12 September 2007

The Twin Towers: An innocent, but chilling explanation

While reading, sceptically, over a 9/11 'conspiracy' website (as if 20 people plotting mass-murder together doesn't constitute a conspiracy), I was struck by the vague plausibility of some of the structural inconsistencies. That maybe flying planes into buildings would damage them, and kill plenty of people, but would not be enough to bring them down. Those that believe this cite it as evidence of government complicity, but is that necessarily the case?

It could be argued that, assuming as I do that the two planes really were flown into the buildings by members of a small terrorist cell, it was actually right to use explosives to bring the towers down. Both towers collapsing straight down, as they did, was disastrous. But imagine the further loss of life, the further chaos and terror, if they had tipped over, or if the top had fallen off one and landed to the side of it. It is not too implausible that the explosives had long been placed there as a safety measure, for damage limitation, long before 11th September 2001.

If that were the case, the chilling part of this, perhaps more so than a villainous one-off government conspiracy (slightly more comforting than "A large, secret and vaguely defined group is still plotting to kill us) is that: someone had to make the decision to bring down the towers. Someone had to decide that destroying two buildings would minimise loss of human life. It would not take much for, amid the general panic, someone to make a mistake, to miscalculate, to err on the side of caution. But even more frighteningly, they could have been right. Peter Tatchell, amongst others alleges a cover-up. Is this to hide the kind of elaborate, comic-book conspiracy we're often treated to? I doubt it. It could simply have been to conceal a horrific, but necessary, worst-case scenario that would make every American hesitate even more before setting foot in a skyscraper.

I have to stress that my background is not scientific. I am neither supporting the controlled demolition hypothesis nor denying it, though I maintain a healthy scepticism for the convoluted explanations that surround it. I am simply saying, evidence of controlled demolition is no more evidence of conspiracy by the government than it is of conspiracy by hijackers.

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