Today, the 9/11 conspiracy movement is a shell of what it once was. The website masquerading as an academic journal, Journal of 9/11 Studies, has dropped from a high of six or seven articles published per issue to one....The introduction to the main hub of 9/11 denier activity, 911truth.org, welcomes its visitors with a plea that announces, “we’ve cut to the bare bones, but are still far short of our basic budget needs.” Prominent “truthers” like Mark Dice, Dylan Avery, Jimmy Walter... and Kevin Ryan have dropped into obscurity.
I can't say I'm terribly upset by all this. The 9/11 Truthers were probably the most useless and pointless fringe group in the modern world, whose only real purpose seemed to be deflecting the very real criticisms of Bush's leadership and foreign policy, by retreating into a fantasy world of unprovable and outlandish accusations.
The areas of real interest - how badly was the intelligence managed by the executive and various security organizations before 9/11, has faded into obscurity as people have debated ludicrous theories involving missiles, gold, Reichstag Fire scenarios, entirely fictitious terrorist organizations and insurance scams.
I also found the organic growth of a sceptical counter-movement to oppose the Truther's very interesting:
Staking their fortunes almost solely on Internet-based content may have been the 9/11 deniers’ biggest mistake. What seems like a perfect place for pseudoscience — the Internet is un-edited, without fact-checkers or minimum publishing standards of any kind — also became a perfect place for a rapid-response system of blogs and forums to fight back. Drawing on the freely available technical information from the NIST, FEMA, and academic journals which most colleges let their students access for free, skeptical sites like ScrewLooseChange.blogspot.com and debunking911.com are able to defuse 9/11 denier claims as they arise.
Web 2.0 may be useful after all! Now we need to get this going on the media a little more...maybe even the government as well. Government 2.0 perhaps. Its not very catchy, but instant feedback could be interesting.
This also may help explain the failure of US Presidential Candidate Ron Paul, whose internet support was huge, and yet offline was not worth mentioning. Barack Obama, by contrast, has a powerful grass-roots campaign online, but has anchored himself fairly strongly offline too. In Ron Paul's case, the online communities filtered through his policies and discovered many of the key flaws in them....by contrast, the Obama-supporting web in many cases has been used to debunk several myths and nasty rumours about him. Ron Paul's online support didn't translate into offline success and collapsed....Obama by contrast carried his offline success online and it helped him. A parable here, maybe.
Anyway, back on topic. Recently, I read an interesting little document that goes by the name of "The Creators of Loose Change Speak" by Mark Roberts. Its an interesting 98 page long document which shows the general contempt the people behind Loose Change seem to have for...well, everyone really. It pretty much convinced me that one reason behind the attempted spread of 9/11 conspiracy theories, especially this case, was the financial incentive. Because I am a kind and forgiving blogger (and more importantly, I forgot where it was hosted) I have uploaded this PDF document to Rapidshare, should anyone want to read it. Just follow the link.
Anyway, I think that's all I have to say on the topic for now. Cheers to Blairwatch for the link.