There’s a hilarious debate on Alternet about 9/11 conspiracy theories between Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone journalist and author of The Great Derangement, and David Ray Griffin, an academic and 9/11 denier who has written a book on 9/11 that is sourced entirely from 9/11 truth sites (he quotes Steven Jones several times during the debate). Tellingly, Griffin is not a physicist or an engineer, but a theologian.
The exchange is 24,000 words long but is well worth reading. Note how Taibbi gets straight to the point, asking hard questions with punchy humour, while Griffin waffles, reiterates and falls back upon remorseless pedantry, dense ontological rhetoric, and ludicrously contrived analogies.
If you don’t have time to read all of it I can summarise Griffin’s arguments here:
1: The official account of 9/11 says that the towers fell as a result of a conspiracy by Al-Qaeda. So, if you accept the official story, that means you are the conspiracy theorist, not me. Aaaaah!
2: God of the Gaps. The tiny inconsistences and discrepancies in the official story completely blow it out of the water. These gaps can’t possibly be the result of day-to-day public sector incompetence/ass-covering and the chaotic environment created by the attacks – they can only be filled by the demolition theory. But the leaps of faith required to believe the 9/11 truth version of events don’t bother me, because I don’t have to support my own theory with argument and evidence – I’m just raising questions. Open your mind, man!
3: ‘[W]e should be suspicious of testimony of a member of some organization when that testimony supports that organization’s official position… the set of testimonies that goes against the Pentagon’s official story must be accorded greater credibility’. So if you have conflicting accounts from the establishment and from some 9/11 denial website, always believe the account from the denial site, even if it has holes you can drive a bus through.
4: Witnesses who saw a plane fly into the Pentagon can be dismissed because some of them worked for the mainstream media. But mainstream media sources are right when they can be used to support the demolition theory – e.g. a Washington Post article on ‘voice-morphing’ technology which I claim was used to fake last phone calls from hijacked plane passengers to their loved ones.
5: Likewise, government sources can be dismissed when they back up the accepted narrative, but taken as gospel when they support a 9/11 denial claim, or at least provide a hole to pick at.
6: Moral equivalence: the German people didn’t believe that Hitler had death camps and the Japanese didn’t believe that their leaders were massacring Chinese. If you believe the official story, that means George Bush is Hitler and 9/11 was an inside job.
7: Imagine you won a massive cash prize and the very next day your best friend was killed by a crossbow. The police arrest you even though you have been framed using planted evidence and ‘morphing technology’. Therefore 9/11 was an inside job. (Note: this is really Griffin’s analogy and it goes on for five paragraphs.)
8: The Twin Towers were demolished so that the government could avoid paying to have asbestos removed from the two buildings. However, the government didn’t mind paying $659 million to clean up the toxic dust created as a result of the atrocities, or losing the massive tax revenue from this prime real estate site.
9: George Bush is competent enough to organise a vast criminal conspiracy against the American public, but not competent enough to manage the economy, provide a decent healthcare system, win the war in Iraq – or to prevent himself from sitting on a primary-school stool like a slack-jawed buffoon, reading from a child’s story book, for nine entire minutes after being told of the attacks.
10: Low-level military and civil employees were happy to cover up the conspiracy and help clean up Ground Zero even though they had no prior knowledge of the demolition before it happened. Because they are evil. All of them. With empty alien souls.
11: The motive for the Pentagon demolition was to hide the evidence of financial malpractice by the Defense Department – even though the relevant accounts could easily have been burned or destroyed far more cheaply and efficiently as they were on paper and computer file, rather than ‘hammered into granite slabs and mounted, hieroglyph-style, on the building’s walls’.
12: Well, maybe the plane that hit the Pentagon was remote controlled. Maybe passengers were happy to get on board a plane with no pilot and no staff.
14: …That’s it.
The debate has given me an idea for a 9/11 Truth drinking game. Drink whenever a familiar rhetorical trick comes up, such as the moral equivalence or the God of the Gaps. Take a shot whenever you hear a key phrase like ‘false flag,’ ‘Thermite doesn’t burn that fast,’ or ‘They were war-gaming it, you fool!’