Appologies To Arabesque For Mistaking One Deception For Another
July 14, 2009
In Arabesque’s rush to respond to an article he still appears to be refusing to admit to recognising, it appears I missed an earlier response to something I had written. In this post Arabesque was claiming I had deceptively misinterpreted his argument and dishonestly erected a straw man.
People who disagree with Arabesque don’t make mistakes; they lie.
Essentially the bone of contention was that I had interpreted this:
Of these eyewitnesses interviewed by CIT, William Lagasse falsely indicated where light poles were knocked down, while denying that others were knocked down. Amazingly, CIT implies that this does not affect the reliability of his flight path account—in fact, Ranke brazenly and disingenuously claims that it makes his testimony about the flight path even more credible:
“Why should he remember where the light poles were knocked down when he told us that he DID NOT SEE THE LIGHT POLES? Of course he would believe that the light poles/physical damage that he DID NOT SEE (or read reports on after the fact) would line up with the flight path of the plane that he DID SEE! That only serves to prove how certain he is of where he saw the plane.”
How could Lagasse “not see the light poles” as Ranke suggests if he claimed that “there was a light pole here that was knocked down [pointing to an incorrect location]… none of these light poles over here were knocked down”—a false statement? If Lagasse didn’t see or remember seeing these light poles on the ground on 9/11, he presumably would have replied “I don’t know”, instead of “none of these light poles… were knocked down”. Lagasse also misplaced the location of the taxi cab to the location where he thought the light poles were knocked down. This factual error strongly suggests that Lagasse witnessed the plane where the actual light poles were knocked down—not where he mistakenly thought they were knocked down. Along with incorrectly placing the location of the damaged Taxi Cab and light poles, at the very least this puts the accuracy of his “smoking gun” testimony in doubt.
To be an argument that Laggasse had seen the light poles hit and claimed the wrong ones were hit.
My apologies to Arabesque, as reading back I can see he is referencing them being on the ground, perhaps I was hindered in my reading by the comedic over-use of bold, italic, and coloured text he uses to make sure his readers focus on the bits of the quotes he finds most important?
But I can put my hands up and admit I was wrong. I was certainly not deceptive – what would be the point in that as anyone could show me to be in error? A question I will soon be asking of Arabesque regarding this topic…
I wish I had not made this mistake, not because I have a problem owning up to a mistake, but because if I had read him correctly my argument against his point would have been so much simpler in the first place.
Where might I have got the idea that he was talking about Ranke referring to Lagasse seeing the light poles clipped rather than the light poles on the ground?
I will tell you now – the origin of my mistake was to actually click on the footnotes and links and check what they are saying in context when I read a blog or an article. Fact checking is obviously a bad habit of mine that can lead me to making all kinds of mistakes. When I got to that part of Arabesque’s article I clicked on the discussion he was quoting and read it before reading on.
The part of the conversation Arabesque has quoted is Craig Ranke repeating a point he had made and shortening it, which is pretty normal in forum posting. In his first post to someone claiming Lagasse had seen the poles clipped Ranke explains in a lot more detail:
In the email you posted Lagasse simply states that the light poles were clipped not that he SAW them get clipped.
If you had watched his testimony during our film you can see that he was quite clear about the fact that he did NOT see any light poles get clipped.
Sgt Brooks cleared this up for us as well. He had said in a past interview that he saw the light poles get clipped. However he clarified to us that he, like Lagasse, did NOT see any poles get clipped and merely deduced this after the fact from seeing the poles on the ground.
Then a few posts later he re-states the same thing again, in short hand:
Why should he remember where the light poles were knocked down when he told us that he DID NOT SEE THE LIGHT POLES?
Of course he would believe that the light poles/physical damage that he DID NOT SEE (or read reports on after the fact) would line up with the flight path of the plane that he DID SEE!
That only serves to prove how certain he is of where he saw the plane.
The second quote is the one Arabesque uses. In the context of this thread (both posts are on the same page) it is obvious that when Ranke says he did not see the light poles that he means he did not see the light poles clipped. He has already stated on the same page that Lagasse saw them on the ground. If anything this deception is MORE dishonest than the last. He is taking a claim by Ranke that Lagasse did not see the plane hit the light poles and presenting it as a claim that Lagasse did not see them on the ground, when on the exact same page we have Ranke explicitly stating that Lagasse DID see the poles on the ground. And he has the gall to call me dishonest? Is it any wonder I misunderstood his statement, when you consider that I had read the source material for his claim and within its context what he was actually claiming, and what he claims I misrepresented, is a blatant lie?
So, Arabesque, I apologise unreservedly for mistaking your deception for quite a different deception. To be honest they do have a lot in common with each other – they both rely completely on the readers of his blog not being the sort of people who follow the footnotes and click on the links. If they do that the house of cards comes crashing down pretty quickly.
I will end on the key evidential point:
When Lagasse was asked about the light poles he stated the ones he thought were knocked down were the ones on the flight path he saw – which is completely natural and does speak to his certainty that the plane was on that path.
When asked whether he saw the light poles get clipped he said no but when he arrived on the scene they were down.
This could mean, as both Ranke and Arabesque assume, that he saw one on the ground. Or it could mean he was told they were down.
Either way it makes no difference to Lagasse’s reliability as an eye witness.
Just look at the map and note where the nearest light pole (the one he would have seen when he arrived at the scene) is compared to where the North of Citgo flight path is.
It would not be a “mistake” at all to consider a plane flying where he saw it fly would leave a light pole lying where it lay. If he did see a downed pole “at the scene” it would be the nearest one, which is so close to the North of Citgo flight path he would have to be some kind of a spatial awareness genius to conclude something didn’t line up right.
But when a witness says something that doesn’t conform with Arabesque’s preferred theory, that appears to be the criteria for dismissing them…