On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and carried out what is considered to be the worst terroristic attack the United States history. Two of the planes were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third into the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane disseminated in a field in Pennsylvania. The attacks resulted in extensive death and destruction, triggering major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defining the presidency of George W. Bush. Over 3,000 people were killed during the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., including more than 400 police officers and firefighters. Or at least this is the story we are to believe.
With all of the speculation and conspiracy theories surrounding the horrific day of September 11, 2001, I’ve gone back and forth with finalizing this interview month after month. The question of respecting the lives of those fallen, those whose lives were affected by the attacks, those that still mourn, and many other questions continue to place me in a tennis match between the published and the unpublished. There are many facts that are still not rebutted. There are many questions that continue to go unanswered. Which is why I agreed to take an interview with Director Dylan Avery and producer Korey Rowe a week before an anniversary of September 11th. The pair, along with Matthew Brown, released a new film through their production company, Collective Minds Media Company, entitled ‘Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup,’ on September 22, 2009.
SUAVV: Why did you decide to create the movie?
Dillan: For me it was a growing discontent with the lack of information we were getting about the events and what happened and it became apparent I think about 6 months down the road that we weren’t going to get any information about what happened and any attempts to get any legitimate investigations would be tough, to say the least. It became clear that they wanted to retaliate without understanding why or how the attacks happened in the first place. For me, it was a desire to know what actually happened because it became apparent that if I was going to wait for the government, I would be waiting for a long time.
Korey: When I came back from Afghanistan, seeing how it was being portrayed to the American public and how the war on terrorism was being spun up and leading into the war against Iraq and then invading Iraq, it really opened my eyes to the way that wars are really built in the media opposed to how they are done on the ground. It came to me that I wanted to know why we were over there, why we invaded these two countries, and why we were killing all of these people. I wanted to know what was the reasons behind it and what was the link between 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
SUAVV: Is it hard being in the military and having to follow orders that you morally feel are wrong and also feel that are based on lies?
Korey: Of Course, Iraq is when things really started coming to head for me. When we hit about 6 months and realized that we weren’t going to be leaving anytime soon and weapons of mass destruction hadn’t been found. It turned into a Dog and Pony show. It was difficult, but at the same time, I had a job to do. I didn’t deal with it much until I came back to the United States after my second tour and I really saw the bigger picture and got to talk to Dillan more and see the research he was doing and it got the ball rolling for the thought process.
SUAVV: What did you find to be the most disturbing part of the research that you were doing for the film?
Dillan: In the midst of 2002 it was that there was a very limited amount of information that we had to draw upon, especially video. Unless you knew someone that had a VCR that just happened to tape the events while it happened or you were a professional journalist, then it was as easy as a phone call. But when you are a teenager in upstate New York that doesn’t work for a media outlet and trying to get footage from that day, it becomes a little tricky, to say the least. Needless to say, not just for myself but for the movement in general, we certainly didn’t have the access back then that we have now. An entire collection of videos just got released a little while ago. I started pouring through it recently and it’s fascinating. Just to think that back in 2005 and 2006 we were praying for that video to be released and then when it finally was released, it was just interesting to see how valuable that information was back then whereas now we have practically everything that we are going to have until there is full disclosure and the documents that haven’t already been destroyed are released.
SUAVV: When you start putting together the film and you are starting to hear from different government agencies, did you ever develop a fear of going against the government
Dillan: After Corey came back from Iraq in February of 2004 and we shot a couple of scenes from the first script. After he left, I felt like I just needed to change of scenery for a little bit to kind of get out there and live my own life and try to pursue a life outside of my hometown. And also to use that time to develop the film even further. I also moved to Washington DC of all places. You want to talk about the belly of the beast. It was very interesting place to develop the first and good majority of the second part of the documentary. There was fear from that but also fear for my best friend who was over there dealing with the aftermath of the events. It was definitely an interesting perspective on what was going on in the world at that time.
Korey: Once we got the ball rolling and got our teeth into it and people started listening to us, it was definitely a point where things came to a head and we realized how much noise we were making and we started to get a lot of the negative feedback and there were a lot of times that the emotions ran high and things were either difficult or ran great but I was always happy to be doing what we were doing.
Just being able to paint the big picture and seeing it all together and realizing that there were much bigger things at stake than what we were led to believe, how did what you began to look at things differently? When you start receiving this evidence and doing interviews and hearing the stories, was there a gradual realization that things weren’t the way they were advertised?
Korey: The first time I saw part of the video that Dillan put together, it was the idea and the message that really stuck out to me. It was the idea to think about something differently, to ask questions, and to not take things at face value. At that point in my life, I was still growing up and I was still learning about the world. I was watching CNN and believed everything that I saw in the news. I thought, ‘that’s just the way that it is’ and the idea to question things was an enlightening experience.
Dillan: Some people were honestly trying to make us see the legitimate aspects and were trying to help. Other people were just spewing the negative things and wanted to just attack us in general. This is the reason that there are 4 versions of the movie to date. We were always willing to listen to the criticisms. We were willing to take their input and listen to what people said to try to make our film a little more bulletproof. The conclusion that I’ve come to, nearly a decade later, is that you can argue about the semantics, you can argue about what happened, how it went down, and all of the factors that contributed to it. By, in large, looking at all that happened after the attacks is a good way for everyone to at least agree that there was certainly a cover-up and the only question is “to what extent?” You focus on everything that happened after the fact, the behavior of the Bush administration after the event, the complete lack of accountability that we received, and the complete compromise of what was supposed to be the end all investigation of the attacks.
Korey: As far as criticism goes, I always have and always will encourage it. I think controversy brings more thinking, more investigation, and more attention on the subject. I have always encouraged anyone to bring more information and criticisms forward and do whatever they feel necessary to get their information out as well. I’ve always said “don’t believe us and don’t take what we said at face value. Go do the research for yourself, come to your own conclusion, and from there make your own thoughts and live by them.
The Pentagon was probably the biggest contributor to a conspiracy theory. This single site left the most questions of probably the entire day. Where did it leave you?
Dillan: There are no clear images of what happened on the morning of 9/11. To me, it is a statistical impossibility given the number of cameras that are placed at any point of the ground at any moment. I find it very hard to believe that there isn’t some angle somewhere that could have shown us some part, if not the impact itself, of the actual plane. I’m of the opinion that the secrecy surrounding what happened, is the most important aspect and you have to question why is it that they don’t want that to be seen? Is it something on the tapes that you don’t want people to see or know about? The only question is ‘what it is?’ and we may never know. It’s been over a decade and nothing has been leaked yet. So, it will be tough to say. That’s the bottom line when it comes to dealing with the pentagon because it’s such a contentious issue.
Family members from 9/11 victims have become more and more open and encouraging of the theories of the day and wanting real answers. Have you guys had any kickback or threats from the families directly?
Korey: Never from the family members. The family members have been surprisingly supportive. In fact, that’s the main reason that we have always done what we’ve done because we have their support and they urge us to continue to do it because they want the answers just as much and if not more so than we do. So the threats never come from the family members but we have gotten them from others.
The people who want you to leave this topic alone and walk away have called you both many names, but the worst may be being called unpatriotic. How do you feel about that when all you are doing is trying to find the truth?
Korey: It’s laughable. I have a video from youtube with us debating NBC and I get emails in my inbox whenever someone makes a post on it. When I’m having a bad day or whatever, I go and read the post that people put up bashing us and saying some of the most obscene and most disgusting things that you will ever read. And it’s laughable because it’s just a person behind a keyboard. I’ve heard that people write things and people have tracked them down being mad about it. What it really turns out to be is human nature and people being people saying the things that they say.
Now that you have this project under your belt and have really worked on your directing and producing skills, what do you guys have in mind as far as future projects?
Dillan: I want to continue to hone my narrative and directing skills and get a couple of short films done and eventually move on to a feature film is my goal. I don’t plan on doing any political documentaries anytime soon. That’s not the plan anyway. I need a break.
Korey: I did one that was a school project that I hope to finish one day when things settle down. It’s a film on Homeless Veterans in America which is a very near and dear subject in my heart and is very important to me to discuss that subject. We put a 30-minute documentary together that we hope to shop around and get someone to give us some capital so that we can make it properly or something that I can finish up in my own time and then release. Loose Change was honestly a big accident that took on a life of its own and we went along for the ride. It’s not us and shouldn’t have been us. We just put a movie out to make people think something different. The ball has really been passed to the architects and engineers for the 9/11 TRUTH which is an organization of legitimate scientists, engineers, physicists with credentials to back up what we have been saying and what they have been saying for years now. So they really picked up the ball and people can go to their organization for answers, question, and debate on topics and other things.
Watch the FULL documentary HERE.