Just under five years ago, after the Americans invaded Afghanistan, I was walking along a wintry London street, talking to this guy. Let’s call him Adam.
Adam said, ‘D’you think the Clinton lot would have invaded?’
I said, ‘I don’t think the Clinton lot would have flown the planes into the towers in the first place.’
At this point, Adam did something to me that several have done since – he denounced me with a specific kind of fervour, a sort of anger, and also a sort of resentment. My scepticism, he implied, was not only misplaced – it was also in bad taste, deeply dodgy.
Well, I still think there was something deeply dodgy about 9/11, and last week, I went to a talk about the subject. It was at the All Saints’ church. The place was packed. And the people in the church weren’t all nutcases. I could see that 9/11 scepticism, as a creed, is moving beyond the nutcases, like me, who first espoused it.
Adam sat next to me. The speaker told us a lot of the usual stuff about why the official story of the twin towers doesn’t add up – the coincidences, the evasions, the scientific reconstructions.
Afterwards, the audience dispersed. I could hear their tone. And it wasn’t that buzz of anger and resentment. It was something else. I thought: Lewes! What a place!
I said to Adam, ‘See? How d’you feel now?’
The look he gave me took me back.
Right back to a cold day in late 2001.


9/11: William Leith told ‘em so five years ago