Popular SF Gate columnist Mark Morford picks up on the ongoing wave of 9/11 truth coverage, with his own riff on Mark Jacobson’s article in New York magazine. We are archiving the article “Long Live the 9/11 Conspiracy!” here under fair-use provisions.
The following was published Wednesday, March 29, 2006 by sfgate.com at
Long Live the 9/11 Conspiracy!
Anyone still care about the heap of disturbing, unsolved questions surrounding Our Great Tragedy?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Here is your must-read for the month. Here is your oh-my-God-I’m-sending-this-piece-to-every-smart-person-I-know
hunk of outstanding, distressing, disquieting media bliss.
Here it is: an absolutely exceptional inside scoop on the white-hot world of
Sept. 11 conspiracy theories, writ large and smart by Mark Jacobson over at
New York magazine, and it’s mandatory reading for anyone and everyone who’s
ever entertained the nagging thought that something — or rather, far more than
one something — is deeply wrong with the official line on what actually happened
on Sept. 11.
See, it is very likely that you already know that Sept. 11 will go down in
the conspiracy history books as a far more sinister affair than, say, the murky
swirl of the Kennedy assassination. You probably already know that much of what
exactly happened on Sept. 11 remains deeply unsettling and largely unsolved
— or to put another way, if you don’t know all of this and if you fully and
blithely accept the official Sept. 11 story, well, you haven’t been paying close
But on this, the third anniversary of the launch of Bush’s illegal invasion
of Iraq by way of whoring the tragedy of Sept. 11 for his cronies’ appalling
gain, what you might not know, what gets so easily forgotten in the mists of
time and via the endless repetition of the orthodox Sept. 11 tale, is the sheer
volume, the staggering array of unanswered questions about just about every
single aspect of Sept. 11 — the planes, the WTC towers, the Pentagon, the fires,
the passengers and the cell phone calls and the firefighters and, well, just
about everything. It is, when you look closely, all merely a matter of how far
down the rabbit hole you are willing to go.
Verily, Jacobson, in his New York mag piece, encounters crackpots and fringe
nutballs and those who think Sept. 11 was connected to aliens and electromagnetic
fields and the Illuminati. It can, unfortunately, get a little crazy. But there
is also a very smart, grounded, intelligent and surprisingly large faction —
which includes eyewitnesses, Sept. 11 widows, former generals, pilots, professors,
engineers, WTC maintenance workers and many, many more — who point to a rather
shocking pile of evidence that says there is simply no way 19 fanatics with
box cutters sent by some bearded lunatic in a cave could have pulled off the
most perfectly orchestrated air attack of the century. Not without serious help,
Whose help? This, of course, is the biggest question of all, one which many
of the more well-researched theories go a surprisingly long way toward answering.
You have to sift and sort. There are disturbing questions about collapse speeds
and controlled demolitions and why the towers fell when the all-steel infrastructure
was designed to easily withstand the temperatures of any sort of fire, even
burning jet fuel. There are questions of the mysterious, media-documented blasts
deep in the WTC towers that took place after the planes hit. There are questions
of why there was such a short-selling spree on shares of American Airlines and
United Air Lines the day before the attack, huge doubts about the failures of
NORAD and the FAA, the bizarre case of the missing plane in the Pentagon crash,
and also the downing of Flight 93 where, according to the coroner, no blood
or major plane wreckage was actually found. There is, ultimately, the stunning
failure of the entire multi-trillion-dollar American air-defense system. Just
There is also the very big question of what happened to 7 WTC, the only building
not hit by anything at all, but which collapsed anyway, in a perfect controlled-demolition
sort of way, for no reason anyone can sufficiently explain. But which just so
happened to contain vital offices for the IRS, the Department of Defense, the
CIA, the Secret Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and more.
But perhaps Jacobson’s article is insufficient for you. Perhaps you have heard
much of it before, or you’re more of the visceral type and need to actually
see the proofs in order to delve deeper, have them laid out like gruesome body
parts in a mesmerizing autopsy. Fair enough.
For you, we have the surprisingly compelling indie documentary “9/11 Loose
Change” (Google it), freely available on the Internet and produced by three
very astute and very young and very strong-willed dudes who managed to cobble
together a truly astounding array of proofs and interviews and evidence, a full
1 hour and 20 minutes’ worth of mesmerizing footage you will not be able to
Or maybe you should peruse one of the countless Sept. 11 conspiracy sites,
many of which link to relevant video and one of which — scholarsfor911truth.org — claims to be “a non-partisan association of faculty, students, and scholars,
in fields as diverse as history, science, military affairs, psychology, and
philosophy, dedicated to exposing falsehoods and to revealing truths behind
9/11.” Start there.
Now, it’s very true that some of the more specious conspiracy claims have been
largely discredited and proved false. Some of the more radical “evidence” gathered by theorists is quite suspect and easily placed in the category of
no-way-in-hell. This is valid. This is as it should be. You have to chew through
a lot of skin and gristle to get to the real meat.
But oh the meat. The overwhelming quantity, the bloody, deadly stench of it.
Fact is, it is quite impossible to watch the entire “Loose Change”
documentary and not come away just a little shaken, a little awed by the sheer
number of perversely interrelated facts and aberrant coincidences-that-aren’t-coincidences,
shaking your head at how it all seems to irrefutably prove there is far, far
more to the Sept. 11 tragedy than just crazy Osama and his band of zealots,
as you begin to sink into a sighing morass of rage and frustration and suspicion
and mistrust. You almost can’t help it.
Of course, there is another option. There is another way out. You may, as is
the standard cultural default, simply ignore it all, scoff and roll your eyes
and shrug it all off because it’s just too bleak and distasteful to entertain
the idea that the dark Sept. 11 thread winds all the way through the NSA and
the FBI and the White House and the Project for the New American Century and
Dick Cheney’s mangled soul and God only knows where else.
But then again, no. You have to look. You have to try. Knowledge is power,
and while the truth may be spurious and slippery and messy and deep, the pursuit
of it is just about the only thing we have left. Give that up, and all that’s
left is spiritual numbness, emotional stasis and death. So what are you waiting
Thoughts for the author? E-mail him.
(c) 2006 SFGate and Mark Morford
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