Defining existential politics.
by Byron Belitsos
With the inauguration of George W. Bush for a second term, we enter a nightmare phase of American history, a descent into the era of what might be called “deep politics.”
In this short essay I reach out for an expanded definition of a phrase first coined by the distinguished author Peter Dale Scott. In Deep Politics and the Death of JFK1, Scott refers to the “underlying continuities of deep politics” displayed by the apparent convergence of the covert interests of military, rightwing, intelligence agency, and organized crime conspirators that coalesced in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Veteran journalist Jim Marrs points in a similar direction with his Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy, as does the Oliver Stone movie based in part on that book. Marrs then works out the implications in later books, including Rule by Secrecy and Inside Job2, an expose of US government collusion with the 9/11 plot. Big-picture writers like Scott, Marrs, and investigative journalist Mike Ruppert, author of Crossing the Rubicon3, have succeeded in synthesizing a growing body of evidence that support the notion that America now inhabits a surreal realm of deep politics, where amoral, Machiavellian, covert action directs (or conditions) the agenda of the overt world, and cover stories are spun by self-deceived politicians, “pundits,” and mainstream media.
Meanwhile, the truth and the facts about the black-budget world of covert action migrates to isolated ghettos inhabited by independent… Continue reading
by Dr. David Ray Griffin
Note: This lecture was delivered at the University of Wisconsin at Madison on April 18, 2005, and first broadcast by C-Span2 (BookTV) on April 30. Although this text does not correspond exactly to the lecture as orally delivered, all the differences are trivial except that, of course, the oral presentation had to get along without footnotes. – DRG
I will begin by unpacking the key terms in the title of my talk: “9/11,” “American empire,” and “religious people,” beginning with the last one.
1. RELIGIOUS PEOPLE
Although I am a Christian theologian, I am in this talk addressing religious people in general. I am doing so because I believe that religious people should respond to 9/11 and the American empire in a particular way because of moral principles of their religious traditions that are common to all the historic religious traditions.1 I have in mind principles such as:
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors’ oil.
Thou shalt not murder thy neighbors in order to steal their oil.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbors, accusing them of illicitly harboring weapons of mass destruction, in order to justify killing them in order to steal their oil.
This language is, of course, language that we associate with the Abrahamic religions-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. But the same basic ideas can be found in other religious traditions.
I turn now to “American empire,” which has been a highly contentious term.
2. AMERICAN EMPIRE: DIVERGENT VIEWS
In his… Continue reading
Millions of people are at various levels of discovery that the official explanation of 9/11 is a lie. They are at some point in the process of realizing that some clandestine element at the highest levels of our government and military orchestrated a self-inflicted terrorist act to enflame U.S citizens into supporting an aggressive imperial agenda abroad, and a homeland security/police state regime at home as we relinquish our cherished civil liberties.
After the immediate question of Why? comes up in our minds, the next logical question is ? what can I do about it? Part of the big lie we?re in, to which so many have succumbed, is that we can?t do much of anything. There?s just no hope for us, the corruption is too vast and the powers that be are too powerful. If you fall into this description, has it ever occurred to you that this is what our new world order orchestrators want us to believe? While they are so small in number and have us believing we are powerless and without hope for reclaiming our republic, they?ve won because we?ve allowed them to control this debilitating illusion to which we?ve acquiesced.
Are you ready to dispel this illusion of powerlessness? Think about this. There are just four things you must do. Inform yourself, inform others, participate in the democratic process by informing your elected officials what you want, and participate in the group process of enabling progress through organizational actions. Now let?s add some detail.… Continue reading
We are pleased to share this audio file of David Ray Griffin’s lecture, “9/11 and the American Empire: A Christian Critique,” presented Mar. 25 in Santa Barbara. (download here)
Now Available–Oakland Event Audio
March 30, 2006:
911Truth.org exclusive: The author of The New Pearl Harbor, David Ray Griffin, made a return last Saturday to his accustomed discipline, theology, addressing “9/11, American Empire, and Christian Faith” in an early-morning lecture to an audience crowding into the Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara, CA. The evidence that 9/11 was a false flag attack is very strong, Griffin argued, lamenting that most Americans reject the idea as beyond the pale ? their own government could never do such a thing! ? without examining the facts. In reality, false flag attacks are historically common, frequently used by empires to provide pretexts for war and create the enemy images necessary for rallying a fearful people behind imperial policy. The history of the United States has not been different in this regard, as Griffin makes clear. But those who attain these insights, especially with regard to 9/11, are forced to take action. Griffin therefore asks his fellow “Christians in America” how they should “respond to the realization that we are living… Continue reading
by David Ray Griffin
This lecture was delivered March 30, 2006, at Grand Lake Theater in Oakland for Progressive Democrats of the East Bay. Abbreviated versions of it were given in San Francisco for the Democratic World Federalists on April 2 and the Commonwealth Club on April 3.
Although I am a philosopher of religion and theologian, I have spent most of my time during the past three years on 9/11—studying it, writing about it, and speaking about it. In this lecture, I will try to make clear why I believe this issue worthy of so much time and energy. I will do this in terms of the distinction between myth and reality.
I am here using the term “myth” in two senses. In one sense, a myth is an idea that, while widely believed, is false, failing to correspond with reality.
In a deeper sense, which is employed by students of religion, a myth serves as an orienting and mobilizing story for a people, a story that reminds them who they are and why they do what they do. When a story is called as a myth in this sense—which we can call Myth with a capital M—the focus is not on the story’s relation to reality but on its function. This orienting and mobilizing function is possible, moreover, only because Myths with a capital M have religious overtones. Such a Myth is a Sacred Story.
However, although to note that a story functions as a Myth… Continue reading
This article can now be read in its entirety here:
by David Ray Griffin
This essay was originally delivered as a lecture at Trinity Episcopal Church of Santa Barbara, Saturday, March 25, 2006.
In this essay, I offer a Christian critique of the American empire in light of 9/11, and of 9/11 in light of the American empire. Such a critique, of course, presupposes a discussion of 9/11 itself, especially the question of who was responsible for the attacks. The official theory is that the attacks were planned and carried out entirely by Arab Muslims. The main alternative theory is that 9/11 was a “false flag” operation, orchestrated by forces within the US government who made it appear to be the work of Arab Muslims. …
I will argue that the attacks of 9/11 were false flag attacks, orchestrated to marshal support for a so-called war on terror against Muslim and Arab states as the next stage in creating a global Pax Americana, an all-inclusive empire. I will conclude this essay with its main question: How should Christians in America respond to the realization that we are living in an empire similar to the Roman empire at the time of Jesus, which put him to death for resistance against it.
by David Ray Griffin
April 28, 2006
Note: This essay was originally delivered as a lecture at Trinity Episcopal Church of Santa Barbara,… Continue reading
New book: 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out
Edited by David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott
Olive Branch Press (Interlink Books)
Pre-pub Review (more follow…)
“This is the most important book of our time. Distinguished national and international scientists and scholars present massive evidence that The 9/11 Commission Report is a hoax and that the 9/11 “terrorist attack” has been manipulated to serve a hegemonic agenda in the Middle East. The book’s call for a truly independent panel of experts to be empowered to bring out the true facts must be heeded or Americans will never again live under accountable government.” — Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury during the Reagan administration
1. 9/11, the American Empire, and Common Moral Norms
David… Continue reading
- Near Majority Support, Powerful New Tools, and Energized Activism Promise Endgame Soon
September 11 Press Release
September 11, 2006 (PRWEB) — The year leading up to the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks has been marked by an unprecedented upsurge in public mistrust of the official story portrayed in the 9/11 Commission Report. Respected national polling firms Zogby and Scripps Howard have shown that less than half the public believes in the conclusions or integrity of the 9/11 Commission, and 36% of Americans now think the administration was actively complicit in the attacks to advance its preplanned Mideast war agenda.
This outburst of popular skepticism has come in spite of five years of lockstep support for the official 9/11 narrative by the national press, broadcast media, and both major political parties. The mounting distrust spans the political, religious and ethnic spectrums, and has been largely driven by compelling new films, books, whistleblower reports, and escalating grassroots activism. Collectively these resources and constituencies not only offer the country hope for a fresh and truly honest 9/11 probe, but also a potent new base for radical political reform.
Activating the Newly Awakened
To mobilize the 70+ million voting age 9/11 skeptics identified by Zogby, 911truth.org has organized “Politics 911,” a national effort to identify congressional candidates who would demand an honorable new 9/11 inquiry and then help generate support for their election. This campaign has started polling candidates nationwide and is currently recruiting grassroots poll volunteers at http://www.911truthgroups.org/911Truth.…Continue reading
David Ray Griffin
September 4, 2006
A significant stir was created by the publication in Vanity Fair of “9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes” by Michael Bronner, the first journalist to be given access to these audiotapes–which NORAD had provided, upon demand, to the 9/11 Commission in 2004. The public impact of Bronner’s essay was increased greatly by the availability of snippets from these tapes (which could be accessed from the online version of the article) to be played on TV and radio news reports about the article.1
The stir was caused primarily by Bronner’s report of the charge by members of the 9/11 Commission–which had played excepts from these tapes during hearings in 2004–that the military had made false statements to the Commission, perhaps knowingly. This stir was increased by the publication at the same time–the first week of August 2006–of Without Precedent, a book by Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton–the chairman and vice chairman of the Commission, respectively–in which this charge is also made.2
The charge primarily involves the military’s pre-2004 claims about the responses of NEADS–the Northeast Air Defense Sector of NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command)–to two flights: AA (American Airlines) 77 and UA (United Airlines) 93. (There is also, although Bronner does not deal with it, a serious discrepancy with regard to UA 175.) These claims are contradicted by the tapes, with “tapes” here meaning not only the NORAD tapes, to which Bronner refers in his essay’s subtitle, but also what he calls “the parallel recordings from the F.A.A.,”3which he used in conjunction with the NORAD tapes.…Continue reading
On Friday, November 24 at 4:00 pm and Saturday, November 25 at 3:30 am and at 10:00 pm
9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out
David Ray Griffin, Peter Dale Scott, Peter Phillips, Kevin Ryan, Ray McGovern
Description: Editors and contributors to the book, “9/11 and American Empire,” assess the Bush administration’s responsibility for the attacks on 9/11, arguing that key administration officials either purposefully ignored the threats leading up to the attacks or were complicit in the planning them. The panelists say that the administration has used the attacks to enact long established plans to expand American empire. The participants are: David Ray Griffin (co-editor/contributor), Peter Dale Scott (co-editor/contributor), Peter Phillips (contributor) and Kevin Ryan (contributor). Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern moderates the discussion. The event was hosted by Berkeley, California-based Pacifica radio station KPFA (www.kpfa.org).
Author Bio: David Ray Griffin, professor emeritus of philosophy and theology at the Claremont School of Theology, is the author of “The New Pearl Harbor” and “The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions.” Peter Dale Scott, former Canadian diplomat and former professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of “Deep Politics and the Death of JFK” and “Drugs, Oil, and War.” Peter Phillips, professor of sociology at Sonoma State University and director of the Project Censored media research program, is most recently the co-editor of “Censored 2007: The Top 25 Censored Stories” and “Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney.” Kevin Ryan is a former site manager with Environmental Health Laboratories.…Continue reading
Triple Cross: Journalist Peter Lance on How Bin Laden’s Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI – And Why Patrick Fitzgerald Failed to Stop Him
Listen to Segment || Download
New details have emerged about how an al Qaeda spy named Ali Mohamed penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI before the 9/11 attacks. We speak with investigative journalist Peter Lance about his new book, “Triple Cross.” [includes rush transcript]
Ali Mohamed was a member of Osama bin Laden’s inner circle who operated freely within the United States for years before 9/11. Despite being a top al Qaeda operative, he managed to become a naturalized US citizen, join the US Army, get posted to the military base where Green Berets and Delta Force train and infiltrate both the CIA and FBI. And while he was an FBI informant he smuggled bin Laden in and out of Afghanistan and helped plan the attacks on US embassies in Africa. He ended up playing a pivotal role in 9/11.
Journalist Peter Lance joins me here in our firehouse studio. He is a five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and a former ABC News correspondent. His new book is called “Triple Cross: How Bin Laden’s Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI – And Why Patrick Fitzgerald Failed to Stop Him.”
* Peter Lance, five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and a former ABC News correspondent. His latest book is “Triple Cross.” His previous books include “1000 Years For Revenge” and “Cover Up.” Website: Peterlance.com
This transcript is available free of charge.…Continue reading
by Michael Keefer
December 4, 2006
The first thing to say by way of preliminaries (and I’d better get it in quickly before someone suggests that I’ve turned up late or over-weight for a pre-match weighing-in) is that I’m not overjoyed with the pugilistic metaphor of my title.
But some sort of response to the volley of attacks on 9/11 researchers and activists with which the Counterpunch website marked the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 seems called for.
Michael Keefer strikes just the right tone in responding to Alexander Cockburn’s attempt to banish “conspiracy nuts” from the kingdom of the left.Keefer accounts for Cockburn’s hostility to conspiracy by locating him in the “class of academics and public intellectuals, for whom a migration of power into military, deep-political, and corporate-media hands may…. be difficult to acknowledge.” We’d add that when those intellectuals are wedded to a brand of analysis that cannot satisfactorily account for what they see transpiring before their eyes, that difficulty is only magnified.
Slowly but surely, the academic left is coming to understand that the deep politics paradigm offers the most promising analytic tools for understanding the dynamics of geopolitical struggle. Don’t be surprised by the discomfort associated with the paradigm shift to continue to produce rhetorically overheated, but substantively lacking, complaints like Cockburn’s for quite some time. But really, that’s his problem.
Counterpunch co-editor Alexander Cockburn set the tone of these pieces with an article describing theologian and ethicist David Ray Griffin, the author of The New Pearl Harbor (2004) and of The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (2005), as a “high priest” of the “conspiracy nuts””whom Cockburn denounces as cultists who “disdain all answers but their own,” who “seize on coincidences and force them into sequences they deem to be logical and significant,” and who “pounce on imagined clues in documents and photos, [“.] contemptuously brush[ing] aside” evidence that contradicts their own “whimsical” treatment of “eyewitness testimony and forensic evidence.”
It’s a characteristically forceful performance, if at times slipshod. One small sign of carelessness may be the manner in which Cockburn slides from calling 9/11 skeptics a “coven” to comparing them, a few sentences later, to “mad Inquisitors” torturing the data (as the old joke goes about economists) until the data confess.” Readers brought up to think that the victims and perpetrators of witch-crazes have not customarily been the same people may find this unintentionally amusing.
Despite the sometimes distinctly nasty tone of this polemic, the idea of exchanging even metaphorical blows with Cockburn and his colleagues is unappealing. The overall quality of the essays that he and Jeffrey St. Clair publish in Counterpunch makes it easy on most days of the week to agree with Out of Bounds Magazine‘s description of it (trumpeted on Counterpunch‘s masthead) as “America’s best political newsletter.” And I’ve admired Cockburn’s own political essays for many years: he’s written movingly, sometimes brilliantly, on a wide range of subjects1 even if his flashes of brilliance sometimes alternate with breathtaking pratfalls: among them his dismissal, as recently as March 2001, of the evidence for global warming; his scoffing, in November 2004, at the rapidly gathering indications that the US presidential election of 2004 had been stolen; and a year later, his mockery of the well-established theory of peak oil and his adherence to the genuinely daft notion that the earth produces limitless quantities of abiotic oil.2 One can forgive a journalist’s slender grasp of the rudiments of scientific understanding. But given his self-appointed role as defender of the progressive left against a horde of fools, It’s dismaying to find him sliding as frequently as he does into positions that seem not just quirky but (dare I say it) unprogressive. Continue reading
By David Ray Griffin
My purpose in publishing this essay is to introduce a perspective, relevant to the debates about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, that thus far has not been part of the public discussion.
One way to understand the effect of 9/11, in most general terms, is to see that it allowed the agenda developed in the 1990s by neoconservatives—often called simply “neocons”—to be implemented. There is agreement on this point across the political spectrum. From the right, for example, Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke say that 9/11 allowed the “preexisting ideological agenda” of the neoconservatives to be “taken off the shelf . . . and relabeled as the response to terror.”1 Stephen Sniegoski, writing from the left, says that “it was only the traumatic effects of the 9/11 terrorism that enabled the agenda of the neocons to become the policy of the United States of America.”2
What was this agenda? It was, in essence, that the United States should use its military supremacy to establish an empire that includes the whole world–a global Pax Americana. Three major means to this end were suggested. One of these was to make U.S. military supremacy over other nations even greater, so that it would be completely beyond challenge. This goal was to be achieved by increasing the money devoted to military purposes, then using this money to complete the “revolution in military affairs” made possible by… Continue reading
DEBATE: The Truly Distracting 9/11 Conspiracy Theory; A Reply to Alexander Cockburn (Translated from French)
[12.03.07] Alexander Cockburn’s “US: The Conspiracy That Wasn’t,” which is an attack on the 9/11 truth movement, is faulty in virtually every respect. He calls me one of the movement’s “high priests,” as if it were a religious movement, rather than a fact-based movement that involves scientists, engineers, pilots, war veterans, politicians, philosophers, former air traffic controllers, former defense ministers, and former CIA analysts. 1 by Dr. David Ray Griffin March 12, 2007
He calls us “conspiracists,” ignoring the fact that in defending the government’s account, he is defending the original 9/11 conspiracy theory. In claiming that the Bush administration and the military are too incompetent to have organized the 9/11 attacks, he gives an argument that could equally well be used to prove that they could not have organized the military assaults on Afghanistan and Iraq.
In claiming that bin Laden took credit for the attacks, Cockburn appears not to be aware that in the video on which this claim is primarily based, the man playing Osama bin Laden is heavier and darker than the bin Laden of all undoubtedly authentic videos, 2 or that the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorist” page on bin Laden does not mention 9/11—because, an FBI spokesman explained, “the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.” 3
Although Cockburn says that members of our movement are “immune to reality check,” he endorses the official theory… Continue reading
April 18, 2007
Scholars debate 9/11 findings
By JOHN GLEESON
An unbiased observer doesn’t need to look beyond what’s happening on the ground
today in Iraq and Afghanistan to conclude the War on Terror has been a brutal,
manipulative means to a transparently self-serving end.
None of this is news, however, to proponents of “9/11 Truth,” a worldwide
movement that seems to keep growing despite an unofficial media blackout on
their questions and investigations. So what are these “Truthers” saying?
Many people were quick to declare 9/11 a possible “inside job” based
on the visible facts themselves, in particular the blanket failure of air defence,
which even former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura said defied all logic and
precedent. They also seized on the history (largely unknown in North America)
of Pentagon-linked “false-flag” terrorist attacks in Europe during
the Cold War, and CIA involvement with al-Qaida operations.
With the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, it was seen that 9/11 was amazingly
fortuitous to the Bush administration, elements of which had been looking for
excuses to invade both countries — for purely strategic-commercial reasons
— in the months and years prior to the attacks.
But it was the release of the 9/11 Commission Report in 2004 that breathed
full life into the 9/11 Truth Movement — because it was now apparent to many
that the “official story” relied on massive distortion and evasion.
The most dramatically disputed aspect of 9/11 is the question of what the world
really saw that day in New York City, when three steel-frame high-rises — the
110-storey Twin Towers and the 47-storey WTC 7 — collapsed at near free-fall
speed neatly into their own footprints.…
I wanted to share with you my latest effort on behalf of 9/11 truth. I’m sending
a packet of information and a free DVD to about 50 local churches in the South
Bend area, to coincide with the sixth anniversary of 9/11.
Each church will receive a personal letter, copies of two South Bend Tribune
articles about the two 9/11 truth conferences I organized, a copy of the Doonesbury
cartoon, the October 2006 CBS/NYT poll, and a list of websites & books (with
library availability on the titles).
About half the churches will receive the DVD of David Ray Griffin’s talk from
April 2005 – “9/11 and American Empire: How Should Religious People Respond.”
The other half will receive his more recent talk from March 2006 called “9/11,
American Empire, and Christian Faith” (Trinity Episcopal Church, Santa
I have to thank dvdproject.com for the wonderful, fast service they provided
in sending the DVDs, and for help in choosing the right ones for this project.
Thanks also to those in our group who volunteered to help me put these packets
together. I’m actually almost done, and it looks like I’ll have them sent out
Although South Bend 9/11 Questions isn’t hosting an anniversary event of its
own this year, I hope that this effort, along with continued efforts by our
Assistant Organizer Melies Kish and others, will help educate the community
in much the same way as a conference or a demonstration.
I also hope… Continue reading
September 24, 2007
by Alan Miller
Official Account of 9/11 a “Joke” and a “Cover-up”
September 23, 2007 — Seven CIA veterans have severely criticized the official account of 9/11 and have called for a new investigation. “I think at simplest terms, there’s a cover-up. The 9/11 Report is a joke,” said Raymond McGovern, 27-year veteran of the CIA, who chaired National Intelligence Estimates during the seventies. “There are a whole bunch of unanswered questions. And the reason they’re unanswered is because this administration will not answer the questions,” he said. McGovern, who is also the founder of VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity), is one of many signers of a petition to reinvestigate 9/11.
During his 27-year CIA career, McGovern personally delivered intelligence briefings to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, their Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many other senior government officials. Upon retirement in 1990, McGovern was awarded the CIA’s Intelligence Commendation Medallion and received a letter of appreciation from then President George H. W. Bush. However, McGovern returned the award in 2006 in protest of the current George W. Bush Administration’s advocacy and use of torture.
In his blurb for 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out, edited by David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott, McGovern wrote: “It has long been clear that the Bush-Cheney administration cynically exploited the attacks of 9/11 to promote its imperial designs. But the present… Continue reading