Wednesday, October 7, 2009

9/11 Truthers work to free convicted 9/11 conspirator

We already know that the 9/11 truth movement promotes a through the looking glass version of 9/11 featuring missiles, pilotless drone planes, controlled demolition, dancing Mossad agents and massive covert conspiracies involving financial and political leaders. They've arduously promoted their strange brew of fantasy, pseudo-science and political extremism for the past eight years. The indefatigable folks at Screw Loose Change have been reporting on the truthers and countering their madness -- and they do a great job at it. I stopped by their blog this morning and was shocked to learn that the truthers have stepped up their activism, which up to now has largely centered on pushing for investigations. Now the truthers are actually pushing to have freed from prison a 9/11 conspirator who was convicted for the attacks, and they are providing material assistance to his cause.

Screw Loose Change reports (here and here) that the truthers, led by David Ray Griffin, have set up a website and started a petition drive on behalf of Mounir El Motassadeq, who lived with Mohammed Atta and several other 9/11 perpetrators in Hamburg during the time when Atta was planning for 9/11. Motassadeq conspired with Atta and several of the other hijackers, visited al-Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan in 2000, and funneled money to Atta in Florida to help carry out the 9/11 attacks. The truthers have set up a website called "Free Mounir" (read here). To the truthers, this guy merits first-name-only status. That sort of unsubtle public relations technique to humanize this mass murderer is especially offensive.

The website, referring to three of the hijackers with whom "Mounir" carried out the 9/11 attacks, says

"In the light of the absence of hard evidence that Mounir's friends – Atta, Alshehhi, and Jarrah – actually planned and committed mass murder, Mounir El Motassadeq must be considered as having been wrongly punished."

It's bad enough for truthers to campaign for investigations with a veil of half-truths and absolute falsehoods. That campaign has already done tremendous damage by clouding the minds of those extremely credulous people who are vulnerable to such appeals, and by providing a means by which the cynical can manipulate those people. It is bad enough for truthers to portray the perpetrators as victims, even martyrs. It is something much more sinister, however, for Griffin and his truthers to intervene in the legal process and provide assistance to someone convicted for committing mass murder.

This outrageous campaign to free "Mounir" cries out for investigation. I would like to know if the campaign is raising funds on behalf of "Mounir" under tax exemptions which forbid using those funds in this manner. The truthers have a first amendment right to promote their mad views, but I question whether they can raise money as tax exempt charities and use that money to help free mass murderers.

Whether or not they raise money with tax exempt status, they need to inform their donors just what they're up to. It's one thing to con people into giving money to investigate phantom conspiracies, but it's quite another to then use that money to help free murderers.

David Ray Griffin

By the way, if you'd like a sense of the madness behind the truther movement, check out Griffin's debate with Chip Berlet here. Berlet confronts Griffin with a number of serious flaws in Griffin's facts and analysis -- flaws which Griffin summarily dismisses without counterargument. Since that debate, Griffin has continued to promote several of the falsehoods debunked for him by Berlet. Griffin's lack of concern with the actual truth of his statements about 9/11 is, well, screwy.

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