With the official opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, media attention is being focused once again on the so-called 9/11 “truth” movement, the political agitators and publicity-seekers who insist that Muslim terrorists flying planes were not responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001. A group called Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth is distributing 9/11 “truth” propaganda at the museum this week, insisting the attacks were an “inside job” by various forces.
Emily Bazelon of Slate was on Jake Tapper’s CNN show referring to the “fringe right wing” and “anti-government” forces allegedly behind these kooky claims. Tapper did not dispute her characterization of the movement somehow being on the conservative side. He neglected to point out that Van Jones, the “former” communist who is now a co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire” show, had signed a 9/11 “truth” petition suggesting that the Bush administration deliberately allowed the terrorist attacks to happen so the U.S. could go to war against Muslims in the Middle East. This, and stories about Jones’ communist background, forced him out of his White House job.
David Corn of Mother Jones magazine had noted the 9/11 conspiracy theories “emerging on the left,” and he had written several pieces decrying them. He added, “The 9/11 conspiracy theory was just too tempting for many Bush critics. Van Jones says he was not fully aware of what he was signing when he put his John Hancock on that 9/11 petition. This might be true. But I can see how Jones and others on the left—without thinking too much—might have easily said, sure, sign my name to any call for any investigation of Bush and Cheney. And that sloppiness—if that’s what it was—has cost him his job.”
Tapper said on his show that people have a “capacity for believing crazy things,” but that the 9/11 “truth” movement demonstrates “insensitivity” to the families of the 9/11 victims.
What the families want are answers. The 9/11 attacks were entirely foreseeable and preventable, and legitimate questions remain. The record shows that the Bush administration ignored warnings that an attack like 9/11 might occur. Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had already declared war on America, and the Able Danger military intelligence unit had identified al-Qaeda terrorist cells in America before the attacks. But this information wasn’t investigated thoroughly enough by appropriate officials in our intelligence agencies. It is truly mind-boggling that President Bush gave George Tenet, CIA director at the time of 9/11, a presidential Medal of Freedom.
To make matters worse, this intelligence failure was followed by another, when the post 9/11 anthrax attacks were falsely blamed on various U.S. scientists and not on members of al Qaeda, the likely culprits. One of those falsely blamed, Steven Hatfill, collected millions of dollars in damages from the U.S. government when the FBI tried to ruin his reputation and frame him.
This intelligence debacle is another reason why the 9/11 “truth” movement has completely lost sight of the truth.
As we said in a 2006 column, “If the Bush Administration carried out 9/11, a monumental undertaking of planning and coordination, why couldn’t it have blamed the post-9/11 anthrax attacks on Muslim Arabs as well, thus giving greater impetus to the alleged desire to go to war in the Middle East?