The attack on 9/11 was a horrific act, but it is the story—the words, if you will—that surround the act that have given it meaning. The meaning conveyed by "You are either with us, or against us." or "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." are perhaps some of the more blatant examples of how the events of 9/11 have been framed to be the foundation of the Great Fear society. But, more insidious, is the use of the phrase "conspiracy theorist" to defend the official view from critics. The frequency and effectiveness of its use in this way has been so powerful that it is now part of the lexicon used to discredit anyone with a contrarian view of the world.
The community represented on this website has largely learned to deal with ad hominem critiques—particularly in website comments. However, the "conspiracy theorist" phrase still carries weight in its use in the media. Getting past this phrase that associates questioning the events of 9/11 with being a weak-minded dupe, means changing its meaning in the public eye. Echoing advice given by a "skeptical" columnist in Scientific American, repeating one's opponent's words gives weight (and credibility) to his arguments. The first step in undercutting the power of this phrase is to never use it.
Instead, the meaning of 'conspiracy theorist" can be changed by linking it directly with what it has been used to cover up, political conspiracies. There are a huge majority of Americans who understand that political conspiracies do happen and they have been covered up by our political establishment. So, responding to an inflammatory accusation of being a "conspiracy theorist" by pointing out that "political conspiracies do exist" redirects the meaning of conspiracy theorist away from "dupe" to "realistic understanding of the political system."
What the effective use of the term "conspiracy theorist" has taken from us has been the ability to label 9/11 for what it was, a conspiracy of the worst kind—treason. While using "political conspiracy" in comments and articles does begin to point to those most likely to have committed these crimes against humanity, it also makes it much more difficult for a defender of the official story to use the "conspiracy theorist" term. This because defending the official story must never lead to a general discussion of political conspiracies. A general discussion of this sort might begin to connect the Coup d'état of '63, the murders of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Iran Contra, and ultimately 9/11.