Nov 022012

Previous articles in this series

On Page 2, there were several individual articles apparently meant to cover some of the Conspiracy Theories to be examined in the projected course. The most prominent article was on 9/11. Here is a partial look at it.

” WHAT HAPPENED: On September 11, 2001, hijackers from the terrorist group al Qaeda took over four commercial aircraft. American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airline (sic) Flight 175 were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, causing them to collapse. American Airlines flight 77 was crashed into the Pentagon in Virginia. A fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93, was headed for Washington DC but crashed into a field in Pennsylvania when passengers wrestled control back from the hijackers.”

In this advertorial covering the topic of Conspiracy Theories, Ms McBride presents the Official Conspiracy Theory (OCT) as fact, which it isn’t, and does not mention that the OCT is itself a Conspiracy Theory.

“CONSPIRACY THEORY: Within hours of the fall of the Twin Towers, suggestions began to spread that the towers had fallen in too uniform a fashion – much like a controlled demolition.”


“The early early theories focused on anomalies in the public evidence,”

False, unless by “anomalies” you mean bald faced lies from government officials, and the illegal destruction of evidence at a crime scene. Otherwise, I don’t know what she means by “anomalies in the public evidence”.

“before moving onto the theory that the government of the United States had arranged the attacks in an elaborate coverup.”

That is a straw man argument followed by a nonsensical statement. Ms McBride presents an exaggerated, cartoon version of the prevailing Conspiracy Theory so that it may be ridiculed for its simple-mindedness, then states that people said that the attacks were arranged in an elaborate coverup. Doesn’t the coverup come *after* the event?

Ms McBride refers to the film Loose Change, which appeared in its first version in 2005, then mentions the theory that states that the Twin Towers and “a third tower in the World Trade Center complex known as Tower 7 were brought down by explosives set up inside.” True!

The theory has been written about by dozens of authors; with most arguing that the impact of the aircrafts and resulting fires would not have weakened the buildings enough to cause such a large-scale collapse. They have said Tower 7 had only sustained minor damage when it too tumbled down.

If Ms McBride is going to use an Ad Verecundiam (appeal to authority) fallacy, she should at least cite one out of her dozens of authorities. The choice of words here is typical of OCT defenders. If you have seen the videos of the destruction of WCT1 and WCT2, the word “collapse” likely does not spring to mind. “Massive explosions followed by pyroclastic dust clouds” is more like it. She writes that Tower 7 (usually referred to as WTC7) “tumbled down”. Video footage by major television networks show a different sort of phenomena from the top-down destruction of the taller towers, a classic controlled demolition. “Tumbling down” and “collapsing rapidly into its own footprint” are clearly not the same thing.

However, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has stated that the crashes, plus the fires caused, led to the gravity-driven collapse of the buildings. It was said the fire caused the steel structure of the buildings to weaken significantly, leading to the collapses. They said Tower 7 was also brought down by the spread of fires from the nearby towers, which weakened the building’s structure.

NIST is a political body, a division of the United States Department of Commerce, not an independent scientific research organisation, as its name implies. NIST was loyal to its government masters and produced a highly disputed story about the destruction of WTC7. Perhaps the best answer to the NIST report is David Ray Griffin’s The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report About 9/11 Is Unscientific and False. Dr Griffin exposes the NIST report as a scientific fraud, wherein they ignored evidence, lied about other evidence, and just made up evidence when it suited them.

Theorists have disputed NIST’s findings, stating the US government had orchestrated the attacks to give them a catalyst to begin a war with Iraq.

I’ll let that one go except to point out that it is a non sequitur.

It is often argued that the removal of the debris from Ground Zero without a forensic investigation is evidence that a coverup was being carried out. However, most scientists and researchers have critiqued the theories, saying the science used is shaky and lacks evidence.

Whatever else you may choose to believe about 9/11, you must agree that it was a crime. The wholesale removal of evidence from a crime scene before an investigation can be pursued by the proper authorities is itself a crime. You shouldn’t have to argue that; it just is. If Ms McBride has evidence that “most scientists and researchers” have critiqued the theory that the illegal removal of evidence from a crime scene is not a crime, I would like to see her sources.

Perhaps Ms McBride was just having a bad non sequitur day, and meant to write that some scientists, such as the scientists at Popular Mechanics Magazine agree with the OCT. Other scientists not working for a mainstream DIY magazine have found evidence of military grade explosives in WTC dust, and demonstrate that there are many other problems with the OCT.

No investigations carried out have found evidence to indicate the US government orchestrated the attacks.

I will agree that no investigations carried out by the US government “have found evidence to indicate the US government orchestrated the attacks”. That is hardly to be expected. This claim is reminiscent of the claim by NIST that they found no evidence of explosives in the WTC7 debris, the reason being that they did not look for evidence of explosives. At any rate, her last sentence is a transparently clumsy straw man argument that attempts to discredit and/or ignore the actual provable claims made by independent scientists and researchers.

This article, with its non sequiturs and (s)tumbling logical fallacies could only placate the most somnolent and credulous of readers. Next time we will see how Ms McBride tries to convince her readers of the Lone Nut theory.

 Posted by at 10:22 am

  4 Responses to “Kerry McBride’s 9/11: “WHAT HAPPENED”(?)”

  1. Thank you for this meticulous analysis of the logical fallacies inherent in Kerry McBride’s conspiracies article. I wonder if Ms McBride is aware that the term “conspiracy theory” was not widely used by the media until the late 1960’s; and that this was a result of many people asking relevant questions after the Kennedy assassination. According to Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Media at NYU, a declassified CIA memo articulated how the CIA must use our propaganda assets and friends in the media to discredit the claims of these “Conspiracy theorists”. The use of this term by the media today is so intimidating that even with regards to WTC Building 7 (whose collapse wasn’t referred to in the official 9/11 commission report), one cannot ask even a reasonable question about the nature of this building’s collapse, without being tarnished with the conspiracy theorist label.

    Interview with Professor Crispin Miller here

  2. this is reportedly CIA 1967. April 1st 1967. so. I bear that in mind.

    First paper identifying [post JFK] researchers as ‘conspiracy theorists’ ‘ a danger to Government’. The language is revealing. We read this document 11 years past 911. 50 years from love field. So it is pre-HSCA finding the JFK murder ‘probably’ a conspiracy. That ‘probably’ a fourth shot was fired from the grassy knoll where the smoke came from. Fronting the rail yards the CIA tramp HUNT was arrested from. We must take stock of a House Senate Investigative Committee formally stating JFK ‘PROBABLY a conspiracy’ in its conclusion. Language like this is real politik saying: IT WAS.

    With that in mind, FEMA, finding NISTs “new phenomenon” ‘Sequential building collapse/thermal expansion™hypothesis, bringing WTC7 DOWN at FREE FALL [OCT]due to ‘NORMAL OFFICE FURNISHINGS FIRES; as ‘having a LOW PROBABILITY of occurring’, means it DIDN’T. occur. It COULDN’T . Language like this is real politik. can mean nothing else.

    So this document from 1967 opens the conversational nature of cover-up to the exponential threat. In countries like ours, a ‘request’ for liaison with friendly elites ‘especially politicians and editors’ is made. University Professors too I wager. Casually, to ‘point out’ to them that critics of the OfficialConspiracyTheory are ‘without serious foundation’, ‘speculative’ , ‘communist propagandists’. Whereas the ‘friendly elites’ [you there Kerry? Gary?] are to employ propaganda assets to refute them. Sunstein. National Geographic/Popular Mechanics. JREF. That a conspiracy this big would be ‘impossible to hide’, because they/you/I would KNOW it by now, and they/you/I DON”T so IT WASN”T [the ‘how smart are’fuck you’ game theory]; and so discourage unfounded and irresponsible speculation’. Pointing to the egotistical ‘Enticement of Intellectual Pride’ and ‘financial interests’ of the theorists; to their ‘crippled epistemology’ in another time. That ‘open minded foreign readers’ will be impressed by the thoroughness care and objectivity of the commission official reports and should ‘ find it far superior work than its critics’., ‘pointing out to the theorist that the Commission and staff were an excellent safeguard against over-commitment to any one theory; or against the illicit transformation of probabilities into certainties”.
    illicit transformation of Probabilities into Certainties.
    A bullet to the brain from the grassy knoll.
    Free Fall building seven.
    Probabilities into certainties.
    This is where we are heading.