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TOTAL 911 INFO
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
I just found out that Scientific American is writing a hit piece on 9-11. Have no idea when its coming out. I learned about this because a friend, who I'm trying to convince about 9-11, corresponded with the author of the article, Michael Shermer, who is the head of something called "the Skeptics Society".
.....| Posted by Total at 10:30 PM | PERMA-LINK |
a note on Shermer:
He was on a CSPAN 2 book tv panel event from 4/23 that was shown over the weekend:
4/23, LA Times Festival of Books, UCLA 11:30 am, panel, "Deceit & Cover-ups"¬? with Eric Alterman, John W. Dean, Maureen Dowd, Dr. Michael Shermer, Jon Wiener.
Each panelist did a little blurb and then took questions. Shermer's segment talked about psychic "cold-reading" and how it could be faked, grouped cold-reading in other paranormal claims, and then included conspiracy theories in the mix, sort of in passing. My guess is this is the strawman approach he'll take with the "debunking". It would be worth preemptively preparing our responses for this now. Any suggestions?
9/15/06Post a Comment
Michael Shermer of Skeptic Magazine said on C-SPAN's Washington Journal that the 9/11 conspiracy theorists don't want to be on Larry King or to publish books because they can't take the heat of critics. He is also out on a book tour against intelligent design, where thoughtful criticism is scarce. He repeatedly mentioned the standard anti-conspiratorial line that someone would have said something to blow the conspiracy without mentioning the theorist's claim that some people have. He deprecates the intelligence of his callers one after the other. His repeated references to "this video out there" was rebuffed by one caller. She mentions three new videos and asks about foreknowledge. Another caller asks about the story on BBC news about the hijackers still being alive. He says he knows of no such story, that his sources had looked into the claim. Another person calls saying he is looking at the story right then and reads the URL. The FBI directors quote that the identity if the hijackers is in question was ignored. Instead he argues that mistaken identity somehow confirms the hijacker's identities, how else would they know these were "mis-identifications"? Who is forcing this story to fit pre-conceived theories?
Skeptic Magazineís Michael Shermer mentioned on C-SPAN that the theorists say Jews were warned. The Odigo text messages are unconfirmed, but were in the news. But he wanted to point out the worst of these hateful cranks, so ignores Newsweek Articles about warnings. Skeptical of the missing passengers, he said no-plane theorist claim Chicago airport gas chambers were used. These are not part of "the official conspiracy theory" or any theory I have heard of, but works well with the anti-Semitic claim as an emotional club. Consideration has been given to anesthetizing passenger cabins of hijacked airlines as a security measure, and the premiere episode of The Lone Gunman depicted airliners taken over by remote control and targeting the World Trade Center. With the help of this team of mis-fit conspiracy theorists, the towers and passengers were spared. This episode aired before the attack and included the gassing of the passengers.
Confirmation of the victims identity warrants no debate? The science of forensics has no room for improvement? He said that the reason there were no bodies of passengers at the pentagon is that they were exploded to bits. One debunking of the Loose Change video he refers to shows bodies at the pentagon. It is gruesome, yes. But it is also contradictory. Another video debunking the Jewish foreknowledge claim attended the funeral of a Jewish victim of the WTC attack. Only a single bone fragment was found and identified. These bodies exploded into bits for other UNEXPLAINED reasons.
He goes on to explain that no scientific theory explains all facts. A residue remains to be explained. He points to Popular Mechanics (related to Skeptic publishers?) debunking as the best handling of these myths. The article mostly debunks the early talk but mentions not much about current lore. It certainly doesn't address the overall geo-political questions that lead to these theories to begin with. This is not a residue but the fuel the debate.
Repeatedly referring to lack of logic, he asserts that no one noticed what was coming. They used our freedom against us, stalking invisibly in a free society like Lee Harvey Oswald. Urban legends about government complicity are not new, and according to Shermer, these stories tap into some kind of Pearl Harbor archetype common amongst paranoid conspiracy theorists. The Pearl Harbor analogy broke down when he could not respond to questions about PNAC's efforts to create a transformation in the military using a "new Pearl Harbor" as a catalyst. In fact, the global question of state sponsored terror as pretext to expand and concentrate power and control never enters the discussion. The historical context of the events is not considered relevant to the conspiracy theory.
A series of unanswered questions don't disappear because some were answered. The series came from somewhere and goes somewhere. Answers don't break the chain as much as fill in gaps. The line of inquiry remains.
He said seismographs recorded plane crash? Can it tell the difference between bombs and planes? Seismograph evidence is hard to interpret. "Controlled Demolition" is a misnomer. Blown-up by bombs might be a better description. Firefighters did say they heard bombs. He says conspiracy theorists claim no building collapsed from fire before this. But buildings have collapsed, he says. The claims of demolition theorists is that no STEEL building has collapsed from fire? He demolishes the idea of controlled demolition to prove no bombs were used. He laughs again... "if you planted bombs, call in now...and then see what happens heh, heh."
Debunkers say the people in the gas station and hotel watched the tapes before confiscation as if to prove they showed a plane. Shermer wonders were the information that tapes even exist comes from. Security cameras around the pentagon? Does he know you can be arrested for asking that. His lack of skepticism about the official story leads him to doubt the one-Hour time frame left time for NORAD to intercept. He did think that there is plenty of room for legitimate criticism. Anything that can be blamed on the previous administration is okay, like foreknowledge.
Not skeptical about McVeigh - al-Qaeda connection, he responds to the notion that Flight 800 was hit by a missile with "obviously investigators explored that hypothesis...Who would want to blow up an American Jetliner?"