Conspiracy Theologian

Conspiracy theologian
David Ray Griffin on the 9/11 Truth Movement and Bush-Cheney’s “stupid” imperialism

By Matthew Singer 03/27/2008

When David Ray Griffin conceived his first book regarding the events of Sept. 11, 2001, his interpretation of what transpired that day revolved around the concept of blowback, that the attacks were a byproduct of America’s decades of aggressive foreign policy toward the Middle East. In short, at the time, he bought the official story of 9/11. He wasn’t letting the United States government off the hook for their role in the attacks, but he wasn’t placing culpability where he would eventually place it: squarely on the shoulders of the Bush administration.

While researching for that first book, Griffin came across a growing community — concentrated mostly online — of people questioning the circumstances of Sept. 11 as reported by the mainstream media. Now, the retired professor, theologian and longtime Santa Barbara resident is one the leading voices of the so-called 9/11 Truth Movement, citizens who believe the horror of that day was not caused by radical Islamic terrorists but was orchestrated within the walls of the White House. Derided in the press as loony conspiracy theorists (if given any attention at all), the group, Griffin says, now includes intellectuals such as himself, as well as architects, engineers, pilots, former military officers and even ex-CIA operatives.

“The change in the movement has been rather drastic, because a few years back, people would dismiss us as a bunch of crazies on the Internet. And then when I joined, it was a bunch of crazies on the Internet and an aging theologian,” Griffin says. “But now they can’t make that charge anymore because there are far more intellectuals and professionals identified with the movement that have gone on record [opposing] the official story.” In addition, he says, polls indicate the general public is beginning to view the conventional portrayal of 9/11 with an increasingly skeptical eye as well. And to what does Griffin, who will speak at the Ventura Women’s Center on March 28, attribute the shifting tide? “Simply the power of truth — the old saying, ‘the truth will out.’ Once you start getting into it and looking at the evidence, it’s overwhelmingly obvious that the official story is false.”

VCR: Are you convinced the US government orchestrated 9/11, or do you simply believe there are enough inconsistencies in the official story to warrant a new investigation?

Griffin: If you read the first sentence of my Debunking 9/11 Debunking, you’ll see that I say the evidence that 9/11 was an inside job is obvious. It was only in my first book, The New Pearl Harbor, when I was using the term prima facie, saying we have prima facie evidence that it was an inside job. In that book, I was simply a stenographer, really, for the 9/11 Truth Movement. I just organized the various arguments and evidence that had been marshaled. But when the 9/11 Commission report appeared and I saw how they treated the evidence, they ignored 99 percent of it, and that 1 percent of it, where they thought they could distort the facts to make it look like it was OK, they did that. That book was called 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, and at the end of that book, I said far from allaying my suspicions that it was an inside job, it confirmed them. Ever since then, I’ve clearly been on that side.

Do you have a personal theory of what really happened on Sept. 11?

No, and I made a big point of not developing such a theory, and even encouraging members of the movement not to do this. Because insofar as there are antagonisms and disputes within the movement, they’re related primarily to those things, where people say, well, here’s what hit the Pentagon, and others say that’s not true. I put my focus on the evidence that the official story is false, and the evidence is so abundant and overwhelming that to make the case you don’t have to prove what really happened and who did it and so on. It’s like if you had a murder trial, and Jones is accused of murder. The defense attorneys can prove that Jones didn’t do it without having a theory about who really did. All you have to do is have a good alibi and lack of evidence and so on. The critics say, you’ve got to have a theory. No, you don’t have to have a theory. When you develop a theory, that’s what the debunkers love. They want to say, “That’s nonsense,” and take attention away from all the evidence we have marshaled to show the official story is false.

Do you feel the discussion of a possible inside job helps derail conversations regarding U.S. foreign policy in the Mid-east over the last few decades?

We shouldn’t think American imperialism began with the Bush-Cheney administration. The American empire has been growing for over a century. We’ve done unspeakable things over that period. The media made a big deal out of the fact that Jeremiah Wright said, “God damn the United States of America.” Well, William James said that about 100 years ago in relation to what we had done in the Philippines. If I ever get my book done on American imperialism, the chapter on the Bush-Cheney period will be called “The Third Revelation.” The first revelation to Americans about our imperialist drives was in that period of taking over Cuba and the Philippines and a few other countries, Puerto Rico and so on. The second revelation occurred with Vietnam. Now we’re in the third revelation, where Americans are realizing we are an empire and have done ugly things. When it comes to what was the real cause of 9/11, the fact that we say, no, it wasn’t blowback, it was a false flag operation — as long as you put it in context and say it was a false flag operation in order to continue, and in fact intensify, the same kind of imperialistic practices we have been engaging in for a long time, it doesn’t seem like it would have that harmful consequence.

How does 9/11 factor into this year’s election? Do you think no matter who is elected this pattern of imperialism will continue?

I’m hoping regardless of what happens, we get 9/11 revealed, because my argument has been that unless we do, it’s likely we’ll continue our imperialistic ways, it will just be a change in degree at most. Generally, the distinction has been between more intelligent and more stupid imperialism; the Bush-Cheney imperialism is about as stupid as it can get, because it’s so obvious and it makes everyone angry, whereas you had a kinder, gentler imperialism during the Clinton years, and you had very few people complaining about America as an empire.

But we were, and we did several really bad things during that period. I’ve argued that there needs to be a two-fold revelation: Americans need to realize 9/11 was an inside job, and realize it was carried out for imperialist reasons. And if they see that, then there might be a revulsion against imperialism and people saying we really don’t want to be an imperialist nation.

What’s the likelihood of the Bush administration being called to justice in our lifetime?

I think it’s unlikely, but it could happen, and it’s so important that it does happen that it’s very important we keeping working to make it happen. It’s possible [Dennis] Kucinich would have hearings; he said he would. My publisher is sending my most recent book, The 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press, to a large number of members of Congress. So we’re doing what we can.

David Ray Griffin speaks March 28 at the Ventura Women’s Center (3451 Foothill Rd., Ventura) at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Dawn Hodson at 644-3268 or write

Media - David Ray Griffin

Tuesday February 19, 2008
Charles Goyette, recently honored as "Best Phoenix Talk Show Host", talks to David Ray Griffin about his new book 9/11 CONTRADICTIONS: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press.
(Full interview sans breaks 12 Meg 43 Minutes)

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Thursday February 7, 2008
Dennis Bernstein (KPFA, Flashpoints) talks to David Ray Griffin about his new book 9/11 CONTRADICTIONS: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press

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Saturday August 25, 2007
Air America Host Richard Greene Speaks With David Ray Griffin

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David Ray Griffin on Tucker Carlson's Aug 9, 2006
David Ray Griffin Interview on BBC
Video Book Review: "9/11 Contradictions"
9/11 CONTRADICTIONS: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press
By David Ray Griffin

Product Description
In 9/11 Contradictions, David Ray Griffin shows that the official story about 9/11 is riddled with internal contradictions. Two contradictory statements cannot both be true. These contradictions show, therefore, that individuals and agencies articulating the official story of 9/11 have made many false statements. Congress and the press clearly should ask which of the contradictory statements are false and why they were made.

This book is purely factual, simply laying out the fact that these internal contradictions exist. As such, the book contains no theory. Politicians and journalists who deal with the issues raised herein, therefore, will not be giving credence to some "conspiracy theory" about 9/11. They will simply be carrying out their duty to ask why the official story about 9/11, arguably the most fateful event of our time, is riddled with so many contradictions.