A Reason blogger outs himself as a conspiracy theorist…

There is widespread (and mainstream) speculation that many of the terrorist attacks attributed to Chechens in recent years were actually perpetrated by the Russian secret services, to further the political aims of an ever-more-authoritarian Russian state. The 1999 apartment bombings triggering the Second Chechen War are widely suspected to have been the work of the FSB, the KGB’s successor organization.

This theory has been expounded by sinister demagogues like John McCain and George Soros as well as raving fantasists like John Sweeney, Johann Hari and William Safire. All good sceptics know that they’re just paranoid cranks trying to impose order upon the universe; reconcile events with their worldview; prove their own superiority to more benighted folk and, er…

Yeah, okay, I’m only messin’. I don’t know a lot about this claim and can’t judge whether it’s intriguing or a load of balls. Yet it carries all the hallmarks of a theory that would ensure one’s banishment from sensible, moderate, mainstream discourse if it was targeted against Western states or corporations. (Lots of people, after all, would have to have known.) There’s no valid epistemic rationale for this: it’s just plain hypocrisy.

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