9/11: You Weren’t Stupid, Mr. Brown! CNN’s brief shining moment on September 11, 2001

Graeme MacQueen

Aaron Brown, news anchor during most of CNN’s coverage on September 11, 2001, was interviewed on the 15th anniversary of the event. He said in that interview that he had felt “profoundly stupid” when he was reporting the destruction of the first Tower (the South Tower) on that morning.

I…I will tell you…that a million things had been running through my mind about what might happen. About the effect of a jet plane hitting people above where the impact was, what might be going on in those buildings. And it just never occurred to me that they’d come down. And I thought…it’s the only time I thought, maybe you just don’t have what it takes to do a story like this. Because it just had never occurred to me.” (CNN, Sept. 11, 2016, interviewer Brian Stelter)

Is it not remarkable that Brown was made to feel stupid, and to feel inadequate as a news anchor, during the precise moments of his coverage of that day when his senses and his mind were fully engaged and on the right track?

Shortly after 9:59 a.m. Brown had been standing on a roof in New York City about 30 blocks from the World Trade Center. He was looking directly at the South Tower as it was destroyed. He was not just a journalist and not just a news anchor: he was an eyewitness.

He immediately interrupted a journalist who was reporting live about the Pentagon:

Wow! Jamie. Jamie, I need you to stop for a second. There has just been a huge explosion…we can see a billowing smoke rising…and I can’t…I’ll tell you that I can’t see that second Tower. But there was a cascade of sparks and fire and now this…it looks almost like a mushroom cloud, explosion, this huge, billowing smoke in the second Tower…” (9:59:07 a.m.)

Having reported honestly what he saw with his own eyes, Brown next did exactly what he should have done as a responsible news anchor. He let his audience know that while he did not know what had happened it was clear that there were two hypotheses in play, the explosion hypothesis and the structural failure hypothesis. And then he went to his reporters on the scene, as well as to authorities, to try and sort out which hypothesis was correct.

Here are examples of his setting forth—after the first building was destroyed and again after the second was destroyed—the rival hypotheses:

and then just in the last several minutes there has been a second explosion or, at least, perhaps not an explosion, perhaps part of the building simply collapsed. And that’s what we saw and that’s what we’re looking at.” (10:03:47)

This is just a few minutes ago…we don’t know if…something happened, another explosion, or if the building was so weakened…it just collapsed.” (10:04:36 a.m.)

we believe now that we can say that both, that portions of both Towers of the World Trade Centre, have collapsed. Whether there were second explosions, that is to say, explosions other than the planes hitting them, that caused this to happen we cannot tell you.” (10:29:21 a.m.)

Our reporters in the area say they heard loud noises when that happened. It is unclear to them and to us whether those were explosions going on in the building or if that was simply the sound of the collapse of the buildings as they collapsed, making these huge noises as they came down.” (11:17:45 a.m.)

Brown’s honest reporting of his perceptions was balanced repeatedly by his caution. Here is an example:

it almost looks…it almost looks like one of those implosions of buildings that you see except there is nothing controlled about this…this is devastation.” (10:53:10 a.m.)

His next move, having set forth the two hypotheses, was to ask his reporters on the scene, who were choking on pulverized debris and witnessing gruesome scenes, what they perceived.

Reporter Brian Palmer said honestly that he was not in a position to resolve the issue.

Brown: Was there…Brian, did it sound like there was an explosion before the second collapse, or was the noise the collapse itself?” (10:41:08 a.m.)

Palmer: “Well, from our distance…I was not able to distinguish between an explosion and the collapse. We were several hundred yards away. But we clearly saw the building come down. I heard your report of a fourth explosion: I can’t confirm that. But we heard some “boom” and then the building fold in on itself.”

Two others were more definite about what they perceived.

Brown: Rose, whadya got? (10:29:43 a.m.)

Rose Arce: I’m about a block away. And there were several people that were hanging out the windows right below where the plane crashed, when suddenly you saw the top of the building start to shake, and people began leaping from the windows in the north side of the building. You saw two people at first plummet and then a third one, and then the entire top of the building just blew up…

Brown: Who do we have on the phone, guys? Just help me out here. Patty, are you there? (10:57:51 a.m.)

Patty: Yes, I am here.

Brown: Whaddya got?

Patty: About an hour ago I was on the corner of Broadway and Park Place—that’s about a thousand yards from the World Trade Center—when the first Tower collapsed. It was a massive explosion. At the time the police were trying desperately to evacuate people from the area. When that explosion occurred it was like a scene out of a horror film.

As can be seen, the explosion hypothesis was flourishing. Even the news caption at the bottom of the screen shortly after the destruction of the South Tower (10:03:12 a.m.) is striking to read today:


After checking with his reporters, Brown continued to explore his hypotheses, this time by consulting authorities. This was where he was led astray. “Authorities” are less securely tied to evidence than witnesses and may, in fact, be implicated in high level deception.

First Brown consulted a political authority. He got the Mayor of New York City on the line.

Brown: Sir, do you believe that…was there another set of explosions that caused the buildings to collapse, or was it the structural damage caused by the planes?” (12:31:45 p.m.)

Giuliani: I don’t, I don’t know, I, uh, I, uh…I, I saw the first collapse and heard the second ‘cause I was in a building when the second took place. I think it was structural but I cannot be sure.”

Later in the afternoon Giuliani got his script right and was more definite in ruling out explosions. But, of course, Giuliani had no right to pronounce on the science of building destruction. Brown should have persisted in his questioning.

Finally, Brown brought in an engineer, Jim DeStefano–associated, we were told, with the National Council of Structural Engineers. DeStefano’s brief comments put an end to Brown’s explosion hypothesis and rendered CNN’s news coverage safe for public consumption.

Brown: Jim De Stefano is a structural engineer. He knows about big buildings and what happens in these sort of catastrophic moments. He joins us from Deerfield, Connecticut on the phone. Jim, the plane hits…what…and I hope this isn’t a terribly oversimplified question, but what happens to the building itself? (04:20:45 p.m.)

DeStefano: …It’s a tremendous impact that’s applied to the building when a collision like this occurs. And it’s clear that that impact was sufficient to do damage to the columns and the bracing system supporting the building. That coupled with the fire raging and the high temperatures softening the structural steel then precipitated a destabilization of the columns and clearly the columns buckled at the lower floors causing the building to collapse.

I am not in a position to call DeStefano a fake or to claim he was reading from a script given to him by others, but I am prepared to say he was extremely irresponsible. He did not say “here is one hypothesis.” He said, in effect, “this is what happened.” He was in no position to make this claim. There had been no photographic or video analysis of the building destruction, no analysis of the remains of the WTC, no cataloguing of eyewitnesses, nor any of the other methods of evidence gathering. He was shooting in the dark. He was silencing a journalist who was sincerely trying to discover the truth. As we have known for years now, DeStefano not only could have been wrong: he was wrong.*

And let us remember that the entire War on Terror, with its suffering and oppression, has depended on this false structural failure hypothesis. No structural failure hypothesis, no guilty Muslim fanatics. No guilty Muslim fanatics, no War on Terror.

Some readers will feel I am too generous with Brown and with CNN. But I am not interested in portraying them as broadly “dissident” or as on the political Left. I am simply interested in calling things as I see them and giving credit where credit is due. Anyone who wants a contrast to Brown’s performance is free to watch the work of Fox News anchor, Jon Scott, on September 11, 2001. The same confidence that allowed him to name Bin Laden as a suspect 42 seconds after the impact of the second plane allowed him to proclaim the structural failure hypothesis directly after the destruction of the South Tower. He persisted even when his reporters in the field clearly spoke of explosions.

David Lee Miller reported:

we heard a very loud blast, an explosion. We looked up, and the building literally began to collapse before us…” (10:01:17 a.m.)

Rick Leventhal said:

The FBI is here, as you can see. They had roped this area off. They were taking photographs and securing this area just prior to that huge explosion that we all heard and felt.” (10:06:39 a.m.)

News anchor Scott was troubled by none of this. He overrode, silenced and patronized Fox reporters. At no point did he even acknowledge the existence of a second reasonable hypothesis for the Trade Center destruction.

Of course, it is true that by the end of the day of September 11, 2001 CNN and Fox were singing from the same hymnbook. But I believe we ought to acknowledge Brown’s brief, shining moment and consider what might happen if journalists found their courage and trusted their senses and their minds.


Same-day coverage by CNN and Fox for September 11, 2001 has been sporadically available on the Internet. My notes are from my own previously downloaded files. Times should be accurate to within two seconds.


*Many works have appeared over the years refuting the account of the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). But special note should be taken of two sources:

Ted Walter, Beyond Misinformation: What Science Says About the Destruction of World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2, and 7. Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, 2015.


Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, First Amended Grand Jury Petition, filed July 30, 2018 at the office of the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, N.Y.


In addition, a recent academic report on the related destruction of World Trade Center 7 destroys whatever confidence we might have in NIST’s accounts:

J. L. Hulsey, et al, A Structural Reevaluation of the Collapse of World Trade Center 7 (draft), University of Alaska Fairbanks, Sept. 2019.


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marvin sandnes

And now we know 1,700 bodies fragmented into 22,000 pieces, and spread over 1/4 sq mi. 1,000 souls complete gone, vaporized, without a trace of DNA after the rubble is sifted 3 times by the FBI. What would account for the vaporization of 75 tons of human flesh = 50 tons of water, in 11 seconds!

Colin doran
Colin doran

Quote Graeme McQueen
“And let us remember that the entire War on Terror, with its suffering and oppression, has depended on this false structural failure hypothesis. No structural failure hypothesis, no guilty Muslim fanatics. No guilty Muslim fanatics, no War on Terror.”

Buildings held up by rhetorical righteous moral indignation. How dare you suggest there was structural failure! Don’t you care about the people who suffered and died in the War on Terror? Don’t you care about justice?

Colin doran
Colin doran

You weren’t stupid Mr. Brown. Graeme McQueen on the other hand, is. What a foolish irrational load of bunk this article is.

Petra Liverani

I wonder what readers make of the media snippets below that you can hear in the excellent music videos made by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth whose logo, interestingly, contains a plane.

Any struggles making sense of them I can offer explanation on the page, They Tell Us Clearly, on my website, which you can access by clicking my icon but perhaps you can make perfect sense of them without it.

Dan Rather, CBS News Anchor asks Jerome Hauer, WTC Security Contractor about the cause of collapse of the twin towers:

“Is it possible that just a plane crash could have collapsed these buildings? Or would it have required the prior positioning of other explosives in the building? What do you think?”
“No my sense is just the velocity of the plane and the fact that you have a plane filled with fuel hitting that building and I think it was simply the planes hitting the buildings and causing the collapse.”

Conversation between Brian Williams, MSNBC News Anchor and David Restuccio, FDNY EMS Lieutenant about WTC-7, the third building to collapse at the WTC on 9/11, after its collapse:

“Can you confirm that it was No 7 that just went in?” [“Went in” is a term used in controlled demolition that comes from the fact that the buildings fall in on themselves.]
“Yes, sir.”
“And you guys knew this was comin’ all day.”
“We had heard reports that the building was unstable and that eventually it would either come down on its own or it would be taken down.”

Dan Rather reporting on the collapse of WTC-7:

“For the third time today, it’s reminiscent of those pictures we’ve all seen too much of on television, where a building was deliberately destroyed by well-placed dynamite to knock it down.”


I saw a documentary last night on Ch5 that claimed a scientist has done the math and the sheer weight from above would have been enough to collapse the buildings. He also claimed the ‘explosions’ were essentially, the aluminium body of the plane in liquified state coming into contact with water from the sprinkler system….Hey ho, everything explained. Except they didn’t even mention building 7.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Alles Klar: so, now the sprinkler system was working … 🙂

Daniel Rich
Daniel Rich

Here’s all you ever need to know about the fraud that is 9/11.

The BBC declares WTC 7 has collapsed 20 minutes before it actually happens @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZqP8moItcc

Colin doran
Colin doran

What? You mean the BBC made a mistake? I thought they were infallible. I mean how could there possibly be a mistaken report on a day like 9/11 in a city devastated by collapsed buildings and thousands of people killed? It just couldn’t happen….

Daniel Rich
Daniel Rich

@ Colin doran,

Same like indestructible passports that work their way through a building to land unscathed at the other side of it…

In la-la-land up is down and what’s wrong is very right.


Fact – the WTC’s were “shown” to eat the “missing” aeroplanes — Whole !!!



‘Fact – the WTC’s were “shown” to eat the “missing” aeroplanes — Whole !!!’

flaxgirl has already exercised that hypothetical “fact”, in the form of a shaving premise (though she has it that one of the aeroplanes “seemed” to “melt” into the building concerned). However, like you, she gives no reference to the videos or film clips concerned.


hello Robin, this hypothetical fact – i’m confused – did you “see” it differently to the rest of us ? – such as, any of the wings fall of on impact…etc, you gave no reference.


So tell us, Judy……er Doctortrinate, what were those images? Let me guess! CGI!!!!!!

Most aren’t that crushingly stupid.

Did I just embrace the official narrative that the impact of the planes (“hijacked” or otherwise hijacked by remote control) and resulting explosion and fire caused the buildings to collapse?

No I did not.


If you bother to try comprehending my post you will see that the only reference I need to give is to “flaxgirl”, who–as I posted–ventured the hypothetical “fact” concerned as a premise and whom I referenced in the post’s first word. In case that didn’t ring your bell and you don’t know where to start, she answers to that name when you Google her, or to her legal name “Petra Liverani”, which she appears to have since started using in this forum, and maybe others as well. I suggest you direct your question to her. Good luck. I’d take the stairs on the way out if I were you–the lift often stops between floors with a jerk.



a.k.a. Petra Liverani


Enter the CGI distraction. Judy Wood, is that you?


The Central Intelligence Agency planned the WTC destruction & Controlled Demolition well in advance of their actual detonation of the buildings via remote control of the planted explosives & USA Military Grade Nanothermite method of cutting all the support beams that were made of low carbon steel. Photographic evidence can still be found on Google.

George W. Bush is a mass murderer that was put in place pre-911 via wholly suspicious vote counts in Florida where he actually lost the vote.

Media & punditry should just call a spade a spade and write that the CIA cooked this up as a false flag to usurp voter authority and usher in a police state that will line the pockets & feather their collective nests much better than the democratic process would.

George W. Bush & the Neocons are public enemy #1.


Michael McNulty
Michael McNulty

I think because 9/11 was in the pipeline the Republicans had Clinton impeached in an attempt to ruin the Democrat chances in November 2000. They needed to be in the White House to turn back the jet fighters on the day, but more importantly the security agencies under a Gore White House would have uncovered the treasonous plot. When they failed to stop the Democrats and Gore won they actually had to go in and steal it which they were able to do in Florida. Otherwise they’d have all faced capital treason charges.


Do we think this divides along party lines? The evidence doesn’t suggest it

richard wicks
richard wicks

I do. The party lines however is “us” versus “the mafia that runs the government”.

richard wicks
richard wicks

I don’t think Clinton was independent of it. The Bush/Clinton crime family is a well known rumor. Rumor is that Clinton was helping run drugs during Iran/Contra with the cover of George W. Bush who was ex-CIA director.

Considering that Hillary Clinton voted for the “Authorization to Use Force in Iraq”, I don’t think there’s a significant difference between them. Clinton also was the driving force in destroying Libya. She’s a Neocon with a ‘D’ at the end of her name on the ballot. Electing her in 2016 would have been equivalent to giving George W. Bush a 5th term, because Obama was just like him, what with Syria and Libya..


Once you wrap your head around the fact that ALL, each and every one, USA Presidents are related through a few ultra wealthy families, then you can understand that there are no practical differences between the individuals in the White House. They just do what they’re told by a small group that owns and operates the USA.

9/11 is the not first false flag or hoax in American History. The lies go back to the first colonies.

The first two colonies were charted companies formed in The City of London, for profit seeking ventures in the New World. The colonists were shareholders, not parishioners. They had a grant to occupied lands in the New World from the British king. Their god was profit.


@Igor: ” Their god was profit.”

Throws a new light on what is written on the U$ Dollar.
“In God we trust” = “In Profit we trust”.

Interesting to learn that the First Famous Freedom Fighters of the U$ Founding Fathers were also shareholders in The City of London.

“I wander thru each Chartered street
Near where the Chartered Thames doth flow…” — Wm.Blake


‘“I wander thru each Chartered street
Near where the Chartered Thames doth flow…” — Wm.Blake’

Royal Charters are still almost the only way that civic bodies and authorities (boroughs and towns, etc) can legally be formed in the UK and were the only way commercial companies could be formed until the Joint Stock Act of the mid-1800s. Blake died in the late 1820s. Blakes’ intent was far more divinely anarchic, anarchic, compassionate and encompassing than a passing jibe at the then contemporary economics of a dying mercantilism, established colonization and rampant industrialization. Lower case ‘c’, incidentally.

“…And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear

How the Chimney-sweepers cry
Every blackning Church appalls,
And the hapless Soldiers sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls

But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse”


Rob, many thanks for quoting in full that wonderful poem. Until seeing it in print again (above) I had not realized how many of its phrases were engraved on my psyche. Truly William Blake printer of Soho, London — like Rabbi Yeshua carpenter of Nazareth — is one of those rare prophets whose simple words can rearrange your molecules.

“The youthful Harlot’s curse” is such a prophecy: the first time I heard how low Russia had sunk under the Anglo Zio Capitalist onslaught was when I learnt that “Natasha” had become the Turkish slang for prostitute.


Filling in the dotted parts above, it reads:

William Blake printer of Soho, London; Rabbi Yeshua carpenter of Nazareth, Galilee; Saul tentmaker of Tarsus, Syria, and citizen of no mean city: three humble artisans who naively challenged the wisdom of the World by prophesying the wisdom of the Kingdom.

“For Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love
Is God our Father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love
Is Man His child and care.”


PS “naively challenging” (Present Continual rather than Past Perfect) because they are still doing it.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Perhaps somebody could get this chump of the day, Destefano, to give an opinion now today; with the benefit of hindsight & a greater awareness of the physical scientific impossibilities of what he stated on that day, just perhaps, he would like to re-consider his inept scientific comprehension of both physics & chemistry … ?

And if gets all ‘stroppy’ & arrogant, invite him to defend his indefensible opinions, in front of a panel of real independent scientists & demolition experts, on a Livestream; just like we had to endure his BS on that day, we may at least have the chance to avenge, once & for all, to see clearly whose argumentation and expertise stands up to scientific & public scrutiny, for the record.

My money would be on Destefano now avoiding ANY further public discussion & confrontation, simply because his attempts to lie, once again, would be too blatantly obvious, not just to the panel questioning his judgement & knowledge on that day, along with his pathetic powers of suggestion,
but to all viewers …
Therefore, invite him and watch him dodge all relevant issues, as a form of ridicule !


“Proof if we needed it?”

Proves nothing, assumes everything.

However, if the opening statement that the CCTV and guard dogs were muzzled on the previous weekend is accurate then their assumption that all the demolition arrangements had to be carried out in two days might reasonably be replaced by the assumption that that weekend was given over to priming already carefully placed explosives. As for the baked beans, I can’t smell that one of Heinz’s 57 varieties through the unopened can, can you? But once it’s been opened and ready to eat, we probably both could.


Assuming you eat your baked beans cold, that is. Or that “eat” is a typo for “heat”. Or that…

9/11: so many assumptions, so much bullshit, so few grounded analyses.

If you can or will access the archived stream of yesterday’s event, check out the apparent chemistry expert who proclaimed that his narrow-angle view of Newton’s Laws of Motion explain the WTC Tower’s ejected beams, etc., so completely that the ejections are in themselves all the proof an inside-job theory needs. Never played a game of pool or billiards in his life. Or has entirely forgotten how. Or…

Why a consortium of experts putting on such a show don’t do a quick peer preview of their fellow speakers from other disciplines’ theories is yet another inexplicable.


Thanks, Maggie, that invaluable link saves me expatiating on my post about 911 being a Mossad operation. I restricted myself to the IDF being the likely source of the Military Grade Nano Thermite (aka Directed Energy Weapon) which brought the towers down.

But why restrict the detonator wiring by Israeli Performance Artists to one weekend? A Bush brothers company was working for weeks on the WTC lift shafts, day and night, under armed guard to keep away onlookers.


The 11th of September 2001 is many things, but mostly it is a blatant example of how easy it is to fool the public, and also a blatant example of how we are ruled by criminal psychopaths.

It’s really that simple.


RobG, yes it’s really that simple. So whatcha gonna do about it?

Sheriff to posse: “There’s a man in this county thinks he is above the Law, and we’re gonna get him”.

Yes, it’s really that simple.

Ieuan Einion
Ieuan Einion

9/11 if it is anything is the date on which Salvador Allende’s democratically elected government in Chile was overthrown by US imperialism and 30,000 died as a result. One of the main squares in the departmental capital where I live in France is the Place Salvador Allende; there are no squares named after George Bush or Tony Blair and there never will be.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Give it time, Ieuan: we ‘received’ a statue of John McCain in Sofia, last year, and this tearful year of extreme poverty in Bulgaria, (engineered by NATZO), the Bulgarians received a monumental statue of iconic ironic ‘value’, (as central banking financial collapse looms) of Woodrow Wilson … talk about marketing & selling yourself and your wholly mathematically inept ways & means; the USA knows no bounds & ground zero scientific knowledge, let alone mathematical equations, it appears …
they debase any Learning from mistakes, at all costs.

Richard Wicks
Richard Wicks

there are no squares named after George Bush or Tony Blair and there never will be.

Hopefully, but how long have the yellow vest protests been going? 43 weeks now? What has changed? Your country is FULLY on board with the criminal syndicate that has been running the United States.


There’s Disneyland Paris, that must be worth 10 of Place George W Bush or Place Tony Blair.