Friday, October 13, 2006

Am I a conspiracy nut?

For some reason, I think Friday the 13th is a good day for talking about conspiracy theories, and whether or not I typically believe them. This comes up because of a conversation I had recently about my posting of some of the 9/11 conspiracy theories.

Let's just say for now that I am generally interested in conspiracy theories. Most of them are obvious garbage that don't deserve a second thought, and a few bring up good questions that point out holes in "the official story" or require further investigation.

There are many different reasons why people believe in conspiracy theories...

One is a matter of control. At some level we like to think that there is some order to the universe, and that our world is not in total chaos. It is comforting to believe that the government actually is in control. When bad things happen (terrorism, assassinations) some of us can't accept that it was a lone gunman, or a small cell of criminals. To say that the government must have known, or even been involved, restores our sense of control.

Another major contributor is the question of trust. As much as we like to believe the government is control of the nation, we also have a healthy distrust of power. When a particular leader or government proves itself to be liars (as has the Bush administration) it is only natural to begin questioning everything they've ever told you. "If he lied about WMDs and Saddam's connection to Osama, he must have lied about everything!" It's not a logical argument (one does not necessarily follow the other), but it's one that the administration has opened itself up to.

Let's get away from current events, and I'll let you know where I stand on a few older conspiracy theories:

Did FDR know allow Pearl Harbor to be attacked? To a degree, this is a valid question. Officially, we say we had no idea it was going to happen. I don't really buy that. I think they did have some idea, and did realize that Hawaii was vulnerable to Japanese attack. But what were the choices? 1) Pre-emptively attack Japan - unthinkable until Bush took office, 2) Withdraw the fleet, still leaving Hawaii open, but making us less able to defend it, or 3) Wait for Japan to attack, then declare war. So, yeah, we probably knew more than we let on, but what could we really do at that time?

Did Oswald act alone? No way, man. Oswald could not have acted alone. That doesn't mean he wasn't involved at all, that doesn't mean the CIA killed Kennedy, that doesn't mean Castro and the mob did it either. Johnson was involved in the cover-up, that is a possibility to me. But why? Here's a theory that explains that, without proving he was involved with the assassination: The nation was in shock, their faith in the ability of the government to protect them was shattered, a quick recovery was needed. One assassin was publicly killed himself - let the nation believe that this closes the book and begin the public healing (and maybe deal with any other assassins in private).

Do I know the above to be true? Of course not. They're just some ideas, theories if you will. And I'm the first to admit that they're probably wrong. But they are ways to answer the nagging questions.

Back to 9/11... What do I believe?

I believe the official story. Al Queda, under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, planned and executed the attacks. The U.S. government was not involved. Neither were "the Jews" (we are a monolithic bloc you know, we have secret meetings every other Thursday at that Deli around the corner), Saddam Hussein, or the Saudi monarchy.

So, why do I give blog space to the conspiracy theories?

Because a) this administration is full of shit so often it is our patriotic duty to assume everything they say is shit until proven otherwise, and b) there are a few irregularities and questions.

The twin towers were most certainly hit by commercial airplanes, and that's what took them down. What about WTC building 7? It was not hit by a plane, and didn't collapse till around 5 PM. There's more to the WTC 7 story than we know. Not that this proves anything, there's just more to it than what they're telling us.

The Pentagon was almost certainly hit by another commercial airplane. Almost certainly. I don't think the U.S. military planned a missile attack ahead of time as part of a grand conspiracy. But then, why are the video tapes of the plane hitting (which we know exist, but were confiscated immediately following the attack) still classified? Why haven't we been allowed to see this footage, as we've seen the planes hitting the WTC over and over? Again, it doesn't prove anything, but it does require us to ask what's going on.

I don't think Bush planned 9/11. He's not that smart, or that capable. I do suspect that to some extent they may have ignored certain intelligence that allowed an attack to happen, much as FDR did with Pearl Harbor. I doubt they knew the details of the attack plan, and certainly not that the twin towers would each be reduced to dust, but they knew "Bin Laden determined to strike within U.S." and seemingly ignored it.

With all the lies from the administration, and all the attacks on free speech and the constitution, it is only natural that a growing number of people are questioning the entire 9/11 narrative. Where there is one lie, we assume there are two more. This is human instinct. We believe in conspiracy theories because reality makes no freaking sense.

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