Conspiracy Theory

Hilary wrote to the Virtual Stoa the other day [1.11.2002]:

Up till now I’ve been a passive reader of the Virtual Stoa (can’t rememebr how I stumbled upon it in the first place!), but thought this might interest you.

Appended to her message is a a summary of Gore Vidal’s essay on the war against terrorism, published in last Sunday’s Observer. (The Observer hasn’t published the article on its website, saying that it is “exclusive to the print edition”, but last time I looked there was a copy of the full text posted here). And attached to this summary was a link to the page at emperors-clothes.com, Jared Israel’s website which peddles an awful lot of conspiracism.It’s always nice to get letters from readers of the Stoa – but on this occasion I’m not very interested in this kind of material. Insofar as Vidal’s argument is about grand Republican strategies for dominating Eurasia, it’s quite interesting (though there are better treatments of the topic elsehwere). Insofar as it just repeats the staple claims of 911 conspiracy theories, with their minute-by-minute analyses of who knew what, when, and what they then did about it, or did not do about it, on the day itself, it doesn’t seem to me to be very interesting at all.

Chip Berlet’s page on post-911 conspiracizing is useful, and well-documented, and the rest of the Political Research Associates website has a ton of material on Conspiracy Theories and What is Wrong with Them. Another nice discussion of War against Terror conspiracies is this article from In These Times.

As Max Sawicky notes in a post to the new No War Blog banning conspiracizing discussions on the site, “everything you need to criticize the U.S. government or the capitalist system is right out in the open. The same goes for this war”.

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