by David Ray Griffin
Much of America's foreign policy since 9/11 has been based on the assumption
that it was attacked by Muslims on that day. This assumption was used, most
prominently, to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is now widely
agreed that the use of 9/11 as a basis for attacking Iraq was illegitimate:
none of the hijackers were Iraqis, there was no working relation between
Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, and Iraq was not behind the anthrax
attacks. But it is still widely believed that the US attack on Afghanistan
was justified. For example, the New York Times, while referring to the US
attack on Iraq as a "war of choice," calls the battle in Afghanistan a "war
of necessity." Time magazine has dubbed it "the right war." And Barack Obama
says that one reason to wind down our involvement in Iraq is to have the
troops and resources to "go after the people in Afghanistan who actually
attacked us on 9/11."
The assumption that America was attacked by Muslims on 9/11 also lies behind
the widespread perception of Islam as an inherently violent religion and
therefore of Muslims as guilty until proven innocent. This perception surely
contributed to attempts to portray Obama as a Muslim, which was lampooned by
a controversial cartoon on the July 21, 2008, cover of The New Yorker.
As could be illustrated by reference to many other post-9/11 developments,
including as spying, torture, extraordinary rendition, military tribunals,
America's new doctrine of preemptive war, and its enormous increase in
military spending, the assumption that the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon were attacked by Muslim hijackers has had enormous negative
consequences for both international and domestic issues.1
Is it conceivable that this assumption might be false? Insofar as Americans
and Canadians would say "No," they would express their belief that this
assumption is not merely an "assumption" but is instead based on strong
evidence. When actually examined, however, the proffered evidence turns out
to be remarkably weak. I will illustrate this point by means of 16
questions. . . .
1. Were Mohamed Atta and the Other Hijackers Devout Muslims? . . .
2. Do Authorities Have Hard Evidence of Osama bin Laden's Responsibility for
9/11? . . .
3. Was Evidence of Muslim Hijackers Provided by Phone Calls from the
Airliners? . . .
4. Was the Presence of Hijackers Proved by a Radio Transmission "from
American 11"? . . .
5. Did Passports and a Headband Provide Evidence that al-Qaeda Operatives
Were on the Flights? . . .
6. Did the Information in Atta's Luggage Prove the Responsibility of
al-Qaeda Operatives? . . .
7. Were al-Qaeda Operatives Captured on Airport Security Videos? . . .
8. Were the Names of the "Hijackers" on the Passenger Manifests? . . .
9. Did DNA Tests Identify Five Hijackers among the Victims at the Pentagon? . . .
10. Has the Claim That Some of the "Hijackers" Are Still Alive Been
Debunked? . . .
11. Is There Positive Evidence That No Hijackers Were on the Planes? . . .
12. Were bin Laden and al-Qaeda Capable of Orchestrating the Attacks? . . .
13. Could Hani Hanjour Have Flown Flight 77 into the Pentagon? . . .
14. Would an al-Qaeda Pilot Have Executed that Maneuver? . . .
15. Could al-Qaeda Operatives Have Brought Down the World Trade Center
Buildings? . . .
16. Would al-Qaeda Operatives Have Imploded the Buildings? . . .
All the proffered evidence that America was attacked by Muslims on 9/11,
when subjected to critical scrutiny, appears to have been fabricated. If
that is determined indeed to be the case, the implications would be
enormous. Discovering and prosecuting the true perpetrators of the 9/11
attacks would obviously be important. The most immediate consequence,
however, should be to reverse those attitudes and policies that have been
based on the assumption that America was attacked by Muslims on 9/11.
Ray Griffin is professor emeritus at Claremont School of Theology and
Claremont Graduate University, where he taught philosophy of religion and
theology, with special emphases on the problem of evil and the relations
between science and religion, theology and ecology, religion and politics,
and modernity and postmodernity. He has published 34 books, including seven
about 9/11, most recently The
New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, The Cover-Up, and the Expose (Olive
Branch, 2008). Dr. Griffin's previous books about 9/11 include The New Pearl
Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 (2004),
The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (2005), The American
Empire and the Commonwealth of God (2005, co-authored with John B. Cobb,
Jr., Richard Falk, and Catherine Keller), Christian Faith and the Truth
about 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action (2006), 9/11 and American
Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out (2006, co-edited with Peter Dale Scott),
Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders
of the Official Conspiracy Theory (2007), and 9/11 Contradictions: An Open
Letter to Congress and the Press (2008).
VIDEO: "9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out," c-span.org,
September 24, 2006
"911 Contradictions: An Open Letter
to Congress and the Press," Pakistan Daily, June 10, 2008
[Italian film-maker Giulietto Chiesa, who was in Berlin for a screening of
his documentary which questions the official US version of the 9/11
terrorist attacks, has called for an international tribunal to probe
Urges International Tribunal to Probe 9/11," Deutsche Welle,
September 8, 2008]
[Less than 3,000 people were killed on that day. It was a horrific and an
unspeakable tragedy for the victims and their loved ones. Bu - numerically
speaking - it's a small event in today's ocean of violence against other
people, other cultures and Nature. According to trustworthy statistics, the
global injustice system kills about 100,000 people per day; that is thirty
9/11s per day that we could decide to prevent - if we fought a war on
injustice and mal-development.
The data for losses of civilian and military lives in both Iraq and
Afghanistan are disputed. But estimates of the deaths due to sanctions
against Iraq are around 1 million people; some add 600,000 during the war
and there are more than 4 mllion out of a population of 25 million who have
left their homes.
In the U.S. alone, about 30,000 are killed annually, Americans killing other
Americans and roughly 300,000 die of obesity.--Jan Oberg, "September 11 seven years later and what we
said at the time," internationalpeaceandconflict.org, September 10,
"911 FALSE FLAG," NuoViso, September 11, 2008
"Forensic Science 101 With David Ray Griffin," electric politics,
September 19, 2008
Truth: It Wasn't Muslims," geotauaisay.com, June 12, 2009
"What Really Happened on
September 11, 2001," The Wisdom Fund