Green Party MP-elect Paul Manly openly questioned the “corporate media’s” coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and whether there is additional evidence that would reveal a different explanation for the attacks.
Global News has obtained audio from two interviews Manly did in 2007 and 2011 on the Unbought and Unbossed podcast hosted by conspiracy theorist Raymond Geisler. In those interviews, Manly says if you “speak up on certain issues” you open yourself up to attack.
“If you come out with a statement that says it’s all bunk, they’re going to take that one 15-second clip and they’re going to deride you with it and then discredit you in the eyes of the Canadian public,” Manly said in the 2007 interview.
The politician is set to be officially sworn in as the Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP on Monday.
In an interview with Global News this weekend, Manly said he isn’t part of the 9/11 truth movement, which questions the explanation and motives of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
“There are a lot of conspiracy theories when it comes to 9/11 and I do not subscribe to them,” Manly said.
“But when people remember the official story of 9/11 it was that Saddam Hussein was directly involved with the bombings of 9/11. We now know that is not true.”
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On April 29, 2007, former U.S. central intelligence director George Tenet admitted on 60 Minutes that the United States “could never verify that there was any Iraqi authority, direction and control, complicity with al-Qaeda for 9/11 or any operational act against America, period.”
Manly’s first interview with Geisler was done six months later in October 2007.
“I mean we’re here on the left coast, in a kind of lefty town, but you go to other places and try to find somebody in middle Canada, like middle America, that is skeptical and you’re not likely to,” he said on the podcast. “And so how do you crack that nut?
“We have all our independent media. Like, I know this has been going on for a while and I know, I’ve seen lots of this evidence and I’ve heard from lots of these people and watched lots of these videos and read lots of this information, but it’s still not scratching the surface.”
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Manly told Global News he was skeptical about the United States’ claims that Hussein, the former Iraqi president, was involved in the attacks.
“That was the time I was having this discussion, and it was also the time that information was coming out about the Iraq War and what was true and what wasn’t true. You are trying to parse through so much information on complex issues and trying to figure out what is true,” Manly said.
“I just don’t buy into conspiracy theories based on how people see things happening.”
Supporters of the 9/11 truth movement dispute the commonly accepted account that Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four airliners and crashed them into the Pentagon and New York’s World Trade Centre towers, which collapsed as a result of those crashes.
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The group suggests a cover-up by the United States government. Some of the truth organizations assert that there is evidence that individuals within the government may have been either responsible for or knowingly complicit in the attacks.
Earlier this month, Manly became just the second Green Party candidate to win a seat in Ottawa when he clinched the Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection with 15,302 votes.
He ran for the Green Party in the 2015 federal election, but finished fourth behind former NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson, whose move to provincial politics prompted the byelection.
The soon-to-be MP told Global News he believes his political opponents released the audio files before his swearing-in to distract from other issues.
“They are probably trying to create a distraction, and probably trying to create a distraction from what is really important, which is climate change,” Manly said.
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Before entering politics, Manly was a documentary filmmaker. In 2011, he presented his film You, Me and the SPP at the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance’s annual film festival. The festival description refers to 9/11 a “massive coverup”.
The festival also says “the official story of what happened on 9/11, which has been used to justify endless war abroad and restriction of freedoms at home, has been accepted by a majority of the American people only because there has been a massive coverup of what really happened on that day.”
Manly said as an independent filmmaker, he would show his movie wherever he could and felt “uncomfortable” at the time about the rhetoric suggesting 9/11 was a coverup. The MP-elect was paid by the 9/11 truth group to present at the festival.
“I can’t pay to have my films screened at festivals, I don’t have problems with people screening my films. When you are a filmmaker they pay you a licence fee and away you go. Write me a check and I’m happy,” Manly said.
“I didn’t have a ton of comfort of having my film at a truther festival.”
A post on National Film Board website describes Manly’s film as an exploration into the Security Prosperity Partnership (SPP).
“Not heard of the Security Prosperity Partnership? You’re not alone. The people behind the SPP want to keep us all in the dark. The SPP is the latest version of corporate plans to control the social, political and economic destiny of the world,” the description reads.
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“Following the shock of 9/11, right wing political and business leaders have pushed the Security Prosperity Partnership. Negotiated away from public scrutiny, they say it is a way to keep trade flowing between the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico. You, Me and the SPP shows the SPP is much more than a trade agreement.
“The SPP undermines our democratic rights and the ability of our elected representatives to pass laws and regulations that safeguard the environment, protect workers rights and control the economy in the interests of ordinary citizens.”
Manly originally attempted to run for the NDP in 2015 before joining the Green Party. But according to media reports at the time, the NDP said issues came up during the vetting process.
There were reports the decision was made based on calls to boycott and sanction Israel over the ongoing Palestinian conflict, which Manly denies.