Berlet countered by saying, "It's not good to believe in conspiracies that cannot be proven by available evidence." But this principle does not take into account the prevalent role of cover-ups in these types of operations (such as this one being perpetrated by the US Government), which prevents potentially enlightening evidence from ever being examined.
Some more notable examples include the
- total failure of air defenses and
- the role of hijack-based "war games" exercises taking place that morning,
- the admitted controlled-demolition of Building 7 which had to have been pre-wired,
- all the steel from the Twin Towers which was immediately shipped to China without being studied,
- all the video footage of the Pentagon strike which was promptly seized by the FBI (even though disclosure would have put an end to all the wild "no plane, missile strike" theories of Meyssan and others), and
- the notes from the now infamous closed-door Bush/Cheney "visit" with the 9/11 Commission, which were promptly confiscated.
Berlet's approach to discrediting "conspiracy theory" reinforces what can be called the "disbelief" factor, as in
- "I just can't believe that the Bush Administration/US Government/Americans/people would do such a thing!" Although this knee-jerk emotional response is understandable and easily explainable within the context of human psychology, it does not amount to a logical defense of the "official" story. In the absence of any substantive debate, another psychological factor operated alongside the "disbelief" factor: As Griffin states,
- "the Bush administration created a halo over 9/11, so it became not only unpatriotic, but almost sacrilegious to raise any questions."
Griffin did end up writing a lengthy response to Berlet's misleading critique,