Tuesday, February 13, 2007
The Deniers Violent Shriek
The video above shows astronaut Buzz Aldrin punching out a lunar conspiracy theorist who had been stalking and harassing him. While this happened a few years ago, the recent attempted abduction of Elie Wiesel by a Holocaust denier, who styled himself Eric Hunt, and then bragging about it on Holocaust denial websites.
9/11 conspiracy theorists have been harassing people for years, not just their obscene clustering and chants at Ground Zero. They've been particularly targeting eyewitnesses to the attacks. Like Val McClatchey.
"Val McClatchey snapped the single picture with her new digital camera. The wife and mother had been sitting on the edge of her sofa, clutching her second cup of coffee and watching the smoking towers of the World Trade Center on TV, when she heard the sudden surge of a plane engine, followed by a violent, house-shaking boom. Mrs. McClatchey grabbed the camera and ran onto the front porch of her house along Indian Lake.
"I didn't even aim. I was just like, 'Oh, my God,' " she said. She dropped the camera, jolting the battery loose, then tried in vain to call her husband, son and daughter. She had no idea what she'd captured until the state police put a call out to people in the area, asking for photos, debris and other evidence. She took a printout of her photo to the police, she said, and, within an hour, FBI agents were at her house.
The real estate agent has recently become a target of bloggers calling themselves "9-11 researchers," who are seeking to prove that the U.S. government was complicit in the attacks that brought down the Twin Towers, pierced the Pentagon and crashed United Airlines Flight 93.
They have visited Mrs. McClatchey's office and called her at home, posting satellite maps of her property and accusing her of digitally altering her photo to insert a fake smoke plume. People have called her at home, accusing her of being anti-American and of "holding the photo hostage." On a simple Google search, Mrs. McClatchey's name now pops up in the same sentence as "total fraud."
Given the headaches of a lawsuit and the blunt personal criticism from the bloggers, Mrs. McClatchey wonders if her quick decision to grab her camera that morning nearly five years ago and capture the last puff smoke that was Flight 93 was the right one. But she is glad to be able to give something back to the families of the dead, and thinks her photo will stand the test of time and conspiracy theorists.
"The truth speaks for itself," she said."
And that is exactly the problem for the conspiracy theorists struggling to replace the truth with their lies. The eyewitnesses.
They can finesse the facts of what happened by stringing together a bunch of claims, conspiracy theories buttressed by finding or manufacturing some inconsistencies. Put together into a book or video presentation or website, it can have an impact on the gullible.
But the eyewitnesses remain. It's why deniers hold a special hatred and obsessively pursue them. After all they represent the truth, the truth that the Holocaust happened and that Arab terrorists murdered thousands of Americans and that the Flight 93 passengers, unarmed, fought to retake control of the plane, to save lives on the ground.
The modern Holocaust deniers were a direct outgrowth of pro-Nazi lies put out by Nazi sympathizers in America. The 9/11 conspiracists are direct outgrowths of the far right and the far left's hatred of America and sympathy for its enemies. In both cases they're domestic enemies obsessed with covering up an atrocity in order to continue their campaigns against America and the Jews. It's no surprise that there's a good deal of crossover between Holocaust deniers and 9/11 deniers.
Both have gotten quite far. Holocaust deniers have an international platform now, thanks to Iran and the rest of the Muslim world, which has never made any secret of their sympathies for Hitler and Nazi Germany. (Indeed the birth of modern Palestinian Arab terrorism can be traced to the Pro-Nazi Mufti of Jerusalem.)
9/11 conspiracists, are getting positive coverage, particularly in Europe, where embracing anything Anti-american is considered its own justification.
In fighting their war against memory and truth, they need to persecute and assault those living who still remember. With the death of aging Holocaust survivors, Holocaust deniers know their job will become much easier, when they no longer have to confront people who were actually there and bear the marks of it on them. 9/11 Deniers have no such comfort. It will be nearly a century before they can be rid of every eyewitness to 9/11. But like the Holocaust deniers, like all deniers, they will only grow shriller in their volume as they try to shout down the truth, while they wait.