What’s Wrong With the 9/11 Truth Movement

by May 24, 2012Liberty & Economy9 comments

There’s also a lesson here about what is really wrong with the so-called “9/11 truth movement”, which, frankly, I am often ashamed to consider myself a part of. You can see why below.

A couple of people sent me a link to a petition to get the government to revise the NIST report on the collapse of WTC 7 (a topic I’ve written about here, here, and here). It’s no longer online, but you can view a cached version (I’ve also pasted the full petition below).

I replied to the individuals who sent me the petition to tell them I could not sign it as it is written, and one of them sent me the name and email address of the person who created it. So I wrote that individual, one Mark Graham, to explain why I could not sign it, which was because it contained factual errors and inaccurate, misleading statements.

After two emails back and forth, in which I attempted to reason with Mark, he ended the discussion by calling me “an ignorant lowlife”, saying that “unfortunately there are creatures like you all over the 9/11 Truth movement. Lacking common sense you are not cut out for intelligent analysis. You have fallen for NIST’s obfuscation instead of being able to see through it.” I had “offered nothing valuable” to him and my “debate of semantics was wrong.” He closed with, “Frankly I don’t care what you think of the petition. You’re a moron.”

I wouldn’t normally do this, but given Mark’s rudeness and lack of respect, and the obvious futility of me trying to reply back one more time to try to reason with him, it seems not inappropriate for me to disclose our email exchanges and let others judge between us which is the “moron”. Obviously, Mark has thrown any kind of “diplomacy” out the window, so if he doesn’t like my doing so, he can blame himself for picking a fight with the wrong person. Not than any of you care about our sensitive egos. But you might find it entertaining, and more importantly, you might learn some information you weren’t aware of, in addition to the lesson here about what is really wrong with the so-called “9/11 truth movement”, which, frankly, I am often ashamed to consider myself a part of. You can see why below.

Appendix A: The Petition (bold emphasis added)

Revise the U.S. government final report on the collapse of Building 7

Why this is important

Building 7 of the World Trade Center, a 47 story building, contained offices of the CIA, the Secret Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) several financial institutions and then-Mayor Giuliani’s Office of Emergency Management.

Despite never being hit by an airplane, Building 7 was reduced to a pile of rubble in about 7 seconds at 5:20 p.m. on September 11, 2001. After 9/11 this fact has been widely covered up by the U.S. mass media and was even omitted from the 9/11 Commission Report.

NIST, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (a U.S. government agency) was authorized by Congress to determine “why and how WTC 7 collapsed.” NIST produced a preliminary draft of their final report in August, 2008 omitting the fact that Building 7 fell at free fall acceleration for part of its descent. After a physicist challenged NIST on this point the final report, in November 2008 admitted free fall acceleration for 105′ or 2.5 seconds.

NIST wrote, “A more detailed analysis of the descent of the north face found . . . (2) a freefall descent over approximately eight stories at gravitational acceleration for approximately 2.25 s . . . .” (Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7, NIST NCSTAR 1A, page 48)

However NIST claimed that this was consistent with their own fire based collapse theory which alleged that the entire collapse began because column 79 became laterally unsupported and buckled due to heat. NIST has refused to disclose their entire computer model and this column 79 theory was not based on any hard evidence.

NIST has already admitted the scientific fact of free fall acceleration in Building 7. This is remarkable! Now we ask that NIST tell what this means: that the entire building structure below for at least eight floors was removed just as Building 7 began to fall. Does this not imply use of explosives? We petition for a response.

This may give a very different understanding of what really happened on 9/11.

The reason this matters in 2012 is that the U.S. continues to kill countless people in the so called war on terror all based on the assumption that the World Trade Center attacks were done solely by Muslims. Muslims would not have had the access to Building 7, the equipment, the knowledge of the sophisticated process of controlled demolition nor the time to arrange it.

I want peace for myself, my family and friends and millions of people I don’t even know.

Posted May 7, 2012

Appendix B: My 1st email to Mark (bold emphasis in original)

Dear Mark,

[Undisclosed] sent me the below link to your petition in my inbox, and subsequently referred me to you as the originator and gave me your email address:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Revise_the_US_government_final_report_on_the_collapse_of_Building_7/

I appreciate this effort, but there are some errors that would need to be corrected before I could sign this:

After a physicist challenged NIST on this point the final report, in November 2008 admitted free fall acceleration for 105′ or 2.5 seconds.

NIST wrote, “A more detailed analysis of the descent of the north face found . . . (2) a freefall descent over approximately eight stories at gravitational acceleration for approximately 2.25 s . . . .” (Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7, NIST NCSTAR 1A, page 48)

There’s a contradiction here. David Chandler (the physicist mentioned) calculated a free fall of 2.5 seconds. NIST, as the next paragraph notes, admitted free fall not of 2.5 but of 2.25 seconds.

However NIST claimed that this was consistent with their own fire based collapse theory which alleged that the entire collapse began because column 79 became laterally unsupported and buckled due to heat. NIST has refused to disclose their entire computer model and this column 79 theory was not based on any hard evidence.

This sentences confuses “theory” and “hypothesis”, and this should read the latter, i.e., “fire-induced collapse hypothesis”. Also, NIST does not argue that column 79 “buckled due to heat”. In fact, they acknowledge that the column could not have been heated by the fires enough to cause any significant loss of strength. Finally, saying the “refused to disclose their entire computer model” is inaccurate wording, since they did disclose some of their rendered models. I’m sure this means that, with regard to some of their simulations, the full collapse was not shown, and also that they did not disclose the data they used to produce these models in ANSYS and other programs. Ergo, their hypothesis cannot be peer reviewed or their results reproduced­. NIST thus explicitly rejects the scientific method.

Sincerely,

Jeremy R. Hammond

www.foreignpolicyjournal.com

www.jeremyrhammond.com

Appendix C: Mark’s 1st Reply (relevant portions; bold emphasis added)

Jeremy,

Thank you for your message.  You are evidently a detail focused person, as am I.  I appreciate that in a person.

[…]

Now as to your comments,

I stand corrected as to 2.25 seconds vs. 2.5.  I noticed that and would have changed it if Avaaz had not taken my petition down.  The statistic I wanted to state was the period of time for which NIST admitted free fall, namely 2.25 seconds.

Many people are not aware of this but David Chandler was not the only physicist who challenged NIST in 2008 between their draft and final report on the subject of free fall.  Prof. Steven Jones did too.  Did you know that?!

My explanation of NIST’s explanation of Building 7, involving column 79, is stated correctly.  They claimed that the girder (horizontal steel member, which could also be called a beam) expanded due to heat and pushed column 79 off of its base (they used another word than base, I believe, but that was the meaning).  They did say that it became laterally unsupported and they did say that column 79 buckled.  If you read the NIST report, chapter 12, you will find those exact phrases.  Because this was all caused, they say, by the heat which lengthened the girder, my explanation is accurate and correct.

See for example page 22 of NIST NCSTAR 1A, above the drawing.

Here is another way to look at it.  I said there was heat (and NIST did too).  I did not say it was heat on Column 79.  The final report said it was heat on the girder that caused it to expand.

As to the difference between fire induced and fire based, first of all my intention was not to quote NIST (so many of their sentences were misleading, vague, irrelevant and / or false) but to present the issue accurately.  To quibble over fire induced versus fire based is what my attorney friend would call “a distinction without a difference.”  It adds nothing to the conversation or the accuracy of the petition.  Again, my purpose was not to quote NIST except where I chose to, on the free fall acceleration.

NIST said a lot of things that are contradictory.  I believe they did this on purpose.  It serves as obfuscation.  They knew they were covering up a controlled demolition with high tech (and possibly some low tech) explosives.  They chose to do this by misusing science that even a high school physics student would understand, pretending they did not know any better and at the same time pretending that they were experts.  Just because NIST admitted that temperatures under 750 dF (they said this in a very roundabout way, again throwing in more obfuscation when they could have made a simple and clear statement) don’t cause significant loss of strength does not mean that my linking of cause and effect is incorrect.  By the way I could have added that NIST had no basis, no scientific basis, for their estimate / guess of what the temperatures were inside Building 7, let alone this estimate.  But I had under 2,500 characters to work with and I had to leave out many many key facts about Building 7 and the NIST report.

We agree that “NIST thus explicitly rejects the scientific method.”

My statement that “NIST has refused to disclose their entire computer model” is once again correct.  In fact there was a lawsuit over this exact point.  I cannot remember the guy’s name off hand but a web search could find it.  He filed a FOIA, NIST gave him something like 30,000 “files” (a computer geek can define virtually anything as a file) but told him that they were withholding another 60,000 files.  He sued and lost.  I read the decision and it did not appear that he was represented by an attorney because he made some very basic mistakes.  But the judge was heavily biased, as was evident from the ruling.  He allowed NIST to claim a general and bogus excuse.

In another story (true) some 9/11 Truth activists wrote to NIST asking for full disclosure of their computer model so that they might test it and attempt to replicate its results.  NIST refused, claiming that such disclosure would “jeopardize public safety.”  This may be the same excuse the judge allowed NIST to use in the preceding case, the lawsuit.  You may already be aware of this.  You can find this through the AE911Truth.org website.

As to the difference between a theory and hypothesis, the important thing that I am getting at, that the entire 9/11 Truth movement is getting at, is the truth.  That is, the Truth about what really happened to the Twin Towers and Building 7 on 9/11.  That is the important starting point.

Knowing full well what they were doing, NIST ignored abundant hard, scientific evidence and substituted in the very inconclusive “results” of their computer simulation.  But what were they trying to accomplish?  They were trying to convey that they had used the scientific method to analyze Building 7 (in this case) and come up with an explanation that was, simply, the truth.

They claimed that they had proven and thus tested their explanation of the collapse of Building 7 via their computer model.  Thus the word theory is more applicable than hypothesis even though NIST called it their hypothesis. 

Again, my goal was not to quote NIST directly, except in their admission of free fall acceleration.  Quoting them would lead to less clarity and sense, not more.

Being a student of this subject you know that NIST made up something called a “probable collapse sequence”.  They used this in place of more common terms such as hypothesis and theory, again for the purpose of obfuscation and I believe to add in the appearance of certainty in their conclusion.  That’s the problem; they present their explanation as a “probable collapse sequence” and I believe it was more of a theory than a hypothesis, regardless of what NIST called it.

[…]

Cordially,

Mark Graham

Appendix D: My 2nd email to Mark (bold emphasis added)

Sorry to hear about the troubles, Mark [with regard to the petition being taken down]. I hope you can work it out.

My explanation of NIST’s explanation of Building 7, involving column 79, is stated correctly…. I did not say it was heat on Column 79.

Surely you must recognize that it is only natural that your statement that “column 79 … buckled due to heat” will be interpreted as meaning that column 79 buckled because it was weakened by heat. That is the most obvious and logical conclusion for readers to draw from that statement, given how it is worded. In fact, that is the only logical interpretation that may be drawn from the information given. It is certainly not clear that you mean:

They claimed that the girder (horizontal steel member, which could also be called a beam) expanded due to heat and pushed column 79 off of its base (they used another word than base, I believe, but that was the meaning).  They did say that it became laterally unsupported and they did say that column 79 buckled.  If you read the NIST report, chapter 12, you will find those exact phrases.  Because this was all caused, they say, by the heat which lengthened the girder, my explanation is accurate and correct.

Surely you must agree that the statement “column 79 … buckled due to heat” is at best misleading and should be revised so as to be written with more precise language. (They use the word “seat”).

On “fire induced” or “fire based”, you missed my point. I did not say you should change “based” to “induced”, I said you should call it a “hypothesis” and not a “theory”.

They claimed that they had proven and thus tested their explanation of the collapse of Building 7 via their computer model.  Thus the word theory is more applicable than hypothesis even though NIST called it their hypothesis.

Okay, if you wish to give NIST’s hypothesis more credit than it is due, sure, go ahead and call it a “theory”. But I don’t see how doing so serves your purpose. It seems perfectly contrary to the intent to me.

My statement that “NIST has refused to disclose their entire computer model” is once again correct.

Again, I don’t wish to debate semantics. Suffice to say this language is extremely imprecise, whatever your intended meaning, misleading, very much like saying that column 79 “buckled due to heat”.

NIST said a lot of things that are contradictory.  I believe they did this on purpose.  It serves as obfuscation.

I think you are absolutely correct. You might be interested in this paper I wrote: http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/07/11/video-analysis-of-nists-claim-of-a-5-4-s-collapse-time-over-18-stories-for-wtc-7/. David Chandler referred to it at some length in his talk at the Toronto Hearings: http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/07/11/video-analysis-of-nists-claim-of-a-5-4-s-collapse-time-over-18-stories-for-wtc-7/. (Yes, I know many others criticized NIST’s draft report).

[…]

Cheers,

Jeremy

Appendix E: Mark’s 2nd reply to me (bold emphasis added)

Jeremy,

If you really cared about accuracy you would go back and read the NIST Building 7 report especially the probable collapse sequence on pages 21-22.  It is all in there.  That section backs up everything I said about how NIST claimed 7 came down.  But you are an ignorant lowlife and unfortunately there are creatures like you all over the 9/11 Truth movement.  Lacking common sense you are not cut out for intelligent analysis.  You have fallen for NIST’s obfuscation instead of being able to see through it.

What is comical is where you say, “Again, I don’t wish to debate semantics.”
That’s all you have done!  Your entire emails to me, both of them, consisted of nothing else.  You don’t even know that you have offered nothing valuable (other than 2.25 seconds vs. 2.5, which I already knew) and done nothing but “debate semantics”.  On top of that your debate of semantics was wrong.

Frankly I don’t care what you think of the petition.  You’re a moron.

Mark

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About Jeremy R. Hammond

About Jeremy R. Hammond

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9 Comments

  1. Tim Hanrahan

    So, the 9/11 ‘Truth’ Movement is now based (seated?) on 2.25s in the collapse of WTC7. This apparent anomaly in the collapse of the building is interesting, but to extrapolate from this (and this is basically all you’ve got left) to a vast, vastly corrupt, vastly expensive, vastly implausible, and above all, completely unnecessary (the US historically haven’t bothered much with excuses for attacking other countries – remember Grenada ’83? Libya ’86? Panama ’89?) conspiracy is just dumb.

    Reply
    • Jeremy R. Hammond

      Do you know what’s just dumb? Strawman arguments are just dumb. Readers will observe that nowhere did I suggest that the free fall of WTC7 was the entire foundation of the truth movement, and nowhere did I so extrapolate from the facts some “vast, vastly corrupt, vastly expensive, vastly implausible, and above all, completely unnecessary … conspiracy”. If you have any comments that are actually relevant to anything I actually wrote above, you are welcome to share them.

      Reply
  2. Tim Hanrahan

    True, you didn’t suggest that the (partial) free fall of WTC7 was the foundation of the 9/11 Truth movement – I suggested that that was the only (apparently) substantial thing left of it. If you don’t believe in a “vast” (etc.) conspiracy, then what sort of conspiracy do you believe in?

    Reply
    • Jeremy R. Hammond

      I’m not interested in conspiracy theories, just the facts, which are as I stated them in the article. If you wish to speculate about how “they”, whoever “they” might be, managed to bring down WTC 7 in a controlled demolition, by all means, go ahead. I don’t wish to, however. That is something that should obviously be investigated. What is quite clear, though, is that it was, indeed, a controlled demolition, and, furthermore, that NIST engaged in scientific fraud to try to cover up that fact.

      Reply
      • Tim Hanrahan

        I don’t want to speculate on who ‘they’ may be. There was no ‘they’, apart from the hijackers of the planes that flew into WTC1 and 2. What are your qualifications in structural engineering? What is your training or experience in investigating the collapse of buildings? I suspect the answer to both of these questions is none. Your opinion on this matter is utterly worthless.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        Tim, if you find any error in fact or logic on anything I’ve written about the collapse of WTC 7, you are welcome to point it out.

  3. Mobile Web Designer

    Maybe at the same time, Tim, you’ll be able to provide us with some evidence that proves the two planes were hijacked by Muslims.

    Reply
  4. tony bird

    i used to work with mark, and i didn’t alway agree with his choice of words. a better word might be “stupid”, which derives from the same root as “stupor”. “ignorant” might be a good word too, if spelled “ignore-ant”. “moron” implies a profound lack of
    native intelligence. you don’t seem like a moron to me, jeremy. intelligent people can be in a stupor about something, and they can ignore, sometimes quite willfully.

    government apologists love to lure the truth movement into tiny corners of evidence and then perform disappearing acts. building 7 fell due to some vague internal fires, which weakened column 79, which, according to a “computer model” which somehow cannot be disclosed, made the whole thing collapse in seconds. q.e.d.!

    never mind that the defenders of our nation’s capital, with andrews AFB and its crack fighter pilots five minutes away, allowed an allegedly hijacked airliner to plow into the pentagon without even a scramble and reconnoiter. never mind that private footage which recorded the event was confiscated minutes later. never mind that we were told that the airliner which crashed in pennsylvania disappeared into a little hole in a field, where reporters were kept behind a fence, while the locals reported debris scattered over eight square miles of countryside. never mind norman mineta’s report of dick cheney’s behavior–they’ve taken 10 years to explain that one, just like it took them a good five years to cook up column 79.

    it goes on and on and it boggles the mind. quite intelligent people–david ray griffin, jim marrs, webster tarpley, to name but a few–have written books about it, but, for some reason, the rave reviewers at barron’s are silent.

    Reply

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