Monday, May 22, 2006

Ask the Pilot

Salon's aviation expert takes on the 9/11 conspiracy theories. (registration required) A must read for anyone who sat through Loose Change.

And Wikipedia's entry does a nice job of sorting out the various claims and rebuts, in case you get lost.


Grant Miller said...

Thanks. I saw that "Loose Change" a couple weeks and I never read "Ask The Pilot." The main problem I have with "Loose Change" is it assumes our leaders not only are evil but brilliant. I think the last five years have shown the latter is incorrect.

vikkitikkitavi said...

I love "Ask the Pilot" generally, but that column was particularly good. "Loose Change" bothered me a lot because 1) they kept claiming to have things or know things, but never cited any sources, 2) they contradicted themselves frequently, and 3) I just refuse to believe that a government conspiracy that large could exist and remain a secret. I mean, for example, "Loose Change" seemed to be implying that the passengers from one of the flights met their real fate in some airport hangar somewhere. What, innocent Americans shot on the orders of our government by American soldiers, or black ops guys or whatever? Really?

C'mon, isn't ineptitude a much more credible answer?

Grant Miller said...

The first rule of keeping a secret is don't tell anybody. If "Loose Change" is right, there are thousands of people running around with this secret and no one says a word. Highly unlikely. True - they never cited sources. Frustrating. The most obvious answer typically is the right answer. I'm going to go hit my head on a wall.

vikkitikkitavi said...

I don't know if you watch "Seconds from Disaster," but I am addicted to it. I find the detailed analysis on the reasons for plane crashes, etc. really fascinating. It's on the National Geographic Channel. Last night they reran the show they did on the Pentagon Crash.

When I told one of my 9/11 conspiracy friends that they should check out that show because it answers a lot of questions about the hole that the plane left in the building, and the debris field, etc., he was all "Oh, National Geographic. Aren't they federally funded?" I said, "I think some of their projects are," and he gave me this significant look.

I'm so sure the government would come in to the offices of a cable channel and start dictating the content of this one particular program, and we would never hear about it from anyone who worked there.

michael said...

I watched Loose Change yesterday. I'm glad I didn't know about it earlier. Unlike Michael Moore stuff, screeching aside, poses some questions that do seem forcibly muted, this dialog really upsets me. To accuse Americans of killing each other and destroying such massive assets, in the name of accelerating a war-time agenda or accelerating the onset of a New World's unspeakable.

It's one thing to accuse forces within the government as complicit in an assassination, or the President himself of wiretapping offices for political gain, or accepting extranational contributions in return for political favors. But to suggest the government had an active hand in destroying thousands of lives and billions of dollars in property to stage attacks on American takes a sick mind to appreciate such a sick idea.

The molten steel story saved me. Nothing more ludicrous than steel idling in that form for weeks under a pile of rubble. The heat blast alone in uncovering it would have melted faces off of skulls. Never mind that none of these witnesses can be expected to identify steel in molten form -- it ain't self-evident.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Most importantly, the motivation that was supposedly behind the 9/11 plot was to secure the docile acceptance of the American people.

Weren't Americans already sufficiently docile to our military priorities?

And Michael, I think we have to take a hard look at what would make people believe such ridiculous things. Why would so many people believe their government capable of this? It is not just their own pathology - there's too many of them. It is a deep distrust, and it is there for a reason.

Why did so many believe OJ innocent? Because they needed to believe it. Because there were strong social forces that required that belief of them.

michael said...

Given more space, I think I would explain my own agitation exactly this way. I hate that Loose Change is enough to make me wonder. I do share that distrust. What I can't figure is whether Loose Change shares in it, or wants to manipulate it, and that makes me edgy.

All playful dissing aside, LA just might be an example of a communal pathology: the Menendez brothers first trial, Rodney King, Stacey Koon and company's Simi Valley venue, Reginald Denny, then of course OJ, Michael Jackson, Robert Blake...I mean, wow. How can you not wonder how the system "really" works?

vikkitikkitavi said...

The Rodney King verdict, the riots, and the OJ verdict are all the fault of the LAPD and the city leaders.

If you let the police force run amok, brutalizing citizens and framing people instead of performing honest police work and building real cases, then you are going to have entire communities of people who identify and trust the criminal element that lives among them more than they trust the police that are supposed to protect them. And then you get things like the abusurdity of the OJ criminal trial verdict. People would say to me "How can those people believe he was innocent?" but I say how can they believe that the police would frame that black man? Well, gosh, yeah, how could they possibly think that? Oh yeah, IT'S IN THE NEWS.

And yes, I agree with you about Loose Change. Clearly the Bushies tried to cover their negligence regarding the warnings of 9/11, and so that made people suspicious about what they were being told and what they were allowed to know. So yeah, conspiracies are going to gain a foot hold in that kind of climate. But when I watched Loose Change I got this gnawing feeling that I was being played, and given the gravity of the subject matter, that really fucking pissed me off.