Gerald Posner: Conspiracy Theories and 9-11

Gerald Posner (Sept. 29, 2003):

Andreas von Bulow's book has climbed the German bestseller list, his lectures are jammed and, after two years of mounting frustration, his ideas are gaining traction.

His thesis: The U.S. government staged the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington to justify wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is a tentative theory, he admits, based mostly on his doubt that Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist group launched the attacks. "That's something that is simply 99% false," he said at a reading of his book on the second anniversary of the attacks.--Wall Street Journal (Sept. 29, 2003)

This is from the front page of today's Wall Street Journal and highlights a disturbing trend - the growth of outlandish conspiracy theories around 9.11. Most of them charge that the Bush administration was behind the attacks, and in this article, you will see that the proponents of these theories are not merely crackpots, but in this case a former German cabinet minister whose bestseller is published by one of Germany's most prestigious houses. There are also a potpourri of theories in the Arab world, most revolving around the idea that thousands of Jews received calls from the Mossad before the attack, warning them not to go the WTC on 9.11

Since I have been doing my book tour, I have fielded literally dozens of calls from Americans who adamantly believe that not only that the Bush administration pulled off the attacks so they could then go to war for oil, but there are bundles of "facts" that are repeatedly cited, and are getting wide dissemination on the internet - among these are that no plane wreckage was found at the Pentagon site, no body parts were found at the Pentagon, that explosive charges were found in the rubble of the WTC, and that a confiscated video from a French tourist shows the flashes of the explosives that were set throughout the building to bring it down. Even someone as prominent as Dr. Nicholas Perricone, the bestselling author of the Wrinkle Cure and the Acne Prescription, personally told me that he believes the planes were remote controlled to crash into the Towers and the hijackers had been used as patsies.

It is only two years after 9.11, and as today's article shows, these theories are getting hold as fast as the "who killed JFK" theories did after 1963. Maybe with the internet, they are spreading even quicker. Certainly the bad information accepted as "fact" is widespread.

I trust that with 3,000 victims from 9.11 being essentially mocked by these theories, you are as outraged by them as we are. Bin Laden must find it hysterical that he pulled off the attack and then some in the West, including America, blame Bush, the CIA, and the Mossad.

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