Saturday, February 26, 2005

Debunking Myths

We've all gotten into them: useless discussions started by trolls and other forms of trouble makers. What they say (or write) defies logic, verifiable fact and/or common sense, but still they persist.

Some, like Ward Churchill, make a living by perpetuating their lies. Some folk just have web sites. And the gullible choose to believe them.

FROM THE MOMENT the first airplane crashed into the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, the world has asked one simple and compelling question: How could it happen?

Three and a half years later, not everyone is convinced we know the truth. Go to Google.com, type in the search phrase "World Trade Center conspiracy" and you'll get links to an estimated 628,000 Web sites. More than 3000 books on 9/11 have been published; many of them reject the official consensus that hijackers associated with Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda flew passenger planes into U.S. landmarks.

Healthy skepticism, it seems, has curdled into paranoia. Wild conspiracy tales are peddled daily on the Internet, talk radio and in other media. Blurry photos, quotes taken out of context and sketchy eyewitness accounts have inspired a slew of elaborate theories: The Pentagon was struck by a missile; the World Trade Center was razed by demolition-style bombs; Flight 93 was shot down by a mysterious white jet. As outlandish as these claims may sound, they are increasingly accepted abroad and among extremists here in the United States.
Popular Mechanics, investigatating 16 of the most "prevalent claims," assembled a group of experts to debunk the myths.

WARNING: Some of the photographs may be disturbing.

Via: Austin Bay.

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