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Sibel Edmonds

September 11th Advocates (‘Jersey Girls’) Comment on the Impending Release of Philip Shenon’s Book

February 6, 2008
Coleen Rowley

As someone also motivated by the need for the truth about 9/11, as well as aware of the way conflicts of interest have a way of covering up truth, let me add my thanks to Philip Shenon on the release of his new book. Also let me share this recent comment forwarded to me by Monica Gabrielle of the September 11th Advocates:
*****

Philip Shenon’s new book, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, serves to justify our suspicions and the concerns of the Family Steering Committee, that we attempted to publicly air during the course of the 9/11 Commission’s tenure.

One of the most egregious revelations put forth by Mr. Shenon is the fact that Philip Zelikow was hired as the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, despite his direct ties to the Bush administration. In 2000-2001 he served as a member of Condoleezza Rice’s National Security Council (NSC) transition team, where he was allegedly the “architect” of the decision to demote Richard Clarke and his counter terrorism team within the NSC. Furthermore he was a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) from 2001-2003, where Zelikow drafted most of the 2002 “National Security Strategy of the United States,” creating the pre-emptive Iraq war strategy. These areas were within the scope of the Commission’s mandate and as such were of critical importance to determine what, if any, impact they had on the government’s ability to prevent the 9/11 attacks.

As the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow was given the responsibility for choosing the entire direction of the Commission’s investigation.…

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Sibel Edmonds Must be Heard

by Philip Giraldi

Sibel Edmonds is the FBI translator turned whistleblower who decided to go public late in 2002 and has been seeking to tell her story about high level corruption in the United States government involving Turkey and Israel. What makes her story particularly compelling is that the corruption relates to the theft and sale of United States defense secrets, most particularly nuclear technology. Sibel obtained her information while translating Turkish language telephone intercepts directed against several Turkish lobbying groups who had contact with senior officials in the Bush Administration, both at the Pentagon and in the State Department. Many of the officials involved are apparently the same neoconservatives who cooked the books to enable the rush to war against Iraq and who are continuing to urge more wars in the Middle East, most notably against Iran and Syria. Several of them are close allies of leading Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

To stop Sibel from telling her story, then Attorney General John Ashcroft subjected her to a state secrets privilege gag order after her appearance on CBS’s 60 Minutes in October 2002 that not only forbade her providing details of her employment with FBI but also made the ban retroactive so that anything relating to her case would be considered a state secret. Edmonds had been discouraged by her experience with CBS as her most important points wound up on the cutting room floor. Then came the gag order, which she has observed while working assiduously to get… Continue reading

Kill the Messenger — Sibel Edmonds film now at Youtube

Kill The Messenger, the long-awaited film about Sibel Edmonds is still not apparently available for purchase. 911truth.org has sent repeated requests to the producers, ove rthe course of several months, but have received no reply. Now, the film has been uploaded to Youtube. We will update the site as soon as we learn how readers can purchase this film.

Sibel Edmonds – “Kill The Messenger” – Part 1/6
Sibel Edmonds – “Kill The Messenger” – Part 2/6
Sibel Edmonds – “Kill The Messenger” – Part 3/6
Sibel Edmonds – “Kill The Messenger” – Part 4/6
Sibel Edmonds – “Kill The Messenger” – Part 5/6
Sibel Edmonds – “Kill The Messenger” – Part 6/6

 

 

Sibel Edmonds – “Everybody Knows”

 

 

Description:
Sibel Edmonds, a 32-year-old Turkish-American, was hired as a translator by the FBI shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 because of her knowledge of Middle Eastern languages. She was fired less than a year later in March 2002 for reporting shoddy work and security breaches to her supervisors that could have prevented those attacks.

Edmonds has been fighting the corruption permeating the FBI since her unfair dismissal and sued to contest her firing in July 2002. On July 6, 2004 , Judge Reggie Walton in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed Edmonds’ case, citing the government’s state secrets privilege.

While an FBI translator, Edmonds discovered poorly translated documents relevant to the 9-11 attacks and reported the shoddy work to her supervisors.…

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Found in Translation: FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds spills her secrets.

January 28, 2008 Issue
by Philip Giraldi

Most Americans have never heard of Sibel Edmonds, and if the U.S. government has its way, they never will. The former FBI translator turned whistleblower tells a chilling story of corruption at Washington’s highest levels–sale of nuclear secrets, shielding of terrorist suspects, illegal arms transfers, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, espionage. She may be a first-rate fabulist, but Edmonds’s account is full of dates, places, and names. And if she is to be believed, a treasonous plot to embed moles in American military and nuclear installations and pass sensitive intelligence to Israeli, Pakistani, and Turkish sources was facilitated by figures in the upper echelons of the State and Defense Departments. Her charges could be easily confirmed or dismissed if classified government documents were made available to investigators.

But Congress has refused to act, and the Justice Department has shrouded Edmonds’s case in the state-secrets privilege, a rarely used measure so sweeping that it precludes even a closed hearing attended only by officials with top-secret security clearances. According to the Department of Justice, such an investigation “could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the foreign policy and national security of the United States.”

After five years of thwarted legal challenges and fruitless attempts to launch a congressional investigation, Sibel Edmonds is telling her story, though her defiance could land her in jail. After reading its November piece about Louai al-Sakka, an al-Qaeda terrorist who trained 9/11 hijackers in Turkey, Edmonds approached the Sunday Times of London.…

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DANIEL ELLSBERG: Covering Up the Coverage – The American Media’s Complicit Failure to Investigate and Report on the Sibel Edmonds Case

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Covering Up the Coverage – The American Media’s Complicit Failure to Investigate and Report on the Sibel Edmonds Case

In an Exclusive BRAD BLOG Op-Ed, the Legendary ‘Pentagon Papers’ Whistleblower Calls on the Media to Perform Their First Amendment Obligations, on Congressional Leaders to Perform Their Oversight Duty, and for Insider Sources to Come Forward to the American Public…

— Guest BRAD BLOG Op-Ed by Daniel Ellsberg

For the second time in two weeks, the entire U.S. press has let itself be scooped by Rupert Murdoch’s London Sunday Times on a dynamite story of criminal activities by corrupt U.S. officials promoting nuclear proliferation. But there is a worse journalistic sin than being scooped, and that is participating in a cover-up of information that demands urgent attention from the public, the U.S. Congress and the courts.

For the last two weeks — one could say, for years — the major American media have been guilty of ignoring entirely the allegations of the courageous and highly credible source Sibel Edmonds, quoted in the London Times on January 6, 2008 in a front-page story that was front-page news in much of the rest of the world but was not reported in a single American newspaper or network. It is up to readers to demand that this culpable silent treatment end.

Just as important, there must be pressure by the public on Congressional committee chairpersons, in particular Representative Henry Waxman and Senator Patrick Leahy. Both have been sitting for years on classified,… Continue reading

Sibel Edmonds Update: Existence of FBI Case Number, Described in Anonymous Letter Obtained by The BRAD BLOG, Corroborated by Paper

Letter Describes Senior State Dept. Official Marc Grossman as Tipping off Turkish Embassy to Valerie Plame Wilson’s ‘Brewster Jennings’ Counter-Proliferation Operation…

By Brad Friedman from on the road…

London’s Sunday Times has just published a follow-up to their explosive front-pager from two weeks ago which described allegations by former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds.

Image of Sibel Edmonds FOIA CollageThough there has been worldwide coverage of the recent blockbuster in the Rupert Murdoch-owned British paper, the U.S. media have remained entirely mum, a point which has drawn great consternation from both Edmonds and the 70’s-era “Pentagon Papers” Daniel Ellsberg, whom The BRAD BLOG has spoken to this evening, following the release of tonight’s extraordinary new Times piece.

The paper now reports that they are able to corroborate an apparent FBI cover-up of documents detailing an investigation of the theft and sale of nuclear secrets to agents working for Turkey and Israel, who in turn shared the secrets with Pakistan, who in turn may have shared those secrets with Iran, North Korea, Libya, and possibly even al-Qaeda.

Photo of Marc Grossman, US State Department portrait

Marc Grossman, US State Department portrait

As The BRAD BLOG reported along with the Times two weeks ago, the operation also includes allegations that high-ranking U.S. officials — such as Marc Grossman, a former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, who served as the #3 official in the State Department under Colin Powell and Richard Armitage from 2001 to 2005 — were involved in the sale of those secrets and may have accepted pay-offs from agents in the black… Continue reading

Explosive and Revealing Quotations about 9/11 Completely Ignored by the Mainstream Media

By Arabesque
November 16, 2007

These explosive and revealing comments about 9/11 have been completely ignored by the Mainstream Media. While talking about the 9/11 commission, 9/11 family member Patty Casazza reveals that FBI translator and whistleblower Sibel Edmonds had incriminating insider information about the 9/11 attacks:

The Government knew… other than the exact moment… they knew the date, and the method of which the attacks were supposed to come … And none of this made it to mainstream media. None of it made it into the Commission.

And yet, again, all of your Representatives, on the day that the Commission book came out, were on their pulpits saying, “What a fabulous job this Commission has done. A real service to this nation.” And it was anything but a service. It was a complete fabrication.

Family member Patty Casazza is not alone in her belief that we do not have the whole truth about 9/11 .

The lack of Mainstream news coverage of these views is very apparent. Fox News in a secret memo implicitly admits that there is a problem with the ‘official story’ of 9/11:

“The so-called 9/11 Commission has already been meeting. In fact, this is its eighth session. The fact that former Clinton and both former and current Bush administration officials are testifying gives it a certain tension, but this is not ‘ what did he know and when did he know it’ stuff. Don’t turn this into Watergate.

In fact, a similar… Continue reading

BRADBLOG EXCLUSIVE: Daniel Ellsberg Says Sibel Edmonds Case ‘Far More Explosive Than Pentagon Papers’

EXCLUSIVE: Daniel
Ellsberg Says Sibel Edmonds Case ‘Far More Explosive Than Pentagon Papers’

‘Gagged’ FBI Whistleblower, Risking Jail, Says American Media Has Refused Her
Offer to Disclose Classified Information, Including Criminal Allegations, Information
Concerning ‘Security of Americans’

Charges Several Mainstream Publications Have Been Informed of ‘Full Story’
by Other FBI Leakers Nearly a Year Ago, Have Remained Mum…

Bradblog banner

Brad Friedman, The BRAD
BLOG

11/19/2007

“I’d say what she has is far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers,”
Daniel Ellsberg told us in regard to former FBI translator turned whistleblower
Sibel Edmonds.

“From what I understand, from what she has to tell, it has a major difference
from the Pentagon Papers in that it deals directly with criminal activity and
may involve impeachable offenses,” Ellsberg explained. “And I don’t
necessarily mean the President or the Vice-President, though I wouldn’t be surprised
if the information reached up that high. But other members of the Executive
Branch may be impeached as well. And she says similar about Congress.”

The BRAD BLOG spoke recently with the legendary 1970’s-era whistleblower in
the wake of our recent exclusive, detailing Edmonds’ announce that she was prepared
to risk prosecution to expose the entirety of the still-classified information
that the Bush Administration has “gagged” her from revealing for the
past five years under claims of the arcane “State Secrets Privilege”.

Daniel Ellsberg on BradblogEllsberg, the former defense analyst and one-time State Department official,
knows well the plight of whistleblowers. He himself was prepared to spend his
life in prison for… Continue reading

Why Be Skeptical?

hartmannviewers

Quick links, added as issues are mentioned during the debate and by callers:
Norman Minetta’s Testimony to the 9/11 Commission re. Cheney’s actions on 9/11/01: click here
9/11 widow, Patty Casazza, talking about whistleblowers who tried to talk to the 9/11 Commission (video here). (Related, MLK Family attorney, William Pepper, talking about importance of 9/11 investigation, danger of government infiltration to destroy the efforts: Video here). Also, related article, “The War on Whistleblowers.”
Physical evidence issues, as mentioned by callers:
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth — AE911Truth.org
Steven Jones, Thermite and molten metal — Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice
Activism: WeAreChangeLA, details of march scheduled for November 11
Bill Maher show: Article and Press release and article about dissent in USA 2007.

Dear Thom Hartmann listeners.

We applaud your skepticism! And we’re glad you’ve come to this site for more information about 9/11 Truth. Just a few links here to some basic information to briefly introduce what we’re asking, why we’re asking, and why it matters. This is not a matter of “belief,” it’s an issue of facts vs. deceptions. Due diligence is required–we ask people to simply consider the questions, review the documentation, and come to conclusions based on what you learn.

» Kevin Ryan makes the case: You can choose to not look at this information, to choose denial, but ultimately, it’s a personal decision.

“To me, the report in question represents a decision point, not just for the… Continue reading

9/11 Family Member Patty Casazza: Government Knew Exact Date and Exact Targets (Video Added)

9/11 family member and “Jersey Girl” Patty Casazza has just revealed that whistleblowers told her that — before 9/11 — the government knew the day, the type of attack, and the targets.

Editor’s Note:
‘Jersey Girl’ Patty Casazza spoke this weekend at the 9/11 symposium held in Hartford, CT. 911Truth.org will post video and transcript of her comments as soon as they become available.11/5 update: Video of Patty’s presentation, with Bob McIlvaine, now available at youtube.com or view below:

Why is this important? Because, previously, whistleblowers such as Sibel Edmonds had given more vague information on the government’s foreknowledge. For example, Ms. Edmonds had hinted that the government only knew of a general timeframe for the attacks, and that they had a list of potential targets, on which the World Trade Center was just one of many potential targets.

Casazza further stated that these whistleblowers saw how Sibel Edmonds was being harrassed and gagged, and were fearful that the same thing would happen to them. So they approached the Jersey Girls to ask them to demand the 9/11 Commission subpoena the whistleblowers. The Jersey Girls tried to bring the whistleblowers before the 9/11 Commission, and the Commissioners agreed, but then never let the whistleblowers testify, let alone subpoena them.

Why is this important? Because defenders of the official government story have argued that 9/11 couldn’t have been an inside job or else whistleblowers would have come forward. Ms. Casaza confirms what many have said: there are a lot of 9/11… Continue reading

Bradblog Exclusive: FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Will Now Tell All

BLOGGED BY Brad Friedman ON 10/29/2007 5:30AM
EXCLUSIVE: FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Will Now Tell All – and Face
Charges if Necessary – to Any Major Television Network That Will Let Her;
She’s
Prepared to Name Names, Including Those of Two ‘Well-Known’ Congress Members Involved
in Criminal Corruption
The ‘Most Gagged Person in U.S. History’ Tells The BRAD BLOG She’s Now Exhausted
All Other Channels…

– By Brad Friedman

Attention CBS 60 Minutes: we’ve got a huge scoop for you. If you want
it.

Remember the exclusive
story you aired on Sibel Edmonds
, originally on October 27th, 2002, when
she was not allowed to tell you everything that she heard while serving
as an FBI translator after 9/11 because she was gagged by the rarely-invoked
"States Secret Privilege"? Well, she’s still gagged. In fact, as the
ACLU first described her, she’s "the most gagged person in the history
of the United States of America."

But if you’ll sit down and talk with her for an unedited interview, she has
now told The BRAD BLOG during an exclusive interview, she will now tell you
everything she knows.

Everything she hasn’t been allowed to tell since 2002, about the criminal
penetration of the FBI where she worked, and at the Departments of State and
Defense; everything she heard concerning the corruption and illegal
activities of several well-known members of Congress; everything she’s
aware of concerning information omitted and/or covered up in relation to 9/11.
All of the information gleaned from… Continue reading

New Resource!

Submitted by Jon Gold

Some of you may have noticed that I have started a new “Who Is?” series with regard to 9/11. The reason I started this was because I thought too much emphasis was being placed on the physical aspects of 9/11, and not enough on the background information, the people who may have had something to do with it, the people who participated in the cover-up, the whistleblowers, the family members, the people who represent discrepancies, and so on.

 

I am using the work compiled by Paul Thompson at www.cooperativeresearch.org. There are links available to each of the stories sourced on the original website. Unfortunately, it’s just too much work to duplicate what Paul and others have done with regard to links. I want to thank them all for their tremendous efforts.

I also want people to know that the information provided is not the “end all/be all” of 9/11. However, it is most definitely an excellent starting point.

 

Editor’s Note: The following links have been expanded and updated as of 10/2/2008. Thanks Jon!

Here are the articles archived. As more are produced, they will be added here.

Who Is Jack Abramoff?
Who Is Elliott Abrams?
Who Is David Addington?
Who Is Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed?
Who Is Omar Al-Bayoumi?
Who Was Khalid Almihdhar?
Who Is Prince Turki Al-Faisal?
Who Is Ahmed Al-Hada? With Introduction By Kevin Fenton
Who Was Nawaf Al-Hamzi?
Who Is Yassin al-Qadi?
Who Is Michael Anticev?
Who… Continue reading

Sibel Edmonds case: The real culprits of 911

By Luke Ryland
September 11, 2007
Opednews.com

Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds has made a number of disturbing claims about the 911 attacks, but perhaps the most disconcerting is her oft-repeated statement that the US authorities have covered up an entire organizational layer within al-Qaeda.

In the documentary, Kill The Messenger, Sibel says:

“They haven’t mentioned anybody who actually is connected to Al Qaida, in mid or higher level.”

Similarly, Sibel often says:

“And I would like to give an analogy – if you take the War on Drugs, imagine if they only went after street dealers and they refused to investigate the mid-level dealers or the drug lords. This is very similar.”

As we approach another 911 anniversary, it’s time we learnt:
1) Who are these mid and high-level al-Qaida operatives?
2) What role did they play in planning 911?
3) What operational support did they provide?
4) Why they are still roaming free today?
5) Why did the US authorities continually exclude key participants from the official narrative?

Sibel Edmonds is the most gagged woman in US history making it a little it difficult for us, the public, to have a detailed understanding of everything she knows about al-Qaida and the 911 attacks, but she has given interviews and written a number of great articles and letters which enable us to put some of the pieces together.

Immediately after the release of the 911 Commission report, Sibel wrote an open letter to Thomas Kean and the Commission in which she chided the 911 Commission panel for ignoring important issues related to the attacks, and she also made public some of her closed-door testimony to the 911 Commission.

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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.

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Sibel Edmonds Needs Your Support: Urge Congressman Waxman to prompt hearings on the case of FBI Whistleblower

 

911Truth.org supports Sibel’s petition. Please contact the Henry Waxman’s office immediately. Also, demand that your legislators support this effort, add the blogspot link to your sites, and forward this information broadly. Demanding honest, thorough whistleblower hearings is critical to our efforts. Let’s give them a way to finally come forward!

 

Sibel Edmonds:Our top priority: to get public hearings on NS whistleblower cases. For this, we need public support; public pressure on certain target congressional offices. Before anything can be done, the public needs to know the truth. In order to achieve this, we need public hearings where whistleblowers can testify under oath, present witnesses and documents… More than 30 organizations have signed on and are sponsoring a new petition. We have set up a website specifically for this action campaign: http://letsibeledmondsspeak.blogspot.com.

This week, more than 30 ‘good government’ groups sent a petition to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform urging prompt hearings on the case of FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. The list of organizations includes the American Civil Liberties Union, Citizen Outreach, OMB Watch, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Government Accountability Project, Electronic Freedom Foundation, and the National Coalition against the Censorship.

We’ve had solid indications that the Chairman of the committee, Henry Waxman, is ready and willing to hold public, open hearings into Sibel Edmonds’ case; however, we need to give him a final push and get him to publicly commit to a date.

Sibel Edmonds is the most gagged person in American history.… 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

Book Review: Peter Lance Indicts FBI/DoJ, but Leaves CIA as Unindicted Co-conspirator

by Michael Richardson

Most of the journalistic foundation for the 9/11 truth movement is a vast mosaic of articles, each containing one or more significant fragments, and most have been written by journalists who had no particular dedication or greater awareness of 9/11. Those who have written in depth about 9/11 have used this mosaic (and of course have been aided considerably by resources like Paul Thompson’s Complete 9/11 Timeline), but few actually do on-the-ground journalism. Peter Lance is one of the few investigative journalists who has dedicated himself to the historical thicket of 9/11. In addition to using the mosaic, he travels to interview people, develops contacts inside the key agencies, gets his hands on damning FBI 302 documents, and bothers people who deserve to be bothered. For the last four years, he has obsessed on 9/11 and many of its deep-political tendrils, producing the equivalent of dozens of rich, original articles.

Lance’s implied theory of 9/11 — that the 9/11 hijacking plot basically slipped past the greasy fingers of a corrupt and egotistical DOJ/FBI — no doubt irritates many in the movement for truth about 9/11 for whom the “inside job” theory is creed, yet he has unearthed some of the most important gems in the struggle to bring real truth and justice to 9/11. Most importantly, he has shown how the efforts of the Southern New York division of the Justice Department, since the early 90s, have been half-baked, ridiculously negligent, and at times blantantly criminal.… 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