Sunday, December 09, 2007

Modern journalism is at a crossroads.

Here is a passage from a Times article about torture allegations by Gitmo detainees:

Pentagon officials have said they believe that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, selected Mr. Khan, who grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, to study the feasibility of blowing up gasoline stations and poisoning reservoirs in the United States. But he has not been charged with any offenses.


The mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks...

The Times is doing its readers a disservice. They are disseminating demonstrably false information. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed could not have been the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.


Two reasons:
  1. Fire did not collapse the World Trade Center towers. The proffered model of the collapse is the "pancake theory," wherein the supporting clips gave way that connect the floors to the inner support columns and the outer perimeter members. Here's a graphic: This is the model employed by NIST. (While my detractors study the matter by watching television, I prefer to read. Not to mention that I believe nothing that anyone tells me. I'm funny that way.) The model says that the angle clips failed upon becoming heated by the fire, they let go, and one floor collapsed upon another and another, all the way down. Just one problem: What happened to the inner core? The inner core exists for a reason: It is what supports the building. The pancake theory is the equivalent of stripping the leaves from a fern with your fingers. The stem remains. How did the core magically fall right down?

  2. We've got people who would be in the know who plainly state that 9-11 was executed by the CIA and Mossad, and that foreign intelligence services knew this from the start.

So, obviously, KSM could not have masterminded the 9-11 attacks. (Unless he and his merry band of malcontents somehow secreted demolitions charges into the buildings over the course of weeks. But then... If they knew they would need demolitions charges to collapse the buildings, and if they had expertly managed to evade building security for those weeks, then why go to the trouble of flying non-relevant planes into the buildings? Hmm? As a show?)

So what possible reason on earth would someone have for writing the demonstrably false phrase, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks?

The only possible answer is this: "Because that's what the government man told me."

As time goes on, the phrase the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks just becomes more outlandish.

It's like reading the following:

"Orange juice --the primary export of the Moon People-- has been proven to be an important part of your diet. Researchers today said that..."

Orange juice doesn't come from the moon. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was not the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The statements are equally asinine.

If the New York Times is telling me that orange juice comes from the Moon People, what else in that paper is suspect?