Robert Fisk: Even I question the 'truth' about 9/11

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Robert Fisk, a veteran reporter on the Middle East, has just come out for 9/11 truth. The Independent's got the story.

Each time I lecture abroad on the Middle East, there is always someone in the audience – just one – whom I call the "raver". Apologies here to all the men and women who come to my talks with bright and pertinent questions – often quite humbling ones for me as a journalist – and which show that they understand the Middle East tragedy a lot better than the journalists who report it. But the "raver" is real. He has turned up in corporeal form in Stockholm and in Oxford, in Sao Paulo and in Yerevan, in Cairo, in Los Angeles and, in female form, in Barcelona. No matter the country, there will always be a "raver".

His – or her – question goes like this. Why, if you believe you're a free journalist, don't you report what you really know about 9/11? Why don't you tell the truth – that the Bush administration (or the CIA or Mossad, you name it) blew up the twin towers? Why don't you reveal the secrets behind 9/11? The assumption in each case is that Fisk knows – that Fisk has an absolute concrete, copper-bottomed fact-filled desk containing final proof of what "all the world knows" (that usually is the phrase) – who destroyed the twin towers. Sometimes the "raver" is clearly distressed. One man in Cork screamed his question at me, and then – the moment I suggested that his version of the plot was a bit odd – left the hall, shouting abuse and kicking over chairs.

Usually, I have tried to tell the "truth"; that while there are unanswered questions about 9/11, I am the Middle East correspondent of The Independent, not the conspiracy correspondent; that I have quite enough real plots on my hands in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Iran, the Gulf, etc, to worry about imaginary ones in Manhattan. My final argument – a clincher, in my view – is that the Bush administration has screwed up everything – militarily, politically diplomatically – it has tried to do in the Middle East; so how on earth could it successfully bring off the international crimes against humanity in the United States on 11 September 2001?

Well, I still hold to that view. Any military which can claim – as the Americans did two days ago – that al-Qa'ida is on the run is not capable of carrying out anything on the scale of 9/11. "We disrupted al-Qa'ida, causing them to run," Colonel David Sutherland said of the preposterously code-named "Operation Lightning Hammer" in Iraq's Diyala province. "Their fear of facing our forces proves the terrorists know there is no safe haven for them." And more of the same, all of it untrue.

Within hours, al-Qa'ida attacked Baquba in battalion strength and slaughtered all the local sheikhs who had thrown in their hand with the Americans. It reminds me of Vietnam, the war which George Bush watched from the skies over Texas – which may account for why he this week mixed up the end of the Vietnam war with the genocide in a different country called Cambodia, whose population was eventually rescued by the same Vietnamese whom Mr Bush's more courageous colleagues had been fighting all along.

But – here we go. I am increasingly troubled at the inconsistencies in the official narrative of 9/11. It's not just the obvious non sequiturs: where are the aircraft parts (engines, etc) from the attack on the Pentagon? Why have the officials involved in the United 93 flight (which crashed in Pennsylvania) been muzzled? Why did flight 93's debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in one piece in a field? Again, I'm not talking about the crazed "research" of David Icke's Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster – which should send any sane man back to reading the telephone directory.

I am talking about scientific issues. If it is true, for example, that kerosene burns at 820C under optimum conditions, how come the steel beams of the twin towers – whose melting point is supposed to be about 1,480C – would snap through at the same time? (They collapsed in 8.1 and 10 seconds.) What about the third tower – the so-called World Trade Centre Building 7 (or the Salmon Brothers Building) – which collapsed in 6.6 seconds in its own footprint at 5.20pm on 11 September? Why did it so neatly fall to the ground when no aircraft had hit it? The American National Institute of Standards and Technology was instructed to analyse the cause of the destruction of all three buildings. They have not yet reported on WTC 7. Two prominent American professors of mechanical engineering – very definitely not in the "raver" bracket – are now legally challenging the terms of reference of this final report on the grounds that it could be "fraudulent or deceptive".

Journalistically, there were many odd things about 9/11. Initial reports of reporters that they heard "explosions" in the towers – which could well have been the beams cracking – are easy to dismiss. Less so the report that the body of a female air crew member was found in a Manhattan street with her hands bound. OK, so let's claim that was just hearsay reporting at the time, just as the CIA's list of Arab suicide-hijackers, which included three men who were – and still are – very much alive and living in the Middle East, was an initial intelligence error.

But what about the weird letter allegedly written by Mohamed Atta, the Egyptian hijacker-murderer with the spooky face, whose "Islamic" advice to his gruesome comrades – released by the CIA – mystified every Muslim friend I know in the Middle East? Atta mentioned his family – which no Muslim, however ill-taught, would be likely to include in such a prayer. He reminds his comrades-in-murder to say the first Muslim prayer of the day and then goes on to quote from it. But no Muslim would need such a reminder – let alone expect the text of the "Fajr" prayer to be included in Atta's letter.

Let me repeat. I am not a conspiracy theorist. Spare me the ravers. Spare me the plots. But like everyone else, I would like to know the full story of 9/11, not least because it was the trigger for the whole lunatic, meretricious "war on terror" which has led us to disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan and in much of the Middle East. Bush's happily departed adviser Karl Rove once said that "we're an empire now – we create our own reality". True? At least tell us. It would stop people kicking over chairs.

Thanks to Scott Page for the heads up

And Bingo was his name-o!

This is awesome. Fisk has a boatload of credibility.

He of course falters with the whole "the US government is incompetent" stuff, but otherwise he is speaking like a sane person should be. Robert Fisk calls bullsh*t on the 9/11 Commission! (BTW, Robert, if the US government is so incompetent, how did they end up ruling the world? Luck?)

Great news, everyone. The tide is turning.

He still has some catching up to do

He's way behind in probing the official story, and his buying into the 'incompetence' canard could be the biggest single obstacle in preventing further progress down the road toward the truth, as it seems to be for so many others (Muslims slaughtering Muslims is regarded as an administration 'failure'? Hellooooo!!!!!).

But better late than never I guess. Making clear to his readers that there are indeed still inadequacies in the official 9/11 story is something. Essentially he's admitting that the 'loonies' are right about this much--but if 'loonies' are right to be aware of these anomalies in the official story, and 'sane', 'respectable' people are mistaken in not even acknowledging them, then just how meaningful are the definitions of 'loony', 'sane,' and 'respectable' that are being used?

Now, about getting him to see that it's the report of the bound stewardess that's lacking in credibility, NOT the visual and aural evidence of explosives being used to bring down the towers (sheesh!)....

I think it's funny...

That they use the Iraq war as a selling point for incompetence. Ok, let's use the Iraq War. The PNAC wanted to go to war with Iraq. Secretary Paul O'Neill said that 10 days after his inauguration, Bush asked his principals to "go find me a way" to invade Iraq. Dick Cheney and others during the Energy Task Force meetings planned how best to use Iraq's oil. They obviously wanted to invade Iraq, and pre-emptively invading a country is illegal. So, they managed to sell the Iraq War using lies of WMD, ties to Al-Qaeda, and ties to 9/11. They managed to fool most of the world, or at least the majority in this country into thinking Saddam was a threat. Because of their efforts, they successfully managed to invade Iraq. They are far from incompetent.

I also think it's funny how coverage over the last year or so has been more about how they were incompetent in Iraq rather than the fact that WE SHOULDN'T EVEN BE IN IRAQ, and they should be held accountable.

It's like saying, "We agree that we should have invaded Iraq, and it's ok we were lied to. We just don't like how they fucked it up."

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It has been brought to my

It has been brought to my attention that Robert Fisk has also met with Osama Bin Laden on 3 occasions.

Good point, but don't forget

he has been covering the Middle East for like 30 years. I wouldn't assume he's CIA or something just because he interviewed Bin Laden several years before 9/11.

For the most part, he has been deeply critical of US and Israeli policy in the Middle East. In some sense, he is sympathetic with Bin Laden's stated grievances with America. I look at Fisk's extensive career, and compared with others who interviewed Bin Laden (i.e., Peter Bergen) Fisk does not appear to have the traits of an intelligence agent. Bergen, on the other hand, says that the CIA's connection with Al Qaeda is just "urban legend."

So Fisk wants to know the truth about 9-11?

Someone who knows his address, please send him a copy of any of David ray Griffins books, likeDebunking 911 Debunking....that way he can get a good view of for and against, and see the government lies being spun
If he wants to find out he wil have to look!

He seems to be difficult to reach via email

Show "A year or two ago Fisk told" by u2r2h


spare us the TV fakery garbage. that is exactly the kind of stuff he is NOT interested in.

even if it were doesn't matter as it is hard enough to fathom for many people an inside job...let alone some magical holograms or slipstreamed CGI effects that millions of people at the event managed not to think of it as some missile or some other crap.

"The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments."
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, section 191
German philosopher (1844 - 1900)

this is plain wrong,. .

",..the Bush administration has screwed up everything – militarily, politically diplomatically – it has tried to do in the Middle East; so how on earth could it successfully bring off the international crimes against humanity in the United States on 11 September 2001?"

No they didn't! The plan is unfolding flawlessly., they intentionaly destroyed Iraq,. that was always the intention,. brake the county up,. foment sectarian fighting,. recall the british agents cought shooting at people in arab costumes with a car load of explosives,. and the millitary rescure mission,. this is and was a conserted effort to destabalise the region,. recall also the Art of War; devide and conqure,. . and get the oil into corporate hands! the pipeline will remain the western ownership of the oil will remain and the people will be fighting amoungst themselves,. VICTORY for millitary corporate fascist bankers,. screw the people screw the country,. chaos rules and they win,. but remember the socialists at any protest you have ever been to,. "the people united will never be defeated" ah,. there is some truth in it,. and that is the reason the bush administration is winning in IRAQ the people have been devided. therefor the fascist are winning.

Welcome to 9/11 truth, Mr Fisk !

Fisk needs to explain why he's only now looking into this. I agree this is a significant crack in the gatekeeper world view. He poses various questions, but doesn't seem willing to answer any of them by his own research. He mentions "female air crew member was found... with her hands bound". Has anyone seen this before? The quote of K. Rove is a keeper.

Welcome to the 9/11 truth movement Mr. Fisk. Please use your considerable reporting and investigative skills to answers some of the questions you pose.

The Key:Fisk

Fisk has so much impeccable standing within the progressive movement and the progressive press. To bring him on board the 911 truth movement would be invaluable in knocking down the resistance of the left gatekeepers to 911 truth. I've personally met the guy at Middle East Children's Alliance video shoots. He's as honest as honest gets.


I was wondering when or if Fisk was going to begin to come around. I hope he keeps inquiring!

Fisk is a good guy

Excellent news, I'm pushing this to my local newspaper.

To the admins: Why no "Rate it" on this? Every posting should have this possibility. A 10 from me.

Fisk is one of my favorite

Fisk is one of my favorite journalists, and his honesty is driven by something almost universally absent from our politicians - and that is compassion. He has lived in the Middle East many years, and sees the people there as real people, and counts some as his friends.

While I've seen the "well, it's probably all nonsense, BUT blah blah" approach before from other journalists (who seem to be getting 911 Truth out any way they can), I'm still disappointed with what he's written. While I'm sympathetic to discussing problems with 911 Truth issues (otherwise, journalists risk losing their mainstream credibility, which can mean an early retirement), Fisk still stooped to arguments that I consider pathetically weak. The following is, in his view, his [b]strongest[/b] argument:

My final argument – a clincher, in my view – is that the Bush administration has screwed up everything – militarily, politically diplomatically – it has tried to do in the Middle East; so how on earth could it successfully bring off the international crimes against humanity in the United States on 11 September 2001?

Well, I still hold to that view. Any military which can claim – as the Americans did two days ago – that al-Qa'ida is on the run is not capable of carrying out anything on the scale of 9/11.

Considering what we know about the changes in air security, command structure, black ops and black op budgets in general, the ability to remote control planes, the almost obvious sheep-dipping but horrendously poor 'public relations' of the hijackers*, and the pathetic 911 commission which, among other things, left only the last day to conduct interviews re air defenses (and what pathetic interviews they were), I find Fisk's "clincher" to be absurd.

But seriously, if he even crossed the line even more by saying that his strongest argument against 911 Truth is Bushian and US military incompetency, but that this argument had the problems I mention above, [b]would he even have been published[/b]?

The problem is not just the journalists, it is the media itself**. IMO, the corruption of the media is a much bigger problem than 911, because it allows the 911 cover-up to continue indefinitely, and the pseudo-reality it fosters will permit more 911's to come.

Well, at least Fisk had the decency not to insult Professor Jones, like Palast did. In fact, it may well have been the Palast incident, which was admirably responded to by the ever-polite Professor Jones, which caught Fisk's eye and made his article psychologically possible.

I suggest the Scholars for 911 Truth and Justice write an open letter to Fisk, entitled "Not just ravers, Mr. Fisk, and not just two structural engineers". In such a letter, the Journal of 911 Studies should be emphasized, as well as other credentialed individuals who have come out against US government Fairy Tales.

* Has anybody ever read a 'Hijacker's Manifesto' explaining WHY they did what they did? I haven't. We have only the US government's version of their [b]motives[/b], which is that they "hate our freedom". While, e.g., a lone Palestinian suicide bomber who is targeting Israelis might consider his/her motives obvious, even then, many (most?) create filmed interviews to inspire fellow Muslims and fellow martyrs.

Yet, [b]none[/b] of the 19 hijackers did so, even though success would make history, and furthermore [b]kill fellow Muslims[/b]. Since this is verboten in Islam, I would think that would make an explanation more than desirable, it would make it almost obligatory.

It was the lack of a 'Hijacker's Manifesto' that was one of my first hints that something was wrong with the official narrative.

** My proposal for rectifying this, called "Putting the NY Times Out of Business", can be found at

Lets face it 9/11 was a

Lets face it 9/11 was a screw up, with many mistakes and indications that it was a false flag operation.
If it were pulled off flawlessly the 9/11 Truth Movement wouldn't exist.
11/11 Never Forget - Fetzer Flips

Incompetence theory

The Incompetence theory is really an excuse not to look at the evidence.

What about the (incompetent) hijackers who never even flew the real planes before?

What about the ROUTINE intercept procedures?

“The task that the FAA allegedly failed to perform repeatedly that day—notifying the military when an airplane shows any of the standard signs of being in trouble—is one that the FAA had long been carrying out regularly, over 100 times a year. Can we really believe that virtually everyone—from the flight controllers to their managers to the personnel in Herndon and FAA headquarters—suddenly became ridiculously incompetent to perform this task? This allegation becomes even more unbelievable when we reflect on the fact that the FAA successfully carried out an unprecedented operation that day: grounding all the aircraft in the country. The Commission itself says that the FAA ‘[executed] that unprecedented order flawlessly.’ Is it plausible that FAA personnel, on the same day that they carried out an unprecedented task so flawlessly, would have failed so miserably with a task that they, decade after decade, had been performing routinely?” David Ray Griffin

“Consider that an aircraft emergency exists ... when: ...There is unexpected loss of radar contact and radio communications with any ...aircraft.” —FAA Order 7110.65M 10-2-5 (6)

“If ... you are in doubt that a situation constitutes an emergency or potential emergency, handle it as though it were an emergency.” —FAA Order 7110.65M 10-1-1-c (7)

What about NORAD?

“suspicion of [Pentagon] wrongdoing ran so deep that the 10-member [9/11] commission, in a secret meeting at the end of its tenure in summer 2004, debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation.

Senator Mark Dayton Claimed that NORAD officials “lied to the American people, they lied to Congress and they lied to your 9/11 commission to create a false impression of competence, communication and protection of the American people.”

What about the 35 airbases that the planes flew by?

“We're an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality."

the 35 bases is bad assumption

there may have been 35 bases. but they certainly weren't all stocked with fighter squadrons that were ready for scramble.

For instance I used to work at Mcguire. They don't have any fighters of any kind. All there is is kc-10's, kc-135's, c-17's...just tankers and cargo.
the only time fighters were around, a few times a year, there were a couple of f-16's that would stay for a couple of days and that was it...

I'm pretty sure Dover was the same way. not gonna get much out of AMC bases. i'm sure there's other locations on the list that don't supply fighters, not sure which ones they are. i'm just saying that while there were certainly several locations to launch fighters, not all of them on that list apply. It of course still doesn't answer why the hell it took so long for fighters to get in the air and on the tail of these airliners.

"The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments."
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, section 191
German philosopher (1844 - 1900)

Wargames too

You are correct. But there is also another fact I didn't mention: the War games moved fighters out of the NY/Washington area, and faked blips/live-fly simulated hijacks made interception almost impossible. Huge coincidence or intentional planning?

“We're an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality."

RAWSTORY has this on the front page!!!

Jumbo Jets Can Not Demolish Skyscrapers.

Fisk is a gatekeeper extraordinaire

…And this article does little to alter my opinion on the matter.

There are all sorts of “leftist” journalists out there who fulfill a certain need amongst the progressive community – they describe in gut-wrenching detail the atrocities committed by Western governments, yet they do so strictly with the confines of official narratives laid out by states, intelligence and corporate media.

Their function is two-fold: they provide the illusion of a “free progressive press” and they strengthen the myths upon which the atrocities they decry are ultimately based.

Whether they are “shills” or merely worried they won’t be published if they stray from the yellow brick road is sort of beside the point. The simple fact is that by adhering to orthodoxy they function as agents of state.

I’ll give you a perfect example with respect Robert Fisk. In an article ironically titled “truth is the first casualty of war” he outlines the dastardly deed which supposedly sparked the most recent Israeli assault on Lebanon:

“Another lie – a smaller one this time – has crept into the narrative of how this latest dirty war in Lebanon began. On July 12th, Hizbollah members crossed into Israel, killed three Israeli soldiers and captured two others. Hours later, an Israeli tank crossed the border into Lebanon and blew up on a mine, killing its four-man crew. But now reports out of Jerusalem, and picked up by foreign governments, routinely speak of the Hizbollah attack which “killed nine soldiers”. By conflating the two separate incidents, the Hizbollah’s original assault, which was illegal, ruthless and deadly enough, more than doubles in savagery.

The article goes on to condemn Israeli violence, as any good progressive would do, yet if you read closely you can see Fisk’s shtick at work. (1) He takes for granted that Hizbollah crossed into Israeli terrority and not vice versa, when all evidence points to the latter (2) He refers to the supposed incursion by Hizbollah as “ruthless”, “illegal”, “deadly” and “savage” – highly emotive words designed to demonize a resistance force born of necessity, ie by Israeli aggression (3) he insinuates that Hizbollah was the “initial” aggressor, an absurd charge by any stretch of the imagination (4) he doesn’t bother to mention that Israel is illegally occupying Lebanese land, and that therefore the “kidnapping” of one of their soldiers is a justifiable act under the rules (such as they are) of war.

I could go on. The point is that although Fisk appears to be a fierce critic of Israeli policy – and indeed he is, within certain confines – he also devotes a great deal of ink defending (rather subtlety, I might add) the central lies they use to launch their atrocities.

And so on to 911. Any good essayist knows that the first paragraph of any essay sticks in a reader’s mind more than anything that follows. How does Fisk begin? “Ravers”. This is, I suppose, preferable to “kook” or “moonbat”, but the connotations are the same.

He then proceeds to confirm his allegiance to the official myth, using the same tired arguments and non-sequiters we’ve heard a thousand times before. He even uses the word “clincher” and refers to an “imaginary” plot in Manhattan.

He acknowledges that there are indeed many aspects of the OFT that don’t make sense, but his backpeddling reminds me of the countless prominent liberals I’ve heard mutter “of course the Bush adminstration didn’t carry out 911…but there are many unanswered questions”.

Fisk’s article is way too little and way too late. It smells like damage control, frankly. Fisk is far too intelligent to subscribe to the arguments he puts forth in defense of the OFT. He’s lying. What’s more, he’s lying by omission. In admitting certain peculiarities with the OFT he omits some of the most crucial evidence. This tactic should be familiar by now. War games, put options, obvious evidence-planting, Stand-Down and so on, are avoided, while the physical evidence is placed center stage. Not that there’s anything wrong with focusing on the physical evidence, but I’m wary of anyone who focuses solely on the physical evidence while ignoring everything else.

Are we to believe that a man who interviewed Bin Laden twice and considers himself an expert in Middle Eastern affairs never bothered to read David Ray Griffin? Possible? Sure. But I doubt it.

Like I said, I don’t care if Fisk is a shill or merely incompetent like he imagines the Cheney administration to be.

I’ll concede he deserves credit for (finally) expressing some skepticism, but something tells me he never would have done so without ten thousand emails and a political climate that is (finally) favorable to 911 truth. In a way he reminds me of the many Hollywood types who came out against the war several years after Shock and Awe. That’s great, but where were you when your opinion could have made a difference?

I don’t really care if some fledgling journalist decides that the 911 fairy tale is a tad hinky. The sky is blue? Really? Thanks for that. Now come out AGAINST the obvious fraud of 911 and I’ll give you some kudos.

The Eleventh Day of Every Month

I agree.

Not a chance in hell that Fisk will embrace 911 truth.

He is in all respects a left gatekeeper.

Well said Danse

Excellent analysis and tone. Fisk type is an inveterate "centrist"- by which I understand those with no orientation towards truth itself, but rather maneuver within certain political mileu with finger in the wind. Anyway, I certainly hope that those sincere individuals he denigrates as "ravers" will continue to have the courage to raise the vital questions at his no-doubt predictable and safe lectures.

Well said. The most

Well said. The most infuriating aspect of Fisk's "coming out" is how he imagines he can recite a litany of damning evidence (selective as it is) and profess to "question" the OCT without counting himself among the "ravers" he caricatures as readily as any columnist for The Weekly Standard. This is a nasty trick. He wants it both ways. Sorry, Mr. Fisk, it doesn't work that way. The epithets stick to you as easily as to Rosie or the guy kicking the chair. You're a "loony" now. Live with it. Show some brass and stand up for your kind.

“On the altar of God, I swear eternal hostility against all forms of tyranny over the mind of man."--Thomas Jefferson

100% agreement

And I suggest this be milked for all it's worth. Chop off the total dreck of the article, keep the decent parts, slap 'em on a flyer with a big bold headline Robert Fisk For 9/11 Truth, include a few of the items that he managed to overlook at the bottom of the page along with some links et voila - a perfect outreach tool for your average so-called progressive.

The Eleventh Day of Every Month

This article was a gift to 9-11 Truth...

...and, short of providing URLs, pure genius. Whata smart way to pull in Fisk fans and get them reading about key facts about that day. He doesn't need to be taught about 9-11 Truth.