Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Robert Fisk's Skepticism vs. Manuel Garcia Jr.s Shameless Propaganda

Robert Fisk's Skepticism vs. Manuel Garcia Jr.s Shameless Propaganda

Crimes of the State

Longtime international journalist Robert Fisk has entered the debate over September 11th 2001. Immediately, he was pounced on by CounterPunch for voicing his concerns.

One might ask why CounterPunch sees it as a high priority to attack those who voice skepticism of the government's account of 9/11?

Manuel Garcia Jr., whose actual career has included work on more advanced weapons of mass destruction (WMD's) for the US government, has written some questionable papers about the New York building "collapses" of 9/11. Garcia no longer includes his Lawrence Livermore Laboratory resume at the end of his articles, for some reason, but this is what he told us originally:

"[Garcia's] working experience includes measurements on nuclear bomb tests, devising mathematical models of energetic physical effects, and trying to enlarge a union of weapons scientists."
While establishing some level of expertise, the elephant in the room would be the morality of someone, at this late stage of our MAD evolution, helping build more effective nuclear bombs. And, if one has no reservations about vaporizing thousands to millions of humans, in a single blast, what's a little disinformation on the morality spectrum?

Garcia's first papers were rebutted by Kevin Ryan, formerly of UL Laboratories, the man who was outright fired from his position solely for raising issues about the World Trade Center "facts" with the head of the NIST.

If you're a big fan of physical and mechanical arguments, you can wade into that debate. But that's not what makes Garcia a propagandist.

It is Garcia's relentless insistence that there could not possibly have been any "conspiracy" whatsoever on 9/11, despite mountains of evidence that this is the most likely scenario.

Garcia can jumble his numbers around all he wants, but he has not a word to say about the actions of FBI and CIA, Mossad, ISI, Saudi intelligence, and the alleged hijackers who supposedly carried out these deeds. The cover-up by Bush operative Phillip Zelikow is irrlevant to Garcia as well, as is the whistleblowing of numerous witnesses. It appears Garcia has never read the relevant material, yet he pontificates and ridicules (like his editor A. Cockburn), without the slightest grasp of why something smells wrong with the entire September 11th affair. This is either Garcia/Cockburn's willful ignorance, or it's a deliberate disinformation campaign. It's not up to me to sort out the motives of irrational propagandists like Garcia and Cockburn.

Enter poor old Robert Fisk.

Already fearful of angry individuals whom Fisk has dubbed "the ravers" of 9/11 ("no planers"?), Fisk attempted to chart a measured and evidence-based course through the September 11th puzzle.

Here is what likely attracted Garcia's attention. Fisk:

"I am talking about scientific issues. If it is true, for example, that kerosene burns at 820C under optimum conditions, how come the steel beams of the twin towers – whose melting point is supposed to be about 1,480C – would snap through at the same time?"
--Robert Fisk

Garcia's first response to this was to plug a new "debunker" website, a site that includes nasty propaganda, something Garcia is comfortable with. Garcia does not address the numerous inconsistencies brought out by critics, such as Dr. Steven Jones and others, and merely falls back on the US government studies that have been dissected and shredded by many knowledgeable scientists and engineers over the past several years. Garcia acknowledges none of this, and this amounts to a naked "appeal to authority," a logical fallacy.

Garcia also fails to answer Fisk's most on-point observation: "would snap through at the same time?" The simultaneous and symmetrical "failure" is the heart of the controlled demolition hypothesis. Such perfect symmetry doesn't just happen, not once, not twice, God damn certainly not three times in a row! It must be made to happen, quite carefully, quite expertly.

In the words of Dutch demolition expert Danny Jowenko, describing building WTC7: "A team of experts did this."

An entire industry exists just to make these steel framed buildings fall down exactly into their footprints, or else ... they WOULDN'T! To acknowledge this is a responsible and credible observation, nothing like what Garcia puts out. In Garcia's physics, the controlled demolition industry is unnecessary. One just needs a kerosene tank and some office furniture to bring down a skyscraper neatly.

Garcia's next fallacies are a series of ad hominem attacks against Robert Fisk, possibly rising to the level of libel.

"Fisk's questions are "intelligent" for a person who does not know physics and has yet to look at the most elementary facts -- and finding-- about the WTC events. A succinct way of putting Fisk's "questions" in this matter is simply: "I am ignorant on the subject, I don't know how the mechanics unfolded." if he were to apply his formidable investigative skills to this subject, then he might answer his own questions.

"It is better to remain silent and let people think you are a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." -- Oscar Wilde (from memory, could be off a bit)" -Manuel Garcia Jr.

Having called one of the world's top investigative journalists a fool, in no uncertain terms, Garcia tries his hand at philosophy.

"What I have come to realize from my entire 9/11 experience, and also from the tepid reception of my [BOGUS] "physics explanation" articles (like New Orleans dikes) is that the public is basically irrational. It is ultimately pointless to worry about Bush and global warming and fascism and the rest, because they will always win. It has to be this way, because people are fully in the grip of fantasies they would rather die to preserve than become aware of factual reality. " -Garcia

I'm not sure if Garcia tipped his hand here. Bush, fascism and global warming will "always win," and so we shouldn't worry about them? Who -- in the political realm -- would you expect to be pushing ideas like that? If Garcia is being sarcastic or ironic, I'm not feeling it.

"We are no better than the caricatures of natives in 1930s jungle movies, hopping about in crazed deadly frenzy because of our "ju-ju"."-Garcia

Garcia goes off the deep end about "ju-ju" for a while , attempting to ridicule everyone who disagrees with his 9/11 view as some kind of anachronistic, racist stereotype that I am at a loss to explain. And, what the hell does that have to do with Fisk's valid observations of the September 11th anomalies?

This approach of Garcia's is what makes him clearly a propagandist, clearly an untrustworthy source, and clearly not worth the pixels he bangs out.

"That is what 9/11 conspiracies are, our ju-ju. As crazy a ju-ju as any of our fundamentalist religions (the non-fundamentalist ones are just clubs)." -Garcia

Says the man who has no idea what in the hell he is talkng about. When the Russian Permanent Mission at the United Nations laid out Osama bin Laden's entire operation in Afghanistan and his personal location, in March of 2001, the Bush regime did nothing. Nothing whatsoever.

They reportedly entertained bin Laden at the American miltiary hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in July and treated his kidneys. They then deliberately --conspicuously -- ignored numerous warnings, including the same scenario of suicide skyjackings that moved Bush out of his hotel at the G-8 summit (July 2001) to a safer, undisclosed location. The story, however, right from Air Force One around 10am on 9/11 was, "No warnings," and that this "attack" was a complete surprise.

But, the Russians, who gave some of the gravest and most detailed warnings before September 11th 2001, know better than Mr. Garcia about what a "conspiracy" looks like.

The "conspiracy" does not start or end with the Manhattan buildings. Conspiracy is a legal concept, not a physics concept. To make Garcia's determination -- that because of his, let's say, exploration into the collapses ot the Twin Towers and/or WTC7 -- that he can completely rule out "conspiracy" by any and all parties in the US government: THIS IS THE HEIGHT OF IRRATIONALITY. Arrogance, hubris, or is it just a script that Garcia has accepted to read to the "ju ju" mystified rubes who accept Counterpunch as an authority on these matters? Garcia discredits himself. He fails to address critics, and he resorts to the basest name calling and smear tactics.

Robert Fisk makes an interesting observation about "lead hijacker" Mohammad Atta (unanswered by Garcia, of course), regarding Atta's letter:

"...released by the CIA – mystified every Muslim friend I know in the Middle East? Atta mentioned his family – which no Muslim, however ill-taught, would be likely to include in such a prayer. He reminds his comrades-in-murder to say the first Muslim prayer of the day and then goes on to quote from it. But no Muslim would need such a reminder – let alone expect the text of the 'Fajr' prayer to be included in Atta's letter."

Lest we forget, this was the Mohammad Atta who ate pork, drank alcohol, snorted cocaine, paid strippers for lap dances, gambled, and broke just about every rule there is for strict, practicing Muslims. Yet, this Atta -- we are to believe -- was so deeply religious that he killed himself on 9/11 in the service of radical Islam?

Two plus two equals five. Right, Garcia? (Just say "quantum" and you're covered.)

In closing, I strongly disagree with both Garcia and Fisk's overall conclusions about who was responsible for 9/11. Fisk doesn't believe the US government could have been responsible in any way because of their (non-sequitur) alleged incompetence in the Middle East. I find that reasoning specious, and ignorant of numerous facts that do point a finger at high level US operatives (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Ashcroft, Tenet, FBI and CIA supervisors), among others.

Maybe there's hope for Fisk to open his eyes, now that he has acknowledged the cover-up. The first step is acknowledging that there is a problem.