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September 30, 2005

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Not something I publicly speculate on, and I am not known for my caution and restraint.

Memo to Cynthia McKinney: Unless I miss my guess, your soulmate is in New York and probably in a bit of a funk. Give him a call and cheer him up, why don't ya?

This Popular Mechanics article from March 2005 does a good job of credibly refuting the various conspiracy theories surrounding the events of September 11, 2001.

Page four deals specifically with the collapse of the towers.

I think PBS also had a very interesting Frontline segment on the collapse of the towers. That it made a lot of sense to me, a person who has made some efforts to learn some biology but none whatsoever to learn engineering, means nothing, but it did.

I'm about as mechanically inclined as a Tibetan monk, so you probably have more expertise in the subject than me, Hilzoy.
;-)

I read the David Griffin (Griffith?) book about the 9/11 report, entitled something like "The 9/11 report: errors and ommissions." He also wrote something called "The New Pearl Harbor" about 9/11 itself (which I didn't read).

Needless to say he came across as a raving lunatic for about 95% of the book (e.g., there are missile batteries on top of the pentagon that will shoot down any plane that comes close enough without some sort of transponder and the fact that they didn't shoot down the AA flight that crashed into the side of the Pentagon shows that the gov't was involved; nevermind the hundreds of daily flights that pass within two miles or less of the pentagon that take off from national airport every day).

The only time he didn't was when he was talking about the Saudis, but by then I wasn't willing to believe anything he said, even if he told me the sky was blue.

I'm sure that with his extensive training as chaplain, this fellow is eminently qualified to make engineering judgements of this kind.

Your father is right to believe in the Trilateral Commission, as they actually exist:

http://www.trilateral.org/

The part you might be skeptical about is their role in running the New World Order.

That conspiracy is part of the nefarious plans of the Mormon Church and the Masons. Not the Trilateral Commission.

I have to say I agree with the NYFD for removing Imam Intikab Habib as their Muslim chaplain.

Doesn't it depend on what the chaplin thinks the backstory is? I mean, if he's saying that there was a lot more support for AQ than has been admitted, that's a lot different than saying that a cabal of Jews did this and conspiracy has been to blame an innocent AQ. There is a certain prejudice being expressed here and that is 'he is Muslim, therefore he is protecting his own by coming up with these theories'. Should the person have been fired if he were a rabbi or a priest? I suggest this just to stir the pot, not to defend. Of course, the simple fact that he would come out with that in a public interview demonstrates a certain unfitness.

I remember Don Delillo in an interview related to his book Libra, which has as a main thread Oswald and the Kennedy assasination, notes that the reason we want to believe in conspiracy theories is that the idea that we are in the grip of random forces and the course of our lives is completely outside out the control of anyone is a deeply frightening topic.

Should the person have been fired if he were a rabbi or a priest?

Yes, actually: under the theory that anyone who still entertains these sort of thoroughly debunked conspiracy theories shouldn't be trusted with pointy utensils--much less responsibility for the emotional well-being of hundreds of men and women in one of the most stressful jobs in the world. Of course, if Inam Habib had simply looked thoughtful and said that some people were saying that sort of thing and that he found it "interesting," he'd have proven himself fully qualified to be the new head of the DNC.

Yes, actually: under the theory that anyone who still entertains these sort of thoroughly debunked conspiracy theories shouldn't be trusted with pointy utensils

Yes, which is why I said
Of course, the simple fact that he would come out with that in a public interview demonstrates a certain unfitness.

I guess the post title needed reemphasis.

In fact, the original article isn't very clear about what was asked. I mean, if reporters go overboard with looting in New Orleans, maybe we should ask first.

Of course, the article Edward cites does this nifty juxtaposition

"There are so many conflicting reports about it," the newspaper quoted Habib as saying. "I don't believe it was 19 ... hijackers who did those attacks." He said he didn't know who was responsible for the attacks.
[snip]

Some have blamed the destruction of the trade center on a U.S. or Israeli plot designed to whip up support for attacks on Muslim countries. In 2003, New Jersey eliminated Amiri Baraka's position as poet laureate after he wrote a poem suggesting
Israel had advance knowledge of the attacks.

Of course, if Inam Habib had simply looked thoughtful and said that some people were saying that sort of thing and that he found it "interesting," he'd have proven himself fully qualified to be the new head of the DNC.

And if he had suggested that the Pentagon had foreknowledge of the attack, he would be fully qualified as vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine which position is more influential.

Um, LJ: knowing about the presence of some bad guys and knowing specific details relative to a hijacking in the offing are so unlike one another as to have me wondering just what the hell you were thinking when you posted that.

Pope Ratzo thinks that Mike Judge was inherently disordered and unfit to be a priest.

I think Pope Ratzo is a bigoted, hateful asshole.

"...(my Dad strongly believes in the Tri-Lateral Commission, for example)...."

I believe in the Trilateral Commission; is that notably different than the "Tri-Lateral Commission"? What's a "tri-lateral," anyway? Apparently some different things.

:-)

Um, LJ: knowing about the presence of some bad guys and knowing specific details relative to a hijacking in the offing are so unlike one another as to have me wondering just what the hell you were thinking when you posted that.

Slarti,
I don't know, I just have to chuckle when I make a point in the very same post that is ignored in a reply in order to score a point. Of course, that couldn't be what was going on, so I have to wonder what this meant.
Of course, if Inam Habib had simply looked thoughtful and said that some people were saying that sort of thing and that he found it "interesting," he'd have proven himself fully qualified to be the new head of the DNC.
It sounds to me like the refusal to jump up and down when a conspiracy is offered is considered by some to be a qualification. Unless you don't think that Able Danger is a conspiracy theory, at which point, I have to wonder just what a conspiracy theory is or isn't. I just want to be careful, cause if I say 'I can't believe that people could do that to each other', I might be out of the running for the DNC.

BTW, welcome back Gary, would it be an exaggeration to say that Serenity pulled you back out?

Unless you don't think that Able Danger is a conspiracy theory, at which point, I have to wonder just what a conspiracy theory is or isn't.

Able Danger isn't a theory. And someone requesting further inquiry isn't an assertion that the Pentagon had foreknowledge of the attack. There may well be a point to be made, here, but so far you're not making one that makes any sense to me at all.

"BTW, welcome back Gary, would it be an exaggeration to say that Serenity pulled you back out?"

Somewhat, insofar as I've not seen it yet (though perhaps sometime this weekend; I can manage the $6.50 matinee this week, fortunately); it's really mostly coincidence, though it did give me an excuse for muttering a bit about two links I have more to mutter about, back at the 'ol home blog.

I was going to make a point similar to Slarti's about non-optimal phrasing about Able Danger and what theories it might or might not imply (or which are being pushed wherever), I'm afraid.

My understanding of Able Danger comes from Weldon's statement on the House floor

Mr. Speaker, I rise because information has come to my attention over the past several months that is very disturbing. I have learned that, in fact, one of our Federal agencies had, in fact, identified the major New York cell of Mohamed Atta prior to 9/11; and I have learned, Mr. Speaker, that in September of 2000, that Federal agency actually was prepared to bring the FBI in and prepared to work with the FBI to take down the cell that Mohamed Atta was involved in in New York City, along with two of the other terrorists. I have also learned, Mr. Speaker, that when that recommendation was discussed within that Federal agency, the lawyers in the administration at that time said, you cannot pursue contact with the FBI against that cell. Mohamed Atta is in the U.S. on a green card, and we are fearful of the fallout from the Waco incident. So we did not allow that Federal agency to proceed.

I don't see any further inquiry there, but again, I'm thinking that implying that the head of the DNC believes that there was a conspiracy yet doesn't admit it publically would have you at least note that it is a bit outre, so I guess I'm just being partisan. 8^)

Of course, if Inam Habib had simply looked thoughtful...

Yeah, yeah, and if he had told the world that he knew where the WMD are (in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat) he would be qualified to be Secretary of Defense.

I'm sure that with his extensive training as chaplain, this fellow is eminently qualified to make engineering judgements of this kind.

Faith-based engineering, Slarti. And given the way things are headed in this country, you might want to brush up on it -- your "real-world science" mumbo-jumbo is starting to look very "20th Century" if you know what I mean...

Nice point, radish. I had some stuff to add, but it'd just take away from your post.

...(in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat)

no, they were sprited-away to Syria in the dead of night by a huge fleet of invisible trucks, never to be seen again. and this proves W was right, and that he was right to invade!

"My understanding of Able Danger comes from Weldon's statement on the House floor...."

And yet, regardless of Weldon, it does appear that Able Danger was a real program. A program, not a conspiracy. Beyond that, I don't regard much about Able Danger as clear, let alone that there's any confirmation of Weldon's charges. So Able Danger is a program, about which various people have made various allegations, a number of which are fairly debatable as to whether they are conspiracy theories. That doesn't change Able Danger from an actual former program to a theory, conspiracy or otherwise.

Quite right, Gary, I shouldn't have labeled it that, just trying to point out that belief in, as you note, "at best, speculation, and at worst, mere prejudice." but since Slarti said he wasn't clear, I just used that as a pointer. Am not quite sure what the 'theory that the Pentagon knew of the identities of the 9-11 hijackers and then did not act on the information' should be called, but I now understand that Able Danger is not an optimal choice.

btw, speaking of conspiracy ur-stuff, Weldon says
we are fearful of the fallout from the Waco incident. So we did not allow that Federal agency to proceed.

and DeLay's lawyer was the one who defended David Koresh. 8^O (my conspiracy theory smiley)

At any rate, following your #8
;^)

If I was in a position of power, I would earn your scorn. Because I believe that there are certain words that forever make a person unsuited for certain positions. I rank this right up there with Campanis and his "blacks just aren't bouyant" as an illustration for why blacks lack the tools to be MLB managers.

Am not quite sure what the 'theory that the Pentagon knew of the identities of the 9-11 hijackers and then did not act on the information' should be called

I can tell you what it shouldn't be called: anything containing the Pentagon had foreknowledge of the attack. Yes, there's all sorts of speculation going 'round about Able Danger and What It All Means, but I haven't seen anyone in a position of importance claiming that anyone involved with Able Danger had any clue at all about the timing of, nature of, or participants in the 9/11 attack. And yes, some are complaining loudly that the 9/11 commission largely ignored Able Danger, the truth of which I expect will come out sooner or later.

I haven't seen anyone in a position of importance claiming that anyone involved with Able Danger had any clue at all about the timing of, nature of, or participants in the 9/11 attack.

I thought that it was precisely the foreknowledge of Atta as a terrorist that was the point of Weldon's revalations? Of course, he said just two weeks ago that 2.5 terabytes of data were destroyed, so I am assuming that it is not 'redrum' repeated ad infinitum. The fact is that Weldon is implying precisely what you say is not being claimed. I mean, his book jacket says this

Could the next September 11 be nuclear? This is no theory, says Congressman Curt Weldon, in his shocking new book Countdown to Terror. It is a fact as real as the arrest of Muslim terrorists who planned to crash a plane into the Seabrook nuclear power plant in New Hampshire in 2004. What’s even more stunning, Congressman Weldon tried to warn American intelligence about the attack—but no one in America’s intelligence community would listen. How did Congressman Weldon know about it? Because of a secret source, an intelligence contact code-named Ali who has been a treasure trove of reliable intelligence—intelligence that, despite Congressman Weldon’s strenuous efforts, has been routinely ignored by the CIA and the rest of America’s intelligence services. But in Countdown to Terror, Congressman Weldon lets you know what the CIA doesn’t want to know. You’ll learn, straight from Ali’s actual reports: · Why Iran will decide the next terror strike on America · How a major planned terror strike was called off because the terrorists thought it would help President Bush politically · Why Iran, not al Qaeda, is the command post of radical Islamic terror · Who is undercutting American efforts to create a peaceful, stable Iraq · Why Iran is like the Soviet Union in the 1980s: extremely dangerous, the iron glove behind all our enemies—yet on the verge of internal collapse · The Iranian nuclear program: red-hot and more advanced than you think Congressman Weldon’s sharing of vital intelligence with you, the reading public, is unprecedented. But it is necessary so that the American people can be informed and pressure our government to do what needs to be done to protect our country, fix our still broken intelligence services, and win the war on terrorism. Countdown to Terror is a frightening book—but it is all true. And if we act now, we can avoid its grimmest scenarios.

At any rate, Radish made my point more elegantly and succintly than I did (or probably could have). More of us liberals ganging up on innocent conservatives simply trying to register their point of view here, I guess. My apologies for getting in the way of a perfectly innocent observation about the head of the DNC.

I'm sorry, what point is that again?

I presume lj means this point.

Ok, and what was the point of that with relation to Habib? Radish's point is that he doesn't like Rumsfeld.

I thought that it was precisely the foreknowledge of Atta as a terrorist that was the point of Weldon's revalations?

Once again, LJ, the equation of "knowledge of Atta as a terrorist" and "foreknowledge of the [9/11]attack" is unjustifiable.

As for the rest, I don't know: either Weldon is using his position to sell a book, or he's using the book to sell his position. Either way, getting the facts nailed down would be a plus, no?

Sebastian, I would try and explain, but I just don't believe it will make enough of a change to bother talking about it much. Unless you were trying to reinforce the title of the post.

Sure slart, whatever. I was using 'foreknowledge' in a sort of vague 'fore'boding or 'fore'warning way. Though still no comment about how believing in conspiracy theories is a qualification for the head of the DNC? Unless you think in that case as well, you just don't believe it will make enough of a change to bother talking about it. If that is the case, color me pleased.

I was using 'foreknowledge' in a sort of vague 'fore'boding or 'fore'warning way

Extremely vague, ok. And it'd only look anything remotely like foreboding or forewarning in hindsight, which...I shouldn't have to point out wasn't available at the time.

Though still no comment about how believing in conspiracy theories is a qualification for the head of the DNC?

Which way are you arguing on this one, LJ? Although this seems kind of non sequitur to our discussion here, it's been amply addressed elsewhere.

What I wanted to explore, many moons ago, was what makes something a conspiracy theory. Where is the line that we draw? Able Danger, you tell me, is not a conspiracy theory, though it supposedly identified Atta and the NY cell of AQ before 9-11, and Atta's name was on Whedon's chart, but he only had one copy and he gave to someone. There's a reason why the book he wrote is published by the same company that published Malkin's _In Defense of the Internment_

I also wanted to point out that we don't know what question was asked and how the reporter followed up. I remember the Campanis interview, and Ted Koppel gave the guy every chance to restate himself. Did that happen here? Well, since the cleric resigned of his own volition, saying that he never intended to say anything that would cause emotional distress, he strikes me as a much more rounded individual than the folks who are piling on him, and, I hate to say, drawing a conclusion that somehow the belief in conspiracy theories and muslim religion are linked. In fact, I believe the cleric said that he was inclined to think that because it was difficult to imagine devout Muslims doing what that. (the google news search now turns up 30 1 paragraph articles from various TV station websites, so I can't find a link) Now, if a Catholic has some problems admitting that the church has systematically tried to cover its tracks in any number of child abuse cases and that this effort extends to the upper ranks, how do you view that? Or a serviceman who can't believe that the Abu Grahib torture could have ever been sanctioned by higher-ups? How about Safire and the Atta-Hussein meeting? Or Judy Miller's whole ouvre? Doesn't it make you the least little bit cautious that we just had widespread reports of looting crime in NOLA that turned out to be almost totally without merit? I can understand a quick knee jerk reaction, but at some point, you pause for some reflection. Or at least I do, as others have noted, it's impossible to get a fix on just what you are thinking.

I clearly said, in case you missed it, that making a gaffe like that should automatically disqualify him. But if some folks around here had half the ability of the Muslim cleric to back away from some of their assertions, rather than treating them as battle flags that can never touch the ground, (and I include myself in that, just so you know) this place might be a little more signal and a little less noise.

devout Muslims doing what that

Sheesh. Devout Muslims doing what he regarded as a what is the muslim word for mortal sin, geez, I don't know I'll try another phrase, gawd that sounds stupid I guess I'll write something like that, and as I type that, I forget to change the rest.

Devout Muslims doing something like that. Not Devout Muslims doing "what that".

And what the hell is wrong with typepad tonite?

Able Danger, you tell me, is not a conspiracy theory

I'm sure that someone, somewhere is alleging that there's some conspiracy to sweep Able Danger under the rug because someone will look like an idiot for having ignored...something. Could I get any less specific? I don't think so. Point is, Able Danger all by itself isn't a conspiracy OR a theory.

I believe the cleric said that he was inclined to think that because it was difficult to imagine devout Muslims doing what that.

Cool, someone less clueful than I.

I clearly said, in case you missed it, that making a gaffe like that should automatically disqualify him.

Ah, well, I guess we're talking past each other, since what I chose to respond to was the Able Danger bit. This guy I'm not so interested in, other than his value in making me look well-informed in comparison.

And, dunno about TypePad; I'm having similar problems.

Atta's name was on Whedon's chart

JC almighty, Weldon, not Whedon. I must have Serenity/Firefly on the brain (I have no idea when it is going to get to Japan, and my wife would kill me if I order anything else from Amazon)

Liberal Japonicus: You can see the first 9 minutes of serenity online. And the official moviesite has some fragments you can watch...


Liberal Japonicus: You can see the first 9 minutes of serenity online. And the official moviesite has some fragments you can watch...


The fragments of the moviesite can be found here.

It is true that the British and Papal forces are locked in
struggle. But it is also important to realise who their partners are,
even if the partnership have cracks. The British are aligned with the
Jewish, Byzantine and Hindu forces. The Papal forces are aligned
with the Islamic and Confucian forces.

Cromwell brought back Britain's Jews and made them loyal to the
British agenda. America's Puritans were also aligned with the Jews.
Disraeli made Israel part of the British agenda. Jefferson and
Franklin were instructed by a Greek named Paradise how to write the
Constituion and set up universities loyal to the Greek agenda.
Byzantines have a politburo called "Archons" to which even Gorbachev
belongs. The Byzantine forces have control over Russia as well as the
old Alexandrian hegemonies of Egypt and Syria. This is why Greek
shippers control Arab and Russian oil. Greek shippers shipped slaves
to America which were captured by Arabs and their African allies.
Greek-born British Prince Philip has reverted to Orthodox Christianity
in his old-age. All the money in India is in Orthodox Christian,
Zorastrian or Jewish hands. As the USA is moving towards a Papal
majority, the British hegemony is moving jobs to India, which is more
likely to be aligned with British interests.

The Papacy always had good ties to Islam, not just because of
abortion. The Papacy has always used Islam and Confucianism against
their enemies. Marco Polo reopened ties to China, which they saw as a
counterforce to Byzantium and Russia. Even when Muhammad was alive,
the Papacy wanted to use Islam to destabilize Byzantium. The Pope
opposed any action against Saddam because Tariq Aziz was a Papal
Chaldean. Hitler was a Papal altar boy and was aligned with Islam and
Japan.

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