Snowshoe Films/Zelikow/part 2

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ZELIKOW Part 2, also titled "Zelikow's Parallel Universe", was posted to YouTube on August 17, 2007.


From the YouTube description:

Zelikow, author of the 9/11 Commission Report, responds to a couple of uncensored questions August 9, 2007 at Chautauqua Institution. Question 1 comes from Paul Zarembka, editor of The Hidden History of 9-11-2001. Professor Zarembka, State University of New York at Buffalo (Economics Dept), asks Zelikow why he failed to investigate reports of several of the so-called hijackers alive and protesting their non-involvement. Then yor yevrah of snowshoefilms asks Zelikow about Building 7. Zelikow says he doesn't accept the hypothesis that any buildings were brought down by controlled demolition.


Zelikow's rhetorical techniques in response to pointed questioning are worth examining in more detail:

  • In response to a question about some of the 9/11 hijackers being found alive (and why this issue was not even mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report), he basically says the hijackers all died, and that's the best information we have. (argument by contradiction)
  • He then subtly belittles the idea of questioning the official story by claiming that any alternative interpretation could only have taken place in a "parallel universe" with very little connection to this one. The put-down implicitly links "truthers" with UFO nuts (ad hominem, argument by ridicule)
  • Mentions that there are about 2000 allegations, but there are "so many incredible allegations" that they simply didn't have time to address them all because they "couldn't have sustained the narrative and the kind of report we wanted to provide".
  • Claims that the 9/11 Commission Report did address "a few of the most important" claims, but this does not answer the question. (To be researched: which claims were addressed? How were they addressed?)
  • Claims it's impossible to refute every theory because as soon as you refute one version, it pops up again as another version.
  • In response to the question about WTC7, Zelikow cites an "enormous engineering study", but just says "we don't believe" it was CD. No explanation, no counterargument; just "we don't believe". "We don't find any persuasive, affirmative evidence that this is true."
  • Zelikow simply leaves when a questioner asks him how he accounts for WTC7's rapid rate of descent.


There are actually about two thousand allegations of this kind of which we saw a lot, and we didn't try to knock down every... we took on a few of the most important ones in the report, but there were so many incredible allegations of this kind that we did not... we would... it would have taken us hundreds of pages in the report, which was already a pretty long report, saying [..] here's why that's bogus, here's why that's bogus, here's why that's bogus, and we could have gone on like that for a long time, but we didn't do that because then what would have happened is that we couldn't have sustained the narrative in the kind of report that we want to provide.

But we covered a lot of those bases, and there's a vast body of information underneath our report that's not in the report. We interviewed thousands of people, and looked at millions of pages of documents, and a lot of that... the report is just the tip of the iceberg, of the work that we did. We responded to questions, actually, of... that the 9/11 families gave to us about a lot of different conspiracy theories: stock market manipulations, other allegations, and... but the theories regenerate and take new forms depending on whatever... whatever you say, once you disprove one version of it, it just mutates into another version of it.

— Philip Zelikow (2:49 - 4:08)