Thursday, September 15, 2005

9/11 conspiracy video: "Pentagon strike"

Steve Schuckmann from our class has helpfully supplied me with the link to the 9/11 conspiracy video everyone but me has apparently seen. (Click the title of the post to access it directly.) It's very professionally done, with the appropriate jarring cuts and an appropriately disquieting industrial/techno soundtrack. At the same time, the presentation pulls the usual conspiracy theory tricks, offering a particularly puzzling* example of the provocation motif and trying to sow doubt through the use of early, conflicting news reports and superficially mysterious photos and eyewitness accounts that rely on the uninformed person's "common sense" (Ohmygod, where are the wings?) to mislead them. There is a lot of emphasis on what people think they saw and heard. How many people have heard or seen a commercial jet flying full speed a few yards off the ground? I am guessing not many.

Do look at the video if you haven't seen it, but then also read the "Urban Legends Reference Page" entry on this theory. Here is the beginning and the end:

The notion that the Pentagon was not damaged by terrorists who hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 (a Boeing 757) and crashed it into the military office complex, but that the whole affair was staged by the U.S. government, has been promulgated by French author Thierry Meyssan in his book, The Frightening Fraud. Meyssan offers no real explanation for what did cause the extensive damage to the Pentagon, asserting only that Flight 77 did not exist, no plane crashed into the Pentagon, and that "the American government is lying."

Unfortunately, the appeal of conspiracy theories has resulted in widespread dissemination of Meyssan's "theory" in France and the USA, particularly in web sites that mirror his work. As Le Nouvel Observateur noted: "This theory suits everyone - there are no Islamic extremists and everyone is happy. It eliminates reality." . . .

Update: A video presentation unleashed on the Internet in August 2004 rehashes the same conspiracy claims. It can be found at a number of locations, including:

Please do read the whole, very detailed entry if you find the video convincing.

*I say puzzling because if the idea was to motivate the Iraq war, which Rumsfeld was arguing for as early as 9/12/01, I would have thought that framing some actual Iraqis, rather than a bunch of Saudis, would have been the better plan.