9/11 Conspiracy Theory–Insane or Insightful?
By Greg Hunter
April 10, 2012
I keep coming back to one question in the 9/11 conspiracy story: How did two jets knock down three New York City skyscrapers? The jets only hit two buildings, and that is a fact. I have posted a video from the group “RememberBuilding7.org” on the USAWatchdog.com site. (Click here to see Building 7 implode.) It clearly shows Building 7 of the World Trade Center imploding straight down, as if it was a controlled demolition. I am not an expert, but it sure looks like that to me. I, also, ran across this video from Corbettreport.com that summarizes the entire 9/11 conspiracy in less than 5 minutes. It was done on the 9/11 ten year anniversary. I found it very well done and factually spot on, although it goes by fast, so you must watch closely. Give it a look for yourself. Do you think the 9/11 conspiracy theory is insane or insightful?—Greg Hunter.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuC_4mGTs98 (Over 1,286,000 Views)
Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com is neither Democrat nor Republican, Liberal or Conservative. Before creating and producing the site, Greg spent nearly 9 years as a network and investigative correspondent. He worked for ABC News and Good Morning America for nearly 6 years. Most recently, Greg worked for CNN for shows such as Paula Zahn Now, American Morning and various CNN business shows.
Conspiracy Theories and Stylized Facts
Journal for Peace and Justice Studies 21.2 (Fall 2011)
ABSTRACT: In an article published in the Journal of Political Philosophy, Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule argue that the government and its allies ought to actively undermine groups that espouse conspiracy theories deemed “demonstrably false.” They propose infiltrating such groups in order to “cure” conspiracy theorists by treating their “crippled epistemology” with “cognitive diversity.” They base their proposal on an analysis of the “causes” of such conspiracy theories, which emphasizes informational and reputational cascades. Some may regard their proposal as outrageous and anti-democratic. I agree. However, in this article I merely argue that their argument is flawed in at least the following ways: (1) their account of the popularity of conspiracy theories is implausible, and (2) their proposal relies on misleading “stylized facts,” including a caricature of those who doubt official narratives and a deceptive depiction of the relevant history.
[NOTE: I have included extended excerpts below, believing this to be within the scope of fair use.]
[An interesting factoid: "Wikipedia, created in the year the Sept. 11 attacks took place, was profoundly shaped by those events."]
Link by Link
By NOAM COHEN
Published: September 11, 2011
AS the nation marked this terrible anniversary, people invariably turned to Wikipedia to learn about the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Nearly two million page views were registered last September for the article “September 11 Attacks,” a typically Wikipedian effort with exhaustive, even picayune, details of the events, bolstered by nearly 289 footnotes. This September, the total page view number could be something like six million.
Likewise, readers have repeatedly turned to the article “9/11 Conspiracy Theories.” The article — similarly detailed with 299 footnotes purporting to explain accusations of faked video footage or controlled demolition of the two buildings — had 400,000 page views last September, and is on pace to have more than a million views this year.
One thing is certain, however. Not one of those visitors got to the conspiracy theories page by making a hypertext leap from a link in the main article about the Sept. 11 attacks. There is simply no mention of these theories, deemed fringe ideas, which have been repeatedly and officially discredited. They are written up in a variety of articles on Wikipedia, but they are kept on the fringe of the site.
This is no accident, but rather a Wikipedia policy concerning a topic as fraught with emotion as the Sept. 11 attacks. Thus the so-called gatekeepers of the media world — prominent newspapers, television news programs, newsweeklies — have an unlikely ally in Wikipedia, which bills itself as the encyclopedia anyone can edit.
Another article supportive of the 9/11 Truth Movement is published in a mainstream academic journal:
“Is Infiltration of ‘Extremist Groups’ Justified?” International Journal of Applied Philosophy 24:2, pp. 153-168. (Fall 2010). By Kurtis Hagen, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, SUNY Plattsburgh. (Yes. That would be me.)
Website for the International Journal of Applied Philosophy: http://secure.pdcnet.org/pdc/bvdb.nsf/journal?openform&journal=pdc_ijap
Unfortunately the article is not freely available, but here are some highlights:
ABSTRACT: Many intellectuals scoff at what they call “conspiracy theories.” But two Harvard law professors, Cass Sunstein (now working for the Obama administration) and Adrian Vermeule, go further. They argue in the Journal of Political Philosophy that groups that espouse such theories ought to be infiltrated and undermined by government agents and allies. While some may find this proposal appalling (as indeed we all should), others may find the argument plausible, especially if they have been swayed by the notion that conspiracy theories (or a definable subset thereof), by their nature, somehow or another, do not warrant belief. I will argue that Sunstein and Vermeule’s proposal not only conflicts with the values of an open society, but is also epistemically indefensible. In making my case, I will adopt their favored example, counter-narratives about 9/11. (p. 153)
It should be noted that, according to [Sunstein and Vermeule’s] definition, the notion that the Nazis were systematically exterminating Jews would have, at some point in time, clearly counted as conspiracy theory—one that turned out to be true. This is an important example. It shows that one cannot simply reject a conspiracy theory because it seems too extreme in the brutality it attributes to powerful figures, or because of the scale of complicity that would be required, or because of the industrial efficiency with which it is said to be carried out. Shocking though a theory may be, so too are known precedents. (p. 155)
I came across this wickedly dry bit of conspiracy analysis from 2003 recently and really enjoyed it. Since the author offered it freely for reproduction (with credit given) I thought it would be worth including in this blog. Because of its length, I’ve just included a healthy excerpt, but you can find the original at this URL: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2003/02/08/15715661.php. Sadly, the author passed away from cancer earlier this year. He was just 51.
His piece goes to show that when the government and media offer an explanation of an event like 9/11, their story is never looked at as a theory. But it’s worth turning the tables occasionally – Craig McKee (http://truthandshadows.wordpress.com)
Debunking conspiracy theorists: Paranoid fantasies about Sept. 11 distract from the real issues
By Gerard Holmgren (Copyright Gerard Holmgren, Jan. 9, 2003)
Fox's Napolitano joins 9-11 Truther Alex Jones to push anti-government conspiracy theories
October 08, 2010 2:49 pm ET - by Eric Hananoki
Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory
Review of David Ray Griffin's Book
The Principles of Democracy: A Shocking New Low in Official Comprehension
TvNewsLIES just posted an article from Al Jazeera's coverage of the 9/11 comments by Iranian President Ahmadinehad. The important segment of this article acknowledges that there is a real and vibrant group in the US and worldwide that challenges the official story of the attacks.
In the article, a section with the title 'Alternative Perspectives." includes the following:
This is shameless, and shows that they are desperate now because the Truth Movement is growing. I feel the media is moving into criminal behavior with this kind of censorship and misinformation. Talk about a conspiracy!
The cool thing is that they admit that one third of Americans do not believe the official story. That was uplifting. By the tenth anniversary, who knows what that figure will be.
First, you can download the video from the show.
I have also provided a transcript of the segment.
We have all heard some absolutely incredible 9/11 conspiracy theories. The web of course is full of them. But tonight we're bringing one out that feeds on racism out in the open. We were absolutely shocked by one recent poll that found out that one in every three Americans believe the terror attacks were not the work of America's enemies, but some sort of inside job. And Deborah Feyerick found a smaller percentage who believe an even uglier theory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This 9/11 attack was not by 19 Arabs. It was not by Muslims.
The best part of this article is the comments section, which I have not included. Click on the link below to see them. Common Dreams censors most 9/11 truth comments, and for one comment which was not inflammatory at all, I was censored apparently for life. But there are quite a few that address 9/11 truth issues.
Most of the comments seem to be directed to a paragraph which I highlighted.
9/11: The Rest Should Be Silence
"I'm constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud." Julian Asange, Wikileaks, July 19 (Image right)
John Young was one of the co-founders of Wikileaks. He quickly left the organization in disagreement with some of its policies (CNET). Young was a natural choice for Wikileaks since he has operated a leak website, CRYPTOME, since 1996. His site just released two articles on July 31 attributed to Wikileaks' Julian Assange (firstname.lastname@example.org). The announcement read: