9/11 Hit Piece in The New Statesmen (and my response to the Editor

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2006-09-08 20:27:06

Meet the No Planers Brendan O’Neill Monday 11th September 2006 The New Statesman www.newstatesman.com… They believe there weren’t any planes on 9/11, just missiles wrapped in holograms – and there weren’t any London terrorists on 7/7 either. The new-wave conspiracy theorists aren’t green-ink types: they’re educated; they have secret service connections; they live in Highgate. By Brendan O’Neill At first sight, David Shayler and Annie Machon’s home in Highgate – the leafiest of London’s leafy suburbs – looks like a picture of middle-class respectability. There are Japanese landscape paintings on the living-room walls. Shelves groan under the weight of hardback novels and books on politics. An Alsatian with a well-kept, glossy coat looks on curiously as Belinda McKenzie – the grandmotherly landlady of the house – serves tea in china cups with a plate of delicious shortbread biscuits. “Enjoy,” she says in a soft, plummy English accent. Then you notice the curiosities. On the table sits a document about the “controlled demolition” of the twin towers. The shelves hold books titled The 9/11 Commission Report: omissions and distortions and The New Pearl Harbor: disturbing questions about the Bush administration and 9/11. There’s a stack of colourful leaflets advertising a club night called Truth 9/11, to take place in Brixton in a week’s time, the “11” in “9/11” represented by two tall stereo speakers. DVDs litter a work desk. One is called 7/7: mind the gap. The cover of another, titled Loose Change, asks: “What if 9/11 were an inside job rather than the work of al-Qaeda . . . ?” This cluttered house in the heart of respectable, latte-drinking Highgate doubles as the hub of the British and Irish 9/11 Truth Campaign. It’s a loose group, founded in January 2004, which suspects precisely that 9/11 was an “inside job”, organised and executed by a “shadowy elite” made up of individuals from the FBI, the CIA, the arms industry and politics. Shayler and Machon – the boyfriend-and-girlfriend former spies who famously left MI5 in 1996 after becoming disgruntled – are its leading lights. They’ve gone from being the Posh and Becks of the whistle-blowing world to something very like the Richard and Judy of the 9/11 conspiracy-theory set. Sitting on the comfy couch, their cups of tea in hand, they try to convince me that the 11 September 2001 attacks were executed by elements in the west who wanted to launch wars and “make billions upon trillions of dollars”. “We know for certain that the official story of 9/11 isn’t true,” says Shayler. “The twin towers did not collapse because of planes and fire; they were brought down in a controlled demolition. The Pentagon was most likely hit by an American missile, not an aeroplane.” Machon nods. In black trousers and black top, this sophisticated blonde in her late thirties comes across more like a schoolmarm than a 9/11 anorak. “The Pentagon’s anti-missile defence system would definitely have picked up and dealt with a commercial airliner. We can only assume that whatever hit the Pentagon was sending a friendly signal. A missile fired by a US military plane would have sent a friendly signal.” She says this in a kind of Anna Ford-style newsreader’s voice, as if she were speaking the truth and nothing but the truth. She takes another sip of tea. Say the phrase “conspiracy theorist” (but don’t say it to Shayler and Machon if you can help it, because they angrily deny being conspiracy theorists) and most people will think of those nutty militiamen in redneck areas of America who hate Big Government, or of taxi drivers with possibly anti-Semitic leanings in some hot, dusty backwater of the Middle East who revel in telling western clients in particular: “America and the Jew did 9/11.” Yet, here in Highgate, I am talking to a man and woman who have worked in the British secret services and who, together with their landlady Belinda, a professional linguist, truly believe that American elements facilitated 9/11 in order to “justify their adventurism in oil-rich countries in the Middle East”, in Shayler’s words. Here we have a new kind of conspiracy theorist: the chattering conspiracist, respectable, well-read, articulate, but, I regret to report, no less cranky than those rednecks and misguided Kabul cabbies. The 9/11 Truth Campaign tries to distance itself from the green-ink loons who have been spreading rumours about 9/11 ever since the first plane slammed into the World Trade Center. “In London we meet socially on the first Monday of every month, and for a discussion on the third Monday of every month,” says the ever-chirpy Machon, as if describing a Women’s Institute get-together to discuss knitting, rather than a meeting of individuals who think a dark cabal of nutters controls the world. Its activists – many of whom are fairly well-to-do, and who include lecturers, film-makers and other whistle-blowers – pore over footage and photos of the events of 9/11, furiously debate them online, and argue that, scientifically, the official version of events doesn’t add up. For Belinda – who describes herself as the “tea-maker and dishwasher of the movement” and allows activists from outside London to stay at her home – this is about “getting to the historical truth of what happened”. Yet, for all their forensic pretensions, their views remain crankily conspiratorial and unfounded. Take the claim that a plane did not hit the Pentagon, which has been doing the rounds since the French journalist Thierry Meyssan published 9/11: the big lie in 2002. “Just look at the news footage,” says Shayler. “You won’t see any plane debris on the Pentagon lawn.” Truth-seekers on a mission True, but there was plenty of plane debris inside the Pentagon, where Flight 77 entered and exploded. There are numerous photographs of the blackened belly of the Pentagon crash site, taken by officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other rescue workers, which clearly show airliner wheel hubs, landing gear, part of a nose cone and bits of fuselage in the smouldering rubble (I hate to have to do this, but if you don’t believe me take a look here: [http://www.rense.com/general32/phot.htm]). What kind of warrior for historical truth doesn’t pay attention to basic photographic evidence? Or consider the claim that the twin towers were brought down in a controlled demolition (which would have involved sinister individuals planting tonnes of dynamite in the weeks prior to 9/11 without being spotted by any of the good citizens of New York). The US National Institute of Standards and Technology investigated the cause of the collapse – during which “some 200 technical experts reviewed tens of thousands of documents, interviewed more than 1,000 people, reviewed 7,000 segments of video footage and 7,000 photographs [and] analysed 236 pieces of steel” – and it found “no corroborating evidence” that the towers had been toppled by dynamite. There is a lot of scientific evidence there, yet it is ignored or discounted by the apparently scientifically minded truth-seekers of this campaign. At times, the line between these middle-class campaigners’ apparently “scientific investigations” and old-fashioned conspiracy-mongering seems uncomfortably thin. One of their leaflets has a web address for David Icke, the former sports presenter-turned-“Son of God” who thinks the world is run by a race of reptilian humanoids. Shayler says: “There is a Zionist conspiracy; that’s a fact. And they were behind 9/11.” Machon intervenes diplomatically: “Not everyone in the campaign shares that view.” Then things really go off the rails. I ask Shayler if it’s true he has become a “no planer” – that is, someone who believes that no planes at all were involved in the 9/11 atrocity. Machon looks uncomfortable. “Oh, fuck it, I’m just going to say this,” he tells her. “Yes, I believe no planes were involved in 9/11.” But we all saw with our own eyes the two planes crash into the WTC. “The only explanation is that they were missiles surrounded by holograms made to look like planes,” he says. “Watch the footage frame by frame and you will see a cigar-shaped missile hitting the World Trade Center.” He must notice that my jaw has dropped. “I know it sounds weird, but this is what I believe.” The 7/7 photo “forgery” What about 7/7? Some in the 9/11 Truth Campaign aren’t “really into 7/7”, in Belinda’s words. But Shayler is. He recently finished making 7/7: mind the gap, a film in which he suggests that, given the late running of trains on that fateful day last year, the four bombers could not have blown themselves up in London at the times claimed. He also believes that the closed-circuit TV image of the four men entering Luton Station is a “Photoshop job – a forgery, and a bad one at that”. He goes so far as to argue that those who forged the photo did it badly in order to send a signal to the rest of us. “This could be elements in the New World Order saying, ‘Look, we’re sick of lying. We’ve had enough.'” So have I. The thought of behind-the-scenes suits being cajoled by their evil paymasters to create an image of four rucksack-wearing terrorists in order to cover up their own bombing of London is just too ludicrous. These 9/11 truth campaigners merely add a supposedly scientific gloss to already existing conspiracy theories, trying to make the ridiculous seem respectable. In the process, they actually do a disservice to “historical truth”. History gets reduced to a mysterious force beyond our control, and politics – real politics – is imagined to be the preserve of unknown, faceless puppet-masters whom we can never hope to influence. And the rest of us are reduced to the status of helpless spectators, searching amid the rubble of 9/11 and the aftermath of 7/7 for signs of truth and meaning. This article first appeared in the New Statesman. For the latest in current and cultural affairs take out a print or online subscription. Sent to: sue@newstatesman.co…. Cc: brendan@newstatesman… Re: www.newstatesman.com… “Meet the No Planers”   Dear Madam/Sirs   I read this article with some interest, being as it was about the 9/11 Truth Movement. Many have been watching the media’s attempts to give balanced coverage of this most fundamentally disturbing and profound issue.   I have never read a full issue of your magazine, therefore I read the “About” section of your Website, from which I gleaned that the original magazine had   “the aim of permeating the educated and influential classes with socialist ideas. ”   Also, there is a quotation from Clifford Sharp   “We did not merely profess to have no political affiliations, we had none. We were soon to discover, however, that a great many people who profess to admire independent political thought are apt to be both puzzled and shocked when they come across it.”   It therefore would seem a promising platform from which 9/11 Truth may be discussed in a sober, analytical manner and with a balanced perspective, taking into account well-researched and diverse evidence. This type of approach would seem, to me, to be a pre-requisite for articles which had the goal of “permeating the educated and influential classes.”   I was therefore expecting a reasoned mention of: The very near free-fall speed of collapse of WTC 1 and 2 which, if we accept the Government’s Conspiracy theory, breaks the Laws of Physics. (Here’s a brief analysis I put together almost 1 year ago.) The free-fall speed of collapse of WTC 7, which was not hit by a plane. The utter destruction of WTC 1 & 2 into fine pulverised dust. The toxic air, with a pH of about 14 – something similar to caustic soda. The spread of wreckage in Shanksville – over and 8-mile wide area, from a plane which supposedly crashed into the ground. The formation of a group of academics (of which I am a member) called Scholars for 9/11 Truth – whose published articles, research and peer reviewed papers de-construct the Official Conspiracy Theory and expose many of the essential elements as being impossible or as being based on faulty, non-existent or fabricated evidence. Unfortunately, your article omitted all of these facts and, because of the number of “domestic details” it included  was rather more remeniscent of an article from “Hello” magazine. At this point, it is interesting to note your “high brow” publication being significantly “outdone” in terms of journalistic quality and integrity by an article in a “lower brow” publication – the Daily Mail.   www.dailymail.co.uk/…   Even better, their article is FREE to look at – yours, on the Website, is not. Your failure to investigate the voluminous facts and evidence which are the basis of what I have said above is clear. The immutable Law of Gravity and the facts of the Physics/Chemistry of burning kerosene/melting steel are blithely swept aside with some casual assumptions about photos of something at the Pentagon and the supposedly unanswerable question of “how could the demolition explosives have been planted”.   It is quite tiresome to read articles where our names are mentioned in close proximity to phrases like “green-ink loons” and “crankily conspiratorial”. However, it isn’t as tiresome as it could be, because the simple evidence of the freefall of the WTC proves that the official story is false, and such references in articles can therefore be shown to be “psychological decoys” designed to deflect the reader from looking at the evidence themselves. Those who support the Official Conspiracy Theory of 9/11 must reject the law of gravity as a “conspiracy theory”. Perhaps if they continue to do so, they will all float away into space, with a look of utter confusion on their faces.   Those of us who know basic the truth about 9/11 (that it was an Inside Job which had little if anything to do with Al Qaida) are, once the irritation has died down, encouraged by the mainstream media’s attempts to ridicule us (as I was ridiculed in the UK Daily Telegraph some weeks ago). It means we are “making progress”.   I therefore say the same to you and Brendan O’Neill as I did to Susan Harris of The Independent – perhaps it is now time to “stand up and be counted” – the mainstream media is now at a juncture where people may reject you, and what you are standing for, as your establishments, either through your action or inaction, now fail us in the same way as those politicians, that you are often so fond of vilifying, do. Make no mistake – this issue should be on the front pages of ALL the newspapers, but the fact that it is not strongly indicates that the media are gatekeepers of the truth about the real crimes of 9/11. To test this if my analysis is correct, I also make you the same offer  I made to the Guardian Newspaper – I will write an article for you, free, for you to publish in whatever medium you choose – and it will be copyright free. Give me a word count. Funny, no one’s yet taken me up on this offer.   If you wish to hear a Professor of Theology speak with authority on the 9/11 Cover-up, it’s history and what it might mean for future global geo-politics, you could do worse than send a representative to our event, details of which are described in the Press Release below. He hasn’t got a “plum English accent” though (I don’t know why I even mentioned that actually, as it has no relevance to any real issues).   As a closing comment, I myself am not influential, nor do I want to be – but I do consider myself to be educated (and hope that I have presented ample evidence here to back up this statement – or “claim” in journospeak), and it is one of my goals in life to offer information to others in that they may become educated too.   Yours Sincerely,   Andrew Johnson British 9/11 Truth Campaign (www.nineeleven.co.uk) Scholars for 9/11 Truth (www.st911.org)  22 Mear DriveBorrowashDerbyshireDE72 3QWtel: 01332 674271 Was 9/11 an inside job?   The 911 Truth Campaign (Britain & Ireland) will be hosting a presentation by David Ray Griffin, a retired Professor of Theology, which addresses the question “Was 9/11 an inside job?”. Now for the first time in the UK, David Ray Griffin will present his case for the urgent need to re-open the investigation into the events of 11th September 2001.   The presentation will be held on 7.30pm – Saturday 9th September 2006, at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. (Nearest station is Holborn – Central and Piccadilly lines – approx 3 min walk. Also within reasonable walking distance are Chancery Lane and Russell Square. See www.conwayhall.org.u… for venue information.) Doors will be opened at 6.45pm. Tickets can be purchased on the door for  £12.50 (Concessions £10.00). Some advance tickets may still be available – the Ticket Hotline number is 0845 108 1736, and Online Booking can be made through www.911truthtotnes.c…, or by e-mailing tickets@911truthtotn…   According to what was reported on September 11th 2001, terrorists hijacked aircraft and crashed them into World Trade Centre buildings in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC. A fourth hijacked plane is alleged to have crashed in Pennsylvania, following a struggle between passengers and the hijackers.   It seems strange to some people that anyone should question any of the essential elements of this story, which has been repeated many times over – in print and in other News Media, and is now widely recognized as the beginning of the “War on Terror”. This war on terror is now a basis on which many significant elements of foreign policy, and even domestic laws, have been based.   Even at the time of the attacks, a small group of people openly questioned the story that the media presented to the public. Few people took this skeptical group seriously, perhaps in part because of the shocking nature of the attacks and the significant loss of life that they caused.   In the 5 years since the attacks, however, many issues have been re-examined by a number of people and serious questions have arisen, many of which were raised by 9/11 victims’ families. These questions were not addressed by the 9/11 (Kean) Commission. Despite this, the Commission Report is regarded by many people, including the British Government, to be the most accurate description and explanation of the events immediately before and on 9/11.   The Kean Commission Report has some extremely significant omissions – the main one being the lack of a discussion or analysis of the Collapse of World Trade Centre (WTC) Building 7. This building, supposedly damaged by small fires (which burned for about 10 hours) and, on one side, by debris ejected from WTC 1 and/or 2, collapsed symmetrically, to the ground in 6.6 seconds at about 5:20 pm on Sept 11th.   It is often said that those who want to investigate the unexplained collapse of WTC 7 are “conspiracy theorists” and it seems that it is this very labelling has deterred a great many people from looking at the facts related not only to the collapse of WTC 7, but those related to the collapse of WTC buildings 1 and 2.   Professor David Ray Griffin is one of a small number of people with significant academic credentials who has looked into these disturbing questions. An author of over 20 books on Religion and Theology, Professor Griffin stated in an LA Times article (28 Aug 2005), he “believed the official account for about 18 months” – considering it to be a “blowback theory” – the attacks were simply a result of US foreign policy.  Then, when he had analysed a timeline of 9/11 events, which referenced mainstream sources, he became suspicious that the official story was false, in key respects, so he began to research further for himself. In 2004, he published the results of this research in The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11. In this book (which has a foreword by Michael Meacher, MP) he also posed some questions about the motive for the 9/11 attacks in the context of a document called Rebuilding America’s Defences. This document, which was published by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), states that PNAC is a project “to promote American global leadership” and it later refers to the threat of a “surprise” attack on America “like a New Pearl Harbour”, which could then afford an opportunity to “transform” America’s defences. Professor Griffin also points out that the official account of the 9/11 attack is itself a conspiracy theory.   Professor Griffin published his second book on 9/11 a few months later. In The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, Professor Griffin argues that “omissions and distortions” in the report amount to a cover-up by government officials and he concludes that the available evidence suggests that the Bush administration was complicit in the 9/11. This is also strongly indicated by the fact that the Official Account of the collapse of the WTC buildings is not consistent with the Laws of Physics.   In his latest book, Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action  (supported by the US Presbyterian Church), Griffin describes how the United States is the world’s “chief embodiment of demonic power” and asserts that events such as those on 9/11 are a part of a long history of ‘false-flag attacks’ – orchestrated by governments against their own people to garner popular support for military action.

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