by Doug Erickson
Wisconsin State Journal :: LOCAL/WISCONSIN :: B1
Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005
Link to Original
A noted Christian theologian suggested Monday in Madison that the Bush administration not only had prior knowledge of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but probably helped orchestrate them.
David Ray Griffin, 65, a retired professor at the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, Calif., said the government’s version of the attacks is so implausible it can’t possibly be true.
The numerous inconsistencies and far-fetched explanations from Bush officials “show that the attacks must have been planned and executed by our own political and military leaders,” Griffin said.
He thinks Bush endorsed the attacks to gain support for a military buildup and global domination effort that began with the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Griffin is part of a small group of scholars and others questioning the government’s story and the conclusions of the bipartisan 9/11 commission that investigated the attacks.
Griffin’s speech before about 450 people at Bascom Hall on the UW-Madison campus was considered a major victory by his supporters in that it was taped by C-SPAN for later broadcast on the public service cable channel. No air dates were available Monday.
Event organizer Kevin Barrett, founder of a Muslim-Jewish-Christian alliance called MUJCA-NET, told the crowd C-SPAN should be applauded “for having the guts to put 9/11 truth on national TV.”
Barrett said his group paid Griffin’s airfare and was hoping to provide an additional $100 to cover expenses. Otherwise, Griffin did not charge for his appearance.
Griffin has written extensively on the origins of evil and the relationship between science and religion. He has authored or edited 24 books, including “The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11.”
In the Sept. 11 attacks, armed terrorists hijacked four passenger jets. Two crashed into the World Trade Center in New York and a third crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.
According to the government, the fourth jet crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., although Griffin questions this and suggests the damage may have been caused by a military plane or missile.
Griffin operates from the basic premise that 19 Arab-Muslim hijackers could not have outwitted this country’s extensive military defense system without inside help. Among his arguments:
* Fighter jets typically are sent out immediately upon any sign that a plane may have been hijacked. They usually arrive no later than 10 to 20 minutes. Yet in this case, the military failed to stop the attacks, then gave three conflicting versions of why it deviated from standard operating procedure, Griffin said.
* The Pentagon is probably the best-defended structure on the planet. How could a commercial airliner fly undetected and toward the Defense Department for 40 minutes and not be shot down by the Pentagon’s anti-aircraft system?
* Bush lingered for more than 15 minutes at an elementary school after learning of the second jet crashing into the World Trade Center. Given that Bush’s itinerary had been highly publicized, why wasn’t the Secret Service concerned that he might be a target of a surprise terrorist attack?
“This behavior makes sense only if the head of the Secret Service detail knew that the planned attacks did not include an attack on the president. And how did they know this for certain unless the attacks were being carried out by people within our own government?” Griffin said.
* The straight-down, free-fall collapse of the World Trade Center buildings suggests a controlled demolition. A plane crash and fire could not have caused such a collapse, Griffin said.
These examples and others “are sufficient to suggest that there is no escape from the frightful conclusion that 9/11 was engineered by the Bush administration and its Pentagon,” he said.
He closed by saying religious people must seek the truth about 9/11, create new means to spread the information and work to thwart Bush’s attempts at global domination.
The crowd gave Griffin a standing ovation.
Rob Helfenstein, 41, a floor installer from Waukesha, came away convinced. “Governments have always used fake terror to manipulate their people,” he said. “History hasn’t changed.”
But his friend, Dave Balistreri, 35, a construction consultant from Waukesha, said he entered and left the lecture hall skeptical. Although Balistreri said the Bush administration probably isn’t telling the whole truth, “I think the level of complicity is much, much less than (Griffin) is suggesting.”