunning failure of the entire multi-trillion-dollar American air-defense system. Just for starters.
There is also the very big question of what happened to 7 WTC, the only building not hit by anything at all, but which collapsed anyway, in a perfect controlled-demolition sort of way, for no reason anyone can sufficiently explain. But which just so happened to contain vital offices for the IRS, the Department of Defense, the CIA, the Secret Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and more.
But perhaps Jacobson's article is insufficient for you. Perhaps you have heard much of it before, or you're more of the visceral type and need to actually see the proofs in order to delve deeper, have them laid out like gruesome body parts in a mesmerizing autopsy. Fair enough.
For you, we have the surprisingly compelling indie documentary "9/11 Loose Change" (Google it), freely available on the Internet and produced by three very astute and very young and very strong-willed dudes who managed to cobble together a truly astounding array of proofs and interviews and evidence, a full 1 hour and 20 minutes' worth of mesmerizing footage you will not be able to easily forget.
Or maybe you should peruse one of the countless Sept. 11 conspiracy sites, many of which link to relevant video and one of which -- scholarsfor911truth.org -- claims to be "a non-partisan association of faculty, students, and scholars, in fields as diverse as history, science, military affairs, psychology, and philosophy, dedicated to exposing falsehoods and to revealing truths behind 9/11." Start there.
Now, it's very true that some of the more specious conspiracy claims have been largely discredited and proved false. Some of the more radical "evidence" gathered by theorists is quite suspect and easily placed in the category of no-way-in-hell. This is valid. This is as it should be. You have to chew through a lot of skin and gristle to get to the real meat.
But oh the meat. The overwhelming quantity, the bloody, deadly stench of it. Fact is, it is quite impossible to watch the entire "Loose Change" documentary and not come away just a little shaken, a little awed by the sheer number of perversely interrelated facts and aberrant coincidences-that-aren't-coincidences, shaking your head at how it all seems to irrefutably prove there is far, far more to the Sept. 11 tragedy than just crazy Osama and his band of zealots, as you begin to sink into a sighing morass of rage and frustration and suspicion and mistrust. You almost can't help it.
Of course, there is another option. There is another way out. You may, as is the standard cultural default, simply ignore it all, scoff and roll your eyes and shrug it all off because it's just too bleak and distasteful to entertain the idea that the dark Sept. 11 thread winds all the way through the NSA and the FBI and the White House and the Project for the New American Century and Dick Cheney's mangled soul and God only knows where else.
But then again, no. You have to look. You have to try. Knowledge is power, and while the truth may be spurious and slippery and messy and deep, the pursuit of it is just about the only thing we have left. Give that up, and all that's left is spiritual numbness, emotional stasis and death. So what are you waiting for?
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Mark Morford's Notes & Errata column appears every Wednesday and Friday on SF Gate and in the Datebook section of the SF Chronicle. To get on the e-mail list for this column, please click here and remove one article of clothing. Mark's column also has an RSS feed and an archive of past columns, which includes a tiny photo of Mark probably insufficient for you to recognize him in the street and give him gifts.
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