9/11: Special Pleading

A common logical fallacy amongst the 9/11 truth movement is called special pleading. To explain this concept I summon Carl Sagan and his definition of special pleading found in his book The Demon-Haunted World:

special pleading, often to rescue a proposition in deep rhetorical trouble (e.g., How can a merciful God condemn future generations to torment because, against orders, one woman induced one man to eat an apple? Special plead: you don’t understand the subtle Doctrine of Free Will. Or: How can there be an equally godlike Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in the same Person? Special plead: You don’t understand the Divine Mystery of the Trinity. Or: How could God permit the followers of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – each in their own way enjoined to heroic measures of loving kindness and compassion – to have perpetrated so much cruelty for so long? Special plead: You don’t understand Free Will again. And anyway, God moves in mysterious ways.)

So how can this notion be applied to the 9/11 truth movement? The following is a common example of special pleading (e.g., How can the govt. continue to conceal the conspiracy if literally thousands of people were involved? Special plead: you don’t understand the concept of compartmentalization within the government).

This argument is special pleading because it avoids having to answer the real problem, namely that even with compartmentalization there still remain thousands of people who have to remain silent. Lets take the people who set up the demolition charges for instance. If they were only given instructions to set charges and nothing else, then I find it a little odd that not a single one of them has come forward with this information. The notion of compartmentalization fails when we realize that if one link in the chain fails, then the entire conspiracy fails.

Compartmentalization is a very real thing, but the problem with applying it to 9/11 is the scope of it is too large. As the example in the preceding paragraph proved, the people involved with the set up of charges in the twin towers now realize precisely why they were not told any more information. Those same people who wired the buildings for destruction have watched the videos of the collapses and (barring an inconceivable amount of idiocy) now realize the larger scope of the plan.

Compartmentalization fails.


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6 Responses to 9/11: Special Pleading

  1. el Once says:

    Dear Mr. C. Plumber,

    Well done. This serves as a very representative example, of which would be proud Philip Zelikow, the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission and author of their report.


    While at Harvard Phillip Zelikow actually wrote about the use, and misuse, of history in policymaking. As he noted in his own words, “contemporary” history is “defined functionally by those critical people and events that go into forming the public’s presumptions about its immediate past. The idea of ‘public presumption’,” he explained, “is akin to [the] notion of ‘public myth’ but without the negative implication sometimes invoked by the word ‘myth.’ Such presumptions are beliefs (1) thought to be true (although not necessarily known to be true with certainty), and (2) shared in common within the relevant political community.” So Zelikow, the guy who wrote The 9/11 Commission Report, was an expert in how to misuse public trust and create PUBLIC MYTHS.

    I am glad that you bring up the special pleading technique used by the conspiracy theorists, because I’ve been noticing you doing a lot that in your defense of the official government conspiracy theory (OGCT). How indeed does a gravitational acceleration on just two towers explain the totality of the destruction and its massive energy requirements that are exhibited in these WTC photos? And would nukes 1/1000th what you are imagining explain it Occam Razor?

    The OGCT has foisted lots of public presumption on us, and they achieve this by avoiding the suppressing, slow-walking, and avoiding the evidence. Other than the above, here is another blatant example with the 1400 vehicles damaged on 9/11 with peculiar burn/melting patterns, missing door handles, blown out windows, deformed window frames, melted engine blocks, steel belts from tires hanging on rims, etc.

    When exploring the links below, IGNORE the titles and headings on the page and concentrate on the images. In particular on the first link, look at the sequence starting with Figure toast2a to toast4. It shows a parking lot at some distance from the collapsing towers and the cloud of dust rolling in. Then it shows fires starting to burn in various vehicles, but not all vehicles and not paper or other non-metallic debris. How does the OGCT explain that?


    I’ll save it for another time that the OGCT wants a special pleading on physics with regards to explaining how a structure (WTC-7) — even if weakened on a side and with asymmetric fires dispersed on three or so levels — can transition suddenly & symmetrically into 2.25 seconds of gravitational acceleration over 100+ feet (8 stories).

  2. Craig McKee says:

    Mr. Plumber,
    I guess the Manhattan Project never existed, because no one blew the whistle on it. It employed 130,000 people and no one found out. They even kept it a secret from the vice-president at the time. There have been many large covert operations that not become common knowledge, at least until years later.
    Many people have reported things that conflict with the official theory but do they make it to the front page of the New York Times? No. The FBI informant who was monitoring hijackers in 2000? Ignored. Barry Jennings, who reported massive explosions in Building 7 before either tower fell? Ignored.
    You and Limey cannot see things from any angle other than your own narrow view. Why couldn’t the people who set the charges be working for one of the intelligence agencies, or the military.
    I agree with elOnce. You and Limey do special pleading all the time. And he keeps saying that people like me have no evidence. He’s either not listening or being deliberately obtuse.

    • Indeed, I am guilty of special pleads there is no doubt about it. I am merely a fallible human and as such I make plenty of mistakes. Elonce’s comments about my pleads are certainly justified. This does not mean 9/11 truthers do not make special pleads as well, and I’m sure you and Elonce make them all the time. As long as we can recognize our mistakes we can move forward. I believe you have the narrow view sir, but let’s not get into semantics or finger pointing. We both think each other has the narrow view point so there is no sense saying so.

      As to the Manhattan Project, it certainly was shrouded in secrecy and there were many reasons to keep it secret. I suppose you can make the argument that compartmentalization does work for large numbers of people, but the problem still remains the sheer numbers suggest it is impossible to keep it concealed for long and sure enough the Manhattan Project was found out. The same applies to 9/11. The sheer number of people would be too much to shroud in secrecy. Also, the Manhattan project was being used to win a war and was not a false flag operation, which means uncovering it would not be a detriment to the govt. just morally questionable.

  3. el Once says:

    Mr. C. Plumber made the special plea:

    Compartmentalization is a very real thing, but the problem with applying it to 9/11 is the scope of it is too large.

    Since when is compartmentalization not scalable and not able to handle large scopes? This is actually one of its saving graces.

    What your special pleading is leaving out are the specialized forms of compartmentalization called outsourcing and offshoring, terms that I trust you are familiar with in these economic times. Para-Military companies come to mind. The Israeli art students who were filming, high-fiving, and dancing on top of there van hint at foreign country who had the offshored oursourcing contract.

    Compartmentalization does work. In fact, just take a look at 103 or so of the top suspects. Pay attention to those having dual citizenship with Israel.

    What did each person on this list receive? Did not all of them capitalize on the 9/11 venture somehow: prestige, promotion, wealth? What would motivate any individual in this compartmentallzed list to spill the beans on the operation? Not only would they lose prestige, promotion, and wealth, they could lose the lives of their loved ones or themselves. I already know what you hold of a deathbed confession, as if to pre-emptively discount the only viable means of a top-level conspirator on this list to shed any light onto their doings and the exact details, confirming or changing what was long suspected.

    Mr. C. Plumber made the special plea:

    The people involved with the set up of charges in the twin towers now realize precisely why they were not told any more information. Those same people who wired the buildings for destruction have watched the videos of the collapses and (barring an inconceivable amount of idiocy) now realize the larger scope of the plan.

    This speculation into the thoughts of others might have merit if the people who wired the buildings for destruction were Americans. If they were Israeli’s on the other hand, whenever they see the videos of the collapses, a buddy slaps them on the back and orders them a drink, for they are the heroes who got the giant to feel Israel’s pain (terrorism) and whose unpopular and even war criminal actions will overshadow and give precedence to Israeli military actions. Yes indeed they were small cogs, but they moved a giant.

  4. elOnce says:

    Dear Mr. C. Plumber,

    I apologize for so many postings in a row, but I just ran across this new posting on 9/11 Blogger.

    I respectfully ask how the drivers of so many matching dump trucks knew to be assembled and in the caravan to arrive in record fashion to cart off WTC debris? What was their level of compartmentalization? What agency did they come from? Was this part of FEMA who had assembled for an exercise on September 10th (day before)?

    Bill Manning, editor of Fire Engineering Magazine wrote “Selling out the Investigation” in 2002.

    For more than three months, structural steel from the World Trade Center has been and continues to be cut up and sold for scrap. Crucial evidence that could answer many questions about high-rise building design practices and performance under fire conditions is on the slow boat to China, perhaps never to be seen again in America until you buy your next car.

    Such destruction of evidence shows the astounding ignorance of government officials to the value of a thorough, scientific investigation of the largest fire-induced collapse in world history. I have combed through our national standard for fire investigation, NFPA 921, but nowhere in it does one find an exemption allowing the destruction of evidence for buildings over 10 stories tall.

    Comprehensive disaster investigations mean increased safety. They mean positive change. NASA knows it. The NTSB knows it. Does FEMA know it?

    No. Fire Engineering has good reason to believe that the “official investigation” blessed by FEMA and run by the American Society of Civil Engineers is a half-baked farce that may already have been commandeered by political forces whose primary interests, to put it mildly, lie far afield of full disclosure. Except for the marginal benefit obtained from a three-day, visual walk-through of evidence sites conducted by ASCE investigation committee members-described by one close source as a “tourist trip”-no one’s checking the evidence for anything.


    An aspect of 9/11 worth considering is why it gained so many conspirators after the fact? Why did they becoming willing cheerleaders to the OGCT even when their own observations, investigation, research, and possibly even admissions or confirmation from others proved the mechanisms and perpetrators of 9/11 to be contrary to the OGCT?

    It is said of Germany that those who were part of the post-war govt were largely the same as during the Nazi years. It wasn’t a case on conspiracy. It was a case of those with the skills and tendency to thrive as a burocrat would do so under any ideology. They could easily shed one ideology for another and continue to shuffle & file papers efficiently.

    Those in those in US govt know that the political winds change every major election, and sometimes the minor ones as well. The winds can blow multiple directions at once. Those who succeed in such an environment have learned a skill set, which enables them to compartmentalize their role as a cog and to perceive it as being distant and inconsequential within the grand machinery, and to revolve in direction and cadence compatible with their surroundings. Moreover, should conscience have them stop or spin counter to what their surroundings dictate, they know that another cog will replace them but not before their cog’s gears are stripped. Surely losing employment as well as reputation are examples of that, which many whistleblowers themselves suffered, a clear message from the President’s administration to any would-be counter-turning cogs.

    El Once

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