Questioning the Official Version of 9/11 is Not Conspiracy Theory

For a long time, I accepted the official version of the tragic events that unfolded 17 years ago on the morning of September 11th 2001. I watched in shock as the twin towers collapsed with the mass murder of nearly 3000 innocent civilians.

Whenever anyone mentioned the possibility of a wider conspiracy, my reaction was one of dismissal and disbelief. How could anyone suggest that the horrors of that day were caused by anyone other than Al Qaeda terrorists?

Gradually my faith in the establishment was eroded in the wake of one scandal after the next. In fact, here is a useful thought experiment. Ask yourself whether the official version on many things is accurate. On WMD and the war in Iraq? On mass surveillance prior to the Snowden revelations? On mass civilian casualties in the war on terror as exposed by the Wikileaks Iraq and Afghanistan war logs? On the causes of the 2008 financial crisis, which revealed the corporate malfeasance of the banks? On the need for massive austerity as the solution to the aftermath of this crisis?

The most important caveat here is that rejecting the official version of events is not the same as advocating an alternative version, such as controlled demolition or an inside job. It simply means a healthy scepticism with regards to what vested interests tell us about geopolitical events especially when they are deep events — that is mysterious events in which there has been falsification or suppression of information.

Insane conspiracy theories, such as no planes holograms, have been conveniently used to discredit any serious critique of the official version. An official version which by the way even the members of the 9/11 commission struggle to accept.

A common refrain is that questioning the official narrative is an insult to the memory of those who died. In fact it is those most heavily invested in 9/11 — for example the relatives of victims and emergency rescue workers — who have been leading the charge against the government in the quest for truth. It is the patriotic duty of citizens to question their government and speak truth to power.

What has become apparent is that the operations of the military-industrial complex — a relatively new phenomenon dating back to WWII — are shrouded in the secrecy of covert action.

As the former Washington Post journalist Steve Coll argues in his book Ghost Wars, 9/11 was the surface eruption of a massive policy of covert action in which the US and its allies had armed and funded radical Islamist jihadists. This policy was extensive beginning in Afghanistan with the CIA, Pakistan’s ISI and Saudi intelligence arming the Mujahideen against the Soviets during the 1980s. Read the late Gore Vidal’s breathless essay The Enemy Within, originally published in The Observer, as a primer on the subject.

However, the end of the cold war did not mean the end of this dark alliance. The Islamists have since been used as proxy tools across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and even Europe. US intelligence armed and funded Islamists in former Soviet states, such as Azerbaijan and Chechnya. During the Yugoslav civil war, Islamist fighters were transported to Bosnia in the conflict against Serbia’s Milosevic, where they remarkably fought alongside US and UK special forces.

In spite of 9/11 and multiple terrorist atrocities across the world, this policy has continued until the present day with the arming of radical Islamist factions in Syria against the Assad government. The fall-out of this toxic policy was the Frankenstein of ISIS — so radical that it was even rejected by Al Qaeda.

In other words, decades of collusion with Islamist extremists have been pursued as part of a massive, secretive covert apparatus in order to facilitate geopolitical aims from anti-communism, the neutralisation of Arab socialism and nationalism to the destabilisation of regimes across the world. Yet the hypocrisy of governments is difficult to swallow when they wring their hands after each terrorist attack.

The blow-back has led to the metastasising of radical Islamists across the world — from a few hundred hiding out in the Hindu Kush mountains in 2001 to an estimated 100,000 today. This integration and collusion of many factions — western intelligence agencies and military-industrialists, governments, extremists, Pakistani and Saudi intelligence — means it is very difficult to unpick the truth.

And this is why what appears to have taken place on 9/11 can only be described as a deep event; the full truth of which like other deep events — the political assassinations of the 1960s, Iran Contra, the war on terror — may never come out.

As Nafeez Ahmed points out in his book The War on Truth, what we do know is that the intelligence warnings came from many quarters including US, British, French, Israeli and Egyptian intelligence. The information furnished was so extensive that it was well anticipated that Al Qaeda was planning to use hijacked planes as missiles to fly into famous landmarks in Washington and New York. The landmarks identified in this pre-9/11 intelligence included the twin towers and the Pentagon. Even the likely date of September 11th was predicted.

This information was deemed accurate and important such that senior government and Pentagon officials were not allowed to board civilian flights preceding the attacks. Yet despite this threat, the public was not informed of these dangers.

In fact, some of the individual hijackers, including ring-leader Mohamed Atta, were well known to US authorities. Yet they were allowed to come in and out of the country freely despite being on watch-lists. They were known to have a track record of terrorism in some cases going back years. One can only conclude that they were in some way intelligence assets. Remarkably this is a consistent pattern with many terrorist atrocities in which the perpetrators have been under surveillance and/or utilised by the security services.

Furthermore, we also know that insider trading in the shares of various companies — including United and American Airlines — apparently took place. In other words, people with foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks sought to profit from them. The official investigation came to the absurd conclusion that this insider trading was not linked to Al Qaeda and was therefore innocuous. Evidently the identification of the likely culprits should have been imperative.

The suppressed 28 pages of the 9/11 commission report — only declassified in 2016— also reveal several payments from the bank account of Bandar Bin Sultan and his wife Princess Haifa to contacts of the hijackers. Bandar was the former Saudi ambassador to the US and very close to the Bush clan. So close that Poppy Bush asked him to tutor ‘Dubya’ aka Bush Jr in foreign policy.

Bandar has been instrumental in various covert CIA operations including the arming of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, Iran Contra and most recently the arming of Islamists in Syria. Bandar had been at the heart of the BAE scandal in which it was official UK government policy to condone bribery of Saudi royals in the selling of arms. In other words, the appearance of Bandar in multiple deep events historically and in the 9/11 investigation is not a coincidence that can simply be shrugged off.

On the actual day, the Pentagon appears to have scheduled multiple war games. This is a remarkable coincidence in itself and helps explain the presence of fake radar blips of hijacked planes. It may have sown confusion with regards to the difference between war games and real world events. It may also help explain the violation of standard operating procedures and protocols regarding interception by fighter planes in the most protected airspace in the world.

Understandably, dwelling on what happened on 9/11 should not distract us from the consequences. These have ranged from the war on terror as a new 21st century frame enabling perpetual war and geopolitical hegemony to the erosion of civil liberties and the amassing of growing authoritarian powers by the state.

All of which underlines the complex nature of deep events in which there is collusion and integration of high level government, intelligence, military and law enforcement agencies alongside illicit factions including terrorists, organised crime and the international drug trade. To paraphrase Colin Powell, international terrorism is the dark side of globalisation.

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