Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bad week for 9/11 truthers

Last Friday Bill Maher kicked some heckling truthers out of his studio audience. On Tuesday, it was Bill Clinton's turn (video at link):
"Clinton's 50-minute speech, which started about an hour behind schedule, was derailed briefly by several hecklers in the audience who shouted that the 2001 terrorist attacks were a fraud. Rather than ignoring them, Clinton seemed to relish a direct confrontation.

"A fraud? No, it wasn't a fraud," Clinton said, as the crowd cheered him on. "I'll be glad to talk to you if you shut up and let me talk."

When another heckler shouted that the attacks were an "inside job," Clinton took even greater umbrage.

"An inside job? How dare you. How dare you. It was not an inside job," Clinton said. "You guys have got to be careful, you're going to give Minnesota a bad reputation.""

It always feels a little weird not to support political allies (these are lefties, after all), but I am a pragmatist. I've read probably every conspiracy book written about 9/11 and I remain unconvinced it happened any way other than as advertised. Oh, there are lots of unexplained details, coincidences and unanswered questions -- but the "inside job" theory is, well, ludicrous. The Bush administration bears responsibility only in that it refused to take seriously the warnings issued by security agencies -- which is still pretty bad -- but the idea that it might have planned the attacks is patently absurd.

The 9/11 conspiracy theories are partly a byproduct of the event being spun so hard for so long after the fact to coerce a traumatized nation into allowing its government to do things it would never be allowed to do otherwise. There's a shit load of more important issues that have come to the fore in the intervening 6 years -- the truthers do a disservice to the rest of us by diverting attention from those issues and focusing on silliness like disappearing planes and controlled demolitions.