9/11 Truthers, Shut the Hell Up Already
By: Mike Manto
The memories of the September 11 terrorist attacks continue to haunt our memories to this day. Although most of us were mere children on that terrible day, we all remember the moment we heard the news, even if we didn’t understand the true ramifications of what had happened. 9/11 remains a touchy and emotional subject with a great many of us. Although this tragedy brought out the best in Americans, it also revealed a darker, suspicious side. What I am talking about is not the rise of Islamophobia or irrational fear; it is the notion that this attack was somehow enshrouded in a grand conspiracy. Nearly a decade after the worst foreign attack on American soil resulted in the deaths of 3,000 innocent people, a small uninformed minority continues to advance such a reckless belief.
So, why has this issue suddenly got me so riled up? In my local newspaper, the Bucks County Courier Times, a March 25, 2011 article was published which opened up old wounds. A group known as Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth was denied the opportunity to set up a table at a symposium sponsored by Lockheed Martin. The aerospace company said it denied the group a position not because of their views, but rather because their organization was deemed irrelevant toward “future aerospace professionals”.
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth is a non-profit organization founded in 2006 which claims that both World Trade Center towers and 7 World Trade Center (a building nearby) were destroyed via controlled demolitions. Since their creation, they have called for an independent congressional investigation of the buildings’ destruction.
That’s not even the worst of it. The author of this article is a Lehigh alum, Manasee Wagh, a computer engineer of the 2000 graduating class. In her slanted, mediocre journalism, Wagh took a biased position in favor of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, clearly violating the most important rule of reporting – to be objective. Wagh’s irresponsible actions in giving media attention to such a disreputable group makes me embarrassed and ashamed to share the same alma mater with her.
The 9/11 conspiracy movement is just another group of attention-needy nutjobs that ought to be lumped with those who believe in aliens at Area 51 or that we faked the moon landing. These “truthers” (as they’re called) have built up a laundry list of ridiculous conspiracies, which I will now single-handedly destroy in the following bullet points:
1.) TRUTHERS: The U.S. government planned and executed the 9/11 attacks.
ME: The chief fallibility in the entire argument here is that we have to assume the government is competent. It isn’t. If the government can’t even get your tax returns right, how could they plant explosives in three skyscrapers and in the Pentagon without anybody noticing, and without somebody in the government leaking it? And what we be the point of killing 3,000 people?
2.) TRUTHERS: The World Trade Center towers were destroyed by a controlled explosion.
ME: The World Trade Center towers look as if they fell in a controlled explosion. If you properly demolish a building, entire floors all go down at one time, because you detonate every support. On 9/11, the towers didn’t do this. Instead, because one or two supports were weakened from the impacts, the towers starting falling slightly sideways. Watch videos of the collapses and you’ll see this.
3.) TRUTHERS: Steel melts at 2800°F and jet fuel combusts at 1000°F, so the towers couldn’t have fallen because of the planes alone.
ME: Take a materials course. Any engineer knows that if you heat an alloy like steel up, it becomes weaker and can bend and deform more easily. At about 650°F, steel looses 50% of its strength. This would have led to more than enough damage to lead to collapse. I like ice sculptures as an example for this one. Think about it. If you put an ice sculpture out on a 40°F day, it will eventually break, but you don’t have to stick it in boiling water for it to collapse, do you?
4.) TRUTHERS: What about Building 7?
ME: This is the truthers’ catchphrase. 7 World Trade Center was a smaller building near the towers which eventually collapsed later in the day on 9/11. Truthers think it was detonated. Building 7 was set on fire and hit with debris. Collapse from structural weakness was inevitable.
So what did we learn from this? Be suspicious of the suspicious. More often than not, the simplest explanation is the correct explanation. In the case of 9/11, Islamic extremists who opposed American ideology and foreign policy killed thousands of people in a set of suicide hijackings – and nothing else. This is what happened. So to all you truthers out there, please shut up and go away.
Here’s the article, judge for yourself: