A Grieving Mother Wonders What Really Happened on 9/11
by Marion Kminek, mother of Mari-Rae Sopper, who was killed
on American Airlines Flight 77 on September 11, 2001.
On September 11, 2001, our daughter had her life cut short at
the age of 35. After practicing law in the Navy JAG Corps and then
with a corporate law firm in Washington, D.C., she accepted her
dream job to become the head women’s gymnastics coach at UCSB. Her
condo was up for sale, the movers had picked up her furniture, her
car had been shipped, and then she boarded American Airlines Flight
77 to begin her new life.
As we approach the fifth anniversary of her death, more and more
unanswered questions have surfaced regarding the events of 9/11.
Here are just a few of the questions that bother me most: When
President Bush learned of the second plane hitting the South Tower,
he seemed puzzled, but not particularly upset or surprised. He
continued reading to the children. The Secret Service is trained to
act quickly and decisively to protect the president — why did they
let him remain in a public place for more than seven minutes when
our country was under attack?
According to radar data, American Airlines (AA) 77 was flying at
400 mph at 9:35 a.m. and passed over the Pentagon at 7,000 feet.
The plane then made a very difficult high-speed descending turn in
a downward spiral, dropping 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes.
How could the terrorists have done this difficult turn when their
flight instructors have stated they were incompetent as pilots of
even a small plane?
Pictures of the Pentagon after the impact show an entry hole
much too small for a 757 to have crashed into the building. How can
that be? A C-130 military cargo plane that “happened” to be flying
near the Pentagon was asked by air traffic control if he could see
AA 77 and report its position. The same pilot later also “happened”
to be in the same area as United Airlines Flight 93, and was asked
to give 93’s position. Isn’t this a strange coincidence?
On September 13, 2001, in violation of a domestic flight ban,
three Saudi royal family members flew to Kentucky in a private Lear
jet from a private Raytheon hangar in Tampa, Florida. This flight
took place several hours after a private meeting between President
Bush and Prince Bandar, Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Tampa
International Airport officials, former secretary of state Colin
Powell, and former White House anti-terror adviser Richard Clarke
all confirmed this information. Between September 14 and 19, about
140 Saudis —including 24 members of the bin Laden family — were
evacuated to Saudi Arabia. For two years, this violation of the
domestic flight ban was denied by the Federal Aviation
Administration, FBI, and White House. Those evacuated include: the
son of the Saudi defense minister, the latter of whom allegedly
contributed at least $6 million since 1994 to four charities that
financed Al Qaeda; Khalil bin Laden, who has been investigated by
the Brazilian government for possible terrorist connections;
Abdullah bin Laden, the U.S. director of the World Assembly of
Muslim Youth, a Muslim charity accused of funding terrorism; and
Akberali Moawalla, who owned a joint bank account with Osama bin
Laden from which there was a transfer of more than $250 million in
2000. MSNBC has reported that members of the Saudi royal family met
frequently with Osama bin Laden both before and after 9/11. Why
were these people allowed to leave our country after 9/11?
Just prior to 9/11, there was unusual stock activity related to
short-selling and put options, which are both high-risk bets that a
stock’s value will depreciate. Early in September 2001, there was a
40 percent increase in short-selling of American and United
Airlines stock on the New York Stock Exchange. On September 10,
trading ratios on United Airlines were 25 times greater than normal
on the Pacific Exchange. The firm used to buy many of the put
options on United Airlines stock between September 6 and 10 was
headed until 1998 by A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard, who was the CIA
executive director on 9/11. During the same period of time, the
Chicago Board Options Exchange saw suspicious trading on Merrill
Lynch and Morgan Stanley, two of the largest World Trade Center
(WTC) tenants. Who were these investors and how did they know to
make these particular investments?
In the 100-year history of steel high-rises, there was never one
that collapsed due to fires until 9/11, when three collapsed: WTC
1, 2, and 7. Particularly mysterious was building 7, which was not
struck by an aircraft, but rather by debris from the nearby Twin
Towers. According to video evidence, the towers collapsed in
approximately 8-10 seconds. In other words, in about the same
amount of time it would take a brick thrown from the top of the
building to hit the ground, these buildings collapsed one floor
after another without any resistance from any of the floors. It was
as if they were being demolished by explosives. Were they?
On September 10, 2001, Pentagon officials suddenly canceled
travel plans for 9/11, apparently because of security concerns.
Barely six weeks prior to 9/11, then-attorney general John Ashcroft
decided not to travel on commercial airlines, due to “a threat
assessment by the FBI.” This threat assessment was apparently
communicated to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and
the Senate, as confirmed by an interview with Senator Hillary
Rodham Clinton. Why did Ashcroft not similarly warn the American
public? What did Pentagon officials and Ashcroft know?
If it seems too crazy to believe that anyone in our country
could have been involved in the 9/11 attacks, please consider
Operation Northwoods. On May 1, 2001, ABC News reported the
following: “In the early 1960s, America’s top military leaders
reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of
terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against
Cuba. Code-named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly
included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats
of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a
U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.
The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and
the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba’s
then new leader, communist Fidel Castro. … The plans had the
written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were
presented to President Kennedy’s defense secretary, Robert
McNamara, in March 1962. But they were apparently rejected by the
civilian leadership and have gone undisclosed for nearly 40
Why did we invade Iraq again? In addition to the nonexistent
weapons of mass destruction, 9/11 was used as a justification. Was
this a replay of Operation Northwoods? How long do the American
public and families of 9/11 victims have to wait before these
questions and many more are answered? Will we ever know the real
truth? Remember: in the U.S.A., it is our right to question the
4•1•1 For more detailed
explanations of these unanswered questions and others, check out
unansweredquestions.org, and loosechange911.com.
For more on Mari-Rae Sopper, visit mari-rae.net.