Yesterday's edition of my local paper, Foster's Daily Democrat, contained a utterly despicable article by one Steven Gintz chronicling a recent gathering of lefty lunatics. The tone is set by the headline:
… the clear implication being that we're dealing an earnest speaker interested in debunking "myths". Let's see:
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.
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.
Yes, songs. If you were unlucky enough to miss the event, Hansen has 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:
Oh. 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:
Argh, the "questions" thing: this is the typical strawman deflection of the conspiracist. Nobody's responded to this better than Bill Whittle:
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 asks:
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:
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.
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 Pulitzer!
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."
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 site.
"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 report."
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.
"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 Minetta [sic] testimony."
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.
At least in the case of Thomas "Cosmic Cooperation" Hansen, I vote "crazy." Do I see any other hands out there?
"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.