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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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To: demlosers
90,000 liters of jet fuel ignited other combustible materials such as rugs, curtains, furniture and paper,

And people you ironic, insensitive jerk!

21 posted on 06/05/2005 6:57:50 PM PDT by SteveMcKing
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To: labette
Whoa now! I thought the lefties were all FOR one world government!

But the lefties want a socialist NWO, not a "corporatist" NWO.

Or something like that. I dunno...

22 posted on 06/05/2005 6:59:19 PM PDT by THX 1138
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To: dead
Arabs, the French, and American liberals believe that the Jews are positively magical in their ability to create wonderous deceptions.

True.

But some freepers think that way in regards to the Clintons.

23 posted on 06/05/2005 6:59:47 PM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: demlosers

I wonder if this is actually more of a "mother" than the Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories that have grown and mutated since the '60s. Actually, the only time I believed in the assassination conspiracy theories is when Dan Rather did a special on CBS to debunk them.
Anyone know if Oliver Stone is planning a 9-11 movie?


24 posted on 06/05/2005 7:01:14 PM PDT by RedRover (I bowl alone.)
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To: lodwick
Just show us the tapes of the plane, and end this goofy discussion.

1. No photographic evidence of the War of 1812 exists.
2. Therefore, the War of 1812 never happened.
3. Anyone claiming that the War of 1812 happened has the duty to produce proof! Since nobody will come forward to do it, they must be covering something up.
4. Therefore, the Illuminati probably concocted the whole story, to cover up their great strike on the heart of Freemasonry at Washington, D.C.

25 posted on 06/05/2005 7:03:32 PM PDT by SedVictaCatoni (<><)
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To: SedVictaCatoni; lodwick

Well, just for the record, he did not say that no photographic evidence exists of the plane strike on the Pentagon, he said that such evidence exists but is being suppressed.

There's a big difference, not that I'm taking his side or even agree with it (I don't).


26 posted on 06/05/2005 7:06:55 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: DugwayDuke

Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian candidate in '04, espoused what you wrote. And then the libertarians wonder why they have stagnant growth in American politics.


27 posted on 06/05/2005 7:08:59 PM PDT by LdSentinal
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To: demlosers
I saw a report by CNN just minutes after the attack on the pentagon.

They reported no evidence of any plane hitting the pentagon.

I was in Washington the day it happend and saw the pentagon just after the attack.

There is no way an airplane could have hit the pentagon as we were told.

We were told the aircraft...a Boeing jet flying 2 feet above the ground would have hit automobiles on the freeway just a few hundred yards from the pentagon.It would have made massive damage of the grass just in front of the pentagon.....guess what...no damage at all.

There would have been more damage (at least in 150 feet of the center of the impact zone) because of the wings hittig the building.Also the wings would have sheared right off and would have been left outside the pentagon.

If you look at the photographs of the pentagon after the impact, you will see reels of cable that were undamaged by the supposed impact of the Boeing Jet.THey would have been destroyed by an aircraft hitting the pentagon as we were told.

I don't know what happend to flight 77, but it did not hit the pentagon.

And don't bother trying to change my mind on this. There is nothing you can say or type that that will change my mind on this.

I was there shortly after and no way was this an aircraft hit.

If it was, have the government release the tapes of the cameras that video taped the whole incident.

They haven't and won't.

28 posted on 06/05/2005 7:15:03 PM PDT by Radioactive (I'm on the radio..so I'm radioactive)
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To: demlosers
"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?"

This is the problem I have with most conspiracy theories. You need so many people to pull them off properly and people love to talk. I believe it was Ben Franklin who wrote that three can keep a secret if two are dead.

Pretty close. The more people you have involved the more chance you have that someone will talk. And even if you can keep them from going to the media they have spouses and lovers that they will talk to. A conspiracy with more then ten people hasn't got a prayer of staying under wraps.

One that involves thousand would be on the front page inside a week.

29 posted on 06/05/2005 7:15:22 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (I am not a romantic, I don't hero worship and no, as a matter of fact, I don't have a heart.)
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To: SedVictaCatoni; lodwick
Or, rather, he's saying that such evidence of a plane strike as claimed doesn't exist, or else they would release video of what really happened. But, he's saying that video of what really happened does exist, showing something other than what is claimed to have happened.....
30 posted on 06/05/2005 7:16:09 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: demlosers
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).

Isn't it a neat trick how the author casually links together creationism and Holocaust denial? Also, isn't he being a bit cavalier in his broad-brush dismissal of the importance of unexplained anomalies? Isn't the history of the advancement of science littered with unexplained anomalies undermining well-established theories? If the author is supposed to be a "skeptic", he should be sued for malpractice. This is just more of the same, uninformed, but politically-correct trash talking that Scientific American has descended into in recent years.

31 posted on 06/05/2005 7:19:33 PM PDT by The Electrician ("Government is the only enterprise in the world which expands in size when its failures increase.")
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To: demlosers

32 posted on 06/05/2005 7:22:54 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: Radioactive
I was there shortly after and no way was this an aircraft hit.

Congratulations. You've just entered the annals of Free Republic kookdom.

You join such esteemed former posters as Justine Raimondo, Harry Callahan, and Michael Rivero.

You're destined to live, forever, at the margins of society, peering over your shoulder wondering who might be following you, voraciously reading the newspapers in early June to find out where the latest Bilderberger confab is being held, and forever standing on street corners, trying to convince passersby that the 1969 moon landing was enacted on a Hollywood sound stage.

33 posted on 06/05/2005 7:23:22 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

34 posted on 06/05/2005 7:25:47 PM PDT by Alouette (The only thing learned from history is that nobody ever learns from history.)
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To: Radioactive
And don't bother trying to change my mind on this. There is nothing you can say or type that that will change my mind on this.

Textbook case of cranio-rectal inversion! The symptoms are all there!

35 posted on 06/05/2005 7:27:39 PM PDT by Snickersnee (Where are we going? And what's with this handbasket?)
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To: Radioactive
This wasn't a plane crash either then, eh?



It was an AT-72, lost near Roselawn, Indiana.
36 posted on 06/05/2005 7:37:34 PM PDT by MJRitter
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To: demlosers
The mistaken belief that a handful of unexplained anomalies can undermine a well-established theory lies at the heart of all conspiratorial thinking

Interesting that this statement should appear in Scientific American, since the entire history of science is full of examples of a handful of unexplained anomalies undermining well-established theory, and leading to new and better theories.

It's called the "Scientific Method".

37 posted on 06/05/2005 7:39:44 PM PDT by Bear_in_RoseBear (Something's got a hold on me, it's cheap but it ain't free)
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To: demlosers
...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;

Building 7 sure came down perfectly, didn't it?

And it did not even get hit by a plane.

PBS had an interview with LARRY SILVERSTEIN (The World Trade Center was leased by Westfield America and Larry Silverstein, on April 26th, 2001)where he was quoted as saying : "I remember getting a call from the fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, "We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it (WTC7)." And they made that decision to pull and we watched the building collapse."

That building was brought down by a controlled demolition.

38 posted on 06/05/2005 7:41:44 PM PDT by ActionNewsBill ("In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act")
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To: Radioactive
I have a friend at the Pentagon on 9/11 who saw the plane hit the building.

And he's a proud Bush-hater.

39 posted on 06/05/2005 7:42:56 PM PDT by LdSentinal
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To: Radioactive
I was in New York City on 9/11 and I can guarantee ya that a plane hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center! Granted, that's not saying much since everyone saw it on TV.. I actually went back to Ground Zero a month ago for the first time since '01 and was amazed by how compact the site seemed to me (that was striking, because I'd heard so many comments about how "vast" the space looks, which is the total opposite of how I perceived it).

Anyhow, getting to the point, there used to be this website that had mpeg clips of every network and news channel covering that day. You could watch the entire replay for that day, and then clips of coverage for at least the week after. In any case, back in '02 I watched the alphabet network coverage & the 24 hour news channel coverage over and over. I remember the initial coverage of the Pentagon much as you describe.

One thing I would stress however is that things were very chaotic that day, to state the obvious, and it's not odd if the initial reports were erratic just as initial reports often are. By example, just earlier this week they initially reported that 50 houses slid off that cliff in Laguna, CA and it turned out to be a dozen or so.

Whatever the case, I should go to hell for posting this, but you might find this site interesting: Pentagon Strike.

40 posted on 06/05/2005 7:43:26 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: ActionNewsBill

No way a controlled demolition could've been set up on the fly that afternoon. It's just not possible.

The "pull" comment referred to pulling the firefighters out (and I don't think you quoted it exactly).


41 posted on 06/05/2005 7:46:26 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: feinswinesuksass
The DUmmies are full of conspiracy theories about 9-11, the election of 2000 & 2004.....

DU provides an especially fertile petri dish in which sweaty paranoia and wacky conspiracy theories thrive like the clap at a biker rally.

If everything bad that happens to you is the result of a complicated plot involving the Freemasons, the Rockefellers, and Karl Rove, you become the center of the universe. But if you bump into a guy in a bar and he beats the crap out of you not because he is a sub-agent sent by the Trilateral Commission on behalf of the Illuminati but merely because he drives a pickup truck with a bumper sticker that reads: SH*T HAPPENS....

Well, in that case, you realize that you are just a single random ping pong ball in the great lottery popper that we call life. The liberals need to feel important.
42 posted on 06/05/2005 7:48:37 PM PDT by Jaysun (No matter how hot she is, some man, somewhere, is tired of her sh*t)
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To: AntiGuv
Whatever the case, I should go to hell for posting this, but you might find this site interesting:

I've seen that one before....it makes a pretty strong argument for an alternative theory to the "official"story.

43 posted on 06/05/2005 7:51:16 PM PDT by ActionNewsBill ("In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act")
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To: ActionNewsBill

I know it does, which is why I find it so compelling, because I actually believe the "official" story with regard to the Pentagon.


44 posted on 06/05/2005 7:53:46 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: AntiGuv
The "pull" comment referred to pulling the firefighters out

He is quoted as saying "pull IT", not "pull THEM".

But I'm sure nothing I say or link to will convince you otherwise.

45 posted on 06/05/2005 7:53:53 PM PDT by ActionNewsBill ("In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act")
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To: PatrickHenry; Doctor Stochastic

ping. might not seem relevant, but it is, tangentially


46 posted on 06/05/2005 7:54:58 PM PDT by King Prout (I'd say I missed ya, but that'd be untrue... I NEVER MISS)
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To: demlosers
Both Lyndon LaRouche(D) and Michael Moore(Dumbass) were searching for any substantiation that the 9/11 hijackings were carried out by "Timothy McVeigh" types. Perhaps they should spend more time tracking down John Doe #2 from the OKC bombings.
47 posted on 06/05/2005 8:09:49 PM PDT by weegee (Re: immigration "Those Syrians are coming to Iraq to do the bombings that Iraqis won't do.")
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To: demlosers
Looking back I have to say the X Files has done more damage to American Culture than we knew. Everyone now thinks there is a conspiracy behind everything.
48 posted on 06/05/2005 8:10:22 PM PDT by Swiss
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To: ActionNewsBill

So, he got tongue-twisted in an interview. Hardly a shocking development.

I can believe a whole lot of things, but I can't believe they threw together a controlled demolition of #7 on the fly. Nor can I believe that Larry Silverstein would just casually order the FDNY to demolish the tower and they'd hop right to it. If it was a controlled demolition, it must've been premeditated, and if so, I can't imagine how the FDNY would be anything but clueless.

Is that your implication?

PS. I feel nutty just debating this point. I mean, it's one thing to debate whether 9/11 was the result of a conspiracy, it's taking it to a whole different level to bicker over the minor details of the alleged conspiracy. LOL


49 posted on 06/05/2005 8:13:57 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: Radioactive

BS. I know someone who works at the Pentagon. Have known him all my life and have kept in contact with him. When I finally was able to get through to him he told me he was coming in work a bit late due to sick kids. He was approaching the Pentagon and saw that plane hit it. You don't know what you are talking about. Because you didn't see it doesn't mean it didn't hit. There were people who did see it hit.


50 posted on 06/05/2005 8:14:47 PM PDT by Kath (Luvya Dubya)
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