9/11 Theorists Engage in a "Sirius" Debate
Some Serious Debate on the "R U Sirius Show" or Conspiracy Theories
September 10, 2006 7:41 PM
In the dimly lit confines of the Off Market Theater at 965 Mission St., a small audience of men and women assembled Sunday to watch a live debate titled “9/11: Considering ALL the Claims,” aired via podcast by the RU Sirius Show.
Hosted by RU Sirius, a write-in presidential candidate for the 2000 elections, the show was meant to explore the conspiracy theories surrounding September 11 on the eve of its fifth anniversary. The panelists included Joel Schalit, managing editor of Tikkun magazine, and Fred Burks, Web site manager of wanttoknow.info.
While Schalit was slated as the non-believer in 9/11 conspiracies, it became clear that he and Burks actually shared parallel political views, which only diverged at the point of agreeing upon the importance of considering the theories. As a result, the debate shifted to discuss not so much recent claims that September 11 was an inside job, but rather the productivity in entertaining such suspicions.
“At a time when Americans should be reflecting on their responsibility for acting as history’s most destructive world power, we sit here debating whether the U.S. government fired missiles at its own institutions,” Schalit said.
Burks, on the other hand, insisted on the validity of questioning the United States’ role in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Instead of providing outlandish theories based on circumstantial evidence, Burks raised thought provoking points, often encouraging audience members to fact check his arguments against mainstream media reports and U.S. government Web sites.
“It is not my intention to get people in fear and in anger and rage, because I really don’t think that serves anyone. And when we move from a place of passion about transforming our world into a better place is when we’re going to really see some differences,” Burks said.
The debate kept its small audience of 28 people on the edge of their seats, often laughing or shifting uncomfortably in response to the two panelists’ comments.
“I thought it was very interesting,” said Marine Champsaur, 23. “It shed light on new things for me.”
While Champsaur was not fully convinced of either speaker’s argument, she felt that Burks had given her enough confidence and reason to check the facts herself.
“It definitely opened my mind to looking into it,” she said.
For Sirius, this is a serious success.
Sirius feels strongly that this debate provided an opportunity for individuals from each “camp” to reach people they would otherwise not have had a chance to communicate with.
Besides, with all the media attention that is honing in on 9/11 theories and memorials, it is “that time of year” for such communication, Sirius said.
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