Rushkoff on 9/11 conspiracies

In the new issue of Arthur, Douglas Rushkoff calls bullshit on alternative theories about 9/11. Not only that, he argues that the endless speculation is bad for the counterculture. From Doug's column:

Yes, I believe that 9-11 theorizing debilitates the counterculture. It robs us of some potentially creative thinkers. It replaces truly important questions with trivial ones. It marginalizes more constructive investigation of American participation in the development of Al Qaeda as well as its subsequent aggravation. And perhaps worst of all, it is precisely the sort of activity that government disinformation specialists would want us to be involved with.

9-11 theorists are unwittingly performing as the unpaid minions of the administration’s propaganda wing. (At least most of them are unpaid; no doubt, some of the loudest are working as contractors for the same agencies whose activities they pretend to deconstruct.) That’s why, instead of nodding along with their long-winded, preposterous yarns under the false belief that any critique is better than no critique, we–the informed, intelligent, and reasonable members of the war resistance–must instead disassociate ourselves from this drivel. In other words, we must draw the line between the kind of analysis done by Greg Palast and that done by Pilots for Truth. If we don’t apply discipline to our thinking, we risk falling into the trap that even some of our best intellectuals have–like Harper’s editor Lewis Lapham, who on reading a bit too much 9-11 conspiracy, has concluded that it all has some merit.

I’m all for supposing. It’s how the best science fiction gets written, the best science gets speculated, the best innovations get developed, and the wildest thoughts get hatched. But forensics is a different beast. As any detective will tell you, the most straightforward solution is usually the right one...