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There is every reason to believe that the American public was not told the whole truth about the attacks of 11 September, 2001. Former United States senator Bob Graham, for instance, says that there are twenty-eight pages redacted from the 9/11 Commission report that show a much larger role by the Saudi government in both financing the plot and in influencing its benefactors in the Bush-Cheney regime to call off federal investigators looking into the hijackers—most of whom were Saudis (you can view Graham’s interview series with Paul Jay here).

We also have former National Security Agency member Thomas Drake—who blew the whistle on corruption in the N.S.A. and on the vast expansion of the surveillance regime post-9/11, only to end up prosecuted for doing his duty—explaining to Paul Jay how the N.S.A. and other agencies had enough actionable intelligence to prevent 9/11, but were stopped at the highest levels by Bush and, most especially, Dick Cheney.

All available evidence points to deliberate negligence on the part of the regime in the months leading up to the attacks.

So why, then, do we still have people insisting it was all faked, that the hijacked airplanes were empty, that the World Trade Center buildings were brought down by controlled demolitions, that Osama bin Laden and his terrorist organization could not possibly have brought down those skyscrapers, that literally thousands—even millions—of Americans are in on the conspiracy?

It’s because in the wake of the attacks, with a nation still grieving and wondering how such a thing could have taken place right under our noses, a bunch of charlatans looking to sell books and make money from the horror of that day fourteen years ago decided to make up a bunch of lies, inspired by television shows such as The X-Files and its spin-off series, Millennium and The Lone Gunmen. These cretins took full advantage of the trauma and exploited it to maximum advantage.

To be fair, it doesn’t help that in the aftermath of the attacks, the Bush-Cheney regime stonewalled investigators and lied to the public about what it knew and when. But that doesn’t change that nineteen hijackers took control of four airliners and successfully used three of them to hit the W.T.C. and the Pentagon.

Several web sites, including Debunking911.com and 911myths.com, have thoroughly discredited the fraudsters. But that doesn’t stop some lunatics from clinging to their deranged beliefs, even going so far as to accuse anyone and everyone who doesn’t subscribe to their idiocy of being on the government payroll. This includes yours truly, who when getting into it with the liars gets accused of being in on the cover-up and being on the payroll.

Oh, if only I were on the federal payroll! I certainly wouldn’t be in the dire financial straights I’m in now, with a generous and steady income with which to support myself.

Of course, taking such imbecility to its logical extreme, this would necessitate millions of Americans being involved to one degree or another in covering up evidence of controlled demolitions and faked hijackings. But no one seriously believes this outside a relative handful of tin-foil-hat-wearing morons with nothing better to do than engage in Internet flame battles. It never once occurs to these clowns that reasonable people can look at the available evidence and conclude that yes, al-Qaeda could have and did pull off hijackings, fly jumbo jet airliners into buildings, and in so doing cause them to collapse.

And that’s what pisses me off: You can’t reason with crackpots, and the more you refute their outrageous claims the louder and more shrill they become, until people throw up their hands and give up. If there is a conspiracy, one in which Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and others within the inner circle decided to let a massive attack take place on American soil, that may be considered treason, and prosecuted in a court of law with a real chance of securing convictions. But that can’t happen as long as the lunatic brigade continues pushing long-discredited lies, alienating people who might otherwise be willing to join in the quest for the whole truth of what allowed the attacks to happen in the firs place.