guest was James Meigs, the editor of Popular Mechanics
magazine, which had originally published some of the material
that comprises the book. The book takes an entirely apolitical
and scientific approach to finding out what really happened,
in response to some of the bizarre theories of the so-called "Scholars
for 9/11 Truth." These "scholars" claim that the whole
9/11 operation was a false-flag operation, meaning that
it was an inside job committed by U.S. officials. They
believe that the buildings in the World Trade Center complex
fell because explosives had been planted in them, and that
they were detonated after the planes crashed into them.
They argue that the cell phone calls of Arab voices claiming
to have taken over the planes were fake, because cell phones
wouldn't have worked in the planes.
are websites on both sides advocating various conspiracy
theories and debunking them. One of the more popular theories,
which was even the subject of a best-selling book in France,
was that American Airlines Flight 77 did not crash into
the Pentagon but was some sort of missile. The site "It
was Flight 77" offers links to some compelling evidence,
including photographs showing airplane parts among the
wreckage and numerous eyewitness accounts, including from
USA Today's Richard Benedetto.
comes from Bobby
Eberle of GOPUSA, who was in Washington, D.C. on September
11, 2001 and saw American Airlines Flight 77 fly overhead
and hit the Pentagon. "I was closer to the aircraft than
I was to the Pentagon, and within seconds of it racing
past me, it exploded in a deep red fireball," he said.
John McCain wrote the foreword for the book Debunking
the 9/11 Myths. "The authors of this book," writes
McCain, "through their extensive reporting, disprove these
tales of conspiracy. They show that, without exception,
the stories are based on misconceptions, distortions, and
outright lies. The CIA was not involved in 9/11. Our military
did not bring about the destruction of the World Trade
Center. Bombs or missiles did not fell the towers."
addressed a couple of the issues on O'Reilly's show. He
argued that the way the buildings collapsed was entirely
predictable and not unusual. Regarding the use of cell
phones, he pointed out that in fact they do in fact work
O'Reilly compared the conspiracy theorists to those who
claimed to have seen missiles take down TWA flight 800
on July 17, 1996. He said, "Now the final thing is,
and this happened to the TWA crash off Long Island. The
missiles thing, there were other missiles involved, and
all that. I'm saying to myself, I was here in New York.
I was watching the damn thing on television. I didn't see
any missiles and nobody else did. How does anybody believe
claim that he was "watching the damn thing on television" is
just false. But there were witnesses who did see what happened
to the plane.
happens to be a subject I know quite a bit about, having
written and produced a documentary called "TWA
800: The Search for the Truth," and written a number
of columns, including one commemorating
the tenth anniversary of the crash.
comments are both untrue and uninformed. Untrue in that
he wasn't watching it on television. No one was. It wasn't
on television. What flights are shown live on TV, especially
when they are at an altitude of some 13,000 feet, over
the ocean? Second of all, according to the FBI, more than
260 people, unrelated in any way, said they saw a missile-like
object streaking toward the plane before it exploded, and
of those, 92 said they saw it rise from the surface. That,
plus a vast array of additional evidence, make a compelling
case that TWA 800 was brought down by a missile. The National
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)/CIA theory that what
the people saw was burning fuel coming down from the aircraft
as it rose in the sky after the explosion is absurd and
defies physical laws.
O'Reilly's producer and sought a correction, at least on
the part about having seen the incident on TV. I sent him
a copy of my documentary. The response I got back was that
O'Reilly would have no comment.
was all the more ironic when a few nights later in his
opening talking points, regarding the coverage of the suspect
in the JonBenet Ramsey story, he said the following: "The
primary lesson is that we can no longer trust either officials
or the press to deliver accurate information." That should
apply to the case of TWA 800.
O'Reilly has the highest rated news/talk show on cable
is because he usually delivers entertaining and provocative
segments. He should be proud of that. And it is understandable
that he doesn't get goaded into responding to MSNBC's Keith
Olbermann, who has one of the lowest-rated cable news shows
on TV. But it is essential, if O'Reilly wants to be credible
as well as entertaining and provocative, to correct his
on average two million people watching his show every night,
and many of them may now believe that a missile couldn't
have hit TWA 800 because O'Reilly said so and witnessed
the whole thing on TV.
on, Bill. Just admit you got it wrong. CRO