When the Tinfoil Hats Attack
Ad hominem attack #1: "Tinfoil Hats"
There was a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette yesterday that I found disturbing. It was about a group of bloggers who believe the whole 9/11 attack on America was a hoax from top to bottom. Their so-called leader is a guy who calls himself Killtown and has a blog by the same name.
Error #1: "Their so-called leader"
(I am not a leader in any movement.)
As we have seen from the faked Dan Rather memos and the faked Reuters news photographs, it is smart to be suspicious and on guard against news stories from biased people with an agenda. It is quite another thing, however, to be a paranoid-schizophrenic like "Killtown."
Ad hominem attack #2: "paranoid-schizophrenic"
Error #2: "a paranoid-schizophrenic like 'Killtown.'"
(I'm not a paranoid-schizophrenic -- at least not that I'm aware of. ;-)
Should I be concerned that this Leftist nutcase believes Bush and company blew up the Twin Towers and blamed it on Islamic extremists?
Ad hominem attack #3: "nutcase"
Error #3: "that this Leftist nutcase"
(I'm not a leftist, or a nutcase. I'm a Libertarian and a seedcase.)
Should I care that he thinks Flight 93 was shot down by airforce jets?
Error #4: "he thinks Flight 93 was shot down"
(I don't think Flight 93 was shot down because I don't think it crashed anywhere at all.)
Or that Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon never really existed (it too was a planned explosion by the Bush conspiracists, in this case a missile)?
Error #5: "in this case a missile"
(I've never said it was a missile that really hit the Pentagon, but just that a missile is one possibility.)
No, there have always been multitudes of squirrel-farm refugees. You see them on street corners, giving speeches from soap boxes, warning of impending doom. One faction of these citizens of Kookville believes the earth is flat. Another thinks the moon landings were staged on a Hollywood movie set. Don't get me started on the JFK assassination conspiracists, one of my pet peeves. And, while we're at it, Lincoln's assassination was set up by his own government, RFK's assassination was also done by government conspirators who then shoved a smoking gun into the hands of innocent bystander Sirhan. Who really killed Martin Luther King? The guvmint, of course, just like they did Jimmy Hoffa.
Ad hominem attack #4: "squirrel-farm refugees"
In fact, people like Killtown (whose name should be Kill-Logic) believe that every major event of history, for the past 150 years or more, has been staged.
Error #6: "that every major event of history... has been staged"
(No, I don't believe every major event in the last 150 years was staged.)
It's all a massive conspiracy by a "high cabal" who are pulling strings, fomenting assassinations, starting wars, stealing elections, manipulating gas prices and staging tragedies like 9/11. These people don't need a blog, they need a rubber room and a prescription for thorazine. But do I care? Not much, usually.
Ad hominem attack #5: "they need a rubber room and a prescription for thorazine"
However, the news story above is about a lady in Pennsylvania, Val McClatchey, who photographed the smoke cloud from Flight 93 seconds after it dived into the ground in a field near her home. She was sitting on her front porch and heard the whine of jet engines and then a house-rattling boom.
Error #7: "She was sitting on her front porch"
(Val was not sitting on her front porch at the time of the crash. She was sitting on her couch inside her house (apparently he didn't even read the entire article that triggered his blog response!)
She grabbed her digital camera and snapped the smoke cloud rising from the horizon. The FBI says the picture is the closest thing they've got to a photo of the actual crash.
Enter Killtown and his pack of paranoid losers. Killtown posts on his site that the picture is a "total fraud" and wonders if McClatchey photoshopped it herself.
Ad hominem attack #6: "his pack of paranoid losers"
Error #8: "that the picture is a 'total fraud'"
(No, I'm not saying it is a fake. I'm saying it could be a fake, or it could be real that proves an explosion originating from a different location.)
Worse, he admonishes the news media and any other "researcher" to harangue McClatchey to get to "the truth." The truth, of course, is anything that supports Killtown's paranoid delusions and preconceived conspiracy theories.
Ad hominem attack #7: "paranoid delusions"
The FBI inspected the memory card in McClatchey's camera soon after the crash, finding the photo to be genuine. This doesn't stop Killtown. He theorizes:
"If the smoke plume was photo-shopped on there, then that could mean either that the photo was simply a fraud by Val, or it was a fraud by her and the FBI and/or other government agents since she did mention that the FBI did inspect the memory card from her camera."
Of course, there is an alternative explanation, that the photo was genuine. That possibility is not even considered by Killtown, as it doesn't support his parnoid delusions.
Ad hominem attack #8 (plus misspelling ;-): "parnoid delusions"
Then, after slandering McClatchey as a fraud and a conspiracist, Killtown publishes her address, phone number and email so his "researchers" can track her down (he also provides a convenient map to her place of business).
Error #9: "after slandering McClatchey as a fraud"
(I've never accused her a being a fraud. I only bring up evidence that her photo could be a fake and that she would be a prime suspect if the photo is found out to be a fake.)
In the Post-Gazette article, McClatchey expresses fear for her safety because of this. Yes, her information is already published on the web, but as a real estate agent for people who want to buy homes; it is not published as a "fraud and a conspiracist" and made generally available to leftwing kooks and paranoid schizos. Killtown's focus on McClatchey this way could be interpreted as a physical threat.
Ad hominem attack #9: "leftwing kooks and paranoid schizos"
The Post-Gazette quotes McClatchey:
"This Killtown, whoever he may be, I find it very disturbing that this is a 16-page attack on me personally," said Mrs. McClatchey, who opened her real estate company a year and a half ago. "My business is named. That hurts me personally. It's pretty disturbing. My whole life is out there, a map to where I live, a map to my office. It's a safety issue for me. There's some crazy people out there."
I've written to Squirlie Killtown and asked him to take McClatchey's address and phone number off his blog, but he may need a bit more convincing. Do stop in and let this mental case know what you think.
Ad hominem attack #10: "Squirlie Killtown"
Ad hominem attack #11: "this mental case"
I have been combing the web for clues to Killtown's identity, which I will publish here along with his address, phone number and a map to his house (unless he takes down the McClatchey info first). Killtown is apparently a 31 year old member of Democratic Underground, a group of leftwing extremists on a par with the KOS kids, and apparently lives in Washington D.C.
I haven't ID'd Killtown yet, but anyone who opines as much as he does leaves tracks all over the web, on websites, message boards and newsgroups. Somewhere he said too much and let down his guard, and I will find it eventually. If that doesn't work I can always offer a cash reward to anyone who can ID him for me. Someone will out him, sooner or later.
If anyone out there knows more about this guy, let me know.
Hey Killtown, feel the warmth on the back of your neck? That's my breath.
Take down McClatchey's address and phone number from your site and I will go away.
Ad hominem attacks: 11
(Cue in the X-Files music.)