June 19, 2012
By Craig McKee
There was definitely no “party line” at the 9/11 Vancouver Hearings.
The opinions offered by 19 presenters over three days were diverse, with some openly disagreeing with each other both in their presentations and in question-and-answer sessions. Some may feel that the lack of a common front at these hearings was a problem; I don’t think that’s true.
One thing that was clear from the outset was that organizers Jim Fetzer (pictured above) and Joshua Blakeney were making no effort to emulate last September’s Toronto 9/11 Hearings – apart from the quasi-judicial structure. Where Toronto was safe and controlled, Vancouver was unpredictable and, at times, combative.
The journalist part of me loved the volatility and excitement of it while the 9/11 truther part felt guilty about loving it.
The things that stood out most for me from what I saw (which wasn’t everything):
- Dwain Deets offering an assessment of limited evidence at the twin towers that pointed to a nuclear component in the destruction. He added that those pushing nanothermite might be “bragging more than they should.”
- The clash between Fetzer and presenter Barbara Honegger over her claim that there was an impact at the Pentagon near the heliport
- The confrontation between Fetzer and speaker Webster Tarpley over whether Israel played a role in 9/11.
- All the 9/11 issues that would never have been mentioned at the Toronto Hearings: Israel’s role, alternative theories about the destruction of the towers (including nuclear and DEW), video fakery, burned vehicles, what happened to the passengers, etc.
- Tarpley contending that George W. Bush may have had very little advance knowledge of 9/11, but that he “surrendered” the government to the plotters, likely under threat of being deposed
- In the too good to be true category, a video presented by Fetzer (which he says came from Veterans Today chairman of the board Gordon Duff) which appears to show a missile hitting the Pentagon
- Fetzer praised Judy Wood for “the most brilliant analysis of effects that have to be explained.” He added that he can’t understand why she has cut off communication with him. Fetzer also praised the research of Citizen Investigation Team.
The thing that blew me away more than anything else over the weekend was the presentation by former NASA executive Deets who looked at what might have brought down the twin towers. He chose nine areas of evidence relating to the destruction of the twin towers, and he then looked at four theories about what could have done it.
1) Runaway open office space destruction (ROOSD)
2) Explosive demolition
3) Nuclear devices
4) Directed energy weapons
ROOSD, I learned, means that floors in the towers were detached somehow from the inner and outer steel columns and then fell on the floors below, which would not be able to support the weight. Deets says this isn’t the same as the pancake theory because of the floors being entirely detached – and deliberately. This doesn’t support the official story, he adds.
The evidence he looked at (he points out that this is a partial list, and his conclusions can’t be taken as his final answer on the subject) included the debris pattern, hot spots, why the crush down rate was different on different sides of the buildings, nanothermite, the temperature during the event, vehicle anomalies, the presence of tritium, basement explosions, and the presence of radionuclides. I’ll be following up on this.
As with any conference of this type, there were glitches. The live streaming was basically a write-off on Friday night. I stared at a black screen much of the time, and when the picture was restored the sound was almost inaudible. But that was fixed for the next day, and the sound was excellent the rest of the way. The power point presentations often didn’t work properly as well.
The schedule seemed to have been taken more as a suggestion as things ran long. Some speakers kept to their 40-minute time limit while others went on much longer. Speaker John McCarthy said Sunday, “I wish I’d known that 40 minutes was really 80 minutes; I had a lot more to say.”
Speaker Dean Hartwell wrote on his blog that sessions weren’t as effective as they should have been because of the decision not to hire professional audio-visual people. He also reacted to Fetzer’s handling of the conference:
“But worst of all, when we needed a demonstration of discussing differences of opinion politely, we received instead a display of bullying by the leader of the conference toward Barbara Honegger and Clare Kuehn. … I walked out at that point and did not return, missing the last three speakers.”
It’s unfortunate that the final session on Sunday began to break down into bickering, with Fetzer arguing with (and scolding) Webster Tarpley for minimizing the role of Israel in 9/11 during the final Q & A.
“You’re a one-trick pony,” Fetzer said to Tarpley.
“You’re hysterical,” Tarpley shot back. “This is quite a spectacle you’ve got going on here,” he added. “We have a belligerent and unhinged host.”
I didn’t mind the dispute over substance, but Fetzer was the host and he should have stayed out of the discussion. What happened to MCs Greg Felton and Jack Etkin?
While that was a low point, for the most part the diversity was refreshing and positive – whether I was listening to a speaker I agreed with or not. It seems the sky hasn’t fallen and the Truth movement hasn’t been destroyed by the fact that some controversial topics were addressed.
We had speaker Christopher Holmes who presented the September Clues, video fakery, angle. The majority of truthers reject this position, but I had no problem with hearing it presented. Everyone was and is free to believe or not believe anything that was presented. No one from the New York Times rushed in and said, “Aha, we knew you guys were all loony!”
One thing that Holmes addressed (that I enjoyed) was the on-air TV interview that Theresa Renaud (wife of CBS producer Jack Renaud) did with Bryant Gumbel on the morning of 9/11. She was describing having seen an explosion in the first tower and added, “I don’t know what caused it, or if there was an impact.” Suddenly, she exclaims, “Oh there’s another one, another plane just hit! Oh my God, another plane has just hit another building! It flew right into the middle of it! Explosion!”
I wrote about this in 2010 and my opinion hasn’t changed; she was scripted.
The Honegger/Fetzer clash was really interesting. Honegger (who spoke Friday night) asked a question of Fetzer about the “missile” video clip that Fetzer showed during his talk on fakery and fraud in the official story of 9/11.
Honegger referred to her own position that there was an impact by some kind of aircraft near the heliport of the Pentagon several minutes before Flight 77 is supposed to have crashed there. (She says the craft banked to the left with the left wing hitting the heliport landing pad).
Fetzer broke in saying that he made a point to invite speakers with diverse opinions but her case did not stand up.
“Your evidence for plane impact is flimsy and insubstantial,” he said.
“No, it’s not,” she retorted. As she got more animated, (this reminded me a lot of her exchange with Aldo Marquis of CIT on the February 9/11 Truth Teleconference call).
“I think you’re being abusive,” Fetzer said as Honegger argued with him. “I think you’re clearly mistaken.”
So was it all worth it? For me it was. I didn’t mind hearing presenters offering conflicting positions on what happened on 9/11 and who was behind it. But it did reinforce for me that we can all do the movement a favour by devoting less energy and time to attacking “fringe” theories on the basis that their existence will bring ridicule. That’s the same approach being used by those who want the Pentagon evidence ignored.
Yes, the danger of ridicule is there. But there is just as great a danger in attacking each other endlessly over what will do harm to our credibility. It’s not so much exotic positions and theories that we have to worry about, it’s those who are chipping away at some of our strongest and most agreed upon evidence like the faked plane crashes at the Pentagon and Shanksville.