David Ray Griffin is portrayed as the elder statesman of the misnamed 9/11 Truth Movement. The reality is there is no fool like an old fool.
Earlier this week, I spent much of the day reading his book The new Pearl Harbor revisited: 9/11, the cover-up, and the exposé. If you are not entirely familiar with Griffin, you can check out either his entry in that font of all knowledge, Wikipedia, or one of his dedicated websites, of which there are at least two.
I think it is fair to say that Griffin can be called the Elder Statesman of the 9/11 Truth Movement. Although a number of misguided celebrities have been taken in by the Truthers and their ludicrous mantra "9/11 was an inside job", a celebrity endorsement of an ideology is a bit like a celebrity endorsement of your favourite breakfast cereal. Let us be quite clear about the 9/11 Truth Movement, it is an ideology first and foremost.
Griffin's field is philosophy/religion/theology, which although not relevant to most aspects of the 9/11 atrocities, should by no means exclude him from intelligent research and incisive comment on this manufactured debate. Unfortunately, neither is his research intelligent nor are his comments incisive. Without further ado, let us delve inside the aforementioned book.
On page x, he cites opinion polls such as one that reports that 36% of the public believe that Federal officials either participated in the attacks including the one on the Pentagon, or took no action to stop them.
The problem with opinion polls is that they sample opinions rather than facts. These opinions can be and often are, ill-informed. To take an extreme example, a 1982 Gallup poll revealed that in France, 17% of adults believed in the Devil, while in Greece, 67% did.
What are we to assume from this, that the Devil is real in Greece but not in France? Be serious.
That poll may have been taken 30 years ago, but the sad fact is the world is no better informed on certain matters now than it was then, and is in many ways, even less so.
On page xvi he tells us: "The use of 9/11 to promote the 'war on terror' and various other policies by the Bush administration...has continued. It is widely acknowledged that 9/11 has been constantly invoked to justify dubious, even illegal, policies. It is also widely acknowledged that the Bush administration has repeatedly lied to the American people and that these lies include the basis for the war in Iraq..."
Few people would take issue with this because we can see it happening, and many of us have been on the receiving end of it, or we know people who have. To take one mild example, the groping of passengers at airports - including women and young children - by TSA thugs, is something many Americans have experienced. It is though one thing to exploit a tragedy, and another entirely to mastermind it, as he claims.
On page xx, he gives a number of examples of false flags including "In 1933, after the Nazis took power, they started a fire in the Reichstag...blamed the Communist Party, then used the event as a pretext to imprison enemies, to annul civil liberties, and to consolidate power".
This claim is taken at face value by many people nowadays, but someone who was in a position to know, thought differently. In Trail Sinister, the second volume of his autobiography, Sefton Delmer said he believed the Reichstag fire of February 27, 1933 was the work of a single man, "the lunatic van der Lubbe", and that both the Nazis and the Communists exploited this act of arson. Although a communist, he was not aligned with Moscow. Delmer's opinion is certainly to be given a lot of weight. He was born in Berlin on May 24, 1904, the son of a Tasmanian academic, and one of his boasts includes dining with Hitler.
During the Second World War he was an anti-Nazi propagandist based in London; his work included forging official documents, so he knew a thing or two about black operations from the business end. He also knew the difference between cause and effect, unlike Griffin and the rest of the 9/11 Truth crowd.
Back to Griffin's book: page 43, Building 7 "came down in under seven seconds and hence at virtually free-fall speed". So?
"...no plane hit WTC-7, so NIST cannot offer even that explanation for this building's rapid collapse".
The collapse of this building was anything but rapid. True, the finale was swift and spectacular, but it was hit by debris, caught fire, the sprinkler system was damaged, and much more. Here is a short, simple video that explains what actually happened.
Griffin devotes much space to what he calls premature media reports of the collapse of Building 7, for example, on page 53: "News media provided further evidence suggestive of foreknowledge of WTC 7's collapse by providing premature reports of this collapse". Such reports started around 4.15pm; he even ropes the BBC into it.
What he seems to be forgetting is the context of these reports. From the time Mohamed Atta crashed Flight 11 into the North Tower, the attention of New Yorkers was focused on that building, and when the second plane hit the South Tower, it was clear that what most believed or hoped to have been a tragic accident, was anything but, as Bush aide Andy Card said: "America is under attack".
Card's first information about the day the world changed was that a small plane had hit one of the towers, a private aircraft. Clearly that information was wrong, but there was nothing sinister about this incorrect information. It is clear they didn't know what was going on at that point, for all they knew there could have been more attacks - as indeed they were - but they didn't know if, when or where they would come. There was even some suggestion that Airforce One would be targeted, with Bush on board.
Now, put the supposedly suspicious foreknowledge about the collapse of Building Seven into the same context. The people on the ground, especially the firefighters knew it was on fire and was burning out of control, but they had other priorities.
How does this grab you?
"Chief, that building looks like it's gonna collapse".
"How long have we got?"
"Hard to say, an hour, maybe two".
"Okay, clear the area".
"What did he say, Chief?"
"I can't talk to you now; Building 7 is coming down. Move back, everyone".
"Hello John, are you all right?"
"Yes, Susan, we've been told to evacuate the area; Building 7 is coming down".
"Susan, I've got the BBC on line 4. What shall I tell them?
"John has been ordered back because Building 7 is coming down. Hold on, I'll see if I can get him again".
"Did you get through to New York, Chris?"
"Yes, the third building has just come down".
And so on. Has Griffin never heard the expression: "We've just received an unconfirmed report that..."
Yet he runs for pages and pages on this non-mystery, roping in the Mayor's Office, the BBC and the building's owner, Larry Silverstein. Why did he have to be called Silverstein instead of Smith?
On page 57 he states baldly: "With regard to the Twin Towers and WTC 7: The conclusion that they were all destroyed by explosives is now beyond reasonable doubt".
Let's return to the Twin Towers. We have all seen the planes hit. Flight 11 crashed at over 450mph between the 93rd and 99th floors. The second plane hit the other tower between floors 77 and 85, and travelling considerably faster, around 590mph. Any heavy object hitting a building at that speed is going to cause enormous damage. The planes were not only heavy and travelling fast but were carrying large quantities of fuel, and they were big, over half the width of the buildings. Once the flames had weakened the floors they had struck, the floors above them collapsed. What happens when the top 18 floors of a building collapse onto the 92nd floor? The top 19 collapse onto the 91st floor. The top 20 collapse onto the 90th floor, and so on.
There is no need to postulate any sort of controlled demolition for the Twin Towers, indeed the suggestion is rather absurd. We have all seen what happened, and we can watch it in slow motion if desired. Both buildings collapsed from the top down, expelling air from the floors below as they did so, breaking windows and pulverising everything else. The mysterious collapse of these two buildings is no mystery at all.
It is understandable that some uninformed people believe Building 7 was brought down by controlled demolition, because it does look like that, superficially, but here is a real controlled demolition, albeit of a much smaller building. Notice anything different? How about the noise and the actual explosions? Here is another one. The point has been made before, but it must be made again, just because two things look the same, doesn't mean they are.
In Chapter 3, he questions the authenticity of the phone calls made from Flight 93, and in Chapter 6 he questions if the planes were actually hijacked. Here is a short refutation of the faked phone calls nonsense, which also validates the claim that the planes were hijacked.
On pages 170-71, Griffin finds it absurd that the passport of one of the hijackers could have been found near the site of the World Trade Center.
How about this?
Steve Mellon/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
An example of “paper wreckage” from Flight 93.
Not exactly pristine, is it? Perhaps he should also read what happened when I threw a milk carton from the top of the Eiffel Tower and compare that with the other thing I threw off it.
On page 204, he says: "In sum, the 911 Commission systematically omitted any information that would have provided reason to believe that the Bush administration might have arranged or allowed the attacks as a pretext for carrying out its pre-established agenda".
This is two claims; the second - although still false - is not totally absurd, indeed, one of the more plausible conspiracy theories about the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing is that the authorities knew about it in advance yet allowed it to run in order to catch the perpetrators in the act. And miscalculated. This does happen, not only does it "look good" to catch a terrorist or a villain in the act but it makes a successful prosecution easier.
There was a plot in the UK in 2006 which aimed to dwarf 9/11; the authorities were on to this if not from the beginning then from an early stage. The big question was how far did they permit the conspirators to go with their preparations? The more advanced the plot, the more evidence they would have, but of course there was an even bigger risk that if they allowed them to get too far, there might be a change of plan, or something that interfered with their arrests.
Incidentally, for those with short memories, one of the claims made about the Clinton Administration is that the Oklahoma City bombing was a false flag operation that would be used to justify turning America into a police state. Alas, it is for some already.
Finally, on pages 231-5, Griffin gives what he calls a summary of the evidence for official complicity, points 25-58 in addition to the 24 points in his book The New Pearl Harbor. In order to carry out this grand conspiracy, the perpetrators would have to include - according to his reasoning, overt statements and innuendo - the following active participants:
the military and civil aviation authorities regarding all 4 flights
the people controlling NIST
the Office of Emergency Management of then Mayor Giuliani that "spread the word many hours in advance that WTC 7 was going to collapse, even though, given the official account, there should have been no way for anyone to know this".
the 9/11 Commission itself
elements within the FBI
the Bush White House and the Department of Justice.
Included in this mish-mash would have to be one or even three teams who could set up the controlled demolitions. These would surely have to be people from out of town because otherwise some of them, indeed some of the people involved in this enormous plot, would have been asked to murder acquaintances, friends or even loved ones considering how many people died, and how many could have died. Let's not forget either the Pentagon. Are we really expected to believe the military would have participated in this, again, perhaps murdering many people they knew?
Who devised this plan and who authorised it? Where did the funds for it come from? It would surely have to have originated high up, and would have left some sort of paper trail.
The plot could have been exposed at any time. In the small hours of November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes was caught red-handed in the cellars of the English Parliament with a stash of 36 barrels of gunpowder. The conspirators were few in number, 13, led by Robert Catesby, yet the plot was uncovered due to one carefully worded letter. At any time, this mythical plot or any part of it could have likewise been uncovered by a minor indiscretion, but it never was. For the obvious reason.
Finally, what about the perpetrators? Were they all Arab Mossad agents? These men died because they hated America, although according to some apparently reliable reports these supposedly so devout Moslems had no objection either to drinking alcohol or even whoring, but Islamism is not a religious ideology, Islamism wears the mask of Islam the same way "anti-racism" wears the mask of tolerance.
There are other idiots like David Ray Griffin who claim our own major terrorist atrocity, the much smaller 7/7 was also a false flag carried out by a grand conspiracy, one that could organise and either dupe or brainwash four self-styled jihadis into carrying out the attacks on London, yet can't even kill one radical cleric.
Yes, conspiracies are real, 9/11 was indeed the result of a conspiracy by a small number of fanatics, which is the only way conspiracies of this nature can operate. Jason Burke has estimated the cost of the entire operation to be around half a million dollars, which won't buy you a one bedroom apartment in certain areas of London, and wouldn't have at that time.
Did the American Government lie about 9/11? Yes. after the event. There was widespread lying about the motives, or perhaps one should say the rationalisations, of its perpetrators, but the truth is, no one saw this coming except in a very general and vague sense. The onus is not on those of us who adhere to the essentials of the 9/11 plot, rather it is on David Ray Griffin and his fellow travellers to provide a better hypothesis, one based on real evidence and facts in context, not distortions and lunatic ravings.
One of the things 9/11 Truthers advocate is "follow the money". This is not bad advice, but there are caveats. Before her son was murdered, Doreen Lawrence was a dinner lady. On the strength of her ignorance of police criminal investigative methodology and her incessant whining about racism she has picked up an OBE and a fair amount of compensation and ill-deserved fame. It would though be as absurd as it would be obscene to claim she was in league with the Acourt gang.
Following the money isn't a bad idea as far as motives go however; to some, David Ray Griffin is a hero, but although he is not exactly welcome at the White House, he has not been subjected to social ostracism, nor to as much ridicule as he warrants. Rather he has written a number of books about 9/11 which have been published by mainstream publishers. Indeed, there are many people making a comfortable living out of peddling the nonsense of the 9/11 Truth Movement, at various levels, as publishers, authors and speakers. There are though other authors who have published dissenting works on historical subjects that have been met with not just ridicule but righteous indignation, outrage and even legal sanction, but let's not mention Arthur Butz or Germar Rudolf.
On this subject, and in conclusion, it is as well to point out that although none of them has to date been subject to legal sanction, some 9/11 Truthers could theoretically find themselves in court, certainly if they continue to make outrageous false allegations against named individuals.
Leaving aside common or garden defamation, there is such a thing as criminal libel. In extreme cases, legal action of various kinds can be taken against people whose lies against a particular individual or individuals cross the line, and some people can find themselves behind bars. This is what happened in Scotland recently to Robert Green.
This may sound harsh, but if you were repeatedly branded a child molester, a serial rapist, or a mass murderer, you might not think so, especially if some person of perhaps limited intelligence were to decide to administer summary justice on behalf of the victims.
The main reason no legal action of this nature has been taken against the 9/11 Truthers is because their claims are so outrageous and so easily and demonstrably false that no one who matters takes them seriously, whatever opinion polls say. Even so, it is unlikely that George Bush would ever resort to legal action because he has far more blood on his hands than those who died in 9/11, as has his equal partner, Tony Blair. Both these men have in fact now been indicted for and convicted of war crimes, although the tribunal that convicted them has no legal standing in the United States or anywhere else in the West.
The September 11 atrocities were the pretext for the crimes Bush, Blair and their cohorts committed, failing which they would have found another one, who knows, perhaps they would have staged a genuine false flag? This though is simply lurid speculation; the scenario postulated by David Ray Griffin and his fellow travellers is so far off this planet as to be on another one; it is in the same category as the ravings of David Icke about the New World Order controlling the weather and all the other lunatic stuff he has come out with over the years. Icke has an excuse, he is a modern day mystic and totally gullible; David Ray Griffin is a trained philosopher, and has no such excuse. He may see himself as St George taking on the dragon, but he has more in common with another man on horseback charging at a mythical beast. In short, he is a latter day Don Quixote, and the Prince of Fools.