misterguy's blog

More From JoAnne from Counterpunch

Joanne wrote:

I didn't respond to the Piazza Fontana example because I am not familiar with it. Agents provocateurs working for US intelligence and planted in left organizations in the 60s proposed and possibly executed bombings then too. That doesn't prove your point that the US government planned and executed attacks designed to destroy perhaps the most iconic symbols of capital, the Twin Towers, plunge NY's economy and the financial sector into crisis, kill thousands of people, bankrupt the airlines, etc. etc. That's just New York. It also doesn't prove that thousands of people involved in the crime have for five years maintained an iron silence.

Yes, I know about Clarke and also know how Condi Rice responded to that in testimony. I'm not sure of the veracity or context of the Bush quote, but having a report saying Bin Laden wants to attack the US also doesn't contradict my point of incompetence, indifference, hubris and perhaps opportunism akin to that of FDR, who had warnings of a Japanese attack but didn't figure on the destruction of the US Pacific fleet.

This is my fundamental political problem with the "nutters" (your word, not mine): by suggesting some special monstrosity in the Bush administration they deflect from the average-old monstrosity of US foreign policy, decade in decade out, regardless of the party in power. There is essentially no antiwar movement, essentially no element organized powerfully to press for a reverse in foreign policy, in economic policy, no organization on the left worth a damn. In the void there are conspiracy theorists. Your point is, Why not encourage them? I think they have encouragement enough and certainly shouldn't be beyond critique because of grieving families.

Email Exchange with JoAnn Wypijewski

Ms. Wypijewski,

What would you have told Italian dissidents in the 70s and 80s if they’d dared to claim that Italian intelligence was supporting the neofascist terrorist bombings from 1969-1980 starting with Piazza Fontana bombing?

Is the prospect of a US government willing to kill its own citizens with bombs somehow more disempowering than a government willing to kill the species by failing to address Global Warming?

How do you account for the evidence of foreknowledge in light of the stated objectives of the PNAC?

Finally, could you explain the difference between your conviction that the US was in no way complicit in the attacks and your typical 9/11 conspiracy theorists conviction that the US made every aspect of the event happen on purpose?

Thank You

The US was complicit in 9/11 in the sense that it created the mujahedin in Afghanistan in the 1980s, is an imperialist power with bases all over the Middle East, author via sanctions of the deaths of at least half a million Iraqi children, essential supporter of Israel and of every corrupt Arab state. So, a lot of people have felt the whip-lash of the United States, directly or indirectly, and some of them decided to strike back.

Steve Jones vs Jim Fetzer

I just read that Fetzer has kicked out Steven Jones for censoring Rick Siegel. What I thought was particularly interesting was that he described this move as "temporary" until a
more formal structure for the Scholars can be implemented.

The fact that I could do such a thing as founder of Scholars, however, no doubt qualifies as another reason for the need for the society to incorporate and attain more formal structure.

That's straight from the horse's mouth.

I would ask why Fetzer decided to excercise this authority when he himself admits that his authority is illegitimate, but it's really a moot point.

The Scholars Group has imploded. I think it's time to take a good hard look at what's been going on in the name of Truth, and to reappraise the situation. Do we want to create a mini-industry with a star system? What are our larger policitical goals? Wehere should we be focussing our energies? Frankly I think we ought to be pushing for impeachment and for a new investigation as part of those proceedings. I also think the evidence of foreknowlege, the war games, and NORAD's lying to the commission ought to be front and center.

Letter from Kevin Barrett on Fetzer and Space Beams

I wrote to Kevin Barrett and asked if he was planning on leaving Scholars for 9/11 truth. He wrote back the following. It seems written for public consumption so here it is:

No and yes.
More on this later...meanwhile see, below.

As activists, when people ask us "what do you think of X theory about what happened," our answer should always be "well, that theory is no more improbable than the official story, whose probability is zero...but our job is not to prove what happened, but to show that the official story is demonstrably false, and force a new investigation."

The case of st911 is tricky, because it's dedicated to research more than activism. I think researchers have to be willing to allow other researchers to propose hypotheses, no matter how outlandish-sounding. The best response is evidence-based critique, not ad-hominem attack.

Morgan Reynolds, who was himself critiqued way too harshly by Jim Hoffman, seems to have caught the ad-hominem bug in his silly attacks on Steven Jones, which mix legitimate critique with ill-founded invective. I hope Steve can keep his cool and his trademark professional politeness, ignore the misrepresentations, and stick to evidence-based critique of whatever new hypotheses are proposed. So far Steve and David are the two researchers who have best combined lucid research with professional demeanor, and I don't expect that to change any time soon.

Meanwhile I hope to have Steve on the new GCN radio show "The Dynamic Duo" ASAP. I think a case can be made that my co-host on that show and st911 colleague Jim Fetzer is jumping the gun by prematurely hyping the exotic weaponry hypothesis, and I want to argue that activists should focus on the gaping holes in the official story, not exotic weaponry.

Above all, the format for proposed 9/11 debates needs to be a simple pro versus con on the 9/11 Commission Report -- that's the only debate that matters, and it's one we can't possibly lose.


P.S. Important caveat: I haven't had time to look at the exotic weapons arguments in enough detail to have an informed opinion of their scientific (as opposed to rhetorical) merits.

Scholars for Truth

In light of Jim Fetzer's open letter to Steven Jones and the obvious diversionary/disruptive tactics of Morgan Reynolds and Judy Woods, it seems worthwhile to recall some early criticism of Scholars for Truth

The idea of Scholars For 9/11 Truth is a very powerful one, given the respect people give to credentialed individuals. Since November of 2005, Steven Jones has made tremendous progress in getting people to seriously consider the possibility that the World Trade Center skyscrapers were destroyed by controlled demolition, largely because of his qualifications as a professor of physics. Sadly, Scholars For 9/11 Truth might not have its intended effect of building on Jones' work. Instead it is likely to have the effect of discrediting it by associating it with junk science, such as that used to promote the no-planes theories. Because of the visibility of the flawed ScholarsFor911Truth.org website, this seems probable despite the good intentions and excellent credentials of many of the group's members.

Litigating Criminal Negligence?

There are a number of slogans that get kicked around in the "9/11 Truth Movment," but one that is repeated often is the call for a truly independent investigation. I believe that is a good issue to stick with, but I do wonder if we might also consider changing the language a bit. With foreknowlege widely reported on in the MSM I wonder if it would be more appropriate to call for a criminal investigation into the Bush administration's negligence regarding 9/11. Such an investigation if vigorously pursued would turn up evidence of complicity along the way.
Who could bring charges of criminal negligence against the President and his administration? Could any citizen seek litigation, or would the courts only hear a case from one of the families of the 9/11 victims?

Steven Jones Thermate Hypothesis

I certainly have sympathy for Steven Jones and fully support efforts to protect his academic freedom and free speech rights, but I am concerned about how he's handled his examination of the structural steel from the WTC. Mr. Jones gave the impression that he would be writing a new academic paper exclusively on the subject of his samples of the structural steel from the WTC, and that he would be publishing the results of this study in an appropriate scientific journal after his results had undergone a process of peer review. My understanding is that this has not happened. And while I'm holding out hope that something eventually comes of his study I would say that until such time as Steven Jones releases his studies and further, until other studies duplicate his results, we should be wary of citing his analysis of the structural steel at all.

One of the complaints that is most often leveled at those who investigate the possiblity of governmental complicity in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 is that we do not maintain high standards when it comes to the evidence. I think this critique is often wrong, but until Mr. Jones follows through perhaps we should put his research of the structural steel (and probably the CD hypothesis along with it) in the speculative column.

Response to Cockburn's "Theory of the WTC Collapse" Part 1

In the most recent issue of the newsletter Counterpunch editor Alexander Cockburn published another rant against those who would question the official story of 9/11.

Cockburn begins his most recent hit piece by claiming that “9/11 nuts proffer…disturbing questions though they disdain all answers but their own," however as one reads it becomes clear that it is in fact Cockburn who prefers his own answers to questions raised by the impudent “nutters.” After all, Cockburn agrees with Michael Neumann's remark that there isn’t “a single serious question about 9-11,” and with Neumann's claim that whatever lingering doubts might remain in the minds of “nutters” derive from the same kind of irrationality that perpetuates beliefs in “angels, creationism, and…channeling.”

Putting aside the fact that both Neumann and Cockburn evidently fail to understand what a logical argument is as they both blithely engage in the fallacy of association, what is especially worth noting is that the most prominent source of disturbing questions about 9/11 is the Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 independent commission. The family members of the victims of 9/11 had and still have many legitimate questions about 9/11 including why jets were unable to intercept the hijacked planes if they were airborne within eight minutes of notification? And the question of why NORAD apparently waited until after the second plane hit the WTC to try and prevent possible further attacks, and why the fighter jets that tailed flights 11 and 175 as they crashed into New York’s WTC were not rerouted to intercept flights 77 or 93, before they crashed into the Pentagon and Pennsylvania?

Alexander Cockburn, the Established Left, Woodward's book

I've written an essay in response to Alexander Cockburn's latest hysterical rant against those who doubt the official story of 9/11 which appeared in the Counterpunch newsletter, and I'll be posting my essay here either tonight or tomorrow. It's stunning how the established voices of America's far left are amongst the most adamant defenders of the Bush administration's handling of 9/11. Perhaps Woodward's new book will change that to a degree?

Payne Stewart

I've looked closely into the Payne Stewart intercept and determined that it took an hour for f-16s to intercept his lear jet. So that talking point should really be dropped and the question of whether interceptions of the hijacked planes should have occured in a more timely manner reexamined.


Pentagon officials said the military began its pursuit of the ghostly civilian aircraft at 10:08 a.m., when two Air Force F-16 fighters from Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida that were on a routine training mission were asked by the FAA to intercept it. The F-16s did not reach the Learjet, but an Air Force F-15 fighter from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida that also was asked to locate it got within sight of the aircraft and stayed with it from 11:09 a.m. to 11:44 a.m., when the military fighter was diverted to St. Louis for fuel.