Logical Fallacies of Loose Change
Pat has already touched on this, but I figured I would add to it. There are certain patterns to the way the Loose Change boys, and conspiracy theorists in general, make their arguments, they don't come up with their theories through random chance, but through willful dishonesty and manipulation, this is why I created my "Rules of Conspracy Theories".
These are the most common logical fallacies they use in an attempt to disinform their audience.
1. Quote mining:This is defined in Wikipedia as "... used pejoratively to accuse the "quote miner" of cherry picking and misquotation, where favorable positions are amplified or falsely suggested, and unfavorable positions in the same text are excluded or otherwise obscured." this technique is used so often in Loose Change that we have dedicated an entire series of posts to it. You can browse through some of them from here.
2. False pretense of authority: This is where you get an "expert" to back up your viewpoint, who... isn't really as expert as you would like. My favorite is of course, "Karl Schwarz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Patmos Nanotechnologies LLC and I-nets Security Systems". The reports that he is so ridiculous that even the Loose Change boys are going to remove him from the next edition are very disturbing. Come on boys, stick with Karl! Other examples are Kevin Ryan, waterboy, and of course the entire "Scholars" for 9/11 "Truth"
3. "All witnesses are the same" fallacy: As everyone knows, in any event you will get slightly different versions of what happened. What Loose Change does though, is ignore the overwhelming majority of the reports, and grab on to the one outlier. If 100 people saw a large commercial jetliner, and one person thought it was a smaller commuter plane, then it simply becomes "some people" saw one, and "some people" saw the other, as if they were equal in weight.
4. Ignore evidence that contradicts you: This is the one that drives me nuts. In this case, the Loosers do things like look at one picture, in which the hole in the side of the Pentagon is obscured by smoke and the firefighters, and proclaim it is only 16 feet wide, while ignoring other pictures which clearly show it is much larger.
5. Unexplained tainted evidence: If some piece of evidence contradicts your theory, then just make some vague comment about how there must be something wrong with it. You don't have to explain what it is, or how it got there, just make it sound ominous. For example, the light poles. Apparently they do believe in the light pole fairies.
6. If you make enough accusations eventually one of them will stick (otherwise known as the "we are just asking questions fallacy"): It was a commuter plane, no it was an A-3 Skyhawk, no it was a C-130, no it was a cruise missile. No, it doesn't matter because we are just asking questions.
7. The "implied connection" fallacy: If you mention two completely unrelated items in sequence, eventually people will make the connection. For example, say that Marvin Bush was on the board of directors for a company that managed some security at the WTC, then say that bomb sniffing dogs were pulled from the WTC (not really but for simplicity's sake let's assume they were), therefore Marvin Bush ordered the bomb sniffing dogs removed.
8. The unexplained sinister assertion: The most hilarious example of this is when Controlled Demolitions Inc. blew up some storage tanks months before 9/11. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything, it just sounds ominous.
9. The presence of a technology proves its use: The fact that something can be done, proves that it was done. It is possible to control a plane remotely, therefore that must have happened on 9/11. Someone came up with the idea of faking a plane shootdown in Operation Northwood, therefore that must be what they did 40 years later.
Go ahead and add your own logical fallacies, there are more out there!