Monday, March 31, 2008

9/11 Truth Movement vs. 9/11 Truth

Or, who are these people and why do they keep yelling at me?

I found myself once again singing at an antiwar rally two weeks ago, and once again being confronted by a red-faced white man with an ominous hand-written sign reading, "9/11 was a lie." Most of the crowd was filing off for the post-rally march, aside from a few of my loyal fans who were sticking around for the rest of my set. Among them was the red-faced man, apparently not a fan, who walked towards the small stage with the wild-eyed certainty of a zealot.

"Wake up, David Rovics! David Rovics, wake up to the truth of 9/11!" He was screaming at the top of his lungs, standing about two feet from me. (I continued with the song.) In case I didn't get the message the first time, the red-faced man repeated his mantra. "Wake up! Wake up to the truth of 9/11!"

People like him, whoever he was, have become a fixture of antiwar and other protests since sometime soon after September 11th, 2001. They regularly call in to radio talk shows, they maintain many websites, produce innumerable documentaries, publish plenty of books, hold regular conferences, and show up with alarming predictability to heckle and denounce prominent progressive authors and activists at their speaking engagements.

Art Bell and company

For over a decade I've made a living as a touring musician. As a hardcore news junkie, when satellite radio came into existence I was one of its very first customers, and since I got one I've been able to saturate myself with BBC World Service and the English-language broadcasts of public radio from around the world to my heart's content. But for the many years before satellite radio, during my many late-night drives across the plains, deserts and corn fields of the US, choices were much slimmer.

In the early morning or late afternoon there was usually an NPR (Nationalist Petroleum Radio) station to be found, or, very occasionally, a Pacifica affiliate where I might listen to my favorite radio news programs, Democracy Now! and Free Speech Radio News. (At the very beginning, these programs could be heard on satellite radio via the Hispanic Radio Network, but that channel soon vanished from the satellite airwaves -- over one hundred choices offered, but no news channel to the left of Al Franken...)

But late at night, there were four choices. On the FM airwaves, commercial pop anti-music of various prefabricated genres brought to you by ClearChannel. On AM, you could choose from rightwing Christian evangelists, Rush Limbaugh and Art Bell. The evangelists don't really do anything for me, but when I was getting sleepy, I'd listen to Rush, because he's always good for waking me up -- the powerful desire to strangle someone tends to keep you alert. But most of the time, if I wasn't tired, I'd tune in to Art Bell.

For those unfamiliar with Art Bell's show, it was a corporate-sponsored, nightly, several-hour-long show that has since been passed on to other hosts last I heard, and can generally be found on at least two different AM signals anywhere in the country every weeknight, starting sometime after midnight, as I recall. He apparently broadcast from somewhere in Nevada near the infamous Area 51, where he and many of his guests seemed to believe the US military was experimenting with space aliens who had landed there some time ago.

His guests tended to be authors who had written books or made documentaries about aliens from outer space, telepathy, what all the ghosts are up to these days, Hitler being alive and living in the Antarctic, crop circles, and so on. Being a science fiction fan and one who has had personal experiences that have led me to at least consider the possibility that there is validity in some of these claims, about what Art called the paranormal, I listened with interest to Art and his guests, although usually it was fairly evident they were full of shit.

Listening to Art's guests and to the men (and very occasionally women) who called in, I remembered the excitement I felt as a child, before I developed a more three-dimensional understanding of the world around me, before I developed a fairly solid capability for critical thinking, before I began to understand how to read between the lines of the biases of the various authorities, experts and pundits out there in the textbooks, newspapers and airwaves. I remembered the excitement of having secrets with certain friends that only we "knew." My own pet theories as a child included the notion that cows were not as stupid as they looked, standing around chewing cud, that they were actually engaged in astral travel, using their apparent stupidity as a grand cover of some kind. I fairly well convinced myself in the existence of dragons and elves and other mythical creatures, long after I had realized there was no Santa Claus.

But the fantasy life of children can become very odd when practiced by grown men. Many, if not most, of Art's guests and callers seemed to believe that the things they "knew," such as their prevalent idea that the US military was hiding space aliens in Area 51, were phenomenae that only people like them and Art were being honest about. The rest of the media, society, and the powers-that-be were either ignorant about these realities, or, at least as often, were engaging in a huge, X-Files kind of coverup.

Especially in the context of a fundamentally alienated society, especially for a certain class of white men who seem to be somewhat on the margins of the US system of power and privilege, but are white and male enough to believe that they deserve better, the sort of feeling of brotherhood that comes with "knowing" something that the rest of society doesn't know is a powerful one. It's an obvious source of excitement, and gives people a sense of belonging. Without having had access to more rational ways of understanding their place in the world and the complexities of society, current events, history and power structures, they have found some kind of lens through which they can try to understand the world.

It's a faith-based sort of thing. These people are not looking for different points of view, they are looking for further confirmation of what they already believe -- and of course they share this with many, many others who we could call "people of faith," whether they are Christians who believe Jesus was the son of God, Muslims who believe there is one God, Allah is his name and Mohammed was his prophet, neoliberals who believe the unregulated market will make everybody rich, or Maoists who believe the Chinese cultural revolution was the greatest achievement of humankind. No evidence to the contrary will deter these people in their unswerving certainties.

What I always found most interesting as well as most disconcerting about listening to Art Bell, though, was how he would occasionally -- but regularly -- have on guests who were talking about very real and verifiable conspiracies. Things like the CIA's active role in the world drug trade, the State Department's role in overthrowing governments around the world, or the US, Saudi and Pakistani collaboration in creating, arming and funding the Taleban and Al-Qaeda.

Topics which the corporate media would almost never touch could find an occasional voice in Art Bell -- although Art was just as corporate-funded as ABC or CNN. It seemed that if most of the programming was clearly fantasy-based conspiracy theories, the corporate masters felt that it was politically acceptable to allow Art to have the occasional reality check. It would generally go unnoticed by most people, or be discounted as just another wacky conspiracy theory, so it was OK.

Fantasy undermining reality

And if giving a wide audience to the real conspiracies become harmless when they're presented within a sea of fictional conspiracies, the flip side of that is that the very legitimate investigative journalists such as Seymour Hersch and Robert Fisk who are uncovering and reporting on things like the US role in funding groups like Al-Qaeda can more easily get lost among the static, lost among the hundreds of documentaries purporting to prove that the World Trade Center was brought down by controlled explosives, that the planes that crashed into them were on autopilot and there really were no terrorists on board, that the cell phone conversations passengers had with their loved ones before they died were faked, that there was no plane that hit the Pentagon, and so on.

If you bother slogging through the volumes of books and stacks of documentaries that "9/11 Truth" people will foist on you if you let them, you will find that most of them are propaganda pieces and most of the "experts" are not experts in relevant fields. When you do look beyond this mass of misinformation for real experts, you will easily find pilots who can discount the claims of the Truthers that maneuvering the planes into the towers was a particularly challenging thing for people with only a little flight training to pull off. You will easily find mechanical engineers familiar with the structural flaws in the design of the WTC that allowed it to collapse in the first place, and physicists who can explain why such large buildings would appear to be imploding as if in a controlled demolition, or why people on the scene would have thought they were hearing explosions, etc. My purpose here is not to disprove all the hypothoses presented by the Truthers and their propaganda pieces -- if you want to look into "debunking the debunkers" yourself, there is plenty of information out there, and Popular Mechanics' issue on the subject is a good place to start.

The fact is, the scientific community, while certainly not immune to political pressure, is generally able to function with a grounding in actual science, and is not capable of participating, as a community, in some kind of mass conspiracy of silence or coverup. There is no way to bribe that many scientists. Too many of them believe in the importance of science for science's sake, in honesty. This can be amply demonstrated by the fact that with all the political pressure and money of the US government and ExxonMobil combined, there is still essentially unanimity among climate scientists worldwide that climate change is real, is caused by humans, and is dangerous for our species and others. Even after all the billions upon billions of dollars spent by the tobacco industry to obfuscate reality and bribe policymakers and the scientific community, the scientific community was able to study the issue and determine incontrovertibly the link between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer.

Sowing seeds of doubt

The "9/11 Truth Movement" undoubtedly is made up largely of earnest, decent people, the sorts of decent folks who make up most of Art Bell's guests and listeners. Since thousands of their fellow countrymen and women died on 9/11 and since this event -- whether it was a terrorist attack carried out by US-trained Mujahideen that could have been prevented, or an entirely "inside job" carried out by Dick Cheney with the aide of computers and plastic explosives, as many Truthers claim -- many people in many communities have become justifiably agitated and outraged by world-scale injustices, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and so on.

The old Art Bell listeners who used to be entertained by the fact that most people don't believe there are space aliens in Area 51 are now really extra worked up because the vast conspiracy they have come to believe in are resulting in the deaths of huge numbers of people around the world. And if the rest of us would just understand what they understand, everything would be different. If the media would report on reality as they see it, people would wake up and do something about this situation.

The particularly warped thing about this, though, is that the very media outlets, authors and activists who are doing their best to expose the very real conspiracies that are going on -- people like Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!, David Barsamian's Alternative Radio, Z Magazine, the Progressive Magazine, Norman Solomon and the Institute for Public Accuracy, Noam Chomsky, etc., seem to have become the primary targets of harassment by the Truthers.

Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky, Norman Solomon and others are now regularly heckled at speaking events, and denounced on websites as "gatekeepers." They are seen, it seems, as being even worse than the corporate media, because while reasonable people know not to trust Fox or CNN, they have faith in the integrity of people like Amy Goodman.

You don't have to know Norman Solomon, Amy Goodman or her producers personally to see what nonsense this "gatekeeper" stuff is. You needn't ever have met Amy to know that she has risked her life, and very nearly lost her life, in her decades-long efforts to report the truth. You needn't know her producers personally to recognize that these are all earnest young progressives working long hours to create a daily news program they deeply believe in. The notion that all of her producers are somehow maintaining a code of silence in exchange for the privilege of having their names mentioned at the end of the broadcast, or in exchange for their nominally middle-class salaries, is preposterous.

However, judging from numerous emails I get and conversations I have with fans and acquaintances from around the US and elsewhere, the efforts of the Truthers to sow seeds of doubt among readers and listeners of progressive media is having some palpable impact. Increasingly, I hear from people who have vaguely heard something about this "gatekeeper" phenomenon, something about Ford Foundation money undermining the entire progressive media.

As is so often the case, there are little grains of truth in here that can fester in the minds of people who are not looking at the information critically. For the cops among the Truthers (of course it's a matter of the public record that the FBI and other such agencies regularly write "newspaper articles" -- propaganda or disinformation of whatever sort they deem useful which they disseminate through newspapers, websites, etc.), undermining the legitimacy of the progressive media is exactly their goal, because they don't want the population to know the truth or to trust those who are reporting it. For the more earnest elements among the Truthers, undermining the progressive media is also their goal, because they don't see it as being distinct from the corporate media anyway -- so whether earnest or insidious, the effect is the same.

The grain of truth, of course, is that government, corporate and foundation money have undoubtedly succeeded in making PBS and NPR a shell of it's former self. Foundation money has also had a debilitating impact on the nonprofit world, since support for essential but illegal activities such as civil disobedience on the part of nonprofits will tend to cause them to lose foundation support. Also, nonprofits are prevented by law from participating openly in the electoral process, or they lose their nonprofit status. If progressive media is being influenced by the relatively small amount of foundation money it receives, I don't see it.

It seems evident to me that shows like Democracy Now! are quite willing -- and indeed, are doing their best -- to make waves as much as possible. If they don't report a story it's because they don't think it's a story, or it's not an important enough one to bother with. In the case of "theories" like the notion that controlled demolition brought down the World Trade Center or there were no members of Al-Qaeda on board the airplanes, this narrative has received little coverage in the progressive media because, upon investigation, most decide it's patently ridiculous.

The real gatekeepers

Sometime in 2002 I wrote a song called "Reichstag Fire," in which I asked many of the questions the Truthers were asking. The point of the song was primarily to say that 9/11 has been used as an excuse for the US to carry out a genocidal crusade on much of the Muslim world, and to further the US government's bipartisan agenda of world domination and control of valuable resources in other countries, such as oil. (This is something Truthers and most other people in the world can generally agree on.) In the song I also posed questions which I now feel have been adequately explained.

Were there really Arab terrorists on board the planes? Yes. Did the CIA know an attack was imminent? Yes. I don't regret writing the song, or becoming a very minor celebrity within the 9/11 Truth Movement, because I think these questions needed to be asked, and answered. But while some questions can only remain unanswered until certain people within the US government become whistleblowers, other questions have been answered, and my answers (and those of most people who have looked into these things) and those of what now constitutes the Truth Movement differ wildly. Particularly because I have been seen by some as part of this movement (although I seem to be increasingly getting lumped into the "gatekeeper" camp), I felt compelled to write this essay.

The truth is, in fact, out there. Much of it is certainly still there to be discovered, but many fundamental, essential truths are already known. The truth -- that, for example, the CIA funded and armed Al-Qaeda and the Taleban, that a tiny minority of very wealthy people control much of the US government and the "mainstream" (corporate/"public") media, that the US military systematically goes around the world overthrowing democracies, propping up dictatorships, and killing millions of people with bombs -- is what the progressive media is reporting on hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. These are the truths that people in the US most need to "wake up" to. These are the truths that are systematically unreported or severely under-reported by the corporate press, which, even in the age of the internet, is still where the vast majority of people in the US get their news, and thus, their understanding of the world.

These corporate media entities and the genocidal, ecocidal plutocracy they serve are the "gatekeepers" that need to be exposed. The truths they are trying to hide from us are the truths that need to be understood, and acted upon. The progressive media that is trying to do just that needs to be supported, not undermined with essentially baseless accusations (legitimate criticisms and suggestions notwithstanding).

The people who are trying, with some degree of success, to undermine these basic endeavors of the progressive movement and the progressive media need to be exposed for what they are -- whether they fall into the category of well-meaning but misguided fanatics or undercover government agents quite purposefully and systematically working to spread disinformation and sow confusion and distrust. And, beyond any reasonable doubt, the "Truth Movement" contains both of these elements. To both of these groups I beseech you -- wake up! Wake up to the real, easily-verifiable conspiracies -- which are extremely big ones! -- and quit trying to distract us with all the nonsense about gatekeepers and controlled demolitions!


Loring Wirbel said...

Thank you, many of us share your feelings and don't like to be silent when confronted by the overly-paranoid.

Stele Ely said...

Atta way Dave'r!!!
Thanks for going long and deep to catch alot of the overlooked points. I hope it helps bring some of our team to work on the crucial issues and valid issues that we need to team up on.

Would you interested in a song angle that includes -- but does not focus -- on this issue? I have written a few lyrics.

All righty then, Stele Ely (one of your Boulder fans, the massage guy with the EarthE eco money)

Kung Fu NoVa said...

David, i share your sentiment about the some of the nuttiest claims being made by "truthers"- or COINTELPRO?, but I was surprised to hear you'd gotten your "Reichstag Fire" questions answered; the rest of the US and the world are still waiting for reasonable (preferably entirely truthful) answers to the following questions from your song:

"And what were you doing On the day all those people died"
Does Secret Service training permit agents to leave the President in his publicized location for a 1/2 hour after they know the nation is under an unprecedented, high-level terrorist attack? Is there explanation, they didn't want to "run" out of there, acceptable?

"Where the fuck were the fighter jets?"

"Like the thousands of put options
Bought days before the crash"

The 9/11 Commission didn't name the put purchaser, just that they had "no conceivable connection" to Al Qaeda- as you know, Buzzy CIA Krongard's Deutchebank handled the trades- so who's the put purchaser that tried to cash in on the attacks? And the puts are a small part of the shady and unusual financial movements surrounding 9/11

"There's something fishy in Virginia
And I want an explanation
Why did they get the contract
What is Britannia Aviation
A one-man operation
Corporation with no history
He said he worked in Florida
But there he was a mystery
So is there a connection
I think it bears investigation
When the FAA found boxcutters
Does this cause you consternation
Hidden behind the seats
In these Delta planes
That had been fixed in Lynchburg
With Brittania at the reigns"

Excellent work here; you likely read some of the original research done by Daniel Hopsicker of or maybe read his book Welcome to Terrorland- so what's the answer to this one you've found, that's apparently helping you sleep at night and fight the good fight?

"You said Bin Laden was your friend
But he isn't anymore
Now that he's not fighting Russia
In your proxy war
Who called the FBI
Off the Bin Laden family trail
When so many times you had the chance
To re-write this sordid tale
Sudan in '96
The Taleban in 2001
Offered to turn him over
And right then you coulda won
But perhaps it is the case
That you're avoiding victory
That to justify your exploits
You must have an enemy"

This one calls out both the Clinton and Bush Administrations, and the CIA for obstruction and failure, and the Bush family for their long standing ties. So, with more details coming out year after year about Bullshit administration lies, crimes and coverups, you're now going for the "incompetence" excuse- or, like 16% of Americans, do you believe the Bush Administration is telling the truth about what it knew prior to 9/11?

"If you were not hiding from the truth
Then you'd have a truth commission
And not some masquerade
Kangaroo investigation
Hiring Henry Kissinger
The ancient master of deceit
To make sure all stones are left unturned
And the ruse is kept complete
And now you carry out your plans
Which you have had for decades
Conquering the world
With your troops and bombing raids
I see an evil regime
Led by an evil man
On Pennsylvania Avenue
Where this evil war began"


Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! has had Sibel Edmonds on her show and has said there needs to be more investigation. The official story falls apart from almost every angle- even Kean and Hamilton have backed away from their report- which is largely based on the testimony of tortured patsies, anyway, and ignored 70% of the families questions

Kung Fu NoVa said...

and besides FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, there's FBI whistleblowers Robert Wright and Coleen Rowley. FBI Agent Harry Samit testified at the Moussaoui trial he'd sent 70 messages to his superiors to get action- he said they were criminally negligent.

Able Danger- Anthony Shaffer, Scott Philpott, JD Smith

you know about the timeline at

Together into the Abyss said...

Hi David. It was quite strenghtening to read your article. I share the frustration. Even tough i live over here in sweden have i through the global spread of media seen how conspiracy theories has started to become common to a degree that would be rare even counted in american standrads. i usualy listen to american pirate radio when im going to sleep(which is where i first and most often heard and herar your music also), preferably speeches. But programs like unwelcome quest that used to be a great source, with speeches by ward churchill, michael parenti, noam chomsky and others, have started to give more and more space to what you refer to as "truthers". It has developed to the degree that that i find it hard to cope to listen to most stations any more and the experience is far from as rewarding as it could be(neither are there any alternative airwave media in sweden). Its sad. I dont remember if i mentioned it but i realy liked your article about music and speeches also. Particulary the part about that people start to read a book after hearing a record, not the other way around. It was toughtprovoking even tough there are a bigger spectrum to the question, kind of like a slogan. Maybie that is how songs as wel as slogans work, they give you a perspective and create a curiosity into a topic which the inspired person then gets more complex ideas about by talking with friends and/or reading more detailed writings on the issue(although some songs, like Guthries 1913 masacre, gives you pretty much all the info you need on a topic).

Together into the Abyss said...

And one more thing. you should put an link to your blogpost at the top of your newsletters. Since it is much easier to read it over here than in most email browsers.

Kung Fu NoVa said...

"Where the fuck were the fighter jets?"
i meant to post this link:
The 9/11 Stand Down in 2 Minutes

One more thing about Amy Goodman- do you suppose, if you were close enough to see WTC 7 dropping like a stone, so close you felt a need to run, do you think that later when they said Building 7 fell due to fire damage you would've believed them? Maybe you just wouldn't question it publicly if you knew what was good for your foundation funding, "credibility", career and avoidance of arranged "accidents"? I wonder

Starting at .20

Anonymous said...

why do you fear 911 truth?

amy, noam, david,

Unknown said...

David oh David.
You have the body, at least some of the legs. A good part of the head the trunk and the tail.

How come you don't see the elephant?

Anonymous said...

that day, others asked: how this could happen? i : why so infrequently, with the sky full of planes?

immediate indictment of "terrorists" rang false.

it occured to me not for years how comprehensive the hoax is.

i wanted everything to stop longer.

i hoped grief would become compassion.

rovics previous post here laments the lack of art in "progressive" events.
ironically, 911 may be the story of the century; yet he and most progressives shun it.

we are in shock, still, like birth trauma too horrific to remember.

there have been massacres far worse; but this incident is unique
in the speed and utility to consolidate the rule of fear.

can david believe the official story yet call demolition theories ludicrous?
the spell is very strong it would seem. or is it?

good stuff for a song:

the comfort of the numbness
of official histories

Anonymous said...

reviewing d.r.'s 2007 article, it seems he remains ideologically committed to his initial reaction to 911: "WE" deserved this.

that thought crossed my mind early on, reiterated by bush's why do they hate us--a "useful" question.

come to think of it, that's been my question to "progressives" :
what makes them so livid, hostile,
attacking, personally vicious online, all with the aim to exclude "truthers".

in this case he compares "us" to art bell's audience.

reasonable fearful people shun any discussion of 911 in public
partly because david rovics, among
other celebrities, (like chomsky who says it doesn't matter who perpetrated the massacre), dismisses this seminal event as insignificant. thus he causes the very zealotry he decries. simple inclusion of truth seekers could diffuse so much polarity
...unless one needs to defend ideology.
i understand why some people hate anti-americanism, it's just as dehumanizing as any other bigotry;
self loathing would seem sane, but arent we about inspiring as writers?

the media trumpets 911 constantly.
to avoid the subject you must be deaf and blind (or pathologically dissociative, which seems to be the way were going as a society.)
i don't want everyone to drop everything to concentrate on this;
but the subject is taboo!

d.r. would seem to maintain these are our just desserts as americans, undifferenciated.
he claims class war as his heritage then lumps us all together--
like giving the gift of guilt to a child, for causing global warming.

your angst is recognized; but try and give it a rest for the sake of truth

Anonymous said...

"judging from numerous emails I get and conversations I have with fans and acquaintances from around the US and elsewhere, the efforts of the Truthers to sow seeds of doubt among readers and listeners of progressive media is having some palpable impact."

This is the only valuable information from this entire post. Great news! The truth will eventually out, with or without any help from David Rovics.

Anonymous said...

I highly recommend Chapter 4 of the book Debunking 911 Debunking. The author pulls the rug out from under the claims and distortions of the above-mentioned Popular Mechanics article and book. Also, check out the 9/11 Press for Truth documentary (

Anonymous said...

isn't debunking debunking griffin?
he is not shy about advocating the dissolution of national sovereignty.
some of the biggest names in the "movement"
have shown their true colors--some not yet.

Anonymous said...

David -- thanks for your blog on 911 truthers. As you can see, their comments go on and on, filling up the blogosphere and activists events like kudzu choking off everything else green and growing.

This is one of the things that's turned me off local activism in my own area.

And yes, hardcore 911Truth is just like a religious cult -- agree with my "Truth" and be saved...or disagree even a teeny tiny bit and be damned -- you're a tool of Bush & Cheney. A 'gatekeeper." Ridiculous.

Are there questions about 911? Hell, yeah. Is the Truth going to be found in 911Truth? Sadly, no.

Please keep giving us your straight-up POV. There's plenty of room for more and better criticism and self-analysis in the anti-war movement...snd damn little of it taking place.

The 911Truth movement is a dead end, an energy sink, ideological comfort food.


Anonymous said...

And PS:

Just read some the the comments here, and you'll see the smear tactics frequently used by harcore truthers or naive believers.

It's the Truther version of McCarthyism. No different. And just as slimy.


Unknown said...

Many good facts about 911-truth here. I have worked with steel a lot, and never worry if my use of kerosine(Basically jet fuel) will make my project explode, even if I introduce aluminum. Hoover was right "Give them a conspiracy so large and so hidius that they will refuse to belive it." Illuminati>est.1776..Lincoln, Kennedy, King, X, the list goes on...Watch "Freedom to Fascism" and see FOLLOW THE MONEY..God Bless you Dave for listening and talking anyway. Gatekeepers?...only IF we want what they keep. Peace, Love and Truth, Peace General Bruce

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Folk-Singer;
I'm sure you have advanced degrees in all the relevant fields and have spent hours
educating yourself as to what has us all so freaked out,
but JUST IN CASE here is a little real information for you:

Architects and Engineers for Truth:

Physicists and Scientists for Truth:

Japanese Parliamentarian for truth:

Former Italian PM for Truth:

Former California Seismic Safety Commissioner Endorses 9/11 Truth Movement:

Seven CIA Veterans challenge 9-11 Commission report:

Robert Fisk doubts official story:

Cindy Sheehan for Truth:

etc. etc. etc.


BBC Reports Freak Collapse of WTC7 ahead of time :

Here is an excellent German Doc that came out just recently:

This thing is not going to go away just because you are afraid of it.
Please pull your head out and grow a pair, but for god's Sake
I mean Jesus, Popular Mechanics ? Are you serious ?

Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.
Sincerely ,

Loring Wirbel said...

The tenor of the anti-responses you have received makes your point entirely. Trout, Sheila, Stevel, I frankly don't see you as effective activists at all, but as examples of the cult-style thinking David warns us of.

Anonymous said...

you are a literalist appearantly.

millions gathered to stop the execution of sacco and venzetti.
state killed them anyway.
would you then say their demonstrations were a failure?

lead follow or get out the way.

Anonymous said...

Why do you have to be a literalist or non-literalist? Why either/or and not both/and -- as the situation/strategy demands?

On one level, the demonstrations to save S&V were complete failures -- in saving them from death. In other ways, perhaps not. But you have to be able to see both tracks to really learn anything useful for the next time.

And I think you are dead wrong about David being a literalist> It's the literalists -- fundamentalists, really -- he's criticizing here.


Anonymous said...

Oh..and PS:

"lead, follow, or get out of the way" is a perfect example of literalist/fundamentalist thinking.


Unknown said...

'the CIA funded and armed Al-Qaeda and the Taleban'

No, the CIA did not 'arm' bin Laden, nor did it fund him or the groups he supported. The US assisted the Afghan people's resistance against Soviet occupation, but bin Laden's operation was always separate to that, with separate goals and separate financiers.

Here's Bill Moyers for you:

He set up a financial support network known as the "Golden Chain," comprised mainly of financiers from Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf states. Using this immense new fund, bin Laden and Azzam created a "Bureau of Services," which helped channel recruits for the jihad into Afghanistan. With Saudi Arabia and the United States pouring in billions of dollars worth of secret assistance to rebels in Afghanistan, the jihad against the Soviets was constantly gaining momentum.

The US neither funded nor supported the Taleban, which didn't even exist when the US gave support to the Afghan resistance.

From a BBC analysis page:

The world first became aware of the Taleban in 1994 when they were appointed by Islamabad to protect a convoy trying to open up a trade route between Pakistan and Central Asia.

The group - comprised of Afghans trained in religious schools in Pakistan along with former Islamic fighters or mujahedin - proved effective bodyguards, driving off other mujahedin groups who attacked and looted the convoy.

Finally, a good Q&A from CNN:
Bin Laden, CIA links hogwash.

Unknown said...

Oh, and 'trout', you say:

'I'm sure you have advanced degrees in all the relevant fields'.

Do you?

I wouldn't doubt you have lots of experience of flipping burgers and surfing the internet in your parents' basement, but what has that got to do with 9/11?

As for your sources...

PrisonPlanet - the Alex Jones freakshow infomercial site

American Free Press - run by anti-Semites

You're obviously a real scholar...

Anonymous said...

actually the scientific "community" has been engaged in the massive silencing of living nature and subjective experience since its inception in the 17th century. you may think the left is boring, but your boring faith in scientific authoritativeness is something you hold firmly in common with them.

Anonymous said... you're calling a rapidly collapsing skyscraper a "subjective experience?"

Bet it wasn't very subjective to anyone trapped in the falling buildings.

To be blunt -- what the hell are you talking about, in relation to 911? And what does it have to do with whether the left is boring or not. There is disagreement on the left about 911. That's the point of this whole discussion.


Anonymous said...

very well said, david. keeping speaking truth to power and, sometimes to those of us behind a fog of self-imposed illusion.

Aaron Aarons said...

Edmund Standing said:
"The US assisted the Afghan people's resistance against Soviet occupation ..."

A pro-Soviet reformist government took power in Afghanistan in April, 1978. A campaign of landlord and Islamist terror against schoolteachers and others who carried out the government's policies (like land reform and education for girls) began almost immediately, with the backing of the Pakistani I.S.I. and probably the C.I.A.. The U.S. started officially (though still secretly) financing these Contras on July 3, 1979.

The Soviet Union didn't send any troops into Afghanistan until December 8, 1979, well over a year after the alleged "Afghan people's resistance against Soviet occupation" began and at least 5 months after the U.S. started financing and arming that "resistance".

Anonymous said...

In a peer-reviewed civil engineering publication, four engineers demonstrate that there is still no plausible explanation for how the World Trade Center Towers (1, 2, and 7) collapsed at free fall speed on 9/11.

found at:


"Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance" - Einstein

"Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." - JFK

Aaron Aarons said...

Sheila: That URL you gave doesn't lead directly or, as far as I can tell, even indirectly, to an article on the subject of the collapse of the towers. Can you post a correct, specific URL?

BTW, I consider myself open-minded about what happened on 2001/09/11 regarding planes crashing into buildings, etc.. But I consider it my job (as far as I deal with the topic at all) to point out where the government is covering up and obfuscating whatever actually did happen, not to put any energy into arguing the government's case. Even if one believes that the major alternative theories are false, we should be still demanding that the government produce all the information it's been hiding. We shouldn't let it use fake-independent media outlets like Popular Mechanics to get its version across without having to take responsibility for it.

Anonymous said...

Okay Aaron -- here's an open-minded question: what evidence do you have that Popular Mechanics is a channel for govt obfuscation and covering-up?

I sincerely hope you're not going to offer up the "PM Chertoff is related to govt Chertoff" claim.


Aaron Aarons said...

On your recommendation, Dave, I took a look at the Popular Mechanics article. The first thing I clicked on was the phrase Widespread Damage. What did I find? The first of two claims they pretend to debunk was from "a posting [apparently anonymous!] on the San Diego Independent Media Center Web site". The second was from a web site that I've almost never seen mentioned that makes an inference that most people on all sides of the debate long ago discarded: that simply because the fires couldn't have actually melted steel, they could not have brought down the buildings.

This selection of straw-man arguments to "debunk" is so obviously worthless that I gave up reading the PM article and searched for commentaries on it that others with more knowledge of the issues had already gone to the trouble to write. I found the one by Jim Hoffman ( It's a far more honest and logical article than the PM hatchet job, even if I'm not as fully convinced of his conclusions as he is.

Aaron Aarons said...

Using the analytic methods of the Popular Mechanics article, one could just as well debunk the "myth" that Hitler's Germany murdered people in gas chambers. For example, one could quote and refute the claim that was made early on (and are still repeated by some people!) that the Germans made soap out of Jewish fat. Surely, there are enough other false or exaggerated claims in the vast Holocaust literature that writers in the PM mold cold debunk in order to "debunk" the entire Holocaust "conspiracy theory".

Anonymous said...

David. I love your music, but I was quite disappointed when I read your 9/11 essay on, and have been following your appearances on the web since then.

I wanted to ask you a couple of questions directly, and thought your blog would be the best place to do so.

First, I wanted to tell you that I was disappointed because I felt your article was written based on your emotions, and did not actually discuss any factual information. I understand and share your frustration regarding the abrasiveness of some 9/11 Truthers, but feel that your comments contribute to the divisiveness that many of us on The Left are trying to patch up.

After reading your article, it seemed quite clear to me that you had not examined the evidence of 9/11 fully, and when questioned on Kevin Barrett's radio show, you refused (or were unable) to name any of these "scientists" who have convinced you that those investigating 9/11 should move on to more "verifiable conspiracies". You source only the dubious Popular Mechanics article as your evidence (which has been completely refuted in the book Debunking 9/11 Debunking by Dr. David Ray Griffin). Can you name even one of these scientists? Can you explain how they convinced you?

I'd also really like a clarification on where you stand on re-investigating 9/11. There seem to be a few contradictions in your comments on the issue.

In your article, you seem to be attempting to convince those investigating alternative 9/11 theories that "there is nothing to see here, so move along". Yet, on Barrett's radio show you say you DO support a new investigation and that we need to find out the truth. This is a little confusing to some of us. Should we, in your opinion, give up our pressure for a new investigation (as you suggest in your article) or continue investigating (as you suggest on the radio)?

Also, I have read comments by a fellow who said he had correspondence with you, and that you said you agreed with acclaimed journalist Robert Fisk's position on the issue

Here is Mr. Fisk's opinion published in the Independent newspaper,

I am increasingly troubled at the inconsistencies in the official narrative of 9/11. It's not just the obvious non sequiturs: where are the aircraft parts (engines, etc) from the attack on the Pentagon? Why have the officials involved in the United 93 flight (which crashed in Pennsylvania) been muzzled? Why did flight 93's debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in one piece in a field? Again, I'm not talking about the crazed "research" of David Icke's Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster – which should send any sane man back to reading the telephone directory.

I am talking about scientific issues. If it is true, for example, that kerosene burns at 820C under optimum conditions, how come the steel beams of the twin towers – whose melting point is supposed to be about 1,480C – would snap through at the same time? (They collapsed in 8.1 and 10 seconds.) What about the third tower – the so-called World Trade Centre Building 7 (or the Salmon Brothers Building) – which collapsed in 6.6 seconds in its own footprint at 5.20pm on 11 September? Why did it so neatly fall to the ground when no aircraft had hit it? The American National Institute of Standards and Technology was instructed to analyse the cause of the destruction of all three buildings. They have not yet reported on WTC 7. Two prominent American professors of mechanical engineering – very definitely not in the "raver" bracket – are now legally challenging the terms of reference of this final report on the grounds that it could be "fraudulent or deceptive".

You have been quoted as saying "I agree with Fisk's article! much shorter than mine, too, and better..."
(scroll down to comments)

Is this your comment? If so, how do you reconcile this with this paragraph from your article?:

When you do look beyond this mass of misinformation for real experts, you will easily find pilots who can discount the claims of the Truthers that maneuvering the planes into the towers was a particularly challenging thing for people with only a little flight training to pull off. You will easily find mechanical engineers familiar with the structural flaws in the design of the WTC that allowed it to collapse in the first place, and physicists who can explain why such large buildings would appear to be imploding as if in a controlled demolition, or why people on the scene would have thought they were hearing explosions, etc.

Again, many of us on The Left who support the 9/11 Truth Movement would appreciate a simple clarification of your position.

At the moment, many government apologists and defenders of the "official story" are using your article to support their argument that 9/11 Truthers are just a bunch of crazy conspiracy theorists. If you truly do support a new investigation, and think that the truth about 9/11 is worth investigating, would you be willing to pen another essay to clarify the contradictions in your comments, and set the record straight?

Thanks for your time, and keep playin' those great songs!

David's appearance on Kevin Barrett's radio show can be heard here:

Anonymous said...

9/11 Truth: What's Being Covered Up? Tenth Time Asked

This will be the final film in this series. I want to thank the family members that were shown in these clips for speaking truth to power. I truly believe and hope that, at the very least, you will one day feel the satisfaction of knowing those responsible were held accountable. I also want to thank Ray McGovern for taking my question in July 2006, which gave me this most important question.

What's being covered up?

Here are each of the clips in this series along with a brief description of where they came from, and who is in them.

First Time Asked...
Donna Marsh O'Connor at the National Press Club on 9/11/2006. Mother of Vanessa Lang Langer.

Second Time Asked...
Michele Little at the National Press Club on 9/11/2006. Sister of David M. Weiss.

Third Time Asked...
Christina Kminek at the National Press Club on 9/11/2006. Sister of Mari-Rae Sopper.

Fourth Time Asked...
Patty Casazza at the "9/11: Families, Responders & Experts Speak Out" event in West Hartford, CT. on 11/03/07. Wife of John F. Casazza.

Fifth Time Asked...
Bob McIlvaine at the "9/11: Families, Responders & Experts Speak Out" event in West Hartford, CT. on 11/03/07. Father of Robert G. McIlvaine.

Sixth Time Asked...
Lorie Van Auken at the NYC Ballot Initiative event on 11/24/2007. Wife of Kenneth Van Auken.

Seventh Time Asked...
Daniel Wallace at St. Mark's Church in NYC on 12/3/2006. Son of Robert Wallace. Daniel passed away on January 29, 2007.

Eighth Time Asked...
Barry Zelman at the 9/11 Omission Hearings on 9/9/2004. Brother of Kenneth A. Zelman.

Ninth Time Asked...
Manny Badillo at the "9/11: Families, Responders & Experts Speak Out" event in West Hartford, CT. on 11/03/07. Nephew of Thomas J. Sgroi.

Mindy Kleinberg lost her husband Alan Kleinberg, and Monica Gabrielle lost her husband Richard Gabrielle. The tenth time asked took place at the 9/11 Congressional Briefing on 7/22/2005, chaired by then Representative and current candidate for President, Cynthia McKinney.

Anonymous said...


I wasn't asking you about PM's analytical methods, or if they're as bad as holocaust deniers, I asked what *evidence* you have that PM is a conduit for govt lies and obfuscation...


Aaron Aarons said...


Your original question to me was posted while I was writing my next post (about the methods of PM), and I wasn't aware of it until after seeing your new post.

As for PM, they clearly have done a hatchet job in defense of the official story. They also had special access to some of the producers and directors of that story. If not a conduit, they are co-creators of lies and obfuscation in service of the government, though "dominant faction of the U.S.-Israeli bourgeoisie" might be more accurate than "government".

I suspect that the Israeli connection, and the fear of a general anti-Jewish hysteria if it is exposed, has something to do with the attitudes of people like Goodman, Chomsky, and Solomon on the question. It is indeed a problem for us anti-Zionist Jews, and even more for liberal-Zionist Jews like Chomsky, that we can be tarred by the crimes of the self-styled "Jewish State".

Anonymous said...

The peer-reviewed article "Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade Center Destruction", published by Bentham, can be found here (alas, there is no direct link):

Click the text "Click here to view the contents (Year 2008)", and then scroll down a bit, and voila!

My own fairly widely linked analysis of WTC 7, still officially unexplained, can be found here:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Standing;
I am not a scientist, and I do not flip burgers.
I am an animator, a practitioner of the world's most scientific art form.
Animation is all about fooling the human eye, which is remarkably easy to fool.
Animators learn to see every movement around them at twelve frames per second, and instinctively break everything they see before them down in this way.
An animator has to be able to fool the human eye 12 times per second.
We know all the tricks, and we need to know a lot about physics in order to be able to create the illusion of gravity, momentum, weight and mass.
I saw the WTC coming apart in mid-air like giant invisible cat was clawing it apart, and when faced with the official explanation knew immediately that it couldn't be true, like a lot of people who came to the movement through plain common sense or even intuition.
I notice you didn't address my points about the California Seismic Safety Comissioner Lew Marx Ayres or about the BBC's prescient reporting of the WTC7 'collapse'.
Alex Jones may be a nut, but at least he's on the case.

And by the way, you're ugly and your mother dresses you funny.

Anonymous said...

There's only one important question concerning the attacks, did the US gov't allow/participate in 9/11?

The answer to that query would explain the illegal wire-taps, suspension of habeas corpus, banning of books like "America Deceived" from Amazon, detaining of dissenters in fences miles away from events, and multiple wars based on lies.

How can the gov't be innocent in 9/11 when we have caught it lying so many times (WACO, Ruby Ridge, no WMDs, USS Liberty, Operation Northwoods, Gulf of Tonkin, Pearl Harbor, ETC.)?

In law, if you determine a person lies ONCE during his testimony, it can be assumed that he lied in the remainder of his testimony. How come we do not hold the gov't to the same standard as it holds us to?

The gov't lied to us about Iraq and more Americans have died there than in 9/11. If the gov't lied about Iraq then why is everyone so reluctant to believe that the gov't lied about 9/11?

Final link (before Google Books bends to pressure and drops the title):
America Deceived (book)

Aaron Aarons said...

"If the gov't lied about Iraq then why is everyone so reluctant to believe that the gov't lied about 9/11?"

I don't think anyone here, especially Dave, is "reluctant to believe that the gov't lied about 9/11". But knowing that they're lying about something as multi-faceted as the 9/11 attacks doesn't tell us what the truth is. They're certainly not lying when they say that the WTC towers were destroyed, and they're almost certainly not lying when they say that airplanes crashed into them. There are many other specifics, such as the names of some of the dead, that they're probably not lying about either. In other words, unless you're dealing with one of those contrived logical puzzles where you assume that certain people always tell the truth and that certain people always lie, the fact that some people lie with joyful abandon doesn't prove that any particular thing they say is a lie.

Anonymous said...

Looks like al Qaeda's started their own 9/11 Truth movement. Say they did *too* do it.

Aaaron: What you said in your last post. I'm in sync with that.


Anonymous said...

Someone asked for a more direct link to the peer reviewed article in Bentham Scientific.

To the woman who thinks I am engaging in "cult" thinking because I am happy to see the truth coming out, I can only surmise she is a shill for the CIA. Google Operation Mockingbird. They are desperate to control this story, and have paid legions of people to scour blogs and discredit those fighting for truth and justice.

Anonymous said...

Although I copied the URL from the exact page the article is on, for some reason it doesn't lead back to that article, it takes you to their home page. The article is in volume 2, 2008, and is the fifth article down. It starts with "Fourteen Points of Agreement..." and must be downloaded.

That is the most help I can give. People are going to have to be somewhat motivated to find out the truth, certainly the MSM will not give it to you!

Anonymous said...

Dave - Some people from the truth movement (apparently?) do themselves a dis-service when they bang away at their message with all the fanaticism and sloganism of a methodist preacher. No wonder you are instinctively resistant to their ranting. However your dismissive "there are plenty of pilots and experts to show how the buildings were hit/fell" really belies the facts. Who are these people?? I don't know. But there are more than enough of these people who claim the complete opposite. The Popular Mechanics article (strange it only occurs in specialist only mag? Perhaps we should ask which publishing conglomerate owns Popular Mechanics?) raises straw men, does more NOT to answer questions.

(If you will permit me a link?) Here is a review of David Ray Griffin's book that completely debunks Popular Mechanics.

A link showing the Popular Mechanics author, Darren Coburn, being comprehensively bamboozled in a radio interview here -

I'm just saying - a more open mind may be more appropriate here.


Anonymous said...

Wow! My heart is broken. You have been my hero since 2003. I realize there are conspiracies that are more easily proven and I know that they are important too. But to dismiss these alternative theories,
which only evolved because of govt dishonesty, really surprises me. I don't think any of us know what happened, but it is clear that the story we were given is not true. It is hard to have children and believe that we live in a world where these things are possible and I have had countless sleepless nights since the night I first heard "Reichstag Fire". Somehow your article does not ring true, not from you. You are always so fair and open minded, I can't believe you can close the door on this issue so cavalierly. Please, please say it isn't so!
I am not a member of 911 Truth and I have no "gatekeeper" theories about you or Amy Goodman. But I am curious as to what has changed. It seems to me that time has just increased the number of unanswered questions. Still adore you!!!

Anonymous said...

Just one point that has always bamboozled me. The 19 terrorists passed through airports packed with relatively high def cctv cameras. With thousands of people dead, I would have expected the authorities to have done a lot better than a few grainy inconclusive images.

The really alarming point about the whole thing is the lack of evidence for 'whodunnit' where there should be reams and reams of it....

csaba sotet said...

i was a huge fan of noam chomsky until i heard him say it doesnt matter who killed me, thats one of the stupidest things ive ever heard.ive lost all faith in him.on the matter of 911 the smoking gun is the molten metal that flowed like a foundry as reported by a fireman.this was not plastic explosives it was thermalite,probably mititary grade.also seven of the alleged hijackers have been found alive and well.another strange thing is the transmission from one the planes when the hijackers told the passengers to stay calm.listen to the ring of power to hear this.youll also see a girder standing after the collapse with a perfect slant cut.911 was an inside job.

Anonymous said...

Let’s just face some simple facts.

Skyscrapers MUST hold themselves up. They must also sway in the wind. The people who design skyscrapers MUST figure out how much steel and how much concrete they are going to put on every level before they even dig the hole for the foundation.

After EIGHT YEARS why don’t we have a table specifying the TONS of STEEL and TONS of CONCRETE that were on every level of the WTC? The NIST report does not even specify the TOTAL for the concrete. The total for the steel is in three places. So even if the planes did it that 10,000 page report is CRAP!

Conspiracies are irrelevant. The Truth Movement should be marching on all of the engineering schools in the country.

Watch that Purdue simulation. If a 150 ton airliner crashes near the top of a skyscraper at 440 mph isn’t the building going to sway? Didn’t the survivors report the building “moving like a wave”? So why do the core columns in the Purdue video remain perfectly still as the plane comes in?

That is the trouble with computer simulations. If they are good, they are very good. But if they have a defect either accidental or deliberate they can be REALLY STUPID once you figure out the flaws.

The distribution of steel and concrete is going to affect the sway of a skyscraper whether it is from the wind or an airliner.


Unknown said...

Since Dave is an artist I don't expect him to have knowleddge of forensic science or even much common sense when it comes to watching a video recording of the WTC towers, all three, coming down in less time than it would have taken his guitar to fall from the roof of any of them, since his guitar would have had some aerodynamic resistence, which the free-falling steel-framed over built skyscrapers apparently didn't have.