[Note: This article was originally posted June 23, 2006]
From the opening shots of the Statue of Liberty to the closing frame of the flapping U.S. flag, the documentary Loose Change presents a compilation of facts, quotes, media interviews, diagrams, animated simulations and photographs that challenge the official and accepted versions of the truth of 9/11. The film goes as far as to charge the U.S. Government with complicity in the horrific tragedies that took the lives of thousands of citizens.
“Why are they hiding from us? What are they hiding from us? And what is it going to take until people in the country give a damn and do something about it?” the narrator says during the concluding footage. “America has been hijacked not by Al Qaeda, not by Osama bin laden, but by a group of tyrants, ready and willing to do whatever it takes to keep their stranglehold on this country.” While numerous websites, witnesses and “experts” have emerged to debunk, discredit, and in several cases, correct many of the statements included in this controversial film, screening Loose Change is a significant exercise in critical thinking and analysis that should lead to discussion and evidently, as the creators desire, action. The film was developed by The Louder Than Words Production Company–harkening to the adage action speaks louder than words. Before the credits begin rolling in the introduction, a timeline is narrated that compels you to pay attention and follow closely.
“March 13, 1962. Lyman Lemnitzer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presents a proposal to Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, named Operation Northwoods. The document proposed staging terrorist attacks in and around Guantanamo Bay to provide a pretext for military intervention in Cuba. The plans included: starting rumors about Cuba using clandestine radio; landing friendly Cubans inside the base to stage attacks; starting riots at the main gates; blowing up ammunition inside the base; starting fires; sabotaging aircrafts and ships on the base; bombing the base with mortar shells; sinking a ship outside the entrance; staging funerals for mock victims; staging a terror campaign in Miami, Florida and Washington, D.C.; and finally, destroying a drone aircraft over Cuban waters.
“The passengers, Federal Agents in reality, would allegedly be college students on vacation. A plane at Eglin Air Force Base would be painted and numbered as a duplicate of a registered civil aircraft belonging to a CIA front in Miami. The duplicate would be substituted for the real plane and loaded with the passengers. The real plane would be converted into a drone. The two planes would rendezvous south of Florida. The passenger-laden plane would land at Eglin Air Force Base to evacuate its passengers and return to its original status. The drone would pick up the scheduled flight plans and over Cuban waters transmit a May Day signal before being blown up by remote control. The plan is rejected by McNamara.”
The narration continues further on: “September 2005. The Project for a New Century–A Neo-Conservative think tank whose members include Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush and Paul Wolfowitz–releases their report entitled, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses.” In it they declare that, ‘the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor.’”
The introduction also recounts first of two Pentagon training exercises begun October 24, 2000, that involved a crash simulation of a Boeing 757 into the Pentagon. The film points out that Charles Burlingame, the pilot of American Flight 77 which is said to have crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11, participated in the exercise in 2000. He was an ex-Navy F-4 Pilot. Also noted in the introduction is the fact that Larry Silverstein, owner of the World Trade Center since July 2001, took out a 99-year lease on the complex with insurance of $3.5 billion just six weeks before 9/11.
As the film unfolds, it dissects each sight of the tragedies on September 11, 2001, beginning with the Pentagon, then the World Trade Center, and finally, Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The concluding chapter explores questions reflective of its title “Who Benefits?” and notes that Mr. Silverstein demanded $7.2 billion from his insurance; and also discrepancies in millions of dollars of gold reserves lost and then found under World Trade Center building number 5.
Across the country, Loose Change has sparked conversations that are no longer relegated to the corner chatter of conspiracy theorists. With a free download available at Google.com, booking for free screening and a current nationwide tour, the young filmmakers and director are aggressively making their position clear.
“After September 11, President Bush had and continues to have permission to do and say whatever he wants, all under the pretext of 9/11: The Patriot Act, The Department of Homeland Security, Afghanistan, Iraq. It’s time for America to accept 9/11 for what it was: A lie which killed thousands of people, only in turn killing hundreds of thousands more to make billions upon trillions of dollars” the narrator contends. “Are you angry yet? You should be.”
September 11, 2001: Fact and fiction According to Loose Change (FCN, 06-23-2006)