Saturday, February 02, 2008

Official Conspiracy Theorists Suckered a Gullible Michael Shermer

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Skeptic Michael Shermer has fallen for the most outlandish conspiracy theory of them all: the official conspiracy theory for which there is not a shred of evidence.

Shermer has bought into an official lie. Fallaciously, Shermer simply discounts as untrue anything that contradicts his pre-conceived notion, an elementary breach of logic. Shermer should know better. If he knows better and persists in spite of it, he is dishonest.

Jean-Paul Sartre termed this behavior -- "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?

Shermer's recent attempt to "debunk the 911" truth movement is flawed at the outset. His very headline on the Huffington Post is an ad hominem --the 911 movement, he says, are "liars". The bulk of his article is a strawman. Shermer chooses to zero in on Alex Jones, hardly the founder and most certainly not the "leader" of what is, in fact, a world-wide grassroots movement, a fact that must be terribly inconvenient for top-down, authoritarians who insist upon attacking a symbol or a figure-head. The pursuit of pure truth has no need of either. Shermer, I suspect, wanted an easy target, a fuhrer and finding none settled for a strawman.

Why Jones? Many folk dislike Jones and/or his style. Would Shermer have chosen Jones in order to inject personality and emotion into an issue that is difficult enough to discuss rationally? Certainly --Shermer's tactic does not illuminate but obscures with personality and emotion. Until the events of 911 are discussed critically and dispassionately, there is little hope that the truth about this crime against the American people will ever be attained. If I wished to demagogue an issue, I might be tempted to choose the most visible, the easiest target. I had hoped Shermer would not have taken this low road.

If I wished to advance a fallacious argument, I might wish to choose someone upon which I might pin a strawman. Is this what Shermer has done? I leave that to you. If I were going to "debunk" a bogus campaign of pure propaganda, I would certainly not choose an easy target, as Shermer has done.

The official theory is a fire theory. If the "fires" did not bring about the collapse, then the official theory is bunkum! I challenge Michael Shermer to cite a single case in which fire has been determined decisively, authoritatively to have been the cause of the collapse of a large steel-frame building. Cite it! There are no such cases --until 911 that is. Cite it, Michael, or shut up!

As David Ray Griffin accurately pointed out: Steel does not even begin to melt until it reaches almost 2800° Fahrenheit. Nor did the towers collapse because the fire had weakened the steel because the fires could not have burned long enough or hot enough for even that to have happened.

I have covered many fires in my day. A fire is considered spent when the smoke turns black. On 911 --the jet fuel, as to be expected, burned up quickly in enormous fireballs, coughing up black smoke very quickly. Any firefighter, any one who has 'covered' a fire, knows that black smoke indicates a 'spent' fire, a relatively 'cool' or cooling fire.

/p>The 911 fires --like all fires --cooled rapidly as the fuel was consumed rapidly. That was the case on 911. The fires cooled as fuel is spent. most certainly did not and could not have burned hot enough or long enough to have melted or weakened the steel! It is highly doubtful that even aluminum ( melting point 1220.666 °F)) would have utterly melted under 911 conditions and even if it had, it would not have affected the core known to have been made of steel --not aluminum. The very existence of the core was omitted from officialdom's earliest versions, namely, the idiotic 'pancaking' theory.

Shermer thinks melted (molten) alumininum had been mistaken for molten steel. So what? Even if melted aluminum had been found, it does not explain the utter collapse of a steel core. It does not explain why steel --in fact --melted!

Additionally --if the steel core did not melt the towers would not have collapsed? Kerosene fires are about a thousand degrees too cool to melt steel. How, then, does Shermer account for the fact that a dense, steel core melted and collapse on 911!

Shermer needs to get a clue: kerosene will not melt steel and did not melt steel on 911! Neither Muslims nor the NIST have changed the laws of physics. Shermer's reference to aluminum is utterly irrelevant!

The implication that molten aluminum had been mistaken for aluminum is baseless and begs the question. It's a cover story proposed ex post facto as a result of 911 movement criticism, an attempt to paper over the glaring inadequacies of the official conspiracy theory. Additionally, it is put forward disingenuously by those who understand that the mere presence of molten steel, by itself, utterly discredits Bush's official conspiracy theory of 911.

In a nutshell: the towers collapsed because both core and frame-work melted. Secondly, both core and frame were made of steel. Third, kerosene fires caused by the airliner crash were about a thousand degrees too cool to have melted steel. Fourth: both kerosene fires began to cool almost immediately as evidenced by the fact that the smoke turned black within minutes if not seconds of impact.

Conclusion: the airliners DID NOT cause the collapses of the towers. If the airliners were not the cause, what was?

I submit that the falls looked like 'controlled demolitions' because they were controlled demolitions.

Lesser known "debunkers" than Shermer have claimed that emergency responders mistook molten aluminum for steel. There is simply no compelling reason, and certainly no evidence to suspect that that is the case. See the papers by Professor Steven Jones that I have cited in this post. The truth of all this might have been known if only there had been an investigation. Only a tiny portion of the steel columns were available for scrutiny; government officials --most certainly under orders from the Bush administration --ordered the steel sold and shipped off to China, as I recall. The willful concealment or destruction of evidence from a crime scene is a felony!

"We start with the fact that large quantities of molten steel were observed in basement areas under rubble piles in all three building: the Twin Towers and WTC7. ...The photographs Frank Silecchia show chunks of the hotel metal being removed from the North Tower on September 27, 2001 (according to the photographer's aid). Notice the color of the lower portion of the extracted metal --this tells us much about the temperature of the metal and provides important clues regarding its composition, as we shall see." ..."On the basis of photographic and video evidence as well as related data and analyses, I have provide thirteen reasons for rejecting the official hypothesis, according to which fire and impact damage caused the collapse of the Twin Tower and WTC7, in favor of the controlled-demolition hypothesis. The goal of this paper is to promote further scrutiny of the official government-sponsored reports as well as serious investigation of the controlled-demotion hypothesis. (No rebuttal of my arguments for an in-depth investigation can be complete, of course, unless it addresses all of these points.)"

--Dr, Steven E. Jones, Physicist and Archeometrist. [Prof. Jones' peer-reviewed paper is available as a PDF file here.]

Shermer's "rebuttal" of Jones consists of quoting Jones and contradicting him. But Shermer never touches the science. Shermer's practiced fallacies are not confined to Jones. For those who believe that Building 7 fell due to controlled demolition, some of the most powerful “evidence” seemingly comes from WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein’s alleged “confession” that he authorized the tower’s destruction. The quote in question comes from a September, 2002 PBS Special called America Rebuilds, in which Silverstein says:
    I remember getting a call from the, er, fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, “We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.” And they made that decision to pull and we watched the building collapse.

    --Larry Silverstein, 911 Quotes [my link, LH]

To conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones at, this quote seems to be a “smoking gun” because they interpret the phrase “pull it” to be “industry jargon for taking a building down with explosives.”15 Silverstein seems to be saying that he and the firefighters decided to pull (destroy) Building 7, and watched it fall after authorizing the demolition. No building could be controllably demolished so quickly, the conspiracy theorists go onto argue, so WTC 7 must have been prepared for demolition long in advance.

On closer inspection, this supposedly devastating evidence does not seem to mean what the 9/11 Truth Movement thinks it means. There is far from unanimous industry agreement that the phrase “pull it” always signifies a controlled demolition with explosives — more specific phrases such as “pull away” would be used to designate the specific operation to be performed.16 And of course, “pull” has many common language uses quite separate from demolition lingo. But if Silverstein wasn’t describing a decision to destroy WTC 7, what could the words “pull it” mean?

--Michael Shermer

If I may address this reply to Shermer: well, Michael, apply Occam's Razor. Did it ever occur to you that that is, in fact, precisely what Silverstein meant? The term 'pull' is, in fact, industry jargon for"controlled demolition".

I submit that the word "pull" means precisely what it means to those who "pull" buildings for a living and I would suggest that Shermer conduct some field research to include interviews of people who make a living doing this kind of thing. Shermer posits that the word "pull" was used to mean "pull out" as in "pulling out the firefighters" still at work on Building 7. That is an illogical and unnecessary complication of a simple, straight forward explanation to be found in the very meaning of the word "pull" as it is, in fact, used by experts. Besides --why would firefighters have pulled out? What was the sudden urgency? The 'Twin Towers' had already collapsed and the fires in Building 7 were certainly insignificant by comparison if not already under control. There was simply no compelling reason to conclude anything other than Silverstein authorized the "controlled demolition" of the building, ordering it pulled just as he had said he did.
"I remember getting a call from the Fire Department commander, telling me they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, you know, 'We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is just pull it.' And they made that decision to pull and then we watched the building collapse."

--Larry Silverstein, 911 Quotes

If Silverstein had been referring to the "firefighters" themselves, he might have said "pull them" or "pull them out! But he didn't! He said "pull it" and, in the jargon of the trade "it" was Building 7. Since when do even callous people begin referring to other people (plural) as "it"? Not even Silverstein would have done that! People are a "them". A building is an "it"!

According to Debunking911, Silverstein's spokesperson, Mr. McQuillan, later clarified:
"In the afternoon of September 11, Mr. Silverstein spoke to the Fire Department Commander on site at Seven World Trade Center. The Commander told Mr. Silverstein that there were several firefighters in the building working to contain the fires. Mr. Silverstein expressed his view that the most important thing was to protect the safety of those firefighters, including, if necessary, to have them withdraw from the building."
Compare the "clarification" with Silverstin's actual words! The "clarification" hardly supports either the Debunking site or Shermer. It is the work of a PR flack. In other respects, Shermer's argument in this respect is not really Shermer's. It belongs to 911, what Shermer would fallaciously "label" a conspiracy site, who plays a better "devil's advocate" than Shermer plays the devil himself. In other words, Michael, we've heard all your stuff before and are even less than impressed with it now.
However, there are several problems with this explanation.

  • According to Chapter 5 of FEMA's Building Performance Study , firefighters were never in the building: "Preliminary indications were that, due to lack of water, no manual firefighting actions were taken by FDNY."
  • Silverstein's statement implies a close temporal proximity between "that decision to pull" and "watch[ing] the building collapse," giving no time for the fires to become more severe and do what fires have never before done: cause the total collapse of a steel-frame high-rise.
Of course there are even greater problems with the implication that Silverstein
and the FDNY decided to demolish the building only after the attack on the Twin
  • Rigging a building for controlled demolition normally takes weeks of preparation -- far longer than the at most a few hours between the determination that "they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire," and the 5:20 PM collapse of the building.

  • The building had several areas of fire -- hardly conditions under which a demolitions team could be expected to lay high explosives.
However, if we imagine that the "decision to pull" had been made before 9/11/01, Silverstein's comment makes more sense as an admission that there had been a deliberate decision to demolish the building.

--911 Research

Shermer's conclusion sounds remarkably similar:
There’s also the problem that, as even the 9/11 Truth Movement admits, prepping a building for demolition takes considerable time and effort. Usually a building targeted for demolition has been abandoned for considerable time and partially gutted to allow explosives intimate contact with the structure of the building. But since all of the WTC buildings were occupied right up to 9/11, how did the government gain access to wire 3 towers for complete demolition without anyone noticing? Imagine trying to sneak wires and bombs into buildings while thousands of people are working in offices, riding the elevators and milling about in the halls — that scenario is unlikely in the extreme.
The fact is: someone did do the "wiring" and getting in and out was not a problem. There numerous witnesses to the comings and goings. Had this crime been investigated all that testimony might have made its way into an official record. But --not! Bush has covered this crime up! Unless, of course, you subscribe to the "theory" that concrete-coated steel girders can be melted in minutes with cool burning kerosene fires! Absurd!

If one wishes to be logical, one simply must be prepared to follow facts to logical conclusions --even if you don't like the consequences, even if the conclusions run counter to your prejudices and pre-conceived notions. No one wanted to believe what the evidence points to. No one wanted to accept the logical consequences of the facts, the multitudinous Bush lies, the laws of physics.

The Twin Towers were largely "un-occupied" at the time of the attacks. Access prior to the attacks was not the problem. Entire floors were unoccupied and were the "site" of extensive and even "mysterious" renovations. A recently published chart proves that the offending airliners seemed to "target" precisely those floors where "renovations" were known to have been going on in the months preceding 911.
NIST report NCSTAR1-6A, page xxxvii (Via 911 Blogger): in WTC 1, floors 92 through 100 and 102 were upgraded; and in WTC 2, floors 77, 78, 88, 89, 92, 96 and 97 were upgraded. [See: Chart I, Chari II, Chart III, ] a number of the floors affected by the fires on September 11, 2001. Specifically, In the years between 1995 and 2001, thermal protection was upgraded in These renovations covered the almost exact same floors as where the "planes" hit-- particularly they spanned the "plane-hit" floors perfectly for WTC1 (94-98), and covered the lowest floor of the "plane-hit" floors (78-84) for WTC2.

Simply put, this is too much of a coincidence to be mere chance: that the same regions of both towers where the demolition started following the "plane hits" were the same regions that were recently "upgraded".

Renovations would have been perfect times to plant explosives and other devices that could mimic plane hits and subsequent fires. [See: Chart I, Chart II, Chart III]

At 610 feet, 47 stories, Building 7 would have been the tallest building in 33 states. It was not hit by an airplane and there is absolutely no mention of it in the report of the 911 Commission, lately disowned by the committe co-chairs. Watch the collapse video here. Six years on, our government has not seen fit to publish a complete explanation of its fall.

Conan Doyle's creation, Sherlock Holmes, said:
"When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." -Sherlock Holmes.
When the "official conspiracy theory" is, thus, eliminated, that leaves the only logical and scientific explanation that makes sense and explains the observable facts consistent with the laws of science and logic.

It is interesting to note that Bush himself may have given the game away, implying that the airliner fires alone did not bring down the towers.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed described the design of planned attacks of buildings inside the U.S. and how operatives were directed to carry them out. That is valuable information for those of us who have the responsibility to protect the American people. He told us the operatives had been instructed to ensure that the explosives went off at a high -- a point that was high enough to prevent people trapped above from escaping.

--Bush, Press Conference of the President, The Rose Garden, September 2006

Conspiracy theorists say World Trade Center 7 is the best proof for controlled demolition because it wasn't hit by airliners and only had a few fires. They also claim that there was a confession from the building owner who said he "pulled" it. But this is deceptive because while building 7 wasn't hit by an airliner, it was hit by the large perimeter columns of the Tower collapse. It was 400 ft away but the towers were more than 1300 ft tall. As the tower peeled open, it easily tilted over to reach building 7. Below is evidence showing that conspiracy theorists are wrong.


Check the bolded part. The bolded assertion is ludicrous and would be hilarious if the event had not been so tragic. That is not what happened. The towers did not tip over onto Building 7. Worth repeating: the towers did not tip over onto Buliding 7.

Nor did they "peel open". Who comes up with this stuff? What cold blooded liar is paid to put this utter shit into print?

Any cursory examination of any video of the Twin Towers collapse disproves it; you don't have to take my word for it. Just open your eyes. Certainly, the damage done by debris from the Twin Towers was relatively minor; it would not have necessitated that the building be pulled, nor would it have caused its collapse. Statements by "Debunking911" are evidence striking writers are moonlighting.

bombing of the Murrah building in OK City. Both buildings were constructed using the same bridge beam system that, in WTC 7's case, allegedly contributed to its demise. But more importantly WTC 7, like the Murrah building, housed high-level government offices including the FBI, CIA and the Secret Service. WTC 7 was also the storage facility for millions of files pertaining to active cases involving international drug dealing, organized crime, terrorism and money laundering.

There's also disturbing correlations between the collapse of WTC 7 and the Murrah Bldg

--Owner of WTC admits explosives were used!

Method and opportunity can be demonstrated. But what of motive? Why would Silverstein want to blow up his own buildings?
Six months before the attacks on the World Trade Center, the World Trade Center was "privatized" by being leased to a private sector developer. The lease was purchased by the Silverstein Group for $3.2 billion 6 weeks before 911. But the World Trade Towers were not the real estate prize the Silverstein Group might have been led to believe. The towers required some $200 million in renovations and improvements, most of which related to removal and replacement of building materials declared to be health hazards in the years since the towers were built. Other New York developers had been driven into bankruptcy by the costly mandated renovations, and $200 million represented an entire year's worth of revenues from the World Trade Towers.

The attacks on 9/11 changed the picture. Instead of renovation, Silverstein is rebuilding, funded by the insurance coverage on the property which 'fortuitously' covered acts of terrorism. Even better, Silverstein filed TWO insurance claims for the maximum amount of the policy, based on the two, in Silverstein's view, separate attacks. The total potential payout is $7.1 billion, more than enough to build a fabulous new complex and leave a hefty profit for the Silverstein Group, including Larry Silverstein himself.

As reported in The Washington Post, the insurance company, Swiss Re, has gone to court to argue that the 9/11 disaster was only one attack, not two and that therefore the insurance payout should be limited to $3.55 billion, still enough to rebuild the complex. The destruction of the World Trade Towers may make Silverstein one of the wealthiest men alive.

Giuliani Was Warned About The Demolitions

Before either of the Twin Towers had collapsed, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and his associates were told to leave the headquarters that they had set up within Building 7.

" We were operating out of there when we were told that the World Trade Center was gonna collapse," Rudolph Giuliani told Peter Jennings of ABC News that morning, "and it did collapse before we could get out of the building."

Mind you, no steel building had ever collapsed because of a fire in the world's
history. So, how did they know that the Twin Towers were going to collapse if
it was such an unprecedented occurrence?

--Portland Indymedia

Much is said about the how the towers collapsed, or more properly, were collapsed. Most violate Occam's Razor with unnecessary complications, rationalizations after the fact. There is no reason to come up with crazy explanations about how they might look like controlled demolitions but are not really. Simply: the collapse of the Twin Towers looked like controlled demolitions because they were controlled demotions.
The basic idea of explosive demolition is quite simple: If you remove the support structure of a building at a certain point, the section of the building above that point will fall down on the part of the building below that point. If this upper section is heavy enough, it will collide with the lower part with sufficient force to cause significant damage. The explosives are just the trigger for the demolition. It's gravity that brings the building down.

--The Bigger They Come, the Harder They Fall

At last, some straight talk about "controlled demolitions", the only process which can explain what was witnessed and what happened on 911.
You can demolish a stone wall with a sledgehammer, and it's fairly easy to level a five-story building using excavators and wrecking balls. But when you need to bring down a massive structure, say a 20-story skyscraper, you have to haul out the big guns. Explosive demolition is the preferred method for safely and efficiently demolishing larger structures. When a building is surrounded by other buildings, it may be necessary to "implode" the building, that is, make it collapse down into its footprint.

--How Building Implosions Work

My conclusion: if airliners had merely crashed into the Twin Tower of the WTC that day, there would have been fires and loss of life. The fires would have burned out as rapidly as they, in fact, did that very day. In the absence of "help", that would have been the beginning and the end of it. The towers would not have fallen and there would have been no need to "pull" Building 7.

There would have been no need for the vast propaganda and strong-arm machine that this crooked administration marshaled to cover up its crimes that day and its criminal complicity in a cover up. The destruction of evidence in and of itself should have been sufficient to send this administration up the river on felony charges of obstruction of justice.

Power corrupts and absolute power has corrupted absolutely this most corrupt, the most evil administration that the United States, possibly the world, has ever seen.

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?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

GOP Economics: Keep on Doing Whatever Makes You Sick!

You can't understand the Bush legacy until you come to grips with the GOP mentality best summed up thus: just keep repeating failed strategies, just keep on doing whatever makes you sick, just keep on drinking from the poisoned well.
Only this president could look out over a vista of 3,008 dead and 22,834 wounded in Iraq, and finally say, “Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me” — only to follow that by proposing to repeat the identical mistake ... in Iran.

--Keith Olbermann

It's not only in Iraq that the GOP hitched its wagon to a falling star. "It's the economy stupid". Though every GOP tax cut since 1982 are causally connected with huge deficits, slow growth and obscene inequalities, the GOP is on the stump for tax cuts. Naomi Klein reports that "the fix is in" and the National Association of Manufacturers must be ecstatic to know that whomever the GOP nominates, he will put more tax cuts at the top of "to do" list. Given Ronald Reagan's record and given the Chinese origin of the crap I find in Wal-Mart, I am somewhat surprised to learn that there remains in this country enough "manufacturers" to make up an association!

A GOP sacred word is "stimulus" and people naively support them expecting a trickle down effect which never comes. Dogs are trained by giving them a treat at the end of a trick. It is doubtful that a dog will jump through the hoop if there is nothing on the other side. Humans and especially the GOP inclined are not nearly so smart. Year after tiresome year, those susceptible to GOP propaganda will fall for the same old GOP bullshit: let's give business a "stimulus" and wait for the trickle down that never comes. I am weary of posting, year after year, the cold hard stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (primarily) that prove conclusively that there has never been a "trickle down" effect from any of those sacred GOP stimuli. GOP "stimuli" never work because they are always inequitable. They never reach nor benefit the people whose work and purchases drive the economy. GOP "stimuli" stop trickling at the bottom of an increasingly tiny elite who simply squirrel them away in ways that never trickle down.

It was Nixon who turned Republicans into "liberals". When he acceded to a significant deficit, Nixon famously said "We are all Keynesians now!" That's not entirely true. Keynes never proposed that tax cuts that would benefit only the very wealthy. Keynes, like every real economist, subscribed to the "labor theory of value". That is most certainly the reason he is reviled by the American right wing. The right wing not only hates labor as a class, it associates the "labor theory of value" with Karl Marx, though every other reputable economist had already done so. Marx was not all that revolutionary.
The real price of everything, what everything really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it.... Labour was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things.

--Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

To this day, Adam Smith, of "invisible hand" fame, is the guardian angel of conservative economics. Since that time Ricardo articulated the most clear-cut, effective statement of the labor theory in Principles of Political Economy and Taxation
The produce of the earth—all that is derived from its surface by the united application of labour, machinery, and capital, is divided among three classes of the community; namely, the proprietor of the land, the owner of the stock or capital necessary for its cultivation, and the labourers by whose industry it is cultivated.


The value of a commodity, or the quantity of any other commodity for which it will exchange, depends on the relative quantity of labour which is necessary for its production, and not as the greater or less compensation which is paid for that labour.

-David Ricardo, The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation

Ricardo eliminated the confusion between labor, a source of exchange-value, and wages, as a component of price. Modern conservatives will never forgive Ricardo his having been cited by Karl Marx, the American right wing's boogie man of choice for some 150 years.
Insofar as modern socialism, no matter of what tendency, starts out from bourgeois political economy, it almost without exception takes up the Ricardian theory of value. The two propositions which Ricardo proclaimed in 1817 right at the beginning of his Principles, 1) that the value of any commodity is purely and solely determined by the quantity of labour required for its production, and 2) that the product of the entire social labor is divided among the three classes: landowners (rent), capitalists (profit), and workers (wages)--these two propositions had ever since 1821 been utilized in England for socialist conclusions, and in part with such pointedness and resolution that this literature, which had then almost been forgotten and was to a large extent only rediscovered by Marx, remained surpassed until the appearance of Capital.

--Statement of the Classical Labor Theory of Value

American capitalists, otherwise called "robber barons", never really subscribed to "laissez-faire" economics. Rather, they preferred monopoly if they could pull one off or, failing that, oligopoly.

Bush's failures in Iraq as well as his numerous calamities in the economic sphere are bound up with one another as well as with his every other failure. The panoply of right wing calamities cannot be considered in isolation. All parts make up a gestalt, a whole of many parts --lies, myths, tortured logic, simplistic homilies, slogans, platitudes, claptrap, propaganda, and class warfare. The Iraq quagmire, for example, is not merely a war of naked aggression, it is an economic vampire sucks the life out of the US economy, harming the middle and lower income class most. Bush is unconcerned. His job has been to make Iraq safe for the robber barons of big oil. Bush proposes to do it with permanent bases. Trickle down theory will be disproved yet again. The oil profits that will ensue will only enrich the Dick Cheneys of this word. The "people" will continue to pay higher prices at the pump, they will continue to lose ground vis a vis the upper ten percent of the upper 20 percent (the upper quintile). That's why we fought the war.

Should --God forbid --another Republican steal the White House, he will go back to well. Indeed, the GOP candidates are on the stump preaching the same old crap. Nothing, absolutely nothing has been learned from the Bush debacle. Republican remorse is akin to crocodile tears. Republican are, indeed, sorry; they are sorry that Bush got caught. They are sorry that the failures and inadequacies of right wing economics have been laid bare.
But of all the cynical scrambles to package pro-business cash grabs as "economic stimulus," the prize has to go to Lawrence B. Lindsey, formerly President Bush's assistant for economic policy and his advisor during the 2001 recession. Lindsey's plan is to solve a crisis set off by bad lending by extending lots more questionable credit. "One of the easiest things to do would be to allow manufacturers and retailers" — notably Wal-Mart — "to open their own financial institutions, through which they could borrow and lend money," he wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal.

--Naomi Klein, Why the Right loves a disaster

Klien has picked up the trail, researching "a little-explored area of economic history". She is interested in how manufactured "crises" are exploited by the right wing and, in fact, have "paved the way for the march of the right-wing economic revolution across the globe." Social Security, as I have pointed out repeatedly, is a case in point. The GOP will break Social Security in order to "fix" it. But the fix will enrich only Wall Street Insiders and leave retirees worse off. Even now lemmings in the financial establishment are demanding that because Bush's deficits are so huge, "spending" on Social Security will have be cut dramatically. I wonder --does this include the benefits already being paid to current recipients? If so, how is this justified morally? Or --is it a threat to those who, because of GOP lies and fiscal incompetence, have only Social Security to look forward to?

Thanks to the Bush's immoral blunder in Iraq, this issue will loom large. Bush, if he indeed leaves the White House, will leave the nation this horrible legacy, a stench that will befoul the air and hang around, like an unwelcome, unkempt guest who moves in, stays, and refuses to just go away. Down and Out in Beverly Hills comes to mind.

Addendum: Bush's Legacy in Official Stats (you might want a drink before you look at this)

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Genius, A Saint, and SCOTUS Agree: Conspiracies Exist!

The right wing spent the 1950s trying to convince the nation that it was threatened by a vast world wide communist conspiracy. Now the right wing is trying to convince the nation that conspiracies don't exist at all! Right wingers have targeted Tin Foil Hatters for ridicule when it was not so long ago that the term applied better to them! Nevertheless, a Catholic saint, the world`s greatest physicist, and hundreds, possibly thousands of SCOTUS decisions and scholarly, legal articles all say: conspiracies exist!

The right wing, in fact, loves "conspiracy theories": the world wide communist conspiracy, the world-wide conspiracy of secular humanists, the world wide conspiracy of evolutionists, darwinists, and materialists, the world-wide conspiracy of terrorists (al Qaeda), the world wide conspiracy of labor and trade unionists, the world wide conspiracy of abortionists, the world wide conspiracy of nattering nabobs of negativism. In the fifties, we were expected to believe that there was a world wide conspiracy to add fluoridation to municipal water supplies. It was about the same time that proto-Ron Paul types were warning of a world wide conspiracy of international bankers. There is still a dire threat to our "children" by those evil, secular humanists! Gasp!

We are expected to believe in al Qaeda but not to believe that there was a conspiracy of robber barons to seize monopoly control of railroads leading west. We are expected to believe that a rag tag conspiracy of failed, Arab pilots perped 911 but not that there was a conspiracy by J.P. Morgan et al to control US banking, or John D. Rockefeller to control US oil production, or a conspiracy by Andrew Carnegie to control US steel production. We are expected to believe that Saddam Hussein had conspiratorial connections to 911 terrorists, but we are not expected to believe that the GOP stole the elections of 2000 and 2003 or that the GOP had anything do with the gang of "brownshirts" who were, in fact, financed by the Bush campaign. Only the right wing gets to indulge conspiracy theories.

A "Saint" in death, St. Thomas More was in life Chancellor of England during the reign of Henry VIII. A lawyer and a scholar, More is read and analyzed today. If More were time warped to the present time, he would look around him and find in the Military/Industrial complex a familiar cabal of liars, graft-takers, and conspirators.
So God help me, I can perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of the commonwealth.

They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely, without fear of losing, that they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labour of the poor for as little money as may be.

-Of the Religions in Utopia, St. Thomas More

The bolding is mine. More, some 400 years on, leaves us an accurate description of the Military/Industrial complex, most certainly, a certain conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of the commonwealth.

The GOP must now think this brilliant genius, this Saint by Catholic reckoning, a "tin foil hatter". But it was not so long ago that rabid righters had a different view of More. It was in the late 90s that these wing-nuts, hell-bent on impeaching Bill Clinton, dragged out the corpse of St. Thomas More. It would give their witch hunt an imprimatur of legitimacy and scholarship, lipstick on a pig! Mssrs Henry Hyde and David Schippers, were fond of quoting More but only as he was portrayed in an admittedly great film, A Man for All Seasons by Sir Robert Bolt. Here's an example of how Kenneth Starr mangled More and, in the process, proved himself a mediocre intellect. The following excerpt from Starr's interview with Diane Sawyer:

Kenneth Starr:
Well, I love the letter and the spirit of the law, but it`s the letter of the law that protects us all. And, you know, St. Thomas Moore, Sir Thomas Moore put it so elegantly, you know, in A Man For All Seasons. He took the law very seriously and said, `That`s what protects us. It`s not the will of a human being. It`s not Henry VIII`s will. Henry VIII is under the law. We are all equal under the law.`
Sorry, Mr. Starr, no where in the play A Man For All Seasons did the character of Sir Thomas More say anything resembling that.

In fact, More defended the obedience to "`s law, not God`s" [that makes More a secular humanist] and never made reference to either Henry VIII's law by name or description. The actual exchange that both David Schippers and Starr are both so fond of misquoting is as follows:

Roper: So now you`d give the Devil benefit of law!

More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get at the Devil?

Roper: I`d cut down every law in England to do that.

More: Oh! (advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you --where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? (He leaves him) This country’s planted thick with laws --man's laws, not God's [emphasis mine]--and if you cut them down --and you’re just the man to do it --d`you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I`d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety`s sake.
And, in yet another memorable exchange:
Margaret More: Father, that man's bad.

Sir Thomas More: There's no law against that.

William Roper: There is: God's law.

Sir Thomas More: Then God can arrest him.
Of course, the dialogue above was written by Robert Bolt. But if you want to read the original More you will find comments equally biting, equally witty that will most certainly curl the hair of modern right wing reactionaries and intellectual gnomes! More, they will charge, is a liberal, a socialist, and (gasp!!!!) ---a liberal!

But other brilliant folk, specifically, the greatest physicist since Newton, spoke eloquently and absolutely beyond the piss poor abilities of right wing idiots to refute:
The men who possess real power in this country have no intention of ending the cold war."

--Albert Einstein

Conspiracy theories are most vociferously denounced by conspirators. Conspirators exist if conspiracists do not. Conspirators have a lot riding on this issue --their very lives if they get caught! Traitors to this nation's Constitution, right-wing subversives who have, in fact, waged war on the citizens of this nation are subject to prosecution under the laws of this nation which recognize --as a matter of law --that conspiracies exist! High treason exists! War Crimes exist! Crimes against humanity exist! I have the laws of this nation, the Constitution, the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Principles to prove it! Moreover, I know and have already named the culprits on this blog!

Now --let's put this issue to rest. Here is a specific example of how the topic of how the concept of "conspiracy" is handled by US Codes, in particular "conspiracy" in a political sense.
Section 2384. Seditious conspiracy

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

Section 2383. Rebellion or insurrection

Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

US Codes

Who remembers the "Brooks Brothers Riot" that had the effect of stopping a court-ordered recount of votes in the state of Florida in the year 2000? That "riot" had been transported to Florida, all-expenses paid by the Bush campaign. It was the intention of this retinue to "attack" the recounters. The strategy was obvious: stop the recounts before Al Gore could pull ahead. This conspiracy of the Bush campaign was, in effect, a coup d'etat, a violation of US Codes, a conspiracy against the lawful, constitutional and orderly transfer of executive power. A case of Seditious Conspiracy? I believe that case should be made.

Conspiracies exist, OK? There is much more at: Findlaw: Cases and Codes> Supreme Court Opinions [if, for any reason, these links don't work, search: Cases and Codes, choose "supreme court opinions", search terms: conspiracy or conspiracies. Same below]

When you are done there, check Findlaw: Legal Articles re: Conspiracy

That’s a helluva lot of ink, time, and labor about something that does not exist.

A book pushed on the internet proposes to teach you how to "Outwit, outmock and outrage conservatives this election season!" I cannot recommend this book. Consider the following "don't" from the book:
It’s tempting to believe there are sinister conservative forces engaged in grand, diabolical schemes (e.g., the Bush administration orchestrated 9/11, bin Laden is a CIA operative, and Dick Cheney is an evil cyborg). Don’t bother going there. There are plenty of good arguments to make without bringing in the vast conspiracy of little green men on the grassy knoll. And besides, as anyone who has worked in government will tell you, the government isn’t competent enough to pull off a decent conspiracy.

Outwit, outmock and outrage conservatives this election season!

With "liberals" like this --who needs enemies? The quote misstates every charge made against Bush, Cheney or the "vast right wing conspiracy" in general. It trivializes real crimes for which there is evidence that would stand up in court. It diminishes the magnitude of real, specific and provable violations of US Codes --capital crimes --for which there is probable cause to try George W. Bush right now! It obscures real issues by misstating them, the strawman fallacy. Normally, I ignore crap of this sort, and if I had not been so sick of fuzzy, fallacious, stupid thinking on this point, I would not bother. Whoever wrote this drivel is trying to be cute --but isn't . For example, I have never, ever --in my life --heard anyone, at any time put forward the idea that there were "little green men on the grassy knoll".

Now --let's consider just one of the many holes in Bush's official conspiracy of 911, a failed theory because it violates Occam's Razor, raising more questions than it answers. Following is a story about how the government's own cover up raises more questions. If the Government's "official conspiracy" of 911 were true, the FBI would have no reason to cover up flight data from Flights 77, the Pentagon crash, and Flight 93, the flight said by Donald Rumsfeld to have been shot down by a missile.
FBI Conceals Flight Data Recorder Info That Could Confirm Registry ID's Of 2 9/11 Planes

A December 8, 2007 Freedom of Information Act request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, seeking the release of all data contained by the Solid State Flight Data Recorders recovered from the crash scenes of American Airlines flight 77 and United Airlines flight 93, has been denied. The data sought, would presumably confirm the commercial flight histories and thus the federal registry identifications of N644AA (AA 77) and N591UA (UA 93), already provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, obtained by a December 28, 2007 FOIA release. (See BTS release letter)

The FDR data requested of the FBI, was that which would presumably reveal the identity of flights occurring just before the final 9/11 flights (presumably matching flight history data provided by the BTS, for the said aircraft), carried out by N644AA (AA 77) and N591UA (UA 93), 2 of the 4 federally registered aircraft reportedly used to carry out the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. An appeal indicating that the requested records are unrelated to the events of September 11, 2001 and thus cannot interfere with 9/11 enforcement proceedings (indicated in refusal notice), is pending.

Addendum: several other cites have picked up this article. On at least one, the Findlaw searches above did not work. They work here for me. If, for any reason, they don't work for you, please leave a comment and I will try to track down the problem.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

How Ronald Reagan Blew the World's Last Chance for Peace

Ronald Reagan is remembered for doubling the Federal Bureaucracy, tripling the national debt, and ushering in a two year long depression. He is remembered for making the rich, richer, the poor, poorer and all at taxpayer expense. As bad as all that is, Reagan's lasting legacy is his worst and most dangerous. Reagan may have blown the world's last chance to achieve a non-nuclear peace.
Reagan is a study in complexity. He believed in balanced budgets but never submitted one; feared a nuclear apocalypse but built a huge stockpile of weapons; preached family values while presiding over a dysfunctional family.

--American Experience

The story is about the talks Reagan held with the Soviet Union's Mikhail Gorbachev at Reykjavik. It was Gorbachev who first put total nuclear disarmament on the table. It was Ronald Reagan, indebted to his radical base, who blinked.
If, that is, the ensuing “Great Society,” to borrow a term from JFK’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, were laid low by a nuclear attack on an American city (or seven, if al Qaeda had its way).

This is the territory into which Gorbachev launched his most daring raids. First, in 1985, he announced that the Soviet Union would no longer deploy intermediate-range nuclear forces (INFs) in Eastern Europe. Later that year, he proposed that both his country and the US slice their nuclear arsenals in half.

The next year, at the memorable Reykjavik summit, Gorbachev got Ronald Reagan to agree in principle to his plan for removal of all INFs from Europe, as well as to draw them down worldwide. Caught up in Gorbachev’s enthusiasm, Reagan expressed a willingness to join Russia in eliminating all nuclear weapons in 10 years.

In the end, though, Reagan clung to his blankie, the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars). Gorbachev feared SDI would lead to nukes in space, not to mention leave the Soviet defense establishment with the impression he’d been played. Their dreams of saving the world came crashing back down to earth.

--It’s not a new JFK we need in Obama, but the next Gorbachev

Reagan was a typical Republican, that is, he said many things and did the opposite. That's because every Republican has two stories to tell: one they tell to their base via "code words" like "family values"; the other, they tell to the world. This second category often consists of lies and pure BS. In this case, Reagan had talked the talked ---world peace, nuclear disarmament, etc. When Gorbachev raised the stakes --total nuclear disarmament --Reagan suddenly recalled his base, the clique, the Military/Industrial complex, the moneyed class that "brung 'em"! He blinked!

Here is what Reagan himself said about the threat of nuclear war.
The Russians sometimes kept submarines off our East Coast with nuclear missiles that could turn the White House into a pile of radioactive rubble within six or eight minutes. Six minutes to decide how to respond to a blip on a radarscope and decide whether to unleash Armageddon! How could anyone apply reason at a time like that? There were some people in the Pentagon who thought in terms of fighting and winning a nuclear war. To me it was simple common sense: A nuclear war couldn't be won by either side. It must never be fought. Advocates of the MAD policy believed it had served a purpose: The balance of terror it created had prevented nuclear war for decades. But as far as I was concerned, the MAD policy was madness.

--Ronald Reagan, The Official Site

So, if that's how Ronald Reagan really felt about nuclear madness, why did he blow what is perhaps our last chance at peace? The answer is simple. Reagan was not his own man.

There were early warning signs that Reagan was utterly incompetent but Reagan was held to a much lesser standard than Jimmy Carter, whose regime was the butt of universal and planned, top-down derision by the GOP.
February 2: Reagan testifies to the Tower Board for a second time. His testimony is inconsistent and confused. The Board pointed out Reagan hadn’t known about August shipment of anti-tank missiles, but Reagan had said he DID know. When asked for an explanation, Reagan picked up a briefing memo he had been provided and read aloud: "If the question comes up at the Tower Board meeting, you might want to say that you were surprised."

--The Timeline of Ronald Reagan's Life

It is perhaps because the US media, during the Reagan's years, stopped doing its job of informing the population that the myth persists: Reagan's tax cuts were the foundation of a generation of American prosperity. The facts are these: 1) The regime of Ronald Reagan is characterized by anemic overall growth. 2) Jimmy Carter ranks second only to LBJ in over economic growth among American post-war Presidents. It is a myth, if not a deliberate GOP lie, that Reagan is among the best US Presidents in the category of job creation. He is, in fact, among the very worst:

Job Growth Per Year Under Most Recent Presidents

Johnson 3.8%
Carter 3.1
Clinton 2.4
Kennedy 2.3
Nixon 2.3
Reagan 2.1
Bush 0.6

You might be surprised to learn that the United States has long had the lowest tax rates of any industrialized nation. And how does the level of taxation compare to each nation's standard of living? There are three general ways to measure standard of living: earning power, purchasing power and individual worker productivity. The U.S. has lost its lead in
the first and is losing its lead in the other two.

Earning power is defined as GDP per capita, or how much the average citizen earns in a year. It is an important statistic because it measures how advantageously nations trade on the global market. After the Second World War, the U.S. was number one for 40 years. But in the mid-80s, the U.S. suddenly began dropping down the list.

1991 Earning Power2

Switzerland $35,490
Japan 27,300
Sweden 26,900
Denmark 24,230
Norway 24,150
Finland 24,110
United States 22,550
Canada 20,840
Germany 19,830
Netherlands 19,310

See: The Reagan Years, Steve Kangas
The US trails the rest of the world in many key areas. Space prevents my posting the official figures in every category. The general conclusion is valid: under Reagan, the US began a descent into third world status, a trend now aggravated by Bush who lately likes to compare himself to Lincoln ! Stop me! My sides are hurting!

It is because he was successful that Jimmy Carter is reviled today. The GOP will never tell the truth about Democratic successes just as it can be counted on to lie about its own failures. Reagan's following remarks not only sound hollow today, they are indicative of just how out of touch was Reagan as he presided over the demise of American industry.
The great dynamic success of capitalism had given us a powerful weapon in our battle against Communism - money. Moreover, incentives inherent in the capitalist system had given us an industrial base that meant we had the capacity to maintain a technological edge over them forever.

--Ronald Reagan, The Official Site

In fact, the history of how the US lost its lead in automotive manufacturing, electronics, steel production and almost every other "heavy" industry is largely a history of the Reagan years. It is essential reading.

History Channel: The Anthrax Attacks Were an Inside Job

The US investigation of the anthrax attacks was a "sham" and the attacks were an obvious inside job. Now, the History Channel openly characterizes them as the work of the US government.

Not long after the televised attacks on New York City, US citizens were attacked by the government of the United States itself, though it was hoped that the American people would accept the ruse and swallow an absurd cover that some radical, Islamic terrorist had somehow gotten hold of US "weapons grade" anthrax and was threatening only Democrats and media unfriendly to the Bush junta. Bob Stevens, photo editor for American Media’s tabloid Sun lay critically ill in a Florida hospital diagnosed as having inhaled anthrax. He would die, no doubt a victim of the US government itself. He would join about 3,000 other victims of the treasonous war this government has waged upon the people of America.

In short order, other laced envelopes appeared, most notably letters addressed to Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. As Ed Encho accucrately points out in the comments section, Tom Daschle was Democratic Senate Majority Leader; Patrick Leahy was Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman. These men might have used their positions to stop the implementation of the USA Patriot Act, a blueprint for the tyranny with which we live now. Method, motive, and opportunity!

The "anthrax attacks" are all but forgotten now, overshadowed by Bush's calamitous war against Iraq, his egregious assault on the Constitution and the rule of law, and by the economic ruin his mis-rule has brought upon the nation, the enmity that he has earned throughout the world.

The anthrax attacks in the United States, also known as Amerithrax from its FBI case name, occurred over the course of several weeks beginning on September 18, 2001. Letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to several news media offices and two Democratic US Senators, killing five people and infecting 17 others. The crime remains unsolved. [following: playlist of 3 revealing vids]

Terrorist Act Was an Inside Job

"The optimal US weaponization process is secret—Bill Patrick, its inventor, holds five secret patents on the process and says it involves a combination of chemicals . There is no evidence that any other country possesses the formula."

"The perpetrator must have realized in advance that the anthrax attack would result in the strengthening of US defense and response capabilities. This is not likely to have been a goal of anti-American terrorists, who would also be unlikely to warn the victims in advance. Perhaps the perpetrator stood to gain in some way from increased funding and recognition for biodefense programs.

Financial beneficiaries would include the BioPort Corp., the source of the US anthrax vaccine, and other potential vaccine contractors."

"Even if the perpetrator did not make the anthrax himself, just filling the letters with it was a dangerous operation. The perpetrator therefore must have received the anthrax vaccine recently (it requires a yearly booster shot). The vaccine is in short supply and is not generally accessible, and vaccination records are undoubtedly available. The perpetrator also appears to have special expertise in evading contamination while handling weaponized anthrax."

--Did the Government Okay the Anthrax Attacks?

Who benefited? Indeed, the "perpetrator" achieved his goal. Bush assumed dictatorial powers and, over time, US citizens were denied the protections of the Bill of Rights, habeas corpus, and Due Process of Law. Another election would be stolen.As the following sequence of videos from the History Channel and CBS News, the FBI has been implicated in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

As Bush nears the end of this occupancy, rational folk must simply confront the issue: having presumed to rule by decree, having flouted the US Constitution, International Law, treaties, conventions, US Codes and the rule of law, could a culprit be expected to simply ride off into the sunset while a new regime --if it is wise --proceeds to undo the irreparable harms Bush inflicted on civilization these past seven years? Not likely! As long as Bush occupies the White House, as long as the CIA competes for the title world's most deadly terrorist organization, as long as the military is bought and paid for by America's tiny, ruling elite, no American is safe.

Related: Michael Moore now claims what many have come to believe: 911 itself could be an inside job. Certainly: 1) Bush has lied about 911; 2) Bush deliberately ordered evidence of the crime scene destroyed; 3) Bush opposed the creation of a 911 commission and obstructed its investigation; 4) Bush told conflicting stories of his actions that day; 5) The Bush administration alone benefited politically and financially from the events of 911.

Bush Crimes on Video

Bush exploited the events of 911 to consolidate his powers and approval ratings. He seized upon the chance that terrorism gave him 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 Geneva, 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: no identifiable airliner wreckage was ever found in the Pentagon debris. Moreover, as I detailed in a privious article, the "official" account of the burials at Arlington National Cemetary is shot through with inaccuracies, internal inconsistencies and inconsistencies with forensic accounts. As far as we know, none of those said to have been buried at Arlington were! Additionally, witnesses described a much smaller aircraft --certainly not an airliner, certainly not Flight 77!

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

I say to Bush himself: put up or shut the fuck up and turn yourself over for prosecution for the commission of capital crimes!