Monday, September 10, 2007
September 10, 2007 By Conrad Gilbert
Sept. 11, 2001, was a day that shaped the consciousness of our time. We saw the planes hit the World Trade Center buildings and shortly afterwards saw the buildings collapse, searing into our collective consciousness a memory we share with the world. It was logical to assume that the buildings came down because of the impact and subsequent burning of the buildings. Immediately after that we were told that 19 terrorists guided by Osama Bin Laden were responsible. We have believed that is what happened because nothing else seemed able to explain such madness.
But now, six years later, this most public event remains shrouded in questions about what really happened, not only on the day the Trade Center towers came down, but in the months and years before and after the event. In fact, so many questions have been raised, and not answered, that the official version of what happened seems entirely implausible.
Theories abound about what happened, ranging from the government being intimately involved in the planning and execution of the event, to the government having intelligence that something was going to happen but taking no action to prevent it, to the government being caught unaware but incompetent in reacting. All these theories and more, have adherents and volumes of literature supporting them. And, of course, there is the official version.
Casting doubt on the government's official version as detailed in the 9/11 Commission Report requires you to put yourself in an uncomfortable position. Friends and family will ridicule and dismiss you as a conspiracy nut. But anyone who seriously looks at the documentation about 9/11 will come away with questions, which, as difficult as they are to face, need to be posed.
Some of these include:
1) Why is there no evidence that a commercial airliner hit the Pentagon? Why has no conclusive video been released? Why was the video from remote cameras at the neighboring hotel confiscated immediately after the explosion? Why was the hole in the wall of the Pentagon, clearly visible from military photographs, so small? Why were no engines or recognizable debris ever recovered?
2) Why did WTC 7, the 40-story building next to the Twin Towers, collapse on the afternoon of 9/11, even though it was never hit by an airplane? Why did its collapse perfectly match that of buildings brought down by controlled demolition, falling straight down into its own footprint?
3) Why did the Twin Towers, like Building 7, collapse in perfect controlled demolition fashion? Each of the three buildings came down in less than 10 seconds, at the speed of free fall. In light of this, how could the "pancake" theory of collapse advocated be the 9/11 Commission be believed? Why was the debris from the Towers carted off and immediately sold as scrap metal before anyone was able to examine it carefully? This was, after all, the scene of the most heinous mass murder in U.S. history and should have been treated as a crime scene, with careful preservation of evidence.
4) Why was no major airliner wreckage ever recovered from the hole in the ground in Shanksville, Pa., where United Flight 93 allegedly crashed, a hole which was far too small to explain a Boeing 757 crash?
5) Somebody made a lot of money short selling airline stock immediately before 9/11 but the government won't release any information about its investigation into the matter. Why?
These questions and many more create a troubling cloud of suspicion. I want to believe that the official version is what happened. I do not want to believe that people within our government knew some or all of what was going to happen on Sept. 11, 2001, and did nothing to stop it. But it is difficult to look at the evidence that is publicly available for anyone to examine and not have serious questions.
Conrad Gilbert lives in Middlesex and is a member of Central Vermont for 9/11 Truth, a local group showing a film and facilitating a discussion on Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Church in Montpelier.
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