My Correspondences with Richard Greene of Air America
May 14, 2008
I am deeply dismayed to learn that you are using your radio show "Clout!" to air the views of some of the most disturbed and delusional members of the 9/11 "truth movement." I hope you've made this choice because you are unaware of what these people actually claim and their despicable behavior towards particular 9/11 victims (and towards anyone who presents them with factual refutations of their claims).
These people fabricate claims that are beyond absurd and that are an insult to the 9/11 victims, their families, the witnesses, and the investigators. As I will show, these claims are so extreme that they're only supported by a small minority of people in the 9/11 truth movement. If you doubt that these false claims are offensive to those who were involved in the events, I urge you to read this message to a Pentagon "no-planer" (like those you plan to host) from a 9/11 survivor.
I am especially concerned because you seem to have handed the invitation process for this series of shows to one of the most bizarrely troubled of all "truthers," Kevin Barrett. Barrett acting as producer means that the most important potential guests will not be invited: the 9/11 witnesses and victims who your upcoming guests say are liars or dupes. Shouldn't your audience be able to hear the stories of the people who were involved to judge who is honest and who is lying?
I believe that people who have the airwaves at their disposal have an obligation not to knowingly spread misinformation, especially when that misinformation is harmful to crime victims. I hope you share that belief, and I hope you will take me up on this offer: I invite you to submit your greatest concerns about 9/11 to me. I promise to take your questions seriously, to respond to each with detailed, verifiable information, and if I do not know an answer I will consult with experts who do. I can't promise that you will like my answers, but I can promise that they will be honest, intelligent, and evidence-based.
I do have a policy of not engaging in debates with people who are clearly mentally ill: a category which your three upcoming guests certainly fit, as I will show below. All of their claims are demonstrably false. I am eager to know why you feel these people have any credibility at all. Your next 9/11 show is to be about claims that flight 77 did not hit the Pentagon. This claim is dismissed by all but a hardcore few in the 9/11 "truth" community. Some results from a late-2007 poll sent by a truther only to other self-described 9/11 truth activists:
Which of these theories do you think ARE strongly supported by evidence?
Flight 77 didn't hit the Pentagon 17%
Flight 77 flew over the Pentagon while a missile or bomb did the damage 2% (This is the claim that your upcoming guests make.)
Black box data from one or more flights was faked 11%
Faked phone calls from planes 6%
Please name the three theories promoted by TM members that you think have been most damaging in terms of public perception of the movement. Rank them from most to least damaging.
1) No plane at Pentagon, 39%
2) No planes at WTC, 32%
3) Pod theory, 14%
Which of the above videos that you've seen would you be least likely to recommend to others?
Top choice: The Pentacon (Craig Ranke – Citizen's Investigation Team) (Poll, page 3, questions 59, 61, 65, and 77 )
Note that only two percent of truth activists believe that your upcoming guests' main claim is strongly supported by evidence. This places those claims on the very fringe of the fringe.
Some information about your upcoming guests:
Craig Ranke, AKA "Lyte Trip" – "Citizen's Investigation Team"
Mr. Ranke believes that Flight 77's flight data recorder (FDR), which was recovered in the Pentagon, shows that the plane's flight path does not put it in line to hit the Pentagon. This claim about the FDR is false, as you can learn here. He claims that flight 77 narrowly missed the Pentagon, skimmed over it, and flew away, never to be seen or heard from again. Of course this claim is absurd, since hundreds of reliable witnesses in the immediate area saw the plane hit the building and no one anywhere saw the Boeing 757 skim over the Pentagon at over 500 mph and go careening around Arlington, Washington, DC., or anywhere else. And, of course, all the physical evidence, the DNA, etc. say that flight 77 hit the building.
To check his claim, Mr. Ranke interviewed some witnesses. When these people told him that they did indeed see flight 77 hit the Pentagon, rather than adjusting his beliefs to match reality, Mr. Ranke took the remarkable step of claiming that these people are either undercover government agents or victims of an insidious government mind-control program.
Mr. Ranke interviewed Father Stephen McGraw, a Catholic priest. Father McGraw was in his car when flight 77 passed directly over it, hitting a lamppost that nearly killed the driver of a car next to him. Father McGraw saw flight 77 hit the Pentagon and tended to victims. He told Mr. Ranke this. Here is Mr. Ranke's response:
"Father Stephen McGraw is a prime candidate for a deep cover agent. What could possibly be a more cush job that would leave you plenty of time for clandestine covert operations than a priest?"
Not crazy enough? Here's what Mr. Ranke says about Lloyd England, the taxi driver who was nearly killed when the severed light pole mentioned above impaled his windshield:
"At this point the notion that Lloyd was under some sort of mind-control or hypnosis on that day simply cannot be easily dismissed. ...He offered to take us to go look at the cab in the country but we simply didnt have the time and frankly I wouldnt have gone anyway!"
Yes, there's more. One witness was TV reporter Mike Walter, who was kind enough to host Mr. Ranke for a barbecue while he recounted his 9/11 experience. Walter described the flight path of the American Airlines jet and its impact into the Pentagon. Mr. Ranke's conclusion?
"He may very well be an intelligence operative that was deep cover for the official story and was literally wooing us to keep tabs and soften the official account by befriending us and inviting us into his home."
See Mike Walter's response to these absurd truther claims, and how truthers have deliberately misrepresented his statements, in this brief video: "Yes, I saw an American Airlines jet hit the Pentagon."
Richard, why not contact Father McGraw and Mike Walter and ask if they'd care to confront their accuser?
Mr. Ranke also interviewed a few people who described flight 77's path as being slightly north of a Citgo gas station. It's hardly surprising that some people's recollection of the exact position of the speeding plane would not be perfect after six years. To Mr. Ranke, this is conclusive proof that flight 77 didn't hit the Pentagon. The problem? These people did see the airliner hit the Pentagon, and confirmed that with Mr. Ranke. His conclusion: since flight 77 cannot have hit the Pentagon, these people are lying or confused.
My website contains many detailed accounts of the impact of American flight 77 into the Pentagon. To Mr. Ranke, all these people are lying or are the victims of an insidious government mind control program. He also believes that jet contrails are not frozen water vapor but are poisons that governments worldwide spray on their citizens for some unknown reason (presumably those who are not to suffer the effects of the poison are given a vaccine).
Richard, do you now think that Mr. Ranke is a suitable guest for your program and a credible spokesman for "truth?"
Robert Balsamo, AKA "John Doe X," "JDX" – "Pilots for 9/11 Truth"
Mr. Balsamo, a former regional airline pilot who says he no longer flies due to health reasons, wants me dead. Twice he has challenged me to debate him, and when I immediately accepted (prior to my decision not to engage with people who were clearly mentally ill), he fled from his own challenge. He then twice (over several months) publicly said that I should be executed as a traitor – although he's never shown that I've gotten a single thing wrong, much less somehow committed a traitorous act. I hope you'll agree that this is hardly the behavior expected of someone who continually claims to be the head of a "professional" organization. When I tried to present factual rebuttals to his claims on his forum, he banned me.
Like Mr. Ranke, Mr. Balsamo thinks the information on flight 77's FDR is wrong (by the way, the information for several flights was recorded on that unit, not only for the 9/11 flight). As mentioned above he is wrong, as has been demonstrated by people who have designed, maintained, and tested aviation sensing and recording equipment. He's also falsified data, thinking he wouldn't be caught. He was.
How does Mr. Balsamo deal with what he believes is an important discovery? Does he present it to experts in flight recorder analysis, avionics, or law enforcement? No, he puts it on DVDs for sale, which he promotes on crackpot shows like that hosted by Alex Jones and the raging anti-Semite and Holocaust denier Hesham Tillawi.
Mr. Balsamo has no respect for Chick Burlingame and David Charlebois, the pilots of American flight 77, who were murdered by the terrorists. But he does have a fantasy about how he would have singlehandedly defeated the five hijackers (grammar and punctuation his):
"If hes trying to take over my ship. .and all he has is a boxcutter? Im gonna grab my crash axe and chop him up... while tossing fire extingushers to passengers. .you? Or do you cower and say.. "Please dont cut me Mr. Big Bad Terrorist"
I asked Mr. Balsamo for a list of the other things he feels he could accomplish while being murdered, but he never replied. It should be noted that of all the passenger descriptions of the hijackers' weapons, only one mentioned boxcutters. The others mentioned knives. Not that it matters: a boxcutter is a deadly weapon in determined hands, and the pilots were strapped in their seats.
What does Mr. Balsamo think happened to flight 77?
"It would be very easy for this aircraft to blast over the Pentagon, bank hard left, head up the river, and the people on the east side of the river Downtown DC were on chaos evacuating downtown DC."
Very easy? Yet somehow the hundreds of people who were watching the plane (including air traffic control) missed that, and none of the hundreds of thousands of people who would have been along Balsamo's imagined flight path saw flight 77 either. Further, at the speed and direction it was traveling, such a maneuver would have put it directly over the Washington Mall, and likely the White House. The evacuation of buildings in downtown D.C. didn't begin until after the Pentagon attack.
Not crazy enough? Then look at what Mr. Balsamo thinks may have caused the damage to the Pentagon:
"Its very possible the attack on the pentagon was some type of bombing run with some type of MOAB."
Balsamo makes that claim based on the fact that the crew of a National Guard C-130 transport flying over Arlington was asked to look out for flight 77 as it approached from the west. A MOAB is a 30-foot-long, 22,000 lb. bomb that's pulled from the cargo bay of a C-130 by a large parachute. It is the largest conventional bomb in the U.S. inventory, was not invented until after 9/11, and would destroy an area the size of six football stadiums with its high explosive detonation.
Richard, why not contact National Guard Lt. Col. Steve O'Brien, the pilot of that C-130. He saw flight 77, and he and his crew are quite sure they did not drop a huge bomb on the Pentagon. If you're going to have Mr. Balsamo on, this man who serves his country honorably deserves the chance to confront his accuser, don't you think?
Mr. Balsamo and Mr. Ranke's hypothesis would also come as quite a surprise to Frank Probst, who was standing on the Pentagon lawn and had to dive to the ground so flight 77's right engine didn't decapitate him. His coworker Don Mason saw this happen from his car on route 27. Richard, you're interested in the truth. Why don't your actual producers contact Mr. Probst and Mr. Mason so they can set Mr. Balsamo and "Pilots for 9/11 Truth" straight? Lord knows Mr. Balsamo, Mr. Ranke, and Mr. Barrett won't be contacting them.
During interviews Mr. Balsamo makes numerous other false claims, such as that no luggage or airline seats were found at the Pentagon. Richard, why don't your producers contact Army Staff Sergeant and rescue specialist Mark Williams or Virginia Beach Fire Department Captain Jim Ingledue, who did see airline seats with passengers strapped to them in the Pentagon? If Mr. Balsamo gets the chance to make his ignorant claims on your show, shouldn't these first responders have the chance to report what they experienced?
The "Core Members" of Mr. Balsamo's "professional" pilot's group – the ones he's most proud of – include a man who believes all the 9/11 planes were holograms and who thinks that extraterrestrials and the U.S. government jointly run a huge underground facility where UFO abductees are experimented on; and a man who says that all airliners are wired with remote-controllable explosives and who believes that "racketeering-influenced sponsors of Hillary Clinton, hired the Boeing Company to adapt Iridium/Thuraya satellite communications into a virtual private assassination ('Arkancide') network and trigger 'Trilaminar Unabombs' as used on 9/11."
Richard, is it still your opinion that Mr. Balsamo's views deserve wide exposure through your show?
Kevin Barrett, anti-Semite, Holocaust denier, Muslim-sponsored terrorism denier, and head of the "Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth"
Like Mr. Balsamo, Mr. Barrett is consumed by violent, paranoid fantasies of revenge against his imagined enemies, including me. Barrett accuses me of traitorous acts and wants me dead. Also like Mr. Balsamo, he has never pointed out anything I've gotten wrong. I thought I was special for deserving Mr. Barrett's fantasy of murder, but then he continued to talk about 9/11, and it turned out that he thinks that all of his perceived enemies should be executed, including every member of the mainstream press:
"I think that anybody who has drawn a paycheck from the major mainstream journalistic outlets in the past should be up on the scaffold for the crimes of high treason and crimes against humanity." http://mp3.wtprn.com/Barrett07.html
Barrett runs a website where he publishes the addresses of people he thinks should be confronted at home.
Believing that free speech belongs to him but not to others, Barrett interrupts a lecture to shout about 9/11 and is booed out of the auditorium.
Here, Barrett confronts lefty journalist Amy Goodman at an event, then asks her to sign Holocaust denier Eric Hufschmid's 9/11 book. Later, Barrett says of Goodman,
"Amy, you will one day find yourself on the scaffold, condemned to hang alongside the other Goebbels-style traitors and mass-murder-coverup-conspirators from the corporate media you pretend to criticize. They, at least, make no pretense of being anything but shills for the powers that be--which makes your crime infinitely worse than theirs. Your silence and lies about 9/11 have murdered over half a million Iraqis and destroyed Constitutional governance in the USA. Amy Goodman, je t'accuse -- et je te condemne!"
Not crazy enough for you?
About Noam Chomsky, the leftist who vehemently disagrees with the 9/11 truthers, Barrett says,
"If he convinces even one person to do something other than work for 9/11 truth, he may as well have personally murdered all 6 billion people on Earth."
"Cheney may be the worst mass murderer and traitor not just in US history, but in the history of the world."
Not crazy enough for you? This letter I sent to Mr. Barrett in 2006 will give you a good sample of his views on truth, 9/11, Jews, and terrorism. I sent it again to him last week, but he still hasn't answered my questions:
Dr. Barrett, I have my checkbook out and and am ready to write what I hope is the first of many $1,000 annual MUJCA "Benefactor" checks.
There are just a few things I'd like to know before I send my payment.
1) I notice that the first words on the MUJCA website are a quote from Exodus: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."
Yet you call Larry Silverstein a traitor, a mass murderer, and an insurance fraudster.
When I asked you by email for evidence of these crimes, you refused to provide it and said that I would be executed alongside Mr. Silverstein. You said that you were saving my emails to be used as evidence against me at my trial.
Why did you say those things?
2) On your website, you say about Larry Silverstein,
"9/11 insurance-fraudster Larry Silverstein, like the Poe narrator, was apparently confounded by the noise of his own lying heartbeat when he confessed on national TV to making "a decision to pull (WTC-7)...and we made that decision to pull, and we watched the building collapse."
When I asked you, more than once, to fix that glaring error and provided the actual Silverstein quote,
"I remember getting a call from the fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, 'We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.' And they made that decision to pull and then we watched the building collapse."
You refused to make that simple, but very important correction. Of course it was the FDNY who decided to pull its men away from building 7, as Chief of Operations Daniel Nigro makes clear: "The biggest decision we had to make was to clear the area and create a collapse zone around the severely damaged [WTC 7] building. A number of fire officers and companies assessed the damage to the building. The appraisals indicated that the building's integrity was in serious doubt." [Fire Engineering magazine, 10/2002]"
Why do you refuse to correct that error?
3) You said that Larry Silverstein hasn't built anything at Ground Zero. When I pointed out to you the 52-story WTC building 7, which opened in May, 2006, you refused to correct your error. Why?
Regarding the issues I raised above, do you not think that you are bearing false witness against Larry Silverstein? Please put my mind at ease.
4) About video analysis of the WTC collapses you said, "Scientists aren't necessarily the best people to look at this footage and understand what they are seeing." Do you believe that?
5) On your radio show you said, "Every single bombing of a mosque or a market in Iraq has been done by false flag terrorism. There are no indigenous Muslim resistance people doing that."
Please provide the evidence to back this claim. My check-writing hand is raring to go!
6) Of the film "United 93" you said, "Flight 93 [sic] is a Goebbels-style propaganda flick designed to incite war crimes. The people who made it should be put on trial."
Can you be more specific about exactly what laws were broken by the makers of "United 93" and what court or tribunal should hear the case? Will you be presenting your evidence against them to a prosecutor? Finally, do you think the filmmakers have been successful at inciting war crimes?
7) Of the NIST report on WTC 1 and 2 you said, "I haven’t read the whole thing I doubt if anyone ever has or will."
Yet I have read the whole thing, and I know that you mischaracterize its conclusions. I suggest that you at least read the NIST FAQ and the executive summaries of the reports.
8) When people ask you to correct your factual errors, you compare them to Nazis, government agents, cultists, and traitors. Why do you do that?
9) Why did you say that it's a "Zionist Big Lie" that the "Germans hated the Jews for no reason."
10) Why did you say "the Holocaust as it is taught in the US is a hideously destructive myth"?
11) Why did you name one of the most egregious white-supremicist neo-Nazis, Ernst Zundel, as someone whose work deserves consideration? In case you've forgotten about Zundel's work, here's a quote by him:
"Wherever we look, we White people find ourselves besieged by peoples of other races who compete aggressively against us for jobs, food, housing, education and above all -- power! The Jews are particularly adept at seizing or insinuating themselves into strategic positions in our society where they wield power far beyond the extent of their numbers....Through us, the White majority of Europe and America, the Jewish minority have obtained their advantages, including their Israel, their Federal Reserve, their World Bank and their International Monetary Fund. In exchange for these advantages, the Jews give us -- their White hosts -- wars, depressions, inflation, unemployment, energy shortages, higher and higher taxes and air piracy. Like sheep, they expect us to go down the road with them -- all the way to the kosher slaughterhouse. We White people of America have done nothing so far which would frustrate the Jews' expectations or their ambitions of becoming the world's slavemasters."
Dr. Barrett, if you will give me evidence that you are not bearing false witness against your neighbors, including me, and not supporting anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, I'll get that check right out to you.
I'm sure you appreciate my desire to know that you're not just another hate-obsessed nutjob who's filled with violent fantasies of revenge against his imagined enemies.
Your friend and hopeful benefactor,
Richard, you may be wondering why, if these people's ideas are self-debunking (and they are), I'm taking the time to protest their scheduled appearance on your show. In fact, this is the most time that I've spent on anything 9/11-related in months, which is in line with the public's decline in interest in truther claims since September, 2006. When we look at the top 9/11 truther websites, we see that they have not achieved the growth in interest that they predicted:
Source: Alexa. Websites: 911blogger.com, 911truth.org, 911research.wtc7.net, Loosechange911.com, ae911truth.org
All but one of these sites receives less traffic than smurf.com. Smurfs are the blue cartoon characters that were popular in the 1980s. 911blogger.com recently announced that it was inviting discussion about other conspiracy theories, perhaps influenced by their poll that showed that 36% of 9/11 truth activists became involved in 2006 but only 9% in 2007. That corresponds to the poll I mentioned above, which shows that only 9% of activists planned on being more involved in 9/11 activities, while 53% planned on being less involved.
That's all well and good as far as I'm concerned, since the 9/11 "truth" movement has never produced a shred of evidence to support its claims.
But the reason I'm writing to you is simple, and I think quite important. You claim to be hosting weekly shows that examine the truth about 9/11. Yet you've invited a bunch of paranoid, delusional, lying creeps, who should be an utter embarrassment to rational people, to represent that "truth." And you have apparently not invited the people who were actually involved in the events of 9/11. Why? Isn't this the opposite of what a truth seeker should do?
Richard, most people listen to your show on affiliates of Air America. Don't the thousands of victims, their families, the witnesses, and the investigators – people who live with the aftereffects of 9/11 every day – deserve better than to have their stories abused and denied on the air by a handful of loons?
Now that you know more about them, I hope you'll agree with me that it is irrational and unethical to give these sad characters the attention they crave. They need quality mental health care, not a platform that encourages their despicable behavior.
Richard Greene was good enough to reply right away. He reiterated that he thought that radio was a good venue for this debate, and he generously offered to accommodate my policy of not engaging with mentally ill no-planers by interviewing me separately during the Pentagon show. My response:
Thanks for your reply, Richard, and for your offer of a separate interview, but I don't think I made my point clear:
There is nothing to debate.
No rational people dispute the fact that flight 77 hit the Pentagon: not, as you suggest, the Jersey Girls, and hardly any 9/11 truthers. Even Dylan Avery has stopped making that utterly absurd claim.
The thousands of people who were involved in that attack, as victims, witnesses, and investigators, are greatly offended by armchair revolutionaries who say that what they lived is a fiction. Since early 2007 I've had the policy of not engaging with people who claim that the four 9/11 airliners did not crash where they did. I think that's a rational, principled position to take.
I believe it is deeply unethical to broadcast and perpetuate the 9/11 claims of a few kooks, especially when these people have directly accused 9/11 victims, witnesses, and investigators of cowardice and lying. There is absolutely no justification for giving these people the attention they crave. It serves no rational cause. None.
Further, these people will never get the help they need if their fantasies and their disparaging of victims are encouraged. For that reason, I believe that giving them this attention is doubly unethical. That this encouragement should come from someone who calls himself a progressive is, frankly, embarrassing to me. I think of progressives as people who are sensitive to social issues (and – heck – to health care issues).
Richard, are you really okay with being a mouthpiece for:
–A guy who says that witnesses to the Pentagon attack are government agents or victims of a mind-control program, and that all physical evidence of the plane and its passengers was faked;
–A guy who publicly calls for the death of a critic and who thinks that flight 77 may have zipped around over Washington, D.C. while a cargo plane dropped a huge bomb on the Pentagon, and who also believes that all physical evidence of flight 77 and its passengers was faked;
–An anti-Semitic Holocaust-denying failed Muslim, who says that all people he doesn't like should be executed, that the creators of the movie United 93 should be tried for war crimes, and that all suicide attacks in Iraq are the work of U.S. government "false flag" agents and not of Muslims?
If you were serious about presenting the truth about 9/11, you'd be asking the people who were involved – the people whose names are dragged through the mud by your upcoming guests – to be on your show, not people like me and the truthers. It saddens me to see that you're not interested in broadcasting the experiences of the people who were there.
My offer to you stands: if you care to put your greatest concerns about the events of 9/11 to me, I will give them all my attention. The radio, unfortunately, is not the venue for the great amount of detailed information that needs to be conveyed. It's fantastic for truthers, because they can fling torrents of fabricated claims, and when cornered about one, they panic and switch to another, and another, and then it's time for a commercial break. Rationalists have it much harder. Our statements have to make sense and to be backed by evidence. I liken this situation to a child throwing jars of grape jelly at the wall. It takes half a second to fling each jar, but it takes a long time for the responsible adult to clean up each mess.
Again, I urge you to reconsider the wisdom of giving these few deeply disturbed people a platform. If not, you can't say you don't have tough questions to ask them, and a place to go for answers.
May 15, 2008
This is something I had meant to mention in my long email yesterday. Since you have not invited the people who were involved in the Pentagon attack or its investigation to speak for themselves and to confront their accusers (your guests), I think the least you can do is read some of their accounts on the air. Here are some suggestions (taken from page 1 of the Pentagon section of my website):
Of course, many of the first responders were not trained at rescue, but were Pentagon workers who displayed extraordinary courage that day. One of them was Army Captain (now Major) Lincoln Liebner, who entered the burning building four times to effect rescues, was taken to the hospital, then returned to the Pentagon that afternoon to his job in the Cable Office. First, he saw flight 77 hit the building:
"I was just about to make my turn up the sidewalk towards one of the entrances when I heard jet engines. It was not the normal jet track into National Airport, which is very, very different. I turned my head about maybe 90 degrees towards the sound of the engines, which were very loud. I fully expected to see A-10s or F-15s or something, and I saw the American Airlines airplane coming down. I watched the entire terminal descent into the building. It's probably the loudest noise I ever heard in my life. I have heard artillery very close. I have heard rock concerts, but nothing came close to that noise. I watched the entire airplane go into the building.
"...Even at this point, I don't believe the Secretary [Rumsfeld] was confident that, in fact, a civilian airliner had hit the building. I think they still speculated about a bomb, a cruise missile, a small aircraft, but I was glad I was able to give useful information. I told them the plane came in full throttle, level, flaps up, wheels up, wasn't crashed into the building, was flown into the building.
"The Secretary was essentially incredulous, but, then again, maybe that was just his manner. He asked me if I was sure. And as I said, I was close enough to look into the windows of the airplane as it flew past. There was no doubt in my mind what I had seen." Read more of Liebner's dramatic story here (PDF). And here.
Frank Probst, an information management specialist for the Pentagon Renovation Program, left his office trailer near the Pentagon's south parking lot at 9:36 a.m. Sept. 11. Walking north beside Route 27, the 6'2" Vietnam Veteran looked up, directly into the right engine of a 757 commercial airliner cresting the hilltop Navy Annex. It reached him so fast and flew so low that Probst dropped to the ground, fearing he'd lose his head to its right engine. "Had I not hit the deck, the plane would have taken off my head." Source
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant and Collapse Rescue Expert Mark Willams: "When Williams discovered the scorched bodies of several airline passengers, they were still strapped into their seats. The stench of charred flesh overwhelmed him.
'It was the worst thing you can imagine,' said Williams, whose squad from Fort Belvoir, Va., entered the building, less than four hours after the terrorist attack. 'I wanted to cry from the minute I walked in. But I have soldiers under me and I had to put my feelings aside.' " Source
"I did see airplane seats and a corpse still strapped to one of the seats."
–Capt. Jim Ingledue, Virginia Beach Fire Dept. Source
One of the major claims made by your upcoming guests is that the plane's "official" flight path as it approached the Pentagon is not correct. Flight 77's altitude and true flight path are easily established by the five light poles it hit. Some of the many witnesses to those events:
Steve Riskus: "I could see the "American Airlines" logo...It knocked over a few light poles in its way."
Mark Bright: "...at the height of the street lights. It knocked a couple down."
Mike Walter: "...it clipped one of these light poles ... and slammed right into the Pentagon right there. It was an American Airlines jet."
Afework Hagos: "It hit some lampposts on the way in."
Kat Gaines: "saw a low-flying jetliner strike the top of nearby telephone poles."
D.S. Khavkin: "First, the plane knocked down a number of street lamp poles."
Wanda Ramey: "I saw the wing of the plane clip the light post, and it made the plane slant.
Penny Elgas: A piece of American Airlines Flight 77 was torn from the plane as it clipped a light pole. It landed in her car. Now in the Smithsonian Institution's 9/11 collection.
Lincoln Liebner: "It was probably about thirty feet off the ground, clipping the lampposts."
Richard, remember that there are zero witnesses who support your guests' idiotic claim that flight 77 flew over the Pentagon, not into it. Please show that you are not entirely insincere about wanting to air the "truth" about 9/11 by giving a voice to the people who were there, and who your guests say are liars or dupes.
During the show, I emailed Richard several times to remind him that he still had time to read some of the eyewitness testimony that I'd sent him. He chose not to do so. Afterwards, I sent him this email:
Now that I've calmed down, I just want to give one more example of how dishonest your truther guests are. Craig Ranke revealed his star witness to a supposed "Pentagon flyover": a security guard at the entrance to the south parking lot loading dock. Note that the witness doesn't say he saw a flyover or that he doesn't think flight 77 hit the building: that's purely Ranke taking his words out of context and misrepresenting them.
Now, look at the south parking lot loading dock:
The witness had a clear view of flight 77's flight path towards the building, which he describes perfectly: a silver, commercial plane, about 50 feet high, by the light poles (which are at the cloverleaf).
It would have been impossible for him to have seen a "flyover," since the wall of the Pentagon towered more than 70 feet over him and the plane would have been on the opposite side of the building.
I'd like your honest opinion of how you feel about promoting this disturbed man's "discovery," which once again consisted of utterly misusing the testimony of an eyewitness in uniform in order to claim the opposite of what that man told him.
By the way, had I known that David Ray Griffin was going to be a guest and would be given so much airtime, and that Ranke, Balsamo and Barrett would be given so little, I would have participated in the show.
I was going to go through the entire show and demonstrate to you why every single claim made by your truther guests is false (and often outrageously, absurdly so), but that will take more than a day. However, if you'd like to choose a few points made by your guests that you feel are most compelling, I will be glad to respond to them in detail.
Will you do so? I'll be glad to take the time to respond.
May 23, 2008
I didn't hear your show last night, but I understand that you said that I have been "discredited." Since neither you nor any or your guests has ever shown that I've gotten anything wrong, that claim is obviously false.
I notice that you did not reply to James Barrett's idea of hosting a debate between me and David Ray Griffin. Why is that? Won't it be a big boost to the "truth" movement to see one of the top debunkers discredited by "The absolute expert on the academic study of 9/11?"
I also note that you did not take me up on my offer to thoroughly answer any questions or concerns you have about 9/11.
Your comments about these things would be appreciated.
P.S. I have been posting my emails to you on my website. I'll be glad to post your response alongside.
May 23, 2008
You've mistaken me for your producer.
I asked in what way I have have been discredited. You gave none.
I challenge your "academic expert" to a debate, and will gladly restrict the topics to those he's comfortable with. Since he likes you and you him, your show would be an ideal format. Unlike the truthers, I am not afraid to appear with an unsympathetic host.
So, how about it? This tour guide doesn't need two hours to make Dr. Griffin''s competence and honesty apparent to all. If you really believe in him, you won't hesitate to recommend this challenge to him.
But you don't believe in him. The truth scares the hell out of you and you're terrified of having your hero exposed as a fraud. Prove me wrong.