Alexander Cockburn and the Alternative Media Giants on 9/11

This post is cross-posted at indoctriNATION.

I received an email earlier today from a reader suggesting that I balance’s coverage of 9/11 with an Alex Cockburn article posted to Znet called “The 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts: How They Let the Guilty Parties of 9/11 Slip Off the Hook”

I thought I would post my response, simply because it expresses some of the frustration I’ve had over the last week with much of the alternative media’s coverage of the fifth anniversary of 9/11.

Thanks for your interest in the site, and your story suggestion.

I had actually read Cockburn’s article when it was put up on Counterpunch, and some similar pieces from other Big Alternative sites, and decided to pass on posting them. Reading Cockburn’s again, I felt the same way I did about it the first time around: disappointed, but not surprised.

The article is one of the most hollow, dishonest outbursts that I’ve seen in a long time on an alternative news site and frankly, it really knocks Counterpunch, Znet, and the Nation (who also published it), down a few pegs on the integrity board. It is a truly embarrassing example of intellectual bullying.

Just to get it out of the way, I haven’t made up my mind completely on the whole 9/11 thing, but I feel that many of the intellectuals, journalists, families of the victims, and other citizens, who I’m assuming Cockburn means when he writes “Nuts”, are asking many of the same questions about 9/11 that I want answered, and are getting nothing but sorry excuses from the government and shoddy hack-jobs from yellow journalists.

Cockburn’s flimsy rhetoric, name-calling, unconvincing anecdotes, and claims of ‘distraction from more important issues’ are long-stale logical fallacies that anyone who’s ever taken a Grade 10 debate class would find insulting.

The article is nothing more than an ad hominem attack I would expect to find on FOX News instead of Znet, where Cockburn attacks those presenting evidence instead of the evidence itself, or rambles on about things that have no direct relation or insight into 9/11. Completely absent from the article is any mention of the most important theories of the 9/11 Truth Scholars and other truth-seekers, like the collapse of WTC 7, or Dr. Steven Jones’ revealing research into the towers, etc.

Although I respect much of Cockburn’s work and accomplishments, I have always taken exception to his ridiculous assertions that the Warren Commission was dead accurate in its lone gunman hypothesis (which, of course, has been almost universally discredited), an opinion which he clumsily evokes in his transparent attempt to smear anyone asking questions about the official story of 9/11.

I have generally had a deep respect for the work produced by the major American alternative publications like the Nation, the Progressive, Z Magazine, and In These Times, but on 9/11 (and some other economic issues we don’t have time for here) they seem to be doing us a disservice. Even Chomsky has thrown me for a loop on this one, reverting to emotional reactions instead of taking a serious look at the facts. It really is the damnedest thing, and only acts as a catalyst for more of those so-called “silly theories” from “crazy conspiracy nuts”. Even some mainstream media outlets have reported on truth-seekers with more objectivity.

I wait for the day Cockburn, or anyone else from the Big Alternative media, takes a serious look at the facts, and provides readers something other than a regurgitation of the bogus findings of Hearst’s Popular Mechanics magazine, or sadly hilarious (and somewhat alarming) claims like Cockburn’s that his brother had access to secret unreleased photos “clearly showing outline of entire plane including wing”. Until us second class citizens see all of these mysterious photos that, for some unexplained reason, can only be released to government-selected journalists, there will still be a hell-of-a-lot-a questions.

Thanks again for the suggestion, sorry I didn’t have anything nice to say about the piece. Please keep in touch and send any other articles you see fit in my direction.


The Warren Commission was

The Warren Commission was correct about a single shooter. Sure they were. People who believe 911 was a false flag black op, carried out by nefarious elements of the U.S. defense intelligence establishment to justify their hunger for war profits, are "nuts". The left gatekeepers better get on the ball. What is up with these kinds of ridiculous statements anyway?

He said 'cock burn', heh,

He said 'cock burn',

heh, heh heh, heh heh, heh.

How about this...

What's the difference between Chomsky and Cockburn?

Answer: Well, you can't make a "chom ski"...

Nice work, Jeremiah

I bet your reader wasn't expecting that one.

Folow the Chomski link in the article

I followed it, watched the video and he doesn't make any sense in his stance towards 911. He says, for example

"Even if [911 conspiracies] were true... who cares? It's of no significance"

What the?????

This is the most unreasonable interpretation I have heard in a while.

Of course it matters who did it! That is the base of everything that follows! Unbelievable.....

The comments he makes on science and how there are always unexplained facts in experiments are laughable too....

Anyways, I'm pretty shocked that someone of his supposed logical prowess can say such nonsensical things...

have you read Zwickers book

have you read Zwickers book yet? his chapter on Chomsky is amazing. i HIGHLY suggest you buy that book if you havent already.

I should probably know this,

I should probably know this, but what's the title?

Towers of Deception-The

Towers of Deception-The Media Cover-Up of 9/11. best. book. ever. of course ive always stressed how the 9/11 truth movement needs to focus on the media more(Hufschmid did this well before he went off of the deep end),so ive been waiting for a book like this.


I know what you mean. Before I even started to question the 9/11 story I was convinced that media reform is critical to any real change (thank you Amy Goodman for THAT one). I had no idea how bad it was. Or maybe I did but was just in denial.

No, I haven't read his book

No, I haven't read his book yet, although I've seen quite a few video clips of him where he explains some of his stance towards 911. He seems like an intellectually honest guy who is looking at things pretty fairly. I will try to get my hands on it if I can.


you really should, its a

you really should, its a must have. Zwicker is a professional media critic, so he knew that 9/11 was an inside job on the very day it happened. its seriously the best book i have ever read. its actually more about the media than it is 9/11 itself, thats probably why i love it so much. f the media.

That one really stings

I've been struggling with this clip for a while now - I was a huge Chomsky fan, have read about a dozen of his books, and had considered myself a Chomsky-ite.

It really is truly amazing that he would say something so stupid, and naturally made me start to question his other work. Needless to say, I don't call myself a Chomskyite anymore.

Chomsky, etc

I was also a Chomskyite, but that was really back in the 80's and maybe into the 90's a little. But once you start analyzing the world for yourself, I think the perspectives he offers are fairly limited.
Anyway, the most shocking, most outrageous claim from these people is that it doesn't matter if 9/11 was an inside job. I had an email exchange last year with another sorry dude in this crowd, Michael Albert, and that's what he said. He claimed that we already know that Bush and co. are criminals because of Afghanistan. One annoying thing he did was to simply ignore - in fact, delete in his replies, that is, remove large parts of my emails to him - all my references to anomalies of the official 9/11 stories, in a censorious and 3-little-monkey style. (he was full of himself too: he doesn't know me, but tried to bully me by saying "who's done more for social change...") As David Ray Griffin likes to say, "I'm not making this up."
The disconnect from reality here is unbelievable: apart from them, no one else in America would say that it just doesn't matter who did 9/11. Some people out there may not think it was an inside job, but they certainly would agree that if in fact it was an inside job, that's really important and there'd be hell to pay.
Chomsky says that 9/11 is not the biggest crime out there, so it doesn't rate much attention. Apart from the crass, strictly numbers-based morality on display - "only" 2,900 died on 9/11, and hundreds of thousands in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc, etc - this completely ignores the role of 9/11 as springboard and psyop for war, the act that has made people accept war.
Our message must be: ALL the crimes of the empire must be exposed, including those inside the US.

one more thing

Another approach to take with progressive people who avoid 9/11: pose a hypothetical case. Suppose we found out somehow back in 1964 that the Gulf of Tonkin attack was a fake, a phony, that it was just a ruse being used to drive the country fully into war. Wouldn't that have been important to expose and bring to public attention? Who could dare say no, that it would have been better ignore that?
Or "conspiracies" as a problem. Most people on the left are certainly aware of the other Sept. 11, the coup in Chile. Now that was a conspiracy by the US gov't to overthrow a gov't it didn't like. Or Mossadez in Iran, or Arbenz in Guatemala, etc etc etc.

I haven't read any of his

I haven't read any of his books, although I have heard of some of them like Manufacturing Consent.

My personal philosophy is not to read any of those types of books, that are basically trying to teach you how to view the world, and shaping your thought processes, but rather make my own mind up based on logic and available evidence..

I agree with the notion of "gatekepers" that people ascribe to personalities in the media and academia such as Chomsky, in a way, they are controlling how you view the world and its events, unduly influencing peoples opinions.

Cheers for the post btw.

yes, make up your own mind, but

Well, we should read books, shouldn't we? Some of Chomsky's books are excellent, in fact. Your thought processes are your own. No book can, or should be able to "control" you. Read one, read another, and think for yourself. Form your own worldview.
Books have the advantage of analytical depth, of historical sweep and extensive detail that the round the clock news cycle, with everyone reacting to the day's events online, just doesn't capture; and many good books have been key to understanding 9/11, for example.
I didn't want to criticize you personally, but I think a lot of people have a similar attitude, that getting online is enough.
Anyway, the gatekeeper phenomenon is important, it seems to me, because the establishment has found a way to identify and "neutralize" people - like Chomsky or Amy G. who shape opinion because they truly are talented and usually right on a host of other issues.

Yes, we should of course

Yes, we should of course read books :)

I was referring to the difference bewtween books where someones opinions are expressed (obviously based on facts) as opposed to more factual books.

Of course one can glean a certain amount of information from any book, even the most biased.

I had in mind a book like The Terror Timeline by Paul Thompson, very factual, compared to, say, The 911 Commission Report..... :)

For me it was the scientific perpective that first got me questioning the official events, since there are many unexplained and improbable physical phenomena that occurred that day.

In the scientific method, one tries to work things out from first principles, which is what I also try to do in other areas.

Of course, I agree an element of practicality comes into it, which leads to reading books of someone that has reviewed the facts themselves..



google the following:

noam chomsky + "signed confessions"

Alexander Cockburn and Noam

Alexander Cockburn and Noam Chomsky vs. JFK: A Study in Misinformation

In early 1992, after the release of Oliver Stone's film JFK a media thundercloud erupted.

After early attacks in mainstream media like the Chicago Tribune and Washington Post, many other alternative media of both the left and right began to run articles on the film including outlets like "The Village Voice", for which Alexander Cockburn used to write. To the surprise of many, when some of these supposed leftist media organs did chime in, they savaged the film as wildly as the mainstream press did. These outlets were, specifically, The Progressive, Z magazine, and The Nation. The writers were, respectively, the late Erwin Knoll, Noam Chomsky, and Alexander Cockburn. Chomsky then wrote a book, Rethinking Camelot to specifically attack one of the main theses of JFK, namely that Kennedy had intended to withdraw from Vietnam by 1965.

But of the three, by far the most bitter and vicious polemics about the film were by Cockburn in three pieces in The Nation dated January 6/13, March 9, and May 18, 1992. The first piece was entitled "J.F.K. and JFK" in which he attacked not only the film, but the publishers of the book by Jim Garrison on which it was based, author Peter Dale Scott_who originated the Kennedy withdrawal thesis_and John Kennedy himself.

once a leftwing gatekeeper, always a leftwing gatekeeper. both of them. Chomsky has no credibility left except for with his cult like followers that cant let go.

they both cover up treason.

As the reader can see both Cockburn and Chomsky have played loose with the record.

They have not relied on primary documents or established fact but have instead tried (deliberately?) to use a campaign of smear, invective, unfounded argument, half- truths, deception and assumptions in a seeming effort to confound and confuse the reader. Cockburn especially seems to have used some very questionable sources like CIA and FBI connected journalist Edward Epstein. This questionable practice continues in his new book ( p. 352) when he quotes a CIA officer as saying that assassination attempts on Castro were run directly out of the White House. He then goes on to say that this example led to the death squads that haunt South America today. Need one advise Cockburn and Chomsky that the CIA never liked John Kennedy, at least since the time when he faltered at the "Bay of Pigs" which led to the firing of Allen Dulles, Dick Bissell, and Charles Cabell? That Richard Helms acknowledged this dislike on a CBS 30th anniversary special to correspondent Richard Schlesinger? That the disinformation campaign run by the CIA against the Kennedys goes on to this day with veteran covert operator Ted Shackley actually telling a Kennedy researcher that it was Bobby's idea to appoint Dulles to the Warren Commission? Would Chomsky and Cockburn have printed that if Shackley had told it to them? Will they print it now? Of course, Cockburn and Chomsky can't admit the resentment of the CIA for the Kennedys. If they did, it would open the door to the distinct possibility that the CIA, rather than face 13 probable years of Kennedy domination, decided to erase the problem themselves. And when one adds in the fact, as stated above, that Oswald was likely a CIA agent provocateur, then that verboten word "conspiracy" comes into play. As if the CIA was not originated and designed by Dulles to carry out covert acts and conspiracies for his corporate clients. In the forties and fifties, it operated mostly abroad. In the last three decades it has operated domestically also. It has remained unchecked to this day.

they both have a history as you can see.

google "noam chomsky controlled asset of the the new world order

yeah, that was a WHILE ago too

What Norman Finkelstein wrote back each time I asked about 9/11

4/8/2006 3:26 PM We're living in difficult times. It's important to preserve our sanity and clarity of thought.

4/10/2006 12:16 PM It seems that 9-11 is set to become your Kennedy Assassination industry. It's a waste of energy, I think.

4/11/2006 4:48 PM I've not looked into the matter closely, nor do I consider it a wise investment of my time. I wouldn't put it past George Bush senior to have his dearly beloved wife Barbara knocked off - crimes of passion do happen especially if your wife looks twice your age - but I don't think Bush junior would blow up the hub of the world financial network.

6/3/2006 10:19 PM Dear @@@@, I'm sure you are a very smart and terrific fellow, so I won't even consider writing a flippant, let alone insulting, response. But please bear in mind that about 70% of Americans believe in the Devil as well as a Heaven and Hell, not to mention the 50% who still believe that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. These sorts of "referendums" don't really prove much. Best, Norm

6/5/2006 1:02 AM Buddy, I squandered much of my youth wondering who killed JFK. It seems every generation needs an unresolved mystery to tickle its fancy: yours is the Twin Towers.

"Among the 'spider-man' skeptics are those who claim that no human can shoot web and stick to walls... They conveniently ignore the fact that he was bitten by a radioactive spider."

Daily Bugle editorial debunking the claims of spider-man deniers

Very interesting

Very interesting, thanks for sharing that.

Finkelstein is not the sort of person I would imagine who would care about this. For'The 'Left', which Finkelstein is an unapologetic paid-up member for, 9/11 is about oppressed Arabs striking out against evil America.

9/11 represents a win win situation for 'The Left'; an opportunity for a stream of dreary boring articles about how bad America is in the world, and how it isn't helping the poorest etc and how only the state can save everybody.

This used to be indicative of a strictly ideological barrier; an in principle rejectionism of even the possibility that this allegation is true and shouldn't just be tossed on the compost heap along with all the other conspiracy theories of the past.

But Professor Finkelstein might want to check back with buddy Chomsky on the script, as I recently heard Chomsky say he 'isn't persuaded by the evidence', which in the world of 'The Left' represents a Great Leap Forward from an in principle rejection, which may suggest Chomsky has had another sly look when no one was watching him.

That said, I would not hold out any hope of 'The Left ' on this one, and I'm quite glad the US 'Left' suffers from the same unmistakable foibles as our UK version, and who despite being rightly anti-war, and critical of the police state, could so easily be conned into voting for a 'progressive' Tony Blair government again and again and again should the need arise.

With a few notable exceptions, this could well be how the world will judge the legacy of 'The Left' post-9/11.

I was also struck by the "my

I was also struck by the "my brother says he saw..." rebuttal. Shocking that this would be his answer to those Pentagon questions, and that it appeared in the publications it did. It does tend to reassure me I'm on the right track, so that's something positive.


Not the place to really get into this issue, but I'm ever more convinced that the Pentagon "no-plane" thing is a distraction, and probably a calculated hoax. We can't PROVE anything about flight 77. THEY have the pics and videos - and who knows? maybe Cockburn's bro did see some - and the most we can safely say is we don't know what's there. The case for an inside job does not by a long shot depend on the issue - (even if it's true!!) and it also distracts us - indeed, PREVENTS US - from discussing these things, among others:
1. Why didn't the Pentagon own anti-aerial defenses shoot down the plane?
2. Why didn't fighters from Andrews Air Force base a few miles away take to the skies and defend DC?
3. What were the orders Cheney gave the young aide, as witnessed by Norman Mineta? To not defend the Pentagon? To stand down?
Any one of these questions could lead - if we had a prosecutor ready to take on the case - to indictments and trials for treason for specific individuals, perpetrators, while the Pentagon pics are just a source of endless, inconclusive debate that leads ---- nowhere, and to no one in particular.
Even though 9/11 truth itself does not depend at all on the "no-plane" case, the issue makes 9/11 truth as a movement extremely vulnerable to the whims of the government. Why? Because they just might surprise us and release clear pics/video someday that really do show a plane at the Pentagon. Then, this cause would be f---ed, my friends.

You are not alone

According to this site we can thank Donald Rumsfeld for this particular distraction.

A while back, in the Haloscan days of 911Blogger, in the midst of a raging flame war over what happened at the Pentagon, someone -- can't remember who -- commented (paraphrasing here), "I am not nearly as concerned with what hit the Pentagon as I am that anything hit it at all."


I basically agree with the oilempire guy and your anonymous commentator. You ever notice how almost all the media discussions with 9/11 skeptics quickly move to talking about "what hit the Pentagon", and always at the initiative of the interviewer/host, as if they had been clearly instructed by higher ups to focus on that? They have a field day with it, it's like an oddity, a mystery, an Area 54 kinda thing.
No, we have soild evidence right now of an inside job, suspects with names, and it's irresponsible, or even worse, in some cases - IMHO - to waste precious media time on fuzzy pics that prove nothing. It only abets the cover-up, wittingly or unwittingly.

Herr Rumsfeld, the memetician

Interesting that Rumsfeld has dropped references to both a "missile" hitting the pentagon and Flight 93 being "shot down".

Cockburn & the so-called 'independent' journalists

I've written to them all several times. It doesn't matter if you are naughty, or nice, still the same non-response. Maybe I should let them know how I really feel?

Amy, bend over!

Justin Raimando, I'm going to shove that cigarette down your throat!

Cockburn, dude, I hope your very last server goes up in flames during the next non-election!

Nobody's fooled by your tasteless 'two-party' antics, and believe me, After the next false-flag attack, you better wise up, because your precious 'Clinton-Soros' team won't have a living-wage job for you either.

I share your outrage, and

I share your outrage, and the two-party thing is a massive fraud perpetrated by the oligarchy. But to be fair, Cockburn and Raimundo are opposed to both parties (Co from left, Rai from right as Libertarian who's against W's big gov't) even though they're terrible on 9/11. Amy G., on the other hand, does indeed frame her issues and news to back the Dems.

I would add three others to

I would add three others to your list of 'independent' journalists

Robert (MI6) Fisk

Greg (the Jews didn't do it; the Martians on Coke and Pepsi did it) Palast

Chris (pink) Floyd [kicked out of Moscow Times for activities incompatible with his crap writing AND

About 99.99 percent of the writers at Common[nightmares] and other Giant Independent Media.

It’s a tough world out there if you are just a writer and don’t receive an income from the Rockefeller, Soros … Funds!

Gatekeeper Cockburn Attacks 9/11 "Conspiracy Nuts"

Nimmo ripped cockface pretty hard, I blogged this on the 9th

Executive summary: You're fucked

Executive summary:

You're fucked.

So Chomsky hasn't understood 911.

Yes, it *is* a big surprise... he normally understands everything. So now we a disappointed. Big deal.


OK, Lets see 911 in historical perspective:

There have been tons of falseflags... assassinations by the CIA and wars we whities have started and fuelled... that KNOWINGLY resulted in MILLIONS of dead darkies.

(Darkies, haha, you are smiling now, cynic?)

Now in 2001 they did another FF, it was LONG LONG PLANNED and meticulously executed, this time they MANIPULATED PERCEPTION via the MEDIA (FUCKS NEWS) in a wonderful new style.. hollywood mixed with psy-op..
so successful that even though millions understand who did the crime... NOBODY is responsible

WE GOT THE OIL. (eh, cynic?)

Further historical, skipping 10 years.

The clever part was to make the concentrated media a STEADFAST ACCOMPLICE... the media can never go back on their reporting without loosing their printing presses, their market share... nobody would believe anything they say anymore.. they loose the FUNCTION OF BEING THE RECORD KEEPERS, they loose the grip on the TELLING OF HISTORY itself.

They cannot go back. They cannot say:
Oh, we are sorry. We censored "911 truth" ALL THE WAY, but hey, now we are independent again.

BTW this, usually, is the chance for competitors, but hey, we DO NOT HAVE A FREE MARKET BECAUSE WE DO NOT HAVE STRICT REGULATION!

See, in 10 years we'll be sitting here.. doing the same ... complaining about the very same things... except that we are yet MORE CRAZY, more disillusioned, and generally LESS ABLE to act upon our beliefs, we lost (relativized) our beliefs.

In this way, we indeed ARE little Eichmanns, the germans in the 1930s were EXACTLY in this position.

After witnessing the poor spectacle in DEMOCRACY NOW, and the disappointing coverage of 5th anniversary we are emotional about 911 truth.

Whatever we think about NO PLANES/767 or THERMITE/Nuke or PENTAGON missile or Israeli Dancers...

THE really essential thing, whatever the theories..
is that it is totally clear it was an inside job.. AND THAT FACT ALONE must change the world... because if it doesn't ... disillusionment is to small a term.

got that? Or was I illogical?

Again, I have a feeling that this is intended. The masses are a problem when they wake up.. better to administer the tranquilizer. Stir fear, then tell them ... that only BUSH can keep them safe... YET, as we saw in Spain IT MAY NOT WORK if the 'masses' are AWARE / ILLUMINATED. .. Spain wised up in the aftermath of the 1930s revolution. .. only recently (1990s) were they allowed to contemplate the full horror-history. Their (much more liberal!) media gave money to independent film-makers and it played the tapes.

USA has forgotten all its history. NOBODY READS
HOWARD ZINN ... there are no TV docos that show the
full horror of US segregation and the open murder of blacks... UNION MOVEMENT.. haha what a joke today

US americans are either

1) too gullible and ignorant,
2) way off the spectrum... totally bonkers...
like the militia-gun-nuts who know a lot of astonishing
(true) facts but because they ALSO have carefully crafted "disabling-memes" planted in their heads.. such as NWO, religion etc.. they can be dismissed. etc etc.. you know all that.

Its a kind of schizophrenia, you know, holding two opposing concepts in your brain at the same time...

We are a democracy, but we are ruled by fear.


US americans HAVE a severe problem, because it is THEY who killed millions of innocent people on earth.. deep down their subconscious KNOWS it.

Denial.. even of people NOT GUILTY of anything much.. just because the "national psyche" is shaped by HORRENDOUS CRIMES... simply the association, i.e. the US flag being the common symbol of the
murderers and the innocent folk ...

cognitive dissonance

2006 ... 911 anniv came and went..

on the upside...

at least 20 mio people have been PUSHED to think the unthinkable..
My guess is that there are millions who NOW became sceptics, and it will take another 3 years for the penny to drop..

It took a long while with me... hence I know.

I'll go on to read 911blogger every day hoping that
the US americans get their arse into gear and go on the streets by the millions.


greetings also to the N S A paid executors who LEGALLY read this email ... DIA/NSA/ folks, remember: everything Hitler did .. was LEGAL.

Executive summary They're fucked

I am much more hopeful that the uncovering of the truth of 911 will lead to real and lasting change. Once the scales fall from your eyes, and 911 has the capacity to do this, then you are open to learning about the federal reserve, the truth about the Vietnam war, and the fact of tens of thousands of children, kidnaped and tortured in satanic rituals, blood drinking, and the rest of the truly evil hobbies of the power elite. And when that becomes known the entire house of card will fall.

The truth will indeed set us free

But we gotta kick ass.


I had an email exchange with Mr. Cockburn about 2 months back, when he ran a particularly stupid piece from a contribuotr about the "war on terror" and western collective guilt for inspiring so-called muslim fanatics. He called me a nut then, and I responded that I was in fact mostly sanet, that I am active in many political issues and that I actually spent my working life doing productive legal work on behalf of prisoners. I told him to check me out, which he did, but then responded that having a credible background did not make me immune from being a nut or believing in fantastical political schemes.

This was particularly discouraging because I have read Mr. Cockburn's work for over 25 years and mostly agreed with him on the big issues. I am still not convince that he is actually so stupid as to believe the nonsense he is putting out., although that's beside the point. I think a more likely explanation is fear -- both personal and political. As Barrie Zwicker has implied about Chomsky, I think Cockburn fears that exposure of the real story (whatever it may be) will lead to a full-tilt fascist reaction, leading to fierce political repression and personal suffering, which is very possibly true Although it doesn't really matter if Cockburn and others "really" hold opinions distinct from their published remarks, I am pessimistic on the odds of actually getting them to publicly acknowledge the facts about 911.

All this really means is that we cannot look for any sort of political leadership from characters like this. People like Cockburn, Chomsky, Joshua Frank, David Corn (ugh), Amy Goodman, the Progressive et al are simply writers/journalists and pundits, some better than others. However, none has ever been engaged in political action in this country beyond voting and none are particularly useful that way. Ralph Shoenman has referred to the "limits of liberalism" with regard to these characters, and I think this is accurate. Their political beliefs will not allow them to consider radical political options because they still believe in American "democracy," the permanence of the capitalist state, and electoral politics.

It's hard to break from this mindset, and not even all of our colleagues have been able to do so, but this is the real struggle. Unless we can turn "911 Truth" into a struggle to overthrow this corrupt and bankrupt system, replacing it with a socilist democracy that can meet human needs, all this will be for naught.

I wrote an email to Zmag

I wrote an email to Zmag which *featured* cockburns article.. I wrote to express my disgust they would feature such a piece - even if they disagree with the theories, using tactics like calling people "nuts" is really stooping to the level of Bill O'Reilly.

After him admitting that it's possible the theories are correct (and therefore not "nutty").. He stated "I don't think any good will come from this line of thinking"

my response was: is this to mean that "it could be true.. but if it is, the reaction we will get from a serious probing would be devastation?".. that it would be ridiculous to provoke "the Beast"?

his reply to this was:

"Look around. There are undeniably true things about what is going on now
and in the past that reveal the truth about society - not about some
cabal of a few people - but about the workings of our society as a
whole. "

So, basically the so-called left-gatekeepers are afraid... which I would say "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" and I feel people are generally good - that it's a matter of waking up and fixing the wrongs of this country - as is our Duty.

Your exchange with Zmag is interesting.

I have been trying to understand the mind-set of these left gatekeepers. My reading of his "our society as a whole" comment is that he is saying the whole capitalist society has to be changed and not simply "a cabal of a few people".

There are several things wrong with that line of thinking.
First, it should be the duty of critics of the system to point out that system's specific crimes. 9/11 was a huge crime, and not to expose it is either ignoring a golden opportunity to expose the system, or it is a deliberate act of complicity.

I've got a second third and fourth point, but I'll leave it for now. I am very interested in continuing a discussion of the psychology of the left gatekeepers, and how we might best get through to them.