Many readers have praised me for my courage in broaching taboo subjects and stating obvious truths. Others denounce me for "being unpatriotic and distrusting our government." One reader, Susan Hartman, wrote to me that I was obviously in the pay of Islamic Jihadists and that she had reported me to the FBI.
Despite the lack of evidence to support their belief, a number of readers remain confident that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that America narrowly missed being annihilated. These readers know for a fact that Hussein had WMD, because "the President would know, and he wouldn't lie."
In other words, whatever Bush says is true, and all who doubt him are unpatriotic. "You are with us or against us." The facts be damned. There are a large number of Susan Hartmans in the body politic.
A group of scientists, engineers, and university professors is trying to start a debate about the collapse of the three World Trade Center buildings. I reported one of their findings: There is an inconsistency between the speed with which the buildings collapsed and the "pancaking theory" used to explain the collapse. Another way of putting the problem is that there seems to be a massive energy deficit in the explanation that the buildings fell as a result of gravitational energy. There simply was not sufficient gravitational energy to produce the results.
For reporting a scientific finding, I was called a "conspiracy theorist." Only in America is scientific analysis seen as conspiracy theory and government lies as truth.
Applications of the laws of physics and scientific calculations can be reviewed and checked by other scientists. Scientists, like the rest of us, can make mistakes. However, questions raised about the collapse of the WTC buildings are not engaged but ignored.
The 9/11 scholars findings seem to be in sync with public opinion. Polls show that more than one-third and as much as one-half of the American public does not believe the government's 9/11 story.
The public doesn't believe the John F. Kennedy assassination story either. Nevertheless, experts who point out problems in the official story are still called "conspiracy theorists" even though a large percentage of the people share their doubts.
I think the reason so many Americans do not believe the Kennedy story told by the Warren Commission and the 9/11 story told by the 9/11 Commission is not because Americans are knowledgeable about ballistics or physics, or know how to do energy calculations, but because the stories contain too many unusual happenings, too many oddities.
In the Kennedy case doubts are raised by such things as an improbable bullet trajectory, the against-all-procedures absence of Secret Service agents from the rear and sides of Kennedy's limo, the inexplicable access of an unauthorized armed civilian, Jack Ruby, who was able to assassinate Oswald inside the jail before Oswald could be questioned. Online at InsideBayArea.com there is a report that two scientists, Pat Grant and Erik Randich, at the Forensic Science Center of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory have discredited the reliability of the "neutron activation" analysis, which was used to "prove" that all the recovered bullet fragments came from Oswald's shots. Courts no longer accept as evidence and the FBI no longer uses the analysis that was used to close the Oswald case. [JFK single-bullet theory in question Livermore lab scientists find physical evidence was misinterpreted, By Betsy Mason]
Any one of these things would be an oddity. The combination of oddities becomes inexplicable, a statistical impossibility.
The same with the explanation of 9/11. Powerfully constructed buildings collapse when there is no source of the required energy to do the job. A large 757 hits the Pentagon but leaves a small hole, and there is no sign of wings, engines, tail or fuselage. Every air control and military procedure fails, and hijacked airliners are not intercepted by jet fighters. The alleged hijackers' names apparently are not on the passenger lists, and some of the alleged hijackers have been found alive and well in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Thomas R. Olmstead used the Freedom of Information Act to get a copy of the autopsy list of American Airlines flight 77, and he reports that there are no Arabic names on the list.
My point is a simple one. Attentive people, even if they are not scientifically literate, can sense when there are too many oddities for an explanation to be believable.
If deception is sensed, there is a receptive audience when experts or film makers speak. Denouncing inconvenient facts as "conspiracy theories" is a way of suppressing debate and investigation.
This itself is telling. If the official explanations are safe, their proponents should welcome the opportunity to show again and again that the explanations can stand all challenges. Instead, the second a challenge shows its head, it is branded a "conspiracy theory." That tells me that the official explanations can stand no challenge.
Don't ask me who killed Kennedy and why, and don't ask me who was behind the 9/11 attack or what brought the three WTC buildings down. My position is a simple one. The official accounts are too improbable to be believable.
I won't believe them until the government can explain where the energy came from to bring down the three WTC buildings. With the demise of the "single bullet" theory, there seems to be no verification of Oswald's magical shooting.
It seems to me that the real conspiracy theories are the explanations that are overweighted with improbabilities.
Readers ask me what can we do? We can do very little as we have lost control over our government. Elections, even if not stolen, change very little. Government got free of our control when we forgot the teaching of our Founding Fathers that government is always the greatest threat to our liberty.
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Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow's Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.