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Divide and Conquer

Given the many benefits that continue to flow to small groups of powerful individuals from the 9/11/01 attack and importance of the official mythology in diverting attention from the real perpetrators, it would not be surprising if the cover-up was as carefully engineered as the attack itself.

As we point out in the introduction to this section, most of the work of the cover-up is apparently performed unwittingly by individuals who had nothing to do with the attack. The genius of the architects of the attack was their exploitation of people's ignorance and bias to motivate them to unknowingly serve the cover-up.

The cover-up functions largely through the exploitation of a false dialectic, in which the official story is pitted against challenges based on fallacies, such as a series of arguments that no jetliner hit the Pentagon. Such specious challenges serve as a diversion from the overwhelming body of substantial evidence for official complicity.

The false dialectic thrives in part because people on different sides of the argument apply different standards to challenges to the official story as a natural consequence of their different viewpoints. Defenders of the official story tend to highlight the most absurd claims against it, and treat such claims as representative of the breadth of challenges. In contrast, challengers of the official story tend to be tolerant of absurd claims, such as In Plane Site and Loose Change , because such productions appeal to a desire to grow the movement. The inclination of the 9/11 Truth Movement to embrace claims of official complicity regardless of their merit -- the Big Tent strategy -- may be the Movement's most fundamental error.

An asymmetry between the official story and challenges to it works to maintain the false dialectic:

  • The vast majority of people accept the official story because of the psychology of the Big Lie, and tend to acknowledge only the most absurd challenges to it.
  • The much smaller community of skeptics are inclined to embrace nonsensical and offensive claims which effectively marginalize them, for a variety of reasons.

The Big Lie Strategy

The single biggest component of the strategy of exploiting people's weaknesses for the cover-up was to make the attack so outrageous that most people would refuse to even consider that it could be the work of insiders. This principle of deception was well understood by one of the most successful mass-murderers in history: Adolf Hitler, who articulated it in his prison diary, Mein Kampf.

e x c e r p t
title: Big_Lie: Mein Kampf extract
authors: Adolf Hitler
All this was inspired by the principle - which is quite true in itself - that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation.

Marginalizing the Skeptics

The attack architects must have anticipated that some people would see through the Big Lie and that some of them would mount challenges to it. Having confidence that these challenges would either be ineffective or could be dealt with through various disruptive methods must also have been part of the architects' calculus in planning such a bold attack. Analysis of the history of the 9/11 Truth Movement suggest what some of those disruptive methods are.

The most visible such method is the promotion of nonsensical theories, which function to marginalize the work of genuine and competent skeptics, both by eclipsing it with effective marketing, and by discrediting it through guilt by association. This strategy is highly effective as a setup for straw man attacks such as the Popular Mechanics feature: the disinformation memes are seeded and nurtured on the web and then knocked down by mainstream attack pieces. Because most grassroots skeptics lack the resources of money, time, marketing and technical expertise necessary to produce and distribute material such as In Plane Site, they are inclined to embrace such materials and minimize their poison pills, such as the no-jetliners theories.

A different method involves exploiting people's pre-existing prejudices. The official myth that the attack was pulled off by bands of hijackers appeals to Western stereotypes of Islamic militants as cunning and treacherous. In a similar way, a principal fallback story appeals to anti-Jewish sentiments. Claims that "the Jews" were behind the 9/11 attack date back to the day of the attack, with a widely-circulated rumor that 4000 Jews stayed away from the World Trade Center on 9/11/01. The idea that Israel orchestrated the attack keys into indignation that many people feel at Israel's violations of Palestinians' human rights. By tying the attack to the pre-existing polarizations over the role of Israel in the Middle East, theories of Israeli involvement have created a whirlwind of distracting emotional responses to the detriment of solving the crime.

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