by DAVID RUBENSTEIN
Free movie: “9-11: Press for Truth”
Saturday, Oct. 14 at 1:30 p.m. at the Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave., Mpls. (RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org)
In the ever-expanding marketplace of 9-11 commentary, think of this as a crossover movie. Conspiracy buffs will embrace it because of its tone and because it touches briefly on some favorite mantras—e.g. that no steel frame building had collapsed until Sept. 11. But this movie never claims that 9-11 was an inside job. Quite the opposite, it bolsters the official contention that it was an al Qaida operation, carried out by hijackers.
does say the 9-11 Commission failed to ask important questions, and in the end
barely scratched the surface. This is conveyed in part though interviews with
a group of feisty and articulate 9-11 widows, nicknamed “The Jersey Girls,”
who dogged the Commission throughout its tenure. There are some memorable scenes,
including Condy Rice tying herself in knots during testimony, and a cameo from
horse’s-ass emeritus Henry Kissinger, who, amazingly, was briefly in line
to be the Commission head.
Beyond the montage and creepy music, the movie makes two solid points. First,
it was fairly clear in the months before Sept. 11 that something big was up.
Numerous people in government, including the president, were warned and did
essentially nothing. Second, al Qaida was in cahoots with elements of the Pakistani
intelligence service, ISI. We are reminded that the United States has a history
of involvement with ISI, going back to the Cold War and our support of Islamists
in Afghanistan. The impression that’s left, however, is not inside-job
conspiracy, but incompetence, delusion and preoccupation with spin and PR.
This film is based in part on a time line researched by journalist Paul Thompson,
who appears in the film. Like the film itself, he hints at more than gets delivered.
But there is a solid core here, worth seeing for those who continue to weigh
this topic. ||
Rubenstein is prize-winning twin cities journalist, frequent contributor
to Pulse, and occasional contributor to The
Nation and to Minnesota
Law & Politics. His articles and commentaries have also appeared in the
Minneapolis Star Tribune, St. Paul Pioneer Press, New York Times and other regional
and national publications.