Conspiracy Theories

Truth and Dare

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Remember Justin Martell, the head of Student Scholars for 9/11 Truth whose impromptu interview with Ron Paul led to Michelle Malkin calling Paul a "truther"? I ran into him in Manchester where he was scoping out the candidates and distancing his group from the "conspiracy theorists" (like Alex Jones and Morgan Reynolds) who think the government actually planned 9/11 or no planes ever crashed into the WTC. I had to ask him what he thought of Malkin running his Paul video on Fox News.

The article he's talking about is here. Malkin's excellent 1999 reason feature is here.

NEXT: The Democratic Circus

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  1. You sure that 1999 Malkin is the same person and not just someone with the same name?

  2. Dude’s a douchebag.

  3. She’s not an idiot – just someone with an agenda willing to lie or twist the truth to serve that agenda.

  4. Flight 93 was shot down. I like the part where Malkin asks:

    “Who’s responsible for the anthrax attacks?”

    She was Rosie before Rosie was Rosie.

    They just had a nice thd about this at the highclearing this weekend with new (?) commentator BruceB.

  5. Damn, Malkin actually seems normal in the 1999 article. It lends credence to the theory that she isn’t insane; she just acts that way to attract media attention (and $).

  6. Dave,

    What’s your evidence?

  7. So where the he-l is Osama bin Laden, anyway?

    So who edited out the first “l?” If it was Malkin I have to ask why she would use the word in the first place?

  8. What’s your evidence?

    Some people say that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence (I seem to recall that PL is in this camp, but it might have been quasibill). I don’t think the idea that they shot down the plane and decided to hide that fact after they realized that there were no real witnesses is an extraordinary claim. So, I don’t think the extraordinary evidence thingee applies.

    Other people say that someone making a claim has to prove it by a preponderance of the evidence. That works for civil trials, conducted after a year of discovery (eg, document requests, depositions, interrogatories). However, we have never had the opportunity to get meaningful discovery out of the US government. Maybe there was a time when the media effectively did this, but those days are gone.

    To continue the legal “standard of proof” analysis, I think the government asking us to believe its official story is something akin to summary judgement. The government controls the evidence and they bear the burden of production and persuasion. The official story is best deemed untrue simply because there is a lack of evidence to support it.

    That said, my evidence such as it is:

    1. Government hiding blackbox tape.

    2. Rumors of witnesses to plane on fire and/or unmarked jet in area.

    3. Delay in announcing for sure whether plane was shot down.

    4. Hiding of physical wreckage.

    5. Discrepancy between government report of plane crash and seismograph evidence.

    6. MOST IMPORTANTLY: I refuse to believe that there would be no air defense response for one hour and fifty minutes, which is what the official story requires one to believe.

  9. Everyone knows that the heliocentric model of the solar system is responsible for 9/11. OPEN YOUR EYES! DON’T DRINK THE CORN SYRUP!

  10. “A fundamental principle of all physics is the equivalence of inertial reference frames. In practical terms, this equivalence means that scientists living inside an enclosed box moving uniformly cannot detect their motion by any experiment done exclusively inside the box.”

  11. Dave W.

    You are an idiot…

    The sum total of the U.S. fighter protection (two aircraft) were screaming back toward Washington DC on full afterburner having flown out over the Atlantic when first launched.

    Witnesses observed the aircraft, intact, pass overhead, invert and crash.

    The crash was observed by a commercial aircraft who reported it to Cleveland Center.

    Since the hijackers were mucking around with their transponders, the FAA had concluded more aircraft had been hijacked than actually had been.

    In previous threads, this has been explained to you. Your evidence has been shredded. You have been unable to refute the evidence that contradicts your hypothesis.

    Yet you soldier on. Why? I doubt a client is paying you to so thoroughly destroy your own reputation.

  12. The sum total of the U.S. fighter protection (two aircraft) . . .

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

  13. I find Malkin, like Coulter, coming off rather shallow. Of course people like seeing nice-looking people on tv, but is it too much to ask for a little bit of substance?

  14. How much did he spend on that haircut?

  15. “Truthers” = doublespeak for those who only look for what they want to see.

  16. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

    Yeah, because the USA was so expecting the 9/11 attacks and/or Russian nuclear bombers coming over the Atlantic so there were actually several hundred in the air, the government than killed those pilots to admit that the United States government wasn’t woefully ill prepared to deal with a large scale attack of any kind. I agree with you, jackass.

  17. As far as conspiracies go, I think the efforts to attack the U.S. on 9/11 by OBL & gang were effective. Not quite sure why you have to go further than that.

    Now, maybe there have been “conspiracies” to cover-up government incompetence and the like, but that is a difference sort of argument than the notion that the U.S. was behind 9/11, etc.

  18. My favorite factoid from the United 93 episode was that supposedly there is a recording of a guy calling his mother from the plane and identifying himself using his first and last names.

  19. Dave W. and Dan T.:

    Trolls United!

  20. Now, maybe there have been “conspiracies” to cover-up government incompetence and the like, but that is a difference sort of argument than the notion that the U.S. was behind 9/11, etc.

    If you ever read any history, then you would know that there are many shades of degree between complete ignorance and full complicity.

  21. thoreau & Timothy,

    Do you really think you are doing anything good by making statements like this?

    Besides Timothy, why do you even come here? I thought all the cool people were at grylliade?

  22. “Dave W. and Dan T.:

    Trolls United!”

    So, does that make them a trollish version of Voltron?

  23. Gro – c’mon – we both used to spend time there, too. You were a strong poster there!

    Remember Lady Bracknell:
    Do not speak ill of society, Algie. Only people who can’t get in do that.

    But for doing anything good, they need to be funnier. Mr. Steven Crane will stop on by later to deliver suitable punishment.

    He said something about “wet celery, snorkel, and a photoshop manual”, so youze guyz are really in for it!

  24. Come on, VM, mediageek liked my humor.

    mediageek, I like the idea of replacing lions with trolls. But we need a counterpart for the girl lion. Juanita?

    Still need two more. If we go with past commenters then it’s easy: M1EK and Jersey McJones. But if we go more contemporary? The 4th and 5th members of Trolltron become trickier.

  25. The real problem I see with the “they covered up a shoot down of United 93” theory is that it would not have been covered up.

    Why cover it up?

    The public at large would not have batted an eyebrow if it was announced that the flight had been shot down to save people on the ground. The people on the plane would still have been tragic casualties of 9/11. The pilot who shot the flight down would have been portrayed as a hero touched by tragedy and moral complexity – imagine the mileage the pro-WOT folks could get out of such an object lesson of the relationship between morality and necessity – “Sure, we don’t like having to crush Iraq, but it’s one of those necessary things we do with a heavy heart – much like Lieutenant X, who had to shoot down a civilian airliner and take that burden of regret upon himself in order to save others.”

  26. Do you really think you are doing anything good by making statements like this?

    It is probably good for them to blow off steam this way. Lots of people, maybe most, get very upset when you let them know that Flight 93 was shot down. I don’t think they are upset about the fact that the plane was shot down — shooting down the plane was undoubtedly the correct thing to do in context. I don’t think they are upset by the implication that the gov’t must have therefore knocked down the Twin Towers, too — the shooting down of Flight 93 simply does not mean or even suggest the the government blew up the Twin Towers. I don’t think they are upset out of some sort of concern for the people who believe that Flight 93 was shot down — they have too much anger for that.

    Rather, I think the upset we routinely observe comes from the fact that people have a certain threshold level of trust in the government, and that lying about Flight 93 would violate this trust. People want the luxury of believing that there are certain bounds of ethics, outside of which the government will not stray. For some reason, the truth about Flight 93 would destroy the illusion of these bounds in a way that even Richard Nixon’s burglary, Bill Clinton’s serial workplace sexual harrassment and Bush’s wmd fraud did not.

    There aren’t many scenarios under which I see Ron Paul as the next President. However, if somehow, some way, it became understood that Flight 93 was shot down, I think that would be one of those scenarios. People trust the government too darn much and they expect to see that trust in others. Sadly, things could keep limping along like this for decades.

  27. The real question is whether a thread about “Truthers” can be anything other than mocking.

    Dave W., Dan T., Juanita, hmm, whom else to add to Trolltron?

    As I recall, they lived in a castle, so there should be some sort of classical element to this team…

  28. The real problem I see with the “they covered up a shoot down of United 93” theory is that it would not have been covered up.

    Why cover it up?

    The public at large would not have batted an eyebrow if it was announced that the flight had been shot down to save people on the ground. The people on the plane would still have been tragic casualties of 9/11. The pilot who shot the flight down would have been portrayed as a hero touched by tragedy and moral complexity – imagine the mileage the pro-WOT folks could get out of such an object lesson of the relationship between morality and necessity – “Sure, we don’t like having to crush Iraq, but it’s one of those necessary things we do with a heavy heart – much like Lieutenant X, who had to shoot down a civilian airliner and take that burden of regret upon himself in order to save others.”

    Hold on – you really think that the government, if they did shoot down the plane (and I’m not convinced that they did), is going to freely admit to murdering 40 US citizens?

  29. VM,

    Maybe we should ask if the “real troll” stand up?

  30. VM,

    In other words, in this particular conversation who is the real troll? Dave W., Dan T., thoreau or Timothy?

  31. VM,

    Ooops. I should have include “none of the above” in that particular question.

  32. I am but a pale imitation of Urkobold, the Prime Troller Untrolled.

  33. thoreau,

    I good Anselmian fashion I will note that Urkobold is not merely the Prime Troller or the most important troller, he is The Troller.

  34. Doktor T
    you do have a point – Mediageek is a good judge! And that’s an admirable plan!

    Gro:

    how much of that is banter between and among some regulars? DW seems to play along. Dan T appears to try to get a rise out of people and simply ignores T&T.

    URKOBOLD shall remember both of you as he whithers your souls. Remember: he struck Roger Clemens down with “Fatigued Groin Syndrome”!

    *strikes jaunty pose

  35. thoreau,

    Indeed, since we cannot think of anything superior than Urkobold, and that which exists is more perfect than than that which can be thought, Urkobold must exist.

  36. VM,

    That would be fine IMHO if thoreau and Timothy didn’t complain so much about Dave W., etc. at grylliade.

  37. Why cover it up?

    I think it was a timing issue, primarily. They did not announce right away that it was shot down (or that it wasn’t shot down for that matter).

    As they dithered, there developed a concern that if they came out a day or two days after the fact and said it was shot down, then people might not have responded well. In 20/20 hindsight, years later, we can conjecture that people would have taken the belated news okay after all. But this kind of thing was unprecedented. They ran the clock out on themselves, and decided days after the fact that the most palatable story was, “we did not shoot it down, but we would have if it had gotten any further.”

    Here is how the official story trickled out:
    http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/entity.jsp?entity=paul_weaver

  38. ah.

    Do you still hang out there even after you got a raw deal? You buried the hatchet? Respect!

    Might that just be banter?

    BTW – that’s a fantastic vid of Nesse you have at your site! You’ve got a whole bunch of really interesting thoughts/articles posted!

  39. Trolltron.

    Great name. I heartily approve.

    Grotius-

    Why the defense of Dave W. & Dan T.?
    One’s a loon and the other a straw man soaring on the wings of a gadfly. They’ve both always been that way.

  40. I see people calling the “trolls” names and dismissing facts out of hand. I see the usual trolls actually making sense. What is going on around here?

    It seems much too easy in conversation and in comment to dismiss people out of hand as “truthers.” Much more difficult is listening and responding to their questions. When did questioning the official story go out of style? Especially when the official story has so many blank spots? C’mon, guys.

  41. Hold on – you really think that the government, if they did shoot down the plane (and I’m not convinced that they did), is going to freely admit to murdering 40 US citizens?

    Justifiable homicide and murder are two different things. If they had shot the plane down (and they didn’t) they would have wanted to take credit, for shooting down the plane would have been a choice that would likely have saved many more lives (and the passengers were going to die anyway). In the situation, shooting down the plane is the right thing to do (another reason to believe that they didn’t do it).

  42. mediageek,

    I am not defending anything Dave W. or Dan T. write.

  43. VM,

    I comment from time to time. Mostly I just lurk.

  44. Gro:

    cool. BTW: is it you posting as “DJ of Raleigh”? I had always thought that he was nom de blog for you. Am I mistaken?

    RE: shooting down plane. Both Norwegian and Austrian teletext services reported a plane being shot down on that terrible day. Both reports were very matter-of-fact and sobering.

  45. The evidence for the shooting down of Flight 93 consists entirely of the total lack of evidence that Flight 93 was shot down!

    That proves it!

  46. There is no troll but Urkobold, and the Urkobold is His prophet.

    Yes, that’s correct–Urkobold doesn’t outsource His prophecies.

    As for 9/11, I won’t argue if someone suggests that some ineptitude may have been covered up and/or improperly forgiven. I’d be perfectly willing to believe any number of evildoings by this or most other administrations, but the evidence and logic weigh heavily against that. Honestly, most of the “Truther” stuff I’ve read has smelled far too much like the Moon Landing Hoax “debate” to impress me very much.

  47. It’s true, Grotius was one of the Young Lurks that radically changed the political framework of Vermontia in 2017.

  48. Dave W wrote:

    “A fundamental principle of all physics is the equivalence of inertial reference frames. In practical terms, this equivalence means that scientists living inside an enclosed box moving uniformly cannot detect their motion by any experiment done exclusively inside the box.”

    Last week Dave W wrote:

    As far as what is moving relative to what, these cited considerations are irrelevant from the point of view of a physicist.

    Don’t feel bad. Even some low to mid level physicists fail to get it.

    Dave W, and yet again you show why a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. Given your vast and deep understanding of physics, please explain why “inertial frames of reference” do not apply either in the case of flight 93 or in the case of the solar system rotating around Dave W.

    Once you have these adequately explained, please write a 2000 word essay on the appropriate use of Occam’s razor.

    My apologies for troll feeding, but the humor of Dave W lecturing on physics was getting to be too much.

  49. The evidence for the shooting down of Flight 93 consists entirely of the total lack of evidence that Flight 93 was shot down!

    That proves it!

    Almost got it. More like: we can’t be sure what exactly happened to Flight 93, because there hasn’t been a public investigation. All that would be necessary to silence the conspiracy theorists are a few specific pieces of evidence, none of which should be particularly hard to give. Could release the audio from the black box, for example.

  50. Nope, not DJ of Raleigh.

    Pro Libertate 2781,

    In the year 2525…

  51. P.L. sed: As for 9/11, I won’t argue if someone suggests that some ineptitude may have been covered up and/or improperly forgiven. I’d be perfectly willing to believe any number of evildoings by this or most other administrations, but the evidence and logic weigh heavily against that. Honestly, most of the “Truther” stuff I’ve read has smelled far too much like the Moon Landing Hoax “debate” to impress me very much.

    Please tell me what evidence and what logic “weigh heavily” against the suggestion of evildoing or coverup by this administration.

    Sounds like an association fallacy to me: some truthers are nuts, these people are talking about one of the same topics truthers talk about, therefore these people are nuts and I’m excused from thinking about what they’re actually saying.

  52. I love how the truthers oscillate between “9/11 was a government conspiracy because that’s the only way our air defense could have been so bad as to not intercept these planes” and “There’s a government conspiracy to cover up our air defense intercepting and shooting down Flight 93”.

  53. Could release the audio from the black box, for example.

    I am not sure how far that would get you:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watergate_tapes

    I would prefer that they interview the air traffic controllers and eyewitnesses at an open and televised hearing.

    Some accountability (eg, public trials, jailtime) for the people who left America undefended would be good to see, too. And that should be true whether there was a stand-down order, or simply a total lack of ready fighter planes in Pennsylvania. When people are worried about going to jail, they tend to start telling the truth:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_W._McCord_Jr.

    Those who have never read any history are doomed to repeat it.

  54. Ah, but lurker, I’ve long since stopped arguing about this, so I’m incapable of engaging in any such fallacies. I paid attention to all of this nonsense when it started, thought about it, and rejected it. Sorry. Could there be some government B.S. in all of this? Certainly. But the main course of events probably occurred pretty much the way most of us think it did.

    I will say that I bet some stuff has been sat on due to national security reasons (whether appropriately so or not), which is why the government isn’t publishing every single factoid on the attacks.

    Just to make things more interesting, I’m actually somewhat suspicious about TWA 800. It probably wasn’t shot down, but there’s reason to wonder. Unlike 9/11, the possibility of a terrorist attack could’ve been completely buried by one set of lies. In order to prevent a panic, I suppose.

    Speaking of panics, I wonder how we’d handle another 9/11-type attack? My wife and I were discussing this, and we suspect that the economy, etc., would not enter a state of shock as it did in 2001. At least, not to the same extent.

  55. VM,

    Er, here is my link to the link.

  56. VM,

    Du naiver Dummkopf, that film is obviously a fake. That’s not Loch Ness.

  57. I love how the truthers oscillate between “9/11 was a government conspiracy because that’s the only way our air defense could have been so bad as to not intercept these planes” and “There’s a government conspiracy to cover up our air defense intercepting and shooting down Flight 93”.

    I think you forgot a third possibility, to wit:

    There was a stand-down order that lasted so long as Bush/Cheney dared let it last.

    I think people would have been much less credulous if the plane crashed into the White House Lawn at 10:30 am est on 9/11.

  58. Hey hey!

    Grey Poupon?

  59. (sorry for double)

    ProGLib – ach! Champ! of kourse!

  60. P.L. – ok, so you’ve thought about it and come to your own conclusions. sorry for the accusation of fallaciousness…

    I’ve thought about it quite a bit too, it took me longer to ask the questions in the first place, so admittedly there’s some distance and hindsight in play. I still think there is “reason to wonder” about a few things. Flight 93 isn’t as high on my list as the little hole in the Pentagon and the “collapse” of Building 7.

    Speaking of panics, I wonder how we’d handle another 9/11-type attack? My wife and I were discussing this, and we suspect that the economy, etc., would not enter a state of shock as it did in 2001. At least, not to the same extent.

    Probably not as bad, I think you’re right. Would be interesting if this happens again (could anything like this really happen again? wouldn’t be like this at all) to watch events being reported with a more skeptical eye – on 9/11 I was overseas and missed the unfolding.

  61. PL,

    Congratulations on the new kid. 🙂

  62. Grotius,

    Thanks! Proto Libertate and Mrs. Libertate are doing very well, though sleep deprivation experiments are being conducted by the newest member of our family.

    If logical fallacies only apply to arguments, and one is not arguing, then one can engage at such activities at will, right? This may be useful. Achieve absolute certainty, then unleash ad hominem attacks at will. I think that’s how the Urkobold does it, anyway.

  63. “I don’t think the idea that they shot down the plane and decided to hide that fact after they realized that there were no real witnesses is an extraordinary claim.”

    Wow! What an extraordinary claim!

  64. “Speaking of panics, I wonder how we’d handle another 9/11-type attack? My wife and I were discussing this, and we suspect that the economy, etc., would not enter a state of shock as it did in 2001. At least, not to the same extent.”

    What if it’s 7 attacks on the same day in 7 different cities, using nuclear devices? This is the information Paul Williams claims there is intelligence on. See Paul Williams’ new book, “The Day of Islam”.

  65. “Just to make things more interesting, I’m actually somewhat suspicious about TWA 800. It probably wasn’t shot down, but there’s reason to wonder. Unlike 9/11, the possibility of a terrorist attack could’ve been completely buried by one set of lies. In order to prevent a panic, I suppose.”

    Some people think there’s a government coverup because it was accidentally shot down by friendly fire, i.e. an accidental shot by the American military. There were witnesses who claimed to have seen a firery object hit the plane.

  66. “I don’t think the idea that they shot down the plane and decided to hide that fact after they realized that there were no real witnesses is an extraordinary claim.”

    Wow! What an extraordinary claim!

    The claim that the claim that the original claim is not extraordinary is extraordinary is clearly extraordinary.

  67. Factoid: Something that supposedly happened.

  68. “Almost got it. More like: we can’t be sure what exactly happened to Flight 93, because there hasn’t been a public investigation. All that would be necessary to silence the conspiracy theorists are a few specific pieces of evidence, none of which should be particularly hard to give. Could release the audio from the black box, for example.”

    What about the “Let’s roll” cell phone call to one of the wife of one of the passengers? Doesn’t that lend credibility to the fact that a fight brought down the plane?

  69. What about the “Let’s roll” cell phone call to one of the wife of one of the passengers? Doesn’t that lend credibility to the fact that a fight brought down the plane?

    From wikipedia: “The 9/11 Commission found from the recordings that, contrary to what many had believed, the passengers did not succeed in entering the cockpit.”

    What about the guy locked in the bathroom who reported an explosion and smoke?

  70. Dave W.,

    Yes, it was the effort to break down the door which forced the terrorists to crash the plane.

  71. The claim that the claim that the original claim is not extraordinary is extraordinary is clearly extraordinary.

    How many presidents do you have to have lie to your face before you come to believe that it is not unusual for the president to lie?

  72. Yes, it was the effort to break down the door which forced the terrorists to crash the plane.

    Suuuuuure.

  73. How many presidents do you have to have lie to your face before you come to believe that it is not unusual for the president to lie?

    Do I really have to trust the president in order to reject your story? Because frankly, I don’t think of either one of you as a particularly trustworthy source.

  74. Do I really have to trust the president in order to reject your story? Because frankly, I don’t think of either one of you as a particularly trustworthy source.

    I said the fact that presidents lie means that the claim that the president lied is not “extraordinary.”

    I did not say the fact that presidents lie means that you should believe my claim that Flight 93 was shot down. Rather, I gave my reasons why I think flt 93 was shot down upthd at my 9.40 am post in response to a gentle query from Tarran, IIRC.

    It is possible that the claim that there was a coverup is both: (i) not extraordinary; and (ii) not true. I think you are conflating these two things, which are really separate issues.

    Anyway, post-9-11, the important thing to remember is that if you get hijacked, then don’t worry too much about trying to retake the plane after hijacker gets control because your flight will be shot down, or brought down by electromagnetic interference, anyway.

  75. …or brought down by electromagnetic interference

    This explains why Dave W wears a tinfoil hat.

  76. I forget at the moment which unlikely theory Justin Martell is partial to, but I’m kind of impressed at his honest response. While the Reds are trying to paint Ron Paul as part of his movement, he’s not trying to glom on to Paul and pull the “look at all the prominent people I say believe me!” shtick conspiricists are known for.

  77. And lets be honest – this guy may be *cough* misguided, but he just burned Malkin to a crisp.

  78. I don’t think the idea that they shot down the plane and decided to hide that fact after they realized that there were no real witnesses is an extraordinary claim. So, I don’t think the extraordinary evidence thingee applies.

    Dave W.,

    I may not think that you being a child pornographer is a particularly extraordinary claim, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t. Conspiracy theories involving multiple government agencies and tens, let alone hundreds of people are extraordinary claims on their face. Give us your evidence, or be relegated to the conspiracy theorist trash heap.

  79. I refuse to believe that there would be no air defense response for one hour and fifty minutes,

    Dave W.,

    You and I must be living under different governments. My government is the government of the United States of America. Responses to any emergency do not occur in under one hour and fifty minutes.

  80. What about the guy locked in the bathroom who reported an explosion and smoke?
    …which of course means the airliner definitely took a missile up the ass.

    Had an AIM-9 (more likely two – redundancy is key), hit the airframe of a big, sitting duck airliner, the guy in the bathroom wouldn’t have had the wherewithal to report anything other than involuntarily expelled excrement all over the place, shortly before the whole thing would have broken apart.

    If a military aircraft is going to take down an airliner, it’s going to do it right and proper, which is to say pretty much nearly obliterate it.

    This all assumes that any aircraft capable of launching AIM-9s or AIM-7s (AIM-120s would be right out, as they’re used BVR and an intercepting craft has to at least attempt contact) was within about 5 miles or so after attempting contact (which would have required flying on the wing of the hijacked plane for some non-trivial and very observable time wing rocking and such – then backing off to a safe firing distance). This is something that is not very likely, even in the timeframe referenced.

  81. shortly before the whole thing would have broken apart.

    That Korean one the Russians downed came down in one piece, or so say the Japanese fishermen who saw it, IIRC.

    I mean, the guy’s account does not square that well with a missile, primarily because the call happened quite a bit in advance of the plane coming down.

    Nevertheless his (Edward Felt?) account does not square very well with the official story and is some evidence that the official story is untrue.

  82. My government is the government of the United States of America. Responses to any emergency do not occur in under one hour and fifty minutes.

    US military vessels arrived at the crash scene of TWA flight 800 “within minutes” of the impact, according to the official report.

    Cheney’s staff took CIPRO on 9/11, a week before the first anthrax letter.

    How fast the US gov’t responds depends primarily upon how fast it wants to respond.

  83. That Korean one the Russians downed came down in one piece, or so say the Japanese fishermen who saw it, IIRC.

    Did the Russkies take it down with the full intention of making fucking sure it was down? US pilots, if their loadout permits and their mission is as critical as this would have been, WILL fire twice, at least. A 767 structurally isn’t going to stand up to 2 Sidewinders in the engines.

    But again, that’s assuming all the other stuff I mentioned, like actually making contact, which necessitates flying on the guy’s wing for some time. That takes time.

    I doubt they even got within a few miles, let alone made visual contact with the cockpit.

  84. Just checked it out. The KAL flight was a 747, much more sturdy than Flight 93. Further, the Russians used cannon and two missiles – two Soviet-era missiles (AA-3s or -8s); not the deadliest weapons on earth.

    Sidewinders fired from F-16s or F-15s are much more effective.

  85. Just checked it out. The KAL flight was a 747, much more sturdy than Flight 93. Further, the Russians used cannon and two missiles – two Soviet-era missiles (AA-3s or -8s); not the deadliest weapons on earth.

    I imagine that if they did bring the jet down with an unmarked and unpublicized plane, then that means they wanted the flexibility to deny the shoot down if no one saw it. One way to do this is to use a small, targeted missile. Another way potentially would be with electromagnetic interference, but it is difficult to know the true status of that highly classified technology. Secret designers and secret designs and all that.

  86. Dave, you’re reaching and shifting (big fuckin’ surprise).

    The smallest missile available on your typical ANG F-16 of F-15 (most likely aircraft to intercept in that part of the country) is an AIM-9. It’s gonna do some big-time hurtin’ on a thin-skinned airliner.

    Anything else, including an EMP-type missile (something that hasn’t entered service by a long shot) is NOT going to be on your typical ANG, weekend-warrior fighter plane. No way. That is unless you believe that some super-secret, super-fast experimental plane was scrambled with super-secret, super-awesome, experimental missiles (or testicle-simmering EM jammers).

    Such a scenario is, shall we say, highly unlikely.

    (By the way, the EM theory would require, at this point, a plane much, much bigger and slower than a fighter to generate enough to bring down an airliner the way it came down. The crew would probably all be sterile, as a result. The portability of massive EM weapons hasn’t reached that level of miniaturization yet.)

  87. Dave, you’re reaching and shifting (big fuckin’ surprise).

    Look, if this were a civil dispute between me and the government, then I would have conducted discovery for a year and obtained their documents and witness testimony related to what really happened to Flight 93. then I would sit you in the jury box, Timon19, and present what I had found to you and exactly what I thought had happened. The government would, of course, get a fair crack to prove otherwise, including the pointing out of any biases that I might have. In that case, you would be convinced by my story because it would be supported by documents and witnesses testimony. Witnesses who tried to lie would be demolished, by me, on cross examination.

    However, this isn’t that kind of dispute. I have had no discovery, zero. We are expected to take the government at their word and they have custody of the evidence and a free hand to hide all the evidence they can.

    Under this kind of dispute you have to use different standards of proof to form your tentative beliefs, and a much lower expectation of certainty and detail.

    And, of course, you understand, that I point this out now so that when you wake up on that fine morning, as a grey old woman or man, and see the headline in your GOOGLE news, then you will know I was right, not so much about the specifics of th crash of flt 93, but more importantly about wise limits on trust and how to apply burdens of proof and certainty in a situation with assymetrical access to info.

  88. Dave, your condescension is astounding. Well done.

    What the technical aspects of your suppositions have to do with the general trust of the government in light of “asymmetrical access to info”, I don’t quite know.

    I’m telling you that every scenario you’ve presented is highly unlikely, based on the technical possibilities at the time. So unlikely, in several cases, as to be laughable.

  89. based on the technical possibilities at the time

    and I am telling you that the technical possibilities are secret. When the news does break that Flt 93 was downed and WTC7 was demolished, you will have the comfort that I, condescending “genius” that I am, guessed wrong about some detail or another. However, you will probably also see that whatever happened is something that could not have been specifically envisioned without a better security clearance than what either of us have got.

  90. Well, Dave, in the specific case of Flt. 93, the technical possibilities, even if they were secret, would have been nearly impossible to deploy by any imaginable system without PLENTY of foreknowledge (this, I suppose, is where you can hang your hat). Given the flight path of Flt. 93, however, that seems unlikely.

    Of course, I suppose the very fact that I placed the caveat of “any imaginable system” in there will cause you to declare yourself a misunderstood soul, well ahead of his time, since that is so vague you can retroactively apply just about anything to it.

    In the case of WTC7, another desperate thread, you have to completely discount the debris damage and subsequent fires, as well as probably continue to push the oft-mentioned and oft-debunked “pull it” contextless quote. (Not to mention structural dynamics and materials science.)

  91. any imaginable system without PLENTY of foreknowledge (this, I suppose, is where you can hang your hat).

    well, that is the 64 trillion dollar question, but really there are all kinds of reasons for developing non-conventional weapons. For example, if it were possible to drop a plane with electromagnetic interference, than this would seem preferable in many situations, and not just a highjacking.

    Why would one possible develop a small missile? Chance are that a small missile is more maneuverable and accurate than a big one. Those are nice features when you are shooting them over the continental US.

    I am not saying that they developed small missiles just for the day that Cheney decided it was time to use the Air Force, but if the Air Force had small accurate missiles in place, you can see why they might prefer a small, accurate missile or over a bigger less accurate one — even if they knew for a fact that they would not be trying to conceal the shoot down later.

    believe me, I would love to be going over all this stuff in great detail at an open hearing with Paul Wolfowitz, but the US had not yet had that opportunity as a nation. the best people like you and I can do right now Timon19 is to be aware of the range of possibilities that exist in the zone hidden from our direct gaze. Oh, yeah, and vote for Ron Paul in your local republican primary. Or Kucinich if you are a Dem.

  92. Dave, the point is, there is no way anything like that is widely deployed, especially to the ANG fighter squadrons that almost certainly were closest to any given situation.

    AIM-9s are reliable, and very, very effective. They are also freakin’ everywhere.

    You don’t need to tell me the reasons we would come up with non-lethal or more tactical weapons. I’m in the fucking industry. This industry has been working on that type of shit for a very long time.

  93. Dave, the point is, there is no way anything like that is widely deployed, especially to the ANG fighter squadrons that almost certainly were closest to any given situation.

    Even assuming that you have any true idea about what the air defenses truly are:

    What was closest to the situation didn’t matter. Cheney was sitting there deciding whether to let the Flt 93 go thru to DC or not.

    The pro side of “pondering whether it was okay to shoot down a commercial airplane” was that if the jihadis plowed into the White House, and the public did not blame bad US air defenses, then Cheney would have probably gotten wars against Syria and Iran, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq. he would have gotten not just Congress’s blessing and appropriations, but also plenty of volunteers. This is because because the White House is a great symbol of America’s greatness.

    The con side of “pondering whether it was okay to shoot down a commercial airplane” was that at some point on 9/11, people would have started blaming the air defenses for being absent.

    You seem to think there was some kind of race to get to Flt 93. There wasn’t. there was plenty of time. The only variable was whether Cheney wanted to shoot it down or not.

  94. Dave,

    That presupposes so much, that it’s no longer worth continuing this.

    You’re convinced and you’re arguing like a true conspiracy theorist: start with an allegation that is somewhat specific; gradually shift the focus as several points get shot down or called into great question; keep getting more and more general so that you can never really be “wrong”; and finally finish with a completely unfalsifiable theory that is specific, audacious and would involve such a level of secrecy that no one can truly know; declare victory.

  95. You seem to think there was some kind of race to get to Flt 93. There wasn’t. there was plenty of time.

    What aircraft made it and how long were they there? Or is this just another assumption?

  96. and finally finish with a completely unfalsifiable theory that is specific, audacious and would involve such a level of secrecy that no one can truly know; declare victory.

    We know that Cheney was in a room deciding whether or not to shoot Flight 93 down. He admitted that. It is no secret. We further know that he gave the order to shoot Flight 93 down. He admitted that. The only real question is whether he gave the order at 10 am or 10.10 am. I do not think it would require any secrecy, beyond the level of secrecy routinely associated with military combat operations, to keep that info as a secret.

    Whether they could keep the shootdown a secret or not is a slightly different matter. At 10.15 am on 9/11, they could not have known if anyone had seen the shootdown, or (worse yet) photographed it. They could not have known what airfone or cell phone contact was made as the plane was going down. they could not have known whether some farmer would photograph the wreckage that somehow betrayed a missile strike. It would have been completely audacious, as you say, to deny on 9/11/01 or 9/12/01 that the shot down plane was shot down.

    So they didn’t deal with the issue until about 9/14/01. On that day, Wolfowitz went on the teevee and said it looked like the passengers brought the plane down. The thing is, on 9/14 this was not an audacious statement to make because they had pretty good control of the evidence, including the blackbox audio, by then. they knew about “let’s roll.”

    They knew that they had a story of heroism that would bring some comfort to a grieving nation and they probably felt it would be borderline immoral to present the story any other way. America needed to feel good, and hearing about the terrible decision to shoot down the flight did not seem to be the thing to make the nation feel good at the time. “Let’s roll” was a more empowering story and they rolled with it. The last thing they wanted the flying public thinking was that if their plane was reported hijacked, then the instant result would be a US missile up the butt. In other words, the lie was considered not just harmless, but affirmatively helpful for honorable reasons.

    The only people who had to keep their mouths shut were a few air controllers and pilots — and they are already required to keep their mouths shut by law and on pain of stiff penalties. The level of secrecy required here was not extraordinary — it was, rather, routine and expected, at least so far as anybody who has anything interesting to say.

    What aircraft made it and how long were they there? Or is this just another assumption?

    It is probably the white, small, low-flying, unmarked aircraft that witnesses reported. Unlike the air controllers and the pilots, the witnesses were not sworn to secrecy and it appears that some may have seen some relevant stuff. Besides I am not sure that civilian radar picks up low flying planes. It may not pick up military planes at all. As you may know, there is a whole secret industry devoted to hiding planes from radar.

  97. Several scattered points in no specific order (this is getting to be too much time for what it’s worth):

    White is a very bad idea if you want to conceal something.

    I wonder what standards of credulity you apply toward witnesses in a field seeing something they likely cannot process immediately nor likely have ever seen before. Witness testimony in cases of aircraft is remarkably spotty. There are numerous factors involved that make anything an untrained or unprepared observer says HIGHLY questionable.

    “Small”, without the modifier “fighter” implies that it was not capable of firing anything, missile or EM radiation sufficient for disabling the target and NOTHING ELSE.

    All airplanes have a radar signature, even the B-2. This is not to say civil radar could pick up a B-2 and know what it was, but, for instance, the B-2’s visual signature is also very small, but nonzero. Most low-observables with small RCR also are hard to pick up visually, especially from the ground, especially to someone not expecting it. A white plane – say a Lear or Gulfstream type (I love this bit of non-specificness, too. It keeps the dream alive!) – is pretty highly observable on both radar and visually.

    Civilian radar will definitely pick up any standard military aircraft, ESPECIALLY F-16s or F-15s, the most likely to have been in pursuit.

  98. White is a very bad idea if you want to conceal something.

    But it is an excellent idea if you want to convince a confused witness that what they really saw was a small commercial jet that had been called in to investigate the wreckage.

    I wonder what standards of credulity you apply toward witnesses in a field seeing something they likely cannot process immediately nor likely have ever seen before. Witness testimony in cases of aircraft is remarkably spotty. There are numerous factors involved that make anything an untrained or unprepared observer says HIGHLY questionable.

    Preferably you look at other evidence, like transcripts of radio communications and phone calls, and records of radar and cell phone recordings and blackbox recordings. Unless the government has taken away these things and makes the ludicrous claim that their disclosure could somehow compromise national security. Then you have to fall back on eye witnesses

    “Small”, without the modifier “fighter” implies that it was not capable of firing anything, missile or EM radiation sufficient for disabling the target and NOTHING ELSE.

    Small fighter. Undercover. One take. if he misses, then that thing gets taken down over Harrisburg by the F-16s and their sidewinders and people on the ground could get hurt. Then again, who knows how many planes took at shot at it and missed prior to 10 am. It is not like we would have any way of knowing that.

    All airplanes have a radar signature, even the B-2. This is not to say civil radar could pick up a B-2 and know what it was, but, for instance, the B-2’s visual signature is also very small, but nonzero. Most low-observables with small RCR also are hard to pick up visually, especially from the ground, especially to someone not expecting it. A white plane – say a Lear or Gulfstream type (I love this bit of non-specificness, too. It keeps the dream alive!) – is pretty highly observable on both radar and visually.

    Well, there are ways to hide from radar besides paint color. Also, you can paint any plane any color you want. If you want to confuse witnesses about what kind of plane it was, then it is best to paint the plane in a color associated with a completely different kind of plane.

    Civilian radar will definitely pick up any standard military aircraft, ESPECIALLY F-16s or F-15s, the most likely to have been in pursuit.

    But nobody has seen those radar records, or talked to anyone who has seen them. Besides the fact that I don’t think a standard aircraft did the shootdown. I think it may have had fancy equipment to help it hide from radar.

  99. Small fighter. Undercover. One take. if he misses, then that thing gets taken down over Harrisburg by the F-16s and their sidewinders and people on the ground could get hurt. Then again, who knows how many planes took at shot at it and missed prior to 10 am. It is not like we would have any way of knowing that.
    Jesus Christ, Dave…

    Who knows how many planes took a shot?? Do you know what Sidewinders do? They seek heat sources. There are few bigger heat sources in the sky than a big fucking airliner. Sidewinders are designed to bring down small fighters and bombers. It ain’t gonna miss a fucking 757. Not even the older variants in the ANG.

    So a small fighter under cover shot an heretofore barely detectable missile capable of bringing down an airliner. A small fighter painted white that was both recognizable in shape to witnesses AND invisible to radar.

    What you’re saying is that this very special plane had to practically be ready and waiting for the airliner and not really intercepting it. Where did it come from? Akron?

    Well, there are ways to hide from radar besides paint color.
    No shit, Dave. Paint color isn’t even remotely a consideration for RCS. For VISUAL it is. Shape and reflectivity is the primary driver for RCS minimization. This is where paint CAN get into it. Most paints that are reflective of radar energy are also reflective of light energy. I suppose there may be some that can give our hypothetical super-plane brilliant white appearance and still absorb radar energy, but that’s just a wee bit unlikely. If it did have this wonderful mystery paint, it would have to be virtually unrecognizable as an aircraft to an untrained observer on the ground due to shape considerations. Yet if it was recognizable as a plane to an untrained observer, all the radar absorbing paint in the world isn’t going to make it invisible to radar.

    Keep reaching, Dave.

  100. . . . Sidewinders . . . small fighter . . . barely detectable missile . . . recognizable in shape . . . invisible to radar . . .

    I don’t know about any of these details, and at this stage of the game they don’t matter. Maybe it was a Sidewinder. Maybe it was a learjet rather than a fighter. Recognizable in shape? Witnesses said “samll white plane” which is a broad category. Basically it rules out jumbo jets, bombers and helicopters. Maybe nobody saw the plane that did the take down. Maybe the seek’n’destroy was all over the civilian radar (nobody has said it wasn’t).

    It is difficult to see why these details are important to you at this stage, Timon19. I think what you are trying to get across is that it was impossible to take down Flight 93 without detection by somebody outside the military / air traffic controller community. However, I don’t think any of your queries about the details establish that this is impossible. It might be impossible to know ahead of time that you would be able to do the deed without detection, but once you do the deed, collect the wreckage and slap a gag order on the air traffic controllers, you have a pretty good idea of whether or not the secret can be kept. in this case, it could (at least in the near term).

    Akron?

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/afb.htm

    Probably one of the ones in NYS, PA or OH. Maybe NJ.

    Well, there are ways to hide from radar besides paint color.

    Why are you so curious about paint color? If the attack squadron was at a high enough altitude, it could have been painted with the queer rainbow and nobody would have been able to tell.

    Are you trying to say that you know the government isn’t lying because there would be a better witness account? I don’t agree. It seems quite possible that nobody was looking at the plane when it was hit. More importantly, it seem quite possible that nobody was looking at the plane that fired the missile when it fired the missile.

    Of course, civilian and military radar was watching in a sense. If I were investigating, those radar records would be the starting point. If those radar records have been destroyed already, then that would be the next line of inquiry.

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