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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Amateur Hour at the "9/11 Debates" Facebook Page

I've had plenty of debates with debunkers in my time. Some of them have been mostly civil, and some have been pretty heated. And then there are the ones that are just plain batshit insane. For about a year or so I was part of a Facebook group called "9/11 Debates," which was meant to host debates and discussions among truthers and debunkers. And boy did I make a big mistake going there. It's a page that appears to be almost entirely run by debunkers, and they're about as biased as you can get. Granted I haven't been involved in as much 9/11 related issues for a while now, but I occasionally popped on over there just to see if there was anything worth discussing. The particular thread that finally convinced me to leave is here (if you can read it): I won't bother rehashing everything discussed over there. The main thing I want to discuss is the absurd ineptitude of some of the admins there and their apparent inability to read.

The most infuriating of the bunch was Elizabeth Tague, who did nothing but rant and rave about how I have no particular expertise (something I've never denied) and how therefore she doesn't have to take me seriously. Of course, I have no idea what her expertise is either, but at the very least I've actually read the NIST WTC7 Report, something I'm confident she hasn't done. Why do I think this? At one point in the discussion the subject of WTC7's free-fall of 2.25 seconds was brought up, and according to Elizabeth this was always known by NIST. Of course, those of us who've actually bothered to carefully pay attention to NIST's WTC investigation know that it was David Chandler who had to point this out to NIST, and as a result they mentioned it in their final report. But according to the oh-so accurate Elizabeth, NIST actually mentioned Building 7's period of free-fall in their Draft Report. Say what? Yes, you read that right. So after gathering myself from that face-palm moment, I asked her to tell me where in the Draft Report they said this. Here was her response.

What the Draft Report actually says:

From Draft Report NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Vol. 2, pp. 595-596, to be exact. You see, clever Elizabeth is quoting the FINAL Report on WTC7 (p. 601). So, in her attempt to show that the Draft Report said free-fall occurred, she instead quoted NIST's post-draft Final Report. And I know she hasn't actually read it, since she's just quoting almost verbatim someone on a different forum who also incorrectly said the draft mentioned free-fall. Elizabeth should probably know that when finding out what a report says it's probably better to actually read the report itself instead of just quoting forum posts. But hey, as I was frequently reminded, I have no expertise, so what do I know? I'm just a guy who, you know, can read.

And it got even better from there. Another admin, Keoki George, pipped in and gave her two cents on the issue. Did she chastise Elizabeth for quoting from the wrong report? No, that would have been the logical decision. Instead, the equally bright Keoki tried to make it seem like I was the one who did something wrong. 

Now this would have made complete sense if those comments were directed toward Elizabeth, but no, they were directed at me. Ms. George completely missed the point. I only referenced the Draft Report because Elizabeth said it mentioned WTC7's free-fall, which I proved it did not! I only talked about it because she did. How is this hard to understand? And in an attempt to cover for Elizabeth's error, Keoki quoted a part of the draft that does talk about free-fall.

I'll give her a little credit, she actually went and read the report, which is more than Elizabeth did. But unfortunately, that's all she did right. Setting aside the fact that this is obviously not the passage Elizabeth quoted, see the word highlighted in the above screen-cap? It's good to know that Ms. George's preferred method of investigation is just doing a word search for the particular word you want to find. But if you read that passage carefully, you'll see that what it actually says is that the theoretical time of free-fall for Building 7 would have been 3.9s. In other words, the report says what would have happened had the building fallen at free-fall. It is NOT saying that at any point the building actually did fall at free-fall. So yes, my original point stands: the Draft Report said nothing about Building 7 going into free-fall, and it was only after David Chandler pointed out the 2.25 seconds of free-fall did NIST update their findings and mention this in their Final Report. 

Perhaps now you have a good idea of why I left that page. I've had other encounters with them and others over there in the past, and none of them have been fun or productive. Bottom line, don't bother with that group. There's nothing to gain from debating with a bunch of children in adults' bodies. I may be an amateur (and probably always will be), but at least I can read. My advice for Elizabeth and Keoki...

1 comment:

  1. Looks like disinfo central.

    And it's not a matter of expertise when the point being made is simple - where we are relying on basic skills of comprehension.

    It reminds me of NIST where, in a press release/conference, they said 'only we have the facts' ...