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The Northerner

Too many questions about 9/11

Drew Chalfant

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The passing of a half decade has left many Americans scratching their heads, rather than stroking their chins with scholarly resolve, amidst the current socio-political maelstrom that engulfs our increasingly confused nation. Without the ability to calmly ask for ‘just the facts’ from beneath the brim of a candor inducing federal investigation fedora, we’re left in the dark with regard to many issues surrounding all things of Sept. 11, especially those we haven’t even bothered shedding light upon. At the risk of ranting from atop a bully pulpit of conspiracy theory subversion, I want to say: There are questions we aren’t asking and, shock and awesomely enough, answers we aren’t getting.

A growing number of fringe groups are asking these questions and bringing to the forefront of inquiring minds the possibility that the rabbit hole goes much deeper than previously believed. Among these groups is Scholars for 9/11 Truth, a collection of international professors, students and scholars who, at their most radical, contend Sept. 11 attacks were propagated by the administration of President George W. Bush. While the dangers of this sort of hard-line jumping to a conclusion are evident, the evidence supporting their claims provide some startlingly thought-provoking queries.

Scholars for 9/11 says that impact damage completely inconsistent with a Boeing 757 was found at the Pentagon. This, combined with the unwillingness of the FBI to release surveillance tapes from the nearby Sheraton Hotel and gas station leads one to at least consider if the whole story isn’t there. Couple this with, as Scholars reports, numerous Pentagon personnel, such as attorneys Don Perkal and Gilah Goldsmith, reporting the smell of cordite, an explosive not found on a commercial airliner. Again these are reports and evidence, not absolute facts.

A moderate consideration leads one to believe that these are coincidental oddities, while a radical consideration has some of the 9/11 Truth Movement groups crying that nothing short of a U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile could have caused the damage. The answer may lie at either end of the spectrum but a lack of significant impact damage from any of the six-ton Rolls-Royce engines at the scene all beg for further inquiry.

The peculiarities extend to other events that day and include Flight 93’s amazing act near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The aircraft reportedly crashed into a field, yet debris from the plane could be found up to eight miles away, with the second biggest piece over two miles from the crash site. Somerset County coroner Wallace Miller even told the UK Independent, “The order had been given to bring the airplane down, I do not rule anything out.”

Again this does not prove foul play, but is merely food for thought. With other rescue personnel describing a wide scattering of airplane parts yet a considerably small impact crater the web tangles even further.

The falling of the Twin Towers themselves are the target of the heaviest scrutiny for these groups and they cite the precedent-setting collapses as the strongest proof that U.S. government was involved. Scholars for 9/11 reports that structure fires have never caused a full collapse of similarly designed structures. The official story that extreme temperatures, caused by jet fuel and other combustibles, melted the high-grade steel to the point of collapse raises more than eyebrows among the various groups’ scientists. The considerably short time span of the fires fuels the doubts of the groups. The 32-story Windsor building in Madrid, Spain burned for nearly 24 hours before finally being extinguished. But it never collapsed. The Twin Towers burned for 56 minutes and 104 minutes before crumbling into curiously neat piles that left the other buildings in the complex, save WTC 7, relatively unscathed. Again this is evidence to be observed, not proof positive that it was our government’s orchestration. Hard to swallow, of course. But the amazing complexity of the intelligence and planning this mission needed to be carried out, and these events’ the jolting impact on America’s policies entertains the idea that the entire story isn’t there.

This is a merely a scratch on the surface of what groups like Scholars for 9/11 Truth offer as evidence for their elaborate conspiracy theories. With a monumental loss of innocence at hand, perhaps it is time to shave our five-year shadow with Ockham’s razor and deduce that, all things being equal, the simplest and most likely answer is that we don’t have all the information. With this in mind, ask questions, demand answers and never accept ‘because we said so’ from a government that has consistently proved itself to be better at sweeping fallacies under the rug than blowing the whistle.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Too many questions about 9/11