Saturday, 10 September 2011

For Argument's Sake (or why the BBC has earned another nickname for that acronym.)

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on." --- George W. Bush.

There were so many things wrong with BBC's 9/11 Conspiracy Road Trip on Thursday night; it's hard to know where to start. Should it be with the flimsiness of the debunking? Or with the pseudo-science? Or with the choice of participants and experts? Or the content and editing aimed at manipulating the audience? All these aspects seemed so obvious. During and after the programme, comments flowed thick and fast online. One facebook user just writes, Lego? A youtube user, Building 7? So I don't know if it is necessary to say any more. For the sake of good argument, something which the BBC seems incapable of, I will. 

Irish comedian, Andrew Maxwell took five young Brits who thought some of the information supporting the fact there was a non-al-Qaida conspiracy behind 9/11 was true, on a coach trip with the intention of changing their minds. You notice, I use the word ‘fact’. Well, if I’m following Andrew’s example, I can present what I think as fact, whether I have enough reliable evidence to back it up or not.

Andrew Maxwell

He takes them to visit Ground Zero and other sites of significance whilst meeting various 'experts', officials and a 9/11 victim's mother, all the time trying to 'crack' them. (His own choice of language.)

The appointed 'voice of good reason,' talks about his five companions like they are psychiatric patients, often ridiculing or sympathising with their 'condition.' Maxwell's own views about 9/11 are not open to change, which is hypocritical since his whole mission is to convert and indoctrinate these discerning, young people to his own infallible way of thinking. We get the impression this whole reality TV ordeal is a drag for him and he just wishes they’d all shut up about this '9/11 crap' which he compares to believing in Santa Claus.

Andrew thinks that if he takes them to ground zero and introduces the idea of real suffering to them, it might give them a ‘reality check.’ Since when has looking for the truth about how a lot of people died been independent from sympathising with real suffering? That's a cheap shot aimed at guilt-tripping viewers to side with him. Surely it’s because there was so much suffering that so many people think 9/11 needs to be explained properly. Maxwell can't understand how ‘his guys’ could believe the American government could ever allow 9/11 to happen its own citizens.

Has he done any research into the history of the CIA or false flag attacks? Ever heard of Operation Northwoods or the PNAC document? Us Maine or the Gulf of Tonkin? No? Then please stop the endless flow of patronising vomit-turds leaving your lips. Thanks.

I understand where he’s coming from; I have faith in humanity too. I’m surrounded by many good and wonderful people most of the time but I am not gullible enough to project theirs and my own values onto a long line and organised cabal of unscrupulous psychopaths who laugh at the weakness of compassion and the very fact you attribute such a noble quality to them.

"Sarah, if the American people had ever known the truth about what we Bushs have done to this nation, we would be chased down in the streets and lynched." George Bush Sr. 1992."  

Sometimes, when I look George W. Bush's silly face during those moments in the Florida primary school, I want to believe he's just like any other man trying to do the right thing ..but then I remember everything else I know.

Funnily enough, on Wednesday night, another BBC documentary, 'Are You Good or Evil?' told us in no uncertain terms that 'Corporate culture today is ideal for the psychopath,' and, 'In high business you are four times more likely to find a psychopath than in the common crowd.' Logically, high business would include politicians with huge stakes in the oil business and the arms trade who have fraudulently muscled their way into government.

But why would Andrew have done any research himself? He's a comedian, not an investigative journalist. Why bother researching when you can lounge in front of BBC 24 all day and draw upon the official news for your jokes?

I've digressed a little so let's get back to the programme. Five 'conspiracy theorists,' and a bunch of 'conspiracy theories' for the BBC to debunk. I have given the five silly names; this is not how I see them but how I think they have been portrayed by the programme's editors.  

From left to right: Shazin smiley-less-cynical Nurse, Emily sensitive-unsure-student Church, Andrew reasonable-inoffensive-nice-chap Maxwell, Charlie confused-puppy Veitch, Charlotte baader-meinhof-nanny Scott-Hayes, 
and Rodney 'you'd-think-a science-graduate-would-be-more- rational' Chavrimootoo.

The terrorist pilots.

Charlotte says the amateur pilots could not have flown into the buildings with so little practice. Shazin is then taken in a two seater plane for a cruise around Manhattan. She is shown how to control and land the plane. She admits it was quite easy to fly. So, Conspiracy One debunked then. No one mentioned that the most complicated thing about the 9/11 flights wasn't flying headlong into a skyscraper, it was performing a stunt turn in a passenger plane (not a two-seater) and then flying into the Pentagon at ground level at over 500mph. The accused terrorist's flight school teachers even said they did not believe them capable of this in interviews included in the Loose Change films. Also:

‎"The government story they handed us about 9-11 is total bullshit, plain and simple. To expect this alleged airplane to run these manoeuvres with a total amateur at the controls is simply ridiculous."

Captain Russ Wittemberg, US Air Force, Pan Am and United Airlines pilot for 30 years.

Prior warning of a terrorist attack.

Emily's main bone of contention: why, if George W. Bush was given warning on August 6th 2011 (she's referring to the Presidential Daily Brief prepared by the CIA and given to Bush on that day entitled Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US) was there not maximum security implemented in US airports. Andrew takes them to meet a United Airways pilot called Buck Rogers. Buck says; 'Before 9/11, many airports didn't have metal detectors, and way before 9/11 sometimes people didn't have to walk through the metal detectors to get on the plane.' The metal detectors that weren't there, right? The inconsistency of this statement could be overlooked, for fear of sounding too pedantic but Buck also says that it was common to fly with the cockpit door open before 9/11. Of course, the BBC wouldn't want to mention Pilots for 9/11 Truth in their hit-piece; they are an organization founded in 2006 consisting of a growing number of aviation professionals who have analysed Data provided by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for the Pentagon Attack, the events in Shanksville, PA and the World Trade Centre attack. The data does not support the government story. The Pentagon and the NTSB/FBI refuse to comment. This entry on the Pilot's for 9/11 Truth website is of particular interest:


"according to Flight Data provided by the NTSB, the Flight Deck Door was never opened in flight. How were the hijackers able to gain access to the cockpit, remove the pilots, and navigate the aircraft to the Pentagon if the Flight Deck Door remained closed?"

It might be easy to scold Emily for not being as informed as she perhaps could and should have been for representing the third of Britain who identify with the 9/11 Truth Movement. However, remember the power of editing; Emily has since voiced her grievances about the editing and cut-outs from the show.

"Firstly, I must tip my hat to them, they did a wonderful editing job..Throughout my time on the show I asked question after question, I asked every single person we met whether they believed the official story to be true and the vast majority of them said no. Ask yourselves this question, why has the footage of us meeting Tom Owen, a voice analyst who worked on the Osama Bin Laden 'confession' tapes, been cut completely? There is a simple answer, because he told us not to believe the official report. Why? Because we aren't in the 'need-to-know' category, his words, not mine. Throughout our entire meeting with Tom Owen it was pretty much clear that the director of the show wasn't happy with his take, like most of our meetings with 'experts' she would try and steer the conversation in a direction that would better fit her hit piece."  

Emily Church on Facebook.

Controlled demolition of the twin towers.

Andrew admits Charlie has a strong case. Well, the towers did collapse at almost free-fall speed into their own footprints. Andrew tells Charlie; ‘This isn't a youtube video, now you're actually going to meet someone.’

The demolition expert, Brent Blanchard explains the process of installing explosives into a building's columns for a controlled demolition and it certainly seems like a lengthy one. Andrew concludes that such rigging could not have happened under the noses of so many workers. Of course, the BBC would not mention the testimony of Scott Forbes, employee of the Fiduciary Trust, which in 2001 occupied floors 90 and 94-97 of the South Tower and lost 87 employees plus many contractors on 9/11.

"On the weekend of 9/8,9/9 there was a 'power down' condition in WTC tower 2, the south tower. This power down condition meant there was no electrical supply for approx 36hrs from floor 50 up. I am aware of this situation since I work in IT and had to work with many others that weekend to ensure that all systems were cleanly shutdown beforehand ... and then brough[t] back up afterwards. The reason given by the WTC for the power down was that cabling in the tower was being upgraded ... Of course without power there were no security cameras, no security locks on doors and many, many 'engineers' coming in and out of the tower. I was at home on the morning of 9/11 on the shore of Jersey City, right opposite the Towers, and watching events unfold I was convinced immediately that something was happening related to the weekend work ..." Scott Forbes.

Blanchard then shows the group two stacks of Lego representing the towers. Charlie wants to know why the section of tower under the plane impact collapsed, instead of the upper section falling away after it began tilting to one side, apparently. Using the Lego, the expert describes how, as soon as the upper section began to tilt, the unstable weight would have compressed the floors beneath, thus causing the collapse. Charlotte raises the issue of the burning temperature of jet fuel; it's not hot enough to melt the steel core columns. 'Oh, it wouldn't need to,' says Blanchard. This is a remarkably strange response since the official explanation of how the towers collapsed is the pancake theory, in which the heat from the burning jet fuel weakened the steel causing trusses to snap and the floors to fall on top of one another. Astonishingly, Blanchard has just categorically stated that the heat from the burning jet fuel had nothing to do with the collapse of the twin towers. Other structural engineers have said that if a pancake collapse had occurred there would have been a pile up of floors at the bottom, not a fountain of phenomenal energy, jettisoning out steel beams and a cloud of pulverised concrete.

'Pancake' Collapse.

World Trade Centre Collapse

Building 7 was completely ignored throughout this section and the whole show; the building that collapsed at almost free-fall speed, into its own footprint when no plane hit it! Their next stop should be the families of the 9/11 victims involved in the BuildingWhat? campaign. Maybe then, Andrew could see that appreciating real suffering goes hand in hand with seeking the truth about how a lot of people died and why foriegn countries were invaded.

Charlie however, did not have such thoughts. His were: 'Now I've spoken to a guy who's explained why it happened and it all makes sense.' Incredible. A lot has been said about Charlie Veitch since the programme was filmed and there are many theories now circulating about him. I'll just say at best, he's highly suggestible, parroting whatever he last heard. Despite studying philosophy, he has the least aptitude for critical thinking out of the five. That's if he's genuine. 

Thermite in the towers.

However, Rodney and Charlotte are not convinced by this demonstration. Rodney says there have been scientific papers published about the presence of thermite at ground zero and that this powerful substance was used to bring the towers down. He and Charlotte speak to another 'expert' about this. He shows them pictures of such material in said scientific papers. The expert also says: 'There's no way to structurally explain the free-fall than some form of controlled demolition device. Why weren't those questions asked?' But then it quickly cuts away to the thermite demonstration supervised by a 'thermite expert' from the University of California. A loose pile of thermite is placed on a steel beam and ignited. It burns brightly and hotly but has little effect on the steel. I’m no expert but I’ve seen plenty of demonstrations on video of thermite cutting through steel. Many from BBC's own Brainiac: Science Abuse programme for kids. If thermite burns at above 2000c and doesn't affect the steel here, how would jet fuel which burns at 1000c, have affected the steel beams in the towers, which had a melting point of 1500c. But of course, that theory no longer applies anyway, as Blanchard demonstrated with his Lego towers. I’m not saying I think the towers were necessarily brought down by thermite/thermate, I just hate shoddy argument.

Thermite cutting through a steel safe and blowing it open. Brainiacs.

The experiment has still not 'cracked' Rodney or Charlotte. We now see an awkward moment between Charlie and Rodney, who is clearly not impressed by Charlie's sudden turnaround. Charlie begins a spiel about the NYPD and 'what was in it for the establishment actually?' (Although, earlier he was orating about the money being made in the wars, the arms trade and contracts etc.) Rodney walks away as Charlie holds the camera’s attention in a very thespian fashion, which comes across as unnatural. But later we learn that Rodney is evil because he leaves Andrew Maxwell's gig right in the middle of his orang-utan joke to take a call from his Mum who doesn't even know he's in the USA. Gasp! Rodney is dishonest! We cannot trust him!

Pentagon: Missile or Plane?

Next up is the proposal that a missile hit the Pentagon, not Flight 77. We see the replay of the footage released by the FBI which doesn’t make anything clearer, apparently. By this point, I’m really bored of Andrew Maxwell’s relentless narration, saying he’s trying to get their heads around the fact that 'this is nuts.' I want to hear more from the group.

Footage from CCTV camera released by FBI. (See something at 1.25)

They meet Alan Kilscheimer, a Structural Engineer for the Pentagon who has framed letters from Rumsfeld and Bush all over his office walls. We’re told he was one of the first on the scene when the Pentagon was struck. Andrew: ‘He should be able to tell us whether the Pentagon was hit by a plane or not.’
Kilscheimer says he saw parts of the plane in the building, and parts of stewardesses. In a while, when they go to Pennsylvania, we will be told by another expert that human beings explode like water balloons when hitting the ground, and that’s why there were no bodies at Shanksville. Kilscheimer shows us an animation of a passenger airplane going through the Pentagon. He explains how whilst travelling through three wings of the Pentagon, the plane disintegrated, (leaving body parts in recognisable stewardess attire.) The small hole in the other side of the building can easily be explained, says Andrew, because it’s where the tail remnants of the plane came out. Hmm, Kilscheimer just said ‘you’ve got to understand how explosions work’ to understand why the hole is small and round. So was the hole made by an explosion or the tail section of the disintegrating plane that was left inside? Never mind gut feeling; show me some science that makes sense.

Pentagon 'remnants' hole.

‎"With all the evidence readily available at the Pentagon crash site, any unbiased, rational investigator could only conclude that a Boeing 757 did not fly into the Pentagon."

Col. George Nelson - Aircraft accident investigator, US Air Force.

The above extract from a report by Pilots for 9/11 Truth also supports that Flight 77 was not hijacked.

Air Traffic Control and Military not intercepting planes. 

Next, they meet Ben Sliney, Head of Air Traffic Control who basically says the attacks could have been prevented but they were all a little tardy and not really talking to each other that day. The USA spends more money on its military and air space surveillance programs than any other country. The BBC is making those programs sound as significant as milk tokens for mothers or horticultural therapy in prison. Oh, those government cuts!

"I'd also like to ask why footage of Ben Sliney saying that someone needs to held accountable for 9/11 was cut?" Emily Church

Flight 93 Disappeared.

"It does seem a bit strange for a plane to disappear but..."
Andrew Maxwell, Comedian.

Next the group go to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to the place where Flight 93 crashed into the ground, leaving no bodies and no parts of plane, according to the official report.  The coroner‘s report says that the crash cannot be explained. Rodney rightly asserts that therefore, everything they are about to hear is speculation, not proof.

Crater at Shanksville.

Here we are presented with the craziest science yet. Greg Feith, former American Air Safety Investigator with the NTSB tells us that when Flight 93 hit the ground, the nose stopped but the rest of the plane still had so much energy that it collapsed into itself but by then it was 40 feet underground so the earth fell in on top of it and it was buried. That's why the crater was so shallow. But the black box was recovered almost immediately. We’re also told that on high speed impact, human bodies will explode like water balloons, like they didn’t in the Pentagon where Alan Kilscheimer saw deceased stewardesses. Feith then has the five doubters dropping stones into piles of flour; the stone, representing the plane; the flour, the ground. They are also given eggs to throw on the ground to see how something can shatter into tiny fragments. Then water balloons to demonstrate how debris can scatter over a large area. Hang on, Greg -  you've lost me. I only have a GCSE in Physics but a hard stone hitting a loose pile of soft flour just seems a little different from an egg hitting the hard ground. Which is the plane? The stone, the egg or the water balloon? Which is the ground? Soft, loose flour or hard concrete? What happened to the plane, Greg?  Did it get buried, did it shatter into tiny pieces, did it get scattered for miles, or are you talking total bullshit?

This isn't an inquest into Humpty-Dumpty's death, Feith.

3000 deaths, hundreds of thousands more in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Feith’s trying to justify it all with an egg? At least Charlie seems happy with this explanation, messing about with a model of a Boeing 757 when back on the bus, ignoring Rodney, the science graduate. Remember, Rodney didn’t tell his Mum about the trip!

Faked Phone Calls?

Next Andrew wants to prove the existence of Flight 93 by taking them to meet Mark Bingham’s mother, Alice Hoglan who received a call from her son who was on board Flight 93 when it was hijacked, according to the official story.

Shazin has chosen as her most definitive and irrefutable opposition to the official story, the theory that the phone calls were faked. How about Building 7? The missing 2.3 trillion? The mysterious deaths of 9/11 witnesses over the last ten years? Nope. It’s got to be the fake phone calls. Oh well. I expect this is down to the BBC's editing, those other questions may well have been asked over the course of the week.

Charlotte points out that during the phone call to his mother, Mark Bingham didn’t answer any direct questions but repeated what he had said first. This suggests that his voice could have been recorded previously, morphed and ‘played’ to his mother. This is how the conversation went.

M.B: “Hi Mom this is Mark Bingham. I want you to know that I love you. There’s three men that say they have a bomb.”
A.H: “Well, who are they, Mark?”
He repeated that he loved her and then the phone went dead. She phoned his cell back twice and left two messages.

Dr George Patterson(?) an inventor of voice morphing technology, takes a recording of Shazin’s voice. Her own words are; ‘I think everyone wants to be optimistic..’ and with his software he makes her say: ‘I think everyone wants to disappear and vanish.’ It is very convincing; it sounds exactly like her. However, Patterson thinks it would be too impractical to do in live time. Rodney says it could be done on a soundboard. I don’t know what that is but looking back at what Charlotte said, if Mark Bingham didn’t answer any questions and the conversation was one way, it could have been recorded and manipulated previously. 

What follows is an emotional and touching meeting with Alice Hoglan.  She tells the group that she subsequently heard the cockpit recording (from the recovered black box presumably.) She heard people running and someone shouting:  ‘In the cockpit! In the cockpit!’ and that’s it. For Andrew, the aim of meeting her is to convince the rest of the group that she believes she was talking to her son. Afterwards, reasonable-nice-chap Andrew escorts Alice back to her car, whilst Baader-meinhoff nanny Charlotte and Mum-hater Rodney are still not convinced. Rodney says he has no doubt that she believes she spoke to her son, but that it's still a possibility the phone call was faked. The technology is there, he says. It is a convenient ending for Andrew and the BBC. It’s obviously trying to ‘break’ the contestants with emotion and guilt, intending to make any who still think there was more to 9/11 than the official story, feel bad about doing so. Next we cut to an argument on the bus where Emily says Charlotte has a heart of stone, and I guess it’s edited like his because the audience is supposed to agree with her. (Emily later said they made up swiftly but this was cut.)

A reason why the BBC chose such young participants is that they anticipated they would be susceptible to this kind of crude manipulation and bias persuasion, and therefore ‘break’ easily.  There was no Richard Gage or Judy Wood to the themite expert. No David Ray Griffin to the Alan Kilscheimer.  No Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth to the Brent Blanchard. I could go on.
The BBC is saying: ‘If you think there was a US government or Mossad conspiracy behind 9/11, you don’t care about the victims.’ It’s reminds me of 1984 and double think:

New Enquiry=Cruel. Complicit Silence =Sympathy and Respect. 


Pentagon Memorial

As the group convalesce and reflect on all they've experienced at the Pentagon Memorial, Andrew reviews which ones he has managed to 'crack.' With Charlotte and Rodney, he has failed. Emily looks quite exhausted and is on the fence. Shazin says she's the 'least conspiratorial,' which is not what she means but we know what she means because we're all used to this new language by now, that the BBC and the government have invented for 9/11 and the War on Terror. Charlie has gone from being a high profile 'Truther' to dismissing everything he thought before as propaganda. In just one week. Hmm.

At least they can all agree on one thing, laments Andrew, that 9/11 was a tragedy. I think they knew that already but thanks, Andrew, without your guidance and this ridiculous programme, I may not have realised.

No doubt, I haven’t debunked all of the debunking in the programme as thoroughly as I might have with the information now available, but I will add this:  The ‘theory’ that the official report is not the be all and end all of 9/11, is not a linear argument that breaks when one piece of supporting information doesn't fit. The many questions that need to be answered have multiple strands with supporting evidence, and if one falls away, the whole thing does not break, or disintegrate, like planes. If it does, the same should be true of the official story.

I’m still not sure if it was worth tackling this programme but I hope I’ve highlighted some of the holes in the arguments in a more consistent way than they were presented to us. 

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting: I really appreciate the way you critique the BBC's poor science as well as their pointed editing. It's all pretty depressing stuff. And the propaganda has worked: I knew nothing of Building 7 until I read it here. Staggering.