Monday, May 07, 2007

Scripps Survey Seems to Confirm That Belief in 9/11 Conspiracy is Common


Quick response:

Absolutely unbelievable.

A couple of points to consider, though:

1. Again: in polls like this many people are often really just indicating that they recognize the possibility in question as a logical possibility. To say that x is logically possible is just to say that x is possible on the broadest possible construal of 'possible.' That is, that x is not absolutely impossible, i.e. that x is non-self-contradictory.

Hopes for this defense may be fading, though. Apparently those polled indicated that they believed that involvement of the American government in 9/11 was 'very likely' or 'somewhat likely.' And that's quite different from 'logically possible.' Though people often don't really understand what they're saying when they say such things.

2. Though it doesn't really make things that much better, the article I link to above seems to suggest that it's anger at the government that is driving conspiracy theories, not the other way around.

Though 9/11 conspiracy theories are spookily irrational, they may be an irrational reaction to actual nefarious activities by the Bush administration. That is, roughly: people may finally be coming to recognize how angry they ought to be at this administration...but that anger may be coming out in the wrong form. Instead of being angry at the fact that the Bushies exhibited a willingness to steal an election, they go whole-hog and latch onto wacky 9/11 conspiracies. By the standards of the American public, exhibiting a willingness to steal an election is a terribly abstruse and ephemeral thing. Since nobody knows for sure whether they actually stole it (and since there may not even be a fact of the matter), it's not the kind of thing most people get angry about.

Similarly with Iraq. The administration was careful to muddy the waters enough to give themselves plausible deniability. Their lies were generally in the form of exaggerations and misplaced emphasis. Again, something that might be too fuzzy for most people to riled up about.

So (if the above is right), and if people really are fairly simple-minded about such things...and if they're really, really agry...and if they let their emotions interfere with their evaluations of likelihoods (which we know they do), then...mix all this up get an explanation for this apparent insanity.

Very speculative...and doubly suspicious because so much of it coheres so well with my views about the other (i.e. non-9/11) issues...but there's a kind of first go at producing a tangle of hyptheses.

Sort of the punchline: the Bush dead-enders may try to spin this as: 9/11 irrationality causes anti-Bushism.

But my first guess, for what it's worth, is: Bush's awfulness causes 9/11 irrationality.

[HT: Statisticasaurus rex]

[O.k., stand by...

I skipped right over the following part:

The level of suspicion of U.S. official involvement in a 9/11 conspiracy was only slightly behind the 40 percent who suspect "officials in the federal government were directly responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy" and the 38 percent who believe "the federal government is withholding proof of the existence of intelligent life from other planets."

So this may change things considerably. The real point to be made here may be:

We already have plenty of evidence that Americans are a little these 9/11 numbers shouldn't really come as a big surprise. Remember: more Americans believe in ESP than believe in evolution. So maybe this information just poignantly illustrates a general fact we should have been worried about all along: that Americans are kinda crazy.]


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Well done.

5:42 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Your beret and black turtle-neck are in the mail.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Sacre bleu!

Stoo-peed Americahn peeg-swine...

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read the question:
People in the federal government either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted to United States to go to war in the Middle East.
Very likely, somewhat likely, or not likely?

It depends how you understand "took no action" and "somewhat possible." A see-no-evil policy was surely possible: Cheney and his associates were on record as hoping for "a catastrophic and catalyzing event;" "a new Pearl Harbor."

There was thus a stated awareness that a terrorist attack vs no terrorist attack was a win-win situation. So was "you've covered your ass now" an unspoken policy? I have no idea--it's almost impossible to prove one way or the other. "Somewhat likely" is a reasonable way to answer. "Don't know" is a better way.

That said, I _highly_ doubt that the government was aware of any specifics of the plan to attack the WTC. That is "not likely."

This would put the level of conspiracy somewhere above "The Maine" and the Spanish-American War, and somewhat below Pearl Harbor. As for the Reichstag Fire types, Hofstadter had a good description of that type of politics...


10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out the Senior Military, Intelligence, Law Enforcement, Government Officials, Professors, 9-11 Survivors and Family Members who have expressed significant criticism of the 9-11 Commission Report and/or allege government complicity in 9-11 found here:


1:32 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Ah, the woodwork speaks.

I wish this could simply be written off to the Elvis factor, but the Rasmussen data indicates that 61% of Democrats have gone off to Neverland, or at least are flirting with it. This is a largely localized phenomenon.

I don't think working each other into a froth all these years has contributed to the nation's overall mental health. Or like the man said, "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." So here we are.

There was a logical possibility that Jack Kennedy stole the 1960 election through voter fraud. Perhaps that's what drove Nixon nuts. But everybody else back then, as they say, moved on.

Their lies were generally in the form of exaggerations and misplaced emphasis.

I'd see that as a fair formulation, and perfect if lies got scare quotes. I wish that had been the lingua franca, but it was more like lied us into war. And long before WMDs weren't found after all, Blood for Oil was the credo, and that came first.

So where are the voices of sanity, the 39% who haven't been infected with this lunacy (even though they may be carriers), saying c'mon people, let's get real?

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well since I still have no idea why the hell we invaded Iraq four years on, I suppose oil is as logical a reason as any. And there's a lot of smoke in that direction here:

4:35 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Rule #1 of American Media/Politics:

Voices of sanity will be drowned out by voices of insanity. Sensational insane claims win media time over rational explanation.

For example:

WS = sane, and he has a blog with probably less than 100 readers.

Limbaugh = Totally insane, ridiculously absurd, and has a radio show with hundreds of thousands of listeners.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom-- in the immortal words of Peggy Noonan:
it would be irresponsible not to speculate."


6:53 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Is it somewhat likely that Bill and/or Hillary had Vince Foster killed?

If you think the right didn't whip themselves into an anti-Clinton franzy, all I can say, Mac, is that you'd be wrong. I was there.

And if you think leftism is some vaccine against madness, well, history begs to differ.

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mea culpa, and I take your point.
(a) No, I don't think that FDR & co knew about the attack on Pearl Harbor in advance; that's "highly unlikely", since the Japanese naval codes weren't broken until 1942. And I shouldn't have used it ass an example. (The other two cases are the real thing.)
(b) No I don't think the administration made any concerted effort to avoid intercepting terrorists before 9/11--I'd put the chances around 5%.

But their efforts in advance of 9/11 were abysmal, and there really was a genuine conflict of interest. (That "new Pearl Harbor" strategy paper remains one of the most astonishing documents I've ever read.)


8:09 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

What "new Pearl Harbor" paper are you taking about?

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do people believe wacky conspiracy theories? One reason is the heavy consumption of nonsense media. No, I'm not talking about Fox, though I could.

Just scroll through your "educational" channels (other than PBS, which still has standards) on your cable box. Here's a sampling of what I found tonight:

The Learning Channel - non-stop Miami Ink

National Geographic (owned by Fox, by the way) - Secrets of the Freemasons, Mystery of the Romanovs, The Hunt for the Lost Ark

Discovery Channel - Deadliest Catch (not actively bad, anyway), Man vs. Wild, Mythbusters (could be good; has been recommended to me)

Discovery Science - real science documentaries!

Discovery Times - Near Death Experiences, Alien Abductions, Area 51, Cattle Mutilations

History Channel - Lost Cities of the Maya (check!) and other factual content

I'm not even looking for Pat Robertson and his ilk. And somehow I missed the Hooters Dream Girl Challenge.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mystic, and Tom-

Weird how memory plays tricks. The quotes are from "Rebuilding America's Defences", which though plenty bloodthirsty, is not at all what I remember reading, circa 2002. (I recall reading a white paper from ~1999 explicitly about "liberating" a big chunk of the Middle East. Unfortunately, I did not make a permanent record at the time, so I can't even verify or invalidate my own memory.)

The full "castastrophic and cataclysmic" "new Pearl Harbor" quotation is not nearly as remarkable as I recalled, nor as remarkable as it is commonly made out to be on the web today.


11:03 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Mac---That's how exaggerations became lies.

It's amazing what some research will do. I often start typing a point based on my perceptions and memory, but since there's always somebody like Mr. Mystic appointing himself my new Javert (which is OK---ankle-biters have their value, too), I do a lot of cross-checking. Often my first rush was wrong, which was your point and clarification, too. To your credit.

As a result of the always-nourishing dialogue here, I did some looking up of the Pearl Harbor hearings, the results of which can be found here, in the comments section.

(Hint: The colors were reversed, and in this case, the GOP was toejam. The epistemological spat also went on for 50 years...)

There's something about your party being out of power that drives partisans thoroughly nuts. The GOP was flummoxed by FDR, and referred to him only as "that man."

And after Harry Truman fired Douglas MacArthur out of Korea, the GOP-majority congress gave that madman a hero's welcome back home.

And if we skip ahead a few years, there was that Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

All I can say is that my trust in the American people goes something like this: The GOP lost congress after the MacArthur thing, and those in congress who played Javert on Clinton's follies have mostly been drummed out of public office (Jim Rogan, Bob Livingston, and of course, Speaker Gingrich.)

In the long run, we indulge our thumos at our own peril. Unfortunately, in the short term, it's the nation that bears the risk.

(And BTW, I don't doubt your memory of a 1999 document urging making a play for democracy in the Arab world. Bin Ladenism was offered as an alternative to tyranny in Muslim countries. That Bush-Cheney was going to "fix" the Saddam problem once and for all was always on my radar, even before 9-11.

Well, they "fixed" it. Once and for all.)

1:52 AM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

There you go again..callin' people names..

I think it's strange that you've seemingly admitted that you're wrong a lot, but yet, it still reflects poorly on me that I call you on it?

I reiterate: Just because I don't let you get away with making false assertions doesn't mean I'm an "ankle-biter"..

8:15 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

It's a myth that Nixon just took his defeat and moved on like a man.

He didn't. He sent investigators who worked diligently to find evidence of wrong-doing, and only after they reported that they couldn't dig any up, didn't have any chance of making the case, did he give up.

The conservatives, they do love their myths. This one, I predict, will never go away. It fits too nicely with conservative myths about themselves, and about liberals.

Since they're still defending Nixon, I suppose it's absurd to expect them to admit Bush's awfulness in the relative heat of the moment, no matter that it stares them in the face. Tom, for example, when backed into a corner with no escape, will mouth the words, but he obviously doesn't believe it...he immediately goes back to defending this trainwreck of an administration.

I realize you're gleeful, Tom, to have *finally* discovered some nuttiness on the side of the Dems that can match the derangement that has plagued the Republicans, lo, these past many years.

And who am I to blow away the straws you want to grasp?

The Dems--like other Americans--they are a nutty bunch. This is a country that largely believes that the world is run by a big guy in the sky...and that it's likely that he made the whole universe just for us 6,000 years ago. So I'm almost beyond being amazed by this stuff.

It's a country in which a large percentage of people STILL think that Saddam was involved in 9/11.

Though it's rather puzzling to see the emphasis on THIS nuttiness against the backdrop of the *Republican* insanity and contempt for reason got us into one of America's greatest--perhaps greatest ever--strategic blunders. This Democratic nuttiness--which, still, will probably turn out to be overblown, I'll bet--might only have the effect of generating the kind of anger at Bush that he so richly deserves.

But we know how this game goes--conservatives can believe ten insane things and commit ten political crimes...Democrats believe one nutty thing and do something questionable, and conservatives call it even.

Fire up the conservative noise machine, focus on that one Democratic mistake... It'll work. It ALWAYS works.

And finally:
Keep telling yourself they weren't lies, Tom. It's the mantra your side has stuck to all along.

"They weren't *technically* lies!" has been the battle-cry.

Now there's something to be proud of.

Sure, he tricked us into a war...BUT *SOME* OF THINGS HE SAID WEREN'T TECHNICALLY LIES!

Actually, Clinton didn't *technically* lie under oath either. But it's to the credit of Dems that they didn't give a rat's ass about that, and didn't try to employ that defense.

But the technicality point doesn't really matter, as lying isn't the important moral category, as we've been over again and again and again and again.

Intentionally misleading is the really important thing--something that lies and quasi-lies share.

For the zillionth time, in the zillionth different way:

Suppose doctor D wants to perform surgery S on you for practice. But you don't have the appropriate malady, M--it won't be fixed by S. Suppose also doctor D himself happens to have M. Perhaps have even wants to do S on you so that his colleague can get better at S so the colleague can do S on D. You ask the doctor "are you sure I should undergo S?" and he says "That's what I would do." Now, it IS what he would do (since he has M), so it isn't *technically* a lie--it's not an untruth. But it's exactly as bad, morally speaking, as a lie.

So let's just drop this ridiculous business, o.k.? We're wasting our lives here.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

And, yes, American politics has gone crazy. And yes, it's mostly the Republicans' fault.

As a party, they've not been sane since Clinton.

And the nuttier and dogmatic your opponents are, the nuttier and more dogmatic you're likely to become--or so I think.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks winston-
That there was no conspiracy involved in the fact that the Bush administration
(a) did a lousy job of preventing a terrorist attack and
(b) used that terrorist attack to pursue it's own long-established war "strategy"

in no way lets them off the hook for the two facts themselves. The conflict of interest still exists, as is reflected in the anti-Iraq propaganda that
started up nine days after 9/11.

Nor does it let them off the hook for underestimating the cost of the war by more than an order of magnitude. In industry, that is sure to get you out on your ass in a matter of weeks.

Nor does it excuse them for racking up the national debt at a faster rate than even Saint Reagan managed to do.

These guys are bad, bad, bad, by any established hard metric you choose to apply.


1:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

So it's settled, then. 61% of Democrats are on the verge of madness, but it's OK, because it's Bush's fault.

See, nothing's a problem once you bounce it around the echo chamber a few times. It always lands in the same safe place.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom --
While it is true that "Where there's smoke there is probably fire" does not qualify as the finest of enlightenment thought, it is hardly "the edge of madness." The reasoning goes, approximately:
(a) Cheney is a son-of-a-bitch.
(b) [citations of various bits of circumstantial evidence.]
(c) Therefore conspiracy is somewhat likely.

It's bad logic, and it's unfortunate. It drives Winston up the wall. But it's hardly "the edge of madness." It is, after all, what passed for evidentiary logic for a significant fraction of human history.

8:09 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Well, just because it passed for evidentiary logic for a significant fraction of human history, that doesn't excuse it of being the edge of madness.

But it isn't anyway, so that point's moot.

An argument for at LEAST suspicion of conspiracy goes:

1) Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, and other major players were all part of the PNAC.

2) The PNAC's goals were to ensure that America is the dominant force on the planet, culturally and militarily.

3) They said in their report "Rebuilding America's Defenses" (I can direct you to it if you'd like) that one of the main military goals of the 21st Century is to "deter rise of new great-power competitor". They explain all of their objectives on how to completely upgrade America's Army and ensure America's continuing cultural, political, and military dominance over the world. On page 51, they state "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrphic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor".

4) Given that all of the major Bushies were part of the PNAC and that we KNOW they at least thought a new Pearl Harbor (i.e. 9/11) would permit them to get what they wanted faster, it gives at least some suspicion to the fact that 9/11 happened on their watch.

As people have noted, anyone who benefits from a crime should be investigated thoroughly, and the Bushies and their agenda, laid out in the PNAC very nicely, shows that 9/11 was exactly the kind of thing they were waiting for in order to expedite the process of ensuring America's global dominance, so they thought.

It's not insane, but it might not be right. I doubt the Bush Administration staged the whole thing, but I do wonder about whether or not they kinda let it happen.

It seems like they wanted it and given the fact that nothing of the sort has happened to any president before them but once, I am somewhat skeptical that they did their best to avoid it.

Therefore, "somewhat likely" seems pretty tame to say on a poll to me. If one were to say "extremely likely", he would be going overboard. But to say "somewhat likely" isn't too far from something one could think.

Seems not that insane to me. Am I missing something?

8:44 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Mac, I went on at some length on GOP madnesses over the years above. I didn't even try to juxtapose them with Democrat ones, except the current issue. That (IMO) overfairness seems to have gone unnoticed.

The anti-Clinton stuff about running drugs out of the Mena airport, getting Vince Foster killed, and a dozen other possible Clinton murders were the edge of madness. I felt bad about using the term "echo chamber" here, but I can tell you that the GOP had one, and talked each other into all sorts of things.

Bill and Hillary are fantastically ambitious and ruthless people, so "I wouldn't put it past them" starts to sound reasonable, or at least excusable.

But it isn't. You cross the line.

(I'm only using the same method with the colors changed when I invoke other presidents in considering Bush, particularly Clinton since Clinton and Bush represent the last 15 years, the sum total of the political memory of most of the readers here. I don't know if 61% of Republicans succumbed to Clinton Derangement Syndrome, but if they did, cooler heads prevailed, and the hotter ones were expelled from the American polity.)

10:43 PM  
Blogger tehr0x0r said...

Ok, I have now been awake long enough to put a coherent sentience together so it is time to jump in on this little bit of fun.

I want to quickly address the statement that WS made about the Republicans being primarily responsible for the downward spiral that our nations politics have gone into. I just don't see this as accurate for a number of reasons...

1) The Republican party didn't invent social security, Democrats did, and Democrats are also the ones who spent years in the 60s and 70s in power spending the "surplus" trust fund money to fund other social projects. Then when it became clear that there was a growing problem the democrats throw up holy hell anytime someone wants to cut benefits or make necessary changes to the program.

2) No Clinton didn't lie under oath... but he sure as hell did make the assertion that oral sex wasn't sex. Bullshit, it is, if I can orgasm due to another persons direct physical actions on me, it is sex. Now if he wants to cheat on his wife that is fine by me, I don't care what he does in his personal life, but as the most visible "leader" of this nation he does have a responsibility to make sure his actions do not hurt this nation. How many people have now seen oral sex as not being sex and assumed it was safe and thus not used a condom? The medical implications are just nuts. Now the Republicans did go totally wacko and make a bad situation worse but the blame hardly rests with them alone on this issue.

3) As you later state the current Democrats may be worse now due to the crazy Republicans of the 90s. While this level of crazy may be recent there has always been some of it and as they are currently the party in power this craziness is currently just as much of a problem as the Republicans were in the 90s.

In total are the Republicans more responsible for the total loss of sanity in American Politics? Yes, so technically yes saying they are mostly responsible would be an accurate statement, but they are only slightly more culpable then the Democrats are so I think a more accurate statement from my perspective at any rate would be...

"American politics have gone crazy and both parties have driven us there. Republicans started the fire in the 90s and now Democrats are throwing gas on it."

8:11 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Aside from 1, about which I don't have much of an opinion, I'm not in disagreement with you, Tehr0x0r.

I've asserted many times here that long-term, relatively low-grade Democratic bullying in the House helped push the GOP over the edge, producing complete partisan psychos like Tom DeLay.

Yep, Clinton did indeed have sex with that woman. I was just saying that, if we are--ill-advisedly--gonig to get all technical about this sh*t, Clinton's on stronger ground than Bush. Both of them lied, but Dems never tried the pathetic "it wasn't technically a lie" strategy in any wide-spread way...even though the strategy was less pathetic in Clinton's case than in Bush's.

Gosh, OUR Tom here is SO HAPPY that he's finally found some way in which Dems are currently wackier than Republicans... He can hardly control himself!

Don't get me wrong: I'm appalled that so many Americans and so many Dems are so crazy about this... But I'm trying to keep this in a little bit of perspective, whereas Tom is (hard to believe!) siezing on this, meditating on it, lovingly caressing it...

The method of tenacity strikes again. Find a fact you like, wallow in it. All those ones you don't...just ignore 'em...

10:47 AM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

"if I can orgasm due to another persons direct physical actions on me"

1) I guess that relies on some sort of belief in Lewinsky's sexual prowess.

2) If you could have an orgasm from someone touching your forehead, I doubt people would call that sex.

Just sayin'. It's not really important, but just thought I'd point it out.

11:59 AM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Also, I think my point about reasonable suspicion leading to the "somewhat likely" response has gone unaddressed and I'd like to know if it's incorrect somehow.

Otherwise, why are we all so shocked about these poll results? I'm not, really. I think it's reasonable to say it's somewhat likely that the Bushies kinda let 9/11 happen instead of putting their all into stopping it. The reasons I laid out seem to indicate that that's not a distant possibility.

Sure, it's not hardcore deduction, but it's enough for "somewhat likely" which could be like 10% certainty.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a) nobody owes you an answer, because it is widely perceived that you won't pay it any attention
b) I don't see any reason to further encourage people in advocating their own personal Cheney 1% (or 10%) doctrines, and
c) the infamous quote about "new Pearl Harbor" is fatuously true. If you had asked me at the time "how would you get Americans to support a massive military buildup," I would have given the same answer. Americans in 2000 would not have supported a massive military buildup without a "new Pearl Harbor," because it was a bullshit idea.

The trouble with the report isn't that it was advocating, even indirectly a "new Pearl Harbor", but that it was just plain wacky. It proves, sure enough, that the neocons were bloodthirsty warmongers, but we knew that anyway.

Of course, this is not evidence that the Bush administration didn't want to keep the FBI busy doing other things until "something bad" happened. That kind of thing is very hard to prove--it's why it makes such a great conspiracy theory.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I pretty much agree with everything you said except for #1, which I believe is wrong.

This is the case because there wasn't even a *trust fund* until 1983, when a commission led by Alan Greenspan devised it as a means for dealing with the actuarial deficiencies in SS funding resulting from the impending mass retirement of the Baby Boomers.

Also, the fact of the matter is that the fund is not in peril, certainly much less so than the on-budget remainder of the federal gov., whose shortfalls make the distant unlikely ones of SS look like pikers. The dates of negative trust fund growth and fund bankruptcy have receded with each of the past five Trustees' Reports.


It was the Republicans that began using the surplus of the SS fund to disguise general account deficits that would appear even bigger if the fund were held *off-budget* (something which Al Gore referred to as a "lock box", for which he was endlessly ridiculed).

Also, it appears you have bought into the myth that it is the Democrats who are the big spenders. The reality is quite the opposite.


Please note that none of this implies that Democrats, or more specifically liberals, are economic angels. The reality as I see it is that their greatest weakness is not appreciating when things don't work, particularly undertakings of the government. In that respect they are often guilty of the inverse religious belief of Republicans these days, namely that the government can NEVER do anything well.

Me, I'm more of an empiricist. If the gov can do it better, let it; if the private sector does it better, let it. I do have an ideology, but I don't let it overwhelm my rationality (at least I don't think so).

1:40 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

I never said I was owed an answer. It's just that in a discussion, you usually address one another's points if they could further the conversation, and in one where we're all saying conspiracy theorists are uniformly insane, as it appears to be indicated by a total disbelief in these poll results, a potential answer might further the discussion.

And why is it widely perceived I won't pay attention? Show me one point that I glossed over or failed to address. If you can do that, then I'm sorry, but I think I've been pretty comprehensive in the analysis of posting here. If you can demonstrate that I don't pay attention to what people say, by all means, I'll apologize and be more careful. If I'm doing it and not realizing it, I need to be made aware.

If I'm not and you're just saying it, then that should probably stop too.


4:10 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Also, I have no idea what

"b) I don't see any reason to further encourage people in advocating their own personal Cheney 1% (or 10%) doctrines, and"


What does it mean? All I was saying is that I see that people could construe "somewhat likely" to mean as little as "10% certain" that the Bush administration looked the other way on 9/11, and if that's the case, given the PNAC papers, why is it so ridiculous?

I don't know what you were trying to say there.

But please, show me where I failed to recognize a crucial point in a discussion so I can see that you're not just repeating the same thing Tom said for no apparent reason other than to avoid addressing a seemingly good point.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Tom is (hard to believe!) seizing on this, meditating on it, lovingly caressing it...

Not so, WS. I'm saying the environment of hysteria is fed by the anti-Bush echo chamber.

The GOP put the hurt on this country in the 90s. Fortunately, they were frivolous times and the damage wasn't too great. These times are much more perilous, but the frivolousness goes on unabated.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom -
I would suggest that the "environment of hysteria" is fed more by exaggerated assertions of terrorists under the bed than by "frivolous" conspiracy theories on the left. Do recall that we invaded Iraq because "the smoking gun might be a mushroom cloud."

As I said before, I don't think of Mystic's 10% rule. But Dick Cheney, that unmitigated son-of-a-bitch, is far, far worse with his profoundly stupid 1% doctrine.


12:18 AM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

What's Cheney's 1% doctrine? I've never heard of that before.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, there's no doubt about that, Mystic. Good point.

The mass media are symbiotic with the GOP on this...blowing the threat of terrorism radically out of proportion.

Thus intensifying public fear, the two parties aforementioned actually end up inadvertantly working with al Qaeda et. al.

Crazy man.

3:35 PM  

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