The Devil in the Details

The Devil in the Details

a review of "The Hidden History of 9-11" (2nd ed., revised and updated), edited by Paul Zarembka

by Tod Fletcher

THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF 9-11, edited by Paul Zarembka, professor of economics at SUNY Buffalo, is a revised and updated second edition of an important early contribution to the growing scholarly analysis of 9/11. The first, hardback edition is so expensive that few have been able to read the book until now, so its entire content will be new to virtually everyone. It presents detailed analyses by academics of the official account of what happened on that day, highlighting innumerable serious problems that demonstrate that the official story is clearly false. The book contains three contributions from David Ray Griffin, and one each from Kevin Ryan and Nafeez Ahmed, all well-known to seekers of 9/11 truth. In addition it presents worthy contributions from Zarembka himself, Jay Kolar, Don Jacobs, David MacGregor, Bryan Sacks and Diana Ralph.

"Part I: Hijackers - Who Were They?" consists of one article, "What We Now Know About the Alleged 9-11 Hijackers" by Jay Kolar, a film scholar who brings his expertise to bear on the photo and video evidence presented by the US government to substantiate its account. He finds numerous serious problems with the video evidence for the hijackers purportedly taken at airport boarding gates by security cameras, concluding that "no evidence exists that any of the `hijackers' ever boarded planes that crashed on 9-11" (p.9). He concludes that the "confessional" video of "Osama bin Laden" taking responsibility for the attacks is a forgery (p.10). He then provides a detailed analysis of the FBI's identification of the hijackers, pointing out that at least ten of the 19 men on the official list of hijackers were alive four years after 9/11, and that contradictions in the official account of their activities prior to the attacks show that "doubles" were used to build up false "legends" for them.

"Part II - The Morning of 9-11" consists of three articles. The first, by Zarembka, "Initiation of the 9-11 Operation", looks at the evidence for actual takeoff and hijacking of each flight, concluding that all flights did indeed depart from the claimed airports and were indeed diverted from their planned flight paths. He then usefully explores three different methods by which planes could have been flown into the WTC towers and (allegedly) the Pentagon, by suicide pilots, by remote control ("homing"), and by substitution of drones for the claimed airliners. Finally, Zarembka analyzes the evidence for insider trading in the stocks of United and American airlines during the week before the attacks (the "put options"), concluding that the 9/11 Commission's dismissal of this possibility is unconvincing.

In "The Destruction of the World Trade Center," David Ray Griffin, emeritus professor of philosophy of religion and theology at Claremont, provides a detailed summary of the wide array of physical and eye-witness evidence for controlled demolition of the the Twin Towers and Building 7. After establishing that no steel-framed skyscrapers had ever collapsed due to fire before 9/11, he surveys the multiple evidence for controlled demolition of the WTC buildings, including: the sudden onset of collapse; the straight-down fall of the buildings (these giant towers did not topple over, but fell vertically into their "footprints"); the almost free-fall speed of the collapses, a physical impossibility unless the steel support columns had lost integrity throughout their length (hard to explain by fires restricted to a few upper floors); the total collapse, involving all of the interior and exterior columns, despite the fact that the planes which struck the two towers would have damaged just a few columns (and of course, WTC 7 was not struck by any plane); the sliced steel from the columns, into sections short enough to be trucked away; pulverization of concrete and other materials, with massive dust production and huge dust clouds energetically ejecting outward (a physical process requiring vastly more energy than was available from gravity alone); horizontal ejections of huge steel beams outward for hundreds of feet; demolition rings (i.e., continuous series of explosions running rapidly around a building) and associated explosive sounds witnessed by many first responders; and large pools of molten metal in the subbasements of each building for weeks afterward. Griffin provides testimony from the oral histories collected by the Fire Department of New York from first responders to substantiate each type of indicator of controlled demolition. The chapter concludes with a succinct survey of the collapse of Building 7 (never even mentioned by the 9/11 Commission), in an obvious classic controlled demolition. This article provides the best overview available of the physical evidence for demolition of the three WTC buildings.

In "The Military Drills on 9-11", Don Jacobs (a.k.a. "Four Arrows"), professor at Fielding Graduate University, surveys the evidence concerning an array of military exercises that were in operation on 9/11, which could have provided cover for the attacks by confusing air defense personnel, so that the normal response to intercept the planes in the flight emergencies could not occur (perhaps rendering a "stand down" order unnecessary). He identifies the following drills in operation that day: Vigilant Guardian, Vigilant Warrior, Northern Vigilance, Northern Guardian, Tripod II, Amalgam Virgo, Timely Alert II, and an exercise at the National Reconnaissance Office simulating the crash of a plane into the NRO headquarters building. He shows that there has been a "big hush" about the exercises, with little official information about them made available (almost no mention of any of them is made by the 9/11 Commission, of course), and that the potential impact of the drills on normal air defense procedures was likely to have been highly significant and deleterious. Jacobs then argues that Dick Cheney was ultimately in charge of the military drills in operation on 9/11.

"Part III: The Context of 9-11 and Meaning for the Future" contains four articles surveying the deep background and broader implications of the attacks. In "Terrorism and Statecraft: Al-Qaeda and Western Covert Operations after the Cold War" Nafeez Ahmed, executive director of the Institute for Policy Research and Development (London), lays out a detailed critique of mainstream analyses of the origin and nature of Al Qaeda. Ahmed argues that Al Qaeda is not a centralized organization, but rather a "database of pseudo-Islamist covert operations" created by the CIA to manage the "covert destabilization ... in new theatres of operation strategically close to Russian and Chinese influence, namely Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus, and Central Asia" (p. 146). "Al-Qaeda is therefore a euphemism for Western covert operations specializing in destabilization" (p. 155). After detailing the secret history of this strategic "destabilization" in Central Asia and the Balkans, as well as in North Africa, Ahmed then examines the official account of the "Al Qaeda hijackers" on 9/11, critiquing the evidence presented by the US government for the identities of the hijackers and their purported fundamentalist Islamism, and highlighting their prior ties to US covert operations and military training.

In "September 11 as `Machiavellian State Terror'", David MacGregor, professor of sociology at King's University College, presents a theory of "Machiavellian state terrorism" (MST) as the basis of a leftist analysis of the events of 9/11. He defines MST as "terror/assassination performed for reasons different from the publicized ones; often initiated by persons or groups other than those suspected of the act; and ... secretly perpetrated by or on behalf of the violated state itself" (p. 184). On this basis he is able to provide a sorely-needed critique of the lame response to the 9/11 attacks by the established "Left" in the US, represented by Noam Chomsky and progressive organs like Z Magazine (and their many fellow-travelers), who accept the official story and view the attacks as "blowback" for US imperial policy. After presenting a detailed historical overview of recent acts of state terrorism in Europe (mostly sponsored by the covert arms of the US government) and Canada, MacGregor concludes that "The left embraces a distorted notion of political violence that sees it as an understandable response of the weak to provocations of the powerful. Yet ... acts of terror are vulnerable to manipulation, and far more likely to be a weapon of state rulers and their agents, than [of] the oppressed masses. As a legitimized protection racket, the state may be tempted to inflict harm secretly on its own citizens ... to achieve ... highly desired goals" (p. 209).

In "Making History: the Compromised 9-11 Commission", Bryan Sacks, adjunct professor of philosophy at Drexel University, demonstrates in detail that the 9/11 Commission was both structurally and procedurally "compromised" from its inception, as required to guarantee a thorough whitewash of the US government's role in the 9/11 attacks. He surveys the evidence of severe "conflicts of interest" of principal members of the Commission, including its director Philip Zelikow, its vice-chair Lee Hamilton, commissioner Jamie Gorelick, and staffer Dietrich Snell. He then provides a useful overview of the suppression and obfuscation of evidence in the 9/11 Commission Report. He concludes that the Commission has produced a thoroughly false "history" of the events in order to establish and maintain ideological hegemony over all thought about them.

In "Islamophobia and the "War on Terror: the Continuing Pretext for U.S. Imperial Conquest", Diana Ralph, associate professor of social work at Carleton University, provides a succinct and useful survey of the evidence for the long preparation by US planners of a battle against "terrorism" to provide a pretext to seize world oil supplies and, with them, "world control". Since these supplies lie largely in Muslim nations, "terrorism" has been equated with "Islamism". Key figures in this ideological move away from "Communism" as the enemy to "terrorism" have been Dick Cheney in the US and Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel.

Two years have elapsed since the publication of the first edition, providing the opportunity for the authors of several of the articles to update them with new facts and analyses. "Part IV: Updates" (pp. 291-347) consists of new material and further reflections on their subjects by Zarembka, Kolar, Griffin, Jacobs and MacGregor. In addition, Kevin Ryan has provided a fine and gracefully written critique, "A Government Scientist Sees Physics that Doesn't Exist." It is a response to an extraordinarily weak series of articles purporting to explain the collapse of WTC 7 due to fire and damage by falling debris from the Twin Towers, by a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory employee, Manuel Garcia, which had appeared at the CounterPunch website, home to many irrational diatribes by "leftist" Alexander Cockburn against the very notion of criticism of the official story of 9/11.

THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF 9-11 is an excellent book, which provides an in-depth examination of key aspects of the events and their context. At its new low price, and with its updates, the book is now a key resource for all seekers of the truth about 9/11.

Thanks for the review

I haven't yet read the book but fully intend to.

I have the book and have

I have the book and have started reading it. It looks like its pretty good overall. It is kind of like Griffin's 9/11 and Empire book, but has more emphasis on what really happened on 9/11 and less emphasis on geo-politics.

The book has newly written updates since the first edition, that clarify things if new evidence has surfaced.

There's nothing inherently leftist about 9/11 truth

One paragraph begins, "In 'September 11 as "Machiavellian State Terror" ', David MacGregor, professor of sociology at King's University College, presents a theory of 'Machiavellian state terrorism' (MST) as the basis of a leftist analysis of the events of 9/11."

I haven't read MacGregor's original paper. But, speaking as a radical libertarian who is most definitely not a leftist, I'd say MacGregor's ideas as summarized in the rest of that paragraph are thoroughly consistent with radical propertarian libertarianism of the kind associated with the late Murray Rothbard.

Indeed, Rothbard's political philosophy was something of a reversed Marxism: Instead of mistaking those who own property or who profit from free exchange of goods and services as thieving exploiters of the masses, he recognized that it was the government ("the State") and those who feed from its trough who are the real enemies and exploiters of mankind. Note, too, that the original Niccolo Machiavelli was describing the means of maintaining and expanding the powers of the State, not the powers of private property and free enterprise. (Which would be a virtual oxymoron.)

So I fail to see how "Machiavellian state terrorism" is "the basis of a leftist analysis of the events of 9/11." Rather, it's the basis of an anti-Statist analysis.

You will see

when you read MacGregor's article that he uses his theory of "Machiavellian State Terrorism" to provide a critique of the ("established") Left's failure to recognize the reality of 9/11. His concern is precisely to broaden and deepen a leftist analysis of the state. This deeper understanding, this penetration beyond appearances to what is really going on, is crucial for the Left for two very good reasons: i) in the recent historical period most of the state terror incidents have been blamed on leftists (the Strategy of Tension in Italy focussed blame on the Red Brigades, for example) for the purpose of launching brutal attacks on them that otherwise would not be permitted, and ii) the Left is the principal opposition to modern states. To be a real opposition it is necessary to have an accurate analysis.

Rothbardian, right-wing, "propertarian" libertarians have been few and far between and, because of their defense of private property and market relations, they have never seriously challenged any state. And in Machiavelli's day, states were wholly-owned properties of private parties, such as the Medicis in Florence, in any case. You might be surprised to learn that some notable leftists, e.g. the Situationists Guy Debord and Gianfranco Sanguinetti, were profound students of Machiavelli, precisely because he stripped away appearances and presented the real characteristics of the "legitimized protection rackets" that we call "states". See Sanguinetti's "On Terrorism and the State" here:

Thanks for raising such important points!

You write:

"Rothbardian, right-wing, 'propertarian' libertarians have been few and far between and, because of their defense of private property and market relations, they have never seriously challenged any state. And in Machiavelli's day, states were wholly-owned properties of private parties, such as the Medicis in Florence, in any case."

Propertarian libertarianism is classical liberalism -- exemplified by Locke, Jefferson, Cobden, and so forth -- arguably, even Machiavelli when not auditioning to work for a local dictator. That Rothbard represented a more radical strain arises from the fact that the earlier, more moderate elements' entrusting of the State with any coercive power at all led to its massive growth.

It's contradictory to speak of privately owned states, because states by their nature steal the property of their captive subjects ("citizenry"). The Medicis and their latter-day heirs in Washington and London were and are institutionalized thieves and extortionists whose only basic connection to property is that they take it from others and keep it for themselves.

Great review, Tod thanks!

It's a great review and fully intend to read the book. I admire Zarembka getting out there and confronting Zelikow--a major perp!

...don't believe them!

See also...

David MacGregor on 7/7, 9/11 and Machiavellian State Terror