Saturday, August 18, 2007

September 11, 2001

I have a thing for conspiracy theories. At first it was kind of humorous, not unlike driving by a traffic accident - uncomfortable with your interest, but unable to avoid taking a quick peek. There are a lot of strange theories out there, particularly theories that the plane that crashed into the Pentagon was not a plane at all, but a missile. Also that the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center were remotely piloted.

One of the sites I came across was, where at one time or another I read both of those theories. Something interesting happened a while ago though. They essentially decided that some of these crazier theories were being set up as straw-man theories to discredit people with valid questions about 9/11 by lumping them together with the crazies. Whether this sort of meta-paranoia has any validity or not is hard to determine, although I have noticed a bit more restraint and sensibility from people the mass-media would paint with the "crackpot" brush. Sites such as at least seem to be interested in providing evidence.

All of this stuff is fairly hard to discuss rationally, because six years on this is still a highly emotionally charged event. I'm convinced there are troubling unresolved questions, but a lot of people are still just weird about the whole thing. I suppose it had its intended effect, whether you're a terrorist or part of a conspiracy to gain power.

There is one question I would really like to have answered: Why did WTC7 collapse? A 47-story building collapses, although it only sustained secondary damage and fire. The appropriate response would be to give full access to an independent panel of structural engineers to determine exactly what happened and how to prevent it from happening again, or determine better methods for building such structures in the future. What actually appears to have happened is that any independent engineers were given a dog and pony show / tour and all evidence was sold and shipped to China as quickly as possible. Even in the best light, that is massively incompetent. I would expect it is criminal.

I once heard these issues being discussed on a local, respected radio station (CKNW) while interviewing a "conspiracy theorist" on a call-in show. I don't recall too many specifics, but I did notice this: Every single person who believed the events of September 11, 2001 were either planned or permitted by elements of the US government provided strong evidence and reasons for their position. Every single person who took the official government position provided no evidence whatsoever and responded to all questions with nothing more than name-calling and personal attacks. This isn't an isolated incident, I see it every single time this is brought up in traditional media. It hardly seems surprising though - as I just mentioned, all evidence that might support the official story was quickly and deliberately destroyed.

I try to remain skeptical of both sides of the discussion, but there is one fact that seems hard to explain: Sibel Edmonds is the most gagged person in US history, for attempting to expose criminal activity within the US government related to 9/11. I really would like to hear what she has to say.

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