The Beginning of the End?
By David Patnode

April 18, 2005

I attended a lecture tonight at the UW-Madison campus by Christian theologian David Ray Griffin. This is the author of The New Pearl Harbor — Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11. His most recent book is The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. The title speaks for itself.

The lecture this evening was reported to be the first of its kind — the first time a formal lecture has challenged the official 9/11 story. In addition, it was being recorded for broadcast later on C-SPAN! The lecture was entitled "9/11 and the American Empire: How Should Religious People Respond?" He started off with some definitions of "religious people" (apparently Christianity isn't the only religion), and "American Empire" — the conservatives would have you believe America is the world's first "benign" empire, but I think the point is pretty debatable. Then he gets into the heart of the lecture with a discussion of 9/11. He categorizes people into 4 groups:

  1. People who believe the official story that the 9/11 attacks were a surprise attack orchestrated by 19 Islamic Al-Qaeda terrorists.
  2. People who believe 9/11 was used opportunistically by the Bush administration to advance an agenda.
  3. People who believe that the Bush administration had foreknowledge of the attacks but did not stop nor prevent them. No national polls have been taken, but one Zogby poll in New York City showed 50% of the people thought Bush knew.
  4. People who believe the Bush administration orchestrated the 9/11 attacks.

Griffin goes on to describe how religious people in each of these groups would justify the "war on terror":

  1. If you believe these were surprise attacks by terrorists, the war is justified then as "punishing evil", and you'd have no suspicion of American imperialism.
  2. Those who consider Bush to be opportunistic with respect to 9/11 would probably categorize America's response as worse than the attacks themselves; they would tend to recognize that these attacks were most likely a "blowback" or response for decades of poor US-Mideast foreign policy.
  3. People who believe the Bush administration knew about the attack, and let it happen anyway, would be angry. Very angry. For an administration that emphasizes the importance of "sanctity of life" to let thousands of innocent Americans die, to justify starting a war where hundreds of thousands of more people will die, that's worse than just hypocrisy. That smacks of treason.
  4. If the third group is angry, the ideas of the 4th group are too horrible too think about — to consider that an American president and his administration would develop, orchestrate, and execute an attack against the American people — that's unthinkable! Or is it?

And there's where the lecture jumps into the serious questions and contradictions that anyone who's read any of the 9/11 Truth sites or The New Pearl Harbor is well aware. I'll reiterate what David Griffin spoke about this evening, but these questions are but a drop in the barrel.

He first brought up evidence to support the third group — that the Bush administration must have known about the 9/11 attacks. He spoke for a bit about the FBI and the testimony to the 9/11 Commission that the FBI had no knowledge of these attacks. Which, incidentally, is contradicted by a number of FBI agents & personnel. Attorney David Schippers (the lead prosecutor in the case against former President Clinton) announced within days after the attacks that he had been allegedly approached by several FBI agents weeks before warning of an impending attack — including details of where & when. The agents allegedly told him to stop their investigation by superiors, and when Schippers tried to get some answers Attorney General Ashcroft wouldn't return his calls.

Another little piece of damning evidence comes from the financial markets. Griffin reported that days before the attacks there were extraordinarly high "put options" placed on United Airlines, American Airlines and one of the firms that occupied several floors of the World Trade Center. Put options are essentially bets that the stock price is going to fall. So obviously somebody knew about the attacks and planned to profit off of them, and Griffin argues that the intelligence community keeps tabs on the financial markets to watch for things like this (at least, I believe that's what he said, my notes are vague).

Then we get into the really good stuff — 4 examples that Griffin presents to support the argument that not only did the Bush administration know about the attacks, it was actively involved in planning them:

  1. The US military failed to stop the attacks and gave 3 different stories for why it failed. To start, the standard operating procedure for the FAA is to alert the military at the earliest sign that a plane might have been hijacked, and the military standard operating procedure is to have the nearest base scramble fighters to intercept the flight in question. This process takes 10-20 minutes, and Griffin says it happens about 100 times a year, so there's no excuse for these procedures not to have been followed on 9/11/2001.

    • First story: No fighters were in the air until after the Pentagon was hit, some 90+ minutes after the FAA reported the first hijacking.
    • Second story: They did send up fighters, but the FAA responded too slowly and the fighters didn't get there in time. If this story is accurate, then someone at FAA broke standard operating procedure — why has no one been held accountable for this? And even then, Griffin argues, the fighters still should have gotten there in time.
    • Third story: This was the story "made up" by the 9/11 Commission that the FAA gave insufficient warning about the first plane and NO warnings about the other planes. This directly contradicts the military's (second) story, which it had been using for the previous 3 years, as well as the many credible & mutually supporting stories of people involved (no details were given).

    Obviously, not all 3 of these stories can be true. Either the military, the 9/11 Commission, or both, are lying. And why would they lie, but as a cover up?

  2. The attacks on the Pentagon — the official story is that Flight 77 was crashed into the Pentagon. Assuming this is the case — how?

    • The Pentagon is the world's best defended site, within a couple miles of Andrews Air Force Base. The military claims there were no fighter squadrons on alert, which Griffin says is ridiculous.
    • The United States military boasts of the best radar system anywhere — they claim they don't miss anything in North American airspace, and the system is designed to track multiple targets simultaneously (as it would need to if America were under attack from a foreign air force or ICBM missle attack). So how'd they miss a commercial airliner headed right for the Pentagon?
    • The Pentagon is equipped with anti-aircraft missle batteries that attacks anything within range that's not equipped with a US military transponder. Which means either the missle batteries were deactivated on 9/11 or Flight 77 had a US military transponder. Neither of which is a promising explanation.

    But there's also evidence indicating it couldn't have been a commercial airliner that hit the Pentagon:

    • The alleged pilot of Flight 77 was, according to reports, a terrible pilot and would not have been capable of executing the complex maneuvers required to hit the west side of the Pentagon, which brings us to ...
    • Why would any terrorist, capable of plotting a massive attack against the United States, "the enemy", hit the west side of the Pentagon, which not only required complex maneuvers to get to, but was also under renovation! If you were going to attack the heart of your enemy's military power, wouldn't you want to wipe out as many of their military personnel and leaders as you could? Since all of the top brass were on the east side, why would you target the west side?
    • There was far too little damage to the Pentagon facade for a Boeing 757 to have crashed into it.
    • There are no unambigous photos of the crash site that showed the aftermath — no clear evidence of what was really there. [But see here.] Furthermore, the FBI confiscated all videos taken of the area after the crash and has refused to release them. Why would they do that, if not to hide the truth?

  3. The WTC attacks — the evidence strongly suggests the towers (and WTC 7) were brought down by controlled demolition using thousands of explosives. The clearest supporter of this is the fact that no high rise steel framed building has EVER, before or after 9/11, collapsed because of fire. And there have been other, larger fires (both in real buildings and experiments) than the fires produced by the 9/11 attacks. The buildings also collapsed at nearly free-fall speed, which is another indication of a controlled demolition; people also reported hearing explosives, and the concrete was pulverized into a very fine dust. Griffin suggested that you try this experiment — take a block of concrete and drop it from a 1000 feet. Is that block going to turn completely into dust when it impacts? And if the towers were really collapsing downward, why was so much dust & debris blown out horizontally several hundred feet? And how to explain the pools of molten steel?

    Another couple of unanswered questions: Despite the fact that it's a federal offence to remove evidence from the scene of a crime, why was all of the steel from the towers loaded onto trucks and shipped to Asia as quickly as possible? Also, if the 9/11 Commission's "pancake" theory of collapsing is true, why were the 47 steel columns (that made up the primary weight-bearing structure of the towers) not still sticking up several hundred feet through the rubble? The 9/11 Commission conveniently denies the existence of these, instead saying the center of the towers were hollow-metal service shafts. Never mind the fact these steel beams were a specific, unique characteristic of the WTC!

    Oh yeah — and the 9/11 Commission Report simply ignores the fact that WTC 7 (a 47-story building) collapsed, allegedly because of fires on 2 different floors.

  4. Finally, Griffin questions our Secret Service Agency — dedicated men & women whose job it is to protect our nation's leader. If these were real attacks, then why was Bush allowed to sit, for 10 minutes after the second plane crashed, in a public location that was well-publicized? If the Secret Service didn't know what the terrorists were planning, wouldn't the most immediate, safest thing to do be to get the President whisked away to a secure location? Instead, Griffin points out, they allowed him to sit where he was, for about 10 minutes after the second hijacked plane crashed. The only reason not to rush him away would be if they already knew he wasn't in danger — and the only way to know that is if they were somehow in on it.

Griffin continues on to discuss America's "Global Domination Project", and how intelligence and military policy-focus is on protecting and extending America's interests and investments — not on spreading democracy and peace. The missile defense system, while touted as a defensive measure against missle attacks, is really the first step in weaponizing space — ensuring that the US has space superiority by denying others access. A missle defensive system would be simple to turn around and use offensively.

Griffin talks a little about the paper "Rebuilding America's Defenses", published by the Project for a New American Century just before Bush took office. It argues for more tax dollars to be spent for military technology and weaponizing space, and suggests that implementing these ideas would be slow unless the American people had a catastrophic catalyst, a new "Pearl Harbor". Interesting, then, how Bush describes these attacks exactly that way in his diary on the night of 9/11. Also quite amazing was how Rumsfield, that very night, was right on-message (despite just having had the largest attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor happen under his nose), berating Democrats for previously denying the Pentagon additional money to greatly increase military & weapons technologies. Needless to say, $40 billion was granted very quickly.

Griffin also describes the establishment of new permament US military bases in central Asia as a result of the war, and talks at length about America's "Global Domination Project". It was an interesting section of the talk, but I didn't take many notes during it. I picked up again when he got back to the topic of suggestions for what religious people should do — he started by saying the Global Domination Project has a perverted value system that should be at odds with the value system of just about every world religion.

He had 4 suggestions for religious people:

  1. Discover & speak the truth — investigate Griffin's claims, and if you believe them, spread the truth. Get people talking about these questions.
  2. Create new mediums and communications to spread the truth. The mass media and Congress don't show any interest in pursuing the truth, and many left-wing groups and online mediums are hostile to religious people, so religious people need to develop their own new, religious communications channels to spread the word.
  3. Formulate proposals to subvert the American Global Domination Project — need to get proposals for subversion from religious thinkers, based on their value systems. Emphasize the morality and values of religion and the perverted value system of GDP — this needs to come from the religious groups to really get a strong base and momentum.
  4. Form alliances with other moral, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that support peace, human rights, etc. Forge those relationships and emphasize the common moral principles of religion & these NGOs.

There was a Q&A session that followed, where audience questions that had been written on cards during the lecture were read. Just a couple of notes from this part of the lecture:

All in all, a very interesting lecture — most of the material was not new to me, but I was excited to see the diversity of people present — old, young, well-dressed, "dirty hippies", etc. I hope this lecture was the start of a grand unraveling of the lies, deceits and secrecy that enshrouds the truth about 9/11.

Returning to my apartment, I considered where to go from here. To me it seems like we need to force the issue out into the open. The host at the talk indicated he had given a copy of The New Pearl Harbor to Senator Russ Feingold a few weeks ago — I thought that was a great idea. In fact, I brainstormed that should be a national campaign. It could be called something like "Send the Truth" or "We can handle the Truth!" and the goal would be to swamp the halls of Congress with copies of 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions and other such material. If there are 535 Congressional offices, and we can get 4 copies of that book sent to each office, that's over 2000 copies landing in Congress's lap. That would generate some publicity, I think! Of course, I decided I need to actually read the book for myself before engaging in such a campaign, so I stopped off at Borders on the way home to pick up both of Griffin's books and The 9/11 Report (with reporting & analysis by the New York Times; the regular version of the report that was sitting on the shelf looked pretty grungy).

My first goal will be to uncover the truth — what really happened on 9/11? If it turns out that the Bush Administration did have foreknowledge, or worse, orchestrated the attack, then my secondary goal would be to see all of those involved brought to justice on charges of treason. And I would like to see that happen (if that turns out to be the case) before the official end of Bush's second term. If we have a traitor in the White House, he should not be allowed to continue to destroy this country and the principles and values that have built it.

On an eerie note, the lecture and Q&A tonight ended at exactly 9:11 PM.

Notice: This document is based upon my individual perceptions, notes, and memory of David Griffin's speech at UW-Madison on 2005-Apr-18. Although I have tried faithfully to recall the significant content of his speech, it is not complete and some details may be missing, wrong or misconstrued. All of the points of argument regarding the 9/11 events are described in much greater detail in the books mentioned and on various websites — you can start with or and go from there. I have no direct or indirect affiliation with MUJCA-NET, any 9/11 Truth sites, Mr. Griffin or any of the books. I'm simply a concerned citizen of the United States of America who wants to know what really happened and to see that justice is rightly served.

Update (2005-Apr-20):

The place where Osama bin Laden was allegedly visited by CIA agents was Dubai. Thanks to those who filled in that detail for me!

Also, one of Madison's local newspapers (The Capital Times) had a well-written article about the lecture in their April 19, 2005, edition. You can read it online here:

Copyright 2005 David Patnode

"linelites" informs us that:

CSPAN has aired and will air again this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. a lecture by theologian David Ray Griffin at the University of Michigan at Madison.

This lecture has created quite a buzz in the 911 truth movement. Serious coverage by a mainstream outlet ... CSPAN ... is a breakthrough. Prof. Griffin gives a no holds barred lecture and discussion revealing the [US government] complicity in 911.

This episode demonstrates the growth of this movement and its building momentum.

The lecture is available:

in audio:
in video:

and is to be rebroadcast on CSPAN on May 7th, at 2:30PM EST (11:30AM West Coast).

Here is the announcement directly from C-span's website:

A copy of the entire Serendipity website is available on CD-ROM.  Details here.

September Song: A Review of The New Pearl Harbor
The World Trade Center Demolition and the So-Called War on Terrorism
Reply to Popular Mechanics re 9/11 Serendipity Home Page