Thursday, May 7, 2009

Debunking the Rebunking

"If we start debunking rebunking 9-11 debunking, where will it all end?" - Pat Curley

Pat Curley over at the Screw Loose Change blog had a listen to our recent interview with Michael Woolsey of 9-11 Visibility and has attempted rebunking our debunking.

Pat states, "They say that they are not interested in hearing debunking of Steven Jones' latest paper (Active Thermitic Material...). Nope, if we are going to debunk that laughable attempt to claim that bits of red paint and rust amount to Thermite we have to do it with a peer-reviewed paper."

Yes, if you are claiming that highly credentialed scientists have been fooled by paint, after two years of research, when paint was one of the very first considerations, then you should back that claim up in the way they have backed up theirs. When the lead author of the paper, associate professor of chemistry at Copenhagen University in Denmark, Dr. Niels H. Harrit, was asked during an interview on Denmark television if he was in any doubt that the material was present, he replied unambiguously, "You cannot fudge this kind of science. We have found it: unreacted thermite."

If you think this author/or co-author of nearly 60 peer reviewed scientific papers is fudging, or was fooled by paint, someone on your side should demonstrate this beyond the blogosphere. I think physics professor Dr. Steven E. Jones put it best when he noted that:
Debunkers may raise all sorts of objections on forums, such as "Oh, it's just paint" or "the aluminum is bound up in kaolin." We have answered those questions in the paper, and shown them to be nonsense, but you have to read to find the answers. Here's what you need to know (especially if you are not a scientist): UNLESS AN OBJECTOR ACTUALLY PUBLISHES HIS OR HER OBJECTION IN A PEER-REVIEWED ESTABLISHED JOURNAL (yes that would include Bentham Scientific journals), THEN THE OBJECTION IS NOT CONSIDERED SERIOUS IN THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY. YOU SHOULD NOT WORRY ABOUT NON-PUBLISHED OBJECTIONS EITHER.
Getting back to paint being one of the very first considerations, it's worthy to note that one of the first things indicating the materials were not paint chips was their explosiveness! At the Boston 9/11 Conference on 12/15/07 Steven Jones first reported his findings, stating:
Many red chips I found in the WTC dust, last June I started noticing these. Their attracted by a magnet, a thought came, well maybe it's just paint. It's hard to get thermite to ignite, and I finally thought, how can we tell if this is thermite or not?... It has the right chemical signature.

A friend of mine has an oxyacetylene torch with a very fine tip, he uses it for repairing eyeglasses, and so I had him pass it over one of these red chips... And it flamed, it flashed, as he passed over it.

He went on to state that this, in conjunction with the chemical signature and the red color, was a strong indication that this was indeed a form of thermite.

During a debate with architect Richard Gage 9/11 "debunker" Mark Roberts also suggested the red chips were paint, after Gage replied, "That's why they're extremely explosive I suppose," Roberts conveniently ignored him, stating, "These chips... One thing that should ring a bell, is that they look exactly like all the primer paint that's on the structural steel."

Of course Robert's assumption has nothing on empirical evidence. In a recent interview with Dr. Harriet conducted by national Emmy nominee and regional Emmy award-winning investigative journalist Linda Moulton Howe, he notes that, "In the primer paint, which was used on the steel beams at the original World Trade Center – we looked up the original recipes for those paints. The paints contained as an anti-corrosive: chromium and zinc, which we do not find. And magnesium, which we do not see either. These are negative indications why the red-gray chips are not paint."

More detailed analysis can be found in Harrit's article "WHY THE RED/GRAY CHIPS ARE NOT PRIMER PAINT."

Also of note is the fact that, as Jim Hoffman of the website 9/11 Research points out, "Soaking the chips in methyl ethyl ketone, a solvent that dissolves paint, with periodic agitation for 55 hours, the red layers swelled up but remained intact and attached to their respective gray layers, and the thin plates tended to migrate and aggregate."

The next part of Pat's supposed rebunking involved my mentioning of the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) of August 6, 2001, which he pointed out I did misspeak of and call a PDF. Here's a PDF of the PDB! Speaking of nitpicking masquerading as debunking, I also spoke of "outward" bowing columns instead of "inward," and I called a reviewer of the nano-thermite paper an author. Just like with the PDB, I knew it was inward, and I knew he wasn't an author.

Pat states, "Note in particular that the two paragraphs which do not appear historical in nature are also not very accurate in predicting 9-11; federal buildings in New York were not attacked and the attacks were not done with explosives."

One commenter by the name of Brian Good on Pat's blog thanked him for his candor, "Thanks, Pat, for confirming that the 'Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US' memo actually did warn of new attacks, though Condi claimed under oath in the presence of the 9/11 widows that it did not."

Condi's bio on Wikipedia also contains this tidbit:

Rice characterized the August 6, 2001 President's Daily Brief Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US as historical information. Rice indicated "It was information based on old reporting."[45] Sean Wilentz of Salon magazine suggested that the PDB contained current information based on continuing investigations, including that Bin Laden wanted to "bring the fighting to America."[46]
Yes, there was a section that mentions "bin Laden supporters in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives," and no, "the attacks were not done with explosives," meaning of course that it wasn't a bombing attack akin to the 1993 WTC bombing, but the memo also mentioned "suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks..." It then mentions that this included "recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York," to which Pat points out that the Towers were not federal buildings, but the "recent surveillance" would be in addition to the "most attractive terrorist target" at the WTC as detailed by several reports dating back to the 1980s.

Bottom line is, bin Laden, NYC, and hijackings are mentioned. And as points out:
In 1995, the US stopped plans for "Project Bojinka," a planned terror attack on commercial airliners (12 planes were to be hijacked simultaneously, and the plotters also envisioned driving a jet into CIA headquarters in Virginia). Bojinka was thwarted when a group of Islamic terrorists were apprehended in the Philippines. This proves that the Cheney administration lied after 9/11 when they claimed they didn't forsee the possibility of hijacked planes being used as weapons.
Of course this brought up the issue of how this all corresponds with the idea of 9/11 being an inside job. As I have pointed out before, many people make the mistake of only seeing the issues concerning 9/11 in black and white, as opposed to shades of grey.

In a post from today entitled "Was Popular Mechanics Fair?" Pat tries to make the case that Popular Mechanics did not set up straw men in the way I suggested, he states, "Overall, I'd say that Popular Mechanics did a pretty good job. Most of the theories they discussed are quite common in the movement, and the less common ones were mostly at the end."

I suggest Jim Hoffman's essay "Popular Mechanics Attacks Its "9/11 LIES" Straw Man" written in 2005.

Related Info:

Debunking Popular Mechanics' 9/11 Lies

Viewers See History Channel 9/11 Special As Straw Man Hit Piece

Nano-thermite Demolishes 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

Sibel Edmonds: In Congress We Trust...NOT