Gatekeeper Chimp? - Say it isn't true...

News and Commentary by David Caputo of Positronic Design

THIS JUST IN - The Chimp has deleted my account and this article. So much for freedom of the press, eh?

Here I was, all excited.

I had just cross-posted my first "real" article, American Thinker says 9/11 skepticism "extremely dangerous" on and saw it get lots of views (700+) and good votes and positive comments and spend some time in the "most emailed" list and then suddenly... comments and votes were suddenly shut down. (Before I could get the ten votes required to be on the "most recommended" list.)

My commentary was in reaction to an article in American Thinker that essentially suggested that 9/11 skeptics were a dangerous and potentially treasonous lot, sapping the martial spirit of our nation's youth with theories of sinister government activities.

I thought it was a good article, and so did many others, and it was not profane or venomous or deigning to claim anything in particular about 9/11 other than that the "official" investigation was, in my opinion, completely inadequate.

So... I wrote to Jeff "Smirky" Tiedrich, chimp-in-chief, and asked him why this shutdown had occurred.

I got the following, unpersonalized, unsigned, terse reply. (I am glad he at least did that)

Smirking Chimp is not a conspiracy site. Discussions such as yours, which present speculation as fact, are a distraction. I presume you are not a long-time reader of my site, or else you wouldn't need to ask why your article was closed to comments.

Well... excuuuusseeee meeee....

If he thinks my article was tough to swallow, he should check out this one from Michael Keefer called: Into the Ring with Counterpunch on 9/11: How Alexander Cockburn, Otherwise So Bright, Blanks Out on 9/11 Evidence

Now that's a well written and reasoned article if I ever saw one. Bravo Mike!

I'd also refer the reader to a similar article I wrote for TotallyFixed back when Alex had first come out with his fusillade.

So anyway, I re-read my article a couple of times and for the life of me, I just couldn't figure out what he was referring to. I also have a pet peeve with anyone who says that "this is not a conspiracy site" about a site that deals with all kinds of conspiracies every day. Conspiracy to ignore Global Warming, conspiracy to suppress voter turnout in Black districts, conspiracy to rig elections through electronic voting, conspiracy to let Black people rot in New Orleans 'cause they're Democrats (and poor, and black)... and I'm just getting started!

It seems like he is conflating "conspiracy" with "government aided or executed conspiracy to bring about 9/11 to advance authoritarian and imperialistic objectives". This is a very strange abuse of the English language, as the Webster's definition of "conspiracy" is much broader:

1 : the act of conspiring together
2 a : an agreement among conspirators b : a group of conspirators
synonym see PLOT

Notice it doesn't mention any particular plot. It just has to be a plot to be a conspiracy. Any garden-variety scam or other malfeasance will do just fine to satisfy the definition, for the dictionary at least. Not so it seems some liberal bloggers... Only one particular conspiracy makes the grade sufficiently to be named as such.

If we are forgiving and say he was just using "conspiracy" as shorthand for "conspiracy theory", it again seems a bit narrow, considering Webster's:

: a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators

Now there is also here no mention of a specific event, just ANY event, that can be explained by means of a secret plot by more than one person. If you look about the pages of SmirkingChimp, you'll see that secret plots by powerful actors are plentiful. It doesn't matter the specifics. 9/11 is just the Big Enchilada of secret plots. But SmirkingChimp is all about secret plots. A quick survey found that at least 30% of the articles I read in a random sample had secret (or at least secretive) plots by two or more persons as their central or secondary theme.

You also seem to have no problem with people who TRASH 9/11 truth researchers and writers, allowing Matt Taibbi's ludicrous article to stay up and active to this day. That's not a distraction? Do you merely have a problem with people who defend 9/11 researchers. People who think they shouldn't all be thrown in jail for sedition.

It's a a very small step from jailing them to jailing you and your other writers, don't forget. Isn't more "progressive solidarity" in order here? For our own survival? After all, habeas corpus is now officially suspended. No one is truly safe in their homes, persons, and papers anymore.

This is also a good time to point out that ALL theories of what happened on 9/11/01 are "conspiracy" theories, since there is to my knowledge no possible "lone gunman" scenario for this one.

Putting aside abuses of common word meanings for a moment, the next part of his statement was what really stuck in my craw:

Discussions such as yours, which present speculation as fact, are a distraction.

"Present speculation as fact."?!?!? Where do I do that? I was confused...

And a "distraction" you say. A distraction from what? The business of opposing the Bush administration and their catalog of depredations against the world and its people? How does defending a class of people (9/11 skeptics) from a columnist that comes just short of calling for us all to be immediately arrested approach the "distraction" line. Isn't this what the Chimp is all about anyways? A place where people of like minds can gather and read and write and debate and try to make some sense of the craziness all around us. That's what I thought it was...

Not being satisfied with this response, and having now more questions than I had before, I wrote him the following reply to his reply. To date I have not received a response to this letter.

jeff tiedrich wrote: Smirking Chimp is not a conspiracy site. Discussions such as yours, which present speculation as fact, are a distraction. I presume you are not a long-time reader of my site, or else you wouldn't need to ask why your article was closed to comments.

--- and I replied ---

Dear Jeff,

Ok... Not a "conspiracy" site, eh?

If you'd like I could spend about an hour or so and come up with dozens of conspiracies (unrelated to 9/11) that are actively and vigorously discussed on your site. Most notably the ones where the oil companies or the Israelis are maneuvering behind the scenes to manipulate US foreign and military policy.

Is this not a conspiracy of some sort??

And by the way... I AM a long time reader of your site. At least a year or so. Isn't that "long time" enough? I have notified dozens (at least) of others about its presence as well and encouraged them to read it.

My article was rated very highly and commented upon very favorably by those who read it.

How is this "a distraction"?

And where, pray tell, did I present speculation as "fact" in my article?

I'll gladly eat crow and publish a written retraction if that is the case.

The article was mainly a comment about the American Thinker article bordering on calling 9/11 skeptics dangerous traitors. This made my skin crawl, so I chose your most excellent (or so I thought) web site to cross-post my article on as I figured it would interest your audience, many of whom, you might be surprised to discover, are quite vigorous 9/11 skeptics.

I thought that "opinion" was somewhat broadly protected on a criticize-the-sitting-president site such as yours.

Especially since your site's title is a reference to him looking like an animal.

Sounds pretty opinionated to me.

I don't consider humor like that to be a "distraction" from the larger issues of who is actually breaking things and hurting people with US taxpayer dollars (especially under false pretenses).

Was there no "conspiracy" to deceive the American people (and the world, although they didn't buy it) that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11 (even if obliquely) and that he was spending his nights dreaming of ways to Nuke Peoria?

How can dozens of articles in your site discuss conspiracies such as these and your site not be a "conspiracy" site? What about discussing the conspiracy that allegedly took place between Osama Bin Laden and his associates to hijack planes, slit the stewardesses' throats, and precision-fly them into significant landmarks? Is that off-limits too?

Perhaps you should have an explicit "Don't discuss 9/11" warning label on your site terms and conditions. It's only the central organizing principle and rallying cry of the neo-con march for global dominance, so there really isn't any particular relevance to the subject, eh? And false flag terror operations and staged war provocations are merely the stuff of fantasy, right? (Gulf of Tonkin, anyone)

I must say I'm shocked and disappointed.

I thought the Chimp was a much more open forum, especially for a sane and moderate article such as mine.

Please read it again and tell me where I represent speculations as facts. That really stung.

Thank you for your time.

David Caputo



So that's the situation. A promising post was cut short and it seems like the Chimp is indeed smirking at me. It's as if the promise of a free and open communication forum with like minded progressive folks was really only an illusion, and I'm the Chump who bought the line. Is that what brings a Smirk to the Chimp's face?

It's almost as if they're saying:

"How dare you tromp into our genteel salon discussion of left-topical microslices with your 'big picture, they're covering up a huge crime, so they should all be in jail" bull-in-a-china-shop ranting and raving."

How dare I, indeed.

I'm sorry, I feel I have no other choice.

The stakes are much too high. The readers of this site understand the stakes are high, otherwise they'd be reading something else.

Does the Chimp really want to play this role? Is discussion of the central crime / justification for the militaristic orgy of violence and degradation we now sit amidst with no reasonable hope of escape REALLY a "distraction"?

Read Michael Keefer's article, it's a sober, eye-opening look at the systematic attack by "left gatekeepers" (like Alex Cockburn) on other leftists for wanting to discuss 9/11 and whodunnit.

I challenge any reader to contradict Michael's analysis.

I want there to be a vigorous debate/discussion of 9/11 points and counterpoints so that we can sort through all the lies and propaganda and evidence destruction and red herrings and gather enough proof to eventually GET A CONVICTION.

I think someone is actually going to go to jail for this, maybe several someones, perhaps for a very long time.

Mass murder is in fact, a crime. Not investigating a mass murder like it WAS a mass murder, is also a crime.

No matter who did the first deed, it's provable that the second was committed, and by whom.

You want the undoing of the Bush administration and their dastardly deeds, there's your ticket.

So, Gatekeeper Chimp. What's your stand on this?

Don't you think we can at least bust them on the cover up??

Don't you want to??

Are you for real??

Please advise.

David Caputo
Positronic Design

SmirkingChimp's been gatekeeper since inception

I know a bunch of people who were kicked off SC 2.5 years ago for posting critical thoughts about a couple of holy grail issues to the SC gatekeepers: Israel, and that which was "Good For Israel" according to Netanyahu, namely 9/11.

Here I tell the story of a very short-lived new SC profile, and post about 9/11, from this August:

Yes, SC is a LW gatekeeper

and they are clearly shills for the government-sponsored limited hangout. You can only be critical of the government up to a point.

BTW can somebody help come up with a new name for these gate-keeping pieces of shit.... try to make it sufficiently demeaning but also catchy.......

How about

How about "Gatekeeping-pieces-of-shit"?


New Name for Left Gatekeepers

I got it... How about "Paradigm Huggers"??

That's a slap at two philosophies at once!

Ideological Clarifying Note: I think calling 9/11 researchers "Plane Huggers" is a disinfo tactic pursued by combative people with highly questionable agendas. Even if the whole thing WAS an elaborate optical illusion with phantom blue-screen planes, it's an entirely unproductive line of argument, as there are much more demonstrable anomalous phenomena. Remember, 9/11 researchers don't have to prove EVERYTHING that has been alleged for the overall plot to provably have been aided and abetted or orchestrated and directed by persons drawing government paychecks. That's MY overall investigative goal. Prove or disprove the suspicion that traitorous actors somewhere inside the US (or allied) government are still lurking and profiting from their crimes, and in a position to stage a similar thing again should their rule truly be threatened.

Just so everybody knows what I mean by "it's a slap at two philosophies at once". It's a slap at people who would call others "plane huggers" not the alleged huggers themselves.

But I think it fits. Kind of a verbal Aikido, using the force of another's attack to power your defense.

Commentary by David Caputo