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irishmoses

I'm a retired civil rights attorney and a writer of both non-fiction and fiction. My interest in the Israel-Palestine issue came from my father's involvement flying Jewish refugees from around the world to the new state of Israel in 1948-49. David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister called my father "the Irish Moses" because of his exploits, hence the name of my blog site -- www.irishmoses.com

Website: http://www.irishmoses.com

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  • Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir
    • Tree,
      Let me join in your thanks to Phil and Adam for providing a forum for this important issue and to Annie for reviewing all the posts and most of all for acting as a balanced, thoughtful moderator on what may have been the longest thread on record for MW (507 comments). It was quite an event and very illuminating about the I-P movement.

      Some miscellaneous thoughts:
      1. I think there may be more going on with "Jennifer" than meets the eye. She put on a very effective defense of JVP and attack on Allison Weir that started as a full-on hatchet job in her first letter and continued into nasty attacks on Counterpunch, Atzmon (as well as several others) and then did a hatchet job of Allison's book. She then parried all the counterattacks with ambiguous apologies that suggested mere oversight or carelessness. She never allowed herself to pinned down and always exuded an almost naive niceness suggesting she was a mere amateur venturing into the jaws of the lion. Amazingly (and suspiciously) she seemed to be the only spokesman for JVP and its position and managed to dominate the entire thread. While I'm not one for conspiracy theories, I smell a troll or a plant of some sort. She got in, did the maximum amount of damage, then carefully got out leaving behind the thought that it really probably was antisemitism and that we should all work together (singing Kumbaya with Dillon, no make that a Palestinian) to make the world a better place and stifle all those antisemites among us. I think we were had. She was treated with kid gloves when she should have savaged. Incidentally, she is no college grad student ingenue. If she was born in the late 70s, as she said, she's in her late 30s.

      2. I've been trying to figure out what's really going on here. Why was it so important to savage and ban Allison Weir? My answer is that she, along with Gilad Atzon, and Norman Finkelstein share something in common: All three have made dangerous forays outside the limited world of bad Israelis oppressing poor Palestinians, and the only effective way to stop these forays in their tracks is with harem, banishment, public humiliation.

  • Front-page attack in New York Times says BDS movement is driven by minorities' 'hostility toward Jews'
    • Is this a good sign or a more ominous one? To me, it shows the Nation's Paper of Record has now joined the campaign to redefine antisemitism into a more broad category which encompasses any and all criticism of Israel, including the tactic of BDS.

      That's kind of scary in view of nations like France and Canada changing their hate speech laws to include criticism of Israel as a form of Jew Hatred. Maybe we are seeing the beginning of a full-court press aimed at smothering all critical dialogue about Israel on the grounds that it is really just criminal antisemitic hate speech?

      To allow my paranoia to run to its logical conclusion, once these laws are passed, anyone who criticizes or has criticized Israel, becomes a antisemitic felon, whether post facto or ex. Under that unpleasant scenario, would MW qualify as the greatest antisemitic criminal conspiracy in recent history?

  • 'Democracy Now' focuses on 'TWA 800' documentary by Borjesson and Stalcup
    • I listened to the Terry Gross Fresh Air segment on this. Just one side was presented. It sounded compelling but good lawyers can always make their client's case seem compelling. So, I'll withhold judgment until we get some responses from the folks that signed off on the original report. If the appeal to NTSB is granted, so much the better. If it is denied I'll want to see the reasons given by NTSB for the denial. Then I'll be able to better measure the conflicting claims.

      One comment I recall from the program was that the center fuel tank (?) that exploded had only an inch or a few inches of fuel in it as it was used during takeoff. That means it would have been "filled" with jet fuel vapor, a necessary ingredient for such an explosion. That is not to say it actually exploded, only that it apparently was not full.

      Weight is a critical factor in aircraft fuel consumption. Carrying extra fuel beyond the legal safe minimums costs money. So, if the flight required only a 70 percent fuel load for that flight, that would be roughly what would have been carried. I don't know what it carried, but I do know it wouldn't have been tanked up merely because it was a long flight.

      I think Elliot offered some measured comments that expressed some reasonable concerns about some of the statements made. For instance as an ex-cop and an attorney, I know personally the inadequacies of eye-witness testimony. More than a few later-found-innocent "murderers" have served long terms or have even been executed based on multiple eye witness testimony from reasonable people who genuinely thought their observations were accurate. The Innocence Project has done a lot to reopen many of these cases. That is not to say that all eye witness testimony is unreliable.

      Finally, I'm wondering why this story and the NTSB appeal happened just a month before the release of the documentary film? It certainly seems more than coincidental, and it certainly will provide the producers with one hell of a lot of free publicity. If I was a hot shot reporter interested in uncovering the truth, I'd want to look into whether any of the key government accident investigators (now retired) who seem to have some involvement have been given an interest in this enterprise. Probably not, but certainly a reasonable area of inquiry.

      I tend to be a sceptic when it comes to conspiracy theories. As some of you will recall, I engaged at great length in long, ponderous discussions and cites to conflicting evidence with some of you about the 9-11 conspiracy. Despite all our brilliant efforts, none of us changed our minds. Fortunately, MW finally intervened to stop those discussions because of their irrelevance to the I-P issue.

      I note will some glee that Phil's reopening of the TWA Flight 800 issue has allowed my old conspiracy friends to reopen the wide spectrum of conspiracies on this thread, starting with JFK. Way to go Phil!

      Now, before your apoplectic reactions causes you a stroke, I reassure you that I could be convinced that the Flight 800 investigation was flawed, but it would take hard evidence and a thorough look at both side's arguments to convince me. This discussion has not.

      Gil Maguire

      p.s. I feel honor-bound to reveal that I once worked for an NSA-affiliated military unit, and (more ominously) during the time of JFK's presidency and mysterious assassination. I would reveal more but I would have to kill some of you if I did.

  • US and Israel are accused of manipulating Hague to acquit accused Serb and Croat leaders
    • Fascinating discussion. Hostage, as the main contributor, just exactly where do you come down on the question of whether Judge Meron was acting under the influence of US/Israeli/Lobby pressure to reduce the standard of guilt in these cases? From some of your earlier comments I got the impression that you felt there was a legitimate basis for questioning the more permission aiding and abetting/participating in a criminal enterprise standard, and that Judge Meron seemed to be having second thoughts about using those standards. I see that as a legitimate legal debate.

      My real problem with all of this is in the jump to the conclusion that Judge Meron is acting under US or other influence in order to reduce the liklihood of US or Israeli convictions in future cases. This borders on conspiracy theory in my view, particularly in light of Judge Meron's past anti-Zionist opinions and reputation as an international jurist.

      In your view is this more likely a heated dispute over the legal standard of proof in highly controversial cases, or do you see the nefarious hand of outside forces manipulating the decisions of presiding judge Meron? That to me is the key question in this thread.

      My main objection to Judge Harhoff was his statement, “Have any American or Israeli officials ever exerted pressure on the American presiding judge (the presiding judge for the court that is) to ensure a change of direction?” Judge Harhoff asked. “We will probably never know.” That borders on McCarthyite language and coming from a judge it is inexcusable.

      Gil Maguire

  • Amb. Christopher Stevens appears to have been killed in premeditated al-Qaeda attack
    • I admit I am not up to speed or as down in the weeds as some of you on this. My main area of inquiry is whether there really is first amendment protection for this type of speech. It seems more like intentional incitement to me. Hopefully I'll get some time over the weekend to do a bit of 1A research.

      As to this thread, I heard an eye witness interview this morning on NPR. This woman described what she saw as first an angry demonstration in front of the consulate. Then she heard some gunfire from the consulate, then some return gunfire. She said that at that point lots of the male participants went home to get their big guns (including a few machine guns and some RPGs). She said the problem in Benghazi (and perhaps most of Libya) is that a lot of guys found weapons during the revolution and have kept them. She also talked about different groups, like Salafi, etc. being better organized, but other smaller ones not so much, but still very well-armed from warehouse-seized weapons.

      This sounds to me more like a demonstration/riot turning into a full-on battle when everyone went home and brought back their big stuff, not some well-planned al Qaeda-like op. This makes more sense to me particularly since Ambassador Stevens died of smoke inhalation resulting from a fire.

      So, my preliminary theory is the above rather than dark conspiracy/al Qaeda, etc. We shall see in the days ahead.

  • Kampeas: Jewish neocons are more than 2 degrees removed from Bush's decision to invade Iraq
    • American,
      My main problem is I don't like to see important threads hijacked by 9-11. It's like an off-topic diversion that frequently replaces the subject the original thread was about. I have no objection to separate threads in which the entirety of 9-11 can be discussed. I thought I had made that clear in my 5:56pm comment above: "I think the MW screeners should be directed to block comments concerning 9-11 conspiracies unless directly related to a particular thread on that subject. " So, I am not trying to ban the topic, just prevent thread hijacking. Fortunately, this particular thread has managed to keep going (whether Zionist Neocons caused the war in Iraq). That's not usually the case.
      I'm not sure what you are getting at when you say "what does it do for me..." I think what happened was pretty clear and we all saw it; Two planes crashed into WTC 1&2, both buildings burned for awhile, then each collapsed starting from the upper floors and proceeding downward. The original explanations seemed valid to me but when I saw there was some controversy, I again became interested. I've read government reports, several detailed articles about the various theories, listened to some of the transcripts, etc. I've discussed most of this in great detail in earlier threads where the 9-11 issue arose.

      I hold no brief for the government in this; there were a lot of mistakes made leading up to 9-11 that were avoidable. I also don't think all the billions spent since have made us safer. Instead, we've given up some key civil rights on the altar of homeland security. That is a huge loss.

      I accept the results of the 9-11 investigation, including the NIST reports on WTC1-2 and WTC7 because they seem plausible and were done by both government structural engineers as well as a team of very distinguished engineering consultants. I've looked at the counterarguments and I haven't been impressed. For instance, people typically say that WTC 7 suffered no damage and had only a small fire so it shouldn't have come down. That's not true. WTC7 suffered massive lower floor damage from debris from the WTC collapse closest to it (about 100 feet away). The small fires that initially started grew much larger and burned most of the day unfought due to the lack of water pressure and the fact that the building had been totally evacuated. The collapse was predicted by one of the fire chiefs on site. A major US engineering magazine published a long article describing why the building collapsed. NIST published a full study of the collapse of WTC7 including an analysis of whether it could have been brought down by controlled demolition. These explanations (and there are more from a variety of credible sources, including the private sector) seem genuine and valid to me.
      Now compare that with the alternative explanations, the government conspiracy theories. I would have to believe that a major portion of the US government, including the executive branch, the FAA, Norad, the CIA and even the Israelis (let along private controlled demolition companies, the NYPD, and countless others) somehow concocted a monumental false flag operation to bring down the towers to justify an invasion of Iraq. To accomplish this they would have had to send huge teams of controlled demolition guys into all three buildings over several weeks in which they wired hundreds of floors, opened up huge sections of drywall to gain access to beams that need cutting and weakening, placed massive amounts of demolitions, etc. -- all without the knowedge of the thousands of people working in and using these buildings which are occupied 24-7. Miraculously, not one of these thousands, many or most of whom survived, has come forward expressing their concern about all the work being done in the 10 years since the 9-11. Nor have any of the thousands of government workers in a wide variety of agencies come forward to reveal this conspiracy.
      I could go on and on as I have in previous threads you can review. It simply doesn't add up. This becomes immediately obvious if you attempt to create a complete factual scenario for the conspiracy. I urge you to try it. You will end up with a scenario so bizarre that even Hollywood wouldn't touch it. The problem is nobody on the conspiracy side wants to do that. Instead they pick and choose different events and offer a counter-factual explanation: Like WT7, NORAD, free fall, no steel buildings ever destroyed by fire, etc. When plausible, factually consistent explanations for each of these is offered, the explanations are ignored, or ridiculed and then the same lame argument are repeated, again and again. Again, its like arguing religion.
      Another example (my last): Ari and others allege that NORAD was intentionally weakened on 9-11 by an exercise that transferred most of our interceptor aircraft to Canada and Alaska. In fact, it was not an exercise but a deployment in response to a Russian long range bomber exercise being conducted in the arctic area. The deployment was immediately cancelled once 9-11 started and even the Russians cancelled their own excercise as well.
      The aircraft tranferred were not ones used for NORAD US air defense. Pre 9-11 NORAD kept 14 aircraft (F16s, I believe) in ready status to protect the entire US. None of these were sent north and all were available on 9-11 (they are manned by air force active reserve units). More importantly, finding and shooting down the 4 hijacked airliners was a near impossible task for a variety of reasons. First, there was very little warning. second, the plane transponders were turned off making identification by ATC almost impossible. Finally, it takes quite awhile from the time an emergency is identified to notify FAA, who notifies the military, who then scrambles the jet which then has to find the aircraft in question. A good example in the Payne Stewart incident in which his plane lost oxygen, killing all aboard, but the plane continued on autopilot until the fuel ran out. This plane had its transponder on yet the first interception didn't occur for well over an hour.
      All of this is readily available in various government reports and transcripts. Its no mystery and there was no NORAD conspiracy to divert intercceptor aircraft away from the US.
      So, I hope this helps explain my position as well as my frustration and anger when forced to readdress issues or claims that have previously been dealt with. This is not an example of two competing scientific claims. Instead, it is more akin to attempting to defend evolution in the face of claims by creationists. You can never win the argument because it is a religion to them.
      I made it clear at the beginning of this 9-11 discussion that I was not going to repeat all the 9-11 arguments I had made in prior 9-11 threads and I referred people to those threads which are easy to search. Yet, I venture to say none of those who have expressed their anger at me for my views have actually done that. Instead, I've been labeled arrogant, condescending and, incredibly, even anti-Semitic! Anti-Semitic? Incredible!
      So there you have it. Earlier in this thread I offered to continue the dialogue but only if I was first presented with a complete alternative theory of what happened, including all the evidence in support of that theory. I believe anonymous is taking me up on that offer. Feel free to join in. I will respond as time permits.

      Gil Maguire

    • Avi_G, Shingo, Chauncy and Anonymouscomments:

      See my response to MRW and others above at Jan.2, 1:51am. In any trial, both sides are required to provide their full version of the truth and all the evidence in support of their version. The jury then gets to weigh the evidence and decide which version is "the truth".

      We have the government version of the 9-11 truth and all their evidence. What we don't have is your full version of what happened on 9-11 and all the evidence you think supports your version.

      It's time to lay it all out for us; start to finish. Enough of the sniping and nit picking. If you think you got a conspiracy, tell us the whole story and give us all the details on how it works.

      Gil Maguire

    • MRW (Avi and others):
      I've posted quite a bit on the 9-11 conspiracy theories on prior threads, and spent a lot of time researching the various claims. While many of the claims sound valid at first glance, they all fall apart on detailed scrutiny of the various reports and investigation of 9-11. In other words, there are reasonable explanations given by trained investigators, structural engineers, etc. for each of the apparent anomalies.

      If you want to see more detail about why I don't buy the conspiracies you'll need to check my prior postings. I'm too exhausted by this topic to discuss it any further as I've found that any report or site I provide as evidence for my belief is immediately ridiculed as flawed or tainted by the conspirators. In essence, there really isn't any useful dialogue between the two sides. That's why I see it as similar to trying to argue religion, and why I no longer will participate in the futile exercise of trading sources.

      I think the main problem in the debate is that the 9-11 investigation, which included highly detailed reports on every aspect by NIST engineers and many outside consultants, provides an explanation that the conspiracy theories can snipe selectively at. No amount of factual rebuttal seems to stick. The same bogus claims about WT7, NORAD, etc. keep coming back, as they have in this thread.

      I place the onus on those who claim conspiracy to offer their own full explanation and timeline of what they think really happened. Not something vague like a 'false flag' operation, but something detailed that provides counter explanations for each of the parts or events of 9-11 they dispute.
      For instance, try to explain in detail how all three buildings could have been torn apart and wired for 'controlled demolition' without anybody's knowledge. Try to explain how the conspirators managed to crash two planes into the buildings without screwing up the controlled demolition wiring job and charges. When you actually make the effort to lay out the details necessary to make the conspiracy work, it is mind boggling in its complexity and sheer fantasy in terms of explanation.

      So, if you want to make the effort to provide your complete theory of how it all came down (pun intended) on 9-11, from start to finish, have at it. I promise to review it with a neutral and careful eye so long as you first provide me with your complete version of the 9-11 event, and all the evidence that supports your version.

      Gil Maguire

      p.s. The usual response to my suggestion is: "No, no, we don't know what really happened; all we want is a new investigation." That, of course, is nothing more than a convenient cop out. If you are claiming conspiracy the onus is on you to provide a complete version and all the evidence that supports your claim.

    • Well, the obvious reason would be that since the fires only engulfed a few floors but the entire buildings collapsed, all the paper from those unburned floors would be present throughout the debris. That analysis required no research and less than 2 seconds of brainpower, diminished though it might be.

      MRW, you are a bright guy whose comments and opinions on IP issues I greatly admire. Why is it that you couldn't immediately see the flaw in your paper debris question? Answer: cognitive dissonance. You want so desperately to believe in a 9-11 conspiracy that your brain is closed to the obvious flaws in your own reasoning.

      Avi_G and others, whose opinions on MW IP issues I genuinely respect, have, to my horror, also quafted deeply from the Kool Aid in the 9-11 conspiracy chalice. What is with you guys? It is garbage, pure and simple. You can easily find the flaws and reasonable responses to all the 9-11 conspiracy claims on the web at a wide variety of websites, government and non. But, you must be willing to start your inquiry with an open mind and read both sides' claims with balance.

      Would that you would do so my friend. It distresses me deeply to see good minds burying themselves in the endless machinations of the 9-11 conspiracy theorists. We at MW have far more important fish to fry.

    • Once again we have a great debate about an important IP issue hijacked by the 9-11 conspiracy crowd. While I don't begrudge these folks' right to believe in this nonsense, I do object to their ruining the debate concerning the thread IP topic at hand. Typically, once the 9-11 conspiracy talk starts, most of those engaged in the thread's IP topic leave in disgust.

      I think the MW screeners should be directed to block comments concerning 9-11 conspiracies unless directly related to a particular thread on that subject. There are loads of sites concerning the alleged 9-11 conspiracy--both pro and con. The proper place for that debate is on those sites, not MW which was created to discuss IP topics.

      Don't waste your time responding to this post with all the bogus arguments about why there was a conspiracy. I've addressed those at great length as have others more competent than me. See my MW comment history for examples of my own and others' responses.

      A good website to review if you are interested in getting up to speed on this topic is:

      link to debunking911.com

      However, I warn you that no amount of debate will dissuade the 9-11 conspiracy true believers who carry their torch with true religious fervor. Read my comments on this topic in prior threads and you will quickly see the problem.

  • Strategic asset or rogue state? Israel's threats to Iran 'concern' Pentagon
    • I caught that and actually wrote something about it. The head of the 911 commission was asked about the omission in an interview and said they left it out because too many commission members felt that highlighting it in the report would cost Israel US funding and support. Unbelievable.

      I think that is just another example of the influence the lobby has on US politics and agencies. I don't think that omission has anything to do with claims of a controlled demolition conspiracy related to 911.

    • Anonymouscomments (as well as Shingo and others),

      Per my earlier postings on this thread's 9-11 subtopic, I come down squarely on Keith's side of this issue. I looked over the links you provided and found nothing compelling. They seemed more like straw man arguments in which apparant anomolies are selected out, usually mischaracterized, without any context or analysis of the rebutting arguments. These are then put together to create what appears to be a compelling presentation but really is a house of cards that soon collapses under its own weight (pardon the inadvertant pun) when subjected to any half-rigorous attempt at rebuttal.

      Attempting to reengage on the details of this argument is clearly a futile exercise. Keith already did a good job on that and I won't attempt to top his last posting. Instead, I suggest you take a step back and look at the big picture and the implications of the controlled demolition conspiracy theory compared to the simplicity of what what we saw before our eyes on 911: 2 huge airplanes crashing into 2 huge structures; massive fires, and a collapse of the buildings. This is soon followed by a very detailed investigation and analysis that describes the history of the highjackers, what they did and what motivated them, as well as a detailed analysis of the cause of the building collapses by NIST.

      As with any investigation of a huge, catastrophic event, there were some mistakes and some unanswered or unexplained anomolies. But, the conclusions seem reasonable and consistent with what we observed on 911.

      Contrast that with accepting your controlled demolition conspiracy explanation. For your "theory" to work and be a rational, reasonable, alternatiive explanation, a massive conspiracy on a scale unimaginable would have to have occurred. This conspiracy would need to include, at a very minimum, the following:

      1. A very large, well-trained demolition team that worked for weeks inside the 3 buildings, ripping out drywall to gain access to beams to set shaped explosive charges, cut and weaken beams, lay massive amounts of wiring, hide all the evidence of their nighttime work before the start of the next working day, somehow avoid the security personnel and cameras and janitorial crews that are present 24/7. Yet, no one who survived who worked as a janitor or security guard, or even an employee working in an office late into the night or in the early morning hours has stepped forward to mention their knowledge of all the nighttime predemolition work (and noise) going on. Lots of the thousands of people that worked in the buildings were sick, or on vacation on 911 but none of them saw or heard anything fishy in the weeks prior to 911. Maybe they were silenced? Maybe they thought the teams working inside the walls making all the noise and mess were just doing routine maintenance? Or, maybe all of them too are part of the conspiracy?

      2. The demolition team leaders must have known that on 911 these buildings would be hit by airliners and that they would need to set off their demolition charges some time after the impact of the planes and the resulting fires.

      3. The highjackers could not have been al Queda, but must have been co-conspirators from the US government (or Israel, or the Tri-lateral commission) who were willing to commit suicide and kill their fellow Americans in the planes and buildings. Perhaps the crews of the airliners themselves were part of this conspiracy? Or, maybe the highjackers were trained CIA or Mossad agents willing to kill themselves for the cause (whatever that is)?

      4. The NIST and 911 Commission investigations must have been rigged and their members part of the conspiracy. This would need to include not only the 200 structural engineers who performed the NIST investigation, but also all members and staff of the 911 Commission.

      5. All the government agencies that participated in the investigation must have been part of the conspiracy since they provided the false evidence and testimony about the highjackers being mainly Saudis employed by al Qaeda. This would need to include the FBI and CIA as well as the US military who must have hidden the fact that they were capable of shooting down the hijacked planes but deliberately did not.

      6. The President must have been involved as well as his cabinet.

      Now, assuming all the above were part of this grand conspiracy to crash airplanes into buildings and then destroy them with controlled demolitions, you would think that someone out of the thousands who must have been involved in this grand conspiracy would have leaked, talked. Yet, 10 years later, there has been not a peep to be heard from any of the conspirators, any of the janitors, any of the building security personnel.

      In your eloquent rebuttal of Keith's last entry you chide him for not being balanced, not being willing to keep an open mind, to accept the possibility that there might have been controlled demolitions of the buildings and that there might have been a huge conspiracy behind it all. In other words, Keith, me, and other conspiracy sceptics are failing to balance two alternative, reasonable theories or explanations, the NIST/911 Commission's or the Controlled Demolition theory, and failing to be intellectually honest in not admitting the possibility that it all could have been an "inside job" on the massive scale I described above.

      Nah, sorry. I refuse to attribute reasonableness or logic to what amounts to a truly mind-bogglingly preposterous, outlandish fantasy. If you and your fellow team of 911 Truthers wish to piss away your valuable intellects on nonsense like this I can only shake my head in sorrow at the waste of such promising talent that could and should be devoted to truly important causes, like the IP issue. I can only hope you will stop, reconsider and take a long hard look at the fantasy world you have created and decide "No, I really don't belong among these folks and their wacky conspiracy theories."

    • Shingo,
      Here are just couple of specific responses to your arguments:
      1. Free Fall speeds: link to debunking911.com

      2. WTC7. Here is a long explanation of what happened to WTC7 including the "pull" issue and the "fell vertically" argument. First, no one on the non-conspiracy side claims that the building was pulled down by cables. Second, as the photographs show, WTC7 did not collapse vertically but fell gradually in the direction of the massive damage to one of its sides caused by the falling columns from WTC1.
      link to debunking911.com

      3. First Time Steel Building ever collapsed due to fire claim:
      This gives examples of other steel buildings collapsing after fires. link to debunking911.com

      4. "There are more scientists and engineers rejecting the NIST explanation than those supporting it(1,400 to 200)."
      There are over 1.5 million licensed engineers in the US, 300,000 of whom are civil/structural engineers. 200 of those were picked to do the NIST analysis of the WTC disaster. They concluded the buildings collapsed because of airliner and debris impact plus fire. The 1400 you mention are from a wide variety of engineering and scientific fields most of which are unrelated to civil/structural engineering. A better survey would be of the 300,000 licensed civil/stuctural engineers.
      link to bls.gov

      Shingo, I could go on and on but I'm trying to work on an IP article so I am going to call a halt to my further participation on this issue.

      Anybody, including Pabelmont and Shingo, interesed in the WTC Truther issue should start with Andrew Cockburn's Counterpunch article on “9-11 Conspiracies and the Decline of the Left”. It is a must read for anyone considering conspiracy theories. He shows how much valuable energy by very bright folks can be pissed away in conspiracy garbage which deprives real issues and causes of their support, energy and brain power.

      The link is at my Nov. 6, 2:31pm comment above. Please read that and the other links cited before jumping to conclusions that the 9/11 Truther Conspiracy theories are valid. Look carefully at links and evidence from both sides, including the NIST and 9/11 Commission reports. Finally, apply William of Ockham's famous "Occam's Razor" to your analysis.

      link to en.wikipedia.org

    • Here is a link to NIST's very comprehensive FAQ section on the 9-11 WTC investigation. Also a must read for anyone genuinely interested in getting a balanced view on whether there was a conspiracy or alternative explanation for the collaspse of WTC1, WTC2, and WTC 7.

      link to nist.gov

    • Here is a link to Alexander Cockburn's article on "9-11 Conspiracies and the Decline of the Left". It is a must read for anyone considering conspiracy theories. He shows how much valuable energy by very bright folks can be pissed away in conspiracy garbage which deprives real issues and causes of their support, energy and brain power.

      link to counterpunch.org

    • Here's a link to good website on debunking the 9-11 conspiracy claims. I spent a lot of time on this issue on a previous thread and looked at the 'evidence' the conspiracy folks offer. When you look at counter-non-conspiracy evidence, the conspiracy stuff just doesn't work.

      Those that want to believe there is a conspiracy glom on to each bit of 'evidence' supporting each of their claims while refusing to look at careful descriptions of why that particular bit of evidence or claim has been refuted. There is no way in hell you will change their minds. Their belief is as religious as those of the birthers or intelligent designers. That said, I have great respect for several of those on MW who ascribe to the conspiracy theories. Their analysis of IP issues is well thought out and balanced. Yet, for some reason, when it comes to 9-11 conspiracy theories, they've lost it. This has also happened to at least one well known IP commentator (I forget his name) whose IP commentary is now tainted by his propounding of 9-11 conspiracy nonsense.

      link to debunking911.com

  • Will a US veto at the UN invite another 9/11 (followed by an attack on Iran)?
    • The following link contains an extensive discussion of the various parts of the 9/11 Truth conspiracy theory.

      link to debunking911.com

    • Here is a link to a very thorough discussion of the 9/11 conspiracy theories which forms part of the basis for my not buying into the 9/11 Truth conspiracy theories:

      link to debunking911.com

      That particular page deals with the "first time in history when a steel framed building has collapsed from fire" issue. It gives some examples of steel buildings that have collapsed from fire.

      The links on the left side of the opening page deal with other portions of the 9/11 Truth conspiracy theory.

      I am not claiming this is definitive proof of my view, but just saying there is ample evidence on both sides of this controversy and the evidence on my side is pretty well represented in the link(s) provided.

    • Charon, MIG, et al,

      Your comments about who did 9/11 basically hijacked this vitally important thread and turned it into a 9/11 Truth debate. While I don't begrudge you your right to see an Israeli or US Government conspiracy behind 9/11 (which I attempted to respond to at great length in a very long earlier thread) it is very damaging to our side of the overall IP debate to conflate the critical Linkage issue with the 9/11 Truth issue. In essence, conflating the two issues diminishes or eliminates the Linkage issue in favor of the 9/11 Truth debate.

      Only one of the two theories can be true. Both theories are entitled to full debate, but that debate shouldn't be inserted into a discussion of Linkage which is an issue that should be allowed to be debated in its own right, just as the 9/11 Truth issue should have the right to be debated on its own.

      Probably the most important IP issue for the mainstream on both sides of IP is the Linkage issue: whether or not AQ/OBL attacked the US because of its support for Israel's oppression of the Palestinians. It is an issue that scares the crap out of Israel and its US lobby supporters because it creates a real basis for US citizens to oppose US support for Israel's oppression of the Palestinians. The lobby folks fight it tooth and nail. The Linkage issue needs to be talked about and screamed from the roof tops because it provides such a powerful basis for convincing US citizens to demand the US stop its insane policies that support Israeli oppression.

      Tossing the 9/11 Truth debate into the middle of the Linkage issue debate plays into the hands of Israel and its lobby folks and allows them to walk away laughing, which diminishes both debates.

      Our mutual attack on the IP issue should have two totally separate prongs: the Linkage prong and the 9/11 Truth prong (that the Israelis and/or the US Government conspired to do 9/11). Conflating the prongs in the same thread is devasting to both arguments cause they both can't be right at the same time.

      In my more paranoid moments I think that a tactic of the Hasbara folks is to insert the 9/11 Truth issue into a thread knowing it will quickly take the emphasis off the original thread topic which they viewed as threating to the Hasbara folks cause. Beware.

      Let's keep our two prongs of attack separate so they can't divide and conquer us. Fighting among ourselves about which prong is the most valid hurts the overall cause both sides believe in and are dedicated to.

  • 9/11 commission prevaricated about prime grievance behind the attack, Palestine
    • Well Antidote, you are mischaracterizing what I said. I didn't say there are no facts and no truth nor did I say the evidence should be voted on. What I said was that to properly analyze this issue (or any issue) you need to weigh the evidence provided by both sides of the argument and then make your own, independent conclusion about where the truth lies.

      My point is a methodological one independent of the video which is why I don't feel compelled to watch it. If I did, I would try to view it in a rational, detached manner and then look for arguments presented by the other side, or maybe do my own separate investigation to clarify some of the factual or engineering issues. So all I am saying is if you are genuinely trying to find the truth, try to be balanced in how you address and investigate this controversy.

      As to the WT7 “mystery”, it wasn’t handled in the original report because they didn’t yet know the answers. Here is a link to the 2008 NIST Final Report on the collapse of WT7.

      link to nist.gov

      Here is a link to the Debunking 911 website in which the issue of the collapse of WT7 is dealt with in depth and appears to debunk several of the claims made by the truthers in this thread:

      link to debunking911.com

      That website also deals with all the other controversies concerning 9/11, including the towers, the fires, etc. It makes for great reading and will give you some balance in your view of this controversy from which you can make reasoned conclusions.

      The internet has great stuff on both sides of the 9/11 controversy. I am frankly astonished you guys couldn’t pick up on this stuff. It took me 5 minutes and a couple of quick searches. My personal opinion is that for some psychological reason you want to believe there is a conspiracy so you search out only the evidence you feel supports a conspiracy.

    • I think it would be useful if we handled the "but what about the..." questions in a more analytic manner. I suggest the following structure:
      1. Raise your doubts about an issue in the form of a question.
      2. Show the commission's analysis and finding on that issue (some of which were published after the original report).
      3. Express your conclusion and rationale for that conclusion and how and why it differs from the commission's conclusion.
      4. If you feel your conclusion undermines the entire hypothesis of the commission regarding 9/11, offer your own alternative hypothesis including any evidence that supports it.

      This format will avoid the "nitpicking" problem I addressed yesterday. The problem with conspiracy theory buffs is that they tend to look exclusively at the conspiracy side of the story without comparing it with the non-conspiratorial side. It is very easy to be convinced by skilled advocates when you listen only to that side of the issue. It's like putting a person on trial and then letting the jury hear only the prosecution's view of the case.

      In the case of the video Antidote is referencing (I haven't watched it), before buying into its persuasive conclusions you need to hear what the commission had to say about this issue first and then make your conclusion based on all the evidence and arguments presented by both sides. A lawyer's job is to spin the facts and law in a manner that makes his/her client's case look persuasive. That's what we do. We know well the problem of hearing only one side's view of the evidence.

    • Well, you and your cronies seem to have pretty much exhausted the testing the hypothesis step since you've clearly rejected the 911 Commission's hypothesis, so I think it is well past the time for you to step forward with your own alternative hypothesis or hypotheses. Now, I've offered in my last long response some detailed thoughts on why an alternative conspiratorial hypothesis may prove difficult. I think it is high time you step up to the plate and lay it out for us.

      Now I recognize how uncomfortable this may be for you so I anticipate a more weasely answer like, "We don't know what actually occurred. All we want is a new, unbiased investigation". That is the typical response by conspiracy buffs when put on the spot. It allows them to play the game without getting their feet wet. Hopefully I've underestimated all of you and you will promptly and courageously lay forth your own detailed hypotheses so we can continue our venture into the wonders of the scientific method.

    • Sorry N49. It was just a lame attempt at levity on my part. I was creating a conspiracy out of whole cloth in an attempt to make a point in a humorous manner. Obviously, it didn't work for you.

      Lest you harbor any doubts, I do not see any conspiracies, Jewish, Israeli, or otherwise, involving the noble Dr. Feynman who I admire greatly.

    • Hmmm, let's see...something fishy going on here...

      Feynman, Feynman...must be Jewish. It is a well known fact that Challenger was sabatoged by the Israelis to prevent it from examining their secret activities planned for during the flight's duration. Ah, I've got it: Feynman, a Jew and likely Zionist supporter of Israel, was part of that conspiracy and offered his lame frozen gasket theory to cover up the real reasons for Challenger's explosion, the sabatoging of the left booster rocket by a Jewish/Israeli/Zionist/Mossad NASA launch pad worker. It all makes sense now. Plus, Feynman didn''t die of natural causes, he was assasinated/poisoned by the Israelis/Mossad because they thought he might reveal the secret conspiracy.

      Frozen gasket my ass. Those lame, gullible Americans will believe anything.

    • Well, I can see we are not going to get anywhere here, as I predicted earlier. I think it is best that we follow Lance Thruster's earlier suggestion that we agree to disagree and move on. In any case, let’s try to remain civil and keep the ad hominems and snarkiness to a minimum. We actually agree with each other and respect each other’s opinions in much of the normal MW discourse.

      The one thing you might consider is this: We saw the planes strike the buildings, saw the fireballs, saw the thick smoke, saw the buildings collapse pancake fashion, saw the huge columns of dust, and saw the debris pile with no surviving steel columns extending into the sky. If what you are saying is correct, then someone must have snuck into both towers, carved through walls on each of hundreds of floors, took cutting torches to each column or attached explosive charges to each column on each of hundreds of floors, connected all the wiring, patched the walls before they left then arranged for large passenger aircraft to collide with the two buildings to disguise the explosions of the destructive charges that actually brought the buildings down.

      The sheer complexity of the conspiracy necessary to support your claims is far more mind boggling, improbable, and fantastic than any finding associated with the investigation. e.g. if all the steel beam structures on hundreds of floors were cut and weakened in advance of 9/11, or cut by pre-planted explosive devices on hundreds of beams on hundreds of floors on the day of 9/11, would there not be a wealth of evidence of that in thousands of beam pieces in the debris pile? Of course there would, but there wasn't any such evidence. What is the explanation offered? The debris was quickly moved away and destroyed so the evidence couldn't be seen. Its endless, which brings me back to my favorite man of history, William of Occam, and his famous razor: link to en.wikipedia.org. In my humble opinion, what you guys are doing is creating complex hypothetical explanations based on selective nitpicking of the existing explanation that two planes crashed into two buildings causing the buildings to fall down.

      Here is my final challenge to you: Instead of nitpicking the investigation’s explanation, lay out your entire theory of what happened, the complete story, including all the evidence in support of each part of your explanation. Like you’ve said, it’s all available on the internet. Let’s hear the entire conspiracy, including all the evidence, from start to finish. You can make it a group project. When you are done and have presented it to all of us, we can have the luxury and hilarity of nitpicking your conspiracy. It will be great fun.

      All for now. Back to the real world. And, as I used to say to girl friends in my distant past, "but I do still respect you".

    • No, what I'm saying is beware and skeptical of conspiracy theories, particularly ones based on "common sense" analysis without reference to the detailed analysis contained in the original investigation, that suggest nefarious motives by the investigators. Some valid conspiracies exist, I just can't think of any at the moment.

    • "Here is the real kicker: Why hasn’t there been a revision to the building standard since 9/11? Any time an engineering-related incident takes place (aviation, structural, chemical, nuclear, etc.) that impacts public safety, there is an extensive review. The review insofar as it finds shortcomings in the existing code, will make revisions to the code."
      The reason there has been no revision to the code is that what happened is no mystery (that intense heat weakens structural steel). Since there is no cost-effective way to build to prevent against such a rare occurance (huge amounts of jet fuel explosively introduced onto a single or couple of floors and ignited causing an immediate and massive fire throughout the floor) there is no purpose in attempting to revise the code to prevent such occurances. There was talk about revising the fire retardents that cover critical structural steel members but I'm sure if there have been any code revisions reflecting this.

      "WTC1, WTC2 and WTC7 were the first three steel structures to ever come down by fire"
      They didn't "come down by fire" and nobody said they did. What they said was fire caused the weakening of the structural steel in the floors that were burned which resulted in the collapse of a single floor which then started an inevitable chain of pancaking of all floors. It went straight down due to gravity and the fact that the damage was done near the tops of the buildings. There is lots of data out there about this including several TV specials where all this is described in great detail and which includes testimony and interviews of engineering experts including the designing of the buildings.
      Do you actually think there is some conspiracy to not revise building codes related to 9-11? Why, so the terrorists can more easily fly into and destroy more high rise buildings? Please, get a grip.

    • Well, I haven't read Farmer's book but the Norad, White House, CIA and FBI testimony/withholding evidence problems were discussed and well known. A lot of that was political: people wanting to spin what they did in a more favorable manner or even hide unfavorable facts. The Norad abuses were so bad that they were referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal action on perjury charges. But none of that affected the basic conclusions about who did 9-11 and why the buildings came down.
      The biggest news from Kean and Hamilton in their book was that the commission refused to discuss the highjackers' motive (Israel) as the major cause of 9-11. It came out in the testimony but not in the conclusions and recommendations because some commission members felt it would be used to reduce aid to Israel! Now that's a fucking conspiracy I can get aboard on!

    • Haytham, North of 40, Lance Thruster, el al:
      I don't have the time to enter further into the morass of 9-11/JFK conspiracies, nor is this the appropriate forum to do so. I'll make a couple of final observations and leave it at that:
      1. It is not a coincidence that you all see JFK and 9-11 as conspiracies.
      2. It is impossible to convince those buying into conspiracy theories that alternative, less ominous, explanations might be right.
      3. The very way you frame the issues and your arguments shows you are not coming at this from any sort of inquisitive, balanced frame of mind: e.g.: that the buildings couldn't have come down "due to fire". Nobody said they did. Fire was a contributing cause that weakened the steel structure causing one floor to collapse.
      4. You argue from a position of supposed logic, "free fall speeds", "tons of concrete can't be turned into dust", "fancy stool", but never do you cite or refer to the actual evidence provided in the investigation itself. Your logic is always superior to the experts who conducted the investigation. Why? Because those experts were conspiring against the rest of us, and so any of us who might agree with the investigation can only be gullible idiots.
      Conspiracy theories are great fun, but little else. They provide the perfect justification for why William of Occam invented his famous razor, and, in so doing, changed the course of history and scientific inquiry.
      Have I changed any of your minds? No, nor could I even with 50 additional pages.
      The one great hilarious irony that came out of this innane diversion from the main thread was the reference to "Israeli sharp-shooters (and who could deny they have some of the best in the world?)". So I guess a country of 300+ million needed to seek out the assistance of a country of 5 million to find capable sharp -shooters, which, of ccouse, could only be Israel, "the best in the world" . Who could deny that? Hilarious.

    • MRW,
      The heat weakened the beams and floor supports which made the first floor collapse. Once that happened, the weight of one floor collapsing on another with many stories of added weight above it made the total pancaking effect inevitable. My son is a structural engineer who has a very critical eye for engineering issues. He sees no mystery or conspiracy at WTC.
      I was around when JFK was assasinated. That created the mother lode of all conspiracy theories, yet, even there, there was no conspiracy. Vincent Bugliosi's massive book rebutting and debunking all the various theories is a masterpiece if you have time to work your way through it.

  • Forward says NYT is 'unabashed about the Jewishness' of its leadership. Is it?
    • Hophni,
      Fair enough so far, except for your last paragraph. It seems to me Jews (or any other group for that matter) that brags about or notices its own exceptionalism in given professions, can't then charge everyone else that notices it with antisemitism. e.g. "See how exceptional we are in medicine, law, journalism, Wall Street, but don't mention it if you are a non-Jew because that will prove you are an anti-Semite." While it is true some who are anti-Semites will miss-use Jewish predominence in given professions as evidence of a Jewish conspiracy, it doesn't mean that all who notice and mention such predominence are anti-semites. You can't have it both ways Hoph.

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