11 degrees of belief about 9/11

Every time the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy comes around, America works quite hard at the task of commemorating the events of that day. On Facebook the patriotic memes arrive bearing the words NEVER FORGET. Television news dutifully marks the anniversary as well. Yet since that event on September 11, 2001, the story of what transpired that day has been interpreted in many ways in a process that is continually evolving.

But like so many American historic events there is far more than one opinion about the nature of what 9/11 really means. The United States has a history of divided opinion, after all. That’s why so many sympathizers to the cause of the Confederate South still love to fly that flag.

We should be so lucky to have such a clean dividing line about the meaning of 9/11. The story of what transpired that day is subject to many interpretations. Some are quite controversial and extend from a range of conspiratorial theories to the contention that only God could have caused such a horrific tragedy in order to teach some sort of lesson to the United States with its liberal ways.

What follows is list we’ll call the 11 Degrees of Belief About 9/11. You will notice that the standard narrative is firmly fixed in the middle of the list. As such, it does not count as a degree of belief. To whit, this the interpretation of 9/11 events as provided by the 9/11 Commission Report and therefore reported by a wide range of media outlets. We might more conveniently call this the “normal” beliefs about what happened on 9/11.

But take a look at this list and consider the fact that America actually has a wide-ranging set of beliefs about 9/11. Most of these theories also speculate on what either led to or allowed the attacks to happen. It also covers some of what the nation did (or has done) in response to that fateful day.

You will no doubt disagree with some of these theories, but that does not change the fact that these beliefs exist here in American and among people around the world.

11 DEGREES OF 9.11.jpg

We’ll share a couple links to demonstrate that many people share these degrees of belief about 9/11.

It was planned, an INSIDE JOB: 9/11 Truther Movement

The belief that 9/11 was an “Inside job” has gained traction through the ability to distribute unfiltered information through the Internet. One of the most famous proponents of 9/11 as a conspiratorial event is none former Minnesota Governer Jesse Ventura. Truthers question several key aspects of the Standard Narrative, especially that jetliners could generate enough heat to cause steel to melt in the Twin Tower and produce the “free fall” in both buildings despite the fact they were struck at highly different angles. The fact that Building 7 was never struck by a plane yet also fell in freefall fashion suggests a controlled demolition. As for the Pentagon, there is no discernable video showing an actual plane striking the most highly guarded military building in the world.

The Bush Administration was COMPLICIT, and allowed 9/11 to happen

This is how a recent article in The Guardian described the contentions of novelist and political commentator Gore Vidal: “America’s most controversial writer Gore Vidal has launched the most scathing attack to date on George W Bush’s Presidency, calling for an investigation into the events of 9/11 to discover whether the Bush administration deliberately chose not to act on warnings of Al-Qaeda’s plans.”

The White House IGNORED WARNINGS about 9/11

9-11-flag.jpgAs reported in the New York Times, “On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s “presidential daily brief” — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.”

The Bush Administration was INEPT about responding to terror warnings

During the 2016 Republican campaign, candidate Jeb Bush said of his brother, “He kept us safe.” But pundits characterized that statement as false, considering the attacks on 9/11 happened under the watch of the Bush administration. 

Bush was UNSUSPECTING on the day of 9/11

The story that Bush was as surprised as the rest of us on 9/11 is illustrated by the videotape of his behavior that morning while reading a book to children at a public school. His reaction and confusion were to some people a sign of great personal control while others saw him as either indecisive, scared because he actually did know what was going on that day or too dumb to know what to do. Recently reports have emerged that Bush wanted to get back to Washington but instead spent eight hours in the sky aboard Air Force One.

The STANDARD NARRATIVE is that 9/11 was carried out by terrorists on American soil 

The narrative credits 19 Saudi hijackers with flying commercial airlines into the Twin Towers, another airliner into a ground level attack on the Pentagon and a fourth airliner that was essentially wrestled to the ground by passenger who rallied around the cry “Let’s Roll.” The 9/11 Commission Report is the official government record of 9/11. 

OSAMA BIN LADEN was responsible for the attacks

The principle villain identified in the attacks was the expatriated Saudi militant living in Afghanistan who conceived and planned the 9/11 attacks from afar. Bin Laden heightened the profile for Al Qaeda, a network of terrorists bent on undermining Western influence in the Middle East. Interestingly, and as reported on Fox News, it was not until three years after 9/11 that bin Laden was officially reported to have admitted causing the attacks.


As an irritant to Middle Eastern countries, western nations such as the United States have long occupied and even wrangled resources out of nations such as Iraq and Afghanistan. These corrupt, “behind the scenes” activities are sometimes driven by the CIA, whose actions are not always well-known or documented even by our own government. This presentation of the US as a “goody-two-shoes” while engaging in behind the scenes regime change to install leaders favorable to our economic interests, and conducting clandestine drugs for weapons or other illegal activities. This makes America a keen target for what was essentially an economic attack on 9/11. How ironic it truly is that American turned around and doubled-down on its efforts to channel more drugs and oil and other resources its way through invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. It may well be a self-fulfilling prophecy.


A tertiary theory developed through claims of the Bush administration that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein took part in or originated the 9/11 attacks. This is how it was reported in USA Today in 2003, “Poll: 70% believe Saddam, 9-11 linkWASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe it is likely that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, says a poll out almost two years after the terrorists’ strike against this country.

Sixty-nine percent in a Washington Post poll published Saturday said they believe it is likely the Iraqi leader was personally involved in the attacks carried out by al-Qaeda. A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents believe it’s likely Saddam was involved.

The belief in the connection persists even though there has been no proof of a link between the two. President Bush and members of his administration suggested a link between the two in the months before the war in Iraq. Claims of possible links have never been proven, however.”

MUSLIMS DID IT; Al QAEDA AND ISIS AND ISIL are America’s greatest threats

As the supposed direct cause of the 9/11 tragedy, militant Muslim terrorists have become a source of permanent angst for many Americans. Presidential candidate Donald Trump even proposed a ban on Muslim immigrants to America during his 2016 campaign. This characterization of all Muslims being terrorists if highly inaccurate, yet the 9/11 tragedy affixed this reputation by association.

Since the 2008 election, the Republican Party has blamed President Obama for further inflaming Muslim terrorism, crediting him with opening the door to ISIS by withdrawing troops from Iraq. In fact, the withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq was negotiated by the Bush administration carried out by Obama according to a plan developed in direct collaboration with the government of Iraq.


911.conspiracy_theusindependent.jpgThere are those who theorize that 9/11 was simply a false flag attack (re: an event either orchestrated for effect or carried out to create fear, confusion or a reactionary belief) by a sophisticated secret network of operatives that report to no government, or who conspire with or within a government to achieve specific monetary or political control.

GOD CAUSED or ALLOWED 9/11 to happen

Some people see 9/11 strictly in a religious context.The site Ecclesia.org quotes Billy Graham’s daughrer this way: “She said “I believe that God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman that He is, I believe that He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand that He leave us alone?” In light of recent events…terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. Let’s see, I think it started when Madeline Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body was found recently) complained she didn’t want any prayer in our schools, and we said OK.”

And thus, according to some religious zealots, we dissed God. And therefore, we asked for it.


So it’s interesting to examine the wide spectrum of beliefs about what transpired on 9/11. It is also chilling to realize how much false information has been internalized by so many people. When one considers that 70% of people polled at one point believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, and that our government directly suggested this to be the case, and people accepted that as Gospel, it is a valuable exercise to review the rest of what people believe about 9/11.

And one wonders, if the official information about who caused 9/11 could be so wrong, then what else are we being asked to believe about that day that might also be devilishly wrong?

It’s a little hard to believe that God might wipe out 4000 people to make some sort of theological point. Yet the Bible shows God ordering the death of many people in acts of genocide, and wiping out the earth’s human population in the Noachian Flood. So the fundamentally religious perspective of some Christian believers is both extreme and distasteful. It is also no coincidence that it is religious fundamentalists and extremists sprouting from the Muslim faith that are doing some of the killing as well. This proves that we can trust neither set of extremists with our future as the human race.

The same dynamic occurs with our trust in government, or lack of it. People who hate government see all sorts of potential evil. And to be sure, governments run second only to religions in terms of corrupt and vicious behavior. So we might consider that the Bell Curve with most believers likely supporting the Standard Narrative as the most plausible explanation for 9/11 could also be far off.

911.jpgThat leaves us begging for answers from both sides of the political fence. Both liberal and conservative interests could vastly benefit from examining the truth about what happened that day in 2001. So much potential evidence in the rubble of the Twin Towers was shoveled up and shipped away to China. The molten steel flowing like a river below Ground Zero at the World Trade Center both fascinated and horrified structural engineers and architects. Under the banner of Science of 9/11, many of these building professionals have demanded a fuller investigation than the 9/11 Commission Report.

The White House initially resisted the need for any investigation, first  nominating the secretive Henry Kissinger to conduct any commission or study. That was declined. Yet participants in the actual commission maintain that the effort was “set up to fail.” 

Initially, only $3M was budgeted. Then it was raised to $14M. Yet the Clinton sexual affair scandal investigation budgeted $100M.

All this points to a warped perspective on the significance of 9/11 as an historic event in America’s history. The real story has obviously been suppressed from the very day it occurred. Much of the narrative has been defined by fears projected on the aftermath and toward people who appeared to be engaged in a coverup or misdirection of the meaning of the 9/11 tragedy.

It’s not just one lie, but many that mislead us about how we remember 9/11. That’s a serious problem for the nation. But it is also a serious problem for the world, and what anyone of us believe about it.





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