Response form Ian Henshall (author of upcoming book 911 The New Evidence) to George Monbiot's article about the film Loose Change and 9/11 "conspiracy theories".
Article by George Monbiot A 9/11 conspiracy virus is sweeping the world, but it has no basis in fact - the Guardian, 6 February 2007
Whichever side of the nine eleven debate we stand we can probablyagree that the media did get it right about one thing: nine elevenchanged everything. It has put George Monbiot in the same camp as theHearst Corporation and the CIA in denouncing the 911 truth movement.It has put Hugo Chavez and Zbig Brzezinski on the other side of thedivide. Chavez recently stated that the Twin Towers may have beenbrought down by explosives and Brzezinski, who tricked the USSR intodisaster in Afghanistan when he was in power, warned Congress thatAmerica may use a terrorist attack on the us mainland as part of thepreparation for an attack on Iran. Zbig did not tell Congress quiteexplicitly that the attack could be planned by the administration buthow else would it fit into the military's schedules?
This is of course one of the reasons why people in the nine eleventruth movement got suspicious in the first place: the timing of nineeleven was just too damn suspicious. It was worth looking into, andwe found a can of worms. Monbiot did not want to look into the can,even though nine eleven had wrecked the anti-globalisation movementand boosted Bush, his big enemy. Fair enough, thought the activists,he doesn't want to poison the well of trust in a governing systemwhich the social Democratic left still hope they can take over aftera hundred years of trying. Perhaps he just wants to leave it tosomebody else to do the dirty work.
But now Monbiot has tragically lost it. In a rant against the "virus"of "conspiracism" he is now trying to bully the movement that trustedhim into toeing a new party line. Monbiot after years of good workhas joined the sneering elite. But surely he has some reason? Notreally, on a close examination Monbiot's article is a trail of badlogic irrelevant detail and deceit by omission. Just what you wouldexpect if you take Popular Mechanics book on the "911 Myths", as yourgospel, published by the Hearst Corporation, introduced by Senator"torture lite" John McCain, and researched by the cousin of BushHomeland Security boss Michael Chertoff.
Monbiot's big stick is the NIST report, the official report on howthe Twin Towers collapsed. Monbiot who has made a career out of Bushhating, who has drawn attention to Bush's abuse of governmentscientists when it comes to global warming, takes as gospel theirreport into the collapse of the World Trade Centre. The metal wassoftened by the fires, ergo they collapsed. That the top section ofeach building was able to overcome the entire structural and inertialresistance of the vast building below it, change much of it intopulverised concrete, and still reach the ground in near freefall timeis no problem for someone supposed to be scientifically literate. IsMonbiot really unaware NIST only ever looked at how the collapse mayhave begun. Can pundits really be this lazy? That's not the onlyproblem: nowhere did NIST produce evidence that the temperaturesexceeded 300 degrees let alone the 600 degrees needed over aprolonged period for the metal to lose even half of its strength. Thearchitect who designed the Towers to resist collision with a largepassenger jet must be turning in his grave.
At the risk of being boring let me mention one more detail. Monbiotsneers that the film Loose Change gives too much time to thebuilding's janitor. He fails to mention that William Rodriguez thechief janitor, an American national hero, was cut off by the mediawhen he emerged as a cogent eyewitness to support the allegation,reported by virtually everyone at the time, that the Towers had beenbrought down by preset explosives. When it became clear that Osamabin laden could not have done this the official line changed, thefiremen were bullied into line by Mayor Giuliani (Monbiot seemsunaware of the oral histories, released after a ferocious courtbattle, which make that clear) but Rodriguez stood firm. He was inthe basement at the time. The seismic evidence supports Rodriguez,and unfortunately for the CIA the Hearst Corporation and GeorgeMonbiot it cannot be manipulated by political diktat.
There are kernels of truth in Monbiot's world of viruses. 911 peoplecan be boring. They have a different strategy to wake up the publicto the ugly reality of the Empire. Loose Change is an emotionalpopulist production of immense power. It does get some things wrong,the makers are not so stupid as to believe they have access toabsolute truth when there has been a pervasive smokescreen placedover the events. To this day for instance the US government has neverproduced a photo to prove that flight seventy seven actually did hitthe Pentagon. Its passengers included (yes this may just be acoincidence) CNN's neocon darling Barbara Olson, and three executivesfrom the Raytheon Corporation one of whose specialities is the remotecontrol of aircraft. To this day there is no photograph of any of thealleged hijackers as they boarded the aircraft. The alleged mobilephone calls could not have taken place and have been quietly changedinto airphone calls, but they still cannot explain how eight pilotswere overpowered and no hijack warning was given on any transponder.
How could a grand conspiracy have succeeded? It relied on people likeMonbiot to believe it. It made the right judgement. Rodriguez is ontour in the UK but no national newspaper will speak to him.Nonetheless it's coming apart. It would come apart faster if punditsdid research, news editors would admit they have been duped, andcorporate proprietors dared to defy pressures from government andadvertisers. Good people have done nothing and evil has prospered.How ironic that Monbiot does not understand that.
What could be Monbiot's motive for denouncing so much of the movementas a "virus" at a time when turkeys are being slaughtered? We canonly hope that this terminology was inadvertent and not a nastylittle bit of psychological warfare. We can only hope that the CIAhas quietly whispered to him that the nine eleven truth movement isfull of Nazis, or that he feels guilty for failing to investigate thematter properly, or there is some internal power struggle going on atthe Guardian. Perhaps this is a turf war for the allegiance ofsupporters of the sort that has always wrecked the left.
But there is a nightmare scenario. Perhaps Monbiot like his colleagueon the Observer Nick Cohen, is on the ugly neocon road fromtrotskyism to the new version of fascism which makes the holocaustinto a religion and deduces that anything is justified, includingnear genocide in Iraq, in the cause of "defending Israel".Anti-semitic? Not at all, Israel is shorthand for America's oil andthe settlers' stolen land on the West Bank. Among the first victimsof the new fascists are, like the old fascists, ordinary jewishpeople outside the empire's politically correct elite of sneeringoverpaid pundits, multi ethnic racketeers and old style Pentagon nazis.
With a false flag terrorist attack on the US on the cards and anotherwave of mass murder planned for Iran, the timing of Monbiot'sdiatribe against "conspiracists" ie people who are trying to dosomething to stop the empire, could hardly be more disturbing. Let'shope he's just a sloppy researcher who has made a fool of himself.
Ian Henshall (author of upcoming book 911 The New Evidence)