Thursday, June 09, 2005

My journey through the looking glass

In order to really learn about something that is not spoon fed to you through the major media (daily papers, radio and television news, etc) you have to do a lot of work. You have to search, read, analyze, digest and sift through a lot of information.

Unfortunately for a subject like 9/11, the material you have to look at is widely dispersed and often not always clearly labeled. Also unfortunately, you will find that 9/11 material that is contrary to the official and major media story is often created and disseminated by people who can best be described as web pack rats, conspiracy nuts, lazy researchers or amateur entertainers. It can be a seductive and powerful thing to believe that you have the real truth about an event. The nature of contrary theories also has a certain wacky entertainment value and lots of people are only too happy to say and do anything just to have people pay attention to them. Therefore, a lot of websites that also have 9/11 conspiracy theory postings also have material on Bigfoot, JFK or UFOs. The problem with this is that even if these people actually post credible material questioning the official 9/11 theory, just having the Bigfoot and UFO stuff right beside destroys credibility. Also, if the presentation of credible 9/11 material is incomplete or poorly done, credibility can also be lost.

Thankfully though, there are many researchers and authors that are very credible in terms of their competence, background and motivation who have produced credible facts and analysis in which you can place a relatively higher degree of trust. However, until you find these credible sources of contrary thought on 9/11, and actually take the time to read and understand them, you are compelled, by default, to believe the official story.

My journey to finding credible information sources questioning the official 9/11 story was long and was abandoned several times along the way. At the outset it was just curiosity to learn what all these conspiracy theories about 911 were all about and so I began to search and read material on the internet. I also read dozens of books on 9/11, politics, energy and war which were interesting and informative for a variety of reasons other than 9/11.

However, there was so much information to wade through that I just didn’t have the time to keep up with it. I just kept uncovering more and more and couldn’t decide what was believable and what wasn’t. Eventually though, I kept coming back to the search because intuitively, I felt that there was much more to the events of 9/11 than the official story. I am not alone with this feeling. Many polls done around the world and in particular in New York (Zogby Aug, 2004 poll, show that a significant percentage of people are not satisfied that the official 9/11 story is the full story.

The only books you need to read

My “point of no return” came after reading David Ray Griffin’s The New Pearl Harbour: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11. Upon learning of the David Ray Griffin’s book, I read a bio of him that said: “[David Ray Griffin is] one of the most respected theologians in the US, is professor emeritus at the Claremont School of Theology, where he taught for over 30 years and that he has authored or edited over two dozen scholarly books.”

I did a quick search and found a his biography and publication list at the Claremont School of Theology. This guy was an academic, but he was also a Christian theologian. While I believe in God, I am not at all religious and don’t attend church regularly, except at Christmas. I thought, isn’t a Christian theologian going to be a little over the top in analyzing something like 9/11? Frankly, I question how people can take literally the words of unknown ancient authors as God’s word incarnate. I understand that religions have often served mankind well by delivering hope and cohesiveness at times throughout history however, the dogma and cultish devotion to ritual always makes me a bit nervous.

Anyways, I looked up some of Griffin’s references and found that he was actually a very technical author. He focused on something called “process theology” which seemed as far from the Body and Blood of Christ shed for you stuff as possible. It really looked like honest to goodness philosophy to me. His work was rigorous and well, academic. He looked like a real academic in the photo on the Claremont website. I figured I could give this guy a chance and I got The New Pearl Harbour from my local library (I had to wait for a week because someone else already had it).

While reading The New Pearl Harbour, I felt Griffin’s arguments and questions of the official 9/11 story were logical, even if they were dramatic. I found that I needed to double check my perception of Griffin. If this just retired academic felt compelled to write this book, what was his motivation? Was he a credible person? I sent my brother an email with links to information about Griffin and asking him to read the book. My brother is a very intelligent, grounded and logical thinker and I find his opinion and judgement valuable. A couple of weeks later, my brother affirmed that he felt Griffin’s arguments were solid, and even if the conclusions made by Griffin were very dramatic, he believed that were valid.

However, it wasn’t until reading Griffin’s second book on the subject: The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions: A Critique of the Kean-Zelikow Report that I really couldn’t doubt his logic and conclusions. I had read the actual 9/11 Commission Report before reading Griffin’s critique. I was amazed at how most of the book was engaged with the story of the 19 purported hijackers and history of how al Queda came into existence. It read like a fiction novel. Griffin’s analysis is so clear that the aptly described omissions and distortions are made glaringly obvious. I have felt anger and indignation that they have so far gotten away without anyone in a position to do anything about it, especially major media, saying or doing anything. What they have done is an outrage.

I have come to appreciate the fact that David Ray Griffin has taken on an enormous responsibility. He has expended great effort writing New Pearl Harbour and Omissions and Distortions. He has also very probably suffered negative impact on his reputation. This is a controversial subject and dissenters have been called unpatriotic and worse. I can only hope that is the worst that will come to him as a result of his efforts.

Griffin’s sense of obligation has not ended with authoring two books. He has also taken on dozens of speaking engagements around the US, mostly to small groups in community centers and churches. Yet, he claims that once he realized the lies being disseminated as truths by the Bush administration and other officials and the major media, he felt obligated to tell others and he continues to do so.

The Thompson timeline

Along with Griffin’s two books, the body of research structured as timelines, created by Paul Thompson, are must reads. Griffin credits Thompson's timelines as the source of much of his information.

Paul Thompson has put together an ever expanding timeline of events and links to reporting on 9/11 and related events leading up to and paralleling it. His timelines are now contained in a recently published book as well as adynamic online website that structures reports from major media, books, and interviews including online sources in a way that shows linear and topical arrangement.

Thompson's timelines will spoon feed you information (something the major media is failing to do) which you can easily analyze and digest. This work is saves the rest of us the work we would otherwise have to do to dig up information to challenge the official 9/11 timeline.

Griffin has applied his logic with Thompson’s research to amazing effect.

Is that all the information you need? Yes .. but ..

.. sure, inquiring minds probably want more information from other sources than just David Ray Griffin and Paul Thompson before they commit themselves to accept or question the official 9/11 story. However, Griffin’s books are, IMO, the most efficient analyses of the official 9/11 theory. Why?

- He doesn’t get into the why or the how it was done.

- He doesn’t examine ideological or religious motivation.

- His critique is made for moral reasons; if any lie, action or inaction has resulted in injustice, it must be exposed.

Griffin’s arguments should be enough to simply make most people sit up and realize “Hey, there really are lots of omissions and distortions in the official 9/11 theory!”

Griffin has avoided the difficult if not impossible task of trying to attach motive to those complicit or describe how 9/11 could have happened with some level of official complicity. This allows us to keep a tight focus on the issue that the official 9/11 theory needs to be questioned. After that is done, we can try to untangle the motives and details later.

In short, Griffin has made a compelling prima facie case that people in positions of authority and responsibility in the US were complicit in the awesome and terrible events of September 11, 2001. A prima facie case is all we need in the real world to bring a case to a court of justice.

If you feel you need to learn more so that you can try to discern the why and the how, there are plenty of other authors who provide more detailed analyses of each 9/11 event, some who have tried to frame 9/11 in a bigger picture asking if it was peak oil, imperial designs, ideological motivations that lead to 9/11. Frankly though, I am certain that if you are new to questioning the official 9/11 theory, these other books and information sources will only serve to divert your attention away from the very simple and compelling conclusions that David Ray Griffin makes. I would recommend that you any additional reading you do is from the references provided in Paul Thompson's timelines.

Reading for extra credit (although if you stick with Griffin and Thompson, you'll still get an A!)

Check the Bibliography of Selected books, Videos, and DVDs relating to 9/11 at the 9-11 Visibility Project:


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