Guardian “Facebook fact-check ” on 9/11 – every bit as poor as you would expect
The Guardian is no better at telling the truth about the nature of the 9/11 debate than about Syria, Ukraine or indeed anything. Its recent bid at being both social-media savvy and weirdly Orwellian, “Facebook Fact Check”, has this little snippet up atm:
The paper they are referring to is On the Physics of High Rise Building Collapses, which we have published here, and the “professor” who, according to them, “left Brigham Young University in disgrace” is of course physicist Steve Jones, who was the subject of a hostile media campaign after he and his BYU research team claimed to have discovered evidence of nanothermite in tiny “red gray chips” found in the dust from the WTC explosions.
For the record, Jones’ research work on the red gray chips has been challenged, but never debunked, and his experiments have been replicated successfully by independent researchers elsewhere in the world, such as Mark Bazile. Jones was suspended from his teaching duties and then offered “early retirement” by BYU in 2006 in the midst of the media campaign against him.
BYU’s reasons for this action were never publicly disclosed but the Guardian’s claim that Jones was “disgraced” is little more than a sleazy bit of innuendo, so gross it doesn’t even appear in the sourced WaPo article, which does at least try to be a tad objective. “Disgrace” is just the Graun’s own little bit of tabloidese. Because tabloid is all it seems to do now.
Jones’ three co-authors are described in this piece as “a retired professor and two longterm 9/11 truthers.” I guess the Graun didn’t want to admit two of them are structural engineers as well as being “truthers”?
When the (ironically named?) “fact-check” briefly discusses the physics of 9/11, it’s simply to offer yet more deception. The investigation by serious professionals of the still not fully explained and extraordinary triple collapses on 9/11 is listed along with claims we didn’t go to the Moon and some random nonsense about Hillary Clinton, presumably in some attempt to discredit by proximity. Instead of honestly addressing the very real areas of uncertainty which the scientists of NIST have quite openly admitted, the Graun does what many other agenda-driven “debunkers” do and tries to reframe the issue as being between “settled science” (to borrow a term) on one side and crazy, discredited or otherwise unreliable kooks on the other.
This, we need to clearly understand, is a purely propagandist ploy meant to convince only the under-informed “masses” (ie us), and not those on either side versed in the real issues. If you read their report and other commentaries, the experts of the National Institute of Standards and Technology are well aware that the explanation they have produced for the 9/11 building collapses is neither complete nor beyond rational question. They are well aware there is plenty of room for science-based interrogation and counter-hypothesis.
But for some reason it seems to be very important to the manufacturers of consent that we, the public, are not made aware of these continuing and probably understandable uncertainties. So, through outlets such as the Guardian (and many others) they disseminate simplistic statements, soundbites and frank lies, designed to convince people that what is uncertain, poorly explained and capable of interpretation is simple, settled, dusted and done.
The link the Guardian provides that is alleged to “disprove” all such “conspiracy theories” is to the 2005 Popular Mechanics article that did indeed claim to do this. The Guardian doesn’t mention that this article has itself been “debunked” and makes several provably false assertions.
If the fire-induced collapse explanation for the events of 9/11 is really beyond debate, why do outlets such as the Graun (and indeed Popular Mechanics) not make this self-evident by simply allowing both sides to place their evidence before the public on their pages, so that readers can make up their own minds? Outlets don’t need to take a side and defend it. In fact they work best when they try to avoid this and do their best to offer argument from all sides.
We aren’t claiming Jones and his co-authors are ultimately correct. We’re just pointing out that scientific truth doesn’t need to be defended by spin or censorship or grotesque ad hominem.
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