The best defense: a good offense? Print
Written by Hugh Turley   
Thursday, 11 March 2010 00:00

Originally published in Hyattsville Life & Times

On January 22, theShukan Asahi, a popular weekly magazine in Japan, reported on the activities of an organization called "Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth." San Francisco Bay area architect, Richard Gage, AIA, president of the 1,000-member group, is spreading the message worldwide that, "9/11 did not happen the way we have been told that it happened."

The Shukan Asahi is no easily dismissed tabloid. It is owned by Asahi Shinbum, Japan's second largest newspaper. It is similar to our Washington Post-ownedNewsweek. The widely-respected Japanese media parent is also a publishing ally of the International Herald Tribune, which is owned by the New York Times.

The American architects and engineers group maintains that the trade towers and another building, known as Building 7, were brought down by controlled demolition. They say that it is impossible for the airplane crashes and subsequent fires to have caused the buildings to collapse.

Gage, who has addressed groups in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, says that he has had more success with foreign journalists. Gage said there is "a lot of reluctance from the American press."

Japanese readers of the Shukan Asahi must be puzzled that the American media have ignored the group's petition to Congress for a new investigation. Short biographies of all the degreed and licensed professionals challenging the official explanation of the trade tower building destruction are on the website. That so many prominent men and women would put their professional reputations on the line in this way would seem to be more than newsworthy.

Certainly Japanese lawmaker Yukihisa Fujita thinks so. He invited Gage to meet eight of his colleagues, trying, Gage told the Hyattsville Life & Times, "to get the Japanese Prime Minister and legislature to re-examine the official story."

But why is Japan interested now, nearly nine years after the fact? According to Fujita, its because 24 Japanese citizens died in the destruction in New York on September 11, 2001, and he says, "the official story is not convincing." Japanese citizens have also died as a result of the subsequent war on terror.

Very public concerns in Japan about the official 9/11 story may worsen already tense relations between the two countries. In September 2009, the pro-American Liberal Democratic Party that has ruled almost without interruption since 1955 was voted out of power. More recently, of course, the American press seems recently to have gone into overdrive publicizing defects in the products of the Japanese company that recently supplanted General Motors as the world's largest automobile manufacturer, Toyota Motor Corporation.

While the dissident architects and engineers are ignored (as are U.S. makers of possibly faulty parts for Toyota), Toyota executives are called on the carpet by the U.S. Congress.

Might there be something more nefarious afoot in Japan than simply an interest in truth and justice? Increasingly suspicious of the motives of a U.S. government that is now a principal owner of a rival auto manufacturing company, Japan's newfound interest in 9/11 might be its way of hitting back.