Arthur Goldwag: Big C and Little C Conspiracy Theories

(In 2010, Boing Boing was pleased to feature as a guestblogger Arthur Goldwag, author of Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies: The Straight Scoop on Freemasons, The Illuminati, Skull and Bones, Black Helicopters, The New World Order, and many, many more. The following is an excerpt from Arthur's latest book, The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right. - dp)

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Conspiracy theories often resemble a kind of misbegotten, debased form of theology — one that begins with a set of suppositions and then reverse engineers a fantastical version of reality that comports with them. History does not dispute, for example, the fact that Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s mother’s father was Jewish. But in the auto magnate and arch-conspiracist Henry Ford’s telling, this genealogical detail held the key not only to Lenin’s entire character and political philosophy but to the vicissitudes of the former Russian Empire circa 1920 and to the historical development of Bolshevism worldwide. Lenin’s wife is Jewish, and his children all speak Yiddish, Ford insisted, a little hysterically. Russia’s yeshivas are the recipients of lavish subsidies from the Bolshevik state:

The Bolsheviks immediately took over all the Hebrew schools and continued them as they were and laid down a rule that the ancient Hebrew language should be taught in them. The ancient Hebrew language is the vehicle of the deeper secrets of the World Program.

And for the Gentile Russian children? “Why,” said these gentle Jewish educators, “we will teach them sex knowledge. We will brush out of their minds the cobwebs. They must learn the truth about things!” with consequences that are too pitiable to narrate.

Viewed through Ford’s monistic frame, Lenin’s grandfather’s one-eighth contribution of Jewish “genes” was sufficient to neutralize the very Russianness of the Russian Revolution, to reduce it to just another local skirmish in Judaism’s global war against the Gentiles.

Richard Nixon was forced to resign his presidency because of a small-c conspiracy to cover up the illegal activities carried out by his reelection campaign. But to conspiracists on his right, his whole presidency had been the enactment of a long-standing conspiracy to destroy America’s sovereignty; his breakthrough trip to China was just the latest in a long line of betrayals. “If Mr. Nixon has been only kidding about his devotion to forging the links in the chain of the World Superstate that is to be welded around America’s wrists, then he is a consummate hypocrite,” the John Birch Society’s Gary Allen wrote in 1971, a year before Nixon’s epochal meeting with Mao. “But his commitment to world government goes back nearly a quarter of a century and indeed he would not now be in the White House if he were not committed to this ultimate goal of the Insiders.”

Conspiracism, like racial bigotry, is almost always a murky undercurrent in the mainstream of politics, its propositions only glancingly acknowledged by the establishment and summarily dismissed. But as cartoonish as its heroes and villains might be, as disordered and disreputable and deranged as its proponents and its premises so often are, they are rarely without pertinence to an understanding of the social and political environment that spawned them.

If op-ed columns, position papers, think tank monographs, and State of the Union addresses are politics’ superego, paranoid conspiracy theories and blind, irrational hatreds, as often as not, are its id. Politicians - even some sober, fair-minded, consensus-seeking public servants - know that and take full advantage of it when they have to. Even a dyed-in-the-wool Communist like Richard Nixon engaged in Red-baiting when it suited his purposes.

Before the dust had even settled, the terrible events of September 11, 2001, gave birth to conspiracy theories that were every bit as labyrinthine and obsessive as the body of lore that’s accreted around the Kennedy assassination. When the Web site Boing Boing invited me to be a guest blogger in November 2009, I dedicated one of my first posts to the so-called 9/11 Truth movement. Paraphrasing F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous dictum about the test of a first-rate intelligence, I noted that you don’t have to be a genius to simultaneously hold two separate and not necessarily opposing ideas in your mind: (1) that the Bush administration told all kinds of untruths about 9/11 after the fact, and (2) that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon had not been an “inside job.”

It opened up a floodgate. Links to YouTube documentaries and interviews and articles by scientists, architects, engineers, physicists, political thinkers, actors, and at least one theologian (David Ray Griffin is an eminent process theologian) came pouring in, along with testimony from disillusioned combat veterans and survivors of the day’s events. Discussion forums on 9/11 Web sites were buzzing for days. Many of the Truthers that I heard from (or 9/11 skeptics, as most of them now prefer to be called) were earnest and idealistic and driven by a missionary zeal; some were openly hostile; others, I suspect, were quite insane.

But what took me by surprise was the outsize role that Jews played in the anecdotes that so many of them related: warmongering Jewish neoconservatives in Washington, D.C.; the World Trade Center’s owner, Larry Silverstein, in New York City; even well-known Jewish leftists like Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and Amy Goodman, who had stubbornly and, to their accusers’ minds, unaccountably refused to endorse the agenda of 9/11 Truth. Binding them all together was the Zionist entity of Israel.

There were stories about the four thousand Jewish office workers who were supposedly told to stay home that day (just for the record, my brother-in-law, whose office was in WTC 7, didn’t get the memo— traced the rumor back to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television station in Beirut, Lebanon) and about the Israeli moving men with alleged links to Mossad who were arrested in New Jersey after they were seen celebrating the collapse of the twin towers. A disconcerting number of links led to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the forged “smoking gun,” produced in Tsarist Russia at the turn of the twentieth century, that proves that organized Jewry is bent on world domination. Boing Boing’s beleaguered moderator posted a comment himself, about “the moistly glistening comments and links that I have in my refuse bin. I assure you that they are studded with feculent tidbits of loathsome vileness, mostly in the form of links to websites explaining how Obama is exactly the same as Hitler and why it’s important to defend white culture.”

This isn’t to say that all or most or even many 9/11 skeptics are anti-Semites and white supremacists. Surely they’re not. But even after writing Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies, I hadn’t realized to what extent even fringes have fringes - and I had failed to appreciate how potent and dependable a driver of conspiracy theory old-fashioned bigotry continues to be.

Adapted from the book THE NEW HATE by Arthur Goldwag

©2012 Arthur Goldwag

Reprinted with the permission of Pantheon Books, an imprint of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.


  1. That tracks very closely with my experience with Truthers. The amount of sly anti-semitism I had to listen to is astonishing, and I would let them go on for a while before informing them of exactly how much of my family they’re offending. Starting with me. Then the stammered apologies, the “oh, but I only meant *some* Jews”, followed by the suspicious glare and the quick departures.

    I wonder if it would be helpful or not to have a line of ready-made BS to feed these idiots to make them go even further off the deep end. Don’t think it would matter, unfortunately, since they’re not all that connected to reality in the first place.

    1. There’s generally only two clicks between Truther sites and the ability to buy anti-Semitic literature.  The predictability is almost as depressing as the hatemongery.

        1.  Thanks, but I’ll pass on linking to that bullshit.  Generally, clicking on the ‘Shop’ link will get you there, or click on the ‘About’ link and follow those links to the home sites of the site owners.  Clicking on anything with a picture of Obama or doing a page search for ‘Rothschild’ will also work.

  2. What I find especially interesting is the crossover between far right conspiracists and the leftist, new age, david icke style conspiracy theorists.  They share information almost constantly and their ideas tend to get bent around each other.  Now, instead of the fringe left being internationalist as they were in the 60’s, they’re just as afraid of global government as the right, and the right find themselves worried about fascist marshall law being enacted on American streets.

    1. That was the main message of Michael Barkun’s book “A Culture of Conspiracy” — that many conspiracy theorists on both sides of the political spectrum not only believe analogous conspiracies (as would be expected), but quite often the *same* conspiracies, which they presumably would be shocked to learn originated in the other camp.

    2. Agreed. I’ve got a lot of hippie friends, and from time to time see them posting links on Facebook to stuff that’s only a step away from straight-up John Birch Society crap.

    3.  Yep. There’s an old Church of the SubGenius cartoon that shows extremists on both sides eventually meeting in the middle. There’s also a scene in Stephen King’s The Stand that talks about the archvillain, Randall Flagg, working both ends of the fringe before Captain Trips wipes out most of the world.

      1.  Ha! After I read darrrrrrn’s comment but before I read yours I was trying to find that image to post here. There’s a confused normal in the middle of the arc, with a cringing hippie and a staunch conservative equidistant from him, nearly meeting although their backs are to each other. Between them sits J. R. “Bob” Dobbs, calmly smoking while he picks BOTH their pockets!

    4. Actually, most right wingers are avid followers of  Justified & would be all for someone like Raylan Givens being judge, jury & executioner, as long as he wasn’t FASCIST (IE, a liberal commie Nazi Obamanista.)

  3. I get what Goldwag is saying here, but still see some benefit in Tolstoy-esque free thinking.  Just because some notion seems fantastical, or confounds our belief system, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make some effort  to overcome the confirmation bias and at least consider that it could be true. 

    For every nut job that thinks Cheney is a shape-shifting alien, there is a Martha Mitchell.  Well maybe the ratio isn’t exactly 1:1, but you get the idea.

  4. I think it’s altogether too easy to disregard conspiracy theory.  Mainstream belief systems are nice, prepackaged infobytes that everyone can get behind and laugh at everyone not subscribing to them, but does that make the picture any truer?  It’s not like there hasn’t ever been conspiracies in the past.  Granted to bigotry aspect is rabid, but it generally reveals itself fairly quickly and can be summarily dismissed.  I wonder sometimes:  if conspiracy theory is  a flawed theology (and what theology isn’t?)  then could their be a form of belief prejudice?   I know a lot of conspiracy theory really IS flawed, but there are those whole hunt these shadowy realms genuinely looking for truth, maintaining balance and skepticism.  The term carries a lot of connotations, and loses it specifics.  What does that sound like?

    1. While there have been plenty of real conspiracies ( has an article or two dedicated to them, in their own ebullient style), and plenty of things the mainstream believe are quite likely wrong, the truly nutty conspiracy theories differ from plain belief  in several ways – magical thinking and a willingness to ignore or absorb contradictory information being two. 

      Undoubtedly Mr. Goldwag can explain it better, and I would hereby like to thank him for researching this stuff so I don’t have to. 

      1.  I guess I just tend to see fringe belief systems as an inevitable result of an ideological bell curve – there s always going to be people on the ends of the curve – maybe an an evolutionary adaptation to a dynamic, potentially dangerous reality.  I don t know about “a willingness to ignore or absorb contradictory information” ; that sounds like just about everyone.  Wouldn t absorbing contradictory information be good?  Maintaining contradictory thoughts simultaneously is one definition of intelligence for some.  I don t think you can have “plain” belief  and “not plain” belief,  they are all beliefs.  There s really no such thing as a normal person,  and if there was, you wouldn’t want to meet them.  Magical thinking:  well without that I think a great many wonderful advances in culture, technology and science simply would not have happened.   It’s simply associational, non-linear thinking.

        1. (1) I wasn’t clear on this, and I should have been:  by ‘absorb contradictory information’ I mean the ability to take a direct refutation of a theory and use it as further evidence that theory is true, e.g., that the conspirational forces have manufactured the evidence against the theory, and that this further proves there is a conspiracy.   

          It is not logically valid reasoning by any stretch of the imagination.

          (2) Human beings, of course, think contradictory things all the time.  But it is a characteristic of the theories ~themselves that they can accommodate just about anything.  This isn’t, of course, unique to conspiracy theories, but to whole swaths of bad reasoning; just about any theory can be pushed to absurd degrees, but conspiracy theorists seem to take this lack of epistemic parsimony as a strength of the theory rather than a weakness.

          (3) “I don t think you can have “plain” belief  and “not plain” belief,  they are all beliefs.”

          That’s an interesting point of view (and by ‘interesting’ I mean ‘has useful implications and is worth investigating’ rather than ‘I am trying to indicate you are subrational in a condescending manner I think is subtle for some reason’.) If you mean that mainstream acceptance is entirely irrelevant to whether or not a belief is useful, I agree with you entirely! But I believe beliefs are not all the same, that some may be based on empirical evidence (good or bad), some may be based on moral or logical intuitions (like, say, belief in the Axiom of Choice), while others may be utterly tautological or vapid

          1. I get a bit worried sometimes when someone starts breaking their reply down into numbered form,  but I can see in this case it is good.   (not sarcastic)

            1.  I see what you mean now – I think you are referring to the non-disprovable theory, otherwise known as pseudo-science in some quarters.   Such theories truly are irritating, but there are some surprising examples out there as well; ( I should say here that I guess I agree with your point here and tend to drop interest in a theory when it exhibits this characteristic) – the discipline of math itself for instance comes to mind,  it is impossible to prove or disprove and yet is used as the yardstick for all science.  The classic paranoic reasoning is often an feature of generalized poor reasoning but the problem is really that it s a closed loop – it is not necessarily flawed in itself though, in your example for instance, evidence could be manufactured.  A lot of conspiracy theorists are very aware of disinfo techniques and there are historical examples of deliberate campaigns waged by various intelligence agencies to discredit certain beliefs.  

            2.  I really love your term “epistemic parsimony”.  That s going into active use as of now!  Especially as my epistemic diet runs to the fat, as it were.  Maybe I can be so bold as to suggest there are good conspiracy theories, and bad ones.  I m not that sure about “accommodate anything”, maybe this goes back to 1.?  I do know that the fringe believers are in general looking for anomalies, are excited by them, which is somewhat in contradiction to a scientific methodology, which is seeking the general inference from polyvariance.

            3.  I certainly do not believe that just because a majority belief prevails that it is necessarily true.   And your point about what beliefs may be based on is well taken.  But really as such they are all beliefs,  and what we believe is what our personal reality will consist of (that’s meant perceptually, not in the ultimate new age sense).  The problem conspiracists are dealing with is that they are at the limit of consensus reality a lot of the time, and for various reasons.  They may be insane.  They may have experienced trauma;  or they may have experienced something that they literally cannot explain using any of the meta-narratives provided by society. They are then launched into the rabbit hole (which I am starting to think has distinct features) , sometimes willingly, often not, with the nagging sense that something more is going  on.  At that point the usual references aren’t altogether reliable, and society is laughing at or dismissing these ideas for no clear reason.  So at that point they are on their own, and have only whatever previous experience they have had is guide on that surly sea,  and that determines how good their navigation is.  Beliefs don’t operate in a vacuum, are functioning inside a total ecological belief system – the fringe believers are partly outside of societies whole system (to be completely outside of the system is to be schizophrenic).  So guess I just meant that beliefs are just beliefs in the sense of being chosen emotional reality generators (psychologically speaking), just like not all numbers are the same, but they are all just numbers.  I think I v gotten off to rambling too much here.

  5. In 2008 Alternet had posted about how at a the Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics inferences were made that there was a Jewish conspiracy behind the 9/11 attacks. I was flabbergasted that this kind of discussion had made it into a conference on psychedelica and science. I posted about it on my blog and in the comments section had an illuminating discussion with one of the attendees, where he tried to make distinctions between saying “the Jews did it” and “a Jewish conspiracy”, the former he argued being anti-Semitic, the latter not so much. The comments are quite revealing. You can see them here:

  6. It’s one of those “irregular verbs” in action:
    I hold strong opinions, you are prejudiced, he is a bigot.

    Humans are hard-wired to see patterns in things – it’s a significant contribution to our success as a species, but unfortunately the downside (that we coalesce into “us vs them”) is what will ultimately destroy us.  And the conspiracy theorists are merely the modern manifestation of that.

  7.  There are still lots of people that get behind antisemitic conspiracy theories, but Jews have some relatively new competition in the scapegoat field: the gays. As far back as the 1940s, you had people warning about the “Homintern“, a play on Comintern (and Harry Truman was apparently worried that the gays and the commies might actually be working together); also, one of the more plausible explanations that I’ve read for Jim Garrison’s JFK conspiracy theory (presented, in somewhat redacted form, in Oliver Stone’s movie JFK) was that it represented Garrison’s extreme homophobic reaction to his discovery that a gay man (Clay Shaw) was in the highest levels of New Orleans society. Expect to see more appearances of the Lavender Menace in conspiracy theories as hardcore homophobes fail to come to grips with the fact that most people don’t share their views.

  8. I have a pet (nonconspiratorial!) theory about “conspiracy theories,” although I recognize that the author and I may be talking about entirely different animals.

    It seems to me that a lot of the Truthers/JFK buffs/etc. out there aren’t really all that worked up about the evil perpetrated under the guise of the conspiracy. (“Oh, yeah, 9/11 was an inside job. The Freemasons and the Jews put the Pentagon up to it. Anyway, what’s on TV tonight?”)

    Nor are they all that pissed off that the sheeple aren’t waking up. In fact, that kind of seems to be the point: just anyone obviously isn’t rational and brave and intellectually rigorous and curious enough to put all the pieces together. Only you, the conspiracist, and a select few others are. (“Oh, you majored in physics but you still buy the “official story” about jet fuel melting the steel? Huh, guess it wasn’t a very good college, because…”) In fact, if you look through the archives of the Truther forums, you’ll see one particular psychodrama play out over and over again. It goes a little something like this.

    n00b2Truth: Hey, I have a question about your theory. Wouldn’t X mean Y?
    TrutherSupreme: Great question, n00b. Actually, the world’s leading expert on X says…
    n00b2Truth: Cool. But I still don’t understand Z…
    TrutherSupreme: A lot of people are confused about this, thanks to the media. You see, the thing about Z is…
    n00b2Truth: Man. I have to say, I was skeptical at first, but you’ve really opened my eyes. In fact, I have to say, I think your theory doesn’t quite go far enough. If you consider P and Q…

    Not that this is exactly unexplored psychological/sociological territory. There’s a reason Mensa chapters (just to pick one example of many) are often broiling cauldrons of icky weirdness, and it’s not because smart people are just like that. But it’s always what jumps out at me–the calm, detached, almost smug exposition of the horrible atrocity in question (buildings being blown up, presidents being shot, countries being run by secret cabals), contrasted with explosions of rage at competitors.

    1. My favorite tool in TrutherSupreme‘s toolbox is his ability to cherry pick his experts and use professional reputation both as evidence of strength and weakness.  If Expert A favors the truther narrative, he is obviously: competent, knowledgeable, and authoritative (leaving aside that said expert is usually expert in field not relevant to building collapse).  If Expert B does not favor the truther narrative, he is obviously: part of the co-opted establishment, incompetent, or part of the conspiracy itself.

  9. I just saw a reference to this paper

    “Dead and Alive: Beliefs in Contradictory Conspiracy Theories”

    People who believe in conspiracies, such as Osama Bin Laden wasn’t killed as reported are likely to believe that both 1) he was already dead long before his reported death and 2) he wasn’t killed and is still alive.

    It seems that what is most  important is regarding his reported death as a conspiracy while having a good single reason is less important. In fact having two contradictory reasons seems better than either alone.

    “The monological nature of conspiracy belief appears to be driven not by conspiracy theories directly supporting one another but by broader beliefs supporting conspiracy theories in general. “

    1. This is consistent with moon landing hoax conspiracy theorists who believe that a) we never went to the moon, and that b) the hoax is a cover-up of the alien civilization artifacts discovered when we went there.

  10. America has been bludgeoning the world with conspiracy after conspiracy (multiple parties agreeing to violate the law) for a long, long time.  Yet you want to make everything about antisemitism?  Sounds like a wild conspiracy theory to me.

    War is a crime.  It is not permissible under the UN Charter to bomb and invade and sponsor terrorists to wage war in other countries.  The UN Charter is the Supreme Law of the Land now, according to our own constitution.  America routinely attacks other countries in all manner of ways.  They have large departments and multiple agencies performing these conspiracies which they keep under wraps, concealing them from the public and from foreign countries who would have just cause to challenge them on their illegal use of force.  It’s all so routine and repetitive that it’s banal now, a festering evil at the heart of this empire.  

    But everyone who catches them in the act is a nut, right?  The US government couldn’t possibly conspire to commit crimes.  That category of thought is impermissible.

    1. This is a book excerpt.  No, not every conspiracy is anti-Semitic.  The author’s just talking about ones that are.  And nowhere does he deny that real conspiracies do exist and have existed.   

    2.  Read the post again.  See how the author constrasts “big-C” Conspiracies with “little-c” conspiracies?  You’re talking about little-c conspiracies, the author is talking about big-C Conspiracies.  He even says straight-out that Nixon engaged in a little-c conspiracy — so yes, the author acknowledges the reality of conspiracies.  (The little-c conspiracies are actually the more important ones since they’re the real ones, don’t let the capitalization fool you.)

  11. I do not like the author using 9/11 as an example because as an event it did not receive the attention it deserved.   Questions were only being asked because the US Government dragged its heals on investigating and alot of other very important questions were not ever answered.  You know the government’s report on Building 7 was not released for public comment until Aug of 2008.  That is 7 years after 9/11.

    Here a full decade later we can clearly see how 9/11 has and continues to reduce the civil liberties and privacy American’s enjoyed in the past.  Additionally, there are many facts which have nothing to do with anti-semitism and the author seems to be putting the anti-semitic brand on this topic like a taboo. 

    In the case of 9/11, there are hard facts like building 7 which was not struck by a plane and is the first steel fireproofed highrise to collapse from fire according to the government (NIST).  In their disputed report NCSTAR 1A (Pages 44,45,46) they state the descent of the building 7 roofline occurred at freefall acceleration.  So when you combine four obvious closely related things a reasonable person asks a reasonable question.  (1)You read the government’s report and understand that according to NIST STAGE2 of the building 7 collapse equates to the descent of the roofline,  (2)  You read that the STAGE2 descent was at freefall (equivalent), (3)  You watch the video of the sudden, symmetrical, uniform collapse. (4) You read the government’s report stating there were 24 interior columns and 52 remaining perimeter columns.

    The author of this article would be saying that these things are loosely related, but I believe the 4 things I have noted above are closely tied together (on their face).  The obvious questions are…  how does a steel fire proofed high-rise, not struck by an airplane with 52- in tact perimeter columns and 24 in tact interior columns have a single column
    buckle and suffer a sudden, uniform symmetrical collapse?  Oh, and how does it have the initial descent of the roofline begin it’s descent at freefall acceleration?

    None of this is a stretch to the imagination and based on the information in the government’s reports are reasonable questions.  I get what the author is doing and what his point is, but 9/11 continues to change American history and someday we’re gonna have to take a hard look at what happened that day.

    1. Nice collection of fallacies.

      – That WTC7 wasn’t hit by an aircraft is irrelevant. It was hit by a great many multi-ton steel and cement beams dropped from a great distance. You know, that same thing that destroyed WTC3, 4 5 and 6, collapsing the roofs and floors into the basements and leaving a few facades standing.

      – That it was a steel fire proofed high-rise is also irrelevant. The building had massive structural damage BEFORE fire swept through it. Fire-proofing buys you some time to fight a fire, but between the structural damage, the raging fires and – oh, right – the two hi-rises next door that had just collapsed for the same reasons, those fires were left unchecked. At least you didn’t repeat the usual truther fib that no other steel-framed hi-rises have collapsed due to fire.

      – No, the collapse was not symmetrical. Only the video taken from the north makes it appear that way, because the north wall was last to collapse. It was pulled down by rest of the building which is already much further along in its collapse. Which is why the north wall hit free-fall speed, only briefly, only near the start of its fall.

      If you don’t believe this, watch the video again, and watch the penthouses at the center of the building disappear seconds before the north wall starts to fall. (Of course you’ll have to find a version on YouTube where the truthers haven’t conveniently edited out that bit.) You can also look at the post-collapse photos, where the north wall is draped over the rest of the rubble like a shroud.

      1. I do not want to start a pointless discussion by going through…

        1.  Page 47 NCSTAR 1A states “Even without the initial structural damage caused by debris impact from the collapse of WTC1, WTC7 would have collapsed from fires having the same characteristics as those experienced on September 11, 2001.”  It would be nice if you would stay with the government’s version when defending them.  Clearly the statement above states the cause was fire.

        2.  If you think the point about truthers stating “no steel framed highr-rise has ever collapsed from fire” then you must be equally appalled when the gov reps use Building 7
        as their example of a steel fire proofed highrise that did suffer a complete failure and global symmetrical collapse from fire as an example to support their hypothesis on the disputed building 7 collapse.

        And blah blah blah.. to counter back…

        My comments were meant to illustrate that adding more taboo to the 9/11 subject is unwarranted.  If anything it is something that needs to be discussed more not less.  The continual attack on civil liberties in the name of 9/11 is very problematic to a country governed by the rule of law with a government kept in check by a Constitution.  You and I can go back and forth all day not changing each other’s opinions about this subject.  The bottom line is a Commission of politicians is not the right body to investigate 9/11.  Given the aftermath of the event a lot more investigation should be conducted and the taboo stuff should stop.  Especially, if we will continue to use it as an excuse to undermine the Constitution of the United States.

        1. 1.  So fire alone could have dropped the building.  I don’t dispute this – it’s been proven in other steel-framed buildings.  The fact that there was ALSO massive structural damage doesn’t make the collapse any more mysterious.

          2.  So the investigators didn’t take the time to list similar collapses.  That’s sloppy – but hardly surprising given that the root cause of the collapse was well-known.  Others have found a growing list of similar collapses once the truthers started claiming that there weren’t any.

          3.  I agree with this completely.  But as with various “X for 9/11 Truth” petitions, wanting a better investigation is NOT the same as thinking that 9/11 was a government-created “inside job” or that WTC7 was deliberately destroyed – despite truthers’ claims to the contrary.

          1. Roger,

            Your response in #1 is off topic and inconsistent in its context.  You stated “The building had massive structural damage BEFORE fire swept through it. Fire-proofing buys you some time to fight a fire, but between the structural damage, the raging fires” and I just pointed out that your strong linkage of structural damage and fire does not match NIST.

            The building had 58 perimeter columns and 6 were severed leaving 52 remaining perimeter columns, and all 24 of its interior columns so I would say the words massively damaged are an exaggeration.  Also you keep bringing up the video and that is disturbing because the building I just described with the 52 remaining perimeter and 24 interior columns has a long office fire with no fire suppression and then a single column (#79) buckles and we watch the entire roofline descend in that video.  What about the other 23 interior columns?  How could all that support structure give way at the same moment we see in the video?  How can that initial descent of the roofline we are watching in the video be at g with all that support structure under it?

            Many people are dissatisfied with the quality of the investigation and we could keep going back and forth, but its all been said.

            So let me be more direct about the topic I was discussing.

            What do you think about the branding of so called truthers or as many say troofers.  I mean with the amount of reasonable questions about 9/11 should we really be branding people conspiracy theorists, anti-semitic, anarchists, unpatriotic etc.. ?

            I do not think we should fall into the trap of silencing the opposition by branding them as some stereotype.  America is in very big trouble with a foreign policy involving spending that can not be sustained, the global military footprint of a empire and domestic policies that erode the civil liberties and privacy of its citizens.  All of these things in the name of 9/11, completely demonstrates why it really needs to be discussed more.

          2. Is there any particular reason that your comments are appearing with dozens of blank lines, artificial line breaks and chunks of alien CSS? It certainly makes it look like all your contributions have been copied and pasted from elsewhere. And I’m getting tired of cleaning it up.

    2. Questions were only being asked because the US Government dragged its heals on investigating and alot of other very important questions were not ever answered.

      That’s not true. Conspiracy theories about 9/11 arose within days of the event. 

      1. Of course some people had conspiracy theories right away, but that is not interesting in anyway is it (you’d expect that, right)?  However, not everything said about that day was untrue.  For example lets say 500 things were said about 9/11 and 10 were true.  Lets say the 10 true things demonstrated motive, means or opportunity useful in a criminal investigation.  Do you throw them out because 490 people said something that was not true?  When you have an event as large as 9/11 do you get lost in all of the insignificant events of the day or do you focus in on anomalies and try to explain them?  The commission’s investigation was superficial when realizing the magnitude of 9/11.

        Secondly, you’re statement alone seems to evade the fact that the government did drag its heels on the investigation and then, when they had to investigate, conducted it unconventionally.  I mean why does NCSTAR 1A state in multiple places (example Page 15) “However, the reader should keep in mind that the building and the records kept within it were destroyed, an the remains of all the WTC buildings were disposed of before congressional action and funding was available for this Investigation to begin.  As a result, there are some facts that could not be discovered, and thus there are uncertainties in this accounting.”  Does this sound like an investigation that started on time.  I mean this happened inside our own boarders, right?

        None of this addresses the issue of making 9/11 even more stigmatized as anti-semitism.  Also how do we believe conspiracies are uncovered?  Do you think it only happens by stumbling into it?  People need to look at crime scenes and evidence then form theories which may include conspiracies between people.  They investigate and determine if the thing called “Conspiracy” occurred (a reason all states have laws regarding conspiracy and crime is they exit).  Why anyone would think we know everything about 9/11 with so little investigating, little followup for new information and a budget less than the Lewinski Investigation is beyond me.  It needs to be discussed more not less.

        1. I have neither the time nor inclination to discuss this in detail. I might be inclined if you demonstrated the minimal ability to admit you were wrong about a factual detail. You made a claim. That claim was wrong. Rather than simply say that, you’ve responded with what amounts to a wall of text explaining why your earlier claim isn’t important without actually going out and saying that the claim is wrong. Making factually incorrect claims and then avoiding acknowledging the issues when pointed out is not productive for actual truth finding. 

          1. My mistake was using the word “only” in my original statement.  For that I apologize.  It was the wrong word. 

            I stand by the rest of what I said and do not agree with your evaluation that the use of the word only was a “factual detail” and my  “claim was wrong” or I was “wrong about factual detail”.  That’s a bit overboard. 

            Looking at this issue I do not believe making claims from the first day is unusual.  People asking questions is normal.  When exactly (first day or a year later) people starting asking questions is completely irrelevant.  People asking questions from when they start asking them to when they stop is relevant when its a good reasonable question.

            Also the importance of this topic relevant to the rest of the information is pretty low.  It’s not like with Roger above who wants to state “massive damage” for building 7 when the gov report he is defending specifically does not say that. 

            Anyway, if you’re so inclined what do you think about the branding of people who question 9/11?  Think they should be silenced, branded, labeled?

    3. The truthers who confuse me most are those who concede that WTC1/2 collapsed “naturally” (eg, jet fuel heat causing supports to sag and lose integrity), but still think WTC 7 was “fishy.”  It’s like a “half conspiracy.”   It’s like saying JFK was targeted solely by Lee Harvey Oswald, but Connally, oh boy, Umbrella Man and the Grassy Knoll shooter most definitely had him in their sights.

  12. Ahh, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.  I think I’m going to have to find a copy of this book, it always crops up in such ‘interesting’ circumstances.

    (also, anyone who thinks it’s just a hoax HAS CLEARLY FALLEN FOR THE REAL CONSPIRACY!!!!!!!111!!!!one)

  13. Moderator,

    Could not reply to you so I’ll post it here.  I think I know why and it will not happen again.
    Sorry for the inconvenience.

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