6.10.2006

two words, part two

Not all conspiracy theories are true. That much should be obvious. But just because a set of ideas is a conspiracy theory does not make it false. Yet, for many people, the CT label is a stop sign. Look no further. This is a set of false assumptions, wacky ideas and suppositions, topped off with a healthy serving of paranoia. If you believe [insert alternative theory here], next thing you know, you'll be putting on your Reynolds Wrap and taking messages from the mother ship.

So anything that challenges the Official Version is labeled a CT. And once a set of ideas wears the CT label, the standard responses to it are irrational non-arguments.

A theory is not disproven because some people you don't like believe it to be true.

A theory is not disproven because a person who supports it once supported another theory, now disproven.

A theory is not disproven because you can't imagine it happening. That may be nothing more than the limits of your own imagination.

There may not even be a fully formed theory. There may only be unanswered questions, questions that the Official Version ignores or ridicules, or responds to with implausibilities, at best. Those questions should signal us to look further, to dig deeper. Instead, the questions are labeled CT and dismissed.

One of the stupidest, albeit understandable, responses to allegations of election fraud, US foreknowledge of (and complicity in) the September 11th terrorist attacks, and just about anything else involving this US administration is "But they wouldn't do that!" Stupid, because history shows us that powerful people with great resources at their disposal will stop at nothing to achieve their aims, be they Alexander the Great, Ferdinand and Isabella, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot (or Dick Cheney). Understandable, because you have a conscience, and sometimes it's hard to believe what people will do when they don't.

If you think something couldn't happen because people "wouldn't do that," open a history book. Chances are people have already done it.

One fallacy about conspiracies holds that they can only be promulgated by a very small number of people, because "it's hard to keep a secret". Daniel Ellsberg knows a few things about conspiracies, and about secrets. If the name doesn't ring a bell, Ellsberg is the former US Defense Department, State Department and defense/security/weapons/strategy analyst who worked on a top secret study of U.S. decision-making in Vietnam (1945-68), which came to be known as "the Pentagon Papers". In 1969, Ellsberg photocopied the 7,000-page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Two years later, he gave it to the New York Times, Washington Post and 17 other newspapers.

The revelations - that, early on, the US government knew the war in Vietnam was unwinnable and would lead to many times more casualties than they were publicly admitting, and that that same government cared neither for public opinion nor the US servicepeople who would bear the cost of their decisions - helped end the war and bring down the Nixon White House. Ellsberg risked his career and his freedom (the 12 felony counts he was charged with carried a potential sentence of 115 years) to expose these secrets.

In his memoirs, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg writes:
It is a commonplace that "you can't keep secrets in Washington" or "in a democracy," that "no matter how sensitive the secret, you're likely to read it the next day in the New York Times." These truisms are flatly false. They are in fact cover stories, ways of flattering and misleading journalists and their readers, part of the process of keeping secrets well.

Of course eventually many secrets do get out that wouldn't in a fully totalitarian society. Bureaucratic rivalries, especially over budget shares, lead to leaks. Moreover, to a certain extent the ability to keep a secret for a given amount of time diminishes with the number of people who know it. As secret keepers like to say, "Three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead."

But the fact is that the overwhelming majority of secrets do not leak to the American public. This is true even when the information withheld is well known to an enemy and when it is clearly essential to the functioning of the congressional war power and to any democratic control of foreign policy. The reality unknown to the public and to most members of Congress and the press is that secrets that would be of the greatest import to many of them can be kept from them reliably for decades by the executive branch, even though they are known to thousands of insiders."
I'd like to juxtapose this with the thoughts of someone else who has, judging from this quote, thought a lot about the CT label. I'm not familiar with this person's website or his work, I just thought this essay was excellent.
It is currently standard practice in America to simply dismiss any piece of information that punches a hole in any widely accepted explanation of a disturbing event. In many cases, especially when a serious crime is in question, the "conspiracy theory" tag is immediately attached to any new discovery about the event. Information related to such important topics such as 9/11, election fraud, the new world order, secret societies, or globalization is too often ignored as part of a baseless conspiracy theory even before any of it is ever presented, discussed, or evaluated.

There seems to be no set criteria for dismissing information as a foolish conspiracy theory. The only prerequisite for information to be so categorized seems to be the desire to reject it. The reason for the rejection does not seem to matter. It appears that anything people do not want to believe is simply set aside as not believable. It almost seems that if you set some people on fire they would dismiss the flames as non-existent, simply because they did not want to believe what was happening. The pain and damage done by the fire, no matter how devastating, would not be evidence enough to convince these people that the fire was real. Their need to believe otherwise would win out. In the same vein, people dismiss information and apply the conspiracy theory tag to anything they chose to disbelieve at their own discretion, regardless of any hard evidence that accompanies the "theory."

It's time to put an end to this nonsense once and for all. It's also time dispense with the name calling and understand the dynamics of what is happening when new information is rejected. We have to deal with the resistance to any tampering with accepted "truths." And we have to find ways to convince people to seriously consider the new information, new discoveries if you will - that so many refuse, under any circumstances, to acknowledge.

It is absolutely accurate to say that conspiracies exist all around us every day of our lives and and in all walks of life. Conspiracies are a very common part of life. Children conspire to play jokes on their friends, football teams conspire (in the huddle) to outmaneuver their opponents; the rich conspire with one another to get richer and governments conspire about virtually everything.

. . .

When new facts are brought out about controversial issues, something strange happens. Minds close and battle stations are taken. A confusion arises between unfounded theories and actual facts, discoveries, clues or evidence that may or may not support existing beliefs about those issues. We have to make a serious effort to distinguish between the expression of an unfounded theory and the disclosure of verifiable information and facts.

Today there is an ongoing battle between those in possession of newly discovered information and those who do not want to even consider the validity of that information. Real evidence and factual information are being lumped with baseless theories.

This is not always the fault of the person to whom the information is presented. In many cases, the presenters offer unpopular conclusions too quickly that alienate their audience. This is often the case when new information about the events of 9/11 are revealed. When people are involved in discussions about the attacks, they are prone to dismiss verifiable evidence because they are offended or distressed by greater ramifications that arise. This is both unproductive and dangerous. Information has to be examined and evaluated, regardless of its wider implication. That is the responsibility of the recipient. But there has to be a way to clearly present valid, tangible, verifiable and often undisputed information so that it is more readily accepted. That responsibility belongs to the presenter, who must deal with facts rather than conclusions.

Another thing to keep in mind is the possibility that a simple discovery can disprove a great deal of what is previously accepted as truth. At the same time, however, it may not completely prove the validity of an alternative theory. It only proves that an existing belief is wrong. [Emphasis mine.] This is the case regarding the mountains of evidence uncovered by the independent 9/11 researchers. What they have discovered easily disproves the official version of the events and the Kean Commission findings. What it does not prove conclusively is what actually took place.

There is also another factor to deal with when dealing with the truths, half truths, and lies that surround events not clearly resolved in the minds of the public. Holding on to half truths is often easier than accepting that one has been fed a truckload of lies in the first place. [Again, emphasis mine.] Suffice it to say there is a large segment of the American population that continues to dismiss every one of the verifiable findings of the independent 9/11 research community. They absolutely refuse to accept even the most convincing proof because they dare not admit to themselves that they have been lied to by officials in whom the placed their trust. Betrayal by those who lead the country they love is simply too painful to accept. Denial is too often the best defense of the deceived.

. . .

When researchers, history buffs, truth seekers, conspiracy nuts or whatever you want to call us, present newly discovered, yet verifiable information to the public, we are directly attacked as promoters of a conspiracy theory and lambasted with the usual assortment of insults. This is totally unacceptable. We can no longer allow the conspiracy theory tag to be indiscriminately used whenever anyone has new discoveries to reveal. There has to be a concerted effort to clarify the goals of those with information to impart. Presenting new evidence can not be perceived as an attempt to establish a forgone conclusion. At the same time, new information must be dealt with in isolation of any other ramifications or another resistance relating to its possible reality.

9/11 remains the perfect example with which to illustrate my concerns. A massive amount of valid evidence exists to show that elements of the official story (itself a conspiracy theory because it is not verifiable), are false. It is not possible, however, to use the newly discovered evidence as the basis for a conclusion about what actually happened and who was responsible. At least not yet. . . .

In conclusion, let me summarize two "conspiracy theory" problems that must be dealt with:

Those who opt to disclose new discoveries must clearly separate the theoretical elements of their presentation from the information they disclose.

Those to whom information is presented must deal with their personal unwillingness to hear new facts. They must become more receptive to new evidence and avoid dismissing verifiable evidence simply because the ramifications are distressing or difficult to conceive.

We have to discourage the misuse of language that wrongly labels and categorizes people with information to share. Hostile or incorrect terminology only serves to interfere with our mutual and communal education. It is vital that we examine evidence and discoveries for what they are. We must be careful not to expand evidence beyond its empirical reality. Facts must not be confused with folklore, but must be presented within the limits of their validity. By doing this, we may convince the skeptics among us to listen with less resistance and to end the practice of dismissing evidence solely because it disproves their initial beliefs. If we deal effectively with these obstacles, we all may become better informed about the things we need to know. And perhaps one day we will come to know the reality that continues to evade us to this day. [Read this essay, by Jesse, the editor of TVNNewsLies website.]
I've watched the 9/11 Truth Movement struggle for mainstream media attention, and watched with my head shaking in dismay as alternative news sites have shut them out. As I said recently in comments, it's bad enough when the mainstream media ignores you. But when progressive websites like Democratic Underground and Daily KOS won't allow an open discussion, it's very depressing. I don't know all the facts, that's for sure, but I know we should always ask questions.

Again, I'd like to limit comments and discussion to the idea of conspiracy theories - the label itself, the use and misuse of it, our response to it - as opposed to hashing out facts and arguments about any number of theories out there. Thanks in advance.

27 comments:

orc said...

Well, one problem I have with the WTC conspiracy theorists I've encountered is that once door of "the government would never {do|allow} THAT" is pried open it lets a whole bunch of increasingly insane theories through, and once the proposals reach a certain lunacy point they drown out everything else.

Of course, it's possible that this is the plan. If you want to hide the not-exactly-hidden details that the US government went out of their way to just not do anything about the increasingly enthusiastic jihadi chatter during the summer of 2001, what better way to poison the well than to wind up and release the usual suspects with their controlled demolition and missile strike on the Pentagon delusions?

L-girl said...

Of course, it's possible that this is the plan.

That's very true. We do always have to wonder if the loudest, looniest "CT"ers are plants. It was standard practice during the civil rights and anti- Vietnam War movement. It's been proven in the past, as recently as the anti-RNC demos in NYC.

I don't discount these theories as delusions. I've simply read too much. They do, however, distract from what should be the central focus.

redsock said...

Calling someone a crackpot loony conspiracy wacko effectively silences and marginalizes them. It probably literally shuts them up too (or at least makes sure no one pays attention to them, or is able to pay attention to them because they have no platform).

I assume the term really took off regarding the JFK assassination, which 80%+ Americans (according to numerous polls) now believe was a conspiracy. ... I wonder if 9/11 will one day be thought of in the same way. "Oh yeah, the government was involved in that, it's obvious. ... What's for dinner?"

A history of the term and how it has been used and by whom would make a good book. (hmmm....)

The implications of the truth about 9/11 becoming known among the general public are HUGE. So the guilty parties will fight to the death (literally) to keep it out of view.

Why progressives are also scared, I don't know. Maybe they aren't/weren't that progressive after all.

***

Believing the Official Account (well, there have been several Official Accounts, actually, so take your pick) -- now that is delusional.

And I do subscribe to the plant theory. They troll a lot of discussion boards on the Internets.

redsock said...

A few quotes:

Barrie Zwicker, Canadian media commentator and journalist: "[At a certain point,] the term conspiracy-theory becomes just an excuse not to do your homework."

Norman Mailer: "The right wing benefited so much from September 11 that, if I were still a conspiratorialist, I would believe they'd done it."

William Burroughs: "Paranoia is having all the facts."

Special Judge Advocate John A. Bingham, quoted in The Trial Of The Conspirators, Washington, 1865: "A conspiracy is rarely, if ever, proved by positive testimony. When a crime of high magnitude is about to be perpetrated by a combination of individuals, they do not act openly, but covertly and secretly. ... their guilt can be proved only by circumstantial evidence ... and circumstances can not lie."

E. Martin Schotz, History Will Not Absolve Us: Orwellian Control, Public Denial, and the Murder of President Kennedy: "One of the primary means of immobilizing the American people politically today is to hold them in a state of confusion in which anything can be believed and nothing can be known… nothing of significance, that is."

Gore Vidal, Observer (UK), October 27, 2002: "'Conspiracy stuff' is now shorthand for unspeakable truth."

L-girl said...

Great quotes, Redsock. Thanks.

redsock said...

Well, one problem I have with the WTC conspiracy theorists I've encountered is ... once the proposals reach a certain lunacy point they drown out everything else.

You haven't been listening to the right crackpots, then. :>)

But seriously, I believe that the best of the 9/11 researchers (and this goes for other events as well) is that they don't try to lay out what happened. They point out the inconsistencies and ask the logical questions -- and try to get people to listen.

Laura quoted Jesse re 9/11: "A massive amount of valid evidence exists to show that elements of the official story (itself a conspiracy theory because it is not verifiable) are false. It is not possible, however, to use the newly discovered evidence as the basis for a conclusion about what actually happened and who was responsible."

So any 9/11 researcher who says "this happened" and then "that happened" in any grand scheme kind of way should be suspect. However, that the 9/11 Commission Report is a work of fiction with more holes than a swiss cheese factory has been proven beyond all shadows of doubt.

Maybe one day, if there is a serious investigation, we will get some questions answered.

L-girl said...

However, that the 9/11 Commission Report is a work of fiction with more holes than a swiss cheese factory has been proven beyond all shadows of doubt.

Maybe one day, if there is a serious investigation, we will get some questions answered.


You're wise to take a long-term view. It's better for your mental health, not to mention your blood pressure.

redsock said...

You're wise to take a long-term view.

Well, I don't really believe it will happen.

But maybe more of the truth and more questions can creep into the mainstream.

L-girl said...

You're wise to take a long-term view.

Well, I don't really believe it will happen.


I meant as opposed to banging your head against the wall trying to make it happen now. Because in this political climate, it cannot be done.

deang said...

On how to respond to the "conspiracy theory" charge, I've had some success in certain situations with immediately referring people to references so they can check the facts, if they're so inclined. This might, though, only work with topics that haven't already been consigned in the popular mind to the "off limits" category. It worked when a 20-year-old called me a conspiracy theorist for discussing the total lack of evidence that anti-war protestors routinely spit on returning Vietnam soldiers. She had been told by one of her college professors that Reagan "saved America" partly by stopping "hippies" from doing this. I directed her to James Loewen's "The Spitting Image" and briefly summarized it. She initially seemed nonplussed, but the other people in the room were interested. If I'd been talking about the CIA's MK-Ultra program, though, evidence might not have been enough. It's too off-limits for most people.

L-girl said...

Dean, that sounds like a great strategy. Thanks for the good advice.

When I was younger, I never could have done that. I lost my temper too easily. Now that I can keep my cool a little better, I could follow your example more effectively.

M@ said...

Well, one of my best history professors had the saying, when you hear conspiracy, look for cock-up. This was in a military history course, and was used particularly with reference to the conspiracy theory around Pearl Harbour.

And thinking of that leads me to my main problem with alternate theories. I am willing and able to accept many of the alternate theories to the standard theory (the theft of the election in Ohio, for example).

But the problem arises with things like 9/11. I have only a passing knowledge of the criticisms of the 9/11 standard explanation, but my issue isn't with the holes they poke, but with the lack of power in constructing a true alternative.

And the issue is that if you take any well-known event -- let's say, the landing on the moon, arguably the most important trip humanity has ever made -- you can poke enough holes in the standard explanation to make it seem weak. And it's a lot easier to poke holes than to refute them -- and when one hole is refuted the next is there to be dealt with. It's an exhausting battle.

I have an active interest in the psuedo-science around evolution -- there's a great "theoretical" battle for you. Thousands of arguments are out there to "disprove" evolution. Not one, that I've seen, holds a single drop of water. However, evolution is under constant attack by people with a stupid, superstitious agenda. For me, this goes from frustrating to downright frightening. And the people attacking this powerful, useful theory see themselves as just challenging the standard explanation. (Well they are, but they're doing an absurdly bad job of it.)

Sorry, off on my old hobby-horses again. Let me summarize by saying that I understand and sympathise with what you're saying (especially about marginalizing opponents with the CT label), but many alternate theories are simply collections of holes poked in the main theory, and while they might disprove it, they leave nothing in its place. The real work -- the creation of a valid and supportable explanation -- remains.

L-girl said...

many alternate theories are simply collections of holes poked in the main theory, and while they might disprove it, they leave nothing in its place. The real work -- the creation of a valid and supportable explanation -- remains.

But that work cannot be done if the needed information is kept secret.

At this time, pointing out holes in the Official Version(s) is all there is - and it is vitally important. (And these holes aren't poked - they are already there, and researchers point them out.)

There are many key differences between 9/11 research and the pseudoscience of creationism, but one huge difference is that 9/11 is being used, right now, as an excuse to wage violence against innocent people.

So the alternative explanation might be elusive, but the fact that the Official Version(s) stink - in of itself - is extremely important.

I have only a passing knowledge of the criticisms of the 9/11 standard explanation,

Please remember that this is a big clause. I found out that there's quite a lot to know. The more you read, the more you see the swiss cheese factory Allan refers to above.

The fake-moon-landing nonsense is exactly the kind of comparison that's used to tar 9/11 researchers all the time. There's no comparison.

L-girl said...

But M@, I meant to add, I appreciate your comments and the insight into why some progressive people (yes, you are one! so there! :) ) don't get into this stuff. I'm not sure how much I can extrapolate to others from your reasoning, if at all. But it's still interesting.

deang said...

It would be interesting to do a study of print media during the past quarter century to try to determine when those two words became commonly used. My off-the-cuff memory tells me the phrase first became common during the early to mid-1990s, about the same time Republicans were pushing the "politically correct" attacks, but it would be interesting to find out. It just seems like a part of that concentrated divide-distract-obfuscate-polarize strategy the Republicans employed during the Reagan years and intensified in the 1990s.

And, by the way Laura, I was furious when I was called conspiracy theorist by that person. People told me I just glared at the person, so I really didn't handle it all that well, despite my measured words now. The way that the US public has been convinced that Reagan was an unparalleled demigod angers me like few other things do. And this girl was actually a gay rights, women's rights activist, too!

L-girl said...

Aw thanks, Dean. You make me feel better about my anger. :)

The way that the US public has been convinced that Reagan was an unparalleled demigod angers me like few other things do.

ME TOO. I came into my own politically during the Reagan years, so I remember them with sparkling, angry clarity. He was the beginning of the end for the US, the sharp turn rightward that set it all in motion. The revisionist history is nauseating.

And this girl was actually a gay rights, women's rights activist, too!

ARGH

It would be interesting to do a study of print media during the past quarter century to try to determine when those two words became commonly used.

It would! Didn't someone mention a book... Allan...?

M@ said...

Laura -- I realise that comparing the valid criticisms of the 2004 election and the 9/11 issue to creationism and the faked moon landings argument is quite unfair. However, it is the result, not the subject matter, that concerns me.

I omitted, for brevity's sake (no, honestly -- in my several-hundred-word "comment", I was trying to pare it down) adding that I understand that the 9/11 stuff is about attempting to understand the evidence we have, not necessarily figuring out the "secret" of 9/11. It would be great to have a nice, simple package to put out there. Unfortuantely that's not the way complex issues work, and the neat, simple packages that are put out there by the card-carrying whack jobs ("the jews! the Hapsburg empire! Mr Snuffalufagus!" etc.) do more to muddy the issue than to clarify it.

My suggestion is this: a scientific approach. We don't have to present a grand unifying theory; but having a hypothesis available when we do approach this or that point at issue is crucial. When someone levels the CT claim, you can point out that, while you're not trying to disprove the whole 9/11 canon, this or that hypothesis is proved beyond a reasonable doubt. (This is already working for many people regarding the reasons for invading Iraq -- it wasn't bioweapons, it wasn't nukes, it's starting to sound like plain belligerence. Eventually even the American general public might get on board, who knows.)

Slowly, over time, as more and more hypotheses gains general credence, a new, more accurate picture of events must necessarily arise.

I know, I know, how relentlessly Popperian (with the long-term hope pinned on a Kuhnian paradigm shift no less). But I have great belief in the Popperian approach to difficult questions. To put it another way, when we eliminate the impossible, the remainder, however improbable... well you can see where I'm headed with that.

And I won't even balk at the label progressive. The World Cup is on, I did a good reading at an arts festival today, and all is right with my world.

(Except [spoiler deleted] won today. Bugger.)

L-girl said...

Thanks, M@. Very good food for thought.

I know, I know, how relentlessly Popperian (with the long-term hope pinned on a Kuhnian paradigm shift no less).

OK, now can you repeat this paragraph translated for those of us not schooled in political science theory? I must have been absent that day.

redsock said...

In part one, the question was asked:

But why this response from otherwise progressive people, who know full well that the government deals in lies and propaganda for its own purposes, who normally don't believe a word issued from either government or mainstream media sources ...? Why are so many progressive and liberal people so willing - seemingly determined - to accept the Official Story, to swallow it whole with no questions asked, and equally determined to shut out - and attempt to silence - anyone who challenges that version?

One reason that gets tossed around is that if a person accepts that the US has had a hand in whatever atrocity is under discussion, then the person may feel he or she has to do something about that.

And most people don't want to do anything, so they stay in their safe, insulated bubble -- believing that things aren't that bad -- and criticize the little things.

Other weird stuff:

Wingnuts believed any horseshit that was shovelled out about Clinton for 8 years. And these are the same people who call known facts about 9/11 wacko theories.

And the same people who moan about how "everyone in DC is a liar and a crook" and wouldn't normally trust the government to even fix a pothole on their street are so quick to believe any statement by any politican under certain circumstances. Critical thinking goes flying out the window.

Bottom Line: This regime has lied about everything since 2001 -- everything -- from Bush catching a big fish to WMD and slaughtering tens of thousands of innocent human beings. Their default position is to lie lie lie -- even when the truth is standing right beside them.

Re 9/11: They wanted no investigation of any kind, they initially gave it a budget of pennies, they refused to turn over documents, they initially refused to testify, and they demanded the right to edit -- EDIT!! -- the Commission's final report!

But otherwise seemingly intelligent people still believe that 9/11 is the one solitary thing they are being honest about?!?

It mystifies me.

M@ said...

OK, now can you repeat this paragraph translated for those of us not schooled in political science theory? I must have been absent that day.

:) Woo! I slung some big ol' names around!

Actually what I'm talking about is science theory. Karl Popper postulated that scientific progress is not about positive identification of the truth; there's always more study and experimentation to be done in the future. The best we can do is disprove the false theories, and from that more and more narrowly define the channel in which the truth must exist.

Kuhn is the father of the most annoying of buzzworded concepts, the paradigm shift. His idea was that people will cling to a false theory for a long time, until a certain critical mass of evidence appears against it; then, all at once, the general understanding shifts to the new understanding. So we have a flat earth for a while, and then all at once we can all agree that we have a round one.

So that's what I'm hoping: we can, little by little, wear down the falsehoods with this or that positive bit of truth. And eventually, people in society will accept that we're dealing with a pack of corrupt, incompetent assholes. I'm quite on side with Allan on this.

L-girl said...

Ah, our old friend the paradigm shift! "The most annoying of buzzworded concepts" indeed! Now recycled as tipping point, previously called critical mass. And now I know who coined the phrase - thanks!

I've heard of Karl Popper, but really don't know anything about him or his ideas. Now I can subtract a tiny bit from that ignorance.

This blog is so educational!

M@ said...

When in doubt, go for a semi-obscure, out-of-field reference. Got me through grad school. :)

redsock said...

Attributed to Arthur Schopenhauer, (who may have actually said it):

"All truth goes through three steps: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

I think of the rage and sorrow and thirst for revenge that immediately followed the 9/11 attacks, and then I imagine what the reaction will be when a majority of average working people understand beyond all doubt that the US government allowed the attacks to occur (and elements of the US government had a hand in planning and carrying out the attacks).

I fear the reaction will change (i.e., lessen) over time. ... If that happens in 2045 or so -- roughly the same amount of time that has passed since the JFK assassination -- will most Americans simply shrug their shoulders?

L-girl said...

I think of the rage and sorrow and thirst for revenge that immediately followed the 9/11 attacks, and then I imagine what the reaction will be when a majority of average working people understand beyond all doubt that the US government allowed the attacks to occur (and elements of the US government had a hand in planning and carrying out the attacks).

I don't think the majority of Americans will ever believe their govt was in any way complicit in the 9/11 attacks. It violently contradicts their image of their country, and they couldn't abide the thought. You have to remember how different our view of the US is than that of most Americans - and not just the wingnuts.

Believing that JFK was killed not by a lone assassin but by a conspiracy is in a whole other category than believing the US govt would look the other way while its citizens were murdered. (Even though it did just that while tens of thousands of African-Americans were lynched, and it sent tens of thousands to die in Vietnam knowing it was futile, etc. etc.)

First, most Americans would be hard pressed to say who the JFK conspiracy involved, who was in on it.

But beyond that, the suddenness of 9/11, the method, the mass murder (as opposed to killings happening over a long period of time, like lynchings), and other factors make the acceptance of the US's complicity impossible for most Americans.

I think the most that we could expect would be that most Americans realize the govt should have done more to protect them, that it did not have to be "caught by surprise".

You know, I really didn't want to talk about this here. I guess it was inevitable.

redsock said...

You know, I really didn't want to talk about this here. I guess it was inevitable.

Sorry.

L-girl said...

No problem. I didn't mention in my post that our arguments stemmed as much for your obsession with getting me to see this your way as it did from my unwillingness to do so. Such is life among the obsessives.

redsock said...

your obsession with getting me to see this your way

The sock is wise.

Listen to the sock.

So sayeth the sock.