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This year marks the ten year anniversary of the horrific events that have come to be known collectively as “9-11.” On September 11, 2001- the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil was carried out. The official story, which emerged rather quickly, was that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda were the masterminds behind the attacks. It seemed to make sense and the explanation allowed Americans to have someone to blame.
In the months following the attacks, more questions about the official explanation began to appear. The 9-11 “truthers,” as they are often called, range from those that believe the government knew about the impending attacks and chose to ignore it to those that believe the attacks were an inside job, with the U.S. government carrying out the attacks in order to justify a war in the Middle East. The attacks also allowed the Bush administration to decrease civil liberties by passing legislation such as “The Patriot Act” and, more than likely, helped Bush win a second term.
Truthers point to a variety of different events on that day that they believe is reason to be skeptical about the official story. They note that the Pentagon attack happened over an hour after the attack on New York City and point out that there was no response from Andrews Air Force Base, just 10 miles away. Hani Hanjour, the supposed pilot of that plane, failed as a Cessna pilot on his first flight in a Boeing but was somehow able to execute a difficult aerobatic maneuver to strike the Pentagon. The attack on the Pentagon hit the just-renovated side, which was largely empty and opposite from the high command. There is also considerable debate on the famed flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania. Many family members and loved ones received last minute phone calls from passengers on that plane. Did cell phones work on planes in 2001? I tried to turn on my cell phone many years later on a plane and it did not work. The scattering of debris found over the field has always suggested that the plane was shot down, not driven into the ground. Truthers maintain that the buildings in New York City were brought down by controlled demolition and not by the planes that crashed into the buildings. Even the staunchest believer in the official story questions why building #7 was destroyed, even though it was not hit by a plane that fateful day.
Although, there are plenty of other questions and inconsistencies that truthers point out when debating 9-11, those are the major arguments. The government has attempted to define the 9-11 truthers as part of a fringe movement, but a large part of Americans have some doubt of the official story. The truth movement has websites devoted to the conspiracy, books, and movies. One famous documentary about 9-11, Loose Change , is highly critical of the official explanation and offers a thorough critique of the official explanation. The movie, in its entirety, can be viewed on YouTube.
Whether you believe that bin Laden was responsible or not, questions surrounding the tragedy should not be dismissed or taken lightly. Our country often attempts to vilify anyone who questions the government or official explanations. But, it shouldn’t be that way. We should not blindly follow any person or any explanation, because we are not sheep. And if history has taught us anything, government is not infallible and has committed much more evil acts than what 9-11 truthers believer.