October 22, 2008

Scholars for 9-11 Truth & Justice Misrepresented in Draft Bill Sent to 8 House Members

Scholars for 9-11 Truth & Justice Misrepresented in Draft Bill Sent to 8 House Members

By Arabesque

Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice has published a press release in response to an article posted at OpEdNews. According to this OpEdNews article, the authors included:

[Three] Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice: Barry Ball, Barbara G. Ellis, Ph.D., and Warren Pease... Their draft bill took months of research, discussion, and writing before the final draft was sent for review and changes to Hirschhorn and 22 nationally recognized experts either on the 9/11 event or renown in the scientific and technological fields about the collapses.
The OpEdNews article is noteworthy due to its inclusion of discredited 9/11 theories in a draft bill sent to 8 house members. In fact, according to a prominent member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice, he was previously contacted about the draft of the bill but declined supporting the bill because it, "[Called] for investigation into a number of long-discredited theories including DEW, pods, mini-nukes, pancaking and steel 'dustification.'" The Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice press release explains:
...On October 18, 2008, an OpEdNews article titled, "8 House Members View Draft Bill on Independent Science/Tech Probe of WTC 1, 2, 7 Collapses," was published by four members of the group Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice (STJ911.org). The authors of the article and draft bill are not spokespersons for Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice, and therefore are individually responsible for it.

Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice does not endorse the draft bill due to the inclusion of numerous unscientific claims and misrepresentations, and condemns in the strongest of terms any associations between the organization and the claims presented by the authors of this bill. As stated at the front page of their website, Scholars for 9-11 Truth and Justice "take[s] care to present the strongest, most credible research available..."

While in agreement with the authors of this bill that a new investigation into the tragic events of September 11, 2001 is warranted, representatives of the Scholars group note that the draft bill and article lack basic scientific rigor and credibility, with statements such as, "the entire WTC [complex] was destroyed by directed energy weaponry (DEW)," and the ideas that "nuclear materials, missiles or DEW weapons were used." The sister publication of the Scholars group, The Journal of 9/11 Studies (http://www.journalof911studies.com/), has numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles refuting such claims.

Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice believes that a much better bill can be crafted using the strong analysis in articles by its members, several of which are recently published in scientific journals, including The Open Civil Engineering Journal, The Environmentalist, and the Journal of Engineering Mechanics.

Kevin Ryan, a former Underwriters Laboratories (UL) manager who was fired in 2004 for publicly questioning the NIST report, and a committee member of the Scholars' group, says the bill is harmful to the cause of exposing the truth. "Basically," he said, "asking Congress to investigate many poorly defined, and highly implausible hypotheses minimizes the chances that Congress would be willing or able to investigate the actual evidence for the demolition of three WTC buildings." In fact, the bill also omits any mention of the 9/11 Family Steering Committee, which provided hundreds of questions left unanswered by the 9/11 Commission.

Scholars' member Dr. Steven E. Jones, a Professor of Physics, also notes that statements attributed to him in the bill are "errors . . . misrepresenting my published statements." Dr. Jones goes on to say, "It is unacceptable to misrepresent my views, as is done in this document by Ellis et al., and to ignore my published technical papers in established journals."

Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice is a non-partisan organization of over 500 independent researchers analyzing the September 11, 2001 attacks with a strong emphasis on the scientific method.

Clearly, the bill in its present form can only serve to discredit the 9/11 truth movement and its research; including writings published in peer reviewed journals. The inclusion of theories that have been exhaustively critiqued in the Journal of 9/11 studies and widely rejected by the vast majority of the 9/11 truth movement can only serve to discredit. However, a more credible bill could be conceivably crafted to detail the research of Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice, as well as inclusion of the unanswered questions by the Family Steering Committee.

This is not the first time that discredited theories widely rejected by the vast majority of the 9/11 truth movement have been presented to represent the 9/11 truth movement by association to U.S. government officials. For example, a 2007 press release by attorney Jerry Leaphart discussing a return for correction to NIST explained:

"Prof. Morgan Reynolds, with various evidence, challenges the assumption that large jet planes hit the towers... Dr. Wood, concludes from her study, that some type of Directed Energy Weapon was used to destroy most of the WTC buildings."
Reynolds' document entitled "What Planes?" asserts that video footage of the attacks on the World Trade Center were "simply based on impossible physics, rather like a 'Road Runner' or 'Tom and Jerry' cartoon". As already mentioned, many of these claims have been exhaustively discredited in the Journal of 9/11 studies, but these authors persist in their promotion of these discrediting claims. James Gourley explains:

"It's called discrediting by association... You've got these people saying that real planes didn't hit the WTC towers at all in their submission... That only discredits the rest of us, regardless of what the real motive behind it is."
What was particularly noteworthy about the NIST return for correction by Judy Wood and Morgan Reynolds is that it shortly preceded a submission by a "group of scientists, researchers and 9/11 family members" which challenged official reports of the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11, with "a Request for Correction (RFC) with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)." When NIST finally replied to this request for correction, they stated that they were "unable to provide a full explanation of the total collapse".

This latest article which associates discredited claims with the 9/11 truth movement and Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice has the similar function of discrediting by association, regardless of intent.