July 1, 2012


          The previous three installments have provided evidence that there exists a serious credibility gap in regard to the government’s explanations for the 9/11 tragedy. There is also more than enough information indicating that this crime has been exploited by the Bush administration to launch a War on Terrorism, which Donald Rumsfeld has assured us, will last at least a generation.

We now have to be clear in our language. Although President Bush immediately declared the 9/11 crime to have been an act of war, this was not entirely truthful. Up to September 11, 2001 wars were mainly regarded as military actions between nations. Individuals commit crimes, nation states make wars. Since there was no evidence that Afghanistan’s Taliban government was involved in the planning and execution of the 9/11 attack our response to it, namely toppling the Taliban government by military action, although popular, lacked legal justification. This point is vital because it was a break with past precedents.

As mentioned in the previous installment the first WTC bombing in February of 1993, which killed 6 persons and injured more than a thousand, was appropriately regarded as a crime and the perpetrators were tried and convicted under the criminal justice system. On 9/11 the scale of damage at the WTC was bigger and additional targets were involved. But the official statement by President Bush that our nation is, therefore, at war was unconstitutional because section 8 reserves this right for Congress. It is true that several administrations since WWII have bypassed Congress by camouflaging a war as a “police action” e.g. Korea, but this does not alter the fundamentals. President Bush declared a War on Terrorism, which is pursued with the full military power of the government and this war is illegal under our Constitution. He compounded the problem by subsequently invading Iraq. Although Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator his government had not been involved in the 9/11 attacks and ever since the establishment of the United Nations an unprovoked attack by one country upon another is regarded as a war crime. This was what the Nuremberg trials were all about and German generals were hanged for having followed the orders of the then legitimate government and having prepared plans for the invasion of Poland. These are facts and since the US was instrumental in creating the UN and its statutes it ought to abide by them. Our country has obviously not done so and only uses the UN whenever convenient, ignoring it when not.

This is deeply disturbing, because when the government breaks the law no one is safe. The powers which are in charge of us are, of course, aware of the above cited unpleasant facts and when they are reminded about their dereliction of duty they strike back. People who feel that they have been deceived and want to rectify the situation are first intimidated and if that is ineffective, reviled. If they are members of one of the numerous government branches, they are persecuted. An atmosphere of fear is spread and even private citizens who voice their displeasure with the way the Bush administration reacted to 9/11 are ostracized. They are referred to as “Truthers” and labeled as: “conspiracy nuts,” “morons,” “idiots” and similar epithets.

These terms and their authors are documented by Griffin in 9/11 Ten Years Later. When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed. So let us now look who these “idiots” and “morons” really are. The person who has done the most to shine some light on facts which contradict the government version is David Ray Griffin, who has been repeatedly mentioned in these pages. He is professor of philosophy of religion and theology, emeritus, at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University in Claremont California. He is also currently co-director of the Center for Process Studies. When a person with this type of background questions the government’s explanations he deserves a hearing. One may now ask why, in his late years of life, he would engage in what obviously seems a fruitless effort to not only challenge the government, but declare unequivocally that the hijackers alone could not have accomplished everything they supposedly did without some help by insiders in our government. Obviously this strikes one as so preposterous that one is inclined to automatically say nonsense. But this is a “gut reaction,” and especially scientists should not react with their gut but their brains.

Let me now relate how I came to know about Professor Griffin. In previous installments I mentioned my long-standing friendship with Professor Hellmuth Petsche, who established the first Neurophysiology Institute at the University of Vienna. In spite of the distance we have stayed in contact over the decades since we first met in 1950. A common bond, apart from neurophysiology, was our interest in philosophy. Since mine tended towards the more practically oriented stoics such as Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius I found little use for the modern speculative types such as Heidegger which would have required serious study to discern the meaning of what they tried to convey. But Hellmuth was more widely read and very diligent in his efforts at trying to educate me. Among other questions he once asked me what I knew about Whitehead. The immediate answer was: nothing! I hadn’t even heard of the man let alone his philosophy. But since I had been asked I felt that I should correct this ignorance and ordered from amazon Whitehead’s writings.

The book came and the Title was Process and Reality Corrected Edition, Alfred North Whitehead edited by David Ray Griffin and Donald W. Sherburne. The inside cover page states the title as: Process and Reality. An Essay in Cosmology. Gifford Lectures delivered in the University of Edinburgh during the session 1927-1928. This is Whitehead’s magnum opus and as stated in the Editor’s Preface, “one of the major philosophical works of the modern world.” The editors also explained that Whitehead was a genius who had little patience for the tedium involved to bring his notes into proper order and then proof-read the material. This was the reason why they found the first publication of the lectures unsatisfactory and had to issue a corrected edition. Even a first glance, when pages are taken at random, shows that this was no easy task. One cannot just “read” Whitehead, one has to immerse oneself in his world view, which is compounded by the fact that he used terms such as “concrescence” which require explanations. A classification of societies into “enduring objects”, “corpuscular societies” and “non-corpuscular societies,” is also not immediately meaningful. I am mentioning these aspects only to demonstrate that a person who undertakes to edit a volume of this type cannot be a fool, moron or idiot and that his views ought to be taken seriously. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his conclusions can be a matter of debate but it should be civil and name calling reflects only on the person who uses this tactic rather than the recipient.

Why should a person like Griffin become so involved in 9/11 that he spent nearly a decade of his life on this thankless task and write numerous books to direct the attention of the public to this unresolved crime. The answer is that this is what his professional life was all about. Philosophy is supposed to be the pursuit of wisdom, and religion should deal with man’s moral compass. When both of these aspects are violated by one’s government decent, caring people become concerned because societies, just like the family, are built on trust and when one’s trust is abused trouble becomes inevitable.

Now let us go back to basics again, the meaning of words. As mentioned in a previous essay we live in a Humpty Dumpty world where the word means “what I say!” rather than the commonly agreed upon meaning (The Humpty Dumpty Society, February 1, 2010). This is especially important when it comes to “Truth.” I have written a separate essay on the topic and for the current purpose will limit myself to that aspect which can be called “truthfulness in interpersonal relationships” (What is Truth? September 1, 2001). It is the opposite of using lies. It is another remarkable fact of our society that most everybody agrees on what a lie is but truth is supposed to be a matter of opinion. While this may be the case for some concepts about our world, it does not hold across the board and this difference needs to be clearly articulated.

The need to be truthful was literally beaten into me, as readers of War&Mayhem will have noted, because I was an inveterate liar in childhood. Why did I lie? I was afraid of admitting to wrong behavior. Since I am no exception to the rest of humanity this is a universal fact of our biology because it seems to be the easy way out of a difficult situation. But the opposite is the case as I found out later in life. The first lie will be found to have been inadaquate and further lies have to be produced to justify the first one. In this way the original problem gets compounded rather than resolved. On the other hand telling the truth in spite of one’s fear has in all probability saved my life during WWII. The reviled “truthers,” therefore, have a point in calling the government to account even if some of their theories seem outlandish.

9/11 has become the proverbial third rail of our society which must not be touched and the media have succeeded in giving the truthers such a bad name that one is even afraid of mentioning the topic in polite society. Let me speak again from personal experience. After having read some of Professor Griffin’s books I became convinced that in order to break through the curtain of silence the media has drawn, one needs to have an international conference, on 9/11 in New York City near the WTC site, which the media could not ignore. I expressed this idea also in last year’s October issue and afterwards started to correspond with Griffin and some other members of the truth community. Griffin pointed out that this would require a fair amount of money which neither one of us has and suggested that we have a conference in Salt Lake. I immediately demurred because Mormonland hardly seemed to be the right venue. Nevertheless, we continued our conversations and he was very helpful in providing me with e-mail addresses of responsible, professional people within the 9/11 truth-seekers. He also pointed out that there had been such a conference last year in Toronto and another one would be held in Vancouver in June of this year. But before dealing with further events I now have to deal with a significant problem within the 9/11 community.

As mentioned in last month’s essay the truth movement has split into two major components. One is the Griffin-Jones-Gage camp which concentrates mainly on scientifically verifiable information and especially on extracting from the government a valid explanation of how the WTC disintegrated. They do not deny that planes hit the Towers but their experience, based on professional advice, indicated that although the Towers had suffered structural damage from the impact of the planes and the resulting fires they should not have disintegrated in the manner all of us saw. In addition, there is the problem with WTC7 which had not been hit by a plane and had not suffered major damage from fallen debris, yet it disintegrated in a manner which is typical for controlled demolitions. The reason for largely limiting the inquiry to physically verifiable data was to avoid getting trapped in unprovable theories. I regard this as a sound strategy. There are two clearly defined positions: the government claims as presented by NIST based on models on the one hand, and scientific studies as well as reports from eye-witnesses, that explosives were responsible, on the other. This is a matter of science where each side can present its evidence and we can then judge which of the two positions has greater probability. Under those circumstances there is no room for acrimony or name-calling. Let science have the last word and then deal with the consequences of the outcome.  

James Fetzer Ph.D. and professor emeritus of the University of Minnesota Duluth was, however, not content with this limitation and felt that all of the anomalies contained in the government’s account need to be investigated. Furthermore, he insisted that all potential theories which might explain the photographic evidence we are familiar with, ought to be explored. This is, likewise, a legitimate stance but does, of course, lead to some theories which many of us will regard as “outlandish.” The problem with this approach is that whatever theory is proposed, even if it sounds reasonable, may not be scientifically verifiable because there are no primary reliable data.

Just like Griffin, Fetzer has an academic background in philosophy but there are clear differences between these two persons. I have already mentioned some of Griffin’s background and how I came to know about his work, but I knew nothing about Fetzer and had to rely on Wikipedia. It tells us that he studied philosophy at Princeton where he graduated magna cum laude in 1962. He then joined the Marines for four years, rose to the rank of Captain, and resigned thereafter to obtain his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Indiana University. He taught at several universities and eventually held a tenured position at the University of Minnesota Duluth from 1987 till 2006. He has published extensively on computer science, artificial intelligence and cognitive science. It is clear, therefore, that “conspiracy nut” and moron or idiot likewise does not apply to him.

Nevertheless in spite of the somewhat similar university background there are clear differences in personalities which have led to the split in the Truth movement which I mentioned last month. Griffin is the polite academician who chooses his words carefully and calmly while Fetzer struck me as the Marine Captain whose word must be obeyed or you get shouted down. Under those circumstances a parting of the ways was inevitable.

In my correspondence with Griffin he had told me not only about the Toronto Hearings which had been held at Ryerson University in September of 2011, under the auspices of Professor Graeme MacQueen, but that there would be another conference of this type in Vancouver during June of 2012 arranged by Fetzer. I shall have more to say about the Toronto Hearings in the August essay, for now it is necessary to concentrate on the word “Hearings.” The meeting was designed to have an international body of speakers present their evidence on why they disagreed with the official explanation and a panel of distinguished academicians would then evaluate the data and write a report. An introductory interview with Professor MacQueen can be seen on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7hkIA1UdXM.

Since persons adhering to what may be called “the Fetzer group” had not been invited there was dissension, and the decision was made to have an analogous Hearing in Vancouver. The invited speakers would present their data under oath. After the Hearings the two judges would then write a report. The announcement and program can be viewed at  http://www.911vancouverhearings.com. After having looked at the program on the Internet and the topics to be discussed I was not particularly impressed because the Mission Statement to “Expand the Boundaries of 9/11 Truth,” and some of the titles of the presentations did not lead me to expect a presentation of verifiable facts and legally actionable proposals. That is, however, what I would like a conference to achieve.

Nevertheless Griffin encouraged me to attend because I could then form my opinions on basis of what I had personally experienced and that I would be able to meet some “good people” for whom he provided me the e-mail addresses. I, therefore, did attend and shall present my impressions in the September issue. At present I shall only relate my feelings when I entered and left Canada. I had been there several times to scientific meetings over the past decades and the passage through immigration was always unremarkable. But this time was different. When the official asked why I was coming to Canada I replied: “For a conference.” He then asked: “What is the conference about?” When I said: “9/11,” he looked at me and then asked: “What are you doing there?” I replied that “I have come to listen to what they have to say.” This satisfied him and he returned my passport. The odd aspect was that I felt embarrassed to admit that I was going to a meeting of “conspiracy nuts.” A similar situation occurred on leaving Canada and for a moment I even wondered if somebody had already put me on a “no-fly list.” You may now say that this is paranoia. Yes it is; but after one has read what has happened to whistleblowers and is aware that our government does read our e-mails and does listen to our phone conversations one may be excused for feeling uneasy.

The interesting aspect is that I was not the only one who had experienced these feelings on entering Canada. At the Hearings I had extended discussions with Dwain Deets, retired Chief of Research Engineering and Director of Aeronautical Projects at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. He clearly was no “conspiracy nut,” neither was he a moron or idiot. I shall have more to say in regard to his scientific accomplishments in the September issue which will deal with the Vancouver Hearings. Afterwards Mr. Deets sent me an e-mail about his impressions of the Hearings and I shall quote from the first paragraph:


“The memory of the Canadian customs official questioning me as I entered Canada is vivid in my mind. After asking me what conference I was attending, I replied, ‘the 9/11 Vancouver Hearings.’ While hoping that would be a sufficient answer, he followed quickly with another question. ‘And what is your role?’ he asked. ‘As a speaker,’ I replied. ‘Okay you may go.’ And as if to add an exclamation point, he came down with the stamp machine on my passport. With an inner sigh of relief, I promptly moved on, almost afraid I would be called back for further questions.”


It is truly sad that as an American citizen one should feel like a potential outcast, but it shows the power of propaganda which has thoroughly poisoned the atmosphere.

There is more. Last year Martha and I had to renew our passports and when they came in the mail I just looked at the expiration date. When I saw October 2021 I was relieved because it is in all probability the last passport I’ll ever need. Outwardly it looked the same as my old one from August 2001 but inside they had introduced a number of changes which I noticed only when I had to write the passport number on the immigration form. The passport has become “patriotic!” The back of the cover page simply used to show your picture and identifying information. No longer; now we have a picture of the siege of Baltimore during the war of 1812 with Francis Scott Key, author of the National Anthem, standing on the deck of a battleship looking at Fort McHenry with the US flag flying high, and the handwritten notes: “O say does that star spangled banner yet wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” What an irony I thought, the truly free and the brave are the truthers, and they are at best ridiculed and at worst hounded. The first page which used to have the request in English, French and Spanish that this document should be honored by all countries now carries above it the quote by Lincoln, “And that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” Similar patriotic slogans appear on the top of each page. What a farce I thought. We no longer have a country that lives up to these noble sentiments. Instead we have a plutocracy. Elections for political office are won by the candidate who is able to raise the largest sum of money. Obscene amounts are spent even on primaries and the Salt Lake Tribune reported that our Senator Orrin Hatch had spent $10 million to achieve his victory last month.

The topic will be continued in the August 1 issue which will deal with Mr. Richard Gage’s efforts in the Truth movement and the Toronto Hearings.

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