9-11 -- another view raises questions
The items posted here are from 2006.
For current posts, in 2010, click here.
questions about the 9/11 event in a deeper perspective – and gives reasons
for deeper concern
a book review by Arch Taylor
Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection
by David Ray Griffin.
[Westminster John Knox Press, 2006; 192 pages plus 49
pages of notes, $17.95]
David Ray Griffin states that for eighteen months after
9/11 he accepted that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda had caused the attacks.
After noting discrepancies in the time line of the events before and after
9/11, he investigated more carefully. He states: "I, like many other people,
did not reject the official story until I was—against my initial
reaction—convinced by an abundance of evidence." In 2004 Griffin published
The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration
and 9/11, presenting evidence that pointed toward Bush-Cheney
administration complicity. He listed 40 unanswered questions, possible
"smoking guns" that "could provide some starting points for a real
investigation—if and when one is ever authorized."
Responding to pressure from survivors of 9/11 victims, the
administration belatedly appointed an investigative Commission, which
released The Final Report for the National Commission on
Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. That report failed to answer
Griffin’s questions, so he rebutted it with his second major work, The
9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. His new book on the
subject highlights some prominent examples:
Construction and fire damage experts stated that except
for the alleged case of the Twin Towers, no high-rise steel-frame building
had ever been totally destroyed as a result of such an event. Demolition
experts stated that except for this alleged case the only high-rise steel
frame buildings that collapsed straight down were designedly destroyed with
explosive charges strategically placed and purposely detonated. The
Commission Report ignored this information, clinging to the implausible
theory that the impact and fire caused the damaged columns to allow floors
above to crash down on lower ones, bringing the towers down in "pancake"
The Commission Report claimed the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) failed to notify NORAD (North American Aerospace
Defense Command) soon enough to have fighter planes intercept the hijacked
airliners. In a memo read into the Commission record Laura Brown stated that
FAA had informed NORAD by 8.20 before the North Tower was struck at 8.48.
Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta told the Commission he was in a
meeting chaired by Vice President Cheney. About 9.26 a young man reported
that a plane 50 miles out was approaching, and Cheney told him "the orders
still stand." The Pentagon was struck at 9.38. The Commission Report omits
the Brown and Mineta testimonies and lays all the blame on the FAA. No one
at FAA was fired for incompetence, while all available evidence points to
orders that NORAD stand down or delay.
The executive director of the 9/11 Commission and
architect of the Final Report was Philip Zelikow, who served with
Condoleezza Rice in the George H. W. Bush administration and assisted
transition to the National Security Council of the next Bush administration.
Zelikow co-authored documents for Bush-Cheney describing strategic policies
for post 9/11 actions. It was, Griffin says,"the White House investigating
Adding other examples of omissions and distortions,
Griffin points out the administration failed to rebut the prima facie
case that it orchestrated 9/11 and used it as rationale to implement the aim
of American global supremacy previously devised by persons who occupy posts
in the administration. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Libby, Bolton,
and Woolsey among others formed the Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
They conceded that the plan was so ambitious it would require an event such
as Pearl Harbor to mobilize the American public. CBS reported that President
Bush, before going to bed on 9/11, noted in his journal "the Pearl Harbor of
the 21st century took place today."
Griffin describes how Christian faith originated in first
century Palestine under Roman domination aided by compliant Jewish political
and religious aristocracy. Jesus challenged the kingdom of Caesar, hailed as
divine benefactor and bringer of peace. Rome’s real beneficiaries were the
Roman power structure and client rulers of their colonies. The masses both
in Rome and especially in the colonies suffered horribly.
Jesus proclaimed the in-breaking of God’s rule on earth,
deliverance of the poor from captivity to demonic powers of illness,
poverty, and hopelessness. In the early decades the Jesus movement was a
nonviolent protest against empire, forming a mutual help community among the
downtrodden as a living body indwelt by the spirit of Jesus offering a new
way of life.
Once Christianity adapted to surrounding culture and
became the religion of the Empire it lost its authentic character and became
complicit in the imperial project. Faith in Jesus became the means to get
individual forgiveness and assurance of heaven. Griffin describes this
process at length and ends with an appeal to Christians to rediscover the
anti-imperialist aspect of authentic faith and bring it to bear on America
today. Political, financial, and industrial leaders are content; commercial
media have no interest in challenging the status quo. Christians must act
now to dissociate from the American imperial project, as did the Confessing
Church that protested Hitler and the councils of churches that condemned
South African apartheid. The place to begin is demanding an objective
investigation into 9/11 to determine whether the attacks were, as Griffin
suggests, "orchestrated on behalf of U.S. imperial interests."
August 29, 2006
Arch B. Taylor, Jr.
Author of Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, & Beyond: Subversion of Values
2200 Greentree North Apt 1120
Clarksville IN 47129
If you have comments on this review, or the book
itself, or the criticisms of the book posted below,
please send us a
note, and we'll add it to the discussion!
More on 9/11 and suspicions of a conspiracy
We reported a few
weeks ago on the book Christian Faith and
the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action, in which
theologian David Ray Griffin puts questions about the 9/11 event in a deeper
perspective – and gives reasons for deeper concern.
Now Presbyterian Outlook has provided two helpful responses to
Chris Iosso, who is the coordinator for
social witness policy of the Presbyterian Church (USA), considers Griffin’s
case for the existence of some kind of conspiracy to set up attacks on US
targets, for the purpose of consolidating power in the hands of the
Administration in Washington.
Iosso's comments >>
Scott Leslie, pastor of First Church of Allen, Texas,
focuses on the second half of the book, which deals with "the existence of
evil, the rise of demonic power, and the comparison of current American
policy to the actions of Imperial Rome."
He finds this line of thought interesting, but finally
regrets that "what is lacking in Griffin’s presentation is any sense of
Leslie's comments >>
peaceful response to Dr.Tilford [9-19-06]
Cynthia Adams, whose recent comments drew a
strongly critical response from Dr. Earl
Tilford, responds to him by reaffirming (as a "pacifist grandmother")
her own commitment to peace, and her appreciation of Dr.Griffin’s
Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11 as she continues
Near the end of her note she says: "The answer to all of this is faith
in God. All the armaments, all the wars, will never bring true freedom or
justice. They have tried this before, many times. Someone always loses the
war, so suffers injustice, so there you are right back where you started
with people plotting revenge, which is how we got here today. The answer
is to break the violence/more violence cycle. Supposedly the Church should
lead the way of peace here, but they are the ones leading the war."
To Mr. Tilford
I am so sorry you thought I was referring to
you when I spoke of the 'dominion-oriented bunch'. [See
her first note.]
I was actually referring to the churches that
believe our country should begin a new Pax Americana, based on some
scriptures in the Book of Genesis. There are many proponents of their
theories, but D. James Kennedy is one. Some Christians advocate war and
world domination as a means of bringing in Christ's kingdom. I believe that
is just plain wrong, and certainly not a reflection of the message of the
Thank you for giving me another version of
the recent history we have all been witnessing, in case I might have
Although I have read at least 30 books about
recent political events, from both sides of the political spectrum, I
understand you have to let off your steam somewhere, I guess. Why not let it
off on a pacifist grandmother who won't retaliate?:) Feeling better now?
I do acknowledge all the pain you feel in
seeing our country attacked. I believe we all feel horror at senseless loss
of life. The difference is, I believe we have already descended into global
barbarism by attacking nations that were not responsible for 9/11. We are
the barbarians now. We are killing them now, over and over and over. How
much will be enough to assuage your need for revenge? When will you know we
have won? How many must die? How many countries?
I just believe that Jesus calls us to a
non-violent response, both as individuals and as a nation. In fact, the
Church taught just such a response for the first 300 years. As a historian,
you certainly know this.
Of course, if religious viewpoints don't
matter to you, then the book obviously won't speak to you. I found his
religious sections actually much more interesting. Although I thought he was
a postmodernist, he doesn't really argue like one, seeking a universal human
rights morality that all can agree to as a universal minimum standard.
Definitely not a relativist, after all.
I have read most of it, now. I found it
profoundly well-researched and well-documented, with a wide variety of
sources for its conclusions. I feel the evidence pointing to the
government's official involvement is inconclusive right now. There is plenty
of 'smoke', but no visible flames. I would never call him a charlatan,
though. His work is very well-written, and well-argued. Rebut him if you
must, but back up your statements with documents, proof, evidence. Don't
call him names. It's so cheap.
The current administration could have avoided
these questions and theories by providing a truly independent investigation,
instead of ignoring much of the testimony of federal agents and witnesses at
the scene. The fact that Zelikow headed it was definitely a conflict of
interest for me.
That is why people try to find other
explanations. It's only natural to rush in to fill a vacuum.
The evidence of neocon goals of global
hegemony documented in the book is certainly undisputed even in the
mainstream press. Everyone knows about most of these public government
documents and white papers he uses as sources. PNAC does not deny it. They
are proud of their goals to bring in Pax Americana.
The answer to all of this is faith in God.
All the armaments, all the wars, will never bring true freedom or justice.
They have tried this before, many times. Someone always loses the war, so
suffers injustice, so there you are right back where you started with people
plotting revenge, which is how we got here today. The answer is to break the
violence/more violence cycle. Supposedly the Church should lead the way of
peace here, but they are the ones leading the war.
That is why I am now speaking out. War is
just wrong. It is always wrong. People hate to hear it, because the Spirit
convicts them in their hearts and they are so afraid that they can't trust
God, so they trust their guns. War is the coward's way out. Call me naive,
but I'm in good company.
just a Christian
Round Lake Height, Il
One response to Dr. Earl Tilford's criticism of Griffin’s
Christian Faith and the Truth
Behind 9/11 – "Why is he so
We received this note from Cynthia Adams:
I have not read the book, yet. But I will
say that I find it shocking that all these experts are so quick to ridicule
his work. It is good to know that Mr. Tilford can contribute his knowledge
about how aircraft are scrambled. That is good to hear. But why is he so
angry? Why can't he just contribute his knowledge in the spirit of
cooperation? Why the personal attacks? People usually use personal attacks
when they can't figure out how else to gain the upper hand.
There is one fact that Tilford, the
Nation, and the Presbyterians are ignoring. The 9/11 Commission papered over
some stuff. They interviewed Bush and Cheney together, like school children,
and did not even put them under oath. Why not? I read the 9/11 Commission
Report--yes, the whole thing. I was frankly shocked at how poorly it was
presented. In trying to make it 'interesting' they sacrificed factual data.
I expected to see copies of the documents, transcripts of the interviews,
etc. They provided nothing but speculation, a nice fantasy. It may be
true--but they give us no proof that it is. We deserved better.
I used to read the Nation. They are
humanists. Of course, they don't want to hear about demonic influences. They
think religious people are all crazy, so their criticism means nothing.
Personal attacks do not make conspiracy theorists go away. Answers do.
Oh, so you can attack ME personally, I
will tell you: I have a B.S. in Mathematics, 15 years in IT management, and
I am a grandmother, a Christian, and a pacifist.
I am thankful for any Christian who will
simply tell the imperial, dominion-oriented bunch that Jesus' message was
not to take over the world. His kingdom is not of this world. His followers
should not be seeking world domination. I find it amazing that many of these
people featured on 911Truth.org are actually quite rational and fact-based.
Proof is important to a mathematician. We don't just accept stuff because a
person with letters after their name said so.
You all should cool your jets. If
Griffin's points are fact-based, why argue? If not, who cares? He's just one
guy. Why so much angst? It reminds me of the way the Jewish leaders treated
Christ. For that reason alone, I will read his book. He must have something
right in there to generate so much anger. One need not accept all his ideas
to recognize some facts.
The author, in further correspondence,
told more about herself:
As I said in my post, I have a B.S. in
Math and 15 years as a Programmer/Project Manager in Information Technology.
I am retired, married to a former policeman and U.S. Marine. I have five
children, do needlepoint, embroidery, quilting, canning, housekeeping,
sewing, and painting. Oh, and a lot of reading about politics. I also am
pretty good at Sudoku. Does any of that qualify me to assess the maze of the
9/11 fact and fictions? Hardly. This is one very complex set of problems. No
one person will get it all right. Probably. But the more we check things
out, the more we question, the more we demand the answers, we will find the
truth eventually. I disagree with the politicians who criticize the 'crazy
conspiracy theorists'. Mathematically speaking, it wouldn't have to be
thousands of people to pull it off. We saw how people trust the government
when they are scared to death. A few at the top, a couple of memos to the
right people. I don't know who did it, or how, but I know they haven't told
us everything, and there are way too many 'coincidences'.
Griffin’s Christian Faith and the Truth
Behind 9/11 – the debate continues
Prof. Earl Tilford says to Cynthia Adams, "I am angry and here is why."
asks, "Why is he (that would be me) so angry?" Then wishes someone would
tell "the imperial, dominion-oriented bunch" that Jesus did not tell us to
take over the world. Wow! I have just the demonstrably sloppy scholarship of
one process theologian in my intellectual cross-hairs and she accuses an
entire "imperial, dominion-oriented bunch" of wanting to take over the
world! And I'm the one guilty of "personal attacks"? Well, yes, I am
attacking the scholarship, motivations and conclusions of David Ray Griffin.
Cynthia has one thing right. I am angry and here is why. On September 11,
2001 nineteen Islamists Jihadists hijacked four airliners and killed nearly
2,800 innocent people; the vast majority of them American citizens. These
terrorists were members of al Qaeda, a group whose leader Osama bin Laden
issued a "Fatwa against Crusaders and Jews" in February 1998 which urged
Muslims to kill Americans wherever they might be found. Al Qaeda had already
attacked US interests in the United States in 1993 when their operatives
detonated a truck bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center, injuring
hundreds and killing seven. They also attacked US embassies in Kenya and
Tanzania, killing hundreds and wounding thousands of innocent people, most
of them Africans who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong
time…namely in their countries minding their own business. Al Qaeda also
attacked the USS Cole, killing seventeen sailors while their vessel rode at
anchor in a Persian Gulf port. Osama bin Laden has stated that al Qaeda has
the moral justification to kill 4,000,000 Americans, half of them women and
children, to make up for some mythical number of Muslims he thinks Americans
bear responsibility for killing. And, more recently, one of the Imams in his
camp issued a fatwa declaring that killing 10,000,000 Americans in weapons
of mass destruction strikes would be within proportionality. You bet I'm
angry and I want these terrorists to either give up or I want them dead. And
since they give every indication of wanting to die rather than live in peace
with us, the second alternative is what we're left with.
I'm angry as a scholar when someone like Griffin supports his thesis that
the Bush administration and the US Government were behind the 9/11 attacks
with discussions of metallurgy in the World Trade Center towers coupled with
murky details and distortions of quotations regarding the events of 9/11.
Griffin's audience will be among the same people who, a decade ago, greeted
Oliver Stone's contentions that the CIA and the American military were
behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy because they wanted nothing so
much as to get the United States involved in a land war in Southeast Asia.
Any cursory reading of the Pentagon Papers will dispute that just as any
modicum of understanding about national security matters refutes Griffin's
assertions. That is why the primary academic constituency in support of
Griffin's thesis comes from academics in the fields were post-modernists'
concepts of truth as relative hold sway; namely religious and feminist
studies and subjects like African languages (Kevin Barrett of Wisconsin).
Yes Cynthia, terrorists and academic charlatans anger me…and it's not
because they might distract me from trying to figure out better ways to
dominate the world…which I'm not doing in any event. It is because they
undermine our national will and could cripple the nation's efforts in a war
which, if lost, will mean the world plunges into a dark night of global
barbarism. That prospect, too, makes me very, very angry.
Earl H. Tilford, Jr., Ph.D.
Professor of History
Grove City College
Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Response
John Shuck says that the real "truth behind 9/11,"
and behind the new American empire-building, is our need for oil and the
impending decline in the world’s supply of that precious stuff.
For three days the book sat on my coffee table before I dared to pick it up.
I probably would not have purchased it had it not been published by
Westminster John Knox Press and had not my conservative colleagues
criticized the publisher for publishing it. Nevertheless, it sat on my
coffee table because I knew the central thesis of the book (that 9/11 was an
inside job) if true, would shatter all of my myths of
Exceptionalism. The implications would be staggering. That is an
I finally read the book cover to cover. Griffin makes a case (as a
prosecutor would) against the Bush administration. He details what he
believes are distortions and omissions in the 9/11 Commission Report. He
also makes a case against the credibility of the 9/11 Commission Report’s
reasons for the collapse of the towers and the seemingly inept response by
the FAA to the hijacked aircraft. Again (as a prosecutor would) he provides
what he thinks are plausible motivations for the administration to
participate in this activity. The ultimate motivation in Griffin’s view is
that 9/11 was an example of a "false flag" operation. According to Griffin,
9/11 was the "Pearl Harbor" necessary to get the support of the American
people to engage in a preventive/preemptive war against Afghanistan and Iraq
under the guise of combating terrorism.
In the second half of his book he makes a comparison between the Roman
Empire and the American Empire. He provides a theological description of
"the demonic" and he calls on Christians to resist Empire.
While I find myself sympathetic to his theological description of the
demonic, I think that his language inflames and distorts. There are
pragmatic reasons why a nation (or an empire) does what it does.
I am not saying I agree with his conclusions regarding 9/11. I am not saying
I disagree. I do believe his book can introduce important discussion. How
will the people of Earth respond to the emerging reality facing us? I think
Griffin’s case would have been stronger had he devoted a chapter to Peak
Oil. The remainder of this essay will address this issue.
Peak Oil refers to the point
at which half of the world’s oil supply has been used. In 1956,
M. King Hubbert
predicted that the U.S. oil supply would peak in 1970. He predicted that the
world’s oil supply would peak in 1995. He was correct regarding U.S. oil (it
peaked in 1970) but he was a little off in terms of the world’s oil supply.
But he might not have been off by much. According to many geologists, we
have possibly reached the point in which the world’s oil supply has peaked
or will soon peak. Our government is not unaware of this.
"What people need to hear loud and clear is that we're running out of energy
George W. Bush
"We may be at a point of peak oil production ... I can only tell you that I
have studied this data seriously. I consider it an existential threat to
"By some estimates, there will be an average of two-percent annual growth in
global oil demand over the years ahead, along with, conservatively, a
three-percent natural decline in production from existing reserves."
U.S. Vice President
"We almost certainly are at or near what they call peak oil"
Former U.S. Vice President
"The best Saudi oil is gone... Middle East production will go down by one
third by 2012."
Matthew R. Simmons
Energy industry investment banker, energy advisor for the Bush
Chairman, Simmons & Company International
"...we're depleting our reserves four times faster than the rest of the
world. America needs a national energy policy and a program on a scale of
the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II to
prevent or mitigate the consequences of global peak oil. Doing nothing or
doing too little too late will lead to a global economic and geopolitical
tsunamiwith potentially devastating ramifications."
Roscoe G. Bartlett
U.S. Senator (Maryland)
"Global oil [production] is 84 million barrels (a day). I don't believe you
can get it any more than 84 million barrels. I don't care what [Saudi Crown
Prince] Abdullah, [Russian Premier Vladimir] Putin or anybody else says
about oil reserves or production."
Legendary oil baron and Chairman, BP Capital Management
"My father rode a camel. I drive a car. My son flies a jet airplane. His son
will ride a camel."
Popular saying in Saudi Arabia
Peak Oil is at hand.
Rather than take the time and space in this essay to discuss Peak Oil and
its ramifications, I refer readers to other sources. During Lent I preached
a series of sermons regarding this issue.Tempted
By Empire and
The American Way of Life or Life for All? may be of interest. I
also recommend these two books:
Richard Heinberg wrote
Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies. \fs24fs24
Before buying the book I suggest reading this
interview with Richard
Also, Jared Diamond
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or
Succeed provides a history of how societies have
either failed or succeeded in dealing with their environment and their
There are many other books, websites, and articles regarding Peak Oil. If
individuals and faith communities will take the time to research this, it
will, as it did to me, change their entire outlook regarding our future.
I am convinced that Empire building is a response to Peak Oil.
In June, 1992, the Earth Summit was held in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil. At this conference, 153 countries (including the United
States) signed treaties to curb the damage to the environment from human
economic activities. This conference was attended by George H. W. Bush,
then President of the United States of America, who proved resistant to
efforts to make deep and lasting changes that could ensure protection of
the world on which all nations depend. His reasoning? 'The American way of
life is not negotiable'.
The rest of this article >>
The American way of life (read: The American standard of
living) is not negotiable. If that is the case, if Americans deserve and are
entitled to our standard of living, a standard of living that if the rest of
Earth’s inhabitants enjoyed would require four planets of resources, then
the only pragmatic option is to secure the remaining resources of Earth to
secure this "way of life."
The United States represents four percent of Earth’s population.
consume 25% of the world’s oil. If the oil supply has peaked and
will begin to diminish, then we will need more than 25% of the world’s oil
to maintain our standard of living. Soon we will need 30%, then 40%, 50%,
75% and finally 100% just to maintain.
If America’s mandate is: "The American way of life is non-negotiable" then
what will we do, what can we do, except to do everything in our power to
maintain that way of life? Our government is acting on our behalf so that we
can maintain our way of life. Currently the United States has over
700 bases in
130 countries. They are there to maintain our standard of
living. After all, are we not entitled to steaks, cheeseburgers,
automobiles, dvd players, and everything else that makes America what it is?
It is not likely that the rest of the world will passively permit America to
maintain its way of life by confiscating the world’s oil. Other countries
might like some of that oil as well. I believe that the war that we have
entered (Iraq, Afghanistan) is not a war on terrorism but the beginning of a
world war for the remaining oil reserves. This cannot end well either for
Americans or for Earth. Eventually, even if we get all of the oil, it will
run out. Before that happens we could end life on Earth by
There are alternatives. The American people could say, "Yes, the American
way of life is negotiable. In fact it is imperative that we
power down immediately so that all may have life." We could demand of our
government that it enter into a cooperative discussion with the rest of the
world to face the issue of Peak Oil and work toward a plan of reducing our
dependence on oil. We do have half of the world’s oil supply left. We do
have electricity. We do have resources. Let us use this window of
opportunity to reduce consumption, find alternatives to fossil fuels, and
work toward a sustainable future.
What can we do now? I suggest that faith communities offer a screening of
The End of Suburbia
in order to create awareness about the issues it raises. Congregations could
start post-carbon groups in their communities to help people come to terms
with this reality. Peak Oil is not something people read about and walk away
from unchanged. There are people to talk about regarding this.
Empty 3 is an on-line discussion group for people processing the
impact of Peak Oil on their lives. Also,
Peak Oil Blues can
help folks come to terms with this issue psychologically. I will be
discussing how we can come to terms with this issue spiritually and
theologically on my blog.
I am undecided regarding Griffin’s conclusions concerning 9/11. I am
grateful for his book, however. I hope it can lead to awareness and change
regarding Earth’s future.
Another critique from the left:
The Nation magazine has published a short article
by Alexander Cockburn, dismissing Griffin and other proponents of this view
as "conspiracy nuts."
essay >> [Sorry, if you're not a subscriber to The Nation,
you can only read the first two paragraphs.] [9-11-06]
|Griffin book arouses opposition
from the Presbyterian Right
Rita Nakashima Brock, in her regular
FaithVoices email, writes about
reactions to the book:
Christian conservatives are calling for a boycott of Westminster John Knox
Press for publishing Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11: A Call to
Reflection and Action by theologian David Ray Griffin.
He has published two previous books on the subject, but Westminster is the
first large, mainstream press to publish his findings.
Griffin has said that for the first year and a half after
Sept. 11, he believed the attacks were carried out by Arab terrorists angry
about American foreign policy. But skeptics of the widely accepted accounts
convinced him that the attacks were "an inside job" used to justify the Bush
administration's expansion of military powers and the adoption of the
doctrine of pre-emptive war, the basis of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Obviously, the truth behind this event is vitally
important. We think that as a matter of good citizenship we should all
educate ourselves and weigh-in, pro or con.
Supporters are saying:
|"WARNING: If, like most Americans calling themselves
Christian, you prefer the comfort of acquiescing to the official version
of 9/11 and the imperial wars it facilitated, DROP THIS BOOK NOW. But if
you are open to the grace of honest inquiry... this rigorously argued book
is a MUST READ." |
– Ray McGovern, CIA veteran analyst
|"In a profound exploration of the nature and history of
the demonic, Griffin suggests that American empire is a culmination of
human demonic alienation from God." |
– Rosemary Radford Ruether, feminist theologian
|"In this gripping summary of evidence for the truth
behind 9/11, . . . Griffin makes a compelling case that the imperial
practices of the American government have become a destructive force in
the world. And he clarifies the biblical and theological basis for
Christians to challenge the resurgent American imperialism that often
claims divine blessing on its destructive actions." |
– Richard A. Horsley, Professor of Religion, University of Massachusetts
|"[Griffin] obviously knows very little about conspiracy
– Earl Tilford, former director of research at the U.S. Army's Strategic
Studies Institute and professor of history at Grove City College
|"[Westminster's decision to publish Griffin's book] is
both laughable and pathetic" and, "Their choice to print this seems to be
pretty idiosyncratic and kooky," "What a waste of pages and ink that could
have been promoting the Christian gospel and contributing to the health
and vitality of the Presbyterian church." |
– James Berkley, the director of Presbyterian Action for Faith and Freedom
About the Author:
Griffin is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Theology at Claremont School
of Theology, Professor of Religion Emeritus at Claremont Graduate
University, and Co-director of the Center for Process Studies. He is the
author of numerous books, including the popular bestsellers The New Pearl
Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11, and
The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions.
Religion News Service
has also reported on the complaints about the book from conservative
|One minister says the
argument of Griffin’s Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11
is "nuts." [9-8-06]
Dear Friends, Why would the administration want to rebut such an
argument as is made here. It's nuts. Check out the excellent
PBS special (Nova,
Frontline?) which is out on DVD from PBS on "Why the Towers Fell". They
fell because of the unique construction of the Towers being struck by two
fully loaded and occupied jets. Let's get real.
Rev. Richard Craig
Webweaver's note: The PBS special was on Nova. I took the
trouble to check.
view, see one article summarizing the analysis by BYU physics professor
Steven Jones. Who argues that the collapse the the WTC building could only
have been caused by ‘pre-positioned explosives.’
Tilford, now Coordinator of Terrorism and Middle Eastern Study Group at
Grove City College, sets out his arguments against Griffin’s Christian
Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11
David Ray Griffin puts things in "deeper perspective"? I guess that depends
on exactly what David Ray Griffin is deep into.
Griffin knows very little about conspiracies, though he indulges in a
hyper-form of conspiracy theory propagation. His first book on this topic,
"The New Pearl Harbor" also demonstrates his ignorance of the fundamentals
of national security, like asking why Air Force planes were not flying at
their absolute full speed to intercept the hijacked airliners. Answer:
Because the speeds he specifies are for test airframes, not operational
fighters. Air Force fighters can no more operate at those speeds than my
Monte Carlo can go 240 miles per hour just because modified NASCAR versions
can. Those are absolute capabilities for airframes and engines, not
operational parameters. The fact is, the Air Force was unprepared for
anything like what happened on 9/11. In the post-Cold War environment,
beginning in the early 1990s, the numbers of fighter planes dedicated to
defending American air space were dramatically reduced. Since on September
11, 2001 no nation on earth had bombers on alert posing a threat to the
United States, and hadn't for a decade, it made no sense to have a
significant number of interceptors on alert. The total number of Air Force
fighters dedicated to air defense on 9/11 was fourteen. Of the fourteen,
eight were in maintenance or otherwise "down" for operational reasons, two
were on a training exercise and unarmed, and four were on alert. Those four
were scrambled. That does not prove "conspiracy" rather it shows ( even if
we hate to admit it ) how al Qaeda masterfully exploited a vulnerability.
Additionally, there were no protocols in the FAA or Air Force rules of
engagement for shooting down hijacked airliners. Our air defense
capabilities focused on shooting down bombers, sea launched cruise missiles,
and---possibly---drug running aircraft. The protocols for dealing with
hijacked aircraft called for intercepting and diverting them to an airfield
where law enforcement officers and negotiators could take charge; in other
words those protocols focused on getting everyone safely on the ground.
There were no provisions for dealing with hijackers intent on using
airliners as weapons of mass destruction. Again, this was a vulnerability
that al Qaeda exploited asymmetrically , not a matter of conspiracy.
Griffin also is ignorant of what it takes to affect a viable conspiracy:
namely a small number of conspirators. Wiring the WTC with explosives,
conspiring within the Air Force to not intercept the planes and then
shooting down Flight 93 AFTER the brave passengers led by Todd Beamer
regained control (Griffin proposes the Air Force shot down Flight 93 to
prevent the FBI--which evidently didn't get "read in on the
conspiracy"--from interrogating live, captured hijackers), these accusations
simply are fanciful and betray the author's vast ignorance of everything
from conspiracies to military procedures and capabilities (and
accountabilities) to the fundamentals of architecture, demolitions and
It is noteworthy that the scholars supporting Griffin's theories are
people like Rosemary Radford Reuther, a professor of feminist theology;
Kevin Barrett, an English professor at the University of Wisconsin, and
leftist revisionists from the heyday of the Vietnam anti-war era like
Richard Falk and Howard Zinn. Is post-modernism, associated with
de-construction, a suitable departure point for constructing anything other
than a proposition based on supposition and innuendo grounded in the notion
that this all must be true because---as everybody knows---America is an
imperialist nation bent on world domination?
Finally, Griffin is a process theologian who denies the omnipotence of
God, adhering instead to a pos-modernist notion of divine power as
persuasive rather than coercive. He ought to stick to this fringe area of
theology where at least he has some professional standing.
Professor of History
Coordinator, Terrorism and Middle Eastern Study Group
Center for Vision and Values
Grove City College
If you have comments on this comment, or on the
us a note, and we'll add it to the discussion!
Some blogs worth visiting
Mitch Trigger, PVJ's
Secretary/Communicator, has created a Facebook page where
Witherspoon members and others can gather to exchange news and
views. Mitch and a few others have posted bits of news, both
personal and organizational. But there’s room for more!
You can post your own news and views,
or initiate a conversation about a topic of interest to you.
for Life" website
Long-time and stimulating blogger John Shuck,
a Presbyterian minister currently
serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton,
Tenn., writes about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized
and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and
Click here for his blog posts.
Click here for podcasts of his radio program, which "explores
the intersection of religion, social justice and public life."
John Harris’ Summit to
Theological and philosophical
reflections on everything between summit to shore, including
kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology,
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), New York City and the Queens
neighborhood of Ridgewood -- by a progressive New York City
Presbyterian Pastor. John is a former member of the Witherspoon
board, and is designated pastor of North Presbyterian Church in
Voices of Sophia blog
Heather Reichgott, who has created
this new blog for Voices of Sophia, introduces it:
After fifteen years of scholarship
and activism, Voices of Sophia presents a blog. Here, we present the
voices of feminist theologians of all stripes: scholars, clergy,
students, exiles, missionaries, workers, thinkers, artists, lovers
and devotees, from many parts of the world, all children of the God
in whose image women are made. .... This blog seeks to glorify God
through prayer, work, art, and intellectual reflection. Through
articles and ensuing discussion we hope to become an active and
Got more blogs to recommend?
send a note, and we'll see what we can do!