Oops! HuffPo Puffs 9/11 Truther

March 9th, 2011 at 4:09 pm David Frum | 49 Comments |

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You’ll miss the Mainstream Media when they’re gone.

You’ll miss professional reporting.

You’ll miss editors who ask questions like, “What’s your source?”

What you’ll have instead is … well let me tell you a story that happened yesterday.

It involves Dan Froomkin, a writer who became a hero of the lefty blogosphere during the Bush years for his ferocious attacks on the supposedly supine Washington press corps.

I still believe that no one is fundamentally more capable of first-rate bullshit-calling than a well-informed beat reporter – whatever their beat. We just need to get the editors, or the corporate culture, or the self-censorship – or whatever it is – out of the way.

Froomkin delivered these attacks from the belly of the beast, WashingtonPost.com, where he was employed from 1997 to 2009. After the Post ended his contract, Froomkin shifted to the Huffington Post, where yesterday he published a story on HuffPo’s homepage under the reader-inviting headline:

“A Reagan Republican Makes A Case Against The War — And His Own Party”

The piece glowingly profiled Paul Craig Roberts, who was introduced by Froomkin in the following terms:

Roberts, 70, is one of the original Reagan Republicans. From his perch at the Treasury Department, he was a chief architect of Reaganomics. He edited and wrote for the Wall Street Journal editorial page and was a fellow at the Hoover Institution. Now a syndicated columnist living in the Florida Panhandle, he’s still a devoted supply-sider.

But Roberts is profoundly alienated from the modern GOP, particularly when it comes to civil liberties — and wars.

Sounds interesting, right? Man-bites-dog and all that. To underscore the significance of Roberts’ critique, the story was illustrated with a flattering close-up photograph of Roberts, a portrait of a Founding Father in Continental uniform hovering just over his left shoulder.

Unfortunately, Froomkin’s introduction of Paul Craig Roberts omitted some relevant facts from Roberts’ biography:

* Roberts is a 9/11 denialist, who has stated his views emphatically, repeatedly, and unabashedly for over a decade, eg here.

* Roberts believes that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 reduced whites to second-class citizenship.

Racial privilege is a fact of U.S. law. … White males had best give up any idea of defending their women or themselves, and women should not confuse their men’s aversion to jail with cowardice. America has returned to the feudal age when legally-privileged nobles could assault commoners at will, but woe to any commoner who returned the compliment.

* Roberts laments the disappearance of Confederate symbols from public spaces, and argues that never in American history were black people treated as badly as white people are treated today.

* In 2009, the Anti-Defamation League publicly condemned Roberts as an anti-Semite, reacting in part to columns like this one:

There’s no money for California, or for Americans’ health care, or for the several million Americans who have lost their homes and are homeless, because Israel needs it.

Roberts’ idiosyncracies are not exactly obscure facts. As the ADL noted, no non-fringe US publication has carried any of Roberts’ writings since 2006. A phone call or Facebook message to any of Roberts’ former Reagan administration colleagues would have discovered the whole sad story.

I exchanged emails with Dan Froomkin last night, and he acknowledged he did not know that Paul Craig Roberts was a Truther crank. Froomkin evidently did not know any of the things you’d think a reporter would want to find out before writing a piece attesting in front of millions of news consumers to the significance of one individual’s views.

OK, so one reporter did bad work. So what? It happens.

Here’s the so what: It is precisely because “it happens” that reporters do bad work that old-line media organizations instituted quality checks to protect news users from disinformation. Old-line media organizations hoped that these quality checks would incubate a corporate culture in which truth took precedence over ideology.

But those quality checks were expensive. They got in the way. And it turned out that a media organization could make a lot more money by putting ideology ahead of truth. That’s the story of Fox and talk radio. That’s the story of media pranksters like Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe.

And it’s the story of Dan Froomkin and Huffington Post.

I wrote to Dan last night to ask him whether he was unaware that Roberts was a 9/11 Truther. Dan confirmed that he was indeed unaware – but that the Huffington Post had since added an update.

Here it is:

A reader notes that Roberts has also written several times that he does not believe the official explanations surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Roberts wrote an essay in 2006 espousing many of the so-called “Truther” beliefs, casting doubt on how the World Trade Center towers actually collapsed and raising the possibility of a military cover-up. Roberts defended those views in an email: “No real investigation has been done, and experts who raise points have simply been brushed aside or called ‘conspiracy theorists.’” He added that “until the ‘truthers’ are professionally answered, I will remain a 9/11 skeptic.” Roberts’ beliefs clearly raise questions about the soundness of his foreign policy views. He either should not have been cited in the piece or the article should have clearly noted his perspectives.

Beyond that PS, the story remains intact on the Huffington Post site, although hastily removed from prominence, under its original headline identifying Paul Craig Roberts as a “Reagan Republican.”

I wrote to Dan last night that I’d seen more repentant corrections for spelling errors. I asked if I might interview him. When I did not get an answer, I emailed my questions:

Dan, I appreciate that you may feel reluctant to answer questions, and I do have a mid-morning deadline. To encourage and to expedite, permit me to provide in advance the questions I’d wish to ask you:

1) How did the idea of a Huffington Post profile of Paul Craig Roberts originate? Was it suggested to you by anyone? If spontaneous with you, how did you happen to know of Roberts? After all, he has not published any work on any non-fringe media platform since 2006?

2) Beyond your telephone calls and email exchanges with Roberts, what other research did you do before writing the profile?

3) What editorial process occurred after the piece was drafted? Did an editor read and approve or did it proceed direct to the home page without editorial intervention?

4) Who wrote the postscript to the piece? By what process was it decided to leave the original headline and text intact?

Froomkin responded by email as follows, and I’ll give his reply in full:

When I spoke to Roberts about his views on Afghanistan, I was unaware that he was a 9/11 skeptic. Had I known that, I wouldn’t have written about him. There was plenty of evidence of his views on the Internet and I was negligent in not having explored his past writings more thoroughly. Had I found out before publication, we would have killed the story.  When we became aware of those views after publication, we quickly removed the story from a position of prominence on the website. But rather than take the story down entirely, which would not have been transparent, we immediately appended an editor’s note.

I originally decided to contact Roberts after running across a recent column he wrote criticizing the push for military action in Libya. I did a brief search for his writings about Afghanistan, and found his intense opposition notable given his background with the Reagan administration and in light of Grover Norquist’s recent suggestion that Reagan himself would not have supported such a venture. But I should have looked much more closely at his background.

But of course Froomkin didn’t look closely. Perhaps he did not wish to look. Who knows what you might find that way? And there does not seem to have been anybody with the authority or the interest to make him look.

When the Huffington Post hired veteran newsmen Howard Fineman and Tom Edsall, it did seem that some Old Media values might be imported into at least one New Media platform. But the incentives run very strongly the other way. Everyone can see that a media enterprise gets more clicks and better ratings from confirming preconceived opinions than from challenging them. And the consequences of a horrible mistake? Very low. It didn’t hurt Andrew Breitbart to circulate a deceptively edited tape of Shirley Sherrod. And I doubt it will matter very much that Dan Froomkin celebrated a 9/11 denialist as a lonely heroic defender of civil liberties.

Welcome to 21st century journalism. That old ideal “Without fear or favor”? It’s outmoded! It’s been replaced with a new rule: “Let the buyer beware.”


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49 Comments so far ↓

  • ottovbvs

    “Welcome to 21st century journalism. That old ideal “Without fear or favor”? It’s outmoded! It’s been replaced with a new rule: “Let the buyer beware.”

    And who exactly would you say was principally responsible for this DF? Given how much ink you’ve expended on this non subject one has to wonder about the sense of priorities.

    • PatrickQuint

      ottovbvs: “And who exactly would you say was principally responsible for this DF? Given how much ink you’ve expended on this non subject one has to wonder about the sense of priorities.”

      Frum points at a few culprits: “That’s the story of Fox and talk radio. That’s the story of media pranksters like Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe.”

      Journalism and its integrity matters a great deal to politics, which is why I have no problem with pointing out bad research and bad editing. I find this subject to be of critical importance to the future of the United States and the discourse of its democracy.

  • Non-Contributor

    There is nothing more interesting than this to write about?

  • jg bennet

    aaaand excellent! “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” –Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816.

  • ProfNickD

    There’s probably 9/11 troofers posting here on FrumForum.

  • hisgirlfriday

    OK I watched some of David’s comments about this on Twitter yesterday and after reading this piece I’m still confused… does David think that one cannot simultaneously be a Reagan Republican AND a 9/11 truther conspiracist?

    BTW, David could you add an actual link to the HuffPo piece in question so your readers can better know what you are talking about?

    • Nanotek

      HGF — http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/07/afghanistan-paul-craig-roberts_n_832427.html

      you can see why the GOP ad hominem knives came out to deflect attention and argument away from his claims about the GOP, neocons and their wars

      “In Iraq, there were huge numbers of people dead and dispossessed, with no place to go,” he said. “But none of that bothered us. When we’re doing it, it’s quite all right.”

      “And Roberts can’t forget how the George W. Bush administration used deception to take the country into … Iraq, on the grounds that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. ‘Lies,’ said Roberts, ‘and the bastards knew it.’”

      “The GOP has changed. Under the influence of the neoconservatives, the GOP is becoming a Brownshirt party.”

      etc

    • Meghashyam Mali

      We’ve added a link now. Thank you!

  • KBKY

    I have to disagree with some previous posters and say that I find this is very interesting. HuffPo is certainly not the only news organization (or reporter) to fall into this trap. What is disappointing is not that it happens (someone will always slip through the cracks or approach their job lazily), but that there are no repercussions from readership. This means that there is no incentive for there to be repercussions from editors. As folks focus more and more on only ingesting news that conforms to their beliefs or preconceptions, journalistic standards will falter. It’s interesting to think how this will affect public understanding of policy or if there will be some sort of backlash in the future.

    • ottovbvs

      Who outside of blogland has actually heard of any of these people? It’s equivalent to a gnat farting in the Amazon jungle. Now if you’r into gnat farts I can see it’s a big deal but then gnat farts are not really a national preoccupation.

      • Brazen

        @ottovbvs
        Come on, do you really think that crap journalism is not a problem. The only way for people to learn about who they are voting for is through good journalism and media. It is obvious when you look at stations like Fox and MSNBC that these stations are biased to one side of the spectrum right. So when people only get biased information, they base who they vote for off of one extreme side of the spectrum without getting the other sides oppinions. Mass media is powerful, and the journalism behind it is VERY important.

  • Cashmoney

    No reason for Froomkin to give beat reporters such high marks. Yes, they’re (probably) pretty good at detecting a BS story, but how often do they report what they know?

    Was it Woodward and Bernstein who said that had Watergate been assigned to a White House reporter, the story would have died? The guy would have been assured by one of his highly-placed sources there was nothing to it. And who cares if the reporter didn’t believe his source? That’s how he would have reported it.

    I read something the other day claiming that the recent stories about the NFL’s head injury problem are being broken by reporters on the baseball beat who not afraid to step on toes. Reporters covering football have too many sources to protect — head injuries? No big deal. And besides, the NFL’s on top of the problem.

  • KBKY

    @Ottovbvs
    If it were a one time occurance, I’d agree with you, but after the despicable Shirley Sherrod episode it seems to be becoming a trend with these types of news outlets. Given that these news sources are becomming more and more prominant and popular, I think it’s more relevant than a “gnat fart”.

  • balconesfault

    Roberts is a 9/11 denialist, who has stated his views emphatically, repeatedly, and unabashedly for over a decade, eg here.

    Damn, that’s impressive, given that 9/11 happened less than a decade ago!

    Roberts believes that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 reduced whites to second-class citizenship.

    Huh – Reagan appointed someone who opposed the Civil Rights Act to a major position with Treasury? What a surprise…

    BTW – this whole piece kind of makes Froomkin look good, compared to the universe of reporters out there who would have responded to any challenge with a vicious counterchallenge attacking Frum for any number of past mis-statements or embarrassing associations. Instead, he admitted he didn’t do all his background checks. That’s sort of refreshing …

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    Going after Huffpo is pretty damn low hanging fruit. Now if it were the Atlantic or The New Republic I would get your point, but it is the Huffingtonpost for crying out loud, it is bubblegum news.

    “But of course Froomkin didn’t look closely. Perhaps he did not wish to look.” Actually I doubt it was anywhere near that, most likely he didn’t look to closely because he is writing for a rag like the Huffingtonpost and has to churn out so much on a short deadline. In any event calling out Huffpost is a bit like calling out the National Enquirer.

  • JimBob

    There’s plenty of stuff about 9/11 that has been covered up. How many people know that on 9/11 the FBI and Jersey state police weren’t arresting Arabs or Muslims in connection with the bombing, but Israeli intelligence operatives.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWpWc_suPWo

    Or that a team of Israelis had setup cameras across the river in Jersey to film the attack as it happened.

    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2007/02/16/the-high-fivers/

    Netanyahu says 9/11 terror attacks good for Israel

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/report-netanyahu-says-9-11-terror-attacks-good-for-israel-1.244044

  • Deep South Populist

    Roberts went off the mainstream conservative reservation years ago but well after he served under Reagan.

    When Roberts served as Treasury secretary under Reagan, he didn’t take these unconventional positions.

    What I want to know is this: what did Roberts say about Iraq that isn’t true?

    —-

    ““In Iraq, there were huge numbers of people dead and dispossessed, with no place to go,” he said. “But none of that bothered us. When we’re doing it, it’s quite all right.”

    “And Roberts can’t forget how the George W. Bush administration used deception to take the country into … Iraq, on the grounds that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. ‘Lies,’ said Roberts, ‘and the bastards knew it.’”

  • Deep South Populist

    This is a classic ad hominem attack designed to divert attention from the issues raised in the HuffPo article (America’s wars).

    In this case, instead of refuting Roberts’s views on Iraq and explaining why they are incorrect, Frum makes Roberts himself and the HuffPo journalist the issue.

    So now instead of debating whether Roberts’s views on Iraq are founded, we are talking about journalism and Roberts’s views on a series of unrelated issues.

  • Deep South Populist

    Roberts thinks the GOP has changed for the worst since Reagan and doesn’t think America’s social safety net should be sacrificed to pay for ending wars. These aren’t exactly controversial positions except maybe to neocons.

    Paul Craig Roberts wrote:

    The GOP has changed. Under the influence of the neoconservatives, the GOP is becoming a Brownshirt party.

    I am a constitutionalist, a civil libertarian who believes that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the FIRST things to be defended, not the last to be defended or that can be pushed aside in the name of “national security.” Without the Constitution and the civil liberties that it guarantees, there can be no security.

    When it comes to the market economy, I am a realist. I understand that, compared to a nation of farmers and artisans, a market economy–especially under free trade, jobs offshoring globalism–subjects people to massive economic insecurity and requires a strong social safety net. The idea that Republicans are espousing that the social safety net can be sacrificed in the name of deficit reduction in order to pay for wars of hegemony is insane, inhumane, and evil.

    Such Republicans have nothing in common with President Reagan.

  • pnumi2

    Where do you go to re-register as a ‘troofer’? Not a 100% one — more like a 50-50 one.

    Is it possible that WMD is the only lie they told us about the Iraq War? And if Bush could have paid off Hans Blick, we might not even know that. Our government is so deceptive about everything, why not 911, too?

    No, I’m definitely keeping the troofer option open, after all, to paraphrase Hamlet’s uncle King Claudius: “When lies come, they come not as single spies, but in battalions.”

    Does anybody know the troofer secret handshake?

  • anniemargret

    I have never fully accepted the 9/11 explanation of events that day. Never. It never made any sense, and still doesn’t. I don’t know what the answer is, but Roberts is correct.

    I haven’t joined any organization or movement, but my own personal feelings about what transpired that day and what their explanations of what and how and why don’t jive.

  • Elvis Elvisberg

    It is precisely because “it happens” that reporters do bad work that old-line media organizations instituted quality checks to protect news users from disinformation. Old-line media organizations hoped that these quality checks would incubate a corporate culture in which truth took precedence over ideology.

    Meh. Yeah, Froomkin shoulda noted that this guy was a 9/11 fact denialist. But it’s hardly an indictment of all nonprint media. (And as DSP notes, the guy does make some non-crazy arguments worth engaging).

    In fact, the MSM is a very poor source of information on many issues because they are terrified of provoking the wrath of the right wing by accurately reporting the news. So they seek “balance,” merely relating what “both sides” say, regardless of accuracy or merit. This, of course, serves to disinform news readers.

    To wit: http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/03/09/science-is-hard/

    [beginning of quote, stripped of links]: [The stream of objections to climate science voiced by a Republican congressman is] a list of nonsense that has already been dealt with and debunked a bazillion times- so many times that here is a complete resource for answering just those sorts of idiotic, mouth-breathing questions. John M. Broder could have found this list, and many others like it, if he had taken .16 second to go the great gizoogle:

    But there you have it- both sides do it! Both sides claim to have science! Why should we tell you that one of them is full of shit? It’s not the job of a science writer in the Environment section of the NY Times to inform you…

    We are doomed.[end of quote]

  • indy

    It’s outmoded! It’s been replaced with a new rule: “Let the buyer beware.”

    Yeah, it’s not like the rest of the free market is like that or anything. What’s good for the goose and all that…

    Beyond that, however, there is no excuse for any self-respecting person–playing a reporter or not—to become a unquestioning conduit for a political agenda is there? Right, perhaps this isn’t the right place for that observation.

  • RLHotchkiss

    I don’t mean to defend Roberts, but how is opposing payments to Israel antisemitic? Israel is a very wealthy nation. Its leaders have more and more openly defied America’s entreaties vital issues of America security and the security thousands members of the United States armed services.

    The fact is that the budget crises is being cited as justification for serious reductions of services for the most vulnerable American citizens. Why is it antisemitic to question why Americans must go without healthcare that Israeli’s take for granted when we are giving Israel billions and billions of dollars?

    What about the hundreds of thousands of poor and elderly Jews in the United States. Why isn’t it antisemitic to take away their healthcare, their state government pensions, or make them retire years later?

    • pnumi2

      If you are not Jewish and are critical of Israel, the ADL charges you with anti-Semitism; if you are Jewish and are critical of Israel, they call you a ‘self-loathing’ Jew.

      Everybody sees through these Mafia tactics except the ADL and their stooges.

      Frum ought to tell Foxman what a pathetic joke the ADL turned in to.

  • jerry ebert

    Way to go, David Frum! This is why we love you!

  • rbottoms

    Paul Craig Roberts

    Who the hell is Paul Craig Roberts?

    Anyway if he’s a truther nut okay, I’ll know not to pay any attention what he says or writes.

    That wasn’t too terribly difficult. Meanwhile elected Republican officials are paying attention to their nuts and put bills into law because of it. You know ones like women have to be told the lie abortions cause breast cancer.

    Point is our nuts by and large aren’t wielding a Senate or Congressional vote. Can’t say as much for the other side. And besides, if I read Frum’s post correctly this guy is a Republican so he’s one of your nuts anyway.

  • Gramps

    As I stood there…the Colonel asked me…

    Sergeant, how will you attack, will it be off the mountain or up the molehill…?

    I responded…

    [blockquote]Neither Sir…I’m gonna out flank ‘em on the river run…!
    However; it will require a simple, diversionary attack…[/blockquote]

    Colonel…

    You name your requirements, we’ll supply them…!

    “Thank you Sir…!”

  • MajWilliamMartin

    That was very Interesting. I guess many today forget or forgot that CNN ran the video of the White Van by the Bridge with the 2-3 Israeli’s that were Arrested that had Explosives in the Van. That video is still on YOUTUBE. Also the Israeli’s seen Cheering and High Fiving each other that were (Only there to DOCUMENT the Event) Which matches a 4 Part series from FOX NEWS on Israeli SPYS in America which denoted that out of all investigations the ALL had ADVANCED KNOWLEDGE of 9/11 Since they were Wire-Tapping the FBI and CIA. Yet Our own Government said it was ALL CLASSIFIED.
    This is Also seen on Youtube.
    One other thing to remember. The U.S.S. Liberty. It Seems Our Government also Classified everything about that event too. Yet as the Navy Men that were alive and on board the USS Liberty started to tell their story YES, On Youtube Also. We see that there was a huge cover-up there also. Something to be learned here is how far to keep ones “FRIEND” at your side. Ever more so as Israel uses the United States as a Puppet to kill Arabs. I bet if this site were to run a POLL, FEW if ANY have read the Leaked “Palestine Papers” and saw the great lengths the Palestine People have gone to make Peace and been repeatedly Stabbed in the Back.
    A Quick search on Google for Reporters SHOT in the HEAD will prove that.
    MWM

  • Gramps

    The only place in the whole wide “real world” this post… or its’ content has any relation to real life, or any place we as blogger’s or humane beings, vicariously live, is in this, or in any sorry, alternative universe…

    This post, has absolutely, positively, nothing to do for or add to any improvement to the combat, environment… the real, actual, everyday lives for those of our progeny that serve daily “in harms way”…!

    Journalist are humane beings…and often foolish.
    Where were the journalist before we waged the total, politically contrived War in Iraq…?

    Consider our most recent national, ten year commitment to waging, war in Afghanistan…how many years is it in Iraq…
    I’m a just a father…how about you mother’s…?

    Olde soldier sends…!

  • Gramps

    @MajWilliamMartin // Mar 9, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Major, has yer “better half” been at Wal Mart, shopping all evening…?
    Check the lav, in the downstairs bathroom…you’ll find yer Prozac…

    Olde Sergeant, sends…!

  • jquintana

    ProfNickD // Mar 9, 2011 at 4:19 pm:

    There’s probably 9/11 troofers posting here on FrumForum.

    I counted at least 4. I’m not sure I understand why Frum attracts so many far left whackos, but I am saving these comments to bring up every time I’m admonished for accusing them as such.

    • anniemargret

      I’m not a ‘far left whacko’ thank you. I’ve got questions about what happened on 9/11. There is no political party attached to the ability and freedom to think for oneself. Maybe you’re the ‘wacko’ for accepting it blindly, since the commission didn’t even do the job they were supposed to do.

      • jquintana

        If you’re a truther, you’re a whacko.

        If you’re not a truther, then explain your reluctance to accept reality.

        And, by the way, I’m not just attacking left-wing truthers…I’m attacking ALL truthers, left OR right. They disgust me, and yes, they are ALL whackos.

    • anniemargret

      Actually I find it refreshing to occasionally agree with some of the more ‘conservative’ members here on a topic. It means once in awhile, partisan politics can take a back seat.

  • steevlak

    I’m not surprised. They’ve posted a lot of terrible non-science science articles, so I don’t think they think to check the validity of a lot of what they run as long as they agree politically with the author on a surface level.

  • camus32

    So what’s the main point here David? That no one can express an opinion in the media unless such person has been certified beforehand by FF as being ” mainstream”? Also, I do not agree that being irritated by our continual subservience to Israel should (in itself) be sufficient to have one’s self qualified as an anti-Semite. JPR could indeed have some wacky opinions. Perhaps he is or was a racist. People’s views should be judged on their own merits, not on an ad hominem basis.

  • takvar

    This is a good critique of Froomkin, but the assertions favoring old to new media are a stretch. I applaud the detail with which you note the reporter’s responsibilities. However, I fail to see that old media sets much of a standard. Old media like the NY Times, the Washington Post, and others do have checks in place, but these checks are frequently trumped by other interests. The NY Times famously issued an apology for its sloppy reporting in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. This led to a new set of guidelines for the use of anonymous sources, which by the NY Times own admission, are frequently ignored. See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/22/opinion/22pubed.html

  • YuriPup

    So is there an editor for FF?

    I mean there has been some lousy fact checking and, at least to me, ridiculously weak arguments made here at FF…

  • PatrickQuint

    I don’t pay much attention to grand conspiracy theories because large numbers of people just can’t seem to keep a lid on things like that.

    As for 9/11, the motives of the terrorists are plausible, the mechanics of the hijacking are plausible, the incompetence of US air defense is plausible, the physics of the collapse is plausible, and the fires in the nearby building 7 is plausible (as is the explanation for why nobody put the fires out). The analysis of all the important parts seems pretty legit to me.

    Perpetrating 9/11 as an excuse to invade Afghanistan is not plausible in my estimation (there’s no strategic or political value to that country). Perpetrating 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq is not plausible in my estimation (Saddam was perfectly happy to sell his quite secure oil, and Bush didn’t use 9/11 as an excuse).

    Some 9/11 conspiracy theories have been unfairly neglected:
    http://www.myconfinedspace.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/conspiracies.thumbnail.jpeg

    • anniemargret

      Other than the motives of terrorists, don’t you find it just a tad ‘implausible’ that so many you consider as plausible? Mechanics of the events? Middle eastern guys with a minimal amount of flying experience able to hijack 757s and ram them into buildings, with precision, traveling at over 400 mph on a steep trajectory, when even our own airline pilots, who have over a thousand hours of flying time would have trouble doing the same? Implausible.

      Pilots with military training cowing before some guys with knives and boxcutters? Implausible.

      Asleep at the switch? All of them? The FAA, Norad, air defense? All incompetent on that day, all at the same time? Implausible.

      A building collapses of its own weight structurally even though fire cannot melt steel? Implausible.

      Firefighters and other first responders at the scene hearing bombs going off? Very plausible.

  • midcon

    annie,

    I’m not sure what explanation for 9/11 you are referring to. Radical Islamic terrorist hijacked planes and flew them into the World Trade Center. Is there any part of that which is in dispute? Did we have direct knowledge of the plan. There is no evidence we did, but there is evidence that we couldn’t put two and two together and if had we may have been able to do something, but what else about 9/11 is disputed?

  • midcon

    annie,

    I’m not sure what explanation for 9/11 you are referring to. Radical Islamic terrorist hijacked planes and flew them into the World Trade Center. Is there any part of that which is in dispute? Did we have direct knowledge of the plan. There is no evidence we did, but there is evidence that we couldn’t put two and two together and if had we may have been able to do something, but what else about 9/11 is disputed?

  • anniemargret

    midcon: You think 19 Middle Eastern guys with no previous major airline pilot experience could hijack planes with boxcutters and ram them into the Trade towers and Pentagon by themselves? Even experienced pilots said it would take the utmost skill and experience to be able to drive that huge plane into the Pentagon on such a steep angle and trajectory without crashing into other buildings, etc… yet somehow we are supposed to believe a guy with a boxcutter and no previous major pilot experience did this?

    The biggest most powerful nation on earth and we were taken by surprise with everyone asleep at the wheel? No, I don’t buy it. Where was the air defense? Where was NORAD? Why were all the black boxes ‘vaporized? yet the fuselage didn’t. Bldg 7 was earmarked by engineers as saying it could not have collapsed as it said without controlled demolition.

    I think it raises enormous questions that have never been satisfactorily answered by anyone, despite the ‘official commission’ which didn’t do its job, actually, did they?

    Too many questions (of which I will not project here, but any passing google search will pull up those questions), that pose suspicion that we were not told the whole truth. I would tend to believe people on the ground that day that said they heard bombs going off, including firefighters on the site. There were also some indications that there were inside trading before the event. But

    Do I know what happened that day? No. I do know I am not at all satisfied with the ‘official explanation’ because it stinks.

    So I will join the roster of ‘whackos’ from high level officials, conservatives, liberals and everyone inbetween who think we got a story that day. But not the whole story.

  • pnumi2

    annie

    Your beliefs about 911 are mine too. Aside from what I saw on television, I know only one thing about 911: whatever explanation the government gave us, it did not happen that way. I have my own conspiracy theory. Maybe one day I’ll let you in on it. Right now I don’t feel like putting up with Willy, the Professor and the other assorted Bush worshipers. But it’s pretty plausible.

    Unfortunately, our government, whether Democrat or Republican, assumes that no one has read ’1984′ or if they have, don’t remember it or confuse it with ‘Animal Farm’.

    If Osama bin Laden isn’t Emmanuel Goldstein, what did I learn in 4 years of college? Do we all have to gather together for Two Minutes Hate to make the comparison valid?

    Big Brother hasn’t put the rat cage on my face yet, but judging from some of the posts here, some of the commenters have already been in room 101.

    • anniemargret

      pnumi. I didn’t have to read Paul Craig Roberts assessment and suspicions about 9/11, although I did and I agree with him. From the moment I heard the ‘explanation’ of what transpired, it sounded like pablum fed to a very fearful and very emotionally charged nation, in want of quick answers.

      As a person who grew up in NYC, and a person who had two relatives from Manhattan that day (one a firefighter), my own suspicions grew with the years . No one has ever adequately, to my mind, explained the circumstances of what transpired that day that made a lick of sense.

      If being a ‘whacko’ is the price I have to pay for thinking on my own, I will join the others called the same. I will also stand with the 1,000 engineeers and architects who have demanded an open and independent investigation of the ‘meltdown’ of Bldg 7, of which they say ‘could not happen.’

      I think there are LOT more people like yourself and I out there who have grave doubts and serious misgivings about 9/11. But like you, I have decided it it nigh impossible to argue or debate this issue…. people ‘see’ with different eyes, but one thing I’m sure of… I don’t worry much what other people think about things.

      I’ll stick to my own doubts until and when my questions (which are myriad) are answered logically and empirically. Neither has happened yet. ..and I doubt they will, sadly. Good luck!

  • pnumi2

    annie

    One thing you can count on is that none of your questions will ever be answered and none of your doubts will be undone. A million architects and engineers dancing on a the head of a pin will avail nothing toward finding out the truth of 911. The truth is resting peacefully with the bones of Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby.

    We liberals are laughed at by the conservatives for our promotion of the nanny State. But when it comes to believing the fairy tales and bed time stories the government constantly tells us, the conservatives eat up every word, every half truth, every lie that their Nanny State condescends to tell them, as they sit cross legged on their beds with their mouths half open, staring across the room at nothing.

    “Please, sir, I want some more.”

    God saved us from being right wing. In this day and age, I don’t suppose we could ask for more.