I was initially going to discuss all of the Boston Marathon Bombing conspiracy theories in one entry. However, as I researched I found that, in less than a month after the bombings, the theories were so deep and so wide I had no hope of discussing and/or debunking them in one entry.
Though I found it easy to debunk a lot of these theories, a handful of them I cannot debunk because there is not enough information available to me. However, I need those who read these discussions to understand that debunking these conspiracy theories is not a de facto agreement with the official stance that the Tsarnaev brothers are responsible for the bombings. I have a lot of trouble with the way the FBI is managing the case and releasing information, and I have even more trouble with the way the mainstream media is spreading rumor as fact. To be really specific, I have now and always will have problems with any case that involves Carmen Ortiz. After her shameless and shameful behavior in the Aaron Swartz case, her presence in any investigation and prosecution will trip my alarm bells. I say all of this so that no one reading here is under the impression that I am pushing a specific agenda other than one that requires legitimate evidence and actual proof offered before I believe anything.
In many ways, I think that people who are embracing Boston Bombing conspiracy theory are doing so because that is how the human brain works. People like loose ends tied and most of us are impatient. If the mainstream media fails us, some of us turn to the fringe to find resolution. Some think the sort of pattern recognition that goes into believing conspiracy theory is a trait that can be explained via evolutionary psychology. There are understandable reasons why people engage in conspiracy theory and even as I find such methods of problem solving strange, those people deserve respect.
But then there are the others, those theories propagated by people with vile intentions and completely unsound world views. The amount of anti-Semitism I have found in a couple of the theories, most notably one of the “Dzhokhar is Dead” theories, is sickening. Watching as the young women and teens who make up the bulk of the “Free Jahar” movement actively spread these theories with little knowledge of what they were endorsing other than that it proved that their latest fandom idol was innocent was distinctly horrible. There is no way for me to see those theories as anything but toxic and anathema to a decent society.
As I debunk, I will try to be as respectful as I can to the theories that are not utterly disgusting, and even then I will not be engaging in any sort of insult or cruelty. I don’t have to be nasty to tell the truth about people who believe terrible things. I urge anyone who chooses to respond to my debunkings to follow my lead on this. These days people can barely stand to read the comments on the Internet, so low has the discourse sunk. That won’t happen here. Please engage with an eye to discussion and civility.