Saturday, 10 August 2013

Conspiracy theory FAQ, part 1

When confronted with hard evidence showing government complicity into the september 11th attacks, debunkers and other such apologists will forward a great variety of a-priori arguments that release them from the need to confront this wide ranging body of proof (which would result in uncomfortable cognitive dissonance). The vast majority of these statements generally turn out to have little merit, showing themselves as nothing more than a petty cop-out for a moral coward. Some of the more atypical claims will be featured in this post, and discussed at length to judge their value. Any postings following this one will deal with the remaining pseudo-skeptic arguments, which have more or less been resolved years ago by other members of the truth movement.
The purpose of this series is simply to provide the truth seeker with ready-made ammunition which he can use to fend off the lame a-priori dismissals, and force the opposition to actually look at the evidence that has been amassed. This includes the multiple warning of an impending terrorist attack (which were ignored by bush), the war games and live hijacking drill that obstructed the air defense, and the financial arrangement that took advantage of the chaos, especially the black eagle trust. Anyone who looks at the events of 911 with a half open mind will see that there are terrible flaws with the official story, and a huge number of anomalys that hint not of some garden variety terrorist plot, but a state crime against democracy. First up are two denials that are frequently bandied about on wikipedia.
Red flags that should prompt extra caution include surprising or apparently important claims not covered by multiple mainstream sources.
Just because someone says a claim is extraordinary does not make it so. People often label any theories that are contrary to the governments version of events as 'extraordinary', thus implying that the government and its associated media have a monopoly on what is considered reasonable. But claims can only be considered extraordinary if they have no historical precedent. Therefore, all that is needed to show that a theory can be confirmed (with ordinary scientific processes) is to point out a similar case that has happened before. For this, a simple look at the geopolitical affairs of the 1930s will suffice. In a period of just 8 years, the world saw 4 separate false flag attacks (!) used by authoritarian regimes to push their agendas: This includes the manchurian incident, the clash of wal wal, operation himmler, and the shelling of mainila. These incidents are not at all disputed by historians (at least, not by historians who live outside of the implicated nations, where the temptation to white wash history is present): No one has difficulty believing that such crimes could be perpetrated by a mere historical artifact, which they have no personal connection to. The same is not true when ones own nation has been accused of authoring a terrorist attack in the present!

Supposing that we even have a free media to begin with...

Claims that are contradicted by the prevailing view within the relevant community, or that would significantly alter mainstream assumptions, especially in science, medicine, history, politics, and biographies of living people. This is especially true when proponents say there is a conspiracy to silence them.
This criterion might be excusable for an online dictionary that isn't interested in the hidden truth, but its blatantly unacceptable for everything else. It feeds into the larger mind set that establishment types have, with their belief that history is something which cannot be shaped by conscious intent, via the persistent influence of the fog of war or other such mystical phenomenon. They have a characteristic ambivalence towards the notion that much of modern history has been the result of elaborate policys put into place by powerful oligarchs, something which would upset their fragile egos (and the illusions they have about democracy). These academics condemn all such theorys and hypothesis' with the pejorative label of conspiracism. Bruce cumings elaborates on this belief system: "But if conspiracies exist, they rarely move history; they make a difference at the margins from time to time, but with the unforeseen consequences of a logic outside the control of their authors: and this is what is wrong with 'conspiracy theory.' History is moved by the broad forces and large structures of human collectivities."
But power corrupts, and all power corrupts absolutely. The two go inextricably hand in hand, and we may ask these men what barriers can stop a dominant entity from utilising secrecy to implement its policys: Answering this question without contradicting historical records would be quite a feat. That is because any country which becomes a superpower in its specific ficton will eventually wind up playing host to a cast of authoritarian misfits, who use their influence and wealth take control of the national agenda. Humans are social creatures, and the desire to conform to the default viewpoint is a built in feature. When information is distributed to a population in a top down fashion, this makes the entire nation vulnerable to being misled by its leadership caste (whose interests are divorced from those of the common people). Coming out in detraction of the reigning cultures golden cow, therefore, is a difficult and unrewarding task, one which got only more complicated with the advent of nationalism during the industrial era. Countless times have we seen men oppose various ideologies and religions, only to be greeted with viscous persecution by the establishment, whose tenets were later overturned and falsified decades or centurys after the fact.
Those who claim the WTCs were destroyed via a thermite demolition have ignored the fact that this substance can't inflict real damage to structural members.
Assertions like these seek to raise doubt about the validity of a collapse initiated by thermitic materials (which work much more silently than explosives) by claiming their ability to cut or melt steel is very limited. Sketchy though such a catchet may be, after the debut of two separate tests done by national geographic and mythbusters, the 911 debunkers seized upon it with a vigour that is rarely seen outside of a funny farm. They were able to get quite alot of mileage out of this ploy, and things were working out nicely. Soon, they even grew bold enough to dismiss actual patents that were designed to cut steel columns, saying things: 'Anyone can make a patent, but that doesn't mean it exists or even works!' But as any good gambler will tell you, if you play an empty hand for long enough, eventually, someone at the table will call your bluff. In late 2010, jonathan cole (a graduate from the university of connecticut) would release a video which blew this facile hoax out of the water.

By using something he called 'a thermitic box cutter', the civil engineer was able to slice through a steel I-beam with only 2 lbs of thermite, thus confirming the nature of the work being carried out at the combustion institute since the 1960s. The beam in coles video appeared to be a W 6 x 16, with a known weight of 16 pounds per linear foot. His results are consistent with the estimates made by NIST, who insisted that 'approximately 0.13 lb of thermite would be needed to heat and melt each pound of steel.' So with a large box column weighing approximately 1500 pounds per linear foot, the amount of thermite required to make the cut may be around 187 lbs. However, additing sulfur to the mix will slightly decrease the total amount of thermite needed, and also produce a cooler reaction byproduct (since it takes advantage of the eutectic phenomenon).

Why would they use thermite which cuts steel without announcing it, then switch to explosives? To tip people off?
The unasked question here is just how big and how loud would a potential demolition charge need to be? According to mark hightower, severing a large core column would require either 90 lbs of tamped RDX, or a 53 lbs shaped charge (with 18.5 lbs of RDX). Scientists from NIST, however, allege that: '...Even the smallest explosive charge that was capable of bringing down the critical column in the building, had it occurred, we would have seen sound levels of 120 to 130 dbs, a half a mile away.' And again, because the WTCs were going to demolished in front of a live television audience (which entailed huge risks for the perpetrators), their collapse would need to be brought about in a highly unconventional manner, so as to perpetuate the notion that impact + fires were responsible. This demanded removing most of the typical giveaways to a controlled demolition, such as the obvious, sequential explosions, collapse initiated from the bottom, a small rubble footprint, etc. This arrangement would have also had to proceed in total secrecy, with the explosive and pyrotechnic devices installed in a manner that would protect them from aircraft debris and fires (no small feat even for members of the military industrial complex!).
Given these requirements, the best way to destroy the twin towers was to use a two stage demolition process. The first stage would involve silently cutting all (or nearly all) of the 16 large and 31 small core columns on the floors impacted by the planes. This is a task to which thermitic box cutters are well suited towards. Arranged in banks of perhaps 10-12 per corner (and 47 per floor) of the building, they could be set off in a precision sequence via radio repeaters safely installed into reinforced crevices. And though thermite burns with a ferocious intensity that is capable of melting any thickness of steel, the noise they emit is entirely insignificant, at least compared to the explosive charges needed to sever a large core column. Ignited hundreds of feet above street level, there would have been little sign of the box cutters deadly presence, aside from the pool of molten steel flowing away from WTC 2 before its collapse (which may have been the result of a premature ignition from a thermite bank). With the core columns cut on multiple levels, the impact floors were suddenly robbed of their structural integrity, and would effectively cave in on themselves, setting the upper section of the towers into motion against everything beneath it.
Imagine a dump truck colliding with a sand berm
at 100 kmh, multiplied by 5 orders of magnitude
The second stage would ensue shortly after the first, taking advantage of a collapse that converted a tremendous amount of gravitational energy into kinetic energy, resulting in an extremely destructive interaction that pulverised concrete and crumpled steel members. Left to its own devices, however, this piledriver effect would (probably) not be able to produce a global collapse: Everything above the 92nd floor of WTC 1 -and the 77th floor of WTC 2- would cease to exist, and many, many floors beneath them would be gutted by falling debris. But the lower foundations would remain fully intact, as would the core and perimeter columns all the way up to the impact site. The buildings would be preserved by immense networks of interconnected steel beams and columns. Thus, in order to guarantee a total collapse, these resistance points needed to be broken with explosive charges. Under the cover provided by the noise and dust of the gravity collapse, the second stage of demolition could proceed unnoticed to anyone more than a block away from the site (though some blasts can be heard further, depending on how the echo was funneled through the streets). With just a handful of explosive charges placed on all the floors beneath the impact site -probably hidden inside elevator shafts- the twin towers last structural redoubts would be methodically smashed from the top down.
How would they be able to plant enough thermite/explosives to perfectly raze these mammoth buildings, without anyone taking notice beforehand?
This is much less of a problem when you have operatives in control of security at the WTC complex, as jerome hauer and brian jenkins of kroll associates were. These men had a plethora of suspicious connections to the 911 crime ring, and it may have fallen upon them to provide secure working spaces for demolition crews. The best way to proceed with such an operation is to conceal all suspicious equipment inside ordinary tool boxes, move them up through express elevators, and only bring them out when working in confined spaces or on empty floors. This is the method through which the 59 story citicorp building was secretly retrofitted in 1974 over the course of several months, without either the tenants, media, or general public catching on. Maintaining secrecy is not especially difficult, especially if wireless detonators are used instead of blasting cord. These would need to have scramblers to ensure they aren't accidentally set off by cell phones, though.
As for the actual logistic of rigging up the twin towers, this depends on the exact method thats being used to destroy them. A 2 stage demolition process (like the one mentioned previously) would require cutting all 47 core columns on at least two separate floors. Thats a total of 94 thermite charges per building, enough to destroy everything above the impact zone. A single charge would be attached to each column, then covered beneath a protective casing. Below these floors, a different approach would be needed. Rather than going after the core columns, it would be easier to rig up the column junctures in the elevator shafts, of which there are four to a floor. If this was done all the way from the impact floors to street level, then that amounts to 368 charges for WTC 1 and 308 charges for WTC 2 (not including the 94 thermite charges). Working with these numbers, its possible to determine roughly how many man hours were required.
One of the web joists (not quite
the same as a column juncture)
If the WTCs really were destroyed by a controlled demolition, most of the worlds architects and engineers would have come forward and raised hell with the authoritys!
This is obviously not the case. An in-depth examination of the scientific literature regarding the twin towers collapses reveals that virtually none of them are based on a close observation of the visual archives. They are abstract mathematical models which use random assumptions to come to conclusions about factor x or y. Such insular processes are effectively divorced from reality, and tell a truth seeker very little about what happened to these 110 story structures: Someone who does not understand the unique features of this collapse (or posses an affinity for regression analysis) will have NO ABILITY to determine whether or not CD played a role. Academic institutes of all shapes and sizes, ranging from NIST to AE911Truth, have been guilty of a systemic failure to observe the actual behaviour of the twin towers (and building 7) prior to and during their collapse. They perpetuate a false dichotomy of progressive collapse vs controlled demolition, failing to come to terms with the peripheral issues that could falsify their case.
They proceed with an obvious confirmation bias in mind, neglecting to consider that the truth may lie somewhere in between their pre-determined conclusions. AE911Truth is responsible for disseminating the false notion that steel framed buildings cannot experience a global collapse without the aid of explosives. NIST is responsible for grossly distorting the mechanical forces acting on the WTCs, and for failing to document the material flow that defined each destruction event. The basic standards of the scientific method have been discarded in favour of abstract models and poor observations, which in turn were regurgitated to the public in the form of sound bytes via the mass media. If there was ever a time when the 'experts' should have stepped in to straighten things out, this was it. Sadly, that is not what actually happened. On both sides, negligence fed by false confidence has snowballed into something that is now labelled as 'professional dialogue regarding the WTCs collapse', which has now been framed into an issue concerning only whether explosives were present or not!
If the attacks truly were orchestrated by the government, someone would have talked! Even if all of the conspirators had kept silent, there must have been dozens of people on the sidelines who knew, and they couldn't ALL have been assassinated!
That is correct. If anything, there may have been well in excess of a hundred people who knew sensitive details about the september 11th attacks, weeks or months before they actually took place. At a lower level, like when the feds were monitoring terrorist activity in 2000-2001, some CIA and FBI agents actually did catch wind of the plot, and tried to warn their superiors. The storys of harry samit, susan lindauer, kenneth williams, and sibel edmonds are just a few examples of this. Debunkers may argue that this is only a niche example which doesn't invalidate their wider point. Again, they are right. It goes without saying that the proof for MIHOP is invariably more circumstantial than that which exists for LIHOP. In a situation oddly reminiscent of the fermi paradox, no one has come forward to release information that directly reveals preperations of the scale predicted by most truth advocates (I.E, no rigging of the WTCs with bombs, no modifications of jumbo jets for remote control, etc). Could absence of evidence be taken as evidence of absence? Unfortunately, no. New counter-intelligence techniques devised in the 1960s have given the CIA and other agencys a strong ability to suppress whistle blowers, via trauma based operant conditioning. As soon as a potential leaker is identified, they will be subjected to extensive background checks, and placed under very intrusive surveillance in order to gain personal information from them.
Many technologys are available to spying agencys nowadays, including laser microphones, phone tapping, computer bugging, etc. All sources of communication are surveyed constantly by the highest technology available and a great deal of the results are recorded, auto-transcribed and processed by computer to show statistical associations (some of which goes to a live ear if close spying is underway). Once enough information has been assembled to create a 'criminal profile', the director in charge will make a decision as to the best approach needed to gain the whistle blowers compliance. This sometimes involves black-mail and bribery. More often, however, a campaign of terror is waged against the individual, where they are subjected to constant and unrelenting harassment, raising their stress level to an intolerable level that not only destroys their sense of security, but interferes with normal sleep and work related activities. Through weeks of gang stalking, the whistle blowers daily routine will be irreparably damaged, and their sanity will be stretched to the breaking point. Sometimes, the aim of this harassment campaign is to get the individual to release their information in a partial or disorderly manner, where it can be picked apart and discredited by cointelpro assets. Mostly, however, they are given a chance to end the torment by accepting a list of conditions which they must abide by, on the threat of instantaneous retaliation (in proportion to the severity of their infraction) if they do not.
If our government was capable of masterminding the 911 attacks to justify an invasion of afghanistan, then why didn't they plant WMDs in iraq?
Because it reinforces the comforting illusion of incompetence, and allows their political system to perpetuate itself. To determine whether or not the US government is incompetent, you only need to look at what policys they have enacted in the last decade. Notice that there is always a difference between what officials say they will do, and what they actually do. When an institute persists in taking a course of action which does not fulfil its agenda, we might posit that they show signs of incompetence. However, when they do not stop pursuing that agenda even at (what seems to be) a huge loss to themselves, there really are only two possible explanations. One answer is raised by albert einstein: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results." A more sinister answer comes from stefan molyneux: "If an organization seems to be continually failing to achieve its stated mission – but refuses to alter its actions – then clearly it is simply achieving another, unstated mission." With this one single insight, all of the odditys associated with the global war on terror (as well as the war on drugs, poverty, etc) can be reconciled. For every official proclamation a government agency may make regarding some ambitious new campaign, there will almost invariably be an unofficial motive that is not being disclosed to the public.
So to truly judge an agencys competence, we need to know not just their intent, but their actual motives. When taking into account all of its secret sponsors and policy decisions, the bush administration is seen for what it really is: A neoconservative platform that was successfully able to institute most of the goals outlined in the project for a new american century. And since their propensity for using mission statements to conceal more unwholesome goals is widely known among the worlds top intellectuals, we need to call into question the unstated premise of the debunker argument: If the US actually had staged the 'discovery' of these weapons in a transparent attempt to justify their needless war of aggression (in violation of the united nations charter), it would only serve as an enormous jolt to intellectuals across the world, and help push them into a stance of direct opposition to the united states. So, would soothing the conscience of the unwashed masses be worth the cost of alienating the politically awake? No. And again, the purpose of the false WMD scare was not to give a legitimate justification for invading iraq, or any other nation in the middle east (thats what they had 911 for): The point was only to get the neocons foot in the door.
Afterwards, a continual presence in iraqs vast oil fields could be maintained through mission creep, and vigorous stigmatisation of those officials who wanted to 'cut and run.' Even the president himself was not above participating in this heavy handed bullying, using his rank to pressure dissenters into compliance. In summary, the key to explaining the iraq episode is the fact that people are much more willing to believe in an incompetent government, rather than one which is deliberately malevolent. But once you accept the premise that the bush administration is a highly effective, morally corrupt association, and that their actual goals in any endevour are never what they publicly claim, it becomes clear that 'incompetence' is nothing more than a comforting charade which is used to cloak evil policys in. The men in office are able to get a surprising amount of mileage out of this little trick, since american citizens have a very high tolerance for political failure, although not with silly hot topic issues pertaining to sexual orientation, gender, religion, or race. Incompetence also lends itself to perpetuating the left-right slave paradigm, particularly when opposition partys gain browny points by pointing out the obvious, and saying how much better things would be if the current president was kicked out of office (to be swiftly replaced by their own candidate, of course...).
*edit made oct 30, 2013.