The Instigator
Dilara
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Oromagi
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Watch this documentary. Jahar is innocent.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Oromagi
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/22/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,499 times Debate No: 56988
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (16)
Votes (1)

 

Dilara

Pro

Only accept this debate if you are wiling to watch this one hour long documentary. This is not a contest on who can think of the best insults. Please watch the film and try to debunk it. Try to prove that the Boston bombing was not a false flag.
The documentary is called "marathon day: Boston 15.4.13 "operation Paul revere infowars.com contest" by BraveArcherfilms.
Only accept the debate if you will watch the entire film and pay close attention to it.
Oromagi

Con

Hi Dilara, I'll accept the debate. I enjoy investigating conspiracy theories from a skeptical point of view. I'm glad you have provided me this opportunity to investigate Jones' claims in greater detail.

FORMAT

Before making any arguments. I'd like to make an objection regarding the format of this debate. By submitting an argument in the format of a 72 minute video and then allowing only an 8,000 character response, Pro offers a unique kind of Proof by Argument fallacy. That is, Pro has designed the debate to make it impossible to respond to each argument in kind or in detail. I will do my best in Round 1 to describe some of the characteristics of "Marathon Day: Boston 15.4.13" and its director, but I will save a detailed argument regarding false flag accusations for Round 2. I hope that is to Pro's satisfaction.

THESIS

Essentially, there are two debates here: "Jahar is innocent" and "The Boston Marathon Bombing was a false flag operation." Their juxtaposition here suggests that two questions are interdependent, but clearly they are not. Even if a false flag op could be proved, that would not necessarily suggest Dzokhar's innocence. Even if Dzokhar's innocence could be established, that would not necessarily prove a false flag. I'll assume we are addressing both questions with an emphasis on debunking the false flag allegation.

Although Dzokhar has pleaded not guilty to the Boston Marathon bombing, some of the April 19th crime spree was ear and eye witnessed and recorded by far too many individuals to support a full denial of guilt. Tsarnaev's scrawled confession on the inside of the boat in which he hid goes a long way towards undermining any claims to innocence. Whether or not you believe that Dzokhar was one of the Marathon bombers, there can be little doubt about his gunfight with police; the transportation and detonation of multiple explosive devices; the high speed crashing through police barricades after running over his brother; etc. I'll assume that Pro is not arguing that Dzokhar is innocent of every crime with which he has been charged, especially those very public and well documented events.


JAHAR vs. DZOKHAR

While hardly comprehensive, my analysis of internet trends regarding Tsarnaev is that the "Jahar" spelling is generally employed those who believe Tsarnaev is innocent, Rolling Stone magazine, and teen aged girls. The "Dzokhar" spelling is generally employed by everyone else. I think this makes sense and to a significant degree demonstrate our biases: Jahar is softer in pronunciation, the spelling is Western, less foreign. Dzokhar is harder in pronunciation and more foreign in appearance (and evokes the word "joker," a name deeply entrenched in the American psyche since The Dark Knight, the Aurora massacre, etc.). Because the closest thing to an impartial perspective on the web is Wikipedia and that site prefers Dzokhar, I will prefer that spelling as well.

The VIDEO

Since my opponent has forgotten to do so, I have added a link to the video in question.



http://youtu.be...

I would like to draw the reader's attention to the word "contest" in the title. We will want to note that this video was created for the purpose of winning a contest sponsored by Alex Jones and infowars.com. The purpose of the video was to capture the $100,000 prize on offer.

This may explain why the video is merely an echo chamber through which reverberates Alex Jones' statements regarding the Boston Marathon bombing. Viewers will note that the video contain no original research and no original footage. The video is best described as 1/3 news footage of events from April 15-20, 2013, 1/3 Alex Jones stringing together unsubstantiated allegations, and 1/3 clips from media in which followers of infowars parrot Alex Jones' talking points repeatedly.

There is no reason to assume that the filmmaker even necessarily advocates for Alex Jones' theories. It seems perfectly plausible that Brave Archer Films may have created this video for an audience of one, Alex Jones, exclusively in the interest of prize money. Here is a link to the contest winners:


http://www.infowars.com...

I say contest winners but we should note that Jones reports that there were more than 600 total submissions and this sight congratulates 680 runners-up, a transparently meaningless accolade which filmmaker Amel Tresjnic nevertheless boasts from his YouTube page.

Although I expect Jones is pleased with the resulting 600+ videos disseminatng of all kinds of wild conspiracies (Ron Paul is a Mason, etc), any serious newsman ought to be disturbed. If Brian Williams put out a call for documentary submissions and exclusively received films is praise of Brian Williams would we not assume those films were flagrant flattery without regard for the truth? Why then should we view Jones differently when he proudly displays his wall of sycophancy?


The FILMMAKER

Although Pro and the movie present themselves as a "Brave Archer Films" production, we should note that Brave Archer Films is only Amel Tresjnic, a video-maker for hire in Melbourne Australia. Here's a link to his attractively designed website:

http://www.bravearcherfilms.com...

Readers may wish to note that Tresjnic's other features include a film about Mayan Calendar eschatology titled, "2012 Crossing Over" and a video about transcendent realities called "Spiritual Awakenings: Rise of the Kundalini."

Nothing in Tresjnic's biography suggests that he's visited Boston or even the US. Nothing in Tresjnic's biography indicates any special expertise or insight regarding terrorists, bombmaking, securing public events, crime, the Boston Marathon, the City of Boston, disenfranchised teenagers, etc.


Again, I'll leave specific refutation of claims for Round 2. If Pro wishes to refine her arguments to a single thesis or to define specific arguments supporting false flag allegations, I would be content to address those specific topics. If not, I'll identify the main arguments made in the video as I see them and address them point by point.


I'll end this round with Michael Shermer's very helpful ten point "Conspiracy Theory Detector" as published in the December 2010 issue of Scientific American magazine:

            1. Proof of the conspiracy supposedly emerges from a pattern of “connecting the dots” between events that need not be causally connected. When no evidence supports these connections except the allegation of the conspiracy or when the evidence fits equally well to other causal connections — or to randomness — the conspiracy theory is likely to be false.

            1. The agents behind the pattern of the conspiracy would need nearly superhuman power to pull it off. People are usually not nearly so powerful as we think they are.

            1. The conspiracy is complex, and its successful completion demands a large number of elements.

            1. Similarly, the conspiracy involves large numbers of people who would all need to keep silent about their secrets. The more people involved, the less realistic it becomes.

            1. The conspiracy encompasses a grand ambition for control over a nation, economy or political system. If it suggests world domination, the theory is even less likely to be true.

            1. The conspiracy theory ratchets up from small events that might be true to much larger, much less probable events.

            1. The conspiracy theory assigns portentous, sinister meanings to what are most likely innocuous, insignificant events.

            1. The theory tends to commingle facts and speculations without distinguishing between the two and without assigning degrees of probability or of factuality.

            1. The theorist is indiscriminately suspicious of all government agencies or private groups, which suggests an inability to nuance differences between true and false conspiracies.

            1. The conspiracy theorist refuses to consider alternative explanations, rejecting all disconfirming evidence and blatantly seeking only confirmatory evidence to support what he or she has a priori determined to be the truth.






Debate Round No. 1
Dilara

Pro

Thanks you so much for debating this with me. You did a great job.
I forgot to add more time and allow us to write longer debates.
My goal is to prove that both the brothers are innocent or that the brothers were brainwashed and used by other people. The reason that someone(s) would use these men and set off bombs at the Boston marathon is unknown. It is believed that this was done to put fear in to Americans and/or to turn us against Muslims.
I would like to point out the amount of security that was at the marathon that day. People who were at the marathon took many pictures of bomb sniffing dogs, men with navy seal uniforms and backpacks matching the backpack that contained the explosives. They also took pictures of police men on roofs and many other security officers. There was more security that day than there have been at other marathons-in D.C, Chicago or London according to various runners who were there that day.
According to people who were standing or sitting right where the bombs went off security men told them that there was a drill going on and to stay calm.
The backpacks the navy seals had were identical to the backpacks that contained bombs.
According to people who were at the marathon, there were many bomb sniffing dogs as I said earlier. Why didn't they sniff the bomb? Any pictures of the marathon that day will show this.
A very famous picture of Jahar walking away from the bomb sites was photoshopped. The measurements of his left arm are messed up and they don't match up to his arm measurements in other pictures. It appears that he did not set down the backpack. It appears that he walked away from the bombing sites with the backpack but it was photoshopped out.
Jahar is easier than Dzhokar also to be frank I like the way it sounds better.
No matter who made the video or why it must be remembered that credible sources were used. The video includes interviews with eye witnesses to the bombing and shoot out, an interview with the brothers mother and it explains inconsistencies of the official story using actual tweets and statements sent out by officials.
As for the bottom passages about conspiracy theories.
I've looked at many of these theories including the sandy hook "shooting" tye Elliot Rodgers killings; the Oklahoma City bombing and many others. I find that some things people say is absolutely ridiculous. People claim that Emile Parker posed for a photo with Obama after supposedly being shot at sandy hook. It's clear that the picture is of Madeline who is Emilies younger sister(I believe sandy hook was a hoax for the record). People also say that Boston bombing victim is an actor namedNick Vogt. Nick Vogt is a man who lost both legs in Kabul years ago. People claim that MR. Vogt is playing Jeff Bauman Jeff Bauman is a man who lost both legs in the Boston bombings man who lost both legs in the Boston marathon bombing which is very unlikely consider in how different they look. People also claim that no one died at the marathon that day and their families are actors. Some of these theories are ridiculous. Some however are not. Why is it crazy to ask why all the people who live in the sandy hook village got free houses in 2009 which was before the shooting? Why is it crazy to ask why bomb sniffing dogs did not smell bombs at the marathon? Why is it crazy to ask why security officers told everyone they see having a drill right before the bombs went off? These are reasonable questions. All people are asking for is answers. Still the media acts like we're insane and disrespectful. How could you not ask these questions?.
Thank you for being mature and kind.
Oromagi

Con

Thanks to Pro for the redirects in round2. Her arguments permit a more narrow focus and so a more productive evaluation.

PRELUDE

Because the question at hand is whether the Boston Marathon Bombing was a false flag operation with a secondary consideration regarding the guilt of the brothers Tsarnaev, I hope Pro and readers will forgive that this argument will forbear any excursions into incidents that are largely unrelated except, of course, for the obvious connections of notoriety, violence, and speculation about conspiracy. We can leave consideration of the events at Sandy Hook, Isla Vista, and Oklahoma City for another debate.


Also, I think my refutation will make more sense if I begin with Pro's last remarks and work back to her first.

CRAZY? NO.

I'll begin by answering Pro's final questions, which might be summarized as "Why is it crazy to ask why some descriptions regarding the Boston Marathon Bombing are inconsistent with the official reports by investigators?"

I would respond that it is never crazy to ask why and it is always important to evaluate official reports with a skeptical eye. We should however remember to be equally skeptical regarding the reports of inconsistencies. We do well to remember that the agents of official reports: govt. representatives, news reporters, corporate execs, etc are well motivated to try to get the details right. These are typically ordinary men and women with a lot at stake regarding the quality of investigation: their jobs, community respect, the well-being of bereaved families, and personal reputation. In many cases, the folks who tend to cry conspiracy, the Alex Joneses and Lew Rockwells of the world, have little or nothing at stake and suffer few consequences when they repeatedly get facts wrong. Human empathy compels us to provide the official investigators with some benefit of the doubt. No investigation is flawless but most are well intentioned. But yes, we also won't forget that some investigations are deeply flawed and some deliberately disguise the truth. I would argue that the official reports regarding the Boston Marathon Bombing are more the former than the latter.

It is never crazy to ask questions but it would be unwise to disregard reasonable explanations from people who are motivated to tell the truth. It is never crazy to ask, but it might be unjust to prefer elaborate or unverifiable explanations for details without sufficient evidence. It is never crazy to ask but it might be crazy to presume without evidence a hierarchy of evil agencies when the smaller evils of a few misbegotten men might explain events with satisfaction.

The VIDEO

No matter who made the video or why it must be remembered that credible sources were used.

We've already discussed the unjournalistic motivations for producing the video (flattery for prizes). Still, I don't dispute the authenticity of the heavily edited news clips that make up 1/3rd of the video. Nor do I have a problem with the long clips from C-SPAN that merely demonstrate that some callers believe Alex Jones and are willing to call talk shows to repeat Jones' talking points. However, if Pro is asking that we accept Alex Jones' long string of unsupportable speculations as factual or most information found on Infowars.com as credible news I will refuse. Alex Jones has been so spectacularly wrong about so many subjects so many times that his credibility as a newsman ranks no higher than that of Charles Manson or Milli Vanilli. I don't have the space to detail the magnitude of Jones' paranoid delusions, so I'll instead link here to one of many video compilations of Jones' manic claims.

#t=15

TSARNAEV PHOTOSHOPPED

A very famous picture of Jahar walking away from the bomb sites was photoshopped... It appears that he walked away from the bombing sites with the backpack but it was photoshopped out.

So, here's that famous picture:




The man in the white baseball cap at the 9 o'clock position is Tsarnaev. The allegation is that Dzokhar's arm was manipulated to disguise a white backpack carried after the bombing. Please not that there are no photos that show Dzokhar leaving with a backpack, conspiracists only suppose that there must be a backpack based exclusively on the angle of Dzokhar's arm in this picture. That's pretty much the same thing as saying that if a rock is shaped like a monkey, there must be a monkey behind that rock. Using precisely the same degree of evidence as conspiracists, I will allege that in Dzokhar's right hand he is holding a bright yellow sign that says "I AM A TERRORIST." Both theories are provable to the same degree.


This picture was taken by marathon runner David Green using his iPhone. He didn't realize he had a picture of Dzokhar until after Dzokhar's arrest on Friday night. He contacted the Associated Press who checked Green's background and thoroughly inspected the photo for tampering before buying the photo. The AP and Green have verified that this in the unaltered original image. Here's Green with iPhone-




Conspiracists are mute regarding the question of why a marathon runner and the AP would act in concert to disguise a backpack on Tsarnaev. Certainly, if the world's largest new agency had their hands on a photo that contradicted the FBI's version of events, one would expect that they would publish that photo unaltered as a Pulitzer worthy scoop.

We can choose to believe that the AP is colluding with the govt. to conceal malfeasance on a colossal scale or we can agree that this is just a picture of Tsarnaev in motion and that the angle of his elbow really doesn't look particularly unusual.

BOMB-SNIFFING DOGS

According to people who were at the marathon, there were many bomb sniffing dogs.... Why didn't they sniff the bomb? Any pictures of the marathon that day will show this.

At least since 9/11 there's nothing unusual about the presence of bomb sniffing dogs at most large public events.

Consider that more than 15 police department share responsibility for securing the race and each department is likely to have at least some police dogs. A report of an overabundance of police dogs seems entirely plausible since an overabundance of police at the Marathon is the norm. Considering that they probably receive holiday pay on top of overtime and that policing the event was probably fun and easy most years, we should not be surprised if Marathon security is a popular assignment.




Boston police report that they conducted two bomb sweeps in the area around the finish line, the second about an hour before the explosion. Since witnesses and video confirm that Dzokhar placed the backpack containing his pressure-cooker bomb a mere 2 1/2 minutes before setting of the bomb, there is no reason to expect that a bomb-sniffing dog might have discovered it beforehand. Obviously, deploying police dogs on the race track itself would have been inappropriate while runners were arriving. Since the event was well-videotaped there are many, many pictures of the site in the seconds just before and after the bombing. Not one shows any dogs at the finish line.







Every report of bomb sniffing dogs at the finish line cites the same single source: University of Mobile running coach Alistair Stevenson. His interview quickly went viral on April 16 because of his description of race security. Stevenson is also the one and source stating that police shouted "This is just a drill" just after the first explosion. Although there's no reason to suppose Stevenson is dissembling there's also no reason to take his perspective at face value. Out of the 23,000 other runners who also raced that day why is there no corroborative report from any other racer? Why do conspiracists insist that only Stevenson's report is to be believed? Are the other 23,000 runners part of the conspiracy?

Why would we believe one man's testimony in contradiction to hundreds of photographs?

Out of space, so I'll continue in Round 3.
Debate Round No. 2
Dilara

Pro

Thanks for being mature and respectful.
I look at everything I read or watch with a skeptical eye. Just because Alex jones says something doesn't mean I believe it. I've heard some crazy conspiracies that I completely disagree with. Even though the person saying these wild things might agree with me completely or vaguely I still don't believe those things. There are people who think that the Boston Bombing didn't even happen and that all the amputees are really actors who were amputees prior to the event. I have an open mind and I won't disgrace with someone just because their argument sounds crazy. I won't disagree with anything until I look into the facts for my self. I actually looked into some of this stuff. I watched videos where people tried to prove the Boston bombing victims are actors and I didn't buy it. I found some of the facts and inconsistencies they pointed out compelling but I can't agree with them with just those facts.
I understand what you mean. One could look at these reasons that prove sandy hook was a hoax or that Boston bombing was a false flag and just shrug it off as "simple mistakes" or "glitches". In some events like The Boston bombing there are too many if these glitches and mistakes. If there was only one reason that proven Boston was a false flag than one could shrug it off as a mistake. When there are 50 glitches it's hard to believe they all happen to be explainable mistakes. I find it strange that with these mass killings Facebook pages and tweets go out prior the event. Pretty much only in these events-and in most of these events there are the same types of mistakes being made. Coincidence? Probably not.
I was talking about a nother picture that shows more of jahar. I think someone photoshopped this mans picture.
All those bomb sniffing dogs didn't smell the bombs? Strange.
You did a great job. Thanks.
Oromagi

Con

IT'S ONLY a DRILL

According to people who were standing or sitting right where the bombs went off security men told them that there was a drill going on and to stay calm. They also took pictures of police men on roofs.


This statement is a pretty good example of how poor journalistic standards rapidly devolve into self-reinforcing rumors. As I said in Round2, the source for this allegation is an interview with a single runner: University of Mobile running coach Alistair Stevenson. A news website was the first to interview Stevenson on the day of the attack.

http://blog.al.com...

Stevenson said he saw something he felt was unusual BEFORE the RACE BEGAN:

"At the starting line this morning, they had bomb sniffing dogs and the bomb squad out there," he said. "They kept announcing to runners not to be alarmed, that they were running a training exercise."

He added, "I've run a lot of races like this one, but I never saw bomb dogs at the starting line of any running event. It led me to believe that something like (a bomb detonation) might have happened."

Stevenson also makes it clear that he had long since finished the race, gone back to his hotel room to take a shower, and was on his way back to the race from Copley Square at the time of the attack.

Now look at how Jones reports that testimony at 9m45s of the video, "They told people 'don't be alarmed' before the bombs went off." Jones carefully omits Stevenson's report of time and place to enhance the idea that this statement was made while the bombs were going off. Jones knows that he can count on his audience to enhance his innuendo.

Anthony Gucciardi's interview with Stevenson is a little clearer that any claim of a drill announcement took place at the athlete's village in the morning. Neither interview points out that the athlete's village lies 20 miles away in the town of Hopkinton, Massachusetts.

Gucciardi's interview, however, invents an interesting detail that is now considered an undeniable fact by conspiracists. At the 10m mark in the video, Gucciardi claims that Stevenson saw "rooftop shooters." Notice that Stevenson has never suggested shooters and repeats at the start of the interview that he saw police "spotters" with binoculars.

Four hours later, Gucciardi's article regarding the interview has upgraded his fabricated "shooters" to "snipers."

http://www.infowars.com...

"In an exclusive interview, I just finished speaking with key Boston Marathon eyewitness and running participant Alastair Stevenson, who has confirmed to me that drills were taking place the morning of the Boston Marathon complete with bomb squads and rooftop snipers."

If anybody supposes that Gucciardi simply misheard, notice the way Gucciardi's direct quote of Stevenson has been altered.

Stevenson: At the start at the event, at the Athlete’s Village, there were police spotters, or there were people on the roof with binoculars looking down onto the Village at the start.

Gucciardi's altered quote: "At the start at the event, at the Athlete’s Village, there were people on the roof looking down onto the Village at the start."

Gucciardi has carefully removed the testimony that might contradict his invented snipers. Any honest newsroom would have fired Gucciardi for such deliberate tampering.

Look at how the a fairly mundane report by one witness has been mutated into something deeply sinister. One witness, and only one witness, has stated that 6 hours before the bombings in a town 20 miles away, there was an announcement that there would be a police drill that morning. The one witness clearly states that he was not at the race when the bombing occurred.

But after infowars despicable, fraudulent reporting viewers come away with Pro's understanding of that fact:

According to people who were standing or sitting right where the bombs went off security men told them that there was a drill going on and to stay calm.

Then Alex Jones takes the pulpit and concludes that this is proof positive that the Boston police had foreknowledge of a bomb and deliberately tried to trick people into staying in the blast zone. After further concluding that the government deliberately hurt citizens as an excuse to limit their rights, Jones then recommends that his frightened viewers purchase $500 worth of emergency rations from (you guessed it) Alex Jones.

Consider the outlook of one of those actual Boston police officers who ran into the smoke and broken glass to rescue those bloody and broken citizens those police are sworn to protect. How cruel must Jones' deliberately falsified allegation seem to that officer? How venal his willingness to profit from the pain of others?

Furthermore, we can be confident that police were not standing by or trying to calm citizens because the moments after the blast were filmed and photographed by crowds of bystanders. Isn't it strange that we will refuse to believe one thousand witnesses but will insist the badly twisted testimony of one man who wasn't there must be the truth?





NAVY SEALS/CRAFT INTERATIONAL

People who were at the marathon took many pictures of....men with navy seal uniforms and backpacks matching the backpack that contained the explosives.

Speaking of infowars.com saying nasty stuff about heroic civil servants, this accusation is just as pathetic. Here's the best known example of one of these pictures:


Who are these guys? Good question. They are members of CST, the Massachusetts Civil Support Team, a team of specialists attached to each state's Army National Guard by order of President Clinton. Basically, they're job is to be that state's rapid response experts regarding any weapons of mass destruction. If somebody drops a canister of sarin gas into the subway these are the first guys to go in. By executive order, they are expected to support most large scale public events in case they are rapidly required. Here they are getting recognized for their service at the Marathon bombing.

Congressmember Michael Grimm presented a certificate to members of the Fort Hamilton WMD-CST in recognition of their efforts after the Boston Marathon bombing

Here they are working a ballgame at Fenway Park. (The guy in the black cap above is wearing the same cap here)

Alex Jones and infowars have deliberately cast suspicion on these soldiers by suggesting that they were members of the Navy Seals or perhaps agents of Craft International. They point to their black backpacks and insinuate that these somehow contained the bombs. They point to the punisher skull logos and khakis as proof that these men must be contractors with Craft International.


Never mind that men's names and their job at the Marathon are public record, 2 minutes of research would show that Craft International is a firm that trains police and soldiers in weapons and civil defense. Craft does not offer security personnel for hire.

5 minutes of research would have informed infowars that the Punisher is a comic book hero who has no superpowers but instead relies on his Marine Recon, Army Airborne, and Navy Seals training to defeat his opponents which accounts for the Punisher's particular popularity in the ranks of US Armed Forces and for the prominent employment of the Punisher logo throughout the Armed Services, particularly in with Recon and Seals. Which explains why Craft International, founded by a Navy Seal, employs the skull as its logo. Craft's weapons training and civil defense classes are considered the best in the US and hundreds of clients in law enforcement and the military take a Craft class in any given week. A black cap with the punisher skull is a freebie that comes with the class. So the logo only suggests that the wearer is active military or a veteran or someone who has taken a class with Craft or a comic book fan.


Besides which, looking at the full original picture quickly establishes that it was taken after the explosion, not before.






Debate Round No. 3
Dilara

Pro

The first point i would like to bring up is the security. They had more security at that marathon than they would have at any other race. Cops were everywhere. Shooters were on roof tops. Bomb sniffing dogs everywhere. It probably is not a coincidence. Authorities knew something would happen. It's undeniable.
I'm very proud of the cops and civilians who risked their lives to save the injured. I'm not denying that many heroes were there to help that day.
The men with the backpacks who ever they are...those backpacks match the ones that had the bombs in them. Remember jahar did not set a bomb down. The back pack was photoshopped out.
Thanks
Oromagi

Con

They had more security at that marathon than they would have at any other race.

We've been over this, of course, but more detail on the subject might be illustrative.

We want to remember that Pro's source for this statement is infowars.com and that infowars' source is the interview with Alastair Stevenson. If we go back to the interview as captured in the YouTube video or to any other interview with Stevenson, we note that Stevenson never expressed a concern about the number of security personnel. Stevenson simply stated that he'd been to other marathons and had never seen roof-top observers or bomb-sniffing dogs. As a sports coach at the University of Alabama, Stevenson seems blithely unaware that bomb-sniffing dogs are an ordinary part of security before most college football games including U of A games.

Stevenson is wrong but we should find no fault with an interviewee who claims no expertise and only cites personal experience. We are obligated to find fault with infowars' reporting because theynever bothered to corroborate Stevenson's statement
: not with security experts, not with even one additional witness, not with Marathon officials, not with Boston Police. The reason for this oversight is almost certainly because Stevenson's speculation is not sustainable by the most cursory investigation.

Anti-terrorist countermeasures such as rooftop observers and bomb-sniffing dogs have been an ordinary precaution before major American sporting events since Presidential Decision Directive 39 U.S. Policy on Counterterrorism was signed on June 21 1995 by President Clinton, which established and funded 57 Civil Support Teams nationwide to support such countermeasures. Most large European sporting events have employed such countermeasures since the early 1970's. Hard numbers are difficult to come by because security officials are wary of describing security strength in detail, but we know the following:
  • The 2013 Marathon had 27,000 official runners plus a few thousand unofficial runners and somewhere between 700,000 to 1 million spectators along the route. The marathon remains crowded for all 26.2 miles and 4-6 hours and the course generally cannot be crossed, forming a 53 mile line of densely packed people without any perimeters or gates or security check points.
  • The Marathon route passes through 8 municipalities, 3 counties and 3 college campuses, making 14 different police jurisdictions participating in Marathon security that must be coordinated. Additionally, the Massachusetts State Patrol, the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Safety, The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, the Massachusetts Army National Guard (including CST team) and the US Coast Guard all participate annually in Marathon security. Typically, Boston invites a number of additional out of state security teams to participate, cross-train, and share techniques. All these security teams are coordinated by the Massachusetts Emergency Mgmt Agency from several command tents located at the finish line. On April 15 2013, the Marathon was guarded by roughly 1800 men and women represented by 75 commanders at MEMA HQ. That may seem like a large number, but consider that averages out to one officer for each side per 50 yards of racetrack or roughly one officer for every 500-600 spectators.
  • Each year, MEMA utilizes the marathon to practice large scale emergency response scenarios. MEMA also plays out such scenarios during the integrated security effort for the Fourth of July each year. The year before the bombing in 2012, MEMA practiced a terrorist bombing event at the Marathon but on a far larger scale than the actual attack of 2013.
  • The size of Boston's security response is hardly unusual. Chicago, New York City, London all employ large, integrated security responses for each of their marathons and all use the opportunity to run training exercises every year. In contradiction to Stevenson's observation, many cities' security responses are larger than Boston's. London deployed 3500 soldiers to secure her Marathon in 2012 and increased that number to 5000 troops after the Boston Bombing- that's 5000 soldiers above and beyond the massive police and security deployments. Chicago not only uses rooftop observers but also deploys 8 helicopters to keep watch over the event. New York City places 2500 police cameras along the route (Manhattan buildings are really too high for rooftop observers). DC's marathon is smaller than Boston's but they deployed 26 bomb-sniffing dog teams in 2012 and expected to increase that number after Boston 2013.

Pro's statement that "They had more security at that marathon than they would have at any other race," is easily proven to be false, so (absent the presentation of any additional evidence) her conclusion that "Authorities knew something would happen. It's undeniable" must be dismissed as unsupported.

The back pack was photoshopped out.

So far, Pro has presented no evidence to support this claim. Some conspiracists do claim that in one picture of Dzokhar leaving the bomb site, his elbow is held at a sufficient angle that a backpack might be concealed. Obviously such a statement in no way stands as evidence that some item is concealed, much less that the item is a backpack, much less that the item is the same backpack as the one thought to have contained a bomb. The breadth of the gaps in logic between one blurry, bent elbow and some kind of false flag scenario are breathtaking....there must first be some kind of chain of evidence. Establishing the Malaysia Air MH 370 had the potential to fly to Perth, Australia is not the same thing as proving that the jet landed in Perth, right? Likewise, establishing that one object has the potential to conceal another object is not the same thing as proving that some object is so concealed.

Jahar did not set a bomb down.

Although prosecutors have advised the court that they are in possession of a closed-circuit video of Dzokhar setting down the bomb, such evidence has not yet been released to the media. We do know that Dzokhar was witnessed throwing one bomb and two grenades at police by hundreds of residents in Waterton. We do know that Jeff Bauman, the guy famously photographed after having both legs blown off, was the man who identified Tamerlane for authorities from pictures of the crowd. Prosecutors have stated that Dzokhar has implicated himself via three confessions in writing- text messages to friends, a note scrawled on the inside of the boat where he hid, and by notepad to the FBi in the hours before he was mirandized. We note that none one of these confessions has yet been tested in court. Until so tested, we might agree that authorities have not yet proved that Dzokhar set one of the bombs at the marathon but would not agree that Dzokhar is therefore less culpable. In order for Dzokhar to be blameless, thousands of Bostonians from every walk of life would need to be conspiring to convict one twenty-year old without major contradiction or exposure or unintentional disclosure. For Dzokhar to be blameless, the City of Boston must be engaged in a conspiracy of a scale and perfection that far exceeds any other in human history.

The men with the backpacks who ever they are...those backpacks match the ones that had the bombs in them.

Again, we've covered this.

  • We have not yet seen enough pictures of the Tsarnaev backpacks to make such a statement.
  • Backpacks that looks similar are not necessarily the same backpack.
  • The backpacks Pro has indicated are from pictures taken AFTER the bombs (see R3).
  • We know exactly who those men are, why they were on site, and what they were doing during and after the explosions. These men have received awards for their conduct on April 15.
  • We know that the CST always carries backpacks like this while on duty. We have pictures of the same guys wearing the same packs before and after April 15.

If Pro has evidence to the contrary she yet to offer it.


Debate Round No. 4
Dilara

Pro

If you look at the picture of jahar in the black sweatshirt walking away from the bombing sites you can see that his arm length is not normal. Your fore arm should be longer than your upper arm or vice versa depending on race. Because jahar is white his fore arm should be longer than the upper part. They both appear to be equal. Also in other pictures his arm looks normal. His arm length didn't just change for that picture.
Tamerlan is probably not innocent. We haven't seen jahar out the back put down. Also tamerlan went to a fbi training camp in Russia a couple years ago (infowars has the main sources) so he was probably being made into a terrorist by a nother group. There's no way he was all loving America than after he couldn't do boxing because he wasn't a citizen he just became in American.
Oromagi

Con

If you look at the picture of jahar in the black sweatshirt walking away from the bombing sites you can see that his arm length is not normal. Your fore arm should be longer than your upper arm or vice versa depending on race. Because jahar is white his fore arm should be longer than the upper part. They both appear to be equal. Also in other pictures his arm looks normal. His arm length didn't just change for that picture.

For caucasians, the upper arm is only longer than the forearm by an average of 2%. That is, the difference in length is generally not detectable to human observation. You can see this principle demonstrated by Da Vinci's anatomical drawings, which assumed that forearms and upper arms were the same length.

As said before, the Associated Press owns the picture and stands by it as unmodified. Since Pro has failed to offer any argument that might explain why the AP would particpate in some theorized false flag operation and since the AP would clearly benefit by exposing such a conspiracy were one to exist, this argument can be dismissed.

Tamerlan is probably not innocent.

Agreed.

We haven't seen jahar out the back put down.

Agreed. That is not evidence that he did not. The FBI claims to have videotape of this event which prosecutors plan to exhibit during Jahar's murder trial. If Pro has evidence that the unseen tape is non-existent or tampered with, she has not presented it. We do have eye-witness testimony from bomb victims that implicates Dzokhar. Until any believable bit of evidence comes along that might refute their story, I'll believe their testimony since I can't think of a reason why scores of random Bostonians would voluntarily lose a leg as part of some kind of government black op and then lie in support of governement shenanigans.

Also tamerlan went to a fbi training camp in Russia a couple years ago (infowars has the main sources) so he was probably being made into a terrorist by a nother group.

There's an FBI installaton in Russia? Does it seem strange that Russians don't object to American police forces operating in their country? Or do you suppose that the Russian goverment is also voluntarily participating in a US conspiracy? Why would they do that? How does the FBI fund and support such an installation without also assuming that large portions of the US legislative and executive branches are part of the cover-up? How many thousands of Russian and American citizens do you suppose must be keeping these gigantic secrets? I wonder why nobody except a few infowars employees who are trying to sell you army surplus at insane markups thinks that this story has any plausibility? hmmm..

OK, by way of conclusion, let's go through that Scientific American "Conspiracy Theory Checklist" from 2010:

1.
Proof of the conspiracy supposedly emerges from a pattern of “connecting the dots” between events that need not be causally connected. When no evidence supports these connections except the allegation of the conspiracy or when the evidence fits equally well to other causal connections — or to randomness — the conspiracy theory is likely to be false.


Check. For example, a blurry white spot on a National Guardsman's cap somehow becomes proof that Navy Seals were dropping bombs on innocent civilians for undetermined reasons. Never mind those radicalized muslims shooting cops and tossing grenades in Waterton, that dude with the spot on his hat must be the real villain.

2.
The agents behind the pattern of the conspiracy would need nearly superhuman power to pull it off. People are usually not nearly so powerful as we think they are.


Check. For example, Navy Seals who somehow manage to drop explosive backpacks in front of hundreds of cameras and thousands of witnessess while magically making it appear that some innocent kids actually dropped the packs

3.
The conspiracy is complex, and its successful completion demands a large number of elements.


Check. For example, mass particpation from all manner of law enforcement and government agencies, citizens willing to lie on behalf of corrupt government in spite of being harmed by goverment bombs, AP reporters willing lie about photo tampering, thousands of media outlets willing to ignore evidence, all to promote some kind of legislative move against the Second Ammendment- never mind that the majority of cops and soldiers are Second Ammendment advocates. (That's infowars' theory, not Pro's. Pro stated she is not certain about Govt. motivation.)

4.
Similarly, the conspiracy involves large numbers of people who would all need to keep silent about their secrets. The more people involved, the less realistic it becomes.


Check. See #3- cops+soldiers+citizens+reporters+city, state, and federal officials in the hundreds if not thousands. By the time we get to FBI training camps in Russia, we must be looking at thousands of citizens from multiple countries with no apparent motive.

5.
The conspiracy encompasses a grand ambition for control over a nation, economy or political system. If it suggests world domination, the theory is even less likely to be true.


Check.

"
From the Family Guy to CNN, oh my gosh, "the Patriots are going to merge with al Qaeda". You can trust no one but Homeland Security. Ladies and gentlemen, Homeland Security stands to gain from this. They've got anti-gun bills, open border bills, and a bill to make Homeland Security autonomous, from Congress, right now, in front of them.

And these type of events grease the skids and allow government to expand and that's what's happening. So, bottom line this crisis will be used to take your freedoms and they've now confirmed that there was a drill. They told people "don't be alarmed" before the bombs went off." -Alex Jones @9:30 on the video

6.
The conspiracy theory ratchets up from small events that might be true to much larger, much less probable events.


Check. When we hyper-enlarge a distant picture of Dzokhar his forearm looks too large, therfore the picture must be photoshopped, therefore Dzokar's backpack must have been erased, therefore Dzokhar's missing backpack proves his innocence.

7.
The conspiracy theory assigns portentous, sinister meanings to what are most likely innocuous, insignificant events.


Check. Bomb-sniffing dogs must mean foreknowledge. A skull on a baseball cap must mean Navy Seals slaughtering Americans impunity.

8.
The theory tends to commingle facts and speculations without distinguishing between the two and without assigning degrees of probability or of factuality.


Check. Look again at the way infowars takes the testimony of one guy who clearly says that he wasn't at the bombing but he saw guys with binoculars on the roofs that morning at the starting gate 25 miles away. Withing minutes the guys on the roof are "shooters," then "snipers," then "Navy Seals," without a single additonal fact or attempt at corroboration by second witness. Within a day, Alex Jones is reporting police told bystanders that to remain calm just before the bomb, unblinkingly commingling a real report with a fantasy that omits time of day, place or any context but the one Alex Jones wishes to confer. And that context is always the same: time to panic, folks.

9.
The theorist is indiscriminately suspicious of all government agencies or private groups, which suggests an inability to nuance differences between true and false conspiracies.


Check. The AP photo is a good example of this inability or the FBI in Russia... how would that even happen?

10.
The conspiracy theorist refuses to consider alternative explanations, rejecting all disconfirming evidence and blatantly seeking only confirmatory evidence to support what he or she has a priori determined to be the truth.

Notice how Pro ignored the fact that the AP has verified that their photo is untampered, ignored the rationale that even a tampered photo would not prove an erased backpack. Instead, she returned with some weirdness about the forearms of white folks. The tampered photo is an article of faith.

Ten out of Ten- confirmed.
Debate Round No. 5
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Dilara 2 years ago
Dilara
You did a great job editing. It was like reading an official article.
Posted by Oromagi 2 years ago
Oromagi
@Dilara- sure thing, I hope we can both have some fun with it.

Sometimes, my bad grammar makes me laugh:

"Although Pro and the movie present themselves as a "Brave Archer Films" production"

I should make it clear that at no time did Dilara present herself as "A "Brave Archer Films" production"
This is simply my own careless editing.
Posted by Dilara 2 years ago
Dilara
Origami thank you for debating this with me.
Posted by ChosenWolff 2 years ago
ChosenWolff
KC, you embraced ultra populist falangism. Ultra left and Ultra right.
Posted by Dilara 2 years ago
Dilara
Malacoda. Thanks for at least trying to watch it. I hope you payed close attention.
Posted by Kc1999 2 years ago
Kc1999
Dialara, it isn't wise to call people a racist bully!
Posted by ChosenWolff 2 years ago
ChosenWolff
How am I racist? Really, where has anything in this debate implied I'm racist? Do you enjoy throwing around baseless insults that hold no weight?
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
There is no video linked.

However this may be one of the better Conspiracy Theory debates, as the claim is the accused is innocent, not that No Planes Hit The Towers (some nutjobs actually claim that!).
Posted by Malacoda 2 years ago
Malacoda
Oh my. I got 30 minutes in before I was properly disgusted by "alternative-media."
Posted by ChosenWolff 2 years ago
ChosenWolff
Ugh, her theory is that you need evidence to prove something isn't real. Its outrageous.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
DilaraOromagiTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct was equal enough. As to sources, Con not only used better sources, but he also made arguments of his own. Pro said a few times that sources would make an argument for her. I almost awarded S&G, but in the end didn't think it quite was worth it. But Con's was certainly better. As to arguments: Pro had BoP here, and Con showed that most of Pro's contentions were either unfounded, or flat-out wrong. As such, arguments to Con. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.