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Fahrenheit 2777: 9/11 has generated the mother of all conspiracy theories
Scientific American ^ | June 05, 2005 | Michael Shermer

Posted on 06/05/2005 6:22:17 PM PDT by demlosers

Noted French left-wing activist Thierry Meyssan's 9/11 conspiracy book, L'Effroyable Imposture, became a best-seller in 2002.

But I never imagined such an "appalling deception" would ever find a voice in America. At a recent public lecture I was buttonholed by a Michael Moore–wannabe filmmaker who breathlessly explained that 9/11 was orchestrated by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the Central Intelligence Agency as part of their plan for global domination and a New World Order. That goal was to be financed by G.O.D. (Gold, Oil, Drugs) and launched by a Pearl Harbor–like attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, thereby providing the justification for war.

The evidence was there in the details, he explained, handing me a faux dollar bill (with "9-11" replacing the "1," a picture of Bush supplanting that of Washington) chockablock with Web sites.

In fact, if you type "World Trade Center" and "conspiracy" into Google, you'll get more than 250,000 hits. From these sites, you will discover that some people think the Pentagon was hit by a missile; that U.S. Air Force jets were ordered to "stand down" and not intercept Flights 11 and 175, the ones that struck the twin towers; that the towers themselves were razed by demolition explosives timed to go off soon after the impact of the planes; that a mysterious white jet shot down Flight 93 over Pennsylvania; and that New York Jews were ordered to stay home that day (Zionists and other pro-Israeli factions, of course, were involved). Books also abound, including Inside Job, by Jim Marrs; The New Pearl Harbor, by David Ray Griffin; and 9/11: The Great Illusion, by George Humphrey. The single best debunking of this conspiratorial codswallop is in the March issue of Popular Mechanics, which provides an exhaustive point-by-point analysis of the most prevalent claims.

The mistaken belief that a handful of unexplained anomalies can undermine a well-established theory lies at the heart of all conspiratorial thinking (as well as creationism, Holocaust denial and the various crank theories of physics). All the "evidence" for a 9/11 conspiracy falls under the rubric of this fallacy. Such notions are easily refuted by noting that scientific theories are not built on single facts alone but on a convergence of evidence assembled from multiple lines of inquiry.

No melted steel, no collapsed towers.

For example, according to www.911research.wtc7.net, steel melts at a temperature of 2,777 degrees Fahrenheit, but jet fuel burns at only 1,517 degrees F. No melted steel, no collapsed towers. "The planes did not bring those towers down; bombs did," says www.abovetopsecret.com. Wrong.

In an article in the Journal of the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society and in subsequent interviews, Thomas Eagar, an engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explains why: steel loses 50 percent of its strength at 1,200 degrees F; 90,000 liters of jet fuel ignited other combustible materials such as rugs, curtains, furniture and paper, which continued burning after the jet fuel was exhausted, raising temperatures above 1,400 degrees F and spreading the inferno throughout each building. Temperature differentials of hundreds of degrees across single steel horizontal trusses caused them to sag--straining and then breaking the angle clips that held the beams to the vertical columns. Once one truss failed, others followed. When one floor collapsed onto the next floor below, that floor subsequently gave way, creating a pancaking effect that triggered each 500,000-ton structure to crumble. Conspiricists argue that the buildings should have fallen over on their sides, but with 95 percent of each building consisting of air, they could only have collapsed straight down.

All the 9/11 conspiracy claims are this easily refuted. On the Pentagon "missile strike," for example, I queried the would-be filmmaker about what happened to Flight 77, which disappeared at the same time. "The plane was destroyed, and the passengers were murdered by Bush operatives," he solemnly revealed. "Do you mean to tell me that not one of the thousands of conspirators needed to pull all this off," I retorted, "is a whistle-blower who would go on TV or write a tell-all book?"

My rejoinder was met with the same grim response I get from UFOlogists when I ask them for concrete evidence: Men in Black silence witnesses, and dead men tell no tales.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 911conspiracy; conspiracy; democraps; loonietunes; tinfoilhats
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1 posted on 06/05/2005 6:22:18 PM PDT by demlosers
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To: demlosers

The DUmmies are full of conspiracy theories about 9-11, the election of 2000 & 2004.....

Proof? We don't need no steenking proof!


2 posted on 06/05/2005 6:24:16 PM PDT by Feiny (They're not people, they're hippies.)
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To: demlosers

Great article!


3 posted on 06/05/2005 6:25:19 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: demlosers

"Paging Dr. Dean, oh Dr. Dean! Please report to the psychiatric ward"


4 posted on 06/05/2005 6:25:55 PM PDT by Run Silent Run Deep (PRAY FOR THOSE THAT HURT AND HATE US)
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To: demlosers
Conspiracy theorists were in diapers longer than the rest of us.

That's all I can figure for the bizarre world they live in.

5 posted on 06/05/2005 6:26:51 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: demlosers
who breathlessly explained that 9/11 was orchestrated by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the Central Intelligence Agency

Wait, I thought that W was caught with his pants down, on 9-11. I remember all of the derisive commentary about him reading the story to the kids.

These people really need to find a story and stick to it.

6 posted on 06/05/2005 6:28:27 PM PDT by Paul Atreides (FACT: You can get more reliable information in a beauty shop, than from the media)
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To: feinswinesuksass

"The DUmmies are full of conspiracy theories about 9-11"

Every single one of those conspiracy theories found their advocates here on FreeRepublic.


7 posted on 06/05/2005 6:29:55 PM PDT by DugwayDuke (Stpuidity can be a self-correcting problem.)
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To: demlosers

"Michael Moore–wannabe filmmaker"

This guy is to modest. This should read "Michael Moore-Morbidly Obese Retarded Slug"


8 posted on 06/05/2005 6:30:07 PM PDT by Tempestuous
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To: demlosers
"as part of their plan for global domination and a New World Order"

Whoa now! I thought the lefties were all FOR one world government!

9 posted on 06/05/2005 6:30:55 PM PDT by labette (If only common sense would be more common..)
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To: wagglebee

Well if ya didn't hear it on Art Bell it's not really a consipiracy..........:o)


10 posted on 06/05/2005 6:31:10 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: DugwayDuke

Those are sleeper Dummies...


11 posted on 06/05/2005 6:32:18 PM PDT by Feiny (They're not people, they're hippies.)
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To: demlosers

As this article points out, the term "melting point" refers to when a substance begins to liquify. Steel does not remain strong until the moment it liquifies, it softens and bends WELL before then, at a much lower temperature.


As with any nutball conspiracy theorist, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.


12 posted on 06/05/2005 6:32:57 PM PDT by Petronski (How do you solve a problem like Petronski?)
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To: demlosers
On DU, only the hardcore residents believe in the MIHOP (made it happen on purpose) theory of 911.

The majority voices of reason over there subscribe to the LIHOP (let it happen on purpose) theory.

That is the level of intellect we are up against. We are blessed with complete morons for ideological enemies.

13 posted on 06/05/2005 6:40:04 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: demlosers
I know at Berkley they were claiming that 9/11 was done by Bush to cover up Enron.

Yea they are nuts, I never got why they had to link Enron though.

As for the Pentagon, I met some of these folks who swore that they don't think a plane hit it.

When I note that Ted Olson (the Bush lawyer for the 2000 election) talked to his wife who was on that plane, by cell phone, they usually argue that he was in on it too.

There is no point debating with losers.

14 posted on 06/05/2005 6:40:36 PM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: Sonny M

Arabs, the French, and American liberals believe that the Jews are positively magical in their ability to create wonderous deceptions.


15 posted on 06/05/2005 6:45:52 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: demlosers

So, where are all the tapes of the Pentagon strike?

Why did the feebs immediately confiscate them all?

Just show us the tapes of the plane, and end this goofy discussion.

But you won't; you can't...because it would expose the entire scam.


16 posted on 06/05/2005 6:48:35 PM PDT by lodwick (Integrity has no need of rules. Albert Camus)
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To: Petronski
As with any nutball conspiracy theorist, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

See? There you go again being a wet blanket. The conspiracy is true! You don't need logic, you just have to feeeeeel it.

Nevermind. That was just gas.


17 posted on 06/05/2005 6:49:26 PM PDT by rdb3 (Yeah, but what's it spelled backwards?)
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To: feinswinesuksass

"Those are sleeper Dummies..."

Don't think so. There is a significant segment of the libertarian party who like to think that every war is a conspiracy to expand government and steal away liberty. Most of those posting these theories were self-proclaimed libertarians such as Justin Raimondo of antiwar.com who used to post here frequently. We also had a significant number who liked to post the latest in conspiracy theories from Lew Rockwell.


18 posted on 06/05/2005 6:52:25 PM PDT by DugwayDuke (Stpuidity can be a self-correcting problem.)
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To: feinswinesuksass
The single best debunking of this conspiratorial codswallop is in the March issue of Popular Mechanics, which provides an exhaustive point-by-point analysis of the most prevalent claims.

It seems that Scientific American is now quoting Popular Mechanics in an effort to get some credibility.

19 posted on 06/05/2005 6:53:01 PM PDT by TheHound (You would be paranoid too - if everyone was out to get you.)
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To: feinswinesuksass
Proof? We don't need no steenking proof!

No, no, no.

The abscence of proof proves there's a conspiracy.

See?
20 posted on 06/05/2005 6:53:05 PM PDT by motzman (now whatda?)
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