We have discussed "quote mining" several times, which is when truthers take a quote and grab part of it in order to support their assertions, ignoring any part which would contradict their beliefs. This is a variation on the same theme, which could be called "evidence mining", where you take one part of the evidence which could be made to support you, ignoring other parts of the same evidence which contradict it.
Well here is a good example of that. Steven Jones has been claiming that the World Trade Centers could have been rigged for demolition by 10 men, making 4 trips each. I have often wondered what the basis for this is. At the recent LA Conference, shown on CSPAN, he gets into his logic, if you can call it that.
Steven Jones: The point is, planting these explosives and incendiaries requires a group of people, it requires preplanning. This implies an inside job, it doesn’t have to be a large group of people. In fact I suspect it was a small group of people, perhaps about 19 who were in the know. (laughter) You see what I am saying? And there were others below them who basically… you put this material, we put it in the elevators shafts and so on. They gave them instructions…
Alex Jones: In fact you have done a calculation, on how many men it would take, how many trips to load the buildings.
Steven Jones: Yeah, let’s see, it was in one of my papers. You see I interviewed a demolitions expert on this, “How much explosives does it take to bring down a tower like this?” And he said “Well…” He’s done hundreds, “Southwork Tower took 2 or 3
hundred pounds of explosives” Well that means if you scale that to the towers, you are talking about 1000 pounds roughly. In the towers case it does look like they put more, for redundancy. For instance, you don’t know where the plane is going to go in, but you want to start the explosions from where the planes went in so you have the extra explosives at different levels. Are you following me here? Different levels, so then with a radio control… and computerized, after about an hour, we’re ready now. The computer controls the start, near where the planes went in. And it will just knock the material out of the way so this will be a complete straight down collapse.
Now his calculations for the pounds of explosives seem a bit optimistic, but they may be correct. I don't know, I didn't talk to this alleged expert, but first of all he is talking about explosives, not his super magic thermate. It is much harder for him to come up with a number for how much thermite/thermate would be used, for the simple fact that thermite is not used in building demolitions.
But more importantly, he is intentionally avoiding a huge part of the process. He is trying to imply that a small amount of explosives would be needed to bring down the building, because that would make it quicker and easier for someone to smuggle it into the Trade Centers. 10 men (or 19) making 4 trips makes it sound like this is something that you could do over a weekend by simply turning off a few security cameras.
But they don't just have to drop off the explosives like some kind of devious UPS delivery men, the reason controlled demolitions can work with smaller amounts of explosives, is because the buildings undergo extensive preparations, and the demolitions are painstakenly placed in strategic positions.
Walls are ripped apart and knocked down, beams are cut, holes are bored, wires are run to detonators. Here is a description of the work needed to take down a much smaller, 33 story building. Keep in mind, this is just the amount of time needed to emplace the explosives, not to prepare the building in the first place:
In 24 days, CDI's 12 person loading crew placed 4,118 separate charges in 1,100 locations on 9 levels of the structure. Over 36,000 ft. of detonating cord and 4,512 non-electric delay devices were installed in CDI's implosion initiation system. As the implosion required the detonation of a total of 2,728 lb. of explosives, CDI implemented 36 “primary delays" and an additional 216 “micro-delays" in the implosion initiation sequence in an attempt to keep detonation overpressure to a minimum.
Yeah, 10 men making 4 trips should be enough to wire a two 110 story office buildings. I could do that over my lunch break.