Give me your 9/11 conspiracy theories! And/or their debunking

After all this time, aren’t you still a bit suspicious about the events of 9/11 and it’s aftermath? I am, but I’m getting a lot of flak for it. I’m new to the board and haven’t seen the other threads on this topic that must be out there somewhere. What I’d like to do is build a thread that explains/links to as many 9/11 conspiracy theories as possible. The hope is that perhaps they can be categorized, and if they’re all wrong, categorically debunked!

Here’s what I’m hoping for:

  • What exactly is the ‘official story’ anyway? To me it seems to have changed over the years.
    -What are the most plausible 9/11 conspiracy theories you’ve heard of? Please, post a link! Or debunk a theory that’s already out there. Or do both! Understand, I’m not in search of The Unified Conspiracy Theory (unless you have photos of the secret Illuminati headquarters or something). I don’t want to stray far from 9/11 and the war on terror, etc.
    -Just how firmly do you believe the official story of 9/11, including the subsequent wars, changes to the constitution, oil price spikes, and so on? Firm believer? Anything in this whole mess you doubt at all?
    -I’m trying to keep a lid on my own views here. I want to know what smart people on SDMB can provide.

Let me add: I don’t hate America. I doubt I’m crazy either, I just want to collect everything about this topic under one thread, once and for all. Maybe I’ll be less paranoid after it is all done, you never know.

That Bush, or perhaps Cheney or Rumsfield knew or suspected or even just hoped 9-11 or something similar was going to happen and just looked the other way. Unlike the ( implausible for multiple reasons ) theories you have been pushing, it doesn’t require a huge number of of people to pull it off without blabbing. It just requires a very small number of people to do nothing. And, it has plausible deniability; lacking telepathy, as long as the people involved keep their mouth shut there’s no way to distinguish it from incompetence. Especially effective since they ARE incompetent.

Do I know that’s what happened ? No. And barring something like a deathbed confession I see no way that we ever will. But I consider it more plausible than all the theories that require a small army of people who never talk to pull off, and also more plausible than the idea that exactly what the PNAC people wanted to happen, did happen just when they wanted and needed it to. And they certainly DID look the other way, regardless of whether the reason was incompetence or malice.

Hell, yes.
Should’ve pacified Afghanistan before moving on to Iraq. That part of the aftermath was a big clusterfuck.

Gary Condit did it: he knew it was the only way to get the news media to stop covering Chandra Levy 24/7.

That a bunch of radical Muslims upset at America’s foreign policy entered the country, got the training necessary to fly planes, bought legal tickets on commercial aircraft, took control of them with concealable weapons and slammed said aircraft into various buildings.

The did this in secret and the worked together. It was a conspiracy!!!

Actually it is, but it doesn’t get called one because it’s true. Calling something a “conspiracy theory” is all too often a means of trying to ridicule perfectly plausible accusations so no one will take them seriously. I suspect that if you looked back that people were accusing those who claimed that America was secretly torturing people and sending them to other countries for further torture were engaging in “conspiracy theories”. And that the people who said that the Bush Administration was lying about WMDs in Iraq were believers in “conspiracy theories”.

We’ve developed a weird habit of acting like conspiracies are some sort of wild idea that never happens; and when one is actually proven to be true just label it as something other than a conspiracy. We call it a hoax, or a scandal, or a terrorist act, or attach the suffix -gate to it instead.

“Conspiracy” and “conspiracy theory” have branched apart in modern usage. There’s something unique about conspiracy theories that mere conspiracies lack. They’re usually illogical, require large numbers of people to keep secrets, require paranoia, usually started by and mostly followed by males, very, very often implicitly or even explicitly racist, very often require misanthropy to be accepted. I believe the people who start them are mentally ill. I’m not saying that as an insult, I honestly believe it, based on a lot of experiences (many pre-9/11 and pre-internet so don’t feel too special if you’re reading this and thinking I’m talking about you.) I think they’ll be written about in psychological journals some day, if they haven’t been already.

If I saw someone using “conspiracy theory” to describe the torture scandals this decade I would’ve called them on their misuse of the term, because IIRC, the first peep I heard of torture was coupled with the first credible evidence. Lack of credible evidence is a key factor in a conspiracy theory.

Heh, I still remember when Wonkette reported on a hooker scandal that recently took place in the infamous Watergate hotel, they called that scandal The WatergateGate.

For the best debunking of 9/11 conspiracy theories you need to check the Debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories web site:

Oh, I agree to a large degree. I just think that many perfectly plausible, well supported claims of conspiracy get unfairly lumped in with the kind of conspiracy-theories-as-pathology you are speaking of, as a convenient means of discrediting them.

Now that I think of it, I suspect this is one reason for the increasing popularity of treating people in power as if they are all idiots. If you accuse them of doing bad things out of incompetence you will be taken seriously; if you accuse them of doing bad things on purpose you get accused of being a conspiracy theorist.

Thanks! That’s pretty much… categorical debunking. :slight_smile:

It contains an essay where the following kind of thing, in a long list, is presented as true:

Is that, then, the truth of how we got into Iraq, or not? If so, does it qualify as a conspiracy? The word doesn’t feel right in this context.

FWIW, yes, this topic got quite an airing on the SDMB a few years ago and there were quite a few lengthy threads. A representative sample (not exhaustive) would include:

9/11 Conspiracy Theories!. Loose Change video: 9/11 conspiracy, Is someone else responsible for 9/11?, Debunk this 9/11 conspiracy theory, Missile hitting the Pentagon, WTC Conspiracy Theory and Bush 9/11 movie, must read/see.

As for substance, the theory has been around for years and (IMHO) has been thoroughly debunked. Among the sites worth looking at: David Corn; Snopes; 911 Myths;; and Boutin & Di Justo.

There probably are more current debunking sites out there, but that’s what I have as of a few years ago (several sites of which have since dropped out).

What Try2B is asking, though, is not what we’ve always thought of as 9/11 conspiracy theories. He seems to just be asking whether our invasion of Iraq was based on the false linking of Al Qaeda to Iraq, along with trumped-up WMD accusations.

I don’t think you’ll find much disagreement about that. Bush did use 9/11 as the spark that would give him the mandate to go into Iraq, which I think he had been wanting to do anyway.

Further, I also think that Bush, for the most part, believed it.

Richard Clarke published a book about this called Against All Enemies. Early 2004 if I recall correctly. A lot of Bush supporters turned about-face on the man at that point. Publicly, I recall Howard Stern doing so, and privately, my wife’s grandparents - lifelong Republicans who ended up voting for John Kerry and then Barack Obama. I already hated him at that point, and suspected him of most of the shenanigans the book confirmed.

Edit: I forgot to add: the book was not obscure. It was big, big news at the time. I’m guessing you’re young enough to not have been paying attention to politics 5 years ago, Try2BComprehensive? Or not from the United States?

The idea of the Bush administration pretending incompetence sounds similar to a fire pretending to burn.

Not to be too difficult, but what part of the story are you asking about? When you talk about “the official story of 9/11, including the subsequent wars, changes to the constitution, oil price spikes, and so on,” that’s very wide-ranging.

As far as the part of the official story of how the attacks happened - 19 guys who were in Al Qaeda hijacking planes with box-cutters and crashing them into buildings - that’s never changed significantly, and I don’t have doubts about it. The other explanations include “the World Trade Center buildings were full of explosives that were detonated when the plane struck,” “the planes were not hijacked and were remote-controlled instead,” “there were no planes at all and a missile hit the pentagon,” they’re orders of magnitude more complex and implausible than the hijacked-by-terrorists plot.

They are so implausable that one would start to think that someone spread those on purpose.

A conspiracy to hide the conspiracy in conspiracy theories to create a conspiracy weariness.


9/11 conspiracy theorists have worked really hard to establish the strawman that there is an “official story” of 9/11, presumably created and spoonfed to us by the government. The idea is laughable.

Heh. Did you know there was an episode of South Park with this exact storyline?

It’s all part of the disinformation plan…

It was only the world’s most intricate & flawlessly executed plan ever, ever.

You’re right about wide-ranging. How about we start at a representation of our entry into the Iraq theater of war.

Here’s another quote from

It would seem that the motive to invade Iraq was pre-existing, and with the failure of the ‘pin 911 on Iraq’ motive to go to war, other avenues were pursued, including the WMD theory.

Seriously- does that look a little suspicious, even conspriatorial, or does my thinking so suggest I’m some kind of anti-semitic adolescent mentally-ill foreigner? :smiley: Sorry for the conspiracy humor- I don’t have to be paranoid to think Cisco is out to get me :wink: