What a weird day. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was a sixth grader just getting out of gym class, and I remember yelling "Cool! We get to watch TV!" before I even had the chance to see what was going on. As soon as I saw the towers falling my stomach dropped, and I knew that my world would never be the same. A wave of hysteria, patriotism, and hatred washed over America that day, or at least that's what the news showed us.
There was hysteria in my private life as well. I was surrounded by people who were freaking out about the attack. It was kind of overwhelming really. Fear was controlling everyone's actions, and fear was controlling our minds. Everywhere I turned: my pastor, the news, and my parents all said the same thing: "Who knows when they will strike again." I didn't have access to the internet. I hadn't learned to question anything yet, and so I just figured that the terrorists were bad people who wanted to hurt us. I was terrified that another attack would be coming, and I allowed that fear to control the way I acted.
I remember taunting kids who were outspoken about peace in middle school. It seemed that many of us simply viewed the war that followed 9/11 as fun and games. Years down the line I finally started actually thinking about 9/11 from a more balanced point of view. I met some new people in college who had different points of view about 9/11, and at first I couldn't understand why they cared so much.
Why did it mattered what had happened? 9/11 had happened a long time ago, but there was a whisper growing amongst the people, one that cried foul play on the behalf of the U.S government and its elite. Could it really have been an inside job? Only conspiracy theorists believed that stuff, and conspiracy theorists are weird little guys who wear tin foil hats while ranting about government lies and deceit from their mothers basements. The more I thought about it, the more it bugged me. All of the things I thought I knew about 9/11 started seeming phony.
There are two primary narratives that are given about 9/11. Evil terrorists directed by Osama bin Laden hit WTC 1 and 2, the Pentagon, and they also were able to get WTC 7 to collapse from the fires and debris from WTC 1 and 2. Did you know that a third tower fell that day? I honestly had no idea about this until a couple of years ago. This was when doubt completely began to creep in on what we had been told about that fateful day. Why hadn't we heard about the third tower falling that day? Why didn't the mainstream media bring it up? That seemed odd to me that our government would leave out a piece of information like that, but I guess debris and office fires can make a building collapse. I'm not really a physics' guy so what do I know?
I decided I wanted to know more about what had happened on 9/11. I went down the rabbit hole on the internet to see what the dissenters were saying. Most of them fervently believe that 9/11 was an inside job. In their view, the whole thing was planned and perpetrated by the US government. It was a controlled demolition, and a tool to be used for stripping Americans of civil liberties and giving huge corporations the ability to make massive amounts of profit off the war. What they said seemed to make a lot of sense. A lot of them came off as a bit crazy, but I hadn't met too many people in my life who were 9/11 "truthers." I've also always had a soft spot for the underdog, and these guys are probably the biggest underdogs in the world.
After giving the 9/11 conspiracy theorists a fair shot, it seemed that they were closer to the truth than the official narrative. They often cited a certain document: Operation Northwoods, which was a plan in the 1960's that suggested that the U.S. engage in false flag operations in order to provoke a war with Cuba. At one point the document suggests the possibility of shooting down a civilian plane that could include a group of college students traveling down to the Bahamas or Jamaica in order to frame Cuba as the perpetrator (I know most of you probably don't believe me, but I'll leave a link so that you can look at the document too). Apparently the Joint Chiefs of Staff made this proposal, but JFK refused to go along with their plan. Coincidentally, JFK was assassinated about a year and a half after that, but that is an entirely different kind of rabbit hole that we are not going down right now.
Now here is the truly weird part of the whole thing. The Operation Northwoods document was declassified on April 30, 2001. Would people with a sinister plot to stage a false flag attack really be so stupid as to declassify a document that documents previous plans by elites to stage false flag attacks? That seems like a very silly thing to do. It seems to be something that a lot of people who believe the 9/11 conspiracy seem to miss. The timing of the release of this document points to two things--either our government is seriously inept at making decisions about false flag attacks or--they have simply made plans to do so and have never actually done it. Both are quite terrifying.
The truth of the matter is that I was 11 when 9/11 happened and I wasn't there. I can't possibly know any truths because I don't have the physical proof. Neither do you, and neither does anyone. We can have strong hunches about the things that happened. We can do good guesswork and hope that we are right, but no one's opinions on these things change the fact that it happened. If someone had a box and in it they had the 9/11 truth, and I won a million dollars if I got the truth right; my guess would be the controlled demolition narrative. I'd either be a million dollars richer, or I would finally know the truth about the matter. I don't think it matters which side of this debate you are on. What matters is being able to reason about both sides of an issue.
This is part of the problem with the internet now. It is creating a whole lot of people who are very radical in their opinions about things because they can always find more information to support their opinion. We all fall victim to it every now and then, but the question is what we can do with this information. It doesn't really matter if 9/11 was orchestrated by the U.S government, what matters is that we realize that we're being systematically being lied to on a daily basis by our government and our media.
I think a lot of people realize this, and we are beginning to realize that war is not the answer. In fact, it's damn near impossible to convince us to go to war anymore. All interventions going on in the Middle East are being facilitated by the CIA and drone strikes because putting boots on the ground is just unacceptable to us anymore. We're growing increasingly skeptical of the things we are told from our government because they're simply lying to us all the time.
I happened upon the mainstream news this summer on the 4 th of July, and the mainstream media was trying to whip up fear about a terrorist attack. It didn't happen, and the cool thing was that almost everyone I talked to about it thought I was a bit kooky for watching the news. I think the jig is up with the mainstream media because they've been lying for so long that we can't take it anymore. We've been conditioned to fear for so long that we're over it. If there is another terrorist attack soon let's not lose our collective heads again. Don't be scared, and listen to the voices of dissent. We don't have to look at the world as an Us vs Them place. It's Us and Them, and the U.S has played a huge part in creating these terrorist organizations. Let's not embrace fear anymore, and instead choose love.
I guess my larger point is that it is more important that we teach each other how to think about 9/11 rather than what to think about 9/11. It's the only way that people change their minds.
(Article changed on September 11, 2015 at 17:27)