So I watched this really great documentary show on the History channel yesterday about 9/11 conspiracy theories. This is one of those subjects I have a very strong opinion about – usually I try hard to see both sides of an issue, so I can at least say, “yes, I understand where you’re coming from, and why you might feel this way.” But in the case of 9/11 conspiracy theorists, there is NOTHING to understand, because there is no concrete reason to believe what they believe. And because of that, I find them reprehensible. The “theories” they spout forth do nothing more than detract from the REALITY of that day, and the FACTS of that day… instead they focus on some kind of made-up idiocy in an effort, I can only assume, to express their hatred of the Bush administration.
And it’s fine with me if someone hates the Bush administration – THAT is one of those issues that I can see both sides of, and understand where people are coming from. However, it’s hysterically funny to me that these people can point out the obvious incompetency of the government in one breath, and then hand them all the credit for pulling off 9/11 without a hitch in the next. Yeah. That makes sense…
The documentary focused on a group of conspiracy theorists (a large proportion of whom, I’m ashamed to say, were either FROM Austin, or attended the University of Texas IN Austin), and it went through the “theories” point by point to refute them with – gasp! – science and facts. They pointed out how throughout history, there have always been people who refuse to believe that the SIMPLEST answers are very often the CORRECT answers. (This is one of my dad’s favorite things to expound – always look for the simplest solution to a problem, because more often than not, it WILL be the solution you’re looking for.) The moon landing couldn’t have actually happened – it must’ve been elaborately staged in a studio in a massive government cover-up. JFK couldn’t have actually been shot by some random loser hanging out in a book depository – he must’ve been assassinated by the CIA in an elaborately-planned operation that turned into a massive government cover-up. And there’s certainly no way the United States could’ve been blind-sided by a terrorist attack on 9/11 – it must’ve been a ridiculously complicated, elaborately-planned, colossal undertaking, complete with a cast of thousands who all agreed to be paid off in what is obviously a massive government cover-up.
One of the conspiracy theorists – a twenty-something college kid who sounded dumber and dumber the more he talked (don’t they teach critical thinking in college anymore??) said something to the effect of, “we’re actually supposed to believe that a ragtag group of Arabs with box cutters attacked us?” He used that word – ragtag. Like it was a bunch of ten-year-old orphans from a Saudi Arabian production of “Oliver!” And yes, Einstein, we ARE supposed to believe that it happened that way. Because it did.
And then there was the “theory” that the World Trade Center towers were rigged with explosives, which is why they eventually collapsed. Okay, hold on – so now I’m supposed to believe that the government employs secret ninjas who climb through buildings in the middle of the night to hide explosives behind the walls? Is that it? They cited their idea that the buildings fell “too quickly” (one theorist actually said it should’ve taken the towers three minutes to fall down. THREE MINUTES. Did someone skip a few science classes in school? Ever hear of a little thing called gravity?) and they said if you watch footage of the towers falling, you can see “explosions” blowing out the windows below each floor that falls. Oh right – I forget that when buildings collapse, all the air trapped inside magically disappears and not a bit of debris is forced out anywhere. Duh.
Honestly, the more of the show I watched, the more incredulous I became that half these “theories” even NEEDED to be debunked. Like the people who are completely convinced that a missile hit the Pentagon, and not a plane, because there was very little plane wreckage and there were no “wing-sized” holes in the building. Are you serious? Do you SERIOUSLY need someone to explain to you why a plane smashing into the ground at hundreds of miles an hour leaves very little wreckage? Do you SERIOUSLY need someone to tell you why there wasn’t a cartoon-like plane-shaped hole in the building?? I mean, really? REALLY???
But I think the worst “theory” of all is the twisted idea that Flight 93 never even existed, and that the government actually faked all of the phone calls from the people on that flight to their family members. To take the last words of these people – people who DID, without a doubt, behave heroically and bravely that day – and use them to further some baseless, asinine “theory” is reprehensible in my mind.
The truth is, we KNOW what happened that day, because we have facts, and we have science, and we have proof, and we have concrete evidence. What do the conspiracy theorists have? Nothing. Zero. Just hearsay and rumor. 9/11 conspiracy theories are nothing but the gossip pages of the National Enquirer – one person says something, and someone else repeats it, and someone else… until it’s practically taken on a life of its own. Oh sure, it’s obviously immensely silly – yet if all these OTHER people are saying it, it MUST be true, right? If it’s right there in print, or on the internet on a slick, professionally-produced website, well, that’s all the proof you need, right? Right. Sure. If there’s one thing the government is bad at, it’s keeping secrets – and this one would’ve required THOUSANDS of willing participants who would swear to remain quiet forever. Not even a chance.
One thing that really struck me as I was watching the documentary was a part where they showed a group of conspiracy theorists marching near Ground Zero in New York, chanting, “9/11 was an inside job.” And all I could think was – how HAPPY must that make Al Qaida? How much must they be LAUGHING at us when they see things like that? Not only did they kill nearly three thousand people, but they managed to turn Americans against Americans – and for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I guess for them, that’s a job well done…