ERIN KEEFFE/Herald photo

A speaker accused the Bush Administration of orchestrating the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in front of C-SPAN cameras, University of Wisconsin students and Madison community members at Bascom Hall Monday night.

David Griffin, the author of several books including, “The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11,” said the collapse of the World Trade Center must have been the result of a controlled demolition caused by thousands of explosives placed throughout both buildings.

“High-rise steel frame buildings have never been caused to collapse by fire,” Griffin said.

According to Griffin, the straight-down collapse at “virtually free-fall speed” of the twin towers, coupled with “virtually all of the concrete pulverized into a very fine dust,” indicate a controlled demolition.

Griffin said an examination of the steel would reveal the presence of powerful, precisely placed explosives had it not been immediately shipped to Asia and melted down.

“No foreign terrorists could have obtained the kind of access to the buildings this would have required,” Griffin said.

Considering the United States has the best radar systems in the world, Griffin said the official story that American Airlines Flight 77 flew undetected towards the Pentagon for 30-40 minutes “is absurd.”

Griffin questioned whether a military aircraft crashed into the Pentagon as opposed to Flight 77, because he said a non-military aircraft should have been automatically shot down upon entering Pentagon airspace.

According to Griffin, the FBI confiscated video footage at the Pentagon “minutes after the attack” and has subsequently refused to release them.

Griffin additionally inferred United States knew of the attacks in an analysis of the behavior of the Secret Service in Florida on the morning of 9/11.

“Bush’s location had been highly publicized, and if the attacks were a complete surprise, executed solely by foreign terrorists, the secret service agents would have no idea how many planes had been hijacked,” Griffin said. “They would have had to assume that the president himself might be the target of one of the attacks.”

Griffin said if the secret service truly knew nothing of the attacks, they would have made precautions against a hijacked airplane crashing into the Florida elementary school, killing the President.

However, UW journalism professor James Danky said he is skeptical of Griffin’s 9/11 conspiracy theories, attributing some of the mistakes in preventing the attacks to “bureaucratic bungling.”

Danky said he does not believe the Bush Administration played a role in deliberately allowing or causing 9/11 to occur, adding “the people who know an awful lot more about it than I or Griffin … have come to the same conclusion.”

UW freshman Benjamin Jones also doubted Griffin’s analysis of the World Trade Center collapse, describing it as “ridiculous.”

“It wasn’t just a fire [that] started [the collapse],” Jones said. “One of the biggest airplanes in the world hit the building at top speed.”

Despite the criticism, much of the audience appeared sympathetic to Griffin, rewarding him with a standing ovation at the conclusion of the lecture.