From JFK to Sept. 11, conspiracy theories thrive - Associated Press

By TAMARA LUSH Associated Press - August 11, 2011 (AP)

Conspiracy theories come with the territory here. And at Barbec's Restaurant on the other side of this sprawling city, six men sit on a covered porch and convene a meeting of the North Texans for 9/11 Truth group and talk about the government's lies about 9/11.

The group has 50 active members; 200 on the mailing list. And they number among many thousands who, after years of investigations, don't believe the official version of how the World Trade Center collapsed, who was responsible or what the government knew and when.

Politics doesn't have anything to do with it; two were once staunch, Bush-voting conservatives; two are progressives and two weren't even interested in current events until after the 2001 attacks.

"Before 9/11, I was a working class person, going through life, pretty much accepting everything given and told to me," said Bryan Black, a 50-year-old carpenter from Commerce, Texas, "I'm starting to see things. I'm more open to skeptical conversation."

The skeptics — they prefer the term "9/11 truth activists" instead of "truthers" — have persisted, even thrived in the decade since 2001, with proponents from former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel to comedian Rosie O'Donnell. And unlike the years that Kennedy assassination conspiracies took to develop, they have mobilized with lightning-like speed on the Internet, with YouTube videos of the trade center collapsing again and again.

"There's really a foundation of reality here," said Ted Walter, who has worked unsuccessfully to prod New York City officials into reopening an investigation of how 7 World Trade Center collapsed on the afternoon of Sept 11. "We believe that if all of the American public saw footage of building 7 on the nightly news, it would lead to widespread skepticism of 9/11."

For many, conspiracy theories aren't terrifying; they're more comforting than the idea that an event as terrifying as Sept. 11 could be so — random.

Conspiracies can be a "security blanket" for explaining away the horrific, asserts Patrick Leman, a University of London professor who researches 9/11 theories. "It stops us from having to confront the unpredictability of life."

Jonathan Kay, a columnist with the Canadian newspaper The National Post and the author of a book about conspiracy theories, said it's normal for people to seek out complicated and detailed explanations of big events.

"There is something in the human mind that rebels against the idea of random forces or individuals being able to bring down powerful people or powerful icons," said Kay.

There's no real estimate of the numbers of people in the 9/11 "truth" movements — there's no one leader of the skeptics. A group called Remember Building 7 presented New York's City Council with a petition in 2009 signed by 80,000 people calling for an independent probe into the attacks. Other groups include Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Scholars for 9/11 Truth and the 9/11 Commission Campaign, founded by Gravel.

The "truthers" generally have about a dozen beliefs surrounding what happened on that day, although there are some variations on who was responsible for the attacks and why:

— Explosives brought down the World Trade Center, not hijacked jetliners.

— There were warnings of the impending attacks from 11 different countries, and fighter jets could have intercepted at least one of the four planes that day.

— Criminal conspiracies within the government caused the attacks.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted a probe that took six years to complete of the tower collapses; the last report found that fire caused the collapse of 7 World Trade Center, a skyscraper north of the twin towers. In the collapses of the twin towers, the agency found that extreme heat from the jetliner crashes caused some steel beams to lose strength, causing further failures in the building until the entire structure succumbed.

The investigation "was the most comprehensive examination of a structural failure ever conducted," said Shyam Sunder, lead investigator of the collapse investigation and led to 40 building code changes to make safer, terror-proof skyscrapers. NIST maintains a website with its reports and computer-based animations that reconstruct its findings to reach out to the public.

Sunder acknowledges it hasn't reached everyone.

"We really can't explain why some people question our findings about the WTC collapses when we have done our best to present those findings and how they were derived as clearly as possible," Sunder wrote in an e-mail.

It begs the question: why is there such a distrust of government when it comes to 9/11? Is it due to feeling alienated from our fractured political system, a bad economy, or something else?

For Bob McIlvaine's son, it was the injuries found on his son Bobby's head, arm and skin that made him think the hijacked jetliner and building collapse couldn't have done it. He believes that explosives were detonated in the towers' basement before the planes hit the towers.

McIlvaine has not been able to determine where his son was when he died, but from the injuries — which include skin that was burned post-mortem — he assumes that his son was in or near the tower's lobby. McIlvaine questions the government's explanation that a fireball came down through the elevator shafts and burned those in the lobby.

"I spend three hours a day, every day, doing research on 9/11," said McIlvaine. "To me, this was a murder investigation. My son was murdered."

Tom Theimer watched the World Trade Center crumble while drinking coffee and watching television in his suburban Dallas home. Shaken, he bought flags for his porch and bumper stickers for his car reading "We will never forget."

A few years later, a friend of Theimer's wife casually mentioned that 9/11 "was an inside job." Theimer was livid and turned to the Internet, to prove the friend wrong.

The websites, the books and the documentaries he saw online persuaded him. He was wrong, and so was the system.

"I was duped," Theimer said. "It really hurt. I cried. I couldn't sleep for months."

Theimer said that he and others in Dallas are planning to show a new 9/11 documentary on the 10th anniversary. Remember Building 7 is trying to raise $1 million by Sept. 11 to support a new investigation into the collapses.

A conference on alternate 9/11 theories is being held in Toronto on Sept. 11.

The conference is headed by the International Center for 9/11 Studies, which was founded by James Gourley, a 31-year-old Dallas-area attorney who began to question the events of Sept. 11 during law school, while watching an activist make his argument on C-Span.

Gourley is aware of the theories about how skeptics are simply trying to justify and explain a random, horrific event.

"It's basically a backwards way of saying we're psychologically deranged," he said. "It's questioning the psychology of the people instead of questioning the facts."

Even in the heart of the conspiracy theory world, some find the alternate theories hard to believe.

At Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas, Scott Dew hawked commemorative Kennedy assassination newspapers to tourists, standing under an oak tree, just steps from a white "X'' painted on the asphalt that marks where President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

Dew's newspapers — which cost $5 each and come encased in a plastic sleeve — devote several pages and diagrams to the varying theories of bullet projectiles and second shooters on the grassy knoll.

Kennedy's assassination was "a conspiracy by the government," Dew says. "Back then, in '63, this was a money and power deal."

But Sept. 11? A conspiracy? He shakes his head.

"I believe bin Laden was the attacker. I don't believe the other theories that President Bush or the government had anything to do with it. That would just be a little too sinful," he said.



911 —

National Institute of Standards and Technology —


EDITOR'S NOTE — Tamara Lush is traveling the country writing about the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Follow her on Twitter at

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The investigation "was the

The investigation "was the most comprehensive examination of a structural failure ever conducted," said Shyam Sunder, lead investigator of the collapse investigation...

Lol. "..except we forgot to mention everything that happened during and after the hypothetical collapse initiation..." ! ;)

This is where so much of the NIST investigation gets hidden successfully in the mainstream, because the vast majority of the American population, who aren't 9/11 nerds, have never read the reports or familiarized themselves with the contents, have no idea what went into them and what vast realms of unanswered phenomena were left out.

"We really can't explain why some people question our findings about the WTC collapses when we have done our best to present those findings and how they were derived as clearly as possible," Sunder wrote in an e-mail.

Except that Sunder himself, only a few years ago, "really couldn't explain" what had happened to WTC 7.

Huffington Post


freakin' time.

"It really hurt. I cried. I couldn't sleep for months."

Sounds like me. The truth about 9/11 shook me to the core. I knew our Government was corrupt. All Governments are. I just didn't realize how corrupt it realy was. Sure I cried. It broke my heart that our country was run by a bunch of thugs. What kills me is that some people still believe the official story. What a joke. The official story makes no sence at all. Same thing goes with the Kennedy assassination. I wonder if anyone still believes that lie?


BTW - that is the group I founded. I'm proud to say. That is our own "TomT" who cried and couldn't sleep and James Gourley whom we all admire and appreciate.
Bryan Black took over organizing the group and does a fine job.

Way to Go North Texans!

Bryan Black told me this was coming up on an Action Group call. AP interview. Outstanding!
North Texans are among the best organizations in the country.........

Photo Caption Stories are in some publications.

The photographer wrote script for photos.

Here is a link which shows the photographer's photos. Click the photo for a link to a caption story.

Here is what the reporter, Tamara Lush, had to say...

On her website
Here is what she wrote:
by Tamara Lush
This is one of my favorite stories since starting the Sept. 11 anniversary assignment. It’s about people who don’t believe the government’s story of how 9/11 happened. The guys in the North Texans for 9/11 Truth group were especially helpful to me.

One of the things that has surprised me while doing this assigment over the past three months is that so many people feel the government isn’t telling the whole truth about 9/11. Most of the people who feel this way are just regular folks, people I meet while traveling. They’re not members of any group or activists of any sort.

Story here.

Tamara Lush was a pleasure to be with. She was a "real person". It was close to 100 degrees in Dallas. Tamara was wearing a nice dress and she wanted to stay outside on the restaurant patio where we had first met her when she arrived. She listened to us for more than 2 hours straight (in the heat) and took copious notes the entire time. She already was very well informed about different aspects of 9/11 Truth, but also asked a lot of questions. I liked her. She called me several times after the interview to make sure that she had certain facts straight. I believe that she would have written a much longer article about 9/11 Truth, but was limited on space. Based out of Florida, she stays very busy with other assignments in different parts of the country. As a sidenote: she has a good friend who doesn't believe the official story. The AP photographer (Ortega) also was a great guy. We gave Tamara a big packet of DVDs and info cards.

From the headline onwards, not impressed

"The truth is out there or is it?" Nice Orwellian headline. Would we ask this about Newton's Laws? "The truth about Newton's Laws is out there or is it?"

Tamara Lush writes some friendly mush, but fails to pose or answer any hard questions. Isn't that what journalists are paid to do?

Lush (inadvertantly or not) gives more space for Sunder to argue his case, than to the North Texas members she meets.

She then fails to point out where and how Sunder is wrong; the holes in his research, the junk science that that is the NIST report. She fails to mention that Sunder is government employee, who receives his cheques from the US Department of Commerce. ie.
She fails to delve deeper and wastes time (and space - a precious commodity in the media) on wondering about JFK and 'conspiracy theories' .

She fails to mention that the official narrative is itself a generic conspiracy theory - considering a group of operatives (whoever they were) CONSPIRED TOGETHER to hoodwink the entire security of the American eastern seaboard and the Pentagon, one September morning.
Tamara Lush could have done so much better. Maybe when she gets home and goes through the DVDs she'll start to understand?

In the meantime, 10 years after the event, we are so grateful a journalist pays a modicum of attention to the subject, that we accept any scraps they throw our way.

Where is the great, lauded Free And Fair Media the American and other Western governments like to boast about, whilst preaching about Democracy, Freedom and Free Speech to the rest of the world?

Where are the free, independent investigative journalists from the democratic Fourth Estate, who are impartial, unbiased and report without fear or favour. Or so we are told?

The corporate press has been asleep at the wheel for the last decade - and ordinary citizens and scientists and academics have had to step in to fill the vacuum. And courageously, they have, all the while being smeared as "conspiracy nuts' by the very journalists who don't examine the evidence.

The information is out there. Many of us have repeatedly asked media and journalists to LOOK AT IT for years. I know I have - And Tamara, while showing more friendly willingness than some - does not step up to the journalistic plate.

Writers answer to editors, who answer to publishers,

who answer to their corporate boards.

If writers don't submit what their editors want, it doesn't get printed.

If they do this on an ongoing basis, they lose their job.

The corporate media is not asleep, they are simply keeping their heads down and writing what they are told to write, in a way that pleases the people who sign their checks.

A few years back we did a demonstration outside of a local tv station in SF, more than one person came out of the building and told us they knew there was a cover-up going on, but that there was no way for them to get the real story past their superiors.

It is truly sad when people are forced to choose between economics and ethics, it just underscores how completely corrupt our society has become.

I think you could have a bit more empathy with this writer, but I fully understand and share your disgust with the so-called fourth estate.

Our response must be, and has been, to be the media ourselves. I think we have done quite well to date, too.

WOOHOO! Read the comments at AP

search: From JFK to Sept.

search: From JFK to Sept. 11, conspiracy theories thrive" tamara lush"

1,290 results

UPDATE Now (Sat) 9,570


search results

Free Promotion worth many thousands of dollars

I firmly believe that this story is worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars in “free advertising”, because it mentions the subject and many topics surrounding 9/11 Truth. ...and the article is all over the place nationally, from Yahoo to AOL to newspapers and even TV station websites.

The exposure is fantastic! The 9/11 Truth subject again becomes highlighted attention.

This article will be recycled. So, this is going to get a lot of play.

As one comparison of article advertising, if you ever read some of the " advice articles" on AOL or Yahoo, you will see that many are often sponsored. For example: How to clean...then several times Chlorox is mentioned.

Our ranks will swell as a result of this article.
Free promotion nationally.


for getting AP to do this. I have only one critically remark: I begun translating the article just to found out there is not one rationale argument in it for our cause. I'm wondering why.