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:: Thursday, January 01, 2004 ::

The Myths Live On

It never ceases to amaze me how fables and outright lies can live on in public discourse, long after they have been thoroughly definitively debunked.

Today's fractured media environment, as "empowering" as it may be (let's be frank, shall we? Some people simply shouldn't be empowered), has taken the "Lexis Nexis effect" to absurd new heights. Call it cybercascading, or, as Lileks put it, "non-contiguous information streams." What ever you want to call it, it appears that there are still scores of people -- legitimate journalists among them -- who to this day Didn't Get That Memo.

Alan Cabal has written another one of those Unanswered (to the Satisfaction of the Most Paranoid Among Us) Questions essays, regurgitating nearly every internet canard that's been written about the September 11 attacks, and attempts to marry them to the legitimate pursuit of answers to the depths of our intelligence/national security failures, and how such attacks can be prevented in the future.

Cabal's screed is so jam-packed with lies, I hardly know where to begin. First, I should emphasize that, in his attempt to hitch his bullshit assertions to more warranted criticisms, Cabal does make some (well, maybe only one) valid points. Yes, Condoleeze Rice shouldn't have made that ridiculous assertion about not being able to "imagine" that such an attack could occur. But, as I've written before, a little perspective is in order while conducting any recounting of the missed warnings.

But Cabal's piece takes the missed warnings argument just a bit too far:
Breitweiser is resolute in her assertions. Airport security officials, she believes, could have done much more to prevent the hijackings. Beyond that, however, she wonders what September 11 would have been like had the government made the public aware of the threats. How many people, she asks, would have chosen to board planes that morning? And how many of those in World Trade Center 2 would have remained in their offices, watching the inferno of Tower 1, had they known of the possibility of an air attack?

Those warnings, as Cabal himself notes, were received in June and July. Hence, to suggest that making them public would have made a difference nearly three months after the fact is a bit ridiculous.

After this, Cabal just repeats the most idiotic arguments you may have already read, many of which have been debunked here, but all of which have been debunked somewhere ...
So many, many questions. Why did World Trade Center 7 collapse? No airplane hit that building, and before September 11, no steel skyscraper had ever collapsed because of a fire. Yet three fell–very neatly and virtually into their own footprints.

(Even if one allows the engineers their claims that WTC1 and WTC2 were designed to collapse in on themselves, what of the perfect collapse of WTC7?)

The firefighters who were in the two towers were not in the least concerned about a collapse, as demonstrated in the fire department’s transcript of their radio traffic. In fact, they stated that the fires were dying out and could be extinguished with just a couple of lines of hose. Jet fuel burns like kerosene or charcoal fluid–quickly and completely–yet Ground Zero burned for 100 days.

The idea of rigging the buildings for a controlled demolition was dismissed as unrealistic by even the most suspicious types. How to gain access? Well, President Bush’s other brother, Marvin, had a security company covering the World Trade Center, Dulles International Airport and United Airlines.

Well, there you have it. Michael Meacher and Gore Vidal have nothing on this asshole, who is actually suggesting that the WTC towers were destroyed by a controlled demolition.

People have asked me why I've never addressed this particular conspiracy angle on my What DIDN't Really Happen page. Quite honestly, I thought they were too absurd even for my time. Think about this kind of scenario: the evil PNAC cabal wanted a war and needed a massive terrorist attack as a pretext. They think, we could fly some "hijacked" planes into the WTC towers. Just one problem with that idea -- burning jet fuel isn't sufficient to bring the towers down [No, I don't believe that nonsense. I'm humoring these morons, focusing on the scenario itself. -- Ed.] and the public might not support our Pertpetual War if the towers don't collapse. Oh yeah, and don't forget about WTC 7. The plan won't work unless we rig explosives to bring down that building, too. And don't worry about getting caught. It's easy to rig three office buildings in downtown Manhattan with enough explosives to bring them down without anyone noticing.

Now, a "controlled demolition" that succeeds where the 1993 WTC bombing failed should be sufficient, but for some reason, the neocon cabal thought it necessary to go through with the hijacked planes plot, even though they were deemed insufficient to do the job. And they managed to coordinate them in such a way so that they crashed into the buildings at the exact locations of the rigged explosives -- can't have anyone seeing explosions in another part of the buildings -- and manage to do that without setting off the explosives prematurely ...

What fucking planet are these people from?

Cabal continues:
Some doubt altogether that a plane hit the Pentagon. On Sept. 12, Arlington County Fire Chief Ed Plaugher made some revealing statements. When asked about aircraft wreckage, he responded that "there are some small pieces of aircraft visible from the interior during this fire-fighting operation…but not large sections. In other words, there’s no fuselage sections and that sort of thing." When asked about jet fuel, he referred to a "puddle."

Look at pictures, however, and it’s hard to believe that a Boeing 757 flew into the Pentagon. The damage is not in proportion to the claim, especially when one considers that two Boeing 757s are said to have taken down three skyscrapers. The Pentagon was dented, the plane evaporated.

Good lord, are there still people who believe this garbage? Oh yeah, I forgot. Roughly 20 percent of the German public, and perhaps a similar number in France. But just in case you've spent the last two and a half years in either place -- or under the same rock Cabal just crawled out from under -- read this.

It get's worse:
"Mohammed Atta" appears to have been a stolen identity, as per the real Atta’s father and his passport, which went missing in 1999, and on Sept. 23, 2001, the BBC reported that at least four other of the 19 men identified as the hijackers were alive and well–and considerably unsettled.

Oh, shut the fuck up.

And, should you have any remaining doubts that Cabal's piece is nothing more than a rehash of stale crap he read on the internet, he repeats yet another ridiculous claim:
Condoleezza Rice’s preposterous May 16, 2002, statement that no one could have foreseen this scenario was particularly ironic given that Pacifica Radio identified her that day as the source of San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown’s "airport security" call warning him not to fly on Black Tuesday.

This one has also been around a while, and has appeared on dozens of Web sites -- but none of them credible news sources. I'm not sure if it's even true that Pacifica Radio ever made such an allegation, as none of the Web sites that make the claim actually cite Pacifica directly -- they all lead eventually to a sidebar on this piece by notorious anti-Semite and holocaust denier David Irving.

Not that it matters too much whether Pacifica ever did "report" such a thing. It frankly doesn't even pass the smell test (none of the hijacked planes flew out of San Francisco, and, as Zach Cohen once asked, why would Rice give such a warning to Willie Brown, who wasn't in any danger, but not to administration official Ted Olson, whose wife died on Flight 77?

Nonetheless, it would be interesting to learn whether Cabal ever bothered to check the claim with Pacifica, or if he simply ran with what he read on Indymedia, Rense.com, or wherever he read it. I'm willing to bet on the latter.

Like any good conspiracy monger, Cabal tries to cloak his ridiculous claims by coyly claiming he's just asking questions, and searching for the truth. But whether his essay is an exercise in willful deception, or just plain sloppy reporting (I'm trying not to assume malice where there is room for ignorance, but he's not leaving me much room), it is clear that the truth is the last thing Cabal is seeking.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:25 PM [+] ::