A Clue to the Truth about 9/11 ?

Appendix 2 : The 9/11 film industry

The Naudets, Pavel Hlava and Wolfgang Staehle are notable in having photographed the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, but theirs are by no means the only examples of fraudulent film in that field: there is now a veritable industry specializing in 9/11 films, and it seems likely to carry on into the indefinite future — unless we can make progress demolishing some of the packs of lies that have built up over the last six years. There has been a whole series of TV documentaries on one aspect or another of 9/11 both before and after the Naudet film: some — very few — are, or at least seem to be, perfectly genuine; most have to be treated with some scepticism; the worst, like the Naudet and Hlava films, are loaded with lies and distortions, and it would be a fair presumption that the folk who produce them and appear in them are either themselves complicit in 9/11 or know who is.

James B. Stewart

Among the latter category, I would certainly include "The Man Who Predicted 9/11" from the appended list of just 15 of the genre : the story of Cyril "Rick" Rescorla, based on the book "Heart of a Soldier" by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer James B. Stewart. Rescorla — "Celtic warrior," folk singer, playwright, impressionist, speaker of Cornish, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic and etc, cancer victim, former British Army intelligence officer in Cyprus and Rhodesia* turned US Army hero (but "uncomfortable" about it) of the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam, master survivalist, shot putter, rugby player, self-taught student of Shakespeare, Kipling and Churchill, graduate in law and literature, brilliant ballroom dancer, heroic security officer for an investment bank at the WTC, etc etc — I'm not making this up, but I think somebody is — seems to have not a single living blood relative, or at least one willing to take part in this film biography. For the details of his life story, we are dependent on a widow who only met him in July 1998, and the word of people like his old comrade-in-arms Dan Hill, who claims to have been involved in the Bay of Pigs in 1961 and Afghanistan 20 years later, among other things. Do we really have to be pathological cynics to have doubts about films like these, crammed with every tear-jerking clichι and stereotype in the book ? "One of those inspirational hero-tales that have sprouted like wildflowers from the Twin Towers rubble," as Michael Greenwald put it; some of us would use different analogies, probably lavatorial.

* Stewart has the strange idea that this was Northern Rhodesia, and the conflict ended with a "British withdrawal" in the 1960s before Rescorla and Hill went off to "the next major fight against Communism," in Vietnam. If there was an Anti-Pulitzer for Distortion of Historical Fact, this would be a hot favourite. The war was in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, it was about white minority rule, not Communism, and what happened in the 1960s was the colonial Smith regime starting a 15-year rebellion against legal British and international authority; if Rescorla had stayed there — if he was ever there in the first place — he would have been working for an illegal racist regime under UN sanctions.

From left to right, Security Chief Rick Rescorla and his two deputies, Jorge Velazquez and Godwin Forde — Rescorla and Forde British-born, Rescorla and Velazquez employed by Morgan Stanley, Forde by Merrill Lynch — photographed on 9/11, the day they all died, "leading the evacuation" from the South Tower, with, unfortunately, not a single one of the hundreds of people they rescued visible in the picture, to help substantiate the legend.

In previous editions, I compared the Rescorla story to another film now removed from my list — "Victim 0001," a biopic of Rev. Mychal F. Judge, OFM (born Brooklyn 1933, to parents from Leitrim, as Robert Emmet Judge, after the United Irish martyr of 1803; he changed his name to Michael (sic) on joining the Franciscans at 15), shown on ITN 10.9.04, Director Peter Minns. Repeated viewings and research have persuaded me of the sincerity of almost everyone in the film (Shannon Stapleton excepted — see below and Appendix 4, Picture 18).

Shannon Stapleton, Reuters photographer, from "Victim 0001"

Father Judge's twin sister Dympna, now Mrs Frank Jessich, and his other sister, Erin McTernan, are very much alive — unlike Rescorla's missing relatives — and may have had perfectly valid reasons for not wanting to appear in the film. I do suspect, however, that the authentic Judge story may have been used as the model for a manufactured life — for Judge and his Irish roots, Rescorla and his Cornish ones, for Judge's Catholicism, Rescorla's Zen Buddhism, for Judge's heroism on the streets of New York, Rescorla's in Rhodesia and Vietnam, for Judge allegedly killed on 9/11 giving last rites in or near the North Tower, Rescorla allegedly killed on 9/11 helping evacuate thousands from the South Tower, etc etc.*

In "Heroes of Ground Zero," a New York fireman claims to have seen people jumping that day, a sight he still had nightmares about. Let's have it said, for the record, that anyone who says he can see a human being jumping out of a building, through flame and smoke, a minimum of 1,200 feet above the street — very nearly a quarter of a mile away — is either a complete liar or has the most incredible eyesight in medical history. Unless he meant he had seen it through binoculars — but he didn't mention any — or maybe he just assumed that a falling body he saw much nearer the ground must have jumped from higher up. Whatever — he could not possibly have seen it with the naked eye from ground level. But he is in very distinguished company: Mayor Giuliani makes the same claim in "In Memoriam." *But let's have something else said, in that film's favour : that it proves a falsehood in the Naudet film. The prologue to the DVD version of "9/11" claims we are about to see "the only known footage from inside Tower 1" — but "In Memoriam" includes at least three film clips captioned "Evan Fairbanks — Lobby WTC 1, North Tower." Fairbanks' film inside the North Tower was well known long before the Naudet DVD was issued, and the claim should never have been included. (See Appendix 4, Picture 35)

Evan Fairbanks, freelance photographer *

"9/11: the Falling Man" makes the strange claim that 1,000 people were trapped in the North Tower, and 600 in South, which makes a nonsense of the official statistics, imprecise as they are: they're not out by 1,000. Richard Drew, the film's subject, is no stranger to controversy: in 1968, he was one of four photographers in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, none of whom managed to capture Sirhan Sirhan committing murder. What were they photographing, in preference to Bobby Kennedy — the contents of the freezer, maybe ? Cracks in the ceiling ? Somebody's shoes ? Another triumph for photojournalism, after Dallas — or is there a better explanation than uselessness ?

All the films in this list, giving their date of broadcast on British TV, include things like the above. You would almost think they were all coming out of a film factory somewhere, made by the same production company, with the same cameramen and narrators and scriptwriters. The names in the credits may be different, but the same style and content are easily detectable — the same crass tastelessness, the same contentious nonsense, the same fakery. Just as we see the same style in all the al-Qaeda tapes and the ones from Iraq that keep anonymously turning up at Arab TV stations or being posted on the Internet — the Bin Laden ones, the Zarqawi ones, the Pearl murder, the Saddam execution, etc etc. Let's — again — have something else said for the record : there can only be one possible provenance, and one function, for all these tapes. Only the US military has the incentive to put them out, only US military and political purposes are being served, the tapes are quite obviously the product of US Psychological Operations officers, and they are uniformly puerile insulting drivel, from people who think it's the rest of us who are the morons. And any journalist who says otherwise is as much a liar as these PsyOps idiots themselves. The Naudet, Hlava and Staehle pictures and the 9/11 documentaries may be from a civilian source — or they may not — but they have the same function : in one word, as boring and unsubtle as its meaning, propaganda — keeping the pot boiling, and stoking up The War Against Terrorism (did no-one have a look at those initials ?). Iraq long ago turned into a disaster — as did Afghanistan — and Bush and Blair are less popular than ever, but the film teams keep cranking them out, as if nothing has changed since 2001. *And in the sense that Bush and Blair are still in office — and Blair might as well be, with somebody like Brown replacing him — and those who perpetrated 9/11 and its aftermath are still out there, waiting for someone to expose them and having a good laugh meanwhile, nothing has.*

Attack on the Wires (BBC2, 5.8.02)
— how and why communications failed — or not

The Fight for Ground Zero: an Equinox Special (Channel 4, 6.9.04)
— Director, Kevin Sim

Heroes of Ground Zero: New York's Firefighters (Channel 4, 8.11.01)
—*Director, Katharine English — with more lying firemen, as in Naudet, but from a different house

Horizon : Skyscraper Fire Fighters (BBC2, 24.4.07)
— digging it all up again, with some fatuous fire prevention theory as a threadbare excuse*

The Hunt for the Anthrax Killer (BBC2, 18.8.02)
— Writer/Producer, Martin Wilson

In Memoriam: New York City (Channel 4, 4.9.02)
— hosted by Rudolph Giuliani

Let's Roll: the Story of Flight 93 (ITN, 4.9.02)
— see also "The Flight that Fought Back" — the remake

The Man Who Predicted 9/11 (Channel 4, 5.9.05)
— Producer/Director, Steve Humphries

9/11: Clear the Skies (BBC2, 1.9.02)
— Producer/Director, Peter Molloy

9/11: The Conspiracy Files (BBC2, 18.2.07)
— Producer, Mike Rudin

9/11: The Falling Man (Channel 4, 16.3.06)
— Richard Drew's photos ; Producer/Director, Henry Singer

9/11: the Firefighters' Story (Channel 5, 29.8.02)
— Director, Paul Berriff

9/11 — The Flight that Fought Back: the True Story (Channel 5, 5.1.06)
— Flight 93 again ; Director, Bruce Goodison

9/11 — The Plane that Hit the Tower: The True Story (Channel 5, 30.5.05)
— Writer/Producer/Director, David Hickman

Panorama: September 11 — A Warning from Hollywood (BBC1, 25.3.02)
— with Philip Strub, Pentagon Film Liaison ; Producer, Ricardo Pollack