Directly after the catastrophic events of 9/11, many people reviewed the sequence of events, and their unanswered questions led to the development of countless conspiracy theories
The tragic events that unfolded on September the 11th, left much of the American public dissatisfied with the explanations given by those in power and led to the development of numerous conspiracy theories. Indeed, much confusion ensued after the Twin Tower collapse and the Pentagon collision. And questions such as “why did building WTC 7 collapse?” have been poorly answered.
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Wading through the information and debates regarding the truth about 9/11 can be overwhelming. But with every anniversary of the event that passes, this being the 16th, nagging questions rear their angry heads once again. Activists, who call themselves Truthers, convene on the Ground Zero site each year. Annually, they seek to express their perspective in the hope that the powers that be will finally break. Break and reveal to them a genuine nature of events that they believe transpired.
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So let’s refresh our memories of what unfolded on that fateful September morning seventeen years ago
If like most people, you were lucky enough to not be in New York that day. Instead, you probably watched events unfold live on television. In the shock of the unbelievable scenes playing out in front of your eyes, your emotional responses likely caused you to miss a lot of the nuances occurring between the lines.
Initially, global news reports began streaming live video of one of the towers billowing with smoke. Reporters speculated from anecdotes gathered on the street that a plane had flown into the tower. For all intents and purposes, at that stage, it appeared as though it had been a freak accident. Nevertheless, it was enough to get the adrenalin and fear to rise in everyone’s blood. So inevitably, when around 15 minutes later, the second plane flew into the second tower, an apocalyptic feeling gripped the air.
Suddenly, within another 15 minutes, another plane had crashed into the Pentagon, and there was no doubt that a war-like event was unfolding. In fact, the entire country went into lock down. The attacks immobilized the US as if it was war time. The whole world witnessed an event that they previously felt the US was immune to.
Families frantically tried to find loved ones who had been in the vicinity
Doomed individuals trapped in the fiery horror made devastating last phone calls to family and loved ones. Desperate people faced with being burned alive plunged out of the tower windows to their deaths. The whole western world changed on that day.
Reports swiftly emerged that the cause and motivation of the carnage that fateful day was fundamentalist Islamic terrorism. Official announcements were made by members of al-Qaeda who declared that their mastermind was Osama Bin Laden. President Bush declared a “war on terror” which would snowball into a bloody war and horrific terror attacks elsewhere around the world.
Inevitably, the world wanted answers, and the government was selective with which information it wanted to share with the public. In fact, a survey last year revealed that 53% of Americans believe that the Government perpetuates the concealment of crucial information regarding the event. Below we will look at many of the questions that are raised by specifically by Truthers, and we will examine the responses from alleged experts. All that will be left will be for you to decide:
1. Did someone deliberately destroy the WTC 7 building?
Several hours after the destruction of the towers, another building belonging to the World Trade Center collapsed. The name of this building was WTC 7. Many have seen its collapse as mysterious and suspicious. Truthers suggest that someone deliberately blew the building up. But why?
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The NYC Office of Emergency Management ran the WTC 7. Its location beside the Twin Towers was no coincidence. Emergency personnel were located there specifically to respond to an event like 9/11. And ironically, and fortunately, no emergency personnel was present inside the building, due to them being needed to respond to the attacks on the Twin Towers.
Conspiracy theorists base their suspicions on a couple of odd events that transpired.
Firstly BBC News reporters told the world that it had collapsed, despite it still standing in the background while they made the report. Secondly, the owner gave an official order of “pull it” before it collapsed. The immediate assumption was that the WTC owner had destroyed the building on purpose. Earlier this week, the 9/11 Truth Film Festival screened a documentary by Truther Tony Rooke, called Incontrovertible, which examines many of these theories.
However, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s official investigation into the event concluded that the WTC 7 collapse was spurred on by debris that had fallen during the fall of the first tower. As a consequence, fires began to burn out of control on several floors. Horrifically, the automatic sprinkler system failed, so the fires continued to spread uncontrolled. However, many are still not satisfied by these expert’s claims. And recently, the University of Alaska has decided to finance a full investigation into the truth.
2. Were the planes involved fake, and the footage used CGI special effects?
Shockingly, many Truthers believe that there were no planes involved in the collapse of the WTC. Similarly, they believe that there was no plane that flew into the Pentagon. Many videos exist on YouTube which shows Truthers going into detail examining the footage gathered on 9/11, attempting to point out where they believe anomalies appear at the plane entry points into the skyscrapers.
Just as they assume with the WTC 7, they believe that what really happened to the Twin Towers was a controlled demolition. When they review footage of the event, they allege that the towers “fell into their own footprint.” Furthermore, Truthers believe that had the steel melted, as is claimed by experts, that the building would have collapsed in multiple directions, not in on itself.
Additionally, many Truthers argue that it was a missile, not a plane, that blasted a gaping hole into the side of the Pentagon. Any evidence of a plane, claim the conspiracy theorists, were planted there by the government. They believe that the blast site at the side of the Pentagon did not measure in size to be compatible with a passenger jet.
However, many horrifying photographs exist showing bodies of passengers strewn about at the site.
Additionally, observers on the ground noticed the plane acting suspiciously before it charged into the Pentagon, and took photographs of that too. Surveillance footage at the airports where each of the fated flights took off also show evidence of the hijackers heading to do their evil deed.
Experts also rebut the claims of a controlled demolition by describing the complexity and obviousness that would have been involved in such a dramatic undertaking. Professional demolition companies take months to prepare. Inhabitants of an entire building must evacuate several weeks in advance so experts can meticulously put explosives in place. This meticulousness ensures that the building indeed implodes in a coordinated and finely choreographed fashion.
And certainly, pre-demolition, professionals cannot hide evidence of these explosives.
Other theorists have suggested that a nuclear device was detonated in the basement. However, experts can quickly debunk this possibility. The fall out of a nuclear event would have been profound. It would have changed the face of New York for hundreds of years. During a nuclear detonation. There is a precise series of events: bright flash, thermal pulse, discernible radial shockwave, discharge of nuclear radiation, and electronic devices would have melted internally.
3. Was fundamentalist Islamic terrorism was a cover for where the true blame lies?
Many Truthers feel convinced that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by the government in order to devise a seemingly legitimate excuse to invade the Middle East and instigate a war. Indeed, President George Bush had only recently announced his intention to invade Afghanistan. This was due to the looming threats already coming from al-Qaeda. 9/11, the claim, was a false flag attack.
Inevitably, the imaginations of Truthers extend to conspiracy theories that involve other countries in this supposed plot. Countries like China and Israel were assumed to be instigators of the attacks somehow. Author Gordon Thomas wrote a book called Seeds of Fire that claimed China utilized the Taliban as a puppet for their own personal anti-American agenda. As evidence, Thomas revealed how the Washington Post had reported on September 13, 2001, about a deal signed between China and The Taliban. He then linked the deal to Mossad and Israel.
Israel is also notoriously used as a scapegoat for much of the world’s ills.
When a country wishes to shift the blame for their own failings in the eyes of their citizens, Israel usually serves that purpose for many nations. Most accusations against Israel inevitably snowball into anti-semitic tropes against Jews. Long debunked tropes which people have been tirelessly recycling for centuries. Blaming Israel for 9/11 is predictably lazy.
4. Did the military plan for the planes destroy the WTC?
Not all Truthers believe that the government used CGI to create fake planes. Instead, they think that the military purposefully did not intercept the planes before they arrived at their nightmarish destinations. These conspiracy theorists cite the amount of time between take offs and crashes. Consequently, they believe that the US military could have had time to intercept the deadly flights. Indeed, many passengers and crew on the planes sent messages to airport control. Messages assuming that terrorists had hijacked their aircraft.
Why didn’t the military respond instantaneously?
However, experts claim that this particular theory proves the naivety of the conspiracy theorists. A naivety that assumes that the US military has greater power than it really does. There are a couple of pertinent reasons why the US military did not magically intercept these hijacked planes.
Firstly, the United States, until this point, had not dealt with suicidal hijackers. In prior plane hijacking cases, the crafts involved were commercial. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s policy in such instances was to ensure the plane landed safely so they could undertake hostage negotiations. In the past, hijackers were only focussed on using hostages in order to achieve their political agendas. Using the planes as a weapon to destroy integral US infrastructure had simply never happened before.
The most poignant example that Truthers bring up in this instance is Flight 93. They claim that the US military shot it down as a false flag. However, considering that the hijackers were on a suicide mission, they had no qualms with crashing the plane to the ground themselves, once they understood that their ulterior plans would not be realized.
Secondly, the United States Air Force (USAF) never anticipated that a foreign threat of such proportions would originate within US borders. The USAF focuses on patrolling for threats originating from outside US borders.
Consequently, the USAF was simply not prepared.
To make matters more difficult, there were not very many squadrons on alert to potential threats on September 11. Additionally, pilots don’t just sit in planes waiting to take off on a whim. It has only been since the attacks that the US military has altered its strategies. Indeed, these changes were initiated in light of the potential new threats we are up against in this new century.
5. Despite forewarning, did Bush deliberately refuse to act?
Some theorists allege that President Bush allowed 9/11 to take place. This was despite Bush possessing forewarnings. They also have high-ranking endorsers of this perspective. Richard Clarke was the National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism in the US. He had previously served under the Clinton administration, so he is clearly liable to bias in his opinions. However, he was still working in that role on September 11, and in his opinion, was manning the ship.
Clarke had been aware of al-Qaeda as a threat for many years before Bush was even in power. Indeed, he knew of their existence long before it became public knowledge. So when the threat finally materialized in all its horror, Clarke was horrified. Horrified that Bush had permitted it to materialize in the first place.
Initially, the Bush administration had brushed Clarke off as a mere prophet of doom. Now they were rushing to hide like cowards. Vice-president Dick Cheney, for example, hid in the White House bomb shelter. And meanwhile, Clarke stayed above ground directing the responses to the hijacked planes. Indeed, this was despite his own life being at risk; the White House itself was a target of one of those planes.
Truthers see Clarke as an ally in their belief that Bush deliberately used 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq.
Clarke had damning evidence that the al-Qaeda were hell-bent on wreaking the devastation that came to pass. Obviously, he feels extremely angry. As, due to the Bush administration’s arrogance, thousands of American’s lost their lives that day.
In the Guardian in 2011, Clarke stated: “We spent seven years failing to go after al-Qaeda’s game plan, both regarding the invasion of Iraq and the torture and the CIA black sites. We conveyed perfectly that we were at war with Islam. We spent seven years failing to go after al-Qaeda and actually made it worse at the cost of a trillion dollars, 100,00 Iraqi dead, two million Iraqi refugees and more dead American in Iraq than died on 9/11.”
Nevertheless, there are many who counter Clarke’s claims and put the Bush administration’s bungling over the matter down to the administrations’ infancy. Mike Sawyer, one such skeptic, explained the absurdity in this way: “Within eight months of taking office, President Bush planned and executed the largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil with the full cooperation (and unbroken silence) of the U.S. military, the intelligence community, and airline industry. Eight months.”
6. Did Robert Zemeckis warn the world about 9/11 in his Back to the Future films?
One of the more bizarre conspiracy theories to emerge was the idea that 9/11 attacks were predicted by Robert Zemeckis in his Back to the Future film franchise. Conspiracy theorists believe they can see obvious 9/11 symbolism throughout all the movies, the first of which Zemeckis released in 1985.
Below is a selection of the conspiracy theorists alleged warning signs that they believe Zemeckis inserted into the film:
- The numbers 9 and 11 appear on clocks and stop watches.
- The name of the shopping mall where Doc and Marty set out into the future from is called the “Twin Pines Mall.” Then, when history changes, the mall’s name changes to “Lone Pine Mall.” Essentially, the name “twin pines” was alluding to the Twin Towers.
- Muslim terrorists attack Doc and Marty at the Twin Pines Mall.
- An Illuminati symbol hovers above Marty on a wall in one scene. This scene depicts when Marty receives a leaflet that warns him about lightening striking the clock tower.
So what do you think was the reason behind the September 11 attacks? Do you have a different opinion to anything written above? Or do any of the arguments sway your perspective? Do you think there was a conspiracy? Leave your comments below.