By Craig McKee
The questions have been debated since the very beginnings of the 9/11 Truth movement.
How do we get people who believe the official story of 9/11 to consider the possibility that what they’ve been told is false? How do we go beyond preaching to the choir? And at what point is it necessary, or desirable, to simplify and/or soften some of the truth to avoid scaring people off?
The question is being asked again (well, at least by me) following the recent release of Massimo Mazzucco’s impressive five-hour, three-part documentary September 11: The New Pearl Harbor. The film brings together evidence from dozens of sources (particularly documentaries and TV programs) on 9/11. It ties this evidence together very nicely and makes it clear and easily understandable, particularly for those who are just hearing the evidence against the official story for the first time.
The best thing about Mazzucco’s film (to his enormous credit he has made the film available for viewing free of charge) is that it has the potential to reignite the discussion of not only what happened on 9/11 but how we can get the message out to a wider audience. And given the current state of the movement, anything that gets people talking about 9/11 again – and re-evaluating what they’ve always assumed to be true – has the potential to be very welcome.
The film avoids some of the more “controversial” issues within the Truth movement by pretty much avoiding alternative theories about what did happen altogether. At its most effective, The New Pearl Harbor clearly shows how the official story doesn’t stand up to verifiable facts and why the “debunkers” have utterly failed to make their case against the “conspiracy theorists” who are claiming that 9/11 was an inside job.
Examining the official story
For well informed truthers, the film goes over some very familiar ground, but it does so engagingly and clearly. Mazzucco starts his film with a look back at the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and then lists 12 things that this event has in common with 9/11. He goes from there to examine the problems with the 9/11 official story, as pushed by the government and the news media.
In part one, he covers the issues of air defense (the military drills, the total lack of any interception), the hijackers (lack of any proof that the alleged hijackers boarded any planes, their inability to actually fly an airliner, missing black boxes), and the airplanes (real passenger planes or drones, impossible speeds, cell phone calls).
Part two looks at the Pentagon (impossibility of a 757 impact, absence of surveillance videos, damage analysis), Shanksville (no plane at crash site, the small white plane, bomb or crash?), and begins the examination of what happened at the World Trade Center (asbestos in the towers, Silverstein, the NIST case, claims the buildings were fragile).
And part three continues with the towers (controlled demolition, explosions recorded by TV cameras, extreme temperatures, diagonal cuts in beams, and lots more) and Building 7 (freefall proved, the bogus NIST simulation, foreknowledge of the destruction).
In each case, Mazzucco presents the arguments made by the “debunkers.” But rather than just leaving it there as many mainstream reports have done, he then points out the holes in their arguments, ending with a question that purveyors of the official story should be pressed to answer. There are 50 questions in all.
(One thing that makes it very easy to watch this film is that on his web site each of the film’s three parts comes with a handy index with a time stamp for each subject covered. For this reason, I would recommend watching the film on Mazzucco’s site rather than on You Tube.)
Here are just a few of the interesting points effectively conveyed in the film:
- NIST’s claims about the “collapse” of Building 7 are based on data that has been kept secret and therefore cannot be independently verified by other scientists.
- Their computer models are clearly inconsistent with the visual record in the case of Building 7. Also, their own data shows that the fires that were supposed to have led to the initiation of collapse had largely burned themselves out more than an hour before the building fell.
- The new phenomenon claimed by NIST, the fire-induced collapse, has not resulted in any changes to how steel-framed buildings are constructed post-9/11.
- The “hat trusses,” the structure of interlocking girders at the top of each of the twin towers connecting the vertical steel columns to each other, were not found in the rubble even though there was nothing above it to crush them.
- Even though the military knew by 9:03 a.m. that two aircraft had been flown into the twin towers and two others were hijacked, there was no effort made to recall fighter jets that were being used in exercises in the U.S. and Canada.
- Not only was molten steel still present until three months after the event, but there is clear evidence of molten concrete, which requires enormously high temperatures that can’t be accounted for by simple office fires.
- The damage to the Pentagon could not have been made by a plane the size of a 757, nor could the plane have been flown into the building by a pilot, Hani Hanjour, who could not even fly a two-seater Cessna.
- Claims that explosions at the bottom of the towers could have been caused by jet fuel pouring down the elevator shafts are without merit.
Mazzucco unveils the information very effectively by the order he selects. For example, before getting into all the evidence for the destruction of the twin towers being the result of a controlled demolition (which comes towards the end of the film), he goes into the problems the buildings had, including the reasons why the cost of removing all the asbestos from twin towers would have been prohibitive. He also goes into the oh-so-convenient acquisition of the towers by Larry Silverstein just six weeks before 9/11 and the insuring of the complex against total destruction from terrorism. Armed with this information, the viewer finds that the demolition has a context they may not have been aware of.
Mazzucco has already produced one film about 9/11 called Global Deceit (2006), which aired on a mainstream network in Italy. This film, he says, brought questions about the truth of 9/11 into the mainstream discussion for the first time in his home country.
With The New Pearl Harbor, he says he wishes to provide a resource that media can go to once they become willing to deal with the subject. He believes this will happen once a demand is created for the information (he is convinced that media are interested first in what will bring them an audience – I’m inclined to think that this subject will not be given fair treatment in the media anytime soon).
Mazzucco is the first to admit that some in the movement will take issue with aspects of the film because important areas of research are not addressed. But he does make it clear what his criteria are for the choices he has made.
As a recent guest on a special conference call of the 9/11 Truth Teleconference (a group of truthers from all over North America who discuss 9/11 issues monthly), Mazzucco explained that there was a lot he would like to have included, but he had to choose an approach that would have the best chance of making an impression on the general public – and eventually on the mainstream media.
“Whether it’s right or wrong, I’m convinced of the process of the choices that I’ve made,” Mazzucco said on the call.
The burden of proof
The “debunkers” featured in the film include Jim Meigs, David Dunbar, and Davin Coburn of Popular Mechanics (The magazine produced the book Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts) as well as three prominent European defenders of the official story: Jérôme Quirant of France, and Paolo Attivissimo and Massimo Polidoro of Italy.
The film is most effective in how it points out the holes in the arguments of these disinfo specialists as well as the areas where they appear to knowingly ignore key information that contradicts their claims.
Mazzucco deliberately avoids offering alternative theories to explain how this 9/11 conspiracy was carried off by the real perpetrators. He says that he chose this approach because he didn’t want the burden of proof to fall on the Truth movement. He gives the classic example of French researcher Thierry Meyssan’s statement that he thought a missile had hit the Pentagon.
“From the moment he made that statement, three-quarters of the debunkers have used that to put the burden of proof on us, or on him. And now it’s us who have to prove it was a missile,” he says.
“By putting the ball into the other side’s court, you’ve delivered the message that a new investigation is needed.”
(His approach takes me back to when I started Truth and Shadows in 2010. In the early months of the blog, I wrote a lot of articles that were aimed at people who weren’t aware of the case against the official story. I wanted to share what I had learned with as many people as I could in the hope that they would be intrigued and want to look into the subject further.)
Avoiding ‘no crash’ at the Pentagon
While Mazzucco does an effective job of demonstrating why a 757 or comparably sized airliner could not have caused the observed damage to the Pentagon, he (very consciously) omits any reference to what is known as the “North of Citgo” evidence uncovered by Citizen Investigation Team. A number of credible witnesses interviewed by CIT in their film National Security Alert described the approach, complete with right bank, of a large airliner to the north of the former Citgo gas station.
This northern path is totally inconsistent with the official flight path and with the damage trail, which included five felled light poles. Mazzucco says he is a supporter of CIT’s work but adds that getting into the NoC evidence would have complicated the case considerably for those just being introduced to this area of 9/11 evidence.
“The work that Craig Ranke (of CIT) has done on the 14 witnesses for the north path is some of the most solid, irrefutable evidence that one could ever assemble on 9/11, period,” Mazzucco said on the conference call.
“But the problem with the north path … if you introduce the north path, then you also have to introduce a possible flyover. And you have to explain somehow that the light poles were severed or taken down at a separate time. If you bring all that into the mind of a general audience, it becomes weaker in my opinion, not stronger, to keep it simple and to say: the plane did not fit, you must acquit.”
For the same reason, Mazzucco explains, he avoided exploring the nanothermite issue and instead stuck to why the official explanation of the towers’ destruction could not be true.
There are clearly reasons to see parallels between this film and the more recent work of 9/11’s most prolific researcher, David Ray Griffin. The film carries virtually the same title as Griffin’s first book on the subject (The New Pearl Harbor). Mazzucco is also a member of the Consensus 9/11 Panel, which was co-founded by Griffin (Mazzucco mentions the Panel near the beginning of his film). Another connection between the two is that neither mentions the research of CIT in their most recent work.
The area that concerns me most about the film is Mazzucco’s use of language. For example, the film frequently refers to “the terrorist attacks” of 9/11, which I would argue reinforces that idea people already have that the event was actually an attack carried out against the United States by actual Muslim terrorists (he has stated that some would have wished he’d used “terrorist events” instead, but I think that only addresses half the problem).
Those who cling to the idea that the “inside” perpetrators of 9/11 are also “terrorists,” are, I believe, missing the real issue. That is that the word means one thing to the vast majority of people: an attack on the country and its people as well as its symbols of power. In the case of 9/11, an illusion of an external attack was created. (Of course, false flags can also come in the form of internal “attacks” from supposed domestic extremists as we saw with the Oklahoma City bombing.)
Mazzucco also refers to “the hijackers” and “when the Pentagon was hit at 9:37.” (I don’t believe it was hit by anything; I believe explosives were planted in the building to simulate damage that would have been caused by an actual crash.) He deals with the problem by putting a disclaimer at the beginning of the film saying that whenever these statements are made in the film, it is only the “official version” that is being referred to, “not necessarily what happened on September 11.”
On the conference call he stated: “What we call the official version has been somehow embedded already in the subconscious of people, like repeating the same thing for 12 years. To many people, young people especially, this is quite simply “the truth.”
“So I think it’s best in the minds of the audience, to make it more simple and more easy for them to follow the procedure, so to speak.
“You first acknowledge the official version as it is and then you ask the question that actually disproves or puts into question the official version rather than including your own doubt in the narration itself … So this is why I had to put the disclaimer in, because if I hadn’t put the disclaimer in I’d have everybody jumping down my throat.”
Hmm. I’m not sure the disclaimer does it for me. While I sympathize with the problem of having to use “allegedly” numerous times in the film, it seems to me that using terminology that suggests something is factual when the very evidence being presented refutes that it is, is problematic. For example, he refers to “the hijackers” at the beginning of the film and then immediately calls into question whether these people were actually on the planes at all.
But this is something we’ve seen often within the movement. Griffin’s Consensus Panel agreed to modify some of the wording on its web site about “when the Pentagon was hit” after concerns were raised by the 9/11 Truth Teleconference. (I’m also guilty of this in some of my early articles, in particular with respect to “the hijackers.” I’m careful now not to use that kind of terminology.)
Mazzucco also takes care not to claim the U.S. government “did 9/11” because he believes this will meet a “wall of incredulity” and be rejected by the general public. For this reason he refers instead to “rogue elements” within the government who pulled off these crimes.
I do not agree with this. To suggest it was rogue elements is to say that it was just a few bad people who stepped out of the usual power structure to pervert the system and the government to achieve their own nefarious ends. (We see this distinction often in Hollywood propaganda all the time to excuse the real criminals who run our world – a great example being the Bourne films. In those, it isn’t even the CIA that is programming assassins, it’s a “rogue” group inside the agency. Of course, they are exposed and punished …)
It does go without saying that the number of people within the government who would have been active and knowing parts of the 9/11 conspiracy would have been relatively small – but that doesn’t make those involved part of a “rogue” effort.
Despite these issues I have with some aspects of Mazzucco’s approach, I still feel I can recommend this film enthusiastically to anyone who wants to better understand why the official story of 9/11 is indefensible. He has made a real contribution to the effort to awaken people to the deception, and perhaps his film will lead to a broader discussion about how we in the Truth movement can do a better job of getting our message out.