Debunking the 9/11 Movement

The 9/11 movement is a very troublesome development in American politics. A movement of people who have legitimate questions about the attacks that happened on September 11, 2001 has morphed into a conspiracy cult dominated by people who make a living peddling nonsense and exploiting ignorance.

Debunking the 9/11 Movement

It would be unfair to the 9-11 “Truth” movement to completely lump it in with the 9-11 conspiracy movement, but there is considerable overlap at this point. The 9-11 movement has gone from one that asked important questions to one that promotes outlandish theories and outright nonsense. The original goals of the movement have now been eclipsed by conspiracy theories about U.S. Government orchestration of the September 11 attacks. What may have been laudable attempts to encourage the public into critical thinking about 9/11 has devolved into religious devotion to a 9/11 conspiracy cult.

Infoshop is contributing to ongoing efforts that seek to challenge and debunk the conspiracy theorists. We encourage people to engage in critical thinking, not just about government officials but about the critics as well. While it's important to question the authority of government and experts, it's also important to be skeptical of DIY experts and authorities in the conspiracy movement. This page has been created to challenge what we see as an unfortunate waste of time that has affected some of our friends. It's important to understand the difference between the liberal shallowness of 9/11 conspiracy theory and a more solid radical analysis of state power, capitalism, imperialism and everything else that really exists.

Websites Critical of 9/11

9/11 Myths
Debunking 9/11 Conspiracy theories
Journal of Debunking 911 Conspiracy Theories
Popular Mechanics: 9/11: Debunking The Myths
Snopes debunks the claim that a missile, not AA77, hit the Pentagon

Articles Debunking 9/11 Conspiracies

The 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts: How They Let the Guilty Parties of 9/11 Off the Hook
The Truth about the “9/11 Truth Movement” [PDF]


Loose Change - Internet Detectives
Louis Proyect reviews Loose Change

Debunking Common 9/11 Myths

No evidence of government coordination of attacks

The 9/11 conspiracy movement has focused attention on outlandish theories involving robot-controlled planes and controlled demolition of the World Trade Center Towers. Yet no evidence, of any kind, has been found that gives any evidence that the government planned or organized these conspiracies. No documents have been found. There is no physical evidence supporting the idea that the U.S. Government orchestrated the attacks. Nobody involved in these alleged conspiracies has stepped forward. One of the significant weaknesses of conspiracies is that people eventually talk. We know about past covert U.S. foreign policies because evidence and information eventually came to light.

Omniscience of the government

Many of the theories espoused by 9/11 movement members about government facilitation or complicity in the 9/11 attacks assume that the U.S. government is a competent, all powerful, all seeing entity. The U.S. government is obviously none of these things. Yet 9/11 theorists would have us believe that a government full of incompetent people and agencies would be totally competent when it comes to organizing terrorist attacks and keeping information about the conspiracy totally sealed shut.

A radical analysis of 9/11 that is ignored by leftists and activists in the 9/11 movement is the fact that the 9/11 attacks illustrated how disorganized, incompetent and weak the U.S. government really is.

Planes weren't skyjacked and crashed into the Pentagon and World Trade Center

There is plenty of evidence that planes were crashed into these building. Planes were destroyed. Buildings were damaged and destroyed. Thousands of people were killed.

One of the wilder 9/11 conspiracy theories has it that a missile was fired into the side of the Pentagon. This is simply false because hundreds of people witnessed the plane crash into the Pentagon. The area around the Pentagon is surrounded by parking lots and highways, which were all full of people on the morning of September 11. Accounts from these witnesses were published and aired by local media on September 11 and in subsequent weeks.

Why is the 9/11 movement an example of liberal politics?

Belief about “people seeing the light”

One of the fundamental mistaken assumptions held by 9/11 conspiracy movement members is that if people knew that the government organized the 9/11 attacks that something would happen. 9/11 cultists believe that “if only people woke up” that they would be motivated to take action against the current regime. This belief, which has religious undertones, is problematic for several reasons. It invests an incredible amount of power into the hands of President Bush and his friends, which they simply don't have. It implies that getting rid of George Bush would make everything right, which completely misses the entire history of American imperialism and military aggression. This belief also overestimates the public reaction if their theories about government orchestration proved to be correct. The American public would be outraged, but it is unlikely that they would take any action beyond voting the Republicans out of office (which is going to happen anyway).

This core belief of 9/11 conspiracy theorists also ignores the fact that most Americans are aware of the movement's theories about 9/11. If many Americans know about the 9/11 conspiracy theories, then why do they reject the movement's theories? These theories are widely available on the Internet and in other media. The government is not jailing or persecuting 9/11 movement members. The uncomfortable fact is that the general public rejects the 9/11 movement because it is simply wrong.

Why the 9/11 movement is a dangerous diversion for political activists

The 9/11 movement is a diversion from real radicalism and organizing that needs to be done against the systems that really are the problems. The 9/11 movement builds up the Bush administration as some kind of avatars for all kinds of government corruption, imperial ambition, secrecy and many other things that can be found in any American regime. The Bush administration is not the first to start wars on lies and flimsy reasoning. The Bush administration did not start government surveillance of American citizens. Both parties have a proven track record of violating civil liberties and the freedoms of people like you and me.

The 9/11 movement also discredits activists and associates us with conspiracy whackjobs and religious nuts. Our views are not well-represented in mainstream discourse, so we cannot afford to associate with people who have a flimsy grasp on reality. Would you rather have your movement composed of many Noam Chomskys or of Alex Joneses? We'll take Chomsky, thank you.