Thursday, December 04, 2008

Whose Burden of Proof Is It?

Commenter Falcon Apoda did a You Tube video on this topic a few months ago that is right on the money. I particularly like the point he makes about how the reason the Truthers are ducking coming up with their alternative theory, is that every time they have they've been debunked.

Let's look at 9-11 as a real investigation. What do the investigators do? Well, they start with a very broad theory; that somebody on the planes was behind the attacks. So they go to the airline companies and get the flight manifests. In the meantime, they're getting reports that there were phone calls from the planes indicating they'd been hijacked, in some cases giving seat numbers of the hijackers. And what do you know, when they check those seats against the names of the passengers a pattern starts to form; all of the flights had 4-5 men with Middle Eastern names, some of whom match the seat locations given by the callers. Hmmm, a closer in theory starts to emerge: These were the guys behind it. They check further and discover that each of the planes had a licensed pilot among the 4-5 men with Middle Eastern names. A sharper theory begins to emerge: They took over the planes, substituted their pilots and flew them into buildings.

Now that's very quick detective work, obviously, and not very tricky; I'd suspect that 99% of us would quickly come to that conclusion. But the Troofers will seize on any perceived inconsistency. Look, here's a report that one of the hijackers was drinking; clearly he's not a devout Muslim ready to give his life for jihad. Therefore the 4-5 men including one pilot with Middle Eastern names were not the ones responsible.

Okay, Detective Truther, what's your theory? We can already see how remarkably strong the case is against Mohamed Atta and his pals, what do you propose instead. And of course, they're reduced to laughable claims like remote control (after telling us not even a skilled pilot could hit the towers). Or maybe they were other planes--the mythical 767 tankers, for example.

And their theories get shot down because frankly there's nothing to them. So they've learned to mostly keep out the theorizing and stick to "We're just asking questions." But "asking questions" is only one part of investigating. Eventually you have to start connecting the dots.

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