Tuesday, March 04, 2008

9/11 was a conspiracy!

7 World Trade Center
(Image from Wikipedia)

A fellow named Richard Brennan posted the following comment to my post about my return to Seoul:
Jeffery, I buzzed through your text about 9-11. I suspect that you didn't know about WTC7. It fell at 5:20pm, on 9-11. No plane hit this building. To look at this go to Google, (WTC7, Larry Silverstein). This might open your eyes to what really happened on 9-11. I stumbled onto your site by accident. I was looking for another person that goes by the name, (Gypsy Scholar) Talk to you later.
I must admit that Richard has made a positive impression upon me by getting my name right. He has spelled it J-e-f-f-e-r-y. Far too many people 'correct' it to J-e-f-f-r-e-y, but the fact that Richard got my name right the first time bespeaks a praiseworthy attention to detail.

I'm not sure, however, as to which 9/11 text Mr. Brennan was referring to. Perhaps he meant my 9/11 talk, "Striving to Understand 9/11: Some Religious Dimensions of the Attack," which I presented on the first anniversary of 9/11 and also published -- and which can be read at my academic website. Or he may have meant some blog entry or other that I've posted over the years.

Anyway, I replied, for I almost always reply:
Richard, your comment belongs on some other blog post than this one. Thanks, anyway, for the advice, but I haven't yet been convinced by any of the various conspiracy theories . . . except for the one about an Al-Qaeda conspiracy, of course. This blog post, however, is not the place to discuss the issue.
In fact, I'm not especially interested in discussing the accusation about controlled demolitions of the various World Trade Center buildings, for I have no expertise in that area and would simply make a fool of myself.

I do wonder, though, how a conspiracy of such magnitude as to involve the US government could be so successfully kept secret when we all know full well just how incompetent the US government is.

Some of the 9/11 conspiracy theorists -- though perhaps not Mr. Brennan -- cite a statement by Larry Silverstein 'admitting' to having demolished WTC 7 through a controlled demolition. You can see Mr. Silverstein on video making this 'admission':
"I remember getting a call from the, uh, fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire . . . and I said, you know, 'We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is, is pull it.' Uh . . . and they made that decision to pull, and we watched the building . . . collapse."
Since I can't reasonably imagine Mr. Silverstein openly admitting to having okayed the controlled demolition of WTC 7 even if he were in on a conspiracy, I take him to mean that he was advising the fire department to pull out its firefighters to prevent further loss of life if the building did happen to collapse. That was a smart decision, for WTC 7 did collapse.

I therefore don't see this 'admission' as much evidence for a conspiracy.

I have to admit, however, that I don't reject all conspiracy theories, as I've already noted in my reply to Mr. Brennan. I accept the 'theory' that Al-Qaeda conspired to destroy the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and possibly the White House or Congress . . . but I find the evidence for this particular conspiracy theory to be overwhelming.

I reckon that some folks don't.

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At 10:09 AM, Blogger omr said...

Jeffery, Here is one of my favorite explainations for 9-11


thanks for posting my comments.
rich brennan

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Richard, you're welcome. I don't ordinarily post people's comments, but today was a slow day.

By the way, you need to learn the technique for posting links. The address that you provide runs over the line.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you can catch the entire link from the homepage at:



At 12:58 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, is that really a website? I'm almost afraid to check, just in case the address is to be taken literally...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why Sointunley!

It really is quite the repository actually. One might just be cautious if one was tempted into typing the link into a University address bar.

Their running a special this month in two parts: the grassy knoll and the truth about the Apollo landings.


At 2:50 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Hmmm . . . sounds compelling.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I guess I could have made it more compelling had I substituted, "their" for "they're".


At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or is that the other way round?

Darn! It's an Internet Conspiracy!


At 8:30 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

The Rulers of Grammar have conspired against the Kristevan bliss of idful ignorance...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeffery, firstly, just to make it clear, I'm not a conspiracy theorist, just someone who doesn't believe the full account, especially the 9/11 commission report.

I have two problems with your post. Conspiracies by there nature and function involve small groups of compartmented individuals that are directed towards some goal e.g. the terrorists on 9/11 (for more on the social organisation of conspiracy read "The Social Organization of Conspiracy: Illegal Networks in the Heavy Electrical Equipment Industry" by social network theorists Wayne E Baker and Robert R Faulkner).

The typical retort to 9/11 truthers is that how could so many people be "in' on the conspiracy, which is the line of argument you have presented. Well if your assumption that conspiracies are where multiple persons in the network know of the goals then it isn't a conspiracy at all in the socially organised sense. So arguing from a social organisation perspective on conspiracy where your definition and premise of conspiracy is false presents you with an invalid argument.

Secondly, those people, such as yourself, who argue against people like myself automatically attack the strawman "9/11 was a controlled demolition, reichstag blah blah" argument.

Some of us arn't up that crackpot alley. My predominant grievance is against the 9/11 assumption that the whole affair was a "failure of imagination". When the government had numerous times to know such attacks where going to happen from the strategic (with Al Qaeda telling us they were at war with us, to other governments telling us terror attacks were coming) to the tactical (operation bojinka, numerous drills involving planes ploughing into buildings including the pentagon and the NRO, members of mossad videotaping the morning of the attacks). So to say it was a failure of imagination is a whitewash. The government knew from a strategic level, to operational, to tactical, what the terrorists goals were and how they could do it. They didn't know *exactly* when and where it was going to happen, but it sure as hell wasn't a failure of imagination. It was a failure of mass governmental incompetence that we the citizenary didn't hold them accountable for.

For a full account, with evidence to links, read the wiki page on 9/11 advance knowledge debate page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_advanced-knowledge_debate

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Anonymous, I'll agree to incompetence on the part of the US Government, but if that's your position, it's not one that I was arguing against.

I'm familiar only with the 9/11 conspiracy theorists who add so many ad hoc conditions that no conspiracy could remain hidden.

Even the more tightly controlled conspiracy guided by Al Qaeda came close to collapse and could readily have been perceived and stopped if, e.g., the FBI and the CIA had been cooperating rather than fighting over turf.

I'm not sure that you and I have a serious disagreement, but I don't know your precise views, and my own views are based upon what I know about radical Islamism and what I've learned from the 9/11 commission, news reports, and such sources.

Jeffery Hodges

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