Put on your tinfoil hats, guys, 'cause I'm about to trudge into Conspiracy Corner.
As the evidence of torture during the Bush Era accumulates, a few things are becoming clear. First, it seems that the Bush Administration bigwigs were determined to torture. They were gonna make it happen, no matter what. Second, they seemed not to mind at all that the torture methods they were implementing were invented to result in false confessions.
For the last few days, whenever I've thought about this, I'd wonder, "why would they be so determined to torture people to elicit false confessions?" Rachel Maddow has asked this question more than once on her TV show. And no answer has been forthcoming.
Then I started to thinking about the conspiracy theories about September 11, 2001. I don't remember how long it was before the theories started swirling. But I think my first exposure to them must have been late 2003, maybe early 2004. I remember talking to my friend and sometime blog contributor, Stupid Monkey Planet about the implications of 9/11 being an "inside job." We didn't accept all or even most of the theories, mind you. But you don't have to be crazy to think that just maybe there was more to it than we've been told.
Just think about for a second, what it would mean if the Bush Administration either knew about or was complicit in the attacks. It would mean that the highest levels of our government would kill Americans, do anything to achieve their own political goals. It isn't hard to imagine, after all we know and the personalities involved, that they would go very far indeed.
The problem, of course, is that the administration--and George W. Bush himself--was seen as too incompetent to pull something like that off. Not to mention the large number of people who would be needed to accomplish such a conspiracy. Add in some of the nuttier "theories" and it is easy to dismiss all of them as rubbish. Throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The truth is, the Bush Administration was a bizarro conglomeration of incompetence and scary effectiveness. They were a disaster at policy, but masterful at politics. Karl Rove was a master manipulator of all things political, politicizing nearly every aspect of government. And it almost worked. Were it not for the problem of actual reality intruding on Rove's alternate version, they may have achieved their "permanent Republican majority."
When Monkey and I considered these things, we wondered how--if it were true--it would ever come to light. How would anybody believe such a thing? They'd likely get away with it all, because it all seemed so crazy, only the conspiracy theorists themselves would buy it. Which, when you stop to think about it, may have been part of the plan all along.
So tonight, I was thinking, if 9/11 really was an inside job, it would be ironic if Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Rice and the rest ultimately got busted for the torture thing instead. Kind of an Al Capone sort of ending. Then--as I'm wont to do--I went a step further. What if the pursuit of torture to elicit false confessions was all an effort to muddy the 9/11 waters? What if they were looking for a confession that would get them off the hook for their inside job? Whoa.
I'm probably not the first to think of this. But it's the first time I thought of it. And I kinda blew my own mind. What do you think?