Tuesday, January 01, 2013

"9/11: Press for Truth": Paul Thompson explains his "Terror Timeline"; six families press for the truth

The independent film “9/11: Press for Truth” (2006), directed by Ray Nowosielski, from Banded Artists and Standard Issue Film, starts out as an ad hoc “amateur” investigation of 9/11 by six affected families, four in New Jersey (by “the Jersey Wives”).  But soon the film shifts to presenting the work of Stanford researcher Paul Thompson, author of the 2004 book “The Terror Timeline” (Wikipedia link).  Thompson plotted the details of news stories back to 1980, finding evidence of many more plot elements leading to the 9/11 attacks than the Bush administration has reported through the 9/11 Commission.  Thompson also had a website for this work, which appears to be now on History Commons (here) or possibly on “911timeline” (here).
One interesting thread has to do with a plot back in 1995 to crash planes into US buildings.  Only NBC reported it in full.

But the most controversial part of the film seems to deal with the apparent involvement of the Pakastani ISI.  The film also mentions an NBC Dateline report “Tale of Terror” with Chris Hansen (who did the sting “To Catch a Predator” series) about undercover operative Randy Glass. Closely related is the way that American forces let Osama bin Laden escape (around Tora Bora) in the fall of 2001, as the Northern Alliance closed in.  
The film focuses on the odd lack of communication within the federal government on the morning of 9/11.  President Bush remained in an elementary school classroom in Florida (reading “My Pet Goat”) longer than would have seemed reasonable after Andrew Card’s whisper.

The film also discusses the multitude of warnings the Bush administration received all summer long, not just the famous Aug. 6 memo.  In fact, the administration had taken some unusual security steps (like having the president sleep on a boat at a conference in Genoa, Italy) and the Clinton administration had apparently been told that the Twin Towers could be targeted back in 1999.

Paul Thompson often speaks in the film, and appears as a tall, thin, attractive and articulate “professor” of about age 40. 

The film says that corporate journalism is sometimes muddled by political or "patriotism" issues, despite its professional commitment to objectivity; independent researchers like Thompson tend to "keep 'em honest".

The official site is here  but shows up in Thai, and when translated to English, presents a discussion on casinos.  This is curious. The site has good marks from all the website rating indicators in Firefox.

The DVD includes 2005 testimony in Congress by Thompson and Lorie Van Auken. 

One of the six women mentions the fact that the people in the South Tower did not get proper information.  One of my 2002 screenplays ("American Epic") has an central  (fiction) episode where, on 9/11, a closeted lesbian officer in the Pentagon tries to call her partner who is working in the South Tower.  The film says that the Bush administration had a "don't ask don't tell" policy regarding talking about the details of what it knew and when it knew it.  Journalism, however, must follow "do ask do tell". 

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