9/11 Truthers: Skeptical fantasy posing as factual analysis

The following appeared on CounterPunch. Thanks to Gio for suggesting this.

The 9/11 Conspiracists:

Vindicated After All These Years?

We’re homing in on the tenth anniversary of the destruction  of the Wall Street Trade Towers  and the attack on the Pentagon.  One in seven Americans and one in four among  those aged 16-24, (so a recent poll commissioned by the BBC tells us)  believe that there was a vast conspiracy in which the U.S. government was involved.  But across those ten years have the charges that it was an “inside job” –– a favored phrase of the self-styled “truthers”  — received any serious buttress?

The answer is no.

Did the Trade Towers fall 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 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. It was a conspiracy of thousands, all of whom–party to mass murder–have held their tongues ever since.

What has been the goal of the 9/11 conspiracists?

They ask questions, yes, but they never answer them.

They never put forward an overall scenario of the alleged conspiracy. They say that’s not up to them. So who is it up to? Whom do they expect to answer their questions? When answers are put forward, they are dismissed as fabrications or they simply rebound with another question.  Like most cultic persuasions they excitedly invoke important converts to their faith and the “1500 architects and engineers in the USA” who say the NIST official report is not thorough and needs another investigation. It’s a tiny proportion of the overall members of their profession. At least  80 per cent of faculty economists in the US believe stoutly in long-discredited theories that have blighted the lives of millions around the world for decades. Their numbers don’t equate with intelligence, let along conclusive analysis.

The 9/11 conspiracists seize on coincidences and force them into sequences they deem to be logical and significant. Their treatment of eyewitness testimony and forensic evidence is whimsical. Apparent anomalies that seem to nourish their theories are brandished excitedly; testimony that undermines their theories–like witnesses of a large plane hitting the Pentagon — is dismissed.

Many conspiracists say it wasn’t a plane but a missile. (Other conspiracists denounce the “no plane” Pentagon as wacko.) Eye-witnesses of a large plane hitting the Pentagon — are contemptuously brushed aside.

There are some photos of the impact of the “object” — i.e. the Boeing 757, flight 77 — that seem to show the sort of hole a missile might make. Ergo, 757 didn’t hit the Pentagon. It WAS a missile. It wasn’t smoke in some photographs obscuring a larger rupture in the fortified Pentagon wall.
On this last matter, Chuck Spinney, now retired after years of brilliant government service exposing the Pentagon’s budgetary outrages, tells me that “there ARE pictures taken of the 757 plane hitting Pentagon — they were taken by the surveillance cameras at Pentagon’s heliport, which was right next to impact point. I have seen them both — stills and moving pictures. I just missed seeing it personally, but the driver of the van I just got out of in South Parking saw it so closely that he could see the terrified faces of passengers in windows. I knew two people who were on the plane. One was ID’d by dental remains found in the Pentagon.”

In fact hundreds of people saw the plane — people who know the difference between a plane and a cruise missile. The wreckage of the plane was hauled out from the site. Why does the obvious have to be proved? Would those who were wounded or who lost friends and colleagues that day assist in the cover up of a missile strike? Why risk using a missile, when you had a plane in the air and ­- to take one bizarre construct of the conspiracists — had successfully crashed (by remote control!) two into much more difficult targets–the Trade Towers?

This doesn’t faze the conspiracists. They’re immune to any reality check. Spinney “worked for the government.” They switched the dental records. The Boeing 757 was flown to Nebraska for a rendez-vous with President Bush, who shot the passengers, burned the bodies on the tarmac and gave Spinney’s friend’s teeth to Dick Cheney to drop through a hole in his trousers amid the debris in the Pentagon.

Of course there are conspiracies. The allegations that Saddam Hussein had WMD amounted to just such a one. I think there is strong evidence that FDR did have knowledge that a Japanese naval force in the north Pacific was going to launch an attack on Pearl Harbor. It’s quite possible Roosevelt thought it would be a relatively mild assault and thought it would be the final green light to get the US into the war.

It’s entirely plausible to assume that the FBI, US military intelligence, and the CIA, — as has just been rather convincingly  claimed again in the latter instance — had penetrated the Al Qaeda team planning the 9/11 attacks; intelligence reports piled up in various Washington bureaucracies pointing to the impending onslaught and even the manner in which it might be carried out.
The history of intelligence operations is profuse with example of successful intelligence collection, but also fatal slowness to act on the intelligence, along with eagerness not to compromise the security and future usefulness of the informant, who has to prove his own credentials by even pressing for prompt action by the plotters. Sometime an undercover agent will actually propose an action, either to deflect efforts away from some graver threat, or to put the plotters in a position where they can be caught red-handed.

There is not the slightest need to postulate pre-placed explosive charges to explain why the towers collapsed at near free fall speeds. As Pierre Sprey, a former plane and weapons designer who knows a great deal about explosions, told me:

Yet some have discovered a silver lining in the 9/11 conspiracism. A politically sophisticated leftist in Washington, DC, wrote to me, agreeing with my ridiculing of the “inside job” scenarios, but adding, “To me the most interesting thing (in the US) is how many people are willing to believe that Bush either masterminded it [the 9/11 attacks] or knew in advance and let it happen. If that number or anything close to that is true, that’s a huge base of people that are more than deeply cynical about their elected officials. That would be the real news story that the media is missing, and it’s a big one.”

“I’m not sure I see the silver lining about cynicism re government,” I answered. “People used to say the same thing about the JFK conspiracy buffs and disbelief in the Warren Commission. Actually, it seems to demobilize people from useful political activity. If the alleged perpetrators are so efficiently devilish in their plots, all resistance is futile. 9/11 conspiracism stemmed from despair and political infantilism. There’s no worthwhile energy to transfer from such kookery. It’s like saying some lunatic shouting to himself on a street corner has the capacity to be a great orator.

Anyone who ever looked at the JFK assassination will know that there are endless anomalies and loose ends. Eyewitness testimony is conflicting, forensic evidence possibly misconstrued, mishandled or just missing. But in my view, the Warren Commission, as confirmed in almost all essentials by the House Committee on Assassinations in the late 1970s, had it right and Oswald fired the fatal shots from the Schoolbook Depository. The evidentiary chain for his guilt is persuasive, and the cumulative scenarios of the conspiracists entirely unconvincing. But of course–as the years roll by, and even though no death bed confession has ever buttressed those vast, CIA-related scenarios — the conspiracists keep on toiling away, their obsessions as unflagging as ever.

Richard Aldrich’s book on British intelligence, The Hidden Hand (2002), describes how a report for the Pentagon on declassification recommended that “interesting declassified material” such as information about the JFK assassination “could be released and even posted on the Internet, as a ‘diversion,’” and used to “reduce the unrestrained public appetite for ‘secrets’ by providing good faith distraction material”. Aldrich adds, “If investigative journalists and contemporary historians were absorbed with the vexatious, but rather tired, debates over the grassy knoll, they would not be busy probing into areas where they were unwelcome.”

The conspiracists have combined to produce a huge distraction, just as Danny Sheehan did with his Complaint, that mesmerized and distracted much of the Nicaraguan Solidarity Movement in the 1980s, and which finally collapsed in a Florida courtroom almost as quickly as the Towers.

There are plenty of real conspiracies in America. Why make up fake ones?

 

 

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  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "And it is interesting that the Commission said nothing about the collapse of Building 7"

    Why should the Commission be expected to say anything at all on an engineering question which was clearly beyond their competence? Truthers often overlook that the Commission was only formed to investigate how purported hijackings had occurred, and nothing else. Whatever disagreement one may have with the NIST reports it should be clear that the Commission was not expected to go into such issues.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "air denense system was used successfully on hundreds of occasions before 9/11, to intercept aircraft which were unidentified or were not where they were supposed to be."

    There was no steady practice of intercepting planes within US territory before 911. The only interception of a civilian plane which occurred over North America in the decade before 911 was Payne Stewart. That one took an hour and twenty minutes to intercept. Truthers often fumble the ball on this one by mixing up eastern and central USA-time. The other intercepts occurred outside of US borders.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030402152643/http://www.ntsb.gov/Publictn/2000/aab0001.htm

    -----
    At 0933:38 EDT (6 minutes and 20 seconds after N47BA acknowledged the previous clearance), the controller instructed N47BA to change radio frequencies and contact another Jacksonville ARTCC controller. The controller received no response from N47BA. The controller called the flight five more times over the next 4 1/2 minutes but received no response.

    About 0952 CDT,[7] a USAF F-16 test pilot from the 40th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, was vectored to within 8 nm of N47BA.[8] About 0954 CDT, at a range of 2,000 feet from the accident airplane and an altitude of about 46,400 feet,[9] the test pilot made two radio calls to N47BA but did not receive a response. About 1000 CDT, the test pilot began a visual inspection of N47BA.

    7 About 1010 EDT, the accident airplane crossed from the EDT zone to the CDT zone in the vicinity of Eufaula, Alabama.

    8 This interception was at the request of the Jacksonville ARTCC mission coordinator through the USAF.

    9 The accident airplane reached a maximum altitude of 48,900 feet.
    -----

    http://www.planeandpilotmag.com/proficiency/pilot-skills/busting-tfrs.html

    -----
    In the year previous to 9/11, NORAD intercepted airplanes in the ADIZ only 67 times, none of which occurred within the U.S. borders.
    -----

  • Guest - old commie

    On NORAD's oficial website, Jeff Ford, who was a Lt. Col in NORAD at the time of 0/11, talks about interception protocol at the time of 9/11.

    He specifically states that NORAD policy required them to intercept many errant/unidentified flights within the United States before 9/11, although this weren't given the highest priority. As for Patrick McNally's statement about the reported 67 interceptions I don't know where he got the idea that they were not within the U.S. borders. The Associated Press release of August 12, 2002, doesn't say, but it was NORAD policy to routinely intercept suspicious flights within the U.S.

    They even chased balloons that got away, as long as they were large enough to be a possible hazard to aircraft.

    Although i don't know who would do it, the controversy over the facts just emphasizes the need for a real investigation of what really happened. Unless you think it doesn't matter.

    Maybe discussing this on kasama is a waste of time, since we can't even get, or agree on, many of the facts. Like the Reichstag fire, it was an event that greatly influenced history.

    Historians still do not agree on the facts about that, either.

  • Guest - Mike E

    OC writes:

    <blockquote>"Maybe discussing this on kasama is a waste of time, since we can’t even get, or agree on, many of the facts. Like the Reichstag fire, it was an event that greatly influenced history. "</blockquote>

    Discussing this is definitely not a waste of time -- which is why we posted an essay opening this discussion.

    Many people have serious questions about who was "behind" the 911 attacks, and many take the truther arguments seriously.

    And we don't need to expect to agree.

    On interception: The U.S. has resources focused on intercepting suspicious aircraft on the borders (inclduing obviously the DEW line from the former Soviet Union, but also the southern border where aircraft are used for drug flights.) But are you saying that there was really an intercept policy and capability <em>within</em> U.S. borders (say a Boston to NYC flight)? And what would have made commercial airliners on those routs "suspicious" to such a system?

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "about the reported 67 interceptions I don’t know where he got the idea that they were not within the U.S. borders"

    I quoted it directly from the Plane and Pilot Magazine article for which I gave the link. Here it is again:

    http://www.planeandpilotmag.com/proficiency/pilot-skills/busting-tfrs.html

    —–
    In the year previous to 9/11, NORAD intercepted airplanes in the ADIZ only 67 times, none of which occurred within the U.S. borders.
    —–

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "Jeff Ford, who was a Lt. Col in NORAD at the time of 0/11, talks about interception protocol at the time of 9/11."

    I gave the Payne Stewart case (with explicit reference to and quotation from the NTSB report above) as an example of how it took about 80 minutes to locate a lost plane before 911. That is a working example which shows that speedy interceptions could not be taken for granted. Again, here is the link so that you may review the facts yourself:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030402152643/http://www.ntsb.gov/Publictn/2000/aab0001.htm

    —–
    At 0933:38 EDT (6 minutes and 20 seconds after N47BA acknowledged the previous clearance), the controller instructed N47BA to change radio frequencies and contact another Jacksonville ARTCC controller. The controller received no response from N47BA. The controller called the flight five more times over the next 4 1/2 minutes but received no response.

    About 0952 CDT,[7] a USAF F-16 test pilot from the 40th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, was vectored to within 8 nm of N47BA.[8]
    -----

  • Guest - just ice

    i find it odd how so many on this thread r willing to believe our bourgeois government and its media. if one were to ask a comrade whether s/he thought capitalism is vicious and ruthless and comes to us, as marx observed, dripping in blood and filth, u probably wouldn't get an argument. ask the same person if the bourgeois government, schools and press r involved in consent manufacturing and perception management by disinformation, most revolutionaries would agree. then ask if 9/11 was an inside job undertaken by our government in order to gin up support for imperial conquest in the ME and u will more often than not be met with invective-laden incredulity. i dont get it. the US government dropped more explosive force on bagdad than fell on london, dresden and berlin combined in ww2. 9/11 is small potatoes compared to capital's other abominations.

    i'm just going to address cockburn's vapid article, not build a case for the 'inside job' theory as it would take far too long. but before we begin we should note that the US government [and others] has a long history of such psy-ops: the thornton affair, the maine, the zimmerman telegram, just to name a few. i'm old enuf to have lived through a few: tonkin bay, the fake assaults which were used to justify the invasion of panama, the incubator ruse before the first gulf war, aluminum tubes/yellowcake from niger lies in the run-up to gulf war redux. i can remember when one was considered a lunatic if one suggested that tonkin bay was staged, or that the reagan administration was funding right-wing genocide squads in meso-america, or that the US government was systematically murdering african american leaders. the government doesnt even deny these things anymore and cointelpro is taught in bourgeois schools.

    and let's not forget the most recent event--the post-9/11 anthrax scare. according to george walker bush, this was a black-op launched from high and deep within the US' illegal WMD program. it was intended to kill americans, which it did, and blame it on muslim extremists ['death to america, death to israel']. the government's explanation, risible tho it b, is that ivins was afraid his program was going to b cut and embarked on this terror campaign to justify the continued finding of his work. [u cant make this shit up.]

    if the government isn't behind this one, it's not because they r above such things.

    now on to cockburn's execrable essay.


    "But across those ten years have the charges that it was an “inside job” –– a favored phrase of the self-styled “truthers” — received any serious buttress?

    The answer is no."


    this is flatly false. the evidence grew steadily until about 2007, after which not much was added to the discourse. i was a blowback believer until 2005 when the force of the evidence drove me into the truther camp.

    refuting this statement by cockburn would take too long, but if u r interested one can go to the historycommons website and u will see what was unearthed and when etc.


    "Did the Trade Towers fall 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..."

    this is absolutely hysterical! cockburn has this completely backward. it wasnt the truthers who posited the pancake theory, but the FEMA study. it was the truthers who blew it to shreds:

    "FEMA (2002) Building Performance Study advanced the
    truss-failure-based "pancake" theory, which was superseded by the
    global collapse ("falling mass") theory of NIST's 2005 Final Report.
    Thus,

    'The most recent version of the official explanation has been supplied
    by the three-year multi-million-dollar study of the National Institute
    of Standards and Technology (NIST), which abandoned the earlier
    truss-failure-based "pancake" theory proposed by FEMA's 2002 Building
    Performance Study in favor of a theory of "global collapse" induced by
    a chain of events including impact column damage, dislodging of
    fireproofing, floor sagging, and "column instability".

    'Although NIST's 2005 Final Report did not explain how collapse
    initiation led to global collapse, in 2006 it responded to some
    aspects of the demolition theory in a Frequently Asked Questions
    sheet. NIST blamed the speeds of the failures on the momentum of the
    falling top portions of the buildings, stating that "the momentum . .
    . so greatly exceeded the strength capacity of the structure below,
    that it was unable to stop or even to slow the falling mass. The
    downward momentum felt by each successive lower floor was even larger
    due to the increasing mass.'"

    the reason the government had to give up the original deception is because the video evidence clearly demonstrates that these buildings fell in near free-fall speed. pancaking takes time as each floor has to overcome the resistance of the one below etc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8W-t57xnZg&amp;feature=related

    this is inexplicably sloppy work, even for a celebrity dissident like cockburn. either he hasn't bothered to review the extant info, or he is just lying. either way it demonstrates what a fraud he is.


    "...they “pancaked” because Dick Cheney’s agents–scores of them–methodically planted demolition charges in the preceding days 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..."

    a vulgar propagandist at his art, mocking the truth with the truth. the explosives, according to truther theory, were planted a few days before. the weekend before the electrical system in the building was shut down for maintenance. this had never happened before. several people, scott forbes among them, tried to testify about this to the 9/11 commission, but the latter refused to interview them.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8edYhemleXc&amp;feature=related


    "...It was a conspiracy of thousands, all of whom–party to mass murder–have held their tongues ever since."

    well it was a conspiracy either way, but in neither case of thousands. and certainly mass murder took place either way. why is it that cockburn believes arabs could commit mass murder but not americans like dick cheney. infer what u will.


    again another absurdity fro cockburn--'have held their tongues...'

    literally thousands have come forward to debunk the 9/11 lies we've been told. off the top of my head there's scott forbes, sibel edmonds, indira singh, FBI counterterrorism agent robert wright, kevin ryan, janitor william rodriguez, just to name a few. the fact that they get no time from CNN or Counterpunch doesn't mean they dont exist. many of the truthers r cops and firefighters. some of the latter toured the country talking to small groups about what they observed on that day and how it differs from the official lie.

    one can only wonder as to what cockburn's motives r for spreading this fertilizer.

    u want a witness? how about the guy who owned the place larry silverstein. he went on national television and said that the fire department came to him and asked his permission to 'pull' building 7, which he gave. so we have the controlled demolition theory validated straight from the horses mouth. realizing what he had done, silverstein later recanted [so to speak] by saying that that by 'pull' he didnt mean take the building down, but rather they were talking about evacuating the building. [u cant make this shit up.] to believe him now we must then believe that the fire department allowed people to go about their business in a building which had been on fire for 6 hours, and came to silverstein to ask his permission to take people out of the building. even if anyone were stupid enough to believe this, we have the fire department tapes and they evacuated that building shortly after the second tower was struck, several hours before it was taken down.

    END PART ONE

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "how about the guy who owned the place larry silverstein. he went on national television and said that the fire department came to him and asked his permission to ‘pull’ building 7, which he gave. so we have the controlled demolition theory validated straight from the horses mouth. realizing what he had done, silverstein later recanted [so to speak] by saying that that by ‘pull’ he didnt mean take the building down, but rather they were talking about evacuating the building. [u cant make this shit up.] to believe him now we must then believe that the fire department allowed people to go about their business in a building which had been on fire for 6 hours, and came to silverstein to ask his permission to take people out of the building. even if anyone were stupid enough to believe this, we have the fire department tapes and they evacuated that building shortly after the second tower was struck, several hours before it was taken down."

    There's no real reason to believe that Silverstein ever had such a conversation with any fire chief, but there are three plausible scenarios:

    1) Silverstein did have such a conversation with someone, and "pull it" meant "pull the operation" rather than "blow up the building with explosives!"

    2) Silverstein never had any such conversation with anyone, but attempted to inflate his own significance retroactively by inventing an imaginary conversation which never occurred, and without realizing that some people would take the phrase "pull it" as if it meant "blow up the building with explosives!"

    3) Silverstein realized that tossing out such a phrase as "pull it" would create a sensation, and he wanted to send people running in circles chasing their tails by feeding them a meaningless bit of sensationalism.

    If one believes that Silverstein was really part of conspiracy then it makes sense to lean towards #3. If one doesn't believe the latter hypothesis, then #2 makes the most sense. Either way, that little interview excerpt is meaningless as evidence because option #s 1 &amp; 2 can always stand as explanations. What I am willing to cross off completely is the more common Truther assumption:

    4) Silverstein was accidentally giving away his involvement in a conspiracy.

    If Silverstein really was part of any conspiracy to demolish the buildings, then you can take for granted that he would never make such casual statements accidentally in an interview. Either he did it as part of a deliberate strategy to lead Truthers in circles like cats chasing their tails, or else he wasn't part of any such conspiracy. Either way, this simply can never serve as evidence of anything.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "the weekend before the electrical system in the building was shut down for maintenance. this had never happened before. several people, scott forbes among them"

    What are the names of the other people besides the one who identified himself as Scott Forbes? As far as I can track down, this story comes from Scott Forbes and only from him. Do you know the names of other people who gave such a story? Please share them.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "i was a blowback believer until 2005 when the force of the evidence drove me into the truther camp."

    We might have passed each other in the hall walking in opposite directions. I was seized with an epiphany in 2003 when it seemed almost certain that bombs must have brought the towers down. I began letting go of that notion in 2005, right about the time when you were walking the other way. I'd be delighted if a true scientific investigation (possibly published in an Iranian engineering journal, or maybe Russia or China, any country with expert engineers that is in rivalry with the US would be fine) could validate my original sense of intuition that I felt when watching videos of the collapses.

    But I have to say that the Truthers have generally proven to be a disappointment on this. Maybe one day real engineering studies will show us all how transparent it was that the towers were demolished. But that will require work of much more serious quality than 911-truthers have yet produced.

  • Guest - just ice

    "Many conspiracists say it wasn’t a plane but a missile. (Other conspiracists denounce the “no plane” Pentagon as wacko.) Eye-witnesses of a large plane hitting the Pentagon — are contemptuously brushed aside.

.."

    first, what the truthers argue is that this was a false-flag operation. if correct then the planting of witnesses would naturally occur. often they r there as back-ups in case something goes wrong, if not they just bear false witness. this is how it is done, i dont know of anybody who disputes this. the fact that there were people on scene confirmming the government's story works for both sides of the argument.

    second, the witnesses at the pentagon gave wildly divergent reports of the size, shape, color, speed, altitude etc of the plane. this too is consistent with false flag theory as the startling disagreements among witnesses renders all their observations untrustworthy, which aids the false flag operation. this does not prove the truthers right by any means, but that a few saw a big, commercial plane and some saw a much smaller plane doesn't buttress the arab terrorists conspiracy theory.

    FAA people monitoring that plane which hit or fired a missile at the pentagon were convinced it was a small military aircraft, and said so. these audio tapes can b heard online.

    third, there r literally thousands of witnesses at the WTC which contradict the official fiction and cockburn refuses to take them seriously. yet he chooses to believe the few who saw a 757 at the pentagon. why r the comparatively few witnesses who confirm the official miasma credible and the thousands who refute it not?

    "There are some photos of the impact of the “object” — i.e. the Boeing 757, flight 77 — that seem to show the sort of hole a missile might make... Ergo, 757 didn’t hit the Pentagon. It WAS a missile...

    the hole at the pentagon could not accommodate a 757, even the government agencies who have tried to refute the false flag theory have admitted this and have endeavored to explain how a big object could get through such a small hole. the most risible being Popular Mechanics' study which claimed that the boeing was moving and descending so fast that the pressure on the wings was so great that they were "in a state more liquid than solid", [u cant make this shit up.]


    "It wasn’t smoke in some photographs obscuring a larger rupture in the fortified Pentagon wall..."

    again, this is cockburn's theory and his alone. until now nobody has denied the rupture in the pentagon was too small to admit a 757. this is pure fiction.


    
"On this last matter, Chuck Spinney, now retired after years of brilliant government service exposing the Pentagon’s budgetary outrages, tells me that 'there ARE pictures taken of the 757 plane hitting Pentagon — they were taken by the surveillance cameras at Pentagon’s heliport, which was right next to impact point. I have seen them both — stills and moving pictures. I just missed seeing it personally, but the driver of the van I just got out of in South Parking saw it so closely that he could see the terrified faces of passengers in windows. I knew two people who were on the plane. One was ID’d by dental remains found in the Pentagon.'”

    this is almost as comical as his pancake flub.

    first, the truther theory is that the government was behind 9/11, trotting out loyal apparatchiks from the pentagon to confirm the government's lies adds nothing to the debate. this is like bringing out beria to deny that stalin was a demagogue.

    it's true that spinney has criticized the pentagon's accounting practices and other corruption, but he's been a lifelong supporter of american militarism. he supported vietnam, the genocidal war against laos, the first gulf war etc. personsally, i dont give a fuck what he has to say.

    second, spinney says there r pictures of the impact at the pentagon. well that is amazing as the pentagon has been insisting for a decade that no such photos exist. and if they do let's see them.

    the video from the heloport has been released and there r real problems with it. it's brief, and it's difficult to make out what one is seeing. we see a glimmer then an explosion at the pentagon. if the object is not actually in the frames, then we DONT have video of the object, just the impact flare up it caused. if the object is in one of the frames, then it is not a 757.

    the distance between the camera and the trees in the background is known. the height of them is also known. as is the size of a 757. i cant remember the statistics, but somebody did the math and whatever the thing or reflection is, it is considerably smaller than a 757 as if it were the top part of the trees in the background would not b visible, and they r in each frame.

    that object that hit the pentagon was traveling well in excess of the max speed of a 757. it was moving vertically and horizontally and pulling lots of Gs. the chance that anybody who saw the thing the few milliseconds before it hit the pentagon could see faces in the windows is just about nil.

    when last i'd checked no remains had been turned over to the families.

    END PART TWO

  • Guest - just ice

    "In fact hundreds of people saw the plane — people who know the difference between a plane and a cruise missile. The wreckage of the plane was hauled out from the site. Why does the obvious have to be proved? Would those who were wounded or who lost friends and colleagues that day assist in the cover up of a missile strike? Why risk using a missile, when you had a plane in the air and ­- to take one bizarre construct of the conspiracists — had successfully crashed (by remote control!) two into much more difficult targets–the Trade Towers?"


    considerably less than 100 people were witness at the pentagon, and more said they saw a small plane than a 757.

    a big truckload of something was hauled out covered by a big tarpaulin. the contents could not be seen. later the pentagon produced a few pictures and we just have to trust them that they r genuine.

    who's assisting in the cover-up? most people r stupid enuf to think we r in libya for humanitarian reasons, why wouldnt they believe this.

    and remember this isnt any old office building, it's the pentagon, full of people who take orders for a living.

    and that is a particularly stupid question coming from somebody who claims to b a socialist.

    why a missile? this question too speaks to just how ignorant [or worse] cockburn is of this issue. the pentagon is supposed to b able to withstand a direct hit from a large commercial aircraft, or so they tell us. if true then a missile would b necessary to penetrate the buildings defenses as far as this missile did.

    the twin towers were more difficult targets than the pentagon? for a 757?

    well that's enuf. the rest of the article is just as bad. the part about pearl harbor is shamelessly deceptive. he introduces an expert, Pierre Sprey, to explain why the buildings collapsed at near free-fall speed. he too comes from the military/industrial complex and cockburn serves him up as credible just like spinney. cockburn finds 1,500 independent architects and engineers unconvincing but instead prefers to believe imperialists like sprey and spinney.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "the video evidence clearly demonstrates that these buildings fell in near free-fall speed"

    The tower-collapses each took about 17 seconds. Free-fall would be more like 9.2 seconds.

  • Guest - just ice

    PatrickSMcNally

    re silverstein: he'd just become the owner and when he did he doubled the insurance on the towers. as u probably know he was well compensated. his reversal may b cuz if he agreed to take the buildings down he wouldnt b able to collect on his policy. i didnt mention this cuz it's just speculation.

    'If Silverstein really was part of any conspiracy to demolish the buildings, then you can take for granted that he would never make such casual statements accidentally in an interview.'

    i'm not sure i agree. the theory was this was a prepatory for the war in iraq etc., the hitting the WTC and causing enuf destruction that they would have to b destroyed i really dont think vitiates much if anything. the job had been done when the first person died.

    re forbes: i'm not a 9/11 geek, just interested in 'deep politics', as peter dale scott puts it. i don't have any more names for u, but i think i know who to ask.

    i'm not sure but didnt the janitor rodriguez and some people from the NYFD confirm that the building was shut down the weekend before? that's how i remember it. if forbes is lying one would have to wonder what his motivation would b, particularly as it would b such an easy lie to disprove.

    i will send an email out tonight and when i get a response i will post it contents here. might take a day or two tho.

    of course many of the people who could confirm or deny forbes' account died on 9/11.

    i dont agree with u that the truthers haven't done a good job. the tipping point for me was the nanite [spelling?], and it was discovered early on by the professor from BYU. at first i didnt put to much stalk in it cuz i didnt know who he was and the provenance of his samples were unverified. but now that the EPA has confirmed that nanite was in the dust this leaves only one conclusion for me. it's proof.

    gotta run

  • Guest - just ice

    17 seconds? this is absolutely the longest estimate i've heard, where did u get it? it's hard to fix watching the video as by the time the top of the buildings approach ground level they r engulfed in smoke.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    Although Jim Hoffman here maintains that

    http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/collapses/freefall.html

    -----
    ... it took close to 15 seconds for the destruction to reach the ground.
    -----

    his own photographic data points towards 17 as more consistent.

    Hoffman rightly points out that:

    -----
    ... many commentors have incorrectly treated the durations of the largest seismic signals as synonymous with total collapse times. Statements that the Towers fell in eight and ten seconds have been repeated by both proponents and critics of the official explanation.
    -----

    That bit of carelessness is central to many 911-truthers, since the 8- &amp; 10-second claims are often pivotal to truther-arguments.

    About the South Tower Hoffman argues from video evidence that:

    -----
    At about 2.5 seconds, the top starts to fall. A good marker for this is a small white squib that emerges from the level of the impact zone about three-quarters of the way back on the right face. That immediately precedes the first large ejections from the southeast face.

    Using that marker it is possible to time the fall of the South Tower's top up to the moment it gets swallowed up by the dust cloud. At that point the dust cloud rises only slightly above the level of the 78th-floor sky lobby visible as a two-story band on the adjacent North Tower. A small extrapolation gives a good estimate of the time of fall of the South Tower's roof to the level of the 78th floor of five seconds. That distance is about 384 feet (12 feet per story times 32 stories).
    -----

    If we extrapolate from 5 seconds per 32 stories over to 110 stories then that would imply something like:

    (110/32)*5 ~ 17

    About the North Tower Hoffman concludes:

    -----
    The CNN video suggests that it takes about ten seconds for the bottom of the mushrooming dust cloud to reach the ground, and another seven or so for the top to reach the ground. The following composite timeline combines timing estimates of collapse events from the CNN video and the PAL seismic record. It assumes rubble hitting the ground caused the large ground movement, and thus that the crumbling of the Tower prior to that caused only minor ground movement. Given that, the times from these pieces of evidence match up remarkably well.


    10:28:23 Top of the North Tower starts to break apart
    10:28:31 Rubble starts to hit the ground (start of big signal)
    10:28:36 The heaviest rubble hits the ground (peak of big signal)
    10:28:39 Most heavy rubble has reached the ground (end of big signal)
    -----

    That again supports a collapse-time of about 17 seconds, roughly.

  • Guest - FleeYourHomes

    Two professors from The Swiss Institute of Technology Dr.Hugo Bachmann and Dr. Joerg Schneider have corroborated the conclusion, along with many other distinguished professors, that a 47 story building with close to 24 core steel pillars (Building 7) collapsed in 6.6 seconds. This building was never hit by a plane on 9/11.

    The building allegedly had fires in it, and this caused its collapse! To me, this is an utterly absurd explanation. 24 steel support columns melted simultaneously to lead building 7 to collapse into itself.

    I am truly confused as to why the official story is being so intensely defended on this site. It borders on boot licking. The actual facts are so utterly conflicting that regardless of even speculating on who was behind the so called "inside job", it should be obvious to anyone that the official story is a joke.

  • Guest - FleeYourHomes

    Also, I think the Cockburn article was awful and reminded me of the many arguments used by the mainstream media noise machine to discredit anti war activists, communists, and generally anyone who disputes the U.S.A's official narratives. Using mocking tones, sarcasm, and deliberate straw man arguments.

    I think Just Ice points out some of the more obnoxious and obvious methods used in the article. But the most insane is the last statement,

    "The conspiracists have combined to produce a huge distraction, just as Danny Sheehan did with his Complaint, that mesmerized and distracted much of the Nicaraguan Solidarity Movement in the 1980s, and which finally collapsed in a Florida courtroom almost as quickly as the Towers."

    What is this referring to...? Can anyone chime in?

    My understanding is that Danny Sheehan helped uncover a lot of information that detailed the Iran Contra affair as well as C.I.A. involvement in extra legal extractions and assassinations of U.S. or C.I.A. deemed enemies in Central America, South America, and Cuba.

    If this is what Cockburn calls an unnecessary distraction, then what the hell is Counterpunch?

  • Guest - Mike E.

    Just Ice writes:

    <blockquote>"i find it odd how so many on this thread r willing to believe our bourgeois government and its media. if one were to ask a comrade whether s/he thought capitalism is vicious and ruthless and comes to us, as marx observed, dripping in blood and filth, u probably wouldn’t get an argument. ask the same person if the bourgeois government, schools and press r involved in consent manufacturing and perception management by disinformation, most revolutionaries would agree. then ask if 9/11 was an inside job undertaken by our government in order to gin up support for imperial conquest in the ME and u will more often than not be met with invective-laden incredulity. i dont get it. the US government dropped more explosive force on bagdad than fell on london, dresden and berlin combined in ww2. 9/11 is small potatoes compared to capital’s other abominations."</blockquote>

    No one discussing this here doubts that the U.S. government has committedmassive atrocities that dwarf 911 in their sheer bloodiness.

    No one argues that "they are incapable of doing such ugly things."

    No one here "believes" government versions of events.

    No one doubts that this government covers its actual crimes with every imaginable form of lie and diversion -- and has whole institutions of media and disinformation to carry this out.

    No one here doubts that the U.S. government exploited these events to invade countries and brutalize people all over the world.

    The issue here is not whether the U.S. government could have bombed its own soil (and its own financial district). The issue is whether they did. And whether such an explanation is credible.

    I think it is not. And this argument above is the reason the title "skeptical fantasy" was inserted above. Skepticism (including justified skepticism) is not an analysis. The fact that a government is capable of committing atrocities and lying does not mean (in a particular case) that they did commit the atrocity.

    <blockquote>"I am truly confused as to why the official story is being so intensely defended on this site. It borders on boot licking."</blockquote>

    And as we can all see, at a certain point, the embrace of a particular analysis (of government conspiracy) becomes a test of whether someone is genuinely understands the sinister nature of this government.

    * * * * * * * * * *
    The U.S. government has a lot of responsibility for what happened on 9/11 -- because they nurtured and trained the reactionary forces who were capable of killing civilians without a thought. The U.S. government has brutalized people all over the world. And so 9/11 was blowback in both those ways: They helped develop, organize and arm a wave of the most reactionary forces of the Muslim world, and they have created a political environment all over the world where millions of people see the United States (and even its citizens) as their enemy.

    That is the actual explanation for 9/11, and for the government's responsibility.

    * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I lived in West Virginia, where quite a few people don't believe in evolutionary science, and some don't believe that astronauts landed on the moon.

    The people who argue for these things rely heavily on uninformed skepticism (distrust of scientific experts and elites, distrust of the mainstream media, a general cultural feeling of alienation and dislocation, etc.) coupled with the comfort of a fantasy explanation that is far more pleasing to their world view (i.e. Genesis etc.)

    And what jumps out in the 911 Truther analysis is exactly a method of pseudoscience that we have visited on this site before: Where the methodology of scientific analysis and rational logic are <em>mimicked</em> (or impersonated) in order to ram through a false that is not rooted in evidence at all (even though it appears coated in layers of alleged "facts," like a chicken drumstick covered in crumbs).

    This same methodology appears in the pseudo-historical claims of Illuminati world control, or the Protocols of Zion, or <a href="/http://kasamaproject.org/2010/11/05/historical-socialism-and-stalin-need-better-defenders/" rel="nofollow">Grover Furr's anti-historical and anti-materialist approach</a> to the Soviet purges.

    Question the pseudo-scientific narrative, and you are accused of being a dupe (or worse) for the standard analysis and for the powers-that-be -- even if you are neither. It is profoundly authority-based reasoning (both in what such theories uphold and what they can't accept).

    Assert counter facts, and there are a half-dozen standard (knee-jerk) methods for seeking to render <em>any</em> fact is disputable.

    ("Were there really witnesses to a plane hitting the pentagon? If so, weren't they probably military people? How can we believe their story? Aren't they probably in on the conspiracy? And if you believe them, perhaps you too are in on the conspiracy or at least a defender of the government?")

    And part of the problem is that secret conspiracies cannot grow above a certain size without collapsing. The U.S. government heads may not care about killing 3,000 Americans in cold blood -- but the complex teams and co-conspirators up and down the line would inevitably contain whistle-blowers who do. It is possible that some government agencies "knew" that attacks were possible and "didn't do anything." It is possible that such things are incompetence or (in some cases) there were actually individuals who thought such an attack would shake things up. But I don't believe it is possible for high government officials to conceive and unleash such an act (with complex multiple components, involving the transport and planting of explosives etc.) and not have the cover-stories collapse immediately.

    The issue on 9/11 is not the mechanics of architectural engineering -- but the mechanics of social engineering. An ongoing conspiracy and coverup of this magnitude, of the kind they imagine and allege, is simply not socially possible.

    It is possible that the plane in Pennsylvania was shot down by U.S. airforce planes. Tere are various smaller lies and coverups in this whole process (like the lies that led to Iraq but were exposed).

    But beyond that, I just think that the 9/11 Truther theories are simply fantasy, based on nothing but raw skepticism, and (more to the point) miss the main ways that the U.S. government (and imperialism as a system) was responsible for these horrible events.

    And the value in confronting this is that we <em>need</em> a radical movement that actually "knows things to change things" -- we can't function by magical thinking of that kind.

    * * * * ***

    As we discussed at great length in our engagements of <a href="/http://kasamaproject.org/2010/10/04/three-quick-examples-of-leftist-pseudo-science/" rel="nofollow"><em>leftist</em> forms of pseudo-science</a> you cant mainly unravel the problems of pseudo-science mainly at the level of data. You could (theoretically) dispute and disprove their individual factual (one by one) but their methods allow them to simply construct a new facade of pseudo-arguments forerever.

    (How can you disprove the document that contains the minutes of the "elders of zion" meeting to plot world control? How can you disprive that Henry Kissinger is a member of the Illuminati? Where is the smoking gun document that shows Stalin <em>personally</em> had innocent people were shot in the Soviet Union? How do you know witnesses aren't just lying about a plane hitting the pentagon? Is it really possible for a skyscraper to pancake from an intense fire?)

    The error (and the disproof) of pseudo-scientific conspiracy theories is not mainly at the level of data (because it is in the nature of these theories that they can crank up ways to challenge any and all evidence they don't like).

    The disproof of non-materialist theories (that arrive disguised as "science") is at the level of method... how they view provability? How do they respond to counter analysis? How they think human organizations (media, governments, parties, police) work? What kinds of complexity they think is possible in secret organization?

  • Guest - Red Fly

    <blockquote>The conspiracists disdained the real world because they wanted to promote Bush, Cheney and the Neo-Cons to an elevated status as the Arch Demons of American history, instead of being just one more team running the American empire, a team of more than usual stupidity and incompetence (characteristics I personally favor in imperial leaders). Actually, what Bush and Cheney never demonstrated was the slightest degree of competence to pull anything like this off. <em>They couldn’t even manufacture weapons of mass destruction after US troops had invaded Iraq, and when any box labeled “WMD” would have been happily photographed by the embedded U.S. press as conclusive testimony.</em> Arch-demon Cheney and his retinue of neo-cons couldn’t even contrive a provocation sufficient to justify his aim of waging war on Iran or giving Israel the green light to do so. Each day he gnashed his teeth as Bush, Condoleezza Rice and the Joint Chiefs of Staff foiled his machinations.</blockquote> (My emphasis.)

    I think this says a lot. So, on the one hand, the conspirators have the ability to pull off 9/11 and cover their tracks sufficiently to dupe the vast majority of the people -- an operation so complex that it must have involved hundreds of people (including apparently, according to some, the BBC), and which would have required almost superhuman planning, discipline and flawless execution, and which would mean death for all those involved if real evidence of this supposed plot were to ever be discovered -- but at the same time, despite having every incentive in the world, and despite the incredible ease with which such criminal masterminds as authored 9/11 could have accomplished their task, they were unable to plant even a few WMD in some remote part of the Iraqi desert? Seriously?! 9/11, no problem, but burying a few weapons in the desert at night and then "discovering" them later was too difficult?!

  • Guest - FleeYourHomes

    I think that if anyone actually looks into the facts, you will see that many, many credible experts have come forward to dispute the alleged facts and narrative about how the 3 buildings collapsed on September 11th.

    Building 7 alone is an absolutely bullet proof example.

    The truther movement is filled with half truths, skepticism, and some absurd scenarios.

    The fact in my mind remains, all three buildings were taken down by more than isolated fires and supposedly shoddy construction. First, the visual of the collapse confronts most lay people with visual cue that something doesn't add up. But on top of that, despite what Cockburn and Mike E say, literally hundreds of first responders heard and saw things that day that point to possible demolition via planted explosives. This can be easily researched. Aside from that, many credible engineers and qualified building engineers have literally scoffed at the building 7 scenario.

    That fact of physics and engineering has nothing to do with evolution deniers, or false moon landing whackos, again, a useless straw man.

    Watch the footage from the building 7 collapse and the scores of professionals who came forward to say that scientifically, the building could not have fallen into its own footprint in 6.6 seconds by office fires that simultaneously melted 24 steel support columns.

    Just not possible by scientific standards.

    Who put the explosives there?, dunno, maybe Dick Cheney got drunk one night and did it for a laugh, ask the truthers...

  • Guest - just ice

    PatrickSMcNally, it seems u r more conversant with the topic than i. my interest was in determining whether it was an inside job or not, and beyond that to determine if possible who knew. most of my efforts have been in the insider trading/jacob coby alexander/buzzy krongaard/AIG/marsh &amp; mcclennan/NY attorney general's office stuff. it's a very small world of players indeed who can afford to bet THAT much money on put options [much riskier than call options]. i thought divining the whos and whats might help me with something else i'd been working on, namely: why wasnt the dollar shorted after 9/11? if ever there was a moment when alpha predators like soros could make a killing this was it. yet nothing. this is one helluva lot of magnanimity from people who have never demonstrated any before.

    if u have any info/theories i'd love to hear them.

    nothing on scott forbes from my 'source' yet, but he did send me this:

    "David,

    NIST said they took 9 and 11 seconds each. THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT
    states the South Tower came down in 10 seconds! This is beyond
    debate. If ...NIST and the 9/11 commission are
    wrong about matters that are so basic, then what is there about them
    we can trust?"

    to ask such a question is to answer it, is it not?

  • Guest - Mike E.

    <blockquote>"I think that if anyone actually looks into the facts, you will see that many, many credible experts have come forward to dispute the alleged facts and narrative about how the 3 buildings collapsed on September 11th."</blockquote>

    This is an argument by authority. Often what makes people "credible" is simply whether or not they agree with your preferred narrative.

    Credible people may dispute one or many details, but the issue is not the dots, but how they are connected.

    I suspect there are no credible experts who believe that three towers were imploded by a U.S. government conspiracy -- or that the rigging of explosives was involved.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "a 47 story building with close to 24 core steel pillars (Building 7) collapsed in 6.6 seconds."

    That actually is another Truther-Blooper. In this article from Firehouse magazine they give a collapse-time of 18 seconds for Building 7:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030402210827/http://www.firehouse.com/tech/news/2002/0121_terrorist.html

    What's interesting to note is that on the same page they list collapse-times of 8 and 10 seconds for the North &amp; South Towers, based upon seismographic data. They are repeating the error which Jim Hoffman has pointed out when seismographic data is sometimes used to measure the collapse-times of the Towers. But they get the timing for Building 7 correct.

    The myth of the 6.6-second collapse of Building 7 is based upon a selective usage of videos taken from the northwest side which don't show the full collapse as it began on the east side. More complete videos

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G86yuunRBIw

    make it apparent that the total collapse-time was much longer than just 6.6 seconds.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    -----
    he did send me this:

    “David,

    NIST said they took 9 and 11 seconds each. THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT
    states the South Tower came down in 10 seconds! This is beyond
    debate. If …NIST and the 9/11 commission are
    wrong about matters that are so basic, then what is there about them
    we can trust?”

    to ask such a question is to answer it, is it not?
    -----

    Not really. Truthers like to believe that if they can catch NIST on some careless statements then they can expose a conspiracy. It is a fact that the collapses of the Towers and of Building 7 all took about 16-18 seconds each. I don't need to depend upon some careless comments issued by a NIST official in a press statement for that. All that I need to do is go back and review the available data.

    Now if someone wants to accuse NIST of making a few reckless and even arrogant statements, I'm fine with that. But that is not the same thing as providing real substantive evidence of a hypothesized conspiracy.

  • Guest - FleeYourHomes

    After the initial ....10 seconds the building folds into itself in 6 seconds. This really doesn't change much in analyzing the style of collapse that the building takes. It literally crumbles, with 16 seconds. Inconsistent with collapse from a fire in a residential building, let alone skyscraper with steel supports.

  • Guest - Red Fly

    <blockquote>9/11 conspiracism, perhaps at last somewhat on the wane, penetrated deep into the American left. It has also been widespread on the libertarian and populist right, but that is scarcely surprising, since the American populist right instinctively mistrusts government to a far greater degree than the left, and matches conspiracies to its demon of preference, whether the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Black Helicopters or the Jews and now Muslims.</blockquote>

    I think this wrong. First of all, I think the American left distrusts the government plenty (and for damn good reasons). The question is how (and how should) this distrust manifests itself. Does it manifest itself in a materialist analysis of the actual crimes of this government, of which the list is practically endless, or, as Kasama's re-titling of the piece indicates, does it manifest itself in skeptical fantasy? As this thread shows there is a real tension right now on the left between these two poles.

    As I said on another thread, conspiracism, which I define as an ideology which posits conspiracies as the motive force of world history, is as American as apple pie and drone missile attacks on brown people. It's been an integral part of the American political landscape ever since the first colonial settlers arrived on these shores and it cuts across the left-right spectrum. And not without some reason. There have been enough real conspiracies throughout the history of this country that simply taking a dismissive attitude towards all conspiracy theories evinces a mindset that in some ways mirrors conspiracism itself.

    On the other hand, conspiracism is fundamentally at odds, I believe, with historical materialism, which looks not toward secret cabals minutely plotting every detail of the enslavement of the human species, but towards the rather open (if you can get past their sophisticated propaganda apparatus) clique of a class of people, the ruling class (in our epoch, the bourgeoisie), who in the light of day, in front of the whole world, enact the enslavement of the human species by controlling the means of production (and through this, the superstructural institutions that comprise the totality of class society), forcing workers (in order to merely live!) to produce surplus value for them, a surplus which the ruling class then uses (by manipulating state power, by lowering wages, by speeding up work, by lengthening the working day, etc.) to increase their power over the workers. This is the fundamental reality of class society that we as Marxists, through the extraordinary gifts/weapons bequeathed to us by so many heroic thinkers and fighters over the last 160+ years, understand in our brains and feel in our bones. It would be a tragedy and a disaster if we were to abandon this scientific legacy in exchange for a (intellectually bankrupt) self-blinding politics which serves to reinforce (and too often self-actualizes) feelings of powerlessness amongst our people.

    And this is what it comes down to in the end: politics. Are we going to practice a politics of real human liberation or are going to lose ourselves and our people in a politics of impotency. As I said above, I don't think it matters too much if otherwise serious and thoughtful comrades believe in this (unproven) conspiracy or that conspiracy, <em>so long as this doesn't impinge on the way we actually conduct ourselves in political life</em> The 9/11 conspiracy stuff, to my mind, is very far-fetched. But if a comrade wants to buy into it, fine, just don't try to make it a part of our politics. Not because we're trying to boost our credibility in the eyes of the rulers (as some conspiracists suggest) but because horrible reality of this vicious system demands that see things for what they are in order to actually be effective in creating a revolutionary movement capable of bringing about real positive change in the lives our people.

  • Guest - just ice

    Mike E.,

    re everything which began no one here...: yes that was my point. no lefties, here or elsewhere, dispute the plutos r capable of anything, yet there is massive resistance to the idea that they did this. most lefties with whom i've discussed this matter dismiss it on the grounds that the government's explanation is plausible: we've been sticking our big Western dicks in their sand dunes for so long that they finally retaliated. fair enuf, that is reasonable. but it is equally reasonable that they staged the affair for the same reason polk insisted that mexicans had 'shed american blood on american soil' even tho he knew they hadnt; or that our gov' claimed an american ship was attacked in tonkin bay; or that spanish frogmen had placed bombs on the hull of the Maine when they knew it wasnt true. my point was that i didnt understand the reflexive resistance to the latter scenario.

    "The fact that a government is capable of committing atrocities and lying does not mean (in a particular case) that they did commit the atrocity."

    Gee, no kidding! thanks for sharing all that perspicacity with us mike.

    as i said in my comment, i was just going to comment on cockburn's idiotic essay, not presenting the entire case for the inside job theory. i do not suggest that what i wrote was in itself sufficient to prove the case. my goal was to expose cockburn as the--oh let's b charitable--fool that he is. it is clear that cockburn, like so many others, hasnt bothered to familiarize himself with the case.[read here pancake theory] that's what i addressed.

    "“I am truly confused as to why the official story is being so intensely defended on this site. It borders on boot licking.”

    i didn't write this. i dont know whom u r quoting but it's not me.


    "The U.S. government has a lot of responsibility for what happened on 9/11 — because they nurtured and trained the reactionary forces who were capable of killing civilians without a thought. The U.S. government has brutalized people all over the world. And so 9/11 was blowback in both those ways: They helped develop, organize and arm a wave of the most reactionary forces of the Muslim world, and they have created a political environment all over the world where millions of people see the United States (and even its citizens) as their enemy.

    "That is the actual explanation for 9/11, and for the government’s responsibility."

    well let's test mike's theory against mike's previous comment: the fact that government is capable of evil doesnt mean it is responsible for this particular evil. okay, to me this is undeniably true, so then doesn't it follow that while it is also true that the US has created widespread antipathy for itself, the 9/11 attack may not have been committed by the people in whom we have instilled hatred?

    u cant embrace a theory when it supports yr argument and then decry it when it works against u. yr 'actual explanation' is one theory, the opposing theory is equally plausible. an analysis of the facts is what counts, not how we feel about the possible outcomes. mike believes the 19 guys with boxcutters conspiracy theory. i'm partial to the inside job theory.


    "And part of the problem is that secret conspiracies cannot grow above a certain size without collapsing. The U.S. government heads may not care about killing 3,000 Americans in cold blood — but the complex teams and co-conspirators up and down the line would inevitably contain whistle-blowers who do."


    this is the argument i find the most trying. the US has literally thousands of agents whose job it is to conduct clandestine operations of all sorts. for these people the ability to keep a secret is not only essential for job security, it can b a matter of life or death. "going rogue" is spookspeak for going public and it is decidedly bad for one's health. there is every incentive to keep one's mouth shut.

    and again, THERE HAVE BEEN WHISTLEBLOWERS, and lots of them. hundreds of them, maybe thousands of them. think of eric lawyer and the firefighters for 9/11 truth. hundreds of them have given statements about hearing explosions, the gold heist, the false assertion of radio failure, giuliani's lies, on and on.

    the assertion that nobody has come forward to blow the whistle is simply not true. look at what happened to sibel edmonds!



    "But beyond that, I just think that the 9/11 Truther theories are simply fantasy, based on nothing but raw skepticism, and (more to the point) miss the main ways that the U.S. government (and imperialism as a system) was responsible for these horrible events.

    And the value in confronting this is that we need a radical movement that actually “knows things to change things” — we can’t function by magical thinking of that kind."


    in logic this is called poisoning the well. u can't insist upon yr conclusion as my premise. it might b all well and good to say that i'm missing the point if i hadn't considered yr argument. i have, and i reject it. and there's nothing exculpating in my analysis for imperialism. in fact the opposite is true.

    it certainly is based on much more than raw skepticism, it is just insulting to say this mike. u have yr opinion, and i have mine. mine is based on my examination of the facts, with the government's confirmation that the 9/11 dust did contain the residue of ignited nanothermite as the bit of info which turned me to conclude it was an inside job. this is not a fantasy, read the EPA's report. there's no magic involved.

    my interest in this debate is that it might demonstrate to people just how venal capitalism is, how craven it is. i don't know how to create class consciousness any more than u do, so i throw everything i can at the wall and hope something sticks. additionally, investigating this matter inevitably learns to unrelated discoveries, and they can b useful as well. i'm neither a conspiracy theorist nor a stocastic, i really could not care less who actually did what on 9/11. i expose criminal statecraft in the hope that the its victims, that is to say all working people, will someday see the necessity of change.

    if that's 'magic thinking', then a magician i will proudly b.

    i have got to go.


    first sentence: u state as fact that which u couldn't know. how could u know? if large conspiracies were ever kept then we wouldn't know about them.


    r u suggesting that the fact that nobody has come forward to confess to the murder of thousands is evidence that no conspiracy existed? really?

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "After the initial ….10 seconds the building folds into itself in 6 seconds. This really doesn’t change much in analyzing the style of collapse that the building takes. It literally crumbles, with 16 seconds."

    Actually, it changes things fundamentally. A complete collapse from start to finish in less than 7 seconds is something which a good high school student might feel justified in saying "Impossible!" A collapse in 16-8 seconds, which is what really happened, is on a whole different level of complexity. For that "Impossible!" to stand as a sustained judgment in this case it would have to pass muster among broad layers of specialized structural engineers. This has not occurred yet.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "despite having every incentive in the world, and despite the incredible ease with which such criminal masterminds as authored 9/11 could have accomplished their task, they were unable to plant even a few WMD in some remote part of the Iraqi desert?"

    Although I agree that the Truther-arguments have generally fallen apart, on this point they would have a valid response.

    Although the story of "Iraqi WMDs set to go off on 45 minute-notice" fell apart almost from the first day when the occupation of Iraq was launched, the war still went on and the media forgot the whole issue and suddenly it was about "bringing democracy to Iraq" or some such thing. The media is so servile that the Bush administration knew that all they had to do was initiate the war and then it wouldn't matter what became of the original excuse for war.

    Now that doesn't get 911-truthers off the hook. Although the major media buried the issue of WMDs once it had served its purpose, it is still possible for someone to go back and extensively document the lies used to engineer the war. Nothing equivalent has yet been achieved among Truthers, despite a massive growth of general public skepticism towards the government which in turn should make for a very positive climate for potential whistle-blowers.

  • Guest - Red Fly

    <blockquote>well let’s test mike’s theory against mike’s previous comment: the fact that government is capable of evil doesnt mean it is responsible for this particular evil. okay, to me this is undeniably true, so then doesn’t it follow that while it is also true that the US has created widespread antipathy for itself, the 9/11 attack may not have been committed by the people in whom we have instilled hatred?

    u cant embrace a theory when it supports yr argument and then decry it when it works against u. yr ‘actual explanation’ is one theory, the opposing theory is equally plausible. an analysis of the facts is what counts, not how we feel about the possible outcomes. mike believes the 19 guys with boxcutters conspiracy theory. i’m partial to the inside job theory.</blockquote>

    Herein lies the rub. You think it is just as plausible that 9/11 was an inside job as it is that 9/11 was attack by 19 guys with box cutters. Others of us think, based on the same evidence, that this is skeptical fantasy built on serious methodological errors.

    Truthers assume that the evidence they present shifts the burden of proof onto the government. Others of us think that although that is the intent, when the evidence is examined carefully (ALL the evidence, including the evidence that doesn't jibe with the Truther narrative), no such burden shifting is actually justified.

    As to who makes the better case, each person can decide for themselves, but at the end of the day our politics must be based on Marxism, which is constructed firmly on the grounds of scientific analysis of bourgeois society and the scientific practice of overthrowing it, not on conspiracism, which is the intellectually bankrupt ideology of positing conspiracies as the motive force of world history.

    <blockquote>my interest in this debate is that it might demonstrate to people just how venal capitalism is, how craven it is. i don’t know how to create class consciousness any more than u do, so i throw everything i can at the wall and hope something sticks.</blockquote>

    And maybe these are the twin premises upon which left conspiracism rests: "No one knows how instil class consciousness. Therefore the right approach is to just cobble together anything and everything that makes the ruling class look bad and hope that people arrive at class consciousness through the sheer volume and degree of what we throw out there."

    From Lenin's dialectical all-sided exposure, to conspiracism's diarrhea of suspicion. I'll leave it others to decide which approach holds more promise for us.

  • Guest - Red Fly

    <blockquote>Although I agree that the Truther-arguments have generally fallen apart, on this point they would have a valid response.

    Although the story of “Iraqi WMDs set to go off on 45 minute-notice” fell apart almost from the first day when the occupation of Iraq was launched, the war still went on and the media forgot the whole issue and suddenly it was about “bringing democracy to Iraq” or some such thing. The media is so servile that the Bush administration knew that all they had to do was initiate the war and then it wouldn’t matter what became of the original excuse for war.

    Now that doesn’t get 911-truthers off the hook. Although the major media buried the issue of WMDs once it had served its purpose, it is still possible for someone to go back and extensively document the lies used to engineer the war. Nothing equivalent has yet been achieved among Truthers, despite a massive growth of general public skepticism towards the government which in turn should make for a very positive climate for potential whistle-blowers.</blockquote>

    What's valid about that response? Millions of people supported the Iraq War based on the idea that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. Millions of people wanted to see (and still want to see) the weapons of mass destruction. The fact that no weapons of mass destruction were found was a very serious blow to the credibility of the administration. Now, ultimately they were able propagandize the citizenry enough to (barely) secure a second term, but the lack of WMD was one of the key pieces (along with torture and Katrina and much else) that eroded political support for them. And the media did talk about the lack of WMD. At least during 2003 and 2004. The Bushies could have simply avoided the p.r. nightmare, a p.r. nightmare that seriously threatened re-election, if they only had the conspiratorial masterminds that engineered 9/11 bury a few WMD in the desert and "discover" them soon after. That would have been soooooo much easier than fending off questions about the lack of WMD. It would have shown, to the overwhelming majority of Americans, that Bush was right about Iraq all along, that it really did pose "an imminent threat," and he would have been re-elected in a landslide.

    The Truthers simply don't have an answer as to why this ridiculously easy operation wasn't carried out.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "The Truthers simply don’t have an answer as to why this ridiculously easy operation wasn’t carried out."

    The answer would be that Bush was really just a puppet-on-strings (which actually is pretty true, regardless what one may wish to speculate about 911) and that the war in Iraq is still going on today with Bush gone from office. "Mission accomplished!" Whatever stain on Bush's reputation there may be from the collapse of the WMD-story, the people who count haven't suffered any loss.

    Now that doesn't mean that 911-truthers can get off the hook from the need to establish a case which withstands scrutiny. Many 911-groups have built up their own version of a media and this should be providing extensive opportunities for new whiste-blowers to be coming forward. Instead, the 911-networks are just repeating old talking points from 5 or more years ago. That should raise the eyebrows of any serious Truther.

  • Guest - Red Fly

    <blockquote>The answer would be that Bush was really just a puppet-on-strings (which actually is pretty true, regardless what one may wish to speculate about 911) and that the war in Iraq is still going on today with Bush gone from office. “Mission accomplished!” Whatever stain on Bush’s reputation there may be from the collapse of the WMD-story, the people who count haven’t suffered any loss.</blockquote>

    Of course Bush was a puppet, but I still don't think it served the interests of the ruling class to have the major premise upon which the war was supported collapse. Not only was it a major contributing factor to the erosion of support for Bush, but also the erosion of support for the entire Neocon imperialist apparatus that cooked it up. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle...all these people made the WMD argument strenuously and faced uncomfortable questions after no WMD were found.

    Again, much easier just to plant a few WMD in the desert and be hailed as conquering heroes.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "re silverstein: he’d just become the owner and when he did he doubled the insurance on the towers."

    Here's a somewhat differen take on that:

    http://www.forbes.com/2003/09/11/cx_da_0911silverstein.html

    -----
    In its court papers, Swiss Re shows how Silverstein first tried to buy just $1.5 billion in property damage and business-interruption coverage. When his lenders objected, he discussed buying a $5 billion policy. Ultimately, he settled on the $3.5 billion figure, which was less than the likely cost of rebuilding. His lenders, led by GMAC, a unit of General Motors (nyse: GM - news - people ), which financed nearly the entire cost of the lease, agreed.
    -----

    Why didn't Silverstein just take the 5 billion that his own insurers wanted him to take, if he knew what was going to happen?

    "as u probably know he was well compensated."

    Is that really true?

    http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/_nypost_dooming_downtown.htm

    -----
    It will cost $4.3 billion for Silverstein to rebuild the World Trade Center and maintain his lease once insurance is exhausted. Like any developer, Silverstein (and his potential lenders) must determine if the project is worth more than its cost: Over the remainder of the lease, will the WTC bring in enough in rents to repay this $4.3 billion investment and earn a profit?
    -----

    What I do know for sure is that many 911-truthers have made an axiom out of simply repeating this claim that "Silverstein made a bundle off of 911" without consistently investigating the facts. If you have some concrete data to justify that claim then please share it.

  • Guest - Mike E.

    I generally don't engage the specific details of the Truther arguments....

    But the idea that you have an ultra-secret conspiracy to take down towers in Manhattan <em>and</em> specific Jewish businessmen knew about it in order to make a financial killing is riddled with problems (and whiffs of the global Jewish conspiracy).

    The argument that covert operatives are trained in secrecy so it is credible that this operation could go down without exposure misses the point. So does the argument above that 'there are lots of whistleblowers." First, firemen saying they heard explosions is not a whistleblower. A whistleblower is someone who says "I work with delta force, and processed part of the logistics chain that got the materials in place for 911" -- i.e. someone on the <em>inside</em> blowing a whistle. It is true that covert ops are selected for secrecy, but their secrecy envelops their actions against perceived "enemies of the U.S." -- if you took those same forces and told them to kill thousands of unarmed U.S. civilians in the Manhattan financial district, they would blow whistles in significant numbers. This is an operation that would involve the conscious conspiracy of large numbers of operatives, many of whom would not be able to swallow this (especially once they saw its aftermath unfolding in retrospect).

    Again, the counternarrative of the truthers is simply not credible -- virtually on its surface. You don't need to investigate the endless details of their constructs in order to understand that such an operation is not possible without exposure.

    Put another way: People draw an analogy to Roosevelt possibly knowing about the danger of a Japanese surprise attack coming in the Pacific. And some people have raised the possibility that FDR may have "allowed it to happen" -- knowing that this was the only way of mobilizing the largely anti-interventionist public opinion for war. (I will leave aside the pros and cons of this theory regarding Pearl Harbor.)

    But my point here is that 911 is NOT analogous to "FDR knowing and letting it happen." It is analogous to "FDR bombing Pearl Harbor and falsely blaming the Japanese." And then saying, in defense of this "FDR did it thesis" that the U.S. imperialists are capable of great deception and atrocity to start wars, so why isn't it credible.

    Over and over, the U.S. imperialists have <em>exploited</em> incidents to portray themselves as innocent and aggrieved when they launch wars of aggression. "Remember the Maine" started the Spanish American war. "Remember the Lusitania" was the slogan for WW1. "Remember Pearl Harbor" for World War 2. "Remember the Gulf of Tonkin" for Vietnam. "Never forget 9/11" for the invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan and a half dozen other countries. Even in the Civil War, while states were seceding right and left, the incident used as a <em>casus belli</em> was the South Carolina cannon attack on Fort Sumpter, so the Federal government could portray itself as aggrieved, injured and under military attack when it launched its war to retake the South.

    But while the U.S. ruling class (and its key central figures) reshaped these incidents cynically and with major deception -- (The Lusitania was not just a civilian ship when it was torpedoed by Germany, but was packed with munitions unknown to the passengers and world) -- they didn't actually bomb themselves each time. (The precise cause of the Maine's explosion in harbor is not known, though it is unlikely "the Spanish" did it.)

    * * ** * * * * *
    On another point of analysis:

    <blockquote>"Of course Bush was a puppet,...."</blockquote>

    I don't think the President of the United States is a puppet.

    Often the actual president is something of a frontman for a ruling class committee (Reagan was for his inner circle, Bush was for Baker, Rumsfeld, Casey, Cheney etc.) -- other times they are much more the central decision-maker in their own world (Clinton, Bush 1, Carter, Obama) etc.

    But the fact is that the U.S. presidency is an extremely powerful executive institution that is not a puppet of outside forces generally.

    And there is a view of politics (not expressed by Red Fly here, but common enough) that sees politics as the handmaiden of economics, and sees politicians merely as hirelings of the <em>real</em> capitalists (i.e. those "Wall Street bankers" etc.)

    I view that analysis of power as rather economist and reductionist. In fact there is a ruling class (consisting of political figures, military figures, property owners of banks and corporations, etc.) who exercise power within a capitalist system (of which they are its representatives and defenders and daily aministrators.)

    The U.S. president is the "chieftain" of the U.S. ruling class (as the Chinese Maoists put it in their polemics over how to analyze John F. Kennedy) -- its most powerful and authoritative operative -- not some mere hireling or sockpuppet of "the banks."

    Bush may have been more reliant on his own inner circle (during his first term, and less so in his second term) -- and Cheney may have assumed many powers of a defacto president for periods of that administration. But even there, Bush and the Presidency remained (as Bush himself said) "the decider."

    There are theoretical issues involved: And in the view I'm putting forward, the state and its executive committees are not mere servants of some relatively separate and controling class of capitalist owners. (Those who believe that put forward that "Wall Street calls the shots....") In fact the state is a powerful locus of decision-making and action, and those who make those decisions are part of the ruling class -- i.e. the president, joint chiefs of staff, senators, CIA heads etc. are leaders and representatives and therefore key members of the ruling class, <em>together</em> with the economic masters of banking and corporations. The political and military leaders are not merely the servants of some <em>other</em> distinct, sociologically separate class of owners.

  • Guest - FleeYourHomes

    One question to answer for Mike E and Patrick Mcnally

    Is it plausible that a 47 story building with 24 steel support columns collapsed into its own footprint in 16.6 seconds because of office fires? Is that a plausible explanation?

    Is it so ridiculous that people are so "hung up" about the owner of the building publicly stating he decided to "pull the building". Truther arguments aside, this fact alone is bizarre and inconsistent. Why try to gloss that over? I don't understand?

  • Guest - FleeYourHomes

    Also, I think it is telling that PatrickSmcnally essentially qoutes verbatim from a website called 911review.org without disclosing where his argument comes from. The website actually provides a substantial amount of evidence for a controlled demolition of building 7. Yet in his post, he edits out the commentary after the quotes.

    The point being made on the original posting is that, whether Silverstein said and meant what he did by "pull it", the building nonetheless shows all the signs of a controlled demolition and could have been a false flag story.


    "There’s no real reason to believe that Silverstein ever had such a conversation with any fire chief, but there are three plausible scenarios:

    1) Silverstein did have such a conversation with someone, and “pull it” meant “pull the operation” rather than “blow up the building with explosives!”

    2) Silverstein never had any such conversation with anyone, but attempted to inflate his own significance retroactively by inventing an imaginary conversation which never occurred, and without realizing that some people would take the phrase “pull it” as if it meant “blow up the building with explosives!”

    3) Silverstein realized that tossing out such a phrase as “pull it” would create a sensation, and he wanted to send people running in circles chasing their tails by feeding them a meaningless bit of sensationalism. "

    The conclusion the original author of those 3 scenarios is this,

    "A more sophisticated interpretation of Silverstein's comment is that it is bait, eliciting the widespread circulation of an interpretation that is easily denied if not refuted. While failing to provide substantial evidence for the controlled demolition of WTC 7, the story has functioned to eclipse the overwhelming case for demolition based on the physical characteristics of the collapse documented in photographs and videos of the event and the rubble pile that resulted."


    I think this shows the methodology of his argument, and for that matter is the other side of the coin for Mike
    E's statement that most people cherry pick data in order to "prove" the scenario that fits with their preferred hypothesis. I don't necessarily agree with what the real author is putting forward, but it is disingenuous for PatrickSMcnally to try and pass it off as his own whilst editing out the authors conclusion.

    Here is the original 3 possibilities scenario from the site that PatrickSMcnally paraphrased...

    http://www.911review.com/errors/wtc/pullit.html

  • Guest - FleeYourHomes

    Sorry to flood with links but I think it is important to expose how quickly mainstream media style attacks seem to be quickly mobilized by apparent communists in the face of valid questions about what has many characteristics of government sponsored terrorism.

    http://www.911review.com/denial/holocaust.html

    The article succinctly sums up the many ways that their is a difference between valid 9-11 skepticism of the "official story" , and how much of that information is hijacked by neo-nazi groups, holocaust deniers, and other unrelated groups.

    I do not think that Mike Eli assertion that 9-11 skepticism can be conflated to "whiffs of the global Jewish conspiracy" is true in most cases. None the less I believe the above link does a good job of separating and exposing the two as very different.

    That is all.

  • Guest - Mike E

    FYH:

    First, I am not a structural engineer, and have not given ten minutes thought to how large buildings collapse. There is a very American idea that everyone's opinions are equal -- in a way that often denies specialized knowledge in the name of a skeptical democratic sensibility. But really, what you or I find plausible about such a specialized and unusual event really has little relevance.

    Second, having said that, I find the truther narratives utterly implausible. What I do no something about is human planning and events. And the idea that explosives were smuggled into downtown buildings secretly with high level government knowledge, that a swath of the U.S. financial structure was wiped out, that owners of a building used inside knowledge to speculate financially, and that the whole thing was a gamble to create pretenses to wage wars..... I find that implausible (in fact, the word implausible doesn't touch the level of implausibility of such an impossible scenario.)

    If you take any complex and unusual event (tsunami in Japan, katrina, 9/11 are just three examples) -- there will be many bizarre and inconsistent details if you look at them closely. Witnesses will claim absurd things. People will do utterly irrational things. and so on. The fact that one detail may be hard to explain it not (in fact) a key to understanding the causality of the whole in this case.

    And looking at the bigger picture to develop a theory of causality, is not "glossing over" unexplained details -- it is the way we need to do it.

    Finally, if you really want to know: I find many of the physical events of 9/11 both horrifying and amazing. I had never thought about what would happen if an airliner exploded inside a skyscraper, and I would have assumed a toppling not a pancaking.

    But if you really want to know my <em>uninformed</em> opinion: No, I don't think this is implausible at all: <blockquote>"47 story building with 24 steel support columns collapsed into its own footprint in 16.6 seconds because of office fires"</blockquote>.

    The events of 9/11 seem physically pretty clear -- and the engineering explanations (to the extent I have read them) do not seem implausible.

    I think the media covers up the U.S. role in creating this atrocity (blowback... Bin Laden's relationship with CIA in the past... etc.)

    It might be possible that some CIA or Israeli official heard reports of a possible attack and "allowed it to happen" (out of cynicism or incompetence).

    But I don't think (for a second) that it was an inside job -- carried out by Bush Cheney with covert operatives on the ground. I don't blame people for being skeptical. I think there <em>are</em> sinister conspiracies in the world -- they <em>are</em> out to get us in some real ways.

    But if you want candor, then please don't be offended when I say: The Truther theories strikes me as impossible and untrue, in the same way the Illuminati theory is impossible and untrue-- and I see similarities in both the pseudo-scientific proof that is offered and psychological underpinnings that create impassioned believers.

  • Guest - Mike E

    Everyone knows the anti-Semitic myths around 9/11 -- including specifically the rumor that all the Jews working in the buildings were warned to leave work, that none of them informed their coworkers but left as a group and survived.

    It is absurd, of course, on every level. And is only believable if the mind is gripped by ugly and reactionary racist notions (about Jews in particular, and humanity in general).

    But i find the notion that this catastrophe happened (based on a secret conspiracy) and (in a side story) a building owner named Silverstein was making a quiet killing based on inside information.... to be similarly absurd. And it too is only possible to believe if all the old anti-Semitic myths about clannish secrecy, bloodlibels and heartless profit making are in full effect.

    This is not a comment about you, FYH, but a comment on what such a rumor about Silverstein would imply, and how it would be perceived.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "Is it plausible that a 47 story building with 24 steel support columns collapsed into its own footprint in 16.6 seconds because of office fires? Is that a plausible explanation?"

    A short answer is "Yes." A longer answer is that the only thing that I'm willing to say with unconditional certainty is that such a question is complex enough that only structural engineers with a specialization in chaotic events can really offer a fundamental opinion. If one accepts the claim that the whole building, not part of the building but the entire building on all sides from top to bottom, came down in less than 7 seconds then that really does seem like something which wouldn't just happen normally. But once we raise the timing of the collapse up to as high as 16+ seconds then it ceases to be something for which an amateur opinion counts.

    I just heard the other day that Iran is getting ready to open a nuclear power plant. Iran clearly has trained scientists at its disposal. If any Truther is really convinced with certitude that a collapse of Building 7 in 16+ seconds was impossible then perhaps they should try writing letters to the Iranian government suggesting that it should subsidize competent engineers to deliver a professional report on this. The thing is that if a real scientific engineering paper was produced which presented valid evidence for this viewpoint then it ultimately would not matter if the government funding the research was run by crazy Ayatollahs. The science will ultimately propagate beyond them. But it's not sufficient for Truthers to simply be running around shouting "It's high school physics, man!"

    &gt; Is it so ridiculous that people are so “hung up” about the owner of the building publicly stating he decided to “pull the building”.

    First of all, Silverstein did not say "pull the building." He said "pull it" with the "it" left undefined for an audience. Nor did he say that he had decided to "pull it." He said that he had been talking with some unnamed fire chief and almost casually suggested to the fire chief that perhaps the fire chief should "pull it." The implication of Silverstein's phrasing is that the final decision of whether or not to "pull it" would be up to the fire chief. Your description of Silverstein saying that he had decided to "pull the building" is erroneous. Go back and check it again.

    If this whole thing had just come up yesterday for the first time then I'd be more understanding. The fact is that all attempts to track down any fire chief whom Silverstein may have talked to have produced nothing. If someone had produced some real serious follow-up research on this then it might at least be worth going over. It might at least fill in some interesting details if someone like David Ray Griffin had located a real live fire chief who claimed to have talked with Silverstein at the implied time and had given an account in his own words. But 911-truthers have generally been very short on such follow-up research.

    As it stands now I have to go back to my own list of what the three most likely explanations of Silverstein's story are:

    1) Silverstein did have such a conversation with someone, and “pull it” meant “pull the operation” rather than “blow up the building with explosives!”

    2) Silverstein never had any such conversation with anyone, but attempted to inflate his own significance retroactively by inventing an imaginary conversation which never occurred, and without realizing that some people would take the phrase “pull it” as if it meant “blow up the building with explosives!”

    3) Silverstein realized that tossing out such a phrase as “pull it” would create a sensation, and he wanted to send people running in circles chasing their tails by feeding them a meaningless bit of sensationalism.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "I think it is telling that PatrickSmcnally essentially qoutes verbatim from a website called 911review.org without disclosing where his argument comes from."

    What on earth are you talking about? I gave the link and identified Jim Hoffman by name. I assumed that his name is well-known among Truthers. Despite having some of his own blindspots, Hoffman was honest enough to make it clear that the collapse-times which are commonly cited by most Truthers of 8 &amp; 10 seconds are wrong. That is an important point, and one which Truthers should not be allowed to roll over while moving on to something else.

    "The website actually provides a substantial amount of evidence for a controlled demolition of building 7."

    Actually, Hoffman makes the same "6.6 seconds" error which you've made here. Hoffman was cautious and honest enough to note that the commonly cited collapse-times attributed to the Towers are significant underestimates, but then he himself repeats a common Truther error on Building 7. The real lesson is that one should always be ready to cross-check multiple sources back and forth on a controversial topic like this. Hoffman was right to see that the collapses of the Towers took longer than most Truthers presume. Hoffman was wrong to regurgitate the the number typically given by Truthers for WTC 7.

    "I don’t necessarily agree with what the real author is putting forward, but it is disingenuous for PatrickSMcnally to try and pass it off as his own whilst editing out the authors conclusion."

    The words which you quoted from me were exactly my own words and I did not look them up anywhere else. Are you saying that Jim Hoffman has typed up something similar elsewhere? That could be. The 3 scenarios which I laid are obvious choices and do not be looked up to figure out.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "Here is the original 3 possibilities scenario from the site that PatrickSMcnally paraphrased…"

    OK, I checked your page and Hoffman does not list out such possibilities on that page. Do you really believe that I need to look up on Hoffman's page to figure these out as the only three possibilities? I'll be blunt: You sound dumb when you talk that way. Anybody who has thought about 911 for any serious length of time and has rationally considered that little snippet of Silverstein in an interview will have figured out the three possibilities which I listed.

  • Guest - Mike E

    [moderator note: Please do not personalize the discussion. Everyone is studying the materials gathered by others -- that is responsible, not a "gotcha."

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    Tracking Hoffman's links back further, I finally found 3 scenarios which he laid out. But they are not the ones which I had listed.

    http://wtc7.net/pullit.html

    -----
    This statement seems to suggest that the FDNY decided to demolish the building in accordance with Silverstein's suggestion, since the phrase "pull it" in this context seems to mean to demolish the building...

    An alternative interpretation of Silverstein's statement is that "pull it" refers to withdrawing firefighters from the building...

    A third explanation is less obvious but makes sense of the non-sequiturs in the above explanations: perhaps Silverstein's statement was calculated to confuse the issue of what actually happened to Building 7.
    -----

    What Hoffman seems to be listing as a 1st possibility is something like what I'd mentioned and then ruled out as a 4th possibility:

    -----
    What I am willing to cross off completely is the more common Truther assumption:

    4) Silverstein was accidentally giving away his involvement in a conspiracy.

    If Silverstein really was part of any conspiracy to demolish the buildings, then you can take for granted that he would never make such casual statements accidentally in an interview.
    -----

    What Hoffman then lists as a 2nd possibility is really a combination of things which I'd listed as two separate possibilities 1 &amp; 2:

    -----
    1) Silverstein did have such a conversation with someone, and “pull it” meant “pull the operation” rather than “blow up the building with explosives!”

    2) Silverstein never had any such conversation with anyone, but attempted to inflate his own significance retroactively by inventing an imaginary conversation which never occurred, and without realizing that some people would take the phrase “pull it” as if it meant “blow up the building with explosives!”
    -----

    My own personal inclination is to think that this conversation never took place, and that Silverstein probably was just making the story up in order to sound important during the interview. It probably was not a well-calculated decision to lead Truthers around by the nose (though it certainly has had that effect) but I'm pretty sure that this conversation with a fire chief where Silverstein suggests "pull it" never occurred.

    Now back to you FYH. What on earth made you think that I had paraphrased any of that from Hoffman?

    Your whole line seems to come off as something else which I've noted among Truthers. That is the rush for a Truther copyright. It seems like whenever Truthers are caught on something their next big move is to rush and show how, really, Truthers have been pointing this out all along from the beginning. The fact that they themselves were saying something 180 degrees the opposite a minute ago is beside the point. Some other Truther has supposedly said this already, and that's what counts. From the moment that I spun off an obvious listing off possibilities, FYH seems to have been more interested in finding something on a Truther page just so that could reaffirm the Truther copyright. But in this case FYH is wrong. Hoffman did not list the same 3 possibilities which I did.

  • Guest - Red Fly

    <blockquote>I don’t think the President of the United States is a puppet.

    Often the actual president is something of a frontman for a ruling class committee (Reagan was for his inner circle, Bush was for Baker, Rumsfeld, Casey, Cheney etc.) — other times they are much more the central decision-maker in their own world (Clinton, Bush 1, Carter, Obama) etc.

    But the fact is that the U.S. presidency is an extremely powerful executive institution that is not a puppet of outside forces generally.</blockquote>

    Mike, I'm not sure I understand your argument. What is the difference between a puppet and a "frontman for a ruling class committee?"

    Perhaps this is just a terminological dispute. When I say that the Presidency is a puppet position what I mean is not that there is some force behind the scenes that simply dictates every decision that the President makes. Cheney doesn't just go up to Bush and say "Alright buddy, this is the way things are going to be." What I have in mind is something very much like the way you phrased it -- "a frontman for a ruling class committee." So instead of saying "This is way things are going to be," the President's advisors work to bring the President over to a position that reflects a particular bourgeois institutional consensus, i.e. a consensus that inevitably serves the interests of the advisors personally (in different ways -- sometimes financially, but often in ways having more to do with the accumulation of bureaucratic power) and the interests of the various sections of the bourgeoisie that helped get the President elected.

    Now, there are often sharp disagreements between the President's advisors. And in these cases the President is forced to make a decision on whose advice to accept. But the parameters of "serious" debate never go beyond the ruling class' interests. So, to give a fairly recent example, there was a sharp internal debate within the Obama administration in the first few months over how to proceed in Afghanistan. One faction of advisors, led by the Vice President, wanted to slowly draw down troops and turn the war into a largely drone and intelligence based operation. The other faction of advisors, led by the Defense Secretary and the Secretary of State, wanted to send in more ground troops to solidify the counter-insurgency strategy already in place. However, never at any point was ending the imperial aggression towards that region and its people ever considered.

    This to me is the essence of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The dictatorship of the bourgeoisie is not autocratic, but based on debate and consensus-building within parameters that serve the bourgeoisie no matter the specific outcome of a given debate. Some decisions serve the bourgeoisie more immediately, others more long-term. Tax cuts for millionaires serve their immediate demands for more money and power, smaller tax increases for millionaires like the kind Obama wants serve their long-term interests by putting a damper on the class struggle. Huge tax increases for millionaires is never "on the table." And expropriation is just a red fantasy under the bourgeois dictatorship.

    So, when I talk about the President (Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Carter...ALL of them!) being a puppet what I'm talking about is the fact that the decisions he's given to make always serve the interests bourgeois dictatorship, whether in the short-term or in the medium-to-long-term (though the latter kind of thinking amongst the bourgeoisie seems more and more the product of dying breed--a fact which we revolutionaries should welcome!), not that he literally is told exactly what to do on everything. Just that he is forced by circumstance to make decisions within the acceptable bourgeois framework.

    Lastly, "outside forces" have nothing to do with it. The President usually (always?) has personal, institutional and political ties to this elite from long before he becomes President. Indeed, the successful cultivation of these ties over many, many years is a huge part of why he becomes President at all. And when he becomes President the advisory positions are stacked with these same people. The forces we're talking about here are very much on the inside, from the beginning.

  • Guest - FleeYourHomes

    Mike E and PatrickSMcnally, comments read and duly noted. You make many valid points.

    I think this discussion may be wearing thin, so I will agree to agree on some and disagree on others.

  • Guest - Red Fly

    <blockquote>And there is a view of politics (not expressed by Red Fly here, but common enough) that sees politics as the handmaiden of economics, and sees politicians merely as hirelings of the real capitalists (i.e. those “Wall Street bankers” etc.)

    I view that analysis of power as rather economist and reductionist. In fact there is a ruling class (consisting of political figures, military figures, property owners of banks and corporations, etc.) who exercise power within a capitalist system (of which they are its representatives and defenders and daily aministrators.)

    The U.S. president is the “chieftain” of the U.S. ruling class (as the Chinese Maoists put it in their polemics over how to analyze John F. Kennedy) — its most powerful and authoritative operative — not some mere hireling or sockpuppet of “the banks.”

    Bush may have been more reliant on his own inner circle (during his first term, and less so in his second term) — and Cheney may have assumed many powers of a defacto president for periods of that administration. But even there, Bush and the Presidency remained (as Bush himself said) “the decider.”

    There are theoretical issues involved: And in the view I’m putting forward, the state and its executive committees are not mere servants of some relatively separate and controling class of capitalist owners. (Those who believe that put forward that “Wall Street calls the shots….”) In fact the state is a powerful locus of decision-making and action, and those who make those decisions are part of the ruling class — i.e. the president, joint chiefs of staff, senators, CIA heads etc. are leaders and representatives and therefore key members of the ruling class, together with the economic masters of banking and corporations. The political and military leaders are not merely the servants of some other distinct, sociologically separate class of owners.</blockquote>

    Again, and maybe this the crux of the issue here, the idea that the big banks are an outside force is wrong. They are at the very heart of the governing apparatus. Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, Larry Summers...the three most important economic advisors/policy makers in the Obama administration were and are representatives of the banking industry. That's not a conspiracy of outsiders. That's the why things work. Wall Street ALWAYS gets its man in Treasury and at the Fed. (Pop Quiz: name the last Treasury Secretary and/or Fed Chairman without major ties to the banking industry.)

    Now, in this era of neoliberalism when talk about them being representatives of banking we are also talking about them being representatives of the big bourgeoisie as whole because of the way in which finance has come to dominate capitalism as a whole. The publicly traded companies are slaves to the stock price, the stock price is dependent on Wall Street's demands for what they believe is needed to boost the stock price, and the largest owners of stock are almost invariably the people who call the shots at the company--the CEO and the board of directors. Capitalist competition forces the smaller "private" firms to follow the lead of the "public" firms.

    It's not a "conspiracy of bankers." It's simply the structural reality of the neoliberal phase of capitalism.

    As for the military, there is a relative autonomy there, but the degree is rather uncertain. The ties between today's military and giant publicly traded corporations (construction companies, oil companies, weapons manufacturers, etc.) are extremely tight. Today's general is tomorrow's Raytheon board member. Today's Haliburton executive is tomorrow's Vice President. Today's Representative of the Fort Bragg district is tomorrow's Lockheed Martin lobbyist. The relations are so incestuous at this point that it's becoming increasingly less relevant to make distinctions between the military and the corporations and the politicians and Wall Street.

    GovCo (the American government in the era of neoliberalism) is not a roundtable, with each person sitting around representing a very clear and distinct faction of the ruling class. That was much more the case during New Deal era. GovCo is dominated by "flexians," (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/janine-r-wedel/who-can-you-trust-tom-das_b_414403.html) members of the bourgeoisie who seamlessly move in between many ruling class sectors/institutions.

  • Guest - Mike E

    Red Fly:

    There is much we agree on here (obviously).

    My main point was to raise a larger theoretical dispute (on which you and I may not disagree):

    1) That the imperialist ruling class is not just those who <em>own</em> capital -- but also includes political representatives, heads of their armed enforcement arms, judiciary, and even some high level policy intellectuals (Henry Kissinger etc.)

    2) That politics and the state is not simply sock puppets for an economic owning class -- but rather (in many ways) the leadership of the class gets concentrated in political centers. It is true as you say that there is a revolving door between political, military and economic circles of the ruling class -- and it is true there relative autonomy of those three spheres from each other (some global decisions for this system are made by corporations, some are made at the locus of state executive power, etc.)

    3) There is a specific reductionist schema i'm differentiating from: that views the political sphere as subservient to the economic -- that sees the imperialist political representatives as simply subordinate (puppets) to the actual owners and managers of finance capital (i.e. Wall Street). For example: clearly military decisions are affected by the narrow sectoral self-interest of war manufacturers, both through corruption and standard legislative procedure. But fundamentally the U.S. doesn't go to war narrowly to keep war industries humming, or even to rape specific economic gains in particular target countries -- geopolitics and war are each their own sphere of activity with their own laws of operation (which are not reducible to economics or the interests of narrow capitalist sectors.)

  • Guest - Mike E

    FYH writes:

    <blockquote>"Mike E and PatrickSMcnally, comments read and duly noted. You make many valid points. I think this discussion may be wearing thin, so I will agree to agree on some and disagree on others."</blockquote>

    Thanks for engaging in such detail. I have learned a lot from the exchange.

  • Guest - Avery Ray Colter

    I find myself not completely satisfied by any side of this debate.

    Granted I'm only a Bachelor of Science and in Materials rather than Civil Engineering, but as I read the account of the buildings being tubes which would buckle as the heated joists sag and break their clips, I think well and good, except for the question of symmetry I've always had: the attack was to an edge, to a corner, thus more heating, faster sagging, and faster detachment by the portions of joist proximal to the impact, therefore buckling would occur of the portion of the "tube" proximal to the impact, therefore like a chopped tree these "tubes" should topple in the direction of the chop.

    Cockburn's relayed argument is that it would take far too powerful charges to cause the detachment of the joist clips than was achieved by slow heating.

    On the other hand the idea of waiting to detonate a demolition package until hours after the strike does seem a bit odd when presented in that fashion. I signed on to AE911T a couple years back but have not been active at all other than reading their communiques.

    Ultimately my position at this point is that they always end saying these things should be investigated in ways the current ruling class will always refuse.

    If you're already convinced that capitalism must be put down for all the long-standing reasons, you'll want to spend more time figuring out how this will be done rather than making unnecessary additions to the reasons to do so. And I do agree with the contention that presenting the rulers as capable of expertly routing all attempts to fight them, even on the part of a president, makes it seems futile to even think of trying.

    If we succeed in bringing about something far different and it turns out this was all an inside job, then this inside job will have failed in its aims and there would scarcely be a reason to go much further into it as likely Bush and Cheney and friends, if still alive at that point, would be facing war crimes trials for a host of other charges.

  • Guest - dave

    red fly says:

    "Herein lies the rub. You think it is just as plausible that 9/11 was an inside job as it is that 9/11 was attack by 19 guys with box cutters. Others of us think, based on the same evidence, that this is skeptical fantasy built on serious methodological errors.

    "Truthers assume that the evidence they present shifts the burden of proof onto the government. Others of us think that although that is the intent, when the evidence is examined carefully (ALL the evidence, including the evidence that doesn’t jibe with the Truther narrative), no such burden shifting is actually justified.

    "As to who makes the better case, each person can decide for themselves, but at the end of the day our politics must be based on Marxism, which is constructed firmly on the grounds of scientific analysis of bourgeois society and the scientific practice of overthrowing it, not on conspiracism, which is the intellectually bankrupt ideology of positing conspiracies as the motive force of world history."

    Methodological? how so? we have no opportunity for methodology as the 9/11 investigation has been conducted entirely by the the government. the truthers have ben engaged in criticizing the gevernment's methodology. we'd love a chance to commit the errors u attribute to us.

    the burden of proof IS on the gov'! it's THEIR theory, they have to prove it.

    re marxism: first, is this a marxist only website? correct me if i'mwrong but doesnt the 'about' page claim a wider appeal. [ i havent checked, and may b wrong.] nevertheless, even if i were a marxist, the idea that believing, as i do, that 9/11 was undertaken to create the proper political climate for capital to effect its goals in no way conflicts with my remorseless loathing of capitalism. subscribers to the crazed-arab-fanatics theory see this as blowback, a retaliation against imperialism. truthers believe that the imperialists were directly responsible for the outrage. there is nothing in my view which exonerates capital.

    i do not posit conspiracies as a motive force, i say imperialists conspire, and did so in this case. u fundamentally misunderstand us leftist truthers. i see 9/11 as another imperialist abomination, period. my view does not deny class struggle nor the necessity of the collective ownership of the means of production or workers' control or anything of the sort. this is just nonsense.



    mike e says:

    " I generally don’t engage the specific details of the Truther arguments…."

    "First, I am not a structural engineer, and have not given ten minutes thought to how large buildings collapse..."

    seek truth from facts mike! perhaps if u gave up yr [and cockburn's] sweeping, vacuous, facile generalities about 'conspiracy theory" and condescended to take a look at the facts, u might come to a higher understanding of what did happen on 9/11. and it might help our cause.

    more mike e;

    "But the idea that you have an ultra-secret conspiracy to take down towers in Manhattan and specific Jewish businessmen knew about it in order to make a financial killing is riddled with problems (and whiffs of the global Jewish conspiracy)."

    now this is sordid. this is an intellectual cheap shot. i'm used to being accused of anti-semitism from rightists and liberals when i refuse to recognize the zionazi state's right to exist [as is], but it takes a special kind of arrogance for a leftist to make this insinuation. silverstein's ethnicity is of no consequence. as it happens it was a jew who owned the wtc andissued the instructive remarks.

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0bQJ2VU1zU&w=480&h=360]

    more mike e;

    "... i.e. someone on the inside blowing a whistle. It is true that covert ops are selected for secrecy, but their secrecy envelops their actions against perceived “enemies of the U.S.”

    how about sibel edmonds? she translated stuff which spoke of the plan to use planes to attck in the US and was told to shut up about it. she then went over that boss' head and was fired as a result.

    how about FBI agaent robert wright who basically had the same experience?

    how about all those firefighters whocame forth and divulged that giuliani was had lied to Congress when he said that he had lost use of certain communications gear when in fact he hadnt.

    there's so much more, but these speak to complicity before and after.

    are u really suggesting that because no participant has come forward to admit his/her part in the murder of thousands that this in itself is evidence that no government conspiracy occurred? is this logical? is it dialectical?



    this is my last thought on the topic: it is all well and good for there to b disagreement on the subject of 9/11, however what is revolting is the opinion, offered by more than one in this space, that we radical truthers r counterrevolutionary in our critique; that 9/11 skepticism is a detour from the true, revolutionary path. there is already much too much sectarianism on the left, and our fissiparous disputes benefit nobody but the ruling class. suggesting that there must b unanimity of opinion on this issue [or any other] is at best a conceit, and at worst a debilitating delusion. i can respect those comrades who disagree with me, and see better barricades from which to fight. i wish them every advantage. we should advance upon all fronts, and in solidarity. our debates should always be collegial, and we would do well to remember that we r all on the same side. truthers have been under attack above, and this is entirely counterrevolutionary. we should always cultivate a climate in which we all feel comfortable to disagree, change our minds, and discuss tactics without fear. the acrimonious exchanges which occurred above r the real problem, not differences of opinion/analysis of historical events. disunity is the problem, not diversity.

  • Guest - dave

    for some reason the end got clipped. here it is:


    this is my last thought on the topic: it is all well and good for there to b disagreement on the subject of 9/11, however what is revolting is the opinion, offered by more than one in this space, that we radical truthers r counterrevolutionary in our critique; that 9/11 skepticism is a detour from the true, revolutionary path. there is already much too much sectarianism on the left, and our fissiparous disputes benefit nobody but the ruling class. suggesting that there must b unanimity of opinion on this issue [or any other] is at best a conceit, and at worst a debilitating delusion. i can respect those comrades who disagree with me, and see better barricades from which to fight. i wish them every advantage. we should advance upon all fronts, and in solidarity. our debates should always be collegial, and we would do well to remember that we r all on the same side. truthers have been under attack above, and this is entirely counterrevolutionary. we should always cultivate a climate in which we all feel comfortable to disagree, change our minds, and discuss tactics without fear. the acrimonious exchanges which occurred above r the real problem, not differences of opinion/analysis of historical events. disunity is the problem, not diversity.

  • Guest - old commie

    This thread has gotten ridiculous, as I thought it would. The "Truther" movement that I regard as legitimate is NOT claiming that anybody like the President was behind 9/11; the claim is that there are so many inconsistencies and absurdities in the official government story that it is unbelievable. We demand a new, complete investigation. It's like someone being accused of a murder, and we think the evidence says they've got the wrong man. We don't know who the real killer is, and we don't have to know to know, to know they pronanly have the wrong person. The fact that some peole may come out with false stories and hoaxes about the case doesn't mean WE don't have a case for a new investigation.
    For some authoritative technical facts and opinions, I suggest www.ae911truth.org/ and for those who admit they don't know anything about a subject, I repeat Mao's dictum NO INVESTIGATION, NO RIGHT TO AN OPINION. It applies to everyone, including me sometimes.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    Here's a different link

    http://ae911truth.info/wordpress/

    which people might want to check alongside of the previous suggested link.

  • Guest - old commie

    With all the dispute over the facts in this case, I would think everyone would be demanding a much more thorough investigation. There is not enough evidence to explain how 9/11 happened, which is why most responsible "truthers" don't spin wild theories about it. Instead, too many commenters here expresse their own speculations as being the only possible true explanation. Mike E seems to think that he can deduce why everything happened from his Marxist/Maoist principles, but I consider that completely unscientific. It reminds me too much of Lysenko's deducing his genetic theories from Marx's views of the importance of the economy on determining human society. As a retired scientist and engineer, I know that specific real facts matter, and they matter more than theory.

  • Guest - abandonculture

    Oh stop it you paranoid conspiracy theorists!

    Stop it I tell you! No sensible rational person should be still doubting the official story.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuC_4mGTs98

    And to suggest the towers were blown up - I mean honestly!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JnZbYXcbqw

    Time for some professional psychological help I think!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEGgAk1AbA4

    (etc)

    (sigh)

  • Guest - laborshallrule

    Totally unrelated to this thread, but I did a Google search of "conspiracy_Kasama Project" and this was my first hit so I wanted to comment on it.

    Let me preface this by saying that I feel like I need to study economics better, and have little knowledge of where to begin.

    But, in being in a small city, there's a hostile anticommunist (one could even call it antiprogressive) atmosphere since most mass organizations - whether they be unions, anti-capitalist political formations, and so on - are completely absent. In the vacuum of all that, conspiracists have taken their place in explaining world phenomena, and I would say that this is particularly the case with the 'End the Fed' types. Zeitgeist, Ron Paulists, a Nazi that lives fifteen or so miles away, and so on have infiltrated our Occupy encampment. The education committee is showing a three and a half hour movie about the role the money system plays, which features Milton Friedman and other neoliberal economists.

    How do we respond to their arguments? Is there any comprehensive Marxist outline on the political economy of the Federal Reserve? What do I do?

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    Although PRA is hardly my idea of "Marxist" I do think they have a good summary of many issues:

    http://www.publiceye.org/conspire/flaherty/Federal_Reserve.html

    All of the Right-wing theories about the Fed are built out of economic and historical fallacies, but Flaherty's summations are a good place to start from.

  • Guest - Red Fly

    The Flaherty piece above seems to me a rather partial and rose-tinted view of things.

    <blockquote>Independent accounting firms conduct full financial audits of the Federal Reserve banks and the Board of Governors every year. The Fed is also subject to certain types of audits from the Government Accounting Office.</blockquote>

    Well I guess it depends on what we mean by "full."

    <blockquote><em>The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve</em> uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. An amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders to the Wall Street reform law passed one year ago this week directed the Government Accountability Office to conduct the study. "As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world," said Sanders. "This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you're-on-your-own individualism for everyone else."

    Among the investigation's key findings is that the Fed unilaterally provided trillions of dollars in financial assistance to foreign banks and corporations from South Korea to Scotland, according to the GAO report. "No agency of the United States government should be allowed to bailout a foreign bank or corporation without the direct approval of Congress and the president," Sanders said.

    The non-partisan, investigative arm of Congress also determined that the Fed lacks a comprehensive system to deal with conflicts of interest, despite the serious potential for abuse. In fact, according to the report, the Fed provided conflict of interest waivers to employees and private contractors so they could keep investments in the same financial institutions and corporations that were given emergency loans.

    For example, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served on the New York Fed's board of directors at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed. Moreover, JP Morgan Chase served as one of the clearing banks for the Fed's emergency lending programs.

    In another disturbing finding, the GAO said that on Sept. 19, 2008, William Dudley, who is now the New York Fed president, was granted a waiver to let him keep investments in AIG and General Electric at the same time AIG and GE were given bailout funds. One reason the Fed did not make Dudley sell his holdings, according to the audit, was that it might have created the appearance of a conflict of interest.

    To Sanders, the conclusion is simple. "No one who works for a firm receiving direct financial assistance from the Fed should be allowed to sit on the Fed's board of directors or be employed by the Fed," he said.

    The investigation also revealed that the Fed outsourced most of its emergency lending programs to private contractors, many of which also were recipients of extremely low-interest and then-secret loans.

    The Fed outsourced virtually all of the operations of their emergency lending programs to private contractors like JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. The same firms also received trillions of dollars in Fed loans at near-zero interest rates. Altogether some two-thirds of the contracts that the Fed awarded to manage its emergency lending programs were no-bid contracts. Morgan Stanley was given the largest no-bid contract worth $108.4 million to help manage the Fed bailout of AIG.

    A more detailed GAO investigation into potential conflicts of interest at the Fed is due on Oct. 18, but Sanders said one thing already is abundantly clear. "The Federal Reserve must be reformed to serve the needs of working families, not just CEOs on Wall Street."</blockquote> http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=9e2a4ea8-6e73-4be2-a753-62060dcbb3c3

    The conflicts of interest referenced here also reveal much about the official "independence" of the Fed and its policy makers. Flaherty claims that policy is set by the Board of Governors and not by the member banks, but is this distinction, in practice, really so stark? As Marxists we certainly shouldn't buy into the bourgeois claptrap that capitalist institutions and their functionaries act as neutral arbiters.

    <blockquote>Facts: The Federal Reserve rebates its net earnings to the Treasury every year. Consequently, the interest the Treasury pays to the Fed is returned, so the money borrowed from the Fed has no net interest obligation for the Treasury. The government could print its own currency independent of the Fed, but there would be no effective safeguards against abuse of this power for political gain. </blockquote>

    Once again we see Flaherty suggesting that the Fed really acts as some kind of neutral arbiter in setting monetary policy. The claim here is that having the government set monetary policy would lead to abuses of power and that having private bankers set monetary policy is a safeguard against abuses of power. The Sanders audit shows that the latter claim is utterly absurd. With respect to the former, Flaherty is certainly correct. The bourgeois state's representatives surely would not set monetary policy in the interests of society as a whole. But that just reinforces our case for the necessity of the socialist revolution and state monopoly in the issuance of credit. It does not bolster the case for private capitalist monopoly in finance.

    Marxists should not be defenders of the Federal Reserve but rather ruthless critics. It's an unaccountable bourgeois institution set up in the interests of the bourgeois dictatorship. It should be smashed.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve"

    The claim that this was the "first" such audit has enjoyed a lot of circulation, but that doesn't make it true. Audits have been done regularly for decades.

    "the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."

    I would certainly hope that this is not special news to anyone on this board. The contradictions of capitalism had by 2008 reached such a point that the only 3 alternatives were either a full-blooded socialist program or else an unconditional bailout across the board or else allowing the free market to work its magic. The last option would have been the most catastrophic for the majority of ordinary people. One doesn't have to support Bush or Obama to understand that what libertarians like Ron Paul advocate would have made the crash a thousand times worse for average workers.

    "Flaherty claims that policy is set by the Board of Governors and not by the member banks, but is this distinction, in practice, really so stark? As Marxists we certainly shouldn’t buy into the bourgeois claptrap that capitalist institutions and their functionaries act as neutral arbiters."

    Within the context in which Flaherty is speaking, yes, it is stark. Libertarians are not Marxists and arguments about the Federal Reserve as "the hidden power" are not about Marxism. If you want to get into Marxism, the USA was under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie long before the Fed was created in 1913. But libertarians claim something else. Their claim is that the creation of the Fed in 1913 was all a secret plot which was aimed at taking our freedom away from us. In such a context the mechanical details of the Fed are a central issue.

    "The claim here is that having the government set monetary policy would lead to abuses of power and that having private bankers set monetary policy is a safeguard against abuses of power."

    That was not what the claim was about. The claim was about whether or not the reason that a US debt exists is because the Fed is kept in existence whereas if it were abolished the debt would be made to go away. That is what libertarians claim, and it's bullshit. The Fed has no bearing on the US debt.

    I get the impression that you jumped into this without bothering to become informed about what the libertarian view is. This is not a debate about Marxism. This is a debate about libertarian assertions that the Fed is a sinister plot created to steal away the free market. That is what Flaherty is addressing and that is why I posted the link to his piece. Address these issues first.

  • Guest - Red Fly

    <blockquote>The claim that this was the “first” such audit has enjoyed a lot of circulation, but that doesn’t make it true. Audits have been done regularly for decades.</blockquote>

    Audits have been done for decades. The difference here is the scope of the audit. Your suggestion that there is nothing new here is quite simply false.

    <blockquote>The central bank is currently subjected to regular third party audits covering most aspects of its operation. However, <strong>federal statute</strong> prevents these audits from delving into four key areas of Federal Reserve activity due to the sensitivity of the information:

    - Transactions for, or with, a foreign central bank, government of a foreign country or nonprivate international financing organization

    - Deliberations, decisions or actions on monetary policy matters, including discount window operations, reserves of member banks, securities credit, interest on deposits and open market operations

    -Transactions made under the direction of the FOMC, or Federal Open Market Committee (responsible for overseeing open market operations)

    - Any part of discussions of communications among or between members of the Board of Governors and officers and employees of the Federal Reserve System related to the previously mentioned items.

    ...The Federal Reserve itself has long been against the audit proposal, having campaigned against it on the grounds that it would threaten the central bank’s independence and have a chilling effect on its ability to make sound monetary policy, a notion that many Society members interviewed for an earlier Trusted Professional story about the House proposal agreed with.</blockquote>

    https://www.nysscpa.org/blog/2010/6/18/house-senate-deal-expands-scope-fed-audit

    <blockquote>I would certainly hope that this is not special news to anyone on this board.</blockquote>

    Actually, the precise amount, $16 trillion, and the specific institutions receiving the money, was news to everyone here because it was previously undisclosed. Obviously we all knew that the Fed was handing out a lot of cash to a lot of different people. Now we know how much and to whom.

    <blockquote>The contradictions of capitalism had by 2008 reached such a point that the only 3 alternatives were either a full-blooded socialist program or else an unconditional bailout across the board or else allowing the free market to work its magic.</blockquote>

    Uh, no. While all of us here agree that a "full-blooded socialist program" would have been the best option and that this was impossible given the state of things, it's not true that the only other two options were "unconditional bailout across the board or else allowing the free market to work its magic." Another option, much discussed by the liberal Keynesians at the time (including Krugman), was to put the banks into "receivership" (temporary nationalization), fire the management, wipe out shareholders, give a haircut to bondholders, recapitalize the banks over time, and when healthy again sell them off to private parties.

    <blockquote>The last option would have been the most catastrophic for the majority of ordinary people. One doesn’t have to support Bush or Obama to understand that what libertarians like Ron Paul advocate would have made the crash a thousand times worse for average workers.</blockquote>

    No argument from me on this.

    <blockquote>Within the context in which Flaherty is speaking, yes, it is stark. Libertarians are not Marxists and arguments about the Federal Reserve as “the hidden power” are not about Marxism. If you want to get into Marxism, the USA was under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie long before the Fed was created in 1913. But libertarians claim something else. Their claim is that the creation of the Fed in 1913 was all a secret plot which was aimed at taking our freedom away from us. In such a context the mechanical details of the Fed are a central issue.</blockquote>

    Who said "libertarians" (I really hate calling them that) are Marxists? What the libertarians claim is irrelevant to the question of whether or not the independence between the member banks and the Board of Governors is anything but nominal. One doesn't have to believe in "hidden powers" or conspiracies to recognize bourgeois cant about "independence" for what it is.

    <blockquote>If you want to get into Marxism, the USA was under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie long before the Fed was created in 1913. But libertarians claim something else. Their claim is that the creation of the Fed in 1913 was all a secret plot which was aimed at taking our freedom away from us. In such a context the mechanical details of the Fed are a central issue.</blockquote>

    What the propertarians claim is bullshit. So what. The question, as I see it, is whether or not the Federal Reserve is an institution that <em>communists</em> should go around defending. Rejection of the Federal Reserve does not imply drinking of the propertarian kool-aid.

    Obviously the bourgeois dictatorship was in place before the creation of the Fed. I've never suggested otherwise. And there is a case to be made that the Fed has helped lessen the frequency of capitalist crises (if not their severity). But even if we accept those arguments, does that mean we should uphold the Fed as an institution? No. It should smashed, along with all other bourgeois institutions because it is directly opposed to the interests of the proletariat.

    <blockquote>That was not what the claim was about. The claim was about whether or not the reason that a US debt exists is because the Fed is kept in existence whereas if it were abolished the debt would be made to go away. That is what libertarians claim, and it’s bullshit. The Fed has no bearing on the US debt.</blockquote>

    <blockquote>Facts: The Federal Reserve rebates its net earnings to the Treasury every year. Consequently, the interest the Treasury pays to the Fed is returned, so the money borrowed from the Fed has no net interest obligation for the Treasury. The government could print its own currency independent of the Fed, but there would be no effective safeguards against abuse of this power for political gain.</blockquote>

    The third sentence, the sentence I quote, clearly implies that the Fed acts as an effective safeguard against abuse of power for political gain. Though you're right, the overall context is an attempt to refute the claim that the Fed is a source of our debt. (But, so far I'm aware, the propertarians don't claim that is the <em>only</em> source of debt. Most of them also talk about "big government welfare programs" as contributors to the debt.

    <blockquote>I get the impression that you jumped into this without bothering to become informed about what the libertarian view is. This is not a debate about Marxism. This is a debate about libertarian assertions that the Fed is a sinister plot created to steal away the free market. That is what Flaherty is addressing and that is why I posted the link to his piece. Address these issues first.</blockquote>

    Your impression is wrong. I'm fully informed with respect to the propertarian view.

    As for whether or not it is a debate about Marxism, I think we should make it one. Should Marxists and communists go around defending Federal Reserve or shouldn't they?

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "What the propertarians claim is bullshit. So what."

    Go back and review how this topic got raised in the first place. Here, I'll remind you:

    "In the vacuum of all that, conspiracists have taken their place in explaining world phenomena, and I would say that this is particularly the case with the ‘End the Fed’ types. Zeitgeist, Ron Paulists, a Nazi that lives fifteen or so miles away, and so on have infiltrated our Occupy encampment."

    This is about libertarians specifically.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "Should Marxists and communists go around defending Federal Reserve or shouldn’t they?"

    That's a vague question, but I'll have to answer "Yes, when the issue is over whether or not the Federal Reserve is a conspiracy which has subverted the free market."

    It was an old classic canard on the Right that the Rothschild family had secretly taken control of things from the behind the scenes and deprived us of our freedoms. Should Marxists go around defending the Rothschilds? I'd be happy to see them all given the Cheka-treatment, if we were in the midst of a revolutionary civil war. But we're not, and Right-wing myths of that type are a way of fostering ideological confusion.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    &gt; But, so far I’m aware, the propertarians don’t claim that is the only source of debt. Most of them also talk about “big government welfare programs” as contributors to the debt.

    Actually if you explored any of the more theoretical efforts by libertarians you'd find that they argue that things like government welfare are only made possible by the Fed but that the Fed is the central conspiracy to drive the USA into debt and thereby wreck our freedoms. Government welfare is an offshoot of the Fed, rather than an independent phenomenon.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "And there is a case to be made that the Fed has helped lessen the frequency of capitalist crises (if not their severity)."

    Yes, it definitely has and that is absolutely central to any debate about conspiracy theories which surround the Fed. The claim in such theories is not that the Fed serves to mitigate some of the more severe contradictions of capitalism while otherwise prolonging bourgeois class-rule. The claim is that the Fed was formed as a conspiracy to subvert the free market at a time when the latter was bringing freedom to all.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    "Another option, much discussed by the liberal Keynesians at the time (including Krugman)"

    Krugman blows smoke up the posteriors of his readers. Nothing like what he suggests was ever on the agenda. In the early days when the Fed was formed this was in response to public demands for regulation and that was the intent behind it. When Roosevelt was in office there were further efforts to tighten this regulatory role which the Fed played. But after the stagflation crisis of the 1970s had come the decline in the rate of profit caused the capitalist class to turn against all such regulation and the repeal of Glass-Steagall was the culmination of this.

    Within the framework of continued capitalism the only alternative to the bailouts of 2008 would have been even more deregulation ala Ron Paul. The nonsense which Krugman is talking about was never on the agenda. Whereas someone plays the role of nurturing illusions about "we just need to deregulate the free market" the role of Krugman is to spread the idea that "we just need to vote back in a Democrat more like Roosevelt." But at least Paul is advocating something which has some feasibility, i.e., further deregulation.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    &gt; What the libertarians claim is irrelevant to the question of whether or not the independence between the member banks and the Board of Governors is anything but nominal. One doesn’t have to believe in “hidden powers” or conspiracies to recognize bourgeois cant about “independence” for what it is.

    Except that the libertarian view (which is what this is indeed about) does maintain that talk about "independence" is more than bourgeois cant. The libertarian view does, however, assert the formation of the Fed was a distinctive act with respect to this. If one only means to argue that all forms of capitalist politicians and administrators are bound to the interests of the bourgeoisie, then there ceases to be anything distinctive about the Fed.

    In the sense that libertarians argue, the Board of Governors is independent of the member banks of the Fed. That simply means that the member banks of the Fed do not have any special control over the Board of Governors that is more or less than General Motors or Exxon-Mobil would have. In fact, the Board of Governors comes the closest to being a true General Staff of the bourgeoisie as a whole. One is more likely to find special parochial interests infested within the Republican or Democratic parties than one owuld among the Board of Governors.

    The libertarian claim is not emrely that the Board of Governors serves the bourgeoisie against the proletariat. That claim by itself would be too broadly "anti-capitalist" for a libertarian's taste. It is that the Board of Governors is so tightly bound to very specific parochial interests that it isn't honestly trying to represent the bourgeoisie as a class in a way which is helpful to capitalism. That charge is false.

  • Guest - Red Fly

    <blockquote>Go back and review how this topic got raised in the first place. Here, I’ll remind you:

    “In the vacuum of all that, conspiracists have taken their place in explaining world phenomena, and I would say that this is particularly the case with the ‘End the Fed’ types. Zeitgeist, Ron Paulists, a Nazi that lives fifteen or so miles away, and so on have infiltrated our Occupy encampment.”

    This is about libertarians specifically.</blockquote>

    It's also about this: "Is there any comprehensive Marxist outline on the political economy of the Federal Reserve?"

    I've yet come across any comprehensive Marxist analysis of the Federal Reserve. Do you know of any? I don't. And I've looked.

    The link you gave, while it does an ok job of rebutting some of the myths surrounding the Fed, is not really comprehensive and at times reads like a gloss on the facts (e.g. Fed audits).

    <blockquote>That’s a vague question, but I’ll have to answer “Yes, when the issue is over whether or not the Federal Reserve is a conspiracy which has subverted the free market.”

    It was an old classic canard on the Right that the Rothschild family had secretly taken control of things from the behind the scenes and deprived us of our freedoms. Should Marxists go around defending the Rothschilds? I’d be happy to see them all given the Cheka-treatment, if we were in the midst of a revolutionary civil war. But we’re not, and Right-wing myths of that type are a way of fostering ideological confusion</blockquote>

    I think it's important, for the sake of intellectual honesty, to note that not all Fed critics, and not all propertarian Fed critics, are critics on the basis of a belief in "the Rotschild conspiracy" (a powerful bourgeois family, certainly, but not the secret puppet masters of the world.)

    Some critics make the case that fractional reserve banking is inherently unstable (I know, I know...capitalism itself is inherently unstable, but I'm giving their point of view here) because in times of "monetary crisis," there's a tremendous rush to pull money out of banks but the banks don't actually have all deposits on hand at any given time. The FDIC of course was put in to help mitigate these panics, but there's a ceiling on the insurance ($500,000, I believe).

    I do agree with you completely, however, on the need to combat right-wing conspiracies. (I think I made my stance on conspiricism abundantly clear earlier in the thread.)

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    &gt; not all propertarian Fed critics, are critics on the basis of a belief in “the Rotschild conspiracy” (a powerful bourgeois family, certainly, but not the secret puppet masters of the world.)

    No, but the point is all the same. What is relevant about "Rothschild conspiracy theories" is not the Jewish background of the Rothschilds (I've known some who claim that the Catholic Church is really behind everything) but that they cast a falsified view of a caricatured politburo. According to this thesis, possessing some stock-holdings in one of the member banks of the Federal Reserve System would give the Rockefellers (or whoever) a special pipeline to the halls of real power that would not be available to Bill Gates or the Coors or Walton families (unless they too hurry and buy some shares in one of the member banks of the Fed). The rich are not really in a position of power because it's all controlled by the Fed-politburo.

    Once this fallacy is exposed, there really isn't that much left. I mean, there isn't much to be said as a fancy "Marxist" analysis of the Fed other than maybe spicing up with jargon most of the points which Flaherty addresses.

    The Fed banks have always been audited regularly to a degree that is sufficient to guarantee that the Fed as such does not become an unchecked power acting against the rest of the capitalist class, and that is what is pertinent here. The arguments traditionally made by Fed-reps for why not everything should be published are entirely valid as long we expropriated the means of production. What do you think would have been the results if all of the details of the bailouts of 2008 had been openly published at the time?

    It would have created a terrible panic among investors who would have rushed to withdraw funds from failing enterprises. The result would have been a monumental crash that would have made 1929 look like a holiday picnic. The worst results of this would have been felt by working people, not the superrich. Quietly bailing everything out was the best choice available, under the conditions of capitalism.

    But, yes, regular Fed audits have always been conducted and do indeed serve the purpose of making sure that the Fed is not turned into a parochial institute narrowly devoted to the interests of only a small special group (be it the Rothschilds or Rockefellers or the Pope or whoever) and guaranteeing that the Fed remains at the service of the full 0.01% who presently rule the capitalist system as a whole. That is the issue. If one was going to start a practice whereby every step taken by the Fed must have the details published immediately then it would become impossible for a failing business to be bailed out without setting off a withdrawal of investments and thereby crashing the business that is supposed to be saved. It would not be good for the workers to do something like that without first having a proletarian revolution to sweep away capitalism.

  • Guest - PatrickSMcNally

    Typo: "as long we [haven't] expropriated"
    -----

    "Some critics make the case that fractional reserve banking is inherently unstable"

    More to the point is that libertarians often completely misread the significance of the foundation of the Fed and imagine the Fed introduced fractional reserve banking, when exactly the opposite is true. The entire history of capitalist economic growth has always depended upon fractional reserve lending. The Fed was founded specifically to place constraints on this by introducing the notion of a "required reserves."

    It's a simple fact observed by economists that there is "price-stickiness" which means that people are reluctant to lower prices. But supply-and-demand theory has always argued that if the volume of goods and services available to consumers is increased, while the volume of money in circulation remains the same, then this must be reflected in deflation as the same volume of money is spread over a wider body of goods and services. This means price-stickiness acts as a barrier against economic growth. In order for someone to start a new business that can lead to new goods and services for the consumer, there must somewhere be an increase in the actual money supply itself.

    During the days of colonial settler expansion across the Western Frontier the economic growth of the United States was so rapid that no one saw any reason to have central institutions which were devoted to keeping the economy stable. What would happen in response to an economic crash was that impoverished European immigrants would move to the West in an effort to settle new land. Eventually a new war would break out in the West and after new territories had been captured then the economy would begin to hum again as new enterprises were founded in the region and new resources like gold or oil were discovered.

    When that happened money-lenders would appear in the West who did essentially the same thing as if you went outside on the street waving a hundred-dollar bill in the air and telling everyone that you had a million dollars which you could lend on credit at an interest rate of 5% only. These money-lenders who made false claims about their back-up assets were not just sinister conspirators in the sense that Ron Paul fans might imply. They actually an essential role in bringing about the expansion of capitalism. They got things moving. By promising all sorts of things on credit they set in motion huge economic processes which created giant wealth and often allowed them to "repaid" for that million dollars which they had not originally possessed.

    Every so often it would happen that such false loans would backfire as the economy became filled up again and a new crash would occur. Then again people would move to the Western Frontier and the process would start all over again. This was the story of the US economy until 1890. But the end of the Wester Frontier also meant that an economic change had to occur. The crisis of 1907 was really a delayed response to 1890. Suddenly the old way out was no longer available.

    So in response the Federal Reserve System was formed in 1913 and this did for the very first time in US history introduce the idea of a "reserve requirement" under which banks were required to actually some reserves of dough in holdings that were proportional to whatever they credited out. Libertarians have since made up a fantasy which postulates that the main economy of the 1800s had been based upon the gold standard but that the creation of the Fed was part of an evil plot (be it by the Rothschilds or the Pope or whoever) to introduce "fractional reserves." That is just stupid ignorance by libertarians.

    There was a nominal gold standard throughout the 1800s, but it was never followed and the massive economic growth of the USA would not have been possible under a gold standard. When banks in the 1800s made up fake gold notes which promised a measure of gold which they did not posses they were responding to the demand for more money in a growing economy. There did not exist enough gold to cover all of the transactions which people were carrying on. All of those "fractional reserve" practices were widespread and unregulated with no reserve requirements enforced anywhere. That was possible until 1890.

    So the Fed was created with a principal aim of regulating such fractional reserve lending practices and giving some order to a shaky economy. Of course all of the regulatory functions have been stripped away since Ronald Reagan took office, but that's another matter. The libertarians turn things upside-down.

  • Guest - FleeYourHomes

    Here is a new documentary with the hundreds of experts in their fields (that apparently don't exist) explaining the unbelievable inconsistencies in the"official explanation".

    http://binarydissent.com/?p=2167

    Using the strawman of the 9-11 truthers and other anti jewish conspiracy nonsense is an easy way of dismissing skepticism of a clearly absurd story given for the collapse of the 3 buildings on 9-11.

  • FYH: Thanks for updating this thread with new arguments and material from the 9-11 truther circles. We appreciate it. And look forward to what you have to share.

  • Guest - abandonculture

    OK time for a fresh look at 9/11 :)

    I think it's fair to say the official story vs controlled demolition (thermite) theory has been pretty well beaten to death over the years. The first theory is completely ridiculous and the second is problematic at best, but the official story is soooooooooo ridiculous it makes people embrace the controlled demolition (thermite) theory and overlook its numerous flaws. After all, it's certainly much better than the official story.... but that doesn't make it correct. And so round and round we go......

    So what happens if we just forget defending our chosen theories for a few hours and instead just look at the evidence and see what the evidence has to say?

    Just try it - don't tense up - just give it a go ;)

    Here's a fascinating interview with Dr Judy Wood
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWjktDuIhR8

    And here's her most recent presentation
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufWggCESyDg

    The evidence she presents is compelling to say the least. It happens to point in the direction of directed energy technology and this seems to be why she is not taken seriously (and even ridiculed) by so many people. But isn't that the same as official story huggers who automatically ridicule the idea of controlled demolition and thermite?

    Apparently two of contractors who were used by NIST in their investigation (ARA &amp; SAIC) are involved in developing directed energy technology. And one of them (ARA) is co founder of the 'Directed Energy Professionals Society'. Pretty intriguing stuff, I'm sure you'll agree.

    As for the state of '9/11 Truth' today, as well as the wider implications regarding directed energy technology (and some added speculation) I'll leave it to John Lash.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m2Oc5OZ9f0