In response to my Reply to some folks at Screw Loose Change, “Nerd World Order” wrote:
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.
I’ve looked at it. It contains many of the same kinds of arguments I myself would have made against the 9/11 Truth movement before this past summer, when I finally got curious enough to start examining the issues in-depth. I am, by the way, a person who has spent a lot of time debunking certain “conspiracy theories” which I still reject, such as the “Satanic ritual abuse” scare. So, when I was reluctantly convinced that there really was something to this WTC demolition stuff after all, I kept the typical pitfalls of “conspiratorialist” thinking very much in mind, and I think I’ve managed to avoid those pitfalls.
Anyhow, below is my detailed response to the above page, which is titled “The 9/11 Conspiracy guys are retarded.”
The page says:
there is a core group of people out there who quite simply believe every conspiracy theory ever suspected, ever, by anybody.
Well, I’m obviously not in that category, as should be abundantly clear if you take a look through my blog.
But here’s the thing. The 9/11 “Truth” guys, the Loose Changers and all the many websites, they don’t just think government is corrupt. They think everybody, and I mean everybody, is either evil on a demonic scale, or a mindless sheep.
I certainly don’t think that that’s true of “everybody, and I mean everybody.” However, some people have indeed committed great evils. And, alas, getting people to commit great evils, or at least to cooperate with them, is not as difficult as some people might like to believe. Are you familiar with Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiments? Have you studied the history of Nazism at all?
Also, are you familiar with the history of false flag operations?
The entire 9/11 “Truth” movement rests on the idea that the World Trade Center towers were rigged with explosives, a “Controlled Demolition” like you see with old buildings. That’s the whole thing.
Actually, that’s not the whole thing, by any means. See, for example, the website 911proof.com, which discusses (and documents) many other problems with the official story besides just the question of how the WTC buildings came down.
Forget the fact that no experts on the subject agree with them.
There are indeed some structural engineers in Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Admittedly not very many yet, but we’ll see who else joins.
First, picture the demolitions teams wiring up the World Trade Center towers with explosives prior to the attack. Obviously you couldn’t do it during business hours, since it’d be kind of hard to explain to the 100,000 people who worked at or visited the WTC towers on any given day why you had a huge chunk of wall torn out and were wiring up a bomb on the steel beams there.
It would have to have been done under the guise of something like elevator maintenance or asbestos abatement, both of which can easily be done without allowing other people to see directly what the workers are doing. So, at least some of it could have been done during business hours — which, in at least some of the offices in the World Trade Center, extended for 24 hours.
I mean, keep in mind, I don’t know how big of a job that would be (no one has ever demolished a building that size before) but a building just half the size of one WTC tower took 4,000 separate charges to bring down. Four thousand.
That job took seven months of prep work.
Although rigging up the towers with explosives would indeed have required lots of time-consuming prep work, it might have required considerably less time than a conventional, legal demolition of a building the same size. The latter would involve all manner of safety precautions that could have been disregarded by those rigging up the towers.
Our demolition crew, on the other hand, can work only at night
Maybe, maybe not, if they’re working in the elevator shaft of an out-of-service elevator. Planting explosives in the core could easily be disguised as elevator maintenance.
As for the rest of the building, an even better disguise might have been asbestos abatement, for which the work needs to be physically covered at all times, lest it contaminate the rest of the building. However, based on the preliminary research I’ve done on asbestos abatement of the WTC buildings, it would appear that not much asbestos abatement had been done by 9/11. So, an investigation would need to examine what other kinds of repair, maintenance, and construction work were done in the WTC buildings during the months leading up to 9/11, and when and by whom.
The bomb-sniffing dogs who were brought in from time to time (remember, these buildings were bombed by terrorists in 1993) who are trained to find even one bomb, fail to notice the 10,000 bombs lining their building.
One thing that should be looked into is exactly what kinds of explosives these dogs are trained to detect. If some new and exotic explosives were used, the dogs might not have been able to detect it. Knowing how the dogs are trained would probably be a good way to rule out particular kinds of explosives, since it is indeed highly unlikely that the explosives could all have been planted within the week after the dogs were last removed from the buildings, as suggested in 9/11 Mysteries.
No, they’re just getting started. It’s at this stage of the hypothetical plot when the 9/11 conspiracy guys say the real cover-up began. This is when all of the many, many people who could have blown the lid off the whole thing chose to stay silent because they were paid off by the government.
Actually, there have been quite a few testimonies by eye-witnesses, including fire fighters and first responders, who have said that it looked to them like the towers were brought down by explosives. (Some of them, with primary source documentation, can be found on 911proof.com.) However, defenders of the official story have found ways to explain away most of these testimonies.
As for those who stayed silent, I don’t think they were getting paid specifically for staying silent. More likely, they just didn’t want to rock the boat, out of fear of possibly losing their jobs.
That includes hundreds of private researchers and government employees who prepared gigantic reports about the collapse of the towers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Chapter 5 of the FEMA report conceded that its “best hypothesis” regarding WTC 7 had “only a low probability of occurrence.” And it would seem that NIST has been having an awfully difficult time figuring out what happened to WTC 7. But it pretty obviously does look exactly like a controlled demolition. (See some relevnat snippets of network TV footage here, on Jim Hoffman’s WTC 7 site. See also my post about the Straight-down collapse of WTC 7.)
As for WTC 1 and 2, the case for controlled demolition is not as glaringly obvious. The issues are more complex and quantitative. However, NIST apparently had to fudge its data quite a bit to come up with a computer model of the initiation of collapse, and then did not attempt to model the collapse itself (supposedly because this was “unnecessary”). Are you familiar with Kevin Ryan’s critique of the NIST report? If not, please see:
- Jim Hoffman’s review of a presentation by Kevin Ryan
- Propping Up the War on Terror: Lies about the WTC by NIST and Underwriters Laboratories by Kevin Ryan
- What is 9/11 Truth? The First Steps (PDF) by Kevin Ryan
- Kevin Ryan’s response to the NIST FAQ
Kevin Ryan is a former executive at Underwriters Laboratories. Some people have tried to discredit his critique on the grounds that he is a chemist, not a structural engineer. But the issues he raises are ones of basic scientific methodology, not requiring specialized knowledge of structural engineering.
Can you point me to any substantive rebuttal of Kevin Ryan’s critique, as distinct from attempts to discredit him personally? (For example, has he misrepresented anything specific in the NIST report? If so, that would be a substantive criticism.) I have not yet seen any such substantive responses. Have you?
The article “The 9/11 Conspiracy guys are retarded” then says that the 9/11 Truth movement accuses:
Also, officials in the New York City Fire Department.
All were written fat checks, say the conspiracy guys, to cover up the murder of 3,000 New Yorkers. Keep in mind, some of them were New Yorkers themselves – all of the FDNY guys were – and some of them had friends who died in the towers. The theory even says it was the commander of the FDNY itself who detonated one of the buildings, and therefore he was in on the decision to kill 343 of his own firefighters and 60 police officers.
This I do not believe, and indeed I consider such claims to be a major error on the part of many people in the 9/11 Truth movement. (See my post about the Straight-down collapse of WTC 7.)
There’s more. We have hundreds, if not thousands, of reporters and writers who researched the collapse, including the nine reporters and dozens of experts for the huge Popular Mechanics article on the subject.
See Jim Hoffman’s critiques of the Popular Mechanics article:
- Popular Mechanics Attacks the “9/11 LIES” Straw Man
- Popular Mechanics’ Deceptive Smear Against 9/11 Truth (a more complete commentary)
- Popular Mechanics’ Assault on 9/11 Truth (short version)
- Popular Mechanics’ Assault on 9/11 Truth (longer version)
The article “The 9/11 Conspiracy guys are retarded” goes on to say:
They were paid off, too.
I don’t think so. More likely, just following orders from their new boss. (Popular Mechanics had recently been bought out by Hearst Corporation, if I’m not mistaken.)
It is also, in my opinion, quite possible that the authors of the Popular Mechanics article honestly believed in what they were writing.
In a sense, no theory of the “collapse” of WTC 1 and 2 can be considered a fully established scientific theory. Because no similarly constructed buildings, of similar size, have ever collapsed before, for any reason whatsoever, we really don’t have anything quantitatively similar to compare them to. (And, as the better-informed defenders of the official story are fond of pointing out, size does matter.) As far as I am aware (and feel free to correct me, with specifics please, if you know I’m wrong), the only directly-relevant physical experiments done by people investigating the “collapses” of WTC 1 and 2 (besides Steven Jones’s experiments) are NIST’s (with help from contractors including UL), for which NIST apparently then had to fudge their experimental data in order to come up with a workable computer model. Furthermore, even some credentialed believers in the official theory, such as James Quintiere, have disputed the NIST report on various grounds. So, in the absence of sufficient actual scientific data for there to be any fully established scientific theory, various people, including experts, can spin a variety of as-yet-unfalsified hypotheses – and may sincerely believe in those hypotheses even if they happen to be wrong. This gives everyone, including experts, some apparent wiggle room. And I think most people, including experts, are likely to have a sincere prejudice against politically incorrect theories, especially when their own job may be at stake.
Because the WTC “collapses” are such utterly unique events, about which there are not yet any fully established scientific theories, there are no experts who are anywhere near close to infallible. So, it is up to each of us to try to sift through the evidence and draw our own tentative conclusions as best we can, rather than just blindly accept arguments from authority and popularity.
To have a real discussion about the likelihood of any given theory being true, one would need to take a good look at the particulars of the theory, and at whether it adequately explains all the observed phenomena. Are you up to discussing particulars of any specific version of the natural-collapes theory regarding WTC 1 and 2?
And paid enough to walk away from the story of a lifetime, a chance to blow the lid off the conspiracy. Paid enough to refuse a sure Pulitzer and a lifetime of fame and riches as one of history’s greatest heroes.
Being a whistleblower does not always and inevitably lead to such rewards. More often it leads to the risk of losing one’s job. Next time you see some unethical behavior on the part of your boss – or a major client of the company you work for – try blowing the whistle and see what happens
Furthermore, over the past several decades, the major mass media have gotten more and more consolidated into the hands of a few mega-corporations, and are, in general, far less independent than they once were.
The conspiracy guys say there was no plane, therefore they were paid to lie, along with all of the witnesses in Pennsylvania who claim to have seen the plane go down.
By no means does everyone in the 9/11 Truth movement accept the no-planes theories. I certainly do not accept them. Way too many eye-witnesses saw the planes.
But wait, there’s more. Because there are hundreds of thousands of civil engineers and structural engineers in the world (people who are experts in what makes buildings fall down) and lots of demolitions experts. Approximately zero of them say the 9/11 attacks looked like bombed buildings.
Many (perhaps most) structural engineers and many (perhaps most) demolitions experts have careers dependent, at least in part, on government contracts, hence would hesitate to rock the boat. Furthermore, probably only a small percentage of them have actually bothered to study the NIST report in detail. Most people, in any field, simply accept the conclusions of the leading recognized experts and do not ask questions except about matters which they themselves happen to be working on directly.
All of them either say outright that the demolition theory is asinine, or are silent
Not quite all of them, as mentioned earlier. Of those who do say it’s asinine, I would suggest looking at their specific basis for saying so, rather than just accepting their conclusions without question. I would suggest looking carefully at their quantitative assumptions, e.g. about the likely temperatures of the fires.
in the face of what the Loose Changers say is video proof of mass murder so obvious even an uneducated jackass off the street can spot it.
It is all too easy for people, especially well-educated people, to convince themselves that something obvious is false, if the currently-reigning established “experts” happen to say so. To be fair, there is plenty of valid precedent for dismissing the obvious. Science has made many discoveries which seem downright weird in terms of everyday experience. For example, if you somehow managed to travel at half the speed of light, it would seem “obvious” that a light beam next to you would appear to be traveling at half its actual speed, right? Wrong, as the Michelson–Morley experiment proved, and as Einstein subsequently explained in his Special Theory of Relativity. And it would seem “obvious” that gravity, plain old everyday gravity, isn’t something so bizarre-sounding as a warping of space and time in the presence of matter. However, lo and behold, yes it is – according to Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, which has proven consistent with many subsequent scientific observations. So, when faced with utterly unique events like the “collapses” of the WTC buildings, it is only natural for people – especially well-educated people – to mistrust the evidence of their senses and just believe the “experts.”
But, because the “collapses” of the WTC buildings are such utterly unique events, there aren’t any true experts on them. I’m certainly no expert either, but I do have a strong general scientific background, including two years of physics in college. I think my background is adequate for me to evaluate most (though not all) of the relevant technical arguments on both sides. An intellectually responsible approach questions both the “obvious” and the “experts,” and digs deeper, reasoning carefully and double-checking one’s facts, as much as one feasibly can, at every step.
The article “The 9/11 Conspiracy guys are retarded” then goes on at length about the unlikelihood of all these many people getting paid off. Yep, that would indeed be highly unlikely. But I don’t think they were paid off, in the first place, as explained above.
After that comes an attempt to psychoanalyze “the 9/11 conspiracy guys.” Supposedly, the leaders and the video makers just want attention. Would the author similarly dismiss all leaders of all political movements?
And then you have the rank and file, the kids who watched the video and just plain didn’t know any better because they didn’t follow it up with any reading. They’re not reading this, for instance.
There probably are quite a few folks who come into the 9/11 Truth movement that way, but I certainly did not. I did a lot of reading, of “9/11 conspiracy debunking” websites as well as some of the better 9/11 Truth websites (such as Jim Hoffman’s), plus quite a bit of independent reading to double-check various claims (e.g. Jim Hoffman’s claims about fire temperatures, which I verified by looking at some fire engineering websites). I was very skeptical, and it took me at least a month to arrive at the very reluctant conclusion that there really was something to this demolition stuff after all.
So even if you strapped them down and forced them to read this, they’d just pick out one detail that they thought would give them reason to discredit the whole thing and dismiss it from their minds.
That may well be true of many of the “kids” being discussed here. However, in my own case, all of the issues raised in this article are matters that I have already spent quite a bit of time thinking and reading about, from various different angles.
I hereby challenge you to dig deeply into the better 9/11 Truth sites and to seriously examine the issues, rather than just picking out a few details that you think would give you reason to discredit the whole thing.