Interview with David Ray Griffin, September 2006
Q: If you had to distill the most compelling elements of the collapse of
the two World Trade Center towers right now, what points are most
DG: There are two big ones: One is simply that steel frame, high-rise
buildings have never collapsed because of fire, or fire and externally
induced damage. Secondly, all such collapses have been caused by
explosives and these collapses have at least 10 characteristics of the
particular kind of controlled demolition known as controlled implosion,
where the building falls basically straight down. When you go through
those 10 characteristics, not a single one of them can be accounted for by
the official theory, the fire plus impact theory. And then if you said,
well okay, let's say it's never happened before and it would be very
unlikely but let's say there's one chance in a hundred, let's be very
generous -- that one of them could have occurred. But that all 10 of them
could have occurred in the same building and then in two buildings, you're
talking about chances one in a trillion or something like that, so the
chance is essentially zero that it could have happened by the official
How could those towers have collapsed into a pile of rubble only a few
stories high, when the core of each tower consisted of 47 massive steel
columns? You've got these 47 columns that go from the sub basements to the
top. How could those all have just collapsed into a pile of rubble?
The 9/11 Commission settled that easily. They said the core of each
building consisted of a hollow steel shaft that just had elevators and
stairwells in it. You can't get a bigger lie. The unique thing about the
towers when they were built was their unique structure of just having the
core thing and then the perimeter columns and then trusses that connected
the core to the outside, so you've got this tremendous amount of space
with no pillars whatsoever. So any book you would read about the WTC would
talk about those things and they just denied their existence. I mean, it's
just audacious that the press won't report on those huge lies.
But wouldn't the administration have realized that people are going to
investigate this? We're not a nation of dummies.
We are a nation that is very poorly informed by its mainstream media, a
nation that has had drilled into it that we are America the Good, we make
mistakes but we're never deliberately evil. We've had drilled into us that
people who believe in conspiracy theories are idiots, so we wouldn't want
to be one of those. But most importantly we're a nation with a controlled
press, a corporately controlled press. We do not have free press. And in
fact, if you want to say that the definition of a free press is one that
is not controlled by religion, one can say ours is, because we really have
a religion of capitalism -- we like to call it free enterprise -- and
that's what controls our press, so we do not have a free press any more
than the Soviet Union had a free press.
They'll just say, "He holds the ridiculous theory that explosions planted
by our own government brought the building down" but they never say, "Now
what's the evidence?" And they would certainly never bring me or Jim
Hoffman or Jim Fetzer on to NBC or ABC or CBS or to say what is the
evidence for that.
Building 7 was 47 stories high and not hit by an airplane. Do we know why
It's still not covered, even by the 9/11 Commission Report. Building 7 was
the least covered of the buildings that collapsed and the least
understood, but the most glaring example of potential complicity by the
It is the most obvious because with the Towers, one can think that somehow
the planes hitting them caused them to weaken and fall down but with
Building 7, it would be the first building in history that was ever
brought down entirely by fire alone. And so it's obviously the biggest
embarrassment for the government, so the 9/11 Commission handled Building
7 by simply not mentioning that it collapsed. This should have been a
world-shaking event that would have led all insurance companies around the
world to say, now we know, steel framed high rise buildings can totally
collapse because of fire alone, so we've got to up our premiums greatly.
But they didn't even mention this historic event. Now we come to the NIST
Commission, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, have put
out a report claiming that they have given an explanation of why the World
Trade Center towers collapsed. It's completely bogus but I won't go into
that, I'll just say, they have not yet released their report about
Building 7 because obviously they know they don't have a plausible story
FEMA could not explain it either?
FEMA did the first investigation, and they came up with a scenario in
which maybe timbers from one of the towers came over and set the diesel
fuel on fire and turned Building 7 into Towering Inferno. Of course the
photographs show that there were fires on only two or three floors of the
47-story building at most. But nevertheless, they say maybe this is what
happened, but then at the end of all that they said, the best possible
explanation we could give has a very low probability of occurrence. So in
other words, they admit they couldn't explain it.
Wasn't the collapse captured on video and didn't it in fact look like a
It was even more obviously a case of controlled implosion than the Towers,
because the Towers, the collapse had to begin near the top where the
planes had hit because that was going to be the story. But Building 7 was
just a traditional controlled implosion, where it starts from the bottom
and the walls fold in on themselves and it collapses into a very tiny pile
of rubble. And so to show you what lack of confidence NIST has in its
report, a fellow named Ed Haas, who has a muckraker report that you can
find on Google, called up the spokesman for NIST, named Michael Newman,
and said, you know you've got all these physicists who reject the official
story and they believe that it was an inside job, why don't we settle all
this by having a debate on national television, between some of these
scientists and your NIST scientists? And Newman said no NIST scientist is
going to debate. And he's reiterated that. So he has said nobody from NIST
will ever debate their report. In other words, they will not defend it in
public, even though it's a taxpayer supported project and they should be
demanded to report it. So that shows you how flimsy the official story is.
And they still have not issued a report on it. They will not debate their
report on the Towers. Obviously, they're not going to defend their debate
on Building 7 -- they won't even issue it, just hope the public forgets
about it. Because the press does not keep reminding people that Building 7
did collapse and it's a total mystery.
What was your first major tip-off that something might be inaccurate in
the reporting of the events of that day?
Mainly I was focusing on the question of, "Why no interceptions?" Why,
with the most sophisticated air defense system in the world, nobody
scrambled to stop these planes from flying into the various targets. We
have standard operating procedures that evidently work flawlessly about
100 times a year, where planes are scrambled and there are interceptions
made within 10 to 15 minutes of the first sign there's anything wrong (the
three standard signs are they lose radio contact, the transponder goes off
or the plane deviates from its course). If they can't get it corrected
within about a minute they contact the military, and the military calls
NORAD and has them scramble a couple of fighters from the closest airbase
that has fighters on alert -- these are all over the country and these
planes can go very fast and so normally it only takes about 10 or 15
minutes. And here, 20 minutes, 40 minutes with the Pentagon -- nothing
happened. So that was the first evidence I focused on that suggested it
wasn't just a matter of foreknowledge but was actual complicity in the
attacks, ordering a stand down (not taking action). Because the other
evidence that I looked at early on was all the evidence of foreknowledge
and of actual interference with investigations.
You suggested that the FBI had repeated warnings from multiple sources
that there was going to be an attack on the World Trade Center, which they
That was part of it. Some of them were that explicit. Others were simply
where they were investigating Osama Bin Laden, or members of Al Qaeda,
people who were taking flying lessons and so on, various kinds of
investigations where FBI members trying to do their jobs got stopped by
FBI headquarters. And then after 9/11 the stories about not really going
after Bin Laden.
Was it the British press that suggested we deliberately allowed Bin Laden
One of their mainstream newspapers concluded that the so-called Battle of
Tora Bora was just a farce.
Why didn't the Pentagon collapse when it, too, was hit by an airplane?
A question you might ask about the Pentagon is, it was allegedly hit by an
airplane about the same size as the one that hit each of the towers -- why
did the seismic measurements not register? You get a definite impact
registration when each of the towers is hit. But when the Pentagon is hit,
nothing. Whatever hit the Pentagon did not really shake the earth. Those
seismic reports are available for anybody who wants them, so if you Google
"9/11 seismic reports," you would find it.
Pictures we've seen show a hole in the Pentagon just a couple of feet off
the ground going through several layers of the building. It seems hardly
large enough to have been made by a Boeing 757.
It's between the first and the second floor, so it means that the aircraft
itself had to be extremely low to the ground, If that hole was, as some
people say, simply the hole punched by the nose of a Boeing 757, the
engines would have been digging into the grass, but there is no damage to
the grass whatsoever.
Also, with the force of a Boeing 757, the enormous weight of that going
several hundred miles an hour, even a reinforced Pentagon façade would
have been much more destroyed than all the photos and eyewitnesses say.
And if it was a 757, the tail, which would go up about 40 feet off the
ground, surely would have made some sort of dent, visible mark, above that
hole we saw in the façade before the building collapsed.
There are no marks on the side where the wings would have hit, and those
would have been very powerful. So it seems like a combination of the
amount of damage done to the Pentagon and very little debris -- no large,
plane-sized things outside, no wings, no engines, no tail, no fuselage, so
they had to be inside, and yet when the people inside were interviewed,
the fire chief and then the head of the building renovation, both of them
said they hadn't seen any big pieces of airplane.
What about luggage or body parts?
I've seen descriptions of people who were on the scene and saw body parts,
but I don't know if anybody walking through would have been able to
distinguish passengers from people working in the Pentagon. I've never
heard any testimony about luggage.
The Pentagon is one of the best-defended buildings in America. Wouldn't
there have been security cameras trained on it that would have captured
the plane or whatever it was that hit?
I'm sure many cameras did capture the aircraft that hit the Pentagon. But
if by hypothesis it was not a 757, the Pentagon is not going to release
those videos, and that's one of the questions we've asked. We know there
was a video camera on the Citgo gas station across the highway, and we
know that the FBI swooped in within five minutes. You would almost think
they had known in advance! You would think the FBI would think, "Oh my
God, for the first time in history, the Pentagon has been hit, what's
happened here!" but they had the presence of mind to go over there and get
There have been efforts under the Freedom of Information Act to get that.
And also there's another story that one of the hotels had workers who were
actually watching the video and the FBI came in and took it away. So we
know at least there were at least two and likely a lot more. That's one of
the many, many, many pieces of evidence that suggest that the Pentagon was
not hit by a Boeing 757.
If it wasn't hit by a 757, what did hit it? And if Flight 77 didn't hit
it, where did it go and what happened to those passengers?
That's what we need an investigation for. We need somebody with subpoena
power and the power to get people to identify those above them who are
responsible, and talk about what really happened. They have to be more
afraid of prison than of losing their job or getting shot or getting
"accidented." As to what really hit it, there's contradictory evidence --
some evidence suggests a missile, some suggests a rather small airplane
that might have been a guided aircraft, like a Global Hawk, something
fairly light that when it hit the Pentagon it would have shattered into
fairly small pieces, because we do have witnesses.
Prior to whatever hit the Pentagon hitting it, was there an internal
That's what it's starting to look like, that there was an explosion and
subsequently something did strike it from the outside. So it's starting to
look like all three things may be true: there was an explosion, there was
a small plane, and the small plane shot a missile into the Pentagon. That
would account for this hole that went through to the C Ring.
If they'd just release the tapes, they could end this speculation. It's
astonishing that mainstream news media isn't looking at this.
More Americans get the news from NBC than from any other outlet. You've
got NBC, CNBC, MSNBC. And who owns NBC? General Electric. Who is making
billions of dollars off the War on Terror?
What about Flight 93, reported to have crashed in Shanksville, Penn.?
This is the thing I know the least about. Some people speculate that, to
watch the glorified movie of it, you know, "Let's roll" where all the
passengers roll up to the front, they take control of the plane, and
somehow in the process of wresting it away from whoever was flying it, it
then proceeds to crash into the Pennsylvania countryside. Now there's
another school of thought that says that the American military
deliberately shot it down for reasons that we don't fully understand. So
I'm confused about this.
There are actually three schools of thought -- another one says that when
the people showed up at the so-called crash site, there was no evidence of
a plane. So it's a big mystery what happened. In my books, I have provided
an enormous amount of material that the plane was indeed shot down by the
US military. And there is even an envoy from Washington who was speaking
to the Canadians trying to get them to join more thoroughly into what we
call the Missile Defense Program, in other words the weaponization of
space. And he said you should be very proud of your Canadian participation
in NORAD because when Flight 93 was shot down by the military it was a
Canadian who was in charge of NORAD at that stage. So we have testimony
that a Washington insider has said that it was shot down.
What do you think about the World Trade Center film?
The movie follows the official version. But there are different versions
of the official version. One was that the passengers brought it down, one
was that when the terrorists saw that the passengers were going to get
control of it, they deliberately grounded it, so you do have those two
official versions. But one thing that people need to be alerted to who
have seen the movie, in the movie these people are having these rather
long cell phone conversations with people back home, right? Where they're
interacting with them. If you read the actual transcripts that have been
provided, they're not interactive like that, they're all one-way things
that anybody could have said, it's more like "Hi Mom, we're at the back of
the plane, we're getting ready to do something, gotta go now, bye." They
do not have conversations where the people would really know I was talking
to my son or my husband or my wife. And we have very good evidence that
that's not the case in the famous case of Mark Bingham, who says, "Hi Mom,
this is Mark Bingham." What person has ever talked to his mother and used
his last name? That's so absurd!
A story came out a few years ago that showed that they have now perfected
voice morphing. So they can take a recording of somebody and then make
that person utter certain sentences. So I forget the, I think it was one
that they had Colin Powell and it had him uttering a statement such as,
some absurd thing, "We just shot down a Russian satellite" or something
like that. And it sounded to all the world like Colin Powell, nobody could
have detected that it was a made up thing. So all of those things were
quite likely results of voice-morphing.
So if the military did shoot it down, why?
One possibility is that there was some truth to the story that the
passengers were trying to get control and that they were afraid they were
going to have live hijackers who might talk. That's one possible story. In
the meantime we've become more skeptical that there were actually any Arab
Muslim hijackers on these planes. Their names are not on the flight
manifests. There are no Arab names on any of the flight manifests that
have been released. We have no evidence that any of these guys were on the
plane. So if that was the case with Flight 93, why would the military have
shot it down? And there I just have to throw up my hands and say, this is
why we need a real investigation to find out what really happened. So
there are just lots of mysteries about Flight 93 and 77 and the Pentagon
strikes. Just reading what we can learn from available information, we
will never know the full truth, not even close to it. So our primary claim
is not that we know the truth. The primary claim is that there are so many
questions that demand a real, official investigation.
I have focused my attention on what we're certain of, that the official
story is false. We're not certain of what happened to 93 or 77 or at the
Pentagon and to some extent at the Towers.
What could be the motive of our leaders to orchestrate such events?
As soon as the Soviet Union imploded, these guys started thinking we could
have a unipolar world instead of a bipolar world, and we could make it
permanent. We could have the first borderless empire in history. We'll be
greater than Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan or the Roman Empire or
the British Empire. Pretty heady trip. And they were writing about this
all through the '90s, and they formed this organization called Project for
the New American Century, which is a unipolar, neocon organization, and
laid out five conditions for doing this: You've got to have a tremendous
increase in military spending; Second, the transformation of the military
technologically, which really means the weaponization of space. Third, we
need to get control of the world's oil, so Central Asia and the Middle
East, and of course Iraq was in their sights from the time that Bush Sr.
refused to go to Baghdad -- they were writing letters to Clinton urging
him to attack Baghdad. And clearly they had plans to attack Afghanistan
prior to 9/11 -- that had developed at least in the summer of 2001.
Fourth, they wanted to revise the doctrine of pre-emptive strikes.
According to international law up until then, you could not launch legally
a pre-emptive strike on a country unless you had very good evidence that
it was just about to launch a pre-emptive strike on you, and this strike
had to be so imminent that there was no time to take it to the UN Security
Council. So they said this was archaic, paying attention to international
law, we should be able to attack any country we want to, basically.
The fifth requirement would be a kind of new Pearl Harbor that would get
the American people ready to support these policies: the spending and be
willing to accept pre-emptive strikes on other countries and so on. So
9/11 did all that. Gave them everything they wanted. We're talking about
billions even trillions of dollars, when you put it in terms of decades of
spending. That very day they increased military spending $40 billion,
which is spending money. And by now we've upped it to over $200 billion.
They don't even count what they spend on Iraq in the budget; that's just
So you can't imagine stronger motivation. The two major motivations for
war have always been the political motivation of imperial lust, just the
desire to win in battle and rule over other people; and the dominant
motivation of at least the kind of people who've gone into politics and
the military. And then the other big motivation is economic, which in our
day, partly is just lining their own pockets, partly it's keeping the
military spending going which means funding all these corporations that
build things for the military, such as General Electric, Halliburton
obviously and then all the ones that produce military equipment, tanks and
all that stuff. But also getting control of the world's resources as
they're winding down. That's where the oil in particular, oil and natural
gas, come in.
And Iraq has such huge reserves.
So did the Caspian Sea. So we've got two of the biggest reserves back to
back like that. So for people to say no motivation, we had what would
count as the strongest possible motivations for going to war, in terms of
what has always motivated people to go to war in the past.
There has been talk that FDR had advance knowledge of the bombing of Pearl
There's a book called NATO's Secret Armies and it shows that during the
Cold War, the CUIIA and NATO (which of course means the Pentagon) were
funding and backing various attacks in Italy, France and Belgium to
terrorize the population and then the left-wing would be blamed -- the
Communists or anarchists -- because right after the war the Communists
were very popular because they'd been the Resistance, and we were trying
to put the right-wingers back in control. So we would arrange these
attacks. There was a big expose of it in the '90s but you heard almost
nothing about it in the US, whereas in Europe it's quite well-known that
we did all that.
So you're saying that this is not the first time we've been involved in
actions like this?
We have done it time and time again. We wouldn't be sitting on this
property other than for a false flag operation we did to start the war
with Mexico and stole half of Mexico from them, by claiming they had shed
American blood on American soil. A Congressman named Abraham Lincoln said
that was the sheerest deception on the part of Pres. Pope, but he got away
Is the "false flag" phenomenon a common practice?
I began my latest book, The Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11,
with a whole chapter on "false flag" operations, and show that
imperialists have regularly done this. The Chinese did it when they were
ready to start taking over Manchuria. The Germans did it when they wanted
to attack Poland... The burning of the Reichstadt was earlier, when they
wanted to get rid of civil rights. But several years later when they were
ready to attack Poland, they dressed some of their own troops in Polish
uniforms and had them go over the border and then come back and attack.
Then they got some German convicts, killed them and dressed them as Poles
and left their bodies as proof that Poland attacked. So then the next day,
Hitler could cite 21 border incidents.
And then we've got Operation Northwoods documented. This was what the
Pentagon proposed to Kennedy, so we would have a pretext to attack Cuba.
And they used that language. They said, "Operations to provide a pretext
to attack Cuba." If it had been any president other than Kennedy, we
probably would have done it.
A lot of people say the 9/11 Commission, which has endorsed the official
account, was an impartial commission and can be believed. It was
independent, there were Republicans and Democrats, and they did a deep and
thorough investigation. Who are we, without their resources, to question
Who actually ran the Commission? People think it was kindly old chairman
Thomas Kane, Gov. of New Jersey. These commissioners we saw on TV didn't
do the work. The work was done by a staff of 75 people run by Philip
Zelikow, Executive Director. He was essentially a member of the
Bush/Cheney administration. He had been part of the National Security
Council during the administration of the first president Bush. He and
Condoleezza Rice were on that together. Then when the Republicans were out
of power during the Clinton years, they wrote a book together. And you
have to be very close to somebody both personally and ideologically to
write a book together. Then when Rice was named national security adviser
for the second president Bush, she brought Zelikow on to help with the
transition to the new National Security Council. Then he was appointed by
Pres. Bush to the president's foreign intelligence advisory board. After
that then, he became chairman of the 9/11 Commission. So it was no
different than if Condoleezza Rice or Dick Cheney had been running the
Commission. But the press didn't tell us this about Zelikow. They would
have a few mentions of it in the New York Times, about the families of the
victims being unhappy with Philip Zelikow. But I never saw a story spell
out how closely allied he was to the Bush Administration.
Now here's something I learned from the book Rise of the Vulcans by James
Mann. I mentioned this, the new doctrine of pre-emption, which is really a
doctrine of preventive warfare. But people don't understand, prevention
sounds like a good thing, sounds better than pre-emption. So I call it the
doctrine of preventive pre-emption warfare, which means that we see that
some country may cause us trouble somewhere down the line -- maybe five or
10 years from now -- but we decide it would be easier to get rid of their
weapons now than later, so we'll just go ahead and attack them now. That
was the new doctrine that was signed into existence in a document called
"National Security Strategy of United States of America 2002." And in the
cover letter to that document the president himself says, "We can no
longer wait until our enemies have gotten ready to attack us, we've got to
act offensively." And who wrote that document? Philip Zelikow. Condoleezza
Rice was in charge of writing that -- that's her job as national security
adviser. So she had evidently asked Philip Hoss, a subordinate to Colin
Powell in the State Department, to write it. He wrote a first draft and
she thought it wasn't bold enough, so she ordered it completely rewritten
and had Zelikow come in and do the writing. She and Zelikow and Stephen
Hadley were the three who primarily wrote it. So here you have a guy who
[helps] write the document that on the basis of 9/11 says we can get this
new doctrine of pre-emptive preventive warfare that neo-cons have been
wanting -- the guy who most turned 9/11 into the pretext for making this
US official policy. And he is the one who is a year later brought on to be
the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, which is supposed to see if
the White House was complicit somehow -- maybe just through incompetence
or for deliberately allowing it to happen or ordering a stand down
operation or whatever it is, was the White House somehow involved.
It's outrageous, and the press has never talked about it. That's what
we're talking about, an unfree press that will not reveal even the most
basic facts. You wouldn't have to argue any kind of complicity, you could
say, "Isn't this an interesting fact: The fellow who was put in charge of
the 9/11 Commission was the one who wrote this document which contains
this new doctrine which is so central to the Bush administration that it's
called the Bush Doctrine, this new doctrine of preventive warfare."
There's always been a Nixon Doctrine, a Johnson Doctrine, a Carter
Doctrine -- this was the Bush Doctrine.
Zelikow decided which topics would be investigated, and which ones not. So
they did not investigate any of the evidence about Bush administration
complicity and show why they had motives for this. Our motives were much
more powerful than Al Qaeda's -- what were the Al Qaeda motives? They
hated Americans, they hated our freedoms. Our way of life. So they would
do this. It's comic book stuff. What the American people don't know is
that basically Zelikow controlled the Commission, controlled what the
reports were. And then when some things would leak through that he didn't
want in the final report, he controlled the final report, so he just
deleted it. So here's an example of a big thing that leaked through. Has
to do with the Pentagon's claim and the 9/11 Commission Report's claim
that nobody in the Pentagon knew that some aircraft was coming after them.
And of course the official story is that here was Flight 77 coming back
after them, and it went along for about 40 minutes, and gosh none of their
radars picked that up. And so it's an incredible story on its face. But we
have actual evidence that they did know something was coming to the
Norman Manetta, secretary of transportation, reports that he was told by
Richard Clark to come to the White House. He got to the White House, went
in, reported to Clark. Clark tells him he should just go on down to the
underground bunker, the presidential emergency operation center, and the
vice president's already down there. And so Manetta said he got down there
about 9:20am. Well he hadn't been there very long before this young man
comes in and says to the vice president that this aircraft is now 50 miles
out. And pretty soon he comes back in and he says that now it's 30 miles
out. And then he comes back in and says that now it's 10 miles out, do the
orders still stand? And the vice president whips his head around and says
that of course the orders still stand, has he heard anything differently?
Then Tim Romer, commissioner, asked what time was this, how long it was
after he got down there. He said it was about five or six minutes. So
Romer asked if that would have been about 9:25 or 9:26? Yeah. Well then
the official story is that of course the Pentagon was hit, about 9:37 or
9:38, there's a big gap in there so there's a problem, but nevertheless
you have the testimony that something was coming towards Washington and
that the vice president said yes, the orders still stand.
Now Manetta says he assumed the order was to shoot the aircraft down. But
whatever it was, it was not shot down, and why would the young man have
asked do the orders still stand if the order was to shoot it down? Of
course we would shoot something down that's coming towards us. So the
order must have been not to shoot it down. So it looked like we had
testimony there given to the 9/11 Commission about a stand down ordered by
the vice president. Don't shoot down the aircraft. Well what happened to
that testimony? Disappears. Does not make it into the 9/11 Commission
Furthermore, the 9/11 Commission says that Cheney didn't get down to the
underground bunker until almost 10 o'clock, probably about 9:58, so of
course they had to delete this whole exchange with Manetta and Romer,
because when Manetta got down there at 9:20, Cheney was already there and
obviously had been there for at least a few minutes because some
conversation had already gone on. So that fits with what everybody else
says, which is that Cheney went down there about 9:15. That's what Clark
says, that's what the White House reporter says, that's what lots of
people had said. Even Cheney said, shortly after the South Tower was hit
-- 9:03 -- the Secret Service came, picked me up, carried me down bodily
downstairs. Shortly thereafter couldn't have been 45 minutes later. So
even Cheney had said on Tim Russert's show, that that had happened. The
9/11 Commission tells this obvious lie that he didn't get down there until
10. They do say he went downstairs earlier and then stayed at the end of
the tunnel, watched TV for a while, talked to the president for a while,
and so by the time he and his wife went down to the end of the hall it was
9:58, but they have him getting down to the downstairs at about, sometime
after 9:30,and clearly we had all this testimony that he was already in
the operations center by 9:15. So here's a blatant, obvious lie that
somebody on the New York Times staff, somebody on the Washington Post
staff has to know is a lie, and either they won't write a story about it
or if they do write a story about it their editor won't let it run.
I've done quite a bit of reading about the press and people say that if
you're going to be successful in the press you learn very early on what
kind of stories will fly, what ones won't, and if you take a story of a
certain type to your editor once or twice and it's turned down you know
not to take that kind of story again. The editor doesn't have to say, "If
you do this again I'll fire you." You get the message, this is futile,
you're not going to get promoted, you're not going to get the plush jobs
if you don't understand how things are done.
I have heard of people in the Pentagon. I know a guy who knows a guy who's
still working in the Pentagon, who says, this guy tells me, it was no
Boeing 757. So I ask the guy, can you get this guy to say this in public,
and he says, absolutely not. He fears he will be killed if he said that.
So there are people who fear for their lives, but I doubt it's newspaper
reporters, it's more that they fear for their jobs or their reputation or
We always hear about people being "disappeared" in other countries. Do you
believe it happens here as well? Are journalists at risk?
We had over 100 people who died mysteriously and just sometimes just
before they were going to testify [regarding the Pres. Kennedy
assassination]. Whether to the New Orleans jury or to the House select
committee. But these were always people who had some particular inside
information. Nobody who wrote a book about it was ever killed. They were
speculating and they can be dismissed as conspiracy theorists. And they
don't really have a firsthand knowledge. The only kind of news people who
might be threatened are people who actually went out and interviewed
somebody and got some of that direct inside information and were about to
report. One or two people have died who were thought by some to have been
related to 9/11.
What about the people in the press who got the military grade anthrax
right after 9/11?
Yes, it did look like a warning shot. The president and the vice president
asked Tom Daschle to have this innocuous investigation carried out only by
the Joint Intelligence Commission. Daschle went along with it. Daschle was
one of the ones who got anthraxed. Brokaw was another one. So it was a
message to news reporters: don't do anything.
If you were to speak to the Christian community, what is a person's
responsibility as a Christian or as a conscious spiritual being?
I really need to address the Christian community in particular because
America is primarily a Christian nation and I'm a Christian theologian. I
would say two things here. Christians should have motivation more than
anyone else to look into 9/11, and if they agree it was an inside job,
expose the truth. First of all because 9/11 from the beginning and still
remains the pretext for all the things that we are doing and not doing in
the world. It's the pretext for focusing on the so-called War on Terror
rather than dealing with global warming, or the war on poverty or the
health crisis, and all these other things, education... And it's the
pretext for the attacks on Lebanon, anybody you can label a terrorist the
United States gives you a free pass to attack them because they're kind of
like the terrorists who attacked us and we've got to get rid of all the
terrorists in the world. So it's the pretext for everything that has
happened that has made the world a far more dangerous place than it was
before 9/11. So just on a purely moral basis recognizing that 9/11 is the
pretext for this, all Christians should say, well if there's one chance in
a thousand that 9/11 was an inside job we need to know it, so I will read
Secondly Christianity began as an anti-imperial religion. Jesus was
crucified on a cross. The cross at that time was the Roman means of
execution of people who were considered politically dangerous to the
empire. So it was only the Romans that had the power to execute. We've had
recently a movie that says it was the Jews who did it. No, the Jews did
not, the Jewish authorities did not have the authority to crucify anybody,
only the Romans could do it. So Jesus was crucified as a political threat
to the empire. I have a whole chapter in the new book, which builds
primarily on Richard Horsley's book called Jesus and Empire, so if nothing
else I hope you will publicize this fact.
Christianity was anti-imperialistic during its first three centuries. Only
in the fourth century did it start supporting empire, with Constantine.
Where do you pull an example from the Bible? What about, "Render unto
Caesar the things which are Caesar's"?
Right, a most misinterpreted passage. It was a trick question. The most
volatile issue at the time and the reason people were crucified and groups
were killed or slaughtered, is they refused to pay the tribute to Rome,
that was the political issue. And so if Jesus had said, don't pay the
tribute, that would have been grounds right there for execution, for
rabble rousing. But on the other hand if he said, do pay it, then he's a
collaborator. And so what does he say? He says, "Render unto God the
things that are God's, render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's."
Well for a Jew in the first century, everything belongs to God, nothing
belongs to Caesar. So it was a way of saying to his fellow Jews, of course
don't pay it. It's got Caesar's picture on it, but that doesn't mean it
belongs to Caesar. So that's been used and constantly quoted. If you read
the chapter you'll see there are many illustrations and passages that once
you understand the Roman occupation you see that Jesus was preaching what
Horsley called an anti-imperial gospel.
And then the Book of Revelations, is a full-out anti-imperial book. The
beast -- that's Rome, all the imagery is Rome. And that's one of the
earliest books of the New Testament, written before most of the gospels,
so it shows you that early, before they had started to make their peace
with empire as you get in the book of Luke. Luke acts much more friendly
This is revolutionary stuff.
It is, and what we call the Peace Churches -- the Quakers, the Mennonites,
the Amish -- they've always made this point that the fall of the church
happened with Constantine, when he adopted Christianity and created the
Holy Roman Empire, that was the ruin of the church. So they've always been
anti-empire, and the mainstream churches, unfortunately, have not really
taken a stand on this even after we've known better.
One good thing that may come out of all this is that churches may recover
the original gospel and start to take it seriously.
Are there parts of the gospel that aren't in the Bible that support this
Sure. Elaine Hagels wrote a book several years ago in which she talked
about the Gnostic Gospels, and she was focusing on the feminist issue and
the rise of patriarchy and showed that some of the ones that didn't make
it made women too equal. Now whether those gospels also had more of an
anti-imperialist ring, to my knowledge she didn't focus on it because that
wasn't the issue at the time, and I don't know anybody who's gone back and
looked at that.
But in your mind you believe that Christ was preaching against the empire,
because a lot of the evils of the world had sprung out of the expansion of
Right, and he was preaching against the collaboration with the empire and
the corruption of the temples. He was against, if one wants to say the
Jews, the chief priests and rabbis of the temple. But these were not, they
were outsiders who were brought in, they were Hellenistic Jews, so they
were not people of the people, they lived in grand houses and were really
stooges of the empire, and so he was preaching against them and against
the money changers and that whole system of collaboration.
You have really synthesized a lot of information.
I've been working on this full time for three years. So sure, I've got an
enormous amount of information. And I would issue a challenge to anybody
who just wants to dismiss it a priori : Read my three books, write enough
back to me to show me that you've read them and understood them, and then
tell me you don't have any doubts about the official theory." I've thus
far not run into anybody who's done that. I've run into people who've
dismissed it without reading the books. I've run into a lot of people
who've said, "I began your book convinced I was going to reject it." But
if anybody will listen to an hour-long lecture, that's all it takes.
Do you ever have concerns for your safety?
I don't worry about that because there are two choices -- they can either
leave me alone or they can take me out. If they leave me alone I get to
enjoy my old age and write my systematic theology. If they take me out, my
9/11 books rise to number one on the New York Times bestseller list. So
it's a win/win situation.
David Ray Griffin has been dismissed as a conspiracy theorist, but as he
points out, conspiracy is when two or three people conspire in secret to
do something illegal or immoral, and our newspapers are full of
conspiracies -- local bank robberies, Enron defrauding its customers -- so
we're all conspiracy theorists. The question in this case is, which
conspiracy has the best evidence to support it?