Questioning is necessary for patriotism

Ben Breier

It wasn’t a commercial jet that smashed into the Pentagon five years ago – it was a cruise missile, or maybe a much smaller commuter jet.

The Twin Towers couldn’t have possibly fallen on their own – they were previously rigged with explosives days before to make sure the buildings collapsed in a heap of ash.

And the phone calls passengers placed to their family members before crashing United Flight 93 into the ground were faked – cell phones have less than a one-percent success rate at the height Flight 93 was traveling at.

These are just a few of the ideas presented in Loose Change, an online documentary available at

The documentary begins with the revealing of de-classified documents of American plans to boost support for war against Cuba by staging attacks, going as far as paying Cuban mercenaries to kill our own soldiers. The plans were never put into action.

Loose Change suggests that Sept. 11 is simply a repeat of American history – replace ‘Cuba’ with ‘Afghanistan’ and ‘communism’ with ‘terrorism,’ and you’ll get the idea.

At a party last weekend, a few friends and I were discussing politics on a porch during Ravenna’s midnight hours. Sept. 11 came up, and I asked if anybody had seen the documentary.


Two camps instantly formed on that porch – those who questioned the events of that day, and those who were absolutely appalled that someone would propose that our government played a helping hand in orchestrating one of the biggest tragedies on American soil. It probably didn’t help that alcohol was involved. The debate ended up disbanding what remained of an otherwise excellent party.

Although the majority of Loose Change doesn’t compute with me, I praise the existence of such a documentary. The film is well constructed, and doesn’t reek of the stench that is only omitted by blatant propaganda.

Some of the theories are more far-fetched than others. The documentary alleges that Flight 93 stopped at John Hopkins airport in Cleveland, and unloaded all of its passengers before crashing in Shanksville.

Others make much more sense – the producers did a considerable amount of research and discovered that many of the terrorists are still alive, including Muhammed Atta.

And while the logic occasionally lapses, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Loose Change. The film is rarely tasteless, and perfectly exemplifies our freedom of speech.

And it embodies the basic principles this country was founded on.

As humans, we question on a daily basis – we question the shoddy decisions of our president, the inner-workings of big business and the meaning behind religion.

So why should questioning Sept. 11 be any different?

Five years later, there are still many questions about that day that have yet to be answered. Loose Change doesn’t desecrate or defile what happened that day – it merely presents a hypothetical “what if.”

And I can’t think of a better way express our freedom and patriotism as Americans.

Ben Breier is a senior magazine journalism major and campus editor for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].