I take 9/11 very seriously. Just just because I was thirty blocks away from Ground Zero that day but also because, like other New Yorkers, I literally smelled 9/11 and inhaled 9/11 every single day for many months following that fateful day, something the media almost never mentions.
That day certainly changed us all. It was one of several important events of the first decade of the 21st century that inspired the “New Atheist” movement if you can call it that. And it certainly contributed to my desire to become an atheist activist.
What I’m saying here is 9/11 is a big fuckin’ deal to me. So you’ll have to understand that it really ticks me off when I hear a bunch of ideological, denialist assholes perpetuate lies about what really happened that day…long after the claims they make have been thoroughly discredited.
So for some time now I’ve been compiling some of the best 9/11 denialist debunking resources on the web, which includes such great articles as this one, and this one, and this one, among many others.
Yet sadly, no matter how much they’re shown to be wrong, it seems these pests won’t go away, as this recent appalling comic book from Image Comics proves. It seems I even have Facebook friends who are still true believers that it was all just a big conspiracy. For instance, just today one had the audacity to post the following message on her Facebook wall:
“Silverstein Properties made billions from the insurance policies he set up on the WTC complex just a few weeks before 9/11. He specifically took out insurance policies to cover terrorist attacks, then a few weeks later 9/11 happened. What are the odds on that?”
First, I tried to explain to her that the exact odds was 100% since, ya know, it happened. What are the odds that the American Civil War would happen? 100%. In hindsight, everything that has happened already has a 100% likelihood of happening given all the same causal conditions. At this point, I was actually shocked she didn’t end her comment with the conspiracy theorists’ famous catch phrase , “Coincidence?” Of course, as with the quoted comment above, it describes the very definition of the word coincidence.
But then I thought about a particular problem with this common argument by 9/11 deniers that rarely gets mentioned. I was reminded of the brilliant film, Double Indemnity, in particular, the Edward G. Robinson character. I’m not going to get into the plot of the film. If you haven’t seen it, you owe it to yourself to Netflix it as it’s one of the greatest films of all time. I will say though that it’s about an insurance scheme/perfect(?) murder plot. The main character is himself an insurance salesman. Robinson plays his boss, a brilliant mind who can sniff out an insurance scam a mile away and send the scammers packing.
By now you might see where I’m going with this. Believe it or not, but insurance companies, like everyone else, don’t like to give away their money. In fact, they’d much rather not have to, especially when there’s strong suspicion of foul play. If you paid any attention to the long political debate over public healthcare or have even seen Michael Moore’s film “Sicko” (regardless of how honest or manipulative you find that particular film), you should know that health insurance companies have all sorts of crazy excuses they will invent to justify keeping their money from even the very sick or injured. In fact, they have employees whose entire job is to literally find reasons to disqualify medical patients from receiving their benefits. Until recently, one of those excuses was the infamous “pre-existing condition.”
So to summarize, insurance companies aren’t easily parted from their money. Yet for some reason, 9/11 deniers would have us believe there are no Edward G. Robinsons working at Larry Silverman’s insurance company. Apparently, despite the claims of obvious gaps in “the official story” and Silverman’s allegedly amazingly suspicious coincidence in Silverman buying new insurance policies only weeks prior to 9/11 that led him to make “billions” of dollars, the insurance company, the very people who would have the most incentive to expose such an insurance scam, didn’t notice anything suspicious at all and handed over all that money. Boy, a whole lot of people must have been asleep at the switch on that one, huh?
So I pointed this out in a comment and got two responses from another 9/11 denier that I just have to share:
silverman didn’t plan the event. he was just following orders.
the insurance companies will do what the government tells them they will do, just like all the rest of us.
So even though Silverman is the one who allegedly most profited off this, it wasn’t anything he particularly wanted; he was just doing what he was told and apparently didn’t care one way or the other whether this allegedly insurance fraud made him a billionaire. Yeah, okay. And how that addresses my points, I have no idea.
But it’s that second comment that is just priceless, isn’t it? So now the insurance companies will happily give away billions of dollars because they just do whatever the government tells them. So now the conspiracy’s been expanded yet again, beyond just the entire government on all sides of the aisle, the media, the employees at the World Trade Center, and tons of demolitions experts, engineers, airport personnel, firefighters, arson experts, police, and military personnel. Now it’s also the very insurance company that had most to lose, the very people who would have the most to gain from exposing the “big lie.”