simuvac's blog

Chronicle of Higher Education covers Prof. Woodward

Another Scholar Under Fire for 9/11 Views

The University of New Hampshire is refusing to fire a tenured professor whose views on 9/11 have led many politicians in the state to demand his dismissal.

William Woodward, a professor of psychology, is among those academics who believe that U.S. leaders have lied about what they know about 9/11, and were involved in a conspiracy that led to the massive deaths on that day, setting the stage for the war with Iraq. The Union Leader, a New Hampshire newspaper, reported on Woodward’s views on Sunday, and quoted him (accurately, he says) saying that he includes his views in some class sessions.

The newspaper then interviewed a who’s who of New Hampshire Republican politicians calling for the university to fire Woodward. U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg is quoted as saying that “there are limitations to academic freedom and freedom of speech” and that “it is inappropriate for someone at a public university which is supported with taxpayer dollars to take positions that are generally an affront to the sensibility of most all Americans.”

State legislators chimed in, demanding Woodward’s dismissal and threatening to consider the issue when they next review the university’s budget. In some respects, the political reactions mirror those in Wisconsin, where lawmakers lined up to urge the University of Wisconsin at Madison to fire Kevin Barrett, who shared Woodward’s views and is an adjunct teaching in the fall semester. The university is letting Barrett’s course go ahead, although as a non-tenured adjunct, he has no assurance of work after this semester.

Globe and Mail "reviews" Towers of Deception

Martin Levin, writing in the Books section of the Globe and Mail yesterday (page D13), trashes Towers of Deception and says some of the "more important" books on 9/11 will be "reviewed at length" in coming weeks.

Levin misrepresents Zwicker's argument, claiming, for example, that Zwicker says Noam Chomsky "is part of the plot," without explaining what he means by that. Levin writes:

"Now I have little trouble believing it possible that plutocrats of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld axis of ego are orchestrating things for their own benefit and that of their Fortune 500 cronies. Or that the war in Iraq is based on an unsavoury stew of misconceptions, stupidity, wishful thinking and deceit. But what I do have difficulty believing is that the 'perpetrators' are intelligent enough and, I suppose, quite evil enough, not only to concoct such a grand strategy, but to carry it off so deviously that only Zwicker and his allies can discern its true nature. I have just as hard a time believing that this sometimes entertainingly obsessive screed has proved anything at all."

"Only Zwicker and his allies"? You mean the 100 million Americans, 20 million Canadians, and countless millions of foreigners who believe the US government did it?

Modify claims about WTC7 fires: Some were "raging"

In The New Pearl Harbor, David Ray Griffin says, regarding WTC7, "there is no evidence of any raging fire" (p.21). This claim, often repeated, must be modified. Debunking sites use images from Steve Spak's film Day of Disaster to counter the argument for controlled demolition. This evidence cannot be ignored. Here I would like to suggest a refined argument for WTC7, and I recommend downgrading its importance in the 911 Truth movement.

Hopefully, the screen captures I uploaded appear below. These images are from Spak's film and show the west side and the south side. Typically, Truthers show video of the north side collapsing. The west face shows at least one floor where the windows are broken and a "raging" fire is belching from the building. The south side shows a wall of smoke and some structural damage (we know the SW corner had a gash about 15-20 floors high).

Two points should be made about these pictures:

1. There is definitely an intense fire in WTC7, but we do not know how widespread it is.

2. The wall of smoke suggests but does not confirm a widespread fire. There is definitely structural damage to the south side of WTC7, and all of the smoke is being vented out that side. The north side, for example, shows little evidence of smoke or fire.

Pull "pull it" from our talking points

The purpose of this blog is to suggest rhetorical strategies for refining the 9/11 Truth talking points. As more so-called debunking sites appear, we cannot ignore them and proceed in an echo chamber of self-congratulation. We must adjust our message to reflect a wider selection of evidence.

In this first entry, I would like to suggest dropping references to Larry Silverstein's famous "pull it" comment in the 2002 PBS documentary. Most Truthers believe Silverstein means "demolish building 7". Critics charge he really means "pull the personnel from building 7".

I recommend avoiding Silverstein's remark not because I think WTC7 fell via a gravitational collapse, but for the following reasons:

  • both interpretations are plausible, so an audience is forced to accept one on the basis of predisposition alone
  • it does not change the physical evidence one way or another
  • for some, this charge reinforces the unfair accusation that 9/11 Truth is about "blaming the Jews"; notice, for example, how this reasonable argument devolves quickly into a discussion of "Zionist circles"; later, Killtown makes excellent points about Silverstein coincidentally having a doctor's appointment the morning of 9/11, but this information will be overshadowed in a debate by ad hominem attacks