Conspiracy theories hold charm for such as I, who regard them as we might a species of rare insectivorous marsupials who glow in the dark, and for the conspiracy theorists themselves, who seem to derive from their conditions a satisfying sense of esoteric penetration. Yet they become wearisome by constant repetition. Some have. In particular, Nine/Eleven. In the following we will ignore the more abundantly silly theories, such as that there were no Jews in the Towers on the day of the attacks. Some thoughts::
At the time of Nine/Eleven, I was living in Colonial Village in Virginia, a few hundred yards from the Virginia terminus of Key Bridge. The bike path ran from there parallel to the Potomac past the Pentagon and National Airport to the Washington Sailing Marina. On the wooden deck overlooking the water a concession sold snacks and Budweiser. A mixed group of oddballs foregathered daily to socialize.
One was Dave Winslow, whom we called Broadcast Dave to distinguish him from a couple of other Daves, Winslow having been involved in radio broadcasting in an earlier life. We often swapped journalism stories. His apartment was nearby. The day after the Pentagon blew up, he recounted being at home, hearing a plane coming in unusually low, looking out the window, and seeing the tail flash by, boom.
So much for conspiracy theories about the Air Force attacking the Pentagon with a missile.
But Fred, this guy was part of the conspiracy. Don’t you see?… Or oh my God, I see it now. Fred, YOU are part….
Here missiles are tricky to discuss because of the lack of specificity. What missile, fired from what? Most of the theorists couldn’t tell a TLAM from a back hoe. Reflect that firing an air-to-ground missile, probably a Hellfire and launched perhaps from an F16, would involve a lot of people: pilot, ground crew, weapons-storage bureaucracy, base commander, and so on. Those in on it would talk to others, even if ordered not to. A loadout of live munitions inside the US is very odd except for carefully scripted training missions. Those involved would talk to others. They might think, “Hmmm, F16 take off with Hellfire, come back no Hellfire. Where go Hellfire? Pentagon blow up. Heap strange.”
But Fred, it was a super-secret outfit especially trained to attack the United States. Nobody has ever heard of them which proves they are supersecret….
If the missile was a Tomahawk launched from a ship the whole crew would know of the launch. Many mouths, much talk. It would take a very odd captain to fire a cruise missile at the Pentagon.
But Fred, the crew and the officers and men are in on the conspiracy.
Now, Flight AA77, which didn’t fly into the Pentagon. There are three possibilities:
First, the flight never existed. The entire travel industry would know this, along with everyone else having access to Sabre, the ticketing system. American Airlines would scream like a scalded dog at this total fabrication, There would be no insurance claim on record for loss of the plane, and so on.
But Fred, the entire travel industry, along with everyone else having access to Sabre, and American Airlines, are part of the conspiracy.
Second, Flight AA77 existed, and landed wherever it was supposed to. In this case the entire travel industry, American Airlines, the undead passengers, and so on, would have pointed this out. The press would have jumped on it.
But Fred, the entire press corps and the passengers were part of the conspiracy. Everyone knows this….
Actually, they have a point. The entire press corps must be complicit, since five phone calls would have sufficed whether the flight had existed or disappeared.
Third: AA77 ran into the Pentagon.
The Twin Towers were brought down not by airplanes, but by a controlled demolition.
Possibility one: There were no airplanes. The airplanes we saw on television were done in Final Cut or other software. I have seen videos claiming this. Let’s think about it.
Shortly after the nonexistent planes did not ram the Towers, every television screen in Manhattan showed smoking impacts. Now, what were the most visible objects in the city? Probably the Twin Towers. What would be the reaction of everyone in New York watching the screen? Answer: Run out to look for themselves. All millions of them would notice that the screens didn’t match the buildings. They didn’t point this out, which can only mean that….
Fred, you fool, don’t you see that the entire population of Manhattan is part of the conspiracy?
Possibility two: There were airplanes and a controlled detonation. Why the redundancy is not clear. The explosives were secretly placed, meaning that the entire security and maintenance staff were complicit, until some airplanes could be found to run into the buildings. Ockham, call your office….
Since we have already established that the military blew up the Pentagon, it being characteristic of militaries to blow themselves up, we must assume that the military also was part of the conspiracy of the Twin Towers. That is, it seems unlikely that purely by chance the Pentagon decided to blow itself up and somebody else did the Towers the same day.
Possibility three: The buildings were brought down by airplanes.
Now, let us consider the controlled demolition itself. What is involved in a real demolition?
From Controlled Demolition Inc. a firm that does such demolition:
“On March 26, 2000, the firm used 4,450 pounds of dynamite placed in 5,905 carefully sited holes and 21.6 miles (34.8 km) of detonation cord inserted over a period of four months to take down the 25,000-ton concrete roof of the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington in 16.8 seconds….”
The Trade Centers singly or in combination, plus Building Seven, represented a far larger project. A pawn of the government like myself might wonder how tons and tons of explosives could be placed in a fully occupied building without anyone’s noticing. Those doing the placing would have to have been fully qualified and highly experienced in controlled demolition. (How many of these are there, and how hard to find?)
Maybe, though, the occupants of the Towers just weren’t paying attention. New Yorkers are famous for a tight focus on business. A businessman thinking about an international contract might easily not notice piles of rubble in the corridors, walls torn out, countless men attaching bundles of girders, the screech of saws cutting partway through steel to weaken it, and endless elevator loads of explosives in packages labeled “Sex books” to prevent suspicion.
I imagine Marylou Nicodemi, a legal secretary, asking a man tearing down the wall of her office: “What are you guys doing?”
“We’re the exterminators, ma’am. We’ve had complaints of rats.”
”Oh. Are you going to do this to the entire building?”
“Yes ma’am. Rats re devious creatures. If you don’t fight them on the lower floors, you have to fighter them on the upper floors. We have no choice.”
Realistically, the occupants of the towers would have to have noticed–from which we must conclude that….
Fred, they were part of the conspiracy.
To kill themselves?
Fred, you don’t understand the lengths ….
On some of the conspiracy sites I have read that actually the security guards planted the explosives in a manner requiring little or no wiring, no damage to the building, and few explosives. Not only were they expert at demolitions, admittedly the norm among janitors, but much better at it than Controlled Demolition Inc.
Fred, they are Illuminati, Residual Cathars, Thirty-Fifth Degree Masons, and they train in a secret base in Atlantis, with Lex Luther…
Running through all of this is that lots of people would be involved, yet none have come forward and blown the scam. You don’t obtain many tons of explosives without leaving a paper trail. The multitudinous security people in the Towers would all have to have been carefully placed there in advance, as even one informant would have blown the whole thing. The government would have to be complicit, given that the FBI could easily have tracked down the security people.
But Fred, they are all….
Here is the First Law of conspiracy theories, that to protect the theory you have to expand it. The press is a good example. Any reporter would slit the throats of his entire newsroom to break that story. Instant Pulitzer, national fame, huge book contracts, a movie, choice of jobs anywhere. The paper that did it would have the story of the century. It would have been easy. Think Seymour Hersh.
Yet nobody did it. The only explanation is, again, that the entire press corps….
Expand the conspiracy.