New York City activist

October 20, 2007

Reply to some folks at Screw Loose Change

For whatever reason, Screw Loose Change has noticed my post about Chip Berlet and “Conspiracism”. In the post at Screw Loose Change, The Chameleon Truth Movement, Pat seems to have jumped to the conclusion that I’m a “Bilderberg nutbar.” Hopefully my comments over there have straightened out any misunderstanding along those lines. (I don’t see the Bilderberg Group as a grand conspiracy, but as just another vehicle of ruling class influence on governments. I hold a pretty standard leftist view on this matter. See also my posts The recent growth of anti-Illuminism: Dreadful ideology about the dreaded Illuminati and More about anti-Illuminism. The only reason I mentioned the BIlderberg Group in my response to Chip Berlet was to correct his statement that it’s a bankers’ group, when in fact it includes many other people besides just bankers.) I’ll now reply to subsequent comments at Screw Loose Change.

“Nerd World Order” wrote:

You seem to be relatively sensible. So could you answer a few questions for me?

1. What exactly did happen on 9/11? I’ve never got a straight answer (ie. order of events, exactly what was covered up, and a general idea of the logistics involved) from any twoofer. Ever.

I don’t claim to know exactly what happened. It does seem likely to me that WTC 7, and probably also WTC 1 and 2, were demolished with explosives of some kind (and/or possibly thermite/thermate). I don’t claim to know this with absolute certainty; I just think that the way the buildings fell is suspicious enough that this possibility needs to be seriously investigated — to whatever extent it can be investigated, given that so much of the physical evidence was so quickly hauled away.

I don’t buy any of the “no planes” stuff. There’s lots of evidence that real planes did hit both the towers and the Pentagon. It also seems likely to me that both the FAA and NORAD were deliberately distracted to allow this to happen.

If indeed the WTC buildings were demolished with explosives (or whatever), this would have required quite a bit of preparation over a period of at least a month I would guess, probably under the guise of elevator maintenance, asbestos abatement, electrical work, or other kinds of work that could give people a plausible excuse to be accessing columns, beams, and/or spandrels. It is very unlikely that a foreign-based terrorist group could have pulled this off. It would have to have been done by people trusted by the people in charge of the buildings.

2. Why would the conspirators order a vast coverup when they could simply tell the truth about what happened but just shift the blame to somebody else (ie. terrorists planted bombs in the buildings.)

The perpetrators obviously wanted to do something a lot more dramatic than the 1993 bombing. But, as noted above, it is extremely unlikely that a foreign-based terrorist group could manage to get away with planting explosives all over the buildings. So, acknowledging controlled demolition but blaming it on foreign terrorists would raise too many questions about how those terrorists managed to gain sufficient access to the buildings. There are already lots of people asking how the terrorists managed to get through the U.S. air defenses long enough crash a total of three planes into buildings. If, in addition to that, the terrorists also allegedly had sustained access to the buildings themselves, then the case for insider complicity would be just too blatant.

And why lie about things that are physically impossible relating to your explanation when you could do something that raises no red flags?

Probably because the perpetrators believed that they could disguise the demolitions well enough (as supposedly natural collaspes) to get away with them. Furthermore, even if the demolitions weren’t disguised well enough, the perpetrators might have figured that a physical-evidence red flag would be less risky, both legally and politically, than a “how did the terrorists gain regular access to the buildings’ infrastructure?” red flag. After all, most of the relevant experts work for corporations with government contracts (or for universities dependent on government research grants, and in some of the specific departments that are expected to raise money via said grants). Thus, the perpetrators might have figured that most of the relevant experts would be disinclined to rock the boat, and that most other people (including juries) would be inclined just to believe the experts. Besides, most of the physical evidence was quickly hauled away afterwards, making this matter very difficult to resolve.

The above is just a guess, not something I definitively believe. I have no way of knowing for sure why the perpetrators made the decisions they did (if indeed the WTC buildings were demolished).

It should also be remembered that the Bush administration has had a notoriously reckless attitude, in general. Recall the infamous comment by a Bush aide, “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.” (Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush by Ron Suskind, New York Times Magazine, October 17, 2004.)

3. Why destroy WTC7? It’s godly in its irrelevance.

I don’t know.

Many people in the 9/11 Truth movement have speculated that the motive might have been destruction of records, or at least a good excuse to claim that certain records were lost (even though most records would actually have been backed up elsewhere). WTC 7 had lots of interesting tenants, including the CIA, the FBI, and the SEC, any one of which, or perhaps more than one of which, might have had information that the perpetrators wanted to get lost. I haven’t yet looked deeply into this aspect of things, though, so I haven’t yet determined which specific investigations, if any, have been seriously hampered as a result the destruction of WTC 7. Some people have claimed that the Enron investigation was substantially affected. Others claim it wasn’t, and I haven’t checked into this yet. Personally, I suspect it’s more likely that someone in the CIA might have wanted a good excuse to claim to have lost some records which the CIA might otherwise be obliged to declassify and release years later under the Freedom of Information Act. In that case, we won’t know about it until many years later, if ever.

This issue doesn’t seem to me like an especially promising line of inquiry, so it’s far from my top priority.

4. If your whole plan is to attack Iraq, why not blame the attacks on Saddam? Wouldn’t that actually help to further your goals, instead of the nonsensical “frame Osama to attack a country that has nothing to do with our target” scheme?

Perhaps because Al Qaeda already existed, and perhaps because making use of Al Qaeda was both easier and less suspicious-looking than cooking up a totally new CIA-front Iraqi “terrorist group” from scratch. Also, the point of the 9/11 attacks, from the point of view of the American perpetrators, probably wasn’t just to justify a short-term war against Iraq or Afghanistan, but to justify a century of “war on terror,” with a variety of targets. That would explain why the attacks had to be so exceedingly massive and dramatic, as well as explaining why the exact nationality of the terrorist group wasn’t too important, as long as they were Islamist and thus could be tied, in the American popular imagination, to just about any Muslim country that the administration might choose to go to war with for whatever reason.

5. And finally, what exactly does “inside job” even mean? I’ve stretched my brain to the limits, but I haven’t been able to come up with anything more than a rewording of the phrase, like “job from the inside.”

Try scratching a dictionary instead of your brain. See the definitions of “inside job” on

Another person, with the screen name of DK, quoted my earlier comment in which I attempted to clarify the distinction I was making to Chip Berlet:

“A belief that the 9/11 attacks were carried out, helped, or at least deliberately allowed by some people within the U.S. government does not entail the same kind or magnitude of “conspiracy theory””

To which DK replied:

Except it does, you are talking about the deaths of around 3000 people, in which the govement may of helped or turned a blind eye to……

I’m not going to try to explain the distinction again from scratch. Please re-read Chip Berlet and “Conspiracism” and then ask me some specific questions if you still don’t understand my point.

The most daming part of the truth movement is simply the lack of any crediable evidance that may back up their case. Not even half truths.

That’s not the case at all. It is, unfortunately, true that there are a lot of people in the 9/11 Truth movement who have made some really wacky claims. But there are others who are more careful.

Until this past June, I was strongly prejudiced against the 9/11 Truth movement due, in part, to an earlier exposure to some of the wackier stuff (holograms, video fakery, and fake phone calls, if I recall correctly). Then, in late June, at an anti-war event, I overheard two men debating about the possibility that the towers were brought down by controlled demolition. A few weeks later I was curious enough to wonder if there were any engineers who accepted that idea, so I Googled around and eventually came across the website of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, which, in turn, had links to Jim Hoffman’s sites.

I then spent a lot of time studying Jim Hoffman’s sites and independently checking as many of his claims as I could. Many of his claims proved to be correct (e.g. about fire temperatures and strength of steel, which I verified by looking at some relevant technical websites, e.g. fire safety engineering websites, having nothing to do with 9/11). Some of his claims proved to be incorrect. Whenever I found an error, I wrote to him about it. He usually wrote back, thanked me, and usually either corrected the error or promised to correct it later. Based on my dealings with him, I deem him to be an honest person who genuinely wants to present as strong and accurate a case as possible, and who has done a lot of in-depth research, although he’s not perfect.

I also spent quite a bit of time looking at “9/11 conspiracy debunking” websites.

Eventually I hope to write a bunch of blog entries similar to Straight-down collapse of WTC 7 – what do “debunkers” say? in which I carefully examine some particular issue and consider what various people have to say about various aspects of the issue.

Next there was another comment from Nerd World Order:

Well, you believe in a massive coverup to hide the complicity of top ranking government officials

Actually, I don’t think that the number of people knowingly involved in the coverup would need to have been very big.

in mass murder they may have orchestrated using a Rube Goldberg-esque plan

Not nearly as Rube Goldberg-esque as Operation Northwoods, which, I suspect, may have been a source of inspiration for some of the “no planes” and “drone” theories in the 9/11 Truth movement. Although Operation Northwoods was never actually carried out, the idea was, apparently, seriously entertained by people within the Kennedy administration as a possible series of false-flag operations.

and you don’t let trivialities like a lack of evidence stand in your way. Sounds like a conspiracy theory in every sense of the word.

See my reply to DK, above.

The next substantive comment was from Pat Curley:

My problem is with the notion that there’s this reasonable “Truth” movement out there that doesn’t argue the BS stuff. And that’s because every part of the “Truth” movement makes the same claim. The Loose Changers say “We’re not nutty like the No-Planers!” and the Peak Oilers say “We’re not nutty like the Loose Changers” and the LIHOP crowd says “We’re not nutty like the MIHOP folks!” and the No-Planers say “We’re not nutty like those LIHOP-limited hangouts!”

Well, it’s up to you to look at what the various different individual people have to say and how they each argue their points. Just don’t judge one person’s arguments by what another person to say that’s the fallacy of guilt-by-association.

The comments on the Screw Loose Change page gradually degenerate into more and more contentless or repetitious put-downs and insults. Skipping over as much of that as possible and focussing only on the substantive stuff, I come to a comment by manny, who voices concern over whether there are any people in the 9/11 Truth movement who sincerely oppose anti-semitism on more than just tactical grounds. I invite manny to read the following posts of mine:

Hang around my blog long enough and you’ll see that opposing religion-based bigotry is a passion of mine, a passion which long pre-dates my entry into the 9/11 Truth movement.

An anonymous person wrote:

As long as you disagree on what constitutes valid evidence, you will have a divided movement full of lunatics. You need some common standard to judge things by. Otherwise everyone just uses their own standard, and the fatal divisions among you will tear you to pieces.

and, in a similar vein, hey nonny nonymous wrote:

The fact is, “The Sokal Affair” proved long ago there is no disagreement in science for what constitutes “valid evidence.”

As in just about any political movement, the majority of people in the 9/11 Truth movement are not scientists. Most Americans in general are not well-trained in scientific methodology, or in critical thinking. I think it’s important to encourage people think more carefully and to do more careful research.

Further down, a person with the screen name of “Bilderberg employee” wrote a cute satire on the notion of Bilderberg control and micromanagement of the world:

Every time something goes wrong in the world, it’s “blame the Bilderberg group.” It’s tiresome. Look, people, we’ve been secretly controlling things for about the last 50 years. I’d like to think we do a pretty good job. Crime is down. Medical technology is more advanced every day. Standards of living are going up across the globe.

Nobody ever talks about all the good things we do. It’s always, “oh, the Bilderberg group blew up so-and-so.” Show a little gratitude.

Anyway, now I’ll have to have somebody come by all your houses this afternoon to erase your memories. What a nuisance.

Another person, Thrush, wrote:

Only in trooferland will you find a “movement” that consists exclusively of people who maintain diametrically opposed theories, yet all claim they represent the same thing.

Beliefs vary wildly, but the goal, for most of us, is the same: a new and truly independent investigation of 9/11.


  1. Read this:

    It demolishes the twoof movement better than I could ever hope to. If you’re serious enough to actually answer the questions, please take a look at this.

    Comment by nerdworldorder — October 20, 2007 @ 9:54 pm | Reply

  2. All the issues raised in the above-linked article are matters that I have already spent quite a bit of time thinking about (and reading about, from various points of view). I’ll be posting a new blog entry about it very soon. Stay tuned.

    Comment by Diane — October 21, 2007 @ 4:54 am | Reply

  3. You know, it’s odd, but in a way I think I learned more about psychological warfare of this sort from Lieut. Col. Michael Aquino, the founder of the so-called Temple of Set, than I did from anyone else.

    This is because if you look at what he is actually saying, you find that he is quietly offering a complete practical training course in psychological warfare, more or less as he taught it within the US Army, but for civilians (under ”occult’ cover, of course).

    Within this confortable framework of deniability, he offers special modules in how to cope with the miasma of meaningless antisemitism charges, among other things.

    Comment by Rowan Berkeley — October 21, 2007 @ 7:48 am | Reply

  4. […] under: 9/11, 9/11 Truth, WTC 7, World Trade Center — Diane @ 11:53 am In response to my Reply to some folks at Screw Loose Change, “Nerd World Order” wrote: Read this: […]

    Pingback by Reply to “Nerd World Order” about the page “The 9/11 Conspiracy guys are retarded” « New York City activist — October 21, 2007 @ 12:00 pm | Reply

  5. Rowan Berkely wrote:

    You know, it’s odd, but in a way I think I learned more about psychological warfare of this sort from Lieut. Col. Michael Aquino, the founder of the so-called Temple of Set, than I did from anyone else.

    Very interesting, but the above sentence contains a pronoun with an unclear antecedent, which is confusing me. Who/what are you referring to by the “this” in “psychological warfare of this sort”?

    Anyhow, I’d love to hear more details, if you care to share them.

    Comment by Diane — October 21, 2007 @ 12:07 pm | Reply

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