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Doubt about official version of 9/11 widespread

Vancouver Courier | August 30, 2006
By Geoff Olson

With the fifth anniversary of Sept 11 on the way, there will undoubtedly be a flood of television specials, terror-alert updates, and newspaper editorials. Yet a sizable portion of the public will likely remain dubious of the authorized version of 9/11.

In a Zogby International poll from last May, 42 per cent of the sampled U.S. population believe the 9/11 Commission "concealed or refused to investigate critical evidence" in the attacks. In a Zogby poll two years earlier, 49 per cent of New York City residents said some U.S. leaders "knew in advance that attacks were planned on and around Sept. 11, 2001, and they consciously failed to act." In other words, intentionally let it happen. In Canada, a May 2004 Maritz Research poll had 63 per cent of respondents agreeing strongly or somewhat that "individuals within the U.S. government including the White House had prior knowledge of the plans for Sept. 11 and failed to take appropriate action to stop them."

One thing is undeniable. If skepticism about 9/11 is the province of the "tin-foil hat crowd," things are looking up for the aluminum industry.

Within this widespread constituency of doubters, there is a smaller, hardcore confederacy-those who believe 9/11 involved an "inside job." The so-called 9/11 Truth Movement is vocal and persistent, maintaining a huge number of websites and blogs, and meeting for annual conferences across North America. Yet this counterculture remains almost completely off the radar of both mainstream and alternative media.

After spending time with the 9/11 material on the Internet, I can't say I've been overly impressed with heated speculation about a "pilotless drone" that supposedly penetrated the Pentagon, among other things. What's harder to discount are the truly resilient anomalies collected by independent researchers-the factual mass of contradictions, coincidences and discontinuities that respectable media and big government have chosen to ignore. (Google "WTC 7" for one of the most enduring mysteries in the official story)

Much of this material has been gathered and sourced in a new book by Toronto writer and broadcaster Barrie Zwicker, who was the first journalist in the world to express doubts about the official 9/11 narrative on national television, in late 2001. Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-up of 9/11, is as hard to put down as it is to dismiss-if only because no one can write off the author as a solitary kook with zero credentials. Zwicker studied for three years under Marshal McLuhan, and worked for major Canadians newspapers including the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. He has also been a commentator on CBC Radio and Vision TV, and taught journalism part-time for seven years at Ryerson University.

Zwicker insists the wildest 9/11 conspiracy theory is actually the one endorsed by the Kean Commission, "that 19 fanatical Arabs, directed from a cave in Afghanistan, caught the whole of the U.S. military intelligence, the whole of U.S. political and diplomatic establishments, and NORAD completely off guard."

"In this case it includes such patent absurdities as observant Muslim fanatics drinking at bars the night before 9/11, a hijacker's passport miraculously floating down from the inferno in the towers, alleged Arab hijacker Hani Hanjour who could not fly a Cessna training aircraft flying an amazing stunt manoeuvre in a 757 in order to hit an empty, newly reinforced wing of the Pentagon and cause minimal damage - instead of just diving into the roof and killing thousands."

Hence, the polls cited above on Sept. 11 don't strike Zwicker as anything strange. "This pattern of viewer, listener and reader response to questioning of the official 9/11 story has been universal since 9/11, on those few occasions when the media has raised questions. This huge questioning constituency among Joe and Jane Public has always been there."

To Zwicker, the gnawing suspicions within the general public rest on the "evidence (that) points to 9/11 as an inside job," carried out by elements within the U.S. government "to advance its agenda of resource theft, world domination and domestic control." The Arabs involved were "patsies, dupes."

So where is the "smoking gun," the incontrovertible proof of the whom, what and how? "My colleagues are the first to admit that's it not within our power to definitively declare who did what on 9/11," he writes in his book. Zwicker argues that it is the cumulative weight of existing evidence that would rule in favour of the plaintiff-in this case, the 9/11 Truth Movement.

Interested readers can decide for themselves when the author gives a talk at St. Andrew's Wesley United Church on Nelson at Burrard, on Wednesday, Aug. 30 at 7:30.



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