"Debunking CIT Debunking: An Answer to Jim Hoffman and Other Defenders of the South of Citgo Theory" by Kevin Barrett

Adam Syed's picture

From http://truthjihad.blogspot.com/2010/06/tales-of-hoffman.html

Recently, Ken Jenkins, a good friend and colleague, was a featured guest on my radio show to respond to criticism of 911blogger for censoring the Pentagon attack issue, specifically the work of Citizen Investigation Team (CIT).  While I told him I support the work of CIT he disagreed.  Here was the exchange:

Me: "[CIT's] research methodolgy does seem pretty good. I've looked at the critiques of it which are not nearly as convincing in my opinion"

And shortly after that, Mr. Jenkins said: "I actually respectfully disagree with you Kevin. I don't think CIT's uh research methodologies were impeccable in any way."

When I challenged him to show me why he thinks CIT's work is not stellar, he emailed me the following "slide show" by Jim Hoffman, which he asked me to critique:


Well, when I examined this, my first thought was: How could a sincere 9/11 truth supporter like Hoffman treat fellow 9/11 truth researchers, who have devoted a major part of their lives to this research, so harshly and deceitfully (as I will show)?  I see two possible answers:  He's either simply being irrational, or he's a case of cognitive infiltration, sent in to sow discord and turn people away from examining the evidence for themselves.

With regard to the claim that CIT has been aggressive or mean spirited toward their "critics:"  It is normal for pro-truth researchers and publicists, and anyone else, to defend themselves with ferocity against perceived unfair attacks; it is NOT normal for allegedly pro-truth people to launch unprovoked attacks against their pro-truth colleagues. Thus CIT is behaving normally, Hoffman abnormally.

The first page of this "summary" appears to be targeting emotions rather than reason, designed to malign the researchers.

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"Select and discard witnesses": So do all investigators--the question is on what basis. CIT began by trying to find ALL witnesses, quickly discovered what astounding things those with a good view of the flight path were saying, and then focused on those with the best views of the flight path.  This is exactly how they SHOULD select witnesses.  Those "discarded" (for purposes of investigating the flight path) are those who were not good flight path witnesses, mainly because of location, and in other cases due to extreme unreliability.  "Accusing" cab driver Lloyde England is a misnomer; England accuses himself through the massive internal and external contradictions in his testimony. (Have you actually watched the videos?!) And the idea that pro-official-story soundbites from the controlled media, aka the Ministry of Truth, constitute "witnesses" is bizarre--especially if those "witnesses" can't be found or won't talk. CIT's methods here -- sifting through witnesses and finding the credible ones whose stories match and getting them on tape -- are top notch in terms of what PIs or cops would do in seeking to solve a crime.

Speaking of which, I recently read Nick Bryant's The Franklin Scandal and was struck by the parallels. The criminals who covered up a monstrous pedophilia ring reaching up to the White House and CIA used exactly the deceptive methods employed here by Hoffman to malign the real investigators, notably Gary Caradori--and, incidentally, demonstrated 100% control of all relevant major media, including Nebraska's local conglomerate all the way up to the NY Times and Washington Post. Hoffman's methods are those of a clever defense attorney trying to get his obviously guilty client acquitted, by offering empty but slick "critique" along with vicious, deceptive smears against the real investigators and the information they unearthed--precisely the methods used against those seeking to expose the Franklin Scandal, who used taped interviews with witnesses in much the same way CIT has.  The parallels between CIT and its critics, and Caradori and his critics, go pretty far -- though nobody has had to kill the CIT guys, which I suppose is a very minor point against them. Instead they use character assassins like Hoffman.

"Crash witnesses irrelevant": While not entirely irrelevant, they're very close to it in terms of counting against the flyover theory. You don't have to actually run experiments, as somebody probably did, to know that a flyover and precisely timed explosion will cause almost all witnesses from the side of the approaching plane to assume a plane crash. You're probably aware that psychological research (and everyday experience at magic shows) strongly points in this direction.  And for those individuals who DID see a plane flying away, the propaganda juggernaut would easily convince them that they'd seen a second plane. CIT provides evidence in the following presentation demonstrating how they did just that: The Second Plane Cover Story

"Intimidate, harass, slander...."  Anyone launching an empty, mendacious attack (like this slide show) against sincere and highly accomplished researchers who have uncovered material this important is either irrational or an op.  Working under that assumption makes sense. Looking at the larger pattern -- we've seen the same kinds of vicious, distorted attacks against many of the most accomplished and talented 9/11 truth people by the same suspects -- the decision to fight back with no-holds-barred makes very good sense. Remember, NO SANE, SINCERE PRO-TRUTH CRITIC WOULD EVER BE THIS HARSH ON FELLOW 9/11 RESEARCHERS. EVER. A genuine critique would be balanced, tempered, and (with work
as important as CIT's) mostly congratulatory, with the critique part being "more research is necessary on aspects X, Y and Z."
  Hoffman's kind of bogus "critique" is 100% destructive, just like his unsuccessful attempts to stop Loose Change and In Plane Site from reaching millions of people and bringing tens of thousands of them into the movement. When ScrewLooseChange does this, we are entitled to wonder whether or not they're operatives. They could just be true believers of the official story.  But Hoffman, or anybody else who claims to be pro-truth, simply would not act so viciously and deceptively if he really were a rational 9/11 truth supporter. Therefore, the prima facie supposition is that he must be irrational or an op.  When such people buy up 911blogger and run it with complete opacity, we are entitled to be suspicious.

"Public accusations of disinfo": That's exactly what Hoffman is doing here to CIT -- the difference is that CIT's research and arguments are good, while Hoffman's "critiques" are deceptive, and his accusations mostly implicit.  In fact, the whole anti-CIT crowd does little but implicitly or explicitly toss around accusations of disinfo. Erik Larson was recently caught lying in denying having explicitly labeled CIT "disinfo."  http://911blogger.com/news/2010-06-20/new-...#comment-234218 As for accusing the likes of Arabesque, I second that. I would bet my life on Arabesque being disinfo.  If I had time I would happily deconstruct everything he/she/it has ever posted to demonstrate precisely why this hypothesis has an approximately 100% probability of being true.

I understand that part of what upsets the anti-CIT clique is that CIT exposed the real identities of some snipers hiding behind pseudonyms. What's wrong with that? If you want to participate in the debate, you should have the guts to use your real name. I think we should be exposing EVERYBODY in the 9/11 debate who's hiding behind a pseudonym, especially "debunkers" and those who specialize in destructive "critiques" of their fellow truth-seekers.  Both sets are probably on the same payroll. 

Cutting to the evidentiary chase:

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Where's the evidence for "extreme cherry picking?"  Let's be precise here: Exactly how many people, viewing from locations that provided a clear vantage point for distinguishing the two flight paths, are willing to talk on the videotaped record saying precisely what?  Anyone accusing CIT of cherry-picking needs to provide that information. The fact that Hoffman doesn't proves this slideshow is pure deception, designed to affect emotions by denigrating the researchers in the small minds of some in the movement who aren't bright enough to actually grapple with complex evidence... or even recognize that evidence is necessary when a charge like this is made.

6-8 years after the event -- That's why you want the best witnesses -- those with the best view who are sure of what they saw. Again, you know enough about psychology to realize that while almost all witnesses would be deceived by an overflight/explosion simulating a crash,  few would not remember which way they turned and looked at a plane going by that low just prior to a monumental historical event.  Not to mention that William Lagasse was interviewed by a researcher in 2003 by e-mail, and placed the plane North of Citgo, and that flyaway witness Roosevelt Roberts was interviewed in by the Center for Military History in December 2001. Arlington National Cemetery workers Darrell Stafford, Darius Prather, George Aman and William Middleton have also been on the record since 2001.

"Unknown amount of prep and leading"... Anyone can see that these interviews are spontaneous, not staged; and the viewer can judge the witnesses' credibility based on their demeanor. But aside from this, Hoffman's charge is absurd on its face. ALL video interviews "involve an unknown amount..."  How can anyone ever prove exactly what happened before the footage started -- in ANY footage, anywhere, ever?  They can't. So this charge applies to every film or video clip ever produced. It is absurd. (Hoffman really prefers secondhand soundbites from pro-official-story propaganda rags, to these videotaped interviews?! As if we know exactly how much "prep and leading" Gary Bauer had?! Actually, come to think of it, I guess we do.)

"Only a few are unambiguous."  To wax Clintonesque, it depends what you mean by unambiguous.  Thanks to their extremely hard work and expenditure of time, money and energy, CIT has gotten these witnesses on tape so we can all decide just how strong the case is, based on the cumulative effect of the testimony (like Griffin's cumulative argument for 9/11 being an inside job). Naturally some of the testimony is more "unambiguous," other parts less. To me, and to most reasonable people who actually watch the testimony with an open mind, it looks very strong.  People are regularly convicted and sentenced on the basis of much weaker testimony than this. In any case, Hoffman's statement "only a few are unambiguous" is another attempt at character-assassination-by-deception, since for just about ANY lineup of witnesses to ANY crime, it could be said that "only a few are unambiguous" depending on where you choose to set the ambiguity bar.

"Witnesses have seen the crash..."  Again, if it isn't supremely obvious to you that a flyover-explosion would easily fool plane-approach-side witnesses, we'll have to get into a laborious discussion of psychology.

The "reasons for errors in judging the flight path" section once again spews nothing but empty generalizations with no real bearing on the case.  I could go through each one but in the interest of space, I'll just mention the last one:

"Another CIT witness, Lagasse's partner, likely derived his mis-perception by comparing notes." 

This is blatant deception because in the video CIT presents, the two officers are on screen, standing at the gas station. Chadwick Brooks draws the flight path, and Lagasse says "That's damn near perfect to what I saw."  Then Brooks even says, "And for the record, we've never talked to each other about this all these years." So on camera, they confirmed that this is indeed independent corroboration.  This to me seems to be proof that Hoffman assumes that those who will appreciate his work are the ones who trust him and hence won't actually watch CIT's videos.

The list of flight path witnesses http://911research.wtc7.net/talks/pentacon...hwitnesses.html includes likely plants like PNAC signatory Gary Bauer, a key 9/11 suspect (actually I'm comfortable calling him a likely perp) and is generally very poorly sourced -- it's all secondhand reports from pro-official-story propaganda outlets; no direct video interviews; etc. Comparing these accounts to the actual video interviews of CIT, how in the world can Hoffman prefer those of 9/11 perp Bauer and secondhand garbage from the Ministry of Propaganda?  I would have thought that even ScrewLooseChange would be embarrassed to cite Bauer! Does Hoffman really think we don't recognize that name?

Piggy-Backing on the
No-Boeing-Crash Myth

This is where it gets surreal.  Why would the authorities refuse to release ALL their videos of the event ALMOST IMMEDIATELY (the normal thing to do in order to show America being attacked, why we must strike back, etc.)?  A clever disinfo ruse -- because they were waiting to torpedo the 9/11 truth movement ten, twenty, or a hundred years later by "proving it was really Flight 77"?! This is so far beyond insane that it merits laughter, not condemnation.

The idea that the government will someday release a high quality video clearly showing a large plane crashing into the Pentagon, thus neutralizing the movement, no longer holds water.  The reason for this is because the Controlled Demolition aspect of the movement is indeed at full juggernaut strength now, and no one can stop it.  Even if the government did release such a video, it doesn't invalidate the idea that 9/11 was an inside job, as even Jim Hoffman argues that it was likely the original Flight 77 but taken over by remote control.  And a lay person who is convinced about the WTC demolition is not going to see the Pentagon plane crash video and think, "Oh gee, the whole movement must be wrong about the WTC also."

The powers-that-be missed their golden opportunity to release such a video in 2006, with the explosion of the movement around the 5th anniversary and the viral success of Loose Change. The fact that they didn't do it then indicates to me it's not going to happen.  And even before that, they had the perfect opportunity to release such a video in 2002 -- especially when Meyssan's book was setting bestseller records in France and raising hell on al-Jazeera.  The fact that to this day they have not released such a video settles the case: No passenger plane hit the Pentagon. 

Sane people realize that the failure to release the videos proves there is something massively wrong with the official version of the "crash" -- and we can be certain, in the range of 95-99% probability, that the reason is that there is no airliner resembling 77 hitting the Pentagon in those videos.

The rest of the evidence strongly supports the interpretation that the damage was not caused by an airliner, least of all 77 under the control of Hanjour. Hoffman's counterargument fails Occam's razor. Even if we believe his claim of providing a possible scenario allowing a jetliner impact, which I don't,the odds that a scenario with so many unlikely elements (no scratch on the lawn but low-level impact, rapid steep banking descent rather than easy dive, missed obstacles, put a lightpole in England's cab without scratching the hood, left no large recognizable pieces of debris, 100+ tons of metal never observed being removed, unbroken glass on either side of small hole, unscorched books and walls in offices adjacent to hole, etc. etc.) would be the one that happened is so remote it can be easily dismissed.

CIT have offered the best-supported and most plausible hypothesis of what really happened, and more importantly one of the best disproofs of the official story. Why Hoffman and others are working so hard and so deceptively to obscure this fact remains a mystery. I assume it's because the Pentagon evidence adds significantly to the cumulative case that 9/11 was a complete and utter deception -- there were no Muslim hijackers at all, and here's proof -- and thereby strikes a blow against 9/11-triggered Islamophobia, which is the only thing the perps really want to preserve. (They'd be perfectly happy if 9/11 were exposed, as long as the American people remained Islamophobic enough to pursue radical Zionist policies...is that why Hoffman/Arabesque work hardest against anything that proves no hijackers?)

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Hoffman and his band of dissemblers have wasted way too much of my time, your time, and everybody's time already. If he's sincere and competent, why didn't he show up when I was in Berkeley?  What is it about this slideshow that would make any rational analyst think it's a sincere and balanced critique, rather than a deceptive attempt at character assassination designed to obscure one of the best disproofs of the official story, and malign the reputations of some of the most important voices of 9/11 truth?

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