September 06, 2006

9/11 Conspiracy Theory Embarrassing

It's one thing to allege that the administration has done a poor job helping US citizens prepare for a second potential  terror attack, or to say that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been trumped-up exercises that have seen thousands die unnecessarily and have benefited the most elite of corporations. It's quite another thing to say that the entire 9/11 episode was manufactured by the government, and that, with the help of some edge right-wing groups, the government conspired to bring down the World Trade Center, all in the name of promoting war in the middle east. Yet, somehow, that's the theory reached by a group for academics, who say that all the horror of that day was generated by an "inside job".

As someone who enjoys a good conspiracy theory now and then, and has seen the administration, in concert with right-wing splinter groups, accomplish a great deal of harm in the country, not even I can wrap my head around this one. The fear and fumbling of the administration on the day and days following the attacks was very real, something they aren't capable of manufacturing in an historic coverup.

As the UK's Daily Mail reports:

They believe a group of US neo-conservatives called the Project for a New American Century, set on US world dominance, orchestrated the 9/11 attacks as an excuse to hit Iraq, Afghanistan and later Iran. The group says scientific evidence over the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon is conclusive proof. Professor Jones said it was impossible for the twin towers to have collapsed in the way they did from the collision of two aeroplanes.
He maintains jet fuel does not burn at temperatures high enough to melt steel beams and claims horizontal puffs of smoke seen during the collapse of the towers are indicative of controlled explosions used to bring down the towers.

The 9/11 commission's report, following detailed investigation, ruled out any of the mega-conspiracy theories, yet that doesn't mean they will simply fade away. Just like Elvis, they're still out there. The National Ledger follows on to this line of thinking with a survey that shows a small segment of the country believes 9/11 was a conspiracy "orchestrated by government officials".
More than a third of the respondents stated their belief that it was either very likely or somewhat likely that “people in the federal government either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East.”

There is no doubt that some who see these results will jump to the immediate conclusion that these are leftist anti-Bush liberals who believe in such dreck, which instantly devalues any legitimate concerns we actually do have, and have made clear over the 6 years these guys have been running things. But it's not true. As a group, we are all furious over the administration's response to the attacks, the misguided march to war, and the ineptitude around every facet of our maintaining safety. But we don't believe they had the planning capabilities and tenacity to pull this off. A few dozen extremists "living in a cave" had more foresight.