* 911 goes mainstream? Don’t be fooled *


Richard Moore

The article below is an American version of a similar article published in the 
Guardian (UK):
  08 Sep 2006   Guardian psyop: "Who really blew up the twin towers?"

Some people in the 911 truth movement have the mistaken notion that these kinds 
of articles are evidence that the truth about 911 is beginning to break through 
to the mainstream press. Far from it. These articles are carefully crafted 
damage-control propaganda, aimed at defusing the effect of David Ray Griffin's 
new book.  Note that these articles appeared within 3 days of each other; the 
propaganda machines in the UK and US are carefully coordinated with one another.

Those of us who know the truth may notice some really good paragraphs below, 
exposing some of the important anomalies in the official story, and we may feel 
false hope. But for those who are still hiding from the truth, the main message 
of the article is to 'be comfortable in your ignorance' -  'all these conspiracy
theories can be dismissed', as reflected here:

    ³Chip Berlet, senior analyst at Political Research
    Associates, a Boston-based left-leaning think tank, is no
    fan of the 9/11 Commission. He believes a serious
    investigation should have led to indictments and the firing
    of incompetent generals and civilian officials.
        But he has no patience with the conspiracy theorists.
        ŒThey don't do their homework; it's a kind of charlatanism,¹
    Berlet says over the phone. "They say there's no debris on
    the lawn in front of the Pentagon, but they base their
    analysis on a photo on the Internet . That's like analyzing
    an impressionist painting by looking at a postcard.¹"

As for ABC's "The Path to 9/11" - that is a frontal assault by the regime on the
911 truth movement.

What the 911 truth movement fails to understand is that we cannot win the battle
of 'public opinion'. They have bigger guns than we do, not just the media, but 
including even the staging of another 911. Besides that, 'reality' for Americans
is not what they believe themselves, but rather what TV portrays as reality. 
This is true for the 911 truthers themselves: if they really cared about public 
opinion, they'd realize they are already winning, when 37% of the American 
people say in polls that they think the White House was involved in 911. But no,
they are waiting for TV to 'validate reality'.


Original source URL:


9/11 conspiracy theorists multiply
Many Americans suspect U.S. government involvement or complicity
By Michael Powell
The Washington Post

Updated: 10:11 a.m. ET Sept. 8, 2006
NEW YORK - He felt no shiver of doubt in those first terrible hours.

He watched the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and assumed 
al-Qaeda had wreaked terrible vengeance. He listened to anchors and military 
experts and assumed the facts of Sept. 11, 2001, were as stated on the screen.

It was a year before David Ray Griffin, an eminent liberal theologian and 
philosopher, began his stroll down the path of disbelief. He wondered why Bush 
listened to a child's story while the nation was attacked and how Osama bin 
Laden, America's Public Enemy No. 1, escaped in the mountains of Tora Bora.

He wondered why 110-story towers crashed and military jets failed to intercept 
even one airliner. He read the 9/11 Commission report with a swell of anger. 
Contradictions were ignored and no military or civilian official was 
reprimanded, much less cashiered.

"To me, the report read as a cartoon." White-haired and courtly, Griffin sits on
a couch in a hotel lobby in Manhattan, unspooling words in that reasonable 
Presbyterian minister's voice. "It's a much greater stretch to accept the 
official conspiracy story than to consider the alternatives."

Such as?

"There was massive complicity in this attack by U.S. government operatives."

If that feels like a skip off the cliff of established reality, more Americans 
are in free fall than you might guess. There are few more startling measures of 
American distrust of leaders than the widespread belief that the Bush 
administration had a hand in the attacks of Sept. 11 in order to spark an 
invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.

A recent Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll of 1,010 Americans found that 36 
percent suspect the U.S. government promoted the attacks or intentionally sat on
its hands. Sixteen percent believe explosives brought down the towers. Twelve 
percent believe a cruise missile hit the Pentagon.

Distrust near Ground Zero

Distrust percolates more strongly near Ground Zero. A Zogby International poll 
of New York City residents two years ago found 49.3 percent believed the 
government "consciously failed to act."

You could dismiss this as a louder than usual howl from the 
CIA-controls-my-thoughts-through-the-filling-in-my-molar crowd. Establishment 
assessments of the believers tend toward the psychotherapeutic. Many academics, 
politicians and thinkers left, right and center say the conspiracy theories are 
a case of one plus one equals five. It's a piling up of improbabilities.

Thomas Eager, a professor of materials science at MIT, has studied the collapse 
of the twin towers. "At first, I thought it was amazing that the buildings would
come down in their own footprints," Eager says. "Then I realized that it wasn't 
that amazing -- it's the only way a building that weighs a million tons and is 
95 percent air can come down."

But the chatter out there is loud enough for the National Institute of Standards
and Technology to post a Web "fact sheet" poking holes in the conspiracy 
theories and defending its report on the towers.

Yeah, as if . . .

The loose agglomeration known as the "9/11 Truth Movement" has stopped looking 
for truth from the government. As cacophonous and free-range a bunch of 
conspiracists anywhere this side of Guy Fawkes, they produce hip-hop inflected 
documentaries and scholarly conferences. The Web is their mother lode. Every 
citizen is a researcher. There's nothing like a triple, Google-fed epiphany 
lighting up the laptop at 2:44 a.m.

Did you see that the CIA met with bin Laden in a hospital room in Dubai? Check 
out this Pakistani site, there are really weird doings in Baluchistan . . .

The academic wing is led by Griffin, who founded the Center for a Postmodern 
World at Claremont University; James Fetzer, a tenured philosopher at the 
University of Minnesota (Fetzer's an old hand in JFK assassination research); 
and Daniel Orr, the retired chairman of the economics department at the 
University of Illinois. The movement's de facto minister of engineering is 
Steven Jones, a tenured physics professor at Brigham Young University, who's 
studied vectors and velocities and tested explosives and concluded that the 
collapse of the twin towers is best explained as controlled demolition, sped by 
a thousand pounds of high-grade thermite.

ŒPossible war criminal¹

Former Reagan aide Barbara Honegger is a senior military affairs journalist at 
the Naval Postgraduate School in California. She's convinced, based on her 
freelance research, that a bomb went off about six minutes before an airplane 
hit the Pentagon -- or didn't hit it, as some believe the case may be. Catherine
Austin Fitts served as assistant secretary of housing in the first President 
Bush's administration and gained a fine reputation as a fraud buster; David 
Bowman was chief of advanced space programs under presidents Ford and Carter. 
Fitts and Bowman agree that the "most unbelievable conspiracy" theory is the one
retailed by the government.

Then there's Morgan O. Reynolds, appointed by George W. Bush as chief economist 
at the Labor Department. He left in 2002 and doesn't think much of his former 
boss; he describes President Bush as a "dysfunctional creep," not to mention a 
"possible war criminal."

You reach Reynolds at his country home in the hills of Arkansas. His favored 
rhetorical style is long paragraphs without obvious punctuation: "Who did it? 
Elements of our government and M-16 and the Mossad. The government's case is a 
laugh-out-loud proposition. They used patsies and lies and subterfuge and 
there's no way that Bush and Cheney could have invaded Iraq without the help of 

They are cantankerous and sometimes distrust each other -- who knows where the 
double agents lurk? But unreasonable questions resonate with the reasonable. 
Colleen Kelly's brother, a salesman, had breakfast at the Windows on the World 
restaurant on Sept. 11. After he died she founded September Eleventh Families 
for Peaceful Tomorrows to oppose the Iraq war. She lives in the Bronx and gives 
a gingerly embrace to the conspiracy crowd.

"Sometimes I listen to them and I think that's sooooo outlandish and bizarre," 
she says. "But that day had such disastrous geopolitical consequences. If David 
Ray Griffin asks uncomfortable questions and points out painful discrepancies? 
Good for him."

Griffin's book, "The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush 
Administration and 9/11," never reviewed in a major U.S. newspaper, sold more 
than 100,000 copies and became a movement founding stone. Last year he traveled 
through New England, giving speeches in whitewashed churches and gymnasiums. He 
came to West Hartford, Conn., on a rainy autumn evening. Four hundred mostly 
middle-aged and upper-middle-class doctors and lawyers, teachers and social 
workers sat waiting.

ŒDomestic terrorists¹

Griffin took the podium and laid down his ideas with calm and cool. He 

"It is already possible to know beyond a reasonable doubt one very important 
thing: The destruction of the World Trade Center was an inside job, orchestrated
by domestic terrorists," he says. "The welfare of our republic and perhaps even 
the survival of our civilization depend on getting the truth about 9/11 

The audience rose and applauded for more than a minute.
"Reality is a thin line between denial and paranoia."
-- Author unknown, but often quoted by the 9/11 truth movement

"Me?" You've asked the Rev. Frank Morales, the bohemian Episcopalian minister 
with the hipster goatee, where he stands on the nature of the conspiracy. We're 
standing in the ancient graveyard of St. Mark's Church in the Bowery on Second 
Avenue. "I lean to LIHOP."

The 9/11 truthers share a lieutenant colonel's love of acronyms. They divide 
themselves into LIHOPS and MIHOPS and differences are not trifling. LIHOP stands
for "Let It Happen On Purpose," which means someone inside the U.S. government 
intentionally let the terror conspiracy go. MIHOP means "Made It Happen On 
Purpose," and its gradations center on whether Bush was in or out of the loop (a
surprising number believe he was clueless) and whether the Mossad or British 
intelligence was dealt into the deal.

Morales, 57, who came out of the Lower East Side housing projects, spent days at
Ground Zero performing last rites for the dead, many little more than a 
collection of body parts.

"I didn't presume to know who did it," he says. "There was a lot of shucking and
jiving. I wonder at what point massive incompetence crosses over into negligent 

To make sense of the truth movement's anger, you need to hit the rewind button 
to early 2001, with the hindsight of today. There was, as the 9/11 Commission 
hearings made clear, a bad moon rising. Warnings kept coming of a "high 
probability" of a "spectacular" terrorist attack. A national security adviser 
warned Condoleezza Rice there were terrorist cells, probably al-Qaeda guys, in 
the country. CIA chief George Tenet said the "system was blinking red."

A presidential bulletin on Aug. 6 had a catchy title: "Bin Laden Determined to 
Strike in U.S." Bush did not discuss it again with Tenet before Sept. 11.

So give the truth movement, many of whom are based in New York City, their 
props. They may be paranoid, but something nasty came our way. They pore over 
the paper trail with a Sherlock Holmesian intensity, alert to intriguing 

Such as:

Former transporation secretary Norman Mineta told the commission he arrived in 
the presidential operations center -- under the White House -- at 9:20 a.m. on 
Sept. 11 and found Vice President Cheney. When an aide asked Cheney about the 
hijacked plane fast approaching the Pentagon, Mineta says the vice president 
snapped that the "orders still stand." Mineta assumed the orders were to shoot 
the plane down. Conspiracy theorists interpret this to mean: Don't shoot it 

Cheney later said he was not in the operations center until after the plane hit.
The commission never mentioned Mineta's contradictory version.

In September 2001, NORAD generals said they learned of the hijackings in time to
scramble fighter jets. But the government recently released tapes claiming to 
show the FAA did not tell the military about the hijackings until three of the 
four planes had crashed.

That would mean the FAA repeatedly lied. It would also mean, as Griffin points 
out, that the entire military chain of command stayed quiet about huge 
inaccuracies for four years "even though . . . the true story would put the 
military in a better light."

More mysteries pile up. The 9/11 Commission says Flight 77 hit the Pentagon at 
9:37. But Honegger says clocks stopped at the Pentagon at 9:32. Then there's the
collapse of the twin towers, which Jones, the physics professor, timed at just 
short of free fall. Griffin cites firefighters, including a captain, who said in
hearings and on tapes from that day that they saw flashes and heard the sound of
explosions before the collapse.

"It's like the Nazi-facilitated Reichstag fire," Honegger says from her home in 
California. "They guided and secretly protected it to justify their global 

Let's put aside the could-anyone-do-something-that-spectacularly-twisted? 
question and touch on practicalities. Isn't the problem with big ugly 
conspiracies -- from the Gulf of Tonkin to My Lai to the 1961 Pentagon plan to 
provoke a war by attacking Americans and blaming it on Castro -- that they are 
too big and ugly to keep secret?

Griffin shrugs. History is littered with government black-bag jobs. "How do you 
know they can't keep big secrets? Can you be sure you know what you don't know?"

There is a "morning after" quality to the conspiratorial romance. One moment you
groove on the epiphanies and the next moment you're lost in a dull haze of "this
cannot be a coincidence," "perhaps significantly" and "if so . . ."

What of incompetence? Or the raw absurdity of life? The truth movement makes 
much of a 2001 BBC report that a half-dozen of the hijackers were still alive. 
They mention Waleed al Shehri, a pilot who still flies commercial runs in 
Morocco. But the BBC retracted that.

It turns out the live guy and the dead hijacker spelled their names differently.

Then there's the theory that Flight 77 did not hit the Pentagon and United 93 
did not crash in Shanksville, Pa. But, like, what happened to the passengers? 
(Among the passengers on Flight 77 was Barbara Olson, wife of former U.S. 
solicitor general Ted Olson).

ŒThey don¹t do their homework¹

"Why should any of us know where it went?" Griffin says. "It could have been it 
crashed in Kentucky. We don't need a theory where it went."

Chip Berlet, senior analyst at Political Research Associates, a Boston-based 
left-leaning think tank, is no fan of the 9/11 Commission. He believes a serious
investigation should have led to indictments and the firing of incompetent 
generals and civilian officials.

But he has no patience with the conspiracy theorists.

"They don't do their homework; it's a kind of charlatanism," Berlet says over 
the phone. "They say there's no debris on the lawn in front of the Pentagon, but
they base their analysis on a photo on the Internet . That's like analyzing an 
impressionist painting by looking at a postcard."

Now comes a loud sigh.

"I love 'The X-Files' but I don't base my research on it," he says. "My vision 
of hell is having to review these [conspiracy] books over and over again."

Let's move on to Eager of MIT. "Demolition experts say, 'Ohhh, it's all science 
and timing.' Bull!" Eager says. "What's the technique? If 200,000 tons gives 
way, where do you think it's going? Straight down."

In the days after Sept. 11, experts claimed temperatures reached 2,000 degrees 
on the upper floors. Others claimed steel melted. Nope. What happened, Eager 
says, is that jet fuel sloshed around and beams got rubbery.

"It's not too much to think that you could have some regions at 900 degrees and 
others at 1,200 degrees, and that will distort the beams."

The truth movement doesn't really care for Eager. A Web site casts a fisheye of 
suspicion at the professor and his colleagues. "Did the MIT have prior 
knowledge?" notes one chat room. "This is for sure another speculative topic . .
. "

"It is no measure of health to be sane in an insane society."
-- Krishnamurti

Nico Haupt, a gaunt fellow in black sneakers, black socks, black jeans and black
T-shirt, stands up in St. Mark's Church in the Bowery. He holds aloft two blue 
Oreos boxes taped to resemble the twin towers. A pen juts out, kind of like a 
Boeing airplane.

For an hour he's shown videos of planes hitting the towers. If you note the 
glinting sunlight and angle of wings and you're honest about vectors and maybe 
the hashish is kicking in, you'll realize there were no planes .

Truth movement veterans distance themselves from Haupt, who has a bit of a 
temper. But Reynolds, the former Labor Department economist, also is a 

"There were no planes, there were no hijackers," Reynolds insists. "I know, I 
know, I'm out of the mainstream, but that's the way it is."

But what about all those New Yorkers who saw airplanes hitting the twin towers? 
A chuckle rumbles down the phone line. "I don't believe anyone in Lower 
Manhattan," he says. "You hire three dozen Actors' Equity dudes and they'll say 

Some days the 9/11 truth movement resembles an Italian coalition government -- 
dissolution is a certainty. Honegger and Griffin believe bombs brought down the 
twin towers but have little truck with make-believe planes. There's a faction 
that says the Mossad did it and another that says that's insane, and maybe 

Where are we going here? There's a Journal of 9/11 Studies, documentaries, CDs 
and DVDs. Is conspiracy thought getting codified?

"That's our worry, of course," Griffin says. "I want my life back. But how can I
ignore that we have become entranced by demonic power, so focused on lust for 
wealth and control that almost anything becomes possible?"

You reach Honegger a few nights later. She'd like to give it up, too. "I am 
sitting here in my little office trying to figure out what happened to my 
country on this day. I wouldn't be a patriot if I didn't try to prove the 
government's story is preposterous."

© 2006 The Washington Post Company
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14723997/

© 2006 MSNBC.com

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