The 11th Anniversary of 9/11
By Paul Craig Roberts
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. 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.
On 9/11 Doubts Were Immediate
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 dust.
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 blown up.
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.