In February of this year, 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 the local director can't believe he's not getting his phone calls returned.
Since then, he's besieged Cantwell's office with calls and emails and is at a loss as to why he hasn't heard back. He's now sending info to media outlets everywhere trying to drum up some news (OK, we'll bite).
"I'm very, very, very surprised and shocked that she's so far refusing to to return my calls and emails," 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 immediately available for comment.
The 9/11 Truth movement is certainly nothing new. Their arguments into why the official explanation of what happened on Sept. 11 doesn't add up can be found here and are well-represented by Rische. They are also too numerous to debate on this single blog post.
What seems striking in this case, however, is Rische's surprise that he's not gaining traction with Cantwell. Obviously, if the Senator were to simply say "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 the biggest political news in years. 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.