The article below was written for the Journal of
9/11 Studies for the eleventh anniversary of September 11, 2001, the day
that terminated accountable government and American liberty. It is posted here
with the agreement of the editors.
In order to understand the improbability of the
government's explanation of 9/11, it is not necessary to know anything about
what force or forces brought down the three World Trade Center buildings, what
hit the Pentagon or caused the explosion, the flying skills or lack thereof of
the alleged hijackers, whether the airliner crashed in Pennsylvania or was shot
down, whether cell phone calls made at the altitudes could be received, or any
other debated aspect of the controversy.
You only have to know two things.
One is that according to the official story, a
handful of Arabs, mainly Saudi Arabians, operating independently of any
government and competent intelligence service, men without James Bond and V for
Vendetta capabilities, outwitted not only the CIA, FBI, and National Security
Agency, but all 16 US intelligence agencies, along with all security agencies of
America's NATO allies and Israel's Mossad. Not only did the entire intelligence
forces of the Western world fail, but on the morning of the attack the entire
apparatus of the National Security State simultaneously failed. Airport security
failed four times in one hour. NORAD failed. Air Traffic Control failed. The US
Air Force failed. The National Security Council failed. Dick Cheney
failed. Absolutely nothing worked. The world's only superpower was helpless at
the humiliating mercy of a few undistinguished Arabs.
It is hard to image a more far-fetched story -- except
for the second thing you need to know: The humiliating failure of US National
Security did not result in immediate demands from the President of the United
States, from Congress, from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and from the media for an
investigation of how such improbable total failure could have occurred. No one
was held accountable for the greatest failure of national security in world
history. Instead, the White House dragged its feet for a year resisting any
investigation until the persistent demands from 9/11 families for accountability
forced President George W. Bush to appoint a political commission, devoid of any
experts, to hold a pretend investigation.
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On 9/11 Doubts Were Immediate
Paul Craig Roberts
On September 11, 2001, a neighbor telephoned and
said, "turn on the TV." I assumed that a hurricane, possibly a bad one from the
sound of the neighbor's voice, was headed our way, and turned on the TV to
determine whether we needed to shutter the house and leave.
What I saw was black smoke from upper floors of one
of the World Trade Center towers. It didn't seem to be much of a fire, and the
reports were that the fire was under control. While I was trying to figure out
why every TV network had its main news anchor covering an office fire, TV
cameras showed an airplane hitting the other tower. It was then that I learned
that both towers had been hit by airliners.
Cameras showed people standing at the hole in the
side of the tower looking out. This didn't surprise me. The airliner was minute
compared to the massive building. But what was going on? Two accidents, one on
top of the other?
The towers -- the three-fourths or four-fifths of the
buildings beneath the plane strikes -- were standing, apparently largely
undamaged. There were no signs of fire except in the vicinity of where the
airliners had hit. Suddenly, one of the towers blew up, disintegrated, and
disappeared in fine dust. Before one could make any sense of this, the same
thing happened to the second tower, and it too disappeared into fine
The TV news anchors compared the disintegration of
the towers to controlled demolition. There were numerous reports of explosions
throughout the towers from the base or sub-basements to the top. (Once the
government put out the story of terrorist attack, references to controlled
demolition and explosions disappeared from the print and TV media.) This made
sense to me. Someone had blown up the buildings. It was completely obvious that
the towers had not fallen down from asymmetrical structural damage. They had
The images of the airliners hitting the towers and
the towers blowing up were replayed time and again. Airliners hit the top
portions of the towers, and not long afterward the towers blew up. I turned off
the TV wondering how it was that cameras had been ready to catch such an unusual
phenomenon as an airplane flying into a skyscraper.
I don't remember the time line, but it wasn't long
before the story was in place that Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda gang had
attacked the US. A passport had been found in the rubble. Another airliner had
flown into the Pentagon, and a fourth airliner had crashed or been shot down.
Four airliners had been hijacked, meaning airport security had failed four times
on the same morning. Terrorists had successfully assaulted America.
When I heard these reports, I wondered. How could a
tiny undamaged passport be found in the rubble of two skyscrapers, each more
than 100 stories tall, when bodies, office furniture and computers could not be
found? How could airport security fail so totally that four airliners could be
hijacked within the same hour? How could authorities know so conclusively and
almost immediately the names of the perpetrators who pulled off such a
successful attack on the world's only superpower, when the authorities had no
idea that such an attack was planned or even possible?
These questions disturbed me, because as a former
member of the congressional staff and as a presidential appointee to high
office, I had high-level security clearances. In addition to my duties as
Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury, I had FEMA responsibilities in the event
of nuclear attack. There was a mountain hideaway to which I was supposed to
report in the event of a nuclear attack and from which I was supposed to take
over the US government in the event no higher official survived the
The more the story of 9/11 was presented in the
media, the more wondrous it became. It is not credible that not only the CIA and
FBI failed to detect the plot, but also all 16 US intelligence agencies,
including the National Security Agency, which spies on everyone on the planet,
and the Defense Intelligence Agency, Israel's Mossad, and the intelligence
agencies of Washington's NATO allies. There are simply too many watchmen and too
much infiltration of terrorist groups for such a complex attack to be prepared
undetected and carried out undeterred.
Washington's explanation of the attack implied a
security failure too massive to be credible. Such a catastrophic failure of
national security would mean that the US and Western Europe were never safe for
one second during the Cold War, that the Soviet Union could have destroyed the
entire West in one undetected fell swoop.
As a person whose colleagues at the Center for
Strategic and International Studies in Washington were former secretaries of
state, former national security advisors, former CIA directors, former chairmen
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I was troubled by the story that a collection of
individuals unsupported by a competent intelligence service had pulled off the
events of 9/11.
As a person with high-level government service, I
knew that any such successful operation as 9/11 would have resulted in immediate
demands from the White House, Congress, and the media for accountability. There
would have been an investigation of how every aspect of US security could
totally fail simultaneously in one morning. Such a catastrophic and embarrassing
failure of the national security state would not be left
NORAD failed. The US Air Force could not get jet
fighters in the air. Air Traffic Control lost sight of the hijacked airliners.
Yet, instead of launching an investigation, the White House resisted for one
year the demands of the 9/11 families for an investigation. Neither the public,
the media, nor Congress seemed to think an investigation was necessary. The
focus was on revenge, which the Bush neocon regime said meant invading
Afghanistan which was alleged to be sheltering the perpetrator, Osama bin
Normally, terrorists are proud of their success and
announce their responsibility. It is a way to build a movement. Often a number
of terrorist groups will compete in claiming credit for a successful operation.
But Osama bin Laden in the last video that is certified by independent experts
said that he had no responsibility for 9/11, that he had nothing against the
American people, that his opposition was limited to the US government's colonial
policies and control over Muslim governments.
It makes no sense that the "mastermind" of the most
humiliating blow in world history ever to have been delivered against a
superpower would not claim credit for his accomplishment. By September 11, 2001,
Osama bin Laden knew that he was deathly ill. According to news reports he
underwent kidney dialysis the following month. The most reliable reports that we
have are that he died in December 2001. It is simply not credible that bin Laden
denied responsibility because he feared Washington.
But Osama bin Laden was too useful a bogeyman, and
Washington and the presstitute media kept him alive for another decade until
Obama needed to kill the dead man in order to boost his sinking standings in the
polls so that Democrats would not back a challenger for the Democratic
Numerous bin Laden videos, every one pronounced a
fake by experts, were released whenever it was convenient for Washington. No one
in the Western media or in the US Congress or European or UK parliaments was
sufficiently intelligent to recognize that a bin Laden video always showed up on
cue when Washington needed it. "Why would the 'mastermind' be so accommodating
for Washington?" was the question that went through my mind every time one of
the fake videos was released.
The 9/11 "investigation" that finally took place was
a political one run from the White House. One member of the commission resigned,
declaring the investigation to be a farce, and both co-chairman and the legal
counsel of the 9/11 Commission distanced themselves from their report with
statements that the 9/11 Commission was "set up to fail," that resources were
withheld from the commission, that representatives of the US military lied to
the commission and that the commission considered referring the false testimony
for criminal prosecution.
One would think that these revelations would cause a
sensation, but the news media, Congress, the White House, and the public were
All of this bothered me a great deal. The US had
invaded two Muslim countries based on unsubstantiated allegations linking the
two countries to 9/11, which itself remained uninvestigated. The
neoconservatives who staffed the George W. Bush regime were advocating more
invasions of more Muslim countries. Paul O'Neill, President Bush's first
Treasury Secretary, stated publicly that the Bush regime was planning to invade
to 9/11. O'Neill said that no one at a National Security Council meeting
even asked the question, why invade Iraq? "It was all about finding a way to do it."
The leaked top secret Downing Street Memo written by
the head of British intelligence (MI6) confirms Paul O'Neill's testimony. The
memo, known as the "smoking gun memo" whose authenticity has been confirmed,
states that "President George W. Bush wants to remove Saddam Hussein, through
military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the
intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." In other words, the
US invasion of Iraq was based on nothing but a made up lie.
As an engineering student I had witnessed a controlled demolition. When films of the collapse of WTC building 7 emerged
, it was obvious that building 7 had been brought down by controlled demolition. When
physics instructor David Chandler measured the descent of the building and
established that it took place at free-fall acceleration, the case was closed.
Buildings cannot enter free fall unless controlled demolition has removed all
resistance to the collapsing floors.
If airliners brought down two skyscrapers, why was
controlled demolition used to bring down a third building?
I assumed that structural architects, structural
engineers, and physicists would blow the whistle on the obviously false story.
If I could see that something was amiss, certainly more highly trained people
The first physicist to make an effective and
compelling argument was Steven Jones at BYU. Jones said that explosives brought
down the twin towers. He made a good case. For his efforts, he was pressured to
resign his tenured position. I wondered whether the federal government had
threatened BYU's research grants or whether patriotic trustees and alumni were
the driving force behind Jones' expulsion. Regardless, the message was clear to
other university based experts: "Shut up or we'll get you."
Steven Jones was vindicated when chemist Niels
Harrit of the University of Copenhagen In Denmark reported unequivocally that
the scientific team in which he participated found nano-thermite in the residue
of the twin towers. This sensational finding was not mentioned in the US print
and TV media to my knowledge.
Several years after 9/11, architect Richard Gage
formed Architects and Engineers for 9/11 truth, an organization that has grown
to include 1,700 experts. The plans of the towers have been studied. They were
formidable structures. They were constructed to withstand airliner hits and
fires. There is no credible explanation of their failure except intentional
I also found disturbing the gullibility of the
public, media, and Congress in the unquestioning acceptance of the official
stories of the shoe-bomber, shampoo and bottled-water bomber, and underwear
bomber plots to blow up airliners in transit. These schemes are farcical. How
can we believe that al Qaeda, capable of pulling off the most fantastic
terrorist attack in history and capable of devising improvised explosive devices
(IEDs) that kill and maim US troops and destroy US military vehicles would rely
on something that had to be lighted with a match? The shoe and underwear bombers
would simply have pushed a button on their cell phones or laptops, and the
liquid bomb would not have required extended time in a lavatory to be mixed (all
to no effect).
None of this makes any sense. Moreover, experts
disputed many of the government's claims, which were never backed by anything
but the government's story line. There is no independent evidence that anything
was involved other than firecracker powders.
The case of the underwear bomber is especially
difficult to accept. According to witnesses, the underwear bomber was not
allowed on the airliner, because he had no passport. So an official appears who
walks him onto the airliner bound for Detroit on Christmas day. What kind of
official has the authority to over-ride established rules, and what did the
official think would happen to the passenger when he presented himself to US
Customs without a passport? Any official with the power to over-ride standard
operating practices would know that it was pointless to send a passenger to a
country where his entry would be rejected.
The circumstantial evidence is that these were
orchestrated events designed to keep fear alive, to create new intrusive powers
for a new over-arching federal policy agency, to accustom US citizens to
intrusive searches and a police force to conducting them, and to sell expensive
porno-scanners and now more advanced devices to the Transportation Safety
Administration. Apparently, this expensive collection of high-tech gadgetry is
insufficient to protect us from terrorists, and in August 2012 the Department of
Homeland Security put in an order for 750 million rounds of ammunition, enough
to shoot every person in the US 2.5 times.
Naive and gullible Americans claim that if some part
of the US government had been involved in 9/11, "someone would have talked by
now." A comforting thought, perhaps, but nothing more. Consider, for example,
the cover-up by the US government of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty
that killed or wounded most of the crew but failed to sink the ship. As the
survivors have testified, they were ordered in a threatening way not to speak
about the event. It was twelve years later before one of the USS Liberty's
officers, James Ennes, told the story of the attack in his book, Assault on
the Liberty. I continue to wonder how the professionals at the National
Institute of Standards and Technology feel about being maneuvered by the federal
government into the unscientific position NIST took concerning the destruction
of the WTC towers.
What will be the outcome of the doubts about the
official story raised by experts? I worry that most Americans are too mentally
and emotionally weak to be able to come to grips with the truth. They are far
more comfortable with the story that enemies attacked America successfully
despite the massive national security state in place. The American public has
proved itself to be so cowardly that it willingly, without a peep, sacrificed
its civil liberty and the protections of law guaranteed by the Constitution in
order to be "safe."
Congress is not about to expose itself for having
squandered trillions of dollars on pointless wars based on an orchestrated "new
Pearl Harbor." When the neoconservatives said that a "new Pearl Harbor" was a
requirement for their wars for American/Israeli hegemony, they set the stage for
the 21st century wars that Washington has launched. If Syria falls, there is
only Iran, and then Washington stands in direct confrontation with Russia and
Unless Russia and China can be overthrown with
"color revolutions," these two nuclear powers are unlikely to submit to
Washington's hegemony. The world as we know it might be drawing to a
If enough Americans or even other peoples in the
world had the intelligence to realize that massive steel structures do not
disintegrate into fine dust because a flimsy airliner hits them and limited
short-lived fires burn on a few floors, Washington would be faced with the
suspicion it deserves.
If 9/11 was actually the result of the failure of
the national security state to deter an attack, the government's refusal to
conduct a real investigation is an even greater failure. It has fallen to
concerned and qualified individuals to perform the investigative role abandoned
by government. The presentations at the Toronto Hearings, along with the
evaluations of the Panel, are now available, as is the documentary film,
"Explosive Evidence -- Experts Speak Out
," provided by Architects and Engineers
for 9/11 Truth.
The government's agents and apologists try to
deflect attention from disturbing facts by redefining factual evidence revealed
by experts as the product of "a conspiracy culture." If people despite their
brainwashing and lack of scientific education are able to absorb the information
made available to them, perhaps both the US Constitution and peace could be
restored. Only informed people can restrain Washington and avert the crazed
hegemonic US government from destroying the world in war.