Monday, January 05, 2009

David Ray Griffin in Japan

I had a chance to listen to DRG's lecture in Japan from November while stuck on a plane returning from Christmas vacation. It was amazingly bad; apparently Griffin is hawking his earlier books (New Pearl Harbor and Omissions and Distortions) and thus it was like being in a time warp back to the 2005-era theories.

Griffin started by apologizing for being late. He has recently gotten braces (your Troofer dollars at work!) and it takes him a long time to brush his teeth. He says that after 9-11, he initially subscribed to the blowback theory that US imperialism had caused the terrorist attacks, and so he started writing a book about US imperialism. Any way to bash his home country, I suppose.

But later he was convinced after reading the Meyssan book and a few websites, so he wrote the New Pearl Harbor. He explained the title by referring to the PNAC document, Rebuilding America's Defenses, which called for increased military spending and weapons in space (the latter of which never happened), and noted that the document indicated this would take time, barring a "new Pearl Harbor".

He begins his "evidence" presentation with the WTC collapses, noting that no high-rise had ever collapsed due to fire. Of course, just last year we had a large portion of a 14-story Delft University building collapse due to fire:

According to news stories at the time, the fire was believed to have started from a short-circuit in a coffee machine.

Griffin says that the 9-11 Commission failed to note that the collapse of the Twin Towers presented 10 characteristics of controlled demolition. Of course the collapse did not feature several other characteristics of controlled demolition--such as huge explosions, miles of detonation cable laid throughout the buildings, months of preparation of the building for demolition by knocking out demising walls, etc.

He mentions that Giuliani had heard that the buildings were going to collapse. Of course, this is presented as some big mystery. Griffin conveniently ignores the testimony of EMS Chief John Peruggia:

I was in a discussion with Mr. Rotanz and I believe it was a representative from the Department of Buildings, but I'm not sure. Some engineer type person, and several of us were huddled talking in the lobby and it was brought to my attention, it was believed that the structural damage that was suffered to the towers was quite significant and they were very confident that the building's stability was compromised and they felt that the north tower was in danger of a near imminent collapse.

Peruggia sent Richard Zarillo with the message to FDNY Chief Ganci, and presumably somebody else, most likely the man from the Department of Buildings somehow notified the mayor. End of story. As Peruggia describes it, this happened just before the collapse of the South Tower, which fits with Rudy Giuliani's description of being notified but that the collapse happened before he could react. There's no mystery here.

He mentions the Securacom/Marvin Bush connection. Once again, Bush left the board of directors of that company in June of 2000, almost 15 months before the attacks.

But it is in the hijackers segment that Griffin really lets loose with the insanity. No Arab names on the flight manifests! The hijackers drank, did drugs, hired strippers and prostitutes. Some of them are still alive, the BBC reported!

I'm always amused at the "no hijackers on the flight manifests" claim. How much pot would you have to smoke to believe that the airlines released flight manifests that somehow didn't include the hijackers' names... and nobody noticed it except for a couple of conspiracy kooks? In fact, as we have said time and again, CNN published a list of "victims" on each of the planes. By definition, the hijackers were not victims; they were the perps, and hence they are not included on those lists. On the actual flight manifests, as used during the Moussaoui trial (which Grifter is well aware of, since he brings it up later) the hijackers' names did appear.

It's idiotic that he's still pitching that old line, or the one about the BBC. It's pretty obvious that the reason why he still clings to this crap is because that's what he's got in the books that he was hawking that day.

We get the usual discussion of Hani Hanjour's poor piloting skills. Griffin cites this article in the NY Times:

Staff members characterized Mr. Hanjour as polite, meek and very quiet. But most of all, the former employee said, they considered him a very bad pilot.

''I'm still to this day amazed that he could have flown into the Pentagon,'' the former employee said. ''He could not fly at all.''

But note as well this from the same article:

Ms. Ladner said the Phoenix staff never suspected that Mr. Hanjour was a hijacker but feared that his skills were so weak that he could pose a safety hazard if he flew a commercial airliner.

The biggest problem Hanjour had was his poor command of the English language, which of course is crucial for pilots who frequently must respond to oral commands from the ground. Troofers always note that Freeway Airport declined to rent him a plane; what they fail to mention is that he took three test flights with instructors at that airport before they turned him down, which hardly fits the picture of a pilot who could not fly at all. And Hanjour was successful in renting a plane at another airport and piloting a flight down to Maryland, as the 9-11 Commission reported.

Griffin then goes into the Cheney in the PEOC story, citing the Mineta timeline. He notes that the 9-11 Commission did not include Mineta's times in their official account and that they even removed it from the official video record. What Griffin does not note is that Mineta was confused as to what time he arrived at the White House; once his mistake is adjusted for Mineta's timeline generally agrees with other accounts. Griffin insists that the "natural interpretation" for the "Do the orders still stand?" is that the order is a stand-down order. It's plainly a leap of faith by Griffin, and when you read other accounts it becomes obvious that the reason the marine was so insistent on getting confirmation was because it was a shoot-down order, a very extraordinary and arguably unconstitutional order from the Vice President.

He brings up the "Why did they hit Wedge 1?" argument. The answer, of course, is that it was the closest to the plane and was therefore the easiest part to hit. Griffin brings up that Rummy's office was on the other side and that this was common knowledge. He also brings up that it was recently reinforced, like the terrorists were paying attention to what repairs were going on at the buildings they attacked.

We also get the Clarke timeline for the video conference he claims he held; as we have discussed, Clarke's memory of that day is suspect as he says that both Rumsfeld and Myers participated although all other accounts of that morning says they were busy elsewhere. Myers was actually at the office of Max Cleland, troofer hero for leaving the 9-11 Commission, so it seems a little odd that Griffin clings to this; any contradiction in a storm I suppose.

Then Griffin brings in the curious case of Bush at Booker. Griffin claims that one Secret Service Agent said "We're out of here," but that he was overruled by some senior agent, who (Griffin says) must have known that Booker was not a target. He attempts a lame joke, noting that the secret service later stated that they didn't want to "run" the President out of the school. The Grifster says there's a middle ground; they could have "walked" Bush out.

We get the familiar claim that intercepts in ten minutes were "routine"; mercifully he does not mention the Payne Stewart 81-minute intercept. Griffin rehashes the charge that Zelikow should not have been hired due to his connections with the Bush Administration which is arguable without being kooky. If you read Shenon's book, Zelikow comes off as head and shoulders and armpits above any other candidate, despite the political problems his association with the White House caused.