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9/11 Truth Turns 21
After a tumultuous birth on September 11th, 2001, and an eventful childhood and adolescence, the 9/11 truth movement has reached the traditional age of majority. (Yes, I know that 18-year-olds are now considered adults in most states, but that’s more a reflection of the escalating immaturity of the overall population than the wisdom and maturity of the average 18-year-old.)
The 9/11 truth movement founded internet-based information activism. It rocked the world in unprecedented ways. Never before had so many people lost so much faith in their leaders so quickly. Shortly after 9/11, Bush had enjoyed a 90%+ approval rating. By 2004 the self-styled war president, who had strutted around an aircraft carrier in a flight suit crowing “mission accomplished,” was widely reviled as an illegitimate son-of-a-Bush. Though his second term was saved by rigged voting machines, Bush never recovered his popularity.
Mainstream analysts never mention the single biggest reason why Bush and Cheney grew so unpopular: the fact that, by 2006, as a Scripps poll showed, 36% of Americans—over 100 million people—thought it “likely” or “very likely” that 9/11 had been an inside job designed to trigger wars in the Middle East. The thought of a US president presiding over a massacre of thousands of his own citizens as a pretext for war is shocking and nauseating. The 9/11 truth movement’s intense disgust with the Bush Administration percolated into the general population and affected the 2004 and 2008 elections. Even today,a certain 9/11-truth-linked visceral loathing for the Establishment is still a potent political force among many voters, especially Republicans.
In 2001, internet users had not yet been corralled, surveilled, and censored by big tech. They were free to share their views through email (spam had not yet crippled mass emailing). Alternative news websites were honestly represented in search engines. Information discrediting the official version of 9/11 was widely available, and the shocked internet users who discovered it were motivated to spread the word.
Though the internet provided the backbone of the 9/11 truth information economy, there was considerable real-world activity as well. The first decade after 9/11 was an era when large numbers of people still remembered what real-world activism was. Teach-ins, meet-ups, and marches proliferated across the country, peaking in the 2006 and 2007 anniversary demonstrations at Ground Zero in New York City, when the official commemorations of the attacks were overwhelmed by seas of thousands of activists in black 9/11 truth T-shirts.
Establishment pushback began in earnest in June 2006. Lynn Cheney’s academic thought police group ACTA and other neoconservative forces began attacking professors who had joined Scholars for 9/11 Truth. (Full disclosure: I was one of the targeted academicians, which is why I am now writing for American Free Press rather than teaching seminars on Medieval Sufism.)
In 2008 Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule published “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures,” which Sunstein—Obama’s information czar—expanded into a book. Sunstein wrote that conspiracy theories like 9/11 truth were so dangerous that some day it might be necessary to outlaw them. In the meantime, Sunstein argued, the government should “cognitively infiltrate” 9/11 truth groups and spread “beneficial cognitive diversity” in order to “disable the purveyors of conspiracy theories.” 9/11 truth communities soon began experiencing disruption from flat earthers and other cognitively diverse individuals.
Internet censorship arrived in 2013 when RT’s TruthSeeker episode 9/11 and Operation Gladio’s trajectory towards tens or even hundreds of millions of YouTube views was rudely interrupted by the NSA or someone with their capabilities. Then in 2016, when self-declared 9/11 skeptic Donald Trump defeated the mainstream media as well as Hillary Clinton, a new excuse for internet censorship—“MAGA fascism threatens democracy”—conveniently reared its head. Trump’s presidency coincided with the destruction of internet freedom, with the COVID catastrophe (and the supposed need to stifle “medical misinformation”) providing the last nail in its coffin. Today, a draconian US National Security State censorship regime ensures that “dangerous” posts and videos are shadowbanned or scrubbed, while psy-ops pros endlessly spray cyberspace with their fire hose of fabrication.
So where do we go from here? We can try to circumvent internet censorship, and reclaim real-world conviviality after years of panic and lockdowns, by regularly meeting up with like-minded local people. As we do so, we can acknowledge that the 9/11 truth movement uncovered the magnitude of the core problems: the destruction of the Republic and its replacement by an unimaginably corrupt and psychopathic imperial national security state; and the subjugation of the media by a combination of intelligence agencies and Zionist oligarchs. Our task is to bust up the media-banking cartel, end the Empire, and restore the Republic. Though it probably won’t happen till military defeat and/or economic collapse forces the issue, a gentler transition is worth a try.