David Ray Griffin: HuffPost's absurd stand on "conspiracy theories"

HuffPost’s absurd stand on “conspiracy theories” (David Ray Griffin) - Mark Crispin Miller's blog

From David Ray Griffin:


It’s good to have the Huffington Post’s policy on “conspiracy theories” in black and white.

So now someone needs to inform them that they cannot accept any posts that state, or imply, that al-Qaeda was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, for that is a conspiracy theory.

That has been acknowledged by Cass Sunstein, the Chicago-and-then-Harvard professor of law who was tapped by President Obama to direct OIRA, the executive branch’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (which is under the Office of Management and Budget).

In a 2009 article entitled “Conspiracy Theories,” he and his Harvard co-author wrote:

“The theory that Al-Qaeda was responsible for 9/11 is . . . a . . . conspiracy theory.”

(The complete statement is: “The theory that Al-Qaeda was responsible for 9/11 is thus a justified and true conspiracy theory.”) See Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures,” Journal of Political Philosophy, 17/2 (June 2009), 202-27, at 208.

In pointing out that there are true as well as false conspiracy theories, Sunstein refers readers to philosopher Charles Pigden, who gave this definition: “”[A] conspiracy theory is simply a theory that posits a conspiracy – a secret plan on the part of some group to influence events by partly secret means.” (Charles Pigden, “Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom,” Episteme, 4 (2007), 219-32, Sect. 2.)

So, in telling us that the 9/11 attacks resulted from a conspiracy between Osama bin Laden and 19 members of his al-Qaeda organization, Bush and Cheney clearly articulated a conspiracy theory. They and Sunstein, of course, call it a true theory; but all conspiracy theorists claim that their theories are true.

In any case, the HP did not say that it accepted true conspiracy theories and excluded only false ones (and to do this, they would need to do an enormous amount of research). They said they avoid “lending credibility to any conspiracy theories.”

Read the rest here.

It's Absurd in the Extreme...

The theory that Al-Qaeda was responsible for 9/11 is a conspiracy theory... The FBI says it has no hard evidence for Bin Laden's responsibility... I have yet to see proof linking KSM to Mohammed Atta.... I see evidence that Atta was NOT a devout Muslim, despite the Koran 'found in his bag.' And evidence he worked for other elements.

Furthermore, criticism is not the same as theorizing. To question is not to theorize. To critique is not to theorize. To demand accountability is not to criticize. Scientific findings that are newsworthy... not theory. Would mentioning the mere fact that Bin Laden is not wanted for 9/11 by the FBI be considered a 'conspiracy theory' by HuffPo??

Arianna has a stick up her arse.... I mean a Post.

Inherent weakness of HuffPo position

Using the term "conspiracy theory" as a pejorative implies no one in power should be expected to abuse their power.

Those concerned that "conspiratorial" thinking tempts adherents to have a hard time distinguishing evidence from speculation should just mean evidence needs to be the focus of discussion. Refusal to discuss evidence implies those refusing to open themselves to evidence unwisely are too vulnerable.

David Slesinger dslesinger@alum.mit.edu


Say, isn't this the bozo that had to be ejected from the Valley Forge conference 3 times last weekend? Way to go, dave, what did you think you were going to accomplish by lying across the doorway like that? With friends like you, who needs enemies?

No need for name calling

Please don't try to incite flame wars here.

Much better to just state the facts and ask a neutral question.

Dave, were you "ejected from the Valley Forge conference 3 times last weekend?"

Did you lie across the doorway and, if so, why?

Please keep the discourse here civil.


Sorry, Leftwright

Of course you are right.

Huffington Post

I agree with RL. Boys and girls she used to be a Re Pub...I know you all know that. I'm just trying to lighten all of us up a bit since this is so heavy on us all. Bottom line, we are fighting HPost, and Fox. Counterpunch and ABC. We fight this 911 truth battle on multiple fronts. Hold the ground we have gained. Learn from it and we will continue to proceed steadily. At this point all of us know this is a war. Nothing, NOTHING, has come easy in this fight. Talk to everyone you come in contact with and keep your chins high. Continue to post your opinions here and educate when HPost protects the OCT. Fight on my comrades!

The Trojan Horse can't be discussed on Huffington Post?

I will assume that killing Trojans was illegal in Troy. Furthermore, a secret plot to kill Trojans would have been considered by the Trojans to be evil. Given these assumptions let's examine a formal definition of "conspiracy"


  Conspiracy \Con*spir"a*cy\, n.; pl. Conspiracies. [See
     1. A combination of people for an evil purpose; an agreement,
        between two or more persons, to commit a crime in concert,
        as treason; a plot.
        [1913 Webster]
The Trojan Horse

Still seeking to gain entrance into Troy, clever Odysseus (some say with the aid of Athena) ordered a large wooden horse to be built. Its insides were to be hollow so that soldiers could hide within it.

Once the statue had been built by the artist Epeius, a number of the Greek warriors, along with Odysseus, climbed inside. The rest of the Greek fleet sailed away, so as to deceive the Trojans.

One man, Sinon, was left behind. When the Trojans came to marvel at the huge creation, Sinon pretended to be angry with the Greeks, stating that they had deserted him. He assured the Trojans that the wooden horse was safe and would bring luck to the Trojans.

Only two people, Laocoon and Cassandra, spoke out against the horse, but they were ignored. The Trojans celebrated what they thought was their victory, and dragged the wooden horse into Troy.

That night, after most of Troy was asleep or in a drunken stupor, Sinon let the Greek warriors out from the horse, and they slaughtered the Trojans. Priam was killed as he huddled by Zeus' altar and Cassandra was pulled from the statue of Athena and raped.

So any speculation as to whether the Trojan Horse attack actually took place should be classed as a "conspiracy theory", and thus shall not appear on the sanitized pages of the Huffington Post?

And help me again here: am I correct in assessing "insidious wiles" against which "the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake" and consisting of dangerous "arts of influence" as part and parcel of a conspiracy?

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens,), the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real Patriots, who may resist the intriegues of the favourite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause & confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

Transcription of the Final Manuscript of Washington's Farewell Address

"Man muß die Dinge so einfach wie möglich machen. Aber nicht einfacher" -- Albert Einstein


wonderful quotes, excellent points ...

Arrianna Huffington said in a

Arrianna Huffington said in a July 2008 interview on NPR's fresh air that her 'new' Blog would specifically not allow any thing relating to' 9/11 conspiracies'. I found it odd at the time and commented to my wife that, knowing she was such a political insider, that this was probably the ultimate purpose of creating this new"progressive' blog.....ala Amy Goodman.

I'll try to find the interview when I have more time...any help would be appreciated.

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post has become the Hard Copy of the internet.

Definition of a "conspiracy theory":

Nineteen angry Muslims, amateur pilots who could barely fly single-engine Cessnas, lead by a cave-dwelling leader on kidney dialysis, hijacked four commercial jumbo-jets with box-cutters and flew them into US targets with expert accuracy while causing the entire US military to stand-down for an hour and 20 minutes. In NY, three massive concrete and steel buildings are spontaneously blown to smithereens mid-air, collapsing into the path of most resistance at free-fall speed, while defying the laws of physics--leaving pools of molten metal burning for weeks. In Washington, a pilot that failed multiple Cessna tests pulled off a rapid descent 180 in a Boeing 757 and struck the Pentagon without even touching the lawn. It oddly remained standing, despite what the same size fuel-filled plane did in NYC.

There's your "conspiracy theory" HuffPost. Chew on that for a while.

Def of Con Theory

Way to go MrEguy!!! I like it. Straight up bro. HPost will be chewing and choking.