Politics & Policy

Wishful Theorists

Editor’s note: Click here to listen to the original radio commentary this transcript is based on.

So they’re going to dig up Harry Houdini. They want to see if he was poisoned by a powerful league of spiritualists for exposing their phony séances. The doctor who’ll examine the remains also exhumed Jesse James’s coffin a few years ago — to see if the outlaw outwitted authorities by having another man buried in his place.

People love a good conspiracy theory, which may be one of the reasons that actor Charlie Sheen is going to narrate a documentary about how the World Trade Towers were brought down by the U.S. government. About the same time, Rosie O’Donnell added her credibility to the project.

It was an interesting coincidence that their announcements hit the news just as the military released Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s confession regarding his role in planning the 9/11 attacks — and a lot more. Of course, we didn’t really need his confession, because his career has been so well documented.

But sure enough, the terrorist’s admissions instantly drew sneers, and not just from the tin-foil hat crowd. Well-placed people acted like Mohammed’s smug confessions meant nothing.

A lot of people have at least a little in common with Sheen and O’Donnell. They just don’t like to think about how much our enemies actually hate us. It’s easier to escape down a rabbit hole to a land where our own government is tricking us into thinking the world is a dangerous place.

This would be the same government that can’t even keep our most secret surveillance programs out of the newspapers.

And by the way, in Jesse James’s coffin — Jesse James.

Fred Thompson is an actor and former United States senator from Tennessee.

© PAUL HARVEY SHOW, ABC RADIO NETWORKS

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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