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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Skeptics unite to scrutinize officials’ explanations of 9/11

    Local and UA student groups will mark the fifth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks by challenging the official account of those tragedies and the policy changes adopted afterward through forums and underground films.

    “”Our goal is to make people think and question, and to present an alternative view,”” Dr. Mary Jo Ghory, a clinical assistant professor of medicine, said about event co-sponsor Voices of Opposition, an organization focused on alternative politics.

    Two films that allege government involvement in the destruction of the Twin Towers – “”Loose Change”” and “”9-11 Revisited”” – are the centerpieces of the day’s dissent and will be shown at the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering building auditorium at 7 p.m.

    “”We don’t want to take away from the tragedy – but it’s time it should be looked at closely.””
    – Mary Jo Ghory,

    clinical assistant
    professor of medicine

    “”The films really made us question whether Sept. 11 was a inside job,”” said Ghory, who is also on the Africana Studies Community Advisory Council. “”They raise a lot of serious questions.””

    Those uncertainties were mere curiosity when “”9-11 Revisited”” producer Dustin Mugford stumbled across them on Myspace.com, but the 26-year-old Tucson web designer said he was taken by the credentials of those who doubted the official story.

    After uploading the video, Mugford said he originally intended to raise eyebrows among his family members. Instead, praise and thanks began pouring in from New York police and firefighters who were present during the attacks.

    “”I just wanted to make people think for themselves, and it went crazy from there,”” said Mugford. “”I would like to see my little video spark a new investigation, wherever it might lead.””

    Like Ghory, many are reluctant to believe any secret cabals had a role in the attacks. However, a recent Scripps poll revealed one-third of the American public believes there was some level of complicity within the government.

    “”We don’t want to take away from the tragedy … but it’s time it should be looked at closely,”” said Ghory.

    A speaker’s forum, “”Re-examining Sept. 11,”” will kick off the debate from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Alumni Plaza.

    Professors and community members are slated to tackle subjects including foreign and border policies, the War on Terror and gay rights, with UA Political Writings Reading Club member Gabriel Schivone, an undeclared freshman, serving as “”arch organizer.””

    “”Issues that should be raised for dialogue among the dominant culture are restrained, overlooked or simply not discussed,”” wrote Schivone in an e-mail.

    Although he doesn’t believe in any of the theories promoted by the re-examinationists, Andrew Knadler, a pre-pharmacy sophomore, said he believes the UA campus is fair game for the exchange of ideas.

    “”People can go around saying whatever they want,”” said Knadler. “”It’s America – you know?””

    Free discussion should present Sept. 11 as a “”lens”” to view current developments – even though alternative views might be considered inflammatory on its anniversary, said Clark Pomerleau, a history lecturer and member of the Political Writings Reading Club.

    “”As a historian, I’d hope people would recognize events and perspectives affecting the present,”” said Pomerleau. “”We’re really, really dedicating (the forum) to freedom of speech.

    More than 200 people are expected to show for the evening’s film screenings, said Ruth Ollson, spokesperson for Sept. 11 Truth-Tucson, the local chapter of a national Internet campaign that promotes alternative explanations for the strikes.

    “”We are trying to inform people about the omissions and distortions in the Sept. 11 Commission Report, and also demanding a criminal investigation around the attacks,”” said Ollson, who holds a master’s degree in education from the UA.

    Ollson said her group will be visible by protesting at various intersections throughout the city today and knows that she’ll encounter some resistance to their message.

    “”We’re expecting fury. I get fury just opposing the war,”” said Ollson. “”But if people care about the victims, they should find out who did (the attacks) to honor the victims.””

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