Debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories
I work with a conspiracy theorist. She loathes George W. Bush and his Crime Family and is one of the people who think every random occurrence somehow ties back to Bush. She mentioned today that McCain was going to win because elections are all frauds and pre-determined by some cabal of powerful Illuminati. I also work near Ground Zero and am exposed to 9-11 Truthers on nearly a daily basis.
I dont really engage the woman at work about her nutty theories, and Im not going to get into a point-by-point case against the various WTC theories because its been done a fair amount of times before. Nor am I going to try and explain away each and every other conspiracy theory attributed to Bush (e.g. hes holding bin Laden for an October surprise to help McCain).
However, Id like to walk through the logical progression and show why you can pretty much automatically dismiss any and all wide-ranging government conspiracy theory that someone tries to put in front of you.
(continued) For any of these conspiracies, the government needs to have both the will and ability to pull these off. The question of will is an easy one for the conspiracy theorists to swallow. They distrust the Bush administration (and mostly all administrations, but especially this one), and more accurately everyone who is in the government, whom the theorists think are evil, greedy, profiteering, morally vacant criminals who will do anything if it gives them more power or money.
Normally, merely debunking the ability aspect is enough to get people to realize that these things are impossible. Just think of the scope that would be required for the government to orchestrate and keep secret anything like 9/11. Ranging from the smallest derivative theories, to full-blown Alex Jones/Loose Change, see below, theories that there were no terrorists, there were no planes, the videos shown on TV were fake, etc. Were talking at a minimum tens to upwards of thousands of people who would need be involved and keep this secret. Its impossible. Especially in this Capitalist economy where people would pay inordinate amounts of money to one of these conspirators to come forward and write a book or go public in any other way. That isnt to say that power people in the government dont conspire and abuse power, but that it eventually gets exposed.
Conspiracy theorists are very adept at outlining the reward to the conspirators if these theories were valid (We had 9/11, then we used it to attack Iraq, and now big oil has record profits. How can you not see the connection?????), but they ignore the potential risk to everyone involved if any news came public about the conspiracy.
That said, lets just say that you accept the premise of both the will and ability of the government to pull off such grand scale conspiracies like 9/11. You admit that sure, the Bush Crime Family controls the world to such an extent that they can pull off these miracles of power and keep it quiet. That 9/11 was a necessary step in a calculated plan to take over the Middle East. That [Insert Conspiracy Here].
Accepting that, the obvious question then remains: Why havent we found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Think of how differently the world would view the Bush presidency if the pre-war intelligence were validated? If they are willing to expose themselves to the risk of these grand-scale conspiracies being made public, why on earth would they have not planted WMDs in Iraq by now?
The administration clearly could have easily gotten their hands on WMDs to stage a crude weapons program and plant it in Iraq. And even if they dont have the ability to acquire some WMD secretly and plant them in Iraq, weve been there for 5+ years. It would have been incredibly easy to pull off, the benefit to the Bush administration would have been enormous, and there would have been almost no risk of it being exposed.
This would have been the highest-reward/lowest-risk conspiracy known to man. Nobody would have been able to discover the truth in the deserts of Iraq. There would have been no press inquiry and investigation in the middle of a war zone. We would have found them and Bush would have immediately been hailed as a hero, a savior, hed have an 80 percent approval rate, and whoever was the Republican nominee for president would be leading in the polls by 15 points.
That this strikingly simple conspiracy theory was never pulled off by the supposedly most evil, morally empty administration in our lifetimes, is a clear indication that none of the other wide ranging conspiracies are valid. Because if they were going to pull off the grand scale, heavily involved, extremely risky conspiracies like 9/11, they would have absolutely also pulled off this simple, risk-free one.