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"debunkers" #gifiles #occupywallstreet 7/7 bombings 9/11 9/11 attacks 9/11 Citizens Commission 9/11 Commission 9/11 Commission Report 9/11 Conspiracy Roadtrip 9/11 Fahrenheit 911 9/11 families 9/11 phone calls 9/11 survivor 9/11 truth 9/11 Truther 9/11 Truth Movement 9/11 victims 9/11 War 9/11 War Games 9/11 Wars 9/11 Whistleblowers 9/11 workers 9/11 Working Group of Bloomington 9/11: Press For Truth 10th Anniversary 28 pages 757 911 first responders 911 museum 911blogger 911truthnews.com 2012 Abbottabad Able Danger accountability ACLU activism activists Adam Curtis Adam Syed AE911truth ae911truth.org Afghanistan aftermath Ahmadinejad AIPAC Air Force One al-Awlaki al-Qaida Alan Colmes Alan Grayson Alec Baldwin Alec Station Alex Jones Alfreda Frances Bikowsky Alhazmi Ali Soufan Al Jazeera Almihdhar Al qae al Qaeda Amalgam Virgo American War Machine Among the Truthers Andrew Card Andrew Napolitano Andrews Air Force Base anniversary Ann Wright Anonymous Anthony Shaffer Anthony Summers Anthrax Antonio Martinez Anwar al-Alwlaki Anwar al-Awlaki Anwar Awlaki architects Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth artifacts assassination Atiyah abd al-Rahman Australia Australian Broadcasting Corporation b BAE Ban Ki-moon Barack Obama Barcelona Barnes and Noble Barrie Zwicker baseball cards BBC BCCI Behrooz Sarshar Benedict Sliney Ben Fordham Ben Sliney Bill Clinton Bill Doyle Bill Maher Bill Moyers Bill O'Reilly bin Laden Blackwater Bloomington Bob Bowman Bob Graham Bob Kerrey Bob McIlvaine books Bosnia Brett Smith Brian Kilmeade Brooklyn Bridge Bruce Ivins Building 7 Building What bureaucracy Bush Bush Administration C-SPAN Camp David cancer capitalism Cass Sunstein censorship Champion Cheney China Chip Berlet Chris Hedges Chris Mohr Christian Chuck Schumer CIA Cindy Sheehan CIT Citizen Investigation Team Civil Disobedience civil liberties Classified Woman classroom CNN Cofer Black COG Cointelpro Cold War Cole Bombing Coleen Rowley Colin Powell Colorado Colorado Public Television Condonleezza Rice Con Edison congress conspiracies conspiracy conspiracy theory Constitution consumerism contradictions Cordoba Initiative Cornell West corporate media Cosmos Counter-Terror Expo Counterpunch counterterrorism coverup cover up CPT12 cryptome.org cybersecurity Cynthia McKinney Dahlia Wasfi Daniel Ellsberg Daniel Pipes Daniel Sunjata Dave Frasca David Chandler David Long David Ray Griffin David Swanson David Weigel DC debris debunking Deep Politics Democracy Now Democratic Party demolition Demos Dennis Kucinich detainee detainees Detroit DIA Dick Cheney Dick Gregory Disconnecting the Dots disinformation documents Donald Rumsfeld donations Donna Marsh O'Connor Downing Street drones dust Dwight D. Eisenhower DynCorp Egypt Egyptian Revolution Eleanor Hill Elena Kagan Eleventh actions Emanuel Sferios Emily Louise Church empire engineers entrapment Eric Bolling Eric Holder Eric Margolis espionage act Evan Dando evidence exercises explosions extremism F-16 FAA facebook Fahrenheit 9/11 Fake Phone Calls theory FBI FDR Analysis Fealgood Foundation FEMA firefighters first responders Flight 77 flight 93 Florida FOIA foreknowledge FOX FOX News Frances Bikowsky Frank Legge Fran Townsend fraud Fred Burton fresh kills funding FX Gareth Newnham Gawker General Assemby George Bush George Tenet George W. Bush Geraldo Rivera Germany Geronimo Gladio Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald globalization Global Jihad Unit Graeme MacQueen Green Party Gregg Roberts Ground Zero Ground Zero mosque groups Guantanamo Guantanamo Bay Gulf of Tonkin hackers Hamid Karzai Haqqani health Health Bill hearing Heather Penney Heroin hijackers hijacking Hilary Clinton Hillary Clinton History Commons historycommons.org hit piece Homeland Security Howie Hawkins HR 847 Huffington Post humor Hypothesis Image Comics immunity Indefinite Detention India infiltration inside job Inspire magazine Intelligence Advisory Board intelligence failures intercept International Center for 9/11 Studies investigation Iowa Iran Iran-Contra Iraq Iraq War ISI Islam Israel issues James Bamford James Gourley Jane Mayer Janet Napolitano Janette MacKinlay Jason Leopold Jay Carney Jeffery Farrar Jellyfish Jersey Girls Jesse Ventura JICI Jim Corr Jim Fetzer Joe Biden Joe Rogan John Albanese John Ashcroft John Bursill John Duffy John Feal John Gross John Judge John Lennon John Pilger John Stewart John Walker Lindh Joint Congressional Inquiry Joint Forces Intelligence Command Jonathan Barnett Jonathan Cole Jonathan Kay Jon Cole Jon Faine Jon Gold Jon Stewart Joseph Doyle journalism Journal of 9/11 Studies Joy Behar Judge Hellerstein Judy Wood Julia Gillard Julian Assange justice Justice Department KALW Katherine Bigelow kdub Keith Olbermann Kent Gibson Kevin Barrett Kevin Bracken Kevin Fenton Kevin Ryan Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Korey Rowe Kosovo Kristen Breitweiser KSM LaborTech Langley Larry Silverstein Laurie Manwell Lawrence Wilkerson lawsuit Lee Hamilton Leon Panetta Libya lies limited hangout Link TV Liz Cheney Lloyd's of London London Truth Action Loose Change Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup Lorie Van Auken Lupe Fiasco Mahmoud Ahmed mainstream mainstream media Manny Badillo Mark Basile Mark Bavis Mark Rossini Mark Ruffalo Matt Taibbi Media Matters Media Roots MEK Mexican drug cartel Michael Anne Casey Michael Canavan Michael Goodwin Michael Moore Michael Mukasey Michael Mullen Michael Ruppert Michael Scheuer Mickey Huff Mike Gravel Mike Huckabee milestone Military Tribunals Mindy Kleinberg MK-Ultra Mohamed Osman Mohamud Mohammad Atta Mohammed Junaid Babar Morocco Mosque Mother Jones motive msnbc Muburak Muhammad Hussain Mumbai attacks Murdoch Muslim Muslim Center My Pet Goat Nafeez Ahmed nano-thermite Naomi Klein Naomi Wolf National Institute of Standards and Technology National September 11 Memorial NATO NBC NDAA Netanyahu Newburgh 4 news News Corp New York New York City New York magazine New York TImes New Zealand NFL Niels Harrit NIST Noam Chomsky NORAD NORAD. FAA Norman Mineta Norway NSA NYC NYCCAN NYPD Obama Occupy Wall Street official account Official Government Version oil Oliver North Olympia Snowe onion Operation Dark Heart Operation Northwoods Opium Osama Bin Laden Oslo Ottawa OWS P2 Pakistan Palestine Panetta Pat Curley Patriot Act Patriot Defense Group Patty Casazza Paul Thompson Peace of the Action Pentagon Pentagon Papers PENTTBOM Peter Dale Scott Peter King Peter Phillips petition Philadelphia Philip Giraldi Philip Zelikow phone hacking photographs photos physical evidence Pilots for 9/11 Truth Pinochet Pipeline Pittsburgh Steelers plane crash PNAC podcast Political Prisoners political research associates Port Authority Preet Bharara press press release Press TV Prince Bandar Project Censored propaganda protest pseudo-journalism psychology Pumpitout Radio Qatar Quantico questions R. Leslie Deak rachel maddow radar Radio 2GB Ramzi bin al-Shibh Rap News Rashard Mendenhall Ray Kelly Ray McGovern Raymond Davis Ray Nowosielski redacted Rediscover911 remains Remember Building 7 Rescue Me Research Rethinking Counterterrorism RIBA Richard Blee Richard Clarke Richard Falk Richard Gage Richard Mellon Scaife foundation Richard Meyers Rich Blee Rick Veitch Rita Katz Robert Fisk Robert Foster Robert Parry Robert Scheer Rock Creek Free Press Rolling Stone Rory Albanese Roseanne Barr Rosie O'Donnell Rudy Giuliani Russ Baker Russia Today Saddam Hussein Saeed Sheikh Samir Khan Sarasota Saudi Saudi Arabia Saudis SCAD scads Scott Ford Scott Noble Screw Loose Change Sean Penn secrecykills.com self-deception Senate Senator Mike Gravel Sept. 11 September 11th September 11th Advocates September 11th attacks settlement Shadow Government Shanksville Shoestring shoot down Sibel Edmonds Sibel Emonds simulations SITE skepticism sounds South Park Spain speculation speech SPLC spying State crimes against democracy State Department State Of Emergency Stephen Cozen Steve Dusterwald Steven Hatfill Steven Jones Strategy of Tension Stratfor Supreme Court surveillance surveillance state Susan Rice Syed Shazad Taliban taped terrorism terror plot Terror Timeline The Big Lie The Corrs The Daily Show The Eleventh Day of Every Month The Facts Speak For Themselves The Hard Evidence Tour The Huffington Post The Jersey Girls The New Yorker The Pentagon The Post-9/11 World The Power of Nightmares Thermate The Third Stage Thierry Meyssan think tank Thomas Kean Tom Drake Tom Owen Tom Ridge Tom Wilshire Tony Shaffer Tony Szamboti Topps Top Secret America torture Toward Justice Toxic to Democracy Truth Truth Action truthaction.org Truth Action Ottawa Truth Be Told Comics truther Truth Movement truthout.org Truth Revolution Truth Rising TSA twin towers twitter U.S. UN underwear bomber United 93 United 175 United Airlines United Nations University of Colorado University of Virginia UN Watch US government US Military vaccines Valerie Plame Vanessa Lang Langer victims videos videotaped visa express visibility Visibility 9-11 Wall Street war war crimes war games warnings War on Terror Washington Post We Are Change Welt der Wunder Whistleblower whistleblowers White House Who Is Rich Blee Whoopi Goldberg Wikileaks William Blum Willie Nelson Will McCants wiretaps World Series World Trade Center WTC WTC 7 WTC7 Xe Yemen Zacarias Moussaoui Zadroga Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act Zelikow

TOPICS

"debunkers" #gifiles #occupywallstreet 7/7 bombings 9/11 9/11 attacks 9/11 Citizens Commission 9/11 Commission 9/11 Commission Report 9/11 Conspiracy Roadtrip 9/11 Fahrenheit 911 9/11 families 9/11 phone calls 9/11 survivor 9/11 truth 9/11 Truther 9/11 Truth Movement 9/11 victims 9/11 War 9/11 War Games 9/11 Wars 9/11 Whistleblowers 9/11 workers 9/11 Working Group of Bloomington 9/11: Press For Truth 10th Anniversary 28 pages 757 911 first responders 911 museum 911blogger 911truthnews.com 2012 Abbottabad Able Danger accountability ACLU activism activists Adam Curtis Adam Syed AE911truth ae911truth.org Afghanistan aftermath Ahmadinejad AIPAC Air Force One al-Awlaki al-Qaida Alan Colmes Alan Grayson Alec Baldwin Alec Station Alex Jones Alfreda Frances Bikowsky Alhazmi Ali Soufan Al Jazeera Almihdhar Al qae al Qaeda Amalgam Virgo American War Machine Among the Truthers Andrew Card Andrew Napolitano Andrews Air Force Base anniversary Ann Wright Anonymous Anthony Shaffer Anthony Summers Anthrax Antonio Martinez Anwar al-Alwlaki Anwar al-Awlaki Anwar Awlaki architects Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth artifacts assassination Atiyah abd al-Rahman Australia Australian Broadcasting Corporation b BAE Ban Ki-moon Barack Obama Barcelona Barnes and Noble Barrie Zwicker baseball cards BBC BCCI Behrooz Sarshar Benedict Sliney Ben Fordham Ben Sliney Bill Clinton Bill Doyle Bill Maher Bill Moyers Bill O'Reilly bin Laden Blackwater Bloomington Bob Bowman Bob Graham Bob Kerrey Bob McIlvaine books Bosnia Brett Smith Brian Kilmeade Brooklyn Bridge Bruce Ivins Building 7 Building What bureaucracy Bush Bush Administration C-SPAN Camp David cancer capitalism Cass Sunstein censorship Champion Cheney China Chip Berlet Chris Hedges Chris Mohr Christian Chuck Schumer CIA Cindy Sheehan CIT Citizen Investigation Team Civil Disobedience civil liberties Classified Woman classroom CNN Cofer Black COG Cointelpro Cold War Cole Bombing Coleen Rowley Colin Powell Colorado Colorado Public Television Condonleezza Rice Con Edison congress conspiracies conspiracy conspiracy theory Constitution consumerism contradictions Cordoba Initiative Cornell West corporate media Cosmos Counter-Terror Expo Counterpunch counterterrorism coverup cover up CPT12 cryptome.org cybersecurity Cynthia McKinney Dahlia Wasfi Daniel Ellsberg Daniel Pipes Daniel Sunjata Dave Frasca David Chandler David Long David Ray Griffin David Swanson David Weigel DC debris debunking Deep Politics Democracy Now Democratic Party demolition Demos Dennis Kucinich detainee detainees Detroit DIA Dick Cheney Dick Gregory Disconnecting the Dots disinformation documents Donald Rumsfeld donations Donna Marsh O'Connor Downing Street drones dust Dwight D. Eisenhower DynCorp Egypt Egyptian Revolution Eleanor Hill Elena Kagan Eleventh actions Emanuel Sferios Emily Louise Church empire engineers entrapment Eric Bolling Eric Holder Eric Margolis espionage act Evan Dando evidence exercises explosions extremism F-16 FAA facebook Fahrenheit 9/11 Fake Phone Calls theory FBI FDR Analysis Fealgood Foundation FEMA firefighters first responders Flight 77 flight 93 Florida FOIA foreknowledge FOX FOX News Frances Bikowsky Frank Legge Fran Townsend fraud Fred Burton fresh kills funding FX Gareth Newnham Gawker General Assemby George Bush George Tenet George W. Bush Geraldo Rivera Germany Geronimo Gladio Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald globalization Global Jihad Unit Graeme MacQueen Green Party Gregg Roberts Ground Zero Ground Zero mosque groups Guantanamo Guantanamo Bay Gulf of Tonkin hackers Hamid Karzai Haqqani health Health Bill hearing Heather Penney Heroin hijackers hijacking Hilary Clinton Hillary Clinton History Commons historycommons.org hit piece Homeland Security Howie Hawkins HR 847 Huffington Post humor Hypothesis Image Comics immunity Indefinite Detention India infiltration inside job Inspire magazine Intelligence Advisory Board intelligence failures intercept International Center for 9/11 Studies investigation Iowa Iran Iran-Contra Iraq Iraq War ISI Islam Israel issues James Bamford James Gourley Jane Mayer Janet Napolitano Janette MacKinlay Jason Leopold Jay Carney Jeffery Farrar Jellyfish Jersey Girls Jesse Ventura JICI Jim Corr Jim Fetzer Joe Biden Joe Rogan John Albanese John Ashcroft John Bursill John Duffy John Feal John Gross John Judge John Lennon John Pilger John Stewart John Walker Lindh Joint Congressional Inquiry Joint Forces Intelligence Command Jonathan Barnett Jonathan Cole Jonathan Kay Jon Cole Jon Faine Jon Gold Jon Stewart Joseph Doyle journalism Journal of 9/11 Studies Joy Behar Judge Hellerstein Judy Wood Julia Gillard Julian Assange justice Justice Department KALW Katherine Bigelow kdub Keith Olbermann Kent Gibson Kevin Barrett Kevin Bracken Kevin Fenton Kevin Ryan Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Korey Rowe Kosovo Kristen Breitweiser KSM LaborTech Langley Larry Silverstein Laurie Manwell Lawrence Wilkerson lawsuit Lee Hamilton Leon Panetta Libya lies limited hangout Link TV Liz Cheney Lloyd's of London London Truth Action Loose Change Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup Lorie Van Auken Lupe Fiasco Mahmoud Ahmed mainstream mainstream media Manny Badillo Mark Basile Mark Bavis Mark Rossini Mark Ruffalo Matt Taibbi Media Matters Media Roots MEK Mexican drug cartel Michael Anne Casey Michael Canavan Michael Goodwin Michael Moore Michael Mukasey Michael Mullen Michael Ruppert Michael Scheuer Mickey Huff Mike Gravel Mike Huckabee milestone Military Tribunals Mindy Kleinberg MK-Ultra Mohamed Osman Mohamud Mohammad Atta Mohammed Junaid Babar Morocco Mosque Mother Jones motive msnbc Muburak Muhammad Hussain Mumbai attacks Murdoch Muslim Muslim Center My Pet Goat Nafeez Ahmed nano-thermite Naomi Klein Naomi Wolf National Institute of Standards and Technology National September 11 Memorial NATO NBC NDAA Netanyahu Newburgh 4 news News Corp New York New York City New York magazine New York TImes New Zealand NFL Niels Harrit NIST Noam Chomsky NORAD NORAD. FAA Norman Mineta Norway NSA NYC NYCCAN NYPD Obama Occupy Wall Street official account Official Government Version oil Oliver North Olympia Snowe onion Operation Dark Heart Operation Northwoods Opium Osama Bin Laden Oslo Ottawa OWS P2 Pakistan Palestine Panetta Pat Curley Patriot Act Patriot Defense Group Patty Casazza Paul Thompson Peace of the Action Pentagon Pentagon Papers PENTTBOM Peter Dale Scott Peter King Peter Phillips petition Philadelphia Philip Giraldi Philip Zelikow phone hacking photographs photos physical evidence Pilots for 9/11 Truth Pinochet Pipeline Pittsburgh Steelers plane crash PNAC podcast Political Prisoners political research associates Port Authority Preet Bharara press press release Press TV Prince Bandar Project Censored propaganda protest pseudo-journalism psychology Pumpitout Radio Qatar Quantico questions R. Leslie Deak rachel maddow radar Radio 2GB Ramzi bin al-Shibh Rap News Rashard Mendenhall Ray Kelly Ray McGovern Raymond Davis Ray Nowosielski redacted Rediscover911 remains Remember Building 7 Rescue Me Research Rethinking Counterterrorism RIBA Richard Blee Richard Clarke Richard Falk Richard Gage Richard Mellon Scaife foundation Richard Meyers Rich Blee Rick Veitch Rita Katz Robert Fisk Robert Foster Robert Parry Robert Scheer Rock Creek Free Press Rolling Stone Rory Albanese Roseanne Barr Rosie O'Donnell Rudy Giuliani Russ Baker Russia Today Saddam Hussein Saeed Sheikh Samir Khan Sarasota Saudi Saudi Arabia Saudis SCAD scads Scott Ford Scott Noble Screw Loose Change Sean Penn secrecykills.com self-deception Senate Senator Mike Gravel Sept. 11 September 11th September 11th Advocates September 11th attacks settlement Shadow Government Shanksville Shoestring shoot down Sibel Edmonds Sibel Emonds simulations SITE skepticism sounds South Park Spain speculation speech SPLC spying State crimes against democracy State Department State Of Emergency Stephen Cozen Steve Dusterwald Steven Hatfill Steven Jones Strategy of Tension Stratfor Supreme Court surveillance surveillance state Susan Rice Syed Shazad Taliban taped terrorism terror plot Terror Timeline The Big Lie The Corrs The Daily Show The Eleventh Day of Every Month The Facts Speak For Themselves The Hard Evidence Tour The Huffington Post The Jersey Girls The New Yorker The Pentagon The Post-9/11 World The Power of Nightmares Thermate The Third Stage Thierry Meyssan think tank Thomas Kean Tom Drake Tom Owen Tom Ridge Tom Wilshire Tony Shaffer Tony Szamboti Topps Top Secret America torture Toward Justice Toxic to Democracy Truth Truth Action truthaction.org Truth Action Ottawa Truth Be Told Comics truther Truth Movement truthout.org Truth Revolution Truth Rising TSA twin towers twitter U.S. UN underwear bomber United 93 United 175 United Airlines United Nations University of Colorado University of Virginia UN Watch US government US Military vaccines Valerie Plame Vanessa Lang Langer victims videos videotaped visa express visibility Visibility 9-11 Wall Street war war crimes war games warnings War on Terror Washington Post We Are Change Welt der Wunder Whistleblower whistleblowers White House Who Is Rich Blee Whoopi Goldberg Wikileaks William Blum Willie Nelson Will McCants wiretaps World Series World Trade Center WTC WTC 7 WTC7 Xe Yemen Zacarias Moussaoui Zadroga Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act Zelikow

Conspiracy Theory

Category: BLOG

The term “conspiracy theory” has become a derisive term for those who believe that some secretive group is responsible for a tragic event. The result of painting people with such a broad brush has been that media elites, both local and national, dismiss such groups before allowing them to present their argument.

For Americans the primary reference to conspiracy theories today comes in discussions of the events of 9/11/01. Let us begin by making an important distinction. There is a difference between rejecting official government and media explanations of events, and maintaining that there was a sinister collusion of secret, unnamed parties. Any objective observer can see that the 9/11 Commission Report was clearly either hurriedly or incompetently done, or they are covering something with it. But to conclude from that, that the cover-up is the specific one of a nefarious government inside job in the destruction of the World Trade Centers is a different issue, and requires a high standard of evidence. This is not only because of the nature of the charge—it involves the charge of mass murder if not treason—but because it charges that particular parties did the deed rather than that particular institutional structures were dysfunctional that day. Beyond that, it is a demand that such individuals be arrested and brought to trial. So it is both the grandiose nature of the charges, in conjunction with the hypothesis that given individuals within our own government did it, and in conjunction with bringing such ghost figures to justice, that such hypotheses are called “conspiracy theories.” Consequently, many political party and media elites shut the parties holding this view out of the debate.

But let us discuss this conspiracy perspective a bit further. There are four possible approaches to analyses of significant social and political events today: conspiratorial, institutional, “agency and structure,” and what I will call “the ignoratii.” This term refers to those who not only don’t know the distinction between these modes of analysis, but more importantly have not examined the evidence produced by these three modes of investigation, but who nonetheless think themselves expert enough to scoff at one or both positions. Usually this occurs by the ignoratii heaping their ignorant disdain on the conspiracy folks through name-calling or through mocking their position by condescendingly mischaracterizing it as a form of psychological malady; for example, not seeing that real airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. Through such simplistic smearing of others, they perform the elite institutional role of keeping dissenting voices out of the public discussion.

The institutional analysts take the structural approach, ignoring human agency. Noam Chomsky, for example, operates strictly from a paradigm of institutional analysis, and that logically entails that he consistently deny that human agency plays any appreciable role in significant political events. The result is that he a priori dismisses the very possibility that any individual or small group could engage in dastardly deeds such as the assassination of President Kennedy, and, more to our point, the possibility that there were specific agents involved in the demolition of the towers beyond those who piloted the planes on that fateful day. But Chomsky’s institutional analysis, as legitimate as it is, is unwarrantably suspicious about evidence that might indicate the role of human agency beyond the pilots of the planes. His commitment to institutional analysis results in his own ideology of belittling human agency as of little merit in significant events.

The conspirators take the agency side, often ignoring the structural side. The conspiracists spend much time and energy trying to establish their assumption that someone or some group committed a high crime, and then additionally attempt to show who did what, how, and why. They tend to ignore institutional patterns of organization and norms that open up and perhaps even encourage such behavior. For example, David Ray Griffin regularly engages in vocabulary that 9/11 was what he calls “an inside job,” and then proceeds to show how some nefarious agents had to be involved in the events of 9/11. Additionally, Griffin consistently encourages a wider understanding of the term “conspiracy theorist” so that everyone in essence becomes a conspiracy theorist.

But the conspiracy theorist viewpoint, like the institutional one, is unduly narrow. By focusing on agents, it ignores institutional norms and mechanisms that would allow the possibility of persons engaging in the actions at issue and even covering them up. The latter is an important issue for conspiracy theorists: without institutional analysis, they pay the high cost of not being taken seriously. They could make their case stronger if they challenge the structuralists such as Chomsky by demonstrating how the institutional operations could conceivably have been configured so as to allow agents to operate in such rogue fashion. A purely conspiratorial theory would require tracing the evidence of their hypothesis directly to the guilty parties for prosecution. The chances of that happening are slim, at best. To be taken more seriously, the conspiracy analysis should go past the allegedly guilty party or parties of the deeds of 9/11 to the mechanisms of an institution that would generate such actions. To the degree that they do this, they combine the best of structure and agency analysis, which would be the preferred option.

The result of this reflection is that if one combines an agency and structural analysis, one must conclude that the question concerning whether 9/11 was an inside job is too narrow, because it focuses not just on agency, but on government agency. Further, the question itself is framed in terms that favor a conspiracist analysis over an institutional one.

But if those who want to be taken seriously in the media debate, they should change not only their vocabulary, but also their focus, from “inside job” to, for example, “structures of agency.” They should also take seriously such analyses as Peter Dale Scott, who certainly sides with the “9/11 Truthers,” but who takes a more institutional approach to his political analyses. Finally, they should drop the name “9/11 Truthers.” That sounds like either or a cult, convinced that they and only they have the truth on their side. Such adjustments in method, focus, and vocabulary would go a long way to reopening the debate about the events of 9/11, and would make it more difficult for the media elites to keep them out of the debate by hook and by crook.

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More than this, if conspiracy theories remain simply at the level of conspiracy—i.e. who did it and why—they run into further problems. First, a complex agency analysis, with all the levels of evidence that would be required, would be difficult at best, and would take many years to compile. It would also be incomplete and largely circumstantial. As a consequence, such evidence will never convince skeptics. Third, it ultimately won’t matter for prosecution sake, since the agents will be dead by the time they are revealed. Finally, using the Kennedy assassination as an example, the case is still not closed, fifty years after the fact. Thus, it would be much more beneficial and important to discuss what was done by the Bush and now Obama administrations in the wake of the events of 9/11 instead of trying to focus on who did it.

The “agency and structure” analysis asserts that human agency is too closely intertwined with institutional structures and norms to lessen the importance of individual intention to a second-class standing in analysis. This analysis maintains both the individuals sought to cause a catastrophic event and that the institutional structures were in place to either permit or encourage it to be done. It sees agency as important and instructive on a micro level, and to be used where needed. It sees institutional analysis as a macro approach, generally valid where group movements and institutional patterns are discernible. The two approaches are not contradictory, and can even be mutual. But it denies the tendency of the institutional approach to maintain that human actions are in some way predetermined or at least generated by the institutional organization itself. It also denies that only rogue agents of some sort acted outside of the institutional structures. It is a “both-and” approach, compared to Chomsky’s “either-or” approach.

If the conspiracy approach widened their investigative concerns over 9/11 to institutional structures and then to the agents they want to maintain were behind 9/11, they may be taken more seriously by the media, and be less subject to the ridicule and scorn from the liberal intelligentsia that has kept them out of the media debate about this critical question of our generation: “What indeed happened on 9/11?”

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