The Debate Over 9/11- Notes from a Dying Nation Number Three

Eric Larsen

This article is by Eric Larsen

[Eric's website has been mysteriously down for several days and he sent out this article with a cover letter to his mailing list. He is the author of A Nation Gone Blind: America in an Age of Simplification and Deceit. Read an excellent review of the book Posted on Online Journal by Sean M. Madden. I hope this thoughtful recent piece by Eric will go viral. He would like it to be reposted widely. I came across it on Atlantic Free Press whose website is suddenly unaccessible.]

Debate? Was that the word just used? Debate over 9/11?

A patently mad idea, wholly pointless. The debate, after all, is long since over and done with—that is, if it's a debate about whether the "official" theory (nineteen guys with box-cutters, etc., etc.) is the true one or whether the "alternative" theory (inside job, long-planned tactical end, "false-flag op") is the genuine article—then the notion of "debate" is absurd, a waste of time, the issue settled a long, long time ago.

The fact is that 9/11 was an inside job. It's a fact. And it's a fact by now so patently obvious that there wouldn't and couldn't be any point—couldn't or wouldn't be even any substance—in a debate on the question.

I'll make a qualification. Any such debate about the "two theories" would be pointless and absurd for certain people. It would be pointless and absurd for those people, first, who have a genuine interest in the truth about 9/11. And, second, it would be pointless and absurd for those who have such an interest and who also can read and do read—a surprisingly small percentage in our hallowed nation, even among intellectuals.

These are the people who would find a debate of the "which theory" kind to be pointless. They would find it pointless because it's clear to them that the truth of the question is not merely already known but well known, and, further, that it has been well known for years. Not in a court of law, but in a "court of logic," it's even long since been proven.

Is water wet or dry? Hey, let's debate it!

If we still had a "free press"; if the First Amendment were honored in the observance rather than in the breach; and if there'd been fair and open dissemination of 9/11-related thought, research, and ideas in the years since the attacks, everybody in America would have long ago agreed that a debate about the "two theories" would be just as stupid as the debate mentioned above, as to whether water is wet or dry.

But that's not the way it has been, and it's not the way it is now. True as the fact may be that enough authentic information has seeped through the sweating walls of the Ministry of Truth that today only sixteen percent of Americans actually believe the "official" theory—true as that may be, the false theory is still the official theory. The false theory is still the one that remains the fulcrum for launching every one of the murders and crimes the US goes on perpetrating. The false theory is the one that made possible the invasions and then occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. The false theory is the one that made possible the wholesale fraud of the entire non-existent "war on terror." And the false theory is the one that makes certain the neocon fruitcake plan continues not to die. That is, the neocon plan for a hegemonic takeover of the globe, its probable next step—it seems just now—to be the fulfillment of six-year-old "Dick" Cheney's birthday dream of atom-bombing Iran.

Here's a question—an important one—that I'll ask now, even though we won't get around to answering it until later. It's a question worth holding in one's mind, and here it is, in four parts: 1) Since the official—that is, the false—theory of 9/11 is the launching device for all the worst murders and crimes the US has committed since 9/11 and is also the launching device for those it is poised to commit; and, 2) since the only way to achieve a diversion of either the Bush-Cheney administration or of any subsequent administration from this or an identical course of murder and crime is by the impeachment immediately of Bush, Cheney, and Rice; and, 3) given that in order to get the impeachment process started and make it impossible to stop, the events of 9/11 must be correctly, properly, openly, ethically, and responsibly revealed, publicized, described, and made known; now, given these three facts, 4) what activist person or people of any truly liberal, progressive, and humanist tendencies of thought and view would conceivably favor either a) an ignoring of the crucially important true facts of 9/11, or b) the suppression of those true facts?

That, then is the question. To my way of thinking, in fact, it's the only question about 9/11 that in any way whatsoever is worth debating. I'll go farther: It is, to me, not only a question worth debating, but a question that must be debated, one that must be debated now, and one, through the means of this debate, that must be answered.

It's arguable whether average people, the person on the street, need be or ought to be occupied by the question I'm asking or by my implorings in regard to it—although they, like anyone else, by not being occupied by it, and by not being involved in it, stand to lose, and very probably will lose, their right to citizenship in a free republic, whether by loss of the right, by loss of the republic, or by loss of both.

The matter is entirely different, however, in the case of any person who in any way is or holds him or her self as a leader, adviser, counselor, instructor, guide, interpreter, or public mentor to or of the people of the United States or a significant part of the people of the United States in matters having to do with the political, the socio-political, the cultural, or the politico-cultural affairs of the nation and/or of its people. For any person such as this to be unoccupied by the question or to remain uninvolved in it—let alone to be in any way involved in the suppression of it—is to be, whether wittingly or unwittingly, a traitor to the Constitution and to the republic.

This is equally true no matter where a person is placed—or where a person considers him- or herself to be placed—on the "political spectrum." It's as true of, say, such charlatans and right-wing bigots as might hold forth on Fox News as it is of figures like Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky, Matthew Rothschild, Tom Engelhardt, Arianna Huffington, or even Howard Zinn, who are associated with or associate themselves with the liberal side of things or with the progressive left.

It's equally true of each of these two cases, but that doesn't mean that the two cases are the same. No one, after all, would ever expect Bill O'Reilly to have an interest in 9/11 truth or even to give the least sympathy to any who do have such an interest. That fact, however, makes him no less an enemy of the republic, treasonable whether wittingly or unwittingly, than anyone else who either ignores or suppresses 9/11 truth. Through O'Reilly's suppressing—whether deliberately or per accidens[1]—the truth about 9/11 for the purpose of defending, supporting, or maintaining criminal power, his treason is merely placed, as expected, in the same category as the treason of people like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and General Richard B. Myers—that is, people who are known to be liars about what happened on 9/11. Whether O'Reilly is a knowing or an unknowing liar makes no difference to the result of his untruth, and, either way, his behavior is perfectly consistent with what we would expect of him, just as is the sheer mendacity in the behavior of Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Myers.

Now, however, we come to a matter far more difficult, as we turn away from the bullying of the O'Reilly's and away from the transparent fraud of the Cheney's—and turn instead to person after person, to figure after figure, who also does not tell, see, acknowledge, or show any degree of concern with or for 9/11 truth, and yet who comes not from the pit-bull right wing but from the left of center, from what by tradition is the putatively liberal position, in many cases positions even more to left of center—progressivism, progressive-liberalism, populism.

In other words, when we turn to any figure who comes from positions such as these and is a person who, as I put it before, "in any way is or holds him or her self [to be] a leader, adviser, counselor, instructor, guide, interpreter, or public mentor to or of the people of the United States or a significant part of the people of the United States in matters having to do with the political, the socio-political, the cultural, or the politico-cultural affairs of the nation and/or of its people"—when this is the case of a visible or public figure hailing from the left, for what conceivable reason would it not be the case that we could and should rightly and justly expect the "counseling" or the "guidance" of and from that person to be such as would be more concerned with the well-being of the worker than with that of the plutocrat, more concerned with the well-being of the people than with that of the banks, and more concerned with the interests of the lower and middle classes than with those of the corporatocracy?

Clearly, there is every reason that we could and should expect the former kind of concern in each case from such a person as opposed to the latter. That being the case, we're brought to what's probably the essential question, if not for our entire discussion, certainly for this part of it.

Since January 2001, we have seen an historically unprecedented, virulent, brazen, and astonishingly successful effort by an unelected administration to make one radical incursion after another on the constitutionally guaranteed rights and privileges of the American people; on the economic security and well-being of the American people; on the respect due to the American people, as in, for example, the treating of them with honesty and candor instead of lies, trickery, and deceit; and on the democratically expressed will of the American people, who by means of their vote have expressed powerful opposition to a war that does not serve their interests either politically or economically, that perverts the reputation and prostitutes the values of their nation, that hastens its transformation from democratic republic to martial tyranny, and that serves only immeasurable extents of suffering, ill, and ruin upon other peoples of the world—all of this in the interests solely of the stability, growth, and profits of the corporatocracy.

From public guides, leaders, mentors, analysts, and instructors who come from left of center, or consider themselves to have come from left of center, or even from far left of center, we should rightly expect condemnation of the situation and policies I've just described, particularly since that situation and those policies entail and employ oppression of, cruelty to, and massive injustice toward not only the American people but also and more greatly of, to, and toward millions and millions of non-corporatized people and peoples elsewhere in the world, people whose only crime is that of having happened to have been existing, through no fault of their own, in the path that the American corporatocracy chose to follow this time in the ruthless pursuit of means by which to satisfy its own, and no other's, greed.

And, indeed, these kinds of condemnations, lamentations, discreditings, and censurings are heard from liberal or left-leaning commentators, guides, and analysts. One can listen to Keith Olbermann's high and remarkable rhetoric of denunciation when he takes on both the policies and the personalities of Bush-Cheneyism, or you can read incensed and critical pieces by Amy Goodman that denounced similar elements of Bush policy, like her "It's Bigotry that Should Be Silenced," or the plaintive and sorrow-filled columns of Bob Herbert in the New York Times, like "Losing Our Will," in which the columnist laments that "A country that used to act like Babe Ruth now swings like a minor-leaguer," adding that "It's both tragic and embarrassing."

But something absolutely vital is missing. This absolutely vital thing is missing not only here, in the work of Goodman, Olbermann, and Herbert, but in almost all liberal or "progressive" work, research, writing, or commentaryhowever critical of the status quo it may claim to befrom The Nation through The Progressive Magazine, from The Huffington Post through the Populist Progressive, from Ted Rall through Joe Conason and Greg Palast, from Noam Chomsky through Katrina van den Heuvel, from Tom Engelhardt and Matthew Rothschild and Jacob Weisberg and Rodrigue Tremblay and Gene Lyons on through David Corn and Thomas de Zengotita and The New Republic, and so on and so on and so on.

If any of these admittedly—and rightly—criticism-delivering "liberal," "left," "leftist," "left-progressive," "progressive" or even "populist progressive" people—or publications—were to be compared, say, to medical doctors, something significant and remarkable would reveal itself as missing from their relationship with any typical patient.

Consider the parallel. Suppose that I, a medical practitioner in gastroenterology, took a patient's medical history and noted his or her present symptoms, examined the patient, found two duodenal ulcers in mid to advanced stages, said to the patient that I had indeed found the ulcers, then followed this diagnosis with a "thank you for stopping in. Goodbye."

The problem? The diagnosis is there, but the plan for treatment is not. The patient, unless he or she goes elsewhere for medical help, will suffer increasingly unendurable pain, and then will die.

And what would happen to such a doctor as this? Well, such a doctor, if this kind of malpractice were reported, if it were investigated by the relevant and appropriate authorities, and if it were proven by them to have been, or to be, true—such a doctor would at the least be de-licensed and barred from practice, and, at the most, be tried for manslaughter and conceivably for murder.

Now, our hapless doctor is a rare breed, a rarity for which we all thank whatever deity or non-deity we do or don't believe in or worship. But, far less happily for us all, parallels to this miserable cur of a practitioner abound everywhere around and among us.

Consider. To examine, analyze, and report critically on the Bush administration during its years in office as having been and as being fascistic is a perfectly valid and verifiable "diagnosis" for any liberal, observant, accurate, and conscience-driven commentator, writer, mentor, guide, or interpreter to arrive at. The same would be true of any such person's reports on or diagnoses of the Bush administration as having been and as being thieves who programmatically steal from the poor and the very poor and give to the rich and the very rich; as being traitors to the Constitution and to the Bill of Rights; as being witting violators of the oaths of office that were taken by each of the administration's members; as being destroyers of a Constitutionally mandated balance of powers through three-part government and traitorous creators of a single-arm government, in effect a dictatorship euphemized by them as a "unitary presidency"; as being murderous and careless-that is, murderous, careless, and wasteful of lives and of the property of others; as being torturers and thereby making themselves both traitors to their own country and criminals under international law; as being deliberate, contemptuous, and repeated violators of international law, international treaty, international accord and convention, as well as of international laws of war, thus making themselves many times over the committers of the same crimes that this nation executed others, hanging them by the necks until dead, for committing; as being liars; as being without conscience; as being unconcerned with the well-being of the world's nations but only with the well-being of their own corporatocracy; as being blind with greed for the profit of the few but unconcerned either with the poverty, the suffering, or the death of many; as being committers of genocide through the massive and continued use of "depleted uranium" in military weaponry, armaments, ammunition, and explosives; and as being rigid and uncompromising adherents to desolate policies that hugely benefit the corporatocracy but that jeopardize the very existence not only of its people but of Earth itself as an continuingly healthy and health-providing organism.

But enough. Even though there's much, much more, we'll call this a sufficiency for now.

But what a diagnosis it leads us to! What a deeply, profoundly, thoroughly, unremittingly, disgustingly, ruinously, lamentably diseased and sickened and poisoned body the United States is today! No one with eyes to see, no one with ears to hear, no one with a conscience to live by, no one with a knowledge of nations' histories, no one with a sound or experienced mind to use in judgment of what's before it can or could ever in a thousand years do otherwise than diagnose the United States as a monster of depravity and ruin, as a disease unto its very self, and, worse, as a disease intent on spreading itself in a purposeful and deliberate carrying over of its own sickness onto the nations and peoples of all the world.

The disgust. The betrayal. The enormity. The horror.

So much for the diagnosis. Let us now turn to the antidote, since we don't want to be stripped of our licenses and barred from further practice. Do we?

The antidote is impeachment. Now. At once. Swiftly. Followed by criminal trial. Who will be impeached, how many will be impeached, in what order they will be impeached, whether impeachment will continue from Cheney (first in line for reasons beyond count) down as far as complicitous oath-breakers and liars like Nancy Pelosi and beyondthese are questions of infinitesimal importance compared to resurrecting the Constitution, restoring the republic, and helping save Earth itself and all its peoples and economies from the insane predations of criminal and nuclear-armed corpo-zealots—and so let's not even ask them right now.

Instead, let's figure out how to launch impeachment. So here goes: Impeachment can be launched by nailing these guys with incontrovertible guilt for the biggest crime in American history of the 20th and 21st centuries, by labeling them boldly and clearly as the traitors, mass murderers, perjurers, and killers that they are, and labeling them so with ink that won't fade, paste that won't dry out, and stickers that will never come off.

Now, this can't be done by asking or urging any of the criminals themselves, like Nancy Pelosi or any other of the myriad complicit figures, actually to do their jobs—by urging Pelosi to impeach (since, of course, she, too, would end up in jail), or by urging Bill Keller or Bob Silvers or Matthew Rothschild or Katerina vanden Heuvel to cover or print or broadcast, at long last, the truth about exactly who did what and how and when in committing the great crimes of September 11, 2001.

And yet that truth, those truths, are already known, available, and in print. As I said last time, "The truth about the events of 9/11 no longer has anything whatsoever to do with 'conspiracy theory' or any other such fraudulent and diversionary red herring, but it has only to do with history."

I went on to say that

"So much scholarship has been done on 9/11, so much has been written, demonstrated, revealed, and shown about it, about the crucial and relevant events preceding it[2], about the tactical and strategic origins of the plot[3], about the precise manner of its execution[4], about the long and causative political history preceding it[5], and about the deliberate and intentional means by which the truth about the events of that day has been and remains suppressed and covered up[6]—so much evidence has been accumulated and so much scholarship has been completed and written, including scientific scholarship[7], that any American citizen with the least iota of political conscience, with the least sense of civic responsibility, with the least possession of independence, free agency, and intellectual curiosity, and with the least desire to bequeath to their children and to their children's children a place and a way to live other than under torture, other than in chains, and other than in hunger—any such American citizen who still adheres to the government's seven-year-long chain of continuous and contemptible lies about what really happened on 9/11 is either a fool, a complete non-entity socio-politically, or a party to the cover-up and thus to treason.

So. The history is there. The facts are there. The evidence is there. In short, the truth is there, and all that need be done is—let me take a calming breath—all that need be done is that that truth be told. All that need be done is that that truth be told "correctly, properly, openly, ethically, and responsibly revealed, publicized, described, and made known" to all the people of the entire nation and to all the people of the world.


The criminals deserve nothing less than that the whole world know and that the whole world subsequently rejoice in their impeachment, their fall, their imprisonment and shame. We deserve nothing less. And therefore now the great, great question arises. The great, great question is this: Who is going to do the telling?

And at this point a certain powerful necessity is forced upon us. That powerful necessity requires that we put the question somewhat differently than I put it just now. And so, obeying those dictates—I'm going to go ahead and say "those sacred dictates"—I hereby put the question in its different form: The question ceases to be Who is going to do the telling but becomes instead Who at last is going to stop covering up, stop hiding, stop denying, stop lying about, and stop suppressing the telling?

The truth is known. The truth has been made known through immense dedication, enormous effort, unflagging research, the expenditure of years' and years' worth of time, the ongoing sacrifice of personal comfort, and sometimes the taking of enormous personal risk. It has been made known in these ways by people like Michael C. Ruppert, Carolyn Baker, Paul Craig Roberts, David Ray Griffin, Nafeeze Mosaddeq Ahmed, Barrie Zwicker, Kevin Barrett, Alan Miller, Sibel Edmonds, Kyle Hence, Jim Fetzer, Michel Chossudovsky, Sander Hicks, Sean M. Madden, Dale Allen Pfeiffer, Morgan Reynolds, Judy Wood, Webster G. Tarpley, Steven E. Jones, Tom Feeley, Karen Kwiatkowski, Peter Dale Scott, and, hundreds and hundreds of others, whom you can see and read about on Alan Miller's deservedly famous web site, Patriots Question 9/11.

And so, as I've said, the truth is there: The truth is known, available, in the open, having long since been proven a part of history, not of theory, having long since been shown to be a matter of provable fact, not of mere suspicion or musing, or of some kind of unfounded skepticism or doubt.

And yet, if all of this is so, why is this truth not even more openly exposed, even more widely revealed, made known to the population in general and then used as a legal weapon to unseat the criminals and traitors now "leading" the nation, those same elements who themselves perpetrated the 9/11 crimes for the very purpose of enabling themselves without fear of punishment to perpetrate even more and even greater crimes—not only against their own nation, but against nations and peoples throughout the world, with ruinous and devastating results that, horrendous as they're already known to be, have only begun to be measured and seen?

So it is, by this necessarily lengthy route, that we come at last to a question about 9/11 that is worth debating, that had better be debated, and that had better be debated openly, candidly, truthfully—and soon.

The question?

The question isn't who's telling the truth, but the question is who's hiding and denying and suppressing and lying about the truth.

This is worth debating. This is a question that concerns not only all Americans, but every citizen of the world.

In the essay before this one, I attacked Howard Zinn for manipulating history mechanically to make it fit an idea—instead of, in the organic manner of true historians, drawing an idea or ideas from all the evidence that the history under study offers. I still believe my analysis of Zinn is fair and sound, though I drew criticism for it—something I hope to talk about in another essay. But one of the things that struck me quite powerfully in the criticism I got is that Howard Zinn tends to be revered by his followers not as an historian but, instead, as a figure. The figure he represents is believed to stand for something, and the thing he's believed to stand for is believed in turn to be good. For our purposes right now, whether the thing is good or not doesn't matter—what matters is that, because he is revered as a figure, the actual work he does intellectually—or politically—is allowed increasingly to go unexamined. And therefore the really terrible thing is that he would remain trusted by his reverent followers even if he were to do something bad.

Howard Zinn is hardly alone in this way, or in these ways. Noam Chomsky and Amy Goodman are two other especially visible and well known examples of thinkers, writers, commentators, guides, or analysts who tend to be revered as figures, with the result, first, that they're taken to stand for something good; and, second, that what they do, or say, or write is similarly taken as good, even if not closely examined; and, finally, what they don't do is overlooked—after all, if they're good, and if what they do is good, then what they don't do must also be good.

This is why I wrote, back in December 2007, that "Progressives like Amy Goodman hide behind the good they do in order to escape censure for the bad." But what bad could someone like the well-intended Amy Goodman conceivably do, or the well-intended Noam Chomsky, or the well-intended Howard Zinn?

Answer: They can dodge issues, twist issues, simplify issues, and ignore issues. I wrote last time about Howard Zinn twisting issues. And here is an essay called "Amy Goodman: A Mind Prostituted" that shows her, among other things, dodging issues and revealing a sustained hypocrisy shamelessly disguised by piety. As for Noam Chomsky, I'll leave his case for Barry Zwicker's chapter-length analysis of the artful dodger—"The Shame of Noam Chomsky and the Gatekeepers of the Left")—in Towers of Deception, and to Daniel L. Abrahamson in his "Noam Chomsky: Controlled Asset of the New World Order."

Above all, of course, the artful progressive can play dumb, can pretend ignorance—though this seems to me a ploy likely to work only on the most naïve among our poor race and to be a ploy hardly flattering to any putatively investigative, socially-conscious, left-leaning, populist, ever-hard-working-for-the-sake-of-the-people journalist, scholar, writer, or leader.

Imagine such a person proudly saying, first:

"I'm on top of all the news all the time because you need to know all there is to know about the abuses and injustices committed against the people by corpo-government in its shameless and on-going self-interest."

And then imagine such a person saying, next:

"9/11? Er, um. Dunno. Never thought about it."

Yeah, as they say. Right.

"Beyond the Speed of Lies," a new Rand Clifford piece in, is more than relevant here. Like Paul Craig Roberts, Clifford always dares to look straight into the eye of the beast, and, accordingly, his subject here is once again as awful a one as it is important. It has to do with such hidden, buried, or lied-about horrors as the attempted anthrax murders of Senators Daschle and Leahy in 2001, the assassination of Paul Wellstone in 2002, and programs under way to ascertain whether GI's can be trusted to kill their fellow Americans, or even their own families, should the trained monkey declare martial law when signaled by Dark Cheney and other of his caped and visored keepers.

"Omission is the ultimate, but lies remain the staple of CorpoMedia," writes Clifford, pointing out that CorpoMedia's purpose, as we all know only too well if we know at all, is to "[whisk] the masses to ever greater heights of misunderstanding." And what is the single worst lie, or "misunderstanding," from among the many? Again, in Clifford's words:

9/11 is the one event that if left buried in lies and omission, untreated, could destroy our nation; a cancer that first embedded over ten years ago with a neocon lesion called The Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Euphemisms have since softened the original documentation, but the PNAC remains no less an absolute must-read for every American concerned about their nation's health. Along with the wish list that contained the new Pearl Harbor, don't miss the 2000 report: "Rebuilding America's Defenses"—foundational plans for pursuing "Global American Hegemony," a euphemism for taking over the world. . .

Rand Clifford's concern, clearly, is the same as ours—or, if I'm forced to speak only for myself, it's clearly the same as mine. And one last gathering of words allows Clifford to express—with an exactness and simple eloquence that are all too rare in much of the writing of our time—precisely what the nature, the dangers, and the dimension of that concern are. Here it is, with my emphasis added:

We are losing the battle for our nation largely because few even realize our only real war is internal.


Some questions. Is it a crime if a person sees a murder take place and does or says nothing about it? Let it go. Next question. Is it a crime if a person sees a murder taking place, makes an effort to prevent it by trying to wrest the weapon from the killer's hand, fails in that effort, sees the murder completed, then flees, doing or saying nothing further about it? Let it go. Next question. Is it a crime if a police officer sees a murder taking place and—whether or not he or she makes an effort to prevent it—turns away from it upon its completion, doing or saying nothing further about it?

The nature of the first two questions is such that there may well be considerable disagreement as to what the answer to each must, should, or ought to be. But on the third question—no one will disagree with the assertion that, yes, that's a crime.

Why? Because the policeman has a sworn duty to protect others and is thus bound to those others by a special tie. Dante considered this kind of particular relationship so important that he reserved the very bottom pit of Hell, its ninth circle and farthest removed from god's light, for the punishment specifically of those who had sinned by being treacherous toward "those to whom they were bound by special ties."[8]

We have various oaths—including the oaths sworn by those elected to high office—and of course everyone knows about the Hippocratic oath, regarding the practice of medicine. In December 2006 ("It's Bigotry that Should Be Silenced"), Amy Goodman wrote that the words of Hans and Sophie Scholl, resisters against Hitler as part of "the White Rose collective of World War II," should stand as the guiding oath for journalists, writers, editors, publishers—in her word, for all of the "media."

"A brother and sister named Hans and Sophie Scholl," Goodman explained, "with other students and professors, decided the best way to resist the Nazis was to disseminate information, so that the Germans would never be able to say, 'We did not know.'"

Goodman then wrote:

The collective distributed a series of pamphlets. On the bottom of one was printed the phrase "We will not be silent." The Nazis arrested Hans and Sophie as well as other collective members, tried them, found them guilty and beheaded them. But that motto should be the Hippocratic oath of the media today: "We will not be silent."

And who could possibly disagree with that? Who, that is, except for Amy Goodman herself, whose own self-serving hypocrisy is tossed off so casually that the reader's jaw drops. Who, after all, more than Goodman herself has studiously remained silent on the entire subject of 9/11? You can watch her here, on Kevin Barrett's video, saying over and over that she "can't" be even remotely connected with the subject.

And just exactly why not? Hasn't she just told us that the entire media should have as its oath, "We will not be silent"? Or does Amy Goodman evoke the White Rose collective and the young students Hans and Sophie Scholl—executed by beheading—just because they happen to be rhetorically useful, herself then casually dismissing the high and noble cause they died for—the telling of the truth in time of tyranny—and herself committing and extenuating the very crimes they died in an attempt to end?

How can a nation of readers be so blind as not to see the depths of hypocrisy in putatively left-progressive figures like this, the depravity as, warming the hearts of their readers and watchers and listeners who think they're being cared for and watched out for and informed by a cultural-political friend—who in the effect of actuality is working for the terrorists, bringing the day of martial law ever closer, allowing and, by refusing to expose them, in effect advocating and promoting the ruinous and already all but unstoppable success of the fasco-Bushists, the Cheneyiscti, the murderers of the Constitution, of the republic, of the rights of man, of the lives of plain people the world over, of the unpoisoned well-being of Earth itself?

"We are losing the battle for our nation largely because few even realize our only real war is internal."

People tell me that I'm "picking on" Amy Goodman by criticizing the cruel hypocrisy revealed in her invoking of Hans and Sophie Scholl's words—"We will not be silent," words they died for speaking—in her then declaring that those words ought to be the "Hippocratic oath" of journalists, editors, columnists, publishers, the "media"—and in her then betraying that very oath, betraying the very memory of the martyred Scholls, by doing that very thing herself: Studiously, programmatically, insistently, adamantly remaining silent.

This is "picking on" Amy Goodman? Hogwash. Amy Goodman is a grown adult human being of wide experience both in and outside of journalism; Amy Goodman, like all other intelligent adult human beings, is a free agent, responsible for her own actions and decisions and for the results of them; and Amy Goodman is, furthermore, a public figure, and, being a public figure, can not be immune from being responded to by the public. If she were to choose to return to being a private figure, the matter might be different. As is, nothing unfair is being done by me to Amy Goodman, nor in regard to Amy Goodman. I am doing nothing more nor less than commenting on the substance of a piece of her writing in light of her own journalistic actions. And the substance of that piece of writing has to do not only with what it does say, but also with what it does not say; as, concomitantly, her own journalistic actions have to do with things she does do as well as with things she does not do.

People say, too, that I'm being "mean" by criticizing Howard Zinn and his work when, they say, he's just a familiar public figure attempting to tell the truth and to do good. Hogwash—for all the same reasons it was hogwash in regard to Amy Goodman.

"We are losing the battle for our nation largely because few even realize our only real war is internal."

Take a moment to consider the First Amendment and the right to freedom of speech that it guarantees. We've seen actions, like flag-burning, defined by courts as constituting forms of expression of ideas and therefore placed under First Amendment protection. It's interesting to ask whether not speaking is therefore also protected under the Amendment. The answer must be, can't be other than, yes—of course silence is protected. If I have the right not to be prevented from speaking, how can I not have the corollary right not to speak if I don't want to?

But isn't it perfectly conceivable that other forces might also be in play, qualifying the protection of the Amendment? What about our questions a little while ago about the three different people who witnessed an act of murder? The one, as we all agreed, who would have been committing a crime by doing or saying nothing was the one who was under oath to do or say something—that is, the police officer.

And now, here, we have Amy Goodman herself proposing that the journalists' oath should be "We will not be silent," then she herself remaining recalcitrantly silent about—about what? About a mass murder that she herself now won't even speak about having been witness to.

Here is a list of publications that I myself am familiar with either through following them closely, or from following them fairly closely, or from following them at least closely enough to keep an eye on what their contents do—or don't—include about 9/11 truth or about the all-important idea that "We are losing the battle for our nation largely because few even realize our only real war is internal." It is a list, in other words, of Gatekeeper publications:

..............................Counter Punch
..............................Every Major American Publishing House
..............................Free Inquiry
..............................Harper's Magazine
..............................Pacifica Radio
..............................The Progressive Magazine
..............................The Atlantic Monthly
..............................The Huffington Post
..............................The Nation
..............................The New Republic
..............................The New York Times
..............................The Progressive Populist

And here is a list of people I'm aware of who are, first, a part of the media as publishers, editors, commentators, writers, analysts, elected leaders, frequent speakers, etc., all with their primary beat or a major part of their primary beat being the current political-cultural scene; and who are, second, conventionally identified with "liberal" positions of one degree or another; and who, third, either denigrate 9/11 truth, suppress it, or both:

..............................Alexander Cockburn, Editor, Counter Punch
..............................Arianna Huffington, The Huffington
..............................Bill Keller, Editor, New York Times
..............................Bill Moyers, writer, commentator, television host
..............................Bob Herbert, columnist, New York Times
..............................Christopher Hayes, journalist
..............................David Corn, Washington Editor, The Nation
..............................Elliot Spitzer, ex-Governor, New York State
..............................Frank Rich, columnist, The New York Times
..............................Howard Zinn, writer, historian
..............................Jacob Weisberg, editor, Slate
..............................Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor, The Nation
..............................Larry Silverstein, Developer, Liar, Profiteer
..............................Matthew Rothschild, Editor, The Progressive Magazine
..............................Nicholas Lemann, Dean, Columbia Journalism School
..............................Noam Chomsky, political scholar, writer, speaker
..............................Paul Krugman, columnist, New York Times
..............................Ted Rall, columnist, cartoonist
..............................Tom Engelhardt, (The Nation Institute)

Neither list is in any sense "complete" nor is either list intended by me to be "authoritative" in any official sort of way. But each does include people or publications I'm familiar with or follow regularly, people or publications that present themselves as undoubtedly serious, and people or publications either in the mainstream or very near it.

And every item on each list represents either a gatekeeping publication or a gatekeeping writer. What I'm interested in—a question about 9/11 that really is worth debating—is why they continue, now into the seventh year after the attacks, why it is that they still routinely and programmatically hide, obstruct, denigrate, or ignore the truth—in short, continue to lie.


Before we come to a close, however, by grappling with that question, there's another question that had better be cleared up.

This one has to do with that business of people saying that I'm "picking on" or "being mean to" the likes of Zinn or Goodman by criticizing them in the way I have been. I've been told by a number of people that "Just because someone else doesn't agree with you, you say they're wrong, and that's presumptuous nonsense." And I've been told by others, too, that it's not just impermissible for me to criticize people (or publications) as I've done, but it's doubly impermissible to criticize them harshly just for being what I (and Barrie Zwicker) call "left Gatekeepers." The reason it's impermissible, I'm told, is that other people's not writing about what I'm interested in is no justifiable reason to criticize them—and certainly no reason to condemn them. After all, what if a scholar becomes a specialist in Sir Edmund Spenser? You certainly can't criticize him or her for not publishing papers on Sir Philip Sidney.

Indeed not. But neither that first nor this second criticism of what I've been arguing or how I've been arguing it is valid. To show why not, let's return for a minute, not to those hypothetical cases of different people witnessing acts of murder, but to something similar.

Let's go back to the First Amendment and freedom of speech—and let's go into a crowded theater. In 1919, in Schenck v. United States, the Supreme Court argued (though it was later overturned) that a person didn't have the right to pamphleteer against the draft during WWI, "because it presented a 'clear and present danger' to the government's recruitment efforts for the war" (Wikipedia). In his supporting argument Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the famous sentence that "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic." (Wikipedia again)

Nowadays, incitement to riot is the general standard governing protection of free speech, but that isn't really what concerns us here. What concerns us here is this: Whether a person is or is not in the theater.

If I or anyone else falsely shouts "Fire!" while standing alone in the middle of hundred-acre cornfield in Iowa—well, that's no problem, legal or constitutional, to or for anyone, although it might suggest a psychological problem for the shouter. But only when a person is in the crowded theater, or in some equivalent place, is the false shout of "Fire!" unprotected.

Makes sense. Now, compare this notion to the two scholars, one a Sidney specialist, the other a Spenser specialist. Clearly, neither of the two would or could criticize the other for writing or publishing the "wrong" papers, that is, papers on the "wrong" poet. Why not? Again, Holmes' metaphor is appropriate and useful: There'd be no criticism because the two of them are in separate theaters. One is in the Sidney Theater, the other in the Spenser Theater. If someone in the Spenser theater "fails" to write about Sidney—well, no criticism can or will arise there, just as it can't or won't in the opposite case, that of a person in the Sidney Theater who insists that he or she not write about Spenser.

And so when I criticize people like Zinn or Goodman or Englehardt or Moyers or Olbermann or vanden Heuvel or Rich it isn't because I disagree with or disapprove of what they're speaking or writing or broadcasting about—or, if it is because of that, it's only so because of something else first, which is to say that it's so because of what theater they're in.

Before I can explain this more clearly, one more First Amendment-related question has to be asked—about the right to be silent, as we mentioned before.

We've agreed that you can't yell "Fire!" in the crowded theater, whatever theater it is. But consider another situation. Suppose that you were indeed in a crowded theater and in fact there really was a fire. Imagine one other thing in addition. Imagine that by some unknown circumstance, you alone, of all the entire crowd of people, were able to see the fire, all the rest of them for some reason or other remaining wholly blind to it.

Now, two questions follow, really. First, would your deciding to say nothing about the fire be a First Amendment-protected right? And, second, by saying nothing about the fire, would you be committing a crime?

All right. Let the fire rest for a moment, and let's talk about theaters. There's a Tatting, Crocheting, and Knitting Theater-and no one who has chosen to be a part of the crowd in that theater is criticized or discredited for, say, not talking about venture capitalism. There's a Jane Austen Theater, and no who has chosen to be a part of its crowd or audience or membership will be criticized or discredited for not talking about Laurence Sterne.

A brief note, and then we turn to the theater that truly concerns us here. The note is this: Would any of those in the Jane Austen Theater risk (rightly) being criticized or discredited if, just say, they insisted that the subject of marriage be ignored in discussing the Austen novels? Or, would any of them risk the same discredit or censure if they made it clear that at the very basis of their analytic approach to the Austen oeuvre was their firm and unarguable conviction that Jane Austen had actually been married two times and was the mother of seven children, five of whom survived?

Yes and yes. Criticism, discredit, and censure. In the first case, the error committed would be parallel to—or would be—lying by omission: To leave marriage out of the work and out of the material in the Jane Austen theater would be to leave out a central element of Jane Austen's art and achievement.

In the second case, the error would be parallel to—or would be—lying by commission. It would be to argue something to be truth that is not truth. Or, just as relevant to our own point, it would be to assert something to have happened that did not happen.

If there's any disagreement with the conclusions we've reached or made up to this point, now is the time to make your objections known, because here we draw near our conclusion.

Those people and publications in the two lists back a ways, the lists of those I'm criticizing—-those I'm supposedly being "mean" and "unfair" to—what theater are they in? The answer is easy, clear, and immeasurably important. They have all made it very, very clear that they are each and every one of them a part of the crowd in a theater that is very important, very visible, and has a very long name. The theater they are a part of; the theater that they are in fact dedicated to; the theater without which they couldn't exist as commentators, guides, mentors, analysts, scholars, broadcasters, or writers of the kind they are is The Theater of Contemporary Events, Politics and Culture, American Foreign Affairs, and Collapsing Society in an Age of Late Capitalism.

Those crowded into this theater, being politically "liberal" or "left of center" or even, as I've said, "progressive" or "progressive populist," conceivably sometimes "libertarian," are studiously and steadily critical of American imperialism and criminality, of American militarism and bullying, of American theft of resources, curtailing of human rights, betrayals of freedoms, and even of its stripping away of its own Constitution and freedoms, and its careful, step-by-step preparations for martial law and military rule inside its own sovereign boundaries.

There they are, in this theater, watching this show, despising what they see, lamenting and condemning and criticizing and speaking out against and excoriating the behavior of the play's central character, the United States-night after night, week after week, month after month, year after year. The run is a very, very long one, and with each passing season the story-line grows more ominous, the pain and death and destruction and suffering caused by the central character more and more ruinous, hateful, despicable, lamentable, horrible, the audience more despairing, ever louder in its condemnation.

But what does not a single member of the audience in this theater do? In this theater there is, in fact, a fire. It burns and burns, but until the audience-members in this theater see the fire, or admit to seeing it—this fire that's the plain truth about 9/11—and until they begin crying out "Fire!"—until that happens, the play will go on, the show will continue, the depravity and killing and loss and suffering and pillaging and rapine will be unending. Only if the members of the audience cry out "Fire!" will the show be stopped. It will be stopped only then for the very good reason that the members of the audience will flee for their lives, and for the very good reason that the theater itself-if luck be with us, and if the fire of 9/11 truth, transformed now into justice, accomplishes its proper and purifying job-the theater itself will be burned to the ground along with the stage, the sets, the lighting, the curtains, and with every last one of the liars, murderers, traitors, rapists, and thieves who constituted the members of the cast.

Rand Clifford:

9/11 is the one event that if left buried in lies and omission, untreated, could destroy our nation; a cancer that first embedded over ten years ago with a neocon lesion called The Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Euphemisms have since softened the original documentation, but the PNAC remains no less an absolute must-read for every American concerned about their nation's health. Along with the wish list that contained the new Pearl Harbor, don't miss the 2000 report: "Rebuilding America's Defenses"—foundational plans for pursuing "Global American Hegemony," a euphemism for taking over the world. . .

And Rand Clifford again:

We are losing the battle for our nation largely because few even realize our only real war is internal.

Clifford's meaning? He means two things. One is that our own "Corpo-Government" is our very great enemy, intent upon using us only for its own ends and depriving us of any of the aspects of life that might work against our being used only for those ends.

The second thing Clifford means is that the people and publications on my two lists, and every other person or publication like them in the entire nation and world—every person, from Noam Chomsky to Amy Goodman to Howard Zinn to Robert Silvers to Matthew Rothschild to David Corn to Bill Keller to Frank Rich to Katrina vanden Heuvel—every person who is in the audience at The Theater of Contemporary Events, Politics and Culture, American Foreign Affairs, and Collapsing Society in an Age of Late Capitalism and is not screaming out "Fire!"—every one of them is our mortal enemy, every one of them is complicit in the same crimes they so studiously and consistently lament and decry, or pretend to.


Here, now, at the end of this essay, I am going to make up a quiz. I am going to write it with the intention that every member—every member—of the audience in The Theater of Contemporary Events, Politics and Culture, American Foreign Affairs, and Collapsing Society in an Age of Late Capitalism who is not screaming "Fire!" about 9/11—with the intention that every single person who meets those conditions be required to take it.

It will be a very simple kind of examination. It will require only that the respondent choose whichever of the available "answers" is a true answer.

What could be simpler? To get an "A" on the quiz, one need do nothing but tell the truth!

None of those mentioned previously in this essay as being in the audience of The Theater of Contemporary Events, Politics and Culture, American Foreign Affairs, and Collapsing Society in an Age of Late Capitalism and not screaming out "Fire!" is exempt from taking the quiz.

I ask all my readers to write, call, and email all of these people, and to insist, over and over if necessary, that they not only really do take and complete the quiz, but also that they not fail to email the results to me in order that I can tabulate them and make the results known and available to the entire American public.


Instructions: Put "T" at the end of any true answer or statement. Put "F" after any false.

Example:..........I stayed home from work today because:

1)..........My car wouldn't start
2)..........I was on a deadline to finish a piece better concentrated on home than at the office.
3)..........I was sick with the fever and flu
4)..........My pet parakeet died and I was in mourning

The Question:

..........I am a member of the conglomeration of publishing, broadcasting, speaking, writing, and research businesses and undertakings that Amy Goodman once referred to as "the media." Goodman noted that "the Hippocratic oath of the media today" should be the motto of Hans and Sophie Scholl, who were executed by the Nazis for disseminating the words "We will not be silent." Nevertheless, even though I understand that the greatest part of my professional obligation and responsibility is to inform the public of the truth and all aspects of the truth in and of the institutions around them and under whose policies and influences they live their lives-in spite of this high responsibility, I have never, in the seven years that have passed since 9/11, given, allowed, expressed, or conveyed any hint or suggestion whatsoever that the government's version of what happened on 9/11 has in fact been said, shown, and proven by many serious scholars and analysts to be wholly fraudulent and untrue. The reason I have kept silent for seven years about the truth of 9/11 is:

1)..........I know nothing whatsoever about 9/11 truth, have never heard of it before now, and have never read, seen, or, until now, heard of any of the books or scholars just now mentioned.


2)..........I know that books have been written about 9/11 truth, but, in spite of my prestigious and nationally-visible reputation, I have never paid any attention to them or their authors whatsoever for the simple reason that I know them to be worthless books and worthless authors, their interests being only in what's sensational, and the entire undertaking being the work of nothing more than a bunch of "conspiracy nuts."


3)..........I know of the 9/11 truth books and have even read two of them. But I have never mentioned them or allowed them to be mentioned in any of my pieces (if I'm a writer), broadcasts (if I'm a news host) or publications (if I'm an editor or publisher). The reason for this policy is that I have chosen to ignore my professional and ethical responsibility not to remain silent simply because I know that the Board of Directors of the media group I work for would react most negatively to any hint of 9/11 truth and would very likely work to have me demoted or possibly fired. My job and title are more important to me than the truth.


4)..........I know of the 9/11 truth books and have read widely in them—I've even read the one by Eric Larsen—as well as being a close follower of a great number of informative web sites on and about 9/11. I am convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that elements of our own government in fact did plan and perpetrate the events of 9/11, and also that these elements of, within, and above our own government—including a number of very specific figures such as Dick Cheney and General Richard B. Myers—are responsible also for the extraordinarily successful (and criminal) co-opting and perverting of all major elements of the mass media in the United States in order to keep the truth of 9/11 and of its cover-up unknown to and by the general public. In spite of these powerful beliefs, I have never mentioned the basis for them or allowed the basis for them to be mentioned in any of my pieces (if I'm a writer), broadcasts (if I'm a news host) or publications (if I'm an editor or publisher). The reason for my complicitous and guilt-ridden silence is that I would be afraid for my life if I were to break ranks. I'm afraid I might be murdered. Like Marvin Bush's nanny, or Dennis Kucinich's brother, or Senator Paul Wellstone and much of his family. My life is more important to me than telling the truth to the fellow citizens of my country. I know I'll go to hell, but at least I'll go to hell alive.


5)..........I once wrote that "the central disease of President Bush and his cohorts. . . [is] the pathological refusal to accept reality" and also that "the relentless denial of reality perverts judgment and rots the soul." But I wasn't talking about 9/11 truth. I don't know anything about 9/11 truth. Before now, I'd never even heard that there were any books about it (that is, assuming that you're telling the truth). No, what the American public wants to know and deserves to know is the truth about this corrupt, criminally war-mongering, and murderous administration, not a bunch of endless claptrap about some cockamamie conspiracy theory that doesn't have anything to do with anything.


FOR EXTRA CREDIT: Respond to each of the following statements by indicating whether it is True ("T") or False ("F"):

E-1)..........The fact that the term "conspiracy theory" has no literal meaning is one of the many things that was firmly established by the events of 9/11. The official explanation of events of that day is unequivocally a theory of conspiracy. It's the ultimate conspiracy theory for the world's most spectacular crime, but it's not called a conspiracy theory. That term is reserved for any ideas that contradict the official story. This is a very important point. Conspiracy theories are not about conspiracies, they are about forbidden thought. The label "conspiracy theory" is a stop sign on the avenues of rational thought and inquiry. It says, "Stop here. Entrance forbidden."


E-2)..........In fact, it has been the government, with the help of the corporate media, that has terrorized the citizenry in an open and continuous act of psychological warfare. It has been the government, along with the Ministry of Truth, that has instilled fear and insecurity into the population. It is they who, under any definition of terrorism, have become our terrorists, our real enemy, our internal bogeyman. Fear mongering has never been so easy and, when the collective trauma of 9/11 wears off, all that is needed to reinvigorate the senses of the masses are lies of further attack, more dehumanization of the enemy, propaganda of imminent threat and insecurity and, if all else fails, one more false flag event.


E-3)..........All that separates America from Amerika is one shock, one event, one opportunity for those whose enemies are freedom and democracy to orchestrate the Amerika of their sinister dreams. Most do not know the seriousness of the threat, nor the perilous danger roaming among us, nor the sinister ideology of our so-called leaders, nor how imminently close we are to a vastly different America. For this cabal, this domestic enemy, the people are the obstacle, the real, and true, enemy. It is this group that is our greatest threat, our real enemy.


E-4)..........If the Congress does not impeach this president and vice president, who have nearly taken the country down as a result of their reckless, dangerous, incompetent, authoritarian behavior, then the rule of law stands for nothing. And future elected leaders can legitimately believe that they more or less can also get away with anything they wish to do.



APRIL 28, 2008



—Eric Larsen
—April 28, 2008




[1] Faustus:
Did not my conjuring raise thee? Speak.

That was the cause, but yet per accidens
For when we hear one rack the name of God,
Abjure the scriptures, and his Savior Christ,
We fly in hope to get his glorious soul;
Nor will we come, unless he use such means,
Whereby he is in danger to be damned.
Therefore the shortest cut for conjuring
Is stoutly to abjure all godliness
And pray devoutly to the Prince of Hell.

(Christopher Marlowe, The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, I, iii, 44-53)

[2] In Peter Dale Scott's The Road to 9/11.

[3] In Webster Tarpley's 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA.

[4] In Michael C. Ruppert's Crossing the Rubicon.

[5] In Nafeez Mosaddeq's The War on Truth.

[6] In Barrie Zwicker's Towers of Deception.

[7] By Judy Wood, among many others.

[8] The Inferno, ed. John Ciardi, p. 266 (Mentor paper)