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Why Fact-check? Why preserve a visual record?

The Website Written as a Book
1: Science and Subjective Viewpoints
2: Toward Accurate Collapse Histories
....2.1: Progressive Floor Collapses in the WTC Towers
....2.2: General Global Characteristics of Collapses
....2.3: Mathematical Basis of ROOSD Propagation
....2.4: WTC1 Accurate Collapse History
....2.5: WTC2 Accurate Collapse History
....2.6: WTC7 Accurate Collapse History
3: WTC Collapse Misrepresentations
....3.1: Purpose of the NIST Reports
....3.2: NIST WTC1 Misrepresentations
....3.3: NIST WTC7 Misrepresentations
....3.4: NIST WTC2 Misrepresentations
....3.5: Reviewing the Purpose of NIST and FEMA Reports
....3.6: Bazant Misrepresentation of Collapse Progressions
....3.7: Block Misrepresentations of Collapse Progressions
....3.8: AE911T Misrepresentations of the Collapses
4: Scientific Institutions Can Be Unaware of Contradiction
5: Reassessing the Question of Demolition
....5.1: The Case of WTC1
....5.2: The Case of WTC2
....5.3: The Case of WTC7
6: WTC Collapse Records Studied as Meme Replication
....6.1: Meme Replication in Technical Literature
....6.2: Meme Replication in Mass Media
....6.3: Meme Replication in Popular Culture
....6.4: John Q Public and the WTC Collapse Records

WTC Twin Towers Collapse Dynamics

Official, Legal Attempts to Explain Collapses

Academic Attempts to Explain Collapses Reviewed

On the Limits of Science and Technology

WTC Video Record

WTC Photographic Record
WTC1 Attack to Collapse
WTC2 Attack to Collapse
Fire Progression, WTC1 North Face
Fire Progression, WTC1 South Face
Fire Progression, WTC1 East Face
Fire Progression, WTC1 West Face
Fire Progression, WTC2 North Face
Fire Progression, WTC2 South Face
Fire Progression, WTC2 East Face
Fire Progression, WTC2 West Face
Debris: WTC1 Around Footprint
Debris: WTC2 Around Footprint
Debris: From WTC1 Westward
Debris: From WTC1 Northward
Debris: From WTC2 Eastward
Debris: From WTC2 Southward
Debris: Plaza Area, Northeast Complex
Debris: Hilton Hotel, Southwest Complex
Debris: General, Unidentified Locations
Damage to Surrounding Buildings
Perimeter Column Photo Record
Perimeter Columns: Types of Damage
Core Box Columns: Types of Damage
Complete Photo Archive
Other Major 9-11 Photo Archives
The 911Dataset Project

WTC Structural Information

Log In


Remember Me

Online Misrepresentations of the WTC Collapses

Forum, Blog Representations of the WTC Collapses

The Book Tested Through Experiments

Miscellaneous Notes, Resources
FAQ for Miscellaneous Notes
History Commons 9/11 Timeline
The 911Dataset Project
Skyscraper Safety Campaign
First and Largest 9/11 Conspiracy Theory
Key Words in Book and Website
Trapped Within a Narrowed False Choice
Vulnerability and Requestioning
On Memes and Memetics
Obedience, Conformity and Mental Structure
Denial, Avoidance (Taboo) and Mental Structure
Taboos Against Reviewing the Collapse Events
Extreme Situations and Mental Structure
Suggestibility, Hypnosis and Mental Structure
Awareness and Behavior
Magical, Religious, Scientific Cause-Effect Relations
The Extreme Limits of Mental Dysfunction
Orwell's "Crimestop", "Doublethink", "Blackwhite"
William James, Max Born: Science as Philosophy
Plato on Self Reflection and Mental Structure
Rewriting History, part 1
Rewriting History, part 2
On Smart Idiots

New Ideas in Education

Meme Replication in Mass Media

Meme Replication in Mass Media

Detecting incoherence within technical literature

Recalling the statement by David Bohm at the beginning of this section:

"The real test of a map is whether it guides us correctly through a city. If it's a wrong map we will find incoherence in our actions."

Such incoherence is observable throughout Government reports, technical journals, mass media, and in the statements of various social commentators. On the other hand, the WTC collapses are highly technical issues and journalists on the whole will not have the abilities to directly fact-check technical claims.

From where does the observed incoherence and confusion originate? Part 3 demonstrates that confusion originates from the NIST reports and is detectable within articles appearing in technical journals. Part 6 demonstrates that confusion on these subjects can be observed throughout the entirety of written records and follow-up studies of the collapse events. Confusion and divergent, contradictory viewpoints can be observed within most all technical literature and government reports since the collapses on 9/11/01 to the present.

The resulting information vacuum has been filled by misrepresentations. Not surprisingly, the collapse histories and the controversial question of demolition are both represented through the media as narrowed sets of these misrepresentations pitted against each other in a type of point-counterpoint false choice

POINT: The NIST is generally portrayed as being the most competent group of observers of the events at the WTC complex in popular media. They are generally represented as the foremost experts on the collapses. The NIST reports are represented as true descriptions of each collapse even though there is no effort to question or verify whether the NIST descriptions are consistent with the visual record of events. When presenting NIST as authoritative, unquestioned (and therefore true), there is no effort to look at the reports critically or independently to verify the NIST claims.

COUNTERPOINT: In popular media those who disagree with the NIST findings or allege demolition or the possibility of demolition of the collased buildings occurred are regarded as a band of "Truthers" and, outside of organizations like AE911T, STJ911, and individuals like Jim Fetzer, Jim Hoffman or viewpoints in line with any of them, no questioning of the NIST collapse histories of each building is acknowledged to exist.

Both point and counterpoint represent the collapse progression modes of the Twin Towers in a verifiably inaccurate way. Both points represent the collapse initiation processes in a verifiably inaccurate way. Given such a choice it seems foolish to embrace either point or counterpoint. The only smart logical choice, in such conditions, would be to independently verify claims.


The inevitable outcome of a point, counterpoint approach to understanding the technical aspects of the collapses is the adoption of a false choice. A false choice means that all perspectives are seen only through the lens of the NIST and all opposition or analysis of the controversial question of demolition is viewed only through the AE911T, STJ911 lenses.

The artificially narrowed false choice can be understood as a framing of the collapses in terms of the NIST vs AE911T. Like a type of blurred, myopic vision, the NIST and AE911T are pitted against each other and all other viewpoints are treated as nonexistent. Unfortunately, both of those lenses are out of focus, so anyone viewing the collapses in this way will inevitably be working with inaccurate information without being aware of it. Furthermore, within this false, blurry vision there is no way to test the NIST viewpoint except through the poor counter-argumentation of AE911T. Within these narrow confines it is falsely concluded that if the AE911T arguments are so poor, that means the NIST must be correct.

The meaning of "false dichotomy" according to wikipedia (linked here)6. From the link:

A false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, the either-or fallacy, fallacy of false choice, black-and-white thinking or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses) is a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there are additional options (sometimes shades of grey between the extremes).

As is clearly shown in this 6th section of the book, the 2 alternatives as represented in popular media are the NIST and groups like AE911T, STJ911. These groupings take extremely different viewpoints concerning the mathematical possibility of sustained progressive collapse. AE911T and the NIST are represented in the popular media as having a large, unbridgeable gap between them in that the NIST accepts the possibility of a gravity driven collapse progression while AE911T takes the extreme, unnecessary position that collapse progression is impossible without outside assistance.

Even so, these 2 viewpoints are presented in opposition to each other and none of the other wide range of choices are acknowledged to exist, including the reality that both point and counterpoint base claims on verifiably incorrect information.

As long as both the official version of history and AE911T describe the propagation of collapse progression in terms of blocks (as over simplified caricatures), no meaningful discussion of the most relevant structural questions is possible between them. The type of demolition described in part 5 is considered outside of possibility. Point and counterpoint are presented, and this possibility based on a more accurate representation of global mass flow is ignored by both viewpoints.


False choice

The presentation of a false choice often reflects a deliberate attempt to eliminate the middle ground on an issue.

In this case "middle ground" includes an analysis of the collapses using the most accurate collective body of observations and measurements available. If a person were to verify claims independently of either point or counterpoint, they would be considered to be of the invisible 'middle ground'.

There is no example within the articles presented of the portrayal of anyone who questions the NIST claims and, at the same time, allows for gravity-sustained processes within the WTC towers. That is the means for creating extreme polarity within the false dichotomy; to equate all people who disagree with the NIST claims as "gravity-deniers".

The result of being transfixed by the false dichotomy is that false information is mixed with true information so freely and completely that the towers themselves are effectively ignored, replaced by a steady diet of false claims which self-proclaimed "experts" of each polarized "side" feed a vulnerable public.

6.2 PORTRAYAL OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER COLLAPSES IN POPULAR MEDIA in SEPTEMBER, 2011, 1 decade after the collapses: Commonly replicated memes.

Examples taken from the collection of articles at this link.

How have the journalists come to their conclusions, if any, and how do they gather what they consider to be sufficient information to arrive at what they consider to be a correct conclusion? What are their conclusions based upon? Through what lens do they see the collapses and why?

The articles in this section serve to show how a false dichotomy is echoed through media and how the NIST reports are represented and the reasoning used by the authors to reach their conclusions. The NIST collapse initiation models are presented against exaggerated claims. The NIST models are presented as factual and proven. Note how not one author seems to recognize or suspect that the official explanations for the collapses of all 3 buildings contradict the visual record.

National Public Radio (NPR):

"The National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted a probe that took six years to complete of the tower collapses; the last report found that fire caused the collapse of 7 World Trade Center, a skyscraper north of the twin towers. In the collapses of the twin towers, the agency found that extreme heat from the jetliner crashes caused some steel beams to lose strength, causing further failures in the building until the entire structure succumbed.6

This expresses the most popular meme within most every article quoted within this section. Without any capacity to fact-check what is claimed, the NIST conclusions are echoed as unquestioned truth.

The agency found that....
Science teaches that....

Richard Feynman: "When someone says science teaches such and such, he is using the word incorrectly. Science doesn't teach it; experience teaches it. If they say to you science has shown such and such, you might ask, "How does science show that- how did the scientists find out- how, what, where?" Not science has shown, but this experiment, this effect has shown. And you have as much a right as anyone else, upon hearing about the experiments (but we must listen to all the evidence), to judge whether a reusable conclusion has been arrived at."


The investigation "was the most comprehensive examination of a structural failure ever conducted," said Shyam Sunder, lead investigator of the collapse investigation and led to 40 building code changes to make safer, terror-proof skyscrapers. NIST maintains a website with its reports and computer-based animations that reconstruct its findings to reach out to the public.

Sunder acknowledges it hasn't reached everyone.
"We really can't explain why some people question our findings about the WTC collapses when we have done our best to present those findings and how they were derived as clearly as possible," Sunder wrote in an e-mail."


In the case of WTC1, for example, there is no accurate representation of either the collapse initiation movement or the collapse progression mode within the entire report. Even so, NPR presents the collapse initiation mechanisms proposed by the NIST as unquestioned, matter-of-fact truth.

From the wikilink on the WTC collapses quoted earlier:

Some engineers have suggested that understanding of the collapse mechanism could be improved by developing an animated sequence of the collapses based on a global dynamic model, and comparing it with the video evidence of the actual collapses. In October 2005, the New Civil Engineer reported criticism of NIST's computer modeling. Colin Bailey at the University of Manchester and Rober Plank at the University of Sheffield called on NIST to release computer visualizations of the collapses in order to compare the collapse models with observed events.

If this was done, it would have been easily noticed that the description of early motion given by the NIST grossly contradicts the observable, measurable motion in 2005.

But it was never done.

The most common point, counterpoint meme is expressed in the next example.

The StarPheonix:

"All challenge the official and generally accepted version of the 9/11 events and their allegations and interpretations are profuse and abundant on the Internet. Offered as contrary evidence to the official record are anecdotal accounts of mysterious explosions at ground level, video of curious eruptions at higher levels, and elaborate " and largely amateur " engineering assessments, which have been disputed by what most people regard as reliable scientific authorities."7

Any form of counterpoint is represented as amateur and anecdotal, disputed by reliable scientific authorities. In the particular case of the observations and measurements presented within this book, the results have never been disputed. They have been ignored. The results are verifiable and reproducible yet they simply do not exist within the range of awareness of these journalists. To the reporter the official version of collapse events is factual and undisputed. The NIST viewpoint is completely internalized and presented as matter-of-fact truth.

"Countering conspiracy theories and their propagators, never mind dissuading their believers, is a challenge to authorities for which there is no ready approach. A 2008 paper by Cass Sunstein, a White House legal affairs director, offered a range of options: Ban conspiracy theorizing; impose a tax of some sort on propagators; mount a media campaign to discredit conspiracy theories; engage in "cognitive infiltration" of conspiracist groups and hire covert agents to mount counter-arguments to prevailing conspiracy theories. Given the nature of the beast, none of these is likely to be effective, and might even serve as confirmation of its suspicions of institutionalized government perfidy."

-The StarPheonix

A false dichotomy is presented as unquestioned historical fact, and fines and "cognitive infiltration" are suggested as possible solutions to force people not to question the provably inaccurate technical descriptions of each collapse. Within this logic the provable information within this book should be 'taxed' or attacked by covert agents. These observations and measurements, the most accurate existing, should be treated as a 'beast' that must be countered by...what? Less accurate mappings?

Journalist echoes Popular Mechanics, which echoes the NIST

Post Gazette:

"One unlikely media outlet has probably done more than any other to investigate the claims -- Popular Mechanics, which has a large readership of engineers, metallurgists, aviators and other mechanically minded people.

In 2005, after the National Institute of Standards and Technology issued its 10,000-page report on the collapse, Popular Mechanics combed through the findings and published an exhaustive cover story, the most widely viewed article in the history of the magazine, with 7.5 million views, said executive editor David Dunbar.
"When we first noticed theories about 9/11 circulating, we realized that at the heart of the claims was some kind of fact," said Mr. Dunbar. "Facts can be fact-checked, and wherever there was an intersection between a conspiracy theory and something that could be confirmed or refuted, we looked into it."
Needless to say, they found no scientific evidence backing up theories that 9/11 was an inside job, prompting plenty of backlash."8

Facts can be fact-checked. In hindsight, in view of the information presented in parts 2, 3 and 4 of this book, it is stunning how poorly Popular Mechanics was able to fact-check the NIST reports. Not only the journalist but Popular Mechanics9 support the NIST conclusions with seemingly no capacity for critical thought or cross-checking of claims independently. The common theme within each article is that NIST claims are presented as historic truth and accepted without question.

Popular Mechanics simply propagated identical memes.


"It's difficult to pinpoint a precise moment when the popularity of the 9/11 conspiracy theory peaked, though it was probably sometime in 2006. In tracking its decline, however, three dates stand out: July 22, 2004, when the 9/11 Commission released its final report; Feb. 3, 2005, when Popular Mechanics published its 5,500-word article dismantling the movement's claims; and Aug. 21, 2008, when the National Institute of Standards and Technology issued the final portion of a $16 million study investigating the cause of the collapse of the Twin Towers and a third World Trade Center skyscraper that was not hit by a plane."10

The journalist writing the article is clearly impressed with these figures, but he has no capacity to verify whether the information within the reports or articles is correct. They simply propagate the memes of NIST. They are official, therefore they must be correct. The passage does correctly point out that the official version of history rests on the NIST collapse hypotheses, but the passage doesn't mention that all three collapse hypotheses are provably incorrect.

"Dozens of peer-reviewed papers have been written that support the official hypotheses, but those are dismissed as well."


Rather than accepting or dismissing them, one could opt to check them for accuracy instead. Some of these peer reviewed papers were reviewed in section 2.3 and 3.6. The complete list of peer reviewed literature is given in part 6. If one reads the written records and reviews them for accuracy, contradictions and incoherence becomes quite noticeable.

CBS News:

"The Twin Towers collapsed because of a controlled explosion

"This theory generally gets explained via a question: How could an airplane possibly bring down a building as large as the World Trade Center without explosives?

Perhaps it's best to let engineers answer this one. Popular Mechanics magazine writes: "Jet fuel burns at 800° to 1500°F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750°F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn't need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength--and that required exposure to much less heat. But jet fuel wasn't the only thing burning, notes Forman Williams, a professor of engineering at the University of California, San Diego, and one of seven structural engineers and fire experts that PM consulted. He says that while the jet fuel was the catalyst for the WTC fires, the resulting inferno was intensified by the combustible material inside the buildings, including rugs, curtains, furniture and paper... pockets of fire hit 1832°F."11

This theory generally gets explained...

The article presents research into the collapses as a naive set of false choices. If one were to properly address the question as framed by the news agency, "How could an airplane possibly bring down a building as large as the World Trade Center without explosives?", a recognition of what appear to be the largest chains of progressive floor collapses in history, given in part 2.1, would be a good place to start.

If a person takes the time to understand global features of the collapses through the lens of accurate and detailed visual reconstructions, they will probably notice that many claims made by the investigating agency (NIST) are provably untrue.

The Guardian:

"The twin towers were destroyed by controlled explosion

Truthers say video footage of the buildings falling points to demolition due to the way the towers bend before collapsing. Also, there appear to be explosions as the windows blow out, floor by floor, from the top downwards. One US academic claims to have tested samples from the wrecked towers which show the presence of chemical residue, suggesting explosives had been used.
But in controlled explosion demolition experts collapse a building from the bottom not the top. Experts say the windows were blown out as each floor collapsed on to the one below, sending debris and office equipment flying out.
It would also have taken considerable work, which would not have gone unnoticed, to plant sufficient explosives the length of the buildings to bring them down."12

Truthers say that...

The article presents research into the collapses as a naive set of false choices. There are a number of incorrect claims made within the space of a few sentences. As demonstrated earlier, in the case of WTC1 there is no accurate measurement of "bending". The NIST claim an 8 degree "bend" for WTC1 while less than 1 degree is measured directly from the visual record. Concerning collapse progression, the journalist gives a standard "decimation" argument, insinuating devices would have to be planted the length of the building and ignoring the possibility of an intentionally initiated progressive floor collapse (ROOSD) which utilized the highly confined, stacked systems within the structural designs.

The description is nothing but a further repetition of popular memes.

The Guardian:

"World Trade Centre building 7, adjacent to the twin towers, must have been was destroyed by controlled demolition because it was not hit by a plane

This theory is partly based on a remark by the owner of the building who, fearing it was about to collapse, said firefighters inside should be brought out immediately. He used the words: "Pull it". This remark has been interpreted as slang for demolishing the building. In fact, the collapse was caused by intense fires in one of the neighbouring twin towers that spread to WTC 7, causing its steel beams to buckle and the building to come down."

This theory is partly based on...

Once again, The article presents research into the collapses as a naive set of false choices. The comments, read carefully, do not even make sense.

The NIST claims sagging long span trusses led to conditions in which the south perimeter wall (WTC1) and east perimeter wall (WTC2) failed. Measurements and observations point to collective core failure. Within the passages quoted, unquestioning belief in authority is the common theme. The journalists present their arguments by echoing authoritative memes while demonstrating a clear lack of capacity to fact-check independently by using the visual record. The articles echo a common underlying belief system using words and phrases like:

  • expert
  • experts agree
  • exhaustive
  • 10,000 page NIST report
  • $16 million study
  • 5,500 word Popular mechanics article
  • reliable scientific authorities
  • the most comprehensive examination of a structural failure ever conducted
  • An extensive inquiry by the National Institute of Standards and Technology concluded...
  • A three-year investigation by the National Institute of Standards and Technology concluded....
  • Dozens of peer-reviewed papers have been written that support...

The NIST reports are taken as the answer, the explanation of how each tower collapsed. Not surprisingly, the reporters do not have the capacity to actually fact-check the collapse mechanisms, observations and movement claimed within the NIST reports.

Within the articles the polarity that is opposite to the official collapse hypotheses is represented only by those who deny the possibility of sustained collapse progression through gravity, the view through the AE911T lens. The polarity presented is between those who admit the possibility of gravity-sustained destruction (the NIST lens) and those who deny it ("truthers" as through the AE911T lens), there being no middle ground considered (for example, an independent verification of claims or the use of accurate observations and measurements).

These beliefs are repetitively echoed within the articles cited. Within this book evidence is given, in a way that can be cross-checked and verified by the reader, that demonstrates that none of these beliefs are correct. They are nothing more than empty memes imitated from source to source.

ROBERT PARRY wrote 2 articles very critical of "truthers"13.

The articles:

The 9/11 'Truth" Parlor Game

Which is a follow-up explanation for a mention of 9/11 "truth" in this article.

Parry wrote:

Indeed, if you were to teach a course on sophistry, you might wish to make a case study of the 'truther' movement, which has deployed nearly every imaginable example of false logic, from the use of endorsements as a substitute for evidence to insistence that any miniscule doubt on one side of an argument requires its rejection while even the thinnest possibility on the other must be accepted as serious, if not true.

I believe this to be true, though including the official collapse explanations would make the case studies of sophistry much more interesting and well-rounded. The author shares Parry's frustration with groups like AE911T and STJ911. But if one takes the point (NIST), counterpoint (AE911T, STJ911) positions as representing the "debate" concerning demolition, then they will choose false information regardless of their choice. Such a person will inevitably choose the better sophist without being aware of it.

The author has witnessed firsthand, for long enough and in a broad spectrum of venues, 9/11 popular debate is predominantly driven by ideology and the repetition of memes on both sides, not by evidence and logic. I've seen nothing which indicates supporters of the NIST are more educated, logical, thoughtful, informed, or any of the many qualities associated with superior debate - than are those who question this version of events. By supporters, I mean adherents and defenders. Amongst both these factions are one-percenters, cream of the crop, capable of carrying an argument forward dramatically and possibly even to a rigorous conclusion, but this is the exception. The preponderance of 'debate' is rehash of the same subjects again and again, in the same way, and on the same fallacious basis employed by both sides.

The same debate carries on at the bottom of online mainstream news articles; on ABC / WSJ / Independent / MSNBC / AOL / Guardian / YouNameIt, both sides continue to hack away at each other on the same tired themes using the same tired methods year after year. Mr. Parry chooses to focus on the alleged 'supporters' of a simplified amalgam of some of the more extreme theories, under the rubric "here is some of what they seem to believe:", a logical fallacy in itself.

Truthers believe...
Truthers say that....

Parry wrote:

For instance, the 'truthers' have long claimed that the collapse of Building Seven is the prima facie case for their conspiracy theory, especially, they say, its drop at near freefall speed. However, the speed of the collapse should not be all that surprising because Building Seven had a large atrium. Once the atrium's supports were breached by the shock of the Twin Tower collapse and a resulting fire, Building Seven would logically fall into the open space at near freefall speed.

Is it really that simple? The NIST's simulation of building behavior doesn't fail/descend that way. They acknowledge the results are not trustworthy beyond formation of the roofline kink. One has to wonder why the physics simulation could not capture the actual collapse behavior and, most importantly, where the simulations fail to represent the subtle (and chaotic) error prior to development of the kink.

Likewise, there is movement of the building beginning about 2 minutes before the first more visible movement which the NIST fails to recognize. Also, the downward acceleration measured by the NIST is provably incorrect.

While it does not constitute a prima facie case for demolition, in my opinion, it does warrant further engineering investigations. Based partly on the conflict between armchair speculation like Parry's and the NIST simulation, but also several other factors, the freefall portion lacks a suitably detailed descriptive mechanism at this time and isn't even measured correctly. Anyone can believe what they choose to believe, but such beliefs are ultimately based on faith unless or until further research resolves certain issues. So many people, including Parry, reach for their favorite explanation and calls it the explanation and that is supposed to settle the debate and separate the normal people from the "nutty" (as Parry puts it).

Almost no one researched the available literature on the dynamics of failure and collapse, excepting the very few researchers whose work is referenced within this book, to try to determine what is expected from either a natural or assisted collapse. Everything else was speculation and the repetition of empty memes. There is a single set of tentative measurements indicating a freefall (or greater) period in a demolition of a high-rise14 included in part 2.6, 3.3, and 5.3 of this book. Therefore, there is a (tentative) data point showing association between demolition and freefall. Only one. But there aren't any associated with natural collapses. Perhaps that has to do with the shortage of natural collapses, and the surprise element of natural disasters which would cause collapse.

Robert Parry updated one of his articles on 9/11 conspiracies after the Tucson shootings.


Update: On Sunday, in a profile of alleged Tucson gunman Jared L. Loughner, the New York Times reported that as "a curious teenager," Loughner "became intrigued by antigovernment conspiracy theories, including that the Sept. 11 attacks were perpetrated by the government. ...

"His anger would well up at the sight of President George W. Bush, or in discussing what he considered to be the nefarious designs of government."

Given how a mentally disturbed young person can process information (or disinformation), it is incumbent on all of us who speak in today's public square to be responsible, especially when we make serious allegations like suggesting that Bush and the U.S. government "made" 9/11 happen.

The need for this careful behavior is true for the Right and it is true for the Left. The Center (including the mainstream press) also has a deep responsibility to examine suspicions of government wrongdoing when there is credible evidence and to have the courage to speak truth to power regardless of the pressures and consequences.

For the Center to renege on that duty (such as when the mainstream press attacked Gary Webb's Contra-cocaine reporting in the mid-to-late 1990s) may be rationalized as "good for the country" in the short-term (by discrediting ugly truths) but whitewashing only feeds the public's appetite for conspiracy theories on the Right and the Left.

In other words, to help avert future tragedies like the one in Tucson, all parts of the U.S. political/media system need to work better and take their responsibilities to the public more seriously. That would include not spreading wild accusations with weak or non-existent evidence, but it also would require holding Bush and his associates accountable for what they actually did.

Surely, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to decry (and investigate) what Bush did in office: his use of torture, his misleading the nation to war, his reckless tax cuts for the rich, his botched economic policies, and, yes, his failure to protect the country from the 9/11 attacks.

However, it doesn't help the cause of accountability to make unfounded allegations against Bush " indeed it hurts. By floating unsubstantiated and bizarre claims about "controlled demolitions" and a "missile hitting the Pentagon," the "truthers" actually make it harder to proceed with investigations into important areas of doubt about 9/11, like the financing and the Saudi role.

As for the crazy stuff, enough is enough.

[For summaries of evidence regarding the 9/11 attacks, see the work done by Popular Mechanics, the National Geographic channel, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.]

He is obviously thinking deeply on these issues and the dangers which surround them. Yet he uses Popular Mechanics and the NIST as his deepest underlying proof of his claims. Understandably, he is helpless to do anything else.

Robert Parry wrote a book called "Lost History". Since the collapse progression mechanisms are not accurately described in any government, academic or professional literature, and since the collapse initiation motion is misreported for all 3 collapsed buildings, the WTC collapses certainly qualify as a case of lost technical history. Parry, however, does not recognize this, linking to the NIST reports at the end of his article instead. In retrospect, the key claims by the NIST and the general acceptance and repetition of those claims as second-hand knowledge by people like Robert Parry serve as an excellent study of how vulnerable journalists are while reviewing technical arguments.

ALEXANDER COCKBURN here and here15

Within this set of articles, Cockburn provides links to technical arguments by Physicist Manual Garcia Jr. Garcia is, in turn, a supporter of an internet website called "gravysites" which, in turn, views the NIST reports with uncritical admiration. Consider what Dr Garcia says about the author of that site, gravy:

"The Yoda of 9/11 reality...If this site is not to your liking, then you have melded with the ju-ju, and are beyond the enticements of reason."16."Physicist Manuel Garcia Jr.

The gravysites technical arguments are linked here and discussed in the next section.

The technical arguments on gravysites revolve around the NIST reports and the Bazant papers reviewed in sections 2.3 and 3.6. Gravy sees the NIST reports and Bazant as representing the ultimate, unquestioned truth concerning the collapses. He doesn't seem to have the capacity to view the NIST reports critically. The links at gravysites are presented as if he is trying to sell a product. The product is "NIST". In short, gravysites sells "false certainty".

It is clear that Robert Parry and Alexander Cockburn also see the NIST reports as the most truthful and accurate technical record of the collapses and simply propagate the same memes.


One trips over a fundamental idiocy of the 9/11 conspiracists in the first paragraph of the opening page of the book by one of their high priests, David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor.

With respect, one trips over the fundamental idiocy of characterizing those who points out contradiction within the NIST written records as requiring conformity to an artificially narrowed false set of views in the very first sentence of the article. From his opening sentences, Cockburn is firmly locked into a falsely certain and narrowed point-counterpoint framework, there being no other valid perspectives to consider. "Us" and "them" are established as white vs black, narrowed limits between "us" and "them" firmly set and the article is written through that lens. David Ray Griffin is assigned to represent the "other" as their "high priest". Anyone with serious doubts about the collapse histories of the 3 WTC towers are broadly cast as a "believer" in the "high priest" by Mr Cockburn throughout the article.


The WTC didn't fall down because they were badly built as a consequence of corruption, incompetence, regulatory evasions by the Port Authority, and because they were struck by huge planes loaded with jet fuel. No, shout the conspiracists, they "pancaked" because Dick Cheney's agents "scores of them"methodically planted demolition charges in the preceding days. It was a conspiracy of thousands, all of whom"party to mass murder"have held their tongues ever since.

In this case, one would think that a few journalists would wish to look into such corruption, incompetence and regulatory evasions. In fact, careful fact-checking of the NIST reports and the 2002 and 2005 congressional hearings on the collapses would be a good way to locate a possible cover-up of regulatory evasions and inherent structural weaknesses within the towers. Instead, journalists, including Cockburn and Parry, effectively served as a mouthpiece for the NIST. There isn't a single mention of any concerns of the NIST reports themselves within their articles. For example, in the misrepresentation of the collapse progressions of both WTC1 and 2, perhaps the subjects were evaded to steer the City of New York and those responsible for the construction of the towers from lawsuits. Or perhaps both the collapse progression modes and the responsibilities of the cores in collapse initiation was avoided for the purposes of massive insurance fraud.

Perhaps they were badly built as Cockburn claims and the NIST wished to sidestep the uncomfortable topic of the building's susceptibility to massive progressive floor collapse. Wouldn't an investigative reporter follow up on something that serious, rather than basically agreeing with everything the NIST claims and serving as their proxy spokesperson?

Cockburn uses the standard "decimation" argument presented by AE911T and David Ray Griffin to represent the lens of "counterpoint" throughout the articles. Every person quoted within the article also uses the false dichotomy of natural collapse vs total decimation with thousands of "bombs". Neither point or counterpoint correctly identifies the most probably collapse progression modes of the Twin Towers described in section 2.1 of this book, but this goes unnoticed.

The inevitable outcome of a point, counterpoint approach to understanding the technical aspects of the collapses is the adoption of a false choice. It can be compared to looking at something through a dirty pair of spectacles. Both point and counterpoint represent the collapse progression modes of the Twin Towers in a verifiably inaccurate way. Both points represent the initiation processes in a verifiably inaccurate way. In these conditions, it would be foolish to embrace either point or counterpoint. The only smart logical choice, in those conditions, would be to independently verify claims.

Neither Parry or Cockburn consider independent verification using the reconstructed visual record as an option.

From the article:

Herman Soifer, a retired structural engineer, summarised the collapse of WTC Buildings 1 and 2 succinctly, in a letter to me, remarking that since he had followed the plans and engineering of the Twin Towers during construction he was able to explain the collapses to his wife a few hours after the buildings went down.

"The towers were basically tubes, essentially hollow. Tubes can be very efficient structures, strong and economical. The Trade Center tubes effectively resisted vertical loads, wind loads and vibrations and could probably have done very well against earthquakes. However, the relatively thin skin of the hollow tube must be braced at intervals to prevent local buckling of the skin under various possible loads, otherwise the tube itself can go out of shape and lose its strength.

"For their interior bracing, the thin-walled tubes of the Trade Center towers depended primarily on the interior floors being tied to the outer wall shells. These floor beam structures were basically open-web joists, adequate for the floor loads normally to be expected. These joist ends rested on steel angle clips attached to the outer walls.

"As the floors at the level of airplane impact caught fire, the open web joists, which could not be expected to resist such fires, softened under the heat, sagged and pulled away from their attachments to the walls. Their weight and the loads they were carrying, caused them to drop onto the next lower floor, which was then carrying double loads also becoming exposed to the heat. Then that floor collapsed, and so it went. But as the floors dropped, they no longer served as bracing for the thin-walled main tubes. "This loss of bracing permitted the walls to buckle outward in successive sections and thus the house of cards effect."

It is interesting to note that neither Alexander Cockburn or Mr Soifer noticed that there is no mention of this within the NIST reports.

Why doesn't Cockburn simply quote the NIST report to describe this structural mechanism? Because such a description does not exist within the report. The only comment the NIST makes about the collapse progression mode within the entire report is "global collapse ensued." 3 words within the entire report on the collapse mode of WTC1 and 2.

In hindsight, this is a rather large red flag that Cockburn should have noticed. Instead, he was quite content quoting a comment a retired structural engineer made to his wife. Please observe the number of technical papers in section 6.1 that describe the collapse modes incorrectly, using only standard memes. Not one of these contradictions are noticed by Cockburn.

The Soifer description has similarities to the progressive floor collapse model presented in part 2.1, but it is very different than the collapse history as it appears within any academic, professional or government literature. My guess is that Mr Sioffer assumed (wrongly) that this is recognized in academic, professional and government literature on the collapses. If Mr Cockburn simply did his homework, he would have understood there are major contradictions between the Soiffer description of collapse progression within his own article and that which appears in government, professional, and academic literature.


Michael Neumann, a philosopher, and CounterPunch contributor, at the University of Trent, in Ontario, remarked in a note to me:

"I think the problem of conspiracy nuttery has got worse, and is part of a general trend. There really were serious questions about the Kennedy assassination, an unusual number of them, and it wasn't too crazy to come to the wrong conclusion. There wasn't a single serious question about 9-11. But this is the age of angels, creationism, corpses all over Kosovo, Arabs suspiciously speaking Arabic, Satanic child abuse, nucular Eyraquees, and channeling. The main engine of the 9-11 conspiracy cult is nothing political; it's the death of any conception of evidence."

In that final sentence the author agrees with Michael Neumann that the events of 9/11/01 signify "the death of any conception of evidence."

People, including Michael Neumann, Alexander Cockburn, and Robert Parry simply repeated NIST memes without any supporting evidence or capacity to verify NIST claims. They then group independent evidence-based research with 'moon hoaxers' and 'channeling' without the slightest application of critical thought and with no observations or measurements whatsoever.

This is an excellent example of the "death of any conception of evidence", in this case being demonstrated by Michael Neumann himself.

The conspiracists make dizzying "deductive" leaps. There is a one particularly vigorous coven which has established to its own satisfaction that the original NASA moon landing was faked, and never took place. This "conspiracy" would have required the complicity of thousands of people , all of whom have kept their mouths shut. The proponents of the "fake moon landing" plot tend to overlap with the JFK and 9/11 crowds.

Within the dizzying deductive leaps made within these 2 sentences, independent researchers who produced the most accurate mappings of the movement and behavior of all 3 collapsed WTC buildings are swept away and end up downstream, washed to shore as a "proponents of the "fake moon landing" plot tending to overlap with the JFK and 9/11 crowds".

The "conspiracy" is always open-ended as to the number of conspirators, widening steadily to include all the people involved in the execution and cover-up of the demolition of the Towers and the onslaught on the Pentagon, from the teams acquiring the explosives and the missile, inserting the explosives in the relevant floors of three vast buildings, (moving day after day among the unsuspecting office workers), then on 9/11 activating the detonators. Subsequently the conspiracy includes the disposers of the steel and rubble, the waste recyclers in Staten Island and perhaps even the Chinese who took the salvaged incriminating metal for use in the Three Gorges dam, where it will submerged in water and concrete for ever. Tens of thousands of people, all silent as the tomb to this day.

The quote does not take the design of the buildings and mode of collapse progression into account.

"The physicist and engineer Manuel Garcia Jr (whose explications furnish the bulk of our 9/11 file) reminds us that if the evidence allows for several explanations to a given problem then the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions is most probably correct. This principle is called Occam's Razor, named after the 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar William of Occam.

There is not the slightest need to postulate pre-placed explosive charges to explain why the towers collapsed at near free fall speeds.

The towers did not collapse at nearly free fall speeds. Cockburn himself demonstrates how easily it is to make technically incorrect claims if one does not have access to accurate mappings of the collapse events.

Sections 2.1 and 2.3 of this book contain the only known velocity and acceleration profiles of the collapses.

Cockburn is completely vulnerable to meme replication and demonstrates so in this statement.

Engineer Pierre Sprey-"who designed the F-16 and A-10 - points out a few practical aspects of explosive demolitions that make the explosive charge hypothesis improbable to the point of absurdity:

"1. Any demolitions expert concocting a plan to hit a tall building with an airplane and then use pre-placed explosives to UNDETECTABLY ensure the collapse of the building would never place the explosives 20, 30 and 60 floors below the impact point. Obviously, he would put the explosives on one or more floors as close as possible to the planned impact level.

This statement demonstrates an incredible ignorance of the collapse progression modes mapped within this book and of the visual record of events.

"2. It is inconceivable that our demolitions expert would time his surreptitious explosions to occur HOURS after the aircraft impact. He couldn't possibly be absolutely certain that the impact fires would even last an hour. Quite the opposite: to mask the booster explosions, he'd time them to follow right on the heels of the impact.

Note the words 'inconceivable' and 'couldn't possibly' within the same article that misrepresents the collapse modes of WTC1 and 2 and demonstrates no understanding of the written technical history or the NIST reports.

"3. To ensure collapse of a major building requires very sizable demolition charges, charges that are large enough to do a lot more than emit the "puffs of smoke" cited as evidence for the explosives hypothesis. I've seen both live and filmed explosive building demolitions. Each explosion is accompanied by a very visible shower of heavy rubble and a dense cloud of smoke and dust. Just that fact alone makes the explosives hypothesis untenable; no demolitions expert in the world would be willing to promise his client that he could bring down a tall building with explosions guaranteed to be indistinguishable from the effects of an aircraft impact."

Based on what collapse progression mode? Which specific demolition techniques?

Which explosives hypothesis? The one proposed by AE911T, of course, since they and David Ray Griffin are taken to represent "other" throughout the article. The phrasing of the quote makes sense only within an artificially narrowed false choice based on extreme ignorance of the most probable collapse progression modes.

To ensure a reasoned approach to such an issue requires some understanding of the actual collapse progression modes of the Twin Towers and a need to take the specific nature of their unique structural designs into account. Accurate observations require accurate mappings.

In our 9/11 file Manuel Garcia devastates with conspiracists' theories with patient explanations as to why their schemas flout scientific laws and the observed facts of the disasters of that day.

As mentioned, Manual Garcia refers to Mark Roberts of gravysites as:

"The Yoda of 9/11 reality...If this site is not to your liking, then you have melded with the ju-ju, and are beyond the enticements of reason."16."Physicist Manuel Garcia Jr.

If anyone who notices contradictions gaping contradictions within the website, to Manual Garcia it means that person has "mended with Ju-Ju"

Earlier in the article Cockburn writes that the explanations of physicist and engineer Manuel Garcia Jr "furnish the bulk of our 9/11 file". Since Garcia identifies so completely with the website gravysites, his opinions on the NIST reports re-examined in sections 3.1 to 3.5 and his opinion on the Bazant papers reviewed in sections 2.3 and 3.6 is easy to ascertain. Like gravy and like the many articles cited within this section, he can see nothing wrong with anything within these reports or papers.

By default, Cockburn also identifies with graysites, the Bazant papers on WTC progressive collapse and the NIST reports. These constitute reality to Alexander Cockburn, and all those who spot contradiction between the written records of collapse events and the visual records of the same events is assumed to have "mended with Ju-Ju." Likewise, all such people are taken to worship David Ray Griffin as a "high priest". According to Cockburn there are simply no other options available.

The narrowed outlook of one who adopts the artificially narrowed false choice is demonstrated to perfection throughout the article, including a repetition of the most popular memes with no capacity to examine them critically.

The conspiracists' last card is the collapse of WTC building number 7 some hours after the morning attacks.

The predictable memes are sure to follow a comment like this, and sure enough...

But here again, as with the other two buildings, the explanations offered by US government agencies (preeminently the National Institute of Standards and Technology and, for Building 7, FEMA) are more than adequate, as Manuel Garcia points out.

Predictably, not a single mistake with the NIST explanations as pointed out in parts 3.2, 3.3, and 3.4 are recognized to exist within this context.

The same verifiably incorrect memes are repeated once again.

Of course the buildings didn't suddenly fall at a speed inexplicable in terms of physics unless caused by carefully pre-placed explosives, detonated by the ruthless Bush-Cheney operatives.

As far as the author is aware, only a very small group of researchers took the time to actually map and measure the descent rates of the towers accurately, and their work is featured within this book. Cockburn equates claims by AE911T, STJ911 as counterpoint, hence turning arguments involving demolition into cartoon caricatures. He repeats yet again the same mistaken meme that the towers fell at "near free-fall speeds". I am sure he assumed that some expert actually measured the acceleration. In hindsight, he was obviously incorrect.

One would think that technical comments appearing in the Cockburn articles were cross-checked by Manual Garcia or someone with technical competence. Once again, technically incorrect information becomes echoed among self-proclaimed experts and media into something that is presented as unquestioned fact.

If one points out such major blunders, according to Dr Garcia that person has "mended with Juju".

I completely agree with your take on the 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Of course, it would be an outrage if such monstrous, complicated schemes were hatched and carried out so smoothly, but it would be somehow worse if no one at all was orchestrating the whole piece. There is definitely a theological motor driving that train"a need for Order and Design. The power of forces like Ineptitude, Sloth, Distraction & Resentment are routinely overlooked. We all know them in our own lives, but somehow, it is assumed by analysts of all stripes that office-holders and Boards of Directors, etc., are immune. Ha! At the risk of going all Freudian here, I think such theories are another reflection of the deep desire for an all-knowing Father, & the terror of being one of a band of brothers and sisters, with no one other than ourselves to guide us.

My bold. The purpose of visual reconstructions and independent verification of all claims presented within this book is to fact-check possible acts of ineptitude, sloth and distraction. This is done because a careful and astute independent researcher assumes that nobody is immune to these or worse habits.

Ineptitude, sloth, and distraction is not overlooked. It is clearly visible when someone embraces the NIST conclusions as truthful without any effort toward fact-checking and verification. It is clearly visible when somebody phrases complex events in an overly simplified point, counterpoint black-white framework. It is clearly visible in the common memes that are propagated within every one of these quoted articles. I agree with Cockburn in that reaction to the WTC collapses demonstrates extreme gullibility and false certainty. It demonstrates how people can be lulled to sleep by false certainty and how vulnerable journalists can be to false technical claims.

"...I think such theories are another reflection of the deep desire for an all-knowing Father, & the terror of being one of a band of brothers and sisters, with no one other than ourselves to guide us."

The process of directly verifying of all claims results from the fact that we have no one other than our own capacity to think critically and carefully to guide us. That is the whole point; One has to observe directly rather than rely on second-hand knowledge which is often found to be incorrect and propagate popular memes to a very vulnerable public.

The cases of Cockburn and Parry are interesting in that both journalists have a history of being quite independent. Both seem to have taken risks with their own careers in order to maintain their independent positions. The author finds the independent reporting of both journalists admirable. In the case of the collapses of the WTC towers, however, both openly embrace an artificially narrowed false choice between 2 polarities.

The very few people who took the time to refine observation and measurement and fact-check Government and academic literature, according to Cockburn, are similar in nature to moon-hoaxers and JFK conspiracy enthusiasts.

On this issue people understandably hunger for certainty. The most accurate sets of observations and measurements available to the public within this book do not provide certainty to either side of the polarity. Faith implies vulnerability. For the most part, the feeling of certainty is obtained through a simple formula observable in most all written commentary:

1) Narrowed polarization

followed by

2) Total reliance on technical authority

Parry and Cockburn write of how they see the danger of such thinking affecting "the left".

Rachael Maddow, on the other hand, sees this as something that affects "the right".

Always the same simple formula:

1) Narrowed polarization

followed by

2) Total reliance on technical authority

In the case of Maddow, Popular Mechanics is the highest form of technical truth. That is the upper limit of her technical knowledge of these issues.

Each sees themselves as certain on these technical issues. The total reliance on technical authority should be obvious for anyone to see. But what about narrowed polarization?

Well, what if a person were to systematically rip apart the Popular Mechanics article using the superior mappings of the collapse events now available and present the information to either Parry or Maddow? Would they not automatically perceive that person as one of "them"? As the crazy "other"?

Wouldn't Cockburn, if still alive, see such people as equivalent to 'moon hoaxers' or 'channelers'.

Most probably yes, since complete reliance on that technical authority forms the underlying fabric of their world views.


The idiocy of the 9/11 truth movement18

Unlike Cockburn or Parry, Matt Taibbi doesn't feel the need to address a single technical argument within his article. Like Philosopher Michael Neumann quoted in the Cockburn articles, Matt Taibbi cannot see a single technical point worth questioning. Since he has no outstanding technical questions, he cannot seem to comprehend why anyone else would have any such questions. His article seems to address his own feelings, which he expresses as "gripes":

Taibbi wrote:

"I have two basic gripes with the 9/11 Truth movement. The first is that it gives supporters of Bush an excuse to dismiss critics of this administration.


Secondly, it's bad enough that people in this country think Tim Lahaye is a prophet and Sean Hannity is an objective newsman. But if large numbers of people in this country can swallow 9/11 conspiracy theory without puking, all hope is lost."

Regarding his first gripe: This is no more true than, say, moonhoaxers giving supporters of NASA an excuse to dismiss their critics. Imagine a Senate investigation into missing funds at NASA...

Senator Windbag: Dr. Taxfeeder, as the manager of the division which initially received the funds in question, could you tell the committee what happened to the money?

Dr. Taxfeeder: I decline to answer on the grounds that there are moonhoaxers.

Is 9/11 CT really THAT CRAZY? If it is, then why is he conferring legitimacy to it? If it's not, what is he doing portraying it as if it is that crazy?

Taibbi wrote:

"I have no doubt that every time one of those Loose Change dickwads opens his mouth, a Republican somewhere picks up five votes."

There are plenty of (as if this is the way the USA or especially the way the world is divvied up) Republican CTers and no shortage of Democrat OCTers. Political leaning doesn't seem to be a discriminator.

Obviously, Taibbi seems to believe in some conspiracies (apparently those proven to be historical facts, maybe not any which are currently in dispute). This he shares with Parry, but something tells me Taibbi would not look kindly on Parry's JFK opinions.

Regarding his second gripe: Reason #2 is as vacuous as #1.

Matt, perhaps you are correct and that all hope IS lost. If so, it was lost before 9/11. In the grand scheme of things, if I were to make a sweeping generalization, truthers probably had nothing to do with it. Sure, lack of critical thinking from myriad perspectives leads to all sorts of craziness, from mainstream religion (majority of population in the US) to belief that stealing Muslim land brings greater freedoms at home (maybe not the majority - anymore).

Did truthers cause the trillions in debt and deficit? No. Did truthers let infrastructure decay and then sell it off to private foreign interests? No. Did truthers ship jobs overseas while heading a jobs creation bureaucracy? No.

Matt, perhaps your problems do not arise with truthers. The institutions which made a mess of the world are not truthers. Among them are Republicans and your party, Matt - the Democrats.

One doesn't see your party's president doing much about the wars or financial crisis, except to exacerbate them both at a phenomenal pace. One doesn't see your party's members of congress standing up for the freedoms the 'Liberal' president seems so eager to take away; They seem to be supporting the president and even coming up with new (and industry serving) ideas of their own.

Taking the tack of Parry, Taibbi rejects raising of questions and anomalies and demands the whole scenario be mapped out in full detail before any issues can even be tabled:

Taibbi wrote:

"Strikingly, there is no obvious answer to that question, since for all the many articles about "Able Danger" and the witnesses who heard explosions at Ground Zero, there is not -- at least not that I could find -- a single document anywhere that lays out a single, concrete theory of what happened, who ordered what and when they ordered it, and why."

This comment makes little sense, as if the Watergate conspiracy didn't exist before it was discovered, since there was no "single document anywhere that lays out a single, concrete theory of what happened, who ordered what and when they ordered it, and why" prior to the unsolicited disclosure of key information.

And, like Parry, he draws upon the more bizarre and discredited ideas to create an amalgam conspiracy theory, then blithely tars everyone with the same brush and proceeds on a proxy attack of his strawman.

He has nothing to offer but more narrowed false choices and more propagating memes.


TED RALL: The Truth About 9/11 Truthers19

Ted Rall does not take the same sharp self-certain tone that the Taibbi article does.

From the article:

I am open-minded. And I don't trust our political leaders. So I read everything that people send me. I watched films like "Loose Change" and "In Plane Sight," a professionally edited documentary that relies on insinuation to argue that nefarious government somebodies fired something other than hijacked jets into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Example: "How can a Boeing 757, which is over 44 feet in height and 124 feet in width, simply disappear without a trace into a hole that is only 16 feet in diameter? Also, why is there no external damage to the Pentagon where the wings and the tail section would have impacted with the outer wall?"

Answer: The plane hit the lawn, not the building. The Pentagon is made of reinforced WPA-era concrete. The plane's wings were thin, light and full of jet fuel. They disintegrated upon impact.

Everything I've read and watched on Truther sites is like that: easily dismissed by anyone with a basic knowledge of physics and architecture. (I spent three years in engineering school.) Therefore, with one exception, I believe the official story.

The exception is United Flight 93, which crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Rall offers an example and corresponding answer which characterizes the narrowed false choice described earlier. The concept of "other" or "them" is loosely labelled as "truther", which he describes as that which stands contrary to the official story.

Hence, since he views common "truther" claims to be provably untrue (as he understands the range of argument), he concludes: "Therefore, with one exception, I believe the official story."

He doesn't seem to be aware that his beliefs in "the official story" are based on misrepresentations of the collapse processes. Instead, he sees the collapse explanations solely through the NIST lens, assuming the official explanations provided by the NIST are factual.

Likewise, discussion of all independent approaches and viewpoints are grouped into the common label "truther"

Ted Rall:

I do know that most 9/11 Truther narratives don't make sense. For example, how could workers rig up the World Trade Center for a controlled demolition- a months-long project that would require miles of cable, tens of thousands of pounds of explosives, hundreds of workers- without being noticed by the 50,000 people who worked there?

This is the standard "decimation" meme. Like the other articles cited, he has no concept of the actual collapse progression modes described in section 2.1 of this book. This is an argument through the lens of AE911T. Ted is choosing between the false choice of exaggerated claims and misrepresentation like most every other author cited within this section. That approach guarantees an incorrect conclusion. Given the false choice, a person can be expected to choose official misrepresentations over exaggerated claims.

Re-quoting Feynman, who captures the true instinct of skepticism applied to science:

Learn from science that you must doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.20

There is a similar quote within investigative journalism by I.F. Stone:

"All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed."21

Both quotes capture the common essence between scientific inquiry and investigative reporting: One needs to check ones facts directly.

If the comments by Robert Parry, Alexander Cockburn and Matt Taibbi are considered, none of them suggested independent re-examination of the collapses themselves. The comments do not seem to recognize that this is the first time in history that a single controversial, historically pivotal event triggering at least 2 wars was caught on video and in images. This unique combination of events gives people the perfect opportunity to cross-check and verify all claims, yet not one of these journalists seem to recognize that cross-checking all claims (including NIST claims) through direct observation is necessary or even possible. This possibility was overlooked by all while each gave second-hand speculative reasons why the buildings must have fallen naturally, uncritically viewing the collapses through the NIST lens. As a result, the journalists merely create an echo chamber of certainty in false assertions and present it as proven fact. They are all propagating virtually identical sets of memes.

Recall the wiki description of the "scientific method":

To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.

The Oxford English Dictionary says that scientific method is: "a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses."

Even though the visual record is publicly available, very, very few people made efforts to accurately cross-check claims by using careful observation and measurement.

More examples...



NOAM CHOMSKY explains why things during 9/11 were pretty much what they seemed to be.



This section gives many examples of how vulnerable journalists and non-technical observers are in the face of technical reports. Non-technical writers will basically echo what they perceive to be the most authoritative opinion on the subject. They are helpless to fact-check claims made by the perceived authorities for obvious reasons.

Ultimately, who is to blame for presenting poor technical arguments as undisputed historic fact? Is the journalist to blame? Yes, partly, but they were relying on the self-proclaimed expertise of those making the technical claims. The fault would ultimately lie with those technical experts or institutions making specific claims and with their review and fact-checking procedures. Each claim is made by some person and supposedly verified by them or someone else.

Journalists merely echo technical claims from what they perceive to be the most authoritative opinion on the subject. For example, Robert Parry echoes the NIST. Alexander Cockburn echoes Manual Garcia Jr, who echoes gravysites, who echoes the NIST. At what point during this echoing process are technical claims fact-checked in a meaningful, critical way? One can verify, using the tools available within this book, that these popular memes propagate while not being verified at all.

Engineers and technical experts >>>>>>>>> Journalists >>>>>>>>> Historians

One may assume that fact-checking occurs during each point in the process, but if this were true, in the case of WTC1, how could there be no accurate description of the collapse within any government, academic or professional literature a full decade after the collapses?

Information which is provably incorrect can originate from claims made by engineers and technical experts, pass through an echo chamber of various journalists and end up in history books without any of the participating parties being the wiser.

Response to the information void by a few independent researchers

There are other possibilities between these 2 false choices. For example, one could verify claims made by all parties to the best of ones ability instead of simply believing some group of perceived authority figures. One could examine evidence carefully and use verifiable observations to question all deep-seated beliefs. The evidence currently available shows that the "choice" between the NIST and STJ911-AE911T is no choice at all, since each of those parties relies on core technical arguments that are provably incorrect. A person who sees the false dichotomy as the only choices available will remain out-witted and vulnerable, seeing an "either-or" choice where none exists.

Every individual researcher with whom I have communicated who has worked toward accuracy has found that they had to work within an information void with very little help. They have found that if they wanted accuracy, they basically had to do much of the work themselves.

For example, in my case, I found that if I wanted a good library of images effectively mapping the debris layouts around the WTC complex, I would have to assemble it myself.

If I wanted a record of the condition of core columns within the rubble I needed to make one myself.

In order to address the question of core column buckling and column-to-column break patterns, I needed to use the catalogs of information I assembled and decipher the visible patterns by myself.

I also found that in order to gain a decent, comprehensive idea of the collapse progression modes of WTC1 and WTC2 I would have to visually reconstruct the collapse processes myself and look for patterns directly.

A few other researchers seem to have experienced the same thing that I did. If they wanted accurate mappings of the collapse fronts and overpressurizations witnessed below the collapse fronts, they had to construct them by themselves. If they wanted accurate measurements of building movements, they needed to take those measurements themselves.

During the critical moments of collapse initiation, if any person wanted an accurate record of early movement they would have to create that record themselves.

Without efforts by independent researchers to log events directly from the visual record, gaping mistakes and omissions within the written history would have never been spotted. And once spotted they were simply ignored by others who had no capacity to fact-check the technical arguments themselves.

On to part 6.3: Meme Replication in Popular Culture

Created on 09/27/2014 05:24 AM by admin
Updated on 08/02/2015 06:00 PM by admin
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