9-11 Synthetic Error–The meltdown of Webster G. Tarpley
9-11 Synthetic Error
The meltdown of Webster G. Tarpley
by Michael Wolsey September 17, 2007
John Leonard, who as far as I can tell is the publisher of Webster G. Tarpley’s book, 9/11Synthetic Terror, Made in the USA, posted a blog entry at 911blogger.com dated September 6th, 2007 and titled Tarpley’s Rx for US 9/11 Truth Movement: Diversity and Civility in Discussion, Unity in Action. As you can see from the above quote attributed to Mr. Tarpley, he is asking the 9-11 movement to conduct themselves in a “business-like and respectful manner, without slander, without defamation, without ad hominem attacks on every page.”
I agree wholeheartedly with the above statement by Mr. Tarpley. I have been aware of the divisions within the 9-11 movement for years now and know that they have slowed our progress toward the truth behind the events of September 11th. We do need to come together around the best possible evidence we have and get behind the best researchers to keep propelling our 9-11 questions to the forefront of the public eye. So I was a bit surprised to find out that the very day that this article surfaced at 911blogger.com, Webster Tarpley was publicly attacking me, Cosmos, Col. Jenny Sparks, Jon Gold, and Arabesque on his radio program GCN World report. In order to understand better what prompted this attack, it is important to step back in time and examine the circumstances surrounding the emergence of what is known as “The Kennebunkport Warning”, hereafter known in this article as the KW. It is also worth a look at Mr. Tarpley himself and what he believes and advocates.
As news of the KW began to surface on the internet in late August, 2007, I received an email from a fellow activist here in
who is a friend of one of the alleged “signers” of the KW, Dr. Dahlia Wasfi. This email contained a statement by Dr. Wasfi saying that she did not sign the KW despite the fact that images being passed around the internet showed her signature among others including Cindy Sheehan on the document. I immediately posted this discrepancy to the KW thread at 911blogger.com, which began the entire controversy. Dr. Wasfi first issued a statement which read: Colorado
“I signed a statement in
to endorse the impeachment of Dick Cheney, but my signature has been used on this “Warning” without my consent. While I was humbled to have my signature misappropriated with such prominent voices as Cindy Sheehan, Cynthia McKinney, and Jamilla El-Shafei, none of us signed that document.” Kennebunkport
She later released a joint statement, originally published at her website and from herself and three of the other “signers” which read:
Each of us were approached during the rally at the
None of us have such evidence, and therefore, none of us signed a statement stating that we do.
We wish the authors of the document well in continuing much needed investigations of all aspects of 9/11.
Signed: Jamilla El-Shafei Cindy Sheehan Dahlia Wasfi Ann Wright Later, Dr. Wasfi also appeared on my program for a frank discussion about the KW and the abusive treatment offered by its author and supporters.
Despite a courteous denial, supplying their reasons and wishing those in the 9-11 movement luck, these messages were met with extremely harsh rhetoric coming from the supporters of the KW, led by its author, Webster Tarpley himself. In an email circulated to various 9-11 researchers and activists, Mr. Tarpley wrote:
Dear Friends — Please get organizations from the peace, impeachment, anti-globalization, 9/11 truth, and other movements, as well as high-profile personalities, celebrities, etc., to endorse, support, distribute, and publicize the
Warning. Some of the signers, under the obvious threats of totalitarian forces, are lying in appalling fashion about what they signed and if they signed. You can see for yourself from the facsimile who signed. We need to move beyond these wretched individuals* to build support for this mobilization alert as we enter a very dangerous weekend. Please make a special effort to gather support. Webster Tarpley Kennebunkport
*emphasis added throughout
In looking back at the sequence of events, it is not hard to see why someone might be puzzled at the recent boisterous rantings coming from Mr. Tarpley. Many have seen this and regard his actions as contradictory, if not hypocritical. Is it not strange that less than a year prior to these events surrounding the KW, Mr. Tarpley issued his call for unity and civility, and even reprinted the appeal in the 2007 4th edition of his book, pp. 452-453. Why then, immediately before the 6th anniversary 9-11 events, did Mr. Tarpley and other supporters of the KW viciously attack leaders of the Peace Movement? Why did you and your followers do this Mr. Tarpley, and why did you lead the way in these attacks? Apparently the call to respect others and act in a “manner, without slander, without defamation, without ad hominem attacks on every page” does not extend to members of the Peace Movement. We find out later that they do not extend to the 9-11 Truth Movement either.
Unfortunately, the harsh rhetoric aimed at the “signers” of the KW did not end with Mr. Tarpley. Craig Hill, who has been a KW supporter from the beginning, has supplied us with some of the most vicious attacks to date on these Peace Activists, referring to them as “The Dahliar 4”. From a posting by Joan Jones at the truthaction.org forum come the following statements attributed to Mr. Hill:
“The hoax lies in the lies of the signers” “Dahlia Wasafi is the original instigator of the campaign to destroy the messenger and the message of the Kennebunkport Warning” “ Dahlia is worse even than a liar, she is either part of the war effort she claims she denounces or an idiot out of her depth.” “The hoax here consists of a rally, essentially, by some of the signers to protect Dahlia’s family by amazingly, clumsily, arrogantly and stupidly destroying the credibility of a patriot who is simply trying to do what they have not the guts or brains to do on their own.” “ the bitterly dubious integrity of Cindy Sheehan or her crapulous judgment“
Here is a quote from Mr. Hill when he was a guest on Mr. Tarpley’s radio program on September 6, 2007:
“I’m beginning to think more and more that the peace movement is very much more infiltrated, and controlled even by elements of the perpetrators, coming from the perpetrators than even the 9-11 movement… And the reason I say that is that it seems now on 911blogger, which is supposedly THE authority on the internet such as it is for all things 9-11, has taken the side of these people who I call the Dahliar 4. In other words, the Dah-Liar 4. D-A-H-L-I-A-R Just put an R at the end of the name Dahlia.”
Isn’t that cute Mr. Hill? Not bad for a 4th grader, but a grown man? And you want to be part of the US Senate? You can’t be serious.
Another supporter of the KW has been Bruce Marshall. As you can hear from listening to the final segment of the September 3, 2007 edition of Truth Revolution Radio with Cosmos, Bruce Marshall is not interested in the “business-like” and “respectful” behavior that Mr. Tarpley advocated. In fact, Mr. Tarpley himself was unwilling to abide by his own words and set the example. His followers quickly followed suit, even using Mr. Tarpley’s radio program as a platform to ruthlessly slam “The Dahliar 4”.
I have to say that it is more than puzzling to attempt to explain Mr. Tarpley’s behavior toward the alleged signers of the KW. It is completely contrary to his previous statements calling for unity, and goes against his efforts to promote the KW as an important document. I cannot speak for others but I would think a reasonable individual who wanted to promote a certain cause, or in this case, a “document”, would want to avoid controversy. If you really wanted widespread attention for your cause, controversy would be detrimental to your credibility and would turn people off to your message. So why then, did the active supporters of the KW do everything possible to create as much controversy as possible? Is this the first sign of a meltdown from Webster Tarpley? Let us examine Mr. Tarpley a bit more in detail.
It is important now to go back to where we began this article. On September 9, 2006 Mr. Tarpley made the following statement:
“In our movement there has to be a sphere of theoretical discussion, which has to be done in a business-like and respectful manner, without slander, without defamation, without ad hominem attacks on every page.”
A transcript was made from a segment of the radio program, which included the above quotation in the context of a larger discussion about the divisions within our movement. This transcript, as previously mentioned, was posted at 911blogger.com on September 6th, 2007 and also printed in the 4th edition of Mr. Tarpley’s book, pp. 452-453 and titled Tarpley’s Rx for US 9/11 Truth Movement: Diversity and Civility in Discussion, Unity in Action. What exactly does Mr. Tarpley mean when he uses the word “diversity” in this title? Is this another word for the “big tent” analogy?
After being involved in the 9-11 movement for several years now, I have seen first hand how the disinformation is introduced and promulgated. I have seen the instigators and been the target of their assaults because I would not circulate ridiculous theories about what happened on 9-11. I have seen how these divisions are nurtured and I have seen how the disinformation has been injected into the pool of reputable 9-11 information. The above remarks from Mr. Tarpley were delivered in a larger context as an appeal for all 9-11 truth activists to come together despite our differences. In the larger context, Tarpley was calling for unity and civility around the information, think “diversity”. Mr. Tarpley is suggesting a coming together, if you will, under what is known as the “big tent”, all in the name of “diversity”. What if scientists and engineers used this diversity argument in their research and practice?
While I agree with Mr. Tarpley’s call for unity, I do not agree with the context in which this appeal has been delivered. I believe it is essential that we only present to the public the best information that we have in our attempts to awaken the sleeping masses. If we are to convince the average skeptic that “9-11 was an inside job”, then we had better be able to provide convincing proof if we hope to get that person on board with the movement. Be very cautious of anyone who says differently. If you don’t believe me, tell your friends that you think there were no planes on 9-11. Tell them that the images they saw on TV that day were inserted real time into the live video AND all the still photos that were taken on that day. Tell them that explosives were detonated inside the towers in the exact shape of an aircraft to imitate a plane hitting it. While you are at it, tell them a missile hit the Pentagon and then tell them that space beams brought down the
and see how they react. Don’t be surprised if they discount your notions out of hand and laugh at you; maybe even call you a few names. Would you be surprised if you found out that Mr. Tarpley advocates and supports these ridiculous theories? It sure surprised me. World Trade Center
All this is not to say that I think that the work of researchers should be censored. On the contrary, I think that a person has a right to pursue whatever line of research he or she decides. If someone thinks that they have research that deserves attention, Dr. Steven E. Jones has provided an outlet for such purpose called the Journal of 9-11 Studies. This site was set up and invites all theories to be submitted for peer review by other 9-11 researchers. As Dr. Jones has said, all theories are welcome at the Journal, indeed encouraged. While most 9-11 activists and researchers invite new and credible research to support our assertions (isn’t that what we all want?), we also recognize the need to use caution when presenting information to the public. It goes without saying to most reasonable people that if you are going to talk about 9-11 to the public, you better have your ducks in a row.
Let us now take a look at the big tent that Mr. Tarpley wants us to come together under, and see who else would be there with us when we get there. A good place to start is Mr. Tarpley’s book, 9/11 Synthetic Terror, published through Progressive Press. This book was hailed by many as one of the better books on the subject of September 11th. Upon closer examination, there are many clues which would tell us Mr. Tarpley’s version of who would be joining us under his big tent.
Mr. Tarpley includes in his book, a foreword written by a man named Thierry Meyssan. In his article 9/11 Conspiracies: When a Knock is a Boost, which was a response to the History Channel hit piece, Mr. Tarpley heaps praise upon Mr. Meyssan, writing:
“Thierry Meyssan, the founder of our worldwide movement, got more recognition tonight than he has ever received in this country, and it is about time — his book the Big Lie is and remains a classic.”
Far from the “founder of our worldwide movement”, Mr. Meyssan has been the original source for the “no plane” theories which have so divided the 9-11 movement. Mr. Meyssan gave us the original “straw man” argument, which first surfaced as the idea that a truck bomb caused the damage at the Pentagon. This story later morphed into the claim that a missile or a global hawk hit the Pentagon. Later, these Pentagon theories gave birth to the ridiculous notion that no planes were used on 9-11 whatsoever. Mr. Meyssan and his theories, and all those related to his original claims have been widely rejected by serious 9-11 researchers and activists for years. Is it reasonable to assume that Mr. Tarpley is unaware that most of the movement has soundly rejected Mr. Meyssan’s work? Why does Mr. Tarpley feature Mr. Meyssan so prominently in his book, and speak so highly of him and his work? I submit that the reason for this is not ignorance, but acceptance and endorsement. Let us now turn to the back cover of Mr. Tarpley’s book. We see that Mr. Meyssan is handsomely represented there too in one of a series of short endorsements of the book. Almost surprisingly, among the other short endorsements is one written by the notorious blogger and troublemaker, Nico Haupt. Mr. Haupt, well known as a disinformation specialist has been extremely vitriolic toward any 9-11 researcher or activist (or anyone for that matter) who refuses to accept and promote his unproven theory that not only were there no planes on 9-11, but what he calls “TV fakery” was used to superimpose the images of planes hitting the towers in real time, on live TV. Mr. Haupt has repeatedly attacked me and many others and it is believed he is in part responsible for the dis-informative and derogatory websites 911truthy.org, 911 Truthlings Watch, and 911researchers.com. In this article from the Rolling Stone magazine, Matt Taibbi refers to Mr. Haupt as “the movement’s house lunatic”, citing an anecdote where Mr. Haupt tried to provoke him into a fight while picketing his office. It is beyond debate that Mr. Haupt is one of the worst problems facing the 9-11 movement, yet he is featured prominently on the back of Mr. Tarpley’s book and has been a guest on Mr. Tarpley’s radio program. Why? Can we consider this an endorsement of Mr. Haupt and his ludicrous behavior and theories? Another standout personality featured on the back of Mr. Tarpley’s book is a man named Gerhard Wisnewski who is coincidentally a supporter of the KW. Mr. Wisnewski’s website is in German but also contains a rudimentary English translation. Despite what is probably a rough translation, there seems to be indications that Mr. Wisnewski also believes there were no planes on 9-11. One quote I did find to this effect reads:
“Two passenger planes (at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania) disappear without a trace — the two others leaving no trace of a voice recorder and, in the case of the World Trade Center, most likely not even bodies.”
From A Medieval Myth by Gerhard Wisnewski
One thing that is certain when you look at his website is that Mr. Wisnewski believes that the landing on the moon was all a hoax. He has, in fact, written two books on the topic titled One Small Step? and his new book, Lies in Space. While I do not fall on either side of this debate, the fact still remains that if the opportunity were to ever present itself to the mainstream media, they would use these “moon landing hoax’ theories to discredit Mr. Wisnewski’s 9-11 work and the movement in general. If we welcome Mr. Wisnewski under our big tent, why not bring in the holocaust deniers, anti-Semites, and alien abductees? Is that what you want Mr. Tarpley? We can also look to supporters of the KW for clues as to who would be joining us under our big tent, here constructed by Webster Tarpley. On his September 6, 2007 edition of Genesis World Report, Mr. Tarpley said:
“Who supported the
We have already discussed in detail some of these supporters of the KW. Let us take a brief look at some of the others not previously mentioned. Under Mr. Tarpley’s big tent of diversity, we would obviously have Mr. Jim Fetzer. This is the same Mr. Fetzer who is responsible for the break up of Scholars for 9-11 Truth. Among other things, Mr. Fetzer ruthlessly attacked Dr. Jones on several occasions, and Dr. Jones responded with facts and answers in a peer-reviewed letter. This is the same Mr. Fetzer who openly supports divisive people like those at WING-TV and Nico Haupt, the same Mr. Fetzer who promotes the junk science of “TV fakery”, space beam promoters Judy Wood and “no planes on 9-11″, Morgan Reynolds (at the st911.org site). Fetzer has threatened legal action against several 9/11 researchers but fortunately failed in his legal action against 9/11 researcher Fred Burks. Mr. Fetzer’s “Scholars” group has shrunk by about half since his attacks on others in the 9/11 Truth community. This also happens to be the same Mr. Fetzer who has been widely rejected by serious 9-11 activists. Jim Fetzer is far from a “recognized leader” who has “built the 9-11 and peace movements over many years”. It is a huge distortion for Mr. Tarpley to include Jim Fetzer in such a list. Is it possible that Mr. Tarpley is unaware of the movement wide rejection of Mr. Fetzer and his Orwellian “Scholars for 9-11 Truth”? (Fetzer’s small group was, however, identified with the 9/11 community in the History Channel attack piece.) Or does he support the use of absurd theories in presentations to the public? Below is an excerpt from an email I recently received from someone who had looked into our movement for what he calls “an inordinate amount of time”. Take a good look at the handy work of Mr. Jim Fetzer.
“The 9/11 attacks were the deliberate action of Al Qaida, they planned it, confessed, they had the means and the motive. Last year I spent an inordinate amount of time reading up on various 9/11 claims and found them not credible. The self named “Scholars for 9/11 truth” contained almost no scholars with any relevant expertise……”
How about the “heroic 9-11 fighter from
These are the promoters of the Kennebunkport Warning according to Mr. Tarpley. Is it a coincidence that most of them, including Mr. Tarpley himself, are also pushing the worst dis-information about 9-11? Is this your idea of “diversity” Mr. Tarpley? Why did Mr. Tarpley not mention some of the plethora of solid researchers and activists who have really built our movement?
Unfortunately, Mr. Tarpley again ignored his own advice, when on September 6th, 2007 he renewed his attacks on the “Dahliar 4”. On his radio program, Mr. Tarpley again used his platform to attack those who claimed that they did not sign the KW, but this time his derogatory rhetoric included ad hominem attacks on me, Cosmos and truthaction.org, Arabesque and his website, meticulous 9-11 researcher Jon Gold, and blogger “Col. Jenny Sparks”. We were 5 people who had the courage to stand up and say “Hey wait a minute here!” when we saw Mr. Tarpley and others attacking these ladies in the Peace movement. Many of us who have been involved in the 9-11 movement for a long time have worked hard on forging relationships between our movement and the Peace movement. We saw these attacks as detrimental to all of our hard work and called Mr. Tarpley and Mr. Hill out on their reprehensible behavior. We have said all along that we do not totally disagree with the content of the KW. What we do object to is the way the alleged “signers” were treated by the author and purveyors of this document. We have also asked the question, and still do, why don’t you take these signatures off your document?
Below is a short transcript of the main part of Mr. Tarpley’s attack on me and the others. The audio of the 2nd hour of his program, where these remarks can be heard is found here.
“Who opposes the
Then we have somebody else called Colonel Jenny Sparks in quotation marks. She shows herself as a cartoon figure prancing in an abbreviated costume before the Union Jack. Another poison pen slanderer, another wrecker and saboteur. The only questions we have are, is this COINTELPRO, is this the current style of the FBI counter-gang?
So here we have Cosmos who shows you he looks like he’s trying to imitate Che Guavara or a member of the Sons of David baseball team. He’s hiding behind a huge beard, looks like the Italian aviators in A Night at the Opera. He’s got this army fatigue cap pulled down over his eyes so you can’t see him, he might as well be anonymous. Jenny Sparks completely anonymous.
Michael Wolsey, Visibility 9/11. He appears of course in shades, he’s got some cool shades on, he doesn’t want you to see him. Remember visibility911.com is not the same as 911visibility.org. 911visibility.org is a reputable website; you have
Another person who has been active in these slander operations is somebody called Arabesque. Arabesque has a blog devoted to discussing 9/11 news research and disinformation, and I think the disinformation department is absolutely admirable. He seems to have all the disinformation you could want. He’s pushing it and peddling it on this sleazy, smelly website. So that’s arabesque911.blogspot.com.
The interesting thing about these people is that they all appear in the year 2006, 2007. What’s their track record in the 9/11 truth movement? Do they have any? Do they have contributions? Have they done anything to build the movement? Who are they? They come out of nowhere and then they set themselves up as leaders. Cosmos in particular starts saying that it’s time for everybody to get active on the eleventh on every month. Well we don’t need him to tell us this and to take credit for it.
I’m afraid also Jon Gold is somebody who has been in the movement, puts his blog at Arabesque and he has joined in the slanders.
These people have practiced a constructive fraud on public opinion. I think they operate with multiple pseudonyms. We do not know who they are. Colonel Jenny Sparks for all we know may be a cigar-chomping FBI agent or a branch of Shin Bet somewhere in the
Colonel Jenny Sparks appears with no face. Arabesque has no face. Cosmos has got the cap pulled down over his eyes. Michael Wolsey’s got his shades on. These are the poison pens and the slander snipers and these are the people you have to watch out for.
And I think it is monstrous that a lot of people who have been in the 9/11 movement and have seen COINTELPRO in action in past years are now willing to go down this road once again with disinformation, distortion and the constant mania of people who insist on operating under false names, anonymous slanderers. It’s a despicable way to wage political activity.”
These are the same kind of ad hominem attacks that come from the mainstream media when we try to talk about 9-11. The big difference here is that these attacks are being orchestrated by a high profile member of the 9-11 movement, aimed at other members of the same movement. Worse still, is the fact that these unfounded and unproven allegations are very serious and include accusations of being government agents. Throughout this attack, Mr. Tarpley engages in ridiculous and transparent arguments, instead of addressing the concerns we have. Sound familiar? This is exactly what the main stream media does to us as a movement. The above rant is a text book example of an ad hominem. Dictionary.com defines an ad hominem as:
2. attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument.
A Latin expression meaning “to the man.” An ad hominem argument is one that relies on personal attacks rather than reason or substance
Why did you not address our concerns Mr. Tarpley, but instead, chose to engage in the exact behavior we abhor from the mainstream media? Instead of answering our questions, you attacked us Mr. Tarpley. Answer our questions won’t you? Why did you attack these ladies in the Peace movement? Why don’t you take them off your document? During this rant, Mr. Tarpley relied exclusively on personal attacks or ad hominems. You attack me because I have sunglasses on in a couple of pictures at my website? I don’t want anyone to know who I am? Is this for real? If Mr. Tarpley had bothered to look, he would have found this picture of me, without sunglasses. And by the way, I do use my real name. How am I anonymous Mr. Tarpley? And so what if I was? Does anonymity automatically make one COINTELPRO? Or is it anonymity, together with standing up to you that invites this designation? What about “George Washington” over at 911blogger Mr. Tarpley. Is he COINTELPRO too? Mr. Tarpley, how do your transparent attacks make us COINTELPRO? How does the fact that Arabesque and
“im at the conference right now. tarpley just called cosmos, jenny sparks, arabesque, michael wolsey, and john gold all cointelpro. he even put pictures of some of these peopleup on the screen.”
If it is true that Mr. Tarpley did indeed make theses accusations against me, Cosmos, Arabesque, and Jenny, these are serious claims that I do not take lightly. As they say out here in the West, Mr. Tarpley, either put up or shut up. Provide the evidence to back up your claims, or shut up. Of course, Mr. Tarpley cannot “put up” and that is why he chose to use ad hominems in a feeble attempt to demonize me and my colleagues. May I be the first of many to denounce such behavior from Mr. Tarpley and I demand a public retraction and apology, to myself, and to all whom Mr. Tarpley has attacked, including the ladies in the Peace Movement who want their names removed from the KW. Mr. Tarpley, you also owe the entire movement an apology for such juvenile actions and behaviors. Another equally unfounded statement by Mr. Tarpley is as follows:
The interesting thing about these people is that they all appear in the year 2006, 2007. What’s their track record in the 9/11 truth movement? Do they have any? Do they have contributions? Have they done anything to build the movement? Who are they? They come out of nowhere and then they set themselves up as leaders.
This statement constitutes a gross distortion at best, and at worst, a blatant lie. Speaking for myself, I can say that this statement is an insult to the selfless work I have done in the 9-11 movement for years now. Others have recognized my work as well, here, here, here, here, and here. Did you bother to look into my work at all before you made the decision to attack me Mr. Tarpley? Not even a google search? It seems to me had Mr. Tarpley done just a bit of homework, he could not have, with a clear conscience, said the things about me that he did. I know there were lies and fabrications and ad hominems aimed at my colleagues Cosmos, Arabesque, Jon Gold, and Col. Jenny Sparks, which I will leave for them to address individually. It should be known that I denounce Mr. Tarpley and his ad hominem attack on all of us in the strongest of terms and that the others who were attacked have my full and undivided support. In closing I will say that what Mr. Tarpley has done to cause the controversy surrounding the KW is nothing short of despicable. Additionally, he has for years promoted some of the worst information regarding the 9-11 cover-up, a fact that seems to either have been ignored, or hidden in plain sight, or both. Today, instead of practicing what he preaches, he simply attacks anyone who might dare stand up to his egomaniacal little tirade against the Peace Activists. I am aware of calls to move past the KW, and yes, I would like nothing better. This has cost me many hours of valuable time that I could have used much better. However, the fact remains that Webster G. Tarpley has behaved in a way that cannot and should not be ignored. In the past, and using the mantra “for the sake of the movement”, it has been the practice to ignore these disruptors. What has ignoring these people done? Have things got better as a result of ignoring them? Have they gone away? On the contrary, like busy little termites, the have been slowly eating away at the foundations of our movement. These outrageous actions by Mr. Tarpley cannot, and will not go unchallenged by me. We as a movement need to come together on how we handle such disruptors and re-evaluate the unwritten, failed policy of ignoring them and hoping they will just go away.