Fanning the Flames of September 11 Conspiracy Theories
The Journal-Sentinel finally has an article on September 11 conspiracy theories that doesn’t focus on Kevin Barrett alone – I’ve said all along that this issue is bigger than just Barrett.
The organization Scholars for 9/11 Truth – which supports academics and others who hold conspiracy theories about the attacks that day – is by no means large, but since the Barrett fiasco started a little over a month ago, it has gotten bigger.
A recent story in the Houston Chronicle is titled: “9/11 Conspiracy Theories Persist, Thrive.” The story explains bluntly what has helped to broaden enrollment in groups like Scholars for 9/11 Truth lately: “The organization says publicity over Barrett's case has helped boost membership to about 75 academics.”
Again, it’s small, but the other side of the coin is that the group is getting bigger – and what’s been fueling the growth lately is the hubbub over Barrett.
And the fact that the hubbub has focused on Barrett – as opposed to his views – has made the situation worse.
The JS article today cites a new
I’ll repeat that: A new
These numbers are not a result of the great respect people have for Kevin Barrett or any other member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth. They stem from the fact that there has yet to be an open debate that attempts to factually (as opposed to rhetorically) debunk these conspiracy theories.
While you’ll always get a portion of the population that believes in something even after it’s been proven to be incorrect (for instance, those who believe global warming is a hoax), it surely wouldn’t be as high as 1 in 3 if that factual debunking took place in an open public forum.
I wrote about a month ago about an award-winning British documentary that touches on September 11 conspiracy theories. In addition to winning a BAFTA award (the
In spite of this, the film – titled The Power of Nightmares – has yet to air on an American TV station or even find a
What’s more, we have stories like this one, which appeared in the Washington Post last week. The title is “9/11 Panel Suspected Deception by Pentagon.” Here’s a snippet:
For more than two years after the attacks, officials with NORAD and the FAA provided inaccurate information about the response to the hijackings in testimony and media appearances. Authorities suggested that
In fact, the commission reported a year later, audiotapes from NORAD's Northeast headquarters and other evidence showed clearly that the military never had any of the hijacked airliners in its sights and at one point chased a phantom aircraft -- American Airlines Flight 11 -- long after it had crashed into the
Maj. Gen. Larry Arnold and Col. Alan Scott told the commission that NORAD had begun tracking United 93 at 9:16 a.m., but the commission determined that the airliner was not hijacked until 12 minutes later. The military was not aware of the flight until after it had crashed in
It’s very possible the Pentagon was lying simply to cover-up its inept response to the attacks, but the fact that it was covering something by blatantly lying to the public and the September 11 Commission feeds conspiracy theories about what happened that day.
So the problem with simply painting Kevin Barrett as a quack without factually debunking his theories is that the side that’s being defended in this task (i.e., the government and its version of the events that day) is shrouded in lies and secrecy. Although potentially petty lies and justifiable secrecy, they’re still lies and secrecy.
Until we open up the discussion in the
And I think we all know that credibility isn't going to come from the Pentagon.