Original Spanish in pdf format

Wednesday, 31 December 2003

9/11: The Conspiracy

Eduardo Martín de Pozuelo and Xavier Mas de Xaxàs

A conspiracy fever has taken over Europe and America. Thousands of people on both continents are devouring as much information as they can lay their hands on about the September 11 attacks on the USA in 2001 possibly being, not the work of Islamic extremism, but part of an internal conspiracy without precedent.

Books by widely differing authors are selling in their thousands in Germany, France and Spain. Dealing with different aspects of a supposed plot, they are encouraged by the lack of a solid official version. Dozens of web sites and books break down the attack on the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York and on the Pentagon in minute detail, saying that what we watched awestruck on television in September over two years ago was the greatest hoax of all times and already dubbed "Operation Pearl".

"Have the German people slid into acute paranoia?", Le Monde wonders as it witnesses its neighbour succumb to a conspiracy theory, and the fact that Andreas von Bülow (ex-secretary of State for Defense, ex-minister for Research and Technology in Helmut Schmidt's cabinet and MP for the Social Democrat Party for twenty-five years) is now better known for his book on the CIA and 9/11 than for his stint on the front-line of German politics.

The situation was such that the German weeklies couldn't resist surveying their readership to find out what was going on. The results were surprising: 31% of Germans under the age of 30 in no way discarded the idea of the hand of the US government itself in the dramatic events. The figure "drops" to 19% as far as the rest of the population is concerned, regardless of age.

Von Bülow‹who has never disguised the fact that since his term in parliament he thinks the worst of the secret services‹has sold over one hundred thousand copies of his book in which he analyses, from a very personal point of view, aspects of 9/11 that are, in his judgement, "not credible" and concludes that it was impossible for the CIA not to have known about al Qaida plans. His thesis looks at the fact, recognised by the Bush Administration, that the CIA and the FBI did not share the information they had available on the danger of a major attack. However, von Bülow goes a little further and speculates that the planes that hit the towers may have been piloted by remote control.

Riding the German grand conspiracy wave are other writers whose book sales have gone well above the 100,000 figure, namely Mathias Bröckers and Gerhard Wisnewski, the former a seasoned journalist on the Berlin newspaper Die Taz, and the latter a regular contributor to ZDF, the second most important German TV channel. Bröckers contends that the planes' suicide-pilots are still alive, while Wisnewski, whose credibility enjoys greater standing, calls into question the entire 9/11 episode and expounds the theory that the buildings of the WTC were demolished by explosives planted in their interior. Certainly, whenever the matter is raised, the video of the fall of WTC7, which collapsed after the Twin Towers, emerges to mystery fans as irrefutable proof of a controlled demolition.

Meanwhile, though Germany has a hefty group of disbelievers in the official story, the books with greatest influence worldwide have sprung from France. Author Thierry Meyssan, mentor and promoter of a virtual organisation which calls itself "red Voltaire" uniting journalists, politicians and professional people from many different fields who are firmly convinced of a plot, refutes the idea in his books "L'Effroyable imposture" and "Le Pentagate" that a civilian airliner flown by a suicide pilot struck the Pentagon, and claims it was hit by a missile. In Spain, Pilar Urbano also expresses incredulity over this aspect of the story in her book "Jefe Atta".

An analysis of the conspiracy theories reveals that they largely revolve around the planes hijacked by the al-Qaida commandos. Essentially they either claim that the aircraft which struck were not the same as those hijacked that morning‹that they were probably switched over‹or claim that explosives and military missiles were used.

As regards the first plane to hit, of which there are only two known film clips in existence, both shot from a distance and not very clear, writers call into question that it is a Boeing and suggest the idea of a missile or a smaller plane. As for the second plane, the one that struck the South Tower, it so happens that a series of reports published in La Vanguardia have sparked further questions. Web sites looking into the subject have already baptised it "the pregnant plane" in allusion to the strange bumps visible on the fuselage, as revealed by this newspaper.

The conspiracy theories clamour their loudest when it comes to the Pentagon and the plane which crashed in Pennsylvania. American Airlines Flight 77 took off from Washington at 8:20 am destined for Los Angeles. Half an hour later air traffic controllers lost track of it and almost forty minutes later the Air Force received the order to give chase. It was half an hour since the Twin Towers had been struck. At 9:38 on September 11, 2001, two minutes before the arrival of fighter jets, AA77 hit the Pentagon, puncturing a small opening, similar to what might have been made by a missile. The security cameras failed to capture an image of the plane and from then on amazement led to disbelief and the idea of a conspiracy. Questions burgeoned to which Thierry Meyssan gave voice in his own way: If the pilots were not experts how did they manage to execute such a tight turn? Why was there no debris from the Boeing to be seen in the photos? Why didn't the security cameras capture the plane? Why was the damage so precise?

Answers are lacking
The lack of a official version that provides solid answers to the many questions (one web site plays on the date of the attack and poses 911 questions) encourages conspiracy theories. Many of the grey areas pointed out by the authors cited here could well be opportunism or the fruit of a vivid imagination‹however well-intentioned‹of avid mystery lovers. However, the federal investigative commission has complained about the secrecy of the Bush Administration. It is possible that the US government does not have the answers to give and if it does know some, it refrains from doing so to avoid reviving the painful memories of that day. This is more than likely in the case of the Pennsylvanian crash, where the Boeing's passengers managed to speak to their relatives by phone before, according to the official version, heroically overcoming the hijackers and preventing the plane from crashing into the Capitol or The White House itself. However, diplomatic figures in the United States and the European Union are convinced that the plane was shot down to avoid striking the presidential residence.

Perhaps the explanation for this media and publishing boom lies with Rudolf Stoeber, professor of Communications at the German University of Bamberg, who sees 9/11 as a totally irrational act while human beings look for and need a rational explanation for everything.

“La gran impostura” (The Frightening Fraud)
Thierry Meyssan, La Esfera de los Libros

“Le Pentagate”
Thierry Meyssan, ed., Éditions Carnot

“Verschwörungen, Versch-wörungstheorien und die Geheim-nisse des 11.9” (Conspiracies, conspiracy theories and the secrets of 9/11)
Mathias Bröckers, Zweitausendeins

“Die CIA und der 11.September: Internationaler Terror und die Rolle der Geheimsdientse” (The CIA and 9/11: international terror and the role of the secret services)
Andreas von Bülow, Piper Verlag

“Falten, Fäls-chungen und die unterdrückten Beweise des 11.9” (Facts, forgeries and censored evidence on 9/11)
Mathias Bröckers y Andreas Hauss, Zweitausendeins

“La sospecha: el complot que amenaza la sociedad actual” (Distrust: the plot that threatens modern society)
Isabel Pisano, Belacqua

“Operation 9/11: Angriff auf den Globos” (Operation 9/11: the global attack)
Gerhard Wisnewski, Droemer / Knaur

“11-S. Historia de una infamia: las mentiras de la ‘versión oficial" (9/11. The story of a vile act: the lies of the "official version")
Bruno Cardeñosa, Corona Borealis

“The war on freedom. How and why America was attacked, september 11, 2001”
Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The Institute for Policy Research and Development

“Jefe Atta: el secreto de la Casa Blanca” (Chief Atta: the White House secret)
Pilar Urbano, Plaza & Janés

· www.9-11commission.gov/archive/index.htm
· www.wtc1.batcave.net/2.html
· www.81x.com/green1/plane
· www.physics911.org/net/
· www.serendipity.li/wtc.html
· www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline/index.html
· www.asile.org/citoyens/numero13/pentagone/ erreurs_en.htm
· www.perso.wanadoo.fr/ericbart/
· www.serendipity.li/wot/aa11.htm

Original Spanish article (in pdf)

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