Wednesday, April 23, 2008

CommonDreams / Common Blunders: Attacking the 9/11 Dissenters

John Doraemi

"... and Popular Mechanics’ issue on the subject is a good place to start."
-Singer turned pundit, David Rovics/

CommonDreams is a highly visited "progressive" news site. The focus there is mainly on reprinting corporate-produced pieces that somehow share the biases of the editors. They do also however print editorials from freelance writers, and when the issue of the 9/11 cover up is breached, only one side is permitted to weigh in. And that side is permitted to outright attack and to libel the other side, the 'other' side being the amorphous "9/11 Truth Movement."

No response in kind is permitted; it doesn't matter the content, nor the quality of the evidence. This policy has rightly earned CommonDreams the reputation of "gatekeepers" among disgruntled readers.

I call out CommonDreams because they are representative of a bunch of "liberal" or "progressive" websites and blogs, and so these patterns are recurring (for 7 years now).

A recent letter published there from David Rovics, an independent musician, will make my case unequivically. From its title onward, this hit piece is one big straw man: The Truth About the 9/11 ‘Truth Movement’.

By conveniently boxing a movement of tens of millions of people under a label, Rovics does what corporate media shills have done ad nauseum: guilt by association.

Rovics' peeve is that a heckler at his anti-war singing performance was rude and belligerent. The poor behavior consisted of shouting from, "a red-faced white man with an ominous hand-written sign reading, '9/11 was a lie.'” Rovics doesn't go into any detail upon what preceded this man's shouting fit (something Rovics may have said on the p.a. system?), but Rovics does take it upon himself to smear everyone seeking the truth of 9/11 because of a few such individuals.

If the same tactic -- the same standard -- is employed against the "anti-war movement," because of the negative behavior of a few individuals... perhaps Rovics could understand his error. Perhaps not.

So, Rovics feels attacked by the "9/11 Truth Movement," and so he feels justified in attacking back, and CommonDreams feels justified in printing his attack. Why? I don't know.

You see, unmentioned, was the reality that 9/11 really was a lie. Even the two nominal heads of the 9/11 Commission, Kean and Hamilton -- who moved mountains to contain the sham investigation studiously avoiding the numerous pertinent questions -- these two have complained publically about being lied to by military leaders and of having requested documents and evidence withheld. A large portion of their report was, of course, based on testimony produced via torture (Note: David Rovics himself would probably admit to blowing up the World Trade Center if tortured sufficiently into doing so).

So many lies flowed forth in the wake of 9/11, that it is inconceivable that those telling them should be presumed innocent, when these attacks happened on their watch, with their foreknowledge, and with the cover story that "no one" ever considered such attack scenarios before. A lie. A big lie. I won't even bother enumerating the political and monetary gains, the "opportunities" bestowed on the Bushites as a result of the 9/11 attacks.

The Bush administration was explicitly warned of just such attacks just a month and a half before 9/11 in Genoa Italy at the G-8 summit, and they were literally moved out of their high-rise hotel for precisely that reason.

The scope, magnitude, and complicity of specific US government individuals in the crimes of 9/11 has been somewhat covered up (with some help from "progressive" outlets like CommonDreams et. al., who stoop to demonizing dissent on the issue, rather than investigating further). But clearly the focus should be on the cover up by the US government, and not on the behavior of a few random persons at peace protests. The cognitive dissonance that allows such grotesque official lies to stand while turning the "two minutes of hate" (Orwell) toward 9/11 dissenters is both profound and damaging to the nation.

Rovics' Case

Take it from the singer:

" will find that most of [9/11 dissent websites and articles] are propaganda pieces and most of the "experts" are not experts in relevant fields."

I'll give him the first point, being unwilling to tally up and categorize where "propaganda" begins and valid studied opinion ends. But, see we're just talking numbers now, as in what constitutes "most." The validity of specific evidence and arguments isn't even challenged, merely lumped in with a tide of "propaganda pieces" which are to be dismissed a priori.

The second quibble is not a valid complaint. There are "experts," credentialed professionals in the fields joining related 9/11 Truth groups all the time. Many have spoken out over the years, at risk of their own careers in this jingoistic atmosphere of hostility and knee-jerkism.

It's not exactly career-enhancing to go up against the federal government when numerous job prospects over one's career will involve federal money and oversight.

UL Laboratories manager Kevin Ryan was fired for simply writing a letter to the head of the NIST investigation in an effort to clarify his company's role in certifying the structural steel in the World Trade Center. Ryan, who knows a bit more about these issues than David Rovics, explains the situation:

"The extensive paperwork necessary to complete civil engineering projects is obtained by working closely with, and staying on good terms with, local and national authorities. That fact may not be enough to ensure vocal support for the official story of “global collapse”, but it has been enough to keep most structural engineers from publicly opposing the intransigent government stance on the WTC events." -Looking for Truth in Credentials: The WTC “Experts” by Kevin Ryan

Rovics tells us:

"...look beyond this mass of misinformation for real experts, you will easily find pilots who can discount the claims of the Truthers that maneuvering the planes into the towers was a particularly challenging thing for people with only a little flight training to pull off."

Rovics takes to cherry picking a handful of easily challenged claims, something he's several years behind the curve in doing. Again, the focus is not on whether the government has proven or not proven what happened, such as if the hijackings were real or fabricated. All that matters to Rovics/CommonDreams is if they can appear to be authoritative by knocking down an easily challenged hypothesis.


"You will easily find mechanical engineers familiar with the structural flaws in the design of the WTC that allowed it to collapse in the first place, and physicists who can explain why such large buildings would appear to be imploding as if in a controlled demolition, or why people on the scene would have thought they were hearing explosions, etc."

There are some debatable issues. What isn't debatable is that we need to know the truth.

If Rovics had studied this as he presents himself as having done, he would know that the crucial steel evidence was illegally destroyed by FEMA immediately after the disaster, and shipped off to Asia for meltdown. There is no justification for destroying the crucial forensic evidence of the World Trade Center steel, except to cover up what happened there.

NIST has admitted that they only have "1 percent" of the steel "core columns" from the fire affected areas (or so they claim in their response letter, section "E"). Not even NIST will attempt to "...extrapolate from such a small sample size...."

Rovics would rather find "experts" who are willing to speculate on what brought the towers down, a common blunder. The truth is: we do not know. The truth is that the collapses shared 11 characteristics of controlled demolitions, and that no such similar "collapses" have ever occurred in all of history except on that one September day in 2001, at the World Trade Center complex in New York City. That is quite notable.


Rovics and CommonDreams then make their greatest blunder of the piece:

"...if you want to look into “debunking the debunkers” yourself, there is plenty of information out there, and Popular Mechanics’ issue on the subject is a good place to start."

Rovics not only endorses a "propaganda" piece put out by Hearst Publishing, the pioneers of American yellow journalism -- he/they completely ignore that the Popular Mechanics article and book written from it were destroyed by Dr. David Ray Griffin's response: DEBUNKING 9/11 DEBUNKING.

I find it hard to believe this is an oversight when Rovics used the phrase, “debunking the debunkers” in his own piece.

The Popular Mechanics article that CommonDreams would have you accept as truth is about to be destroyed, by me, with one example, and their credibility thrown into question.

Popular Mechanics would have you believe that "Intercepts Not Routine."

"FACT [SIC]: In the decade before 9/11, NORAD intercepted only one civilian plane over North America: golfer Payne Stewart's Learjet, in October 1999." -Popular Mechanics, Debunking the 9/11 Myths: Special Report

I find it astounding that anyone who's reached the position of an editor would be so gullible as to believe that, but perhaps this Government Accountability Office report from 1994 will help:

"Other reserve and active units are well equipped to handle what has become the defense force's current focus--intercepting drug smugglers. (...) Overall, during the past 4 years, NORAD's alert fighters took off to intercept aircraft (referred to as scrambled) 1,518 times, or an average of 15 times per site per year. Of these incidents, the number of suspected drug smuggling aircraft averaged one per site, or less than 7 percent of all of the alert sites' total activity.\3 The remaining activity generally involved visually inspecting unidentified aircraft and assisting aircraft in distress." --Continental Air Defense: A Dedicated Force Is No Longer Needed (Letter Report, 05/03/94, GAO/NSIAD-94-76)

This is an average of more than one NORAD scramble per day, every day of the year. This report exposes the misinformation (lie) in Popular Mechanics' article about the "decade before 9/11."

Some (idiots) may counter that everything changed after 1994, and suddenly they weren't scrambling jets anymore, until Payne Stewart embarrassed them into acting, because it was on the news. Are we to believe that NORAD just stopped "visually inspecting unidentified aircraft and assisting aircraft in distress," or "intercepting drug smugglers?"

If so, prove it. Show the evidence.

Popular Mechanics used many such bogus arguments in their attack piece. I'll have to refer you to Griffin's response for more on that.

Popular Mechanics was in no way, shape, or form seeking the truth. They sought a passable narrative that would quell the masses, primarily using cherry picking of easily debunked claims as Rovics has now done. The editor of the piece, Benjamin Chertoff, was revealed to be the cousin of the Department of Homeland Security head, Michael Chertoff, although B.C. denied it at the time.

Michael Chertoff as head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division is suspected of participating in the 9/11 cover up, and is a suspect in the attacks themselves. More than 200 Israeli agents were detained before and after 9/11, many of them for penetrating secure US government buildings. Several were caught celebrating the impact of the first plane into the first tower and of photographing themselves in front of the burning towers. This prompted an FBI Be On Look Out (BOLO) alert issued on the afternoon of 9/11.

All the Israelis were released quietly and sent back to Israel over the objections of some CIA and FBI officials.

Chertoff was also blamed for "sabotaging" Operation Greenquest, by Department of Homeland Security investigators when Tom Ridge was the head there (Newsweek, Dec. 10, 2003). Greenquest was the failed investigation to trace "Al Qaeda" money back to sources. The failure was so spectacular that the 9/11 Commission Report said:

"To date the U.S. government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks. Ultimately the question is of little practical significance." -THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT, p 172.

Michael Chertoff has more history that is not heard about in most corporate or "progressive" media.

Rovics, who has his own throries about all of this, continues with his open microphone at CommonDreams:

"The fact is, the scientific community, while certainly not immune to political pressure, is generally able to function with a grounding in actual science, and is not capable of participating, as a community, in some kind of mass conspiracy of silence or cover-up."

Rovics makes a point which is true, but doesn't actually help his anti-truth main argument.

Dr. Steven Jones is such a scientist as Rovics describes. He's found scientific evidence of microscopic "steel spherules" in the dust from the WTC. These steel spherules, interestingly enough, can:

1) only have been formed in a molten state,


2) contain trace elements which Jones has concluded indicate thermate, a high temperature incendiary substance capable of cutting steel.

The ingredients for thermate, it should be noted, are not highly controlled substances, and are readily available to the public. As Jones has said, they can be bought "on Ebay."

Jones can't get his papers published in CommonDreams though, because of the "political pressure" which Rovics has unwittingly indicated. Although--Jones and his associates have now successfully published in a peer-reviewed civil engineering journal.

Rovics' argument, that somehow the "scientific community" is going to solve 9/11, a massive crime where the evidence has been withheld by the FBI and destroyed by FEMA, is a bogus argument. It's not the job of independent scientists to investigate.

Those handful of investigators hired by the government, and particularly by the Bush regime's Commerce Department, of which NIST is part, have -- to their credit -- been unwilling to sign off on the official story of building WTC7 to this day. Further, none have dared venture how the tower "collapses" supposedly progressed, and have stopped at the point where the "conditions for collapse" were allegedly reached. Whether those actual conditions were reached, or wheher there were other causes (explosives/incendiaries) is not settled science.

There are two main competing theses. Only one gets a fair hearing on many "progressive" news outlets like CommonDreams. The other is ridiculed and mocked, attacked with straw men and irrelevancies.

Rovics' Blind Defense of "Progressive" Media

"These corporate media entities and the genocidal, ecocidal plutocracy they serve are the "gatekeepers" that need to be exposed. The truths they are trying to hide from us are the truths that need to be understood, and acted upon."

And one of those truths is that high treason took place on 9/11.

Rovics doesn't understand the massive library of evidence against these people, or else through cognitive dissonance, he chooses not to see.

It doesn't matter if the towers were brought down by demolition, and it doesn't matter if -- what they call "Al Qaeda" operatives -- were on the planes or not.

They deliberately let it happen.

This is proven beyond a reasonable doubt since 2002. That's treason. There is prima facie evidence to indict several high level government officials, but that, of course, is unthinkable in 2008 America.

Rovics has been misled by a blind faith in the "alternative" media. To believe that small media are uncorruptible is the height of naivete. Whether through fear of being labeled a "conspiracy theorist" as some of these outlets have sunk to labeling others, or through covert manipulation, funding, ideological bias, whatever: we have been shortchanged by these media, much the same way we have been short-changed by corporate media.

Rovics' lengthy defense of Amy Goodman ignores how this issue has been treated on her very program. When Dr. Griffin's first book was published and began selling well (not before that point had she touched this subject at all), Goodman invited Dr. Griffin on to discuss The New Pearl Harbor. Griffin was assured that he would be interviewed alone, and he would be given the opportunity to voice his case.

When Griffin arrived for the interview, he was paired off against abrasive propagandist Chip Berlet, who attacked Griffin during his entire interview segment, making it appear that Griffin was less credible. DemocracyNow doesn't make a habit of pairing their guests with attack dogs. In Dr. Griffin's case, they made an exception.


"To both of these groups I beseech you - wake up! Wake up to the real, easily verifiable conspiracies - which are extremely big ones - and quit trying to distract us with all the nonsense about gatekeepers and controlled demolitions!"

The gatekeeping of many alternative media has been documented.

I'm talking about foundation funding purse strings that lead back to CIA as well as to right wing foundations.

As for controlled demolitons, it's not "nonsense" at all. It's a highly serious question. So serious, that massive disinformation campaigns such as from Popular Mechanics, BBC and the History Channel have been sent out to dupe otherwise well-meaning activists like David Rovics and the editors of websites like CommonDreams.