February 3, 2008

"You may rest assured that I, and hundreds of supporters, will continue to contact you, by email, phone, and perhaps in-person requests...."

An excerpt from the most recent email received from a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

UPDATE: Comments from a 9/11 conspiracy website (which I won't link to). They're reacting to my statement ("I don't know why the University of Wisconsin has not rehired 9/11 conspiracy believer Kevin Barrett to teach a course on the history of Islam. But if we know a person believes something truly nutty, are we not entitled to use that as evidence of his intelligence, judgment, and trustworthiness?") and to my rejection of a proposal that I debate Barrett (to which I responded, by email, that I would no more debate a 9/11 truther than I would a Nazi or a Klansman).
It appears that Ann Althouse is deranged. How can UW employee her? She insults Kevin Barrett's position on 9/11, but refuses to debate him. This is not rational behavior....

Why does UW continue to employee the increasingly incoherent Ann Althouse? She obviously has some type of mental disorder. The evidence of 9/11 as an inside job by people high in this administration is overwhelming. It only takes a modicum of research to understand that.....

Anyone as incoherent as Ann Althouse has no business teaching at a state university.

***

As a Wisconsite [sic] who is proud of our tradition of fair playing regarding all points of view, I questioned her conduct and told her I thought we had left Joe McCarthy's way in the world in our past.

I invited her to consider moving to another state where this kind of conduct in someone in her position would be seen as appropriate.

Maybe if she...and her boss...get a few more of these from those who pay their salaries, they will think twice about this.

***

Personally, I feel, it's time to push back--well past time!

Ms. Altman [sic] is a one-sided narrow-minded hippocrit [sic].

...and don't believe her!
Most recent email from a 9/11 "truther" —
You are the one defending the Fascist Nazi like regime we unfortunately call America these days. Turning a blind eye to the truth and calling people looking for the truth Nazis is truly the most deplorable position I know of. For those you defend will not a rats ass about you in the end. May you forever rot in the hell you have earned and rightly deserve.
AND: Another email:
I can't wait for you to debate the 'official' bullshit 9/11 lies, ass! I hope this gets you fired, you're obviously stupid. Do you read, books? There's plenty of proof 9/11 was an inside job. Try reading, if you know how.....lololol.

MORE:
there are only three choices for you girly..
1) You suffer from a severe case of cognizant dissonance (I hope);
2) you are an evil troll-shill for the perps who carried out the evil plan (most likely);
3) or you are just plain stupid(higly probabable), and you know absolutely nothing about controlled demolition, conservation of momentum(and the laws of physics in general), the effects of the transfer of heat though metal structures, load bearing, avionics, flight data recording interpretation....AND who really runs this world.

In any event you should not be permitted to teach anything to anyone...
those that carried out 9-11 will eventully be brought to the harshest form of acceptable legal justice, including their punk-ass neo-con supporters (like you). You think you know "law" now???...just wait. It will take a while to get to you lower level operatives but they will get to you. People like you are only ten minutes between this world and a better one.
YOU SUCK!

77 comments:

rhhardin said...

Contact by aircraft is to be avoided.

Bob said...

Sounds like stalking to me.

Ron said...

Ah, the wingnuts have hatched I see...be mighty careful, Dr. A...

Roost on the Moon said...

"Rest assured", you will be continually pestered.

Ann Althouse said...

And here's something from a letter published in the Madison newspaper the other day:

"Althouse should either agree to debate Barrett in a public forum about the attacks of 9/11, or she should resign!"

The newspaper published this idiotic letter, which refers to my "cruel and uncalled for" remarks without quoting what I said, which was that the 9/11 conspiracy theory is "nutty."

How lame can a supposedly mainstream newspaper be.

Eli Blake said...

Forward the emails to the Ron Paul campaign. Sort of like little kids putting ants from two different holes in the same bottle to 'watch them fight.'

Seriously though, it must be a lot of work for half a dozen nuts to create 'hundreds' of fake names, and get them all email addresses.

Ann Althouse said...

Bob, you are right. Here is the Wisconsin statute that makes "stalking" a crime.

Ironically, it's not just a threat of stalking, it's a threat of a conspiracy of stalking!

Joe R. said...

Althouse should either agree to debate Barrett in a public forum about the attacks of 9/11, or she should resign!

Isn't the blogosphere a "public forum" ?

former law student said...

Maybe Ann can leverage this hunger for contact with her into a money-making opportunity. She could meet them at Starbucks, four at a time, charging $100 each for a 15 minute session.

Ron said...

That gibberish was in the Madison paper? Wow, I thought the Ann Arbor News was nonsense...

If anything, I wished for even crueler and more uncalled for remarks about these idiots...

rhhardin said...

Bring up the parable of the window screens (``keeps the bugs out'').

Ann Althouse said...

Maybe $10,000 for a 1.5 minute session. If I can also have a 10-foot pole.

rhhardin said...

Will Cuppy said he'd have no compunctions about picking up a live snake with a ten foot pole, if he had Dr. Ditmars with him, anyway.

Tibore said...

Most of it will die down; just give it time. As soon as some other national figure sounds off, their attention will shift.

On the other hand, you might continue to see crap from truthers local to the campus(es) you work at. Sort of like Rain Man, they'll get in the habit of picking at a favorite local target and won't let go for a long time. That's admittedly a problem. Either way, I don't suggest you enable a deluded publicity hound like Barrett (not that you seem inclined to). Again, I don't doubt that you have the mental acuity to handle a nitwit like him, but like I said in that earlier post: It takes two seconds for them to say "no plane" or "explosives" and nearly half an hour to just skim the proof that those claims are wrong, so why give them the stage? They'll just hector, practice argumentum ad nauseum, and try to shift burdens of proof by asking stupid questions like "prove the wreckage at the Pentagon was from a 757". I don't think anyone wants to memorize lists of evidence or witness quotes (I know I don't), so a "public" debate is a dumb venue for such a detail oriented topic anyway.

If you really get fed up and want to respond, you can always point out that the makers of Loose Change already failed to convince in a debate against a mere NYC tour guide. But again, if you don't mind me giving unsolicited advice, I just recommend you let them bitch and ignore them. Little drives these truthers crazier than people ignoring them; that's why they resort to such stupid publicity stunts like annoying police, or (as you pointed out in an earlier post) heckling politicians.

If you do any public speaking from here on out, it's not a bad idea to expect at least one of these fantasy peddlers to gate crash. It won't always happen, but unfortunately, the possibility will be there for some time.

You know, if you could just convince Dr. Achy to show up if you give public talks, maybe you can just let him take care of them. :)

al said...

If I can also have a 10-foot pole.

I think a Sig P220 would be a bit more effective.

Palladian said...

I still love that these cretins think that one "debates" science and engineering facts. No, kiddies, one debates gay marriage and the merits of a new bike path on the edge of the town boundaries. One publishes scientific assertions in a scientific journal along with experimental support of said theories and then patiently awaits the review of peers in the field. Conjecture without evidence is not science.

Not all ideas deserve the dignity of a scholarly debate. These people want "debate" because they've learned that they can exploit the ignorance and paranoia of others by way of their cheap rhetorical theatrics. It's the same method by which "creation science" has gained so many adherents, yet strangely none of any scientific importance.

Your local newspaper should be ashamed that they've decided that "free speech" trumps decency, intellectual discrimination and the truth.

Tibore said...

Palladian,

The problem is that these guys do put the political considerations before the scientific ones. I have, I kid you not, more than once had someone begin his/her argument with "put the physics (or science) aside, consider Bush's..." blah blah blah. Or something similar. I am absolutely serious about this.

If the topic at hand is truly a physics claim, then my head spins, and I usually ask "How exactly does Bush(Cheney/Rumsfeld/the Republicans/the New World Order) actually suspend physical law to do (X)?". Which usually gets ignored while they whip out the old PNAC or Northwoods argument.

Anyway, Palladian, the problem with truthes is that they really do not know how to evaluate the science, so they try to pitch the debate as "my expert vs. your expert". And we can all see where that leads.

Sir Archy said...

To Professor Althouse.

Madam,

As a Ghost dead these 250 Years and more, and as the Inspector of Lunaticks for this, your Theatre of Topicks (as I call it), I may say that Those with Vain Imaginings about the dreadful Attacks in New-York, and who are now pest'ring You, might have a Care, that I and some of my Fellow Ghosts should haunt Them.

It is much more likely that a Conspiracy Theorist should see an evanescent Ghost coming through a Wall, than He should understand simple Mechanicks, or the Strength of a Truss, or how Heat altereth many Things.

Madam, you should know that I am not one of those Spectres who hangs about Graveyards, &c.  No, my Fate has been to haunt the Brains of certain Gentlemen, especially those with a Connection to the Theatre.  In your Service, Madam, I should be glad to exchange Rôles, however, with those common ectoplasmick Spirits who delight in making Apparitions with Knocks & Groans in the Night, &c.  The sight of Me clanking a few Chains ought to displace the vain, silly Notions that too much Idleness has allow'd the creep into the Brains of these deluded Lunaticks.

Praying, Madam, that I soon should be allow'd to say 'Boo' on Your behalf,

I remain,

Your most humble & obt. Servant,

Sir Archy

Sir Archy said...

P.S.—For no extra Charge, I should be pleas'd to play upon my Ghostly Bagpipes, should that make a better Effect.

Pogo said...

Stalked by cowards.

Criminey.

But "hundreds" of supporters?
Hundreds?
Heh.
Only if he brings a gross of jockstraps.

Eli Blake said...

Little drives these truthers crazier than people ignoring them

Good point.

Exactly the same thing that bugs creationists, Holocaust deniers, UFOlogists and other similar kinds of conspiracy theorists.

chuck b. said...

Yeah, they can "contact" me too--bunch of crazy fuckwads.

Ann Althouse said...

LOL, Pogo... Now, I'm picturing myself pursued by "hundreds of supporters" and laughing. I'd love to see a cartoon of that.

Tibore said...

Hundreds? Pffft... whatever. They barely get double digits for their protests at Ground Zero. What the hell makes them think they'll get anything beyond the teens all the way out here in the Midwest?

They shouldn't confuse all their sock puppets online for real numbers.

Super-Electro-Magnetic Midget Launcher said...

Eli Blake,

Creationists aren't conspiracy theorists! They believe that one being, acting alone, created everything. Can't get less conspiratorial than that, can you?

Though, yeah, they're just as full of crap as the others...

From Inwood said...

9/11 Truthers should watch PBS's American Experience tomorrow nite. AE has gone down under Grand Central Terminal, another place with "caverns measureless to man". Who knows what evil lurks within the hearts of men under there!

TY As you can guess from my Shadow quote, I go back to the Polo Ground days of the NY Giants, tho I never went to a football game there. Lots of baseball.

Speaking of caverns, well holes in the ground, there are purported Indian Caves in Inwood Hill Park. Used to crawl in them. Don't tell the truthers.

From Inwood said...

Woops. Am reading your threads in reverse Chronological order. Now, based on your earlier post today, looks like some nuts have gotten to Grand Central without the aid of American Experience!

George said...

Funny that those undersea Mediterranean internet cables serving the Middle East got cut a day or two ago...

I'm sure we had nothing to do with it, nothing like when we tapped into the Russian military's undersea phone lines...

Hmm.

John Burgess said...

Pure coincidence, but Ilya Somin, at Volokh Conspiracy, has an interesting post on Political Ignorance and Belief in Conspiracy Theory. Makes sense.

Eli Blake said...

s.e.m.m.l.:

Creationists aren't conspiracy theorists!

Oh, yes they are! They like to rant on about how the 'Darwinist scientific establishment' are persecuting the poor creationists by refusing to publish their articles or examine the 'evidence' they put forward. Of course, that is garbage, because in order to get published in a scientific journal the evidence has to actually meet scientific standards, which frankly none of their ideas and 'evidence' they use to support it meet. But in their mind there is some great conspiracy among scientists, government agencies and others to promote Darwinian thinking and suppress the 'truth.'

Of course when this happens it only strengthens the conspiracy outlook of creationists because they see it as persecution and of course the Bible said they would all be persecuted someday. Since nobody is bothering to burn them at the stake or break their bodies on the rack anymore, they'll have to take 'having paper refused by scientific journal' as qualifying as 'persecution.'

Editor said...

Ain't it nice to be loved? *snicker*

USAPatriot said...

An open letter to Ann Althouse:

I'm an attorney (JD, Georgetown Law Center, 1975) who had heard the claims of the "conspiracy theorists" two years ago and dismissed them as ludicrous and delusional. I've since re-examined the official story and carefully analyzed the evidence that I had accepted as factual--both circumstantial and scientific. To me, it’s been established beyond a reasonable doubt that the official story is false.

That's a very difficult fact to accept because the implications are earth-shattering, literally. It makes you question your own faculties and shakes to the core your belief system about our media and our government. I refused to believe it myself for weeks, until I could come to no other conclusion.

I don't have an explanation of what really happened, or who was really responsible. All I can tell you is, the official narrative cannot be true.

I'm not asking you or anyone else to accept this on my say-so or Kevin Barrett's or any number of patriots, architects, engineers, or other "truthers." But please beware of accepting something as true simply because it was the first explanation you heard in the news, or because it was repeated thousands of times by thousands of people. That doesn't make it true either.

And please don't dismiss the message by disparaging the messenger. Someone who graduated first in her class in law school shouldn’t stoop to such rhetorical bullying.

If nothing else, the fact that the 9/11 Commission report is now unraveling as a criminal cover-up of the Bush administration should give you pause regarding its premises and conclusions.

You recently wrote in Legal Times (7/9/07), "once I've written a post, I stand by it: This is what I thought then. . . . If I think it's wrong now, then it's time for a new post. There’s always a new post in blogging."

I sincerely hope you'll write a new post soon--even if it's only to say you've re-examined the evidence, fully, honestly, and without prejudice. It may take some courage, but I trust you won't shrink from it.

Thanks.

former law student said...

USAPatriot -- I think you'll find that there was a second gunman, on the grassy knoll. Oswald could not have acted alone.

Paco Wové said...

"It makes you question your own faculties..."

Perhaps you should question them some more.

Skeptical said...

Wow, the implications are earth-shattering, literally? That's a powerful theory, when the theory itself causes massive destruction.

The Drill SGT said...

former law student said...
USAPatriot -- I think you'll find that there was a second gunman, on the grassy knoll. Oswald could not have acted alone.


I'm sorry, you put the truthers in too good a light when you compare them to folks who think that there may have been a JFK conspiracy.

I for one think it was Oswald alone, but I can understand why with only the zagruber tape and some shot angle analysis, that some folks think that Oswald might have had help. And of course Ruby's killing of Oswald muddies it even further. Let me say again, Oswald did it alone.

Compare the relative lack of evidence in Dallas to:

-live videos of both planes hitting the towers
- cell phones from the PA plane
- security video of the Pentagon plane
- engines pulled from the Pentagon
- thousands of eye witnesses
- Video martyrdom confessions from the highjackers
- OBL video claiming the work
- Atta's confession
- engineering level sims of the collapse
- the impossibility of the Bush folks keeping a secret
- or sneaking tons of explosives into a building then wiring them to structural members in full view of the intended targets.

need I go on?

the mind boggles at the lack of limits on fantasy

b. j. edwards said...

USAPatriot,

The fact that you use the canard "official story" is a dead giveaway that you listened to 9/11 conspiracists without thinking about their claims.

The term "official story" originated with 9/11 Twoofers years ago as a strawman: what we know about the events of 9/11 only comes from what the government and "mainstream media" told us. Some Twoofers protest saying that the 9/11 Commission Report is the "official story."

But does the "official story" canard hold up to scrutiny? Absolutely not.

What we know about the events of 9/11 never originated from the government, nor has it been in control by the government. What we actually know has come from thousands of independent sources and lines of evidence, accumulated in investigations like NIST (made up of a majority of independent, non-government structural engineers, forensic scientists, architects, chemists, and physicists, whose data and methodologies are fully open to criticism and affirmation by anyone in the world), and physical and eyewitness evidence from thousands of people, that converges on a conclusion never once refuted.

On the Twoofer side, there is nothing but claims and assertions, repeated and debunked ad infinitum, with not the slightest concern for the nature of evidence or the scientific method.

There is good reason why the the so-called 9/11 "Truth" Movement is known by its accurate name: The 9/11 Denial Movement. There is good reason why 9/11 Truthers are treated with derision: they have spent the last six years being intellectually dishonest. They know it and we know it.

Before you step further into Twoofer woo, step back and start asking questions - of them. If you are serious about wanting to know the truth, learn to think critically about their claims, beliefs, and motives, and you'll find the 9/11 "Truth" Movement's foundation is nothing more than a house of cards.

rhhardin said...

But does the "official story" canard hold up to scrutiny? Absolutely not.

The towers were not brought down by ducks!

john said...

Jesus Ann, it's an "Open Letter". This man has nothing to hide.

Simon said...

USAPatriot, I have your evidence professor from Georgetown on line 2, he wants your JD back.

Simon said...

By the way: does anyone else think that jurors should be struck on grounds of belief in "9/11 truth"? Should anyone with so badly flawed a conception of proof beyond reasonable doubt (to the lengths of which "USA Patriot" et al declare the conspiracy has been proven) be allowed to make such a decision when lives hang in the balance?

Tibore said...

"Another open letter from a concerned patriot to Ann Althouse:

I'm a burger flipper at the local McD's, certified for both fryer and grill, and I too heard the claims of the "conspiracy theorists". Hell, I'm hearing 'em right now; those dorks keep coming in with scrounged change buying something off the dollar menu with a cup of water. Don't these guys have jobs?

Anyway, I too have re-examined the "official story" - meaning the part from the government (it's too hard to tackle all the stuff from those "engineers" and "scientific journals") - and I too think it's established that the "official story" is false too. I mean, look at it: A whole bunch of cavemen from the Middle East manage to not just take over some airplanes, but fly them in the right direction? And hit big, unmoving buildings dead on? With their skill?? Whodathunk? And with box cutters? What, no one had a steak knife on the flight to fight back with?

Look, I don't have an explanation of what really happened either, or who was really responsible (well, besides Bush, Cheney, the federal government, the military, the CIA... everyone but the muslim extremists themselves). All I know is when you juxtapose a whole bunch of stuff together, then get an "expert", like a muon-catalyzed fusion physicist (Steven Jones), or a (*gasp!*) professor of theology (David Ray Griffin) to say it, then you realize the official narrative cannot be true! (Ignore that Alex Jones fool; even I think he's a nut, although I'm not so fastidious to avoid posting on his site, or using his work as a basis for my arguments, fictional as they may be). My point is these experts - EXPERTS who've studied the official story (but not the stuff from those pesky "engineers" or those articles in those "journals") have got to be right! I mean, they put in so much time!

In spite of that, I'm not asking you or anyone else to accept this on my say-so or Kevin Barrett's, or any number of the Patriots for 9/11 Truth (many of whom not only haven't officially joined any portion of the Truth Movement... well hell, many don't even know they've been added to the PQ9/11 list! But it doesn't matter that many of them haven't actually questions 9/11 per se, they've questioned the government! Good enough!), the "Architects or Engineers for 9/11 Truth" (well, Richard Gage does have a long list of people... one of these days, we're hoping they'll actually do something like attend a meeting, or write a paper. But until then, we have their names on a list!!) or other "truthers". But please beware of accepting something as true simply because you don't have the context to understand the significance of the statement. I mean, dammit, who cares if steel doesn't have to actually melt but only has to get to 600 degrees before it loses half it's weight bearing capacity; it just makes too much damn sense to say "jet fuel doesn't burn hot enough to melt steel!" and be done with it. "Progressive collapse", whatever! Just because a team of fire and structure researchers each individually having decades of experience says this after years of studying the WTC collapse doesn't make it true!

Oh, please don't dismiss the message by disparaging the messenger. Just pay attention to what the messenger says. No, don't cite Barrett's disbelief in the Holocaust; what does that have to do with 9/11? Oh, he thinks the hijackers are still alive? Well... does that mean everything else he says is wrong? What... he doesn't believe Muslims were involved? Well, he's an "expert" on Islam, is he not? What?... the message he cosigned with others asking for changes to the NIST report was summarily rejected" for "circular logic", being "inconsistent", and being "contrary to all available data"? Well, hell! Isn't that proof of a conspiracy?

Let me state that the 9/11 Commision report is now unraveling as a criminal cover-up of the Bush administration. Nevermind that I'm simply basing that on one book that just came out, and that the allegation is that (*gasp!*) the chairman of the 9/11 Commision Panel had been (*gasp!*) in contact with the White House! That of course must invalidate all the expert testimony and override all the influence of all other members of the commision, even on the part of those who are Democrats.

I sincerely hope you'll write a new post soon - even if it's only to say "well, I've re-examined the evidence of steel melting, explosive "squibs", free fall, Pentagon hole too small to be a jetliner, no wreckage at the Pentagon... and I'm doing so without prejudice". I mean, you really have to suspend disbelie... I mean, "prejudice" to really look at this stuff. The hole in the Pentagon... well, sheesh! Anyone can see that it's too small! Trust me, I know holes; I worked in a donut shop once, and believe me when I say I can judge holes! Forget all the other holes in the Pentagon, I'm just talking about the one! Does that look big enough to you??

Anyway, I hope you'll look at all these reams of isolated anomal... I mean, evidence, and hopefully will come to the only conclusion about "inside jobs" that you can. And no, don't pay attention to those neocon shills at Popular Mechanics (did'ja know one of the authors is related to Bush?), 9/11 Myths, Aerospaceweb (bunch of shills are trying to get you to believe it really was a 757 that hit the Pentagon!), Debunking 9/11, or any of the rest of those liar sites. They keep on putting up straw men about what really happened and quote "experts". Pah! We got experts too!

So, please look. I think you have the courage to see what everyone else sees, all 30 or so of us. It may take some courage, but I trust you won't shrink from it.

Thanks.

Signed,

Neigborhood burger flipper (Hey! I'm being trained on drive-through next! They only trust real sharp guys with drive through!)

Fen said...

You are the one defending the Fascist Nazi like regime we unfortunately call America these days.

Okay. I'm just going to give it up and admit that I'm a Fascist Nazi. Mmmm. Much better. Now, where is my molotov and how did all these Truthers evade being shot as heretics?


Turning a blind eye to the truth and calling people looking for the truth Nazis is truly the most deplorable position I know of.

Irony. Didn't you just call Ann a Nazi?

For those you defend will not a rats ass about you in the end. May you forever rot in the hell you have earned and rightly deserve.

As a former Marine and current "nazi fascist", I would like to confess: Loose Change is a CIA op intended to discredit the Truther movement. You guys are complicit in the very conspiracy you denounce. Now baaa like proper sheep please. The trains are on time and pulling in for you.

Tibore said...

"... and to my rejection of a proposal that I debate Barrett (to which I responded, by email, that I would no more debate a 9/11 truther than a would a Nazi or a Klansman."

Perfect response!

Tibore said...

What the...

Professor, who's Pedro Oliveira, and why is Barrett asking his followers to email him about you?

Ann Althouse said...

Tibore, he wrote this piece in the student newspaper.

Tibore said...

Ahhh, okay. He's a writer for the Badger Herald. Got it.

rhhardin said...

hippocrit

Do not speak ill of horses.

MadisonMan said...

Wow. Hinges are in aisle 4 and some people really desperately do need them.

It seems silly to sue someone for not hiring you because of your political beliefs. Is narcissist Kevin Barrett not aware that tenure decisions are made all the time based on political beliefs? A university department has to function as a ill-mannered dysfunctional family. Too many eccentric beliefs in it and the department goes off-kilter.

Tibore said...

Thanks for the info about Oliveria, professor.

Oh, and just so you know that you're not alone:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-shermer/911-truthers-a-pack-of_b_84154.html

Michael Shermer, who's criticized the so-called "Truth Movement" before, has been heckled at each of his stops promoting a book that has nothing to do with 9/11. He writes about it at the link above. Not essential reading, but I figured you might find it interesting.

rhhardin said...

I wish truthers would send me mail. I need it for my Mark V Shaney program, which at the moment is restricted pretty much to writing letters from Hillary.

Mr. Forward said...

Tibore that was great.
Can I get fries with that?

knoxwhirled said...

they really do not know how to evaluate the science, so they try to pitch the debate as "my expert vs. your expert".


You give them more credit than I do. I think they do know how to evaluate the science, they just selectively edit out what doesn't fit their conspiracy theory. The newspaper is employing exactly the same tactics, by pretending that Barrett is just another competent, credible professor. Instead of a "nutty" professor, hehe.

rhhardin said...

Hey, have them call WBAI! Available online. They do conspiracy.

At least according to this ad (2006) or this one (2007).

Their page . Online streaming!

Tibore said...

"You give them more credit than I do. I think they do know how to evaluate the science, they just selectively edit out what doesn't fit their conspiracy theory."

That is true for a fair number of them, but there's a spectrum, which of course means that there are still a fair number of people who absolutely do not know how to properly apply science or engineering know-how to the event.

The one member who really bugs me is physicist Steven Jones. He's the epitome of what you're saying. Jones absolutely knows the importance of proper scientific method, plus proper representation of ones work, yet he flouts both publication and method. His so-called "peer reviewed" publication stands as mockery of all known proper refereeing, and from his former position at BYU, plus his involvement in the Cold Fusion incident (he was credited by many to be one of the calm, sane, proper researchers in that highly unconventional field, one who actually applied correct scientific method to his research), he absolutely must know how to do things right. Yet, he subjects his claims to non-scientists (forget just non-physicists or chemists, but non-scientists) and claims peer-review when no proper referee exists at his periodical to properly review his claims.

And I'm not even getting into the minituae of his latest "iron microsphere" findings, and the problems associated with that.

Yet, others who know nothing about proper research or publication are suckered in by the fact that he applies "sciency" research to his claims ("Oh, look, he did EDX spectroscopy on dust samples from the collapse!"). Those are the people who do not know how to properly evauluate the science. Hell, I didn't know how to evauluate his claims; I needed the explanations of a chemist and a couple of engineers at the JREF forum to understand that there was a difference between finding and proving the existence of a component of the dust (again, something not disputed; his methodology is firm on that count) and handwaving the explanation of how it formed. But at least I knew that I needed guidance.

It's true that many selectively edit out what doesn't fit. But it's also true that there are many who wouldn't know how to evaluate the various claims and facts to begin with, which is probably why you continue to see "free fall" and "molten steel" fallacies fly all over the internet. At any rate, we're both right. There are folks who fit both descriptions in the so-called truth movement. And both camps somehow manage to end up in the same fallacious place mentally. Remarkable.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I think a "hippocrit" is one of those flying critters from Harry Potter. Or maybe it's a Comp Lit grad student who likes to accuse horses of being hegemonic and eurocentric.

knoxwhirled said...

it's also true that there are many who wouldn't know how to evaluate the various claims and facts to begin with

You're right, of course, and this group probably makes up the vast majority of the truthers.

former law student said...

As Northwestern's Butz example shows, FIRST you get tenure, THEN you associate yourself with revisionist ideas.

Chip Ahoy said...

*clasps hands, looks upward angelically*

I must have forbearance for hundreds of my 300 millions compatriots are both stupid and mean.

Those are the good qualities. They're also English majors, which is a special kind of nutty.

The poo I clean out of the pens is good for re-arming the 10 foot poles.

Please don't put [sic] on my post, I know poo isn't a word. Ha ha ha

dddDean said...

1)That first email seem particuliarly incoherent - guess you have to know it to criticize it (unity of form and content) :)
2) Much as I would like to lay the blame on Cheney and the shadow government, they are far more guilty of capitalizing on major catastrophic events to create more opportunities to rake in the $, and sink the economy while allowing guys like Wolfowitz to pursue their world view to give their greed an idiological foundation.
3) If I didn't know better I would've thought this blog was happening live at the Rathskeller fueled by plastic pitchers of Wisconsin's finest (sniff, I wax nostalgic...)
4) If all elso fails I say run for mayor of Madison....

Verso said...

There's a huge amount of overlap between this crowd (the "Truthers") and the Ron Paul zealots. And what you've been exposed to is their standard (frightening, mob-like) behavior.

I made a few comments at Ron Paul's expense on some YouTube videos at the time his newsletters' contents were disclosed, and ever since then have been followed around YouTube by a clan of Paulbots. They spam my channel with insults that sound word-for-word like the ones you've recieved from the Truthers. And whenever I leave a comment on another video, even if it has nothing to do with politics, it is quickly responded to by the same core group that has been following me for several weeks. It's really strange behavior.

One hopes that the Ron Paul zombies will dry up and blow away after the final collapse of the Ron Paul campaign. But considering their certainty that they, and only they, know the truth, I find that unlikely.

This may become the breeding ground for the next collection of right-wing anti-government militias like the ones that flourished under the Clinton administration.

Peter said...

After reading those 9/11 Troofer moonbat e-mails, I was waiting for Porky Pig to burst onto my screen and say: "Th-th-th-th-th-that's all, Folks!"

I still have the Looney Tunes theme playing in my head as a result of reading the Troofers.

USAPatriot said...

Just one rebuttal.

It’s unfortunate that the responses to my open letter are mostly sarcasm, obfuscation and ad hominems -- beneath the dignity of their authors or the serious topic at hand.

It’s unfortunate, too, that Ann Althouse has not commented, although my only hope was that she read the letter.

Why all the venom here? Why the fear? Aren’t we all Americans? Aren’t we entitled to challenge our government when it fails us? Shouldn’t we demand accountability from our public servants? Don’t we have a duty to speak up if we suspect criminal activities? Indeed, that’s what "misprision" is all about, and it’s a serious crime. Ask Professor Althouse.

If even one claim of the "Twoofers" is valid, that would be reason enough to question the rest of the government’s account -- especially from an Administration that has repeatedly lied to its people, with the aid of a corporate-controlled press. (The Center for Public Integrity counted 935 false statements leading up to the Iraq War http://www.publicintegrity.org/default.aspx, including a manufactured connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq.)

Keep in mind that the converse cannot be said: Debunking one truther claim does not invalidate the others; nor does it mean that the rest of the official story is true. The rules of logic cannot be ignored or selectively applied.

I’ll repeat: the case of foreknowledge of the attacks by the Bush Administration and an ensuing massive cover-up has been made beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence is available to whomever is willing to do the research and think independently.

To The Drill SGT: Your list of "evidence" above is woefully inconclusive. Each one of them could easily be impeached in court. Try visiting some web sites you may not agree with to challenge your thinking, as I have. You might start here: http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20041221155307646

To b.j. edwards: Your pronouncements that "Twoofer" claims and assertions have been debunked is simply not true. They’ve been denied and ridiculed, yes, but they have not been debunked. Any reliance on the editors of Popular Mechanics is a travesty. I’m afraid the house of cards you describe is your own bunker.

To Tibore: Your bravado, familiarity with the issues, and the time and effort you put into this blog invites speculation about your real motivations. Are you truly not persuaded by the arguments and evidence you’ve considered? Certainly Dr. Robert F. Bowman (PhD. From CalTech in Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering), a decorated Vietnam War combat pilot, director of the space missile defense programs under Presidents Ford and Carter, and Democratic congressional candidate from Florida in 2004, is no lightweight. He has raised some very serious questions about the official story. He has accused people within the government of complicity and asked for a new investigation of the 9/11 attacks (http://www.thepatriots.us/). Do you question his expertise? Do you think you know more about "how to properly apply science or engineering know-how to the event" than he does? He fully supports Dr. Steven Jones' research and methodology. Do you have the credentials to challenge either of these gentlemen?

My intent is not to insult or demean anyone here. I merely ask readers to think carefully, think critically, and above all, think for yourselves.

b. j. edwards said...

usapatriot wrote:

"To b.j. edwards: Your pronouncements that "Twoofer" claims and assertions have been debunked is simply not true."

Yes, they have, repeatedly.

"They’ve been denied and ridiculed, yes, but they have not been debunked."

They have been ridiculed because Twoofers pretend they haven't been debunked. Thus, we see Truthers still repeating the same nonsense debunked six years. You really are in denial.

"Any reliance on the editors of Popular Mechanics is a travesty."

What you mean to say is that any reliance on overwhelming evidence is inconvenient and to be dismissed outright as contrary to the political purposes of the "Movement."

"I’m afraid the house of cards you describe is your own bunker."

You're just a lowly Twoofer upset that you cooked your own goose - and we caught you. You'd do best to go to school and get immersed in a course on critical thinking. You're just making a complete and utter ass of yourself here.

Tibore said...

Credentials? I'm not a structural engineer. While I have a bachelors degree in chemistry, I concentrated along organic and biochemical lines, and I have no training or familiarity in the sorts of inorganic x-ray spectroscopy that Steven Jones employs in his latest paper. I have zero aeronautics experience. And my knowledge of firefighters is limited to the few stories two firefighting (well, one's actually a paramedic) friends of a childhood friend related to me during my various visits and nights-on-the-town with those two outstanding, excellent gentlemen. So, do I have the credentials to challenge those two gentlemen you mention.

Yes.

Before I make my argument that credentials are unnecessary to point out factual errors and scientific improbabilities or impossibilities, let me mention this: Steven Jones is a muon-catalyzed fusion specialist. He is making chemical and structural engineering claims. What's his expertise? What are his chemical "credentials"? Mind listing them?

Robert Bowman echos Steven Jones claims about Thermite, discusses the Pentagon videos, claims the hijackers are alive, and complains that WTC debris "evidence " was destroyed before being properly investigated. Tell me how his aeronautic expertise gives him chemistry credentials. Or makes him able to clalim that the hijackers are alive; from a pilot friend (nothing sexy, just a cargo plane for the Air Force), I don't recall hearing him recount anything about police investigative techniques during his training. And regarding the WTC "evidence": Does his PhD. in Aeronautics or Nuclear Engineering provide any "credentials" regarding forensic investigations?

Bottom line is this: Before you reference credentials, make sure you understand the credentials of the people you purport are experts in relevant fields. They are not.

Now, last claim first: Steven Jones' claims of thermite use. First, everyone, review the basics about the thermite argument:

911Myths Thermite page

Debunking 9/11's thermite page

Debunking 9/11's "Molten Steel" page ("Thermite" and "molten steel" arguments are interrelated).

Then understand that every piece of evidence so far has absolutely failed to support the thesis that thermite was used during the collapse of the towers. As one example, the famous photos of the "column cuts" that are popularly used as "proof" are actually photos of weld-cut columns, not thermite cut ones. As another, review the interrelated "molten metal" link above, and search that term at JREF, the Undicisettembre blog, and other forums to see why it's a red herring (bottom line: No proof any sightings were of molten steel, especially given the presence of other metals:

* Nearly 50 tons of aircraft-grade aluminum from the jets
* Much more aluminum from the facade of the towers
* A whole floor of nothing but enterprise/industrial grade uninterruptible power supply batteries, each weighing over 100 pounds and stacked 2 or 3 high.

Plus, many sightings were weeks to months after the collapse, eliminating quick burning thermite (order of seconds) as the source).

More info available at the normal sources I link:
911myths
Debunking911
JREF Conspiracy Theory subforum
9/11 Guide

This post is too long already, and I've only brushed the surface of only one of the myth debunkings. There are others. At any rate, here's the last point: The argument about "credentials": What credentials are needed to point out factual errors? Or holes in the argument, such as the lack of physical evidence, and the extreme misinterpretations of various images or phenomena? My "credentials" are in that I can verify claims against the evidence, and the evidence is either lacking, or severely misinterpreted (look up "squibs" at the links above for another example of this). And I don't need a degree in muon-catalyzed physics, aeronautics, or nuclear engineering to see that.

Tibore said...

I can agree with one of USAPatriot's points: Think carefully, think critically, and think for yourself. But I urge you to really do that. Don't just fall for the canards and misinterpretations of the conspiracy peddlers. That's not careful or critical thinking.

* Popular Mechanics "is a travesty". Note his lack of specifics. PopMech's 9/11 Myths Report is factually correct, and not a single conspiracy peddler has successfully challenged it. When you see truthers like USAPatriot try to talk about it like it's "debunked", note that they cannot cite a specific point. Note also that when they point at the various debunkings - such as Jim Hoffman's attempt - pay attention to the fact that he concedes many of the arguments, tries to argue from incredulity about others and does not provide citations for many of his rebuttal attempts. Example:

"This absurd idea that NORAD had no radar coverage over much of the continental US is distilled from the 9/11 Commission Report. Predictably, the article makes no mention of evidence that war games were being conducted on 9/11/01 and that false radar blips were deliberately inserted onto FAA radar screens. "

He merely calls the idea "absurd" without discussing the very real facts behind it, nor does he provide any proof for the "deliberately inserted" claim.

No debunk attempt of the PopMech work stands. Go see for yourselves. Compare their info against the article itself, the sources the article provides, and the info at the sites in my previous post.

* Yes, many truther claims are debunked. Look at the sites in the previous post. Note how they directly address the myth, then address the facts that disprove the myths. Unfortunately, some ridicule and denial does seep into some of these sites (like the Screw Loose Change blog; the comments section has unfortunately devolved into nothing but ridicule), but some of the claims are so ridiculous (search the JREF CT subforum for "no planes" or "no planer" to see examples of this), human nature kicks in for some people and they unfortunately lower themselves. God knows I've done it before. I admit, it's not laudable behavior. But it's not the only thing at these sites, and basic info sites like 9/11 Myths and Debunking 9/11 are free of that. Look at the evidence provided. See for yourselves.

* Impeachable evidence (in regards to USAPatriot's response to Drill Sgt.):
- How do you impeach the news videos of the planes?
- How do you impeach the cell phone calls?
- Okay, I concede the Pentagon security videos. They suck. But that doesn't stand alone; the debris (which includes the flight data recorder), plus ATC radar data, plus DNA evidence, plus eyewitness testimony very firmly establishes the events of the day at the Pentagon. The video itself? I'd discard it.
- How do you impeach the "thousands of eye witnesses"?
- How do you impeach the OBL video?
- How do you impeach Atta's confession?
- How do you impeach the engineering level sims of the collapse?
- I don't even want to argue the "impossibility of the Bush folks (or anyone) to keep a secret. Who cares? Physical evidence is sufficient. But, how would you do it?
- How do you impeach the impossibility of sneaking tons of explosives into a building, then wiring it for detonation?

(Note: Every one of these points have been claimed to be false or planted; search the JREF CT subforum for the discussions. Cell phone calls in particular used to be a major truther point; many claimed they were fake. The points truthers have used to forward those arguments have all been shown to be untrue. Go ahead and look for yourselves.)

* Foreknowledge:
One page, just as a start on this topic: 9/11 Myths "Foreknowledge" page.

* "Debunking one truther claim does not invalidate the others; nor does it mean that the rest of the official story is true. The rules of logic cannot be ignored or selectively applied."

Which claim has turned out to be true? And are you acknowledging that many have indeed been debunked? Doesn't the fact that so many you see turn out to be untrue give you pause about others?

* "If even one claim of the "Twoofers" is valid, that would be reason enough to question the rest of the government’s account."

I won't take the easy way out and point out that this is a partial contradiction of the above point. Rather, I'll say this: Question away, but make sure the questions are valid. For example, can you, USAPatriot, accurately state Dr. James Quintiere's argument about the NIST report, the one where he exhorts people "... to perhaps become 'Conspiracy Theorists', but in a proper way..."? So many of you truthers take that to mean much more than it actually does. Do you know what he was actually referring to?

Even I'll say his concern is valid - beyond that, I actually fully agree with it - but I'd also point out that it's a hell of a lot narrower than truthers clalim it is.

I think that's enough. Verify conspiracy claims against the information at the sites I link. See how some are truly innocent misunderstandings, and others are terrible misrepresentations, and even others are outright lies. Keep an open mind, and verify. Don't just accept like USAPatriot has. Think, please.

I don't need to do any further work about Robert Bowman or Steven Jones. You all can look up what you need from the links provided.

USAPatriot said...

b.j., we will get nowhere, nor will readers of this forum, if you and I engage in a schoolyard shouting match. This is the blog of a respected law professor. Let's try to keep the discussion civil and intelligent.

Tibore, I'm impressed. It took me two days to come back here and respond, yet you commented within hours – very thoroughly and forcefully, I might add. You’re to be commended.

But you're wrong. I'll explain why at the end of this post.

For anyone else who returns to read this (Ann Althouse, I hope), it will be my final post. I assume Tibore and others will not let this be the last word, but I don’t have the luxury of time they seem to have.

1. Using labels like Twoofers, moonbats, wingnuts, and even conspiracy theorists is a good example of ad hominems. You only debase yourself by resorting to such silliness. You also create a rhetorical framework of "us vs. them" (you being the rational, smart, "good guys," of course) and force people to identify with one group or the other, even before the discussion opens. Consciously or not, you've now prevented any unbiased analysis of the arguments or evidence. (This includes the scientific evidence, which often requires a context in order to be interpreted correctly.)

This is what I mean by think for yourself. When George Bush told the U.N. in November 2001, "Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories" (which was a curious statement to make at the time), he poisoned the national debate before it could even begin. I confess I was taken in by it myself for years. Who wants to be called a conspiracy theorist? Who wants to be accused of being unpatriotic? Naturally, I didn’t even allow myself to think that there could be any other explanation than the one provided by the government -- and incessantly repeated by the media.

I ask people to approach this topic the way I did. Start with a clean slate. The observed phenomena of collapsed buildings and the Pentagon strike are, of course, indisputable. But where did the explanation or interpretation come from? Within minutes of the Twin Tower strikes, we were told that it was Osama Bin Laden; and a strange eyewitness interviewed by Fox News that morning confidently explained that the collapses were "mostly due to structural failure because the fire was just too intense."

This served to "imprint" a story and a context into our consciousness which is very difficult to get rid of, as I'll explain later.

Another oddity was the BBC reporting that Building 7 (the Salomon Brothers building) had collapsed a full 20 minutes before it actually came down. For seven minutes, the TV reporter is shown with Building 7 still standing in the background, before the live feed is suddenly cut off.

How do you explain this? Was the media being fed scripted reports?

Before you examine the claims of one side or the other, ask yourself whether -- and why -- you might be psychologically invested in either, for reasons that have nothing to do with the claims themselves. This subject is much too important to be suffused with irrational premises and ego defense mechanisms. More on this in my postscript.

Nothing less than the integrity of the United States is at stake. If some agents within our government committed acts of treason, they should be dealt with accordingly, regardless of who they are or what the consequences may be. Justice demands the truth.

2. Notice I said that the case for foreknowledge and cover-up by the Bush administration was made beyond a reasonable doubt. I didn’t say it was a "slam-dunk," and I didn’t say that every truther claim has survived debunking. Tibore displays much more certainty about his side than I believe is warranted, although I can’t claim to have looked at every piece of evidence that he has.

Be aware that there’s a lot of misinformation (and deliberate DISinformation) – probably on both sides, but more likely against the truthers. PsyOps 101: infiltrate the enemy, inject ridiculous claims into their arguments, then dismiss them as being all crazy.

I categorically denounce these tactics, regardless of which side uses them. I also denounce the insults that have been hurled against Ann Althouse. I won’t say they may have been planted by outside agents, but it certainly doesn’t help the truther claims when such language is used.

3. Since Tibore accused me of lacking specifics, let me address some of his questions:

- How do you impeach the news videos of the planes?
There were no truly real-time and unimpeded shots of the South Tower (second plane) strike ("live" feeds were delayed by several seconds). Also, frame-by-frame analyses of available amateur videos suggest that they may have been tampered with. I'll only say that a reasonable case has been made to subject them to more rigorous scrutiny. You may draw your own conclusions after watching video clips here.

- How do you impeach the cell phone calls?
Please look at the field experiments by Dr. A.K. Dewdney and his short video presentation. His credentials are listed here.

- Okay, I concede the Pentagon security videos. They suck. But that doesn't stand alone; the debris (which includes the flight data recorder), plus ATC radar data, plus DNA evidence, plus eyewitness testimony very firmly establishes the events of the day at the Pentagon. The video itself? I'd discard it.
I disagree. The FBI was forced to admit, in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, that it had 85 potential videos of the Pentagon strike in its possession. However, an agent swore very specifically that these “did not show the impact of Flight 77 into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.” The attorney might then have asked if they showed the impact by something else, although any objection would likely have been sustained.
As for your other assertions, you might want to spend some time at this website. The evidence for a 757 crash simply isn’t there (small entry hole, lack of enough debris, hole penetrating to Pentagon’s innermost ring, tiny engine found not to be from a 757, etc.). As Tibore suggests, we all have enough credentials to evaluate the obvious.

- How do you impeach the "thousands of eye witnesses"?
There weren’t "thousands of eye witnesses" at the scene. There were maybe hundreds, only a fraction of whom were officially interviewed, and of those who were, you may wonder why they came forward so readily (like the mysterious Fox News man-in-the-street). Also look at the work of Elizabeth Loftus.

- How do you impeach the OBL video?
This web page does a good job: The Fake 2001 bin Laden Video Tape.

- How do you impeach Atta's confession?
That’s easy. It could have been forged. What’s not so easy is how Atta’s passport could have been found in the Twin Towers debris. How did it survive the impact (he was in the cockpit, after all) and the huge fireball that incinerated the entire plane?

- How do you impeach the engineering level sims of the collapse?
You’ll have to sift through some very detailed analyses here that may require more credentials than you or I have. But to my mind, the NIST Report has been reasonably challenged and discredited by outside experts.

- How do you impeach the impossibility of sneaking tons of explosives into a building, then wiring it for detonation?
There were complete power outages reported the weekend before 9/11. Security was also compromised on several other occasions. A team of "elevator repair" workers could have methodically planted explosives and cutter charges along the 47 core columns behind the elevator shafts over the course of several weeks.

That’s enough specifics for now. Again, I don’t claim to be able to rebut every (allegedly) debunked truther argument. But I submit that anyone who does enough independent research will conclude that the accepted version of 9/11 is simply not credible.

4. Finally, as a personal sign-off, let me say I chose the name USAPatriot for two reasons: First, I consider myself a good American citizen. I swore to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States, both personally and professionally. I care deeply about this country, as I hope you do.

Second, it's a way of protesting something I find particularly odious: attempts by our elected leaders to dumb down and manipulate public opinion. The “USA PATRIOT” Act is a travesty (yes, I’ll use that word again) that has nothing to do with patriotism and everything to do with fascism. For those who don’t know, the title is merely an acronym, and a sinister distraction: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. We’re expected to believe that this monumental document was prepared within six weeks of the 9/11 attacks. It was rammed through both houses of Congress with hardly any debate. The mysterious anthrax letters (a still unsolved crime, although a proven "inside job") to Daschle and Leahy guaranteed its passage. Many congressmen admitted not even reading it.

Indeed, 9/11 was used by the Bush Administration as the foundation for their entire agenda: wars with Afghanistan and Iraq; massive surveillance and control of the population; helping themselves and their corporate friends to billions of dollars in our Treasury in the form of outsourcing and no-bid contracts; withdrawing from inconvenient treaties.

Without 9/11, none of this would be justified.

Despite it all, I'm trying to keep an open mind. I’m willing to be persuaded that my conclusions are wrong. That’s why I advocate a new investigation that can overcome the many inadequacies of the 9/11 Commission. That’s also why I’d like to see Kevin Barrett and Kevin Ryan debated on the merits of their claims -- not brushed off as “nutty,” especially by someone who should know better.

Tibore, you seem like a very knowledgeable and capable debator. Why not appear in place of Ann Althouse?


POSTSCRIPT
Many otherwise intelligent people totally block the idea that 9/11 could have been an "inside job," despite the evidence. Your mind reaches for any excuse to avoid seeing the big picture -- which becomes clear only if you do a paradigm shift. As I suggested earlier, it will shake you to the core of your being. It's an ego-shattering experience, because you have to abandon a lifetime of comforting assumptions about our government in general and about those who hold power in particular. It's easier to think "They'd never do that!" and "The Twoofers are crazy!" and to nitpick scientific minutiae at the JREF forum than to accept the larger (and ugly) reality of covert operations, false-flag terror, deep politics,and the stranglehold of the corporate elite on our government.

9/11 did indeed "change everything." But, I'd like to think, not the way the real perpetrators intended, whoever they are. I can only hope a new investigation will expose them soon.

God save America.

USAPatriot said...

CORRECTION (wrong video link above):

Another oddity was the BBC reporting that Building 7 (the Salomon Brothers building) had collapsed a full 20 minutes before it actually came down. For seven minutes, the TV reporter is shown with Building 7 still standing in the background, before the live feed is suddenly cut off.

USAPatriot said...

Sunday, February 10, 2008
I was just informed that one of the video links above was removed (again) from YouTube. Here's the original source:
I ask people to approach this topic the way I did. Start with a clean slate. The observed phenomena of collapsed buildings and the Pentagon strike are, of course, indisputable. But where did the explanation or interpretation come from? Within minutes of the Twin Tower strikes, we were told that it was Osama Bin Laden; and a strange eyewitness interviewed by Fox News that morning confidently explained that the collapses were "mostly due to structural failure because the fire was just too intense."

Tibore said...

Wow. I thought this thread was kaput. But I see there's still some posts to answer. Anyway:

Thank you for the compliments sir. In return, I admire your ability to present your argument in a thoughtful, coherent, and polite way. That said, in the interests of truth, I must respond with why the arguments are fallacious or erroneous. I do not say this insultingly, sir, I am merely forced to this conclusion based on what the facts are.

"... we were told that it was Osama Bin Laden; and a strange eyewitness interviewed by Fox News that morning confidently explained that the collapses were "mostly due to structural failure because the fire was just too intense."

My apologies, sir, but the video was listed as being "removed by the user", so I cannot respond to the finer points made by it. However:

1. Regarding bin Laden: A fair amount of proof exists that he's responsible. I won't run that down here; that can be looked up elsewhere. A fair amount of conspiracy theory posits that he cannot be responsible and states many reasons why. Common responses to such theories, along with brief descriptions of the "CTs" themselves can be found here:

http://911myths.com/html/bin_ladin.html

2. Regarding the "structural failure because the fire was just too intense" and the "strange witness": I can't and won't comment on the latter. Since the video is gone, I don't know what witness is being discussed. My apologies; if that's a major argument, I can revisit that later.

As to the fires: That summary is a bit terse and not 100% accurate. Research since the event has better elaborated and refined this argument. The details are many (and I really mean painfully many!), but if you want the "official story" regarding the fires themselves, you can find it here:

NIST NCSTAR 1-5: Reconstruction of the Fires in the World Trade Center Towers"

That describes Towers 1 and 2; the Tower 7 investigation has run beyond its original deadline and is not finished yet.

At any rate, the official story sums up as:

* The jets impacts weakened portions of the towers, and also stripped fireproofing from the structural steel members in the immediate area, rendering them vulnerable to fire.
* Some jet fuel fell towards the basements (testimony plus burn injuries to people in the elevators and basement establish this beyond doubt) and the remainder started an office contents fire in the impact zone. By the way, the jet fuel itself burned out in under 10 minutes, so any arguments about its effect on steel are red herrings.
* The fires started by the jet fuel were large i.e. multifloor and acres-wide, and involved office contents (furniture, internal walls, carpet, etc. ... basically anything that was flamable).
* These large fires weakened already exposed, fireproofing-stripped, and in some cases impact damaged structural steel components. The fire also forced other components out of place because of the sagging and heat expansion of structural steel members (more here), and caused dislocation of some supporting structure outside the impact and fire zones (Look up "(perimeter) column", "bowing" or "pulled in" in the sites I link). And yes, office fires can get that hot).
*Due to all this, the sections above the impact areas eventually collapsed onto the structure below. As the impacts were not directly on top of the structural elements due to various factors (such as the above mentioned bowing), they impacted eccentrically and overwhelmed the ability of the structure below to support it (it was a dynamic moving mass, not the static, unmoving weight the lower floors were designed to support). The effect kept snowballing until it reached the ground.

Yes, that's a summary. Even I haven't made it through the detailed explanation yet, and it's been how many years now?

Is that description in error? Possibly. I don't doubt that there are errors in certain details. See here for one example by a far smarter person than I. But, all the challenges thrown at it from the so-called truth movement (as opposed to challenged by informed critics, like the one I just linked above) have come up wanting. Go to those sites I always link:

9/11 Myths
Debunking 9/11
The 9/11 Guide

... etc. for responses to such challenges. For the fires specifically, Debunking 9/11 has a writeup of the most common challenges:

Debunking 9/11: The Fires

And 9/11 Myths has a rundown of the most common WTC-specific myths and their responses here:

9/11 Myths: WTC (demolition)
9/11 Myths: WTC (other)

I'll post what'll hopefully be brief responses to the rest of the theories in a separate post. But in the meanwhile, take note on what I mean by debate being a bad forum for the topic of 9/11 Conspiracy Theories. See how much text it took just to provide the basics regarding two claims? These can go on. Discussions of the effect of the fires by itself, for example, can really go on and on and on. This is why Professor Althouse is wise not to fall for the "Death by details" trap. Conspiracy peddlers like Barrett bloody well know how little they need to say, and how much needs to be said in order to properly refute them.

To be continued...

Tibore said...

Continuation from previous post...

"Another oddity was the BBC reporting that Building 7 (the Salomon Brothers building) had collapsed a full 20 minutes before it actually came down. For seven minutes, the TV reporter is shown with Building 7 still standing in the background, before the live feed is suddenly cut off.

How do you explain this? Was the media being fed scripted reports?"


No.

Claim: BBC reported WTC 7 had collapsed before it actually collapsed...

"BBC has responded to this and clearly states the following:

"We didn't get told in advance that buildings were going to fall down. We didn't receive press releases or scripts in advance of events happening. In the chaos and confusion of the day, I'm quite sure we said things which turned out to be untrue or inaccurate - but at the time were based on the best information we had."

More links:

BBC.com: Part of the conspiracy? Part I and II

"In the chaos and confusion of the day, I'm quite sure we said things which turned out to be untrue or inaccurate - but at the time were based on the best information we had. We did what we always did - sourced our reports, used qualifying words like "apparently" or "it's reported" or "we're hearing" and constantly tried to check and double check the information we were receiving."

Debunking 9/11: WTC 7

"According to the fire department, by 2:00PM they knew the building would soon collapse. Reporters KNEW this well before the collapse because there are videos of reporters talking about it before it happened. So we KNOW reporters were given information on WTC 7's imminent demise. We can conclude from this evidence that the fire department relayed information to reporters that the building was going to collapse. By the time the report reached the reporter at the BBC, it may have simply been miscommunicated from "About to collapse" to "Has collapsed". She even starts out by saying "Details are very, very sketchy". That alone should put this to rest. She didn't say 'Sketchy'. She didn't say 'very sketchy'. She said "very, very sketchy".

It wouldn't be the first time reporters got something so completely wrong. They said it was a small plane at first, remember? They said Kerry choose Gephardt for VP, remember? They told the family members of trapped mine workers that their 13 loved ones were alive, all but one, when it was the other way around. Those are just a few glaring examples."

Tibore said...

More...

"- How do you impeach the news videos of the planes?
There were no truly real-time and unimpeded shots of the South Tower (second plane) strike ("live" feeds were delayed by several seconds). Also, frame-by-frame analyses of available amateur videos suggest that they may have been tampered with. I'll only say that a reasonable case has been made to subject them to more rigorous scrutiny. You may draw your own conclusions after watching video clips here."


That linked video clip is one of the several chapter of "September Clues". Here is some discussion dissecting it:

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=84197

I hate to say that there's a lot of heckling in that thread, specifically because the no-plane conspiracy fantasists pushing it has been known for outrageous claims, but there is some meat there. For example:

"A. They were switching to close up footage just as the other plane came into view and the Blackout was most likely caused by someone in the booth scrambling to switch it back.

B. The reporter at the desk was most likely getting reams of update notes and not even looking at the studio monitor until he heard the others in the studio react.

C. What microphone? He had to have been on a cell because if he had a camera and a mike you can bet that they would have switched to his view to show the people "running and screaming.

On the CBS clip, unlike the desk reporter mentioned above she wasn't getting notes. So guess what... SHE WAS WATCHING TV! They're amazed she saw it from Chelsea? Hell man my Dad was 63 and wearing bifocals and he saw it from NORTH CAROLINA!

That's just about 2 minutes in. Is there really any reason to watch the rest?"


... and:

"one of the central points of the argument is that the "convenient" fade to black happens at the same time on two networks. A list of WTC Tenents //home.att.net/~sl.schofield4/wtc/documents/wtc1_tenents_a_k.html reveals that both CNN and WNYW where the footage is from were both housed in the towers on floor 110. Guess what was there? Broadcast antennae. In fact when I personally was watching the live feed, in Queens, over the air broadcast, not cable, the signal went dead at the moment of impact. In fact TV over the air in NYC was affected for a few days until broadcasting could resume from the Empire State building."

That's not exhaustive, but it gets the point across. A sort of semi-snooty rebuttal to September Clues can be found here:

Google Video Link

You may also draw your own conclusions after watching one of the "no planers" make a claim about faked video here

Bottom line: The idea that the videos were faked need better supporting evidence than what's been presented so far.

Also: No truly real-time and unimpeded shots? The fact that they were delayed on the order of seconds to minutes, doesn't not lend itself to the claim that the videos were faked. Plus, how do we get the notion that the shots were "unimpeded"? Anyone can go to the videos linked here and see for themselves. How were they "impeded"?

More after lunch...

Tibore said...

... continued

"How do you impeach the cell phone calls? Please look at the field experiments by Dr. A.K. Dewdney and his short video presentation. His credentials are listed here."

Response:

9/11 Myths: "The 9/11 Calls Weren't Real"

... which also contains a link to: 9/11 Myths: Mobiles at Altitude

Debunk 9/11 Myths: Cell phones on airplanes?

Debunk 9/11 Myths: Phone calls on United Airlines Flight 93

Bottom line: Most calls were from seatback airphones, not cell phones. Plus, the few cell calls that were made were made at altitudes and distances well within the reach of cell towers.

Also: Dr. Dewdney self-references his own research into cellphone use from planes. Problem is, much of his research is simply inapplicable to the events on 9/11. (source: 9/11 Myths: AK Dewdney and Project Achilles).

Tibore said...

... and more:

"The FBI was forced to admit, in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, that it had 85 potential videos of the Pentagon strike in its possession. However, an agent swore very specifically that these “did not show the impact of Flight 77 into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.” The attorney might then have asked if they showed the impact by something else, although any objection would likely have been sustained.
As for your other assertions, you might want to spend some time at this website. The evidence for a 757 crash simply isn’t there (small entry hole, lack of enough debris, hole penetrating to Pentagon’s innermost ring, tiny engine found not to be from a 757, etc.). As Tibore suggests, we all have enough credentials to evaluate the obvious."


Most of those videos were inconclusive. Take my earlier example of the Doubletree Hotel video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wUXXgfN2fM

From across a multilane highway and the Pentagon's parking lot, it's hard to tell what happened. Too many videos are too terribly inconclusive. Recall as I said in that earlier post: The Pentagon is mostly human patrolled, with video surveillence being a very secondary priority. So there are not many Pentagon cameras to begin with, therefore most of those "85" videos are from other sources: Nearby hotels, gas stations, minimarts, etc. The videos of the impact that do exist are mostly terrible resolution, with very very low frame rates. At any rate, so what if there are 85 videos from all the gas stations, hotels, convinience stores, etc. How many of them contribute anything? Does anyone really want to go through hours of mundane, 1 or 2 frames per second video to barely catch a reflection of rising smoke in the corner of a window? There's no conspiracy behind not releasing many of the tapes (not to mention the fact that many of said tapes were at some point returned to their owners, therefore they're not within the government's control to distribute anymore).

And regarding the line "The attorney might then have asked if they showed the impact by something else": Yes, the attorney might have asked that. The point of that statement is to introduce the idea that these tapes may actually show something other than a jet impacting the Pentagon. The reality is that so many tapes show nearly nothing because many were not pointed at the Pentagon to begin with.

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Pentagon small hole? Reread that earlier post. I dealt with that old myth over there already. Simply repeating it doesn't make it true.


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"How do you impeach the "thousands of eye witnesses"?
There weren’t "thousands of eye witnesses" at the scene. There were maybe hundreds, only a fraction of whom were officially interviewed, and of those who were, you may wonder why they came forward so readily (like the mysterious Fox News man-in-the-street). Also look at the work of Elizabeth Loftus.


Well, actually, I was including more than "at the scene" eyewitnesses, I was also including TV viewers. But if we're going to talk about the "at the scene" eyewitnesses, let's read what they have to say:

9/11 Links - "What they saw: Eyewitness Accounts"

... and:

9/11 Links - "Flight 77 Evidence Summary & Links page"

Summary: Many saw the jets directly. Some misidentified them as corporate jets, others as "large" (i.e. "jumbo") jets - that is in line with the ideas expressed in the Elizabeth Loftus article - but all are confident they saw a jet either impact the Pentagon, or on a path to do so. At least two who witnessed the Pentagon tragedy were pilots, one who's car was nearly hit with debris and was interviewed by a news reporter, and the other who was flying a C-130 behind Flight 77. Given that this jibes with other data, such as recovered debris, ATC radar info, airphone calls from passengers, etc., it's pretty obvious that none of these are cases of "false memory", save for the individual discrepancies attributable to varying knowledge of aircrafts and visual perspective. Recall the 2002 "Beltway Sniper" case Loftus uses as an example in her article: Many people misidentified the vehicle the snipers, but no one disputed the idea that someone was shooting out of a vehicle. That they can't remember the particulars does not invalidate the entire narrative. That applies to 9/11 every bit as much as it does to the 2002 sniper event.

Tibore said...

Okay, I'm getting tired. Here's just a link dump; everyone reading this can sort out what refers to what:

" How do you impeach the OBL video?
This web page does a good job: The Fake 2001 bin Laden Video Tape."


http://911myths.com/html/fake_video.html

"What’s not so easy is how Atta’s passport could have been found in the Twin Towers debris. How did it survive the impact (he was in the cockpit, after all) and the huge fireball that incinerated the entire plane?"

http://911myths.com/html/passport_recovered.html

"You’ll have to sift through some very detailed analyses here that may require more credentials than you or I have. But to my mind, the NIST Report has been reasonably challenged and discredited by outside experts."

Search returns on JREF forum for "Purdue Sim"

Search returns on JREF for "NIST computer model"

"There were complete power outages reported the weekend before 9/11. Security was also compromised on several other occasions. A team of "elevator repair" workers could have methodically planted explosives and cutter charges along the 47 core columns behind the elevator shafts over the course of several weeks."

http://911myths.com/html/wtc_power_down.html

http://911myths.com/html/wtc_bomb_sniffing_dogs.html

"False flags"

http://emptv.com/research/loose-change#operation-northwoods


Oh, I also see Mr. USAPatriot was kind enough to link to a currently live copy of that initial video (Thank you, sir!).

At any rate... The "strange eyewitness" talked funny, as if he knew what happened? To be blunt: What's conspiratorial about a know-it-all talking to a reporter? And also: Experts speculating on the cause is evidence of prescripting? Especially when they don't tell any more than the broad strokes of the event? This is simply talking-head'ism at work, not prescripting.

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Denouement:

Challenges to the narrative of 9/11 have been raised, but so many have been answered that it's hard to imagine why anyone would believe them anymore. Compare the info at the links above to the conspiracy claims. See what the reality is. When possible, Carl Sagan's "Baloney Detection Kit" to the claims. Think critically and logically. And remember this point raised by another critical thinker:

"Literally nothing that these people have raised has turned out to be worth investigating beyond what we are already investigating (such as the tower collapses) or already know (such as NORAD's activities and timeline)...

Bolstering my confidence in the major structure of the OV (the "Official Version") is the fact that it's not high-paid gov't lackeys that are primarily responsible for its shape and narrative. It's the crews on the ground and in the field who were most closely involved in the aftermath and/or affected by it, and whose who have the most specialized expertise in the many strands of investigation--these people are almost unanimous in their acceptance of the official version.

The people harboring deep doubts about the OV, on the other hand, are almost unanimously far-removed from first-hand experience and/or expertise related to the attacks, and base their doubts on their armchair analysis of videos, still photos, and quotes stripped of their context. And the logical outcomes of their doubts inevitably lead to absurdities and/or contradictions.

In my view, there's simply no contest."

......

Thank you, USAPatriot, for a civil debate. Please consider the information I've provided. Please also look deep into the claims you make themselves. Note how some contradict ("explosives" and "thermite", for example. Or "too small a hole" and "plane impacts faked"). Note how none truly disassemble the narrative of events on that day, let alone construct another in it's place. Please understand that a web of anomalies is not the same thing as a coherent narrative, especially when the logical conclusions of such anomalies either contradict each other, or require so much contortion to fit into other real-world observations. Remember: Epicycles were accepted science back in the early days of astronomy and initially made sense within the Ptolemaic paradigm, but eventually required so many contortions that Copernican heliocentrism eventually became a relief, nevermind that you had to toss out the earth-centered universe to make it happen. That's the road that the 9/11 "Truth" movement is on right now. The contortions are so great that eventually the reality of the situation will break through, nevermind that they'll have to throw out the Bush-centric conspiracies to make that happen. I urge you to bend your obvious intelligence towards considering the reality of the situation. And once again, thank you.

USAPatriot said...

2/15/08, 12:50 am

Tibore, thank you for the respect and kind words. Right back atcha, as they say. I appreciate your dedication and all the time and effort you've spent here.

My sense is that it's futile to continue this thread, since (a) no one else may return to read it, and (b) nothing I add now is likely to change your mind. You must realize I'm just as convinced of the error of your position as you are of mine. In fact, I found myself equally frustrated with your failure to use your obvious intelligence to grasp the big-picture reality. No offense.

Obviously, only one of us can be right: either the Official Version is true, or it's not.

I believe enough serious questions have been raised about the 9/11 Commission and its Report that a new investigation (comprehensive, well-funded, transparent, truly independent) is warranted. Why would anyone oppose this, if it serves to quash all those pesky "conspiracy theories?" In fact, any resistance only increases suspicion that there's something to hide.

For a fraction of what's spent on the Iraq war in one day (an estimated $275 million per day), we could put the whole matter to rest.

Are you absolutely convinced that you know what really happened on 9/11? Would it upset you to find out we've been deceived? Would you even consider that as a possibility?

What motivates you deep down... the desire to know the truth, or the desire to be right?

There's a big difference.

psikeyhackr said...

Let’s just face a few simple facts.

Skyscrapers MUST hold themselves up. They must also sway in the wind. The people who design skyscrapers MUST figure out how much steel and how much concrete they are going to put on every level before they even dig the hole for the foundation.

After EIGHT YEARS why don’t we have a table specifying the TONS of STEEL and TONS of CONCRETE that were on every level of WTCs 1&2? The NIST report does not even specify the TOTAL for the concrete. The total for the steel is in three places. So even if the planes did it that 10,000 page report is CRAP!

Conspiracies are irrelevant. The Truth Movement should be marching on all of the engineering schools in the country.

Watch that Purdue simulation. If a 150 ton airliner crashes near the top of a skyscraper at 440 mph isn’t the building going to sway? Didn’t the survivors report the building “moving like a wave”? So why do the core columns in the Purdue video remain perfectly still as the plane comes in?

That is the trouble with computer simulations. If they are good, they are very good. But if they have a defect either accidental or deliberate they can be REALLY STUPID once you figure out the flaws.

The distributions of steel and concrete are going to affect the sway of a skyscraper whether it is from the wind or an airliner.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

How much does one complete floor assembly weigh?

You know those square donut floor slabs? They were 205 ft square with a rectangular hole for the core. There was a steel rebar mesh embedded in the concrete which was poured onto corrugated steel pans which were supported by 35 and 60 foot trusses. There has been talk about those things pancaking on each other for years.

But has anyone ever said what the whole thing weighed? Why haven't we seen that A LOT in EIGHT YEARS? The concrete alone is easy to compute, about 601 tons. But the concrete could not be separated from the entire assembly, the upper knuckles of the trusses were embedded into the concrete. So what did the whole thing weigh and why haven't the EXPERTS been mentioning that A LOT in EIGHT YEARS?

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So why hasn't Richard Gage and his buddies produced a table with the TONS of STEEL and TONS of CONCRETE that were on every level of the WTC? How much computing power do they have now, compared to the early 1960s when the buildings were designed? I asked Gage about that in May of 2008 at Chicago Circle Campus and he got a surprised look on his face and gave me this LAME excuse about the NIST not releasing accurate blueprints. Gravity hasn't changed since the 1960s. They should be able to come up with some reasonable numbers.