Wednesday will mark the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Yet despite a sizable movement to reopen the investigation into what actually happened on that fateful day, no real progress has been made. As a result, the “official” explanation joins a massive body of American history marred by disinformation and the unknown. Despite their best guesses, Americans still don’t know exactly what happened on that day, but can be plenty sure that it was something other than what has been told to them by their government. It is then no wonder that the same government is having such a difficult time selling us on anything at all these days, that might require even a modicum of trust.
For too long, government officials have been able to successfully leverage the emotional components of the tragedy to deflect questions they painted as either disrespectful to the victims and their families or crackpot conspiracies. But with over 2,000 architects and engineers having signed the 9/11 truth petition, most of whom have offered credible and detailed reasons why their expertise has left them at odds with root elements of the official version of events, there remain too many unanswered questions for us to continue to ignore those raising them.
Perhaps the most noted event of that day, in terms of skepticism, is the implausible “collapse” of building seven, the third tower to fall, which reached free-fall speeds and fell in its own footprint in the way that a controlled demolition does – despite the fact that it was not hit by a plane. Building seven’s improbable collapse was not explained by the 9/11 Commission and has been routinely described by demolition experts as something which could have only occurred through a well-planned, coordinated demolition, aided by pre-placed explosives.
The two main towers also fell at near free-fall speeds, with concrete floors being pulverized to dust almost immediately (before the required force would be present) while the necessary deceleration that would be needed to generate the force to continuously penetrate each floor below was obviously absent. Quite simply, a building of that size and structural integrity would not seem capable of falling at such speed, while simultaneously expelling such tremendous energy in obliterating each floor – which was nearly 4-ft. thick and topped with 4 inches of poured concrete above and lined with interlocking steel trusses beneath.
The documented phenomenon of extreme-high temperatures at the twin tower sites, which inexplicably reached levels capable of melting iron and structural steel when a normal open air fire is not capable of reaching such ranges, also warrants a closer look, as does eyewitness accounts of "molten metal." Iron-laden spheres in residual dust at the site that suggest temperatures had to reach more than 2,700 degrees fahrenheit (the melting point of iron and structural steel) is also suspect. The use of thermite would be one possible explanation, though the pyrotechnic compound was not tested for at the site, a standard protocol when investigating such an explosion.
While some “truthers” have postulated complicated and improbable conspiracy theories as to what ultimately did happen and who was involved or what their motivations were, most purport to want only a thorough and independent investigation that goes much further in attempting to solve the many questionable aspects of the events than the reports by FEMA, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and the 9/11 Commission Report did.
When one considers the litany of other curious elements regarding the events which took place that day, as well as the dramatic impact our responses to them have had on the course of this nation since, it is clear that the topic warrants an exhaustive inquiry that takes nothing for granted and leaves no stone unturned. No matter what you believe about that fateful day, it is clear that such an inquiry has yet to be undertaken.
From the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the Lusitania to the case for WMDs in Iraq, Americans have routinely been led to believe official versions of events which have ranged from misleading and manipulative to outright fabrications. This sort of dishonesty comes at a price. Today, as many as 81 percent of Americans believe that the official Warren Commission line on President John F. Kennedy’s assassination is a cover-up, with as many as a third believing the same about 9/11.
As Americans, our distrust of government is clearly well-justified. It is also obvious that many of us are fed up with the notion that we should accept being misled as a necessary component to our government keeping us safe. As Washington struggles to build even lukewarm public support for yet another foreign invasion based on questionable intelligence, it should consider whether a democracy can properly function when a pervasive notion exists that what the government tells its people is probably, at best, a half-truth. A meaningful investigation into the events of September 11, 2001 would be good place to start rectifying that toxic dynamic.
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