By National Post
Sept. 9, 2011
As people across Canada and the United States publicly remembered the tenth anniversary of 9/11 this week, a small group at Ryerson University was examining another angle altogether: the “myth” of 9/11. The four-day Toronto Hearings kicked off Thursday with a trio of experts and academics offering their opinions on why the official narrative of 9/11 as a terrorist attack is flawed. The Post’s Megan O’Toole looks at the day’s highlights.
THE LEGAL ANGLE
Though the Toronto Hearings have so far played out more like a conference than a legal hearing, organizers referred to each of the three experts who took to the podium as “witnesses.” No lawyers were there to crossexamine them; instead, a panel of three academics and an Italian judge peppered the speakers with friendly questions. The panel, which will ultimately draft a report on the matter, may address the question of whether another state-sponsored inquiry is needed to help answer all the lingering questions about 9/11. “We know that the official story does not fly,” organizer Graeme MacQueen said. “It’s full of holes.”
In addition to dozens of guests, speakers and experts, a number of amateur filmmakers were on scene to record the Toronto Hearings, while security posted outside the door ensured anyone entering had an appropriate badge. Critics have questioned the timing of the hearings, coming when so many people are grieving their losses. Mr. MacQueen, however, said the goal was not to delegitimize their mourning, but rather to sift through the “myth and deception” surrounding 9/11. Attendee Bruce Sinclair, a member of Pilots for 9/11 Truth, said the purpose of the event was not to point fingers. “I would hardly describe us as conspiracy theorists in the pejorative sense,” he said. “What we’re trying to do is find the facts.”
SUPPRESSING THE TRUTH, PART I
The official report from the 9/11 commission is replete with glaring omissions, said speaker David Ray Griffin, who wrote the book 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed. “There were continuing signs the Bush administration didn’t want the truth of 9/11 to be discussed,” Mr. Griffin said, pointing to the appointment of Bush crony Philip Zelikow as the commission’s executive director. “The commission was the White House investigating itself.” The resulting report failed to include relevant information about the alleged hijackers, including the revelation that some were still alive after the attacks, he said. In addition, Mr. Griffin questioned the discovery of alleged ringleader Mohamed Atta’s will in a suitcase that was supposed to be on the plane with him. Why put your will in a plane destined to crash? Mr. Griffin asked. National Post
SUPPRESSING THE TRUTH, PART II
Kevin Ryan, co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies, was similarly critical of a report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) into how and why the Twin Towers, and a third building in the World Trade Center complex that was not hit by any plane, collapsed in the fashion they did. “A steel structure does not collapse suddenly when attacked by fire,” Mr. Ryan said, noting the NIST report “distorted many important facts.” The fires raging in either tower were not hot enough to melt the steel structure, he said, nor would the plane crash have created sufficient force to pull the building’s exterior columns inward, as the NIST report suggested had occurred. “This is the opposite of science,” Mr. Ryan fumed.
Florida State University professor Lance deHaven-Smith, who addressed the panel first, came right out and said it: “Maybe [9/11] was an inside job to advance a war agenda.” He cited evidence that the collapse of New York’s twin towers resulted from controlled demolition, a theory popular among the so-called 9/11 Truth movement. “What is more disconcerting in some ways is that this was not investigated,” Mr. deHaven-Smith said. By labelling such views as conspiracy theory, the U.S. political elite “silences and stigmatizes” legitimate questions, Mr. deHaven-Smith said. He drew a parallel between 9/11 and a host of other historical U.S. “state crimes against democracy” including the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, the 2001 anthrax scare and the disputed presidential elections that put George W. Bush in the White House for two successive terms.