9|11 (2002) review, and a cry for united patriotism

Rated: 3.5 / 5


This documentary I’ve been wanting to see for a while.  But I’ve been putting it off because, well, despite wanting to see it, I always find some excuse to watch/do something else instead.  But now we’re in September, the anniversary is approaching again, and now seems as good a time as any.  Not sure if I’ll be able to do any more of these types of reviews for 9/11 after this.  I mean, I’ve already reviewed The Path to 9/11 extensively, and that 2-part miniseries still banned by Disney is probably never going to be topped in terms of there being a great movie made on the subject.  I’ve reviewed World Trade Center and United 93, which are the only other 2 decent films on 9/11 (the latter being the best one next to Path to 9/11).  I’ve even reviewed Path to Paradise which covers the 1993 world trade center bombings which would eventually lead to the 9/11 incident.  I even reviewed Loose Change and unleashed my wrath on that piece of shit documentary.

To put it simply, I’ve just about run out of steam on this topic.  This might be the last one I’ll review for this incident (unless some other film gets released on the topic which grabs my attention, which I doubt will happen, taking into account a few factors that makes Hollywood want to whitewash history in ways that have nothing to do with white supremacy).  So, with all that said…


Review of 9/11

The film was made primarily by 2 French brothers who wanted to make a documentary about New York City firefighters (and remained more respectful towards American patriotism than fucking Damien Chazelle did with his movie).  The first 20 minutes, barring some foreshadowing during the first minute, is pretty much filmed with this in mind.  Just showing these New York City firefighters going about their daily business, and primarily following a new rookie who learns the ins and outs of it all.  Bonds are formed, it is shown how anything can happen that can take a firefighter’s life in an unexpected instant, and the foreign brothers are eventually accepted among the crew as a sort of family after a little over 2 months of filming (they started at around July 2001).

And then September 11 comes, and one of the brothers manages to capture the only known footage of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center.  Then everything changes.  The whole purpose of the documentary, the firefighter’s routine for that day, the lives of citizens in New York City, and all of America.  Everything changed.  From there one of the brothers follows the firefighters into the base level of the tower, where many firefighters in the city would setup operations and try to figure out how they were going to deal with this.  And as we should know, there was no contingency plan for something like this.  They weren’t sure what to do other than to evacuate as many as they could.  Plus since the impact of the plane knocked out tower communications, the firefighters could only rely on their radios, which got overloaded with communication between multiple houses/ladders/districts.

9-11 image

What is interesting is the restraint the film-maker shows while he’s shooting amidst the chaos.  There’s one moment where he enters the tower for the first time, and remarks narratively on how he didn’t turn the camera in a certain direction to avoid filming these two people who were on fire.  Because he didn’t believe anyone should have to see that.  So he kept himself restricted to just following the other firefighters into the main lobby.  Have to admit, most film-makers I’ve seen, they would’ve tried to capture that sight.  Under the context and circumstance, I actually found this restraint admirable.  On a similar note, the other thing not shown is the aftermath of people falling from the upper floors of the tower to their doom.  Some of the firefighters describe the site, of blood and dismembered legs and arms covering much of the ground around the tower, but no footage of such is shown.  Another act of restraint that is also appreciated.  With that said, you still here the screams of those off-camera and on fire.  You still hear the loud slams of jumpers hitting the concrete (unsettling to say the least).

While one brother is in the tower, the other is attempting to make his way to the tower, and he captures other significant moments, such as a brief instant of the 2nd plane hitting the 2nd tower (while the other brother capture the debris of that impact falling down outside the windows of the first tower), and showing footage of one of the plane engines on the sidewalk, several blocks away from the tower.  A plane engine that got ejected from impact, flew several blocks away, smashed into a road sign and then settled onto the sidewalk below.  Amazingly, from what I understand (and correct me if I’m wrong), but it doesn’t seem like anyone got injured from all the debris that flew away from the towers, excluding those few buildings that caved in next to the towers, including WTC 7.  Even amidst all this, somehow, some way, the film-maker managed to capture an irony.  Right behind this plane engine is a sign that says, “Do not litter.”  Have to admit, despite the gravity of the situation, it got a chuckle out of me.

9-11 image Eventually the first tower falls, and the one brother was still inside along with many other firefighters when it happened.  Miraculously, he manages to survive along with most of the other firefighters (but not all).  Not long after they manage to make their way out, the 2nd tower falls, and they run again from the debris, only to be forced to take cover behind vehicles as the debris and dust clouds overtake them.

Yes, the film does get quite gripping after those first 20 minutes.  The intensity eventually starts to relent when the survivors make their way back to the firestation, and regroup and re-coordinate their efforts.  Then the film has a long drawn out epilogue showcasing the lives that got lost.  And I get it, this is a sad moment of remembrance as we see the faces of those firefighters who lost their lives, but I can only stay sympathetic for so long before I get bored out of my mind with this and the musical eulogy.  It would’ve been better if all that played alongside the end-credits.  Then again, the end credits aren’t all that long, because this documentary was made by a very small team on an independent budget, almost like a college project or something.

Despite that, this remains one of the most gripping ground-zero films out there on the 9/11 incident next to 102 Minutes That Changed America.  That documentary comes just as highly recommended as this one, possibly even more-so.  It also shows footage from everyday citizens who took their cameras out to film the incident as it unfolded after the first plane hit.  While the 9/11 documentary shows it primarily from the perspective of the firefighters, 102 Minutes shows it from the perspective of everyday New Yorkers, from several perspectives of random people who each own their own video recorder.  Both documentaries act as the perfect companion piece to each other.




A part of me is tempted to bring up the other stuff when thinking outside the box.  The political/cultural implications, how things changed for the worse, or in some cases how some say it changed for the better.  The other part of me is telling myself not to go down that route, to just look back on these videos, these moments in time.  But to what end?  To remember?  And why remember?  What’s the point of remembering?  The same reason one would remember history, to learn from it.  I may regret it, I may hate myself later for it, but I’m giving in to the former temptation.  Because when I think back on events like this and how it caused things to change over the years, up to where we are today, I come back to remembering this one commercial that somehow managed to come to the forefront of my memories.

How this imagery used to be true for a while, until it wasn’t by no later than 2015 in many places.  Once a tragedy that caused Americans to unite together as patriots against an enemy that attacked them (though our retaliation became muddled amidst political and corporate interests, which many became aware of as the years went on), has now faded into the opposite spectrum.  Many now sympathize with the religion that is one of the root causes of violence worldwide today rather than be critical of it (at the very least one should be critical of the radicals to keep them in check so that this so-called religion of peace can be practiced as such).  Many now spit upon patriotism by kneeling and flag-burning, while being praised by mainstream media and various corporate entities for doing such.

And all this just makes me wonder what the hell happened?  How did it come to this?  Why is it that those who once decried extremist terrorists and united against them now attack each other while a portion ally themselves with terrorism in one form or another?  What would happen if some 9/11 event happened today amidst all this?  Would such a tragedy give us cause to unite again once more for a time, or would it somehow divide us further?  Back then one could fault the government for its inadequate security measures and not taking such things seriously enough.  But who would be blamed today if something like this happened again?  Sure, the government, or at least a branch of it, would be blamed.  But I fear we have somehow devolved into a state where citizens would be blaming each other as well.  And the worst part is that I wouldn’t think they would be entirely in the wrong either.  What kind of country with such division and such anti-patriotism would be worth defending by its own citizens?

So I ask what will it take to get us all together again (or at least most of us) before some other big tragedy strikes?  What will it take for everyone to see and act with reason?  Because I’m honestly not sure how that can be done without an age of violence that can cause us to move down one path or the other.  The question is whether that path will be the correct one that leads to a brighter future, or one that leads us to a dark age that generations must suffer through before things are made right again.  Or, dare I say, we go down a path that leads towards our ultimate destruction?

What I do know is that an entire nation shouldn’t be damned just because some aspects of it are corrupted.  Damn those aspects, not everything around it.  Being anti-patriotic and hating your own country is not the path to take.  Seeking self-destruction and taking all that you can down with you is not the path to take.  Being filled with such (self) loathing never leads to anything good.  Rather, love yourself and your country enough to want the best for it, to attempt to fix the imperfections within it, to make it a better country.  That includes listening to the advice of others and gaining elements of wisdom and knowledge to know better which actions to take.  Individualism is important, but so is some sense of unity, some sense of brotherhood, sisterhood, family, friendship, ethos.  Find a way to compromise, find a way to be tolerant (except towards those who will never be anything but intolerant), find a way to come together.

After all, it was that togetherness, that patriotism, that love for one another, that caused many to act selflessly saving the lives of others during 9/11.  There can be many instances found during that tragic day of other Americans helping other fellow Americans survive, amidst the chaos, amidst all that was going wrong.  And not just the police who protect (because despite what some may say, there are plenty of good cops who do protect), or the firemen who save, but also everyday Americans who are capable of protecting and saving in their own way.  It is another reason to never forget.


PS: Made this tribute a few days early of the anniversary mainly to encourage others to track down and watch a couple of these films.  Especially The Path to 9/11, if you can.

Loose Change: Final Cut review

Rated: 1/5


So, 16th anniversary of 9/11. Last year, I thought I had it all covered, with my reviews of United 93, World Trade Center, The Path to 9/11, and even Path to Paradise. There were a few others that I’ve seen that I won’t review (because they’re not worth seeing, much less reviewing), and there’s that fucking Charlie Sheen one done a few days ago that I refuse to watch. But him (Charlie) being a 9/11 truther and all that, the memories of the past. It got on my tits. I feel the urge to review something that doesn’t beat around the bush. Time to attack the 9/11 truthers directly. That’s right, I’m going down into the depths of troll/conspiracy hell, and taking on Loose Change.

Now in the past I watched the earlier 2nd edition of the film, and bought into it. I was more gullible back then. Plus they have some decent arguments and raise some intriguing questions. Nowadays, I’m less gullible and more pissed towards those who deceive gullible people, or people who themselves are fucking idiots who can also influence gullible people. I used to be a 9/11 truther, but that was years ago.

There are at least 4 versions of Loose Change, but I’m going to go with this one. In the end, they pretty much cover the same subject matter. Let’s get this shit over with.

Introduction (Part 2)

“The 9/11 truth movement includes academics, engineers, physicists, firefighters, intelligence officials, and some of the very people whose lives have been shattered since 9/11.”

Yeah, and a good portion of other academics, engineers, physicists, firefighters, intelligence officials, and citizens who have had their lives shattered say that the 9/11 truth movement can blow it out their ass.

Executive Producer: Alex Jones. As in of the Alex Jones channel? I knew there was a reason I was skeptical of his youtube channel.

Act 1: Chapter 1: Hijackers

In all honesty, some may seriously be more willing to believe this than the official story.

Alright, to this documentary’s credit, they do bring up a good point about Osama bin Laden, about how he praised, but didn’t take credit for the attacks on the twin towers and the pentagon. They also mention how this video that came up that supposedly has bin Laden in it taking credit for the attacks was likely faked, which is probably true from what I’ve gathered. That being said, he is responsible for the funding Al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization from which the 19 hijackers are a part of. The real mastermind behind 9/11 is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who definitely has ties with bin Laden. This information didn’t become known definitively until March 2007, the same year this edition of the documentary came out.

The documentary also brings up Mohammed Atta, one of the Flight 11 hijackers. The issue here is that two of his three bags didn’t make it on the flight (his carry-on did). Inside one of the bags is a will. The documentary raises the question as to why he would bring his will with him if he was going to go out in a blaze of supposed glory? The implication from the speculation is that this evidence was planted, for some reason. Well then, here’s some issues with that. Why was the will dated April 11, 1996? If it was planted and made up, why would they choose that date as opposed to anytime in 2001? More importantly, why aren’t the “witnesses” listed on the will not among the 18 other hijackers, much less the ones that were on his flight? And here’s my speculation, considering that he wasn’t going to have a body left to identify, why would he give a shit about where/how he was buried, as gave instructions for in the will? Perhaps he didn’t really give a shit about the will anymore, that he just wanted to take it to “paradise” along with the other belongings that were in the luggage. But that luggage didn’t make it on the plane, so afterlife Atta can suck it! In any case, it’s pure speculation with shaky ground at best to rely on the idea that the evidence was planted as opposed to it just being there the way the official story goes, which has much more firm ground to stand on.
Other sources of note: http://www.wnd.com/2002/09/15172/

And then there’s the whole passport thing, which was recovered at ground zero.

“How does a passport fly out of a man’s pocket through a 400 mile per hour airplane crash, survive 9000 gallons of jet fuel, and land intact on a sidewalk 1000 feet below?”

Oh I don’t know, how did all those other fucking papers and business cards and wallets fly out of the towers upon impact rather than getting burned to smithereens for the same fucking reason? And how do you know it was in his pocket as opposed to his carry-on? I think the better question is what are the odds of carry-on baggages survive such a crash? Probably about the same odds as the effects of the passengers from flight 93. But even better, assuming that was fucking planted too, then why even bother when there’s records of everyone at the airport? Why even bother when everyone’s names are logged into the system for which passengers made it, which didn’t, etc.? I’ve just gotta picture this conversation:

“Our conspiracy plan is solid. Their names are logged in, so everyone is going to know they’re on the plane.”
“But sir, what if there’s some doubters? What if they think the airport is in on the whole thing?”
“Good point. Let’s grab a passport that we just so happen to have lying around that shows this cocksucker’s face and burn on it a little bit, get some dumb schmuck to carry it to ground zero, and just chuck it there. Someone will find it eventually.”
“But what if they don’t find it?”
“They’ll find it!”
“Ok sir!”

So then did they decide to plant the remains of the passengers and their belongings (some of which survived the crash) too? Oh, but it gets even better. The passport was recovered by a businessman before the tower collapsed.

“Sir, when should the schmuck drop the passport?”
“After we blow up the towers with thermite of course!”
“Well won’t it be almost impossible to find at that point?”
“You’re right, let’s get the schmuck to drop it while everyone is running back and forth to and from the building. Someone is bound to notice it then, and not notice Mr. Schmuck dropping it.”

But thankfully, the documentary does point out a very good point about how Mohammed Atta was wired $100,000 from General Mahmoud Ahmed, head of Pakistan ISI. Something omitted from the 9/11 Commission Report (that report tends to omit a lot of stuff that’s financial-related). Similar questions can be raised about Saudi Arabia, maybe not of the government as a whole, but certainly in regards to significant individuals who are Saudi.

Documentary then mentions the hijackers, where they lived for a while, and how they attended clubs with strippers, and got a hold of pornos, which for some reason leads to the assumption that they aren’t potential hijackers. I don’t know how it leads to that assumption. I guess that implies because they weren’t so strict with their religious teachings and ways of living (noooooooo, going against the Koran for the sake of a fanatic’s own personal jihadist agenda? you don’t say?) that they couldn’t be fanatical muslims who would kill a bunch of people for a religious cause, because horniness and religion don’t mix. On that note, breaking news, all that news of the past about preachers being pedophiles was all a conspiracy by atheists in an attempt to kill Catholicism.

But then it goes back on itself and says, “Oh wait a minute, this guy Anthony Shaffer states that he and his intelligence unit learned of four of the hijackers (one of which is Atta), and his meeting requests to tell the higher ups about it were denied, and his story wasn’t mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report.” Well which is it Loose Change!? Is it pinning the blame on guys who had nothing to do with it, or incompetence on part of the FBI/CIA? You can’t have it both ways!

But in any case, this documentary finally gets onto something solid when it discusses how the data mining efforts of project “Able Danger” were ignored by the 9/11 Commission Report. Wall Street Journal even does a report on it. Some of the evidence of this effort was destroyed in an effort to say that they never got this information. Christ, they could probably make a book on just this section. For more on this: Chapter from the book Triple Cross by Peter Lance:

“Can we be certain that the hijackers were radical muslims on a suicide mission? Or is there a possibility that they were trained, funded, and protected in our own country?”

Why not both? Just because they were trained/funded/protected in our country doesn’t mean it was the government, the FBI, or the CIA that did it. Hence the Saudi individual(s), Osama bin Laden, and that one Pakistani asshole that you brought up only 10 fucking minutes ago!

Act 1: Chapter II: Wargames
Now here’s another pretty good segment. It mentions how ABC News covered a story on how the military wanted to conduct training exercises on how to respond to terrorists flying a plane into the Pentagon (5 months prior to 9/11) and the world trade centers (2 years before 9/11), tested as a wargame. Senior Pentagon officials rejected the wargame idea, saying it was too unrealistic. One of these wargame concept proposals is known as AMALGAM VIRGO. 4 wargames were going on on 9/11. This segment is also quite intriguing.

But when the documentary concludes that this is too much of a coincidence to ignore, in that some 2-4 jet fighters are flown away from the states the whole 9/11 incidents took place in, indicating that some high up government officials wanted them out of the area so that the hijackings and crashes could happen as they did, that’s when I become skeptical again. How often are wargames conducted? How often do they involve fighter jets? How often do they fly to different states? If the documentary cited that wargames were conducted more often around that time period (or better yet, on that day) than on previous times in history, and cited sources to back up that statement, then I’d say they might be on to something. Otherwise, one could assume that the wargames going on on 9/11 were just like any other time in the past, with some coincidences that can be ignored. That being said, it does raise suspicion seeing people being silenced for asking that question during a 9/11 Commission hearing.

Act II: Chapter 1: Pentagon

FBI confiscated all video related to the aircraft impacting the Pentagon. Well, yeah, that’s protocol for any incident like this.

Mentions that the flights were at around 30% capacity, without mentioning that on average flights back then tended to be at around 71-75% capacity, give or take a percentage or two. I’m not sure what point he’s trying to make here, but it’s mentioned by various sources, including The Cell: Inside the 9/11 Plot and Why the FBI and CIA Failed to Stop It that the terrorists probably took their time determining which flights to hijack, which ones would be freshly fueled, which ones would have the least amount of passengers, and on which days planes would have the least amount of passengers at the airports they would go to (Tuesday ended up being the day that had the least number of passengers on average). What’s the implication here?

Mentions that at the time of the hijacking, there’s no sudden maneuvering by the plane to indicate a struggle for the controls. I wonder if he’s ever heard of autopilot?

And then the whole Pentagon thing. Unlike previous versions, the documentary implies the possibility for a missile to have hit it rather than a plane, as opposed to just outright saying it. I’m not sure which is worse. In any case, it’s mentioned that the plane circles the pentagon first before finally going in to hit it. First it says that such a maneuver requires expert piloting skills, which the terrorist didn’t have. Then it states there’s not much left to identify a plane, making it questionable if a plane hit. Then it mentions that the impact was at an armored section of the pentagon that was undergoing construction at the time, and if it hit anywhere else it would’ve done more damage, implying that it was intentional to hit there, to reduce casualties I guess. Though the documentary shoots itself in the foot again (what is that, 3 blasts to the foot now?) by implying that Dick Cheney was behind it because he didn’t order the Pentagon to be evacuated, which kind of defeats the purpose of setting up the idea that this was planned, don’t you think?

Anyway, I can’t say for certain why the plane circled. Perhaps the terrorist was calculating, or determined he wasn’t at the right speed/altitude/angle to go in for the hit, or was trying to determine the best spot to hit, or realized that is the right target to hit as opposed to something else like the White House (which could be why they didn’t evacuate the Pentagon in the first place because they thought the plane was heading for the White House)? There’s a number of explanations, all of which are just as plausible, likely more-so, than what this documentary implies.

As for not much debris left, have you seen how much was left from the two flights that hit the trade centers? Not much of an excuse when it’s been demonstrated that much of a plane can pretty much incinerate itself if it goes fast enough and hits a solid object hard enough. In any case, there are more photos than what the documentary lets on.

Terrorist didn’t have great piloting skills? The majority of piloting skills comes from landing and take-off, the rest isn’t that difficult for the most part. All he had to do was aim it right. Plus, he did bounce off the helipad before impacting the pentagon.

Not a big enough hole? That’s because the wings collapse, and it was mostly the front wheels of the plane that did most of the puncturing. Still think it’s a missile? Then what the hell happened to Flight 77? The passengers? The terrorists? The radar stations that were tracking the goddamn thing? It’s preposterous to think anything other than Flight 77 hit the pentagon. And for those who are interested, sources!:

Act II: Chapter 2: Twin Towers


So, the towers couldn’t have fallen from the impact of a plane or from the fires, or both. Evidence? Instances in the past when skyscrapers in the past (including one of the towers) were on fire on a few floors for hours, and didn’t fall. Well that’s because in those examples in the past they didn’t have a motherfucking 767 hit them! They didn’t have their protective shielding around the fucking steel beams shredded off by a fucking plane in those cases!

And then the documentary goes back in time to a quote:

“In 1966, Robertson designed the structural elements of the WTC towers to withstand the impact of the largest airliner then in service, the Boeing 707.”

Yeah, but that’s also leaving out an important part of the context. Aside from the fact that a 757 is a bit larger and a bit heavier and can hold more fuel than a 707 from the 70s, they leave out the fact that the building was designed to withstand impact from a plane that was coming in for a landing, at stall speed, as opposed to high speed (Source).

Oh, yeah, and the whole melting point of steel being at nearly 3000 degree fahrenheit while the fires could only burn up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit tops (more or less), that’s true, but the steel doesn’t have to fucking melt in order for it to fucking bend to cause the fucking building to fucking fall, motherfucker!

You know what, rather than waste time typing a bunch of text on this, I’ll just refer you to this excellent educational youtube video series for all you dumb fucks out there who still buy into this conspiracy. It explains the collapse, and explains away the bullshit thermite theory (paint and inefficiency and why not the bottom floors):

“…controlled demolition. Where would people get an idea like that?”

From you asshole! From motherfuckers like you! From conspiratorial cocksuckers like you that make a demand for others to try and inject expert science to explain something that should be common fucking sense! Where’s some Japanese science lady who spent 2 years in the UK at who can call these people a bunch of twats?

You know what, I’m going off on another hypothetical conversation:

“Sir, we need to stage a terrorist attack so that we can get the people behind us to invade the middle east. What should we do?”
“Let’s get some middle eastern fucks who look like that arab in Aladdin to go onto some planes and ram them into the towers. People will be scared shitless after that.”
“But what if the towers don’t fall?”
“Sir, I think people would be more scared of terrorists if we made sure the towers fell so that we can be double sure they’ll be behind us for invading the middle east.”
“By Jove, you’re right! Let’s hire a team of professionals to get some explosives and plant them throughout the floors of both those towers.”
“Won’t they be spotted sir?”
“Fuck no! We’ll hire ninjas to do it. They did all sorts of shit in the 80s, and even more dumb shit in the 90s! Surely they can pull this off!”
“But sir, they will need hammers and tools to expose the pillars and supports to plant the devices on? Won’t that make some noise and bring attention to them?”
“Again, fuck no! We’ve got silent drills and noise cancelling hammers straight from the technologically advanced nation of Japan! They’ve got ninjas and silent hammers! They’ve got everything we’ll need for this!”
“But sir, the plane crash, won’t that disrupt the bombs somehow once it crashes? Especially when the fuel from the plane ignites and pours all over the building and pours down the elevator shafts? Also, are these bombs going to be on a timer or remote detonated? And how much time would it take to set this up? How many men will we need to pull this off?”
“Aren’t you forgetting which country those bombs and ninjas came from?”
“Oh, of course. Brilliant!”

Alright, what else does this cunthole of a documentary have? Christ, it’s got another fucking hour to go? The Able Danger bit is not enough to redeem this shit.

“Despite the air quality, the public was allowed back in.”

Christine Whitman of the EPA only recently decided that she and the EPA were probably wrong in letting people back into the city, saying it was safe. And the fucking White House of course doesn’t really seem to know any better or just doesn’t really give a shit about the people at ground zero. Fuckers. This was one of the better segments this documentary covers. Makes me even more pissed at the incompetence and arguably criminal negligence of both the government and EPA with how they handled post-9/11 (much less pre 9/11, and just the 9/11 event itself).

Act II: Chapter III: Shanksville

You know what, forget it. I covered this part in my United 93 review, I don’t feel like going over the conspiracy bullshit about this again.

“Did they find a plane in Shanksville?”

You going to explain how any alternative theory accounts for a missing plane and its passengers and how the various radar services and airports account for it? No? Didn’t fucking think so. Next.

“Cards and identification survived without a scratch.”

Bullshit it survived without a scratch! Bullshit it did! You can clearly see the fucking scratches in the fucking pictures you just fucking showed! Jesus Christ, what a fucking weak documentary this is. You even have a foot left to shoot off? No? Well, start blasting away at the next one then, that’s why God decided to give you 2 feet as opposed to 2 more brain cells.

Act II: Chapter IV: WTC 7
Ah fuck! That’s right. There’s still this thing. Well I’m sick of this documentary. I refer you to the youtube video mentioned above that discusses the twin towers. There’s another video in that series that discusses WTC 7 (plus some other websites if you feel like digging that shit up), video 4 I think. I’m done researching and attacking the claims/implications of this “film”. They’ve fucked up enough already to pretty much make the rest unreliable.

Limitations of the 9/11 Commission, blah blah blah, none of it leading to the right questions that should be asked. Michael Moore was closer to that than this documentary was, and that’s not saying much.

Fuck what he says, here’s what I say. The questions that should be asked is this: who’s accountable? Aside from the fact that the Pakistanis and Saudis also seem to have some responsibility (not necessarily the country as a whole, but certainly some key individuals), this should also extend to U.S. officials. Not necessarily because they planned for this to happen (I mean, it’s possible, but not in the way this documentary implies), but because they’re covering their asses for their negligence, incompetence, and ignorance. People in both the Clinton and Bush administration. Similar to the whole 2012 Benghazi incident. Anybody held accountable for that who got properly punished for it? No? Similar situation with 9/11 as far as I’m concerned, except that that event was much more devastating, and as such the repercussions should be bigger, and thus more of a reason to have officials try to cover their own asses. That’s my belief.

The only thing that I gained that was worthwhile from this documentary is their brief section on Able Danger, something that should get its own movie in of itself. As for the rest of it, it’s pure shit. Pass on it. For all you truthers who won’t pass on it, go ahead and light it up, inject it into your veins, and fuck off to your Neverland bubble.

The Path to 9/11 Review/Analysis Part 3

Continued from part 2.

Something else to consider. Aside from the bullshit reasons for trying to keep the film off the air, and the reasons for keeping the film off of DVD/Blu-Ray distribution (so far succeeding on that front), it would be a good idea to bring up the criticisms the film is facing. Historical criticisms, and criticism on a little something else.

In the opening credits of The Path to 9/11, it states the film is based on the book The Cell: Inside the 9/11 Plot, and Why the FBI and CIA Failed to Stop It by John C. Miller, Michael Stone, and Chris Mitchell. In the closing credits, the film states it’s also based in part on the novels 1000 Years for Revenge by Peter Lance, and Relentless Pursuit: The DSS and the Manhunt for the Al-Qaeda Terrorists. The first bit of criticism starts with the authoring of the screenplay, mainly in regards to it unfairly ripping off one of those books, and “whitewashing” it (not in the sense of replacing characters with white actors mind you).


1000 Years for Revenge
So according to Peter Lance, author of the book 1000 Years for Revenge (which will be referred to as 1K-R from here on out), Cyrus Nowrasteh approached Lance stating that ABC wanted to use his book 1K-R as the main source for The Path to 9/11. Peter Lance instead sold the book rights to director of NBC Kevin Reilly. In July 2005, Lance found out about Cyrus’ involvement with the film project, which at that time was being filmed under the unofficial title “[Untitled] History Project,” something that Blocking the Path to 9/11 confirms.

Now, in July as the cameras began rolling on what ABC first called “the History Project,” something told me that I should get a look at Cyrus’s script. When I turned to the first page of “Night One,” I saw that Nowrasteh had lifted much of my book, scene by scene, dialogue for dialogue. He’d even titled the first two hours, “The Mozart of Terror,” the name I’d coined for Yousef.

But beyond the hijacking of 1000 Years, what was most galling, was how Cyrus, hungry for some book on which to hang his story, had now embraced The Cell, the very book he’d bad-mouthed to me and elevated John Miller, who was about to take a job as chief FBI flak, to a lead character.

Worse, he’d taken the hapless Det. Lou Napoli – who had
ignored Ronnie Bucca’s warnings and failed to follow the WTC bombers and turned him a lead member of the FBI posse out to stop bin Laden – a bullpen of real and fictional characters now led by John O’Neill.

Unable to legally acquire my book, Nowrasteh had simply appropriated it and used what he wanted from it and then set up The Cell with its pro FBI slant as the “based on” underlying work for his re-telling of “History.”


Finally, after months of negotiating with ABC, Larry Stein called me in December of 2005 to say that my former network had agreed to pay a settlement of $250,000.00 to acquire the mini-series rights to 1000 Years For Revenge.

But the deal contained a “non-disparagement” clause and gag order. In order to keep me from telling the real truth behind their distortion of my work, ABC would hold off paying me the final $50K until a month after The Path to 9/11 aired.
Source 1
Source 2
Source 3

Claim: The Path to 9/11 rips scenes and dialogue from 1K-R, and is based more heavily on that book than on The Cell.

Response: Well, ABC did respond to and settle with Peter Lance in response to his claims, which should say something in of itself. That being said, when reading the book The Cell, I’ve noticed plenty of narrative elements from that film that indicate that the miniseries was heavily inspired by that book. For instance, the book puts a lot of focus on an ABC news reporter (one of the author’s of the book, who is also a significant character in the miniseries) who got in past security (he knew some of the fireman and policeman) right after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing to get a glimpse at the inside while firemen and bomb disposal units were doing their work inside. He shows up at other points, such as when the blind sheik gets arrested, interviews Bin Laden, and shoots footage from ground zero during the actual 9/11 incident. This is a character that 1K-R does not focus on.

Plus The Cell mentions that Ramzi Yousef (the one who was mainly responsible for carrying out the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing) looked upon the towers across the Jersey shore after his bombing failed to topple both of them. Keep in mind that The Cell was written before 1K-R (in fact, Peter Lance mentions the book in his footnotes, though he also mentions that it’s a book that “told only one side of the story” (Introduction, p.2).

And from what sections I have read from the book, I agree, scenes are lifted from the book and put into the movie, which fully supports Lance’s claim.

Anyway, when all is said and done, the above issue is more of an issue with giving credit where credit is due, which isn’t something that the final product in of itself should be bashed for. The main objection Peter Lance has against The Path to 9/11 is less the fact that they took his work without permission (ie plagiarized), and more that they distorted “facts” that Lance laid out in his novel that he not only wanted in the film, but that he says Cyrus claimed to have also wanted included in the film. I’m not sure if Lance’s claims on Cyrus intending to include such information is true or not, only they know the truth about that, and I haven’t seen anything from Cyrus that confirms or denies these claims. But I can take a look at the events Lance wanted included in the screenplay.

Claim: “the story of FBI special agent Nancy Floyd who’d almost stopped Yousef as he built the first WTC bomb in 1992 only to have her career tanked by superiors in the NYO”Source

Response: The 1K-R novel focuses on 3 major characters, Ramzi Yousef, a firefighter named Ronnie Bucca, and then FBI agent Nancy Floyd. Ramzi aside, Nancy and Ronnie had reduced roles in the film compared to 1K-R, which disappointed Lance as he feels their stories must be told in greater depth, especially since he has made them central characters in his nonfiction novel. That being said, Nancy Floyd’s character is in the film, she appears roughly 15-16 minutes in. Interestingly enough, her character was also in the film Path to Paradise (played by Marcia Gay Harden), but she is not mentioned in the novel The Cell. That in of itself does support the claim that The Cell doesn’t tell all sides of the story.  Anyway, the film pretty much shows about as much of Nancy as 1K-R described, except the part of her career following the trial of Yousef.  In the novel, it states that Nancy didn’t receive any reward, had an OPR investigation done on her, and she was left hung out to dry.  Most likely because she bad mouthed her superiors (who pretty much deserved it), and that bad mouthing was recorded on an audio device and used in the trial hearings by the defense.  Should the film have included that moment?  Probably, considering how much screwing over was done.  But that’s hardly a good enough reason to say that this film shouldn’t be seen.

Claim: “the Ronnie Bucca tragedy. An ex-Green Beret and firefighter with the FDNY’s elite Rescue One, Bucca later became a fire marshal and had top secret security clearance via an Army Reserve M.P. unit where he was posted at The Defense Intelligence Analysis Center at Bolling AFB in D.C.”Source

Story details: http://peterlance.com/wordpress/?p=1182

Response:As far as I can tell, Ronnie Bucca isn’t mentioned in the film (or in The Cell for that matter).  And as far as I know, he was a man who fit the above description who had taken it upon himself to do his own personal investigation following the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and might have come across information that could’ve been useful towards avoiding the 9/11 incident.  But honestly, that message is already included in the movie.  The CIA and FBI side of the story is already enough to show that things were happening that the government should’ve taken more seriously, but didn’t, and Ronnie’s story wouldn’t have added much to that.  That being said, there is another story that should take much higher priority than Ronnie’s in terms of what the film tries to accomplish, and that’s Able Danger, a U.S. organization that had proof of at least 4 of the hijackers, that they were planning the 9/11 event, and had this information available in the year 2000, but the higher ups ignored them.  It’s the most unbelievable part of the whole story, but that wasn’t included in the film.  For what reason, probably because it wasn’t mentioned in either The Cell or 1K-R.  Peter Lance would include it in his later book Triple Cross, but it was probably too early to get into that particular plot development.  It’s worth looking into.

Anyway, all of that aside, I’d like to lay down an alternative viewpoint regarding Peter Lance’s involvement with the project, and his book’s influence. I don’t doubt that he and Cyrus met and talked about it, and I don’t doubt that his book was influential in the role of the film. What I do doubt is the extent of his victim role. He claims he was less in it for the money and more in it for getting the story told, for getting the message out. And yet, he decided to sell the right to his book to NBC instead, and hoped they would get an alternative film/miniseries done that would be faithful to his work. His argument against ABC, claiming they were ripping off his book with their screenplay, is true in that Cyrus also wanted as much of the whole story told as possible, but they could no longer secure the rights to the book Cyrus (may have) recommended. At the time, ABC was shooting the film under the title “Untitled History Project”. They didn’t want Peter Lance bringing this up publicly and exposing the project while they were still filming, so they went ahead and gave him money and told him to shutup. This is because, according to the documentary Blocking The Path to 9/11, it was given that unofficial title for security and safety reasons for the cast and crew. I mean, think about it, what would happen if word got out that they were making a 9/11 docudrama during the filming process? The source above states he wrote a letter to ABC citing his objections and claim of slander in October 2005. ABC relented and gave him a settlement with the gag order in December 2005. The filming of The Path to 9/11 finished in the summer of 2006 (as stated in the documentary Blocking the Path to 9/11). That was likely the primary reason for the gag order, yet Lance speaks out as if big bad Disney ABC were flexing its muscles solely just because they didn’t want any badmouthing. That being said, I wouldn’t doubt that was another reason for the gag order. Plus Disney has a bad habit throughout its history of ripping off sources for a watered down version of a story without citation (Aladdin vs. the original version of The Thief and the Cobbler, The Lion King vs. Hamlet and Kimba the White Lion). The security risk for the cast and crew should not be ignored in any case.


The Big Question
Was The Path to 9/11 wrong to have that 3 minute sequence that shows how they failed to capture Bin Laden? There are claims that this incident did not happen, that they never got that close, and that Bill Clinton did everything he could to capture/kill Bin Laden, and even went so far as to draw up an invasion plan for Afghanistan that could be used after his presidency had ended so the next president could utilize it to finish what he started.

Claim: No event like the scene portrayed in the movie with them getting that close to killing/capturing Bin Laden ever happened.

Response: Hank Crumpton says otherwise, according to this 60 Minutes interview done in 2012. Hank Crumpton is a former CIA officer.

Claim: Bill Clinton did everything he could to capture/kill Bin Laden during his presidency, from 1998 and onwards.

Response:He did everything he could so long as it wouldn’t hurt his political chances.  This is backed up by the novels, and by documentaries such as National Geographic’s Inside 9/11, and On Native Soil.

Claim: Bill Clinton was responsible for the drawing up of the invasion plan into the Middle East for dealing with the terrorists and Bin Laden just before his presidency ended.

Response: I thought I remembered seeing this scene depicted in the film. Apparently I thought wrong, unless I overlooked it somehow. But anyway, more accurately, Clinton had an official draw up an invasion plan for the next president to implement since he didn’t want to do it during his last year in office. They could’ve included that, and to be honest, I kinda wished they did too. But even if they did, the haters would still probably hate, claiming that the film would’ve made Clinton look like a pussy for not invading during his last year with those invasion plans, forcing the next president to go along with it. In any case, the message remains the same even without this event. Clinton wanted to deal with Al Qaeda, but was iffy when it came to actually doing so on various occasions (not all occasions mind you, some various ones). And if there was a chance things could go wrong, he didn’t want to be viewed in a worse light than he already was with the whole affair scandal and the botched bombing run. So he handed the responsibility over to the next in line, who didn’t act on it. Either way, both sides share the blame.


Response to Frank Vyan Walton’s post “ABC shelves Path to 9/11 DVD. Yay!”
Boy does this blog have a lot to get off of its chest on how much is despises The Path to 9/11, and pretty much Republicans in general. Aside from bringing up the “intellectual theft” that was discussed above, he brings up these issues which I will respond to, especially since he thinks these are good enough reason to keep this movie off the shelves:

Claim: The film essentially defamed John O’Neill, Richard Clarke, George Tenet, Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger and Bill Clinton by manufacturing failures of inaction on their part which didn’t take place and ignoring many successful aggressive anti-terrorist actions.

Response:See above in response to the claims “Bill Clinton did everything he could…” and “No event like the scene portrayed in the movie…”  As for John O’Neill, what are you even talking about?  Did you even watch the movie?  I’d say they did the opposite of defaming him.  Same goes for Richard Clarke.  Sandy Berger, that piece of shit deserved to get defamed after stealing and destroying classified documents (Source), nevermind the fact that he was involved in at least one of those “close call” incidents according to Tom Kean in the documentary Blocking the Path to 9/11.  As for the others, in what way, may I ask, were they unjustly defamed?

Claim: The rival book (as compared to 1K-R) “The Cell, ” is essentially a “Disney-ized” version of similar events brought up in 1K-R, but was so white-washed it was “Like telling the story of John Dillinger’s take down without mentioning FBI agent Melvin Purvis.”

Response:That’s true, up to a point.  Yeah that book left out Nancy Floyd, and Ahmed Shah Massoud.  But you know what else?  1K-R doesn’t cover ABC reporter John Miller to the extent that The Cell does.  It also goes too far into conspiracy theory territory when it brings up Flight TWA 800, stating that Yousef may have been involved with bombing the plane, when it wasn’t a bomb at all that took it down.  In fact, The Cell goes into great detail on how panicked everyone was about that flight, the conspiracy theories that abounded, and how the FBI stayed on that case longer than it should to make sure a logical scientific explanation was put forth after much time and research to explain how it exploded and why it went down the way it did (the building of a computer simulation was involved).  Plus Peter Lance is way too hard on the FBI, citing their failures.  Look, there’s negligence by the higher ups, then there’s the whole “in hindsight” logic that Lance constantly uses.  The Cell offers another perspective, on how the FBI agents on the ground were scrambling and doing the best they could with what they had even though they were underfunded and understaffed (particularly in the arabic translation department).  That they could’ve done their jobs better if they were better financed, had more staff/support, and more cooperation and understanding between their higher ups and other agencies such as the CIA.  Both books have their pros and cons.


The blog states that the below “facts” were not included in The Path to 9/11. I will respond on if they were or were not actually included in the film, and if they were not, if they should have been (discussing if they were in fact factual).

Claim: Bill Clinton personally authorized each and every aggressive action suggested to stop and/or contain Osama Bin Laden (Source)

Response:If that’s true, then he sure dropped the ball on that didn’t he?  Anyway, the film did say the attacks were authorized, it was the matter of actually pulling the trigger that became questionable, especially when civilians were around the target.

Claim: Under Clinton the CIA had standing orders to Kill Bin Laden (9/11 Commission Report)

Response:Well yeah, that’s true, and the film supports this.  But there’s a difference between having orders to kill bin Laden, and actually taking the necessary steps to kill bin Laden.

Claim: No U.S. military personnel were ever on the ground in Afghanistan prior to 9/11 and ever had visual contact with Bin Laden (Source)

Response:The “visual contact with Bin Laden” part could be true, but not having military personnel on the ground is not, unless by military that doesn’t include those who were on the ground attempting to capture/kill Bin Laden along with Ahmed Shah Massoud.  In which case, then yeah, no military, just FBI or CIA agents.

Claim: Bill Clinton specifically ordered Joint Chiefs Chairman Hugh Shelton to develop a plan to put Special Forces on the ground in Bin Laden’s camps, but it was the Pentagon who balked – not the White House. (Source)

Response:Alright, yeah, I don’t recall the film having that bit in it.  I don’t think it mentioned the Special Forces idea in general, aside from a brief discussion where they remark that a president has never declared a war during the last year in office, which is essentially what deploying Special Forces means.  But yeah, they could’ve included that, but they didn’t.  Again, I seriously doubt that this is grounds for keeping this film hidden away.  Consider a scene during part 2 where they ask Condoleezza Rice on a few occasions for assistance with retaliating against Al Qaeda, and retaliating against the USS Cole attack, but their pleas are once again ignored, only now by another administration that seems to give less of a damn despite the warning signs.

Claim: The Development of the Armed Predator, under Clinton, to address the logistical problems which plagued Special Forces in Afghanistan

Response:The Predator and discussions of arming it is included in the movie, during the Clinton Administration period.

Claim: The fact that the Armed Predator, though ready, was not even discussed for deployment by the WH until Clarke’s “urgent” meeting finally took place on Sept 5th.

Response: Ok.  The whole Predator scenario was put in the movie, mentioning how they wanted it to become armed so they could’ve taken out Bin Laden when they had the chance (budget).  And again, I think they included enough of it in the movie.

Claim: Richard Clarke’s urgent Jan 2001 warnings about Al Qaeda to Condi Rice and call for an immediate Principles Meeting which was ignored for 9 months.

Response:Well, I’d say they condensed this whole thing in a scene where he meets with Rice, who ignores him and has him re-assigned to another sector (Cyber-Security).

Claim: The Bush Administration doing nothing in response to the U.S.S. Cole bombing once Al Qaeda had been confirmed as the culprits in early 2001.

Response:That’s true.  But Clinton didn’t really do much either.  Both administrations failed their because the Yemenis wouldn’t assist them.  Hell, they hindered them.  And neither administration wanted to get too aggressive with investigating it or else risk rising tensions and potential war with Yemenis.  This is covered in The Cell by the way.

Claim: The Midnight Ride to Condi’s Office by Tenet, Cofer Black and Clark to warn that something big “10 on a scale of 1 to 10” was coming, which was ignored. (Source)

Response:There’s already plenty of instances in the film about pleas to the higher ups falling on deaf ears.

Claim: The August 6th President’s Day Brief. (Source)

Response: The film did not focus on either president enough to have an actor portray them, only relying on news footage. There was no reason to give Bush such special attention compared to Clinton. That being said, one could argue that this should’ve been mentioned second-hand by some participant of the brief, such as by Condoleezza Rice or some such person.

Claim: George Tenet’s personal briefing of Bush in August at the Crawford ranch to reemphasize the PDB and make clear that “They’re Coming Here”

Response:Just how many of these “pleas falling on deaf ears” instances do you fucking want in this movie?


Oh, and one other thing mentioned by Walton:
“I myself regret that “Path to 9/11” won’t be available on DVD since I actually missed it’s original airing – I also love a good comedy.”

Sounds to me like he’s implying that he didn’t actually make an attempt to watch the fucking movie. Probably would’ve helped his case if he did, just like how it would’ve helped those asshole politician’s cases if they themselves also saw the movie before opening their cunthole mouths against it.

One last thing.
I mentioned in part one of this film analysis that several politicians who rallied against the film had not seen it. It’s worth noting that they claim to have requested a copy of the film, but were denied by Disney ABC. That may be true, and ABC probably should’ve given them copies of the film for the sake of calming the shitstorm that erupted. But they didn’t. I can think of a few reasons why, the main one being why should a studio give out a copy of a film before its release date at the risk of having it leaked online or have bootleg copies floating around? I think they were hoping they would just wait and watch the damn show when it aired, and then bring their arguments afterward, which is how it should be in my opinion. Was this the right decision? In hindsight, maybe not, but there are factors to consider just from a business standpoint alone. The film did eventually air, and at that point many of the arguments turned out to be bullshit, so they shut their mouths. But that still didn’t stop behind the curtains political pressure from going against Disney which went against ABC to shelve the film and keep it locked in the Disney vault for the foreseeable future. And this is a crime against film.


PS: Still haven’t finished 1K-R. Working my way through it. But I used the index to go to various pages in an attempt to counter some of the above claims. If I made any mistakes, or if my responses are not solid, by all means, leave a statement in the comments section and I will address it.

End of Review/Analysis (hopefully).

The Path to 9/11 Review/Analysis: Part 2

Rating: 4/5

Note: See part 1 for more information on this film.

Analysis of the Film

The film is made in a Paul Greengrass style (ironic, considering that United 93 was released in the same year, as was Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center; 2006 was quite a year for 5 year 9/11 anniversary films), and as a result the best way to describe it is as a thriller.  From the opening moments the film is gripping, the atmosphere relentless in its tension.  And it stays that way throughout much of the runtime. The sequence of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in of itself is one of the most intense sequences in the movie, only topped by the devastating final act.

Some negatives I have, just about all of the CGI explosion bits.  Granted, this wasn’t the highest budgeted miniseries out there, and this was made just as the golden age of tv shows was getting going (The Wire, The Shield, etc.), but regardless, the questionable looking explosions are still there.  Thankfully, they limit the amount of explosions that happen, to where there’s only about 3 of them that prove to be distracting. Aside from that, this brief battle sequence in the desert had too much stuff going on in the distance, and too little action that could be seen thanks in part to shaky-cam and other tricks that were obviously made to disguise the fact that they didn’t have the budget to make a complex battle scene. Lastly, there’s some questionable cinematography at a few points, such as close-up shots of someone’s face.  That aside, the rest of the film is very well made.

Factual Liberties

And considering that this is a dramatic retelling of historical events, which is the main reason this film got pissed on by the Clintons and banned by Disney due to political pressure, how accurate is the film historically speaking?  The film says it’s based in large part by The 9/11 Commission Report (before those 28 pages of declassified documents were made public which showed that the Saudis funded the terrorists who hijacked the planes), but that’s not all it used as a resource.  The 9/11 Commission Report does not go back to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, it only goes as far back as 1998 when Osama Bin Laden became the main focus of the FBI/CIA manhunt.  So to gather more information, a novel titled The Cell: Inside the 9/11 Plot, and Why the FBI and CIA Failed to Stop It by John C. Miller, Michael Stone, and Chris Miller was used as a resource for making the script for the film, plus 2 other novels titled 1000 Years for Revenge: International Terrorism and the FBI-The Untold Story by Peter Lance, and Relentless Pursuit by Samuel M. Katz.  From what I’ve gathered, Relentless Pursuit stick with the whole process of pursuing and capturing Ramzi Yousef after the 1993 bombing, and the complications that arose during that process. The Cell is much more broad in its scope, covering as much as it could on the 1993 bombing (and various events prior to that) to the events leading up to 9/11. Unfortunately, this book leaves out Nancy Floyd, which is a big fault considering that she played a big role in working with the FBI’s Egyption informant Emad Salem.  The Cell also leaves out the role of Ahmed Shah Massoud, which is an even greater crime. 1000 Years for Revenge is pretty much like The Cell, except it’s written more as a fiction thriller (while being non-fiction) and includes Nancy Floyd, who is one of three main characters the book focuses on (the others are Ramzi Yousef, the bomber, and a firefighter named Ronnie Bucca, who wasn’t included in either The Cell nor the film itself). 1000 Years for Revenge also tends to lean too far into conspiracy theory at times, so both it and The Cell have their pros and cons. I haven’t read Relentless Pursuit, but I’ve read The Cell, and am currently working through 1000 Years for Revenge.

In any case, as far as I know, the film is largely factual, and the liberties it takes are due either to lack of information at the time and/or time compression, or for dramatic flair.  Honestly, as big as a 4 1/2 hour film is, that’s not enough time to cover about 8 years worth of events, so they do the best they can with the time they are given.  The arguments I’ve seen against this film, all of them are pretty much unfounded, exaggerated greatly, or just pure grade A bullshit. I haven’t seen any other documentary or miniseries take as much shit from a political administration and their radical followers as this film has. It’s ridiculous, and the lengths people went to to attack this film have gone to ridiculous levels.  There is one argument I know of that can be used against the film to a small extent.  I’ve mentioned the American Airlines controversy in a previous post, but there are some others I feel like bringing up, just to give you an idea of what sort of liberties and time compression this miniseries utilized. They range from understandable to highly questionable.

* When the NYPD officer took that VIN number evidence from the World Trade Center after the 1993 bombing, the film portrays it as clearly labeled with the ID numbers. According to that novel The Cell, it wasn’t that simple. There were a lot of hole indentures that made it impossible to tell what numbers/letters were displayed without going through a process that involved bending/twisting the metal, coating it with liquid and wiping it, etc., to eventually make out what those numbers/letters are. But again, simplification and time compression, the message still comes across that an NYPD officer went against orders removing evidence from the crime scene which got transferred to a crime lab that led to the arrest of one of the terrorists. That message isn’t muddled at all due to simplifying the event.

* The film didn’t mention some of Yousef’s post 1993 bombing activities, such as assisting a Bin Laden guerrilla army that planned on making an Islamic state out of the Philippines. But, of course, some events have to be overlooked just for the sake of time alone for a docudrama series, let alone focus, since that had nothing really to do with the events that lead towards 9/11, or at the very least is very low on the priority list of what should be included.

* The film kinda time-jumps from 1996 to 1998. The reason for this is because the FBI and JTTF (Joint Terrorism Task Force) were tied up investigating events that ended up having nothing to do with 9/11, the main one being the incident with Flight 800 and a couple other bombings that happened in 1996 and 1997. Understandable why these events were skipped, since they’re basically red herrings when it comes down to events that led to 9/11, at least compared to the other events that were included in the film.

* The film doesn’t mention Ali Mohamed, a guy who was a triple agent, who informed the FBI about bin Laden and Al Qaeda, but also informed bin Laden and Al Qaeda about the FBI, keeping them one step ahead, giving misinformation to the FBI, and stealing top secret documents. Hey was a key element in the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, the USS Cole attack, and 9/11 itself. I suppose the main reason he wasn’t included is because the information on him wasn’t entirely clear at the time, that it would add another layer on an already densely-layered and quick paced plot. Or it could just be that the film-makers just didn’t want the FBI to look that bad. In any case, for anyone who’s curious, he’s worth looking into.

* The film doesn’t mention Jamal al-Fadl, the main guy responsible for providing information about Al Qaeda and its workings, letting the FBI and CIA know just what they were dealing with. Really wish the film included him.

Those last two kinda hurt, but despite those omissions (which could’ve been for any number of logical/acceptable reasons), I still find this film to be a solid historical thriller that has historical lessons/information that are worth remembering. In fact, the film can encourage others to look up the information themselves for more information. The controversy surrounding this film certainly got me to do that to see if it deserved the thrashing it received prior to its airing, and from what I’ve researched so far, I’d say it doesn’t deserve hardly any of it.

GIF source

Rest of the Analysis

Anyway, what’s the theme of the film? What lesson does it push forward? From the opening quotes and the closing images, seems to me that the goal of this film is to show events that highlight the pros and cons of U.S. anti-terrorism policies, and how it goes about following them, and the successes and failures done from 1993 to 2001, and makes sure to highlight the failures to plea for the government and the citizens to find a way to follow through on the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Report. As the film and the novels the film is based upon mention, there was a serious lack of communication, cooperation, funding, and efficiency when it came to getting the job done, along with higher-ups ignoring warning signs, or just not taking them seriously enough. Which made something like 9/11 seem inevitable in retrospect. But that’s the key point, “in retrospect”. While the film does question the decisions (or lack thereof) made during this time period, it tries not to associate blame at the same time (that’s pretty much in the eye of the beholder, and a few beholders saw blame put somewhere and attacked the film for that reason).

While many have complained that the film puts Bill Clinton in a bad light, they tend to ignore that the film does the same to Bush up to an extent (much less various FBI and CIA agents). As far as Bush goes, from what footage they do include of him, he’s portrayed as a guy who just seems ignorant and uncaring of what is going on outside of his personal life. His administration tends to act accordingly, in that they don’t see the importance and significance of going after terrorists, and thus downsize terrorist task forces (CIA and FBI branches dedicated to going after bin Laden) and focus on other priorities, which in hindsight was a very bad move. As for Clinton, he is shown as someone who does want bin Laden captured/killed, but political climate and foreign diplomatic relations tend to make him and/or the people he has in charge of anti-terrorism organizations second-guess his policies on terror, and thus never go all in or take risks that are necessary for getting the job done.

This leaves several FBI/CIA agents angered and frustrated at the obstacles put up by their own government and people at the top of various organizations that prevent them from getting the job done. They also mention the frustration that comes up with various laws in place which give off the effect of “protecting terrorists”, but also point out that these laws are in place for a reason, for better or worse. That being said, the film raises questions on whether or not laws should change for the sake of fighting this “new kind of war”.

Regarding the entertainment value, I found the miniseries to be investing and very entertaining. I am glad this was developed as a miniseries rather than a full-scale epic movie, because it can be exhausting sitting through this film.  I don’t just mean the information that you get bombarded with in each scene (there is a lot of dialogue and information dumping and events that continually thrust the plot forward, but they never hit you with too much at once).  No, I mean the shakey cam.  Just think Paul Greengrass bad, in that it would be headache inducing if this wasn’t divided into 2 parts.

In addition, the last 30-40 minutes of the film are definitely going to leave you emotionally devastated.  It’s infuriating, intense, horrifying, and sad all at the same time.  The whole film builds up to the tragic event almost like it was an inevitability with the lack of cooperation and the decision not to take terrorisms seriously that caused it to happen, and you can just feel the emotion and the devastation and the shock that everyone felt on that day, whether they were actually there, or turning on the television to witness it.  It’s a true gut-punch of a finale. It also shows some of the higher-ups from earlier, who felt it best to interfere with the earlier attempts to stop the terrorists, as they look at the television screen as the attacks are happening on 9/11, making them realize how wrong they were.


So do I recommend this film?  Of course I do!  This is probably the best 9/11 film out there!  The Path to 9/11 is the definitive docudrama film that stands tall above all other films on the subject, in my opinion.  It’s good enough to where I think it should be shown in history classes (Scholastic even considered that until the controversy erupted).  The head of ABC at the time hinted at the idea that he planned on having the film broadcast every 9/11 anniversary, like how TBS annually plays A Christmas Story every Christmas.  Well, that didn’t happen.  And I’m fucking pissed about it.  I’m pissed at the cocksucking politicians who rallied against it, I’m pissed at Disney for fucking caving into the pressure, and I’m doubly fucking pissed that this isn’t officially available in any video format anywhere within the U.S. (I hear the U.K. and Canada actually have DVD copies of it, because they don’t give a rat’s ass about what U.S. politicians demand; good for them in this case).

So how can you watch the film aside from going to Canada?  Well, you could either try to torrent it, or you can do what I did and purchase a copy on eBay.  Either way, there are multiple reasons for watching it.  Telling Disney to suck it, telling the Clinton administration to suck it, or just wanting to watch a solid historically relevant film that encourages our government to get their shit together.  Interesting note, the film even briefly brings up cyber security.


To be continued…

The Path to 9/11 Review/Analysis: Part 1


This film is banned in the United States.

The Path to 9/11 was originally released as a 2-part miniseries in 2006 on ABC, produced by ABC and Disney, written by Cyrus Nowrasteh. It’s a docudrama that recreates/dramatizes the events from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing (which itself is dramatized in a made for tv HBO film titled Path to Paradise) to the actual 9/11 incident itself, connecting the dots between both events in the process.  Here’s why all of those are significant.  Cyrus Nowrasteh also directed The Stoning of Soraya M., and was one of the screenwriters for that film; that film became banned in Iran.  That film was made in 2009.  This film, The Path to 9/11, is currently banned in the United States.  Poor Cyrus has a bad habit of getting involved in films that tend to get suppressed in one fashion or another.  I mean, granted, that was only 2 times as far as I know, but that tends to be something controversial that draws a lot of eyes.

Anyway, The Path to 9/11 had a budget of $40 million, starred Harvey Keitel and Donnie Wahlberg, got nominated for 7 Emmies, and won an Emmy for Best Editing (something that will be a bit ironic as you soon will see), only aired once for its 2 night premiere in September 2006, and has never aired again or been released on VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, or in any official digital format, whether it be Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.  Disney lost a lot of money due to that decision.

So that makes one wonder, how can that be?  How is it that a film/mini-series financed by Disney ABC, an emmy nominee and winner, and a film that received a respectable amount of viewers upon airing despite being on at the same time as Monday Night Football, be locked in the Disney vault never to be officially aired/released up to today?

Politics, and politicians claiming the miniseries flat out lies and fictionalizes the events depicted in the film, and the mainstream news supporting this claim and spinning the story in that way, that’s how. All of this before the film even aired for its 2 night premiere.

There’s a documentary that pretty much tells all, fittingly titled Blocking The Path to 9/11.  This blog entry is basically going to condense the information that documentary provides, but it’s worth tracking it down and watching it.  It can be purchased on this website.

The controversy started immediately after a pre-screening of the film in Washington DC at the National Press Club, but they could only show the first part of the miniseries. You know, because the entire miniseries ends up running at around 4 1/2 hours, which is too much time for a pre-screening. So they just showed part 1, which ran 2 1/2 hours. Now, here’s why this is significant. Prior to the film airing on ABC September 10, 2006, the amount of pressure put on ABC more or less forced them to make cuts/alterations to the film. I have seen both the edited and unedited versions of the film, and the only cuts/alterations I can find are in part 1. Part 1 of the miniseries focuses on the Clinton Administration time period, part 2 focuses on the Bush Administration time period.  So, after finishing the pre-screen viewing, Richard Ben-Veniste, a Clinton attorney, and a 9/11 Commission Reporter, began verbally attacking and criticizing the film and the crew, stating how the film is historically inaccurate and portrays an unjustly negative view of Bill Clinton. Note that this is opposite of the reaction many 9/11 families had towards the film at that same showing.  From there on, things got more and more insane and ridiculous until it came to a peak when a letter was written by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Charles Schumer, and Senator Byron Dorgan, who demanded that ABC either not show the film, or make cuts to the film. Failure to do so, then they would go after ABC’s broadcast license, which was slated for renewal at the time. None of them have seen the film, or so they stated publicly on mainstream news broadcasts.

Oh, and of course Bill Clinton had some negative say about the movie he had never seen as well. Just in case that needed to be pointed out. In fact, much of what Bill Clinton himself did to attack and attempt to destroy The Path to 9/11 is documented in this book Clinton in Exile, written by Carol Felsenthal.

Anyway, that’s just some of the political pressure ABC faced, along with attacks from other organizations that have ties to the Clinton Administration in one form or another. The pressure didn’t quite get bad enough that ABC was willing to not air the film and lock it up before anyone could see it (through mainstream broadcast anyway), but it did apparently get ad enough to where they made 2 edits to the film.

Edited version of first altered scene:

Unedited version of first altered scene:

Controversial sequence where they were aborted on their mission to capture Osama Bin Laden:

I should also point out that Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger, a former White House national security adviser, also spoke out against the film on CNN. He’s that guy depicted in one of those clips above, the one who cut off video feed. Now, here’s the thing. Prior to the film controversy, he faced charges of “intentionally removing and destroying copies of a classified document about the Clinton administration’s record on terrorism.”
Source 1
Source 2

He didn’t serve as much time as he probably should have for pulling that stunt, and on top of that, he got back into the political game later on. Justice, and media bias, all wrapped into one package.

Anyway, Scholastic, you know, that teaching/book company, was initially planning to encourage and endorse the use of this movie, The Path to 9/11, as a teaching tool for school classes, but later bowed out due to pressure from the political left.

Oh, right, and you must be wondering, what about Bush? What was the Bush administration’s view on the movie? What did they do? As far as I know, they didn’t take a stance. They did nothing. I’m also pretty sure they bitched less about Fahrenheit 9/11 than the Clintons bitched about The Path to 9/11. But I do believe George Bush actually said that he wanted more face-time on The Path to 9/11, even though part 2 of the miniseries didn’t exactly favor his administration favorably.


Anyway, so of all these complaints about the film being historically inaccurate… Actually, let’s talk about that for a minute. How many docudramas out there are historically accurate? How many are inaccurate? How many just flat out falsify events for the sake of drama? I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to conclude that most of them are probably less accurate than The Path to 9/11 is. I mean, they’re docudramas. If they wanted to aim for 100% historical accuracy, they would be documentaries. That being said, the film-makers have stated time and again that they not only tried to be as historically accurate as possible and minimize the amount of liberties taken for the sake of dramatization, but this film has an unprecedented amount of fact-checking and oversight to make sure things were gotten right. They had members from the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, and Air Traffic Control, among others, who were on set to make sure everything was historically accurate.

“The fact-checking on THE PATH TO 9/11 was of the highest standards. I would gladly put its veracity up against any docudrama ever made. In fact, over Labor Day weekend Disney/ABC brought in outside counsel to double-check the factual basis for the script (all 350 pages of annotations and their sources), and they concluded that it was rock-solid.” — Cyrus Nowrasteh

That being said, there is one thing that I know of that the docudrama did get wrong, which they admitted to in the Blocking the Path to 9/11 documentary. At the beginning of the film, one of the hijackers attempts to purchase a American Airlines ticket at the New York airport on September 11, and an alert comes up on the screen, saying that this man is potentially dangerous. But they let him have his ticket and let him go on his way despite this. That didn’t happen, at least not on that day at that airport. This happened on the same day at an earlier time in Portland, Maine for a regional airline flight that had a partnership with American Airlines. In any case, American Airlines decided to speak out against the film for this error.

But aside from that, which, come on, that’s a small error, and the message was still there that the warning signs were around but they went unheeded; aside from that, the film is fairly accurate with the events.

So with all the controversy, all the political backlash, all the media bias, all the personal attacks (you should really see the Blocking the Path to 9/11 documentary for more details), the 2-part miniseries aired on September 10, and September 11, 2006. It aired commercial-free both nights. The ABC president went from intending to air this film annually every September, to never again. This film has never aired again, has never been released in America on VHS, DVD (I heard Canada might be selling), Blu-Ray, has never had an online digital distribution (an official one anyway), there has been nothing of it since. Disney refuses to release it, or sell it to a distributor who will release it. The 10th anniversary of the film’s one and only air date comes September 10, 2016. The 15th anniversary of 9/11 comes September 11, 2016.

What about the quality of the film itself? Is it good? Is it bad? Was it worth all the controversy? Or is it just not that entertaining, and thus it would be better to read a book on the events rather than watch the 2-part miniseries? Well, that is something I will cover in the next review. Spoiler alert, you should track it down and watch it.

To be continued…

United 93 Review

Source: https://www.filmonpaper.com/posters/united-93-one-sheet-advance-usa/

“We have some planes.”

Now this is more like it. A big step up from World Trade Center. Jesus what an emotional gut-punch those final seconds are.


A Review and Comparison to World Trade Center

In order for me to talk about this film, I’m going to have to make comparisons between this and World Trade Center, and also mention a very interesting thematic element Paul Greengrass brought up in his commentary on the film. The film opens with the hijackers in a hotel room saying their prayers. Opening in this style starts the tension up right away, because we know what these guys are about to do, and we stay with them as they leave, as they intermingle with others at the airport, to when they board the plane. But another reason why the film opens with them, something I wouldn’t have caught onto until Greengrass mentioned it, is because we are already watching a hijacking in progress. Much like how they would go on to hijack Flight 93, they are currently hijacking their own religion for their own amoral purposes. Quite a thematic revelation that made me appreciate Greengrass and this film even more.

Source: http://islamicwallpaper.tumblr.com/post/5194832174/islam-is-against-terrorism-fatwa-against

Now, the reasons why this worked for me more than World Trade Center did. For starters, it stays more technical about things and doesn’t shove the emotion in your face. In World Trade Center, it’s all about the emotion. Men talking about and crying for their families, seeing the families crying over their husbands, walking around doing stuff trying to cope with the emotions of frustration, desperation, and sadness, etc. I’m not very big on films like that. Though I will give World Trade Center some credit, I did get choked up when Nicolas Cage’s character said to his wife, “You kept me alive.”

These films also can’t just stick with the main focus of the story the entire time. United 93 can’t stick with just the passengers of the plane anymore than World Trade Center can stick with the officers buried under the rubble throughout the entire runtime. The pacing would get too slow, and things would get too monotonous. Or at least I would like to believe so, even though films like 127 Hours tend to prove that you can have a film stay focused on just the central character(s) the entire runtime and still be good, but most of the time that just doesn’t work. World Trade Center bounced between the officers in the rubble, the families (mainly the wives) coping with the situation, and a marine. That film mainly worked for me when it stayed with the officers in the rubble, the officers outside of the rubble, and the marine. The central figures buried within the rubble provided enough of the emotion, the marine served the purpose of having soldiers doing their duty with progressing towards saving American lives, giving the viewer hope that he will find them while displaying his bravery and determination, both sides progressed the plot in their own way. In fact, World Trade Center would’ve been a better film if it left the families out of the picture for the most part and just used them in flashbacks, and kept things focused on the officers and the marines, and trimmed down the runtime a bit. But that’s just my opinion.

United 93, on the other hand, didn’t bother going in-depth with whom each of these civilian passengers are. We get glimpses into their lives through their actions, mannerisms, and remarks made during brief conversations. In other words, the film has us view them as we would any normal passengers on a plane, as if we were there with them. The film attempts immersion in that way, with its pseudo-documentary style. For me, that worked. And to keep things that way, the film didn’t need to stick with the passengers the entire time, otherwise it would have to change its style to letting us know more about them than their face-value attributes. Instead, the majority of the film focuses outside of the plane, on the flight controllers, from the airline controllers, to the military communications. This was a good decision in my opinion, even if it makes it seem like two different worlds and two different movies (directing style aside). It works mainly due to pacing. Despite the length of the film, the pacing is quick enough to where time just flies by (no pun intended).

Here’s why this decision works for the first half of the film. Focusing on the flight controllers as things are going smoothly and by daily routine, to a small oddity that grows into a problem which escalates into a catastrophe, we get a feel for the growing tension and terror of what is happening. That several planes are being hijacked. So transitioning between the flight controllers and Flight 93 while it is still grounded and experiencing delays, the viewer is just pleading at the screen for the flight to not take off, to not rush towards its fate, knowing all that is going on before the flight even makes it to the runway. But it eventually does. It’s a fantastic way to create a tense atmosphere without showing very much.

Once the flight takes off, it wouldn’t make much sense just to ignore the air traffic controllers at that point after sticking with them. We see things going from bad to worse, and show just how chaotic the entire atmosphere is. They’re desperately trying to maintain control and get a grasp on everything and send in fighter jets to assist with how they can. For a more in-depth experience with what was happening, I recommend the BBC documentary Clear the Skies. At the same time, the passengers of Flight 93 are gradually learning more and more about the predicament they are in via phone calls, and that they must attempt to regain control of the situation themselves, with the words, “Ready? Let’s roll.”

Eventually, some form of control is regained, but only after so much damage has been done. Damage that sent shockwaves throughout the nation, and to other nations, and ultimately to the viewers who watch this movie to its final moments.

United 93 is such a fitting title. Aside from that being the name of the plane, it also fits with how the passengers eventually united against a common enemy, much like how America united to help each other amidst the crisis, and for a controversial war overseas.

After all these years, it’s still emotional.


Addressing the Criticisms
Now, there are some criticisms this film faces. One of them is the portrayal of the German passenger Christian Adams. The most direct and lengthy criticism(s) can be found here:

Now, it does make sense for there to be some appeaser, some dissident from the plan to retake control of the plane. I would’ve pictured some old dude or some old lady to be that way, but that’s just me, and I haven’t exactly done research on the personality traits of the passengers of Flight 93. But I will agree that it’s questionable at best regarding the portrayal given to Christian Adams. I’ve heard all the arguments, that he’s the one non-American passenger on the plane (terrorists aside), and so it must be a non-American to protest against the American duty of fighting back; it unjustly paints Europeans/Germans as cowards; that’s not how he was in real life; blah blah blah.

In all honesty, I agree. They should’ve been more careful about which passenger would’ve taken on that roll. It’s a lose-lose situation in any case, because the family of the respective victim would cry fowl no matter who was chosen, but I agree that it should’ve been someone else. It seems too stereotypical in the wrong way. Some people make a very big deal out of this to the point where they would say it ruins the movie for them. For me, it’s a small problem, but not a fatal one. It’s not that big of a deal for me personally, but I can understand why others would take a bigger issue with it. Plus I think they go a little too far with how he panics just before they charge the terrorists, trying to stop them from taking back the plane.

The other issue this film faces is that some claim Hollywood is just capitalizing on our emotions and on the disaster of the event. People, it’s Hollywood, they will capitalize on anything if they can make money off of it. They would capitalize on your grandmother getting gangbanged and sodomized in prison if they thought they could make a profit out of it and not piss off too many viewers. That’s not the question you should be asking. You should be asking if the film-makers are sincere in their work and not just doing it for a cash-grab. I firmly believe the film-maker was sincere, as was just about everyone involved in this film.


Addressing the Conspiracy Theories

But then comes the big tamale of the issues. Conspiracy theories.

“What? Surely he’s not going to go into that territory?”
“Oh, yes he is!” I say in the third person.

The reason why I’m going to go into this is because I’ve seen reviews of the film who have their rating and enjoyment level swayed by these very things. They argue that because this film is made in a pseudo-documentary style, that it aims to be as factual as possible while taking as few liberties as possible, they can’t rate the film highly because it fictionalizes portions of, if not the entire, flight. If some reviewers are going to say the film is bad because it’s propaganda and filled with lies because the official story is BS, then I’m going to fucking address them.

Conspiracy theorists believe there is control over events such as these. They don’t believe in the word “chaos”. They have a hard time believing that shit happens, that sometimes things happen that are beyond our control. They believe just about everything is planned out. I believe most of them are fucking morons, and I say this as an ex-fucking-moron, who used to be in with them on believing the official story was just not true. I was more gullible then than I am now.

Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/chaos-reigns-Kt9pgjDPjsySQ

The best way to respond to a conspiracy theory is by treating it the same way conspiracy theorists treat the official story, by raising questions about supposed faults in the story.

#1: The theory that the plane didn’t crash, but landed somewhere safely, and the hold in the ground is a natural formation that was there before the crash, or that it was dug out that way prior to the crash, or some horseshit like that. Plus the hole in the ground is too small for a plane of that size.

Response: First of all, that’s a complex plan that relies on a lot of hopes that there wouldn’t be any witnesses catching on to it. Assuming the flight didn’t crash but landed at some other airport, where are the airport witnesses? Why wouldn’t the passengers say anything after all these years? Or were they killed at the airport? If the plane landed only for the government (or whatever NWO thingamabob organization is behind it) to just decide, “Ah fuck it, no witnesses,” why even both not having the plane crash in the first place? What about the wreckage that was found at and around the crash site?

“We need to go to war in the Middle East! Let’s get some planes to fly into buildings! But we need a bravery story amidst all this, so let’s put some plane parts we have lying around and put it around this big fucking hole we’re going to dig up in the middle of Shanksville.”
“But sir, wouldn’t the message get across with the other 3 plane incidents, much less just 1 of them?”
“Fuck no! We need 4, not 3!”
“Then why not just have a plane actually crash?”
“What are you a monster? We can’t have actual people on the planes dying.”
“But won’t people see us digging a big fucking hole in a field?”
“Hell no. We’ve got camouflage technology! And if that fails, we can gas the motherfuckers.”
“But won’t car traffic notice us bringing this big frikkin’ engine part along the road, along with the other parts? Won’t we leave tire tracks or something?”
“We’ve got sweepers, and no one is ever awake during those time to see us. And we’ve got ninja vehicles, so they won’t hear us either!”
“But what about the people at the airport where we’re landing the plane?”
“We’ll have it evacuated by then, only people working for us will be there.”
“Do we have that many employees? Aren’t you afraid there would be a whistleblower or something?”
“I trust everyone!”

Source: http://treasure.diylol.com/uploads/post/image/176990/resized_scumbag-conspiracy-theorist-meme-generator-y-u-no-listen-to-my-crackpot-theory-7846e3.jpg

Am I the only one who sees how fucking far-fetched and implausible this is!? Not to mention all the fucking witnesses who saw the plane fly and heard/felt the crash (see #3). As for the size of the hole in the ground being too small, have you even taken a look at the video of the Twin Towers? How big the hole/gash was in the building? About the same size with the same story, the velocity of the impact combined with the burning fuel practically vaporized much of the plane.

#2: Phone calls from airplanes were impossible in 2001. The technology wasn’t advanced enough.

Response: Excluding the calls made from the phones built into the seats of the plane, this argument basically states that cell phone calls were impossible up until late 2004 due to the high altitude and travelling speed, and lack of strong/numerous cell towers. This is true, at least to an extent. The thing is, all calls from Flight 93 were made from those seat phones until 9:58am when 2 cell calls were made. At 9:58am, the plane was flying at an altitude of around 5,000 feet, which makes it likely for cell calls to be made, though the signals weren’t great.

#3: It didn’t crash, it was shot down.

Response: Now this one, is actually not as far-fetched. In fact, this conspiracy theory is worth considering. Surprise.

They come up with a few reasons as to the how and why, but I’ll just stick with the version that I find the most believable. So here’s the thing, the official story, according to the 9/11 Commision Report, states that the flight crashed at about 10:03am. Prior to the Commission Report (released in 2004), the time of the crash was estimated to be at 10:06am, the evidence for this being due to seismic readings at seismographic stations, at least one of which pinpointed the crash time of United Flight 93 to be at 10:06am. The 9/11 Commission Report states in a footnote:
“But the seismic data on which they based this estimate are far too weak in signal-to-noise ratio and far too speculative in terms of signal source to be used as a means of contradicting the impact time established by the very accurate combination of FDR, CVR, ATC, radar, and impact site data sets.”

A reasonable explanation, but there’s also the issue of the black box flight recorder recovered from the plane which hasn’t been fully released yet. Plus there’s a potential “slip of the tongue” from a speech given by Donald Rumsfeld:

“And I think all of us have a sense if we imagine the kind of world we would face if the people who bombed the mess hall in Mosul, or the people who did the bombing in Spain, or the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon”

So the reason they would state that the plane crashed at 10:03am as opposed to 10:06am is to hide that they did shoot down the plane, which would make them look very bad after reports came out of the passengers attempting to take back control of the plane during its final minutes.

There’s also some supposed Reuters Report floating around somewhere which states that a prosecutor at a Gitmo trial for one of Bin Laden’s taxi drivers mentions that the plane was shot down, but I can’t find that report anywhere.

That being said, this theory also has its share of problems. For one thing, none of the eyewitnesses on the ground in Shanksville who saw the plane ever saw a missile, either from a jet or from elsewhere, flying towards the airliner prior to its crash (by prior I mean within seconds). All testimony claiming sounds of an explosion or missile didn’t actually see the plane, which makes their claims questionable at best. Plus, it is possible that the seismic readings weren’t completely accurate, not to mention it would go against all those other radar/non-radar sources mentioned above. And if a missile did hit the plane, where could it have hit it that would still cause it to crash in the way it did and have the fuel cause the explosion that it did? It’s easier to conclude that the seismic measuring building was too far away to accurately pick up on that measurement within that time frame.

Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/86/24/93/86249323e2b88dfc7a0e78db379b84ac.jpg

Hope I didn’t open up a can of worms with this portion of the review.

Rating: 4/5

World Trade Center Review

Welp, I’ve officially started my film countdown to the 15 year 9/11 anniversary, which just so happens to be the 10 year anniversary of this film, and of 2 other significant 9/11 films. 2006 was quite a year.

I was hesitant to watch this film at first because I heard it was boring, with most of it just taking place under the rubble with some guys pinned down and moping about their life and how they want to live through this to see their family again, blah blah blah. Honestly, that’s not what happens throughout most of the film, though I do believe it could’ve been trimmed down a little more.

Giphy link

So the film starts with Cage waking up as a policeman and going to work at about 3 in the morning. We are introduced to him and a few other of New York’s finest before the first plane hits one of the World Trade Center towers. They eventually scramble, and take a bus over there to help with evacuations. It’s during this time that I found the film interesting. Being in the shoes of these policeman, seeing them around other rescue teams, talking about what they’re going to do and how they’re going to do it, and the small talk about the incident. It’s easy to forget that at the time a lot of people didn’t know what was going on. So the dialogue is great in that regard, them mentioning how they think some moron accidentally crashed a plane into the tower, hearing rumors about a second plane hit but brushing it off as someone confusing the smoke pouring out of the first tower to indicate the second tower was on fire, a missile or something hitting the pentagon, World War III about to start, etc. It perfectly encapsulates the chaos and confusion and lack of perfect information that happens during a time of crisis such as this.

Giphy link

Then about 25 minutes in, the first tower collapses and pins the team within the rubble. Aside from some tense incidents of further rumbling, more debris falling in, a pistol going off several times due to the heat, fireballs blasting through the rubble due to sudden emergence of wind tunnels, not much else happens afterwards. There’s the usual life moping, but the film also covers the family members wondering if they are still alive, policeman trying to get things under control, and a couple marines going into the rubble leading the first attempt to locate survivors.

Giphy link

It wasn’t the slowed pace that bothered me for the last half of the movie, it’s the emotion. This emotionally traumatized teenage boy acting like a dick, the crying families, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I know people reacted that way and it was a traumatic experience for them and all, but it doesn’t make scenes like that any less irritating for me. So it loses points for that. It loses extra points for having that grandad from The Visit and not having him shit in a diaper and rub it in that dipshit kid’s face.

Giphy link

And the film makes sure it hammers in the message during the closing moments. “Yeah, bad shit happened on that day, but good shit happened too, people uniting to help others. Yayyy.”

Overall, the film isn’t bad, it’s just not that great.

Rating: 2/5

PS: Sorry for the excessive amount of gif to paragraphs ratio. Just needed something Cage related to lift the mood, and the annoyance, and some of the boredom.