Author Griffin: Obama, special prosecutor best hope for new 9-11 probe
By Peter Duveen
PETER'S NEW YORK, Monday, April 20, 2009--David Ray Griffin holds out more hope than ever that a sea
change in public opinion will prompt a new investigation into the
events of September 11, 2001.
A staunch critic of the government's
account of what happened that day and author of seven books on the
subject, Griffin is now touring several European capitals, armed with
the topic "9-11: time for a second look." Before he left for Europe, he
made a few stops in New England, including at Keene, New Hampshire,
where he delivered an address and fielded questions from the audience.
In particular, Griffin said the change in tone of the executive branch
of government accompanying the election of U.S. President Barack Obama
may auger the best chance to challenge the government storyline that 19
men from the Middle East pulled off what was arguably the greatest
breach of North American security since Columbus landed in the
Caribbean 517 years ago.
Peter Duveen Photo
David Ray Griffin, theologian and author, delivers an address on the events of September 11, 2001 at
Keene State College on April 10.
"We have a new president in town,"
Griffin told a full house of around 250 in a small auditorium on the
Keene State College campus. "Some of his decisions have been
Noting that President Obama, during
his presidential campaign, promised to base government policies on good
science and good intelligence, Griffin said, "Let's hold him to it."
Under Obama, Griffin conjectured, there was at least a "ten percent"
chance there could be an independent probe of 9-11, as opposed to the
administration of George W. Bush, under which the chances had been
"Give the guy a break," Griffin urged, noting that Obama, as the new president, has an "enormous burden" placed upon him.
Asked how in practical terms Obama
could actually address what he believes was the government's direct
hand in orchestrating 9-11, Griffin said the tools necessary for a new
investigation were available for either Congress or the president to
get the ball rolling.
"We do have this system of a special prosecutor," Griffin said. "That's another route."
He said he believed that Obama was
more likely than Congress to call for the appointment of a special
prosecutor, noting that a mailing he sent out to each member of
Congress yielded no responses, with only two or three congressional
offices even acknowledging that anything had been received.
Griffin said he supports a signature
collection campaign now in progress that would give New York City
voters a chance to host a new 9-11 investigation. No mention was made
of the possibility of establishing a "truth and reconciliation
commission," which he had offered as a solution in a radio appearance
November of last year. Generally, the role of a special prosecutor is
to investigate violations of the law in a politically impartial manner,
while a truth and reconciliation commission would be devoted to
uncovering the truth by giving amnesty in return for honest testimony,
as was done in South Africa in unraveling the recent history of racial
oppression in that country.
A theologian, retired professor and
author of some 34 books on various subjects, Griffin turned his pen to
9-11 issues in 2004 with his book, "The New Pearl Harbor." Since then,
he has authored another six books on the same subject, and plans at
least two more. One, a short work he intends to call "Osama Bin Laden:
Dead or Alive," will address the current whereabouts of the U.S. State
Department's poster boy for worldwide terrorism. But in a humorous
description of the contents, not uncharacteristic of many of the
interesting anecdotes he told during his address, Griffin said he
believes he has the answer to what happened to Bin Laden. "One little
hint," he said, "was provided by the funeral announcement on December
Fifteenth (2001)," a statement that drew laughter from the audience.
Griffin also noted that after December 13, the CIA, which had been
monitoring Bin Laden's cell phone communications, did not intercept a
single call. Griffin said his new book would also discuss the various
videos that have surfaced since then purporting to be of Bin Laden, and
would show that they lacked demonstrable authenticity, and in some
cases, were "obviously fakes."
Another more lengthy work will review
the destruction of Building 7 of the World Trade Center, a 47-story
office tower the government claims was felled entirely as a result of
fires triggered by the collapses of the the neighboring Twin Towers.
Although not hit by an airliner, Building 7, like its sister buildings,
managed to disappear from the skyline in the late afternoon of 9-11
in a sudden collapse that took only about six seconds. Griffin's said
his new book will show how the content of a report issued in 2008 by
the government's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
demonstrates that the building could not have possibly collapsed by
office fires alone, as the report contends.
Peter Duveen Photo
Members of the audience are given a chance to question David Ray Griffin on his views regarding 9-11.
Griffin told his audience that all of
the theories of what happened on 9-11 were conspiracy theories, but
that he likes to poke holes at the government's version, which he calls
the "official conspiracy theory." In its elaborate explanation, the
government contends that a team of 19 fanatical Muslims from the Middle
East organized themselves into four teams, each of which hijacked an
airliner on the morning of September 11, 2001. Two of the airliners are
said to have been the ones which crashed into each of the Twin Towers
of the World Trade Center. Another is said to have been flown into the
Pentagon Building in Arlington, Virgina, although the government has
not released video evidence that clearly shows an airliner hitting that
building. The fourth airliner, so the story goes, was retaken by
passengers, after which it crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania.
The military claims interceptor aircraft were in hot pursuit with the
of shooting the airliner down when it fell from the skies.
Critics of the government's storyline
as described in the 9-11 Commission Report published in 2004, generally
contend that it is far more likely that the government orchestrated the
events with the active participation of its covert intelligence
operations and the military, using the official conspiracy theory as a
cover. Many of these critics say that 9-11 was perpetrated to create a
pretext for abridging Americans' constitutional rights at home and for
embarking on an ambitious war of conquest in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The main point of Griffin's address,
he said, was to show that newly collected facts and an atmosphere of
tolerance and even support for theories that allege government
complicity will mean that the public will be far more receptive to reopening
an investigation. A primary reason for continuing a push for
reinvestigation, Griffin said, is that the government's belligerent
policies in the Middle East that have led to the deaths of over a
million Iraqis and Afghans, and laws abridging the constitutional
rights of Americans, are still in place..
Griffin's talk centered around the
great changes that have occurred in the past three years regarding the
acceptance of alternatives to the official explanation. Griffin
emphasized the following points to show that the public now has
information that was previously not available when it was popular to
ignore critics of the "official conspiracy theory."
* Since 9-11, the Bush Administration
lied in order to justify the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and
instructed EPA Director Christie Whitman to tell workers at Ground Zero
that the air was safe to breathe, demonstrating a criminal disregard
for workers' lives and health. These actions show that the
administration was capable of staging an atrocity such as 9-11.
* The 9-11 Commission's executive
director, Philip Zelikow, had closely worked with the Bush
Administration on important projects. Zelikow, with the knowledge of
Commission members, claims author Philip Shenon in "The Commission,"
had written an outline of the commission's report, complete with
chapter headings, subheadings, and sub-sub headings, before any
research had begun, thus calling into question the objectivity of the
* The investigations of NIST into the
collapses of the Twin Towers and Building 7 were conducted in a manner
that would protect the Bush Administration from charges of wrongdoing
or negligence. NIST was headed by a Bush appointee, and its work,
according to a former employee, was highly politicized.
* The 9-11 truth movement has matured,
and now includes many professional organizations, such as Architects
and Engineers for 9-11 Truth, Scholars for 9-11 Truth and Justice,
Lawyers for 9-11 Truth, Religious Leaders for 9-11 Truth, and Political
Leaders for 9-11 Truth. Scientists and engineers have successfully had
their papers on 9-11 published in peer reviewed journals.
* FBI documents have revealed that the
conversation between Flight 77 passenger and CNN commentator Barbara
Olson and her husband, then U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson, in which
she describes details regarding the hijacking of the aircraft that the
government later claimed crashed into the Pentagon, did not occur.
Other FBI documents verify that at high altitudes, cell phones were
incapable of communicating with the ground.
* NIST delayed the release of its
report on the collapse of Building 7 until just before the Bush
Administration left office, and two days after Barry Jennings, whose
testimony confirmed explosions in Building 7 before the collapses of
the Twin Towers, died of unexplained causes. The final NIST report
admitted that for a span of at least two seconds, Building 7 fell at
free-fall speed, meaning that during that time span, the building's
lower support offered no resistance to the building above, a phenomenon
which the fires that NIST claims brought down the building could not
have created. Scientists have recently published a paper showing the
existence in World Trade Center dust of unexploded chips of
nano-thermite, a high-tech explosive.
For the above reasons, Griffin
believes that rational people must consider once again the possibility
that 9-11 was orchestrated by the Bush-Cheney administration.
Griffin signs copies of one of his many books on 9-11 at Keene State College.
Interestingly, Griffin, as
establishment a figure as he appears to be, conservatively dressed and
well spoken as he is, articulate to the point of not fumbling a single
word, revealed a rather anti-establishment side to his worldview in
his remarks toward the end of the question and answer period.
"We live in a plutocracy (rule by the
wealthy), not a democracy," he said, describing the current state of
American leadership as "government of the rich, by the rich and for the
rich." He noted that the founding fathers of America "were the rich, so
they didn't think of themselves as a dangerous faction," and therefore
incorporated no safeguards against the power of their class.
Griffin traced the cause for the
unraveling of democratic institutions to laws that give corporations
the same legal rights as individuals, resulting in a system of "one
dollar, one vote," rather than one person, one vote, thus giving the wealthy
a decided advantage. He also said he sees the corporate-owned media as
a major obstacle to informing the public about 9-11 issues.
"We can't get truth out to the general
public unless you can get to the public through the mass media,"
Griffin said. He said political pressure and strengthening of the
growing number of new professional organizations demanding answers to
what happened on 9-11 are key elements in a strategy to awaken the
American public to the reality of that tragic day in the coming years.
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