UMD professor to address questions about 9/11


Just when we thought we could forget about 9/11, it’s right back in our face. News of the volatile trial of Zacharias Moussaoui screams at us from the daily headlines. George Bush mentions 9/11 umpteen times in a speech somewhere. And just last week, the dramatic Flight 93 movie landed with a thud on Twin Cities movie screens. Once again we are being reminded of what the terrorists did to us on that fateful day and how we must appropriately respond.

But there is another side to the story. One that casts doubt on our common beliefs about 9/11 and any faith we may have left in our government’s integrity. Under the radar of blockbuster events and media hype is a growing movement of scholars, activists and concerned citizens who are questioning the standard version of what happened that day and who did it.

One of the leaders of that movement is UMD Philosophy Prof. James Fetzer, who will speak Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the 3M Auditorium at the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Fetzer, who was brought here by the new MN9/11 group in the Twin Cities, has been speaking around the country before community groups and on talk radio and TV shows. His trip to the Twin Cities, includes attending a fundraiser for Green Party Senate candidate Michael Cavlan, who has made 9/11 one of his campaign issues.

Along with teaching science and philosophy, Fetzer has a long history of investigating possible conspiracies, beginning with the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. He recently published a book alleging that Sen. Paul Wellstone was assassinated. “I became interested in 911 within a few days after it happened,” he said in a recent phone interview from his Duluth home. “I watched the explosions of the towers and surmised that those buildings couldn’t have fallen from just the collision with the plane. I also thought that the report on the Pentagon attack was suspicious. Why was the Pentagon hit only where there were the fewest key personnel?” he asks. “Why was there no plane debris found at the site? How could the terrorist whose flight instructor said ‘couldn’t even fly straight’ make such a precision hit?”

Fetzer also questions the accepted claim that the towers were brought down only by the aircraft’s impact, and has presented documented evidence of numerous separate explosions throughout the buildings not caused by the collision.

As for Flight 93. Fetzer calls the official story “fiction.” It doesn’t mention, for instance, that cell phone calls cannot be made from that altitude. Then there was supposedly the noise of the tray cart in the passengers section, but those sounds could not have been picked up by cell phones or black boxes in the pilots’ cabin. And at the site there’s a big hole as if it had been excavated. Debris—and not much of it—was supposedly found up to eight miles away from the scene. That’s scientifically impossible.”

Months of questioning, doubting and investigation have led Fetzer to not only challenge the official account of 9/11 but to put the blame for the tragedy squarely in the White House. “Nine-Eleven was a conspiracy of the neocon agenda,” he alleged. “It was orchestrated by Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld and the Department of Defense as part of their national security policy. They needed a big event to get the American people afraid of terrorism, what they called ‘A New Pearl Harbor.’”

Fetzer is far from alone in his beliefs. He formed Scholars for 9/11 Truth a few years ago and the group now has some 300 academics. A book by one of those scholars, theologian David Lee Griffin, called The New Pearl Harbor, sparked what has now become a national movement to find out the truth about 9-11. New organizations, including the fledgling MN 911 group in the Twin Cities, burgeoning blogs and Web sites, as well as additional books and films on the subject are cropping up around the country. An online petition seeking a re-opening of the 9/11 investigation is nearing its goal of 10,000 signatures. The first national conference to discuss this issue will be held early next month in Chicago.

The 9/11 movement has had difficulty gaining traction with a skeptical mainstream media. But Fetzer has seen evidence of change. He has made some 300 appearances in recent months in both big cities and small towns, and on radio talk shows around the country. (His visit here includes an appearance on Air America Minnesota). He was recently interviewed by a Time magazine affiliate in London. The 9/11 Truth movement got a big boost recently when actor Charlie Sheen endorsed a new investigation during an interview on CNN.

“What we want first of all is a total release of public records on 9/11,” said Fetzer. “If the government has nothing to hide, why won’t they release them.”

Fetzer has another idea of how to jumpstart a new probe. “I would like the individual states, especially those around D.C., to begin their own investigation. We also need to change the makeup of Congress and get some new faces who realize the importance of this issue. Fetzer will have a lot more time soon to help the movement. He is retiring from 30 years of teaching next month to give his all to the cause. He is currently editing a new book called The 911 Conspiracy and will make himself increasingly available as a consultant to groups like MN911. “There is a great opportunity now to do this,” he said. “I have faith in the American people, that once they know the facts, they will react.”

The MN 911 group is just a few months old. But it has already held several showings of videos about the 9/11 cover-up, including speeches by Fetzer and Griffin and perhaps the best documentary on the subject, Loose Change, which can be purchased from MN911 or viewed online by typing in its name. Anyone interested in ordering or showing a film or in joining MN 911 can email For more information on Fetzer and his colleagues go to or Other good resources are as follows: A good general website is David Lee Griffin’s New Pearl Harbor and a second book criticizing the government 9-11 report are available from and other book stores.