C-span breaks 911 truth blackout
Griffin's electrifying talk was recorded Monday night, April 18th, in Madison, Wisconsin. If you missed this historic moment-- the biggest lecture hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus overflowing with over 450 people who gave Griffin a thunderous standing ovation for charging the Bush-Cheney regime with orchestrating the 9/11 attacks--you'll have to see the video to believe it! And you won't believe the local media coverage either. Scroll down and do a double-take.
All over the country, people will be gathering for C-Span viewing parties--a new phenomenon for a network whose government coverage is usually comprised of more pedestrian fare. Some are already comparing this broadcast to the televised Watergate hearings in 1974, in which John Dean's charges against Richard Nixon ultimately brought down that corrupt, warmongering administration.
Griffin's speech represents a breakthrough not only in national 9/11 truth coverage, but in local coverage as well. Madison's mainstream and alternative media reported the event fairly, accurately, and prominently. As expected, was the alternative outlets, led by WYOU-TV, WORT radio, Indymedia, and the weekly papers Isthmus and the Madison Times, that broke the Griffin story. WYOU-TV has been putting 9/11 truth on the air for over a year on the Sunday night (7-8 p.m.) Garden of Truth slot, and WORT-radio had also raised the 9/11 truth issue on Lea Zeldin's program in spring, 2004.
During the week before David Griffin's April 18th, 2005 talk, WORT hosts Lea Zeldin, Tony Castenada, and Linda Jameson all devoted part of their programs to 9/11 truth. Isthmus journalist Bill Lueders, one of Madison's most respected local columnists, plugged the upcoming Griffin talk in his column, and Jonathan Gramling ran a terrific story in the Madison Times:
Critiques of the 9/11 Commission report
Questions left unanswered
by Jonathan Gramling
The events of September 11, 2001 - the crashing of hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the crashing of a fourth plane in a Pennsylvania field - continue to reverberate through and change American society as the U.S. engages in an unending war against terrorism. During the ensuing 3-4 years, the U.S. has engaged in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, dramatically increased its military spending, and curtailed civil liberties within its borders.
While most Americans - and the 911 Commission Report - blame the events totally on al-Qaeda and feel that the U.S. government was unaware that the attacks would occur, a vocal minority of individuals continue to raise unanswered questions about 911. On April 18, Dr. David Griffin, author of "The New Pearl Harbor" and "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions" and one of the leading critics of the 9/11 Commission Report, will speak at 2650 Humanities on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
When asked about the commission report during a telephone interview with The Madison Times, Griffin responded "I have one little problem with the 911 Commission report. It is a 567-page lie."
While one may not agree with Griffin's conclusions that the U.S. government purposely allowed the events of 9/11 to happen and helped facilitate it in order to galvanize the will of U.S. citizens as the Bush administration expanded the American empire and secured American hegemony as the world's only super power, it is evident that Griffin raises some interesting questions.
Take the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, for example. While the official version is that the initial impact coupled with a widespread, intense fire caused the structural steel to weaken and the floors of the towers to eventually pancake down on top of each other, Griffin has some questions. "Here you have an anomaly that never before in history have high-rise steel frame buildings come close to collapsing because of fire," Griffin said. "Yet three of them miraculously did it on that day. Furthermore, there have been fires that have been far more intense that filled the whole building and went on for many, many hours like the recent Madrid fire and they don't collapse. Yet here, we have very small fires that are only in a few floors, particularly Building Seven - you only had fires on the seventh and twelfth floors - they were relatively small fires, yet here comes down this 47 story building at 5:30 in the afternoon, having never been hit by an airplane."
Griffin went on to discuss the steel columns within the core of the towers that structural engineers say bore the weight of the buildings. "The major part of the weight was born by these really massive steel columns," Griffin said. "And they went all of the way up. Well, they would have been sticking up in the air a thousand feet even if all the floors had pancaked. So, what does the 911 Commission do? They just deny the existence of those columns."
Griffin and others have found significant discrepancies between the facts and the theory that Flight 77, a Boeing 757 crashed into the Pentagon and slid all the way into the interior of the building. "My own view is still that the evidence is just overwhelming that whatever it was that hit the Pentagon, it was not Flight 77 because it couldn't have been if it wasn't a Boeing 757," Griffin said. "There are many lines of evidence supporting that. What does the 911Commission do? It simply ignores all of this. Now what could they have done? They could have subpoenaed the videos that the FBI confiscated from the service station across the freeway from the Pentagon five minutes after the Pentagon was hit. Wasn't that alert. There are several other videos from hotels around the Pentagon. The Dept. of Transportation had video. There are all sorts of videos that could prove the government's case if it's true that it was Flight 77, or at least that it was a Boeing 757. But the 911 Commission doesn't even raise that. So you would think if the story were true, they would have done that. But they didn't."
Finally, when Flight 93 crashed in the Pennsylvania field, Griffin contends it did not crash as passengers and terrorists fought for control of the plane. According to Griffin, it was shot down. "Maybe it was shot down after it appeared the passengers were going to get control of it and maybe bring it in for a safe landing, in which case, everyone would be alive," Griffin said. "First of all, the commission simply ignores all the evidence that I reported in The New Pearl Harbor that suggested the plane had been shot down. Secondly, they changed the timeline. That's just one of many examples of how they radically changed the previous timeline that everyone had lived with for almost three years."
Griffin’s talk begins at 7:30 p.m. on April 18.
MAINSTREAM MEDIA WAKES UP, SMELLS COFFEE
Melanie Conklin's column (p. 2 of the Sunday Wisconsin State Journal, a Republican newspaper) helped draw the overflow crowd:
Talking about Sept. 11 On Monday, Madison will be the site of a rare visit from David Ray Griffin, theology professor and author of "The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11."
As one might guess from that title, Griffin is controversial. He is being sponsored by a coalition of groups, including the UW Multicultural Student Coalition and MUJCA-NET (a new Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance).
"The question of the media coverage (or lack thereof) of the demonstrable mendacity of the official story of 9/11 is the proverbial elephant in the living room," says Kevin Barrett of MUJCA-NET. Griffin's talk is being taped by C-SPAN for play at a later date. Jennifer Moire, C-SPAN spokeswoman, explains its decision to cover the event as a logical follow-up to the "extensive" coverage they gave the Commission and Congressional Sept. 11 hearings: "It just seems appropriate to cover other voices."
Griffin says Madison is only his fourth lecture stop on Sept. 11 because he doesn't like to travel, so he usually sticks to radio interviews he can do in his slippers. But he calls Madison an exception because he likes seeing people of different faiths coming together to talk about Sept. 11. And he's "very happy" C-SPAN is coming.
"It will be the closest thing to mainstream coverage that this kind of interpretation of 9/11 has received," Griffin says.
His talk is Monday at 7:30 p.m. in 272 Bascom Hall.
THE REPUBLICAN WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL, THE BIGGEST DAILY IN THE REGION, SURPRISED READERS WITH THIS EXCELLENT REPORT OF GRIFFIN'S TALK:
Speaker Says Bush Knew Of Sept. 11 Plans
The Theologian And Author Believes The President Endorsed The Attacks To Build Up Support For His Military Plans.
Wisconsin State Journal :: LOCAL/WISCONSIN :: B1
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Doug Erickson Wisconsin State Journal
A noted Christian theologian suggested Monday in Madison that the Bush administration not only had prior knowledge of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but probably helped orchestrate them.
David Ray Griffin, 65, a retired professor at the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, Calif., said the government's version of the attacks is so implausible it can't possibly be true.
The numerous inconsistencies and far-fetched explanations from Bush officials "show that the attacks must have been planned and executed by our own political and military leaders," Griffin said.
He thinks Bush endorsed the attacks to gain support for a military buildup and global domination effort that began with the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Griffin is part of a small group of scholars and others questioning the government's story and the conclusions of the bipartisan 9/11 commission that investigated the attacks.
Griffin's speech before about 450 people at Bascom Hall on the UW-Madison campus was considered a major victory by his supporters in that it was taped by C-SPAN for later broadcast on the public service cable channel. No air dates were available Monday.
Event organizer Kevin Barrett, founder of a Muslim-Jewish-Christian alliance called MUJCA-NET, told the crowd C-SPAN should be applauded "for having the guts to put 9/11 truth on national TV."
Barrett said his group paid Griffin's airfare and was hoping to provide an additional $100 to cover expenses. Otherwise, Griffin did not charge for his appearance.
Griffin has written extensively on the origins of evil and the relationship between science and religion. He has authored or edited 24 books, including "The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11."
In the Sept. 11 attacks, armed terrorists hijacked four passenger jets. Two crashed into the World Trade Center in New York and a third crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.
According to the government, the fourth jet crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., although Griffin questions this and suggests the damage may have been caused by a military plane or missile.
Griffin operates from the basic premise that 19 Arab-Muslim hijackers could not have outwitted this country's extensive military defense system without inside help. Among his arguments:
* Fighter jets typically are sent out immediately upon any sign that a plane may have been hijacked. They usually arrive no later than 10 to 20 minutes. Yet in this case, the military failed to stop the attacks, then gave three conflicting versions of why it deviated from standard operating procedure, Griffin said.
* The Pentagon is probably the best-defended structure on the planet. How could a commercial airliner fly undetected and toward the Defense Department for 40 minutes and not be shot down by the Pentagon's anti-aircraft system?
* Bush lingered for more than 15 minutes at an elementary school after learning of the second jet crashing into the World Trade Center. Given that Bush's itinerary had been highly publicized, why wasn't the Secret Service concerned that he might be a target of a surprise terrorist attack?
"This behavior makes sense only if the head of the Secret Service detail knew that the planned attacks did not include an attack on the president. And how did they know this for certain unless the attacks were being carried out by people within our own government?" Griffin said.
* The straight-down, free-fall collapse of the World Trade Center buildings suggests a controlled demolition. A plane crash and fire could not have caused such a collapse, Griffin said.
These examples and others "are sufficient to suggest that there is no escape from the frightful conclusion that 9/11 was engineered by the Bush administration and its Pentagon," he said.
He closed by saying religious people must seek the truth about 9/11, create new means to spread the information and work to thwart Bush's attempts at global domination.
The crowd gave Griffin a standing ovation.
Rob Helfenstein, 41, a floor installer from Waukesha, came away convinced. "Governments have always used fake terror to manipulate their people," he said. "History hasn't changed."
But his friend, Dave Balistreri, 35, a construction consultant from Waukesha, said he entered and left the lecture hall skeptical. Although Balistreri said the Bush administration probably isn't telling the whole truth, "I think the level of complicity is much, much less than (Griffin) is suggesting."
THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC MAINSTREAM DAILY THE CAPITAL TIMES, NOT TO BE OUTDONE, PUBLISHED THEIR OWN OUTSTANDING STORY:
Theologian calls for response to 9/11
By Samara Kalk Derby
April 19, 2005
David Ray Griffin asks the tough questions about Sept. 11, contending U.S. officials had some knowledge of what was coming and possibly orchestrated the attacks.
Griffin, whose book, "The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11," came out a year ago, drew an enthusiastic standing ovation from the majority of the 400 or so people who packed his lecture Monday night at Bascom Hall.
A retired Christian theologian, Griffin, 65, taught for more than 30 years at the Claremont School of Theology in California.
His comments Monday night were directed at religious people, who he said need to respond to Sept. 11 - and the American empire that has ensued - based on the moral principles of their religious traditions.
Drawing laughter from the crowd, Griffin said he had in mind principles like: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors' oil" and "Thou shalt not murder thy neighbors in order to steal their oil."
While Griffin noted that his books and talks have not received attention from the mainstream media, C-SPAN had a cameraman at the event and plans to air the lecture at a future date. Madison's public access cable television station, WYOU-TV/Channel 4, meanwhile, will air the talk at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Americans interpret the events of Sept. 11 in one of four ways, Griffin said:
• A first group accepts the official interpretation that Sept. 11 was a surprise attack by Islamic terrorists. It is easy for these people "to think of America's so-called War on Terror as a just war," Griffin said.
• A second group accepts the official line but thinks Sept. 11 has beenused opportunistically by the Bush administration to extend the American empire. People who hold this view often believe that America's response to Sept. 11, which has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, is far worse than the attacks themselves, he said.
• A third group believes the Bush administration knew the attacks were coming and let them happen. It shows the government as "deliberate and cold-blooded," advancing its imperial designs while hypocritically portraying itself as promoting a "culture of life," Griffin said.
Although there has been no national survey, a Zogby poll taken last year indicated that almost half of the residents of New York City share this view, he said.
• A fourth group believes that the government orchestrated the attacks. While no poll shows how many Americans believe this, polls in Canada and Germany have found as many as 20 percent of those populations do, Griffin said.
In his follow-up book, "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions," Griffin examines the questions that he and others in the "9/11 Truth Movement" charge were never examined by the federal
government's 9/11 Commission.
Evidence to support the theory that U.S. officials had at least had some foreknowledge of the attacks comes from David Schippers, the chief prosecutor for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, who reportedly
received warnings from FBI agents about the attacks six weeks earlier, Griffin said.
Other government officials, including Attorney General John Ashcroft, would not respond to the warnings, he added.
There was the extraordinarily high volume of "put options" purchased in the three days before the attacks, Griffin said, with investors betting that stock in United and American Airlines - the two airlines used in the
attacks - would go down. There were also a suspiciously high number of put options for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, which occupied 22 stories of the World Trade Center.
"U.S. intelligence agencies monitor the market, partly to look for signs of impending attacks," Griffin said. "One wonders how information could be much more specific than this."
Griffin then made a case that government officials planned and executed the attacks.
For one, the United States military neglected to send fighter jets to intercept the hijacked planes. Such interceptions usually occur within 10to 20 minutes after the first signs of trouble and are routine, happening
about 100 times a year, Griffin said.
It seems implausible, he said, that the Pentagon was struck by Flight 77, since it is "surely the best defended building on the planet." The U.S. military has the best radar systems in the world and "does not miss anything occurring in North American airspace," he added.
Griffin also made a case that the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings was brought on by thousands of explosives placed throughout each of the buildings. They went straight down, at free-fall speed, as in controlled demolitions, and many people in the buildings reported that they heard or felt explosions, he added.
"High-rise steel-frame buildings have never - before or after 9/11- been caused to collapse by fire," he said.
Sue Adams, 50, introduced herself to Griffin after the talk, calling him heroic. "I think some day we may really know the truth," she said, adding that it will likely be after the Bush administration is gone.
Orion Litzau, a UW freshman studying engineering, agrees that the answers the government put out through the 9/11 Commission were more than a simple deception.
"They were not only partly false but a complete, bold face lie," he said. "David Ray Griffin brings out interesting points about what could be the true story behind the 9/11 attack."
Jim Goulding, 67, who teaches religious studies at Edgewood College, admitted at first he wondered whether Griffin was a crackpot, but instead found he had a "tremendous reputation as a theologian."
Goulding has read both of Griffin's Sept. 11 books.
"I think he makes a convincing case - well documented, well footnoted," he said.
E-mail: skalk (at) madison.com