Mary Katharine Ham

Last night, I was headed home from the city around 9 p.m. I was driving over the 14th St. Bridge when I saw, on the other side of the Potomac, hundreds of fingers of light reaching for the sky. As I got closer, I saw they were coming from the center of the Pentagon.

I rounded the Pentagon on Washington Blvd. and saw an entire side of the building illuminated in blue, a giant American flag draped over the solid concrete wall of the nation’s military nerve center.

Flight 77 careened over that same road on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 moments before slamming into the Pentagon and taking the lives of 184 people. Last night, a beam of light shone for each of those victims, rising toward the moon on a clear September night.

Hani Hanjour, a 29-year-old Saudi, flew that plane into the Pentagon in a suicidal strike on the “Great Satan,” America , driven by a sick Islamofascist ideology.

But there are some who don’t believe that. There are some who call that the “official story.” They say they seek the “truth” about what really happened on 9/11. The “truth,” according to them, is that a sinister cabal of neocon politicians arranged for a missile to hit the Pentagon and for a controlled demolition to bring down the Twin Towers.

These neocons killed almost 3,000 Americans in a bid to increase both the power of the Bush administration and the willingness of American citizens to support military action in the Middle East, according to the conspiracy theorists. They subsequently covered it up with the “official story” of bin Laden and 19 hijackers, according to members of the “9/11 Truth Movement.”

The head of this tinfoil hat brigade is Dylan Avery, a 22-year-old conspiracy theorist who has parlayed his creative version of history into two very popular Internet films, “Loose Change” and “Loose Change 2nd Edition.”

Avery and his cohorts’ research, theories, and “evidence” are so laughable that it can be easy to laugh off the movement itself. That was my reaction to this crowd until I took the time to watch “Screw Loose Change,” this weekend. “Screw Loose Change” is an extensive, three-hour-long debunking of Avery’s claims, which allows you to view Avery’s film along with a powerful presentation of all the evidence he distorts and omits.

Until I watched it and really let the Avery crowd’s accusations sink in, my reaction to the 9/11 Truthers was to say, “wow, they’re crazy. Moving on.” But I shouldn’t have moved on. I should have stopped and looked at the Truthers and listened to them a lot sooner.

It’s important for those of us who know what took the lives of 3,000 Americans five years ago today—four commercial planes with full loads of jet fuel and passengers driven by 19 murderous maniacs—to understand that there is a disturbingly large and vocal segment of the American population that doesn’t believe that.

A recent Scripps poll found that more than a third of Americans believe 9/11 was an “inside job.”

Truthers are professors and Democrat candidates for Congress.

The Truthers believe the American government planned and carried out the carnage of Sept. 11 on its own people, and they’re determined to tell the rest of us all about it. Today, the “Loose Change” kids planned to be at Ground Zero handing out free DVDs. On their website, they offer a free DVD to anyone who lost someone in the 9/11 attacks, and proclaim it everyone’s “duty” to watch the film.

I’m sure the relatives of the victims Avery mocks with his “theories” appreciate that.

Among Avery’s tributes to those victims is the part of the film where he alleges that Mark Bingham, a Flight 93 passenger, never talked to his mother from the plane that day, despite the fact that there’s a recording of the call. He alleges that the phone calls that came from the plane that day were somehow created by voice simulators, possibly with the collusion of the Flight 93 passengers.

He alleges that Flight 93 never crashed in Pennsylvania, but landed in Ohio. We are left to wonder just what the dastardly government did with the passengers on that plane if they were on the ground safely in Ohio on the morning of Sept. 11.

In a radio clip promoting “Loose Change,” Avery laughs at the “official story” about men with boxcutters and knives being capable of taking over a plane. He also alleges that Bernard Brown, a Pentagon employee, put his 11-year-old son on Flight 77 that morning knowing that it was destined to take him to his death while he took the day off to go golfing as the carnage unfolded.

Take some time to watch “Screw Loose Change.” It is long, but it’s worth it to truly understand the dangerous deniers we’re facing in our own country. Read the “Screw Loose Change” blog and Popular Mechanics’ book, “Debunking 9/11 Myths.”

But you might want to hold off until tomorrow. On this day, it will make you too angry.

"I think what happened to the World Trade Center is simple enough. It was brought down in a carefully planned, controlled demolition. It was a psychological attack on the American people, and it was pulled off with military precision." – “Loose Change 2nd Edition”

Be prepared with the actual truth when you meet up with one of these guys.

Mary Katharine Ham

Mary Katharine Ham is editor-at-large of, a contributor to Townhall Magazine.

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