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The Nation weakly trashes 9/11 skeptics

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News and Commentary by David Caputo of Positronic Design

The Nation Magazine, one of my all time favorites and the very model for my own news magazine from "back in the day", is all-kinda squishy-washy about 9/11, and what really happened that day. They constantly rip the Bush administration a new one for all manner of the dreadful things they do, but they seem largely incapable of even QUESTIONING the official government line on 9/11 facts and figures, even when they blatantly contradict themselves.

Their most recent piece on this subject, Christopher Hayes' "9/11: The Roots of Paranoia" was typical of the genre, although politer than most. I offer my thoughts and commentary because I thought such a weak overall analysis should not stand unchallenged, especially by a long-time fan of The Nation.

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Dear Nation Editors,

While I am somewhat impressed (compared to recent efforts from Alexander Cockburn) at the reasonable tone and interesting theoretical arguments of Christopher Hayes' article "9/11: The Roots of Paranoia", his analysis, sadly, still comes up wanting in many ways.

The article opens by citing a July 2006 Scripps poll which shows that 33% of Americans believe either LIHOP (let it happen on purpose) or MIHOP (make it happen on purpose) theories of US governement complicity on 9/11.

He's disturbed by these findings (although unsurprised by them, which I'll discuss later) because he detects no ferment among the masses that would correspond to knowing that the country is being led by mass murderers. This ignores, of course, the fact that it is undeniable that our government IS being led by mass murderers, as 100k - 600k victims of unprovoked international violence would attest. The question, it seems, is whether or not our country is led by mass murderers of Americans. (Not counting, of course, the 3000+ fellow citizens who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the tens of thousands of permanently maimed, on both sides)

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A later poll is more instructive, I think, and speaks to why he thinks the first phenomenon is unsurprising.

---- Question: When it comes to what they knew prior to September 11th, 2001, about possible terrorist attacks against the United States, do you think members of the Bush Administration are telling the truth, are mostly telling the truth but hiding something, or are they mostly lying?

..........................Oct. 2006 ...May 2002

Telling the truth..........16%.......21%

Hiding something........53%.......65%

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Mostly lying................28%........8%

Not sure.....................3%........6%

Source: The New York Times / CBS News Methodology: Telephone interviews with 983 American adults, conducted from Oct. 5 to Oct. 8, 2006. Margin of error is 4 per cent. ----

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