Thursday, January 31, 2008

Michael Shermer, the Self-Described Skeptic Turns Gullible on 911

Michael Shermer, of Skeptic Magazine, claims to have debunked the 911 Truth Movement. In fact, he doesn't understand it. Shermer tars the movement with a broad and fallacious brush, absurdly comparing the 911 truth movement with Holocaust denial, a fallacious smear that misstates the 911 position. Holocaust deniers, in fact, have more in common with Bush and his defenders: both deny the nature and the scope of the crime of 911.

Bush asked us to believe numerous 'conspiracies' --conspiracies that Shermer, his ilk, et al would deny exist. At the same time --incredibly --Bush asked us to believe Saddam had WMD, possibly a nuke. Condo raised the specter of a mushroom cloud. Saddam, we were led to believe, was conspiring with Bin Laden to wage war on Americans. It was bullshit! But no one told Bush that 'conspiracies do not exist!" Nor was Bush held to critical or skeptical standards. Bush got away with it because the nation was in a state of shock. Americans, it would seem, are conditioned from birth to give greater weight to right wing theories of all sorts --economic, judicial, and conspiracy.
No holes, no Holocaust. No melted steel, no Al-Qaeda attack. The parallels are equal, and equally flawed. And just as I never imagined that Holocaust denial would wend its way into the mainstream press (Irving's trial was front page news for months), after my above conversation with the filmmaker I never imagined that 9/11 denial would get media legs. But now it has legs for days, and so we have been forced to provide a public response. To read our complete analysis of the claims of the 9/11 conspiracy theorists, go here.

--Michael Shermer, 9/11 "Truthers" a Pack of Liars
At the very outset, Shermer's misstatement of fact discredits his article. Knowledgeable "truthers" do not deny the existence of "molten steel". In fact, the existence of 'molten steel' is the strongest evidence against the guilty bastards who pulled off 911. Perhaps, Shermer is ignorant of the fact that airliner fuel --common kerosene --has not and will never bring steel to the point of melting. How does Shermer explain the free-fall of the towers? How does Shermer explain the fall of WTC7 which was not hit by an aircraft whatsoever? How does he do it without embracing the most absurd conspiracy theory to have come down the pike? He doesn't. He --in fact --embraces the most absurd conspiracy to have ever come down the pike!
Numerous videos of molten steel (see YouTube) utterly disproves the official conspiracy theory of George W. Bush. Steel melts at much higher temperatures than could possibly have been reached in the brief and relatively cool fires in all of the towers that fell that day. This is not a matter of either conjecture or propaganda.

It's a matter of physics.

Shermer's analogy, likewise, collapses. Bush himself, the architect of what will ultimately prove to be the biggest cover up in history, is better compared with holocaust deniers than are the growing legion who demand that the 911 white wash be ended now! 'Deniers' are, in fact, 'deniers of truth' and they are found among the devotees of Popular Mechanics, a magazine that foolishly gambled its credibility and lost.

Bush defenders likewise persist in a common fallacy: labeling those who demand an investigation as "conspiracy theorists". Rather, the only theory that has been put forward is the outlandish and absurdly improbable "official conspiracy" theory put forward by George W. Bush and his gang to include 'Condo' Rice. Rice called up the mayor of San Francisco and warned him not to be flying on 911. The other tip-off was Donald Rumsfeld who referred to "...the missile that struck this building [Pentagon]".

Congress and the Supreme Court have together, in fact, defined and recognized the existence of criminal conspiracies of almost every kind --from a simple 'stop-n-rob' to a extensive criminal conspiracies to include notorious drug lords. If conspiracies do not exist, the huge amounts of tax payer monies that is --for the most part wasted on the often ludicrous war on drugs --is a huge fraud upon the American people. If conspiracies did not exist, why has FINDLAW and Cornell University Law Library referenced so many court decisions and federal laws defining 'conspiracies'?  If conspiracies did not exist, why were nineteen Arab 'conspirators in terror' sought in connection with 911?

The "new" slogan --911 denier --has the stench of a right wing focus group hanging over it like fart in a phone box. 911 denier is intended to mislead. No one comes up with stuff like that spontaneously. I suspect Shermer's article is a road test. I would not be surprised to learn that Shermer was selected to roll out the term because of his now ill-deserved reputation as a "skeptic".

The tactic is pure propaganda, most certainly the work of a GOP focus group, a deliberate attempt to connect Bush critics with Holocaust deniers. Clearly --they believe that if they can do this, they can discredit the entire "movement" with only two well-chosen words: conspiracy theorist!

Consider this tactic exposed. It's typical GOP bullshit and propaganda.Until recently, Shermer had played the role of the great skeptic. No longer. No one who buys into the official 911 conspiracy theory could possibly be a skeptic. The better word is gullible. The dictum of a true skeptic is this:

Shermer would have us ignore this important and prudent dictum. He calls himself a "skeptic". I call him, at best, naive. At worst --disingenuous. The fact of the matter is this: Bush and company asserted a theory! Not only did Bushco fail to prove the theory, the administration failed to even support it. Instead, the Bush administration THREATENED those who did not believe it! That is the tactic of a tyrant.

Bush, meanwhile, opposed a Congressional investigation and when the 911 commission was created Bush tried to interfere with it.
(CBS) President Bush took a few minutes during his trip to Europe Thursday to voice his opposition to establishing a special commission to probe how the government dealt with terror warnings before Sept. 11.
Mr. Bush said the matter should be dealt with by congressional intelligence committees.
CBS News Correspondent Bill Plante reports that Mr. Bush said the investigation should be confined to Congress because it deals with sensitive information that could reveal sources and methods of intelligence. Therefore, he said, the congressional investigation is "the best place" to probe the events leading up to the terrorist attacks.
--CBS News: Bush Opposes 9/11 Query Panel
It was later that former 9/11 Commission executive director Philip Zelikow interfered with the 9/11 report, now eschewed by the co-chairs of the committee.
According to the book, Zelikow had failed to inform the commission at the time he was hired that he was instrumental in helping Condoleezza Rice set up Bush’s National Security Council in 2001. Some panel staffers believe Zelikow stopped them from submitting a report depicting Rice’s performance prior to 9/11 as “amount[ing] to incompetence.”
In his book, Shenon also says that while working for the panel, Zelikow appears to have had private conversations with former White House political director Karl Rove, despite a ban on such communication, according to Holland. Shenon reports that Zelikow later ordered his assistant to stop keeping a log of his calls, although the commission’s general counsel overruled him, Holland wrote.
--Key 9/11 Commission Staffer Held Secret Meetings With Rove, Scaled Back Criticisms of White House
Earlier, evidence from the crime scenes in New York and the Pentagon was hauled off and disposed of. Last time I checked --the destruction of evidence was a felony. It still is.
Steel was the structural material of the buildings. As such it was the most important evidence to preserve in order to puzzle out how the structures held up to the impacts and fires, but then disintegrated into rubble. Since no steel-framed buildings had ever collapsed due to fires, the steel should have been subjected to detailed analysis. So what did the authorities do with this key evidence of the vast crime and unprecedented engineering failure? They recycled it!
Some 185,101 tons of structural steel have been hauled away from Ground Zero. Most of the steel has been recycled as per the city's decision to swiftly send the wreckage to salvage yards in New Jersey. The city's hasty move has outraged many victims' families who believe the steel should have been examined more thoroughly. Last month, fire experts told Congress that about 80% of the steel was scrapped without being examined because investigators did not have the authority to preserve the wreckage.
The bulk of the steel was apparently shipped to China and India. The Chinese firm Baosteel purchased 50,000 tons at a rate of $120 per ton, compared to an average price of $160 paid by local mills in the previous year.
--The Expeditious Destruction of the Evidence at Ground Zero
A real investigation would have admitted this testimony in evidence. Real skeptics believe in the "burden of proof" and the burden of proof has always been on the Bush administration. A true skeptic would demand that this evidence be released immediately. A true skeptic would have insisted upon this evidence being examined publicly by experts in a way that would allow its public verification. Buying into propaganda is not skepticism.

True skeptics are suspicious of officialdom. Officialdom has a stake in a slanted version; officialdom depends for its existence upon looking good, innocent, wise or authoritative. A real skeptic knows that that is rarely the case in fact. There are, in fact, New York fire fighters --on video tape --stating: 1) molten steel was found at the base of the collapsed towers; 2) they heard rapid explosions as the towers collapsed in a free fall. The 'rapid' explosions is a characteristic of controlled demolitions.

Even as forensic evidence was being destroyed, Bush seized the initiative, exploiting the shock to ram through congress measures that flout the separation of powers, measures that rescind Due Process of Law, habeas corpus, the presumption of innocence, measures that violate US Constitutional obligations to the Geneva Conventions, Nuremberg and other principles of International Law.
Our reporters were initially avoided by Moore, but he subsequently decided to approach We Are reporters for a discussion.
Moore brought up his lingering questions on 9/11, which are a clear departure from the 'government negligence' picture he painted in his film Fahrenheit 9/11, released some three years ago.
Moore told reporters, "I've had a number of firefighters tell me over the years and since Fahrenheit 9/11 that they heard these explosions-- that they believe there's MUCH more to the story than we've been told. I don't think the official investigations have told us the complete truth-- they haven't even told us half the truth."
--Michael Moore: 9/11 Could Be Inside Job
Moore's interest in 911 may have been peaked by the established fact that no identifiable airliner wreckage was ever found in the Pentagon debris. Moreover, as I detailed in a previous article, the "official" account of the burials at Arlington National Cemetery is shot through with inaccuracies, internal inconsistencies and inconsistencies with forensic accounts. While Pentagon victims were buried at Arlington National Cemetery, there is absolutely no record of any airline passenger nor any 'alleged terrorist' ever having been interred anywhere at any time in any manner whatsoever!

At last, some 184 unidentified remains were buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
A five-sided granite marker bearing the 184 names will be placed over a shared grave at Arlington National Cemetery — the nation's most prestigious burial ground — holding the unidentified remains.[emphasis mine, LH]

--Arlington National Cemetery
Of the 184, sixty-four were said to have been passengers of Flight 77, the flight which is said to have crashed into the Pentagon. But where were they buried?
A list of names on a piece of paper is not evidence, but an autopsy by a pathologist, is. I undertook by FOIA request, to obtain that autopsy list and you are invited to view it below. Guess what? Still no Arabs on the list. In my opinion the monsters who planned this crime made a mistake by not including Arabic names on the original list to make the ruse seem more believable. 
When airline disasters occur, airlines will routinely provide a manifest list for anxious families. You may have noticed that even before Sep 11th, airlines are pretty meticulous about getting an accurate headcount before takeoff. It seems very unlikely to me, that five Arabs sneaked onto a flight with weapons. This is the list provided by American of the 56 passengers. On September 27th, the FBI published photos of the “hijackers” of Flight 77.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), does a miraculous job and identifies nearly all the bodies on November 16th 2001
The AFIP suggest these numbers; 189 killed, 125 worked at the Pentagon and 64 were “passengers” on the plane. The AA list only had 56 and the list just obtained has 58. They did not explain how they were able to tell “victims” bodies from “hijacker” bodies. In fact, from the beginning NO explanation has been given for the extra five suggested in news reports except that the FBI showed us the pictures to make up the difference, and that makes it so.
--Thomas R. Olmsted, M.D, Autopsy: No Arabs on Flight 77
The numbers will never add up. Arlington National Cemetary says it interred 184 Pentagon employes. But AFIP says there were a total of 189 bodies --125 worked at the Pentagon and 64 were “passengers” on flight 77. Arlington claims that the unidentified remains of 184 victims share a grave at Arlington National Cemetery.
A five-sided granite marker bearing the 184 names will be placed over a shared grave at Arlington National Cemetery — the nation's most prestigious burial ground — holding the unidentified remains.
--Arlington National Cemetary
I interpret that to mean that this "shared grave" is the final resting place for unidentified victims from both the Pentagon and Flight 77.

Five are unaccounted for --presumably the "terrorist" hijackers. But that does not account for the discrepancy for several reasons. Both Arlington and AFIP claim that there were 64 Pentagon workers. AFIP provided a list of 56 passengers of Flight 77. That''s only 120! If you exclude 5 terrorists from the AFIP's total of 189, you are still left with 64 "people" completely unaccounted for. Who the hell are they? To be clear --no Arab names (i.e. no terrorists) were autopsied; no terrorists were interred at Arlington National Cemetery. There is, therefore, no evidence (let along proof) that there were ever at any time on any flight so much as ONE Arab --terrorist or no!
No Arabs wound up on the morgue slab; however, three ADDITIONAL people not listed by American Airlines sneaked in. I have seen no explanation for these extras. I did American [Airlines] the opportunity to “revise” their original list, but they have not responded. The new names are: Robert Ploger, Zandra Ploger, and Sandra Teague. The AFIP claims that the only “passenger” body that they were not able to identify is the toddler, Dana Falkenberg, whose parents and young sister are on the list of those identified.
--Thomas R. Olmsted, M.D, Autopsy: No Arabs on Flight 77
These are just a tiny few of the myriad of facts that Bush loyalists cannot explain away or rationalize with the official conspiracy theory. The silver bullet is this: there were no arabs on the flight manifests when "officialdom" maintains that all the said hijackers were Arab. Johnny Cochran won a famous murder trial with a single phrase which summed up his defense: "If it does not fit, you must acquit!" I rather think that a guilty party might be indicted just as simply: "No arabs on flight! You must indict!"

Indict Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell et al

I submit that if Bush and his guilty minions truly want to put this issue to rest they need only release all of the footage from all of the cameras that had been trained on the Pentagon and, in fact, photographed whatever it was that crashed and disappeared into the tiny little hole!

I challenge the current administration to order the release of all footage relating to the Pentagon. Let us resolve at last the question: what struck the Pentagon. That's a crucial issue due to the fact that NO airliner record was ever recovered at any time from the Pentagon. The most obvious 'scrap' is the single engine rotor that was photographed among debris. No other rotor of any size or type was recovered. The rotors that was found is about 1/3 the diameter of each of two much larger rotors (some 15 feet in diameter) that would have been recovered had a 757 crashed into the Pentagon.

I challenge the Bush administration to release all of that footage! Let us find out --once and for all time --what it was that crashed into the Pentagon. Let us find out if the Bush administration is innocent of mass murder and high treason --capital crimes!

If the Bush administration were innocent, it would release every photograph.

If the Bush administration were innocent of the capital crimes for which there is probable cause now to try them, it would respond positively to my challenge.

If the Bush administration were innocent, it would release all of the footage. It would --if it were innocent --put this issue to rest.

The following remarks, I address directly to Mr. Shermer. Mr. Shermer, your analogy is transparently fallacious! You deny the crimes of 911, as both Holocaust deniers and minions of the Third Reich denied the crimes of Adolph Hitler.
It is against such a background that these defendants now ask this Tribunal to say that they are not guilty of planning, executing, or conspiring to commit this long list of crimes and wrongs. They stand before the record of this Trial as bloodstained Gloucester stood by the body of his slain king. He begged of the widow, as they beg of you: "Say I slew them not." And the Queen replied, "Then say they were not slain. But dead they are..." If you were to say of these men that they are not guilty, it would be as true to say that there has been no war, there are no slain, there has been no crime.
--Justice Robert Jackson, Summation for the Prosecution by Justice Robert Jackson
To paraphrase Justice Jackson --Bush, his administration, his co-conspirators stand by the many bodies of 911 victims. They beg of you to say, to believe that this crooked administration '...slew them not'. But, in fact, there were slain and they are guilty as plainly as was the blood-stain Gloucester!

Mr. Shermer, if you subscribe to the official story, if you support Bush's decision not to investigate, if you dare compare those demanding truth with those who historically sought to cover it up, you become the new Gloucester! You would have us say: there have been no official lies, there are no slain, there has been no crime!

A self-described "debunker" ought to be debunking the most outlandish theory that ever came down the pike. A real skeptic could drive Mack trucks through the holes in the official conspiracy theory. Instead, Shermer wastes considerable talent defending an official "myth" if not the crime of obstruction of justice. In doing so, he violates his own principles --those of logic and evidence.

Shermer has forgotten a basic principle: those who assert must prove! Shermer has bought the official lie and simply discounts as untrue anything that contradicts it. This is an elementary breach of logic and Shermer should know better. If he knows better and persists in spite of it, he is dishonest. Jean-Paul Sartre said of this type that they live in "bad faith". Bertolt Brecht was more blunt: "A man who does not know the truth is just an idiot but a man who knows the truth and calls it a lie is a crook!" Shermer, which one are you?

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