Beauty Is Truth

Six years after 9/11, more than a third of Americans believe the attacks were an inside job. Are 9/11 Truth groups a convenient harbor for conspiracy theorists, crackpots, and lizard-man chasing coincidence-hunters, or are they actually onto something?

Beauty Is Truth
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The eight of them huddled around a table at a coffee shop could easily be confused for a comic-book fan society, or a Dungeons & Dragons kaffeeklatsch. They're mostly white men 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 member of the media is present, "and I'd also like to point out that we're all mostly white guys and that that's how this whole thing started."

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. They get together in coffee shops and bars every week or two.

Robin spent much of his life in Boston working as an air-traffic controller and manager of standup comedians and only recently moved to Seattle to take care of his grandchildren. 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 U.S. 20 years ago from "a Communist country"—he evades questions about which country specifically. 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. He's got the kind of magnetic personality that could probably earn him an elected office, if he smoothed out a few of 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 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 hostile to your cause, rather than smugly marching in lockstep with like-minded pacifists, 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 they get a lot of aggression from people outside Mariners games: "They say things like 'Get fucked, traitor' and 'Oh, look, it's the freaks' and stuff like that."

I got invited to this meeting after exchanging a few e-mails with Konrad, and in that exchange 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 to that e-mail 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 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 was literally 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've been five, 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 before handing it back and walking 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."

I go back to Konrad and report this to him. Konrad laughs. "Good for him, man," he says. "I want some of what he's smoking."

* * *

Three months ago, I was at a birthday party I was covering for my column, Party Crasher, and I noticed 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 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 year-old Scripps Howard/Ohio University 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 it was going to happen.

There is no end to the variety of what Truthers believe, but almost all 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 fortifying of the American empire in the Middle East. The reason that they think this is because, since 9/11, we've witnessed the decomposition of civil liberties and the fortifying 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 11th, 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 through controlled demolition. This is the drum that most Truthers bang on when 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? The fact that the mammoth 9/11 Commission Report barely mentions WTC 7 falling pushes doubters to turn to Truth sites in hopes of elucidation.

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 called "pancake theory," which means that each floor fell on top of the floor below it. Truthers claim that the towers fell straight down into their own footprint in mere seconds, and that the noticeable puffs of smoke jetting from the side of the buildings during the collapse are signs of controlled explosions within the buildings. And, further, that the jet-fuel-stoked fire inside the towers, which probably burned at a maximum of 1500 degrees Fahrenheit, could not have weakened the metal structure of the building, since the metal used in the WTC had a melting point of 2750 degrees Fahrenheit.

It's false to refer to Truthers as conspiracy theorists because, as they're quick to point out, they don't have a theory. All they have are 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 that no passengers died in the attacks, and still others believe that the Pentagon was hit by a cruise missile and that 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, despite what billions of eyes saw that day. The debate within the movement is intense and not always polite—for instance, not all Truthers believe that doubting the planes' involvement is a good idea, and that to deny the deaths of hundreds of air passengers on September 11th is disrespectful and stupid.

There are almost as many notions about what happened on September 11th 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 Truth 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. Konrad told me that Rebecca claimed this was a sign of organizational sexism. He said, "I wish that more women would get involved, but for whatever reason, we're primarily white males."

Rebecca and three other founders of 9/11 Truth Seattle—the umbrella entity that makes communication between various Truth groups in Seattle possible—had recently decided to abandon We Are Change Seattle anyway, after trying unsuccessfully to have "two 9/11 Scholars for Truth speak out about their controversial theories that the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center were a large-scale weapons test of top-secret electromagnetic scalar weapons, and that no planes were used to topple the buildings." 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, earlier this year, after a prolonged argument about whether the towers were felled by miniature nuclear weapons, 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 the residency of a man named Webster Tarpley as a major public face of the Movement because he was a frequent host of 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. The rumors are that Tarpley could 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? Earlier prototypes of the movement, including some that are still in existence today, went by "9/11 Visibility," but that dog won't hunt: Visibility is a shaky word, one that feels wishy-washy, even a little... French. But 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 "pro-life." The adoption of 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 genius marketing, and it reveals an organization wise enough to use the same tools as the institutions they've sworn to fight. Truthers get dismissed on liberal and conservative message boards around the country as idiots, but it's hard to think of another movement that's covered as much ground so quickly, and defined itself as, well, as 9/11 Truth.

* * *

Central among the movement's ideas is the distribution of information, and I left that first coffee-shop meeting with a stack of books and DVDs almost as long as my arm. The bible for most of the movement is David Ray Griffin's confusingly titled Debunking 9/11 Debunking, written in response to a March 2005 issue of Popular Mechanics that refuted commonly floated 9/11 Truth theories. Some Truthers' copies of Debunking 9/11 Debunking are as underlined as an evangelist's NKJV. It's a necessarily dry book—there are great swaths of pages devoted to whether jet fuel fire would burn black or white—and Griffin, a 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, a film that's been updated into a version 2.0 and, most recently, Loose Change Final Cut. For an amateur production, Change is pretty amazing: a documentary that's paced and edited like a mainstream documentary. It's a shame that it's so bad. Director/narrator Dylan Avery's voice is nasally, reminiscent of Ira Glass's, which partly explains why Change seems like an ordinary episode of This American Life on acid—crazy suggestions are accompanied with Avery stopping and saying, in a folksy stage-exclamation, "Wait a minute! What did I just say?" The last third of the film goes into the belief 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 nearly as professional as Change—the first five minutes consist of a black screen with bad audio of a professor discussing conspiracy theories dubbed over it—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 45 minutes of it explain in detail why Christianity is a sham and Jesus Christ is not the messiah. Besides some not-well-documented dabbling into astrology, it's fairly well argued and revolves around commonly known facts: Many early religions had messianic stories involving virgin births, crucifixions, celebrations on December 25th, etc. The second part of Zeitgeist is devoted to 9/11 Truth, and it's probably the most clearly stated case I've seen, in part because of its brevity; it covers the "facts" as concisely as possible. 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—true, too few Americans know that the United States is entering into some disturbing trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, but then too few Americans know anything at all—and it adds up to the worst kind of fear-mongering. A borderless North American mega-nation with a single currency, the Amero? Do they really expect Bush to sneak that past the minutemen in the Southwest?

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, in 1997's The Alien Agenda, 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 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 off—whatever it is? When I ask Konrad how the tens of thousands of people it must've taken to commit a conspiracy of this size managed to still be keeping their mouths shut after all this time, he argues about the size of the conspiracy.

I ask how many people it must've 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."

So how did the government convince a crew of that size to wire two iconic buildings in their own country, 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 the world's shortest-lived conspiracy.

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 Bush and Cheney's refusal to cooperate with the 9/11 Commission can easily be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Plus Bush and Cheney do happen to be guilty of a lot of horrible things, some of which we'll probably 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, they're dooming themselves to forever be pulling facts apart. It's a kind of a Zeno's Arrow of illogic: They'll never come to a reasonable conclusion because there's never going to be an absence of doubt. It's time for Truthers 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.

Almost any Truther will tell you that what they're looking for is a new, independent—possibly international—commission to investigate the events of September 11th. When I ask Konrad in an e-mail if he thinks that such a commission could accurately identify what happened and who did what to whom, 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, is based on it."

* * *

Do I think that the government gave us the whole truth about 9/11? Of course I don't; I'm not an idiot. 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 barely released any usable information about the attacks. But I also think that the Truth Movement is looking backward, which certainly won't help them succeed in their mission and, incidentally, is the same sin that We Are Change Seattle's members rightfully hold the peace movement accountable for.

But 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 clear-headed 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 tangentially Masonic bunkum. There's a cult of coincidence just waiting to be born in the Truth Movement that could prove to be just 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. Even without a poll in front of me, it's fairly safe to say that the majority of Seattleites know that we entered into the Iraq war under false pretenses. Our government routinely spies on its citizens both inside and outside its borders, and secret courts with special rules try and convict people of all sorts of crimes. We torture and kill civilians in other countries because we can, and the very name of the Department of Homeland Security is enough to make someone familiar with Orwell and German history nearly shit their pants in terror.

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 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?" recommended


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"The last third of the film goes into the belief 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."

yeah. examining evidence is a terrible thing to do when creating a documentary. especially a documentary that will undoubtedly get nitpicked and scrutinized to the core.
Posted by frankenstein08 on September 15, 2008 at 1:56 PM · Report this
At the beginning of the article, you stated that 36% of Americans believe that the United States was responsible for 9/11. There's a big difference between negligence and conspiracy. The transparent facts are that our government had many warning signs that something like 9/11 would happen. But I don't believe we orchestrated it.
Posted by Julian on September 17, 2008 at 4:36 PM · Report this
ZEITGEIST ADDENDUM criticise if you can.
Posted by Martin on October 8, 2008 at 4:07 AM · Report this
It seems your main criticism concerning the idea that 9/11 was an inside job is that you can't imagine how it could have been pulled off without others knowing about it or ratting people out by now. One faulty assumption to this argument is that the people involved knew what they were doing when they were doing it -- i.e., everybody was somehow "let in" on the big picture. Now why would anybody planning this want that, regardless of who it was?

Well, no matter, this argument cuts both ways anyway. For instance, how has Osama bin Laden gone free for so long? There have to be an awful lot of people out there who know where he is, yet nobody comes forth? Maybe you think that blind faith loyalty in extremist thinking is a purely "Arab" or "Muslim" phenomenon, like this type of loyalty doesn't exist in the US in extremists factions, like the kkk for instance?

Sounds awfully prejudiced and racist to me, but I am sure the Cheney/Rove kkk neonazi blackwater army party knew this when they designated Osama bin Laden the "official bad guy" in this 9/11 scam, most likely with bin Laden's full permission.

Okay, general arguments aside, I understand the severe mental blocks imposed on people who "can't imagine" how something was carried out. Sometimes, all that is needed is one example of how it could have been done, even if that is not exactly how it was done, and this opens the floodgates of the imagination to pursue the truth more freely.

Sources and links to everything stated as fact below can be found at http://ROC-USA.org (note that this is not a 9/11 Truth organization, really, since I find many of these organizations seem to be crawling with shills, like Steven Jones for one, who first gain credibility and a following then purposely try to lead truth seekers over a cliff -- ROC-USA is instead just little ol' me alone, and my results of my own attempts at truth seeking).

1) Destroying WTC 1 and WTC 2, the Twin Towers:

For years it was reported that the fire-protective coating on most of the steel infrastructure of the Twin Towers was inadequate and was peeling off faster than it could be replaced, so for years workers have been going in and spraying the steel infrastructure of both towers with supposedly "fire protective coating." It was apparently like the painting of the Golden Gate bridge in that it was a never ending, ongoing project.

Did all these workers know exactly what they were spraying or decide exactly where to spray it? No. They just followed orders from somebody. Ideally, if they were spraying the towers with explosive material (I myself propose thermite nanoparticles, which can be very stable, yet highly explosive when detonated properly), it only took really one person to know exactly what they were spraying and know that where they were spraying was in strategically located areas for future demolition. Who is that person? Well, who knows? The point is that it didn't take a secret army of men to pull this off, if this is how it was done. I am sure there are other examples of ways the towers could have been brought down without very many people knowing, too. I just don't know offhand what they would be, but I also know better than to limit my imagination and "not believe my lying eyes or lying ears" just because I can't think of any other specific examples.

2) Planes flying into the towers:

The real conspiracy theory is that 19 Arab hijackers pulled this off the way the official government story claims. The technology for powerful anti-hijacking capabilities (that involve remote control of the aircraft to land it at the nearest air field the minute anybody tries to hijack the plane -- keep this in mind for later) existed long before 9/11. In fact, there is every reason to believe that all 757's and 767's had been equipped with these anti-hijacking capabilities since the first aircrafts were built. Why would anybody think this? Because in the history of the aircraft, there apparently has never been a successful hijacking of any of these planes -- except on 9/11, of course, when 757's and 767's were purportedly "hijacked with box cutters" four times.

Instead, it is much more plausible that the planes were hijacked by the anti-hijacking entities themselves and flown by remote control into their targets.

Okay, so the problem here is that it seems a lot of people would have to know, first of all, about the anti-hijacking mechanisms placed in all 757's and 767's. Second, unless there was some kind of "Ender's Game" scenario where some poor innocent military guys were flying planes into the towers on 9/11 thinking it was all simulation (after all, there were NORAD exercises being carried out that day doing precisely that) and the few men doing this exercise got a bullet in his head afterward, this scenario would require quite a few people knowing what was going on, and actually require some training and preparation for it.

So I admit that this scenario has more of a conspiracy element to it than I would like, but possibly not any more than the 19 Arab hijacker conspiracy theory. Bottom line is that until statistics come forth from somewhere showing me how many 757's and 767's have been successfully hijacked since the planes were first introduced (the number is still zero after all my attempts to ferret out this number), I say the 19 Arab hijacker story is even less plausible than my 4 innocent hijackers story.

As a side note: there is ample evidence that the plane that hit WTC 2 missed its target (the core of WTC 2) slightly to the right and ended up piercing right through the building with the nose cone emerging the other side of the building mostly still in tact (the nose cones of commercial airliners are made out of almost paper thin aluminum, apparently, and it seems highly implausible that such a nose cone should pierce through two steel facades of WTC 2 still in tact like that, even with special strength in the design built in). This probably lends credence to the stories out there that the planes hitting the twin towers were actually just drones -- ones that were disguised as commercial airliners but were in fact made to be more missile-like, beginning with reinforced nose-cones, for one.

Well, okay, sounds fine with me. So the commercial airliners with people were flown over the Atlantic and blown to smitherines while drones were brought in to do the dirty work -- or then again, maybe specially modified drones were incorporated into the commercial fleets long before 9/11 (the frightening thing being you then have to ask yourself how many drones are still out there pretending to be commercial planes within the commercial fleets, but are in fact ready to act as "hijacked" missiles at any time).

The point is that technology existed long before 9/11 to make any of these scenarios possible, and now the only question is how many people know of these smaller pieces of the puzzle without necessarily being "directly involved" in the 9/11 scam -- and are now frightened to come forth without the risk of sounding crazy or worse -- being "taken care of" somehow.

3) The motive:

Well, here once again the official government story is really the conspiracy theory. They did it "because they hate our freedom?" Give me a friggin break. I'd rather go by the dictum of "always follow the money," and in this regard the proposals put forth by the movie Zeitgeist are infinitely more believable. Simply put, wars make a load of money for the central bankers who lend money at interest to all sides of the conflicts. The bankers also have a tremendous self-interest in getting particularly wealthy countries like the US involved in sustained wars.

Most telling to me was that Prescott Bush, the current president's granddaddy, ran a bank that supposedly financed the nazis during WWII. It seems to me, first of all, that this factoid from the movie Zeitgeist is easily refuted if it is not true, and second, this is a little more than just "anecdotal" evidence supporting the claims of the movie if it is true.

Posted by H Nicole Young on October 12, 2008 at 11:54 AM · Report this
You talk down alot about the Truth Movement, and it's followers, saying that they meet at cafes and bars, for example. You ridicule them. You do that alot in the article, but I don't feel you come up with any lasting arguments against them. It seems that you personally just don't like them. In the end, you go in another direction, giving some credit to the truth seekers, but saying that they're doing it the wrong way. You're saying that so we'll see another side of you, a good-guy side, like "Hey, I know they're meaning well, but, you guys, I'm just telling you this because I care". In that way, we'll remember the picture of the "stupid truthseekers" in the back of our head, and we'll think of how swell you are. Which means, what you said earlier was "true" (because you're such a nice guy), and everytime we'll see one of these people, we'll think of what you said.
Classic rhetoric strategy, to gain trust from the readers. Commercial. Point is, you're not being objective, you use pathos instead of logos.
I think your article is a faliure and I don't trust you.
Posted by Non-American on October 14, 2008 at 12:42 PM · Report this
see also: 9/11 Commission Chair and Vice Chair say their report was incomplete and flawed, that they were "set up to fail", starved of funds to do a proper investigation, denied access to the truth and misled by senior officials in the Pentagon and FAA
Posted by hyperlinker on October 17, 2008 at 7:57 AM · Report this
Apparently, hyperlinks don't work here. Try http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/sep/12/911thebigcoverup
Posted by hyperlinker on October 17, 2008 at 7:59 AM · Report this
This is just a bunch of smug, condescending crap.

Do the research and evaluate with an open mind.

I am a deeply skeptical person. I don't trust the official story and don't really trust a lot of the "Truth Movement" either.

But I am not afraid to ask questions and challenge my own biases. Are you?

If you are a serious journalist you should be able to do that.

I suspect you are just a hack.

Posted by bunkdebunk on October 19, 2008 at 5:29 AM · Report this
Am I the only person that realizes this article is over a year old and yet the majority of these comments are from the last month?

Be open, be rational... but don't be crazy. That will do neither of us any good.
Posted by Symbology on October 21, 2008 at 11:50 PM · Report this
Some informative links, comments welcome: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/50427/911_conspiracy_theorists_echo_early.html?cat=62


Posted by Real 911 Truther on October 24, 2008 at 6:11 PM · Report this
Some informative links, comments welcome: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/50427/911_conspiracy_theorists_echo_early.html?cat=62


Posted by Real 911 Truther on October 24, 2008 at 6:12 PM · Report this
Some informative links, comments welcome: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/50427/911_conspiracy_theorists_echo_early.html?cat=62


Posted by Real 911 Truther on October 24, 2008 at 6:14 PM · Report this
the people (and i use the word loosely)who perpetuate this crap ie.inside job,bush was in on it, ufo's etc. are extremely mentally ill. how on earth can the goverment have pulled this off..and with no witnesses.after all everyone wants to be on oprah..you give way too much credit to them and not enough to human decency.which if you had any you would shut up and join the peace corps.
Posted by tonester on October 28, 2008 at 2:54 PM · Report this
Ultimate question who could pull this? First I would try to answer few questions. 1. Who could finance this? 2. Who could keep it secret? 3. Who could benefit from this? Two candidates pop in my head right away: US Military and Oil companies. I really don’t think that Bush and his company could pull this. But I wouldn’t discard White House either. It is possible. The reason I am thinking that this was military and Oil joint venture. No one can investigate Military, because they are top secret all the time. Military has a lot of cool toys and they can keep secrets too. For example: stealth technology. They kept it secret for 20 years and few years after disclosure it became obsolete. So, imagine what kind of technology they have today. To pull few planes into buildings that wouldn’t be a problem. Keeping in mind that profits will be huge. I read article (sorry I cannot find it anymore that was just few years after 9-11) about the simulation of plane crash in to 2 towers. 12 pilots were selected for this test. 6 professional and 6 immature. They were given the same conditions as planes crashed in to NY towers. Result was 0 hits. No one could repeat. This could of be executed with high tech toys. Now Oil companies. Oil companies need new territories for easy accessible Crude Oil and both parties need more MONEY. Terrorism enables endless war with constant flow of money (remember that war required extra money. Military’s budget 515 billion a year was not enough). Part 2 is executed by Cheney’s former company which will put Iraq into a dept for long time and force to sell cheep oil. That is why they did not have any bidding on the project. My point is if you can wave few trillion, everything is possible. At that point human life means nothing. People have to see who gets paid, because money is everything. American war means only one thing – business.
Posted by ed on October 28, 2008 at 8:37 PM · Report this
Uh...truthers.... looks to me like the author thinks your "theories" are baseless. (and of course they are) He just admires your tenacity and organizational skills.

He wants to figure out how he can convince you to drop the 9/11 nonsense and pass out free DVDs promoting the leftist political issue de jour.

Don't fall for it!
Posted by Alan on November 1, 2008 at 11:07 AM · Report this
16 Comment Pulled
Here's my smug condescending comment:

If you believe it was anything other than a bunch of pissed off Muslims, congratulations! You're a retard.
Posted by Who is Good Will on November 1, 2008 at 10:13 PM · Report this
Dudes, the writer is not really talking down to Truthers or marginalizing them. But unless you can produce some really great facts and videos in a concise way to show beyond doubt how ridiculous the official 9/11 story is, then the real work of the Truth movement has not begun. You need to get big name media outlets, universities, politicians, and charities to start prioritizing this investigation. "Zeitgeist" and "Loose Change" are not the best we can do. Obviously 9/11 is a fraud: now go convince someone with POWER and a MEGAPHONE.
Posted by lx on November 6, 2008 at 11:25 AM · Report this
My dear americans!
Consider this:
Most of europeans hate your goverment and it's foreign policies. At the same time most of europeans likes YOU - the american nation!
Forget about 9/11 truth movements, Zeitgeist movies and all that crap!
Study the history of your own country! The answers are there.
Use official sources not wikipedia of course.
Posted by shv on December 6, 2008 at 4:09 PM · Report this
This is like a re-run of the Satanic Ritual Abuse stories of the eighties. The same implausible mega-conspiracies, and the same sense of excitement, of being part of something really big and significant,
Posted by david on December 8, 2008 at 3:15 AM · Report this
False flag terror attacks are nothing new. 9/11 may just be the most devastating example. It's common knowledge that our government staged the Gulf of Tonkin incident to gain public support for the Vietnam War. How many thousands of U.S. troops (not to mention hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese) died as a result of this utter fabrication? Anyone who doesn't understand how pervasive false flag attacks really are should watch a documentary called Terror Storm by Alex Jones. It's easy to dismiss Jones because he's so intense but research the facts yourself if you don't believe him. Also, for more proof that the government was hiding something on 9/11, look at who they initially wanted to appoint as the chairman of the investigation - Henry Kissinger.
Posted by thisisthethingtobomb on December 12, 2008 at 1:20 PM · Report this
This is a great article. Before posting miffed una-bomber length comments, people should realize that a movie like Zeitgeist doesn't claim to have the truth. Read the statements on the movie's website.

It's main goal is to question what you know, not to tell you what you should believe.

Posted by Nostraboris on December 16, 2008 at 8:40 PM · Report this
i fall into the category of what this writer called 'new to the movement' and it was indeed zeitgeist that got me motivated to start researching america's role in the deprivation of our world. It seems like such an overwhelming task to separate fact from fiction since everyone is calling everyone a misinformed liar.

Where do i begin searching?
Posted by rummY on December 17, 2008 at 11:43 PM · Report this
To the author:
The fundamental problem with this article is that it sets out with a tone that characterizes 9/11 truthers as conspiracy nuts. I know the author thinks that makes this article sound flowery and witty, but frankly its not. I find it unfortunate that people at the Stranger (like the mainstream media) want to push all 9/11 truthers into the same group, and thereby discredit the lot of them by focusing on the those who are the most eccentric.

The real truth is, that independent scientific research (the kind that's measurable, verifiable, and reproducible) has shown (prior to the publishing of this article) that there was nano-thermite in the WTC dust. This is a military grade explosive requiring nano-technology.

The work was finalized in the paper by Drs. Niels Harrit, Steven E. Jones, et al:

"Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade
Center Catastrophe," The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009.

But, my guess is you haven't heard of this article..... Why do you suppose that is? It's ok, the mainstream media has not touched it. But European media have been all over it, partly due to talks by the Dutch scientist Dr. Harrit.

There are also many other large discrepancies between the physics of what happened and the official story. And these are arguments that anyone with high school physics can understand. They use basic concepts like conservation of energy and momentum. I refer you to 911research.wtc7.net by Jim Hoffman.

I notice that the author of this article also seems to have an expert opinion on the molten metal issue, that people should just drop it. That it's weak.

Perhaps this attitude comes from a lack a scientific understanding, but frankly, you're simply not an expert. So don't try to sound like one. If you want expert opinion, interview an expert. The molten metal is documented in photos and eyewitnesses. Furthermore, a trivial amount of research by this author and he would know that office fires do not melt fire-protected steel. Moreover, if the author bothered to look at the official reports by NIST and FEMA (or even talked to someone who did) then the readers of the Stranger would know that NEITHER report could explain how the fires melted the steel. Even the experiments performed by NIST couldn't reproduce the affect. For further discussion of this point I direct you to:

ae911truth.org (Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth)

Why don't you assign a writer to this story that understands science and logic and reasoning? Someone who will do the real research, the real work. Instead of someone who's going to focus on hearsay, circumstance, who-dunnit, random opinions, and everything else that casts 9/11 truth as a "conspiracy theory" or some hippy bullshit.

The scientific evidence is out there. The Stranger just needs to recognize that they have an opportunity to be a beacon of democracy right now. But they need to provide factual evidence, not opinion, when it comes to this topic.

Posted by Hawk on August 14, 2010 at 5:25 PM · Report this
Truthers make a mockery of "reason." They proceed from a conclusion, that the WTC attacks were committed by the US government, and then look not for evidence of this predetermined conclusion, which would be bad enough, but for doubt and uncertainty. This upends the principle of scientific reasoning we all should have been taught in middle school: Science proceeds by collecting facts, forming a hypothesis from those facts, and then devising and running tests that will either refute or fail to refute that hypothesis.
Posted by Schorschi on September 5, 2010 at 12:48 PM · Report this
This is a truly bullshit piece of journalism.
I can't even be bothered to comment on what you have written.

http://google.com and an ounce of intelligence will shed some light. Listen to science, ignore religious fanatics and make your own mind up.

Oh and for the record, Zeitgeist: The Movie has nothing to do with the 9/11 truth movement.
Posted by MattFryy on February 10, 2011 at 1:55 PM · Report this
It's understandable that the author of the article has been distracted by the "glitter" of the so called "truther" theories. In fact the "truth" movement is one of many fringe right wing patriot movement fronts like the Tea Party. The author shows insight when he refers to Lyndon Larouche; it's no coincidence the first "Inside Job" theories were invented by Larouche:


Since then a consortium of Separatists,racists, "Patriots" and right Libertarians have been selling this swill under various political brands.

In short it's a fraud to recruit people to push reactionary right propaganda. The same organizations are responsible for the Holocaust Museum shooting and spreading the "Sandy Hook Hoax" idiocy.
Posted by BVH on January 10, 2014 at 11:08 AM · Report this
Fine, anonymous links aren't live. But could we all the text please?

Posted by BVH on January 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM · Report this
By now we need not to look any further. The cat is out of the bag. At least for those who understand the physical realities of whether or not a collapse under weakness of a specially designed steel building is impossible without assistance. But also for those who understand the politics between Israel and the US without falling into confusing parties emanating out of religious fervor and downright violent extremism that went on from the start of the state's creation in 1947. Good luck! www.bollyn.com (the search is over -- we can go home now!)
Posted by Benzol on May 6, 2014 at 5:15 PM · Report this

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