Monday, April 30, 2007

What "They" Want You To Think

Yesterday, a gasoline fire caused a section of freeway in Oakland, California to collapse:

The tanker carrying 8,600 gallons of gasoline ignited after crashing into a pylon on the interchange, which connects westbound lanes of Interstate 80 to southbound I-880, on the edge of downtown Oakland about half a mile from the Bay Bridge's toll plaza....

Heat exceeded 2,750 degrees and caused the steel beams holding up the interchange from eastbound I-80 to eastbound Interstate 580 above to buckle and bolts holding the structure together to melt, leading to the collapse....
To the untrained eye, this would seem to debunk a central claim of 9/11 truthseekers:
[O]pen fires fueled by hydrocarbons, such as kerosene---which is what jet fuel is---can at most rise to 1700°F, which is almost 1100 degrees below the melting point of steel. We can, accordingly, dismiss the claim that the towers collapsed because their steel columns melted.
But to discerning readers, this story raises more questions than it answers. We all know that the media have been complicit in the crimes of the Bush Administration, and the cover-up of 9/11. Could this freeway collapse have been a "false flag" operation designed to discredit 9/11 investigators like David Ray Griffin?

The article's odd emphasis on the temperature of the fire, and the buckling of the steel columns, suggests that this is a very real possibility.

Add to this the fact that the crashed vehicle was coming from a refinery, and that the driver walked away from this disaster virtually unscathed, and we can see that there's something very wrong with the official narrative. After all, the Bush Administration's close ties to the oil and gas industry have been well documented. And if the fire had been as hot as news reports claim, the driver should've been immolated. How could he have walked away, even with second-degree burns, unless he'd prepared in advance for the crash, or parked the truck and detonated it from a distance (probably in order to ignite thermite charges concealed at weak points beneath the overpass)? The fact that this "accident" happened at 3:45 AM, an hour when one would expect few or no witnesses, adds strong circumstantial support to the latter theory.

It's unfortunate that most Americans will never even consider these possibilities, but not surprising. Ordinary people desperately want to believe that our government means well, and would never launch an attack on its own citizens or infrastructure.

I'm not actually being serious, of course. David Ray Griffin's claim that burning jet fuel couldn't have caused the WTC's beams to fail always struck me as idiotic, not least because there's a difference between a material's melting point, and the point at which it loses some or all of its structural strength. Conspiracy theorists have made much of "inconsistencies" in reporting on the WTC, but some of these claims seem to me to boil down to loose journalistic interpretations of words like "melted," which are common in reporting on scientific issues. A newspaper reporter who says the WTC beams "melted" in the fire doesn't necessarily mean that the steel became liquefied as a result of reaching its melting point.

None of which is to say that I accept the official 9/11 narrative as true; I don't. But I do think this narrative is more than damning enough to render conspiracy theories largely beside the point. And I sometimes wish that more attention were being paid to the wrongdoing admitted in that narrative, instead of to constantly shifting alternative narratives from a variety of competing and often equally dubious sources (including, perhaps, spreaders of disinformation).

That's my problem with a lot of conspiracy theories: they're ultimately escapist. In the case of 9/11, the existence of a hidden narrative - or multiple hidden narratives - allows people to overlook the "cover story." Which means, in a sense, that the cover story is the hidden story. It's almost as though the conspiracy theorists themselves can't accept that what's been acknowledged is shocking enough, and have irresponsibly retreated into fantasy.

You've gotta's possible.

UPDATE: A new site called 4/29 Truth aims to find out what really happened on that tragic day. (Hat tip: JR at Eschaton).


chris said...

Algore invented the internet to communicate anonymously with his fellow conspirators in the Great Global Warming Swindle.
Hmm. Seems to be working.
Thanks, Phila. It never occurred to me that a good conspiracy theory actually helps to cover up the awful truth.

Eli said...

But... if the conspiracy theories are invalid, then that means that the Bush administration did everything they could to stop 9/11!

ellroon said...

"But... if the conspiracy theories are invalid, then that means that the Bush administration did everything they could to stop 9/11!"

But wait! They only want you to think that because they know people will discount the conspiracy theory which actually is covering up for the real event which is actually the fake event because the real event ... uh... is in Area 51!!

Damn, wrong conspiracy....

charley said...

Who could have predicted?

not me.