The Comforting Conspiracy Theory
Although the article is about the conspiracy theories surrounding Princess Diana's death, this part certainly applies to 9-11:
The great American novelist Don DeLillo, who has made paranoia his theme, long ago explained the appeal of Fayed and even LaRouche to otherwise reasonable people when he said that 'if we are on the outside, we assume a conspiracy is the perfect working of a scheme... [It] is everything that ordinary life is not. It's the inside game, cold, sure, undistracted, forever closed off to us. We are the flawed ones, the innocents, trying to make some rough sense of the daily jostle. Conspirators have a logic and a daring beyond our reach.'
Nothing Lord Stevens can say will change the minds of the readers and journalists of the Express and millions of others who feel themselves to be DeLillo's outsiders. Like children with their noses pressed at a grimy window, they try to make a 'rough sense' of the murky world beyond by imagining that the British government - of all incompetent institutions - has the ruthless intelligence to get away with organising an astonishing crime. You can't explain away their fantasies with the half-rational explanation that they are manifestations of wider conflicts - not least because the overwhelming majority of Express readers aren't Muslim. They believe in this conspiracy theory, as they will believe in the next one, because conspiracy theories bring order to a chaotic universe. The hundreds of pages of patiently collected witness statements will make no difference to those who are too frightened to accept the messiness of life.
Hat Tip: JREFer GlennB