The Washington Post on “Lunatic” 9/11 “Conspiracy Theorists”

An editorial in the Washington Post yesterday slammed Japanese member of parliament Yukihisa Fujita because he “seems to think that America’s rendering of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, is a gigantic hoax.” His “ideas” about the terrorist attacks “are too bizarre, half-baked and intellectually bogus to merit serious discussion.”

Fujita, the editorial added, is a member of “the lunatic fringe” who “have spawned a thriving subculture of conspiracy theorists at home and abroad”, and “his views, rooted as they are in profound distrust of the United States, seem to reflect a strain of anti-American thought”. The piece closes by suggesting that the “fact-averse” Fujita should be removed from office.

Among Fujita’s “bizarre” views are “that shadowy forces with advance knowledge of the plot played the stock market to profit from it”, “the fantastic idea that eight of the 19 hijackers are alive and well”, and “that controlled demolition rather than fire or debris may be a more likely explanation for at least the collapse of the building at 7 World Trade Center”.

Yet while serving out a hit piece against the global “9/11 Truth” movement, it is in fact the editors of the Washington Post who are demonstrably “fact-averse”.

It happens to be an uncontroversial fact that in the days just prior to the attacks, there was a dramatic increase in trade on put options, and what made this unusual spike even more mysterious was that it was observed  only in relation to companies directly affected by the attacks, including United Airlines, American Airlines, and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. (which occupied 22 floors of 2 World Trade Center).

That this occurred was, in fact, mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report, which reported that the federal investigations into the suspicious trading concluded that it was all “innocuous”. Many of the trades on the airline companies, for instance, were traced to a “single U.S.-based institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al Qaeda”.

In other words, the report acknowledges that the suspicious trades did, in fact, occur, but dismisses this as evidence of foreknowledge because the investigation didn’t lead to the proper predetermined culprits. This is illustrative of the kind of standard the 9/11 Commission employed throughout its so-called “investigation”.

The “fantastic” idea that the identity of the hijackers named by the FBI is in question is an interesting case. At the time, the Washington Post had also subscribed to this “half-baked” notion. On September 20, 2001, under the headline “Some Hijackers’ Identities Uncertain”, the Post reported, “FBI officials said yesterday that some of the 19 terrorists who carried out last week’s assault on New York and Washington may have stolen the identities of other people, and their real names may remain unknown.”

Among the evidence for this, the Post cited “Saudi government officials” as having determined “that at least two of the terrorists used the names of living, law-abiding Saudi citizens”. The man in the picture of one of the alleged hijackers, the Post reported, was Salem Al-Hazmi, who was actually alive and well, according to Gaafar Allagany, the chief of the Saudi Embassy’s information office in Washington. The real Al-Hazmi’s “passport was stolen by a pickpocket on a trip to Cairo three years” before. Another of the alleged hijackers was Abdulaziz Al-Omari, who, Allagany said, was also alive and “an electrical engineer in Saudi Arabia.”

“The uncertainty”, the Post continued, “highlights how difficult it may be to ever identify some of the hijackers who participated in the deadliest act of violence on American soil. Most of the hijackers’ bodies were obliterated in the fiery crashes.”

The Washington Post was not the only mainstream media outlet to report on the uncertainty over the hijacker’s identities. It was widely reported elsewhere, both in the U.S. and international media.

The U.K.’s Guardian, for instance, reported on September 21 under the headline “False identities mislead FBI” that “The FBI acknowledged yesterday that some of the terrorists involved in the attacks last week were using false identities”, with regard to Al-Hazmi and Al-Omari.

FBI acknowledgment of this was also reported by the BBC the same day under the headline “FBI probes hijackers’ identities”. The BBC also reported on September 22 under the headline “Hijack ‘suspect’ alive in Morocco” that Waleed Al-Shehri, another alleged hijacker, the “same Mr Al-Shahri” whose photo the FBI had released as being among the terrorists, “has turned up in Morocco, proving clearly that he was not a member of the suicide attack.”

On September 23, under the headline “Hijack ‘suspects’ alive and well”, the BBC reported that yet “Another of the men named by the FBI as a hijacker … has turned up alive and well” and that “The identities of four of the 19 suspects … are now in doubt.” FBI Director Robert Mueller also “acknowledged … that the identity of several of the suicide hijackers is in doubt.”

The London Telegraph similarly ran a story on September 23 entitled “Revealed: the men with stolen identities”.

The Washington Post itself ran a follow-up article on September 25 entitled “Some Light Shed On Saudi Suspects”, reporting that “U.S. investigators believe they have positively identified 15 of the 19 hijackers”, but that the identify of the other four was still in question.

On September 27, even while releasing the official list of hijackers along with their photos, the FBI confirmed that uncertainty remained over some of the identities. Mueller acknowledged that the FBI was still “determining whether when these individuals came to the United States these were their real names, or they changed their names for use with false identification in the United States; that false identification being used up to and on the day of September 11th, and that false identification used to purchase the tickets, and thereby being the name on the manifests of the planes that went down.”

Yet, despite these facts, neither the Washington Post nor any other mainstream media outlet has ever offered any follow-up reports explaining whether, and how, this uncertainty was finally resolved. The FBI has never clarified this matter to the public. The 9/11 Commission didn’t so much as even address the question, even to attempt to clear up the matter.

And so it remains an uncontroversial fact, as far as the public is concerned, that the identify of at least several of the hijackers remains in question. Why the government has refused to clarify this issue, and why the media now report anyone who doesn’t have a short memory about 9/11 as being part of a “lunatic fringe” are also open questions that warrant some kind of explanation.

Finally, there is the matter of the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. Many people might be surprised to learn that not only two towers fell on September 11. In fact, a third skyscraper also collapsed that day neatly into its own footprint. It is also an uncontroversial fact that proper investigative procedures for such disasters, particularly in cases where a crime has been committed, were contemptuously ignored in the case of the WTC.

For starters, the evidence from the crime scene in the form of the remains of the three buildings was removed and immediately destroyed. Destruction of evidence is, itself, a crime, and yet that is what happened. Other standard procedures were also ignored, such as testing for any kinds of accelerants that may have been responsible for the building failures.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released what is supposed to be the conclusive report on the building collapses. Yet, the explanation it provides, too, is inadequate, to say the least. The computer models NIST offers for the collapse of WTC 7, for instance, look just like one would expect them to, for the kind of collapse NIST says occurred there. You first see one load-bearing column fail, leading to the progressive failure of other columns until the entire structure has eventually crumbled.

The problem is that these models look absolutely nothing like the actual collapse, documented on video. A simple look at any available footage of the collapse is enough to demonstrate that all major load-bearing columns of the building failed nearly simultaneously. You see the penthouse of the building sinking into the core just seconds before the entire structure, all perimeter columns, fail at precisely the same instant, causing the building to collapse straight down  at free-fall acceleration into what should have been the path of greatest resistance according to NIST’s own assessment.

The similarities to videos of building “implosions” under controlled demolition are astonishing. Yet NIST dismisses the possibility that charges could have been used largely on the basis that, if this had been the case, there would have been eyewitness reports of the explosions. The problem with this is that there were, in fact, a great many eyewitness reports of explosions, both prior to and during the collapse.

NIST also completely ignored the actual leading alternative hypothesis, which was that a substance called thermite (or its U.S. Department of Defense-patented variation, thermate) may have been used to cut the building’s columns, rather than, or in conjunction with, traditional explosive demolitions. Evidence for this hypothesis comes not only in form of empirical observation about the actual nature of the collapse from video footage (including the presence of molten steel), but also in traces of what appears to be thermite in the dust from the collapses.

Independent scientific inquiries into the collapse have led to the discovery of “distinctive red/gray chips in all of the samples” that, when studied, all showed “marked similarities” and were “found to be an unreacted thermitic material”. These findings were included in a report entitled, “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe” that was published last year in The Open Chemical Physics Journal.

Though this report was widely circulated on the internet and among alternative media sources, the Washington Post never bothered to report these findings published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Whatever theories about the events of September 11, 2001 one may subscribe to, what everyone surely can agree upon is that the facts should matter. The editors of the Washington Post might perhaps begin by acknowledging just a few of the more non-controversial facts, including the fact that suspicious trading did occur prior to 9/11, the fact that the identities of at least some of the hijackers has been cast in doubt and that this has never been clarified to the public, and the fact that the collapses of the three WTC buildings has never been adequately investigated.

Surely, that proper credible investigations into the events of 9/11 should occur — indeed, should have occurred long ago — should also be non-controversial, no matter which conspiracy theory one believes, whether it belongs to “the lunatic fringe” or to the U.S. government.

Jeremy R. Hammond is the editor of Foreign Policy Journal, a website providing news, analysis, and opinion from outside the standard framework provided by government officials and the corporate media. He was among the recipients of the 2010 Project Censored Awards for outstanding investigative journalism and is the author of The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination. You can contact him at: Read other articles by Jeremy, or visit Jeremy's website.

17 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Mulga Mumblebrain said on March 9th, 2010 at 9:59am #

    To believe the 9/11 cover story one needs to be as dense, as well-trained or as credulous as one can imagine.Like the conspiracy to murder JFK, the perpetrators are protected by a media propaganda system and a political caste as corrupt as can be imagined. As for the real culprits, we need only ask ‘who benefits?’. As the psychopath Netanyahu began loudly squawking straight after the crime,it suited Israel’s relentless hatemongering agenda against the Islamic Middle East perfectly. It was the perfect excuse to put the ‘Zionist Plan for the Middle East’,the destruction of the states of the Middle East, starting with Iraq, into operation. Add to this the well-known behaviour of the ‘celebrating Israelis’ loudly applauding as the towers collapsed, and I’m with ex-President Cossiga of Italy in his observation that everyone in European intelligence knows that the culprits were Mossad and the CIA.

  2. mary said on March 9th, 2010 at 11:38am #

    Good to see you back Mulga. Thought that the Zs had spirited you away!

    I saw this the other day and think it will give you a wry smile.

    Netanyahu Sr was probably part of the masterplan. The illegal wars and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq certainly flowed from 9/11.

    Brown is still doling out pieces of metal. Last time it was the Elizabeth Medal for the troops. Today it is the British Medal for Heroes of the Holocaust. This is the ‘Don’t you dare criticize Israel or Zionism’ award.

    No medal for Kastner et al in Hungary who smuggled 800,000 Jews from that country westwards to their deaths whilst 25,000 super specimens were sent to Mandate Palestine, the seed for the super race. The play – Perfidy – by Jim Grey is never allowed to be shown. Now there is democracy for you – the sort we are inflicting on a broken Iraq.

    We could help fund the striking of a medal for those many who have helped Palestinian humans escape from the prisons and the clutches of the IOF over 61 years of barbaric occupation, and for those like Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall, Ian Hook and many, many more with olive skins who have given their lives for their Palestinian sisters and brothers. Now there is an idea.

    I loathe hypocrisy.

  3. John Hatch said on March 10th, 2010 at 1:20pm #

    I find it odd that people who are not necessarily pushing any particular theory, but just asking for an honest investigation into matters that simply could not have occurred in the manner stated by the government are attacked with such vehemence. It’s overkill, exactly as happened after the Kennedy assassination, which was also whitewashed as we know beyond doubt.

    One other thing- if a plane struck the Pentagon, why did it leave a missile-sized hole and no plane debris? Why have no videos or photographs ever been released to support the government’s assertions? how could the most sophisticated automated missile system in the world fail?

    Why is Cheney on record as ordering that whatever was heading for the Pentagon not be shot down (the Admin’s own former Sec of Transportation is a witness).

    When so-called ‘Truthers’ (as if truth is an epithet) get attacked, it’s usually as if the attacks are coming from the same script (‘tin hats’, ‘foil hats’, ‘lunatic fringe’ etc.). Never logical argument.

  4. Chuck0 said on March 10th, 2010 at 5:32pm #

    9/11 Truthers are correctly attacked for being conspiracy nuts, because by and large that’s what they are. They don’t just buy into one outlandish idea about 9/11, they buy into the whole agenda. If you make any effort to argue with these people, they attack you, even physically, from my experience.

    John asks about the events in Virginia on 9/11:

    “One other thing- if a plane struck the Pentagon, why did it leave a missile-sized hole and no plane debris? Why have no videos or photographs ever been released to support the government’s assertions? how could the most sophisticated automated missile system in the world fail?”

    I happened to be two miles away from the Pentagon when the plane hit it on September 11. Later that afternoon, I was on the grounds of the Pentagon, surveying the damage and the scene. One of my friends called me during the attacks and said that a plane had just flown low over his house, shaking it. That was the plane that was piloted into the Pentagon.

    Let me explain why a plane hit the Pentagon, not anything else.

    1) Many eyewitnesses saw the plane crash into the Pentagon. The Pentagon is surrounded by highways, roads, office buildings and apartments. Many eyewitnesses were interviewed on local Tv stations that night who all related that they saw (or heard) a plane hit the Pentagon.
    2) People died in that plane and in the Pentagon. Their names are all known. They all have families which miss them.
    3) Plane debris was found in the Pentagon that matched the plane that crashed.
    4) The Pentagon is a huge building, which was built with large amounts of concrete during WWII. The plane crashed into the side that had just been remodeled and strengthened. One of the construction trailers I walked by that afternoon had the ironic motto: “On time, on budget and built to last another 50 years.”
    5) People should stop assuming that video exists of everything going on in our lives.
    6) A “sophisticated automated missile system” never existed at the Pentagon, or the White House. It would be irresponsible for the Pentagon to run such a system right next to the flight paths for National Airport. I always thought that there were missile systems in Washington, until I moved there and learned otherwise. Let’s remember that on September 11th, the U.S. was “caught by surprise” because the state assumed that it never would be attacked on American soil (or airspace).

    I think the simple fact that people died on that plane and the eyewitness accounts should be enough to dismiss crackpot ideas about missiles being used to attack the Pentagon.

  5. Jeremy R. Hammond said on March 10th, 2010 at 5:53pm #

    “Let’s remember that on September 11th, the U.S. was “caught by surprise” because the state assumed that it never would be attacked on American soil (or airspace).”

    False. In fact, the government at all levels was aware of the threat to the U.S. on American soil. For example, Bush received information in a daily brief on August 6, 2001 entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”

    See, this is the problem, Chucko, you want to cast people with insulting labels — and true enough, there are people out there who believe rather outlandish conspiracy theories — but all most 9/11 “Truthers” want is for their reasonable questions to be answered.

    For example, on the Pentagon, while I don’t subscribe to the theory that no plan hit the building, and think you make some excellent points, you say “People should stop assuming that video exists of everything going on in our lives.”

    But it’s known that government officials went around to local businesses such as the gas station and collected all their security videotape footage that could have caught the crash. People have for many years been calling on the government to release those tapes. Yet the government has refused. Why?

    This, like many others about 9/11, is a reasonable question. Your characterization is an incorrect one. By and large, most 9/11 Truthers are not “nuts”, but reasonable people with reasonable questions. They want answers and don’t understand why the government, instead of answering their questions, actively acts to suppress information and cover up what actually occurred (e.g. The 9/11 Commission).

  6. Danny Ray said on March 10th, 2010 at 6:23pm #

    “For example, Bush received information in a daily brief on August 6, 2001 entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.””

    Great God Almighty, Jeremy, that makes me want to launch a first strike. After hearing that Bin Laden was determined we should have launched the bombers right then.

    That is sarcasm by the way, If acting on that kind of information we had of incinerated half of the Mid-East the peeps here would have been even madder than they are now. well maybe not if we had of and gotten the bad actors you guys would have claimed it was for oil or to corner the market on turnip greens.

  7. Jeremy R. Hammond said on March 10th, 2010 at 9:01pm #

    I was just setting the factual record straight, Danny. Draw your own conclusions, but facts are facts.

  8. Jeremy R. Hammond said on March 10th, 2010 at 9:13pm #

    Also, while I won’t address the substance of your strawman argument, it does raise the question “What should have been done?”

    One obvious answer that comes to mind is that the CIA just could have reported what they knew about Khalid al-Midhar, that he was a known Al Qaeda operative, that there was a plot against the U.S., that he had a visa to enter the U.S., etc.

    That alone would have been enough to topple the plot and stop the attacks. Instead, the CIA knowingly and willfully allowed al-Midhar into the U.S. to carry out the plot.


    Many reasonable people want answers to reasonable questions like these.

  9. jon s said on March 11th, 2010 at 1:34pm #

    Mary, As you can see, Prof. Netanyahu is 100 years old, so on 9/11 he was 91, a retired professor of Jewish History, an expert on the Marranos in Spain, so it makes perfect sense that he was part of the 9/11 master plan, maybe even the master mind. It makes about as much sense as all the other crackpot 9/11 conspiracy theories .
    And how could you possibly find fault in honoring Sir Nicholas Winton, an authentic hero , who saved so many chidren. Truly a “Righteous Gentile”.

  10. mary said on March 11th, 2010 at 3:31pm #

    1. Irony, sarcasm, whichever.

    2.Nicholas Winton was born to parents of German-Jewish origin.[2] Wikipedia.

  11. kalidas said on March 11th, 2010 at 7:21pm #

    There are no sayanim..
    There were no five dancing schlomos..

    “Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. … It’s classified information.”

  12. jon s said on March 11th, 2010 at 11:21pm #

    Kalidas, could you provide a source for your quote?

  13. jon s said on March 11th, 2010 at 11:25pm #

    Mary, Thanks for the info, which doesn’t change my point that he deserves to be honored and I don’t understand how anyone could object.

  14. Mulga Mumblebrain said on March 12th, 2010 at 5:34am #

    jon, it sounds like Winton performed a compassionate act, surely to be applauded.What a pity that your Holy State,Israel,now prevents modern day Wintons performing similar acts to aid the children of Gaza, at risk not just from the Judaic bloodlust of the Israel Death Forces, but the malign effects of the ongoing siege, a crime against humanity of collective punishment.Oops-I forgot! Jews are incapable of committing crimes against humanity because they are higher then humanity, real ubermenschen,and their victims are lower than humanity,ie untermenschen.
    As for the repulsive Benzion Netanyahu, he’s just more evidence for the adage that only the good die young.You left out the salients facts that he is an archetypal Judeofascist, the secretary for the infamous Jewish fascist and admirer of both Hitler and Mussolini, Jabotinsky.In fact, later, when Netanyahu lived in Israel his views were considered extreme even by Begin, and he was an advocate for Eretz Yisrael, ie the Zionist true belief in a Jewish state from the Nile to the Euphrates, cleansed, or in Ziospeak, ‘redeemed’ of its indigenous inhabitants. The creep also signed a petition bewailing the evacuation of Jewish colonists from Gaza in 2004 as ‘a crime against humanity’. Needless to say he voiced no such objections as real crimes against humanity, such as child murder en masse were committed by Jews in Gaza in 2008 and 2009. And he did that duty expected of all great Zionists, he produced an offspring even more loathsome than himself.

  15. Kipper said on March 15th, 2010 at 4:48pm #

    Her’s one of the truther’s loony rooms. Check out the trash they are trying to push off on us.

  16. Jeremy R. Hammond said on March 15th, 2010 at 6:01pm #

    I glanced at the link. I’m not sure what’s there you think is “loony” “trash”, so please be more specific.

  17. Kipper said on March 16th, 2010 at 4:31pm #

    My outlook is that the only reason that there has not been a new investigation is that most people get their “news” from the main stream media and refuse to listen to the lunatic fringe and or read about any of the new evidence.
    Somehow this information MUST be publicized and even though the truth movement is beginning to take hold, the government bloggers and debunkers are hard at work to stop the movement.
    It is therefore my new intention to play devils advocate and to make comments that lead the Sheeple to the information with comments like the one above.
    I am convinced that if people would just look at the evidence that they would see that 911 WAS an inside job.