Theorists Share Their Views of 9/11:
by Josh Richman
SAN FRANCISCO -- Days after current and former government officials testified before the official panel probing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, dozens of activists, independent journalists and others from around the world convened Friday for their own inquiry.
These are people who believe the government is lying on a grand scale, and that the Bush administration at least passively let -- and at most, actively helped -- the attacks happen.
They believe that the independent commission now probing the matter is in no way independent, and that neither it nor the corporate-owned, government-beholden mass media can be trusted to ask the right questions to get at the truth.
"The truth is not going to come out unless we demand it," said Bill Douglas of Kansas, the founder of www.911visibility.org
New York City activist Nicholas Levis said this weekend's International Inquiry into 9-11 is all about "making the connections that the mainstream media refuse to make," lest any real consideration expose "the complicity of the United States government" in the attacks.
Said attorney Phil Berg, representing 9-11 widow Ellen Mariani of New Hampshire in her racketeering lawsuit against the federal government: "The American citizens don't want to believe that our government would do something like this."
Continuing today and Sunday at the Herbst Theater on Van Ness Avenue, the conference features films, seminars, discussion forums and plenary sessions for advancing any and all ideas about the attacks.
Some attendees believe the manner in which the World Trade Center towers collapsed can be explained only by explosives within the buildings, although architectural engineers have said burning jet fuel weakened the towers' supporting steel, finally letting the towers' floors "pancake" to the ground.
Some dispute government accounts that military jets were scrambled but didn't intercept the hijacked airplanes in time, instead believing the jets were intentionally kept grounded.
Some draw dire conclusions from the fact that Marvin P. Bush, the president's brother, from 1993 to 2000 was on the board of directors of a company that provided some electronic security for the World Trade Center, Dulles International Airport and United Airlines; the same company was backed by a Kuwaiti investment firm with links to the Bush family.
Some note the government let relatives of Osama bin Laden fly out of the United States on a chartered jet in the hours after the attacks, even while all other commercial jets remained grounded. FBI officials have said they had access to those people before they departed that day, and were satisfied they had no information about the attacks.
Some liken the Sept. 11 attacks to Operation Northwoods, a plan developed by U.S. military leaders in the early 1960s -- and reported in 2001 by major media including the Baltimore Sun and ABC News -- to attack U.S. civilian and military targets and blame it on Cuba as a pretext to invade that Communist nation.
Some say it's more like the January 1933 arson of the German Reichstag, which many historians believe was staged by the Nazi Party and blamed upon Communists in order to consolidate Adolf Hitler's power.
Mike Ruppert of Los Angeles, publisher and editor of the newsletter From The Wilderness, said the attacks are "so straightforward in terms of its criminality that even a 6-year-old could understand what happened."
The "systemic shutdown" of air defenses that day; pre-attack insider trading involving airlines, insurers and banks affected by the attacks; a history of business dealings between the Bush and bin Laden families -- all these and other things paint a clear picture of government complicity, he claimed.
This weekend's conference is a sign, Ruppert said, that regardless of what the government, the media, big business and other forces at play in this matter want, "we will not let 9/11 go."