It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


9-11 skeptics handbook

page: 1

log in


posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 02:49 AM
I'm a new member here at ATS, but I've been reading the site for years. Most of my time on this site has been trying to gather information on the events that occurred on 9-11. While reading many of these threads, I started to notice some common devices that are used by "debunkers" and "skeptics". I thought that it may be helpful to put these in one place and my responses to them. (note: feel free to add any of your own) Also, in no way is this a personal attack on anyone, I merely post this to point out overused strategies so that every one may have a better discussion.
In no particular order:

1. "The Truth movement doesn't have enough support/success. Therefore there claims can't be true."

This makes no sense whatsoever. How many people believe something has no affect on rather or not it is true. At one point, the majority of people in the world thought the Earth was flat, but that didn't make it true. Nor does how much the MSM cover these claims have any bearing on its truth. We see now that the MSM was unwilling to inform the public of the lack of WMD's in Iraq until too late, so why would this be any different

2. "The burden of proof is on the Truthers. In this country you are innocent until proven guilty."

This is flawed for several reasons. First, we can hardly prove anything 100% when the government has destroyed or is witholding all of the evidence. Also, our social contract with the government entails that they should have to keep us safe. Because they failed in this, they are obligated to tell we the people what went wrong, and then fix the mistakes. That means the Burden of proof is on the government, and if we can point out flaws in their story, then they should have to continue to investigate to find answers to those problems.

3. "No one has all of the answers, so you can't make wild accusations."

This kind of goes with the last point. If its true that even the government doesn't have all of the answers, aren't they entitled to keep searching? Conspiracy theories aside, the continued search may at the very least yield answers as to how the best military in the world could lapse so bad, and improve our safety in the future.

4. "There would have to be thousands of people involved, and they couldn't keep a secret."

First, only a handful of people at the top had to know exactly what was going on. Second, these people wield such power that they could convince everyone to keep silent. Third, things in the past prove that the government can harm its own people and no leaks occur, Tuskegee experiments, Gulf of Tonkin, '___' experiments, and so forth. The only secrets we ever find out are after the fact, or when there is partisan bickering. If 9-11 had authorities from both parties involved, we would never hear about it. Lastly, people from the inside have spoken out, such as the people that heard Cheney order a stand down, but debunkers still won't listen to them.

5. "Truther claims are just partisan attacks against Bush."

Not true. I'm sure you'll find many people just plain distrust both parties, myself included. Also, even if it was the case, the merits of the argument should still be looked at.

6. "All of your info is from leaders of the truth movement, and they have an agenda or stand to make money."

Proof of this please? No matter what you say, this can always be a default argument. Despite the unwillingness to trust any source that questions the official story, they have no problem trusting a government that has lied to the people over and over again, and will even trust them (NIST) without any evidence being released.

posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 02:50 AM

7. "I'm only here to stop your claims because they are hurting the victims of 9-11's families."

First off, many of these families have the same questions. Secondly, seeing as how the "skeptics" mission is to point out erroneous claims to help people out, why don't they focus on things like lying about WMD's. Truthers claims have never led to anyone dying, yet lies about Iraq (and maybe Iran) are responsible for countless deaths. If they have answered all of the truthers points as they claim, why not spend their time possibly saving lives? Lastly, I think every truther respects the lives of everyone affected by 9-11, which is why we seek answers.

8. They will make the assertion that all of your claims have already been answered.

This is a classic deflection strategy. They will refuse to reanswer and will assert that you have poor reading skills.

9. “Your all wackos/crazy troothers/moonbats/ etc.”

Much like above, this is a deflection strategy and a non-answer.

10. They will claim that internet videos, witness accounts, and other such sources are not viable evidence.

As long as the content is there, and the source is properly cited, it should be viable. While they say this, they will simultaneously use these same sources to prove there point. Examples: Witness accounts from firefighters that claim they heard a bomb don’t count because they’re not experts and they were under a lot of stress, but firefighters that saw fire in building 7, or witnesses that saw plane parts are totally legit, or your video on the towers falling in illegitimate but theirs is a-ok.

11. “You have had 7 years and produced no smoking gun”

See the burden of proof post above. Also, this may be because the government controls ALL of the evidence. It doesn’t disprove and claim.

12. They will pick out a post that they find fringe or vulgar and use that as proof that every truther is not credible.

This can take the form of “See, that guy thinks sasquatch tore down the towers. That just proves how crazy all you truthers are.” This is not refutation of an argument, and does nothing to disprove a point. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but that opinion doesn’t necessarily represents everyone. No matter what anyone thinks happened, all truthers agree that the governments story doesn’t add up, and that’s the important thing.

13. “There is no official story”.

One, if that’s true then the government owes us an explanation and should hold an investigation to get an official story, and secondly this is just a stupid semantics arguments. Everyone knows this means the governments stance that Bin Laden ordered hijackers to hit the WTC/Pentagon with planes.

14. They will stop posting, or just refuse to acknowledge a valid point.

Say you make a post with 3 points. They’ll answer one or two, and never mention word of the third. The also will do this on a holistic scale, and will attack on plank of the conspiracy, claiming the refutes the entire thing. But again, all we are doing is refuting the official story. If even one important question can’t be answered, then our government owes us another investigation (and before anyone criticizes this I don’t mean some ridiculously small point)

That’s all I can think of at this point. Again, I would just like to point out that this wasn’t pointed at anyone specifically, and I know that some debunkers don’t fit into this category, but these were just some things I noticed that seemed to be holding back the debate.

posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 04:17 AM
You share my frustration with the entire argument...

...but alot of those points go both ways.

My main frustration stems from a point you made (point10). In the same discussion you will here (primarily from the skeptic camp, although the 'truthers' are guilty as well sometimes) that the eye-witness accounts which refute their claims are unreliable but then go on to cite eyewitness accounts.

This happens all the time, especially in regards to the pentagon. It is frustrating and the double standard groups afford to themselves, but not others, is pathetic.

posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 07:51 AM
Debunkers have been receiving instructions and advice for a long time:

This document caused quite a stir when it was discovered in 1977. Dated 4/1/67, and marked "DESTROY WHEN NO LONGER NEEDED", this document is a stunning testimony to how concerned the CIA was over investigations into the Kennedy assassination. Emphasis has been added to facilitate scanning.

CIA Document #1035-960, marked "PSYCH" for presumably Psychological Warfare Operations, in the division "CS", the Clandestine Services, sometimes known as the "dirty tricks" department.

RE: Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report

1. Our Concern. From the day of President Kennedy's assassination on, there has been speculation about the responsibility for his murder. Although this was stemmed for a time by the Warren Commission report, (which appeared at the end of September 1964), various writers have now had time to scan the Commission's published report and documents for new pretexts for questioning, and there has been a new wave of books and articles criticizing the Commission's findings. In most cases the critics have speculated as to the existence of some kind of conspiracy, and often they have implied that the Commission itself was involved. Presumably as a result of the increasing challenge to the Warren Commission's report, a public opinion poll recently indicated that 46% of the American public did not think that Oswald acted alone, while more than half of those polled thought that the Commission had left some questions unresolved. Doubtless polls abroad would show similar, or possibly more adverse results.

2. This trend of opinion is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization. The members of the Warren Commission were naturally chosen for their integrity, experience and prominence. They represented both major parties, and they and their staff were deliberately drawn from all sections of the country. Just because of the standing of the Commissioners, efforts to impugn their rectitude and wisdom tend to cast doubt on the whole leadership of American society. Moreover, there seems to be an increasing tendency to hint that President Johnson himself, as the one person who might be said to have benefited, was in some way responsible for the assassination. Innuendo of such seriousness affects not only the individual concerned, but also the whole reputation of the American government. Our organization itself is directly involved: among other facts, we contributed information to the investigation. Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization, for example by falsely alleging that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for us. The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries. Background information is supplied in a classified section and in a number of unclassified attachments.

3. Action. We do not recommend that discussion of the assassination question be initiated where it is not already taking place. Where discussion is active [business] addresses are requested:

a. To discuss the publicity problem with [?] and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out that the Warren Commission made as thorough an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the critics are without serious foundation, and that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition. Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists. Urge them to use their influence to discourage unfounded and irresponsible speculation.

b. To employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material.

posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 08:01 AM

4. In private to media discussions not directed at any particular writer, or in attacking publications which may be yet forthcoming, the following arguments should be useful:

a. No significant new evidence has emerged which the Commission did not consider. The assassination is sometimes compared (e.g., by Joachim Joesten and Bertrand Russell) with the Dreyfus case; however, unlike that case, the attack on the Warren Commission have produced no new evidence, no new culprits have been convincingly identified, and there is no agreement among the critics. (A better parallel might be with the Reichstag fire of 1933, which some competent historians now believe was set by Vander Lubbe on his own initiative, without acting for either Nazis or Communists; the Nazis tried to pin the blame on the Communists, but the latter have been more successful in convincing the world that the Nazis were to blame.)

b. Critics usually overvalue particular items and ignore others. They tend to place more emphasis on the recollections of individual witnesses (which are less reliable and more divergent--and hence offer more hand-holds for criticism) and less on ballistics, autopsy, and photographic evidence. A close examination of the Commission's records will usually show that the conflicting eyewitness accounts are quoted out of context, or were discarded by the Commission for good and sufficient reason.

c. Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States, esp. since informants could expect to receive large royalties, etc. Note that Robert Kennedy, Attorney General at the time and John F. Kennedy's brother, would be the last man to overlook or conceal any conspiracy. And as one reviewer pointed out, Congressman Gerald R. Ford would hardly have held his tongue for the sake of the Democratic administration, and Senator Russell would have had every political interest in exposing any misdeeds on the part of Chief Justice Warren. A conspirator moreover would hardly choose a location for a shooting where so much depended on conditions beyond his control: the route, the speed of the cars, the moving target, the risk that the assassin would be discovered. A group of wealthy conspirators could have arranged much more secure conditions.

d. Critics have often been enticed by a form of intellectual pride: they light on some theory and fall in love with it; they also scoff at the Commission because it did not always answer every question with a flat decision one way or the other. Actually, the make-up of the Commission and its staff was an excellent safeguard against over-commitment to any one theory.

e. Oswald would not have been any sensible person's choice for a co-conspirator. He was a "loner," mixed up, of questionable reliability and an unknown quantity to any professional intelligence service. [Archivist's note: This claim is demonstrably untrue with the latest file releases. The CIA had an operational interest in Oswald less than a month before the assassination. Source: Oswald and the CIA, John Newman and newly released files from the National Archives.]

f. As to charges that the Commission's report was a rush job, it emerged three months after the deadline originally set. But to the degree that the Commission tried to speed up its reporting, this was largely due to the pressure of irresponsible speculation already appearing, in some cases coming from the same critics who, refusing to admit their errors, are now putting out new criticisms.

g. Such vague accusations as that "more than ten people have died mysteriously" can always be explained in some natural way e.g.: the individuals concerned have for the most part died of natural causes; the Commission staff questioned 418 witnesses (the FBI interviewed far more people, conduction 25,000 interviews and re interviews), and in such a large group, a certain number of deaths are to be expected)...

posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 02:58 AM
Thats very disturbing. It reminds me of this movie I just watched called "Steal This Movie" about Abbie Hoffman and the Chicago 8. It claims that the government actually had special tasks forces set up just to discredit him and others like him.

On a side note, if anyone reading can answer either of these questions I woul be more than happy. I constantly ask two questions that are never responded to, and I was wondering if someone would try to answer.

1. I've noticed debunkers state that truthers have came up with nothing new for 7 years, and their claims have already been answered (in OP). I also notice that when asked why they still spend so much time here, debunkers will say something along the lines of they're just trying to help people, by showing them how delusional they are. The questions I've asked over and over again, and never received one answer to, is why don't you debunk stories the government tells? We know the government lied, or at least had false information regarding WMD's in Iraq. Why not look into that. Or even better, claims about Iran. If you could prove rather these facts are true or not, you would stand to potentially help save millions of lives. But instead you spend your time answering the same claims that even if you were to prove would not save one life.

2. Why won't the government release their evidence? I've asked this repeatedly, and recieved only one response. I can think of no reason not to release this data unless there is something to hide.

posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 03:07 AM

Originally posted by Grambler
1. I've noticed debunkers state that truthers have came up with nothing new for 7 years, and their claims have already been answered (in OP). I also notice that when asked why they still spend so much time here, debunkers will say something along the lines of they're just trying to help people, by showing them how delusional they are. The questions I've asked over and over again, and never received one answer to, is why don't you debunk stories the government tells?

The debunkers know better than to bite the hand that feeds them.

new topics

top topics


log in