I wrote a column today about 9/11 Truthers, encouraging Townhall readers to take the time to learn what these people think, and consider the danger of ignoring 9/11 Deniers:
The head of this tinfoil hat brigade is Dylan Avery, a 22-year-old conspiracy theorist who has parlayed his creative version of history into two very popular Internet films, “Loose Change” and “Loose Change 2nd Edition.”
Avery and his cohorts’ research, theories, and “evidence” are so laughable that it can be easy to laugh off the movement itself. That was my reaction to this crowd until I took the time to watch “Screw Loose Change,” this weekend. “Screw Loose Change” is an extensive, three-hour-long debunking of Avery’s claims, which allows you to view Avery’s film along with a powerful presentation of all the evidence he distorts and omits.
Until I watched it and really let the Avery crowd’s accusations sink in, my reaction to the 9/11 Truthers was to say, “wow, they’re crazy. Moving on.” But I shouldn’t have moved on. I should have stopped and looked at the Truthers and listened to them a lot sooner.
It’s important for those of us who know what took the lives of 3,000 Americans five years ago today—four commercial planes with full loads of jet fuel and passengers driven by 19 murderous maniacs—to understand that there is a disturbingly large and vocal segment of the American population that doesn’t believe that.
The column went up around 1 p.m.
By 2:57 p.m., I had this in my inbox, and two or three pro-conspiracy-theory nutters in the comments section of the column:
What exactly is your problem with finding the truth? You really are a wacko conspiracy nut. You base your beliefs on known lies. We have all the evidence and indicators of guilt on our side.
Oh and Mark Bingham's mother didn't think it was him either. Why don't you do a little research!
On the Bingham claim, here's an interview with his mother.
Go watch and learn a) how crazy these folks are and b) just how wrong they are. Or, you could probably just hang out in the comments section of my column and get much the same effect from the kooks who show up there.
But be careful. On this day, even more than other days, your blood will boil. Sickos.
Update: Karol says "don't engage" with the crazies. Yeah, I feel you, Karol. To engage them is to run the risk of legitimizing them.Unfortunately, I think we've reached a sad point, by way of the "Loose Change" hawking on Air America, in Vanity Fair, and all over the Internet, where laughing the crazies off or ignoring them completely can do serious damage to the actual truth. Especially since they're running for Congress these days.
I'm not gonna go trying to convince some nutter who's already off the deep end, but I am gonna be aware of what the sickos think, so that when one of my apolitical acquaintances pipes up with some, "but haven't you heard of 'Loose Change?' I'm not saying I agree, per se, but they make some points, don't they?," I can be ready with a smackdown, thereby delivering a teetering friend from irretrievable looniness. And maybe, giving a small assist to the real truth of that day.
Update: As if you need another stomach-turner today, here are the Truthers at Ground Zero. Today. Sept. 11, 2006.