Thousands of low-wage workers who mopped up toxic dust of World Trade Centre face illnesses with little government help.
On the 11th day of every month, a group of a dozen or so people gather on Hollywood Boulevard to hang a banner over a freeway overpass. The banner reads: “9/11 = Controlled Demolition”. The group hands out DVDs and pamphlets to drivers passing by.
Call them the True Disbelievers. They are members of a persistent tribe of sceptics that believes the official version of what happened in New York, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon a decade ago is nothing but a colossal lie.
Many members of the group seem wary of the press. As we approached the group with a camera and microphone, a tall man shouted furiously into a bullhorn. “No interviews!” he yells. “I used to work for a TV station, and I know how you will twist everything we say,” the man shouts angrily. He tries to bully other members of the group into staying silent, but a few agree to talk about why they came out.
“I’m an independent person,” says Ann Capotosto. “What we are here to do is raise awareness and push forward a clean and thorough investigation.”
Engineering student Sean Cordone says, “History has shown it’s not crazy to question your government. It’s crazy not to question your government.”
There are groups of 9/11 sceptics in every major city nationwide and they say their numbers are growing.
‘Official fairy tale’
In a small, cluttered office in a San Francisco suburb, architect Richard Gage has marshaled evidence he believes shows the World Trade Centre towers were deliberately blown up by unknown conspirators. He will not say who he believes is behind the plot, although he mentions former Vice-President Dick Cheney, insurance companies, and World Trade Centre real estate developer Larry Silverstein.
“There are so many problems with this official fairy tale we are being fed,” Gage said in an interview. He points to World Trade Building number 7 – a 47-storey tower that was not hit by an airplane, yet collapsed in 40 seconds. The official version blamed fire.
“Building Seven tells us that there’s a cover up,” Gage says. “Building Seven is the smoking gun of 9/11 that is obvious to everybody with a small amount of open mindedness.”
Detailed descriptions of Building 7’s collapse, as well as other information that sceptics say bolsters their case against the official version of events, can be found on Gage’s website, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth: www.ae911truth.org.
In addition to websites, videos and books, 9/11 sceptics now have a comic book, due to hit the shelves in early September. Called “The Big Lie”, it is the tale of a time travelling scientist who goes back to 9/11 to try and stop the disaster, and learns the official story is false.
Thomas Yeates was part of the team that produced the comic. “Comics have always addressed serious issues,” he says.
Yeates contends that the public is now more open to the idea that there might be something wrong with the official story. “People were for a long time not willing to look at it,” he says. “The implications of not believing the official story was just too horrible for people; their brains just shut down.”
As new buildings rise on the site of the World Trade Centre, 9/11 sceptics continue to agitate for more investigations and dig out evidence they believe supports their ideas.
Like other recent events in American history, from the Kennedy assassination to the Apollo moon landing, there will always be those who reject the official version of 9/11 – those who will always believe we are all victims of a big lie.
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