"The truth is out there." So went the tagline of the
popular TV sci-fi series, The X-Files. Sometimes it
can seem that the truth is way "out there," as one
tries to sift through the confusion of conflicting
statements of government officials, mainstream media
organizations, alternative media outlets, witnesses,
experts, and so-called experts.
This is certainly the case regarding the terrorist
events of September 11, 2001. Of the four coordinated
events ? the two attacks on the Twin Towers of the World
Trade Center in New York, the attack on the Pentagon, and
the crash in rural Pennsylvania ? almost every significant
official finding presented as fact has been subjected to
challenge by a host of critics. The government has invited
(even incited, it can be argued) suspicion by refusing to
release evidence even to congressional committees and
continuing the pattern of secrecy and coverup that we have
seen in past administrations concerning such events as the
1991 Ruby Ridge shootout, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing,
and the 1996 downing of TWA Flight 800.
However, many of those disputing the official version
of the 9/11 attacks have chosen, oddly enough, to
challenge some of the government's most solid evidence and
to do so with flimsy evidence of their own, often
accompanied with sensational, irrational conjecture. Some
of the most popularly disseminated 9/11 scenarios assert,
for instance, that the Pentagon and the Twin Towers were
not hit by the hijacked commercial airliners, but by
missiles and/or military planes.
A mushrooming array of books, videos, and Internet
websites devoted to 9/11 presents an ever-multiplying and
ever more wild assortment of theories and scenarios
concerning virtually every aspect of the attacks. Some of
them have gotten almost into the X-Files realm,
proposing explanations so outlandish that one might expect
to find out that the 9/11 terror attacks were really
launched by aliens from outer space. In fact, as we will
point out, at least one 9/11 conspiracy theorist argues
that some influential human beings directing world events
are actually extra-terrestrial shape-shifters.
evidence from eyewitnesses, photos, independent
experts, and government officials that the Pentagon
(above) was hit by American Airlines Flight 77 on
September 11, 2001, a chorus of critics insist that it
was instead hit by a missile. [Source: Navy News
All of this, of course, is being used to discredit as a
"conspiracy theory wacko" anyone who challenges any part
of the government's official line on the September 11
attacks, as well as anyone who questions the government's
incremental police-state response to 9/11 in the name of
Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 discredits
itself by mixing legitimate criticisms of the Bush
administration with typical left-wing rants. Moore, an
unabashed radical leftist, poisons the political well and
makes it easier for the internationalists in the
Republican Party to dismiss all principled opposition to
the Bush administration's destructive policies as
"Bush-bashing" or "Democrat propaganda." Likewise, many of
the 9/11 conspiracy theorists are self-discrediting,
either because of the absurd nature of their claims or the
oddball manner of their presentations ? or both. However,
they invariably manage to sprinkle their rants with
references to the new world order, the United Nations,
world government, the Council on Foreign Relations, the
Illuminati, etc. Hence, those of us who responsibly expose
and oppose the one-world agenda of the Bush administration
(as we did also with the Clinton administration, without
fear or favor) are more easily marginalized as extremists
and "conspiracy nuts."
It is not our purpose in this article to review,
analyze, and refute all, or even most, of the bogus 9/11
theories and rumors circulating out there. Our objective
is to expose a few of the hoaxes, in the interest of
helping all Americans become more "streetwise" about the
dangers and pitfalls of uncritically accepting stories
from the "alternative media," as well as from the
establishment media and official government sources.
The Pentagon Attack
Although each of the four terrorist incidents involving
aircraft on September 11 is being subjected to vociferous
challenges, the official version of the Pentagon attack
has been the main target of the critics. The catalyst for
most of the Pentagon-attack sleuths can be traced back to
the incendiary propaganda of French author and radical
socialist Thierry Meyssan, president of the virulently
anti-American and pro-Communist French think tank Reseau
Voltaire. In his best-selling book, L'Effroyable
Imposture (The Frightening Deception), Meyssan
launched the claim that American Airlines Flight 77 did
not hit the Pentagon. It has been translated into English
and is sold in the U.S. as 9/11: The Big Lie.
Meyssan has followed up with a second book, Pentagate.
Many of the organizations and websites "investigating"
the 9/11 attacks promote and/or sell the Meyssan books.
Dave vonKleist, narrator and producer of the video 911
In Plane Site, one of the most popular "expos鳢 of the
September 11 events, explains in his video that it was
Meyssan's 9/11 website, "Hunt the Boeing," that got him
started investigating the matter.
Mr. vonKleist strangely refers repeatedly to Meyssan's
books and website as information "released by the French,"
as though it were released by the French government or the
French people collectively. In reality, Meyssan represents
only a small fringe on the far left of French politics,
and his 9/11 materials have been denounced as
disinformation and hucksterism by political and media
representatives spanning the spectrum of French political
thought, including many of those who strongly oppose U.S.
policies in response to the 9/11 terror attacks.
According to vonKleist, when he first saw "Hunt the
Boeing," he had only "one goal in mind: to prove the
French wrong." However, as he looked into Meyssan's
evidence, he says, he became convinced that "the French"
were right after all.
Although critics of the official version of the attack
on the Pentagon disagree with the government's version on
numerous points, perhaps the main ones, which we will
examine here, concern allegations that: the hole in the
Pentagon is too small to have been made by a Boeing 757;
there is too little aircraft debris for a 757 crash; and
flying a 757 into the Pentagon is virtually an impossible
feat, especially for an inexperienced pilot like one of
"The impact holes are too small." vonKleist
parrots Meyssan's false claim that the plane's entry
"hole" in the exterior wall of the Pentagon was only 16
feet in diameter. His In Plane Site web page
disingenuously presents a smoke-obscured photo which
supposedly verifies this point, claiming: "Upon examining
these photographs, one can clearly see a hole, which is
only 16 feet in diameter. This begs the question: 'How can
a Boeing 757 which is over 44 feet in height and 124 feet
in width simply disappear without a trace into a hole that
is only 16 feet in diameter? Also, why is there no
external damage to the Pentagon where the wings and the
tail section would have impacted with the outer wall?'"
Like Meyssan, the vonKleist video 911 In Plane Site
advances the theory that a missile is the most probable
cause of the Pentagon damage.
But what are the facts? The Pentagon is a five-story,
five-sided building complex comprised of five concentric
rings, running from an interior Ring A to an exterior Ring
E. The photo and video evidence support the conclusions of
the 2003 Pentagon Building Performance Report
produced by the American Society of Civil Engineers that
American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon's exterior fa硤e
at the ground floor, creating a hole in Ring E
approximately 90 feet wide. That's 90 feet ? not 16 feet.
A multitude of eyewitnesses saw the 757 swooping down
toward the Pentagon, and many actually saw it hit. Dennis
Behreandt, in his
August 23, 2004 article for The New American,
quoted some of these witnesses, so we won't repeat them
here. However, an important expert witness whom we will
mention in this regard is Allyn Kilsheimer, CEO of KCE
Structural Engineers, who arrived at the scene shortly
after the blast. "I saw the marks of the plane wing on the
face of the building," he says. "I picked up parts of the
plane with the airline markings on them."
Some have discounted Kilsheimer's testimony because as
a contractor for the Defense Department he is considered a
"tainted" witness. However, it's difficult to discount on
similar grounds Brig. Gen. Benton K. Partin, USAF
(retired), an expert witness who has proven his
independence and willingness to challenge coverups in the
past. One of the world's leading missile and military
explosives experts, Gen. Partin was director of the U.S.
Air Force Armaments Technology Laboratory, where he
designed and tested many types of missiles, warheads, and
ordnance against various building structures and armor.
Partin did not personally witness the crash, but he
lives near the Pentagon, is very familiar with the
building's structure, and began studying the evidence
immediately after the event. Does he see any problems with
the official Flight 77 crash scenario? "No, not at all,"
he told The New American. "I've seen the videos
claiming that it was a missile, not a 757, that hit the
Pentagon," he says, angrily dismissing the claim in
|Flight 77 on impact:
Explosives expert Gen. Benton K. Partin says the
brilliant white flash seen in the photo above is
vaporized, burning aluminum from the Boeing 757
hitting the Pentagon. [Source: Associated Press]
"When you slam an aluminum aircraft at high velocity
into a concrete structure, it's going to do exactly what
we saw happen at the Pentagon on 9/11," Partin said. "If
you look at a frontal mass cross-section of the plane, you
see a cylinder of aluminum skin with stringers. When it
impacts with the exterior [Pentagon] wall at 700-800 feet
per second, much of the kinetic energy of the plane
converts to thermal energy, and much of the aluminum
converts to vapor, burning to aluminum oxide. That's why
on the still photos from Pentagon surveillance camera, you
first see the frame with that brilliant white luminescent
flash just before the frame of the orange fireball, the
jet fuel burning. The aluminum cylinder ? the plane
fuselage ? is acting like a shaped charge penetrating a
steel plate. It keeps penetrating until it is consumed.
The Boeing 757 is over 150 feet long, so it's going to
penetrate quite a ways before it's spent. The wings have a
much lower mass cross-section and are loaded with fuel
besides, so there is little left of them except small bits
"Where's the wreckage?" One of the arguments
that appears on the surface to have some merit, is the
argument of negative proof: the stunning absence of crash
debris. On his "Hunt the Boeing" web page, Meyssan shows a
photo of the smoking Pentagon with a long expanse of lawn
in the foreground evincing very little wreckage. The
accompanying caption asks: "Can you find debris of a
Boeing 757-200 in this photograph?" Meyssan's imitators
have used a number of variations on this theme, presenting
photos and video segments and demanding to know where the
757 wreckage is. Some websites feature a news clip of CNN
correspondent Jamie McIntyre standing outside the burning,
smoking Pentagon on 9/11 shortly after the crash, telling
viewers: "There's no evidence of a plane having crashed
anywhere near the Pentagon."
|Path of destruction: A
graphic from a report by the American Society of Civil
Engineers shows the columns that were damaged and
destroyed in the Pentagon and where the remains of the
passengers and Pentagon employees were found in the
first story of the building. [Source: American Society
of Civil Engineers]
VonKleist says that photographs "raise the question as
to WHAT hit the Pentagon and what really happened that
morning." He goes on to say:
Many of those who reject this line of inquiry respond
with the question: "If the 757 didn't hit the Pentagon,
then where did it go?" Answer: "I don't know!" The
question should be: "If a 757 hit the Pentagon, then where
As Gen. Partin points out, most of the plane penetrated
into the Pentagon, burning and shredding as it
went. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers
study, the plane cut a diagonal swath 230 feet into the
first floor, penetrating Rings E, D, and C. "Under these
circumstances, you're just not going to end up with much
airplane debris ? inside or outside [the building]," says
Also, while 9/11 skeptics cite the relatively small
amount of wreckage as proof that Flight 77 couldn't have
hit the Pentagon, many of them ignore what was found at
the crash site: Flight 77's "black boxes" and passenger
remains. Others claim that the black boxes and remains
have been faked. VonKleist acknowledges in his video
911 In Plane Site that "there are those who ? ask the
question, 'Well, if the plane didn't hit the Pentagon,
where did it go?'" But he says, "I don't know where it
went. For all I know, it could be sitting in 200 feet of
water in the Atlantic Ocean."
|Flight 77 debris:
Since Flight 77 penetrated into the Pentagon, there
was not much debris outside of the building. However,
the American Airlines wreckage in the photo above is
additional proof that the plane, not a missile, hit
the building. [Source: Navy News Stand]
"The attack required impossible piloting."
Some prominent 9/11 skeptics claim that the flight path of
the jet that hit the Pentagon would have been humanly
impossible in a 757, while others admit it might be
possible for an expert pilot, but not for hijacker Hani
Hanjour, the inexperienced pilot believed to have
commandeered Flight 77.
In Painful Questions: An Analysis of the September
11th Attack, Eric Hufschmid says: "I would say it is
absurd to believe an inexperienced pilot could fly
such a plane a few millimeters above the ground. The
flight path of this plane is enough to convince me that no
human was in control of it. I think only a computer is
capable of flying an airplane in such a tricky manner. If
terrorists flew the plane, they would qualify as the
World's Greatest Pilots since they did tricks with a
commercial aircraft that I doubt the best Air Force pilots
Ralph Omholt's "skydrifter" website claims: "No pilot
will claim to be able to hit such a spot as the Pentagon
base ? under any conditions ? in a 757 doing 300 knots. As
to the clearly alleged amateur pilots: IMPOSSIBLE!"
"Impossible"? "No pilot will claim...?" Well, we did
not have any difficulty finding pilots who disagreed.
Ronald D. Bull, a retired United Airlines pilot, in
Jupiter, Florida, told The New American, "It's not
that difficult, and certainly not impossible,"
noting that it's much easier to crash intentionally into a
target than to make a controlled landing. "If you're doing
a suicide run, like these guys were doing, you'd just keep
the nose down and push like the devil," says Capt. Bull,
who flew 727s, 747s, 757s, and 767s for many years,
internationally and domestically, including into the
Washington, D.C., airports.
|Lamp posts taken out
by Flight 77 were too far apart to have been done by a
missile or a fighter jet, say witnesses and experts,
including General Benton K. Partin. [Source: Library
George Williams of Waxhaw, North Carolina, piloted
707s, 727s, DC-10s, and 747s for Northwest Airlines for 38
years. "I don't see any merit to those arguments
whatsoever," Capt. Williams told us. "The Pentagon is a
pretty big target and I'd say hitting it was a fairly easy
thing to do."
According to 9/11 "investigator" Dick Eastman, whose
wild theories are posted on the American Patriot Friends
Network and many other Internet sites, Flight 77 was part
of an elaborate deception in which a remote-controlled
F-16 "killer jet" actually hit the Pentagon, while the 757
swooped over the Pentagon and landed at Reagan
National Airport! "With its engines off," says Eastman,
Flight 77 silently "coasted" in to the airport and blended
in with other air traffic. "There would be few people to
see Flight 77 come through, and those who did would
doubtless assume that it was yet another routine flight
over Reagan National," he claims.
"That's so far-fetched it's beyond ludicrous," says
Capt. Williams. "I've flown into Reagan [National Airport]
hundreds of times and you can't just sneak in and 'blend
in' without air traffic controllers knowing about it and
without other pilots and witnesses noticing."
Besides, as Capt. Ron Bull points out, the Eastman
scenario would require piloting skills far beyond what it
would take to hit the Pentagon. "I've flown into Reagan
National many times and my first trip in a 757 was no
picnic," he says. "I had to really work at it, and that
was after 25 years of experience flying big jets. Any
scenario that has the 757 [Flight 77] taking a flight path
over the Pentagon and landing at National
unobserved is proposing something that is far more
difficult ? and far more difficult to believe ? than
flying the plane into the Pentagon. It's just not
General Partin, an Air Force Command Pilot, sums up the
case for Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon: "The alternative
explanations just get crazier and crazier. In addition to
the physical evidence and the photographic evidence
supporting the official story, there are literally
hundreds of eyewitnesses ? including many people I know
personally ? who saw the 757. Besides that, there are the
light poles that were knocked down ? which I saw
personally and which are in the photographic record ? that
can't be accounted for by a missile or small jet wingspan.
Then you have the Flight 77 victim remains and the black
boxes. If you reject all of that, then you have to come up
with an alternative explanation for what happened to
Flight 77. I've seen the alternative explanations and
But despite all the evidence to the contrary, let's
suppose for a moment that Flight 77 did not crash into the
Pentagon. Why hijack the plane and then crash it into the
Atlantic Ocean, or fly it into Reagan National Airport, or
do whatever else was done with it to make it "disappear"?
Why hijack the plane to make it appear that it was used
against a target and then not use it against any target?
Why plant the black boxes and human remains at the
Pentagon site? Wouldn't it make more sense, and be much
simpler, to actually use the plane against the Pentagon?
World Trade Center Attacks
|Military plane? Some
theorists claim that military planes, not commercial
airliners, hit the WTC, based on a witness who didn?t
see any windows on the plane that hit the South Tower.
The above photo shows the windows from Flight 175?s
wreckage. [Source: FEMA]
As with the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, the attacks on
the Twin Towers in New York City have spawned a tremendous
urban legend industry.
"It's the Flash, Stupid!" In the video 911 In
Plane Site, Dave vonKleist claims to have found the
smoking gun: a bright flash that can be seen in a
slow-motion viewing of video footage at the very moment
that the noses of the jetliners crashed into the
buildings, or a split-second before impact. In his website
essay, "It's the Flash, Stupid!," vonKleist asks, "What
caused the flash?" He answers: "There are four
possibilities that come to mind: a) a reflection; b)
sparks from the fuselage striking the building; c) static
discharge; d) some type of incendiary (bomb or missile)."
VonKleist quickly disposes of a, b, and c and settles on a
missile as the only logical explanation.
General Partin says vonKleist omits the most obvious
explanation. "It's very simple," he told The New
American, "When the noses of the aircraft hit the
buildings, you have a bright aluminum flash, the same as
we saw at the Pentagon. That's obvious to anyone familiar
with physics, chemistry, and what happens when aluminum
hits a structure at a high rate of speed." And the proof
of that analysis, the general points out, is in
vonKleist's own video. "If you watch just a few frames
after the nose flash, you'll see two smaller aluminum
flashes as each engine strikes the building. That's all it
There's another major problem with the "missile flash."
According to vonKleist, the missiles were fired from a pod
on the belly of each of the jumbo jets. But, if that is
the case, where is the flash from the ignition of the
missile; why is there no missile exhaust flare seen on the
video? Where is that flash?
The "missile pod." This brings us to the "pod"
that vonKleist and others claim is visible in a photograph
and in video footage of the underside of the fuselage of
United Airlines Flight 175 just before it strikes the
South Tower of the World Trade Center. The 9/11 conspiracy
theorists assert that this "pod" shows that the plane
carried either a bomb or a missile. Popular Mechanics
asked Dr. Ronald Greeley, director of the Space
Photography Laboratory at Arizona State University, to
examine the photo in question. Prof. Greeley concluded
that the "pod" was merely the play of light on the fairing
that houses the Boeing's landing gear. Gen. Benton Partin
agreed with Professor Greeley. "There's no 'pod' there,"
Partin told The New American. "It's a smear from a
high-speed target and a low-speed camera. At the instant
of impact the film exposure at the nose approaches zero.
Without the bright aluminum flash the nose impact wouldn't
even be seen."
Demolition charges. "The planes did not bring
those towers down; bombs did. So why use planes? It seems
they were a diversionary tactic ? a grand spectacle." So
writes Randy Lavello in an article on
www.prisonplanet.com , one of the Internet sites of
shortwave radio broadcaster and video producer Alex Jones.
"The World Trade Center was not destroyed by
terrorists. It was a controlled demolition, an inside
job!" says "Geronimo Jones" in an article on the Internet
"The fact that the towers fell this quickly
(essentially at the rate of free-fall) is conclusive
evidence that they were deliberately demolished," he
This is also a major theme of the vonKleist video,
911 In Plane Site, which, like a number of other video
productions, attempts to liken the World Trade Center
collapses to the 1995 attack on Oklahoma City's Alfred P.
Murrah Federal Building. Some of these 9/11 productions
even cite Gen. Partin as an authority to back their
theories about the Twin Towers. General Partin exposed the
evidence that the OKC blast included internal demolition
charges, in addition to the Ryder truck bomb.
But Partin says the OKC and WTC incidents are
completely different. The Murrah building was only nine
stories tall and made of heavy steel-reinforced concrete.
And, since the Ryder truck was outside the
building, the damage it caused was primarily from the
shock wave of pressurized air. The Twin Towers, on the
other hand, were 110 stories tall, supported by steel
columns, and the planes ? which served as missiles ?
dumped large quantities of high-energy, hot fuel.
"The claims that the explosions and fires would not
have generated enough heat to cause the building to
collapse are nonsense," Partin told THE NEW AMERICAN.
"Steel doesn't have to 'melt' as some of these people
claim. The yield strength of steel drops very dramatically
under heat, and the impact of the airliners would have
severely impacted the support columns. When they could no
longer support the upper stories and the top started
coming down, the dynamic loading caused a very rapid
collapse, or 'pancaking,' that would have very nearly
approached free-fall rate. No demolition charges were
needed to accomplish this."
Edward Peik, vice president of Alpine Environmental,
Inc. of Chelmsford, Mass., agrees. Peik, a civil engineer,
with 40 years of engineering experience in government and
industry, grew up in New York City and is familiar with
the structure of the Twin Towers. "I was at home watching
all of this unfold on TV" on 9/11, he told The New
American. "My first reaction was, 'My God, they've got
to get everybody out of there right away, because it's
going to come down fast!' I called my son Ron, who is also
an engineer. We were both beside ourselves because we knew
that they wouldn't stay up very long. As soon as fire hits
steel, it loses strength fast and those towers had
relatively lightweight steel beams spanning large
distances. The building was supported by the steel outer
walls. When the upper part of the building started coming
down, the floors below could not support the weight
crashing down on them. It was a vertical domino effect."
The opinions of Partin, Peik, and several other
structural experts we consulted agree with the official
consensus that the WTC towers collapsed as a result of the
severe damage caused by the planes and the ensuing fires,
not as a result of controlled demolition. General Partin
says that he was contacted by vonKleist, who wanted him to
support his position, which Partin was not willing to do.
A Profusion of Confusion and Delusion
|In plain fright: Dave
vonKleist, in his 911 In Plane Site video, insists
that photos show a missile pod on the belly of a plane
that hit the WTC and a light flash from a missile
explosion. Experts and laymen who have viewed the
video disagree with vonKleist. [Source: 911 In Plane
The cover story of the March 2005 issue of Popular
Mechanics is entitled, "Debunking 9/11 Lies:
Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Hard Facts." The
magazine assembled an impressive lineup of more than 300
experts to examine 16 claims made by 9/11 conspiracy
theorists. We think that Popular Mechanics did a
credible job regarding the Pentagon attack and the alleged
missile pods, but we have not investigated all of the 16
conspiracy theories they dismiss.
We certainly do not agree with Popular Mechanics'
rabid editorializing against "conspiracy theory." In the
space of a few paragraphs, the magazine's editors use the
words "conspiracy," "conspiracy theory," and "conspiracy
theorists" over and over again, to harshly ridicule the
idea of conspiracy. However, the 9/11 "conspiracy
theorists" have made it easy for Popular Mechanics
and others to relegate all talk of conspiracy to the loony
category. The Popular Mechanics broadside proves
our point that we must be careful with facts. It proves
that the propagation of bad information about conspiracy
can be, and will be, used to dismiss the notion of
conspiracy in general.
"Healthy skepticism, it seems, has curdled into
paranoia," says Popular Mechanics. "Wild conspiracy
tales are peddled daily on the Internet, talk radio and in
other media." Unfortunately, that is true. David vonKleist,
for instance, features on his In Plane Site website
a glowing endorsement from David Icke, the New Age guru
who peddles fantastic conspiracy theories claiming that
George W. Bush and other world leaders are actually
reptilian shape-shifters from another galaxy. Some of the
other 9/11 "authorities" are only slightly less lurid.
discredit: Wild speculation distracts Americans from
real issues of coverup and complicity in the 9/11
attacks and discredits all mention of conspiracy.
[Source: Navy News Stand]
Recently, a colleague told me a tragic story about his
sister-in-law, who had succeeded in getting her spouse to
attend church occasionally with her (though not as a
member of that church), only to have a prominent, visiting
church leader spout off from the pulpit as gospel some of
the discredited 9/11 conspiracy theories discussed above.
The spouse was so incensed by the obvious falsity and
ridiculousness of the cleric's statements that he vowed
never to attend the church again, or to believe anything
anyone connected with the church says. This is not the
only example we could cite illustrating why it is so
important to be sure of one's facts, as well as one's
It is very difficult to reestablish believability once
we have discredited ourselves by promoting information
that turns out to be misinformation ? or even worse,
intentional disinformation. But what is even
more tragic is that every time we err in this regard we
not only affect our own personal credibility, but the
credibility of all of our colleagues in the freedom fight
who have labored long and hard to overcome the smears and
ridicule of our opponents.
Opinion polls repeatedly have shown that most Americans
view the major media as biased and untrustworthy.
Similarly, polls show that Americans tend to be suspicious
of government. This is healthy skepticism, based on
experience and common sense: we have learned firsthand
that government officials and the media frequently lie.
However, this same skepticism must also be applied to
alternative information sources, whether they be talk
radio, the Internet, newsletters, magazines, or word of
One of our first guidelines should be based on the old
adage, "Consider the source." What is the track record of
the source? Have they been reliable in the past? Do they
have a well-earned reputation for truth and getting the
facts straight? Or have they been known to sensationalize,
censor, ignore, color, crop, or even falsify the facts to
advance a hidden agenda?
This publication's agenda is expressed on the front
cover of every issue: "That freedom shall not perish." And
we recognize that freedom is not possible without a
rigorous, continuous search for, and absolute fidelity to,
the truth. We are committed to that purpose, and we think
it is a worthy goal to which all Americans constantly
should recommit themselves.
the Facts Straight" (The New American August
23, 2004), Dennis Behreandt notes that although Thierry
Meyssan "asserts that the Pentagon was hit by a missile
and not an airplane, he does not cite even a single
witness claiming to have seen a missile. His only
'evidence' for the missile theory are descriptive similes
used by witnesses who attested to seeing a plane but who
compared the plane to a missile. For instance, he quotes
USA Today reporter Joel Sucherman, who saw the plane as it
raced toward its target. According to Sucherman, 'whoever
was flying the plane made no attempt to change direction.
It was coming in at a high rate of speed, but not at a
steep angle ? almost like a heat-seeking missile was
locked on its target and staying dead on course.'"
Likewise, Meyssan played fast and loose with the testimony
of other witnesses who spoke metaphorically. Behreandt
logically concluded: "Either Meyssan does not understand
the use of metaphor in English, or he is being
The same can be said for many of Meyssan's imitators,
who repeat his misuse of witness testimony. The same
problem has reappeared in the case of the World Trade
Center collapse. Witness testimony referring to the way
the buildings came down like a controlled demolition have
been presented as statements of belief that the collapse
was in fact a controlled demolition.