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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nitpicking the Nitpickers: Curley's Mistranslation

**Note: JM told me about SLC's post in a Youtube message, I didn't realise he had already posted a rebuttal until I submitted my post.**

ScrewLooseChange hasn't really been debunking much lately. It's essentially now little more than a 9/11 truth gossip blog. And when they do debunk it's usually a repost of something about CIT created by people in the 9/11 truth movement. And on the rare occasion when they do some original debunking, it's usually nitpicking.

Pat Curley has once again claimed Sibel Edmonds lied in her letter to the 9/11 Commission by misrepresenting an article from the Chicago Tribune. He's referring to an Iranian case in which, according to Sibel, a translator received information that Osama bin Laden was planning attacks on four to five cities with planes, some of the people were already in the country and the attacks would happen in a few months.

Pat's February 2009 analysis of the article she cited:

1. Attack in the US targeting 4-5 cities. Status: False. In fact the article quite clearly states that the impression of the official was that the attacks would be overseas.

2. Attack will involve airplanes. Status: True.

3. Some of the attackers already in the US. Status: False. No discussion of this in the article, and indeed, given that the belief was that the attack was more likely to take place overseas there is no reason to believe this claim.

4. Attack coming soon. Status: False. "...no mention of when or where the attacks might take place."

Pat makes it seem like Sibel was using that article as proof of her claim. But she was simply stating that the press had reported on the incident and that they confirmed the information was received in April 2001.

The fact is the US was a POTENTIAL target at the very least so his analysis of point 1 is bunk. He admits point 2 is true. There's no discussion about point 3 in the article so it is neither confirmed or disproven. And, with regards to point 4, "...no mention of when or where the attacks might take place" could be referring to a specific date. They could still have known that an attack would happen in the near future without knowing exactly when it was going to happen. So, even if we assume the article wasn't a deliberate damage control whitewash, it still disproves nothing. At worst Sibel may have been slightly exaggerating in her letter, but not lying like Pat claims.

This is textbook debunking - find the strawman, misrepresent, respond, exaggerate the significance and put the reader in a state of mind where they don't know who to believe any more to put them off looking any deeper into it. That's what happened to me when I fell for the Popular Mechanics article back in Winter of 2007. It never convinced me that there was no conspiracy. It just made me unsure of what to think or who to trust any more so for more than eight months I just stopped caring.

In this case, even the Chicago Tribune article admits that the incident was a key piece to the puzzle, regardless of how much you want to downplay its significance.

Here's Sibel in her own words from her August 2009 deposition: