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Monday, January 30, 2006

The Truth

Today as I continued my recent obsession with Middle Eastern politics I came across a very eye-popping interview from the Daily Ummat, the second-largest newspaper in Pakistan. After going to the site for the Daily Ummat my inability to read Urdu prevented me from searching their online archives for the interview. It was conducted in the weeks after the September 11th Attacks and, in it, Osama bin Laden denies responsibility for the events of that day. The fact that this interview was the first granted by bin Laden after September 11th and was NOT AT ALL covered by major U.S. news outlets and publications should cause one to wonder why when, during the fall of 2001, just about every newspaper in the country was focused on this man and his organization.

If you all get a chance, I ardently encourage you to visit three websites on this issue:

1) 911Review.Com: A Resource for Understanding the 9/11/01 Attack

2) ThePowerHour.Com: A radio show that focuses on "subjects that inform and educate people every day to the real challenges that face this country".

3) 911InPlaneSite.Com: A completely fact-based movie that the world generally and the U.S. people more specifically absolutely MUST see.

35 Comments:

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only one possible response here: are you serious?

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger andrew golis said...

The simplest way to know that this conspiracy theory is impossible is to consider the simple quantity of people that would need to coordinate to create, propogate and defend it. To coordinate and agree to pull this off, the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Justice and the rest of the Federal Government would all have to agree on something, which they can't do EVER, much less when killing 3,000 of their fellow countrymen. To defend and propogage the "myth", you would need to get the entirety of the media, as well as a huge mainstream academia, to all agree or to be so incompetent that they wouldn't be able to figure out the biggest story in American history. They're not all that great, but they're not that bad. I think this page has good thoughts on conspiricism:

"People with unfair power and privilege generally try to hold onto that unfair power and privilege. Sometimes they make plans that are not publicly announced. Sometimes they engage in illegal plots. Real conspiracies have been exposed throughout history. History itself, however, is not controlled by a vast timeless conspiracy. The powerful people and groups in society are hardly a "secret team" or a tiny club of "secret elites." The tendency to explain all major world events as primarily the product of a secret conspiracy is called conspiracism. The antidote to conspiracism is Power Structure Research based on some form of institutional, systemic or structural analysis that examines race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, class and other factors that are used to create inequality and oppression. We do not criticize conspiracism because we want to shield those with unfair power and privilege, but because we believe that conspiracism impedes attempts to build a social movement for real social justice, economic fairness, equality, peace, and democracy."

I think we should leave conspiricism to far right-wing populism where it belongs...

 
At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jersey Slugger, this is an intelligent and thought-provoking post. I don't usually think about things this way, but I'm beginning to realize you might be right. Maybe 9/11 really was just a big government conspiracy cooked up by George Bush.

I hope you will continue to pursue this tack in the future, as it has much to offer all of us. As a topic for a future post, might I suggest the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? It's right up your alley, and certainly at least as plausible as what you're suggesting here.

 
At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out the Wikipedia entry for the 9/11 attacks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11,_2001_attacks

Not only did Bin Laden eventually claim responsibility, Jersey's assertion that his initial denial was not covered in the Western media is false.

Key Quote: "Osama bin Laden responded by reading a statement on September 16, 2001, "I stress that I have not carried out this act, which appears to have been carried out by individuals with their own motivation," which was broadcast by Qatar's Al Jazeera satellite channel. [9][10][11] This denial was broadcast on U.S. news networks and worldwide. The second public response was read on September 28 by Daily Ummat, a Pakistani newspaper. In it, bin Laden stated "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."

I guess anything that appears in a radical Islamist mouthpice must be the golden truth.

 
At 5:48 PM, Blogger andrew golis said...

I think the very fact that those who support this line of thinking reference the Protocols of the Elders of Zion I think perfectly exemplifies what is so dangerous about this line of thinking. As anyone who has ever done any serious research on the Protocols knows, it is a widely and thoroughly discredited document intended to be anti-semetic propaganda. It's even cited in Hamas's charter! It is also related to those who argue (including members of Hamas and the President of Iran) that the Halocaust was a myth.

This is not to say that they're the same thing, but I believe they come from the same approach: ignoring facts, creating new "facts" from random (and often explainable) uncertainty, and compelling people to believe things simply because it removes moral agency from a broader society and sets it squarely upon a vilified set of evil conspirators (whether it's the Jews or Bush). This may be a comforting version of history for those who hate our current President or are anti-Semetic, but that doesn't make it true.

 
At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a clarification on the above - I was the anonymous poster above and I was joking (to prove a point). I do not support the Protocols in any way.

 
At 6:50 PM, Blogger andrew golis said...

Ah, I'm slow. Apologies.

 
At 9:29 PM, Blogger Jersey Slugger said...

Before my point-by-point defense I should say two more generic things. First off, obviously the Anonymous poster at 5 pm mistakenly thinks that I'm an anti-Semite or I believe all conspiracy theories by suggesting that text. The very fact that its historical derivative is a French satirist who wrote fiction provides sufficient evidence that that text should be taken in jest. Secondly, I seriously doubt any of you that are disagreeing with the validity of this assertion or, at the very least, possibility (ahem...Andrew) has watched the whole video like I asked. There are certain indisputable facts there that can provide us with numerous points of departure for debate. However, that debate (if you can debate facts), would require that I'm not the only one that's seen the movie. Go buy it, download it from a file-sharing client, or use some other means to view it. JUST VIEW IT.

Andrew, never underestimate the U.S. government or its relationship with the media (just watch Fox News Channel) and other representatives of big business. You are right that in order for this scenario to be true a complex and widespread government and media coverup would have had to take place (that is still going on) between numerous branches of the federal government and the U.S. media. You are wrong in thinking that it would require lots of people to know about it, however. I would argue that the individuals who needed to be in on this conspiracy in order to make it work could have been a very small group. The heads of these organizations exercise wide-ranging authority over their employees. As is very simple with police officers, rank-and-file employees can have searches for the truth stifled or outright cancelled if their superior says so. Case in point: Russell Poole. The fact that this individual had to resign from his job due to his inability to continue working for the LAPD when he felt that they were not out for justice but instead out to maintain their "sheild of silence" speaks to this point. Additionally, the police are not repressed from discussing the details of their work to outside parties to the degree that people who work for the NSA, FBI, or CIA must. The administrative (firing) ramifications would be immediate and the legal ramifications for spilling the beans would surely be forthcoming. Many of these low and mid-level employees could have just been kept in the dark or stifled from pursuing the truth.

The academics were fed the same info as the general public. Have any of them even undertaken a critical look at the events from an objective perspective? Probably not. There was one scenario and one culprit alone presented to us and no one questioned that information and story as not being the absolute truth.

Additionally, you should recognize that organizations such as the FBI and Justice Department are responsible for killing U.S. citizens through capital punishment in the prison system as well as clandestine operations such as COINTELPRO. The government and its long arms do kill people in this country whether White, Black, or any other race if need be. The argument will be that these people who received capital punishment did capital crimes and thus deserve that fate but we all know that this is not always the case.

Part of your quote speaks to my point in saying:
"People with unfair power and privilege generally try to hold onto that unfair power and privilege. Sometimes they make plans that are not publicly announced. Sometimes they engage in illegal plots. Real conspiracies have been exposed throughout history."

I'm not purporting that world history has been controlled by a huge conspiracy by a few elite. I am proposing, however, that this event was. The scale of this coverup reflects the scale of what was to be gained from the War on Terror, a war that had long been sought to bring about three things: (1) Iraqi regime change, (2) a greater hand in Middle Eastern politics and democracy (replete with the attached strings of Western capitalist "investment"), and (3) control of Iraqi oil. The individuals at the highest levels of government are in office for four or, at the most, eight years (I'm looking at Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfield on this). That is the time when they even purportedly have a responsibility to the people of this nation. The remainder of the time their careers have proven that they have a responsibility to investors and business partners. For all of Bush's adult life prior to becoming President (or even Governor) and for the remainder of his life after 2008 what business do you think he will be in?: oil. For Cheney the case is the same with Halliburton and energy or infrastructure rebuilding. These two individuals have not only friends or funders in high places they have business PARTNERS in very high places that they most likely will explicitly work for or with after their terms in office. In January of 2002 Halliburton's shares were trading as low as $8.60 each. Four years, two wars, and one recession later they're trading as high as $81.00 per share. Both he and Rumsfield (having both been involved in Middle Eastern politics as high-level government officials for a number of years prior to the current Bush taking office) have long supported or pursued (as Cheney did in the first Gulf War when he was Defense Secretary) regime change in Iraq and the promotion of Western capitalism/democracy there through force. Where do you think the allegiance of these individuals lies? In the vague and distant "American people" or in the local and personal (not to mention immensely wealthy) business partners from whose world they came and shall return to?

Anonymous at 5:11, the meat of the section of that Wikipedia entry on the responsibility for the attacks points to the U.S. government as being responsible for fabricating the tape. Who released it? The U.S. government. That section even starts out with "The U.S. government has blamed al-Qaeda". This doesn't make Al-Qaeda's involvement a statistical fact. The Bin Laden tapes are believed to be plain fake by many in predominantly Muslim nations. Even in the BBC article that's linked to in the Wikipedia entry the U.S. government-commissioned translation is what the world was going on. Additionally, as one of the political analysts in that BBC article states, Bin Laden's praise for the attacks does not mean that he was behind them. Another excerpt:

"American intelligence officers are said to have recovered the tape from a house in the eastern Afghan town of Jalalabad following the collapse of the ruling Taleban, who were harbouring Bin Laden."

Of course. Tapes like this where the most wanted criminal in the world admits his guilt and "justifies" the U.S. War on Terror are just left in random houses for his enemies to find.

No, not everything that appears in a radical Islamist's mouthpiece is the golden truth but so many U.S. citizens regard what the federal government and its various agencies, departments, and bureaus or the popular national news networks and nespapers tell us is the golden truth as just that. We hardly ever question media sources and government results as anything but the gospel truth and this is the very crux of my argument. When indicting a government in this fashion are we only supposed to reference their documents, video tape, and accounts as valid? I'll point out some absolute facts from the movie 911: In Plane Sitefrom the crashes and let you look into it more:

(1) At the Pentagon, a 125 ft. Boeing 757 supposedly has the ability to shrink to half its size and make a 60-65 foot hole. How does this happen? It doesn't.

(2) No picture has ever been captured of any piece of large debris from the plane that supposedly hit the Pentagon. A 125 foot plane in a major metropolitan area completely explodes and there is not one wing, seat, or ENGINE debris is anywhere to be found. How does this happen? It doesn't.

(3) The Boeing 767-222 that purportedly hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center doesn't seem to exist according to Boeing:they make no such model. How does this happen? It doesn't.

Once again, I implore you to watch the movie and see the facts for yourselves. I know this is hard stuff to deal with (especially for those of you who remain faithful that democracy and the will of the people still reign in the U.S.) but it's far too important for you to pass over. VIEW IT.

 
At 10:27 PM, Anonymous sarika bansal said...

I watched the video a while ago and remember being struck by how odd the facts were. That said, I was also struck by how MTV-ish it was, what with all the background music and cool effects. While the facts presented could potentially point to a conspiracy theory (though I'm sure they left out others that would have diluted the theory), I basically discredited the video because of its presentation. Why would the filmmakers make such a serious issue so cool-looking? Why would they choose to distribute it through some random website? And considering the internet is such public domain, why has NO major media source picked it up? Why hasn't anyone written a book on it? There are so many little alternative publishing companies out there, I'm sure at least one of them would have realized how fast such a book would fly off the shelves and doesn't have "big business" bogging them down.

If there were credible answers to all the above questions, I would perhaps maybe start to think the 9/11 conspiracy was a distant possibility.

 
At 10:32 PM, Blogger andrew golis said...

First, a few quick points: the death penalty has nothing to do with this. It's horrible, it's sad, it's inhumane and unjust, but it's simply not even tangentally related (morally or politically) to the sudden slaughter of 3,000 people. The fact that governors and sherrifs and a majority of the American people carry out executions against convicted murderers (some wrongly convicted, for sure), doesn't mean that Bush & co. can parlay that into convincing hundreds of gov't officials into covering up a vast conspiracy murder of innocent Americans.

Second, it's true that Halliburton has benefited hugely from the war. But you're committing an obvious logical fallacy: just because one things follows another does not mean it caused it. Another result of the war is that Islamic Radicalism has gained huge numbers of recruits, Osama Bin Laden has become an international figure and Al Qaeda has blossomed in parts of Europe. According to your logical structure Bin Laden could just have easily been the mastermind as Bush/Cheney. Looking to beneficiaries can be helpful, but there are far too many (and benefits and loses are far too complex) to rely on such a simplistic argument.

To the various specific points, I'll quote from an extensive study done by the magazine Popular Mechanics (hardly a political magazine, hardly interested in covering up Gov't conspiracies). To quote their title page:

"To investigate 16 of the most prevalent claims made by conspiracy theorists, POPULAR MECHANICS assembled a team of nine researchers and reporters who, together with PM editors, consulted more than 70 professionals in fields that form the core content of this magazine, including aviation, engineering and the military.

In the end, we were able to debunk each of these assertions with hard evidence and a healthy dose of common sense. We learned that a few theories are based on something as innocent as a reporting error on that chaotic day. Others are the byproducts of cynical imaginations that aim to inject suspicion and animosity into public debate. Only by confronting such poisonous claims with irrefutable facts can we understand what really happened on a day that is forever seared into world history."

I recommend everyone read the ENTIRE PIECE HERE. To your specific points:

1. "Big Plane, Small Holes
CLAIM: Two holes were visible in the Pentagon immediately after the attack: a 75-ft.-wide entry hole in the building's exterior wall, and a 16-ft.-wide hole in Ring C, the Pentagon's middle ring. Conspiracy theorists claim both holes are far too small to have been made by a Boeing 757. "How does a plane 125 ft. wide and 155 ft. long fit into a hole which is only 16 ft. across?" asks reopen911.org, a Web site "dedicated to discovering the bottom line truth to what really occurred on September 11, 2001."

The truth is of even less importance to French author Thierry Meyssan, whose baseless assertions are fodder for even mainstream European and Middle Eastern media. In his book The Big Lie, Meyssan concludes that the Pentagon was struck by a satellite-guided missile--part of an elaborate U.S. military coup. "This attack," he writes, "could only be committed by United States military personnel against other U.S. military personnel."

FACT: When American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon's exterior wall, Ring E, it created a hole approximately 75 ft. wide, according to the ASCE Pentagon Building Performance Report. The exterior facade collapsed about 20 minutes after impact, but ASCE based its measurements of the original hole on the number of first-floor support columns that were destroyed or damaged. Computer simulations confirmed the findings.

Why wasn't the hole as wide as a 757's 124-ft.-10-in. wingspan? A crashing jet doesn't punch a cartoon-like outline of itself into a reinforced concrete building, says ASCE team member Mete Sozen, a professor of structural engineering at Purdue University. In this case, one wing hit the ground; the other was sheared off by the force of the impact with the Pentagon's load-bearing columns, explains Sozen, who specializes in the behavior of concrete buildings. What was left of the plane flowed into the structure in a state closer to a liquid than a solid mass. "If you expected the entire wing to cut into the building," Sozen tells PM, "it didn't happen."

The tidy hole in Ring C was 12 ft. wide--not 16 ft. ASCE concludes it was made by the jet's landing gear, not by the fuselage."

2. "Flight 77 Debris
CLAIM: Conspiracy theorists insist there was no plane wreckage at the Pentagon. "In reality, a Boeing 757 was never found," claims pentagonstrike.co.uk, which asks the question, "What hit the Pentagon on 9/11?"

FACT: Blast expert Allyn E. Kilsheimer was the first structural engineer to arrive at the Pentagon after the crash and helped coordinate the emergency response. "It was absolutely a plane, and I'll tell you why," says Kilsheimer, CEO of KCE Structural Engineers PC, Washington, D.C. "I saw the marks of the plane wing on the face of the building. I picked up parts of the plane with the airline markings on them. I held in my hand the tail section of the plane, and I found the black box." Kilsheimer's eyewitness account is backed up by photos of plane wreckage inside and outside the building. Kilsheimer adds: "I held parts of uniforms from crew members in my hands, including body parts. Okay?""

3. No one claimed that it was a 222, they all say that it's a 220. Those exist.

So, if it's truly a conspiracy, you can add to the mix Popular Mechanics and the 300 specialists they consulted and Scientific America, just to start.

 
At 10:33 PM, Blogger andrew golis said...

Sorry, I forgot the link to the 300 specialists they consulted.

 
At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should be really wary of historical revisionism in all forms. I mean, maybe it seems like a stretch to some people to compare 9/11 revisionism to, say, Holocaust denial, but they are both instances of the same sort of extremely dangerous intellectual behavior.

The problem in both cases is that rather than being driven by pursuit of the truth, people who seek to disprove the terrorist role in the 9/11 attacks and people who seek to deny the Holocaust are primarily driven by contemporary political needs or desires. Holocaust deniers almost universally have a need to defame Jews, be it political (in the case of Iran) or more perverse (in the case of the Aryan Nation, etc).

Similarly, people like Jersey Slugger are driven by the contemporary political need/desire to counter what they see as the Bush administration's biggest strength, i.e. its role in fighting terrorism, and generally to cast doubt on the new geopolitical conventional wisdom that they oppose. Let's face it, Jersey Slugger, you're almost diametrically opposed to all aspects of U.S. foreign policy. That gives you a pretty big motive to discredit the basis for U.S. foreign policy, and it's biasing you towards the wishful thinking that the U.S. doesn't have any sort of rational basis for its current decisions.

We need to get to a point where revising history is not an option for political activists. It's just too dangerous. It's explicitly Orwellian.

PS: Jersey Slugger, you inadvertently made a minor point against yourself when you mentioned that the historical derivative of the Protocols is a french satirist. Thing is, the same is true of 9/11 denial. Do a Google search for Thierry Meyssan.

 
At 1:26 AM, Blogger Jersey Slugger said...

Sarika, you can't discredit the movie off presentation. Filmmakers making serious issues cool-looking EQUALS MTV. Myriad shows from Real World to MADE to True Life deal with very serious issues of identity, gun violence, developmeental disabilities, etc. At the end of the day, they still have commercials every seven or so minutes so their purpose is still to be bring MTV revenue. The people selling 911: In Plane Site have to market their product somehow. Would it be more believable if the person had a lab coat on and glasses? If there was no music? If there were simply slides and no special effect? None of these things take away from the factual evidence produced in the movie.

For why major news stations haven't picked it up see my previous comment. For why publishers haven't picked it up myriad reasons can be thought up but none very important to what this situation is. The people who created the video have a radio show and not writers. It could be just that simple. Could be why public speakers don't shoot music videos or rap artists don't write fiction novels. Nevertheless, myriad conspiracy theory books have been published so it may be oversaturation of the market.

Andrew, the death penalty absolutely has something to do with this because it is a counterpoint to your point that the U.S. government does not kill its own citizens. They do all the time. They do when you commit capital crime, when you organize oppressed populations in self-defense for equality, and they do when they send you to war on false pretenses. Do you honestly think that Bush regards me as an equal and fellow countryman? If so then social justice work like you and I do would be so...non-existant.

I don't see the fallacy on the Halliburton issue. They're bringing in $21 billion in revenue a year due in large part to the War in Iraq which has awarded their subsidiary KBR contracts worth over $8 billion. Corporations regularly create desires or needs for their products or services. I see this as little different outside of scale: bigger payday = bigger creation of need.

In terms of the specific points of contention, it comes down to a very basic thing: I believe my sources and you believe yours. I doubt that either will be swayed two the other's predictions. Nevertheless, to briefly address your points:

1) If a human being with a sledge hammer can get through concrete I'm sure a Boeing 757 traveling at x-miles per hour can. Additionally, no wing hit the ground and there is not a picture on all of the world wide web or any of the MYRIAD media outlets that would show it since it does not exist.

2) Why is a structural engineer (that is there to work on the Pentagon and its rebuilding) picking up numerous important pieces of the "wreckage" such as the black box and the tail of the plane? Were there not myriad military personnel and local emergency response professions (i.e. firefighters and police) that were doing on the scene? Produce any such pictures of him at that locale and I'll give this or him some credence. Why did he pick up body parts? Was he confused and thought that they were something else? He didn't pick up any body parts, despite how dramatic and gripping (no pun intended) that would be. No CEO (most humans, for that matter) would.

3) There are numerous claims that it was a 767-222. The model you name actually doesn't exist. If "they all say" it was a 220 then they are all wrong.

Most recent Anonymous writer: The Bush Administration fighting terror is equivalent to Muhammad Ali sparring with a wisp of air. You can't fight an ideology or act. If you try to fight the purveyors of that ideology or perpetrators of that act, this is also an impossible battle. Ideologies spread and when the climate is fertile for them (such as it currently is with the ongoing Iraq and Israel/Palestine situations) al-Qaeda will always have more recruits. If the U.S. government really wanted to stop terrorism (or at least lessen it drastically) they would stop sending their companies, military, and ambassadors to every corner of the globe and proclaiming ourselves as the model people under the model system for the world to aspire to.

I understand that the U.S.' behavior is highly rational but it's not highly reasonable because this government is the dominant political, economic, and military force in the world. No country operates or negotiates with the U.S. on equal footing and U.S. foreign policy is used to either get all other nations on the U.S. side or else blackball the nations economically and apply this pressure along with political pressure in hopes of removing the unwilling regime from power. Case in point: Cuba.

History is written by the winners and therefore for one who has lost (and continues to lose to some degree) I must seek an alternate story to what I'm fed. We all must. History won't tell you of the original population of Native Americans throughout the Americas before heavy European interaction. It will celebrate Columbus and the "discovery" of America. The truth lies beyond, however.

 
At 1:29 AM, Blogger Jersey Slugger said...

Pardon me, the KBR contracts are worth over $18 billion. Not just $8 billion.

 
At 2:03 AM, Blogger Andrew Prokop said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:26 AM, Blogger andrew golis said...

Alright, let's see if we can figure this out. I honestly thought the whole Scientific American/Popular Mechanics thing would sway you from your belief. I think it might be best to figure out exactly what you're saying. One of the problems with conspiracy theories, I think, is that they tend to have a brush of half-baked confusions and act like that's a conclusive or telling case. Maybe if we lay out exactly what you're saying, as opposed to hinting around specifics, I'll understand what you're saying. Questions and thoughts from my point of view:

"For why major news stations haven't picked it up see my previous comment." Does this mean all of the major news markets in the world are a part of a global conspiracy to protect President Bush?

Do you think that the lack of morality someone has to have to take part in a democratically-sanctioned killing of someone who has killed someone else is the same lack of morality required to illegally kill thousands who have done nothing but go to work? You seem to implying that I'm denying injustice, which I don't think is true. I don't understand why the fact that inequality and injustice exists has anything to do with whether or not there is a huge moral distinction between these two things.

In terms of the Halliburton thing: I'm just saying that the benefits (the billions of dollars) prove that they caused the war (on Terror or Iraq), other people benefited and they didn't "cause" it the way you're describing. Is your claim that Halliburton specifically convinced the Bush Administration into making up 911, or that the Bush Administration was just looking for ways to help them and 911 seemed like it would work? I just feel like that should be fleshed out.

To those three points.

1. Why would Mete Sozen lie? I don't see the motive.

2. Don't you think his friends and family would know whether or not that was true? Wouldn't all of the local EMTs and military know? I also don't understand how/why he would lie. Was he paid? Compelled by the CIA? Was his family? Were his friends? The Pentagon media office? His entire company? I don't understand.

3. Popular Mechanics referred to it as a "Boeing 767-200ER." Who claimed it was a 767-222? If someone did, you're right, but the press story I'm trusting doesn't, so that doesn't really undermine it.

I actually pretty much agree with you about the need to revise and reexamining history, it's still heavy with past injustices. It's sometimes simplified for quick and easy narratives, it's white washed (literally) of uncomfortable truths and it often simply ignores those who lost. But, even revisionist history is based on finding new facts and experiences while re-understanding old ones. That's different from what this 911 conspiracy thing consists of. You have only questions about the legitimacy of the current set of facts (which are supported by nothing that offers credibility or context to the claimers), but no new facts of your own.

I'm honestly trying to convince you about the 911 thing, not just win in some sort of public debate (with the other 3 people who will read this whole thread). I'm sorry for the snappiness of the writing/debate (I think it's mutual, so I guess that's good), I'm increasingly interested in figuring how what exactly you're thinking so I hope you do take up those questions (they're not simply rhetorical!).

 
At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous from 5:11 here:

Jersey, the ENTIRE PARAGRAPH that I quoted had nothing to do with the video you reference. Had I cited the video as evidence, your response would be justified - but you just shot past what I quoted to the part about allegations that the Bin Laden video was made by the US. You in no way made a rebuttal to my overarching point that Bin Laden's denial was communicated to the world community after 9/11 - which you have asserted in the post.

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger Jersey Slugger said...

This debate doesn't seem to be moving anywhere and I'm kind of worn out with it so I'm going to begin how I ended my original post: WATCH THE MOVIE. The facts and realities are there.

Andrew, many answers to many questions you ask me can be summed up in one word: coverup. It's not like the government hasn't paid specialists or the media to create truth for them in the past.

The U.S. does kill its citizens. Whether one at a time or 3,000 the basic point is that.

Whoever approached who about the Halliburton/federal government deal is tangential. They're intertwined into one person with tons of experience on Middle East politics/war, infrastructure re-building, and energy services optimization: Dick Cheney.

Anonymous, the quote that is the central part of your Comment is from that video that I reference in my response. From a Google search of "bin laden denial" one can see that CNN and BBC did actually cover the denial tape (in some way) so I was wrong on that to a degree. Concession.

 
At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jersey, the article you link to supporting your contention that the press could be colluding with the government in an elaborate coverup bears the headline "When press is paid to lie, the truth always comes out," which I think is the whole point here.

 
At 2:42 PM, Blogger andrew golis said...

I'm actually disappointed that you're giving up on the thread. You've offered no facts of your own and the questions you've brought up about the current facts are refuted by a huge number of credibly sources.

"Coverup" is not an argument. And you have no evidence that a coverup (especially one that includes hundreds of professors and engineers and magazines and the entire world press and every branch of government and all of their families, friends and co-workers) exists. Simply claiming it does and pointing out that the US Government is dishonest is not an argument.

The way conspiracy theories continue to exist is by dodging the questions at hand or dropping the subject when providing actual proof or an argument becomes necessary. If that's what you're doing now, I think it simply proves my point.

 
At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jersey's logic reminds me of something from a clip Golis posted a few weeks ago about religious conflict. Stephen Colbert explains why Christianity is obviously right:

"It’s God’s logic, as written in the Bible, every word of which is true; and we know every word is true because the Bible says that the Bible is true, AND if you remember from earlier in this sentence every word of the Bible is true. Now are you following me here or are you some kind of mindless zealot?"

 
At 3:15 PM, Blogger andrew golis said...

Haha, I love that clip. I went back and watched it just now. You can
"http://youtube.com/w/Even-Stevphen---Islam-v.-Christianity?v=Fm1-YW6lz9E&search=colbert%20islam">here.


Also, another Colbert clip that seems related to me.

 
At 9:54 PM, Blogger Jersey Slugger said...

Until we have a communal point of departure, yes, this debate is futile. View the movie so that the debate can continue.

 
At 11:57 PM, Anonymous sarika bansal said...

I'm curious as to why you want people to watch this movie so much, and why it's so imperative for everyone to watch before continuing the debate. I watched it and was far from impressed. There's all the stuff I said before about how it looked so MTV-like and how it was distributed on the Internet where the idiot can reign if he/she so chooses (and yes, I would be far more convinced if there were people in lab coats presenting the same information -- that probably sounds elitist and classist but I think it's true for a lot of people). Also, there were so many anecdotal quotes from unidentified individuals, especially towards the end. I would trust Scientific American/Popular Mechanics over those random quotes any day. Yes, some of the facts presented are odd at first, but there's so much going against the conspiracy idea that I've basically discredited the movie.

First, there's the point Andrew raised before, about how 9/11 was CHAOTIC, and reporting errors could have easily occured. Don't you remember? People on the news were saying one thing, then another a few minutes later, and then a third thing a few minutes later. People were running everywhere -- I'm sure someone reading this went to Stuyvesant and could tell you how parts of the city were like "every man for himself." Honestly, if the US government has the brains and foresight to orchestrate that madness, why can't they figure out issues like health care and immigration?

Also, do you remember what happened to the economy after 9/11? Stocks went down for a few months and unemployment went up. The city government had to shell out millions to get the city functional again. The World Trade Center employed a lot of very intelligent people, and a lot of companies were complaining how they lost their best brain power. Why would the US government do that? Do they have something against having a funtional national economy? Why would they waste THAT much money to justify a war on terror? I mean I guess they could have done it, just like I could fly from Boston to New York via Mogadishu.

Third, more specific to the movie, what happened to the hotel? Did they file a more formal complaint than just whining to the guy who made the movie? I did a google search and nothing really came up. If the hotel is obviously fine with people knowing about what happened, why hasn't anyone credible discussed it?

At this point, Jersey, I'm just confused as to why you're so dogmatic in your beliefs. It's one thing to say you trust your sources, but it's another to say that any source/idea that doesn't fit into your conspiracy theory is just another layer of the government's coverup.

 
At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"At this point, Jersey, I'm just confused as to why you're so dogmatic in your beliefs. It's one thing to say you trust your sources, but it's another to say that any source/idea that doesn't fit into your conspiracy theory is just another layer of the government's coverup."

Because that's what conspiracy theorists thrive on. To admit otherwise would be to admit flaw with the beautiful, crystalline, construction of the theory. And we can't have that. It's easier, you see, if you just wouldn't look at any other sources except that video. Anything else is just propaganda and lies. Just like statistics.

 
At 12:43 PM, Blogger Jersey Slugger said...

OK. Due to the fact that this is a post that I started I will re-engage you all. I'm going to attempt to restart this conversation off with base questions of perspective that may contribute to a mutual understanding. I feel that obviously myself and others involved with this conversation have very different views on the U.S. government and media as well as its higher-ups. Note: all of these questions have been previously put forth in my comments above.

1) (In speaking of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfield) Where do you think the allegiance of these individuals lies? In the vague and distant "American people" or in the local and personal (not to mention immensely wealthy) business partners from whose world they came and shall return to?

2) We hardly ever question media sources and government results as anything but the gospel truth and this is the very crux of my argument. When indicting a government in this fashion are we only supposed to reference their documents, video tape, and accounts as valid?

3) Do you honestly think that Bush regards me [or the average "normal" working U.S. citizen in the World Trade Center, Shanksville, or Pentagon] as an equal and fellow countryman?

4) Why is a structural engineer (that is there to work on the Pentagon and its rebuilding) picking up numerous important pieces of the "wreckage" such as the black box and the tail of the plane?

Question 1 is meant to evaluate whether or not the top individuals currently in our federal government behind the War on Terror have a history of attending to the needs of U.S. citizens or to the wants of U.S. corporations. It establishes motive.

Question 2 is meant to evaluate whether or not our regular sources can be trusted when they play an immense role in the coverup. It establishes a united effort to bring about deception, otherwise known as a conspiracy.

Question 3 is meant to evaluate just what type of relationship or connection high-level, elite school-attending blue-blood government officials have with the average U.S. citizen. It establishes disconnet from perpetrator to victim (which obviously eases the ability of people to carry out such an act, such as sending such individuals to war).

Question 4 is simply meant to evaluate whether or not this scenario makes sense. A non-government contractor (or "outsider") is the first to handle these highly important pieces of evidence in what will soon be a large-scale investigation. It establishes inconsistency (with normal practices or protocol).

 
At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's cute, deflect criticism and your complete lack of any facts whatsoever by asking questions that really have nothing to do with this.

Answering these questions will simply redirect the conversation exactly where Jersey Slugger wants it: considering the credibility and morality of the Bush Administration and "the oppressors" instead of the credibility and morality of HIM. Bush being bad, the media being biased, injustice existing, and the apparent (although easily explainable) actions of a random engineer DO NOT EXEMPT YOU FROM PROVIDING FACTS TO BACK UP YOUR CASE.

That is all.

Yours,

Anonymous and Extremely Annoyed.

 
At 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the hell is jersey slugger?? whoever he/she is, he/she is out of his/her mind. seriously - doesn't speak well for this "blog team." The perposterous accusations are insane enough, but the way he/she went about trying to defend the argument was juvenile.

Question to Golis: why do you allow this person to blog for you? and if this person is an official blogger, don't you know we should know a little bit about him/her?

 
At 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is

don't you think we should know a little bit about him/her?

 
At 11:16 PM, Anonymous sarika bansal said...

Jersey, I must admit that I'm slightly disappointed. I thought I brought up some salient points and was really curious as to how you would respond, but am a little annoyed that you completely avoided them and instead asked several extremely leading questions that really don't help prove a conspiracy. I'll answer yours:

Where do you think the allegiance of these individuals lies? In the vague and distant "American people" or in the local and personal (not to mention immensely wealthy) business partners from whose world they came and shall return to?

Please see my above comment for how 9/11 affected the stock market and many large businesses (including the one in which my family friend's father was killed). If you really believe the allegiance of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld lies in the hands of "immensely wealthy business partners," please remember that there are plenty of those in the US who were upset by 9/11. Why would they want to upset them?

We hardly ever question media sources and government results as anything but the gospel truth and this is the very crux of my argument. When indicting a government in this fashion are we only supposed to reference their documents, video tape, and accounts as valid?

Is Scientific American now a government document? And Popular Mechanics? And are ALL the major news sources in the US secretly controlled by Bush? It seems like there are plenty of liberal Bush-haters happily employed in these positions -- are they ALL being fooled?

Do you honestly think that Bush regards me [or the average "normal" working U.S. citizen in the World Trade Center, Shanksville, or Pentagon] as an equal and fellow countryman?

So Bush doesn't regard me as equal -- how does that prove that he sanctioned the killing of 3,000 innocent Americans and the decimation of public property? I doubt Bill Gates really regards South Indian truck drives as equals, maybe he gave 11% of them AIDS.

Why is a structural engineer (that is there to work on the Pentagon and its rebuilding) picking up numerous important pieces of the "wreckage" such as the black box and the tail of the plane?

Why did a man in England write "dog poo" as an ingredient on a packet of ham? (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/4665710.stm) Why was someone watching porn while in the drive-thru line at Mickey D's? (http://www.theeagle.com/stories/013006/local_20060130001.php) My point is: stranger things have happened.

This really is a potentially interesting topic for debate, one which I would really like to see happen. But it really can't if you don't respond (and possibly concede slightly) to what others were saying.

 
At 9:39 PM, Blogger Jersey Slugger said...

Let me begin by saying I appreciate your responses to my questions, Sarika, as well as your contribution to the discussion by using your name. It allows for more directed responses and debate.

Your answer to my first question doesn’t answer my question at all. The “wealthy business partners” of those in high levels of government and the businesses that lost offices, personnel, and money from the WTC attacks are not synonymous. The financial costs to the various businesses, whatever the price, surely do not compare to the costs gained from (1) Iraqi oil, (2) the wider market for U.S. goods, (3) the huge influence the U.S. now has over these (Afghanistan and Iraq) countries politically, militaristically, and economically. Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfield never have to bare the blame of “upsetting” those business leaders since they pinned the blame on bin Laden.

With the second question, we must all rely on government documents, media accounts, and personal testimony on what happened. My earlier point in a previous comment that some people believe certain media outlets and individuals and some believe others is just that. I should have said “when indicting a government and media” since they are who we must rely on for information. I just feel that whatever wasn’t shot live cannot be trusted as video so post-9/11 commentary on the various stations falls into that. Also, as I said before, it’s not necessary for rank-and-file people to be in on the conspiracy. They are fed information from their higher-ups so the “liberal Bush-haters” don’t necessarily broadcast their personal feelings. Very few anchors do.

As I said in my previous comment, Question 3 establishes disconnect from perpetrator to victim. It proves that Bush is not connected with the average U.S. citizen and so their death, to him, means little if anything genuinely. I bet that Bush (or many members of Congress) also doesn’t care about the millions of underprivileged citizens he continues to screw over by supporting cuts in education and health programming (including student loans for people like you and I); just as Gates has priorities that supersede the average person in India having enough income to purchase one of his computers. It’s all about a disconnect and differing priorities.

Your answer to my fourth question sidesteps it altogether. None of those are stranger than the structural engineer scenario.

To the recent anonymous posters, I deflect no criticism. It is expected and courted, to an extent. You NEglect to answer certain questions, however. As an "official" writer and the starter of this drama I do feel that I have the right to re-focus the debate when it gets out of hand. As I said before, I feel that we are all coming from different perspectives on some things and I sought clarification with you all on them, to no avail. You use "the oppressors" in a belittling fashion as if oppression still does not exist in a widespread manner. Maybe your experience with it is limited but read about incarceration rates by race, inner-city public schools, or depletions in funding to highly important programs and tell particular racial groups that oppression doens't exist. Also, my identity has no bearing on our debate. What would the difference be if I were male or female, a friend of yours or a foe, from Tennessee or from Toronto, etc. It doesn't. Let's stick to the debate and not make this personal.

To everyone, all of the facts that I would lay out are in the movie. I've encouraged you all to watch it numerous times. The questions of facts would cease of you did so. Since you all will not undertake this highly thought-provoking film, I will provide a rundown of it for you.

The film begins with the host of the Power Hour, Dave vonKleist, saying that all truth passes through three stages: first denial, secondly violent opposition, and thirdly acceptance. The recent comments on this post reflect the fact that we are currently in the second stage. I encourage you all to progress with me in hopes of reaching the final stage to arrive at our destination: truth.

He then goes into the phrase “conspiracy theory” and talks about how we are all conditioned to associate the word conspiracy with theory. This constantly makes us believe in it not being real or tangible but only a thought or belief. He equates the theory he presents on 9/11 with a raffle ticket. In theory, if you have only one raffle ticket you can still win the raffle. However, as you accumulate more and more raffle tickets you winning the raffle eventually changes from being possible to being probable. Such is the case with limited evidence versus large amounts of evidence. The more evidence one has the more probable that the conspiracy theory is in fact, an outright conspiracy.

After this intro the host says that, one can deduce, that the events of 9/11 were all within half an hour of each other and connected. One can also deduce that if a particular person, party, or organization is found to be involved in one of these situations then they are involved in all of them. Finally, he says that if one was involved in these acts they would most likely go to extreme lengths to coverup their involvement, withhold pertinent information, and distort the truth to suit their needs. This is an attempt to remove them from guilt. He encourages viewers to keep this in mind as they view the video evidence of 9/11.

Fact: In the myriad pictures to be found in U.S. magazines post-9/11 there is not a single tail, nose, fuselage, wing, engine, wheel, luggage, seats or ANYTHING photographed at the Pentagon that is from a Boeing 757—the plane purportedly used in the attacks.

(The tattered engine and side of the plane pictures have been proven to be false).

Fact: The hole made in the Pentagon is approximately 65 feet wide (some video and photographs of the damaged section of the Pentagon immediately after the attacks have put the estimates of the initial size of the hole as small as 16 feet; this is later in the movie) and 73 feet high. A 757 has a 124 foot wingspan, a 155 foot length, and a 44 foot tail height.

Fact: The damage from the planes that hit the World Trade Center is inconsistent with the damage at the Pentagon. The planes that hit the WTC created fire hot enough to fatigue the steel and collapse the towers (supposedly) while whatever hit the Pentagon did not create fire strong enough to even singe paper books or burn wooden tables along the rupture on different floors of the Pentagon.

Fact: The “plane” that hit the Pentagon would have had a BTU (British Thermal Unit of energy) of 86 million, be three thousands degrees, and burn for days as the WTC did. This did not happen at the Pentagon, however.

Fact: The only video that exists of the Pentagon attack is from a Department of Defense video camera that was facing the point of impact at the Pentagon. In addition to it showing an incorrect date (September 12), when slowed down frame by frame it shows no plane hitting the Pentagon—-just an explosion. Was this the ONLY security camera that was on outside the PENTAGON? Just about every inch of the Pentagon is under video surveillance and no other video of the Pentagon attack has been released. A gas station near the Pentagon had a camera pointed at the point of impact and, shortly after the attack, federal officials arrived and confiscated the tape. It has never been released to the public.

Fact: Video from the Pentagon immediately after the attack shows the roof to still be intact as firefighters work on the fire and media correspondents do live broadcasts. This is all directly above the area that the tail was supposed to have hit. This section did not have the fortitude-enriched latitudinal structure of the WTC but still managed to remain intact somehow.

Fact: Numerous veterans and military experts have contacted the Power Hour radio show and proclaimed that it would have been impossible for a 757 to make the size hole that was created. They say the damage is the type that would arise from a “bunker buster” or missle.

Fact: No piece of Flight 77 that supposedly hit the Pentagon has ever been shown to the public.

Fact: One of the major conspiracies theories that surfaced post-9/11 dealing with the WTC was that explosions went off around or inside the buildings to destroy them. Some of these accounts were broadcast (since they were live), though only once. CNN and Fox News both carried stories of what eye-witnesses described as explosions as the WTC towers collapsed.

Fact: Home video and Fox News video (who broadcast a first-hand account from one of their employees) of the WTC attacks show various people stating that the planes they saw hit the Twin Towers were not American Airlines planes. The Fox News employee stated that he saw a circular blue logo near the front of one of the planes and saw no windows. He was convinced it was not a commercial flight.

Fact: In the September 24, 2001 issue of People magazine a firefighter from Engine 47 (the first firefighters inside the second, south, tower) said that while evacuating people in the building a bomb went off. He and his co-workers felt that there were bombs set in the building.

Fact: While live on 9/11, CNN captured video of a large plume of smoke rising up from the base of the towers. This was while the towers were still smoking and had not yet collapsed so the smoke was not from the falling towers or their debris. The footage was never shown again.

Fact: Larry Silverstein, owner of the lease of the WTC towers, gave an interview on PBS where he describes a call from the fire department commander stating that they were not sure if they would be able to contain the fire. Silverstein said that due to the loss of life they should just “pull it” (or blow it up). He then watched the buildings collapse. It takes weeks to prepare demolition charges to destroy buildings though apparently Building 7 was destroyed within eight hours.

(The insinuation of the host here is that these bombs had to be in place in advance of 9/11. He asks if this is true then does it make it possible that similar bombs were placed in the various other WTC buildings?)

Fact: As the second plane made contact with the WTC there is an object attached to the bottom of the plane as well as a flash of light at the nose tip of the plane right before impact. The flash was caught by four different cameras at four different angles ruling out the possibility of it being a strange solar reflection. The question of what that light at the tip was or what the object attached to the bottom of the plane weas remains. This object would have been seen by a pilot, passenger, baggage handler, or someone else if it were a commercial plane.

The host then states that former or current military personnel that have called in have said that what was on the bottom could have been a “pod” or missile/incendiary weapon. This could have acted as the “match” that ignited the gasoline on the plane to make the very large explosion.

Fact: The Boeing 767 that crashed into the WTC’s north tower also had a flash go off at the nose tip right before impact.

Fact: Upon being asked about his first reaction to the WTC attacks President Bush stated that he watched the first plane hit the WTC on television. This initial attack was not covered by live news media at all. It was a surprise attack, after all.

At various other points he discredits the reports of others who purport various things about the attacks (such as the American Society of Civil Engineers proclaiming in a January 2003 report that the 757 that hit the Pentagon took out 50 support columns; numerous photographs and videos clearly show that this was not the case). The host ends by concluding that some sort of coverup of facts is occurring involving the government, the media, and the truth about what happened on September 11th. He also states that our own legislators, those who are supposed to be protecting our rights and interests, sign them away by voting in favor of these unjustified wars and civil restraints through things like the Patriot Act. He calls all of this not a war on terror, but a war on freedom and asks us as U.S. citizens where we “draw our line in the sand” so to speak.

Some of these facts are addressed in the Popular Mechanics piece that Andrew provides a link to in one of his comments above. Note that I recognize that it is easy for me to feel the way I do and for the information presented above to seem more believable for me since I do not like the U.S. government nor do I feel that they have the interests of the average citizen in mind. Also note that many of you do feel that they have our interests in mind and therefore are more prone to strongly oppose my views on this.

 
At 11:08 PM, Anonymous sarika bansal said...

Thank you for replying this time, Jersey. I'm still insulted that you didn't answer my questions in my previous post and instead decided to "redirect the debate," but whatever.

Honestly, at this point I think it's futile for me to try and actually have a discussion with you about this. Every fact or alternative I (and others) have presented is superceded with a statement of how the US is unequal and how the government is evil. Or with something about a structural engineer whose presence can be easily explained. You've proposed few viable arguments so far, and I don't see any on the horizon.

Whether or not I believe the US government has my interests in mind has little to do with this establishing a credible conspiracy theory. I have little interest in northern hairy-nosed wombats, but that doesn't mean I'm going to kill 3000 of them. I recognize that the analogy isn't perfect, but I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.

In closing, thank you for bringing this issue up, since it forced me to remember the madness and mayhem that marked that day. I'm from New York, so many people close to me were directly affected by the tragic attack. And I'll say this -- it really forced people to think, even if just for a short while, about what's really important in life. The troubles of our current world nonwithstanding, I'm thankful for that.

 
At 12:57 AM, Blogger Jersey Slugger said...

You present few if any facts, Sarika, besides "people were running everywhere" and your mention of certain businesses being adversely impacted by 9/11. What's more important than that, this whole post and debate reflects opinions based on certain facts. At the end of the day, we have all been dogmatic (like good Harvard students are) and we each choose what we believe.

Yes, everything you present will come under scrutiny since I have very little faith in the U.S. government and their interest in improving (or even protecting) the lives of the average U.S. citizen, let alone the oppressed. I don't have to go into a history of WHY one should be skeptical of the U.S. government's lies and coverups (not to mention their neglect of pressing issues). Just pick up your local paper.

It's revealing that you say "whether or not I believe the US government has my interests in mind..." since that's such an important part of what I'm saying. They don't. How can you not care? How can you not see the connection between that and 9/11? If they cared about your interests they'd care that they killed your friend's father. That's not the case. I have argued and am still convinced that they were much more concerned with appeasing their business partners, achieving regime change in particular nations in the Middle East, getting Iraqi oil, opening new markets to a long-deprived Iraqi public to Pepsi or Nike, and exerting more political influence in that region. The want of these things supersedes their want to appease the average citizen. Thus making the sacrifice of these people, just as the sacrifice of our soldiers, worth the political and economic outcomes. Do you understand what I'm saying?

To answer the questions from your 10:27 post, Sarika (is that the one you're talking about?):

Why would the filmmakers make such a serious issue so cool-looking?
The movie is pretty normal visually and doesn't have tons of "cool" effects. The background music is a little strange at times but it a very trivial part of the movie. They only even raise the volume on it to a very audible and overt level (as if to add extra drama or emphasize a particular point) two or three times throughout the movie.

Why would they choose to distribute it through some random website?
It is expedient, it is cheap, and it gives them autonomy over its content. Do you think a major motion picture studio would pick this up or that many theaters would show it in the U.S.? It's only 52 and a half minutes. Should they have had a Hollywood premier and red carpet for this?

And considering the internet is such public domain, why has NO major media source picked it up?
They are complacent in this entire scenario. Also, if they aren't compliant, this is the type of highly controversial topic that could damage their business and brand in significant ways. Major corporations are often scared of risk until another corporation takes it on, has success with it, and then they all run with the magical business plan (i.e. having Black actors star in major, Non-race specific roles or Black/White love interests...still VERY taboo). Major media doesn't pick up a lot of things. A microcosm of this, on campus, is one of the main reasons for this very blog (remember End The Monopoly?).

Why hasn't anyone written a book on it?
I have no idea. Perhaps the movie suffices. It's much easier to create the movie and put it on the Internet/offer it for download than go through a publisher and marketing tour and all that for a book release. Also, the movie uses video and pictures as the main basis for its argument: not thesis-like arguments necessarily. You can't put video in a book and pictures (unless glossy and "MTV-like" with "cool effects") wouldn't get across the detail needed to analyze and scrutinize the pictures.

 
At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel like you guys are talking past each other. Sarika, if I understand you correctly, you're saying that we shouldn't conflate apathy and malice. Jersey, what I'm hearing from you is that the government's apathy combined with its narrow focus on achieving cetain ends (loyalty to business partners and interests, etc.) produces a situation in which it's conceivable that government leaders could be willing to sacrifice the lives of 3000 U.S. citizens (and non-citizens) in order to achieve their aims, and that to them, such a decision is not malicious but pragmatic.

This seems to be a larger issue than whether government leaders were actually responsible for the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. Also, given that there have been covert military operations that government leaders have tried to keep secret from the public (operations that have indisputably put the lives of people in the U.S. military at risk), maybe we could try discussing some of those examples and the structures and conditions that allowed them to happen, rather than focusing exclusively on an unverified example.

 
At 7:12 AM, Blogger Deep Throttle said...

There have been lots of books written on the subject... try Amazon, not Hollis, for starters.

 

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