The BBC’s instrument of 9/11 misinformation
Jim Fetzer (with Joshua Blakeney)
For a second time, the BBC television network has produced a documentary about 9/11 featuring Dylan Avery, the producer of “Loose Change”’; Alex Jones, the talk show host; and me, the Founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth—this time accompanied by Neils Harrit, a chemistry professor from Denmark. The program is part of the BBC’s “Conspiracy Files” series. The first installment is available here. This one, now entitled, “The Conspiracy Files: ‘9/11: Ten Years On’”, was initially accessible at the following link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV_R70Qo8Zc&feature=share Interestingly, not long after it had been posted, the “user” had it removed from YouTube, which is not an effective method for disseminating your message. Presumably, it will soon be up and running again, which we will archive and then link to this column.
The inclusion of Neils Harrit is especially striking, since he was the lead author on the nanothermite study published in the Bentham Science Open Chemical Physics Journal, which T. Mark Hightower and I have discussed in several articles here at VT, including “Is ‘9/11 Truth’ based upon a false theory?” and “Nanothermite: If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit”. Since I believe there are real problems with (what Mark Hightower and I have called) “the myth of explosive nanothermite”, the BBC may have missed an opportunity to pit us against one another. Neil’s statements about the use of nanothermite, however, have actually been more responsible than those that have come from and been supported by the “hard science” group. So the focus of this discussion will be on some of the more blatant problems with “9/11: Ten Years On”.
Here I (and Joshua Blakeney) will offer several striking illustrations of the BBC’s “sleight-of-hand” in misrepresenting key points that I explained to Guy Smith and to Mike Rudin, which they cannot possibly have misunderstood, where cases like these leave no doubt of that the BBC in its “Conspiracy Files” series functions as an instrument of disinformation. We will also cite examples that exemplify other especially notable demonstrations that the BBC’s duplicity is not limited to its presentation of ersatz documentaries like these but extends into its reporting of news as it happens, which we illustrate with Jane Standley’s premature reporting of the collapse of WTC-7 on 9/11 and the introduction of Richard Clarke’s efforts to revive the indefensible theory that “9/11 was due to incompetence”.
[NOTE: I use the first-person pronoun to accent that “I was there” and know these things based upon my “up close and personal” experience, but I am grateful to Joshua Blakeney for his contributions here, especially relative to the so-called “Global War on Terror”. Joshua recently drew to my attention a seminal text edited by Benjamin Netanyahu entitled Terrorism: How the West Can Win (1986), which we discussed during our two-hour interview on my 31 August 2011 radio show (and which is now archived at http://radiofetzer.blogspot.com/). I agree with Joshua that this book appears to be offering a blueprint for the “Global War on Terror” already in 1986, which should quality as a central piece of evidence about the true origins of that war and a hint of whom it most benefits.]
BBC’s “Conspiracy Files”
This was my second encounter with the BBC, whose director, Guy Smith, came to Madison and interviewed me for eight hours for its previous segment on 9/11, which also featured Dylan, Alex, and me. This segment has also been archived at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMyKhVwj6GI&feature=related, where there can be little doubt that the BBC is attempting to trade in stereotypes and that Dylan is supposed to be the obnoxious kid, Alex a messianic preacher, and me the kooky professor. While some may even agree, especially about me, this is an obvious attempt to suggest the only possible reasons that anyone would dissent from the “official account” of 9/11 are emotional needs or cognitive impairments. The 9/11 movement is actually highly eclectic with members of varied backgrounds and qualifications. That we might actually be right and the official account wrong was tacitly denied.
During both interviews, I presented literally dozens and dozens of arguments about why the “official account” of 9/11 is not only indefensible but actually violates laws of physics, engineering and aerodynamics. The fires burned neither hot enough nor long enough to have caused the steel to weaken, much less melt. WTC-7 displays all the features of a classic “controlled demolition”. There is no evidence that a Boeing 757 crashed in Pennsylvania and clear and convincing proof that the Pentagon “hit” was a fabrication, which appears to include the flyover by a plane simulating Flight 77 at the same time as the detonation of explosions. Later in the day, the Hollywood-style production of billowing black smoke from fires deliberately set in a series of dumpsters was deployed in order to intimidate the members of Congress. (See “Seven Questions about 9/11”, VT.)
For the first show, the BBC extracted about 7.5 minutes they wanted to use from my interview, which it combined with about 4 minutes of Alex and 3.5 minutes of Dylan. The rest of the program was used to misrepresent and undermine what we had told them, where logic and evidence were not their concern. By offering psychoanalyses of 9/11 skeptics, rather than engaging the evidence that refutes the official story of 9/11, the makers of the BBC’s 9/11 documentary harnessed the same tactics employed by journalist Jonathan Kay, author of Among the Truthers (2011), and by Michael Shermer, an ersatz-professor, who was exposed for having mischaracterized his credentials by Anthony Hall and Joshua Blakeney. Their focus was upon the psychology of beliefs that are, according to their point of view, not merely weird but even bizarre—which is certainly true, unless you take a serious look at the evidence. (See “Why doubt 9/11?” for 20 counter-examples.)
The Ground Floor “Hit”
The Pentagon is an especially nice example, where I explained in both interviews that the alleged “hit” point is on the ground floor and not the second as has often been alleged. Both of these BBC programs, nevertheless, misrepresented its location by using photos of the second floor, which has to have been intentional, given that I had explained this point to Guy Smith and to Mike Rudin during their separate visits. They even use animations of this inaccurate location in their animations of its occurrence, which is inconsistent with the photos that are presented correctly in both “What didn’t happen at the Pentagon” and in “Seven Questions about 9/11”.
It makes an enormous difference to understanding what happened there, since, at the ground-floor location, we find a chain-link fence, two huge spools of cable, two somewhat damaged cars and unbroken windows beside and above the entry hole, which is only about 10’ high and 16-17’ wide—far too small for a 100-ton airliner that is 155’ long with a 125’ wingspan, and a tail that stands 44’ above the ground. There is no debris: no wings, no tail, no fuselage, no bodies, seats or luggage. Neither of the virtually indestructible engines was recovered. But the fact that this mass of debris is missing is obfuscated by the simple but effective technique of presenting the wrong photos. You have to admire the elegance of the plan.
It has been said that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, which is true—except in those cases where it is false. If you were to inspect the living room of your home, for example, the absence of evidence of the presence of an elephant would properly qualify as evidence of the absence of an elephant from your living room. Similarly, the absence of evidence that a plane—in particular, a Boeing 757—crashed at the Pentagon is evidence that no Boeing 757 crashed there. So one of the most important indications of BBC duplicity is that, although I had explained to Guy Smith and to Mike Rudin that the actual “hit point” was on the ground floor, they continued to use images of the second floor in their work.
The clear, green lawn
Think of the simplicity of the deception involved here. Have your target speak about the hit point (where he is talking about the ground floor “hit”) but present images of another location (as if that were what he was actually discussing). And it is a technique that can be used again and again. During both interviews, I also emphasized a photo that was taken even as the civilian lime-green fire trucks were extinguishing the very modest fires, which shows a completely clear, green, unblemished lawn, entirely free from debris of any kind. You can see that the upper portion of the building has not yet collapsed, which means it was not the effect of the alleged impact. This collapse appears to have been contrived to enhance the apparent damage to resemble more like what a hit might have caused.
In this case, the BBC contracted the time line and claimed that the upper floors had collapsed “within minutes” of the hit, showing images of building AFTER the collapse. Since 25-30 minutes is “within minutes”, there was a flimsy pretext to justify using that phrase. But there is now considerable debris in the foreground and the lawn is no longer pristine. The effect, once again, was to use my voice explaining what is visible in the photo that I was discussing but juxtaposed with film from the subsequent collapse of the upper floors that I was not discussing, which was clearly intended to convey the impression that I did not know what I was talking about—a simple but effective technique, which they employed repeatedly.
Ironically, some of the BBC’s own footage substantiated my observations about the completely clear, green, unblemished lawn, entirely free from debris of any kind. But it would have taken a discerning viewer to overcome the emphasis imparted by the soothing, confident voice of the BBC’s commentator, who conveyed the impression of objectivity and impartiality while nevertheless debunking what I had said in nuanced and subtle ways. That this footage actually appeared in this documentary came as a surprise to me, once I had sorted out their technique of implicitly contradicting what I had to say by the presentation of images other than those that I was addressing, since this one actually confirmed what I had explained.
Lt. Col. O’Brien and the C-130
The difference between the originally clear, green and unblemished lawn, which was free from debris, and the subsequent appearance of debris across a broad swath of the Pentagon lawn led me to speculate as to its origins. It would have been awkward and obvious to have enlisted men and officers carry debris out onto the lawn. It had to have been done in a more subtle fashion. A C-130 had been circling the building, which led me to consider the possibility that perhaps the debris had been dropped from the plane, where its settling down from above would be something that many observers might regard as an effect from the hit, where it would not be unexpected for at least some debris to have been airborne.
So the BBC featured Lt. Col. O’Brien, USAF, who was presented as the captain of the C-130, who feigned to be disgusted with the implication that he could have been involved in the cover-up by having debris dropped from his plane. Since it was circling as the allegedly hijacked plane approached the building, it appears to be a good question why the Pentagon was surprised by the hit. Surely the Lt. Colonel could have warned them, insofar as he reported that he had watched its approach. Apparently, the evidential value of his claiming to have seen the plane outweighed the implied admission that he had failed to warn his superiors, since all sides alleged that the Pentagon had no idea it was going to be hit—when the plane would most certainly have been shot down, had such a warning occurred.
- If there is a better explanation of the source of the debris, what could it possibly be? Those who harbor lingering doubts about the role of the BBC as a purveyor of disinformation should study these photographs and compare them to “What didn’t happen at the Pentagon?” and “Seven Questions about 9/11”. Then watch the show, when it is accessible again—perhaps in a new version in response to the public’s reaction to the original, which I am discussing here. We all have to appreciate the role of the mass media in distorting 9/11, where the phrase “info wars” has been used by Alex Jones to convey exactly the right impression. And this is not the first time that the BBC has been caught “with its pants down”, since an earlier and possibly even more spectacular illustration occurred on 9/11 itself.
Jane Standley on WTC-7
One of the most remarkable events of the day of 9/11 was the premature report by Jane Standley of the BBC that “the Solomon Brothers Building”—another name for WTC-7—had collapsed, which of course did happen that day, but she claimed it had happened at 4:57 PM/ET, when in fact that did not occur until 5:20 PM/ET, 23 minutes later! This has to be one of the most stunning illustrations of the dual role of the mass media in presenting news as it happens but with a spin dictated by the intelligence assets and the government agencies who control access to what the public is going to see and hear. Since WTC-7 can actually be seen over her left shoulder (to the right as a viewer watches her presentation), there can be no doubt that the BBC got “ahead of the script”, which may even be the single most glaring example of complicity between MI-5 and the BBC in the nation’s history.
Another example of the spin that the BBC was offering in its “Conspiracy Files: ‘9/11: Ten Years On’” program, is that, toward its conclusion, Richard Clarke, the Bush/Cheney administration’s “anti-terrorism” expert, attempts to revive the long-discounted theory that these attacks occurred only because of incompetence by the agencies who were responsible for protecting the country from terrorist attacks like these, including communication and cooperation failures by the CIA and the FBI. But this theory cannot account for the physical impossibility of the Twin Towers to have been destroyed by the purported plane crashes, the resulting (very modest) fires, and the weakening of the steel, none of which—even had they happened as the official account proclaims—could have brought about the complete, total, and abrupt demolition sequence that would occur, which can be viewed relative to the North Tower in “New 9/11 Photos Released”, for example.
9/11 was clearly cleverly planned, including a variety of false leads, some of which were discernable in the original broadcasts from the networks that day. As Preston James and I explain in “Peeling the 9/11 Onion: Layers of Plots within Plots”, the first suggestions presented by the media were intended to lay blame on Palestinians, of which we have three major indications: the image of cheering Palestinians broadcast as these events were unfolding; anchors reporting that “The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine” was claiming credit; and the statements to the officers arresting the “Dancing Israelis” in their white van from Urban Moving Systems, a Mossad asset, whose driver said, “We are Israelis. We are not your problem. Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are your problem.” That was hokum then and remains hokum now, where three of the five would return to Israel and explain on TV that they were there “to document” the destruction of the Twin Towers, which obviously implies prior knowledge that it was going to occur.
The “Global War on Terrorism”
The BBC’s propaganda for the 9/11 wars largely rests on the empirically flawed-assumption that there is a disproportionate threat posed to citizens of the U.S., Britain, Canada and elsewhere by Islamist terrorists. Yet, data posted on the FBI’s official website demonstrates that actual cases of Islamic terrorism are rare, making it a virtually negligible phenomenon. According to FBI statistics, between 1980 and 2005, for example, only 6% of reported terrorist acts in the U.S. were committed by Muslims, compared to 7% by Jewish extremists, 42% by Latino extremists, and 24% by extreme right-wing groups (sometimes misidentified as “left wing”, but including local and state-wide militias). The BBC has been highly instrumental in reinforcing the falsehood that Islamists were responsible for the events of 9/11, which in turn justifies their scrutinizing of Muslims at home and abroad. Bear in mind that, if there were no planes to hijack, there would have been no hijackers, and if there were no Islamic hijackers, then 9/11 could not have been used to justify the “War on Terror” and a “clash of civilizations” pitting the Judeo-Christian West against radical Islam.
Elias Davidsson has demonstrated that the American government has not been able to prove that any of the alleged hijackers were aboard any of these planes, where Flight 11 and Flight 77 were not even scheduled to fly that day. The BBC has done its part by persistently covering-up evidence demonstrating that those alleged hijackers engaged in egregiously un-Islamic activities in the months prior to 9/11, including snorting cocaine, attending strip clubs, eating pork and drinking Vodka. These activities imply that either they were not Muslim at all or, at least, if they were, they were not devote Muslims and therefore most unlikely to engage in fanatical acts on behalf of their religion. Suicidal hijackings are not the kind of actions we would expect from Muslims who take pleasure in strip shows, eating pork and snorting coke! As the phrase has it, “What’s wrong with this picture?”
Wayne Madsen has released British intelligence documents purporting to prove that “the Israeli Mossad ran the Arab hijacker cells that were later blamed by the U.S. government’s 9/11 Commission for carrying out the aerial attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon”, which is very plausible, given what we know about the motives that appear to have contributed to its planning and execution, which involve oil, Israel, and ideology, which were interrelated. Reconfiguring the Middle East through the implementation of the Sharon Doctrine could then result in the construction of a pipeline through Israel to the Mediterranean Sea —which it could tap to solve its energy needs—and facilitate the despoliation of Iraqi oil. Taking out Saddam Hussein and converting Iraq into smaller states (or “statelets”) based on ethnic and religious sectarianism, moreover, appears to be part and parcel of a master plan for the destabilization of the Middle East to create a new reign of Israeli supremacy and domination.
What does it mean?
Reluctance to report well-documented Israeli involvement in 9/11 may explain the metamorphosis of the once highly respected BBC into a propaganda organ of the Likudnik right and its allies. The network, officially an agency of the British state, lost many of its best reporters as a consequence of the BBC’s role in dealing with reports about and the subsequent death of Dr. David Kelley. Its erstwhile Director General (DG), Greg Dyke, appears to have been ousted and replaced in 2004 by the highly pro-Israel Mark Thompson, who, upon assuming office, made a trip to Israel with his Jewish wife to work out with Ariel Sharon the “softening” of the BBC’s editorial line about the State of Israel. A nice indication of the BBC’s pro-Israel bias, by the way, was its refusal to allow a “Gaza Appeal” phone-line number to be broadcast during the 2008-2009 massacre in Gaza. With 9/11 being used primarily to facilitate the epochal process identified by sociologist James Petras as “The Globalization of Zionist Power”, the BBC’s infiltration by likely Mossad affiliates makes perfect sense. Thompson is now the highest paid public servant in Britain—and he influences the BBC to support the “Global War on Terror”.
In doing research about the BBC and its “Conspiracy Files” series, I discovered a web page devoted to “Conspiracy Theories”, in which five familiar arguments are presented and then “debunked”. To offer one instructive example, it dismisses concerns about WTC-7 arising from Larry Silverstein’s use of the phrase, “pull it”, and the alleged ground that he was actually requesting that firemen be “pulled” from the building. Not only were there no firemen in the building at the time, but “pull it” is a term of art in the construction business. Barry Jennings was actually in the building that morning and witnessed explosions taking place to prime it for demolition. It appears to me that any source that promotes falsehoods as blatant as these about 9/11 is unworthy of belief—which we now know includes the BBC!
The BBC’s own attempt to debunk “conspiracy theories” has had an unexpected and mildly encouraging effect. More than 700 comments were posted before the comments were closed, where I found many reflecting genuine understanding of the role of the BBC in promoting false information about 9/11. As we have found, in its biased documentaries about 9/11, its live reporting at the time, and even on a web page it has published to debunk those who are speaking the truth, the BBC has abandoned its commitment to objective and independent journalism and has become a shill for false theories and government ops. More is the pity, because it once stood as a beacon of truth that was widely admired around the world, which, as we have seen, can no longer be said on behalf of this once-great UK institution.
Jim Fetzer, McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth, is a former Marine Corps officer and the founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth.
Joshua Blakeney is a Staff Writer at VT, a 9/11 activist, and a graduate student at the University of Lethbridge working on a thesis entitled, “The Origins of the Global War on Terror.”