The truth behind 9/11 conspiracy theorists, ‘Truthers’

Here and Now

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On September 11, 2001, two planes crashed into the Twin Towers in NYC, one plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and a final plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. But there’s a very vocal minority that doesn’t believe this story: Truthers.

These so called “Truth Activists” cite evidence that they say points to an alternative, and much more sinister version of events, evidence that has been proved wrong countless times.

“It’s impossible to win an argument with any conspiracy theorist,” Jonathan Kay writer for the Canadian newspaper, National Post, told Here and Now. In his book “Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground,” Kay writes that his first interaction with Truthers came in 2008 when he wrote about Canadian parliament candidate and Truther, Lesley Hughes.

In a blog post for the National Post, Jonathan Kay called Hughes’ Truther opinions on 9/11, “nutbar.” His inbox was flooded with emails within hours. Kay writes that, as a member of the media, he was used to conspiracy theorists flooding his inbox, but writes “the Truthers who contacted me were different. Most were outwardly ‘normal,’ articulate people who kept up with the news and held down office jobs–but who also happened to have become obsessively fixated on very particular, and very radical theories about the people running the U.S. government.”

Kay points to the Internet as a leading factor in the rise of conspiracy theories. He says that the web not only allows people to self publish (dodging the obstacle of editors and fact checkers), but also allows people to bypass mainstream media and only read conspiracy theory “news sites.”

PRI asked on our Facebook page why people, like the “Truthers,” want to believe in conspiracy. This is what some of them had to say:

Ash Scott Toney: Because there is a TON of evidence that contradicts the government’s account of the events.

Howard Knut Thompson: The thing about a conspiracy, what makes it a conspiracy, is that it can’t be proven wrong. Evidence against the conspiracy becomes proof of a deeper level of conspiracy, even it becomes hopelessly complicated to actually be possible. The JFK assassination conspiracy has been going on for decades and this will be the same. Somehow it is more comforting to think there is something deep and sinister going on instead of it just being a random act of violence.

Meg Mathias: I think it is healthy to be skeptical. So you are not completely bilnded by what ever the media/government tries to feed you.

Charles Erickson III: Look at Pearl Harbor, the government had broken the Japanese code & let the attack happen to lead the USA into war. Informed us 50 years later.

M Rick Richards: Lets see how this works. Geo Bush calls for an order to kill 3000+ People, sets up pilot training in the USA. pays off or kills thousands more to cover up his plot. Plot set into motion after his son is elected president. Uh-oh gotta go after terrorist now for these horrendous crimes. Oh look weapons of mass distraction. Ooops Destruction… Hey lookey there, Iraq has oil. I didn’t know that (wink wink, nudge nudge.)
Plan goes wrong, oil is climbing towards $150.00/barrel. W says: “Good thing I dont have to be re-elected, I’d be so screwed…” Kinda like what I did to the country. Good thing I have my guarranteed retirement.

Troy Smith: Proved wrong? I have yet to see a plausible explanation for WTC-7. So, I’ll continue to be suspicious? I don’t know why I should be. Hmm, The sinking of the USS Maine, The Gulf of Tonkin incident, The attack on the USS Liberty, the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. Should I keep going? I just ask myself, who benefited? When I see who benefited, and what they were willing to do to keep these wars going. Our vice president is currently wanted on war crimes and outed a CIA agent, leading to the deaths of agents and and the ending of her career. So at best, W and Cheney let this happen, and at worst, they planned it. Either way, they should rot in jail. Time will tell, but justice will probably not be served. None dare use the word treason, but when it comes to that administration, that word is fitting. They inflicted a lot of harm on this country to make themselves and their friends wealthy beyond belief. That fits the definition of treason that I’ve read, and the punishment is life in prison. Maybe people wouldn’t be so suspicious if they hadn’t had the plan for Iraq in place and hadn’t said that they needed a “Pearl Harbor like incident” to get the people behind a war. All the problems in the country are just one big accident. Oops, look, the country is broken. No one is to blame, no one played a part in it, it will all be fine, just go back to sleep.


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