Wednesday, April 04, 2007

On Paranoia

There's been a dust-up over at BSB concerning the group 9/11 Truth. It started with assertions along the lines of 'those loonies ruined Progress Ohio and they'll take down the whole progressive movement if we don't stop them,' and overall it has gotten somewhat less civil since then.

As a side note, the "ruined PO" statement was retracted, and I concur that the 9/11 truth bunch didn't "ruin Progress Ohio," but at the same time I have to say that PO's RSS was only hanging by a thread in my reader for a while. It's a nifty site with some pretty cool tools, but the community blog... let's just say that the 911T folks certainly had help in engendering my loss of interest. The number of posters has recently gone way down, with most posts coming from PO administrators, and as a result, quality is way up. I guess I'm just a reactionary sucker for a moderator.

Anyway, the upshot of the criticism is that the 911T folks are paranoid conspiracy theorists who feed into the right wing narrative of loony lefties who would accuse W of anything and don't recognize the threat of groups like Al Qaeda.

For what it's worth, I tend to agree with a lot of the criticism. And for whatever else it's worth, even if I were to be convinced that there are some questions that need to be answered, I would not hesitate to guess that none of the answers will involve planted explosives. As Richard Clarke said on Maher's show: You have to assume the government is both competent and able to keep a secret. But, in the end, I can't really climb on the 911T -bashing-bandwagon.

The Bush administration has put together the largest database of private communications ever assembled. They have monitored the phone calls of U.S. citizens without a warrant. They have held suspects for years without trial. They have flown prisoners on secret flights to places where they could be legally tortured. They have tortured prisoners themselves. They have thrown Americans into jail for merely wearing slogans in their presence that they disapproved of. They've used the FBI to spy on anti-war groups. They've manipulated intelligence to create a case for a war that has killed tens of thousands of civilians, including a lie in the State of the Union Address that eventually led to them outing an undercover CIA operative and her front company for political reasons.

This administration has significantly raised the bar for dismissing accusations with the statement that "they just wouldn't do that." There are a lot of things that the evil government agents do in cynical thrillers that used to be easily recognized as fiction. Things like the list above. That list, however, does not link to Robert Ludlum novels, it links to the mainest of mainstream news outlets. This administration is not the first to go out of bounds. Internment camps, the Bay of Pigs, the Shah, Iran-Contra... There are plenty of historical events where I still have a hard time believing that my country did what it did, but the current crop of folks at 1600 almost seem to be on a campaign of systematic desensitization to illegal abuses of executive power. It's almost as if they're trying to make the black helicopter crowd socially acceptable.

So, do I think that the evidence is in any way compelling for the MIHOP or LIHOP worldviews? Not at all. Do I think that vocally pushing the "What Really Happened" meme is a lifeline tossed to the Right Wing Noise Machine? Actually, I do. But I have some sympathy.

In a world where where Wal-Mart "had a long-haired employee infiltrate an anti-Wal-Mart group to determine if it planned protests at the company's annual meeting," and we are encouraged to think of "bean festivals, car dealerships, small-town parades and check-cashing stores" as potential terrorist targets, a culture of paranoia is inevitable. Remember when the phrase "or the terrorists will have already won" was bandied about? You don't hear it anymore.

1 comment:

peaceful soldier said...

I appreciate the compassion you showed the group. It is a great testament to your open mind. I hate to admit it, but before I learned some of the disturbing facts that the mainstream media has not shown us about that day, I'm sure I would not have been so gracious.

I wish you could have met William Rodriguez as I did yesterday up in Ann Arbor. They had 250 people there and were disappointed-as they had 600 at their last 9-11 truth rally (in a community of 100,000.) Anyhow, William was the last survivor from the North Tower (the second tower to fall that day.)

I think you would have been surprised to hear his testimony/how he describes that morning...he clearly describes the bombs that went off in the building. His testimony which never appeared in the 9-11 commission report can not be underestimated, and testimony like his was not uncommon. There were many (hundreds) survivors that describe the same thing...explosives in the building...yet their testimony also did not appear in the final report that many feel was a whitewash.

After the official 9-11 Osama Bin Laden myth was presented as the official story, it apparent that their explosive testimony did not fit the official story. It is disturbing to know that Osama Bin Laden is not wanted for the 9-11 attacks. I thought there was an oversight, but according to the FBI, they didn't have enough evidence to try him in a court of law...(but our president did have enough evidence to declare him wanted 'dead or alive'?)

Watch this video if you want to know why the 9-11 families say this country needs a new investigation. (14 minutes of news story documentation of explosive testimony!)

Many blessings to Blue Bexley!...(say that 10 times fast!)

"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall ...make you MAD!"