John Farmer and the Official Version

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John Farmer was a senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, so when he announced that he was writing a book on the attacks there was considerable interest. And this only grew when the publisher said of his work: "Farmer builds the inescapably convincing case that the official version not only is almost entirely untrue but serves to create a false impression of order and security." Almost entirely untrue? Sites like Prison Planet were quick to seize on the comment:

Unfortunately, and not the first time, they've got it wrong, especially here: "the official story as told to the public on the day and that which remains the authorities’ version of events today, is a lie". That is not what Farmer is saying.

The confusion here appears to come from the term "official story". In the 9/11 truth world, that's usually taken to mean the 9/11 Commission report and similar "official" accounts (NIST's reports, for instance): "that which remains the authorities’ version of events today".

Farmer, however, is talking about some of the details provided after the attacks by NORAD and the FAA, for example that NORAD knew about Flight 93 before it crashed. As he told Brad Friedman, this is the "official story" he believes to have be false, while in exposing this the 9/11 Commission Report is very accurate:

Farmer is certainly not saying "the authorities’ version of events today" is false, then, quite the opposite - he believes he and the report uncovered the truth.

Four critical respects

What exactly is Farmer saying was false, then? He summarises the main points in his book (we've reformatted the following paragraph for easier reading, but the text remains unchanged):

What's particularly interesting is that many of these claims that Farmer says are false, are actually argued as correct by many 9/11 researchers. David Ray Griffin, for instance, tells his readers that "the Langley fighters were scrambled in response to American 77". Those who argue Flight 93 was shot down use the reports that "the military was tracking United 93" to support their views. And both Griffin and Peter Dale Scott are forced to argue that Mineta "issued the order to land all airplanes", because they need him to be in the PEOC long before 9:45. All these issues are regularly used to support the idea that these aspects of the initial story were true, and that the later 9/11 Commission report covered them up.

For any 9/11 researcher with similar beliefs to Griffin, then, supporting Farmer now requires some tortuous thinking.

First, they must somehow manage to believe Farmer, despite him being part of what they think was a whitewash.

Second, they must ignore the detail of what he said, that he believes the 9/11 Commission uncovered the facts and was extremely accurate.

And third, they must point to, and so support Farmer's claimed falsehoods in the official story - for instance, Mineta did not issue the "order to land all airplanes" and NORAD didn't know about Flight 93 until it crashed - while actually believing themselves that these aren't falsehoods at all.

People have their own theories, so there may be some who can do this legitimately, perhaps a researcher who thinks Mineta's timeline is inaccurate and Flight 93 wasn't shot down. But in the vast majority of cases, using Farmer's book in an attempt to support 9/11 truth claims is an exercise in cherry-picking at its most dishonest, because even a brief look at the text shows he does nothing of the kind.