By Paul Craig Roberts
On Sept. 7, National Public Radio reported that Muslims in the Middle East were beginning to believe that the 9-11 attacks on the WTC and Pentagon were false flag operations committed by some part of the U.S. and/ or Israeli government.
It was beyond the imagination of the NPR reporter and producer that there could be any substance to these beliefs, which were attributed to the influence of books by U.S. and European authors sold in bookstores in Egypt.
NPR’s concern was that books by Western authors questioning the origin of the 9-11 attack have the undesirable result of removing guilt from Muslims’ shoulders.
The NPR reporter, Ursula Lindsey, said that "here in the U.S., most people have little doubt about what happened during the 2001 attacks."
NPR’s assumption that the official 9-11 story is the final word is uninformed. Polls show that 36 percent of Americans and more than 50 percent of New Yorkers lack confidence in the 9-11 commission report. Many 9-11 families who lost relatives in the attacks are unsatisfied with the official story.
Why are the U.S. media untroubled that there has been no independent investigation of 9-11?
Why are the media unconcerned that the rules governing preservation of forensic evidence were not followed by federal authorities?
Why do the media brand skeptics of the official line "conspiracy theorists" and "kooks"?
What is wrong with debate and listening to both sides of the defining issue of our time? If the official line is so correct and defensible, what does it have to fear from skeptics?
Obviously, a great deal considering the iron curtain that has been erected to protect the official line from independent examination.
Some may think that the 9-11 commission report was an independent investigation, and others will protest that we have the National Institute of Standards and Technology analysis, which explains the collapse of the Twin Towers as a result of airliner impact and fire.
The 9-11 commission was a political commission run by Bush administration insider Philip Zelikow. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the head of which is a member of President Bush’s Cabinet.
Zelikow was a member of President Bush’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a neoconservative stronghold. In February 2005, Zelikow was appointed counselor of the U.S. Department of State. Obviously, there was zero possibility that the 9-11 commission would hold any part of the Bush administration accountable for the numerous failures of U.S. government agencies on Sept. 11, much less would the commission investigate for any complicity.
If one looks at the credentials of skeptics compared to the credentials of defenders of the official line, it is impossible to dismiss skeptics as kooks. There are many people with strong imaginations on the Internet, but serious skeptics stick to known facts, known violations of standard procedures and the laws of physics. The vast majority of the people who call skeptics "kooks" are themselves ignorant of physics and have little comprehension of the improbability that such an attack could succeed without either the complicity or complete failure of government agencies.
Over the past six years, the ranks of distinguished skeptics of the 9-11 storyline have grown enormously. The ranks include distinguished scientists, engineers and architects, intelligence officers, air traffic controllers, military officers and generals, including the former commanding general of U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, former presidential appointees and members of the White House staff in Republican administrations, Top Gun fighter pilots and career airline pilots who say that the flying attributed to the 9-11 hijackers is beyond the skills of America’s best pilots, and foreign dignitaries.
Dr. Andreas von Buelow, former West German minister of research and technology and former state secretary of the federal ministry of defense, said: "The planning of the attacks was technically and organizationally a master achievement. To hijack four airliners within a few minutes and within one hour to drive them into their targets with complicated flight maneuvers! This is unthinkable, without years-long support from secret apparatuses of the state and industry."
Gen. Leonid Ivashov, chief of staff of the Russian armed forces, said: "Only secret services and their current chiefs — or those retired but still having influence inside the state organizations — have the ability to plan, organize and conduct an operation of such magnitude. … Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida cannot be the organizers nor the performers of the Sept. 11 attacks. They do not have the necessary organization, resources or leaders."
Americans might concede that it is unusual that U.S. airport security would fail four times within a few minutes, that U.S. air defenses would fail across the board to intercept the hijacked airliners and that hijackers lacking in flight skills could conduct the exotic flight maneuvers that top gun fighter pilots say are beyond their own skills. Still, there is some possibility, however remote, that Allah could have blessed the hijackers with unbelievable luck.
But when we come to the explanation of the collapse of the Twin Towers, the official story lacks even a remote possibility of being true. Architects, engineers and physicists know that powerfully constructed steel buildings do not suddenly collapse at free-fall or near-free-fall speed simply because they were impacted by airliners and experienced short-lived, low intensity and limited fires.
Physicists also know that there was not enough gravitational energy to pulverize massive concrete into fine dust, to cut massive steel beams into appropriate lengths to be loaded and removed on trucks, and to eject dust and steel beams hundreds of yards horizontally. Physicists know that if intense fire were present throughout the towers sufficient to cause steel to weaken and suddenly collapse, such fires would not have left unburned and unscorched hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper, which floated all over lower Manhattan.
Physicists have raised unanswered questions about the official explanation’s neglect of the known laws of physics. Recently, Dr. Crockett Grabbe, a Caltech trained applied physicist at the University of Iowa, observed: "Applying two basic principles, conservation of energy and conservation of momentum, the government explanation quickly unravels. NIST conspicuously ignored these principles in their reports. NIST also ignored the observed twisting of the top 34 floors of the South Tower before it toppled down. This twisting clearly violates the conservation of both linear and angular momentum unless a large external force caused it. Where the massive amounts of energy came from that were needed to cause the complete collapse of the intact parts below for each tower, when their tops were in virtual free fall, is not answered in NIST’s numerous volumes of study."
Some of NIST’s own scientists are questioning its reports. Dr. James Quintiere, former chief of the fire science division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, recently said that "the official conclusion that NIST arrived at is questionable" and called for an independent review of NIST’s investigation into the collapses of the WTC towers.
Quintiere has called attention to many problems with NIST’s investigation and reports: the absence of a timeline, failure to explain the collapse of WTC 7, the spoliation of the evidence of a fire scene, reliance on questionable computer models, the absence of any evidence for the existence of temperatures NIST predicts as necessary for failure of the steel and a Commerce Department legal structure that instead of trying to find the facts "did the opposite and blocked everything."
On Aug. 27, 2007, a prominent member of the National Academy of Sciences and recipient of the National Medal of Science, Dr. Lynn Margulis, dismissed the official account of 9-11 as a "fraud" and called for a new, thorough and impartial investigation.
On Sept. 5, 2007, U.S. Navy Top Gun fighter pilot and veteran airline pilot Ralph Kolstad said that the flight maneuvers attributed to the 9-11 hijackers are beyond his flight skills. "Something stinks to high heaven," declared Kolstad.
When faced with disturbing events, the Romans asked a question, "Cui bono?" Who benefits? This question was conspicuously absent from the official investigation.
Who are the beneficiaries of 9-11? The answer is: the military-security complex, which has accumulated tens of billions of dollars in profits; U.S. oil companies, which hope to get their hands on Iraqi and perhaps Iranian oil; the Republican Party, which saved a vulnerable newly elected president, George W. Bush, viewed by many as illegitimately elected by one vote of the Supreme Court, by wrapping him in the flag as "war president"; the Republican Federalist Society, which used 9-11 to achieve its goal of concentrating power in the executive; Vice President Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives, who used the "new Pearl Harbor" to implement their "Project for a New American Century" and extend American hegemony over the Middle East; and right-wing Israeli Zionists, who have successfully used American blood and treasure to eliminate obstacles to Israeli territorial expansion.
In addition to American troops and Iraqi and Afghan civilian casualties, a casualty of the neoconservative "war on terror" is the civil liberties that protect Americans from tyranny. President Bush and his corrupt Department of Justice (sic) have declared our constitutional protections to be null and void at the whim of the executive.
The greatest benefactors of 9-11 are the authoritarian personalities that John Dean says have taken over the Republican Party.
-Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution: An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice.