Sunday, February 18, 2007

Debunking the BBC's 9-11 Conspiracy Files


On February 18, 2007, the BBC broadcasted an hour-long episode which it claimed would examine and answer the questions of the 9-11 truth movement. However, both the episode and the written Q&A turned out to be attacks on the skeptics rather than a true investigation. The public was presented with a heavily controlled and edited discussion, which was rigged in favour of the official story. Worse yet, propaganda techniques were used to portray the opponents of the official story unfairly. Techniques included: manipulative camerawork, personal attacks and a show which focussed on only the weakest evidence presented by the opponents of the official story.

The aim of this article is to address the inaccurate rebuttals offered by the BBC, as well as to analyse the propaganda techniques and reiterate the questions that the BBC failed to address.

Could the US Air Force have prevented the attacks?

David Coburn's explanation does not preclude the fact that military training was taking place on 9/11 to confuse the pilots. This was briefly stated by the BBC, but the precise details of the training was left out. The scenario involved crashing planes into high profile buildings - including the WTC and the Pentagon.

It was said that the lack of plane intercepts was viewed by some as evidence of a conspiracy, but BBC says it was all just confusion caused by the war games. There was no mention of Dick Cheney's stand-down orders, nor the unprecedented act of a civilian being in charge of such a training exercise. [1]

Furthermore, the statement by Coburn that no hijacking took place since 1979 is misleading. While the last hijacking may have occurred in 1979, David Coburn's Popular Mechanics article stated that the last airplane intercept by NORAD was in 1999, not 1979:

"In the decade before 9/11, NORAD intercepted only one civilian plane over North America: golfer Payne Stewart's Learjet, in October 1999. With passengers and crew unconscious from cabin decompression, the plane lost radio contact but remained in transponder contact until it crashed."

In addition, that statement was found by 9/11 Research to be incorrect, according to one of their own interviewed experts, Maj. Douglas Martin:[2]

"From Sept. 11 to June, NORAD scrambled jets or diverted combat air patrols 462 times, almost seven times as often as the 67 scrambles from September 2000 to June 2001, Martin said."

As quoted from 9/11 Research: [3]:

"It is safe to assume that a significant fraction of scrambles lead to intercepts, so the fact that there were 67 scrambles in a 9-month period before 9/11/01 suggests that there are dozens of intercepts per year. To its assertion that there was only one intercept in a decade, the article adds that "rules in effect ... prohibited supersonic flight on intercepts," and the suggestion that there were no hotlines between ATCs and NORAD."

Were the Twin Towers deliberately demolished by explosives?

1) The BBC begins:

"After 9/11, investigations by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) determined that the collapse of the Twin Towers was due to the impact of the planes and the large quantities of exploding jet fuel released into the buildings."

It was not a good idea for the BBC to refer to the NIST article, the Popular Mechanics article and the 9-11 Commission Report, as these early documents contradict each other, ignore important points and have been the subject of debunking articles.

On the BBC show, the Popular-Mechanics representative said that the 9-11 theories do not match the 'facts', even though their own debunking attempt was judged in the same manner. No substance is provided to substantiate his claims.

The BBC then says the alternative 9-11 theories are just that: theories, not supported by evidence. The viewer is expected to trust the BBC's analysis.

a) The NIST article has been debunked: [4]

b) The Popular Mechanics article has also been debunked:[5][6]

c) The elevator sign from the South Tower's 78th floor impact zone survived the fires, but we are expected to believe the thick steel core did not. (Video [7] [length: 50 seconds])

d) Firefighters reached the relevant floor in WTC2 (78th) and were not overwhelmed by the fires. [8]

e) The use of the word 'explosives' is curious, as it encourages people to look for flashes of light, as well as to listen for the expected loud sounds. However, explosives in the WTC 1,2 & 7 are not necessary to achieve the collapses that were witnessed. Thermate is a possibility. Thermate can be modified to be non-explosive -- simply to heat up rapidly to the temperature necessary to slice through the steel.

Video: [9] Prof. Steven E. Jones [Length: 35.55]

2) The BBC writes:

"The explanation for the puffs of smoke offered by the authors of the Popular Mechanics study is that as the floors crashed down of top of one another, a pressure wave forced dust and smoke out of the windows."

This seems reasonable, however it is claimed the squibs are ejected from inbetween collapsing floors. Actually, the squibs are well ahead of the collapsing floors in many cases. Furthermore, the 'pancake theory' they presented is inaccurate. [10] The cores above the crash sites did not remain static whilst the floors collapsed from them.

3) The BBC writes:

"They also argue that jet fuel, which has a far lower burning temperature than the melting point of steel, is unlikely to have weakened the steel supporting framework sufficient to prompt the collapse of the Twin Towers.

Jet fuel burns at 800 degrees Celsius whereas temperatures must reach 1,500 degrees Celsius for steel to melt.

As for the fuel temperature - the official explanation holds that whilst steel does indeed melt at 1,500 degrees Celsius, it loses half its strength at a much lower temperature of 650 degrees Celsius.

The fuel might not have melted the steel columns, but it weakened the structure, and especially the trusses that supported each floor, to the point that they could no longer support the weight on the building."

a) However, Kevin Ryan of Underwriters Laboratories sent a letter to Frank Gayle of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) about this. (Underwriters Laboratories is the company that certified the steel components used in the construction of the WTC towers.) [11]

"As I'm sure you know, the company I work for certified the steel components used in the construction of the WTC buildings. In requesting information from both our CEO and Fire Protection business manager last year, I learned that they did not agree on the essential aspects of the story, except for one thing - that the samples we certified met all requirements. They suggested we all be patient and understand that UL was working with your team, and that tests would continue through this year. I'm aware of UL's attempts to help, including performing tests on models of the floor assemblies. But the results of these tests appear to indicate that the buildings should have easily withstood the thermal stress caused by pools of burning jet fuel.

[...] There continues to be a number of "experts" making public claims about how the WTC buildings fell. One such person, Dr. Hyman Brown from the WTC construction crew, claims that the buildings collapsed due to fires at 2000F melting the steel (1). He states "What caused the building to collapse is the airplane fuel…burning at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The steel in that five-floor area melts." Additionally, the newspaper that quotes him says "Just-released preliminary findings from a National Institute of Standards and Technology study of the World Trade Center collapse support Brown’s theory."


A far more extensive fire occurred in WTC-1 on February 13, 1975, which burned at much higher temperatures for three hours and spread over 65% of the 11th floor, including the core, yet caused no significant damage to the steel structure and no trusses had to be replaced.

[taken from]

With the fire on such a low floor, and considering all the weight being placed on this area, why was there no collapse? Some might state that the 9-11 incident was different because the plane impacts dislodged the fireproofing that was present in the 1975 fire. However the fireproofing materials were added after the 1975 fire.

"Fireproofing was added after a fire in 1975 that spread to six floors before being extinguished. Early tests conducted on steel beams from the WTC show they generally met or were stronger than design requirements, ruling them out as a contributing cause of the collapse of the towers."

c) Of additional interest, the Empire State Building survived the impact of an airplane in 1945.[12]

d) And the Windsor building in Madrid caught fire in 2005, yet did not collapse. [13]

Was WTC7 deliberately demolished by explosives?

The hypothesis that WTC7 collapsed as a result of fires caused by debris was already made in the NIST report. The BBC supports this claim, calling the WTC7 a 'raging inferno'. However, as says:

"Even if one accepts all of NIST's claims about extensive structural damage to WTC 7, and its claims about fires on several different floors, its collapse scenario is not remotely plausible. The alleged damage was asymmetric, confined to the tower's south side, and any weakening of the steelwork from fire exposure would also be asymmetric. Thus, even if the damage were sufficient to cause the whole building to collapse, it would have fallen over asymmetrically -- toward the south. But WTC 7 fell straight down, into its footprint."

In addition, the Q&A fails to address Larry Silverstein's 'pull it' comment, implying that the building was brought down by controlled demolition because of fire damages:

Witnesses have since come forward to confirm that WTC7 was demolished and having heard the 20 second countdown:

Were Jews forewarned about the attacks?

BBC attempts to link alternative 9/11 theories to anti-Semitism by overplaying a long discredited rumor implying Jewish favoritism. In fact, while many believe there was Israeli involvement in the 9/11 attacks, few 9/11 skeptics still endorse the rumour of the missing 4000 Jewish employees. The BBC chose to associate conspiracies with baseless anti-Semitic terrorist rumors saying: 'news spread around the world' of a 'Jewish plot' to evacuate the WTC.

The BBC engages in emotional manipulation during it's interview with the relative of a WTC2 victim, forcing the viewer subliminally to 'pick sides' - either the victim's side or the 'conspiracy theorists', thereby creating a divide that didn't exist. This relative went on to say that 'people need scapegoats'.

Note that the article does not deny that Israelis were warned of the attacks. A Haaretz article reported that two employees of New York-based company Odigo received messages warning of the attacks: [14]

On September 28, 2001, Odigo confirmed the story, and elaborated that the warnings came from workers based in an Israeli office:

Furthermore, BBC's response fails to mention the reports of the five Mossad agents detained on 9/11:

Did a commercial airline hit the Pentagon?

BBC fails to mention that the no-plane theory is controversial within the 9/11 truth movement. Several articles critical of that theory, as well as casting doubts on the validity of the eyewitness quotes used by their proponents, have been written:

An article from 9/11 Research points at the Azari plane crash in Iran to show that planes crashing in buildings show little ostensible debris:

Can CCTV footage prove what happened at the Pentagon?

A question which focusses on the clarity of the CCTV film alone, regardless of whether one believes the official story or not, and regardless of what other evidence is available. The CCTV film is unclear and inconclusive, and further films should be released if they exist, along with an explanation detailing the reasons for not releasing it before. The BBC is in agreement that the footage is unclear, though little analysis took place on-screen.

Did a military transport plane control the attack on the Pentagon?

A Google search only returns one page out of the first ten that endorses a theory similar to the one mentioned by BBC:[15]

A further search reveals that this theory was implied in Loose Change 2nd Edition. However, critics of Loose Change dismiss it as speculation:

"It's possible that the either or both of the C-130 that tailed the jetliner, and the four-engine jet high above (which may have been a KC-135), had something to do with the attack. But this is pure speculation."

Was United 93 shot down?

The claim that the lake is only 1.5 miles away from the debris was attempted by the Popular Mechanics article. However, it turns out that PM was less than honest in its reporting. As 9/11 Research states in the description of its included map:

"Whereas PM displays a map showing only a corner of Indian Lake to claim it is less than 1.5 miles from the crash site, this map shows the entire lake, which is up to three miles away."

Additionally, debris were reported to have been found up to eight miles away from the crash site:

"Local officials stated that crash debris was spread over a wide area. According to the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, state police Major Lyle Szupinka "confirmed that debris from the plane had turned up in relatively far-flung sites, including the residential area of Indian Lake." 1 The residential areas of Indian Lake range from three to six miles from the crash site. As noted on the pages describing Flight 93 and its crash site, there were a number of debris fields. Small debris descended over Indian Lake and New Baltimore, about three and eight miles from the primary crash site, and an engine core was separated from the main impact crater by about 2000 feet."

The misquote of Wally Miller has already been acknowledged by critics of Loose Change within the 9/11 truth movement:

"According to a Washington Post story, about 1500 human remains were recovered from Flight 93's crash site. The coroner only spent 20 minutes at the crash site, before the site was excavated for bodies, so it's not surprising that he didn't see blood."

Loose Change runs aerial video of the Nigerian 737 crash site, next to distant aerial video of the Flight 93 crash site, apparently to suggest that the lack of obvious plane pieces at the Shanksville crash site means that a plane didn't crash there. (Identifiable pieces aren't visible in the Nigerian crash photographs either.)

Did United 93 crash?

As explained earlier by 9/11 Research, absence of apparent debris is not conclusive proof of a missing aircraft.[16]

Obviously, United 93 could not both have been moved or evacuated and shot down. What should have been reported, however, was the rationale behind Loose Change's endorsement of the missing United 93 theory:[17]

"As with the Pentagon crash, Loose Change falls for the no-plane hoax, hook, line, and sinker. The first edition of the video endorsed the conclusion that it was shot down. But perhaps the idea that "[Flight 93] was nowhere near Shanksville" is more appealing to the X-Files mindset.

Flight 93 crashed nose-down into the soft landfill of a reclaimed strip mine. (See this analysis of the crash location.) It's therefore not surprising that the 757 would bury itself in a crater.

Photographs of the crater show that it was more than 100 feet long and 30 feet wide, not "20 feet long and 10 feet wide," as the cherry-picked account states.

Apart from all of the physical evidence of the crash, numerous eyewitnesses saw the jetliner in its final moments."

Fetzer and Avery both appear to endorse the abducted passenger theory, which is then debunked - the BBC appears to have selected this less than popular theory for the sole reason of needing a timewasting strawman argument to knock down, whilst avoiding other issues.

Could the attacks have been prevented?

BBC's claim that the FBI did not know where to look for the two mentioned alleged hijackers directly contradicts an earlier report by CBS. It turns out, according to the report, that both alleged hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, lived with FBI informants: [18]

"(CBS) Two of the Sept. 11 hijackers who lived in San Diego in 2000 rented a room from a man who reportedly worked as an undercover FBI informant, highlighting the lack of cooperation by the nation's law enforcement and intelligence agencies."

Newsweek magazine reports that Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi lived with a "tested" undercover "asset" who had been working closely with the FBI office in San Diego.

The BBC says that the agencies (FBI & CIA) were at fault in their lack of communication, but that the fault was post 9-11 and was not part of the conspiracy being discussed. The BBC also says there appears to have been a conspiracy by the agencies to cover up their mistakes, but it was after 9-11, not before.

Criticism of the television show and it's techniques

The show aired at 9pm in the UK, on Sunday 18th, and was of a 1 hour length, with no adverts.

There was a strong 'anti-conspiracy' theme throughout the programme. The proponents on the official story were given much more time to discuss their ideas and their opinions, and there was no camerawork or editing to make them appear less than respectable. There were only three truth-seeker proponents and yet they were vastly outnumbered by the proponents of the official story.

Popular-Mechanics was introduced as a 'no-nonsense' magazine, despite having it's article disputed and debunked.

The programme began with the narrator saying the theories were offensive to those families affected by 9-11 - a logical fallacy called an 'appeal to emotion'.

The programme shows us bent WTC steel columns and damaged vehicles in a warehouse, then proceeds onto the official story, whilst showing the alleged hijackers on CCTV at an unnamed airport. Then casualties were discussed, videos of shocked people were shown, and emotional phonecalls were aired. This is all emotional manipulation, and it is not related to pure theory, as it does not prove or disprove anything. This did not dissuade the BBC however.

There were scientists used to support the official story, but no counter-scientists shown, such as Professor Steven Jones, Hugo Bachmann, PhD and others [19]. It was continually stated that blaming the government was scapegoating, yet it is precisely that act which was carried out by the mainstream media and the authorities when blaming Bin Laden.

When Fetzer and Avery were shown talking to the camera, they were overwhelmingly depicted as single-minded and emotional, with a forcible attitude of 'you're either with us or against us', which was intended to subliminally turn the viewer off them - and thus discredit their points.

Before Avery began talking, they called him a college 'dropout', and said he made his money selling Loose Change. Avery is shown saying he does not care what the debunkers say - we believe this clip to be out of context, and that Avery was disagreeing with something else.

Fetzer was always pictured close-up when talking, to make the viewer uncomfortable and to ensure his gestures were exaggerated beyond what was reasonable - a technique that could be used to subliminally turn the viewers off him. There was no explanation made of Fetzer's conflicts with other prominent members of the truth movement regarding his more unusual theories.

Avery and Fetzer were used the most. Alex Jones was not, despite the fact that Alex Jones is one of the more eloquent, respected, and knowledgeable people on these matters.

It was almost half an hour before we got to see Alex Jones, who was introduced when he was yelling to an audience about the New World Order. The BBC said he was like an 'evangelist' -- this was another underhanded technique where the BBC tried to associate alternative thought with religious fundamentalism.

There were several baseless phrases delivered throughout the show, like: "secrecy breeds conspiracies", it is as if they tried to compare the spread of conspiracies to the spread of bacteria. The X-Files guy said that debunking articles aren't liked by some as they take away those people's 'security blanket', and he said conspiracies are present because we've been lied to before, and that 'cynicism and hopelessness still infects us'. He also said 'we're all storytellers', compares conspiracy theory to 'myth', says conspiracists simplify things, and that conspiracies are pleasing to certain people with a political agenda.

The BBC tried to say that believing President Bush was a murderous madman was 'acceptable' to conspiracists, but there was no mention of how widespread that view truly was across society. There was also an attempt to smear conspiracy theory as merely 'Chinese whispers' on the internet which quickly grew to ridiculous proportions.

There was a camera shot of a worker outside the Pentagon; he said: 'flawed people need to make a name for themselves', regarding the Pentagon theories. This appeared to smear all truth-seekers, regardless of whether they accepted the Pentagon theory or not, it also wrongly suggested that truth-seekers wanted fame alone.

The BBC allowed scientists to do a 3D simulation of the Pentagon crash to support the official story, but a truth-seeker's simulation was not used for the WTC collapse. Apparently the scientists who did the Pentagon crash simulation received hate mail from 'conspiracy theorists', who were overly 'emotional' and accused them of being government assets. This was clearly an attempt to paint truth-seekers as unstable and dishonest.

There was focus on a supposed internet rumour that said the X-Files team tried to warn people of 9-11 though the Lone Gunmen WTC episode. It is acknowledged on the internet that this show 'predicted' 9-11, but only in response to official claims that the 9-11 scenario had not been envisioned previously, but not that the X-Files team possessed special information.

The programme finished with the narrator saying the theories were offensive to those families affected by 9-11 - a logical fallacy called an 'appeal to emotion'.

The 9-11 victim's families are themselves asking for an investigation into 9-11, so it appears the BBC used some victims to support it's hit piece whilst ignoring others. [20] Furthermore the 9-11 first responders were made ill by the New York air which they were told was safe to breathe. [21] Many of the emergency service's dogs also suffered fatal illness for the same reasons. The BBC failed to mention this too.

Overall Analysis

The BBC has cherrypicked certain claims made by the 9-11 truth movement, whilst choosing to ignore many others. The BBC then suggested it had carried out a thorough investigation by entitling the article [22] as 'Q&A: What really happened', as well as saying this precise phrase at the beginning of their show.

Interestingly, there is a story which claims that there are two versions of the BBC 'documentary' and that one is fair, the other is a hit piece, but that the BBC was pressured to air the hit piece.

"Commenting on his radio broadcast yesterday, Jones said "They're pulling out all the stops on this one, they're going to try to mix in anti-Semitism," adding that the producer Guy Smith wouldn't allow him to talk about hardcore proven evidence on camera such as Operation Northwoods [23].

"They always wanted to bring up the most tenuous evidence, they always wanted to argue about that," said Jones.

Jones said that upon conclusion of filming, the producer started laughing and proclaiming his disbelief at everything Jones had stated.

"It's going to be one mega hit piece," he concluded."

The act of branding a non-official investigation a 'conspiracy theory' instead of an independent alternative investigation betrays the BBC's motives early on. The BBC furthered it's inaccuracies by lumping all 9-11 theories together, when in fact there are many different 'camps' in the truth movement specialising in different areas and accepting different viewpoints. As an example, the Pentagon crash is one of the more disputed viewpoints, and yet on this point, the BBC article simply mentions 'conspiracy theorists' as if all investigators have the same ideas on this topic. The BBC show spends much time on the Pentagon crash, in contrast with it's brief analysis the WTC collapses, despite the fact that the WTC collapse theories were some of the most widespread and analysed 9-11 topics. Indeed, the BBC also avoided the faulty physics of the pancake theory - showing us an animation the falling pancaking floors leaving the central columns intact and standing, in stark contrast to what really happened.

There is no mention of disinformation and misinformation attacks against the truth movement, so an unaware reader or viewer may be left with the impression that every ridiculous claim is supported by every alternative 9-11 investigator.

It is worth noting that these theories are not as strong as their weakest points, nor as ridiculous as their most unusual proponents. Attacking theories in this way is dishonest and a well known logical fallacy called a strawman attack.

It is interesting to note which points are missing from the BBC's analysis of the alternative 9-11 investigations.

Some of these include the passenger lists which do not include the 19 Arabs named as responsible [24], ownership and insurance of the WTC [25], WTC security [26] [27], the 9-11 NORAD stand-down and training simulation involving the exact same scenario as the actual attacks [28] [29] [30], insider trading [31] [32], the molten steel [33] [34], the reports of explosions by emergency workers, the gag orders placed on these workers regarding what they heard and saw, the reports of devices within the buildings [35], the advanced flight maneuvers supposedly carried out by poorly trained Arabs, the Larry Silverstein quote saying they 'pulled' WTC7 [36], the guarding and swift removal and sale of the WTC rubble to China [37], the neatly melted steel columns found [38], 9-11 suspects found alive [39] [40], the surviving passport [41], amongst many others.

The BBC did not appear to question the idea that official elements within the U.S. had a motive to carry out 9-11, and the BBC was also previously sympathetic to the idea that the War On Terror was largely a hoax based on exaggerations and lies, as evidenced by their brief series called 'The Power Of Nightmares'.

Additionally, the BBC did not properly address questions surrounding its own report in 2001 that 7 alleged hijackers were found alive after the 9/11 attacks. [42] The only response, which is not mentioned in the Q&A, was published in October 2006, and ostensibly 'clarified' their 2001 article. However, no retraction was ever posted; the editor said that they 'made one small change to the original story', and linked to reports which have been widely discredited by the 9/11 truth movement, such as the 9/11 Commission Report. Additionally, other reports than the BBC article have revealed that up to nine of the hijackers were found to be alive or misidentified.[43][44]

BBC further claimed to have gotten a response from FBI stating that the hijackers were identified using DNA samples; however, that would have required them to already have the DNA samples of the alleged hijackers with which to compare the ones found on the scenes of the attacks. Moreover, according to the Muckracker Report, the FBI itself admits that there is no hard evidence linking Bin Laden to the 9/11 attacks.[45]

"On June 5, 2006, the Muckraker Report contacted the FBI Headquarters, (202) 324-3000, to learn why Bin Laden’s Most Wanted poster did not indicate that Usama was also wanted in connection with 9/11. The Muckraker Report spoke with Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI. When asked why there is no mention of 9/11 on Bin Laden’s Most Wanted web page, Tomb said, “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.

Surprised by the ease in which this FBI spokesman made such an astonishing statement, I asked, “How this was possible?” Tomb continued, “Bin Laden has not been formally charged in connection to 9/11.” I asked, “How does that work?” Tomb continued, “The FBI gathers evidence. Once evidence is gathered, it is turned over to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice than decides whether it has enough evidence to present to a federal grand jury. In the case of the 1998 United States Embassies being bombed, Bin Laden has been formally indicted and charged by a grand jury. He has not been formally indicted and charged in connection with 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence connected Bin Laden to 9/11."

In 2002, FBI director Robert Mueller stated that there was no legal proof to prove the identities of the suicidal hijackers: [46]

"The six claimed they were victims of identify theft. They were "outraged" to be identified as terrorists, they told the Telegraph of London. In fact, one of the men claimed he never had been to the United States, while another is a Saudi Airlines pilot who said he was in a flight-training course in Tunisia at the time of the attacks"

"The stunning news prompted FBI Director Robert Mueller to admit that some of the hijackers may have stolen identities of innocent citizens. In September 2002, Mueller told CNN twice that there is "no legal proof to prove the identities of the suicidal hijackers." After that admission a strange thing happened - nothing. No follow-up stories. No follow-up questions. There was dead silence and the story disappeared. It was almost as if no one wanted to know what had happened. In fact, the FBI didn't bother to change the names, backgrounds or photographs of the alleged 19 hijackers. It didn't even deny the news reports suggesting that the names and identities of at least six of the hijackers may be unknown. Mueller just left the door open."

In the show, some of the alleged hijackers were said to have attended the flight training school, but no point is made about their poor performance versus the incredible maneuvers that took place on 9-11.

And in its own article that was said to have 'superseded' the 2001 article [47], BBC made the following admission:

"There is no direct evidence in the public domain linking Osama Bin Laden to the 11 September attacks.

At best the evidence is circumstantial.

Of this, perhaps the strongest leads are the alleged financial transfers between an al-Qaeda operative and the man alleged to have led the hijackers.

Other evidence - the intercepts, Mohammed Atta's link to Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the ties of other hijackers to al-Qaeda - is even less firm.

The evidence is not being judged in a court of law. It only needs to persuade governments around the world to back the US-led war on terrorism and to a lesser extent to carry public opinion.

US and British officials have indicated that they are unable to reveal all the evidence for security reasons.

When asserting that Bin Laden is behind the attacks, US and UK officials lean heavily on what they believe to be Bin Laden's record and his connection to other terrorist attacks.

They are in effect arguing that the attacks are part of a clearly discernable pattern linked to previous attacks - notably the bombings of the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000, and two US embassies in East Africa in August 1998."

In other words, the public is expected to accept solely on the word of the government that Bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Those are the same governments that that expected the public to take their word that Iraq had WMD.

The BBC also fails to explain that much of the information it presented was disputed or disproved, instead presenting it as conclusive research. It is possible that the target audience of this dishonesty were those who did not have much internet access, and/or those who had already come to the conclusion that the official story was true, and that any further investigation was insane or offensive.

The most honest thing would have been to air the internet documentaries like TerrorStorm, 9-11 Mysteries: Demolitions and Loose Change, plus films supportive of the official story, thus giving both sides a fair chance to explain themselves. This did not happen, and the BBC maintained full control of the scope and nature of the discussion.

Debunking articles are rarely final, as many have inspired excellent rebuttals. It would be better to view debunking attempts as part of a series of exchanges of information between two or more sides - not a one-off occurrence.

To return to the content: a noticeable technique was to try to paint the truth movement as a mindless cult which placed 'faith' in it's theories, rather than basing it's beliefs on evidence. Readers may be fooled into thinking that the combined alternative 9-11 theories are a small and easily discredited topic, but they are not. Readers may also be fooled into thinking that the 9-11 truth movement is a pathetically small and uniform movement. The polls say otherwise:

"Documentary film maker and radio host Alex Jones, coordinating today's 9/11 truth movement events in downtown New York City, says that the atmosphere around ground zero has dramatically changed, with the majority of firefighters and police officers now sympathetic to the claim that 9/11 was an inside job."


The BBC failed to give a fair and accurate analysis of the 9-11 theories, instead settling for pro-official propaganda, badly executed manipulative camerawork and edited speech.

One needs to think about the psychological motivations, manipulations and techniques guiding much of the criticism of information that isn't officially recognised. The biggest of these is the use of keywords and key phrases, particularly by those who support the official line of events.

These phrases - deliberately full of inaccuracies and distortions -- like 'tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy nutjobs', are an attempt to shame people into silence. They are also used - ridiculously - to brand certain types of information as taboo and certain types of curiosity as insanity.

If one insults people and attempts to classify them as insane just because they dared to consider information that did not have the official stamp of approval, one may cause them to cling even more strongly to their viewpoints because they detected an attempt to shame them into silence and they became offended by this.


A reader pointed out that David Ray Griffin, PhD, who is actually a theologian, was listed in section "Criticism of the television show and it's techniques" as a scientist. We mentioned David Ray Griffin because he is a prominent speaker in the movement, but included at the end a link to a list of professors questioning the official 9/11 story. For clarification purposes, we replaced David Ray Griffin, PhD with structural engineer Hugo Bachmann, PhD.

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