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Thread: Chicago Tribune: It Seems We're Destined To Have A Debate

  1. #1
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    Chicago Tribune: It Seems We're Destined To Have A Debate

    For love of a conspiracy

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/o...ewsopinion-hed

    Published August 21, 2006

    When word filtered out that a part-time University of Wisconsin lecturer believes that the U.S. government staged the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks, responses largely fell along two lines: A) Fire him! B) What, is he nuts?

    Looks like the better response would be to ... patiently ... explain exactly why he is wrong. Because there are signs that some people suspect he's right.

    A recent poll by the Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University found that 36 percent of the people responding said they thought it was "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that "people in the federal government either assisted in the Sept. 11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East."

    That percentage sounds implausibly high. Perhaps some of the 1,000 people questioned in the poll saw a chance to express skepticism about the people running their country. There isn't a lot of cheering for Congress and the White House these days. But it makes you stop and ask, do a lot of people really think the government orchestrated the worst terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil.?

    It wouldn't be the first conspiracy theory to find an audience. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, some folks said that Franklin D. Roosevelt and his top military advisers knew the attack was coming but let it happen because they wanted a reason to enter World War II. Polls have found that roughly one-third of Americans believed Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

    And perhaps people in the Scripps poll didn't take it very seriously. After all, the pollsters also asked people if they've ever eaten food that fell on the floor without washing it. (Yes, they have, said 54 percent.) The pollsters staged a mythical presidential race between Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. (Kennedy won, 52-42. No word on whether Illinois was rigged.)

    No doubt there is some kind of audience for the Sept. 11 conspiracy theory. Several hundred people gathered at a recent Chicago conference to hear folks such as Steven Jones, a Brigham Young University physicist who is studying the idea that the World Trade Center towers were brought down by explosives detonated from inside. (The National Institute of Standards and Technology concluded that the massive fires caused by the crash of the hijacked planes were enough to bring the buildings down. So have numerous independent experts.)

    Some people just like a conspiracy though and perhaps we're more prone to accept them at certain times in history. A year after the Kennedy assassination, historian Richard Hofstadter published an essay called "The Paranoid Style in American Politics," which described the irrational anger and fear of people who lack a crucial sense of "how things do not happen."

    It seems we're destined to have a debate, however far-fetched it seems, about whether the government was involved in Sept. 11.

    And if we resolve that, maybe we can move on to another conspiracy. The Scripps poll found that 38 percent of us believe the government is probably withholding proof that there's intelligent life on other planets.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #2
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    This is a "hit piece", but the first one that acknowledges the need to have a debate about the day that changed the world.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #3
    Partridge Guest
    And if we resolve that, maybe we can move on to another conspiracy. The Scripps poll found that 38 percent of us believe the government is probably withholding proof that there's intelligent life on other planets.
    What an idiotic thing to say. It's not a question of if there's life on other planets (IMO you'd have to mad not to think there was. Humans alone in the universe? I think not), it's a question about whether Earth has been visited by other life forms and if governments are witholding information about it. Personally, until I watched that Disclosure Project video, I didn't think it had been. Now, well, I'm not so sure. But still not convinced I'm afraid.

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    Neither am I.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #5
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    The Scripps Poll was made to include that question about UFOs for the EXACT reason the Chicago Tribune used it for.

    Makes you wonder why the Zogby Poll got barely any attention, and the Scripps Poll did...
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  6. #6
    Partridge Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Gold9472
    The Scripps Poll was made to include that question about UFOs for the EXACT reason the Chicago Tribune used it for.

    Makes you wonder why the Zogby Poll got barely any attention, and the Scripps Poll did...
    I agree.

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