February 22, 2006

Truth Check

The Village Voice has a piece this week on the kooks who make up the "9/11 Truth Movement," those who provide various conspiracy theories and other alternative histories to the "official version" of the events of the terror attack.

I'd been expecting a total puff piece, but reporter Jarrett Murphy does show some healthy skepticism. There are, after all, some howlers here- for instance, the idea that the planes that hit the towers were really a "hologram," that the planes fired missiles immediately prior to impact, or (my personal favorite) that the attacks were part of "a plot to rid the world of 4 billion people in order to reduce demand for petroleum." (Wouldn't the death of 4 billion people cause the world economy to instantly collapse completely? That wouldn't exactly be good for the oil companies, would it?)

The most unbelievable part of the 9/11 conspiracy theories, of course, is something I learned from my Brandeis professor Jerry Cohen: widespread conspiracy theories tend to be false, because the more time passes, the more likely it is that a co-conspirator will either make a mistake, or tell all. In the 9/11 "conspiracy," neither ever happened. In fact, the "9/11 Truth" theories directly contradict the same people's general opinion of the Bush Administration's incompetence. If Bush and Co. are too stupid to handle Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and everyone else, how were they able to pull off the 9/11 plot, with 100% success, with no leaks whatsoever in the ensuing five years?

Posted by Stephen Silver at February 22, 2006 11:29 PM

"If Bush and Co. are too stupid to handle Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and everyone else, how were they able to pull off the 9/11 plot, with 100% success, with no leaks whatsoever in the ensuing five years?"


Posted by: Jim Treacher at February 23, 2006 02:18 AM

See, it's part of the plot. You screw up a couple of side issues, so nobody thinks you're capable of pulling off the big one.

George Bush is the smartest, most evil man who has ever lived. Every misstep and grammatical innovation serves the greater whole.

Posted by: Gib at February 23, 2006 11:16 AM

White House and Congress Trade Away American Security

The United Arab Emirates ports management deal finally exposes our economic and trade policies for what they are: a government's pursuit of money (for a select few) over the interests of most Americans.

The ports management deal is not an isolated mistake. Far worse has happened, but perhaps nothing as nakedly blatant. For example, how does it benefit Americans when:

Drug companies are allowed to write a new Medicare prescription drug benefit that keeps prices artificially high for seniors by forbidding government-negotiated prices based on volume?
The American-funded Import/Export Bank subsidizes Chinese nuclear power development? Is it possible we are not sending enough money to Communist China?
Congress has repeatedly neglected our national and economic security:

The majority of our oil comes from abroad, much of that from countries with unstable, unfriendly populations
The majority of our computer equipment is manufactured overseas
The majority of our food in imported from foreign countries
Over two-thirds of the products sold in major retailers is imported from countries like Communist China and Mexico
Our soaring budget deficit leaves deeply indebted to foreign countries like Communist China, to whom we owe $1 trillion
Illegal immigration is accepted—and legal immigration is abused—to secure cheap labor (exposing us to unknown security risks)
Congress sees the results of these unhealthy dependencies (declining American wages, record trade and budget deficits, national security vulnerabilities) and just pours fuel on the fire. It passed CAFTA after NAFTA. It refused to crack down on widespread illegal Chinese trade practices by threatening to withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Most in Congress have demonstrated that they will not change course; they are simply too indebted to big-money campaign donors and lobbyists. We must replace them.

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