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With the passing of another 9/11 anniversary, it would be wise to consider how the ritualization of this event has taken hold in our collective consciousness.

The story pivots on two emotions: fear, balanced with admiration for the brave. Both are understandable, but neither gets at the underlying questions that remain.

If you looked to mainstream media for anything beyond government explanations, you would have gotten nowhere.

But in some circles, the story did not add up. Pilots for 9/11 Truth, for example, questionedhow rank amateurs could fly complex airliners into skyscrapers through the most heavily monitored airspace on the planet.

And Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth looked with skepticism at the amazing collapse of the towers. They did not see buildings weakened by fire falling at near free-fall speed into their own footprint; they saw controlled demolition.

And they questioned the strange case of a third building, WTC 7, which was not hit by an airplane, but which fell in exactly the same way as the twin towers had. To this day, scores of Americans are unaware of WTC 7.

The Bush administration had no interest in investigating the crime of the century, until public outcry from victims’ families forced them to. The resulting 9/11 Commission was a farce, its bi-partisan co-chairs declaring that it was “set up to fail” from the beginning.

The 9/11 atrocity was the gateway to expanded American military interventions.

It was also the beginning of the unraveling of our freedoms via the Patriot Act.