Sunday, June 03, 2007

Skeptics" or Dupes? Skeptic Magazine Not So Skeptical on 9/11 Lies

Skeptic Magazine has come out with a half-assed response to the 9/11 Truth Movement. They cite Popular Mechanics' theories about the attacks, and not much else in their 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, the 9/11 Truth Movement in Perspective.

Someone should have told them that Professor David Ray Griffin has demolished the Popular Mechanics diatribe in his Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory.


The Skeptic Magazine article was from the November/December 2006 issue, and publication preceded the date of publication of Debunking 9/11 Debunking.

The Popular Mechanics nonsense was under attack for a long time, however, before the release of the Griffin Debunking 9/11 Debunking book. Immediately upon publication of their first article, rebuttals appeared, most notably Jim Hoffman's:

Popular Mechanics Attacks its '9/11 Lies' Straw Man

Updated versions appeared in 2005 (more than a year and a half before the Skeptic article):

Popular Mechanics' Deceptive Smear Against 9/11 Truth

David Ray Griffin directly addressed Popular Mechanics several times:

9/11 and the American Empire by David Ray Griffin

The Destruction of the World Trade Center:
Why the Official Account Cannot Be True

Of special interest here is a link between Hearst Corporation CEO Victor F. Ganzi and the one and only C.I.A.:

More 2005 work in response to the Popular Mechanics lies:

Alex Jones Responds To Ben Chertoff, Popular Mechanics 9/11 Debunking Campaign

Griffin's August 2006 CBC News interview should have been a tip off to Skeptic Rag as well:

"Well, [Popular Mechanics' Book] is one of the most disgraceful publications that has ever appeared, and as I’ve said in my new book, the Popular Mechanics owes the American public for putting this out – it is simply a disgrace."

Let's forego all of that -- pretend it never happened -- and get to the accusations of the article.

But first, I just have to bring up a little definitional dispute. To the editors of "Skeptic" magazine: I am the skeptic here, not your writer Phil Molé. I am highly skeptical of the government's account of the events of September 11th 2001, and with good reasons.

By attacking a "Truth" movement, you are attacking other skeptics, and you are dishonestly trying to portray them as a single unit and in a false light. You have attributed particular and specific "theories" to all of us, and then you pretended that we all adhere to these theories and so we are all easily debunked. This is a common and well-known tactic, quite despicable, and one that your magazine should not have succombed to.

The article in question spends a good deal of its time on the controlled demolition theory at the World Trade Center towers. My own 70 Disturbing Facts About the September 11th Attacks devotes one entry to this question.

You see, our case does not rest upon what happened after the planes struck that day. And, contrary to your writer's claims, there is a lot of evidence which refutes the government account.

Additionally, although the Skeptic Magazine piece attempts to preach to us about the relevance of Al Qaeda:

"The best explanation for the events of 9/11 is that it was the latest and most damaging attack yet in a series of attacks by radical Islamic terrorists who wish to end what they believe is an evil U.S. foreign policy."

... not one "hijacker" is named in this piece, nor is any attempt made at all to link any alleged hijacker to the crime.

Quite an accomodating -- as opposed to skeptical -- view of the official theory. Poor form and a poorly thought out piece. Honest readers will find the entire article quite accomodating to the official government theory of the 9/11 attacks.

Now for a point by point response.

TOWERS 1 & 2

"Rather, they [the 9/11 skeptics] maintain that the towers fell due to a controlled demolition, planned in advance by the United States government."

Several things can be said here.

1) The possibilty of other governments' involvement remains undisclosed, although Senator Bob Graham told us of the evidence for this when he was the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In particular, we had 200 Israeli agents detained in connection with the 9/11 attacks, as well as links to the Saudi royals and to the Pakistani intelligence service.

2) The possibility of explosives was deliberately ignored by FEMA and NIST in their investigations, a command level decision.

3) The great bulk of structural steel evidence was unlawfully destroyed and sent out of the country for immediate recycling.

4) Numerous eyewitnesses saw, felt, heard, and were injured by explosives during the time period from when the planes struck, to when the towers fell. At least 118 firefighters reported this. Dozens of others appeared on live newscasts saying the same thing. The lobbies of the Towers were demolished (78 stories below the planes), as evidenced on film, and the 20 year WTC janitor William Rodriguez reported explosions in the basement levels just seconds before the planes struck.

If this doesn't prove controlled demolition, it at least points to the possibility, and a prima facie case for serious investigation, something that has never been officially investigated, only outright attacked as in this Skeptic Magazine piece.

" maintains that if actually hit by an airplane, the steel structure of the WTC buildings should have provided at least some resistance to the weight of the floors above, causing the falling structure to pitch over to one side rather than pancake straight down."

Imagine Newton's Laws having some relevance to modern events!

This is quite the crux of the official theory's problem. You see, the other floors below the plane crashes had no damage whatsoever, and were as strong and intact as the day they were built. On September 11th 2001, they appeared to crumble to dust as if they were made of chalk or cardboard.

Skeptic Magazine here does something unexpected to promote a certain scenario:

"In controlled demolitions, detonating devices weaken or disrupt all major support points in a building at the same time."

While not technically true -- there are a series of charges that go off to bring down each building in a unique manner -- it can be countered in another way also: The Twin Towers were unique designs, requiring unique sequences to take them down. If there were "conspirators" tasked to do this job, they would know how it had to be done in order to present the "collapse" theory, and act accordingly. IF this was in conjunction with the plane crash operation, they would know where the "collapse" would have to start.

Trying to precisely correlate the covert WTC demolitions with other known overt demolition scenarios is not a valid rebuttal. The actions of conspirators do not have to conform to the preconceptions of the Skeptic author. Ergo, the demoltiions of 9/11 can vary from other "controlled demolitions", and the variability is not sufficient in and of itself to disprove the hypothesis.

"Therefore, once the collapse begins, all parts of the building are simultaneously in motion, free-falling to the ground."

Not even technically true. Highly precise sequences are involved, usually controlled by computers.

"However, this is definitely not what happens during the collapse of WTC Buildings 1 and 2,"

Still, this does not disprove controlled demolition. It merely contrasts one feature of the 9/11 collapses with other scenarios. At least 11 other features of controlled demolition remain apparent including: sudden onset, near free-fall speed, straight down into building's footprint, total collapse, pulverization of concrete and other materials, sliced steel columns, large dust clouds, horizontal ejections (squibs), demolition rings around the buildings, molten steel, and the sounds of explosions.

"You'll find that the parts of the buildings above the plane impact points begin falling first, while the lower parts of the buildings are initially stationary,"

This is a clear logical fallacy he is pushing.

A) Other controlled demolitions fall to the ground from the basement up.

B) WTC didn't initiate from the basement.

C) Therefore WTC wasn't a controlled demolition.

Is initiating the collapse from the basement the only way to intentionally demolish a builiding? No. It is not. It may be the safest and most popular technique, but certainly not the only way to achieve the objective. That is the fallacious part of this argument. Special cases can be arranged, and have been in the past.

"A conspiracy theorist may counter that the buildings were rigged to begin falling from the top down, but what are the chances that those planning such a complicated demolition would be able to predict the exact location the planes would impact the towers, and prepare
the towers to begin falling precisely tliere?"

This argument boils down to "what are the chances" that the people involved with intentionally demolishing the Twin Towers would have those particular floors wired to initiate the sequence?

Well -- pretty good, actually, if that's what happened. Odds are that those floors would be well covered by explosive charges, if the effect was to be that floors near the top would be receiving the jet-airliner impacts, and that the "collapse" would have to appear to initiate from there. The actual jet crashes were on similar tilts, and damaged about 4 different floors. The onset of collapse could have been any of the four, or even one or two floors above or below there, for a six to eight floor 'window' in which to rig charges. Covering every six or so floors in a certain area of the building is not technically infeasible.

"Additionally, footage of the collapse of the South Tower, or Building 2 reveals that the tower did not fall straight down, as the North Tower and buildings leveled by controlled demolitions typically fall. Instead the tower tilted toward the direction of the impact point, and then began to pancake downward with the top part of the building tilted at an angle."

Correct. This was not the way demolitions "typically fall."

Due to damage at the corner, the top part achieved momentum toward that area of impact. However, it then disintegrated in mid air, and from what force?

According to the "collapse" theory, the top sections of the towers should still be relatively INTACT. See what actual building collapses look like here.

What force ground them into fine dust powder, so that nothing at all remained?

Reality has the entire structure demolished into dust, which blanketed most of southern Manahattan, as confirmed by NY Governor Pataki(R) on television.

"...most agree that the temperature probably reached 1,000° Fahrenheit and possibly higher than 1,800° F. Flames of this temperature would be far short of the approximately 2800° F needed to melt steel, but they would have been sufficient to severely reduce the structural integrity of the metal. Best engineering estimates tell us that steel loses 50% of its strength at 1,200°F and can lose as much as 90% of its strength at temperatures of 1,800°F.' Even if we assume temperaaires of no higher tlian 1,000°F during tlie fire, we would still have more than enough reasons to expect damage severe enough to result in eventual collapse."

Nonsense! Buildings would be dropping left and right if this line of argument were true.

There's quite a difference between heating the air to 1,000°F and heating numerous structural steel support columns to 1,000°F. That is what is completely ignored here, along with another fire in the World Trade Center in 1975 that burned longer, spread to several floors, and produced NO measurable effects on the structural integrity of the Tower whatsoever.

Secondly, a partial failure of some supporting elements, is something wholely different than a total "eventual collapse." Total collapse requires the symmetrical failure of a large number of supporting columns simultaneously. How does this symmetry accompany a plane crash?

"Within this perimeter tube design there was a 27 m by 40 m core, designed to provide additional support to the tower."

More obvious ignorant (or dishonest) explanations. This denigrated "27 m by 40 m core" provided ALL the support required for the towers. These were the supporting columns that enabled this structure to exist. Far from "additional," these were the vertical load bearing columns around which the structure was designed.

"The impact and explosion of the airplane crashes probably knocked off most of the insulating material intended to fireproof the steel beams, considerably increasing their vulnerability to flames."


The Skeptic Magazine is down to unscientific claims of "probably?" That's quite astounding. Others, who are more knowledgeable about these matters, and who investigated this specious claim are not so confident about this presumed probability at all.

Is this skepticism or dictation?

"The heat of the flames reduced the steel to a fraction of its initial strength, while also causing the steel trusses to expand at each end until they no longer supported the weight of the building's floors, triggering the collapse."

Perhaps the author never heard about the NIST experiments which actually attempted to recreate the conditions at the WTC that day. No more than 3 inches of "bowing" was observed in trusses despite hotter and longer burning fires. NIST didn't accept these actual test results, and instead input 40 inches of bowing into their computer models, dutifully recreated by Popular Mechanics and in the drawings provided in the Skeptic Magazine article. This is charlatanism, not skepticism. This is above and beyond the realm of honest inquiry.

NIST itself tells us the the jet fuel burned off within 20 minutes in any given location. There were highly limited fuel sources in the core, as they were steel shafts and elevators. These were sealed tightly thus depriving the fire of sources of oxygen, as designed. These factors reduced the likelihood that the "1,000" degree office fires would be able to transfer this heat to the supporting columns.

"The expansion and warping of the steel would have been particularly significant due to temperature differences within the burning structure. Thus, the trusses went limp much like a slackened laundry iine, providing little or no resistance to the weight of the floors overhead."

This "pancake" theory is bogus. It relies on the ignorance of the reader as to how modern skyscrapers are constructed. Trusses are irrelevant to the vertical load. If a floor collapses, it does not eliminate the vertical support columns (columns support floors, not vice versa). In order for global collapse to ensue, a high percentage of the vertical support columns (47 interior + 240 exterior) need to fail simultaneously. This truss failure theory is not accepted by many structural engineers, and should not have been promoted here at this late stage.


"However, the sources in question are informal observations of "steel" at Ground Zero, not laboratory results."

Fair enough. We do not have laboratory tests of the flowing molten metal during the rescue efforts. Why is that exactly? Is it because the site was tightly controlled and evidence was destroyed -- illegally -- as quickly as possible? Yes. That happened.

But we do have more evidence of "steel" in molten form at "Ground Zero" on 9/11, and that received no space at all in the Skeptic article.

Dr. Steven Jones has samples of the massive amounts of concrete dust produced there. Analyzing these samples, steel "spherules" were easily detected. These steel spheres, according to Jones, prove molten steel as a component of the events on September 11th. These steel spherules were also mentioned in US Geological Survey analyses of the dust. Was this deliberately left out of the Skeptic article because it challenged the author's biases?


"As for the "squibs" conspiracy theorists claim to see in videos of the WTC collapse, these are plumes of smoke and debris ejected from the building due to the immense pressure associated with millions of tons of falling towers (see Figure 1)."

Wow. "Smoke?" When it occurs 20 and 30 floors below the "demolition wave" and 40 and 50 floors below where any fires were present? (ps. smoke goes up) They should have just stuck with "debris" and not attempted to embellish.

Well, you can see actual steel beams that landed hundreds of feet away from the towers in photographs. Here is one such beam weighing 600,000 pounds.

The purported "skepticism" behind these claims is stripped bare here. Air pressure is one possible explanation for windows being blown out, but so are demolition charges. With no evidence cited to decide the issue, the magazine sides with the air pressure explanation because it conforms to preconceptions.


"These arguments only reveal the assumptions of tlieir authors [tell me about it!]. First, the fires burning in WTC 7 were extremely extensive, as Figure 3 shows."

Absolutely wrong. All "Figure 3" shows is a lot of smoke from burning buildings WTC5 & 6 -- located across the street from WTC-7. Can you say misleading argument? With other photographic evidence, the writer (and editors?) would find that the smoke is not solely from building 7 at all, and that it is blown across the street.

"...they tend to only show the north side of WTC 7, selectively causing the building to appear both far less ravaged by fire and stnicturai damage than it actually was (see Figure 4)."

False accusation, for starters. "Truth Movement" videos do not only show the North side. This is standard operation for this author. He attempts to smear a movement repeatedly, with false and overreaching claims. There are no clear views of the South side released to the public as of this writing. Could it be because the damage was not so catastrophic as advertised? Photos of the other three sides that are available are common in "Truth Movement videos."

Secondly, "Figure 4" appears to only show fire on one floor.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but much more substantial "infernos" have happened in steel framed skyscrapers without catastrophic structural failures. As a matter of fact, no skyscraper has ever -- before or after 9/11 -- fallen in the manner witnessed at WTC-7, except by controlled demolition. Does this fact mean nothing to self-proclaimed "skeptics?"

"Emergency response workers at Ground Zero realized that extensive damage to the lower

south section of WTC 7 would cause collapse as early as 3 PM on 9/11, a fact reported on news broadcasts at the time.''

This is an attempt to rewrite a fear or a suspicion as a "fact." The entire nation was shocked as a result of the demolitions of towers 1 and 2. Naturally, firemen on the scene feared another "collapse." This does not make the fire "collapse" scenario a "fact." It merely informs us of the psychology and suspicions of some men at the scene.

"Video footage shows that when collapse occurred, the south wall of the building gave in first, which is exactly what we would expect based on the location of the most extensive damage. As noted for the collapse of the South Tower, the mechanics of the building's fall are completely consistent with the nature of the damage sustained."

That's not entirely true. The large air conditioning unit on the roof caved in first. A "kink" was clearly visible in tne center, as is standard practice in the controlled demolition industry. The outer walls ended up on the top of the rubble pile, as is consistent with an "implosion," which demolition expert Danny Jowenko has stated is true for WTC-7.

As for structural damage affecting the process, that is possible. No one said it isn't. But was it the initiating factor? Why was this a symmetrical and total collapse into the building's footprint?

The NIST investigators admitted they could not explain WTC-7, and that the theory posited by the government only had a "low probabiltiy of occurrence." Why is Skeptic Magazine so sure about this, with such minimal investigation? It all seems so consistent with a deliberate effort to obfuscate and to distort.


Skeptic Mag then concentrates on Larry Silverstein's "pull it" quote, but ignores the unimaginably immense insurance settlement that Silverstein collected. All that wasted space on the meaning of "pull it," but not a look into Silverstein putting up only 14 million dollars of his money to "own" the World Trade Center complex, and just a few months later walking away with nearly $5 billion in payouts, along with the legal right to rebuild the site.

Business profits like that are quite unheard of in the financial pages. Silverstein, as the "owner" of the World Trade Center site, had effective control of security there during the summer of 2001.

Is this proof of Silverstein's guilt? No. But it makes him a person to be investigated, in order to find out the truth. The first rule of investigation is: WHO BENEFITS? This is something Skeptic Magazine does not seem to quite understand.

"Furthermore, what relationship doess Silverstein have with the United States govemment who, according to conspiracy theorists, destroyed the WTC buildings in order to terrorize its citizens into accepting domination by a police state?"

These loaded questions reveal the mindset of the author. We are supposed to assume "none," for Silverstein's "connection" to the "United States government."

That's not investigation, not even to exonerate Silverstein.

Further, we shouldn't expect to find obvious links to the government, as this was a covert plan, not an overt one.

We do not have direct evidence linking Silverstein to the governments of the US, nor to Israel (whose agents were also implicated in the attacks), nor Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan or Pakistan -- all implicated.

We haven't been able to investigate this crime, you see. That's the problem. We have no subpoena power, and we are not congressmen. Those that should have taken an interest in Larry Silverstein's record insurance profits chose not to do so. That is one more piece of the cover up puzzle. It is certainly not proof of innocence that some controlled and mock "investigations" chose not to look at it.


"And if the govemment controlled the demolition of the WTC buildings in order to strike fear into its citizens, why one this one case would it wait until all of the tenants were evacuated from WTC 7 so that there were no reported casualties? The government's strategy appears wildly inconsistent in the Truth Movement account—killing nearly 3,000 people in the destruction of the two main towers, while allowing an entire afternoon for tlie tenants of WTC 7 to escape."

This is a failure to even attempt to understand the scenario.

Real terrorists, intent on hurting America could have killed 1 million people or more that day, by simply crashing into Indian Point nuclear power plant (which the Atta plane reportedly flew right over).

3,000 people is minimal. They could have waited until more people showed up for work and killed more at the WTC. They could have toppled the WTC towers, and taken out tens of thousands more people. This was designed to minimize the catastrophe, so that just enough destruction happened to solidify their hold on power and to legitimize their criminal wars of aggression.

Why was WTC-7 destroyed at all?

Could it have been the command center for the controlled demolitions of the towers?

Did they want to get rid of a lot of evidence at CIA, DOD and SEC offices located there?

It wasn't necessary to kill any more people that day. Building 7 was -- could have been -- just tying up loose ends.

Similarly the Pentagon was "reinforced" with kevlar and blast resistant 2,500 lb windows on the West side (only) where it was struck. This minimized casualties, not vice versa. It also killed many workmen, rather than important high level military personnel.

"We should also note that the alleged 9/11 plot was needlessly complicated,"

Oh, but how well it worked for the Bush administration and American imperialism.

"...since the building was wired for a controlled demolition and targeted to be hit by airplanes—why not just do the controlled demolition, ditch the airplanes and blame it on the terrorists of your choice?"

Why would genuine terrorists bother with a "controlled" demolition? Again, you're not thinking, and you are clearly out of your depth.

Project Bojinka was a real plan, a plausible plan, linked to radical Islamic fighters. September 11th was the realization of Bojinka -- by any means necessary.

Just because it was theoretically possible for radical Islamic warriors to independently perpetrate such an attack does not mean that is what actually happened. The fingerprints of intelligence services, CIA, MI6, MOSSAD, ISI and Saudi, are all over this operation. If that doesn't make self-professed "skeptics" a bit skeptical, than what the fuck does it take?

Mohammad Atta, the "lead hijacker" was a fundamentalist Islamacist, or a womanizing, drug running, alcohol drinking, pork eating, gambling, lap dance afficianado, who trained at a US military school and was under CIA surveillance in Germany? Which one did I read about in mainstream US press accounts?

If "skeptics" are comfortable with such blinders, ignoring mountains of contrary evidence in their race to take a few cheap shots against the latest whipping boy, I guess I'm going to have to redefine myself.


Regarding the Pentagon crash, Skeptic misses the boat again. It's all scripted by Popular Mechanics about whether a plane hit the Pentagon, and the debris and the hole.

Nothing about why the West side which was struck, was reinforced with kevlar and blast windows (which would account for the strange hole), while no other Pentagon sections were thusly reinforced. Nothing about how a plane can reach the Pentagon after 84 minutes of "emergency" in the skies with two suicide hijackings impacting New York City (several hundred miles to the north). Nothing about Dick Cheney's lies regarding interception, and his unlawful assumption of command during the attacks, nor of Norman Mineta's eyewitness account, "Of course the orders still stand." Nor numerous war games, which gave Cheney the opportunity to assume command of the air defenses -- which did not respond in a timely fashion to the 9/11 attacks.


"Why would the same U.S. government that allegedly destroyed the WTC shoot down Flight 93 before it could cause similar damage to other buildings? Of course, this (question assumes a standard of logical consistency that the 9/11 Truth Movement seems to lack."

Again, this pustule tries to smear everyone because of a claim found in Loose Change.


1) Because no further building damage was necessary. They had their "Act of war" at the Pentagon, and they had their "catastrophic and catalyzing event" at the World Trade Center. The fourth plane could have been backup in case a problem happened with one of the others.

2) Because it took nearly two hours for this attack to happen, and it was getting pretty fucking ridiculous that the United States of America can't put up one jet fighter in the skies above our own East Coast.


This shill then attempts to spin the record of NORAD in intercepting planes.

"In the decade before 9/11, NORAD intercepted only one civilian plane over North America..."

They are still repeating this crap with a straight face, not a hint of skepticism to be found.

Ooops! Popular Mechanics / Skeptic Rag is clearly debunked by the Government Accountability Office, and a report discovered from 1994 (clearly within the "last decade"):

"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. Appendix I contains additional information on the scramble activity at each air defense unit and alert site and on the continental air defense and air sovereignty missions. " --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.

Skeptic Magazine continues blundering right along:

"Thus, even a direct NORAD decision to intercept any of the hijacked planes on 9/11 would have still entailed a significant amount of time to reach the jet—time that was simply not available on 9/11."

Thus skepticism is dead. If the government tells us with three different and mutually cancelling stories about how they fucked up attempting to even find the jets (sending fighters over the ocean to fly in circles?), then we must believe whatever the latest iteration turns out to be. The uncritical mindset behind this pap is staggering.

We have an incredible tale before us, that the FAA and the rest of the multi-trillion dollar defense establishment can't find a plane on their screens as soon as the transponder is turned off. It's like a cloak of invisibility, and no one can possibly track it over the skies of the United States "homeland."

The possibility of having the Air Traffic Controller who witnessed the transponder turned off actually talking and telling the military where the plane is on his screen (probably unnecessary, but still), by means of ultra-high tech devices like the "telephone" is beyond our military's imagination.

I have a lovely bridge for sale, if anyone over at Skeptic Mag. is interested.


"Indeed, general bad news about the airline industry prompted investment companies to advise their clients to take the put options, removing any need to blame the trading options on foreknowledge of the attacks."

General explanation that doesn't seem to have the supporting documentation handy?

The question about the put options is one more bit of cover up. The government has not told us who made the investments, and why a significant chunk of change remained unclaimed. Further, Mayo Shattuck III, the head of "Alex Brown" division of Deutch Bank, where some of these put options were placed resigned immediately without explanation as soon as the markets opened again after 9/11. Shattuck had taken over the post from the CIA's #3 man at the time: Buzzy Krongard.

Skeptic Mag, rather than attempting to investigate -- again -- has simply found an explanation from a debunker site and promoted it as God's truth. This is quite tiresome going through their mountain of propaganda.


Next the FEMA / Tom Kenney claim (obscure and already debunked by Michael Ruppert in 2002) is brought out. No acknowledgement that FEMA was actually in Manhattan running Tripod 2, a bio-terror excercise on September 11th. But so what anyway? This isn't central to 9/11, nor is anyone claiming that it is.


Now here comes the big one, crapola central:

"...the explanations they don't give are just as problematic. I have not been able to locate any significant discussion of al Qaeda, radical Islamic terrorists or the modem history of the Middle East in any of the 9/11 Truth Movement's writings."

Now you can see how little this "writer" has actually investigated any of these matters. His 9/11 education could be summed up by hiis attending a conference and his reading the Popular Mechanics book.

I guess I shouldn't expect him to have run into Professor Michel Chossudovsky, Nafeez Ahmed, Professor Peter Dale Scott, Paul Thompson, or a lot of other knowledgeable and credible people who have exposed "Al Qaeda" as a western intelligence created and protected sham. We can't expect Skeptic to care about US funding, training, arming and defending Al Qaeda connected KLA in the Balkans, in Kosovo?

Actually, if this article is any indication of the scholarship over there, I wouldn't worry about it. The magazine is doomed.

Now for a thoroughly ignorant "history" lesson:

"an attack by the radical Hezbollah faction on Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983;"

1) Hezbollah are Shi'ite, not Sunni, with no links to "Al Qaeda" whatsoever.

2) The Hezbollah attack (on a military target) was in response to a US battleship shelling their villages with bombs the size of "Volkswagons."

3) What was a Marine barracks doing in Lebanon at all?

"the hiijacking of the Achille Lauro in 1985;"

A Mossad false flag attack! Conceived of, financed by, and instigated by Israeli covert operatives in order to demonize Palestinians in what is known as a "black propaganda" operation. Truly ignorant examples you've chosen.

"a truck bomb attack on the World Trade Center in 1993; killing 6 people and injuring

over 1,000 more;"

With a bomb supplied by our own FBI informant / provocateur, an Egyptian Intelligence Colonel named Emad Ali Salem! Who worked with a Mossad officer (Josie/Guzie Hadas) to recruit some unsuspecting Muslims at a Brooklyn Mosque.

The man charged didn't even know the van was used in the bombing. He went back to retrieve his deposit from the rental agency after he had reported the van stolen before the bombing even happened.

There is so, so much you don't know about these matters, it's truly disheartening.

"a thwarted attempt to blow up 12 planes heading from the Philippines to the U.S. in January, 1995;"

Project Bojinka alerted the US to these methods of attack. You're going to have to try a lot harder not to make my case for me.

"the bombings of U.S. Embassy buildings in

Kenya and Tanzania in 1995, killing 12 Americans and 200 Kenyans and Tanzanians;"

And why was Ali Mohamed, US Special Forces soldier, FBI informant, and CIA operative coordinating these attacks? And why is he protected? Is it the old "embarassment" excuse? Or have you just never heard of him?

"Since bin-Laden and al Qaeda have officially claimed responsibility for the attacks of 9/11, and the evidence points in their direction..."

Nonsense. Nobody "claimed responsibility" for 9/11, one more suspicious aspect of the attacks. Bin Laden denied any responsibility in a series of newspaper articles in Pakistan.

The claim seems to relate to an undercover sting allegedly pulled on bin Laden to get him to "confess." The exact wording of any such "confession" is fuzzy at best. The FBI does not include September 11th on bin Laden's Most Wanted page, at all. Obviously Skeptic Magazine is less skeptical than our own feds!

"there is no point in seeking altemative theories."

It's FACTS, you moron. Not theories. The facts don't add up, not that you would know anything about most of them, given your poor level of research and understanding.

"Sadly, the 9/11 Tmth Movement continues to divert its gaze from the real problems, preferring the solace of delusions to reality."

You have no concept of reality, you buffoon.

Just yesterday I learned that the Jerusalem Post actually covered that Shin Bet (Israeli secret service) arranged Palestinian patsies in 1976 to hijack a French passenger plane and fly it to Uganda, where other Israeli forces stormed the plane. This split the PLO and eroded French support for the Palestinian cause. It also affected US/Palestinian relations and helped demonize Palestinians in the eyes of Western populations.

Here's Israeli Mossad setting up a fake "Al Qaeda cell" in Gaza, caught by the Palestinian Authority in December 2002.

This type of thing happens all the time, which someone "skeptical" should have caught onto, say when they were entering high school.

"Tliis article has analyzed the arguments of the 9/11 Truth Movement and found them lacking."

No it hasn't. You've cherry picked some weak and/or discredited claims a la Popular Mechanics. You've offered a few alternative possibilities, not proof of what actually happened. You have ignored so much that it could take a year or more to get you up to speed.

"Why do so many intelligent and promising people find these theories so compelling?"

Again, it's not about "theories." It's about facts. In your rush to suck the cock of official disdain, you forgot to educate yourself on thousands upon thousands of the conflicting facts. You are therefore incompetent as an investigator.

"First, there is the simple philosophical point that suspicion alone demonstrates nothing—any theory needs evidence in its favor if it is to be taken seriously."

And the tens of millions who bothered to look at the evidence take it seriously. Those who want to demonstrate how superior they are by mocking us refuse to confront the bulk of the evidence.

"Second, the mistakes made by our government in tlie past are qualitatively different from a conscious decision to kill thousands of its own citizeas in order to justify the oppression of others."

With 3,500 of its own soldiers wasted in Iraq so far, you really are naive.

"But if America really was a police state with such terrible secrets to protect, surely government thugs would have stormed the lecture halls and arrested many of those present, or would at the very least have conducted behind the scenes arrests and jailed the movement's leaders."

Why is that necessary when gullible shills like you will help keep the masses fooled for them?

This is really a particularly pathetic argument. We just imagined the Patriot Acts, the Military Commissions Act, the illegal wiretapping, the destruction of Habeas Corpus, widespread torture, COINTELPRO, Project Mockingbird, the clearly unconstitutional measures that routinely get passed. It's all our "paranoia" and not black and white fact in the nation's newspapers.

Saying this isn't Nazi Germany yet isn't quite saying we aren't headed there. Some of us actually give a shit about these matters, as difficult as that is for you to comprehend.

I think a great misunderstanding with most of these self-styled "debunkers" is the term "United States Government," as if we're talking about EVERYONE!

They resort to this garbage reasoning instead of looking at the facts (like numerous whistleblowers who name names). We are talking about small groups of like-minded actors in key positions who share common interests, such as the Project for a New American Century clique.

There are shadowy and compartmentalized intelligence networks. They sometimes collude, share intelligence, share assets, share profits, share ideological obsessions, and commit ongoing criminal conspiracies such as narcotics trafficking.

"9/11 was a powerful reminder of how precious and fragile human life and liberty are—the greatest possible rebuke to those who would live in service to delusions."

Turn it around, Phil Molé. "Doctor heal thyself." Idiot.