HAVE THE 9/11 CONSPIRACY THEORIES REACHED THEIR PEAK?
It is difficult to define the exact moment when the popularity of the 9/11 conspiracy theory reached its peak, but it must have been in 2006.
If we look at its decline, however, three dates stand out: July 22, 2004, the day when the 9/11 commission released its final report , February 3, 2005, when Popular Mechanic published a 5,500-word article dismantling the allegations of the movement, and 21 August 2008, date of disclosure by the National Institute of Standards and Technology of the last part of a study of sixteen million dollars devoted to the causes of the collapse of the twin towers and a third skyscraper from the World Trade Center which was not hit by a plane.
It takes more than facts to put down a conspiracy theory, of course. In many ways, the fascination with these theories has more to do with the receptivity of the audience than with the precision of its details.After each of these publications, the popularity of the 9/11 conspiracy theory continued to oscillate between ebb and flow. Nevertheless, their response to the challenges presented by these reports shows how conspiracy theory proponents review their arguments and battlegrounds-or rather, do not change them-when confronted with new facts.
A conspiracy plot?
The article in Popular Mechanics may never have been published without a $ 3 million national advertising campaign commissioned by an eccentric millionaire to promote a self-published book called Painful Questions. The advertisement postulated that the World Trade Center had been destroyed by a controlled demolition, that no plane had ever touched the Pentagon, and raised a number of questions: the heat from the fires in the twin towers was Is it high enough to cause them to collapse? The cavity in the Pentagon big enough to fit an airliner? The editor of Popular Mechanics says that when he saw the ad, he said: “As Popular Mechanics, we’ve been writing for a hundred years about what happens when planes crash on the ground, or how we build skyscrapers. So, let’s answer those questions. ”
The magazine selects the most interesting and serious conspiracy theories and replies through interviews with over seventy experts from aviation, engineering and the military. The article states that all the so-called scientific evidence of government involvement in 9/11 is based on botched research and, to a large extent, manipulated and fallacious reasoning. The article remains the most-read report ever published in the magazine, with more than 7.5 million hits. “We were the first to take the assertions of conspiracy theories seriously, and to address them very directly,” said Meigs. “The reaction was so overwhelming and scary that it was a great lesson about how these groups work and think.”
Among the answers was an article by anti-Zionist conspiracy Christopher Bollyn, who claimed to have discovered why the engineering magazine appeared for a hundred years was involved in a government plot to stifle the crime of the century: a young researcher on the team The newspaper, Benjamin Chertoff, was a cousin of Michael Chertoff, the Secretary of National Security at the time, and the magazine was looking through its article to whitewash the perpetrators of this criminal plot. It did not matter that Chertoff was not in post during the preparation of the article, or that Benjamin Chertoff had never met the man whom he admits to be, possibly a distant cousin. For conspiracy, the mere mention of this link was enough to pass the article to the trap. “It was interesting. A bit scary for Ben, I think, but also pretty comical, “says Meigs.”You see the picture: let’s say someone at Slate is a relative of Dick Cheney, and he shoots” Hey, I need a hand: we’ll all get to work to smother the mass murder on most important of American history. You follow me?” The article in Popular Mechanics expanded with interviews with more than 300 sources and eyewitnesses and became a book, ‘Debunking 9/11 Myths.‘ David Ray Griffin responds in 2007 with his own book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, in which he reiterates theories that he believes have not been refuted adequately, says that Popular Mechanics has refuted only nonsense, and reiterates the charge of attempting to camouflage Chertoff. It is interesting to return to Griffin’s response, which illustrates a typical reaction of conspiracy theorists to refutations.
19 minutes or 1 hour 19 minutes?
One of the angles on which the theory is based is that the American hunt was quite capable of intercepting any of the four hijacked planes on 9/11 and avoiding attacks. The article in Popular Mechanics notes that in the ten years prior to September 11, there was only one intercept by Norad of a civilian aircraft in North America: the Learjet of the golfer Payne Stewart. It took an hour and 19 minutes to intercept him, before he finally crashed. Based on the first reports, which misinterpreted the official crash report, the conspirators presented the Stewart case as proof that Norad normally needed only 19 minutes to intercept a civilian aircraft. “It’s a much debated issue,” Griffin told me. It seems that someone has fiddled with the truth here. I do not know what happened, but I read enough about it to know it’s not true that it took so long. ” And the other material evidence that dismisses the interception theory, including the NORAD recordings, which painfully and painfully detail the chaos and confusion that prevailed in American air defenses that morning? Griffin’s answer: The tapes were probably manipulated using morphing techniques to counter the voices of government officials and give the illusion of chaos staged, according to a scenario set by the government. It is no wonder, he says, that after 9/11 the historical documents are revised to fit the official version.
“For its followers, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy,” says Meigs. “As such, it is immune to any possibility of rebuttal, much as if you were talking to the most obtuse Marxist or extremist fundamentalist creationist. They will have an answer that looks like it’s coming down from the sky to any argument you can make. “The other article of faith of the conspiracy theorists is that it was not necessary that the conspiracy was very large. In Crossing the Rubicon, Michael Rupert writes that it was not necessary to orchestrate on September 11 more than twenty people with a complete anticipatory knowledge of the attacks, all “held in silence by draconian oaths”. If we count all the people and institutions accused of having been involved in the conspiracy, the number is growing out of control. It should include the CIA, the Department of Justice, the FAA, Norad, American and United Airlines, Fema, Popular Mechanics and other media outlets, local law enforcement agencies and the United States. State in Pennsylvania, Virginia and New York, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and finally-and perhaps above all, the 9/11 commission.
A band that runs in a loop
Of the so-called conspirators of this plot, few play a role as prominent as Philip Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 commission. University and career diplomat, his resignation was required in 2004 by representatives of families of 9/11 because of a presumed conflict of interest, because of his role on the transition team of George W. Bush. Zelikow recused himself from all aspects of the investigation relating to the period of his participation in the transition team. For the conspirators, it was enough to discredit the entire report of the commission. “I play a prominent role in their demonology, but people themselves do not feel like crazy,” says Zelikow. They are often people who in many ways seem very sincere, caring, and patient. They just have an obsession. ”
The obsessive nature of conspiracy makes it very difficult to discuss or debate with the most extreme followers. “They do not really listen to you,” Zelikow said. You say something and opposite, the band is running in a loop. ”
In 2007, a conspirator confronted Zelikow in public with the “revelation” that many of the hijackers were still alive. Zelikow replied that the 9/11 Commission had verified these allegations without being able to corroborate them, but that they had not been able to include in the final version of the report each of the conspiracy theories that had been refuted. The answer of his interlocutor was to repeat his accusation.
Another conspiracy tactic is to focus on minor points of disagreement and exaggerate the importance of contradictions that are often easy to justify in overwhelming pieces of evidence , such as phone calls made by victims of embezzlement to their families, where they describe them.
Griffin (The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions) book writer, for example, states that the phone calls, the transcripts of which were made public as part of the 9/11 Commission’s investigation, were counterfeited using “sound morphing” techniques at the same time. Abuse members of families. Nevertheless, some conspiracy theorists have abandoned some of their most difficult allegations, such as the idea that no airliner struck the Pentagon. “They focus on what’s going on around the World Trade Center, where they cling to some of these engineering hypotheses today refuted with some care,” says Zelikow.
The most effective provider of these assumptions is Richard Gage, founder of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. In March 2006, Gage heard Griffin say on the radio that some firefighters were providing evidence of controlled explosions at the World Trade Center. Gage was stunned. “I could not even walk to the office. I had to park, “he says. The next day, Gage tries to attend a Griffin conference in Oakland. But the room, planned for 600 people, is full, and he must be content with a retransmission via the Internet. A few weeks later, he created a PowerPoint presentation on this theory and started preaching to his coworkers. Two months later, he launched Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and soon became a full-time campaigner, spreading the message that the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s investigation into the World Trade Center was a deception, and that an “independent” investigation was necessary. The petition he launched today bears the signature of 1,500 architects and engineers graduates or approved and is considered one of the most convincing leaders of the movement. Like Griffin, Gage says the NIST’s three-year, $ 16-million survey by almost 100 NIST investigators and staff and independent experts and consultants is part of of a criminal enterprise of concealment. “We are calling for a federal grand jury investigation of the chief investigator and his first deputy,” says Gage. Anyone who has put his name on these reports must be investigated. ” Of dozens of items peer reviewed were written, confirming all the official account, but they are spread in the same way. Gage and Griffin refer to the movement’s own peer-reviewed article published by former BYU professor Steven Jones and Danish scientist Niels Harrit. “Debating the speed of walking hobbits”
Knowing that traditional controlled demolitions would have been audible throughout lower Manhattan if they had actually taken place on September 11, the conspirators were forced to find in support of their central thesis a rather obscure scientific explanation: the demolitions were carried out using an incendiary compound called nano-thermite. Jones and Harrit argue in their article that they have found traces of thermitic reactions in dust particles found in the World Trade Center.
For Griffin and Gage, the work of the movement has been validated following the traditional method, but the peer review process of the article is suspect (the editor of the newspaper resigned due to the publication of the article without his permission, for example, and one of the peers who revised the article is a 9/11 conspirator who speculated that the passengers of the four flights are in fact still alive, and live on the accounts money in Swiss). “Since they cannot attack the scientific evidence, they are attacking the peer review process,” says Gage. So that they attack the scientific demonstrations.
“Popular Mechanics and others took care of the scientific aspect. At some point, however, discussing science, theory, and ideas is a futile exercise, since the assumptions of conspiracy theorists are not rooted in any consideration of reality in the broad sense. “It may sound bad,” says Erik Sofge, one of the contributors to the Popular Mechanics article and casual contributor to Slate.com. “But, in fact, it’s like debating the speed of hobbits.”
Editor’s Notes; There is a Youtube video where consistently timed explosive sounds were taking place. There is also an abundance of video and audio of firefighters describing explosions. Wouldn’t they know? I don’t know if the videos are still there, several videos have been pulled by YouTube. But, the more compelling question is ‘why would all these architects and engineers risk their jobs and reputations? Especially Steven Jones-the man has a stellar career and educational experiences behind him. But, if you’ve got a plane with autopilot and a building of the same size and structure as the two towers, just repeat the experiment and let’s see what happens.