Term Paper: Is There an Alternative History to 9-11?

Pages: 10 (2756 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Terrorism  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … September 11, many different alternative histories have arisen. Some believe that the American government has covered up the real reasons why the terrorist attack occurred, while others have written books about how the event would have been different if someone else was president. The purpose of this discussion is to explore the alternative histories of September 11 that have been propagated through the media and in books. This discussion will provide an overview of many different scenarios.

Alternative Histories

Much of the media that explores the alternative histories of September 11, seem to be convinced that the attacks were not properly investigated and that many government officials knew that the attacks were going to occur. One such article appeared in the New Statesman (Hari, 2002). This article asserts that the twin towers were actually taken down by the CIA. The author, explains that Messyan's alternative theory of the events of September 11 are among the most prevalent. Thierry Meyssan's authored a book entitled L'effroyable imposture (The Frightening Fraud). Meyssan's alternative history asserts that

"the Pentagon was not struck by a plane at all, but rather that a carefully planned truck bombing or missile strike was setup by the U.S. government to look like a plane crash. He believes that the government plotted the whole affair, in part to control rogue agents within the security services. To justify these claims, Meyssan points to discrepancies in eyewitness statements, the lack of footage of any plane wreckage, and images from CCTV cameras across Washington which seem to show that there was no plane approaching the Pentagon (Hari, 2002)."

Hari (2002) also asserts that there are alternative histories that have arisen form the American hard right. This American subculture also known as militiamen assert that the attacks were "a ruse by the U.S. government, mimicking Hitler's burning of the Reichstag, to justify the seizure of significant state powers to detain and control "dissidents" (that is, the militiamen themselves) (Hari 2002)." This alternative history asserts that president Bush is nothing more than an agent for the United Nations, which is determined to destroy America (Hari 2002). This alternative history asserts that the attacks of September 11th were not carried out by al Quaeda operatives but were instead, carried out by the American government (Hari 2002).

O'meara (2003) contends that alternative histories of September 11 abound because of the reluctance of the White house to turn over certain documents. O'meara asserts that among these documents were presidential daily briefings. One such briefing was entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike the United States." This document was presented to the President on August 6, 2001 by the Director of the CIA, George Tenet (O'Meara). The Bush White House eventually released the report and others but with certain restrictions. For instance, certain information was black out of the reports when they were given to the commission and made available to the public (O'Meara). Another issue that left room for alternative histories to develop was the fact that the 9/11 commission was forced to subpoena the FAA for documents that were left out. A citizen who's husband was killed on 9/11 explains

"it is very upsetting that the 9/11 Commission had to subpoena the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA]. According to news reports, there are 150,000 documents that were left out of what the FAA sent to the commission. Those documents went toward the time line of when the FAA notified the North American Aerospace Defense Command [NORAD], when the fighter jets were scrambled and the communications between air-traffic control and the pilots. These are threshold issues that go to the heart of the matter. How did the FAA overlook 150,000 documents pertaining to these issues? It is more than mildly upsetting that they would leave out these documents (O'meara 2003)."

O'Meara also asserts that the frustration of family members was fueled by the lack of cooperation that the White House and intelligence agencies had with the commission. Questions begin to arise concerning what the agencies and the White House was attempting to hide and what information they had before the attacks that may have signaled that terrorists were going to strike (O'Meara). The commission delved into both the Clinton and Bush administration to see whether there were any smoking guns that would indicate that an attack on the United States was imminent (O'Meara). Eventually the commission received more cooperation from the Bush Administration and was able to piece together some of the warning signs that signaled that the attacks were being planned (O'Meara).

The inability of the government to confirm or deny that there were warnings of an imminent terrorist attack lef many family members frustrated. The article explains that

"we need to know if there was prior warning. I think you can establish a baseline of deception on the part of the White House as far as those warnings are concerned. Initially they said there were no warnings, and then they said 'there were no specific, detailed warnings.' But I think any reasonable person reading the House/Senate Joint Inquiry or press accounts about the warnings that were issued from overseas would say the threats were quite specific, using such words as 'imminent' and 'mass casualties,' etc. Clearly there were warnings (O'Meara)."

Although there was cooperation from the Bush administration, when the report was finally published this year questions still abounded in the minds of family members and the American public (O'Meara). Questions such as, just what did the administration know and when did they know it? Why aren't the governments that sponsored such terrorism been brought to justice? These unanswered questions gave way to alternative histories in the months and years after September 11(O'Meara).

Other alternative histories do concede that the attacks were carried out by Al Quaeda but assert that the United States government knew that the attacks were going to occur (Dunlea). One such theory argues that the American government allowed the attacks to occur because it wanted to invade the nations of Afghanistan and Iraq (Dunlea). This view can be found in an article entitled "9/11 Plus Three - The Trail Grows Cold While the War Heats Up." In this article, the author asserts that half the residents of New York City believed that the Bush Administration knew that the attacks were going to occur and allow them to happen (Dunlea). The author, Mark Dunlea contends that the Bush Administration failed to warn of the terrorists attacks so that America could invade Iraq and have control over the worlds decreasing supply of oil (Dunlea).

In another article written by Dunlea entitled "9/11 panel should get to the truth" he explains that the Bush administration was warned of potential terrorists attacks before 9/11. The article asserts that

"The United States received explicit warnings shortly before 9/11 from the governments of Russia, France, Israel, Germany and Israel. Russian leader Vladimir Putin said his warning was delivered "in the strongest possible terms." Despite the claims of the Bush administration that no one ever thought that terrorist would use hijacked planes as missiles, NORAD conducted numerous training exercises under exactly that scenario (Dunlea).

In fact another article entitled "9-11: NORAD, FAA, Pentagon MADE It Happen" explains that federal agencies were concerned that terrorist would use a plane in an attack against the country. The article asserts that 'at least a full YEAR before 911, those at the Pentagon were specifically conducting "mock terrorist drills" simulating a very specific disaster - a very specific attack upon their hub ... In order for the Pentagon to even consider spending the time, money, energy, effort, and persons involved to conduct any drill the Pentagon and those who "run it" will absolutely, without a doubt, have to have some specific scenario in already in mind in order to even know what to drill and prepare for ... Out of every possible scenario, the Pentagon just so coincidently happened to pull the scenario out its ass of a "terrorist attack: jet in the Pentagon," and then a year later claim that they really had nothing specific this might happen, just vague reports from various agencies, but nothing that would motivate the need to really take any measures ("9-11: NORAD, FAA, Pentagon MADE It Happen," )."

In this particular article, Dunlea also asserts there are several questions that need to be answered concerning the events of September 11. These questions include the following; 1.) What role did America play in arming the terrorists prior to 9/11? 2.) What did the Pakistani Intelligence Service play in contributing to the attack? 3.) Why did the director of Pakistan's secret service, arrange for $100,000 to be wired to hijacker Mohammed Atta? 4.) Did the U.S. government and the Taliban negotiate the construction of a pipeline through Afghanistan prior to 9/11? 4.) What surveillance did the CIA and FBI have on the hijackers prior to the attacks? 5.) What terrorist groups and governments were responsible for the 9/11 attacks (Dunlea)?

An article written by Carol Brouillet contends that… [END OF PREVIEW]

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