This event generated quite an uproar in the 9/11 Truth and civil liberties communities because of testimony by panelists conflating two very distinct and unconnected groups -- the 9/11 truth movement with jihadi terrorists. What generated the most buzz -- and condemnation -- was a powerpoint demonstration from Mark Weitzman of the Simon Weisenthal Center, whose powerpoint presentation titled "Internet: Incubator of 9/11 Conspiracies and Disinformation" showed a video of building 7 collapsing as well as a screenshot of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth's website in between websites which featured bomb-making techniques and a terrorist's training manual.
For anyone who has visited ae911truth.org you will see that Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth is as far from a terrorists' recruitment website as you can get. Just click on the "About Us" button and you will read this copy:
"We are a non-partisan association of Architects, Engineers, and affiliates, who are dedicated to exposing the falsehoods and to revealing truths about the 'collapses' of the WTC high-rises on 9/11/01.
We call upon Congress for a truly independent investigation with subpoena power. We believe that there may be sufficient evidence to conclude that the World Trade Center buildings #1 (North Tower), #2 (South Tower), and #7 (the 47 story high-rise across Vessey St.) were destroyed not by jet impact and fires but by controlled demolition with explosives.
We believe that this website, as well as the other referenced sites, contains the information necessary to demonstrate to all with an open mind that this is the case, and that such an investigation is warranted and overdue. We believe that the available relevant evidence casts grave doubt on the government's official story of these 'collapses'.
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth are encouraged to take an active role by reporting the results of their research on 9/11 by means of lectures, articles, and methods of disseminating the truth about the 9/11 WTC building 'collapses'."
Then there is a picture of Richard Gage, AIA, founder of AE 9/11 Truth and his professional biography.
So, What were they thinking? Why would more than 200 architects and engineers who are calling on Congress to hold an independent investigation as to what really happened to the Twin Towers and WTC Building 7 get associated with islamic extremists?
It has become painfully obvious that when Glenn Beck (a CNN host who recently said that Truthers were of the same ilk as Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh) and a Homeland Security subcommittee do a smear job on Truthers they are doing so not because they are violent, or because their ideas are helping to recruit terrorists, but because they are threatening to the whole "War on Terror" agenda -- an agenda foisted on us by the military industrial complex and their corporate sponsors.
Like in the Middle Ages, Beck and Harman are fulfilling the role of the Church's Inquisitors by persecuting and prosecuting those who do not willingly submit to the "War on Terror" religion, which demands that we accept Osama bin Laden and "Islamofascists" as the Devil incarnate, and George W. Bush and the State as our personal Savior. According to Beck and Harman, If you lack the faith, and can't quietly hold your tongue in your disbelief, then the state has no room for you in polite society. Off to Gitmo you go to get tortured and be redeemed by the fascist rod of righteousness.
So, we need to think of Harman's committee as nothing more than a modern day witch hunt -- a panicky attempt to shore up support for a crumbling corporatists' consensus.
We have seen these kinds of repressive tactics countless times before in history -- from the Espionage and Sedition Acts during WWI, to the McCarthy's Red Scare in the 50s, to Cointelpro in the 60s and 70s. But this time the stakes are much higher as there is no end to the War on Terror as you can't have war on an abstract idea. As long as people are being repressed and are fighting back to preserve their freedoms and lives, this state will call them "terrorists," thus, the perpetual rational to keep repressing people, thus constantly creating new terrorists, thus keeping the cycle going; i.e., the war that will not end in our lifetimes.
We need to see that these attacks on Truthers, or anyone else who threatens the status quo (like Ron Paul and his supporters) as nothing more than a battle of ideas -- ideas that have the ultimate power to shape the world we want to live in. It is imperative that We The People build this world and not a criminal elite who are driven solely by power and profits.
This demands that we must make a choice: either that we live as free people or we live as slaves to a corporatist's state that will demand our riches and our blood in perpetual war. There is only one choice to be made. The other will be made for you.
Though Jane Harman's Homeland Security Inquisition and the cable news attacks by Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly on Truthers are scary to many, they are also a good sign as well. The mythmakers are seeing their flimsy house cards fall apart by the rigorous logic and analysis on sites like AE911truth.org. As a consequence, Truthers are winning the battle over hearts and minds and, as a result, going through the final stages that Gandhi said will happen when challenging the status quo:
"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."
We are very close to winning.
For an excellent write up on this issue, see:
State Terror: H.R. 1955 a Weapon of Mass Destruction of Civil Liberties