Griffin challenged for ‘weak logic’, ignoring evidence on alleged 9/11 calls


By Craig McKee

David Ray Griffin’s newest book is receiving criticism not so much from believers in the government’s official story as from his usual supporters within the 9/11 Truth movement.

In a new essay, Paul Zarembka – an economics professor, 9/11 researcher, and editor of The Hidden History of 9-11 – offers a critique of Griffin’s analysis of the subject of whether phone calls from the four allegedly hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, 2001 were faked. Zarembka challenges the conclusions reached in chapter five of Griffin’s new book, 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed.

“The internal logic of Griffin’s chapter rather surprised me for its weakness,” Zarembka writes in the conclusion of “Critique of David Ray Griffin regarding Calls from 9-11 Planes” (http://ithp.org/articles/davidraygriffincritique.html.

“It isn’t that a case cannot be made.  It isn’t that certain elements of a good case aren’t mentioned.  Rather, problems in the argumentation are significant and supporters of the official story are offered a target.  Trying to defend such work reduces our credibility.”

Zarembka says Griffin is too willing to see lies in virtually all aspects of the official story. This can be problematic, he argues, because it can make it easier for critics to undermine the credibility of the movement.

“A population can be manipulated not only by lies but also by sprinklings of truths, half truths, and distortions,” Zarembka writes. “Indeed, offering some truths is an effective means of undermining critics who argue for lies everywhere.

“A self-confident movement does not need to be exposing just lies and only lies.  It can examine evidence and draw disparate conclusions about differing accuracies of the huge amount of material to work with.  I have felt that the work of David Ray Griffin, a leading commentator on September 11, is an example of turning up stones everywhere with the word “lie” written on them.  He seems called upon to write about everything having to do with September 11 in order to turn over stones everywhere.  Why?”

Griffin’s book has already received criticism on this blog and elsewhere for the chapter that urges the Truth movement to adopt a “consensus approach” to the Pentagon 9/11 evidence. Griffin feels that the “divisive” issue of what did or did not hit the Pentagon is relatively unimportant in comparison to the certainty that a plane piloted by al-Qaeda did not crash there.

In his essay, Zarembka leaves the Pentagon question aside and concentrates on Griffin’s contention that phone calls that are supposed to have come from the four allegedly hijacked planes were faked. Griffin offers voice-morphing technology as a possible explanation for how relatives could have been fooled into thinking that their loved ones had called from the planes.

But Zarembka sees problems with this explanation. He says that a number of those whose voices Griffin believes were morphed were actually late arrivals to their flights, were on stand-by, or had switched to the flight they were on at the last minute. How could the voice morphing have been done in advance, Zarembka argues, when it was unknown that all those who made calls would even be on the flight?

Zarembka refers to evidence in the 2002 book Among the Heroes by Jere Longman that Tom Burnett, Jeremy Glick, Mark Bingham, Lauren Grandcolas, and Elizabeth Wainio (all of whom are alleged to have made calls) were latecomers to Flight 93. This means that there could not have been any certainty in advance that those people would be on the flights in question. He says that Griffin is aware of this fact (the two discussed it, Zarembka says) but ignores it.

Zarembka singles out the call from Flight 93 flight attendant CeeCee Lyles to her husband Lorne at 9:47 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001. At the end of the call, a woman’s voice in the background can be heard saying, “You did great.” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUrxsrTKHN4) Griffin sees this as proof that Lyles was coerced into making the call or that voice morphing technology was used to fake the call.

But Zarembka feels there is an obvious possibility that Griffin is ignoring – that a supportive passenger or crew member was telling Lyles she had “done great” in making this very difficult call to her husband. The tape was offered by the government at the Moussaoui trial in 2006 with this mysterious comment not edited out.

Zarembka looks at the issue of voice morphing in some detail in his essay. He says that Griffin relies on this to explain how calls could have been faked when no other explanations present themselves, but he ignores evidence that contradicts this.

Zarembka also challenges Griffin’s claims that those who are alleged to have called loved ones were calmer than would have been the case if the calls had been real. He says that Griffin only uses pieces of information – and incomplete quotes – that support this contention and ignores points that contradict it. And, some of these are the same passengers whose presence on the flights wasn’t assured until the last minute.

Zarembka points out that to fake calls using voice morphing or other methods would require significant information in advance, including personal details of the person who was supposedly calling, recordings of the “callers’” voices, access to phone billing systems, and knowledge of which planes the passengers were to be on.

My criticism of Griffin’s consensus approach from his chapter seven is that the consensus position he proposes leaves out so much of the most damning evidence that a plane crash was faked at the Pentagon (including any mention of Citizen Investigation Team) because it may be in dispute. In the chapter, Griffin effectively presents the evidence that a plane did not crash, but then undermines the strength of his own case by stating that the question is relatively unimportant.

Zarembka’s criticism of chapter five is different but not unrelated. When it comes to alleged phone calls from the planes, he feels that Griffin is ignoring (in a sense you could say treating as unimportant) any evidence that doesn’t support the position he already holds.

28 comments

  1. Not one of your better efforts, Craig. The problem is that Zarembka failed to back up any of his claims about flaws in Griffin’s analysis, and you have just (rather lazily) repeated Zarembka’s claims without examining them. Have you read the chapter of the book on the phone calls yourself? Worst of all is your evident agreement with Zarembka that Griffin “ignores evidence that doesn’t support the position he holds.” You don’t cite one example for this accusation of “cherry-picking”, a very serious accusation to make without supporting argumentation. I hope you will read Griffin’s response to Zarembka’s “critique”, and update your readers on your understanding of these issues as it develops. Keep an eye out for Griffin’s response here: http://ithp.org/index.php or here: http://911truth.org/.

    1. I don’t see how you can say Zarembka hasn’t backed up any of his claims. I thought they were all supported, whether or not you agree with his conclusions. And I don’t believe you can assume I agree with his analysis. My criticism is with the Pentagon consensus chapter; I am reporting on the analysis by Zarembka here. He is a prominent member of the Truth movement, and his criticisms are noteworthy. Any response from Griffin will be as well.

    2. [QUOTING]
      https://truthandshadows.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/griffin-challenged-for-ignoring-evidence-%E2%80%98weak-logic%E2%80%99-on-911-calls/#comment-2185

      Tod Fletcher says October 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm::

      Not one of your better efforts, Craig. The problem is that Zarembka failed to back up any of his claims about flaws in Griffin’s analysis, and you have just (rather lazily) repeated Zarembka’s claims without examining them. Have you read the chapter of the book on the phone calls yourself? Worst of all is your evident agreement with Zarembka that Griffin “ignores evidence that doesn’t support the position he holds.” You don’t cite one example for this accusation of “cherry-picking”, a very serious accusation to make without supporting argumentation. I hope you will read Griffin’s response to Zarembka’s “critique”, and update your readers on your understanding of these issues as it develops. Keep an eye out for Griffin’s response here: http://ithp.org/index.php or here: http://911truth.org/.
      [END QUOTE]

      Mr. Fletcher, thank you for your efforts. I found this video after reading your post here:

      How many hours have you worked for no financial gain when, if I understand you correctly, David Ray Griffin takes all the profits from your work? And what exactly did you do to assist him?

      Gratitude and Respect,
      Paul
      http://www.911artists.com/
      http://www.911truther.com/

      P.S. My original post on this blog:
      https://truthandshadows.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/griffin%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98no-plane-hit-the-pentagon%E2%80%99-arguments-eclipse-%E2%80%98consensus-approach%E2%80%99/#comment-1979

      1. [QUOTING]
        https://truthandshadows.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/griffin-challenged-for-ignoring-evidence-%E2%80%98weak-logic%E2%80%99-on-911-calls/#comment-2197

        Adam Syed says October 24, 2011 at 6:04 pm::

        “How many hours have you worked for no financial gain when, if I understand you correctly, David Ray Griffin takes all the profits from your work?”

        This is coming from the person who referred to this:

        http://www.911oz.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=10481

        as “the lowest example of mudslinging in the history of the truth movement.”

        Why does it matter to you if David Griffin earns royalty money from the mostly excellent books he writes? Last time I checked, it’s not a sin to profit from one’s own labor. What about Michael Moore making millions from Fahrenheit 9/11, which was in large part a collage of many clips from mainstream media news channels?

        Or what about Dylan Avery continuing to sell Loose Change 2nd Edition long after many of its speculations had been debunked? Thanks largely to him, probably 80% of the movement still believes a missile hit the Pentagon, as evidenced by the following facebook screenshot: http://www.911oz.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=10011

        Oh, that’s right, Moore and Avery didn’t launch Actors and Artists for 9/11 Truth, and you’re still bitter and can’t accept “no” for an answer with regard to your request for DRG to modify the title of the group, so you take pot shots at DRG whenever you can.

        Grow up Paul.
        [END QUOTE]

        I look forward to meeting you in person someday, Mr. Syed.

        P.S. My previous response to this gentleman on this site:
        https://truthandshadows.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/griffin%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98no-plane-hit-the-pentagon%E2%80%99-arguments-eclipse-%E2%80%98consensus-approach%E2%80%99/#comment-2046

  2. Is the responsibility to prove that calls could have been made at that altitude in 2001 not on those who claim it to be true? You’re asking someone to prove a negative without proving the positive. It is fallacious and for someone arguing on a purely logical basis you might want to attempt to actually use cogent logic.

    1. I’m not sure whether it is me or Mr. Zarembka who is the subject of your sarcasm. I am not expressing an opinion on the argument being made about the calls; I’m reporting it. I am, however, reiterating my view concerning the limitations of the consensus approach and how it limits the evidence as it pertains to the Pentagon.

      I agree with you that the onus should be on the government to prove that calls were possible. Zarembka isn’t debating this, he’s saying Griffin leaves out critical points that don’t support his hypothesis. Fair comment, I think.

      For those who wish to examine the case Zarembka is making more closely, I would encourage them to follow the link and read his original essay.

  3. “A self-confident movement does not need to be exposing just lies and only lies. It can examine evidence and draw disparate conclusions about differing accuracies of the huge amount of material to work with. I have felt that the work of David Ray Griffin, a leading commentator on September 11, is an example of turning up stones everywhere with the word “lie” written on them. He seems called upon to write about everything having to do with September 11 in order to turn over stones everywhere. Why?”

    Until there is a transparent, independent enquiry on 9/11 with everything on the table, all undocumented, contradictory and/or censored information/evidence should be viewed with total skepticism. All of it.

    We have no hands-on access to any evidence and have no choice but to deem everything proposed to us (esp the 9/11 Commission Report) as being false.

    Look at the NOC evidence. That’s independent, hands-on evidence of an inside job and our “self-confident movement” was recently reduced to censoring it and launching a disinfo campaign against it because it was inconvenient and ruffled that neat little bow on the LIHOP package being pushed down our throats at the minute.

    Anyway. As for the alleged calls..

    I’ve seen the question of the actual capability to use a mobile phone from altitude offhandedly dismissed while ignoring physical fact and precedent (which includes an entire forum of airline personnel). Dismissed on the basis that “the calls happened so it must be true”.
    That’s bad science given that we are talking about 9/11. Whether “morphed” or not, there is a definite bona fide case against calls being made from cellphones.

    If AT and T openly disclosed the alleged conversation (who was connected to who, times, etc) between Ted Olsen and his wife Barbara, maybe we could move on but they haven’t, so we can’t.
    The FBI claimed that no calls were connected between the Olsens yet insinuate that 3 unidentified calls should be “assumed” to have been between the two.

    Why would the original alleged claim by the OCT that Ted Olsen was told by Barbara that the pilots were “at the back of the plane” with the passengers be totally denied by so-called “historians” on the sunbject? The official narrative authors?

    Why has AT and T (who bought out Claircom’s franchise on backseat phones after a failed bid by another company due to bankrupcy in 2001) not simply divulged whether those alleged planes involved in the 9/11 attacks actually had operating back seat phones?

    Should this be accepted given the claim that there was no documented evidence to identify the alleged plane parts because they “assumed” that the flights “weren’t in question”?

    Basically, “take our word for it”?

    No way.

    http://pilotsfor911truth.org/amrarticle.html

    This is an excellent post as to the capability of connecting by mobile phone at altitude and the strange story of Ed Felt who allegedly made a cellphone call from the toilet of “Flight 93”.

    http://z10.invisionfree.com/Loose_Change_Forum/index.php?showtopic=20709&view=findpost&p=14751780

  4. I think Zarembka’s article makes some valid points. Indeed, Zarembka’s article is an interesting example of what happens when 9/11 Truthers, even if only momentarily, really think about the claims being made as to the supposed untruthfulness of the “official” version of events on 9/11. The fundamental point being that to supposedly fake the whole event, from the hijackings, building collapse through to even the phonecalls, an increasingly elaborate and convoluted plot is required. Maybe in time Zarembka will realise that yes, it is possible for people to hijack planes with knives and boxcutters, and to crash them into skyscrapers which then collapse because of the impact of the fires and the impact.

  5. I personally believe that if any manipulation of alleged communications occurred that it may have been that the passengers believed it was part of a drill. Or, that they had a gun to their heads.
    It doesn’t necessarily boil down to voice morphing for the very reasons you outlined Paul.

    Logic and careful scrutiny of the OCT, most of the time,are the only avenues of investigation we have and I think Griffin made valid points about the caller IDs as coming from mobile phones is a very valid point to make given that the speed, altitude and hand-offs make this an impossible feat. It’s physical proof in my books.

    However those calls were made, it wasn’t from altitude travelling 540mph.

    Let “them” explain how it was possible.

    Let b>”them” explain why Barbara Olson’s alleged calls (which the FBI denied occuring) describing the pilots as being at the “back of the plane with us” was denied by Pentagon “historians”

    The drawn out argument of whether seconds of data were missing, coincidentally at the most controversial portion of the flight..

    Let them explain why the FOIAed “Flight 77 FDR” showed too high to hit the poles or Pentagon. It is the official flight data after all.

    It’s no different from the question “what happened to the passengers on Flight 77 if it overflew the building?” There’s no way to answer that but I think we all know that they’re no longer with us.

    Let “them” explain how the aircraft could impact from the NOC trajectory.

    Instead of truthseekers demanding the impossible of eachother, valid anomalies should be explained by those who actually hold the answers. We don’t have to agree with eachother, but it’s just as easy to say “I don’t know” or “I can’t explain that” instead of drawing lines in the sand.
    Especially when one group hasn’t bothered their arse to research claims that are whispered in their ears.

    The recent campaign against CIT and Pilotsfor911Truth are proof of just how self destructive the stubborn approach is against first hand, valid and scientific evidence.

    “Debunkers” can put their feet up now.

  6. @Paul Zarembka

    Just to comment on the creedence you seem to give to CIT and P4T , your say in your post

    ” My message remains: In published work, go from evidence to conclusions, and not manipulate argumentation to sustain a previously decided conclusion. ”

    This to me is exactly the blatant methodical error committed by CIT. They go from a small part of the evidence to a conclusion and then manipulate arguemention to sustain that conclusion. What surprises me is that such a patently flawed assessment of evidence has not been recognised by people looking at what they present.

    1. A. Wright,

      What “overall evidence” are you talking about?

      Pilotsfor911Truth deciphered the official data as it was released and as was shown using their animation with said data. It doesn’t add up to “impact”.

      Pilotsfor911Truth has shown that at least two of the aircraft were flying well above their limitations at low altitude according to Boeing VMO charts and precedent.

      The alleged FDR of Flight 77 is void of a serial number.

      The alleged debris is void of documentation. Admitted by the FBI under FOIA.

      All witnesses that have been contacted and verified by CIT, who were in a position to judge so, overwhelmingly described the NOC flightpath.

      None, 5 years after their investigation started, have contradicted this path. Even when “detractors” bothered their ass to try.

      Witnesses, including ATCs, described “Flight 77” as flying over Washington, contradicting both the FDR co-ordinates and RADES data “loop” which never crossed the Potomac.

      An FOIA request regarding the alleged DNA of both “Flight 77” and “93” and the process of custody and identification were denied even though Manhattan released the same details in 2005.

      http://911blogger.com/node/19057

      There was an alleged 95% success rate in identifying the “passenger remains” when the DOD chart showing the alleged concentration of “body parts” at C Ring, the same area where the ASCE Report claimed had recorded the highest heat (950º over one hour). Cremation point is 1000º. Remember we are talking about alleged body parts and tissue.

      An admitted 85 videos were confiscated in and around the surrounding area. A purposely manipulated low quality video from the gatecam proved nothing and instead raised more questions, while the Citgo footage was void of one camera which the Citgo manager had claimed was removed by the FBI and never returned. She also said that it had a “great view” of the Pentagon.

      The alleged Barbara Olson call from the aircraft, which the Pentagon OCT regarding the alleged hijackers is based around never happened according to the FBI. Even her story about the pilots being “at the back with” the passengers was denied by Pentagon “historians”.

      911 calls in Arlington that morning have still not been released even though the Manhattan transmissions were released years ago.

      What in effect you label “overall evidence” as, Wright, is hearsay, media reports and the word of the government agencies. Good enough for some…

      CIT have investigated the only evidence that is free from contamination and control from these agencies and have come away with a totally contradictory story that the OCT claims and which the directional damage path demands.

      Pilotsfor911Truth has proven the “data” to be a crock and has shown that the OCT manouevres are way beyond the capability of the alleged aircraft involved.

      Later.

  7. Dear Mr. Zarembka,

    Have you read WHERE DID THE TOWERS GO? by Dr. Judy Wood? This 500 page full-color hardcover textbook is neither a political nor conspiratorial work. It is a forensic scientific investigation into the events of 9/11. Because of Dr. Judy Wood and her 10 years of forensic scientific research into the “dustification” of the World Trade Center complex readers of WHERE DID THE TOWERS GO? will now know what forensic evidence “magnetic-electrogravitic-nuclear reactions” leave behind when this technology is used on unsuspecting and innocent victims again for the sake of oil industry interests.

    On 9/11 over a half mile of vertical building height, containing nearly 150 football fields of floor space, was reduced to a near-level field of dust and debris, where rescue workers walked horizontally or rappelled into empty caverns to look for survivors. How was this possible given the standard laws of engineering and physics? The 9/11 Commission Report bypassed this central issue, as did the report of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Contrary to its stated objective of determining ‘why and how WTC 1 and WTC 2 collapsed,’ the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) made the stunning admission that it did not investigate how the towers fell. Neither the standard view that the Twin Towers collapsed from fire nor the standard opposition view that they were intentionally detonated by thermite explosives explains the evidence, nor do they follow the laws of engineering and physics. Dr. Wood left Clemson to research the 9/11 conundrum full time, and she has focused her research strictly on physical evidence and scientific principles. WHERE DID THE TOWERS GO? provides an understandable, credible, and photo-enhanced summary of Dr. Wood’s disturbing findings, which resulted in her lawsuit against the contractors of the NIST report.

    Dr. Judy Wood earned a Ph.D. Degree from Virginia Tech and is a former professor of mechanical engineering. She has research expertise in experimental stress analysis, structural mechanics, deformation analysis, materials characterization and materials engineering science. Her research has involved testing materials, including complex-material systems, in the area of photomechanics, or the use of optical and image-analysis methods to determine physical properties of materials and measure how materials respond to forces placed on them. Her area of expertise involves interferometry.

    She taught graduate and undergraduate engineering classes and has authored or co-authored over 60 peer-reviewed papers in her areas of expertise.

    In the time since 9/11/01, she has applied her expertise in materials science, image analysis and interferometry, to a forensic study of over 40,000 images, hundreds of video clips and a large volume of witness testimony pertaining to the destruction of the WTC complex. Dr. Wood has conducted a comprehensive forensic investigation of what physically happened to the World Trade Center site on 9/11. And, based on her analysis of the evidence she gathered, in 2007, she filed a federal qui tam case for science fraud against the contractors who contributed to the official NIST report about the destruction of the WTC. This case was filed in the US Supreme Court in Dec 2009. To this day, Dr. Wood’s investigation is the only comprehensive forensic investigation in the public domain.

    WHERE DID THE TOWERS GO?
    ISBN-13: 978-0-615-41256-6
    ISBN-10: 0615412564
    Library of Congress Control Number: 2010916516
    http://wheredidthetowersgo.com/buy/

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