Saturday, September 09, 2006

Conspiracies

I consider myself a rational person who believes things based on evidence. I don't do blind faith. So I sometimes lose track of the number of people out there in the world who are apparently comforted by the belief that there is a great Conspiracy afoot to fool us. Or something. Everybody knows about the conspiracy theories around the assassination of President Kennedy. It seems to offend some people that one guy with a rifle and a telescopic sight could kill the President of the United States; they can't believe it. He must have had help, he must have been part of a Cabal. I've always felt, never underestimate what one determined nut can accomplish, especially if what he's trying last happened 60 years or so ago and nobody realizes what he's up to. People see what they expect to see, which sometimes means they miss what's going on.

Last weekend I became aware of the latest flavor of conspiracy theories, which is almost as good as the U.N. Black Helicopters. You may have heard this one: it's the theory that the 9/11 attacks were staged by the U.S. government. That's right: it wasn't Al Qaeda. Because we know Bush wanted to go to war in the Middle East, the theory goes, it's reasonable to assume that he would arrange the attack on the World Trade Center so he could use it to justify going to war. Or maybe he knew about it and didn't prevent it, just like Churchill (as another conspiracy theory goes) knew about the attack on Coventry and allowed it to proceed so as not to let the Germans know he was reading their mail. Yeah, sure he did.

If you want to read the arguments, which are endless and involved, you can find them described in this article in the San Francisco Chronicle, which is about a video called "Loose Change"; or you can go find the video on YouTube. The video has a whole list of things the producer believes aren't covered by the official explanations, and therefore he argues that the government either actually caused the attack, or knew about it and let it go through.

I freely admit that the U.S. administration in 2001 was composed of neocon crazies, who were on public record as saying we ought to invade the Middle East and clean it up. Go check out the Project for the New American Century site if you don't believe the public record bit: they argued in a position paper that "a new Pearl Harbor" would galvanize Congress into strengthening the U.S. military. If you don't know about PNAC, you should; they are scary people, and most of them are running our government right now. Sorry, what I hate about these people is that they make me sound like a wingnut conspiracy theorist...

But I don't believe this, just because I don't think they're that bright or that organized. As Hanlon's Razor suggests, Never assume malice when stupidity will suffice. This is Our Government these people are talking about, the same government that couldn't see a cat 5 hurricane heading for New Orleans; the same government that has all the financial sophistication of a drunken sailor on payday; the same government that thought the Iraqi citizens would greet our (invading) soldiers with flowers and song. Our government? Nah.

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:52 AM

    My favorite is the controlled explosions theory. What's amazing to me is the creds of some of the people promoting these insanities. The invasion of Iraq, now that was a very public conspiracy following the private conspiracy generally referred to as Dick Cheney's energy task force. And you're right, PNAC is all one needs to see these bastards for who and what they are.

    Anonymous David

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous6:53 PM

    Excellent discussion yesterday on Democracy Now between the two people who have put their conspiracy video on the internet, and which has been downloaded 10 million times, and the editors of Popular Mechanics (I think it was Popular Mechanics).

    I suspect the appeal might be in part that this administration has lied about so many things that too many people are willing to embrace too easily the various conspiracy arguments, especially those raised by academics and others who seem to have established some kind of scientific bases for their arguments. Serious science applied without an agenda leads one right back to It was the airplanes, the buildings did accordian because of where they were struck by airliners loaded with kerosene jet fuel, and an airliner did crash in Pennsylvania and another into the Pentagon.

    I have been to the sight of a jet hitting the ground like the one in Pennsylvania. There was a hole like would be left by an explosion, and there were pretty much only bits and pieces, and small ones at that.

    Be nice if more energy were focused on the real sins of this administration. Tin hat shit just muddies the waters.

    Anonymous David

    ReplyDelete
  3. They will always hide the facts from us for "our better good". Who knows?

    ReplyDelete
  4. It probably was Popular Mechanics, anonymous David; the article they published on the World Trade Center attacks was their cover story in March 2005, which proved (to my satisfaction anyhow) that the buildings collapsed exactly the way an engineer would expect them to collapse, on the assumption that some one was crazy enough to fly a jet plane with a full load of fuel into the building around, say, the 82nd floor. They wrote the article in conjunction with NIST, by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous5:01 PM

    That's it. Thanks for the link, hedera. I hadn't seen that article when it came out. It lays out what I told my sweetie would happen, and why, on the morning the attacks occurred and we were watching it in real time, and I'm just a former chem major turned English instructor, whose father was an artist and a carpenter. It really isn't rocket science.

    Anonymous David

    Anonymous David

    ReplyDelete