Yesterday's edition of my local paper, Foster's Daily Democrat,
despicable article by one Steven Gintz
chronicling a recent gathering
of lefty lunatics. The tone is set by the headline:
9/11 speech tries to unlock public myths: About 75 come to
Portsmouth for event
… the clear implication being that we're dealing an earnest
speaker interested in debunking "myths". Let's see:
PORTSMOUTH — One attendee wore a shirt reading "9/11 = Inside
Job." Another called the Bush Administration a "bunch of hacks." Another
said the entire discussion was ridiculous, like "going back to Dallas
and looking for shell casings."
That last guy seemed to sound the only vaguely
critical note in the whole affair. As we'll see,
it's almost the last half-hearted attempt
at skepticism or balance in the entire article.
More than 75 people from all backgrounds and opinions [sic]
library Tuesday to hear a speech delivered by Thomas Hansen called
"Creating Public Myth: The 9/11 Commission Report."
A decent editor would have simply deleted the phrase
"from all backgrounds and opinions." Even if the faulty parallelism were
fixed, it's unverified, and almost certainly false.
Note also the reported date of this shindig: Tuesday.
Hm. This was in Monday's paper.
Yes, they are reporting this nearly a week after the actual event. Not
exactly breaking news.
Hansen, a retired mathematics professor from Charleston, Va., was
invited by the local Seacoast 9-11 Questions Group, and both spoke and
performed songs he'd written concerning the numerous controversies
regarding the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
If you were unlucky enough to miss the event,
a CD, and if you follow
this link you might be one of the
200 lucky people to snag a free one.
As a further indication of the reporting quality, by the way: there is
no "Charleston, Va." A little Googling shows that Hansen is
from Charlottesville, Va.
And, as a matter of fact, a little more
Googling turns up some of Hansen's other
works. For example, he has his very own website,
Cosmic Cooperation? Well, yes. Fortunately, there's a Declaration of
Cosmic Cooperation where he describes what's involved with that:
The Declaration of Cosmic Cooperation is designed to state human
intention to now join in peaceful relations with Off Planet Cultures. At
the present time, a handful of people in the world are determining for
all of humanity how we relate to beings from other regions of the
Universe, and these few people are not choosing a path of peace.
President Eisenhower reportedly said in the 1950s that the subject of
actual UFO and ET presence on Earth is not in the best of hands now,
being controlled by a covert military/industrial group. Those persons
currently in control of Off Planet Culture contact wish to weaponize
space, they have actually engaged in attacks on Off Planet Culture craft
and occupants, and they also refuse to use what has been learned from
Off Planet Cultures for the benefit of all of humankind.
Quite frankly, that's a much bigger story than the 9/11 stuff. Too bad
the Foster's reporter didn't ask about it.
Anyway, back to the Foster's story:
While recognizing that some Americans feel those who question the
government are "un-American," Hansen said recent polls show a sizable
portion of Americans feel there are many unanswered questions and want a
new investigation conducted.
Argh, the "questions" thing:
this is the typical strawman deflection of the conspiracist.
Nobody's responded to this better than Bill Whittle:
"We're just asking questions" was the official, voice-over disclaimer.
You hear that too from the 9/11 Truth crowd when confronted with the
lunacy of their claims. We're just asking questions... Well, in
that vein I'd like to ask some questions myself. Is Michael Moore a
serial pedophile? I'm just asking, and I'm sure a lot of
my readers would just like to have some questions answered. I heard
that Rosie O'Donnell ate a baby at a Satanic Ritual once -- is that
true? Can you please provide the evidence that this did not in fact
happen? Thanks. Who has murdered more hookers: Bill Maher or Charlie
Sheen? Come on, you can't tell me there's no smoke there. I just
want a possible explanation...
And of course, people like Hansen and his ilk aren't just "questioning".
They're positing a mammoth conspiracy amongst hundreds of people to
murder thousands of their fellow citizens. That's not
specifically un-American, but … again, as Bill Whittle
How much hate for your own society do you have to carry in order to live
in such a desolate and ridiculous mental hell? What psychoses must a
mind be riddled with in order to negate what was perfectly obvious and
instead believe a theory of such monumental fantasy? How much pure
constant hatred does that take?
All honest and important questions, unfortunately unasked at the
Portsmouth Public Library last week, and apparently unconsidered by anyone
at Foster's Daily Democrat. Back to their story:
Citing a recent poll, Hansen said "49.3 percent of New York City
residents said that some of our leaders knew in advance attacks were in
the planning and 66 percent said they want a full investigation planned
of the events on September 11."
Googling is easy, and had the reporter taken the time to do it, he would
have discovered that the "recent poll" is actually nearly three years
old. A skeptical take on the Zogby poll is here, noting that the
poll was sponsored by the conspiracist group "911truth.org", and speculates
that the poll methodology was tilted in a sponsor-pleasing way.
He said both scholars and the public have raised numerous questions
regarding the attacks, and the 9/11 Commission Report does not
adequately address many of them, and in some cases, such as a woman's
discovery of 9/11 money laundering and illegal activities, leaves out
what may be crucial testimony uncovering government corruption.
Gosh, that would make a pretty good news story. Of course, a reputable
news organization would check sources, nail down dates and details,
evaluate reliability, and so forth. If it were true, you could win a
Unless the news organization is Foster's Daily Democrat; in that
case, you just uncritically
echo the vague and unsubstantiated accusations of a
nutball, evading your responsibility by prefacing the whole thing with a
deadpan "He said."
Hansen discussed popular topics including how the hijacked planes were
in American skies for so long without being either heeded [sic]
or shot down
by American forces, and the multiple accounts reporting warnings to
government officials not to fly on Sept. 11.
Don't want to sound like a broken record, but: more uncritical
echoing of vague and scurrilous accusations from Foster's.
Interested people may want to check the debunking
of various "Foreknowledge" allegations at the 9/11 Myths
In one instance, Hansen quotes testimony from Former Transportation
Secretary Norman Minetta [sic
] recounting a story in which Vice President Dick
Cheney was alerted to the impending attack, and even fled to a security
bunker 40 minutes before. Hansen claims the 9/11 Commission Report
excludes this testimony.
"The 9/11 commission said the government only knew two minutes before
the attacks and didn't have time, but Minetta [sic] said Cheney knew 12
minutes before," he said. "They left Minetta's [sic]
testimony out of the
Geez, it's Mineta. M-I-N-E-T-A. Other than that silly error:
People are aware that Mineta's
retelling of the timeline of 9/11 events differs from just about everyone
else's. Most people, including the 9/11 Commission, concluded that
Mineta was confused. Conspiracists, of course, conclude that Mineta was,
for some reason, telling the absolute truth and everyone else was lying.
Good debunking on this is at the Screw
Loose Change site.
As near as I can tell, the claim that Mineta said Cheney "fled to a security
bunker 40 minutes before" the "impending attack" is just a flat lie from Hansen
or—I wouldn't be shocked—a reporting mistake.
Amherst resident Ed Helm said he lived in Washington, D.C. that
September, and a friend worked in the White House.
"He said the Secret Service had come in ahead of time and could read
radar that the Whitehouse [sic] was targeted. It's consistent with your
statement that the timing doesn't match in terms of the
I'm sorry, Ed, but I don't believe there's any way to get a radar to
tell you "ahead of time" about the target that (say) United 93 might
have been destined for, given that it crashed about 125 miles away in
Pennsylvania. I think your whole story is bullshit. And I think
Foster's did its readers a disservice in echoing it uncritically.
Hansen said that although conspiracy theories are brought up, the point
of the discussion is not to take sides, but to create public discourse
and push for a new review.
"My whole point of having this discussion is to show there are people
ranging everywhere from "they made it happen on purpose" to "they let it
happen on purpose" to "you're crazy,'" said Hansen.
At least in the case of Thomas "Cosmic Cooperation" Hansen, I vote
"crazy." Do I see any other hands out there?
Some, including local residents Robert Unruh and Deborah Terreson had
their own opinions.
"I don't think they had direct involvement, but it was the perfect
excuse for the government to push their agenda," said Unruh.
"It was not a conspiracy of action but a conspiracy of opportunity,"
said Terreson. "It doesn't strike me the administration would be
intelligent enough to orchestrate a conspiracy. These guys can't get Bin
Laden. They couldn't find a way out of a paper bag."
I suppose I can take some relief that even after exposure to 9/11
moonbattery (including songs!), neither
Robert nor Deborah could work up much enthusiasm
for uttering anything beyond tired Bush-bashing clichés.
Still, the bottom line here is pretty simple: Thomas Hansen is a vile
loon. His audience, to the extent they went along with his delusions,
are a collection of gullible losers. And, most importantly, Foster's
Daily Democrat ran a shoddily reported and incompetently edited
article, far below minimal journalistic standards.