Internal ALP enemies of Victorian Maritime Union state secretary Kevin Bracken are egging him on to further greatness after he reprised his considered 9-11 theories on Melbourne radio this morning.

ABC 774 Mornings host Jon Faine’s production team was gobsmacked by Bracken’s decision to again hit the airwaves at 6:08am Perth time (the union leader is in Western Australia all this week for the MUA’s National Council) to accuse the US government of covering up the attacks on the twin towers and the Pentagon nine years ago.

One ALP Right source told Crikey that the rebel Left-aligned Bracken was doing “excellent work”. “We look forward to more interventions over the rest of the week,” they said.

But another source from the section of the divided ALP Right notionally supportive of Bracken’s fraction was scathing: “The only people who’re surprised by this are people who don’t know Kevin Bracken. He might well be a good bloke 99% of the time, but so was Ted Bundy. It’s what you do in the 1% that counts … this bloke makes Bill Hartley look reasonable. He’s the best thing the Right has going for it since Bill Landeryou.

“The fact that we have to deal with this lunatic is a sad reflection on where the labour movement is currently at. He’s depriving a village somewhere of an idiot; if his members want to go on funding his investigations into the grassy knoll and new designs for tin-foil hats, that’s fine, but personally I’m sick of dealing with him and the results of his obvious mental illness.”

Bracken, who is also president of the Victorian Trades Hall Council, again challenged Faine to “debate” the attacks this morning (download the audio of the conversation here):

“I just want to state the official theory as to what happened on September 11 doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny. That’s a fact … Jon, unfortunately, cowards like yourself have set the political agenda in this country for too long.”

Yesterday the union heavy claimed airline jet fuel “wasn’t hot enough to melt steel” and that the twin towers were “imploded”, a familiar claim made in polemics such as the notorious Loose Change, but comprehensively refuted by actual scientists.

Asked by Faine who was responsible, Bracken said he wasn’t sure, but seemed convinced that the 9-11 Commission report fingering al-Qaeda was bunkum: “I don’t know who was responsible for it. But I know that it’s scientifically proven that the official story is impossible to have happened.”

Bracken had support from at least one caller on Faine’s program this morning. A women claimed that Osama bin Laden wasn’t even on the FBI most-wanted list; when Faine refuted this saying he had the list in front of him, the caller barked “well I’m sorry, I don’t have the ABC’s resources at my disposal” and hung up.

After Bracken’s comments yesterday, the global media pounced, with the UK Telegraph and the Hindustan Times running big on the views of “a senior member of the Australian trade union movement”.

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The Coalition is also rubbing its hands with glee, launching a question-time sortie yesterday to attack the Prime Minister over her former factional colleague’s views and highlighting his committed membership of Labor’s Port Melbourne branch. Bracken’s take on the tragedy, which were first aired in The Australian in 2006, have also flushed out a motley bunch of Crikey commenters, who also say a vast conspiracy implicating former US President George W Bush is on the verge of being unmasked.

Peter Fray

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