Annotated response to ECU Summary

Response to summary of my complaints:
 John Yates

Purple: Editorial Complaints Unit summary ECU
Brown: From my 24 page Oct complaint
Black: My Feb 2012 comments, corrections, additions to ECU summary
Blue: Specific questions about broadcast "facts" in the Ten Years On TYO programme and questions about editorial policy in cherry picking issues that distort any serious analysis of the US government's behaviour over 911 and subsequent dissent from a broad cross section of citizens.

(v) (l) (refraining from ….) =  Royal Charter clause  (v) (l) (refraining from use of techniques which exploit the possibility of conveying a message to viewers or listeners, or of otherwise influencing their minds, without their being aware, or fully aware, of what has occurred)

(1) … controversial subjects are treated with due accuracy ….  =  Royal Charter clause  (1) The BBC must do all it can to ensure that controversial subjects are treated with due accuracy and impartiality in all relevant output.

TYO = Ten Years On
NSF = National Science Foundation
WTC = World Trade Center
NORAD = North American Aerospace Defense Command
NIST = National Institute of Standards and Technology

1. The programme did not include contributions from survivors, first responders, relatives of victims or from academics, scientists, architects etc who have been critical of the official version of events. The programme repeatedly denigrated such people as “conspiracy theorists”.

I wrote at point 1. "Despite the fact that there are hundreds of witnesses prepared to give evidence among World Trade Center survivors, first responders, and relatives of the victims, no first hand witness who had been present [at WTC] on the day, [or who was materially involved]was actually interviewed." I should have added the phrase in brackets.

The BBC went to extraordinary lengths to avoid talking to key witnesses.  Why was that? Vanity Fair published that pressure from the “Jersey Girls” and other relatives of WTC 911 victims, together with key witnesses to the events, were acknowledged by 9/11 Commission Chair Thomas Kean and many others to be primarily responsible for the setting up of the 911 Commission. William Rodrigues "Last man out alive" was a five times decorated national hero until he started asking questions. Hundreds of other key witnesses have been ignored. Not all were immediately present at WTC on 911 but many are still actively involved in the search for the truth. They state they have a duty to their loved ones who died on 911 to continue lobbying and campaigning to expose the official cover-up, as they call it.

They contradict the voice of the Conspiracy Files’ Caroline Catz when she ends Ten Years On by again casting aspersions on all who continue to ask legitimate pertinent questions as  "unfair to family and friends". Again this is a disparaging phrase used by Jean O'Connor and other BBC favourites to denigrate dissidents by somehow slurring the victims.

This is just the first few of many extraordinary editorial decisions in shaping the "overall impression" of TYO not as an investigation but as a fiction. Viewers have a right to know the strength of feeling, courage and commitment amongst those materially involved as well as among citizens world wide who see something is very wrong with the official story.

(a) How does the BBC explain its absolute silence concerning family members fighting a David & Goliath battle against officialdom?
For the BBC to repeat its use of "due" this or that, to excuse a fundamental omission of prime relevance to the WTC attacks, will add to the evidence that TYO was a fiction designed to bolster the official account.

(b) How does the BBC explain its absolute silence concerning the over one hundred firefighters’ tapes that have been released after legal battles with the authorities who tried to restrict access to this revealing information? 
The tapes support the assertions made by critics and the live TV and radio transmission from main stream media, that innumerable explosions were heard and seen in both towers before and during the disintegration of the towers and the Salomon Brothers Building 7. They also raise challenging questions as the tapes confirm the reports that:

Two firemen braved their way to the 78th floor of the South Tower!
They report that the fires were minor. Listen to Battalion Chief Orio J. Palmer, who was organising the evacuation of injured people with Fire Marshal Ronald P. Bucca. 
Above taken from my original net review of the 2007 Conspiracy File

Still on point 1. I then drew attention to, 

"The very long list of academics, scientists, architects, engineers, pilots, air traffic personnel, 9/11 Commissioners, whistleblowers from US intelligence services, the military, public servants and politicians (US and world wide) etc. all highly critical of all or specific aspects of the official conspiracy theory, was ignored"

Regarding scientists, yes Fetzer and Harrit were interviewed but the Fetzer clips were mostly five years old. There is much new evidence not considered and with regard to thermite, Harrit was slandered by the BBC's untrue statement that his published paper on the discovery of thermite residue in WTC dust had not been peer reviewed yet he was given no opportunity to respond, contrary to:

Editorial Guidelines in Full Impartiality & Diversity of Opinion

“we must rigorously test contributors expressing contentious views during an interview whilst giving them a fair chance to set out their full response to our questions.”
“we should not automatically assume that academics and journalists from other organizations are impartial and make it clear to our audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint.

2. The programme cherry-picked information and hypotheses which support the official version of events and included contributors “tied to the establishment by money, career and contract”. It included facts and conclusions which have been withdrawn by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and as a result the programme 
presented information the official bodies no longer support.

(c) How does the BBC explain that it is broadcasting an analysis that the official investigators have refuted - i.e. the pancake theory?
The NIST team admits that their report “does not actually include the structural behavior of the tower after the conditions for collapse initiation were reached.” (NIST, 2005, p. 80, fn. 12.)

3. a. The programme used computer simulations which were not based on peer reviewed data and funded by the US government - which was not revealed to the audience 

Editorial Guidelines
“we should not automatically assume that academics and journalists from other organizations are impartial and make it clear to our audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint."
(d) How does the BBC explain its failure to inform the audience that the US government funded the Purdue University computer animations for both the WTC and the Pentagon?

(e) How does the BBC explain its failure to inform the audience that the US government funded the research of Abolhassan Astaneh? 
In 2001, Astaneh received another NSF grant to study the collapse of the World Trade Center towers right after the tragic Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He presented his findings before the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives in 2002. 

(f) How does the BBC explain its failure to inform the audience that Richard Fruehan & Chris Pistorius benefit indirectly from government grants? Carnegie Mellon University are reliant on government grants.
The institute receives $100 million in federal grants with engineering and research grants accounting for approximately half of the total.

(g) How does the BBC explain that in the 2007 911 Conspiracy File, Caroline Catz introduces and signs off Hoffman extremely inaccurately and why has this breach of Charter and Editorial Guidelines not been corrected?

Below taken from 
[22:45] (Caroline Catz) "Independent analysts have stepped in. At Purdue University they have built a computer model to see if damage inside the Pentagon could prove what happened. First they modelled the building and its interior supporting columns. Then a Boeing 757, its wings, fuel tanks and fuselage ..."

It is not true that their work was independent

Purdue computing community is a major beneficiary of military funding.
Christopher Hoffmann is the Director of the Rosen Centre for Advanced Computing, Director of the Purdue University Dept. of Computer Science and co-director of the Computer Research Institute. These are all inter-linked and funded by the Department of Defense, The National Science Foundation (itself created to further military defence) and the Department of Homeland Security. [More]

The Pentagon is neither the key issue nor as clear cut and definitive as the WTC attack. Puzzling yes, but in this instance giving rise to diversionary and confused commentary from the BBC.

[22:53] (Caroline Catz) “Their research was not funded by the government. It was an independent academic project.”

This is not true

The Hoffman project was government funded through the National Science Foundation. [NSF]

September 11 Pentagon Attack Simulations
Using LS-Dyna
Phase I, Completed September 11, 2002
Mete A. Sozen, Sami A. Kilic and Christoph M. Hoffmann

The National Science Foundation has defence as a major responsibility.
End of extract taken from: 

This you may consider as having been dealt with in the original complaint procedure but I cannot find any reference to this lack of attention to accuracy and although the disinformation was not repeated in the Ten Years On it has not been denied but has been seen by millions on the 2007 File and thus the lie is maintained even though it is not repeated. It is material to forming opinion about the attacks and should be acknowledged and corrected.

3. b. The programme dismissed a published scientific paper by Niels Harrit because it was “irrelevant” and had not been challenged in peer review. 
To get a scientific paper published the publisher presents the paper to a number of peers for review. If the science is not substantially criticised it goes forward to be published. From then on it is open to criticism and comment from the broad readership of that publication. Therefore the language in the clips confuses the situation regarding peer review. The paper, co-authored by Harrit, Ryan and Jones, has been peer reviewed.

(h) How does the BBC explain the disinformation presented by Pistorius and given credibility by the TYO programme?

4. The programme excluded writing and thinking in answering the question “what makes conspiracy theories so persist and so powerful?”

I believe this relates to the paragraphs below from my 24 page complaint:

4. To answer the question "what makes conspiracy theories so persistent and so powerful" the BBC fails to report the writings of Shakespeare, Robert Graves (I Claudius), Machiavelli etc. or of modern evolutionary anthropologists, ethologists and cognitive scientists.

5. It is dishonest to ignore the fact that the behaviour of the human animal in political history, in literature, in evolutional anthropology and in many other academic disciplines studying humans, is shown to be team, group, tribe, clan, family orientated. We are naturally cliquish, partisan, communal, collaborative, schemers, deceivers and conspiratorial.

It is a fiction to suggest that conspiracies are not part of human behaviour. History is replete with conspiracies, both those known to historians and those as yet uncovered "officially". [ammendment for clarity]

The Pentagon Papers and Operation Northwood should be prominent in an initial look at US government's involvement in conspiracies. Then there is Oliver North and the Iran Contra scandal, Gulf of Tonkin, and Gladio for starters and lets not forget Northern Ireland "The Troubles" with MI 6 et al entanglement with republican terrorist forces.

(i) How does the BBC explain its failure to inform the audience that many "conspiracy theories" are now know to be proven manipulation by government to get the public to support otherwise unsupportable policies? ( Reichstag Fire, Operation Himmler etc.)

(j) How does the BBC explain its failure to offer an academic background to the nature of our minds re 5 above?
Spotnitz is employed by the Murdoch who's empire is at the forefront of obstructing any serious questioning of the White House's conspiracy theory blaming 19 Moslem men for the events of 911. Spotnitz is a fiction writer and fits well with the design of the Conspiracy Files as fiction but is inappropriate for throwing any academic light on the nature of man as a fundamentally dishonest tribal animal constantly immersed in conspiratorial activity. This failure is in disregard of Charter (v) (l) (refraining from ….)  & Editorial Guideline.

I disagree with the BBC Trust's previous consideration re Spotnitz considerable contribution to the 2007 File. page 54

5. The programme ignored evidence of the US government’s involvement in previous conspiracies.

What I actually wrote was the following

6. The BBC Conspiracy File programme caused confusion by on the one hand reminding viewers of the conspiracies of the Nixon, Clinton and Bush (Watergate, Monica Lewinsky and WMD/Iraq) but reassuring viewers on the other hand that any questioning of the official theory on 9/11 was out of bounds and simply the ramblings of weak minds seeking reassurance in a conspiracy theory so monstrous that most cannot believe it exists.

Back to the ECU summary

6. The programme acknowledged other US Government conspiracies (Watergate, Monica Lewinsky, WMD/Iraq) but said questioning of the official version of events in relation to 9/11 was “out of bounds”. 

7. The programme misrepresented key facts, including:
a.The programme referred to a “routine military exercise” but the authorities now admit there was an unprecedented number of manoeuvres and exercises underway. 

(k) How does the BBC explain its failure to inform the viewer of the unprecedented list of military and emergency service exercises on the very day of 9/11? A list is here posted on:

Read and investigate the writings of Webster Tarpley. See below from my 24 page Nov complaint.

Charlie Skelton, writing in the Guardian quotes Webster Tarpley's investigations as revealing the names and details of 46 drills and training exercises involving the intelligence & emergency services and the military.

7 b. It was incorrect to say the FBI and CIA “insist they had no specific warnings of the hijackings on 9/11”. Using the word “specific” obscured the known situation that this information was known to the various agencies.

l) How does the BBC explain its failure to inform the viewer of the long list of warnings of an attack or that several military and emergency service exercises specifically envisaged an attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon.
A very interesting public sources report of events. Live links on web post and e-mail.

8. The frequent repetition of the phrase “conspiracy theory” was used subliminally to condition the audience to support the UK and US government policy.

9. The programme featured 13 contributors who supported the official version of events and 4 who disagreed. This was evidence of lack of balance.

I now count 15 if you include Richard Clarke and Robinson supporting the official theory more or less. The time the four dissidents were allotted was approximately 8:5 minutes. This includes them discribing their accommodation, staff, books etc. it includes Dylan Avery's voice-over on clips from Loose Change as well as the extraneous Bin Laden coverage.

The interviews were not used to form a framework to the reasons these citizens protest against what they see as, at best, a government cover-up. They were used as entertainment cameos to paint personalities and life styles into a programme that had promised to "investigate the facts". The 15 witnesses, supporting the BBC line of confusion due to the fog of war within the most powerful military, intelligence and technical force this world has ever seen, had approximately 14 minutes speaking time.

10. The programme did not include contributions from relevant informed experts (such as Thomas Kean, Bob Kerry et al) who have questioned the findings of official investigations and inquiries. 

(m) How does the BBC explain its failure to inform the viewer of the statements of the majority of the 911 Commission members condemning various failures of the 911 Commission Report due to conflicting evidence from FAA, NORAD, White House, etc.?

11. The inclusion of a CIA agent swearing allegiance at the start of the programme gave the misleading impression that the CIA is above reproach when it is accepted that the agencies activities are “absolutely anchored in immorality and unethical behaviour”. 

12. Professor Niels Harrit was discredited as a witness and he was not given an opportunity to respond to criticism of his paper on the collapse of Building 7. This was evidence of lack of balance.

It was evidence of the deliberate manipulation of the facts to create the fiction that all who question the official conspiracy theory about 911 are irrelevant flawed people. By "official conspiracy theory" I mean the theory that 19 Arabs conspired with Osama bin Laden to attack the US and succeeded without in any way being aided by elements from within the US administration.  It would appear that this TV programme maintains that those who subscribe to this conspiracy theory, that the crime was carried out by fanatical Muslims, are self-evidently not "conspiracy theorists" while those who question the evidence for this theory, although they do not claim to know what actually happened, are considered "conspiracy theorists".  This attitude sadly resembles an item of Orwellian doublethink.
The  Charter clause disregarded is  (v) (l) (refraining from ….)   also  see 3b above.

13. The programme consistently stated the official version of events as fact. 
This was evidence of lack of balance. 

I note the word "due" in the quote below. I have attached a list of opinion polls which I trust you will give "due" consideration.
4.4.7 When dealing with 'controversial subjects', we must ensure a wide range of significant views and perspectives are given due weight and prominence, particularly when the controversy is active.  Opinion should be clearly distinguished from fact.

14. It was inaccurate to say that all that remains of 9/11 is consigned to a hanger in New York state”. Steel girders have been recycled and much of the building was pulverised into dust.

It maybe accurate to make that statement but the BBC has a duty of journalistic integrity to explain that despite the WTC being a crime scene needing thorough forensic examination the steel and everything else was cleared at top speed and the steel sent to the far east for recycling.

The point is that the clearing up at World Trade Center, Pentagon and F93 was contrary to all federal and state law concerning accidents, terrorist and criminal incidents. It was an unprecedented breach of emergency codes, facts which in themselves must be relevant to any unbiased investigation.

(n) How does the BBC explain its failure to inform the audience of these most relevant and important facts concerning the disposal of vital evidence?

15. It was inaccurate to say that “When air traffic control tried to find them [hijacked planes] there were like 4500 blips that looked identical across the United States”. All four planes should have been identifiable.

This issue also relates to the unprecedented number of exercises taking place on Sept. 11th that the BBC reports inaccurately as "a routine exercise".
See  (k) above

"Both the military and civilian air traffic control have sophisticated radar monitoring of air traffic by limited local regions. No controller would have massive numbers of blips on their screens. All 4 planes should have been clearly identifiable according to military insiders." 

16. The programme was misleading when it said military equipment and procedure “was designed and their procedures were designed to look out over the ocean, their equipment wasn’t designed to look inside the United States”.

911 Commission’s Jamie Gorelick contradicts the BBC assertion stating that one of NORAD’s missions “is control of the airspace above the domestic United States”.  Pilots for Truth state Soviet bombers would not be expected to leave their transponders on. Even if a plane turned its transponder off it would be “monitored like a hawk”.

The radar was working according to Transport Secretary Norman Mineta 

Mineta's testimony to the  9/11 Commission about his experience in the Presidential Emergency Operating Center with Vice President Cheney as American Airlines flight 77 approached the Pentagon, was not included in the 9/11 Commission Report.[4] In one colloquy testified by Mineta, he states that the vice president refers to orders concerning the plane approaching the Pentagon:
There was a young man who had come in and said to the vice president, 'The plane is 50 miles out. The plane is 30 miles out.' And when it got down to, 'The plane is 10 miles out,' the young man also said to the vice president, 'Do the orders still stand?' And the vice president turned and whipped his neck around and said, 'Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?' Well, at the time I didn't know what all that meant.
— Norman Mineta,

(o) How does the BBC explain its failure to inform the audience of these facts about responsibility for the domestic airspace or the history of interceptions. 
See here Various accounts offer statistics about the number of times fighters are scrambled ?

1990-2001: NORAD Regularly Launches Fighters to Intercept Suspicious Aircraft before 9/11

Fighter jets are regularly scrambled by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in response to suspicious or unidentified aircraft flying in US airspace in the years preceding 9/11.

For this task, NORAD keeps a pair of fighters on “alert” at a number of sites around the US. These fighters are armed, fueled, and ready to take off within minutes of receiving a scramble order (Before September 11, 2001). 
BERGEN RECORD, 12/5/2003

17. The programme included a contribution from Abolhassan Astaneh who was paid by the US government to draw up a report on the structural failures of the Twin Towers. His hypothesis about the structural integrity of the towers being dependent on thin load bearing walls has been discredited by Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth and others. Other views should have been included to achieve due impartiality. 

(p) Why does the BBC not examine the official NIST report and inform the viewer that the report only refers to the "collapse" of the floors immediately involved with the aircraft impacts, not the disintegration of the whole building down to below ground level?

18. Richard Fruehan and Chris Pistorius were included in the programme but had a vested interest in the official version of events. This was not made clear. 

19. The programme did not explain that the Twin Towers contained 47 uprights intermeshed with steel beams accredited to withstand 2000 degrees. This was misleading. 

20. The programme did not report that there were explosions in the basements of the towers prior to the planes hitting and afterwards while fire crews were on site.

21. The explanation provided by the programme as to why the towers collapsed was presented as fact but the cause is disputed and this was not reflected.

(q) Why is the BBC presenting a theory about the disintegration that is not supported by NIST or any other authority?

22. The programme did not mention the failure of the missile batteries protecting the Pentagon or the fact no CCTV footage from the area was released by the pentagon and other footage was confiscated by the FBI. 

23. The programme did not mention that data from the black box of Flight 77 has been analysed by independent experts and it does not match the official explanation. 

24. The programme included a contribution from Allyn Kilsheimer without making it clear that he “has made a good living out of his close association with the Pentagon and Dept of Defense”. 

(r) Why is the BBC deliberately concealing Kilsheimer's extensive vested interest in the official theory and his long term involvement with the Pentagon, FBI etc.?

25. The programme did not make it clear that the Pentagon was a crime scene in US criminal law and so no wreckage should have been touched or removed.

26. The programme included a contribution from Jean O’Connor of the FBI in which she denigrated those who question the official version of events. This was evidence of a lack of due impartiality. 

This is yet another example of the editorial direction to lead viewers away from consideration of the important facts and contradictions in the official report of the 911 Commission including the NIST report. What I wrote was  - Independent researchers are still waiting for the reports of the "clean-up" to be made public. Instead the BBC cuts in yet another denigration of anyone who questions the official conspiracy theory. O'Connor tells us the effects of conspiracy theorists are "unfair to the families and friends of the victims" and that questioning "belittles the lives of the victims”. 

It was evidence of the deliberate emotional manipulation to create the fiction that all that question the official account of 911 are irrelevant flawed people. The  Charter clause disregarded is  (v) (l) (refraining from ….)

27. The programme did not include any of the various theories about the collapse of the towers which questioned the original NIST evaluation.

I refer to scientists, architects and engineers who say that in their discipline 2 & 2 = 4. When these professions note the government making elementary mistakes they point it out only to be tarred as wacky outcasts. I did not complain that the BBC should have catalogued all the theories only to check the most pertinent and challenging facts. 

28. The programme misrepresented the findings of the RE Lee Group.  


See: KEVIN R. RYAN July 2, 2008.

R J Lee did find "iron rich" spheres which are a signature of thermite.

"RJ Lee Group, evaluating the contamination of the Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty Street, also described these iron-rich spheres, and actually used them as one of their signature markers. In other words, dust wasn’t regarded as WTC dust unless it contained these spheres. The chemical composition and micro-images of two WTC iron-rich spheres were documented by the US Geological Survey".

Thus ends my comments on the summary made of my 24 page complaint. I am concerned that the numerous specific complaints made in the documents I have present be given proper consideration rather than the "due" consideration signposted.  I do not want my complaints blanketed under a cloud of subjective generalised "overall impressions" on the part of ECU staff. I will remind any that read this communication of the words of Eric Fromm on objectivity "since Kant it has been widely maintained that objectively valid statements can only be made about facts and not about values. One test of objectivity is the exclusion of value statements".

I have made value judgements in my submission but seek in the first instance to concentrate on the facts. Only then is it worth the time to dismantle further the fiction that is the Conspiracy Files, based as it is on slick video tricks, crafty edits, plausible narrator weaving a web of a skewed set of issues with emphasis on peripheral issues whilst making ad hominem attacks on all that question in search of truth.

It is ironic that one of the comments made by the BBC Trust in the 2007 report focuses on the value of witnesses. "Eyewitness accounts provide interesting background information but cannot be regarded as providing conclusive evidence". (BBC Trust p38 3.2  response to complaints on 2007 911 Conspiracy File.)

 The TYO programme uses interviewed witnesses mostly who have avested interest in supporting the official conspiracy theory or who arebound by government secrecy laws. They proffer  unchallenged opinionas conclusive "evidence" backed up by the narrator and thus the BBC with all its intellectual clout. As I point out in over 300 pages on the site www.bbcmot.blogspot and in the documents I have mailed, much of what is presented is challenged by contrary and / or new information.

As all the BBC guidelines state, especially over such important and controversial issues as 911, this programme should be withdrawn and an apology issued to the viewing public.

John Yates Friday 10th Feb. 2012

No comments: