Thursday, 11 September 2008

Dial 9.11 for truth

Right now in Australia, it's the 11th of September. It's been 7 years now since the terrorist attacks on American soil that was the catalyst of a global shift in attitudes on liberty, security and the threat of religious zealots. But this isn't about that, this is about the historical revisionism done by conspiracy theorists trying to redefine one of the most significant and tightly analysed events in recent memory as the work of their own government. There are problems for the 9/11 truthers though: a lack of evidence, a theory that defies common sense, and the tautological nature of conspiracy theories. It can never be shown to be false, because that would be evidence of a cover-up. Rather it's important to show why the narrative they have isn't remotely plausible.

The Third Tower
No-one needs a lesson in history here, tower 7 fell several hours after the twin towers that were struck by aircraft fell themselves. The reason tower 7 fell was a mystery at the time, and has thus been the weapon of choice in the 9/11 truther arsenal. It's allowed for speculation that it and the twin towers were controlled demolitions with the jets being just a decoy. It all seems quite elaborate, it all seems very incredulous, yet this story is already widely believed and becoming more widespread. It seems to defy logic how something so speculative can be so willingly believed. This isn't speculations on the supernatural at all, this is gross historical revisionism on an event that happened but a few years ago.

A cause for the fall of tower 7 is needed, that much I can agree upon with the truthers. This is why there has been investigations into just what caused the collapse of not only tower 7, but all the towers. Investigations don't happen overnight, they have to be thorough, and they have to be sure of what went wrong before doing the reports. It was only in the last month that the report came out explaining just how tower 7 collapsed: an out of control fire caused by falling debris that was left unchecked due to a failure in the sprinkler system. No need for a controlled demolition story, no evidence of a controlled demolition, just a building with weakened structural integrity burning out of control.

Once there is some thought put into the idea of the conspiracy, why would a government destroy tower 7 without giving it an obvious cause? What purpose would bringing down that building do if the government was trying to hide their activities? It seems that tower 7 rather than being a blessing to the theory is a hindrance. The idea of a government that can mastermind and cover up such an event yet blow up something seemingly inconsequential? Now that's a far-fetched story. It would seem the government is messing with people's minds; it's collapse is to the 9/11 conspiracy as dinosaur bones are to creationism. It would take quite a contortionist to try and adequately explain it. Yet the explanation is the equivalent of "God hid the fossils to test our faith", likewise with the creationist movement people are willing to eat up the explanation without putting much thought into it.

Orwell's hell
Again, no need to state the obvious in history. When looking at post-9/11 actions taken by the government, wars and legislation, there is definitely causal links back to the event itself. What the mistake of the truthers seems to be is seeing those actions as reason rather than as a reaction. There may have been members of the government who wanted to go into Iraq long before 9/11, but it would be a mistake to think that the 2003 war was cause for 9/11. It allowed for the opportunity for invasion, just like it allowed for the opportunity for draconian legislation like the PATRIOT Act to be passed in the interests of national security. The catalyst for these reactions was the terrorist attacks, there's nothing to suggest it was anything more than opportunism by a government.

And therein lies another fault in the 9/11 truth movement reasoning. The same people who believe it was the work of the government are the same people who think Dubya and his administration are the most incompetent administration in American history. It does seem as if the movement of 9/11 conspiracies has risen as voter dissatisfaction with the war has also risen. So on the one hand, he and his administration are criminal masterminds, on the other blundering idiots who can scarcely run a military operation. Talk about having your theory and eating it too...

It's a mistake to take the consequences of 9/11 as the cause, it's important to be able to recognise action and reaction, cause and effect. The terrorists attacking was the catalyst for many subsequent reactions. To think the US government was behind it without any evidence to suggest they are is to reject the truth of so much evidence, but that's the nature of the conspiracy theory.

A game of mathematical improbability
Quite simply, this comes down to numbers. You have about 3,000 people who died that day: people who worked in the WTC, in the Pentagon, and who were on those flights. Now that is 3,000 people who are unaccounted for, and there is no indication that any of them are alive at all. There's no-one who has come forward and demanded protection in exchange for information, no-one who is trying to reconcile with their loved ones, no-one who has any moral sense to report the truth. Now why is that?

Now take all the people who work in the 3 different buildings of the WTC. How did no-one recognise the explosives that would have lined the buildings? There were fire-fighters who ran into building 7 to save it. How is it that none of them reported any explosives? Not to mention the workers who normally inhabit the building. We live in an age where everyone is just a press of a button away from instant communication. For there to be no evidence whatsoever is incredibly damning to the credulity of the narrative. And what of all the people in the government, in security, in the military who would have to be involved to pull off a stunt like that? The sheer number of people to pull off such a cover-up would be astounding, and the fact that not one has come forward is again damning.

The amount of people who would have to be involved in a cover-up makes it too incredible to believe it could happen. It's a blight on human behaviour to think that not a single person of the many thousands who would have to be involved that not one has come forward. To think that none of the supposed dead have tried to reconcile with their families. That no-one in the government would speak out against the crime against humanity. 3000 people died and this is the memory that is honoured for them?!? It's movements like this that destroy human dignity, it cheapens disastrous events and brings misdirected anger. There are two wars going on now, thousands of people dying as a result, families suffering unspeakable losses, yet the anti-war movement is using a conspiracy theory in order to display their anger? This is not right, something is very wrong in the thinking of a population when an idea like this can become so widespread. What happened in 2001 was a tragedy, the aftermath was a tragedy, but the greatest tragedy is how cheaply it's exploited by an anti-government movement with no regard for truth.

1 comment:

Aaron Alderman said...

I got into the 9/11 conspiracy theories at one stage (I usually give most ideas a "fair go") but as time went on the explanations became too far fetched and the evidence pointed towards a more simpler explanation. (The following is not what I believe; but that which I believe to be plausible IF 9/11 were an inside job)

WTC7 housed Dept. of Defence, Secret Service, CIA, IRS, SEC (Enron anyone?) Pick anyone of those for a tailor made conspiracy theory.

Then there was the case of Pearl Harbour, a precedent where the govt sits back, waits and then enacts their mission. (In Pearl Harbour, to enter the war, drop a bomb)

Bush wasn't in charge - he's too stupid. But Rove! Now there is the genius behind the puppet and we all get angry at the puppet without looking at who is pulling the strings.

The explosives were planted shortly before when they were performing maintenance and parts of the building were out of bounds for a time. (Straining credulity)

If you watch "Zeitgeist" you get the impression that people want to believe in conspiracy theories because they want to see structure behind the world. They want to believe that there is order in the chaos and someone is in control. (In the similar way people believe in a god)