9/11 Dialogue Alpha.
May 17th – June 8th, 2006.
Participants: Musclemouth, John Doe, John Doe 2.
Names and locations of participants changed to protect the guilty.
Your job description is simple: report the facts. How ironic it is, then, that in order to fulfill that job description, you now have to put your job in jeopardy. In fact, simply searching for and knowing the facts can cripple your career.
I do not envy your position. I vacated the political journalism profession because I don't have the guts to ask the tough questions under pressure. I figured it would dishonor the profession for me to stay on and simply function as a stenographer or a press release rearranger. And that is exactly what most of you have been forced to become.
I do not blame you for being turned into a state press. The pressure to conform is pervasive. But now, here we stand. The truth is out. The evidence is unassailable. The World Trade Center was brought down in a controlled demolition. The Bush Administration engineered the attacks. Every shred of the evidence can be redundantly corroborated by material freely available in the public sphere. This is the one issue you should risk your job and your reputation over. It is the one issue we all should risk our lives over.
It is time for a paradigm shift in the journalism industry. It begins with reporters and editors - just like you - with the courage to defy the intimidation tactics of the Administration. Conduct your own investigation. I am simply begging you. The films Loose Change Redux (Second Edition) and 911 Revisited can serve as some rather sober entry points.
P.S. Everybody is a journalist - either amateur (like myself) or professional (like so many of you).
So the planes didn't really hit the towers? The people on board those planes didn't really die? Come on, Musclemouth, this is crackpot stuff. You're better than this.
That's not what I said. Yes, planes hit the towers. Yes, people died. No, this is not crackpot stuff. The evidence is all there, if you can just muster the courage to look. There are many silly conspiracy theories about 9/11. Controlled demolition is not one of them. It is a fact. I direct you to Building 7, two blocks away. No plane hit that tower, and there were only a few small scattered fires in the building. It went down at 5pm that very same day in a controlled demolition, as starkly admitted by World Trade Center landlord Larry Silverstein on PBS in a September 2002 documentary. This directly condradicts the official repoorts by the 9/11 Commission and two other official reports, which all said the building went down due to fires. Controlled demolition requires weeks of planning. Is it not sane to posit that if Building 7 went down in this manner, and that if the fall of the Twin Towers looked exactly the same, that there is a possibility that the same thing caused them all to fall? Furthermore, no steel-supported building in history, either before or after 9/11 has fallen due to fire alone. And finally, over 50% of New Yorkers would, by your definition, be "crackpots", as these people think there was government complicity, according to a recent Zogby poll.
So the planes hit the towers, and then the government spontaneously decided to kill thousands of people in a controlled demolition? Presumably sneaking the explosives in after the planes hit? You're saying that the administration watched in horror as the planes hit, and then decided that the deaths caused by the crash itself were not sufficient for its nefarious political purposes, so then they decided to bring the buildings completely down?
Or are you saying the government engineered the planes hitting the buildings, too? In that case, it was rather nasty of them to kill the wife of the U.S. solicitor general, a good friend of the president. (Barbara Olson, who died in the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.)
This is 100 percent crackpot. I would just let it go, but it does real damage when you spread this kind of sleaze without a shred of evidence to back it up. Plus, if you actually think about things for half a second, you'll see that your theories are absurd. (See above.) Just because Charlie Sheen says something doesn't make it true.
This tone of yours isn't indicative of a man who cares to learn anything, so let's just put this conversation to rest for now. Fair enough?
Well, I'm posing serious questions which, if you're so sure of your theories, you ought to be able to answer.
1. Did the Bush administration arrange for the planes to hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the Capitol? Or did they know in advance that it was going to happen?
2. If no, was it pure coincidence that the planes hit the towers the very day the government was ready to execute its long-planned controlled demolition of the towers?
3. If yes, why was it even necessary for the planes to attack? Why not just execute the controlled demolition and blame it on radical Islamists?
I'm ready to "learn." Educate me.
Thanks for being nicer. No need for getting all mudslingy. We're just a coupla guys with different data sets in hand.
OK. I'm supposed to convince you. To do that, and I must apologize for this, I must temporarily put off your questions until later. I have to address WTC7 first. It is the most easily provable aspect of the truth about 9/11. A monkey in a suit could win this case in any court of law. The monkey could even throw some of his own feces at the judge, and he would still win, because the evidence is just that...well...evident.
Most people aren't aware of WTC7. As you may already know, WTC7 collapsed at 5:20 p.m. on 09/11/01. Why? How? Let's view the facts.
-No plane hit WTC7.
-NIST and FEMA basically said WTC7 collapsed due to fires. Not likely (as I will discuss in a moment).
-The 9/11 Commission Report astutely ignored the existence of WTC7. Now that's what I call creative problem solving.
-These three reports comprise the extent of the official line about WTC7, in a nutshell. (These three reports also form the basis of all other aspects of the official 9/11 story, but I am focusing solely on WTC7 here.)
-The NIST and FEMA reports abut WTC7 are...how can I put this kindly...unsatisfactory, if I may so euphemize. WTC7 could not have fallen solely due to fire. Steel-supported structures do not burn to the ground. It has never happened, either before or after 9/11. Fires have raged for days, even weeks in some cases, in other steel-supported structures. We're talking major skyscrapers, burning much hotter than did WTC7, and they stood unscathed. The fires in WTC7 were small, minor, and localized on two or three floors.
-But what about the diesel generators? Did they explode? There is no evidence of any diesel generators exploding.
-But what if the diesel generators did explode? What if the fires raged all over the building for hours? What if the whole thing was an unstoppable apocalypse of flame and hellfire? Would the building fall then? Again, no. High-grade steel melts at 3000 degrees farenheit. Way too touch for all that wimpy diesel fuel that was allegedly stored throughout the building.
-But wait, let's stretch the realm of impossibility to even greater universes of mindbogglingly improbable pseudo-science theories, and say that the fires did cause the collapse of WTC7. Would the building have fallen in the manner observed in countless videotapes? No no no. It fell uniformly on all sides, at freefall speed, and settled neatly onto its own footprint. The telltale "crimp" or "crease" was observed down the center of the structure. A crimp or crease is a term signifying the practice of exploding the center of a structure first, so that all subsequent explosions will cause the building to collapse into itself, rather than out into the street. The collapse of WTC7 showed all the signs of (none other than) controlled demolition.
Countless witnesses and videos corroborate what I am saying. Any demolition company employee will attest to these facts. Look it up and watch the footage yourself, from as many angles as you desire.
But now, we have our star witness: WTC landlord Larry Silverstein.
Larry Silverstein appeared on PBS in September 2002. He publicly admitted to giving the order to "pull" the building on 09/11/01. "Pull" is demolition slang for "demolish by explosives". He said they had to pull it because the fires were making it unsafe. He had the building evacuated, and at 5:20 p.m. they pulled WTC7. Boom, nice and neat.
There is only one possible conclusion for all this. Explosives were planted in WTC7 weeks ahead of 9/11.
So why, oh why did they do this? And HOW THE HELL did they sneak the explosives in? That's absolutely impossible! Ha, not really impossible at all. And who did it? But that's another subject for another day, if you care to learn more. Just please don't take my word for it. I'm sure you know perfectly well that there is a chance that I am lying to you. Research it, John Doe. But if I am not lying to you, then logic will force you to admit that I am probably correct in my conclusion.
At that point, you might likely ask, "So what?"
And I would answer: THERE WERE EXPLOSIVES IN WTC7. A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE A LOT OF 'SPLAININ' TO DO.
Let's suppose for a second that everything you said in that last e-mail was true (which I doubt). If they decided to do a controlled demolition of 7 (a demolition that killed no one but presumably would have been done for safety purposes), how does that in any way, shape, or form prove that the two main towers came down in controlled demolitions (presumably with the intent to kill thousands of people)?
It doesn't. That wasn't the point of the email. I am simply bringing you back to square one - the weakest link in the chain of official lies: WTC7. You cannot dismiss the importance of such an event, especially since it was summarily dismissed by the 9/11 Commission - as if the spontaneous collapse of a 47-story monster of a skyscraper wasn't worthy of comment in a 500-something-page "report".
WTC7 simply serves as an entry point. Here is a piece of logic for you: if demolition is found to be the case in WTC7 (which it is), then isn't it a great idea to find out of the same is true of the other buildings that went down two blocks away on the same day?
No no no, I'm not so naive as to think it "proves" anything about the Twin Towers. I take the word "prove" pretty seriously. There is other data and factual analysis to pursue, but until you get past the WTC7 hump, you will never be able to believe anything at all.
You seem to be forgetting that controlled demolition requires weeks of planning. It could not have been "presumably" done for safety purposes. No. Your "presumption" is astoundingly dismissive.
John Doe, I don't know all the answers. You could interrogate me forever, or you could save us both a lot of time and put forth a little effort of your own. Let's at least have some common data between us. Don't make me do all the work.
You and I and everyone we know owes it to America to do a real investigation. I'm not trying to stir up trouble. I haven't sent a mass email in many years. I am not a conspiracy theorist or a crackpot. I am a 9/11 researcher. So if you think you must label me, at least do me the tiny honor of letting me choose my own self-limiting label.
I am willing to admit to being wrong on some points and right on others. Contrary to popular belief, that is an honorable quality to posess. Please don't dismiss this whole thing. I am just trying to give you reason to research this on your own. Besides me, have you had any exposure whatsoever to the issue? Have you even read the official accounts by the 9/11 Commission, NIST, and FEMA? Have you lifted one single solitary finger to honor the dead by investigating their deaths? This is the mother of all issues. This is the only issue I have cared about at all since I quit the journalism racket.
Why do I care about it? That much should be obvious. I care about it because it affects us all in a profound and fundamental way.
Sorry, I'm just ranting, but every time I offer evidence, people choose not to look at it. It is extremely frustrating. My debate skills are average at best. I'm not here to debate. I'm not here to argue. I'm here to offer a gift. I lay it at your feet. Don't you want to know what's inside? Aren't you going to pick it up and open it? How can you know whether you'll like it unless you open it? Are you afraid that if you open it, you will succumb to some kind of intrinsic brainwashing? Are you afraid that if you learn the truth, that you too will feel compelled to spread it around a little, and that you will then have to answer to a bunch of people who suddenly want to prove you wrong by demonstrating that you don't know everything there is to know about 9/11?
I seriously fail to understand why you wouldn't be curious enough to look at the issue for yourself.
You're backpedaling a long, long way. In the first e-mail you said unequivocally, "The Bush administration engineered the attacks."
I have browsed the 9/11 report. True, I haven't done a full investigation, but the whole theory is so logically absurd on its face that I feel I have enough information to make the judgment that we were attacked on 9/11 not by the Bush administration, but by radical Islamic fanatics.
I never retracted that original statement. I suggest you inspect your inspection skills.
So you're a big fan of evidence. Tell me: what evidence, besides reputation and hearsay, do you have that Osama bin Laden did it? I can tell you right now: none. Because there is none.
And tell me: did you believe the photos of the WMDs that turned out not to be WMDs?
I have already supplied you with plenty of evidence regarding my own claims. I believe you are neck-deep in bias.
I'm not asking anyone to change his political affiliation or anything. Just begin with science. Can't go wrong there. Please review this paper. I challenge you to consider what it says before dismissing it.
You didn't retract your statement, but you acknowledged that you don't have the evidence to back it up. (You said the collapse of 7 in no way proved the two main towers came down in controlled demolitions.)
There is redundant evidence of Osama bin Laden's direct role in several attacks, including the 1998 attacks at the U.S. embassies in East Africa, the 2000 Cole attack, and the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 hijackers have been tied directly to his organization and his money. Bin Laden himself has taken credit for the attacks. This is all detailed ad nauseum in the 9/11 Commission Report and elsewhere. Of course, you'll dismiss this with the same line that conspiracy theorists always use. The 9/11 Commission Report was a government whitewash, you'll say. Never mind that several of the members are strongly partisan Democrats (i.e. Richard Ben-Veniste, the former Watergate prosecutor, not exactly one inclined to go easy on the Bush administration).
I acknowledged that the email in question did not contain the evidence to prove controlled demolition in WTC1 and WTC2, not that I don't have the evidence. Are you running my emails through two or three languages of a translation program before reading them?
After your science lesson (here I link to it again because I know you didn't read it the first time), ask yourself a couple of questions. Then reward yourself for all your hard work and have a movie night. (See if you can spot Osama. Give up? Fooled you! That man is an imposter.)
This ain't politics. This is survival. I guess we're both fighting for the same thing then. But we definitely disagree on the what the truth is. We should still work with the same data though.
So, in the name of mutual education, could you please give me quick synopses of what happened in the 1998 attacks at the U.S. embassies in East Africa and the 2000 Cole attack? I don't care what version you give me...well the official version is fine I guess. For now. I would appreciate it, since I have gone to all the trouble of digging up stuff from my side of the line in the sand and all.
Look ma, no ego! I can admit not knowing something!
Oh, and just to fulfill your widlest fantasies about being able to categorize people and accurately predict their words: The 9/11 Commission Report was a government whitewash. Happy birthday.
The website 911proof.com presents better opening arguments than mine.
I haven't replied sooner because I was rather busy with grad school graduation and other things.
I think before I go trolling through lots of fringe websites, you should answer one overarching question. Unless you can answer this question, your whole theory is absurd on its face. The question is this:
How do the planes fit into the story?
You have suggested that the government planted explosives in the World Trade Center weeks ahead of the attack in preparation for a controlled demolition. If that is the case, it seems to me one of the following has to be true:
1. The Bush administration did not know the planes would attack. In this scenario, the Bush administration was prepared for the controlled demolition, and lo and behold, these planes coincidentally hit the very buildings they were planning to blow up, providing a convenient excuse to go ahead and do it.
2. The Bush administration did know the planes would attack -- and possibly colluded with al-Qaeda in planning the attack. Then, after the planes attacked, they conducted a controlled demolition. In this case, again, I wonder why they would kill the wife of Ted Olson, a close personal friend of the president's.Surely you can at least answer this most basic of questions rather than just sending me another link.
P.S. I'm sure you noticed that in bin Laden's most recent video, he once again claimed responsibility for the attacks.
I don't know. Here's a link.
Hi John Doe,
Good to hear from you. I'll try to answer your questions the best I can, but I must admit I find it frightening that you consider me to be your only portal into the vast world of 9/11 evidence to the contrary. I am not a very good debater. What I am good at is research.
I also must admit that my views have changed slightly since last we talked. It's not backpedaling - call it having an open mind. It's important for me to keep refining my information base. For example, I am not so sure Bush himself knew about the attacks. Some elements of the Administration are what I am most concerned about. Many clues point to Cheney. Many also point to then-Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff Richard Myers. The only evidence I have come across that seems to implicate Bush is his odd behavior at the elementary school when he allegedly received word that the second plane had struck. He just sat there for another 20 minutes and continued reading the goat story. Bush supporters dismissed the matter by saying that Bush didn't want to scare the kids. Bush haters like Michael Moore said it was because Bush was too scared to move, or too dumb, or something. Some 9/11 theorists contend that he didn't move because he knew (or his staff knew) that he wasn't a target. These theorists point out that standard operating procedure in the case of a hijacking over American territory was to immediately assume that the president is a target and move him, pronto, to an undisclosed location. However, this point is just a theory, an inference, a guess - and I just can't sign on to that contention right now.
So your point about Bush having a close friend who died in the attacks - that's a really good point. What I'm saying is that yes, perhaps Bush didn't know. I am aware that this answer may frustrate you or lead you to further doubt my conclusions. But I simply do not know all the answers. There are many holes in the puzzle as yet, because I will never have all the information. There will never be a time when we will know all the answers. The best way to go about researching 9/11 is to look at the three official reports (the NIST report, the FEMA report, and the 9/11 Commission report), along with the unofficially official (my coinage) stories that came from various members of the administration, the media, a number of experts and professionals, and the general public. Then you have to try to corroborate everything that was shown and said. Then you find the inconsistencies, and focus on them for follow up.
So when you ask, "How do the planes fit into the story?" you are assuming that there is a complete story. There is no such thing. See what I mean? That's why it's so hard to answer your questions. You are narrowing the field of inquiry by assuming that I have all the answers. If you can realize that, then please take that into context when I attempt to answer. Fair enough? I mean seriously, I'm trying to be fair here. You asked me not to simply provide you with links. You asked me to debate instead. Okay. Fine. But if you will not do your own research, you will be forced to either believe or disbelieve everything I say, and you will never be able to see the raw facts for yourself. It's called hearsay, and it's a disservice to the institution of investigative research.
With that in mind, I want you to know that my goal here is to convince you to look into the matter yourself. You are like two-thirds of America in that you only have about 2% of the facts. The other one-third of us have decided to take the self-censoring, non-curious, irresponsible media to task, and really go and find the answers. We are just a bunch of independent citizens without the might of the corporate media to fund and disseminate our massive cooperative research project. We do it in our spare time for free, purely out of a sense of duty. You gotta hand it to us - even if you decide to ridicule us for believing our own eyes, you have to admit that we are just as patriotic as the next guy. And it's not partisan either. Many Republicans have joined the enquiry. I happen to think that Clinton was also a dirty, filthy murderous bastard. I am constantly trying to stay as objective as possible.
I hope you don't mind my wordiness. I know you mean business when you ask these questions, and no, I am not trying to front-load my answers with disclaimers. What I am simply trying to do is give you a little context first. Okay? Now for your questions.
1. The Bush administration did not know the planes would attack. In this scenario, the Bush administration was prepared for the controlled demolition, and lo and behold, these planes coincidentally hit the very buildings they were planning to blow up, providing a convenient excuse to go ahead and do it.
First, we have to understand what is meant by "the Bush administration". Yes, I am the one who first introduced the term into our discussion. Fair enough. So what I meant was that there is a group of people within, behind, above, and otherwise connected to, the Bush Administration. The Administration is its locus, its focal point, its set of levers to push and pull in order to influence events. Some members of the Administration are straight-up perpetrators. We are currently in the process of trying to prove which specific individuals they are. Other members are not aware of the plan, but do willfully act, as per their orders in the age-old command structure, to enable or cover up the machinations of the plot.
Secondly, we have to ask ourselves who it was specifically that had the power to prepare for a controlled demolition. Larry Silverstein, who is not a member of the Bush Administration but who does have plenty of power as the landlord of the WTC, had the ability to plant explosives or have them planted. Of course, he's an old man, and we're talking about a lot of explosives, so we can conclude that he would have to enlist help. But don't forget that Silverstein, for years, owned just Building 7. It wasn't until July 2001 that he bought the entire complex - less than two months before 9/11. He subsequently took out the largest insurance policy in the history of the Universe. The policy was spread across 6 different insurers, thus diluting collusion, and specifically covered acts of terrorism. This is a good idea of course, since the WTC was indeed attacked by terrorists 8 years earlier, as we all know. When 9/11 happened, he was subsequently awarded 5.1 billions dollars in money and Liberty bonds from the insurance companies as well as from the U.S. Congress. A year after 9/11, he appeared in an interview in a 9/11 documentary on PBS. In that interview, he said, "I remember getting a call from the, er, fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, 'We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.' And they made that decision to pull and we watched the building collapse." Mind you, it takes weeks to prepare a building for a controlled demolition. He later attempted to "clarify" what he meant: by "it" he meant the contigent of firefighters remaining in the building. Yeah right. That is a pathetically cobbled lie. Don't throw a handful gravel on the grass and try to tell me it's an interstate highway, okay?
So, who organized the actual work of planting the explosives? I don't have the answer, but there are leads.
Enter Marvin Bush, George W. Bush's little brother and member of the board of directors of Securacom, the company that handled security for the World Trade Center, Dulles Airport, and American Airlines. I'll give you one guess as to when his company's security contract with Larry Silverstein was scheduled to run out. Ready? 09/11/01. Hey, that's a pretty sweet coincidence. Listen, most of this stuff looks like massive coincidence at first glance. But that's why the argument must be made cumulatively. When you add up all the coincidences, you get one big suspicion. Here's another coincidence: one week before 9/11, all of the bomb-sniffing dogs were removed from WTC1, 2, and 7.
That leaves the "lo and behold" part of your possible scenario. All I can say is, no, it's not a happy coincidence. The planes were absolutely necessary. That's the "psychology" part of "psyop" - or psychological operation. Without the planes, you can't blame it on terrorists. Make sense? Pretty simple actually. If you want to stun the populace and take over a country, you have to shock everybody, all at once. Listen, have you ever heard of the Reichstag fire in pre-Nazi Germany? Story goes, a communist set fire to the parliament building. But when the Berlin wall came down, a motherload of old documents were declassified, and some of them showed that it was Hitler's men who started the fire, and used the commie as a patsy. This was a pivotal event in Hitler's rise to power. Or have you ever heard of Operation Northwoods? That was a document from 1962. It was a proposal by then-Chariman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff Lyman Lemnitzer to stage a false flag attack and blame it on Cuba as a pretext to attacking that country. When JFK received that document, he fired Lemnitzer. How about when President Polk sent a bunch of troops into Mexico to provoke an attack and then lie and say it happened on American soil to start the Spanish American War? Governments do this kind of stuff all the time. Why should America be any different? We're not any different. This is a democracy only in name and mythology. Everybody knows Washington is just as incestuous as any other country's halls of power. Come on, as a reporter, are you still naive enough to believe that we live in a democracy? It's all about power and money and Machiavellianism, to this very day, to this very moment. The rules have never and will never change.
2. The Bush administration did know the planes would attack -- and possibly colluded with al-Qaeda in planning the attack. Then, after the planes attacked, they conducted a controlled demolition. In this case, again, I wonder why they would kill the wife of Ted Olson, a close personal friend of the president's.
Yes, certain members of the Administration knew the planes would attack. As for a possible collusion with Al Qaida (many spellings exist, so don't knock me for that), I am not so sure. There is little evidence of any involvement with Al Qaida. Condoleeza Rice herself said that there was planty of evidence, and that the Administration would release the evidence when security concerns will allow. But we are still waiting for that promise to be fulfilled. Did you see the Dec. 13th 2001 Osama video yet? If you saved my last email, go ahead and watch it. You won't need to watch the whole hour to see that it's obviously not Osama. It took me about ten minutes of watching that fat black man with the small nose and the silly grin to be concinced of the pathetic illegitimacy of the video. I don't know why they didn't try to find an actor who looks more like Osama. Maybe Americans really are that blind, and the Administration knows it. I don't know.
Let's see, here's another piece of evidence that supposedly links to Al Qaida: the Magic Passport. This passport was found on top of some of the rubble after the Twin Towers collapsed. It supposedly belonged to the pilot of one of the planes. It was the sole link to finding the rest of the alleged hijackers within three little days of the attacks. The official conspiracy theory says that each plane hit the building and exploded in an incredible flash of fire hot enough to begin a structural failure that would eventually take down a steel framed building. The passport of the pilot flew out of the pocket of the pilot, through a jet fuel explosion of great magnitude, down through the air, paused in the air, waited many minutes for the towers to collapse, and then resumed its descent to land, unscathed, on top of the rubble. I don't know whether it was a little bit singed or not. (That's a sarcastic joke, in case you couldn't tell.)
Here's something else: an alleged 5 members of the 19 alleged hijackers turned up alive after 9/11. Why haven't the mainstream media pursued this incredible feat of ressurection? I mean, if people are coming back from the dead, shouldn't there be a news story about it? Well there is a news story about it. PLENTY. It appears in the German mainstream media for one. It appears all over the independent news sources on the Internet, for another.
As for that recent Osama "video" tape, you should not have brought that up. Since we are debating and all, I find your comment to be an opportune moment to undermine your own credibility, John Doe, by pointing out that you could not have possibly actually seen that video. And that is because it was not a video tape, but an audio tape. OOPS. John Doe, please. That's mainstream stuff. Even you should know about that. Anyway, sure, I'll admit that there is a possibility that it wasn't faked, but are you going to tell me that just because somebody says something is true, you're going to accept it? I mean, you're being so damn hard on me, making me do all your research for you, refusing to admit when I am right but taking every opportunity and then some to try and point out that perhaps I don't know everything and therefore probably know nothing. And you're going to tell me that you're so incredibly biased that you can't even WATCH the December 13th 2001 videotape of fake Osama? Are you trying to brainwash yourself? Are you too afraid of the truth to look at it? I mean I know, I know, you probably want to be able to sleep at night and so would rather not subject yourself to something that would undermine your whole way of thinking. It makes psychological sense to me. But we have to be grownups about this, and look at the matter from all sides, and do our own research, and not just believe what Musclemouth says, or what George Bush says, or what Talking Head says.
I hope this addressess all your concerns. If you want to go on grilling me instead of conducting your own investigation, I'm game. I'll do my very best. And I'll be as openminded as possible to your viewpoint. Hell, I respect your viewpoint enough to take all this time answering questions. Believe it or not, you're not the only person who disagrees with me.
By the way, here's a link (I know, I know, but listen) to something that CONTRADICTS some of Loose Change 2nd Edition. Yes, I actually go about this in a levelheaded manner. I can listen to refutations, but only if they are well researched and well constructed, and not just based on some dogmatically accepted, endlessly parroted clichees. Nothing is "patently" true or false "on its face". Everything requires research and verification.
And yes, sometimes even revision. (No, not as in "Holocaust revision", but as in "examining your own preconceptions.")
After accusing the Bush administration of mass murder of American citizens, with not a scintilla of evidence to back your claim; after saying that Clinton was also a "dirty, filthy, murderous bastard"; and after accusing me of being an ignorant nitwit, I hope you'll now admit that your opposition to "mudslinging" is, to say the least, rather selective.
This is definitely a book you should read. Hofstadter was writing about paranoia on the right (of which there was plenty), but now the predominant practioners of the paranoid style in American politics are, like you, on the far left.
I'm sorry. I went a little far in my personal assaults. But I never accused you of ignorance. I accused you of naivetee.
And I am not paranoid.
Nor am I on the left. I am a libertarian at heart.
I'll look into the book.
I wish you would respond in some detail to the points I brought up...I took a lot of time to respond to you. If I didn't care on some level, I wouldn't bother.
For real man, let's start over, but in a civil manner. I'll promise civility if you will. Deal?
For real, I'm sorry I insulted you.
All right. I'm at work now so can't respond in detail at the moment.
Awesome, thanks man. Looking forward to your response. No rush.
So I went and dug up the first chapter of The Paranoid Style in American politics. Bearing the same name as its parent book, the essay has apparently become a classic in political science circles. For good reason, too, I would say. What makes it unique is its attempt to summarize political movements not by way of economics, but by way of the study of rhetoric. Ultimately, the paranoid style can be characterized as enshrining scholarly research in the holiest regard while at the same time divorcing it from the fantastical conclusions it is supposed to uphold. The paranoid stylist, in effect, insulates himself from reality by an impenetrable barrier of footnotes.
That is a fascinating and worthwhile way to explain the psychology of Anti-Catholicism, Anti-Semitism, and Anti-Communism -- the very conspiracy theory movements Hofstadter targets in that famous essay. In fact, the Hofstedterian paranoid style only applies to people whose paranoia is focused on a specific religion, ideology, or ethnicity. They believe that there is a vast infiltration on all levels, from presidents and corporate executives on down to streetsweepers and circus lions, by a whole class of people hellbent on destroying the world. This is the type of paranoia Hofstedter is talking about.
Let's see, what's the War on Terror all about? I had the answer here somewhere... Ah. Here it is: MUSLIMS.
Perhaps if he had written his essay today, he would be targeting the paranoid stylings of Anti-Islamists.
All I'm saying here is that the argument can be made that not just the 9/11 truth movement, but also those who believe the official line - in effect, everybody - can be shown to paranoid.
As President Bush has said countless times, the war on terror is not a war against Islam. It is a war against those who use Islamic fundamentalist ideology to justify the murder of innocent people, as in the 9/11 attacks. In fact, there is now a war going on within Islam between moderates who want to live in peace, and jihadists like bin Laden and the late Zarqawi. It is not paranoid to simply recognize the reality: There is a small but worrisome group of radical Islamists around the world who are plotting and conducting terrorist attacks against the West and their opponents within the Islamic world. Why you think the civilized world is wrong to defend itself against this threat is beyond me. This is not paranoia; this is facing reality and doing what is necessary to defend civilization.
You on the other hand demonstrate all of the hallmarks of the paranoid style in American politics. In your view of the world, vast unseen forces, working in the shadows, control the destiny of mankind. The conspiracy is, paradoxically, controlled by a tiny group yet knowingly participated in by many. No matter what argument I make, no matter what fact I cite, you will dismiss it because it was reported in the mainstream media. On the other hand, you accept without question everything you read on every fringe lunatic website that conforms to your paranoid views. Even though you can't answer a basic question like how the planes fit into the story, this doesn't stop you from concluding, on the basis only of innuendo and of no hard evidence whatsoever, that the administration plotted the attacks. You admit you have no knowledge whatsoever of the 1998 African embassy attacks, nor of the 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole, both carried out by al-Qaeda. If you don't even know these basic parts of the story, how can you jump to such damning conclusions? (And you accused me of not knowing the facts.)
You constantly ignore basic facts. For example, when you question the authenticity of recent bin Laden videotapes and audiotapes, you totally ignore the fact that the Bush administration did not produce them. They first appeared on al-Jazeera, a rabidly anti-American TV network based in Qatar. Is al-Jazeera part of the conspiracy, too? What about independent analysts like Peter Bergen (who has interviewed bin Laden) who say the tapes are legitimate? Is he also part of the diabolical Bush administration plot, even though he has criticized the Bush administration's approach to the war on terror?
This is the problem with paranoid conspiracy theorists like yourself. In order for your theories to be true, there must have been a conspiracy so vast and all-encompassing, so widely known to so many people yet mysteriously never leaked, that it absolutely defies plausibility. Your tactic is to assume a conspiracy exists, and then accuse anyone who questions your theory of naivete. It's bogus and irresponsible, and it should be recognized as such.
Thanks for your somewhat more serious response. Here I will attempt to address each of your points.
You said, "In order for your theories to be true, there must have been a conspiracy so vast and all-encompassing, so widely known to so many people yet mysteriously never leaked, that it absolutely defies plausibility."
That is a popular misconception. To dispel it, all you have to do is get your understand these two concepts from the United States Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Words, 2003:
(DOD) 1. Establishment and management of an organization so that information about the personnel, internal organization, or activities of one component is made available to any other component only to the extent required for the performance of assigned duties.
chain of command
(DOD, NATO) The succession of commanding officers from a superior to a subordinate through which command is exercised. Also called command channel.
In other words, it is possible to participate in a conspiracy without knowing it. For one example, the radar operators in the FAA and NORAD were instructed to ignore the many confusing false blips on their screens that were appearing due to the inordinate number of military drills taking place at the time of the attacks.
You said, "You admit you have no knowledge whatsoever of the 1998 African embassy attacks, nor of the 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole, both carried out by al-Qaeda. If you don't even know these basic parts of the story, how can you jump to such damning conclusions? (And you accused me of not knowing the facts.)"
I was asking you out of an admitted lack of knowledge about the two events and an ever-present curiosity and desire to know as much as I can. I am now aware of the two events. That represents an improvement on my part. I am not jumping to conclusions. I did not accuse you of not knowing the facts; I accused you of not seeking the facts.
You asked three unrelated questions that serve no other purpose than to demonstrate your emotional attachment to the issues. Any of these questions, along with your questions about the planes, deserve more than a nasty email discussion:
Q: "Is al-Jazeera part of the conspiracy, too?"A: I don't know, but I'll look into it.
Q: "What about independent analysts like Peter Bergen (who has interviewed bin Laden) who say the tapes are legitimate?"
A: I don't know, but I'll look into it.
Q: "Is he also part of the diabolical Bush administration plot, even though he has criticized the Bush administration's approach to the war on terror?"
A: I don't know, but I'll look into it.
You said of my research, "It's bogus and irresponsible, and it should be recognized as such."
Bogus it's not; I am sincerely looking for answers. Irresponsible it's not; my sense of responsibility is what fuels my research. You may recognize me as a pink elephant if you like; that's your right.
As for all your other wild assumptions about what I think about you, people who disagree with me, the mainstream media, and so on and so forth, I will simply not respond. Instead I will hope for a more elevated approach from you next time, and look forward to an improved and more streamlined dialogue.
This last e-mail of yours has absolutely zero intellectual content, so I really have nothing further to add at this time.
Translation: There is nothing in the email you find targetable. This proves to me that you are incapable of agreeing. Here's an experiment:
The earth revolves around the sun. Agree or disagree?
Actually, nothing in the e-mail strengthens your case or makes any point to which I must respond. Try again.
Compartmentation and chains of command allow for large operations to be carried out without any subordinate agents seeing the big picture. It's actually a pretty mundane and ubiquitous phenomenon. Most human organizations are structured that way.
New plan. After re-reading our entire exchange from beginning to now, and having graciously given you enough information and evidence to chew on for a lifetime, I've decided that the timbre of your emails reminds me of that of the average television commentator: vapid, uncurious, piggish, prickly, icy, barren, unpleasant, obfuscatory, adversarial, and completely lacking in any trace of a rational mind beyond the reptilian, primitive, or otherwise prototypical. It's not that you disagree with me; I have actual friends who disagree with me. It's that you have demonstrated nothing but a paralyzing fear of the unknown and a tragically accurate facsimile of jingoistic expression. I have been man enough to admit when you are right, whereas you have proven unable to concede the most insignificant defeat. You have invented approximately 95% of the statements you have falsely attributed to me. You began this waste of time with an insult and have continued unapologetically in that brutish vein until now. So unless you can begin to credibly respond directly to the content of my research, just please go find some other upstanding member of reality with whom to rehearse for your upcoming talking head job interview. Your attitude is abhorable. Change it.
Actually this exchange began with your unsubstantiated charge against the Bush administration of mass murder of American citizens. If you said, "There are some lingering questions about 9/11 that still need to be answered," that would be one thing. But no, you said, "The Bush administration engineered the attacks." (I love that vague word, "engineered.") A rational mind would recognize that in order to make such charges, you had better have solid evidence to back up your claims. Instead, you traffic in innuendo, paranoia, and incoherent conspiracy theories. You try to get a leg up on opponents not by offering clear arguments, but merely by claiming that anyone who doesn't buy your absurd ideas is naive, uncurious, and jingoistic. It's a reprehensible tactic.
You wouldn't know a rational argument if it rammed you up the ass. You made some bizarre comment about how my questioning your case for a doctored bin Laden video showed my emotional attachment to the issue, failing to recognize that I neatly demolished your theory by raising those points. For some reason you think this exchange should consist of you narrating the "facts" of the case as you see them, and me meekly accepting them. You just can't take it when I start challenging you. You're weak and pathetic.
In addition, you're a drug addict. As I recall from our time in D.C., you were doing about every drug known to man. News flash: Drugs affect your cognitive abilities and judgment. It was probably a bad idea for me to engage in an argument with a drug addict, but I find your ideas so reprehensible that I felt it necessary. Below is a link to some substance abuse treatment centers in your area. I hope you'll get cleaned up.
I'll leave you with this positive note. If at any point any conclusive proof emerges to support your theory (though to say you have a theory is a bit of a stretch, since you won't even lay out its main points), then I will come back and acknowledge it. I'll also jump off the Capitol dome.
This email actually made me laugh. Especially the drug addict stuff. I hope you'll go and accuse Tom, Jen, Jerry, and Dave of the same affliction. Man, that was a great time. You should have been there. You could have got your peace and love on. Maybe you would have found your true calling in life. Just imagine it: John Doe with long hair, a tie-dye, and a back of nose candy. Reporting the news. Well, if you subtract the hair and the tie-dye, I've probably got it right on the nose. Or you've got it. On the nose. Tee hee. Anyway, if you jump off the Capitol dome, be sure to remember me as you fall.
And now an excerpt from the annals of rap music:
Enemy lines define exactly who we gotta hate
People love it when people put other people in their place
Increase your understanding with the lines in your face
With age, all imaginary lines will be erased
Phone lines for bylines doing coke lines in skylines
Lines in the sand and Gregorian timelines
The thickening poverty line is a sickening sign
That this mythical monolothic America's in decline
Furthermore, take a half-hour and read this. All your paranoid fantasies die away, courtesy of the folks at Popular Mechanics (that hotbed of vapid, uncurious, piggish, prickly, icy, barren, unpleasant, obfuscatory, adversarial, jingoistic fools).
My Dear John Doe,
Very good. You actually went out and did some research. Hats off to you. Apparently my tactic of attacking you personally is an effective one. The thing about people like you is you're not interested in actual information until someone outright bullies you. You respond well to ad hominem attacks, because you do it yourself. I call it fighting controlled demolition with controlled demoltion. Ha! I'm clever, aren't I? Don't answer that. This is actually kind of fun. I haven't met up with one of you shallow, immature, e-idiots in quite awhile. All you do is muddy the issues with bias and condescension. But you'd be too weak and pathetic yourself to do it in a face-to-face encounter. In your mind, big fightin' words are best left to the safe and secure world of virtual reality. If you and I ever meet up in the flesh for a real tete-a-tete, I will bury you. And when you reawaken like the zombie thay you are, I will bury you again. And again and again, until your will to fight the unwinnable war with me dies forevermore. You'll be doing a lot of roof-jumping if you keep on with this.
Anyway, I'm way ahead of you. I read your Popular Mechanics story. Here is a detailed, point-by-point analysis that should effectively rape you in the ass with rational thought:
Also, Scientic American followed in Popular Mechanics' weak and cowardly style of straw man "debunking" in this article:
Aren't I nice? I just handed you another sword to fight with. You need all the help you can get. Unfortunately, you will impale yourself on this article.
Here is the debunking of the Scientific American "debunking":
Bring it on. Let's roll. Point by point, I will destroy you every time. And I don't even have to be a good "debater". All I have to do is show you what I have seen. You are either with the truth movement, or you are with the real terrorists.
I remember you saying that you were "conservative about everything except the death penalty" back in D.C. Is that still true? (My question doesn't relate to our ongoing Biggest Cock contest; I'm just curious.)
I'll let you go ahead and have the last word. I've already taken you way more seriously than you deserve, but I definitely don't have any more time to argue with a stark raving lunatic. So go ahead, blaze away, send one more scathing e-mail. I won't respond. I will simply repeat my pledge that if at any point any conclusive evidence emerges to back your claims, I will be the first to acknowledge you were right. But if we should live a thousand years, there is not a chance in hell that your theories will ever gain any credence with any respectable, intelligent human being.
In all honesty, I do think you're intelligent. I hope you'll save all our past emails, so that you will have those links for future reference. Most of what is known about 9/11 was originally culled from mainstream news sources and original documents; it's the underground communities, however, that have had the independence necessary to put the pieces together. My opinions about you as a person are irrelevant, as are yours about me. Just get the info, and then draw your own conclusions. Don't worry, you won't catch some conspiracy theory cooties or anything. Yes, some people in the 9/11 research communities are admittedly overzealous. But you can still see what they have to say, and check their assertions against the mainstream sources. You'll see for yourself what checks out and what is wrong. There is no "unified theory" about 9/11. There are just details here, details there - a cumulative argument, if you will. So far, the best single site I have found for real analysis is 911research.com.
Best of luck in whatever you do. Grad school and work and all that. Don't get me wrong, I still think you're a knuckledragger. But good luck.
END OF COMMUNICATION WITH JOHN DOE. BEGIN COMMUNICATION WITH JOHN DOE 2.
Taboo? Or Downright Verboten?
This week's release of the Pentagon tape showing a white flash and a big explosion was widely reported. The video revealed nothing new or substantive, but most media treated the release with a tone of "putting the issue to bed."
Some bedtime story. "Once upon a time, a plane ran into the Pentagon. The only surviving evidence of the event was hundreds of conflicting eyewitness reports and a grainy stop-action videotape that would put most UFO sightings to shame. Sweet dreams."
But you didnt tell the ending yet! Every story has an ending!
Shut up, you little brat. Go to sleep.
I refuse. There are an alleged 84 other missing videotapes confiscated by the FBI on that fateful day. At least two interested parties Judical Watch and flight77.info are currently pursuing additional Freedom of Information Act litigation to secure the release of those tapes. Where does that litigation currently stand? What does the FBI have to say about it? And dammit, show me the plane!
That's it. No supper for you tomorrow night.
Your threats dont scare me. This could be a great story. What about the confiscated photograph, taken before the wall collapsed, that shows a hole of only 16 feet in diameter? What about the lack of wreckage of any kind? What about the two-foot engine turbine - the one that could not possibly have come from a passenger liner - allegedly found onsite?
That's crackpot stuff. Were going to have to institutionalize you.
Whatever. I just want a good story. One that makes an iota of sense. Is that so crazy?
Yes, it's crazy. You're no son of mine.
You know, come to think of it, I am crazy. I am crazy because I see a veritable plethora of evidence that directly contradicts the official line, yet no one seems to care. Am I the only one who believes his own two eyes? Heres a story for you. Once upon a time, there was a little thing called investigative journalism. Then one day, it just disappeared. Sweet dreams.
Thanks for the op-ed Musclemouth. Unfortunately, you caught me just as I was taking down that feature on my site. I determined that it was arrogant of me to offer that "opportunity" when I don't allow direct postings to myite...and only one other person had ever taken advantage of it over 5 months. So I thought it was making me look a little silly. As for the op-ed, I think you need to reference Occam's Razor, which basically says the simplest explanation is usually the most accurate -- it was just a few dozen crazy people taking down some planes. I'm just not one for conspiracy theories.Best of luck,
-John Doe 2
Hi John Doe 2,
Thanks for the reply; that's alright. I do enjoy your blog, by the way. I find your equal-opportunity critiques of the political spectrum very credible. Libertarian Democrat. One question: how do those two terms reconcile? Is it Libertarian by principle, and Democrat by alliance? I'm curious because I have recently begun to call myself a Libertarian, and I find Democrats to be nominally less repugnant than Republicans.
You raise a good point about Occam's Razor. I hold the principle in high esteem. However, by that very principle, it is unlikely that the only three steel-framed buildings in history to collapse due to fire alone were WTC1, WTC2, and WTC7, all in one day and in the same location. Also by Occam's Razor, it is plausible that a handful of people on the inside, with no personal feelings of genuine love for Americans, manipulated the system for money and power.
Since Occam's Razor can be used to both substantiate and discredit either of our positions, the principle must be discarded in favor of a much weightier principle: evidence.
Oh how I hate a conspiracy theory. Most 9/11 conspiracy theorists aren't very serious. They make no distinction between accusation and substantiation. That's what makes them "theorists" and not "researchers", which is the term I choose to apply to myself.
Incidentally, I had a short, heated 9/11 debate via email with WCPJ alum John Doe. Like me, he's just as plucky as ever! Anyway, most people I talk to about this do tend to disagree with me. (Masochistically, I tend not to sing to choruses.)
I trust everything is going well with you and WCPJ. That program rocked my world. The speakers and mentors were great; I just wish Helen Thomas was one of the speakers when I was in!
All the best to you,