San Diego CityBeat alt. newsweekly features tepid 9/11 truth editorial

San Diego CityBeat newsweekly this week ran an editorial on the editor's encounter w/ a 9/11 Truth activist. I personally felt the thing to be painfully self-conscious; he was more worried about the image or political consequences of considering the evidence of 9/11, than bringing up many of the glaring holes in the official conspiracy theory. But at least, he was relatively opened minded about it. Perhaps with some more emails he can get past the introduction of Griffin's book.
here's the link:
here's the story:
"Truths and conspiracies"
by David Rolland

Peter Holmes had given up on waiting for me to return from a delicious chicken taco lunch last Wednesday and was walking down the hall when I got back. He'd been waiting in CityBeat's office lobby for the better part of an hour. I was about 20 strides from him when he asked, "Are you David Rolland?" When strung together like that, those have become four of the scariest words in the English language. And I've become so terrified of unannounced visitors that I probably formed my answer more like a question than a firm declaration: "Yes?"

I recognized Holmes' name when he said it; he was one of the handful of people who'd e-mailed me recently trying to get me to look into what really happened on Sept. 11, 2001. I'd pretty much ignored them, figuring that I lacked the time, government security clearance and advanced physics degree necessary to investigate their claims. But Holmes is nothing if not persistent. In his hand was a book he'd purchased for me, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, the fourth tome written about 9/11 by David Ray Griffin, a theologian and self-described latecomer to the "9/11 Truth" movement.

Holmes, a leader of San Diego's version of the movement and friendly fellow, told me he's long been reading my editorials critical of the Bush administration and considered me "fertile ground" for skepticism of the government's official story about Osama bin Laden, 19 box-cutter-wielding Muslim extremists and jet fuel burning so hot it melts steel. He no doubt was complimenting my willingness to question authority, but, of course, I took it to mean I possessed great potential for someday pounding out manifestos on an old Underwood typewriter by candlelight in a cabin in Idaho with bugs and bits of crackers in my beard.

I told him I'm not sure I can wrap my head around the notion that the Bush administration was complicit in the deliberate murder of what could have been tens of thousands of innocent Americans. Responsibility for the deaths of several thousand volunteer soldiers and hundreds of thousands of anonymous people in a far-off land is one thing, but this—I just really don't want to go there.

Holmes noted that the U.S. government has a history of provoking war by deception, and he said the official story just doesn't add up. Right there in the hallway, he spread his arms, making like an airplane, and swooped around in a loop, arguing that Hani Hanjour, the Saudi man the FBI says piloted American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon, was not skilled enough to perform such a difficult maneuver.

I offered my condolences about Rosie O'Donnell being the 9/11 Truth movement's celebrity champion before telling Holmes that I needed to get back to work, and he finally handed me the Griffin book—which is titled Debunking 9/11 Debunking because it seeks to debunk four particular publications that attempted to debunk the movement's claims. At least read the introduction, he urged, and he was off.

Skimming the intro couldn't cause too much pain, I figured, so on Sunday afternoon, I took a beach chair, towel and my new book to my favorite spot on the grass in Balboa Park. And there, amid the volleyball playing, lawn bowling and Frisbee tossing, I sat down and read the intro, wondering what the nearby frolickers would think of me if they knew I was reading the kind of stuff that causes fits for guys like Bill O'Reilly and Joe Scarborough.

Perhaps the most interesting part of Griffin's 26-page prelude is his discussion of the term "conspiracy theory," the generic meaning of which is, simply, a theory about an agreement among multiple players to do something bad. Everyone, Griffin writes, "holds a conspiracy theory in the generic sense about 9/11, because everyone believes that the 9/11 attacks resulted from a secret agreement to perform illegal, treacherous, and evil acts. People differ only about the identity of the conspirators." True, the idea that the Bush administration ordered the destruction of the World Trade Center is out there. But, Griffin asks, isn't it equally crazy to believe that 19 dudes with box cutters "defeated the most sophisticated defense system in history"? Why is one conspiracy theory considered irrational and not the other?

Many levelheaded thinkers believe that if 9/11 were an inside job, so many people would have to have been in on it that someone would blow the whistle, and that's the critique Griffin has the most trouble explaining away.

It was when Griffin noted one of the reasons liberals like me dismiss the movement—that it's a distraction from what we perceive to be more immediate concerns about the present administration—that I was prompted to admit to myself that one of the obstacles keeping me from diving into this particular rabbit hole is that I want to maintain at least a shred of credibility among more moderate readers. The introduction to the 9/11 Truth movement might be as far as I'm willing to go. I don't know—we'll see."

Write to

Dear David

Thanks for posting this, Al. I don't know if it'll do any good, but here's what I wrote him:

Dear David:

You're to be commended for venturing to the edge of the "rabbit hole"
of 9/11. But your hesitation to look further is, sadly, an abdication
of your responsibility as a journalist, as an American citizen, and as
a human being.

You say you can't wrap your head around the notion that the Bush
administration could have been involved in murder and "just really
don't want to go there." Well, that mental block is exactly what kept
me, and is currently keeping millions of Americans, from looking at
the evidence. And if they do, they either dismiss it as impossible or
choose to believe some questionable authority that assures them it's
impossible—precisely because it requires abandoning a comfortable
assumption about our government leaders.

But what if our leaders are banking on this self-imposed mental block?
What if they really don't care about us? What if they really are evil,
greedy scum who manipulated the elections and the media and the
Congress, just so they could raid our Treasury, keep us terrified and
under surveillance, and divert billions of dollars to their corporate
buddies? What if they are so blinded by their religious and racist
zeal that they justify any act, including murder, to advance their
"God-given" agenda?

What if they're exactly like the kind of people they're warning us to
be terrified of?

Paranoia? Maybe. But how would you find out? How would you test the
idea that they may be lying or covering up? Certainly not by closing
your eyes to an unthinkable possibility—mumbling to yourself "Daddy
could not have molested my little sister, Daddy could not have
molested my little sister" over and over under your pillow.

You have to open your mind and lay aside every assumption you hold
about our leaders. They've proven time and again how arrogant and
ruthless they are, how they've lied and cheated and stolen and even
slaughtered thousands of innocent people, for their own sick purposes.
Yes, it's very difficult to do that...and very frightening. But no act
of moral courage has ever been easy.

Lay aside, too, your concern about maintaining a "shred of credibility
among more moderate readers." That's hardly the quality of a
journalist; it's the mindset of a sheep that our "leaders" are only
too happy to promote.

Please read the rest of Griffin's book. Maybe you'll be moved to write
a review. I wish you the best.


My Email to Rolland

that was a great response, USAPatriot. Here was my brief email to him:

Hi David,
I wanted to take a minute to thank you for your fair and even-handed, if overly self-conscious editorial on 9/11. I like what Dr. Bob Bowman had to say about it: "The truth about 9/11 is that we don't know the truth about 9/11". I also think it's safe to say that we aren't being told the whole story by the 9/11 Commission Report or other gov't. sources.
I hope for your sake that your benefit-of-the-doubt "don't want to go there" caveat will be enough to satisfy your less intellectually adventurous media cohorts like Ms. Penner and Mr. Kittle, of your NPR gig and Mr. Taylor of AM radio fame. If you continue down that rabbit hole and continue commenting on your discoveries there, you might find your invitiations to their shows drying up. Happy spelunking!

(Mr. Rolland appears weekly on the local NPR tv & radio show, "Editor's Roundtable" with the editors of other publications in San Diego. Mr. Kittle is the Editor of the S.D. Union Tribune. He also appears weekly on the "Stacy Taylor Morning Show", a lefty morning talk on the Air America affiliate.)

The American Press is Brain-dead

This guy is a prime example of how the average journalist today mentally operates. He is not concerned with research or facts (too much reading and thinking), but lives in a fear-based, peer pressure environment which creates an atmosphere of self-censorship. He is concerned about what his equally brain-dead colleagues will think of him. He is even concerned about what the frisbee throwers in the park will think if they see him reading Dr. Griffin's book. He is not concerned with news, ONLY with what people think of him. He is highly impressed with Dr. Griffin's most basic presentation of what a conspiracy is or what a theory is, which shows that he is willing, like his colleagues, to carelessly throw around the term "conspiracy theory," yet has no actual understanding of what that phrase even really means.

These are the type of juvenile idiots who are bringing you the "news" along with their "educated and trained" analysis thereof. He is clearly a product of the dumbed-down public and post-secondary education system that is operating by design in the U.S. today. Pretty fucking sad that no one can even piece together elements of simple logic anymore. You have to explain to journalists the simplest little logical connections, and even then they have trouble seeing it or understanding it. This is why the 9/11 perpetrators believed they could get away with it. We have a country of grown-up "professionals" who possess the naiive minds of 8 year olds. He can't wrap his mind around the notion that Bushco would kill innocent Americans in NYC as a pretext to slaughtering 800,000 Iraqis and 4,000 GIs in order to make trillions of dollars. He doesn't want to "go there." Hey buddy, we didn't want to go there either, but we are responsible, intelligent grown-ups who are tired of being lied to. He should either read Dr. Griffin's incredibly powerful presentation of empiricism and logic, and wake up, or he should retire from journalism and open up a cute little lemonade stand in front of his little pink house.

Dave Rolland got this email too

on the San Diego 9/11 Questions Meet-up email list, C F shared his email, which I liked so much I'll publish it here too. Hope C F doesn't mind.

"Dear Mr. Rolland,

I just finished reading your article on 9/11 Truth and I guess I just have to be grateful for what I got.

There are scores of highly educated, credentialed people who have realized the truth behind this event. I know we all lead busy lives. And how easy is it to dismiss this topic. We don't have to do the research then, do we.

Don't you think a topic like this DEMANDS our time and attention? No matter how busy we are, no matter how much we care about what others think of us?

The truth about 9/11 has been painfully slow in emerging to the surface of the world public consciousness. You'll find that many outside our borders are already aware of the truth. But it is within these borders that we have had to fight a controlled media that is acting in unison with the perpetrators of 9/11 to camouflage the truth.

And so it is even more important that anyone in the media come out and stand up for another, INDEPENDENT, investigation.

I hope you will at least educate yourself to the point where you can assist us in calling for that.

Thank you,



this guy is on the edge. one more nudge, peter holmes. take him for some cactus tacos and a karl strauss beer some time next week.

Here is my e-mail to him...

Dear Mr. Rolland,

I recently read your editorial titled "Truth and Conspiracies" and I wanted to commend you for fairly broaching the subject matter. As you may know, the Truth Movement has had a hard time getting "Fair and Balanced" coverage in the media. After reading your editorial I came away feeling relieved that you chose to, at least take a look at what we are saying, rather than just call us conspiracy nuts. I understand why you may have been reluctant to look into this.

Since I am a conservative and was a staunch Bush supporter at the time, it was a hard pill to swallow to think that the narrative we were given about 9/11 was full of holes. It was over 4 years ago when I started looking into this and I haven't successfully proven the official story right. That is how a lot of people come to the trying to prove the official story right. Give it a try. Thanks again for your fair coverage.


these are some

amazing emails guys... thanks