Towers of Babble

The freaks and geeks in the 9/11 Truth movement are on to something—they just don’t know what
by Paul Constant, from the Stranger
January-February 2008
Add to My MSN

illustration by Matt Rota
Slideshow


Content Tools

Related Content

Exporting Truth and Reconciliation

In 2006, the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission expanded its reach to take statements from...

9/11, Archived

The events of September 11, 2001, were understood, by and large, by the real-time coverage on TV. No...

The Carbon Tax Will Kill Us All

I recently learned that the carbon tax is part of a secret, intra-governmental plot to kill 80 perce...

The Triumph of the Tiananmen-Like Surfer Protest in Hawaii

Further developments in a story that began with a standoff between the mammoth sea vessel and dozens...

The eight men huddled around a table at a Seattle coffee shop could easily be confused with a comic-book fan society or a Dungeons & Dragons kaffeeklatsch. They’re mostly white, in their 20s and 30s, many with creative facial hair. They’re dressed casually. The majority of them are computer programmers. Nearly half of them work at Microsoft, although they coyly refer to it as “a major computer-software firm based out of Redmond,” presumably for fear of workplace repercussions.

“I’d like to call this meeting to a quorum,” a guy named Robin says, presumably hamming it up because a reporter is present. This is a meeting of We Are Change Seattle, one of the many local branches of a loosely affiliated network of 9/11 Truth organizations. The group gets together in coffee shops and bars every week or two.

Robin spent much of his life in New England working as an air-traffic controller and manager of standup comedians, and he recently moved to Seattle to be closer to his daughter and granddaughter. He’s the oldest of the group but in many ways the most passionate, followed closely by a charismatic man named Giancarlo. Giancarlo’s father brought him to the United States 20 years ago from “a communist country”; he evades questions about which one. He’s forceful, handsome, and young, the kind of person who says “with all due respect” with a smile and then proceeds to tell you exactly what’s wrong with you. His magnetic personality could probably earn him an elected office if he smoothed out his angry edges.

“What’s really a slap in the face,” Giancarlo says, “is that they dumbed down the explanation to such third-grader principles, that the terrorists did this because they hate our freedoms. I hate the fact that I believed that for five years.” Giancarlo’s rant about freedom gives way to a conversation about the failure of the anti–Iraq war movement, which the group agrees has consisted of hippies singing folk songs, ridiculous puppets, and self-righteous preaching to the choir.

“This is why the 9/11 Truth movement is brilliant,” Robin says, “because we’re on the web and we have DVDs and we’re out handing things out”—specifically, he says, in places they aren’t wanted. “We’re doing what I’d like to call civil informationing.”

It’s true that educating people who are hostile to your cause, rather than smugly marching in lockstep with like-minded activists, is the way to operate a movement. Giancarlo is said to be the best at debating naysayers and sweet-talking reluctant people into taking copies of We Are Change Seattle’s information. Kristian Konrad, probably the closest thing that We Are Change Seattle has to a leader, says that when members hand out literature outside Mariners baseball games, they attract comments like “Get fucked, traitor” and “Oh, look, it’s the freaks.”

I was invited to this meeting after an e-mail exchange with Konrad in which I compared the level of hatred for Truthers to the way most people treat Lyndon LaRouche followers and Jehovah’s Witnesses. This touched a nerve with Konrad, who replied by saying, “Unlike LaRouchers, we have regular jobs and don’t adhere to one man’s ideas.” He added, “I’m just a regular guy, trying to get the word out that buildings don’t fall apart at free-fall speed due to fire.”

Weeks after the meeting in the coffee shop, Konrad is at Seattle Hempfest handing out DVDs to strangers. He has 400 of them, which he paid for himself at an estimated cost of “27 cents apiece, not including time,” he says. He was up all night burning them. A sign that reads “Google 9/11 Truth” is sticking out of his backpack, but otherwise he could easily fit into the Hempfest demographic. A preteen boy who must have been 5, at most, in 2001, says, “Dude, it was six years ago. Get over it!” One man shouts, “Fuck you!” A soft-spoken man in his 50s takes a DVD and then hands it back and walks on.

I catch up to him. He tells me, “I’m not interested. I feel like conspiracies in this day and age would be extremely difficult to perpetuate. Now, with the Internet, governments are running scared. The writing is on the wall and they can’t control the people. They’re in trouble and they know it.”

When I tell Konrad about the man’s response, he laughs. “Good for him, man,” he says. “I want some of what he’s smoking.”

 

Three months ago, at a birthday party, I met a dour young man wearing a “9/11 was an inside job” T-shirt. I’d already been noticing a lot of “inside job” stickers and graffiti around town, and now, faced with a real-life Truther, I found that I couldn’t stop staring at him: He was at a celebration of a friend’s life and he was wearing a shirt announcing that nearly 3,000 American citizens were killed by our own government. It’s easy to dismiss a guy like this as a lone wolf, but he’s actually not alone: A 2006 Scripps Survey Research Center poll found that 36 percent of all Americans believe that the government is responsible for 9/11—either by direct action or by willfully ignoring clear evidence that it was going to happen.

There is no end to the variety of Truthers’ claims, but most of them believe that the United States government perpetrated 9/11 in an elaborate conspiracy to bring about the decomposition of civil liberties and the fortification of the American empire in the Middle East. They think this because, since 9/11, we’ve witnessed the decomposition of civil liberties and the fortification of the American empire in the Middle East.

Most Truthers claim that their starting point in the movement was watching the third World Trade Center tower fall. At 5:20 p.m. on September 11, 2001, WTC 7, a 47-story steel-framed skyscraper located 300 feet north of Tower 1, collapsed. This collapse, as seen in news footage, looks a lot like an implosion, as if it had happened through controlled demolition. This is the drum that most Truthers bang on when they’re trying to get people to pay attention, and it’s a pretty sexy bullet point: No planes struck WTC 7, so why would it collapse?

But, for that matter, why would the Twin Towers collapse? The 9/11 Commission Report claims that the towers fell at nearly free-fall speed because of something later dubbed the “pancake theory,” which means that each floor fell on top of the floor below it. Truthers claim that the puffs of smoke that jetted from the side of the buildings during the collapse were signs of controlled explosions within the buildings. And, further, that the jet fuel–stoked fire inside the towers could not have burned hot enough to weaken the metal structure of the building.

It’s inaccurate to refer to Truthers as conspiracy theorists because, as they’re quick to point out, many of them don’t have a theory. They only have questions. Some of them believe that the government is guilty of knowing about the attacks and simply allowing them to happen, others believe that the planes were remote-­controlled and no passengers died in the attacks, and still others believe that the Pentagon was hit by a cruise missile and no plane was involved at all. Many Truthers believe that Flight 93 couldn’t have crashed in Pennsylvania since the crash site is only 6 feet wide by 20 feet long. A radical few even claim that no planes struck the Twin Towers. The debate within the movement is intense and not always polite; some Truthers believe that denying that hundreds of air passengers died on September 11 is disrespectful and stupid.

There are almost as many notions about what happened on September 11 as there are members of 9/11 Truth organizations. To add to the confusion, the movement is home to not a few eccentrics. After the coffee shop meeting with We Are Change Seattle, I got the first in a series of e-mails from a woman named Rebecca. Rebecca was angry that she wasn’t allowed to take part in the group interview, a decision that Konrad justified as a way to present a “more united front” to the media.

Rebecca and three other original members of 9/11 Truth Seattle—the umbrella entity that makes communication between various Truth groups in Seattle possible—had decided to abandon We Are Change Seattle anyway after a disagreement. Most recently, Rebecca has decided to stop being part of any 9/11 Truth organization. In her words: “I have instead decided to give priority to my creative work with political satire and performance poetry.”

This tiny schism is emblematic of larger rifts within the Truth movement. Its first few years have seen a number of organizations come and go in a flurry of arguments and personality clashes. For instance, last year, after a prolonged argument about whether the towers were felled by miniature nuclear weapons, some members of a group called Scholars for 9/11 Truth voted to disband and reform as the new, improved Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice. Many Truthers rejected a man named Webster Tarpley as a major public face of the movement because of his previous work for the LaRouche Connection, a news service funded by the LaRouche organization. “Many of us felt like he took some credibility from the movement,” a Truther who wanted to be anonymous told me. Tarpley is rumored to be considering a run for president on a 9/11 Truth ticket, which could draw some of the Truth votes from both Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, who seem to be running neck-and-neck in popularity with the primarily Libertarian-leaning members of 9/11 Truth groups.

In the midst of all this it’s easy to forget that, by virtually any measurement of intellect, Truthers are highly intelligent people. The very fact that they’ve branded themselves the “Truth” movement shows a canny grasp of public relations on a level with the Bush administration’s lusty embrace of the word freedom. Who could possibly be against truth? Truth is part of the credo of superheroes, along with justice and the American way. It’s the same kind of organic organizational genius that people who are against abortion drew on when they came up with prolife. Adopting a powerful, emblematic word like truth or life or freedom gives you an important edge at the start of an argument. It’s more than a statement of purpose; it’s brilliant marketing, and it reveals an organization wise enough to use the same tools as the institutions they’ve sworn to fight. Truthers get dismissed as idiots on liberal and conservative message boards around the country, but it’s hard to think of another movement that has covered as much ground as quickly, and has defined itself as well, as 9/11 Truth has.

 

I left that first coffee shop meeting with a huge stack of books and DVDs. The bible for most of the movement is David Ray Griffin’s confusingly titled Debunking 9/11 Debunking, written in response to the March 2005 issue of Popular Mechanics that refuted commonly floated 9/11 Truth theories. It’s a necessarily dry book—great swaths of pages are devoted to whether jet fuel fire would burn black or white—and Griffin, a retired professor of theology and philosophy of religion, is not by any stretch of the imagination an inspirational writer, but his methodical approach gives the book gravity.

The first Internet-distributed movie that turned people on to the Truth movement was Loose Change. Despite being an amateur production, Change is paced and edited like a mainstream documentary. It’s a shame it’s so bad. Director/narrator Dylan Avery’s voice is nasally reminiscent of Ira Glass’, which partly explains why Change seems like an episode of This American Life on acid. Avery makes crazy suggestions and then stops and says, in a folksy stage exclamation, “Wait a minute! What did I just say?” The last third of the film posits that Flight 93 never crashed in Pennsylvania. By this point it’s clear that Change is the work of someone who’s spent too long examining the evidence and needs to step out for fresh air.

The Truth movement’s newest, most popular film is a documentary called Zeitgeist. Not as professional as Change, Zeitgeist still has weird power: Based solely on anecdotal evidence, it’s probably drawing more people into the Truth movement than anything else.

The first 40 minutes explain in detail why Christianity is a sham and Jesus Christ is not the messiah. It’s fairly well argued and revolves around commonly known facts: Many early religions had messianic stories involving virgin births, crucifixions, celebrations on December 25, and so on. The second part is devoted to 9/11 Truth, and it’s probably the most clearly stated case I’ve seen, covering the “facts” concisely. The third part of Zeitgeist lost me entirely—it’s a screed about how everything has always been a part of a master plan to create a New World Order, and the film’s emotional climax involves a documentary filmmaker befriending a loose-lipped Rockefeller family member who blurts out the events of 9/11 . . . nearly one year before they happened!

It’s fascinating, this structure. First the film destroys the idea of God, and then, through the lens of 9/11, it introduces a sort of new Bizarro God. Instead of an omnipotent, omniscient being who loves you and has inspired a variety of organized religions, there is an omnipotent, omniscient organization of ruthless beings who hate you and want to take your rights away, if not throw you in a work camp forever. Zeitgeist is the film most Truthers mention online when they’re new to the movement, and it believes in a magical fairyland dominated by evil villains. It’s fiction, couched in a few facts.

There are even nuttier resources, like Inside Job: Unmasking the 9/11 Conspiracies by Jim Marrs, who’s made a career of writing about the JFK assassination and extraterrestrial encounters. David Icke, who famously believes the world is being controlled by lizard-men (in a plot startlingly similar to the cult NBC miniseries V), has contributed his very particular genius to the genre with Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster. Just type a couple of words into Google and the whole thing spins into crazy within seconds.

 

You can get sidetracked tearing apart every bit of evidence with a Truther. Was the whole thing done with remote-controlled planes bearing bomb pods on their underbellies? If so, where are the real people who were ostensibly the passengers of those flights? How did they—whoever they are—pull it—whatever it is—off?

I ask Konrad how many people it must have taken to wire the towers to explode.

“If they had long enough, probably you could have gotten it done with crews of 20 or 40 people,” he says.

So how did the government convince those people to execute its evil plan, and why have none of them come forward?

“It’s just my theory,” he says. “But the people who wired the towers to explode are already dead. They probably got three in the back of the head, just like Pat Tillman.”

But what about the people who did the people who did the towers? And the people who told the people to do the people who did the towers? You can imagine a line of men in suits shooting each other in the back of the head extending all the way from New York to Washington, D.C., and ending in the Oval Office, but somewhere along the way, someone’s going to squeal. Truthers tend to implicate the media in the attack, but, as anyone who’s ever gotten drunk with a journalist could tell you, a conspiracy that involves the media would be short-lived.

The secrecy of our government is a major reason why the Truth movement has gained such successful footing in such a relatively short time, and President Bush’s and Vice President Cheney’s refusal to cooperate with the 9/11 Commission can easily be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Plus, Bush and Cheney probably are guilty of a lot of horrible things, some of which we’ll never know about. But wouldn’t a government conspiracy to go after Iraq just have tied the towers directly to Iraq? If the Truth movement’s only job is to uncover discrepancies, it’s dooming itself to forever pulling facts apart. It’s kind of a Zeno’s arrow of illogic: Truthers will never come to a reasonable conclusion because there’s never going to be an absence of doubt. It’s time for them to put up or shut up, in other words—it’s been six years since 9/11 and they’ve yet to produce anything coherent.

Most Truthers will tell you that what they’re looking for is a new, independent—possibly international—commission to investigate the events of September 11. When I ask Konrad in an e-mail if he thinks that such a commission could accurately identify what happened, his answer is less than fulfilling: “I do think there is still enough evidence to indict some of the perpetrators. . . . There is a lot of evidence, and it needs to be objectively sorted out. . . . We may never know who exactly ordered the attacks, or who did the footwork, but it is necessary to investigate. This whole war on terror, and the wars in the Middle East, are based on it.”

 

Do I think that the government gave us the whole truth about 9/11? Of course not. The CIA trained Osama bin Laden to fight the Soviets, the Bush and bin Laden families have been tied together in business dealings forever, and the administration has released barely any usable information about the attacks. But I also think that the Truth movement people are looking backward, which won’t help them succeed in their mission.

Many people are quick to dismiss the Truth movement the second a Truther starts talking. This is a mistake. In many ways, Truthers represent a step forward, in part because of the high value they place on reason—nothing to sneeze at in a religious age. Outside of the always-to-be-expected lunatic fringe, the majority of the Truthers I’ve met have used clearheaded and civil discussion as their primary method of coercion, and it’s worked remarkably well. The problem is that many of the believers—like the ones who love Zeitgeist—have started to fall for spiritual hooey and Masonic bunkum. There’s a cult of coincidence just waiting to be born in the Truth movement that could prove to be every bit as awful and wrongheaded as any religion, but if the intelligent rationalists that I’ve met can keep their wits about them, be reasonable, and stick to facts, they could become a very important force.

The awful truth, of course, is that we’re all living in a huge conspiracy, and things are so ridiculous that we barely even think about it anymore. We entered into the Iraq war under false pretenses. Our government routinely spies on its citizens both inside and outside its borders, and runs secret courts with special rules. We torture and kill civilians in other countries because we can.

I was surprised when I met some of Seattle’s Truth groups because I was confronted by smart, sincere people with lots of information about the sad state of civil liberties and corporate control in the United States, people eager to inform other people about what’s happening to our rights and using money out of their own pockets to do it. People fighting, in other words, the single biggest sin in America: laziness. The kind of pervasive laziness that can be found everywhere today—in our leaders, in our media, in ourselves.

They could do a lot better by dropping the arguments about the melting point of steel and whether or not planes actually did hit buildings. What they already have in their hands is priceless: In just a couple of years they’ve created, from nothing, a truly democratic, highly visible grassroots framework for a new kind of peace and civil rights organization that could use that concept of “civil informationing” to bring about change. It would require the movement to endorse some candidates, and make some compromises, but there comes a time in every adult’s life when you’ve got to get to work because it’s time to stop pointing at the heavens and shouting “Why?”

 

Reprinted from the Stranger(Sept. 6, 2007), Seattle’s weekly alternative arts and culture newspaper. Subscriptions: $59.99/yr. (52 issues) from 1535 11th Ave., 3rd Floor, Seattle, WA 98122; www.thestranger.com.








Post a comment below.

 

c burruss
12/15/2012 12:15:00 PM
Any jackass can kick down a barn door; it takes a carpenter to build one. Do you need further explanation Mr. Breyer?

Sylvan1
12/13/2012 10:30:53 AM
Wow, I am so disappointed in Utne Reader for this article which slams people for wanting the truth. I can't believe you would allow yourselves to be used in this way by those evil manipulators who pulled off the false flag attack. Obviously Utne Reader "can't handle the truth." Congratulations on a new low.

Bakari Kafele_3
3/6/2008 12:00:00 AM
The mind set of the 64% of people who wouldn't even consider the possibility of an inside job can be summed up by the quote "It was 6 years ago, get over it" As long as your own personal life is comfortable, anything which happened more then a few months in the past becomes irrelevant. The possibility of an inside job does not depend on controlled demolition or fake planes. American elite is in contact with Saudi Arabian elite (remember, the hi-jackers were Saudi, not Iraqi or Afghani). In fact, the Bush family is personally involved with the Bin Ladens. All it requires is a few phone calls or meetings: "Here is what we need to happen. Here are our security holes. Talk to your boy Osama when you see him" The only counter left is "The American government would never do that to its own people for political reasons" If we are willing to acknowledge that nothing which happens within the past century or two is "ancient history", we might remember that there is overwhelming evidence that the government, including the president at the time, knew about the attack on Pearl Harbor before it happened, having cracked the Japanese encryption codes several days before hand. They choose not to warn any one at the base in order to gain the support of the American people on joining the war, which they wanted to do anyway. The Watergate break in was in the papers before the '72 election, but no one was willing to believe the president could be involved in a conspiracy, and the re-elected Nixon anyway. The conservative group PNAC (which includes Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and other former top level members of the administration) has said in public papers published prior to 9/11 that a surprise attack on the US would be to the advantage of their agenda of increased domestic security and military spending for the ultimate goal of (benign) world domination. Maybe no American had anything to do with the planning

johndoraemi
3/3/2008 12:00:00 AM
From my latest article: " 1) Sec. Transportation Norman Mineta's testimony contradicted Dick Cheney's claim about the Vice President's actions that day. Clearly, the PEOC was monitoring "the plane coming into the pentagon" yet no orders to scramble interceptors, or to fire surface to air missiles in defense of the Pentagon are seen. 2) NORAD and FAA headquarters apparently obstructed fighter response, and did not directly issue scramble orders as threats were known. 3) Sec. Defense Rumsfeld was missiing in action during the entire crucial period of the 9/11 attacks. As the June 1st "Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction" concerning "Air Piracy" required Secretary of Defense "approval" before launching any interceptors at all, this conspicuous lack of "approval"apparently aided and abetted the attacking aircraft, making Rumsfeld and his enablers a party to treason. 4) The head of Pakistani intelligence was linked in the press to wire transfers to alleged "lead hijacker" Mohammad Atta. Not one word explains these press reports. 5) Approximately 200 Israeli agents were detained before and after the 9/11 attacks including several who were filming the first plane impact the first tower, and who then celebrated this event with such zeal that police were notified. 6) The claimed main source for the 9/11 Commission Report, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, was reported killed in a gun battle in Pakistan before his alleged capture. No positive identification has ever proven that the US government holds the actual suspects it claims. 7) The crucial steel evidence from the World Trade Center buildings was illegally and feloniously shipped off to Asia as "scrap" when the forensic analysis is crucial to any understanding of what happened. Other anomalies like "vaporized steel", observed "pools of molten steel,"and "warping" which required excessivley

Strangis
2/27/2008 12:00:00 AM
The author states that we entered the Iraq War under false pretenses, which is entirely true. I'd argue that this would have been almost impossible to sell to the American public at the time, except that 70% of the population believed that Saddam was behind 9/11. For those who say that 9/11 only afforded the Bush administration a 'temporary' boost to their agenda, remember the following... every administration is temporary... some of the people in the Bush administration have been lying to the public for over 30 years (Cheney, Rumsfeld)... the world's largest embassy, and dozen bases being constructed in Iraq right now are anything BUT 'temporary' and transcends administrations. If anyone doubts me, find me a leading candidate that is going to halt the construction of said bases.

bkleen
2/27/2008 12:00:00 AM
"Very much unprepared for"???? dpetely Dude, they attacked the trade centers once, planes as weapons had been studied as a possible attack BY THE PENTAGON, and then lied about by Bush and Rice. Plus, Cheney was running war games the same day as the attacks, and told the pilots to STAND DOWN. Even the Aug. 6th CIA briefing memo showed attacks were coming. BTW, How come no one mentions the film the Jersey Moms made called "9-11 Press For Truth"? They ignore all the demolition theories Which make people look crazy-even though 300 Architects and Engineers for 9-11 truth are organized in agreement) and concentrate on the many lies made by this administration. If 19 radical fundamentalists did this, why is the administration lying about who they are and where their funding came from? I can't believe this reporter missed this movie, the best of the lot. The most level headed, using all open media sources. My conclusion: Our government is evil, and only children and the deluded believe otherwise. Bush got the memo they were coming and went golfing, and pretended to "clear brush". The FBI liited investigations of flight schools. Sibel Edmonds was fired, bound anf gagged. Look at the history of the CIA. WE are the evil empire. We spend more on death machines than the rest of the world combined. It's sick and sad, and we are all in the gunsights of our evil blue blood aristocratic phony democracy rulers. why was this comment deleted earlier?

George R. Simpson
2/26/2008 12:00:00 AM
The "Truthers" are unable to decide what to do with the confusing facts of which the 911 event is composed. The answer is that 911 was an "act of God". Acts of God are always surrounded with impossible irony and controversy. 911 was a brutal warning against, among other things "Religion" -- the most dangerous thing on earth. The ET Corn Gods translation of the word "Religion" is 911 2001 AD. To learn more about the language of the ET/UFO -- go to www.etcorngods.com. George R. Simpson

Zach long
2/26/2008 12:00:00 AM
Too many 911 truth skeptics are lazy. Many have not even given the subject a cursory examination as can be seen from some of the comments above which casually assume that the many anomalies and coincidences surrounding the event automatically point to government complicity which of course doesn't say much of anything about who the conspirators were since so much of "government" has been virtually privatized anyway. Simply start with the collection of data enumerated here: http://rigorousintuition.blogspot.com/2004/08/coincidence-theorists-guide-to-911.html Any good lawyer will tell you that there is enough circumstantial evidence to warrant a new look at the event -with subpoenas, under oath testimony, and maybe amnesty for all whistleblowers. Simply including all the excluded testimony from the first commission's business would probably illuminate many dark corners and bring to light many unsuspected actors. Zach Long

dpetley
2/25/2008 12:00:00 AM
"Truthers represent a step forward, in part because of the high value they place on reason—nothing to sneeze at in a religious age." I don't find Truthers to place high value on reason. Their conclusion (government actions were responsible for 9/11) seems to precede their evidence and logic. If you run through the universe looking for specific meaning, it's very easy to interpret the data you encounter as proof-positive of the meaning you're searching for. The myth of the hyper-confident government pervades Truthers' methodology. The best explanation for 9/11 I've encountered? 19 well funded, committed Islamic radicalists planned a fairly low-tech attack on a United States very much unprepared for such a contingency. As another commenter noted, the universe is full of random happenings. Not everything is controlled and planned for.

Tim_5
2/25/2008 12:00:00 AM
I am not a fan of conspiracy theories and theorist. I find them condescending and snarky, not the greatest reason I know, but I have a hard time supporting something when the supporters drive me crazy. I also don’t believe the government was responsible. My biggest complaint is that if someone honestly believes that the United States Government was responsible for 9/11 and is willing to kill thousands of its own people for some spurious political gain and their response is to make DVDs instead of armed and violent overthrow of the government is just a prick. If what they are saying really happened, then they should be willing to fight for it, but I think they would prefer to comfort themselves with the belief that some how they have the truth and the ignorant masses are all a bunch of dupes than actually doing something about it.

jonathan mark
2/24/2008 12:00:00 AM
Top on this issue of my ezine, Flyby News is about the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative. This is our Country’s best chance for an independent investigation, empowered by the citizens of NYC that have suffered long enough in the lies, distortion, treachery, and inhumane treatment of the survivors. Flyby News Notes - Editor - Jonathan Mark - www.FlybyNews.com February 18, 2008 - 9/11 Ballot * Parliament * Griffin & Moyers In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell 1) NYC Ballot & More for an Independent 9/11 Investigation - - 9/11 Truth Debate at European Parliament, February 26 - - Principal Electrical Engineer for WTC Calls for Investigation - - Newly Released FBI Timeline Reveals New Information about 9/11 - - Lifting the veil to understand the 9/11 Commission - - British Judges Slam Prosecutors for Framing Algerian on 9/11 - - The Shell Game -- Expose Another 9/11 before it happens - - The Reflecting Pool - Reviews - - Bill Moyers Debunnking 9/11 Debunking Comment 2) Bush Fascist – Iran Forum – Obama’s White Mom - - Mr. Bush You Are A Fascist - Keith Olbermann MSNBC - - Western Massachusetts Town Meeting on Iran - - Obama Drive Gets Inspiration From His White Mom Born in Kansas Editor’s Notes: Top on this issue again is more from the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative. This is our Country’s best chance for an independent investigation, empowered by the citizens of NYC that have suffered long enough in the lies, distortion, treachery, and inhumane treatment of the survivors. Also note the film and debate at European Parliament later this month, and the new information coming out all over the place regarding the Bush administrations cover-up in one of the greatest crimes in US history. Note too my comments to Bill Moyers program where he mentioned not allowing David Ray Griffin’s book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, to be considered to be recommended to the next US President. Item 2 has another powerfu

James Hufferd
2/24/2008 12:00:00 AM
It's sad that both the author of this article and many of the commenters posted above are so much more interested in the foibles that everyone has, magnified or not in rank-and-file 911 Truthers, than in learning the truth or falsity of the story the government fed us, in all final detail, ready-made, the day after the 9/11 crimes were carried out. After all of the compounded deceits and horrible sins of this oh-so-hypocrytical and duplicitous administrations, so many are still willing to support as gospel their account (a conspiracy theory itself, if there ever was one) of what happened and what and who caused it all. It's astounding these dupes who write in here are willing to go to the mat to support the truthfulness in this highly-crucial matter of these proven serial liars against any questioners, without ever looking into the matters in question or the great mass of evidence garnered by the Truth movement! As a 911 Truther myself, a scholar and college teacher and author who has reviewed much of the evidence garnered by the movement and finds it highly compelling, I only hope (and believe) that most Americans are far more open to thinking and learning than these pathetic jingo-heads!

John Cofin
2/22/2008 12:00:00 AM
‘In just a couple of years they’ve created, from nothing, a truly democratic, highly visible grassroots framework for a new kind of peace and civil rights organization that could use that concept of “civil informationing” to bring about change.’ But what if that turns out to be civil ‘dis-informationing?’ The only core ‘information’ or belief that these fools can accept it that the truth must never be accepted. No coherent understanding of 9/11 is proposed or sought. Every crack-brained notion is welcome, so long as the responsibility for 9/11 is not laid at the feet of those actually responsible. Giancarlo is quoted: ‘…they [who? Bush, the Bilderberg Group, the Elders of Zion?] dumbed down the explanation to such third-grader principles, that the terrorists did this because they hate our freedoms. I hate the fact that I believed that for five years.’ Then why did Islamist terrorists bomb the WTC back in 1993? In revenge for what the US might do in the next 8 years? Americans, yes even ‘smart, sincere’ ones with ‘lots of information’ believe in ridiculous things. They believe the Earth is younger than the Pyramids; that Sylvia Browne can talk to their dead relatives; that Penicillin can cure a cold; that Joe McCarthy was a patriot; that Alger Hiss was innocent; that the Final Solution never happened; that Islam is the religion of peace; that Saddam Hussein orchestrated the 9/11 attacks; that Hamas isn’t committed to the destruction of Israel; that G.W Bush’s policies promote ‘Family Values;’ etc. etc. America is not well served by journalists too lazy—or too addled with post-modern claptrap—to exercise any judgment about the promotional hand-outs that pass for ‘news.’ Why shouldn’t any reasonable person ‘ dismiss the Truth movement the second a Truther starts talking?’ Just as we should dismiss the Holocaust denier, the flat-earther, the LaRoucheite or the man selling shares in a perpetual motion machine.

B
2/22/2008 12:00:00 AM
The mistake the writer makes is asserting that the Truthers should not be dismissed because of their respect for reason. This is false. Their fervor is every bit as faithful as any religion. Ask any one of them the simple, scientific question (about any single aspect of their argument) "What is another explanation for what you're describing and how do we test any part of your hypothesis?" They can only demur and demand another investigation, at the same time they would not trust anyone to conduct such an investigation.

Tim Bitts
2/22/2008 12:00:00 AM
Quote: "The awful truth...We entered into this Iraq war under false pretenses" Rubbish. This is the usual nonsense of the Left. Actually we entered into this Iraq war because they have oil there, and America is running out of oil very quickly. Anyone with more than one brain cell knows this. Recently in the Wall Street Journal, several top oil executives from major oil companies admitted we are past "Peak Oil". From here on in, in history, there is simply not as much oil around. The supply could not expand forever, and the fight this century will be about who controls what is left. Now, the Bush Administration gave a cock and bull story about weapons of mass destruction being the motivation for going to war, that's true. And foolishly, rather than addressing the real issue, which is our modern dependency on oil, the idiotic left actually responds to this Bush red herring by trying to debunk it. To debunk it is a waste of time, because the cock and bull story was really meant to distract dumb liberal attention away from the REAL STORY: OIL. And why doesn't the left want to address oil? Because they too drive SUVs, and live in an economy absolutely and without exception, fully and completely dependent on oil. Without oil, the American economy would collapse within a week. Everyone would suffer in ways the average imagination could not even begin to comprehend. Oil is behind everything in our modern way of life. And President Obama wants America out of Iraq? Out of controlling a commodity absolutely essential for the continuance of the American way of life, whether you are a liberal or conservative? Obama is an idiot. He doesn't know what he is doing. My prediction is, if Obama becomes president, and pulls American troops out of Iraq, and that country, home to 25% of the world's remaining oil supplies, collapses in anarchy, and a larger regional conflict erupts, driving up the price of oil to $200 a barre

Willis
2/22/2008 12:00:00 AM
Open letter to 9-11 Truthers et al.: Resist the infantile urge to believe in hokum like government conspiracies and black helicopters. Brace yourself and take in the world in all its random, unscripted, inchoate glory. There are no easy answers out there. Incompetance, chance and long, overt historical patterns ware behind most of what happens out there. Put down the comic books and graphic novels and begin to familiarize yourselves with reality.

dean_1
2/22/2008 12:00:00 AM
The only amusing thing in this article is the reference to these people as "intelligent". Their belief that, despite not having any training in science, they are capable of spotting flaws in scientific explanations identifies them as being on the very low end of the IQ range. Integrity - not in this bunch. They are looking for attention, nothing more. The entire lot of them are scum.

Harry Pits
2/21/2008 12:00:00 AM
The size of the 9/11 conspiracy movement is directly proportional to the number humans taking psychotropic medicine for a variety of mental illnesses. Most folks equate 9/11 Truther's to those who adamantly believe that Ufo's routinely abduct people from their bedrooms -- Disturbed individuals. These Truther folks have to realize that no one takes them seriously. Once the facts are pointed out to them regarding the events -- they pretend they did not hear it and will ignore it. Example: Rosie O'Donnell and her famous 'steel does not melt' diatribe. Popular Mechanics pointed out the stupidity of her comment and she still believes the Truther nonsense. Go figure. http://www.popularmechanics.com/blogs/911myths/4213805.html

infovoyeur
2/21/2008 12:00:00 AM
--Gosh, this is Philosophy 101, powerful too. Like, don't debate the pros and cons of a sticky-wicket issue, but ask: "but why do these people believe these arguably-dubious stands after all?" Only two 9/11 conspiracy pulsions (compulsion? propulsion? root-motivation...) I've heard of is (1)anti-authority/establishment, and (2) something about distrust of objectivity since the Enlightenment, sort of. --Heck, this spotting of root-reasons or "the true why," is fascinating. Take comments against homosexuals, and/or same-sex marriage. Look far beyond the Bible quoting etc. and discover a dozen levels of archaeological pulsions: sheer misconceptions, major world-views of hierarchies, gender-identity issues, basic fear of change, and so many more. And THAT is why. --Golly, WHY do I MYSELF here rant such about "we must discover root-reasons" etc.? Well, because this is a potent-fecund way of competently confronting challenging but crucial STOP PRESS yeah yeah but "because my childhood and temperament for identifible reasons seek me to seek to know, to look behind, to grasp the hidden truth..."

dpocius
2/21/2008 12:00:00 AM
Where's Mabe Russell when we need her?

Tom_3
2/21/2008 12:00:00 AM
Just about the silliest piece I've read in years, although I must admit to not reading too much leftwing press, which means a lot of silly stuff never comes before me. The most fundamental rules of evidence cannot be satisfied by the "truthers," and their theories require that those who've had access to the evidence, and can interpret it, are base ghouls and demons lacking all integrity. It's the thinking of children, just as the above article reads as if written by a child.

Dallis Radamaker
2/21/2008 12:00:00 AM
Now, speaking quite externally and empirically, we may say that the strongest and most unmistakeable mark of madness is this combination between a logical completeness and a spiritual contraction. The lunatic's theory explains a large number of things, but it does not explain them in a large way. I mean that if you or I were dealing with a mind that was growing morbid, we should be chiefly concerned not so much to give it arguments as to give it air, to convince it that there was something cleaner and cooler outside the suffocation of a single argument. From G.K. Chesterton's book "Orthodoxy".

jr
2/21/2008 12:00:00 AM
While every movement and interest group has its fringes, the heart of the matter here is that we have people gathering to discuss and research our recent history. I applaud all of them for that. As we've seen with the JFK case, the US government doesn't give up its secrets easily but with persistence and steady pressure, citizens can enforce their right to know and hopefully, determine their own history.

jayh
2/21/2008 12:00:00 AM
The interesting thing is how the different theories contradict. The bit about the planted demolition points in an entirely different direction than the claim that the CIA knew all about al qaeda. Placing incredible weight on the off-the-cuff statements of people initally in the middle of something they don't understand (it is well known how COMPLETELY wrong accident and crime witnesses can be) and ignoring all that followed. Quite a few false stories are constantly repeated, the extended power failure DID NOT happen, there was no Jewish 'sick out' that day, the stock transfers constantly referenced are really not that atypical. Why are there plenty of relatives of the plane crash victims to speak to but no relatives of the 'bomb planters'? While there is no question that Bush & co have parlayed this (temporarily at least) to their benefit, it is always dangerous to think of your opponent as comic book villians: inredibly resourceful and incredibly evil. There is no way they could have planned for the public perception to go their way... there were too many variables here that can neither be measured nor controlled ... and the public could very easily have turned on B & co. Reactions of large populations to unusual events are not something that can be predicted with any accuracy (witness the fiascos in Afghanistan and Iraq)

jardi
2/21/2008 12:00:00 AM
2 words: "Occam's razor." You're thinking too hard, folks.

marci_3
2/21/2008 12:00:00 AM
The 9/11 Truth movement is generated by the implausible scenario of three buildings collapsing in their footprint, the most troubling of which is WTC7, which collapsed due to a serious but not catastrophic conflagration only. In citing that implausibility, the Truthers DID uncover a disturbing lie, but then made a hasty leap to government conspiracy. What they and everyone else fail to see is the most obvious reason of them all: inferior construction. We see freefall collapses all the time sans collisions with jetliners. Where? Third World countries where relatively small earthquakes--and sometimes just gravity--pull buildings straight down. It is a given that poor construction leads to these catastrophic failures, and many an architect, contractor, and corrupt city inspector has gone to prison because of it. Now take New York City, where it is widely known that the Mafia controls construction from beginning to end. It is also well known that the Mafia skims billions of dollars from charging for top quality, only to deliver inferior quality, if they deliver at all. Think Carmella and her father on the popular television show The Sopranos; they substitute non-code, inferior framing on a house they are building to sell, and call their chits with the building inspector who's on the Soprano retainer roll. No one bats an eye and says, "Hey, that's not a true portrayal." Why? Because everyone knows it is. The WTC buildings were DESIGNED to withstand plane impacts and fires. How they were BUILT is something else indeed. What we witnessed on 9/11 were poorly tempered steel, cheap bolts and buttresses, and inferior concrete failing absolutely, Third World style. One wonders whether a mild earthquake may see much of New York City collapse in its footprint at freefall speed.

jack gordon
2/21/2008 12:00:00 AM
It's a shame that the article's author did not mention the best [by far and away] DVD thus far: 9/11 MYSTERIES, which can be downloaded from 911weknow.com If you watch this film you will never be the same! And BTW if you would like a DVD let me know and I will be happy the mail one to you.

Mark V
1/30/2008 12:00:00 AM
If nothing else, at least the author of this article acknowledges that the Truthers do seem to be onto something. And they definitely are. I recently watched Oliver Stone's "JFK." It actually has more resonance, today, than when it was first released, and is worth viewing again to see what I'm talking about: References to black ops, maintaining a perpetual state of war to keep the population in control while suspending Constitutional rights, profits to be made by politically connected corporations, and references to a CIA "false flag" attack on our country's soil to kill innocent civilians as a pretext to invading Cuba. That plan was called Operation Northwoods, and a Google search will turn up the declassified documents. When JFK was presented with this plan, he threatened to completely disband the CIA. Two weeks later, he was dead. Finally, regarding people not coming out to reveal their roles in 9/11, don't forget that an anthrax attack occurred shortly after the twin towers were destroyed. In Congress, only Democrats were targeted. This was a message and a warning to play ball, or else. As far as our government is concerned, there's a sinister thread woven intractably through it, and there's probably nothing that can ever be done about it. Even so, the Truth is a good place to start.

davidly
1/21/2008 12:00:00 AM
Clearly today's taboo is to question the official version of events. Skepticism is turned on its head for those who think it's worse to suggest a conspiracy than to pull one off. Heroes look the other way in our culture.

Patrick Phillips
1/11/2008 12:00:00 AM
I read with interest the article on the Seattle 9/11 truth movement, twice. The author portrays the movement as comprised of geaks and freaks. Perhaps Unte, and the author, should report that this is a movement which has many former political and military leaders behind it. I'm thinking of one former Italian prime minister, who wrote an op-ed in the main Roman newspaper suggesting the CIA carried out the attacks. Andrea Von Bulow, former German secretary of defense, wrote a bestselling book in Germany called, "The CIA and their role in 9/11." Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, former Russian Generals, former high level CIA agents, the list goes on and on, all have come out in favor of the idea that the U.S. government sponsered the attacks. If the author of the article would actually have read David Ray Griffin's book Debunking 9/11 Debunking, he wouldn't have been in apparent ignorence of these facts.

kevin kresse
1/5/2008 12:00:00 AM
the 9-11 truth movement has many extremely articulate people in the movement. the 9-11 truth movement has produced dozens of books and documentaries, and it would seem easy enough for a writer not prone to exaggeration to focus in on the most important points that have been demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt about the basic facts of the events of 9-11 and those which preceded and followed 9-11 which are most obviously relevant. first, the bush administration immediately lied to the american people about foreknowledge and warnings of just such an attack, as revealed by cbs news in 2002 with its disclosure of the presidential daily brief of august 6, 2001: "bin laden determined to strike inside the united states." some fifteen foreign intelligence agencies, including the uk warned of an attack like what happened on 9-11. second, the eyewitness accounts on the morning of 9-11 revealed reporters and first responders openly describing bombs and secondary explosions going off inside the towers. dan rather and peter jennings, among other news anchors that morning, described the fall of the towers as looking just like "controlled demolitions." third, the 9-11 commissioners have since admitted norad lied to them about the timelines of their air defense (non) response, and it is well documented norad has given five different timelines of their response since 9-11. fourth, president bush has lied about his own actions that morning, as has dick cheney, as well documented through a survey of media appearances and statements by the two. fifth, no steel structured skyscrapers ever previously fell due to fire, and three did that day, including building 7, which housed the offices of the sec, dod, cia, and guiliani's emergency command post bunker. sixth, evidence of insider knowledge might have been easily exposed if the massive purchase of put options on united airlines and american airlines stock in the days prior to 9-11

Yankee Doodle
1/5/2008 12:00:00 AM
There have always been strange people out there, and something like 9/11 will bring them out in droves. But, when you get past the strange people, you are left with intelligent, educated, functional people with a polite but persistent focus on facts that paint a picture very different from the one the government and the media paint. Facts are pesky things. They don't go away just because they are inconvenient. History will show that those who insist on a better, more fuller accounting of the events surrounding 9/11 are every bit as correct as those who called for independence from the British Crown.

WeCan ChangeTheWorld
1/5/2008 12:00:00 AM
Oopsie, I meant to type victims' families. How embarrassing.

WeCan ChangeTheWorld
1/5/2008 12:00:00 AM
http://wecanchangetheworld.wordpress.com/2008/01/04/ open-letter-to-utne-reader-issue-145-jan-feb-2008/ Open letter to Utne Reader- Issue #145 - Jan.-Feb. 2008 - “Why 100 million people are WRONG ABOUT 9/11″ Initially I considered sending some version of the following letter to the editors of Utne Reader, but on a closer look at the context within which the article was published I decided why bother? ”9/11 Conspiracy” “Towers of Babble” “the freaks and geeks in the 9/11 Truth movement are on to something- they just don’t know what” “Why 100 million people are WRONG ABOUT 9/11″ get the gist? Anyway, here’s a version of an open letter in reply. The nastier versions got left on the cutting room floor. Dear Utne Reader, I was wondering whether you might be able to clarify for me whether you consider retired Navy Commander and Top Gun (as well as commercial) pilot Ralph Kolstad to be more of a freak or a geek? Perhaps you would care to categorize Pentagon survivor April Gallop into one of these pat rhyming categories for your readership as well? Presumably retired Air Force colonel and Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering Ph.D Robert Bowman would fall into the geek category in your oversimplistic article subtitle? When I initially read Paul Constant’s piece in The Stranger ( http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=309650 ) several months ago, I was not terribly impressed. You see, due to long practice I’ve come to recognise certain tendencies in such pieces, no matter how reasonable they may appear to the casual reader. 1.) They never seem to mention very many of the Architects, Engineers, Pilots, Firefighters, Survivors, Professors, military, government and intelligence officials who have questions about the official story of September 11th, 2001. See, for example the site http://patriotsquestion911.com/ for names. 2.) They rarely, if ever, mention all the wargames and exercises which were happening on 9/11. 3.) They








Pay Now & Save $5!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!