Times Square Billboard Calls for "Independent Investigation" of 9-11--and the People Speak

Image via ReThink911
It's always nice to be included.
The 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks came and went pretty quietly, with the usual somber memorials at the World Trade Center site and at the Pentagon. It was probably quieter than Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth) might have liked; it's a group dedicated to spreading the idea that the attacks were an inside job and the towers were felled in a controlled demolition. Perhaps you've heard of them.

A crucial piece of the group's theory revolves around the collapse of "Building 7," or 7 World Trade Center. On September 3, in part of a campaign they've dubbed ReThink911, AE911 and a related group, Remember Building 7, bought space on an enormous billboard near Times Square and took out an ad, one which reads, "Did you know a third tower fell on September 11?"

The groups bought similar billboards in Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco, Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Sydney, and London. But the Times Square ad was meant to be the centerpiece, the small flame that would, in their words, "spark a new investigation into the events of September 11, 2001." When that didn't happen, they launched an email campaign.

A little background, greatly condensed:

Rethink911.org's main feature is a five-minute video during which a succession of talking heads -- from architects to engineers to 9-11 conspiracy theorists to Ed Asner, who isn't a journalist but played one on TV -- address the "unanswered" questions about WTC Building 7, which collapsed with seeming suddenness at about 5:20 p.m. on the afternoon of September 11, 2001. The building had housed offices for the U.S. Secret Service and the Central Intelligence Agency.

What the video conspicuously does not mention is an exhaustive 2008 report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which concluded that a combination of intense fire and widespread structural damage brought down the building. Popular Mechanics has heavily covered the structural reasons behind the collapses of all three towers; the magazine, too, concluded that fire and physical damage were enough to take down the building. (The magazine has spent a lot of time disproving alternate theories of the September 11 attacks; that work eventually became a book, Debunking 9/11 Myths.)

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth has denounced the NIST report as fraudulent and insist the truth has yet to be revealed. Hence the billboard, which was originally paid for through September. On October 1, ReThink911 announced it had raised another $25,000 to keep it through the month.

Four days later, ReThink911 also launched "Media Blitz Week," designed to get the New York media's attention. From the website:

Join this media blitz campaign to tell the NYC media that there has been a giant ReThink911 billboard in Times Square since September 3rd. The 54-feet-tall billboard asks New Yorkers if they know a third tower fell on 9/11. A recent poll shows that, after 12 years, only 1 in 2 Americans know about the collapse of WTC Building 7. Mainstream media cannot and should not ignore this ─ but they have so far. With the participation of thousands of ReThink911 supporters like you, this can change.

The campaign targeted five publications: the New York Times, the Post, the Daily News, Newsday and the Voice.

"Two of the Village Voice's partner alternative weekly newspapers - the Dallas Observer and SF Weekly - already covered the ReThink911 campaign," the announcement read. "So there's a good chance the Village Voice will, too--if we send a loud enough message."

On Friday, we started getting the e-mails.

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