Thursday, April 21, 2005
Disturbing Questions About 9/11
Fairly standard 9/11 conspiracy theories with some interesting new material.
I attended a lecture tonight at the UW-Madison campus by Christian theologian David Ray Griffin. This is the author of "The New Pearl Harbor — Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11". His most recent book is "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions". The title speaks for itself.Evidently C-SPAN were preparing for their forthcoming series entitled: "Universities funding nutjobs", but I digress.
The lecture this evening was reported to be the first of its kind — the first time a formal lecture has challenged the official 9/11 story. In addition, it was being recorded for broadcast on C-SPAN!
He categorizes people into 4 groups:Sorry, I don't believe what I believe because it's the "official story", but because of who admitted it, who celebrated it and who had tried a similar stunt in 1993. Excuse me if that doesn't help your argument that cynically dismisses most of us as naive.
- People who believe the official story that the 9/11 attacks were a surprise attack orchestrated by 19 Islamic Al-Qaeda terrorists.
- People who believe 9/11 was used opportunistically by the Bush administration to advance an agenda.
- People who believe that the Bush administration had foreknowledge of the attacks but did not stop nor prevent them. No national polls have been taken, but one Zogby poll in New York City showed 50% of the people thought Bush knew.
- People who believe the Bush administration orchestrated the 9/11 attacks.
If you believe these were surprise attacks by terrorists, the war is justified then as "punishing evil", and you'd have no suspicion of American imperialism.It's nothing to do with "punishment" and everything to do with preventing a repeat.
Another little piece of damning evidence comes from the financial markets. Griffin reported that days before the attacks there were extraordinarly high "put options" placed on United Airlines, American Airlines and one of the firms that occupied several floors of the World Trade Center. Put options are essentially bets that the stock price is going to fall.Damning evidence? Newsflash: Stock prices fall. For example:
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks resumed their slide Wednesday as concerns about rising inflation trumped a slew of upbeat quarterly reports, including better-than-expected results from Caterpillar Inc. and Intel Corp. The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 115 points, settling just a whisper above the 10,000 mark.I eagerly look forward to articles citing the above proving the grand Mossad conspiracy which resulted in Caterpillar shares performing better than expected in spite of the veiled anti-Israel International Day of Action Against Caterpillar (which organizers conveniently neglected when it was only Saddam Hussein using Caterpillar gear to knock over houses of dissidents or the Taleeban pushing walls onto homosexuals in order to kill them but I digress again).
So obviously somebody knew about the attacks and planned to profit off of themYeeeeesssssss. "Obviously". And just as "obviously" Yahoo and NBC are about to be attacked as significant put options were lodged last week for those companies as well.
Obvious to whom exactly? Perhaps I missed that psychology lecture but I thought part of getting others to subscribe to your viewpoint was to provide satisfactory evidence to support it. Not merely writing something off as "obvious" when there is no evidence to support it. I certainly did not however miss the economics lecture where I learned that put options give a buyer the right, but not any obligation to sell the shares later at the nominal strike price. You'll be surprised (not really) to learn it happens a whole lot more than you think.
Griffin argues that the intelligence community keeps tabs on the financial markets to watch for things like this (at least, I believe that's what he said, my notes are vague).Vague notes didn't stop you writing all about it on Indymedia though did it?
I have to say that I did not find your put options rebuttal convincing, since an ordinary market explanation occurred to me as well. However, the claim is not that some people made money off of calamity (nothing unusual about that) but rather that 6 times the usual amount of put options were purchased.
I'd be most interested in your reply, thanks.
I presume you have asked your question in good-faith and I shall attempt to respond on the same basis.
Before I do however, I would like you to read an old entry of mine on conspiracy theories and the scientific method.
Read it all? Good.
In answer to your quesion, I do not ultimately need to rebut the issue of the put options etc. any more than other 'evidence' of conspiracy theories which have been bandied around. There will be an unlimited supply of easy to raise, difficult to disprove points, which is the standard practice of conspiracy theorists per the aforementioned article.
However, none of it stands up to the simple facts, including acknowledgement by Osama bin Laden that ultimately prove guilt for the terrorists atrocity.
I am not being evasive here, simply refusing to buy into, and legitimize an argument which has a totally illegitimate basis. As you said, there is "nothing unusual" about much of it, provided you view it normally, and not as a means to a flawed conclusion as some have done.
Having watched the DVD however, I'd suggest you be very careful what you think of it. There is no shortage of people who in the absence of knowledge or debating prowess will accept at face-value things which are patently false. They are often called suckers. Be careful...
I do believe (despite your statement to the contrary) that your response is a little evasive. After all, I'm trying to falsify the put option story myself. If one wishes to be objective, one can't just dismiss something because the interpretation of the event by some might be deemed distastful or improbable at it's face ("totally illegitimate basis").
The reason I chose the two accusations (put options & Hijackers still alive) because they're less technical in nature than the other claims on these websites. I simply don't know the difference between a commercial aircraft part and a military one. I don't know why the pictures don't show burnt grass, or why only 3 frames from ONE security camera have been made available. For the record, I still think commercial planes hit the WTC and the Pentagon, but I would like to see these other questions answered.
Or we could just flame each other endlessly. I've done some of that too.
Not that you're under any obligation to dissprove anything, but I felt compelled to point out your error in characterizing the put option charge as simply a wacko complaining that somebody made money on a tragedy.
I'm still in the process of looking into these two things, but I doubt I'll see anything conclusive. Although it occurs to me that if b were true then Al Jazeera would have done a video interview with some of these guys. You may want to look at the source for this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1559151.stm
Hey anyway, now I've got a new place to post some responses, I used to post on Leftwatch, but that place has been dead lately.
Perhaps I came across as summarily dismissive however if I just indicated that these things could easily be written-off as coincidence, it could be knocked down as well. In the case of conspiracy nutbags, this is the problem. Mere coincidence is taken as 'proof' whereas dismissing it as coincidence can only make you part of the conspiracy.
As for Al-Jazeera, truth has never been a mandatory component of their reporting. Whilst I'll be the first to say this is true of much of the media, Al-Jazeera have a particularly odious agenda.