On the attack on 9/11...
Many conspiracy theories have been thrown around concerning the attack on the World Trade Center and Washington on 9/11, whether it went down the way the Bush administration says it did, whether the buildings were brought down by explosives, etc. Here's my take on it:
Were the WTC towers brought down by explosives? I doubt it. I can't see how anyone would've been able to control the demolition of the towers under such chaotic conditions. Loading up a building with enough explosives to flatten it is one thing; controlling the demolition when airplanes loaded with jet fuel have flown into it is something else. If there had been explosives in place when the jets hit, many charges would've been detonated in an uncontrolled fashion shortly after the collision and the buildings would've come down immediately, probably sideways.
To the person who calculated that explosives had to be present due to the overly rapid expansion of the dust cloud - that's a load of bull. The amount of energy needed to demolish a building is orders of magnitude smaller than the energy released by the building actually falling. A discrepancy between your model of how fast the cloud expanded versus how quickly it actually did indicates a failure in your model, not the presence of explosives. I suppose you could argue that they used too much explosive to do the job, but it would've blown the towers all over the city.
As for WTC building 7, the one that looked like it was dropped by an implosion - maybe. It seemed unlikely to me that the structure would've come down in such a controlled fashion without preparation, but said preparation wouldn't merely have been the placement of explosives, but would also have entailed the demolition of much of the building's interior and the stringing of cables between several structural supports. Surely someone would have noticed.
Update: WTC 7 was constructed in a very unusual fashion; a large part of it was built over the top of a Con Ed electrical substation, and included backup diesel generators and a nice-sized supply of diesel fuel. So yeah, it's entirely plausible that the fire took out the supports on the lower stories and caused what looked like a controlled implosion.
There have been stories that the planes that hit the WTC weren't the ones that took off from the NY airports, that other unmanned planes were flown in under remote control. That makes no sense to me, even if you assumed the US was complicit in the attack; thousands of people were killed in the towers, and anyone willing to kill so many wouldn't hesitate to cause the deaths of a few more. Besides, why install an expensive remote control system when there are plenty of crazy Islamic extremists willing to pilot the planes by hand?
There also seems to be a lot of flak in the air about the plane that hit the Pentagon, from both sides. All the evidence I've seen that hasn't been contradicted shows that a passenger jet did hit the Pentagon.
Some also think Flight 93, the plane that crashed into the ground in Pennsylvania, did so because it was hit by a missile and not because the passengers staged a heroic effort to retake the aircraft. I would have to opine that this is entirely plausible; the government would not have risked public opinion turning against it for shooting down its own citizens, given an opportunity to build an alternate explanation. If Flight 93 were shot down I doubt we'll see any evidence any time in the near future.
And finally, was the entire 9/11 attack engineered as a repeat of the Reichstag fire? It's entirely possible. US Air Force response was horribly late due to a set of coincidences that seemed unlikely. But I also don't believe the attack went down as planned. Let's look into the timing of the event...
After the hijackings, two planes collided with the WTC towers, according to plan as testified to by the terrorists who were captured. The next plane was destined to hit the US Capitol Building. Considering the outcry from the US public when the World Trade Center fell, imagine what they would have submitted to with the Capital dome demolished! But the pilot missed the dome, and managed to collide with the Pentagon instead. Rather than destroying a mostly symbolic landmark the jihadists hit a genuine military target. If the 9/11 attack were indeed engineered, the ones who had performed it would have been horrified, and would then have allowed the fourth jet to be shot down rather than risk another "error".
So could the attack have been at the behest of authoritarians, wanting more control over the American public? I don't know.
Scary, isn't it?