Disinformation Company // 2006 // 113 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ian Visser (Retired) // January 18th, 2007
The conspiracy is real...
Was 9/11 an inside job? Did Tony Blair and his government have inside information about the bomb attacks in London? Who really controls our government, and why?
Read the following two summaries of a recent world event:
1. On September 11, 2001, several planes within the continental United States were hijacked by Al Qaeda-supported terrorists. Bent on striking at the US, the planes were flown into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, while others were downed en route to additional targets. As a result of the subsequent investigation, the White House determined that Afghanistan and Iraq had supported the terrorist organization, and invaded the two countries to oust Al Qaeda elements and establish democratic governments.
2. In order to create a crisis that would result in an expansion of governmental powers, elements of the White House and the intelligence community conspired to fake an attack on several US targets and blame Islamic extremists. The "terrorists" used in the attacks were actually patsies, sitting on remote-controlled planes which flew into the buildings to cover up the deliberate demolition of the targets. With the nation in a panic, these rogue elements curtailed personal liberties and used the attacks as an excuse to launch military invasions of Middle East nations, securing valuable resources and establishing a permanent military presence in the region.
Which of these two options do you believe to be true? If you're writer/director Alex Jones, you believe option two, and in a big way. Not only do you believe it, but you also believe that this description only begins to scrape the surface of the conspiracy surrounding the events of 9/11. For Jones, 9/11 was just one small piece in a very large puzzle, one composed of pieces which are shuffled and assembled by nefarious groups, interests, and powers determined to control the entire world.
In Terrorstorm -- A History of Government Sponsored Terrorism, Jones asserts that 9/11 was an inside job, committed by rogue intelligence operatives and members of the executive branch of the government to assume additional control over individuals' freedoms. A second benefit for these conspirators was the justification for an invasion of Iraq, a preamble for the establishment of permanent military bases in the region, and the control of foreign energy resources.
Through the course of the film Jones uses interviews, media materials, and government records to paint a picture of a government determined to suppress its own people and establish a rule by force over the entire world. From the streets of London, England to the scrub hills of Crawford, Texas, Jones traces the tentacles of the global conspiracy and ties together recent and historical events to illustrate his position.
Alex Jones is, to put it bluntly, bat-shit crazy. A quick perusal of his websites, YouTube videos, and radio shows demonstrate a view of the world that is beyond "wacky" and descends into outright paranoia. Take your pick of conspiracy theories: Jones believes all of it. The Freemasons, the Illuminati, the New World Order, the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission; they are all front and center in Jones' view of the world. Throw in some other gems, like vaccines causing cancer or child sacrifice by Satanists, and you have an entire stewpot of conspiracies and plots to choose from.
Apparently, some or all of these elements are behind 9/11. Jones presents some extremely spurious evidence about the government's participation in the attacks on the World Trade Center, compiling "evidence" composed mostly of newspaper articles and a few talking head interviews from former MI5 agents and obscure government employees. His on-the-street interviews in the UK are mostly used to demonstrate how ignorant the population is about the entire situation, as Jones insists that the British government also knew about their own series of bomb attacks well in advance.
For Jones, the ultimate aim of 9/11 and other similar actions is the continued spread of the "New World Order," an umbrella concept by which secret organizations conspire with governments and politicians to create a one-nation world in which religion is banned and all citizens swear allegiance to the United Nations. In addition, we will all be getting shiny new microchip implants, and will receive educations that eliminate any notion of the individual, and instead focus on ensuring our obedience to our new masters.
The problem with these kinds of conspiracies is that they can be used to explain everything, even the holes in one's own arguments. No evidence that there were bombs planted in the WTC buildings? Of course not -- the government is too smart for that! Can't find any witnesses? They must all be too scared to talk! Jones brushes aside the points or arguments of any opponents with his "sheeple" accusation; simply put, if you don't believe what he's selling, then the powers-that-be have fooled you, too.
I wish I could ask Jones to nail all this down into one single sentence addressing who was ultimately running things and why. Are the Freemasons, the Illuminati, and the Trilateral Commission all working together as allies or are they actually in competition with each other? Are other governments going to roll over for them, or is it the United Nations that is assembling global armies to occupy each individual nation? What happens when Bush and Cheney (accused here by Jones of being outright war criminals) are out of the White House? Do they go on retainer to their hidden masters, or are they put out to pasture?
The most damaging result of this kind of conspiracy promotion is the effect on any legitimate questioning of the government's role in privacy and personal freedom issues. The Patriot Act, passed in the shadow of the 9/11 attacks, really does increase government intrusion into our personal lives and communication. But Jones and his ilk, by lumping such important issues into their grander vision of nefarious dealings, force those with legitimate concerns into the "crazy" box. No doubt many people have concerns about such things, but are hesitant to speak out for fear of being labeled a "conspiracy nut."
The presentation of Terrorstorm is generally bad. Cobbled together from multiple sources and stitched together by what appears to be home-use editing software, Terrorstorm is a messy production done on the cheap. The interview segments are of better quality, but too much of this film is composed of computer screen shots and home video excerpts. Audio is barely worth mentioning; it is by turns muffled and shrill, and sounds bad no matter what set of speakers it is originating from. This is a presentation that is endured, not enjoyed.
Terrorstorm has a couple of extras packaged along with the feature. The major piece is a series of speeches collected from the "9/11 & Neo-Con Agenda Symposium" from Los Angeles in 2005. Essentially an hour of speeches from members of the "9/11 Truth Movement," the symposium consists of various speakers accusing the government of complicity in 9/11 and of promoting imperialism. The theories and opinions here cut a wide swath, but they all fit into the idea of secret powers controlling the American people. Two trailers for Jones' other films round out the bonus materials.
A number of the historical examples of government propaganda and trickery cited in Terrorstorm cannot be denied; anyone thinking that governments are above dirty tricks or manufacturing evidence for their own purposes are being naïve. Jones also makes several relevant points about surveillance in the UK, especially about the thousands of cameras in London and other cities that are watching ordinary citizens go about their everyday lives while cataloguing their movements, faces, and license plates. At what price does security come, and who will have to pay it?
To be sure, a population more concerned with effective democracy and individual rights than one fixated on Britney's hoo-hoo or Tom Cruise's marriage would serve us all better. But swinging the pendulum too far to the other direction as to manufacture invisible enemies doesn't serve anybody, either. Jones and his supporters won't be convinced by this argument, but let's hope that most people can be.
This secret tribunal finds Terrorstorm guilty.
Review content copyright © 2007 Ian Visser; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Disinformation Company
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 113 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Speeches and commentary from 9/11 symposium