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The 9/11 tinfoil hat brigade

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 10, 2006 10:01 AM

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I’ve got a book review of Popular Mechanics’ excellent book, “Debunking 9/11 Myths,” in today’s New York Post. Here’s an excerpt:

I GET several e-mails from 9/11 conspiracy theorists every week, usually typed in all capital letters with minimal punctuation and maximum sputter. Here’s a typical message I received last Tuesday: “It appears you are not a believer. So, I have only one question, perhaps, but doubtfully, you can answer. WHY DID BUILDING SEVEN COME DOWN?”

As it happens, Popular Mechanics magazine’s new book, “Debunking 9/11 Myths,” (website here) answers that question concisely – with the caps key off. Among the unhinged fever swamps in academia and on the Internet, there is widespread suspicion that World Trade Center 7 collapsed as a result of a controlled demolition set by Secret Service and CIA agents who had offices there.

Reality check for the Twilight Zoners: Federal investigators and experts believe a combination of massive damage from falling debris plus raging fires led to a progressive collapse of WTC 7, causing structural failures that brought the building down.

Popular Mechanics patiently bats down the paranoid delusions of Bush-bashers and terrorism-deniers who have seized on flimsy evidence and cherry-picked quotes and misquotes to bolster their cockamamie theories.

Consider how the conspiracists have abused 20-year veteran New York City firefighter Louie Cacchioli. A People magazine article attributed this quote about WTC 7 to Cacchioli after the attacks: “We think there was [sic] bombs set in the building.” But Cacchioli told Popular Mechanics he was misquoted: “I said, ‘It sounded like a bomb.’ I tried to explain what I meant [after the fact], but it was already out there.”

Cacchioli has been contacted repeatedly by people hoping he will say there were bombs in WTC 7, but he refuses to do so. According to the book, Cacchioli is “distressed at the inaccurate use of his name in conjunction with conspiracy theories.”

He’s not alone. Popular Mechanics also interviewed Marc Birnbach, a freelance videographer whose words have also been twisted by the tinfoil hat brigade. On the day of the attacks, Birnbach told Fox News in a live broadcast that he “didn’t see any windows” on United Airlines Flight 175 before it crashed into WTC’s South Tower. Revisionists have exploited the no-windows statement to perpetuate claims that the South Tower was hit by a military cargo plane or fuel tanker.

Never mind that chunks of fuselage with passenger windows from Flight 175 were found in debris at Ground Zero. Or that the simple explanation for Birnbach’s inability to see the windows is that the plane was banked sharply as it approached the South Tower, tilting the windows upward. Or that Birnbach himself rejects the cargo plane/tanker nuttiness: “I think they are completely out of line.”

In their quest for “truth,” the 9/11 Truthers’ response to reality is just that: “Never mind.”

If it were only a fringe few spewing tall tales about 9/11, Popular Mechanics’ book wouldn’t have been worth writing. But the movement has gone mainstream…

Read the rest.

***

For a taste of how sick these people are and how much they enjoy mocking the suffering of 9/11 victims, watch and listen to the comments of conspiracy documentarian Dylan Avery here.

Ace , Allah , and Rusty cover the mainstreaming of Trutherism. The Democrat nominee for Florida’s 15th Congressional seat is a Truther. So’s a Dem challenger to Baghdad Jim McDermott, who believes “there is ample evidence that suggests the extreme improbability that events occurred as depicted in the official reports.”

Meanwhile, leading Truther Steven Jones has been put on leave at Brigham Young University:

A professor who has questioned whether planes destroyed the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11 five years ago has been placed on paid leave by Brigham Young University while the LDS Church-owned school investigates his statements.

Steven Jones, who has taught at BYU since 1985, has written that the towers fell because explosives were placed inside the buildings. He is co-chairman of a group called Scholars for 9/11 Truth.

In a formal statement, BYU said it was “concerned about the increasingly speculative and accusatory nature of these statements by Dr. Jones.”

“BYU remains concerned that Dr. Jones’ work on this topic has not been published in appropriate scientific venues,” the statement said.

BYU, a private university operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also is concerned about its reputation, spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said. “It is a concern when faculty bring the university name into their own personal matters of concern,” she said.

NIST’s 9/11 site countering conspiracy theories is here.

Glenn and Helen’s podcast with the editors of Popular Mechanics is here.

The single best clearinghouse on the ‘net for fighting the tinfoil hat brigade is the Screw Loose Change blog, dedicated to exposing the lies and distortions in Avery’s 9/11-denying crockumentary, “Loose Change.” Hot Air coverage of the Loose Change wars here.

“Debunking 9/11 Myths” is a necessary antidote to counteract the vile and poisonous effects of Trutheriness. Unfortunately, it will not cure the persistent symptoms of Bush Derangement Syndrome that have blinded so many to the evils of jihad that exploded before our eyes five short years ago. Witness their reaction to the latest al Qaeda video of Osama and the 9/11 hijackers.

Pay special attention to the hijacker trainees’ throat-slitting rehearsals on airplane passengers, played by fellow jihadis. Via Laura Mansfield:

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Guess Rove and Cheney staged all that, too.

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