Cantwell Snubs 9/11 Truthers

Local conspiracists are upset that their senator won't hear them out.

In February 2010, 101 months after Sept. 11, 2001, Jeff Rische, director of the Seattle branch of the fringe 9/11 "Truther" group, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, started sending requests to Sen. Maria Cantwell demanding that a new Senate inquiry be opened into the events of that day. Now he can't believe he's not getting his phone calls returned. Rische says he gave a "full presentation of the facts" to Sen. Cantwell's staff back in February; that one of her staffers said "Wow, this is fascinating" and told him he'd give the news straight to the Senator; and that Rische should expect a call back soon. Since then, he's besieged Cantwell's office with calls and e-mails, and is at a loss as to why he hasn't heard back. He's now sending information to media outlets everywhere trying to drum up some news (we bit). "I'm very, very, very surprised and shocked that she's so far refusing to to return my calls and e-mails," says Rische. "I thought that providing information to my Senator would be enough that she would say 'OK, you're right, this is worth looking into.' We first gave this to her in February. What's a reasonable amount of wait time?" (Sen. Cantwell was not available for comment.) The 9/11 Truth movement is certainly nothing new. Their arguments about why the official explanation of what happened on Sept. 11 doesn't add up are too numerous to list here. What seems striking in this case, however, is Rische's surprise that he's not gaining traction with Cantwell. Obviously, if the Senator said, "Yes, activist group that's been denounced by nearly everyone in mainstream political and scientific thought—you're right, this whole 9/11 thing is super-fishy. I'm going to push for a new investigation," it would be big political news. It would also likely cost Cantwell her career. So the fact that she's not too eager to jump on board with Rische and Co. isn't that surprising. But such is the road for the passionate, but thus far largely discredited, conspiracy theorist. Until Truthers cease to be thought of as part of the "lunatic fringe" and gain a whole lot more mainstream credibility than they have now, folks like Rische are going to continue to have trouble getting U.S. Senators on the phone.

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