Original Content at http://www.opednews.com/articles/More-9-11-Rubbish-This-ti-by-Jim-Fetzer-090906-636.html
September 7, 2009
More 9/11 Rubbish: This time from National Geographic, no less
By Jim Fetzer
Madison, WI (OpEdNews) September 7, 2009 – Another study intended to suppress and distort objective evidence that refutes the official account of 9/11, ironically entitled, “9/11: Science and Conspiracy”, has now appeared on The National Geographic Channel, one more in an ongoing series of propagandistic documentaries posing as “news”. This pseudo-documentary was broadcast on August 31, 2009. The abuse of the good name of “National Geographic” has its precursor in the take-over of POPULAR MECHANICS to abuse its good name for the same purpose, exposed by David Ray Griffin in DEBUNKING 9/11 DEBUNKING (2007). My purpose is to perform a similar critique of this misleading program.
Having taught logic, critical thinking, and scientific reasoning during 35-years of college teaching, it was not difficult to discern the techniques of disinformation that were the core of the program. The fallacy of ambiguity (in which a phrase is used in a different sense to debunk the original), the straw man fallacy (by posing an exaggerated version of a position to make it easier to debunk) and of special pleading (by citing only the evidence favorable to your side) fallacies were supplemented by the appearance of two pseudo-experts—Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone and David Aaronovitch, author of VOODOO HISTORIES—who were featured as “useful idiots” by lending their names and reputations to the project of deceiving the American public about 9/11.
(1) The fires were hot enough to weaken or melt the steel.
Those who want to confirm the description I am providing of the four central tenets of this “documentary” are welcome to visit the National Geographic's own web site, "9/11: Science vs. Conspiracy".They begin with the “conspiracy theorist” claim that the (jet-fuel based) fires could not have burned hot enough to harm the steel, which is essential to the official account. It maintains the fires were hot enough to weaken or to melt the steel and to have brought about the buildings' collapse. This was alleged to have been debunked by taking a single beam and heating it to 1,800-2,000*F. It weakened and bent.
EXCEPT that the steel in these 500,000 ton buildings was interconnected with other steel, which functioned as an enormous heat sink, which drew it away from its heated segments and dissipated it throughout the structure. By taking a lone piece of steel, the producers employed a straw man fallacy. In fact, most of the jet fuel was consumed in the first ten to fifteen seconds after impact in those spectacular fire-balls. Even NIST has acknowledged that it has studied 236 pieces of steel and found that 233 had not been exposed to temperatures above 500*F, which is that of ordinary office fires, and the other three not above 1,200*F. The experiment was not conducted in a manner that would test the claim.
Underwriters Laboratory had in fact certified the steel in the buildings up to 2,000*F for three or four hours with no significant effects. The fires in the South Tower lasted about an hour and in the North about an hour and a half. That means these fires burned neither long enough nor hot enough—at an average temperature of about 500*F—to cause the steel to weaken, much less melt. The fires could have burned forever and not damaged the steel. By creating a gross distortion of the objection that has been raised to this aspect of the official account, the public was misled.
(2) Their collapse was not caused by controlled demolition.
The producers went to great lengths in discussing the time and the extent of the technical preparation that would have been required and the kinds of residue—in the form of wires and detonators, for example—that would have been expected to have been found in the debris. They point out that the Twin Towers had 47 massive core columns that were linked by steel trusses to the 240 external support columns. Indeed, the trusses were filled with 4” of concrete and welded at both ends, creating an intricate lattice structure that was all but impervious to hurricane-force winds and, as Frank De Martini, the project manager, observed in an interview archived on YouTube, to even multiple impacts by aircraft.
This was a nice example of the fallacy of ambiguity, which would have had force, had the Twin Towers been brought down by a classic controlled demolition. Indeed, they were taken out by a demolition that was under control, but it was not a “classic” controlled demolition, which, however, was the case for WTC-7, a 47-story building, which was brought down at 5:20 PM, about 7 hours after the destruction of the Twin Towers. Compare these events by viewing the brief videos, “This is an Orange” and “9/11: The Towers of Dust”, and in less than 5 minutes you will understand the deception. The two cases were entirely different in modes of destruction:
Buildings: WTC-1 & WTC-2 / WTC-7
Sequence: Top down / Bottom up
Floor motion: Stationary / Falling together
Mechanism: Pulverization / Controlled Demolition
Time/Speed: About 10 secs. / About 6.5 secs.
Equivalent: = free fall / = free fall
Remnants: No pancakes / Pancakes
Debris: Below ground level / 5-7 floors
These cases display substantial difference even in their gross appearance. Their modes of destruction must have been different. If WTC-7 was brought down in a classic controlled demolition—as virtually all sides agree—then WTC-1 and WTC-2 were not. But the phrase "controlled demolition" still applies, since they were brought down by a demolition that was under control. By trading upon the ambiguity of the phrase, the producers deceived the public.
(3) Thermite was not used in these controlled demolitions.
Steven Jones, Ph.D., a physicist formerly on the faculty at BYU, has done extensive research on the possibly use of the incendiary known as “thermite” for cutting the steel in the Twin Towers and contributing to their collapse. National Geographic took a section of a steel beam and surrounded it with thermite to demonstrate that thermite could not have done what it is alleged to have done. This, however, was conducted with the simplest and the least effective form of thermite, which also comes in forms called “thermate” and, more importantly, in a highly explosive form called “nano-thermite”, which makes this an example of special pleading, where only evidence favorable to your side is presented. A new study demonstrating the discovery of thermitic material in four samples of dust from the WTC was not mentioned, but was ignored by using another fallacy of ambiguity.
The misleading assertions made here illustrate a variety of fallacies in a single argument. The Twin Towers, in fact, did not “collapse” but were turned into very fine particles of dust. Unlike WTC-7, which did collapse as the result of a classic controlled demolition, the Twin Towers were taken out using completely different causal mechanisms, as I have explained above. Not only did the producers employ a weak and less likely form of thermite for their experiment, but it appears virtually certain that even nano-thermite would not have been enough to turn the towers into dust. The alternatives include mini-nukes, 3rd and 4th generation weapons, lasers, masers, or plasmoids. The fallacy that occurred here is that, by demonstrating that the weakest version of the thermite hypothesis was not enough, the producers did not thereby show that stronger versions were not used, especially in possible combinations with other causal mechanisms.
(4) The Pentagon was hit by a Boeing 757.
The producers introduced yet another fallacy in attempting to demonstrate that the official account of the Pentagon—which maintains that a Boeing 757 flying at over 500 mph just above ground level—impacted with the ground floor of the building and brought about the death of 125 personnel, excluding any that might have been aboard the plane. This theory is massively contradicted from scratch, insofar as a Boeing at that speed could not get closer than 60 feet to the ground because of the accumulation of a pocket of air beneath the plane. Moreover, were it skimming the ground as the government claims, its massive engines would have plowed furrows in the lawn. But it is perfectly smooth, green, and unblemished as two civilian fire trucks put out the very modest fires that were present there. I recently addressed all this in “What Didn't Happen at the Pentagon”.
The producers attempted to demonstrate that such a plane could have disappeared into the building by launching a projectile into a simulated structure. It was a round, hard tube that had no wings. While it created a hole the same size as the projectile, such an experiment could not possibly vindicate the official account. A Boeing 757 runs about 100 tons with a 125-foot wingspan and a tail standing 44-feet above the ground. There were no wings, no tail, no bodies, no seats, and no luggage at the hit point. Neither of the two massive engines was recovered. The “experiment” had more differences than similarities to the actual event, which means they were using another common fallacy, the faulty analogy, to deceive the American people once again.
As though to round out their purported refutations of these four “conspiracy hypotheses”, they featured Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, who offered reassuring platitudes—that if something had been wrong, the media would have seized upon it—as though he himself were not a walking contradiction of such a naïve proposition. I had engaged Matt years ago and even published a piece that enumerated point after point in relation to which the official account has been found to be indefensible, “9/11: The Massive Ignorance of Matt Taibbi”, October 30, 2006, where the only argument of mine that he seems to have absorbed is that the debris found on the lawn of the Pentagon may have been dropped from a C-130 circling the building, which he mentions in THE GREAT DERANGEMENT (2009), which only becomes intelligible if you understand that it was not there at the time of the alleged impact, a point he somehow neglects to mention in his book (p. 257).
As if that were not a nice example of citing only evidence favorable to one side, David Aaronovitch, VOODOO HISTORIES: THE ROLE OF CONSPIRACY THEORY IN SHAPING MODERN HISTORY (forthcoming), goes even further, suggesting that the mind of those who find conspiracy theories so appealing do this because of their abnormal need to “connect the dots”, where the case of JFK illustrates the point: conspiracy theorists cannot accept that a lone, demented gunman could have taken out JFK. The problem with his example is that, as Michael Baden, M.D., who chaired the medical panel during the HSCA reinvestigation of 1977-78 recently observed, if the “magic bullet” theory is false, there have to have been at least six shots from three different directions. A study that I first presented at Cambridge, which has been published in a peer-reviewed journal, “Reasoning about Assassinations”, alas, proves exactly that, which means that this documentary was rounded out by “experts” who were unqualified to address the issues, no matter whether they involved 9/11 or JFK.
Real 9/11 experts—David Ray Griffin, Richard Gage, and Dylan Avery—were featured but basically ignored. And the producers neglected to mention that over 1,500 authorities across every discipline now support the search for 9/11 truth by joining together at patriotsquestion911.com, which includes more than 200 senior military, intelligence service, law enforcement and government officials, 700 architects and engineers, 200 pilots and aviation professionals, 400 professors (across the disciplines), 230 survivors and family member, and 200 artists and entertainers. That, after all, would not have served their purpose, which was to mislead the American people about what is known and who was involved in 9/11—something the producers did very well.
Author's Website: www.d.umn.edu/~jfetzer/
Author's Bio: McKnight Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota, Duluth; Founder, Scholars for 9/11 Truth; Editor, Assassination Research.