September 11, 2001

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

On September 11, 2001, hijacked planes were flown into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center; another hijacked plane fell into a field in Pennsylvania. The collapse of the Trade Center's twin towers killed about 3000 people that day, and released asbestos and toxic waste into the air.

Catastrophic event, agency failures & conspiracy theories

Described as "some catastrophic and catalysing event - like a new Pearl Harbor" [1][2], it has become one of the most tragic, and politically important, days in American history. Paul Wolfowitz, speaking to Army cadets three months before 9/11 at their 2 June 2001 commencement speech, cautioned graduates to be wary and expectant of surprises in the near future and referred extensively to Pearl Harbor and the failure of pre-attack intelligence.[3]

The Bush Administration has subsequently been confronted with a stream of revelations about failure by government agencies and officials to respond to intelligence leads and warnings about the possibility of a terrorist attack.

These failings have fuelled many conspiracy theories. The most official and convenient of these was that Saddam Hussein was responsible. The 9/11 Commission Report notes that shortly after the attacks, Paul Wolfowitz "argued that Iraq was ultimately the source of the terrorist problem and should therefore be attacks. [Colin] Powell [later] said that Wolfowitz was not able to justify his belief that Iraq was behind 9/11."[4] The Bush administration repeatedly and publicly suggested a link between Iraq and 9/11, but generally was careful not to explicitly state that there was such a connection. After the invasion, they were willing to publicly assert that there was no such connection. Shortly before the invasion, a poll indicated that 45% of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein had conspired to cause the attacks.[5] Approximately a third of Americans still believe this.[6]

Another popular conspiracy theory maintains that the U.S. government was complicit in the attacks either in causing them or in intentionally permitting them. One form of this theory asserts:

"The attacks were allowed to happen to facilitate an aggressive policy of world empire, particularly in the Middle East and Central Asian oil fields, which contain energy supplies that will become even more critical in the near future as oil extraction declines in the non-Islamic world," one states.[7]


According to former CIA analyst, Raymond McGovern, CIA Director George John Tenet "warned the President of the United States about the threat of terrorism almost ad nauseam during the entire spring and summer of 2001. In the final analysis, the president had been warned often enough and long enough. He should have done something about it."

"Bush didn't know what to do," McGovern says. "And Condoleezza Rice, his advisor on such things, didn't know a thing about terrorism. By her own admission she hadn't opened the file that [Clinton's National Security Advisor] Sandy Berger left behind that said 'Read This File First.' She knew a lot about the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, but nothing about terrorism. The charitable explanation for why nothing was done is gross ineptitude and gross malfeasance," he said. [8]

Able Danger

See Able Danger, a highly classified United States Army intelligence that was alleged to have identified four of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers before September 11, 2001.

Bush's "hijack" story

See Bush's 2002 LA "hijack" Story

Preemptive war

In the aftermath of the attacks, the Bush Administration launched Operation Enduring Freedom, a massive military action in Afghanistan (which hosted Osama bin Laden at the time) and subsequently Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. A massive increase in military expenditure has boosted the stocks of companies that are part of the military-industrial complex.

Patriot Act I

Masked by a climate of fear, a series of sweeping domestic 'security' measures -- namely Patriot Act I -- which were widely criticised by civil liberties groups as leading to a National Security State, were also introduced. While Bush launched a massive domestic and international program reacting to the attacks, there has been little official reflection on their root causes or the failures of procedure and policy which precipitated this event.

Three discordant perspectives

Viewed as a single event, at least three discordant perspectives exist:

  • "terrorist attacks on New York and Washington"
  • counter-strikes against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon terrorists
  • "a way of waving a huge red flag from Afghanistan at the American bull" [9] with willful intent to provoke U.S. intervention in Muslim countries, for the purpose of rallying Muslim  support for the Al-Qaida cause.

Both sides of this story make exactly the same claims against the other side, each claiming for themselves a divine right and labelling the other as 'evil'. In that way, both sides of this story are nearly indistinguishable from each other.

Environmental effects

Manhattan's air was toxic for months. The White House pressured the Environmental Protection Agency to rewrite its assessment of air quality in New York City after the attacks, diminishing the statement of risk to those breathing the contaminated air.[10] Public health advocates who expressed concern about the hazards reportedly were placed on the no-fly list. The death toll from lung and related problems is expected to eventually dwarf the death toll from the actual attack.[11]

"There have been few toxic events to match the explosions that pulverized the two World Trade Center towers. The short-term deaths of three thousand people will be dwarfed over the long term by the lethal fallout." [12]

These were two of the last big buildings constructed with asbestos, whose health effects are infamous. Once ingested, the fibers can and do make cells cancerous. Thousands of miners and others exposed to asbestos have filed lawsuits against Johns-Manville and others.
The EPA knew that spewing all that asbestos into New York's air was a horrific event, and that lives could be saved by taking certain public precautions. Bush stopped that from happening.
The WTC also contained countless computer screens, light fixtures, calculators, telephones, network servers, paging systems, copy machines and much more high-tech office equipment laden with mercury and other toxic metals. The concrete, flooring, plastics, chemical cleaners, furniture, metal struts, window glass---all that was also pulverized into a horrific brew of murderous dioxins, furans and lethal powders with hideous killing power.

"A new report by the Sierra Club charges that the Bush administration was guilty of reckless disregard by failing to inform Ground Zero area workers, residents and rescuers of health risks from toxic air after the collapse of the World Trade Center.

"The report titled "Air Pollution and Deception at Ground Zero" blames the thousands of cases of long-term respiratory illness among New Yorkers on the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency, saying they downplayed health risks, shirked their regulatory oversight roles and even urged financial district workers to return to their jobs prematurely." [13]

Additional resources

Law suits

  • Mariani Vs Bush (Full Amended Complaint): "Philip J. Berg, Esquire, announced today that he, attorney for Ellen Mariani, wife of Louis Neil Mariani, who died when United Air Lines flight 175 was flown into the South Tower of the World Trade Center on 9-11 at a news conference regarding the filing of a detailed Amended Complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on 11/26/03 in the case of Mariani vs. Bush et al that he is alleging President Bush and officials including, but not limited to Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld and Feinberg."

Related SourceWatch articles

External links

Documents & reports

Articles & commentary








Websites on 9/11

Sites claiming 9/11 was a hoax