Comment is Free - The Fallout
So have you any other examples [of wide-ranging conspiracies] that might prove your case?
The psychological warfare operation to link al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein in the minds of the US and global public. That's one, I would have thought.
My point is that there is a magnitude of difference between plotting to manipulate public opinion or undermine a political leader, which can be done by stealth with comparative ease, and organising in total secrecy the huge logistical project of men and materials that would have been required for a 'false flag' 9/11. It is the sheer improbability of the latter that vindicates the viewpoint of Charlie Brooker and indeed all the rest of us who have preserved our collective sanity in relation to these events.
Like I said in my piece, I have no idea what to make of the attacks. To argue from "sheer improbability" is problematic from any number of angles. Highly improbable events are a banal fact of life. More seriously, there are alternative accounts one could give of 9/11 that don't rely on a large scale cover-up of the sort Brooker assumes would be necessary. To conflate all the alternative theories doesn't to my mind seem legitimate.
This, by the way doesn't mean that I am sceptical about possibility of holding true beliefs about the world, with a reasonable degree of certainty. Nor does it require to sign up to any of the theories concerning the nature of the attacks or the authors. I just don't think it is evidence of mental infirmity to express doubts about the official account, given the very limited state of our knowledge.
The author also tries to equate Brooker with Melanie Philips...nice smear! Philips, whatever she may be, is not a rationalist.
Brooker's approach is relevantly similar to Phillips's. It is kind of funny, no?
Also - don't you see the problem with pointing out instances of goverenment involvement in assassinations? We *know* about them.
I am not making a direct comparison with 9/11 conspiracy. I was referring to the Arbenz and Allende coups precicesly because everyone now knows that the CIA were involved.
The fact that we know about previous conspiracies doesn't tell us very much about 9/11. It is possible we don't know about all historical conspiracies - so we don't know what kinds of things can be kept secret with any degree of certainty.
This article is a mess. The reason Charlie Brooker didn't talk about that in his piece was because he WASN'T TALKING ABOUT THAT. Geddit? His article was about the nutbag theories not the geopolitics of the situation. This doggytyrd article is to let YOU preen and try on the Chomsky big brains badge - well I've got news for you Dan. It doesn't suit you, aside from the fact you'd stick the pin through your own thumb putting it on your ego has blinded you to the bleedin' point.
The Saddam Hussein -al Qaeda link is a nutbar theory. It has been far more influential - and fatal - than any single variant of the other conspiracy theories. The fact that it doesn't feature in attempts to account for the public appetite for conspiracy theories strikes me as being noteworthy.
Brooker did not say there are never any true conspiracies or that conspiracy theories are per se lunacy. There is no logical reason to believe that because there are true conspiracies, 9/11 must have been the result of one. Yet, that is the ultimate point of Hind's column.
That isn't the ultimate point of the column, at all. I am saying that scepticism about 9/11 is understandable and legitimate given the current state of our knowledge. I explicitly don't rule out the official explanation, I just don't think that doubting it is evidence of mental infirmity.
No kidding! Hind's column is constructed from a fallacy wish list:
Poisoning the well, followed by tu quoque, followed by a straw man, followed by something I can't quite put my finger on, followed by a false dichotomy, followed by mistaking some for all, and climaxing with a whopping three-paragraph non sequitur. And a final paragraph where a straw man sort of dances around the poisoned well.
I like the idea of a straw man dancing around a poisoned well.
How about if I try to put the argument in a more rigorous way:
1.) Most attempts to account for the public appetite for conspiracy theories seek to explain them in psychological terms. People for some reason find them reassuring.
2.) But in general the public are right to entertain conspiracy theories, since conspiracies are a fact of political life.
3.) In the specific case of 9/11 attempts to dismiss those who question the official story on the grounds that they are somehow seeking to compensate for deficiencies in their own lives is mistaken. The state of our knowledge does not permit us to adopt such a position. As well as being mistaken it also quite offensive, hence the knockabout in the original piece.
It is tempting to seem sophisticated and say that " I do not believe the government" but should that automatically lead one to believe those who hustle conspiracy theories?
No, it really shouldn't.
Dan Hind actually makes a point which is one of the strongest cases against believing in any 9/11 conspiracy:
The most important conspiracy theory about 9/11 rarely gets mentioned by writers like Brooker and Phillips. In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq the White House made every effort to link Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida. Far from being a production of what commentators like to call the tinfoil hat brigade, this particular paranoid fantasy emerged from the work of a highly focused and skilled group of people.
Exactly. Any sane enquiring person knows that a cabal around Bush deliberately tried to tie Saddam, 9/11 and Al-Qaida together. How do we know this? Because the evidence is abundant and public. The sheer breathtaking scale of the lies put together by Cheney and his gang were glaring. And of course dear Blair went along with it and the rest is dead bodies and history.
Not sure what this establishes. Is it a variant of the argument that because we know about some historical conspiracies, the ones we don't know about don't exist? Plenty of sane, inquiring people thought there was something in the Saddam Hussein-al Qaeda connection when it was politically important for them to do so.