2006-09-07

Thinking About Conspiracy

Make no mistake: the scope of some of the alternative explanations of what happened on 9/11 make them some of the biggest alleged conspiracies in modern American history. If any were proven true, they would make almost every other conspiracy theory that I know of look like small potatoes. Since "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" (Carl Sagan), I'm certainly not advocating that any of these theories are true, or even viable. However, there are many questions that need to be asked, and there are many coincidences that need to be examined.

The best website for reading about these questions is probably 911Truth.org, and one good place to start is their "Top 40" page. Some are strong questions, some are not. Here are a few of the stronger ones:

  • '[M]ultiple military wargames planned long in advance and held on the morning of September 11th included scenarios of a domestic air crisis, a plane crashing into a government building, and a large-scale emergency in New York. If this was only an incredible series of coincidences, why did the official investigations avoid the issue?' (loaded question but still important).

  • 'What did officials know? How did they know it? Multiple allied foreign agencies informed the US government of a coming attack in detail, including the manner and likely targets of the attack, the name of the operation (the "Big Wedding"), and the names of certain men later identified as being among the perpetrators.'

  • 'Unknown speculators allegedly used foreknowledge of the Sept. 11th events to profiteer on many markets internationally - including but not limited to "put options" placed to short-sell the two airlines, WTC tenants, and WTC re-insurance companies in Chicago and London.'

  • 'Bush and Cheney pressured the (freshly-anthraxed) leadership of the Congressional opposition into delaying the 9/11 investigation for months. The administration fought against the creation of an independent investigation for more than a year.'

  • 'The membership and staff of the 9/11 Commission displayed awesome conflicts of interest. The families called for the resignation of Executive Director Philip Zelikow, a Bush administration member and close associate of "star witness" Condoleezza Rice, and were snubbed. Commission member Max Cleland resigned, condemning the entire exercise as a "scam" and "whitewash."' Mentioned elsewhere - Thomas Kean, who led the Commission, is on the Board of Directors for Hess (Oil). Seems like a conflict of interest to me...

    Not on this list is, for me, one of the strongest arguments: The "Visa Express" program:

    The Visa Express program [introduced in May 2001] was a U.S. State Department program that allowed residents of Saudi Arabia to enter the U.S. without proving their identities. It became controversial when some of the 9/11 hijackers used this program to gain entry into the country, and the program was eventually shut down... The U.S. had recently concluded that Saudi Arabia was one of four top nationalities of al-Qaeda members... A senior State Department official described the program as "an open-door policy for terrorists." No other country had this system to facilitate easy entry into the country.

    Ummmmm.... WTF? If this was, say, England we were talking about, it would still be an issue, but somewhat understandable. But we're talking about Saudi F-----g Arabia here! Whose brilliant idea was this? HELLO? Anyway, convenient timing, no?

    There's also stuff about the Florida aviation school where the terrorists trained that had all sorts of shady dealings, including drugs and politics. But it's not as solid as some of the other stuff, and it would be downright irresponsible of me to mention that the school also had strong connections to Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris, both very prominent in getting Florida for George W Bush in 2000. So I won't do that...

    As a counterpoint, Popular Mechanics has an article debunking several conspiratorial claims, but they don't address most of the questions being raised, although they do address quite a bit. They also take a snooty attitude to what are quite legitimate questions - as if questioning the official story is offensive somehow.

    I'm personally taking a cautious approach: I'd like to think that there is no conspiracy, and that the official explanation is correct, but without answers to some of these questions (particularly Visa Express), I can't fully believe it.

    UPDATE: I just noticed that the Popular Mechanics article redirects to hess.com! Who has, as I've mentioned before, Thomas Kean on their board. Jeez...

    --YY
  • 1 comment:

    stinker said...

    Be sure to check out the book “Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory” due out in March by Dr. David Ray Griffin.

    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9781566566865&itm=2

    http://www.amazon.com/11-Commission-Report-Omissions-Distortions/dp/1566565847/sr=1-3/qid=1168898244/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/102-3028549-2492937?ie=UTF8&s=books