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Another look at 9/11
Posted: 02 September 2006 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Has anybody seen the "Loose Change" documentary?

http://www.loosechange911.com

I know, it’s a bit "conspiratorial," but I’d like to know what my fellow skeptics have to say about the evidence they present.  It’s about an hour and 20 minutes long, but worth the effort.  If ANY of what they say is true, and the evidence seems to say that much of it is, then there is a lot more to worry about than we thought…

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Posted: 02 September 2006 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’ll preface this by saying I haven’t seen the video, and have no interest in doing so.

I just don’t buy any of the conspiratorial garbage about 9/11. There’s too much power and money located here at ground zero for there to be any effective coverup. Part of the Wall Street Journal was located across the street. Many hedge funds and important mutal funds lost employees, friends and family. These guys have all the money in the world, buy printing ink by the gallon, and are entirely motivated to find and punish whoever is responsible for killing their loved ones. They are also angry as hell.

And that is not to mention the New Yorker, New York Times, the Post, the Daily News, and a number of other smaller periodicals of all political stripes that are published here. Any one of them would print—in an instant—any credible story of a coverup over 9/11. As it is they publish daily all sorts of stuff over Iraq, Afghanistan and even the 9/11 cleanup.

Also, I was in NYC during the event. A friend of mine was in one of the towers, but got out. My wife came very close to getting a job in one of the towers.

Usually I laugh at conspiracy theories. These ones make me angry.

Another thing to keep in mind: memory is notoriously fallible, and more fallible as time goes on. Thus, conspiracy theories tend to gather steam after a few years, when immediate memory has given way to long-term memory. And there are always nuts out to make a buck or 15 minutes of fame on them.

Another feature of human thinking is that the cause has to be commensurate to the effect. People find it hard to believe that one man, unaided, could kill Lincoln, because the man was such a nothing, and yet Lincoln such a great man. Yet such is life.

... I should add that one look at Bush in the clip of him reading to the schoolkids on 9/11 should make plain that he had no idea what was going on. Classic “deer in the headlights” when he’s told about the second plane. His behavior for the rest of the next couple of days is about as far from scripted and competent as a president could possibly be.

So, while I will not be spending an hour and a half on this piece of work, I am plenty familiar with the genre, and with 9/11 conspiracies in general. In the final analysis, if there’s anything to them, it will come out in reputable publications rather than in the exclusively sensationalist or self-published vanity press.

NB: Just noticed this page from the Skeptic’s Dictionary .

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Posted: 06 September 2006 01:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The other side of Loose Change

This should put a chill in your heart…

*keep in mind, I am NOT a Democrat or Republican.

—————————————————
Does a major national broadcast network want to stain itself by presenting an irresponsible, slanderous, fraudulent, “docu-drama” to the American public?

The ABC television network—a cog in the Walt Disney empire—unleashed a promotional blitz in the last week for a new “docudrama” called “The Path to 9/11”. ABC has thrown its corporate might behind the two-night production, and bills it as a public service: a TV event, to quote the ABC tagline, “based on the 9/11 Commission Report”.

That’s false. “The Path to 9/11” is actually a bald-faced attempt to slander Democrats and revise history right before Americans vote in a major election.

The miniseries, which was put together by right-wing conservative writers, relies on the old GOP playbook of using terrorism to scare Americans. “The Path to 9/11” mocks the truth and dishonors the memory of 9/11 victims to serve a cheap, callous political agenda. It irresponsibly misrepresents the facts and completely distorts the truth.

ABC/Disney executives need to hear from the public and understand that their abuse of the public trust comes with a cost. Tell Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger to keep this right-wing propaganda off the air.

This story is breaking quickly. The bias of the “docudrama” only became known when ABC began circulating previews recently. Less than two weeks ago, 9/11 Commission member Richard Ben-Veniste confronted a lead writer of “The Path to 9/11” after watching the first half of the miniseries at a screening, but most of what we know amounts to bits and pieces because ABC chose to screen the miniseries to conservative bloggers and right-wing media outlets exclusively. Almost none of the Democrats portrayed in the film have even been asked for their thoughts.

But we still know enough, thanks to news accounts and crack research, to fact check “The Path to 9/11” as a biased, irresponsible mess. Here’s what you need to know:

Richard Clarke—the counterterrorism czar for the Clinton administration, now himself a consultant to ABC News—describes a key scene in “The Path to 9/11” as “180 degrees from what happened.”  In the scene, a CIA field agent places a phone call to get the go ahead to kill Osama Bin Laden, then in his sights, only to have a senior Clinton administration official refuse and hang up the phone. 

Sandy Berger, President Clinton’s National Security Advisor, called the same scene “a total fabrication.  It did not happen.” And Roger Cressey, a top Bush and Clinton counterterrorism official, said it was “something straight out of Disney and fantasyland.  It’s factually wrong. And that’s shameful.”


Another scene revives the old right-wing myth that press reporting made
it impossible to track Osama bin Laden, accusing the Washington Post of blowing the secret that American intelligence tracked his satellite phone calls.  In reality, responsibility for that blunder—contrary to “The Path to 9/11”—rests with none other than the arch-conservative Washington Times.

The former National Security Council head of counterterrorism says that President Clinton “approved every request made of him by the CIA and the U.S. military involving using force against bin Laden and al-Qaeda,” and the 9/11 report says the CIA had full authority from President Clinton to strike Bin Laden. Yet chief “Path to 9/11” scriptwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh, a friend of Rush Limbaugh, says the miniseries shows how President Clinton had “frequent opportunities in the ‘90s to stop Bin Laden in his tracks—but lacked the will to do so.”

ABC asked only the Republican co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, Tom
Kean, Sr., to advise the makers of “The Path to 9/11”. The producers optioned two books, one written by a Bush administration political appointee, as the basis of the screenplay—yet bill the miniseries as “based on the 9/11 Commission Report.”  This is a picture of bias—a conservative attempt to rewrite the history of September 11 to blame Democrats, just in time for the election.

Tell Walt Disney president Robert Iger that you hold his company responsible—and that this community demands that ABC tell the truth:

 

ABC is trying to use of the airwaves—airwaves owned by you and me, and loaned to broadcasters as a public trust—to slander Democrats and sell a slanderous, irresponsible fraud to the American people, and they’re shamefully doing it just weeks away from Election Day.

The Walt Disney Corporation could have given Americans an honest look at September 11. Instead, the company abandoned its duty to the truth—and embraced the fiction known as “The Path to 9/11.”

But ABC isn’t the only company pushing this gross revision of history. ABC has enlisted the reputable education and children’s entertainment company Scholastic, Inc. to send 100,000 letters to high school teachers, urging them to show students “The Path to 9/11”. Scholastic has also created a discussion guide for teachers to use to encourage students and their families to watch this irresponsible fraud and then discuss it in school.  The discussion guide does not in any way point out the concerns and criticisms that have been raised about the validity and accuracy of the film.


Tom McMahon
Executive Director
Democratic National Committee

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Posted: 16 November 2006 01:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Re: Another look at 9/11

[quote author=“HolyAvenger”]Has anybody seen the “Loose Change” documentary?

http://www.loosechange911.com

I know, it’s a bit “conspiratorial,” but I’d like to know what my fellow skeptics have to say about the evidence they present.  It’s about an hour and 20 minutes long, but worth the effort.  If ANY of what they say is true, and the evidence seems to say that much of it is, then there is a lot more to worry about than we thought…

More often then not, conspiratorial individuals resemble to closely religious people, or paranormalist who desire to believe more then what the evidence shows.  They carry the same underlying tones, create their own logical problems, rely heavily on the obscure, or discard evidence that is contrary.

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Posted: 16 November 2006 05:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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9/11 and the truth

HolyAvenger wrote:
Has anybody seen the “Loose Change” documentary?

http://www.loosechange911.com

I know, it’s a bit “conspiratorial,” but I’d like to know what my fellow skeptics have to say about the evidence they present. It’s about an hour and 20 minutes long, but worth the effort. If ANY of what they say is true, and the evidence seems to say that much of it is, then there is a lot more to worry about than we thought…

More often then not, conspiratorial individuals resemble to closely religious people, or paranormalist who desire to believe more then what the evidence shows. They carry the same underlying tones, create their own logical problems, rely heavily on the obscure, or discard evidence that is contrary.
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Chad:  Have you seen the film?  We will be screening it on December 2nd here in NJ, and will try to put our best critical thinking caps on.. but we are not experts.  I think Holy Avenger was hoping that a few open minded skeptics would respond to his/her posting. 

Holy:  I must tell you that I have indeed spoken to two famous skeptics breifly on this topic, and both took a similar position to Chad.  Then again, both gentlemen are political conservatives who believe “official stories” fairly easily.  It would be interesting to hear from someone either less political, or more politically liberal.

Barry

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Posted: 16 November 2006 05:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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This stuff is absolute nonsense, on a par with the people who claim that we never landed on the moon, or that the government is covering up alien autopsy films.

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Posted: 16 November 2006 05:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Re: 9/11 and the truth

[quote author=“Barry”]
Chad:  Have you seen the film?  We will be screening it on December 2nd here in NJ, and will try to put our best critical thinking caps on.. but we are not experts.  I think Holy Avenger was hoping that a few open minded skeptics would respond to his/her posting. 

Holy:  I must tell you that I have indeed spoken to two famous skeptics breifly on this topic, and both took a similar position to Chad.  Then again, both gentlemen are political conservatives who believe “official stories” fairly easily.  It would be interesting to hear from someone either less political, or more politically liberal.

Barry

I have not watched this particular film, but judging by plenty of others that all contain the same baseless claims.. I feel safe in generalizing.  The only key note that I see as “obscure” is the number of security cameras at the pentagon.  Either they dont take security that seriously, or by chance only 1 or 2 caught the incident.  My local walmart has more cameras then the pentagon it seems.  Beyond that, the rest is obscure nonsense.

Now I really do not appreciate the presumptions to my “political stance”.  Personally, I am a growing/leaning libertarian that supports democratic issues.  I am quite “liberal” on many issues of consequence, and could hardly be described as conservative.  I just cannot be begged into believing nonsense without hard proof, or where the reasoning might be irrational/illogical.

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Posted: 16 November 2006 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Chad not a Conservative

Now I really do not appreciate the presumptions to my “political stance”. Personally, I am a growing/leaning libertarian that supports democratic issues. I am quite “liberal” on many issues of consequence, and could hardly be described as conservative. I just cannot be begged into believing nonsense without hard proof, or where the reasoning might be irrational/illogical.
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I did not say YOU were conservative.. I said the two skeptics I spoke with were.

Still, if you are a Right-Libertarian (that is a neo-liberal or capitalist), it is possible that you might not see why folks in this country might find it OK to be either part of or complicant in what happend on 9/11.

Barry

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Posted: 07 January 2007 01:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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What worries me is that the evidence for who was behind the attacks given by the government are about as convincing as loose change.

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Posted: 24 June 2007 06:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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FIW: molten_steel.jpg
Can you tell me if this photo has been doctored, or is it genuine?
I have been traineed as a machinist, worked in machine shops and vehicle repair for over 40 years, and own my own oxy/acetylene torch.
I know what it takes to get steel that color, and you CAN NOT DO THAT WITH JET FUEL.

got that? You might be able to if you fed the fuel mix with pure oxygen, but combustion in air? no way.
I dont need the opinion of any expert scientist with whatever hidden agenda he mite have, or worry about whether whatever sample was given to whatever laboratory was from where they said it was. All I need to know is whether the photograph is genuine.

Show it to a welder. Anyone who has worked with a torch knows what temps it takes to make steel that color, and jet fuel is not going to get you there.[that’s a period] Anyone know where the photo originated? who took it? with what?

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Posted: 24 June 2007 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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The fuel that propels the airplanes, the turbines, are contained in steel. yes? (or is it aluminum?) When the fuel is ignited to propel the the turbines, which are also made of steel, do they melt?
When planes crash,  and burn out completly, in a ball of fire, do they melt?

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Posted: 24 June 2007 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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daybrown - 24 June 2007 06:15 AM

Can you tell me if this photo has been doctored, or is it genuine?

Even though anything is possible in Photoshop these days, the photo looks genuine to me. (I know Photoshop inside out, FWIW.)

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Posted: 24 June 2007 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I don’t know.  It looks a bit doctored to me.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 24 June 2007 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Daybrown,

So as a welder you’ve personally and repeatedly ignited jet fuel in a large office building by crashing an airliner into it, allowed the fire to burn for some time, and then examined the steel after the building has collapsed to see the effects? Because otherwise, I don’t see how your specific experience with welding is sufficient to state so categorically that the version of events watched on television by half the world was a giant fraud detected only by a few people in retrospect.

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Posted: 24 June 2007 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Dougsmith wrote:

I’ll preface this by saying I haven’t seen the video, and have no interest in doing so.
I just don’t buy any of the conspiratorial garbage about 9/11.

None of the arguments that follow this statement are good arguments.  I’ll address these in the order that I think they appear.  I’ll also try to sum them up and number them.
(By the way, I have seen the video. Some of it is very persuasive, but much of it is not, I admit.)

1. There is no reason for a cover-up

These guys have all the money in the world, buy printing ink by the gallon, and are entirely motivated to find and punish whoever is responsible for killing their loved ones.

A lot of other very, very powerful people and groups—like elements in the energy industry and the military industrial complex and certain religious conservatives—have an interest in the exact opposite direction (i.e. an interest in fomenting and propagating war, especially divisive religious and cultural wars).  Remember the saying—and you’ll here it a lot, to justify just about anything—that “EVERYTHING changed after 9/11.”  The financial analysts and brokerage firms etc. are no match against these other powerful and violent forces.  For a list of WTC tenants see here: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/tenants1.html

2. With freedom of speech, a free press, etc. it is not possible to pull off a cover-up anymore.  (Again, I’m paraphrasing here.)

And that is not to mention the New Yorker, New York Times, the Post, the Daily News, and a number of other smaller periodicals of all political stripes that are published here. Any one of them would print—in an instant—any credible story of a coverup over 9/11. As it is they publish daily all sorts of stuff over Iraq, Afghanistan and even the 9/11 cleanup.

All that shows is that so far a cover-up—if there has been one—has been a successful cover-up.

3. Appeal to proximity and emotion.

Also, I was in NYC during the event. A friend of mine was in one of the towers, but got out. My wife came very close to getting a job in one of the towers. 

Why should you’re proximity to these events give you a special clarity on them?  Many other people even closer than you—notably some 9/11 widows—are not angered by these theories, and in fact they helped to force an investigation.  See here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4696092/  And, note that you are throwing your hat in with Ann Coulter on this one. Although she is more poetic (witness the headline: “Conservative writer Ann Coulter’s new book, “Godless: The Church of Liberalism,” accuses four World Trade Center widows of enjoying their husbands’ deaths.”)  Get the full story here: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/06/07/entertainment/main1690954.shtml

Usually I laugh at conspiracy theories. These ones make me angry.

Why should continued investigation and inquiry provoke ire? 
By the way, I usually laugh at conspiracy theories too.

4. Memory is fallible.

Another thing to keep in mind: memory is notoriously fallible, and more fallible as time goes on. Thus, conspiracy theories tend to gather steam after a few years, when immediate memory has given way to long-term memory. And there are always nuts out to make a buck or 15 minutes of fame on them.

If “memory” was all we had to go on, I would agree.  But there is so much documentation and evidence that the fallibility of memory is mostly just irrelevant here.  And, most of the eye-witness interviews that are appealed to were conducted shortly after the events; they are recorded on tape.

5. Hard to believe.

Another feature of human thinking is that the cause has to be commensurate to the effect. People find it hard to believe that one man, unaided, could kill Lincoln, because the man was such a nothing, and yet Lincoln such a great man. Yet such is life.
... I should add that one look at Bush in the clip of him reading to the schoolkids on 9/11 should make plain that he had no idea what was going on. Classic “deer in the headlights” when he’s told about the second plane. His behavior for the rest of the next couple of days is about as far from scripted and competent as a president could possibly be.

I’m having trouble squaring these two statements.  Are Booth and Bush being compared or contrasted?  At any rate, it has been documented that Bush wanted to go after Iraq(!?!) the days after 9/11; and he constantly appeals to the slogan “we live in a post-9/11 world”, not to mention his brother was in charge of security for the towers.  As for his “behavior,” it is always a little bit weird.  Anyway, I don’t think the most charitable interpretation of the conspiracy theory would place W. Bush as the “mastermind” behind it all.  But to say there are no ruthless, conniving, devious, malicious plotters in his immediate circle (Rove and Cheney come to mind) is to close one’s eyes.

6. No media outlet of “repute” would dabble in such a theory.

So, while I will not be spending an hour and a half on this piece of work, I am plenty familiar with the genre, and with 9/11 conspiracies in general. In the final analysis, if there’s anything to them, it will come out in reputable publications rather than in the exclusively sensationalist or self-published vanity press.

The “reputable” (main-stream) press fears nothing more than falling into disrepute.  They cower at being branded unpatriotic or anti-American.  Witness the hard-headed, fact-finding, high-level investigative journalism that scoured the “evidence” the Bush administration trotted-out prior to the invasion of Iraq.  It would have been easy for journalists to cast doubt on much of their claims and supposed “evidence”; instead the media played lap-dog and then reaped the cash benefits of covering a war.


These are bad arguments, one and all.  I’m somewhat surprised by this, since I normally find your posts to be eminently reasonable and often to contain pearls of wisdom.  Not so here.

Now, I’m not saying that the weakness of your arguments proves anything—that, itself, would be a fallacy; I’m just saying that you can’t just dismiss all of the many coincidences out of hand.  Like this:

This stuff is absolute nonsense, on a par with the people who claim that we never landed on the moon, or that the government is covering up alien autopsy films.

Of course, I admit, if there was a cover up, it would be the greatest cover up in history.  You’re probably right that such conspiracy theories are bunk.  But, there are a lot of strange coincidences and your arguments do nothing to dispel them.

Do you believe the one-bullet theory of the Kennedy assassination?  Sometimes believing that there is no conspiracy is more irrational (or at least harder to believe) than believing that there is one.

For my own part, the one thing that really bothers me is WTC # 7.
This is from a Wiki-article about building 7:

There are a growing number of conspiracy theorists who believe that this building was brought down intentionally by one or more US citizens for their own personal gain. The building housed many government offices including those investigating corporate improprieties, and many important government documents were destroyed in this building’s eventual collapse. The fact that several adjacent buildings were closer to the attacked twin towers but did not collapse and 7 World Trade Center did gives fuel to this theory.

The owner of the building says, explicitly, that he gave the order to “pull” building 7.  That is a fact.
Watch it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ9BofDUXv0
You can’t pull off a controlled demolition on short notice.  It takes weeks or more to plan and carry out.
Explain that one.

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Posted: 24 June 2007 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Sorry, this is one conspiracy theory that is entirely on a par with the faked moon landing nonsense, UFO coverups, or crop circles. Same arguments for all: mainstream media is corrupted, politicians are hoodwinking everyone, etc. It’s Alice-in-Wonderland stuff.

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