Via Jon Utley comes a link to this recent MSNBC/Wash Post story about 9/11 conspiracy theorists, who break down into two basic groups: one that believes the gummint "let it happen on purpose" (LIHOP) and one that believes the gummint "made it happen on purpose" (MIHOP). Which of course made me think of pancake breakfasts.
As the story explains, a recent poll over one-third of Americans believe that the government either "promoted the attacks or intentionally sat on its hands."
Folks associated with schools ranging from Claremont University, University of Minnesota, University of Illinois, Brigham Young University anchor the "academic" wing of the conspiracists. What is perhaps more striking are the former government officials who are pushing the conspiracy line:
Former Reagan aide Barbara Honegger is a senior military affairs journalist at the Naval Postgraduate School in California. She's convinced, based on her freelance research, that a bomb went off about six minutes before an airplane hit the Pentagon—or didn't hit it, as some believe the case may be. Catherine Austin Fitts served as assistant secretary of housing in the first President Bush's administration and gained a fine reputation as a fraud buster; David Bowman was chief of advanced space programs under presidents Ford and Carter. Fitts and Bowman agree that the "most unbelievable conspiracy" theory is the one retailed by the government.
Then there's Morgan O. Reynolds, appointed by George W. Bush as chief economist at the Labor Department. He left in 2002 and doesn't think much of his former boss; he describes President Bush as a "dysfunctional creep," not to mention a "possible war criminal."
Whole story here.
Full disclosure: A decade ago, back when he was an active economics professor at Texas A&M, Reynolds wrote for Reason (go here for his omnibus review of mid-'90s book on criminal justice).
Reason's own Tim Cavanaugh debated 9/11 conspiracy theorist Ken Jenkins on the RU Sirius radio show here.
And speaking of RU Sirius, he's written a sharp, critical profile of Mike Ruppert, an ex-LAPD narcotics cop who is one of the leading lights (however dim the wattage) of the LIHOP camp. Ruppert, notes Sirius, preaches dubious conspiracy theories to "auditoriums packed with enthusiastic hemp-wearing lefties, paying as much as $25 for the pleasure of having their darkest suspicions confirmed."