Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Redux: Five stupid things about the 911 truth movement

Six months ago to the day, a popular youtube user known as stevelikes2curse released a video slamming 'conspiracy theorists' (blissfully ignorant of the fact that his own narrative is a conspiracy, merely one that was conducted by a different faction). They are apparently the hated enemy of (pseudo)skeptical atheists such as himself, second only to religious fundamentalists. This twisted misinformation piece touts a large number of fallacious talking points that were undoubtedly bootlegged from individuals like michael shermer. Other responses had been made to stevens video, but they were rather hit and miss in their effectiveness. This essay is a better reflection on our movements views, and what we think of propaganda specimens like this, which only serve to perpetuate degrading (and inaccurate) media stereotypes of truthers.
Here is the masterpiece, complete with an obnoxious
introduction theme, and logical fallacys galore
Of course, just as when creationists and climate change deniers brag about how many smart people agree with them, once you realise that the truthers only account for just a minuscule sliver of the total number of people in their respective fields, the numbers kind of lose their edge.
Yes, we know that. About 99.7% of all architects and engineers have decided to not affiliate themselves with AE911Truth. Interestingly, that is about the same number of building professionals who, when invited to an architects and engineers session (and shown the extensive evidence for controlled demolition of the twin towers), end up signing the petition for a renewed investigation. Is this just a causation vs correlation fallacy? Perhaps... Part of the problem here is that steven doesn't bother to clarify whether he was referring specifically to those who doubt the government explanation into the collapse, or to those who actually adopt the interpretation of AE911Truth. The two positions are not synonymous. If its the former he is arguing for, then the numbers are arguably much, much greater than just 1700 people. If you really want an accurate judgement of the scientific communitys attitudes towards the WTC collapse, just look at their stance toward the NIST report, which is supposed to be the definitive, final word of the U.S government. [1]
Never mind that 911 is already the most investigated event in the history of investigated events, cause who knows, maybe that next investigation will be the one that disprove all the other investigations.
How exactly is steven measuring the extensiveness and relevance of these inquirys? It took 441 days for president bush to set up a public exploration into the september 11th events, which was the most significant terrorist attack in the history of america. Compare that time table to the pearl harbour commission in 9 days, the challenger disaster and JFK commission in 7 days, and the titanic commission in 6 days. Clearly, timeliness was not a concern for our elected representatives. What about financing? Did they make up for the late start with extra money? Well, no... By contrast, taxpayers put out $15 million to investigate bill clintons sex life, $50 million to investigate the whitewater scandal, and $40 million to investigate the challenger shuttle disaster. Why did the 911 commission initially receive a mere $3 million budget, and furnish only $12 million extra to finish the job? Apparently, in the deluded minds of spineless government apologists, this qualifys as 'good enough'. Hah!
Of course, the mere fact that an investigations findings don't back up the delusional conspiracy theorys pushed by truthers is enough for truthers to disqualify it, and ignore it, and call for another investigation

No, the fact that NIST admitted they weren't able to provide a full explanation for WTC 7s collapse, and removed all mention of their final report being consistant with the known laws of physics [2], is enough to disqualify their report. As is the fact that they ignored a staggering number of NFPA 921 protocols regarding the analysis of fire and explosion incidents (see here for more). Independent professional analysis has obtained strong evidence that the NIST scientists are guilty of scientific fraud, since it can be proven that they lied about the fire temperatures, thermal expansion of concrete, thermal conductivity of steel, removed sheer studs, and added combustible fuel loads on floors where the initial failures took place in their model. It is flagrantly obvious that they altered their computer simulation until critical structural failures became an inevitability.
Controlled demolitions start at the bottom, the twin towers fall from the top down!
This well-worn argument implys that any controlled demolition would have to be engineered in the same fashion witnessed in commercial demolishings, I.E, that they must initiate from some specific location. But in fact, it is quite easy to destroy structures when the constraints of economy and safety are eliminated: Blowing a building up is much easier than imploding it, after all. Even if we ignore the  many other dissimilaritys that the WTCs destructions have with a gravitational collapse [3], there still remains stevens implicit assumption that all demolitions must be designed in the same way as those tailored to implode buildings with minimal collateral damage. This is, of course, false, since explosive charges could be placed anywhere in the building, and detonated in nearly any order desired.
The twin towers both buckled at points exactly near where the impacts of the planes occurred!
And exactly where both towers fireproofing upgrades took place just three years before. How odd.  [4] Aside from the 'coincidence' of a plane impacting in those exact locations, you'd think that the areas with the most up to date thermal insulation would be the best able to resist the fires. But no, they were the areas that actually failed first, and supposedly led to the destruction of the whole building. Perhaps those floors defeat can be chalked up to the fact that they faced the most severe fire conditions out of any part of the structure? Problem is, this assumption is at odds with the results of tests sponsored by NIST, which subjected replica WTC floor assemblies to intense fire exposure. They were reportedly 'able to withstand the maximum design load' without collapsing, and without sagging, for as long as the tests were run (2 to 3 1/2 hours), despite being protected by less fireproofing than the real buildings on september 11th. This just goes to show how tough the towers structural members (whose steel was certified to ASTM E119) really were.
So lets say that the official story isn't true, lets say that the 911 commission report was just part of a big ole' government coverup. What really happened that day, truthers?
Yes. A general summary of our views on how the execution of the 911 attacks proceeded is now available, and can be found here. This timeline proceeds in minute by minute fashion, and was made specifically in response to your obtuse allegations about us lacking such a cohesive narrative (which were never even true back when you made these claims!). The truth movement has possesed a mutually accepted viewpoint for years now, but it had previously been scattered to the four corners of the earth. Only with a great effort were the various aspects able to be adjoined... So, steven, if you want to continue opposing 911 truthers in this blatant fashion, you need to actually make a proper response to this timeline, and say where and why it doesn't match the validity of your beloved commission report (not rhetorically tilting at the windmills, like you have become so notorious for). Failing to do so will be taken as a silent admission of defeat.
Or are you going to continue to hide behind your shield of 'just asking questions'?
This is ridiculous. You are attributing behaviour to the entire truth movement that is only exhibited by some loose change acolytes. Spreading such misguided caricatures is wrong and just plain insulting. Furthermore, you still have not grasped the fundamental differences that lie between the methodologys employed by outside job advocates (who are in defense) and inside job advocates (who are in offense). Truthers use rugged cumulative arguments to attack the legitimacy of the official story, while debunkers rely on fragile deductive reasoning to defend it. Barrie zwicker summarises the situation thusly: 'The exhibits in this chapter show cumulatively that 911 was an inside job. Only one exhibit needs to be proven true (beyond a reasonable doubt) for the inside job theory to be strengthened, or even proved. If more than one holds up, the case for an inside job becomes even more substantive. If a clear majority hold up, the argument for inside job becomes nearly invincible.'
'What if, on the other hand, one exhibit (or part of one exhibit) fails to hold up? Does this means all the others are undermined, or rendered null and void? Not at all... Each bonafide exhibit on its own supports the cumulative evidence of an inside job on 911. In deductive reasoning, each step in the argument depends upon the truth of the previous step. For example, to logically believe in the official story, you have to believe that there were 19 arab kamikaze hijackers who could hijack four commercial airliners all at once and outsmart the 44 billion dollar a year US intelligence apparatus and outwit NORAD... The truth of each part of this official story is essential in holding up the whole story. For instance, if there is no credible evidence that the 19 hijackers the whitehouse claims boarded the airliners actually did so, the rest of the official narrative is seriously damaged and would collapse in a court of law. In deductive reasoning, the whole chain can fail if one link fails.'
So in the end, steven, it is not we who are on thin ice, it is YOU. Take care to understand this point. For example, if we prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the collapse of the twin towers was not initiated by fires, then that automatically means they were professionally demolished. The burden of proof for us beyond that point (like providing a description of the exact mode of demolition) is almost irrelevant, because the case will have been made to initiate another investigation. But generally, we will go out of our way to provide that additional description, by virtue of the simple fact that we aren't half assed cheap-shot artists like you, indoctrinated by cointelpro groups such as the JREF and slant. Steven, you've got alot of growing up to do. This blatantly unidirectional skepticism of yours is doing more harm than good. Wake up, and realise that the fairy tale told to you by mother government was a lie, in order to foster the frame of mind necessary to get ignorant citizens like yourself to acquiesce to their authoritarian schema.
[1] If the scientific community actually was serious about the 'extreme' dangers posed by progressive collapse, they would have put much more effort into theoretical research aimed at preventing such failures, since NIST has emphasised that even modern steel framed high rises are not immune to them. But such a campaign has not taken place, and thoughtful engineering papers like this have been ignored and left in obscurity. There is a reason for that, and it is not the reason that the debunkers would have you believe (I.E, that only an airliner impact can initiate such a collapse). Engineers have given the WTC disaster a get out of jail free card. As relayed by one group of truthers: ''Next we tried the physics department at the University of Michigan as well as three departments in the school of engineering, Civil, Materials Science and Mechanical. We sent each faculty member a personal invitation as well as a copy of 'Improbable Collapse.' All of the invitations were declined or not answered; that's over three hundred invitations total for the University faculty. NO ONE would defend the official story as relayed in the NIST, FEMA and 9-11 Commission Report.''
[2] Back in its august draft, where they had still claimed that the collapse progressed 40% slower than free fall, NIST had said -in a claim made three times- that its analysis was “consistent with physical principles.” In the final report, however, every instance of this phrase was quietly removed! It appears that NIST thereby explicitly admitted that its report on WTC 7, by affirming absolute free fall while continuing to deny that either incendiaries or explosives had been employed, is not consistent with basic principles of physics.
[3] Each collapse occurred at near free fall speed. Each building fell straight down, through the path of greatest resistance. A significant portion of the concrete was turned into very fine dust. The collapses were ultimately total in their scope, leaving no remnants sticking up hundreds of feet into the air. According to many witnesses, explosions occurred within the buildings. More damning yet, each collapse was preceded by large seismic vibrations, and left behind molten steel (which would be produced by explosives or incendiarys), resulting in “hot spots” that remained for months.
[4] The details of these upgrades can be examined in NISTs NCSTAR 1-1H, specifically, tables 13-1 and 13-2. It also bears mentioning how steven transparently neglects to mention that structures were shattered well above the crash zones, before they moved downward into structures below impact sites. The early breakup of the south towers top is particularly apparent. The upper structure crushed itself, then uniformly accelerated downwards (without encountering any resistance). How odd. It almost seems as if the supposed 'piledriver' is playing no role in this event!

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