Book Review: Two Truthful Books (2004, 2005)

The New Pearl Harbor New Pearl Harbor
Disturbing questions about the Bush administration and 9/11
by David Ray Griffin

2004, Olive Branch Press, 168 pages

911 Omissions and DistortionsThe 9/11 Commission Report
Omissions and Distortions
by David Ray Griffin

2005, Olive Branch Press, 295 pages

“What makes [Dr. Griffin’s books on 911] so special
is they explore the most sensitive and controversial terrain—the broad landscape of official behavior in relation to the tragedy of 9/11—in the best spirit of academic detachment, coupled with an exemplary display of the strongest scholarly virtue: a willingness to allow inquiry to follow the path of evidence and reason wherever it leads.  And it leads here to explosive destinations, where severe doubts are raised about the integrity and worldview of our leadership in those parts of the government that exercise the greatest control over the behavior and destiny of the country, particularly in the area of national security, which includes a war overseas and the stifling of liberties at home.”—Richard Falk, from the Foreword

We have two basic options in how to regard the events of that fateful day, September 11, 2001:

  1. Accept the official conspiracy theory as articulated through the major media and supported sometimes explicitly, though mostly implicitly, by various agencies of the US government.
  2. Reject the official conspiracy theory in favor of an alternative conspiracy theory based on a preponderance of evidence that shows some degree of complicity in the attacks of 9/11 by officials at the highest levels of the US government.

In practice, as Dr. Griffin points out, only the advocates of option 2 are considered by the government and its controlled media to be conspiracy theorists.  But both positions are conspiracies.

The relevant definition of conspiracy is “the attempt to explain the cause of an event as a secret, and often deceptive, plot by a covert alliance.”

The official conspiracy theory holds that 19 hijackers of Muslim Arab origin under direction of a former CIA operative with kidney disease from a cave in Afghanistan in a secret operation defeated the most advanced air-defense system in the world in a surprise attack. The alternative conspiracy theory holds that men in positions of power within the US political structure, military services, and intelligence agencies—who would stand to gain incredibly more power—planned, enabled, and/or controlled the attacks of 9/11.  The alternative theory by necessity also holds that the perpetrators of 9/11 covered up their crime largely through the advocacy of an official conspiracy theory.

In practice there are shades and nuances to the two theories: if one holds the official theory one can concede widespread incompetence in the government, or if one holds the alternative theory one can argue a lower or higher level of complicity.  Readers of my column[1] know where I stand on 9/11.  I am personally convinced, through readings and viewings of innumerable citizen and professional inquiries, of the validity of the alternative conspiracy theory.  And I’m similarly convinced that the complicity of high government officials extends all the way to control and command of detailed operations.  The ruling elites are the only individuals who had all three bases—motive, means, and opportunity—to commit the Crime of The Millennium.

Dr. Griffin, as he explains in The New Pearl Harbor, did not become skeptical of the official story until spring of 2003.  Until that point, as most of us who tend to be skeptical of fantastic claims, he “had assumed that conspiracy theories about 9/11 were below the threshold of possible credibility.”  Then at the behest of a fellow professor he knew to be “sensible,” Griffin browsed several relevant Websites, especially a massive timeline drawn entirely from mainstream sources entitled, “Was 9/11 Allowed to Happen?” by independent researcher Paul Thompson.

“About the same time I happened to read Gore Vidal’s Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta, which pointed me to the most extensive book on 9/11, The War on Freedom: How and Why America Was Attacked September 11, 2001, by Nafeez Ahmed, an independent researcher in England.”

At that point Griffin was on board.  As a theological scholar from Claremont University, Dr. Griffin had published several widely respected works on philosophy and religion.  Seeing that many of the best researchers on the subject of 9/11 lacked the access to a satisfactory literary outlet, Griffin decided to enter the fray with an article that turned into his first 9/11 book A New Pearl Harbor.[2]  I seldom read books written by scholars, not to mention scholarly books written simply and straightforwardly.  But turning the pages of Dr. Griffin’s works on the 9/11 subject I can tell you they represent a systematic, elegant, almost poetic dismantlement of the entire edifice of official 9/11 pretension.  It’s like going to school and getting all the arguments and answers, or as in chess, going through all the moves and countermoves in a celebrated victory of a Grandmaster: 911 was certainly an inside job; we just don’t understand the exact whos, whats, whens, wheres, and hows… yet.

All the 9/11 truth movement wants is a real crime investigation.

What truly astounds me is how the government ever thought people around the world would believe its fairy tale!  As a trump card for casual chat on the subject, I usually point to the collapse of World Trade Center 7, which was not struck by an airplane.  WTC 7 was obviously brought down via controlled implosion; not only that, the leaseholder of the building, Larry Silverstein, is captured on television stating let’s “just pull it,” i.e. go ahead and collapse the building to avoid safety issues.  The 911 Commission Report does not even mention the collapse of WTC 7, and no official report has determined a cause for its collapse.  Many people you talk with are not even aware that the 47-story steel-framed office building fell on 9/11!

But there’s more; here’s my own list, drawn from several sources, of the obvious problems with the official story (from my Improbable Collapse review):

  • high-level obstruction of discovery of plotters’ operations
  • govt monitoring of hijackers, foreknowledge of attacks
  • no normal expedited fighter jet intercept of errant planes
  • war games were in effect in North American skies, 9/11/01
  • unknowns made $$$ via puts on stocks affected by attacks
  • no publicly released evidence of remains of plane victims
  • no publicly released evidence of plane debris of flight planes
  • flight recorders alleged damaged but not released publicly
  • no visual evidence of a 757 (F. 77) having hit the Pentagon
  • required maneuvers of F. 77 virtually impossible for a 757
  • private video recordings of Pentagon confiscated by govt
  • cellphone conversations from F. 93 incapable at that altitude
  • debris of F. 93 scattered over several miles, false siting
  • reports from reputable UK news orgs several hijackers alive
  • lack of crime investigation; instead 911 Commission “novel”
  • inability of fuel fires to penetrate fireproofing of WTC steel
  • inability of fuel fires to weaken/melt steel columns of WTC
  • no steel-framed building in history has collapsed from fire
  • building collapses “in place” always = controlled demolition
  • no other causal mechanism could have collapsed WTC #7
  • govt disposes of the WTC structural steel w/o examining

Any one of the above posed objections (please forgive the shorthand), once conclusively demonstrated, casts doubt on the entire official story.  What Dr. Griffin does for the 911 Truth Movement is put together the most efficient, organized, readable package for the whole enchilada of 9/11 truth.  From his works, you can branch out intelligently to the entire body of literature and recordings.  Dr. Griffin has even put together Debunking 9/11 Debunking in response to those who have used popular media outlets to support the official story, e.g. the peculiarly weak Popular Science article .  (I’ll be reviewing Debunking 9/11 Debunking soon.)

Note: One critical piece of evidence I did not formerly appreciate is the extent to which emergency jet-fighter response was obviously ordered “stood down” on 9/11 by the highest echelons of NORAD… and thus presumably by the Cheney-led emergency command center in the White House bunker.  The evidence that the military (and 9/11 Commission) is lying about its actions that day is overwhelming.

Another key contribution to the analysis by Dr. Griffin is his establishment of a ranking SunFLOWersystem—in The New Pearl Harbor—for complicity, from level 1 (simple construction of a false account) to level 8 (White House involved in the planning).  VGS (very good stuff). Probably the best compliment one can pay to Professor Griffin is that he makes you feel comfortable with the facts.


[1] Through inference in several columns, but in my book review Truth Jihad and my documentary movie review Improbable Collapse, I have gone to some length to convey what I see as the essential compelling analysis by the 911 truth movement.  And recently I have been proud to join Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth.

[2] The title is drawn from consideration of two documents: 1) the Project for a New American Century’s (PNAC‘s) publication: Rebuilding America’s Defenses (2000) which argues for using any pretext to deploy military forces to grab oil-rich properties in the Middle East (“Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”) and, 2) Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book, The Grand Chessboard (1997) (“[the American public] had supported America’s engagement in WW2 largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.”), which argues that such an attack is necessary if naturally uninterested Americans are going to rise to the challenge of militarily intimidating the rest of the world.

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