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A few of years ago, I got into a bit of tussle with a good friend who was insisting I watch a DVD showing how Bush & Company rigged 9/11.  I begged off telling her that there was no way that any "expert" could convince me that the Bush team could have pulled of 9/11 even if they had wanted to.  So I was pretty surprised to hear Ian Masters complain (Background Briefing, KPFK, May 2, 11:53AM)  

Everytime I go to any public event where I have to speak I get heckled by the 9/11 'truthers' who are the first people to rush up to the microphones and shut down the entire event so whatever the subject of the event was nobody get's to talk about it...they sort of hijack it and force you to talk about Building 7 collapsing.

So where DO 'truthers' come from? Are they lefties unrecovered from the Bush regime, or anti-government libertarian/anarchists, or just plain conspiracy enthusiasts?

Besides shouting down civil discourse, Truthers have become Exhibit A in an 'equivalency' argument that maintains that the far ends of the political spectrum are equally prone to crazy partisan distortion. That sure doesn't ring true to me but exceptionalist counterarguments are always difficult to defend, the vagaries of our human mind being what they are.  But today's right wing perfecta: Fox News, teabaggers, looney GOPers, are pulling down hard on the conservative end of the distortion prism.  Not that the MSM seems to care.  We've all seen how, under the guise of 'equivalency', the media is most comfortable installing itself at a hypothetical midpoint on the conservative-liberal continuum.  So what do we get?  Climate change 'experts' claiming that the verdict's still out and an increasing number of Americans thinking that global warming is a left wing phantasma.

Originally posted to seethruit on Tue May 11, 2010 at 08:24 AM PDT.

Poll

Where do 'truthers' come from?

15%12 votes
3%3 votes
3%3 votes
11%9 votes
3%3 votes
61%48 votes

| 78 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    All right, then, I'll go to hell. - Mark Twain

    by seethruit on Tue May 11, 2010 at 08:24:46 AM PDT

  •  Truthers, whatever their ilk... (8+ / 0-)

    ...are as American as apple pie.  They're cranks, an expression of the deranged but meta-democratic belief that the Average Joe shouldn't defer to specialist knowledge.  Average Joe can determine this or that about the melting point of metal vs. the characteristics of a crashing airplane, Average Joe can make his or her own assessments of official documents like birth certificates, and Average Joe "knows" that a cabal is seeking to ram a Codex Alimentarius down our throats.  Average Joe also thinks he can fix that toilet leak, even though 100 times before he ended up flooding the living room and we had to call a real plumber.

    This machine makes fascists feel bad. (Meteor Blades-approved version)

    by Rich in PA on Tue May 11, 2010 at 08:31:09 AM PDT

    •  Average Joe... (0+ / 0-)

      Like with the BP spill, average Joes seem to have all the answers.

      It is interesting, I hadn't thought about 'deferring specialist knowledge', and it's a very good point.

      It is curious to see the periodical disuse and perishing of means and machinery, which were introduced with loud laudation a few years or centuries before. -RWE

      by Gravedugger on Tue May 11, 2010 at 09:03:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It even works with theology (0+ / 0-)

        Where did Mormonism come from?  Where did the Great Awakening and Pentecostalism come from?  From the notion that the religious Establishment didn't know any better than Average Joe.

        This machine makes fascists feel bad. (Meteor Blades-approved version)

        by Rich in PA on Tue May 11, 2010 at 09:36:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why don't we just ask them? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PeakRaider

    Oh, that's right. For a group called 'truthers' they seem to have a hard time grasping what that word means. Cue The Princess Bride clips...

    Wal*Mart isn't the root of all evil but you can buy the plastic, cadmium-tainted, Chinese knock-off of it there for $4.27

    by ontheleftcoast on Tue May 11, 2010 at 08:31:24 AM PDT

  •  The Truth about Truthers (6+ / 0-)

    Truthers are all conspiracy crazed government distrusting doofs. They come from all political persuasions from wingnut to moonbat, (leaving out most of the middle) I have encountered several,most of those tend toward libertarianism, but some were wingnuts. All are ignorant or ignore basic physics and engineering principles, (gravity pulls down, heavy loads can collapse weakened structures, etc. ) They are morons.

    "God is an iron" -Spider Robinson

    by oldcrow on Tue May 11, 2010 at 08:35:55 AM PDT

  •  Well They Come From the Many Odd Aspects (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hunter Huxley

    of the government response at the time, including the lack of Air Force response, the deliberate destruction of air traffic control recordings, and the odd way President Cheney kept the Mouthpiece-In-Chief in undisclosed locations till the important events were over.

    I don't know what explains the demolitionists.

    Every time I watch the footage of the twin towers collapsing, I see the bottom of the top sections smashing through each new floor one at a time as the official explanation says it did. I see footage of demolitions several times a year and they never go like that, it's always the bottom that's blown out, while the mostly intact upper structure falls and crushes each lowest floor as it hits the rubble.

    I'm more inclined to think there may be a conspiracy to feed the truthers than that there was a conspiracy to fake the entire attack. I could go as far as elements of LIHOP, particularly neocon sympathizers in one agency or another to see that pieces of intelligence never got put together and into the right hands in time to stop an attack.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue May 11, 2010 at 08:36:32 AM PDT

    •  Oh man, I'm going to get banned for this. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, Relevant Rhino

      I'm more inclined to think there may be a conspiracy to feed the truthers than that there was a conspiracy to fake the entire attack.

      Ever notice how nobody was talking about the conspiracy behind 9/11, and then Fahrenheit 9/11 came out, and then all of a sudden Loose Change came out?

      Almost as if, once the American people started talking about the connections between the Bushes, the Bin Ladens, and the Carlyle group, there had to be a bunch of batshit crazy people to confuse the conversation?

      Kind of like what happened to health care.

      OK, I'm leaving this thread.  I'm going to get banned for sure.  Sorry, Meteor Blades.  The diary made me do it.

      Snarka Snarka Snarka!

      by Hunter Huxley on Tue May 11, 2010 at 08:40:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well the Health Care is No CT, Teabag Movement (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hunter Huxley, seethruit

        was the rational Republican response for the 2 yr period leading up to a midterm when the base is 2-3 times more important than in Presidential elections. I'm pretty sure tea party domain names were being registered even before Obama was the nominee so this thing was always gonna happen.

        Those of us who were around in the late 60's have personal experience with plants and provocateurs so that's not much of a stretch either. It's a lot less of a CT than that we attacked ourselves.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Tue May 11, 2010 at 08:48:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've dabbled. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kokomo for Obama, James Robinson

    I watched both versions of the Loose Change movie back when they came out.  I read the exchanges, I listened to the professors from New Mexico engineering schools talking about the melting point of steel, the temperature of kerosene, the speed of the buildings falling (I never saw that, btw, too much dust).  I'm even ahead of the curve, I remember watching a conspiracy guy on C-Span back in the 90s talking about that jet that blew up over the ocean in New York and claiming it was a missile and not an electrical problem in the fuel tank.  That video talked a lot about the burning temperature of jet fuel, as did a 1945 issue of National Geographic, and they both made it clear that fuel doesn't burn very well at normal pressures.

    I think the reasons I got into it were various.  For one, I like to think I'm open-minded, I refuse to believe something just because everyone else does.  I'm a doubting Thomas.  Also, I think everybody recognized that there was something wrong with the government back then.  It's partly something that's been wrong with the government for a long time, but it was especially wrong under W.  There was a lot of secrecy, we weren't being told what it was, and we were looking for answers.  And I think a lot of people in my generation hear about Watergate and Woodward and Bernstein, and we wish that would happen again.  We can't imagine how something like that could go down, but we really want it to, and we want to be in on the ground floor.

    So those were my reasons.  I've since changed my opinions about what's possible and what's probable about 9/11.  I won't go into it (rules, they keep us civilized), but I will say that a lot is known (by me anyway) about the actors who carried out the attacks, but little is known about the organization before hand or the money that changed hands.  That's where the conspiracy is for me.

    •  i don't think anything but planes brought down (3+ / 0-)

      the towers. but i do think bush/cheney co. were responsible for bringing the planes.

      "This Way to the Great Egress."~P.T.Barnum

      by Dopin Dan on Tue May 11, 2010 at 08:40:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Keep dopin, buddy. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hardleftintx

        It's doing wonders.

        It's better on top.

        by PeakRaider on Tue May 11, 2010 at 08:42:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  LIHOP is grounds... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bouwerie Boy

        LIHOP (aside from being unrealistic CT) is grounds for banning, IIRC, so do tread carefully.

        It is curious to see the periodical disuse and perishing of means and machinery, which were introduced with loud laudation a few years or centuries before. -RWE

        by Gravedugger on Tue May 11, 2010 at 09:06:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Saying they were responsible for bringing the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dopin Dan

          planes isn't necessarily LIHOP. Their actions as "leaders" could just as easily been the cause. In that case, they would be responsible.

          John Boehner thinks of himself as Ceasar. How about we change his name to Orange Julius?

          by second gen on Tue May 11, 2010 at 09:24:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If one wants to... (0+ / 0-)

            ...argue that their failure to do anything about reports from Richard Clarke and others made them responsible, that's one thing. But to say they were "responsible for bringing the planes" says something else. One can argue that U.S. foreign policy was responsible; one can argue that the administration was glad the attack happened because it gave an excuse to attack Iraq. But "responsible for bringing the planes" is over the line.

            I refuse to accept "no can do" as a proper slogan for progressives.

            by Meteor Blades on Tue May 11, 2010 at 10:35:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  their LACK OF RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP was (0+ / 0-)

              directly responsible for the planes being available and the aviation training accessible to the perps.

              "This Way to the Great Egress."~P.T.Barnum

              by Dopin Dan on Tue May 11, 2010 at 10:52:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's kind of the point I was making. (0+ / 0-)

              They failed to do anything, our policies are/were responsible, and the administration was happy to use it to their advantage when it happened.

              The failure to do anything in spite of warnings and having policies that would cause people to want to fight back seems like responsibility to me, but not in a CT way. I'm not saying they actually dispatched the planes, or had anything to do with the 9/11 attack specifically. And I don't believe LIHOP is the truth, either. I don't think they did it on purpose, I just think they were inept and aggressive, and that caused it to happen.

              John Boehner thinks of himself as Ceasar. How about we change his name to Orange Julius?

              by second gen on Tue May 11, 2010 at 03:19:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for the clarification (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                second gen

                Thanks for the clarification, I apologize for misreading you.

                It is curious to see the periodical disuse and perishing of means and machinery, which were introduced with loud laudation a few years or centuries before. -RWE

                by Gravedugger on Tue May 11, 2010 at 06:40:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  You get one warning. And this is it. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        I refuse to accept "no can do" as a proper slogan for progressives.

        by Meteor Blades on Tue May 11, 2010 at 10:31:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Same place as birthers: (3+ / 0-)

    Alien crossbreeding with humans.

  •  Well, if you google map "truth" (3+ / 0-)

    first result is the Truth of Consequences Airport in New Mexico.  A rather interesting name for an airport I thought.  

    Anyway, I think it's silly to paint any group with a wide brush.  There are different kinds with different inspiration and motivation.

    I personally enjoy conspiracy theory, mostly because I love science fiction and conspiracy fiction literature.  Of course lots of actual events in history were indeed conspiracies, so it's a fascinating topic, IMO.

  •  Bush and Co. had neither the intelligence or (4+ / 0-)

    the loyalty to pull off a massive undertaking as logistically impossible as 9/11.  How the hell do you plug any possible leak with a cast of thousands?  If anything, I'm sure the thought of planting Nukes in Iraq with a cast of tens to justify his war crime crossed his feeble brain briefly, only to be overuled by clearer heads.

    "These are people of the land. The common clay of the new west. You know.....morons!" -The Waco Kid

    by fedorko on Tue May 11, 2010 at 08:56:37 AM PDT

    •  Moon Landings (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, seethruit, fedorko

      How the hell do you plug any possible leak with a cast of thousands?

      Hehe, yeah. This is the biggest reason a moon landing hoax is impossible.

      ...And Bush/Cheney couldn't even run their own whitehouse effectively, from an organizational/administrative standpoint, so the MIHOP theorists are truly nuts.

      My favorite example is Gannon/Guckert. I mean, if that was the best press room plant the White House could come up with, that's sad, and goes to show how ineffective they would have been at attempting a conspiracy.

      It is curious to see the periodical disuse and perishing of means and machinery, which were introduced with loud laudation a few years or centuries before. -RWE

      by Gravedugger on Tue May 11, 2010 at 09:10:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  These people crack me up. They can't provide (0+ / 0-)

        any concrete proof but they do provide me with hours of chuckles.

        "These are people of the land. The common clay of the new west. You know.....morons!" -The Waco Kid

        by fedorko on Tue May 11, 2010 at 09:16:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I can understand where they come from. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seethruit

    Upon seeing how well the Bush/Cheney regime used the events of 9/11 for their own purposes and the need for causality I understand making the jump to a conspiracy.

    People like things to have simple explanations in their own frame of reference. Even if the truth is in actuality more simple if it is outside their frame of reference you'll see a sort of cognitive dissonance as they complexify what happened to make it fit their frame of reference.

    Some people also want to believe that destruction is not simple. But it is, it is the simplest thing in the world. So they will be predisposed to a theory that that makes the destruction they see, hear about, or are affected by more complex than it really is. It's a dreary world-view where one person can take down a great person. So let's invent an entire cabal to have done it.

    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -- George Bernard Shaw

    by Inspector Javert on Tue May 11, 2010 at 09:40:46 AM PDT

    •  It's not just simplicity they seek (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inspector Javert

      It's reassurance. Such things shouldn't happen. Especially to me or the people close to me. The only way this awful thing happening makes sense is for it to ....make sense. Somebody did something to cause it. There is nothing quite as scary as the randomness of "shit happens".

      Legalism: strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit

      by Catte Nappe on Tue May 11, 2010 at 09:45:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Random 'shit happens'? (0+ / 0-)

        Huh. Neither the attack on WTC/Pentagon nor the false-flagging of the event to get us into Junior's grudge match war with Saddam were random shit. Neither was the treasonous blowing of CIA's Brewster-Jennings' anti-proliferation op that stood very much directly in the way of shifting nukes around so they could be conveniently 'found' in Iraq to justify the false-flagging. Even in the official scenario it was a full fledged conspiracy. Six of one, half a dozen of the others per whose version one cares to put stock in.

        I'd suspect most 'truthers' just don't buy the official CT scenario from the folks who false-flagged the event to lie us into an illegal war of aggression. Whose CT scenario is closest to whatever might be considered small-t 'truth' is anybody's guess.

        This site is strict on insisting that only the official CT scenario is ever to be mentioned. That's fine, there are plenty of sites out there hashing and rehashing various other CT scenarios if that's what one is into. But it's plain old anti-reality to claim 9-11 was "random shit" by anybody's reckoning.

        Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

        by Joieau on Tue May 11, 2010 at 10:44:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Your view is shared by Kathy Olmsted, the author (0+ / 0-)

      who Ian Masters was interviewing when he made the comment I posted.  She recently published Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11.

  •  No one's commented on 'grab the mike' truthers (0+ / 0-)

    Probably, the biggest impact of truthers is their continued disruption of public forums, presumably progressive forums. Not that I'm any authority on this, but I have seen them push themselves forward at numerous CSPAN Book TV events.  But Ian Masters, who moderates, interivews, speaks, and has a daily radio show has a more on-the-ground perspective and he finds these folks very intrusive.  At the very least, they reduce the time available for the topic under discussion.  But the longterm effect is to present an impression that the left is dominated by a lunatic fringe.  This serves to de-legitimize those at the far left who often have a perpective that, whether one agrees or not, is worthy of serious attention.

  •  Outer space? (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe it's just me, but didn't the phenomenon of "alien abduction" sort of morph into the truther/birther/whatever phenomena?

    It makes as much sense as any other explanation I've seen: people abducted by aliens with entire nonlinear belief systems grafted into their frontal lobes. It's all designed to prevent any discussion of UFOs by shifting the discussion toward thermal loading and Kenyan conspiracies.

    Greg Shenaut

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