The official version of the September 11, 2001 attacks, as produced by the Bipartisan Commission of Inquiry, among others, is riddled with factual errors, omissions and logical contradictions. David Ray Griffin provides a non-exhaustive and very brief list of points of consensus among those who dispute the official account of the attacks.
1. Although the official story on 9/11 is that Osama bin Laden masterminded the attacks, the FBI never listed 9/11 as a terrorist act for which he was wanted. In addition, an FBI spokesperson acknowledged that the FBI does not have » no compelling evidence linking bin Laden to 9/11 .
2. Although the official story is that the four airliners were hijacked by devout Muslims willing to die as martyrs for a heavenly reward, Mohammed Atta and the other suspected hijackers regularly drank large amounts of alcohol, visited strip clubs and frequented prostitutes.
3. Several people reported receiving GSM calls from relatives or crew members of the planes, in which they were told that Middle Eastern hijackers had taken over the planes. One of these people, Deena Burnett, was certain that her husband, Tom Burnett, had called her several times on his cell phone because she recognized his number on her phone screen. However, the calls Deena Burnett received were made while her husband’s flight — United Airlines 93 — was over 9 At that time, the technology was such that GSM calls from high altitude airliners were not possible. When the FBI reported on the phone calls from the planes at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui in 2006, they changed their story and now say that there were only two GSM calls from the planes, both from United Flight 93, after it had descended to about 1 500 meters. However, the FBI did not explain how Tom Burnett could have called his wife when he was more than 9 000 meters away.
4. Ted Olson, deputy attorney general, said his wife, Barbara Olson, phoned him twice from American Airlines Flight 77, saying hijackers had taken control. However, this claim was later contradicted by the same FBI report, which said that the one call attempted by Barbara Olson had ended in » failure ‚ » and that it had consequently lasted » 0 seconds . The FBI never explained why the former deputy attorney general claimed that he had two conversations with his wife, each lasting more than a minute, while she was on board AA77.
5. It has been argued that crucial evidence of al-Qaeda’s culpability in the attacks was found in the luggage of Mohammed Atta, who allegedly piloted flight AA11 after hijacking it with other al-Qaeda members. This luggage was reportedly found in Logan Airport in Boston. His luggage would have been there because he had driven to Portland, Maine, on September 10 in a rental car, before taking a regional flight very early in the morning of the 11th to return from Portland to Boston to catch flight AA11. It was explained to the public that he had arrived in time to board flight AA11, but that his luggage had not been loaded into the plane’s hold.
However, this version only emerged after the FBI’s initial version that (a) the evidence of al-Qaeda’s guilt was found in a Mitsubishi left by Atta in the Logan Airport parking lot, while (b) the trip to Portland was made by Adnan and Amir Bukhari. But the FBI later learned that neither Bukhari could have died on flight AA11, because one had died a year earlier, and the other was still alive. After learning this, the FBI simply changed its story, stating that the trip to Portland was made not by the Bukharis, but by Atta and another al Qaeda member.
6. Other types of alleged evidence about Muslim hijackers-including videos of al-Qaeda members at airports, passports found at crash sites, and a bandana found at the crash site of United Flight 93-also show clear evidence of manipulation.
7. In addition to the lack of evidence of hijackers on planes, there is also evidence of their absence If hijackers had forced their way into the cockpit, the pilots would have activated the universal hijacking code, which only takes a few seconds. But none of the eight pilots of the four planes did.
8. Given the standard procedures between the FAA and the military, under which aircraft showing signs of an onboard emergency are normally intercepted within 10 minutes, the fact that the military failed to intercept any of these flights — even after 15 or even 30 minutes — suggests that something, such as a no-action order, prevented the standard procedures from being carried out.
9. Norman Mineta, the Secretary of Transportation, was at the Presidential EmergencyOperations Center (PEOC) , located under the White House, with Vice President Dick Cheney. Mineta reported a conversation between Cheney and a » young man » who repeatedly entered the PEOC to report on a plane that was obviously on approach to Washington. Finally, around 9:25 a.m., the young man asked if the orders » still held . » This conversation would have taken place about 15 minutes before the Pentagon crash, so Cheney’s orders were apparently not to intercept any aircraft approaching the Pentagon.
In addition, a witness who was at the Los Angeles airport, where he had previously set up security equipment, said he overheard airport security personnel learning that a no-action order had been issued by » the highest levels of the White House ‚ » namely Cheney, since Bush was in Florida.
10. The 9/11 Commission did not mention Mineta’s testimony, removed it from the video catalog of its hearings, and claimed that Cheney did not enter the PEOC until shortly before 10:00 a.m. This is at least 40 minutes later than the time he was present according to Mineta and several other witnesses, including Cheney’s photographer.
11. Cheney’s schedule on the morning of 9/11, as reconstructed by the Commission, also contradicts statements Cheney himself made to Tim Russert on » Meet the Press » on September 16, just five days after 9/11. In that interview, Cheney said he was in the PEOC before the Pentagon was hit.
12. Hani Hanjour, who was known to be a lousy pilot, not even able to fly a single-engine plane properly, cannot have executed the amazing trajectory that AA77 would have taken to hit the Wing 1 of the Pentagon between the ground and second floors.
13. Wing 1 was the part of the Pentagon least likely to be targeted by foreign terrorists. First, it was on the opposite end of the spectrum from Rumsfeld’s offices and the top brass, whom Muslim terrorists would no doubt have wanted to kill. Second, it was the only part of the Pentagon that had been reinforced ; furthermore, reconstruction was not complete, so there were relatively few people on the scene. Third, it was the only part of the Pentagon that presented obstacles for an aircraft to approach. Therefore, every element of the official version of the Pentagon strike, that al Qaeda members rushed AA77 into the Pentagon, is implausible.
14. According to Pentagon officials, the Pentagon was not evacuated because it was impossible to know that an aircraft was approaching. However, an E‑4B military aircraft (the Air Force’s most sophisticated communications, command and control aircraft) was flying over the White House at the time, from which its crew could easily see any aircraft that approached the Pentagon. Let us add that, although there can be no doubt about the identity of this plane, which was filmed by CNN and other channels, the army denied that it belonged to it.
15. After learning that a second World Trade Center building had been attacked (which would have meant that the terrorists were aiming at high-value targets) and that still other planes had been hijacked, the Secret Service allowed President Bush to stay for another half hour at the school he was visiting in Florida. In doing so, the Secret Service revealed its prior knowledge that Bush would not be targeted. If the attacks on the World Trade Center had really been a surprise, agents — fearing that a hijacked plane might dive on the school — would have rushed Bush away.
In addition, on the first anniversary of 9/11, the White House released a new version that Bush, rather than remaining in the classroom for several minutes after his chief of staff Andrew Card whispered in his ear that a second WTC building had been hit, immediately got up and left the room. This lie was reported in major newspapers and on MSNBC and ABC television.
16. Since the Twin Towers and WTC7 were structured from the cellar up with steel columns, they simply could not have collapsed the way they did — all at once and almost at the speed of free fall — unless those columns had been severed with explosives. The official theory, that the buildings collapsed because of fires, combined (in the case of the Twin Towers) with the impact of airplanes, is scientifically impossible.
17. The destruction of the Twin Towers had many other characteristics — such as horizontal ejection of steel beams, melting of steel, and sulfidation and thinning of steel — that can only be explained by the use of high explosives. Steel does not melt until it reaches about 1 500 degrees Celsius, a temperature that tower fires have not even approached.
18. Shortly after 9/11, members of the New York City Fire Department gave oral histories of how they experienced that day. About 25% of them reported witnessing explosions in the Twin Towers. Similarly, city officials, WTC employees and journalists reported explosions in the Twin Towers as well as in WTC7. These testimonies provide additional evidence that the WTC buildings could not have collapsed due to the fires without being aided by explosives.
19. On the day of 9/11, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told ABC News’ Peter Jennings , » We set up our headquarters at 75 Barclay Street (…) and we were working from there when we were told that the World Trade Center was going to collapse. And it (the South Tower) collapsed before we could even get out of the building. « Yet there was no objective basis for expecting the towers to collapse ; even the 9/11 Commission acknowledged that none of the fire chiefs expected the towers to collapse. Oral histories of New York City firefighters reveal that the information that the towers were going to collapse came from the Office of Emergency Management, which was Giuliani’s own office. How could Giuliani’s team members have known that the towers would collapse, unless they knew that the buildings had been booby-trapped with explosives ?
20. A former employee of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which produced the official reports on the Twin Towers and WTC7, said that NIST had been » completely diverted from the scientific domain to the political one « so that its scientists were reduced to the role of » mercenaries « . Moreover, the 9/11 Commission, which accepted the claim that the buildings collapsed because of the fires, was never independent, since it was headed by Philip Zelikow, who was actually a member of the Bush White House.
21. The official version about 9/11 is currently rejected by a steadily growing number of physicists, chemists, architects, engineers, pilots, former military officers and intelligence personnel.
David Ray Griffin
Professor Emeritus of the Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University (Los Angeles, California). He has published 41 books, including ten about 9/11 (four translated into French by Éditions Demi Lune). His latest book is entitled Another look at 9/11 — 10 years later. The New Pearl Harbor 2 (Éditions Demi Lune, coll. Résistances, 2011). All the points mentioned in this article, and many more, are developed in more detail.