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But at some point the ad hoc assumptions get a shade too convoluted to pass the smell test.

Sure, you can assume that the US government lied about not helping, but is now telling the truth about the existence of the nukes. But this seems to be a contradiction: The US government is full of shit when it makes a self-serving statement about not helping nasty people get nukes. But it's a model of honesty when it makes a self-serving statement about nasty people having nukes.

You could then elaborate the assumption by noting the change in management in the US inbetween those statements. But this can be challenged by noting that if this new, more truthful management actually was serious about the whole truth thing, they could just release the documentation proving that the previous management had aided the nasty people. Then the previous management would have egg on its face and the case would be open-and-shut.

Of course, it's possible to elaborate the ad hoc assumption further with another ad hoc modification. But there is a limit to how many ad hoc assumptions you're permitted to stack on top of each other before you've left the realm of logic and reason and entered the realm of narratives. It's not a hard limit by any means, but it is there somewhere, and conspiracy theorists usually sail right past it within the first two or three paragraphs...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jan 28th, 2009 at 11:24:46 AM EST
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