My Letters to Counterpunch RE: Alex Cockburn and 9/11

News and Commentary by David Caputo of Positronic Design.

In reference to my first post's mixed-message comment on CounterPunch and 9/11, I thought I'd include the letters I wrote to them on that subject.

After reading this article by Alex Cockburn,

I wrote the following reply:

Dear Counterpunch and Alex Cockburn,

As a long-time fan and paying subscriber to Counterpunch, I am dismayed by the ad-hominem attack on myself and my friends as "nuts" because we are deeply suspicious of the Bush administration's claims as to the events on 9/11/01.

His hyperbolic piece would almost be amusing in its shrillness if it weren't covering such a serious topic.

His refutation arguments are very weak, and he tars with guilt by association with unrelated conspiracy controversies anyone who suspects that the "official" 9/11 story is a bunch of baloney.

His statement: "One characteristic of the nuts is that they have a devout, albeit preposterous belief in American efficiency, thus many of them start with the racist premise that “Arabs in caves” weren’t capable of the mission." completely misses the point and uses the vague "many" to call most of us "racist" because we believe that the 19 names "found" in "Mohammad Atta's" car in the Portland, ME airport are (by the ever-reliable FBI) nothing approaching a definitive list of the operatives involved.

He seems overly eager to accept hook, line, and sinker the Bush administration arguments about 9/11 without ever stopping to consider what a preposterous "Conspiracy Theory" the official story is.

Really, guys with Cessna and Microsoft Flight Simulator (remember all the talk about that?) training can commandeer a modern jumbo jet and then meander all over the place (seemingly blithely indifferent to the fighter-interceptors they must have expected would be coming) until finally guiding their planes perfectly to their targets using only visual navigation?? Does that sound even plausible? Numerous professional pilots have claimed this is impossible. Does he disagree with all of them? Or are they just "racist" because they don't think "Arabs" could do it? This is not their claim. They claim that NO ONE, of any ethnicity, could pull that off.

Many of these guys lived on and received training at US military bases. Has he never heard of patsies? Has he ever heard of "false flag terror operations?" Does he believe that there has never been a false flag operation by the US government? He displays what I consider to be either a staggering naivety or willful ignorance of relevant history.

As for Desert One, another of the red herrings he flings on the path in a seemingly desperate attempt to avoid too many of the specific issues of 9/11, Gen. Richard Secord was in charge of theater operations at that time. Alexander may think otherwise, but Reagan and Bush's greatest fear in Fall 1980 was a successful Carter rescue of the hostages, so it's not too outlandish that they or their minions may have sought to covertly thwart the mission, no? In any event, no one I have ever met has even brought the subject up to me, so I'm not sure who he's referring to. It's certainly not a subject of discussion on any 9/11-related web sites I've ever seen.

Curiously, he doesn't link in the Oklahoma City bombings into his anti-conspiracy-theorist broadside. Maybe he's seen the local news reports that reported that federal officials had confirmed that they found not one but two "explosive devices" inside the building. Where did these come from? Where did they go? Why did no one mention them after that day? Why was the building summarily destroyed before the evidence could be examined further? Does he accept that Timothy McVeigh did the deed with his Ryder truck fertilizer bomb alone? Has he ever seen the analysis that a truck bomb of that type could NEVER have damaged the building and knocked out the core columns like was observed?

His claims that only garden-variety corruption around 9/11 should be pursued leaves me mystified.

What of the collapse of WTC-7? Like the official 9/11 Commission report, he makes no mention of it. This is curious, because anyone who seeks to effectively debunk the 9/11 story critics surely must attack this, as this is the most obvious anomaly that day (not being hit by aircraft, still collapses anyway into a nice neat pile on its footprint).

Has he ever read David Ray Griffin's analysis of the 9/11 Commission Report? It doesn't seem like it. Has he read the Commission report itself? Does he find it credible? How about the methods used in the investigation, and the budget, and the Executive Director, Philip Zelekow, from the Bush transition team? Is he satisfied with the answers provided? Does he consider the unanswered questions (including those posed by the widows of the dead) petty and irrelevant?

And what of interviewing Bush and Cheney together, not under oath, where no video or even note taking was allowed??

Isn't this highly irregular? Shouldn't Alex be saying at least that this was inadequate? Doesn't he realize that hundreds of billions of dollars has been dedicated to the "breaking things and hurting people" end of the economy because of the "attacks" of 9/11? Is this just a lucky accident for the Pentagon and CIA and Lockheeds, Halliburtons, and Blackwaters of the world? And what of Larry Silverstein's three billion dollar payday out of the event. I'm surprised that his well traveled nose doesn't smell a rat here.

Considering all of this, don't people who are suspicious of the official story of 9/11 but are otherwise progressive political allies of Counterpunch deserve more than his unvarnished contempt and ham-handed ridicule?

I'm very disappointed. I will have to think very carefully about renewing my paid Counterpunch subscription.

I look forward to your reply.

Be well,

David Caputo

Home of "Bachelors in Baghdad"


I got no reply to my letter, just this next article in CounterPunch:


Which inspired me to write the following:

Dear Counterpunch,

I'm not sure what your deal is with the 9/11 (lack of) investigation, but I can no longer support with my money people who seem to go out of their way to attack progressives who are suspicious of the official 9/11 story and its direct link to not just one but two wars of conquest the USA has engaged in since then.

Do you really think that the 9/11 Commission Report was anything other than a systematic coverup?

Alex did not, of course, reprint my letter to him in his column, he chose an outrageous and inarticulate example of the genre, and then smeared the rest of us with it.

In addition to being called a racist "nut" because I've done things like read your newsletter for the past several years (which helped my overall distrust of this administration and the permanent government that carries out its policies), I don't appreciate how you give aid and comfort to our mutual enemies by discrediting even their most reasoned and articulate opponents.

Most 9/11 official story disbelievers want Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al in PRISON for their 9/11 and subsequent crimes. We know they've killed many more people SINCE that day than ON that day. We are not stupid.

Don't you'all want them arrested too? For similar reasons? I just don't get your approach here.

I agree with almost all of your points about the evils of US foreign policy and corporate greed, but think that 9/11 is the ultimate argument they have to justify what they are doing as understandable, even necessary, because of the "external" nature of the "attacks" and "threat".

Haven't you ever heard of "false flag terror operations"? Do you think that they're always just another "wild conspiracy theory"?

Didn't you guys ever hear of the Reichstag fire? Doesn't this situation even remotely resemble that one? Would you have ridiculed the "communists did it" theory debunkers back then too?

It would have been no defense for you. You'all would have been rounded up shortly after your political usefulness had expired. After all those debunkers had been rounded up, tortured, and killed.

Am I really that far off base here?

How can you use such weak arguments to "debunk" the 9/11 skeptics case and think that progressive intellectuals will buy it?

Joann Wypijewski's article is so totally lame in this regard that it's almost laughable. And what's with ridiculing activists who say "do the research on the internet" by people who make a living off people who already do just that. Don't you folks realize you're a web site where people do political research too? Huh?

How about you guys do a point-by-point study of the 9/11 Commission report and compare your analysis of the document with David Ray Griffin's.

Really, I dare you. Now THAT I would be interested in reading.

How about a review of Paul Thompson's Complete 9/11 Timeline? Has anyone on staff actually read it? Don't you think it's credible and respectable journalism? Is he a "nut" too?

Right now, I'm pretty disgusted. If you guys are so totally bought off or brain dead or full of yourselves up in "Counterpunch Tower" that you can't even consider the 9/11 researchers and activists to be thoughtful concerned citizens and allies worthy of your support, then creeping Fascism has already reached the salon.

Until I hear otherwise, I'll put my financial resources elsewhere, and encourage others to do the same.

Please cancel my subscription.

Thank you,

David Caputo

Home of "Bachelors in Baghdad"


Anyone out there have any theories as to why CounterPunch is so off the deep end on this one, when they're so good about almost everything else? It's a real mystery to me.

- David

Stunning letters there man,

Stunning letters there man, great job! I'd guess that Counterpunch, particularly Cockburn, feels that their firmly a part of the "left consensus" on 9/11, instigated by people like Chomsky (that the attack was "blowback", no more, no less). To even critically challenge the official narrative they'd have to break away from that power base (Chomsky etc), and I don't think they have the balls, vision or backbone to think and act independently from that. You landed a solid uppercut on Counterpunch there though, and hopefully letters like these will make them reassess and reflect a bit.