The official account on 9/11
A unique, unambiguous, official account about the events that took place on September 11, 2001, exists. It is contained in numerous reports issued by the three branches of the U.S. government and by most media. This account can be summarized in a few sentences:
On the morning of September 11, 2001 four civilian airlines with dozens of passengers and crew, designated as flights AA11, UA175, AA77 and UA93, were hijacked by teams of 4-5 Muslim fanatics. Each team included each one trained pilot. The hijackers took control over the airliners and flew the aircraft assigned to flights AA11 and UA175 into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York and the aircraft assigned to flight AA77 into the Pentagon. The fourth airliner, assigned to flight UA93, presumed to have been destined to crash on the White House, did not reach its target. It crashed in an empty field in Pennsylvania after the passengers rose up and tried to seize control of the aircraft. As a result of the impact of the aircraft on the Twin Towers and the ensuing fires, both towers collapsed soon afterwards onto their own footprint, causing massive deaths. Almost 3,000 people died in the attacks. Osama bin Laden and his al-Qa’eda network were shortly thereafter attributed the responsibility for conceiving, planning, financing and coordinating the attacks.
Every major historical event is sooner or later narrated in a simplified and easily apprehended manner. What distinguishes the official narrative of 9/11 from most historical accounts is the speed with which it took its definitive form.
Osama bin Laden named after 15 minutes
The name of Osama bin Laden, as a suspect, surfaced on CBS News within 15 minutes of the crash of the second aircraft on the South Tower. His name remained from that time grafted onto the official account, notwithstanding the lack of any concrete evidence linking him to the attacks (see Chapter on Osama bin Laden).
Reason for WTC demise stated within six hours
The official explanation for the disintegration of both Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York was established within six hours of these double and unprecedented events. New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was asked in a press conference on September 11, 2001 at 2:30 pm (EST), whether the demise of the skyscrapers were caused by the planes “or by something else”. He answered, stuttering:
We believe, we believe that it was caused by the after-effects of the, of the planes hitting the…buildings. We don’t know, we don’t know if there were additional explosions
Experts invited by national networks to comment, were apparently ready to explain – within hours – why the Twin Towers disintegrated, although they had no precedent to rely upon. Jim DeStefano, from the National Council of Structural Engineers, for example, explained to CNN at approximately 4:20 P.M (EST) – relying exclusively on what he saw on TV – that
the impact [of the aircraft] was sufficient to cause damage to the columns and the (…) systems supporting the building. That couples with the fire raging and the high temperatures softening the structural steel that precipitated a destabilization of the columns and clearly the columns buckled at the lower floors causing the building to collapse.
Bar attended by Mohamed Atta located within twelve hours
Within hours of the attacks, FBI agents deployed to a bar in Hollywood, Florida, to inquire whether some of the hijackers, including Mohamed Atta, had visited it.
Bush determines in twenty minutes that “America is under attack”
Approximately 20 minutes after being informed that a second aircraft had crashed on the World Trade Center, President George W. Bush announced to the world that United States was under attack.
U.S. Congress establishes the definite account within 48 hours
On September 12, 2001 the U.S. Congress declared, in a unanimous resolution
- • that the events of the previous day constituted ‘attacks against” America;
- • that terrorists had ‘hijacked and destroyed’ four civilian aircraft;
- • that the attacks ‘destroyed both towers of the World Trade Center’; and
- • that the attacks clearly were intended ‘to intimidate our Nation and weaken its resolve.
At the time the Congress adopted its resolution, no member of the U.S. Congress was in a position to verify and authenticate these factual statements. The investigation of the attacks had hardly started. No one had claimed responsibility for the attacks. The identities of the perpetrators were unknown. The wreckage of the aircraft had not been identified. The reason for the demise of the Twin Towers was not yet determined. Most members of Congress did not even know that World Trade Center Nr. 7 – a 47-floor building that was not hit by an aircraft – had also totally collapsed.
U.S. government: “We are not obligated to prove our case”
On September 26, 2001, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was asked in a Press Conference held at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, “Sir, two weeks into the crisis, is the United States incapable of telling its allies precisely what the findings are in regard to evidence related to Osama bin Laden or other terrorists that you might think were behind the attack?” Wolfowitz answered as follows: “I think the evidence is there for the whole world to see. I think many of the people in this room watched it live on television, watched the two towers of the World Trade Center coming down. If you want evidence I’ll be happy to — oh, I can’t, I guess. The FBI controls it.”
On September 28, 2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft was asked whether the US was able “to trace any of the 19 hijackers back to Afghanistan.” His response: “I don’t think I’m capable of answering that question.”
In a directive from the State Department of October 1, 2001, to all U.S. embassies around the world, embassy officials were requested “to brief senior host government officials” about al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks but only orally “and NOT leave the document (with the foreign officials) as a non-paper.” In addition the directive emphasizes that “the United States is not obliged in any way to make any kind of showing as a prerequisite or precondition to the exercise of its right of self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter, whether now or in the future”. Indeed, the US has evaded requests by foreign governments to prove its accusations regarding the responsibility of Osama bin Laden or Al Qaeda for 9/11.
On October 2, 2001, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was asked in a Press briefing, before he embarked upon a Middle-East tour: “Will you be sharing with the leaders [you’ll visit] any evidence of Osama bin Laden’s connection with the [9/11] attacks?” His answered:
I think that I will not be sharing the evidence. I would be happy to, but I think that has been done amply. The evidence of the attack is on television every day. The linkages between the terrorist networks involved are on television every day. And it strikes me that anyone who is slightly interested has a very clear idea of what took place the fact that a terrorist organization that’s being harbored by more than one country, and has relationships with other terrorist organizations, was directly involved. I don’t know if we need any more evidence, or do I think that anyone is asking for any more evidence, except the Taliban.
U.S. government obfuscation
Unremarked by most commentators, when President Bush addressed the American people on October 7, 2001 to announce the initiation of the bombing campaign against Afghanistan, he did not link that country in any way to the attacks of 9/11. The reason he adduced for this war was the alleged refusal of the Taliban government to “close terrorist training camps; hand over leaders of the al Qaeda network; and return all foreign nationals, including American citizens, unjustly detained in your country.” Surprisingly, the events of 9/11 were not even mentioned in his speech.
On the same day – October 7, 2001 – the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, John Negroponte, delivered a letter to the President of the U.N. Security Council in which he listed the reasons for the U.S. military operations against Afghanistan. In that letter the representative of the United States claimed that the attacks of 9/11 were
- “specifically designed to maximise the loss of life”;
- “resulted in the death of more than five thousand persons, including nationals of 81 countries”; and that
- “my government has obtained clear and compelling information that the Al-Qaeda organisation, which is supported by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, had a central role in the attacks.”
Nonwithstanding the inaccuracy of the above facts, it will be noted that in the letter, the US does not actually claim that the attacks of 9/11 had been conceived, planned, directed or financed in or from Afghanistan.
After the U.S. Congress, decided on September 12, 2001 by acclamation – before any investigation was carried out – what happened the previous day, the task of investigators would remain to fit their forensic and scientific findings to the official truth.
 September 11 Television Archive, at 4:20 P.M. (last visited on January 8, 2011
 CNN, Transcript of George W. Bush’s address to the nation. CNN, (emphasis added)
 Press Conference of Paul Wolfowitz at NATO headquarters, September 26, 2001. Author’s document #578
 Transcript from Press Briefing, Attorney General Ashcroft and FBI Director Mueller, September 28, 2001. Author’s document #576
 Unclassified fax from the U.S. Department of State to U.S. embassies around the world, October 1, 2001, #170698, Subject: “September 11: Working together to fight the plague of global terrorism and the case against al-Qa’ida.” Author’s document #27
Version 1.0 – December 1, 2011