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I read Armando's rant, and wanted to comment.

As someone who has studied a host of conspiracy theories for nearly half my life, and as someone who will be featured on the Discovery Channel this week because I practice what might be called responsible conspiracy theory, I want to both agree and disagree with some of the thoughts expressed here.

Let's start with the key point - and one I heartily support: Sourcing. Armando is absolutely right to point out that some sources are more credible than others. (More below the fold...)

I have warned friends off Wayne Madsen for presumably the same reasons Armando has. Madsen claims a bunch of covert sources, but never names them, and sometimes reports on things in a sensational way citing only unnamed sources. That's just not credible reporting.

But on the other hand, the New York Times is guilty of the same, and with far more devastating consequences. After seeing how the paper's management stood by Judy Miller's shoddy reporting, I don't know why anyone would look up to them. Good writing is not the same thing as honest writing. There's plenty of good writing in the New York Times. But if I had to choose between bad writing but honest reporting, or good writing and dishonest reporting, it would be an easy choice for the former.

So how can you know whom to believe? The notion that high people in our government would trade arms for hostages in Iran to fund the Contra effort was deemed a "wild conspiracy theory" for a few years until the evidence came out which proved it undeniably. Not many people know that evidence surfaced entirely by accident when Eugene Hasenfus was shot from the sky. Not many people know that the story leaked out by chance, through a story by Robert Parry and Brian Barger released originally through a foreign AP bureau. The Contra war was being funded by the US for almost five years before our involvement was exposed. That was a very large conspiracy, and few believed it until it was forced by chance into the open.

The notion that President Nixon ordered a team of anti-Castro Cuban operatives to raid the headquarters of the DNC at the Watergate complex instead of the headquarters of his opponent George McGovern was originally deemed an equally wild conspiracy theory. Funny thing about that. Those who pursued that theory brought down the president.

The point I'm trying to make is, there are genuine conspiracies, and all of them were originally suspected and discussed long before they were proved. The inability to "prove" something does not necessarily make it untrue.

But what's irresponsible is to assert proof where there is only evidence, to say this IS what happened as absolute fact when all you have is a theory.

I think asking questions is great. Saying, hey, I saw this story in Wayne Madsen - does anyone know more about this? Is there a way to prove this or disprove this? That's great. That's open. That gets discussion going and encourages further review. To simply repeat bold claims that have no basis is not really useful, and should rightfully be discouraged.

That said, some conspiracy theories are well-founded, based on mountains of evidence. Some may eventually be proven true. Others may never be "proven" satisfactorily and yet may still be true.

Other theories which may sound convincing now will undoubtedly be proven false over time. And while others may be false, we may never be able to convince everyone they are false. There's a quality of religious fundamentalism about some conspiracy theorists that no logic can penetrate.

Just because it was in a book or an article in some newspaper or magazine does NOT make something true. There are better and worse sources. There's a hiearchy of evidence. I would believe sworn testimony sooner than I'd believe unsworn testimony. But I'd also believe unsworn testimony from a normal person over sworn testimony from a CIA agent, whose pension depends on his or her ability to keep secrets, meaning, ability to lie, even when under oath.

Finding the truth in a conspiratorial matter is necessarily difficult because the perpetrators will lie to protect their involvement. The concept of "plausible deniability" comes into play. And Occams Razor utterly fails us, because a conspiracy is necessarily going to be more complex than the cover story that is often planned with the conspiracy. In such a case, the simplest explanation may simply be the one they want you to believe, and the wildly implausible one (on the face of it, Iran-Contra was wildly implausbile) may be the true answer.

So yes. QUESTION EVERYTHING. Try to figure out which sources are more credible and less. Remember that's not an absolute rule. I find Wikipedia an incredibly flawed source. But not on every story. I find the New York Times overall a pretty good source. But not on every story. I find Wayne Madsen a pretty useless source. But not on every story. And I don't object to someone wanting to discuss something they read there.

Most people don't look at bylines. They should. Absolutely. But even a stopped clock is right twice a day. And some "great" reporters - Sy Hersh, for example - can be right most of the time and flat out wrong on specific cases.

I want to end on the point of the CIA's role in the media. The CIA has for years sought to protect its position in government by controlling the media. This is not a conspiracy theory. This has been well documented in their own files, released to the public over the years. Consider this bold statement from their ironically titled "Openness Report" from 1991:

PAO [the CIA's Public Affairs Office] now has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation. This has helped us turn some "intelligence failure" stories into "intelligence success" stories, and it has contributed to the accuracy of countless others. In many instances, we have persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold, or even scrap stories that could have adversely affected national security interests or jeopardized sources and methods.

So I would argue that one of the ways a source becomes "credible" in our media world is by the sanction of the CIA-controlled media assets, and that truthtellers are sometimes painted as wild-eyed conspiracy theorists because the truth threatens centers of power in our country.

So just because a theory is not in the mainstream doesn't make it worthy of ridicule. HOWEVER. Not all conspiracy theories are equal. It's as ridiculous to discount them all as it is to believe them all.

Update [2006-5-22 11:4:17 by Real History Lisa]:

Armando requested that I update this with a comment I posted below. I'm happy of course to oblige.

I don't think CT's are well-suited for blogs in any case, because extraordinary claims DO require extraordinary evidence, meaning lots of text. People don't stop to read a book length blog while browsing, and often a book-length argument is needed to defend a CT.

That said, I think we endanger our nation if we become conspiracy deniers. That's what allowed Hitler to turn Germany into a horror story. "It couldn't happen here" was the general belief, and it couldn't have been more wrong. CT's in some cases tell a far more accurate version of history, and we can't avoid the errors of the past if we refuse to learn what really happened.

Originally posted to Real History Lisa on Sun May 21, 2006 at 11:35 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A major point Armando was making (34+ / 0-)

    it wasn't just that the offensive diary "sourced" Madsen, it's that the premise was just wrong.  Impossible.  I supposed even Madsen could be right once and awhile, but nothing Madsen could come up with could make sense out of the diarists main premise.

    Blogatha! The political, the personal. Not necessarily in that order.

    by ksh01 on Sun May 21, 2006 at 11:33:59 PM PDT

  •  Excellent summary -- Recommended (28+ / 0-)

    The assassination of Julius Ceasar was a conspiracy, and we still don't know all the details to this day. The Holocaust was a conspiracy, of sorts, as the Wannsee Conference minutes make clear.

    What your post does not address is the issue of free speech on a blog like this, as counterposed to the need to keep the reputation of the site free of the taint of being seen as a crackpot Internet site, thereby destroying the site.

    You know, I did my own poll here at DKos a week ago or so, and almost 50% of the hundreds who took it said they came to DKos for the news, and the majority of the rest came here for the political activism. I suppose they wouldn't come here if the site were overrun with outrageous inanity and spurious crap.

    BTW, thanks Lisa for all your work over the years. I don't think many here know of it, but some of us do, and have found it important, fascinating, and something that gives hope.

    "There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn't." -- L. Cohen

    by Valtin on Sun May 21, 2006 at 11:36:45 PM PDT

    •  Thanks much (30+ / 0-)

      I appreciate the kind words, and it's funny you mention that bit re free speech. I'm very torn on that for the same reasons you mention. Maybe you knew me in my early days at alt.conspiracy.jfk, which became so overrun with junk that what had once been a mildly useful forum became so polluted with crap that it became utterly useless. There's a fine line to walk when you're trying (presumably?) to encourage people who don't follow the news and aren't that well informed to get more involved. But when they get involved, badly, and innocently (without malice) - should we point out their errors gently or bash them with a hammer so that they never return? If they say things purposefully to mislead and disinform, I'd love to see them banned. But if they do so out of ignorance and innocence, I just hope we can find a better way than pounding them into the pavement. And of course, what if we are mistaken in our assessment of intelligence/motive?

      I felt the sentiment was on point, but I did not like the manner in which it was expressed, I guess.

      •  Yes, I first read you at alt.conspiracy.jfk (12+ / 0-)

        And I'm glad you bring it up, because it is a good reminder of how good discussions can be destroyed by endless blather, flame wars, irresponible "theorists" and their equally impassioned irresponsible "debunkers" (not to mention looneys, right-wingers, etc.). I saw other Usenet sites go "moderated". They seemed to lose a certain liveliness and frisson. Even intellectually they became gray, if still the contributions carried significant intellectual weight. This happened over at the sci.evolution bulletin board.

        This is such a hard issue. I recommend all to read Geoffrey R. Stone's Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime, from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism (W.W. Norton, 2004). You'll think you know where you stand on free speech or suspension of habeas corpus, until you read the section on the Civil War. And then you'll change your mind again. The book looks at the issue in all its complexity, something a blog or diary or article can never do.

        "There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn't." -- L. Cohen

        by Valtin on Mon May 22, 2006 at 12:01:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, books! (6+ / 0-)

          Thanks for the recommendation - sounds fascinating. And I fear very much that the more people read blogs, the less they read books, and good information does not always (or even usually) come in small, easily digestible chunks....

          •  I disagree (7+ / 0-)

            I've always been a reader, but since I started following political blogs I've done lots more reading on current affairs than before. Of course I post as much as I read, so I'm an "active" blogger. Perhaps your fears apply more to "passive" ones. But my guess is that the net effect of blogs is to increase book readership. My "theory" is that blogging has "conspired", albeit inadvertantly, to get people to read more widely, and hopefully deeply and critically as well, about what's going on these days, and not just trust the same old unreliable sources that they used to. I think that ultimately, this has been blogging's greatest contribution.

            "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

            by kovie on Mon May 22, 2006 at 02:16:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'd love to believe that (0+ / 0-)

              I don't know that either of us have a way to verify our theories. I'd certainly like to believe yours is truer! I know personally the more time I spend online, the less books I read..!

              •  I'm sure that there are ways to determine this (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ahianne, peraspera

                Not that I'm in any way qualified to do it myself. In any case, I'm just basing this on personal experience and gut feeling. Plus, someone's reading all those books coming out nearly every day that have something to do with today's political world, and surely there must be a significant overlap between bloggers and readers of these books.

                For myself, I couldn't imagine getting all of my information and understanding just from what I read online. You hit on one of the reasons in some of your comments here, when you pointed out the difficulty in verifying sources and facts in blogs and such. Even newspapers and magazines rarely cite sources let alone provide footnotes. That's what books do far better.

                So just as I can't imagine getting all my information from the MSM these days, neither can I imagine getting it all from blogs--even the better ones--or the internet in general. Of course, that's just me. But I suspect (and I readily admit that I have no way to prove this, so it's clearly just a theory) that I'm far from the only one.

                "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

                by kovie on Mon May 22, 2006 at 02:31:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I don't read more, per se (3+ / 0-)

                because I always have two or three books going at once, but since I've been active in the online political communities, what I'm reading has shifted -- lots more chewy political history and so forth, and a hell of a lot less fiction.

            •  If you get all your information from blogs (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              scrutinizer, Mary Julia

              I hope you read more than blogs that fit into your philosophical and interest reality. I really don't think blogs are educational per se. It is an open forum for opening up candid views without having to divulge who you really are. The fact that free flowing information is not fact checked, or is second hand and even third hand information does not lead to credibility of the information. Neither does reading one author of books all the time lead to intelligence, even if that author is Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein. Instead blogs are communities of like minded people. Conspiracies are the norm because it is always an us vs. them mentality. We are always looking for any piece of information that can be a gotcha against our opposition. Therefore, conspiracies are always required to pin on the opposition because they are always wrong and devious and we are always right and our intentions are always pure. Except for rare instances (like Hitler or Stalin) no one is that evil and no one is that pure. Yet, the way we write about people who we do not agree with reduces the credibility we have if we constantly equate their name with conspiracies of evil doing.

              •  disagree (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Armando, peraspera, Unduna, Dvalkure

                I think blogs are hugely educational. I think the problem is in which blogs one reads and what judgement one exercises in processing the information - for example, you can't tell me that Juan Cole's blog is not informative and educational.

                Recently had a discussion about this with someone, and as far as I'm concerned, blogs require the same level of discernment that any traditional reading requires.

                And, we'd better come to terms with how to use this medium as a news source b/c it's here and traditional media continues to lose its credibility.

                •  Blogs are educational if you use it that way (0+ / 0-)

                  However, if you only rely on one point of view for all your information, you are not being educated, you are being brainwashed and controlled. There are blogs out there, non-political that are based on educational pusuits. I guess I have always felt politics is about power, not education. As a retired teacher, I always defined education as the pursuit of knowledge based on truth. I always considered politics as pursuit of power regardless of truth using coercion, lies and half truths. Conspiracies are the province of wishful thinkers who aspire to being correct about everything. I find conspiracy theorists facinating, but not educational. Not every event had an alterior motive, or even a pre-meditated conspiracy prior to the event. Life is never that complicated, events are usually not that organized. Most events happen spontaneously, without comspiracies. To have an explanation for every event is like pissing in the wind.

        •  And of course, now I'm curious! (0+ / 0-)

          Did you post on a.c.j? Under what name?? Would I know you?

          •  Nah (0+ / 0-)

            I was a "lurker" mostly. I remember posting a couple of times, in response to something where I thought I had an intelligent thought. But since I didn't really know anything or have anything original to post, I mostly kept quiet. I used the site as a springboard to read more. It was the time of my first experience with computers.

            My point is, you wouldn't know me. I don't even remember what name I posted under.

            "There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn't." -- L. Cohen

            by Valtin on Mon May 22, 2006 at 12:24:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  second the book recommendation (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          reading perilous times i was amazed to find out how much worse previous wartime attacks were. but in previous times, technology was not as advanced(sic)
          as it is now.

        •  I second that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Perilous Times is a fantastic read.

    •  Freespeech Trucking Company (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Peeder wrote an interesting comment on

      ...the issue of free speech on a blog like this, as counterposed to the need to keep the reputation of the site free of the taint of being seen as a crackpot Internet site, thereby destroying the site.


      Only $6 per citizen per year to publicly fund each and every election for House, Senate and White House.

      by We hold these truths on Sun May 21, 2006 at 11:50:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think faulty conspiracy theories have 3 flaws (14+ / 0-)
    • Looking at only some of the evidence.
    • Ignoring that evidence that disproves one's theory.
    • Jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

    With 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, for example, we saw examples of the first flaw repeatedly. Posters would come on here and discuss how no buildings had ever fallen from fire alone. But of course no one was saying that the WTC buildings fell from fire alone! They would say that there was not 'enough' debris outside the Pentagon. They ignored the fact that there was SOME debris, and often in crashes like this, where a plane hits a hard surface head on, not much debris survives.

    We saw examples of the second flaw when they ignored the fact that hundreds of witnesses saw the plane hit the Pentagon, or saw the plane up until right before it hit the Pentagon, and then they saw a huge fireball. They ignored the fact that DNA from almost all of the passengers was found at the site, and unless all the people who collected body parts from the crash site and those who tested for DNA were in on the conspiracy, it means that the plane crashed into the Pentagon with those passengers onboard.

    And lastly they jump to unwarranted conclusions. And the diary that Armando was referring to, the diary about the rumored Rove indictment that suggested that the "Sealed vs Sealed" indictment had ANYTHING to do with Rove's case is an example of that. So are the arguments that because we have not seen all the security videotapes that were purportedly taken immediately after 9/11 around the Pentagon, we can therefore conclude that the Bush Administration is hiding something. Or even the simple conclusions that because we know that the Bush Administration has fucked up and lied to us in the past, we can conclude that they are lying to us over any other topic. We cannot. We should be skeptical of all their claims, since they have proven to be unreliable, but it is not justifiable to leap to the unwarranted conclusion that they are lying ALL the time without evidence of it.

    And it is Conspiracy Theories that have one or more of these flaws that should NOT appear here, and should never be recommended on this site.

    ...but not your own facts.

    by slouise217 on Sun May 21, 2006 at 11:56:29 PM PDT

    •  By that standard though... (30+ / 0-)'d have to omit any post saying the 9/11 Commission got it right for the same reasons you cite. They ignored evidence (lots of people saw a chase plane near Flight 93 - the report claims it was never there; Dick Cheney himself said he'd order the plane shot down and thought it had been, but the commission decided he was mistaken).

      You see how that becomes a two-edged sword? I agree that to date, the best evidence suggests a plane, not a missile, hit the Pentagon. I'm not persuaded by the demolition theory and yet, I've not yet heard a satisfactory explanation why melted steel was found at the base of the World Trade Center, where temperatures could not possibly have gotten hot enough to melt steel without explosives.

      I know it sounds easy to set criteria, but it's much harder than it looks!

      •  Melted steel in WTC (3+ / 0-)

        I don't know, supposedly steel melts at around 1370 degrees Celcius. Supposedly a hydrocarbon pool fire can be represented by a rapid rise in temperature to about 1143 degrees Celcius (bottom of page A-8 in link). So the discrepancy is only about 20%, and I'm guessing that's within the uncertainty of the two numbers (i.e., steel perhaps could melt at slightly less than 1370 degrees Celcius, and jet fuel may burn hotter than ordinary petroleum).

        You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. ---Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Opakapaka on Mon May 22, 2006 at 12:22:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well... (13+ / 0-)

 is an odd enough entity that by some scientific classifications it could be considered "alive." For instance, my house burned down back in the late '80s. Short in the attic wiring, for all anyone could tell. Along the back wall of the wood-frame house the fire got so hot it melted the bathtub and sink as well as a wrought iron sewing machine in the next room - even though the exterior wooden deck attached to that wall didn't burn at all. Meanwhile, cardboard boxes of stored files fell through the floor and sat in the ashes for days to be recovered later somewhat scorched around the edges. In a drawer of the turned-to-charcoal desk (not a single piece of paper left) the glass beads encasing a braid of my dead brother's hair melted completely. The hair wasn't even singed. Weird.

          Now, I could have spent all these years trying to discover how the heck a wood-fueled house fire could cause such very strange and varied effects, but it would have been a total waste of time. Those danged scorched files [incidentally, documentation related to a whole other obscure CT] are now in plastic garbage bags in tupperware storage bins in the shed, because they just refuse to go away...

          •  Yeah, (5+ / 0-)

            fire isn't well behaved. Also, I'm no expert in blast analysis, but I'm guessing that were explosive charges used, their effect would not be to raise temperatures to a high level for a sustained period of time.

            An explosion is a sudden increase in volume and release of energy in a violent manner, usually with the generation of high temperatures and the release of gases. An explosion causes pressure waves in the local medium in which it occurs.

            I'm guessing the temperature rise is too instantaneous to melt steel, for that you would need a sustained high temperature.

            I'm guessing the destructive effect of an explosive is primarily due to the focused pressure wave. A focused pressure wave would cause steel to fracture in a brittle manner, to my knowledge, not melt--melting steel would indicate the opposite, i.e. a sustained fire due to the presence of some sort of high-temperature fuel (i.e. jet fuel).

            What annoys me about conspiracy theories is that they pick these topics (melting steel, strength of steel at high temperature, missile in pentagon) that you know there are literally tens of thousands of ordinary people in the country with enough knowledge to know they're wrong. If you really believe such theories, do some research, ask some of the tens of thousands of engineers/metallurgists/scientists, or one of thousands of witnesses. At least come up with a theory that withstands basic scrutiny.

            You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. ---Martin Luther King Jr.

            by Opakapaka on Mon May 22, 2006 at 08:29:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hi, Opakapaka (is that Hawaiian?)... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Opakapaka, Dvalkure

              Any time there is significant energy generated and transferred, the most common effect is heat. That's just the physics of the matter of matter and energy. Sustaining an energy transfer that manifests as heat is then a question of secondary transfer and insulation (slowing of secondary transfer).

              So while explosives secondary to fire could indeed cause excess heat in structural components, the rapidity of those components' ability to transfer the induced heat would make all the difference in exactly how hot it got and how long it stayed that way. Once the totality of a couple of the worlds' tallest skyscrapers got all the way into the sub-basement, nobody should have been surprised to see molten hot-spots in the pile for weeks.

              The forces involved in the collapse of the towers were monumental, gravity outdoing even the hottest of the jet fuel fires. I'm sure there were all sorts of anomalies that would leave the worlds' foremost 'experts' scratching their collective heads. The problem is that the official story about the attacks themselves is so full of redactions, classifications, sleight-of-mind and outright lies. Not to mention the fact that entire phases of investigation were cut off immediately and are still not allowed to be mentioned in polite company. This inspires exactly zero confidence in 'experts' of any variety.

              What we'll have to learn to live with is the strong likelihood that we're never going to know what there is to be known of the "truth." This is nothing new, it's just something we must accept. That of course leaves the door wide open to speculation, and because of the arbitrary secrecy involved it also leads to conspiratorialist angles on the speculations. This actually serves the purposes of those involved in imposing arbitrary secrecy. After awhile, nobody cares anymore because there's nothing real to care about. Other than death and destruction, and we're getting pretty used to that.

              •  Hawai'ian pink snapper. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I agree that the reason we have so many bad conspiracy theories is that we have such secretive gov't. If we had open gov't we'd probably still have CTs, though hopefully they'd be of better quality.

                You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. ---Martin Luther King Jr.

                by Opakapaka on Mon May 22, 2006 at 05:46:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  not melt steel - evaporate steel (0+ / 0-)

              It's easy to imagine melting steel, not so easy to imagine evaporating steel.

              That doesn't happen until over 5000 degrees Fahrenheit.


              Tracking energy and transportation news.

              by joel3000 on Mon May 22, 2006 at 10:40:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Complex, counterintuitive behavior (6+ / 0-)

   just about everywhere.
            It is very easy to look at these things after the fact and decide they couldn't have happened according to the laws of physics.  Your house fire is an incredible example of the types of phenomena that would convince a conspiracy theorist that "something else happened."
            But the laws of physics do not mandate that everything will behave simply and predictably and similarly.  Once I saw a 9/11 conspiracy page pointing out that the first tower hit was not the first tower to fall.  I was astonished that anyone thought that was suspicious, as if the laws of physics required falling objects to politely take turns.

      •  You don't know how the temp got so high (12+ / 0-)

        Because you don't understand the mechanism - not because it is impossible.

        All I'm going to say here as this is not the place for it.

        •  I want to clarify (15+ / 0-)

          This is a topic that always gets off track.

          Your diary about evidence and what makes good evidence is worth having and I don't want to see it become a "what happened on 9/11" diary.

        •  Thanks (7+ / 0-)

          Right. I have read various accounts suggesting this is impossible. I have yet to read one that suggests it IS possible. And that's not to say it isn't possible. I just personally have not seen that yet, and would surely like to. Who wouldn't want to believe that we're not being lied to? I hate it when people say oh, people WANT to believe conspiracies, when I can assure you personally, it is the opposite. It's not fun to learn you're being lied to, trust me.

          •  eutectic reaction (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            4jkb4ia, bigchin

            pdf for you (if you know any metallurgists, ask them to take a gander)

            Metallurgy is still a developing science.  Hell, until recently it was assumed that melted aluminum in a house fire was a clear indicator of an accelerant like gasoline being used, until people started studying the effects of flashovers and realized that the stuff could melt in accidental fires just fine.

            In the case of the World Trade Center, the science is suggestive of an eutectic reaction, wherein the disaster compounded itself by creating a substance capable of increasing the amount of heat the steel became exposed to (the analogy used is that of blacksmiths that learned to use sulfur-rich fires because they reacted with the metal in such a way as to make it more malleable).  Like all real theories, this can be subjected to falsification, though I don't think it has yet been disproved.

            Florida Democrats: Learn how to WIN at the polls!

            by JR on Mon May 22, 2006 at 01:09:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Printer toner???? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MamasGun, Unduna

              My understanding is that the toner powder in printer and coper cartridges is highly explosive. I've been trying to study this subject on the Web and just see occasional references here and there.

              Suppose every cubicle in some really nice WTC office had its own laser printer. Is there any possibility that, in a terrible fire, the toner cartridges (or maybe computer monitors or expensive office chairs) might start exploding in a way that might mimic the effect of dynamite going off?

              In other words: is it possible that the conspiracy buffers are correct when they say that towers fell as if they were destroyed in a controlled demolition AND the authorities are correct when they say there's no actual conspiracy?

            •  Aluminum can melt in a campfire. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I've seen it. Of course, it was thin-walled cans, so the heat input required was small, but I don't have any problem believing it happens in house fires.

          •  I'm no metallurgist... (8+ / 0-)
            ...just a dumb assed sailor whose had a fair bit of training in marine firefighting over the years.

            The fundamental flaw in the argument above is the assupmtion that the only fuel present in the fire was jet fuel.  Many fuel sources fed the fire that were present in the buildings or introduced by the planes themselves.

            The obvious one that comes to mind is several tons of aluminum, which will ignite and burn quite vigorously under the right conditions.

            The presence of molten steel at the site is convincing evidence that localized temps in the fire reached the melting point of that steel, and nothing more sinister.

            I'm sorry I don't have a link or specific citation but I have seen slides of a shipboard fire on a container ship that clearly showed the melting of steel shipping containers, deck plating, and even large structural frames, so it is certainly not beyond reason to find some molten steel at the WTC.

            Also as I understand it steel loses its strenth at far below the melting point and the reports by structural engineers as to how the floor supports collapsed seems completely plausible.    

            "Good idea Chuck, but Syrup won't stop 'em." Firesign Theater, Everything You Know is Wrong.

            by 3card on Mon May 22, 2006 at 01:32:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No offense - but this is a perfect example (16+ / 0-)

              Since we're on this exact topic - I want to explain why I don't get anything useful out of the comment above - and please, NO OFFENSE INTENDED to the poster - this was just such a perfect example of what we'd been discussing I didn't want to let the oppotunity pass.

              1. I don't know that you are in the navy. You could be anyone. (I'm not suggesting you're not - I'm just saying, based solely on the text above, I have no reason to believe or disbelieve you are who you say.)
              1. If I can't confirm you were in the navy, how could I know whether or not I should believe you when you say you saw pictures of melted steel containers? Again, not knowing you at all, why would I believe this?

              That's why I don't spend much time in online arguments. Without facts that can be INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIED, any assertion is essentially useless (MINE INCLUDED! I'm not trying to single this person out.)

              If the comment provided links to data that was reputably sourced, then I would give it some consideration. As it stands, I can't claim to have learned anything by reading the above post.

              Should we be that skeptical? I would argue, hell yes. What if the towers were brought down by explosives? (I'm not saying there were - I'm just trying to illustrate the point here.) If that were the case, I'd expect there would be people online telling us that didn't happen. I'd expect them to quote scientists and insist on what they had seen firsthand. My ONLY point is that there would be as much reason to disbelieve this guy as to believe him, again, not knowing him.

              You're probably a nice guy and I hope you understand what I'm trying to do here. I'd love to elevate the level of online discourse so that people routine cite sources, provide docs (like the person above did - haven't read it yet, but I will) and if possible, a way to prove one is whom one claims to be. Remember - anyone can pose as anyone online. There's a guy running around the Internet claiming to be me from time to time. He uses my name, claims to have written my book, and what's shocking is that every now and then someone thinks it IS me, and it's not. It's pretty horrific. So don't think it's silly to question someone's identity. If this guy were an agent, here to disinform, how would we know it?

              Thanks. And apologies to the person above. I have no idea who you are and you may well be honest and sincere. I just wanted to make this illustration of how much we take for granted, that we probably shouldn't take for granted.

              •  Not expecting you to take my word as law... (11+ / 0-)
                ...but a couple of points seem obvious to me.

                I don'know it for a fact but for now I'll assume that two 'facts' stated above are true:

                A.  That molten steel was found at the WTC site, and
                B. that a hydrocarbon pool fire doesn't produce temperatures that will melt steel.

                Okay fine, but this is not evidence of conspiracy, and the way you droppeed that out there in your comment is misleading.  It is evidence that temperatures within the fire reached the melting point of steel.

                So the question is: Is this possible absent the presence of explosives, and if so how?

                Speculation based on personal experience and training in marine firefighting:  The presence of other fuels, including combustible metals, at the fire scene which could have produced local temperatures capable of melting steel.

                The fires at the WTC were complex real world fires, not labratory experiments.

                Believe whatever you want, I've got nothing to prove here, but what do you think is the more likely explanation?

                You also made a couple of other wrong assumptions.  Not all sailors are in the Navy, I'm Merchant Marine.  Also I'm not a 'nice' person. I'm an asshole, a crummudgeon, and a skeptic and I do not suffer fools gladly, no matter how educated they think they are.

                I'll see if I can get a copy of the photo I mentioned tomorrow. I only brought it up because it was fresh in my mind from a recertification course I took last week in Advanced Marine Firefighting and it was an impressive picture. I'm sorry I can't remember the name of the ship or I could refer you to the official reports on the incident, but it's late and if you want to believe that steel can't melt in a fire, be my guest.  


                "Good idea Chuck, but Syrup won't stop 'em." Firesign Theater, Everything You Know is Wrong.

                by 3card on Mon May 22, 2006 at 03:50:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And now you've made my point... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...about the problems with critical thinking.

                  I never said that the melted steel was evidence of conspiracy. I said it was evidence, to me, based on what I've read so far, that the official story is not correct. I have not said anything about more than one people being involved.

                  Re speculation - why bother with a photo? Anything can be photoshopped these days. Your photo would not be evidence of anything, but would only give rise to more speculation. Drawing 3D world conclusions from 2D photos posted online really IS irresponsible, no matter whose point of view it supports.

                •  I wouldn't assume (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Caj, Ahianne, MamasGun

                  that this fire wouldn't produce temps high enough to melt steel. Per my previous comment, steel melts at around 1370 degC. A hydrocarbon pool fire is about 1143 degC. This comes from a heat flux, "the incident flux approximates the incident flux on a member completely bathed in the flame from a large free-burning pool fire." So these numbers are approximate, and do not represent a large-scale fire with concentrated areas of rapid air flow.

                  So in this case, you have tons of jet fuel, which may burn hotter than gasoline. In a large fire, you will have all kinds of convection taking place--and where there's a lot of air flow, I'm sure it's as though you were blowing into a fire, it will get hotter. In other words, the 1143 degC value comes from a free burning pool fire--if you have a rapid-convection scenario or a scenario where in a location there is rapid airflow, I'd be surprised if the temperature wasn't significantly higher than 1143 degC.

                  You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. ---Martin Luther King Jr.

                  by Opakapaka on Mon May 22, 2006 at 08:49:54 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Does anyone use blowpipes in labs anymore? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    slouise217, Opakapaka
                    Or am I just showing my age?  Been more than 30 years since those mineralogy labs.

                    When I was over at the school today I happened to run last night's conversation by the instructor of the marine firefighting program / former city fire chief, and we discussed this very point.  He also brought up the reflective properties of concrete which could produce localized zones which when combined with rapid air flow would act much like a kiln.

                    OTOH, the ship photos I thought of came from the M/V Hanjin Pennsylvania which turns out to have had one or more containers of fireworks aboard.

                    So, not such a good example.  Still, really cool pictures that can be found here.

                    "Good idea Chuck, but Syrup won't stop 'em." Firesign Theater, Everything You Know is Wrong.

                    by 3card on Mon May 22, 2006 at 07:04:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Why even go there? (7+ / 0-)


                I don't often get serious, but this is the rare exception.

                Why would anyone plant explosives in the WTC on 9-11? Who could be certain that 757's would hit it that day?

                As it is, only 3 of the 4 planes reached their targets. And that was lucky, the planes which hit the WTC could easily have missed.

                What if more of the passengers or crew had resisted? We know that the towers got hit by planes, but anyone planting explosives would not have known that that would happen.

                What if they had missed? What do you do with all those explosives? What if you get found out?

                Anyone responsible would have been facing a certain death sentence if caught.

                Who would risk such a thing? Bush? Cheney? Rumsfeld?

                It's just stupid to even go there. The only logical explanantion for the collapse of the WTC would be the rather large 757's that hit the towers.

                Molten steel? There are a thousand reasons that could have happened. But the notion of a pre-planned conspiracy is just absurd on it's face.

                The prohibition on CT diaries isn't a ban on reasonable speculation... but the example you have chosen doesn't fit that category.

                Any suggestion of government compliance in the destruction of the WTC is, by definition, wild speculation.

                "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players" - Ben Domenech

                by Brownian Motion on Mon May 22, 2006 at 03:50:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah,... That too! n/t (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  slouise217, Brownian Motion

                  "Good idea Chuck, but Syrup won't stop 'em." Firesign Theater, Everything You Know is Wrong.

                  by 3card on Mon May 22, 2006 at 04:04:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Of course. (6+ / 0-)

                  Just like the government wouldn't be complicit in the Iran-Contra deal, or wouldn't make a log of EVERY phone call in the US. Nope. Impossible. (2 months ago I heard the second from a whole family of Repubs, now they refuse to talk about it)

                  One word of advice, when someone says something is speculation, or absurd, or stupid, someone else will likely prove them wrong.

                  I've seen a few things that quite a few people would consider "absurd", had they not seen it themselves.

                  I think that's the point of this diary. Don't dismiss anything as wild speculation. But, at the same time, don't believe everything that someone conjectures as fact. I have trouble following some of the 9/11 conspiracies and the things that are facts and are not, but that doesn't mean I can just dismiss a possibility when there is evidence on either side.


                  In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

                  by faux on Mon May 22, 2006 at 05:06:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  uh, you're forgetting (0+ / 0-)

                  Was not hit by a plane.   Collapsed in free-fall demolition style just like WTC1 and WTC2.

                  One could ASSUME that WTC7 was one of the targets of the other planes.

                  Like I said, ASSUME.  I'm not saying it's proof, I'm just saying that your statement is, frankly, kind of silly seeing as how there WAS another building that acted "just like" it was hit by a plane.

                  The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer -- Henry Kissinger

                  by theyrereal on Mon May 22, 2006 at 09:40:19 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  'Why even go there?' (0+ / 0-)

                  The mark of man with no curiosity.  None. Zip. Nada.

              •  Weak (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                And counter to everything you write.

                "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

                by Armando on Mon May 22, 2006 at 07:41:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So you like photos? (0+ / 0-)

                  Do you think you can learn something by photos? I don't think they are useful. They've been used to convince people that a plane didn't hit the Pentagon. (They've also been used to pollute this thread.) A digitized photo cannot be proven authentic.

                  •  That's not my point (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    slouise217, Ice Blue, Catesby

                    Your "What if?" hypothetical seems counter to what you wrote originally.

                    But the bottom line is you wish to denigrate online arugment because "you don't know who wrote it."

                    I reject that categorically. Your argumet ends up being you are all bunch of ninnies anyway so why worry?

                    We reject that. We have rules here that take the arguments made seriously.

                    I really have come to dislike your apporach utterly now.

                    It is condescending and not true to the spirit of the site.

                    You state yourself you have no respect for the community here. Well, I don't know why you would come here then.

                    "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

                    by Armando on Mon May 22, 2006 at 08:00:55 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Quick and easy explenation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Look at a picture of a forge chimney, look at a side view schematic of the trade towers showing the elevator shafts.

        I'm suprised more of the building didn't melt.  I've melted steel with propane myself (propane ignites at 432 degrees) Any fuel with an excess oxygen source produces more heat because of the faster reaction.  It's what makes thermite so much fun.

      •  Couldn't possibly happen? Why not? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Armando, slouise217, 3card

        I've not yet heard a satisfactory explanation why melted steel was found at the base of the World Trade Center, where temperatures could not possibly have gotten hot enough to melt steel without explosives.

        Why do people keep saying this?  What laws of physics say that the temperatures couldn't get that high?  Why is that impossible?
        People cite "the" melting temperature of steel and "the" temperature of burning fuel as if these things were universal with no variance.  As if these things don't vary within a fire with oxygen supply and convection of air.
        This is like saying that a 6'-tall man can't be real because an adult male is 5'9".  Or that I can't be an American because I have two brothers, and an American household has about 1.5 children.  It is a mistaken belief that "the temperature" is some fixed uniform value rather than an average.

      •  Just a comment on Steel and fire (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnonymousArmy, slouise217, 3card

        I have posted this on other threads relating to this but I feel compelled to mention it here again. Fire is the biggest threat to the structural stability of steel structures. More so than wood structures. A heavy timber member can withstand, at times, hours of exposure to fire and still maintain its strength. Steel can loose its structural integrity in a matter a minutes when exposed to the same fire. That is why fire proofing is applied to structural steel.  Steel fails long before it melts.

        I bring this up as an Architect, but one does not have to accept my word, it is within the common body of knowledge of building construction. And yet, I read countless conspiracies that imply that steel buildings don't collapse due to fire and therefore must have been blown up. Ironically steel responds very well to the dynamic loading of say a 757 impacting it or an explosion from a bomb, but responds horribly to prolonged exposure to heat.

        you scratch a redneck and you will find a liberal underneath.....

        by Schtu on Mon May 22, 2006 at 03:37:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My problem with this comes first-hand (0+ / 0-)

          I was in downtown LA when the biggest building fire before the WTC took place. Several floors raged with fire for several hours - many more than the WTC burned. And the building is still standing today, years later, without having been reinforced.

          So we can have theories as to why the building should have collapsed, but in reality, I've never read of a case, prior to 9/11, where a building collapsed in that manner. I was in Spain shortly after the large recent fire they had there. Again, the structure was still standing, long after the embers had stopped glowing.

          Why was the WTC special? I'd really like to know.

          •  See, it's THIS kind of comment that I referenced (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            And for a specific reason.

            The WTC twin towers were NOT special, because they did NOT fall because of fire.

            They fell because the fireproofing on the structural steel members was removed by the impact of the plane, and because the plane damaged significant numbers of structural members (in one building, the core, in the other the outer structure), and the jet fuel started numerous other fires.

            It is the combo of all those events that caused the collapse.

            A clear example of YOUR buying into a Conspiracy theory - you succumb to one of the fatal flaws by ONLY looking at some of the evidence.

            And that failure costs you an incredible amount of credibility here.

            ...but not your own facts.

            by slouise217 on Mon May 22, 2006 at 11:06:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You make an important point (0+ / 0-)

              ... regarding the fireproofing. It was the dynamic loading of the jet impact that blew the light weight insulation off the steel thus making it vulnerable.

              The WTC towers were unique in many ways that other structures are not. It was a "tube" construction highrise. The close spacing of the exterior columns, braced by the floors, created a tube like structure. Having so many columns spaced closely together created a redundancy for the vertical loading but also was uniquely vulnerable to very attack that took place.

              You are also correct in that the two buldings failed differently. In one, the exterior structure collapses and you can actually see the core remain standing for a few seconds. The other, the core drops right through the center, pullling the exterior columns down with it.

              As an aside, I do believe that had the fire not weakened the floor trusses, thus causing the columns to loose their lateral bracing, the buildings would be standing today. Clearly, no fire suppression system could control that much jet fuel. Your point is correct, but I think the fire was the most important element in the equation.

              you scratch a redneck and you will find a liberal underneath.....

              by Schtu on Tue May 23, 2006 at 10:31:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  What? (0+ / 0-)

              I have never said, nor do I believe, any of the conspiracy theories about the building coming down by explosives. I was only saying fire is not enough to bring down a building because we had a huge, raging office fire here that I saw with my own eyes.

              I've read different arguments from scientists and physicists who disagree as to what brought the building down. I've read different arguments re the melting point of steel issue. I don't know enough in these matters to know what is persuasive.

              But you're imputing something that I have never said. I have no "conspiracy theory" as to why the buildings came down the way they did. I actually don't think that's remotely important to the events of 9/11. That you feel the need to jump all over that bespeaks an agenda not to enlighten or discuss, but to squelch. Why is that?

            •  Now THIS is the kind of double standard I see (0+ / 0-)

              slouise points an accusing finger at conspiracy theorists for "ONLY looking at some of the evidence", but her own proposal ignores the basic fact that three towers fell that day and only two of them were struck by airplanes, flat ruling out any explanation of the fall of the towers that relies on airplane impact. Is slouise's selectivity as bad as that she attacks? No, it is much worse. The validity of slouse's position, as regards the two towers to which it could concievably apply, relies on detailed analysis, which will necessarily have to make a number of assumptions. The flaw in her reasoning, on the other hand, is clear cut and beyond dispute. Also, it is not clear that this business about stripping fireproofing is something anyone discussing should be presumed to know about, but the number of towers that fell clearly is. The first could be an omission made is good faith and with some dilligence; there is no excuse for the seond.

              I am an agnostic on the explosives question, but this is something I see from many conspiracy bashers all the time: they thump the table about the evidentiary standards of their opponents, but do not apply the same standards to themselves.

              •  WTC 7 fell because of massive structural damage (0+ / 0-)

                And fire.

                The evidence of that has been discussed here multiple times. The people who debunk the conspiracy theories about 9/11 here do apply strict standards to themselves. I've seen many diaries where they've done so.

                •  Well this is a specific counterexample (0+ / 0-)

                  It is easy to make generalizations that it has been discussed before, and they may even be true. But this is a specific counterexample. slouise attacked conspiracy theorists specifically for not accounting for all evidence, and made a post herself that did exactly that in a much more egregious manner than the person she (if it is a she) attacked. She made an unqualified statement about how "the towers" fell that could not possibly apply to all of said towers.

      •  Molten Steel (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The answer is that there was no molten steel.  There are a bunch of references
        to molten steel beams, which is nonsense.  If the steel is in beam form,  its not molten.   The witnesses don't know what they are talking about.   Its very odd that despite the fact that there was supposedly molten steel present for weeks afterward, no one took any pictures.

    •  there are too many discrepancies (6+ / 0-)

      in the official 9/11 conspiracy theory. You cite a few very peripheral matters relating to 9/11 but ignore the main points. Which have to do with the identity of the so-called hijaakers, could they have reasonably hoped to carry out the operation (without assistance) since they would have had to carry out quite complex manuevers at very high speed without any evidence that they had training to fly the planes in fact most of the evidence points to the fact they could barely fly one-engined planes? Why they were allowed such freedom of movement before 9/11? Why the FBI did not pay attention to Coleen Rowley or Sibel Edmunds? Why weren't the planes intercepted? Why was there no investigation of the crashes including the one in Pennsylvania when all other crashes terrorist caused or not had been always investigated? Why did the government remove all the evidence from the 9/11 site? Why did no heads roll and everyone involved was promoted? There are many more important points that are too numerous to list.

      As I looked at the evidence including reading all the revelant official reports I can say that the government story just doesn't hold up. I dont know what happened but I know that the government is hiding something or are deliberately acting in a suspucious manner.

      The reason why you and most others that reject "conspiracy" theories is that the idea that there are forces out there that you can't see and can't control causes anxiety.

      Om Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu (may all beings in all the worlds be happy)

      by Chris Cosmos on Mon May 22, 2006 at 05:45:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent diary. THIS is where I go. (9+ / 0-)

        I know for shit about the melting point of steel, eutetic reactions, and so forth, I barely know which end of the Bunsen burner is which, but I know people, I know a fair amount of current and recent history, and I know cause-and-effect, so that's where I focus.  I have to take someone's word for the scientific stuff (and that can be a problem).

        So much of the not-scientific and not-forensic evidence (are there words for these two not- concepts?) surrounding the 9/11 attacks suggests that something other than the official "Whafuck?" government explanation is what happened that day.  And the consequences are even more disturbing -- the reactions by government and business officials, the people who profited politically and financially, etc. etc.

        I don't believe somebody planted bombs in the WTC, or that some malefactor slammed a Scud into the Pentagon, any more than I believe David Icke's lizard people piloted the hijacked jetliners.  But I don't believe the government's story that "we were just standing there, minding our own business, when all of a sudden..." any more than I believe that their actions post-9/11 were for the security and safety of this country and its people.

        •  nice comment... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Black Max, Real History Lisa

          and very humorous.

          Anyway the point is we don't have the info to know exactly what happened--the point is that people in various position of power don't want to know so nothing will come of it. The most interesting question, to me, about this whole thing is  why? Why do people swallow this BS with no complaint and not only with 9/11 but all kinds of other stuff. I think answering that, without needing to come up with a particular answer, would be a worthy quest.

          Om Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu (may all beings in all the worlds be happy)

          by Chris Cosmos on Mon May 22, 2006 at 01:57:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I love this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This comment unintentionally created a discussion on 9/11 conspiracies.  In a diary that was supposed to supress such conspiracies.  

      "How's the New American Century? Looks good to me."

      by otto on Mon May 22, 2006 at 09:44:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's the main question I have: (7+ / 0-)

    How do you evaluate evidence? The more reliable the source, the more likely the conspiracy. The less reliable the source, the less likely the conspiracy. And Madsen is as unreliable as anybody -- he claimed that Bush was about to invade Iran in 2004 and claimed Israel bombed the Cole. That is about as unreliable as you can get.

  •  The trouble always begins (22+ / 0-)

    when one person, or a group of people, decide to enforce what their idea of what consists of free speech.  That generally leads to polarization of thought and a them versus us mentality.

    As the polarization continues, people are drawn into "camps" of like minded people.  "Who are you to question us?", is shouted back and forth across the gulf.  Then the flame wars start, and moderators have to be brought in.

    What is to be done when one of the flamers IS a moderator?  Do we all just splinter into our cliques and congratulate ourselves on how important we are, or do we reach out for compromise?  What is more important, mission or ego?  Do you demand obedience or hear dissent?

    I understand the difference between wild speculation and inquisitiveness.  I was in the army between 71 and 74.  I learned discipline.  I learned teamwork.  I learned that everything was not as it seems.  Does anyone here think that the cold war was really cold?  If so, leave your idealist sack at the door.  Conspiracy theories happen because there is a nugget of truth buried in the mounds of crap.  Dismiss every mound of crap as crap, and eventually one will swallow you.

    •  Well: (6+ / 0-)

      Rules are rules, and Kos has said that Wayne Madsen is off limits here. He has banned people for diaring about his theories before. I don't think you would want me to pee on your floor if I were a guest at your house, and I think we should respect the rules of the host of the site.

      If some other site says it's OK to write about them, I could care less. But these are the rules here.

      And Madsen has been debunked a million times; he claimed Israel bombed the Cole.

      •  There's this weird notion... (9+ / 0-)

        ...that everyone here knows all these "rules". Seriously - I come and go from this site - I don't read every post. I don't know anyone else who does. I mean, we can't all be Jack Bauer, living life in 24 hour days! (Speaking of which - I saw a sneak preview of the first hour of the finale - no spoilers. But wow!)

        If there really is such a rule, then there should be a permanent post with that so everyone can see and agree to it by joining the site. I hear about these "rules" every so often but have never seen such a listing!

        •  See the FAQ: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rita in DC, Rick Oliver

          Diaries on certain topics are likely to generate angry responses. Most of these topics fall under the general heading of "conspiracy theories", i.e. "JFK was killed by Martians". The rule for posting such diaries is "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". The more extreme the claim, the higher the burden of proof that commenters will demand. If you can't provide evidence to back up your claim, it is best not to post the diary. This guideline also applies to recommending extraordinary-claims diaries. If a diary makes an extreme claim with little or no evidence to back up that claim, it shouldn't be recommended, no matter what that claim is.

          Here is the link.

          •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

            I'm sure I read the FAQ when I joined, but that was a long time ago. I don't know who would read it again, meaning, if it's updated, who would know?

          •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

            I'm sure I read the FAQ when I joined, but that was a long time ago. I don't know who would read it again, meaning, if it's updated, who would know?

            •  Look (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              slouise217, vcmvo2

              Everyone should know.

              And if they didn;t before they do now.

              So the whining can end now.

              "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

              by Armando on Mon May 22, 2006 at 07:39:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Come on, Armando (8+ / 1-)

                You're going over the line with the "whining" comment.  If I were Lisa, I'd take it personally -- "who you calling a whiner?" and then the flame war is on.  She's accepted the rules of the road and I haven't seen any whining.  I have seen a sensible, well-handled discussion with no one needing to be personally slapped down.

              •  This site is rapidly growing... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bartman, Unduna, Dvalkure


                While new folks SHOULD become familiar with the "rules", they might not.  And they might recommend something inappropriately.

                To "ban" them out of the blue, as you've said happens, seems a good way to generate ill will - unnecessarily.

                Is is technically possible for the "watchdogs" to get at the very top of a diary with a "warning" (this could even be canned language, to save trouble) that "recommending this could be hazardous to your health" or something?

                This would be easier, and it would maintain the "tone" and "integrity" of the site much better than, say, getting in the thread and calling twenty different people "stupid" for recommending something.  

                (Unless, of course, last night's bruhaha was simply the "elite liberals' " version of a fun, redneck, Saturday-night bar fight - in which case I don't want to ruin anyone's enjoyment...)

                But I think a simple warning would be more dignified and effective, all the way around.

                Is such a thing practical?

                •  It was stated from the beginning in that diary (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

                  by Armando on Mon May 22, 2006 at 10:37:57 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You mean in the comments... (0+ / 0-)

                    ... below the diary, right?  That's what I recall.

                    What I'm talking about is putting a flag of sorts (with a link to the "rules") WAY up top, either above or in the actual DIARY.

                    Maybe that's more clear.  There is a difference.

                    Because not everyone reads the nattering comments, and they might "recommend" based on the diary entry itself without having read the comments below.

                    And I wonder if it is even possible, because you had to request THIS diarist to make an update to the diary itself.  So I'm thinking this "flag at the top" scheme is perhaps not possible, given the current software set-up?

                •  In every 9/11 (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Armando, Ahianne, slouise217, Unduna

                  diary you will find 10 people telling people to read the FAQ, posting Kos's request that these types of diaries find another home, and reminders of the rules.

                  Every time.

                  They've been reminding people for months. This is not out of the blue.

                  And what happens is they are attacked, people continue just to "defy" what they consider "watchdogs". The tone goes to hell in the 9/11 diaries no matter what happens. Always has.

                  If Kos decides to do bannings again, it will not be that people were not warned. It will be because they decided not to take the warning seriously.

                  •  The diary last night... (0+ / 0-)

                    was not a 9/11 diary.

                    It was a discussion of a court case where the identities of both parties, as well as all details were sealed. People were explaining why they thought it was relevant to the Plame case (and Karl Rove in particular). Many of the lawyers on this site pointed out that the reasoning in the central theory being discussed was fatally flawed, based on the details of how the US legal system works.

                    congratulations on your foreskin -- osteriser

                    by bartman on Mon May 22, 2006 at 12:52:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It was a CT diary (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      Read the FAQ. It is not just 9/11 diaries.

                      But you know that already.

                      It was a bannable diary period.

                      But you know that already.

                      Or if you don't, know it now.

                      "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

                      by Armando on Mon May 22, 2006 at 01:12:42 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I was responding to SeattleLiberal. (0+ / 0-)

                        The comment I responded to made no mention of CT diaries in general. It only mentioned 9/11 diaries.

                        I merely pointed out that the diary last night was not on 9/11, but a different issue.

                        I didn't make any statements about the FAQ, or the bannableness of the diary.

                        SL pointed out that "in every 9/11 diary" certain things happen. I was trying to clarify that this wasn't a 9/11 diary, so the dynamics were a bit different.

                        congratulations on your foreskin -- osteriser

                        by bartman on Mon May 22, 2006 at 01:38:25 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

        •  See the FAQ: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Diaries on certain topics are likely to generate angry responses. Most of these topics fall under the general heading of "conspiracy theories", i.e. "JFK was killed by Martians". The rule for posting such diaries is "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". The more extreme the claim, the higher the burden of proof that commenters will demand. If you can't provide evidence to back up your claim, it is best not to post the diary. This guideline also applies to recommending extraordinary-claims diaries. If a diary makes an extreme claim with little or no evidence to back up that claim, it shouldn't be recommended, no matter what that claim is.

          Here is the link.

          •  Agreed (8+ / 0-)

            I don't think CT's are well-suited for blogs in any case, because extraordinary claims DO require extraordinary evidence, meaning lots of text.  People don't stop to read a book length blog while browsing, and often a book-length argument is needed to defend a CT.

            That said, I think we endanger our nation if we become conspiracy deniers. That's what allowed Hitler to turn Germany into a horror story. "It couldn't happen here" was the general belief, and it couldn't have been more wrong. CT's in some cases tell a far more accurate version of history, and we can't avoid the errors of the past if we refuse to learn what really happened.

            •  Lisa (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              slouise217, vcmvo2

              UPDATE your diary with this comment please.

              Because that is precisely the point.

              And WHY the rule exists.

              I think you are being unfair to the Admins here.

              "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

              by Armando on Mon May 22, 2006 at 07:38:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Blog posts are fine (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Real History Lisa
              because not all serious discussions can be exhaustive in detail. One can present a case to the level of detail appropriate to the medium and reference further discussion. After all, complete accounts of 9/11 that conform to the conventional view also grow to book length, but that does not mean shorter such accounts canot be valuable. The ability to boil down and summarize is very important, as none of us has the time to thoroughly master more than a few things. The advantage of a blog over a book is the debate, at least where it remains well-reasoned and civil (and where not it can be ignored).

              Great diary post, by the way.  I'll look into your work.

          •  but the thing is (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bebacker, Dvalkure, Real History Lisa

            it doesn't say these diaries are banned, it just says that you need to bring new evidence and be able to back up your claims. nowhere does it say NO conspiracy diaries. if that is the policy, then the faq needs to be clearer.

        •  I agree... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, Eternal Hope

          I hadn't even heard of this Madsen fellow until the disputed diary.

          (-10.00, -9.54) Volunteer for John Laesch for Congress (IL-14)

          by Jared Lash on Mon May 22, 2006 at 01:39:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  yeah (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, Dvalkure

          I'd like to know all these rules.  I never heard of this Madsen guy before.  I live, both physically and mentally, way, way outside the beltway, so I never saw it coming.  

      •  I'm not here to pee on anyone's floor (7+ / 0-)

        and I'm not a big fan of CT's.  I'm also not afraid of differing opinions, whether well thought out or from a nutjob like Madsen.

        Is it a conspiracy to say that Israel bombed and strafed the USS Liberty?  If everyone had ignored the diary, it would have gone away.  It became an issue when the big guns weighed in and gave it more legs than it might have deserved.

        What's the diary about the diary up to now, 5 or 6 hundred posts?  There must be something there to attract that kind of passion at this hour.  

        The only thing I request is that people rate the post and not the poster.  Going down the list in a long thread and troll-rating any request for clarification of a point is not being responsible.  There are enough trolls that wasting time doing that for personal revenge makes no sense.

        Let's not sidetrack RHL's main points though.  Conspiracies are real.  Just because "conventional wisdom", whatever that is, says it's stupid, doesn't mean it isn't real.  Keep collecting data.

        •  Good point re the Liberty (10+ / 0-)

          Going from ancient memory here so if you really want to know what happened - check this out elsewhere: Israel admits to bombing the Liberty. That's fact. They claim, however, that it was an accident - that they didn't know it was an American ship.

          The CT then is that Israel KNEW it was an American ship, and attacked anyway. Several on the ship claimed they saw the Israeli plane fly over the ship close enough to have seen the American flag.

          You can imagine how inconvenient that would be for our foreign policy. The US needs its foothold in the oil-rich middle east, which Israel provides, in exchange for our protection. If Israel attacked on purpose, there'd have to be consequences, which could mean severing relations or punishing them with an attack, neither of which were palatable options.

          So the outcome would be the same whether it was an accident or an attack - we would have made it appear as an accident. So all the statements in support of its having been an accident would support either theory of the history.

          As I said, sorting through sources is tough. Whom to believe? I read a book on the subject and came away convinced that Israel had attacked on purpose. The Liberty was an intelligence ship, and the Israelis were about to launch an attack, and had every reason to want to keep that secret, even if it meant disabling an ally who might find out and try to prevent the upcoming attack.

          So I don't see that so much as "conspiracy theory" as an alternative explanation for a historical event, and one which has some evidence. I've never read any evidence as compelling for the 'official story' - which isn't to say it isn't true. i just found the alternative theory more compelling, based on the evidence I had read.

        •  Well, I'll take back my troll-ratings. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray in TX, Ahianne, Rick Oliver, Dvalkure

          Kos has made it very clear that he is against CT's, and he has banned people for that before. But you didn't know that, so I'll take back mine.

          I don't mind a healthy skepticism of everybody -- my faith in the ability of Bush administration to tell the truth has been destroyed many times over. This propensity for either lying or getting the facts wrong is why I am so strongly against Madsen as well. I hope you understand where I am coming from on this.

        •  Simple (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Follow the rules.

          Kos is gonna ban you otherwise.

          "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

          by Armando on Mon May 22, 2006 at 09:12:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  What was hilarious (7+ / 0-)

      last night was that I agreed with Armando's reasoning, but not his rudeness.

      And got alot of troll ratings for it. It's the same group who always troll rate.

  •  OK, as someone who rec'd the CT diary.... (8+ / 0-)

    ....I'm not afraid to fess up.

    The reason I rec'd it was NOT b/c I thought it was true or even a possibility, but rather b/c I found it interesting that Tweety was pushing this theory and maybe there was something to be discussed about how even the MSM might be going CT on Bush. And that I found quite funny. Now, I do admit that I recommended the diary when it only had a couple of comments, so I didn't really know the direction it was going. But let's say this CT actually did start to gain steam in the MSM, however absurd it might be, wouldn't it be OK to talk about that? (wow, I can't believe I just wrote: "wouldn't it be OK to talk about that")

    Anyway, I have absolutely no fear about using the features on this site if I'm using them in good faith. If someone wants to ban me for that, so be it.

    Since this is somewhat of a self-regulating site, an ideal feature would be to have an "unrecommend" button available at all times (not just after you've recommend a diary).

    •  Ugh. This seems off-topic. (0+ / 0-)


    •  Coraggio n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn't." -- L. Cohen

      by Valtin on Mon May 22, 2006 at 12:52:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is such a feature. (6+ / 0-)

      After you hit the recommend button, you can always hit it again to unrecommend it.

      And Kos has said that it is against the rules here to either recommend or write diaries about Madsen. He has banned people in the past for it.

      BUT, having said that, there is nothing wrong with this one, because it helps people get ideas on how to evaluate evidence in the first place.

      •  I think Madsen is nuts (0+ / 0-)

        But, I've never seen Kos say anything about it.

        Besides the general information in the FAQ, is there a place where it specifically mentions Madsen?  

        "How's the New American Century? Looks good to me."

        by otto on Mon May 22, 2006 at 09:58:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We're all just liars (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          otto, slouise217

          I suppose.

          Contrarian to the end.

          "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

          by Armando on Mon May 22, 2006 at 10:47:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What? (0+ / 0-)

            You have a website set up to foster argument.  

            I'm surprised you even know who I am.  

            You'll notice that in the past couple of weeks, there has been a building consensus that I was right about the way things were going with those stupid troll hunts.  

            So, I can either be agreeable, or right.  

            I've never called anyone a liar.  I don't think it's fair for you to protray it in that manner.  As a matter of fact, I think that goes against the posting rules.  

            "How's the New American Century? Looks good to me."

            by otto on Mon May 22, 2006 at 12:36:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  In the future (4+ / 0-)

            It is more appropriate to point to the answer for a question than to question the intent of the individual posing the question.  I live in a world where I trust first, then distrust much, much later.  

            Here's the information.  I searched Dkosopedia and found it.  


            Note: Please use common sense when recommending diaries. Diaries that rely entirely on unreliable sources such as Wayne Madsen, Capitol Hill Blue, Jason Leopold, or Lyndon LaRouche are generally not considered acceptable. Recommending poorly sourced conspiracy theory diaries may result in banning without warning for all recommenders.

            I was asking a question of a poster not named Armando. I wasn't even arguing with the person.  I was honestly asking the question.  I don't make it a point to insult other posters. I am very civil online. It makes no sense to me to behave in an uncivil manner towards people I don't know.  

            When I was engaging EH earlier in the month(I think) I was genuinely trying to point out that it may not be helpful the way things were going. I did it because I didn't think taunting while troll rating was helpful. If you ask her, I'm sure she will tell you that the entire discussion was civil and polite, and there was not one bit of name calling involved.  I wouldn't have called anyone a liar, because I don't think I've encountered an out and out lie on Dkos before.  

            I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't attempt to antagonize while I am engaging another poster.

            "How's the New American Century? Looks good to me."

            by otto on Mon May 22, 2006 at 12:55:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  No there's not. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        otto, bartman

        The feature I'm suggesting is to have an unrecommend button available even BEFORE you've recommended a diary. That way, if an "offensive" diary makes the rec list, a majority of people could then easily unrecommend it off the list. And if enough people unrecommend a diary it could even go to a hidden list. This would also be useful for duplicate diaries or troll diaries that just bump good diaries off the diary list.

  •  I'm a fan of falsification (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope, Valtin, Dvalkure, greenearth

    Maybe I just have a hard-on for Karl Popper, but falsification works for both conspiracy theories AND conventional wisdom.  If the standard line can be shown false by those credible sources you've mentioned, then that immediately initiates a search for the next conceptualization that, ceteris paribus, satisfies Occam's Razor.  Assuming there are reasonable grounds for an alternative theory to have taken shape, it should be possible through falsifying aspects of the theory backed by conventional wisdom to force a reconciliation of the two divergent opinions.

    When such falsification cannot be done properly is usually when the more outlandish theories crop up, in my experience.  As long as all incidences of "conventional wisdom" are approached with the curiosity essential to social science, it should be possible to figure shit out.

    Florida Democrats: Learn how to WIN at the polls!

    by JR on Mon May 22, 2006 at 12:51:50 AM PDT

    •  That's funny (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I just read, in the last two days, an argument against exactly that. Sadly, I have no idea where I read it. But it was an interesting counterargument. Maybe someone else read it. I don't know if it was here or in email or where.

    •  Interesting (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4jkb4ia, Alien Abductee, Dvalkure

      But falsification theory has some holes. It does not really prove any theory. What it basically does is say that any legitimate scientific theory should be able to state premises that, if satisfied, would falsify or eliminate that theory. Falsification sets a standard for what is or is not (supposedly) a scientific theory. It is a theory of scientific demarkation and legitimacy. But (and I'm on my Darwin kick tonight), when Darwin could not set up premises -- and for Popper that means an experiment -- testing the truth of natural selection, he deemed Darwinian evolution a pseudo-science. (Note, he changed his mind some years later.)

      The authorities are always debunking theories that later turn out to be true. One last time with Darwin... Lord Kelvin (of thermodynamics fame) pronounced the refutation of Darwin (as well as Lyellian geology) when he figured out mathematically that the earth was not anywhere near as old as the evolutionists maintained -- and this was irrefutable due to the well-established laws of physics. Trouble was, nobody had ever heard of radioactivity and nuclear science... yet. As a result, Darwinian evolution was eclipsed in the scientific community for about 30 to 40 years (about 1880-1920).

      "There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn't." -- L. Cohen

      by Valtin on Mon May 22, 2006 at 01:01:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and yet (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne, 4jkb4ia, Valtin, Dvalkure

        we caught the erroneous dismissals of Darwin eventually, once it was realized that his theories hadn't actually been demonstrated to be false.  It is exactly because of that uncertainty of technological development that I don't trust any theory that claims to be "proved."

        A good example I like to cite is fire debris analysis (thanks, Dad!).  Until the Oakland fires in the early 90s a whole lot of people were locked away for arson because of "indicators" that had been found, like pour patterns, weird glass shatterings, melted aluminum, cracked concrete--things which turned out to actually mean nothing remotely incriminating in and of themselves.  But it wasn't until analysts got to look at forty or so known accidental fires that these indicators were shown as unreliable.  Had Oakland not burned, Lord only knows where fire science would be today.  But since Oakland, the theories that had governed the science were in great number shown to be false and thus shown the door.  A theory can never be assumed to be certain.

        Florida Democrats: Learn how to WIN at the polls!

        by JR on Mon May 22, 2006 at 01:15:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  All History is Theory (6+ / 0-)

          Because we don't have firsthand experience of it (except of course, personal history, and even then people can remember things wrong) and because we never have a COMPLETE record of it. We can know some small things with certainty, but we can never know what was going on in someone else's head.

          For that reason, I think we need to remember that the official story of any major event is simply one theory of that history, and that another theory, maybe even a conspiratorial one, may be closer to the truth.

          •  Any police department will tell you (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Valtin, bartman, Dvalkure, greenearth

            eyewitnesses are the least reliable.  Everything is filtered through their own experiences and prejudices.

            •  Psychology has backed this up with research (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bartman, Dvalkure

              Re works, for instance, of Elizabeth Loftus. But there are many many others. The insufficiency of perception has a long history in psychology... really begins with Helmholtz's observation that the eye, even at 20-20, does not see things perfectly, that there are built-in "errors".

              Freud was originally a protege of the Helmholtzian school. The scientific method here also helped destroy the belief in the "perfection" of God's creation, and set the stage for Darwinian natural selection, in which adaptations only make things "more perfect", not perfect, per se.

              "There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn't." -- L. Cohen

              by Valtin on Mon May 22, 2006 at 10:45:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  History (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            amsterdam, bartman, Dvalkure

            Very well said Lisa. I think this is an important diary. If one studies hermeneutics, or more generally, the philosophy of science, it becomes clear that even information traditionally accepted as irrevocable FACT can be called into question.

            We all grow up and develop our mental faculties, and belief systems within a cultural milieu. We are each of us therefore indoctrinated into a system of values that penetrates us and dictates our perspective and outlook on the world without realizing what has hit us.

            I think the only way to counteract this is to very consciously and actively strive for self-awareness and ongoing self-analysis. We need to be vigilant with regard to our own biases, because we all have them. If we do this we can more accurately analyze the world we live in.

            That being said, not all people are similarly gifted when it comes to the capacity for critical thinking. For some folks, it is simply EASIER to just believe what their first grade history teacher, or their parents, or the president, or NBC or CNN tells them. That is unfortunate. For those who are able and willing to look at themselves and the world (in all it's beauty and horror) then previously unpleasant, hidden truths might be  revealed.

        •  When it comes to knowlege, let's recall Newton (0+ / 0-)

          Issac Newton, who at the end of his career is purported to have mused:

          I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.


          "There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn't." -- L. Cohen

          by Valtin on Mon May 22, 2006 at 10:49:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  'They all laughed... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JR, Gram E, Black Max, Valtin Christopher Columbus,
        when he said the world was round.
        They all laughed when Edison recorded sound.
        They all laughed at Orville and his brother,
        When they said that man could fly.
        They told Marconi, wireless was a phony,
        it's the same old cry..."

        Forgive me. And old song you made me remember, suddenly!

  •  What keeps me up at night... (9+ / 13-)

    is how is this guy big in Germany?

    Now that's gotta be a sinister conspiracy. This shit has got Trilateral Commission written all over it.

    "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players" - Ben Domenech

    by Brownian Motion on Mon May 22, 2006 at 01:06:59 AM PDT

    •  OK. This was a mistake. (7+ / 0-)

      Please make sure this stays hidden. It should stay hidden if no one else recommends it. So there is no need for a trollfest.

      I really hate CT diaries, but no one deserves to be subjected to David in his undies.

      My bad.

      "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players" - Ben Domenech

      by Brownian Motion on Mon May 22, 2006 at 04:15:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I had to recommend (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm still laughing from that picture. Two troll rates would have hidden it- people are piling on...And God knows you're no troll Brownian Motion! In fact your pictures are hilarious!

      The men who question power determine whether we use power or power uses us- JFK 10/26/1963

      by vcmvo2 on Mon May 22, 2006 at 07:03:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think this is very funny (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, NJwlss

      I don't see why it should be trollrated.

      "Genuwyne double-rectified bust-head, aged in the keg!"

      by hrh on Mon May 22, 2006 at 07:36:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You and me both hrh (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        For people that want to air their notions and cry free speech! They certainly have itchy troll rating fingers where Brownian Motion is concerned! I think he's funny and appropriate so I uprated him. If they need to hide it then 2 troll rates will do it! I'm still laughing about Hasselhoff though! :)

        The men who question power determine whether we use power or power uses us- JFK 10/26/1963

        by vcmvo2 on Mon May 22, 2006 at 07:53:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes the pictures are funny. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The troll ratings were fairly early on as the poster kept posting them repeatedly, to diss the diarist, when, in fact, there was actually some reasonable discourse going on. Then it fell apart like a two dollar watch. At this point with a million threads, the pix look few and far between, so I guess it's irrelevant.

          This is not to say one person or the other is right/wrong, I, and I suspect others simply wanted to keep the dialogue healthy. Oh well.

          •  I understand (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I first got to the diary from Hidden Comments and that was what opened a hilarious picture of David Hassehoff without any context. I wasn't dissing the diarist either because I then went back and read it. But sometimes the absurdity of something will hit you at the wrong time and it gets away from you. I have a funny sense of humor at times. I think I get it from laughing at things at the wrong times in Catholic school and not being able to stop. The nuns never took kindly to it either. Brownian Motion is like PhillyGal always kind of irreverent.

            The men who question power determine whether we use power or power uses us- JFK 10/26/1963

            by vcmvo2 on Mon May 22, 2006 at 02:33:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I can get tickled by the most absurd things, as well. I just wanted to keep things civil--hah! That being said, I worry just as much about the flames, put downs, taunts, etc., as I do about the conspiracy nuts. I think both hurt the credibility of this site. I yearn for civility. Thanks for being one of the civil ones!

    •  Have a 4 (0+ / 0-)

      just to counterbalance the unwarranted troll ratings.

  •  Respect for Rules (8+ / 0-)

    I don't know why it's so hard to understand that this is Kos' site and he set up the rules.

    Dailykos is not and never has been "free speech central" no matter how much people want it to be or expect it to be or think they can make it that way.

    Diaries on certain topics are likely to generate angry responses. Most of these topics fall under the general heading of "conspiracy theories", i.e. "JFK was killed by Martians".

    The rule for posting such diaries is "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". The more extreme the claim, the higher the burden of proof that commenters will demand. If you can't provide evidence to back up your claim, it is best not to post the diary. This guideline also applies to recommending extraordinary-claims diaries. If a diary makes an extreme claim with little or no evidence to back up that claim, it shouldn't be recommended, no matter what that claim is.

    I've been around for awhile and have seen the ebb and flow of conspiracy theories and I've also seen throngs of people get PURGED for posting them and recommending them.

    People ehere either have very short memories or weren't around. Either way, it's happened.

    I think people would be wise to take Armando's experience behind the scenes as a big FYI and accept the fact that if these diaries continue, no matter how responsible or worthy people think they are, there is likely going to be consequences.

    "I got a letter from the Republican Party the other day. I wrote back, 'Go fuck yourself.'" - Bette Midler (Rolling Stone, 9/18/2005)

    by GregNYC on Mon May 22, 2006 at 01:10:36 AM PDT

    •  Both Armando and Kos make the distinction (15+ / 0-)

      ...between valid speculation and insupportable speculation. It's not whether something is a conspiracy theory that's the problem. It's how wild it is, and whether people recommend it when there's no verifiable evidence provided to support it.

      •  Indeed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Real History Lisa

        Most supportable "copnspriacy theories" - i.e. - DSM, are not discouraged here.

        "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

        by Armando on Mon May 22, 2006 at 08:27:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe I'm being dense (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Real History Lisa
          Can you tell me what "DSM" stands for in this context? I'm sure I'll say "of course!" when you tell me, but right now I am drawing a big old blank.

          FWIW, I've got no problem with the editorial policies being practiced here. I've been able to say pretty much anything I want here. The keys for me have been:

          1) Phrase it as a question. If I have a wild hair up my fundament, I have found it is pretty safe to ask a question: "What do you guys think of the possibility that Bush's hair is actually a complex Yagi antenna array for the animatronics?" as opposed to "BREAKING! Bush is radio-controlled!" (plus I keep such total craziness to myself and only occasionally let it out in comments, not diaries...)

          2) Dissent politely. "I think your position ic lacking in merit and here's why:" as opposed to "You are a know-nothing jackass and a dupe of the RC community! I won't waste my time on a waste of protein like you!" The people on this site seem, for the most part, to be perfectly willing to think about and discuss ideas that are not inherently popular with the prevailing mindset, but they see no reason to tolerate abuse and insult. Some might be tempted to point to some anti-Bush or anti-neocon rants, but they have to bear in mind that the targets of the rants aren't here. And if they showed up, I think even the ranters would come back to polite. "The crown is full of it!" is just hyperbole and invective. Mind you, I think rants should be limited to truly original and clever ones. They really aren't very productive.

          So. My opinion on the question, worth every penny you paid for it.

          Reminder: What is "DSM?"

  •  Fact and Fiction. (0+ / 0-)

    So yes. QUESTION EVERYTHING. Try to figure out which sources are more credible and less.

    Alright Lisa I'll take you up on this statement. Follow the link in the byline below and let's see if you are able to distinguish legal facts from the kneejerk fiction of everything you are programmed to believe about America and it's government.

    Have Fun! Question Everything!

    The Kingdom of Infinia' is just a tool to be used when no other tool works.

    by hmsjo on Mon May 22, 2006 at 02:55:50 AM PDT

  •  This is a Very interseting thread. (7+ / 0-)

    The whole thing.  Thanks to Real Lisa for that.  I'm recommending because the conversation here is so interesting.

    I don't even know what Armando's original post was.  I will now go search for it.

    "In the beginning the universe was created. This has been widely criticized and generally regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

    by LithiumCola on Mon May 22, 2006 at 02:57:12 AM PDT

  •  Rooty tooty fresh and fruity. (8+ / 12-)

    "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players" - Ben Domenech

    by Brownian Motion on Mon May 22, 2006 at 03:02:11 AM PDT

  •  a little help (6+ / 0-)

    I guess this diary is one of a series, but it links to something by Armando that I cannot seem to locate.
    And I have no idea who Wayne Madsen is.

    In terms of 9/11 conspiracy theories - this is a sticky topic because clearly a lot was going on that has never been made public, and it's pretty obvious that there was some kind of conspiracy going on.  Just look at all the stock trading going on - somebody was in a position to make a LOT of money selling the airline stocks short.  So somebody extremely rich knew what was going on.  Of course, OBL is himself fairly wealthy.  And an Al Qaeda plot would itself constitute a conspiracy.  The real question is who knew about it.

    It's also fairly clear that some kind of cover-up has been happening.  Of course, the presumption would be that the cover-up is intended to hide simple incompetence rather than moustache-twirling diabolical puppeters.  And a lot of the responses by the Bush administration were simple lies.   ("Nobody could have thought that anybody would use airplanes to hit buildings" or something like that was said by 'National Security Advisor' [and I use that term loosely] Condi Rice.)

  •  Great Points! (8+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately, governance is much like the game of chess.  The effectiveness of many plans for electoral success, product marketing, etc. depend upon the public's ignorance of some important aspects of the overall plans.  If the opponents or objects of the plans were aware of real goals, objectives, byproducts and consequences then they would not willingly participate in many cases, and plans could not be successful.  Thus, there is a strategic need to pretend to have no ulterior motives, "nothing up my sleeve", while planning activities of which the subjects are not and must not become aware.  

    Take for example White House plan to jam the phone banks of union allied with the Democratic party on election night.  The plan would have failed AND caused great embarrassment had it been discovered or disclosed before the election.  After the election, although it's disclosure can cause embarrassment, yet the election has been won and the goal has been obtained.

    It is ironic that the press and the public doubt the existence of conspiracies, since so much of our television programming, movies and popular literature is devoted to situations in which a hero fearlessly uncovers the truth while being shot at in the process.

    Now, with permanent campaigns (endless chess games) going on, governance is not transparent.  Anyone who fails to look beneath the cover stories will utterly fail to understand government, perpetually decrying faits acompli rather than preventing them.  I certainly hope my Party has a secret plan to achieve electoral victories and accomplish the goals that others are so determined to thwart.  But lawless plans to take over the government are effectively secretive planned coups de etat.

  •  No one is comfortable with being uncertain (7+ / 0-)

    I think that's why it's almost impossible to have an intelligent discussion about CT's, no matter how modest or plausible.  Without having investigated all sides to a question, most of us put our faith on one side or the other, i.e., "The official version is obviously true, and anyone who doesn't believe it is a moron," or "I've decided that my speculative, far-fetched theory is true, and you can't provide any evidence that would make me think otherwise."
    Why does this happen with otherwise intelligent people?  Because it's so hard to live with uncertainty, not knowing.  We take a leap of faith to one side or the other and the truth be damned.  Great diary.  What a breath of fresh air.  Maybe there will be more common sense and less rancor here.

    One cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own. James Baldwin

    by CarolynC967 on Mon May 22, 2006 at 04:36:39 AM PDT

  •  good diary (15+ / 0-)

    I find the two extremes both operate here.  Some people's conspiracy theories seem completely ridiculous, unlikely and completely unsubstantiated.  But the "reality based community" folks get equally carried away with their "skepticism" and insistance that something be proven before it can be discussed,

    Markos is justified in being concerned about this blogs reputation and purpose.  Either extreme is useless and equally damaging to progressive politics.

    •  Current conspiracies vs. past conspiracies (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slouise217, Real History Lisa

      First, it seems to me that Markos is right to discourage discussion of old conspiracy theories here or really emotional ranting about current conspiracy theories here.

      Unless someone here is the grown son or daughter of the "the second gunman" involved with Kennedy assassination, what can you possibly say that would convince people on the other side of the argument?

      Similarly: if people are just rehashing viciously anti-Semitic rumors about, for example, all the Jews getting out of the WTC towers before the 9-11 attacks (sorry -- the most famous guy who died in the attacks, Neil Levin, was Jewish), then I hope people will troll rate those threads before I even see them.

      On the other hand . . .

      I think there should be exceptions for first-hand accounts and genuine expert analysis, even if the individuals involved don't have signed affidavits, lab results, or other types of evidence that you could use in a court of law.

      Maybe a first-hand account of what it was like to be standing in Dallas when Kennedy was assassinated would be off-topic here, but it would be a lot more interesting than most of the on-topic posts.

      Similarly, if someone who says she's the granddaughter of the mafioso who planned the assassination posts here and provides corroborating details, I'd be interested in reading that diary.

      Along the same lines, I don't want to see mindless rants about The Jews planning the 9-11 attacks, but I think an analysis by a Ph.D. forensic metallurgist would be interesting, even if the metallurgist lacked the lab data to prove his/her claims.

    •  You are not right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Evidence is the touchstone.

      Name one CT that has been condemned that was not BS? Just one.

      These type of allegations as you make are typcial.

      Name one Teresa.

      "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

      by Armando on Mon May 22, 2006 at 08:15:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here is the difference. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah, NJwlss

    No, the NYT is not the most trustworthy source in the world. HOWEVER- they have one thing which makes them much easier to trust than Madsen. Namely, an ombudsman. That's the thing missing from sites like Madsen's. There's no one there to try and keep things on the level.

    The Skeletor Show as seen on BoingBoing and Wired!

    by Arken on Mon May 22, 2006 at 06:26:49 AM PDT

  •  Nice diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slouise217, vcmvo2

    But not consistent with the rules of the site.

    Your Watergate analogy is also quite wrong.

    You have your history wrong.

    The Washington Post would NEVER have published speculation and never did.

    So ultimately, on the issues related to daily kos. I think you are off base.

    "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

    by Armando on Mon May 22, 2006 at 06:49:50 AM PDT

    •  but the points she makes about sources (10+ / 0-)

      are valid and important.

      I'm so tired of seeing rumor seized upon by someone who then reports the fucking rumor WRONG anyway, leading to even more frenzy and confusion.  The titles of diaries here (and titles of TruthOut articles, e.g., "Rove Indicted") are a particular problem.  Either they are just sloppily written or they're written for shock value and to gain more eyeballs.

      It's as if people don't give a shit about accurate interpretation or even accurate quoting, much less accurate reporting and accurate facts.

      Drives me up a wall.

      "Genuwyne double-rectified bust-head, aged in the keg!"

      by hrh on Mon May 22, 2006 at 07:00:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What? (8+ / 0-)

      Where did I mention the Washington Post in my diary?

      The Post was not the only media outlet reporting on the facts surrounding what became known as Watergate. It was a tiny story, one only the Post relentlessly pursued, even as other newspapers were calling it a "third-rate burglary." The original thinking at the time, and you can check this in the reporting from the time - was that it was some wild conspiracy theory. It wasn't, was my point, and thank goodness the Post's reporters pursued it. (Btw - having read many books on the Watergate case, I still think Jim Hougan's book SECRET AGENDA) is the best ever on that case.

      Armando - I think you misread, or misinterpreted here. I did not say that the WP published speculation. I'm saying that sometimes conspiracy theory leads to the truth. No one could link Nixon to the crime directly for months. It was a long, tedious investigation that started by pursuing what was originally a conspiracy THEORY - that others beyond those arrested were involved. It was theory until it was proven as fact, with a lot of help, over time.

      •  You wrote (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slouise217, vcmvo2

        The notion that President Nixon ordered a team of anti-Castro Cuban operatives to raid the headquarters of the DNC at the Watergate complex instead of the headquarters of his opponent George McGovern was originally deemed an equally wild conspiracy theory. Funny thing about that. Those who pursued that theory brought down the president.

        You s ay you did not mention the Washington Post? Of course you mentioned the Washington Post. See the bolded portion of your comment.

        I think you have misread, or misinterpreted, the rules of the site. Moreover, you misunderstand how the Washington Post covered the story and HOW it shows you how news is broken - not through speculation, but through REPORTING.

        You write

        I did not say that the WP published speculation. I'm saying that sometimes conspiracy theory leads to the truth. No one could link Nixon to the crime directly for months. It was a long, tedious investigation that started by pursuing what was originally a conspiracy THEORY - that others beyond those arrested were involved. It was theory until it was proven as fact, with a lot of help, over time.

        It did NOT start as a conspiracy theory. You simply are misdescribing the story. It was a reporter covering a crime story. It led to disciovery of Howard Hunt's involvement and so on.

        You may be writing from ignorance not bad faith. I don't know. But you are not writing accurately about the WASHINGTON POST and Watergate.

        "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

        by Armando on Mon May 22, 2006 at 07:32:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My point was (8+ / 2-)

          that the Post had no knowledge that anyone beyond the orginal conspirators was involved. But they smelled something beyond the obvious, tugged at the threads of evidence, and followed the story. They had a theory, which proved correct, that more people than the people arrested that night were involved.

          And the Post itself did publish speculation, an inference Woodward and Bernstein drew that was confirmed, they said, by Deep Throat. But when the story came out, it was instantly denied. Woodward detailed this in All the President's Men. It was a huge setback at the moment. In the end, however, they got the proof that what they had asserted on shadier evidence was, ultimately, true. But they had overstepped, and took a lot of heat for that.

        •  The notion that the RNC or Pres was involved... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          venice ca, 4jkb4ia

          was the original conspiracy theory. That was my point. I never said the Post reported on THAT conspiracy theory. But they talked about the evidence, and other media outlets accused the Post of pursuing a story that wasn't there. Of course, the story WAS there. That's why I'm hesitant to discourage someone's theories on any major issue of our time. What I'm trying, however, to ENcourage, however, is better sourcing. Anyone can go review the record of the initial press coverage, especially outside the Post. Other media outlets did not want to cover that story and didn't think there was anything there. They were proved wrong by the Post's investigation.

          •  No (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slouise217, vcmvo2

            That is not true. The RNC's involvement became apparent quite early and was covered early.

            The President's being involved became an issue later, and of course John Dean broke it open.

            Indeed, the Washington Post did not break the connection to Nicon, the WaterThe Washington Post connected it to Mitchell and others. But not Nixon.

            You simply are wrong in what you are writing.

            "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

            by Armando on Mon May 22, 2006 at 07:50:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not quite right, Armando. (0+ / 0-)

              FIRST, the story was nearly dead, so James McCord, one of the "burglars", wrote a letter to the judge saying perjury had been committed.

              SECOND, Butterfield revealed the taping system, which led to the finding of Nixon's direct coverup order.

              I can't remember if Dean started talking before Butterfield revealed the tapes or after - but that would be easy to check.

        •  Re the bolded comment (4+ / 0-)

          Armando, the New York Times went after the story too. The Post was not the only one reporting on Watergate. Sy Hersh was on the beat as well. Most press outlets ignored the story, however, thinking it would lead nowhere. The Post did not KNOW it would end at the President, but worked on the assumption that someone higher up had ordered the break-in. And each time they caught someone, they kept moving up the chain.

          I never said they published a conspiracy theory. I'm saying they HAD one, or else they wouldn't have assigned people to the story. They suspected a broader conspiracy than the overt one. The men at Watergate represented the small conspiracy. The Post smelled a larger one.

    •  Exactly! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Ben Bradlee hounded Bernstein and Woodward for sources. Wouldn't print anything until he was sure of their sources. WaPo has changed but back then the standards were fierce!

      The men who question power determine whether we use power or power uses us- JFK 10/26/1963

      by vcmvo2 on Mon May 22, 2006 at 07:55:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly! (0+ / 0-)

      Ben Bradlee insisted that Woodward & Bernstein source any stories carefully or he wouldn't print them. At the time WaPo was a leader that's why they broke Watergate. The WaPo is a shadow of its former self these days. A much more mixed bag as is the NYT.
      The glory days of the newspapers appear to be over.

      The men who question power determine whether we use power or power uses us- JFK 10/26/1963

      by vcmvo2 on Mon May 22, 2006 at 08:00:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  While the Post did not print (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sycamore, venice ca

      a great deal of speculative fiction masquerading as fact during Watergate, it printed an assload of it during the Whitewater days.

      Whitewater is an interesting example: a CT concocted by assholes with an agenda with no reality at its core.  One of the many reasons why it exploded so powerfully in the American consciousness is that too many people sat back and said, "Ignore it, it'll go away."

      CTs are powerful things, whether they have a kernel of truth or they are complete, self-aggrandizing bullshit.  They almost never go away when ignored.

  •  Summarizes the Times' position precisely (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    [I]f I had to choose between bad writing but honest reporting, or good writing and dishonest reporting, it would be an easy choice for the former.
    I wouldn't have thought to put it that way, but this cuts through all the NYT BS elegantly. Thanks RHL!
  •  How could one prove or disprove (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The "Theory" that Barbara Bush is the only woman in human history that gives birth anally?

    Kick his ass, Jesus (Cartman 3-6) -8.88 -5.08

    by SecondComing on Mon May 22, 2006 at 08:19:16 AM PDT

  •  People See What They Want to See (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Perhaps the most vivid recient example of this is the media response to the new video frames of the Pentagon.

    It's astonishing, really. According to almost every reporter in the mainstream media, a Boeing 757 jet, when photographed, looks exactly like an indistinguishable blur. Let's face it: The video frames released by the Pentagon make ghost and UFO photos look downright crisp. And yet, somehow, out of this unrecognizable blur, mainstream media stories are claiming they clearly show a Boeing 757 jet and that all 9-11 conspiracy theories are now dispelled.

    When I did a Google News search I seen hundred of new article saying the same thing that agrees with Fox News insistance that they seen a Boeing 757 in the video frames.

    However, I did happen to find one article with a rational explanation.

    Pentagon hit by flying grilled cheese sandwich

    Take a minute to read the article. Besides being really funny - it sums up, how we know what we really know.

    If you never know truth, then you never know love.
    Where is the love? -- Black Eyed Peas

    by Grzbo on Mon May 22, 2006 at 09:35:35 AM PDT

    •  Boeing 757 (3+ / 0-)

      The 757 theory matches the plane that I saw flying over me near the Pentagon that day.  We should look at all sources, not just one.

      •  757 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There are varying reports on this. In his book The New Pearl Harbor David Ray Griffin quotes one Kelly Knowles who reportedly was in an apartment two miles away from the Pentagon on 9-11, and

        "saw two planes moving towards the Pentagon, one veering away as the other crashed."

        Further, Thierry Meyssan (one of the original investigators of the official account of 9-11 and the Pentagon event) points out that several eyewitnesses "said that the aircraft that hit the Pentagon looked and/or sounded like a missile or military plane."

        Further, in his book Griffin quotes Dulles air traffic controller Danielle O'Brien who said that ;

        all the experienced air traffic controllers in the room thought it was a military plane...(.)

        Dick Eastman has also proposed that one way to reconcile physical evidence (of which there is alot) with certain eyewitness accounts about a 757,is the hypothesis that there were two aircraft heading towards the Pentagon.  

        I think this hypothesis needs to be entertained due to the overwhelming amount of physical evidence that seems to refute the official reports that Flight 77 (a Boeing 757) actually hit the Pentagon.

    •  And the government denies... (0+ / 0-)

      ...that the grilled cheese sandwich had an image of the Virgin Mary on it, but that just proves there is a coverup.

      "What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite." - Bertrand Russell

      by Mad Dog Rackham on Mon May 22, 2006 at 10:49:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And the fact remains (0+ / 0-)

      That I DID read the mainstream media's coverage of the release of this newest tape, and I did NOT see them saying that it was confirmation that a 757 hit the Pentagon. The fact that a plane hit the Pentagon has ALREADY been confirmed. There was DNA at the crash site of people on the plane, there were body PARTS found in the wreckage, hundreds of witnesses saw it, ground radar tracked the plane there, pieces of wreckage were found, etc. This tape was not NEEDED to confirm that a plane crashed into the Pentagon.

      And Judicial Watch did NOT fight for the release of this tape to prove that it was a 757.

      They pushed for it to prove that the tape did NOT show anything else!

      Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the group sought the videos to rebut conspiracy theories, which have circulated widely on the Internet, that the Pentagon was hit by a missile or a small plane.

      "We sought to put these conspiracy theories to rest, and one of the reasons they were getting traction was because people knew this video was not being released,'' Fitton said. "My view is that justice is not done when you have conspiracy theories that these victims were murdered by our government and were never on a plane. Let's get the historical record complete.''

      ...but not your own facts.

      by slouise217 on Mon May 22, 2006 at 11:32:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They shouldn't even call it a video (0+ / 0-)

        All they released were a couple more frames strung together in a video. But these were camera shots.

        If they really want to make the historical record complete, they have to release the FBI-confiscated video from the nearby station, and the other videos they claim to have.

        I am one of those that believes Flight 77 did hit the Pentagon. I'm not persuaded by the arguments and photos that the truth is other than that (which isn't to say I'm right - that's what I believe, based on my limited knowledge.) But my hackles go up when things are withheld. In the Kennedy case, when documents were released, we found the government had told some amazingly big whoppers on the case - notably that Oswald was never of any interest to any Intelligence agency, when the PRE-assassination file on Oswald in the CIA was quite large.

  •  Iran Contra (4+ / 0-)

    The notion that high people in our government would trade arms for hostages in Iran to fund the Contra effort was deemed a "wild conspiracy theory" for a few years until the evidence came out which proved it undeniably.

    I have read that the whole Al Queda thing is much like Iran Contra, with Rich Arabs flying in and out of South America with Heroin from Afghanistan in order to get money to buy arms to give to Al Queda.
    Ok, seems like CT, sure. But as someone here said, in order to investigate things, you first must have a throry. You must have curiosity and a trifle of skepticism. What if detectives just took the story a suspect gave him? (What? You say you're not guilty? Sounds good to me!). And the very FACT that there was the Florida flight school where Atta and others were trained on flights in and out of South America, that they had Rich Saudis on flights out of there, that Atta frequented the SunCruz Casino baots (what better way to launder money than casino skim?). You see, questions, putting pieces together looking for the truth.
    I know nothing for sure, I only have questions. And thus far those questions have not been answered. Just look at what they've done to our country since that fateful day. And the answer to everything is...9-11. I put nothing, nothing past them. And fear cannot stop us from finding the truth.
    But while I won't get into posting diaries about it here on Kos, as I know getting Dems elected is the primary mission, I still am amazed at how many people on the left are too damned willing to accept the stock answers about 9-11, and who have decided to move on. Where is all that patriotic fervor from that time. The absolute determination to find out what happened and to capture OBL?
    Maybe it's cause I spent so many years living in NYC, I don't know. But until we have answers, until we have the truth, we cannot move on as a nation because it's all tied in. And I just keep wondering what they have planned next.

    All Truth is non-partisan

    by MA Liberal on Mon May 22, 2006 at 10:21:18 AM PDT

    •  As long as you don;t post them here (0+ / 0-)

      Have at it.

      Your theory sounds nonsensical to me but it is a free country (not a free web site though.)

      "All knew that Armando was an Armory of Wisdom. But then, who are these with whom Armando crossed verbal swords?"

      by Armando on Mon May 22, 2006 at 10:40:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Its not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that people are willing to accept the stock answers.  Its that the people propigating the popular conspiracy theories are bigger liars than anyone in the Bush administration.  

      •  Sorry, but I object to that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Real History Lisa

        Just becuase people want the truth doesn't make them liars. And I, for one, can so NO other bigger liars that Bush, his adminstration and the right wing idots who follow him. He hasn't once told the truth. Why should we believe them when they say, "nothing to see here."
        I'll admit that there's lots of CT folks out there who are wacko. But there are still a lot of interesting unanswered questions.
        Funny, with all the things that have heppened in history to start wars - illegal actions by govenrments around the world - that people don't believe that there might be more to 9-11 than "a bunch of towelheads who hate our freedom."

        All Truth is non-partisan

        by MA Liberal on Tue May 23, 2006 at 06:35:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well (0+ / 0-)

          if your argument is over who is a bigger liar, that's fine.  The lies told by the CT folks did not result in thousands of deaths.  My point is that a lot of the conspiracy theorists are just making stuff up.  And before 9/11 came along, their focus was on denying the holocaust or other riduculous and offensive theories.  They are NOT interested in the truth.  If anything, they make it harder to get to the truth.  That's why there have been accusations that the CTs (who are mostly right wing nuts) are actually Bush-Cheney plants.  

          Anyway, my original point was that its not that people are willing to accept the stock answers.  Its that the alternatives given by the CTs are total bullshit.  

          •  Not really` (0+ / 0-)

            According to the 911truth site, 74% of registered voters want to know the truth. And, frankly, I find it a bit insulting to be compared to some fo the wingnuts who are in the CT arena. But I don't know of a single person I've ever heard or talked to that is also in the camp of Holocuast denial - that's simply ridiculous.
            And what I find most surprising is that all anyone has to do is bring up 9-11 and people on the left close up like snails - pulling into their shells and humming lalalalalala. They don't want to know the truth. I don't know just what it is that scares the bejezus out of people such that they cut off any dialog at all. Anyone mentions the subject and we get pointed at, laughed at, scorned at. And yet, we seem to be the only ones interested in getting to the bottom of things.
            I'm no nut case. I've worked in the upper reaches of journalism (you know, big time, New York City and all that). But I also know a skunk when I smell one. And until the unswered questions are answered then I don't see where the nay-sayers have much of an argument.
            Stop looking at the nut-case theories and start listening to the real questions the families of the 9-11 victims have. To me, to abandon the truth because it is inconvenient is shameful.
            I liken it to blogs. I get really upset when the MSM talks about what the "blogs" are saying. For crying out loud, how dare they compare us at Kos with the nut-jobs on the far right? There is a distinction between blogs just as there is a distinction between newpapers and political parties. And I don't appreciate being compared with the nut-jobs on the far out CT stuff.
            Look around you at what's happened to your country  - you're being spied on, we've using military as police (against posse comititus), we have denied prisoners due process, Gonzales wants to prosecute journalists, we've started one immoral war and looking to start another, we have cameras everywhere and "free speech zones" - and all because of 9-11. All of it.

            All Truth is non-partisan

            by MA Liberal on Tue May 23, 2006 at 12:04:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You just don't get it (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The 911truth site -- those ARE the nutjobs.   They aren't the least bit interested in the truth.  They are the scientific equivalent of the intelligent design movement.

              Do you know why all those bad things are happening in our country?  Because people on the left don't have the critical thinking skills to get past the lies of people like Stephen Jones and David Ray Griffen.  Bush, Cheney and Co. can get away with their real crimes because people get sucked into this garbage.  It discredits the left, and distracts people from focusing on real issues.  

              Again, its not that people here are afraid of the truth or readily accept the government story.  Its that the lying crapbags on 911truth and Scholars for 9/11 truth ("Holocaust deniers for 9/11 truth") have been repeatedly exposed as liars and professional frauds.  Take that shit somewhere else.  

              •  Look I'm not looking to getting into a (0+ / 0-)

                pissing argument here. But when you say

                Do you know why all those bad things are happening in our country?  Because people on the left don't have the critical thinking skills to get past the lies of people like Stephen Jones and David Ray Griffen.

                That's your opinion. My opinion is that it's because so many people refuse to confront the criminals running this adminstration, that they've let them get away with lying, illegal war, torture, etc. No one stops them. And many Americans, like the media and politicians, were too cowed by 9-11 to want the truth. Bush went from laughingstock to hero overnight and got carte blanche. It's been one long trial of status quo, support the president, etc.
                It's only now that many are waking up.
                And it's one of the reasons I like a candidate like Russ Feingold. He doesn't take shit from anyone. He was against the war, against Alito, etc. And he's the only one.
                And, really, I don't expect we'll ever find out about 9-11, just like JFK or any other big crimes in our history. The more time that passes, the more difficult it is to ferret the truth. But when you look at all the times in history that lies and black ops were used to start wars, it makes you think. Well, it makes some of us think.

                All Truth is non-partisan

                by MA Liberal on Tue May 23, 2006 at 01:21:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's all fine (0+ / 0-)

                  But the reason we don't talk about CTs on DailyKos is because the Jones and the Griffens are lying wackjobs.  If you have something new to add about 9/11 conpiracies, bring it.  Good questions are welcomed.  But shit that the 911truth people and their ilk spew out does not constitute good questions.  The reason they don't get any play here is not because of fear or complicitly, but because DailyKos is better than that.  If you are buying into that garbage you are not "thinking" or "waking up", you are getting played for a chump.

                  Show me some real evidence, we'll talk CTs.  But if all you have is the same old shit, take it elsewhere.  That's all I'm saying.

                  •  Look. I've been here longer than you so (0+ / 0-)

                    don't give me the patronizing stuff. I know fully well what Kos is all about. I don't write conspiracy theory diaries and I'm no more a whack job than you are. And I didn't present anything here but the fact that I want the truth. All I did was make a comment that I don't belive, fully, the "official story."
                    I'm already awake, thank you. And I don't need to be told to "take it elsewhere."
                    And all I see from people like you blind acceptance of the Bush's story. I fyou want to belive the worst presidnet in history, a man who has lied his whole life and has worked non-stop to destroy the country, fine. It's your right. There is always, in any historical event, a percentage of people who refuse to accept certain things. They don't question, they want the hard evidence. I got no problem with that.
                    Maybe, one day, when we take back the Congress and the White House, we'll find these things out. We'll never do it without subpoena power.
                    And, like a good liberal, I am willing to defend your right to say what you believe. I would hope you could do that too without the patronising remarks. Somehow, I expect that I'm older than you, have seen more and have been lied to enough by the right wing that I question almost everything they dish out and not to take their "facts" as fact. And just remember...

                    All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
                           Arthur Schopenhauer
                           German philosopher (1788 - 1860)

                    I'm not saying it will. I'm just saying it might be.

                    All Truth is non-partisan

                    by MA Liberal on Tue May 23, 2006 at 02:09:04 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Wow (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      I believe the official thoeries with regard to things like the tower collapses and the plane hitting the Pentagon because that's what the science shows.  If someone shows me evidence to the contrary, I'll rethink, but so far that hasn't happened.

                      If you want to rely on unqualified people who lie about the evidence, and rely on Holocaust deniers and Nazi sympathizers for their information, and call that seeking the truth, you go do that then.
                      If you think that people who reject that kind of shit are blindly accepting the word of the Bush administration, more power to you.  Dick Cheney is counting on your support.

                      •  I'd like to use a word here, But (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Real History Lisa

                        I can't - becuase I believe that Kos has a higher purpose than to insult each other. I have not made any sort of innuendo about your pointedly comparing me to Nazi sympathizers and holocaust deniers. How dare you! there happen to be plenty of people who belive there is more to 9-11 than mets the eye - and it has nothing to do with WTC7, the towers or the Pentagon.
                        And for your information I'll have you know that I have always been a good liberal. Voted Democrat since I can remember and don't need some pissant to tell me what my politics are. I have despised Bush from even before he stole the first election - or is that tin-foil hat stuff too? You probably believe he won both elections. But to compare my opinions to that of Nazis prove to me only one thing - YOU are not a liberal. "Cause liberals question authority. And they don't go around insulting and provoking unnecessary arguments - you get off on it.
                        The only Nazi sympathiszers to me are those that believe Bush, or Cheney or anything they ever have to say. These men are destroying the country. And they trot out 9-11 at every opportunity to do it. Straight ot of Goebbels.
                        I've asked you to lay off, to agree to disagree. But all you can do is repeat YOUR bull shit.
                        This conversation is over.

                        All Truth is non-partisan

                        by MA Liberal on Wed May 24, 2006 at 04:32:17 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Learn to read (0+ / 0-)

                          First of all, I am talking about the WTC7, the towers and the Pentagon.  Those are the things that are out and out bullshit.  I agree that there is more than meets the eye and that it should be investigated.  My problem is that the focus is on the bullshit, which distracts from the real issues.  So we may not disagree there.

                          I have not called you a Nazi.  I have just pointed out that a number of prominent CT advocates are Nazis. I don't know how many times I have seen someone post something here by some CT group in the name of truth, that comes from someone who is a holocaust denier.  The people I am talking about aren't questioning authority - they are bigger liars than anyone in the Bush administration.  They are shilling for Bush by discrediting the left and distracting from real issues.

                  •  I know David Ray Griffin (0+ / 0-)

                    And he is not a lying whack job. I happen to disagree with some of this theories. I also applaud and love him for some excellent research in other areas.

                    To call someone who is trying to save the world, as David Ray Griffin surely sees his role, a lying whackjob is disrepectful and frankly, a bit disgusting. Can't you disagree with someone without impuning their motives?

                    •  David Ray Griffen (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      is a disgusting piece of shit.  He is an out and out fucking liar.  And an associate of holocaust deniers.  He is not trying to save the world.  He is perpetrating a fraud and exploiting 9/11 for his own gain.  I hold him in as much contempt as I hold Bush and Cheney.  

                      •  Get a grip - and a reality check (0+ / 0-)

                        A horse with a long tail wins a race.

                        Therefore, ALL horses with long tails will win their races too.

                        That is what passes for logic in your brain.

                        I hope to hell you are not a Democrat, as you are a discredit to our party with that kind of illogic.

                        Sheesh, Mia. There are lots of good people who have serious issues with 9/11 who are NOT holocaust deniers. I crossed paths with Eric on a tour in Europe last summer - I was hired to talk with a separate panel - not including Eric - about the environmental damage caused in the wake of the 9/11 WTC collapse - which is a tragic enough story, and one worthy of far more attention.

                        When I met Eric, he struck me as a nut right off the bat, talking about "scams" and how we never landed on the moon. When I heard him tell some people that the holocaust never happened, I was sick to my stomach, because of course it did. it was one of the most horrible conspiracies of our time.

                        Which aided the Nazis more? The people who thought something bad was going on and tried to expose it? Or the people who denied there was a conspiracy to kill the Jews?

                        Here is the text of my talk there. http://realhistoryarchives.blogspot....

            •  To be fair (0+ / 0-)

              I'm sad to say I DO know conspiracists who are holocaust deniers. The stereotype, like all stereotypes, does come from somewhere.

              What I object to is that people seem to think you are either a CT or not, as if all CTs are alike. That's like saying all Californians are alike. It's that ridiculous.

              There are people who do solid research, who really care, who want to make the world better for us all. That's their motivation for digging into conspiracies. That's certainly mine.

              There are others who just enjoy them as a mental diversion, who think it's cool to speculate and ponder. That's not me.

              And then there are those who think the government has implanted something in them, or is targeting them with electronic weapons, etc. That's not me either.

              And sadly, there really are those who think the Jews run the world. To which I say, if that's the case, why is Israel about the size of Vermont, instead of China????

              So I don't pretend to defend all people who talk about conspiracies. But conspiracy deniers to me are the equivalent of holocaust deniers. After all, the holocaust was one of the biggest conspiracies ever, with devastating consequences.

              •  You tell me (0+ / 0-)

                who the real 9/11 truth seekers are then.  Who is doing the "solid research?"  Because its not Jones or Griffin or the "Scholars."  I am still looking to see some "solid research."

                •  One of them is a former Intelligence Analyst (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MA Liberal

                  John Newman, PhD, a former intelligence analyst and a professor at the University of Maryland, raised a number of concerns re ties between al Qaeda operatives and the CIA, especially regarding on man in particular. (Long story, not to be wasted on a nearly expired diary.) He spoke before a panel on the subject hosted by Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. There are many others. Most of them do not publish online, which is why those who only know what they read online shouldn't presume to know the whole story. There are a lot of people in government who are quietly, and seriously, pursuing problems with the official story on a number of levels.

                  •  Thanks. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                    All Truth is non-partisan

                    by MA Liberal on Wed May 24, 2006 at 04:33:17 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  OK (0+ / 0-)

                    I don't know that guy, and what you say he is saying I don't have a problem with.  And I'm not surprised that its not online, because its probably not sexy enough for the CTs.  The things that I am talking about are controlled demolition of the towers, or that no plane hit the Pentagon -- the things that are out and out bullshit.  Or more appropriately, the things that are not supported by the evidence.

                    I think we should investigate ties between al Qaeda and the CIA.  I would like to hear what Sibel Edmonds has to say.  I am glad to hear that people are pursuing problems with the official story.  No problems there.  But the CT focus is on the sexy stuff, which is bullshit.  That's what I have a problem with, and that is that the DailyKos community is so hostile to.

                    •  That was the POINT of this diary (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Mia Dolan

                      We finally come to the place of agreement.

                      Mia - the point of this diary was to show that there are RESPONSIBLE ways to investigate conpsiracy and IRRESPONSIBLE ways. I have no more patience for wild speculation than you do.

                      And I have the same problem with people in the Kennedy assassination community. To this day, there are people who assert, on the flimsiest of evidence, that the Bush family was involved. But the truth is a lot more boring than that, although equally important.

                      I'm just saying we need to make a distinction on Kos and anywhere else - that we shouldn't have a knee-jerk reaction to conspiracies and shouldn't run around troll rating people who bring up certain topics. We should read with an eye to, is a valid argument being made - even one you or I may disagree with - or is it just insupportable blathering which deserves to be ignored?

                      •  OK (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Real History Lisa

                        I think we are in agreement.  I think you needed to define what you meant by responsible and irresponsible CTs.  The problem on this site is not CTs -- its irresponsible CTs.   People here object to the wild speculation -- its not a knee jerk reaction to any kind of CT.  But a lot of the CT advocates here are fans of the wild speculation, the goofier theories of Griffen, et all.  So I think that you actually disagree with most of the pro-CT people on this site.

          •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

            Talk about a lie. To suggest, as you did without qualification to the contrary, of all CTers, that "before 9/11 came along, their focus was on denying the holocaust or other riduculous and offensive theories" is not only provably, outrageously false, but slanderous of people who just want to get to the bottom of what's going on in this country.

            How many doctors get sued for malpractice every year? My point is, if you get bad medical information, it can be detrimental to your health. You can't fix what you're not told about. It's the same with our country. If we listen to the bad media spin doctors and don't get to the root causes of our collective illnesses as a society, we'll be treating the wrong diseases.

            THAT's why some people pursue conspiracy theories. I can think of nothing more important than digging underneath the bullshit to find what's really true. If you don't dig, you'll never know. Sometimes, there's nothing there but mud. Other times, there's something radically important. If Bev Harris hadn't gone poking around in voting machines, we wouldn't have new requirements in several states for paper audit trails. Conspiracy theory can lead to good. To suggest otherwise is not only dishonest, but despiccable.

            •   Ok Real History Troll (0+ / 0-)

              Here is some work by my favorite 9/11 conpiracist, Eric Huffschmid:

              What really happened in the Nazi camps?

              The official story is that 6 million Jews, 3 million Poles, and millions of gypsies, criminals, and other people were executed at those extermination camps. However, it does not take much of an understanding of statistics to realize that the actual number could not possibly be exactly 6 million Jews or exactly 3 million Poles. Even when I was a young child I considered those figures to be just approximations to the nearest million.
              But some people are complaining that those figures are not even rounded to the nearest million. Rather, they complain that only 3 million Jews were killed. Other people say it was less than one million Jews. I've seen one estimate of less than 40,000. How can there be such wild differences of opinion over what happened at those camps?

              We can start by looking through the photographs. The US Military had photographers and news reporters with the troops, so there are lots of photos and reports of the war and the prison camps. A quick look through those photos will show you why there is such a dispute over what happened in those camps.
              The Gas Chambers

              There is a photo of an American soldier standing in front of a door to a gas chamber. On the front of the door is the skull and crossbones, and there are warnings in German about poison gas. Above the door is a sign in several different languages that warn about the danger of the poison gas.
              Would you be fooled into thinking this was the door to a shower room?

              This gas chamber was not disguised as a shower. In fact, I would expect the skull and crossbones to frighten people.

              This particular photo has been used as evidence that Nazis had gas chambers for killing people, but the Holocaust Truth Seekers complain that those particular chambers were designed to kill lice in bedding and clothing.

              Typhus and lice were serious problem in parts of Europe during World War II. The U.S. Army discovered that DDT will kill the lice. The Germans discovered that cyanide would kill them.

              Most Americans have "common sense", and common sense tells us that those gas chambers were for mass executions of people, not mass executions of lice.

              However, if the goal of the Nazis to kill the prisoners, common sense would tell us that there were thousands of much easier, much less expensive methods. For example, they could have put prisoners on the trains that have the windows sealed shut. As the trains are rolling down the track, the Nazis could release poison gas. The trains would then stop at a burial ground. The trains would dump the bodies for burial, and then go back to pick up another load of prisoners.

              There was no sensible reason to transport prisoners to a camp where they would have to be fed, especially when you consider that food was in short supply during the final years of the war. Even in America there were shortages of food. Why would the Nazis waste their time, money, and resources keeping these prisoners alive if their goal was to kill them?

              And why did the Nazis bother to protect the prisoners from typhus and lice? Why not put the prisoners in the camp, shut the gates, and let the lice and typhus kill them?

              We may never know the true details of what happened at the Nazi prison camps, but just looking at a few of the photos and just thinking about the issue for a few minutes should make you realize that something is seriously wrong with the official story.
              "Do your homework or you won't get dinner!"

              Many parents threaten their children with punishment, so I would not be surprised if some Nazi guards threatened the troublesome prisoners with death in the gas chamber. Some guards may have gone further and told the prisoners,
              "We have already killed millions of troublemakers in these gas chambers. Do you want to be next?"

              If any of the prisoners believed those threats, they would be a source of false information about Nazis killing millions of people in gas chambers.
              The Nazi ovens

              If you watched Steven Spielberg's movie Schindler's List, you saw a gigantic oven that the Nazis used for burning bodies.
              The problem with Spielberg's oven is that none of the photos taken by the US military show ovens anywhere near that size. For example, the Buchenwald camp appears to have four ovens. However, they were ordinary incinerator ovens, just like the type found at funeral homes. They burn only one body at a time. The bodies had to be lifted up and pushed into the oven, and then burned for a few hours.
              The ovens at the Buchenwald camp. The chambers on the bottom are for coal or wood. The body was put into the upper, larger chamber. The bricks are an indication of how small these ovens are.
              The Bergen-Belsen camp -- where Anne Frank died of typhus -- had only one oven. How many people could the Nazis burn with only one little oven? Incidently, according to the Anne Frank stories, she was first sent to Auschwitz, and then sent to Bergen-Belsen. If Auschwitz was a death camp, how did Anne Frank survive it?

              The camp at Auschwitz was the largest. In 1943 a row of what appears to be 14 ovens was built for it. However, not even these ovens can support the claim that millions of people were exterminated and burned.

              In 1943, this row of ovens were completed at Auschwitz, which gave this camp the most ovens of all camps.
              Notice that even at Auschwitz, these were ordinary funeral home ovens, not "Spielberg Fantasy Ovens".

              Furthermore, by the time these ovens were completed, the war was almost over, and they were shortages of fuel and other supplies, so it became increasingly difficult to burn the bodies. This could explain why many bodies were piled outside.

              Were the Nazis idiots or geniuses?

              Some people claim that the Nazis were so intelligent that they destroyed all of the Spielberg-style ovens and gas chambers before the Americans arrived, and they disposed of the evidence so perfectly that nobody has found any of it yet.
              At the same time, they say the Nazis were so stupid that they left piles of bodies at the camps even though just one Spielberg Fantasy Oven could have burned them within a day or two.

              The Nazis also allowed a lot of prisoners to survive. How many prisoners survived the camps? If we can believe the Jews who claim to be survivors, possibly millions. What kind of a death camp has so many survivors? Were the Nazis really so incompetent that most of the prisoners could survive their death camps?

              To see the pictures you'll have to go to Huffschmid's website here Think Huffschmid is some obscure guy?  Well not in 9/11 "truth" circles.  He is a member of the "scholars" for "truth" group and his work is cited by both Stephen Jones and David Ray Griffen.  Both Griffen and Jones also cite the work of Christopher Bollyn, who write for the pro-Nazi publication American Free Press.  There is no slander here.  These 9/11 conpiracists are really the biggest fucking scumbag liars around.  

              The worst part about using Bollyn and Hufschmid is not so much that your heros are working with some of the most vile people on earth, its that they are working with certified liars.  These people aren't interested in the truth.  Loose Change and all this other bullshit Bush/Cheney propaganda ignores facts that don't fit the story, and makes up ones that do.   It has nothing whatsoever to do with getting to the truth.

              These people are doing the work of Bush and Cheney by discrediting the left and distracting from real issues.  And so are you by pumping up their work.  That makes you a troll.  So take your 9/11 conspiracy bullshit somewhere else.  

              •  okay idiot - do you know I've told him off? (0+ / 0-)

                Hey - Eric thinks I'm CIA because I've put him down rather publicly in front of his benefactor a number of times. I can't stand him, and he's truly an example of the worst of the conspiracy theorists.

                But are you a racist? Do you believe all Jews think alike? You believe that all conspiracy theorists think alike!

                •  Fair enough (0+ / 0-)

                  I appreciate the fact that you have distanced yourself from Hufschmid and understand what he is all about.  I apologize for calling you a troll.

                  And I am not saying that all conspiracy theorists are anti-semites.   My issue is that other conspiracy theorists -- Jones, Griffen, et all, use the work of Hufschmid and Christopher Bollyn in their own work.  The problem with that is not just that Hufschmid is a bad person, its that he is a certified liar.  The people who rely on him have no credibility either.

                  Awhile back I wrote to Jim Fetzer and Stephen Jones asking why they had holocaust deniers in their scholars group and if it was ok to cite the work of holocaust deniers.  I had an email exchange with Fetzer (its on DailyKos -- I'll look up the link) where he babbled on about freedom of speech and suppressing the truth.  It was pretty weak, and representative of the general attitude of these people in not believing anything from the official story, but accepting every nugget of information from the other side as truth.  Obviously, that is not how you think, but a lot of the people you appear to respect do think that way.

                  Take the story of the witnesses to the Pentagon crash.  The CTs version is that there are varying stories - some saw and airliner, some saw a small plane, or two planes, and some saw a missile.   The reality  is that literally hundreds of people have gone on record saying that they saw an airliner hit the Pentagon.  Most of these people were in cars on the road directly across from the crash site.  Two people who were farther away saw a small plane, and some people inside the pentagon "heard" a missile.  the CT claim is just that there are varying accounts, which is really dishonest.  Someone who is truly seeking the truth needs to be skeptical of everything, not just the official story.  You have to consider all the evidence, not just the evidence that fits your version of events.   That is my problem with those people.  

                  •  Some of them do - and I call them on it (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Mia Dolan

                    I've tried to show David Ray Griffin, who has actually done some great work tracking the Pakistani links to 9/11, that he's way off base on the missile and demolition crap. He disagrees with me, and that's his right. I think it hurts the case of finding out what really happened at 9/11 because it detracts and defocuses the issues that matter.

                    •  Agree (0+ / 0-)

                      I think it hurts the case of finding out what really happened at 9/11 because it detracts and defocuses the issues that matter.

                      This is my point exactly, and I think the point of the "troll-hunters."  You should be focusing your efforts on sorting out responsible and iresponsible CTs.  The troll hunters aren't the problem -- the nutjobs are.  Get the nutjobs straighened out and then people can discuss the real 9/11 issues.  I don't think that will happen, though, because the real or plausible conspiracies aren't sexy enough.

                    •  It's NOT his right (0+ / 0-)

                      To abuse the truth in this way though.

                      Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.

                      He is NOT entitled to state that there is any doubt that a 757 flew into the Pentagon. Because there is no doubt. It's a fact.

                      ...but not your own facts.

                      by slouise217 on Fri May 26, 2006 at 05:24:04 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  slouise217 (4+ / 0-)

                        It is everyone's right in this country to state whatever they want. It's called free speech. He has the right to say the sky is green when it is clearly a blue day. Just as you have the right to state the truth. However, you are wrong to say someone does not have a right or is not entitled to speak. Under this site's rules against posting conspiracy theories, they might get banned from here. But he has the right and is entitled to abuse the truth if he wants on his own site.

                        Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. Sherlock Holmes.

                        by Carnacki on Sat May 27, 2006 at 09:01:19 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Nope (0+ / 1-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Hidden by:

                          They do not have the right to say that something is the truth when it's not, and then have others use his lies to support their CT's here.

                          And that was the point.

                          Too bad you failed to grasp the context. THAT was the context.

                          People do NOT have the right to come here and abuse the truth in CT diaries like he would like to. They CAN ask questions. They cannot make extraordinary claims without extraordinary evidence to back them up. They don't have that right!

                          This was discussing posting USING his facts here.

                          ...but not your own facts.

                          by slouise217 on Sun May 28, 2006 at 05:25:48 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  slouise217 (4+ / 0-)

                            Did you even read my post? Of course not. I specifically mentioned here.

                            You spoke of rights and entitlements. You had no context in YOUR post. Too bad you do not choose your words carefully.

                            Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. Sherlock Holmes.

                            by Carnacki on Sun May 28, 2006 at 06:36:01 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  MY point, when I originally said it (0+ / 0-)

                            Was THIS site.

                            The context WAS there.

                            You missed it.

                            ...but not your own facts.

                            by slouise217 on Tue May 30, 2006 at 05:49:03 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  slouise217 (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            You spoke of rights and entitlements. Those words have specific meanings. NO ONE has a right to post on this site. They have a privilege. You should learn to use words more carefully and properly.

                            Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. Sherlock Holmes.

                            by Carnacki on Tue May 30, 2006 at 08:36:48 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  slouise217 (3+ / 0-)

                            BTW, under YOUR posting standards, I would be RIGHT to call you a LIAR. I operate under better standards.

                            Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. Sherlock Holmes.

                            by Carnacki on Sun May 28, 2006 at 06:36:50 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And no, by my standards you would NOT (0+ / 0-)

                            This is NOT an example of someone saying something that's untrue, being told that it's untrue, and then repeating it OR something that everyone should automatically know is untrue.

                            I was talking about that he does NOT have the right to post those ideas here that are CT's without the evidence to back them up.

                            That's what I said, and you misunderstood it.

                            It'd be nice if you could stop with the personal attacks. I doubt you can, but you should.

                            ...but not your own facts.

                            by slouise217 on Tue May 30, 2006 at 05:51:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  slouise217 (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Where did I misunderstand and make a personal attack? Once again you are projecting.

                            Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. Sherlock Holmes.

                            by Carnacki on Tue May 30, 2006 at 08:39:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ridiculing my standards (0+ / 0-)

                            Implying that MY standards for determining a lie are faulty, when they are not. I've had the same standards here all along. I know what a lie is - I even post the dictionary definition every once in a while.

                            I am NOT projecting. I am accurately addressing what is happening. AND YOU, once again, are making a personal attack. You CLAIM that I am projecting, but provide NO evidence of that, when in fact I was NOT projecting. That's a personal attack.

                            Based upon your actions here, I doubt you can stop yourself from making personal attacks. Your posting history when it relates to me is full of personal attacks by you. Saying that is NOT a personal attack, as you have now provided two direct examples of that behavior. You keep doing it.

                            A lie is a falsehood told with the intent to deceive. I did NOT do there. There's NO evidence that I did that, nor is the way even YOU could twist what I said into anything that would fit a known falsehood told with the intent to deceive - I said that someone does NOT have the right to promote a known falsehood as the truth here - that being that it's not assured that a plane hit the Pentagon. As surely as we know that George W Bush is President, we know that a plane hit the Pentagon. So, no, he would NOT have the right to come here and state that there is doubt about the plane hitting the Pentagon. I did not tell a lie there. So, NO, you could not use MY standards and call what I did a lie.

                            I have HIGH standards about what I call a lie. For you to suggest otherwise, contrary to the evidence AND without providing any evidence to back up your assertion, is a personal attack.

                            A personal attack happens when you make an assertion about another person that is NOT substantiated by the already presented facts or by newly presented facts. The evidence must be provided along with an explanation as to why the evidence IS evidence.

                            ...but not your own facts.

                            by slouise217 on Tue May 30, 2006 at 09:11:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  LOL (0+ / 0-)


                            I did laugh out loud. The irony of these accusations coming from you of all people is pretty funny.

                            BTW, you still don't seem to grasp the difference between a right and a privilege, but I'll let it go. Good day to you and Godspeed.

                            Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. Sherlock Holmes.

                            by Carnacki on Tue May 30, 2006 at 04:42:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  See for yourself (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mia Dolan

                This is what Eric wrote about me. We couldn't be more opposite.


                •  Ok (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm impressed.  But doesn't it disturb you that Jones, Griffen et al still associate with, and cite the work of Huffshmid and Bollyn?  

                  •  They cite (0+ / 0-)

                    the work because they believe it, not becaue they support other things that H and B have said. They support it in SPITE of what H and B have said re the holocaust. Again - it's not a logical construct to say false in part, false in whole, although that's allowed in a court room.

                    Noam Chomsky wrote the forward to a book by a holocaust denier. Did you know that?

                    I think that is strange, but it doesn't invalidate EVERYTHING Chomsky has ever said. (But I believe from my reading of the record that Chomsky has a blind spot re the Kennedys and can't separate them out as being different from the rest of the elite. John and Bobby had to fight their entire administration NOT to go to war in Cuba. That's worthy of more differentiation than Chomsky allows.)

                    •  Fair, but (0+ / 0-)

                      The problem is not so much that Hufschmid and Bollyn are racist assholes -- its that they are liars.  And not just in the holocaust context.  Some of the things that Bollyn has written on 9/11 are just plain made up.

                      I'm a lawyer, so maybe I see things from the courtroom standpoint.  I would never use a witness that had even remote connections to Hufschmid.  

                      I'm not a big Chomsky fan, partly because of what you cite.  

                      Lisa, I have no quarrel with you at all.  I wish all conspiracy investigators were as principled and skeptical as you are.  My problem is that they are not, and most are not even close.  

  •  I hope you are not trying to debunk (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, greenearth, MikeyMouse

    the war on Christmas?

    That's still real, right?

    (Offered with a smile, just as an example of a conspiracy to invent conspiracies.)

    Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it...

    by RickBoston on Mon May 22, 2006 at 10:52:55 AM PDT

  •  Thx: ultimately someone screaming 'CT, CT, don't' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Don't read it, don't think about it, don't talk about it" is trying to censor what the interior of my mind can and can't think about.

    Which isn't a real plus in my book. I'm being prevented from thinking about this? Oh great. Doesn't fly here.

    It's the "anti-fear-propaganda" solution: positive news: HeroicStories, free

    by AllisonInSeattle on Mon May 22, 2006 at 11:10:05 AM PDT

  •  We are all 'conspiracy theorists'. (6+ / 0-)

    The term "Conspiracy Theory" has a certain connotation in and of itself that closes people's minds to possibilities. If you took the same theory and labelled it a "forensic theory", or "historical forensics", or something similar, people would take it more seriously.

    In a way, "Conspiracy Theories" are what DKos is all about.  Every time someone says "the Republicans are doing X", they are making the case that the members of the Republican party conspired to make X happen.  Some posts will provide some evidence for this, other just conjecture.

    A common-sense definition of a conspiracy is "A combination or agreement of two or more persons to join together to attempt to accomplish some purpose."  What do you think political parties are?  They are a conspiracy of people plotting to gain political power.  This being true for any political party, by definition anything any political party does is a "conspiracy".

    For instance, the rigging of the 2004 elections in Ohio is largely regarded as a "conspiracy theory".  Is it really that unreasonable to think that members of one party might try to rig an election?  That they would never think that the ends justify the means?  That rigging a presidential election isn't worth the trouble?  Gaining economic control of the "free world" might not be worth it?  Whatever you may think of the Bush administration, it is a fact that they have been responsible for funnelling almost a trillion dollars into the Iraq war machine.  Is it unreasonable that someone might think a trillion dollars (or some sizeable fraction thereof) is worth trying to rig an election?

    Particularly when we've made it so easy in this country.  All you have to do is buy off one company, or a software programmer or two, and you can shift elections in your favor.  It is unreasonable to think that someone might just take advantage of that?  Or may have planned it that way from the beginning?  The CEO of Diebold, in a speech in Ohio, flat-out stated they were going to deliver the election to Bush.  Should we not take him at his word that he did just that?  Would you call this a "conspiracy theory"?

    •  Good points ! (0+ / 0-)

      I think we have to look at how otherwise valid and logically sound arguments are dismissed a priori and preemptively diffused by semantics and linguistics.

      I think intelligent, relatively open-minded people are willing to look at new information when presented with it. Sadly, not everyone is so open.    

      •  Also a good point. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Real History Lisa
        I think it's important too to recognize that people responsible for propagating the official version of events make conscious use of the CT label as a way of discouraging open enquiry. Same way certain progressives with perfectly reasonable positions are considered too "extreme" to participate in the tightly controlled discourse of Sunday morning talk television. Ever see George and Cokie roll their eyes and their nervous somebody-reign-her-in laughter when Katrina van den Heuvel starts calling things by their correct name?  It's hard to get a fair hearing when you are labeled a crackpot.
    •  Given what we know about Bush and the cartel (0+ / 0-)
      it's unreasonable to think, if the technology existed to make an election a sure thing, that they wouldn't use it.
  •  Great (8+ / 0-)

    . . . diary, Lisa! I rarely venture over here anymore, but was ref'd to something else & caught yr piece. Good luck on Thursday!

    Your point about bylines can't be repeated often enough. But even that isn't always adequate to cut through the dis-info, partial truths & biased reporting that 'looks/sounds' "objective."

    Fer instance: many accept NPR as a relatively straight-forward objective newsource. So who's going to question Amelie Shaw's reporting there, unless they have heard through FlashPoints Radio or other alternative, investigatve sources, that Ms. Shaw's NPR reports were first aired on Voice of America?

    ". . . the more educated you are, the more indoctrinated you are. After all, propaganda is largely directed towards the privileged." -Noam Chomsky

  •  Absolutely excellent!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, Real History Lisa

    I haven't read all the comments yet...but I hope you'll let us know what show you'll be sounds like something I'd enjoy!

    I really do enjoy conspiracy theories...just considering all the possible ways an event could have taken place and all the possible players in an event is intriguing to me...and while I'm sure I "believe" some conspiracy theories...I'm also sure that that does NOT make them true or provable:)

    What a totally excellent diary though...really well done!!

  •  A very reasonable presentation! Thanks! n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Let us not be conservative with compassion. Be generous with compassion."

    by ilyana on Mon May 22, 2006 at 12:42:59 PM PDT

  •  The life and death of a conspiracy theorist (6+ / 0-)
      Pierre Emil George Salinger (June 14, 1925 – October 16, 2004) was a White House Press Secretary to U.S. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He later became known for his work as an ABC News correspondent, and in particular for his stories on the American hostage crisis in Iran, the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, and the explosion of TWA flight 800.


      Salinger later became known for his claims in November 1996 that friendly fire from the United States Navy was the cause of the TWA Flight 800 crash, based on what was later seen as an Internet hoax. [2] In November 2000, he refused to step down from the witness box in the Scottish court in the Netherlands where the two Libyan intelligence officers were on trial for PA 103. Salinger shouted that he knew who the real bombers were and had to be asked to leave the stand by the judge.

      He later made a permanent move to France, making good on his promise that, "If Bush wins, I'm going to leave the country and spend the rest of my life in France."

      Salinger died in October 2004 of heart failure near his home in Le Thor, France, after suffering from dementia at the age of 79. He is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery across the Potomac River from Washington, DC.

    (this is sourced from Wikipedia, the people-edited encyclopedia)

    Which reminds me of Daily Kos, and what it is and was I thought when I first came here.  I thought it was the number one news board on the net, where news addicts came to find and explore and discuss the news.  I found that it was something like a huge Democratic political action committee.  It worked!  Democratic candidates were presented and explored, promoted and supported.  And they were, a lot of them, voted into office.  

    How I thought Daily Kos functioned was somewhat like how Wikipedia functions.... one puts up a diary, tries one best to get at the story, using the most reliable sources, providing the context of the story, (links, links, links) then one put it up for the "board" to read, discuss, argue, tear to pieces.

    So I thought the "informed opinion" here was one immense, organic editorial board.  Through their input a story got developed.  If a story survived the Daily Kos editing process, fact checking, source checking, context checking, and the "yeah, so what's your point?" test -- then it was probably good enough to release to "the world at large"

    The Diary cops in those days were humorous, patient, and polite.  They were very strict, however.  They came with a flashing cop light, and pulled you over mid-diary -- cited you for the offense, and you either fixed it immediately of your diary was pulled off the board deleted just like that.

    MaryScottO'Connor was one diary cop, and DiaryCop was another.  Armando was not a cop but a judge you appealed to, or got sent to if your infractions were that serious and not resolved at diary level.

    Kinda like Daily Kos through a child's eye.... That's what I thought and how I found it then.  That was before the wars.  Now I must go try and locate Diary Cop.... she was really nice.


  •  Lemnitzer is the origin of conspiracy theory. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Real History Lisa
    This is from the National Security Archive. It references what has been called Operation Northwoods. The cover letter on this planning document is signed by:

    L.L. Lemnitzer
    Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

    Justification for US Military Intervention in Cuba [includes cover memoranda], March 13, 1962, TOP SECRET, 15 pp.

    Annex to Appendix to Enclosure A

    ... 7. Hijacking attempts against civil air and surface craft should appear to continue as harassing measures condoned by the government of Cuba. Concurrently, genuine defections of Cuban civil and military air and surface craft should be encouraged.

    8. It is possible to create an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner enroute from the United States to Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama or Venezuela. The destination would be chosen only to cause the flight plan route to cross Cuba. The passengers could be a group of college students off on a holiday or any grouping of persons with a common interest to support chartering a non-scheduled flight.

    a. An aircraft at Elgin AFB would be painted and numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging to a CIA proprietary organization in the Miami area. At a designated time the duplicate would be substituted for the actual civil aircraft and would be loaded with the selected passengers, all boarded under carefully prepared aliases. The actual registered aircraft would be converted to a drone.

    b. Take off times of the drone aircraft and the actual aircraft will be scheduled to allow a rendevous south of Florida. From the rendevous point the passenger-carrying aircraft will descend to minimum altitude and go directly into an auxiliary field at Elgin AFB where arrangements will have been made to evacuate the passengers and return the aircraft to its original status. The drone aircraft meanwhile will continue to fly the filed flight plan. When over Cuba the drone will being (sic, begin?) transmitting on the international distress frequency a "MAY DAY" message stating he is under attack by Cuban MIG aircraft. The transmission will be interrupted by destruction of the aircraft which will be triggered by radio signal. This will allow ICAO radio stations in the Western hemisphere to tell the US what has happened to the aircraft instead of the US trying to "sell" the incident.

    •  Glad you brought this in Linda (0+ / 0-)

      Griffin actually references Operation Northwoods in his book to establish precedent when discussing alternate versions of what happened on 9-11 (I'm intentionally refraining from using the term "conspiracy theory" for reasons I and others have explored above).

      Yeah, it does indicate what is actually possible when the Executive Branch, and the CIA or FBV get together with a common objective.

      Also, don't forget about the infamous Reichtags Fire in Germany, Feb. 27, 1933. Links;  

  •  Name five high officials who can be believed (0+ / 0-)

    Name one in this Administration.

    That's the problem.  Why should we trust those well-paid reporters for national brand name media who have worked hard to maintain access to them.

    Now, name five beat reporters at the NYT or WP who you trust . . . see what I mean.

    It's all about trust.  Just like capitalism.  When it breaks down because there are no consequences for lying or allowing oneself to be deceived, then the market fails.  

    The market has failed.  Until I see otherwise, I'll stick to barter with those whom I trust.  Retrogression or something of an advance for civilization?

    Thank you for writing this, Lisa.

  •  I'm all for 'responsible' (0+ / 0-)

    But I'm also for not dismissing a theory as "Conspiracy theory" without giving it any thought, as many do.  That's how conspiracy theory becomes equated with flightiness and mindlessness.

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