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Tuesday, May. 23, 2006 at 3:09 AM
Debunking the Conspiracy Nuts
The web is filled with the rants and ravings of the 9/11 conspiracy nuts, people who claim that the US itself (or Dem Joos or Israel or the FBI) blew up the WTC buildings with or without those planes actually crashing into them. In some versions, there were no planes, never mind what we all saw. Many, but not all, of the "theorists" are as stupid as 9/11 conspiracy "theorist" Kurt Nimmo, an unemployed neo-nazi and a spokesman for Ba'athist web sites who writes poems about his own hemorrhoids when he is not busy denying the Holocaust.
Well, Salon.com has decided to take on the nuts and fruitcakes of conspiracy "theories". It first ran a detailed critique of the movie "United 93", called "Ask the Pilot". Then, after getting bopmbarded by lunatic rants from the denizens of the conspiracism netherworld, they ran a followup, once again trouncing the conspiracists.
While dismissing the "theorists" as crackpots, Salon adds:
Conspiracy babble in general is nothing new -- least of all when it comes to airplane tragedies. Maybe you didn't know this, but Pan Am 103 was blown up by the CIA; TWA 800 was downed by an errant U.S. Navy missile; Swissair 111 was destroyed by a giant magnetic pulse; EgyptAir 990 was a practice run for Sept. 11; Paul Wellstone's turboprop was sabotaged by the Republicans; and the crash of American 587 was a terrorist bombing. What's different today is the manner and speed at which the Web allows these notions to propagate.
The piece concludes:
It's distressing that so many people become married to a preposterous idea based on little more than erroneous interpretations of some pictures and selective, manipulative use of evidence. But in debating this stuff now and again, you learn that it can be a bit like arguing religion. Evidence, or lack of it, has little to do with what motivates many believers. At the heart of their convictions is something utterly unprovable. It's faith.
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