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An examination of the 9/11 Truth movement, part one

The Webster Retort
By Stephen Webster
Investigative Reporter
Publication date: March 24, 2006

An examination of the 9/11 Truth movement, part one

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I was leisurely walking out of my college philosophy class when a friend ran up to me. He was short of breath and red in the face. He stopped and panted a few times. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “Dude, we’re under attack,” he said. “They flew planes into New York. Anarchy is breaking out!”

I raced home, unsure of what was happening. My vehicle’s radio had broken weeks earlier, so I could only hope to find a television. I parked the car in my driveway and raced into my room, throwing the door open and picking up the remote with one smooth motion. The dial was already tuned to ABC. As the screen came into focus, I could hear the sound of screaming people. “Oh my God! Oh my God!” trembled a voice from off-screen.

Then the first tower collapsed.

As I watched in utter horror, thousands of pounds of debris fell from the skyscraper and into the streets of New York. It collapsed straight down, and the rest of the building went with it. “We have no idea what caused this,” said Peter Jennings. “Anybody who’s ever watched a building being demolished on purpose knows that if you’re going to do this, you’re going to have to get at the under infrastructure of the building in order to bring it down.” Little did Jennings know, he had just given birth to what has come to be called the 9/11 Truth movement.

As the day went on, millions of Americans sat in front of their televisions, transfixed by news broadcasts coming out of New York and Washington DC. Many of the reports aired that day were never revisited by this country’s major news networks. Hundreds of people in New York were caught on tape talking about a series of explosions that rocked the base of the towers hours after the first plane hit.

A firefighter peppered with dirt and blood stared hopelessly into an MSNBC camera, recounting his experience. “As we were gettin’ our gear on and making our way to the stairway, there was a heavy-duty explosion,” he said. An NYPD officer on CBS claimed, “We never even got close to the building. The explosion blew and it knocked everybody over.” On Fox News, a bald man in a white shirt recounted his experience escaping WTC7, the third tower to fall that day. “I was down in the basement. All the sudden we heard a loud bang. The elevator doors blew open and some guy was burnt up. So I dragged him out. His skin was all, hanging off.”

What is the 9/11 Truth movement? It is a collection of 43 authors, 18 professors, historians and theologians, a former Congresswoman, a host of television and print journalists, musicians and actors who have rallied around 49 individuals who lost family members on Sept. 11. According to 911truth.org, an August 31, 2004 Zogby poll found that 49.3 percent of New York City residents and 41 percent of New York state residents believe that the president had knowledge of the coming attacks and “consciously failed” to act. Sixty-six percent of those surveyed called for a new investigation into the attacks in light of questions Congress and the 9/11 Commission failed to answer.

Some of the central organizing tools for the 9/11 Truth movement have surfaced in the form of documentary films such as “9/11 Revisited” and “9/11 – In Plane Sight.” Like any movement without a central organizing group, the “truth” message is split into several factions. Each faction within the truth movement has a slightly different version of the events, but they all agree on one thing: airplanes alone did not bring the towers down.

The “official” finding of the 9/11 Commission is that both towers collapsed upon themselves after the building’s steel frame melted from extended exposure to burning jet fuel. Stephen E. Jones, a professor of physics at Brigham Young University, authored a report titled, “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?” Among his various allegations, Jones insists that the fire could not have melted the steel supports in both towers, as jet fuel burns at a maximum of 1000 degrees Celsius, but steel does not give way until temperatures reach over 1500 degrees Celsius.

“[T]he official theory lacks repeatability in that no actual models or buildings (before or since 9-11-01) have been observed to completely collapse due to the proposed fire-based mechanisms,” writes Jones. “On the other hand, dozens of buildings have been completely and symmetrically demolished through the use of pre-positioned explosives. And high-temperature chemical reactions can account for the observed large pools of molten metal, under both Towers and WTC 7, and the sulfidation of structural steel. The controlled-demolition hypothesis cannot be dismissed as "junk science" because it better satisfies tests of repeatability and parsimony. It ought to be seriously (scientifically) investigated and debated.”

Yet today, no such debate exists in our government or mainstream media.

It is for these reasons that I will be chronicling, to the best of my ability, the various theories that have risen out of the ashes of the World Trade Center towers. From the mysterious attempts by the Bush administration to block an investigation into the attacks to the strange lack of evidence that a plane hit the Pentagon, I’ll be going there, and I’m taking you with me. Over the next few weeks (or months, maybe), this column will be dedicated to exploring this large and growing movement.

For a preview of what I will be covering, point your web browser to www.911revisited.com and click “Watch movie online.” This documentary is a collection of news reports (some of which I have cited above) aired on Sept. 11. Also covered in the film are a couple of speeches aired on C-SPAN, given by scholars who support the 9/11 Truth movement.

Watch it, and keep your tin hats close at hand, campers. This is going to get a little weird.

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