Is American Democracy Too Feeble To Deal With 9/11?
Paul Craig Roberts
Clearing House" -- -- Alexander Hamilton is often portrayed as an
early advocate of strong central government. But even Hamilton
understood the danger from government. In the Federalist Papers
“Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of
national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a
time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life
and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm
attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations
the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security
to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and
political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing
to run the risk of being less free.”
I would be more confident of the survival of democracy and civil
liberty in the United States if, on this fifth anniversary of
the September 11 attacks, a majority of Americans were reading
David Ray Griffin’s challenging new book, “Christian
Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11.”
It is an inexpensive book and available quickly from online
booksellers. A person only needs to read the first 56 pages to
realize that the official account of the collapse of the three
World Trade Center buildings has many problems and that
defenders of the official account have no hard evidence upon
which to stand.
On pages 57-75, Griffin summarizes the inconsistencies in the
9/11 Commission’s incredible tale of flights 11, 175, 77, and
93. The official account is a story of improbable incompetence
On pages 76-82, Griffin concludes that the failure of the 9/11
Commission Report to produce a believable account or even to
acknowledge the most important known facts is itself a
conclusive case that the report is a cover-up.
Griffin believes that 9/11 was a false flag operation to provide
the neoconservative Bush regime with a “new Pearl Harbor” excuse
to launch its imperial ambitions for hegemony in the Middle East
and beyond. On pages 85-106, Griffin provides an excellent
summary of the neocon agenda and how it was enabled by 9/11.
Griffin expects no further investigation from Congress, official
commissions, and government agencies, such as the National
Institute for Standards and Technology. Although Griffin calls
on the New York Times to take up the investigation, he does not
expect any investigative interest on the part of the media,
which has served as a propagandist for the government’s story.
Instead, Griffin places his hope in Christian churches. He calls
upon the churches to confront the evil that has America in its
Is the hope that Griffin places on Christian churches realistic?
Many of the right-wing evangelical churches are fanatical
supporters of the Bush administration and Republican Party. The
Rapture churches actually look forward to the Armageddon that
they believe Bush is brewing in the Middle East as they think it
will bring about their ascent into Heaven.
The attack by conservative Presbyterians on Griffin’s publisher,
the Presbyterian Westminister John Knox Press, for publishing
his book is more indication that the protestant churches might
not be up to the job that Griffin assigns to them. Conservative
Presbyterians, who have not read Griffin’s book and whose
comprehension of events is dependent on right-wing radio talk
shows and Fox “News,” demanded retribution against the John Knox
Press for daring to publish a work so blasphemous as to cast
doubt on the motives of President Bush and the U.S. Government.
Scientists tend to believe that facts and analysis can prevail
over emotions such as those of the conservative Presbyterians.
BYU physics professor Steven Jones is one of those scientists.
Jones believed that it was safe for him to point out that there
appears to be a large energy deficit in the official explanation
of the collapse of the WTC buildings. He is prepared for this
question to be settled by scientific inquiry and analysis and
has called for an independent panel of experts. Jones overlooked
that universities, and especially physics departments, are
dependent on government research grants. People dependent on
government research grants are not independent. Jones, himself
has now been placed on paid leave by BYU. The message is clear.
The debate is over.
Elected Republican officials, both governors and senators, have
demanded the firing of every academic who has expressed doubts
about the official line on 9/11. And now a U.S. Army
intelligence analyst, Donald Buswell, is being accused of
sending an email message “disloyal to the United States.”
Apparently, Buswell is guilty of expressing doubts that the
airliners alleged to have hit the Pentagon and to have crashed
in Pennsylvania would have been vaporized by the impacts. It
should scare all Americans that reaching a logical conclusion is
an act disloyal to the U.S. government.
It has always been the case that the untutored emotions of
ignorant people are material that enable evil deeds. Recognizing
that emotion is a powerful shield against facts and that
American disbelief in their government’s bad behavior is the
government’s best protection when it behaves badly, Griffin
opens his book with a short history of well known false flag
operations, both by the US and other countries. It is a sobering
So much factual information about 9/11 has been kept from the
public that we owe it to ourselves and to our country to read
Griffin’s brief presentation. I find the facts against the
official story of the buildings’ collapse more compelling than
the case that has been made in behalf of the official story. I
would like to see the issue debated by independent scientists
and engineers, if such people exist.
Few Americans understand that an enormous amount of energy was
required to produce such a total collapse of the buildings and
to pulverize so many tons of concrete, furniture, and office
equipment into fine dust. What was the source of this energy,
and how did it act so suddenly? The damage to the buildings from
airliners was asymmetrical and the fires were scattered. WTC 7
was not hit by an airliner. Yet, all three buildings collapsed
symmetrically as if there was no resistance and all structural
support crumbled almost instantly.
The function of government commissions is to reassure the
public. The fact that the 9/11 Commission came up with a story
that is not well supported by the evidence might simply reflect
the over-riding political need to reassure the public.
I think that we can accept Griffin’s conclusion that the
evidence does not fit the Commission’s story. A real
investigation is needed to find an explanation consistent with
the evidence, even if it doesn’t reassure the public. But I
don’t think this will happen. Even Internet sites that are
anti-war, anti-Bush, and independent of the mainstream media,
such as Antiwar.com and CounterPunch refuse to post objective
reporting about the 9/11 skeptics’ arguments. BYU has closed
down the seminars that Jones was holding for his academic peers
where his views could be tested by competent authorities. I
suspect that other credible skeptics will find pressures brought
against them as well.
All of this suggests to me that there is something to hide. If
Professor Jones, for example, is wrong about there being
insufficient energy in the official account to explain the
destruction of the buildings, discussions and debates with his
academic peers would bring this out. There is no justification
for the university administration to intervene in a matter of
scientific inquiry, or for people who know nothing about science
to serve as gatekeepers for neoconservative ideologues by
branding skeptics “conspiracy theorists.” “Conspiracy theorist”
is used to suppress debate about
9/11 just as “anti-semite” is used to suppress debate about
Of course, Jones and Griffin were not allowed to express their
doubts of the official story without being pressed to offer
their explanations. Jones offered the hypothesis that explosives
were used and called for the testing of any surviving evidence.
Griffin went further and threw down the gauntlet. He accuses the
Bush administration of the deed.
My role in this is as a reporter. I do believe that 9/11 was
used by the Bush administration to launch aggressive wars in the
Middle East and that it is not the administration’s intent to
end the aggression in Iraq. Whether 9/11 was merely convenient
for the administration or whether the administration had a hand
in it, I do not know.
I am reconciled to the fact that our free democratic society is
incapable of producing an inquiry that can arrive at the truth
Paul Craig Roberts , was Assistant Secretary of the
Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of
Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in
Washington ; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and
Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with
Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How
Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in
the Name of Justice
Click on "comments" below to read or post comments