A Decade Later, ‘Truth Activists’ Find Comfort in 9/11 Conspiracy Theories


Ten years later, thousands of Americans continue to doubt the official version of how the World Trade Center collapsed, who was responsible and what the government knew and when, reports the Associated Press. The skeptics — they prefer the term “9/11 truth activists” instead of “truthers” — have persisted, with proponents from former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel to comedian Rosie O'Donnell. They have mobilized on the Internet, with YouTube videos of the trade center collapsing again and again.

“There's really a foundation of reality here,” said Ted Walter, who has worked unsuccessfully to prod New York City officials into reopening an investigation of how 7 World Trade Center collapsed on the afternoon of Sept 11. “We believe that if all of the American public saw footage of building 7 on the nightly news, it would lead to widespread skepticism of 9/11.” For many, conspiracy theories aren't terrifying; they're more comforting than the idea that an event as terrifying as Sept. 11 could be so — random. Conspiracies can be a “security blanket” for explaining away the horrific, asserts Patrick Leman, a University of London professor who researches 9/11 theories. “It stops us from having to confront the unpredictability of life.”

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