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koala
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Joined: 12 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:49 pm    Post subject: Main approaches Reply with quote

9/11 conspiracy theories generally start with dissatisfaction with the official explanation of 9/11. But criticism of the official account does not in and of itself constitute a conspiracy theory. 9/11 conspiracy theories constitute a strong version of the 9/11 Truth Movement.

The weak version, which does not directly imply a conspiracy, merely suspects that government agencies, including the military and intelligence communities, dealt incompetently with the 9/11 attacks. It may go as far as suggesting that the 9/11 Commission covered up these alleged incompetencies and even that part of the incompetence involved inappropriate reactions to advanced warnings. While 9/11 conspiracy theories often include such claims, they go further to suggest intentional activities that either facilitated or directly caused the attacks. There are two main categories of 9/11 conspiracy theories.

Key individuals within the government and defense establishment "let it happen on purpose" (LIHOP). That is, they knew the attacks were coming (though there is a range of opinion about how specific their knowledge was) and undertook to weaken America's defenses sufficiently to ensure a successful major terrorist attack on home soil.
Key individuals within the government and defense establishment "made it happen on purpose" (MIHOP). That is, they planned the attacks (and here there is a range of opinion about what the plan was) and ultimately carried it into action.
Some theories go on to identify the people who had the power to either make it or let it happen purposefully. This list of suspects also varies considerably across theories.

The case for the theories is generally built on publicly available sources following a "connect the dots" approach. These sources include news reports of government actions, terrorist activities, and physical events, and a substantial amount of video footage. Part of the argument is a critique of the mainstream media for reporting individual facts without making an adequate effort to understand the connections between them. Conspiracy theories emerge from making such connections in the interpretative room left open by "unanswered questions". In some cases, conspiracy theorists will insist on the accuracy of early news reports that have since been retracted, refuted, or forgotten.

Arguments are offered to suggest both the physical possibility and circumstancial plausibility of a given conspiracy theory and, correspondingly, to demonstrate the physical impossibility and circumstancial implausibility of the official account. Since most conspiracy theorists argue for further indepedent investigations of the attacks, the basic assertion is normally only that the alternative conspiracy theory is more likely than "the official conspiracy theory". The remainder of this article provides a survey of the arguments, which are generally combined by individual theorists in overlapping and sometimes incompatible ways.
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