911 conspiracy theory: Too dangerous to believe? By BRENT HAROLD September 04, 2012

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911 conspiracy theory: Too dangerous to believe?

By BRENT HAROLD
September 04, 2012

"9ll truth ...The Experts Speak Out," a movie on the alleged conspiracy to cover up the truth of the 911 attacks, showed recently in the Wellfleet library. (It's available on YouTube.) I was vaguely aware that there was some controversy, but I was shocked to learn that, according to reputable polls, a majority of Americans don't believe the official version of what happened on that fateful day. (Google "911 Polls — You Are Not Alone".)

The movie is pretty convincing. An impressive number of accredited architects and engineers are on record refuting the idea that the jets we all saw hitting the buildings could have brought the buildings down. Instead, they say, it's obvious to a professional that the buildings came down in the fashion of textbook controlled demolition: straight down, neatly landing in their own footprints. In other words, an inside job.

The now notorious Building 7, not even hit by a plane, came down hours later, also like a classic controlled demolition.

The brain trust of engineers and academics who question the official version of 911 seems at least as impressive as the large majority of scientists who stand behind climate change science.

Even if you're in no position to assess the engineering claims, it's hard to ignore the obvious question: Where is the counter-YouTube quoting thousands of engineers to the effect that the other engineers are wrong?

With so many citizens not convinced by the official version, wouldn't the government feel the obligation to defend itself against these outrageous allegations — if it could?

In lieu of actual evidence or logic, a lot of the debunking of conspiracy theory comes in the form of non-arguments, such as "Would we do this to our own people? Come on ... that's ridiculous." Or "refusing to dignify" conspiracy theories with an acknowledgment that they exist.

Or claiming that it insults the memory of those killed in the attacks (even though apparently at least half of the surviving relatives have their doubts about the official government report).

If it were true, wouldn't the New York Times be all over it? Where is the Woodward and Bernstein of this one, the Deep Throat?

Conservative commentator Glen Beck said of the allegations: "There are limits to debasement of this country, aren't there? I mean, it's one thing to believe that our politicians are capable of being Bernie Madoff. It's another to think that they are willing to kill 3,000 Americans. Once you cross that line, you're in a whole new territory." Well, not entirely new territory. We've had practice. We now live with the pretty well-established, if officially denied, fact that we are a country that tortures.

We have for widely doubted reasons paid bigger prices than that of 911: this is a country which went to war over "weapons of mass destruction" pretty well established now as a deliberately concocted pretext.

A considerable majority of Americans don't believe the Warren Commission version of the JFK assassination either. In fact, about some of biggest events of American history we don't believe the official pronouncement. A requirement of American citizenship would seem to be cynicism about the government's version of truth.

A friend of progressive politics commented, when I told her about the movie: "Even if I knew it was the truth, I couldn't bring myself to believe it." This "beyond belief" factor may get close to the truth of this controversy. How can we live with this monstrous uncertainty hanging over national life? Well, perhaps living with uncertainty is easier than living with the truth.

Look at how the relatively small-potatoes disclosures of Watergate and Lewinskygate bent us out of shape. A reversal of the established story of 911 could dangerously scramble the meaning of our country. That may have as much as anything to do with the failure of established media to pursue this scandal. It's just too hot to handle.

One response would be for Cape town meetings to begin to vote on resolutions demanding a more credible investigation of 911.

Brent Harold of Wellfleet, a former English professor, blogs at brentharoldjournal.com. E-mail him at kinnacum@gmail.com.