Full strategy guide on US Department of State site
How can a journalist or a news consumer tell if a story is true or false? There are no exact rules, but the following clues can help indicate if a story or allegation is true.
* Does the story fit the pattern of a conspiracy theory?
* Does the story fit the pattern of an “urban legend?”
* Does the story contain a shocking revelation about a highly controversial issue?
* Is the source trustworthy?
* What does further research tell you?
''The U.S. military or intelligence community is a favorite villain in many conspiracy theories.''
In his book 9/11: The Big Lie, French author Thierry Meyssan falsely claimed that no plane hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Instead, he claimed that the building had been struck by a cruise missile fired by elements within the U.S. government. No such vast conspiracy existed and many eyewitness accounts and evidence gathered on the scene confirmed that the hijacked airliner had struck the building. But, nevertheless, the book was a best-seller in France and has been translated into 19 languages, demonstrating the power that even the most groundless conspiracy theories can have. (More details on 9/11: The Big Lie.)