(I wrote this for my Junior year research paper... Enjoy)
I remember being nine years old, and on that I morning, I stayed home from school. After having finished my breakfast, my mom calling me into her room to see something that was on the news. It was September 11, 2001, and I remember seeing the side of a burning building where a plane had crashed. I thought little of it at the time and carried on with my business, at least until my mom called me back a few minutes later and told me that another plane had crashed into the adjacent building. I stared in wonderment as the man on the television screen told me and millions of others across the nation that we had been attacked. We had fallen victim to a terrorist strike. For weeks, perhaps months following, I lived in fear that Muslim terrorists, unless drastic improvements in our national security were made, would eventually lead to my death - I was not alone.
The fear of death, however, did not root from the initial actions of terrorist organizations. It did not come from knowing that they had destroyed towers one, two, seven and the west wing of the Pentagon - "perhaps the world's most secure office building"(Grunwald,1). It didn't even come from knowing that it was so perfectly executed. It was in fact set in motion by the propaganda machine; our media. The constant reinforcement of terms like "War on Terror" implied that if we did not go after these people or make some changes more US citizens would die. It was almost too horrific of an idea to be true; you could leave for work one morning and never make it safely back home. It would not take long for people to question the events of that historic day and of the days that followed. If we were such a powerful nation, how could we be so powerless to stop this tragedy? How could our elaborate air defense system of satellites, radar, and supersonic fighters be caught so off guard? Many would soon blame the government for reacting too slowly to prevent the attack, and others would even accuse them of orchestrating it. Who knows what really happened?
The United States government would soon dismiss the notion that they had any prior knowledge of the attacks. They would even deny that they had any idea that hijacked planes could be used as weapons; "Nobody in our government, at least, and I don't think the prior government, could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive scale"(George W. Bush). This statement and one made by Condoleezza Rice -- Secretary of State -- would later contradict the one made by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), saying that they did in fact run exercises of mock hijackings in which two of the targets included the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, though the Pentagon simulation was dubbed 'too unlikely to occur' for any physical exercise to take place for it (USA Today). There was, however, a simulated exercise in which the scenario included an airplane flying into the Pentagon. General Lance Lord would later say, "[W]e had practiced an evacuation of the building during a mass casualty exercise (MASCAL) just a month earlier, so our assembly points were fresh in our minds." In addition, according to John Lumpkin's article in the Associated Press, "...one U.S. intelligence agency was planning an exercise last Sept. 11  in which an errant aircraft would crash into one of its buildings... The agency is about 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the runways of Washington Dulles International Airport." Had there there not been any confusion between the simulation and the hijacking occurring only a few miles away (9/11 flight controller: "Is this real world or exercise?"), the fighter jet could have reacted in time to stop this atrocity.
NORAD was founded in 1957 and until June 1, 2001, three months before the attack, the generals of the military had the ability to intercept hijacked aircraft without need for consent. In an instruction sent that day to the "operational commanders in the event of an aircraft piracy (hijacking)," it was stated that in the event of a hijacking, NORAD would need approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the head of the Department of Defense (DOD), Donald Rumsfeld, before any action be taken. Oddly enough, when "air traffic controllers who handled two of the hijacked flights on Sept. 11, 2001 recorded their experiences shortly after the planes crashed into the World Trade Center... an unidentified Federal Aviation Administration quality assurance manager crushed the cassette case in his hand, cut the tape into small pieces and threw them away in multiple trash cans" (Miller). This would lead many, including Senator John McCain, to question "how well the agency was cooperating with the independent panel investigating the attacks" (Miller). Also, after the first planes hit the towers, Vice President Dick Cheney was rushed to a bunker underneath the White House called the PEOC (Presidential Emergency Operations Center), from which he was given control of the jets in place to intercept any other planes (cnn.com). Norman Mineta, Transportation Secretary present in the PEOC with Cheney, responded to a question given by the Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission:
During the time that the airplane was coming into the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President...the plane is 50 miles out...the plane is 30 miles out....and when it got down to the plane is 10 miles out, the young man also said to the vice president "do the orders still stand?" And the Vice President turned and whipped his neck around and said "Of course the orders still stand, have you heard anything to the contrary!?"
In a later interview, Mineta explains to the Academy of Achievement that during the short conversation between Cheney and the young man he was on the phone with the FAA who was receiving the position of the plane in real time - "As I was talking to him, he said, 'Aw, I lost the Bogey...' And about that time, someone broke into the conversation and said, 'Mr. Secretary, we just had a conformation from an Arlington County police officer saying that he saw an American Airlines plane go into the Pentagon...' When you see one of something happen, it's an accident. When you see two of the same thing happening, it's a trend. When you see three, it's a plan." (Mineta).
There are many who do not wish to believe that such acts of suspicion should be accounted as acts of deception. Many times it is the idea that it is disrespectful to our government, disrespectful to the victims, or disrespectful to their families to question the events of that day and seek controversy. BBC News states, "9/11 was the first global event in the age of the internet. And now the world wide web is being used as a platform for a wide range of conspiracy theories - more than 50 at the last count - which allege that the US government was somehow involved in the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. " Some of the most outlandish theories include the "No Plane" theory, in which some say there were no actual planes involved in the attack, and the "Zionist Involvement" theory, in which a group of people say that the Jewish population caused September 11. The Anti-Defamation League, an organization dedicated “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all,” published a report in which they debunk all major antisemitic claims of involvement in the September 11 attacks, and also, no amount of speculation can trump the testimonies of eye witnesses - planes were undoubtedly present. Organizations like the "9/11 Truth Movement" and "9/11 Was an Inside Job," which sprang up almost immediately after the attacks, state that these theories did not originate from their organizations, and that the people who made these claims are only trying to discredit them (prisonplanet.com). Prisonplanet.com states in an article how "William Rodriguez and Philip Berg [9/11 skeptics and members in the 9/11 Truth Movement] appeared on the Alex Jones Show today to expose a smear campaign that seeks to poison the well of the 9/11 truth movement."
Despite the alleged incompetence of our government to react hastily to the attacks, many people seek some sort proof of involvement. As head of the DOD, Donald Rumsfeld once said, "the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence," and ironically, the presence of evidence is clear and abundant. On January 25, 2001, several months before the attacks, Construction and Project Manager for the World Trade Center, Frank DeMartini (missing Sept. 11, 2001), stated in an interview:
The building was designed to have a fully loaded 707 crash into it, that was the largest plane at the time. I believe that the building could probably sustain multiple impacts of jet liners because this structure is like the mosquito netting on your screen door - this intense grid - and the plane is just a pencil puncturing that screen netting. It really does nothing to the screen netting.
Similarly, on February 27, 1993, Les Robertson said in an interview with the Seattle Times, "We looked at every possible thing we could think of that could happen to the buildings, even to the extent of an airplane hitting the side... Our analysis indicated the biggest problem would be the fact that all the fuel (from the airplane) would dump into the building. There would be a horrendous fire. A lot of people would be killed. The building structure would still be there."
According to the official 9/11 Commission Report, the buildings fell in a "pancake" style - the heat from the fire melts the floor from the steel frames, the top floors collapse on the lower ones, causing them to fall, which starts a chain-reaction ending at the very last floor - twice. Tom Harris, in his article "How Building Implosions Work," explains," "[W]hen you need to bring down a massive structure, say a 20-story skyscraper, you have to haul out the big guns. Explosive demolition is the preferred method for safely and efficiently demolishing larger structures. When a building is surrounded by other buildings, it may be necessary to 'implode' the building, that is, make it collapse down into its footprint". Looking at the landscape which surrounded both towers, in order for the buildings to collapse on themselves, the implosion method must have applied. Also, given that each tower was 110 floors in the air and the recorded elapsed time it took for the towers to fall was 10 seconds and 8 seconds for the South and North Towers respectively (9/11 Commission Report), simple algebra shows that the towers went down at a rate of about about 11 floors per second (North Tower, 13.75 floors per second). What other than explosives can bring a building down so quickly without having it topple over onto nearby buildings?... And twice?
Concerning the theory that heat was the cause of the collapse, "Steel often melts at around 1370 degrees C (2500°F)" (Kross), and 800 degrees Celsius is near the maximum flame temperature of hydrocarbons burning in air without pre-heating or pressurization of the air (Babrauskas). So given what was said by both DeMartini and Robertson, it is easy to conclude that the impact of a plane and a fire in the building did not cause each tower to be destroyed. Furthermore, molten steel was discovered underneath the rubble of the fallen buildings. "Peter Tully, president of Tully Construction of Flushing, New York, told AFP that he saw pools of 'literally molten steel' at the World Trade Center. Tully was contracted on September 11 to remove the debris from the site...These incredibly hot areas were found 'at the bottoms of the elevator shafts of the main towers, down seven [basement] levels... three, four, and five weeks later, when the rubble was being removed,' Loizeaux [demolitions expert] said." (Bollyn). Incredibly, the 9/11 Commission Report says absolutely nothing about it - this important piece of evidence is left out of the report completely. Dr. Steven Jones, a Physics professor at Brigham Young University, studied the molten steel and dust from the crash site under an electron microscope and found, not only the compound found in explosives 'thermite,' but a patented brand used in the demolition industry called 'thermate.' On June 25, 2006, Dr. Jones appeared on C-SPAN and spoke of the pools of the molten metal underneath towers one, two, and seven.
Tower seven is perhaps one of the strangest pieces of evidence, as it also collapsed, but the key factor involved in the theories of the other towers is missing - World Trade Center Seven was not hit by a plane. That particular 47-story building had only a few fires on some of it's floors, yet it fell at the same rate as any other controlled demolition. In addition, the fact that the 9/11 Commission does not mention a word of this in their report does not help deter the skepticism towards the integrity of our government. Furthermore, when President Bush and VP Cheney met with the 9/11 Commission, they did so on their own terms: they appeared together; they were not under oath; no press or family members were allowed to attend; no recording of any kind was allowed; no transcript was allowed (Bumiller & Shenon). As a result of 9/11 an important piece of legislation which would strip US citizens of their civil liberties was signed into being -- The PATRIOT act.
Under the "Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism act," the Executive branch of the US government was given virtually limitless authority, and could now tap our phones, review our purchases, search our homes, and even look at the books we check out in the library; all without a search warrant or even probable cause(Keller). After the attack on September 11, 2001, thousands of people were panic-stricken by the idea that our nation -- the most powerful in the world -- could be caught so off guard. This was the protection we all so desired after the attack. After all, congress would not pass the first anti-terror legislation after the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 - 6 people killed. After a second attack, two years later, in Oklahoma City, 168 people were killed, and congress found it to be reason enough to pass the anti-terror bill which would take away many of our civil liberties (Gunderson). Ted Gunderson, Former FBI Chief, states in a recording he made :
In this country, what they've done to us in unbelievable. Look at the terrorist acts that have occurred, the CIA behind most, if not all of them. We had the Marine Barracks, their embassy in Kenya, we had Pan Am 103, we had the USS Cole, we had Oklahoma City, we had the World Trade Center in 1993... The FBI informant, a fellow named Salem, a 43 year old, former Egyptian army officer - he was given the assignment to put the bomb together, and he went to his supervisor, this FBI supervisor, and said, "We're gonna put a dummy bomb in there, right?" and the FBI supervisor said, "No, we're gonna put a real bomb."
If I could believe that the training exercise going on in the morning of 9/11, dealing with almost the exact same scenario as the the events that unfolded that day was a mere coincidence, if I could believe that the executive order given to NORAD three months before the attack was just bad timing, if I could believe that Vice President Cheney didn't directly or indirectly allow the plane to crash into the Pentagon, if I could believe that the MASCAL exercise done a year before 9/11 didn't happen and that the statements made by our president and Secretary of State were genuine, and if I could believe that the FAA quality assurance manager who crushed evidence in hands did so on his own accord, then perhaps I would accept this anti-terror bill as necessary. If I didn't know that there is no way jet fuel along with carpet, paper, and other flammable items could possibly melt steel, let alone leave pools of molten steel red hot for weeks, if I didn't know that the molten metal and WTC 7 were completely left out of the 9/11 Commission Report, if I didn't know that it would be virtually impossible for such a heat that could supposedly melt steel to leave human DNA in tact, if I didn't know that the government said that they found the passports of the hijackers in the rubble, of course, not before having them fly out the side of the plane, go through the fireball that was the impact, and land there unscathed, if I didn't know that immediately after the attack on the Pentagon, FBI agents confiscated the film that recorded the impact from gas station supervisor, Jose Velasquez (McKelway), and if I didn't know that after the government claimed to know who the alleged hijackers, the enemy, who to fear, several of them stood up and were alive (BBC News), I would likely feel safe under the 'protection' of the PATRIOT act.
On September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked and hit three of their targets: WTC1, WTC2, and the Pentagon -- the fourth landed in Shanksville, PA. The casualties were in the thousands, not including those lost on this "War on Terror." Unfortunately, for brevity's sake -- or perhaps it's too late -- I was unable to cover all aspects and perspectives associated with this tragedy in detail. When it comes down to it, I don't who killed these people and I don't know exactly why they had to die. I don't believe that our government is totally innocent, or even remotely innocent, however, I do not claim to know the 9/11 truth... but don't I deserve to?
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Incredible work, Zero. Simply outstanding.
Much obliged, senor. Thanks for the read.
500 document? You mean it's like others or it's exactly like a specific one?
Haha, yeah, but this one, I wrote. :p
I was upset with Zeitgeist, as I wasn't able to use it as much as I would've liked. I used mainly it's ideas, rather than it as a direct source - it needed to be acadmic, for one, and another is that Zeitgeit, upon review of their sources, I found that they used a bulk of secondary sources... A bunch of stuff direct from Prisonplanet and stuff. Kinda hard to use, but even still, they were helpful with the direct interviews and the occasional flash of a news article, but I couldn't get any stats directly from them.
And I haven't seen loose change. I wanted to, but never got around to it. I never even finished Fabled Enemies.
3,000 words...someday I'll write that much on one subject...maybe.
I can find no fault in this, save for perhaps a casual perspective. When I write research papers I can't directly or personally address the audience or even use contractions...but I'm sure that's no problem.
Then there's this..."I don't who killed these people" Anyways, good read. Too good in fact, I should be working right now.
Haha, what's funny is that it was supposed to be a 1500 word essay. :p
I was told to present facts and draw conclusions, which meant that I had to use first person eventually - that, and because I was alive at the time of the event, a personal account wouldn't have taken away from the paper. I ended it that way to portray a sense of openmindedness...
Say someone starts reading it and automatically labels it as a wacky conspiracy theory. If by the end of the paper they read, " I don't know who killed these people..." the thought, 'What? Isn't it obvious?' crosses their mind, even if it's for a single moment, then that means I got through to them. At least, that's what I was hoping to achieve by writing that.
All in all, thanks a lot for the feedback. Glad to be a distraction. :p
What is this I hear about the Venus Project? Does Zeitgeist want to go to Venus? Ugh, everybody knows the next planety humanity inhabits is going to be Mars. It's easier to terraform and we know much more about it.
Hahah, I like how you felt the need to explain that.
Yeah, I've seen the Obama Deception; kick-ass film. I told my teachers and friends about Guantanimo - "continued rendition," and what have you. They were like, "Wha--? Nah, I didn't know that. What the fuck?!" Well, not my teachers, but a few students had that reaction. My teachers just said that it sounded interesting and that they'd look into it... Which I've found that they never really do.
I've told my teachers about a lot of things (GIVE act, War Powers act violations, Neglection of the Constitution, the Fed; the list goes on), but they never get back to me about it.