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Paul Thompson: One man can change the world (Esquire)

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paulthompson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:21 PM
Original message
Paul Thompson: One man can change the world (Esquire)
Hi,
There's a new article about me in the upcoming issue of Esquire. It's their Best and the Brightest issue, highlighting 30 or so people who did interesting things in the past year. I'll also be on Air America's Morning Sedition show tomorrow (Thursday) between 7 and 9 AM, East Coast time. (There's no link, but I was just sent the full text here.)

Paul Thompson

One man can change the world. Or at least much of its what, when, where, and how.

by Doug Cantor
Esquire
December 1, 2004

He never studied, trained, or even had any intention to become an authority on terrorism. But never underestimate the power of one man's curiosity. Holed up every night in front of the computer in his San Francisco home, poring over news on the Internet, Paul Thompson grew increasingly frustrated with how incomplete the story of September 11 was. Armed with only a broadband connection, he started to gather every credible fact he could find online. Then he condensed each point of information and put it in chronological order. His Terror Timeline quickly became a monster of about fifteen hundred items, tracing the last quarter century of terrorist activity, incorporating a detailed trail of intelligence failures, and providing a nearly minute-by-minute account of the day of the attacks.

What had started as Thompson's hobby soon became his obession. Early this year, he quit his job with an environmental protection group, moved halfway around the world to New Zealand, and began dedicating his full attention to a solitary pursuit that paid nothing and seemed unlikely to be seen by more than a handful of people. Finally, he found a small audience through the Center for Cooperative Research, a California-based historical-record-keeping Web site that shared his philosophy of nonpartisanship, information sharing, and reliance on mainstream news sources. The marriage was a fruitful one. People started e-mailing him to point out new information and to make corrections to his data. Open-source historiography had arrived.

The result is that Thompson has assembled by far the most comprehensive and detailed record of September 11 and the events surrounding it ever created.

Thompson may have furthered the cause of journalism to a greater degree than if he worked as a journalist himself. His timeline (cooperativeresearch.org) has become a trusted resource for reporters and researchers, and this fall it was published in book form (The Terror Timeline) by HarperCollins. Still, Thompson continues with his self-imposed labor. "If somebody were to say to me, 'Give me your one paragraph on who did it on 9/11,' I don't feel I could tell you," he says. "And I don't want to stop until I know that answer."


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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. WTG Paul!
Congratulations! You deserve all accolades given!
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paulthompson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
2. By the way...
Here's a link to buy the Terror Timeline book through the Cooperative Research website. It's also widely available through Amazon.com and bookstores, especially the bigger chains.

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/911_terror_timeline_by_paul_thompson.jsp
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el_gato Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
3. Cool
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stellanoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
4. keep digging & thanks
Have you considered sharing your findings with either the Jersey Girls or former Senator Bob Kerrey. . .?

Just wondering.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. Paul's done a great job and, unlike some,
he's willing to reexamine his data when questioned.

I posted to him earlier in the year that one of the more sensationalistic media quotes in his timeline was a factual misrepresentation of how ATC works. The quote itself was valid, but Paul didn't use it in his book.

It takes a lot of work to compile a timeline as detailed as Pail's. It takes even more work to deal with all of the criticisms and decide which are valid. My hat's off to Paul for what he's accomplished.
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
6. a place in history
This is an awesome achievement. Not only has Paul pioneered open-source historiography, he has given the world and the victims of 9/11 a resource of enormous value.


Cher

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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
7. Thank you Paul!
You've done an incredible job researching 9/11!
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milkyway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
8. Congratulations, Paul, and don't let anyone close the book on 9/11.
Everything we might suffer under another four years of bush is a result of that day. And the deeper you go, the darker it gets.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
9. Thank you Paul....I'll look forward to hearing this and your book is on
my Christmas purchase list...

This is what more folks need to do...devote the time to BE the Media,not sit and wait for them to do it!

You are a true hero in a time when there are so few, to devote your time to this. :toast:
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drhilarius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
10. Congrats!
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RyomaSakamoto Donating Member (393 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 01:09 AM
Response to Original message
11. you certainly earned it!
congratulations from GFP :toast:

psst... KEEP pass'n the word ;->

peace
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DinahMoeHum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
12. I heard you this morning on Morning Sedition. Way to go!
:toast:
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JohnOneillsMemory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
13. !!! -How about highway bannering 'Operation Vigilant Warrior' ?
Good on you, Paul.

I'm thinking that without the media or Democrats, banners on rush hour highway overpasses reading:

GOOGLE THIS-OPERATION VIGILANT WARRIOR

-would be a good way to get an intellectual ice-pick through the 9/11 cover story for the middle-class white/pink-collar workers.

Drivers crawling through rush hour would remember it and out of curiousity find it on their computers at work, email it around, and talk about it at the water-cooler and on lunch break.

What if DU-ers in every major city did this for a week, sort of like our own news headline in public spaces?

Having gotten attention and opened minds, then a new message for the next week like PEAK OIL etc. to connect the dots.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
14. Fantastic, Paul!
And I've seen your book in Barnes and Noble.

:thumbsup:
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-19-04 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
15. Thank you for your dedication and spirit Paul!
Thank you.
Bob
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-19-04 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
16. kick for Paul!
Edited on Fri Nov-19-04 05:11 PM by Lisa
Very glad to hear that you're finally getting some recognition for all your work. Excellent job -- this is one of the references everyone should have bookmarked, even those who aren't particularly interested in terrorism -- just as an example of what to aim for in research.

p.s. when my college students ask me why we need to bother with detailed documentation -- and how to decide what kinds of online sources are credible -- I point them to Paul's site. Very few of them have any further questions!
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paulthompson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-22-04 02:08 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. Thanks!
You're a college professor? Teaching what?
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-19-04 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
17. I'll make sure this issue is in an Iraq care package, Paul
yes INDEED
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