Seeking 9/11 Truth After Twenty Years

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by Ron Unz, The Unz Review:

The twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks is almost upon us, and although their immediacy has been somewhat reduced by the events of the last eighteen months, we must recognize that they have drastically shaped the world history of the last two decades, greatly changing the daily lives and liberties of most ordinary Americans.

The widespread doubts about the reality of the official story provided by our government and almost universally promoted by our media has severely diminished popular faith in the credibility of those two crucial institutions, with consequences that are still very apparent in today’s highest profile issues.

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Over the years, diligent researchers and courageous journalists have largely demolished the original narrative of those events, and have made a strong, perhaps even overwhelming case that the Israeli Mossad together with its American collaborators played the central role. My own reconstruction, substantially relying upon such accumulated evidence, came to such conclusions, and I am therefore republishing it below, drawn from my previous articles which had appeared in late 2018 and early 2020, with the later material making heavy use of Ronen Bergman’s authoritative 2018 history of the Mossad, which ran more than 750 pages.

Immediately following my own analysis is a link to a particularly noteworthy article along the same lines by French writer Laurent Guyénot, which we had originally released simultaneously with my own, then followed by more than a dozen other significant articles of the previous decade, all published or republished on this website. In coming days, some of these may also be separately featured as part of the twenty-year commemoration.

The 9/11 Attacks – What Happened?

Although somewhat related, political assassinations and terrorist attacks are distinct topics, and Bergman’s comprehensive volume explicitly focuses on the former, so we cannot fault him for providing only slight coverage of the latter. But the historical pattern of Israeli activity, especially with regard to false-flag attacks, is really quite remarkable, as I noted in a 2018 article:

One of history’s largest terrorist attacks prior to 9/11 was the 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem by Zionist militants dressed as Arabs, which killed 91 people and largely destroyed the structure. In the famous Lavon Affair of 1954, Israeli agents launched a wave of terrorist attacks against Western targets in Egypt, intending to have those blamed on anti-Western Arab groups. There are strong claims that in 1950 Israeli Mossad agents began a series of false-flag terrorist bombings against Jewish targets in Baghdad, successfully using those violent methods to help persuade Iraq’s thousand-year-old Jewish community to emigrate to the Jewish state. In 1967, Israel launched a deliberate air and sea attack against the U.S.S. Liberty, intending to leave no survivors, killing or wounding over 200 American servicemen before word of the attack reached our Sixth Fleet and the Israelis withdrew.

The enormous extent of pro-Israel influence in world political and media circles meant that none of these brutal attacks ever drew serious retaliation, and in nearly all cases, they were quickly thrown down the memory hole, so that today probably no more than one in a hundred Americans is even aware of them. Furthermore, most of these incidents came to light due to chance circumstances, so we may easily suspect that many other attacks of a similar nature have never become part of the historical record.

Of these famous incidents, Bergman only includes mention of the King David Hotel bombing. But much later in his narrative, he describes the huge wave of false-flag terrorist attacks unleashed in 1981 by Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, who recruited a former high-ranking Mossad official to manage the project.

Under Israeli direction, large car bombs began exploding in the Palestinian neighborhoods of Beirut and other Lebanese cities, killing or injuring enormous numbers of civilians. A single attack in October inflicted nearly 400 casualties, and by December, there were eighteen bombings per month, with their effectiveness greatly enhanced by the use of innovative new Israeli drone technology. Official responsibility for all the attacks was claimed by a previously unknown Lebanese organization, but the intent was to provoke the PLO into military retaliation against Israel, thereby justifying Sharon’s planned invasion of the neighboring country.

Since the PLO stubbornly refused to take the bait, plans were put into motion for the huge bombing of an entire Beirut sports stadium using tons of explosives during a January 1st political ceremony, with the death and destruction expected to be “of unprecedented proportions, even in terms of Lebanon.” But Sharon’s political enemies learned of the plot and emphasized that many foreign diplomats including the Soviet ambassador were expected to be present and probably would be killed, so after a bitter debate, Prime Minister Begin ordered the attack aborted. A future Mossad chief mentions the major headaches they then faced in removing the large quantity of explosives that they had already planted within the structure.

 

I think that this thoroughly documented history of major Israeli false-flag terrorist attacks, including those against American and other Western targets, should be carefully kept in mind when we consider the 9/11 attacks, whose aftermath has massively transformed our society and cost us so many trillions of dollars. I analyzed the strange circumstances of the attacks and their likely nature at considerable length in my 2018 article:

Oddly enough, for many years after 9/11, I paid very little attention to the details of the attacks themselves. I was entirely preoccupied with building my content-archiving software system, and with the little time I could spare for public policy matters, I was totally focused on the ongoing Iraq War disaster, as well as my terrible fears that Bush might at any moment suddenly extend the conflict to Iran. Despite Neocon lies shamelessly echoed by our corrupt media, neither Iraq nor Iran had had anything whatsoever to do with the 9/11 attacks, so those events gradually faded in my consciousness, and I suspect the same was true for most other Americans. Al Qaeda had largely disappeared and Bin Laden was supposedly hiding in a cave somewhere. Despite endless Homeland Security “threat alerts,” there had been no further Islamic terrorism on American soil, and relatively little anywhere else outside of the Iraq charnel house. So the precise details of the 9/11 plots had become almost irrelevant to me.

Others I knew seemed to feel the same way. Virtually all the exchanges I had with my old friend Bill Odom, the three-star general who had run the NSA for Ronald Reagan, had concerned the Iraq War and risk it might spread to Iran, as well as the bitter anger he felt toward Bush’s perversion of his beloved NSA into an extra-constitutional tool of domestic espionage. When the New York Times broke the story of the massive extent of domestic NSA spying, Gen. Odom declared that President Bush should be impeached and NSA Director Michael Hayden court-martialed. But in all the years prior to his untimely passing in 2008, I don’t recall the 9/11 attacks themselves even once coming up as a topic in our discussions.

Admittedly, I’d occasionally heard of some considerable oddities regarding the 9/11 attacks here and there, and these certainly raised some suspicions. Most days I would glance at the Antiwar.com front page, and it seemed that some Israeli Mossad agents had been caught while filming the plane attacks in NYC, while a much larger Mossad “art student” spy operation around the country had also been broken up around the same time. Apparently, FoxNews had even broadcast a multi-part series on the latter topic before that expose was scuttled and “disappeared” under ADL pressure.

Although I wasn’t entirely sure about the credibility of those claims, it did seem plausible that Mossad had known of the attacks in advance and allowed them to proceed, recognizing the huge benefits that Israel would derive from the anti-Arab backlash. I think I was vaguely aware that Antiwar.com editorial director Justin Raimondo had published The Terror Enigma, a short book about some of those strange facts, bearing the provocative subtitle “9/11 and the Israeli Connection,” but I never considered reading it. In 2007, Counterpunch itself published a fascinating follow-up story about the arrest of that group of Israeli Mossad agents in NYC, who were caught filming and apparently celebrating the plane attacks on that fateful day, and the Mossad activity seemed to be far larger than I had previously realized. But all these details remained a little fuzzy in my mind next to my overriding concerns about wars in Iraq and Iran.

 

However, by the end of 2008 my focus had begun to change. Bush was leaving office without having started an Iranian war, and America had successfully dodged the bullet of an even more dangerous John McCain administration. I assumed that Barack Obama would be a terrible president and he proved worse than my expectations, but I still breathed a huge sigh of relief every day that he was in the White House.

Moreover, around that same time I’d stumbled across an astonishing detail of the 9/11 attacks that demonstrated the remarkable depths of my own ignorance. In a Counterpunch article, I’d discovered that immediately following the attacks, the supposed terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden had publicly denied any involvement, even declaring that no good Muslim would have committed such deeds.

Once I checked around a little and fully confirmed that fact, I was flabbergasted. 9/11 was not only the most successful terrorist attack in the history of the world, but may have been greater in its physical magnitude than all past terrorist operations combined. The entire purpose of terrorism is to allow a small organization to show the world that it can inflict serious losses upon a powerful state, and I had never previously heard of any terrorist leader denying his role in a successful operation, let alone the greatest in history. Something seemed extremely wrong in the media-generated narrative that I had previously accepted. I began to wonder if I had been as deluded as the tens of millions of Americans in 2003 and 2004 who naively believed that Saddam had been the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks. We live in a world of illusions generated by our media, and I suddenly felt that I had noticed a tear in the paper-mache mountains displayed in the background of a Hollywood sound-stage. If Osama was probably not the author of 9/11, what other huge falsehoods had I blindly accepted?

A couple of years later, I came across a very interesting column by Eric Margolis, a prominent Canadian foreign policy journalist purged from the broadcast media for his strong opposition to the Iraq War. He had long published a weekly column in the Toronto Sun and when that tenure ended, he used his closing appearance to run a double-length piece expressing his very strong doubts about the official 9/11 story, even noting that the former director of Pakistani Intelligence insisted that Israel had been behind the attacks.

I eventually discovered that in 2003 former German Cabinet Minister Andreas von Bülow had published a best-selling book strongly suggesting that the CIA rather than Bin Laden was behind the attacks, while in 2007 former Italian President Francesco Cossiga had similarly argued that the CIA and the Israeli Mossad had been responsible, claiming that fact was well known among Western intelligence agencies.

Over the years, all these discordant claims had gradually raised my suspicions about the official 9/11 story to rather strong levels, but it was only very recently that I finally found the time to begin to seriously investigate the subject and read eight or ten of the main 9/11 Truther books, mostly those by Prof. David Ray Griffin, the widely acknowledged leader in that field. And his books, together with the writings of his numerous colleagues and allies, revealed all sorts of very telling details, most of which had previously been unknown to me. I was also greatly impressed by the sheer number of seemingly reputable individuals of no apparent ideological bent who had become adherents of the 9/11 Truth movement over the years.

When utterly astonishing claims of an extremely controversial nature are made over a period of many years by numerous seemingly reputable academics and other experts, and they are entirely ignored or suppressed but never effectively rebutted, reasonable conclusions seem to point in an obvious direction. Based on my very recent readings in this topic, the total number of huge flaws in the official 9/11 story has now grown extremely long, probably numbering in the many dozens. Most of these individual items seem reasonably likely and if we decide that even just two or three of them are correct, we must totally reject the official narrative that so many of us have believed for so long.

Now I am merely just an amateur in the complex intelligence craft of extracting nuggets of truth from a mountain of manufactured falsehood. Although the arguments of the 9/11 Truth Movement seem quite persuasive to me, I would obviously have felt much more comfortable if they were seconded by an experienced professional, such as a top CIA analyst. A few years ago, I was shocked to discover that was indeed the case.

William Christison had spent 29 years at the CIA, rising to become one of its senior figures as Director of its Office of Regional and Political Analysis, with 200 research analysts serving under him. In August 2006, he published a remarkable 2,700 word article explaining why he no longer believed the official 9/11 story and felt sure that the 9/11 Commission Report constituted a cover-up, with the truth being quite different. The following year, he provided a forceful endorsement to one of Griffin’s books, writing that “[There’s] a strong body of evidence showing the official U.S. Government story of what happened on September 11, 2001 to be almost certainly a monstrous series of lies.” And Christison’s extreme 9/11 skepticism was seconded by that of many other highly regarded former US intelligence professionals.

We might expect that if a former CIA intelligence officer of Christison’s rank were to denounce the official 9/11 report as a fraud and a cover-up, such a story would constitute front-page news. But it was never reported anywhere in our mainstream media, and I only stumbled upon it a decade later.

Even our supposed “alternative” media outlets were nearly as silent. Throughout the 2000s, Christison and his wife Kathleen, also a former CIA analyst, had been regular contributors to Counterpunch, publishing many dozens of articles there and certainly being its most highly credentialed writers on intelligence and national security matters. But editor Alexander Cockburn refused to publish any of their 9/11 skepticism, so it never came to my attention at the time. Indeed, when I mentioned Christison’s views to current Counterpunch editor Jeffrey St. Clair a couple of years ago, he was stunned to discover that the friend he had regarded so very highly had actually become a “9/11 Truther.” When media organs serve as ideological gatekeepers, a condition of widespread ignorance becomes unavoidable.

With so many gaping holes in the official story of the events of seventeen years ago, each of us is free to choose to focus on those we personally consider most persuasive, and I have several of my own. Danish Chemistry professor Niels Harrit was one of the scientists who analyzed the debris of the destroyed buildings and detected the residual presence of nano-thermite, a military-grade explosive compound, and I found him quite credible during his hour-long interview on Red Ice Radio. The notion that an undamaged hijacker passport was found on an NYC street after the massive, fiery destruction of the skyscrapers is totally absurd, as was the claim that the top hijacker conveniently lost his luggage at one of the airports and it was found to contain a large mass of incriminating information. The testimonies of the dozens of firefighters who heard explosions just before the collapse of the buildings seems totally inexplicable under the official account. The sudden total collapse of Building Seven, never hit by any jetliners is also extremely implausible.

The 9/11 Attacks – Who Did It?

Let us now suppose that the overwhelming weight of evidence is correct, and concur with high-ranking former CIA intelligence analysts, distinguished academics, and experienced professionals that the 9/11 attacks were not what they appeared to be. We recognize the extreme implausibility that three huge skyscrapers in New York City suddenly collapsed at free-fall velocity into their own footprints after just two of them were hit by airplanes, and also that a large civilian jetliner probably did not strike the Pentagon leaving behind absolutely no wreckage and only a small hole. What actually did happen, and more importantly, who was responsible?

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