Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Can't Believe It's Not a Proper Inquest!! pt2

"The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made. Thank you, thank you. Now excuse me I've got an inquest to run..."

Years ago, shortly after 9/11, I was arguing with a work colleague about the blatant inconsistancies in the Official Narrative of that particular atrocity.

The miraculous fire-proof passports were high on my list of bullshit, as was the suggestion that the hijackers had been cramming 767 flight manuals in the airport car park on the morning of 9/11. I also had big issues with the story that at least some of alleged Muslim fanatics had got lagered up in the Pink Pony titty bar the night before their 'martyrdom operation

My colleague explained to me in the most patronising tone he could muster...

'But what you don't understand is that these Al Qaeda operatives are trained to blend in seamlessly into Western Culture'

Now, as it happens, he was the kind of seedy old sod who did frequent titty bars on business trips and probably does consider them to be the epitome of Western Culture, but that's by the by

My response to my colleague was

'Is there anything those men could have done that would have disproved that they were Al Qaeda terrorists?'

His answer was that they shouldn't have destroyed the Twin Towers

Basically, he already knew that they were guilty (because he had been told by the media that they were), and the details of anything they did before the attacks, however banal or contradictory to the notion that they were religious fanatics, was to be interpreted in that light

Once you adopt that kind of mindset absolutely anything a person you've identified as a criminal does will be damning proof of their guilt


Critical thinking clearly isn't as popular as it once was but, even so, it should still be fairly clear that theories which are phrased in a way that they can't ever be disproved, even if they are wrong, are not very useful theories at all

They are, however, the basis of much top quality comedy - including many a Marx Brothers routine, huge chunks of Catch-22 and the scene in Life of Brian where Brian denies that he's the Christ and is then informed that 'Only the True Messiah denies his divinity'

That which makes for top quality comedy does not, however, make for top quality inquests...

From the afternoon session on the 11th:

13 There is no evidence at all that we have seen to

14 suggest that the bombers were duped in some way so that

15 they did not know that they were going to die or, even

16 more absurdly, that they did not know that they were

17 carrying explosives at all. Indeed, such claims run

18 entirely contrary to all the evidence that I have

19 summarised so far.

20 It is right to say that the bombers were

21 surprisingly effective, it would seem, in concealing

22 their intentions from those around them. Tanweer played

23 cricket in the evening before putting the terrible plot

24 into effect and seemed more concerned, according to his

25 family, by the loss of his mobile phone.

You could write a longish essay exploring how many different flavours of intellectual dishonesty feature in the above extract from the 7/7 Inquest proceedings

but the short answer is, 'a lot'

A slightly longer answer can be found on the J7 Forum...

"This is utterly circular, and a complete nonsense.

The conclusion that there is no evidence that the alleged bombers were duped or otherwise unknowing suicide bombers is based on the assumption that they were entirely knowing. One piece of evidence that Tanweer was not a knowing, intentional suicide bomber (his playing cricket) is dressed up as evidence of the alleged 'concealing their intentions from those around them'. But this presumes that they were knowing, intentional suicide bombers, so the conclusion that there's no evidence of them being dupes or patsies is an implicit premise in analysing the very evidence that they were dupes or patsies.

When your conclusion is actually an implicit or explicit premise in your argument then your argument is circular. It also engages a certain degree of doublethink - evidence they weren’t guilty isn’t evidence they weren’t guilty, because we know they were guilty, and hence there’s no evidence they weren’t guilty.

This is a bloody pantomime. It not only presumes a desired conclusion, but seeks to refute 'conspiracy theories' by merely repeating the very thing the 'conspiracy theories' are questioning. It's like they've let the BBC's Conspiracy Files crew loose to carry out the inquests."



gyges said...

Stef reported,

"or, even
16 more absurdly, that they did not know that they were
17 carrying explosives at all.

But this is even more deceitful than it first appears.

Every, I mean every, that is every single law student in England and Wales is familliar with the case of Shivpuri.

This case is based upon the following facts, given to us by Lord Harwich,

"The facts plainly to be inferred from the evidence, interpreted in the light of the jury's guilty verdicts, may be shortly summarised. The appellant, on a visit to India, was approached by a man named Desai, who offered to pay him £1,000 if, on his return to England, he would receive a suitcase which a courier would deliver to him containing packages of drugs which the appellant was then to distribute according to instructions he would receive. The suitcase was duly delivered to him in Cambridge. On 30 November 1982, acting on instructions, the appellant went to Southall station to deliver a package of drugs to a third party. Outside the station he and the man he had met by appointment were arrested. A package containing a powdered substance was found in the appellant's shoulder bag. At the appellant's flat in Cambridge, he produced to customs officers the
suitcase from which the lining had been ripped out and the remaining packages of the same powdered substance. In answer to questions by customs officers and in a long written statement the appellant made what amounted to a full confession of having played his part, as described, as recipient and distributor of illegally imported drugs. The appellant believed the drugs to be either heroin or cannabis. In due course the powdered substance in the several packages was scientifically analysed and found not to be a controlled drug but snuff or some similar harmless
vegetable matter.

In other words, not knowing about carrying explosives, to every single law student, solicitor, barrister, judge, and law lord is not absurd. It's not absurd because they are all, every last one of them, familliar with Shivpuri. (You've got to know the case to pass your criminal law exams).

Stef said...


I was unaware of that, arguably rather important, point of law

Like I said the scope of the intellectual dishonesty already being displayed in some of the proceedings is profound

The nature of the rhetoric being permitted in the Inquest and the utterly banal nature of some of the material being presented as 'evidence' is already more in keeping with a show trial, intended to bolster a pre-determined narrative, rather than a sincere investigation

Anonymous Coward said...

I've always found the fireproof passport argument to be flawed. It's a straw man that could easily be knocked down by pointing out that someone walking across hot coals doesn't necessarily have burnt feet.

However, the convenience of the passport being found so quickly under such circumstances is far more suspicious!

Stef said...

...Finally, out of sheer fascination with this circular method of creative delusion, the rational sceptic will allow them to get away with this loop, in order to move on to the next question, and see what further delights await us in the unraveling of this marvelously stupid story. "Uh, how come their passports survived fiery crashes that completely incinerated the planes and all the passengers? " The answer of course is that it's just one of those strange co-incidences, those little quirks of fate that do happen from time to time. You know, like the same person winning the lottery four weeks in a row. The odds are astronomical, but these things do happen...

Anonymous Coward said...

Stef, all I was saying was that it was possible for a passport to survive reasonably intact due to the speed at which it would have been travelling ~500mph. The chances of finding one of the hijackers' passports **so quickly** is be the bit that I find highly suspect.

This is a little O/T, but I believe that site you posted still carries the 'fat bin laden' fallacy which was debunked ages ago. Something to do with ntsc/pal conversion and video aspect ratios.

Stef said...

A link does not necessarily equate to an endorsement. I just enjoyed that particular turn of phrase ;)

Your point about the speed at which the passport was found being more improbable than the passport surviving may be so.

Or maybe not

Intuition can be a deceptive beast

But, as it happens, these two improbable occurrences are not mutually exclusive so I choose the product of both