911blogger.com seeks to cover a broad spectrum of news, posts in the blogs section are the responsibility of the poster, readers are encouraged to check the facts and form their own conclusions.
Oscar winning writer-director Oliver Stone's new book, The Untold History of the United States, and accompanying televised documentary, looks back at events that helped shape America's complex history over the 20th century.
Stone says the aim of his project is to analyse "what America has done wrong, in the hope it can change".
The BBC's Komla Dumor was joined by Oliver Stone and by his co-author Peter Kuznick, a history professor at the American University in Washington.
Families of soldiers killed in Iraq reacted with dismay yesterday after it emerged that Sir John Chilcot’s report into the war has been hit by yet more delays after objections over declassifying Tony Blair's private messages.
The Iraq Inquiry, set up by Gordon Brown to find the truth about Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War, remains at loggerheads with the Cabinet Office over the publication of classified documents.
It means Sir John’s report will not be published until late next year at the earliest – two years behind schedule – though if the issue is not resolved soon it could be 2014 before the report sees the light of day.
Reg Keys, a founder of the campaign group Military Families Against the War and the father of L/Cpl Tom Keys, who was killed in Iraq in 2003, said the delay was “frustrating” and would prolong the agony of families like his.
This message may not have much to do with 9/11 but it does in one important respect: the unrelenting pursuit of the truth and justice.
In 1989, a tragedy unfolded at a British football stadium called Hillsborough at the beginning of a football match in which 96 Liverpool fans died as a consequence of poor planning, no crowd control and a lack of a disaster and emergency plan.
Last week, a report was published which exposed the scale of the cover-up by the Police in their failures to stop the tragedy. This included the police altering over 100 statements, telling police officers to say they weren't at the stadium and collected DNA evidence of those who died in order to see if they could find any criminal past that would help them justify the actions of those fans which led to their deaths. It was also revealed that 41 of the 96 should not have even died.
As a consequence of this report, I managed to get a letter published in the UK metro which has a readership of over 3 million stating that the conspiracy theory label is insulting and derogatory toward those who seek the truth over injustice.
It was edited slightly, but the essence of the letter remains:
A competition in England is open to entries from 14-16 year olds
All students have to do is tell us how they think 9/11 changed the world. We want them to use their imagination by sending us an original, creative and thoughtful piece of work.
Students can send us either:
a short film (under 75mb)
a 1200 word (approx.) essay
Professor Chris Husbands (CHAIR) - Director Institute of Education
Lord Puttnam - Film Producer, Education Advocate, Environmentalist, Politician
Charles Saumarez Smith CBE - Secretary and Chief Executive Royal Academy of Arts
John Simpson CBE - BBC World Affairs Editor
Cliff Chanin - Director of Education and Public Programmes, The National September 11 Memorial and Museum
Sally Coates - Principal, Burlington Danes Academy
Dr Yvonne Burne OBE - 9 11 London Project Trustee and Ex Headteacher of City of London School for Girls
Peter Rosengard - Life Insurance Salesman (Founder and Chairman of 9 11 London Project)
Mark Napier - Independent Consultant in Finance and Development. UK 9/11 Family Member
9/11 case that 'highlights the danger of secret court plan': U.S. intelligence used similar powers to hide failings, claims Tory MP
A senior Tory MP last night issued a warning over the dangers of Government plans for ‘secret courts’ as he claimed U.S. intelligence services used similar powers to cover up embarrassing details of how the 9/11 attacks could have been prevented.
Former shadow home secretary David Davis used Parliamentary privilege to allege that officials squandered the chance to have access to al-Qaeda and Taliban calls and emails two years before the attacks in New York.
Mr Davis told MPs that U.S. authorities then used controversial powers to shut down court cases that would have exposed their blunder.
This probably won't come as too much as a surprise!
The gunman killed in France was on a US no-fly list and French intelligence had interviewed him as recently as November 2011.
France is facing calls for an inquiry into possible intelligence failures after a series of murders by a gunman in the south of the country.
Mohammed Merah - who claimed to have al-Qaeda training - was killed by a police sniper in Toulouse on Thursday.
It has now emerged that he had been under surveillance for months and had been on the US no-fly list.
Merah, 23, carried out three separate attacks, killing four people at a Jewish school and three soldiers.
He had said he was acting to "avenge Palestinian children" and protest against French military interventions overseas.
On Thursday French officials admitted that Merah had been followed by intelligence agencies for years.
They said that as recently as November 2011 he was questioned by France's DCRI domestic intelligence agency to explain his trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Commentators in France and abroad have criticised the intelligence services for failing to track Merah closely enough.
I sent a letter to my two local papers, hoping they might get published. Not only did both papers publish the letter, one chose it as letter of the week.
The Evening post has a circulation of about 15,000 and the Chronicle has a circulation of about 7,000.
Information on the Lion statue can be found here:
Probably getting a bit bored of it all by now!
Here is a long article from the Independent so here is a selection:
Conspiracy theories are cultural viruses. Once they infect the zeitgeist, it is extremely difficult to stamp them out – no matter how solid the evidence against them is. Studies have shown that people who are prone to believe in conspiracies display an innate bias towards information which supports that conspiracy, no matter how spurious that information is and no matter how solid the evidence against the conspiracy is.
Today, there are more conspiracy theories and more conspiracy theory believers than ever before. They range from the simply fanciful – such as the theory that Kentucky Fried Chicken is owned by the Ku Klux Klan which laces the food with a drug that makes only black men impotent – to the labyrinthine, such as the intricacy of theories around 9/11 and the death of John F Kennedy.
Once the quaint preserve of anoraks (think JFK) and X Files fans (alien abduction, faked moon landings and Area 51), they have now become a malevolent modern-day tool which nefarious organisations use to further their aims. Jamie Bartlett, head of the Violence and Extremism Programme at independent think tank Demos, has studied this worrying trend.
There are several reasons why conspiracy theories are increasing. Mainly it is because the internet has made it easy to propagate rumour and supposition on a global scale. Social networking sites allow conspiracy theorists to seek out and link with like-minded individuals. Whereas past conspiracies, like those surrounding the death of JFK, took years to formulate and disseminate, today's conspiracies develop almost organically. Immediately after 9/11, the internet was abuzz with individual voices questioning the official version of events. These nebulous ideas were able to crystallise as theorists discussed and developed their ideas and formed into a set of theories adopted by groups such as the 9/11 Truth Movement.
The number of people who believe conspiracy theories is staggering. According to various recent surveys, a third of Brits believe Princess Diana was murdered (a Daily Mail survey), a quarter believe the moon landings were faked (from Engineering and Technology magazine), nearly half of all Americans do not believe global warming is man-made (a Yale University survey) and 84 per cent of them believe 9/11 was an inside job (a New York Times/CBS poll).
Footage that kills the conspiracy theories: Unseen 9/11 footage shows WTC Building 7 consumed by fire
Its dramatic collapse several hours after the Twin Towers fell triggered a decade of conspiracy theories.
Those who believed that the September 11 attacks on America were not carried out by Al Qaeda terrorists pointed to the fall of World Trade Center Building 7 as proof of their wild claims.
But a newly released video appears to finally prove once and for all that Building 7 was brought down by the intense heat of the blazing World Trade Center - and not explosives, as conspiracy theorists claim.
The video shows up-close shots of the lower floors of World Trade Center Building 7, located just across the street from the Twin Towers, and focuses in on the exterior metal beams of Building 7 as they begin to buckle as they are overheated.
The buckling led to floors falling in on one another, causing the building to collapse.
Its not the article itself, but notice anything strange about the cartoon?
Is the first MSM recognition of explosions since the initial reports on 9/11 itself?
Explosions triggered by molten aircraft metal reacting with water from sprinkler systems may have felled the Twin Towers after the 9/11 attacks, according to a new theory.
Just before the two World Trade Centre skyscrapers in New York collapsed on September 11 2001, powerful blasts were heard within the buildings and a leading materials scientist says they could be the key to the dramatic conclusion of the terrorist attacks.
Over-heated steel beams have been blamed for the towers suddenly crashing to the ground after they were hit by two passenger jets.
But Norwegian expert Dr Christian Simensen believes the powerful explosions were caused by a chemical reaction between molten aluminium from the aircraft and water ripped out the buildings' internal structure.
And from Starbucks, I went down the rabbit hole. I found myself at a conference on Walker Street called 'How The World Changed After 9/11'. It was packed, but I managed to slide in at the back, to hear a guy called Webster Tarpley chant his own list of names. The names of the 46 military exercises and hijack drills (called things like 'Vigilant Guardian') that were actually taking place on the morning of September 11. "The greatest density of drills in US military history," Tarpley said.
What I heard, from speaker after speaker, was a heartfelt desire to turn away from the path of destruction, militarism and lies that America has been set upon after 9/11. Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst, mourned for Iraq: "One million dead, 4m displaced, and that's a victory?" He sees the failure of Americans to comprehend the scale of the destruction wrought under their flag as nothing less than racist.
A former FBI agent has told the BBC that he is being prevented from telling the truth about the events of 9/11 and what has happened since.
Ali Soufan alleges that crucial intelligence was not passed on from the CIA before the attacks in 2001.
He has written a book detailing some of his claims and has been speaking to the BBC's Security Correspondent Gordon Corera in his first on camera interview on the subject.
In response to the allegations in this report the CIA issued a statement to the BBC that said: "Any suggestion that the CIA purposely refused to share critical lead information on the 9/11 plots with the FBI is baseless."
"The suggestion that the Central Intelligence Agency has requested redactions on this publication because it does not like the content is ridiculous."
The CIA decline to comment on the record about the accusations regarding waterboarding and interrogation.
Comment in today's UK London Evening Standard by Sam Leith, thought I would share.
"Ten years on from the horror of 9/11, I find myself returning to a counterfactual that has preoccupied me on and off ever sice. A thought experiment: what if, instead of responding as they did, the US had made the ultimate gesture of a hyperpower's self-confidence and simply turned the other cheek?
If they'd mourn their dead, rebuit the city, and treated the murders as a police matter - a grotesque crime rather than a military or political statement worthy of a response in kind?
Would it really have encouraged al-Qaeda? Or would it rather have made them seem vicious and small? And would the world, on balance, have been a better and safer place 10 years on than it is now? It's an open question - but I strongly suspect that it would."
"There is something sinister in the term Homeland Security. Homeland sounds a little too like Fatherland for comfort, a place demanding unthinking loyalty. Very un-American, one might imagine, but then Americans are not as free-wheeling as they like to think they are. Most of them like rules, enforced with a brand of passive aggression all the more unsettling for being delivered with a smile as bright as it is indifferent.
They don’t even manage the smile at JFK when you hand over your passport. Well, some do. Things have lightened a little since the early post 9/11 era when any foreigner was an object of suspicion. The Orwellian technology remains, however: the fingerprint scanner and camera, adding you to some vast, churning database, and increasingly for those boarding flights in the United States, the hugely intrusive whole-body scanner. Land of the Free-ish."
Deputy of MI5
On the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the United States on 11 September, the former director-general of MI5 reflects on the lasting significance of that day. Was it a "terrorist" crime, an act of war or something different? She offers a unique perspective on the event, its impact on the world and the repercussions which are still being felt today.
The BBC censorship has been lenient. Grey Owl has had a long post accepted and there is an interesting comment by Mike Ellis.
There is a link to Leslie Robertson's website, a structural engineer who worked on the original design.
http://www.lera.com/sep11.htm (interestingly the page mentions WTC7)
"We designed the towers to resist the accidental impact of a Boeing 707, perhaps lost in the fog while seeking to land. The impact of the Boeing 767s, commandeered by the terrorists, even though larger and flying much faster, was still unable to bring down the towers. The fire-resistive systems, however, did not and could not have contemplated the subsequent fire fueled by thousands of gallons of jet fuel."
There is a contact e-mail address at the bottom.
The entries on the blog are regular newsletters, but given we are at the 10 anniversary I decided to write an entry on how we may be able to use psychological research to engage more constructively with others. I have a degree in psychology (1999) but still have an interest in social psychological research.
“You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, they will fight to protect it.” - Morpheus, The Matrix
I am a closet conspiract theorist
It was probably going to be the first of many meetings. Over the last few years, I had been told there is something wrong with me though I could not understand what it was. I had been encouraged by my doctor to visit a self-help group and, so here I was faced with a circle of chairs, all of them occupied except one. I sat down and I smiled nervously. The occupants of the other chairs nodded and smiled in my direction.
With the advent of the internet conspiracy theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks have reached a larger audience than perhaps any other event and have raged on for nearly ten years.
The Conspiracy Files: Ten Years On aimed to put an end to this, detailing each preposterous theory and then shooting it down with fairly incontrovertible proof.
The error however was in entertaining the theories at all and the documentary lingered on each hypothesis for a little too long for no reason other than sheer sensationalism, adding legitimacy to a largely YouTube-based debate - an arena in which streams of Justin Bieber songs altered to sound as though they were performed by chipmunks can garner 47 million views.
All the classics were here; the exploding column supports on lower Twin Tower floors, the small hole made in the Pentagon wall, the debris found miles from the United 93 crash site.
Sherlock Holmes said that when you’ve eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth’ one conspiracy theorist informed us.
Britain faced no threat from Iraq when Tony Blair decided to take the country to war, the head of MI5 at the time of the invasion has declared.
Baroness Manningham-Buller disclosed that she had warned the then Labour Prime Minister that the UK would be at greater risk of terrorist attacks if he pursued military action against Saddam Hussein’s regime.
The former director general of the domestic security service, who retired in 2007, described the Iraq conflict as a “distraction” from efforts to tackle al Qaida and warned that more terrorist attacks on British soil seemed likely.
Her comments, in an interview to mark the start of her three Reith Lectures, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 this week, represent the most outspoken criticisms to date of the 2003 conflict by such a senior figure in the intelligence services.
Mr Blair, and his former communications director, Alastair Campbell, have faced repeated criticism over the Labour government’s public case for military action.
Now has over 600 comments.
It may be 10 years since the attacks in the US on 11 September, but conspiracy theories have not faded over time, says Mike Rudin.
Numerous official reports have been published since the Twin Towers fell, but just when a piece of evidence casts doubt on one theory, the focus then shifts to the next "unanswered question".
Here are five of the most prominent 9/11 conspiracy theories circulating in online communities.
1. Failure to intercept the hijacked planes
2. Collapse of the Twin Towers
3. Attack on the Pentagon
4. The fourth plane - United Airlines flight 93
5. Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7
this diagram is meant to be a general overview of the connections between all the different aspects of the evidence. I think it is generally accurate but there might be some things wrong with it. Let me know what you think.
Each of the magnifying glasses initiates a popup on the website to a list of questions. A fair bit of other stuff on the site as well.
I have links to 6 different playlists on my website (www.berkshire911truth.org.uk) which correspond to the different parts of the diagram.
A few pro-truth comments after the article
For their new book, 'The Eleventh Day’, Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan trawled through thousands of documents, piecing together a definitive account of the attacks.
On September 11, bereaved family members will mark the 10th anniversary of the cataclysmic terrorist attacks on American cities. They will gather around the pools of remembrance at the newly opened memorial, where the names of the 2,982 known victims who died on the day and in the earlier bombing of 1993 are engraved on parapets of bronze. President Obama and his predecessor, George W Bush will be on hand.
Two official inquiries have investigated the who, the how, and the why of 9/11. A decade on, however, many questions remain. Osama bin Laden and his terrorist cohort plotted and executed the operation, but did they act alone? Only days after the onslaught, President Bush's defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, said the terrorists "live and work and function and are fostered and encouraged, if not just tolerated, by a series of countries… I know a lot… It's a sensitive matter."
Published for the tenth anniversary of 9/11, this new edition of the authorized report is limited to the Commission’s riveting account—which was a finalist for the National Book Award—of the attack and its background, examining both the attackers and the U.S. government, the emergency response, and the immediate aftermath. It includes new material from Philip Zelikow, the Commission’s executive director, on the Commission’s work, the fate of its recommendations, and the way this struggle has evolved right up to the present day.
Those in schools with high numbers of Muslim children are particularly concerned about talking about the atrocity - despite it being arguably the defining event of the 21st century so far.
Alison Kitson, faculty director at the Institute of Education at London University, which carried out the survey, said teachers should "grasp the nettle" and tackle the subject. They should credit children with more maturity, she said.
Four in five teachers (81 per cent) said that when teaching the topic, it was a challenge to break "students' stereotypes and prejudices about other cultures".
The academics polled almost 200 teachers across the country and also visited eight schools: four in London, and one each in Leeds, Worcestershire, Oxford and Surrey.
At two schools, teachers showed "serious resistance" to raising the subject, while in another there was "some resistance" from staff.
A message I received on Facebook (and I think I know what your response might be!):
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT 9/11 WAS A CONSPIRACY?
What do you think happened on 9/11?
Was 9/11 the work of Al Qaeda? Or perhaps you think the public aren’t being told the whole story?
Who do you think was responsible for committing one of the biggest atrocities of the 21st Century?
BBC Three and Renegade Pictures are looking for young people to go on a road trip across New York to investigate what happened on that fateful day.
If you subscribe to conspiracy theories, then please contact the team ASAP at
therese dot byrne at renegadepictures dot co dot uk
Real name Anthony John Hill, he was acquitted of perverting the course of justice after sending his DVD "7/7 Ripple Effect" to the trial judge and jury foreman of a case involving Waheed Ali, 25, Sadeer Saleem, 28, and Mohammed Shakil, 32. They were being tried at Kingston Crown Court, England, wrongfully accused of helping the four accused individuals of the London 7/7/2005 bombings.
He's recently taken on the issue of bipolar disorder amongst many other topics in his live stand-up shows.
But there's one cause that Charlie Sheen has been apparently shy of talking about recently - his conspiracy theories surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York.
Sheen has been vocal in the past about the attacks, asserting that the World Trade Centre, in his view, was blown up in a 'controlled demolition'.
Now conspiracy group The 9/11 Truth Movement are threatening to protest at his live shows, accusing him of neglecting to talk about the matter.
Mark Dice, a prominent member of the organisation, told TMZ that the former Two And A Half Men star has abandoned them after once being a keen supporter.
He said that Sheen should be using the limelight he is currently enjoying to promote the group.
'[He should be] asking hard questions about what happened on 9/11 and the resulting wars ... not bragging about smoking crack and sleeping with hookers,' Mr Dice told the website.
Would you give a journalism student a helping hand? I think she might appreciate it, but be nice! :-)
"You're the Voice" by John Farnham
I was inspired to create this after listening to the song.
Hope you like it.