Discussion of the very real doubts over the World Trade Center attacks was conspicuously absent from the US presidential race. But America's international image will always be tainted as long as the uncertainty remains
By Richard Falk
Every so often attention is called anew to the doubts surrounding the true character of the events surrounding the 9/11 attacks. Recently, the report of the collapse of Building 7 represented such an occasion. Any close student of 9/11 is aware of the many serious discrepancies between the official version of what took place and the actual happenings on that fateful day in 2001. David Ray Griffin and others have analyzed and assessed these discrepancies in such an objective and compelling fashion that only wilful ignorance can maintain that the 9/11 narrative should be treated as a closed book, and that the public should move on to address the problems of the day.
To accept such a view is to acquiesce in what can be described at best as governmental evasiveness and irresponsibility, a resolve to leave the discrepancies unexplained. It is not paranoid under such circumstances to assume that the established elites of the American governmental structure have something to hide, and much to explain. What has not been established by the “9/11 Truth Movement” is a convincing counter-narrative – that is, an alternate version of the events that clears up to what degree, if at all, the attacks resulted from incompetence, deliberate inaction, and outright complicity.
For democratic government to work, citizens must never refrain from seeking answers to the most difficult questions. Here, what is at stake is enormous. It is not only the memory of those killed and deprived by the attacks, but also the fashioning of a climate of opinion that gave rise to international wars, as well as led to widespread denial of rights under the pretext of “homeland security” and counter-terrorism. There is also a profound challenge to the legitimacy of a governing process that stands accused of letting such crimes take place, if not aiding and abetting their commission and subsequent cover-up.