Mark Twain once said: "History is strewn thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill, but a lie, well told, is immortal." On the morning of September the 11th, 2001, acts took place which would define a very important page in future American and world history books. These acts would be considered alongside Pearl Harbor and the JFK assassination with regard to their sudden and shocking impact on the American people. Indeed, these acts of terrorism were by far the worst ever on American soil, with civilian deaths totaling over 3,000 people. Above all, the attacks on 9/11 served to change the lives of Americans by showing them that a new threat to their safety existed and that, according to the government, sacrifices to their privacy and liberties are necessary in securing that safety in the future.
Six years after the attacks, with history-book entries recorded and the case officially closed on 9/11 (with the printing of the 9/11 Commission Report), most Americans rest content in the history-book knowledge of that day. This knowledge is that 9/11was a surprise attack carried out by members of a radical Islamic group led by Osama bin Laden, whose purpose is to wage a holy-war against the U.S. (Gjelten). To question this conventional wisdom often means to reveal oneself as a "conspiracy theorist", or at the very least as "unpatriotic". With recent polls now, however, showing that one-third of Americans—literally tens of millions—believe the government was involved in carrying out the 9/11 attacks (Hayes), some appropriate questions must be raised: Why do so many people believe the government was secretly involved in 9/11? Are their reasons for this belief warranted? And if so, how is it conceivable that the government in principle could attack its own people? Since the reasons given for suspected government involvement in 9/11 are many and varied, some less credible than others, the purpose of this paper will not be to examine those more fantastic claims (such as why it is believed that the World Trade Center towers were brought down in a controlled demolition). This paper will instead bring to light the more credible arguments based in historical fact, and in so doing prove that the U.S. government is capable of attacking its own people as a pretext for war, and that there is legitimate reason to believe the government was involved on September the 11th, 2001.
The place to begin is with world history. As many who question the official story of 9/11 point out, history is filled with example upon example of rulers and governments staging or allowing events of catastrophe to take place, in order to blame them on an enemy and in so doing offer their solution to this problem, in the form of war and/or new laws, etc. One example of this is the Roman Emperor Nero, who blamed the Christians for the great fire of Rome in 64 A.D. Although most historians now agree Nero did not set the blaze, many people of the time believed he did, and it is clear that Nero used the already unpopular Christians as a scapegoat for the crime (Benario). A more recent example of this phenomenon is the 1933 Reichstag fire in Germany. Not even a month after Hitler became chancellor, the Reichstag parliament building was set ablaze, and Hitler, placing blame on the communists, used this incident to pass a new law giving him absolute power in emergencies. This resulted in the banning of all non-Nazi political parties, as well as the abolition of freedom of speech and the press ("Hitler" 188). Even though historians disagree as to whether Hitler himself staged the event, it is clear that he was the chief beneficiary. In looking at the history of the United States, many have additionally claimed that the 1898 sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor and the later attack on Pearl Harbor were similar events used by our own government in order to go to war. Although conspiracy has not been proven in any of these events, they do serve to show how historically, the idea of governments using catastrophe for their own benefit is not far-fetched.
To further expand upon this point, however, and prove beyond any doubt that the United States government is capable of staging attacks on the American people, a detailed look at something called Operation Northwoods is required. In 1962 this plan was created by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and presented by Army General Lyman L. Lemnitzer to then President John F. Kennedy (Ruppe). The plan called for various attacks and acts of terrorism to be committed by the military, and blamed on Cuba, in order to rally both American and international support for a war to oust Fidel Castro (Ruppe). The document which outlined this plan was finally declassified in 1992 with the JFK Assassination Records Act, and was first covered by the mainstream press in April 2001 (Davis 136, Shane and Bowman). In the Northwoods document, the Joint Chiefs lay out numerous scenarios ranging from terror campaigns in Miami and Washington D.C., to elaborate attacks on military and civilian aircraft and ships—some faked, some real—all with the intent purpose of duping the American public and other allies into believing that the Castro regime posed a clear and immediate threat (Ruppe, Davis 135). One great example from the Northwoods document is the proposal to fake the shoot-down of a chartered civil airline flight over Cuban airspace. In reality, the plane would be a duplicate drone, substituted in-flight for the real plane, which would be landed at a secure airfield, and have its passengers evacuated in secrecy. Upon entering Cuban airspace, the drone plane would then send out a "May Day" that it was under attack by Cuban fighter-jets, and would be destroyed mid-air by remote detonation (Davis 141). The sheer audacity of the military in the Northwoods plan becomes even clearer in yet another scenario...