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U.N. Human Rights Council Appointee Is a 9/11 Doubter:

That's Princeton Prof. Robert A. Falk, U.N. Human Rights Council "Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel," and author of this newspaper article published Sunday discussing his "doubts surrounding the true character of the events surrounding the 9/11 attacks." Not entirely news, given his past writing on the subject, but it was news to me.

Jerry F:
And yet according to the Left, the nutcases are the ones who think that the U.S. should get out of the United Nations.
11.11.2008 7:44pm
Oren:
Jerry, perhaps both groups are nutcases. Certainly there's no particular logical law that says that nutcases cannot disagree vehemently with each other. In fact, my history books are filled with cases of violent disagreement between proponents of highly dubious positions.
11.11.2008 7:54pm
SFBurke (mail):
Falk has been part of the loony left for decades now; He is probably dissapointed that Obama associates with reactionary conservatives like Bill Ayers. There is no reason to take anything he says particularly seriously.
11.11.2008 8:05pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Sounds like a perfect fit.
11.11.2008 8:05pm
Smokey:
A UN "Special Rapporteur": code words for someone who sips white wine with his little pinkie curled up, and nibbling brie while tut-tutting about world hunger, badmouthing the U.S., heaping praise on the Ayatollah Khomeini, claiming the American government was behind 9-11, and all the while sucking up a six digit tax-free income for doing essentially nothing worthwhile.

One more reason to boot the UN out of the U.S.

As if we needed yet another reason.
11.11.2008 8:29pm
David Schraub (mail) (www):
Richard, not Robert.
11.11.2008 8:52pm
Hoosier:
"The management of suspicion is itself suspicious."

And suspicion about the management of suspicion itself being suspicious is suspicious.

So this guy advocates a view about 9/11 that Noam Chomsky thinks is nuts? What's incredible to me is that the UN leadership doesn't know enough, or care enough, to keep PR train wrecks like this from happening. Pathetic.
11.11.2008 9:08pm
Moneyrunner43 (www):

UN leadership doesn't know enough, or care enough, to keep PR train wrecks like this from happening.


Keep in mind that
(1) The UN leadership knows his positions very well.
(2) Does not believe it is a PR problem
(3) Because many of the UN members agree
(4) Many in the US agree
I suspect that this will become conventional wisdom in a few years.

If you think that this is far-fetched, there are "respected" voices posting on the Volokh Conspiracy and authors who have published books on the reasons why Bush and his administration should be tried for war crimes. I'm sure that the theory that Bush was behind 9/11 can be part of the indictment.
11.11.2008 9:20pm
RPT (mail):
Good to see the comments focused on the merits.
11.11.2008 9:51pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
Thanks for the shocking news. It's too bad Falk coulnd't be normal like us and just entirely believe everything the government - especially the Bush administration - tells us. It's not like they've lied directly to our face before or anything like that.

Meanwhile, there are degrees of doubt and there are differences between those who make direct accusations (LIHOP, MIHOP) and those who realize that at the least we aren't being told the whole truth about some things.
11.11.2008 10:01pm
Malvolio:
Meanwhile, there are degrees of doubt and there are differences between those who make direct accusations (LIHOP, MIHOP) and those who realize that at the least we aren't being told the whole truth about some things.
We aren't being told the whole truth about lots of things, but anyone who believes the Towers were brought down by anything but a bunch of pissed-off Muslims with box-cutters is too foolish to be worth telling the truth to anyway.
11.11.2008 10:21pm
Oren:

One more reason to boot the UN out of the U.S.

I wasn't aware the UN was in the US. Perhaps you could elaborate?


We aren't being told the whole truth about lots of things, but anyone who believes the Towers were brought down by anything but a bunch of pissed-off Muslims with box-cutters is too foolish to be worth telling the truth to anyway.

And yet there are many different versions of events consistent with pissed-off box-cutter-wielding muslims that we can entertain.
11.11.2008 10:23pm
Moneyrunner43 (www):

I wasn't aware the UN was in the US. Perhaps you could elaborate?

What is that big building in NY City near the river?
11.11.2008 10:37pm
Moneyrunner43 (www):

Good to see the comments focused on the merits.

Does that mean you have a problem with this appointment? What are the merits?
11.11.2008 10:39pm
Moneyrunner43 (www):

Thanks for the shocking news. It's too bad Falk coulnd't be normal like us and just entirely believe everything the government - especially the Bush administration - tells us. It's not like they've lied directly to our face before or anything like that.

I did not have sexual relations with that woman ... Miss Lewinski. Not once.
11.11.2008 10:42pm
TokyoTom (mail):
Thanks, Eugene. These pieces of Falk's article are absolutely damning:

For democratic government to work, citizens must never refrain from seeking answers to the most difficult questions. Here, what is at stake is enormous. It is not only the memory of those killed and deprived by the attacks, but also the fashioning of a climate of opinion that gave rise to international wars, as well as led to widespread denial of rights under the pretext of "homeland security" and counter-terrorism. There is also a profound challenge to the legitimacy of a governing process that stands accused of letting such crimes take place, if not aiding and abetting their commission and subsequent cover-up.

The persisting inability to resolve this fundamental controversy about 9/11 subtly taints the legitimacy of the American government. It can only be removed by a willingness, however belated, to reconstruct the truth of that day, and to reveal the story behind its prolonged suppression. What exactly that truth would be is certainly unknowable at present, and even an honest, collaborative effort might never altogether remove doubts. But that honest effort is just what should be demanded and expected by persons of good will everywhere.


Obviously, only a nutcake would either suspect government narratives, or encourage such suspicion by others as a check on government power. Such people are a threat to the ability of government to protect our interests.
11.11.2008 10:45pm
Moneyrunner43 (www):

And yet there are many different versions of events consistent with pissed-off box-cutter-wielding muslims that we can entertain.

Colonel Mustard in the Conservatory with the Revolver?
11.11.2008 10:46pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
In the (very unlikely) event things went seriously wrong for the Jews in both the US and the world, Falk is the type who demand his right of return to Israel as a Jew. He would sue in the Israeli courts to gain entry and citizenship. Then he would continue to condemn Israel. And the Jews would let him.

The Volokh Conspiracy (now itself operating from Israel) would then have debates on whether or not Falk was hypocritical.
11.11.2008 10:48pm
Moneyrunner43 (www):

Obviously, only a nutcake would either suspect government narratives, or encourage such suspicion by others as a check on government power. Such people are a threat to the ability of government to protect our interests.

TokyoTom also has some questions about the Holocaust.
11.11.2008 10:49pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Oren:

" ... but a bunch of pissed-off Muslims with box-cutters is too foolish to be worth telling the truth to anyway."

No evidence of box cutters. See my prior post.
11.11.2008 10:52pm
RPT (mail):
We need someone stable like John Bolton back at the UN. He too had visions of knocking down a building.
11.11.2008 11:15pm
Oren:

No evidence of box cutters. See my prior post.

Fine. Pissed-off Muslims of unknown armament.
11.11.2008 11:46pm
Careless:

I wasn't aware the UN was in the US. Perhaps you could elaborate?

I'm not sure how to respond to this. You're not stupid and you're not ignorant and you're even fairly non-partisan, so... you're being incredibly and deliberately obtuse for a purpose I can't fathom, or you're trolling very badly.

but anyway,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Headquarters
11.11.2008 11:58pm
Careless:

you're even fairly non-partisan,

let me restate that: you're clearly partisan, but you're almost always well out of the insane/irrational partisan extremes.
11.12.2008 12:02am
TokyoTom (mail):
TokyoTom also has some questions about the Holocaust.

Like Eugene (but unlike Orin Kerr), TokyoTom trusts government, and has questions only about those who mistrust it.
11.12.2008 12:05am
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
Reasonable people and patriots doubt and suspect the claims of their government.

The U.S. government denies that there was a UFO crash at Area 51.

Therefore we should suspect that there was a UFO crash at Area 51.


Could someone convince the government to deny that I'm getting bald and fat? Because I'd prefer to believe that I'm not.
11.12.2008 12:12am
Oren:
From the Wiki article linked by Careless (3rd sentence), confirmed on un.gov:

Though it is in New York City, the land occupied by the United Nations Headquarters is considered international territory.


Just like the Pakistani embassy in DC. If someone used the phrase "boot Pakistan out of the US", would you be clear on the meaning?
11.12.2008 12:52am
Soronel Haetir (mail):
My problem with gov't conspiracy theories is that they require a level of skill to pull off not seen in any other area of government activity. Laziness and department entrenching however seem par for the course. Perhaps that is the true beauty of the system, the government does everything it publicly can to appear incompetent and thus is able to pull off massive secret things that range far and wide, often involving the same publicly incompetent officials?
11.12.2008 1:37am
Ben S. (mail):
No reasonable lawyer should believe the conspiracy theories behind 9/11. First, it is difficult to come up with a reasonable motive for why the Bush administration would want to manufacture such an attack in the first place. But even if you argue that it was to give Bush justification to conduct a politically disastrous war in Iraq (an act that would have been justified by a stack of dusty UN Security Council resolutions issued under the Clinton administration), there is no reasonable explanation for why 9/11 would have been conducted in that way.

Let me explain: Most conspiracy theorists assert some derivative of the story that the planes were just a ruse and that the towers were actually brought down by a controlled demolition. All the while, these theorists ignore the fact that it would have been much easier for the government to cut out all the messy plane stuff and just blow the building right from the get go, then pinned it on Islamic terrorists. Of course, this would have been an easy sell because we know Islamic terrorists tried this very thing in 1993. (This also brings up the interesting fact that, to my knowledge, Al Qaeda and only Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack, which means that they must have been "in" on it.)

All of this reminds me of a Scooby Doo episode I saw long ago: Shaggy and Scooby have been locked in a jail cell. Predictably, the guard falls asleep and Shaggy (who is pathetically skinny) slinks through the bars, sneaks past the guard, lifts the key off the peg, then slips back inside the cell with the key. Once inside, he reaches around the bars and unlocks the door, allowing him and Scooby to get out. The joke, of course, is that Shaggy could simply have unlocked the cell from the outside if he was able to get out in the first place.

I submit that if the government's goal on 9/11 was to push the country into war, there were any number of far easier plans to hatch than the messy, incredibly elaborate chain of events we saw.
11.12.2008 4:59am
Ben S. (mail):
One last thing I forgot to mention: Given the timing of 9/11, conspiracy theorists must believe that either (1) Bush was able to plan and execute an incredibly complicated scheme for the 9/11 attacks in 7 months (an amount of time that would have favored less complicated plans over more involved alternatives), or (2) spent time and effort planning and, to some extent, organizing the 9/11 scheme either during or before his campaign for office. I'm not sure which suggestion is more laughable.

Again, as an attorney, I would love to be the counsel defending against claims that 9/11 was a conspiracy.
11.12.2008 5:17am
Bored Lawyer:

Again, as an attorney, I would love to be the counsel defending against claims that 9/11 was a conspiracy


Umm, no one doubts that 9/11 was a conspiracy. 19 hijackers at least coordinated their efforts. Just not a conspiracy involving the Administration.
11.12.2008 7:27am
Smokey:
TokyoTom:
Like Eugene (but unlike Orin Kerr), TokyoTom trusts government, and has questions only about those who mistrust it.
Smokey trusts the government, too.

I trust the government to grow inexorably. I trust the government to constantly whittle away at our original Constitutional rights, to be replaced by invented 'rights' found only in vague emanations from the Constitution's fictional penumbra. I trust the government to be completely unable to keep the kind of a secret among hundreds of players, for seven years, that would be necessary to convince a few wackos that 9-11 was an inside job, and that the poor misunderstood muzzies are completely innocent. I trust the government to debase the currency to the point that a dollar today buys what a dime bought in 1960. I trust the government to shovel $billion into the anti-American UN in Turtle Bay, USA, to fund its hate America contingents. I trust the government to have no interest whatever in securing our borders. I trust the government to turn a blind eye to massive voter fraud.

Yeah, I trust the government.
11.12.2008 7:47am
Al Maviva:
U.N. Human Rights Council Appointee Is a 9/11 Doubter Troofer

Fixed.

You shouldn't argue with a lunatic. It only lends them credibility they do not deserve.
11.12.2008 8:34am
Sarcastro (www):
Smokey's right. I yearn for the rights-filled days of the 1910's, with the right to contract, and the Jim Crow, and the right to free speech except for anything against the government.

I tell ya, all we've done is regress since those days!
11.12.2008 8:46am
Oren:

No reasonable lawyer should believe the conspiracy theories behind 9/11. First, it is difficult to come up with a reasonable motive for why the Bush administration would want to manufacture such an attack in the first place.

No reasonable lawyer would attempt to argue such a transparently illogical syllogism. I believe the antecedent (the Bush Adm. didn't manufacture such an attack) but the conclusion (all of the conspiracy theories, even ones that don't claim that Bush &Co manufactured the attack are wrong) just doesn't follow.

Like I said before, there is room for a lot of hypotheses consistent with "pissed-off Sunnis".
11.12.2008 9:21am
Blue:
There is, literally, no point in arguing against Troofers and other conspiracy nutcases unless and until they present falsifiable propositions and agree to accept the results of scientific testing. IN the absence of that, any evidence presented to rebut their claims merely becomes part of their narrative--either as a new part of the conspiracy that caused the event or a new effort by The Government to attack Those Who Possess The Truth.
11.12.2008 10:42am
ForWhatItIsWorth:
Hey Zarkov, you might want to speak with the families of those who were called from the plane that hit the ground in PA. Uh....... there WERE boxcutters, despite your unwillingness to square with the *eye witness* facts in this particular case.

There is no reason to believe that each plane was not taken in the exact same manner. In fact, the evidence is overwhelming that they were taken in exactly the same manner.

Troofers........ another definition for *unmitigated idiots*
11.12.2008 11:04am
Hoosier:
Perseus

but the conclusion (all of the conspiracy theories, even ones that don't claim that Bush &Co manufactured the attack are wrong) just doesn't follow.

Like I said before, there is room for a lot of hypotheses consistent with "pissed-off Sunnis".


Like what? The only other "arguments" that I've heard have either the Zionists, the Zionists, or the Zionists behind the attacks. The first of these is entirely impossible. The second two quite implausible. What else do you have for us?
11.12.2008 11:07am
Hoosier:
Troofers........ another definition for *unmitigated idiots*

Which is why we have 9/11 "Scholars" for Truth. Because nothing is so idiotic that you can't find a bunch of college faculty who will believe it. Some of them are even "No-Planers," which an impressive feat of idiocy, if ever there was one.
11.12.2008 12:02pm
ichthyophagous (mail):
I notice that some people think this is just a question of Falk doubting an "official version". No, the problem is much worse. Falk's article consists entirely of innuendo -- no statement at all of what he thinks did happen.

Especially interesting was the assertion that

As far as I can tell, the real explanation is a widely shared fear of what sinister forces might lay beneath the unturned stones of a full and honest investigation of 9/11. Ever since the assassinations in the 1960s of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X there has been waged a powerful campaign against "conspiracy theory" that has made anyone who dares question the official story to be branded as a kook or some kind of unhinged troublemaker.

This is a man with a generalization sweeping much broader than 9/11 by itself. He is the one who is ignoring facts. Why should I go to another website if he is not going to come out with his own version?
11.12.2008 12:09pm
DeezRightWingNutz:

Could someone convince the government to deny that I'm getting bald and fat? Because I'd prefer to believe that I'm not.


Don't you mean deny that you're hirsuite and fit?
11.12.2008 12:14pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):

only a nutcake would either suspect government narratives, or encourage such suspicion by others as a check on government power


9/11 is not a "narrative", it did not happen out of sight and only the government knows the "truth".

4 airliners took off and all were destroyed. Three were seen being intentionly crashed, there is plenty of audio/calls regarding the fourth. We saw the buidings be hit and fall. We heard the claiming of responsibility. There is no "narrative".

Troothers, even those who only question the "narrative" or what to discuss nutcase theories on the "merits", are idiots and should be scorned by all.
11.12.2008 12:43pm
Oren:

Like what? The only other "arguments" that I've heard have either the Zionists, the Zionists, or the Zionists behind the attacks. The first of these is entirely impossible. The second two quite implausible. What else do you have for us?

Consistent with "pissed-off Sunnis" are various theories about what the US gov't knew in the days preceding and what actions were taken. There are allegations (of unknown credibility, hence no reason to take them as factual) that in the days prior, the NSA intercepted communications that unambiguously pointed to a large attack happening soon.

All in all, I don't make much of these allegations. When some future President declassifies all this stuff (2030?), we'll know exactly what and how much the government is hiding.
11.12.2008 12:44pm
Sam H (mail):

All in all, I don't make much of these allegations. When some future President declassifies all this stuff (2030?), we'll know exactly what and how much the government is hiding.

Don't count on it. We still don't have all the information on Kennedy's trip to Dallas.

I don't doubt the account of either of these events, but the government could fill in some of the details if they would open up.
11.12.2008 1:05pm
Crunchy Frog:

Consistent with "pissed-off Sunnis" are various theories about what the US gov't knew in the days preceding and what actions were taken. There are allegations (of unknown credibility, hence no reason to take them as factual) that in the days prior, the NSA intercepted communications that unambiguously pointed to a large attack happening soon.

Assuming this is all true for the sake of argument, exactly what would anyone be able to do with this level of information?

"We interrupt our broadcast with a special announcement. According to unnamed high ranking sources within the administration it has come to our attention that someone somewhere is planning something. Film at 11. We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming."
11.12.2008 1:17pm
Hoosier:
Oren

We can say the same things about the Titanic. How do *I* know it was "an iceberg"? This is just silly. If you want to keep at it, be my guest. But this has to factor in to people's assessments of other things that one says on these boards.
11.12.2008 1:35pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
Oren

We can say the same things about the Titanic. How do *I* know it was "an iceberg"? This is just silly.



I believe 9/11 Truthers will tell you that it was more likely to have been a Goldberg than an iceberg.
11.12.2008 2:37pm
Crunchy Frog:
That's just impossible. Gold has a higher density than water. It doesn't float.
11.12.2008 2:54pm
Hoosier:
Crunchy Frog:

If I may add a couple announcements to your insightful announcements:

"The Bush Administration advises you to avoid being wherever it is that whoever it is plans on doing whatever it is that they plan on doing. Also, please keep in mind that Islam is a religion of peace. Do not become even remotely suspicious if you are in the presence of Middle-Eastern-looking gentlemen. Only a very small number of them are likely to kill you in the coming weeks."
11.12.2008 2:54pm
LM (mail):
The real conspiracy was convincing us there ever was a World Trade Center.
11.12.2008 3:00pm
James Gibson (mail):
A wonderfully useless discussion. No different then when people state man has never been to the moon. People talk with conviction about subjects they are completely clueless about, but as long as they sound smart they are accepted.

All the Toofers are in it for money. They make money giving paid lectures and talks to the gullible or selling their videos with the "Truthful" images. And when the story they are telling becomes to difficult to maintain, they change the story. Like how so many of the toofers have stopped saying the towers were brought down by explosives and not planes, and have centered their argument around Bldg 7, the last building to collapse. As long as you can keep changing the story and remain credible you can keep making money off people.

The problem these people are going to have starting January 20th is Barack Obama. They are telling their true believers that Barack will uncover the truth and vindicate the toofers. But if Barack doesn't launch an investigation they will have to attack him for suppressing the truth. At that point they will separate themselves from the majority of their own supporters who truly love Barack. I submit most of these groups will be gone in four years.
11.12.2008 3:23pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):

I did not have sexual relations with that woman ... Miss Lewinski. Not once.


Some of my friends from Arkansas point out that in certain parts of the country (including Missouri, Arkansas, etc) the definition of "sexual relations" is a bit more narrow. After re-reading Lawrence v. Texas I wonder if Clinton would have admitted to sodomy with Lewinski ;-)
11.12.2008 3:24pm
jccamp (mail):
His appointment is sad, but typical. I especially liked this quote "In June 2008, Falk proposed to the Human Rights Council that his mandate to investigate violations of international humanitarian law in the Palestinian territories be extended to include possible Palestinian infringements. He stated his goal was to "insulate" the Council, which is dominated by Muslim and African states, "from those who contend that its work is tainted by partisan politics."
Yeah he's an impartial guy, and his word should suffice to remove any whiff of - what's he call it? - partisan politics from Muslim and African states.

Bleh.

How did he manage a position at Princeton's Law School? For some reason, I thought that Princeton retained a less - how to say? - bizarre faculty than some.
11.12.2008 3:31pm
jccamp (mail):
Oh wait. Was he the Wade Churchill Visiting Scholar? Sure. That must be it.
11.12.2008 3:33pm
KeithK (mail):

That's just impossible. Gold has a higher density than water. It doesn't float.


How do you know it was floating? I think it was a solid block fo gold resting on the bottom of the ocean. Well, resting except for the giant wheels (tracks maybe) that allowed the perpetrators to position it properly to sink the ship. The US government keeps moving that goldberg (suitably covered in ice and snow to conceal it) around the world for decades now. We'd all be rich if they would finally cut it up and distribute fair portions to everyone. If Obama really believed in "fairness" then this would be the first thing he would do after inauguration day. But he needs to poor to be poor so they can be controlled. So he will continue the conspiracy.

Uncover the goldberg truth! Distribute the wealth!

[Whew. That was fun but tiring.]
11.12.2008 3:38pm
KeithK (mail):

Though it is in New York City, the land occupied by the United Nations Headquarters is considered international territory.


Just like the Pakistani embassy in DC. If someone used the phrase "boot Pakistan out of the US", would you be clear on the meaning?


The UN building is very much located in the United States. For reasons of international law it is considered to be international territory. But that status only lasts as long as the US government is willing. If we decide, as Smokey suggests, to send the UN packing to Geneva Turtle Bay will revert to US sovereignty in much the same way the Pakistani embassy would if we ended diplomatic relations with that country and closed their embassy.

Arguing that the UN is not in the US on this basis is in fact being willfully obtuse.
11.12.2008 3:42pm
Hoosier:
I'm with KeithK. Haven't you all seen those bumper stickers that say: "US out of the UN, and vice versa"?

"Get the UN out of the US" is an old idea, and I thought it was well-understood. The UN in the US was yet another bad idea that the Rockefeller Brothers managed to implement. Money talks.
11.12.2008 4:53pm
Ben S. (mail):

No reasonable lawyer would attempt to argue such a transparently illogical syllogism. I believe the antecedent (the Bush Adm. didn't manufacture such an attack) but the conclusion (all of the conspiracy theories, even ones that don't claim that Bush &Co manufactured the attack are wrong) just doesn't follow.

Like I said before, there is room for a lot of hypotheses consistent with "pissed-off Sunnis".


I think that you and I both know that the vast majority of 9/11 conspiracy theories are based on the belief that the Bush Administration orchestrated the attack. That was clearly the focus of my post and "needlessly picky" falls hopelessly short of describing your response.


Consistent with "pissed-off Sunnis" are various theories about what the US gov't knew in the days preceding and what actions were taken. There are allegations (of unknown credibility, hence no reason to take them as factual) that in the days prior, the NSA intercepted communications that unambiguously pointed to a large attack happening soon.

All in all, I don't make much of these allegations.


So after taking me to task for, in your view, dismissing all "conspiracy theories" (which I did not), you yourself cast doubt on the only alternative explanations behind 9/11 you can think of. Not to mention that even if the NSA had information of "unknown credibility" but failed to act on it, it would seem to be less of a conspiracy and more of a blunder (conspiracy implying some degree of intentional, affirmative participation).

This strikes me as backpedaling.
11.12.2008 4:58pm
Oren:

If we decide, as Smokey suggests, to send the UN packing to Geneva Turtle Bay will revert to US sovereignty in much the same way the Pakistani embassy would if we ended diplomatic relations with that country and closed their embassy.

Ah, I didn't know you learned customary international law from the Ayatollah. Meanwhile, back in the civilized world, embassies and the like are inviolate.


"Get the UN out of the US" is an old idea, and I thought it was well-understood. The UN in the US was yet another bad idea that the Rockefeller Brothers managed to implement. Money talks.

No, getting the US out of the UN, is an old and respectable idea. Certainly we have every right not to attend their meetings or pay them any money.


I think that you and I both know that the vast majority of 9/11 conspiracy theories are based on the belief that the Bush Administration orchestrated the attack. That was clearly the focus of my post and "needlessly picky" falls hopelessly short of describing your response.

Fine. Conceded that any conspiracy theories based on an "inside job" premise are entirely loony.


Not to mention that even if the NSA had information of "unknown credibility" but failed to act on it, it would seem to be less of a conspiracy and more of a blunder (conspiracy implying some degree of intentional, affirmative participation).

One possible conspiracy would be to prevent the disclosure of embarrassing facts about who knew what, when.

Yet another conspiracy would involve the disclosure of that information to particular individuals in order for them to take advantage of it.

Yet another conspiracy would involve the potential removal of large amounts of gold bullion from the basement of the WTC (and, of course, a coverup).

All of these are consistent with angry Muslims. Of course, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and we don't have that evidence. If I felt like the gov't was being 100% forthright about it, I would conclude from the lack of evidence that these claims are bogus (which is my hunch anyway, but a hunch don't fly). Since they are not, I don't conclude either way.
11.12.2008 5:30pm
Yankev (mail):

One possible conspiracy would be to prevent the disclosure of embarrassing facts about who knew what, when.
When did this become a thread about Sandy Burglar?
11.12.2008 7:00pm
Ben S. (mail):

One possible conspiracy would be to prevent the disclosure of embarrassing facts about who knew what, when.

Yet another conspiracy would involve the disclosure of that information to particular individuals in order for them to take advantage of it.

Yet another conspiracy would involve the potential removal of large amounts of gold bullion from the basement of the WTC (and, of course, a coverup).

All of these are consistent with angry Muslims. Of course, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and we don't have that evidence. If I felt like the gov't was being 100% forthright about it, I would conclude from the lack of evidence that these claims are bogus (which is my hunch anyway, but a hunch don't fly). Since they are not, I don't conclude either way.


Yes, I agree that these may be more or less plausible theories (particularly the first one). So, to summarize: A reasonable lawyer could argue that there may have been a conspiracy about how the information pertaining to 9/11 and the disaster itself were handled, but no reasonable lawyer could argue that it was an inside job.
11.12.2008 7:55pm
Oren:
Oh come on, Sandy Berger? That's the best thing you could come up with? At least throw me a Marc Rich or something, sheesh.
11.12.2008 7:58pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
Out of interest, I skimmed the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 (easily located via Google). My understanding is that it is a fairly uncontroversial restatement of customary international law on this subject.

The Convention is not phrased in terms of "soverignty" of diplomatic premises. Rather, it is phrased in terms of the obligation of a receiving state to "protect" and "respect" those premises and their related property and archives. The Convention clearly allows a receiving state to close a diplomatic mission and require the departure of all of its personnel. It is clear that there is no obstacle in international conventional law to the US throwing the UN out.

The above being said, there is a Headquarters Agreement between the US and the UN which covers this, US PL 80-357. That Headquarters Agreement provides that if the UN New York headquarters ceases to be used as UN headquarters, all right title and interest will, at the request of the US be conveyed to the US (subject to compensation). Section 22. On the other hand, it states that the seat of the UN shall not be removed unless the UN shall so decide. Section 23. I interpret this as the US having contracted away its right under customary international law to kick the UN out of the US.

Sorry if this doesn't advance either sde of the flame ar, but I thought it was interesting.
11.12.2008 9:27pm
Oren:
PDXLawyer, you are absolutely correct, both factually and about my participation in a regrettable flamewar.
11.12.2008 9:42pm
Bleepless:
What will Falk (or the other Troofers) do when they learn that the US government acts as though it believes the world to be a spheroid.
11.12.2008 9:57pm
Hoosier:
PDX

I don't really see why it would be a problem to retain the UN building in Manhattan as the UN HQ. But also to require that certain activities--such as meetings of ambassadors--be removed to my home state of Indiana.

I'm thinking downtown Gary. Or the West Side of Gary. Because I'm flexible. (Maybe some agencies could relocate to Youngstown, OH. This is a time for creativity, iddnit?)

If they wanted to "so decide" that they'd rather leave the US than stay in Gary and be killed, I guess we'd have to honor that decision. I mean, I'm an internationalist. So I'd be predisposed to agreeing with the UN on this decision.
11.12.2008 10:26pm
Hoosier:
Bleepless:
What will Falk (or the other Troofers) do when they learn that the US government acts as though it believes the world to be a spheroid.

Now that's just not fair. Alex Jones clearly knows that heavenly bodies are spherical. If the Moon were not round, how could the Nazis have a secret base on the other side? (It appears that the Jesuits helped them get there after the war. I didn't read far enough to figure out what they are doing there. I just assume it's "Nazi stuff," y'know.)
11.12.2008 10:29pm
TokyoTom (mail):
Smokey: I trust the government to grow inexorably. I trust the government to constantly whittle away at our original Constitutional rights, to be replaced by invented 'rights' found only in vague emanations from the Constitution's fictional penumbra. ... I trust the government to debase the currency to the point that a dollar today buys what a dime bought in 1960.

That must be why you love the government and hate those Troothers with their ridiculous suspicions.

Bob: 9/11 is not a "narrative", it did not happen out of sight and only the government knows the "truth".

More generally, was any "narrative" involved in the lead up to Iraq? More specifically, are you suggesting that all information in the government's hands regarding 9/11 has been made available to the public?

FWIW, information now becoming available under FOIA shows that insiders made a stock-market killing by trading on insider information relating to CIA-led coups in the '50s, as noted recently in a Slate report of recenty acadmic research: They Made a Killing; Did people who knew about secret, CIA-led coups use that information to game the stock market?

Similar indications of possible suspicious trading relating to 9-11 have been discussed in an academic report published in 2006 by the U. Chi., Unusual Option Market Activity and the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.

But I don't want to know. Unlike those Troofer loonies, I trust my government. What do we need FOIA for anyway?
11.12.2008 11:16pm
Hoosier:
TokyoTom

Your sarcasm doesn't help your case. I'd be happy to hear your answers to some questions that I always put to Troofers. But I suspect you'd simply say that, Hey, we don't know. Am I right?

Which is an easy position to take, since it covers any imaginable case. But is also a cop-out, as are most easy positions.

What do we need FOIA for anyway?

For people like me, who do research on the history of actual actions and decisions taken by the federal government. But our legitimate research is inevitably slowed down by frivolous requests by assorted nutters who are just certain that the UFO's killed John Kennedy because of the Yeti.

This really is not very helpful to historians, to be quite frank.
11.13.2008 12:03am
BGates:
The problem these people are going to have starting January 20th is Barack Obama.
Hey, we do all have something in common!
11.13.2008 2:32am
TokyoTom (mail):
Hoosier, no doubt frivolous requests for documents by others slow down responses by government officials to more scholarly requests, but presuambly you'll acknowledge that the primary hurdle is government secrecy itself - which the Bush administration further tightened - and not jams created by those competing with you for the attention of bureaucrats.

Which is an easy position to take, since it covers any imaginable case. But is also a cop-out, as are most easy positions.

Hmmm. YOU decline to ask me questions, so I'VE copped out?

You might not like sarcasm, but my points are fairly clear and should resonate with libertarians and others not fond of big government:

- checks on government provided by an informed citizenry are important;

- government secrecy hinders the ability of citizens to monitor and check government;

- our governments have engaged in all manner of secret activity that is of dubious legality and wisdom - which history provides fodder for what MIGHT BE the fevered but basesless imaginings of some who mistrust government (or particular parts of it;

- conspiracy theorists who demand more information from government may be crackpots or charlatans, but they are not enemies of liberty.
11.13.2008 5:36am
Hoosier:
- conspiracy theorists who demand more information from government may be crackpots or charlatans, but they are not enemies of liberty.

Check out their websites, and the conspiracy "documentaries" on Youtube. I have yet to find one that isn't anti-Semitic. I consider that evidence of hostility to liberty for at least one group. A large number also believe in those old anti-Catholic libels about the Jesuits and the Vat controlling the world. Somehow, the Pope and the Black Pope are in league with the Zionists. I really can't figure that one out.

And I can't blame the Bush Administration for keeping documents secret in the 9/11 case. The US government operates on a 20-year rule. To keep American secrecy in perspective, the Brits wait anywhere from 30 to 50 years before declassifying documentation. The French have no particular rule. With the result that there are still collections of docs from before the Second World War that we can't access, for "reasons of state security." And Russian archivists hide or destroy documents, for instance those relating to Alger Hiss.

Compared to some abstract standard of perfection, anything can look bad. But the federal government has to be regarded as the best in its cohort when it comes to access. That ought to count for something.
11.13.2008 7:24am
Hoosier:
TokyoTom

YOU decline to ask me questions, so I'VE copped out?

I didn't say that this was why you were coping-out.

But if you want questions, here's just one.. Let's call it a "threshold question," since it helps us decide whether this is even worth discussiing:

Insurance companies have paid out to the tune of about $5 billion for 9/11 claims. More claims are making their way through the courts. Now, these companies are expert at sniffing out scams and investigating them. But they accept the truth of 9/11, and are thus paying the claims.

Question: Why?
11.13.2008 8:23am
Yankev (mail):

Somehow, the Pope and the Black Pope are in league with the Zionists. I really can't figure that one out.
Hoosier, the Troofers will point to that as further proof that we Zionists are doing a good job of covering our tracks -- which itself is further proof that they are right. Bwaa ha ha ha!
11.13.2008 9:11am
Hoosier:
Yankev--No kidding. There are clowns out there on the internet tubes who claim that the Pope is the "Chief Rabbi" of the Zionist movement. (Must be the skullcap.)
11.13.2008 11:03am
confused troofer:
I thought I saw lots of Palestinians and other Arabs CELEBRATING on 9-11, and lauding bin Laden for giving America what it deserved.

Then I learned that the Jooooooos did it, not bin Laden.

So were all those celebrating Arabs proud of Mossad?

I need a new scorecard from headquarters.
11.13.2008 12:06pm
LM (mail):

(Must be the skullcap.)

Have you ever heard the guy talk? He's got a stronger Yiddish accent than my grandmother.
11.13.2008 8:53pm
Hoosier:
(LM--A little context please: Is your grandma Jewish?)
11.13.2008 9:15pm
Bleepless:
Hoosier, you just don't get it.The Moon is a disc! It is about one inch thick (even conspirators have a budget) and is made of -- well, I better not say.
11.13.2008 9:22pm
TokyoTom (mail):
Hoosier:
I have yet to find one that isn't anti-Semitic. I consider that evidence of hostility to liberty for at least one group.

I see; you and others have your own tribal suspicions of most of those who have their own suspicions of what you call "the truth of 9/11". So for as long as there are conspiracy theories about "the Jews", you'll be content to defend government secrecy - at least from those conspiracy theorists you don't like?

these companies are expert at sniffing out scams and investigating them. But they accept the truth of 9/11, and are thus paying the claims.

Presumably, insurers are paying claims because they signed insurance contracts in which they agreed to insure building owners, tenants and the like against risks that were realized. Scams? Apparently the insurers and reinsurers have no doubt that the claimants themselves (are any government entities?) had no role in the attacks and subsequent damage, or lack sufficient evidence to support a case that particular claimants bear responsibility for their own catastrophic damage. On what basis you apparently infer from the willingness of insurers to pay to business claimants that the government isn't hiding important information as to its incompetence - or even afore-knowledge or complicity - in the attacks or destruction of the buildings?

As Patrick Henry said: "The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." Even when the government is NOT behaving badly, government secrecy fuels conspiracy theories that have their roots in man's tribal nature - which nature itself fuels your own distrust of those you mockingly call "Troothers". While many of them are no doubt mistaken, misguided and/or misled fools, only a fool would think that they have no basis for mistrusting government.
11.13.2008 10:29pm
Hoosier:
"you and others have your own tribal suspicions"

I'm not an MOT, Pancho. But go on.

"So for as long as there are conspiracy theories about "the Jews", you'll be content to defend government secrecy - at least from those conspiracy theorists you don't like?"

It's called "impeachment of sources." Look it up. Really, this isn't that hard. And since my comment was a direct rebutal of your claim that the Twoofers are not "enemies of liberty," I'd say you are now trying to shift ground.

"On what basis you apparently infer from the willingness of insurers to pay to business claimants that the government isn't hiding important information as to its incompetence - or even afore-knowledge or complicity - in the attacks or destruction of the buildings? "

Are you kidding? "Complictiy"? And insurers wouldn't sue the guv'mint to compensate their losses?

As I said, there is no reasonable response to this question. Case closed.

QED.

"which nature itself fuels your own distrust of those you mockingly call "Troothers"."

No it doesn't. They're just nuts.

"only a fool would think that they have no basis for mistrusting government."

Ergo, what? The same argument can be used to "prove" that the guv'mint "might" be hiding UFOs at Area 51. Or concealing evidence of a rash of Yeti attacks in Middle America.

The Chewbacca Defense doesn't actually, you know . . . work.

Just to be helpful to you, this may be of use:

www.theonion.com/content/video/in_the_know_is_the_government
11.13.2008 11:03pm
TokyoTom (mail):
"I'm not an MOT, Pancho."

Care to help me with this reference?

"impeachment of sources"
Sorry, but I hardly consider the fact (conceding arguendo)that there are anti-Semites (and anti-Catholics/anti-Jesuits) among the 9-11 conspiracy theorists to be a persuasive impeachment of their claims.

Further, I argued that "conspiracy theorists who demand more information from government may be crackpots or charlatans, but they are not enemies of liberty"; that some are anti-Semites is another matter, but bigotry and prejudice alone dp not make one an enemy of liberty.

"And insurers wouldn't sue the guv'mint to compensate their losses?"
I would take the failure of insurers to sue the government as a prima facie case that there is lack of publicly available evidence of government complicity, but I don't see how you can draw stronger conclusions. I ask again - one what basis do you conclude that lack of suits against the government establishes that not that the government isn't hiding important information as to 9-11?

They're just nuts.
Let's face it - we've got a tribal, partisan nature that leads us to be suspicious of those in out-groups. Well, I suspect that your distrust of anti-Semites colors your view of the "Twoofers" and of the merits of their claims. Your own suspicions of government, however, are entirely reasonable.

"only a fool would think that they have no basis for mistrusting government." Ergo, what?

Give me a break. I haven't been trying to argue that those with conspiracy theories about 9-11 (or other matters) are right; but simply that government secrecy both feeds conspirtacy theories, and gets in the way of disposing of particular ones. Furthermore, that the government fairly frequently acts badly ought hardly be a controversial proposition.
11.14.2008 5:06am
Seamus (mail):
In the (very unlikely) event things went seriously wrong for the Jews in both the US and the world, Falk is the type who demand his right of return to Israel as a Jew.

If "things" went so "seriously wrong for the Jews in both the US and the world" that Falk would be looking for some refuge, I don't think Israel would be able to offer him much protection. Jews are safer in the United States today than they've ever been, or are likely to be, anywhere else in the world, so if the United States is no longer safe for Jews, then they are in big trouble indeed.

(Of course, if you are one of the Phillip Roth types who thinks that the U.S. is on the brink of launching pogroms, then you might actually believe that Jews are safer in Israel than here. There's about as much reason to believe that, however, as there is to believe the 9/11 Troofers.)
11.14.2008 2:45pm
LM (mail):
Hoosier:

(LM--A little context please: Is your grandma Jewish?)

Damn. Can't get anything past you.

Well, she was Jewish when we buried her (and since she's in a Jewish cemetery, presumably free of tattoos and body piercings). But that was twenty-five years ago, and if you've been watching television with Mark Field, you know things can change.
11.14.2008 8:46pm
Smokey:
Hoosier +1

Tokyo Tom 0

Carry on.
11.14.2008 11:03pm
TokyoTom (mail):
Smokey -2

Carry on.
11.15.2008 7:06am