Ten years later, some people refuse to believe what we have been told. And on the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, "How the World Changed," a symposium of the truther movement’s leaders gathered in a small conference room in lower Manhattan to discuss what “really” happened on 9/11.
The 9/11 “truthers” have a bad reputation. The government they refuse to trust says they are wrong. The media they deplore depicts them as crazy wingnuts, and regular citizens, when hearing “truther” theories either raise eyebrows and smile politely or become enraged whenever somebody suggests the possibility that somebody they knew who died in Iraq or Afghanistan died in vain.
However, despite the negative perception many Americans have of truthers, the symposium was standing room only as leaders of the truther movement shared their theories about what happened and opinions about how the country has been affected.
Not all truthers have the same theory. They vary wildly in terms of who did it, why it was done, and even how it was done (some truthers on the fringes of the movement don’t even believe planes hit the twin towers, but the whole thing was a visual trick with holograms and well-placed bombs). But the one thing they have in common is that the government is lying.
Among the speakers was Webster Tarpley, a Princeton graduate and former Fulbright scholar, who explains his theories with equal parts passion and sarcasm, says the entire 9/11 plot with a grand scheme that begins with a rogue government network that operates in the shadows using moles, patsies, and hitmen.
The “patsies” in 9-11 were the hijackers, who were duped by the CIA into carrying out the attacks. Bush was also a patsy, Tarpley says, because he was not part of the scheme but was forced to go along with it by being the messenger to the American people.
In fact, Tarpley explains, after the planes hit the twin towers and Bush was being jetted back to Washington, D.C. aboard Air Force One, a phone call came to the cockpit to tell them “The angel is next.” This was supposed to be a warning to the president that “Unless he falls in line, he would be next,” Tarpley said. And that was when Tarpley’s “hitmen” appeared in the form of F-16 bomber jets ready to shoot Air Force One down unless he accepted the rogue government’s demands.
The “angel is next” phone call has been written about before in more mainstream media outlets, including CBS. However, they have a far different depiction of events. According to CBS, the “angel is next” phone call was pertaining to a warning to the president that terrorists might attempt to attack Air Force One and the F-16 jets were sent in to protect the president – not kill him.
However, Tarpley would just say that the CBS account was just an example of a story told by a “mole” – a government employee whose job it is to spread disinformation and lies to keep the American public in the dark about the truth.
Among the truther theories, there were different accounts of “how” 9-11 happened. Some, like Tarpley, said the government made it happen to push its own agenda. Others, like blogger Mike Riveiro, thinks the government let it happen to push its own agenda. Most tend to believe that bin Laden was not killed earlier this year, but in 2007 or 2001, depending on who you’re talking to, with many pointing out bin Laden’s sea burial (which erased all evidence of if that man was really bin Laden) and the fact that every Navy Seal involved in the assassination died in a helicopter attack before they could come back to the U.S. and talk to the public.
However, the theories were not entirely dependent on speculation. Richard Gage, a soft-spoken, bespectacled architect who looks every bit the role of a professor, is a pivotal figure in the truther movement and founder of “Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth” uses science rather than political theories to explain that it was impossible for the twin towers to have collapsed the way they did. He also says that the third tower, WTC 7, is the “smoking gun” that proves the buildings were brought down with force other than planes and fire. Videos show WTC 7 free-falling at a rate that could only be caused by an explosion at the base of the building.
“Controlled demolitions can be done several different ways,” Gage said. “NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, claims they found no evidence of explosive demolitions at the twin towers. Later, they admit they never looked for it. Architects, engineers, scientists and many others looked for it and it was not hard to find,” he added.
In Gage’s presentation, he has video interviews with professional architects and engineers who explain that the twin towers were brought down with controlled demolitions, as well as firefighters and first responders who were at ground zero and say they heard an explosion go off before the third tower fell.
“I think I know an explosion when I hear it,” said Craig Bartmer, an NYPD First Responder, in the video.
It doesn't help anti-conspiracy theorists that WTC 7 had several high-level government offices in the building, including the FBI and CIA.
As for motive, there were also quite a few differing theories, but they all had Iraqi oil, Afghani mineral and natural gas abundance, and a reason to clamp down on Americans’ freedoms and enforce a Big Brother police state as prime motivations.
And if you don’t think the government is capable of killing over 3,000 people to push its agenda, Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst for over 25 years who has become a legend in the truther movement, says you have to look no further than Vietnam for proof. Approximately 60,000 Americans lost their lives in Vietnam, McGovern points out, for a cause that is even more obscure now than it was then.
Estimates put Vietnamese civilian casualties at approximately two million deaths.
McGovern, a practicing Catholic with a bushy white beard who teaches Bible classes at Church of the Savior in Washington, D.C., said that throughout the 9/11 debacle, the government has divided the people and taken advantage of our inclination to hate the “other.”
“Racism is our original sin,” he said. “It’s easy to hate the other. It’s even easier to be indifferent to the other. And indifference is the greater sin.”