9/11 - The Start of the War
THE HORRIFYING FRAUD
Michael Irving of World-Action:
For the time being, I am printing
this fairly tongue-in-cheek essay, from the
New York Times website, on Thierry Meyssan.
However, I very soon hope to have actual
material by Mr Meyssan. Even though Alan
Riding has written, below, in the normal big
media mode of shying away from anything that
is not in the constricted category of
'normal', you can see Riding is quietly
impressed. And so are many. -
THE NEW YORK TIMES - On the
June 22, 2002
CONSPIRACY THEORY GRIPS
SEPT. 11 AS RIGHT-WING U.S.
By ALAN RIDING
PARIS, June 21 — Even before
the fires were extinguished at the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon, conspiracy theories began flooding
the Internet. A few
quickly spilled out of Web sites and were
widely circulated by
e-mail before fading into oblivion. One,
however, has taken on a life of its own in France. It was
turned into a book that has become the publishing sensation of the
In the book, "L'Effroyable
Imposture," or "The Horrifying Fraud,"
challenges the entire official version of
the Sept. 11 attacks.
He claims the Pentagon was
not hit by a plane, but by a guided missile fired on orders of far
right-wingers inside the United States
he says, the planes that struck the World
Trade Center were not
flown by associates of Osama bin Laden, but
were programmed by the same government people to
fly into the twin towers.
What really interests him,
though, is what he sees as the conspiracy behind these actions. He
contends that it was organized by right-wing elements inside the
government who were planning a coup unless President Bush agreed to
increase military spending and go to war against Afghanistan and Iraq
to promote the conspirators' oil interests.
To achieve their goals, the
theory goes, they blamed Osama bin Laden for Sept. 11 and later
broadened their targets to include the "axis
of evil," centered on
The 235-page book has been
universally ridiculed by the French news media, while its arguments
have been dismantled point by point in "L'Effroyable Mensonge," or
"The Horrifying Lie," a new book by two French journalists.
A Pentagon spokesman said, "There was no official
reaction because we figured it was so
Yet in the past three
months, Mr. Meyssan's book has sold more
than 200,000 copies
in France, placing it at the top of
best-seller lists for
several weeks. Foreign rights have also been
sold in 16 countries
(a Spanish version is already on sale), and
Mr. Meyssan traveled to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab
Emirates in April to present his arguments at a local
The book's French publisher,
Éditions Carnot, said it would release an English version
in the United States in July.
Mr. Meyssan said in an
interview that he was surprised his book had so far provoked no
major debate, but he was convinced that his message
was being heard.
"Two-thirds of the hits on
our Web site come from the United States," he said. "I'm not saying all
my readers agree with me, but they recognize that the official American
version of the attacks is idiotic. If we
can't believe the
official version, where do we stand?"
It is nonetheless puzzling
why so many of the French have been
willing to pay the
equivalent of $17 for "The Horrifying
Fraud." Is it a symptom of latent
anti-Americanism? Is it a reflection of
the French public's famous distrust of its own
government and mainstream newspapers? Or
has the French love
of logic been tickled by the apparent
of a conspiracy theory?
Certainly, after Sept. 11,
some leftist intellectuals suggested that
the United States
had invited the attacks through its
support for Israel. Others recalled that Islamic militants had
been financed and armed by the United
States to fight the
Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the
1980's. Yet, in this case, Libération and Le Monde,
left-of-center newspapers with no love for
administration, have led the assault on
Mr. Meyssan's book.
[World-Action comment: I wonder who
shareholders are of Liberation and Le
"The pseudotheories of 'The
Horrifying Fraud' feed off the paranoid
anti-Americanism that is one of the
permanent components of the French political caldron,"
Gérard Dupuy wrote in an editorial in Libération. Edwy Plenel,
news editor at Le Monde, wrote: "It is very grave to encourage the idea
that something which is real is in fact fictional. It is the
beginning of totalitarianism."
Guillaume Dasquié and Jean
Guisnel, the authors of "The Horrifying Lie," favor a different
explanation for the book's success. They
write of France's
"profound social and political sickness,"
which leads people to embrace the idea "that
they are victims of plots, that the truth
is hidden from
them, that they should not believe
official versions, but rather that they should demystify all
expressions of power, whatever they might
Still, even if some French
are susceptible to conspiracy theories, few had heard of the book until
March 16, when Mr. Meyssan appeared on a popular Saturday evening
television program on France 2, a
government- owned but
independently run channel. In the program,
Mr. Meyssan was
allowed to expound his theory without being
challenged by the host. In the two weeks that
followed, his book sold 100,000 copies.
Mr. Meyssan himself seems an
unlikely purveyor of tall stories. A 44-year-old former
theology student, he dabbled in leftist
forming a political research company, Réseau
Voltaire, or Voltaire
Network, in 1994.
The company's Web site (http://www.reseauvoltaire.com)
causes, like fighting homophobia and
Le Pen's far-right National Front. Its
investigative methods seemed thorough and objective.
In person too, Mr.
Meyssan, a slim, wiry man with short hair and penetrating eyes,
comes over as both serious and rational.
French journalists who had given some
credibility to his Web site
all the more surprised, then, to find him
building a vast conspiracy
theory around the fact that photographs of
the Sept. 11 attack showed
airplane parts in or near the smouldering gap
in the Pentagon.
became the departure point for his book.
The line of
reasoning that follows is a case study in
how a conspiracy
be built around contradictions in official
and "professional pilots," unverified
published facts, references
United States policy in Cuba and
Afghanistan, use of technical
"revelations" about secret oil-industry
rhetorical questions intended to sow doubts.
At the end of
chapter, Mr. Meyssan presents his
speculation as fact.
To gather his evidence, he
worked mainly from articles, statements and speculation found on the
Internet. He did not travel to the United
States to interview
any witnesses. Indeed, he dismisses the
accounts of witnesses
to the crash of the American Airlines Boeing
757 into the Pentagon.
"Far from believing their
depositions, the quality of these witnesses only underlines
the importance of the means deployed by the United States Army to
pervert the truth," he said.
His "truth" is that no
Muslims took part in the attacks "because
the Koran forbids
suicide." To his original claim that the
Pentagon was bombed
from the inside, he has now added his
conviction that the
building was struck by an air-to-ground
missile fired by the United States Air Force. "This type
of missile, seen from the side, would easily remind one of a small
civilian airplane," he said.
In response, Mr. Dasquié
and Mr. Guisnel said they traveled to Washington and interviewed
18 witnesses to the Pentagon crash.
They also have named experts
explaining how the Boeing 757 could disappear inside the crater
caused by the impact. Further, they identify several people mentioned
only by their initials in Mr. Meyssan's acknowledgments, including a
French Army officer currently on trial for treason and a
middle-ranking intelligence officer.
The book has proved to be a
windfall for Mr. Meyssan's publisher. More accustomed to publishing
marginal books on subjects like the "false" American moon landing in
1969 and the latest "truth" about
UFOs, Éditions Carnot can now
boast of its first best seller.
Further, confident that
this conspiracy theory will endure, Mr.
Meyssan and Carnot
have just published a 192-page annex, with
photographs and theories. They call it "Le
A CALL FOR INDEPENDENT PUBLIC ENQUIRY:
WHO WAS BEHIND
THE SEPTEMBER ELEVENTH ATTACKS?
Above article at N.Y.
THE 9-11 LIE AND DECEPTION