Monday, September 11, 2017


       There was interesting article a few days ago on the discussion forum Metabunk dealing with a 1962 meeting between William F. Buckley and GOP leaders on how to deal with the John Birch Society---the Red Pill/Alt-RINOs of their day---who were spreading absurd conspiracy theories about contemporary political figures. Since, as regular readers know, we're huge fans of the late W.F. Buckley, the article naturally caught our attention.

       Mick West, the author, had several quotes from Buckley, including one important one we'd forgotten. When asked about conspiracy theories, Buckley replied:

       "The logical fallacy involved is that one can infer subjective intention from objective consequence. For example: we lost China to the Communists; therefore the President of the United States and the Secretary of State wished a Communist takeover in China."

      Buckley called this type of reasoning The Objective Fallacy. It's good to keep this definition in mind---especially at times like the 9/11 Anniversary. The difference between genuine conspiracies and conspiracy theories often hinge upon the very inference that Buckley describes. And, of course, it's not only the Far Right who engage in this type of thinking: the Radical Left practically thrives on it.

       Contrary to what Media nitwits tell us, large-scale criminal conspiracies are vulnerable to detection because keeping activities secret is much more difficult in a large organization. This is especially true in a relatively transparent society like the US; a little more complicated in groups like Al-Qaeda, where terror and fanaticism are employed to prevent such disclosures. But even so, it's not impossible to infiltrate such groups. Fanatics are known to shift loyalties easily, and there are always a few who'll bend principles for a price.

        On 9/11, Al-Qaeda followed the classic pattern of criminal conspiracies everywhere: motive + intention + opportunity = action. Their motive was to end US support for the Saudi Regime which was an obstacle to their goal of a Wahhabi coup in that country. The intention was to cause an incident that would break the US-Saudi Alliance. The opportunity was that the Bush Administration was new and hadn't corrected the security deficiencies of the Clinton Administration. 9/11 was the result.

      But when employing the Objective Fallacy, we have to assume that the Bush Administration both executed 9/11 and successfully kept their involvement a secret from political opponents, foreign governments, and a hostile Media. Or else believe that their opponents were really their confederates. Aside from the impossibility of this; every theory about Bush involvement in 9/11 fails the classic pattern of conspiracies referenced above. While opportunity is a given, due to their positions in government, intention and motive are far less clear.

        Especially this is so at the originating point of motive. Nearly every motive given by 9/11 'truthers' could have been achieved without the 9/11 attacks---and in fact achieved more easily. Bush wanted a pretext for war? Just two years earlier, Clinton gulled the American people into a war in Kosovo without any false-flags. Bush wanted a pretext to seize absolute power? Obviously, that never happened so it couldn't have been his intention. Bush wanted to steal foreign oil? Venezuela is closer to the US than Iraq, has more oil, and we had a better reason for invading it. There were things inside the WTC that Bush wished destroyed? The government has plenty of Black Ops capable of stealing such things without detection. And so on.

         This is another problem with the Objective Fallacy---one has to reverse the formula for conspiracies and reason from action to motive instead of the other way around. In real life, professional investigators always start at 'who had a motive?' It's fairly clear that on 9/11 Al-Qaeda had a motive; Bush's motives---not so much.

         The purpose here is not to fight 9/11 all over again, but to keep Buckley's maxim in mind when we hear similar stories. There's enough real criminal activity going on both within and without the Government to keep us busy without chasing after phantoms.

1 comment:

  1. Well said. I love a good conspiracy theory, but many people completely loose their minds and don't take into account the nature of people. It's a bit funny, I too would love to blame the Illuminati,the Bilderbergers, our secret alien overlords who are messing the whole world up, but I'm afraid it's just us and our own incompetency and corruption.

    I was pondering this same thing in your other article about opiates in California. While I'm quite certain drugs never come into a community without some official corruption, for the most part politicians and officials are simply useful idiots, unwitting participants.