City Councilman Criticizes Reporter as 9/11 "Conspiracy" Advocate
What Really Happened has the goods.
Riverdale Review Staff
City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell will not humor a conspiracy theorist.
On Sunday, September 9, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn visited the Riverdale Jewish Community Council's annual street fair. As part of her visit, she sat down with reporter Paulette Schneider of the Riverdale Review and reporter Manny Grossman of the Riverdale Press.
Grossman interviewed Quinn first, and during his discussion with the speaker, he brought up the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center of Septermber 11, 2001, during which almost 3,000 people- including several Riverdalians-perished at the hands of Osama Bin Laden's Al- Qaeda terrorist organization.
But Grossman did not question Quinn regarding her plans for recognizing the day or regarding the slow pace of rebuilding at Ground Zero. Instead, he approached the speaker with a poll released September 6 by Zogby International, a poll finding 51 percent of Americans want Congress to probe the actions of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney before, during and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The poll also found that 67 percent of Americans fault the 9/11 Commission for failing to investigate the collapse of the World Trade Center 7 building, a collapse the poll calls "still unexplained."
This exchange enraged Councilman Koppell who questioned both the conspiracy theorists. Others have raised concerns about the integrity of the Zogby poll organization, which has come under criticism for its ties to Arab groups and interests.
The poll was sponsored by 911truth.org, routinely described as a fringe conspiracy organization that exists "to expose the official lies and cover-up surrounding the events of September 11, 2001 in a way that inspires the people to overcome denial and understand the truth; namely, that elements within the U.S. government and covert policy apparatus must have orchestrated or participated in the attacks for these to have happened in the way that they did."
The Website advocates that the United States government played a major role in facilitating the events of 9/11 and even furthers the discredited idea that the World Trade Center towers and Work Trade Center 7 were brought down not by the plane crashes but by explosives.
After presenting Quinn with the poll, Grossman specifically asked her whether she would, if elected Mayor in 2009, support a new investigation into what happened on 9/11.
"That's a good question," said Quinn. "That question has never been posed to me before. And to be honest, I need to think about it." Quinn went on to discuss various other aspects of the 9/11 attacks and the response to those attacks, such as the need to provide health care services for those who participated in the cleanup at ground zero.
But that was not the end of the conversation. After perusing a handout supplied by Grossman, Koppel shot back, harshly criticizing the Zogby International poll as part of a larger conspiracy theory.
"Let me just say, I don't know how much the speaker's aware of this. This is fringe stuff, in my opinion," said Koppell.
"I brought that up because that's a Zogby poll," replied Grossman.
"I know, but it's fringe stuff," said Koppell
"It's not," siad Grossman, to which Koppell went further.
"This allegation that the 7 world trade center was a separate conspiracy, maybe engineered by George Bush," said Koppell. "That's what these people are saying."
Grossman replied, "They're not saying that. They're saying that they don't know, exactly know, who's responsible."
"She said she'd get back to you," shot back Koppell, who also questioned the integrity of Zogby International and its connection to groups such as 911truth.org. "I regard it, I will tell, you, I regard it as a fringe movement."
At the meeting of Community Board #8 held on September 11, Grossman told this newspaper's associate editor John DeSio, that 9/11 was "an inside job." The Riverdale Press was contacted but did not offer comment.