Posted: Oct 4, 2007 10:17 pm
I didn't write what follows, nor do I even agree with the author most of the time, but in this case it's right on. It nicely sums up my feelings regarding twoofers...
Those engaged in uncovering the conspiracy tend not to be politically active, demonstrating no interest in the day-in, day-out, roll-up-your-sleeves, never-ending struggles as regards complex, often nearly unsolvable social, economic, and political issues.
Conspiracy theorists practice very bad history, essentially gathering every bit of data that supports their already-arrived-at conclusion while disregarding any information that doesn't. For example, among the topics under discussion is the fact that a significant number of "put options" (which are essentially bets a stock will go down) on two airline companies were purchased right before September 11. Bad history is to say these are worth investigating closely because they look suspicious. Good history is looking at a two- or three-year history of such options to see if this activity was in any way an aberration.
Folks really interested in the "truth" usually avidly listen to dissenters as a way of testing and re-examining premises. This is clearly not the case with the "truth" seekers.
In this context, "truth" simply means agreeing with the opinions of the conspiracy-theory crowd. Anyone who doesn't buy in is accused of being so terrified by reality that he or she can't even consider the horrors our government is capable of committing. To research and understand 9/11, in their view, is to come to the same exact conclusions as the theorists.
Consequently, telling several generations of activist progressives that they refuse to imagine what our government is capable of doing is insulting. These are the people who marched for civil rights, who were beaten and killed in that struggle the ones who stood up to the government on Vietnam and Iraq while uncovering and publishing the truth on this country's illegal and far-flung activities abroad, as well as the violation of citizens' constitutional rights at home. Regardless of the prevailing, predominant mass opinion, they've always stood up for what they believe.
Theorists insist that the events of the world are more controlled and intentional than there is any chance that they are and, moreover, that history is marked by big, terrible events executed by evil conspirators. Rather than irrational, erratic, unpredictable, and ever-changing, history is, in their view, organized and under control although it's the organization and control of evil, hateful visionaries.
This means there are good guys and bad guys, a point of view that allows for dehumanizing and demonizing other people. Almost every major atrocity committed in the last two centuries has had its roots in such demonizing. Theorists do not believe that history is created primarily by involved people championing policies they believe will benefit society policies that sometimes, in spite of the best intentions, failed or even proved to be destructive. Instead, they believe in evil people intentionally doing evil things. In this view, President Bush isn't just a hopelessly incompetent, arrogant fraternity boy who has done more to damage his country than any president in memory. Instead, he is either a puppet of evil world masters or evil himself, knowingly doing terrible things in his quest for horrific results. To demonize others is to justify all actions against them makes them not human but instead Jews or Palestinians; Hutu or Tutsi; Serbs, Croats, or Bosnians; pagans or Christians; Kurds, Shiites, or Sunnis. It becomes not just necessary but holy to kill them: If you do not then they will kill you.
If there was a conspiracy, it hardly matters. More than 40 years after President Kennedy's assassination, a national and international network of those conspiracy theorists is still hard at it but in those four-plus decades, there has not been even one real-world consequence. The 9/11 conspiracy theorists will prove just as fruitful. When so many people concentrate so intensely on one event, so many relatively meaningless details are elevated, and so many theories developed that, rather than taking any steps toward clarity, they render the situation hopelessly muddied.
Conspiracy theorists in general have proven to be more hobbyists than activists. It is important to note that there have been conspiracies that have been uncovered throughout history, usually by journalists, politicians, political activists, and/or ideological critics. By definition, one who exposes a conspiracy is not necessarily a conspiracy theorist.
What the Kennedy theorists did by implicating every possible government agency and indicting none of them was to reinforce the notion of a vast, governmental conspiracy: If every body and agency could have been involved, and not one has been tried and acquitted or convicted, then they are all potentially guilty. Since conspiracy theorists' whole modus operandi is to assume guilt until innocence is proven, this thinking ends up tarring the whole government. Conveniently, then, this hysteria (with not even as much grounding in reality as the McCarthy-instigated Red Scare of the 1950s) paved the way for the 9/11-related nonsense. An assumption of vast, governmental guilt easily translates into vast, governmental conspiracies.
Frequently, "truth seekers" reject the notion that they are theorists, claiming instead that they actually have proven their points with facts. Yet there is no one organizing theory of what happened on 9/11. There is not even widespread general agreement on most points.
There are few things as utterly pointless as calling for a new investigation of 9/11. Why? Any official governmental report is not to be trusted; they are inherently political, massaged, and deliberately spun. Still, these weaknesses are not proof of a conspiracy. Any kind of government study is going to be massive, offering endless amounts of information. A new study would be regarded just as suspiciously as the existing study. Even if it definitively stated that there was a conspiracy, it would be attacked over details and specifics.