Was 9/11 a conspiracy? 'Truthers' make their case

As of this moment that I'm typing this, there are no comments in the feedback section. In particular, we should respond to what I feel is the most egregious statement in the article: "As probably should be expected with any conspiracy theorizing, the Truthers' side strains the boundaries of credibility."

Interestingly, the article concedes that the movement is "gaining steam," much to the chagrin of our anti-truth opposition which loves to claim that the movement has been losing steam since the 5th anniversary.

Was 9/11 a conspiracy? ‘Truthers' make their case

CBC's fifth estate airs The Unofficial Story

Andrew Ryan

Published on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009 5:47PM EST

Watching the amateur video evidence of 9/11 has not gotten easier with time.

The images of Sept. 11, 2001, are burned into our collective conscience. Framed against that bright blue morning, the gasps and cries of New Yorkers serving as soundtrack, the footage of the two airliners slicing into the twin towers remains a visceral viewing experience, even eight years removed. And more so for those who don't buy into the accepted version of events.

Though rarely shown on TV these days, the 9/11 footage is replayed more than once in The Unofficial Story (CBC, 9 p.m.). Airing on tonight's edition of the fifth estate , the documentary follows up on some fairly startling public-opinion polls of late.

To wit: More than half of all Americans believe the Bush administration had advance knowledge of 9/11, and did nothing to stop it; slightly more than one-third of the Canadian population believes likewise. As with JFK and the moon landing, the conspiracy theories are out there.

“The number of people who believe the U.S. government was involved in the attacks appears to be growing,” says fifth estate veteran Bob McKeown, who helms the report. “Most of them believe there are still questions that have gone unanswered.”

In some ways, the film is a long-delayed sequel to a much-discussed 2003 fifth estate program, titled Conspiracy Theories , that aired during the early days of the Iraq war. That episode similarly explored events leading up to the tragedy of 9/11, with particular emphasis paid to the ties between the Bushes and the bin Ladens.

“It was the sort of information that boggled the imagination and drew a huge viewer response,” says McKeown. “We've kept our eyes on the story and since the conspiracy movement is growing, it seemed like something we should revisit.”

Driven by the Internet in countless blogs and chat groups, the new generation of skeptics, known as “Truthers” have had several years to build their case.

Citing endless, dizzying technical lore, the Truthers' basic contention is that 9/11 was part of a vast conspiracy and cover-up by a criminal faction situated within the U.S. government, which later used the attacks to rationalize subsequent military actions.

On the surface, the scenario appears to make sense. Then again, McKeown says, “There's a huge leap of faith required to lead someone from asking questions about engineering and structural design to making the argument that elements of the government played a role in the murder of thousands of people, just to provide an excuse to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. There's something in that leap I don't quite comprehend.”

But the Truther movement is gathering steam. Among the group's more prominent proponents is Richard Gage, a well-regarded architect interviewed by McKeown in the program. Gage is fervent in his belief that the destruction was intentional, and was not accomplished with airplanes, but with explosives. He speaks convincingly of pillars of concrete and gypsum being turned to talcum.

“Gage describes himself as a lifelong Reagan Republican, who never would have believed a conspiracy of this level was ever possible,” McKeown says. “The Truthers believe he brings credibility to their cause.”

Also speaking out for the Truthers movement is academic and Nobel Peace Prize nominee David Ray Griffin – who questions the lack of NORAD response after the first plane struck the tower – and Canadian professor Kee Dewdney, who insists the fabled on-board struggle between hijackers and passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 could only be a hoax.

“The really interesting thing to me is that you cannot get these people to speculate,” observes McKeown. “They will say, ‘That is not my job.'”

For a Canadian perspective, the program sits down with veteran media maven Barrie Zwicker, described as the “point man” for 9/11 truth in Canada. Zwicker is beyond passionate as he talks of “a crime of mass murder and treachery that is an unopposed military operation.”

As probably should be expected with any conspiracy theorizing, the Truthers' side strains the boundaries of credibility. One faction suggests that the phone calls from doomed passengers on-board the planes were faked by voice actors. The suggestion does seem to have some credence, however, because of the simple scientific fact that most cellphones do not work at high altitudes.

“It's those kind of unresolved issues that start people off on these tangents.”

Although McKeown is well-served by objectivity gained from nearly three decades of reporting in the program, he still expects substantial viewer feedback.

“So far it's been very difficult for the Truthers to get anyone in the mainstream media to take this seriously,” he says. “I'm sure we're going to get a lot of mail from people criticizing us just for broadcasting the episode.”

At the same time, the real reason why people are buying into the 9/11 conspiracy theories may have more to do with the reality that eight years of George W. Bush have left Americans deeply distrustful of central government – witness the current resistance to Obama's health-care plan – and the simple fact that everybody is entitled to their own opinion in the online universe.

same drivel..

McKeown says, “There's a huge leap of faith required to lead someone from asking questions about engineering and structural design to making the argument that elements of the government played a role in the murder of thousands of people, just to provide an excuse to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. There's something in that leap I don't quite comprehend.”

it always boils down to the same frame of mind that forms their position going into these things... "they wouldn't do that"

I think even if they were shown the evidence they claim would confirm our position, they would still deny it because "they wouldn't do that"

...wasn't there an article or book chapter written specifically to deal with this lame claim? we need to hammer home the question "what makes the world leaders different now to the point where they could never be like other world leaders in the past?"

these anti-truthers....no wait, let's call it what it is. pro-liar... these pro-liars are so off the wall, in order to believe the official story they have to take the position that politicians don't lie anymore... I say come back at them with that... "oh...so your position is that politicians don't lie anymore"...


What I always answer is: They wouldn't kill 3000 of their citizens but they have no trouble sleeping at night while more than a million innocent iraqi civilians have died and more than 4000 american soldiers were sacrificed for an illegal war in Irak?
Why would the lies and the death be unthinkable in one scenario, but in the other, tolerable?

And anyways, since when do we need to know exactly how a crime took place in the most minute details BEFORE investigating the inconsistencies and evidence proving the official version can't be true?

I can imagine how ridiculous criminal investigations would be if detectives would have to guest exactly who did it, why, and how before having the right to open the investigation and look at the evidence!


Yes, that is the classic position of 9/11 denialists: In effect, 'You must first produce the fruits of an independent criminal investigation of 9/11 before I will admit the need for one.'

or tell their lies on the deadly poisoned WTC dust broth !

Herblay FRANCE

and I answer also that they did not lose any sleep when they lied,to the thousands now ill, that the WTC air was good to breath despite knowing it being it was a deadly poisoned broth.

And in fact there are so many examples that some men are evil and the worst being in high executive places. 911 is not a single issue and to explain we have to go back in the past.

I agree that about 95% of my friends and family can not accept that it was an inside job because "THEY WOULD'T DO THAT !". To accept that someone in your own family could do such a thing is just too horrible ! An insurmountable problem.
To enable people to come to the truth we have to find ways with new laws on the press, on private armies, on energy distribution, etc , ... so that such a thing can not happen again. When we have done this people around us can come to the truth objectively.

911 is such a big thing that to prevent it happening again we will have to chance a lot of our societies rules.



Can't wait to watch this episode of The Fifht Estate

I expect a conclusion that will at best cast doubts of the 9/11 truth movement credibility, but it's already much better than what we've seen from the BBC, or any mainstream media in America, even PBS!

Let's cross our fingers and hope they won't distort the arguments of those important guests.

My wish is that it will push people who never were exposed to the troubling facts to research them and open their eyes.

Another concern of mine is why the french branch of the CBC has never ever aired anything of that nature about 9/11, while the Fifth Estate is already doing it for the second time?

On the french CBC radio in Montreal, on 9/11's 5th anniversary, on a show called Maisonneuve à l'écoute, people who were calling in, were very articulate, and at least 80% were skeptic about the official version. The host was speechless after a while!
The day after, on the Desautel show, which airs at the end of the afternoon, they discussed with Maisonneuve the troubling amount of emails and phone calls doubting the official version. And instead of going through the facts that were discussed by the callers, they talked with a university teacher specialized in mass psychology who explained why populations who have a hard time accepting the truth prefer to take intellectual shortcuts!! It was appalling to hear this absolute discredit of so many listeners and informed people.

I really don't understand why thecanadian french speaking media is so reticent to speak about this while the population, I feel, is open minded about it.

There's been also a few journalists who destroyed Loose Change on their blogs saying a 21 year old guy who only completed high school has no credibility. I was surprised then to see again a huge respond from people who were really well informed about many of the facts covered by the 9/11 truth movement.

And, knowing that Quebec is one of Canada's province that's always been more to the left, including in the medias, I cannot understand that resistance. It reminds me of Chomsky's reaction.

I'll record this Fifth Estate episode for sure!

I love this: quote:

“The really interesting thing to me is that you cannot get these people to speculate,” observes McKeown. “They will say, ‘That is not my job.'”

Aaah too bad! How to call somebody a conspiracy theorist when they only ask intelligent questions and state boring unknown facts. Bah! Come on and use your imagination in stead and give us the ammo to destroy you!

Ditto That !!

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, the seed of truth has been planted and now it's only a matter of time.

Truthers should continuously re-teach scientific method.

Everybody in the 9/11 Truth movement needs to continuously teach and reteach the scientific method to one another.

"1. Define the question
2. Gather information and resources (observe)
3. Form hypothesis
4. Perform experiment and collect data
5. Analyze data
6. Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis
7. Publish results
8. Retest (frequently done by other scientists)..."


For example, on the claim made regarding phone calls by voice actors, do we have any hard evidence of the phone calls involved. No. We can never prove anything anyone says regarding these so-called phone calls one way or another. We should not make public statements about anything we can't back up with hard evidence.

Up to the minute news.

I'm watching the CBC now and the promo ad does not portray Truth Seekers in a negative light. It has Daniel Sunjata making a statement regarding questioning the official story while the narrator comments about more people not believing the official story.
So far so good.
Edit. 1st commercial break, Richard Gage made his case and the CBC didn't dispute freefall speed or the appearance of demolition as opposed to collapse. Unfortunately just before commercial break, James Meigs comes on in his disingenuous way and comments about how it would take thousands to keep the secret and "how credible is that?"

Wow, was that the best they

Wow, was that the best they could do to "rebut" Gage?

Fortunately for thinking humans, an argument from incredulity does not trump physical science. Except for in the Orwellian Empire.

James Meigs, traitor to humanity.

Keep the updates comin'.

Latest update.

Now we're getting into speculation.
Speculation about what happened at the Pentagon and speculation about all the phone calls being faked.
I predict we've just lost whomever was with us up to this point.
Daniel Sunjata added credibility then Craig Ranke made it questionable.
Edit. Kee Dewdney should not represent the "Truth movement." This guy sounds just plain crazy. Depressing:(((
Still no mention of nano thermite BTW.
Sorry to report, things are going downhill.
But hey, just before commercial they showed the collapse of building 7 and said the Truth movement called it the "Achilles heel" of 9/11.

I predict we've just lost

I predict we've just lost whomever was with us up to this point.

Ah, I doubt it. Not only are people's curiosities piqued by speculation, but they have good reason to speculate, especially given the lack of answers we've been given, notably the Pentagon and Shanksville.

Believe it or not, not everyone is as close minded as you think. Indeed there are probably far more open minded people out there than you realize.

I still maintain that it should be obvious to anyone that planes did not crash in either location.

PS Even the FBI has essentially admitted, albeit tacitly, that the call from Barbara Olson allegedly made on AA77 never happened.

Nanothermite mentioned.

Brent Blanchard confidently assures us that it would take hundreds of tons of thermite and that, as an demolitions expert, the collapse does not resemble a demolition. (I'm not sure how credible this will be to general public.)
According to NIST uncontrolled fires on multiple floors caused the collapse of building 7.
Bob McKeown has been fair for the most part.
Blanchard finishes up with a fear statement about how our "enemies" are using this information against America. "And let's face it," he says, "they already don't like us very much."
I don't think a lot of minds are going to be changed but the images of the building 7 collapse and the credible statements by Gage, Griffin and Sunjata will at least provoke some thought and hopefully people will go to ae911truth. it was the only website referenced and was mentioned 3 times I think.
That is definitely a big positive.

(I'm not sure how credible

(I'm not sure how credible this will be to general public.)

Hard to say. I don't know what the rough percentage of people is who believe what they are told. If you were sitting next to eight people, and all nine of you were told to pick the shortest of three lines drawn on an easel, and the other eight picked the longest line and confidently said they felt it was the shortest, would you go along with it, or stick by what you know you see?

Don't forget, I got curious to 9/11 when I saw an early truther (Jimmy Walter) speculate about the Pentagon and get shouted down by Geraldo on Fox. That was December 2004. And that was just a 5 minute hit piece. I'm sure this show will spur many people to get to their computer and start investigating.

the only thing required is a spark

that ignites curiosity. After receiving emails from french friends with the Thierry Meyssan website about the Pentagon, I had the spark, because it brought back questions I had in my head on that day. Also I was curious why we were only shown the same long zoom abstract image from United 93's crash site. We couldn't see anything recognizable.

Then I saw In Plane Sight, which was not entirely convincing to me, especially with the flash thing and the bulge under the plane, but it pushed me to look further, and then BAM I saw the first serie of videos from Barry Zwicker on Vision TV and that was it. From then on, I was convinced there was something wrong.

It was the summer of 2003.

So I'm hopeful the Fifth Estate Show will help in that way. The first time they talked about the subject, they were far from what we've just seen. They were saying there was absolutely nothing that could back Loose Change's claims.

Groupthink in Canada.

Yeah I agree. I was surprised by the statistics McKeown mentioned at the start of the program. 50% in the USA and 30% in Canada.
It's ironic that in a country with such a large, good quality public broadcaster and some decent newspapers, there are so few independent thinkers.
I see it regularly on forums, people seem to believe whatever the the authorities feed them.
It probably has to do with the fact that all the political parties seem to be all the same.


In general in Canada, people tend to be afraid of anything considered too "extreme". Is it naivete, ignorance, cowardice, or wisdom?
I don't know. Maybe it is because politically even our right is not as aggressive as the republicans. Every party seem to go toward the center once in power because the population don't go blindly into ideology I guess, and that's good.

Actually, the only way to get a Canadian pissed is to talk about the unity of the country, or the Quebec situation.

So frustrating

This Brent Blanchard ass really bugs me. His arguments are so hollow. He says he knew right away WTC7 collapsed from fire. Really? NIST called it a "new phenomenon," something unprecedented, but some F/X guy knew right away fire was the culprit.

Yeah, it really pisses me

Yeah, it really pisses me off that they're still trying to frame this as if there is still a "debate" as to whether or not there was controlled demolition.

So, Brent Blanchard, what does it feel like to be on the wrong side of history? How do you sleep with yourself? Are you enjoying the payoff money? Are you flying first class everywhere you travel?

It took NIST 7 years to

It took NIST 7 years to "figure" it out.

well well well...

It was ok I guess because at least it didn't try to attack the credibility of anyone. But It was so fast it was frustrating. Barry Zwicker was there for, what, 2 minutes?
No Steven E Jones...
And when they touched the question of the absence of interception by the Air Force, they gave the last word to the Popular Mechanic editor saying the Air Force had never trained for hijacks from inside the country!!!!! Ridiculous. They could have told at least how many interceptions there have been in 2001 before 9/11... including planes from inside the country.

At least any intelligent person that never had the chance to hear about the other side has now something almost neutral that can push them to look into it a little further.

They should have a forum either on radio or on their website for a debate after the show. They do this for talk shows on the french branch of CBC, it's not that difficult.

My comment to 5th Estate

Not a bad program overall. Thanks Mr McKeown.
There was a lot of credible information questioning the official story while Jim Meigs of Popular Mechanics just sounds and looks so disingenuous and smarmy. Although Kee Dewdney should not be the guy speaking for the "Truth movement."
It is very difficult to believe that building 7 could collapse the way it did without controlled demolition. Unfortunately the show didn't have time or decided not to talk about the eyewitness (earwitness?) accounts of bombs going off in all 3 buildings. They never talked to William Rodriguez who was "the last man out" and spoke of explosions in the basement levels of building 2 before the 1st plane impact.
Also considering the information coming out in the Iraq inquiry in London, 9/11 was a timely coincidence considering the Bush administration were planning on regime change in Iraq.
Then there is the PNAC "process of transformation" statement.
And on and on.
The truth is, we don't know the truth but it is interesting to hear that so many people don't believe the official story. That says a lot about the credibility of the mainstream media and our politicians of the day.
That many people can't all be crazy can they?????

Leave a comment if you've seen it


I'm still waiting for the full show to be posted, but some of the interviews are there now...

"So many conspiracy

"So many conspiracy theories, so little time"...gag.

We have Truther disease.

We have Truther disease. Trutheritis. Thank you CBC for pointing this out.

We have Truther disease.

We have Truther disease. Trutheritis. Thank you CBC for pointing this out.

Good to see Richard Gage to

Good to see Richard Gage to not speculate! I was screaming at the TV don't speculate Richard on that final segment and he didn't! Woo hoo!!!

Their bias is clear

Their bias is clear in the still photos they've used to represent the interviews with Daniel Sunjata, Najib Abboud and John Farmer. Since these are talking head interviews with no other visuals, CBC had their choice of hundreds of shots of the interviewee to represent the entire video. When the interview with Abboud finished, his still came back up and I was taken aback at how attractive he looked (in the still). They picked a shot that made him look not only fairly handsome, but thoughtful, relaxed and intelligent. His face is bathed in a soft light with no harsh shadow under his jaw and no bright lights bouncing off his forehead.

John Farmer gave a very serious interview yet they used a still of him smiling.

Now look at the still they chose for Daniel Sunjata. He's a devastatingly handsome actor, with full lips, expressive dark eyes, perfect cheekbones, chiseled jaw, radiant smile. Yet in his still, which of course represents just a moment in time from his 7 minute interview, he is sneering slightly and his brow is furrowed. Glare on his forehead reveals some minor skin imperfections. His ear is a strange shade of red; was it photoshopped? In short, they managed to make one of the world's most appealing men look angry, unapproachable and almost ordinary.

Many people who will carefully parse words will be influenced unconsciously by the appearance of the men, and CBC gave the advantage to the official story shills.

On another topic, Najib Abboud comes out with some real howlers. This is the first I've heard of his stool theory.

It goes like this: the reason the south tower collapsed first is because the plane took out a corner, leaving it like a stool with three legs, which of course was less stable than the north tower, which still had all four of its "corners" and was more like four legged stool. (At 7:15 in the vid.)

Say what? The primary support columns were in the core of the buildings, and although there were perimeter columns, there was no extra support at the corners. In fact the towers were designed to be able to withstand hurricane force winds even if all perimeter columns on one side and two corners were removed.

Another glaring error.

I agree with you Sheila about the images. It seemed all the images of truthers were dark and shadowy while the images in pop mech were bright and cheery. I believe this will have a minor psychological effect on the viewer but I think in the end there were some powerful positive images of Gage, Sunjata etc and their testimonies were clear and well articulated.
I did realize one glaring error this morning that I missed last night. Jim Meigs, in his smarmy disingenuous tone assured the viewers that the military doesn't scramble fighters for domestic flights going off course within the USA boundaries. And yet the image of Payne Stewart's plane being shadowed by 2 fighter planes is still vivid after 10 years.