Monday, February 5, 2007


Adam Larson
Caustic Logic / The Frustrating Fraud
December 2006, updated 2/5/07

911 In Plane Site's approach of focusing on the mechanics of the government attack – and doing so piss-poorly – could not long go unnoticed. First-released in mid-2004 to wide acceptance, the first ill effect the video suffered was the early unraveling of its popularity through well-timed interventions like those of Oil Empire and 9-11 Research, which surfaced before the end of 2004. The next was its widely read flogging in the pages of the March 2005 issue of Popular Mechanics. Thus many Americans first heard of the video that “will change September 11” in between articles about Jay Leno’s giant trucks and a “lawn tractor face-off.” The article looked at a narrow slice of easily-debunked 9/11 theories in its areas of expertise and sponsorship, and spent much of its ink slaying the then-popular IPS. But wait! The article was principally by Benjamin Chertoff, Popular Mechanics’ 25-year old research editor. He was immediately suspected by many 9/11 Truthers of being a cousin (or a nephew in one report) to the just-appointed Director of the Department of Homeland Security, one Michael Chertoff. DHS was a new agency with little-understood powers, and some now suspected they included propaganda, with deals to be made over heaping plates of potato salad at family reunions, and with revalations targeted to the PopMech crowd - a segment of the population best known not for their seething political power but for their manual skills and prominent ass cracks.

Most people who care simply state the cousin link as an evident fact with no source needed; when they do cite anything, the only source seems to be Christopher Bollyn at American Free Press (AFP), a paper suspiciously suspicious of Israel, alternately accused of anti-Semitism by the Anti-Defamation League, and accused by others of ADL infiltration. A dedicated 9/11 Truth warrior, Bollyn had already discovered “cousin” Michael held dual American-Israeli citizenship. He says he called Ben Chertoff directly, and questioned the editor until he became “uncomfortable.” Unable to get a confirmation there, he called Ben’s mother in New York and got her to admit “yes, of course, he is a cousin.” In his March 6 article Bollyn included the first name and home city of this alleged mother of a possible Israeli-Illuminati agent. He also dropped the line “this is exactly the kind of “journalism” one would expect to find in a dictatorship like that of Saddam Hussein's Iraq,” referring I presume to the PopMech piece, not his own work. For what it’s worth, Bollyn was fired from AFP in late 2006 for “disloyalty” and submitting false stories, including pushing Sam Danner's fictitious account of the Pentagon attack despite numerous red flags. [2]

In a March interview with Art Bell, while the “wing nuts” were still following this lead, Ben could neither confirm nor deny a relation to the just-appointed Director. His only line of defense was that he was unaware of the possibility until after the article had gone to press. He later postulated a relation “back in 19th century Belarus,” but by the September 11, 2006 US News, he was stating categorically “no one in my family has ever met anyone related to Michael Chertoff.” He would not likely say this so firmly if it could be proved wrong, and so far no Internet sleuth has shaken the family tree and posted any juicy fruit.

In fact Ben’s little article that caused such a big uproar was later expanded into a book: “Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts” (Hearst, August 2006, with a forward by Senator John McCain). Ironically enough, the book was able to take advantage of this whole tangent to illustrate their point: in the afterword, PM’s Editor-in-Chief, James Meigs noted “as often happens in the world of conspiracy theories, a grain of truth - it's possible that Ben and Michael Chertoff are distantly related - was built into a towering dune. In fact, Ben and Michael Chertoff have never spoken.” And more to the larger point everyone else has glossed over, “no one at Popular Mechanics” by any name “had any contact with Michael Chertoff's office while preparing the article.” [3]

Nonetheless, there may still be more than coincidence to this episode, with the same uncommon name appearing twice in as many months, both flanking the official 9/11 story - especially when we consider the proximity to the release of the curiously bad IPS. Just as von Kleist’s video has sunk into the collective mind of that certain skeptical segment of the population, in January 2005 Michael was appointed to head DHS, a post created by 9/11. At the end of February a hit piece slaying “lies” about the terrorist attacks, primarily those advocated by IPS, went public with another Chertoff listed as in charge. This certainly seems odd to the people who are into the Truth scene. It seems odd to me. I was there, and saw the movement surge with anger and strengthened resolve. It may have sounded silly and blatant to task such things to one’s cousin, but after all, we remembered Jeb Bush handing his brother the election in 2000...

In retrospect, I would go so far as to speculate that Bush’s people in fact helped somehow in getting In Plane Site out there, probably through some intermediary – since I’m speculating, let’s say Karl Rove - to set up the straw man in advance. While they were grooming Michael Chertoff for DHS, the video was at work shifting the debate to the mechanics level while shedding all circumstantial evidence of motive that allows the plot to make sense. On top of this, it analyzed the mechanical evidence with unprecedented ineptitude so Popular Mechanics could easily take it on. The operatives behind the scenes of course knew a “Chertoff” was working there and would be in charge of any such article, giving the wing nuts yet another red herring to stumble over for a while.

[1] Bollyn, Christopher. “Chertoff's Cousin Penned Popular Mechanics 9/11 Hit Piece.” American Free Press. March 7 2005. via
Prison Planet.
[2] World Independent News Group/WING TV.
“American free Press Fires Christopher Bollyn.”
[3] Meigs, James B.
“The Conspiracy Industry.” Afterword to Debunking 9/11 Myths. June 2006. Published online October 13, 2006.

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