Brouillet: [review of her 9/11 activism history, and upcoming
Mitrzyk: 9/11 was a PsyOp by [the Bush Administration...] 9/11 is
the greatest issue confronting humanity [...] the 2000, 2002, and 2004
elections have all been rigged [...]
Of course the elections were "rigged". When
a major historical event does not help the cause of Mitrzyk's radical leftism, that's a
sure sign that the event's outcome was planned by the secret leadership
of the military-industrial complex. This convenient rule of thumb
excuses one from having to think about all the messy facts discussed in
places like this
08:35 Holtz: I met Carol a week ago. She's been
involved in the 9/11 movement for 5 years; I've had an interest in the
so-called Truth Movement for about 72 hours now. So I'm definitely the
newbie here, and I'm feeling quite naked without an Internet connection
to do the kind of fact-checking that I like to do. My perspective here
is going to be a basic Libertarian one, which is that my default
assumption is that the government couldn't conspire its way out of a
wet paper bag, and that unless the facts show otherwise, I'm going to
assume they couldn't engineer a cover-up of something like 9/11.
Without the kind of study that my colleagues here have put into this,
my role here tonight will probably be to ask questions, and try to get
as specific as possible claims from them so that I can go fact-check
them later. As a skeptic, I don't take anything at face value, whether
it's said by the people in the White House or the people in the
next chair over. So I'm just going to be from Missouri tonight.
comment about "the next chair over" was a jab at Forte, who in an email
discussion the weekend before the taping I had caught
making multiple blatantly false or misleading statements to me about
9/11. His battering in that discussion apparently contributed to his
mostly-sheepish demeanor the evening of the show. A week
after the taping he still hadn't sent the reply he said he was working
on, and instead responded to my questions
for Brouillet by repeating nine points that I demonstrated
I had already answered.
Forte: [discusses social science research and experiments showing "85%
of the subjects defy their own senses and defer to the
socially-constructed reality even though it is blatantly and obviously
14:25 Holtz: Are you guys running that on me
tonight? [biggest laugh of the night]
Forte: [child abuse victims suppress memories of it] People are unable
to perceive the government as responsible for such a heinous act [...]
Brouillet: [...] The challenge is always overcoming psychological
Forte: [...] We are victims in the United States of a coup d'etat
[...] [18:15] These are buildings that were
deliberately blown up, a false flag terrorist operation, with a number
of precedents in recent American history.
This is false, as there is no precedent in
recent American history of even one American civilian being killed in a
terrorist operation by the U.S. government. Forte is probably making a
misleading reference to Operations
Northwoods, which I had already told
Forte was a 1961 never-approved planning document that talked of faked
funerals for victims and unmanned ships, and never explicitly called
for lethal attacks. Forte's false-flag howler whizzed right past me,
since I had already been searching for an opportunity to jump in with a
point about reluctance to criticize the government. I said one sentence
18:30 Holtz: But there are plenty of non-conformists who
don't agree with this theory of socially-constructed reality. Within
the Libertarian Party, we have nothing good to say about the
government, either in the abstract or this particular Administration.
There are critics, for example Noam Chomsky and Greg Palast, who are
willing to say all kinds of bad things about the power structures that
are in control of this country, and yet they're not signed onto this
view that demolition charges brought down the buildings.
Incredibly, Mitrzyk jumps in to amplify my
point, without offering a shred of explanation as to why Chomsky and
Palast deny the conspiracy:
19:15 Mitrzyk: You bring up Noam Chomsky, I
think that's a good person to bring up, because he's a gatekeeper
of the Left. People like Jon Stewart, George Lakoff up in Berkeley, the
professor about metaphors and framing, Amy Goodman, Michael Moore [I
smirk here at Moore being listed with professors Chomsky and
Lakoff] -- there are people who ostensibly speak for the Left, but
they are in fact gatekeepers. So they will only embrace so much of
the truth, but then they won't talk about things like 9/11, and then
that allows people like you to say "Well look, Noam Chomsky doesn't
even believe in 9/11".
Here I quickly nod my head, agreeing with
Mitrzyk's repetition of my point, and stunned that he didn't even
attempt to explain Chomsky's rejection of the "Truth". Brouillet
immediately jumps in to repeat Mitrzyk's performance of embracing my
point instead of answering it:
19:50 Brouillet: But also, Barry Zwicker
just came out with a new book called Towers of Deception, and he
does have a whole chapter on Noam Chomsky, and he wonders
about Noam Chomsky's role in supporting the official myth, the official
lie, by not wanting to look at the evidence, or just discounting all
the evidence. And Chomsky played the same role with the assassination
of JFK and the silver [sic] bullet.
20:15 Mitrzyk: Right, Chomsky believes in
the magic bullet.
20:20 Brouillet: At the same time, I think
there's also a lot of fear amongst prominent people that if they come
out saying something that is very controversial or radical that they'll
20:30 Holtz: Are you saying that Chomsky's
afraid of saying controversial things?
20:35 Brouillet: No, no, I'm saying -- when
we were interviewed by Steven Jones, for example, who's the editor of
the SF Bay Guardian [...] I think he was very frightened of the
reaction amongst his peers and the country at large [...] Then he took
the strongest evidence and points that we made and fleshed them out a
bit in the course of his article. But then there are people like
Steven Jones, Brigham Young physics professor, David Ray Griffin, an
eminent theologian, who are very highly respected people, who have come
out in favor of 9/11 truth [...] The more people, the more prominent
they are, the easier it is for other people to come forward. It's just
being the first one is very very frightening [...]
So Brouillet contradicts herself, and ends
up apparently saying that Noam Chomsky is indeed afraid to speak
out against the government's conspiracy to commit 9/11. Either that, or
Brouillet believes what Zwicker is said to believe -- that Chomsky is
an agent of the conspirators. Both positions are laughable.
22:20 Brouillet: [9/11 is a global
conspiracy that has] bulldozed the Patriot Act, all
this repressive legislation through here in the United States, and
mirrored throughout the world. We have the Patriot Act's mirror in
Canada, England, Australia, and they're relabeling all dissent against
government or corporate power as "terrorists" [...]
It's simply ludicrous for Brouillet to
claim that "all dissent against government or corporate power" has been
labeled as "terrorism" by any government spokesman -- let alone by any
government legislation in any English-speaking nation. This
hyperbolic statement shows just how tone-deaf she has become by living
in the conspiracist echo chamber.
22:55 Brouillet: If you read anything about
John Rendon, from the Rendon Group, who's been paid hundreds of
millions of dollars to sell American interventions throughout the world
to the American people for over twenty years. On 9/11 -- he was
paid between 50 and 100 million dollars to sell the war on terrorism to
the American people. And they went into overload, they were working
around the clock
23:25 Holtz: That sounds like a fact I can
probably check. So that's the Rendon Group, paid 50 to 100 million
since 9/11 to...
23:30 Brouillet: ... to sell the war on
terrorism to the American people. You can check that out. The Rolling
Stone magazine wrote a great article on The Man Who Sold The War [...]
The Rolling Stone article says:
"Between 2000 and 2004, Pentagon documents show, the Rendon Group
received at least thirty-five contracts with the Defense Department,
worth a total of $50 million to $100 million." The article alleges that
the Rendon Group sold the idea of a war on Iraq, and says nothing about
the Rendon Group arguing against conspiracy theories about 9/11. The
leading 25% of the article is devoted to the Iraqi National Congress
pushing the bogus WMD claims of Adnan al-Haideri, but it admits that
Rendon denies involvement with al-Haideri and merely hand-waves about
the Rendon being the INC's "media guru". Rolling Stone's Bamford
says the al-Haideri story was "trumpeted by the White House", but
al-Haideri was not mentioned in Colin Powell's exhaustive presentation
to the UN Security Council two months later. Bamford quotes Rendon
saying he deals only in "truthful and accurate information", and the
article doesn't cite a single example to the contrary. After a rebuttal
by the Rendon Group pointing out the propaganda techniques used in the
article, Bamford admitted that "I never claimed the Rendon Group
deliberately disseminated false information".
Thus nothing about Carol's Rendon Group
reference provides a shred of evidence that the Bush Administration
planned 9/11. It's just a boilerplate attempt to spread FUD (fear
uncertainty and doubt) about people who on Sep 10 she had already spent
9 years opposing.
24:20 Brouillet: [Rendon] said "well, 90%
of the soldiers thought that there was something worth dying for."
Which, you know, 90% of the soldiers are convinced that Saddam Hussein
had something to do with 9/11.
Holtz: It's a little less.
A Feb 2006 Zogby poll
reports that 85% of American troops in Iraq believe
the U.S. mission is mainly “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the
9-11 attacks". A potential major problem with this poll's methodology
is that it apparently used a definite
description in the question that yielded this 85% figure. A
definite description is a phrase like "the present King of France"
which assumes the existence of the thing it talks about. If the polled
troops were given the impression that the questioner believed that
Saddam had a role in the 9/11 attacks, then the poll is hopelessly
flawed. (And of course, even if accurate the poll doesn't constitute a
shred of evidence that the government caused 9/11.)
24:50 Mitrzyk: I want to come back to this
conspiracy theory, because Brian made a statement in his opening
comments that I think is telling. He acts as if only one side is a
conspiracy, and the other side doesn't involve a conspiracy at all. As
David Ray Griffin points out ...
Brouillet: There's two theories.
Mitrzyk: Yeah, all theories involve a
conspiracy. The question is, do you take the conspiracy that was
hatched by "Osama bin Laden" [finger quoted] from a cave in
Afghanistan, and the conspiracy that violates the laws of physics, the
laws of chemistry, the laws of thermodynamics, and the laws of
statistics and probability? Do you accept that "conspiracy theory", or
do you accept the conspiracy theory that requires you to believe that
shadowy elements of this government -- CIA, also MI6 was involved in
this, and Mossad was involved in this. Do you accept the conspiracy
theory that names this group of people -- who had access, who were able
to create wargames, who were able to effectively confuse the
responders, the interceptors, who had access to those buildings through
Marvin Bush, who happened to be on the board of Securacom. Type in
Google, you want your facts, go Marvin Bush, type Securacom, you'll see
that he was President and CEO of a Kuwaiti -US joint venture that had
responsibility for security at the World Trade Center, Dulles
International Airport, and United Airlines. There's a conspiracy theory
that I can believe in, because it doesn't violate ...
26:15 Brouillet: Motive, means, and who
Uh, Carol, "motive" and "who benefits?" are
the same point. Dennis, Osama didn't plot 9/11 "from a cave in
Afghanistan", because we didn't chase him into caves until 10/7.
Marvin Bush was never President or CEO of
KuwAm, and left the board of Securacom in June 2000. Wikipedia says
KuwAm's investment in Securacom ended in 1999. 911myths.com's debunking of
the Marvin Bush angle points out that Securacom lost the primary WTC
security contract by 1998, and that Truthers are merely citing
Securacom's alleged "completion contract" at the WTC. Those of us in
know that it's common practice for a technology installation contract
to include site support for some number of years. Primary
WTC security systems in fact began
transitioning in 1996 to E-J Electric, which completely replaced
the building's previous security system. E-J had nine technicians
from the buildings on 9/11. There are zero allegations on the Web that
the Bush family had any connection to E-J.
Thus Dennis' challenge that I fact-check
claims about WTC security has blown up in his face.
(The elaborate E-J WTC video surveillance described
before 9/11 shows how silly the demolition theory is. 25% of the
9/11 jets missed their targets. If either of the towers had been
missed, then the demolition charges would have been discovered and the
installation teams would have been noticed on archived security
footage. Indeed, I don't even know that the archives weren't offsite,
and haven't already been checked for such teams. But of course any such
archives have been doctored. The conspirators think of
Dennis completely misses the point that one
side offers a theory of a vast cover-up conspiracy involving hundreds of
people in dozens of organizations in multiple countries, while the
other side needs no cover-up conspiracy whatsoever -- just standard
boring run-of-the-mill bureaucratic CYA and political spin. So I
26:20 Holtz: If you type in "conspiracy"
into Google what you'll find is that the definition of it includes an
effort to keep the thing secret. I agree with neither the "Truth"
Movement's conspiracy version of the story, nor do I agree with
the Bush Administration's version of the story. The version I believe
in is one that's not a conspiracy -- it's one that al Qaeda is
freely admitting to in all their press releases, which I've been
reading on al Jazeera this weekend. It's actually kind of ...
26:50 Mitrzyk: That's not true though.
Osama bin Laden ...
Holtz: Are you going to let me talk?
Brouillet: You believe al Qaeda's press
Holtz: Can I finish?
Brouillet: No, but -- you believe al
Qaeda's press releases?
Holtz: Can I make my point?
Brouillet: OK. Please.
27:00 Holtz: I've been reading some of what
Al Jazeera -- I guess maybe Al Jazeera's in on it, but -- I've been
reading what Al Jazeera transcribes as the communiqués of al
Qaeda. It's actually kind of funny, and sad in a way. These guys are
plaintive, they're complaining that they're not being heard in the American media and in
the American debate over all this because Bush and his phony "war on terror" -- his
phony war on an "ism" -- has become the narrative about what's going on
here. They're just trying to make the point that they didn't
attack Sweden, they don't "hate freedom", what they hate is America's
foreign policy in the Middle East. But the media doesn't cover that
angle. So my loyalties, as far as explaining what happened here, are
not with the secret version that you guys are selling, or with the
version that the Bush Administration is selling -- my default
assumption is that al Qaeda is telling us why they did it, but no one's
listening to them.
opponents never address this point that only one side alleges a
conspiracy to cover up who planned 9/11.
Mitrzyk: Osama bin Laden says they did not do it.
That's not true.
Osama bin Laden issued a letter saying that he was not involved with
only said that while he was still under the Taliban's protection in
Afghanistan. Ever since the Taliban was taken down, al Qaeda's changed
its tune. Zawahiri now in multiple communiques admits that they did it.
not clear what "letter" Dennis is referring to. On
2001-09-16, bin Laden issued a written statement to Al Jazeera
saying "I stress that I have not carried out this act, which
appears to have been carried out by individuals with their own
motivation". On 2001-09-28, bin Laden said in an interview
with the Pakistani newspaper Unmat: "I have already said that I am
not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States."
But the communique most commonly called the "letter"
from bin Laden was originally posted in Arabic in Nov 2002 on a
Saudi Arabian website previously used by al Qaeda to disseminate
messages. Dennis can't mean that letter, because it said:
Whoever has stolen our wealth, then we have the right to destroy their
economy. And whoever has killed our civilians, then we have the right
to kill theirs. The American Government and press still refuses to
answer the question: Why did they attack us in New York and Washington? <OBL
interview is not a "letter", so Dennis must mean the 9/16 statement to
Al Jazeera. If Dennis trusts Al Jazeera when it authenticates a written
statement from bin Laden, then should trust Al Jazeera's
authentication of bin Laden's 2004 videotape claiming 9/11
responsibility. Indeed, bin Laden and al Qaeda have admitted or implied
responsibility for 9/11 at least ten times: http://911myths.com/html/responsibility.html.
Dennis never made any response to my
point that bin Laden had a motive to initially deny responsibility in
2001 while he was under Taliban protection. Thus Dennis was being
blatantly selective with his facts. Next it was Robert's turn to focus
on his own favorite cherry-picked evidence about bin Laden:
Forte: That point that Osama bin Laden had admitted, this is one of the
obvious things that people are just simply not getting. Supposedly the
United States government produced a videotape in December of 2001 with
ostensibly Osama bin Laden taking responsibility, going back on what he
said in October, saying "we did this", and it was passed as truth and
revved up the troops. But a close examination of this videotape leaves
many doubts that this is Osama bin Laden.
Yes, I agree that that videotape is --
-- very interesting.
But the thing is --
Excuse me, say no more.
Because that in itself -- there is a reasonable doubt, that the chief
suspects, just to go back to the event of 9/11,
I had never left "the event of 9/11" -- I
was discussing the only credible confession we have in the case. This
confession must surely count as "one of the obvious things" that Forte
is "just simply not getting". He blatantly dismisses al Qaeda's
four-year record of repeated confessions in the case, and instead
selectively focuses on a nearly-five-year-old videotape that he thinks
is fake. Below, when I call his attention to more-recent and more
trustworthy videotapes, he brazenly says he doesn't care whether there
are "500" of them. Forte has put his blinders on so tight that he
doesn't even realize how ridiculous they look on him.
Forte seeks to excuse his selectivity with
a bogus standard of proof:
Forte: we have a principle of jurisprudence in this country that
works fairly well, you know -- that you have to be convicted beyond a
reasonable doubt, and there are certain principles that go into solving
a crime: who benefited, who had the means to do it, and who had the
motive. Very basic principles.
Osama had no motive?
I didn't notice it at the time, but this
was the first of several clues that these conspiracists are much
farther around the bend than I had imagined. Although Carol half-denies
it below, it's clear that she and Dennis believe that the Bush
administration has arranged that al Qaeda has taken responsibility
for 9/11. This thesis is preposterous.
Forte never revealed his beliefs about bin
Laden and al Qaeda, just as he ignored my question above about Osama
having no motive. Forte's psychological denial is so systematic that he
carefully avoids attempting a unified and consistent explanation of the
available 9/11 evidence. Interestingly, he repeats Carol's mistake of
changing "means, motive, and opportunity" into "means, motive, and who
benefits?". He blatantly ignores the fact that the only
confession in the case has come from someone who plainly had the means,
motive, and opportunity to commit the crime.
I had already addressed Forte's point about
"reasonable doubt" in an email to him the day before the taping:
BH> You've got your standards of proof
mixed up. "Proof beyond a reasonable doubt" is the highest
standard of empirical truth, reserved for adversarial court proceedings
under the rules of evidence, in which a defendant is on trial for his
freedom or his life. The question of whether al Qaeda caused 9/11 is a
historical question, not a judicial one. If you really want to get into
epistemology with me, then start at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inference_to_the_Best_Explanation.
Later in the show (below) I repeated my
email's point about historical vs. judicial, but Forte never answered
it either on the show or via email.
30:05 Forte: [analogy about a "palace and a
roomful of jewels" and how one would immediately suspect the guards if
the jewels went missing] "We're going to go get the guy that we
think did it, in fact, we declare that he did it." Your chief
suspect, who had the alarm, who didn't do his job, suddenly not only
he's guarding the hen house, but he's running the investigation -- and
he's the chief suspect.
This story isn't analogous to 9/11. For it
to be analogous, Forte would need to include a known jewel thief who
means motive and opportunity for the crime and who has been
repeatedly confessing to the crime for four years. His story is so
obviously worthless that I don't bother pointing it out, and instead
try to get back to the 2004 bin Laden confession video:
30:55 Holtz: Four minutes ago you mentioned
a fact about a December 2001 video by bin Laden and since then I
haven't heard too many facts, but let's get back to videos
Mitrzyk: Marvin Bush and Securacom, that's
No, Dennis. 1) As I show above, your
Securacom "facts" are wrong. 2) Your "facts" were mentioned before
Robert talked about the 2001 video, not since.
31:05 Forte: But you agree with that fact,
that there's something very suspect about that video.
Holtz: But I also know that there's been a
video by bin Laden in 2004, which is much much harder to point fingers
at in terms of its clarity and stuff. There's also been about -- well,
I'll ask you if you can ballpark it for me: in the last 12 months, how
many communiques from al-Zawahiri, the number 2 guy from al Qaeda, how
many has he released?
Forte: I don't know, but the point is --
Holtz: Well, I'll tell you, it's ten.
Forte: Excuse me, before you go -- it could
be 500 -- because the point that I think is absolutely fundamental,
that we agree on, is that that bin Laden video is suspect.
My effort to get Forte to address the 2004
video utterly failed. Forte's position is apparently that no
matter how many times a criminal confesses, we must grant reasonable
doubt as long as a single one of those confessions might have been
faked. I'm at a loss to describe just how silly Forte's position
is. To try to get him past the 2001 video and onto the 2004
video, I tried to make a stipulation about not trusting Bush, but the
resulting rejoicing by the panel allowed Carol to interrupt me:
31:45 Holtz: Oh yeah. Bush lies. Case
closed. Bush is a liar. Bush --
Forte: Thank you, because that is the big
Kottke: All right, we can agree!
Mitrzyk: Yay, we found agreement!
Holtz: Bush is a liar --
Brouillet: There is another point that
you've missed, Brian --
No, Carol, I never "missed" Robert's silly
point that a possibly faked bin Laden confession means we can ignore
all of bin Laden's and al Qaeda's authenticated confessions. I
just wanted to get him on the record about the latter, because he has
to say everything from bin Laden and al Qaeda is
faked/controlled if he wants to say that any is.
But Carol interrupted me, and raced ahead of Forte to assert -- and
then deny, and then re-assert -- that bin Laden and al Qaeda are
indeed under the influence of the conspiracy:
32:00 Brouillet: and that is: what is al
Qaeda? How was al Qaeda created? How was it funded? And who financed
the 9/11 attacks?
Wrong again, Dennis. For the facts,
Holtz: So let me
understand your theory. So
you're saying that every move that al Qaeda makes is controlled by the
Brouillet: No, I'm saying al Qaeda --
32:15 Holtz: Then why doesn't al Qaeda deny
that they did this?
Brouillet: Al Qaeda is a creation of the
CIA and Saudi Arabia through Pakistan's ISI. What they're told about
where they're getting their money, what they're supposed to do, I mean,
who knows what goes on in the heads of al Qaeda? But al Qaeda is
definitely a creation of our CIA and Saudi Arabia. One of the reasons I
marched on my Senators was because of the work of Michel Chossudovsky
who wrote an article Who Is Osama
bin Laden? He was a CIA asset. They didn't just
[say] "OK, you can quit, you can do something else."
So according to Carol, bin Laden and al
Qaeda are pretending that they alone planned and committed 9/11, and
are allowing Bush to systematically hunt down and kill the al Qaeda
leadership, simply out of gratitude for the CIA's alleged help 20
years ago during the war against the Soviet occupation of
Afghanistan. Her theory is just too inane for polite
words to adequately describe.
It's also based on false premises,
as Chossudovsky's article is blatantly untrustworthy. He writes:
MC> In the words of CIA's Milton
Beardman "We didn't train Arabs". Yet according to Abdel Monam Saidali,
of the Al-aram Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo, bin Laden and the
"Afghan Arabs" had been imparted "with very sophisticated types of
training that was allowed to them by the CIA". CIA's
Beardman confirmed, in this regard, that Osama bin Laden was not aware
of the role he was playing on behalf of Washington. In the words of bin
Laden (quoted by Beardman): "neither I, nor my brothers saw evidence of
American help". <MC
The CIA agent in question here is Milton
Bearden. Chossudovsky gets Bearden's name wrong, and blatantly takes
the bin Laden quote out of context to imply that Bearden "confirmed" that bin
Laden was receiving American help without being aware of it. A much
more accurate account is by Peter Bergen (of CNN and Johns
Hopkins U.) is in Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World
of Osama bin Laden:
PB> Former CIA official Milt Bearden,
who ran the Agency's Afghan operation in the late 1980s, says, "The CIA
did not recruit Arabs," as there was no need to do so. There were
hundreds of thousands of Afghans all too willing to fight, and the
Arabs who did come for jihad were "very disruptive . . . the Afghans
thought they were a pain in the ass." ... There was simply no point in
the CIA and the Afghan Arabs being in contact with each other. ... the
Afghan Arabs functioned independently and had their own sources of
funding. The CIA did not need the Afghan Arabs, and the Afghan Arabs
did not need the CIA. So the notion that the Agency funded and trained
the Afghan Arabs is, at best, misleading. <PB
Chossudovsky's article is in fact almost
entirely innuendo, and his quote of "Abdel
Monam Saidali" is the only real evidence of even indirect CIA support
for bin Laden. But that name appears nowhere on the Web except in
connection with this one quote trumpeted by Chossudovsky. The same is
true of the "Al-aram Center for Strategic Studies". Chossudovsky
footnotes the quote thus: "Weekend Sunday (NPR); Eric Weiner, Ted
Clark; 16 August 1998". Ted Clark is the former Washington bureau chief
for Pacifica Radio, the radical left-wing radio network. If I have to
choose between a book by a Johns Hopkins professor and a third-hand
Pacifica Radio quote from a possibly-fictitious "Center" in Cairo,
that's easy -- especially since the name "bin Laden" is not
actually part of the quote.
When Carol tosses up her hands
and asks "who knows what goes on in the heads of al Qaeda?", she
is abdicating any possible claim to being interested in the "Truth"
about 9/11. The claims and non-denials by al Qaeda single them
out as the only living people who all sides must agree are
indisputably part of the 9/11 conspiracy, and yet Carol and Dennis and
Robert proudly and angrily deny having any interest or obligation in
fully explaining the actions and motivations of these self-certified
conspirators. When the Truthers carefully avoid trying to explain the
actions of the only living people who are universally agreed to be
9/11 conspirators, it clearly indicates that the Truthers are more
interested in advancing the political agenda they had on 9/10 than in
understanding the truth of 9/11.
It's ironic that the Truth Movement is just
as guilty as the Bushies in seizing on the 9/11 tragedy to promote
their prior political agenda. What's comical is that the Truth
Movementarians would be far more effective in promoting their political
agenda if they merely claimed that Bush allowed 9/11 instead of planned
it. That would be a far harder theory to refute, but would serve their
cause equally well. However, their pathology is so systematic
that they find it hard to resist claiming Bush planned every bad thing
that any human does anywhere. (Some conspiracists even claim that Bush
caused the 2004 tsunami.) They don't seem to mind that their nuttiness
only helps Bush by discrediting his critics, because they apparently
would rather maximize their feelings of moral superiority than actually
change the world for the better. This makes them analogous to anarchist
wingnuts in my own Libertarian Party, who I criticize for preferring
moral posturing over effectively increasing liberty.
32:55 Mitrzyk: He's the brother of one of
Bush's best family friends. He's the youngest brother of the guy who
gave him $2 million for his first oil well. They're buddies.
Brouillet: There's links between the Bushes
and the bin Ladens.
comical how Colin Powell is vilified for citing a "nexus"
between al Qaeda and Saddam, but the Truth Movementarians are allowed
to spread innuendo about nefarious-sounding "links" that are inevitable
among significant groups of prominent people working in the same or
related sectors. (If the omni-competent conspirators had such influence
over al Qaeda, why did they fail so spectacularly to have al Qaeda be
linked to Saddam?)
example is the frequent Movementarian claim that bin Laden's brother
met with George H.W. Bush on the morning of 9/11. The actual fact is
that bin Laden has 17 brothers, and the estranged brother in question
was among 500 investors in a Carlyle Group conference who saw the
elder Bush make a brief appearance at the event.
has his facts wrong yet again. The famous $2 million bin Laden
investment was a much more recent one, made by bin Laden family members
in the Carlyle Group. Fahrenheit 9/11 famously says that
Carlyle "gained" from 9/11 by its stake in United Defense, which makes
the Bradley armored fighting vehicle. What Michael Moore's film fails
to mention is that 1) billionaire and bitter lefty Bush critic
George Soros was also a Carlyle investor, and 2) the $11 billion
Crusader artillery rocket system to be built by United Defense is one
of the only weapons systems ever canceled by the Bush administration.
apparently thinking of the $50,000 that Bush air national guard
buddy James Bath invested in Arbusto in 1979. Bath at the time was
a trustee for the Houston interests of Salem bin Laden and Saudi Sheikh
Khalid bin Mahfouz, Osama's brother-in-law. Movementarians claim that
Bath was merely a front man who was too poor to scrape together a $50K
investment in his friend's company, but there is no documentation for
Brouillet: However, prior to Sept 11, there was $100,000 wired from the
head of -- well, to Mohammed Atta, and it was on the orders of the head
of Pakistani ISI, Brouillet: and that man was in
Washington D.C. from Sept 3 to the 14th. He was meeting with top U.S.
government officials. On the morning of Sept 11, he was having
breakfast with Porter Goss and Bob Graham.
Bob Graham, the author of the Patriot Act.
When we demanded investigation, we wanted to know what top U.S.
government officials were doing with the head of Pakistani intelligence.
$100,000 was allegedly wired to Atta by al Qaeda paymaster Ahmed Omar Saeed
Sheikh. (Brouillet and Mitrzyk apparently can't make up their mind
whether Atta piloted American Flight 11, since he's merely an "alleged"
hijacker when they're not discussing ISI connections to his
funding.) There are many claims on the web that Pakistani
intelligence chief Gen. Mahmud Ahmed ordered the al Qaeda paymaster to
send the money to Atta. As far as I can tell, all these reports trace
back to two unsourced reports (here
in the Indian press, citing claims by an unnamed Indian
intelligence source that cell phone records show Gen. Ahmed
to have been in contact with paymaster Omar Saeed. What the
Movementarians never bother to explain are:
Why would an al Qaeda paymaster need
Pakistani intelligence to order it to continue financing its 9/11
How do cell phone company records of dialed
calls tell us the calls conveyed an "order" (or indeed any information
at all) about the payment?
Why don't Movementarians suspect Indian
intelligence of making up these charges in order to help increase U.S.
suspicion of India's bitter enemy Pakistan?
story seems to be that Gen. Ahmed was too close to the Taliban, and
that after 9/11 the Pakistani President made a smarter decision than
Saddam or the Taliban in choosing between America and al Qaeda. It's
unremarkable that the chief of Pakistani intelligence would meet with
U.S. intelligence leaders, and it's inane to imply that the
conspirators would arrange one final meeting while the hijackings were
already underway on the morning of 9/11.
Brouillet: [Bush wouldn't testify; Graham and Goss headed the
investigation; its parameters were intelligence failure] All the people
most responsible for the failure of this intelligence, all of them got
bumped up and got more money!
Holtz: Oh yeah, just like Katrina and his little buddy from [FEMA,
"Brownie"], but -- but --
But when it was pointed out publicly that the head of Pakistani
intelligence, Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed, had sent this $100,000 to
Mohammed Atta, he quietly retired, he was never questioned, put into
custody, he was just basically ignored by our government.
Ahmed didn't send the $100,000. See above.
Holtz: So can I ask you --
And the official commission says in their document: who financed the
attacks of Sept 11 is of little or no importance.
"Little or no importance".
This is a
blatant distortion, and a misquote as well. In a section called
"General Financing" on pp. 169-172, the 9/11 Report discusses the
sources of al Qaeda's $30M/year budget after noting that the 9/11
operation cost only about $500K. The report makes it clear that most of
al Qaeda's budget was for supporting jihadists, and not for
international terrorism per se. Almost all of al Qaeda's funding came
from donations, and neither al Qaeda nor especially its donors
would have any reason to decide that any given operation (such as 9/11)
was financed by any given donor(s). That is why this section about
al Qaeda's funding concludes:
U.S. government has not been able to determine the origin of the money
used for the 9/11 attacks. Ultimately the question is of little
practical significance.Al Qaeda had many avenues of funding. If a
particular funding source had dried up, al Qaeda could have easily
tapped a different source or diverted funds from another project to
fund an operation that cost $400,000–$500,000 over nearly two years.<
section is titled "The Funding of the 9/11 Plot", and of course the
Report exhibits a keen interest in tracking down the funding of the
9/11 plotters. So when the Report says the precise mix of sources of al
Qaeda's $30M/yr of donations is "ultimately of little practical
significance", it's a blatant distortion to claim the Report is instead
saying this about the 9/11 plot's $250K/yr financing. For
Brouillet and Mitrzyk to trumpet this distortion can only indicate
either a willingness to deceive or unconscionable negligence in their
alleged pursuit of 9/11 "truth".
three minutes earlier I had asked Carol why al Qaeda didn't deny
responsibility, and she gave no clear answer. So I repeated:
I was trying to repeat my question, which was: was any of what you said
over the last three minutes supposed to make me think that Porter Goss
has ordered al Qaeda not to deny responsibility for 9/11?
doesn't get a chance to answer, as Dennis cuts her off with evident
frustration that I'm asking him about evidence that he doesn't want to
Mitrzyk: Lookit, this whole thing about what al Qaeda says, you're
putting way too much stock in it.
I laugh because it's hilarious that Mitrzyk
doesn't put "much stock" in understanding the actions and motives of
the only living people who are universally agreed to be 9/11
35:30 Mitrzyk: Go right simply to this
fact: two airplanes, three skyscrapers. There were two airplanes, and
three skyscrapers. Forget about what al Qaeda said or what they didn't
Thus Dennis blatantly admits he's
ignoring the only living people who by their own admission (or
non-denial, if the ten-times-repeated admissions are all faked)
must have been part of the conspiracy. Meanwhile, I make a domino
gesture with my hands to show that it's not physically impossible for
two explosions to result in the eventual destruction of three buildings.
35:40 Mitrzyk: I have degrees in physics
and math from the University of Michigan, and I knew watching the
towers fall that the planes did not knock those towers down.
So in 15 seconds flat, Mitrzyk changes his
tune about what fact is most important. First it was the alleged
fact that WTC 7 couldn't collapse without an airliner hitting
it. Two sentences later, the most important fact is that the
airliners couldn't have knocked down any of the WTC towers.
35:50 Mitrzyk: It's very simple. It's
Newtonian physics. A clever high school student could sit down and
prove, absolutely prove -- and Professor Steven Jones, who's a fully
tenured professor of physics at Brigham Young University, has written a
peer-review [sic] paper that has not been challenged, that effectively
(in the words of Dr. David Ray Griffin) that the fact that all three
towers were brought down through controlled demolition is no longer a
theory, it has been proven.
The relevant discipline for the WTC
collapse is structural engineering, not physics. Jones' paper was not
published in any existing peer-reviewed journal, but instead was
"reviewed" by two physicists (and zero structural engineers) for
publication in the book 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals
Speak Out, from "Olive Branch Press". The
College of Engineering at Jones' own BYU says:
BYU> Professor Jones’s department and
college administrators are not convinced that his analyses and
hypotheses have been submitted to relevant scientific venues that would
ensure rigorous technical peer review. The structural engineering
faculty in the Fulton College of Engineering and Technology do not
support the hypotheses of Professor Jones. <BYU
It's flatly false to say the paper "has not
been challenged". Wikipedia has four paragraphs describing various
challenges to Jones' paper. Jones apparently even slightly revised
his paper after this
challenge from 911myths.com. The most fascinating and detailed challenge
is by a fellow "Scholar For 9/11 Truth", who attempts to debunk Jones'
thermite-demolition thesis in order to support his own mini-nuke
theory. He also says Jones "has never presented his 9/11
paper at a scientific conference despite at least one
invitation". Jones has done research on cold fusion, and has also
written a paper trying to use archaeological evidence to support the
Mormon theory that the resurrected Jesus visited North American
Indians. And "Dr. David Ray Griffin", who vouches that controlled
demolition has been "proven"? He's a theologian.
36:17 Mitrzyk: If we could just go to one
slide. Let's go to the slide that has the infrastructure of the towers.
There's the towers. Now they have gone so far as to lie, they being the
people that covered this up, about the construction as they said there
was no core to the building. Well, what you're looking at is the core
of the building, 47 steel columns [...]
Dennis is repeating a claim that is
saying of the WTC steel core:
> the most widely read document on the
World Trade Center attack -- the 9/11 Commission Report -- denies their
very existence, claiming the towers' cores were "hollow steel
The complaint here is comical. The 9/11
Commission Report does not cover the WTC collapse at all, and the quote
here is from a footnote explaining the layout of the available exits at
the very beginning of the chapter about the performance of first
responders in evacuating and rescuing people in the stricken
buildings. The footnote says: "The
interior core of the buildings was a hollow steel shaft, in which
elevators and stairwells were grouped." This is an absolutely
accurate way to characterize the layout of the available exits.
It's sheer lunacy to complain that an
evacuation-routes footnote to a chapter on first responders
constitutes an attempt to make any claim whatsoever about the collapse
of the towers. The collapses of WTC 1 and 2 are instead the sole topic
of this 40-page
FEMA engineering study, and are the heart of the massive June 2004 NIST
interim report on the WTC disaster. Indeed, the NIST web site calls
attention to the steel core as evidence against controlled
From video evidence, significant portions of
the cores of both buildings (roughly 60 stories of WTC 1 and 40 stories
of WTC 2) are known to have stood 15 to 25 seconds after collapse
initiation before they, too, began to collapse."
37:10 Mitrzyk: This is simple laws of
physics, folks. This is nothing fancy. What is that big cloud of dust?
It's concrete, OK. I broke up my patio with a sledgehammer. When you
hit -- when you apply a lot of force to concrete, it doesn't just turn
to dust, it needs energy. This is simple Newtonian physics, people. To
turn that concrete into dust needs energy. There was not enough
gravitational energy. [...]
It's flatly false to claim that one can balance the energy budget of
the WTC 1 & 2 collapses using just Newtonian kinematics and
dynamics -- i.e., Newton's three laws of motion and his gravitational
law. It's true that Newtonian mechanics lets you account for
much of the supply side of the energy equation once the collapse was
under way, but it's utterly silent about whether the impacts and
resulting fires could have caused the collapses. For that you
need to model jet fuel burn rates, aerosolization, fireball size,
overpressure, jet fuel containment on the impact floors, combustion of
WTC and airplane contents, smoke plume buoyancy, air temperature, wind
speed, external air supply to the fire, internal air supply to the fire
("stack effect"), compromise to fireproofing of structural steel, load
imbalances due to impact structural damage, thermal expansion of floor
framing and slabs, catenary action due to rigidity loss, degradation of
steel elasticity modulus due to heating -- all of which are discussed
on pages 21-26 of chapter 2 of the FEMA report. Even more details
are in FEMA's 28-page Appendix A, and the June 2004 NIST
interim report has over a hundred more pages of analysis of the
twin towers' collapse.
Even if you ignore the cause of the collapse and just
look at its effects, Newtonian mechanics is utterly inadequate for
estimating the demand side of the collapse's energy budget. For that
you need sophisticated models to estimate the use of energy to
pulverize concrete and other materials, eject debris, heat debris,
deform steel and other materials, damage the WTC substructure and
neighboring structures, etc. As a University of Michigan
engineering alumnus, it's embarrassing for me to hear my fellow UM
claim that Newton's laws and a sledgehammer are all you need to
understand the collapse of the most massive structures mankind has ever
38:30 Mitrzyk: And then there was
melted steel. Jet fuel cannot physically burn hot enough in air to melt
steel. I read it in the San Jose Mercury News twice, that there was
molten steel at the 7th subfloor, they discovered a week after the
event. There is no other explanation for that other than controlled
38: 45 Mitrzyk: It doesn't matter what
friggin' al Qaeda says that they did or didn't
do it. There is no other explanation other than there were controlled
demolitions. It's been proven.
A patsy is defined as "
Holtz: So which of Newton's laws of physics is stopping al Qaeda from
denying that they did this?
Mitrzyk: That's bullshit. I'm not going to take that argument.
Brouillet: I want to say something. Al Qaeda, if it's a CIA asset, it
is serving a function that allows U.S. foreign to go the direction that
the Bush Administration wants it to go --
Mitrzyk: They're patsies. They're patsies.
who is easily manipulated". It's ludicrous to claim that al Qaeda could
be manipulated into falsely believing that they alone were responsible
for 9/11. It's equally ludicrous to claim that the Bush
Administration has sufficiently complete influence over al Qaeda as to
prevent them from denying the responsibility that they believe they do
39:15 Brouillet: -- that they've
already laid out. They say, in the Project For A New American Century,
they needed a catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl
Harbor to have the military transformation that they wanted. They
needed an enemy. How else would you justify it?
The PNAC white
on defense strategy and technology does not say a new Pearl
Harbor is "needed" or in any way desired. This "new Pearl Harbor"
canard is refuted in detail on this
. In a section on technological transformation,
the paper says "the process of transformation, even if it brings
revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some
catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor". The
section calls for 1) global missile defenses, 2) control of space and
cyberspace, 3) transforming convention forces with information
technology, stealth, miniaturization, and precision. The white paper
mentions ballistic missiles 30 times, but mentions terrorism only two
times. One mention is about how space-based surveillance
capabilities will be acquired by smaller-scale adversaries, down to the
level of terrorists. The other mention is just an abstract contrast
between the stability of nation-states compared to "terrorists,
organized crime, and other non-state actors." PNAC was warning
about a "new Pearl Harbor" wrought by rogue states via WMDs or
ballistic missiles, not by suicidal terrorists via box cutters.
PNAC said "the prime directive for transformation will be to design and
deploy a global missile defense system", and it mentions China more
often than it mentions Iraq. It's simply illiterate to say that
PNAC white paper had "already laid out" the idea that knife-wielding
suicidal pilots were America's paradigmatic new enemy.
39:25 Mitrzyk: You know Brian, your
argument -- we're arguing physics, and to go back to al Qaeda, when you
can't argue the laws of physics and you talk about al Qaeda?
Dennis, now that since our show I've investigated 9/11 science for a
fraction of the time that you had invested in it before the show, I've
above reduced your arguments about "physics" to a smoking cinder. I
said at the outset that my goal was to get your specific claims on the
record so I can fact-check them, and your claims just don't hold
up. What actually happened on the show is obvious: you had no
credible answer to my questions about al Qaeda, and so you blatantly
changed the subject using a smokescreen about "Newtonian physics". I've
now demonstrated that your smokescreen was just hot air, and exposed
your position on al Qaeda as ridiculous.
39:30 Kottke: [Explains what PNAC is]
39:55 Forte: [...] You can clearly look at these images and see that a
tremendous amount of energy was required. Just a few minutes before
that happened, that building was sitting there like a smoldering
smokestack, and all of a sudden there's been a tremendous release of
energy. There's no way to explain that -- the official theory, which
also defies the laws of gravity, and so on. [...]
False. See FEMA chapter 2
, appendix A
; and NIST interim report chapter
, and appendices C
For 12 detailed articles debunking criticism of the official collapse
theory, see this page on
. For over a dozen more articles by experts, see here
For a recent NIST response to 14 questions about controlled WTC
demolition, see here
> the WTC towers collapsed because:
(1) the impact of the planes severed and damaged support columns,
dislodged fireproofing insulation coating the steel floor trusses and
steel columns, and widely dispersed jet fuel over multiple floors; and
(2) the subsequent unusually large jet-fuel-ignited multi-floor fires
(which reached temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius)
significantly weakened the floors and columns with dislodged
fireproofing to the point where floors sagged and pulled inward on the
perimeter columns. This led to the inward bowing of the perimeter
columns and failure of the south face of WTC 1 and the east face of WTC
2, initiating the collapse of each of the towers. Both photographic and
video evidence—as well as accounts from the New York Police Department
aviation unit during a half-hour period prior to collapse—support this
sequence for each tower. <
It's just laughable to baldly say "there is no way to explain" the WTC
collapse as a result of the airplane crashes.
40:40 Forte: However, when the Truth
Movement, when you [Mitrzyk] just a moment ago, go into this stuff with
the kind of certainty that you can't possibly have, you can't possibly
have the same sort of certainty about this [WTC collapse] as you do
about Mossad or British Intelligence
Mitrzyk: Oh, I'm not claiming the same certainty.
Forte: When the Truth Movement makes these kind of grand claims that
are not provable, it creates a kind of polarized climate and it makes
it very difficult for people to agree with. [Turning to Holtz] And I
notice you do this in your arguments too, like a defense attorney.
Forte can't make up his mind about standards of proof. He earlier
said he wants to apply a judicial reasonable-doubt standard -- can OBL
be proven guilty? -- to a historical question -- who is responsible for
9/11? Now he wants me to not argue "like a defense attorney". So
which is it, Robert?
Forte: Instead of saying very simple,
unimpeachable things we can all wrap our minds around, like you're
asking me in the email the other day, "I think the Truth Movement
should come up with their grand theory".
What I said was this: "Conspiracy buffs almost never attempt to set
forth a coherent and consistent theory with anything like the
explanatory power and conceptual economy of the theory they criticize.
[..] I have a coherent story about what happened on 9/11, and you
Forte: That's the last thing that the
Truth Movement should do now. The Truth
Movement should stay with the very simple things that we can
all agree on.
Right -- like the fact that somebody is making it look like al Qaeda
admits -- and does not deny -- that it planned and committed 9/11. My
theory is that al Qaeda is being truthful. Forte's theory is that
he dare not have a theory. That's not being part of any 9/11
"Truth" Movement. That's being part of a 9/11 Ignorance Movement.
Forte: That videotape of Osama bin
Laden was funny. He had a fat
nose and a ring and writing with the wrong hand.
other videos that are consistent with the nose and the ring and the
hand in that video. But as a member of the 9/11 Ignorance Movement,
Forte wouldn't know anything about this -- or feel any obligation to
Forte: The government pushed that in front
of the world's face, and convicted a man and has been murdering
hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children in countries that
happen to be very rich in oil. That is very stinky. You don't have to
go any further than that.
Thus, Forte effectively admits that his Sep 10 political beliefs about
American foreign policy constituted both the starting point and the
ending point for his investigation of 9/11. Again, the 9/11 Truth
Movement is shown to be more about a Movement than it is about the
I refute the tired canard about "blood for oil" here.
"Hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children" is a Forte
fantasy. For reality, see this
Wikipedia article and my comparison
to deaths caused by Saddam -- including actual murders as well as his oil-for-food defiance
of the UN. It's silly to
fatalities "murder" when the most collateral-damage-averse
military in human history liberates a nation from a tyrant who
literally (not metaphorically) murdered hundreds of thousands of his
fellow citizens. You can chant "murder" all you want, but in doing so
you're preaching a conclusion to your choir, rather than
arguing for that conclusion.
42:00 Forte: [discussed 9/11 cover-up
via email with Noam Chomsky, who said] "I think it is just implausible"
as you [Brian] have said, it's implausible to think that the government
would do this
42:45 Holtz: I said I think it's implausible to think that the
government could do this.
Forte: -- could cover it up. That's what you said.
Holtz: The government pushed a button, they incinerated 100,000
innocents in Nagasaki, and then did it again three days later -- I
mean, in Hiroshima and then Nagasaki. They will kill innocents if they
think it will serve a higher purpose, and if Bush thought that killing
3000 innocents could save tens of millions from nuclear holocaust, he
might very well make that calculation. But I'm very confident that he
doesn't have near enough neural capacity to pull off -- to cover his
tracks ... [laughter]
Making fun of Bush's intelligence is of course a cheap laugh with this
crowd. My off-the-cuff assertion of 100,000 innocents was too
high. Immediate fatalities at each of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were
about 70,000, and many tens of thousands of them worked either for the
military or in wartime industries.
44:00 Forte: When I asked professor
Chomsky if he would look at this, everything he said -- every reason he
gave -- is an irrational reason. Such as: it's implausible. Well,
y'know, there are so many things that are implausible in this whole
scenario that if plausibility was the criteria it would have never
happened and we wouldn't be able to propose any theories at all.
Holtz: I have to say you got me Robert, because I'm not going to defend
But Chomsky's rationality here is easy to defend against Forte's facile
critique. It's just silly to claim that when an unlikely thing happens,
all possible explanations are by some magic rendered equally likely.
44:30 Forte: That's twice I've got you.
I got Brian twice.
Holtz: What was the first?
At the time I had no idea what Robert was talking about with this claim
that he'd already "gotten" me once on the show. When I watched the
recording the first time I still didn't get his reference. Only further
review made me realize that he was talking about the fact that I'd
rather defend the authenticity of the 2004 bin Laden confession video
than the 2001 confession video. It's simply bizarre for Robert to claim
that the way we decide whether bin Laden was responsible is to
deliberately ignore -- as Robert admits he wants us to -- the strongest
evidence for bin Laden's responsibility. Again: how can Forte's
position possibly exhibit any desire for 9/11 "truth"? It's
laughable to claim that any weak evidence for guilt must count as
strong evidence for innocence. Prosecutorial misbehavior might
constitute technical grounds for acquittal in a court of law, but it is
essentially irrelevant in the court of history.
44:35 Brouillet: [Movementarian Barry
Zwicker polls his self-selected audiences, and astoundingly finds that
their faith in a cover-up conspiracy increases after hearing Zwicker's
It's fascinating that Brouillet, the self-described "hyper-activist",
is so focused on her outreach and propaganda techniques of the 9/11
Movement, and so uninterested in comparing the two side's best
arguments in order to determine the truth. To his credit, Forte
immediately calls her on this irrelevant data about audience reactions
45:50 Forte: That's close to what I'm
talking about when I mentioned earlier about the principles of
jurisprudence -- we have juries. Now that is an example, possibly, but
that's a self-selected audience. There's a process where people select
a jury. But that's exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about,
this greatest crime in our history has not been subjected to our very
well-proven standards of jurisprudence.
Holtz: Can I address that point?
Forte: Yes, please.
After Forte exhibited this
brief episode of lucidity in diagnosing Brouillet's flawed invocation
of audience response, it was uncharitable of me to so quickly correct
his point about standards of proof. But I couldn't help myself,
as I had already given him this correction via email, and nothing he
said during the taping responded to it:
46:15 Holtz: As I said in an email to
you yesterday, there's a different standard of proof that we're talking
about here. A jury is asked to decide a very narrow question, which is:
do we have enough evidence under the rules of evidence to deprive a
person of their life or their freedom in a judicial setting under
adversarial court proceedings, and it's simply -- do we have enough
evidence, or not? But when we're writing history books, we don't have
the luxury of saying either A or not-A. We have to make an inference to
best explanation as to, OK, here's a morass of evidence, what is the
most plausible explanation for it? It's very likely that we won't be
able to explain every scrap of it, so we just have to find the best
explanation that doesn't have any blatant contradictions. So the
question is -- are there blatant contradictions in this? That's
something that I'm going to have to fact-check, because I don't know
enough about the case to say, but so far in only 72 hours I haven't
I phrased my point very poorly here. What I should have said is:
What we face here is not the judicial question of whether or not we
have both proof beyond a reasonable doubt and clean prosecutorial hands
to justify convicting Osama bin Laden of 9/11. Rather, we face
the historical question of deciding, given all the available evidence,
who is responsible for 9/11. The techniques and standards for answering
these two questions are quite distinct. For example, if Bush indeed
faked the Dec 2001 video confession and then tried to use it in a
prosecution, that would probably be enough to save bin Laden from a
guilty verdict in a court of law. But it's ludicrous to claim
such prosecutorial misconduct would be remotely close to sufficient
reason to acquit bin Laden in the history books. Again, Forte
seems less interested in historical "truth", and more interested in
cherry-picking his standards of proof so as to demonize the people who
on Sep 10 he already considered his politcal enemies.
Mitrzyk: You go to scholarsfor911truth.org, there are no blatant
inconsistencies. This is I think one of the best web sites out there,
it's the people who have degrees in physics and mechanical engineering
and they have written peer-review [sic] papers and so these people,
they're doing the science on this.
All of the "peer-reviewed" papers on scholarsfor911truth.org were
published in forums created explicitly for "9/11 studies". Among
these dozen papers there appear to be only three PhD authors with a
record of publications in engineering or mathematics or physical
science: Steven Jones, Ken Kuttler, and Frank Greening. Greening
actually supports the NIST collapse analsysis, and Kuttler's only paper
consists of three pages about the speed of the WTC 7 collapse. The rest
of these "peer-reviewed" scholars all appear to be either in "soft"
disciplines like theology or philosophy, or are not published academics
I took a look at a scholarsfor911truth article (not claimed to be
peer-reviewed) by a "mechanical engineer" named Michael Meyer: A
Boeing 757 did not hit the Pentagon. In his March 2006 article he
claims without citation that "American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing
757, is alleged to have punched through 6 blast-resistant concrete
walls -- a total of nine feet of reinforced concrete". I went to
fact-check his article, and found out in about twenty minutes (on p. 53
of the Pentagon
Building Perfomance Report) that there were in fact no
reinforced-concrete walls between the first and last walls
penetrated. However, it apparently took Meyer 3 months to get out
to his article that omits his mistake. He makes no mention of his
mistake, and his revised article still talks of warheads designed to "
multiple reinforced walls". The scholarsfor911truth site does not label
his old article as obsolete, and Google finds 1210 references to it,
compared to 8 to his corrected article.
Forte: [repeats that 9/11 claims need to be tested in "a court of law"]
49:00 Holtz: In terms of standards of evidence, I've gotta agree with
my fellow University of Michigan alumnus here [Mitrzyk] that peer
review is the key on all these technical questions. I've got a software
engineering degree from Michigan, and I don't pretend to claim that my
credential gets me anywhere close to being able to rule on the 32-page
FEMA report on the collapse of building 7 or the 56-page NIST
preliminary report on the collapse of building 7. And earlier we
mentioned the "groundswell", that maybe the "Truth" Movement is
starting to get some traction, and I'm curious to poll the panel here
for predictions about -- purely on the narrow technical issues, do you
think that in the peer-reviewed technical community that the [Dr.
Steven] Jones thesis is going to turn the tide? I kind of think of the
narrow technical areas -- to me it's almost analogous to creationism.
I'm confident that creationism and Intelligent Design theory is never
going to win in the marketplace of ideas just because the procedures in
place are totally stacked against theories that don't have legs. So
whereas the people who are pushing these collapse [I meant demolition]
theories make it sound like they have confidence in the technical
story, and so do you think it's going to win?
50:35 Mitrzyk: It's no longer a collapse [he meant demolition] theory,
as I pointed out, it has been proven.
In the context of the current state of the peer-reviewed literature on
this topic, this statement by Dennis disqualifies him as a serious
commentator on the science of 9/11. Brouillet goes on to say that the
main problem is "psychological barriers of
fear". Dennis agrees:
51:50 Mitrzyk: The number one reason I
hear from people that they cannot believe that it was a controlled
demolition and an inside job is they say these words: "even though I
cannot stand Bush, I do not believe that he could kill 3000" -- and
this is the key words -- "of his own people". And what they're missing
is, they're not "his own people", per se.
Kottke: It could have easily been 10,000 people.
Mitrzyk: No, it was designed to have low casualties.
I started talking over Dennis' last line here, and so I didn't notice
it either at the time or the first time I watched the tape. It's a
fascinating answer to the point I've raised elsewhere that the
conspirators failed to kill nearly as many WTC occupants as they could
have. I'd love to hear Dennis explain how a plan "designed to have low
casualties" would hit two towers instead of one. Meanwhile, it's
just lame to complain about the phrase "his own people", as if the
speaker is claiming Bush owns American citizens. or as if Bush has no
reason to consider American lives as more imporant than the lives of
52:15 Holtz: But Chomsky believes he
could, and I think that under the right circumstances that he could,
Mitrzyk: But the truth is going to win out, the truth is going to win
Again, none of the panelists make
any attempt whatsoever to explain the disbelief of Chomsky -- except
perhaps to ridiculously imply that he's an agent of the
Forte: When we deal with the psychological aspects of this, the
language that we use is very important. We all know what we're talking
about when we say "Bush". You know, George Bush has very little to do
Mitrzyk: He's a figurehead. He's not
the President. [Here I just smirk in bemusement.]
Forte: We don't know that. I think we
need to use our language in the most conservative way, to make the
point that we're all going to agree on. We all want to bring criminals
Oh really? Did Forte cheer when the mass murderer Saddam Hussein
was pulled from his spider hole? I did.
Forte: And even though you've been positioned here as kind of "the
skeptic", I'd like to say that you don't strike me as a skeptic at all.
You strike me as an apologist for the government.
Holtz: An apologist for the Bush Administration? Oh my god.
Forte: Maybe because of the group dynamic that's here, but you have not
voiced any skepticism about the official story. Maybe you want a chance
to do that ---
Brouillet then interrupts, and I don't get the chance to point out that
Robert's statement is blatantly false. At 27 minutes into the show, I
said that the so-called "war on terror" is "phony", and disagreed with
Bush's story that al Qaeda "hates freedom", and said that I agree with
al Qaeda instead of Bush in their competing theories of why 9/11
happened. I also had already told Forte in email that I believe the
9/11 Report turns a blind eye to Bush and Cheney apparently lying about
whether the shootdown rules of engagement first originated with
Bush. As a Libertarian activist, I would love it if Republican
advocates of smaller government came to believe that as Forte does that
the GOP is infiltrated by Nazis and its leaders planned 9/11.
So let's see what was so important that Carol needed to pre-empt me
from answering Robert's charge of being a Bush apologist:
Brouillet: Robert, I just want to make one point, though, and
that is, that the 9/11 Commission Report was directed by Phillip
Zelikow, who was part of the Bush national security transition team,
and Zelikow should also be recognized for coming up with the
pre-emptive war doctrine, which I think is one of the most horrendous
foreign policy decisions this country has every taken.
Zelikow had been a professor at Harvard and co-director of Harvard’s
Intelligence and Policy Program. He had published a paper in 1998
entitled entitled Catastrophic
presciently warning that
PZ> the event would divide our past
and future into a before and after. The United States might respond
with draconian measures scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider
surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects and use of deadly
force. More violence could follow, either future terrorist attacks or
U.S. counterattacks. Belatedly, Americans would judge their leaders
negligent for not addressing terrorism more urgently. <PZ
He was an excellent choice by the Commission, and it shows in the
Report. The doctrine of preemption in the Sep 2002 National Security Strategy
is eminently sensisble: "We must adapt the concept of imminent threat
to the capabilities and objectives of today’s adversaries. Rogue states
and terrorists do not seek to attack us using conventional means. They
know such attacks would fail. Instead, they rely on acts of terror and,
potentially, the use of weapons of mass destruction — weapons that can
be easily concealed, delivered covertly, and used without warning."
54:00 Mitrzyk: Can we go to the one
picture, the child, this is what 9/11 has brought. This is an Iraqi
boy, I think this picture is one of the most disturbing pictures I've
ever seen, and this is what our tax dollars are doing right now as we
speak. And they're using 9/11 as the excuse to do this to innocent
children on the other side of the world. This boy had nothing to do
with 9/11. This boy was not a terrorist.
54:55 Holtz: Was he targeted? Was he targeted?
Mitrzyk: Well, it's hard to say.
No it's not, Dennis, because you just said it. You just said
"they're using 9/11 as the excuse to do this to innocent
children". This is blatant propaganda of the most clumsy and
maudlin variety. Dennis has a picture of one boy allegedly maimed
by American military action (to liberate a nation from a mass-murdering
tyrant). Well, here
picture of two Iranian children killed by chemical warfare initiated by
that mass murderer. Dennis, if you want to fight this out by trading
pictures of victims, then you're going to lose. Badly.
It turns out, of course, that the boy was not
targeted. He is Ali Abbas, and
the book about him says
the early hours of March 31 last year, 11 days into the Iraq war, a
stray missile hit the hamlet where Ali lived". So with all the
"hundreds of thousands" that Forte says America has "murdered", the
best poster child they can come up with is one they admit was orphaned
by a "stray missile". Since he chose the photo, Dennis should
have known the story of Ali. This shows just how interested
Dennis is in "Truth".
Even our host instantly recognized what Dennis was attempting:
Kottke: There's pictures like this in
Forte: Yes, he was targeted. He was targeted. They targeted the country
that he was growing up in.
Holtz: Is that "being careful with language", to say that he was
targeted because his country was targeted?
Forte: Yes, because that's where he was. When you target a country, you
target the people in it.
Iraq is 438,000 square kilometers. It's inane to say that the
American military targeted the entire country of Iraq, and thus
everyone in it. 68% of air-delivered munitions in the 2003 invasion
precision-guided, compared to 9% in the liberation of Kuwait. There
were zero instances of the common World War II practice of deliberately
carpet-bombing areas known to contain civilians.
Kottke: [puts up list of web sites]
55:25 Mitrzyk: Brian, you said that there's no way the government could
pull off a conspiracy like this. Conspire just means to breathe
together. Let's look at the etymology of the word. We're conspiring
right now, we're breathing together. Con-spire. Mitrzyk: The Manhattan
project was thousands of people, and nobody knew about it until they
said "hey, guess what, we had a whole city, we had thousands of
people." And they all kept it quiet.
The fact that a huge secret project was under way at Oak Ridge was
itself no secret. A less bad analogy would be the World War II
Ultra/Enigma cryptology secret, which was kept for 29 years until 1974.
However, almost nobody disputes that keeping cryptology secrets from
the Soviet Union was a good idea, whereas Dennis is talking about
killing thousands of innocent Americans. The least bad analogy
available would be COINTELPRO, the FBI effort to investigate and
disrupt dissident organizations from 1956 to 1971. But again, there are
no allegations that COINTELPRO deliberately murdered even one innocent
bystander -- let alone thousands.
Forte: Professor Griffin was on the
radio and I was mentioning him.
"Oh, he's a conspiracy theorist." And I said, of course he's a
conspiracy theorist, that's how you solve crimes, everybody that solves
crimes is a conspiracy theorist.
side offers in this case a theory of a vast cover-up
conspiracy involving hundreds of
people in dozens of organizations in multiple countries. The other
side posits no cover-up conspiracy whatsoever.
56:10 Holtz: This point was already
answered by me yesterday in the email to you guys. There will be a link
to it on my website, marketliberal.org. "Conspire" also means there's
an effort to keep something covert. We're doing this in front of
cameras, and we're going to try to get as much ratings for it as
possible, so this really doesn't meet the technical definition of a
56:40 Mitrzyk: No, our panel's not a conspiracy.
Fifty seconds earlier, Dennis, you said "we're conspiring right
now". Thank you for admitting you were wrong.