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Archive for Friday, August 12, 2011

From JFK to 9/11, conspiracy theories thrive

August 12, 2011

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— In Dealey Plaza, with the white “X” painted on the spot where President Kennedy was assassinated, ask anyone about the grassy knoll and the second gunman.

Conspiracy theories come with the territory here. And at Barbec’s Restaurant on the other side of this sprawling city, six men sit on a covered porch and convene a meeting of the North Texans for 9/11 Truth group and talk about the government’s lies about 9/11.

The group has 50 active members; 200 on the mailing list. And they number among many thousands who, after years of investigations, don’t believe the official version of how the World Trade Center collapsed, who was responsible or what the government knew and when.

Politics doesn’t have anything to do with it; two were once staunch, Bush-voting conservatives; two are progressives and two weren’t even interested in current events until after the 2001 attacks.

“Before 9/11, I was a working class person, going through life, pretty much accepting everything given and told to me,” said Bryan Black, a 50-year-old carpenter from Commerce, Texas, “I’m starting to see things. I’m more open to skeptical conversation.”

The skeptics — they prefer the term “9/11 truth activists” instead of “truthers” — have persisted, even thrived in the decade since 2001, with proponents from former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel to comedian Rosie O’Donnell. And unlike the years that Kennedy assassination conspiracies took to develop, they have mobilized with lightning-like speed on the Internet, with YouTube videos of the trade center collapsing again and again.

“There’s really a foundation of reality here,” said Ted Walter, who has worked unsuccessfully to prod New York City officials into reopening an investigation of how 7 World Trade Center collapsed on the afternoon of Sept 11. “We believe that if all of the American public saw footage of building 7 on the nightly news, it would lead to widespread skepticism of 9/11.”

For many, conspiracy theories aren’t terrifying; they’re more comforting than the idea that an event as terrifying as Sept. 11 could be so — random.

Conspiracies can be a “security blanket” for explaining away the horrific, asserts Patrick Leman, a University of London professor who researches 9/11 theories. “It stops us from having to confront the unpredictability of life.”

Jonathan Kay, a columnist with the Canadian newspaper The National Post and the author of a book about conspiracy theories, said it’s normal for people to seek out complicated and detailed explanations of big events.

“There is something in the human mind that rebels against the idea of random forces or individuals being able to bring down powerful people or powerful icons,” said Kay.

There’s no real estimate of the numbers of people in the 9/11 “truth” movements — there’s no one leader of the skeptics. A group called Remember Building 7 presented New York’s City Council with a petition in 2009 signed by 80,000 people calling for an independent probe into the attacks. Other groups include Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Scholars for 9/11 Truth and the 9/11 Commission Campaign, founded by Gravel.

The “truthers” generally have about a dozen beliefs surrounding what happened on that day, although there are some variations on who was responsible for the attacks and why:

  • Explosives brought down the World Trade Center, not hijacked jetliners.
  • There were warnings of the impending attacks from 11 different countries, and fighter jets could have intercepted at least one of the four planes that day.
  • Criminal conspiracies within the government caused the attacks.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted a probe that took six years to complete of the tower collapses; the last report found that fire caused the collapse of 7 World Trade Center, a skyscraper north of the twin towers. In the collapses of the twin towers, the agency found that extreme heat from the jetliner crashes caused some steel beams to lose strength, causing further failures in the building until the entire structure succumbed.

The investigation “was the most comprehensive examination of a structural failure ever conducted,” said Shyam Sunder, lead investigator of the collapse investigation and led to 40 building code changes to make safer, terror-proof skyscrapers. NIST maintains a website with its reports and computer-based animations that reconstruct its findings to reach out to the public.

Sunder acknowledges it hasn’t reached everyone.

Comments

Flap Doodle 2 years, 8 months ago

The all-time record for copy/pasting without attribution in less than 4 hours on this award-winning website may have been set today.

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 8 months ago

Reports of insider trading on 9/11 are false, because the SEC investigated and found only respectable investors who will remain nameless involved, and no terrorists, so the windfall profit-taking was merely, as ever, coincidental.

That heightened security for the World Trade Centre was lifted immediately prior to the attacks illustrates that it always happens when you least expect it.

That Hani Hanjour, the pilot of Flight 77, was so incompetent he could not fly a Cessna in August, but in September managed to fly a 767 at excessive speed into a spiraling, 270-degree descent and a level impact of the first floor of the Pentagon, on the only side that was virtually empty and had been hardened to withstand a terrorist attack, merely demonstrates that people can do almost anything once they set their minds to it.

That none of the flight data recorders were said to be recoverable even though they were located in the tail sections, and that until 9/11, no solid-state recorder in a catastrophic crash had been unrecoverable, shows how there's a first time for everything.

That Mohammed Atta left a uniform, a will, a Koran, his driver's license and a "how to fly planes" video in his rental car at the airport means he had other things on his mind.

The mention of Israelis with links to military-intelligence having been arrested on Sept 11 videotaping and celebrating the attacks, of an Israeli espionage ring surveiling DEA and defense installations and trailing the hijackers, and of a warning of impending attacks delivered to the Israeli company Odigo two hours before the first plane hit, does not deserve a response. That the stories also appeared in publications such as Ha'aretz and Forward is a sad display of self-hatred among certain elements of the Israeli media.

That multiple military wargames and simulations were underway the morning of 9/11 – one simulating the crash of a plane into a building; another, a live-fly simulation of multiple hijackings – and took many interceptors away from the eastern seaboard and confused field commanders as to which was a real hijacked aircraft and which was a hoax, was a bizarre coincidence, but no less a coincidence.

That the National Military Command Center ops director asked a rookie substitute to stand his watch at 8:30 am on Sept. 11 is nothing more than bad timing.

That a recording made Sept 11 of air traffic controllers’ describing what they had witnessed, was destroyed by an FAA official who crushed it in his hand, cut the tape into little pieces and dropped them in different trash cans around the building, is something no doubt that overzealous official wishes he could undo.

That the FBI knew precisely which Florida flight schools to descend upon hours after the attacks should make every American feel safer knowing their federal agents are on the ball.

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 8 months ago

That Jonathan Bush’s Riggs Bank has been found guilty of laundering terrorist funds and fined a US-record $25 million must embarrass his nephew George, but it's still no justification for leaping to paranoid conclusions.

That George Bush's brother Marvin sat on the board of the Kuwaiti-owned company which provided electronic security to the World Trade Centre, Dulles Airport and United Airlines means nothing more than you must admit those Bush boys have done alright for themselves.

That George Bush found success as a businessman only after the investment of Osama’s brother Salem and reputed al Qaeda financier Khalid bin Mahfouz is just one of those things - one of those crazy things.

That Osama bin Laden is known to have been an asset of US foreign policy in no way implies he still is.

That al Qaeda was active in the Balkan conflict, fighting on the same side as the US as recently as 1999, while the US protected its cells, is merely one of history's little aberrations.

The claims of Michael Springman, State Department veteran of the Jeddah visa bureau, that the CIA ran the office and issued visas to al Qaeda members so they could receive training in the United States, sound like the sour grapes of someone who was fired for making such wild accusations.

That one of George Bush's first acts as President, in January 2001, was to end the two-year deployment of attack submarines which were positioned within striking distance of al Qaeda's Afghanistan camps, even as the group's guilt for the Cole bombing was established, proves that a transition from one administration to the next is never an easy task.

That so many influential figures in and close to the Bush White House had expressed, just a year before the attacks, the need for a "new Pearl Harbor" before their militarist ambitions could be fulfilled, demonstrates nothing more than the accidental virtue of being in the right place at the right time.

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 8 months ago

Thread has been resurrected from the dead....and my spelliing/grammar has not improved in the interim.

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classclown 2 years, 8 months ago

The_Original_Bob (anonymous) says…

"Crazy_Larry (anonymous) replies… Tell ya what, smart guy, I'll PM you all my comments from now on so you can get your kicks, on the grammar-nazi tip." The correctly named Crazy Larry.

Sorry. You just lost due to Godwin. Put your energy into something worthwhile.

========================================

Does grammar nazi fall under the Godwin rule? It's a term that's been around forever as far the the internet goes. This is the first time I've ever seen the term get flagged.

Can we get a judge's ruling?

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AppologiesMyLiege 2 years, 8 months ago

Speaking of conspiracy therories,

Richard Maybury: By replacing the Westphalia rule with the Roman one, that is by cementing the Clinton and Bush precedence, Obama has given any Tom, Dick or Harry permission to settle old scores. Because all you need now to start a war is a belief that the other side is up to no good. Clear and present danger is no longer required. In an Armed Forces Journal article by Colonel Robert Killebrew titled, "A Darwinian World," Libya points to a New Era of Aggression and Turmoil, and this is my key point. "Armed intervention across international boundaries to the internal affairs is now accepted. The Westphalia ideal of non internal affairs of other states is as dead as a doornail."

http://www.thedailybell.com/2797/Anthony-Wile-Richard-Maybury-and-Rick-Rule-on-Why-More-War-Is-Likely-the-Future-of-the-US-Dollar-and-Why-Neither-of-Them-Vote

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classclown 2 years, 8 months ago

Crazy_Larry (anonymous) replies…

Believe it or not, but you'd be hard-pressed to find even one idiot within a group of 1500 licensed architects and engineers.

===========================================================

I've known many engineers that many people would consider to be an idiot. And there is one architect the commenters of the LJWorld know to be an idiot. Occupations do not provide a shield against idiocy as idiots can be found in all walks of life. The ability to do one thing well does not a genius make.

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classclown 2 years, 8 months ago

Why is the theory concerning 9/11 that something other than the official explanation happened being referred to as a conspiracy theory? Do people not understand what the genesis of a conspiracy theory is?

When JFK was assassinated, the official story is that Oswald acted completely alone. The conspiracy theorists believe that several people - here's the kicker - conspired to assassinate the president.

The official explanation for what happened on 9/11 is that Bin Laden and several others conspired to take down the WTC and acted on their plans to do so. Since the official version is that a conspiracy occurred to take down the WTC, why do those of you that believe something else happened refer to your version as a conspiracy theory?

Or does it just sound good to scream that 9/11 was the result of a conspiracy?

To which the rest of us can simply reply "Well duh!"

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verity 2 years, 8 months ago

I used to see a poster about twenty years ago which said,"Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you." Seems as true to me now as it did then.

While I don't discount that there may have been a 9/11 conspiracy beyond the obvious one of the the people that we know planned and executed it, I tend to think that too many people would have been involved for someone not to have blabbed by now.

I also think that people such as Cheney may have (I repeat, may have) anticipated it due to surveillance that they knew about and purposely did not stop it because it suited their purpose. Or they may just have been stupid (or both). I think many conspiracy theories overestimate the intelligence of a number of people.

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riverdrifter 2 years, 8 months ago

I've been to the Dealy Plaza & the book depository building site. I've made longer shots on squirrels with a .22 than Oswald did on a president. It was what it was: a piece of cake for a nut job. Jack Ruby: the same.

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ivalueamerica 2 years, 8 months ago

The beauty and ease of Conspiracy theorists is that they need very few facts to support anything they believe.

If there is a hole in the information, fill it in with whatever you want.

If there is a question about a fact, fill it in with whatever you want.

If a fact conflicts with your opinion, dismiss the fact as part of the conspiracy.

While sometimes they are correct, they will never be accepted as legitimate points of view in a discussion because their methodology is much more akin to a spiritual belief instead of a presentation of alternative or conflicting facts.

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The_Original_Bob 2 years, 8 months ago

"Crazy_Larry (anonymous) replies… Tell ya what, smart guy, I'll PM you all my comments from now on so you can get your kicks, on the grammar-nazi tip." The correctly named Crazy Larry.

Sorry. You just lost due to Godwin. Put your energy into something worthwhile.

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beatrice 2 years, 8 months ago

Okay, I posted this response in a thread higher up, but I wanted to post it here as well just to make sure my new friend Crazy_Larry sees my response to his calling me an idiot and asking if I had dropped out of high school. Hope I don't offend everyone by repeating myself.

To CL:

Although I may indeed be an idiot (it is hard to determine these things about one's self), I can assure you I did not drop out of high school. High school proved to be 9 of the best years of my life.

I do know that the construction of the Empire State Building, finished in 1931, and the Twin Towers built in 1973, was dramatically different, hence the difference in how they looked. This is why part of the B-25 that hit the ESB was lodged into the side of the building and one engine dislodged and actually went through and shot out the other side, landing on a building below. Clearly this did not happen with the Twin Towers, and wouldn't have even happen had it been hit by a B-25. Have you seen those videos of the Twin Towers? The planes went right through the walls of glass and that was a big explosion. Also, a slow-flying B-25 at the end of a flight is a dramatically different projectile than a Boeing 757.

However, believe what you will, but do know that you are wrong. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, Oswald shot Kennedy, men walked on the moon, and the Twin Towers fell because massive planes filled with fuel crashed into them.

Now, feel free to try and insult me further. The high school line was a particularly charming touch.

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beatrice 2 years, 8 months ago

Amazingly, the superintent of the construction of the Twin Towers was named Kennedy, while the designer of the Boeing 757 was named Lincoln.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 8 months ago

Maybe the case should be reopened about exactly who shot Abraham Lincoln.

Maybe it wasn't really John Wilkes Booth, after all.

And, did Franklin Delano Roosevelt know about the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor before it actually happened, as some historians claim?

I think that the important thing to learn about any historical event is how to prevent it from happening again, instead of beating to death things which have already faded into history.

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not_holroyd 2 years, 8 months ago

Crazy Larry agrees with Jack Cashill's conspiracy views. Snap_pop_no_crackle agrees with Jack Cashill's political views.

By transitive properties Crazy Larry and Snap must be the same person, or have common ancestry.

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spampie 2 years, 8 months ago

The very ones on this forum who seem to have forgotten about conspiracy theories and their attachment to them need to revisit their past.

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RoeDapple 2 years, 8 months ago

"Damn!" < backs quickly out of the room . . .

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gatekeeper 2 years, 8 months ago

if you check out the timeline of events, you will start to see that there are many cover ups in the story we were given by the govt about 9/11. Read the interviews with the employees in the control towers in Boston, NY and DC that day.

Anyone that believes that Kennedy was killed by Oswald has to be nuts. If you can find one of those magic bullets, please share.

If you trust what the govt tells you, then you need the tin foil hat. If they had nothing to hide, then so much of the information wouldn't be classified about the events.

Again, read the timeline of events on 9/11 (many website have it - minute by minute). That alone shows what a load of lies the govt's story is.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 8 months ago

I think that those who carry conspiracy theories to far are paranoid. That is just my personal opinion, but I am quite sure it is held by others as well.

I did a very small amount of research on the web, here's a clip:

Prognosis of Paranoia

"Predicting the prognosis of an individual suffering from Paranoia is quite difficult. Paranoia generally becomes a whole life or lifelong condition if there exists any underlying mental disorder, such as schizophrenia or paranoid personality disorder. It certainly and sometimes get better with some treatments or remission or with slight changes in medication. People who have symptoms of paranoia as part of another medical condition may also have a waxing and waning mental course.

Sometimes it is the case that paranoia is caused by the use of a particular drug or medication. In this case, it is possible that discontinuing that substance may completely reverse the symptoms of paranoia."

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verity 2 years, 8 months ago

In the O.J. Simpson case, it was said that you should never try to frame a guilty man.

The lack of a reliable investigation doesn't necessarily mean that there is a cover up. It may just mean that the investigators were incompetent or unable to do their job because of circumstances. It's not like there was a rule book for this sort of thing.

On the other hand, it doesn't rule out a conspiracy either.

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Aiko 2 years, 8 months ago

Until each one of these 1500 + licensed professional architects build an exact replica of the twin towers then fly two jetliners into them constructing the exact pattern as they were on 9/11 to see results I will not think otherwise..

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The_Original_Bob 2 years, 8 months ago

"http://www.ae911truth.org/evidence.html"

Saw the title of the link and didn't bother clicking.

Shut Down the Trade Routes!!!

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Aiko 2 years, 8 months ago

Some people believe what they want to believe. Sometimes, their life is boring and uneventful that they want to believe what is least popular opinion and look at facts with a blind eye. It makes them feel like they are "Matlock" or "Angela Lansbury" for day. I remember when people were mesmerized at crop circles and were convinced that aliens put them there.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 8 months ago

prisonplanet sighting! That's good but this thread won't be complete until somebody (besides me) drags reptoids into the discussion.

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 8 months ago

The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths 2011 ISBN 978-0805091250 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_... =========== Well, the JKF thing will never die and the 9-11 cults are strangely interesting. Shermer's new book describes in great detail how millions of years of biology and culture encourage our tendency for magical thinking, gods and goddesses, the tooth fairy, witches and wizards and conspiracies, etc. His treatment of the 9-11 gang is most interesting as he refutes all their claims, to no avail.

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mloburgio 2 years, 8 months ago

Son Of JFK Conspirator Drops New Bombshell Revelations Costner was set to make documentary on Hunt's confession, before Miami mafia stepped in, E. Howard believed government had sabotaged his wife's plane

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/may2007/030507jfkconspirator.htm

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

I think general incompetence, complacency explain 9/11 better than conspiracy.

But one thing is certain, and they even admitted it in their own literature. PNAC/neocons were hoping for their "Pearl Harbor" moment to use as cover for a wide range of Disaster Capitalism initiatives, ranging from the invasion of Iraq to the Bush tax cuts. 9/11 fit the bill perfectly.

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UNIKU 2 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 8 months ago

The Stench of Truth: The 9-11 Commission Report is a conspiracy theory.

International Hearings on 9/11 to begin in Toronto in September http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/08/3823712/international-hearings-on-911.html

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Gandalf 2 years, 8 months ago

"For many, conspiracy theories aren’t terrifying; they’re more comforting than the idea that an event as terrifying as Sept. 11 could be so — random."

I don't see how anyone could consider it a random event. Nor would I be surprised if there were not some backup suicide bomber's in place in the building itself.

But that's something we will never know. bushie couldn't find bin laden. I'm sure he couldn't ever find the truth. He would be incapable of recognizing something he had no concept of.

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