One of the standard claims of 9/11 “truthers” is that they are merely sceptical individuals with a healthy and understandable desire not to swallow US government propaganda at face value. The mantra “just asking questions” allows them to pose as wary and intelligent souls too accustomed to the concept of duplicity in high places to accept the “official story” of Al Qaeda’s role in planning and perpetrating the largest mass casualty terrorist attack in modern history. It also allows them to adopt an indignant tone when dealing with their critics, and to conflate attempts by debunkers to undermine their claims with both unquestioning acceptance of an “official cover-up” (irrespective of whether the debunker happens to be a supporter of the current US administration or not) and a systematic effort to deprive them of freedom of speech. It goes without saying that in the process the “truthers” set up two straw-men for them to knock down, but then they’re not very good at dealing with tougher critics.
The “just asking questions” approach has three further advantages to those of a paranoid mindset and a less than scrupulous approach to evidence and facts (if George Orwell were alive today, he’d appreciate the irony of serial disinformation merchants like Dylan Avery and David Ray Griffin posing as members of a “truth movement”, given their fast and loose approach to the historical record and scientific fact). Firstly, conspiracy theorists know that mud sticks: if you can make an accusation against an individual or group through innuendo and sly hints the latter has the hard task of proving the calumnies against them to be false. Film buffs will no doubt recall George C. Scott’s performance as the malevolent prosecutor in Anatomy of a Murder, and his repeated question to the defendant Ben Gazzara: “Exactly when did you stop beating your wife?” This approach sums up “truther debating tactics nicely.
Secondly, the claim that one is “just asking questions” is liberating, as it frees the truther of the obligation of actually constructing a coherent alternative theory - based on the evidence at hand - which is more convincing than the “official theory”. Why worry if the WTC towers were brought down by controlled demolitions or not? Why worry if the hijackers were patsies or ghosts? Why worry if the Pentagon was hit by a missile or a jumbo jet piloted by remote control? Why worry if the passengers of the four planes are alive or not? With one or two exceptions (notably Michael Ruppert), 9/11 conspiracy theorists and their supporters do not actually outline a scenario which explains how and why the US government (in cahoots with the Israelis, or the military-industrial complex, or whoever else) slaughtered nearly 3,000 people - most of whom were American citizens - in a co-ordinated series of attacks which were then blamed on Arab Islamist terrorists. Most truthers lack sufficient moral courage to produce a real theory about 9/11 being an ‘inside job’ which combines motive with method and which can be tested against the evidence. Deep down, they know that once they venture into specific claims their case will be torn to shreds, and they will be exposed as ignorant frauds.
Thirdly, it makes the task of a truther an easy one: all he or she (there seem to be few female truthers around, which hopefully means that they won’t reproduce) has to do is google to get the appropriate “story” from Prison Planet, 9/11 Blogger, What Really Happened or a similar website. Hey presto, they get what they want: “The FBI said there were no phone calls from AA77!”; “4,000 Jews didn’t turn up to work at the WTC on 9/11!”; “Silverstein ordered the demolition of WTC7!” And so on and so forth.
Any genuine sceptic dealing with truthers - whether online or in the flesh - then has to (1) work out what the hell his or her interlocutor is talking about, and (2) ask themselves how exactly they made this claim, and if it has any substance. Anyone lacking either patience or detailed knowledge of the events of 11th September 2001 may be tempted to give them the benefit of the doubt. Debunkers are left with the time-consuming task of researching the historical background, and trying to assemble the relevant technical and scientific information, before they can actually verify the facts for themselves. In short, the truther can throw out a red herring or an outright distortion in a matter of minutes, leaving it up to other net users to take the time and trouble to verify their origin and accuracy.
Fortunately, yeoman work has been done by scores of individuals to actually put the record straight. Pat and James from Screw Loose Change, Mark Roberts, 9/11 Myths, Debunking 9/11 and 9/11 Guide in particular provide a valuable resource. The James Randi forum is particularly useful in that it provides commentators with specialist knowledge - military veterans, pilots, flight engineers, physicists, architects, forensic experts etc - with a platform to expose the anti-scientific claptrap and historical illiteracy of the truthers. This is the main reason why the JREF and its commentators arouse such hatred from the 9/11 conspiracy ghouls.
It’s time to turn the tables on the truthers. Rather than accept a situation in which the nutjobs and kooks who subscribe to 9/11 conspiracies can make their accusations willy-nilly, it is high time that their critics decided that they can “just ask questions” too. This particular debunker has decided that maybe, just for once, the onus for actually demonstrating the validity of their theories on the basis of systematic and critical analysis of the evidence belongs to the truthers, not to those who wish to expose their fallacies. As someone whose academic bias is based on history, I would like to pose the following challenge to the conspiracy-mongers:
Let’s take your thesis (that 9/11 was an inside job perpetrated by the Bush administration, and covered up by a coalition of US government agencies, allied powers, big business and the media) as read. The following questions point to logical and factual gaps within that thesis. It is now up to you to answer these questions and explain why your theories are still valid. For your answers to be credible, they need to be detailed and based on verifiable evidence. No suppositions, no speculation, no unsupported assertions, just the facts. Stop “asking questions”, and provide answers. These fifteen initial questions will do for starters.
(The questions and proposed answers are below)
So...instead of answering very cogent questions, instead, we are faced with information far out of the mainstream, peppered with the usual stupidity (Osama bin Laden video confessions, MOSSAD agents so "stupid" that they would celebrate openly, etc.); now, I could entertain every questions posed here...but why waste my time? B.J. sure didn't answer any of my queries, so why should I indulge in explaining that which B.J. and his ilk will simply dismiss out of hand?
Here, now, is what I will counter his proposed shite-fest with:
The bin Laden video confessions were all FAKED (fatty bin Laden?!?);
The so-called "hijackers" in Florida and New Jersey were patsies and red herrings to cover the needed presence of the Israelis running their operations (Zoom Copters, other assorted mall kiosks, "Art Students");
The classification of all video evidence of the flyover at the Pentagon was to obfuscate the actual flight path and identity of the "craft" that struck the Pentagon;
Russia and the other world powers are still in a state of shock, as they watch our elected officials completely drop the ball in regards to ensuring the true safety of American citizens - they still can't believe that anyone believes the absolutely retarded cover stories being used to cover up outright treason and malfeasance;
The complete denial of physics and chemistry (building collapses, the effect of fire on steel);
Simply put, I can go on and on as to why your denial of reality is the true issue here...don't use dopey-ass terms like "islamofascism" that are made up by idiots like David Frum here and expect to turn anything around, especially considering what is occurring in Gaza right now...it's actually worse than what has happened in Africa! There is no question at all as to who the real murderers are here...and you should thank your gods that those people actually believe that something good will occur without their direct intervention...don't you idiots realize how easily you could be overrun, regardless of the weaponry you've finagled from America? Those people that you call offal and garbage exemplify the ideal of good neighbors. Try that crap here, and watch how fast your stupid carcasses are strung up for all to see.
It boggles the mind when I am confronted with such outright stupidity...and then to hear people almost mumbling in unison: "Take your meds."
I've an answer for you: go ahead and take ALL of your bloody meds, and fuck off to an asylum, because that's where idiots who blot out reality with reason-altering pharmaceuticals belong.
Update: See...someone else can completely see through the subterfuge of crap that these so-called "questions" posit...without further ado, here is what Rism said (posted at CounterKnowledge) on 17 December 2008:
This is what we call a straw man argument. None of these questions legitimately counter the question being asked about the official 9/11 story.
These questions are completely speculative and circumstantial.
I will demonstrate.
1. If Al Qaeda were not responsible for 9/11, then why was Ahmed Shah Massoud’s assassination so well co-ordinated with the attacks on New York and Washington?
We never said they weren’t responsible. Some did yes but others simply stated that it was allowed to happen. Also It is well known that Al Qaeda was created by the CIA to carry out operations against the soviets. This is done so the US cannot be easily tracked back to wrong doing. The US is doing the same thing right now in Iran by funding and arming anti-Iranian rebel groups to carry out attacks within Iran in order to provoke a response.
As for him being assassinated, there are many reasons why it could have happened. He could have had information that would compromise the mission or maybe would have been suspected of talking afterwords.
In conclusion this question is irrelevant and unanswerable by us truth seekers who are simply asking questions.
2. If 9/11 was a “false flag” operation intended to justify a pre-determined plan to invade Afghanistan, then why didn’t the CIA and other US government agencies do more to facilitate ties with the NA?
Again another unanswerable question. We do not know the inner workings of compartmentalized government operations.
A possible answer is not wanting to incorporate certain groups in the operation in fear of not being able to control the flow of information within these certain groups.
3. Why did bin Laden and al-Zawahiri suddenly leave their known locations and go to ground, if they were not anticipating imminent military action by the USA?
Again, Who knows, we aren’t in a position to be able answer questions like this.
Maybe its the same reason members of the Bin Laden family were flown out of the country. They need to protect their assets and since Al-Qedea was created by the CIA than surely certain people within in it are assets who cannot be compromised.
4. If 9/11 had been an inside job, and if there was a long-standing intention by Bush and his advisors to invade Afghanistan and overthrow the Taliban, then why did they have to scrabble around for a workable plan?
It was reported that they did have plans to attack Afghanistan before 9/11 Check the following links below for more info.
Its highly possible they pretended to be disorganized and not ready for a retaliation in order to further the idea that this attack was a complete surprise.
5. We are being asked to believe that the conspirators behind 9/11 decided that they would make the hijackers citizens of allies of the USA, not enemies. Why were they not given Iraqi, Iranian or Syrian identity?
Again, another question that is completely unknowable and unanswerable to someone simply asking questions about the official version. We do not know the inner workings of compartmentalized govt. black op programs. There are hundreds of reasons why they wouldn’t or couldn’t have given the hijackers different identities or country origins.
6. If the identities and the nationalities of the hijackers were faked, then why did the Saudi, Egyptian, Lebanese and UAE governments accept that citizens from their own countries were involved?
Answered above but to further reiterate my point we do know that the US and Saudi Arabia have intimate connections. You scratch my back I scratch yours. Why would Saudi leaders care if the hijackers were from their country wouldn’t be attacked? In fact that point alone gives the US more reason to use Saudis. Use patsies from a country that they know wont cry wolf about it. Any other country not in on it could have opened an investigation about the anomalies.
7. Assuming againt that 9/11 was an inside job, how could the US government realistically presume that the Russians and Pakistanis would actually permit the USA to effect regime change against the Taliban?
Because the world thought that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda was behind it. No country in the world following 9/11 doubted what had happened and who had did it. But again still we don’t know the true relationship of these countries or their prior knowledge of the attacks. We do know the head of Pakistan ISI had funded Muhammad Atta and was meeting with US politicians and officials the weeks leading up to the attack. So right there that shows a conflict of intrest on all sides.
These questions are straw men arguments that cannot be answered and does not dissprove in anyway the legitimate questions being asked about 9/11.
But I digress and will continue.
8. Assuming that claims of Mossad complicity in 9/11 (”dancing Israelis”, etc.) are correct, can the truthers suggest a feasible motive for the Israeli government conniving in an act of mass murder on US soil?
Again we do not know who perpetrated the attack or the true relationship between the US and Israel. However we do know that the attack on the USS liberty was a false flag event committed by Israel. This fact has been cooborated by survivors of the USS liberty.
Eye witness and whistle blower reports can be found here:
9. Following on from this, assuming that the “five dancing Israelis” story isn’t a complete fabrication, what kind of secret service recruits undercover agents who compromise themselves by acting so ostentatiously in public?
Again a question that is unknowable with a cornucopia of possible answers. But my logic would say that the best recruits are those who know the least about the operation. Those who cant give up any real knowledge or information about the event.
10. If the WTC towers in New York City were destroyed by controlled demolitions rigged by US government agencies, then why were the fake terrorist attacks used to cover up these controlled demolitions so insanely convoluted?
Again another speculative question that doesn’t discount the physical impossibilities of that day. We do not know the reasons thought. Maybe for effect, maybe to shock people so much as to not question the events. There are so many reasons as to why things happened the way they did as well as assuming that things didn’t go as fully as planned. These are questions that cannot be answered by truth seekers who are simply pointing out holes in the official story.
11. where were the 17,000 Russian troops who were supposedly ready to invade Afghanistan when it came to the commencement of military operations in October 2001?
Again unknowable by anyone on our level. But its not hard to believe that plans and operation change or are even planted to spread dis info. We do not know how compartmentalized black op programs are run and we do not know these details or claim to know, we are simply asking questions about the anomalies of the events surrounding 9/11.
12. We are either supposed to believe that the CF personnel assigned to NORAD were too stupid to notice anything amiss in their headquarters - and query it - or that the Canadian government and the CF were complicit in 9/11. Which of these scenarios is true?
We dont know if they were told to stand down. However we do know there were multiple war game scenarios being carried out that morning involving hijacked airplanes. This could have led to confusion and scrambling of jets to the wrong place. Confusion works a lot better than blunt stand down orders wouldn’t you think?
13. If Al Qaeda were set-up for the 11th September attacks, then why have its leaders and spokesmen repeatedly affirmed their responsibility for - and pride in - these attacks?
Why wouldn’t they? Al Qaeda was created by the CIA and obviously just an arm of the agency. Why wouldn’t they use their proxy terrorist group to further the evidence that it was Al Qaeda? Also a child can tell that the video of Bin Laden are not of the same person. Refer to the following image:
14. If the hijacking and crashing of four passenger planes was engineered by the US government, then why did UA93 crash into an empty field in Pennsylvania?
We don’t know if a plane even crashed there. First responders on the scene reported no debris and no bodies, simply a hole in the ground. The following video shows evidence from satellite pictures that the scar in the ground where UA93 supposedly crashed had been there for years before 9/11
15. Finally, if the US government is institutionally ruthless enough to organise the massacre of thousands of its own citizens in a series of “false flag” attacks, then why is it too squeamish to arrange for the deaths of the supposed “truth-seekers” (David Griffin, Kevin Barrett, Steven Jones, Richard Gage, the Loose Change team, Alex Jones, etc.) who have exposed their complicity in one of the most heinous crimes a government can commit against its own people?
Because all that would do is raise more flags. If you were involved in a covert operation that resulted in the death of thousands of Americans why would you then go around killing all the people talking about it. These people are crazy and ruthless but they are far from stupid.
Now everyone needs to logically and objectively ask themselves why these types of straw men arguments are being brought up and presented. Supposedly to disprove the real questions being asked by us truth seekers. I would recommend everyone look at the following website and see for themselves the type of people and the types questions that are being asked. Its not just kids on the internet asking these questions its govt officials, scientists, aerospace experts, and family members. Do not let this piece of disinformation propaganda lull you into not searching for yourself about the truth that happened that day.
Sweet, and to the point.