Skip to comments.Conspiracy Film Rewrites Sept. 11 (Lunatic Alert!)
Posted on 04/28/2006 7:21:24 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin
Gypsy Taub, a mother of three from Oakland, does not believe that 9/11 happened. At least not the way the government said it did.
A Russian émigré, Taub is one of a growing number of people in the USA who are using the Internet, college campuses and pamphleteering to get the word out.
"Oh yeah, absolutely. On the day it happened, I thought it was the government that did it," she said.
Taub is promoting one of the latest presentations of revisionist theories on the 2001 attacks by al-Qaeda terrorists, a film that says, among other things, that the Pentagon was hit by a cruise missile fired by the military as an excuse to go to war.
Called Loose Change, it is being downloaded from the Internet and shown in small screenings here and overseas. It is not alone in the genre, and it is not unusual in American history either to offer simplistic explanations or demonize opponents. Presidents from Andrew Jackson to Lyndon Johnson were accused by their contemporaries of massive government conspiracies.
The film appears especially popular among young people immersed in a Web culture brimming with sites that question the credibility of government. They see 9/11 as the defining moment of their lives.
"This is our generation's Vietnam, our generation's Kennedy assassination," says Korey Rowe, 23, the film's producer.
Professors and researchers of film and politics say the Internet is making it far easier to spread such theories because the traditional media are losing their hold on the news. The immense coverage of controversies and accusations surrounding the war on terror has created fertile ground for people who assign their own interpretations to photos, footage, eyewitnesses, investigations and newspaper accounts of what happened, they say.
"The information revolution now gives us access to too much information," says Jonathan Taplin, who teaches at the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Southern California. "Our problems are that we're just overwhelmed, so in some sense we just basically don't even know where to turn."
'It's all over the place'
Craig Smith, director of the Center for First Amendment Studies at California State University, Long Beach, cites the unusual nature of 9/11: four airliners simultaneously hijacked and no defenses stop them.
"You would say, come on, I can't even buy that as a movie script," Smith says. "All of this feeds this readiness for paranoia."
Made by Rowe and friend Dylan Avery, 22, from Oneonta, N.Y., on a laptop computer for less than $10,000, the film contrasts sharply with United 93, a film opening Friday that portrays the struggle for the jetliner that crashed in Shanksville, Pa.
Internet chat rooms are full of promos for screenings of Loose Change in such locales as the Santa Cruz Veterans Memorial Building in California; the Université de Sherbrooke, Quebec; Graz, Austria; and a theater in London's Soho district.
"It's been breaking like nobody's business the last two months," says Taub, 36, who is sponsoring a showing Tuesday night in Oakland. "It's all over the place."
'They aren't truth-tellers'
Most of what the film alleges is refuted by the evidence at hand. Anything not answered definitively by the government is interpreted by the film as proof of a coverup.
Among the assertions in Loose Change is that a missile hit the Pentagon even though eyewitnesses saw the jet, numerous pieces of wreckage were found including the flight recorder, and those on the flight and in its path at the Pentagon are dead.
There is also the claim that because jet fuel burns at up to 1,500 degrees and steel melts at 2,750 degrees, the World Trade Center's infrastructure could not have been brought down by the airliners. However, as reported by the Journal of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, steel loses 50% of its strength at 1,200 degrees, enough for a failure.
"The only thing they (the filmmakers) seem to have gotten right about the Sept. 11 attacks is the date when they occurred," says Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot of American Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon.
"They aren't truth-tellers looking to save the world," she says. "They're con artists hoping to sucker conspiracy-theory paranoids or anti-government malcontents into shelling out their hard-earned dollars."
Some college students who saw Loose Change and are promoting it say it's good to raise questions.
The film offers "at the very least suggests that we don't know the whole truth, and that some things are quite fishy," says Matt Latham, a freshman at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
'Students love it'
Christian Pecaut, 25, a Stanford graduate who is promoting the film at the University of California, Berkeley campus, said the film is "catchy, hip," with an "upbeat soundtrack."
Aaron Williams, a senior at Texas A&M University and president of the philosophy club, believes the film. "Government is corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely," he says.
Penelope Price, a documentary filmmaker and professor at Scottsdale Community College, said she brought the filmmakers to the campus to stimulate critical thinking.
"Students love it," she said. "These guys have done a great job of marketing on the Web, and that was another reason I wanted to bring them in."
Conservative writer David Horowitz, a former 1960s radical, says conspiratorial thinking can offer a world view that is somehow less scary than reality. "Conspiracy theories are a kind of secular religion," he says, adding that campus faculties sometimes encourage anti-government feelings. "People feel great anxiety ... by the thought that nobody's in control."
People believe in conspiracy theories because the truth "is either too simple or too remote," says sociologist Clifton Bryant of Virginia Tech University, who has made a study of "deviant logic" and behavior.
"We're always ready to believe something about which we know nothing," he says.
Kennedy redux. Pathetic, but secretly fun. Like watching someone trip on a curb.
We should put lunatics like her and Charlie Sheen in a secret prison overseas so they can be tortured back to reality.
Under the Company heading, there's also a little info on who's bankrolling at least some of it.
amazed at the amount of idiots that are coming out of our nations colleges and universities...
Who hires these DOLTS????
Why does the truth, that we were attacked on 9/11 by islamic wackos, scare them so?
Sounds like her resume for a job at the Washington Post
On a Metro train to National Airport, Allen Cleveland looked out the window to see a jet heading down toward the Pentagon. 'I thought, "There's no landing strip on that side of the subway tracks,"' he said. Before he could process that thought, he saw 'a huge mushroom cloud. The lady next to me was in absolute hysterics.'"
- "Our Plane Is Being Hijacked." Washington Post, 12 Sep 2001
"I was supposed to have been going to the Pentagon Tuesday morning at about 11:00am (EDT) and was getting ready, and thank goodness I wasn't going to be going until later. It was so shocking, I was listening to the news on what had happened in New York, and just happened to look out the window because I heard a low flying plane and then I saw it hit the Pentagon. It happened so fast... it was in the air one moment and in the building the next..."
- "U.S. Under Attack: Your Eyewitness Accounts." BBC News, 14 Sep 2001
"As I approached the Pentagon, which was still not quite in view, listening on the radio to the first reports about the World Trade Center disaster in New York, a jetliner, apparently at full throttle and not more than a couple of hundred yards above the ground, screamed overhead. ... Seconds before the Pentagon came into view a huge black cloud of smoke rose above the road ahead. I came around the bend and there was the Pentagon billowing smoke, flames and debris, blackened on one side and with a gaping hole where the airplane had hit it."
- "Eyewitness at the Pentagon." Human Events, 17 Sep 2001
"Frank Probst, an information management specialist for the Pentagon Renovation Program, left his office trailer near the Pentagon's south parking lot at 9:36 a.m. Sept. 11. Walking north beside Route 27, he suddenly saw a commercial airliner crest the hilltop Navy Annex. American Airlines Flight 77 reached him so fast and flew so low that Probst dropped to the ground, fearing he'd lose his head to its right engine."
- "A Defiant Recovery." The Retired Officer Magazine, January 2002
"USAToday.com Editor Joel Sucherman saw it all: an American Airlines jetliner fly left to right across his field of vision as he commuted to work Tuesday morning. It was highly unusual. The large plane was 20 feet off the ground and a mere 50 to 75 yards from his windshield. Two seconds later and before he could see if the landing gear was down or any of the horror-struck faces inside, the plane slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon 100 yards away. 'My first thought was he's not going to make it across the river to [Reagan] National Airport. But whoever was flying the plane made no attempt to change direction,' Sucherman said. 'It was coming in at a high rate of speed, but not at a steep anglealmost like a heat-seeking missile was locked onto its target and staying dead on course.'"
- "Journalist Witnesses Pentagon Crash." eWeek.com, 13 Sep 2001
"'I mean it was like a cruise missile with wings, went right there and slammed into the Pentagon,' eyewitness Mike Walter said of the plane that hit the military complex. 'Huge explosion, great ball of fire, smoke started billowing out, and then it was just chaos on the highway as people either tried to move around the traffic and go down either forward or backwards,' he said."
- "Witnesses and Leaders on Terrorist Attacks." CNN, 11 Sep 2001
"'(The plane) was flying fast and low and the Pentagon was the obvious target,' said Fred Gaskins, who was driving to his job as a national editor at USA Today near the Pentagon when the plane passed about 150 feet overhead. 'It was flying very smoothly and calmly, without any hint that anything was wrong.'"
- "Bush Vows Retaliation for 'Evil Acts'." USA Today, 11 Sep 2001
"Aydan Kizildrgli, an English language student who is a native of Turkey, saw the jetliner bank slightly then strike a western wall of the huge five-sided building that is the headquarters of the nation's military. 'There was a big boom,' he said. 'Everybody was in shock. I turned around to the car behind me and yelled "Did you see that?" Nobody could believe it.'"
- "Bush Vows Retaliation for 'Evil Acts'." USA Today, 11 Sep 2001
"'I saw the tail of a large airliner. ... It plowed right into the Pentagon," said an Associated Press Radio reporter who witnessed the crash. 'There is billowing black smoke.'"
- "America's Morning of Terror." ChannelOne.com, 2001
"Omar Campo, a Salvadorean, was cutting the grass on the other side of the road when the plane flew over his head. 'It was a passenger plane. I think an American Airways plane,' Mr Campo said. 'I was cutting the grass and it came in screaming over my head. I felt the impact. The whole ground shook and the whole area was full of fire. I could never imagine I would see anything like that here.'"
- "Pentagon Eyewitness Accounts." The Guardian, 12 Sep 2001
"Afework Hagos, a computer programmer, was on his way to work but stuck in a traffic jam near the Pentagon when the plane flew over. 'There was a huge screaming noise and I got out of the car as the plane came over. Everybody was running away in different directions. It was tilting its wings up and down like it was trying to balance. It hit some lampposts on the way in.'"
- "Pentagon Eyewitness Accounts." The Guardian, 12 Sep 2001
"A pilot who saw the impact, Tim Timmerman, said it had been an American Airways 757. "'It added power on its way in,' he said. 'The nose hit, and the wings came forward and it went up in a fireball.'"
- "Pentagon Eyewitness Accounts." The Guardian, 12 Sep 2001
"Steve Eiden, a truck driver, had picked up his cargo that Tuesday morning in Williamsburg, Va., and was en route to New York City and witnessed the aftermath. ... He took the Highway 95 loop in the area of the Pentagon and thought it odd to see a plane in restricted airspace, thinking to himself it was odd that it was flying so low. 'You could almost see the people in the windows,' he said as he watched the plane disappear behind a line of trees, followed by a tall plume of black smoke. Then he saw the Pentagon on fire, and an announcement came over the radio that the Pentagon had been hit."
- "Sept. 11, the Day America Changed." The Baxter Bulletin, 2001
"Traffic is normally slow right around the Pentagon as the road winds and we line up to cross the 14th Street bridge heading into the District of Columbia. I dont know what made me look up, but I did and I saw a very low-flying American Airlines plane that seemed to be accelerating. My first thought was just 'No, no, no, no,' because it was obvious the plane was not heading to nearby Reagan National Airport. It was going to crash."
- "September 11 Remembered." University Week, 4 Oct 2001
"Father Stephen McGraw was driving to a graveside service at Arlington National Cemetery the morning of Sept. 11, when he mistakenly took the Pentagon exit onto Washington Boulevard, putting him in a position to witness American Airlines Flight 77 crash into the Pentagon. 'I was in the left hand lane with my windows closed. I did not hear anything at all until the plane was just right above our cars.' McGraw estimates that the plane passed about 20 feet over his car, as he waited in the left hand lane of the road, on the side closest to the Pentagon. 'The plane clipped the top of a light pole just before it got to us, injuring a taxi driver, whose taxi was just a few feet away from my car. I saw it crash into the building,' he said. 'My only memories really were that it looked like a plane coming in for a landing. I mean in the sense that it was controlled and sort of straight. That was my impression,' he said. 'There was an explosion and a loud noise and I felt the impact. I remember seeing a fireball come out of two windows (of the Pentagon). I saw an explosion of fire billowing through those two windows.'"
- "Pentagon Crash Eyewitness Comforted Victims." MDW News Service, 28 Sep 2001
"'I glanced up just at the point where the plane was going into the building,' said Carla Thompson, who works in an Arlington, Va., office building about 1,000 yards from the crash. 'I saw an indentation in the building and then it was just blown-up upred, everything red,' she said. 'Everybody was just starting to go crazy. I was petrified.'"
- "Terrorists Attack New York, Pentagon." Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep 2001
"I witnessed the jet hit the Pentagon on September 11. From my office on the 19th floor of the USA TODAY building in Arlington, Va., I have a view of Arlington Cemetery, Crystal City, the Pentagon, National Airport and the Potomac River. ... Shortly after watching the second tragedy, I heard jet engines pass our building, which, being so close to the airport is very common. But I thought the airport was closed. I figured it was a plane coming in for landing. A few moments later, as I was looking down at my desk, the plane caught my eye. It didn't register at first. I thought to myself that I couldn't believe the pilot was flying so low. Then it dawned on me what was about to happen. I watched in horror as the plane flew at treetop level, banked slightly to the left, drug it's wing along the ground and slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon exploding into a giant orange fireball. Then black smoke. Then white smoke."
- Steve Anderson, Director of Communications, USA Today
"Henry Ticknor, intern minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Virginia, was driving to church that Tuesday morning when American Airlines Flight 77 came in fast and low over his car and struck the Pentagon. 'There was a puff of white smoke and then a huge billowing black cloud,' he said."
- "Hell on Earth." UU World, Jan/Feb 2002
"Northern Virginia resident John O'Keefe was one of the commuters who witnessed the attack on the Pentagon. 'I was going up 395, up Washington Blvd., listening to the the news, to WTOP, and from my left side-I don't know whether I saw or heard it first- I saw a silver plane I immediately recognized it as an American Airlines jet,' said the 25-year-old O'Keefe, managing editor of Influence, an American Lawyer Media publication about lobbying. 'It came swooping in over the highway, over my left shoulder, straight across where my car was heading. I'd just heard them saying on the radio that National Airport was closing, and I thought, "That's not going to make it to National Airport." And then I realized where I was, and that it was going to hit the Pentagon. There was a burst of orange flame that shot out that I could see through the highway overpass. Then it was just black. Just black, thick smoke.'"
- "Terrorist 'Situation'." American Lawyer Media, 11 Sep 2001
Kooks believe what they want to believe.
They will always be there, and there will always be someone making a buck off them.
Me and three friends should simultaneously sucker punch the guy who said this and see how quickly he defends himself before we hit him.
"Government is corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely," he says.
This student should put aside the philosophy books and pick up a civics text. That philosophy is apparently not soaking in any better than reality, so a few facts on our government structure might help wake up a few brain cells.
In fact, nobody who has studied philosophy should be able to be duped into believing the crass propaganda put out by the Left. Don't they teach logic to first year philosophy majors anymore? And history... History and economics should be required for all philosophy majors. You can't appreciate philosophy without the historical context in which the ideas were born.
Then again, some kids in college will believe anything that will get them an "A".
That says it right there. Whether it is Charlie Sheen or her they all admit that they "knew it" on 9/11 without the slightest bit of factual information helping make their minds up. They are basing their "knowing" it entirely on their own hateful bias. There is no way a logical and reality based person can know something without facts to back them up.
"Loose Change Rattling Around in My Head," more like it.
What is the explanation from these nutters for deaths of the people on the planes? The gubment gobbled them up?
How offensive to the families of those lost on that horrible day.
More Dolts. Dolts who are just like them. Really, really crazy dolts.
Unfortunately dolts are generally what makes up the population of potential hires.
I have sat on a lot of hiring committees and am often amazed at the narrow-mindedness and the poisonous anger and cynicism which characterize those who are turned by graduate schools.
Facts never get in the way of a good kook's determination to lie.
Thaks for your post.
Got this URL forwarded to me from a friend. It's a series of pictures that "shows" that a truck full of explosives, rather than a plane, caused damage to the Pentagon on Sept. 11. I'm sending it on to you for examination:
"Hunt the Boeing!" is a provocative display of smoke and mirrors, but there's little else to recommend the site. Its authors present a fraction of the available evidence in a highly selective, distorted, titillating way, proving absolutely nothing except, perhaps, that there's always room for another conspiracy theory.
While making few explicit allegations, the authors argue, in effect, that based on photographic and physical evidence, the damage sustained by the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 could not have been caused by a crashing jetliner, contrary to the official and overwhelmingly accepted explanation.
The argument is weak. For starters, it conveniently ignores some of the most obvious, compelling evidence. For example:
Eyewitness testimony of bystanders who saw and/or heard American Airlines Flight 77 approach and collide with the Pentagon
The recovery of both black boxes belonging to the Boeing 757 from the Pentagon wreckage
The recovery and identification of the remains of all but one of the people known to be aboard Flight 77
Of course, evading bedrock evidence is standard procedure for conspiracy theorists. If pressed, they would doubtless claim that all of the above must have been planted or manufactured, but they can't even prove such a claim plausible, let alone true beyond a reasonable doubt.
An improbably successful cover-up
Make no mistake, the burden of proof is on the conspiracy theorists, whose case presupposes that all of the hundreds of people who participated in the clean-up, recovery and investigation following the 9/11 Pentagon attack including scientists, engineers, coroners and professional air disaster investigators are either dead wrong or participating in a massive, improbably successful government cover-up.
Eschewing plain facts and common sense, the conspiracy theorists ask us to focus instead on misleadingly posed condundrums such as the following:
Question: "Can you explain how a Boeing 757-200, weighing nearly 100 tons and travelling at a minimum speed of 250 miles an hour only damaged the outside of the Pentagon?"
Answer: It didn't only damage the outside. According to the Washington Post, structural damage extended at least 150 feet inside, well into the third ("C") ring of the building.
Question: "Can you explain how a Boeing 14.9 yards high, 51.7 yards long, with a wingspan of 41.6 yards and a cockpit 3.8 yards high, could crash into just the ground floor of this building?"
Answer: It didn't just crash into the ground floor. According to official statements and news reports, it took out both the first and second floors on impact.
Question: "Can you find debris of a Boeing 757-200 in this photograph?"
Answer: No, but we can in this one credited to a U.S. Navy photographer [enlarged version]. Bear in mind, eyewitnesses say the Boeing 757 virtually disintegrated when it struck the reinforced wall of the building. Given that, and the tremendous forward momentum of the aircraft on impact, the assumption that a significant amount of debris ought to be visible in front of the Pentagon wouldn't seem justified.
According to a CNN article published the day after the attack, Michael Tamillow, a battalion chief of the Fairfax County, Virginia Fire Department, reported that parts of the Boeing 757 fuselage had indeed been recovered from the wreckage by FBI investigators (the same team that later found the black boxes). "No large pieces apparently survived," the article said.
One visitor who surveyed the crash site a few days later, Representative Judy Biggert of Illinois, told reporters she saw remnants of the jetliner: "There was a seat from a plane," she said, "there was part of the tail and then there was a part of green metal, I could not tell what it was, a part of the outside of the plane." (Chicago Sun-Times, 16 Sep, 2001)
Here's one obvious question the conspiracy theorists don't ask and certainly could not answer in any compelling way: If American Airlines Flight 77 didn't crash into the Pentagon, what did happen to the jetliner and all its passengers? Did it vanish into thin air?
(For a more detailed consideration of these and other "Hunt the Boeing" puzzles, please read the excellent commentary by engineer Paul Boutin and astrophysicist Patrick Di Justo.)
A conspiracy theory in the grand tradition
You're no doubt wondering who's behind these flights of fancy and what, exactly, they're driving at. Well, according to the French newspaper Le Monde, the culprit is Thierry Meyssan, well-known leftist radical and president of the Voltaire Network, a controversial site devoted to "the fight for freedom and secularity." His son, Raphaël Meyssan, is credited as the Webmaster of both the Voltaire Network and Utopian Asylum, which, uncoincidentally, hosts "Hunt the Boeing!"
What are they trying to prove? That the attacks of September 11 were perpetrated not by foreign terrorists, but by the U.S. government upon its own citizens a conspiracy theory in the grand tradition.
To quote the late Carl Sagan, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof."
So far we haven't seen any proof at all.
"I have to stay away from these retards or god help me I may do something I will regret. "
True enough, but the rest of us would appreciate it.
(But don't do it anyway.)
The folks who thought immediately the government did it are the same people who think the government is responsible for everything significant that happens, good or bad, in our country. These people are, by and large, Democrats.