Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Tragic events of 9/11 - and how they changed my life

So much has been written on 9/11 that I hesitate to add yet another article to the pile.  But I suppose my story, as similar as it may be to others, has never been told.  For me 9/11 only began a journey for me, it certainly did not end on that day.  So here it is, like it or leave it.

I remember the morning of September 11, 2001 very vividly.  My wife was 7 months pregnant with our third child. I was working for the brokerage firm Raymond James and was reading the stock market news on the internet like I did most every other day when I heard the news of the second plane hit.  The first had hit while I was getting ready for work and, at the time, everyone assumed it was a tragic accident.  Initial reports were that it was a small plane that had collided with the first tower.  Things like this happen from time to time and, while tragic, we usually think little of accidents like that. When we heard of a second plane collision, though, we knew it was no accident.  Everyone in our office gathered around a small TV for most of the morning, watching the same video replay over and over again.  Within minutes, or at least within a couple hours, we were told that Osama bin Laden was probably behind this.  We were shown pictures of celebrations in the streets of Islamic countries.  I knew that there were extremist Muslims in the world, but why would they do this?  I was overtaken by sadness and anger and hatred of these people.

At the time, I was using Yahoo Messenger a lot.  I had made a few online friends that I would talk to from time to time, many of which were in foreign countries.  By chance, I had made a few Islamic friends in Muslim countries.  One of the first things I did was to get online and ask one of my Iranian friends, "Why?  Why would Muslims hate us so much to do this horrible thing?"  Her reply was simple.  It didn't resonate with me at the time, but it has stuck with me over the years.  She said, "We don't hate you. Don't believe everything you hear."  Still, the facts as I understood them indicated that at least 19 people hated us that much, and as I would be told later, apparently a whole country of folks in Afghanistan and Iraq also wanted to see us dead.  Initially, I supported both wars.  I had voted for GW Bush in 2000 on moral and economic grounds.  I voted to re-elect him in 2004 because of his war efforts.

I have never been a fan of "the mainstream media".  I believe the media has long abandoned impartial reporting of the news in favor of a biased, bought and paid for political or corporate agenda.  Big business pays the bills with their advertising dollars and it is rare that an unfavorable story will be aired (or printed) if that story will kill the revenue stream of the media outlet.  Especially since most local media has been consolidated into the hands of a few national companies - the independents have largely disappeared.  As a financial advisor, I could see that much of the media that I was getting was skewed - and some of it flat out false and misleading - so to provide better advice to my clients I began to seek out alternative media.  It was in this process that I began to realize just how inextricably linked business and politics were.  My naivety of altruism on a societal basis (I did grow up in a southern Christian home, after all) began to be replaced with the realism that people rarely acknowledged God in their hearts with their actions.  They were generally selfish by nature.  Cui bono, the old latin expression (meaning "who benefits?") began to be a question that I invoked on an increasingly regular basis as I sought to ascertain the truth of a situation.  I found a few bloggers who seemed to have an extraordinary wealth of knowledge about financial matters who were prescient in predicting many economic events.  After following them for some period of time, I began to realize that they not only made more sense than what I was reading in the mainstream media, but they were actually doing investigative research to form their opinions.  They were following the money trails.  They were exposing the contradictions.  They were presenting opposing viewpoints.  In short, they were reporting the old fashioned way.  They were not always right, but they always made me think.

These financial blogs became very valuable to me in business.  They helped me to gain perspective on a very volatile time in the markets.  But just as valuable to me were the interactive comments at the end of the articles.  Yes, feedback from other readers, like me, who were viewing the same articles with the same suspiciousness of the mainstream press.  I began to read this feedback, which often included links to other sites, videos, and articles.  It was in one of these comments, somewhere in about 2007, that I first read about a project called "Loose Change".  The guys behind Loose Change had been trying to put together a fictional movie about the 9/11 attacks.  As they were researching, they came to the conclusion that there was likely enough evidence out there to actually corroborate some of the conspiracy theories about it being an inside job.  The fictional film switched to a non-fiction documentary.  Since they were exploring and learning as they researched, the web releases that they would make would change as new evidence presented itself.  The first release was by far the most speculative in nature and included some sketchy theories that tended to put the credibility of the entire piece in question.  Later editions removed most of those sketchy theories.

When I watched it for the first time, I was taken aback.  I didn't believe all of the claims that the movie made, nor did I necessarily believe the attributions of motive that were tossed out there.  But what I did know is that some of the claims they were making seemed very credible and sound.  They didn't have to be right on everything for me to begin to doubt the official story, they only had to be right on a few things.  Loose Change was the catalyst for me to begin searching on my own for answers.  I still happen to believe that they make a strong case for many of the things they argue and should be viewed as a must see for anyone looking to challenge their personal thoughts on the matter.  It uses examples of history to illustrate how false flag attacks can be used to gin up support for a cause and how compartmentalization of information can actually have people working on top secret projects but still know little to nothing about what they are involved in.  You can view the full video on You tube for free here.  Remember, they don't have to 100% right about everything to be 100% right about some of it.

After opening my mind up to the possibility that not all was as I had been told, I began spending hours and hours reading up on different theories.  Some of them seemed to use some pretty weak evidence or faulty logic for their claims.  Those I generally dismissed, or at least placed on the back burner for someone else to provide some better evidence to substantiate the theory.  Some, however, had some compelling claims to examine and re-examine.  One such website examines the flight 93 crash site.  Their main claim is that 1) the hole that was supposedly created by the jet plane could actually be found on a 1994 USGS map seven years before the crash occurred; and 2) Metal twists, breaks, and warps in a plane crash.  But it does not vaporize.  There was not 100 tons of debris in the hole in the ground where the plane was said to have crash landed.  Nor were any human remains found.  All these things were said to have completely vaporized in the crash, yet an Arabic passport was found intact at the site.  Investigators were not allowed to investigate and original eye witness testimony said they saw no "typical plane wreckage".  Dismissing many other questions of flight 93, one might ask if the flight ever actually took place to begin with.  Here's the interactive site.

Of course, I question the same thing at the Pentagon.  Initial eyewitness testimony indicated a missile had hit the Pentagon, not an airplane - and several people interviewed immediately after the hit stated that they smelled cordite or gunpowder.  Indeed, the damage done to the building was not damage that would have or could have been done by an airplane.  Besides, there was almost no wreckage at the site, no skid marks on the lawn, and the wreckage that WAS there did not match the plane that it was supposed to have come from.  Additionally, there were many security cameras that had evidence of the crash, yet no pictures were ever released from any of them that would show an airplane hitting the building.  I believe it was a missile.

Black swan events,  for those unfamiliar with the term, are events that can theoretically occur but are so rare that when they do occur, they are greeted with shock and great surprise.  They would be akin to a 500 year flood happening.  Theoretically it is possible, but it should only happen once every five centuries.  The official government story of 9/11 has not one but dozens of these black swan events taking place all at the same time.

WTC building 7 is a black swan event.  There have been hundreds of sites pop up that focus on WTC building 7 as indisputable evidence that the whole story was a setup.  This particular building was never hit by an airplane and sustained minimal damage from debris, yet in only a course of a few hours it collapsed at near free-fall speed into its own footprint.  Skyscrapers that catch fire just don't do that.  Even if it would collapse, it would not have done so at free-fall speed, nor would it have done so into its own footprint.  There are reasons why controlled demolition teams are utilized when taking down tall buildings.  If they are weakened unevenly, the building will tilt during demolition, causing wide damage to surrounding areas.  Fact is that all three WTC buildings fell into their own footprint.  No other skyscraper in history has ever collapsed on itself due to fire, though many have caught fire and many have been hit by airplanes.  I won't even go beyond a mention of the fact that the BBC actually reported the collapse of WTC7 on live TV before it actually happened.  Yes, while the reporter was talking about its recent collapse, the building could be seen standing in the background.

Taking a step beyond 9/11 to where that event led us - into a global war on terror (initially focused on Osama bin Laden), one must find the interview that the Pakistani's had with bin Laden in 2001 noteworthy.  In it he denies any involvement in the attacks.  This is important because the events of 9/11 have been used to justify every conflict that we have been involved in since that day - in particular the war against Islamic terrorists (Al-Quaida).  Never will a terror group deny involvement in an act of such magnitude.  In fact, there are many who claim responsibility for attacks that they were not involved in to further their clout.  The videos of bin Laden that began to show up as the war progressed were obviously doctored and used as propaganda to perpetuate the war.  After all, why would we want to continue to fight if the guy who we were going after had been killed?

Recently I stumbled upon a site that challenged even what I thought I knew to be true about the government's story.  If you are ready for this, check out September Clues. I was blown away by this amateur video put together by a guy armed with nothing more than some basic knowledge of photo and video editing.  He examines in great detail how what we thought we saw on TV that day was actually 50% fabrication and 50% power of suggestion.  In other words, if you see something surprising and shocking and you begin to describe it to me, then I confidently and authoritatively tell you that what you actually saw was something else (that it had been confirmed and corroborated elsewhere), most people will accept that what they saw was inaccurately recollected and will change their story to match the "confirmed" version.  From a video editor's perspective, the evidence presented in this piece is absolutely mind blowing.  Some things that seemed right at the time will take on a whole new meaning to you after you watch it.

Needless to say, these are only a handful of items on the 9/11 tragedy that I have studied in depth.  For the sake of brevity, I have omitted much of my journey.  It has been a journey that has shattered the left-right paradigm for me - displaying in no uncertain terms that an unelected shadow government exists and does indeed call most of the shots.  It has unveiled how the banking cartels can make or break a business, or a country.  It has shown me that power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely.  It has shown me that democracy does matter, but it doesn't matter as much as we are led to believe it does.  Importantly, though, it has shown me that while I love the founding ideals of my country, there are many in powerful positions who do not care hide nor hair about those ideals and who will manipulate the people of our country into stripping themselves of the very tenets of freedom that made our country strong and great to begin with.

I am on a journey.  Many people, at various points in their own journey, have joined me on my walk in the past several years.  To you I say, "You are not alone.".