Presentation on theme: "1 Dial 911 for Evidence What did or didn’t happen, and (how) can we know?"— Presentation transcript:
1 Dial 911 for Evidence What did or didn’t happen, and (how) can we know?
2 WTC2: South Tower
3 WTC1: North Tower
4 WTC7: Salomon Brothers
5 ‘Twould be nice to get into the juicy part immediately... but we really need to establish some basics about evidence and the working environment of looking at 9/11.
6 What about you? What do you think happened before, on, and after September 11, 2001 Where did you get the information that led you to think that?
7 What’s this about? Thinking about theories Thinking about evidence Basics: flights, agencies The Argument: debunkers vs doubters U.S. involvement impossible? (in)Capability of the press
8 Thinking about theories
9 What is a myth? (David Ray Griffin) A narrative that is –Widely believed –Does not correspond to reality
10 What is a Myth? (David Ray Griffin) A narrative that –orients & mobilizes people: “Who am I?” “Why do I do what I do?” –is taken on faith –is not subject to discussion
11 What is a theory? A hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theory)
12 A good theory... Does not contain internal contradictions Corresponds to observed data Is not inconsistent with observed data Does not ignore observed data May predict not-yet-known data
13 3 ways to challenge a theory (David Ray Griffin, Ultimate 9/11 Showdown) 1.Show that the evidence supporting it does not withstand scrutiny 2.Show evidence that appears to contradict it 3.Show evidence that it can’t possibly be true
14 What is a “conspiracy?” Cabal -- an association between religious, political, or tribal officials to further their own ends, usually by intrigue Conspiracy (civil) (US) -- an agreement between persons to deceive, mislead, or defraud others of their legal rights, or to gain an unfair advantage Conspiracy (crime) (US) -- an agreement between persons to break the law in the future, in some cases having committed an act to further that agreement Conspiracy (political) -- a plot to overthrow a government
15 Problem with “Conspiracy Theory” Used to patronizingly explain away evidence, as in “America’s traditional love-affair with conspiracy theories.” Has come to be an instantaneous turn-off of people’s analytical willingness or abilities. 9/11 -- used in a one-sided perjorative sense, when in fact there are two competing conspiracy theories Apparently started with the CIA’s 1967 “Instructions to Media Assets”
16 9/11: Conspiracy theory #1 The Official Story With no prior warning, Arab Muslim fundamentalists hijacked airliners, evaded a massive interception capability, and flew them into (a) two skyscrapers that collapsed in an unprecedented fashion, and (b) the most heavily constructed and least strategic part of the Pentagon.
17 9/11: Conspiracy theory #2 The “9/11 ‘Truth’ Movement” The Official Story is false because it is contains many contradictions, as well as inconsistencies with physical and forensic evidence. The official defenses of the Official Story contain so many omissions, distortions, and apparently deliberate lies that they constitute a coverup of whatever did happen. Although much evidence for an alternative story is available, many aspects are inconsistent or lacking positive proof, and the real story cannot be known until there is a new, truly independent investigation with subpoena powers.
18 9/11: Conspiracy theory #2 The “9/11 ‘Truth’ Movement” WHAT? NO THEORY???? See item 3 on previous slide QUESTION: Is it necessary, in proving that a theory is wrong, to –Offer a fully-fledged, or even partial, alternative theory? –Account for all the implications of evidence brought forward? Ripple Effect, ch. 17:
19 9/11: Conspiracy theory #2 The “9/11 ‘Truth’ Movement” To the extent that there is a theory: Arab individuals may or may not have hijacked jetliners World Trade Center 1, 2 & 7 were destroyed by something other than impact/fire The Pentagon was damaged, but by what? Something crashed or was shot down in Pennsylvania, not necessarily where specified Some elements of the U.S. government were involved to one of the following degrees...
20 Degrees of “Official Complicity” (David Ray Griffin, in The New Pearl Harbor) Construction of false account No knowledge on part of White House, but... –Expected by intelligence agencies (in general) –Expected by intelligence agencies (specifics) –Intelligence agencies involved in planning –Pentagon involved in planning White House involved –No specific knowledge, general expectation –Specific advance knowledge –Involved in planning
21 What is “impossible?” (David Ray Griffin, Ultimate 9/11 Showdown) Logical -- a round square Metaphysical -- going back in time and killing your grandfather Physical -- violation of physical laws
22 Was U.S. involvement impossible? A history of real, provoked, or fictional attacks on Americans or allies as pretexts for wars... later
23 The link between Theory and Evidence
24 Types of Reasoning David Ray Griffin Deductive (defending official story): Step by step -- each depends on previous, if one is false, all fails Cumulative (questioning official story): Series of independent observations -- if one fails, weakens argument but doesn’t kill it
25 Thinking about thinking
26 A priori thinking Incompetence much more likely Someone would have talked It’s obvious that al Qaeda did it Mind made up before looking at evidence
27 Types of thinking Paradigmatic -- believing only what fits the held world view: “I refuse to believe you because I don’t want to live in a country whose leaders would do such a thing.” Wishful/Fearful -- believing what one wants to be true, or disbelieving what one doesn’t want to be true: “9/11 was due to incompetence (like Katrina)” as if well-planned actions never went awry. Empirical -- believing what evidence shows, regardless of how it fits emotionally. Seeing isn’t necessarily believing
28 Difficulty with Empiricality The neurons that go from the eye to the visual cortex of the brain aren’t the only ones. Others connect the eye to the emotional center of the brain. Which center gets the message first is not a given; frequently it’s the emotional one, disabling rational thought about evidence.
29 Difficulty with Empiricality Experiments show that people confronted with identical behavior or thinking will judge it in opposite ways depending on their perception of the behaver. Example: In 2008, the CIA issued a secret report stating that the best way to prevent the spread of anti-war sentiment was to elect Obama. In fact, since his election, the active objection to war and the erosion of civil liberties has almost vanished from the Left.
30 Fact of Life People look at the same piece of evidence and draw totally different conclusions The Soviet sub and the Queen
31 What you see... How did Rudy Giuliani’s people know? OS-ers: he wouldn’t be stupid enough to say something incriminating 9T-ers: most wouldn’t notice, only those who know the lack of precedent for steel frame buildings collapsing from fire “I went down to the scene and we set up headquarters at 75 Barkley Street, which was right there with the Police Commissioner, the Fire Commissioner, the Head of Emergency Management, and we were operating out of there when we were told that the World Trade Center was going to collapse. And it did collapse before we could actually get out of the building, so we were trapped in the building for 10, 15 minutes, and finally found an exit and got out....”
32 What you see... Dust -- from air push or explosions? North Tower South Tower
33 Propaganda Not absolute lies, rather different truths –Half truths –incomplete truths –limited truths –out of context truths Reinforce -- not change -- existing opinions, prejudices, attitudes Vulnerability of intellectuals & educated –absorb a lot of (not necessarily good) info –compelled to have opinion, so absorb propaganda –feel they are immune to propaganda WE do truth, THEY do propaganda
34 Thinking about evidence
35 Types of evidence Physical –Objects –Observations of phenomena –Analysis of objects or phenomena Behavior –Actions –Consistency
36 Evidence relates to Events Relationships –Events to events –People to events –People to People
37 Evidence sources 1.Primary –Primary documents (government, private) –Video/audio (news footage, individuals) –Statements by directly involved individuals –Eye-witness statements –Empirical physical research 2.Secondary (report on Primaries) –News analysis articles/broadcasts –Investigative researchers 3.Tertiary (assemble Secondaries) –Books and produced videos –Blogs
38 Evidence/testimony credibility Correspondence to physical reality Changes in story Inherent predisposition Nature of expert Reputation of source Technical issues Quotation issues Contradicting evidence Misleading What else??
39 Evidence/testimony credibility Relation to physical reality Claim (based in NIST report evidence): The WTC towers collapsed because of truss failures, lower floors crushed by structure above falling on them. Observation: If this were true, then at least the top portions of the buildings would be in recognizable pieces. Physical reality: all three buildings were turned into structural steel and small- particle dust.
40 Evidence/testimony credibility Relation to physical reality Reality (from North) NIST Model WTC Building 7
41 Evidence/testimony credibility Correspondence to physical reality Changes in story Inherent predisposition Nature of expert Reputation of source Technical issues Quotation issues Contradicting evidence Misleading What else??
42 Evidence/testimony credibility Story changes Where were you the night of the crime? –I was at the theater. The theater was closed. –Oh, that’s right, I was with my girlfriend. She says she was with her husband. –Oh, yeah, I was home reading the Bible. -- from David Ray Griffin, 9/11 Myth and Reality
43 Official story changes to handle objections (9/11-12/01) Joint Chiefs head & NORAD spokesman: Didn’t get interceptors into air until after Pentagon hit (sounds like stand down? 9/14: CBS says fighters were up) (9/18/01) NORAD timeline: up, but too late due to FAA failure to provide timely notification (hmm -- there still was time) (7/04) 9/11 Commission -- FAA never notified military of any of the planes, except a phantom Flight 11 (which had never been previously mentioned)
44 Evidence/testimony credibility Correspondence to physical reality Changes in story Inherent predisposition Nature of expert Reputation of source Technical issues Quotation issues Contradicting evidence Misleading What else??
45 Evidence/testimony credibility Inherent predisposition A person is known, through prior statements or association, to have a certain predisposition. Two possibilities: s/he claims to have witnessed -- or discovered -- something –that is congruent with that predisposition –that contradicts that predisposition Which of these is likely to be more reliable?
46 Pentagon reporters David Ray Griffin, Ultimate 9/11 ‘Truth’ Showdown Of 7 who say they saw a jetliner hit the Pentagon –5 worked for Gannet (USA Today) –one described wing dragging the ground (but no scar) Those who arrived immediately after: –CNN: “very small pieces you can pick up with your hand, nothing large” –ABC (early close look inside): “could not see any plane wreckage”
47 Pentagon police Flight 77: Flight Data Recorder Investigation Files (DVD) Filling their cars at “the Citgo station” They say (on camera, in uniform) that they saw the plane go by north of the station The alleged flight data recorder (and apparent damage path) says it went south of the station. Real, or a byzantine straw-man plot to discredit the 9T movement? (Hmm, this begins to get strange)
48 Evidence/testimony credibility Correspondence to physical reality Changes in story Inherent predisposition Nature of expert Reputation of source Technical issues Quotation issues Contradicting evidence Misleading What else??
49 Evidence/testimony credibility Nature of expert Professional qualifications Relevance of these to evidence/testimony Free from potential conflict of interest or duress? Relevant previous performance? Story changes (what context)?
50 Evidence/testimony credibility Correspondence to physical reality Changes in story Inherent predisposition Nature of expert Reputation of source Technical issues Quotation issues Contradicting evidence Misleading What else??
51 Evidence/testimony credibility Reputation of source How do others in his/her/its field feel about him/her/it? Has other information provided by him/her/it been successfully debunked (when seen in context)? Approach: “hot” or “cool” (Trickier) Is there baggage that you feel damages credibility for you? (e.g., UFOs, anti-Zionist) Have there been changes to him/her/it or circumstances?
52 Evidence/testimony credibility Reputation of source Example: David Ray Griffin Well respected as theologian, many books, dean of the “9/11 Truth” movement Researcher who gathers together others’ research, does some checking w/primary Possible debunks –757 didn’t hit Pentagon –Hijackers not there and/or still alive –“FAA” doc on intercept timing is not FAA. Baggage: concern for Constitution/world
53 Evidence/testimony credibility Reputation of source Example: NIST Well respected descendent of National Bureau of Standards Staffed with experienced scientists but... "Distortion of scientific knowledge for partisan political ends” -- signed by 12,000 scientists (including 52 Nobel laureates, 63 National medal of science)
54 Evidence/testimony credibility Reputation of source Example: NIST (continued) "By 2001, everyone in NIST leadership had been trained to pay close heed to political pressures...friends who are still there and who have been closely, though unhappily and often unwillingly, involved in some of the politicization [of NIST] and its effects.” -- former NIST whistleblower Sources of interference: oversight by –NSA –Commerce HQ (no release w/out changes) –OMB (presence of policy overseer)
55 Evidence/testimony credibility Reputation of source Example: Popular Mechanics Well-respected popularized science/engineering magazine for over a century but... In 2005 –editor and much of staff replaced –one of writers a nephew of head of Homeland Security (PM denied there was any connection, turned out there was)
56 Evidence/testimony credibility Correspondence to physical reality Changes in story Inherent predisposition Nature of expert Reputation of source Technical issues Quotation issues Contradicting evidence Misleading What else??
57 Evidence/testimony credibility Technical issues Is there evidence or suspicion of photo or video or audio alteration or faking that can’t be discounted? Is technical evidence invoked that sounds impressive but is flawed or contradicted by observation? Do more persuasive technical counterarguments exist?
58 Evidence/testimony credibility Technical issues Alternative: Debunking: Fake? 911Comm: found DoD audio file about Flight 11 heading to DC, no source, no dating, not available. Fake? 911 cell phone calls that were impossible to make. WTC gravity-energy argument: –No: –Yes: –Yes: –No: –Yes: –No:
59 Evidence/testimony credibility Correspondence to physical reality Changes in story Inherent predisposition Nature of expert Reputation of source Technical issues Quotation issues Contradicting evidence Misleading What else??
60 Evidence/testimony credibility Quotation issues Is the attribution provided correct and findable (lots of web pages gone; why)? What is the context? What is contained in...the portion omitted by use of ellipses?
61 Evidence/testimony credibility Correspondence to physical reality Changes in story Inherent predisposition Nature of expert Reputation of source Technical issues Quotation issues Contradicting evidence Misleading What else??
62 Evidence/testimony credibility Contradicting evidence Molten steel in the WTC foundations –http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid= http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid= Some hijackers still alive –Yes: Griffin, 911Commission Omissions & Distortions, p.19 –No: Barbara Olson phone call from Flight 77 –Yes: proves hijackers had box cutters, 77 in air at that time –No:
63 Evidence/testimony credibility Correspondence to physical reality Changes in story Inherent predisposition Nature of expert Reputation of source Technical issues Quotation issues Contradicting evidence Misleading What else??
64 Evidence/testimony credibility Misleading Deliberate –Using in wrong context –Omitting important information –Distorting reality Accidental –Quoting evidence cited by someone else
65 Evidence/testimony credibility Misleading -- AT’ers Hijackers on planes? –CNN passenger lists with no hijackers’ names cited as indication of absence –But CNN article popup window stated the hijackers were expressly omitted Potential rapidity of response –1998 FAA document cited saying jets would be on tail of oddity in “10 or so minutes” –Document actually was a manual for air traffic control training software, with disclaimer.
66 Evidence/testimony credibility Misleading -- OS’ers The 9/11 Commission Report’s complete omission or distortion of testimony that conflicted with their assertions –Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta –FBI translator Sibel Edmonds –much more... The assertion that the “mystery” sulfur on WTC steel came from gypsum wallboard instead of the pyrotechnic thermate –ignores steel vaporization/melting in the sulfated area –ignores the absence of calcium (part of gypsum)
67 Evidence/testimony credibility Disingenuous Debunking Use “conspiracy” as one-sided perjorative Straw man -- pick an outlying or irrelevant position and claim/imply this is the meat of the argument. Distort positions Ignore inconvenient evidence Cite potentially compromised sources Guilt by association (unpopular ideas) Lie Combine all the above for confusion
68 LIES!!! Knowingly stating something that is false –Richard Cheney comes to mind on many fronts. Lots of accusation from both sides Can be hard to prove that something is a lie, but not always impossible. Be wary (but open) when you see accusations of lying
69 Evidence/testimony credibility Correspondence to physical reality Changes in story Inherent predisposition Nature of expert Reputation of source Technical issues Quotation issues Contradicting evidence Misleading What else??
70 Basic Information Flight destinations/paths Civilian agencies Military/Intelligence agencies Private organizations Official reports
71 Flight Destinations American Airlines 11: North Tower 1 United Airlines 175: South Tower 2 None: WTC Building 7 American Airlines 77: Pentagon United Airlines 93: ? (Pennsylvania)
72 Flight Paths 77
73 Civilian Agencies EPA: Environmental Protection Agency (DC) FAA: Federal Aviation Administration (DC) –Boston Air Traffic Control Center (Boston) –Herndon Command Center (Herndon VA: suburban DC) –Headquarters (DC) FEMA: Federal Emergency Management Agency (DC) NIST: National Institute of Standards & Technology (Bethesda, MD: suburban DC) NTSB: National Transportation Safety Board (DC) OEM: Office of Emergency Management (NY City)
74 Military/Intelligence Agencies CIA (Langley, Virginia: suburban DC) FBI (DC) NORAD: North American Aerospace Defense Command (Colorado Springs, CO) –NEADS: Northeast Air Defense Sector (Rome, NY) NMCC: National Military Command Center (Pentagon) NSA: National Security Agency (Fort Meade, MD: suburban DC)
75 Private Organizations ASCE: American Society of Civil Engineers Volunteers assigned by FEMA to study the damage at the World Trade Center and Pentagon (& OklaCity) PNAC: Project for the New American Century Neoconservative think tank, applied Brzyzinski’s concept of a “new Pearl Harbor” to the need to speed up the transformation of the military to facilitate American hegemony. Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources For a New Century
76 Official Reports 5/02 -- FEMA (ASCE volunteers): World Trade Center Building Performance Study 1/03 -- FEMA (ASCE volunteers): Pentagon Building Performance Report 12/03 -- Congress: Report of Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities 8/ /11 Commission: Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States) 9/05 -- NIST: World Trade Center 1 & 2 8&12/08 -- NIST: World Trade Center 7
77 The Argument Debunkers vs. Doubters Doubters vs. Doubters
78 Methods of Marginalization Straw man -- picking a minor or not-widely held point and portraying it as characteristic or vital to opponents position Evidence -- ignoring/omitting evidence inconsistent with one’s own position or supporting opponent’s Personal attacks -- beyond legitimate questioning of qualifications (including questions of financing) Language -- snide, vitriolic, drowning-out “Balance” -- presenting two sides but deliberately damaging one (most often used by debunkers, but sometimes by doubters)
79 Methods of Marginalization 1.Conspiracy theory: asserts an event is caused by machinations of powerful people who hide their role 2.CT can be true -- government sometimes does bad things -- but usually not Truth believes government knew and allowed, destroyed WTC and covered up 4.They accept this not because of mental illness, but lack of good sources (“crippled epistemology”) 5.Demonstrably false, unjustified, weak/nonexistent evidence, leads to “degenerating research program” (continue) Cognitive Infiltration (Cass Sunstein, 2008) Summary from Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (David Ray Griffin)
80 Methods of Marginalization 1.9/11 Truth are extremists who will become violent -- or at least spread skepticism and dampen govt support, undermine democratic debate 2.Conspiracy theories hard to undermine/dispel, but if dangerous, government should do so 3.Undermine by Demand: inoculate public against it Supply: debias or disable believers 4.Presenting credible evidence won’t work: theory is “self- sealing” and resistant to contrary evidence 5.Can’t ban theory or punish proponents, so must “engage in cognitive infiltration of the groups that produce conspiracy theories” Cognitive Infiltration (continued: #6-10)
81 High-quality Web Sites The doubters The debunkers (attacking the doubters) The timeline
82 High-quality web sites: Questioning Official Story 9/11 Research -- exhaustive critical careful evidence, but author has moved on to other things -- Journal of 9/11 Studies -- peer reviewed papers, mostly technical, some question the reviewing -- Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice -- research papers and archival documents -- (not to be confused with )http://stj911.org/http://911scholars.org/ Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth -- excellent video slide show on WTC -- Pilots for 9/11 Truth -- analysis of airplane aspects by aviation professionals -- 9/11 Blogger -- wide ranging discussion on 9/11 and its effects, but places limits on topics --
83 High-quality web sites: Supporting Official Story or “debunking” questioners 9/11 Myths -- good detail Debunking 9/11 Conspiracies & Demolition The Journal of Debunking 9/11 Conspiracies JREF -- James Randi Skeptics AE911 Truth.INFO -- against Architects & Engineers Chris Mohr’s YouTube channel
84 High-quality web sites: Reference: can be used by either side Paul Thompson’s Timeline Online: Book (Terror Timeline; available from SWH Library)
85 Doubters vs. Doubters Allegations –Junk science –Disinformation –Dysfunctional focus –Impossibility Examples –Architects/Engineers Wooders –Architects/Engineers Pilots –Wooders ---> Steven Jones –9/11 Blogger ---> Pilots
86 Was U.S. involvement impossible? A history of real, provoked, or fictional attacks on Americans or allies as pretexts for wars...
87 History: false flags and provocation setups Mexican American war: setup Spanish-American war: false flag? Pearl Harbor: another setup Cuba: false flags Vietnam: twist on false-flag Gulf War: double deception
88 Mexican-American War a setup Disagreement about border of Texas U.S. wanted northern half of Mexico up to Oregon Mexico refused President Polk sent troops into territory Mexico had never ceded Mexico attacked, shedding of American blood used as pretext for war History: Lincoln:
89 Spanish-American War false-flag? Spain economically/militarily weak American support for Cuban independence (with subsequent double-cross) U.S.S. Maine sent in response to riots Exploded in Havana harbor when something set off the magazines: coal fire or a mine -- still disagreement over which and why and who Conveniently used as pretext for wide war History:
90 Pearl Harbor another setup U.S. administration well-documented as wanting to enter World War II, but opposed by 88% of Americans Sought means of provoking Japan -- e.g. freezing of Japanese assets to deny oil FDR sent fleet to exposed Pearl Harbor, refused to permit return, then misinformed them about negotiations Intelligence about Japanese pre-attack spying was not passed on, Congressional inquiries blocked. The attack produced a massive turnaround in opinion. History: Why little-known:
91 Cuba/Operation Northwoods false flag proposal Strong support in JFK administration (except JFK) for regime change in Cuba Bay of Pigs: attempt using surrogates fails Needed a pretext for actual invasion Operation Northwoods: Joint Chiefs of Staff proposal suggesting numerous false-flag pretexts –about: –documents: –video:
92 Vietnam twist on false flag Gulf of Tonkin “attack” (or rather the key supposed 2nd attack), used as the pretext for full-scale war, didn’t take place –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Tonkin_Incident_-_First_attack
93 Gulf War double deception Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie tells Saddam Hussein the U.S. won’t get involved in Arab/Arab (Kuwait) conflicts (8 days before invasion) “Nurse” Nayirah and the incubator babies (was daughter of Kuwaiti ambassador; whole thing cooked up by a paid PR firm) –description: –video:
94 Credibility A USA today poll found that 24% of Americans trust the media and only 6% trust the government to tell them the truth. Why is it then that when an idea that is contrary to the "official story" is presented, it is met with ridicule and condemnation? -- Dave vonKleist (producer of 911 Ripple Effect)
95 The Fourth Estate Conspiracy? Misdirection Self-censorship Corporate censorship Failure to connect the dots
96 Conspiracy? Perhaps not a conspiracy in the traditional “heads together” sense Mostly an omnipresent combination of patriotism, paradigmatic thinking, and the Bottom Line. But there was also...
97 Misdirection In 1977 a “Destroy when no longer needed” 1967 CIA document was unearthed, with an oddly strident and detailed set of instructions on how to derail any further “conspiracy theories” in the press about the JFK assassination. Some consider this the origin of the term “conspiracy theories.” “The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” -- former CIA director William Colby CIA: 1967 “Instructions to Media Assets”
98 Press Censorship: How Disinformation Direct external pressure Self-censorship
99 Press Censorship: Who Government agencies Advertisers High-level media ownership Editorial staff Reporters
100 Press Censorship: Why “National security” Serious embarrassment of subject Bottom line (advertisers, lawsuits) Chicanery Ideology (e.g., Rupert Murdoch)
101 Self-censorship "Anyone who claims the US media didn't censor itself is kidding you. It wasn't a matter of government pressure but a reluctance to criticise anything in a war that was obviously supported by the vast majority of the people. And this isn't just a CNN issue -- every journalist who was in any way involved in 9/11 is partly responsible.” -- Rena Golden, 8/02 (CNN International Exec. VP/General Mgr)
103 Self-Censorship “... you know there was a time in South Africa that people would put flaming tires around people's necks if they dissented. And in some ways the fear is that you will be necklaced here, you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck. Now it is that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions, and to continue to bore in on the tough questions so often. And again, I am humbled to say, I do not except myself from this criticism.” -- Dan Rather, CBS News (BBC interview, May, 2002) (~3 min)
105 Self-Censorship “... It starts with a feeling of patriotism within oneself. It carries through with a certain knowledge that the country as a whole -- and for all the right reasons -- felt and continues to feel this surge of patriotism within themselves. And one finds oneself saying: 'I know the right question, but you know what? This is not exactly the right time to ask it'... What we are talking about here -- whether one wants to recognize it or not, or call it by its proper name or not -- is a form of self-censorship...” -- Dan Rather, CBS News (BBC interview, May, 2002) (~6 min)
106 Corporate Censorship
107 Corporate Censorship “I think news reporting has drastically changed since 9/11... The reporting now, there is always use of caution in how we cover a story.... We are every day kicking and screaming in the news room, trying to get stories out. But we could do a story and it might not make air. You have someone from the corporation making the editorial decisions. These are not journalists.” -- Rebecca Abrams, Assignment editor, ABC News (in Press for Truth)
108 Corporate Censorship
109 Corporate Censorship “Fahrenheit 911, which is based a lot on our reports at BBC Television on my book -- ABC News has free access to everything we do at BBC television. We say, "Go ahead, run it. You don't like the way Michael Moore does it -- you think it's too polemical, or biased? Fine. Run the hard news, buddy!" -- Greg Palast, BBC correspondent and investigative reporter (in Press for Truth)
110 Connecting the dots “It would be impossible as a citizen to be up and informed on every single topic, because it took us thousands of hours of research in order to be informed enough to ask the right questions here. And that's where you need media, because, you know what? Somebody has to be out there connecting the dots, and we don't have that.” -- Mindy Kleinberg, Jersey Girls (in Press for Truth)
111 Connecting the dots
112 Connecting the dots “[Putting the conflicting information up side by side and comparing is] not the job of reporting. That's the job of editorial pages and politicians and others, to make those kinds of judgments. And the public itself -- the 9/11 relatives themselves, to make those kinds of assertions. All we can do in our reporting is report facts, and we have reported those facts, and we have held those facts up against public statements at the time. Which is why they know that's what took place -- from our reporting.” -- Len Downie, Exec. Editor, Washington Post (in Press for Truth)
113 Connecting the dots
114 Connecting the dots “As I began researching, I noticed this curious phenomenon that there's a lot of explosive information that HAS come out in the mainstream media, but as a casual observer I'd never noticed any of this stuff. You might find one important bit of information in, say a newspaper story, and another bit of information on a news show. And if you start to put all those rather obscure stories together, you end up with an almost completely different narrative. For just about any area relating to 9/11, the story is quite different if you dig deeper into the news.” -- Paul Thompson (in Press for Truth)
115 Connecting the dots “... You could have one story that comes out on the front page, and another story that comes out on page B-12. And what I found out was that many times, the story that comes out on page B- 12 is more important than the story that comes out on the front page.” -- Paul Thompson (in Press for Truth)
116 Press Censorship: Examples Total suppression of stories Lawsuits against journalists Destruction of careers “Kill this thing. Drive a stake through its heart and bury it -- so it’s gone. -- CNN manager “Into the Buzzsaw” Stories told by award-winning investigative journalists
117 Press Censorship: Examples TWA Flight 800 (Navy, FBI) Bovine growth hormone Election theft (large scale) Clinton’s Arkansas history Food industry malfeasance South Korean govt murders Iraq non-starvation in 1990’s Nerve gas in Vietnam Prisoners of war in Vietnam and more... “Into the Buzzsaw”
118 Press Censorship: Examples Oklahoma City bombing RICO situation in Arkansas law enforcement (non)Suicide of Vince Foster and more... “The Secret Life of Bill Clinton”