Harkening back to the early days after 9/11, when post-traumatic patriotism was sweeping the land and Follow the Leader had ousted baseball as the favorite national pastime (a Twilight Zone-ish 94% approval rating for Bush? Yeesh.), director Ray Nowoseilski adds potent fuel to the fires of modern discontent.
In the aftermath of 9/11, the President vowed payback, hundreds of suspects were taken into custody, and an enemy named “Terror” was called out. Justice for all seemed imminent. Yet, for all its rhetorical bluster, the administration made little movement toward launching an independent investigation into the attacks. An immediate formal investigation should’ve been a given—was for events like Pearl Harbor and the Kennedy assassination—but many in Washington actively opposed the formation of a 9/11 Commission. Given the fact that pursuing terrorists was, from the get-go, the central rallying cry and policy guidepost of the Bush administration’s post-9/11 government, the lack of interest in a formal investigation was, and still is, nothing short of astounding.
Into the investigative vacuum stepped four victims’ widows—women dubbed “the Jersey Girls”—all of whom made it their quest to push for answers about what really happened, how much we knew, or should have known, and why more wasn’t done to save those 3,000 American lives. Press for Truth weaves together these women’s stories with that of another private citizen, Paul Thompson. Thompson’s 600-page book, The Terror Timeline, was the inspiration for the film, and argues convincingly that significant questions remain about Pakistan’s role in September 11th, discrepancies in the official timeline of the attacks, and how much the administration knew about the attacks prior to that day.
This steady documentary falls squarely into the Scary Truth genre: it brands the American government guilty of misdirection and obfuscation of the most nefarious sort, while accusing the news media of a paucity of skepticism that amounts to occupational misconduct. Yet, in portraying the pursuit of a lone independent researcher and four New Jersey widows to pressure the powers that be for answers, the film also offers hope that the future of this country still rests in the hands of its people. It may be years, or even decades, before we know the true story—as opposed to the official story—of the events surrounding that day, but Press for Truth is a step in the right direction. More info at www.911pressfortruth.com. On DVD from The Disinformation Company, Ltd.