The 9/11 controversy has been the subject of countless pieces here at OpEdNews over the last two years. And yet the official version of the events remain one of the most censored, and suspect, stories of all time. The following summary of the controversy, with its numerous references, is the most comprehensive and comprehensible report I've seen.
Censored, by pibby2008173 (2007), at Flickr Commons
To view the story at Project Censored's site, click here.There follows a slightly abridged and rearranged text of Project Censored's "Increased Tensions with Unresolved 9/11 Issues" - the first sentence of the text is omitted, and the sources follow the text instead of preceding it. Note especially the discussions of Cass Sunstein, Obama's new OIRA Czar.
Those in political power along with media elites would like to see the ongoing grassroots debates surrounding unanswered 9/11 questions and discrepancies disappear, despite the mountains of evidence that suggest that American citizens were told little about the truth of the biggest single-day attack on their homeland in history. Nearly ten years after the events, many unanswered questions still exist: How did Building 7 fall? What caused the destruction of the twin towers? Where is Osama bin Laden? Are people that question the official story of 9/11 dangerous conspiracy theorists?
The academics and intellectuals who have tried to answer these questions have been ignored or derided by corporate mainstream (and even some progressive leftist) media, political pundits, and government officials who clearly intend to silence the so-called 9/11 Truth Movement, or anyone who questions the officially sanctioned government stance on the matter. However, the questions will not go away and increasingly beg for answers.
As of spring 2010, over 1,200 architects and engineers are calling for a new investigation into the events of 9/11. These building professionals and academics are motivated by the fact that the 9/11 Commission Report has been proven erroneous on multiple counts, scientific explanations have been flawed and contradictory, and the American people deserve a more fact-based explanation.At the same time, new evidence of explosives that can be used in controlled demolition has been found in the dust traces of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers and Building 7 of the WTC complex. After careful examination of the official story about 9/11 (in which the commission never even mentioned Building 7), along with the forensic data omitted from official reports, these professionals have concluded that a new independent and transparent investigation into these massive and mysterious structural failures is needed.Richard Gage, a San Francisco-based architect and founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, states, "The official Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) reports provide insufficient and fraudulent accounts of the circumstances of the towers' destruction." Gage, along with other architects and engineers, attacked NIST's first reports such that NIST eventually changed their conclusions, addressed new evidence, and released a new draft report in 2008. In the thirty days after the 2008 draft report was released, NIST took public questions on the report. Gage's group sent a letter that covered myriad inconsistencies and omissions in the 2008 report. However, the final report released later in 2008 addressed almost none of the concerns raised. The scientific method was not adhered to in this study.
Gage and Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth's actions pushed NIST to recognize that Building 7, a forty-seven-story skyscraper that was not hit by an aircraft, did come down at free fall acceleration for more than one hundred feet. An explanation as to how or why it fell at free fall speed was not provided by NIST. NIST continues to state that looking at the thermitic materials found at Ground Zero noted in the demolition theory "would not necessarily have been conclusive." Despite their own claim that evidence of demolition is inconclusive, they decided not to test or address it at all, as if this could not and/or did not happen (see chapter 7 of this book for more details). Again, the scientific method was not fully followed by government agencies.In other 9/11 related matters, there is the ongoing mystery regarding the whereabouts of the alleged perpetrator, Osama bin Laden. Even though bin Laden did not take credit for the incident (he in fact claimed the contrary, nor is the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) holding him as a suspect in those crimes due to lack of evidence) government officials of both parties regularly refer to bin Laden as the one responsible for the 9/11 attacks (see story #16 in Censored 2008).
Furthermore, Dr. David Ray Griffin, a former professor at California's Claremont School of Theology and author of numerous books on 9/11 issues, suggests that Osama bin Laden has been dead for nearly nine years. He argues that bin Laden died on December 13, 2001, of kidney failure or a kidney-related illness. There are records of bin Laden being treated in an American hospital in Dubai for a urinary infection, often linked with kidney disease, and a related order for a mobile dialysis machine, essential to his survival, that was shipped to Afghanistan. Griffin, along with doctors that he cites, says it would be impossible for bin Laden to survive in a cave with that machine for any substantial period of time. Griffin goes on to note that the US and British governments are aware of bin Laden's death, and have been covering it up to continue the war on terror. (See Griffin's book on the subject, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?).In other ongoing tension concerning 9/11 on the home front, President Obama's appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein, claims that the United States government should infiltrate and discredit activist groups.
Sunstein's call to discredit groups includes those who challenge the official views of the 9/11 attacks, the so-called 9/11 "truthers.' Sunstein acknowledges that the US government has been involved in conspiracies in the past, but he confidently believes that this is no longer a problem. (See the Truth Emergency section of this volume for more on this issue, especially chapter 6.) He claims that groups that question the events of 9/11 are dangerous and could lead some people to violence (while presenting no concrete evidence to prove this).Sunstein maintains that refuting these groups in public is not productive. He suggests that the most effective method of refute is to infiltrate and cogitatively discredit their internal sources. Sunstein is essentially calling for a return of the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) from the cold war days when agents of the US government covertly infiltrated antiwar and civil rights groups with the intent to disrupt and discredit their activities--provoking violence or planning illegal acts themselves in order to bring groups up on criminal charges.
Sunstein's call for infiltration of private citizen groups plays to the very concerns of many 9/11 activists--concerns that they may be targeted or infiltrated, tried on some trumped up terrorist or criminal charges, and then may not get a fair public hearing. (For more on this, see story #6 in Censored 2009, and story #20 in Censored 2008.)Such a climate of fear and intimidation does not bode well for First Amendment rights, nor for academic freedom in the US, let alone the possibility of discovering the truth about what really happened on September 11.
Update by Shawn HamiltonOver one thousand architects and engineers have signed a petition to reinvestigate the 9/11 destruction.
When I went to San Francisco to cover the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth) press conference, I didn't tell the news department with which I am most closely allied; I was afraid I'd be told not to do the story. This may not surprise anyone considering mainstream media's deafening silence on 9/11 issues, but this wasn't an organ of mainstream media; it was an alternative radio station founded on principles that encourage coverage of underreported stories. To be fair, no news director said I couldn't cover the story, and the story ran that weekend. The point is that I had felt constrained by the prevailing atmosphere of suspicion and fear surrounding media reception of 9/11 topics generally--including at this "progressive" station where people are sharply divided on the issue. I've never seen such general weirdness surrounding media coverage of an issue except for the Kennedy assassination. In the 1970s people mocked those few who suggested Lee Harvey Oswald didn't act alone, branding them "conspiracy nuts," just as 9/11 activists now are labeled "truthers," which sounds like "flat earthers." Some of these activists have embraced the "truther" tag, but I suggest they should refrain. The term is not meant to be a compliment.
I asked theologian David Ray Griffin, who spoke at the conference, why he thought the media was acting so bizarrely towards 9/11 issues. Griffin pointed out how the terms "conspiracy theory" and "conspiracy theorist" are manipulated to make reporters fear losing their reputations and jobs. "You know how it works. Everybody in the media knows how it works," he said. "Nobody has to be explicitly threatened; they just know the rules."
The press conference was a newsworthy story whether or not anything the group claims is true. It's a valid story because so many citizens are questioning the official explanations for the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The fact that over a thousand licensed architects and engineers are demanding a new investigation increases that relevance. If what they say is even partly true, the implications are profound, but either way, there's a legitimate story. I don't expect news agencies to endorse the views of groups like AE911Truth; that's not their proper role. I do expect them not to run for cover when they hear those unsettling words: "9/11." Democracy is not served by reporters fearing to cover sensitive stories.
As of summer 2010, AE911Truth (ae911truth.org) has
gotten more than 1,200 building professionals to sign its petition to
Congress demanding a truly independent investigation, and a new group has formed
called Firefighters for 9-11 Truth (firefightersfor911truth.org) that
challenges official reports and public misconceptions of what occurred on
September 11. A group called New York City Coalition for Accountability Now
(nyccan.org) is attempting to convince the New York City Council to investigate
the anomalous circumstances surrounding the collapse of World Trade Center