The State of the Movement – the 9/11 Truth Movement


By: Richard Curtis, PhD

(Speech delivered to the Seattle Chapter of the 9/11 Visibility Project, June 11, 2006)


The Sinking of the USS Maine

            At 9:40pm on the evening of February 15, 1898, a terrible explosion on board the USS Maine shattered the stillness in Havana Harbor. Later investigations revealed that more than five tons of powder charges for the vessel's six and ten-inch guns ignited, virtually obliterating the forward third of the ship, allegedly after a mine detonated under the front of the ship. The remaining wreckage rapidly settled to the bottom of the harbor. Most of the Maine's crew were sleeping or resting in the enlisted quarters in the forward part of the ship when the explosion occurred. Two hundred and sixty-six men lost their lives. The Captain and most of the officers survived because their quarters were in the back of the ship.

            The USS Maine was not invited to that harbor and most observers believe its presence was intentionally provocative.  The destruction of the Maine did not cause the U.S. to declare war on Spain, but it served as a catalyst, accelerating the approach to a diplomatic impasse. In addition, the sinking and deaths of U.S. sailors rallied American opinion more strongly behind armed intervention even though no evidence was offered that Spain had planted a mine and it was obvious to many that Spain had no interest in starting a war.


The Reichstag Fire

            At 9:14 PM on the night of February 27, 1933 a Berlin fire station received an alarm that the Reichstag building – the German Parliament – was ablaze. The fire seemed to have been started in several places, and by the time the police and firemen arrived a huge explosion had set the main Chamber of Deputies in flames.

            Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring arrived soon after and Göring immediately declared the fire was set by the Communists and had the party leaders arrested along with leaders of the Social Democrats and various unions. Hitler declared a state of emergency and encouraged aging president Paul von Hindenburg to sign the Reichstag Fire Decree, suspending the basic rights provisions of the Weimar constitution even though no evidence was ever offered that anyone other than the Nazis themselves were responsible for the fire.


The Attack on Pearl Harbor

            On November 25, 1941 Japan’s Admiral Yamamoto sent a radio message to the group of Japanese warships that would attack Pearl Harbor on December 7. Newly released naval records prove that from November 17 to 25 the United States Navy intercepted eighty-three messages that Yamamoto sent to his carriers. The US government knew the attack was coming.  Part of the November 25 message read: “…the task force, keeping its movements strictly secret and maintaining close guard against submarines and aircraft, shall advance into Hawaiian waters, and upon the very opening of hostilities shall attack the main force of the United States fleet in Hawaii and deal it a mortal blow…”

            The attack allowed FDR to win re-election and take the US into World War II, even though we now know the attack was not a surprise and was actually allowed to succeed.



The Gulf of Tonkin Incident

            On August 5, 1964 a Washington Post headline read: "American Planes Hit North Vietnam After Second Attack on Our Destroyers; Move Taken to Halt New Aggression.”  That same day, the front page of the New York Times reported: "President Johnson has ordered retaliatory action against gunboats and 'certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam' after renewed attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin."
            But there were no attacks by North Vietnam — let alone "renewed attacks against American destroyers."  It was a complete fabrication designed to manipulate public opinion.


Modern history offers other examples of public manipulation through the manufacture of military or terrorist attacks – so-called “False Flag Operations.”  In addition to the four just discussed, one might mention President James Polk ordering a fort built 150 miles into Mexican territory in 1846 and referring to the inevitable attack on the fort as an attack on US soil; or the “Mukden Incident” orchestrated by Japan in China in 1931; or Germany’s “Operation Himmler” in 1936; or the “Levon Affair” in Egypt in 1954 carried out by Israel; or plans for attacks on US civilians called “Operation Northwoods” that was stopped by President Kennedy in 1962; or the attack on the USS Liberty in 1966; or supposed terrorist attacks in Italy in the 1970’s and Belgium in the 1980’s now known to have been orchestrated by a secret NATO unit run by the CIA and the Pentagon; or the most important False Flag Operation in history – the attacks of 9/11.


Those of us gathered here today are here because we have recognized this pattern of manipulation and are deeply concerned for the future of humanity.  As well we should be.  These False Flag Operations have often been widely successful, but that is not always the case nor is it the case that they remain secret forever.  There is reason for optimism in the face of the overwhelming denial that still dominates mainstream culture about the False Flag Operation that was 9/11.


The Mahatma Gandhi once said:

First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win.


With that in mind I would like to review a brief history of the 9/11 Truth Movement’s public presence over the last couple of years, and these are just events that broke into mainstream culture.  The length of this list – 30 items long – might surprise you; it surprised me while putting it together.


Some Recent Developments


January 2004: David Ray Griffin’s introduced a whole new audience to skeptical questions about the events of 9/11 in his book, The New Pearl Harbor.


May 26, 2004: Democracy Now! Included a “debate” between Griffin and Chip Berlet (after canceling a solo interview with Griffin the day before).


Mid-July, 2004: The 9/11 Commission Report was published.


August 2004: a Zogby Poll of NY residents found that nearly half believe US government officials knew beforehand the 9/11 attack was coming and did nothing to prevent it.  Two-thirds of those polled wanted a fresh investigation.


August 31, 2004: Michael Ruppert addressed the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on “9/11 and Peak Oil.”


September 2004: organized “The 9/11 Omissions Hearings” which include Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and were covered by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


October 15, 2004: The Boulder Weekly included a story about “The 9/11 Visibility Project.”


November 10, 2004: CNN aired story that includes interviews with three people associated with  That day they included a poll on-line, 73% responded that they believe there has been a government cover-up.


February 2005: Griffin’s The 9/11 Commission Report: Omission and Distortions was published.  Interestingly, reviews posted on of the Commission Report itself begin to express more criticism.


February 2005: The well-known magazine Popular Mechanics published a front-page story in its March issue attempting to refute critics of the official conspiracy theory.  Their story was deeply flawed, but significant in that a major media outlet saw fit to attempt this absurd argument, it showed that public distrust of the official conspiracy theory is building.


April 26, 2005: CSPAN2 aired a speech Griffin gave at the University of Wisconsin.  The Madison Speech organized by MUJCA (Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth)


May 2005: Scientific American magazine ran an attack story on 9/11 skeptics, further indicating that skepticism is beginning to get the attention of the press.


July 22-26, 2005: “The 9/11 Truth Convergence” Conference was held in Washington D.C.; CSPAN2 aired one particularly important speech by Nafeez Ahmed (the weekend of July 30th).


August 2005: Both The LA Times Sunday Magazine and Hustler Magazine ran positive interviews with Griffin.


August 12, 2005: The City of New York finally released a collection of “Oral Histories” from fir-fighters and paramedics who were at the WTC, individual interviews conducted between September and November 2001.  This is after losing in court 3 times.  These Oral Histories are now available on the NY Times web site.  The Oral Histories are monumentally significant because they show that dozens of fire officials witnessed very powerful explosives going off in the WTC towers as they collapsed.


November 10, 2005:  Steven Jones, Professor of Physics at BYU, posted a paper that was later published in a peer reviewed journal.  In that paper he argued that the official account of the collapse of all three WTC buildings is physically impossible and the most likely theory is that they were all brought down by controlled demolitions.  Combined with the evidence from the Oral Histories, Prof. Jones argument is irrefutable.


January 27, 2006: “Scholars for 9/11 Truth” was founded by James Fetzer, a prominent professor of Philosophy of Science and Epistemology, the organization also includes Griffin, Steven Jones and a professor of Mechanical Engineering named Judy Wood, as well as dozens of others.


February 1, 2006:  Robert Steinback, a columnist with the Miami Herald, wrote an editorial entitled, “Avoiding the Hard Questions,” in which he mentioned five specific problems with the official story including, the impossibility of the WTC towers collapsing as a result of fire, the lack of fighter interception of hijacked planes, and the failure of the Commission to investigate reports that some of the alleged hijackers are still alive.


February 2, 2006:  “Avoiding the Hard Questions” ran on


March 20, 2006: Actor Charlie Sheen joined a growing list of celebrities who have publicly challenged the official conspiracy theory.


March 27, 2006: New York Magazine ran a story called “The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll” reviewing some of the evidence against the official conspiracy theory.


April 3, 2006: Griffin spoke on “9/11: The Myth and the Reality” at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.


April 16, 2006: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published a guest editorial that directly claims that the 9/11 Commission Report is a Lie.  That editorial generated a record breaking 300 comments on the P-I web site.


May 23, 2006: released the results of a new Zogby poll, this one national, that found that only 48% of those polled have confidence in the 9/11 Commission Report.  42% believe there has been a cover up and 45% believe there should be a new investigation.  More interestingly, only 52% knew that WTC-7 had collapsed.  The fact that only 48% expressed confidence in the official story is astounding because 99% of all mainstream media coverage of the issue either avoids any mention of problems with the official conspiracy theory, or derides critics of that theory.


May 23, 2006: The Pentagon released two very fuzzy video clips in an attempt to prove that a Boeing 757 was the object that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.  The video clips showed nothing but a blur, and are obviously from the same cameras from which stills were released in 2002 showing the same blur.


Late May 2006:  A very prestigious publisher in Europe called Elsevier published a collection of essays called The Hidden History of 9-11-2001, edited by Paul Zarembka (Professor of Economics at SUNY Buffalo). announced pre-publication sales of a book co-edited by Griffin and Peter Dale Scott called, 9/11 and the American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out, containing 20 essays by scholars.  These books, being essays by important intellectuals, demonstrate that the truth movement is not just “a bunch of crazies on the internet” – it is a movement with tremendous intellectual respectability.


June 2, 2006: The Denver Post carries a story from the small town of Durango about a local woman suing the local paper to force it to carry 9/11 truth issues.  The case is rejected, and the Post coverage is dismissive, but it does include links to 8 sites like and (although they got the last URL wrong).


June 2-4, 2006: The “9/11 Revealing the Truth, Reclaiming our Future” National Conference was held in Chicago.


June 5, 2006: The New York Times included a story about the conference and the new Zogby Poll; AOL picks it up as their “most popular news story” that day and includes a poll that also shows a surprising amount of public suspicion (that story and poll have reportedly disappeared from the AOL site).


June 7, 2006: Noted right-wing nut Ann Coulter attacks a group of 9/11 widows in a new book and instead of being dismissed is actually invited on TV to repeat this obscenity.  The attack is insulting sensationalism, and one wonders if her (and her superiors) purpose was to distract attention from the more and more obvious fact that most Americans no longer accept the official story.


The Future:


Recalling Gandhi’s words above: We have been ignored, and we have been mocked, we should expect to be fought, but eventually we can expect to win.


The 9/11 Truth Movement is going mainstream, little by little.  For my part I would like to offer you three important insights from my own field – Philosophy – for you to recall when confronted by or confronting those who irrationally cling to the “19 Arabs” Conspiracy Theory.


First, people will ask what really happened.  The most obvious answer is that we do not know.  We do know that what we have been told is an obvious fabrication, which in addition to avoiding mention of numerous vital details and questions about that day actually expects us to believe that the laws of physics did not apply on September 11, 2001.  We need a real investigation and that will only happen when enough people demand one.


Second, people will say that any alternative to the official conspiracy theory must be its own conspiracy theory and they will begin challenging what they assume to be that theory.  For example they will say that an alternative theory would involve too many people to be kept secret, it is implausible.  Remind them of how many people still believe the attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise and the 50 years it took for the evidence to become public.  More to the point, it is important to keep in mind that a theory that is implausible is, by definition, infinitely more likely than one that is impossible.  The official theory asks us to believe the impossible – it is only rational to refuse to believe the impossible.


Third, don’t get caught up in speculation about what really happened, that debate is a trap.  The truth movement does not have the resources to prove what really happened, although some of the speculation is quite interesting.  We can and must be united on the main point – the 9/11 Commission Report is a lie, which would only be produced to cover up the now obvious fact that 9/11 was an inside job.  The details of what really happened are not the point – the point is the obviousness of the 9/11 Commission Report being a cover-up.  Stay on message.


And finally, I would like to conclude with some words from one of Dr. Griffin’s forthcoming books.


            In a criminal trial, once the prosecution has presented its initial case, the defense asks the judge for a dismissal on the grounds that a prima facie case for guilt has not been presented. However, if the judge declares that such a case has been made, then the defense must rebut the various elements in the prosecution’s case. The defense cannot simply ignore the prosecution’s case by stating that it is “too outrageous to be dignified by a response.” If the defense fails to offer a convincing rebuttal, the prima facie case is presumed to be conclusive.

          . . . .

            The 9/11 Commission, under the direction of Bush administration insider Philip Zelikow, had the opportunity to rebut the prima facie case against the Bush administration. But as the above illustrations of both omissions and distortions show, it completely failed to do so. As a result, the prima facie case that the Bush administration orchestrated the attacks of 9/11 remain unrefuted. The publication of The 9/11 Commission Report should, accordingly, be recognized as a decisive event: the moment at which the prima facie case against the Bush administration became a conclusive case.

            What is needed now is for the American people to be informed of this development, which is most important, given the fact that the official story about 9/11 has provided the pretext for most of the nefarious policies of the Bush-Cheney administration. Although the mainstream press should have provided this information, it has failed to do so.



In the words of an old gospel hymn and union song, “We shall overcome.”  In Spanish, this sentiment is captured in a single word – Venceremos!


Take heart: we, skeptics of the government’s ludicrous tale, are the majority already – 52% to 48%.  The task ahead is to make this majority a visible and vocal one, demanding truth, justice, peace and real democracy for our nation and the world.  This is a daunting task, but we must succeed, we shall overcome the lies, the distortions, and the growing stench of fascism in our nation.


Venceremos fighters for truth, humanitarians and patriots!  Venceremos!