Left-Leaning Despisers of the 9/11 Truth Movement: Do You Really Believe in Miracles?

by David Ray Griffin

Global Research, July 6, 2010

An
Open Letter to Terry Allen, Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, David
Corn, Chris Hayes, George Monbiot, Matthew Rothschild, and Matt Taibbi.1

 

According
to several left-leaning critics of the 9/11 Truth Movement, some of its
central claims, especially about the destruction of the World Trade
Center, show its members to be scientifically challenged. In the
opinion of some of these critics, moreover, claims made by members of
this movement are sometimes unscientific in the strongest possible
sense, implying an acceptance of magic and miracles.

 

After
documenting this charge in Part I of this essay, I show in Part II that
the exact opposite is the case: that the official account of the
destruction of the World Trade Center implies miracles (I give nine
examples), and that the 9/11 Truth Movement, in developing an
alternative hypothesis, has done so in line with the assumption that
the laws of nature did not take a holiday on 9/11. In Part III, I ask
these left-leaning critics some questions evoked by the fact that it is
they, not members of the 9/11 Truth Movement, who have endorsed a
conspiracy theory replete with miracle stories as well as other
absurdities.

 

I  The Charge that 9/11 Truth Theories Rest on Unscientific, Even Magical, Beliefs

 

Several
left-leaning critics of the 9/11 Truth Movement, besides showing
contempt for its members, charge them with relying on claims that are
contradicted by good science and, in some cases, reflect a belief in
magic. By “magic,” they mean miracles, understood as violations of
basic principles of the physical sciences.

 

For
example, Alexander Cockburn, who has referred to members of the 9/11
Truth Movement as “9/11 conspiracy nuts,”3 quoted with approval a
philosopher who, speaking of “the 9-11 conspiracy cult,” said that its
“main engine . . . is . . . the death of any conception of evidence,”
resulting in “the ascendancy of magic over common sense, let alone
reason.”4 Also, Cockburn assured his readers: “The conspiracy theory
that the World Trade Centre towers were demolished by explosive charges
previously placed within them is probably impossible.”5 With regard to
Building 7 of the World Trade Center, Cockburn claimed (in 2006) that
the (2002) report by FEMA was “more than adequate.”6

 

Likewise,
George Monbiot, referring to members of the 9/11 Truth Movement as
“fantasists,” “conspiracy idiots,” and “morons,” charged that they
“believe that [the Bush regime] is capable of magic.”7

 

Matt
Taibbi, saying that the “9/11 conspiracy theory is so shamefully
stupid” and referring to its members as “idiots,” wrote with contempt
about the “alleged scientific impossibilities” in the official account
of 9/11; about the claim that “the towers couldn’t have fallen the way
they did [without the aid of explosives]”; of the view (held by “9/11
Truthers”) that “it isn’t the plane crashes that topple the buildings,
but bombs planted in the Towers that do the trick”; and of “the
supposed anomalies of physics involved with the collapse of WTC-7.” He
had been assured by “scientist friends,” he added, that “[a]ll of the
9/11 science claims” are “rank steaming bullshit.”8

 

Chris Hayes, writing in The Nation
in 2006, did not stoop to the kind of name-calling employed by
Cockburn, Monbiot, and Taibbi. Also, he knew, he admitted, of
“eyewitness accounts of [people] who heard explosions in the World
Trade Center.” And he was aware that “jet fuel burns at 1,500 degrees
Fahrenheit [whereas] steel melts at 2,500.” He asserted, nevertheless,
that “the evidence shows [a 9/11 conspiracy] to be virtually
impossible,” so that the 9/11 Truth Movement’s conspiracy theory is
“wrongheaded and a terrible waste of time.”9

 

Noam
Chomsky has also declared that the available facts, when approached
scientifically, refute the 9/11 Truth Movement. Speaking of evidence
provided by this movement to show that 9/11 “was planned by the Bush
Administration,” Chomsky declared: “If you look at the evidence,
anybody who knows anything about the sciences would instantly discount
that evidence.”10 In spite of his dismissive attitude, however, Chomsky
in 2006 gave some helpful advice to people who believe they have
physical evidence refuting the official account:   

 

“There
are ways to assess that: submit it to specialists . . . who have the
requisite background in civil-mechanical engineering, materials
science, building construction, etc., for review and analysis. . . .
Or, . . . submit it to a serious journal for peer review and
publication. To my knowledge, there isn’t a single submission.”11

 

In
These Times writer Terry Allen, in a 2006 essay entitled “The 9/11
Faith Movement,” assured her readers that “the facts [do not] support
the conspiracists’ key charge that World Trade Center buildings were
destroyed by pre-positioned explosives.”12

 

In an
essay posted at AlterNet a few months after 9/11, David Corn used a
purely a priori argument to demonstrate – at least to his own
satisfaction – that 9/11 could not have been an inside job: “U.S.
officials would [not have been] . . . good [capable] enough, evil
enough, or gutsy enough.”13 In 2009, after having been silent about
9/11 for the intervening years, he addressed the issue again. Referring
to “9/11 conspiracy silliness,” “9/11 conspiracy poison,” and “9/11
fabulists,” Corn declared:

 

“The
9/11 conspiracy . . . was always a load of bunk. You don’t have to be
an expert on skyscraper engineering . . . to know that [this theory]
make[s] no sense.”14

 

Corn
thereby implied that, whereas anyone can know that the 9/11 Truth
Movement’s conspiracy theory is false, those people who are “expert[s]
on skyscraper engineering” would have even more certain knowledge of
this fact.

 

As to
how people (such as himself) who are not experts on such matters could
know this movement’s conspiracy theory to be “a load of bunk,” Corn
again employed his three-point a priori argument, as re-worded in a
later essay, according to which the Bush administration was “not that
evil,” “not that ballsy,” and “not that competent.”15 Corn even
referred to his three-point argument as “a tutorial that should
persuade anyone that the 9/11 theory makes no sense.” Although this
“tutorial” does not, of course, convince members of the 9/11 Truth
Movement, Corn explained this fact by saying: “I have learned from
experience that people who believe this stuff are not open to
persuasion.”16

 

In
any case, although his argument against the inside-job theory was
almost entirely a priori, he did make the above-mentioned suggestion
that one’s a priori certitude would be reinforced by people, such as
“expert[s] on skyscraper engineering,” who have relevant types of
expertise to evaluate the empirical evidence.

 

A
fuller statement of the general claim made by these authors – that the
9/11 Truth Movement is based on unscientific claims – was formulated by
Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive. In an essay entitled
“Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Already,” Rothschild wrote:

 

“Here’s
what the conspiracists believe: 9/11 was an inside job. . . . [T]he
Twin Towers fell not because of the impact of the airplanes and the
ensuing fires but because [of] explosives. Building 7, another
high-rise at the World Trade Center that fell on 9/11, also came down
by planted explosives. . . . I’m amazed at how many people give
credence to these theories. . . . [S]ome of the best engineers in the
country have studied these questions and come up with perfectly
logical, scientific explanations for what happened. . . . At bottom,
the 9/11 conspiracy theories are profoundly irrational and
unscientific. It is more than passing strange that progressives, who so
revere science on such issues as tobacco, stem cells, evolution, and
global warming, are so willing to abandon science and give in to
fantasy on the subject of 9/11.”17

 

However,
in spite of the confidence with which these critics have made their
charges, the truth is the complete opposite: It is the official account
of the destruction of the World Trade Center, which has been endorsed
by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), that is
profoundly unscientific (partly because it ignores a massive amount of
evidence pointing to use of explosives18), and it is precisely for this
reason that the 9/11 Truth Movement has come up with an alternative
explanation – namely, that the WTC buildings were brought down in the
procedure known as “controlled demolition.”

 

II  Miracles Implied by NIST’s Explanation of the WTC’s Destruction                          More……………………………

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