Monday, October 17, 2005

Bleier: Review Esssy: Griffin on 9/11 as an inside job

Bleier: Review essay: Griffin on 9/11 as an inside job

Here’s a link and the first few paragraphs of my article summarizing some of the evidence suggesting that the official story of 9/11 is false and indeed, that 9/11 was an inside job.

I have organized the article chiefly around the work of David Ray Griffin who to my mind has written the most plausible, accessible and comprehensive books outlining the evidence against the official story.

As indicated, the article below is intended as Part 1 of a larger work, which will review many of the major events and circumstances surrounding 9/11.

9/11, An Inside Job?
A Review Essay based on David Ray Griffin’s research

Part I

by Ronald Bleier

June 2005

David Ray Griffin: The New Pearl Harbor Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11 , Massachusetts: Olive Branch Press (2004)

David Ray Griffin: The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions And Distortions. Massachusetts: Olive Branch Press (2005)

A: The air defense stand-down
We must speak the truth about terror. Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th, malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists themselves, away from the guilty.
President G.W. Bush to the U.N. General Assembly, November 10, 2001

Was 9/11 an inside job? David Ray Griffin addresses this question in two books that critically examine the official account of the events of 9/11. Griffin’s books are masterpieces of concise compilations of the available plausible evidence suggesting that the attacks must have resulted from complicity at the highest levels of the United States government. This review essay treats both books as a unit, summarizes some of his most important findings, and includes relevant material from other researchers.

Like most Americans, Griffin, a retired professor of Philosophy at the Claremont School of Theology (California), at first viewed critics of the Bush administration’s account as crackpots. It seemed to him that conspiracy theories on this subject were below the threshold of possibility. In the 18 months following 9/11, he had not looked at any of the evidence challenging the government’s theory –- that the attacks were the responsibility of 19 Arab hijackers led by Osama Bin Laden. It seemed to him, as he writes in his introduction, “beyond belief that the Bush administration – even the Bush administration -- would do such a heinous thing.” (The New Pearl Harbor, [NPH], xvii-xviii)

But in the spring of 2003 a colleague prodded him to look at researcher Paul Thompson’s 9/11 timeline that is strictly limited to mainstream sources.[1] Griffin was “surprised, even amazed, to see how much evidence he had found that points to the conclusion that the Bush administration did indeed intentionally allow the attacks of 9/11 to happen.” Griffin began to look at the work of Nafeez Ahmed, an independent researcher in England, whose book “directly challenges the accepted wisdom about 9/11 which is that it resulted from a breakdown within and among our intelligence agencies. Ahmed, like Thompson, suggests that the attacks must have resulted from complicity in high places, not merely from incompetence in lower places.” Taken together, Griffin concludes, Ahmed and Thompson “provided a strong prima facie case for this contention.” Because the work of Ahmed and Thompson were not likely to reach many American readers, and because of the U.S. media’s failure to provide an in depth investigation, Griffin decided to write a magazine article which grew into his first book, The New Pearl Harbor. (NPH, xviii-xix)[2]

Griffin’s Title: The New Pearl Harbor
Griffin explains that the title of his first book, The New Pearl Harbor (NPH), alludes, in part, simply to the pointed references to Pearl Harbor that were made in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks. For example, President Bush wrote in his diary that evening: “The Pearl Harbor of the 21st century took place today.” Henry Kissinger in an online post on 9/11 wrote that he hoped that the U.S. government’s response “will end the way that the attack on Pearl Harbor ended – with the destruction of the system that is responsible for it.” (NPH, xi)

The title also has a deeper meaning. Griffin cites a commentary by John Pilger suggesting that the events of 9/11 presented an opportunity that was predicted in 2000 by soon-to-be top Bush administration officials. The neoconservative Project for the New American Century September 2000 document, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” written or subscribed to by such figures as Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz, reasoned that the changes they had in mind for the direction of U.S. policy would be difficult to achieve “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor.” (NPH, xi) Griffin’s title is a reference to the Bush administration’s opportunistic use of the 9/11 terror events to embark on a plan of “aggressive imperialism” that has led to two wars, to sharp increases in military spending, a dramatic shift towards a national security state and a sustained attack on civil liberties. (NPH, xii)

Why a second book on 9/11?
As his title indicates, Professor Griffin’s second book on 9/11, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions And Distortions (O&D), is intended as a response to the 9/11 Commission Report (July 2004), which gained immediate mainstream popularity and credibility. The New Pearl Harbor can be read as an investigation into an extraordinary crime perpetrated by the U.S. government on its own people, and Omissions and Distortions as an expose of the cover up of the crime (although each book contains elements of both). Readers open to the message of The New Pearl Harbor may divide as to the implications over the level of the Bush administration’s complicity in the terror events. Some may take the view that the success of the attacks was due merely to administration incompetence, combined with understandable mistakes, some foreknowledge and a willingness to let it happen, roughly the LIHOP school (Let It Happen On Purpose). Although Griffin presents considerable evidence supporting the stronger conclusions of the MIHOP school (Made It Happen On Purpose), many readers may assume that that evidence could be explained away.

However, readers of Griffin’s second book (especially after having read the first) are more likely to find that it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the White House must have been deeply involved in planning and executing the 9/11 attacks. The difference is that readers can see that although the 9/11 Commission had the opportunity to rebut the allegations summarized in the first book, they simply ignored most of them.

The strength and effectiveness of Griffin’s work comes in part from his mastery of the subject, the depth of his research, his brilliant organizational ability and the clarity with which he presents extremely detailed and complicated information. Those who agree with the author’s fundamental assumption, that there is a strong prima facie case for critically examining the official story, are likely to experience a sense of relief that an independent and competent authority is finally pulling back the immense curtain of fog behind which the terror attacks are still hidden. Griffin’s work empowers and helps to unify his readers who were confused and isolated by the shock of the attacks and their aftermath.

A hallmark of Griffin’s writing is his measured language. He is as precise as possible, cautiously never going beyond known facts and reasonable common sense deductions. In The New Pearl Harbor, while he presents information that could plausibly suggest the highest possible level of official complicity, Griffin pretty much limits himself to calling for an independent investigation of the many troubling and substantial issues raised by the 9/11 events.

In his second book, published after it became clear to Griffin and many other skeptics that there was to be no credible independent inquiry into the 9/11 events, the tone is often stronger and Griffin goes as far as speaking of the 9/11 Report’s “audacious lies,” in addition to detailing its often breathtaking “omissions and distortions.”

Nevertheless, for the most part, even in his second book, he conservatively limits himself to the conclusions that can fairly be drawn from the available evidence. Again Griffin shrinks from coming right out and accusing the Bush administration of planning and executing the 9/11 attacks. Rather he concludes his inquiry with a question: Why would the people in charge of writing the 9/11 Commission Report engage in such extraordinary deception if they were not trying to cover up very high crimes? (O&D, 291)


Griffin begins The New Pearl Harbor by examining some of the commonly accepted notions of the events of 9/11/2001. Critics claim that not one of the planes that hit the Twin Towers and the Pentagon should have reached its target, let alone all three of them. In the normal course of events, military jets would have intercepted and if necessary shot down the errant airliners before they reached their targets. There are troubling aspects with Flight 93, the plane that reportedly went down in Shankesville, Pennsylvania. Skeptics cite testimony and other reasons to think that the U.S. Air Force shot it down. Moreover, the official story about the collapse of the Twin Towers and Building 7 of the World Trade Center is not credible. The commonly accepted view is that the Twin Towers collapsed due to the impact of the planes and the resulting fires and Building 7 from fire alone, but skeptics believe that they collapsed because of preplanned controlled demolitions. Finally, there are disturbing questions about the behavior of President Bush and the Secret Service that day that could point to guilty foreknowledge of a U.S. government conspiracy. (NPH, 3)

(For the continuation of this article, click on the link below or write to