An Inside Job- Members of the 9/11 "Truth" movement are typically disparaged as crackpots. In fact, they're actually wonks.

This article just came out in the East Bay Express

By Rachel Swann

September 16, 2009

At first glance, the scene outside last week's 9/11 Film festival resembled that of any other big, protest-oriented event. Truther organizations such as the Northern California 911 Truth Alliance and Project Censored crammed the lobby of Oakland's Grand Lake Theater, setting up tables with books; DVDs; "Wake Up and Smell the Fascism" bumper stickers; rubber stamps with the slogan "9/11 was an inside job;" pictures of Hendrix, John Lennon, and Mahatma Gandhi; and "Deception dollars." Middle-aged white guys with long hair and tie-dyed shirts milled around the room, greeting each other like old friends. It looked and felt like a typical crowd of rabble-rousers — at least until you listened in on their conversations.

Hardcore Truthers are an odd bunch, even among activists. They tend to be well-educated and enraptured with scientific jargon, even if they lack a science background. Bound by a shared skepticism of the mainstream 9-11 narrative, they hold a range of opinions about what really happened on 9-11: Some think it just needs to be better investigated as a crime scene; many believe it was a full-fledged government conspiracy; some call it a "psychological attack on the American people." Those trying to advance their own theories usually place the burden of proof on science — or a combination of empirical data and abstract conjecture that looks very much like science. Thus, Truther rhetoric is often dry, emotionless, and blindingly complex. That has made the movement very insular.

Now in its fifth year, the 9/11 Film Fest faces a bit of an inertia problem, akin to what's happened to the peace movement at large. "Remember during Bush/Cheney years we used to have anti-war rallies all the time?" asked festival founder Carol Brouillet. "Now with the regime change there's not as many rallies." On top of that, Brouillet and company faced the normal logistical difficulties of trying to coordinate the dozen guest speakers and trying to amass enough world premieres to make the event worth people's time (after all, most of these films are available for free online). And though one might have assumed that the recent Van Jones flap would help bring more recognition to the movement, Brouillet says that most media coverage served to discredit, rather than validate the movement.

Wednesday night wound up being the cool, hip-hoppy half of the festival and Thursday the nerdy, academic half. The main draw on Wednesday was the world premiere of Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup, the latest of a series made by twenty-five-year-old director Dylan Avery. His films, which feature slick hip-hop soundtracks and VH1-style editing (the new one is narrated by actor Daniel Sunjata) mark the apex of popular success for 9-11 conspiracy-theory material. According to producer Korey Rowe, it is the most downloaded movie in the history of the Internet. During the post-screening discussion, no one challenged Avery's premise that 9-11 was planned and coordinated by the US government, or that the World Trade Center collapsed because of a controlled demolition, rather than a plane crash or fire damage. Instead, audience questions ranged from basic (i.e., "Why do you call the film Loose Change) to specific ("Why was Obama included in the closing of this film?"). Cleary, Rowe and Avery were preaching to the converted.

Thursday was for the real diehards, not only because it featured twelve full hours of academic speakers and documentaries, but also owing to its more obtuse content. Among the films screened that day were Anthrax War by Bob Coen and Eric Nadler, a film about bio-weapons, and The New American Century by Italian filmmaker Massimo Mazzucco, which historicizes the neocon movement that some Truthers believe paved the way for 9-11. Retired Claremont School of Theology professor Ray Griffin delivered closing remarks for an audience that filled about half of the 620-capacity theater. Roughly 80 percent male, the crowd skewed older, and most of its members appeared to know as much, or more, about controlled demolition theory than their speaker, who is widely regarded as one of the movement's forefathers. The audience's erudition became apparent during the Q&A, for which attendees submitted paragraph-long questions on pieces of paper...

See for the complete article.

I can't say that I was particularly thrilled with Rachel's coverage of our event and issue, or her most blatant factual error and posted this comment:

According to the dictionary "wonks" are experts. In our Orwellian world where there is a great disparity between a media constructed reality terrifying the public into supporting war and an increasingly oppressive police state, those who can challenge the big lies and give hope to the universal desire for a world without war, where truth and justice have actual meaning are needed.

Rachel interviewed me on Friday, I was actually napping when she called, exhausted from four days of events. Richard Gage, AIA, founder of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth spoke to a nearly full house at the Commonwealth Club on Tuesday evening. Wednesday and Thursday, we held the film festival, which did draw Swedish TV, even if we were somewhat ignored by the American press. A large cover story, going into great scientific detail into the case for controlled demolition of the World Trade Center was published in the Silicon Valley Metro on September 9th entitled "Explosive Theory." On Friday, I joined with others in downtown San Francisco for our usual 9/11 Truth Visibility action, since direct dialogue with the public has been the foundation for the growth and acceptance of the Truth Movement. Polls show that distrust of the media and government continue to expand.

Rachel called me again, and emailed me to get the date of the first screening of a 9/11 documentary, Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11 (which did fill the Herbst Theater and we had to turn 300 people away). It was in April 2003- to set the record straight.

I know that our topic is very serious, but we did include art, music, comedy, and hoped to inspire people to take action and become more involved. The film festival was also a benefit for NYCCAN, the New York City Coalition for Accountability Now, which is trying to get an initiative on the ballot in New York City for a new investigation of 9/11 with subpoena power. Over 80,000 New Yorkers have signed their petition, and the battle to approve the signatures was just won.

In the past couple of years, the film festival filled the Grand Lake Theater. I believe a two day festival split the audience, and that we would have had a better turnout had we had more lead time. Our final program was decided less than a month before the event and we simply had a hard time getting the word out.

I am a mother with three sons, two of them now in college. I have spent nearly eight years of my life working on this issue because I believe that if the public knew some of the basic facts about 9/11, so well masked by the media, that people would demand accountability, real change and the transformation of US foreign and domestic policy, which currently poses a great threat to Americans, as well as the rest of the world. I see the Truth movement as a continuation of Gandhi's "satyagraha movement," which began over a hundred years ago on September 11, 1906. Truth is the vital force needed to give strength and power to the waning, timid, peace movement, as well as the movement against corporate globalization, and the sheer looting of the wealth of society that we see in the controlled demolition of the economy with bailouts for bankers, and the robbing of the vast majority. When Rachel Corrie was very little she asked her parents, "Is being brave part of growing up?" I think the best chance for humanity is to grow up, face uncomfortable truths, take more responsibility, rein in our criminal government, and realize our individual and collective power to determine our future.

Carol, Thanks so very much for all that you do!!

"It is you who are the torch-bearers with respect to that truth.... ...Steel your spines. Inspire your children. Then when the moment is right, rise again...." W PEPPER

My Comment, posted, to the article

9/11 is a controlled demolition, inside job, false flag Reichstag fire type operation.
This per IRREFUTABLE, conclusive scientific evidence.

Nanothermite, high military explosive, was found at the site of pulverized WTC towers.
Towers exploded, imploded, vaporized at a speed of 10 floors per second, close to the the speed of free fall.
Pools of molten steel found weeks after the attack. All utterly impossible, other than controlled demolition, explosive aided.

Question, do you think that retarded chimp would recognize, looking at the footage, that is it a controlled demolition? - - - -


Great comment on this subtle hit piece by Swan:

"My colleagues have expressed already their view of what is good about this article. I have to take Ms. Swan (or perhaps her editor) to task for for the general tone of the article and what was written about me in particular.

Apparently my colleagues have been so beaten down by the "get a load of this" derisiveness of the mainstream media that someone who doesn't hit them as hard seems like a friend. To be called "an odd bunch" and for evidence at the level of high school physics to be described as "blindingly complex" are unsympathetic characterizations, to say the least. I cannot deny the accuracy of the first of those characterizations, but the media has played a clear role in keeping us from reaching more mainstream people.

"Wednesday night wound up being the cool, hip-hoppy half of the festival and Thursday the nerdy, academic half"? WHO CARES? Such an observation reads like a high school student's personal blog. I and the others you interviewed gave you evidence of high treason, evidence that shows our country has gone to war on a false pretext, and you're treating it all like various cliques anticipating the prom. Your conception of your job as a journalist and your responsibilities as a citizen do not exactly shine here.

Several of your statements about me were incorrect. I was not "hawking" the nanothermite paper, I was showing it to you -- borrowed from the table of someone else who was selling it (for no conceivable profit, by the way, considering how little she was asking for a color copy). I did not edit the paper for, but rather for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, the Open Chemical Physics Journal, which was of course printed right there on the paper, and which I thought you took a note of when I said it. I never said nanothermite was a "combustible" compound; it is explosive as the paper and its references make clear. Your use of the word "belief" rather than "conclude," and everything else about your description of the paper -- which was written written mostly by scientists, not just an "out-of-work technical writer" -- made it sound like some crank screed that I cobbled together by myself in my Ted Kaczynski cabin in the woods."

Comment by ResearchGuy - September 16, 2009 @ 12:08 PM


comment. everyone should leave one

my comment

My comment is in response to some ignorant dude's-

Manuel- "Maybe truthers should get some reputable demolitions experts and structural engineers on their side. Then perhaps people will give a shit about what they say. There is still a Flat Earth Society. And some still believe a fat guy in a red suit squeezes down your chimney."
Comment by Manuel DePiedra - September 16, 2009 @ 04:41 PM

Me- "Didn't you hear? Over 864 architects and engineers have signed on with and are collectively calling for an independent technical investigation of the causes of the WTC buildings collapse. They reject the federal government’s conclusions that two airplanes alone brought the buildings down without the aid of pre-planted explosives. Don't be the last one in the dark about this crucial issue. I agree that it is sad that some people still believe the earth is flat, but you know what is even more sad? People who can't think critically or use their minds, and who trust everything the government and corporate media tells them. Hope you wake up sir!"
Comment by fababs - September 16, 2009 @ 06:30 PM

Everyone leave their two cents!

Oh, a different Manuel

At first I thought it might be Manuel Garcia.

Maybe . . .

Yes, my first response was that it was positive because we weren't called "deniers" and "truthers" at every turn, and the worst nonsense wasn't put forth to try to discredit us.

My feeling was that she just was somewhat clueless about science and 9/11 in general, and didn't feel she could evaluate it, so it basically bored her, and she wasn't going to take a position one way or the other. This was written for the Entertainment section, so her focus was on the audience.

And yes, to an average person, at one of these events, people could easily seem like "an odd bunch" to someone who is used to going out and covering bands, bars, and things like the SF Mime Troop, most likely. When I approached the door someone offered me a free chemtrails DVD. Someone else was handing out vaccine flyers. To non-political people who aren't used to it, that kind of stuff can start to seem nuts after awhile when it's all in one space. The same goes for almost any type of event where everyone is interested in that one thing, like a Star Trek convention, or a dog show, or a coin show, etc. If the person reviewing it is not into those things, they won't get it. She seemed bored by the idea that bio-weapons were used just after 9/11 . . . it's not a band. And it's not "cheap eats for real", the title of one of her other pieces.

My feeling was that's just who she is. But I may be wrong.

Words like "hawking" are pretty ridiculous, RG is right to be angered with her viewpoint on him.

Good Comment Abby

You could have also added that while we're on the subject of irrational beliefs, it's hardly reasonable to expect demolitions experts and structural engineers to come out on our side since they're dependent on the government for their livelihood, eg contracts, licenses, tenure, grants etc.