Iran Advances Conspiracy Theory on 9-11

As of this latest anniversary, however, some figures in the Iranian state media have clarified their assertions by giving the supposed Jewish perpetrators of the attack a leader: former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The article that makes this claim, published on the website of Iran’s particularly rhetorical Press TV, makes no effort to hide or subdue the anti-Semitism motivating these accusations. Rather than giving Kissinger any sort of policy-oriented or ideological motives for orchestrating an invisible plot against his own country, the article essentially just says that he did it because he is an aging Jew.

“Why did Kissinger turn neocon?” the article asks. “Some speculate that as his mind deteriorates he is rediscovering his tribal roots and experiencing a Zionist second childhood.” The author then goes on to list a number of other Jewish public figures whom he considers examples of radicals subject to “Zionist existential anguish.”

To back up the argument that Kissinger was involved in the 9-11 attacks the article only cites the fact that Kissinger was briefly the head of the commission tasked with investigating the incident. The article simply takes it for granted that the commission’s actual task was to orchestrate a cover up, and that the Americans who established the commission actually planned the attacks. In other words, in order to see any evidence for this new evolution of the conspiracy theory, you have to already believe the conspiracy theory.

It should go without saying that there is no legitimate reason to conclude that Henry Kissinger had any advance knowledge of the 9-11 attacks, or that any group other than Al-Qaeda planned and carried them out. And Iran is not simply ignorant of this; it is almost certainly advancing a narrative that it knows is false and in fact ridiculous, because it feeds into Iranian conservatives’ paranoia about an omnipresent threat from an almost mystically conspiratorial United States and Israel.

Iran knows the real story because it had some involvement in creating it. US and European intelligence has long since found that Iran allowed the 9-11 hijackers to pass through Iran from training camps in Afghanistan. Thus, not only does the Press TV conspiracy theory paint the US and Israel as being guilty of impossible crimes, it absolves Iran of offenses that it actually committed.