I met David Ray Griffin at the recent Toronto 9/11 Hearings, and heard his presentation on the anomalies of flights 77 and 93. In his talk, Griffin introduced us to his new “consensus approach” to exposing the official lies of 9/11. I did a brief interview with Griffin following his presentation, but we agreed to do a more substantial interview by email once the hearings were over. What follows is that interview. I decided against my earlier inclination, which was to write back with follow-up questions before publishing. I chose instead to present my original questions and his answers.– Craig McKee
CM: In your new book, what did you most want people to understand about the fight to expose the 9/11 inside job?
DRG: I think that the main purpose was essentially the same as previous books – laying out various types of evidence that the official story is false – plus the new aim: seeing 9/11 as an example of – indeed, the preeminent example of – a SCAD (a state crime against democracy).
CM: How has your level of optimism/pessimism changed in recent years?
DRG: I don’t know that it has changed much. I like Gramsci’s motto, combining “pessimism of the intellect” with “optimism of the will.” Intellectual pessimism about the emergence of the truth about 9/11 in the public sphere is certainly appropriate, given all the forces against it. But that is no reason to give up, given the overwhelming importance of the cause: Even if there is just a one percent possibility of success – and there certainly is – we should persevere. I would add to this that if the cause does not succeed, this would not mean that all the efforts have been in vain. There is a victory in the very battle for truth and justice.
CM: What are the most positive accomplishments of the 9/11 Truth movement, and the areas where it has fallen short?
DRG: Well, that’s a huge set of questions to which I could not begin to do justice in a brief answer, as distinct from a book or at least a long essay. But with regard to accomplishments, some of the things that I would mention would be: the creation of a truly global 9/11 Truth Movement; the emergence over the past six years of a dozen professional organizations working for 9/11 Truth (such as Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Pilots for 9/11 Truth, Political Leaders for 9/11 Truth, and Scientists for 9/11 Truth); the consensus within the 9/11 Truth Movement that the WTC (the Twin Towers and WTC 7) was brought down with explosives; the consensus within the 9/11 Truth Movement, in spite of differences about what damaged the Pentagon and killed the 125 people, that the attack on the Pentagon was an inside job; and the agreement that the official story about the crash of United 93 is false.
Where we have fallen short is obvious: We have not succeeded in getting the truth publicly exposed, or even in getting our information discussed in the public sphere (in the mainstream media). But arguably these failures are not our fault – as if we might have been successful if we had only gone about matters in a better way.
CM: In your new book, you devote 45 pages to the Pentagon without mentioning Citizen Investigation Team even once, and you make just one reference to Pilots for 9/11 Truth. What was your purpose in avoiding mention of these two groups?
DRG: I didn’t have a “purpose in avoiding mention of these two groups.” If you look at the indexes for my recent books, you will find that there are many names that were mentioned in earlier books that are not mentioned in my latest book. In putting a book together, I don’t have a list of all the names of people and organizations that I want to mention. I mention various names because those names are germane to the purposes of the book.
I mentioned both CIT and Pilots in my 2008 book, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, because both of them were germane to the purposes of that book. In my 2010 book, I see, I mentioned Pilots but not CIT, because the former was germane to the purposes of that book, whereas the latter was not. In my latest book, I didn’t mention either of them, because neither was necessary to the purposes of that book.
CM: Why did you decide to so often cite the controversial and much criticized work of researchers Frank Legge, David Chandler, and Jonathan Cole?
DRG: If you have read Chapter 7, you know that I explain at great length why I reject the view endorsed by these men, namely, that the Pentagon was struck by American 77 (or at least a Boeing 757).
I discussed these men because they were useful for the purposes of this chapter, namely, that although there has been much controversy about “what hit the Pentagon” (an airliner, some smaller aircraft, or no aircraft whatsoever), these men, as three scientists who have endorsed the 757 thesis, very clearly state that the attack on the Pentagon was an inside job, which could not have been pulled off by al-Qaeda. They illustrate the fact, therefore, that there is consensus within the 9/11 movement, shared by those who accept and those who reject the 757 thesis, that the attack on the Pentagon was an inside job.
CM: What type of reaction were you expecting from this new approach?
DRG: My hope is that this realization would lead to the view that, just as the question about what hit the Twin Towers, while interesting, is not terribly important, the question of “what hit the Pentagon” is relatively unimportant, nothing worth having an acrimonious fight about.
CM: Do you understand how some who have supported you in the past might be upset at this new direction?
DRG: I know that some people got upset on the basis of reading only the introduction to my new book (which was put online), and then mischaracterized it (as if I said the question about what damaged the Pentagon was not important). But now that people can read the entire chapter, I see no reason why anyone should be upset.
CM: You’ve always presented evidence that shows how every aspect of the 9/11 official story does not stand up to scrutiny. Why have you now decided to focus on “consensus” items of evidence?
DRG: I still believe in showing that every aspect of the official story is false. But having and demonstrating consensus are also important for various purposes. One of these is trying to get the press to give more accurate presentations of the 9/11 Truth Movement. Another one of these is what I’ve already stated: that by getting various members of the 9/11 Movement to realize that their agreement exceeds their differences, the amount of acrimony within the movement may be lessened.
CM: We know that people like Peter Dale Scott and Richard Gage were heavily pressured in an effort to get them to denounce the work of CIT. You’ve acknowledged receiving some pressure – could you describe the nature of that pressure and where it came from?
DRG: I will not name names. But the pressure, such as it was, came merely in the form of people – two or three of them, if memory serves – urging me to recant. In one case, this “urging” was rather strong.
CM: In your Consensus 9/11 initiative, the “best evidence” offered for both the Pentagon and Shanksville seems very thin (one item each). Why do you think that eliminating some of the more dramatic (although disputed) research will help convince the public that 9/11 was an inside job?
DRG: Inasmuch as you suggest that I think “eliminating some of the more dramatic (although disputed) research will help convince the public that 9/11 was an inside job,” you have misunderstood the nature of the process. I did not decide which points achieved sufficient consensus to get included in the first list of points of consensus. Several points that I had proposed were eliminated, at least momentarily, because not enough of the 20-some panelists rated them highly enough to be considered consensus. Insofar as some of the points are “disputed,” they by definition are not points of consensus. But opinions can change: points that are too disputed to make the list one month may make the list in a later month. Given the goal of helping convince people that the official story is false, consensus can, we believe, serve this goal: Insofar as people see that 20-some scholars with different areas of expertise, who have been studying 9/11 for several years, have achieved consensus on a list of points, they will, we believe, take the points more seriously than they would a statement by an individual scholar.
CM: I understand there is supposed to be a second list of items that could be added to your 13 consensus points on consensus911.org. Is this correct?
DRG: Yes, that is the intent, which we are working on right now.