Addressing a history of hosting events for proponents of the controlled demolition theory of 9/11, city Councilmember Dave Rollo clarified his beliefs in an email sent to the IDS.
In 2007, Rollo presented an event where guest speakers displayed evidence pointing toward the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. He was president of the city council at the time.
The controlled demolition conspiracy theory alleges that officials in the U.S. government placed explosives to carry out a controlled demolition of the Twin Towers and the 7 World Trade Center and that the George W. Bush administration was complicit in the actions. The 7 World Trade Center is particularly interesting to these theorists because it collapsed due to debris from the Twin Towers and was not hit by a plane. However, this theory has been widely debunked.
The panel, called “9/11 Research: Why the Official Story Can’t Be True Part 1: The Destruction of the World Trade Center,” occurred on Sept. 10, 2007, at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. It included conspiracy theorists Richard Gage, Steven Jones and Kevin Ryan.
According to the IDS, the event was presented by the Bloomington 9/11 Working Group. In 2008, the group wrote a letter criticizing the IDS’s coverage of a separate event on the same topic, and the letter lists Rollo as a member.
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This separate event was at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater and involved author and controlled demolition conspiracy theorist David Ray Griffin.
In the letter, the group writes that the 9/11 truth movement does not blame the entire U.S. government for 9/11.
“At worst, these atrocities were orchestrated by a relatively small number of strategically placed people in positions of power within and outside official government bodies,” the 2008 letter reads.
Dave Rollo is currently running unopposed for reelection in District 4 on the city council, but that could change by the general election in November. Republicans and Libertarians can nominate a candidate to fill a ballot vacancy by July 3. An independent or minor party candidate can file to run by turning in petitions by June 30.
In an email to the IDS, Rollo said a new independent investigation of the events that occurred on Sept. 11 is necessary, pointing toward a now declassified report released in 2021 that indicates potential involvement from individual officials in Saudi Arabia. However, the report found no evidence that the Saudi Arabian government itself was complicit.
Rollo said he felt that genuine questions have been conflated with extreme views about 9/11.
“The range of assertions has sadly extended in some quarters to fringe wild speculation with little to no basis of evidence that often include various bad actors that have agendas that are inspired by hate or bigotry,” Rollo said. “These groups and theories should be condemned and should be separated from those that are derived from objective inquiry and evidence-based analysis.”
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Rollo said the aftermath of the attacks plays a factor in his beliefs, particularly the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act, which expanded the government’s surveillance powers and allowed them to more easily access the private information of citizens.
During his time on the council, Rollo said he has co-sponsored resolutions condemning the Iraq war and the Patriot Act.
Rollo maintains that there were inconsistencies in the official story about 9/11.
“The questions of interest to me were ultimately related to apparent violations physical laws of conservation of energy and momentum, concepts that everyone learns in high school physics, so understandable by most people,” Rollo said. “I have never offered a ‘conspiracy theory’ apart from the official conspiracy involving members of al Qaeda, their leadership and the hijackers.”
Rollo clarified that he has never used city funding or resources for his involvement with events surrounding 9/11 theories and has kept the matter separate from his business on the council.