Conspiracy theories generally tend to attract people who think there's something going on in the world just beyond their reach -- if only someone could lift the curtain for them to show what's really going on and who's doing it. They want to feel they have a handle on the world but as abstract ideas are generally beyond them they stick with concretes and personalities instead. The true conspiracy theorist will know all the minutiae there is to know about a subject, but have no perspective on it all to ever enable them to see the whole truth instead of the partial glimpse of it that they're sticking with. Like someone using a filing cabinet without any files or any order they'll never have a chance to get their thinking in order, so find it difficult to separate wheat from chaff.
Which side of the grassy knoll did those puffs of smoke come from? -- what does that shadow really mean on that bit of grainy film -- which head of security is who's second cousin once removed? -- what was that white plane doing? -- was it paid for by oil interests? -- the CIA? what's that dust seen on that photo? ... all sorts of tedious speculations are 'adduced' to make a an awful lot of stew from one very small onion while the bigger picture is overlooked, and a whole world of context is dropped. As Mark Twain once said about amateur science, "One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact."
The latest conspiracy theory to do the rounds is that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were between them responsible for the fatal attacks of September 11; that no large planes hit the Pentagon; that controlled explosions and missiles were responsible for most of the Ground Zero destruction and death; that all the death, destruction and disaster was planned for ana organised not by Osama bin Laden but by America's President and Vice President. 'Obscene' is the kindest word for this sort of thing. 'Unhinged' might be another. 'Insane' could easily be another. No surprise then to find one of Ian Wishart's journalists, one Clare Swinney, is all over an online newsgroup peddling this rubbish. Dive in and see, if you can bear it.
For a succinct debunking of this nonsense before it gets to your inbox from some of your more over-heated friends (yes, you can stop sending me that stuff now, please), head to Popular Mechanics who've fisked most of the claims so you don 't have to waste your time on it.
And let me leave you with one of the few things said by Eleanor Rooosevelt that ever made any sense: "Great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events, small minds talk about people." As they say in term papers, discuss.
LINKS: Debunking the 9/11 myths - Popular Mechanics
CNN poll indicates worm turning - Thread: NZ Politics
TAGS: Nonsense, Politics-US