There's a lot not to like about Karen Johnson (R-Mesa), but when she questions W, she's walking on the side of the angels, IMHO.
It doesn't particularly matter whether her questions benefit me or don't. As long as she isn't just absorbing what she's told like a sponge, she's exhibiting more reason than our national media has managed to do in 30 years.
I refer to her temerity in questioning the official version of the events of 9-11. She's getting shellacked by all the usual suspects and then some, all of whom congratulate themselves for unsually high levels of sanity and discernment while soaking up the soup.
She's being smeared as a familiar of creationists and Holocaust deniers and that's bad, but oh my god, GASP!, she's a "conspiracy theorist"! (In some circles, a conspiracy theory is just another term for "hypothesis.")
A very close friend of Pico's had this to say in response to Matt Benson's column, "More From Karen Johnson on 9-11":
"I think it's possible to doubt the official scenario without being a nutcase, a partisan, or a fool, and I don't see why it's necessary or helpful to slime people who don't meekly swallow everything they're told.
"In fact, a lot of skeptics are on the opposite side of creationism and have sufficient cognitive skills to research facts like the Trans-Texas Corridor and the objectives and mechanics of global tradem and then to put two and two together to arrive at the obvious conclusion.
"Nothing in the parts of press release that are quoted here suggests that Johnson believes there was a massive conspiracy involving everyone in Congress and the Executive branches. That's [commenter] DekeB's contribution to the conversation.
"[Commenter] MUC38NYU's is to suggest she's saying 9-11 never happened, which, of course, she isn't. Better go back and read what she says, boys, and argue with that, not with your own phantom propositions.
"I rarely agree with Karen Johnson, but unless she's gone down the "US conspiracy" road elsewhere, it looks to me like she's simply saying that there are questions that haven't been adequately answered. She's hardly alone in that opinion, and she's entitled to inquire without being trashed.
"But then, I've noticed that anyone who challenges official doctrine gets trashed. Not exactly a worthy trait of the brave and free, IMHO. In fact, our country is in big trouble because not enough of us challenged the doctrine--about WMD in Iraq, about who knew the levees would fail, about what role courts play in every case of domestic spying, about what constitutes torture, about whether the USA operates gulags, about whether the White House outs our own covert agents, about who's benefitting from $4 gas, about who's profiteering from the Iraq occupation, about what happened to all those billions that we've "lost" there, and about why official investigations are being blocked.
"You can hoot and mock if you like, but as for me, I'm keeping an attitude of healthy skepticism. History tells me that any government can go terribly wrong. I see no reason to think ours is inherently exempt from universal human inclinations. Maybe you do?"
It's pretty clear to me that those who point and laugh at skeptics and "conspiracy theorists" are serving the interests of those in power. Maybe it's because I came of age in DC during the great social change and social protest movements of the 1970s, but I learned a long time ago that our government, like all other governments, CAN abuse the people's trust, CAN lie, CAN conspire to assassinate, CAN funnel large sums of money to insiders, CAN attack and even imprison its critics, CAN smear and destroy the careers of those who question it, and MUST be questioned, rigorously, at every turn. This stance has paid off. It's what prompted me NOT to believe everything Wolf Blitzer and Lou Dobbs have to say about undocumented immigrants. It freed me to do my own digging, and guess what? The facts are just the opposite of what we're being fed night after hate-filled night.
Karen Johnson isn't who I'd choose to ride in on a white horse, and beyond the press release excerpts Benson provided, I don't know what she might think about 9-11. Whatever it is, I'm not signing on to that here.
What I am saying is that we need more questioners of official doctrine, not fewer. She deserves our support for at least that much.