For the first time a presidential candidate, admittedly from a fringe party, is calling for a reexamination of 9/11. Jill Stein of the Green Party has recognized that exercises in which the United States government examines its own behavior are certain to come up with a result that basically exonerates the politicians and the federal bureaucracy. This has been the case since the Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which, inter alia, failed to thoroughly investigate key players like Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby and came up with a single gunman scenario in spite of considerable evidence to the contrary.

When it comes to 9/11, I have been reluctant to enter the fray largely because I do not have the scientific and technical chops to seriously assess how buildings collapse or how a large passenger airliner might be completely consumed by a fire. In my own area, of expertise, which is intelligence, I have repeatedly noted that the Commission investigators failed to look into the potential foreign government involvement in the events that took place that day. Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan just for starters may have been involved in or had knowledge relating to 9/11 but the only investigation that took place, insofar as I can determine, was a perfunctory look at the possible Saudi role, the notorious 28 pages, which have recently been released in a redacted form.

A friend recently recommended that I take a look at a film on 9/11 that was first produced back in 2005. It is called Loose Change 9/11 and is available on Amazon Video or in DVD form as well as elsewhere in a number of updated versions. The first version reportedly provides the most coherent account, though the later updates certainly are worth watching, add significantly to the narrative, and are currently more accessible.

Loose Change is an examination of the inconsistencies in the standard 9/11 narrative, a subject that has been thoroughly poked and prodded in a number of other documentaries and books, but it benefits from the immediacy of the account and the fresh memories of the participants in the events who were interviewed by the documentary’s director Dylan Avery starting in 2004. It also includes a bit of a history lesson for the average viewer, recalling Hitler’s Reichstag fire, Pearl Harbor and the Gulf of Tonkin incident, all of which were essentially fraudulent and led to the assumption of emergency powers by the respective heads of state.

The underlying premise of most 9/11 revisionism is that the United States government, or at least parts of it, is capable of almost anything. Loose Change describes how leading hawkish Republicans were, as early as 2000, pushing to increase U.S. military capabilities so that the country would be able to fight multi-front wars. The signatories of the neocon Project for the New American Century paper observed that was needed was a catalyst to produce a public demand to “do something,” that “something” being an event comparable to Pearl Harbor. Seventeen signatories of the document wound up in senior positions in the Bush Administration.

The new Pearl Harbor turned out to be 9/11. Given developments since 9/11 itself, to include the way the U.S. has persisted in going to war and the constant search for enemies worldwide to justify our own form of Deep State government, I would, to a large extent, have to believe that PNAC was either prescient or perhaps, more diabolically, actively engaged in creating a new reality.

That is not to suggest that either then or now most federal employees in the national security industry were part of some vast conspiracy but rather an indictment of the behavior and values of those at the top of the food chain, people who are characteristically singularly devoid of any ethical compass and base their decisions largely on personal and peer group ambition.

9/11 Truthers are characteristically very passionate about their beliefs, which is part of their problem in relating to a broader public. They frequently demand full adherence to their version of what passes for reality. In my own experience of more than twenty years on the intelligence side of government I have frequently found that truth is in fact elusive, often lying concealed in conflicting narratives. This is, I believe, the strength of Loose Change as it identifies and challenges inconsistencies in the established account without pontificating and, even though it has a definite point of view and draws conclusions, it avoids going over to the dark side and speculating on any number of the wilder “what-if” scenarios.

I recommend that readers watch Loose Change as it runs through discussions of U.S. military exercises and inexplicable stand-downs that occurred on 9/11, together with convincing accounts of engineering and technical issues related to how the World Trade Center and WTC7 collapsed. Particularly intriguing are the initial eyewitness accounts from the site of the alleged downing of UA 93 in Pennsylvania, a hole in the ground that otherwise showed absolutely no evidence of a plane having actually crashed. Nor have I ever seen any traces of a plane in photos taken at the Pentagon point of impact.

The film describes the subsequent investigative failures that took place, perhaps deliberately and arranged from inside the government, and concludes that the event amounts to an “American coup” which changed the United States both in terms of its domestic liberties and its foreign policy. After watching the film, one must accept that there are numerous inconsistencies that emerge from any examination of the standard narrative promoted by the 9/11 Commission and covered up by every White House since 2001. The film calls the existing corpus of government investigations into 9/11 a lie, a conclusion that I would certainly agree with.

The consequences of 9/11 are indeed more important than the event itself. Even those who have come to accept the established narrative would have to concede that “that day of infamy” changed America for the worse, as the film notes. While the United States government had previously engaged in illegal activity directed against for suspected spies, terrorists and a variety of international criminals, wholesale surveillance of what amounts to the entire population of the country was a new development brought in by the Patriot Acts. And, for the first time, secret prisons were set up overseas and citizens were arrested without being charged and held indefinitely. Under the authority of the Military Commissions Act tribunals were established to try those individuals who were suspected of being material supporters of terrorism, “material supporters” being loosely interpreted to make arrest, prosecution and imprisonment easier.

More recently, executive authority based on the anti-terror legislation has been used to execute American citizens overseas and, under the Authorization to Use Military Force, to attack suspects in a number of countries with which the United States is not at war. This all takes place with hardly a squeak from Congress or from the media. And when citizens object to any or all of the above they are blocked from taking action in the courts by the government’s invocation of State Secrets Privilege, claiming that judicial review would reveal national secrets. Many believe that the United States has now become a precursor police state, all as a result of 9/11 and the so-called War on Terror which developed from that event.

So who benefited from 9/11? Clearly the executive branch of the government itself, which has seen an enormous expansion in its power and control over both the economy and people’s lives, but there are also other entities like the military industrial complex, the Pentagon and intelligence agencies, and the financial services sector, all of which have gained considerably from the anti-terror largesse coming from the American taxpayer. Together these entities constitute an American Deep State, which controls both government and much of the private sector without ever being mentioned or seriously contested.

Suggesting government connivance in the events of 9/11 inevitably raises the question of who exactly might have ordered or carried out the attacks if they were in fact not fully and completely the work of a handful of Arab hijackers? The film suggests that one should perhaps consider the possibility of a sophisticated “false flag” operation, by which we mean that the apparent perpetrators of the act were not, in fact, the drivers or originators of what took place. Blowing up huge buildings and causing them to pancake from within, if indeed that is what took place, is the work of governments, not of a handful of terrorists. Only two governments would have had that capability, the United States itself and also Israel, unfortunately mentioned only once in passing in the film, a state player heavily engaged in attempting to bring America into its fight with the Arab world, with Benjamin Netanyahu subsequently saying that “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq swung American public opinion in our favor.”

To be honest I would prefer not to think that 9/11 might have been an inside job, but I am now convinced that a new 9/11 Commission is in order, one that is not run and guided by the government itself. If it can be demonstrated that the attacks carried out on that day were quite possibly set up by major figures both inside and outside the political establishment it might produce such a powerful reaction that the public would demand a reversal of the laws and policies that have so gravely damaged our republic. It is admittedly unlikely that anything like that could ever take place, but it is at least something to hope for.