Is American Democracy Too Feeble To Deal With 9/11?

Alexander Hamilton is often
portrayed as an early advocate of strong central
government. But even Hamilton understood the danger from
government. In the

Federalist Papers he wrote:

 "Safety from external danger is the most powerful
director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of
liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates.
The violent destruction of life and property incident to
war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state
of continual danger, will compel nations the most
attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to
institutions which have a tendency to destroy their
civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at
length become willing to run the risk of being less

I would be more confident of the
survival of democracy and civil liberty in the United
States if, on this fifth anniversary of the September 11
attacks, a majority of Americans were reading David Ray
Griffin`s challenging new book,

Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11

It is an inexpensive book and
available quickly from online booksellers. A person only
needs to read the first 56 pages to realize that the
official account of the collapse of the three World
Trade Center buildings has many problems and that
defenders of the official account have no hard evidence
upon which to stand.

On pages 57-75, Griffin summarizes
the inconsistencies in the 9/11 Commission`s incredible
tale of flights 11, 175, 77, and 93. The official
account is a story of improbable incompetence and

On pages 76-82, Griffin concludes
that the failure of the 9/11 Commission Report to
produce a believable account or even to acknowledge the
most important known facts is itself a conclusive case
that the report is a cover-up.

Griffin believes that 9/11 was a
false flag operation to provide the

Bush regime with a "new Pearl
excuse to launch its imperial ambitions for
hegemony in the Middle East and beyond. On pages 85-106,
Griffin provides an excellent summary of the neocon
agenda and how it was enabled by 9/11.

Griffin expects no further
investigation from Congress, official commissions, and
government agencies, such as the National Institute for
Standards and Technology. Although Griffin calls on the
New York Times to take up the investigation, he
does not expect any investigative interest on the part
of the media, which has served as a propagandist for the
government`s story.

Instead, Griffin places his hope in
Christian churches. He calls upon the churches to
confront the evil that has America in its grip.

Is the hope that Griffin places on
Christian churches realistic? Many of the right-wing
evangelical churches are fanatical supporters of the
Bush Administration and Republican Party. The Rapture
churches actually look forward to the Armageddon that
they believe Bush is brewing in the Middle East as they
think it will bring about their ascent into Heaven.

The attack by conservative
Presbyterians on Griffin`s publisher, the Presbyterian
Westminster John Knox Press, for publishing his book is
more indication that the Protestant churches might not
be up to the job that Griffin assigns to them.
Conservative Presbyterians, who have not read Griffin`s
book and whose comprehension of events is dependent on
right-wing radio talk shows and Fox "News,"
demanded retribution against the John Knox Press for
daring to publish a work so blasphemous as to cast doubt
on the motives of President Bush and the U.S.

Scientists tend to believe that
facts and analysis can prevail over emotions such as
those of the conservative Presbyterians. BYU physics
professor Steven Jones is one of those scientists. Jones
believed that it was safe for him to point out that
there appears to be a large energy deficit in the
official explanation of the collapse of the WTC
buildings. He is prepared for this question to be
settled by scientific inquiry and analysis and has
called for an independent panel of experts. Jones
overlooked that universities, and especially physics
departments, are dependent on government research
grants. People dependent on government research grants
are not independent. Jones, himself has now been placed
on paid leave by BYU.

The message is clear. The debate is

Elected Republican officials, both
governors and senators, have demanded the firing of
every academic who has expressed doubts about the
official line on 9/11. And now a U.S. Army intelligence
analyst, Donald Buswell, is being accused of sending an
email message "disloyal to the United States".
Apparently, Buswell is guilty of expressing doubts that
the airliners alleged to have hit the Pentagon and to
have crashed in Pennsylvania would have been vaporized
by the impacts.

It should scare all Americans that
reaching a logical conclusion is an act disloyal to the
U.S. government.

It has always been the case that
the untutored emotions of ignorant people are material
that enable evil deeds. Recognizing that emotion is a
powerful shield against facts and that American
disbelief in their government`s bad behavior is the
government`s best protection when it behaves badly,
Griffin opens his book with a short history of well
known false-flag operations, both by the US and other
countries. It is a sobering account.

So much factual information about
9/11 has been kept from the public that we owe it to
ourselves and to our country to read Griffin`s brief
presentation. I find the facts against the official
story of the buildings` collapse more compelling than
the case that has been made in behalf of the official
story. I would like to see the issue debated by
independent scientists and engineers, if such people

Few Americans understand that an
enormous amount of energy was required to produce such a
total collapse of the buildings and to pulverize so many
tons of concrete, furniture, and office equipment into
fine dust. What was the source of this energy, and how
did it act so suddenly? The damage to the buildings from
airliners was asymmetrical and the fires were scattered.
WTC 7 was not hit by an airliner. Yet, all three
buildings collapsed symmetrically as if there was no
resistance and all structural support crumbled almost

The function of government
commissions is to reassure the public. The fact that the
9/11 Commission came up with a story that is not well
supported by the evidence might simply reflect the
over-riding political need to reassure the public.

I think that we can accept
Griffin`s conclusion that the evidence does not fit the
Commission`s story. A real investigation is needed to
find an explanation consistent with the evidence, even
if it doesn`t reassure the public. But I don`t think
this will happen. Even Internet sites that are anti-war,
anti-Bush, and independent of the mainstream media, such
as and CounterPunch refuse to post objective
reporting about the 9/11 skeptics` arguments. BYU has
closed down the seminars that Jones was holding for his
academic peers where his views could be tested by
competent authorities. I suspect that other credible
skeptics will find pressures brought against them as

All of this suggests to me that
there is something to hide. If Professor Jones, for
example, is wrong about there being insufficient energy
in the official account to explain the destruction of
the buildings, discussions and debates with his academic
peers would bring this out. There is no justification
for the university Administration to intervene in a
matter of scientific inquiry, or for people who know
nothing about science to serve as gatekeepers for
neoconservative ideologues by branding skeptics
"conspiracy theorists"
. "Conspiracy theorist"
is used to suppress debate about 9/11 just as
is used to suppress debate about
Israel`s policies.

Of course, Jones and Griffin were
not allowed to express their doubts of the official
story without being pressed to offer their explanations.
Jones offered the hypothesis that explosives were used
and called for the testing of any surviving evidence.

Griffin went further and threw down
the gauntlet. He accuses the Bush Administration of the

My role in this is as a reporter. I
do believe that 9/11 was used by the Bush Administration
to launch aggressive wars in the Middle East and that it
is not the Administration`s intent to end the aggression
in Iraq.

Whether 9/11 was merely convenient
for the Administration or whether the Administration had
a hand in it, I do not know.

I am reconciled to the fact that
our free democratic society is incapable of producing an
inquiry that can arrive at the truth about 9/11.



Paul Craig Roberts

] was Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration.
He is the author of

Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider`s Account of
Policymaking in Washington
and the Soviet Economy

Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy
and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of

The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name
of Justice
. Click

for Peter
Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts
about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.