David Ray Griffin is a retired professor
of philosophy of religion and theology.
"Until the spring of 2003, I had not looked at any of the evidence. I was vaguely aware there were people, at least on the internet, who were offering evidence against the official account of 9/11... I knew the US government had 'fabricated' evidence to go to war several times before. Neverless... I did not take this possibility seriously... I was so confident that they must be wrong." — David Ray Griffin
David Ray Griffin (born 1939) is a retired American professor of philosophy of religion and theology. Along with John B. Cobb, Jr., he founded the Center for Process Studies in 1973, a research center of Claremont School of Theology which seeks to promote the common good by means of the relational approach found in process thought.
More recently, Griffin has published a number of books on the subject of the September 11 attacks, suggesting that there was a conspiracy involving some elements of the United States government.
Statements and publications on the September 11 attacks
Following the September 11 attacks, David Ray Griffin moved his focus from questions of philosophy and religion to ones of politics and history, specifically American expansionism and imperialism. He intended to write a book on the subject, presenting 9/11 in terms of "blowback" for aggressive United States foreign policies of the 20th century:
"Until the spring of 2003, I had not looked at any of the evidence. I was vaguely aware there were people, at least on the internet, who were offering evidence against the official account of 9/11... I knew the US government had 'fabricated' evidence to go to war several times before. Nevertheless... I did not take this possibility seriously... I was so confident that they must be wrong."
After reading the work of Paul Thompson and Nafeez Ahmed, he became convinced that there was a prima facie case for the contention that there must have been complicity from individuals within the United States, and joined the 9/11 Truth Movement in calling for an extensive investigation from the United States media, Congress and the 9/11 Commission. At this time, he set about writing his first book on the subject, which he called The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11 (2004).
Part One of the book looks at the events of 9/11, discussing each flight in turn and also the behaviour of President George W. Bush and his Secret Service protection. Part Two examines 9/11 in a wider context, in the form of four "disturbing questions". David Ray Griffin discussed this book and the claims within it in an interview with Nick Welsh, reported under the headline Thinking Unthinkable Thoughts: Theologian Charges White House Complicity in 9/11 Attack.
Critics of Griffin's thesis, such as Chip Berlet, say that many of the claims in the book are refutable. Griffin has rejected these criticisms and debated Berlet.
Griffin's second book on the subject was a direct critique of the 9/11 Commission Report, called The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions And Distortions (2005). Griffin's article The 9/11 Commission Report: A 571-page Lie summarises this book, presenting 115 instances of either omissions or distortions of evidence he claims are in the report, stating that "the entire Report is constructed in support of one big lie: that the official story about 9/11 is true."
In his next book, Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action (2006), he summarizes some of what he believes is evidence for government complicity and reflects on its implications for Christians. The Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, publishers of the book, noted that Griffin is a distinguished theologian, and praised the book’s religious content, but said, "The board believes the conspiracy theory is spurious and based on questionable research."
In 2006, Griffin, along with Peter Dale Scott, edited 9/11 and the American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out, a collection of essays including Steven Jones' paper Why Indeed Did The World Trade Center Towers Collapse?. Debunking 9/11 Debunking (2007) looks at the way mainstream media such as Popular Mechanics have sought to debunk the alternative 9/11 theories and the tactics he claims they employ to persuade the reader that they have done so. In 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press (2008) he presents chapters on 25 alleged contradictions involving elements of the "accepted story" of 9/11, and calls for Congress and the press to investigate and resolve them.
David Ray Griffin has delivered several lectures that are popular within the 9/11 Truth Movement, and has given interviews on alternative media shows such as The Alex Jones Show. A lecture entitled 9/11 and American Empire: How should religious people respond?, delivered on April 18, 2005 at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, was aired by C-SPAN. At the end of one of his lectures, 9/11: The Myth and the Reality, Griffin was asked why a theologian would take such an interest in 9/11, to which he replied: "If 9/11 is not a religious issue, then I don't know what is."
In a review published in the magazine The Nation, former Central Intelligence Agency agent Robert Baer dismissed the gist of Griffin's writings as one in a long line of conspiracy theories about national tragedies, but stated that the Bush administration had created a climate of secrecy and mistrust that helped generate such explanations. He later said:
"Until we get a complete, honest, transparent investigation—not one based on 'confession' extracted by torture—we will never know what happened on 9/11. David Griffin will never let this go until we get the truth."