Victoria Trades Hall president unrepentant about 9/11 conspiracy theory

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Melbourne, Oct.21 (ANI): Victorian Trades Hall president Kevin Bracken remains unrepentant about his controversial 9/11 conspiracy theory.

Bracken sparked outrage yesterday when he told ABC that the attacks were not the result of terrorist activity and added that the story was a conspiracy that "didn't stand up" to scientific scrutiny.

This morning Bracken phoned into Faine's program again and said that he stood by his comments and said he had the support of 50 per cent of the community.

He also attacked Faine, claiming he was ridiculed on yesterday's program.

On Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard dismissed Bracken's statement as "stupid and wrong", but refused to discipline him.

The Herald Sun quoted Gillard as saying in response: "Obviously I don't agree with the remarks, obviously they are stupid and wrong. The Labor Party is a large organisation, people join it as individuals - we don't dictate what people think."

The Federal Opposition seized on the comments in Parliament today, with Victorian MP Josh Frydenberg asking Gillard what action she would take against Bracken "to send a message that such remarks are unacceptable," The Australian reported.

After being accused by Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne of not answering the question on discipline, Gillard said: "If it is the intention of the Leader of the Opposition to expel every member who says something stupid, I'll start sending him a weekly list."

In Victoria, Shadow Attorney General Robert Clarke said Bracken"s comments were a direct insult to Australian soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

"It strikes at the very heart of the West"s struggle against terrorism and it is a disgrace that while Australian soldiers are serving and dying in Afghanistan that Mr. Bracken make these wild claims that undermine the very reason for their presence in Afghanistan," he said.

Clarke called on Premier John Brumby to condemn these comments in the strongest possible terms and for the outspoken union leader to be disciplined.

Trades Hall secretary Brian Boyd said Bracken did not speak on behalf of the organisation.

"The official Trades Hall position is not to entertain that theory," Boyd said.

"He (Bracken) is entitled to his views and we"ve discussed his theories," he said.

"But I totally disagree," Boyd added. (ANI)

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