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Lets leave the irresponsible conspiracy theories to the right wing cooks
Posted By Mark Leinauer, Attorney of St Louis, MO
Please, lets leave the irresponsible conspiracy theories to the right wing cooks. The mere fact that one can deduce a motive for a person or a group does not mean that they perpetrated the act...and it hardly suffices as proof of anything. These are the sorts of arguments put forth by the ant-UN crowd and those that obsess over the 'Zionist conspiracy.' Hell, these arguments go back to the dawn of time. The logic is no different than that used to establish the old Knight's Templars/Stone Masons conspiracy theories.
The problem with all these theories is that they're unrealistic and completely ignore human nature. They assume a near perfect operation. Complete secrecy. Complete loyalty. And amongst an incredibly huge 'matrix' of people. What makes you think that the U.S. government (or any government for that matter) could pull this off? Have you ever worked for the government? They're just as incompetent and unreliable as the rest of us (perhaps more so). The idea that dark sinister groups in smoke filled rooms could manipulate such a plot with no leaks or foul ups beggars belief.
Perhaps the simplest answer is the correct one. That reality is as it appears and certain groups of disenchanted people are actively trying to blow up innocent civilians. Its hardly a far out concept, it has, in fact, been present in human history almost from the beginning.
Accepting that as true does not mean you have to accept the war on terror or Bush's policies (which I, of course, do not). But I am not going to demean myself by relying on a forced, strained perception of reality just to further buttress my political views.
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There are responses to this posting.
Posted By Tony Brasunas:
Thanks very much for reading, and, more, for writing. Many people I speak with share your view of terrorism, and, indeed, I shared your view until recently. By writing to me, I believe you've indicated you have the time and inkling to learn a little more about this. I hope you'll bear with me for a few more minutes to hear my two cents.
First, you may be right. The official conspiracy theory about the bombings in London -- that incensed or insane Arabs conspired to bomb trains and kill innocent people -- may indeed be correct. I don't know. I haven't done more research into these bombings than that which compelled me to write this piece, 'Inquiry Into Motive, Opportunity, and Evidence.' I feel strongly that there is a prima facie case for further investigation, but I don't know with certainty any more than that.
What I have done a great deal of research on -- years now -- are the crimes of 9-11. For many months I remained skeptical about conspiracy theories other than the official one, but I began to feel a responsibility to learn more about 9-11. What I discovered disturbed me. There was far, far more to the story than the media or politicians were talking about. Still, for many more months, as I continued to do research, I remained in a sort of 50-50 camp, unconvinced yet highly concerned. Then, finally, while confronting the scary reality head-on, for many more months, I held out hope that someone somewhere would soon address the dozens of holes in the official conspiracy theory with logic instead of emotion. I waited, but no one would address the evidence. Everyone said merely, 'They would never do that.' Or 'They're not that bad.' Or 'They couldn't get away with it.' But I was beyond theories about woulds and coulds. I was focused on the evidence.
Unfortunately I am still waiting. I am still waiting for someone to respond to the hard facts and evidence of government complicity in 9-11 with hard facts and evidence. Still I only hear emotional responses ('How could you suggest this?') or obvious lies, such as those that comprise the 9-11 Commission's report, which was authored by friends of the Bush Administration. As you can imagine, I have become only less interested in opinions as to what someone believes someone else is capable of, and more interested in the evidence and what anyone knows about what actually happened. When you hear about a murder, you don't think, 'Well, that guy would never do something that bad.' You look at the evidence, as well as motive, means, and opportunity.
You say, 'The mere fact that one can deduce a motive for a person or a group does not mean that they perpetrated the act ... and it hardly suffices as proof of anything.'
You're absolutely right. Motive in itself proves nothing. Motive is simply a tool for finding suspects to investigate. But it is often a powerful tool. Normally, in the traditions of investigation, he who benefits most from a crime, be it murder, arson, racketeering, or theft, becomes one of the crime's primary suspects. Upon investigating the facts of this particular case, it quickly becomes clear who benefitted most. This in itself proves nothing, but because that group that benefits most is also in control of the investigation, one should, I believe, have open eyes to all possibilities. Imagine if a murderer were in a position to be his own investigator, judge, and jury.
You say, 'The problem with all these theories is that they're unrealistic and completely ignore human nature.'
Here I disagree with you. I don't think that suspecting a government of mass murder ignores human nature or is unrealistic. Mass murder is a method of terrorism and a tactic that has been around forever. Many times it has been used by governments on its own people, to, as I wrote, scare them into accepting new government policies. Just in the last century, this happened in Germany, Chile, Argentina, among other places. I cited the example of revolutionary 1790s France. Terrorism was used in Rome around the time of Christ to switch it from a Republic to an Empire. Sometimes terrorism is overt and sometimes it is fake. Generally, the use of government terrorism has presaged a war or a movement to a more repressive, military government. We would prefer to believe that it wouldn't happen here, but our preferences are sadly of little importance in this case. In fact it is documented in 'Operation Northwoods,' declassified recently, that in the 50s and early 60s the US Government, at its highest levels, was considering shooting down American airliners over Cuba and blaming it on Cuba, or blowing up boats, or even killing astronaut John Glenn and blaming it on Cuba -- all to make a war with Cuba that the government wanted. Just to make this war acceptable to the American people. When you have a minute, google 'Operation Northwoods' and read the document yourself or click here.
So domestic terrorism, fake terrorism, and mass murder all have ample historical precedents, and thus cannot be described as 'unrealistic.'
As for ignoring human nature, I believe that humans are generally good at heart and do not want to kill others. Most deeply, we long for love, happiness, truth, and a feeling of connection to one another. But murders happen all the time. Rape. War. Genocide. Why? Why do these things happen? Because people are scared and they lash out, or because people are greedy and want more than they have. War, for instance, I believe, essentially happens because one country wants -- and believes it has the power to take -- something another country has, be it people, resources, land, or location. Terrorism happens, I believe, when someone or some group evaluates their options and decides that the gain of a particular option outweighs likely potential loss. Genuine civilian terrorism -- such as that in Palestine or the Basque country or Northern Ireland -- happens when one of these groups is desperate and the gain outweighs likely potential loss. Similarly, the fake terrorism that happens, I believe, takes place when a group decides the potential gain outweighs likely potential loss. Now, of course, not everyone is rational, and not everyone is right. Sometimes terrorists make mistakes when they weigh potential gain vs. loss. This fact should inform investigation of motive as well.
You say, 'They assume a near perfect operation. Complete secrecy. Complete loyalty.'
Yes. These are necessary for any conspiracy to succeed. But conspiracies happen all the time -- some successful, some not. People get together, talk about, agree upon, undertake, and then hide if need be, actions that will benefit them as a group -- on a daily basis when businessmen come together, when high school boys come together, when housewives come together, when diplomats or government officials come together. Conspiracy is as much a part of normal human life as hobbies, arguments, or vacations -- things that most of us do at point or another. As for loyalty and secrecy, I don't know. Theories about this will be cleared up immediately the minute we have a real investigation into these crimes. It cannot be emphasized enough that this is the largest crime in American history that has never been investigated, let alone proven in any court of law. Perhaps it was a small crew of people who were black-mailed or paid large sums of money. Or perhaps they were indocrinated to believe that what they were doing was right. I don't know; I'm more interested in the evidence about what we do know.
You say, 'And amongst an incredibly huge 'matrix' of people.'
Actually, a little-known but hugely important fact is that 'War Games' tests were scheduled for the exact time, place, and type of attack that actually occurred (on both 9-11 and 7-7). Thus the honest people (which I believe is well above 90% of the people) in positions of responsibility on 9-11, such as military commanders and air traffic controllers, likely took only simulated responses rather than the real world responses that would have averted the tragedies. Today, some of those honest people say to themselves, 'Wow, what rotten luck!' Others likely harbor grave concerns but keep quiet for fear of losing their jobs (I've read accounts of this). As long as you can get the media to swallow the story, people will psychologically resist investigating something they do not want to believe could be true. This is the biggest piece of this whole ball of wax, I've come to believe: our learned aversion to considering uncomfortable possibilities. We don't want to think this might be possible. Because those that do question the story can still, often, be dismissed as 'unpatriotic,' 'irresponsible, or, 'crazy,' there's yet another reason not to look to hard at the evidence about 9-11.
As for hard numbers, many people who have taken a long look at this question believe even something as huge as 9-11 could take place with as few as 30-50 of the right people knowing in advance, given the 'War Games.'
You say, 'What makes you think that the U.S. government (or any government for that matter) could pull this off? Have you ever worked for the government? They're just as incompetent and unreliable as the rest of us (perhaps more so). The idea that dark sinister groups in smoke filled rooms could manipulate such a plot with no leaks or foul ups beggars belief.'
This is another important point. In all countries, but particularly in ours, the word 'Government' labels an enormous agglomeration of disparate groups, associations, agencies, armies, and offices. It is an entire world of diverse interests. That some groups would find certain things beneficial which other groups would not is a matter of course. Funding varies broadly. Competence also varies broadly across this term 'Government.' Would your underfunded, slandered, bureaucratized City Hall be able to accomplish even mopping the floor in secret? Perhaps not. But is it possible that in our Trillion-dollar military there exists some type of 20-man elite force trained in secret operations? Maybe? Maybe there are several or more of these units, each tasked slightly differently? I don't know. I don't want to believe there are murderers living in the city I live in, let alone believe there are killers working in the government I support with my tax dollars. But nor do I want to be naive.
I believe this is a crucial and challenging time for our nation and our planet, and that no truth should be too scary to face.
Also, of course, if you believe it is categorically impossible for our government -- the world's most powerful -- to accomplish this, what organization are you prepared to believe could?
You described my writing as 'irresponsible.' Upon reflection, I find nothing is further from the truth. Before traveling to Peru, I knew there was only a 1% chance I would contract Yellow Fever, but I got the vaccine nevertheless. Terrorism has been a documented tactic of governments throughout history. We know our government wanted to initiate new wars and wanted to change federal policy on a range of issues. Even if you believe there's only a 1% chance that the government is engaging in state terrorism, don't you think it is worthwhile for the American people to investigate and protect themselves against the possibility? Not doing so, I believe, would be irresponsible.
In conclusion, thanks again for writing and I hope you'll continue to view all of this patiently and logically rather than emotionally. We all face a certain psychological resistance to even considering the possibility of something like this. I still run against it. I strive to keep both a disciplined mind and an open mind. I believe we humans are at our best when we are learning everyday.
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Comments posted on Sprouts do not necessarily reflect the views of Garlic & Grass or its writers.