College Students’ Arguments Gaining Attention

55

PHILLIP BANTZ
Sentinel Staff
2/8/2008

A local 9/11 truth organization founded by two Monadnock Region college students is gaining worldwide attention.

And the New Hampshire primary played a leading role in the accomplishments of Student Scholars for 9/11 Truth.

“We were able to get almost every presidential candidate on video describing their stances on the 9/11 Commission investigation,” said co-founder Justin A. Martell, a junior at Franklin Pierce University.

Martell and Keene State College junior Michael E. Jackman launched the organization in 2006.

The off-the-cuff video interviews with presidential hopefuls were posted on the Internet, and some have been viewed by more than 30,000 people worldwide, according to Martell.

“It’s gotten a lot of people motivated,” he said.

Martell is quick to stress that the student organization, with 80 members from schools in Canada to Japan, is more focused on the investigation into 9/11 than the possibility of controlled demolition.

“The Monadnock 9/11 Truth Alliance is quick to pull out the controlled demolition of the Twin Towers,” he said. “We’re not the controlled demolition movement, we’re the 9/11 truth movement. … There needs to be a new investigation into 9/11.”

After the attacks, Martell said he “rallied around” President Bush.

“And then evidence started to mount. There were no weapons of mass destruction and no ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida,” he said. “That’s when I realized the Bush administration was, at the very least, a bunch of liars.”

In the past two years, Jackman and other members of the student organization have gathered at Ground Zero for the anniversary of 9/11.

They handed out documentaries on DVD and T-shirts that read: Investigate 9/11.

“More often than not, people agree with us. They’re not rude,” Jackman said. “We have support from many of the people who lost loved ones during the attacks.”

Regardless of the support the students have been shown, overall public perception of conspiracy theorists has undermined the “truth movement,” Martell said.

He and Martell are trying to distance themselves from the bullhorn-toting activists in an attempt to earn credibility.

“The movement has done so much to shoot itself in the foot,” Martell said. “You can’t go out there and start shouting at people.”

So far, the polite approach seems to be working.

“At first there was a lot of animosity, but people have become more receptive of us,” Martell said. “We just got a new member from Yale the other day.”

Phillip Bantz can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1409, or pbantz@keenesentinel.com.

Source URL: http://www.sentinelsource.com/main.asp?SectionID=31&SubSectionID=37&ArticleID=178322

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