Conspiracy Theories And The Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook

Nearly ten years on, 9/11 conspiracy theories–about the Twin Towers– just won’t go away. We’ll look at the facts, and the conspiracy theorists.

An aerial view of the World Trade Center is shown this undated photo. (AP)

An aerial view of the World Trade Center is shown this undated photo. (AP)

The September 11th attacks killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania — and shook our country to its core. And even now, ten years later, thousands of Americans still say they don’t believe the accepted narrative of what happened on that day.

They call themselves “truthers” or “skeptics.” To many other Americans, they are simply conspiracy theorists –- confused, deluded, or worse. But how have these ideas stuck around for so long in the face of all the facts? And what do they say about our country?

This hour On Point: the persistence of 9/11 conspiracy theories.

-Jane Clayson


James Meigs, editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics magazine. Wrote the forward and afterward for Popular Mechanics’ book Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts.

Jonathan Kay, author of Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground.

Kevin Ryan, co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies.  Board director at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

From The Reading List

The New York Times ““Among the Truthers” is a remarkable book, not least because its author, Jonathan Kay, appears to have emerged with his sanity intact after immersing himself for several years in the wilder precincts of conspiracy theories about everything from President Obama’s birthplace to 9/11 to vaccines. Like a modern-day Gulliver, he has traveled widely and conducted numerous interviews to map what seems like every nook and cranny of the conspiracist universe. Yet Kay, an editor and columnist at the conservative Canadian newspaper The National Post, has not written a Swiftian satire on the foibles of humanity. Rather, he sounds alarms about what he depicts as a mounting paranoia inspired by an invisible and nefarious oligarchy.”

The Journal of 9-11 Studies “One of the most intriguing aspects of NIST’s diversionary posture has been their total lack of interest in explosive or pyrotechnic features in their explanations. Despite the substantial evidence for the use of explosives at the WTC (Jones 2006, Legge and Szamboti 2007), and the extensive expertise in explosives among NIST investigators (Ryan 2007), explosives were never considered in the NIST WTC investigation. Only after considerable criticism of this fact did NIST deign to add one small disclaimer to their final report on the towers, suggesting they found no evidence for explosives.”


9-11 Conspiracy Theory — Debunking the Myths

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