As readers of this journal may recall, David Ray Griffin is a philosopher of religion who has written a dozen books on 9/11, all of which have been reviewed in these pages. George W. Bush apparently wrote in his diary on September 11, 2001, that ‘the Pearl Harbour of the 21st-century happened today’, and we now know the foreign policy fallout of this event in terms of the War on Terror, along with domestic measures curtailing freedom and embodied in the Patriot Act. This book, 9/11 Unmasked. An International Review Panel Investigation by David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth, is the outcome of a six-year investigation by an international review panel covering 51 points ‘illustrating the problematic status of all the major claims in the official account of the 9/11 attacks, some of which are obviously false.’ Hence the title of this review, A forensic report, also because it uses the ‘best evidence’ consensus model for medical research and contains 875 footnotes. The panel of over 20 people includes experts on 9/11 from many disciplines, including physics, chemistry, structural engineering, aeronautical engineering, and jurisprudence.
The procedure was to present dubious claims from the official account to panellists separately and with no consultation to see if a consensus emerged. The examination of each claim was subjected to three rounds of review and feedback on a blind basis, and proposed points required a vote of at least 85% in order to be accepted. There are nine categories covered in the 51 points: the destruction of the Twin Towers, the destruction of WTC7, the attack on the Pentagon, the 9/11 flights, US military exercises on and before 9/11, claims about military and political leaders, Osama bin Laden and the hijackers, phone calls from the 9/11 flights, and insider trading.
I should state at the outset my view that the mainstream press has exhibited the greatest dereliction of duty here, not only in failing to investigate the evidence for themselves, but even more so for dismissing evidence-based arguments ‘as irrational, unsupported “conspiracy theories” and instead suggesting personal shortcomings that make people susceptible to conspiracy theories.’ This shows how terrified mainstream journalists are of being accused of naive belief in conspiracy theories, and I remind readers that the notion of a conspiracy theory was created by the CIA following the Kennedy assassination as a means of discrediting those questioning the official view. The most cursory reading of Griffin’s books, including this one, will disabuse readers of any hint of naive credulity; indeed, the credulous ones are the mainstream press for having uncritically accepted the findings of the official 9/11 report. However, no doubt they will ignore this book as they have the others. It would be good if there were a few more people like Peter Ketchum of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) who released a report on the collapse of the World Trade Centre towers in 2005. He writes in 2016 after watching documentaries challenging NIST’s findings that ‘the more I investigated, the more apparent it became that NIST reached a predetermined conclusion by ignoring, dismissing, and denying the evidence.’ For instance, NIST and indeed the 9/11 Commission were asked to determine how fire had brought the buildings down rather than to investigate more openly the causes of their collapse.
Each chapter consists of a description of the official account relating to the point at issue, the best evidence of what actually occurred, and a conclusion relating to the official claim. As a simple illustration using the first three points, it was claimed that no one gave evidence of explosions in the Twin Towers, while the best evidence suggests that 100 of the 500 members of the Fire Department of New York reported explosions, along with other journalists, police officers and WTC employees. Hence the NIST claim is false. The official account is that the Twin Towers were destroyed by aeroplane impacts, jet fuel and fire. However, the maximum temperature that such fires could have reached is 1,800 °F, while steel only melts at 2,700 °F, so something else must have been involved for this to have occurred. Hence the official account does not stand up to scrutiny and a new investigation is required. In addition, some debris was ejected horizontally from the Twin Towers to a distance of up to 600 m, which cannot be accounted for by gravity alone.
For me, the destruction of WTC7 is the clearest smoking gun. The official report claimed that it collapsed through fire alone, even though no comparable building anywhere in the world has collapsed, even with fires raging for up to 18 hours. If you look for yourself at WTC 7 - Side by Side Comparison to Controlled Demolition, you will see the collapse of WTC7 on the left half of the screen, and a sample controlled demolition on the right-hand side. For me, the conclusion is self-evident. Technically, all 82 of the building support columns would have to be eliminated to account for the near freefall acceleration of the building’s collapse. The book contains 30 pages of notes with detailed discussion on these points.
In their conclusion, the authors note that if the official account of 9/11 were true, ‘we would be surprised to find its claims about any of these nine topics to be false.’ The book shows them to be false in critical respects and across all nine categories; and, for instance, if WTC7 was brought down by explosives in a controlled demolition, then Al Qaeda could not have been responsible for this. The unavoidable conclusion is that the official 9/11 report should be classified as fake news, and a genuinely independent inquiry should be initiated in order to clear up these points. The truth is in fact in plain sight for those who have eyes to see, but don’t hold your breath that this book will create sufficient momentum for a new inquiry to be launched as it will no doubt be ignored by the mainstream press in the same way. It really is time for some leading journalists to investigate this for themselves and have the courage to stand up and be counted.