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Morons and Magic: A Reply to George Monbiot

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by David Ray Griffin
7 March 2007

In Bayoneting a Scarecrow The 9/11 conspiracy theories are a coward’s cult.” (Guardian, February 20), George Monbiot accuses members of the 9/11 truth movement of being “morons” and “idiots” who believe in “magic.” Having in his previous attack—“A 9/11 conspiracy virus is sweeping the world,” Guardian, February 6—called me this movement’s “high priest,” he now describes my 9/11 writing as a “concatenation of ill-attested nonsense.”

If my books are moronic nonsense, then people who have endorsed them must be morons. Would Monbiot really wish to apply this label to Michel Chossudovsky, Richard Falk, Ray McGovern, Michael Meacher, John McMurtry, Marcus Raskin, Rosemary Ruether, Howard Zinn, and the late Rev. William Sloane Coffin, who, after a stint in the CIA, became one of America’s leading civil rights, anti-war, and anti-nuclear activists?

If anyone who believes that 9/11 was an inside job is by definition an idiot, then Moncbiot would have to sling that label at Colonel Robert Bowman, former head of the U.S. “Star Wars” program; Andreas von Bülow, former State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Defense; former CIA analysts Bill Christison and Robert David Steele; former Scientific American columnist A. K. Dewdney; General Leonid Ivashov, former chief of staff of the Russian armed forces; Colonel Ronald D. Ray, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense; all the members of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice, Veterans for 9/11 Truth, and Pilots for 9/11 Truth; and most of the individuals listed under “Professors Question 9/11” on the “Patriots Question 9/11” website.

One of the reasons these people reject the government’s conspiracy theory is that, if they were to accept the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Centre, they would need to affirm magical beliefs. A few examples:

The Twin Towers came straight down, which means that each building’s 287 steel columns all had to fail simultaneously; to believe this could happen without explosives is to believe in magic.

At the onset of each tower’s collapse, steel beams were ejected out as far as 600 feet; to believe that these horizontal ejections could be explained by gravitational energy, which is vertical, is to believe in magic.

Virtually all of the concrete in the towers was pulverized into extremely fine dust particles; to believe that fire plus gravity could have done this is to believe in magic.

WTC 7 and the towers came down at virtually free-fall speed, meaning that the lower floors, with all their steel and concrete, provided no resistance to the upper floors; to believe this could happen without explosives is to believe in magic.

Pools of molten metal were found under each building. Because steel does not begin to melt until it reaches about 1,540°C and yet the fires could not have gotten over 1000°C, to accept the fire theory is to believe in magic.

Monbiot, regarding the 9/11 truth movement’s conspiracy theory as a wrong-headed distraction, fails to see that the obviously false and truly distracting conspiracy theory is the official 9/11 myth, which has been used to justify imperial wars and increased militarism, thereby distracting attention from global apartheid and the ecological crisis. We focus on the 9/11 myth because, until it is exposed, getting our governments to focus wholeheartedly on the truly urgent issues of our time will be impossible.

David Ray Griffin has published over 30 books, including four about 9/11. His next book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory, will be out in April.