Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Dilemma of the 9/11 Conspiracists

It's amazing to me that a few otherwise reasonable people still believe that 9/11 was a grand plot by the U.S. Government. According to this alternate universe club, 9/11 was intentionally fomented by the U.S. to incite a war for the Saudis or to boost Halliburton's stock price, take your pick.

Let's not mention the first World Trade Center attack, Bali, Beslan, London, Madrid or any of the other venues of extremist attacks.

Here's the real dilemma for the 9/11 conspiracists. They're primarily the same Left-bank eccentrics who think George W. Bush can barely tie his own shoes. Yet they've also depicted him as Grand Wizard of a neocon cabal, which was capable of orchestrating the greatest, most complicated coverup in history. A 9/11 conspiracy would make the grassy knoll version of the Kennedy assassination look like an impromptu puppet show run by nine year-olds.

Now, recalibrate this with President Clinton, depicted as infinitely brighter than W, who was unable to keep his dalliances with an intern off the front pages.

Not to worry: The engineers at Popular Mechanics have spent a great deal of time debunking all of the 9/11 myths:

To investigate 16 of the most prevalent claims made by conspiracy theorists, POPULAR MECHANICS assembled a team of nine researchers and reporters who, together with PM editors, consulted more than 70 professionals in fields that form the core content of this magazine, including aviation, engineering and the military.

In the end, we were able to debunk each of these assertions with hard evidence and a healthy dose of common sense. We learned that a few theories are based on something as innocent as a reporting error on that chaotic day. Others are the byproducts of cynical imaginations that aim to inject suspicion and animosity into public debate. Only by confronting such poisonous claims with irrefutable facts can we understand what really happened on a day that is forever seared into world history...

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