Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world

3/21/2006

Conspiracy Nuts

Filed under: General,Politics,Society — Dangerous Dan @ 10:46 pm

While I'm not typically in the habit of reproducing comments I leave elsewhere, I'll do so this time. Given the time it took to write them and that my blogging hasn't otherwise been productive lately, it'd be a shame to waste them.

These were in response to this post over at Moonbattery about Charlie Sheen jumping on the conspiracy bandwagon and positing that a plane never hit the Pentagon. A few people took the opportunity to support Mr. Sheen and the conspiracy theories. I posted the following three comments taking them to task. The most interesting is, I think, the second in which I argue that conspiracy theories tend to be self-perpetuating and that for the dedicated conspiracy theorist, the theories cannot be disproved since all evidence necessarily proves the theories.

1)
The most telling quote from Sheen: "It feels like from the people I talk to in and around my circles, it seems like the worm is turning."

Ah, surely.

It's amazing these claims are still out there despite being debunked again and again.

I refer you to this very nice compilation of moonbat myths concerning 9/11 and their thorough smack down by Popular Mechanics.

2)
Interesting.

The problem with hardcore conspiracy theorists is that their theories become self-perpetuating. They start with motivated speculation and then add assumptions, coincidences, bad data, and poor reasoning. Anything that contradicts their hypotheses is merely added to proof of the conspiracy.

Thus, when I linked to the Popular Mechanics article debunking the multiple myths the theorists have generated, Moonbat Supreme, instead of confronting the content, merely rhetorically asked why PM would be motivated to discredit the conspiracy theories. That is, because what PM said ran counter to his conspiracy theories, that by default meant that PM itself was part of the conspiracy. That, bizarrely enough, is taken as further proof of the conspiracy.

The problem is that absolutely nothing can dissuade the determined conspiracy theorist. Anything that supports the theory proves the theory, and anything that discredits it (no matter how damning) also proves the theory. So in the mind of the conspiracy-minded person, the theory is impossible to disprove. All evidence only serves to prove the theory, despite whether it augments or detracts from it.

So to you conspiracy folks, please explain to me how I am the one being close-minded to possibilities when your minds funnel any and all evidence towards support of your pre-determined position? You accuse us of denying evidence. This is because we argue against it. You, however, merely and conveniently assert that all evidence supports you. This improperly absolves you of the responsibility to confront the content itself. Instead, the conspiracy just grows ever-larger. The problem with this, though, is that the larger the proposed conspiracy, the less likely it's true. How large have these conspiracies grown?

3)
Prince, indeed. So let's do something interesting and turn the pithy questions back on them. M. Supreme, though I have my doubts, I will assume you have an adequate amount of common sense. Let's think about the following.

Planting demolitions explosives is an intensive and time consuming endeavor requiring a great deal of skill. You don't just stick them in a building, you must strategically place them on key supports, cutting some supports, etc. If these were planted in the towers, how is that nobody noticed?

If 9/11 was a big conspiracy and the government flew two jets into the towers (that planes hit the towers isn't under debate), why would the government neglect to hit the Pentagon with a plane? I would think that if they had gone to the trouble to do so with the towers and that they lacked the moral scruples to do so, there would be no reason NOT to hit the Pentagon with a plane. Not to do so and then claim it had happened anyway would have been extraordinarily foolish and dangerous to the conspiracy. Are the plotters malevolent geniuses or sloppy amateurs?

The reason the likelihood of a proposed conspiracy being true is inversely proportional to its size is because larger conspiracies involve greater numbers of people. The more people who are involved, the more likely it is that someone will talk and expose the conspiracy. As it is, your conspiracy involves, at least, thousands – possibly tens of thousands. Among the people that would have to be in on it to some degree: administration officials, CIA, FBI, various local officials, police forces, foreign intelligence agencies and their governments, demolitions experts, the people on the airplanes, congressmen (both Democrat and Republican), various military entities, all media outlets, eyewitnesses, and the list continues growing. Why has nobody talked? In over four and a half years? These are not all government stooges, but many common people. Surely someone would have a crisis of conscience.

Democrats would have to know about the conspiracy. Why not reveal it and crush the president and Republicans?

Reporters would have to be in on it. Why not reveal it and crush the president and Republicans?

Foreign governments not friendly to the U.S. or at least those that don't like Bush would have to know about it. Why not reveal it to get rid of Bush?

Domestic intelligence agencies haven't been able to keep a lid on many, many classified operations due to "whistleblowers." Why have none blown the whistle on this, which is much larger and more important than any of the other operations?

Surely the civilians on the planes didn't volunteer to die and their phone calls to friends and family described the hijackers. If the 19 hijackers were government agents, why would they volunteer to die? Why wouldn't they also use weapons that would better guarantee them of success? Surely the conspiracy could have arranged some reason for guns to be planted somewhere on the plane.

Why have the experts in building demolitions not come forward? Especially since controlled building demolition isn’t particularly a government or military expertise, it’s a civilian one.

If it was a grand conspiracy, presumably the goal would be to inculcate fear without causing peripheral damage. That is, preserve the economy. Why pick a technique that destroyed a major financial center, grounded civil aviation, and severely hurt the economy which in turn hurt Bush? Why not do something that could still cause fear without the severe economic damage?

Why pick something so complicated as what happened on 9/11? For terrorists, they can identify weaknesses and exploit them. Exposure of their plot after it’s in action is unimportant. Conspirators, though, need to continue concealing their plot after the fact. So why do something as complex as hijacking four planes, flying one into a field, flying two others into the towers at roughly the same point where they had previously planted large amounts of explosives (while somehow keeping the explosives intact and keeping them from detonating until the appropriate time), apparently making the fourth plane disappear but detonating explosives in the Pentagon anyway and saying a plane hit it, etc. This would be an unnecessarily complex operation with too many people involved and too great a chance of being uncovered. It would be foolish. Real conspirators would have kept the operation small and with few or no loose ends.

Considering that the accepted opinion is that 9/11 was the result of terrorists and not a conspiracy, considering that you want to convince everybody that it resulted from a conspiracy, and considering that you are acting as a plaintiff indicting numerous people of malfeasance, the burden of proof is, at the very least, pragmatically yours. Thus far, you have presented speculations based on assumptions that are in turn supported by outright improbabilities which are suspended in the ether. What say you to my questions? And remember that it is not enough that you point out oddities or coincidences, you must be able to present a cohesive case for a conspiracy that cannot only explain the oddities and disprove accepted events, but also bear a reasonable chance of success and also remain concealed to this day. Can you do it? Can you make a thing that defies common sense and is of absurd complexity and improbable likelihood more plausible than what’s accepted?

23 Comments

  1. Did you know that your PM “debunk” has itself be completely debunked?
    http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/gopm/index.html

    Also the comments on the actual article make interesting reading.
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/blog/science/1694272.html

    The following excerpt has been taken from David Ray Griffin’s why the official account cannot be true:
    The FAA reported in a news release on Aug. 9, 2002, that it had scrambled fighters 67 times between September 2000 and June 2001, and the Calgary Herald (Oct. 13, 2001) reported that NORAD scrambled fighters 129 times in 2000. By extrapolation, we can infer that NORAD had scrambled fighters over 1000 times in the decade prior to 9/11. The claim by Popular Mechanics could be true only if in all of these cases, except for the Payne Stewart incident, the fighters were called back to base before they actually intercepted the aircraft in question. This is a most unlikely possibility, especially in light of the fact that Major Mike Snyder, a NORAD spokesperson, reportedly told the Boston Globe a few days after 9/11 that “[NORAD’S] fighters routinely intercept aircraft” (Johnson, 2001)

    As to why Popular Mechanics would have published such a bad article, one clue is perhaps provided by the fact that the article’s “senior researcher” was 25-year old Benjamin Chertoff, cousin of Michael Chertoff, the new head of the Department of Homeland Security (see Bollyn, 2005a). Another relevant fact is that this article was published shortly after a coup at this Hearst-owned magazine, in which the editor-in-chief was replaced (see Bollyn, 2005b). Young Chertoff’s debunking article has itself been effectively debunked by many genuine 9/11 researchers, such as Jim Hoffman, “Popular Mechanics’ Assault on 9/11 Truth, ” Global Outlook 10 (Spring-Summer 2005), 21-42 (which was based on Hoffman, “Popular Mechanics’ Deceptive Smear Against 9/11 Truth, ” 911Review.com, February 15, 2005 [http://911review.com/pm/markup/index.html]), and Peter Meyer, “Reply to Popular Mechanics re 9/11, ” http://www.serendipity.li/wot/pop_mech/reply_to_popular_mechanics.htm. To be sure, these articles by Hoffman and Meyer, while agreeing on many points, take different approaches in response to some of the issues raised. But both articles demonstrate that Popular Mechanics owes its readers an apology for publishing such a massively flawed article on such an important subject.

    The bottom line with this article is that it is biased. The chief editor on this article was Benjamin Chertoff cousin of Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security at the time.

    Comment by ebod — 3/22/2006 @ 4:46 am

  2. ebod, I have neither the time nor the desire to go through and address all the claims made in the articles. After a brief perusal, though, I’m not impressed.

    I will say this. There’s a saying in medicine that, “When you are on the prairie and you hear hoofs, don’t look for zebras, look for horses.” The maning of this is that if a patient presents with the symptoms of a common disease, it’s most likely that and not something exotic. You can take this as a variation of Occam’s Razor.

    In the case of conspiracy theorists, they’re looking for zebras. They look at events and automatically reach for the most complex explanations instead of what would be the most reasonable and simplest explantions. For example, lots of people screwed up and mistakes were made. Human failure, especially at the governmental level, is far more probable than positing a vast government/military/intelligence conspiracy in which nobody’s talked. Since apparently the Bush administation is at the head of this, it also seems an awfully impressive and vast conspiracy to piece together in just 9 months of the first term when a new president is still trying to assert authority in Washington.

    Have you even briefly considered how the things you described can be explained within the context of the “accepted” account instead of reaching for explanations that are pretty far out there?

    What I find most surprising is that the theorists think so highly of the government’s ability that it could actually pull off and maintain a conspriacy of this scale. The theorists themselves seem to be at cross-purposes on this. On the one hand, the conspirators are evil geniuses pulling the wool over the eyes of America or they’re sloppy amateurs who make mistakes like saying identifying a hijacker as a man who was still alive.

    So which is it?

    Comment by Dangerous Dan — 3/22/2006 @ 7:31 pm

  3. “What I find most surprising is that the theorists think so highly of the government’s ability that it could actually pull off and maintain a conspriacy of this scale. The theorists themselves seem to be at cross-purposes on this. On the one hand, the conspirators are evil geniuses pulling the wool over the eyes of America or they’re sloppy amateurs who make mistakes like saying identifying a hijacker as a man who was still alive.”

    I spent a lot of time surfing conspiracy websites for a sociology class I took in college that covered conspiracy theories and your commentary is very accurate. The skill of the supposed conspirators is always amazing. They are able to involve thousands of people, control for all variables, and avoid any unintended consequences. I have been reading the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and its sections on the actual conspirators who tried to kill Hitler on multiple occasions. These were realy smart, organized, influential, and talented people and they never succeeded after trying many, many times. Something always went wrong. Yet a president in office less than nine months was able to pull off the greatest crime/conspiracy ever known.

    The conspiracy theorists can not believe that sometimes “shit happens” and that no one is in charge of the world and that no one can stop the bad things from happening. They desperately want someone to be in charge in the world. That way they can avoid dealing with the alternative: the uncertainty that the world throws at them and their helplessness in the face of this. When bad things happen it has to be because there are massive conspiracies, not a lone gunman or a handful of hijakers or worst of dumb luck. Because if “someone” is in charge, then they can be stopped and the bad things will stop happening. The conspiracy gives them a sense of power and secret knowledge in the face of an otherwise cruel, helpless, and overwhelming existence.

    Comment by Pete The Elder — 3/23/2006 @ 12:11 am

  4. Applying the razor is flawed if you don’t know all the facts, so I would be cautious about applying it to “the big picture”. I would say that it works well small scale, so for example, have you applied the razor to explain why building 7 collapsed?

    With the lack of conclusive evidence, I don’t think you can blame the conspiracy nuts for letting their imaginations get the better of them. So to shut them up I can’t see the harm in allowing an independent re-investigation or better yet, release the evidence that the scholars for truth are asking for (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/929981172?ltl=1141667399).

    Petetheelder, you’re talking about over half of new yorkers with paranoid delusions, is that realistic?

    By the way dangerous dan, you didn’t need to address all the points raised in the PM debunk, because I cited a great example for you, which clearly demonstrates that the supposed smack down PM article is actually full of shite.

    Comment by ebod — 3/23/2006 @ 3:11 pm

  5. The nature of the razor is that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. The horses/zebras is that you don’t look for really complicated explanations, whatever the facts, if there is something simpler. You’re trying to posit something exotic, complex, and large-scale for each event. The razor works even better for the big picture since the larger the conspiracy is, the more untenable it is. The demand on reasonableness and common sense becomes much more extreme than just for isolated cases.

    As to your one point, if you’re concerned about facts, you should be concerned that you lack them. How many intercepts were successful? How many were serious security concerns? Under what conditions were they executed? Why were they done? What types of aircraft were they intercepting? Were the fighters armed to shoot down? Would they have done so? Was Major Doyle speaking of successful interceptions or attempts? Was he trying to cover his ass?

    Looking over the articles you mentioned, I can’t find anything more informative than that there were 67 scrambles in a given time period. And the, per my complaint, you automatically reach a fantastic conclusion about government conspiracy. Here’s a possibility using the same facts you have: the majority of interceptions were probably of small civil aviation aircraft that had inadvertantly gone off-course and wound up in no-fly zones. This is due to pilot error. The fighter pilots (and support staff) assigned to intercept these aircraft were aware of this and saw as being of investigatory and possibly disciplinary importance, not as something they were required to take coercive measures against to prevent something catastrophic. I suspect they were seen more as a nuisance than of great importance to security. Moreover, these were isolated cases.

    Now go to 9/11. Planes have been hijacked. Civil aviation is in absolute chaos. Air traffic controllers think they know what planes are problems, but aren’t necessarily assured. They don’t know if other airplanes in the sky have been hijacked and they don’t know it or if other ones will be. It’s a situation nobody had faced before, nobody was quite prepared for, and nobody knew quite what to do. It’s fine to say there were guidelines for such events, but theory and reality don’t often mix, especially when it’s on a bigger scale than expected (say, four planes instead of 1). In short, there were systematic failures on the part of the people in charge.

    Now what is more likely? That a lot of people screwed up due to the scope of an unprecedented and unexpected crisis? Or that some vast conspiracy, prepared for all variables, smoothly-operating and itself impervious to mistakes, with its tentacles in NORAD, air traffic control, air bases, command structures, and pilots, deviously ensured that their flying bombs wouldn’t be intercepted?

    Comment by Dangerous Dan — 3/23/2006 @ 8:42 pm

  6. It’s clear from your comments that you don’t have them all and therefore are applying the razor out of context.

    Now what is more likely? That a lot of people screwed up due to the scope of an unprecedented and unexpected crisis?

    The event was expected and precedented. To assume otherwise is being naive.
    Just have a look here http://killtown.911review.org/911smokingguns.html

    Anyhow, you can argue with me until you are blue in the face about what you think you know. What is undeniable and unavoidable is the screaming questions which go unanswered and the amount of destroyed or evidence which continues to be withheld and unexplained.

    The courage of Charlie Sheen and others is a good thing because it will lead to the public getting closure on 9/11 and from your point of view it will shut the irritating/annoying lefties up.
    Following CNN’s coverage of the Charlie Sheen story and Alex Jones’ interview http://www.youtube.com/v/FU-qfQEGDEg over 81% of CNN voters agree with me, Charlie and Alex. http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/showbiz.tonight/

    Comment by ebod — 3/24/2006 @ 4:46 am

  7. “I don’t think you can blame the conspiracy nuts for letting their imaginations get the better of them.”

    Yes we can. The conspiracy nuts are exactly that: nuts. They will not allow their views to be challenged and imagination takes over when reason stops working. They must have a secret knowledge to protect them from the harsh reality that the world is a violent, mindless, and chaotic place.

    “Petetheelder, you’re talking about over half of new yorkers with paranoid delusions, is that realistic?”

    I do not know about half of New Yorkers, but I am pretty sure you are suffering from paranoid delusions as are the people who run the web sites you keep referring to. I suggest you seek professional psychological help, as your delusions may be a sign of a deeper psychological issue.

    Dan, ebad will not be convinced no matter how many appeals to reason and common sense you make. His mind is detached from reality and he has created a reality of his own that comforts him from the harsh realities of the real world. He needs a vast conspiracy for the world to make sense to him. It is too horrible for his mind to comprehend that a small group of hijackers pulled off 9/11. If it was not 9/11 and Bush, then he would be blaming the freemasons or the elders of Zion or the trilateral commission or silent UN helicopters. The sad fact of the world is that a small group of determined individuals can cause great suffering and even change the course of history if the right opportunity presents itself. That is a terrifying prospect as it means none of us can ever be secure that our lives will remain safe and the conspiracy theory attempts to place order on a chaotic world as an attempt to gain control over the chaos and uncertainty. Reason has no place in the conspiracy theorist’s mind because reason is a harsh truth to a person who desires comfort and security. Imagination, however, can provide all the comfort they need and imagination can never be reasoned away.

    Comment by Pete The Elder — 3/24/2006 @ 2:53 pm

  8. Haha,

    It doesn’t surprise me when somebody resorts to a character assassination instead of taking on board the relevance and merit of points raised in a discussion.

    Reason and common sense are qualities that I strive for. May I suggest that instead of looking for reasons to dismiss the idea and convince yourself these people are nuts, try to rise above your conditioning and think outside the box and get beyond the paradigm that you’re in.
    Look at the message, rather than seeking to undermine the messenger, and then make up your mind.

    Comment by ebod — 3/24/2006 @ 3:24 pm

  9. Pete, quite right. What I also find interesting here is how the conspirators have a bizarre demand of perfectionism. They assume that things will occur exactly how they’re theoretically or ideally supposed to occur (in their heads, anyway). Buildings should fall exactly like this when that happens. The response should have been exactly like this. Guidelines or a particular plan should have been precisely and successfully followed. Everybody should have operated perfectly. Then, when events don’t occur exactly like the conspiracy theorists think they should, they start searching for bizarre explanations that will perfectly explain them. That people screwed up or paniced or were confused is all too messy. So too is that actual events simply didn’t match their preconceived notions. Instead, there’s a vast conspiracy that, surprise, did work perfectly. So, yeah, you’re right. They need something to explain away chaos and variables.

    Comment by Dangerous Dan — 3/24/2006 @ 4:14 pm

  10. I suggest both dan and ebad read the sections towards the end of the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich which shows what happens when there is a real conspiracy, in this case the attempt to assasinate Hitler. There were so many variables invovled that really smart people who had years to plan did not think of ahead of time, even though they were risking their own lives in the attempt. In the end Hitler lived because some guy moved a briefcase with a bomb in it onto the other side of a thick table leg so he could get a better view a few seconds before the bomb went off. The coup failed because they conspirators hesitated at the last moment, messages were garbled, they did not cut phone lines fast enough, they did not arrest various Nazi leaders fast enough or did not send the right people to do the job, etc. Earlier assasination attempts failed because Hitler changed his schedule at the last minute or becuase detonators on a bomb did not go off properly. So many variables that can not be controlled for. Ultimately the assasination attempts failed because the conspirators like Col. Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg were not willing to give up their lives in the attempt, unlike the hijakers on 9/11 who were willing to die if they could take their enemies with them.

    Meanwhile some people think on 9/11 it is more likely that a vast secret conspiracy involving hundreds of people willing to murder thousands of their fellow citizens (including probably some of their own friends and family members!) went off without a hitch even though the supposed plotters only had a couple of months to implement such a vast plan, than it is that a couple of guys with years to prepare hijacked some planes and crashed them into buildings. Even with what really happened, the hijakers ran into uncontrolled variables that foiled part of their plan, namely the passangers that fought back and caused a plane to crash early in Pennsylvania.

    And the motivations for the conspiracy do not match either. It is obvious why Bin Laden wanted to destroy the WTC and it is obvious that there are thousands of young Muslim men willing to martyr themselves in the name of their religion. It is not obvious why Bush would want to blow up a large chunk of his country’s financial district and risk putting his country into a depression. Or why would the conspitators risk doing anything as bad as what happened on 9/11 that if discovered would result in them all being executed and going down in history as their countries greatest monsters.

    Ebad, I have read the conspiracy theories and the PM account. The PM is much more rational and believeable and is line with the evidence. The conspiracy theories are rediculous and unbelieveable. Quite frankly they are deranged. My judgment of you is based on your detachment from reality, not on your character. The suggestion that you seek psychological help was serious. I have known people with psychological delusions of conspiracies and the end result of such delusions is usually not pretty. Unfortunately the world chaotic and uncontrollable and unpredictable stuff happens. Your deranged theories will not change that.

    Comment by Pete The Elder — 3/25/2006 @ 9:25 am

  11. Your argument is weak, Pete. Just because a claim is not rational or believable and ridiculous to you, doesn’t mean that it’s not possible! You are simply caught in a mind-set of denial. If you’ve studied Hitler you will remember what he said : The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one.

    I prescribe a reading of the following article to enable thinking outside of the box.
    http://thedoctorwithin.com/index_fr.php?page=articles/doors_of_perception.php

    I don’t think you have read the conspiracy theories else you wouldn’t be asking what Bush had to gain from this.
    In fact, you don’t even need to go to a conspiracy theory website to find this shit out.
    Watch this doc and you will about operation Northwoods and some other very eye-opening neo-con plans.
    http://thunderbay.indymedia.org/uploads/hijacking_catastrophe.rm

    Do you seriously have a problem with a truly “independent” investigation into 9/11 and are you against the release of the evidence that the scholars for truth are calling for? (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/929981172?ltl=1141667399)

    Half of New Yorkers believe the government was complicit in 9/11 (http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/august2004/310804zogbypoll.htm)

    Over 32700 votes (84%) of CNN voters believe the government covered up 9/11
    http://edition.cnn.com/POLLSERVER/results/23968.content.html

    CNN first night http://www.youtube.com/v/FU-qfQEGDEg
    CNN second night http://www.youtube.com/v/AhtlzpqaNUY
    Other guests discuss CS http://youtube.com/watch?v=mjAHv3mxvJY

    How many credible government insiders are putting their political careers on the line to say that your government was behind 9/11?

    -Paul Craig Roberts, Reagan Secretary of Treasury
    -Air Force Colonel Donn De Grand Pre
    -FBI agent Robert Wright*
    -FBI translator Sibel Edmonds*
    -federal prosecutor David Schippers*, the man who prosecuted the mob in Chicago and Bill Klinton
    -Stanley Hilton*, Bob Dole’s former chief of staff
    -German Secretary of Defense Andreas Von Buelow
    -Deputy Attorney General of PA, Phillip Berg*
    -Michael Meacher, British Environment Minister
    -CIA analyst David MacMichael*
    -Michael Springman, former head of the visa bureau in Jeddah
    -Randy Glass, FBI/ATF informant
    -Homeland Security Officer Mary Schneider*
    -Timothy McNiven*, US Defense Department Operative
    -Delmart Vreeland, CIA agent
    -Morgan Reynolds, Chief Economist for the Department of Labor
    -Sergeant Matthew Tartaglia, 9/11 Rescue Worker
    -*Mary Schiavo, Secretary General for George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton
    -*Mark Dayton, Minnesota Senator
    -Van Romero, Vice President of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
    -Jude Wanniski, Reagan Advisor
    -*William Rodriguez, World Trade Center Building Maintainence
    -David Shayler, MI5 Agent(British Inteligence)
    -Albert Turi, Cheif of Saftey, NYFD
    -Dr. William Richard Deagle, M.D.
    -George Galloway, British Member of Parliament
    -Kevin Ryan, an Executive at Underwriters Laboratories, the company that certified the steel used in the construction of the world trade center
    -Jesse Ventura, Minnesota Governor

    Do you think we should all go visit the shrink?

    Comment by ebod — 3/25/2006 @ 2:48 pm

  12. “Do you think we should all go visit the shrink?”

    Yes. Especially the New Yorkers as they have experienced a very traumatic event personally and these theories are probably a coping mechanism for dealing with the stress of the trauma.

    I think the fact that you think George Galloway (who may be the most evil and corrupt politician in England and who took bribes from Hussein), Charlie Sheen (known for writing checks to prostitutes and being a drug addict) and Jesse Ventura (do not even know where to start on him) and a whole bunch of other people I have no idea who they are count as credible voices shows the inherent flaw in your argument. I watched the Fox special a few years back that had a bunch of supposed insiders (possible some of the same ones from your list) claiming the government faked the moon landings too. Wasn’t convinced by them either.

    It does not matter how many people believe in a far fetched conspiracy. Facts are true regardless of who or how many people believe in them. Polls do not change the facts of history no matter how many warped minds want them to. If all those same people came out and told me the world is flat and the government faked the moon landing I would not believe them either.

    Speaking of Hitler, I think this conversation has helped me to better undestand what motivated his bizarre conspiracy theories. He was traumatized by WWI and Germany’s defeat. It damaged his world view of German racial superiority. So he came up with his own wild theories that Germany was “stabbed in the back” by its own leaders. Even though this conspiracy theory had many people who believed in it, it was not accurate to history and the German gnerals had surrendered only when they knew they would loose and had no other rational choice. It is interesting from a sociological perspective how the trauma of 9/11 (much like the trauma of the earlier JFK assasination and Pearl Harbor before that and Germany’s loss before that) has caused people to to come up with conspiracy theories as a coping mechanism for the trauma.

    As much as I try, I think I am falling into what I warned Dan earlier by staring to believe I could change your mind through reason.

    You need this conspiracy to be true.

    Comment by Pete The Elder — 3/28/2006 @ 7:58 am

  13. I came at 9/11 with an open mind and simply with an interest to hear both sides of the story.
    During my investigations I came to realise that the conclusions made in the 911 comission report are false. I never needed or ever actually wanted this to be true, the evidence and facts speak for themselves. It seems to me you are the one with the pre-conceived ideas and you are pretty clear what is the right and wrong way to think.

    Like your point about conventional wisdom, which you’ve presented completely the wrong way round.
    It was conventional thinking that believed the world was flat and the sun revolved around the earth. It wasn’t until people like Galileo came along to argue this and he gets labelled a heretic.
    In the same way that people accepted these factually incorrect ideas, you accept an officially accepted story.

    Yet again you embarrass yourself by bringing nothing to the table but insults.
    What’s your beef with people that dare to be different?

    Please, exercise some courage and depth of character by actually investigating and researching building 7, look at the video evidence, watch the interview with Larry Silverstone where he openly admits to pulling the building. While you’re at it formerly ask the Pentagon to release video PROOF of flight 77 making impact.

    Comment by ebod — 3/28/2006 @ 10:10 am

  14. Ebod, conventional thinking now says that the earth is round. Does that mean that because flat earthers think it’s flat, thereby bucking conventional thinking, that that gives them a special claim to the truth which conventional thinkers no longer have? Persecution for what one thinks or possessing a different way of thinking is not itself an indicator of truth.

    Pete, there’s no point in continuing. Like I said earlier, for the committed conspiracy theorist, all evidence (even the absence of evidence) merely points to the conspiracy. I instead tried to point out the absurdities of his methodology, but to no avail. Might as well leave it alone.

    Comment by Dangerous Dan — 3/28/2006 @ 10:59 am

  15. Are you two chumps gonna just rub each other up, or are you going to challenge me on some facts?

    No response to why building 7 came down?

    Why did the twin towers collapse even though they were over designed to withstand multiple jetliner strikes.

    Occams Razor backs Steve Jones demolition theory over other convaluted steel melting and defying the laws of phyics theories.

    Want to talk about the Pentagon? etc…

    Comment by ebod — 3/28/2006 @ 4:58 pm

  16. Ebod, I would like to thank you for exemplifying everything Pete and I have been complaining about. The problem isn’t data, it’s your methodology. Data goes in and garbage comes out because your processing is itself garbage.

    One of the things we complained about is that conspriacy nuts demand perfection and simply can’t allow for the unexpected. Thus, the towers fall in a way that is inconsistent with some theories or what some guy says and so instead of questioning whether the theories were correct, you start positing some wild-eyed conspiracy theory that would make the theories of what SHOULD have happened but DIDN’T correct. That would be like saying that because the tsunami that hit southeast Asia was different from what many computer models said, it can’t be that the computer models are wrong, but that there must have been a big conspiracy. This is absurd. It means the models were flawed, not reality.

    The WTC was designed to withstand the strike of a 707. The planes that hit were larger 767s with full fuel loads. Moreover, even if the towers were meant to withstand fully-fueled 767s, that DOES NOT mean that they WOULD have. Designs are flawed, not perfect. Cars are meant to keep passengers alive in the event of wrecks. That doesn’t mean that when people die during wrecks that a government bomb killed the person since the wreck couldn’t have done it, it means the design didn’t work. You’re demanding perfection and unwilling to admit to the unpredictable or to mistakes or to imperfect designs. You want a nice tidy world in which everything happens the way its supposed to and any deviation from that points to menacing outside forces causing the deviance.

    All evidence to you merely points back to the conspiracy. Any absence of evidence also points back to the conspiracy. Real life not matching theory is evidence of a conspiracy because reality must always match theory. It doesn’t seem to concern you that the vast conspiracy notion is itself incoherent and wildly implausible. It doesn’t concern you that your methodology is garbage. Everything you say has only backed up that you’re a fool conspiracy theorist.

    And apparently from the Netherlands.

    Comment by Dangerous Dan — 3/28/2006 @ 10:38 pm

  17. What you’re saying works both ways. Equally, no amount of evidence will deter you from believing the official story and any absence of evidence merely cements your belief further. I have no demand for perfection, I just look at chips as they have fallen. There is nobody that has planted any idea in my head, unlike you who have sucked up the official conspiracy by a government who you openly support. Who is being biased here?
    For all your bleeting about crazy people, it is you who are the robotic sheep incapable of independent thought.

    It’s becoming obvious that I’m going to have to dumb down my approach here, let’s start simple –
    Explain to me why building seven collapsed.

    Comment by ebod — 3/29/2006 @ 3:51 am

  18. Here’s why building seven collapsed. Upon entering office, George Bush wanted to precipitate a war with the middle-east generally and Iraq specifically. In order to do this, though, he needed a good excuse. So he and his cabal, in just nine months of Bush’s first term, constructed a grand plan in order to accomplish this. They got together with people in the CIA, FBI, military, local police forces, demo experts, media folks, airline executives, and many others and decided that the best way to do this was to induce massive fear. So they hijacked four fully fueled jetliners using some kind of electronic takeover pod on the plane or perhaps some intelligence agents who were willing to sacrifice themselves (although it was blamed on 19 middle-eastern terrorists). One plane each was flown into the towers of the World Trade Center. Despite the fact that the conspirators had shown little regard for American lives and could have flown more planes into the towers, they decided not to do so. Instead, to make the buildings fall, they had secretly planted lots of explosives in the towers and did some complex prep work for a controlled demolition. This prep work was exceedingly dangerous in itself and could have been exposed at any time, but the plotters were able to conceal it and to keep premature explosions or collapse from happening. And sure, jet fuel and intense fires can be enough to weaken load-bearing steel holding up thousands of tons, but why take the chance? So they detonated the explosives and made the buildings fall just like they wanted.

    As for the other planes, one was flown into the Pentagon. But who knows since the conniving plotters have secretly kept all video evidence to themselves. It may have been a bomb placed in the Pentagon, eyewitnesses are lying, and that a plane and all its passengers just evaporated. The connivance of the conspirators is such that they don’t even bother hitting the Pentagon with a plane they already hijacked.

    The fourth plane went down in a field. While the conspirators could have had it crash into something important, an episode of Cheers came on and they got distracted.

    Oh, I should also mention that the military made sure that its fighter jets weren’t able to intercept the jetliners since they would shoot them down on sight and derail everything. Fortunately, the military commanders, radar operaters, pilots, and support staff were all in on it.

    So back to building seven. The conspirators decided that after making the twin towers collapse, they needed even more damage. So they brought down building seven in a controlled demolition also. The WTC site had already been heavily damaged and the other still-standing buildings would had to be demolished anyway, so the plotters could have arranged it so that building 7 would have toppled forward into the site or something that would have been realistic, i.e. consistent with theories. Instead, these people who had so cunningly controlled every other variable to perfection and thought of everything made the huge foolish mistake to make building seven fall in such a way that looked like a standard controlled demolition and not a real collapse! What a mistake, huh? This was fortunate for us, though, so we could catch on to their plot.

    Though they damaged the center of the country’s military complex and destroyed a huge chunk of the financial sector (potentially plunging the economy into chaos), the plotters could tell the future. They knew that their scheme would allow them to send forces into Afghanistan to take out dudes in tents in an otherwise unimportant country. Then, looking farther into the future, we could use the attacks as an excuse to go into Iraq and take out that nasty Hussein guy who made Bush’s father look bad.

    As for the conspirators, after pulling off one of the greatest crimes in history, killing around 3,000 citizens, and becoming mortal monsters, every single one of the thousands who knew has kept his/her mouth shut for the past four and half years. Not that it would matter since the press wouldn’t allow their stories to be told and who knows how many have already been killed by the main plotters.

    Fortunately, though, the conspirators who pulled all this off, controlled all the variables, knew the unpredictable, expected the unexpected, were amazing geniuses, and were generally omniscient, they made huge gaping obvious errors. The fools.

    Oh, and though they’d have the power and motivation to kill off or silence the people who are exposing their grand scheme, they just call the truth-tellers crazy instead and try to discredit them. If only people knew the facts and that things always work how they’re supposed to!

    Wow, you’re right, ebod! That approach is dumbed down! It’s incredibly dumb! In fact, I feel stupider for having thought about it. I now know what it’s like to be you! Well, maybe not since I didn’t quite stoop down to the level of stupidity that involved actually believing any of it.

    Careful, ebod, I see Dick Cheney over your shoulder! Ha, ha, just kidding. I think it was Rummy.

    Comment by Dangerous Dan — 3/29/2006 @ 3:45 pm

  19. Why are you evading, Dan? Aren’t you able to answer this straightforward question? From your blog it sounded to me like you knew what you were talking about.

    I don’t have a problem if you can admit that you don’t know why it collapsed. You’re only showing yourself up as being dumb if you actually defend your lack of knowledge behind a torrent of accusations.

    I’ll ask again. Why do you think building seven collapsed?

    Comment by ebod — 3/29/2006 @ 4:27 pm

  20. And the point of that is? The building suffered massive structural damage, including fire, from the the towers falling, which eventually caused it to weaken and fall. Now here’s the part where you throw a few websites at me saying that can’t possibly be true because such and such expert says it can’t and tilts at the windmills of reality. We’re all quite familiar with how you play your side of the game, ebod. Yawn.

    Now how ’bout you answer the question you’re evading. How is it that the vast conspiracy necessary for your theory of building seven falling can exist? You’ve got to place your explanation inside a much larger explation that is wildly implausible. That’s what my ‘torrent of accusations’ was meant to illustrate, but you managed to ignore it and you’ve been ignoring that general charge. You keep looking at pieces instead of telling me how the big picture you need for the pieces to be true isn’t utterly absurd.

    So tell me. How is this vast conspiracy supposed to be plausible, who does it involve, and what role did the conspiracy play in the events of 9/11? Put those pieces together and paint a picture that isn’t absolutely nutters. If you want to convince the world 9/11 was an inside job, you’ve got to make it plausible that it was.

    Now I’ve grown weary of this, ebod, and if you don’t take a shot at answering this question in your next comment, I’ll assume you can’t do so and that the vast conspiracy idea is absurd. Along with that will be that a conspiracy in any of the parts is absurd. I’ll then put in my last word and close comments on this post.

    Comment by Dangerous Dan — 3/29/2006 @ 5:59 pm

  21. Ebad here is a good explanation of why tower 7 fell. Be careful though because Benjamin Chertoff might use the same mind control rays on you that he uses on me to make me think that a large fire that burned for hours combined with tons of falling debris could possible cause a building to collapse. Much more likely is that Bush (along with the Trilateral Commission and Freemasons) snuck in beforehand and were able to secretly place enough bombs to blow up the building. Because just destroying the two main towers would not really make Americans mad enough to let him invade Afganistan, you had to get tower 7 too because that was the tower most Americans thought of when they thought World Trade Center.

    Note to self: silence Charlie Sheen before he reveals the Vatican and Rothschild’s plan to further alter the Colonel’s secret blend of herbs and spices. No longer will people only crave it fortnightly, but weekly! Also must stop him from making Major League IV and Hot Shots Part Trois. Muhahahah!

    Comment by pete — 3/29/2006 @ 6:25 pm

  22. You grow weary? Maybe you should put less energy into bad-mouthing and dicrediting people who want answers.

    There is absolutely no point explaining the big picture to you because your mind is currently incapable of handling anything outside it’s current conditioning. Focusing on something smaller is a better starting point for you.

    You’ve answered my question and haven’t even given me a chance to respond and have made your it clear that you’re not interested in what I have to say. I respect your wishes and therefore withdraw.

    If you ever manage to grow a brain I have presented enough information here already for you to investigate both sides of the PM article and beyond.

    Comment by ebod — 3/30/2006 @ 1:58 am

  23. Didn’t give you a chance to respond? You had the chance and didn’t take it.

    You’re right, ebod. My mind is incapable of handling anything outside of its current conditioning of rationality and reasonableness. If I could only weaken my powers of logic and sensibility enough, I could see things like you do. Alas, I shan’t allow myself to devolve like that.

    Comment by Dangerous Dan — 3/30/2006 @ 10:23 am

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