Monthly Archives: February 2011

Critique of David Ray Griffin’s 9/11 Fake Calls Theory by Erik Larson

Beginning with his book New Pearl Harbor (2004) David Ray Griffin raised questions concerning the veracity of reports of phone calls from the 9/11 hijacked airliners, specifically, Ted Olson’s account. Since at least 2006, he has promoted a theory that the 9/11 plane passenger phone calls were faked, and has speculated this was done with ‘voice-morphing’ technology. He’s done this in many different articles, in books, in speaking appearances, in interviews on radio and television, and in a debate with Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine. In his 1/12/10 essay, Phone Calls from the 9/11 Airliners: Response to Questions Evoked by My Fifth Estate Interview, David Ray Griffin gives the most comprehensive overview of this theory to date, as well as a response to critics, which include people who support a new 9/11 investigation. A Professor Emeritus and skilled rhetorician, Griffin makes a case that is seemingly compelling. However, as I show in this essay, there is no actual evidence the phone calls were faked, while there is a substantial body of evidence demonstrating the calls were not only possible, but did happen. There are many credible reasons to doubt the official 9/11 story and support a full investigation, but the cause of compelling a new 9/11 investigation is undermined by the promotion of theories that are flawed, and not based on hard evidence. In addition, the claim that the phone calls were faked is obviously offensive to those family members who spoke with passengers before they died, and it has the potential to drive a wedge between truth and justice activists and potential allies among the family members, many of whom support a full investigation.

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