Saturday, August 28, 2010

911 And The "Inside Job" Fetish

by Michael K. Smith

David Ray Griffin's latest 911 challenge, entitled "Left-Leaning Despisers of the 911 Truth Movement: Do you Really Believe in Miracles?" is an allegedly scientific argument, from a theologian, acting as a prosecuting attorney, and curiously addressed to, not scientists, but a handful of leftist activists and journalists. Unfortunately, the thesis is not new, but rather, is the same inferential speculation posing as scientific rigor that Griffin has been promoting for years.

The tediously long technical discussion is chock full of guesswork vocabulary like "seemed to indicate," "it would appear that . . .", "probably," "appears to," and most significantly, "if we suppose that explosives were used . . . " Of course, if we assume a conclusion is valid in advance, we can prove anything.

If Griffin were merely content to cast doubt on the "official theory" of the events of 911, his approach might be forgivable, but he is actually promoting the thesis that the Bush-Cheney administration brought down the Twin Towers and WTC-7 with pre-planted explosives, which reduces the hijacked planes to mere decoys. This implies an extravagantly lunatic plot on the part of U.S. leaders, who are, admittedly, nuts, but not sufficiently to risk their political legitimacy on a hare-brained scheme that yielded a pretext for war that could have been had by far simpler means. (Anyone even mildly informed about U.S. history knows that pretexts for war are very easy to come by.)

The evidence Griffin advances to establish that WTC-7 and the Twin Towers were brought down by explosives, not airplanes, is that the buildings came straight down, exactly as buildings do in controlled demolitions. But if this is true, why weren't controlled demolition experts inundating T.V. networks with calls on 911, when the Twin Towers collapse was being repeatedly shown on T.V. as being the result of the airplane crashes? For two days viewers saw nothing else. If the collapses were so obviously the product of controlled-demolition, experts should have been bombarding the networks with protest calls.

Dr. Griffin also overlooks other obvious questions. For example, if the Bush Administration was in control of the 911 plot, why did it choose to implicate so many Saudis, and not a single Iraqi? With so much of the Bush family money tied up with the Royal Family, it had an obvious interest in deflecting attention from Saudi Arabia. And given its intense desire to invade Iraq, it had an obvious interest in implicating Iraqis. Yet what Griffin calls the "official conspiracy theory" gets this backwards. Why?

More seriously, in his talk, "911 and the American Empire," Griffin gives himself a motive to distort the truth that the 911 Truth movement is supposedly all about promoting. In that talk he says that the only serious remaining question about U.S. Empire is whether or not it is "benign." This is in fact not a serious question, given what happens to the victims of the empire, but Griffin is interested in using 911 to convince the unconvinced that empire is very much "not benign," as though there weren't already an abundance of evidence testifying to its massively destructive impact on innocent people around the world.

The idea that the millions of people killed by slavery, the elimination of indigenous nations, and decades of savage imperial interventions abroad is somehow less significant in occasioning moral revulsion than the 3000 killed in Washington and New York on 911 is ridiculous. But Griffin gives the idea credence, or at least suggests that Americans not already aware of the evils of empire can only be persuaded otherwise by proving that 911 was an "inside job."

On the technical issues related to 911, Griffin concedes that there are only a small number of scientists writing about them, but goes on to claim that the 911 Truth movement has "large and continually growing numbers of physical scientists" as adherents of the cause. If the numbers are truly large, why are so few of them motivated to dedicate their productive energies to the relevant scientific discussion, which Griffin himself has no technical expertise to advance?

Finally, Griffin says nothing about the attack on the Pentagon, which in earlier writings he suggested had been the work of a guided missile, leaving unexplained what happened to the airplane that was said to have crashed into the building. Why such extensive preoccupation with technical issues related to WTC-7, where no one was killed, and not a word about the Pentagon, where hundreds died?

The problem with Dr. Griffin's body of 911 work is the same problem that afflicts believers in mass homicidal gassing chambers in WWII. Both abandon deductive logic in preference for a "cumulative proof," which advances not a single logical chain of evidence linking premise with conclusion, but multiple strands of evidence merely associated with a conclusion. The multiple strands are said to "jump together" and "converge" on the preferred conclusion, not logically require it. This is a very loose standard of proof, and a favorite with unscrupulous District Attorneys and hanging judges.


jimson said...

Not sure what you are getting at here- is the 911 Commission's report valid or not? There are far more questions to its validity that will never go answered unless guys like Griffin stand up and have a take. Griffin's work on the fed has enlightened a lot of people, much of what he put forth about The Fed has been accepted, but guess what? Nobody seems to give a crap. Thus what you find is a continued state of economic decay without any change. None. So raising the right questions, one by one, must be done. And more people need to jump aboard and continue the thread - or those conclusions that he draws are going to be ignored in a similar manner regardless. Also, I'd like to add, is there a balance for what should and shouldn't be covered in one piece of work? Focus on one aspect of the attacks is better than spreading thin by raising the questions in related, but different areas of the concentration's big picture. Get over yourself! Oh wait, was this a satire piece?

Michael Smith said...

What I'm getting at is (1) Griffin us not qualified to make a scientific argument. (2) He addresses his "science" to a non-scientist audience. (3) He ignores his earlier nonsense suggesting that a missile, rather than an airplane, did the damage at the Pentagon, even though the latter is confirmed by DNA evidence, overwhelming eyewitness corroboration, and plane wreckage. (4) He also ignores the fact that an "inside job" with many Saudis but no Iraqis involved was hardly what the Bush Administration desired or needed.

Perhaps no one "giving a crap" about Griffin's speculations is because they fly in the face of logic and lead nowhere.