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September 22, 2010

The truth about 9/11

Scott Stockdale

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If it will take some thirty years for the American government documents about 9/11 to be made public, why then the extreme right wing media viciously attacks those who doubt the official version of the events?

To paraphrase President Roosevelt - when he was referring to Pearl Harbor - September 11 is a day that will go down in infamy in U.S. History, no matter which side of the debate one happens to be on.

However, those who don't believe the official explanation of the 9/11 events, often referred to as “9/11 conspiracy theorists,” better be prepared for more attacks on their credibility by the extreme right wing media.

These attacks go a long way toward explaining why the term “conspiracy theorist” has such a negative connotation. After all, the word conspiracy means a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act, something which is as old as civilization itself.

Canadian professor Dr. Anthony Hall, professor of the Globalization Studies program at the University of Lethbridge continues to face attacks for raising doubts about the official version of events.

In the August 25, 2010 edition of the Edmonton Conservative Examiner, Patrick Ross questions Dr. Hall's credibility, without providing any evidence to support his claims.

“Dr. Anthony J. Hall is more than simply an academic who dabbles in the 9/11 “truth” movement on the side,” Mr. Ross said. “He's a dedicated foot soldier of that particular movement, and one who's unceasingly dedicated to covering over the movement's tenuous relationship with anything resembling a fact.”

Mr. Ross does, however, cite Hall's reference to an alleged Israeli spy ring, wherein they posed as art students and tracked Islamic terrorists, including 9/11 hijackers. After acknowledging that this “alleged Israeli spy ring was in the U.S. prior to 9/11, Mr. Ross seeks to show the fallacy in Dr. Hall's argument.

“The investigation of those individuals (Israeli spy ring) was terminated not as part of an Israeli conspiracy to allow the 9/11 attacks to happen, but rather because their alleged agents had been deported from the U.S,” Mr. Ross said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Hall isn't budging from his skepticism of the official report.

“If I’m inaccurate on the issues of Israeli spies inside the United States prior to 9/11, then so are the reports I have been reading about it in many mainstream media venues including those of Die Zeit, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, Counterpunch,, BBC, Fox News, the Sunday Herald in Scotland and the Sunday Telegraph in Great Britain to mention only a few… Are the sources I have read to be scorched from the record in a book-burning campaign of information cleansing?” Dr. Hall said.

It's telling that of his many sources, Dr. Hall makes no mention of mainstream North American media outlets - with the possible exception of Fox News.

During the 2008 Canadian election campaign, Dr. Hall said Prime Minister Harper's team employed a “McCarthyesque push to characterize as un-Canadian each and every citizen who calls attention to the simple fact that the Bush-led War on Terror rests on nothing but an unproven conspiracy theory.”

Now it appears that both sides of the debate are accusing the other of promoting conspiracy theories. Could it be possible that there is some truth in these accusations?

Although Dr. Hall is a tenured professor at Lethbridge University, Mr. Ross has no problem describing him as delusional, because he questions the official version of 9/11.

“Moreover, the extent of Hall's delusions about the 9/11 truth movement is a rigorous grassroots public movement, as opposed to what it really is: an infantesimal and irrelevant fringe of conspiracy theorists who can rarely gather more than a few dozen people in any one place at any one time,” Mr. Ross said.

Meanwhile, in his book American Raj: liberation or domination, Eric Margolis said that 56% of all Americans, according to a September 2006 poll, believed that the U.S. government was behind the 9/11 attacks or had allowed them to happen.

Moreover, scholars and professionals with various kinds of expertise---including architects, engineers, firefighters, intelligence officers, lawyers, medical professionals, military officers, philosophers, religious leaders, physical scientists, and pilots---have spoken out about discrepancies between the official account of the 9/11 attacks and what they, as independent researchers, have learned.

One of them, Dr. Ernest Partridge, a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy, who has taught  philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin, while describing himself as a skeptic of 9/11 conspiracy theories,  nonetheless said: “Too many phenomena are unexplained. The evidence must be revisited and validated, and the anomalies explained. And this must be done fearlessly and independently of any political biases or agendas.”

Dr. Partridge list a few of the many anomalies he feels must be explained, including numerous reports of explosions below the impact points at the time the towers were hit, reports of explosions before the planes hit, tapes of interviews with air traffic controllers that were destroyed and a flood of “put options” on American Airlines and United Airlines stock.  It would be interesting to know who bought these put options and why.

In the meantime we must wait 30 years for the public release of American and other official documents pertaining to 9/11.

Meanwhile, one can't help but wonder why there is such fierce opposition from the right of the political spectrum to any suggestion that the official version of events are not true.

Graeme MacQueen, a professor who taught in the Department of Religious Studies and the Centre for Peace at McMaster for many years, feels the Canadian government has good reason to attack those who express doubts about the official version of 9/11.

    “Our government, especially, will be angry if we are bold enough to ask questions. This is not surprising: the stakes are high for the government of Canada. If the myth of 9/11 is meddled with, who knows what questions we may end up asking about our own killing and dying in Afghanistan, our compliance with unlawful detention, our rising military budget, restriction of civil rights and failure to protect our own citizens abroad?”

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