Conspiracy on conspiracy
I suppose it had to happen. First we’re accused of being spies. Then we’re told we’re getting our orders from others.
But then came an even more outlandish conspiracy theory suggesting there were two versions of the 9/11 programme which was broadcast last Sunday. Conspiracy piles on conspiracy.
Ian Crane, Chairman of the 9/11 Truth Campaign for the UK and Ireland, claimed last Friday that a source had told him that we were in a “in a quandary over which version of 9/11: The Conspiracy Files will be put out to air”.
He alleged: ”One version is a well-balanced piece of investigative journalism, whereas the alternative version is a hit-piece, intent on portraying 9/11 Truth Campaigners as nothing more than a lunatic fringe group.”
And the story was picked up on the Alex Jones’ website Prison Planet with the headline “BBC Pressured to Air 9/11 Hit Piece?”
Only trouble is there weren’t two versions, no-one bothered to check with us and, what's more, we worked very hard to make sure the programme was fair and balanced.
Behind it all there seems to be a concern that we wouldn’t run a story supporting a conspiracy theory if we found convincing evidence. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
First, there was no editorial interference in the programme whatsoever. Second, if we had found convincing evidence of a conspiracy before 9/11 no one could have held us back from broadcasting such an important story.
We didn’t find anything conclusive proving the conspiracy theories. Instead we found a lot of evidence which supported the official version and contradicted the various conspiracy theories.
Where there was some evidence of a conspiracy after the event to cover-up intelligence failures, we included that in the programme, together with an interview with Senator Bob Graham, who co-chaired a Congressional Inquiry into 9/11.
I know the 9/11 Truth Campaign in the UK and Prison Planet in the USA, among others, are encouraging their supporters to write in. And it’s great to see so many comments on the blog. They make fascinating reading and contain a lot of interesting information.
However, our opinion poll carried out by GfK NOP did not find much support for the underlying conspiracy theory. In a telephone poll of a 1000 adults we asked:
“Attacks were made on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon on September 11th 2001, commonly known as 9/11. It is generally accepted that these attacks were carried out by ’Al Qaeda’, however some people have suggested there was a wider conspiracy that included the American Government. Do you, yourself, believe that there was a wider conspiracy, or not?”
16% people believed the American Government was involved in a wider conspiracy as against 64% of those questioned who did not believe that. The rest said they did not know.
In fact our opinion poll found much more widespread doubts of the official accounts of the deaths of Princess Diana and the British Government scientist Dr David Kelly. Almost one in three (31%) people questioned believed the car crash that killed Princess Diana was not an accident, 43% agreed it was an accident, and the rest did not know. Almost one in four (23%) people questioned believed the government scientist Dr Kelly did not commit suicide as against 39% who believed he did commit suicide, with the rest unsure.
And this Sunday, The Conspiracy Files series will examine the many questions that surround the death of Dr David Kelly and reveals new material that challenges the official account of his death.