The awful events of 9/11/01 in the USA have had a deep and pernicious effect on the body politic in the US, and elsewhere, especially the UK. We oppose the calamitous invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan & the ongoing 'War on Terror' from an anti-imperialist (and anti-capitalist) position.
Be that as it may, our remit here is not specifically those matters--many activists are already on the case internationally, and we commend them for that. Our efforts are complementary, not competitive.
Fifteen years on the '9/11 Truth cult' (our term) is decreasingly active in the UK, but nonetheless its transitory prominence was a development that troubles us. Not because we dislike uncomfortable questions being asked of the powerful. On the contrary, we at Notes From the Borderland (NFB) magazine have been doing cutting edge parapolitical research since 1997, and individually before that. Our record of evidence-based research into covert state/ruling class activity plus an expertise in fringe politics qualifies us, we feel, to sound the alarm now. This current site outlines NFB research themes, methods and publications available. Precisely because we are committed to rigorous analytical research and related political intervention NFB has never been shy of speaking out. Below, the 'issues' we have with the UK '9/11 Truth Movement' are summarised. Constructive feedback welcome. If you scroll down past that, we explain the various features on the site and how to use it in summary outline. Enjoy!!
WHY THE 9/11 TRUTH CULT BOTHERS US
1) They act like a cult, and an aggressive one. The unannounced 9/11 Truth meeting at the October 2005 Anarchist Bookfair in London was marked by physical violence (jostling and digging critics in the ribs), concerted attempts to drown out critics and a nasty intimidatory atmosphere overall. A valuable insight--click for details. At the demonstration outside the (Manchester) Labour Party Conference in September 2006, David Shayler (see below) threw his considerable weight about, forcibly seizing the 'free' microphone from one demonstrator who tried to draw attention to NFB's critique of the movement. While veterans of sharp exchanges, even we have been taken aback by the volume and vitriolic nature of the abusive email exchanges coming our way from this cult.
2) Disgracefully, prominent positions within the UK & Ireland 9/11 Truth Movement are occupied by ex-MI5 officers David Shayler & Annie Machon. Schnews memorably terms Shayler the 9/11 cult 'Poster Boy'--with his ready media access, Shayler is a big domestic draw as an (undoubtedly) impressive public speaker. Machon is the grandly-titled 'Secretary, UK & Ireland 9/11 Truth Campaign', and as such a 'gatekeeper' at the heart of the campaign. NFB have long analysed this pair's ever-shifting stories, and repeated lies. It is a moot question just whose agenda they are working to--including the distinct possibility of alignment with one or other state fraction--see here on this. In Notes From the Borderland issue 7 Heidi Svenson & Paul Stott wrote a critical article on the pair's role in the 9/11 Campaign, also available on this current site--here. To date, the main cultist answer has been abuse, and claims there is nothing to respond to. However, Machon has another line--on the British 9/11 Truth Campaign forum 26/9/06 she attacked Schnews (8/9/06 issue 559) and others in the "anarchist fringe" claiming it was "anybody's guess" as to why we dislike Machon/Shayler, raising the possibility such critics "may be" part of an "MI5 disinformation campaign designed to cause division, just as the campaign is beginning to bite". It takes the biscuit, that lying red-baiting spooks, who have not told the truth about their own murky pasts, implyothers work for the secret state. Shayler made similar (unsubstantiated) claims about the Stop the War Coalition too (see NFB 7 article). Machon says, with unintentional irony "I would hope that our record speaks for itself". It does indeed. Some 9/11 activists are waking up--scroll down to the comments section here.
3) A growing distaste at bizarre conspiracy theories the 9/11 cult propagate, in particular anti-semitism. Claims by Shayler (New Statesman 11/9/06) that 9/11 was a 'Zionist' conspiracy are two-a-penny--yet we rarely hear the phrase 'Saudi conspiracy' with far more evidence for such. Lurking in the wings are the usual racist snake-oil salesmen (or in David Icke's case lizards) eager to blame the 'Jews'. The venomous & often anti-semitic reaction to criticism by Jewish journalist Jon Ronson in November 2006 exemplifiesthis. A relevant subtext is the sheer disbelief non-US citizens could have organised 9/11 without US government assistance--racism by another (subtle) name.
4) Revulsion at the fact that increasingly (or intrinsically) ludicrous theories put about by the 9/11 cult & their home-grown shadow, the 7/7 cult, have the effect of letting spooks and others responsible off the hook in terms of accounting for their activities. In this category come Shayler's recent argument that no planes hit the World Trade Centre (or Pentagon) 9/11/01--instead it was holograms/ missiles/pre-placed explosives. Not only does this impute omniscient powers to the state in terms of carrying operations out effectively, it also implies they have the ability to keep the thousands involved quiet--amazing! The UK equivalent is the claim that the London 7/7/05 bombers didn't actually travel from Luton, didn't carry (or make) any bombs, and the 'suicide videos' they made weren't them anyway. None of this seems true to us, on current evidence. Amid the fog of 'hologram' hoaxes and other fruitloopery, secret state agencies and governments can thus evade hard questions--about why the Pakistani ISI head transferred $100,000 to 9/11 pilot Mohammed Atta, inadequate emergency procedures in New York & London, or the role of apparent MI6 asset Haroon Aswat in 7/7 for instance. NFB has a particular interest in retaining, and enlarging, the space for radical 'parapolitical' analysis of state malfeasance--and are concerned growing fruitcake influence chokes off the space for publicising actual real-life scandals which 9/11 cultists are indifferent to--the 1999 London nail-bombings and Tony Lecomber conspiracy to murder plot of recent--2006--provenance.
5) Fundamentally, the 9/11 & 7/7 cults have a pernicious effect on political discourse. By focussing primarily on a small group of decision-makers in a predominantly ahistorical way, they serve to trivialise, and disempower, the very popular masses that are ultimately the agents of radical social change--if that is to happen. As the excellent Schnews article says"World power is not a neat pyramidal structure with aliens, Jews or a cabal of men with a secret handshake at the top...There is one conspiracy that doesn't lurk in smoky rooms behind closed doors--its called global capitalism". Some US comrades have correctly described 9/11 conspiracy obsessives as examples of "arrested radicalisation". It is true many now drawn towards the 9/11 & 7/7 cults would in the past have become Leftists--and it is vital the Left/Greens do not ignore the genuine issues posed by 9/11--but as supplementary to political practice, not substituting for it. Ultimately, the 9/11 obsession of many people in the UK is not a manifestation of critical thought, but cultural and political subordination to the US--whereby events there are considered more important than equivalents in the UK or the rest of the world. A post-Cold War echo of Soviet Union worship. Earlier Al-Qaeda attacks, such as the 1998 Nairobi US Embassy bombing, get barely a look in, conspiracy-wise. Not just because most killed (213/4,600 injured) were non-white, but the carnage took place outside the imperial (US) heartland. So little to interest white middle-class Western conspiracy theorists. 7/7, however, functions as a useful add-on to the main event--9/11. Though added to the lexicon of 9/11 cult issues in the US, this is done in a patronising way--see the 'Bullhorn Bull-shitter' Alex Jones' film.