11th September 2001, Five Years On15 Sep 2006 00:02 GMT
There has been no shortage of media coverage of the events of September 11th 2001. These events have been used to justify an unending war by the United States against whomever it chooses in a new illegal manner: pre-emptive war. 9/11 also heralded in a new wave of repressive legislation both in the US and UK. Much of this new law contradicts both the US Constitution and basic human rights. These events have been used to illegally incarcerate 600 people in Guantanamo Bay for years in appalling conditions.
While all of these things have been given detailed analysis in the mainstream media, the actual 9/11 events themselves have received only partial coverage. Only news stories that support the Bush Administration's version of what happened that day have been accepted into the mainstream. That is, that the attacks were planned and executed solely by those part of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. Yet outside the mainstream media, there exists another view of what happened that day. This view says the Bush administration itself was involved the attacks in some way. Some believe that the administration simply let the attacks happen whilst others maintain that involvement was not merely passive but that US officials masterminded the whole event.
What is more, these alternative views are held not just by a tiny fringe of conspiracy theorists. An opinion poll in August 2004 revealed that over 40% of New Yorkers believed that some US leaders had prior knowledge of 9/11 and "consciously failed to act". Another poll found that 63% of Canadians agreed. A July 2003 poll found that 20% of Germans believed that "the US Government ordered the attacks itself." A Zogby Poll in 2006 found that 42% of people in the US believe that there has been a 9/11 cover up. A 2004 Observer article, based on a poll by ICM, states that, "A majority of the British population now thinks the US government knew in advance about the 9/11 plot to attack the World Trade Centre yet did nothing to stop it, on the basis that it would give America an excuse to wage war on Afghanistan and Iraq. Some 52 per cent believed there was 'a lot' or 'some' truth in this claim, while 39 per cent said there was none at all."
There is a lot of evidence for alternative hypotheses that come from a broad spectrum of academics, scientists, people of faith and independent observers, both in the US and elsewhere. This has often been presented in meticulously researched books with copious cross-references to sources of information. Information has also been disseminated through a number of video documentaries. In the US, a whole movement has been created concerning 9/11 and the idea of a cover up, typically referred to as the "9/11 Truth Movement." This movement has organised protests, teach-ins, mass leafletting campaigns and conferences, and generally tried to encourage more people to re-examine the events of one of the most significant events in recent US history. In the UK, a similar - although so far, much smaller - group has taken root, the British 9/11 Truth Campaign. Within Indymedia, Sheffield IMC hosted a series of film shows about 9/11 and the oil industry, the "Summer of Truth".
After at first refusing any inquiry into what must be the biggest crime on American soil, the Bush administration finally caved into public pressure and launched the 9/11 Commission - claiming to be an "independent, impartial, thorough and non-partisan" inquiry into the event. However the Commission's Executive Director was Philip Zelikow, a man who was not just a Republican but someone who had had close ties with the Bush Whitehouse team for more than a decade. Zelikow picked "the areas of investigation, the briefing materials, the topics for hearings, the witnesses and the lines of questions for witnesses". The family steering committee for the 9/11 Commission repeatedly called for his removal without success. The Commission's report was released in July 2004, supporting the official version of events. The evidence conflicting with the official version of events was so thoroughly ignored by this inquiry that one author wrote a whole book on it. The 911 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions by David Ray Griffin was published just four months later.
Apart from the media blackout on alternative theories to what happened on September 11th, there is perhaps an even bigger barrier to getting the truth out (and it must be remembered that the US government version is still currently just a theory). That is, people's personal prejudices. For so many people the US is simply the good guy in the world and it is totally inconceivable that US officials had any involvement with the tragic events of that day. Whatever your views are about the "9/11 Truth Movement," it is a rapidly growing part of the broad global justice movement that is producing a plethora of media to support its arguments.
There are literally dozens of independent films that have been made about 9/11. The following is just a small selection.
Many radio shows have featured alternative reports into the events of 9/11. These two are some examples:
Some, of the many, web sites related to the 9/11 Truth Movement.