Fifty Questions on 9/11, by Pepe Escobar

It’s September 11 all over again – eight years on. The George W Bush administration is out. The “global war on terror” is still on, renamed “overseas contingency operations” by the Barack Obama administration. Obama’s “new strategy” – a war escalation – is in play in AfPak. Osama bin Laden may be dead or not. “Al-Qaeda” remains a catch-all ghost entity. September 11 – the neo-cons’ “new Pearl Harbor” – remains the darkest jigsaw puzzle of the young 21st century.

It’s useless to expect US corporate media and the ruling elites’ political operatives to call for a true, in-depth investigation into the attacks on the US on September 11, 2001. Whitewash has been the norm. But even establishment highlight Dr Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski, a former national security advisor, has admitted to the US Senate that the post-9/11 “war on terror” is a “mythical historical narrative”.

The following questions, some multi-part – and most totally ignored by the 9/11 Commission – are just the tip of the immense 9/11 iceberg. A hat tip goes to the indefatigable work of;; architects and engineers for 9/11 truth; the Italian documentary Zero: an investigation into 9/11; and Asia Times Online readers’ e-mails.

None of these questions has been convincingly answered – according to the official narrative. It’s up to US civil society to keep up the pressure. Eight years after the fact, one fundamental conclusion is imperative. The official narrative edifice of 9/11 is simply not acceptable.

Fifty questions

Read the whole thing here…


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    • Edger on September 11, 2009 at 02:09

    real historical narratives, for a change you can believe in?

  1. Thanks Edger.  

    • pico on September 11, 2009 at 22:49

    in the first few points, with the repetition that the alleged perpetrators weren’t on the passenger lists, and were found alive after 9/11 in other countries.  

    I know I’ll take some flak for this because there are people on this site who believe we need to continue asking these questions (versus the attitude at dkos, which is completely the reverse – I get whiplash moving back and forth from there to here, heh), but one of the reasons conspiracy theories (and I’ll call them that, TocqueDeville’s diary notwithstanding) start getting dismissed offhand is because the same questions keep getting asked no matter how many times they’re addressed.  

    Incidentally, Brzezinski was talking about the Bush administration’s attempts to gin up anti-Iranian sentiment by making the war against Al Qaeda a war against some kind of imaginary terrorist ideology that falsely links anyone in the Middle East we don’t like.  Brzezinski actually slammed what he called the ‘conspiratorial view’ of 9/11 history.

  2. at least what some of the “official narrative” responses are.

    Q: 1) How come dead or not dead Osama bin Laden has not been formally indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as responsible for 9/11? Is it because the US government – as acknowledged by the FBI itself – has not produced a single conclusive piece of evidence?

    A: The magically-found video whose translation has “bin Laden” joking about the 9/11 attacks is the claimed smoking gun. (Why the FBI hasn’t charged bin Laden is beyond me. My personal notion is that bin Laden was on the CIA payroll during the attacks and may well have played a part.)

    Q: 3) How come none of the 19’s names appeared on the passenger lists released the same day by both United Airlines and American Airlines?

    A: The airlines’ response is that they left out the hijackers “out of respect for the dead.” How the official manifests would know who the hijackers were in advance is a mystery, of course.

    Q: 4) How come eight names on the “original” FBI list happened to be found alive and living in different countries?

    A: Because every other Muslim is named Achmed Mohammed? The official response is that they got some of the pictures wrong because different people had similar names.

    Q: 9) Considering multiple international red alerts about a possible terrorist attack inside the US – including former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s infamous August 6, 2001, memo – how come four hijacked planes deviating from their computerized flight paths and disappearing from radar are allowed to fly around US airspace for more than an hour and a half – not to mention disabling all the elaborate Pentagon’s defense systems in the process?

    A: Because W’s crew was so “incompetent,” apparently their incompetence infected the entire military flight interception protocol.

    Q: 11) Why did George W Bush continue to recite “My Pet Goat” in his Florida school and was not instantly absconded by the secret service?

    A: Because the secret service is also incompetent, apparently.

    Q: 12) How could Bush have seen the first plane crashing on WTC live – as he admitted? Did he have previous knowledge – or is he psychic?

    A: He simply misremembered the events. Very stressful day.

    Q: 13) Bush said that he and Andrew Card initially thought the first hit on the WTC was an accident with a small plane. How is that possible when the FAA as well as NORAD already knew this was about a hijacked plane?

    A: Maybe the FAA and NORAD hadn’t reached W and Card yet.

    Q: 14) What are the odds of transponders in four different planes be turned off almost simultaneously, in the same geographical area, very close to the nation’s seat of power in Washington, and no one scrambles to contact the Pentagon or the media?

    A: Maybe they did. We’ll never know, because the tapes were destroyed “to protect the FAA workers.”


    15) Could defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld explain why initial media reports said that there were no fighter jets available at Andrews Air Force Base and then change the reports that there were, but not on high alert?

    16) Why was the DC Air National Guard in Washington AWOL on 9/11?

    17) Why did combat jet fighters of the 305th Air Wing, McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey not intercept the second hijacked plane hitting the WTC, when they could have done it within seven minutes?

    18) Why did none of the combat jet fighters of the 459th Aircraft Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base intercept the plane that hit the Pentagon, only 16 kilometers away? And since we’re at it, why the Pentagon did not release the full video of the hit?

    Everyone makes mistakes! C’mon! Lay off!

    Q: 19) A number of very experienced airline pilots – including US ally Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a former fighter jet pilot – revealed that, well, only crack pilots could have performed such complex maneuvers on the hijacked jets, while others insisted they could only have been accomplished by remote control. Is it remotely believable that the hijackers were up to the task?

    A: Crazy people sometimes have extraordinary luck. Or maybe Allah helped them.

    Q: 20) How come a substantial number of witnesses did swear seeing and hearing multiple explosions in both towers of the WTC?

    A: Witnesses can be confused and wrong.

    Q: 22) According to Frank de Martini, WTC’s construction manager, “We designed the building to resist the impact of one or more jetliners.” The second plane nearly missed tower 1; most of the fuel burned in an explosion outside the tower. Yet this tower collapsed first, long before tower 2 that was “perforated” by the first hit. Jet fuel burned up fast – and by far did not reach the 2000-degree heat necessary to hurt the six tubular steel columns in the center of the tower – designed specifically to keep the towers from collapsing even if hit by a Boeing 707. A Boeing 707 used to carry more fuel than the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 that actually hit the towers.

    A: Guess some folks cut some corners. Wouldn’t be the first time.

    Q: 23) Why did Mayor Rudolph Giuliani instantly authorized the shipment of WTC rubble to China and India for recycling?

    A: Because he believes in recycling. And because he wanted the debris cleaned up ASAP so New York could move on.

    Q: 24) Why was metallic debris found no less than 13 kilometers from the crash site of the plane that went down in Pennsylvania? Was the plane in fact shot down – under vice president Dick Cheney’s orders?

    A: Maybe it broke apart in the air after tumbling out of control. It happens. If Cheney was part of the plot, why shoot the plane down?


    25) The Pipelineistan question. What did US ambassador Wendy Chamberlain talk about over the phone on October 10, 2001, with the oil minister of Pakistan? Was it to tell him that the 1990s-planned Unocal gas pipeline project, TAP (Turkmenistan/Afghanistan/ Pakistan), abandoned because of Taliban demands on transit fees, was now back in business? (Two months later, an agreement to build the pipeline was signed between the leaders of the three countries).

    26) What is former Unocal lobbyist and former Bush pet Afghan Zalmay Khalilzad up to in Afghanistan?

    A: Who cares? Doesn’t prove inside job.

    Q: 27) How come former Pakistani foreign minister Niaz Niak said in mid-July 2001 that the US had already decided to strike against Osama bin Laden and the Taliban by October? The topic was discussed secretly at the July Group of Eight summit in Genoa, Italy, according to Pakistani diplomats.

    A: Guess W wasn’t so clueless after all! He just failed to strike first.

    Q: 28) How come US ambassador to Yemen Barbara Bodine told FBI agent John O’Neill in July 2001 to stop investigating al-Qaeda’s financial operations – with O’Neill instantly moved to a security job at the WTC, where he died on 9/11?

    A: How could an ambassador have the authority to boss around an FBI agent?

    Q: 32) How come General Tommy Franks knew for sure that Bin Laden was hiding in Tora Bora in late November 2001?

    A: Because he’s a good General?

    Q: 35) How come the (fake) Bin Laden home video – in which he “confesses” to being the perpetrator of 9/11 – released by the US on December 13, 2001, was found only two weeks after it was produced (on November 9); was it really found in Jalalabad (considering Northern Alliance and US troops had not even arrived there at the time); by whom; and how come the Pentagon was forced to release a new translation after the first (botched) one?

    A: Maybe an informant turned it in. Maybe they botched the initial translation because they’d fired so many gay translators.

    Q: 36) Why was ISI chief Lieutenant General Mahmud Ahmad abruptly “retired” on October 8, 2001, the day the US started bombing Afghanistan?

    A: Maybe he pissed the wrong person off? Sounds like it was a stressful day.

    Q: 38) Who inside the ISI transferred US$100,000 to Mohammed Atta in the summer of 2001 – under orders of Ahmad himself, as Indian intelligence insists? Was it really ISI asset Omar Sheikh, Bin Laden’s information technology specialist who later organized the slaying of American journalist Daniel Pearl in Karachi? So was the ISI directly linked to 9/11?

    A: How does this imply foul play or inside job?

    (more in a bit)

    Btw, I think these are all good questions. I’m just repeating the responses I’ve heard.

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