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The Great Grifter Griffin Pawns More Garbage on the Gullible,
This review is from: The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (Paperback)
David Ray Griffin publishes what I think is his 7th book on the subject of 9/11 conspiracies, making him the most prolific writer, and quite possibly the publishing world's biggest profiteer off of this tragedy. Despite this volume of work though Mr. Griffin has yet failed to form even the vaguest narrative of what he thinks actually happened on this tragic day, and in fact has vociferously spoken out against anyone forming a theory, on the grounds (and correctly so) that if the conspiracy theorists actually form a theory, they will open themselves up to criticism for the weakness of their argument. There is also the fact that if he tried to put together all of his "evidence", full of contradictions, speculations and outright absurdities, it would form a sum total plot which would be laughed off as too fanciful for a comic book. Despite this though Griffin does bizarrely forward some "sub-theories" such as the voice morphing technology straight out of the SciFi movie Terminator 2, which he tries to pass off with a straight face as common everyday technology. This has opened him up for attacks even from the members of his own movement, people who hardly refrain from baseless speculation in general.
In any case, with his "Just Asking Questions" methodology, Griffin's books and even chapters within his books have the curious property of existing entirely independent of each other, requiring no standard for evidence or coherence, instead being an incredible amalgamation fo speculation, quote mining and omission of inconvenient facts. Griffin is never called upon to defend his work, or stand up for its intellectual and academic rigor, something I found out when I sent an e-mail off to the good retired theologian asking him about the claims in the original New Pearl Harbor regarding "multiple eyewitnesses to missiles hitting the Pentagon", a claim Griffin makes even though he cites no examples in the book. Griffin replied as such, when asked to defend his assertions:
"I said lots of things in NPH that I would not say today and that I did not repeat in NPHR, where I specifically corrected at least some of the errors I had made in that earlier book, written 5 years ago."
OK, so would he say this today? That was a somewhat ambiguous answers, so I asked him again, does he stand by the specific passage he wrote, which seemed a simple enough question, what author cannot decide whether he stands by his own works or not?
The answer I received surprised me.
"I am stunned that you do not understand the difference between my quoting what I wrote in 2003, in response to your question of what I was thinking then, and citing it today. I have not cited it for many years. And it sounds like you have not yet read NPHR. If you want to know what I do and do not say today, you'll need to read it."
Apparently Griffin decided this was not a simple question, as he refused to answer it and suggested I buy yet another book from him. However, after reading the chapter on the Pentagon in his new book, I discovered that he is lying yet again. He does not explicitly bring up the section I asked him about, nor does he explicitly reject the bizarre missile theory, only adding that it is controversial. Someone reading both books in sequence would have no idea that there are major parts of the first book which are false, and that he no longer defends.
Well, I suppose if in 6 months I were to ask Dr. Griffin to defend a passage in this book, he would dodge the question and simply tell me to purchase his 8th book, coming soon to a bookstore near you.
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Initial post: Oct 12, 2008 8:37:41 PM PDT
BTW as an example of the idiocy of this book, David Ray Griffin branches out into comedy, from page 90:
"Still more evidence that Washington had its own defenses, rather than being dependant on the fighter jets at distant Langley is provided by the description of the "principal missions" of Davison Army Airfield:
[T]o operate a "Class A" Army Airfield on a 24 hour basis, maintain a readiness posture in support of contingency plans, provide aviation support for the White House, US government officials, Department of Defense, Department of the Army, and other government agencies...; and exercise operational control of the airspace.
Davison, which is about 12 miles south of the Pentagon, is equipped with both fixed-wing aircraft and UH-1 and UH-60 helicopters [Hueys and Black Hawks]."
It is too bad that his readers were not more widespread, every rotary wing aviator in the history of the US Army would get a hearty laugh over the thought of helicopters with a top speed of 150 knots, chasing down planes capable of 600.
Posted on Oct 12, 2008 10:32:08 PM PDT
David R. Griffin says:
James B obviously does not follow the convention that one does not quote private email exchanges with another person without that person's permission. He also is evidently not above distorting the exchange to make himself look better and the other person worse. For example, he did not ask about "multiple eyewitnesses to missiles hitting the Pentagon." Nor was my statement that begins "I am stunned" made in response to a question from him as to whether I still stand by my earlier statement. Because he has chosen to quote from our exchange, but in a distorting way, I will set the record straight by quoting all the substantive points in the exchange.
On Oct. 9, 2008, at 9:46 AM, James B wrote (after an introductory paragraph):
"Why do you write in your book, The New Pearl Harbor on page 37...
But if what hit the Pentagon had been a Boeing 757, it would be very surprising to have reports of people-especially people with trained eyes and ears--claiming to have seen a missile or small military plane. These reports of having seen a missile or a small military plane must, accordingly, be given more weight. Properly interpreted, then, the eyewitness testimony does not contradict, but instead supports, the missile theory.
despite the fact that you do not actually cite in this section, or even the entire book, a single person having seen a "missile or small military plane" at the Pentagon, much less multiple "reports of people"? Given the lack of even a single witness, how can this then be used to "support the missile theory". Was this simply an oversight on your part, or were you being intentionally misleading?
thanks for your time,
"I am never intentionally misleading.
And I did cite a few such witnesses:
"Danielle O'Brien, one of the air traffic controllers at Dulles who reported seeing the aircraft at 9:25, said: "The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane." Another witness, seeing the plane from a 14th floor apartment in Pentagon City, said that it "seemed to be able to hold eight or twelve persons" and "made a shrill noise like a fighter plane." Lon Rains, editor at Space News, said: "I was convinced it was a missile. It came in so fast it sounded nothing like an airplane." Still another witness, who saw it from his automobile, was reported as saying that it "was like a cruise missile with wings."
[In replying thus, I had not realized that James was emphasizing the term "seen." I was simply responding to his claim that I had not quoted a "single witness" supporting the idea that a missile or small military plane had hit the Pentagon.)
On Oct 9, 2008, at 10:59 AM, James B wrote:
"Oh, you have got to be kidding me.
1. An air traffic controller cannot "see" airplanes. They do not have little video screens of the planes in front of them. She based that observation on the unsafe way the plane was flying. You left out the last part of the quote, ""You don't fly a 757 in that manner. It's unsafe."
2. "I was convinced it was a missile. It came in so fast it sounded nothing like an airplane.
Once again you are confused about the concept of "seeing something." Yes, I am sure it sounded like a missile. I have never been near a building which got hit by a jetliner travelling 500MPH, but I am sure it would sound just like a missile. What exactly would you think it would sound like, a paper airplane?
3. Another witness, seeing the plane from a 14th floor apartment in Pentagon City, said that it "seemed to be able to hold eight or twelve persons"
He said he thought it was a commuter plane, which would qualify it neither as a missile or a small military plane, which you claimed. Besides, this was someone miles away, not at the Pentagon, which was the whole basis for your statement, "people with trained eyes and ears--claiming to have seen a missile or small military plane. These reports of having seen a missile or a small military plane must, accordingly, be given more weight." Unless we are to believe that random people miles away from the Pentagon somehow merit extra weight in their testimony.
4. Still another witness, who saw it from his automobile, was reported as saying that it "was like a cruise missile with wings."
This is perhaps the most dishonest distortion in the history of trutherdom. The witness specifically said he saw an jet, not just that, but an "American Airlines" jet. But that it was acting "like a cruise missile with wings". Did they teach you the concept of metaphors at theology school, or were you gone that week?
"I was sitting in the northbound on 27 and the traffic was, you know, typical rush-hour -- it had ground to a standstill. I looked out my window and I saw this plane, this jet, an American Airlines jet, coming. And I thought, 'This doesn't add up, it's really low.' And I saw it. I mean it was like a cruise missile with wings. It went right there and slammed right into the Pentagon. Huge explosion, great ball of fire, smoke started billowing out."
TO WHICH I REPLIED:
"Your question was about my state of mind when I wrote that chapter---("Why do you write in your book, The New Pearl Harbor on page 37...Was this simply an oversight on your part, or were you being intentionally misleading?")---not about whether what I said was correct or well supported.
I said lots of things in NPH that I would not say today and that I did not repeat in NPHR, where I specifically corrected at least some of the errors I had made in that earlier book, written 5 years ago."
[My point, I thought I made clear, was that although I had not been "intentionally misleading," I had been careless. (I had quoted those statements from secondary sources---three of them from Thierry Meyssan's "Pentagate"---without looking them up for myself to read them in context. Also, when I wrote the passage 12 pages later about people "claiming to have seen a missile or small military plane," I failed to realize that the people I had quoted did not specifically claim to have "seen" such a thing but had merely said they thought---as I then falsely believed---that it was either a missile or a small plane.]
On Oct 9, 2008, at 1:03 PM, James B wrote:
"So you are then admitting that you were in error, and that there were no witnesses who saw a "missile or small military plane" crash into the Pentagon?
I must say I am still stunned that you would cite this "cruise missile with wings". Do you honestly not understand what a metaphor is? Or do you expect us to believe that after 5 years, and at least 7 books on the subject, that you were completely unaware of the context of that quote?"
TO WHICH I REPLIED:
"I am stunned that you do not understand the difference between my quoting what I wrote in 2003, in response to your question of what I was thinking then, and citing it today. I have not cited it for many years. And it sounds like you have not yet read NPHR. If you want to know what I do and do not say today, you'll need to read it.
I am also surprised that you have not yet learned to correspond with people you disagree with without being nasty. And I do not waste my time corresponding with such people. So this will be my final letter to you."
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2008 7:10:18 AM PDT
I never stated, nor even implied that anything in our exchange was private. I have openly criticized your work for years, and made no pretenses of being your friend. In this capacity as an author you are a public figure. I did not post anything personal about you.
Adding the rest does not help, now all you do is point out what exactly in your work was bogus, and the fact that you do not understand what a simile is.
" I failed to realize that the people I had quoted did not specifically claim to have "seen" such a thing but had merely said they thought---as I then falsely believed---that it was either a missile or a small plane"
I find that admission stunning. How could you fail to realize this? I realized this upon reading your book once, and I wasn't even paying particular attention. It wasn't that interesting of a book. Did you proofread your book? Do you have an editor? I wouldn't have allowed errors like this in 100 level undergraduate class. Do you realize the importance of researching your sources, especially when working from heavily biased political sources by people who have no background in the field they are writing about? What school did you go to again?
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2008 7:20:08 AM PDT
BTW Dave, while you are here do you want to defend this whole shooting down 757s with Army helicopters thing? I think I saw that in a video game once! Or are you going to save that for your next book?
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2008 3:06:45 PM PDT
"I am also surprised that you have not yet learned to correspond with people you disagree with without being nasty."
Mr. Griffin slanders his country with the accusation it killed its own people on 9/11 on NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE whatsoever and he is upset about people being "nasty" to him? That's rich. Hey Mr. Griffin, stop spreading your dishonest and stupid conspiracy theories and then you won't have to worry "nasty" responses.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2008 11:40:08 PM PDT
Do you believe that 19 arab men who've never flown planes before, and who's leader was residing in a cave somewhere, commandeered 4 planes armed only with box-cutters and flew them at 500 to 600 mph performing flight skills that were pilots of 30 years say are out of reach for newbies and also for the 767's?
Do you believe 3 steel buildings fell due to fire on the same day even though prior to that day 0 steel buildings had fallen due to fire? I mean really.....It's kind of a ridiculous story isn't it?
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2008 6:07:53 AM PDT
Actually it isn't ridiculous at all, since I saw planes hit the WTC. The conspiracy theories your ilk peddles, on the other hand, are not only ridiculous and offensive but largely made up. If you are going to accuse others of committing mass murder, you should have some solid evidence to back it up. Saying "the WTC didn't fall the way I said it should have" isn't evidence. I realize you, like DRG and other anti-American conspiracy theorists, are so full of hate for the United States that you want to believe it killed its own on 9/11 because it is ideologically convenient for you to believe it. However, wanting to believe something doesn't make it so.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2008 7:02:16 AM PDT
Who had never flown planes before? They had 4 licensed pilots. I think they make you fly planes to do that.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was not living in a cave before 9/11 incidentally, now he is living in a cell in Gitmo.
Posted on Oct 14, 2008 11:40:27 AM PDT
Why should this book be any different from Dr. Griffin's previous ones? If he's rehashing myths, then there's nothing new there.
For an example of the distortions of truth Dr. Griffin engages in, I suggest people read a critique of his former work "Debunking 9/11 Debunking". A .pdf and a .doc of that work is available here:
That illuminates the sort of myth spinning and canard indulgence Dr. Griffin engages in.
Posted on Oct 14, 2008 4:16:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 14, 2008 4:17:26 PM PDT
I've admired your work ever since NPH. I'm glad you set the record straight regarding the context of the exchanges between you and James B.
For those that aren't aware, James B is a well known online shill defender of the official theory, most likely paid to do so.* He along with Pat Curley are the main brainchilds behind the screw loose change blog and are regulars at the JREF conspiracy forum. They along with Mark Roberts and Ron Wieck like to troll major internet sites like amazon and youtube and use O'Reilly-style spin, distortion, and half-truth in order to smear academics, engineers, pilots, ex air force, and regular citizens who question the official 9/11 story.
*A proven historical example of how "paid shills" (in this case the PR firm Hill & Knowleton) influence public opinion. People being paid to lie to millions.
It took the Canadian media to expose this American lie, because the US media just didn't have the guts. Things hadn't changed by 2001 and they still haven't today.