IT FEELS A BIT like entering a porn site. Forbidden, exciting, something for socially misfit gloaters. So I enter 911truth.org with the brakes on, ready to back off in shame and with a giggle. What makes me hesitate to enter the homepage of USA’s biggest organization of 9/11 skeptics is the lustful concept of “conspiracy theory”. For is it not just the high and stoned and very alternative who can bring themselves to believe something else than the official story of September 11? Wild radicals? Drug addicts?
No more. 70 percent of Americans in voting age doubt the official story of what happened on that day that changed the world. And that is not primarily due to government paranoia. It’s simply due to the questions being too many and the official answers too poor. When they even exist, that is.
AND VERY OFTEN they don’t. Considered that it is the greatest internal catastrophe of the superpower, it is strangely lacking in investigation, and always subject to strict resistance from the administration. Judicially it has hardly had any consequences at all: just one person is convicted. The 9/11 Commission has huge holes. For instance it ignores the fact that there were not just two, but three buildings that collapsed on that day, and that the third, WTC7, was not hit by a plane at all. And that it collapsed seven hours after the attack.
It is this last fact, how the towers collapsed, that is attracting the most attention at the time, and now also in the Scandinavian edition of Le Monde Diplomatique. The skyscrapers were after all constructed to withstand a plane crash. And they didn’t topple over, or break, but fell nicely – and unforgettably – into their own basements. The physicist Steven E. Jones is supported by a growing number of colleagues and engineers who claim that neither the collision nor the resulting fires could destroy the gigantic steel constructs, and cause so complete and symmetrical collapses.
The only thing that can explain the collapses and the extreme temperatures in the rubble afterwards, says Jones, is a huge number of connected explosions. The kind you see when a highrise is blown away in a controlled demolition. The towers collapsed from within, not from the outside. And in that case the whole attack seems more like an inside job?
AMONG THE almost overwhelming number of unsolved mysteries of the day, are these: why did the aviation authorities break all standard procedures for hijackings, that are after all not so unusual? No fighters took off to contact and perhaps intercept the hijacked planes. The plane that hit the Pentagon was for 1 hour and 20 minutes in the best guarded airspace of the world, before it crashed into the Department of Defense.
Five of the 19 alleged hijackers, who are all supposed to be dead, are according to the BBC alive and kicking in Saudi Arabia. In the weeks leading up to the attack, all the US intelligence agencies were on high alert due to warnings of a coming, violent terror attack on American soil. Just hours after the attack the FBI stormed several of the aviation schools where the hijackers had been – how did they find them so fast? Why were the audio tapes from the flight controllers that day destroyed? Where did two of the black boxes from the planes found at Ground Zero, only to later disappear?
And how could Condolleezza Rice repeatedly claim that ?no-one could predict that anyone would use a passenger plane as a weapon?, when that same day there were military drills for that exact scenario?
And then came the Anthrax letters… And yes, it is chilling. If you want a highly explosive read this summer, you don’t have to resort to any novel. Rather, you can virtually hear the hacking of the keyboards from the great contemporary American authors, who, inspired by this ocean of puzzle pieces and explosives, are writing their coming bricks. James Ellroy, I would guess. Don Delillo, for sure.
AT HOME in the sieged, warring USA, patriotism was naturally for long the biggest obstacle for a critical investigation of the attack. Here in Norway and in the rest of Europe, anti-americanism was under attack. But 2001 is now a fairly long time ago, and very much water, not to mention blood, has run to the ocean since. The USA is deeply and thoroughly split. Not many Europeans are afraid to be seen as anti-american. So now the term ?conspiracy theory? does the trick, instead. It is an extremely disciplining expression, just like the sister term ?politically correct?. Both are thought and opinion mindstops, although not on a rational basis. Only through some sort of fear for not being fashionably blas?.
OF COURSE IT IS to hope for that those who unravel, dig up and write the real stories of September 11 will not primarily be the great American authors, but the media and the scientists. But still the fear of being labelled a conspiracy theory is hindering this from happening. Also in our part of the forest.