The Devil's Tower Badge of Honor
Richard Dreyfus' character in Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, Roy Neary, struggles with an obsession to recreate a mountainous shape out of anything malleable he touches. During the movie he regularly interrupts some normal, everyday event by suddenly falling into an artistic obsession to represent a vision apparently burned into his brain. His struggle to bring meaning to his vision doesn't end until he completes a perfect model of the Devil's Tower in Wyoming, recognizes it for what it is, and then succeeds in reaching the tower in spite of cordons of troops and helicopters.
The real life version of that Close Encounters' moment, that instant when there is a perfect vision of what happened, is nearly here for 9/11.
The accumulation of evidence of a horrific crime on that day has been growing very slowly, but very steadily. The most damning evidence was available to the entire country at the very first moment--the three towers fell at free-fall speed, symmetrically straight into each building's path of most resistance. Over the years people from all over the country and around the world have taken on a very diverse set of nearly obsessive efforts--just like Roy Neary and his fictional counterparts across the country--in order to bring closure to themselves about what they saw happen. Engineers have done experiments--like the one by Jonathan Cole testing postulated theories on how World Trade Center (WTC) towers' steel could have melted. Scientists have examined dust for fingerprints of explosives--finding thermite. Pilots have examined hijacked airlines' published flight data for anomalies--like the flight data recorder information in flight 93 showing that the cockpit door was never opened during the flight, or questioned why not one of the experienced pilots hit the easily available "hijacked" button in each airliner's cockpit. And, building engineers have built computer models of the collapse to show that there was never enough force for the so-called pancake theory to work. Finally, videographers have dissected every video publicly available from the event frame by frame looking for (and eventually finding) several smoking guns--melting steel dripping from the building, explosions almost hidden by smoke, and explosions many floors below the crashing WTC towers falling debris.
All the while, governments have classified odd things "Top Secret" like the National Institute of Science and Technology's (NIST--the agency charged with determining how the buildings actually fell) model of how the twin towers fell. Police and firemen of New York were never permitted to do any of the normal investigations that would have accompanied even the smallest suspicious building fire. And, there is the mayor of New York helping to spirit the steel from the collapsed buildings out of the country to be melted down before it could be thoroughly analyzed. Add to this secrecy, the unwillingness of nearly any media to examine the accumulating evidence against the official explanation of the falling WTC towers, and the cordon around the events of 9/11 seems insurmountable.
But, then there are all those minds tucked away in unexpected places with the vision of those buildings coming down in physically impossible ways burned into their brains looking for ways to explain what happened. Just like the fictional Roy Neary, who eventually realized that he didn't need any more evidence of what he'd seen, it's time for those of us who have struggled with this vision for nearly ten years to stand up and assail every journalist who uses the word "terrorist" or "terrorism" and ask them exactly what terrorists they are talking about, the hypothetical 19 Arabs armed with box cutters or the real demolition experts of 9/11 and their political heirs. It's time to ask neighbors, friends, and relatives why we are still hurting people half way around the world, when the evidence suggests the "terrorists" are much closer to home and much more dangerous to our lives. It's time to stand up in every political meeting and ask politicians (left, right, and center) embarrassing questions about why the real terrorists of 9/11 are still stalking our political stage. Finally, it is time to stop being embarrassed about be called "conspiracy theorists," because the pile of stinking evidence that now surrounds the official cordon around 9/11 suggests "conspiracy theorist" is an approbation that can be worn as an honor.