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    New Award-Winning Documentary Exposes Taboo, Challenges Intellectuals to Face Discomforting 9/11 Facts Print E-mail
    Written by Gregg Roberts   
    Sunday, 29 December 2013 03:42

    Film Review: 9/11 in the Academic Community

    911 academic comm film poster lg9/11 in the Academic Community is more watchable than most “9/11 truth” filmsThe exciting new documentary whose upcoming release we announced in a September 8 article is now here. 9/11 in the Academic Community was released for purchase on October 8, after having won an award for “Documentary Achievement” at the University of Toronto Film Festival earlier this year. At a manageable running time of 75 minutes, with a title designed to appeal to its target audience, and by avoiding hot-button phrases such as “9/11 Truth,” the film has an excellent chance of slipping out of the conspiracy theorist jacket and making inroads into the American and Canadian intellectual communities.

    This is certainly a film that needed to be made. With few exceptions, there has been a deafening silence in the classrooms of North American campuses regarding many obvious and undeniable facts that undermine the official account of 9/11. If the faculty and students at institutions of higher learning cannot question and even contradict what we have been told by media and government about the “crime of the century” without being called “conspiracy theorists,” then what has become of the academic community? Those who wrote the U.S. Constitution and defeated the British Empire’s dominion over the American colonies well understood that the spirit of free inquiry and an understanding of history were key to a properly functioning democratic republic. Even with those freedoms and values, Benjamin Franklin famously predicted that it would be difficult for us to “keep it.” Nothing less is at stake with regard to the issues covered in this film.

    9/11 in the Academic Community is more watchable than most “9/11 truth” films. One of its biggest strengths is that all of its speakers express criticisms of the way that the 9/11 account was advanced and how it’s been treated in the 12 years since then – mostly without sounding angry.

    I found it refreshing that the experts interviewed in the film were allowed to talk. Their statements were not arbitrarily cut up to fit the needs of a typical viewing audience – as if suffering from attention deficit disorder. The interviewees speak in complete paragraphs like competent academics normally do.

    Prof John McMurtryProf. John McMurtry: “Within a month or so of 9/11 I happened to be giving a lecture and I shared some of the anomalies. The University was flooded with hate mail from colleagues.”One powerful and timely point is made by the story of what happened to philosophy professor John McMurtry of the University of Guelph. At the University of Florida, longtime antiwar author Noam Chomsky recently, and infamously, remarked that there’s no risk to academics in challenging the official story. Yet when McMurtry did just that, just a few months after 9/11, some of his colleagues demanded that he be fired. He was lucky that his university stood up for his right to academic free speech and upheld his contract as a tenured professor. But the lesson was surely not lost on professors throughout the US and Canada who heard what happened. The official story of 9/11 was given the status of a sacred myth… making those who question it seem, in that context, to be little better than demons in many people's minds.

    Prof Graeme McQueenProf. Graeme McQueen: “Many history professors … [aren’t] asking the basic question, ‘What happened?’!”One criticism of the film – although one about which I remain uncertain – is that it could be said to pull its punches, in terms of never directly mentioning its own key contrary theses about 9/11 and defending them with evidence. Graeme McQueen complains about the many history professors who publish “ethereal post-modern critiques [of 9/11], but [aren’t] asking the basic question, ‘What happened?’” Yet this film seems to do the same. It presents little evidence against the official account, emphasizing, as promised, that there is a taboo against open discussions of the 9/11 evidence, rather than on trying to prove that those who violate the taboo are the ones who correctly interpret that evidence.

    My guess is that this was a purposeful attempt to avoid pressing people’s emotional buttons about large-scale conspiracies. Maybe it is worth a try to emphasize the taboo itself, so that people can more easily engage their minds in observing and confronting the taboo. The film does discuss how two arguments against the official account have been almost entirely ignored by academics in their respective fields, despite peer-reviewed publication in appropriate mainstream academic journals.

    Journal of BusinessAllen Poteshman’s evidence for insider trading was published in 2006 in The Journal of Business

    Those two arguments are:

    • Finance professor Allen Poteshman’s evidence for insider trading in United and American  Airlines, published in 2006 in The Journal of Business and discussed in the film by econometrician Paul Zarembka
    • Civil engineering professor Robert Korol’s experiment-based disconfirmation of the crush-down/crush-up hypothesis that was submitted for publication to the Journal of Engineering Mechanics two days after 9/11 by ASCE Fellow Zdenek Bazant and his research assistant Yong Zhou

    While these arguments are solid, I found myself reacting with impatience to Korol’s description of his work. It seemed to me that for many viewers – including academics outside the field of structural or civil engineering – the easiest ways for people to know that the official 9/11 account is false were lost in his labored wording. Korol does not mention the free-fall of Building 7, though he has mentioned it elsewhere. The near-freefall and near-“joltless” downward accelerations of the twin towers are mentioned in a discussion that I found difficult to follow, despite 10 years of studying the World Trade Center evidence and a solid grasp of the physics involved.

    Allen Poteshmans evidenceRobert Korol’s structural engineering analysis of how one of the twin towers could – and could not – have collapsed is covered in the film

    I believe that Robert Korol extends this omission into an active commission when he says that what happened “remains an open question.” I don’t know how someone with Korol’s expertise who has examined the issues could believe this. The evidence taken as a whole makes it clear that the WTC twin towers and Building 7 were destroyed through some form of explosive controlled demolition that involved nano-engineered energetic materials. Other materials might have also been involved, but there’s no doubt about the basics. There’s no other way to explain the core evidence.

    (Many 9/11 activists, I note, similarly retreat into the defensive position that they are “only asking questions,” when that’s simply not true, and weakens their position.)

    Whatever the reason, I'm concerned that people who lack expertise in Korol’s field are going to be left with the impression that the issues are too technical for anyone outside that field to understand what’s really going on here. Many might even comfort themselves with the thought that for every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.

    9/11 in the Academic Community is part of a noble attempt to halt the momentum toward tyranny in North America.

    Academics are accustomed to the idea that there are legitimate disagreements between schools of thought and even within schools of thought. They’re not used to the idea that one side is just basically wrong – much less that there could be an orchestrated cover-up in which one side is consistently putting out misleading or even false statements.

    The strongest evidence against the official 9/11 account is crystal clear. The debate is over. Reasonable people who understand that evidence CANNOT disagree about its meaning. Statements by 29 structural and civil engineers in a paper published in 2009 make this clear.

    Twenty-nine blueprintTwenty-nine civil and/or structural engineers presented their views in the AE911Truth Blueprint more than four years agoI don’t know that the failure of previous films to catch fire within academia is because they were too brash in advocating a point of view. 9/11: Press for Truth also took the subtle approach of merely stating some of the things that are wrong with the official account – and the corrupted process that produced that account – without mentioning the evidence for controlled demolition. Yet that film’s viewership never really took off in the way that 9/11 activists surely hoped it would.

    I am concerned with the need to get these films in front of people who are in a position to do something about 9/11. Activists operating on a shoestring budget understandably target the people most likely to attend the presentation of any new film. But the result of this is that most people today who watch serious documentaries about 9/11 are already familiar with much of the evidence. Unless additional deliberate efforts are made to persuade newcomers to attend screenings, we will continue mostly “preaching to the converted.”

    According to producer/director Adnan Zuberi, this documentary is already meeting the expectations – and gaining the endorsements – of major mainstream academics new to this line of inquiry. The film is short enough to allow for some discussion right there in the theater at special screenings after the movie has been shown.

    Adnan ZuberiProducer/Director Adnan ZuberiMaybe Zuberi is right. Maybe those who are still unaware and/or in denial about the relevant facts of 9/11 evidence need to be introduced to the topic gently enough that they don’t “burn up in the atmosphere,” and can catch up at their own pace with us old hands.

    Some of those who say that the US republic has already been lost are at least optimistic enough to say that it lasted longer than Franklin had any reason to expect it to. It hardly seems debatable that so many civil liberties have been lost as a result of the widespread acceptance of the official account of 9/11 – that we in the US no longer have a functioning constitutional republic, but one of form only. 9/11 in the Academic Community is part of a noble attempt to halt the momentum toward tyranny in North America and, we can all hope, begin a reversal. I highly recommend this film, and I encourage activists to set up showings on campuses all across the country.