The Rise of the "Truthers"
Ably covered at Slate by Jeremy Stahl.
There are four parts so far with more to come. I particularly like this observation from Part IV :
Consider: Within hours of the planes hitting the towers, the conspiracy theories had already begun to swirl. Many used them to pin blame on their favorite pre-existing bogeyman. Days after 9/11, for example, a rumor spread that 4,000 Jews had been warned about the attacks and failed to show up for their jobs at the Twin Towers. As outlined in Part 1 of this series, this story was debunked immediately and never gained traction in the West. Career paranoiacs in America, meanwhile, were pointing the finger squarely at the U.S. government. People like libertarian radio host Alex Jones and alternative media reporter Michael Ruppert came from different ends of the political spectrum, but they both "knew" instantly that powers more diabolical than al-Qaida were behind the attacks, specifically the all-pervasive New World Order and the oil-hungry, fascistic Bush administration.
In 2007 a conspiracist confronted Zelikow in public with the "fact" that many of the hijackers are still alive. Zelikow responded that the 9/11 Commission had looked into the claims and found nothing to them but could not fit every single debunked conspiracy theory into the final version of the report. The questioner's reply was to repeat his accusation. I had a similar experience on the same topic when questioning Griffin, who begins his book The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions with the "hijackers are still alive" theory. I sent him an email pointing out that this theory relied on discredited media reports—the "hijackers" they had found were just people with the same names as the hijackers. In response, he emailed me a chapter on the topic from one of his books and said he was too busy to discuss the issue further.Yep, it's either that or they just jump on to the next factoid with no acknowledgment that you debunked their supposed point. Do-Over Dylan is highlighted, as are all the major figures in the movement: Alex Jones, David Ray Griffin, Mike Ruppert, Box Boy Gage, etc. I am looking forward to Part V, entitled Paranoia and Apostasy.
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