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Conspiracy theories don't help

June 21, 2002 | Page 4

Dear Socialist Worker,

I agree with the basic intent of the article "Why won't they tell the truth?" (SW, May 24), namely promoting mistrust of the Bush administration and questioning the U.S. government's interests. However, I felt that parts of the analysis were problematic and led to conclusions contradicting the rest of the article.

As far as I know, there is no conclusive evidence that the Bush administration had definite prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks and intentionally allowed them to happen, but rather they had warnings that were not investigated.

Implying the former plays into the hands of conspiracy theories. Such theories are dangerous insofar as they often stem from the premise that the U.S. government is nearly omnipotent--making many conclude that resistance is impossible.

These arguments also undermine the argument that the U.S. is responsible for this and any other "blowback" by virtue of its horrific foreign policy. Admonishing Bush for doing nothing to prevent the attacks can only lead to the conclusion that increased antiterrorism measures are necessary.

Criticizing Bush is good--let's just make sure we're doing it on the right terms. Whether his administration had prior knowledge or not doesn't change the fact that they manipulated this tragedy to justify the same imperialist tactics that caused it in the first place.

Matt Moreles, Los Angeles

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