Monday, February 25, 2008

Conspiracy weary

Spend a couple of hours with conspiracy theorists and you will have plenty to think about. My opinions haven't moved in to the realm of the obscure, but I have reexamined some of my thoughts about September 11.

No, I don't think the World Trade Center was blown up by a "controlled demolition," I don't think that the Pentagon was struck by a missile, and I don't think that the plane in Pennsylvania was shot down by a US jet. All these claims have been clearly refuted by Popular Mechanics, a group I have more confidence in than any of the eclectic-and often eccentric-mix of "experts" that claim to know the truth.

But I have come to think that this group's desire to convene a new 9/11 Commission is justified. The original commission was completely bogged down by a crooked executive director who met in private numerous times with Karl Rove during the investigation, underfunding (compare its budget of roughly 10 million with the budget for the Lewinsky scandal of 40 million), and a lack of cooperation from government agencies-the most recent example being the discovery of the CIA torture tapes.

Why shouldn't heads roll for the incompetence in the lead up to 9/11? How come Condoleeza Rice can admit in front of the world that a report came across her desk entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" in August of 2001 and not face any sort of consequences?

It may turn out that I've been too immersed in the conspiracy world and need a week or two to get back to reality. Emotions tend to run high. When talking to the theorists it is clear that the trauma from the day remains evident. The last guy out of the North tower said yesterday in a speech that "we still are an open wound, we need closure."

On the street, some are filled with suspicion and outrage when they consider 9/11 and get in a heated discussion with the conspiracy theorists (one of those discussions when there is agreement but everyone is yelling anyway), other passersby look at the theorists on the street and just hang their heads down, communicating that resurrecting all those emotions is the last thing they could ever want.

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