9/11 set certain events in motion; the recent scenes from Afghanistan are a reminder that they are still in motion.
The shadow of 9/11 is already very long.
So long in fact that even all these years later, conspiracy theories still abound. And not just on the fringes of society, either. Seminal director Spike Lee had to revise his recently released movie about 9/11 to exclude some of the especially controversial aspects of 9/11 conspiracy theories.
9/11 wasn’t a big conspiracy for one simple reason: Human nature.
We aren’t great at keeping secrets.
It is rare that two people can keep a secret for 20 years, let alone the thousands of people who would have needed to keep quiet about their role in carrying out 9/11 all these years.
Someone would have cracked by now. Someone would have been careless. People bare their souls to spouses, then get divorced. People get terminal cancer and make death bed confessions. Secrets don’t keep.
The reason for the conspiracy theories is also human nature. It doesn’t have anything to do with the melting point of steel.
When something huge and terrible happens, human beings want something equally huge and terrible to blame. JFK couldn’t have been assassinated by one disaffected malcontent with a rifle; it had to be a vast conspiracy. 9/11 couldn’t have been perpetrated by 19 terrorists and a handful of their cohorts; with something of this magnitude, it feels wrong to have the answer be simple.
The banality of evil always surprises us. The monster isn’t lurking in a graveyard on Halloween, evil incarnate doesn’t have horns and a tail. It’s a jilted suitor suffering from psychopathy. It’s people who kill their loved ones for the insurance money. It’s a cold-blooded murderer getting their hands on some terrible new weapon, as on 9/11.
For 20 years, the evil act perpetrated on 9/11 has informed U.S. foreign policy, military and intelligence decisions. While there might never be a good 9/11 movie- with good reason- plenty of documentaries have since explored that tragic day.