Thursday, June 15, 2006

Debunking 9/11 Myths: The Book

The editors of Popular Mechanics who are apparently all the cousins, brothers, nephews and mothers-in-law of Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, are now coming out with a book version of their magazine article. According to Amazon it will be available in August.

The first conspiracy theories about September 11 began to emerge while the wreckage was still smoldering. Today, nearly five years later, hundreds of books and thousands of Web pages are devoted to the idea that the U.S. government encouraged, permitted, or actually carried out the attacks. These theories claim to be based on hard evidence. But an in-depth investigation by POPULAR MECHANICS—first published in the magazine’s March 2005 issue, and now greatly expanded into book form—definitively proves that the evidence most often cited by conspiracy theorists is inaccurate, misinterpreted, or false. The original article in POPULAR MECHANICS caused a huge groundswell of interest, setting off online debates that continue to this day.

Debunking 9/11 Myths expands that investigation to include the 20 most prominent and persistent claims underlying the conspiracy theories, focusing on concrete, physical facts rather than political hypothesizing. Among the issues examined: claims that air traffic control violated standard operating procedures by not immediately intercepting the stricken jets; that the fire caused by the crashes wasn’t actually hot enough to melt steel and cause structural damage in the World Trade Center; that the holes in the Pentagon were too small to have been made by a Boeing 757; and that Flight 93 was actually shot down by an Air Force plane.

The fascinating and in-depth findings come from leading experts in all the relevant fields, including aviation, air defense, air traffic control, civil engineering, firefighting, metallurgy, and geology.

With a foreword by Senator John McCain.

Why are they talking to experts in relevent fields like civil engineering and firefighting? They should be interviewing philosophers, theologians, and people who believe the US military is testing anti-matter weapons on Jupiter!

And now I guess John McCain is in on the coverup, they must have tortured him to get him to cooperate....

46 Comments:

At 15 June, 2006 14:39, Blogger JoanBasil said...

If they're going to talk about the air traffic controllers they better explain why the tape of controllers experiences that day was destroyed by crushing it, cutting it in pieces and then disposing of the pieces in different trash cans throughout the building. Why would that have happened like that? Hmmmm? Very strange way to dispose of something if theres nothing to hide.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0507-10.htm

Note this is a NY Times article and if you have TimesSelect you can get it with the Times logo on it.

 
At 15 June, 2006 14:56, Blogger Alex said...

Christ Joan, when your IQ reaches 50, SELL!!

From YOUR OWN ARTICLE:

"The tape had been made under an agreement with the union that it would be destroyed after it was superseded by written statements from the controllers, the report said.

I even highlighted the important parts for you. The UNION wanted the tapes destroyed, but only after the controllers went on to provide written statements. Why? Well, how about asking the union? My guess is they wanted to protect the privacy of the controlers, as well as to prevent exactly the sort of nonsense that you and the CT movement are pulling. They didn't want you having a recording of one of them saying "it looked like a military plane, you don't fly an airliner that way, it's unsafe", because they knew full well that you'd cut down a phrase like that to make it sound the way YOU want it to sound.

 
At 15 June, 2006 15:01, Blogger shawn said...

"IRAQ CONFLICT FUELS RISE IN GLOBAL REFUGEES TO 12 MILLION"

I just had to point out that on the top of their website, since more Iraqis have returned to Iraq than have left.

"POLL: US SEEN AS BIGGER THREAT TO PEACE THAN IRAN"

And that shows that most of the world is stupid, something I've known since I was young.

to the death of Abu Musad al-Zarqawi, the small-time thug, beheader, fomenter of Sunni/Shia civil war, and all-around violent extremist who became an American poster boy for terrorism in Iraq.

Unfortunately for this extremely biased piece of trash, Zarqawi was not "small-time" but the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, and a major rallying point for the insurgents.

God, I could fisk that site all day.



Anyway, on to your point Joan.

"but the tape was destroyed by a supervisor without anyone making a transcript or even listening to it"

...

" The tape had been made under an agreement with the union that it would be destroyed after it was superseded by written statements from the controllers"

Learn to read.

 
At 15 June, 2006 15:04, Blogger JoanBasil said...

Thats ludicrous, alex. This was evidence. Since when does legal evidence in a criminal matter get destroyed because of a union contract? And even you don't believe a union contract would call for disposing of a tape by crushing it by hand, cutting it in pieces and throwing pieces out in different trash cans around the building.

 
At 15 June, 2006 15:20, Blogger shawn said...

And even you don't believe a union contract would call for disposing of a tape by crushing it by hand, cutting it in pieces and throwing pieces out in different trash cans around the building.

"Destruction" is pretty vague.

 
At 15 June, 2006 15:24, Blogger Alex said...

Evidence? Are you insane? It was a re-telling of events by people who watched radar screens, recorded by themselves. According to your logic, if you go home tonight and record yourself talking about a car-crash you saw on the way home, and then destroy that tape, you have destroyed evidence and should be jailed.

That's a load of poopie.

It doesn't become legal evidence unless it's requisitioned by the police, or by a lawyer. There's absolutely no reason why it SHOULD be considered evidence: since all the people are still alive and well, they can be asked to testify again if neccesary, and to do it officialy this time, in a court of law, instead of having an informal discussion in a basement office.

"And even you don't believe a union contract would call for disposing of a tape by crushing it by hand, cutting it in pieces and throwing pieces out in different trash cans around the building."

And nobody requires me to destroy old credit-cards, or shred financial information either. I do it because I'm meticulous, and I'm being safe. You're criticizng the guy for doing too good of a job? You're really something special Joan.

This is the whole problem with the CT crowd; you make your judgements based on lack of information, instead of on the existance of it. It goes something like this:

Question: "why did he destroy the tape?"

Option 1: The answer is known. Ask another question. ANY question.

Option 2: The answer is unknown. MUST BE A CONSPIRACY! Invent an answer. Ask another question.

If option 2 is countered with a logical answer, simply escalate the question. "Ok, so maybe there was a logical reason for him to destroy it, but it MUST have been illegal. Oh, and he did too good a job of it. Why didn't he half-ass it? IT MUST BE A CONSPIRACY!!".

I could make a flowchart that'd illustrate it better if you like.

 
At 15 June, 2006 15:55, Blogger BG said...

Joan,

You are doing a fantastic job in your comments. I think it's a safe bet that those here and elsewhere will not be moved no matter how lucid our arguments are.

 
At 15 June, 2006 15:57, Blogger shawn said...

I could make a flowchart that'd illustrate it better if you like.

Better show it to the blog's new nesnyc, jack.

 
At 15 June, 2006 16:00, Blogger shawn said...

You are doing a fantastic job in your comments. I think it's a safe bet that those here and elsewhere will not be moved no matter how lucid our arguments are.

I literally just snorted milk when I read that comment.

None of you have MADE lucid arguments, stop pretending you are! It's exactly like talking to creationists. You prove them totally wrong, without a shadow of a doubt, but then they go "well you didn't disprove my point and my argument still stands". Thank god most scientists in the world don't have this ridiculous thought process.

 
At 15 June, 2006 16:38, Blogger Alex said...

I can understand their line of thought to an extent. They see their beleifs as "so OBVIOUS" that they think anyone not beleiving in them is either a paid shill, or just plain brainwashed. Which is, to an extent understandable. Certain things we don't question because they ARE obvious.

However, the difference between us becomes apparent when you look at the basis of those beleifs. People who are inclined to beleive conspiracy theories generaly aren't willing to examine the basis of those beleifs. "It's obvious" becomes a mantra, and even when presented with compelling evidence to the contrary, they are unwilling to reconsider their basic stance on the issue. Meanwhile those who are disinklined to beleive in conspiracy theories are generaly willing to review new evidence objectively.

 
At 15 June, 2006 16:39, Blogger undense said...

You are doing a fantastic job in your comments. I think it's a safe bet that those here and elsewhere will not be moved no matter how lucid our arguments are.

bg,

Your weak attempt at propping up joan's ignorance only makes you look just as ignorant, although you don't need joan's help to accomplish that minor feat.

 
At 15 June, 2006 16:51, Blogger CHF said...

bg,

your arguments are not lucid - they're a friggin' joke!

You don't have a single shred of evidence that would stand up in a court of law. NOTHING! You'd call on water testers and philosophy professors to "prove" that 9/11 was an inside job while the defence would call on structural engineers and CD expers.

But of course you have no solid proof because it's all been destroyed as part of the conspiracy, right?

Must be awsome to have that sort of logic to fall back on in a debate.

 
At 15 June, 2006 18:36, Blogger BG said...

Interview with Kevin Ryan. Kevin Ryan is a former employee of
Underwriters Laboratory which certified the steel components used in
the construction of the World Trade Center. Ryan wrote a letter to
Frank Gayle of NIST, questioning the incongruence between laboratory
testing, and conclusions drawn in the official government NIST report.
After Ryan's questions became public, he was terminated.

Listen Now

 
At 15 June, 2006 18:36, Blogger MarkyX said...

Ryan was a water tester.

Stop bringing him up. This isn't the first time you mentioned him.

 
At 15 June, 2006 18:48, Blogger Chad said...

Good Lord Almighty!

Kevin Ryan!??!!? AGAIN?!!?

You guys hold on to him like a 3-year-old obsesses over his blankie-wankie.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and postulate that you still have your teddy bear from when you were 4, don't you?

Here's some worldly advice for you lovable CTers.

Learn. To. Move. On.

 
At 15 June, 2006 19:20, Blogger shawn said...

Ryan was a water tester.

Stop bringing him up. This isn't the first time you mentioned him.


If you go to the al-Qaeda admitting responsibility post, you'll see some jackass pretending i don't know what logical fallacies are, and when I define up appeal to authority, I specifically mention bg's use of non-experts.

 
At 15 June, 2006 19:22, Blogger shawn said...

Just in case jack comes in this thread.

Kevin Ryan is a former employee of
Underwriters Laboratory which certified the steel components used in
the construction of the World Trade Center.


Even if they did certify the steel (which they didn't), this is the logical fallacy appeal to authority, in which you use a non-expert (a water tester) while ignoring the findings of countless structural engineers.

 
At 15 June, 2006 23:48, Blogger BG said...

Shawn,

I pretty much agree with you about the "certifying the steel" issue.

Kevin Ryan's points are valid about CD and cover-up regardless of whether he is a space alien and he never worked a day in his life.

 
At 16 June, 2006 06:25, Blogger JoanBasil said...

Hello bg,
Thank you for that nice comment. I think this is all a fast evolving issue and I wouldn't predict where the other people here will be on it 2 years from now.

I think that many regular-folks Americans were uncomfortable with the official version from the start; among other things, it so bothered me that our media and our entire government glommed onto the "Flight 93 heroes" storyline when there was absolutely no evidence for it. They were glomming onto propaganda and the same was true of the "72 virgins" theme: it was propaganda, not truth. Propaganda is intended to sell the public something, not necessarily the truth, and this stuff was being forced on us, larded with "patriotism" and grieving for the victims and their families, etc. etc. So no one was allowed to say anything in contradiction.

But thats broken through now. Loose Change gets a lot of the credit because its so accessible. The New York Magazine article and the Charlie Sheen segments on Entertainment Tonight were very important, too.

I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but nothing that I've seen posted on this blog challenges the points of Loose Change, Griffin et al: At best, the 9/11 Commission did a crappy job and they and the whole government and media establishment should be ashamed of themselves. At worst, the 9/11 Commission, government, media are all cynically complicit in great evil that has taken the lives of many thousands of innocent people.

 
At 16 June, 2006 06:47, Blogger Abby Scott said...

"Kevin Ryan's points are valid about CD and cover-up regardless of whether he is a space alien and he never worked a day in his life."

But if someone doesn't know the ins and outs of labratory testing of steel, why would you hold his opinion above someone who did know?

 
At 16 June, 2006 07:56, Blogger shawn said...

among other things, it so bothered me that our media and our entire government glommed onto the "Flight 93 heroes" storyline when there was absolutely no evidence for it.

Did I miss where the plane hit the Capitol?

 
At 16 June, 2006 07:59, Blogger shawn said...

I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but nothing that I've seen posted on this blog challenges the points of Loose Change, Griffin et al:

You're an idiot then! Everything, absolutely everything, has been debunked. You're just so willfully blind you don't want to see.

"I've seen absolutely no evidence for evolution, none of you scientists have proven anything."

 
At 16 June, 2006 08:00, Blogger shawn said...

The New York Magazine article and the Charlie Sheen segments on Entertainment Tonight were very important, too.

I hope you're joking with that one.

 
At 16 June, 2006 08:22, Blogger telescopemerc said...

But if someone doesn't know the ins and outs of labratory testing of steel, why would you hold his opinion above someone who did know?

Indeed, and given that in Ryan's letter to Frank Gayle he demonstrasted an inability to distinguish forgin temperatures from melting and weakening temperatures I'd say Ryan managed to demonstrate that he knows less than many folks.

Oh, and he abuses a baseline test from the 1920's to prove his point.

Silly, silly man. bg, why do you insist on using him as a source?

 
At 16 June, 2006 09:58, Blogger Alex said...

"Kevin Ryan's points are valid about CD and cover-up regardless of whether he is a space alien and he never worked a day in his life."

Really? Then why phrase it to make it look like he's an expert? Here's how the riginal was phrased:

"Kevin Ryan is a former employee of Underwriters Laboratory which certified the steel components used in the construction of the World Trade Center. Ryan wrote a letter to
Frank Gayle of NIST, questioning the incongruence between laboratory
testing, and conclusions drawn in the official government NIST report.
After Ryan's questions became public, he was terminated."


Now, that phrasing makes it sound as if an expert on the WTC steel components published a letter which disagrees with the goernemnts conclusion, and was fired as part of the coverup. Now, if you wanted to be accurate, here is how that paragraph SHOULD be written:

"Kevin Ryan is a former water tester of Underwriters Laboratory. Ryan wrote a letter to Frank Gayle of NIST, questioning the incongruence between laboratory testing, and conclusions drawn in the official government NIST report.
After Ryan's publicaly re-affirmed his beleifs, thereby linking his views to Underwrites Labaratories, he was terminated."

So when only a few small changes are neccesary in order to be accurate and avoid sounding sinister, why wasn't that paragraph phrased properly? My guess is because the auther realized full well that such claims would not have the desired impact unless he put a sinister spin on them. His phrasing makes it sound as if an expert was fired for daring to try and "expose the conspiracy". MY phrasing (aka the accurate version) simply states that an unqualified individual was stupid enough to pubicaly link his employer to his beleif in a conspiracy theory, and was fired because the company didn't need the bad publicity, and didn't want an employee who has such bad judgement.

 
At 16 June, 2006 10:30, Blogger LT said...

I have no idea why some of you (BG, JOAN, NESYC, amongst others) are so intent on making yourselves look so silly. why? Does it just crush you to realize that you really need to let go of your hope that the government was behind this, and that any argument, no matter how ridiculous or absurd, is better than just swallowing the fact that it happened the way the government said, and most Americans believe? Next time you have to get on a plane to take a trip, try grabbing some janitor out of the restroom to be the pilot. After all, experience in related fields really isn't that important is it? Water tester/structural engineer. airline pilot/janitor. who cares? you might get there safely right?

 
At 16 June, 2006 11:23, Blogger Abby Scott said...

Aha! So he was fired because he was acting as a representative of Underwriter Laboratories, who clearly didn't appreciate it. Ergo he was fired.

I hate it when CT'ers omit information that doesn't help there case. That's blatantly and purposefully misleading.

 
At 16 June, 2006 11:40, Blogger ScottSl said...

I've started to notice a meltdown trend with various CT'ers. The denial has clearly hit a true mental illness stage.
I've seen more radicalization, more no-planers. Others have been reduced to spam bots tossing out CT articles.

I think your going to continue to see a mounting frustation among CT'ers.

 
At 16 June, 2006 11:40, Blogger ScottSl said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 16 June, 2006 12:02, Blogger debunking911 said...

I agree Scott. As you know I posted my "Squibs" page and the response was amazing.

"Must be a FEMA photoshop!"

HEHEHE! I have to say I haven't had this much fun in a long time. I wish I could see Rev Jones face when he see my page. :)

For those who haven't seen it..

http://www.geocities.com/debunking911/overp.htm

 
At 16 June, 2006 13:44, Blogger telescopemerc said...

Aha! So he was fired because he was acting as a representative of Underwriter Laboratories, who clearly didn't appreciate it. Ergo he was fired.

I hate it when CT'ers omit information that doesn't help there case. That's blatantly and purposefully misleading.


I have encountered several 911 CT'ers online who seem to have no problem with professional and academic dishonesty as long as it is done for the benefit of 'their' side. They then claim to value 'truth'. *sigh*

 
At 16 June, 2006 14:10, Blogger James B. said...

Hell, an entire television network embraced the concept of "fake but accurate".

 
At 16 June, 2006 14:56, Blogger CHF said...

bg:

"Kevin Ryan's points are valid about CD and cover-up regardless of whether he is a space alien and he never worked a day in his life."

LOL! First you admit that he's not an authority on the subject and then you claim it DOESN'T MATTER???

This is all so surreal....

I can't believe grown adults can actually think this way.

 
At 16 June, 2006 14:58, Blogger CHF said...

"The New York Magazine article and the Charlie Sheen segments on Entertainment Tonight were very important, too."

Charlie Sheen? An actor???

Imagine if the government had Britney Spears as a spokesperson.

That's how ridiculous these CTers are.

 
At 16 June, 2006 16:13, Blogger Chad said...

Kevin Ryan's points are valid about CD and cover-up regardless of whether he is a space alien and he never worked a day in his life.

BG, bad news buddy. I just found out (via a report on CBS) that the government has planted a bug inside your brain. I know... hard to believe, and unfortunately, I'm fresh out of concrete proof, so you'll just have to trust me.

Rest easy though, for I am Xanthorp of Krexlen 5. I am fully prepared to bring you aboard my space craft, open up your skull, poke around your grey matter with some chopsticks from my sushi take-out last week, find the bug, and remove it.

I know a procedure like this is daunting and can be scary. But don't worry.... I've never worked a day in my life.

If interested, stick your head in the nearest toilet bowl and sing "Old Man River" under water through to the third verse. My secretary will be there to pick you up within 5 minutes.

 
At 16 June, 2006 20:10, Blogger shawn said...

Oh, and about Charlie Sheen. He called the authorities because he thought the Guinea Pig films were real snuff. Why you would trust his interpretation of visual evidence after with crap like that is beyond me.

Which is to say: he's not the brightest bulb in the circuit.

 
At 17 June, 2006 20:03, Blogger nesNYC said...

Hey, there's a "Reagan" on that book you forgot to mention :D

 
At 17 June, 2006 22:03, Blogger shawn said...

here are a couple of good web pages that make strong arguments that both Loose Change and In Plane Site were part of a deliberate disinformation campaign

This is a strawman itself, you know that right? The only evidence it's a disinformation campaign is how ridiculously unsupported its claims are. And as the people claiming it's a disinformation campaign themselves have no support for their points, it doesn't really seem like a disinformation campaign at all.

Just skimming over your overly massive post, I spy three logical fallacies (although each are used several times). There's poisoning the well (Silverstein was friends with Israel government official - oh no! the Jews!), correlation implies causation (a pilot was a former Navy pilot, the Pentagon's planning in case of an airliner hitting it - which in fact doesn't support your point at all anyway), and several arguing the consequent (if the planes had flown full speed they would've made it in time - you make this as a statement of fact when it isn;t).

 
At 18 June, 2006 10:16, Blogger CHF said...

Shawn,

you know these folks are paranoid when they call eachother government agents!

It just underscores how fucked up they are: they can't put together a unified position.

If the "truth" is so obvious, how come they can't agree on what it is?

 
At 18 June, 2006 16:32, Blogger insidejob said...

"you know these folks are paranoid when they call eachother government agents!

It just underscores how fucked up they are: they can't put together a unified position.

If the "truth" is so obvious, how come they can't agree on what it is?"


you are guilty of faulty assumption here. you assume from the beginning that the maker of 'In Plane Site' is one of 'us.' he is not, as I said, and there is ample evidence for this, such as the fact that the picture of a plane on the DVD cover was actually taken from a Conspiracy Theory website that was debunking the ridiculous "Missile Pod" claim, which 'In Plane Site' actually pushes.

you are arguing that because I identified one DVD as part of a disinfo campaign, I must be a paranoid nut, and you further extrapolate that everyone in the truth movement is a paranoid nut. as far as Loose Change, it seems to be a rehashing on 'In Plane Site.'

 
At 18 June, 2006 17:59, Blogger insidejob said...

This is a strawman itself, you know that right? The only evidence it's a disinformation campaign is how ridiculously unsupported its claims are. And as the people claiming it's a disinformation campaign themselves have no support for their points, it doesn't really seem like a disinformation campaign at all.

no, it is not a straw-man. it's a fact. there is ample evidence that 'In Plane Site' was deliberate disinfo.


Just skimming over your overly massive post, I spy three logical fallacies (although each are used several times). There's poisoning the well (Silverstein was friends with Israel government official - oh no! the Jews!), correlation implies causation (a pilot was a former Navy pilot, the Pentagon's planning in case of an airliner hitting it - which in fact doesn't support your point at all anyway), and several arguing the consequent (if the planes had flown full speed they would've made it in time - you make this as a statement of fact when it isn;t).

I specifically said that I wasn't saying 'The Jews did it.' if you'd bothered to read the post you would have seen that. also, you can call these 'logical fallacies' all you want. correlation doesn't equal causation? you're taking everything completely out of context. circumstantial evidence makes its case when it is looked at globally, not when you selectively pick tiny tidbits and make fallacious arguments trying to deny their importance. by the way, in saying that Silverstein means nothing, you completely ignored the Mossad agents.

in isolation, single facts don't make a strong case.

and several arguing the consequent (if the planes had flown full speed they would've made it in time - you make this as a statement of fact when it isn;t).

the fact that you took a reasoning course in college and can name all the different types of potential logical fallacies won't help your case with me. the planes would have made it in time if they had flown at full speed, with 99.9999% probability. there's your 'statement of fact.'

 
At 18 June, 2006 20:39, Blogger shawn said...

there is ample evidence that 'In Plane Site' was deliberate disinfo.

Just like there's ample evidence that 9/11 was an inside job, right?


not when you selectively pick tiny tidbits and make fallacious arguments trying to deny their importance

Hmmm that sounds familiar...


the fact that you took a reasoning course in college and can name all the different types of potential logical fallacies won't help your case with me. the planes would have made it in time if they had flown at full speed, with 99.9999% probability. there's your 'statement of fact.'


I didn't take any reasoning courses in college (I knew about them in middle school, I'm an autodidact). The only class I took in college that even touched on them (and barely at that) was an essay writing class my freshman year. And of course it won't help me, since you idiots won't accept that they're logical fallacies. You won't accept being wrong.

And you can't just say they would've made it there with a 99.999999 probability and call that a statement of fact.

Can I play that game, too? I'm 7'8" and played in the NBA for several years. It's a statement of fact!

 
At 18 June, 2006 20:40, Blogger shawn said...

Oh, and your little "oh stop picking little things out" doesn't fly. As a majority of your statements are logically fallacious, they don't add up to anything.

 
At 19 June, 2006 05:55, Blogger Alex said...

I specifically said that I wasn't saying 'The Jews did it.'
.....
by the way, in saying that Silverstein means nothing, you completely ignored the Mossad agents.


Or, in other words:

"I'm not saying the Jews did it....but don't ignore the Jews!"

 
At 19 June, 2006 12:33, Blogger insidejob said...

Or, in other words:

"I'm not saying the Jews did it....but don't ignore the Jews!"


no, in other words:

I'm not saying the Jews didn't. I'm saying the Israeli government knew it was going to happen and Mossad may have been directly involved. can't you get that through your thick skull? stop playing the 'anti-Semite' card. what a load of b/s.

what do you make of the fact that Mossad agents were filming the towers before the first plane hit, and began dancing and celebrating when the planes hit and when the towers collapsed? and that they were dressed as Arabs?

 
At 20 June, 2006 14:34, Blogger Alex said...

"stop playing the 'anti-Semite' card. what a load of b/s."

Well, let's see. You ignore all of the official evidence that 9/11 was pulled off by Muslims even though it's evidence gathered by some of the best minds in the business. You then proceed to blame it on DA JOOOOS based on nothing more than some questionable blog quotes and conspiracy-nut websites.

Yes, no anti-semitism there at all.

If you just want to act like an idiot, blame it on the martians. You'd have about the same ammount of "evidence", and we wouldn't call you an anti-semite.

 

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