September 7, 2002
The books by the French author Thierry Meyssan, which “challenge the official version of the Sept. 11 attacks,” have been best-sellers in Europe. Their reception may be different in the United States, however, where they have been banned for being “anti-American.”
Meyssan’s two best-selling books, 9/11 – The Big Lie and Pentagate, refute “the entire official version of the Sept. 11 attacks,” and will soon be available in the United States. The books have been extremely successful in Europe, selling more than 200,000 copies in France, but strong resistance and censorship suggest a different fate may await them in America.
I spoke with Patrick Pasin, the French publisher, who said that 70,000 copies have been printed and shipped to the United States. The books should be available by the end of September, he said. The on-line book store Amazon.com is already offering the books promising delivery in “three to five weeks”.
Meyssan’s books claim that a military faction in the U.S. government used remote control to guide two aircraft into the twin towers and that a U.S. cruise missile – not an American Airlines jet – smashed into the Pentagon. While thousands of articles about Meyssan’s theories can be found on the Internet, only 2 articles have appeared in the U.S. mainstream media, and these have avoided engaging the substance of his arguments.
The cover of 9/11 – The Big Lie says the book “is based exclusively on documents published by the White House and the U.S. Dept. of Defense, as well as statements by American civilian and military leaders to the international press.”
Pasin, the founder and director of the Carnot publishing house, said that while the books should be available to American readers by the end of September, many bookstores have said they will not carry the books because they are “anti-American.” Even Amazon.com, the on-line book dealer, was criticized in the U.S. media with an article, “Amazon to sell anti-U.S. 911 book,” Pasin said. While one of the English translations was ready in April, Pasin said he held off on releasing the books in America until after the anniversary of Sept. 11 because he “considered it was too early.”
“We had to wait some time,” Pasin said. “We don’t want to provoke people. There is a lot of pain in many families – I share their pain.”
Meyssan’s controversial theories first appeared in March in a website in which he presented the video footage from a security camera at the Pentagon which shows an unidentified object striking the Pentagon and exploding in a white hot flash. Meyssan’s site suggests that this object is a cruise missile, precisely as one eyewitness described it: “a cruise missile with wings”, and challenges the viewers to examine the photos to “Find the Boeing.”
The photos from the security camera are problematic because the object appears to be much smaller than the Boeing and the white hot flash seems to be more indicative of the impact of an explosive warhead – rather than a civilian aircraft – according to independent investigators.
Pentagon spokesperson, Victoria Clarke, called Meyssan’s books “disgusting.” ”There is no question,” Clarke said, “there is no doubt what happened that day. And I think it’s appalling that anyone might try to put out that kind of myth. I think it’s also appalling for anyone to continue to give those sorts of people any kind of publicity.”
FACTS, the largest Swiss-German news magazine, recently featured Meyssan’s arguments and evidence in a cover story titled, “The Evil sits in the Pentagon.” While a spokesman for FACTS said the article was “quite critical” of Meyssan’s theories, the way in which the photographs and text are presented must raise serious questions in the mind of the reader.
I contacted Lt. Col. David Lapan at the Pentagon to ask about the photographs found in the FACTS article. Lapan said that the photos came from a Pentagon security camera video which CNN had “unofficially obtained.” The photos had been “snuck out” of the Dept. of Defense and “leaked” to CNN, Lapan said. When asked to comment on the images, Lapan balked and requested that the photos be sent by e-mail. I promptly sent the images, easily obtained from the websites of CNN and other news networks, with relevant questions about what can be discerned from the images, their origin, and whether CNN had been reprimanded for divulging information that had been “unofficially obtained” from the Dept. of Defense.
“DoD did not release the security camera video,” Lapan said, “contrary to what CNN claimed in their story. Video images related to the terrorist attack on the Pentagon had been turned over to law enforcement agencies as part of their investigation, he said, but the Pentagon is “not engaged in trying to determine who leaked the video/photos, nor has there been a reprimand.”
While the events at the World Trade Center received greater attention than the crash in Washington, Meyssan focuses on attack on the Pentagon. While the official explanation is that the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 with its 64 passengers flew into the Pentagon, Meyssan says the object was a military cruise missile. The white-hot blast seen in the photographs, he says, indicates that the object striking the Pentagon resulted in a “detonation” of a high-explosive, rather than the less intense “deflagration” one would expect to see from a kerosene-laden jetliner striking the wall of a building.
Dorothea Hahn, the author of the article in FACTS, said that Meyssan “asks the right questions” but added that he is “very categorical” and selective about the information that he presents in order “to prove his theory.” Although more than 200,000 copies of his book have been sold in France, the French media is “extremely critical of him,” Hahn said.
“If Meyssan’s theory is true, there must be hundreds of people involved in the conspiracy,” Hahn said. “They would have started to talk by know.” Hahn added that Flight 77 must have been destroyed somewhere else if it didn’t crash into the Pentagon.
“WE NEED TO KNOW”
“We need to know what really happened,” Hahn said. “What has been explained by the officials has too many contradictions and irregularities. Without a proper investigation, these conspiracy theories flourish.”
“What I hope is that there will be a debate on what really happened and that opinion in the United States and the rest of the world is alerted,” Meyssan said. “The U.S. government has chosen its scapegoats…But we cannot allow those who are really guilty to go unpunished and the innocent to be bombed.”
Pasin wrote in a recent letter to Amazon, “As the publisher, from the beginning I had in mind all these innocent victims. For their memory, we must know; we cannot accept that the culprits remain unpunished, whoever they are. The books of Mr. Meyssan are our contribution, and I can assure you that I never felt anti-U.S. at all. On the contrary: we need a strong democracy in the United States of America.”
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