Thursday, January 17, 2008

Beyond The Mirror: The 9/11 Funhouse, Part II

For reasons explained elsewhere, I've been discussing some terribly flawed arguments about 9/11 that I hear way too often.

I used to believe these arguments were unworthy of discussion -- so transparently false that even mentioning them would be a waste of time -- but I can't help noticing that many highly respected journalists and otherwise wise people accept these worthless bits of broken glass as if they were valid proofs of something important.

In the previous installment I wrote at length about the fallacy: "If 9/11 was an inside job, it would have involved thousands of people, somebody would have talked by now, and we would know all about it."

In this post I intend to discuss much more briefly a handful of arguments which I consider even more flawed.

9/11 Couldn't Have Been An Inside Job Because Bush Is Too Stupid

This is the position taken by many journalists whom I otherwise respect, and/or whose work I value highly, and/or with whom I agree on many other subjects. But here I think they've got it all wrong.

First: Bush is not stupid. He merely plays an idiot on television. According to people who know him well, he can be vibrant and articulate, but only if you get him talking about something he cares about. He cares about baseball, and oil, and he likes killing people. He doesn't care about governance, although he does enjoy ruling.

Second: Saying "9/11 was an inside job" is not the same as saying "Bush planned it". Even if Bush is as smart as his friends say he is, he's probably not smart enough to plan 9/11. But who cares? Nobody's saying he planned it.

He may have been in on it in the sense that he may have known something was being planned. But that doesn't take smarts -- that just takes connections.

The inside-job theory doesn't require Bush to have a double-digit IQ, so the argument about whether he's pushing triple-digits is moot.

I Can't Believe It / I Won't Believe It

This is still quite common but it's not a problem I know how to solve.

Just because you haven't heard of something, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Most people understand this.

Similarly, just because you can not or will not bring yourself to believe something, that doesn't mean it's false. But a lot of people who agree with me about the previous point don't follow the parallel this far. And it's too bad.

I Don't Want To Talk About It

There's still a lot of this around as well.

I see it from my father, who doesn't want to talk about a lot of things. I see it from some otherwise respectable journalists, too, such as Bob Parry.

And I have had it with these people.

Seriously. It's been six years. The consequences have been enormous. The official story is full of holes.

Couldn't we at least talk about it?

Bob Parry won't talk about election fraud either, although he does recognize bogus news media. We'll give Bob one out of three on the tripod-meter. Sad but true.

The 9/11 Truth Movement Has No Coherent Narrative

A professional clown made the following argument in a long-lost [sorry!] comment thread:
The 9/11 fantasy movement has never been able to formulate a coherent narrative. Was it a conspiracy of Republicans whose purpose was to transfer control of both houses of Congress to the Democrats? Was it a vast shadow army that is afraid of the SEC? You people don't even try to invent plausible myths.
I didn't bite. It seemed way too incredible to credit with a response.

You can imagine my surprise when I saw that William Blum had taken the clown's ball and run with it, so to speak:
To win over people like me, the 9/11 truth people need to present a scenario that makes the logistics reasonably plausible. They might start by trying to answer questions like these: Did planes actually hit the towers and the Pentagon and crash in Pennsylvania? Were these the same four United Airline and American Airline planes that took off from Boston and Newark? At the time of collision, were they being piloted by people or by remote control? If people, who were these people?
Not that either of them care what I think, but I would have to say, with all due respect, that the shift of burden-of-proof here is preposterous.

The so-called "9/11 truth people" are for the most part private individuals like myself, who do as much research as they can on their own time, and on their own dime. It was not our responsibility to keep America safe on 9/11. It was not our responsibility to investigate it. We don't have millions of dollars to fund our work, nor do we have fancy office buildings, nor staffs, nor the power of subpoena. And yet -- even though the government has all these things and we do not -- these questions, and other essential questions like them, remain unanswered in any satisfactory way

The field of related research is littered with slick professional disinformation, the crime scenes are littered with false clues, the evidence was hauled away and melted down long before the so-called "investigation" was even empowered, let alone finished! These are all telltale signs of a black op and their collective impact can be measured in the extent to which there is "no coherent narrative" on either "side".

It's really amazing that William Blum, who has spent his adult life chronicling the crimes against humanity committed by the CIA, fails to recognize an obvious black op as such.

Furthermore -- astonishingly! -- there are indeed serious researchers who are still trying to find out whether planes actually hit the towers, and whether these were the same planes that took off from commercial airports that morning, and who was piloting them, and many other things besides.

Though it makes me sad to say it, William Blum shows enough ignorance to last a lifetime when he asserts that
the 9/11 truth people ... might start by trying to answer questions like these
In future installments, I will have more to say about William Blum and the 9/11 truth movement, as well as looking at some of the other arguments made in favor of the "official story" that I consider transparently false.