Wednesday, April 4 2007 - 9/11 Commission
Why the Left Should Not Be Hostile to 9/11 Truth Efforts
From the Editor's at Antiwar League--
Antiwar League is posting this article because it makes important points for the whole antiwar movement. Regardless of what particular theory about the events of September 11 you subscribe to, it is important to put aside our differences and work for a common goal we can all agree on. There must be a new investigation, a full and truthful investigation, unimpeded by secrecy and conflict of interest.
by David Slesinger
(March 1, 2007)
The war on terror is being used to open the door to serious threats to our civil liberties. Exposition of any lies supporting such threats could be helpful to the protection of our Constitution.
If the current regime lies about so much, why shy away from asking the hardest questions about 9/11?
The lies which brought about the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution were a landmark lesson for American anti-imperialists. Why is Operation Northwoods unworthy of our concern?
It is said that the first casualty of war is the truth. If both major parties and the leaders of the antiwar movement have no interest in researching lies used to justify our current war, who deserves the most criticism?
Ultimately, we don't have to prove who did what. All we have to prove is that the government is lying. The fact that we still need the power of subpoena means we shouldn't be charged with the responsibility of already having answered all the hardest questions.
The burden of proof for "debunkers" is not the preponderance of the evidence. Their burden of proof is to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that a thorough investigation could disprove our case. This also means than if a debunker makes a good case about some aspect of our case, they still face the burden of making just as strong a case against ALL of our arguments. David Ray Griffin lists 115 different omissions and distortions of the Kean/Zelikow Commission. View it here. http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20050523112738404
Did you know that the US Military's timeline was changed twice, without explanation? Do think there should be a mulligan for citizens who salute?
Did you know the official theory assumes the FAA violated their own procedures 16 different times that day? Should we think twice before boarding an aircraft as a result?
Since the event of 9/11 is the most central event in the recent history of the US, it is not unreasonable that some people would speculate about the details of what happened. Since the US government has been proven to have a history of funding and directing disruptive agents, focusing criticism on our weakest arguments does not serve the search for understanding. (As I used to say the first time I thought my phone was tapped, "They must have money to burn.")
There are increasing numbers of 9/11 whistleblowers. The most recent, Robin Hordon, is a former air traffic controller. Are they fools for calling down the wrath of the state on them? How do their efforts differ from the efforts of Dan Ellsberg and others? Should Dan be criticized for helping 911 related whistleblowers like Sibel Edmonds?
My question for leftist debunkers in general is why can't they take Howard Zinn's position? To quote Howard in a letter to me, "while I am not devoting my time to this issue, I am glad other people are doing that. Surely there needs to be a division of labor and we can't all concentrate on every aspect of the horror represented by this administration. I surely agree we should ask all the hard questions barring none. And if there is solid evidence which, even if not conclusive, raises questions about the Bush Administration's relationship to 9-11, it should be exposed, and could become part of the arsenal calling for radical political change."
The institution on the left which monitors journalistic cowardice is Project Censored. Their recent media conference included a keynote speech by Prof. Steven Jones, the now former BYU Physics professor who makes the case for controlled demolition.
Even Chip Berlet and Matt Rothschild, respected leftist critics of 9/11 skepticism, agree there should be a real investigation. A shill for PNAC would never agree to that. Did you hear the Popular Mechanics guy on Charles Goyette's radio show actually argue there is no need to release ALL the photos of the Pentagon?
While most engineers and scientists have not condemned the official theory, it is hardly scientific to suggest we can be sure this can be explained by some reason other than the fact that most people will always be hesitant to risk their careers.
How are the entreaties to trust government experts when these experts are structural engineers defending the official theory of 9/11 any different from when the experts were war planners defending the Vietnam War?
If one could demonstrate that some other "conspiracy" is not accompanied by strong evidence, that in no way justifies using such a label to dismiss our hardest questions. The ability of someone to compare our efforts to the misguided efforts of others and use this as an excuse for personal attacks is itself misguided. Accusing us of various forms of religious nuttiness is a reference to unquestioning acceptance of unproven theory, which is the case I'm making here against our critics.
Most present day leftists carry the traditions of the New Left and its anti authoritarian tendencies rather than the Old Left with its residual Stalinism. Anti-imperialist activists of a certain age have been more than willing to attend large rallies in coalition with a good variety of more authoritarian activists. 911Truth activists are generating large numbers of anti-imperialist, anti-corporate activists. Why shouldn't these people be treated as brothers and sisters? Anti-authoritarian anti-imperialists wouldn't think of wasting their time publicly attacking the choice of focus of our Marxist-Leninist brothers and sisters. They certainly wouldn't make the primary criticism of these comrades that they are wasting time exposing insufficiently important ruling class or government lies.
While the 911truth movement is hardly free of sectarianism, the tendency of respected left commentators to attack ALL efforts to expose the lies about 9/11 is simply another form of left sectarianism. All ideological endeavor is plagued by sectarianism. Whenever one analyst believes another analyst is too far afield, they may justifiably draw lines until more evidence or analysis comes forward. When it becomes hairsplitting is anyone's opinion.
If a longtime adversary accuses you of being a conspiracy theorist, should this always mean you'll stop some legitimate line of research?
The religious left is showing itself to be increasingly open to asking the hardest questions about 9/11 and the war on terror. An anthology including major progressive religious scholars is coming out edited by Kevin Barrett. David Ray Griffin has published a whole volume with religious focus. What do secular leftists have to say to Rabbi Michael Lerner or in response to comments by Rev. William Sloane Coffin?
At what point is it reasonable to insist that "left gatekeepers" individually respond to criticism they are sold out to ruling class foundation funds? Should anyone be considered beyond reproach?
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