Pearl Harbor

Downsizedc.org Comes Out For ‘9/11 Press For Truth’

We applaud the support DownsizeDC.org has offered "9/11 Press For Truth". It's an excellent documentary. However, we are obligated to respond to what we believe is an important misrepresentation in their statement.

Here is the key excerpt, in context, from an email sent by DownsizeDC.org referenced below:

"Government fails consistently, because the institution of government, and the people in government, NEVER PAY ANY PRICE for failure. Government fails consistently, because the people in government are CONSISTENTLY REWARDED FOR FAILURE by gaining greater power and greater access to your wallet.

The incentives by which our government operates are completely backward: Government is always rewarded for its failures, so its incentive is to constantly fail.

This is the fundamental truth about 9-11.

Are there others truths that also matter and that have been neglected? Perhaps. But the idea that the Bush administration somehow conspired with Al Queda to bring about the attacks, is almost certainly not among them."

While we agree with much of the sentiment expressed here, the problem with this statement comes in the last paragraph, for it suggests a false dilemma: either the Bush Administration conspired with Al-Qaeda to bring off the 9/11 attacks, or conspiracy theories about 9/11 are almost certainly not tenable.

But this is incorrect, and we point it out because it is incorrect in a way that mirrors so many other incorrect claims about the essence of 9/11 skepticism. It uses a single claim, one that is itself hard to prove conclusively, as a stand-in for ANY claim of complicity, and suggests that if this difficult-to-prove claim is false then all claims of complicity are false.

The problem with this approach can be shown as follows: If either US law enforcement or intelligence agencies (1) knew about beforehand, (2) arranged, or (3) knowingly helped facilitate the 9/11 attacks in any fashion, then many elements of 9/11 skepticism and many 9/11 conspiracy theories are correct, even if the narrower Bush administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, etc.) was not directly involved. There has never been any conclusive evidence presented ruling out propositions (2) and (3) (and sufficient reason, in our view, both historical and current, to consider the possibility); also, proposition (1) has a great deal of support. So no member of the Bush administration need have had operational knowledge of such a conspiracy, and yet it would still be treasonous if any of propositions (1), (2) or (3) were true.

This is not to say that it has been ruled out that members of the Bush administration had operational knowledge of the plot.

The difficulty with proving (2) and (3) comes from a long-established prescriptive atmosphere that allows the workings of US intelligence/law enforcement to be conducted in secret, and then shields these institutions from true accountability. The classification of information, for instance, while justifiable on occasion, is routinely abused, making it impossible for concerned citizens to know with certainty that covert actions are being conducted along Constitutional lines. Given the completely justifiable lack of faith many Americans have in both the Bush Administration and the US government's willingness to uphold the Constitution, this is a particularly serious problem.

We could not be more in agreement with DownsizeDC.org that government bloat and lack of transparency are among the largest obstacles to truly representative government. We support their larger organizational mission. We also hope that our comments are taken in the spirit they are intended: to continue a dialogue between organizations with similar political outlooks, increase understanding and open avenues for further cooperation.

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