Friday, October 05, 2007

Crackpot Griffin Doubles Down on the Calls

I could see him trying to simply rescue the claim on AA77, but when he goes into the UA93 stuff, I gotta call it complete fruitcake territory:

Much stronger evidence that the two alleged phone calls from Barbara Olson on Flight 77 to her husband, then Solicitor General Ted Olson, did not happen. (1. Although Olson finally settled on the claim that his wife had used a seat-back phone, a 2006 letter from American Airlines Customer Service stated that AA Flight 77 had no seat-back phones. 2. The FBI report on phone calls from the four airliners, provided at the Moussaoui trial in 2006, listed only one attempted call from Barbara Olson, which was unconnected and hence lasted “0 seconds.”)

Stronger evidence that the alleged cell phone calls were faked: The most famous of these were the four calls that Deena Burnett reported receiving from her husband, Tom Burnett. She knows that they came from his cell phone, she said, because she saw his Caller ID number. According to the FBI’s report at the Moussaoui trial, however, there were only two cell phone calls from United 93, and they were made at 9:58, shortly before the plane crashed, when it was down to 5,000 feet. The FBI refused to support, therefore, the claim (e.g., by Popular Mechanics) that high-altitude cell phone calls were possible in 2001. Deena Burnett must have been duped.

I think Deena Burnett probably made a mistake, but maybe her husband did get a brief connection, long enough for her to see it on Caller ID, but not long enough to connect. But of course he called back on an Airfone; that is also established by the Moussaoui trial evidence.

The Olson evidence is less conclusive; there are good reasons to assume that Barbara Olson was the caller for several of the listed phone calls on AA77 but no conclusive proof other than her husband's word. I tend to buy it but I can see why anti-Bush hysterics might not.

I'm a little surprised to see Griffin bravely defending territory that his fellow 9-11 Troofers have abandoned; the notion that the phone calls were faked has always been ridiculous and offensive. I can understand why Griffin does it; if you admit the calls you have to admit Islamic-appearing hijackers, and that pretty much leads to LIHOP at most.

But supporting the concept of "faked" phone calls is stupid. To put it in war terms, it's like covering a bridge when the smarter thing to do is destroy the bridge. DRG should be showing his acolytes that he is one of the reasonable people on this issue; instead he seems determined to prove himself as kooky as they are.