Sunday, August 06, 2006

9/11 Conspiracy Theory

There's one thing that I don't understand about the 9/11 conspiracy theory that seems to be surprisingly popular in some circles. I'm speaking of the theory that: 1) The WTC towers were really brought down via explosives (as in a demolition operation), and 2) therefore, the U.S. government was responsible. That's how the usual theory seems to go, but I just don't see how #2 would -- even in theory -- follow from #1. No one ever seems to offer an argument on this -- they just assume that if they put together a lengthy webpage with lots of pseudo-scientific verbiage about the temperature at which jet fuel burns, that in itself proves that the U.S. government was responsible. Non sequitur.

Moreover, let's assume, just for the sake of argument, that there was indeed a U.S. government conspiracy to blow up the WTC towers, thus generating an excuse to go to war against Afghanistan. Needless to say, I don't think that it's remotely plausible either that the government would want to do this, or that such a monumental plot could be carried off by the same people who couldn't keep Abu Ghraib a secret (or Eastern European CIA prisons, or various incidents at Guantanamo, or the NSA data-gathering operation, etc.).

Anyway, suppose that such a conspiracy really existed. Why would the conspirators feel the need to involve hijacked airplanes in the plot? After all, Muslim terrorists had already tried to use explosives to blow up the WTC in 1993. If one can imagine a government conspiracy sophisticated enough to pull off a demolition operation, why wouldn't the conspiracy also be sophisticated enough to blame the demolition on Muslims? Why bring a hijacking into it at all, let alone four hijackings? If the conspiracy could just blow up the WTC and blame it on Muslims, four hijackings would be both 1) superfluous, and 2) extremely risky, in that a much larger number of co-conspirators could be caught, or could reveal the conspiracy, or could fail to take over the planes, etc., etc.

I should add, I'm not writing this because I think that my usual readers need any assurance on these points. I'm just hoping that this post gets picked up by Google.

4 Comments:

Blogger Dave said...

Well, the disconnect is that where you are thinking logically, the conspiracists are engaged in, well, conspiracy.

10:51 PM  
Blogger Al Maviva said...

Stuart, you make the most elemental of all errors, one common to people who try to debunk conspiracy theories.

You see, the complete absence of evidence, is perfectly consistent with the existence of a huge, over-arching conspiracy. Only an overweening and evil government, could cover up a conspiracy so completely. The loonies who espouse conspiracy theories - they are helpful crazies and in some cases, like Cynthia McKinney, *actual government representatives* sent out there to discredit other people with strong, legit theories about how the government brought it all about. Since most of the people with theories are written off as loonies, all the people with theories get written off as loonies. The NSA and CIA leaks - those were just engineered to make it *seem* like the government is too incompetent to keep a secret.

Me? I'm just some random interloper paid to come along and send you on a wild goose chase, so you don't notice the *real* conspiracy, which is how Karl Rove managed to send a bunch of Young Republicans to start a website callled "Daily Kos," with the ultimate goal of utterly discrediting the Democratic Party.

/Tinfoil Hat

Phew. I'm guessing some people actually think that way. As has been noted, insanity is more frequently an excess of logic, than a paucity of it.

4:35 PM  
Blogger burnik said...

If the conspiracy theory is bogus then why doesn't anyone from the government dispute this claim. If these claims are to be considered as merely theories of paranoid individuals then somebody ought to show the public evidence that it is so. The problem here is that it seems to be the theorists who are producing more proofs and not the other way around. see me at ayboston.com

3:10 AM  
Blogger Jeremy Pierce said...

Burnik, if you were in charge of government decision-making, would you prefer to correct those who are making your political opponents look like idiots, or would you rather they continue to promote such an image?

7:54 AM  

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