Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Permanent Top Post--Scroll Down for Newer Posts

(Note: The date on this post is intentional; it keeps this post pinned to the top. Thanks for asking!).

11/11/07 Update: Loose Change Final Cut has just been released and so we have not prepared a full debunking. Both James and I have many comments about the movie below and I started a thread over at JREF with some examples of mistakes in the film. Much of the rest of the information in this particular post concerns the earlier versions of Loose Change.

Because this blog is getting so much traffic from Google searches and referrals from various forums and Wikipedia, we decided to put one post up top to link to information our newest visitors are apparently looking for.

First, if you have not seen the film and want to watch it, be sure to watch the annotated version, which was named after this blog, Screw Loose Change. The creator did a terrific job on this, and we strongly recommend watching this version rather than Dylan Avery's cut.

James has put together a list of major lies in Loose Change. Here's Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4.

I compiled three very easily refuted lies in the movie. I also showed three tricks and distortions that are used throughout the film.

A friend of the blog named Mark Roberts (aka Gravy at the JREF forums) compiled this amazing Viewer's Guide to Loose Change, (now HTML) which includes a complete transcript of the movie, pictures and links that refute many of the claims, and which highlights the changes between Version 1 and Version 2.

The hot new film in 9-11 Denial is called 9-11 Mysteries. One of our JREF buddies, The Doc, has put together a rebuttal video called (you guessed it!) Screw 9-11 Mysteries, and assembled a viewers' guide to 9-11 Mysteries.

Many 9-11 Deniers focus on the collapse of World Trade Center 7, which fell at 5:20 PM on September 11, almost seven hours after the North Tower. If you want a really detailed analysis of WTC 7, I recommend Mark Robert's WTC 7 and the Lies of the 9/11 Truth Movement. I also recommend the BBC's terrific video on The Third Tower.

If you'd like to discuss the ideas about 9-11 you've encountered here or elsewhere, another friend of the blog started a Screw Loose Change Forum. It's a very lively place with lots of opinion back and forth between both sides. There's also a Screw Loose Change MySpace page, with some animated commentary. Of course, we also welcome comments on our posts.

If you're looking for detailed rebuttals of other aspects of 9-11 Denial, I heartily recommend 9-11 Myths, Debunking 9-11 and Internet Detectives.

Markyx has also put together a video (note: graphic images and strong language) called 9-11 Deniers Speak. If you think Dylan Avery and Jim Fetzer have any respect for the victims of 9-11, just watch this film. There are five parts. Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V.
There's also a Google Video which is all in one part.

This should be enough to get you started debunking Loose Change to your friends. We have a lot more content below this post.

Notes on unusual terms/abbreviations: Looser (not a misspelling of Loser)=Believer in Loose Change. CT=Conspiracy Theory, Conspiracy Theorist. Truther=9-11 Conspiracy Theorist (all Loosers are Truthers, not all Truthers are Loosers). OS=Official Story. CD= Controlled Demoliton. LIHOP: Let It Happen On Purpose; theory that the government knew the 9-11 attacks were coming but allowed them to happen to further other goals of theirs. MIHOP: Made It Happen On Purpose; theory that the government planned and orchestrated the attacks. Most Truthers are MIHOP.

Update: Comments closed on this post, which is intended solely as a pointer. Because Haloscan will not let us close comments on a particular post, be forewarned: Don't leave a comment in this post or it will be deleted.

Update II: Note on comments: Because some of our commenters have chosen to act like children, we are no longer allowing comments.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

More on the 28 Pages

Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower writes on the current press to get the pages released:

“There’s nothing in it about national security,” Walter Jones, a Republican congressman from North Carolina who has read the missing pages, contends. “It’s about the Bush Administration and its relationship with the Saudis.” Stephen Lynch, a Massachusetts Democrat, told me that the document is “stunning in its clarity,” and that it offers direct evidence of complicity on the part of certain Saudi individuals and entities in Al Qaeda’s attack on America.
 Philip Zelikow is not convinced:
 The questions raised by the twenty-eight pages were an important part of the commission’s agenda; indeed, its director, Philip Zelikow, hired staffers who had worked for the Joint Inquiry on that very section to follow up on the material. According to Zelikow, what they found does not substantiate the arguments made by the Joint Inquiry and by the 9/11 families in the lawsuit against the Saudis. He characterized the twenty-eight pages as “an agglomeration of preliminary, unvetted reports” concerning Saudi involvement. “They were wild accusations that needed to be checked out,” he said.
On the other hand, even the Saudis want the information released:
The Saudis have also publicly demanded that the material be released. “Twenty-eight blanked-out pages are being used by some to malign our country and our people,” Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was the Saudi Ambassador to the United States at the time of the 9/11 attacks, has declared. “Saudi Arabia has nothing to hide. We can deal with questions in public, but we cannot respond to blank pages.”

As does 9-11 Commission co-chair Thomas Kean:

Thomas Kean remembers finally having the opportunity to read those twenty-eight pages after he became chairman of the 9/11 Commission—“so secret that I had to get all of my security clearances and go into the bowels of Congress with someone looking over my shoulder.” He also remembers thinking at the time that most of what he was reading should never have been kept secret. But the focus on the twenty-eight pages obscures the fact that many important documents are still classified—“a ton of stuff,” Kean told me, including, for instance, the 9/11 Commission’s interviews with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Bill Clinton. “I don’t know of a single thing in our report that should not be public after ten years,” Kean said.
 I'm with Kean on this one; sunlight is the best disinfectant.  As an example of the problems with keeping the 28 pages secret, consider the buffoonish Justin Raimondo, who claims they are being withheld to conceal Israeli involvement:

Graham has been explicit in accusing the Saudis of financing at least some of the 9/11 hijackers, as well as facilitating their entry into the United States. However, the Joint Inquiry indicates that more than this was involved: the phrase "foreign support for some of the September 11 hijackers while they were in the United States" jumps out at me, at least implying that it wasn’t just financing – after all, how much did the 9/11 attacks actually cost Al Qaeda in terms of dollars and cents? – but also that operational assistance was given on the ground.
Given – by whom?
In the wake of 9/11, while the smoke from the downed World Trade Building was still clouding the skies over Manhattan, I noticed a news item in the Washington Post that rang all kinds of alarm bells, or at least it should have – although our vaunted Fourth Estate was too busy signing on to the newly-minted "war on terrorism" to notice. The story was headlined "Government Calls Several Cases ‘of Special Interest,’ Meaning Related to Post-Attacks Investigation." Reporter John Mintz related that at least 60 Israelis "of special interest to the government" had been rounded up and that several of these had training in counter-terrorist techniques.
Of course, the operational assistance referred to has nothing to do with the Israelis; it's the Omar al-Bayoumi story as mentioned by Wright:

Bayoumi later told investigators that, while eating there, he happened to overhear two men—Hazmi and Mihdhar—speaking Arabic with Gulf accents. He struck up a conversation with them and soon invited them to move to San Diego. He set them up in the same apartment complex where he lived. Because the hijackers-in-training did not have a checking account, Bayoumi paid their security deposit and first month’s rent (for which they immediately reimbursed him). He also introduced them to members of the Arab community, possibly including the imam of a local mosque, Anwar al-Awlaki—later to become the most prominent spokesperson for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
BTW, I should add that I'm not 100% convinced the Saudis want the information released; it is quite possible they are taking a PR stance secure in the knowledge that the pages will not be published.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Troofer Slapdown Imminent

New York City's response to the Truther's legal brief in support of the High-Rise Safety Initiative is pretty brutal.  The HRSI people crowed about how they hired a great election lawyer; it turns out they should have hired an accountant, because the plan they propose is not in accordance with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). 

Basically, because the financing provision in the HRSI is to have a fund set aside for investigating building collapses, it creates the possibility that the fund might sit dormant for a few years, and then be expended.  However GAAP requires that current year expenditures be funded from current year revenues.  And the city can't avoid the problem because the state requires that the city's budget be balanced according to GAAP.

(See in particular attachment #2, the Levine Affadavit).  I'm afraid we won't have the High Rise Safety Initiative to kick around much longer.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Huffpo Hires "Former" Truther and Football Player as National Security Blogger

Of course, the Trutherism is being highlighted by critics:

Stallworth, a wide receiver in the NFL since 2002, is currently an unsigned free agent and has not played in any games since 2012. As a 9/11 truther, he has publicly stated that Osama bin Laden was not responsible for the attacks and that the Pentagon was not hit by a plane.
"NO WAY 9/11 was carried out by 'dying' Bin Laden, 19 men who couldn't fly a damn kite. STILL have NO EVIDENCE Osama was connected, like Iraq," Stallworth tweeted in 2009. Stallworth also tweeted, "Gggrrrrrrrrrrrrr @ ppl who actually believe a plane hit the pentagon on 9/11... hole woulda been ASTRONOMICALLY bigger, God bless lost lives."

The Huffpo claims all that is in the past.  Reading between the lines of this Washington Post piece, it appears that the real attraction of Stallworth to the Huffpo was his support for gay football player Michael Sam.

Vis-a-vis Stallworth’s qualifications, Grim said that “his LGBT work brought him to our attention and impressed us.”
One would think that a more basic qualification for a national security blogger would be a rudimentary understanding of the worst terrorist attack in US history.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Child Abusers for 9/11 Truth

Now I'm opposed to revisionist history in any form, but a truther children's book? Seriously?
There was one day that changed everything. Two hijacked planes brought down - not two skyscrapers - but three. Building 7 collapsed in almost perfect free-fall in what appeared to be a classic demolition. This is the story of that day, and how they huffed and puffed and pulled the baby building down (For kids with adult supervision).

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rosie Still An Idiot

No particular surprise. She's apparently going to be back on the View as resident Truther.

Dean Wormer put it well:

Friday, August 08, 2014

High Rise Initiative Shot Down at Freefall Speed

Yet another massive fail for the Truthers; their 57th consecutive bungle.

On Monday, we received the City Clerk’s certificate, which claims first that the petition has only 27,892 valid signatures, 2,108 less than the 30,000 threshold; and second that the proposed charter amendment is legally invalid for three reasons.

Legally invalid? How could that possibly be, with an experienced election lawyer working for them?

1. The Financing Plan. The City claims that the proposed .9% surcharge on construction permits is a tax and not a fee, and thus invalid because it would require approval from Albany. We will argue that the surcharge is indeed a fee, which the City has the authority to enact without State approval. The proposed surcharge is similar to many fees the City already charges. According to our lawyer, Leo Glickman, "By labeling this surcharge a tax, the City is calling into question the legality of hundreds of fees it already charges, and making it much more difficult to enact fees in the future. It's astounding that the City is willing to act so strongly against its own self-interest to keep the voters from weighing in on this matter."

2. Adequate notice as to the effect of the charter amendment. The City claims the petition does not give adequate notice to voters about the effect of the charter amendment. We will argue that it obviously does, and additionally we may argue that our canvassers very clearly communicated the effect of the charter amendment, as does our website and other campaign materials.

3. Whether the charter amendment is advisory, or mandates a fundamental governmental function. The City claims that because the charter amendment applies in part to a building collapse that occurred on September 11, 2001, which according to the City, falls under federal jurisdiction, it is advisory in nature - in other words, it expresses an opinion rather than mandating a fundamental governmental function. Under Municipal Home Rule Law, the law that provides for this type of ballot initiative, advisory ballot initiatives are not allowed. We will argue that the charter amendment indeed mandates a fundamental governmental function related to a matter falling squarely under local jurisdiction, and it is not intended to express an opinion.

Perhaps the most entertaining part of #3 is that the decision in the NYC-CAN's 2009 lawsuit against the city is cited as precedent.

No surprise, the Truthers are going to court to appeal the decision, and (of course) looking for donations to fund their legal fees. As I've said in the past, I almost hope they succeed in getting the measure on the ballot and passed, because their frustration when the Buildings Department responds by saying "See the NIST report," will provide even more amusement.