Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Real Real Search for Truths on 9/11

The best piece I've read yet on 9/11 by Robert Fisk in the Independent.

I was thinking just along these lines after watching another 9/11 conspiracy vid (Zeitgeist, suggested by Gary) and then the requisite look back at the debunking the conspiracy points of view (this piece from Skeptic a good one). Then "de-bunking" the de-bunking. (Re-bunking?). Then my head is nearly ready to explode.

Fisk gives voice to something I've been feeling, but couldn't articulate. I'm not really happy with either of the 9/11 Commission Version nor the Conspiracy Model. I don't want conspiracy theories because they are too neatly packaged. Everything makes too much sense. And the official 9/11 Commission Position is unsatisfying in many key ways (as are pieces like the Skeptic one, criticisms of the Consp. Theorists).

Key quote Fisk:
But – here we go. I am increasingly troubled at the inconsistencies in the official narrative of 9/11...Let me repeat. I am not a conspiracy theorist. Spare me the ravers. Spare me the plots. But like everyone else, I would like to know the full story of 9/11, not least because it was the trigger for the whole lunatic, meretricious "war on terror" which has led us to disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan and in much of the Middle East. Bush's happily departed adviser Karl Rove once said that "we're an empire now – we create our own reality". True? At least tell us. It would stop people kicking over chairs.
It takes some serious courage to admit that one has questions about the official storyline because one will immediately be lumped in with conspiracy theorists. I commend him for willing to give voice to those questions of his.

Fisk goes through a number of question marks he still has---the problematic Mohammad Atta letter. Read his article for all of them.

Continue Reading

It's hard as say a non-specialist in demolitions (but generally educated person) when you see experts, seemingly sincere people (who may be wrong and not paid off by the string-pullers) give conflicting reports. What I am to make of all that?

The South Tower didn't fall straight down as is often shown in the conspiracy models. But as in the Skeptic piece, no rebuttal to the testimony of multiple people to feeling, experiencing, hearing blasts from the basement is given? I've never heard an official counter-response to that for example. Again doesn't mean I assume invidiousness--I think we give government's way too much credit in the way of intelligence (certainly conspiracy theorists do imo). But I would like to hear an explanation for something like that. [If someone knows of a decent one, please provide links].

For myself, I think the 9/11 Commission was a political hackjob that served basically to cover people like Condi Rice's arse. As Bob Baer points out if the various agencies had worked together, the plot should have been uncovered and stopped. Rice goes before the 9/11 Comm. and says there were no reports of impending attacks from bin Laden. We later learned that was false. So either A)she really didn't know about them (in which case she should have been fired for failure to do her job) or B)she did know and lied to cover herself. [Richard Clarke's testimony also lends credence to the view that enough information was out not just 20/20 hindsight monday morning quarter-backing].

It's not a conspiracy theory to say that some things may have been covered up after the attack--without having been part of some uber-false flag operation.

Things that bother me still:

Philip Zelikow, an otherwise good State department official, was head of the Commission. But we know he is/was very close with Rice. I'm not implying anything insidious about him personally, but it was an obvious case of conflict of interests.

Mohammad Atta's passport. How does this survive the crash and fireball and then the collapse of the towers intact on the ground in

--On the larger scale I think the conspiracy theorists remind us phenomenologically that the nation never properly mourned 9/11. It was thrown away and turned into memorials and parades and Republican National Conventions as quickly as Giuliani starting shipping otherwise important physical evidence of the rubble. [That also bothers me. Not just for truth reasons but because dead police, firefighters, and civilians were not given their proper resting place and funerals].

The other point, which Fisk raises, is that the attack was politicized. Plots aside, the shadow (conspiracy theory groups) have an element of this truth: that it should not have been so politicized. That in the rush to war (particularly Iraq) and the Patriot Act and Gitmo and eavesdropping, etc., something of our national identity/innocence was lost.

So while I don't buy into all the detailed plot lines (official or conspiratorial), the conspiracy folks at least, if nothing else, keep the issue alive in American consciousness. I think as a country, 9/11 was never properly absorbed. The neat-package, case-closed, official line of the 9/11 Commission, because it wasn't I think willing to wade into some difficult places, creates the space for its antithesis the conspiracy theorists (like matter and anti-matter).

The truths of such an event I believe are always more disturbing, hopeful, enlightening, confusing that those packaged versions. Some of those truths lie buried. Unfortunately I don't see that kind of discussion taking place anytime soon. The mainline narratives are all black/white (either official or conspiratorial).

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