Matt Taibbi discusses his debate with Loose Change crew

Matt Taibbi responded to reader inquiries in a recent column, including a question related to his repeated attacks on the 9/11 Truth Movement:


You've probably already been asked this too many times, but, are you planning to write the third installment of your 9/11 series? If not, why?

- Dallas Redig

Hi Dallas. I'll eventually publish this written debate I had with the Loose Change guys via email. It was pretty funny stuff. At one point I asked them if they'd made even a single phone call before they ran that stuff about the hijackers still being alive. Their answer was that they had made some calls, but "couldn't get through" to anyone. Then when I tried to point out that not getting through to anyone in your research is usually a good time not to publish your unverified material, they just ignored me and started babbling about how the original congressional report about 9/11 had 28 pages redacted, etc. etc. etc. It wasn't really a debate, it was like one angry non sequitur after another. Eventually they dropped the debate in the middle -- I haven't heard from them in a while.

But I'll get back to it eventually. I should say that the hardest thing for me in dealing with the Truthers is this feeling of being intimidated by how ridiculous they are. It would take a comic genius to really do them justice and the fear of falling short of that can be paralyzing. If you've ever seen the movie Eating Raoul there's this scene where Paul Bland throws an electric bug-zapper into a hot tub full of swingers and they all just sort of fall naked and limp all at once. It's hilarious. Somebody, and it may very well not be me, is going to write the electric bug-zapper of 9/11-debunker essays. But it's going to have to be an inspired effort, not something you just toss off in one night. I really wish Mark Twain were alive for that reason. A Jim Fetzer's Literary Offenses would potentially be one of the funniest things ever written in the English language.

Astounding arrogance

"usually a good time not to publish your unverified material"

Didn't Mueller himself admit that the identities of the hijackers was "in doubt"? Shouldn’t Matt be demanding the same investigative rigor of the FBI that he does a few twenty-something filmmakers who made a movie on a laptop?

The rest of the email is just haughty sarcasm and condescension gussed up in flowery language. Typical debunker speak. That he uses the term "non sequiter" is supposed to make us forget that he hasn't produced a single salient fact in supporting the OFT.

Interesting that he brings up Fetzer, even more interesting that he brings up the painfully unfunny black comedy Eating Raoul. That he brings up Twain and apparently considers himself cut of the same cloth is simply a sick joke.

Were Twain alive he would be on the side of the 911 families and the public at large in demanding answers to 911, not penning hollow hit-pieces in defense of the government from his ivory tower. Twain attacked power with his satire, he didn't defend it. Indeed, he was one of the first intellectuals to speak out against the Spanish American war and the slaughter of Filipinos when America embraced imperialism full bore.

Here’s Twain writing at his highest level of disgust, no doubt in response to “journalists” of his era like Matt Taibi:

"...But it was impossible to save the Great Republic. She was rotten to the heart. Lust of conquest had long ago done its work; trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home; multitudes who had applauded the crushing of other people's liberties, lived to suffer for their mistake in their own persons. The government was irrevocably in the hands of the prodigiously rich and their hangers-on; the suffrage was become a mere machine, which they used as they chose. There was no principle but commercialism, no patriotism but of the pocket."
- Mark Twain

The Eleventh Day of Every Month

that's what happens

When you argue things that are not really backed by hard core facts. It reminds me of the Pakistani ISI connection and proponents advising skeptics to 'call general mahmood' or to "contact the fbi" to corroborate THEIR so-called evidence.


Now, I'm not saying these two things (hijackers being alive / mahmood isi stuff) didn't happen. I'm just saying I've not seen hard evidence to support either situation. Or in other words, just because it was reported by the BBC, NYTIMES, or the FBI for that matter, doesn't mean it's accurate or backed by hard evidence.

This guy comes off like a prick though. The kind of arrogance that only 'e-mail tough guys' have the stones to muster up.

Can't Stop 9/11 Fever

I don't disagree with you

I don't disagree with you Jess, but if you're going to attack a few young fellows who made a film which included speculation about the "hijackers", perhaps a word or two about the FBI's (admitted) speculation about said-hijackers would be in order as well.

After all, it wasn't Dylan Avery who launched the "hundred year war" -- it was the neocons, and their (apparently) baseless allegations about certain "hijackers" who "trained with Bin Laden" and who (we now learn) may have been using fake identities.

So who are they?

If you don't know who these cats are, why are you dropping bombs on Afghanistan? -- might be a good question for a "journalist". Another question might center around "carpets of gold" vs. "carpets of bombs".

The Eleventh Day of Every Month

jpass is making a perfectly

jpass is making a perfectly good point.
Taibbi is doing what it seems all the "debunkers" do--name-calling, no new facts, beading in on one small part of the Truth argument.
It does not matter to our argument if the hijackers are alive or not. It would be a little rough for the OCT if some of the 19 were found alive, but the gov't would just brush it off as a mistake.
Taibbi's nonsense does show the importance, though, of sticking to facts, making HIM defend the OCT, and not getting lost in small details like this one.
Almost all Truth arguments (especially against someone like Taibbi) should be structured in such a way that they show that the OCT contains serious errors, anomalies, contradictions, and that it leaves out evidence. AND THAT SINCE it has those very serious problems, it is a terribly weak theory about what happened. It is junk science. And therefore, we need a new investigation.
If you get stuck with a bull-headed type like Taibbi, keep turning the discussion back to this central argument. Stick to the strongest counter-evidence and make THEM defend the OCT. They will not be able to do it, and if they are rational they will be forced to admit they are wrong. Most of them will not admit that, but some in their audience will.
Our strongest points--WTC 7, the speed and pulverization of the Towers, the air force stand-down, Bush's behavior in the school, the passport found on the street, Atta's miraculous self-incriminating suitcase, videos of the Pentagon confiscated immediately by the FBI, flight 93 crash scene, behavior of flight 77, your favorites. Strong points, when understood, put a giant question mark in the listener's mind. Get a couple of these in there, and they will begin to understand that the OCT is based on emotion, fear, and that it is devoid of a logical/scientific foundation.

JFK on secrecy and the press

say hi to Matt.....

"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media." ~ William Colby, Former Director, CIA

I hate to be so petty but

he kinda looks like a balding version of Stiffler.


or an older, balding version of Alfred E. Neuman........

and its not petty since its Matt Taibbi. half of all of his columns tend to be nothing but slurs and personal attacks anyway.

"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media." ~ William Colby, Former Director, CIA