- Name: Lonnie Bruner
- Location: Washington, DC, United States
I live in DC, sail the Chesapeake Bay, have a lovely wife who's a web designer, a young son, an unruly hound dog, and am interested in most everything in the world. Oh yea, and I love the smell of burning trash in the Third World. That just gets me going.
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Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.
Friday, April 04, 2008
9/11 Kook Interviewed by an Australian. NICE.
These people need to be dealt with in one of two ways: indifference or ridicule. End of story. I choose the latter.
In the past month, former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, music icon Willie Nelson, and 2008 Best Actress winner Marion Cotillard have come out as Truthers. Alex Jones claims he has a "megastar" coming on his show on Monday who'll add his name to the list. I suspect it will be Bruce Willis.
As for ridicule -- well, what does it suggest for your side of the argument that the two rhetorical tools you claim are best suited to your task are "indifference" and "ridicule"?
Is a "conspiracy theory" always false? If so, who gets to choose what is and what is not labeled a conspiracy theory?
Follow-up question #1: if they did release those videotapes, would you watch them?
Follow-up question #2: why do you suppose they haven't released them?
Interesting new development in the 9/1 Truth movement: NYTimes bestselling author Steve Alten has a new novel out called "The Shell Game," http://www.stevealten.com/shell_game.htm, the plot of which is a false-flag attack by the US government (nuking Los Angeles) which gets blamed on Iranians as a pretext to taking over that country and its oil fields (like we did to Iraq and with Afghanistan re its poppy and natural gas fields).
Alten, who is a 9/11 Truther, is a big enough author that he's getting on the Today Show, MSNBC, etc., and is exposing literally millions of people to the ideas of the Truth movement for the first time. There is an organized movement to get Alten's boook into the NYT top 10 bestselling list the week of Apr. 16th, which will ensure it even more publicity.
Lonnie, as a salty seaman (heh heh) you may have heard of Alten's biggest book series, "Meg," which postulates the existence of a prehistoric marine dinosaur in the deep Pacific. It's being made into a movie next year by Jan de Bont (guy who directed Speed, Twister, Lara Croft Tomb Raider).
Here's Alten speaking about 9/11 truth at book signing for "The Shell Game" in Philly last week. His language is very strong -- "we know who the guilty are" etc.
You misread me: I said I choose to ridicule you, not to be indifferent toward you, hence the few blog posts. My wife and all your old friends are indifferent to your rants; that's why they don't answer your emails. I, on the other hand, like making fun of you. It's fun. Mainly because you get so riled up and it's cute!
Of all the things in the world you can blog about -- and you blog about some pretty cool things -- you've chosen the 9/11 Truth Movement as the subject of two of your last 12 posts. That's not "indifference."
I know it's disturbing and alienating to you and my DC friends to keep sending you material on the 9/11 Truth movement, but I don't see the other option. Humor me for a moment: if you became convinced, through looking at the available evidence, that our country was in the midst of a plan by our political elites to false-flag the country into economic collapse and martial law, would you not feel a strong desire to tell your family and friends about it? And even if they resisted -- it's an unpleasant thought, but that's the normal human reaction to unpleasant possibilities -- would you not want to insist that they listen?
It isn't pleasant for me to alienate you guys, but if I weren't extremely confident that what Im saying is true, I wouldn't be doing it.
The 9/11 Truth Movement is growing and the "indifference and ridicule" response is getting less and less acceptable as more and more credible people realize what really happened that day, and what its ramifications are for the future.
Is it really so hard to believe that the people who make it to the very highest levels of our government view the world with a different morality than we do? Bush and Cheney have sent 4,000 U.S. troops to their deaths in Iraq, and countless Iraqis; is it so hard to entertain the possibility that they might have killed 3,000 U.S. civilians for the same ends?
We are living in an era of awakening, and its cause is the internet. For many decades, power structures have built up that were not accountable to the public, because the media was controlled by those power structures (beginning with W. R. Hearst inthe 1890s, who bought up (with a few like-minded moguls) the 35 most influential papers in the country with the express purpose of controlling public opinion. The Maine was bombed two years later -- an obvious false flag pretext for the Spanish-American war -- and, many false flags later, we are in Iraq in 2008.
The internet has changed everything. We are finding out what powerful, amoral humans are capable of, and how they are capable of manipulating good people in hierarchies to achieve their ends.
It will be a wrenching psychological experience, but I think we'll find when it's over that the world is much better when such amoral, ruthless people are no longer in charge -- because now we can control them with the internet's information-sharing capablilites, rather than them controlling us with their ownership of all media.
You really need to re-read my post. I wrote: "These people need to be dealt with in one of two ways: indifference or ridicule. End of story. I choose the latter."
I said I'm not indifferent. Ridicule is not indifferent.
Emotional appeals and riducle dont' mean squat: only evidence. And the more people look at the evidence, the more they become 9/11Truthers. This week ex-Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura signed his name to the list. Last month it was Willie Nelson. Now it's Steve Alten, and he's going to be on Good Morning America and Today with it next week. You're going to need more than "ridicule and indifference" to convince people, you're going to need facts.
Which are all on the side of the 9/11 Truthers, because 9/11 was indeed an inside job. Which you already know.
Look, I know this is tough to ackonwledge, because we were all propagandized to think the the US government is our friend and can do no wrong. But you're going to find out, thanks to the information-spreading capabilities of the internet, that you've been lied ot for lo these many years. I believe Weird Al Yankovic has summed it up succinctly:
Tell me again what caused WTC7 to implode in 6.5 seconds? I forget.
I know it can't have been a controlled demolition, because the government told me...well, they haven't told me anything yet, so I don't know what to think.
Barbara Olson perfectly exemplifies the how and why of 9/11 evil. For those just joining, Olson was a former federal prosecutor, serving as Chief Investigative Counsel to the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight during its probe into the Clinton Administration "Travelgate" scandal as well as being a commentator on CNN. She was on a hijacked plane on 9/11 and alerted her husband, Solicitor General Ted Olson, that the plane she was on was being hijacked.
According to conspiradroids, there are discrepancies concerning Olson's story about the phone calls he got from his wife (cell phones or plane phones) which feeds into long-standing conspiracy theories that Barbara is alive and well, living incognito somewhere in Europe.
According to the mental morons of the denier army, Ted Olson should've grilled his wife on how exactly she was calling him when she was facing impending death, rather than get details about what was happening on board and saying goodbye to each other.
If you are a rational person, you believe she was killed when her plane was flown into the Pentagon. If you’re a denier, you think she’s still alive and drinking champagne and eating cheese in France - and you're not afraid to laugh and insult her husband. If I were Ted Olson, I’d be beating the crap out of every single denier I met who besmirched my dead- wife’s good name. But hey, that’s just me..."
"Change of Heart?
I might be thinking too much of myself, but I'm sure some of you are already jumping to conclusions over my apparent "change of heart." I can hear it already. "Mikey stopped smoking pot, and now he's ultra-conservative all of sudden." Or, how about "Mikey's fuckin girlfriend changed him overnight."
If there's anyone who simplified my situation using one of these rationalizations immediately upon observing the obvious changes in my profile, I don't think it's too outrageous to claim that you're one who quickly jumps to conclusions. I don't mean to offend anyone (although, I know I am), but I think that statement is rather representative of the entire 9/11 Truth Movement.
My "change of heart" didn't happen overnight. This has been a process that has been eating away at me for the past month and a half. I wanted to act strategically as far as "coming out" as a means to perhaps transition the 9/11 Truth group on campus to one that was less focused on strictly 9/11-related issues (aka more truthful ones). However, I was exposed to something that truly angered me deep down in the wee hours of this morning, which I'll get to later. I was so outraged that I can no longer keep my mouth shut.
For whatever reasons at the time, I no-showed the 8/11 truth action our group was doing in Albany. Instead, I watched a movie called Screw Loose Change. I expected it to point out a few corrections in some minor details of the film. To my surprise, it contested just about every claim in the entire movie. I was a bit shocked.
I was a true believer of all this controlled demolition nonsense for a time. I never cared about the physics or the claims of pseudo-"experts." What always did it for me was the fact that there was never a decent response to any of these questions by the government. Even the hit pieces you'd see on 9/11 were always personal attacks. The mainstream never contested the actual "facts" movies like Loose Change presented.
Or so it seemed. After watching Screw Loose Change, I delved into the world of 9/11 Truth debunking. Among my favorites are the Screw Loose Change Blog and 9/11 Myths Finally, someone was answered all these pertinent questions with something that was a bit foreign to me... facts agreed upon by the experts.
There are no facts in the 9/11 Truth Movement. Just a lot of theories, which eventually break down to "hey, we're just asking questions" if someone questions the validity of such. No structural, civil, or any engineers agree with the truthers. Yet, most of my friends will try to explain the hard physics involved in structural collapses. None of these people are engineers, physicists, or even in a scientific field, for that matter. Someone's supposed to take their word over an expert's?
The truthers will just tell you that all the experts are "in on it." Yeah, sure. Every engineer in the world is complicit in the government's murder of 3,000 people. And so are the firemen, who apparently ordered Larry Silverstein to "pull" Building 7. The truthers' misrepresentation of Silverstein's quote is one of the most popular "facts" to spit out, but in doing so, you are effectively in agreement that firefighters were not only involved in the controlled demolition of WTC7, but they are also aiding and abetting in the government's cover-up. Yeah, every firefighter who was out there on 9/11 is going to be complicit in the MURDER OF 343 OF THEIR FALLEN BROTHERS! To quote Loose Change co-creator Jason Bermas, "the firefighters are paid off."
This is absolute horseshit, which brings me to why I've formally distanced myself from this sorry excuse for a movement. Loose Change, 9/11 Mysteries, Alex Jones, and all the other kooks out there are fucking lying about, distorting, and misrepresenting the facts to further their personal agendas. And what is their agenda, you ask? Money, in the words of Shaggy 2 Dope, "mutha fuckin bitch ass money." Not only are they desecrating 3,000 graves, but they are profiting off of it. That, my friends, makes me sick to my fuckin stomach.
Some may think that this is just a big personal attack, and that I'm not presenting enough facts. I honestly don't give a fuck because the information is out there. I love how all the truthers, myself included for a time, brag about how they've done all the "research." Well my friends, research doesn't involve looking exclusively at other 9/11 conspiracy sites! Research involves looking at things from both sides of the spectrum, and making your own decisions. Check out the links I've listed above, or google "Screw 9/11 Mysteries" and "Screw Loose Change."
Controlled demolitions: absolute bullshit. Now, I know there are some legitimate inconsistencies in the story that can't be proven false. My problem, and your problem as well, is that we have been blatantly misled by people who are only interested in selling dvds and t-shirts. This is supposed to be a truth movement. At this point, Alex Jones could pull every smoking gun out of ass that proves without question that 9/11 was an inside job, but it will never excuse the fact that he had lie so blatantly. Fuck you, fuck avery & bermas, fuck 9/11 mysteries, and fuck every true believer who goes out there and tells people that they've "done their research."
I don't know what the future holds for the student group. For the time being, I'm gonna continue to fill out the paperwork and other such presidential duties because I take my responsibilities and promises very seriously. But you won't see me hand out one more 9/11 pamphlet, or ever utter the phrase "9/11 was an inside job" ever again. I'd personally like to see the group transition away from fringe conspiracy theories and focus more on local issues (God knows, there's enough corruption in Albany, alone), but I might get outvoted by truthers. If that is the case, I cordially invite any of the truthers who think I'm totally wrong to step up and take the reigns. The group is, in part, my creation, but I'll gladly abdicate the throne if all everyone wants to do is continue the truther nonsense.
Oh yeah, what sent me over the edge today? I watched Screw 9/11 Mysteries, which basically adds comments to the original movie. Like Screw Loose Change, every single theory spat out is immediately disproven with formal citations from the NIST report, scientific journals, and the experts themselves. By the end, the whole controlled demolition theory is a complete joke, as the film can't even keep their own story straight.
9/11 Mysteries ends very tragically with a phone call from one of the victims inside the WTC. You may have seen it, it's the guy who's frantically describing the situation to a loved one, but then suddenly, the building starts to collapse and all you hear are his last words, agonizing screams. The creators of this propaganda movie did this intentionally, to play on your emotions right after feeding you all their bullshit theories.
But as I watched this film again, this time with the annotations, I knew that the creators of this movie used that poor guy's dying moments for their own selfish gains of selling dvds and perpetuating myths that do nothing but denigrate the lives lost on 9/11/01.
Change of heart? My heart's always been in the right place. I was just cheating myself of making an informed judgment on all the information available.
I'm done, thanks."
I doubt Barbara Olson is alive. I also doubt she made that call to Ted Olson. You seem to think that challenging these aspects of 9/11 makes someone a "denier."
The 9/11 Truth movement is gaining members at a rapid pace. Sorry, I guess, that this one guy had a change of heart, but the vast majority of conversions happen in the other direction...but you knew that.
Why is it that only the "Falsers" have to unload strings of cuss words and childish labels like "denier," "mental morons," etc.? It's a pattern -- those of us with the facts on our side -- and the momentum -- are happy to stick to the arguments.
At the "Screw Loose Change" website, I went looking for their best arguments against the movie. Here is the author's page of "the three easiest to understand lie" in the movie:
The weakness of all three points -- which are all minor, and each boils down to semantic hair-splitting -- shows the weakness of the Falsers' argument.
Look at point #1: the SLC author takes issue with Dylan Avery's claim that the cable spools in that photo are "completely untouched."
His rebuttal, in full, reads: "I don't think you need to be an accident investigator to see that those cable spools are not completely untouched."
Well, there's ash on them, but they're still upright and don't appear damaged. So maybe "unharmed" is better than untouched, but really, this is the best "lie" the "Screw Loose Change" people can come up with in the whole movie? This is their Exhibit A, a semantic quibble over whether it's accurate to describe these cable spools as "untouched"? How about addressing LC's larger, more important points about the Pentagon, like why none of the dozens of tapes that exist of whatever hit the Pentagon have been released by the FBI and DOD, 7years later?
If this is the "easiest to understand lie" SLC has got, then no wonder we Twoofers are winning the argument.
He has still officially banned MIHOP theories from being discussed there (=Made It Happen on Purpose, i.e. 9/11 was an inside job), but the dam has already burst, MIHOP is being talked about openly there now. Which it should be, because it's what happened, as many Kos readers already know.
"I have to say that I am a bit surprised to see the recent discussion here on 9/11 and even more surprised to see a level of tolerance that until now had previously been unknown.
After all, zero tolerance has been the working policy on all things tinfoil in regards to 9/11 and the official story. Many have been TR and banned for saying exactly the kinds of things that today can be found squarely on the recommended list. LIHOP, MIHOP all being thrown around with added comments to the effect of "I don't care if I get banned, but I have to say it..."
So what has happened? Are there just too many here that will no longer defend the policy because it's no longer simply tin-foil territory? Are there too many seeds of doubt after living under this neocon admin for the past 7 years that makes it harder and harder to defend the official line they produced for us? Maybe too many here have family members or friends that have serious doubts and maybe they themselves have additional questions than they did a few years ago. I don't know myself -- but unless there is a massive banning of members with much lower UIDs than mine starting now, this appears to be a major shift here."
Further, the dairy you cited was by a poster who specifically argued in comments that it was NOT a diary about a 9/11 conspiracy theory but was instead about the policy of banning those posts, so please don't ban him. Which was in response to people showing up and down-rating him for violating the very-much-still-in-effect policy.
You display a level of reading comprehension typical of Truthers (read: willing/able to completely misread things to support your argument) or are a liar. Either way, ridicule or indifference is what your ilk deserve.
(By the way, how hilarious is it that all these truthers showed up not knowing the difference between "former" and "latter"? Again, lack of reading comprehension or dishonesty - take your pick)
You're right and I concede both points. I shouldn't have implied Markos himself wrote the excerpt I cited (I didn't intend to imply that but the way I wrote it that was the implication).
You also appear to be correct on Markos's policy; I shouldn't have posted that without checking.
That aside, the general point still stands: the atmosphere on 9/11 Truth discussion is changing, and rapidly. Jesse Ventura adding his name to the list will embolden others to come forward, and the already-quickening pace of new public Truthers will likely accelerate even further.
The dam is bursting, and Conor, Lonnie, and the rest of the falsers will soon be conceding larger points than DailyKos' LIHOP policy. I don't take much joy in that, but it's what's unfolding.
This is the website I found what I thought was the change in Kos policy re LIHOP:
It looks like there has indeed been a change at Kos, but I'm not familiar enough with DailyKos' design to figure it out.
Since none of use here are ideologues and all interested in empirical truth, I thought I'd see if you can figure it out.
Bonus points if you can do it without ad hominems!
"I found myself once again singing at an anti-war rally two weeks ago, and once again being confronted by a red-faced white man with an ominous hand-written sign reading, "9/11 was a lie."
Most of the crowd was filing off for the post-rally march, aside from a few of my loyal fans who were sticking around for the rest of my set. Among them was the red-faced man, apparently not a fan, who walked towards the small stage with the wild-eyed certainty of a zealot.
"Wake up, David Rovics! David Rovics, wake up to the truth of 9/11!" He was screaming at the top of his lungs, standing about two feet from me. (I continued with the song.) In case I didn't get the message the first time, the red-faced man repeated his mantra. "Wake up! Wake up to the truth of 9/11!"
People like him, whoever he was, have become a fixture of antiwar and other protests since sometime soon after September 11, 2001. They regularly call in to radio talk shows, maintain many websites, produce innumerable documentaries, publish plenty of books, hold regular conferences, and show up with alarming predictability to heckle and denounce prominent progressive authors and activists at their speaking engagements.
If you bother slogging through the volumes of books and stacks of documentaries that "9/11 Truth" people will foist on you if you let them, you will find that most of them are propaganda pieces and most of the "experts" are not experts in relevant fields.
When you do look beyond this mass of misinformation for real experts, you will easily find pilots who can discount the claims of the Truthers that maneuvering the planes into the towers was a particularly challenging thing for people with only a little flight training to pull off. You will easily find mechanical engineers familiar with the structural flaws in the design of the WTC that allowed it to collapse in the first place, and physicists who can explain why such large buildings would appear to be imploding as if in a controlled demolition, or why people on the scene would have thought they were hearing explosions, etc.
My purpose here is not to disprove all the hypotheses presented by the Truthers and their propaganda pieces – if you want to look into "debunking the debunkers" yourself, there is plenty of information out there, and Popular Mechanics' issue on the subject is a good place to start.
The fact is, the scientific community, while certainly not immune to political pressure, is generally able to function with a grounding in actual science, and is not capable of participating, as a community, in some kind of mass conspiracy of silence or cover-up. There is no way to bribe that many scientists. Too many of them believe in the importance of science for science's sake, in honesty.
This can be amply demonstrated by the fact that with all the political pressure and money of the U.S. government and ExxonMobil combined, there is still essentially unanimity among climate scientists worldwide that climate change is real, is caused by humans, and is dangerous for our species and others. Even after all the billions upon billions of dollars spent by the tobacco industry to obfuscate reality and bribe policymakers, the scientific community was able to study the issue and determine incontrovertibly the link between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer.
Misguided attacks on alternative media
The "9/11 Truth Movement" undoubtedly is made up largely of earnest, decent people. Since thousands of their fellow countrymen and women died on 9/11 and since this event, many people in many communities have become justifiably agitated and outraged by world-scale injustices, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and so on.
The particularly warped thing about this, though, is that the very media outlets, authors and activists who are doing their best to expose the very real conspiracies that are going on – people like Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!, David Barsamian's Alternative Radio, Z Magazine, Norman Solomon and the Institute for Public Accuracy, Noam Chomsky, etc. – seem to have become the primary targets of harassment by the Truthers.
Goodman, Chomsky, Solomon and others are now regularly heckled at speaking events, and denounced on websites as "gatekeepers." They are seen, it seems, as being even worse than the corporate media, because while reasonable people know not to trust Fox or CNN, they have faith in the integrity of people like Amy Goodman.
You don't have to know Amy Goodman or her producers personally to see what nonsense this "gatekeeper" stuff is. You needn't ever have met Amy to know that she has risked her life, and very nearly lost her life, in her decades-long efforts to report the truth. You needn't know her producers personally to recognize that these are all earnest young progressives working long hours to create a daily news program they deeply believe in. The notion that all of her producers are somehow maintaining a code of silence in exchange for the privilege of having their names mentioned at the end of the broadcast, or in exchange for their nominally middle-class salaries, is preposterous.
As is so often the case, there are little grains of truth in here that can fester in the minds of people who are not looking at the information critically. For the cops among the Truthers (of course it's a matter of the public record that the FBI and other such agencies regularly write "newspaper articles" – propaganda or disinformation of whatever sort they deem useful), undermining the legitimacy of the progressive media is exactly their goal, because they don't want the population to know the truth or to trust those who are reporting it.
For the more earnest elements among the Truthers, undermining the progressive media is also their goal, because they don't see it as being distinct from the corporate media anyway - so whether earnest or insidious, the effect is the same.
It seems evident to me that shows like Democracy Now! are quite willing – and indeed, are doing their best – to make waves as much as possible. If they don't report a story it's because they don't think it's a story, or it's not an important enough one to bother with. In the case of "theories" like the notion that controlled demolition brought down the World Trade Center or there were no members of Al-Qaeda on board the airplanes, this narrative has received little coverage in the progressive media because, upon investigation, most decide it's patently ridiculous.
The real gatekeepers
Sometime in 2002 I wrote a song called "Reichstag Fire," in which I asked many of the questions the Truthers were asking. The point of the song was primarily to say that 9/11 has been used as an excuse for the U.S. to carry out a genocidal crusade on much of the Muslim world, and to further the U.S. government's bipartisan agenda of world domination and control of valuable resources in other countries, such as oil. (This is something Truthers and most other people in the world can generally agree on.) In the song I also posed questions which I now feel have been adequately explained.
Were there really Arab terrorists on board the planes? Yes. Did the CIA know an attack was imminent? Yes. I don't regret writing the song, or becoming a very minor celebrity within the 9/11 Truth Movement, because I think these questions needed to be asked, and answered.
But while some questions can only remain unanswered until certain people within the U.S. government become whistleblowers, other questions have been answered, and my answers (and those of most people who have looked into these things) and those of what now constitutes the Truth Movement differ wildly. Particularly because I have been seen by some as part of this movement, I felt compelled to write this essay.
The truth is, in fact, out there. Much of it is certainly still there to be discovered, but many fundamental, essential truths are already known.
The truth – that, for example, the CIA funded and armed Al-Qaeda and the Taleban, that a tiny minority of very wealthy people control much of the U.S. government and the "mainstream" (corporate/"public") media, that the U.S. military systematically goes around the world overthrowing democracies, propping up dictatorships, and killing millions of people with bombs – is what the progressive media is reporting on hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. These are the truths that people in the U.S. most need to "wake up" to. These are the truths that are systematically unreported or severely under-reported by the corporate press, which, even in the age of the Internet, is still where the vast majority of people in the U.S. get their news, and thus, their understanding of the world.
These corporate media entities and the genocidal, ecocidal plutocracy they serve are the "gatekeepers" that need to be exposed. The truths they are trying to hide from us are the truths that need to be understood, and acted upon. The progressive media that is trying to do just that needs to be supported, not undermined with essentially baseless accusations (legitimate criticisms and suggestions notwithstanding).
The people who are trying, with some degree of success, to undermine these basic endeavors of the progressive movement and the progressive media need to be exposed for what they are - whether they fall into the category of well-meaning but misguided fanatics or undercover government agents quite purposefully and systematically working to spread disinformation and sow confusion and distrust. And, beyond any reasonable doubt, the "Truth Movement" contains both of these elements.
To both of these groups I beseech you – wake up! Wake up to the real, easily verifiable conspiracies – which are extremely big ones – and quit trying to distract us with all the nonsense about gatekeepers and controlled demolitions! "
This guy admits LIHOP...
You're right. Your movement is snowballing like mad. Your butt-buddy Alten's book has now rocketed up to number 6,023 on amazon and does not exist on the new york times bestsellers list. Look out!
"Did firefighters abandon their fallen brothers to help Larry Silverstein demolish a skyscraper that had only sustained minor damage and fires?
9/11 “Truth Movement” leaders gather at Ground Zero and accuse Silverstein of murder and the FDNY of a heinous crime and cover-up.
Do their claims stand up to examination?"
"Excerpt: Summary of World Trade Center Building 7 Emergency Response.
• The building had sustained damage from debris falling into the building, and they were not sure about the structural stability of the building.
• The building had large fires burning on at least six floors [fires were visible on at least 16 floors]. Any one of these six fires would have been considered a large incident during normal FDNY operations.
• There was no water immediately available for fighting the fires.
• They didn’t have equipment, hose, standpipe kits, tools, and enough handie talkies for conducting operations inside the building.
At approximately, 2:30 p.m., FDNY officers decided to completely abandon WTC 7, and the final order was given to evacuate the site around the building. The order terminated the ongoing rescue operations at WTC 6 and on the rubble pile of WTC 1. Firefighters and other emergency responders were withdrawn from the WTC 7 area, and the building continued to burn. At approximately 5:20 p.m., some three hours after WTC 7 was abandoned the building experienced a catastrophic failure and collapsed.
Here’s a much-reprinted quote from FDNY Chief of Operations Daniel Nigro:
"The biggest decision we had to make was to clear the area and create a collapse zone around the severely damaged [WTC 7] building. A number of fire officers and companies assessed the damage to the building. The appraisals indicated that the building’s integrity was in serious doubt."[Fire Engineering magazine, 10/2002]
In another interview, Chief Nigro said,
"The most important operational decision to be made that afternoon was [that] the collapse [Of the WTC towers] had damaged 7 World Trade Center, which is about a 50 story building, at Vesey between West Broadway and Washington Street. It had very heavy fire on many floors and I ordered the evacuation of an area sufficient around to protect our members, so we had to give up some rescue operations that were going on at the time and back the people away far enough so that if 7 World Trade did collapse, we [wouldn't] lose any more people. We continued to operate on what we could from that distance and approximately an hour and a half after that order was [given], at 5:30 in the afternoon, 7 World Trade Center collapsed completely."http://tinyurl.com/g8c6y
In 2007, "Ref" of the JREF forum and 9/11 Guide contacted Chief Nigro for clarification of some points. Here's the reply he received:
Regarding WTC 7: The long-awaited US Government NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) report on the collapse of WTC 7 is due to be published at the end of this year (although it has been delayed already a few times [ adding fuel to the conspiracy theorists fires!]). That report should explain the cause and mechanics of the collapse in great detail. Early on the afternoon of September 11th 2001, following the collapse of WTC 1 & 2, I feared a collapse of WTC 7 (as did many on my staff). The reasons are as follows:
1 - Although prior to that day high-rise structures had never collapsed, The collapse of WTC 1 & 2 showed that certain high-rise structures subjected to damage from impact and from fire will collapse.
2. The collapse of WTC 1 damaged portions of the lower floors of WTC 7.
3. WTC 7, we knew, was built on a small number of large columns providing an open Atrium on the lower levels.
4. numerous fires on many floors of WTC 7 burned without sufficient water supply to attack them.
For these reasons I made the decision (without consulting the owner, the mayor or anyone else - as ranking fire officer, that decision was my responsibility) to clear a collapse zone surrounding the building and to stop all activity within that zone. Approximately three hours after that order was given, WTC 7 collapsed.
Conspiracy theories abound and I believe firmly that all of them are without merit.
Regards, Dan Nigro
Chief of Department FDNY (retired) Source
That’s certainly straightforward. Building 7 was severely damaged and had severe, uncontrollable fires, and the FDNY withdrew its firefighters to protect their safety.
Now let’s look at those events through the eyes of conspiracy theorists. "
"At the beginning of this paper I introduced the group NY911truth, which some friends and I confront on Saturdays at Ground Zero. In my first appearance there, in June or July, 2006, the first thing the group’s leader Les Jamieson said to me was, “We should have a debate.” I’m sure he didn’t know then that I knew far more of the facts of 9/11 than he, although I had only been looking into the CT claims for three months and he had been doing so since November, 2001. We did have an impromptu mini-debate before the video camera of documentarian Fletcher Holmes. The subject was the collapse of WTC 7, which Jamieson believes is one of the best pieces of evidence in favor of the “inside job” theory.
I reminded Jamieson that the firefighters reported massive damage and raging, uncontrolled fires, and that the Chiefs, specifically Chief Nigro, gave the order to withdraw the firefighters from the area long before the building collapsed. He replied that perhaps they had been ordered to withdraw by someone higher up, such as Nicholas Scoppetta, the FDNY Commissioner, who presumably got his orders from someone who was in on the plot.
That made me very angry. It was the first time I had heard someone blame the FDNY for the collapse of WTC 7. Since then, I’ve heard at least three other members of Jamieson’s organization make the same claim while standing on the ground where so many heroes died.
Let’s keep in mind what it would mean (only as far as the FDNY’s involvement is concerned) if
Jamieson was correct:
1. The top people in the FDNY were so corrupt that they called off a search for hundreds of fallen firefighters in order to participate in a crime.
2. The FDNY Chiefs who claim to have made an agonizing decision to stop rescue operations in the area around WTC 7, in order to to keep rescuers from becoming victims, are lying.
3. All the people on the scene who reported massive damage and uncontrolled fires on many floors at building 7, and who said they were sure that the building would collapse (we’ll read their reports later), were coerced into inventing those stories in order to cover up the crime of deliberate demolition of a skyscraper.
4. The massive amount of smoke seen billowing from nearly every floor on WTC 7’s south side did not indicate massive fires.
5. None of the 16,000 uniformed or civilian members of the FDNY, or anyone else who was involved in this huge conspiracy, has come forward about these issues in the past 5 years."
"In recent months, a number of high (and not so high) profile celebrities have publicly offered support to conspiracy theories regarding the September 11th 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Central to the claims of many who embrace notions of 9/11 as an 'inside job' is that credible scientific research by mainstream scientists supports this position. In this article, I shall briefly look at two qualified academic scientists who hold that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by a cabal of scheming neo-conservatives in Washington DC. The picture that emerges is not one of mainstream scientists whose research is trustworthy and should be urgently addressed. Instead, we find purveyors of extreme and fact-free conspiracy theories, scientists who appear to have little regard for the scientific method, and who mirror in every way the pseudo-scholars found in other fringe 'research' areas such as 'Creation Science'.
Dr Steven E. Jones
Steven Jones is a retired Professor of Physics. His retirement from his post at Brigham Young University followed a period in which the university placed him on paid leave due to controversy over his claims of a 9/11 conspiracy involving the 'controlled demolition' of the World Trade Center's twin towers. Brigham Young University is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) and run under its 'Church Educational System', and Jones is a committed Mormon. Throughout his career, Jones' main area of academic interest has been 'alternative energies', including the widely discredited 'Cold Fusion'. However, in addition to this, he has also been keenly involved in Archaeometry 'research', the entire aim of which has been to give an academic sheen to the claims of the Book of Mormon. Jones is 'scientific advisor' to the Ancient Historical Research Foundation, a pseudo-scholarly body that produces research on ancient American cultures and peoples such as Native Americans, Aztecs, and Mayans. The central purpose of this work is to support the Book of Mormon's absurd 'historical' claims, and, with this aim, Jones has engaged in a search for evidence of 'pre-Columbian' horse remains in North America. In addition to this, he has also published a risible paper in which he claims to have found evidence in ancient Mayan artwork 'proving' the Book of Mormon's claims regarding Jesus visiting America. The article, entitled 'Behold My Hands: Evidence for Christ's Visit in Ancient America', concludes:
These discoveries have provided me a deeper appreciation for the reality of the resurrection of Jesus and of His visit to "other sheep" who heard His voice and saw His wounded hands as did Thomas. My hope is that these new insights will encourage you to seriously consider the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Christ. Why don't you start reading right away?
Having spent his career swimming in the murky of waters of religiously inspired pseudo-scholarship and dubious 'scientific' fringe areas, Jones has in recent years turned his attention to the attacks of September 11th 2001, and now claims to have evidence proving WTC towers 1 & 2 were brought down in a 'controlled demolition'. For Jones, the 9/11 attacks were an 'inside job', orchestrated by 'neo-conservatives' to justify the occupation of oil-rich Arab countries, inflate military spending and expand Israel. Indeed, Jones has confidently asserted that 'by God, we're going to get to the bottom of this'. Rather than seeking to have his 'research' published in credible, peer reviewed academic journals, Jones simply started his own. The online 'Journal of 9/11 Studies' seeks 'to provide evidence-based, peer-reviewed research that furthers the cause of truth and justice'. As such, it largely publishes articles focusing on the supposed 'controlled demolition' of the twin towers, but has also included a variety of sociological and political pieces, including a desperate article which claims that it is psychological blocks, as opposed to a complete lack of evidence, that stops more people subscribing to 9/11 conspiracy theories. In common with 'journals' set up by Creationist outfits, the claim that the journal is 'peer-reviewed' turns out to be misleading at best. Of course, if one's peers are all Creationists or conspiracy theorists, then one's articles may indeed be peer reviewed, but this peer review process is hardly likely to challenge any of the extreme and unscientifically supported claims to be found in those articles. Indeed, a statistical summary of the 'journal''s output has revealed that 'fourteen of the 43 papers, or nearly a third of the papers accepted by the editors, are written by the editors themselves' and that 'of the original 43 papers, the numbers of papers written by someone with a PhD in a science, who is not one of the editors of the journal themselves, and who is not merely rebutting another previously held conspiracy theory comes out to a grand total of... 4, or a mere 9%' . But what of the quality of the research? Aside from the fact it is so dubious that the authors do not dare submit it to credible, mainstream journals, it often contains errors that are simply embarassing. For example, Jones has attempted to buttress his claim that he has found proof that cutting charges were used to 'demolish' the twin towers by pointing to an image supposedly showing molten metal glowing at Ground Zero. A quick search by the conspiracy debunker Pat Curley revealed the source of the glow to be nothing more nefarious than a high-powered portable light.
Jones, then, is a man who believes in the mythology of Mormonism, whose last academic post was at a 'university' that institutionally subscribes to this same mythology, a man who has an interest in fringe science, who associates with a 'research foundation' devoted to archaeological 'anomalies', and who claims to have found evidence proving Jesus visited America. Adding to this career of idiocy, he now edits a journal promoting totally unscientific theories about the 9/11 Islamist terrorist attacks, and heads another crackpot 'research' group called 'Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice' (a group, which, unsurprisingly, he co-founded).
Dr Judy Wood
From 1999 to 2006, Wood was an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, and the majority of her academic work has been in the field of materials testing. So far so good, but then comes her 9/11 'research'. Wood claims that she 'started to question the events of 9/11 on that same day when what she saw and heard on television was contradictory and appeared to violate the laws of physics'. Despite the fact that no major scientific body believes the World Trade Center building collapses pose any questions related to the laws of physics, Wood clearly knows something they don't. For Wood, the WTC collapses constitute a 'New Hiroshima'. While some conspiracists go so far as claiming that the World Trade Center was demolished using 'mini-nukes' and that 9/11 was a 'nuclear demolition', for Wood, the 'New Hiroshima' was carried out using 'directed energy weapons'.
As with most 9/11 conspiracy theorists, Wood has drawn her conclusions based on highly contentious interpretations of photo and video evidence of the events of September 11th. By carrying out a highly selective analysis of these images, Wood has concluded that the WTC structures became 'dustified' during the collapses. She claims that there is a 'lack of suffient debris' to corroborate the 'official story' of the towers collapsing due to their structural integrity being fatally compromised by a weakening of the steel due to the extreme heat produced by fires following the plane crashes. Consequently, according to Wood, all the evidence points to the WTC buildings having been destroyed by 'Star Wars beams', and she is promoting this claim in tandem with Dr Morgan Reynolds, a former White House chief economist (2001-2) who believes no planes were used on 9/11 and all video evidence of planes is fake and shows little more than 'cartoons'.
In making her case, Wood employs a dazzling array of neologisms and pseudo-scientific terms and concepts. She refers to various 9/11 phenomena using terminology such as 'jelly beams' and 'jellification', 'Alkaseltzer', 'Shaving Cream', 'toasting', 'Fuzzyblobs', 'Fuzzballs, 'Cheetos', 'fuming into nanohaze', 'fuming rust', 'lathering up', 'Silly String', and 'dustification'. Wood's work is so absurd that even fellow 9/11 conspiracy theorists are able to see it for the lunacy that it is, and mainstream debunkers have no trouble dispensing with her claims either.
Despite this, Wood is a respected member of another 9/11 research group, 'Scholars for 9/11 Truth', which announces itself as 'a non-partisan association of faculty, students, and scholars, in fields as diverse as history, science, military affairs, psychology, and philosophy, dedicated to exposing falsehoods and to revealing truths behind 9/11'. The group was founded by Professor (of Philosophy) James Fetzer, a man whose academic oeuvre includes 3 books advocating JFK conspiracy theories, and who co-edits another online 'journal', 'Assassination Research - Journal for the Advanced Study of the Death of JFK'.
In common with other 9/11 conspiracy theorists, Wood embraces numerous pseudo-scientific and paranoia-induced and inducing beliefs. She shares Steven Jones' interest in 'Cold Fusion', although, according to Wood, Jones 'sabotaged cold fusion and he is sabotaging the truth about 9/11'.
Contrary to the claims that 9/11 conspiracy theories are backed by 'real science' and 'real scientists', the picture that actually emerges is remarkably similar to other fringe movements such as Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Holocaust Revisionism: academics making extraordinary claims without the extraordinary evidence required to back them up, selective use of evidence, an obsession with alleged 'anomalies', allegations of 'cover-ups', claims that their 'research' is being suppressed by 'the establishment', persecution complexes, the setting up of self-serving and self-referential 'journals' and 'scholarly' groups, infighting, egotism, and paranoia.
In reality, there is no more evidence for the claim that 9/11 was an 'inside job' than there is that God created the world in six days, that the Holocaust never happened, that Jesus walked in America, or that an angel dictated the Qur'an to Muhammad. These are faith based positions, and to attempt to claim there are credible 'scientific' reasons for embracing conspiracies about the September 11th attacks is an insult both to real science and to the memory of those who died on that day.
Edmund Standing holds a BA in Theology & Religious Studies and an MA in Critical & Cultural Theory. His other articles on this website can be found in the articles archive."