Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Post-event information influences memory

Excerpt from Dr. Elizabeth Loftus and Katherine Ketcham, The Myth of Repressed Memory (St. Martin's Press, 1994)

Dr. Loftus is professor of psychology at UC-Irvine and University of Washington and a prominent expert on memory.

She has written other books and articles that may be more pertinent, but I have a copy of this book, and the below passage summarizes some of her findings that I think are relevant to consideration of 9/11 eyewitness accounts.

This excerpt describes Dr. Loftus' testimony on behalf of a man prosecuted for murdering his daughter's friend twenty years earlier, based solely on his daughter's accusation that she now remembered her father killing her friend.

I took the stand . . . and for two hours discussed my experiments investigating memory acquisition. I explained to the court that memory fades with time, losing detail and accuracy; as time goes by, the weakened memories are increasingly vulnerable to "post-event information" -- facts, ideas, inferences, and opinions that become available to a witness after an event is completely over. I told the jury about a series of experiments I conducted featuring a shocking film simulation of a robbery. At the end of the short film, a child is shot in the face. Subjects who watched the film with the shocking ending were able to recall details with significantly less accuracy than subjects who watched a similar film without the violent ending.

This study, I explained, tells us about the distortions that can occur in the acquisition stage of memory, when an event occurs and information is laid down in the memory system. Other studies tell us about the retention and retrieval stages of memory, after a period of time goes by and we are asked to recall a particular event or experience. Hundreds of experiments involving tens of thousands of individuals have shown that post-event information can become incorporated into memory and contaminate, supplement, or distort the original memory.

I described a study I'd conducted in which subjects watched a film of a robbery involving a shooting and were then exposed to a television account of the event which contained erroneous details. When asked to recount what happened during the robbery, many subjects incorporated erroneous details from the television report into their account. Once these details were inserted into a person's mind through the technique of exposure to post-event information, they were adopted as the truth and protected as fiercely as the "real," original details. Subjects typically resisted any suggestion that their richly detailed memories might have been flawed or contaminated and asserted with great confidence what their revised and adapted memories told them they saw.

I now see that Dr. Loftus has a number of papers online here:

I think the discussion of "misinformation effects" on page 5 of this paper is relevant to the 9/11 eyewitnesses:

And in this paper as well:

Post-event information

Would these images, and/or the word that planes had hit, influence witness accounts of people watching the events of 9/11 from within Manhattan or across the river?

Video is "Oh My Goodness!!" by Genghis.

2007: Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth is a promising development, but I am concerned that founder Richard Gage states that evidence for controlled demolition has only emerged in the last couple of years. I understand that the following early papers were not publicized in the mainstream media, but early researchers should be acknowledged in Mr. Gage's mea culpa, as discussed below after a summary of this history.

J. McMichael, November 2001

Muslims Suspend Laws of Physics!

Jeff King (Plaguepuppy), September 2002

A Discussion of the Physics of the World Trade Center Collapse


David Ray Griffin, May 2004

Interview about "New Pearl Harbor"'

I don't know if Griffin cited McMichael and King. [Update: In New Pearl Harbor, Griffin cited Eric Hufschmid, Jeff King, Peter Myer, and Jim Hoffmann about controlled demolition.]

Jim Hoffmann, August 2005

Building a Better Mirage
NIST's 3-Year $20,000,000 Cover-Up
of the Crime of the Century

Hoffmann did not cite McMichael and King. I don't know if he has elsewhere - this is earliest of his articles on the subject that I could find.

Steven Jones, November 2005

Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?

Jones cites Hoffmann and Hufschmid, for their photos. He does not cite McMichael and King.

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, May 2007

I think this last website is an encouraging development, and I like founder Richard Gage's explanation of what took so long:

[T]he shock that hit us on that date from the repeated attacks and staggering loss of life has limited our ability to rationally evaluate what really happened.We therefore found ourselves relying solely upon the judgment of outside "experts"... and, quite willing to, "go along" with the collective myth that has unfolded: that "the buildings failed structurally due to the aircraft impacts and resulting fires". After all, we saw the aircraft slam into the building, the resulting huge fireball, and the ensuing "collapses".

However, I do not agree with this statement:

There is however a growing body of very solid evidence regarding these "collapses" that has emerged in the last couple of years - gaining ground even in the mainstream media.

The only thing that has emerged in the last couple of years is a physics PhD publicly describing the evidence, the most important of which had been published years before by McMichael and King.

Steven Jones added his arguments about thermite:

But most of what he wrote about had been published long before:

When writing a mea culpa for failure to recognize what should have been obvious to an architect or engineer, I think that Mr. Gage and AE-911-Truth should acknowledge the date that this original research was first published, as much as 5, not 2 years ago.

Finally, I'm not waiting for them to get over the judgment of outside experts and the collective myth that planes penetrated the towers as shown on video.

Update: I have now learned that Peter Meyer was writing about controlled demolition as early as September 13, 2001. His work on the subject is here:

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

War in the time of video

From today's Seattle Times:

War in the time of video
By Alex Alben

Alex Alben is a high-tech executive based in Seattle.

Now, with the advent of YouTube and self-publishing Web sites, every video upload is presented as having equal weight. Some video producers have a clear political ax to grind. Others seek to capitalize on a disturbing image, without revealing who took the picture or whether the incident might have been staged.

This guy has it backwards - YouTube is not the problem. But I like the title and the warning not to trust video.

I fear the wise editors, not the citizen posting on YouTube. Maybe Walter Cronkite was wise and our media was a force for good, but that day is long gone, with merchant of death General Electric owning NBC and running it as propaganda for profit.

Remember, this filthy deception was broadcast on network TV and affiliates, and that's why a copy is available on YouTube:

The wonderful editors whose loss of control he laments did not stop this staged video from being broadcast right after 9/11.

Giuliani: "No one had any idea they would implode"

Giuliani is asked by concerned citizen how he knew the towers were going to collapse and why people in the building weren't notified and who else knew about it.

He responds that he was talking about a longer period of 7-8 hours before collapse and says "no one had any idea they would implode."

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Chalmers Johnson: Empire v. Democracy


The combination of huge standing armies, almost continuous wars, an ever growing economic dependence on the military-industrial complex and the making of weaponry, and ruinous military expenses as well as a vast, bloated "defense" budget, not to speak of the creation of a whole second Defense Department (known as the Department of Homeland Security) has been destroying our republican structure of governing in favor of an imperial presidency.

I had set out to explain how exactly our government came to be so hated around the world. As a CIA term of tradecraft, "blowback" does not just mean retaliation for things our government has done to, and in, foreign countries. It refers specifically to retaliation for illegal operations carried out abroad that were kept totally secret from the American public. These operations have included the clandestine overthrow of governments various administrations did not like, the training of foreign militaries in the techniques of state terrorism, the rigging of elections in foreign countries, interference with the economic viability of countries that seemed to threaten the interests of influential American corporations, as well as the torture or assassination of selected foreigners. The fact that these actions were, at least originally, secret meant that when retaliation does come -- as it did so spectacularly on September 11, 2001 -- the American public is incapable of putting the events in context. Not surprisingly, then, Americans tend to support speedy acts of revenge intended to punish the actual, or alleged, perpetrators. These moments of lashing out, of course, only prepare the ground for yet another cycle of blowback.

As a form of government, imperialism does not seek or require the consent of the governed. It is a pure form of tyranny. The American attempt to combine domestic democracy with such tyrannical control over foreigners is hopelessly contradictory and hypocritical. A country can be democratic or it can be imperialistic, but it cannot be both.

What Chalmers Johnson does not recognize or acknowledge is that 9/11 was not blowback - retaliation for illegal operations carried out abroad - but was itself an illegal operation carried out against the American people for imperial purposes.

Johnson himself explains why this is necessary -- the American people would not have given their consent to the plans of the imperialists. In order to maintain the pretense of domestic democracy, they had to be terrorized into accepting these plans. At the same time, the attacks enabled the aggrandizement of the presidency over congress and weakening of the judiciary and civil liberties. All of this furthers the imperial project.

United Nations condemns US "war on terror" law and practice

Friday, May 25, 2007

Mark Crispin Miller on theocratic education

An artist's view of the problem:

An evangelical's view of the problem:

Evan Fairbanks: 'It disappeared like a bad special effects'

Posted by Web Fairy at YouTube

It amazes me that anyone could look at this and think it is not fake.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Presidential candidate Ron Paul on true patriotism

Ron Paul, a true conservative, finished first in Internet polls on who won the Republican debates. With no evidence, the corporate press claims that this does not reflect public opinion.

NBC's crime against humanity

As I have written before, I consider this to be comparable to the crimes of Rwandan radio broadcasts held to constitute incitement to genocide and persecution.

Crime or not, it is despicable and is certainly not journalism.

But given that NBC is owned by a weapons maker that has profited greatly from 9/11, this comes as no surprise.

Thanks to mvb for finding this:

The footage was shown on this station in New York State, before interviews with local Arab-Americans. At the beginning, the talking head states: "Leaders in the local Arab community are cautioning people not to jump to conclusions," followed immediately by this footage of Palestinians dancing. How grotesque and irresponsible to frame the story that way, even if the footage really had showed Palestinians dancing in response to 9/11.

Mayor's son accused of inside job conspiracy!

I was shocked to hear my local television station used the term "alleged conspiracy" in describing a casino rip-off scheme in which the mayor's son is allegedly involved. The son works at the casino, so the television station called it an "inside job."

What a bunch of nutbags! Anyone with a brain knows there is no such thing as a conspiracy. How could a federal prosecutor be bringing such a ridiculous case?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Military analyst urges retreat contingency plan on field commanders in Iraq

Is Bush setting up U.S. troops for slaughter? Why does a respected defense analyst feel the need to urge field commanders to prepare for retreat, and why are political concerns overriding planning to protect the safety of American young men and women?

President Bush, here's what you do. Call it an "advance," like 4th century Greek general Xenophon called his retreat from Persia. You will save the lives of American troops. You will be hailed as a brave and wise leader. You will help your Party. These do matter to you, right?

On War #211
March 27, 2007
Operation Anabasis
By William S. Lind

One of history's most successful retreats, and certainly its most famous, is the "Retreat of the 10,000." In 401 B.C., 10,000 Greek hoplites hired themselves out as mercenaries to a Persian prince, Cyrus the Younger, who was making a grab for the Peacock Throne. Inconveniently, after the Greeks were deep in Persia, Cyrus was killed. The hoplites' leader, Xenophon, the first gentleman of war, led his men on an epic retreat through Kurdish country to the coast and home. Surprisingly, most of them made it. Safely back in Athens, Xenophon wrote up his army's story, cleverly titling it the Anabasis, which means the advance. It was not the last retreat so labeled.

Both of these threats [(cutting of supply lines by Iran or Shiite militias)] are sufficiently real that prudence, that old military virtue, suggests American forces in Iraq should have a plan for Operation Anabasis, a retreat north through Kurdish Iraq to Turkey. Higher headquarters are unlikely to develop such a plan, because if it leaked there would be political hell to pay in Washington. I would therefore strongly advise every American battalion and company in Iraq to have its own Operation Anabasis plan, a plan which relies only on its own resources and whatever it thinks it could scrounge locally. Do not, repeat, do not expect the Air Force to come in and pick you up.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"National Continuity Policy" signed by Bush on May 9, 2007

The directive defines a “Catastrophic Emergency” as the following.

"Catastrophic Emergency" means any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions;

This is very broad, and is not limited by location. A war in the Middle East causing very high oil prices might be sufficient, as would a hurricane such as Katrina, or a 9/11 type event.

When such an event occurs, this directive says that the President can "coordinate" the three branches of government.

"Enduring Constitutional Government," or "ECG," means a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President . . ."

"Continuity of Government" plans have been around for years, and I don't know how this latest directive compares.

I do know that post-9/11, a false-flag emergency is a serious prospect. I also know that Bush has already asserted excessive power, and has joked about being a dictator.

Zbigniew Brzezinski might agree that a false-flag operation is a serious prospect:
Christian Liberation Front: "Bush To Be Dictator In A Catastrophic Emergency"

Ron Paul: "'Continuity of Government' - A Threat to the Constitution"

Mathew Rothschild: "Bush Anoints Himself as the Insurer of Constitutional Government in Emergency"

More information:

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Amy Goodman - Manufacturing Consent?

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now is on Link-TV now, in the intermission of Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent. She is talking about Muslims being discriminated against after 9/11. Yet she refuses to seriously question 9/11, even though the evidence of Muslim involvement is thin at best.

Why is that, Ms. Goodman? I cannot take your concern about Muslims seriously, knowing that you refuse to seriously address questions about 9/11, the reason for this discrimination.

Thanks a lot, Gerard Holmgren

I went to bask in the warm glow of 9/11 Truth tonight, and even paid $10 for it, and you ruined it. If only I had not read your paper, I would not have seen the doublethink in David Ray Griffin's presentation.

Bathed in his erudite eloquence, I could have been at one with the Movement, knowing that an argument blessed by the keeper of all things truthly could not contradict any other argument so blessed, so we could march on together toward the Truth. I could have stood and cheered with everyone else. Instead, I sat, appalled as Griffin talked about the empirical method yet went back and forth between a plane at the Pentagon and no plane at the Pentagon, stand-down one minute, faked phone calls the next, while also questioning whether planes were hijacked at all.

The low point of the evening was when Griffin got the audience to laugh at the government's story about Flight 93 disappearing into soft soil in Pennsylvania, then proceeded to assume without question that planes disappeared into hard buildings in New York.

There were other examples of doublethink, and not just related to the planes issue. Thanks to you, I will have to write more about them later.

And now you've done it to Morgan Reynolds, and are threatening to do it to Judy Wood.

How could you?

Thank you.

Friday, May 18, 2007

No Planes Counter Evidence

Here's a site that calls itself "9/11 Disinformation." It purports to offer evidence of planes hitting the World Trade Center towers. I've just started going through it, mainly just the photos. Nothing I've seen so far convinces me that real planes hit.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Boeing Debunked by Common Sense

by Genghis6199

And common sense "debunked" by Purdue on the Pentagon impact:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Screenshots of NIST's Flight 175 impact scenario

Below are screenshots of the first video here:

It is my understanding that this is an animation of NIST's Flight 175 / WTC2 impact analysis, still pictures of which were posted earlier at this blog.

I'm posting these for physicist "hsgsj", with whom I am engaged in argument about whether these images are physical, starting at the bottom of the below 911blogger page with the comment "Good thing this is not baseball. Strike five":

I think I'm still swinging, with one strike against me because he is correct that I misinterpreted the NIST report on tail deceleration.

Click for a larger view.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

NIST on the WTC2 impact

How does the aluminum fuselage penetrate the steel columns backed by the floors?

Why does the tail just disappear? [Not a good question, in retrospect. The claim made by the picture appears to be that the tail disintegrates at the entry hole.]

Thick as a Brick

This song is dedicated to those misguided souls that refuse to believe the received truth of the 9/11 Commission Report.


and from Brazil under the military government, where these words

could not be sung

More songs from this wonderful album:

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Guantanomo detainees not terrorists

The conservative U.S. attorney who finally won the release of the Chinese detainees has a theory that part of what's driving Administration secrecy at Guantanamo is sheer embarrassment at the nonthreatening nature of its detainees there. Not only are these people tortured, refused access to the evidence against them, and hidden from the world indefinitely at our government's whim, many of them also appear to be totally unconnected to terrorism or any plot against the United States or its citizens. Worse still, the fact that they are giving up so little information of any use has, perversely, prompted our government to use harsher and harsher interrogation techniques against its schlub captives.

The Progressive article links to a transcript of the radio show where attorney Sabin Willett makes these statements, beginning at the bottom of page 5.

Not only are they innocent until proven guilty, but for many if not most, there appears to be no probable cause for their continued detention. Habeas corpus is being denied to avoid embarrassment, and also to continue the propaganda of the Global War of Terror.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Madrid Steel Tower Fire

Much longer fires caused collapse of some floors, but not "global collapse."

Jeff King on the unphysical crash of Flight 175

The voice is Jeff King - I think the video is by Fred.