Well the 9/11 10th anniversary has come and gone, and it’s fair to say that the mainstream media has been true to form, churning out a slew of documentaries and articles which use tried and trusted tactics of distraction and distortion, misrepresentation of the facts and crude personal attacks while ignoring any problematic evidence which contradicts the official story. Likewise, supporters of the official story in Internet-land continue to use equally specious arguments and diversionary tactics, as I discovered over the weekend.
Here’s a brief overview of some of the tactics and fallacies employed by those who defend the official story.
“Discussing 9/11 is a distraction from more important issues”
This is essentially a parroting of Noam Chomsky, Julian Assange and many of the journalists from the corporate/mainstream “Left” – frequently, those who use this argument refer to statements made by Chomsky and others, for instance this statement from Assange: “I’m constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud.” The immediate and obvious response to this is that the crime of 9/11 involves both war (the “war on terror” could not have been launched without the attacks on 9/11) and massive financial fraud (the convenient destruction of evidence regarding the missing trillions at the Pentagon; the destruction of evidence held by the SEC when WTC7 collapsed, etc).
Beyond that, there is the assumption that those who have investigated 9/11 do not consider any other issues. Far from being the case, a great many of those who are aware of the falsity of the official story are active and vocal political activists in a variety of fields, not least the anti-war movement (although it should be noted that the anti-war movement as an organization has been woefully reticent to discuss the issue of false flag terrorism). Understanding false flag terrorism and how the “deep state” operates is essential to understanding how wars begin, and from this comes a deeper understanding of the modus operandi of those in power. Sadly, those who use the line that investigating 9/11 is a “distraction from more important issues” while defending the very narrative put out by the government to justify the current wars seem incapable of grasping that it is they who distract people away – consciously or otherwise – from truly understanding the manner in which pretexts for war are fabricated and staged.
Neither Chomsky, Assange or any of the other Left commentators often cited in this regard have offered either a substantive rebuttal of the evidence which contradicts the official account, or a detailed defense of the official story. Their a priori acceptance of the official story of 9/11 and off-hand dismissals of any questioning of this narrative is often adopted by their supporters, despite the absence of rational analysis of the evidence and critical thinking in their position. And, somewhat ironically, those who cite Chomsky in their defense of the official story fail to point out that Chomsky himself has recently said that there is no evidence that al Qaeda carried out 9/11 – in an interview with PressTV he said, “The explicit and declared motive of the [Afghanistan] war was to compel the Taliban to turn over to the United States, the people who they accused of having been involved in World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist acts. The Taliban…they requested evidence…and the Bush administration refused to provide any … We later discovered one of the reasons why they did not bring evidence: they did not have any.”
“If there was a conspiracy there would have been leaked documents or insiders coming forward.”
This argument betrays a considerable level of ignorance on the part of the person presenting it, since there are in fact a number of leaks, whistleblowers and instances where pertinent evidence has been destroyed under suspicious circumstances. The fact that – for obvious reasons – this information has hardly been plastered over the mainstream media, many defenders of the official story assume that it doesn’t exist. One even went so far as to suggest that since Gary McKinnon, the Briton who faces extradition to the US for hacking NASA archives to find evidence of UFOs and free energy programs, failed to find any evidence of a 9/11 “conspiracy” it therefore doesn’t exist. Hardly a compelling argument, made considerably less so in light of the following statement from McKinnon: “US foreign policy is akin to Government-sponsored terrorism these days … It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand down on September 11.”
Of course, there have been dozens of insiders blowing the whistle since 9/11. The very people responsible for the foundation on which the official story is based, the 9/11 Commission Report, have themselves spoken out against the Commission and its conclusions. Co-chairman Thomas Kean said the Commission was “set up to fail”; Bob Kerrey described 9/11 as “a thirty year conspiracy”; Commission members spoke of deception by the Pentagon during the investigation; Max Cleland resigned from the Commission, stating that it had been “deliberately compromised by the president of the United States.”
Other whistleblowers include FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, FBI Special Agent Robert Wright and Barry Jennings, who worked as Deputy Director of Emergency Services for the New York City Housing Department and witnessed first hand explosions within WTC7 on the morning of the attacks. A more detailed over view of these and other whistleblowers can be found at the Corbett Report.
While absence of damning leaked documentation is hardly proof that there was no conspiracy – although defenders of the faith appear to think otherwise – there is compelling evidence for the destruction and removal of evidence, which brings with it the presumption of guilt. Examples of this include: the destruction of 2.5 Terabytes of data from the Able Danger data mining program; the disregard for standard investigation procedures by the FAA Air Crash Investigation Unit, coupled with the destruction and removal of physical evidence from the scenes of attacks (one FAA manager reportedly crushed the audio recording of the event made at New York’s Air Traffic Control Center with his bare hands); the destruction of insider trading investigation records by the SEC, and so on.
“A government conspiracy would involve thousands of people – they could never keep it quiet.”
Leaving aside the aforementioned whistleblowers, this has to be one of the most bizarre defenses of the official story. It ostensibly suggests that, since there have been no confessions from perpetrators within the government/intelligence agencies they therefore cannot be guilty. Clearly, the irrelevance and absurdity of this position needs little elaboration. It also ignores massive secret government programs, perhaps the most famous being the Manhattan Project, which employed more than 130,000 people and was kept secret up to its conclusion.
This argument also highlights another equally bizarre and irrational inconsistency – for some reason, while those who defend the official story are happy to believe that the attacks on 9/11 could be feasibly planned and executed by 19 hijackers with box-cutters coordinated by a man in a cave in Afghanistan, when the idea of the conspirators originating from the US government and intelligence agencies is posited, the requirements for such an attack leaps into “thousands of people”. Evidently, those who defend the official account have considerably more faith in the abilities and resources of a small band of terrorists than they do the most experienced, well-funded individuals on the planet.
Ignoring or dismissing evidence which runs contrary to the official account with weak counter-arguments
My own personal experience with these types of responses over the weekend of the 10th anniversary highlight how this works. I provided a link to 27 minutes of eyewitness testimony referring to “bombs” and “explosions” and made the point that dozens of eyewitnesses providing mutually corroborating, first hand testimony suggesting the use of explosives should have been entered into the record during the investigation of 9/11, while in actual fact the Commission not only ignored it, but went so far as to say there was “no evidence” of explosives.
The first response began with a long distraction about the state of the healthcare system in the US (the common fallacy of changing the subject) followed by a vague appeal to the need for objectivity during investigations. “As for eye witness accounts, you seem to think every single person’s opinion is equally significant during an evaluation that demands objective evidence, so I’m affraid [sic] it’s not, that’s why we have experts and fully trained, experienced professionals to evaluate such situations.” Of course, any objective investigation would include first hand eyewitness accounts as evidence, a point this particular defender of the official story was unwilling to concede to – instead, his responses degenerated into increasingly desperate distractions about UFOs, Bigfoot and insinuations that my questioning of the narrative he accepts put me in the same category as “Holocaust deniers”.
The second response was willing to concede that while the testimony provided compelling evidence of explosions, it didn’t point either to a conspiracy or constitute evidence of the use of explosives. Again, this demonstrates how defenders of the official story find it very easy to ignore the implications of any evidence which contradicts the narrative sold to them by the government and media, including testimony from firefighters stating that “it was like detonators in the building – BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!” and police instructing people to move back from WTC7 as “that building’s about to blow up.” It is one of the many ironies that the defenders of the official story, who frequently accuse “conspiracy theorists” of being selective with evidence, themselves instinctively reject anything that contradicts or undermines the official story.
Repetitive use of ad hominem
Of course, this is one of the most popular tactics used by virtually every pundit in the mainstream media, from Fox News and the BBC to the Guardian and the New York Times. From “tin foil hat wearing loons” to “nut jobs” and “crazy cranks”, the refrains are well-worn, but never so worn that they aren’t mimicked by defenders of the official story “discussing” the issues on blogs, forums and social networks. What is notable is quite how vicious and personal these ad hominem attacks can get, sometimes reaching dizzying heights of vitriol.
Perhaps as common as basic name-calling is the readiness to label anyone who questions the official story “insane” and ascribe their motives for doing so as a matter of mental health. The primary function of this is, of course, to avoid completely addressing issues they raise – after all, who would respond rationally to the ramblings of a crazy person? To defenders of the official story, there is no need for an objective response to uncomfortable facts when they can simply dismiss their opponents as insane. It is an old tactic, one used by dictators and tyrants, for example Khrushchev, who proudly proclaimed, “there are no political prisoners [in the USSR], only persons of unsound mind.”
Frequently, this labeling is accompanied by a broad and unfounded guilt by association. For instance, when I challenged someone on their readiness to use the “nut job” label, the response was: ” I am completely justified in describing most conspiracy theorists as nut jobs, since the most vocal of them also support other wacky beliefs like anti vaccination propaganda, homeopathy, Jewish dominionism, reptile overlords… Oh and then there are the crazy nut job theories including laser beams fired from space.” Such broad and sweeping generalizations expressed with such loaded language serve as a not-so-subtle ad hominem attack while distracting from the issue under discussion.
Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if it is that those who disagree with their analysis of a significant historic event are insane (one response I received this weekend was the pleasant, “enjoy your bubble of insane delusion for the rest of your life.”) It is common practice for people to treat information they receive selectively, focusing on that which reinforces their worldview, and after 10 years of propaganda the general public’s understanding of 9/11 has no doubt taken on a status similar to a popular myth. The myth of the official story has the weight of the mainstream media behind it and, coupled with the threat of ridicule which is directed towards those who challenge the myth, it’s easy to see why many people repeat it with such vehemence and employ such fallacies to reject any countervailing evidence. Perhaps they should heed the words of Gerald Massey, who once said:
“They must find it difficult…
Those who have taken authority as the truth,
Rather than truth as the authority.”
Read more articles on 9/11 at Global Research.