Debunking 9/11 Myths
I read the new Popular Mechanics Debunking 9/11 Myths book over the weekend. It is pretty good. My biggest complaint is that it isn't very long, only about 200 pages. It doesn't unveil anything stunning, but it is well researched and provides an indepth analysis of certain areas. There are over 300 experts listed in the appendix, although they are strangely missing any theology or philosophy professors.
Speaking of which, the release of this book is obviously worrying some people, since Jim Fetzer is attacking it, without having read it, just like he did to the website 9/11 Myths. I guess this is what they call the "scientific method". Here is Fetzer being interviewed by Air America's Mike Newcomb:
Fetzer: I might want to add Mike, that there is a current effort to spread diisinformation. To revising and expanding [sic] a Popular Mechanics piece that appeared some time ago. It’s been thoroughly taken apart, dismantled by several studies on our website. But the point I want to make is this. Popular Mechanics was taken over, and the main researcher on Popular Mechanics debunking of 9/11 research was done by Benjamin Chertoff who is the cousin of Michael Chertoff our Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Which means that, you know, this guy who is deeply committed obviously to the government’s account. Michael Chertoff, I can’t understand has a joint citizenship, both Israeli and American. Why we would have someone in a vital position like that who has an obvious conflict of interest is beyond me.Speaking of disinformation. For the umpteenth time, Michael Chertoff and Benjamin Chertoff are not known to be related. The only basis to make this claim this is an interview in that scholarly source, the neo-Nazi propaganda rag the American Free Press. The editors at Popular Mechanics are obviously annoyed by this, because they mention it in the book, from page 102:
Fetzer: This Popular Mechanic’s piece is nice disinformation, you can find it taken apart on ST911.org.
Soon after the Popular Mechanics report appeared, conspiracy buffs began parsing the names of the various researchers who contributed to the article, noting the odd coincidence that Benjamin Chertoff, then head of the magazine's research department, has the same last name as the then newly appointed head of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff. In a rare instance of reportorial initiative (most 9/11 "Internet researchers" rarely venture beyond Google), Christopher Bollyn phoned Ben's mother, who volunteered that, yes, she thinks Michael Chertoff might be a distant cousin, "Chertoff's Cousin Penned Popular Mechanics 9/11 Hit Piece," read the headline on Bollyn's next American Free Press story. "This is exactly the kind of 'journalism' one would expect to find in a dictatorship like that of Saddam Hussein's Iraq," he concluded. Later a headline was added to his article: "Ben Chertoff: Propagandists & Illuminati Disinformation Tool."
As often happens in the world of conspiracy theories, a grain of truth- it's possible that Ben and Michael Chertoff are distantly related- was built into a towering dune. In fact, Ben and Michael Chertoff have never spoken. And no one at Popular Mechanics had any contact with Michael Chertoff's office while preparing the article.
Now the question is, does Fetzer know he is lying, and that he is relying on Neo-Nazi propaganda, or is he just so sloppy and lazy he doesn't bother to do any research to check out his sources?
Update: A reader points out that Fetzer also claims in this interview that Michael Chertoff has dual American-Israeli citizenship. Some quick research shows this story also started with, you guessed it, Christopher Bollyn of the American Free Press.