"Sept. 11 conspiracy theories must stop

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, are etched in the minds of all who lived through that tragic day. As we approach the sixth anniversary of Sept. 11, it’s natural that we look back at that day and remember the victims, the chaos and the horror that happened on that sunny Tuesday morning.

In the past few years, however, a growing number of people look back at Sept. 11 and see a sinister conspiracy by the United States government to slaughter its own people. Instead of blaming the 19 hijackers and Osama bin Laden, they prefer to believe it was President Bush and his henchmen who planned and executed those horrible attacks.

By performing amateur scientific experiments and studying the videotapes of Sept. 11, some have concluded that the World Trade Centers were brought down by explosives, that there were no airplanes hijacked that day and that the entire official story is a fraud.

Certainly, there seems to be little reason to trust anything this administration has told us in the past seven years. And if the president is willing to lie about Florida election results and Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, as it now seems clear he did, why wouldn’t he lie about Sept. 11?

The only problem is that the so-called evidence available on the Internet proves nothing other than that there are people with active imaginations and a willingness to believe in the impossible.

Belief that Sept. 11 was an inside job requires believing that hundreds of government officials, the news media and eyewitnesses would all tell the same story and then keep quiet about it for six years.

It requires believing that all the subsequent investigations of Sept. 11 were a fraud and that demolitions experts were somehow able to gain access to the WTC buildings weeks before Sept. 11 and were able to bring the buildings down perfectly.

The conspiracy theories keep growing in scope as the years pass. Each denial or refutation of one theory or another only adds to their credibility in some circles. And as soon as one wacko theory is disproved, three others rise to take its place.

It seems likely that the year 2111 will still see people discussing and arguing over what exactly happened that day. But any conspiracy that includes the Bushes, the Clintons, Dan Rather and Rudy Guiliani seems a little hard to believe.

But logic and reason tells us that Sept. 11 occurred pretty much the way the official story says it did. If there was a government conspiracy, it happened after the fact as officials sought to cover up the warning signals and tried to evade responsibility for failing to prevent the attacks.

While there does seem to be no end to the lengths the Bush Administration will go to achieve its goals, something like Sept. 11 was far too complex for it. This is a government that couldn’t even fake the discovery of WMDs in Iraq. To think they could mastermind a series of coordinated attacks and not get caught is simply ludicrous.

It’s also an insult to the nearly 3,000 people who died that day at the hands of a foreign terrorist and his lackeys.

The failures of Sept. 11 are well-documented and include ignoring intelligence reports suggesting that bin Laden was planning a spectacular attack against America. The mayor of New York failed by placing the emergency management bunker in the WTC, ensuring it would be useless that day. And President Clinton failed in his attempts to kill bin Laden in 1999 and 2000.

But none of that matters to the conspiracy theorists. The theories will never die. Even 45 years after the assassination of President Kennedy, there are those who insist upon a conspiracy despite massive evidence to the contrary.

Thousands of researchers have spent four decades trying to shake the story that the Warren Commission presented and have been unable to do so. Researchers have found holes in the investigation and unfollowed leads but nothing that substantially changes the conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK.

And so it has been with Sept. 11. There may well be unanswered questions regarding the events of that tragic day. They should be investigated and resolved at the appropriate time. But to suggest that President Bush, perhaps the most inept chief executive in American history, planned and executed these attacks is ridiculous.

It’s time these crazy conspiracy theories stop. If someone has irrefutable proof of a government conspiracy, bring it forward. Failing that, let the victims of Sept. 11 rest in peace. We should honor their memory by working towards a better nation, not by inventing silly theories on how they died. n