Friday, September 08, 2006

Crank Conspiracies Swirl Around 9/11 Attacks

Nothing gets me more annoyed than those who think that the WTC collapse was caused by something other than the two planes hitting the Towers - and witnessed by millions live in person or in the broadcasts from New York City on the morning of 9/11/2001.

One of the leading crackpot theorists is Professor Steven Jones, a professor at Brigham Young University. Well, the University is investigating Jones for his comments on the attacks.
Two weeks ago he published his theory in a paper called "Why Indeed did the World Trade Center Buildings Collapse?" In it, the professor says the towers fell not because of planes hitting them but rather pro-positioned demolition charges.

He sites research conducted at BYU on materials from ground zero, asserting those materials show evidence of thermite, a compound used in military detonations. He says terrorists could have never set those charges.

The State Department has released a rebuttal to Jones' theory in a 10-thousand page report.

BYU made this statement last night.

"Physics Professor Steven Jones has made numerous statements about the collapse of the World Trade Center. BYU has repeatedly said that it does not endorse assertions made by individual faculty.

"We are, however, concerned about the increasingly speculative and accusatory nature of these statements by Dr. Jones."

The university added, "BYU remains concerned that Dr. Jones' works on this topic has not been published in appropriate scientific venues."
Jones asserts that explosives were used to destroy the towers, and that the planes could not have destroyed them on their own. It's a ludicrous assertion, and the NIST review of the information found that the evidence points to the fires caused by the planes striking the towers severely damaged the structural integrity and caused progressive collapses beginning at the points just above where the planes struck.

Of course, Jones isn't alone in asserting conspiracies. The Washington Post/MSNBC has a bunch more. Popular Mechanics ran a piece debunking many of the theories, and Snopes continues to deal with the conspiracists and other urban legends surrounding 9/11/2001.

People can't quite grasp the reality of Islamic terrorists who repeatedly call for the destruction of those who oppose the supremacy of Islam and particularly the United States being behind these devastating attacks, and wonder whether the US knew about these attacks and did nothing or could have prevented the attacks had the dots been connected. They'd much rather concoct theories that the CIA or other shadowy organizations, like the Mossad, were behind the attacks. Such conspiracy formation insulates people from dealing with the harsh reality that there are people who are dedicating their very lives to destroying our way of life.

Hot Air has more on the creeping dementia among the Left. Redstate astutely notes that the left can't change the undeniable reality that nearly 3,000 people were murdered by Islamic terrorists on 9/11, though that isn't keeping them from trying.

Seixon riffs on a theme I wrote about yesterday - now they get tough.

Here's more on the situation at BYU from the Deseret News:
Last fall, BYU faculty posted statements on the university Web site that questioned whether Jones subjected the paper to rigorous academic peer review before he posted it at Jones removed the paper from BYU's Web site Thursday at the university's request.

Efforts to reach Jones Thursday night were not successful. Jones told the Deseret Morning News on Wednesday that his paper had gone through an unusual third round of peer review in what is now an apparently unsuccessful effort to quell concerns on campus.

"BYU remains concerned that Dr. Jones' work on this topic has not been published in appropriate scientific venues," the university statement said.

Jenkins said BYU's reputation was a consideration, too.

"It is a concern when faculty bring the university name into their own personal matters of concern," she said.

Jones, also known for his cold fusion research, provided academic clout to the 9/11 truth movement. C-SPAN repeatedly broadcast a conference that featured Jones this summer. Recent articles about Sept. 11 conspiracy theories that focused at least in part on Jones have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian in London and other publications.
BYU is right to be concerned about its reputation, and Jones' unsupported statements about the 9/11 terror attacks threaten the institution's reputation. Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard also notes this angle.

Screw Loose Change has also picked up this story.

Speaking of , one really should listen to this rebuttal of the nonsensical ravings of the lunatic minds behind these and other related 9/11 conspiracy theories. Gaius also points to a point by point rebuttal.

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