The Preeminent Importance of 9/11
by David Ray Griffin


In March 2007 the progressive Jewish magazine Tikkun published an article by Professor David Griffin entitled "The American Empire and 9/11". This is in fact the first substantial 9/11 truth article ever published in a national magazine in the U.S., and is an excellent, succinct overview of the most powerful arguments for 9/11 being an inside job.

Prof. Griffin begins by noting that it is now generally acknowledged that there is an American empire, the only disagreement being as to its nature, whether benevolent and magnanimous, or aiming at a fascist domination of the world. He writes:

The historical evidence clearly supports [a] non-benign view of the American empire. Part of this evidence is the fact that U.S. political and military leaders have arranged “false-flag operations” as pretexts for war. We did this to begin the wars with Mexico and the Philippines and to begin the full-out attack on Vietnam.

After mentioning Operation Northwoods he raises the question as to whether in fact

[the] 9/11 attacks were false-flag attacks orchestrated by the Bush administration to enlarge the U.S. empire under the cover of the “war on terror.”

He states that an examination of the evidence provides a strong prima facie case for official complicity, and goes on to summarize the evidence in answers to six questions:

  1. How Could Hijacked Airliners Have Struck the WTC and the Pentagon?
  2. Why Did the Twin Towers and Building 7 of the WTC Collapse?
  3. Could the Official Account of the Pentagon Possibly Be True?
  4. Why Did the President and His Secret Service Agents Remain at the School?
  5. Why Did the 9/11 Commission Lie about Vice President Cheney's Activities?
  6. Did the Bush-Cheney Administration Have Motives for Orchestrating the 9/11 Attacks?

Interested readers (and who cannot be interested in solving the most heinous crime committed so far this century?) may read the evidence presented in Prof. Griffin's answers to these questions either in the article published on Tikkun's website here or in this PDF file (82 KB). The remainder of this web page contains the Conclusion from Prof. Griffin's article (which is followed by an Afterword, which is not reproduced here).

Conclusion: The Preeminent Importance of 9/11

The above evidence [presented in the answers to the six questions], plus the fact that all the “evidence” that seems to implicate the alleged hijackers, such as cellphone calls, airport photos, and discovered luggaqe and passports, appears to have been fabricated, leads to the conclusion that 9/11 was a false-flag operation orchestrated by the Bush administration for primarily imperial reasons.[88]

If this conclusion is correct, then exposing the falsity of the official account of 9/11 should be high on the agenda of all people committed to reversing the present policies of the U.S. government, for at least four reasons.

First, 9/11 has provided the pretext for at least most of the malevolent and destructive policies carried out by the Bush-Cheney administration since that day. When any objection is raised to this administration’s illicit policies — from illegal invasions to torture to illegal spying to weaponizing space to talk of a nuclear first strike — the answer is always the same: “The critics fail to understand that the world changed on 9/11.” Until the truth about 9/11 is exposed, it will remain a blank check for virtually anything desired by this administration.

Second, the truth about 9/11 is one truth that the American people would not tolerate. They have proven remarkably, even disturbingly, tolerant of many other things — such as the clear indication from the Downing Street memo that the Bush administration planned to “fix” the intelligence about Iraq’s WMDs — that should have led to demands for impeachment.[89] But the American people simply would not allow an administration to stay in power after learning that it had orchestrated the attacks of 9/11.

Third, the orchestration of the attacks of 9/11 goes far beyond any previous instance of “high crimes and misdemeanors” that have previously been cited as cause for impeachment. The attacks were — in the words of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld themselves — heinous crimes. Any U.S. citizens who participated in planning, carrying out, and/or covering up these attacks are guilty of treason, as defined by Article 3 of the U.S. Constitution, because these attacks were acts of war against the United States — again, according to the assessment of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld themselves. If this treason is not publicly uncovered and prosecuted, there is little hope for the survival of the democratic forms we still have. If we fail to have a serious investigation of the prima facie evidence for such treason — especially given the fact that this evidence, once examined, is overwhelming[90] — we will in effect be telling the perpetrators that they can get away with virtually anything.

Finally, to reverse the policies of the Bush-Cheney administration will require more than simply removing this administration from office — something that could be legitimately done for any number of reasons. The attacks of 9/11 were orchestrated to further the project of creating an American empire of truly global scope and, as we saw earlier, this has been a long and bipartisan project. Differences have involved strategy, emphasis, and demeanor more than the goal itself. The replacement of the BushCheney administration by a Democratic administration for some reason other than 9/11 would probably simply result in a reversion to the subtler, more sophisticated, and hence more effective form of imperialism that the United States previously exercised.[91]

What needs to be publicly recognized is that the bipartisan global domination project is, as I have put it elsewhere, “propelled by fanaticism based on a deeply perverted value system.”[92] Those who read books and magazines about U.S. imperialism know that there has long been abundant evidence for this assessment. But the public revelation of the truth about 9/11 could have an educative value extending far beyond the circles of those who read policy-oriented books and magazines. If Americans came to see that the attacks of 9/11 were, in the minds of those who planned them, justified by the goal of creating an all-encompassing empire, this realization could lead to widespread revulsion against the goal itself and the values implicit in it — values that are diametrically opposed to basic values embedded in all the world’s religions and ethical systems.


88  “False-Flag Operations, 9/11, and the New Rome: A Christian Perspective,” in Kevin Barrett, John B. Cobb Jr., and Sandra Lubarsky, eds., 9/11 and American Empire: Christians, Jews, and Muslims Speak Out (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2007).

89  For an analysis of the memo and the press coverage, see Mark Danner, “Why the Memo Matters,” New York Review of Books, July 14, 2005 (

90  In calling the evidence “overwhelming,” I mean the total evidence now available (much of which is contained in my five books on 9/11), not merely the brief summary given here.

91  See David Ray Griffin, John B. Cobb, Jr., Richard Falk, and Catherine Keller, The American Empire and the Commonwealth of God (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2006).

92  “9/11 and the American Empire: How Should Religious People Respond?” Originally on BookTV (C-Span 2), April 30, 2005; text published at 9/11 CitizensWatch, May 7, 2005 ( A somewhat revised version, entitled “9/11, the American Empire, and Common Moral Norms,” is in Griffin and Scott, eds., 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out. I have used the term “demonic” for this value system in “The Divine and the Demonic,” chap. 8 of Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11.

Copyright 2007 David Ray Griffin

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