skepticdude's rebuttal to Brian Dunning
Brian Denning chose to illustrate the fallacy of Red Herring in his "Here Be Dragons" video on critical thinking skills, by acting out a mock dialogue between a 911 conspiry theorist and somebody asking a simple question. Here's how it played out. The video is at http://herebedragonsmovie.com/, and the "red herring" discussion starts at 12:35:
Brian: "Red Herrings are a favorite of conspiricy theorists."
skepticdude: First, there are no red herrings whatsoever in the "911 Press for truth" video, which is better than Loose Change and most other 911 truther videos for providing rational warrant to suspect Bush of 911 complicity. These "Jersey Girls" demonstrated quite a few red herrings and other obvious signs of cover up in the 911 commission. Bush's first pick to head that commission was Henry Kissinger, not only noted for his previous war crime cover-ups, but whose current business practice (at the time Bush selected him) involved the Bin Laden family as clients. Incompetence? Maybe Bush didn't know Kissinger was representing the Osama Bin Laden Family at the time he appointed him as Head of the 911 Commission, so maybe Bush didn't know what a gargantuan conflict of interest Kissinger's position as head of the 911 Commission would be? The Jersey Girls in this video drew up a long list of very informed and pointed questions for the 911 commission, which this Commission did not dare touch (see http://www.911independentcommission.org/questions.html)
This CONmission instead did what Bush insisted they do, focus solely on the less explosive less incriminating subjects of "incompentence and miscommunications between intelligence agencies"...you know.... that obvious bit of bullshit that most of you rational responders currently buy into. Never underestimate the power of media. If you think the 911 Commission investigated anything more than softball questions, I pity you. After public outrage, Kissinger was dropped in favor of making Executive Director out of somebody else who had just as much favor with the Bush Administration as Kissinger did, Philip Zelikow, author of the Bush's pre-emptive war strategy and great friends with Condi-Rice. Am I overstating the conflicts of interest? 911 Commission Co-chairman Lee Hamilton doesn't think so, stating publicly that the commission "was setup to fail", admitted in a book "Without Precedent" co-authored with 911 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean. Hamilton explains his "set up to fail" comments in a Canadian News Interview at http://www.cbc.ca/sunday/911hamilton.html.
Second, unfortunately the red herring accusation is not totally unwarranted. This was amply demonstrated by Jim Fetzer in his "Hardfire" debate on 911 with debunker Mark Roberts. When Mark made a specific rebuttal point, Fetzer often responded by bringing up an unrelated subject with even more dogmatism. Much of Fetzer's work is commendable, which is why I was disappointed at his obvious resort to red herrings on multiple occassions in this critical debate. A critical thinker would research and discover that the 911 truth movement has it's own internal conflicts, and therefore would not attempt to debunk the movement generally by pointing to it's more obvious errors. Is atheism wrong because Stalin was a bad guy? UFOs or PODS flying near the WTC on 911 have nothing to do with the plain fact that the Bush Administration has profited tremendously from that act of terrorism. Directed Energy Weapons fired from space to collapse the towers have nothing to do with the fact that criminal investigators have full rational warrant to be suspicious first of those who profit the most from a crime. It's very easy to engage in a debate with a 911 debunker and provide serious answers, and Dunning's representation of 911 truthers as complete idiots is a stawman fallacy smack in the middle of a video he created for the specific purpose of teaching others how to AVOID logical fallacies (!)
Yes, there's a lot of stupid ideas within the 911 truth movement. That doesn't mean that all of it's evidence is overstated or false. Let's use our critical thinking skills to sort out the true claims from the false, instead of committing a generalization fallacy. Bush cannot be considered innocent of the 911 crimes just because Judy Wood doesn't prove that directed energy beams from space were used to collapse the towers.
Brian: "If you listen to the people that try to convince us that September 11th was perpetrated by our own government, their evidence consists of virtually nothing but red herrings."
skepticdude: Which demonstrates his own lack of critical thinking skills. There are many "red herrings" in the 911 truth movement, but saying we offer "virtually nothing but red herrings" overstates the case, as there is an abundance of serious material that implicates Bush, most of the higher quality evidence has nothing to do with what made the WTC buildings collapse.
1 - Bob Graham, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, accused his own Bush Adminstration of shielding Arabia and Pakistan, which he said were our "make-believe allies", from 911 investigation, concerning the 28 White House-redacted pages of the Senate Intelligence Report on 911. See http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2004_cr/graham020204.html Would it be logical to deduce that this Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was accusing the Bush Administration of obstructing justice and violating the code of ethics it demanded of the Taliban? Bush once said
"The Taliban must act, and act immediately. They will hand over the terrorists, or they will share in their fate."http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html[/quote] Yet Bush continued to sheild Arabia and Pakistan through the early critical years after 911, though these two nations proved in later media investigation to have been key to the resources and funding for the 911 terrorists. When did you first learn that Porter Goss had a close friendship with Mahmood Ahmed, head of Pakistani ISI? CNN? Fox News? Not on your life. You got it from a 911 truther website. So Bush is aiding the terrorists just like the Taliban allegedly do. They refuse to hand over the terrorists, and Bush blocks investigation of their most likely sources of funding, choosing to make Iraq center-stage, who is irrelevent to the 911 investigation. So Bush is just as guilty of aiding the terrorists as he says the Taliban are. Good warrant to suspect Bush of criminal complicity, and yet no red herrings here. Bush's guilt need consist of nothing more than using his power to block investigations and stonewall so as to let the terrorists work without impediment or reduce their chances of being caught. And yes, it looks good if you catch and prosecute a couple of 911 terrorists in the meantime.
2 - As reported in the "Times of India" (October 9,2001), the Pakistani newspaper "Dawn" (October 9, 2001) and French newspaper "Agence France-Presse", (October 10, 2001) the US sought removal of Pakistani ISI Chief Mahmood Ahmed from his position, because it was proven that he authorized terrorist Amad Sheikh to wire-transfer $100,000 to 911 terrorist Muhammed Atta. This becomes more explosive when you remember that Mahmood, terrorist financer and head of ISI, (which is the equal of the America's CIA), was having breakfast in America with former CIA Clandestine Operations Veteran, and current Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Porter Goss, and Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Bob Graham, the morning of 911 (See Washington Post, 5/18/2002).
Why did I cite only foreign news sources for Mahmood's terrorist financing? Because the US Media, largely at the mercy of the US government, didn't bother to tell us this incriminating information, except in a single op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2001, by James Taranto, who was citing the "Times of India" himself. The sure sign of cover up is the "911 Commission Report" and its 2004 admission that the source of terrorism financing had "little practical significance" and that it had "seen no evidence that any foreign government--or foreign government official--supplied any funding." (page 172) ...when in fact US suspicion that ISI Director Mahmood was a 911 terrorist financer was in full swing in 2001. It's not incompetence, this 911 Commission bluntly admitted terrorist financing was of little practical significance, so incompentence cannot be cited to justify the absence of Mahmood's 911 guilt from their absurd report.
Incompetence or cover up? Why do you suppose the US media outlets, which correspond with other nations' major media outlets, chose not to run this explosive news from India, which just happens to implicate the very government Bush tried to shield by redacting those 28 Senate Intelligence report pages on 911? Again, this is important evidence of conspiricy, incompentency doesn't explain how conveniently the silence on the story helps Bush hide guilt, and it involves no red herrings.
3 - Bush stated twice that he saw, on tv, from the Elementary School location on 9-11-2001, the first plane hit the WTC. this link has only the audio of his first admission to seeing the first WTC tower hit on tv http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpQdrBblw-c
and this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6WmJ6CUtP0 has video of his second admission asserting the same exact story, while conducting a Town Hall Forum on Economy in California [whitehouse.gov, January 5, 2002] Both speechs can be downloaded from http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/bushlie.html. Listen to the entire quotes, and there are other lies he tells about this incident.
It's been 7 years, and there is no known footage of the first tower being hit except the Naudet Brothers clip, which they didn't make available to news media until the next day. Was Bush watching a closed tv circuit? Why? Why did his secret service detail set up closed circuit video monitoring of the WTC the morning of 911, when, according to their stories, they had no reason to be doing this/no reason to suppose the WTC would be attacked? If they were doing it anyway, why haven't they made that footage publicly available? No red herrings, lots of warrant to suspect foreknowledge of the attacks and therefore criminal complicity, at least beacuse they expected the attacks enough to film the wtc, but didn't warn anybody. How do you expain Bush admitting to seeing the first tower hit, via TV, on the same day he was at this elementary school, 911? Incompetence? Or, maybe, that due to not using pre-approved script during these informal town hall meeting speeches, perhaps Bush accidently let a little bit of truth slip out?
4 - You seriously think the Pentagon, the most secure building on the face of the earth, is only covered by a single camara? You are stupid if you believe the Pentagon's response to FOIA requests, which say that only a single camara caught something hitting the Pentagon. The pre 911 warnings and the war games exercises warrant us to rationally conclude the Pentagon knew perfectly well it would be a target after the first plane went wildly off course and hit the first tower, they would have had cameras rolling after that first crash that day for sure. Or maybe our nation's defense captial is so "incompetent" that it's members forget to breathe? How much stupidity do you need to see before you start suspecting planning?
5 - Steven Jones, BYU Professor, and other qualified Ph.ds have critiqued the NIST report publicly from a scientific standpoint, putting their reputations on the line with "real" scientists. It doesn't matter if you agree with their critique, the point is that serious criticism of the Official 911 exists, which is not infected with "virtually nothing but red herrings". Yet Dunning doesn't present this serious side of the 911 conspiricy case, leaving any newbie watching this video with the false impression that nobody in the 911 truth movement can give a good argument for their position.
I could obviously go on with the good proofs of US complicity in the 911 attacks, but these are sufficient to show that the real case against Bush makes use of ZERO red herrings.
Since you are such a big supporter of "incompetence explains everything" theory, maybe Brian Dunning was just incompetent for saying virtually all 911 truther evidence is composed of red herrings? Maybe this completely ridiculous assertion was his own red herring?
First mock dialogue:
Dumbshit conspiricy theorist: "Well, Dick Cheney had business interests in the Middle East!"
Smart conspiricy theorist:
I have never heard any 911 truther cite Cheney's business interests in the middle east to answer a question of who crashed the planes into the WTC. Brian again committs the fallacy of strawman by falsely portraying how we 911 truthers answer this question. It shoud be obvious that any kook that does answer the question that way, doesn't honestly represent us very well.
--It was most likely Bush techs remotely piloting those planes to their targets. And we don't need to know who crashed the planes into the buildings, just like we don't need to know who pulled the trigger and killed the wife, to be suspicious that the husband, who stands to gain $5 million off her death via insurance, who already proved himself hostile to her in the past, probably is somehow connected to her death. The Bush Administration not only benefitted tremendously from 911, they even complained in 1999 that a new pearl harbor would be needed to more quickly achieve their goal of upgrading the military and removing Sadaam. They also said at that time that Sadaam's reign was irrelevent compared to their other interests in the middle east. Then there's the downing street memo proving that Bush was determined to blast his way into the middle east no matter what, even if it required false flag terrorism to do it, being a goal of Bush since the first few months of his presidency. Then there's Cheney's absolute refusal to obey the lawful orders of the GOA to submit his notes and minutes of year-2001 meetings with energy executives, fighting them all the way to the Supreme Court. Why the secrecy? Might it have exposed Bush negotiating with the terrorist taliban in early 2001 for permission to build a pipeline through Taliban controlled Afghanistan, which wouldn't look too good given that the Taliban eventually rejected the deal? That's rational warrant to suspect foul play on the Bush administration's part, and therefore justifying the belief that there was some sort of connection between those who crashed the planes into the buildings and those who benefitted most from that crime.
Since the lifestyle of the terrorists while training in America (lap dances, alcholism, drugs, partying, multiple sex partners, gambling, wasteful luxery spending of cash, etc.,) suggests nothing extremist about their religious views that would suggest willingness to die in a suicide bombing for a fiercely conservative moralistic cause, it's not very likely that they hijacked the planes in mid-air for such a suicidal purpose. It is more likely, given the evidence that remotely controlling large passenger jets exists, that the terrorists were simply training to hijack the plane and land it somewhere and carry out traditional hijacking, never knowing the real purpose of their mission was to simply provide a cover story to keep a little-known secret hidden. Given the existence of such remote control technology, we don't even need to posit that the hijackers ever tried to breach the cockpit. In September of 2001, Tom Cassidy, president and CEO of the San Diego company of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., said "Aircraft anywhere in the nation could be remotely controlled from just one or two locations using satellite links, Cassidy said. Those locations could be heavily fortified against terrorists. "The technology is available," Cassidy said. "We use it every day." (Chicago Tribune, 9/28/01) The hijackers could also have simply been on their way to some legitimate business, not intending to hijack on this particular day, and technology took over, paralyzing the plane and the FAA.
Further, Whistleblower Indira Singh, who is not a kook, but lost her very lucrative career because of her concern to speak the truth, spoke about Ptech, as being in the basement of FAA; this is a system that can insert false radar blips into FAA screens and take control of a remote-control-fitted plane. See the story at http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20050301231231793.
Her testimony to this is also on video, downloadable from http://www.911busters.com/911-Commission.html
The point is that Dunning's representation of 911 truthers is deceptive because it paints us as doing little more than committing logical fallacies. He must not know too much if he thinks our case is "virtually nothing" but red herrings.
Who flew the planes into the buildings? Easy: the people whom you think benefitted most from that crime are the most likely suspects according to the most basic principle of criminal investigation, and probably doing the flying by remote control, until you can show their alibi is more believable than their guilt.
Brian: "maybe so, but, who crashed the planes into the buildings?"
Idiot conspiricy theorist: "Well the lease-holder had an insurance policy on his skyscrapers!"
I've been debating these issues for years, I have never seen ANYBODY answer the "who crashed the planes into the buildings" question by distracting the discussion with reference to Larry Silverstein's insurance policies on the WTC. Dunning appears more interested in committing his own fallacy of straw man (falsely representing the serious evidence for 911) to illustrate red herring fallacy, than in using legitimate examples. If Dunning doesn't think Bush is criminally complicit in the 911 attacks, I will gladly debate him any day in any online forum of his choosing.
Concerning Larry Silverstein, he purchased that insurance policy six weeks before the attacks. What makes it a suspicious coincidence is that he had them insured against acts of terrorism, while the White House insists the best pre-911 intelligence never suggested the WTC might be targets of terrorism. They didn't think the 1993 bombing suggested future hits, why did Silverstein? This is yet one more "lucky coincidence" needed to prop up the official white house version of 911.
Brian: "maybe so, but, who crashed the planes into the buildings?"
Idiot 911 conspiricist: "George Bush's younger brother Marvin was a principal in a security company, and the World Trade Center was one of their clients!"
I've never seen anybody answer the crash question with a reference to Marvin Bush, in 6 years of debating the point. Dunning should have been responsible enough to admit that even if he disagrees with 911 truther theory, there are more serious direct answers to his question. It doesn't matter if it wasn't his point to debate 911, he still said our case is "virtually nothing but red herrings", which broadbrushes the entire movement falsely as if we all answered his question in the same obviously fallacious way, giving the viewer the impression that the 911 truth community really is that stupid, when in fact we offer to debate our opposition just as much as debunkers attempt to debunk us, and provide far more direct non-fallacious answers to such questions than Dunning accuses us of.
Either way, Marvin Bush's presence on the Board of Directors for Securcom provides at least a partial answer to those who scoff at the possibility that anybody could have gotten past security with a bunch of thermite bombs. The Board of Directors has control over what the WTC security officers allow into those buildings. If they were orchestrating 911, it would be nothing at all to inform security that maintenance people would be coming in to work in the elevator shafts. Marvin's position cannot be discounted just because it cannot prove anything in a debate. And Marvin comes from a family that thinks the Jews are total shit and deserve to be killed, as his grandfather Prescott Bush was Hitler's American Banker and convicted of trading with that enemy. Yup, the Bush family profiting from the deaths of innocent people in a war started on false pretexts, via their close partnership with a known enemy, before Bush jr, was even born. No, it doesn't prove anything in a court of law. But rational warrant to believe something doesn't need to have this level of convincing power. You should not always reject a belief just because it can't be proven in a court of law. You can be rationally warranted to hold a belief even if it doesn't carry enough evidence to draw a conviction in court.
Brian: "maybe so, but, who crashed the planes into the buildings?"
Idiot conspiricy believer: "Brian Dunning visited the world trade center only two years before they collapsed, and isn't it interesting that he did a podcast episode debunking 911 conspiricy claims?!"
It seems as if Dunning, in addition to illustrating the fallacy of red herring, also seems to think that whatever answers we might give to the crash-question, are no more serious or worthy of discussion than this completely ridiculous answer. He certainly would have left the 911 newbie with the impression that 911 truthers don't have any serious material to work with. He should have at least issued a disclaimer admitting that he knows there are more serious 911 truthers that can answer his "who-crashed-the-planes" question more directly and seriously than the unforgivable idiots he represents in his mock dialogue.
I reiterate, I am a 911 truther, I believe the Bush administration is criminally culpible for masterminding 911, I can make a far more serious case for Bush's guilt in the 911 attacks than Dunning represents in his video, and I will debate any "911 debunker" any day any time, in any internet forum of their choosing, and defy them to prove any logical fallacies in my responses or evidence.
Faith does not have the power to move mountains. However, it does have the power to make you think a mountain has moved.