In a recent article, ultraconservative pundit Paul Craig Roberts goes on at great length about the gullibility of Americans and our willingness to believe any lie we're fed by the government.
His main example is the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11, which he sees as a second Reichstag Fire, a manufactured event designed as a pretext for a great power grab by the Bush administration and their allies. He comments:
"Americans never check any facts. Who do you know, for example, who has even read the Report of the 9/11 Commission, much less checked the alleged facts reported in that document. I can answer for you. You don’t know anyone who has read the report or checked the facts."
While I'll admit to not reading every word in the 9/11 Commission report, I have, like many other Americans, read large portions of it and used it as a reference source on the events it examines. What's more, I've also read portions of the FEMA and NIST reports.
In fact, anyone who wants to can read these reports or find clear summaries of the facts they contain, and I do actually know people who have read them all and who don’t also share Roberts’ conspiratorial mania.
Roberts is convinced that we have bought a pack of lies about 9/11 and the War on Terror and various other conspiracies because we don't take the trouble to read these reports or look beyond the news.
The truth is the conclusions of almost all of those who composed these reports, of the experts consulted, and of those who have studied them don't support the conspiracy theories Roberts advocates.
The truth is the 9/11 Commission report does not say the government conspired to destroy the twin towers. The FEMA and NIST reports definitely don't say the towers were brought down by anything other than the airplanes that were deliberately crashed into them.
Perhaps rather than being gullible, the American people have a certain amount of common sense – enough to know that the accepted theory of the events of 9/11 makes a hell of a lot more sense than the crazy conspiracy theories of the lunatic fringe, which Roberts finds so fascinating.
They may not be familiar with the work of William of Ockham, but the public seems to be able to apply his basic maxim, Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate, which is most commonly rendered in modern terms as "The simplest answer is usually the correct answer."