In 2003, I was asked by students to discuss the attack on Iraq. I had been introduced by one of my students to a visiting scholar who said he thought 9/11 was an inside job. I asked for some websites that he thought showed this. I looked at them but did not consider them impressive. But then I learned about another website, which was very impressive. From this I learned about the books I used for The New Pearl Harbor. So I used my lecture to suggest some of the ideas in that book.
The conclusions of that book were tentative. I was open to the possibility that the 9/11 Commission might be able to show that my ideas in NPH could be interpreted another way. So when The 9/11 Commission Report appeared, I rushed over to the local bookstore to get a copy.
The first pages of that report suggested to me that the Commission was a cover-up, because they dealt with none of the problems I had raised in NPH (I knew that the Commission had my book, because people who worked in my school’s bookstore had told me that members of the Commission had come in to buy some copies). The more I read the report, the stronger this conviction became. So the resulting book, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, was the first book in which I clearly stated that the Commission was a lie. (This was later most fully argued in the final chapter of my 2008 book, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, which depended importantly on The Commission, by former NYT reporter Philip Shenon.)
The mainstream media and academics either ignored my first work or labeled it as a conspiracy theory. It was difficult to deal with either of these problems. And I was not much bothered by them at the time, because we were busy building the movement. We believed that our movement would become so strong, and our evidence would become so undeniable, that the mainstream media would have to come around.
With regard to the “conspiracy theory” label, I knew that the MSM included some very bright, thoughtful people, and I assumed that some of them would respond positively to a rational discussion of the issue. For example, although I knew that the CIA had taught people to think of “conspiracy theories” as crazy ideas with no empirical evidence, I pointed out that that my dictionary said a conspiracy is simply “an agreement to perform together an illegal, treacherous, or evil act.” And so, I argued, everyone holds a conspiracy theory about 9/11, so the only question is whether one holds the official conspiracy theory, proposed by Bush and Cheney, or one of the alternative conspiracy theories. So I devoted most of my time to showing that it is the official conspiracy theory that is irrational and unempirical.
However, although I quoted Upton Sinclair’s famous quip—“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”–I didn’t take seriously enough the fact that Sinclair’s observation would mean that almost no reporters and editors would challenge the official conspiracy theory, or even allow that they take an alternative theory seriously. I was just lucky that the editor and publisher for Interlink Books was willing to take The New Pearl Harbor (a story too long to tell here) and my subsequent 9/11 books.
To my knowledge, my work has had little influence within the American academy (I cannot speak about other countries). But Richard Gage, who started Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, told me that he did so after hearing an interview with me on a talk-radio show.
I am sure that the neocons and the CIA were involved, but I have no theory as to how (beyond the elementary fact that Vice-President Dick Cheney and his friend Donald Rumsfeld, as head of the Pentagon, were in charge of the operation—-I provided crucial evidence in my most recent book, 9/11 Unmasked). As I said, my focus has been on the evidence that the official conspiracy theory is false.
General Wesley Clark, who had been the supreme commander of NATO, revealed that he had been told in 2001 by a general in the Pentagon that he had a memo from Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld saying that he planned to take out seven Middle East countries in five years, ending with Iran. 9/11 allowed the plans that had been developed by the neocons in the 1990s to be implemented.
Two decades have passed since 9/11, and many questions remain unanswered. I think the political elite have always known what happened, and they see no value in having it spelled out for ordinary people. They fear that having it proved that 9/11 was a false flag operation would lead to further disrespect for the U.S. government. Journalists, both mainstream and “respectable” left-wing, hate 9/11 truthers and they would be loath to have the truthers proved correct.