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Old 7th February 2007, 10:10 PM   #393
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Inflationary Model, Part II

In a previous post, I introduced my "Inflationary Model of Conspiracy Theories," and explained why speculation that builds on other speculation is a poor way to develop a theory. It appears that A-Train hasn't understood or is ignoring this argument, though his postings here do show signs of losing steam. Let me then follow up by showing how his argument has followed this path, growing more and more fantastic over time.

Previously I showed how the hypothesis put forth by A-Train, namely that the hijackers on Sept. 11th were not Arabs at all, but in fact Israeli operatives going to great lengths to frame radical Islamic terrorists, had already gone through two inflationary steps of evolution. It began from this simple observation:
Observation 1: A few reports suggested guns might have been on the hijacked aircraft.
Which is an accepted fact. However, rather than stop there, his argument immediately began to inflate, involving more and more people and more and more members of the Conspiracy, as follows:
Observation 2: No gunfire was reported by passengers. Therefore, the guns must have had silencers.

(There is no recovered debris that suggests firearms or silencers. There are no reports of silencers. There is no evidence to suggest silencers whatsoever. The theory has inflated to require this additional piece of rare equipment to remain credible.)

Observation 3: Even with silencers, the CVR from Flight 93 would have recorded gunfire in the cockpit. Therefore, the CVR recording was altered when played back to relatives of the victims, and suppressed from the general public.

(There is no evidence other than amateur speculation that the CVR recording was altered. The theory has inflated to require members of the FBI or others to have willfully altered this information, and for many other people to have been fooled by the forgery.)
Since I exposed the flaws in this argument, A-Train's theory has continued to inflate, as seen in his last several posts:

Originally Posted by A-Train View Post
While I believe most of these folks are patriotic and loyal, I would not assume the same about our friend Michael Chertoff, a dual US-Israeli citizen who directed the investigation of 9/11 from his desk at the Justice Department. It would have been Chertoff who decided who handled the black boxes, and I'm sure he only assigned that privilege to a very small number of "trusted" associates.
(The theory has now inflated to include the very top of the investigation, Michael Chertoff, rather than merely a few technical individuals within the investigating organization. Needless to say, there is no evidence of this, either.)

Originally Posted by A-Train View Post
The only recovered CVR that is being withheld completely is the one from AAL77. It is not being withheld out of respect for the families of those who were recorded on the CVR, because none of the victims were recorded on that CVR. There is no excuse for the government not to release this information.
(The theory has inflated again, this time to include evidence from Flight 77 in addition to Flight 93. The theory requires that the Flight 77 CVR was also suppressed, thus a second investigating team is now part of the conspiracy. This excuse ignores that the Flight 77 CVR was trapped in the fire at the Pentagon, and CVR losses when exposed to lengthy and hot fires are completely ordinary.)

Originally Posted by A-Train View Post
I do not believe they ever made it to the cockpit. I believe they would have encountered poisonous gas in the middle of the plane which was put there to act as a barrier. This is the "mace or something" referred to in Betty Ong's recorded call. I don't believe there was ever a struggle for the cockpit. The only evidence we have of that is the CVR from UAL93, which I, like several members of the victims' families, believe had been tampered with.
(Only a slight inflation here, namely the "poisonous gas." The 9/11 Commission Report discusses use of irritants, things that could have plausibly been brought on board, but not actual poison that would be much more difficult to smuggle.)

Originally Posted by A-Train View Post
The conspirators made the decision to crash the plane into the ground long before any passenger revolt. They probably did so because of the long delay the plane took on the ground at EWR. To fly it all the way back to Manhattan or Washington DC would have made the NORAD stand-down too obvious, even for the most credulous.
(The theory inflates considerably to include NORAD into the conspiracy. The NORAD stand-down is not proven, in fact there is monumental evidence to the contrary, but the theory dismisses this without a single thought.)

Originally Posted by A-Train View Post
The purpose of the operation was to hijack planes and frame Arabs as fanatical, vicious culprits. They didn't need to necessarily crash all the planes into buildings to do this. They accomplished this quite well on UAL93. They performed the mock-Arab stage show on the plane, and the story of "Arab" fanatics stabbing women while wearing their red headbands, etc. was successfully relayed via the passengers' phone calls to an enraged America. All per the original plan. And they got the stirring story of American heroes to boot.

One more thing, though I hate to bring this up. You, like several others, are assuming this was a suicide mission. It probably was; but we should consider the possibility that it was not.
(There are two enormous inflations here. The first is to claim that the "hero story" of Flight 93, as determined by the 9/11 Commission, was predetermined, thus implying that the Commission members are also part of the conspiracy. The second is the "not a suicide mission" speculation -- his theory insists the hijackers had complete control of the aircraft and were obviously not so badly trained as to crash by accident, and now he claims that the "hero story" was planned. Thus he now entertains the possibility that the hijackers of Flight 93 are still alive, and whether they are or not, the passengers of Flight 93 are also now inducted into the conspiracy. As before, there is no evidence for any of this, and utterly incontravertible evidence that no one survived Flight 93.)

Originally Posted by A-Train View Post
Now we're getting somewhere. The attacks were clearly carried out with the support of a state apparatus, in my opinion.
(The theory inflates by another huge leap. Now A-Train is claiming "a state apparatus" was involved. This is no longer the work of a few rogue agencies within a nation, but the nation itself. I assume you can all guess what nation he is referring to in his insinuations.)

So there you have it. What was once an unsupported but vaguely imaginable conspiracy of a few suicide commandos has, upon questioning, become a vast and meticulously engineered plot involving multiple investigating agencies, NORAD, the 9/11 Commission, Cabinet-level executive Michael Chertoff, and an entire unspecified country that may or may not be in the Levant. What began with a single uncorroborated report of a possible firearm has grown to several firearms with silencers, poison gas, withheld or tampered CVRs, and an override of North American air defenses. And not one of these increasingly wild claims has the slightest support in physical evidence.

This theory is unstable. It is, therefore, not credible.

After a day's reflection, I have a corollary to my original formulation of the Inflationary Theory, namely its limiting case. A-Train's theory has not yet hit this limit, but it may do so soon. The limiting case is as follows:

RANT! The Inflationary Limit of Conspiracy Theories is reached when it requires those questioning the conspiracy theory to be a part of the conspiracy. This final excuse occurs because any alternate hypothesis, no matter how well it fits the known facts, is viewed as a threat to the conspiracy hypothesis. No further inflation is possible because, when this point is reached, any criticism is considered suspect -- thus encompassing the entire world outside the conspiracy hypothesis.

Conversely, reaching the Inflationary Limit logically implies that any alternate hypothesis is superior to the conspiracy hypothesis.

Therefore, a conspiracy theory that reaches the Inflationary Limit is by definition the worst of all possible hypotheses.

So, debunkers around the world, remember that the next time you are called a "shill" or a "disinfo agent." Unless they can back up that statement, such an accusation is logically equivalent to complete surrender.

It's a pity that logic is lost on the Troothers.
"Nothing real can defeat us. Nothing unreal exists." -B. Banzai

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