Browse by Category
Graphic image for 9/11 foreknowledge
Graphic: unanswered questions
Graphic of paper shredder- destruction of evidence
Graphic: conflict of interest
Cui bono graphic
Alleged Hijacker graphic
9/11 Commission Shield

Pentagon

Giuliani vs the Firefighters

April 5, 2007
by Zen Garcia

Rudy Giuliani’s rise to prominent national and world attention was elevated
by his role as Mayor of New York City during a time of heightened challenge
that culminated in the fateful events of September 11th, 2001. The leadership
qualities he exhibited that day won him broad and wide acclaim from the 9/11
commission, "On September 11, 2001, the City of New York showed what it
was made of. The heroism of the firemen and the police officers who risked and
in previously unimaginable numbers gave their lives in the quest for saving
the lives of others, and your leadership on that day and in the days following
gave the rest of the nation, and indeed the world, an unvarnished view of the
indomitable spirit and the humanity, of this great city, and for that I salute
you."

Having been established as a hero, Giuliani has been emphasizing his 9/11 status
ever since and today is enjoying promising numbers in Presidential polls which
opine him as the ‘nominee’ to beat in ’08. He has refined himself as ‘America’s
Mayor,’ suggesting that if he can handle the events of that day, then surely
as President he could handle anything that might come his way. Many Americans
hold Giuliani in high regard, considering him a great leader, a political hero;
the type of person who can take charge in a moments notice and manage when things
seem at their worse. This definition has been so ingrained into… Continue reading

Book Review: Debunking 9/11 Myths, by Popular Mechanics

Book Review

Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts
by The Editors of Popular Mechanics (Author), John McCain (Foreword), David Dunbar (Editor), Brad Reagan (Editor)
Publisher: Hearst (August 15, 2006)

Maybe the life of the nation is at stake, and maybe it isn’t. Maybe this is a time of unprecedented tyranny, and maybe it is simply what was just out of view on the same road we have been traveling for the last seventy years. Maybe this was a sea change and a quantum leap, or maybe it was neither. Regardless of the proper description of the event and this time in history, 9/11 has become an opportunity for enormous hope, great change, and an entirely new perspective.

Whether one is inclined to indulge, or even consider, the theoretical justifications for the massacre of 9/11 (the need to awaken a sleeping nation to the requirements of global hegemony), or not, the nature of the act and its perpetrators are matters of importance from every conceivable standpoint. The progress of the debate about that nature and those perpetrators has been enhanced by Debunking 9/11 Myths, edited by David Dunbar and Brad Reagan of Popular Mechanics magazine. Maybe not in ways the writers had hoped.

To the world at large, to the hungry masses yearning for points to be refuted or sustained, answers given, questions acknowledged if not answered, the appearance of a book by the mainstream which purports to establish, as the subtitle declares, “… Continue reading

Why the Left Should Not Be Hostile to 9/11 Truth Efforts

by David Slesinger
9/11Courage.org

(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.

Continue reading

9/11 and the Evidence

By Paul Craig Roberts
March 30, 2007

Debunking 9/11 DebunkingProfessor David Ray Griffin is the nemesis of the official 9/11
conspiracy theory. In his latest book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, Griffin
destroys the credibility of the National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) and Popular Mechanics reports, annihilates his
critics, and proves himself to be a better scientist and engineer than
the defenders of the official story.

Griffin’s book is 385 pages divided into four chapters and containing
1,209 footnotes. Without question, the book is the most thorough
presentation and examination of all known facts about the 9/11 attacks.
Griffin is a person who is sensitive to evidence, logic, and scientific
reasoning. There is no counterpart on the official side of the story who
is as fully informed on all aspects of the attacks as Griffin.

At the outset, Griffin points out that the reader’s choice is between
two conspiracy theories: One is that Muslim fanatics, who were not
qualified to fly airplanes, defeated the security apparatus of the US
and succeeded in three out of four attacks using passenger jets as
weapons. The other is that security failed across the board, not merely
partially but totally, because of complicity of some part of the US
government.

Griffin points out that there has been no independent investigation of
9/11. What we have are a report by a political commission headed by Bush
administration factotum Philip Zelikow, a NIST report produced by the
Bush administration’s Department of Commerce, and a journalistic account
produced by Popular Mechanics.…

Continue reading

‘9/11: Press for Truth’ challenges government’s version of events

By J.A. Montalbano

A year ago, the polling group Zogby asked Americans whether the government is “covering up” the true events of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Forty-two percent said yes.

Movies challenging the official version of events can be found all over the Internet. One of them, “9/11: Press for Truth,” will play this weekend at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. The film adapts the exhaustive 9/11 timeline assembled by Paul Thompson, a graduate of Stanford University. It also talks to victims’ relatives who have been at odds with the Bush administration.

Colin Donoghue, a recent political science graduate from the University of New Mexico, pushed for the screening in Albuquerque.

Donoghue said he didn’t get interested in the theories that challenge the official reports until about a year ago.

“Initially, I didn’t think that much about the official story,” he said. “In fact, a friend of mine at the time (of the attacks) said he thought George Bush was in on it. I kind of rolled my eyes at him. I didn’t think there was anything to it.”

Then he read David Ray Griffin’s “The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11″ and Griffin’s follow-up, “The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions.”

“I became concerned that the official story didn’t hold up to the facts,” Donoghue said.

Government detractors suggest the media have failed to adequately report information that contradicts the official version of events, including:

– Whether the World Trade Center… Continue reading

KSM Confesses

by John J. Albanese
March 15, 2007
www.crisisinamerica.org

I must profess embarrassment. After 5 years of 9/11 activism KSM’s confession
today has brought my world crashing down. After years of paranoid conspiracy
theories I must now accept the government’s word that this confession
is the genuine bona fide article – the final smoking gun behind 9/11.

It is therefore out of respect for our legal system that I will reproduce KSM’s
confession here:

I, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, being of sound mind and body, un-coerced by torture,
and fully enjoying the legal representation and due process afforded me under
the Constitution of the United States of America, hereby confess to the following
crimes associated with 9/11:

  • I confess that in the summer of 2001, I instituted the Visa Express Program
    in Saudi Arabia which allowed terrorists to enter the United States without
    even being interviewed by a consular officer. The Visa Express Program was
    ONLY instituted in Saudi Arabia, and no such privileges were extended to other
    US allies in Europe or the Middle East – ONLY Saudi Arabia, a country
    known to have a large population of Muslim fundamentalists hostile to the
    United States, and loyal to Osama Bin Laden.
  • I confess that when Consular representatives objected to this practice
    I posed as Richard Armitage (a member of the Project for the New American
    Century) and wrote a letter in his name defending the practice. Stating:
    o "Unfortunately, the information we have received from Foreign Terrorist
    Tracking Task Force so far has been insufficient to permit a consular officer
    to deny a visa.
Continue reading

Do Bush’s Subsequent Crimes Suggest Complicity In 9/11?

March 5, 2007
by Sherwood Ross
http://www.robkall.com

The trouble with thinking 9/11 was an inside job staged by George W. Bush & Co. is that it defies belief any president might be capable of such an iniquitous crime against his own people.

Yet, subsequent Bush actions, such as lying the nation into war, makes one wonder if the man didn’t earlier create the 9/11 massacres to justify his aggressions. After all, his record reveals him to be a serial liar, warmonger, tyrant, torturer, and usurper of civil liberties. Here are a few illegal actions that betray what Bush is really about.

# Bush lied the U.S. into what former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called an “illegal” war on Iraq. This conflict has killed 650,000 civilians, wounded over a million more, drove nearly 2-million from their country, and turned life into a living hell for the rest. The death toll there is already equal to about 240 WTC massacres, yet Bush persists in waging the war.

# Bush okayed $1.5-trillion for new weapons’ research including grisly weapons that would thrill mad scientists, such as sound waves that crush a victim’s internal organs. Another gem is “rods from god” to hurl tungsten poles down from Earth orbit down upon its victims at 7,200 miles an hour, striking with the atomic fury. He is illegally militarizing space. These are not the actions of a humanist.

# Bush has allowed illegal radioactive ammunition fired in Afghanistan and Iraq that poison civilian populations and U.S.… Continue reading

Neocon Imperialism, 9/11, and the Attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq

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

BBC Hit Piece a Tissue of Lies, Bias and Emotional Manipulation

Outraged truth community demands answers from Guy Smith, immediate retractions and apologies urged, savage agenda driven yellow journalism an insult to the truth

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Monday, February 19, 2007

UPDATE: Audio – Paul Joseph Watson & Dylan Avery Debate Guy Smith on the 9/11 BBC Hit Piece

Paul Joseph Watson & Dylan Avery Debate Guy Smith

The BBC’s Conspiracy Files documentary about 9/11 was a tissue of lies, bias and emotional manipulation from beginning to end. Producer Guy Smith should be ashamed of himself for inflicting this travesty of yellow journalism upon the 9/11 truth movement and he is assured to encounter a vociferous and outraged response in its aftermath.

You can watch the one hour show via Google Video.

Separated into two categories below are a number of questions intended to highlight Guy Smith’s production for what it was – a deliberate hit piece on the 9/11 truth movement structured around fallacy, lying by omission and overwhelming bias. We invite Mr. Smith to respond to these questions and the hundreds of others that are already being asked by furious and informed community of people who were made sick to their stomachs by Smith’s yellow journalism hatchet job.

GROSS FACTUAL INACCURACIES AND YELLOW JOURNALISM

1) Why did the BBC use a thoroughly debunked graphic animation from PBS’ Nova show to illustrate the collapse of the twin towers? This graphic portrays the tower collapsing at a rate of ten floors every six seconds.…

Continue reading

9/11 Widows Keep on Asking the Tough Questions

by Joseph Murtagh

February 12, 2007 — When it comes to 9/11, America right now is divided between two camps, those who trust the official account of the attacks, and those who, well, have questions. It’s occasionally the case that the first camp will publicly denounce the second camp as a bunch of nutcases, and when this happens, it’s usually the rowdier section of Camp Two, the Loose Change , bullhorn-wielding, “death to the New World Order” crowd, that takes the most heat.

What tends to get ignored, however, is the quieter section of Camp Two, and especially a group of widowed mothers from New Jersey and New York who over the last six years have worked harder than just about anyone to protect the country from terrorism. Few people realize that had it not been for the tireless efforts of the “Jersey girls” — Mindy Kleinberg, Kristen Breitweiser, Lorie Van Auken, Patty Casazza, and Monica Gabrielle — not only would the 9/11 Commission never have happened, but there most likely never would have been any investigation into what was the worst loss of life on American soil since the Civil War. No inquiry into our failed military defenses, or the collapse of the towers, or just why it was that President Bush sat in that Florida classroom for a full seven minutes after the second plane struck. No scientific reports, no effort to discover what went wrong, no hearings of any kind. No attempt to figure out the details… Continue reading

BBC2 to air ‘9/11: The Conspiracy Files’ on Feb. 18th

BBC explores 9/11 conspiracy
Submitted by Netherlands IFP on Sun, 2007-02-11 16:15

Did Bush order the attacks?

Was it an inside job?

September 11 conspiracies will go mainstream on Sunday as BBC
airs an hour long documentary
(article below) that investigates the growing
number of conspiracy theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks.

9/11: The Conspiracy Files, will try to answer the question that has
been doing the rounds on the Internet ever since the hijacked planes crashed
into the twin towers of the World Trade Center: “Is it an inside job?”

According to the BBC, investigators have travelled across the United States
speaking to eyewitnesses trying to separate fact from fiction.

The programme produced by Guy Smith raises another important question: “Why
was America so unprepared when terror attack warnings had been received?”

According to a Scripps Howard poll, 36% of 1,010 Americans believe that the
government is responsible for the attacks either by omission or by commission.

The official 9/11 commission report concluded that “there were specific
points of vulnerability in the plot and opportunities to disrupt it.

“The outrage caused by September 11th allowed the present administration
to instantly implement policies its members have long supported, but which were
otherwise infeasible,” according to the main conspiracy website, 911Truth.org,
which receives thousands of visitors every day. “9/11 was exploited to
launch an open-ended, perpetual “war on terror,” actually a war against
any and all enemies the US government may designate. The case of Iraq shows
that the target countries of this war need have nothing whatsoever to do with
9/11.”

Source URL: http://pressesc.com/01171208153_bbc_september_11_conspiracy

9/11: The Conspiracy Files: We all know what happened on 9/11 ...Or do we?

 42329501 wtcgetty203 9/11:
The Conspiracy Files
We all know what happened on 9/11, the day the world changed.

Continue reading

9/11: The Case Isn’t Closed

By Sander Hicks

AlterNet Logo

In defense of the “9/11 truth movement.”

[Alternet] Editor’s note: The role of the alternative press is to offer perspectives that the commercial media won’t touch. Having run a number of articles critical of the “9/11 Truth Movement” by Matt Taibbi , Joshua Holland , Matthew Rothschild and others, we asked Sander Hicks, a prominent voice within the movement, to share his perspective. For more of Sanders’ views, see his book ” The Big Wedding: 9/11, The Whistle-Blowers, and the Cover-Up .”

 

Editor’s Note:
We should send (sober) letters of congratulations to Alternet for running Hick’s thoughtful piece. It shows how important it is to have a gamut of thinkers, all the way from die-hard MIHOPs to cautious LIHOPs, tunnelers and diplomats. Hicks is not only a valuable investigator, but a master bridge-builder.

 
No matter what you believe about who was responsible for 9/11, and how it went down, we’re all amazed at how much political capital the events of that day produced for this administration: A bipartisan consensus on torture; an era of permanent war; detentions without trial; “no fly” lists for activists; the Bill of Rights gone with the wind, and a cowed professional media willing to self-censor and suppress pertinent information. The 9/11 “America Attacked” story has distracted us from the natural outrage we should feel over illegal wiretaps, stolen elections, hundreds of billions of dollars missing at the Pentagon, war profiteering, Enron and Cheney’s secret energy policy.

But with Bush’s popularity… Continue reading

Drawing the Lessons of 9-11 (Review of The Hidden History of 9-11-2001)

by Sid Shniad

The Hidden History of 9-11-2001
Research in Political Economy
2006 Volume 23.
Ed. by Paul Zarembka

Governments have long found it useful to manufacture rationale for pursuing war and repression. The sinking of the Battleship Maine at the outset of the Spanish-American-Cuba War is the classic example. When President Harry Truman wanted to offer assistance to anti-Communist forces in Greece and Turkey in 1947, Republican senator Arthur Vandenburg promised his support if Truman would “scare the hell out of the American people.” In 1962, the Pentagon mounted Operation Northwoods, a plan involving false-flag actions, state-sponsored terrorism and the hijacking of planes on U.S. and Cuban soil designed to generate American public support for an invasion of Cuba. Then there was the case of the distraught young Iraqi woman testifying before U.S. Congressional hearings in the run-up to Gulf War I about babies being tossed out of incubators by Saddam Hussein’s soldiers.

The essays included in The Hidden History of 9-11-2001 lead to the conclusion that the attack on the World Trade Center may have been the biggest false-flag operation of them all. This 2006 issue of Research in Political Economy examines different aspects of 9-11, which, taken together, provide a serious challenge to those who dismiss the possibility that a government-based conspiracy was behind the events of 9-11.

The first section of the journal debunks the information provided by the U.S. government about the number and identity of the hijackers. Following that, other authors provide evidence indicating that it was impossible for the burning jet fuel from the planes to have caused the collapse of the World Trade Center towers; that a series of military war games taking place on 9-11 caused confusion in military circles and prevented normal emergency response operations to kick in; and that the insider trading in the shares of the airlines that were hijacked that day lays open the possibility that huge sums were made by people who were aware in advance of what was coming.…

Continue reading

9/11 Probe Question Will Pass to Voters

BFPlogo

By John Briggs
Free Press Staff Writer

January 9, 2007
Burlington voters on Town Meeting Day will be the first in the country to vote
‘yes’ or ‘no’ on reopening the investigation into what happened Sept. 11, 2001.

As of Jan. 4, a local group had gathered 1,240 of the approximately 1,350 signatures
(5 percent of registered voters) required to put the question on the ballot,
and a member of the group, Burlington attorney Frank Haddleton, expressed confidence
Monday that they now have more than enough signatures.

The question would ask the Vermont congressional delegation to “demand
a new, thorough, and truly independent forensic investigation” to answer
“the many questions” the group says remain about what happened the
day planes commandeered by terrorists smashed into the World Trade Center and
the Pentagon.

In September, the council unanimously passed a resolution promising they would
honor the Vermont tradition of allowing such questions if they garner enough
signatures, “whether or not they like the questions or agree with the petitioners.”

Monday, the council agreed unanimously that they wouldn’t vote on putting the
9/11 question on the March ballot after City Attorney Joe McNeil said the September
resolution had put the council views on record and that the question would be
on the ballot if the signatures were submitted by Jan. 25.

The group said in a letter to the council that it doesn’t “advance any
particular alternative theory” about what happened Sept. 11, 2001, but
thinks the day’s aftermath, including wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, are so serious
that a new investigation is warranted “to get answers to hundreds of questions
raised by independent researchers, members of the intelligence community and
family members of 9/11 victims.”

The attacks, the letter said, have been cited as justifications for the wars,
“wiretapping, the USA PATRIOT Act, torture, indefinite detentions without
charges, and the recently passed Military Commission Act that suspends the writ
of habeas corpus.…

Continue reading

Reopen 9/11 investigation, local group says

Published: Sunday, December 31, 2006
By John Briggs
Free Press Staff Writer

A Burlington group has gathered nearly enough signatures on a petition to put a ballot question before voters on Town Meeting Day urging a new investigation of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

Spokesman Marc Estrin, a Burlington writer and musician, said the group has been meeting for several months and has more than 1,200 of the roughly 1,350 signatures needed to place the matter on the ballot. The question would advise the Vermont congressional delegation to demand a new 9/11 investigation.

Estrin said Burlington would be the first city in the country to formally make such a demand.
 

Editor’s Note:
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do.”

 

The group includes Burlington attorney Frank Haddleton, University of Vermont physics professor Joanna Rankin, Charles Simpson, chairman of the department of sociology and criminal justice at SUNY Plattsburgh, a chemist, an engineer, a video producer and former city councilor Doug Dunbebin.

Dunbebin, a graphic designer, has created a Web site for the group that explains the weaknesses it sees in the 9/11 Commission Report of July 2004.

The city’s director of elections, Jo… Continue reading

GUILT

Several years ago, the terms “LIHOP” and “MIHOP” were coined
to describe two camps of the 9/11 truth movement.

“LIHOP”, for those who don’t know, stands for the theory that elements
of the U.S. government Let It Happen On Purpose. “It”, of course,
is 9/11. People who believe in LIHOP stress that the intelligence services had
been tracking the alleged hijackers and had ample warning of the attacks in
advance, standard air defense procedures would have stopped any hijacked jets
from crashing into both the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the anomolies in the
funding of the attacks, the people involved, the interference with investigations
and prosecutions which could have stopped the attacks, and the cover-up by the
government all point to the conclusion that elements of the U.S. government
intentionally allowed the attacks to happen on purpose in order to promote the
imperial agenda laid out previously by the Project for a New American Century
and elsewhere.

“MIHOP”, on the other hand, stands for the theory that the U.S. government
Made It Happen On Purpose. People who believe in MIHOP stress physical evidence
which tends to contradict the official theory about 9/11, such as the strange
“collapses” of the Twin Towers and WTC7, and may stress anomolies
in the attack on the Pentagon, the way that Flight 93 crashed (or was shot down?),
and perhaps even the impact of the airplanes on the Twin Towers. MIHOPs believe
that the physical evidence is the “smoking gun” which is so irrefutable
that it will convict the perpetrators.…

Continue reading

Boston 9/11 Tea Party Inspires Nationwide Events

Boston Tea Party 2006

In the spirit of American patriots who on December 16, 1773 rebuked Great Britain’s tyranny by tossing crates of British tea into Boston Harbor, the Boston 9/11 Truth Committee, today enacted their own “9/11 Truth Tea Party,” calling on “all American Sons and Daughters of Liberty to cast-off the tyranny, deceit and lies imposed on the American public by way of the official 9/11 Commission Report.”

Show Editor’s Note »

On this truly historic day, the anniversary of the original Boston Tea Party in 1773, modern day Patriots cast the “9/11 Commission Report” into harbors in Boston and across the US, in reenactments of the original demand for representation.

Great job, Patriots!

[This story will be updated as new reports, photos and videos arrive.][12/27--Added St. Louis, 12/31--Added Milwaukee, more DC]

Similar events inspired by the Boston group sprouted up around the country including dc911truth.org, who “shredded” the 9/11 Commission Report in front of the White House. Sf911truth.org dumped a larger than life replica of the report into the San Francisco Bay while members of pa911visibility.com tossed an actual copy of the report into the Delaware river. Similar actions took place in Milwaukee, St. Louis, and other places around the country, all in an act of protest against the 9/11 Commission Report and in solidarity with the 9/11 activists in Boston.

The events were generally kicked off with a reading of the Boston 9/11 truth resolution (below) or similar document, followed by a symbolic dumping of the… Continue reading

Into the Ring with Counterpunch on 9/11: How Alexander Cockburn, Otherwise So Bright, Blanks Out on 9/11 Evidence

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.

 

Show Editor’s Note: »

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