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ABC News: “On Election Eve, Sept. 11 Doubters Surface”

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The ABC News website has finally acknowledged the existence of alternative research and popular doubts about what really happened on September 11, how and why. We welcome this breakthrough.  

We are very pleased that the article by Dean Schabner, published today on the front page of the ABC News website, seems to have fairly quoted two persons among the many citizens pursuing alternative research and actions for justice and full disclosure around 9/11. 

We hope that ABC News will follow up with televised broadcasts on this subject, and give a fair hearing to all points of view. 

Even as we thank ABC News, we must unfortunately also note that its article adopts a dismissive tone toward doubts about September 11, in advance of full inquiry. The headline is mildly misleading; the unanswered questions about September 11 did not merely “surface” on the eve of Election Day, but have been the subject of untiring work by hundreds of researchers for more than three years and the subject of such best-selling books as The New Pearl Harbor by David Ray Griffin and the recent Crossing the Rubicon by Michael C. Ruppert. 

No basis whatsoever is given for the assessment of the ABC Polling Unit that the Zogby International survey of New York residents cited in the article (co-commissioned by 911Truth.org) is “not credible.” 

Using the same established methodologies as in other surveys regularly cited by ABC News and other major media, Zogby polled a representative sampling of 808 adult New York state residents last August – and found that 41 percent believe high officials in the U.S. government had foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks and “consciously failed to take action.” (View the results here.) 

We would ask, if the ABC News Polling Unit does not find these results credible, why it does not pose the same question in one of its own polls, perhaps this time sampling the entire nation?

(NOTE: It has been brought to our attention that as of 17:06 EDT on Nov. 1, the ABC Polling Unit comment is contained in the “to-print” version of the article at http://abcnews.go.com/US/print?id=202754, but not in the formatted version at http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=202754&page=2. The former version is archived below.)

Otherwise, Dean Schabner’s story chooses to mention only one specific, speculative hypothesis about what may have happened during the Sept. 11 attacks – to the exclusion of the easily established and devastating factual case that the government has covered up key facts, obstructed investigations and silenced whistleblowers; while official investigators have ignored overwhelming evidence of foreknowledge and suspicious inaction during the attacks on the part of high officials. 

(NOTE: The one alternative hypothesis of Sept. 11 that the article mentions does bear striking resemblance to plans once forwarded by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962, the “Operation Northwoods” proposal to have the U.S. military commit terrorist acts on American soil and blame these on Cuba, which was also covered by ABC News on May 1, 2001 at http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=92662&page=1.)

As our executive director David Kubiak is quoted saying in the article: “Everybody’s got a theory. As an organization, all we say is there are an extreme number of lines of inquiry to what they call probable cause that a crime has been committed. The feelings of members ranges from disgust to outrage that these questions haven’t been addressed.”

Finally, we would note that the statement ABC attributes to Kristen Breitweiser, that 911Truth.org is not affiliated with the Family Steering Committee for the Independent 9/11 Commission, is true. Since 911Truth.org has never claimed any such affiliation, we wonder why the article needs to establish that. 

This citation by ABC News should not distract from the essential point: that the majority of the questions posed by the Family Steering Committee, the group who successfully lobbied for the establishement of the 9/11 Commission, have not been answered in any official investigations. (For the FSC questions see http://www.911independentcommission.org/questions.html.)

Furthermore, many Sept. 11 family members have chosen to lend their names as individuals to the 9/11 Truth statement sponsored by our site.

We hope that future articles (and broadcasts) by ABC News will not simply acknowledge “a booming cottage industry” of alternative 9/11 research, “with countless books, Web sites and videos devoted to the subject.” We hope ABC News will also finally scrutinize the failures and omissions of the 9/11 investigations to date, and take on the unanswered questions of Sept. 11, without pre-formed conclusions. Our people deserve that much from the media, whose first mission in a democracy should be to scrutinize the government.

Meanwhile, we invite readers to judge for themselves by exploring that evidence as presented on this website, and to view the Complaint and Petition to the New York State Attorney General online at www.Justicefor911.org.

911Truth.org Staff

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(The following is a fair-use archiving of an article originally published on the ABC News website on Nov. 1, 2004 at the URL,  http://abcnews.go.com/US/print?id=202754. The article is copyright (c) 2004 by ABC News. It is used here under fair-use provisions for the non-commercial purpose of providing information of relevance to the readers of 911Truth.org, which is a subject of the article.)

On Election Eve, Sept. 11 Doubters Surface
Groups Launch Ad Campaign, Request for Criminal Investigation

By DEAN SCHABNER

More than three years after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the skeptics are still out there, and despite a massive government investigation into the causes, threats and government response, in the final days before the presidential election, the doubters have been making more noise.

One organization, reopen911.org, has launched an ad campaign calling for a new investigation into what happened on Sept. 11, and another group, 911truth.org, is filing a formal complaint with the New York state attorney general, seeking a criminal investigation.

Conspiracy theories about the attacks began brewing while the ashes of the World Trade Center were still smoldering, and have grown into a booming cottage industry, with countless books, Web sites and videos devoted to the subject.

For some people, the questions about what happened have not been resolved, and the report released by the 9/11 Independent Commission did nothing to put them to rest. For some, it only caused more frustration.

Jimmy Walters, the man behind the campaign that has placed commercials showing the collapsing buildings at the World Trade Center and a computer-generated image of the plane that hit the Pentagon on television in New York, and full-page print ads in newspapers across the country, said he has a definite political aim.

“If George W. Bush is re-elected, I don’t think we’ll get anything done,” he said.

‘It Had to Be Somebody Bigger’

And Walters, who is also the founder and president of the Walden Three Project, which promotes the development of sustainable cities and grew out of his attempt to write a science fiction novel in Hong Kong, said his feelings about what happened have gone from believing that the government bore responsibility for “an error of omission” to a belief that there had to be government involvement in the attacks on some level.

“We were terrorized and it wasn’t 19 screw-ups with box cutters from Saudi Arabia,” he said. “It had to be somebody bigger, better organized.”

His conspiracy theory involves secret U.S. government operatives boarding the four hijacked planes, which he said were then secretly landed and replaced in the skies by remote-controlled drones that were then crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, all to create a pretext for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Walters commissioned a Zogby International poll in August to ask people in New York about their feelings regarding the Sept. 11 attacks and the investigation. He said the poll, which the ABC News Polling Unit found to be not credible, said 66 percent of New Yorkers want the investigation to be reopened.

That poll, however, was a spark to others who also have held on to their doubts about who was responsible for the attacks.

‘Everybody’s Got a Theory’

David Kubiak, the executive director of 911truth.org, said that while members of the organization, which is based in New York and has chapters in two dozen cities across the country, may have their own beliefs about what happened, there is no agenda beyond getting more information involved in the move to have New York state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer investigate.

“Everybody’s got a theory,” he said. “As an organization, all we say is there are an extreme number of lines of inquiry to what they call probable cause that a crime has been committed. The feelings of members ranges from disgust to outrage that these questions haven’t been addressed.”

And he said that the timing of the filing of the complaint had nothing to do with the election Tuesday.

“It was kicked off after the Zogby poll came out and it’s just a matter of logistics,” he said. “It could have taken a week less or a week more. Whoever is elected, we want this to be on the front of the stove for the next term.”

A spokesman for Spitzer’s office said the complaint had been received and would be reviewed but refused to comment further.

The group also released what it calls the 9/11 Truth Statement, which it said is “a call for immediate inquiry into evidence that suggests high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the September 11th attacks to occur.”

The people who signed the statement, the group says, include presidential candidate Ralph Nader, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern and former U.S. Ambassador and Chief of Mission to Iraq Edward Peck, as well as 49 family members of victims of the attacks.

Besides the poll, dissatisfaction with the 9/11 Independent Commission report spurred the group to release the Truth Statement and to seek a criminal investigation by Spitzer’s office, Kubiak said.

The commission failed to answer the vast majority of the 383 questions the 9/11 Families Steering Committee submitted to it, and did not address 70 percent of them, Kubiak said.

The 9/11 Families Steering Committee was not involved in the actions of the 911truth.org, said Kristen Breitweiser, one of the members of the families’ group.

“We have absolutely no affiliation with these people,” she said.

Copyright (c) 2004 ABC News Internet Ventures