Monday, October 16, 2006

More 9-11 Conspiracy Stuff

This Hit and Run post on the South Park Conspiracy theory episode and responses from the conspiracy community piqued my interest. I started looking around the 911Truth.Org website until I found this transcript of a 9-11 conspiracy speech. Here's a sample:

It is clear that some agency-either the military or the FAA--failed to follow standard procedures on 9/11. When these procedures are followed, the FAA, as soon as it sees signs that a plane may have been hijacked, calls military officials, who then call the nearest air force base with fighters on alert, telling it to send up a couple fighters to intercept the plane. Such interceptions usually occur within 10 to 20 minutes after the first signs of trouble. This is a routine procedure, happening about 100 times a year.26 (One of the many falsehoods in the recent debunking essay in Popular Mechanics is its claim that in the decade before 9/11, there had been only one interception, that of golfer Payne Stewart's Learjet.27 Actually, at about 100 a year, there would have been closer to 1,000 interceptions during that decade.) On 9/11, however, no interceptions occurred.

Why not? The military's first story was that no planes were sent up until after the Pentagon was hit. The military leaders were admitting, in other words, that they had left their fighters on the ground for almost 90 minutes after the FAA had first noticed signs of a possible hijacking. That story suggested to many people that a stand-down order had been given.28

By the end of the week, the military had put out a second story, saying that it had sent up fighters but that, because the FAA had been very late in notifying it about the hijackings, the fighters arrived in each case arrived too late. One problem with this story is that if FAA personnel had responded so slowly, heads should have rolled, but none did. An even more serious problem is that, even assuming the truth of the late notification times, the military's fighters still had time to intercept the hijacked airliners before they were to hit their targets.29 This second story implied, therefore, that standard procedures had been violated by the military as well as the FAA.

To try to defend the military against this accusation, The 9/11 Commission Report gave us, amazingly, a third version, according to which the FAA, after giving the military insufficient warning about the first hijacked airliner, gave it absolutely no notification of the other three until after they had crashed. But as I have argued in The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, this account is wholly implausible. Besides portraying FAA personnel, from top to bottom, as incompetent dolts, the 9/11 Commission's account rests on claims that contradict many credible and mutually supporting testimonies. In some of these cases, the fact that the Commission is simply lying is abundantly obvious.30 In addition, this third story implies that the military's second story, which it had been telling for almost three years, was almost entirely false. If our military leaders were lying to us all that time, why should we believe them now? And if our military is lying to us, must we not assume that it is doing so to cover up its own guilt?

In sum, the behavior of the military both on 9/11 and afterwards, combined with the fact that the 9/11 Commission had to resort to lies to make the US military appear blameless, suggests that military leaders were complicit in the attacks. A similar conclusion follows from an examination of the attack on the Pentagon.


This is why conspiracy theories don't work, or at least why they're not believable. Even if all the facts here are correct (and I really don't know one way or the other), the conclusion reached still requires a leap of faith unsupported by evidence. Even if we know that yes, the government lied, and yes the government has covered things up, our discussions of why the government may have done this is just speculation. Even if you can prove that someone is lying, your explanation of why that person is lying needs to be supported by some sort of evidence.

I'm not naive enough to think that the government has always told us the entire truth about 9-11 or anything else. I recognize that official explanations can often times have holes. But I'm also not stupid enough to believe an alternative explanation unsupported by any evidence.

2 Comments:

Blogger A Fan For All Seasons said...

It's all crap. First off, I don't know who this person is, but somehow they know how many interceptions occur in a year? Classic conspiracy theory work. You have a statement from a source, but the theorist counters with something that is uncredited. Next, from everything I've seen and heard about the fighter jets, it would make it seem like interceptions would not be the easiest process. Once again, the theorist cites the popular mechanics article and disagrees, but everything he says after is uncredited.

There's also something else you always have to be aware of when dealing with conspiracy theories: time. The theorists thrive off of anything said on the actual date of 9/11/01. Media members want to talk to anyone, regardless of rank or credibility, when something like this happens. When this occurs, you have random people who aren't in a proper state.

The "first story" this person cites seemingly occured on 9/11. Do you think any high ranking official could even be bothered to talk to press or anyone not in the loop about what was going on? If you do, you might be a conspiracy theorist.

The "second story" the theorist had this to say. "One problem with this story is that if FAA personnel had responded so slowly, heads should have rolled, but none did." Maybe heads should have rolled, but that doesn't mean the military was in on anything. This could be evidence of how unprepared we are for situations like this. This also could be accounted for by the utter chaos of 9/11. "An even more serious problem is that, even assuming the truth of the late notification times, the military's fighters still had time to intercept the hijacked airliners before they were to hit their targets." Well how does this person know that? Does he have an exact time on the notifications? Does he have an exact time frame it would take the jets to reach the hijacked planes?

The "third story" he cites is even better because he calls the FAA "dolts" and then says they are obviously lying. The third story is also the same as the second one, just from a different source and more detailed, which would make sense since it was the last story.

Finally, you can pick a conspiracy theory out of a crowd just by language. The language in conspiracies is extremely persuasive. When you know something happened, you don't have to add anything other than facts. For example, the White Sox won the World Series last year. You wouldn't say, The White Sox won 4 games of a 7 game series, which is undeniable proof that they won the World Series. However, you will always see language like that in theories.

- "this account is wholly implausible."
- "the fact that the Commission is simply lying is abundantly obvious"

Also watch out for words like imply or suggest, which are used to distort a claim.

-"That story suggested..."
-"This second story implied..."
-"this third story implies..."

One final thing to watch out for in language: the word "we". Theorists will use WE to make it seem like he's on the same team as the rest of the population.

"If our military leaders were lying to us all that time, why should we believe them now? And if our military is lying to us, must we not assume that it is doing so to cover up its own guilt?"

Well MOST people don't believe anything YOU just said, so why should WE believe YOU? These kinds of statement show how theorists minds work. Change we and us in that statement to I or me, and it just puts a completely different spin on that.

"If my military leaders were lying to me all that time, why should I believe them now? And if my military is lying to me, must I not assume that it is doing so to cover up its own guilt?"

I'm just getting tired of people like this who don't have any proof of anything happening, yet they still spew their crap. What's worse is that other people actually believe it. Conspiracy theorists always call people who believe the government "sheep". When they do that, it just tells me that they have always been against any form of government. If a sheep is someone who listens to reason and fact, and doesn't blindly follow some crazed conspiracy, then I have only one thing left to say: Baaaaaaaaa.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous stinker said...

Be sure to check out the book “Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory” due out in March by Dr. David Ray Griffin.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9781566566865&itm=2

9:46 PM  

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