Some time ago, I had a bit of an online back and forth with a truther. I eventually stopped because I have better things to do, but my brain kept thinking on it. It eventually came up with a question I don’t believe truthers will be able to give a convincing answer to. They’ll try, but it will sound just like their other theories.
Now, I know with conspiracy theories there are always versions designed to weasel around inconvenient facts, so this is the general version the truther I was talking to was pitching. Phase One involved an unknown group of people going into the Twin Towers in the weeks or months before 9/11 to place demolition charges. Part of the back and forth was me asking – repeatedly – how much explosives would have been needed to bring the towers down. I figured it’s a basic element of the truther case and they should have a ready answer. The reason I had to repeatedly ask this question was because the truther seemed unable – or unwilling – to give an answer. Eventually, they said that studies had been done and I could look them up, or something like that. I felt like replying that studies have been done that show explosives were not needed to bring the towers down, but like inconvenient facts, truthers weasel around inconvenient studies as well.
Phase Two of this truther’s 9/11 theory, was the whole airplane thing. The planes hit, and then after an hour or so of people evacuating from the buildings, the explosives set in Phase One are set off to bring the towers down. People are then to believe that the planes – not the explosives – caused the collapse. And Phase Three was some nebulous idea of Bad Guys using the wars and tighter security measures or whatever to make money.
The challenge I have for truthers is this, why bother with Phase Two? Once they had the buildings wired, why not wait until they were full and then blow them? I don’t know how many people were able to evacuate between the time the airplanes hit and the buildings were “blown,” but if you cut out that evacuation time, a lot more people would have been killed. And if they wanted to kill as many firefighters or cops as they could, they could have blown one, waited until everyone showed up to it, then blew the other. But you ask, Who would believe terrorists would be able to demolish a building? Who believed they had the skill to pull off four, simultaneous hijackings and then fly the planes into buildings? Why would that be more believable? Why did they think they needed the diversion of the whole plane thing? If the truther terrorists were able to sneak hundreds, maybe thousands, of pounds of explosives passed building security and plant it, then surely they could plant evidence to make it look like Al Qaeda did it. Plus, the idea that there are nutjobs out there who would fly a plane into a building is terrifying, but the idea that there are nutjobs out there with the knowledge and skill to topple any skyscraper – and they are still out there – is fucking terrifying.
So, by dropping the whole plane thing, they could have had a smaller operation which means few chances of things going wrong or them being found out, as well as fewer people who might later come forward, they could have killed more people generating even more fear and hatred, and with the culprits not being caught any time soon, they could have pushed through even more draconian security measures for the Bad Guys to make money off of. So, why fly the planes in? What did they gain by it?
On a related note, is the whole “The Pentagon was hit by a missile,” thing. A terrorist group with access to missiles is more terrifying than one that flies planes into buildings. So why, from the truther point of view, would the conspiracy want the terrorists to seem to have fewer resources? Unless the conspiracy is just a wheel in a bigger conspiracy that the ultratruthers are playing on the truthers.