9/11 “Truth”

January 28, 2008, 2:15 pm; posted by
Filed under Articles, Featured, Steve  | 8 Comments

I like people of every political stripe. We might disagree on every issue, but I can almost always understand where they’re coming from. I can’t support abortion, or breaking our alliance with Israel, or Obama’s foreign policy, but I can see why you might. We can certainly still be friends.

So if you want to lose the right to engage in rational discussion with me, there are only a few positions you can take. You can be explicitly sexist or racist, and tell me that one group of people is inherently superior to the rest. You can demand I convert to your religion on pain of death, threatening the future of my country and my faith.

Or you can tell me with a straight face that our government was involved in the attacks of September 11. Do that, and I will gladly defend your near-absolute right to say such things under our Constitution. But I will never again respect you.

Chloe had never been to New York City before, so we came across on the Staten Island ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. We walked around admiring the architecture, and I pointed us up toward where the Twin Towers had stood.

As we neared the PATH station, I heard a man screaming. Behind him were banners for the despicably misnamed “9/11 truth movement,” encouraging passers-by to explore the many “unanswered questions” behind the attacks. As we moved toward the temporary memorial, stark columns of the names of the departed, rage welled up inside me. How dare he.

I was compelled to confront him. In a loud voice I let him know he was a disgrace to his nation, and to the men and women killed on the ground where he stood and spread his despicable filth.

His voice dropped immediately, to a soothing tone, as he had been programmed. “I totally understand your negative reaction. I mean, people died here, and it was a terrible thing. So if you want to have a conversation, let’s have a conversation, but I don’t want to yell.”

I did. “Do you actually believe this crap? How were you brainwashed into believing that a government that can’t keep anything a secret from the New York Times could not only be responsible for the deaths of thousands of US citizens, but that everyone responsible would keep it a secret for the past six years?”

“I was there, in the room, when the 9/11 Commission Report was written –”

“What do you mean, you were there when it was written; it’s a huge document!”

Chloe pressed him on why he thought it was right to do this at the site of the attacks, where families and friends of the victims would have to hear.

“Relevance,” he answered. “Here, people don’t have to be reminded of what 9/11 was all about, they can see it for themselves. And I was there, with the victim’s families, when President Bush and Dick Cheney came to testify before Congress, and that’s where this movement came out of, the victim’s families, they started this –”

“No!,” I yelled. “The President never testified before Congress. And this wasn’t started by the victim’s families; it was started by lunatics on the far right and left who think government conspiracies are responsible for everything bad in the world!”

“Can I ask you a question?,” he said. “What would you do if this” — he brandished his flyer — “were true?”

“I’m not going to answer that question; it’s irrelevant. I know it’s not true.”

“No, just answer the question! What would you do if this were true?”

“Well, what would you do if I were a unicorn?? Would you get on my back and ride me?”

He started to go on, but Chloe interrupted. “Answer his question! Would you get on his back and ride him?”

“I’m a unicorn!,” I yelled, bending over and trumpeting loudly, for the benefit of his gathering crowd of supporters, probably hoping I would decide it was time to back up my words with violent action.

He pressed on, God bless him. “I’ve read the books, I’ve watched the movies, and I’ve done the research, and I’m telling you that this is the truth.”

I turned to Chloe. “Ohhhh, never mind. This guy’s read books! I’m convinced! He must be right!”

He started in again, but Chloe interrupted and told him we had to catch the next ferry. As we walked away, we didn’t hear him yelling anymore, so I wonder if he took a break and let someone else catch the flak for a while. I was just disappointed to see small groups of people huddled around their propaganda posters.

Now don’t you dare tell me I didn’t listen to this guy. I DIDN’T NEED TO. I’ve read all of his crappy, illogical, paranoid arguments before, a hundred times, and I know that they’re all wrong. I’m not afraid of what he had to say either; I’m just deeply disturbed that some people are actually foolish enough to believe it.

It takes a special breed of deluded half-wit to look at the events of September 11 and conclude not only that our own government made a conscious choice to slaughter its own people, but that it was then competent enough to hide that from the world forever, except for the heroic efforts of a few who dare to tell the world the “truth.”

It is illogical, it is immoral, it is incomprehensible, and it is evil. And though I agree that he had the right to stand in that hallowed ground and spew his lies, I would sooner repeat them myself than let them go unchallenged.


8 Comments to “9/11 “Truth””

  1. David on January 28th, 2008 5:17 pm


    (But did we or didn’t we really land on the moon?)

  2. Tom on January 28th, 2008 5:44 pm

    Wouldn’t repeating them yourself be going one step further than allowing them to be unchallenged?

  3. Steve on January 28th, 2008 8:02 pm

    Sure. It’s like saying, “May I live a thousand years and never hunt again.”

  4. aaron on January 28th, 2008 9:24 pm

    So are you not a unicorn? ‘Cause that would be cool if you were. Can’t say I ride you or anything — unless you were a flying unicorn, of course then you’d be Pegasus — though I don’t think he was a unicorn, but maybe. Anyway, it would be cool if you were a unicorn. As for these “truths” some hold to be self-evident (let’s be clear, I don’t hold that you are a unicorn) it’s more than unfortunate, especially in the setting they choose to do it in. That reasons and conspiracies must be behind and in all the bad that happens. I’m reminded of Flannery O’Connor’s edict that “There’s just a meanness in this world”. Perhaps there is less comfort in that horrible, but “true”, notion than if conspiracies and cover-ups were realities. And certainly “unicorns” make for delightfully comforting and cuter “truths”. Props to calling him out.

    Question: If there were a unicorn spewing these “truths” then what would you say to him/her/it?

  5. Tom on January 28th, 2008 9:34 pm

    Pegasus was NOT a unicorn! >: 0

  6. Steve on January 29th, 2008 9:20 am

    Someone asked me offline if unicorns trumpet. I answered, “Well, they have a horn!”

  7. David on January 29th, 2008 9:30 am

    Believing these incredible “connect-the-dots” conspiracy theories is easier if you already have a preconceived hatred of the person or persons at the center of them. Having said that, anyone care to comment on Bill Clointon’s “Body Count Conspiracy”?

  8. Steve on January 29th, 2008 9:38 am

    I think that’s handled pretty adeptly here.

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