“Debating” by Exaggeration, Namecalling and Threats by Gregg Roberts

January 8, 2011
Author: Gregg Roberts

“The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844 – 1900)

This article is a response to “Is Leading 9/11 Truth Site Working For The Other Side?”, credited to “staff writers” at the Rock Creek Free Press, November 2010 edition, available at: http://www.rockcreekfreepress.com/CreekV4No11-Web.pdf

The “leading 9/11 Truth site” being referred to is 911Blogger.com. The authors of the article critiqued here chose to remain anonymous, and the article’s title doesn’t lend itself to an easily pronounceable acronym. Therefore I will refer to the article’s authors, along with their vocal message board sympathizers and Barrie Zwicker, as The Complainers. We will abbreviate Citizen Investigation Team as “CIT” and their video National Security Alert as “NSA” (noting the irony).

I normally prefer the high ground when it comes to accusations regarding intentions. However, since the Complainers routinely impute sinister motives to their critics, the reader must consider whether that behavior is more consistent with an intention to support or subvert the overall agenda of the 9/11 Truth Movement.

Contents

The Complainers’ article, like NSA itself, is fraught with logical fallacies and intellectual dishonesty. Examples are discussed in the following sections:

A Running Ad Hominem…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

A Key Exaggeration………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3

False Statements and Exaggerations………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4

“There was no [plane] wreckage at the Pentagon”…………………………………………………………………………… 4

“CIT came along and proved [that] the plane flew away”…………………………………………………………………… 7

“The leading 9/11 truth site is actively suppressing CIT’s evidence”…………………………………………………….. 8

“Zwicker is an expert on the subject of infiltration of social movements.”……………………………………………… 9

“Many well respected 9/11 truth activists and scholars have been banned from 911 blogger without

explanation or cause”……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9

Refusal to Acknowledge Rational Criticism and Respond to It Rationally……………………………………………… 10

Appeal to Popular Opinion………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11

“Authorities Would Blame Controlled Demolition on Al Qaeda”…………………………………………………………… 11

A Severe Non Sequitur: Poor Political Analysis……………………………………………………………………………… 12

Deceptive Mentions of NSA “Endorsements” or Reviews………………………………………………………………….. 13

Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 13

Page numbers refer to the attached PDF.

A Running Ad Hominem

Most of the article consists of a running ad hominem attack, accusing people who run one of the admittedly “leading” 9/11 Truth websites of wanting to cover up mass murder. The Complainers correctly state “it would be surprising if the perpetrators of 9/11 had not attempted to infiltrate and subvert the 9/11 truth movement”, but knowing this alone does not help to identify the infiltrators.  Sorting out the cast of characters requires close examination of the devilish details in order to distinguish among knavish infiltrators, simple fools, and sincere truth-seekers who have been fitted into a well-designed “snitch jacket” in the spirit of COINTELPRO.  The implicit assumption of the Complainers is that criticizing the investigative quality of CIT’s work is the same as working to cover up 9/11 – a manipulative appeal to emotion. The accusation of disloyalty echoes the McCarthyists and their modern-day brethren. It comes from the same playbook used by those who defend the illegal invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, for which 9/11 served as the pretext, by calling 9/11 activists “terrorist sympathizers.”

The Complainers drew warnings from 911Blogger moderators, for their vicious and divisive attacks on other researchers, the real cause of the banning of which the Complainers … complain. A moderator told them that this was one of the reasons that they were banned. Yet this explanation brought no humility or lessened outrage to the Complainers. Is their reaction simply an inability to see their own misbehavior as others see it, or something more? Does it perhaps come from the idea that the best defense is a good offense? (Readers with a well-developed sense of consistency will understand my indulgence in some questions regarding the Complainers’ intentions, given that they “went there” first.)

Whatever the reason, many comments supportive or critical of CIT/NSA that violated 911Blogger rules were allowed to stand because of the overwork that is endemic to the 9/11 truth movement. Whatever inconsistencies there might have been, in terms of who was allowed to get away with what, say little or nothing about the moderators’ intentions.

A Key Exaggeration

The Complainers write as though the evidence against a large airliner having flown into the Pentagon were strongly in their favor, and they make vastly exaggerated claims for the power and the clarity of that evidence. Jim Hoffman’s essay, The Pentagon No-757-Crash Theory: Booby Trap for 9/11 Skeptics, published in October 2004, finds that much of the evidence regarding what hit the Pentagon is inconclusive, and is incapable of being made much better than it is. Since the 9/11 Truth movement is working to uncover the truth about 9/11, against a backdrop of blatant lies that constitute an orchestrated coverup, it is important to deal very cautiously with facts.  Deviating from the official story carries a heavy burden of proof, especially in the mind of the public. Speculation lays us open to debunking. Speculation that appears outrageous, and is proved wrong, can paint the whole 9/11 Truth Movement with a broad brush as crazies. We could lose all the hard fought ground we have gained, rendering our solid accomplishments moot. On these grounds, the question of what hit the Pentagon is a self-defeating choice as the focus of any demand for a new investigation. In one of his later analyses Hoffman concludes that “[the] evidence comports with the crash of a Boeing 757.” He added that while “the evidence does not conclusively prove that the aircraft was a 757, much less that it was Flight 77”, “that lack of conclusiveness should not be surprising given the systematic suppression of evidence by authorities.” We need to be willing to let the official story stand unless the proof to the contrary is extremely solid.

For critiques of the deceptive tactics used by CIT, see:

* Victoria Ashley, “To Con A Movement: Exposing CIT’s PentaCon ‘Magic Show’

* Chris Sarns, “Summary and Analysis of ‘National Security Alert’

* Shinki and Ed Paik Accounts vs. CIT Methods by Erik Larson

* Dawn Vignola’s Account vs. CIT’s Methods by Erik Larson

Here are three essays and a shorter but very recent piece describing what the Pentagon evidence actually shows. They also contain explanations of the severe disadvantages of focusing publicly on the question of what hit the Pentagon, and the benefits of focusing on the evidence that many other key aspects of the official account of what happened at the Pentagon are demonstrably false:

* Jim Hoffman, “The Pentagon Attack: What the Physical Evidence Shows

* Michael Green, “How They Get Away With It.

* Frank Legge, “What Hit the Pentagon? Misinformation and its Effect on the Credibility of 9/11 Truth

* Kevin Ryan, “A dozen questions about Flight 77 and the Pentagon that might lead to justice, and one that won’t

[Read more…]

“911Blogger.com” Accused: Is Leading 9/11 Truth Site Working For The Other Side?

Commentary by John Bursill – Contributor and supporter of 911Blogger.com – 10/28/10

“Is 911Blogger.com working for the other side?”  This question has been asked in an article written by the “staff writers” at the Rock Creek Free Press.

I found this article I have attached below rather corrosive and it appears to me some people (“staff writers”) want to perpetuate some sort of civil war within our movement over the Pentagon? Or is it only that many people truly believe that no plane hit the Pentagon and need a plausible scenario to make that theory work for them? And the limiting/censoring of CIT’s exposure and other advocates of no plane theory, is just too much to bear and they have to speak out for their important theory?

Now any reasonable person could accuse 911Blogger.com of being, too careful, too reasonable, too responsible and pro positive public relations, fair enough. But to insinuate they are working for the government is laughable, ridiculous and very hurtful to some very hard working 9/11 Truth Advocates at this site!

So here’s my take on it…”the censorship of CIT”?

Well firstly it is not just 911Blogger.com who has limited or removed support from groups and or people over the years, such as CIT, Webster Tarpley, Kevin Barrett, Pilots for Truth, Jim Fetzer, Morgan Reynolds, Judy Wood and David Shayler to name but a few. This is a very common thing within political movements to stick to the best evidence and information and to only support people who behave civilly and responsibly regarding their dealings with people and subjects associated with the case being advocated. The 9/11 Truth movement is probably the loosest political campaign in history and is so full of misinformed people and theories it is already nearly impossible to get any high level support for such a rabble.

So who gives sites like 911Blogger.com the right to chose who they support? Well in a nut shell, they do! It’s their site and they do what they please based on their experience and the advice they chose to take from the experts they trust around them.

[Read more…]

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