Debate on Democracy Now! degenerates into name-calling
Amy Goodman hosted a 9-11 debate about "Loose Change," the controversial documentary downloaded by 10 million viewers that Vanity Fair called the "first Internet blockbuster." Present were Dylan Avery, the movie's director, and Jason Bermas, a researcher for the film. On hand to question the film's veracity were James Meigs and David Dunbar, editors at Popular Mechanics who worked with a team to produce a book called "Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Facts."
The debate left little doubt that, five years on, Americans don't have the emotional closure to the terrifying events of September 11 that one might have expected. A large percentage of Americans doubt the government's version of events, according to polls. It doesn't help that the Bush administration stone-walled and fought an independent investigation into the events of September 11, or that the Republican administration has tried to keep the wound fresh in the public's mind, to justify costly, unnecessary wars and a sordid political agenda that Americans would otherwise oppose. The administration has, in fact, behaved like a deranged priesthood, shrouding the events of 9-11 in secrecy to create the central mystery of its neoconservative religion. They have used 9-11 to lead America so far from the roots planted by our founding fathers that it seems unlikely we can ever fully return.
In the Democracy Now! debate, Meigs and Dunbar of Popular Mechanics called Avery and Bermas "conspiracy theorists" at least a dozen times. Bermas, for his part, called Meigs and Dunbar "liars" at least twice. So this is where we are five years later: polarized into opposing camps of true believers, incapable of civilized discussion, bereft of sane leadership and wondering what really did happen five years ago.
Watch the debate at Democracy Now! here.