Een dezer dagen te koop: het boek waarin Popular Mechanics korte metten maakt met de vele 9/11 complottheorieën. Het voorwoord van senator John McCain staat inmiddels online.
De medewerking van een regeringfunctionaris aan dit boek zullen de deniers natuurlijk weer allemaal erg verdacht vinden, zoals de samenstellers ongetwijfeld weer voor landverraders en misinformanten zullen worden uitgemaakt. We kennen onze pappenheimers inmiddels. Die filosoferen in forums liever over de vraag of helicopters de vernietigingsprocedure startten met infrarood licht (als u het nog niet wist, dan weet u het nu: de WTC-torens werden gewoon met de afstandsbediening van de televisie neergehaald).
Als je de soms wel erg pattriotische toon negeert, kom je een aantal aardige citaten van McCain tegen:
"In the immediate aftermath of their attacks, all of us had questions. Why didn't we have better intelligence? How could our airport security be so poor? Why weren't we better prepared? Who carried out these attacks, and why? All good questions, and thousands of dedicated Americans, both in and out of government, have worked hard to answer them. Journalists, the 9/11 Commission, Congressional investigators, academic researchers, and others have reconstructed these terrible events in extraordinary detail. Much of what we have learned has been frustrating, even infuriating. Anger can be healthy when it spurs a commitment to change. But it is corrosive and dangerous when it curdles into paranoia and suspicion."
Any explanation for the tragedy of September 11 must start and end with the facts. The evidence, the data, the facts must be gathered, compiled, analyzed, and then--only then--can conclusions be drawn as to what happened. That is precisely what the various investigators have done, and in so doing they have performed a great service to our nation. And yet still the conspiracy theorists peddle their wares.
They ignore the methods of science, the protocols of investigation, and the dictates of logic. The conspiracy theorists chase any bit of information, no matter how flimsy, and use it to fit their preordained conclusions. They ascribe to the government, or to some secretive group, powers wholly out of proportion to what the evidence suggests. And they ignore the facts that are present in plain sight.
We cannot let these tales go unanswered. The 9/11 conspiracy movement exploits the public's anger and sadness. It shakes Americans' faith in their government at a time when that faith is already near an all-time low. It traffics in ugly, unfounded accusations of extraordinary evil against fellow Americans. And, as we have seen recently in the Iranian president's bizarre letter to President Bush, it has even entered the currency of international affairs."