I’d like to ask Michael Miner if it isn’t just good journalistic practice to gather all the evidence you can and let it fall together into the picture that it seems determined to make [Hot Type, October 20]. I haven’t read David Ray Griffin’s book on 9/11 or the interview that Mr. Miner refers to in Conscious Choice. But his description of Griffin’s argument (“the World Trade Center was brought down by explosives planted in the towers rather than by the planes alone and . . . behind the catastrophe were neoconservatives seeking a pretext for war”) is one that has been developed evidentiarily, inductively, and cooperatively over the course of these several years by the many people working in what is usually called the 9/11 truth community. In the excruciatingly good faith that it takes to think well, these people have come to their conclusions in the way any average decent reporter would. You try to see the shape, the understanding, that reconciles some bits of evidence to some other bits. When many of those people who one predicts might have been “inside” the 9/11 experience enough to have interesting things to say about it refuse, by the privilege of power or for fear, to talk, then this raises the stakes on the way we use our faculty of critical inference, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t still rely on it–we have to. I would say that the limited position that Mr. Miner describes Mr. Griffin as taking is the consensus position of this community. For an introduction to the sort of “bits” that Griffin might be looking at, I recommend the thoroughly sourced 9/11
timeline put together by Mike Ruppert of From the Wilderness Publications. Here is its URL: www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/02_11_02_lucy.html
The term conspiracy theory is really without content–it’s all attitude–and it tends to delude our own reasoning. Something is either credible or it isn’t. But if Mr. Miner thinks of conspiracy theory as a category that is, on principle, false, then he will never allow any contradictory evidence to float in, and so will never let himself really think about his own assumptions in this area. The “credulity” he mentions then becomes his, not ours. I know that Mr. Miner understands how and why the broader “editorial” interests of a publication, and of commercial publication in general, might work to marginalize what might actually be good journalism–the test of the quality of which, again, cannot be determined without reading it critically. His fall into the ad hominem mode, into throwing “wingnut” around, I take to betray his unwillingness to look into the reasoning behind the position that Griffin seems to share with the former editors of Conscious Choice. And strangely it is generally not people like them but like Mr. Miner who keep the cult of the “conspiracy theory” alive, because they might just want to look sensibly at a broad range of evidence, and he does not.