There is one conspiracy theory that was extremely popular just after 9/11 when all the videos and photos came out. It states that the 9/11 attacks were actually planned by the government in order to create a reason for the US to go to war in the Middle East. This theory quickly became one of the memes that are defined by Blackmore as “something [which] can be passed on again, and again, and…takes on a life of its own. We might call this thing an idea, an instruction, a behavior, a piece of information” (Blackmore 4). The broad expansion of this meme and the evidence proponents use to support their theories are the focus of this post.
The people at 911truth.org claim that the explanation given by the US Administration is the real conspiracy. This paranoid political writing begins with something Hofstader (86) calls “certain broad defensible judgments,” like that 9/11 was just another False Flag Operation. A False Flag Operation is a military operation carried out by one entity in order to make it look like another entity actually did it. These False Flag Operations are ultimately a “memeplex” or group of memes focused on the same general idea that “replicate better as part of the group than they can on their own” (Blackmore 20). The website claims that all of these unanswered questions left and the defenses the government has in place that seemingly failed point to the fact that the US government either knew or propagated the attacks. They claim to be truth seekers out to educate the world and ultimately ask for money to help them research the “truth” behind 9/11.
TV News Lies is a website devoted to finding the truth behind many different lies and conspiracies that media and government don’t want the people to know about. Their article of the cover up behind 9/11 claims that they are about to show the reader all the proof they need to prove that the US government knew exactly what was happening and allowed it to go on. They claim that the lack of investigation in the supposed planned demolition of one of the World Trade Center buildings and the anonymous investment into the two airlines that were hijacked are evidence enough to completely prove that the government is lying to the US citizens and covering up the truth. This is smart because as Goertzl (2) explains “claims of conspiracy cannot be reflexively dismissed, but they are difficult to test because lack of evidence can be interpreted as proof of how cleverly the conspirators have hidden it.” The website even makes the claim that the evidence (or lack thereof) is irrefutable evidence of the 9/11 cover up, which makes their theory fact.
Debunking 9/11 is another site that believes the US government is ultimately behind the 9/11 attack. They took a different approach and chose to go to supposed “experts” and get them to go through the science of how the steel structures couldn’t have collapsed due to fire because it is impossible. They have quotes from firefighters, civil engineers, and peer reviewed papers that provide support for their theory. They are determined that the US public knows the truth behind 9/11 and its real attackers.
Susan Blackmore (1999). The Meme Machine. London: Oxford University Press.
Ted Goertzel (2011) “The conspiracy meme,” Skeptical Inquirer, 35(1).
Richard Hofstadter (1964) “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” Harper’s Magazine, November.