Calling Out Gannon
Voila! Clarity comes unencumbered by the facts in Joe Gannon’s dazzling yet muddle-headed defense of ignorance (“Enemies Of Clarity,” May 8) Gannon’s Law states that facts are not facts if you actually list them in support of your point. And once relieved of the burden of facts, one is free to embrace any specious narrative—such as “chickens coming home to roost”—to explain historical events.
The facts I mentioned concerning the FBI’s sting operations against Muslim citizens—facts that were dismissed by Joe as “pyrotechnics”—can be checked at Project Salaam’s website, or at the Center for Constitutional Rights’ website, or one could simply do a Google search. But that could be problematic for Joe, since it would produce too many “whirlygigs” of information. Facts about the ACLU lawsuit against the FBI with respect to the Boston Marathon bombing can be obtained at the ACLU’s website. All this to say, my point was framed by those facts, and the import involves the issues of entrapment and the powers of the security state apparatus versus our civil liberties.
So, my dear Joe, the point is not, “Does one believe the FBI/CIA wanted to set off a bomb in Boston.” That’s your point, which you repeat ad nauseum. For the record, I do not believe the FBI intended to set off a bomb in Boston last year. Some may, I do not. Rather, I suspect that the FBI had a relationship with Tamerlan Tsarnaev that, like so many others, was based on entrapment in a terror plot sting operation, and that the sting failed and Tamerlan succeeded. And if the ACLU suit successfully obtains documents showing this to be fact, I suspect that the collective response by the citizenry and City of Boston will not be “Duh!”
Joe Gannon’s letter should either be the textbook reference for intellectual dishonesty or for an utter lack of self-awareness. Or perhaps it’s a very clever Swiftian satire (but I’m not that optimistic).
If you extend Gannon’s logic (“You have all these facts, but rather than reaching the most logical conclusions or at least hypotheses, you fail to understand that nothing happens intentionally, and that the only explanation for anything is what I want it to be”) to, say, seeing a car come around a corner, you would be a conspiracy theorist for believing that the car existed before it came into view.
Gannon is totally indifferent to counterarguments, the existence of which he does acknowledge, between professors and other researchers. He shows no interest in—nor does it seem to occur to him that the intellectually curious would be interested in—comparing the data. It’s a given, according to Gannon, that all of this work is nullified by the slogans “It’s the chickens coming home to roost” and “You have a childish belief in evil.” For someone ridiculing others for what he’s mischaracterizing as blind faith, Gannon’s only counterarguments seem to be … tenets of his blind faith.
Gannon accuses people such as me of being “incapable of holding more than one thought a time.”. If so, we have a leg up on Gannon, who, from what his letter exhibited, is incapable of even one complete thought.
I wish Joe Gannon would explain World Trade Center Building 7 to me. How can anyone watch that building fall, symmetrically, at free fall speed, nice and neat into its own footprint, and not believe it was a planned demolition? And if Building 7 was a planned demolition what does that make the Twin Towers’ downfall? How did the Twin Towers defy the laws of physics and freefall into their own footprints, with pyroclastic-like dust exploding in all directions, and huge steel beams shooting out like spears hundreds of feet, piercing neighboring buildings? I’d love an explanation for the pools of molten steel that smoldered at temperatures far above that of airplane fuel for weeks at Ground Zero. Do you believe in magic? Much of our deluded populace does, including Mr. Gannon.