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Twin Towers, Twin Myths

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Engineers and Architects Argue About What Made the World Trade Center Fall

Thursday, September 17, 2009
By Jay Levin and Tom McKenzie
The Santa Barbara Independent
In Print Cover Story

One of the crucial technical disputes in American history, perhaps second only to global warming, is underway. It pits hundreds of government technicians who say the World Trade Center buildings were brought down by airplane impact against hundreds of professional architects and building engineers who insist that the Twin Towers could never have collapsed solely due to the planes and are calling for a new independent investigation. It is a fight that is not going away and is likely to get louder as more building trade professionals sign on to one side or the other.

Better than anyone, David Ray Griffin understands the “enormous importance” of Richard Gage, the Bay Area architect and staunch Republican who founded Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911 Truth).

Griffin, the controversial retired Santa Barbara philosophy professor/theologian (Claremont School of Theology), is regarded as the leading investigative force within what is called the 9/11 Truth movement, with seven 9/11 books to his credit, including his bestseller The New Pearl Harbor. Although sometimes challenged (about accuracy), until Gage appeared, Griffin found his greatest stumbling block in public appearances to be this question: If his analysis was true — that two planes could not have brought down three World Trade Center (WTC) buildings without the aid of pre-planted explosives — why didn’t a single U.S. architect or building engineer publicly support him? Now, in three years, Gage has signed up 804 architects and structural engineers, some from top firms, who challenge the official version of the buildings’ collapses.

Notably, the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division has acknowledged that AE911′s core evidence deserves — and will get — FBI scrutiny. In a December 2008 letter, Assistant Director Michael J. Heimbach assessed AE911′s presentation as “backed by thorough research and analysis.”

Bolstering AE911′s case, three scientists working at respected technical laboratories in the U.S. and Europe reported in April that their independent analysis of reputed WTC dust found clear evidence of the highly potent incendiary/explosive “super-thermite,” used by the military.

AE911 Truth has grown rapidly, igniting a struggling grassroots movement of hundreds of other “9/11 Truth” organizations, and spearheading a growing assault on the official story. In recent years, other single-profession 9/11 Truth groups have launched or gained momentum, including those comprised of airline pilots, firefighters, veterans, medical professionals, scholars, lawyers, religious leaders, and former government employees.

Also individually calling for a new inquiry are two dozen retired U.S. military officers and eight former U.S. State Department officials, along with a number of Republicans who have served in high federal positions since Ronald Reagan’s presidency, including former assistant secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts and former deputy assistant secretary of Defense (and retired Marine Corps colonel) Ronald D. Ray.

That Van Jones, Obama’s green jobs “czar,” resigned September 5 in part because he had signed a 2004 petition seeking a new inquiry into 9/11 is testimony to the fact that the reinvestigation movement has brought in skeptics from both political parties even as it remains a hot potato in American public life.

Activists around the country attribute AE911′s professional credibility and its unwavering focus on the WTC as the fuel that has galvanized the movement. The group’s case has been enhanced by its refusal to advance conspiracy theories that are widespread within the movement, including the proposition that key Bush administration figures likely were complicit in the event.

“AE911 represents the biggest boost yet to the credibility of the 9/11 Truth movement,” Griffin said. “So many people identify 9/11 with the towers, and now it’s clear there are far more architects and engineers who have spoken out against the official story than have publicly supported it.”

Please read the remainder of this excellent story, including more photographs and a poll, go to the Santa Barbara Independent here.

The poll asks:

Is conspiracy behind the World Trade Center s collapse?