San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, July 6, 2007
Today, nearly six years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, does anyone doubt the Bush administration and the mass media’s grand narrative about just who was responsible for those shocking, sudden, well-coordinated and super-destructive events?
For starters, on the strength of irrefutable evidence, the whole world has rejected George W. Bush, Jr. and Dick Cheney‘s repeated insinuations – which they used as a excuse to start the U.S.-led Iraq war – that the government of former dictator Saddam Hussein was somehow behind the attacks. That claim didn’t square with the evidence that Al-Qaeda was responsible, since the terrorist organization led by Osama bin Laden was not operating in Iraq at the time. In any case, today, still, there are some observers who doubt the established, now-familiar media story about the historic attacks that Team Bush seized upon to launch an aimless “war on terror.” Apparently, one of them has landed a high-ranking government job in the cabinet of France’s new president, Nicolas Sarkozy.
That Doubting Thomas is Christine Boutin, France’s new minister of housing and urban affairs.
ReOpen911, a France-based Web site devoted to investigating what took place in New York, Washington, D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania on that fateful day in 2001, and whatever events might have led up to it, is now featuring a video clip shot in November of last year in which Boutin – at that time still not a cabinet minister – is asked: “Do you think that Bush could [have been] behind these attacks?”
Boutin responds: “I think that it’s possible.”
Two 9/11-questioning bloggers and Karl Zéro, a French TV presenter/personality, take part in the interview/conversation recorded in the video clip. In it, however, Boutin goes on to clearly explain why she might hold this view. It’s because, she says, of the numerous Web sites on which “masses” of ordinary citizens, in a serious manner, have been asking and continue to ask questions and to present evidence related to 9/11 that may lead one to doubt the established, media account of the events. Boutin says: “I know that the sites that speak of this problem are the sites that have the greatest numbers of visits….And so, I tell myself, I who am extremely sensitive…to the new techniques of information and communication, that this expression of the mass of the people cannot be without any truth.” (From ReOpen911, quoted by Le Monde)
Le Monde reports that the complete version of this same video, from which the brief extract that appears on the ReOpen911 Web site was taken, can be found on Karl Zéro‘s Web site. In the longer version of the interview, the newspaper reports, one hears Boutin go on to say: “I’m not telling you that I adhere to that position” – to the idea, that is, that the Bush administration could have or did have anything to do with the planning or execution of the 9/11 attacks – “but let’s say that, nevertheless, I’m questioning myself a bit on this question.”
A spokesman for Boutin has criticized ReOpen911‘s presentation on its Web site of a “truncated” version of Karl Zéro and the two bloggers’ now months-old interview/conversation with her, which, the spokesman said, only serves to stir up “a polemic.” Boutin’s statement in the complete interview – when she says, “I’m not telling you that I adhere to that position” – makes it clear that she is not buying into any sort of conspiracy theory about the September 11, 2001 events, the spokesman pointed out. His boss’s months-old remarks aren’t worth whipping up into a scandal, he added. After all, as a cabinet-level member of Sarkozy’s government, Boutin deals with housing and domestic concerns in France’s cities. Her spokesman noted: “She isn’t the minister of foreign affairs!”