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28Aug/06Off

Conspiracies and Your Gut

I just watched the video “Loose Change (Second Edition)” on Google video. It’s a video that makes a case that the terror of 9/11 was orchestrated by forces within the American government. It’s very well-done, well-produced, even well-reasoned. The video is free – check it out.

Ultimately, as always with conspiracies, I reach the end and think, okay, now what? Suppose I am completely sold on the premise that there were explosives in the World Trade Center, that a missile hit the pentagon, and that the passengers of Flight 93 did not crash into a field, but were actually taken somewhere unknown, all as a plot by war profiteers to whip Americans into a state of fear.

As a concept, I find conspiracies believable. Human beings are animals that strive for supremacy in almost any situation. And some of us have mutated from humans to mythical beasts with bellies that cannot be filled, for whom there is no such concept as “enough” no matter how much power and wealth they consume. In fact, some of these mythical beasts walk among the working class, miserable because they are relatively impotent compared to their rich, powerful cousins.

Anyway, recently on Bill Maher’s show Real Time, Richard Clarke (U.S. National Security Advisor before and after 9/11) said "All these conspiracy theories have two basic problems: one, they believe the government is competent. And two, they believe the government can keep a secret." This thought has one basic problem: it is not the government executing the conspiracy, it’s always a bunch of whackos inside the government.

Back to the question: What do I do now? Do I change the perception in my mind about what happened on 9/11? And who, besides myself, would that affect? And if it is true, do I scream that the vile men who did this be brought to justice? (Anyone who isn’t ALREADY screaming that the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld war profiteering cartel be brought to justice for non-conspiracy theory news has no concern for justice anyway.)

Whenever someone says something outrageous, a natural reaction is, “Okay, prove it!” Then the speaker, upon whom the burden of proof has fallen, rattles off a bunch of sources. But you, as the listener, do you check the sources? Who the hell has time to check sources? If you spend all your time doing that, then you are letting someone else control you. Meaning, they’re making you prove them wrong, instead of allowing the burden of proof to remain on them.

With all the bullshit flying around, all the bogus degrees, and all the people with legitimate degrees who are either complete idiots, or completely biased, and the ease with which sources are fabricated, it’s difficult, and I suppose impossible, to get at the truth.

So whenever the truth seems tough to figure out, I always think of that icon of Americana: the hard-working, honest farmer. You put a politician, or a propagandist screaming head from Fox before him, and perhaps he couldn’t cite specific books or news items or internet articles, but he would know that person is lying. It wasn’t anything he could prove, but his gut would just tell him that. The look in the speaker’s eyes, the intensity of the voice, the rabid self-contradictory passion all stinks of falsehood. We all have this power, it’s just the farmer of American myth has the confidence to use it consistently.

On the one hand, it’s difficult to trust your gut because so many people have let an ignorance of facts steer them into prejudice. On the other hand, sometimes our gut is all we have to sort things out.

So what does my gut tell me about 9/11? My gut tells me that sure, there probably were some people who knew 9/11 was coming. I don’t think 19 guys walk out of the desert and manipulate the American airline system without some help (cough - Saudi billionaires). Was the conspiracy as well-orchestrated as Loose Change states? I’m suspicious about that. To coordinate four airplanes was clearly a huge effort. To coordinate explosives, two airplanes, a missile attack, and the kidnapping of passengers goes off my gut’s scale of believability.

Those who are in power spend all their time planning on how to retain that power. With it, they can adjust quickly and exploit any situation for their purposes. So Bush himself may not have been in on 9/11 but he sure was able to use it quickly for his goals (oil.)

As for safety, there’s always a chance that the powerful and their insane schemes will catch me or my loved-ones in it. There’s also always a chance I’ll be struck by lightning, or killed in a car accident. My gut tells me to pray for my loved ones safety, even though I’m not religious. Evil people are just another force of nature for us to look out for.