58% of the French population has doubts about the official version of the attacks on September 11, 2001
Ten years after, how do the French perceive the events of September 11, 2001?
With the support of its members and sympathizers, the French association ReOpen911 has commissioned a survey on the subject by an independent organization and have published their results on September 9.
To this date, two surveys of this type have been made available in France: one by “TNS Sofres/Logica” for the French newsmagazine “NouvelObs” and another by World Public Opinion which was conducted in France as well as in 16 other countries. These surveys, which date back to September 2008, are already three year old, and the questions asked at the time do not measure the degree of skepticism of the population regarding the official story of the 9/11 Commission and the Bush administration.
For this reason, ReOpen911 requested an opinion poll by HEC Junior Consulting. The official junior company of the business school HEC Paris, HEC Junior Consulting was ranked first in its sector by the newsmagazine “Expansion” in 2009. The school has also been a finalist for the CNJI award for excellence every year since 2004. The survey was conducted in June 2011 based on a cross-section sample of the French population .
This survey is very revealing about the opinion of the French on the subject of 9/11.
Poll Results Summary
- 58% of the French population express doubts about the official version, compared to only 31% who express no doubts.
- Only 14% know that three towers collapsed on September 11, 2001.
- Nearly half of French respondents (49%) believe that US authorities may have let the attacks occur.
- One third (34%) believe that some US authorities may have been involved in the attacks.
- 49% are favorable to opening an independent inquiry to determine more about the events.
- Only 28% consider that the media have informed the public about September 11 in the fullest possible manner.
Question 1: Would you say that 9/11 is still a topical issue?
Remarkably, ten years after the event, 65% of the French population consider that 9/11 is still a topical issue.
Despite the announced death of Bin Laden, the repatriation of troops from Iraq and the expected repatriation of troops from Afghanistan, the uprisings in the Arab world and a highly eventful 2011 in general (financial crisis, Fukushima disaster, etc.), the French do not consider the issue out-of-date.
Question 2: Do you believe the Bush administration said everything it knew about the 9/11 attacks?
The well-known reporter, Eric Laurent, author of a deep inquiry into the subject, spoke of 911 as “a collection of lies, surrounded by mystery” (France 2 television program “On a tout Essayé”, October 12, 2004, 01:35 min). Today, 72% of the French believe that the Bush administration has not said everything it knew about the events.
In comparison, a survey conducted in Germany by “TNS Emnid” for the magazine “Welt der Wunder” posed the following question:
Do you believe that the US government told the entire truth about the 2001 attacks?
French HEC survey: No; 72%, Yes; 15.6%
German TNS survey: No; 89.5%, Yes; 9.2%
The percentage is significantly higher in Germany where 89.5% of the population believe the US government did not tell the entire truth. This is also the opinion in the US where, as early as 2006, 81% of the population believed that the administration was not telling the entire truth. (CBS News / New York Times poll, October 2006) .
Question 3: What is your opinion of the official version of the attacks on September 11?
58% of those surveyed express doubts about the official version, compared to only 31% who accept it as the truth.
In a context where public expression of doubt, even when expressed cautiously, is met with violent opposition, 58% is a surprising score. Although a majority of the French population is skeptic, skeptics are generally presented in a negative light and as being a tiny majority by the media.
It is worth pointing out that skepticism concerning the official version of 9/11 is increasing significantly in France. Skeptics, who comprised only between 20% and 30% of the French population surveyed in 2008 (based on two surveys from September 2008), comprise 58% three years later.
The number of persons in France expressing serious doubts is however smaller than those in the US where, as early as 2006, 28% believed that the members of the Bush administration had “all lied” (CBS News / New York Times poll, October 2006) , compared to 12% in France in 2011.
Question 4: How many towers collapsed on September 11, 2001?
Open question (responders were not prompted)
Only 14% of the French population know that three towers fell on 9/11.
A comparative analysis between question 3 and question 4 shows that people who know about the collapse of World Trade Center 7 are more incline to express doubts about the official version than those who don't know about this building.
To learn more about the collapse of the third tower, see 9/11: New 15-Minute Documentary You Have To See.
Question 5: During the last few years, would you say the media have tended to:
Only 28% of French respondents consider that the media informed the public about September 11 in the fullest possible manner.
Much can be learned by comparing this information with the results of TNS Sofres / La Croix de 2011 study which reveal that 40% of the French population believe that the quality of media is deteriorating as opposed to 21% who believe it is improving.
Question 6: Do you think that US authorities were informed in advance of the attacks and let the attacks occur?
See the results in the chart under question 7.
Question 7: Do you think that parts of the US authorities were involved in carrying out the attacks?
Nearly half of those surveyed (49%) believe that US authorities may have let the attacks occur.
A third of those surveyed (34%) believe that some US authorities may have been involved in carrying out the attacks.
Question 8: Would you be favorable toward opening:
• an in-depth public debate on the events of 9/11?
• an independent inquiry to find out more about these events?
It should also be noted here that almost half (48%) of all New Yorkers are favorable to opening a new inquiry on the collapse of building 7 (Stena Research Institute survey, May 2011).
(1) Survey conducted from June 6 to 24, 2011 using a cross-section sample of the French population, (500 people interviewed by telephone). By comparison, the World Public Opinion survey was conducted with 600 French respondents.
(2) (CBS News / New York Times poll, October 2006) The exact question and possible answers were: Concerning September 11 and the US intelligence service, “do you think that the members of the Bush administration are telling you the truth, are mainly telling the truth but hiding something, or are simply lying to you?”.
Are telling the truth: 16%
Are mainly telling the truth but hiding something: 53%
Are simply lying: 28%
No opinion: 3%