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shiels
14-07-2008, 02:12 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jul/14/september11.usa

I was linked to this on another forum and immediately thought of dissensus because i know a lot of you are fans of Brooker and skeptical of the FOX news account of events.

hucks
14-07-2008, 02:27 PM
350 comments.....

Actually, I don't think the article is all that. Fish in a barrel stuff for him. His TV reviewing is top notch, his other stuff less so imo

Mr. Tea
14-07-2008, 02:29 PM
And when repeatedly pressed on that one, basic, overall point - that a conspiracy this huge would be impossible to pull off - they huff and whine and claim that unless you've sat through every nanosecond of Loose Change (the conspiracy flick du jour) and personally refuted every one of its carefully spun "findings" before their very eyes, using a spirit level and calculator, you have no right to an opinion on the subject.

Oh yeah? So if my four-year-old nephew tells me there's a magic leprechaun in the garden I have to spend a week meticulously peering underneath each individual blade of grass before I can tell him he's wrong, do I?

Haha, good old CB. :)

Edit:


Finally.

Okay here's what I know

1. Only a handful (circa 1500-5000; those who where alive prior to the three collapses, officials etc.) of people REALLY know what happened, the 'truth movement' highlights the anomalies, questions them and simply ask that others do the same. It is very easy to suggest that the cat would have jumped out the bag by now or the sabretooth tiger climbed down the mountain (cos that's how big and vicious this thing is), that's all it is; easy debunking...try harder.

2. PNAC, the main reason.

3i. Missle hit the Pentagon, this 'freudian slip' was on CNN and WAS (up until early last month) on YouTube. Care to debunk?

3ii. Seized tapes, why? Initial hole left by impact was small (with an exit hole), later collapse allowed for 'the plane turn to liquid' official fairytale.

So much more, very sure others will pick up where...

Ciao

Okay here's what I know

IdleRich
14-07-2008, 02:37 PM
Didn't really see the point of this article - people who believe in stupid conspiracy theories are stupid, hold the front page. Wish I could get paid to produce that once a week.

swears
14-07-2008, 02:44 PM
Didn't really see the point of this article - people who believe in stupid conspiracy theories are stupid, hold the front page. Wish I could get paid to produce that once a week.

I think it's a neat, amusing little summary of why these theories are so daft, and why people feel the need to make them.


So if you work in a cardboard box factory, and your job is to stare at the side of each box as it passes along a conveyor belt, to ensure they're all uniform and boxy enough - and you do this all day, every day...

The mental image of a man doing this made me lol.

john eden
14-07-2008, 02:57 PM
Didn't really see the point of this article - people who believe in stupid conspiracy theories are stupid, hold the front page. Wish I could get paid to produce that once a week.

It's important because this type of stuff has increasing currency in what passes for "alternative" culture and sends a lot of people off down dead ends. Those dead ends also play host to a lot of very stupid or dodgy politics (for example anti-semitism).

It's also important that these things are debunked because they act as a way of disempowering people - i.e. there is nothing which can be done in the face of such a huge conspiracy and everyone else is really stupid because they don't understand it.

As with creationism, it is a battle of ideas which can have real rammificiations in culture, politics, etc.

noel emits
14-07-2008, 03:03 PM
The whole 'massive conspiracies can't exist because they are impossible to maintain' is a totally fallacious straw man argument. How is it people can say that sort of thing while simultaneously believing a small conspiracy of cave dwelling Arabs managed to orchestrate the whole thing? Well which is it? Without getting into the details and what you do or do not believe about the whole business this doesn't make sense and also shows very little understanding of how secret operations might be carried out by...whoever.

This isn't debunking of any useful kind, it's just some twat comedian trying to show how rational and 'right thinking' he is.

IdleRich
14-07-2008, 03:06 PM
"It's important because..."
True but this is a lazy article which preaches to the converted and could have been written any time since 2001 as an uncontroversial back-up to be wheeled out when he can't be arsed to do something topical. I think that Charlie Brooker can be quite funny and I took the article with me when I hid in the toilet at work this morning but I found this quite disappointing.

john eden
14-07-2008, 03:11 PM
I think scale is a valid point.

If we look at well documented conspiracies such as Cointelpro, then there is a whole raft of proof and also a paper trail. Presumably there is also an indication of how many people were employed.

The 911 cultists always use the "cave dwelling arabs" description, often with an even more racist slant. Whilst Bin Laden seems to enjoy hanging out in caves, there is scant evidence that the 911 pilots (and indeed the 7/7 bombers here) lived in caves.

It is like suggesting that the provisional IRA were incapable of organsing a bombing campaign because they were all "thicko drunkard bog trotting paddies", for example.

Or that the ALF/ARM can't organise firebombings because they are all "weakling hippy vegetarian wallflowers".

hucks
14-07-2008, 03:13 PM
The whole 'massive conspiracies can't exist because they are impossible to maintain' is a totally fallacious straw man argument. How is it people can say that sort of thing while simultaneously believing a small conspiracy of cave dwelling Arabs managed to orchestrate the whole thing? Well which is it?


Does anyone think this? It doesn't have to be either/ or...

john eden
14-07-2008, 03:16 PM
True but this is a lazy article which preaches to the converted and could have been written any time since 2001 as an uncontroversial back-up to be wheeled out when he can't be arsed to do something topical. I think that Charlie Brooker can be quite funny and I took the article with me when I hid in the toilet at work this morning but I found this quite disappointing.

I agree that it isn't one of his best.

http://paulstott.typepad.com/911cultwatch/ - is one to check.

Mr. Tea
14-07-2008, 03:16 PM
The whole 'massive conspiracies can't exist because they are impossible to maintain' is a totally fallacious straw man argument. How is it people can say that sort of thing while simultaneously believing a small conspiracy of cave dwelling Arabs managed to orchestrate the whole thing?.

But no-one's claiming that at all. Everyone know's bin Laden's the scion of a hugely wealthy, well-connected oil family (indeed, this is the subject of conspiracy theories in its own right) and has an enormous personal fortune.
And in any case, the logistics of committing 9/11, considerable as they may have have been, pale in comparison to the degree of organisation and secrecy that the US government would have had to maintain in order to carry out the attack and get away with it. I think it's also pretty telling that not a single person, anonymously or otherwise, has acted as a whistle-blower for this supposed conspiracy. Neither, as far as I'm aware, has any attempt been made to stop these fearless troofers who risk everything to spread the word by prining tee-shirts and putting videos up on YouTube.

Bin Laden is very much the missing piece from 9/11 CTs. After all, think about it from his POV: if he'd either been allowed to commit the attack by a complicit CIA/FBI, or if he'd actually had nothing to do with it but had had the blame pinned on him, why would he play along with it and accept responsibility? Surely he'd have said "Look, America, at what your own government does to you for its own selfish ends!" and then sat back and watched as the country destroyed itself in violent revolution? The only way around this is to claim that bin Laden is actually in on the conspiracy himself, that he is somehow the CIA's stooge, or paid-off fall man. Which is another problem with CTs in general: there is no limit to how high up the conspiracy goes, how general and all-encompassing 'They' are.

noel emits
14-07-2008, 03:19 PM
It's important because this type of stuff has increasing currency in what passes for "alternative" culture and sends a lot of people off down dead ends. Those dead ends also play host to a lot of very stupid or dodgy politics (for example anti-semitism).
Anti-semites are anti-semites, they'll try and find all sorts of reasons to justify their idiotic beliefs.

It's also important that these things are debunked because they act as a way of disempowering people - i.e. there is nothing which can be done in the face of such a huge conspiracy and everyone else is really stupid because they don't understand it.
The truth is empowering - telling people they should stop looking for it is daft. Of course 'massive (secret) conspiracies' don't exist in the sense of a big number of people colluding to one known end. People only have to know what they have to do, and the higher ups in the chain don't have to know how these ends are achieved. The sort of Brooker is coming out with assumes that everything went to plan in that operation, and that there have been no 'whistle blowers'. Well lots of people have tried to talk about stuff and been gagged one way or another, and lots of evidence has been disposed of, and lots of basic proof has not been provided, and on and on...

As with creationism, it is a battle of ideas which can have real rammificiations in culture, politics, etc.
I think you're right. And people are rightly suspicious of some of the ideas that are being propounded.

noel emits
14-07-2008, 03:28 PM
Shiels, I can't believe you mentioned the elephant in your first post.

john eden
14-07-2008, 03:36 PM
Anti-semites are anti-semites, they'll try and find all sorts of reasons to justify their idiotic beliefs.

Indeed, but those ideas seem more able to take root in pseudo-scientific claptrap such as nazi racial theories, illuminati nonsense, david icke new agery, and 911 cultishness.

It is proof that a little learning can be very dangerous. For example I am most amused at the number of people who now seem to claim to be experts in stuctural engineering because they have seen some rubbish on youtube about how the towers could only have fallen in a particular way if Dick Dastardly and Mutley had been racing around them shouting "stop the pigeon" or whatever.


The truth is empowering - telling people they should stop looking for it is daft. Of course 'massive (secret) conspiracies' don't exist in the sense of a big number of people colluding to one known end. People only have to know what they have to do, and the higher ups in the chain don't have to know how these ends are achieved. The sort of Brooker is coming out with assumes that everything went to plan in that operation, and that there have been no 'whistle blowers'. Well lots of people have tried to talk about stuff and been gagged one way or another, and lots of evidence has been disposed of, and lots of basic proof has not been provided, and on and on...

All of these events produce doubt, which is a good thing. But they also seem to produce, in certain quarters, a fundamentalist certainty, which is a bad thing. It seems to me that 911 "truthers" spend far less time scrutinising their own theories for holes than they do the "official" version.

Slothrop
14-07-2008, 03:40 PM
The whole 'massive conspiracies can't exist because they are impossible to maintain' is a totally fallacious straw man argument. How is it people can say that sort of thing while simultaneously believing a small conspiracy of cave dwelling Arabs managed to orchestrate the whole thing?
How much did the 'cave dwelling arabs' have to orchestrate, though? Learn to fly a plane(roughly, without having to be able to do the difficult bits ie take off, land, or give people a safe and comfortable ride) and then get onto some planes with some weapons. It's not quite the same as rigging some of the largest and most densely used buildings in the world for a controlled demolition without any of the people who work in them or are responsible for their security noticing anything out of the ordinary, making a few hundred people disappear, faking up phone calls from those people to their loved ones accurately enough to fool everyone who knew them, flying a couple of things that look a great deal like 747s into the side of the buildings, setting up fake evidence to point to the aforementioned arabs in caves (including videos where they take credit for it) and then rigging a series of internal enquiries, all in order to invade a country which is basically pretty useless. Yet apparently the people who did all that couldn't be bothered to plant some WMDs to justify the subsequent invasion of a significantly more valuable country.

I quite enjoyed reading this, largely because I've recently been getting bored enough to argue with Parson (formerly of this parish and "this highly energetic state doubles as cloaking device but the primary function would be the ability to travel at high speeds without the problem of mass due to the mass being so highly energized it loses not only visual detection but mass too" fame) on the dubstepforum, and have been dealing with a lot of the attitudes that CB is slating.

noel emits
14-07-2008, 03:43 PM
Does anyone think this? It doesn't have to be either/ or...
I'm not sure what you mean. No, it doesn't have to either/or. But presumably the man in the street believes something* - and according to ever-so-rational and right-thinking Brooker it is that there wasn't a 'conspiracy'. Except that of course there was. The implicit racism and duplicitous thinking being I suppose that if some white people were involved they couldn't possibly have lived with themselves and would have to have gone on an important TV chat show and confessed all, which would definitely have happened and everyone would have believed them and everyone else involved would have said 'it's a fair cop' and it would have all come out and we'd all be much happier. But as it's Arabs of course they can have no guilty consciences.

* there is of course an official story as outlined in the 9/11 commission report.

Mr. Tea
14-07-2008, 03:44 PM
It is proof that a little learning can be very dangerous. For example I am most amused at the number of people who now seem to claim to be experts in stuctural engineering because they have seen some rubbish on youtube about how the towers could only have fallen in a particular way if Dick Dastardly and Mutley had been racing around them shouting "stop the pigeon" or whatever.


Haha, indeed. It's amazing how much mileage they seem to get out of the fact that the towers fell straight down, rather than to one side. Well of course they fell straight down, that's how skyscrapers are designed to collapse, so as not to take any neighbouring buildings with them in the event of their destruction.

Mr. Tea
14-07-2008, 03:49 PM
I'm not sure what you mean. No, it doesn't have to either/or. But presumably the man in the street believes something* - and according to ever-so-rational and right-thinking Brooker it is that there wasn't a 'conspiracy'. Except that of course there was. The implicit racism and duplicitous thinking being I suppose that if some white people were involved they couldn't possibly have lived with themselves...

'Implicit racism'? Well it's more implicit than the racism in the idea that them ay-rabs are a bunch of cave-dwellers incapable of doing anythings as technically demanding as hijacking a plane and crashing it, I'll give you that.

noel emits
14-07-2008, 03:53 PM
'Implicit racism'? Well it's more implicit than the racism in the idea that them ay-rabs are a bunch of cave-dwellers incapable of doing anythings as technically demanding as hijacking a plane and crashing it, I'll give you that.
The 'cave dwelling arabs' meme was one officially pushed by the American government. That's the line - they were talking about Osama Bin Laden's mountain hide-out. Whether people actually believe that or not is beside the point.

The point about scale - and why I mention that, is that pointing at theories about 'massive conspiracies' when you are yourself talking about a 'small' conspiracy is tautological (of course ridiculous theories are ridiculous), fallacious and a straw man.

noel emits
14-07-2008, 04:01 PM
How much did the 'cave dwelling arabs' have to orchestrate, though? Learn to fly a plane(roughly, without having to be able to do the difficult bits ie take off, land, or give people a safe and comfortable ride) and then get onto some planes with some weapons. It's not quite the same as rigging some of the largest and most densely used buildings in the world for a controlled demolition without any of the people who work in them or are responsible for their security noticing anything out of the ordinary, making a few hundred people disappear, faking up phone calls from those people to their loved ones accurately enough to fool everyone who knew them, flying a couple of things that look a great deal like 747s into the side of the buildings, setting up fake evidence to point to the aforementioned arabs in caves (including videos where they take credit for it) and then rigging a series of internal enquiries, all in order to invade a country which is basically pretty useless. Yet apparently the people who did all that couldn't be bothered to plant some WMDs to justify the subsequent invasion of a significantly more valuable country.
Who says they didn't do it? But you're almost making a case for the involvement or complicity of other parties yourself.
As for 'controlled demolition',

I quite enjoyed reading this, largely because I've recently been getting bored enough to argue with Parson (formerly of this parish and "this highly energetic state doubles as cloaking device but the primary function would be the ability to travel at high speeds without the problem of mass due to the mass being so highly energized it loses not only visual detection but mass too" fame) on the dubstepforum, and have been dealing with a lot of the attitudes that CB is slating.
Well come on...

Mr. Tea
14-07-2008, 04:07 PM
The point about scale - and why I mention that, is that pointing at theories about 'massive conspiracies' when you are yourself talking about a 'small' conspiracy is tautological (of course ridiculous theories are ridiculous), fallacious and a straw man.

I'm not sure I get you. Let's consider the two putative 'conspiracies' here: the one organised by ObL to attack the WTC and Pentagon, and the rival one, i.e. it was an inside job by the US government. They're two fundamentally different kinds of conspiracy (leaving aside the disparity between the number of conspirators each one would require), in that the terrorists who committed 9/11 claimed responsibility - of course they did, that was the whole point, to give the Great Satan a bloody nose and let the world know that they, acting (so they'd like to think) on behalf on Islam, had struck the first blow in a global jihad. Whereas the people claiming it was an inside job are obviously not the people who actually did it. Bin Laden claims his organisation committed the attacks, and the leaders of the US agree with him. On that note, they're in perfect accord. So there's a notable asymmetry between these two 'conspiracies'.

Edit: Slothrop, I believe Parson's flying saucers are massless and invisible because they are highly quantumized. :rolleyes:

john eden
14-07-2008, 04:09 PM
The point about scale - and why I mention that, is that pointing at theories about 'massive conspiracies' when you are yourself talking about a 'small' conspiracy is tautological (of course ridiculous theories are ridiculous), fallacious and a straw man.

I'm not clear what your position is, Noel, so perhaps I will tell you mine and we can see how it goes:

1) A bunch of islamic extremists hijacked 4 planes and flew two of them into the twin towers (one each) and one into the pentagon.

2) This caused the twin towers to collapse and a big dent in the pentagon. Lots of people died.

3) There is a discussion to be had about the background to this, including american foreign policy, training of OBL, etc.

noel emits
14-07-2008, 04:22 PM
No the point is - and I've heard and seen this - people say it would take hundreds of people to carry out those attacks (massive conspiracy) at the same time as saying that 19 people did it. It's just a silly position. It doesn't matter who you think did it, or why.

vimothy
14-07-2008, 04:26 PM
Isn't Al Qaeda also a well funded, large scale organisation?

noel emits
14-07-2008, 04:29 PM
it was an inside job by the US government.
That's an overly simplistic straw man. What's meant by US government? Really you can stop there if you think that's as far as any thinking or investigation around this goes.

...the terrorists who committed 9/11 claimed responsibility - of course they did, that was the whole point, to give the Great Satan a bloody nose and let the world know that they, acting (so they'd like to think) on behalf on Islam, had struck the first blow in a global jihad... Bin Laden claims his organisation committed the attacks, and the leaders of the US agree with him. On that note, they're in perfect accord. So there's a notable asymmetry between these two 'conspiracies'.
Well if you take it all as read and at face value, then you take it all as read and at face value. I mean that all may well be the case, but there are also reasons to think there is more to it than that.

john eden
14-07-2008, 04:29 PM
No the point is - and I've heard and seen this - people say it would take hundreds of people to carry out those attacks (massive conspiracy) at the same time as saying that 19 people did it. It's just a silly position. It doesn't matter who you think did it.

I get what you are saying but that assumes that governments are able to organise themselves in the same way as terrorists.

Which kind of ignores one of the main fuctions of govts, which is to preserve bureaucracy.

Plus it is entirely different organising an attack on foreigh soil than against your "own" people. Rightly or wrongly people object to one more than the other.

john eden
14-07-2008, 04:31 PM
Incidentally, I think it is important who did it.

vimothy
14-07-2008, 04:31 PM
I don't get what you're saying, noel. Can you be more explicit?

noel emits
14-07-2008, 04:32 PM
Isn't Al Qaeda also a well funded, large scale organisation?
Yes, apparently. So it's interesting the 9/11 commission has said it's wasn't interested in looking at where the funding was coming from, or the involvement of Pakistani secret service etc.

john eden
14-07-2008, 04:33 PM
I don't get what you're saying, noel. Can you be more explicit?

Yeah I think that would help me also.

noel emits
14-07-2008, 04:33 PM
Incidentally, I think it is important who did it.
Yes absolutely. Just not form the point of that logical fallacy that some people seem to hold. That's all.

More specific?

I'm saying this:

Imagine the paperwork. Imagine the level of planning, recruitment, coordination, control, and unbelievable nerve required to pull off a conspiracy of that magnitude. Really picture it in detail. At the very least you're talking about hiring hundreds of civil servants cold-hearted enough to turn a blind eye to the murder of thousands of their fellow countrymen. If you were dealing with faultless, emotionless robots - maybe. But this almighty conspiracy was presumably hatched and executed by fallible humans. And if there's one thing we know about humans, it's that our inherent unreliability will always derail the simplest of schemes.

Is silly and a mis-characterisation of why some people think there are questions that still need to be answered about the whole thing.

john eden
14-07-2008, 04:40 PM
No the point is - and I've heard and seen this - people say it would take hundreds of people to carry out those attacks (massive conspiracy) at the same time as saying that 19 people did it. It's just a silly position. It doesn't matter who you think did it, or why.

You are attaching the view that it doesn't matter to the silly position, rather than that being your own view?

EDIT -sorry, no - I think you mean that regardless who did it the numbers game is a silly one.

Bit of confusing phrasing, or reading, there.

john eden
14-07-2008, 04:41 PM
Is silly and a mis-characterisation of why some people think there are questions that still need to be answered about the whole thing.

OK.

What questions?

Mr. Tea
14-07-2008, 04:48 PM
No the point is - and I've heard and seen this - people say it would take hundreds of people to carry out those attacks (massive conspiracy) at the same time as saying that 19 people did it. It's just a silly position. It doesn't matter who you think did it, or why.

But that's still completely missing the point. Let's say al-Qa'eda committed the attacks: all they had to do was orchestrate and execute the attacks themselves. That's it, job done lads, back to the cave for a celebratory coffee. If the US government - or some esoteric wing of it, if you prefer, since there's obviously no reason to believe the vice-governor of Ohio had much to do with 9/11 - it would have had to plan the attack (maintaining absolute secrecy the whole time), fabricate a plausible cover story (maintaining absolute secrecy the whole time), carry the attack out (maintaining absolute secrecy the whole time) and then prevent anyone involved in it breaking silence for the next seven years, and presumably for ever. It's a entirely different proposition.

Although I take your point that there are positions in between the 'official story' and the US-govt-did-the-whole-thing story.

vimothy
14-07-2008, 05:04 PM
I am still confused.

noel emits
14-07-2008, 07:03 PM
But that's still completely missing the point. Let's say al-Qa'eda committed the attacks: all they had to do was orchestrate and execute the attacks themselves. That's it, job done lads, back to the cave for a celebratory coffee. If the US government - or some esoteric wing of it, if you prefer, since there's obviously no reason to believe the vice-governor of Ohio had much to do with 9/11 - it would have had to plan the attack (maintaining absolute secrecy the whole time), fabricate a plausible cover story (maintaining absolute secrecy the whole time), carry the attack out (maintaining absolute secrecy the whole time) and then prevent anyone involved in it breaking silence for the next seven years, and presumably for ever. It's a entirely different proposition.
I know what you're saying - that it would be harder to do as an 'inside job'*, but that doesn't mean it would in theory need huge amounts of participants or bureaucrats or something absurd like that which is how Brooker, and others when talking pejoratively and condescendingly about 'conspiracy theorists' paint it. But I'm not talking about the specific mechanics of the thing - just that - how the article is based on absurd notions about what the discussion is.

* Which also is not necessarily the discussion or what things point to, at least not in such a straightforward sense.

Mr. Tea
14-07-2008, 07:19 PM
So noel, if you're not saying it was actually committed by (some branch of) the government, then to what extent are you implicating them? If we're not being told the whole truth, what is it you think we're not being told?
The main potential accusations I can think of are:
- inadequate follow-up of possible evidence something 'big' was about to go down
- ignoring an explicit warning or leak about attacks on the WTC/Pentagon (simply believing it was too far-fetched, perhaps)
- advanced knowledge it really was going to happen, but doing nothing to stop it
in order of increasing guilt on the part of the American government.

noel emits
14-07-2008, 07:30 PM
How many times do I have to say that my issue is with the article? It's quite simple - I just think that it piles absurdities on top of fallacies in attempting to paint a picture of the position of those who are not wholly credulous about the official line on those events and/or whether it represents the whole truth. It's stupid and offensive and done under the depressingly middlebrow guise of being 'sophisticated and not interested in all that nonsense'. I can't believe I have to type this many words to explain that.

Mr. Tea
14-07-2008, 07:37 PM
How many times do I have to say that my issue is with the article? It's quite simple - I just think that it piles absurdities on top of fallacies in attempting to paint a picture of the position of those who are not wholly credulous about the official line on those events and/or whether it represents the whole truth. It's stupid and offensive and done under the depressingly middlebrow guise of being 'sophisticated and not interested in all that nonsense'. I can't believe I have to type this many words to explain that.

Well that's not quite fair, because it's clear that you also have a issues with what Slothrop, Eden and I have been saying in this thread, and have at times sounded like you support one or other of the various 9/11 conspiracy theories in circulatoin. Especially when you say stuff like:


according to ever-so-rational and right-thinking Brooker it is that there wasn't a 'conspiracy'. Except that of course there was.
I'm just asking you what sort of conspiracy you're talking about.

noel emits
14-07-2008, 07:44 PM
I'm just asking you what sort of conspiracy you're talking about.
Whichever one(s) did it. I'm pretty sure there was more than one person involved and I'm quite sure they kept quiet about it. That would be a conspiracy as I understand it.

noel emits
14-07-2008, 07:51 PM
Well that's not quite fair, because it's clear that you also have a issues with what Slothrop, Eden and I have been saying in this thread, and have at times sounded like you support one or other of the various 9/11 conspiracy theories in circulatoin.
I've responded to people apparently misconstruing what it is I object to about that article.

Mr. Tea
14-07-2008, 08:00 PM
OK, well Wiktionary defines a conspiracy as "act of two or more persons, conspirators, working in secret to obtain some goal, usually understood with negative connotations." So if we accept the official version of events, there was a conspiracy by al-Qa'eda, which ceased to be a conspiracy on 9/11, when it was put into effect. But if there was some involvement by other parties - the CIA, the Pakistani intelligence service, whatever - the fact that it's still hushed up (Loose Change notwithstanding) then there is *still* a conspiracy going on, by definition of the secrecy and denial necessary to keep it out of public knowledge.

So as tempting as it may be to call anyone who accepts the official version of events a 'conspiracy theorist' on a par with someone believing it was the CIA/Mossad/ZOG wot dunnit, I don't think that really holds water since the organisation popularly blamed for the attacks also took credit for it, so if this is true there's no longer any conspiracy at all.

noel emits
14-07-2008, 08:04 PM
That's fine - I just said there *was*, and there was. I didn't introduce the term here, my aim was to highlight a little bit about the way in which it has come to be used and the assumptions that now go along with it.

noel emits
14-07-2008, 08:12 PM
I really don't want to get into specifics of the events themselves or their aftermath here, it's not the place and I know where web discussions about this topic usually end up.

Either you think it's something worth looking at or you don't, apparently Brooker doesn't, but it's the suggestion that the discussion and investigation should stop that is really objectionable. For a newspaper like The Guardian (yeah yeah) to carry such an implicit message should in my view be considered unacceptable. That it isn't is telling and sad I think.

shiels
14-07-2008, 08:56 PM
Either you think it's something worth looking at or you don't, apparently Brooker doesn't, but it's the suggestion that the discussion and investigation should stop that is really objectionable.

That's exactly what disappointed me about the article. Obviously it's Charlie Brooker, ripping the back out of cultural "memes" or whatever is what he does. but completely dismissing anything other than the extremely dodgy official story.. and labelling anyone who doesn't subsribe to it a "conspiracy theorist" (which has the wickest of connotations) is a bit blinkered. Plus it wasn't done wittily either.

noel emits
14-07-2008, 09:47 PM
It is proof that a little learning can be very dangerous. For example I am most amused at the number of people who now seem to claim to be experts in stuctural engineering because they have seen some rubbish on youtube about how the towers could only have fallen in a particular way if Dick Dastardly and Mutley had been racing around them shouting "stop the pigeon" or whatever.

...

All of these events produce doubt, which is a good thing. But they also seem to produce, in certain quarters, a fundamentalist certainty, which is a bad thing. It seems to me that 911 "truthers" spend far less time scrutinising their own theories for holes than they do the "official" version.
Yes John, sorry I missed this post and am mostly in full agreement with you here. I have spent time prodding some of this type of 'thinking' myself. However....you asked me what questions need asking and I hope you can understand why I'm reticent to get into it here, but there are questions, some of them very basic ones that should be asked with regard to any crime, let alone something of that magnitude. And there is indeed more, but perhaps it is something that people need to look into for themselves. I don't want to get into arguing over details.

Also, there is an Official version, that doesn't need scare quotes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_Commission_Report

luka
14-07-2008, 11:14 PM
im in total agreement in noel emits here as it goes.... i hate aritcles like that and i hate attitudes like that.

HMGovt
15-07-2008, 11:13 AM
Brooker is a dickhead in that article, his usual super sharp shooting just comes across as inverted cynicism. It is possible to carry out incredibly complex operations that mostly avoid detection. A notable case, helpfully involving a skyscraper, is the complete re-engineering of the Citicorp building - it was about to fall

"For the next three months, a construction crew welded two-inch-thick steel plates over each of the skyscraper's 200 bolted joints during the night, after each work day, almost unknown to the general public. Six weeks into the work, a major storm, Hurricane Ella, was off Cape Hatteras and heading for New York. With only half the reinforcement finished, New York City was hours away from emergency evacuation. Luckily, Ella turned eastward and veered out to sea, buying enough time for workers to permanently correct the problem.

Despite the fact that nothing happened as a result of the engineering gaffe, the crisis was kept hidden from the public for almost 20 years. It was publicized in a lengthy article in The New Yorker in 1995.[1] LeMessurier was criticized for insufficient oversight leading to bolted rather than welded joints, for misleading the public about the extent of the danger during the reinforcement process, and for keeping the engineering insights from his peers for two decades.[2] "
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citigroup_Center#Engineering_crisis_of_1978

And as for the argument that it can't have been a conspiracy because it would be impossible to keep secret - it's not secrecy that they're concerned with, it's plausible deniability.

don_quixote
15-07-2008, 05:31 PM
350 comments.....

Actually, I don't think the article is all that. Fish in a barrel stuff for him. His TV reviewing is top notch, his other stuff less so imo

unless it's about david cameron, of course.

swears
16-07-2008, 10:28 PM
Chomsky making some good points, here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwZ-vIaW6Bc

john eden
16-07-2008, 11:53 PM
Yes John, sorry I missed this post and am mostly in full agreement with you here. I have spent time prodding some of this type of 'thinking' myself. However....you asked me what questions need asking and I hope you can understand why I'm reticent to get into it here, but there are questions, some of them very basic ones that should be asked with regard to any crime, let alone something of that magnitude. And there is indeed more, but perhaps it is something that people need to look into for themselves. I don't want to get into arguing over details.

Also, there is an Official version, that doesn't need scare quotes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_Commission_Report

I get you (finally!). Best done over a pint some time...

noel emits
17-07-2008, 07:35 PM
Chomsky making some good points, here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwZ-vIaW6Bc
Obviously we should listen to this guy, but Chomsky is simply applying his usual models, which of course are extremely valuable as far as they go. Yet he just has no way of accommodating or parsing high level conspiracy at all. He makes no provision for it because he would consider it an irrelevant aberration in terms of his systems theory. This is a bit of a problem and leads to statements like, 'Even if it were true, who cares?'

He says it is highly unlikely and would have been impossible to keep secret. Well apart from the fact that it wasn't necessarily kept secret, it's still too important to discount out of hand because it doesn't fit a preconceived notion of what is possible or what is worth paying attention to. Of course it doesn't, that's how a conjuring trick is done.

He says it has no significance and is a distraction but if you have reason to think there is evidence of (deep)state involvement, perhaps most blatantly in a cover up, then it is obviously of huge significance, for one thing because it offers an opportunity to get a wedge in there and prize the mechanism open a bit. Which is not, as some interests would have you believe, all that impossible and overwhelming. Some lines of enquiry do lead to real names and real describable crimes. He has a similar line about JFK as you can see in that clip - it's irrelevant because 'people get killed all the time'? But these aren't just about isolated events, however dramatic.

But regardless of being merely a distraction, it is a crime that has not been investigated properly. It's not down to Noam Chomsky or the BBC or Michael Meecher to prosecute. The official investigation has shown little interest in finding out and providing proper evidence for who funded the operation, who carried it out (yes - identities of hijackers), and how (no response from NORAD for nearly two hours). Etc.

Tell me I'm wrong but I don't think Chomsky is saying much about this.

noel emits
17-07-2008, 08:59 PM
I wouldn't have been so annoyed about the Charlie Booker piece if it's timing hadn't obviously been prompted by the recent BBC '3rd Tower' program which was also pretty useless and distorted as a piece of journalism.

The main part of the program was based around the testimony of 'key witness' Barry Jennings who was trapped in WTC7 for 3 hours that morning. Part of his story includes claims that there were large explosions in the building before either of the other towers had collapsed. In fact one of those explosions caused a stairwell he was standing on while trying to leave the building to collapse. He was eventually rescued by the fire service.

What the program didn't once mention was that Barry Jennings was not alone in the building or indeed on that collapsed stairwell during that time. With him was New York City's Corporate Council, top lawyer and close associate of then Mayor Rudolph Guiliani*, Michael Hess. In fact the program went to such lengths so as not to mention Hess's name that in his interview as it is edited, Jennings' mysteriously goes from being 'I' to talking about 'we' with no explanation whatsoever.

The 47 story building was otherwise empty of occupants that morning as it had already been completely evacuated just before Jennings and Hess had arrived at around 9.00am.** Evacuated, despite the fact that this was the building that housed, among other interesting features, the reinforced bunker-like Office of Emergency Management designed to coordinate response to events such as terrorist attacks in New York City. Evacuated, unlike the two larger towers where many hundreds of people were still being advised to remain in their offices, until as we know it was too late.

So why wasn't this other key witness interviewed, or even mentioned? One thing that can be said about Michael Hess is that he isn't really one for media freedom. In an earlier life back in 1971 as Chief of the Civil Division of the United States Attorneys Office, he had opposed in court (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Times_Co._v._United_States) the New York Times' publication of what became know as The Pentagon Papers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_Papers). Interesting guy. But yes I know, just another irrelevant detail.

* According to Jennings, Hess was there to meet with Giuliani who had been there earlier that morning.
** They were themselves telephoned by an unidentified party and told to leave shortly after arriving at the OEM on the 23rd floor.

fokse vektaire xeven
18-07-2008, 10:39 AM
Tell me I'm wrong but I don't think Chomsky is saying much about this.

well he's avowedly saying nothing about it. i can see his frustration that this issue has effected the kind of grassroots groundswell he's spent most of his life trying to mobilise. this issue is particularly potent of course because it comes down to initiates vs. non initiates. it's virtually taken on the character of a faith at this point. i think how you feel about that clip is decided by how you already feel about chomsky, as some of his reasoning is vague and wooly (if it was, who cares?) so effectively his main- only- point is these energies would be better spent elsewhere.

noel emits
18-07-2008, 12:02 PM
well he's avowedly saying nothing about it. i can see his frustration that this issue has effected the kind of grassroots groundswell he's spent most of his life trying to mobilise.
Yes I can understand that, and I can understand why he doesn't even want to get into it at this stage in his career. I still think it's a bit of a blind spot.

this issue is particularly potent of course because it comes down to initiates vs. non initiates
Do you really want to say that's what it all comes down to? You could say that about anything where people are trying to get information out about something they think is important. To dismiss the discussion as that just because of how it is loudly treated in some quarters is a mistake I think.

it's virtually taken on the character of a faith at this point.
Yes in places, but again this is the case with many protest or political issues, especially when they become 'movements'. Strong belief / faith, there's not much difference. And I think there's more than one aspect to the origins of this.

The dramatic and horrifying events themselves have produced a certain amount of emotional PTSD type reactions which can lead to obsession.
Having strong suspicions that there are lies coming from official sources around this and feeling embattled by those who would argue it's not at all worth looking at or questioning.
And then there's a good chance that some of the more whacked-out ideas that have been attached to it have come either from clumsy cointelpro type operations (Shayler?), or political activists looking to discredit the whole area because like Chomsky they believe it is distracting from other important business. A lot of effort is seemingly put into muddying the waters.

Any which way it's unfortunate but difficult to avoid.

i think how you feel about that clip is decided by how you already feel about chomsky, as some of his reasoning is vague and wooly (if it was, who cares?)
He's not vague and woolly on most other issues. How I feel about what he says here is, 'OK it's Chomsky, I'm thinking about what he has to say, but I'm a bit disappointed because there's nothing there.' But fair enough, it's not his bag.

noel emits
18-07-2008, 12:41 PM
so effectively his main- only- point is these energies would be better spent elsewhere.
I think I can understand him wanting to forget about the whole thing. I do wonder if he isn't (deliberately) missing the full significance though, or if his models just tell him that the system will grind on regardless.

On another note, there was a response piece in the Guardian yesterday from Dan Hind.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jul/17/september11

vimothy
18-07-2008, 01:02 PM
From Hind's piece:

You have learned to live without magic.

Wrong, thanks all the same. Just because I think 9/11 troofers are generally wackos and I don't read RAW books anymore, doesn't mean I've learned to "live without magic".


The true authorship of the attacks is as difficult to establish as anything else about the world of international terrorism and espionage.

Who is Daniel Hind and what makes him an expert on international terrorism and espionage? Being a "thirty year old columnist"? Writing in the Guardian? Working for a book publisher?


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.

Just another writer unable to distinguish outcome from intent, trying to convince me of their own watered down version of reality. Next!

noel emits
18-07-2008, 01:47 PM
The intent was to go into Iraq and oust Saddam Hussein's regime. Linking Hussein to Al Qaeda, fraudulently, deliberately, was an opportune way of doing that at an emotionally charged time. The outcome was going into Iraq and getting rid of Saddam Hussein. How are these things not linked?

I don't know anything about Dan Hind either, and that might be simplistic but is it really controversial at this point? Maybe I'm misunderstanding you but I don't think you can always divorce outcome from intent.

Maybe it's a bit of a facile point he makes, but this was a deliberately manufactured 'conspiracy theory.'

fokse vektaire xeven
18-07-2008, 02:06 PM
Yes I can understand that, and I can understand why he doesn't even want to get into it at this stage in his career. I still think it's a bit of a blind spot.

Do you really want to say that's what it all comes down to? You could say that about anything where people are trying to get information out about something they think is important. To dismiss the discussion as that just because of how it is loudly treated in some quarters is a mistake I think.

Yes in places, but again this is the case with many protest or political issues, especially when they become 'movements'. Strong belief / faith, there's not much difference. And I think there's more than one aspect to the origins of this.



I think we're pretty much in concurrence noel- i don't mean to be dismissive of anything you've said in this thread. nonetheless a single issue movement like this is easier for people to get a handle on- and the symbolic potency of the visual side of it, it could be fashioned into a pendant, it's got monotheistic appeal, whereas chomsky's ideas are more complex, and i can see why he's frustrated that he doesn't speak to or mobilise the kind of grassroots mass audience that 9/11 conspiracies seem to. i don't think what he said here was of much interest at all, but as you say it ain't his bag. i was kind of surprised at the "who cares/ so what" remarks tho...



<img src="http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u133/exeryad/foont.jpg" border="0" ></a>

vimothy
22-07-2008, 06:04 PM
Wow -- David Shayler (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-475616/The-MI5-Messiah-Why-David-Shayler-believes-hes-son-God.html) should really hook up with Icke:


"I am the messiah and hold the secret of eternal life," he starts excitedly. "It all came about quite suddenly.

"First I started meditating, then I learnt how to channel the "light", and the more research I did - into Freemasonry, the Knights Templar, Kabbalah - the more convinced I became that I was the Christ."

Jesus Christ? "No, Jesus of the New Testament is an archetype," he explains patiently. "His name derives from the 13th Name of God in Kabbalah, which helps activate the Messiah consciousness within us.

"I was, though, crucified with a crown of thorns and nails then incarnated as Astronges, a Jewish revolutionary put to death by the Romans at around the end of the last century BC ...It explained why in this life I had funny shaped wrists and ankles..."

Had? "Yes, look," he says, proffering his tanned arms. "They've pretty much corrected themselves now I've acknowledged the crucifixion - but there used to be big hollows where nails had been bashed in."

noel emits
22-07-2008, 11:17 PM
A few loose ends.

I was trying to make a point above about how assumptions that a 'conspiracy' involving elements in the US would necessarily have required large numbers of participants were unfounded. Quite the opposite in fact, I would suggest. So as a basis on which to dismiss the possibility out of hand it doesn't really stand up.

But a few other points were raised as a result so I'd just like to respond to those as I didn't have time earlier. Just to be clear, I'm not detailing a theory here, and I'm certainly not talking about 'controlled demolition' or any of that stuff.


But no-one's claiming that at all. Everyone know's bin Laden's the scion of a hugely wealthy, well-connected oil family (indeed, this is the subject of conspiracy theories in its own right) and has an enormous personal fortune.
The Bin Laden's links to the Bush family via the Carlyle group and al-Qaeda's early history as being funded by the US and trained by the CIA have perhaps justifiably been the subject of some curiosity and intrigue.

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/magazine/story/0,11913,738196,00.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1670089.stm
http://www.apfn.net/messageboard/01-11-04/discussion.cgi.28.html


And in any case, the logistics of committing 9/11, considerable as they may have have been, pale in comparison to the degree of organisation and secrecy that the US government would have had to maintain in order to carry out the attack and get away with it
Not really, it would still be essentially the same act. It could even conceivably have required fewer participants if they had access to resources in the US.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2002/021208-secure01.htm
http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0204-06.htm


I think it's also pretty telling that not a single person, anonymously or otherwise, has acted as a whistle-blower for this supposed conspiracy.
That you know of.

http://www.madcowprod.com/mc4512004.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/25/60minutes/main526954.shtml
http://www.baltimorechronicle.com/050704SibelEdmonds.shtml


Neither, as far as I'm aware, has any attempt been made to stop these fearless troofers who risk everything to spread the word by prining tee-shirts and putting videos up on YouTube.
As far as you are aware.

But then, most of the information that is loudly out there and easy for people to latch on to is of very little relevance or is downright disinformation. In the google age you don't necessarily need to shut people up, you just need to make sure there's enough noise out there. But then, some people who have approached certain areas of investigation, or started to speak about what they know, have indeed been threatened and warned off. Or worse, I mean - how would you know?


Bin Laden is very much the missing piece from 9/11 CTs.
Are you really saying that the role of Bin Laden is not considered by people who are concerned with investigating those events?


After all, think about it from his POV:
Hard to say what his POV is I think. ?


if he'd either been allowed to commit the attack by a complicit CIA/FBI
It's possible. It also depends I suppose on what you understand to be FBI/CIA.


or if he'd actually had nothing to do with it but had had the blame pinned on him,
I don't think he'd mind particularly to be honest. It would look good wouldn't it?


why would he play along with it and accept responsibility?
Why not? Of course it is very likely that he was indeed involved, but who knows in what capacity.

But then, did he accept responsibility? How do you know?


Surely he'd have said "Look, America, at what your own government does to you for its own selfish ends!" and then sat back and watched as the country destroyed itself in violent revolution?
Depends what he knows, and what his agenda and/or allegiances actually are. Maybe there was a deal - they don't seem to be at all interested in bringing the guy in.

But the other question is what are the sources for information / messages supposedly coming from Bin Laden? How can you trust these?


The only way around this is to claim that bin Laden is actually in on the conspiracy himself, that he is somehow the CIA's stooge, or paid-off fall man.
Or as a willing patsy?


Which is another problem with CTs in general: there is no limit to how high up the conspiracy goes, how general and all-encompassing 'They' are.
How does this follow? If a conspiracy goes high up it's not a problem with the theory!
But then there's no reason at all why this should have involved more than a very small number of people. And even then most of those wouldn't have to have known the full details.

noel emits
22-07-2008, 11:36 PM
How much did the 'cave dwelling arabs' have to orchestrate, though?
The 'cave' bit came from official reports about al-Quaeda. Of course it's a characature. The hijackers were it seems living in Germany, the US and elsewhere for some time anyway.

Learn to fly a plane(roughly, without having to be able to do the difficult bits ie take off, land, or give people a safe and comfortable ride) and then get onto some planes with some weapons.
Doing even basic stuff in a large computer controlled passenger jet is very different to flying the light aircraft they were supposedly training on. Even then these guys were by most accounts pretty useless pilots. The maneuvres necessary to hit a low lying target like the Pentagon would have been far from trivial for any pilot. Not to mention how all the planes miraculously avoiding any intervention from the airforce for nearly two hours while they flew off course, broke contact with ATC, and flew over some of the most heavily protected airspace in the world. Not so easy.

It's not quite the same as rigging some of the largest and most densely used buildings in the world for a controlled demolition without any of the people who work in them or are responsible for their security noticing anything out of the ordinary, making a few hundred people disappear, faking up phone calls from those people to their loved ones accurately enough to fool everyone who knew them, flying a couple of things that look a great deal like 747s into the side of the buildings,
I don't think there's any need to suggest any of this was faked or rigged.

setting up fake evidence to point to the aforementioned arabs in caves
Some of the evidence may be real enough, what little there is of it. There's surprisingly little though, and much of what there is is kind of unlikely, cheesy even, you might say. The passport that somehow made it out of a burning plane and onto the top of a huge pile of rubble. The bag that got stuck at the airport containing a Quran and a 'how to fly a plane' book. The grainy video that was fortuitously found in a house in Afghanistan :rolleyes:

(including videos where they take credit for it)
It's kind of irrelevant anyway but the one video where Bin Laden supposedly directly claims responsibility is of somewhat dubious validity and provenance.

and then rigging a series of internal enquiries,.
Which internal enquiries? The 9/11 commission report failed to provide a proper investigation. As I understand it the commission operated under a veto system whereby only items that could be unanimously agreed upon by all the commissioners would be included in the final report. On top of that it was agreed with the Whitehouse that only some of the commissioners would be able to see crucial internal documents and would also have to then clear with the Whitehouse what they disclosed to the commission. And who appointed these guys anyway?

all in order to invade a country which is basically pretty useless.
I don't think the oil pipeline and heroin money would be considered useless by those with access to them. Not to mention the huge sums that war makes for US arms manufacturers and contractors.

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/oilwar1.html
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MCS306A.html
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/nov2001/afgh-n20.shtml

Yet apparently the people who did all that couldn't be bothered to plant some WMDs to justify the subsequent invasion of a significantly more valuable country..
They didn't need to plant WMDs, obviously. It was just not necessary and would have been too risky. In fact that's quite telling about the limits of what any posited 'conspirators' could do. And again the big earner with Iraq has been the war itself, the longer it goes on the more money is made by the arms dealers and contracters. The long 'search' for WMDs only helped contribute to this.

Haha, indeed. It's amazing how much mileage they seem to get out of the fact that the towers fell straight down, rather than to one side. Well of course they fell straight down, that's how skyscrapers are designed to collapse, so as not to take any neighbouring buildings with them in the event of their destruction.
Skyscrapers are designed to collapse? :p

Let's consider the two putative 'conspiracies' here: the one organised by ObL to attack the WTC and Pentagon, and the rival one, i.e. it was an inside job by the US government.
I don't think the phrase 'inside job by the US government' is a very useful one. Although it might not be all that far off the truth.

They're two fundamentally different kinds of conspiracy (leaving aside the disparity between the number of conspirators each one would require)
Yes because there's absolutey no reason to assume there would be a huge difference in the number of people it would have required.

, in that the terrorists who committed 9/11 claimed responsibility
They did? I thought they were all supposed to be dead? Ah, but al-Qaeda claimed responsibility, allegedly. How do you know? What's the evidence? And what would this mean or prove, or more importantly, rule out, anyway?

- of course they did, that was the whole point, to give the Great Satan a bloody nose and let the world know that they, acting (so they'd like to think) on behalf on Islam, had struck the first blow in a global jihad.
That's how the story goes.

Whereas the people claiming it was an inside job are obviously not the people who actually did it.
True :slanted: But then as I've said, 'inside job' is a misleading phrase in this case I think.

Bin Laden claims his organisation committed the attacks, and the leaders of the US agree with him. On that note, they're in perfect accord. So there's a notable asymmetry between these two 'conspiracies'.

He does? They do? They are? There is? OK.

I get what you are saying but that assumes that governments are able to organise themselves in the same way as terrorists.
Perhaps not 'Governments' as such, but 'Intelligence agencies' or similar and aspects thereof often act almost exactly like terrorist cells and employ the very same 'compartmentalised' structures. There are elements of these organisations, or spawned from them, that answer to very few people, if anyone, and get their funding direct from the illegal drugs trade, off the books.

Plus it is entirely different organising an attack on foreigh soil than against your "own" people. Rightly or wrongly people object to one more than the other.
I think it depends on the mindset of the perps and whether they actually would consider regular American's to be 'their own' people, or would consider a sacrifice justified in order to achieve their aims. Even within 'normal' parameters it's not entirely without precedent in terms of things that have been considered by US forces.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwoods

Noam Chomsky says 'they'd have to be insane' - well yeah, and?

droid
23-07-2008, 09:53 AM
Chomsky says they would have to be insane due to the enormous risk of being caught in such a scheme.

The American ruling classes may be capable of many things, but self sacrifice is not one of them. And why would they even need to go to such lengths anyway? They've dragged their country into military action on far flimsier pretexts in the past - the bombing of Lybia in 86, the invasion of Grenada, economic warfare and terror against Nicaragua...

I'm also curious as what this kind of theorising hopes to achieve, and how it hopes to achieve it. According to many of its proponents, 'proving' that 911 is an inside job would somehow change the world. I disagree. First of all, I think it would be almost impossible to prove without mass confessions or some previously unknown video or damning piece of physical evidence (not forthcoming), and secondly, even if it was somehow proven - what would happen? A few people would be sent to jail or death row, and business in the empire would continue as usual.

As you know, this is the main crux of the left anti-conspiracy argument. Its a waste of time that uses up resources and energy with no clear prospect of achieving anything. But then again (and this isn't directed at you btw), its far easier to wank off to loose change and feel superior to the idiots who buy the 'official' story than it is to actually organise politically and do something worthwhile isn't it?

noel emits
23-07-2008, 11:58 AM
Chomsky says they would have to be insane due to the enormous risk of being caught in such a scheme.
It would depend what was at stake, or believed to be at stake.
In any case, let's say that if the speculation about false flag terrorism is correct then they have been employing terrorist organisations for a very long time with no serious consequences for themselves in terms of culpability. They still get away with it, it's business as usual.

The American ruling classes may be capable of many things,
Not Americans, globalists.

And why would they even need to go to such lengths anyway?
As everyone keeps saying, it was actually quite 'easy' in a sense, four planes - boom! But it was done this way for a number of reasons - it wasn't just about providing a pretext for wars or manufacturing consent for the removal of constitutional rights. Although of course this was exactly what the PNAC think tank had suggested was necessary to carry out their plans as dictated by the neo-conservative philosophy - a New Pearl Harbour. In addition I think it should also be understood as a psychological attack on the people - shock and awe.

And it covered a few other major bases as well - destroying, among other things, huge amounts of evidence pertaining to corporate fraud, including the Enron scandal, in the case of WTC7. Destroying accounts records detailing the $2.3 trillion dollars missing from defence spending budgets in the Pentagon. Who knows what else was conveniently buried?

In addition to this, almost as a bonus you have the projected outlay (at least in the 100s of $m) that would have been necessary for the legally required asbestos removal and refurbishments of the WTC complex, or even more in the case of demolition for redevelopment, being turned instead into massive insurance payouts.

I'm also curious as what this kind of theorising hopes to achieve, and how it hopes to achieve it.
I understand asking this question but in a sense it really is quite disingenuous, if not dangerous. If people have reason to think they have been lied to and cheated, and indeed far worse, in such a major way then they absolutely have a right, a duty even, to demand and look for truth and justice. That should be a matter of principle if nothing else.

We are still living with the consequences of these events so understanding them is important if we are to understand what is happening politically in the present. Especially of course if you have reason to think that the official story is a crock and the official investigation a sham.

In many instances people are concerned with this because they believe it points to a globalist fascist agenda beyond the left's usual understanding of the systemic machinations of 'corporate capitalism'.

If this is the case then it is obviously of tremendous importance that people can understand the meaning and intent behind these acts and similar, especially if and when the next ones occur.

According to many of its proponents, 'proving' that 911 is an inside job would somehow change the world. I disagree.
Of course this is perfectly healthy and sounds like the call for revolution from every generation as it comes into some political consciousness. But it's not about proving an 'inside job', it is about keeping open the question of what exactly did happen because that has not been adequately explained or demonstrated and the whole thing is highly suspect still.

First of all, I think it would be almost impossible to prove without mass confessions or some previously unknown video or damning piece of physical evidence (not forthcoming), and secondly, even if it was somehow proven - what would happen? A few people would be sent to jail or death row, and business in the empire would continue as usual.
It's not so much about proving something, it's about trying to find out what that something is. And saying that business would carry on as usual is no reason to stop looking for truth and justice (and the American way). And maybe the problem isn't as big as all that after all - the world would be a significantly better place if even just a few, and there aren't that many, of these people are brought to task. And who knows what a real investigation would uncover?

As you know, this is the main crux of the left anti-conspiracy argument. Its a waste of time that uses up resources and energy with no clear prospect of achieving anything. But then again (and this isn't directed at you btw), its far easier to wank off to loose change and feel superior to the idiots who buy the 'official' story than it is to actually organise politically and do something worthwhile isn't it?
Remember that a good number of those people, as you imply, would not have been politically mobilised anyway. In the mean time I think, as do many others, that the actualities behind these events are of significance in uncovering the vast corruption, indeed evil, that has made itself at home in the heart of western power. It's not only systematic, these people have names.

And these are different times - in an information war awareness is the key. If you are to organise politically you have to first know what exactly it is you are organising against. And these things are by no means mutually exclusive anyway.

Incidentally, Loose Change was done by a couple of over excitable and slightly naive kids but I think their intentions were good. Unfortunately by not checking their facts too carefully and jumping to too many premature conclusions they didn't do themselves or efforts at looking at the truth behind those events too many favours in the eyes of some.

If anyone is at all interested I think this recent German film is a much better effort: http://www.videocommunity.com/pc/pc/display/7167 (they should really lock off the comments section though :eek:)

luka
23-07-2008, 12:07 PM
im so impressed with noels performance on this thread....
i wouldn't exaclty say im suprised at the lack of imagination and brains displayed by everyone else but its disappointing none the less

droid
23-07-2008, 12:49 PM
It would depend what was at stake, or believed to be at stake.
In any case, let's say that if the speculation about false flag terrorism is correct then they have been employing terrorist organisations for a very long time with no serious consequences for themselves in terms of culpability. They still get away with it, it's business as usual.

Unless of course it goes wrong, everyone is caught and they spill the beans. I am glad to see that we've moved on from remote controlled planes though.


Not Americans, globalists.

Are we talking Bilderberg here? i dont know what you mean by this.


And it covered a few other major bases as well - destroying, among other things, huge amounts of evidence pertaining to corporate fraud, including the Enron scandal, in the case of WTC7. Destroying accounts records detailing the $2.3 trillion dollars missing from defence spending budgets in the Pentagon. Who knows what else was conveniently buried?

Who knows if that stuff was conveniently buried? Is there solid evidence to say that it was?


In addition to this, almost as a bonus you have the projected outlay (at least in the 100s of $m) that would have been necessary for the legally required asbestos removal and refurbishments of the WTC complex, or even more in the case of demolition for redevelopment, being turned instead into massive insurance payouts.

Hmmm... insurance fraud posing as international terrorism...


I understand asking this question but in a sense it really is quite disingenuous, if not dangerous. If people have reason to think they have been lied to and cheated, and indeed far worse, in such a major way then they absolutely have a right, a duty even, to demand and look for truth and justice. That should be a matter of principle if nothing else.

They were lied to and cheated about every foreign policy adventure in US history. they are being lied to and cheated about Irag and projections of US power as we speak. Difference is they could actually do something about it.


We are still living with the consequences of these events so understanding them is important if we are to understand what is happening politically in the present. Especially of course if you have reason to think that the official story is a crock and the official investigation a sham.

Understanding the repercussions and the manipulations of the public are far more vital than understanding the event IMO.



In many instances people are concerned with this because they believe it points to a globalist fascist agenda beyond the left's usual understanding of the systemic machinations of 'corporate capitalism'.

A globalist fascist agenda aligned to the UN's takeover of America? New world order style? :)

Sorry to be glib, but the kind of language you're using bring Alex Jones to mind


Of course this is perfectly healthy and sounds like the call for revolution from every generation as it comes into some political consciousness. But it's not about proving an 'inside job', it is about keeping open the question of what exactly did happen because that has not been adequately explained or demonstrated and the whole thing is highly suspect still.

Perhaps not for you, but I think for many 'truthers' it is about exposing the 'cancer' at the heart of the American government. Because if they root out all the bad apples then the US will be back to its usual beautiful freedom and democracy loving self. Theres a real element of narcissism there as well.


Remember that a good number of those people, as you imply, would not have been politically mobilised anyway. In the mean time I think, as do many others, that the actualities behind these events are of significance in uncovering the vast corruption, indeed evil, that has made itself at home in the heart of western power. It's not only systematic, these people have names.

True. But this guarantees that they will never pursue political goals outside a very narrow field, and if they do, they will never be taken seriously.


Incidentally, Loose Change was done by a couple of over excitable and slightly naive kids but I think their intentions were good. Unfortunately by not checking their facts too carefully and jumping to too many premature conclusions they didn't do themselves or efforts at looking at the truth behind those events too many favours in the eyes of some.

Oh come on, its a total joke.


If anyone is at all interested I think this recent German film is a much better effort: http://www.videocommunity.com/pc/pc/display/7167 (they should really lock off the comments section though :eek:)

Will check it out.

vimothy
23-07-2008, 12:58 PM
The 'cave' bit came from official reports about al-Quaeda. Of course it's a characature. The hijackers were it seems living in Germany, the US and elsewhere for some time anyway.

Bin Laden & co had camps in the mountains in Afghanistan (and this not only according to "official" sources, e.g. Wright, Bergen, etc). So in fact, it's not that much of a caricature. However, key hijackers lived and planned the attack in Hamburg.


Not to mention how all the planes miraculously avoiding any intervention from the airforce for nearly two hours while they flew off course, broke contact with ATC, and flew over some of the most heavily protected airspace in the world. Not so easy.

Not so easy now, after the fact. If people had been able to conceive of and expect a 9/11 style attack before it happened, it wouldn't have happened. A different method would have been chosen.


I don't think there's any need to suggest any of this was faked or rigged.

Me neither -- but then, I'm not. As far as 9/11 CTs go, I thought that the suggestion that the Twin Towers were rigged with explosives to make them fall straight down was fairly common. Thus it seemingly requires (as a bare minimum) 1, the rigging of the Twin Towers with enough explosives to successfully collapse them, 2, extensive planning (though I guess this could be done via computer modelling from the VP's office), 3, massive and secret interagency cooperation and 4, trained pilots who are both psychotically commited to the "mission" (mass murder) and suicidal. All of which, while not impossible, does seem pretty implausible.


It's kind of irrelevant anyway but the one video where Bin Laden supposedly directly claims responsibility is of somewhat dubious validity and provenance.

It's fucking not irrelevant and you should provide evidence for statements of such massive importance.

Given this (dubious, IMHO) "fact", why do people like Peter Bergen, someone who probably knows more about Bin Laden than anyone else in the world, seem to think that Bin Laden claimed responsibility (http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=7717)? How come the 9/11 commission (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/911/pdf/fullreport.pdf), the largest criminal investigation in history, also found that Bin Laden was responsible?


Which internal enquiries?

Er, the internal inquiry that you go on to describe. Your theory that the conspiracy need not be large by necessity is betrayed by your own argument throughout this post: faking videos of OBL, rigging huge criminal investigations, actioning PNAC plans, creating favourable conditions for corporations to steal oil, etc -- it all points to a large footoprint operation involving not just lots of different people, but also lots of different organisations and bureaucracies.


I don't think the oil pipeline and heroin money would be considered useless by those with access to them.

Who profits, in this case, exactly? And if it's not simply the US, does that imply an international conspiracy at the state level? Because it should do, according to your logic...


Not to mention the huge sums that war makes for US arms manufacturers and contractors.

Arms manufaturers make huge sums of money anyway. And do the people who supply the army with drinking water and KFCs really have that much say? Isn't the conspiracy large enough at this point?


They didn't need to plant WMDs, obviously.

It would have kept the in office, though. Right? I mean, if they'd just convinced a reeling and angry American polity on some other grounds, the Reps, oil magnates and the gun manufacturers could be looking forward to another term, AND the casus belli would still hold -- the US could be justifiably in Iraq for longer, increasing the return for the masters of war.


It was just not necessary and would have been too risky.

I'd be interested to hear you expand on the qualitative difference in risk and return between planting WMDs in Iraq and flying huge passenger planes into the Twin Towers.


And again the big earner with Iraq has been the war itself, the longer it goes on the more money is made by the arms dealers and contracters.

So the conspirators also planned/planned for the insurgency? Do you think that they are actively trying to block political reconcilliation? How does this square with the improved security situation in Iraq and the changed strategy of MNF-I?


The long 'search' for WMDs only helped contribute to this.

Surely if the goal is protracted conflict in Iraq, the search for WMDs has made little difference in either direction.


I don't think the phrase 'inside job by the US government' is a very useful one. Although it might not be all that far off the truth.

Say what you mean.


Yes because there's absolutey no reason to assume there would be a huge difference in the number of people it would have required.

Simply not true -- self-evidently so, I'd argue.

Al Qaeda = small terrorist network
"US Government" = massive, multi-agency egregore with orders of magnitude more employees

But I would like to see an explanation for why exactly you believe it to be the case that there is no necessary difference in the number of people needed to carry out 9/11 if it were an "inside job".

[more to follow...]

Mr. Tea
23-07-2008, 01:22 PM
Noel, you keep skirting around this phrase "inside job" without committing yourself one way or the other. Whoever we think planned and carried out the attacks, I'm sure we can all agree SOMEONE did it. So if you disagree with the 'official story' that it was a group of Islamic fundamentalists, based in Germany and the US and coordinated from Afghanistan by ObL, then who - in *your* opinion - was it?

As far as I can see there are three main options here:

* it really was carried out by al-Qa'eda as claimed, but with some degree of cooperation (or at least a culpable lack of opposition) from one or more 'intelligence' agency within the US government;
* it was orchestrated by some arm of the US government and blamed on Islamist terrorists (some of whom were somehow found to act as 'patsies', 'stooges' or whatever - never mind how or why);
* it was the work of some global organisation or body greater in scope than even the US government, of which bin Laden and co are, wittingly or not, merely a smaller part.

Or is there some further option I've missed out?

Or have I misconstrued you entirely, and you're not saying "so-and-so did it", you're merely "pointing out that there are holes in the official story" by saying " are there?" and "was there?" after anything I say about the whole affair, as if this by itself counts as conclusive evidence for a monstrous (yet undefined) conspiracy?

Chuu
23-07-2008, 01:57 PM
If anyone is at all interested I think this recent German film is a much better effort: http://www.videocommunity.com/pc/pc/display/7167 (they should really lock off the comments section though :eek:)

Thanks for this, quite a riveting watch, it's definitely a coherent and extensive proponent of the "why we should still be asking questions" camp. Loving the footage of Rodriguez the janitor talking to Look North BBC News Leeds... if anyone's going to find out what happened it's them.

My position is that I don't really know what happened and would like to find out, does this make me a de facto conspiracy theorist because I don't "buy" the official answers to questions like why air defense was so shoddy? Also I give weight to a lot of the coincidental matters of fact such as the groups using WTC7 and the benefits that destroying that building would have for them.

This is the problem no?, that anyone who doesn't believe the end all answer is in the 9/11 Commission Report gets lumped into the troofers bucket leaving no room for people who are just not satisfied with the official story, isn't this why Noel had initial grievance with Brooker piece?

vimothy
23-07-2008, 03:42 PM
As everyone keeps saying, it was actually quite 'easy' in a sense, four planes - boom! But it was done this way for a number of reasons - it wasn't just about providing a pretext for wars or manufacturing consent for the removal of constitutional rights. Although of course this was exactly what the PNAC think tank had suggested was necessary to carry out their plans as dictated by the neo-conservative philosophy - a New Pearl Harbour. In addition I think it should also be understood as a psychological attack on the people - shock and awe.

And it covered a few other major bases as well - destroying, among other things, huge amounts of evidence pertaining to corporate fraud, including the Enron scandal, in the case of WTC7. Destroying accounts records detailing the $2.3 trillion dollars missing from defence spending budgets in the Pentagon. Who knows what else was conveniently buried?

In addition to this, almost as a bonus you have the projected outlay (at least in the 100s of $m) that would have been necessary for the legally required asbestos removal and refurbishments of the WTC complex, or even more in the case of demolition for redevelopment, being turned instead into massive insurance payouts.

Ok, let's just review where we are for a second. We've gone from "that 9/11 CTs are absurd is a truism not worrthy of newspaper space", to doubt, speculation, to the bald statements of fact above in 5 short pages.

"it was done this way for a number of reasons"

According to Noel, 9/11 was committed by shadowy US intelligence agencies at the behest of a global conspiracy of Republicans, heads of state, arms dealers, the Carlylse Group, army contractors, oil companies, neoconservative think tanks, fraudulent corporations, the Pentagon and the owners of the WTC. Together, they chose the method of 9/11 to provide a pretext for wars in the mid east, the denial of constitutional rights, a psychological attack on the people and the fulfillment of the neoconservative philosophy.

noel emits
23-07-2008, 04:08 PM
Believe or think what you like of course, this isn't about winning arguments. We could probably go round in circles for ever debating points and terms.
Maybe I'll come back on a few things where people have misunderstood what I've said (and there are quite a few) or attributed words and POVs to me erroneously.
I have my ideas and I've presented a few suggestions, if you think I'm making absolute statements of fact then forgive me - it gets tedious finding innumerable ways to say 'it is possible that' etc.

Its a waste of time that uses up resources and energy with no clear prospect of achieving anything.
In this case I must agree with you.

Vimothy - just this quickly as your misreading of me seems to have provoked swearing -

It's fucking not irrelevant and you should provide evidence for statements of such massive importance.

I say it's not particularly relevant to say whether Bin Laden claims responsibility or not. Ultimately it doesn't mean much one way or the other as far proving whether he did it and/or ruling out involvement of other parties or agendas.

Oh and this -

I'd be interested to hear you expand on the qualitative difference in risk and return between planting WMDs in Iraq and flying huge passenger planes into the Twin Towers.
Risky because I think leaving WMDs lying around in enemy territory probably wouldn't be considered strategically sensible.

noel emits
23-07-2008, 04:42 PM
Bin Laden & co had camps in the mountains in Afghanistan (and this not only according to "official" sources, e.g. Wright, Bergen, etc). So in fact, it's not that much of a caricature. However, key hijackers lived and planned the attack in Hamburg.
Yes, I just mention it to clarify that when I used that particular shorthand I was quoting, and also because of things like this up thread -

The 911 cultists always use the "cave dwelling arabs" description, often with an even more racist slant.
the racism in the idea that them ay-rabs are a bunch of cave-dwellers incapable of doing anythings as technically demanding as hijacking a plane and crashing it,

Hopefully we can get past it now.

Not so easy now, after the fact. If people had been able to conceive of and expect a 9/11 style attack before it happened, it wouldn't have happened. A different method would have been chosen.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-04-18-norad_x.htm

vimothy
23-07-2008, 06:02 PM
Believe or think what you like of course, this isn't about winning arguments. We could probably go round in circles for ever debating points and terms.

Agreed


I have my ideas and I've presented a few suggestions, if you think I'm making absolute statements of fact then forgive me - it gets tedious finding innumerable ways to say 'it is possible that' etc.

Hmm, you seemed pretty sure a couple of posts back. Of course, it is possible that 9/11 was commited by US intelligence, possibly at the behest of arms dealers, army contactors et al. Lots of things are possible. This could all be a computer simulation and no one really dies anyway. That something is possible doesn't really take us in one direction or another.


I say it's not particularly relevant to say whether Bin Laden claims responsibility or not. Ultimately it doesn't mean much one way or the other as far proving whether he did it and/or ruling out involvement of other parties or agendas.

That Bin Laden claims responsibility doesn't prove that he did it, of course, but saying that it's not relevant is being obviously blinkered. If you've already decided that he didn't do it and that the CIA/Mossad/CFR/(replace with organisation of your choice) was responsible, then you can discount everything that Bin Laden says.


Risky because I think leaving WMDs lying around in enemy territory probably wouldn't be considered strategically sensible.

Yeah, but we're talking about Iraq. It's not necessary to leave top-flight weapon systems lying around, just the generic liquid propellant third world crap that the ultra-modern US forces could chew through in a matter of minutes. Hell, given the feelings of the Pentagon and top rank US generals (itching for the Fulda Gap they never had), that they didn't is a bit strange.

noel emits
23-07-2008, 06:29 PM
Noel, you keep skirting around this phrase "inside job" without committing yourself one way or the other.
What, is this like football now? I think it's a misleading term though - inside what? Not the broader US government really, but that might be what springs to mind.

Unless of course it goes wrong, everyone is caught and they spill the beans.
Terrorist cells / intelligence agencies / mercenaries / crime syndicates operate on a need-to-know basis. Operatives don't necessarily know who they are working for or why. So there's never that much in the way of beans to spill as far as implicating anyone else goes. Not to mention threats / blackmail etc. But who would believe it anyway? And maybe people were caught, how would you know? If it was terrorism related they would immediately be referred to the specialist agencies dealing with that. In the case of 'jihadists' maybe we could look at Bin Laden in terms of someone like Charles Manson - a manipulator. Maybe, or maybe he has been used himself.

Hmm, you seemed pretty sure a couple of posts back. Of course, it is possible that 9/11 was commited by US intelligence, possibly at the behest of arms dealers, army contactors et al. Lots of things are possible.
You know I was responding to droid's question 'why would they go to such lengths?' Well here are some reasons not covered by the single issue of Iraq.

As for this 'at the behest of' business - I don't know, that's an inference you've drawn, I wouldn't characterise it like that. Also talking about a globalist agenda doesn't necessarily imply a 'global conspiracy' as such. Conspiracy is such a misleading term anyway - how about manipulacy?

vimothy
23-07-2008, 06:48 PM
As for this 'at the behest of' business - I don't know, that's an inference you've drawn, I wouldn't characterise it like that. Also talking about a globalist agenda doesn't necessarily imply a 'global conspiracy' as such. Conspiracy is such a misleading term anyway - how about manipulacy?

I don't think it's an inference -- it seems to be the basis of your argument. Whoever did it, did it so that X, Y or Z corporation could make money out of a protracted war on terrorism.

Do the corporate beneficiaries also have terror-cell-like structures?

noel emits
23-07-2008, 06:58 PM
Understanding the repercussions and the manipulations of the public are far more vital than understanding the event IMO.
That's important for sure. I don't think the two things are completely separate though.

Perhaps not for you, but I think for many 'truthers' it is about exposing the 'cancer' at the heart of the American government. Because if they root out all the bad apples then the US will be back to its usual beautiful freedom and democracy loving self. Theres a real element of narcissism there as well.
Maybe, I don't know. I think it's mostly down to the idealism I was talking about. I don't see what's so wrong about that anyway. Obviously there are all sorts... But I don't really understand this sort of diss.

True. But this guarantees that they will never pursue political goals outside a very narrow field, and if they do, they will never be taken seriously.
Oh, not really. What do you care anyway? Can't people decide what they are concerned about? Is it just about being taken seriously?

noel emits
23-07-2008, 07:02 PM
I don't think it's an inference -- it seems to be the basis of your argument. Whoever did it, did it so that X, Y or Z corporation could make money out of a protracted war on terrorism.
No, it's not. You have inferred that. But what you say above isn't the same as saying 'at the behest of' anyway.

According to Noel...
And I would prefer it if you didn't try and speak for me.

I think it is meaningful to talk about 'behind the scenes' dealings, interests and agendas, but not necessarily along the lines of the dots you are drawing there.

noel emits
23-07-2008, 07:15 PM
My position is that I don't really know what happened and would like to find out, does this make me a de facto conspiracy theorist because I don't "buy" the official answers to questions like why air defense was so shoddy?
Yeah, and that's it - I don't think the onus is on you or me to say what happened in detail, even though some people may have their doubts and there may be a big pile of circumstantial evidence pointing at something else.

This is the problem no?, that anyone who doesn't believe the end all answer is in the 9/11 Commission Report gets lumped into the troofers bucket leaving no room for people who are just not satisfied with the official story, isn't this why Noel had initial grievance with Brooker piece?
I guess so!

noel emits
23-07-2008, 07:32 PM
Do the corporate beneficiaries also have terror-cell-like structures?
I know that's a facetious question ('terror-cell'!) but anyway.

http://www.architecture.uwaterloo.ca/faculty_projects/terri/young_playtime/All%20_Images/playtime2/PLAYTIME%20CUBICLES.jpg
http://www.phiac.gov.au/publications/stratplan/structure.gif

Mr. Tea
23-07-2008, 07:50 PM
And what do we find at the very bottom of this vast power structure?

http://img363.imageshack.us/img363/5764/structure2nx3.jpg

STATIONERY!

So whether you want to bring down a corporation or a terrorist network, all you have to do is choke off their supply of pens, staples and post-it notes and the rest will come crashing down.

noel emits
23-07-2008, 08:01 PM
Sounds like a job for -

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/39043000/jpg/_39043325_russ272.jpg

droid
23-07-2008, 08:14 PM
Maybe, I don't know. I think it's mostly down to the idealism I was talking about. I don't see what's so wrong about that anyway. Obviously there are all sorts... But I don't really understand this sort of diss.

My problem with this point of view comes down to systemic vs the conspiracy mindset again. If one believes that exposing the truth behind 911 will somehow eliminate the negative forces in US politics, then you just dont know anything about US history. The 'system' has killed countless more people and committed far worse atrocities than 911.


Oh, not really. What do you care anyway? Can't people decide what they are concerned about? Is it just about being taken seriously?

As far as Im concerned, the aim of activism is to affect change, and it seems a shame that so many people have been led down a path least likely to do that in a country that desperately needs a revival of popular politics.

Mr. Tea
23-07-2008, 09:45 PM
My problem with this point of view comes down to systemic vs the conspiracy mindset again. If one believes that exposing the truth behind 911 will somehow eliminate the negative forces in US politics, then you just dont know anything about US history. The 'system' has killed countless more people and committed far worse atrocities than 911.


Yes, this is something I've always thought about this kind of conspiracy theory: there's already any amount of dodgy, dishonest and totally despicable stuff that we know goverments, the media and big business have committed historically and continue to commit, so why do we need to invent even more crimes to pin on them? And if the most vocal and visible opponents of the establishment are those on the wacky fringe, that's going to discredit people with more serious gripes.

I should add that I don't think anyone questioning the official version of the events of 9/11 is necessarily on the 'wacky fringe' , and I'm sorry if I've given that impression in this thread. I guess you've also got people like David Icke who are wacky however you slice it, and idiots with a sort of reverse credulity syndrome who'd swear blind grass is orange just because the 'official story' is that it's green.

droid
23-07-2008, 10:18 PM
I should add that I don't think anyone questioning the official version of the events of 9/11 is necessarily on the 'wacky fringe' , and I'm sorry if I've given that impression in this thread. I guess you've also got people like David Icke who are wacky however you slice it, and idiots with a sort of reverse credulity syndrome who'd swear blind grass is orange just because the 'official story' is that it's green.

One thing Ive noticed recently (and sorry to generalise), is that a lot of non US 911 truthers, tend to be climate change skeptics (its a conspiracy by scientists to increase funding/oil men to discredit enviromentalists) and anti-MMR immunisation (its a conspiracy by pharmacutical compaines to boost profits), which I think is a symptom of the conspiracy mindset - you find one, and suddenly everything is a conspiracy.

Focaults pendulum and all that.

noel emits
23-07-2008, 11:18 PM
The 'system' has killed countless more people and committed far worse atrocities than 911.
And continues to, but on US soil? I doubt most American's would entertain that idea. As we know it's always much harder to get a grasp of what it means for people in far away lands.

As far as Im concerned, the aim of activism is to affect change, and it seems a shame that so many people have been led down a path least likely to do that in a country that desperately needs a revival of popular politics.
Are you suggesting a conspiracy? ;)

Actually I do think that in some ways this has led to a level of awareness in people that would not have been there previously. For instance look at the questioning of the response to Katrina.

And people are entitled to their curiosity, whether you consider it ultimately a waste of time or not. I do agree though, most of the focus has unfortunately been on the big distractions and unprovable theories.

this kind of conspiracy theory:
What kind of conspiracy theory, the good kind or the bad kind?

I don't think that having not entirely unfounded suspicions about shadowy (criminal) goings on should necessarily be labelled a 'conspiracy theory' in that sense that presupposes something with that title has no basis in reality.

there's already any amount of dodgy, dishonest and totally despicable stuff that we know goverments, the media and big business have committed historically and continue to commit, so why do we need to invent even more crimes to pin on them?
True, but then I don't think the idea is really to invent stuff. And people would like to see certain high profile government names tried for their part in alleged war crimes, lies, deception, corruption etc. Why not.

And if the most vocal and visible opponents of the establishment are those on the wacky fringe, that's going to discredit people with more serious gripes.
Yes, and I doubt this causes the old PTB to lose much sleep. But then I think the underlying 'gripes' that people have probably come down to the same sorts of things in the end. Perhaps you mean 'more serious' in terms of how the problems are approached.

crackerjack
23-07-2008, 11:42 PM
Actually I do think that in some ways this has led to a level of awareness in people that would not have been there previously. For instance look at the questioning of the response to Katrina.

That's a wholly spurious connection. Katrina was about incompetence, indifference and racism. 9/11 troofers are hooked on something else entirely.

(Unless you're talking about the handful of folks who maintain the levees were deliberately detonated who, I believe, are nuts).

noel emits
23-07-2008, 11:55 PM
It seems *troofer* bashing has become something of a pastime in itself. It's getting kind of tiresome and a little unpleasant in tone.

What is this homogeneous mass of beings known as *troofers*?

Mr. Tea
24-07-2008, 12:52 AM
What kind of conspiracy theory, the good kind or the bad kind?


As opposed to the demonstrably barking (Icke et al) or the mean-spirited but ultimately harmless (Shakespeare nicked all his plays from someone else; the moon landings were faked).

Mr. Tea
24-07-2008, 01:06 AM
One thing Ive noticed recently (and sorry to generalise), is that a lot of non US 911 truthers, tend to be climate change skeptics

Really? Now this does surprise me, because there's a pretty good case to be made for the existence of a conspiracy, involving the petrochemical industry, certain conservative politicians and a handful of unscrupulous and none-too-scientific scientists who are promoting exactly this line of thinking.



(its a conspiracy by scientists to increase funding/oil men to discredit enviromentalists)

Umm, why would oil men promote the doctrine of climate change to "discredit scientists", or for any reason? You've rather lost me here, I'm afraid.

Also, it's funny people should make a fuss about something like the MMR vaccine (which protects children against potentially dangerous diseases, oh noes) when it's not in the least far-fetched to describe the symbiotic relationship between the psychiatric industry and manufacturers of antidepressants and other prescription drugs as a 'conspiracy'.

noel emits
24-07-2008, 07:51 AM
My problem with this point of view comes down to systemic vs the conspiracy mindset again.

The 'system' has killed countless more people and committed far worse atrocities than 911.

there's already any amount of dodgy, dishonest and totally despicable stuff that we know goverments, the media and big business have committed historically and continue to commit, so why do we need to invent even more crimes to pin on them?

faking videos of OBL, rigging huge criminal investigations, actioning PNAC plans, creating favourable conditions for corporations to steal oil, etc

It's just reasonable, normal people now. I could have these discussions down the pub.

i wouldn't exaclty say im suprised at the lack of imagination and brains displayed by everyone else but its disappointing none the less
So basically what it comes down to is this arbitrary line between the corruption, manipulation and lies that is acceptable to discuss, because doing so will not put you at odds with quotidian majority opinion, and that which is labelled 'conspiracy theory' and therefore by implication beyond the pale of reasonable consideration.

But systems and conspiracies are not mutually exclusive, they are inextricably linked, symptoms of each other. So it's not about choosing a favourite 'mindset', it's about being able to use a number of different maps to understand a situation. There are systems, and there are particulars, and there are exceptions.

Some of this looks looks a lot like old school political factionalism - arguing over what is or isn't suitable for inclusion in the party line, tarring dissenters or people who say things you don't like the sound of with brushes like 'cultists' or 'troofers'. But there are 'true believers' all around - it's just always easier to see it in other people.

Ultimately I agree with saying that arguing about these things is not a particularly useful way to spend time. The world is rapidly approaching a number of what look like irreversible crisis points and we should concern ourselves with things we can actually do, lives we can change, fun we can have.

But there's the thing. If you did want to effect a global coup, and were in a position to do so, what would be the three main points you would want to exert pressure on?

Global terrorism
Environmental disaster
Economic collapse

But then why would anyone even consider such a thing when there's plenty of other evil to be getting on with. Who has the time?

noel emits
24-07-2008, 07:54 AM
Anyway, I'm out of here for now. Don't call me - I'll be on the beach. :cool:

mms
24-07-2008, 10:55 AM
no one from the inside has revealed it as an inside job, this would have happened ages and ages ago especially for something on this scale, which, would have meant a huge plot ( to murder friends and colleagues) that would have to be kept quiet.
Osama bin laden has claimed responsibility, discussed the bombing, on grounds which we all understand very well, threatened further attacks and further attacks have been carried out, men have pleaded guilty to them.

vimothy
24-07-2008, 11:00 AM
No, it's not. You have inferred that. But what you say above isn't the same as saying 'at the behest of' anyway.

It's not the same no, but I'm just trying to imagine how your nudges and winks would actually work in practice. So say that 9/11 was planned and executed by a "US intelligence agency". Lets say that they wanted to embroil the US in a drawn out war. Why would they want to do that? Well, you've suggested that its for the benefit of those who benefit. Fair enough, but that only leaves a few options:

The intelligence agency was told to do so ("at the behest of") by a higher corporate power
The intelligence agency is indistinguishable from the corporate powers profiting from the War on Terror
The intelligence agencey did it out of the goodness of their own hearts, because they're big fans of the corporate powers and want them to have lots of money
I haven't inferred it at all -- you have inferred it. I'm exploring it. And I don't believe it, but it's simply one of the few motivating factors that would explain why a US government agency would want to plan and execute 9/11.


And I would prefer it if you didn't try and speak for me.

Spare me the self-righteousness, noel. I was pretty fair -- if I wasn't, and I included in my summary items not attributable to you, point them out.


I think it is meaningful to talk about 'behind the scenes' dealings, interests and agendas, but not necessarily along the lines of the dots you are drawing there.

They were your lines! Just point out where I've described what you've said unfairly, and if I'm wrong, I'll apologise.

droid
24-07-2008, 11:01 AM
Umm, why would oil men promote the doctrine of climate change to "discredit scientists", or for any reason? You've rather lost me here, I'm afraid.


To discredit environmentalists. So that when it all turns out to be a sham no one will ever listen to them again.

I'm not claiming the logic is particularly sound, but its the most commonly held conspiracy theory about climate change.

vimothy
24-07-2008, 11:22 AM
9/11 conspiracy theories are interesting to me along two dimensions. Firstly, I find them to be a peculiar kind of solipsism. It's all about us, us, us, me, me, me at the centre of it all. If a tree falls in the developing world, it's somehow connected to the actions of the "west", probably some combination of colonialism and neo-colonialism. It's all about geopolitics as computer game, except we're the only ones playing. Secondly, conspiracy theories tend to the belief that governments are all powerful. The fact that problems persist is not proof that they are not, but that they are malevolent. Hence, AIDS is curable but the cure is suppressed, the developing world could be rich if our governments wanted it, the US military can make people invisible, 9/11 was an inside job, the Apollo moon landing was faked -- everything would be fine if only the powers that be would click their fingers and make it so.

vimothy
24-07-2008, 11:26 AM
Classic essay: The Paranoid Style in American Politics (http://karws.gso.uri.edu/jfk/conspiracy_theory/the_paranoid_mentality/the_paranoid_style.html) -- Richard Hofstadter, Harper's Magazine, 1964


The enemy is clearly delineated: he is a perfect model of malice, a kind of amoral superman—sinister, ubiquitous, powerful, cruel, sensual, luxury-loving. Unlike the rest of us, the enemy is not caught in the toils of the vast mechanism of history, himself a victim of his past, his desires, his limitations. He wills, indeed he manufactures, the mechanism of history, or tries to deflect the normal course of history in an evil way. He makes crises, starts runs on banks, causes depressions, manufactures disasters, and then enjoys and profits from the misery he has produced. The paranoid’s interpretation of history is distinctly personal: decisive events are not taken as part of the stream of history, but as the consequences of someone’s will. Very often the enemy is held to possess some especially effective source of power: he controls the press; he has unlimited funds; he has a new secret for influencing the mind (brainwashing); he has a special technique for seduction (the Catholic confessional).

mms
24-07-2008, 11:26 AM
9/11 conspiracy theories are interesting to me along two dimensions. Firstly, I find them to be a peculiar kind of solipsism. It's all about us, us, us, me, me, me at the centre of it all. If a tree falls in the developing world, it's somehow connected to the actions of the "west", probably some combination of colonialism and neo-colonialism. It's all about geopolitics as computer game, except we're the only ones playing.

This is the best point anyone has made so far in this arguement.

Mr. Tea
24-07-2008, 12:54 PM
So basically what it comes down to is this arbitrary line between the corruption, manipulation and lies that is acceptable to discuss, because doing so will not put you at odds with quotidian majority opinion, and that which is labelled 'conspiracy theory' and therefore by implication beyond the pale of reasonable consideration.

Or the not-so-arbitrary line between activities there is abundant evidence for and activities there is scant or at best circumstantial evidence for (and which there is often a lot of evidence *against*). Or between activities that have a clear benefit for a well-defined group of people and activities that are so convoluted and nefarious as to be implausible.

Vim's point about the 'solipsism' of conspiracy theories is very well made, by the way.

droid
24-07-2008, 01:19 PM
Some of this looks looks a lot like old school political factionalism - arguing over what is or isn't suitable for inclusion in the party line, tarring dissenters or people who say things you don't like the sound of with brushes like 'cultists' or 'troofers'. But there are 'true believers' all around - it's just always easier to see it in other people.

Funny you should say this as those you have quoted above represent a spectrum of political views, some at the opposite end to the others. Maybe 'logical factionalism' would be more accurate.

For my own part, Ive engaged with 911 truthers many times, and Ive had ridiculous arguments and illogical positions (with no credible evidence to back em up) aggressively thrown at me time and time again, and am then usually abused and called a 'New world order schill' when I refuse to accept these ideas, so there might be an element of fatigue here.

I'm happy to keep an open mind, and there is certainly a range of possibilities and a spectrum of plausibility, and I agree that there are holes in the official story, I just don't think its worth dedicating your life to.


Ultimately I agree with saying that arguing about these things is not a particularly useful way to spend time. The world is rapidly approaching a number of what look like irreversible crisis points and we should concern ourselves with things we can actually do, lives we can change, fun we can have.

So, ultimately, we agree? :)

Im gonna go and link to this article and institutional vs conspiracy thinking again. I believe this is the crux of the matter and it hasnt really been defined here.


* What characterizes conspiracy theorizing?

Any conspiracy theory may or may not be true. Auto, oil, and tire companies did conspire to undermine the trolley system in California in the 1930s. Israeli agents did secretly attack Western targets in Egypt in 1954 in an attempt to prevent a British withdrawal. The CIA did fake a shipload of North Vietnamese arms to justify U.S. aggression. Conspiracies do happen. But a conspiracy theorist is not someone who simply accepts the truth of some specific conspiracies. Rather, a conspiracy theorist is someone with a certain general methodological approach and set of priorities.

Conspiracy theorists begin their quest for understanding events by looking for groups acting secretly either in a rogue fashion, or to fool the public. Conspiracy theorists focus on conspirators’ methods, motives, and effects. Personalities, personal timetables, secret meetings, and conspirators’ joint actions claim priority attention. Institutional relations largely drop from view. Thus, rather than seeking a basic understanding of U.S. foreign policy, conspiracy theorists ask, “Did Clinton launch missiles at Sudan in 1998 in order to divert attention from his Monica troubles?” Rather than examining the shared policies of Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson vis-à-vis Southeast Asia, as an examination of institutions would emphasize, they ask, “Did a group within the CIA kill Kennedy to prevent his withdrawing from Vietnam?”

* What characterizes institutional theorizing?

An institutional theory emphasizes roles, incentives, and other institutional dynamics that compel important events and have similar effects over and over. Institutional theorists notice individual actions, but don’t elevate them to prime causes. The point is to learn something about society or history, as compared to learning about particular culpable people. The assumption is that if the particular people hadn’t been there to do the events, someone else would have.

There are, of course, complicating borderline cases. A person trying to discover a possible CIA role in 9-11 could be trying to verify a larger (incorrect) institutional theory—that the U.S. government is run by the CIA. Or a person might be trying to demonstrate that some set of U.S. institutions propels those involved toward conspiring. Someone studying Enron may be doing so not as a conspiracy theorist concerned with condemning the proximate activities of the board of Enron, but rather to make a case (correctly) that U.S. market relations provide a context that make conspiracies against the public by corporate CEOs highly probable. The difference is between trying to understand society by understanding its institutional dynamics versus trying to understand some singular event by understanding the activities of the people involved.

* Does conspiracy theorizing create a tendency for people to depart from rational analysis?

In a famous study in the 1950s, researcher Leon Festinger wanted to find out how a religious sect would react when its prophecy that “the Earth was going to come to an end” failed to come true on the predicted date. When the fateful date arrived and nothing happened, did the believers cease to be believers? No. Instead they asserted that God had given humankind one more chance and they maintained the rest of their belief system intact. One is entitled, of course, to hold whatever beliefs one wants, but beliefs like those of the religious sect are not rational or scientific, for it is a basic requirement of scientific beliefs that they be in principle falsifiable. If a scientific hypothsis predicts X and not-X occurs (and recurs repeatedly), then the hypothesis ought to be doubted. If the hypothesis flouts prior knowledge, as well as current evidence, and is accepted nonetheless, then the behavior is often neither scientific, nor rational.

To the conspiratorial mind, if evidence emerges contradicting a claimed conspiracy, it was planted. If further evidence shows that the first evidence was authentic, then that, too, was planted....

http://www.zmag.org/ZMag/articles/julaug02shalom.html

And another good one here:


A CONSPIRACY THEORY is a hypothesis that some events were caused by the intractable secret machinations of undemocratic individuals. A prime example is to explain Irancontra as the secret rogue actions of Oliver North and co-conspirators. Likewise, another conspiracy theory explains the hostage-holding in Carter's last presidential year as the machinations of a “secret team” helping Reagan win the presidency. A conspiracy theory of Karen Silkwood's murder would uncover the names of people who secretly planned and carried out the murder. Bending usage, we could even imagine a conspiracy theory of patriarchy as men uniting to deny women status, or a conspiracy theory of the U.S. government as competing groups seeking power for their own ends.

Conspiracies exist. Groups regularly do things without issuing press releases and this becomes a conspiracy whenever their actions transcend of “normal” behavior. We don’t talk of a conspiracy to win an election if the suspect activity includes o*nly candidates and their handlers working privately to develop effective strategy. We do talk about a conspiracy if the resulting action involves stealing the other team's plans, spiking their Whiskey Sours, or other exceptional activity. When a conspiracy cause's some outcome, the outcome would not have happened had not the particular people with their particular inclinations come together.

Conspiracy theories may or may not identify real coteries with real influence. Conspiracy theories:

(a) Claim that a particular group acted outside usual norms in a rogue and generally secretive fashion.

(b) Disregard the structural features of institutions.

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/10/125.html

And the original dissensus 911 thread: http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=3418

noel emits
29-07-2008, 11:29 AM
I'm happy to keep an open mind, and there is certainly a range of possibilities and a spectrum of plausibility, and I agree that there are holes in the official story, I just don't think its worth dedicating your life to.
Yes droid, agree with here on all fronts.

Still, I do think that the weight of evidence is that the officially approved narrative does not adequately explain those events or exactly who was behind them. And I don't consider this to be a 'conspiracy theory' as such. It is just obvious and logical that when on the one hand so much does not make sense or is highly improbable, and on the other hand you have a large amount of evidence, connections and 'coincidences' suggesting other possibilities, well at some point you have to conclude that 1+1+1+1+1+1.... might just add up to at least 1.5, no matter how difficult that may be to stomach or how resistant you are to the idea of 'conspiracies'. That's how I see it, that's how I weigh it up. This isn't a 'theory' though. And it might suggest the existence of a 'conspiracy', but that's kind of a meaningless term as it just implies people working together to do stuff they don't want others to know about. And that of course describes the function of many organisations, 'legitimate' or otherwise.


Spare me the self-righteousness, noel. I was pretty fair -- if I wasn't, and I included in my summary items not attributable to you, point them out.
Bollocks vimothy, it's not at all self-righteousness to object to having words put in one's mouth or one's position grossly misrepresented. If anything I was being polite and should really ask you to edit that post. I didn't because I don't think anyone read your 'summary' as having to do with what I was actually saying or my reasons for saying it.

In response to the rather one-sided, one-dimensional discussion and gang-banging of 'conspiracy theorists' or anyone who even questioned the tales of power that was going on here, I listed and discussed a number of ways in which aspects of those events and the background to them can and have been understood. What you stated as being 'according to noel' was to draw absolute lines between those dots as if to form a complete and definite statement about exactly what happened.

noel emits
29-07-2008, 11:29 AM
no one from the inside has revealed it as an inside job, this would have happened ages and ages ago especially for something on this scale, which, would have meant a huge plot ( to murder friends and colleagues) that would have to be kept quiet.
Not to get into arguing over details again but I think this still supposes a rather either/or sort of viewpoint in terms of conceptualising this. And it includes quite a few assumptions anyway. As for what 'inside' means it depends on who 'they' are, and who 'they' consider themselves to be.

Also that there have been no whistle-blowers, and what would actually happen if someone did try to reveal something. How would they? What would they reveal exactly - documents? What channels would they go through? Would they believed? Would they get airtime in the mainstream media? Or would they be discredited by association with 'conspiracy theorists'? Or what would be at stake for them or their families? I think a better way to look at that is in terms of organised crime for instance, rather than imagining it would need some vast all-powerful organisation to keep insiders on the inside.
For one thing there's a code of loyalty and dedication to cause that overrides any other considerations and goes back generations. Secondly there is an assurance of absolutely guaranteed and brutal retribution for breaking the code. And thirdly there is a highly developed system of hierarchy of command, compartmentalisation and obfuscation of culpability.

And like people have said, governments and large organisations do all kinds of awful things all the time, often to their 'own' countries. And thousands of soldiers are sent to their deaths and to kill hundreds of thousands of others while bland beaurocrats dispassionately push papers.

Osama bin laden has claimed responsibility, discussed the bombing, on grounds which we all understand very well, threatened further attacks and further attacks have been carried out, men have pleaded guilty to them.
Bin Laden may well be quite convinced that he is responsible. I doubt it does his allegedly volatile ego any harm. ;)

noel emits
29-07-2008, 12:40 PM
9/11 conspiracy theories are interesting to me along two dimensions. Firstly, I find them to be a peculiar kind of solipsism. It's all about us, us, us, me, me, me at the centre of it all. If a tree falls in the developing world, it's somehow connected to the actions of the "west", probably some combination of colonialism and neo-colonialism.
Unlike the idea of 'blowback', then.

But I don't think that holds true anyway. Conspiracy theories are often exactly the opposite of this - they are about 'them', not 'us' at the centre of it all. That's why leftists and anarchists are often very reluctant to engage with those ideas at all because they consider them potentially 'dis-empowering', and I can certainly understand that in terms of conceptualising a large and powerful conspiracy.

9/11 conspiracy theories obviously come in many forms and arise for many reasons but broadly I would say they are about people saying 'this stuff you are telling us doesn't make sense and you guys are plainly lying'. And asking, why? And, how?

It's all about geopolitics as computer game, except we're the only ones playing.
Not sure what you mean by this. It's not like the 'bearded bad-guys plot in caves (not my idea!) in Afghanistan to fly planes into buildings which then dramatically collapse' bears no relation to a video game though! Are you referring to something like this idea from the article you linked to earlier?

'9/11 was the collateral damage of a clash within Islam. The view that 9/11 was the result of a conflict within the Muslim world was brilliantly articulated in early 2002 by middle east scholar Michael Scott Doran in a Foreign Affairs essay, "Somebody Else's Civil War." Doran argued that Bin Laden's followers "consider themselves an island of true believers surrounded by a sea of iniquity and think that the future of religion itself, and therefore the world depends on them and their battle." In particular, Egyptians in al Qaeda, such as Ayman al-Zawahiri, hold this view, inheriting it from Sayyid Qutb, who believed that most of the modern middle east is living in a state of pagan ignorance. The Egyptian jihadists believed that they should overthrow the "near enemy"—middle east regimes run by "apostate" rulers. Bin Laden took the next step, urging Zawahiri that the root of the problem was not the "near enemy" but the "far enemy," the US, which propped up the status quo in the middle east.'
http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=7717

That's still essentially a 'blowback' hypothesis.

Secondly, conspiracy theories tend to the belief that governments are all powerful.
Just because some types of thinking around scary and inevitably 'paranoid' areas involving unknowns tend towards inflation doesn't mean that such things don't exist. To paraphrase Woody Allen?

But would you disagree that state related organisations can actually be competent in certain very specific areas? And that logically those would be the one's they operate in. If the less scrupulous parts of state apparatus want to do illegal stuff then they have specialist retainers they can call on. It's not hard and doesn't for one second suggest omnipotence. al-Qaeda isn't all powerful. And again I would refer to the organised crime model.

The fact that problems persist is not proof that they are not, but that they are malevolent.
The fact that they should have to do extreme violent shit in the first place should be proof enough that they are not all powerful. It's desperate! But the scale of corruption that we see at those levels now are effectively malevolent, yes.

Hence, AIDS is curable but the cure is suppressed, the developing world could be rich if our governments wanted it, the US military can make people invisible, 9/11 was an inside job, the Apollo moon landing was faked -- everything would be fine if only the powers that be would click their fingers and make it so.
Well you can't conflate all these things as if they are part of a coherent belief system that must be subscribed to in bulk. But maybe things would be better if power and wealth hadn't been quite so effectively concentrated and wasn't so appallingly short sighted.

But I do appreciate that you are talking about conspiracy theory culture in general and I do think that is an interesting and useful discussion to have for sure. So maybe more later.

noel emits
29-07-2008, 01:18 PM
Im gonna go and link to this article and institutional vs conspiracy thinking again. I believe this is the crux of the matter and it hasnt really been defined here.
Yeah, looks like good stuff. Link was broken though. This works: http://www.zmag.org/zmag/viewArticle/13107

And the original dissensus 911 thread: http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=3418
Good thread, I can see that a lot of this stuff was covered there - also that I didn't really want to engage with it at the time.

I do find myself in agreement with much of what Padraig has to say there in some ways.

I think the difficulty here is with the gratuitous labelling of some stance, any stance [political or otherwise] that is outside the dominant ideology and its media outlets as "conspiracy theory", for it presupposes some irrefutable, established knowledge [factual or analytic] on the part of the one doing the labelling, so conflating issues of paranoia with those of conspiracy. [For instance, is the claim that 19 members of Al-Kaida flew planes into the WTC itself not a "conspiracy theory"? If you refute this, upon what do you base your refutation? ie. conspiracy works both ways ... is inescapable, unless one is a smug gliberal post-modernist, who somehow always-already simply "knows"]

Yes, we know that the problems are inherently structural [the interpellated symbolic network of Big Other Kapital], but this does not mean that we should pay no attention to its Agents, or fail to continue to report on their behaviour.

The rational difficulty that arises with the outright rejection of all conspiracies of whetever ilk - because they're too "simple" or too "ridiculous" or just downright paranoid and devoid of "common sense" (another ideological construction) - is that the very power relations that conspiracies hint at or point to are also rejected, the world of social relations are depoliticised, the real of social power is rejected outright: such a reactionary move is thus away from the collective-political and towards the personal-subjective - one seeks refuge in personal fantasies, which then become the "real" while the "outside" world itself becomes a "fantasy", a dream, a crazy hallucination of meaningless phantasms, appearances and floating signifiers. The result of such a retreat into "solipsistic narcissism", into a limitless fantasy Ego, is the pathology of dissolving all analyses of actual power relations in the external world into mere "subjective neurosis", a reversal of the true state of affairs
This above is a really interesting point I think and deserves further consideration.

Theres a fine line between William Blum and Mike Ruppert, and the line tends to shift, IMO
Any love for Daniel Hopsicker? One of the few people actually doing on the ground investigative journalism.

http://www.madcowprod.com/
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6618076520601759159

Conspiracy theories can be a kind of creative dissent. Perhaps this is part of the reason we find them interesting; because they're a form of creative endevour.
So conspiracy theories as a kind of spontaneous mass correctional drive to deconstruct imposed dominant narratives.

vimothy
01-08-2008, 01:31 PM
This above is a really interesting point I think and deserves further consideration.

Sort of what I said, but I think HMLT has it exactly back-to-front.

vimothy
01-08-2008, 01:41 PM
What you stated as being 'according to noel' was to draw absolute lines between those dots as if to form a complete and definite statement about exactly what happened.

If you remember, you said them as if they were absolute because "it gets tedious finding innumerable ways to say 'it is possible that'". You continue to present pure speculation as some kind of evidence of "conspiracy"/"manipulacy". So,

at some point you have to conclude that 1+1+1+1+1+1.... might just add up to at least 1.5

represents the fact that if 1+1+1... then at least 1.5. IF. Nothing more than that.

Mr. Tea
01-08-2008, 03:00 PM
Sort of what I said, but I think HMLT has it exactly back-to-front.

What, on the point about the narcissism/solipsism of believing/not believing in CTs? Yeah, I see what you mean.

vimothy
01-08-2008, 03:16 PM
I think the idea that the world is run by one man/group, or at least that events are steered by a small number of people is actually much more conforting than the world as giant stochastic impersonal process, where we're barely meaningful, without-influence gnats in the machine.

Mr. Tea
01-08-2008, 03:23 PM
So - to use religious language for a moment - do you think some people are so scared of the idea of a wholly godless universe that if they can't be saved by Christ, they'd rather be manipulated by the Devil?

vimothy
01-08-2008, 03:38 PM
Exactly

vimothy
01-08-2008, 03:41 PM
And -- as any fule satanist kno -- acknowledging the existence of the devil presupposes (in some sense) the existence, or at least, the possibility, of christ.

noel emits
05-08-2008, 10:14 PM
Sort of what I said, but I think HMLT has it exactly back-to-front.
I don't think so. Although I wouldn't have introduced solipsism into this as a theme at all. Your point doesn't make sense for me - because it seems to be predicated in this case on the notion that 9/11 was all about middle-east stuff. No, wait - I have no idea what you are trying to say with that at all actually:

9/11 conspiracy theories are interesting to me along two dimensions. Firstly, I find them to be a peculiar kind of solipsism. It's all about us, us, us, me, me, me at the centre of it all. If a tree falls in the developing world, it's somehow connected to the actions of the "west", probably some combination of colonialism and neo-colonialism.?

represents the fact that if 1+1+1... then at least 1.5. IF. Nothing more than that.
That's a deliberately most conservative assessment on my part - I'm saying that at the absolute very least there is something to some of that speculation, in my opinion. There just is, I don't care how it sounds.

I read Illuminatus! when I was a teenager and have long understood where the themes of conspiracy speculation can go. I've explored the ideas, laughed at them and been a total sceptic. This is not new territory to me - I'm not coming at it as some great revelation that OMG teh shadow govt. is up to no goodz!. This is different, I think there's something there. Being stuck on the idea that conspiracy theory is all loony just helps to stop otherwise sensible and intelligent people considering that. RAW said they wrote that stuff lampooning conspiracy culture but that subsequently he had to admit much of it seemed to be coming true!

I think the idea that the world is run by one man/group, or at least that events are steered by a small number of people is actually much more conforting than the world as giant stochastic impersonal process, where we're barely meaningful, without-influence gnats in the machine.
I'm sure I don't need to restate that a suspicion of 'conspiracy' in a particular instance does not necessarily imply that the whole world is absolutely controlled by a small group of people. There may be, well obviously there are, groups with certain agendas that have a certain degree of influence in certain areas, though. Stochastics, and good old incompetence theory, do not completely account for everything, or if they try to you end up doing away with the culpability of certain dickheads - some shit is done by definite people, sometimes for naughty reasons. It's not about plumping for what's more comforting to believe, that's nonsense.

I guess we should be clear about whether we are analysing conspiracy theory, conspiracy theory culture, 9/11 Truth culture, or 9/11 in particular. There is some interesting stuff here. For one thing how different sides of the debate can apparently paradoxically accuse each other of leading to potentially dangerous positions of perceived powerlessness, solipsism and/or taking refuge in comfortable fictions! Quite apart from differences of opinion that's a bit weird isn't it?

noel emits
05-08-2008, 10:53 PM
Funny you should say this as those you have quoted above represent a spectrum of political views, some at the opposite end to the others. Maybe 'logical factionalism' would be more accurate.
'Logical factionalism', yes same point really I guess. Depends where you draw the lines, but they are always movable to an extent whenever there are unknowns involved, as there always are of course.

I read through the Zmag article you linked to - I thought the definitions given at the top were useful and some of it is fair comment, but I certainly didn't agree with all of it. It approaches some of the same logical problems we've seen through this thread as well, stuff like this - my comments in italics:

Why is conspiracy theorizing popular among critics of injustice?

First, conspiracy theories reveal evidence that can identify actual events needing other explanation.

Well that's not a bad thing is it, but anyway...

Second, conspiracy theories have manageable implications. They imply that all was once well and that it can be okay again if only the conspirators can be removed. Conspiracy theories explain ills without forcing us to disavow society’s underlying institutions. They allow us to admit horrors and to express our indignation and anger or undertake vendettas, but without rejecting the basic norms of society.

They might imply this or allow that but only I think if you are coming from such a position in the first place. Other than that I don't see that a given investigation of a posited conspiracy is exclusive with an underlying political or structural awareness.

How do conspiracy theories lead to harmful political inclinations and allegiances?

Not only is it a way to rationalize injustices and suffering without calling basic institutions into account, it leads to the thinking that injustice is an inevitable part of the human equation—some folks are bad, so we get lots of bad outcomes.

Not at all. You can spend a lifetime questioning basic institutions and assumptions and still take issue with a particular case or event. As for where where this leads surely it is also the opposite as the reasoning behind much conspiracy theory is actually that injustice is not all inevitable and is instead the result of actual people meddling in world affairs. This may not be the whole of the matter either but the logic in the above statement is missing. You could say exactly the same thing about stochastic 'explanations' and incompetence theory.

vimothy
06-08-2008, 10:50 AM
Had an interesting chat the other night, that seems relevant to this discussion. A lad (Jaff) on our footy team is writing a PhD on the political economy of a development project in Mexico, using Lefebvre's The Production of Space. We had a pretty mint argument about stuff, but what struck me was something he said about Paul Krugman. He described Paul Krugman as a capitalist shill, a neo-liberal and a neo-colonialist! I thought it was weird that -- and Jaff is obviously pretty smart -- here is Krugman, arguably the most recognised, strident, progressive voice in American intellectual life, about whom Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said "I'd like to bitch-slap him", the man described by Donald Luskin as "America's most dangerous liberal pundit" and the subject of a regular hate column in NRO for years, being denounced as a right-wing shill!

I was also struck, when over at Moon of Alabama, how the NYT is regularly described as propaganda for the New World Order, whereas when over at, say, LGF or Belmont Club it is more likely to be described as propaganda for the 'hate America left'.

vimothy
06-08-2008, 10:52 AM
& I can't help but read this discussion into your posts on religion, and vice versa, noel. ;)

noel emits
06-08-2008, 02:58 PM
& I can't help but read this discussion into your posts on religion, and vice versa, noel. ;)
If there are parallels in the two discussions it's not inherent to my posts specifically is it?

As I see it this is simply a disagreement about evidence and interpretation. To bring in analyses of the pathology of conspiracy (um, theory) culture or the lack of imagination of the traditional left and all that stuff is to conflate issues as Padraig said.

Of course each side here sees the others as having a position based on conjecture, and of course that is inevitably true to an extent.


You continue to present pure speculation as some kind of evidence of "conspiracy"/"manipulacy".
It's not 'pure' speculation though is it, it's derived from evidence and circumstance and facts and background and opinion, at least as much what you think you 'know'. Really.

The discussion started with Brooker and others coming from the position that interpretations of these events other than the one laid down by the US Govt. and it's agencies were utterly inconceivable. So that's the basic point of contention isn't it?

I don't think I have the full picture, I don't think anyone does, I have some suspicions about it that I think are reasonable though.

vimothy
06-08-2008, 03:05 PM
It's not 'pure' speculation though is it, it's derived from evidence and circumstance and facts and background and opinion, at least as much what you think you 'know'. Really.

!!!!

noel emits
12-08-2008, 10:27 PM
I think the idea that the world is run by one man/group, or at least that events are steered by a small number of people is actually much more

conforting than the world as giant stochastic impersonal process, where we're barely meaningful, without-influence gnats in the machine.
This is carp IMO. For a start it's a false binary and the same kind of broad-stroke thinking as in the article that spawned this thread. It's also essentially getting into a discussion of perception and cosmic ontology which move I think demonstrates clearly the pervasive assumption that if a thing is called 'conspiracy theory' then it must by definition be simply the result of paranoid thinking and therefore to be immediately judged beyond the pale!

Universe as MEANINGLESS STOCHASTIC PROCESS vs MEGA-CONSPIRACY

Yes, it must be one or the other of these EXTREMES, which do you choose? ;)

I think if you were to insist on that as a binary, or even relevant here, which I wouldn't, then you'd have say that both of those things would actually be located on the same negative pole anyway! The world as we generally experience it may reflect aspects of these 'realities' and others, but the truth as ever would be found somewhere in the middle with other axes operating simultaneously.

Further, to suggest that people might only be concerned with the possibility of such horrible goings-on as false flag terrorism or worse because they find it COMFORTING is a rather curious thing to imagine. Of course this would be nothing like the comfort of pre-emptively dismissing anything that doesn't appear to readily fit your preconceptions as evidence of others clinging to grim security blankets! For myself I'd say that sort of stuff is the last thing I'd want to think actually happens.

I wouldn't go so far as to say it might be COMFORTING to believe oneself MERELY an INSIGNIFICANT part of an IMPLACABLE MECHANISTIC PROCESS devoid of MEANING and therefore relieved of, for one thing, RESPONSIBILITY, because again it's an extreme pole on a false binary and, you know, a cheap shot.

So - to use religious language for a moment - do you think some people are so scared of the idea of a wholly godless universe that if they can't be saved by Christ, they'd rather be manipulated by the Devil?
Superstitious SAVAGES! Unable to face up to the STARK TRUTH and APPALLED by the cold light of REASON they must instead abase themselves with DEVIL WORSHIP! Do these FOOLS not know that SCIENCE has explained everything. thus removing all further UNCERTAINTY and need for ENQUIRY? Do they not trust the EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE of their SENSES which PROVES beyond question the existence of QUARKS and MESONS, thus dispelling forever such outlandish creations as ELVES and FAIRIES? :)

And -- as any fule satanist kno -- acknowledging the existence of the devil presupposes (in some sense) the existence, or at least, the possibility, of christ.
I don't think all Satanists recognise this, if they did they'd more correctly identify as crypto-Christians, is it not.

Of course there are Satanists and there are Satanists.

noel emits
12-08-2008, 10:31 PM
Looking at all of this now I think something rather odd has happened here, and perhaps more broadly, in discussing conspiracy, and it really should have been apparent sooner. That is, the conflating of the idea of the 'classic' extreme paranoid conception of the universe, with the expositor / protagonist placed at the centre of a vast plot of some sort, with - the investigation of suspicious goings on in the world, elsewhere and separately. You know, for the most part the details of 9/11 conspiracy theories have nothing in particular to do with the people postulating or musing on them, they are generally not included except as curious or concerned spectators. Of course there is some overlap in some cases, and it is always somewhat perilous territory, but really these are different things and it's an example of how the phrase 'conspiracy theory' has picked up this curious baggage, unlike Mohamed Atta.

Anyway I'm glad that thorny Anthrax business is all neatly sewn up now. At least there's no suggestion of official deception there. :p

Mr. Tea
13-08-2008, 12:01 AM
Superstitious SAVAGES! Unable to face up to the STARK TRUTH and APPALLED by the cold light of REASON they must instead abase themselves with DEVIL WORSHIP! Do these FOOLS not know that SCIENCE has explained everything. thus removing all further UNCERTAINTY and need for ENQUIRY? Do they not trust the EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE of their SENSES which PROVES beyond question the existence of QUARKS and MESONS, thus dispelling forever such outlandish creations as ELVES and FAIRIES? :)

Oh come on, that's not the point I was making, and you know it's not. I was just expanding on what Vimothy was talking about, namely the comfort some people might draw from belief in a (seemingly) all-powerful agent in the world, even if, paradoxically, it is largely malicious in intent.

If you want to talk (or even rant and rave) about evidence and empiricism, we could start with the dramatic disparity in the standards to which evidence supporting conspiracy theories and evidence supporting the 'official version' is held, by supporters of the former...

noel emits
13-08-2008, 12:59 AM
Oh come on, that's not the point I was making, and you know it's not. I was just expanding on what Vimothy was talking about, namely the comfort some people might draw from belief in a (seemingly) all-powerful agent in the world, even if, paradoxically, it is largely malicious in intent.
:) Well I hope it's taken in a spirit of good humour. But I think vimothy's point is largely absurd, ridiculous, offensive even! 'Comforting' FFS. It's just cheap pseudo-psychologising nonsense. There might be some people who get a kick out of imagining all sorts of horrendous things going on but to be honest I doubt they are really taking that on board in any deep way - it's just like being into horror films really.

If you want to talk (or even rant and rave) about evidence and empiricism, we could start with the dramatic disparity in the standards to which evidence supporting conspiracy theories and evidence supporting the 'official version' is held, by supporters of the former...
I wasn't ranting and raving, I was making a joke about what you'd said - people wanting to be abused by the devil because they can't face up to living in a godless universe. It's pretty funny.

So the point here is not about evidence and empiricism. We've gone through all that already here. 'Conspiracy theory' is hardly a meaningful term any more* - and it cuts both ways. In fact I'd say it's largely the uncritical supporters of the 'official story', about which they will generally know very little of the 'evidence', or of it's veracity, or any of it really, beyond the basic easily graspable cartoon details, and certainly as a rule don't hold any of it up to much scrutiny, who are overly credulous and lacking in genuine skepticism, but there you go.

Of course you can choose to look at the very worst of the stuff out there about 9/11 or whatever and hold that up as an example of the whole area of discourse, there's a lot of disinformation out there, and the internet is the internet FFS, that's not unique to 9/11 investigations. Yeah there's wacky stuff, but why should that be allowed to become the focus of discussion about something that some people would consider important and worthy of genuine enquiry?

* This is a very interesting historical document that shows how the term 'conspiracy theory' came to be deliberately used by the media, under instruction from the CIA, to attempt to discredit investigations into, in this case, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, specifically criticism of the Warren Commission Report. The whole discourse and argument about 'conspiracy theory' is laid out right there in this document sent to 'CIA Media Assets' and marked 'DESTROY WHEN NO LONGER NEEDED'. And no I can't say for sure if this is genuine, but it's certainly been cited many times since it was uncovered.

http://192.220.64.45/collections/assassinations/jfk/cia-inst.htm

vimothy
13-08-2008, 01:45 PM
This is carp IMO. For a start it's a false binary and the same kind of broad-stroke thinking as in the article that spawned this thread. It's also essentially getting into a discussion of perception and cosmic ontology which move I think demonstrates clearly the pervasive assumption that if a thing is called 'conspiracy theory' then it must by definition be simply the result of paranoid thinking and therefore to be immediately judged beyond the pale!

Universe as MEANINGLESS STOCHASTIC PROCESS vs MEGA-CONSPIRACY

Yes, it must be one or the other of these EXTREMES, which do you choose? ;)

I think if you were to insist on that as a binary, or even relevant here, which I wouldn't, then you'd have say that both of those things would actually be located on the same negative pole anyway! The world as we generally experience it may reflect aspects of these 'realities' and others, but the truth as ever would be found somewhere in the middle with other axes operating simultaneously.

Perhaps it would be an idea to remind ourselves of what "stochastic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stochastic)" actually means (my emphasis):


A stochastic process is one whose behavior is non-deterministic in that a state does not fully determine its next state. Stochastic crafts are complex systems whose practitioners, even if complete experts, cannot guarantee success. Classical examples of this are medicine: a doctor can administer the same treatment to multiple patients suffering from the same symptoms, however, the patients may not all react to the treatment the same way. This makes medicine a stochastic process.

"Stochastic" is not meant to imply an extreme end of a scale, and indeed, it is perfectly consistant with the definition above to expect and include some forms of conspiracy. The process is "non-deterministic" in that although you may think that there are shadowy groups that rule the world and steer history (or you may not -- it's not important except in that it illuminates different positions), the world is too big, complicated, instransigent, weird, unkown, etc, etc to determine outcomes with any degree of success. Witness the collapse of communism: an idealised state where a central government regulates economic and political life. It didn't work because life is just too damn complicated. How much more so does that relate to international relations? To world history? Witness the failure of Iraq: upthread someone (you?) was reduced to arguing that US failure was (sorry, might have been!) intentional because it somehow furthered the aims of the conspiracy. How the relative success post-'surge' factors in is anyone's guess. Perhaps that too is part of the plan. At the end of the day, it's all conjecture (in the Popperian sense) and so anything and everything can and will be given as evidence of the/a conspiracy.

vimothy
13-08-2008, 01:50 PM
I don't think all Satanists recognise this, if they did they'd more correctly identify as crypto-Christians, is it not.

Of course there are Satanists and there are Satanists.

Where's Mr Eden?

CoS satanists don't believe in Satan, because Satan is a Christian figure, hence a literal Satanist would believe in God, even if she rejected Him. For CoS types, Satan is a principal, a metaphor, rather than an actual entity. There are some who claim to literally believe in Satan but in my experience they all tend to be under the age of twenty and in crappy Black Metal bands.

Mr. Tea
13-08-2008, 01:58 PM
Where's Mr Eden?


I think you mean Sloane, not Eden - he's our resident Satanist around this way, or has claimed to be on here.

vimothy
13-08-2008, 02:17 PM
Further, to suggest that people might only be concerned with the possibility of such horrible goings-on as false flag terrorism or worse because they find it COMFORTING is a rather curious thing to imagine. Of course this would be nothing like the comfort of pre-emptively dismissing anything that doesn't appear to readily fit your preconceptions as evidence of others clinging to grim security blankets! For myself I'd say that sort of stuff is the last thing I'd want to think actually happens.

Is it really that curious? For one thing, it implies that if you overthrow this or that particular group, everything will be better. Well, I think that's bullshit. Institutions are at the centre of everything. All people who get into power want to do is stay there, and so the institutions that dictate their actions have primacy over the individual.

For another thing, I do think that the idea that someone is in charge, however malevolent, is more comforting, more human, more understandable (narrative framework) than the idea that no one knows what the fuck's going on, no one's in charge, everyone's holding on for dear life. I'm thinking of existentialism applied to the political (or even economic, but we've done that already) field: existence is absurd, meaningless, tragic. Is that more comforting than having a grand narrative to rail against? Is it less comforting to think that it's all GWB's fault?

Maybe; maybe not. But it's hardly "absurd, ridiculous, offensive even" to suggest that it is.


I wouldn't go so far as to say it might be COMFORTING to believe oneself MERELY an INSIGNIFICANT part of an IMPLACABLE MECHANISTIC PROCESS devoid of MEANING and therefore relieved of, for one thing, RESPONSIBILITY, because again it's an extreme pole on a false binary and, you know, a cheap shot.

Yeah, but on a molar level, it's not that far from the truth.*


Superstitious SAVAGES! Unable to face up to the STARK TRUTH and APPALLED by the cold light of REASON they must instead abase themselves with DEVIL WORSHIP! Do these FOOLS not know that SCIENCE has explained everything. thus removing all further UNCERTAINTY and need for ENQUIRY? Do they not trust the EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE of their SENSES which PROVES beyond question the existence of QUARKS and MESONS, thus dispelling forever such outlandish creations as ELVES and FAIRIES? :)

So tell me noel emits, do you believe the holocaust happened? Why should I believe you?

*EDIT: Though not mechanistic.

vimothy
13-08-2008, 02:18 PM
I think you mean Sloane, not Eden - he's our resident Satanist around this way, or has claimed to be on here.

I think JE is an aging former TOPY / IOT dude? Could be wrong...

Mr. Tea
13-08-2008, 02:44 PM
I think JE is an aging former TOPY / IOT dude? Could be wrong...

I remember him talking about it before, I had no idea he was involved. Anyway, Psychic Yoof aren't Satanists as such, are they? Dunno what IOT is, though.

noel emits
13-08-2008, 02:55 PM
"Stochastic" is not meant to imply an extreme end of a scale, and indeed, it is perfectly consistant with the definition above to expect and include some forms of conspiracy.
It was you that implied a dichotomy between holding that a 'small group controls everything', which is a 'strawman' idea again anyway, and a 'stochastic' reading. But yes it's good to remind ourselves what that means.

The process is "non-deterministic" in that although you may think that there are shadowy groups that rule the world and steer history (or you may not -- it's not important except in that it illuminates different positions), the world is too big, complicated, instransigent, weird, unkown, etc, etc to determine outcomes with any degree of success.
This never stops some groups trying, constantly. Hence, much of history.

Witness the collapse of communism: an idealised state where a central government regulates economic and political life. It didn't work because life is just too damn complicated.
Same as above. And also it was hardly an 'idealised state'! But of course these enterprises are doomed to failure, next...

How much more so does that relate to international relations? To world history? Witness the failure of Iraq: upthread someone (you?) was reduced to arguing that US failure was (sorry, might have been!) intentional because it somehow furthered the aims of the conspiracy.
Not really relevant to the genral discussion this but still, it does for instance benefit some interests for sure, it's worth bearing in mind I suppose. I don't know how intentional or otherwise that would be though. It's not a case of THE CONSPIRACY in this sense really though is it.

How the relative success post-'surge' factors in is anyone's guess. Perhaps that too is part of the plan.
Like you say, not everything can be utterly controlled but people will try and influence events in their interest. Whether it works out or not it causes effects.

At the end of the day, it's all conjecture (in the Popperian sense) and so anything and everything can and will be given as evidence of the/a conspiracy.

And here's the problem. There's this sudden jolting conflation of ideas about conspiracies, or rather what gets labelled as 'conspiracy theories'. You've gone from saying that in a complex global system there will be some forms of 'conspiracy' - to talking about the idea of a massive all controlling CONSPIRACY, and claiming the 'unfalsifiablilty' of that as a basis to argue that there is therefore no such thing as conspiracy at all. And the reason is that because at the word trigger 'CONSPIRACY THEORY' you are jumping to the received idea of the classic CONSPIRACY THEORY, which of course is always utter nonsense. It's really a self-justifying tautology of an argument (i.e. unfalsifiable...). I think what I was saying in my first posts on thread. If you don't get that by now then I think we are probably done.

noel emits
13-08-2008, 02:57 PM
For CoS types, Satan is a principal, a metaphor, rather than an actual entity.
I know.

vimothy
13-08-2008, 03:07 PM
:mad:

Mr. Tea
13-08-2008, 03:27 PM
For another thing, I do think that the idea that someone is in charge, however malevolent, is more comforting, more human, more understandable (narrative framework) than the idea that no one knows what the fuck's going on, no one's in charge, everyone's holding on for dear life. I'm thinking of existentialism applied to the political (or even economic, but we've done that already) field: existence is absurd, meaningless, tragic. Is that more comforting than having a grand narrative to rail against? Is it less comforting to think that it's all GWB's fault?

You know, this reminds me of something I heard a couple of years ago...my mum was working at the time as a part-time teacher in a prison, which housed some pretty long-term convicts (murderers, rapists, 'career' armed robbers, sort of thing) and apparently no few of them were convinced the Boxing Day earthquake/tsunami in 2004 was caused by the US military detonating nuclear bombs on the floor of the Indian Ocean. Presumably whoever came up with that little gem didn't get as far hypothesising a possible benefit to anyone, beyond simple recreational evil. But I can see that, to a person who (misfortunes of birth and upbringing notwithstanding) has got himself in a shitty situation - eg. twenty years in chokey - through his own personal decisions, the idea that there's this big bad Other* pulling the strings and doing all this horrific stuff must be a comfort of a sort. It's a psychological abdication of responsibility.

*;)

noel emits
13-08-2008, 03:30 PM
Is it really that curious? For one thing, it implies that if you overthrow this or that particular group, everything will be better. Well, I think that's bullshit. Institutions are at the centre of everything. All people who get into power want to do is stay there, and so the institutions that dictate their actions have primacy over the individual.
Well again you're working from this idea that you think if it has been called a 'conspiracy theory' then it must be about TOTAL CONTROL BY SOME GUY IN A ROOM SOMEWHERE. It's not, but bad things happen.

And you're saying that something you think is implied by something you think someone else thinks is bullshit. Well OK but it seems to me that it's your bullshit mostly.

For another thing, I do think that the idea that someone is in charge, however malevolent, is more comforting, more human, more understandable (narrative framework) than the idea that no one knows what the fuck's going on, no one's in charge, everyone's holding on for dear life. I'm thinking of existentialism applied to the political (or even economic, but we've done that already) field: existence is absurd, meaningless, tragic. Is that more comforting than having a grand narrative to rail against? Is it less comforting to think that it's all GWB's fault?
And yet again you are talking about SOMEONE BEING IN CHARGE OF EVERYTHING. It's not that is it. But OK, you might be able to conceive of that as comforting in your need for an authority figure of some kind.

But it does seem odd to me to try and tell people that discovering, or thinking they have discovered, that things are really bad, is comforting. Especially in conjunction with some your comments above about 'geo-politics as video game' etc.*

So tell me noel emits, do you believe the holocaust happened? Why should I believe you?
What are you talking about. I'm not mocking the idea of evidence or scientific method, I'm mocking that arrogant superior APETHEIST SCIENTIFIC RATIONALIST attitude that can talk solemnly about THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE TRUTH I HAVE COME TO BEAR WITH MY SUPERIOR INTELLECT AND MORAL STRENGTH. :D

* I will concede though that I might not be, or have been, as familiar with the character of the '9/11 Truth Movement' at large as I had thought, fortunately for me I guess. I mean it is pretty grim to be fair. :)

noel emits
13-08-2008, 03:31 PM
:mad:
What's yer problem. That's why I said there was Satanists and there was Satanists.

The ones who believe in Satan are generally spotty metallers. A bit like existentialists.

vimothy
13-08-2008, 05:18 PM
Sorry, capital letters give me nose-bleeds.

vimothy
13-08-2008, 06:22 PM
It was you that implied a dichotomy between holding that a 'small group controls everything', which is a 'strawman' idea again anyway, and a 'stochastic' reading. But yes it's good to remind ourselves what that means.

The thread is called "Brooker on 9/11 conspiracies" -- the 'small group controls everything' model is hardly a straw man. It's a pretty generic idea.

Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theories):


A conspiracy theory attributes the ultimate cause of an event or chain of events (usually political, social or historical events), or the concealment of such causes from public knowledge, to a secret and often deceptive plot by a group of powerful or influential people or organizations. Many conspiracy theories state that major events in history have been dominated by conspirators who manipulate political happenings from behind the scenes.
....
The term "conspiracy theory" may be a neutral descriptor for any conspiracy claim. To conspire means "to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or to use such means to accomplish a lawful end." However, conspiracy theory is also used to indicate a narrative genre that includes a broad selection of (not necessarily related) arguments for the existence of grand conspiracies, any of which might have far-reaching social and political implications if true.

You're confusing two different things. Groups and individuals take and hold power where and when they can, according to their means, the incentives they face and the institutions that constrain them. Very little is public, therefore in some sense it's all a 'conspiracy'.

Great. But that's not what Brooker is talking about and not what most people mean when they say 'conspiracy theory'. 'Conspiracy theory' generally refers to stuff like the Bilderberg Group rules the world, Mossad commited 9/11 and warned Jews beforehand, Freemasons control the US government, the Holocaust is a lie to pin the blame for WWII on Germany not the Allies, etc. Like Wikipedia says, "conspiracy theory is also used to indicate a narrative genre that includes a broad selection of (not necessarily related) arguments for the existence of grand conspiracies, any of which might have far-reaching social and political implications if true."


This never stops some groups trying, constantly. Hence, much of history.

Exactly -- history is history, i.e. a big stinking mess of lust and violence. However, some people (conspiracy theorists -- not you, obviously) still believe that it really is run by ZOG, the Freemasons, the NWO, reptiles, etc, etc.


Same as above. And also it was hardly an 'idealised state'! But of course these enterprises are doomed to failure, next...

Yeah, I was being sarcastic. I'm, ahem, not generally a big fan of communism...


Not really relevant to the genral discussion this but still, it does for instance benefit some interests for sure, it's worth bearing in mind I suppose. I don't know how intentional or otherwise that would be though. It's not a case of THE CONSPIRACY in this sense really though is it.

But you brought it up, right?! It formed part of your argument as to why 9/11 might have been a 'conspiracy'/'inside job' (and therefore was (I mean, might have been)) -- not that you are going to use either of those terms, of course -- because it might be in the interests of some to become stuck in an insurgency / er, defeat the insurgency. Post hoc ergo propter hoc, wat, wat, wat?


Like you say, not everything can be utterly controlled but people will try and influence events in their interest. Whether it works out or not it causes effects.

So these shadowy groups that might have wanted to see USA bleeding in Iraq might have been defeated by other elements within the US government / shadow government, who might have suceeded in delineating a better strategy much to the annoyance of the (possibly non-existant) non-CONSPIRACY THEORY conspirators?


And here's the problem. There's this sudden jolting conflation of ideas about conspiracies, or rather what gets labelled as 'conspiracy theories'. You've gone from saying that in a complex global system there will be some forms of 'conspiracy' - to talking about the idea of a massive all controlling CONSPIRACY, and claiming the 'unfalsifiablilty' of that as a basis to argue that there is therefore no such thing as conspiracy at all. And the reason is that because at the word trigger 'CONSPIRACY THEORY' you are jumping to the received idea of the classic CONSPIRACY THEORY, which of course is always utter nonsense. It's really a self-justifying tautology of an argument (i.e. unfalsifiable...). I think what I was saying in my first posts on thread. If you don't get that by now then I think we are probably done.

I think everyone has said that, and so has Charlie Brooker. It's what he was writing about. Yes, it's nonsense. Yes, it's popular. Yes, it obviously ticks some psychological boxes.

noel emits
13-08-2008, 10:43 PM
'Wiki:'
Well you've been quite selective in your Wiki-ing:

The term "conspiracy theory" may be a neutral descriptor for any conspiracy claim.
...
Originally it was a neutral term; during the political upheaval of the 1960s the term acquired its current derogatory sense.
...
Throughout human history, political and economic leaders genuinely have been the cause of enormous amounts of death and misery, and they sometimes have engaged in conspiracies while at the same time promoting conspiracy theories about their targets. Hitler and Stalin would be merely the most prominent examples; there have been numerous others. In some cases there have been claims dismissed as conspiracy theories that later proved to have some basis in facts.
...
Despite the speculative nature of many conspiracy theories, mainstream world history contains numerous proven conspiracies
...
The term "conspiracy theory" is considered by different observers to be a neutral description for a conspiracy claim, a pejorative term used to dismiss such a claim without examination, and a term that can be positively embraced by proponents of such a claim. The term may be used by some for arguments they might not wholly believe but consider radical and exciting. The most widely accepted sense of the term is that which popular culture and academic usage share, certainly having negative implications for a narrative's probable truth value.

Given this popular understanding of the term, it can also be used illegitimately and inappropriately, as a means to dismiss what are in fact substantial and well-evidenced accusations. The legitimacy of each such usage will therefore be a matter of some controversy.
...
The term "conspiracy theory" is itself the object of a type of conspiracy theory, which argues that those using the term are manipulating their audience to disregard the topic under discussion
...
When conspiracy theories are offered as official claims (e.g. originating from a governmental authority, such as an intelligence agency) they are not usually considered as conspiracy theories. For example, certain activities of the House Un-American Activities Committee may be considered to have been an official attempt to promote a conspiracy theory, yet its claims are seldom referred to as such.
...
Some theorists, like Charles Pigden argue that the reality of such conspiracies should caution against any casual dismissal of conspiracy theory. Pigden, in his article "Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom" argues that not only do conspiracies occur but that any educated member of society will believe in at least one of them; we are all, in fact, Conspiracy Theorists.

So conspiracy theory should by no means be understood as simply a pejorative term. And it most certainly does not mean a theory that is by definition 'untrue'. But OK, we can talk about common usage. How did the term come by this 'current derogatory sense'? Was it the deliberate 'derogatising' by the CIA in order to use it to discredit the investigations of political opponents? Gee, that sounds like a conspiracy theory! And who's the guy wikipedia quotes as having laid out those ideas in an early essay 'adapted from a study prepared for the CIA'? Oh yes, 'neoconservative' historian Daniel Pipes. I mean of course, that's all well and good, but it's not really helping the case there is it? ;)

I'll say for the sake of clarity that in my definition, or how I am using the term, 'conspiracy theory' is intended as a neutral description for a 'conspiracy claim', and maybe occasionally in the 'interesting possibility' category.

luka
14-08-2008, 09:50 AM
vimothy on this thread you;re starting to appear thick and obtuse. thats more mr teas role. leave him to it.

Mr. Tea
14-08-2008, 01:24 PM
vimothy on this thread you;re starting to appear thick and obtuse. thats more mr teas role. leave him to it.

*flings poo at you*

vimothy
14-08-2008, 02:35 PM
There's just too much semantic bullshit in this thread to disentangle whilst also doing everything that I'm supposed to be doing at work. Noel, you're conflating various different things in your responses to me: the validity of 'conspiracy theories' understood as a genre; the validity of political 'conspiracy' understood as an explanation for politico-historical phenomenon; the degree to which political conspiracy explains politico-historical phenomenon; the relationship between conspiracy theories (narrative genre) and conspiracies (actual 'fact')... etc.

Yes, conspiracies have happened in the past and will in the future. Big fucking deal. As your 'selective' quotation (er, that's what quoting is, right?) from Wikipedia shows, everything is a conspiracy from the right angle. "We are all, in fact, Conspiracy Theorists." Indeed. Everyone is trying to present a front at almost all times. You're probably a plant from the group who really controls the world, trying to sow anti-CIA counterintelligence. Can't be proved or disproved, just what I choose to believe, just like you choose to believe that US intelligence was involved in 9/11.

And why do people believe in 'conspiracy theories'? Some of them are pretty outlandish, like the Russian neo-Nazi Pamyat's recent (ish) claim that Zionists and Freemasons were behind the Russian revolutions and the resulting democide. There are two conspiracies in that claim: the actual conspiracy that involved state sponsored mass murder (well documented), and the spurious, offensive and speculative notion that Zionists and Freemasons were responsible. Well, it's possible that they were, but were they? Do you think it fulfills a psychological function for Russian neo-Nazis to blame their country's misfortunes on a secreat cabal of Jews and fancy-dress-fetishists?

Why do conspiracy theories exist? They help to plug gaps in peoples' understanding of the world. Eveyone likes a story. You've said that this is ludicrous and offensive even, but it seems pretty mundane and obvious to me. How come the buildings fell straight down, not to the side like you'd expect? Simple, they were rigged with explosives (yeah, but why? doesn't matter, obv). How come the most powerful country in the world got caught out? Simple, it didn't. How come the US went to war with Saddam when they'd been his ally not long previously? Conspiracy. How come the US can overthrow Saddam in a week but can't turn the leccy on? Conspiracy. Everywhere you look, there's a potential conspiracy. And why limit it to just macro scale events? No bus this morning? Blame the conspiracy. you can fill this knowledge gap easily. Just make it up. Does it sound plausible? Then it's probably true. At least, it can't be dismissed.

Narratives are very powerful, viral even (bleugh -- horibble term now). The US is discovering just how powerful in the GWOT, which is in many ways a competition of narratives. It's not what happened that counts, but what people believe happened. (Thank fuck AQ are worse at this than we are. Though AQ could be a clever CIA ruse, of course).

I've lost count of the number of people who've explained to me exactly why it was the Jews or the Americans who were responsible for 9/11. Very few of them had anything approaching a cursory familiarity with the events of the day, the history, engineering, terrorist organisations, the ME, etc, etc, etc. They were convinced that they were right and nothing was going to disabuse them of that notion, because counter-evidence is simply evidence of the conspiracy and therefore not counter-evidence at all. Like the 'surge': Iraq going badly -- it's what they wanted; Iraq going well -- it's also what they wanted!

And yes, some people believe in conspiracies because they have some basis in fact, in that people 'conspire' all the time. And yes, most people believe that conspiracy theories are wacky bullshit because that's what they are, most of the time. To appreciate this properly, one merely has to mentally list conspiracy theories.

And was there a 9/11 conspiracy? I.e., was there US governmental involvement? I think it's pretty clear that there wasn't because of all the reasons I've listed. It's not simply that 'conspiracy theories' are unthinkable, but that most are spurious. There's a film where someone dies and gets to heaven, meets St Peter at the gate and asks "so what was the true religion?" "Moromonism" (or whatever). "What?!" the dude says, "I was sure it was Judaism." "Nope," says St Peter. "Down you go!"

A corporation profiting from the Iraq was doesn't mean that 9/11 was an 'inside job'. But if it was, that would mean that the corporation would have to (at the least) have been able to predict the Iraq War from 9/11. And that would mean not only the support of whatever organisation that commited it (and why?), but also the support of the upper eschelons of the US government, interagency cooperation and the rest. There's a saying "Amateurs talk strategy; professionals talk logistics." And blah, blah, blah, but it's a good point. I'm not saying that there was no 'conspiracy' (pejorative sense) because it's unthinkable (to an ideologue like me, natch), but because it's not very plausible and nothing you've said has made it seem more so.


vimothy on this thread you;re starting to appear thick and obtuse. thats more mr teas role. leave him to it.

Hey man I have fans to disappoint too.

noel emits
15-08-2008, 04:58 PM
Noel, you're conflating various different things in your responses to me
No I'm not. You're just wrong in various different ways. :p

Anyway, I think there should be considered at the centre of all this (;)) the conception of what you might call the 'classic' Grand Conspiracy Theory of tradition. This can of course be understood as something arising out of dark imaginings about the unknown, so it is seen as an essentially psychological phenomenon. But it can also be read as being related to a type of 'enlightenment', or as a response to a kind of 'Samadhi'. That is to say, the perception, albeit skewed and incomplete, or realisation, that the universe as we experience it is in a sense a 'conspiracy' that we all participate in and are subject to. Indra's net, the Glass Bead Game.

So I think it is a bit crass, not to say inaccurate and lacking in scope, to conceive of this as having simply to do with 'fulfilling psychological needs', or as being unqualified 'bunk' by definition. In fact you could say that this attitude itself fulfils a psychological function. i.e. the perceived need to defend a belief structure against that which would challenge comfortable or familiar notions.

Whatever else it / they may be, conspiracy theories are perhaps best understood overall as a kind of art or metaphor. Not only can art and metaphor illuminate and expand understanding of the world in ways that more literal modes may not, sometimes life itself does indeed come to imitate, or at times parody, art. This should not really be so surprising, they do come from the same place after all.

noel emits
17-08-2008, 11:36 AM
There's just too much semantic bullshit in this thread
Obviously semantics is a large part of where the argument is, yes.

And was there a 9/11 conspiracy? I.e., was there US governmental involvement? I think it's pretty clear that there wasn't because of all the reasons I've listed.
Aside from the accuracy or otherwise of what you think it means to talk about 'con-theories', broad generalities are not explanations of specificities. The 'reasons' here are still very much of the kind 'all things I say are untrue are untrue because they are untrue things.' So it's circular. By your own (or is it Karl Popper's?) reckoning you can't give any reasons that can not be refuted. But we can see this working the other way. Hypothetical examples supporting the premise can always be chosen in place of others. Another tactic is the spurious charge that a given hypotheses may not be adjusted to account for new information. Again this would seem to work both ways.

I'm not saying that there was no 'conspiracy' (pejorative sense) because it's unthinkable (to an ideologue like me, natch), but because it's not very plausible and nothing you've said has made it seem more so.
(Pejorative in the sense that conspiracies are generally held to be bad things in countries that value open political processes? :slanted:)

But what is this 'it' that you wish to be persuaded of, or hold to be not very plausible? Is 'it' made of straw perhaps?

To say that a thing stinks, in multiple ways, and that the official 'conspiracy theory' is not corroborated by adequate evidence (to say the very least of it), is not a conspiracy theory, although it might suggest that certain people appear to be lying. What it is is strong grounds to doubt the accuracy of the 'official' narrative and to start asking questions about what really happened, if one is so inclined.

Naturally in the course of this, hypotheses will be proposed, 'narratives' suggested, even. And why the heck not? This is one of the main tools that people use to try and understand events and sequences of events, and the relationships between them. You have narratives in your head that you favour, others may find them less plausible. YMMV.

But it's not even this is it? Merely asking questions is enough to invite accusations of conspiracy theorising (pejorative sense). What is a little bizarre, not to say somewhat dismaying, is that some, who should perhaps know better, appear so damn eager in wanting to shut down enquiry into, or even discussion about, this. Although I think I can see some possible causes of that.

vimothy
19-08-2008, 12:31 PM
1, I don't want to shut anything down noel, and have just spent ten pages debating the issue with you. What I want you to do is what you have not done -- to present evidence rather than just imagine it. 1+1+1+1+1..... equals at least 1.5. Remember? Just tell me what the 1s are. I can imagine multiple explanations of 9/11. As can my six year old niece, who has theories of her own. To say that something could have happened is not to say anything at all, especially when it is supposedly corroborated by spurious stuff like comparisons between the organisational structure of corporations and terrorist groups or talking about "global coups".

2, You ain't the only person with a theory. This thread is simultaneously about your 'conspiracy theory' and conspiracy theories more generally. Why your's and not their's? What about Srebrenica? The Protocols? Why Christianity and not Zoroastrianism?


But what is this 'it' that you wish to be persuaded of, or hold to be not very plausible? Is 'it' made of straw perhaps?

The "it" is merely something more than pure conjecture. I guess "it" may well be made of straw, or smoke perhaps. I was trying to get you to come out with statement stronger than 'thate's just what I choose to believe', but I guess given that we live in a world of postmodern relativism where it's all much the same it hardly really matters, right?

noel emits
21-08-2008, 08:14 PM
What I want you to do is what you have not done -- to present evidence rather than just imagine it. 1+1+1+1+1..... equals at least 1.5. Remember? Just tell me what the 1s are.
Why? There are loads of reasons to question the fuck out of this. If you don't think so then fine, whatever. Find out for yourself or don't. But for me much of this thread, why I felt I wanted to comment in the first place, was about the myths of what exactly was being discussed around this. But, no - I knew before now that going into details on a forum is to descend a bottomless pit of claims and counter claims. It's really not my business to try and convince you of anything or otherwise, it makes no difference to me.

The "it" is merely something more than pure conjecture. I guess "it" may well be made of straw, or smoke perhaps. I was trying to get you to come out with statement stronger than 'thate's just what I choose to believe',
So there we have it, a confession. Of course - that's all you want - a 'theory' to hold up and say well you can't prove that. As if that means that there is nothing to question here.
As for this 'just what I choose to believe' business, you said that before and I didn't reply because I don't appreciate the snide tone and there doesn't seem to be much point anyway. But 'believe' what exactly?

just what I choose to believe, just like you choose to believe that US intelligence was involved in 9/11.
As a proposition saying 'US intelligence was involved' is so general as to be meaningless. So no, how can I 'choose' to believe that. Something like that is a possibility, but so what, it's beside the point. But why the fuck should I make a statement for your benefit beyond what I am saying? Craziness - it's like you want to ask people to say the right 'wrong' things so you can disagree with them. Did you learn that from your six year old niece?

but I guess given that we live in a world of postmodern relativism where it's all much the same it hardly really matters, right?
Says the man who thinks there's no point in asking what the truth about this is. I know this is dissensus and we're supposed to be polite and civilised but fuck off is the only reasonable response to this.

So vimothy, I'm not entirely sure what your purpose in arguing about this is really. You think 9/11 is all wrapped up and adequately explained. That's great, you don't need to worry about it. I know I don't want to! But I have to wonder a bit exactly where it is you are coming from when you come out with stuff like this:

Narratives are very powerful, viral even (bleugh -- horibble term now). The US is discovering just how powerful in the GWOT, which is in many ways a competition of narratives.

It's not what happened that counts, but what people believe happened. (Thank fuck AQ are worse at this than we are. Though AQ could be a clever CIA ruse, of course).

noel emits
21-08-2008, 08:28 PM
Competing narratives. Yes, the poor US of A must contend with those who would claim that the idea of a 'War On Terror' is something of an Orwellian fiction, a hyperstition.

noel emits
21-08-2008, 10:59 PM
Obviously there's no simple end to it. People may or not agree about that business, it's no reason to fall out. That way 'they' win, whoever they are / were.

But, there is something else that smells pretty rotten to me here. I'm sorry to have to say that because this is a really good place on the whole.

So I have no further wish to engage with this thread really. Who's got the time for this crap?

mistersloane
22-08-2008, 12:46 AM
I think you mean Sloane, not Eden - he's our resident Satanist around this way, or has claimed to be on here.

Thought my ears were burning. *lapsed*, I think would be a good word for it, I got rid of all belief systems. Load of rubbish. But I get called one still quite a bit. And it woulda been in both the CoS and pagan sense and the Christian sense, why bother to make up your mind when you can choose all of them? Buy more.

I think it's all about shock, and the inability to deal with random events, but I'm too tired to go further and I can't talk about stuff that hasn't happened to me personally.

luka
20-01-2015, 10:38 AM
Noel emits on this thread is like a master matador taking on and effortlessly slaying hundreds of quite small bulls at once

vimothy
20-01-2015, 01:17 PM
Luka, you legend! In a more just world, it would be you playing George Smiley in the remake of Tinker Tailor, not Gary Oldman.

It so excruciating to read the above that I only managed a couple of sentences, but I can assure you that I'm suitably embarrassed.

luka
20-01-2015, 01:23 PM
Aw, thank you mate. When I get rich I'm gunna employ you as one of my private tutors in my court Comprisrd of intellectuals scholars and artists

craner
20-01-2015, 01:26 PM
Noel is very shifty in this thread.

vimothy
20-01-2015, 01:34 PM
I think I can probably still juggle a bit, so I won't be a complete waste of space.