9/11: Press for Truth is a 2006 documentary film about the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, directed by the American filmmaker Ray Nowosielski, and partially based on The Terror Timeline, by Paul Thompson.
Development and Release
Filmmakers Ray Nowosielski and John Duffy first became interested in making a film about 9/11 when they found Paul Thompson's The Complete 9/11 Timeline online in spring 2003. After obtaining funding, they met Thompson in September 2004, who agreed to let them adapt his work.
The filmmakers also met Kyle Hence, who had co-founded 9/11 Citizens Watch, an advocacy organization which monitored the activities of the 9/11 Commission on behalf of the public and was in close contact with the 9/11 Family Steering Committee. He agreed to join the production as executive producer (eventually also becoming a co-producer and co-writer), and in the spring of 2005, helped them get interviews with three of the famous “Jersey widows”.
Production ended in December 2005, with post-production completed in July 2006.
The film premiered theatrically in September 2006 in New York City and the San Francisco Bay area. It received a simultaneous limited DVD release in over fifty cities across America as well as Canada, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Australia, and Japan. In February 2007, 9/11: Press For Truth received its U.S. television debut.
9/11: Press for Truth
follows three of the Jersey Girls
(widows of individuals killed in the attacks) as well as other family members in their search for answers about what really happened on 9/11. Among their questions were:
The film uses archive news footage, press conferences and newspaper clippings to document the unwillingness of the George W. Bush administration to provide answers to the families' questions or support a full independent investigation. It also shows how the mainstream media avoided asking the politicians the toughest questions. The film can be roughly divided into three sections:
The 9/11 Commission and the Family Steering Committee
The first part of the film shows how the 9/11 family members took it upon themselves to pressure the government into eventually forming the 9/11 Commission
. The families set up the 9/11 Family Steering Committee
to monitor the Commission, providing them with hundreds of well-researched questions for which they expected answers.
The film shows how the government continued to obstruct the investigation, including:
- Henry Kissinger, the original Chairman of the Commission, was forced to resign due to a possible conflict of interest .
- The White House refused to release documents that the Commission requested.
- George Bush and Dick Cheney refused to testify in public, and only agreed to meet with the commission together, behind closed doors and not under oath.
Lorie Van Auken, one of the Jersey Girls, estimates that only 30% of their questions had been touched upon in the 9/11 Commission Report. The film mentions the following omissions from the Report:
- The total collapse of Building 7 was not mentioned.
- The World Trade Center steel, which may have proved beyond doubt how the total collapses occurred, was destroyed before it could be forensically examined.
- There was no mention of the money that was wired to lead hijacker Mohammad Atta on September 10th, allegedly by order of the Head of the Pakistani ISI (which is funded in part by the CIA). The Report stated that the issue of who funded the attacks is "of little practical significance."
Government Prior Knowledge
The second part begins by introducing Paul Thompson, who discusses evidence that he says shows that the government was aware of the threat of planes being flown into buildings, and was given warnings by 14 different countries about imminent Al Qaeda
attacks, some mentioning multiple plane hijackings and targets including the World Trade Center. He also describes the August 6, 2001 PDB
(Presidential Daily Briefing
) which was entitled "Bin Laden determined to strike inside United States."
The War In Afghanistan
The final part of the film looks at the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan
, discussing in detail how the Bin Laden
family, along with top members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban
, repeatedly escaped while being surrounded by US forces, eventually fleeing to Pakistan. It also looks briefly at the Soviet-Afghan War
and how the Afghan Muhajadeen
, some elements of which later played a role in al-Qaeda
, were funded by the CIA to fight the Soviets.