9/11 Conspiracies

Popular Mechanics has a very readable debunking of many of the most prevalent 9/11 conspiracies.  I am sure conspiracy theorists will generally respond to most of the scientists quoted with the all-encompassing "they're in on it!"  Once you get so many people giving evidence that the conspiracies are incorrect, you drive the conspiracy into the realm of Meyer's Law:

When the same set of facts can be explained equally well by

  1. A massive conspiracy coordinated without a single leak between hundreds or even thousands of people    -OR -
  2. Sustained stupidity, ignorance and/or incompetence

Assume stupidity.

In this case, the word stupidity is unfair.  The 9/11 attacks fall into the category of the "unimagined".  Frank Borman (as portrayed in the awesome mini-series "From the Earth to the Moon", I have not been able to find out if they used his actual words) is speaking to a committee hearing on the Apollo 1 fire that killed three astronauts.  Under intense scrutiny for a set of conditions that in retrospect seemed ridiculously unsafe, Borman described the problem as "a failure of imagination". 

In this case, for example, conspiracy theorists ask why no military plane intercepted the aircraft.  First, I would argue that without any prior precedent, no military commander or politician would have the cajones to shoot down a planeload of innocents on a commercial airliner (now THAT would be conspiracy fodder, had it happened).  Second, though, the article quotes a number of military commanders to say that the US didn't really have the radar coverage or aircraft patrols in place to intercept an airplane attacking from within the country - everyone previously imagined the threat to come from outside our borders, and that is how our defenses were arrayed.

Anyway, read the who article - it is an entertaining roundup of conspiracy theories (people do have good imaginations) and a well-argued debunking of them.  (via Instapundit)


  1. elizabeth:

    I will read the article -- I do not think unimagined is the right word becasue it (and countless other things have been) was imagined by Tom Clancy in one of his novel when he had an airplane crash into the capital. I think it was more the NIMBY effect -- not in my back yard.

    Thanks for letting us know of the articles --

  2. Larry:

    Bullshit; Nutz; dum ass;

  3. Kyle:

    Oh yeah, the "Popular Mechanics" article... written by Michael Chertoff. And he's what now? The head of the Dept. of Fatherland (In)Security? Why would they pick a writer for Popular Mechanics to be the head of that department? Oh yeah, because he's not a writer for Popular Mechanics, he's a C.I.A. hack, that explains both why he's head of Dept. of Fatherland Security AND why a magazine that used to be reputable would produce such a laughable whitewash of 9/11 and especially the WTC "collapses" [read: controlled demolitions]. Because not too long before this ridiculous article appeared Popular Mechanics magazine was bought out by the C.I.A. and their editorial and writing staffs were purged and replaced with C.I.A. hacks. Just look at the issue that this article was in, look at the staff there and then look back a few issues at the staff. Because the C.I.A. are the only ones who could present this and keep a straight face. I suppose one has to give him credit for at least "trying" to explain the precision implosion of the Twin Towers in ten seconds apiece (freefall rate) WITHOUT mentioning explosives, an insurmountable task. But I thought you heard the latest: The "pancake theory" has been thoroughly discredited and the administration produced yet another turd sandwich of a "theory" as to why the "collapses" occurred. Are you ready for this? Their new position is that when the Towers were hit it shook all the fireproofing off of all the main support columns which allowed them to get heated up by the "intense" fire. Yeah, all the fireproofing. Off all FORTY-SEVEN huge columns. At once. Sounds like they're grasping at straws. Have you all forgotten about the "hijacker's" passport "found" [read: planted] near the WTC rubble? Ever wonder how it "survived" the "intense" fire that we were told incinerated the planes, the passengers and even the black boxes? What was it made of, kryptonite? No, it was obviously planted.
    Regarding the "collapses" of the Twin Towers and the WTC # 7 which was never hit by a plane or any significant debris, all one has to do to see 9/11 was an inside job is to look at the video footage of the "collapses". See the explosions and also the "squibs" of dust jetting out of the windows from the charges going off. See the buildings "collapse" in ten seconds, the rate an object falls through air unopposed, impossible UNLESS all forty-seven main support columns were simultaneously disintegrated with explosives. See for yourself:

  4. Kyle:

    By the way, in regards to what was said in your "explanation" as to why the world's most expensive air force allowed the "hijacked airliners" to fly totally unhindered for An HOUR & TWENTY MINUTES to their respective targets, one being the seat of the Dept. of Defense (!), you said that maybe it was because N.O.R.A.D. doesn't watch the interior with radar, just "pointing outwards". This is patently incorrect. N.O.R.A.D. sees the same things on radar as the F.A.A.'s air traffic controllers (and then some) and knows when an airliner deviates from its flight plan the same time the F.A.A. does. They don't have to for example call an air force base and request that they scramble because of an unresponsive airliner; the air force is monitoring all air traffic in the U.S. on radar as well as the F.A.A. and a scramble in that situation is standard operating procedure without higher orders. And no, it would not take a presidential- or vice- presidential order to shoot down an airliner, but they would however have to clear it with either N.O.R.A.D.'s commander or the chairman of the JCS, which they would have had PLENTY of time to do. Bear in mind that they were flying through the most closely-watched airspace in the country, the Northeast, littered with fighter bases, each with at minimum two fighters and two pilots on standby to scramble and be off a deviant airliner's wing in a FEW MINUTES, any time of day or night at all times. Every other time before 9/11 or since then that an airliner or even a smaller plane deviates from its flight plan fighters have been off of their wing in a few minutes. I mean dozens of times a year. So it isn't as if airliners very rarely deviate from their flight plans and get a couple fighters off their wing, like only once every few years; it's several dozen times each year. For many, many years N.O.R.A.D. has been watching the same radar scopes as the F.A.A. and has always responded quickly to anything that could possibly be a hijacked airliner, except that is on 9/11. Besides, did you notice that although the Pentagon is well-equipped with surface-to-air missile (SAM) launchers, it didn't fire any SAMs in its own defense? Not one. So to your "coincidental" air force impotence on 9/11 theory you need to add the headquarters of the Dept. of Defense's "coincidental" lack of defending itself. I can hear the believers now: "No, wait... N.O.R.A.D. and all it's fighter bases' personnel must have been asleep... "Al Qaeda" must have somehow slipped something into their coffee...yeah, that's the ticket...And the coffee of the Pentagon's SAM launcher crews too...yeah, see, the "official" story's not so far-fetched after all..."

  5. chas:

    wheres the proof that fighters are automatically scrambled when a plane deviates from its path if it happens so many times a year wouldnt you think that would keep track or some record of it. Also planes dont have to have a specific flight plan people that own their own planes can hope in and fly to wherever they want just need take-off and landing clearance

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