9/11: Lingering doubts

September 10, 2011

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“The enemy rallies broad support in the Arab and Muslim world by demanding redress of political grievances, but its hostility toward us and our values is limitless.” -- Excerpt from the preface to the 9/11 Commission Report

The attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 provided a dramatic pretext for American Islamophobes to pour out their venom on Islam and Prophet Muhammad (S). Right-wing evangelist Jerry Falwell declared that our Prophet (S) was “a terrorist.” Franklin Graham, the son of Reverend Billy Graham, called our religion, Islam, “wicked, violent and not of the same God.” Lieutenant General William Boykin, tasked by the Bush administration to find Osama bin Laden, declared that the war on terrorism was a war on Islam. Finally, then president George W. Bush launched his own “crusade” against terrorism five days after the 9/11 attacks, provoking an understandable visceral reaction from the Islamic world.

Ten years later, lingering doubts still shroud the events of September 11, 2001 concerning how and why such acts were perpetrated against the U.S. superpower and who was responsible. Doubts about the 9/11 attacks seem to fall into three main categories: How these attacks were orchestrated without foreknowledge by the United States’ massive intelligence apparatus, the physical improbability of the anomalous collapse of the Twin Towers, and the exact role, if any, played by Osama bin Laden in planning and executing the assaults.

The official narrative according to the 9/11 Commission is that the attacks were carried out against an unprepared nation by Al-Qaeda, a highly organized terrorist organization with the necessary competent planning ability and staff and a command structure and a logistics network to carry out such a mission. While conceding in its report that Pakistan’s ISI “helped nurture the Taliban,” the commission fails to point out that Al-Qaeda itself was a CIA creation, funded by the U.S. through the Pakistani and Saudi intelligence agencies to fight a proxy war against the former Soviet Union.

Numerous intelligence reports warned the U.S. president of impending “spectacular attacks”, with one briefing dated June 30, 2001 entitled, “Bin Laden Planning High-Profile Attacks.” Certainly, Bush had to be aware of the high likelihood of terrorist strikes within U.S. borders but, if we are to believe the official explanation, failed to act because of a lack of specific information. While admitting that he had known of the Al-Qaeda threat since becoming president and that Bin Laden had talked about attacking the United States, Bush claimed that he was not aware that any “actionable intelligence” had been produced, despite 70 FBI investigations underway at the time.

It should be obvious that the 9/11 attacks also provided the Bush administration the necessary subterfuge to push its radical neocon agenda upon the unsuspecting American public. Within weeks of the attacks, U.S. lawmakers rushed to pass the PATRIOT (Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Act, the Bush administration’s legislative agenda to expand the powers of the U.S. police state. This noxious legislation gives police expanded powers of search and surveillance by eliminating the need for “probable cause”, allowing them to pry into private financial, medical, and banking records, or even someone’s home, without a warrant or notice. Soon afterwards, some 1200 Muslim men were detained under the provisions of this act, but initially officials failed to produce any terrorism charges.

There are two main points that raise doubts about the official explanation of the collapse of WTC 1 and 2: The total collapse of a steel-framed high-rise building due to fire is unprecedented, and the near free-fall speed at which the structures collapsed is consistent with controlled demolition. In addition, the collapse of WTC 7 remains unexplained.

The South Tower was struck at 9:03 a.m. and collapsed at 9:59 a.m. despite the fact that fire has simply never before caused the total collapse of a steel-framed high-rise building. The acting administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Robert Shea, testified before a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on the collapse of the World Trade Center, “No one who viewed it that day, including myself, believed that those towers would fall.” Experienced firefighters testified that just before the collapse, they heard regularly timed explosions, which could not have been made by the jet fuel since it would have burned out within the first 10 minutes. Firefighter Kenneth Rogers said, “One floor under another after another and when it hit about the fifth floor, I figured it was a bomb, because it looked like a synchronized deliberate kind of thing.”

World Trade Center Building 7, which was not struck by a plane but allegedly was damaged by falling debris, collapsed at 5:20 p.m. on the same day, September 11, in seven seconds, near free-fall speed. Again, many testified that they heard regularly timed blasts before the building collapsed. It is also noteworthy that the Emergency Management Center was on the 23rd floor of WTC 7. Perhaps the building was “pulled” to get rid of evidence.

Even the CIA admits that Osama bin Laden was an “intelligence asset” during the Cold War, but he was apparently unaware that funding for his mujahideen was coming from Washington via Pakistan’s ISI. Doubts concerning his whereabouts on September 11, 2001 and his condition abound. One report placed him in Rawalpindi Hospital in Pakistan on September 10, receiving dialysis treatment for a chronic kidney infection. Earlier reports placed him in Dubai in June of 2001, meeting with a CIA operative there following treatment at the American Hospital. Due to other health problems, possibly complications from hepatitis C, Bin Laden was expected to live only another two years.

Reports of Bin Laden’s death also abound. No less than nine times has his death been mentioned by heads of state and high-ranking government officials, which should come as no surprise, since his kidney condition required regular dialysis treatment. And certainly, he could not have survived for long in the mountains of Afghanistan without such treatments. So, if Bin Laden had already died, this would explain why there were no public photos released, only rushed DNA tests to confirm his identity after the dramatic May 2, 2011 raid on the Abbottabad compound, and also why a secretive burial at sea was hastily arranged.

Finally, Bin Laden himself denied any involvement in the 9/11 attacks. In an interview with the Karachi newspaper Ummat on September 28, 2001, Bin Laden stated, “I have already said that I was not involved in the September 11 attacks in the United States.” Clarifying, Bin Laden added, “I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed.” Indeed, a recent poll in Muslim countries showed that less than 30 percent of the population believed Bin Laden and a group of Arabs were responsible for planning the 9/11 terrorist massacres.

Immediately after 9/11, Bush began to think about a possible connection between the attacks and Iraq or possibly Iran. By September 12, he had already assigned staff members to explore a possible Iraq-Al-Qaeda-9/11 link, according to Richard Clarke, the former national coordinator for security and counter-terrorism.  

Later, Bush made his now infamous statement, declaring, “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make: Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

After 9/11, as noted journalist Robert Fisk observed, “Any opposition to U.S. policy --especially in the Middle East -- was criminal and ‘pro-terrorist’.” 

While lingering doubts still mask the truth concerning the 9/11 attacks, there is no doubt whatsoever that U.S. policy -- and that of its Zionist ally -- remains sacrosanct, for anyone criticizing U.S. policy is automatically branded as unpatriotic, anti-American, and pro-terrorist. As for my own criticism of U.S. policy, if I’m considered as such, so be it.

Yuram Abdullah Weiler is a former engineer turned freelance writer from Denver, Colorado, USA. A Shia Muslim, he has made a pilgrimage to Syria and Iraq. He frequently contributes to the Tehran Times and welcomes comments at yuram@sahafa.com.