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9/11 Politics
Posted: 30 April 2005 10:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]  
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[quote author=“global village idiot”]Without actual proof, it is actually highly unreasonable for you to wonder. Where’s your evidence?

My first questions regarding 9/11 came from my consideration of the amount of time that the hijacked planes were in the air (while off course), without being intercepted.  This one question led me, invariably, into the realm of what is sometimes called the ‘9/11 Truth Movement’.  Although the movement certainly has its seemy underbelly of crackpots and ‘tinfoil hat’ types, there do seem to be some legitimate questions being raised from the data, instead of the other way around.

The evidence is the question. There are a number of claims made with regards to 9/11 which, if true, would certainly cause one to question the official story.

I will focus on two issues which, for me, remain serious questions concerning the events of the day:

1. The lack of interception - The basis of my initial skepticism remains my single greatest source of disbelief.  Given the relative frequency with which interceptors are scrambled to deal with planes that go radio dark, or veer off course, how is it that the hijacked planes were able to fly around, off course, for as long as they did?

2. The collapse of WTC 7 - The nature of the collapse of WTC 7 is highly disturbing.  Not hit by any plane, the official explanation is that debris broke a fuel line, which dumped fuel (because the pump was activated by fluke), which was then ignited by more debris (and the flames were not extinguished because of yet another fluke), which then proceeded to cause the building to neatly collapse in on itself.  This explanation, by FEMA’s own admission, is highly improbable, and while we are at it, why was FEMA doing the investigation in the first place?  Furthermore, it should be noted that the steel girders of WTC 7 were removed before FEMA started its investigation, and FEMA investigators were not given unrestricted access to the site.

This whole thread started with a reference to Maggie Gyllenhaal’s assertions that the US is “responsible in some way” for what happened on 9/11.  That is actually a pretty broad accusation, which encompasses an extremely wide array of possibilities.  I will agree that such a statement, while actually claiming very little, is slanted in such a way as to invite ominous interpretation.

It has also been asserted, in this thread, that it is intellectually bad form to assert a conspiracy where simple incompetance is all that is required to fit the facts.  I have no problem with that either.  My problem is with an official story that smells funny.  Possibly to cover up for incompetance.

So, for me, I have serious issues with the “official” story.  If the official story is bogus, then it becomes to fair to speculate as to why.

I’ll freely admit that when speculating, I entertain a variety of possibilities which are pretty “out there”, but when searching for an explanation for something, it is not unacceptable to use intuition as the basis for a hypothesis.  If one proceeds to use intuition as the basis of a truth claim, with no intervening testing, then one is being unreasonable.

-Matt

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Posted: 01 May 2005 06:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]  
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[quote author=“psiconoclast”][quote author=“global village idiot”]Without actual proof, it is actually highly unreasonable for you to wonder. Where’s your evidence?

My first questions regarding 9/11 came from my consideration of the amount of time that the hijacked planes were in the air (while off course), without being intercepted.  This one question led me, invariably, into the realm of what is sometimes called the ‘9/11 Truth Movement’.  Although the movement certainly has its seemy underbelly of crackpots and ‘tinfoil hat’ types, there do seem to be some legitimate questions being raised from the data, instead of the other way around.

The evidence is the question. There are a number of claims made with regards to 9/11 which, if true, would certainly cause one to question the official story.

I will focus on two issues which, for me, remain serious questions concerning the events of the day:
1. The lack of interception - The basis of my initial skepticism remains my single greatest source of disbelief.  Given the relative frequency with which interceptors are scrambled to deal with planes that go radio dark, or veer off course, how is it that the hijacked planes were able to fly around, off course, for as long as they did?

2. The collapse of WTC 7 - The nature of the collapse of WTC 7 is highly disturbing.  Not hit by any plane, the official explanation is that debris broke a fuel line, which dumped fuel (because the pump was activated by fluke), which was then ignited by more debris (and the flames were not extinguished because of yet another fluke), which then proceeded to cause the building to neatly collapse in on itself.  This explanation, by FEMA’s own admission, is highly improbable, and while we are at it, why was FEMA doing the investigation in the first place?  Furthermore, it should be noted that the steel girders of WTC 7 were removed before FEMA started its investigation, and FEMA investigators were not given unrestricted access to the site.

I have no clue about WTC-7.

However, the “lack of interception” concern is thoroughly covered in the first chapter of the 9/11 Commission Report.  They go through a very detailed timeline for each aircraft showing when it took off, when it was most likely hijacked, when the FAA first became aware that “something was wrong”, when they finally concluded that a hijacking had occurred, when and through what procedure they notified the military, when interceptors were scrambled, how, where and why they were located and vectored, etc., etc.

The bottom line is that the military received the first notice of the hijacking of American 11 (first plane to hit the WTC) about 8 minutes prior to impact.  The interceptors were not airborne until 7 minutes AFTER impact.  For United 175 (2nd WTC) they were notified 12 minutes AFTER impact.  For American 77 (Pentagon) they were notified 3 minutes prior to impact.  For United 93, they were notified 4 minutes AFTER the plane had already crashed.

As laid out in detail in the report, all the timelines and delays in notifying the military are explained and seem to be very reasonable given the level of pre-9/11 threat expectation, the procedures in place at the time and the confusion of the unfolding events that morning. 

I served for 5 years in the Air Force as a communications-electronics officer, with responsibility for command and control systems, working at the operational level in both missile and aircraft wings .  In addition, at a later point in my civilian life, I spent about two and a half years participating in an in-depth study (for the Pentagon) on all aspects of US military command and control of the forces including fighter interceptors.

From my perspective and background, I see nothing unexpected or anything that would raise my suspicions about the 9/11 commission account of the “lack of interception” issue.

That is not to say that there was not confusion or that improvements could not be made and probably have been made since.

There are also some conspiracy wingnuts out there who insist that the military is covering up that the Pentagon was actually struck by a missile because there was no airplane debris found.
http://www.pentagonstrike.co.uk/
http://thewebfairy.com/killtown/pentalawn.html
For what it is worth, a very good friend of mine was in his office on the 21st floor of a high rise office building about 5 miles south of the Pentagon when American 77 flew directly over the building clearing it only by a few feet.  He stood there looking out of his office window and watched the thing (going at max engine power) all the way into the Pentagon.

Secondly, in my brief 5-year military career, as the base crypto security officer, it was my unpleasant duty (on two different occasions) to be required to go into the (still burning) crash debris of KC 135’s that had augured in shortly after takeoff fully loaded with jet fuel.  I had to go in to secure any classified materials may have survived the crash and my job was to be there at the same time that the fire crews reached the cockpit.

I can tell you that, due to the intense fire and heat, there was damn little left of those planes or the bodies of the crew members.

One final word on the “big picture” about government conspiracy theories in general.  To me, it is almost inconceivable, in a government that leaks like a sieve and cannot seem to keep even the most important secrets for any length of time, that any conspiracy or cover-up concerning an event like 9/11 could succeed.  There are simply too many people who would know what really happened and (at least) some of those would either speak and/or leak

Of course, that observation will not slow down the”tin hats” one bit.

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Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful…..Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman (3 BC - 65 AD)

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Posted: 01 May 2005 06:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]  
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Funny, but I had read that previous post and I was hoping that Conservative Atheist would be respond. Boy am I just learning and picking up stuff from you guys.

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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt 11:28-29

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Posted: 01 May 2005 08:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]  
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[quote author=“Conservative Atheist”]However, the “lack of interception” concern is thoroughly covered in the first chapter of the 9/11 Commission Report.  They go through a very detailed timeline for each aircraft showing when it took off, when it was most likely hijacked, when the FAA first became aware that “something was wrong”, when they finally concluded that a hijacking had occurred, when and through what procedure they notified the military, when interceptors were scrambled, how, where and why they were located and vectored, etc., etc.

The bottom line is that the military received the first notice of the hijacking of American 11 (first plane to hit the WTC) about 8 minutes prior to impact.  The interceptors were not airborne until 7 minutes AFTER impact.  For United 175 (2nd WTC) they were notified 12 minutes AFTER impact.  For American 77 (Pentagon) they were notified 3 minutes prior to impact.  For United 93, they were notified 4 minutes AFTER the plane had already crashed.

As laid out in detail in the report, all the timelines and delays in notifying the military are explained and seem to be very reasonable given the level of pre-9/11 threat expectation, the procedures in place at the time and the confusion of the unfolding events that morning.

It may be that the 9/11 comission report is on the money.  Sometimes an improbable series of events is just that.  My cognitive disonance on the subject stems from the fact that roughly 100 times a year, interceptors are scrambled to meet planes that have either lost radio contact, or veered of course, or both.  The average response time tends to be in the 10 to 20 minute range.  From my perspective, that makes the breakdown of 9/11 a statistical curiosity.  When statistical curiosity coincides with criminal activity, my suspicions are aroused.

That I have some issues with the government in general is not exactly a secret, and I will amiably concede that a combination of my personal experiences with Uncle Sam, combined with my fundamentalist upbringing, may be causing me to entertain more extreme possibilities than I otherwise would.  (As an aside, during the last several years, I have, on multiple occasions, found myself believing something that was bogus, and, upon closer inspection, found that belief to stem from things dating back to my religious indoctrination.)  Consider my postings here on the subject to be my version of “reading aloud” for a few classmates in order to check for errors.

There are also some conspiracy wingnuts out there who insist that the military is covering up that the Pentagon was actually struck by a missile because there was no airplane debris found.

Yes.  A little over a year ago, someone sent me the first link that you have there.  Although the presentation is slick (and the music is very cool), a good flash movie does not a good argument make.  The supposed difficulty of the approach strikes me as somewhat curious, but the wreckage itself (or lack therof) failed to impress me.  After all, the historical precedent for huge planes crashing into the Pentagon is pretty much zip, so I found claims that we should know what it would look like to be ambitious at best, and disingenuous at worst.

If I am to be honest, I must admit that much of my disbelief comes from a gut level distrust of the current administration (which has been vindicated on other issues).  It is not irrational to investigate someone or something further, just because one’s gut indicates that someone is being untruthful.  It is, however, irrational to use that gut suspicion as the sole evidence in making an actual truth claim.

As a final aside, though, I would like to extend my thanks to (most) of the posters here.  9/11 is an emotionally charged event, and it tends to suppress reason and objectivity, which is why it is so vitally important to have a place in which people will join in honest discussion.

-Matt

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Posted: 01 May 2005 04:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]  
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[quote author=“global village idiot”]Never ascribe to conspiracy what is more easily explained by incompetence.

I see you’ve invoked the Reagan defense….incompetence.

I’m inclined to agree with the “incompetence” theory, but if 9/11 was allowed to happen through the incompetence of one or more people, then they are still responsible for their incompetent actions or lack thereof.

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Posted: 01 May 2005 07:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]  
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[quote author=“bulldog”]I’m inclined to agree with the “incompetence” theory, but if 9/11 was allowed to happen through the incompetence of one or more people, then they are still responsible for their incompetent actions or lack thereof.

I agree, which is why I voted against Bush in the last election.

But there is nonetheless an important distinction here, particularly when discussing borderline conspiracy theories—negligence and premeditated murder are both crimes, but they aren’t equivalent crimes, which is how a lot of proponents of such theories tend to talk about them.

If there is any criminal liability on the part of the Bush Adminstration in this affair, the evidence on hand would not support a charge more egregious than criminally negligent manslaughter… and that’s applying the worst possible interpretation of the evidence, and assuming there is any such liability at all, a charge that to my knowledge has not been adjudicated in any court. In addition, such liability would fall primarily on the career bureaucrats and mid-level personnel who’d been at their posts for years, many of them from the eras of Clinton, Bush I and even Reagan.

Thus, as in all other matters, a skeptic must assume that Bush, et. al., are innocent until proven guilty.

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