As I predicted my last appeal to debunker Joseph Welch has fallen on deaf ears.
In his latest response Mr Welch attempts to use the "Four D's of Debunking- dodge, distract, distort, and deny" against me while failing to acknowledge his own employment of these tactics. No big surprise.
I was originally going to ignore Mr Welch's rebuttal, understanding the futility of debating someone who has already cemented their view about 9/11 and closed their mind to any new information that conflicts with that view. But Mr Welch's continued refutation of available evidence included such unfair attacks upon my credibility and character that I could not let it stand unchallenged.
I will again respectfully try to explain my major disagreements with Mr Welch by comparing the source material used to back our claims. Granted this requires a fair amount of reading but I can see no better way for those following this debate to contrast our views and decide for themselves which version of reality best fits the evidence presented.
In the "Dodge" section Mr Welch gives a list of points that I had "implicitly conceded defeat....but not had the moral courage to admit as such." The problem is distinguishing the points I really do concede with the points I disagree. A main example here is my admission that al-Qaeda certainly may have committed the attack, but I disagree with Mr Welch's assumption that al-Qaeda could have no clandestine collaboration from within our own intelligence agencies.
1. Mr Welch claims the al-Qaeda assassination of Ahmed Shah Massoud undermined US efforts to gain Northern Alliance support against the Taliban:
I claimed al-Qaeda could have been framed for the assassination and was consistent with US intention to install their own leader of Afghanistan:
2. Mr Welch claims an absence of any contacts between US agencies and anti-Taliban forces:
Richard B. Andres, “Winning with Allies: The Strategic Value of the Afghan Model”, in International Security, Volume 30, Number 3, Winter 2005/06, pp. 124-160
William Maley, The Afghanistan Wars
I claim there were covert contacts between US intelligence and Northern Alliance forces:
3.Mr Welch claims the dispersal of al-Qaeda's leaders before 9/11 proves foreknowledge of the attack:
Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower, pp.356-358
I claim that while the movement of al-Qaeda's leaders may demonstrate their foreknowledge of the attack, it does not rule out covert US collaboration. The larger point I made was how these al-Qaeda leaders were "allowed" to escape into Pakistan:
Mr Welch claimed the failure at Tora Bora was due to the "improvised nature of CENTCOM’s war plan" and a reliance on Pashtun Afghan militiamen:
4.Mr Welch claims the identities of the 19 hijackers has been irrefutably confirmed:
I claim the hijackers may have been using stolen identities and left a trail of false evidence to implicate these predetermined scapegoat identities:
5.Mr Welch claims the Saudis acceptance that 15 of their citizens were involved in 9/11 proves the identities were not faked:
I claim the Saudi 9/11 connection was downplayed at every opportunity by government officials and media considering the intimate connections between the Bush family and Saudi leadership:
6.Mr Welch claims I disagreed that "al-Qaeda existed as a transnational terrorist group using its safe haven in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan to commit atrocities":
I claim I never argued against that point:
7.Mr Welch claims "the CIA’s role in ‘creating’ al-Qaeda in the 1980s are a fabrication of the historical record":
Peter Bergen (“The Osama bin Laden I knew”, pp.60-61).
Jason Burke - (p.59)
Steve Coll - (p.87).
Lawrence Wright - “The Looming Tower” (pp.100-108).
Milt Bearden “The Main Enemy”, (Random House 2003),p.243).
I claim the CIA was not only instrumental in the creation of al-Qaeda, but the relationship between the Bush Family and bin Laden family has continued to this day:
8.Mr Welch claims the US government would not have planned the invasion of Afghanistan without support from it's neighbors:
Part 7 -"Given the geo-political realities of Central Asia in mid-2001, there were no guarantees of any host nation support for any attack on Afghanistan."
I claim US forces, via people like Cheney and Armitage, did have support from several Afghanistan neighbors to stage the invasion:
http://www.mediamonitors.net/mosaddeq2.html (Part VII)
9.Mr Welch claims the "9/11 ‘truth movement’ is infested with anti-Semites and Holocaust Deniers":
I admit that while some 9/11 researchers question the involvement of Israel's Mossad agents on 9/11, the claims of widespread anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial are promoted by opponents of 9/11 research to try to destroy our credibility:
10. Mr Welch claims that because Naiz Naik is not a credible witness means that the pre 9/11meetings between Bush administration officials and Taliban did not include pipeline negotiations:
I claim the Bush administration was attempting to negotiate a pipeline deal with the Taliban giving them a clear financial and geopolitical motive for the Afghan invasion:
11. Mr Welch claims the Indian government's report of a link between ISI Director, General Mahmoud Ahmed and Mohamed Atta "have to be treated with caution" :
I claim that while the Bush administrations meetings with ISI General Ahmed doesn't by itself imply guilt, the administrations attempt to cover up and distort this source of 9/11 funding is damning:
12. Mr Welch claims "there is no way that NORAD could have been ‘stood down’ without Canadian complicity.":
I claim that the secrecy about the war game exercises scheduled for 9/11, along with pre 9/11 changes in hijacking interception procedures, the absence of military chain of command, Norm Minnetta's testimony, and contradicting stories from NORAD, NEADS, and the 9/11 Commission implies evidence of official foreknowledge, misconduct, and cover up:
13. Mr Welch claims Ed Haas "distorted the content of an FBI press conference in order to claim that the Bureau had ‘no evidence’ linking bin Laden and al-Qaeda with 9/11":
I claim that if the FBI or Bush Justice Department did have hard evidence they would be able to get a Federal indictment holding bin Laden responsible for 9/11, which they have not:
14. Mr Welch claims the video and audio tape 9/11 confessions of bin Laden and al-Qaeda leaders are genuine proof of guilt:
I claim that while the validity of bin Laden's confession videos are disputed by reputable sources, the confessions of Al-qaeda leaders does not contradict the possibility of a covert CIA collaboration:
15. Mr Welch claims with certainty that "Flight UA93 was not shot down":
I claim there are several anomalies about Flight 93 that need to be addressed before we can know for certain whether it was shot down or not:
16. Mr Welch claims "bin Laden had declared his intention to destroy the WTC towers as ‘revenge’ for America’s policies towards the Middle East:
I claim that in contrast to the numerous warnings before 9/11 attributed to bin Laden, that bin Laden initially denied his involvement in the attack:
In the next section I was pointing out that the 9/11 controversy was the only political conspiracy that the Counterknowledge web site addressed and wondered what their stance would be on a few other disputed conspiracy subjects. The two refuted by Mr Welch:
1. Mr Welch states "no reputable scholar worth his or her salt treats claims of foreknowledge on FDR’s part of a Japanese attack on Hawaii as being in any way credible":
I claim that based on a document declassified in 1994 from Lieutenant Commander Arthur McCollum of the Office of Naval Intelligence, that FDR provoked and allowed the Pearl Harbor attack:
2. Mr Welch claims the House Select Committee investigation on the assassination of JFK did not conclude that there were two gunmen involved:
I claim the HSCA investigation concluded a "high probability" of a second gunman and that the Warren Commission investigation of a conspiracy was "inadequate":
I noted that these subjects do not suggest any conclusions about 9/11 but could at least explain why some people may question the ethical actions of government officials based on the historical record of past deceptions.
Mr Welch missed this point and instead interpreted this section as an attempt to "Distract" by setting up a "straw man" argument over whether he, or any contributor to Counterknowledge said the US government has never been involved in "dirty tricks". He then explains his belief "that any acts of malfeasance by a democratic government...usually become public knowledge shortly after they are committed, and that efforts at a cover-up... do not survive scrutiny by democratic legislatures and a free press."
To Mr Welch's credit he did say this was "usually" the case because if he is any kind of historian he knows that there are always exceptions to that rule. Examples include:
1. The CIA backed Operation Gladio waged a decades long campaign of terrorism and assassinations through Europe killing hundreds of innocent people, then blamed "leftist subversives" to demonize political opponents and frighten citizens into supporting government powers. Although first exposed in 1990 the existence of this program has been all but ignored by the American press.
2. The 1967 to 1972 CIA Operation Phoenix program of terrorism and assassination in Vietnam that murdered over 26, 000 people and instigated the Vietnam War. To this day most Americans have no idea this program existed either.
3. The CIA trained and supported death squads in El Salvador committing atrocities like the 1982 El Mazote massacre murdering over 700 men women and children. Again, most Americans were never informed about this.
I'm sure Mr Welch will make a distinction over the US governments approval to murder foreign citizens but not our own citizens. I'm sure I don't have to remind him of the 1962 Operation Northwoods plan drawn up by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to stage a terrorist attack on US citzens, including hijackings and bombings, then planting phony evidence to frame Fidel Castro in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. Yes, the plan was never used because it was rejected by President Kennedy, but what if there was a president who would accept such a plan? And nobody knew about this plan until it was declassified in 1997.
1. Mr Welch claims Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta's testimony was in reference to Flight 93. Relying on the word of an aide to Mineta, Admiral James Underwood, Mr Welch claims there is no way Mineta could have heard the supposed "stand down" confirmation:
I claim the 9/11 Commission admits the 9:37 entry time for Cheney was based on the Secret Service report alarm data and is undocumented, while Mineta's early arrival testimony is consistent with reports from Richard Clark, Condi Rice, Karl Rove, White House photographer David Bohrer, and ABC, BBC, and WSJ. This is discussed in great detail in chapter 2 of David Ray Griffin's book "9/11 Contradictions."
So let's listen again to Mineta's official testimony:
Mineta still stands by his testimony that he was referring to Flight 77 nearing the Pentagon when Cheney issued his "of course the order still stands" quote. This was before the Pentagon was hit. He has clarified this many times:
Yet the 9/11 commission and the media continue misquoting Mineta saying it was in reference to Flight 93.
We can logically assume one of two things considering this contradiction. First, that if Mineta was referring to Flight 93 then his story about the "order still stands" conversation was a complete fabrication because Flight 93 was not "ten miles out" from any Washington target. This would make Mineta guilty of perjury for which he has not been charged.
Or Mineta was telling the truth which contradicted the "official story" so his testimony was omitted form the 9/11 Report and distorted by the press. In this CNN clip Josh Bolten claims the aid was asking about shoot down confirmation of Flight 93 contradicting Mineta's sworn testimony:
2. Mr Welch makes an obvious straw man when he claims, in reference to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction CJCSI 3610.01A, that there is not a single reference to shooting down airliners:
1997 - http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/cjcsd/cjcsi/3610_01.pdf
2001 - http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/cjcsd/cjcsi/3610_01a.pdf
This was never what I disputed. I claim the subtle change in the directive is under 4. Policy, stating " The NMCC will, with the exception of immediate responses as authorized by reference d, forward requests for DOD assistance to the Secretary of Defense for approval." which was changed from "The NMCC will monitor the situation and forward all requests or proposals for DOD military assistance for aircraft piracy (hijacking) to the Secretary of Defense for approval."
What was added was the "exception of immediate responses as authorized by reference d" which sites DOD Directive 3025.15, 18 February 1997, “Military Assistance to Civil Authorities”:
This Directive allows commanders in the field to provide assistance in an emergency situation but requires approval from Secretary of Defense before responding with "potentially lethal support", ( launching combat aircraft ). This change effectively moved the authorization to scramble military fighters from field commanders to the Secretary of Defense:
3. Mr Welch claims there were no discrepancies in the 9/11 timelines offered by the FAA and NORAD:
I claim they had changed their accounts and the 9/11 Commission had added their own to shift any responsibility of misconduct from the military to the FAA:
4. Mr Welch claims there were only 2 military training exercises on 9/11, Vigilante Resolve and Northern Vigilance, neither of which deal with a 9/11 related scenario:
I claim Mr Welch is intentionally ignoring the full list of drills that relate to 9/11 which include:
a) CIA / National Reconnaissance Office "plane into building" exercise:
b) Vigilant Guardian:
c) Vigilant Warrior:
d) Northern Vigilance
e) Northern Guardian
f) Tripod II
5. Mr Welch claims the pre 9/11 warnings lacked any specifics and the military had no training drills that would prepare for a 9/11 type scenario:
I claim there were over 50 reports between June and September 10, 2001 that, taken together, clearly warn of an al-Qaeda attack by suicide hijackers targeting the WTC:
And the military did conduct drills to prepare for possible 9/11 type scenarios:
6.Mr Welch claims the combined testimonies of FBI counterterror chief John O'Neill, field officer Robert Wright, Coleen Rowley and Harry Samit of the Minnesota FBI, translator Sibel Edmonds, and Anthony Shaffer of Able Danger all lack credibility and are "long on assertion and short on substance."
I claim that Mr Welch also forgot to offhandedly disregard the testimonies of FBI informant Randy Glass and prosecutor David Shippers as well as acknowledge the obstructions and subsequent promotions of David Frasca, Mike Maltbie, and Marion Bowman.
1. And finally in the "Deny" section Mr Welch again asserts his belief that US plans for the Afghani pipeline were abandoned in 1998 and that there is no connection between American interests and the now proposed TAPI project:
As I have pointed out in Section 1-10 the Bush administration was actively trying to negotiate a new pipeline deal with the Taliban before 9/11, a goal that would serve US financial as well as geopolitical interests:
The 2 obvious US links to the TAPI pipeline would be Hamid Karzai, the CIA connected leader of Afghanistan installed by the Bush administration, and the influence of Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad:
2. While mocking my distrust of government sources Mr Welch falls into a paradox of his own by rejecting the White House's description of the NSPD-9 as a plan for military options "against Taliban targets in Afghanistan".
The paradox being that when the NSPD-9 plans for military action in Afghanistan were finalized on September 9, the Bush team still would have needed Congressional approval to implement them. So while the Bush administration planned to "use all elements of national power"to eliminate the al-Qaeda network, they simultaneously claim they never took seriously any warnings from multiple credible sources of an impending al-Qaeda attack. ( See Section 3-5)
I find it more likely that the Bush administration deliberately ignored these warnings to create a plausible deniability when the attack happen, giving them the very pretext they needed to use the waiting NSPD-9 plans:
3. Mr Welch then provides a further evidence that the Bush administration had no plan to invade Afghanistan being the ultimatum to Mullah Omar to hand over the al-Qaeda leaders or else be invaded. Mr Welch claims this offer was rejected by the Taliban "based on its own ideological bent and also its financial and military reliance on al-Qaeda":
Frederick Kagan, Finding the Target. The Transformation of American Military Power (NY: Encounter Books 2006), chapter 8
What Mr Welch doesn't tell you is the Taliban did offer to hand over bin Laden on the condition that the US provide evidence that bin Laden was involved in the 9/11 attack. It was Bush who rejected this offer saying,"There's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty." (See Section 1-13):
4. In response to my "pathetic insistence" that molten steel was found in the remains of the WTC, Mr Welch subscribes to the NIST canard that this molten material was aluminum alloys from the aircraft:
Yet pools of this molten "aluminum" were also witnessed under WTC 7 which was not hit by an aircraft:
Oh, but Mr Welch was only addressing the glowing orange metal seen flowing from the South Tower. Although pure liquid aluminum appears silver, NIST claims it was "likely" mixed with large amounts of hot organic materials which can "display an orange glow, much like logs burning in a fireplace." But if NIST had bothered to test they would find that molten aluminum and hydrocarbon materials do not mix:
My "pathetic insistence" of molten steel is based on the WPI studies of WTC debris published in Appendix C of the FEMA report which "reveal a phenomenon never before observed in building fires: eutectic reactions, which caused intergranular melting capable of turning a solid steel girder into Swiss cheese." This proves empirically that the steel had indeed melted:
Although the WPI report concludes with a recommendation for a detailed study of this phenomenon, NIST has refused to do this much less any testing for "exotic excellerants"despite the National Fire Protection Association order 921 18.3.2 on High Order Damage:
Another "theory" often cited by debunkers to explain this evidence was that after the towers collapsed the fires were trapped underneath the rubble pile where the heat could not disperse "cooking" the steel to it's 2800 F melting point. The first flaw with this theory is how did the fires burning on the upper floors of the tower end up under the rubble pile, assuming they would have survived the collapse at all? Secondly, anyone with a high school education knows that hydrocarbon fires need oxygen to burn. But this theory proposes that the fires burned hotter than normal while being cut off from an oxygen supply. This theory is highly unlikely.
The very fact that the fires did burn under the rubble pile for weeks after the collapse implies that they were not simple hydrocarbon fires but were the result of a continuing chemical reaction. The WPI study speaks to the high levels of sulfur that lower the melting point of steel. Debunkers claim this sulfur resulted from the pulverized and burnt gypsum wallboard. This theory would only make sense if all of the buildings sulfur somehow separated itself from the gypsum, concrete, glass, and other building debris then spontaneously amassed in the basement to create the unusually high concentration needed to melt steel girders. Again, highly unlikely.
What perplexes me is that I have repeatedly referred Mr Welch to the WPI study yet he continues to portray a complete ignorance of the topic. I can only assume he either refuses to read the report or he simply rejects it because it conflicts with his ideology. Mr Welch also demonstrates a reluctance to understand the difference between basic Thermite and other various engineered forms of aluminothermic materials that could easily explain the results of the WPI findings:
The two papers Mr Welch cite also feign ignorance of these hi-tech forms of aluminothermics:
Which leads me to Mr Welch's closing questions:
1. Mr Welch which asks for confirmation from accredited experts on "nano-thermite."
There in fact has been a paper recently published in a peer reviewed scientific journal discussing the active Thermitic chips found in the WTC dust:
http://www.bentham.org/open/tocpj/openaccess2.htm (under 2009)
In a recent interview one of the principal authors of this paper, Dr Niels Harrit, explains what nano thermite is and it's significance to evidence found at the WTC:
Two other related papers have also been published in the past year:
http://www.bentham.org/open/tociej/openaccess2.htm (under 2008)
Of course I can forgive Mr Welch for not knowing about nano-technology since it is a relatively new field of science, but I must wonder if Mr Welch will even bother to examine this evidence or be able to admit it's validity.
2 & 3. Mr Welch asks how the WTC Towers could have been rigged without any employees noticing and if it is even possible.
There were employees at the WTC who did notice unusual events. Senior Database Administrator who worked in the south tower, Scott Forbes, reported that during the week before the attack that the power was down as many engineers went in and out of the buildings:
Although Mr Welch has criticized the use of video as a source, this clip covers Mr Forbes story and other unusual events in the days before 9/11 that could have provided a window of opportunity to rig the building. This clip also mentions possible ulterior motives to have the buildings destroyed:
We would like to know for certain the full official record of these occurrences but alas, they are missing and presumed destroyed too. How convenient:
If Mr Welch is interested in working theories on how the buildings may have been rigged, there is really no way for us to know for sure without further investigation but here are two hypothetical scenarios. The first is on a very informative video, and while I recommend watching the whole thing, parts 1 and 2, I refer you specifically the "Mission Impossible" section starting at 6 minutes in on part 2:
The second is a hypothetical overview of the entire 9/11 scenario:
I will state again, before debunkers start howling about a lack of evidence, these are purely hypothetical scenarios based on incomplete research. We can not verify any of these details without further investigation, which is exactly what we are asking for.
4. Mr Welch asks if it is credible that such an elaborate "false flag" attack could be arranged between Bush's inauguration and September 11th.
I think the plan could have been in the works for several years but relied upon Bush's election in 2000 to be carried out. Which is why I believe the theft of the 2000 election was so important to the Bush administration, but I assume the evidence of thousands of illegally blocked Florida voters and other election monkey business will also be dismissed as another "moonbat conspiracy theory" by Mr Welch:
In the summary Mr Welch launches another attack on my credibility saying I can only go so far with "rehashes of discredited claims, bad science and a lousy grasp of the historical record" and "systematically ignoring the vast mass of evidence which proves al-Qaeda’s complicity." All I can ask is that people take a look at sources I have based my beliefs on and decide for themselves if it is merely "blinkered fanaticism."
Consider that most Truthers started out like Mr Welch, believing whole heartedly in the official story, until they found something, some fact or evidence that did not concur with the official account. Then they had to choose, whether to risk being publicly mocked and maligned for daring to question such a sensitive topic, or to just ignore the facts and go on believing in the fearful illusions and hateful stereotypes of 9/11 that have resulted in corruption, wars, and the loss of liberties. It's not an easy choice.
But I hope Mr Welch and others of his mindset, as loyal as they are to the voice of authority, eventually find that one piece of evidence that they cannot honestly explain away. And when they do, that they will have the clarity of conscience to join the movement for truth. We will welcome you.
Best wishes to all....... Stewart Bradley
This blog entry is also posted at current.com.