Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Pre-Emptive Barrett Postmortem

Now that UW lecturer and 9/11 conspiracy theorist Kevin Barrett is well into minute 14 of his 15 minutes of fame, I just wanted to pose some questions while the issue is still alive. For those of you visiting family on the moon for the last two weeks, Barrett is part of a cabal of crazy people who think Dick Cheney planned the destruction of the Twin Towers to start an international war.

1. Which is the more plausible theory – Barrett’s “inside job” theory, or the theory that Barrett is actually a Karl Rove plant designed to make the Bush Administration look competent? Think about it – Rove puts a couple of struggling actors on the White House payroll, arms them with some fake resumes and they go around talking up this theory? This, in turn, forces the administration’s enemies to defend this lunacy, which makes them radioactive. It’s genius. That is a hundred times more plausible than Barrett’s theory, which has helped…the very people that he’s accusing of mass murder. Can I get a job at the UW now?

2. George W. Bush would have been justified starting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with or without the attack on 9/11 (my opinion, but Bill Clinton agrees with me). Why, then, would he need to cook up the 9/11attack? Was it sweeps month? Couldn't Bush just have said Saddam stole Barbaro?

3. This week’s Isthmus details Barrett’s overt and virulent anti-Semitism. The Left is always on high alert for racial insensitivity, yet it seems anti-Semites seem to have settled into Liberalism quite comfortably. Are there any ethical Democrats willing to condemn his clear hatred of Jews?

4. Barrett has rejected as “ridiculous” the notion that “19 guys with box cutters” could bring down the twin towers. Someone might want to mention to him the small issue of the TWO GIANT PLANES that hit the towers. It’s not as if Mohammed Atta stood outside the World Trade Center throwing plastic knives at the windows.

5. A group of 9/11 conspiracy theorists – and I am not kidding – actually believe that no plane ever hit the Pentagon and that United Flight 93 (which crashed in Pennsylvania) never existed. They believe that both these occurrences are FAA cover-ups. Wouldn’t this be a fairly easy theory to disprove? Do the families of the victims still think that after five years their loved ones are still at Blockbuster, trying to hunt down a copy of “Ocean’s 11?”

6. The oddest take on the whole Barrett episode has come from Capital Times columnist John Nichols in this week’s Isthmus, when he takes a shot at Bush and Cheney for not having the “intellectual capacity,” or the “political cunning” to pull off an inside job. Is that an insult? Are Bush supporters supposed to say, “No way – he totally could have plotted the deaths of 3,000 Americans to serve a political purpose.”

And is Nichols saying he’s smarter than Bush and Cheney? Is he bragging that he could have planned the attack? In order to say someone lacks "intellectual capacity," wouldn’t you have to know what you are accusing them of not knowing? If you didn't know what you accuse them of not knowing, how did you know they didn't know it? Don't try this type of deep philosophy at home, people. Leave it to the experts. I think I just sprained my hippocampus.

7. Barrett consistently cites a Zogby poll that says 42% of Americans think the 9/11 Commission report “concealed” or “refused to investigate” critical information about the attacks. If I think it was a fraud that Jamie Gorelick’s role in creating a wall between intelligence agencies wasn’t addressed, does that put me in the 42%? I am 73% sure it does.

And if 42% of Americans are conspiracy theorists, that means at least 4 out of 10 Muppets are in on it. I've always been suspicious of that damn Count. A little beady-eyed for my tastes. I was wondering why the topic on "Elmo's World" today was "Thermite Explosives."

8. How on earth can you possibly do a poll on what Americans think about the details of the 9/11 Commission Report? What percentage of Americans have read the report and can make an accurate assessment of its contents? 1%? You could get 20% of Americans to agree that Taylor Hicks is a secret al-Qaeda operative if you phrased the question correctly. McAdams, help me out here.

9. Can we set up a dating service for Embarrassing State Employees? A 900 number where walking taxpayer waste can connect up for some hot lovin'? Seriously, we need to get Barrett together with the Prison Witch Chaplain from a few years ago. A match made in Heaven. Or... the flames of Hell, or whatever they believe in. If we can pair these delusional people up together, we can put them on the same health plan and save the state money. I demand this be made part of the next TABOR.