9/11, 9/11 fifteen years on, latest
Comments 122

Noam Chomsky on 9/11

There happen to be a lot of people around who spend an hour on the internet and think they know a lot physics, but it doesn’t work like that. There’s a reason there are graduate schools in these departments.

Chomsky tells a willing audience the thermite paper by Harrit et al is worthless, and there’s “overwhelming” evidence Bush did not know about the attacks in advance. This is a similar position to that taken up by another respected critic, who regularly “speaks truth to power”, Robert Parry. Many find this approach persuasive and reality-based. Other find it cowardly or disturbing in its uncritical echoing of mainstream views.


    • Mr. Chris Gwynne says

      Dr. Chomsky’s best work was to expose the excesses of American Imperialism and the media filters of Western society. However the seeds of betrayal were present with his views regarding the Bolshevik led revolution of 1917. That betrayal to truth and justice is now plain for all to see. At no point has he given practical suggestions to solve the social issues most people face today: such as forming an American Labour Party to represent wage and salary earners. This situation is not surprising to those educated in German philosophy, French socialism and English economy, that is, the Marxist doctrine, which is omnipotent, because it is true.

  1. wardropper says

    Chomsky is a pioneer of well-researched comment, and most of the people criticizing him here are simply not knowledgeable enough to appreciate that fact. They simply fill in the gulf between their knowledge and his by attributing to him all sorts of weird motivations for his public statements.
    That said, I have always found his reluctance to see the obvious – the conspiracy practice, rather than the “theory” – in the 9/11 catastrophe, astonishing.
    I would, however, say that this is easily explained by the notion of his having conceivably been intimidated into keeping his intelligent thoughts on that one to himself. He is only human, after all.

  2. deschutes says

    Chomsky is hugely overrated. Stop blindly following this old geezer! Lazy lefties especially in the USA have this bad habit of just looking to see what Chomsky®™ thinks on a given issue, then just going along with it because ‘Chomsky®™ said so’. Fuck that shit! Think for yourself and do the work yourself and make your own conclusions. Chomsky’s wimpy put down that ‘only a tiny minority of engineers and architects question the official 9-11 narrative’ is pure stupidity and logical fallacy: in other words just go with the herd, right? Wrong. More recently Chomsky also revealed his stupidity publicly by urging leftists to vote for Clinton, espousing the ‘lesser of two evils’ flawed argument–for which he was roasted by many excellent authors. Chomsky is an old man, his better days were 20 or even 40 years ago. Time to move on from this old geezer.

    • wardropper says

      Good grief… We should be such hugely overrated old geezers…

  3. Gregory De Wode says

    Noam Chomsky is a gatekeeper. Charming gullible pseudo-intellectuals with his mumbling quips.

    Meet Noam Chomsky, Academic Gatekeeper:

    • I jest, but this is a serious matter. Noam Chomsky refuses to question 9/11, inspite of all the evidence exposing the official narrative as a lie, and ridicules those who do. He also is an avid supporter of the Federal Reserve. Please watch the video if you are interested.

  4. P Bobby says

    For what it’s worth, I have had a chance to look at two videos of Mr Chomsky: the original posted in the blog; and the one by Marc entitled “Noam Chomsky discusses 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists”. Looking at those two videos in isolation, I cannot fault what he has to say in either one.

    • You respond to none of the arguments presented in scientific commentary on the observed facts.

      You simply repeatedly support this fraudster without even referring to his “who did 9/11 doesn’t matter” comment.
      Now you are looking like a newly created Hasbara troll. a propagandist … with no real interest in the subject under debate other than to support government propaganda and diss critics of and exposers of the provably false narrative.
      Pray for me, my arse. You probably don’t know what a prayer is, you sanctimonious poser.
      You’re a fraud … like the creep you are continuing to determinedly support.

  5. Secret Agent says

    There is a reason that Chomsky is the only dissident that regularly appears on TV.

    That being said, keeping Bush out of the loop was an important part of the plot.

    It’s starting to look like it was Cheny what done it and the motive was the fear of peak oil and how America would control the global supply.

    The shale oil thing changed this thinking, but arguably, peak oil will be back.

    • Carbon fuels are far more abundant than the establishment authorities care to let on.

      Shale oil is but one aspect. Methane hydrates are vast and the technology for development is just a matter of investment. There are not centuries but millennia of current energy use.

      All of these resources have been well known to those in power.

      Peak oil was a complete ruse. Another Chomskyesque diversion from Zionist wars.

        • There has been an entire wing of diversion about 9/11 and GWOT that is premised on the false dictum of “peak oil” being the principal motive. Michael Rupert being the best known promoter.

          There is no possibility of excluding this area from the conversation.

          • Admin says

            Fair enough, in refutation of a point, but don’t get dragged into a long discussion about Peak Oil that wanders off 9/11 altogether.

            • Arguably, Rupert and the “peak oil” fear mongers did more harm to the anti-intervention cause than Chomsky.

              “Peak oil” theory actually provides a sort of existential cause for the aggressive use of military superiority. Global warming will be used in the same manner.

              The issue is much larger than simply a distraction from wars for Israel.

              • Everything is just an excuse for the people who drive this stuff. If they weren’t attacking countries for oil, opium or whatever, they’d probably be doing it for dandelions.

                • Carbon fuels are somewhat more important to people living in industrialized economies, especially those who live in areas with life threatening climates.

                  Chomsky understands these vulnerabilities and he has rolled these fear-mongering memes into his analyses.

                  Fear is the best tool for control.

  6. When Chomsky stated that it didn’t really matter who did 9/11, I stopped listening to his bilge.

    Doesn’t matter? Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of dead Afghans. To the one million plus dead Iraqis. To the 100,000 or so dead Libyans and Syrians and Yemeni and Sudanese and if they get their way, Iran.

    Doesn’t matter? Like hell.

    • P Bobby says

      Did Mr Chomsky say that it didn’t really matter who did 9/11? I don’t recall hearing him say that? Is that something he has said previously (elsewhere) or does he say that in the video directly above?

      • marc says

        In one video interview Chomsky says “who cares?” in relation to 911.

        In another (linked here) he disparages scientists by referring to their work as “factoids”.

        Mr Chomsky is an expert in linguistics. He knows well what a word like “factoids” implies.

        • P Bobby says

          I am not here to criticise Mr Chomsky, nor am I a sycophant. It is my impression, however, that the pendulum regarding conspiracy theories (yes they do exist, yes they are real) may have swung too far. I feel that that is where he, ever the dry realist, is coming from here (a reversion to the mean): and that he is being genuinely pragmatic about it. That doesn’t mean he is right. But I don’t know that we should be realistically questioning his motives, above and beyond that of normal discourse. The problem is, as you no doubt know, that when you’re a hammer everything looks like a nail. And when you are alt-media, everything can look like a conspiracy. Yes, it is a bit rich to criticise scientists on the one hand and then criticise non-scientists on the other … but that might depend on the context (I have not yet followed the links). Otherwise, all we can do is blame ourselves for elevating him to Demi-God status (particularly a self-confessed non-believer, which he is). In that sense, we only have ourselves to blame.

          • marc says

            P Bobby – i agree “we only have ourselves to blame” insofar as we line up behind iconic figures.

            On the other hand, Chomsky has written about ‘the responsibility of intellectuals” to speak the truth and to follow facts wherever they may lead.

            As an expert in the psychology and mechanics of language – with a desk at M.I.T – Chomsky could be expected to understand that his words hold sway.

            Some intellectuals and scientists perceive that Chomsky has not supported their quest to be responsible and to speak out. He has referred to researchers as “one hour on the internet experts”, with “no political activism” to their names, producing “factoids”.

            These sorts of phrases pack a punch when uttered by “the world’s leading intellectual”.

            • P Bobby says

              That’s true Marc, and he will be responsible to the creator for any of his iniquities — just as you will be for yours and I will be for mine. And we need to test every spirit, so to speak. The intellectual atheists of this world — both alive and dead — whether they be Mr Chomsky, Mr Hitchens, or Mr Hawkins for that matter (to name just a few) will have to pay a price for their iniquity, if indeed they lead people astray. That said, some atheists live purer lives than many self-proclaimed Christians. Humans, we tend to look at things in isolation. Abba Father looks at the heart and the whole, and over the entire lifetime — and judges accordingly. That’s why someone like Mr Chomsky, who has given a lot to the world, may come out the other side in good shape. We don’t necessarily get that perspective on other people’s lives, so we should be cautious about being quick to judge isolated events and incidents. How many times have we been hypocritical in our own lives? Because he has a powerful voice in society, his good has a profound effect, but so too his bad. They will all come out in the wash, at least that’s what I believe.

          • Seamus Padraig says

            “It is my impression, however, that the pendulum regarding conspiracy theories (yes they do exist, yes they are real) may have swung too far. I feel that that is where he, ever the dry realist, is coming from here (a reversion to the mean): and that he is being genuinely pragmatic about it.”

            If this were indeed Chomsky’s actual point of view, I would be forced to dismiss all his work. This hoary old notion that ‘the truth is always somewhere in the middle’ is simply false. The truth can just as often be found far from the middle. This lazy old belief is wielded as a defense by precisely those who can’t be bothered to do any real critical thinking. On his better days, Chomsky has been capable of doing critical thinking; unfortunately, Sep. 11, 2001, was not one of his better days!

            • P Bobby says

              I wasn’t relating quantum mechanics, merely a simplified explanation for his position. What you do with Chomsky’s point of view is your business. What I do with my own thoughts is mine, lazy or otherwise. Take them or leave them, but don’t denigrate them.

              • At what point does lazy thinking begin to translate as venal dishonesty?
                When the lives of millions hinge on the truth or falsehood of an assertion if you can’t be bothered to make the required effort to understand an issue, you should hold your silence.The deaths of a million+ Iraqis are not a trivial side issue, they are the direct consequence of 9/11 lies.

              • @ P Bobby

                This is a public forum for debate. In other words, you have wondered into a jurisdiction where it’s open season on ideas all year ’round.

                Either ideas bear rational scrutiny or they don’t and in so far as people are able to judge and sometimes demonstrate, by pointing either to internal contradictions in the reasoning being foregrounded or to discrepancies between evidentiary claims and counterclaims.

                Sometimes, however, what is at issue is the moral content or ethical implications of assertions, and the debate veers sharply and acrimoniously into realms of contending values.

                Consequently, in a forum such as this one, the denigration of ‘ideas’ is to be taken as a matter of course, as both inevitable and to be expected.

                Of course, the denigrating of an ‘idea’ is not necessarily the denigration of the person who put it forward, and it would be the best of all possible worlds if it never was, but sometimes that line is certainly fuzzy, and sometimes the comments really are downright nasty and inappropriate, although even when nasty, not necessarily misplaced, arguably speaking. In that case, as ought to be the wont of every adult worthy of the name, simply ignoring the vitriol and not taking it personally is the best course of action. For sometimes an idea will arouse the ire of an actual idiot, you know the type, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing at all.

                So as the hackneyed Iroquois saying goes, if you can’t take the heat, then get the fuck out of the tepee, eh.

                Neither your utterances or those of anyone else are so sacred that they cannot be subjected to attempts at rational critique, however adeptly or ineptly marshaled.

                Of course I’m only expressing my opinions, here, and you can very well take them or leave them, and furthermore, wholeheartedly denigrate them if you deem them so worthy, and I mean that most sincerely, eh.

                Best wishes to you, Madam.

                • P Bobby says

                  Many a (good) comment have I said unto you. For which of those is this in response?

              • In your reply to Seamus Padraig, you write:

                “What I do with my own thoughts is mine, lazy or otherwise. Take them or leave them, but don’t denigrate them.”

                That was the fillip for my comment, that and the observation that you appear to me to be overly sensitive to having you observations questioned by other commenters. Apparently, our remarks are “personal attacks.” I’m just trying to help you thicken your skin 🙂

                  • I never speak for anyone but myself although at times I will test what I think another has meant in writing something by putting into my own words and imputing the gist of that to the person I’m interpreting. Usually the person will come back either questioning my take on what they wrote or acknowledge, either explicitly or implicitly, that I “got it.”

                    By the tone of your remark, I note that you are beginning to get the “hang of” how things proceed around here.

              • Jen says

                “I wasn’t relating quantum mechanics, merely a simplified explanation for his position. What you do with Chomsky’s point of view is your business. What I do with my own thoughts is mine, lazy or otherwise. Take them or leave them, but don’t denigrate them.”

                @ P Bobby: If you do not like your thoughts to be picked over and “denigrated” – or rather, exposed for what they are – then why bother to make comments here? The point of having a comments forum is to discuss ideas and opinions. All such ideas and opinions may contain good points and bad but they may need others to point them out. If you are uncomfortable at seeing your opinions criticised, then perhaps you should leave off commenting here. You end up looking like a troll and in fact, from reading the comments you have left so far, I am beginning to suspect that you have come here to troll.

                The fact is that Noam Chomsky has made a reputation for himself as an intellectual claiming to speak truth to power based on certain values and principles. On one significant issue though, which has become the start of a chain of dominoes leading to other chains of dominoes resulting in the deaths of millions around the world, the destabilisation of countries across three continents, the increased pollution and destruction of the global environment (which Chomsky claims to care about) and increasing repression and fascism around the planet, Chomsky appears to have abandoned his principles and values, and one of his life’s projects, by dismissing the issue as a minor detail. Yet it is this detail that has become its own Ground Zero for the projects Washington has been carrying across the world for the past 15 years.

                The question we are asking is why has Chomsky seen fit to do this, and risk shaming and ruining himself.

                • P Bobby says

                  O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?

                  • It is possible to be full of faith and yet view holier-than-thou contributions like yours as posturing, irrelevant and an avoidance tactic for dealing with challenges to your deluded view of the material world.

  7. P Bobby says

    First of all, Mr Chomsky’s is–albeit more learned than most–but one opinion. But more importantly, Mr Chomsky always demonstrates great clarity of thought. This is something to be admired, and if possible replicated, by others. That said, we have an obsession with idolising men when the only one we should be idolising is Elohym. Our mindset then, individually and collectively, is (in my opinion) all wrong.

    Everything’s a false flag. Everyone’s a shrill. Eh … No. Not everything and not everyone. People have opinions, right or wrong. Life is textured and complex and nuanced, and there are vagaries and subtleties. There may well be elements of conspiracy to 9/11 (no doubt there are), but I suspect its proponents have taken the bone and run with it just a little too far … and you can come back now, Fido: “Here, boy”.

    [And that is just MY opinion — it does not make me a dis-info agent, nor does it make me right.]

    • No. Not everything is a false flag, and not everyone is a shill, and indeed, eh, life is textured and complex and nuanced.

      So why do you “reduce” all views deeming the crime of 9/11 an outrage to be prosecuted to the paranoid ravings of idiots, as if no other rational point of view on 9/11 were possible other than that sanctioned by the “genius” Chomsky?

      Oh yeah, there most certainly are elements of conspiracy to 9/11, and indeed, some do take the bone and run too far with it. Just read the comments, here, as well as appended to the other 9/11 posts. But if you do, please do take note of the variety of the quality and texture and nuances of the comments. Not everyone is batshit crazy, eh. And as it happens, a great many of the people who have commented have shown themselves to be, at least on this issue, by far and away more critically incisive than the “genius” at hand, eh.

      Life is full of little ironies, eh . . . Buddy? . . . or would that be “Daisy?” “Here, girl.”

      • P Bobby says

        My comments are not directed at any one individual here, but more broadly at the whole discourse on the matter. To take them personally, as it seems you have done, reflects more on you than it does on me. Nor do my comments detract from any conspiracy, merely an observers opinion — that I am free to post like any other — and that you are free to take or leave, but preferably without added inappropriate and most misdirected vitriol. Best wishes to you.

        • You misconstrue the manner in which I took your comment, and you, not I, are taking this exchange personally.

          The point of your original comment is that you suspect that people who take 9/11 to be a false flag have a rather simplistic outlook on how the world works, and I’m pointing out to you that if that’s what you suspect, then you yourself are guilty of a similarly simplistic outlook as it bears on the people you are characterizing.

          Yes, it’s always a bit uncomfortable when our ‘projections’ are pointed out to us. As faults belonging to others, we are quite at ease with them. But when they are shown to be equally or even specifically our own, then the smugness isn’t quite what it was while the ascription was all on the other side, eh.

          Best wishes to you, too. I mean that most sincerely.

          • P Bobby says

            Sir, I do mean best wishes when I say it — that’s why I don’t add: “I mean that most sincerely” at the end of mine. Because I do.

            • Well, I add “I mean that most sincerely” when “I mean what I just said most sincerely.” Should I add that I meant everything that I just said “most sincerely,” or will you be triply offended?

              • P Bobby says

                I am not offended, Sir. You misconstrue. I simply point out that I say what I mean and mean what I say, that’s why I don’t need to add: “I mean that most sincerely” at the end of my best wishes.

    • Jen says

      If as you say, Chomsky demonstrates great clarity of thought, then this clarity of thought should lead him at least to have an open mind on what brought down the World Trade Center towers and not simply trust in the opinion of the physics and engineering professors down the hallway at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For all he knows, these professors’ opinion may be as far from the truth of what really happened as the opinions of those he dismisses. Is he not aware that his fellow MIT academics could be subject to restrictions on what they can say within and outside the university about the event?

      To dismiss the attack on the World Trade Center buildings and the theories and opinions, and counter-opinions about the nature of the attacks and how the buildings fell, does a disservice to all those who lost relatives in those attacks, to those who still have to live with the consequences of the attacks (including the effects on their health) and to those Afghans, Iraqis and others whose countries were invaded by the US government who used the attacks as an excuse to carry out its neo-con projects.

      With regard to the WTC attacks and what came after, Chomsky suffers from moral blindness.

      • P Bobby says

        Having lost my father suddenly and traumatically, I can assure you that there is no disrespect to the families of victims in my comments (victims are victims, and the families suffer the anguish). Anyone reading into them as such does so at their own discretion. Furthermore, you appear to have read far too much, and gone off way too much on a tangent, into my rather inoffensive commentary. But if you have lost a loved one in the attacks, all I can say is that I wish you comfort and the Lord’s grace.

        • Seeing that you believe in “The Lord” (as do I also) you must know that ‘The Lord’ affirms all that is (i.e. what is true) and condemns Liars (who affirm falsehood) as being “of Satan”.

          18th century genius, scientist, government minister, Emanuel Swedenborg claimed to have spend the final years of his life in a continual ‘near death’ experience, visiting the Heavenly and Hellish realms and writing many long books about his experiences. According to him, in Hell there are three kinds of spirits, the lowest kind “demons”, that delight in the harm they can do and the punishments they can inflict … “Satans”, noisy liars who on earth directed the activities of the demons … and “Lucifers”, quieter, very clever spirits that understand spiritual realities and use their knowledge to oppose The Lord, to deceive, to assist the Satans and preserve the activities of the demons.
          By this theology Chomsky is a Lucifer. His “clarity of thought” is illusory because he supports and defends the system and, in the process, betrays his own best potential spiritual destiny.
          He continually condemns “America” and (not being a fool) understands that by keeping opposition focused on such a nebulous entity that this opposition is rendered, in the short term at least, impotent.

          Once you realise that 9/11 is an “inside job” and look for the culprits, you quickly find yourself up to your neck in ultra-rich Jews. Maybe chomsky knows this too. Here is just one tiny example of the ilk, Frank Lowy … owner and founder of ‘Westfield’.


          • P Bobby says

            Is it not written: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”? One aught to hold the doctrine of the Messiah above that of Mr Swedenborg.

            • The Lord commands we do not judge souls and we cannot do this but the fact is we must use our God-given intelligence to discern between truth and falsehood and Chomsky is quite obviously one who trumpets minor crimes in order to defend the perpetrators of greater ones. To me, if not to you, this is obvious.

              You judge my spiritual take on things Bobby P and you defend your position by aligning your own prejudices by selective use of “God’s word”.
              Swedenborg had much to say about this kind of abuse of religion as well, by the way. You should read him and discover all the things he was shown “by the Lord”.
              I follow Swedenborg because his explanations of spiritual reality are Universal and (unlike the teachings of most Churches, including my own Catholic Church) actually make sense,
              The purposes of all religions is not adherence to verbal doctrines and strictures that are often used as weapons to condemn others on the basis of mental configurations alone. The purpose of religions is to Love all in truth and to grow in wisdom.
              Though a Christian himself, he said “The True Church is the brotherhood and sisterhood of Love throughout humanity, whatever one’s religion”. I’ve known holy Muslims and even holy atheists so this makes sense to me. He also said God does not punish any soul, Souls make their punishments for themselves. We are free and we are affirmed, Whatever we are. Sounds like the Creator to me.

              • P Bobby says

                I have prayed for you physicsandmathsrevision. Let’s just leave it at that.

                • Can’t rebuff a prayer but are you sure you are not posturing to ‘win’ an argument during which you posted a laughably misplaced judgement about a man who appears to many of us to be rather wicked?
                  Or do you agree with chomsky that “who did 9/11 does not matter”?

  8. Boo Radley says

    Until a couple of years ago I was a big fan of Chomsky, and still think he has given us a lot of valuable information.

    The importance of Chomsky with regards to 911 should not be underestimated. His view helps to reassure people of the left that they don’t need to look any further in 911 because he has, and doesn’t find any credible evidence. They respect him to the point where they are willing to overlook any doubts they had and go back to sleep.

    I have seen this many times with friends and acquaintances. My circle are very much people of the ‘left’ as up until a couple of years ago I felt that I was of the left. (I now reject the left / right paradigm as a false construct to divide and rule us). I would still rather spend my time with ‘left’ people than ‘right’, but recognize that the leaders of the left are every bit as psychotic and false as on the right (in some cases more so). When talking about 911 Chomsky pops up as a support of the no conspiracy argument and his role then becomes clear.

    The arguments Chomsky makes in regards 911 are obviously fallacious, and I have no doubt whatsoever that a linguist of his genius is full aware of that. So I have to come to the conclusion that he knows better and is lying. Chomsky uses sophistry to harm the critical thinking of those who would listen to him, but only on key issues (like 911), that way people point to all the other examples of truth to strengthen their false belief on said key issue.

    • wardropper says

      A fine comment.
      My own take on Chomsky and 911 is that he is afraid to support the truth, rather than enjoying hiding it.
      The US doesn’t treat truth-tellers at all well, and in moral turning points such as this, it is positively dangerous to be one of them.
      Look at Snowden, Assange and Manning… The truth has cost them dear, and I’m sure Chomsky would not like to give up his old-age benefits when he is most likely to need them either.
      If we’re smart – not even necessarily as smart as Chomsky – we will simply further develop our instincts and talents for reading between the lines.

  9. mog says

    The failure of Chomsky and the many other Left writers to respond meaningfully to this issue, leaves their work as basically little more than an exercise in ‘documenting imperialism’. Learning of all the countries that have been subverted, bombed and invaded over the decades is of little use when a Big Lie can be concocted, the nation scared witless, and war supported (even by some people on the Left). It matters not how rational the arguments to turn away from war in the aftermath of such events : they are by nature non-rational; they induce a hysterical reaction in society. The JFK plot was arranged in part as a pretext for war with Cuba (just one year after the missile crisis). Only Johnson’s refusal of this, together with the cover up of a lot of evidence trails prevented this outcome.
    The essential controversy behind suspecting US deep state involvement in 911 is that is demonstrates the mechanism through which imperialism is forwarded in the public mind. It is cruel to hear such thinkers say that such inquiries are a distraction if, like me, you think that only the truth about such events as 911 can stop the wars.

    • wardropper says

      There’s actually nothing very “left” about Chomsky.
      A compassionate intellectual doesn’t have to be at all “left” in order to oppose rampant political wickedness and ignorance.
      He has, however, clearly switched off his antennae regarding this particular matter.
      It’s a pity, but I can understand his reluctance to sacrifice his livelihood.
      After all, it takes superhuman courage willingly to annihilate a lifetime’s work.

  10. mog says

    Parry reflects upon his encounter with critical perspectives on 911:
    ‘Essentially, the discussion broke down this way: Some participants felt that Bush had demonstrated his arrogance and incompetence when he brushed aside warnings about a likely al-Qaeda attack. (This is the position that I personally feel is best supported by the available evidence).
    A second group, however, took the same evidentiary frame and gave it a nasty twist, that Bush knew the attack was coming and “let it happen.” (Though I don’t believe there is sufficient evidence to support this conclusion, this analysis at least has the benefit of some factual foundation.)
    But there was a third group, which maintained that something more dramatic was needed, that Bush had so bamboozled the American people that they needed to be shocked out of their trance – and to do that required convincing them that “Bush made it happen.”
    Perhaps, because of its splashier allegations, the “Bush made it happen” crowd — with claims about “controlled demolitions” and a “missile hitting the Pentagon” — emerged as the dominant force in the “truther” movement, eclipsing those who favored more targeted investigations into such areas as 9/11 funding and the role of Bush’s allies in the Saudi royal family.’
    False dichotomies. The only real dispute is between those who accept the official account in its essential conclusion, or those who do not.
    On the second ‘position’, what does ‘some factual foundation’ mean? If we focus on the failure to make a meaningful response to foreign and domestic intelligence reports warning of forthcoming attacks, that is one thing. If we though consider that the US intelligence apparatus had been pulled off the case of following the hijackers, that is something else. If we note that the national defence level was reduced to its lowest level immediately prior to the event that is something yet more. If we add that the protocols through which hijacked aircraft were intercepted was changed immediately before 911, things start to stack up. If we note that pretty much the entire chain of command broke down on the morning of 911, with officials basically ignoring what was going on for the crucial minutes when the country was under attack, then it is not just ‘Bush who failed to protect’. If we consider that there were air defence drills with mock hijackings taking place on the morning of 911, and that this probably accounts for why they failed utterly in their duty to intercept, well the evidence starts to look more than ‘some factual information’; it starts to look frickin’ suspicious. If we further consider that there was provable foreknowledge of the details of the attacks, the money trail of which led to individuals embedded in the US intelligence community, things start to become kind of indisputably obvious. If we consider that the Saudi connection essentially means Bandar ‘Bush’, then the distinctions of ‘outside job’ and ‘inside job’ start to melt away entirely. If we conclude by including in our assessment the facts that normal protocols for government investigation were gaily abandoned, that evidence was widely destroyed, that inquiries were intensively obstructed, and that neither the Commission Report, nor the scientific reports have been held up to any kind of adversarial process; our assessment must be that prejudiced or compromised journos like Parry have utterly failed in their duty to hold power to account with demands for accountability on 911.
    That he blames the 911 sceptics just shows his arrogance in the face of his own incompetence.

    Like all pieces that attack a position without accounting for all the relevant evidence, it is simply a hit piece. Parry is the sophist; he rightly points out the criticism of Neocon narratives built around predetermined conclusions, but then defends an official account of 911 that was precisely one such narrative, then attacks critical thinkers who point this out.


    • Although Parry’s position is unsupportable, Chomsky’s attacks on skepticism are far more strident and obnoxious.

      • mog says

        Chomsky’s comments certainly have a bigger resonance throughout Left discourses.
        It is rife though, not just in the sense of silent acquiescence (e.g. Medialens, Pilger, Hedges), but in the repeated amplification of the ‘conspiracy theory’ meme by commenters who are normally careful in their critical stance.
        E.g. Aaron Bastani, in giving his opinion of Tom Watson’s ridiculous Trotskyist entryism allegations, compared his irrational ‘conspiracy theorizing’ to ‘911 truthers’. For someone who has made several recent vidz about mental health issues and the stigma attached, it is instructive to see how compelling the invocation of the Conspiracy Theory concept is (basically calling Watson ‘mad’):

        • “Chomsky’s comments certainly have a bigger resonance throughout Left discourses.” How many of those here who are bashing Chomsky over 9/11 are leftwing? His small book on the subject (which leftwingers would have read), by the way, is very good.

          Noam Chomsky’s “9/11 – Was There An Alternative?” – http://bit.ly/2cQPM3Q

          I’m all for the facts rather than only those that hero-worshippers prefer. But it’s hard to focus on those when they are accompanied by such vitriol against someone who knows a thing or two.

    • mog says

      The Neocon who directed the official investigation that Parry effectively endorses:

      Why have Chomsky and others not made more of this glaring and egregious conflict of interest? Why not join the calls for an independent inquiry?

  11. Of course, Chomsky is entitled to his opinion like anyone else, but he should base that opinion on evidence, just as he expects others to do. As he admits he is not an expert on civil engineering, it seems rather hypocritical to dismiss the joint opinion of over 2,000 renowned archtects and engineers out of hand.

    If he won’t accept their shared opinion, based as it is on years of discussion and careful research into the available evidence, would he accept the opinion of 2,000 fellow philosophers on 9/11, if they all reached the same conclusion without reviewing the evidence? Whatever that conclusion might be. So, however much we may revere him, can he really expect us to accept the opinion of just one philosopher, bearing in mind he doesn’t offer any evidence on which to base it. After all’s said and done, Chomsky admits he knows absolutely nothing about engineering or 9/11, apart what he has gleaned from the official narrative published by the very media he asks us to mistrust. At the same time, he implies he doesn’t want to know anything.

    And just for the record, despite what Chomsky claims about Bush never connecting Saddam Hussein to 9/11, I link to a short video at the end of this comment showing he did. Though Bush doesn’t accuse Hussein of being behind 9/11, he couples the former Iraqi leader and Al Qaeda in a way that is clearly intended to connect both to the downing of the Twin Towers in the public’s perception.

    The video shows a news clip featuring Bush at 2.30 mins. Filmed by NBC at the end of January 2003 – two months before the invasion of Iraq – it is hard to interpret the words as being used for anything other than an excuse to invade Iraq.

    One thing it clearly demonstrates is that Chomsky has not done the barest bit of research into 9/11.

  12. marc says

    apologies – posted twice in error. Please delete one of my two posts. Thx.

  13. marc says

    here’s a series of thought-provoking articles on Chomsky and 911, which some might find interesting:

    “A Public Challenge to Noam Chomsky”

    “Sacred Cows”

    “Fact-free Luminaries: Chomsky’s chumpskies”

    — here’s a section from the latter article:

    […] “I mean it doesn’t have any significance.”
    That was Chomsky’s answer to evidence of criminal complicity by US officials in allowing the 9/11 attacks to happen in the first place. No “significance” is the Professor’s final word …
    This ridiculous bunk, the idea that 9/11 is allegedly insignificant, fails the laugh test.

    “The Chomskyite attempts to use a straw man argument, citing the scale of the carnage and comparing it to other atrocities with higher numbers of casualties. That sort of thoughtlessness is irresponsibly simplistic.

    “The number of bodies produced in that single event is not what makes September 11th relevant. The policies enacted because of it are what makes 9/11 relevant, policies still in effect such as the authorization to use military force: open-ended global war powers, an endless drone assassination campaign, NSA surveillance of the population, and the USA PATRIOT ACT, which erased fundamental freedoms from the Bill of Rights. Those are more than sufficient—and significant—to call “bullshit” on Professor Noam Chomsky’s straw man fallacy. But there are quite a few other cancerous policies directly justified by the September 11th attacks, or enduring only because of its cover-up. [….]”

  14. Ffidel Bennett says

    Chomsky’s attitude to the questioner in the clip is very condescending considering there is so much about 9/11 that he can’t explain or doesn’t even want to investigate. He seems irritated to have even been asked. Is this what they mean by cognitive dissonance?
    Would proof that 9/11 was a conspiracy by rogue elements of the establishment cause that much of upheaval in his world view that he cannot even contemplate it?
    Rather than accept that Chomsky’s thinking has become so muddled and cowardly, I’d prefer to believe that the security services have found something in his e-mails to blackmail him with, because a lot of people might be impressed with the argument that there can be nothing in this 9/11conspiracy theory because even Chomsky thinks it’s nonsense. That’s probably another example of cognitive dissonance.

  15. Chris Foot says

    I remember an article some years ago in Counterpunch in which the author, a musician whose name I can’t remember, was on stage giving a concert for which some 800 people had paid. Half way through the evening a man with a banner proclaiming “911 truth” ran the length of the auditorium repeatedly screaming at the singer to “Get with the 911 Truth” and ruined the evening for everyone. I have followed 911 truth and regard myself as being part of the movement, since about 2003 but I am not on that man’s side.
    Why are we determined to have Chomsky’s approval? As one of the world’s foremost intellectuals he has exposed the machinations of empire for decades, why MUST he agree with us, and why, when he does not, do we label him a traitor? a phoney? a gatekeeper? and try to denigrate his many achievements. Why can we not leave him alone, if, as seems obvious, he has no expertise in the field and does not really want to engage with us? Chris Hedges, another intellectual I admire, has reported that he too is constantly upbraided by 911 truthers and John Pilger, so far as I am aware, has not spoken on the subject in any depth either; they are not lesser men for that.

    • marc says

      Chris Foot, the difference is that – unlike Hedges, Pilger et al – Chomsky has actively discouraged his legions of followers from taking the 911 researchers seriously.

      In numerous taped events he has spoken in condescending tones about 911 researchers (many of them well qualified scientists and engineers).
      If he’d remained neutral (like Pilger, Parenti) it would have been better: but he asserted himself in comments.

      It appears that many on the left are intellectually and emotionally attached to Chomsky and when he bundles a certain topic aside and indicates it’s not acceptable in progressive discourse, a lot of people (even subconsciously) will take his lead.

      As a powerful figure, with an office at M.I.T, Chomsky’s words holds sway. He’s an intelligent man with self-awareness: he must be aware of this and mindful of his own famous quote about “the responsibility of intellectuals”.

      Chomsky fails to acknowledge the psychology and the power of the verbal smears he’s made vis-a-vis this topic: which is odd, considering his pre-eminence in the field of linguistics and semantics.

  16. mog says

    Not wanting to divert the discussion too far, but Chomsky and others on the Left have a history of dismissing allegations/ suspicions of US deep state crimes. The most documented case of this is the JFK murder.

    Anyone familiar with the JFK story in any detail must consider what role well known Left dissident writers played (and continue to play) in supporting the thoroughly discredited lone gunman story.


  17. michaelk says

    Come to think of it… the hijackers couldn’t have known or assumed that the Twin Towers would collapse in such a dramatic and historically unique fashion when they hatched their plot. Their action was going to strike a blow against these huge symbols of US power, damage the buildings, cause substantial damage and loss of life; but never bring them crashing down totally destroyed. That result was an extraordinary and grotesque bonus they couldn’t have even imagined. If one accepts the official premise that a gang of Saudis did it.

    Bizarrely, paradoxically, the fact that the towers would have, (under normal circumstances, not ‘unique’ ones) survived the attacks more or less intact, when the fires died down after a few hours, like WC5, would have served as symbolic reminder, and expression and example of US power and strength, not weakness. The United States, bloody, wounded, but still standing tall and unbowed.

    At a literary reception, just after 9/11, I bumped into a famous archetect and representative for his branch. I was surprised to hear that according to him, the recent events in New York, weren’t unique at all. He said, with all the authority at his disposal, that steel core high-rise buildings had totally collapsed due to fire damage before. Wow, I thought, he should know, given his status, experience and knowledge. So all the stuff I’d read was wrong, was it? That means we to evacuate and modifiy hundreds of these buildings all over the world after all, I asked, innocently. This remark annoyed him intensely. And he swished it away contemptuously. Of course not, hundreds of planes weren’t going to crash into buildings, were they? But, I ventured, you just said that the fires brought the buildings down in New York and that it’s happened before due to fire damage, right?

    He turned and walked off, shaking his head and mumbling something.

    Anyway, what do I know? Subsequently, he made the same statement again, on the radio, about other steelcore buildings collaping due to fire damage (something they were specifically designed to prevent) and he received quite a lot of criticism and people asking for examples. In the end he was obliged to withdraw his remark and admit that no steelcore highrise had ever completely collapsed like the Twin Towers had.

    So here we have an example of hugely respected and qualified person who, for whatever reason, managed to convince himself that something was patently obvious and true about 9/11, when it most certainly wasn’t. A bit like Chomsky I fear.

  18. The problem, for me, with Chomsky’s commentary in this video is that he admits to not having the necessary expertise to speak to the forensic evidence that anyone might claim to have uncovered about 9/11, but nevertheless leaves his audience with the impression that he has delved sufficiently in depth and in detail into the claims of what he characterizes as a tiny cohort of engineers and architects — 2000 of them — to be able to offhandedly and confidently dismiss the efforts of the lot, save for that of one or two, as not serious, that is to say, as not being worthy of anyone’s attention.

    If on his own admission Chomsky is truly bereft of the technical expertise to address the implications of findings of fact pertaining to 9/11 as elicited by people with credentials in relevant fields of scientific endeavor, he has absolutely no grounds whatever on which to base a judgement as to the quality of any of the work being done by any of the 2000 dissenting architects and engineers.

    By publicly pronouncing a disparaging judgement of their work, effectively characterizing the lot of them as a band of incompetents and cranks, he not only abuses the trust of his public standing, but thereby sanctions the establishment narrative that 9/11 is blowback, thereby also on the strength of his fame and reputation legitimizing for many “the war on terror.”

    What he ought to have done is simply plead ignorance on a matter beyond his interest and competence, in the manner, say, of Michael Parenti or historian William Blum, and just kept his mouth shut.

    Whether he realizes it or not, in this instance, however unwittingly — for I am willing to give him the benefit of a doubt — Chomsky committed an egregious betrayal of his responsibility as the public intellectual of fame that he is.

    • mog says

      Just re-read James Douglas’ book ‘JFK and The Unspeakable’.

      I reflect upon Chomsky’s position on the subject, and cannot really accept that he is not being deeply disingenuous. I wouldn’t want to speculate why.

      This article about Chomsky’s responses to the JFK evidence might be of interest to some here:

  19. BigB says

    As a lifelong fan of Chomsky I am aware of his great contribution in raising the awareness of state propaganda; controlling the narrative; and of course of manufacturing consent. That said, I was disappointed by his ‘there is a reason why they have physics faculties’ strawman argument. After all, the nub of this is that the so called world leading experts at NIST; the ones charged with providing the technical answers; who have all the credentials; who have the facilities; who published (I presume) in the correct fashion; who spent six years and $20m; did thousands of hours testing and modelling; tried to match their (presumably) foregone conclusion to their results and obfuscate the observable data. In doing so they betrayed their scientific principles and LET US DOWN!
    The whole reason that there is still a vibrant debate 15 years on is that we are still waiting for crdible answers; the event was never adequately investigated; from the criminally destroyed crime scene; the disappeared primary physical evidence (the steel); the long delays; the underfunded Commission ‘set up to fail’ etc etc… And yet I can’t begin to excercise the ability to think critically and for myself because I don’t have the relevant background in the sciences? Well they (NIST) did and look what they served up.
    His implicit message is let the (state sponsored) scientists do the science and that we must abide by the results belies the years that he has copiously documented just how corrupt the state can be. Tacitly endorsing what was at best a woefully inadequate and unscientific evaluation does his reputation no good.

    • You don’t need “credentials”. Just look at the collapse of WTC7, notice that the building spent at least 2.5 seconds falling without resistance at free fall speeds and use a little bit of common sense. No resistance can only mean what is visibly obvious from watching the film of the collapse is true. This is a demolition.
      Official times of the other towers are also very close indeed to free fall. The fact that hundreds of thousands of tons of concrete and steel was mostly converted into dust also scream out the obvious, especially when you understand that free fall speed means all the gravitational energy is being converted into kinetic energy … so where did all the energy come from to atomise the building.
      The truth is obvious, obvious, OBVIOUS.

        • NIST are culpable in the evil of 9/11! When you conspire to cover up the truth, you become complicit in the deed itself. You may well call the individuals involved, traitors.

        • BigB says

          physicsandmathsrevision: Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear; I was trying to express that I feel that Chomsky was (this is quite an old clip now) using his incredibly heavy intellectual clout to leverage the feeble minded away from looking into 9/11 – “theres nothing of worth here, move along, move along…” Judging by the audience reaction, he was pandering to a room full of sycophants on the day. The wider implications, giving his standing as a giant of the libetarian left, is questionable. Its good to remember that around the time, circa 2002 say, he was one of the most hated men in America for his opinion that America was (is) the number one terrorist nation on earth; which appeared to endorse bin Laden. So back then he wasn’t afraid to alienate the public. Perhaps he’s gone soft? Perhaps he should retire gracefully before he further sullies his remarkable achievements – after all the poor fellow must have soiled his pants the day he endorsed Hillary!
          I myself have no doubt, but this more to do with critical thinking (for which I am in part endebted to Chomsky) and less to do with science (which beyond the basics I don’t understand). My own (very unscientific) approach was this: when the Bush(Cheney) admin resisted a public enquiry I smelt a rat; when the primary physical evidence was shipped to India and China I smelt a rat; as soon as they announced that the Commission was to be chaired by the war criminal Kissinger I knew that the greatest mass murder in American history was going to be covered up – completely unscientifically!
          So you see my friend, I agree – the truth is obvious, obvious, obvious and the science underpins this. I endorse the work of AE911Truth and WTC7Evaluation.org; and like you encourage others (if they need convincing) to take a critical and unbiased look.

  20. Seamus Padraig says

    As I’ve stated before, Chomsky and Ed Hermann did some phenomenal work back in the 60s and 70s on a variety of subjects related to US imperialism. However, in recent times, Chomsky’s gotten a little gate-keepy. I still respect him for the work he did long ago, but people who revere him and obey him in ‘dittohead’ fashion are doing themselves a disservice.

  21. michaelk says

    Given what Chomsky’s written, knows and understands about the character of the empire, how ruthless and brutal its rulers usually are, how millions of deaths mean next to nothing to them in association with biblical levels of mass destruction and colossal suffering; it’s somewhat odd that he doesn’t even entertain the possibility that the US Government were somehow involved in the tragic events of 9/11. At the very least the White House under Bush and his cronies, was criminally inept in allowing 9/11 to happen despite all the people trying to warn them that something was up and a ‘spectacular’ attack was just around the corner, and significantly, it’s not as if the WTC hadn’t been targetted before by terrorists.

    Chomsky’s talked about government conspiracies before in relation to the FBI’s assassination campaign directed at the Black Panthers, so it’s not as if he doesn’t accept that the US government is capable of such things, only 9/11 is on such a vast scale that, for logistical reasons alone, he doesn’t want to go near it, and one can understand why, given one is automatically discribed as a looney if one does.

    It’s somewhat paradoxical that the hijackers couldn’t have known that the Twin Towers would collapse so dramatically and with such utter devastation to follow, because it was a unique event that had never happened before, or since.

  22. Willem says

    Chomsky is very clear in all his reasoning that he only works with facts, and not with assumptions or believe. Hence his response that 911 is not a false flag, because you have to assume or believe that it is a false flag. That is how I interpret Chomsky on 911, even though I believe that 911 is a false flag and cover-up.

    The other point that Chomsky makes in much of his writing is that if one wants to change the world for the better, geboren she should aim for the things that are facts. For example, aim on the illegal war that the US fights in Iraq and Afghanistan because of 911, which is an outrage, an outrage for the millions of people who suffered and died there because because a few human beings (whoever they are or were) are responsible for the 911 attacks. Hence, ‘the who cares’ statement, with which I fully agree.

    • Dissembling nonsense… so the fact that illegal wars were waged is a factual issue and therefore a legitimate subject for debate. But the justification of those wars (9/11) that makes everybody capable of ignoring the niceties of legality is not up for debate because this is not about “facts” but about “belief” … so we must swallow the camel and strain at the gnats. How very Pharisaical is that.
      We try to assume we are dealing with honest differences of opinion but in this case it is hard to discern honesty in this defence of (let me repeat it) Chomsky, the DISHONEST CREEP OF ALL DISHONEST CREEPS. A so-called universalist humanitarian who betrays mankind in service of what can only be described as racist and genocidal crimes against humanity. F*ck Chomsky. It is impossible to have anything but contempt for those who defend him.

      “Who did 9/11 doesn’t matter”!!!
      Ugh. So you ****** agree, do you?

    • johnschoneboom says

      But Chomsky here is ignoring many facts, and making an enormous number of assumptions. That is precisely the problem.

  23. Noam Chomsky has always been opinionated and he doesn’t give a fig if he makes enemies of the State and for this I admire him. That is not to say that he is always right. He admits that he has no knowledge of what really happened in the 9/11 saga, his mistake, if it was such, was to call those who disagree with the government themed narrative “lunatics”. Chomsky really doesn’t like being ignored or out ranked by other opinion and he is openly contentious towards people who acquire fame within his spheres of influence and interest. So what to do if you don’t happen to agree with him on this one? Ignore him. Does he not invite the valid criticism he has earned? Does he give a hoot? – Probably not. Such is his view of his own standing and ego. At the end of the day, we have more to thank him for than not.

  24. johnschoneboom says

    So this is Chomsky’s idea of doing “a little thinking”. He starts out by offering two facts that he asserts to be uncontroversial:

    1: The Bush administration desperately wanted to invade Iraq; and
    2: The Bush administration didn’t try to blame Iraq for 9/11

    Therefore, his argument goes, this was a missed opportunity for Bush that can mean only one of two things:

    1) they weren’t involved in 9/11; or
    2) they were complete lunatics.

    At the risk of stating the obvious, this is a shockingly poor argument from a man of his abilities. The second of his uncontroversial facts is simply wrong — as he himself acknowledged two seconds later when he noted Bush tried to make connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

    More importantly, Chomsky presumes that the Iraq War would have been the (sole) reason for US involvement in 9/11, and that without that premise, there’s no case to be made. So he starts out not with evidence but with a random assumption about a motive.

    Indeed he dismisses the whole notion of evidence out of hand, along with the whole notion of professional risk and social pressure against engaging in conspiracy theories, even though precisely this sort of proscription was exhibited right there in the room, with attempts made to cut off the questioner, and an injunction declared against further questions on the subject. Absurdity on parade. No acknowledgement of the general idea that theories can be scientifically sound at the same time they are beyond the bounds of politically acceptable discourse. Never happens, according to Chomsky. Just take your ideas to the academy. Simple! Rationality and justice always prevail in our eminently scientific and dispassionate system. No such thing as political pressure, no such thing as fear, no such thing as Stephen Jones losing his job. Two thousand architects and engineers is a “minuscule” number, that might include “one or two” who are “serious”.

    Like others, I respect Chomsky’s good work. In these matters, he’s right about one thing: his thinking is indeed “little”.

  25. GuyIncoginito says

    Read the Project for the New American Century Chomsky. They are total lunatics and the motive is written there. As for why not blame Iraqis, well, how easy would it have been for Iraqis to take flying lessons and not single more alerts in the intelligence community? If letting Saudis kidnap planes was seen as a major intelligence failure, how could they have ever explained away Iraqis doing it?

  26. Besides the enormous number of legitimate questions left unanswered on 9/11 which have been asked by highly respected, well-read people whose reputations are impeccable, there are equally important reasons to conduct a new (real) investigation. That investigation could be carried out with minimal – next to zero – expense by allowing any man or woman who has earned a Ph.D an up to two hour presentation on a government sponsored website. Discernment of the truth would quickly manifest. Besides identifying once and for all any potential criminals who carried out the mass murder (half believe the “official story”, half don’t), such an investigative effort would produce a profound and absolutely necessary level of societal psychological healing.

    • wardropper says

      It would also produce a profound and absolutely necessary demand for some embarrasingly high-level criminal prosecutions.
      That would never be allowed, I’m afraid, and it saddens me that not even Chomsky, who can certainly be awkward, unpredictable and controversial when required, has retreated under his security blanket on this topic.

      • One might consider reserving judgment on whether or not high-level criminal prosecutions will be allowed or carried out. Certainly most here want the criminals prosecuted, and the good thing is that more and more are feeling the same. Imagine a 9/11 debate between Mr. Chomsky and Professor Mark Crispin Miller. Best regards.

  27. bevin says

    A very unconvincing performance.
    His idealised view of The Academy is very curious. The idea that it consists largely of truth seekers indifferent to the possibility of offending government, or the variety of agencies and individuals whose attitudes are important to University funding and promotion, is easily discredited. He must be aware of this. The Architects and Engineers for Truth may indeed constitute a very small part of the professions involved. But not so small a part that it would not be practicable to discover in what ways, if any, the careers of members have followed courses unlike those of their peers. Are they, if Academics, promoted? Do they get government contracts or contracts from corporations dependent on government as readily as those agnostic on the 9/11 question.
    As to his defence of the idea that the US government was uninvolved, this too is disingenuous. The fact that 9/11 was not blamed on Iraqis rather than Saudis had a lot to do with the fact that Saudis were involved, whereas Iraqis were not. In any case that is not the way that it works: the Bush admin relied upon its ability to intimidate the media and the political class into accepting its narratives. That is and was the strength of the state: it is much easier to make sure that the networks and the Newspapers take up and protect the preferred ‘official’ line than it is to choreograph, in advance every detail of a plot which will have to be changed anyway in response to unanticipated events and reactions. It is one thing to throw a brick through a window-quite another to know how many pieces and what shapes of glass will be left. Or whether anyone will be struck by it.
    And then there is the idealised view of the State as a Miltonic monolith, with one brain, one voice and one pair of hands with which to execute: in fact the State, and the US in particular, is very complex, consisting of many concentric circles, often at odds with each other, often unaware of all but immediate and narrow local concerns.
    We see this every day in the clashes, for example in Syria, between not only CIA and Pentagon and State department policies but between the agencies, including armed militias, each employs to implement its policies, very often in direct opposition to those of other State agencies, allies or sympathisers with similar objectives.
    For my own part I regard it as very likely that not only did most of the Bush administration have no idea about 9/11, either in advance or afterwards, but that once it had been carried out, by those with clear interest in doing so, blaming anyone but “terrorists’ was impossible. It is in the nature of such events- Pearl Harbor, the Reichstag Fire etc etc- that they set events in train from which there is no going back, because they are so strongly favoured by those in power.
    Thus it was very easy for Bush to turn 9/11 into an excuse for war: what was required was momentum not forensically viable evidence. And, whoever was behind 9/11 understood that. And was prepared to come forward with plans, for war, for emergency legislation, for political campaigning-domestic and diplomatic- to further long standing agendas.

  28. Enough with the gatekeeping crap. You obviously don’t know what it means.

    Chomsky does not control information or access to information any more than you or I. It’s just happens more people appreciate what he has to say.

    If you don’t agree write a book!

    • To whom are you addressing this? OffGuardian has not accused Chomsky of gatekeeping.

      • I’m responding to several posts in the comments. I don’t see my comment as being disrespectful @mohandeer considering the insults thrown my way by various people.
        I posted my comments as replies where applicable so the thread should follow when read in the right order.

        My last post on this subject as nothing can be resolved by trading insults over supposition and conjecture.

        Argument by authority is a logical fallacy, whether the authority is Chomsky or architects and engineers for truth.

    • We know EXACTLY what gatekeeping means. Chomsky is just about THE leader of “anti-American-Imperialist” discourse. When people approach him as a supposed leading critic of (and supposed threat to) American power hoping he will pursue the issue that would really, genuinely, truthfully stand a chance of bring down the criminals and putting an end to their criminal activities, lo and behold … he slams the door shut and won’t go there. Because (excuse me while I puke) “it doesn’t matter”.
      Chomsky is a classic gatekeeper. As Lenin said, “The best way to control the opposition is to lead it.”
      Chomsky is QUITE OBVIOUSLY controlled opposition. He attacks Americans to protect the Jews that control it. If you don’t realise that you are an idiot.

    • headrush69 – to whom are you addressing your rather insulting and disrespectful comment? More to the point – why the need for insult?
      Who then, is dishing out “crap”?

    • It just so happens that a well funded assortment of media and organizations amplify Chomsky’s opinions. This does not show that “people appreciate” his views, just that the left establishment favors promoting them and real alternative media is either not funded or attacked and diminished.

      Plainly our problem is far larger than Chomsky alone.

  29. Could someone please give the timestamp for when “Chomsky tells a willing audience the thermite paper by Harrit et al is worthless”

    I’ve watched it twice now, can’t find it.
    Also, his stance appears to be that he knows nothing about the science so he is willing to accept an answer that’s been arrived at by proper scientific methods.

    I can understand his point about the bush administration too. Why didn’t they blame the Iraqis?

    It upsets and annoys me when someone who has made their whole life about exposing the evils of government, is derided because apparently, against all past history they choose now to lie or mislead.

    Perhaps he’s not lying or being misleading at all. Perhaps he’s expressing his honest opinion.

    Or is that not allowed?

    Seems to me Chomsky haters just gotta hate.
    I don’t believe Chomsky, I read what he says and use it as one aspect of data for my own critical thinking. I read many others too.

    This whole 911 discussion seems to be like the ufo movement. Some people want to believe and they resent any suggestion that they might be mistaken. It makes it all very unpleasant to discuss.

    I happen to think there was American involvement in those events. Which Americans is a bigger problem. However, I can’t subscribe to the idea there were no planes at all. In the case of the WTC, that would be impossible. Too many people, too many cameras. The pentagon, perhaps – that was a very regular shaped hole with no wing impacts.

    • Tom Bombadil says

      Don’t know the time stamp but he refers disparagingly to one paper that claims to have found nanothermite in the dust of the WTC. That paper is the Harrit et al one. Which by the way cost one of the authors his tenured job at BYU, which makes Chomsky’s remarks about Trutherism being a “safe” position a little inappropriate.

      Chomsky also describes anyone making such claims as failing to follow normal protocols, looking for easy solutions implies they don’t have science degrees. I’m not a Chomsky hater. I admire him immensely. But he’s being at best a coward on this.

    • It’s not a question of belief. Any worthwhile position has to be grounded in demonstrable fact. That’s why the work of AE911Truth is so valuable. There’s nothing theoretical about it. Re planes at the WTC. If you accept there was no plane at the Pentagon or Shanksville and that the government lied about that, why do you want to believe what they told you/us about the WTC? Besides which the refutation of the “planes hit the towers” myth is also based on fact – many facts. If the alleged phone calls were faked, as the FBI has conceded, what solid evidence is there for any hijackers on any planes? There is none. Then there’s the obviously planted evidence on the ground: the passport that didn’t get singed; the ‘bandana’ that was allegedly found at Shanksville (Muslims don’t wear bandanas); the landing wheels that don’t match either of the allegedly hijacked aircraft; the absence of any Arab names on the clearly faked passenger lists; the fact that there is no confirmation from any airline personnel of any of the supposed hijackers boarding the alleged flights; the fact that two of the planes were not scheduled to fly that morning and two others were still flying several years after the event; the fact that the videos we were shown don’t match – don’t forget that only the second alleged plane was filmed – one video has the plane flying with wings horizontal, the other with wings tilted (obviously meant to persuade us that it made the diagonal hole – which could not have been made by any plane because planes cannot punch holes like that in a building with immensely strong steel perimeter girders spaced a metre or so apart: a plane’s wings and ‘skin’ are incredibly thin and fragile); the fact that the faked videos actually show the CGI plane ‘melting’ into the building with no explosion and no pieces falling off outside; the fact that the ‘live’ feed from TV cameras is not live – there’s a gap of several seconds between the camera capturing the images and the images appearing on your TV screen – long enough for pre-recorded CGI footage to be inserted. Part of the footage shown actually reveals the insertion: the nose of the pretend plane is seen emerging from the other side of the tower from the fictional plane’s entry point – a physical impossibility.

      It seems that some people just can’t bear to give up the idea that somehow, against all the odds and using only plastic box cutters, some at least of the alleged “terrorists” (not many left after we deduct the ones supposedly on the non-existent Pentagon and Shanksville planes and the 6 or 7 of those that even the BBC admitted turned up alive afterwards) managed to commandeer two planes and fly them better than any professional pilot. As I’ve said before, the danger with that unfounded belief is that it lends spurious support to the idea that the invasion of Afghanistan was somehow legitimate. It’s why one never hears Afghanistan mentioned in the same terms as Iraq – yet both were war crimes based on lies. The preparations to invade Afghanistan (as much for the poppy harvest as for its geo-strategic importance) were made at least 6 months before 9/11. The 2000 PNAC document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” called for “a catalysing event like a new Pearl Harbour” and Bush apparently wrote in his diary on 9/11: “This was the Pearl Harbour of the 21st century”. I don’t believe he was necessarily fully in the loop beforehand (his behaviour in the classroom suggests that), but he was of course fully part of the cover-up and therefore equally guilty of the crime.

      There were patsies but no hijackers. There were decoy planes but no actually hijacked planes. The whole hijack story is the cover story for the controlled demolition of the whole WTC (all 7 buildings were destroyed in one way or another)

  30. bill says

    Chomsky as already stated above is a gate-keeper over 9/11 as indeed he is on the JFK assassination and all epochal events in modern US history winning the sympathy and adriration of much of the progressive movement but stifling its direction and robbing it of context……

    • Chomsky’s no gatekeeper on JFK, by which I assume you mean the U.S.. Have you read his book, “Rethinking Camelot”? You can’t be a gatekeeper and, at the same time, a demolisher of that system behind the gates. Chomsky exposes the lawless US system behind the gates here, in no uncertain terms. He looks mainly at the system’s institutions and doesn’t delve into the question of who killed JFK, other than to note that the question and the intense interest around it says interesting things about American political culture. Someone else who writes about JFK, and calls “Rethinking Camelot” brilliant, is Seymour Hersh. His book, “The Dark Side Of Camelot,” together with Chomsky’s “Rethinking Camelot,” should inoculate anyone who is attracted to, and in favor of, facts, against the disease of Camelotism.

      The purpose – or at least it’s a desired, by the establishment, effect – of Camelot is to make it appear that the U.S. system works. (After reading Hersh’s above book, something jumped out at me. The establishment can never change it’s mind about their Cold War anti-communist hero, for were JFK’s many [in the know] apologists to cop to their lies about him and that admin, it would lead to their extreme embarrassment. JFK was singularly unfit to be president – of anything. Those who helped to make that freak president committed a great crime against their fellow Americans and the wider world. One person Hersh talks to notes the irony that so many of those [like Sam Giancana] who helped JFK to win in 1960 couldn’t vote for him because of their criminal records. As well, the anti-communist component of the doctrinal system has not disappeared.) The idea is that maybe it produces some bad politicians and bad policies and makes ‘mistakes’, but the superhero JFK proves it ‘can’ work. Ergo, Get behind it.

      That we don’t know who killed JFK (and there are so many candidates) is a fact. And now so many witnesses have died, it’s possibly impossible to say who killed him. The Camelot myth is propped up by the idea that Kennedy was going to bring the troops home and usher in a new era of peace, even though an examination of his last NSAM (national security memorandum) and LBJ’s first shows virtually no change in policy direction in regard to Vietnam. There was to be no withdrawal without military victory, although Hersh does uncover evidence that JFK was considering withdrawal (unconditional, I think) sometime after his re-election in ’64, when it would become politically safe. But the real JFK never had such lofty goals as peace and security for all. He delayed conflict to better his chances at re-election. He initiated conflict to better his chances at re-election. The only other thing that motivated him was personal revenge. The macho Kennedy went after Vietnam with a vengeance, according to James Reston, because Khrushev humiliated him at the Vienna Summit and made him feel weak. Now there’s a good reason to kill millions, about 3 million if you include all of Indochina and include the killing that went on after JFK was himself killed.

      He brought about the Cuban missile crisis that everyone gives him credit for diffusing. He codified the government’s assassination program of that time under the label of ‘executive action’, which was given the code name ZR/RIFLE and, after the failed operation at the Bay of Pigs, then came to include as it’s main target, Fidel Castro. (Later, The targetting of Castro, which now included more sophisticated techniques, was renamed Operation Mongoose.) And there was a well known plan for a second invasion of Cuba, which involved massive, very visible, positioning of troops and ships, which Castro and Khrushchev, who desired to save the revolution in Cuba, knew about. But the Kennedy’s were interested in enlisting the mob (Tony Varona) to murder Castro, as one former CIA agent, Sam Halpern noted, out of revenge for the humiliation of the Bay of Pigs, not mainly because they wanted to save Cubans (by killing them?) from evil Communism. You could please JFK – by worshipping him and, if you’re an opponent, by dying or losing. The desire to retake Cuba stemmed from JFK’s desire to restore it to the wild state it used to be in when the mob ruled there. JFK missed the days when he could vacation there and enjoy illegal prostitution and gambling, something which he did know a thing or two about.

      JFK and his worshippers could never tell the people about the assassination program and the plans for invading Cuba they had, for had they done so, then the whole ‘hero of the missile crisis’ thing would have been out the window. You can’t take credit for solving a huge problem that you created.


  31. Alec says

    “There’s a reason there are graduate schools in these departments.”

    Exactly the reason why when http://www.scientistsfor911truth.org/ and

    Tell me that the official narrative of what caused 9/11 doesn’t add up I tend to believe them rather than;

    “Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, logician, social critic” who says the official explanation is correct and those who think not are “lunatics.

    Which brings us to the expression “methinks thou doth protest too much” and what can be the reason Chomsky the linguist says he knows best.

    My own view is that Chomsky (jewish) knows that the voices demanding another investigation into an incident where the official explanation has resulted in the deaths of millions might, just might, turn up evidence that “9/11 was good for Israel” (Netanyahu) had more to do with arranging the catastrophe or knowing about it but letting it happen.

    And before anyone starts typing “you are a blah blah blah I would first ask them to consider that the “millions of deaths” referred to above has also caused total disintegration of Iraq Libya Syria and if Hillary becomes US president Iran as well which were exactly the proposals and hoped for outcome of both the Yinon Plan and Clean break strategy put together by Israelis a few years before 9/11. Pure coincidence? .. hmmm …

    • You got the Hamlet quote wrong. Don’t try to divert this into discussions of race.

    • To tie Chomsky to Israel´s policy and the interest of Israel´s Power Elite appears quite cheap, rather absurd, since Chomsky has always been a prominent and very, very sharp critic of Israel´s brutal policy of occupation and racism! Much more convincing seems to see either old age stubborness not being able to change an original belief (I was stuck till 2007 to the official Explanation, but had to change my position on evidence) or, worse, to see his personal interest in connection with his MIT involvement. So, let´s not slip into dubious interpretations!

  32. Jeff says

    Chomsky may well be “echoing … mainstream views”. But this is the first time I’ve ever heard the guy referred to as “uncritical” in any way, shape or form.

    Life would be a lot easier if liars would just lie all the time, without exception. Or if the mainstream media was wrong all the time, and never right. What makes it hard is that liars sometimes tell the truth, often enough that you can’t just complacently assume they’re not, on any particular occasion. Same way, the mainstream media does get it right sometimes, though usually in detail, and rarely in the “grand narrative” they’re always trying to weave.

    The point is, the fact that an assertion appears in the mainstream media, or is stated by Dick Cheney or Hillary Clinton, does not, in itself, make it false. If it is false, it’s the fact that it doesn’t line up with reality that makes it false. Not who says it.

      • wardropper says

        Practically everybody here has been making those very points.
        Perhaps not painted in thick red industrial dye, but you don’t have to be Chomsky to see them.

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