Monday, September 21, 2009

9/11 Truth debating

I've heard on The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast that a good test of how well you know something is to try to explain it to somebody else.
This is another slightly low-grade post where I'm archiving forum posts I've spent time on before they fade forever into the ether (IMDB does not archive its posts in perpetuity).

To give a brief background I usually listen to David Barsamian's Alternative Radio and co-incidentally had also "discovered" Youtube when I found out that people had uploaded interesting stuff like documentaries there. Around April this year one of the speakers was Richard Heinberg who had some interviews on Youtube, in one of them he lambasted the 9/11 Commission report out of the blue and I thought this guy probably wasn't a kook and I should check out the 9/11 conspiracy theory media just to be sure (http://www.youtube.com/user/Wakeymedia2). Lo and behold, the composite picture the various clips and documentaries painted was simply too convincing to dismiss, where I expected to find little to no evidence there were a few irrefutable facts. I sought out debunking media and tracked down the Popular Mechanics article I had come across a couple of years back, now that I understood what they were on about I found their brief selective effort pathetic and basically left the "conspiracy theories" unchallenged. In the past week I have come across some websites that seem to offer more detailed debunking and will have to check that out. From what I've seen so far one heavily relied on tool in the debunkers repertoire seems to be derision, if you're just simply interested in knowing what happened (like with something non-controversial like the Chernobyl meltdown) it seems obvious who has the truth on their side. What does a lack of calmly arguing the facts indicate?

Charlie Sheen recently put his career on the line to bring the 9/11 issue to the forefront, as someone registered at IMDB I headed to the Charlie Sheen message board. We begin where I wade in after the JREF forums were mentioned, I am mostly responding to single posts rather than carrying on a continuous conversation so have added little separators to reflect that:

twbrbzkj: The The Amazing Randi, that is your source?
You should be really careful who you laugh at drop when you use Randi as a source.


Me:The skeptics bread-and-butter is shooting fish in a barrel (astrology, spoon bending), I've listened to skeptical podcasts for a couple of years and am quite disappointed by their unquestioning acceptance of anything the NIST report or even the Warren Commission says. They're really just a bunch of regular people like you or I wading around in the shallow end of the pool (what's the harm of the War on Terror?) who are too used to dealing with the feeble-minded and go after the easiest targets when it comes to 9/11 conspiracy theories.

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vashsunglasses :I've found that people who buy into conspiracy theories tend to have mental issues.

And yes, it IS paranoid to ignore all the *actual* evidence (as opposed to claims that have been disproved time and time again) and claim that the United States killed its own citizens. It smacks of the kind of loose thinking conspiracy theorists are known for. If they ever find evidence that disagrees with their delusions they just push it aside and claim it has been tampered with by those within the conspiracy. That right there, believing that there's a massive conspiracy tampering with data... that's paranoia.


Me: vashsunglasses, have you ever thought that when it comes to the September 11th attacks people may be drawing conclusions on evidence rather than the other way around?
And that the Bush administration, which was known for its cronyism may not be the most reliable investigator of the events? (not that the Obama administration is an improvement).

What annoys me about people on the internet claiming to be skeptics is that they take things such as cryptozoology or homeopathy and use a cookie-cutter approach to September 11 in particular without actually researching and then coming back with evidence that categorically refutes every single point of the alternative 9/11 scenario. And before you claim that Popular mechanics has done this, it is a very poor and selective debunking in my opinion (I was disappointed by what was supposed to be an authoritative debunking).

The fact is that governments do make mistakes and secrets do slip but they're ignored by the highly consolidated mainstream media (who from what I've learned so far is ultimately owned by the same people who own the US congress and the presidency i.e. rule by the rich i.e. oligarchy). And believe it or not the people in charge think nothing of sacrificing members of the general public.


vashsunglasses: Nope. I have zero tolerance for conspiracy theories.


Me: Conspiracy: an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.
Theory: a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena

I think in this case (if you take the time to watch the documentaries and lectures on Youtube/Google Video and review the online articles) you could drop the "theory" or call it "conspiracy fact".

I highly suspect that you have minimal knowledge of why various academics and journalists have come to the conclusion that a faction within the government arranged the whole thing in advance and in fact had incentives to pull off this latest in a long line of false flag operations.
So sort of like trying to argue evolution with someone who has a very basic and inaccurate idea of what it is.


vashsunglasses: How about conspiracy fiction? The only problem is that makes it sound like a pulp fiction novel.

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vashsunglasses: If there's a conspiracy then there should be a paper trail. There should be a money trail. And eventually someone who was actually involved with come out in order to cut a deal and get lots of cash selling a book about it. Or some idiot will get drunk in a bar and spill the beans. I mean someone who planted a bomb or transported one to the location or... heck even manufactured it. Or maybe someone who gave orders? Or one of the people who made sure everyone was paid and keeping quiet? That is the kind of thing that will make people believe you. Cold hard evidence. Documents. A confession from a person who helped commit the crime. Things that would hold up in a court of law. Right now all you have is circumstantial evidence.


Me: I'm going from memory here so I don't have to spend half an hour on this post:


If there's a conspiracy then there should be a paper trail. There should be a money trail.

Mike Ruppert may be your man, he takes a detective's approach to 9/11, like he is presenting a case to a jury.
Larry Silverstein bought WTC 1,2, and 7 before the attacks and the cost to remove the asbestos insulation from the WTC 1 and 2 was estimated at something like a billion (more than the buildings were worth). He also took out insurance policies and after the attacks and a lawsuit got 7 billion if memory serves correct (in any event a good return on the initial investment). In building 7 documents relating to the Worldcom scandal and other cases were destroyed.
There's a major spike in "short" stock trading on the two airlines that had planes alledgedly hijacked, a day or two before 9/11.


And eventually someone who was actually involved with come out in order to cut a deal and get lots of cash selling a book about it.

People (eyewitnesses such as a higher-up in the fire department who threatened to revel information) have been killed. Where information has been revealed (eg. the Underwriters Laboratory guy who went public about their finding that fire could not result in structural collapse) have been completely ignored by the mainstream media, and the UL guy lost his career (as have academics who have gone public).
What incentive would an alleged insider such as Cheney have to go public apart from a warm fuzzy feeling, especially when the War on Terror is still going? Why declare war on themselves by saying that they and others around them were personally were involved in criminal acts?


Or some idiot will get drunk in a bar and spill the beans.

Compartmentalisation helps in this regard, only a handful of people have the complete picture, again the people who have spilled the beans can only do so on certain aspects (such as an alleged Al-Queda pilot not being able to fly the training plane)


I mean someone who planted a bomb or transported one to the location or... heck even manufactured it. Or maybe someone who gave orders? Or one of the people who made sure everyone was paid and keeping quiet?

The threat of being killed and/or losing their career and being ignored anyway seems to be a strong enough incentive. That is a good question though, I think another motivation to keep quiet is that they (a person thinking of going public) were involved in it too and would only be sending themselves to jail or worse by confessing to a crime.


Cold hard evidence. Documents.

One of the biggest eye-openers for me was a photo of the remains of one of the buildings that shows the columns cut at an angle (quite a few collected at a page http://911allthetruth.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/evidencias-de-que-el-ac ero-de-las-torres-del-world-trade-center-fue-cortado-con-termita/), I don't think I could have beliueved controlled demolition so soon if I had not seen this (as it is actual evidence). Multiple eyewitness testimony is one form of evidence, another is an explosion occurring in the lower levels before any of the planes hit, I know this is only one guy in this case but William Rodriguez's story is interesting (http://dl.prisonplanet.tv/members/video/rodriguez.htm), haven't researched on corroborating testimonies.
Video of the building 7 collapse next to a controlled demolition is evidence in itself given their similarity (Richard Gage showed this on a morning TV show recently).
Steven Jones analysed dust from 9/11 and found unexploded thermite. Also there's footage of orange molten steel flowing from the towers which burning kerosene is not hot enoiugh to produce. Molten aluminium (which melts at a lower temperature) is silver rather than orange which was not seen flowing from the WTC. (Jones presentation from the same event will do http://dl.prisonplanet.tv/members/video/jones.htm).

From the same event there's Webster Tarpley who looks at the history of false flag events (http://dl.prisonplanet.tv/members/video/tarpley.htm) and Jim Fetzer looks at the Pentagon (http://dl.prisonplanet.tv/members/video/fetzer.htm).


vashsunglasses: Thank you for taking the effort to share evidence. I may disagree with you but I can respect you as a person who has taken the time to share information with me instead of saying "duh it's obvious go look it up".


twbrbzkj: Futurist,

Thanks so much for putting up all these great info for all to see...

I just didn't have the energy.

The link for the photos of the cut beams I'm really grateful for. I've not seen them all laid out on one page and always found it hard to round up all those shots to show people evidence.

Here is an eyewitness to the events of building 7 who sadly is no longer with us. Barry Jennings:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxUj6UgPODo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LO5V2CJpzI

(Futurists's note: I think only the top photo is actually from NYC, the rest are probably just there for comparison. It was the result of a quick Google search.)

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DropGems:"The fact that you believe THERMATE (I misspoke, not thermite) found in the rubble is not valid cause it was found AFTER the fact, like the ENTIRE 9/11 commission report was after the fact, 14 months after the fact. Seems like you are ignoring a smoking gun, whoever the gun belongs to."

Thermate wasn't found so it doesn't matter anyways.

"It's also bizarre that you think intact thermate is nothing unusual. Thermate also contains sulfur and barium nitrate and was found in the FORM OF THERMATE, not just as trace metals. All these elements already MIXED TOGETHER aren't found in a building collapse, it's not a logical assumption."

Sulfur based dry wall was the 3rd most used construction material in WTC. And again, finding small traces of thermate wouldn't be unusual. WTC 7 rubble was a giant chemical stew. A sulfur molecule attaching to traces of aluminum and forming a compound isn't unusual at all. Remember these were chemicals burning for 8 hours. Tons of chemicals were mixed together and lots of chemical reactions occur at high temperatures. Chemical stew.

"It's like finding weaponized Anthrax in the rubble, that just wouldn't happen unless it was put there. There is no naturally occurring Thermate and there is no good explanation on how it would just magically appear."

Nail in the coffin.

The problem with you truthers is that you're too busy trying to win the argument that you get derailed from the truth. The truth is right in front of you but you irrationally go around it. There's a reason why the movement has gained zero traction in 8 years. It's because you don't have either science or logic on your side.


twbrbzkj: OK... you win.

X-D


Me: twbrbzkj, you give up after a falsehood like "Thermate wasn't found"? There's a paper published about it being found here http://www.bentham-open.org/pages/content.php?TOCPJ/2009/00000002/0000 0001/7TOCPJ.SGM and Steven Jones talks about it in this lecture http://dl.prisonplanet.tv/members/video/220507report.htm.


twbrbzkj: Futurist thanks for the back up man. I just can't talk to that guy any longer.

He just wants to win, so I let him.

Yeah, that bugged me out when they found the Thermate chips, I remember when that came to light. I think they suspect micro or nano Thermate, which is also amazing because very few could pull that off.

I'm really not ready to say for sure who pulled it off but I know what direction I'm leaning to.


DropGems:I really don't care about winning a debate (which is an open and shut case in my mind) on Charlie Sheens messageboard. Not really a top priority of mine.

"Futurist thanks for the back up man."

There was no backup from Futurist. Thermate wasn't found. Steven Jones has been debunked by practically the entire scientific community. This quick little video explains Steven Jones findings in truther fashion (creepy music & moving pictures)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWpC_1WP8do If you would like a link to an extensive peer reviewed paper that debunks Jones I can provide that too.

Also, the Bentham is not in anyway, shape, or form a credible peer reviewed scientific journal. It's a pay to publish journal. Here's a quote from the editor-in-chief on said paper,

"I can not accept that the issue is put in my journal. The article is NOT about physical chemistry or chemical physics, and I could well believe that there is a political point of view behind the publication. If anyone had asked me, I would say that the article should never have been published in this journal. "

So the editor-in-chief* didn't even review the paper that was published in her own publication. Not to mention the fact that the editor-in-chief* stated that the paper had no scientific merit.

*She is purportedly a leading expert in nanomaterials

Nail in the coffin? Finally?

One final note on Bentham and just how reputable and rigorous the publication is:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/...d-journal.html

"Davis teamed up with Kent Anderson, a member of the publishing team at The New England Journal of Medicine, to put Bentham's editorial standards to the test. The pair turned to SCIgen, a program that generates nonsensical computer science papers, and submitted the resulting paper to The Open Information Science Journal, published by Bentham."

Guess what happened next...

Game. Set. Match.


twbrbzkj: OK... you win.

X-D


Me:

If you would like a link to an extensive peer reviewed paper that debunks Jones I can provide that too.

I'll take Steven Jones' word over yours, I do require something that outweighs his research to believe that his findings were wrong.

I only read parts of the paper but these guys have done actual research rather than rely on common sense like the debunkers in defending such theories as the pancake collapse.

That youtube video only deals with a chemical analysis (if that's the right term) and doesn't address the later research.

Here are the highlights of their conclusions section if you didn't read it:

We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in significant numbers in dust associated with the World Trade Center destruction.

The red material is most interesting and has the following characteristics:

It is composed of aluminum, iron, oxygen, silicon and carbon.... From the presence of elemental aluminum and iron oxide in the red material, we conclude that it contains the ingredients of thermite.

...the material ignites and reacts vigorously at a temperature of approximately 430C, with a rather narrow exotherm, matching fairly closely an independent observation on a known super-thermite sample. The low temperature of ignition and the presence of iron oxide grains less than 120 nm show that the material is not conventional thermite (which ignites at temperatures above 900C) but very likely a form of super-thermite.

...we found numerous iron-rich spheres and spheroids in the residue, indicating that a very high-temperature reaction had occurred, since the iron-rich product clearly must have been molten to form these shapes.

The spheroids produced by the Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC) tests and by the flame test have an X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS) signature (Al, Fe, O, Si, C) which is depleted in carbon and aluminum relative to the original red material. This chemical signature strikingly matches the chemical signature of the spheroids produced by igniting commercial thermite, and
also matches the signatures of many of the micro-spheres found in the WTC dust


I should not that I'm not too keen on getting into debates on IMDB either and feel like I've made too many posts already. But you're missing the bigger picture of "false flag" terrorism throughout history (eg. the Gulf of Tonkin) and that western nations are in reality run under an oligarchical system (refer to a documentary called The Money Masters) with policies largely continuing from one leader to the next. If you prefer to think that governments have nothing to gain from staging terror events and that a wide swathe of the population is prone to believing crazy conspiracy theories then you may using your energy to defend the real terrorists.


DropGems:"I'll take Steven Jones' word over yours, I do require something that outweighs his research to believe that his findings were wrong. "

The thing is, it's not Steven Jones word over mine. You're taking Steven Jones word over the consensus of scientific community, the engineering community, and the physical chemistry community to appease your own inaccurate personal beliefs. It's very disingenuous. Can you please tell my why Steven Jones word carries more weight than the consensus of the scientific community?

"I only read parts of the paper but these guys have done actual research rather than rely on common sense like the debunkers in defending such theories as the pancake collapse."

It's true that debunkers use logic and common sense but the basis for said logic and common sense derives from studying rigorous peer reviewed scientific analysis' (something that Steven Jones knows nothing about). He's never even been published, let alone peer reviewed!

And you're right we've never done any "actual" research. The amount of research done by NIST (and even Fema), completely dwarfs anything that Steven Jones could ever produce. The NIST report is over 10,000 pages long! I'm sure you've never read through it though. You'd rather just get spoon-fed false info through sensationalized youtube videos and radio broadcasts.

I'm done here now. I've presented my facts as polite as possible. I can only debate a religious group for so long. The info is out there. Please sift through and consider it for the sake of science, logic, and mankind. Thank you sirs. Good day.


Me (2 days later): You never did give me that link did you? You're right that I'd need to read the NIST report etc. to get a better grasp of the official story, but unless you've read it yourself you're being hypocritical for criticising me for not reading it. I'm simply going from the information I've come across so far, I read the PM article and it didn't really get into detail about anything and only covered a few select aspects.

Speaking of peer review, please fill me on on to what degree the NIST and FEMA research has been peer reviewed versus the likes of Steven Jones or Richard Gage (if he wrote any papers). From what I have read the NIST/FEMA research has failed the peer review test, in that they worked the evidence around pre-concieved conslusions (like the buildings collapsing from fire and a plane hitting the Pentagon). I'm no expert on the peer review process though (and neither are you from the sound of it).

I think you're arguing from authority (government versus "crazy conspiracy theorists") rather than arguing with the facts surrounding 9/11 on their own merits.
You can selectively ignore anything not supporting the official theory (like you have done here) but that just confirms for me that the debunkers are falling short of true skepticism, in believing whatever the evidence indicates no matter how much you may dislike it.

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AtheistRevolution: Anyone remember that study on eyewitnesses in a crime? Several people see the same thing but all have different stories of the same event. How many of these people know what a bomb sounds like? A building buckling and collapsing isn't quiet at all.So everyone had time to sit down and observe these massive buildings with people running all over the place. Loud sirens from emergency workers,people screaming. Giant debris and bodies falling. People can't even identify one event in the same way on a quiet street.

The melted columns pictures have been proven to be fake.Bombs and other devices can't just be thrown into a building this size. Plus it would take serious prep work that people would see. There would be no way to actually safely store explosive in a burning building that you can control. Demolitions go bad even when everything is done right and the buildings are clear.

If you want to say there is some conspiracy then you have to bring something to the table. Not a bunch of edited youtube videos and random pictures which is pretty much all faked or not even of the same building site. You need some Watergate evidence. Someone that was in on it or has information that a conspiracy did occur. Not a bunch of paranoid speculation that follows every historic event throughout history because people think there's always more to the story.

The truth is history happens when people are living their lives. Nobody knows when something historic will happen. So stop with the Lincoln,moon landing,pearl harbor,princess di,etc. The list is endless, conspiracy crap without any real evidence but ridiculous scenarios and speculation.


Me:

Not a bunch of paranoid speculation that follows every historic event throughout history because people think there's always more to the story.
The list is endless, conspiracy crap without any real evidence but ridiculous scenarios and speculation.


What I mentioned there is just the tip of the iceberg, you could just look at proof that the official story is fiction eg. 7 of the 19 hijackers who supposedly were on a suicide mission were found alive (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1559151.stm) which I believe was not included in the official report. There's also the multiple drills running on september 11 2001 which tied up the military response http://www.physics911.net/pdf/jacobs.pdf, the three month period overlapping 9/11 where all shoot-down calls had to be verified through Cheney (and Cheney wasn't available on the morning of 9/11), the physics of the collapse, Bin Laden being treated at a US hospital http://www.prisonplanet.com/bin_laden_treated_us_hospital.html, so many things pointing to a story other than Al-Queda (created by the CIA by the way) single-handedly pulling off the attacks in retribution for some vague notion of American imperialism.
Not to mention the WTC rubble immediately being cleared and disposed of while investigators were kept out (and lets not forget the Pentagon absence of evidence or the two debris fields of the Pensyllvania crash kilometers apart indicating it was shot down rather than dove into the ground). Having an actual steel member from the WTC with signs of being cut by thermite would be a clincher but that kind of evidence is gone.

I'm just throwing random stuff out here but you have to ask yourself would the 9/11 truth movement be so strong if it was all based on fiction? I had no reason to believe that the official story was untrue until earlier this year when I happened to check out the conspiracy theorist media to see if peak oil expert Richard Heinberg was into kooky stuff after he slammed the official 9/11 report in an interview.

My starting point was http://www.youtube.com/user/Wakeymedia2, Zero is probably the best made documentary on the subject (helps if you have a HTPC so you can download and watch youtube videos on your TV), you should at least check out some of the material unless you are afraid it will be too convincing.

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DrBrandonJohns: Charlie Sheen just wants to get at Republicans, he doesn't care about any Democrats who might of had something to do with it. You guys don't care anyway because you don't believe anyone was really killed or Bin Laden was involved, EVEN THOUGH BIN LADEN HAS SAID THAT HE WAS THE ONE RESPONSIBLE. What about that terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed??


Me: He didn't claim responsibility until 2004 though, and the reliability of the tapes as evidence is questionable with at least one actor portraying him (http://whatreallyhappened.com/IMAGES/binladen8.jpg).

In an interview with a Pakistani newspaper in September 2001, funnily enough he didn't claim responsibility for the attacks: http://www.serendipity.li/wot/obl_int.htm (extracts below).

I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people. Such a practice is forbidden even in the course of a battle.

...

The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the U.S. system, but are dissenting against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could survive.

...

Then there are intelligence agencies in the U.S., which require billions of dollars worth of funds from the Congress and the government every year. This [funding issue] was not a big problem till the existence of the former Soviet Union but after that the budget of these agencies has been in danger. They needed an enemy. So, they first started propaganda against Usama and Taleban and then this incident happened. You see, the Bush Administration approved a budget of 40 billion dollars. Where will this huge amount go? It will be provided to the same agencies, which need huge funds and want to exert their importance. Now they will spend the money for their expansion and for increasing their importance.

...

What is this? Is it not that there exists a government within the government in the United Sates? That secret government must be asked as to who carried out the attacks.



DrBrandonJohns: He accepted responsibility for that before that and that article was made up you whacko. Why are you excusing Bin Laden?? He is the same person who was responsible for the attack on American Embassies in Kenya in the 1990s, and who was President then?? Oh thats right, Clinton but Sheen doesn't want to touch on Clinton because he is a Democrat. FOOL!


Me:

He accepted responsibility for that before that and that article was made up you whacko.

Give me something which supports these claims.


twbrbzkj: Whacko fools, you have such a deep insight into this.

Bin ladden, Clinton and Kenya, you seem to have it all figured out.

You see the tree through the forest and are truly a Master debater.

Bravo.


DrBrandonJohns: What do you say about Clinton and those attacks and 9/11, kiddo??


Me:

What do you say about Clinton and those attacks and 9/11

Clinton was involved in his own false flag event, the Oklahoma City bombing, according to what Alex Jones has in one of his documentaries (9/11 Road to Tyranny http://dl.prisonplanet.tv/members/video/911_the_road_to_tyranny.htm). The entire ATF which had an office in the building was absent on the day, seismographs show multiple explosions, there were undetonated bombs removed from the building, there were TWO people in the Ryder Truck, one of Arab appearance, the Ryder truck was parked meters away from the building.

I haven't heard much about Clinton in connection to 9/11 except that he did nothing to apprehend Bin Laden even when the opportunity presented itself. And the 1993 WTC bombing was apparently intended to be a 9/11 type event (part of a terrorism drill that went "live"), if the truck was parked where it supposed to be one of the towers might have toppled over like a tree.

A president of either party is anointed by the oligarchy (who fund election campaigns and own the mainstream media) and is part of it, so their degree of independence probably matters more than which party they belong to. Of course if non-oligarch Presidential candidates are excluded from debates, given minimal media coverage and electronic voting machines are tampered with then what chance do they have of being elected.