Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Conspiracy theories are a popular item this season

What's that whirrrring sound? Why, it's the spinning of a million propellers on a million beanies as the wingnuts wearing them blow a gasket over the latest Zogby poll. Released yesterday, the poll shows that 42% of Americans believe the Bush Administration knew about the plans for the 9/11 attacks but didn't try to prevent them. From Zogby:

Forty-two percent!? That's almost half!! And that's not the worst of it: the same poll says that almost 10% of Americans think the Bush administration carried out the attacks:
Holy tinfoil hat! Right-wingers normally dismiss such poll results as "Moonbattery!", but this one's got their bearings spun right out. Not so much because of what it says as who commissioned it: "Press TV", an online news service from... Iran! Wingnutty shrieks are probably echoing all the way to the dusty alleyways of Tehran: aauuggghhhhmadinejad!!!

Regardless of the poll's bias or veracity, in view of the recent bin Laden videos and corresponding conspiracy theories about them, and knowing that there's a lot more going on than we'll ever be let in on, it's still an interesting question. Personally, I don't think they carried out the attacks. The attacks were pretty much as advertised: a cell of Islamic extremists learned how to wield exacto knives and fly planes, and badda bing. (But no, they didn't do it because "they hate our freedom".)

Whether the Bush administration knew about the attacks in advance is a different story, one of which we'll likely never know the full scope. They had to know something was coming. They probably didn't know all the 5 W's of it, but they must have had a general idea of what and why, and probably even a fairly good bead on where and when. While I'm not totally convinced that they purposely stood down and allowed it all to roll out, who had the most to gain? When you look at it that way, 42% seems a little low.