Monday, March 5, 2007


Thierry Meyssan was president of the Paris-based Voltaire Network, a think tank “whose left-leaning research projects,” the Manchester Guardian reported, “have until now been considered models of reasonableness and objectivity.” [1] But after 9/11 he went off the deep end, and started publishing his controversial ideas about what happened on the internet just weeks after the attacks, and it was less than six months before the Pentagon attack formed the centerpiece of his early 2002 book 11 Septembre 2001: L’Effroyable Imposture (roughly “the Frightening Fraud” or “9/11: The Big Lie,” as it was later translated for the English edition). Meyssan’s basic point was well-summed up in an interview on France 2 television (“no plane crashed into the Pentagon […] I believe the government is lying”) [2] and at an April 2002 lecture (“if we only concentrate on the explosion of the Pentagon, we shall discover the ‘Big Lie’ that is the official story!”) [3]

For some reason this just never sounded right to me. I’ve never read his book, and hardly gave it a second thought until its ideas had spread so wide I felt I could ignore it no longer. Meyssan’s case, as mirrored by 911 IPS, Loose Change, et al, seems to have been the basic no-plane platform – the lawn is not scuffed up, there’s ‘no plane debris,’ only ‘one small hole’ in the Pentagon’s outer wall, the collapse of only the outer ring, etc. In the end analysis, the attack vehicle - if it existed - was too small to be an airliner. But as far as the NY attack, where everyone clearly saw both airliners, he seems to have argued that these were remote controlled drones. Again, no part besides scapegoat was afforded for any Arab terrorists, and any part of the official story that could realistically be denied was. Drones in NY, missile in VA.

Meyssan with his book, Paris, April 2002
The Frightening Fraud quickly became a bestseller in France, reportedly selling out its initial run of 20,000 copies within two hours of going on sale, and selling another 200,000 in the following weeks. [4] This evidenced a latent suspicions harbored in France, especially in its large Muslim community and the anti-Bush left, and many sales were to French-speakers overseas. The mainstream media and majority opinion there dismissed the book as stupid and full of flaws; indeed, looking closely at the way the attack looked to prove it was other than how it looked seems a troublesome approach. But it hit American news in February as a runaway French bestseller, evoking a curiously defensive backlash. In a muted precursor to the “Freedom Fries” episode, some Americans responded with disapproval and Francophobic boycotts.

Meyssan later expanded his thesis into a second book, “Pentagate,” but in the meantime, critical books and essays spawned by revulsion to his case were released, including The Big Liar: Some Facts about Thierry Meyssan, and The New Liars. Guillaume Dasquié swiped the very same name for The Big Lie: Theses and Nonsense about September 11. [5] A Pentagon spokesman, Glen Flood, described the book as “a slap in the face and real offence to the American people, particularly to the memory of victims of the attacks.” [6] As late as July 2005, Condi Rice’s State Department saw fit to publish on the Internet a lengthy rebuttal and refutation of the book, which continues to be fairly popular, if not in the U.S., than at least everywhere else. [7]

Early help came from Sheikh Zayed, President of the United Arab Emirates, through his “Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow Up.” In April 2002, the Center hosted a talk by Meyssan, and in July released an Arabic translation of his book. [8] This was reportedly handed out to some 5,000 leading Arab minds, and was boosted by the Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council. Many saw this as a concerted attempt by Arab elites to deflect blame from Islamic terrorists and to the US government (probably with Zionist-Mossad assistance. [9] The Zayed center was shut down in 2003 after a campaign lead by the ADL, and the Sheikh died the following year.

Meyssan has left his print as well on the decreasingly subtle new Cold War with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, where state-run TV reportedly ran a series of shows explaining Meyssan’s theories to the public there. [10] General Leonid Ivashov, who had been chairman of Russia’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on 9/11, felt free to speak his mind after retirement. In 2005 Ivashov spoke at the “Axis for Peace” conference in Brussels, chaired by Meyssan. Ivashov has since then argued that September 11 was an inside job engineered by the “Atlantists” (vaguely, the West); Western elites were “not satisfied with the rhythm of the globalization process or its direction,” so they turned to systematically using international terrorism as “an instrument, a means to install a unipolar world with a sole world headquarters, a pretext to erase national borders and to establish the rule of a new world elite. […] the organizers of [the 9/11] attacks were the political and business circles interested in destabilizing the [current] world order.” [11]

Thus the obvious primary drive behind the book’s spread could thus be seen as campaigns by various “anti-American” forces in France, Russia, the Arab world and beyond, using the book for their own nefarious ends. It could also be seen as a natural response to the questions and suspicions over 9/11, which was after all a questionable and suspicious event. It was partly both; the book was widely promoted and widely found by independent skeptics via the Internet. Meyssan’s use of the new medium included a visually based website run by Meyssan’s son called “Hunt the Boeing! And Test Your Perceptions!” The site offered further evidence, including extensive and highly curious photos of the crash site that most of the world had never before seen, with some interesting observations tainted with sloppy analysis and unwarranted leaps of logic.

[1] Henely, Jon. “US invented air attack on Pentagon, claims French book.” The Guardian. Monday April 1, 2002.,11209,677112,00.html
[2], [4], [6] “French lap up Pentagon crash 'fraud'” BBC News. April 2 2002.
[3 ]
[5], [8]. [9], [10] “9/11: The Big Lie.” Wikipedia. Last modified 10:12, 13 September 2006.
[7], United States of America State Department. Identifying misinformation. Thierry Meyssan: French Conspiracy Theorist Claims No Plane Hit Pentagon.” Created: 28 Jun 2005 Updated: 28 Jun 2005 Accessed November 5, 2005 at:
[11] Nimmo, Kurt. “Russian General: Nine Eleven a Globalist Inside Job.” Another Day in the Empire. Sunday January 22nd 2006, 6:28 pm

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