Some witnesses were emphatic that they saw additional shooters. Still worse, these were not vague allegations from a confused environment. Many who claimed there were other assailants gave detailed physical descriptions or specifically identified individuals.
There were multiple bombs that no one saw being positioned. They required enormous physical strength simply to bring, let alone place throughout the school. Dozens of students all “mistakenly” agreed there was a named third shooter.
An episode that few recall happened a couple months after the September 11 attacks and involved another airliner in New York. All 260 onboard were killed in addition to five on the ground.
American Airlines Flight 587 departed from JFK Airport on November 12, 2001, and immediately crashed into the Belle Harbor neighborhood of Queens. Within a few hours it was established that a pilot error due to “wake turbulence” caused the aircraft to lose altitude and explode into flames. But that wasn’t what witnesses reported.
Over half of 349 eyewitnesses—more than 175 people—claimed to have seen an explosion or fireball on the airplane before it went down. Among them were police and firefighters on the scene. In professional terms, these are referred to as “expert witnesses,” yet their testimony was utterly discounted.
Of added import, al-Qaeda took responsibility for the incident and listed it among their successful actions. An informant likewise supported the claim. He says the cause was a shoe bomb, which would later become infamous in another case.
What is the best way to defuse a terrorist attack? Call it anything else. Terrorism’s function is to create terror, especially after the largest terrorist assault in American history. Yet what if it wasn’t terrorism at all? No panic. No threat we (again) failed to stop. No collapse of the airline industry. If it’s terrorism everything is in jeopardy; if it’s pilot error it’s tragic, but…well…these things happen.
Any inconvenient witnesses? They didn’t see what they thought they saw. Coincidence. Timing of the event? Coincidence. The fact that it was located in New York City? More coincidence.
It’s astounding how often inconvenient facts can be “coincidenced” into a palatable narrative where officials do no wrong and the public need not worry.
There is a point when even the stupidest among us laughs out loud. Otherwise, we are the ones at whom they’re laughing.
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