By Craig McKee
Citizen Investigation Team would almost certainly not have participated in the Toronto 9/11 hearings last month even if invited, CIT’s Craig Ranke said in an interview.
“We knew they weren’t going to give us a fair hearing, even in the unlikely event that some of our evidence was addressed,” Ranke says.
“If we had been invited, it would have been foolish for us to automatically accept knowing that we’d be walking into a rigged situation where all aspects of the discussion, and even the final report, were controlled by our detractors and their associates.”
Ranke says it’s apparent to him that one of the major goals of the hearings all along was to marginalize CIT’s evidence that a large plane approached, but did not hit, the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. He points to the role that one of their vocal critics, Kevin Ryan, played in organizing the hearings as an indication that CIT’s evidence wasn’t going to be heard.
He also says the involvement of James Gourley, founder of the International Centre for 9/11 Studies (which sponsored the hearings), was another red flag. The chief technical officer for Gourley’s centre is Justin Keogh, who is a moderator at, and reportedly the owner of, the thoroughly discredited site 911blogger.com, which routinely bashes CIT and bans those who support them.
“It was clear to us that the fix was in,” Ranke said.
Ranke acknowledges that a number of CIT supporters lobbied to have the group included in the hearings, but he felt these efforts were misguided.
“Virtually all of our most vocal critics have avoided direct debate with us for years, so it’s obvious that they would have only invited us if it was going to be a tightly controlled and unfair format.”
The Pentagon was only briefly mentioned at the four-day hearings, although numerous speakers went over evidence of controlled demolition at the World Trade Center. The two speakers who did address Pentagon evidence were Barbara Honegger (who presented evidence that explosives were used in the building) and David Ray Griffin (who unveiled his “consensus approach,” which states that the cause of the Pentagon damage is secondary to the fact that it couldn’t have been caused by al-Qaeda).
Toronto journalist and 9/11 researcher Barrie Zwicker, an ardent CIT supporter, addressed the troubling direction the hearings were taking by organizing a screening of CIT’s video National Security Alert on Sept. 11, the last day of the hearings. Zwicker and Ranke have both said that they scheduled their event for that evening, hours after the hearings were scheduled to adjourn, so that participants and attendees of the hearings could make it to both events.
The screening was a success with more than 200 attending (this writer was one of the few who attended both the screening and the hearings). CIT’s evidence was laid out in a multi-media presentation by group members Ranke and Adam Fischman.
National Security Alert features interviews with a number of witnesses who say they saw a large plane fly overhead towards the Pentagon. The path of the plane, as these witnesses describe it, was to the north of the Citgo gas station across the street from the Pentagon. This means that the physical damage, including to the light poles, must have been staged, and the plane must have flown over the Pentagon, Ranke says.
“This explains why there is evidence that multiple people such as Roosevelt Roberts Jr. saw it flying away.”
In recent months, the concerted effort to attack CIT at every turn has continued. The bulk of these attacks have come from “truthers” who post at 911blogger. A number of them were involved in the hearings, including Ryan, David Chandler, and Jonathan Cole.
In February, Richard Gage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth withdrew his support for CIT in a statement published on 911blogger. This came on the heels of a statement from Chandler and Cole that attacked CIT.
Ranke says Gage promised him that if Gage ever considered altering or retracting his statement of support for CIT, he would let the group know in advance to give them an opportunity to address his concerns. This, Ranke says, never happened either when Gage issued a “clarification” in late 2009 stating that he did not endorse the flyover position or when he withdrew support in 2011.
“He broke his promise to us,” Ranke says, “and as a result he based his retraction on demonstrably false claims.”
CIT is also unhappy with Griffin’s decision to play down the question of whether a plane crash was faked at the Pentagon. Griffin’s Toronto talk on the Pentagon repeatedly and almost exclusively quoted Chandler, Cole, and Frank Legge – all supporters of the idea that a 757, maybe Flight 77, did hit the building.
Griffin wrote in his latest book, 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed, that the question of what (if anything) hit the Pentagon is relatively unimportant. He says all members of the Truth movement can agree that Flight 77 piloted by al-Qaeda did not crash into the building. Griffin does not even mention CIT in the book even though he summarizes the evidence both for and against 757 impact.
Ranke contends that ignoring or minimizing the evidence that the plane was north of the Citgo station and therefore flew over the building is giving away the strongest and simplest proof that 9/11 was an inside job orchestrated by elements within the U.S. government.
Ranke says he is very disappointed in Griffin’s recent stance, which ignores the fact that the vast majority of 9/11 truthers don’t believe a plane hit the building.
“He’s in essence telling everybody our findings are unimportant,” he says. “The consensus he’s talking about does not represent the best evidence as claimed on his new website (consensus911.org), and in fact omits it.”
Ranke criticizes the Toronto hearings for focusing on evidence the organizers consider to be the least controversial because he feels they base this on a false premise. He says CIT’s contention that the plane did not hit the Pentagon is actually about as close to consensus as anything within the movement, and that the supposed controversy surrounding their work only exists because a small group, including several of those involved with the hearings, has made a concerted effort to manufacture it by bashing CIT and attacking their research.
CIT invited a number of their opponents to have on-camera discussions with them while they were in Toronto. This included any participants in the hearings who dispute CIT’s evidence or condemn their methods.
Among those they invited were Ryan, Gage, Cole, Chandler, Gourley, and Niels Harrit. None of them accepted. They also invited Griffin to have a discussion about his new approach, but Griffin only agreed to talk off the record.
For a detailed account of their differences with each of these individuals, go to this post on CIT’s web site: http://www.citizeninvestigationteam.com/The-Toronto-Invitations.html