Republished from Washington Post
9/11 Truth? I Don’t Think SoEvery day, I receive a half dozen e-mails and a score or more comments from 9/11 rejectionists. The 9/11 cover-up, according to these correspondents, is that the U.S. government was complicit, even responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Like those who often write to tell me that the Pentagon, the FBI and/or the intelligence agencies are following them, that they are mind control victims whose lives have been ruined by directed energy weapons in space or the transmitters implanted in their teeth, I have a special place for this mass of correspondence. It is called delete.
So, when the headline crossed my desktop on Monday that “Over 70 million American Adults Support New 9/11 Investigation,” I admit that I fell for it and clicked on the link.
The tale is depressing. The 9/11 truth seekers, that self-declared movement who now count in their membership a number of high profile celebrities, turn out to be exactly what I thought they were: predatory and devious, seekers of polarization and not light, abusive of the political system, contemptuous of anything that even resembles the “truth.”
There was a moment in December, 2004, after President Bush nominated Bernard Kerik to be Secretary of Homeland Security, when I thought the national security paradigm had finally changed in America.
Kerik, to refresh flagging memories, led the New York City Police Department through 9/11.
I always interpreted the White House’s selection of Kerik as a need and a desire to neutralize the 9/11 families. I don’t mean a specific organization, nor a specific cause. I mean the mass of civilians who had become a powerful political force. Lives torn apart by a diabolical terrorist attack, they demanded action, accountability and investigation, speaking out despite the “men working” signs guarding national security making.
Normal citizens found themselves compelled by loss and shock. These were not anti-war activists, nor a partisan special interest working on behalf of a single agenda. In the aftermath of 9/11, they were instantly conferred with respect and given voice: their very presence insured that the events of that day remained specific and devastating, that 9/11 would not become some political football or reality show for the administration or its opponents to abuse.
But national security is men’s work, and by the end of 2004, the men in charge had had enough. By appointing Kerik, I thought the President was specifically someone who could represent a sanctioned view of 9/11. Kerik would turn the citizen’s movement into just another constituency, a special interest that needed to be dealt with but one marginalized rather than revered.
Fast forward to 911Truth.org’s press release Monday. “Although the Bush administration continues to exploit September 11 to justify domestic spying, unprecedented spending and a permanent state of war,” it said, “a new Zogby poll reveals that less than half of the American public trusts the official 9/11 story or believes the attacks were adequately investigated.”
The poll, conducted from Friday, May 12 through Tuesday, May 16, shows, according to 911truth.org, that:
42% of Americans believe there has indeed been a cover up,45% think “Congress or an International Tribunal should re-investigate the attacks, including whether any US government officials consciously allowed or helped facilitate their success”
Janice Matthews, executive director of 911truth.org said that there was “mounting evidence for U.S. government involvement in 9/11.”
911truth.org went on to quote poll co-author W. David Kubiak as saying that the 9/11 “myth” is “the administration’s primary source of political and war-making power.”
The organization then offered the view that if more Americans were exposed to “independent 9/11 research,” that is, the mass of conspiracy theories that is being exploited by this Star Wars bar of “justice” activists, “about 90 percent would support a new investigation of the events of that fateful day.”
Zogby then put out its own press release warning that 911truth.org was offering its opinions, and not Zogby’s as to the “meaning of the poll results.” It pointed out that Mr. Kubiak was not a “poll co-author” but a member of the organization. “Zogby International had no role in interpreting the survey results for the sponsor or in producing the news release,” Zogby warned.
Zogby then gave its own narrative summary of the poll:
In the question, “Some people believe that the US government and its 9/11 Commission concealed or refused to investigate critical evidence that contradicts their official explanation of the September 11th attacks, saying there has been a cover-up. Others say that the 9/11 Commission was a bi-partisan group of honest and well-respected people and that there is no reason they would want to cover-up anything. Who are you more likely to agree with?”
US government and 9/11 Commission are NOT covering up (48%)US government and 9/11 Commission are covering up (42%)No sure (10%)
People are “completely divided” on whether they believe President Bush exploited the 9/11 attacks (44%).
People are “closely divided” on whether there should be another investigation, with a slight plurality (47%) saying the attacks were thoroughly investigated, while 45% feel the attacks should be reinvestigated.
9/11truth.org refers to 9/11 “crimes,” of “motives” involved in the attacks, it asks “who profited.”
Isn’t the answer self-evident? The organization itself exploits the 9/11 families and the American public’s confusion.
For a moment, the 9/11 families—and again I don’t mean a specific set of families or any organization—recognized that 9/11 was the largest governmental failure in history, that if “we” the people were going to have security we were going to have to involve ourselves. 911truth.org might pretend that this is their goal as well, but in fact there is no amount of investigation, no amount of fact, no amount of government action, no amount of intelligence information, no amount of war, in fact no amount of security that is ever going to change anyone’s mind here.
These are not typical Americans who just want better security and government and pray for successful prosecution of the war on terrorism. This is a purely partisan political and cynical anti-everything group looking to exploit 9/11, just as they accuse the administration of doing.
Though 9/11truth.org and the blogosphere continues to rail against the mainstream media for ignoring their issue and their cause, the only gratifying element of the story is the restraint so far shown by the media in ignoring the thinly masked craziness and the Internet hype.
Oh, I know I’m giving them air time, and surely the “news” will cover the “growing” 9/11 rejectionist movement as we get closer to election time, but what is really interesting here is not some cover-up but the enormous disillusionment that exists not just with the war in Iraq but also the fight against terrorism.
By William M. Arkin May 26, 2006; 8:19 AM ET
The comments section on the Wash Post site should be checked out, people posted some great links
most read story of the past week on this site
This times herald article is getting tons of hits.