Sunday, March 23, 2008

9/11 truthers at the University of Waterloo

Jeffrey Shallit has written a multi-part summary of an event hosted by the University of Waterloo Debate Society on March 19 on "A Forensic Analysis of September 11, 2001: Questioning the Official Theory." The event wasn't a debate, however, it was a one-sided presentation by "9/11 Truth" movement members who formulate absurd conspiracy theories and fail to look at the actual evidence. Even the moderator taking questions and answers was a 9/11 Truther who did his best to avoid taking critical questions.

Shallit's posts:

"An Evening with 9-11 Deniers" - Introduction and summary.
"The Questionnaire at the 9/11 Denier Event" - The content of a questionnaire given out at the event, which participants were supposed to fill out at the beginning and again at the end.
"An Open Letter to Richard Borshay Lee" - A letter from Shallit to the event moderator about his performance at the event.
"A.K. Dewdney at the 9/11 Denier Event (Part 1)" - A detailed summary of Dewdney's presentation at the event, part 1.
"A.K. Dewdney at the 9/11 Denier Event (Part 2)" - Part 2.
"Graeme MacQueen at the 9/11 Denier Event" - A summary of MacQueen's presentation at the event.
"The Question-and-Answer Period at the 9/11 Deniers Evening" - Summary of the Q&A.

Of particular note among the comments at Shallit's blog is a lengthy description of the details of the WTC collapses from Arthur Scheuerman, Retired FDNY Battalion Chief.


James said...

I have been TRYING long and hard to get someone from the "Anti 911 Truther Movement" to appear for a live interview on my weekly live radio show. I have many question for both "sides"

-James Arthur Jancik

Jim Lippard said...

There's no such thing as "the 'Anti 911 Truther Movement.'" That's your problem.

This isn't an issue with two sides.

There is a huge number of events involving thousands of people that led up to and resulted in the attacks on the WTC towers and the Pentagon. There are those who believe in coming to an understanding of what happened on the basis of looking at all of the evidence, including the history of radical Islam in the United States and the movements of the individual terrorists. This group includes all of the genuine experts.

Then there are conspiracy theorists who construct fantasies of what happened without looking at any of the history, but instead by looking for isolated anomalies like contradictions and mistakes in eyewitness statements and news reports and deciding that this completely undermines all other possible evidence and supports their fantasies. These people are the 9/11 Truth movement, and includes only people with no expertise, or who are speaking in domains outside their areas of expertise, many of whom are also known for views on the extreme fringe in other areas.

James said...

It is true, that many times, multi-level/layered reasons/issues are artificially distilled down to two sides. I think the 911 attacks is multi-layered/leveled, however, finding the truth has been hampered by distilling down to only two paradigms by which we can peer out for solutions.

1)- Arab Terrorists (Outside Job)
2)- Domestic Terrorist (Inside Job)

People start out by ruling out or in either of these two, then go on looking through the colored glass of this initial decision. There seesm to be no one that is not in either of these groups.

I have interviewed several of the "Inside Job" folks, and found both problem and merit with their arguments. I have not been able to have interviews with the "Outside Job" folks.

Given these two slices of the whole pie of Truth, you would sound to be in thios latter group, and I would like to invite you to discuss it on my show.

I do not rule out or in ANYTHING. If one does, one does not really seek truth, but seeks and personally exceptable answer. I do not except answers from "experts" bases on faith. Facts can be demostarated, and anomolies explained by such experts. I also do not automatically assume the paraniod theory is paraniod.

Just like the policeman in a child murder case, ALL are suspect until ruled out. The distruction of those buildings, and the murder of those people on 911 were crimes and deserve an unbias look at the cause.

The problem is, the only ones willing to talk about it is the "Inside Job" crowd. I am very fair, and asked questions on all sides as I think of them.
Will you (or recomend someone to) come on my show and partake in a search for the truth?

Jim Lippard said...

James: Although I occasionally engage in media appearances outside my areas of expertise, this isn't one of them I'm interested in doing so on.

I disagree with your assessment that initial choice of paradigm is the source of disagreement about 9/11. I think the source of disagreement is choice of methodology. I've not yet encountered a 9/11 Truther who showed any inclination to use standard methods of scientific or historical investigation, as opposed to the methods of creationists and Holocaust deniers (e.g., quote mining and anomaly mining--the sort of stuff discussed at the "denialism" blog). Given the topics of your show, it doesn't look like you're much of an advocate of science and reason as methods to obtain truth, either.

Hume's Ghost said...

I just find it hard to see how these folks don't draw a more obvious conclusion (and one that is still within their ideological conmfort zone.):

The administration failed to stop the 9/11 attacks of al-Qaeda terrorists because they were pre-occupied with Iraq and ignored the terrorism issue for partisan reasons (i.e. considering it a Clinton issue and thus a low priority.)

Once the attacks did happen, being the ideologues that they are, they morphed it into an excuse to attack Iraq and achieve the stuff they'd already wanted to do.

James said...

"Given the topics of your show, it doesn't look like you're much of an advocate of science and reason as methods to obtain truth, either." -quote from last post

What I have consciously decided NOT to do is pre-filter what I will allow consideration for discussion by political, religious or paradigm bias.

There were previous held science truths that took years to challenge, not with lack of proof, but due to paradigm bias. Evidence (and people's lives) was destroyed in the name of Kings and Popes AND threatened former science positions.

I do not want to get caught in paradigm traps, and I wish to see proof, evidence and all/any questions answered with proof, evidence and real answers (as opposed to insults). THIS is evident my the topics and subject I have on my show.

Name calling and dismissing as fringe, is not scientific inquiry. If there was nothing to the 911 Truth Movement, it can be easily dismissed if taken head on; which is what I am looking for.

What I am finding is arrogant dismissal.

Anomalies ARE a very important part of finding real truth. Real truth is not a consensus of evidence that fits a neat package. Anomalies tend to be the real road map to finding truth.

"There are no contradictions. Check your premises" -Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugs"

"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts."- (spoken in satire) Albert Einstein

I will change the explanation to fit the facts, and if the fact do not fit, you must questions ALL aspects until it fits.

The some of the 911-Truth movement is built on finding anything that contradicts the Government... but, one of the cornerstones of the 911 Commission Report support appears to be the Government does not lie nor make mistakes.

Which assumptions above are more wrong or more right?

There are hundreds of inquiries being on the science level worldwide. But it is hard to produce clear Smoking Guns when the evidence was destroyed with amazing speed. Even with that, many questions have been raised, with little serious response.

Prejudging the 911 Truth Movement's evidence WITHOUT scientific inquiry, is emotionally based and is, at least as "bad" as they claim the 911 Truthers are with their approach to anomalies.

My desire is to have a discussion, LIVE on my show, with people from both "sides" dealing with each issue, open, honestly, in respect for each other's right to their positions, and let the chips fall based on facts, not emotion.

I guess I will not find that here. But I will keep looking.

Thank you for your time,

Einzige said...


You sure used a lot of words to say nearly nothing.

If anyone is being arrogant and dismissive, here, I'd say it's you, not Jim.

I'm also unable to find any "name calling" in any of Jim's comments, either.

All Jim has said is he's not interested in appearing on your show. You seem to have taken this personally.

Einzige said...

I retract the word "All" from the first sentence of my last paragraph, as it's not accurate.

You're welcome to offer any evidence that contradicts any of the "insulting" remarks that you claim Jim has made, here. I'm curious to learn of it.

Jim Lippard said...

James: "one of the cornerstones of the 911 Commission Report support appears to be the Government does not lie nor make mistakes."

I take it from this statement that you haven't read the report, which contains numerous scathing indictments of government errors and incompetence.

PhilO said...

Hello people-- I attened UW in the 1970s-- and just recently looked at who was publishing blogs from UW and found you. On the matter of 9/11-- here's the best analsyis I found

BLOOD: Do you believe that it was orchestrated by Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda?

LAROUCHE: Not by them, but by those who control them.

BLOOD: So, they were used as patsies in the event?

LAROUCHE: Well, I say, frankly, look: You have to look at the British BAE, and the entire operation which happened in Manhattan, in September 2001. Which is the kind of event I expected—I didn't know where it was going to come from, how it was going to come from, but I knew it what it was. And I said it was going to happen. I said it before Bush was actually inaugurated. I warned of this thing. It was obvious it was going to happen: those of us who understand history, and know these kinds of events, looking back, for example, at the German Reichstag Fire, and similar things like that, which I did then, said, "they're going to do it!" And they did it!

And it came from London. It came through the only capability that existed, which could have done what was done, in September of 2001, was BAE, the British-Saudi connection. And that Prince Bandar, of course, is a key figure in this thing. He's a very important figure, he's a key—. He's British intelligence, actually, he has been since he was 16 years of age. When he was sent to Britain as a Saudi prince, to be educated in the British military program.

BLOOD: You do believe that 9/11 was used as a false-flag event to perpetuate the Project for New American Century global government. What is it exactly do you think they wanted?

LAROUCHE: Well, the point is the British Empire. Think of it as the British Empire. That's exactly what it is. And the idea is, you have some people who are more British than they are America, particularly in our financial interests in Manhattan and so forth, and t

MY comment-- I'll be waiting to see your reaction to that. The picutre of what is happening is bigger than 9/11-- 9/11 was USED as a means to another end-- NOT involving the Muslims-- but rather involving global empire-- by "British Empire"-- which is not exactly British-- but rather the financial cartel based in City of Lond.

I await your reaction.

Jim Lippard said...

Philo: Lyndon LaRouche is a raving lunatic who blames everything on the British (and the Queen in particular). The only grains of truth in what he said is that there is probably a Saudi royal family connection to the 9/11 hijackers, at least in terms of funding, and that there's government and defense contractor corruption involving Bandar and BAE Systems in the U.S. and the UK (link is to a post at this blog on the subject).