The Twin Towers
OS ANGELES (Reuters)
- They wore T-shirts asking "What Really Happened?," snapped up DVDs
titled "9/11; The Great Illusion," and cheered as physicists,
philosophers and terrorism experts decried the official version of
the Sept. 11 attacks that shook America to its core.
Some 1,200 people
gathered at a Los Angeles hotel on the weekend for what organizers
billed as the largest conference on the plethora of conspiracy
theories that see the 2001 attacks on Washington and New York as, at
best, official negligence, and at worst an orchestrated U.S. attempt
to incite world war.
"There are so many
prominent people who are incredibly well-respected who have stated
that the evidence is overwhelming that 9/11 was an inside job,"
syndicated radio talk show host Alex Jones told a news conference.
hundreds of smoking guns that people need to be made aware of," said
Jones, calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and
charging that mainstream media had been slow to cover the growing
movement of 9/11 skeptics.
The "9/11 and the
Neo-Con Agenda" conference comprised two days of seminars, video
presentations and talks by groups including "Scholars for 9/11
Truth," www.infowars.com and an appearance by actor Charlie Sheen.
Most are convinced the
U.S. military command "stood down" on the day of the attack, that
the hijackers were trained at American military bases, and that the
World Trade Center towers collapsed because of a series of
controlled explosions set before they were hit by two hijacked
Suggested motives range
from expected benefits for U.S. arms and oil conglomerates to
revolutionary plans for a new world order headed by the United
The theories, derided by
critics as wild and far-fetched, have mostly been confined to the
Internet, talk radio and the alternative press.
But an August 2004 Zogby
opinion poll revealed 49 percent of New York City residents believed
U.S. leaders knew in advance of the attacks and failed to act.
The official 9/11
Commission, set up in 2002, cited government intelligence lapses in
the failure to prevent the attacks by al Qaeda that killed about
investigation by the National Institute of Standards and Technology
held that jet-fuel fires weakened the structure of the Twin Towers
and led to their collapse.
'BAD THINGS HAPPENING'
Sheen, star of the TV
sitcom "Two and a Half Men," provoked a media storm in March by
calling in interviews for an independent investigation.
Sheen "brings the
movement some legitimacy. He gives it a face," said a Los Angeles
student attending the conference who gave his name as Rico.
well-educated people are starting to take a look at all this and are
seeing there are some pretty bad things happening," Rico added.
Webster Tarpley, author
of "911 Synthetic Terror; Made in USA," said the Sept. 11 attacks
were an example of "state-sponsored, false-flag terrorism" designed
by rogue CIA elements "to start the war of civilizations."
Tarpley said Washington
was "gripped by war psychosis" and had used terror as a pretext to
turn the United States into a police state.