'9/11: Press for Truth' challenges government's version of events


By J.A. Montalbano
Friday, March 30, 2007

A year ago, the polling group Zogby asked Americans whether the government is "covering up" the true events of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Forty-two percent said yes.

Movies challenging the official version of events can be found all over the Internet. One of them, "9/11: Press for Truth," will play this weekend at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. The film adapts the exhaustive 9/11 timeline assembled by Paul Thompson, a graduate of Stanford University. It also talks to victims' relatives who have been at odds with the Bush administration.

Colin Donoghue, a recent political science graduate from the University of New Mexico, pushed for the screening in Albuquerque.

Donoghue said he didn't get interested in the theories that challenge the official reports until about a year ago.

"Initially, I didn't think that much about the official story," he said. "In fact, a friend of mine at the time (of the attacks) said he thought George Bush was in on it. I kind of rolled my eyes at him. I didn't think there was anything to it."

Then he read David Ray Griffin's "The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11" and Griffin's follow-up, "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions."

"I became concerned that the official story didn't hold up to the facts," Donoghue said.

Government detractors suggest the media have failed to adequately report information that contradicts the official version of events, including:
  • Whether the World Trade Center towers were brought down by demolition explosives.
  • Whether a plane actually hit the Pentagon.
  • Whether key government officials knew about the attacks in advance.
  • Whether the cell phone calls from flight United 93 were real.

A year ago, Donoghue said, he met Thompson, author of "The Complete 9/11 Timeline," at a screening for "Press for Truth" in Palo Alto, Calif. Donoghue brought the movie to the attention of Keif Henley at the Guild Cinema, which features nonfiction films outside the mainstream in semimonthly weekend matinees.

"He thought `Press for Truth' would be the best to showcase," Donoghue said of Henley. "I think it is the most professional and least sensational of the movies."

"I felt like it was time to show a documentary about 9/11," Henley said. "I know we'll get some e-mails from people mad at us and calling us conspiracy nuts."

Last weekend the Guild screened "American Blackout," which dealt with Bush administration detractor Cynthia McKinney, a Georgia Democrat. In December, the Guild's weekend matinee was "America: From Freedom to Fascism."

"Press for Truth" fits in with the art house's track record, Henley said.

"This is in keeping with the philosophy that alternative points of view should be expressed, whether we agree with them or not," he said. "This movie has raised a lot of interesting questions."

Donoghue said "Press for Truth" backs up its claims with mainstream journalism reports and shows the point of view of the family members of victims.

"It's not just people on the outside who want the investigation open," he said, "but family members of victims, too."

Donoghue said he has worked as an intern with the Drug Policy Alliance since his graduation. He has turned into a sharp critic of the media.

"9/11 is an indication that we do have a problem with the mass media, because so much evidence is being ignored and not given the debate and discussion it deserves," he said.

And he has a response to those who say he's just chasing conspiracy theories.

"The more I learn, the more I realize that the official story is the bigger conspiracy itself."