By Craig McKee
Stonehenge, Angkor Wat, Machu Pichu, and the Pyramids of Giza: all of these ancient sites are shrouded in mystery and continue to fascinate students of archaeology to this day.
Not ancient, but still shrouded in mystery following the events of Sept. 11, 2001. And some students of 9/11 are content to have it stay that way.
Okay, the analogy is a bit heavy handed. But the reaction of some – particularly those critical of the idea that Flight 77 did not hit the building – continues to puzzle and anger me.
Researchers David Chandler and Jonathan Cole released a statement last month on the Pentagon that condemns the work of Citizen Investigation Team (http://911blogger.com/news/2011-01-01/joint-statement-pentagon-david-chandler-and-jon-cole). CIT contends that the flight path reported by witnesses is inconsistent with the plane knocking over the five light poles that allegedly fell that day. They also believe the actual flight path would not fit with the plane hitting the building at all and that explosives had to have been planted inside the building.
Chandler and Cole think we should leave the Pentagon alone because the government holds all the cards, and the public thinks the military has the right to keep secrets. I think this line of thinking is beyond bizarre. This approach also involves attacking any contention about the Pentagon event that can’t be proved scientifically.
I agree on one level that we have to be careful. A documentary called The Unofficial Story, broadcast in 2009 on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s investigative show The Fifth Estate, featured an interview with A.K. Dewdney, a Canadian researcher whose research contends that cell phone calls from the planes were virtually impossible and that the wings of a Boeing 757 would have snapped off when they hit the building. He should have stuck to those areas.
In his interview in the film, Dewdney was in over his head. He called Mark Bingham Bob Brigham and was clearly unprepared to defend his theories about how 9/11 could have been pulled off (planes being flown into the ocean was mentioned). It was not pretty. This is where I agree that his theories, and they were just that, undermined the articulate case being made by David Ray Griffin, Richard Gage, Barrie Zwicker and Craig Ranke.
But there is a big difference between speculation like that and the case being made by CIT and others who don’t buy the official Pentagon story.
I believe that we in the Truth movement should be trying to show how virtually every aspect of the official story of 9/11 is full of holes and can’t be defended. But Chandler, Cole and their supporters think the best strategy for breaking the story is to ignore any of these holes that are in the least controversial or scientifically unproven and concentrate on one main thing: that World Trade Center buildings 1, 2, and 7 were brought down in a controlled demolition.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a great point to work on. The buildings were certainly demolished with explosives of some kind, and this shows that it would have to have been an inside job. Another non-controversial item is the fact that the U.S. military must have stood down and let the supposedly hijacked planes reach their targets.
But what originally convinced me that 9/11 was an inside job was that all of the official story did not stand up to scrutiny. Even where there wasn’t scientific proof, there was often enough doubt to justify a new investigation.
So the anti-CIT crowd takes this position: the Pentagon was hit by Flight 77. Wreckage is consistent with a Boeing 757 hitting the building. Five light poles were knocked down by the plane. One of them impaled Lloyde England’s cab windshield without scratching the hood. We know this because Lloyde is a senior citizen and not believing him would simply not be polite. We enthusiastically back up Mike Walter’s account of the plane’s wings “folding in” so that they follow the fuselage into the building.
The Chandler/Cole statement, posted on 911Blogger, received gushing praise from their usual group of supporters of the Pentagon official story. These individuals, who attack CIT and profess to be concerned about the image of the Truth movement, routinely call those who disagree with them delusional, liars, government agents, and much more. This approach, they seem to feel, is beneficial to how the public sees the movement.
CIT responded with a long and detailed refutation of the piece (http://www.citizeninvestigationteam.com/news/2011_02_03-response-to-chandler-cole.html). I won’t try to represent their refutations here; I suggest you read both the original statement and the CIT response and make up your own mind.
The first thing that struck me about the C&C statement was that they listed the Pentagon anomalies that they feel “have gotten some of the least attention.” They then listed things that have actually gotten the most attention. In fact, all of the items they raised have been the subjects of posts on this blog. Not a good start.
They then went on to make a factually incorrect statement that there was “nearly unanimous testimony” saying that the plane followed the south path, clipped the light poles, and then hit the building. I guess the people interviewed in National Security Alert are the “nearly” part? None of the CIT haters have addressed to my satisfaction how all these witnesses could be so wrong about the north vs. south side flight path.
I realize some are contending (including Richard Gage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth) that there are witnesses who refute the CIT position and that CIT’s film National Security Alert doesn’t reflect the proportion of witnesses who saw one or the other. Regardless, how do you explain the witnesses in the film? Were they all mistaken? The method of questioning in the film seemed to be clear and fair enough to me. The contention of C&C that the questioning was leading is just silly. Did the interviewees misunderstand any of the questions? Which ones? How did this mislead the viewers of the film?
Chandler and Cole make the incredible statement that the public allows the military the right to keep secrets, so we’re never going to get the public support needed to push for answers about the Pentagon. I had to read this one more than once. The government has the proof, but people will agree they don’t have to give it to us, therefore we shouldn’t pursue the question. Huh? What happened to demanding answers first? Do we have to do polling before we push for the truth? They go on to say:
“Therefore the Pentagon is a dead-end for research. The puzzle of the Pentagon might be fascinating or intriguing, but as an avenue to determining the truth, it seems doomed to failure. The ones who want it covered up literally hold all the cards.”
If you believe the official contention as they seem to, then what is being covered up exactly? If you accept that a 757 hit the building, why would they withhold the plentiful video evidence. Chandler and Cole even discuss the hiding of this evidence; they just don’t explain the contradiction.
“Fortunately the evidence at the World Trade Center makes the investigation at the Pentagon almost irrelevant. If anything essentially new (and verifiable) can be discovered at the Pentagon, fine, but the sparseness of information and the thoroughness of the cover-up at the Pentagon makes it an unlikely venue for significant new findings.”
It’s anything but irrelevant. If we grant the government’s case that Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, it makes it much more difficult to get the public to doubt the whole official story. We have to fire on all cylinders. We need to make the best case possible that a real investigation is needed because the whole story is nonsense.
“On the other hand the mystery that surrounds the Pentagon makes it an attractive target of speculation and the subject of truly wild conspiracy theories. (This kind of attractive diversion is sometimes called a “honey pot,” a “setup” to be discredited at a later time.) This is not the only instance of theories that seem designed to be easily discredited. There are groups that insist the towers at the World Trade Center were taken down by space lasers. Others claim no planes hit the Twin Towers at all: they were just holograms. What better way to tar the movement than to seed it with absurdly false theories that fuel a media circus, while making the Movement look ridiculous?”
Truly wild conspiracy theories? These guys are even using the language of the government. They equate the debate about the Pentagon with space lasers at the WTC? In the beginning, “bombs in the towers” was considered to be a “truly wild conspiracy theory.” As to the media circus nonsense, since when are we in the public relations business? First we’re sampling public opinion before we say anything, then we’re trying to manage the press reaction.
I think the more doubt that can be cast on the official story, the better. And the efforts of the Building What? campaign in New York City are great because they seek to open the door to further investigation. They don’t contend that Building 7 is the only area of inquiry, just a great starting point.
The people who believe that the study of the towers’ collapse is where the best hope lies should certainly focus on that. But they should stop whining about CIT. It’s counterproductive and, frankly, suspicious.