Response to Chip Berlet’s “Toxic to Democracy: Conspiracy Theories, Demonization, and Scapegoating”/ By Peter Phillips and Micke

Response to Chip Berlet’s “Toxic to Democracy: Conspiracy Theories, Demonization, and Scapegoating”

By Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff

Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored

In his recent essay “Toxic to Democracy,” Political Research Associates (PRA) Senior Analyst Chip Berlet uses the very same methods of demonization by association that he so strongly opposes. Berlet convolutes historical context, ideological differences, and progressives vis-à-vis extreme conservative/neo-con/libertarians in a diatribe of meaninglessness.

Berlet lumps valid academic research on State Crimes Against Democracy (SCADs) in with anti-Semitic jingoism and far right wing extremism. He suggests that any research that even implies some sort of conspiracy is dangerous and suspect, seemingly forgetting a long list of proven US and other government conspiracies (SCADs) including: Operation Mockingbird, COINTELPRO, Gulf of Tonkin “Incident,” October Surprise, CIA-Contra Dark Alliance, Iran-Contra, WMDs and Iraq Invasion, and the overthrow of governments in Iran, Guatemala, Haiti, Chile, Greece, Indonesia, Panama, and many others.

Outrageously, Berlet categorizes progressive intellectuals such as Peter Dale Scott, Michael Parenti, David Ray Griffin, Michel Chossudovsky, and by innuendo the two of us, as dangerous conspiracists. He uses a straw person technique by positing former LaRouche analyst Webster Tarpley, and the Church of God Evangelistic Association founder David J. Smith in the same category as the progressive intellectuals listed above.

At the end of his essay, Berlet attempts to distinguish between people who do power structure research such as G. William Domhoff—who served on Peter Phillips’ dissertation committee regarding the Bohemian Grove in 1994— along with Holly Sklar, former PRA associate and author of a study on the Trilateral Commission compared to those who see elite networks as potential places of planning for self serving advantages. Of course, elites conspire to maximize their power and profits whenever possible. Corporate boardrooms are rife with such activity and the resulting actions/PR manipulations—as recently evidenced by British Petroleum. That does not mean one should simply dismiss researching the lies and manipulations of the powerful because it might imply a conspiracy, especially when the lies fail to explain how a 47-story steel frame building (WTC Building 7) collapsed in its own footprint at freefall speed on September 11, 2001, or how a scientific, peer-reviewed, academic journal discovered unreacted nano-thermite in the dust from the World Trade Centers (The Open Chemical Physics Journal).

While we have solid respect for the long tradition of research into extreme right wing and racist organizations for which PRA is well known, we are most dismayed by Chip Berlet’s reactionary dismissal of academic research into conspiracies/State Crimes Against Democracy by long time progressive intellectuals.

Peter Phillips is a Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and President of Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored

Mickey Huff is an Associate Professor of History at Diablo Valley College and Director of Project Censored/Media Freedom Foundation

See Berlet’s essay “Toxic to Democracy” at

Wow.Lump everything together

Wow.Lump everything together and the kitchen sink and you get this Chip Berlet analysis. Rather than examine what we really have, " a truth crisis", attack the messengers of truth with the dreaded "conspiracist" label, and paint the various diverse and distinct movements within the Truth Movement with one broad brush. What an idiot and servant of corporate totalitarianism.
He attacks Michael Parenti without any semblance of factoring in the excellent analysis of conspiracy and class power given by Parenti in 1993.

Thanks to Maria Gilardin and

Michael Parenti:
One of Parenti's most influential archival speeches
This is an in-depth analysis of the modern state and the exercise of power behind the scenes. The speech is also an important historic document. Given in 1993 it issues a warning of the use of deception to justify going to war. The speech also explains the expansion of the deregulated free market that would lead to a financial crisis as we see it today.
The speech on Conspiracy and Class Power was lost for several years and only recently discovered in the collection of a listener in Seattle. Michael Parenti spoke before an overflow audience in Berkeley, CA.

~ Michael Parenti Archive ~ updated: July 27, 2010

For the growing collection of current and archival films of
Michael Parenti speeches on DVD look HERE

Michael Parenti
How the Vote was Won and Lost

Michael Parenti

Michael Parenti

Michael Parenti:

Michael Parenti:
Contrary Notions

Michael Parenti:

Michael Parenti:

Michael Parenti:
STOP the Pesticide Spray of the Bay Area


Michael Parenti:
The JFK Assassination and the Gangster Nature of the State

Michael Parenti:
Theocracy VS. Democracy - The Political Uses of Religion

Michael Parenti:
A four part (2 hours) lecture series on audio CD or tape
This is possibly the most popular of all archival speeches

Part one/four

Part two/four

Part three/four

Part four/four

Michael Parenti:

Michael Parenti:
Wealth and Democracy in the Bush Age

Michael Parenti:
The Cost of Empire

Michael Parenti:
A Republic Against Caesar/ The Assassination of Julius Caesar

Michael Parenti:
Democracy, What Went Wrong?


I'm afraid Chip's ditty was such an awful Piece of gibberish ... that I have to question whether it was worthy of the guys at ProjectCensored to dignify it with a formal Response.

The word "Meaningless" provided an apt description, but again, how to you even begin to respond to something so non-sensical.

I has read in a blog somewhere that Berlet was going to..

distribute his gibberish at the Albany peace conference that just happened. The bloggers were planning on countering with AE911Truth literature.

Sadly, some will buy his gibberish. Others will find it so meaningless they will question Berlet's motives for producing it.

That Seems Correct

I had dinner the other evening with some Conference attendees, and they related how some in the Peace movement resisted their raising the 9/11 cover-up by parroting some of Chip's punch lines. Perhaps it was written for that purpose.

He's either a transparent charlatan, or an idiot

I hope We Are Change makes an object lesson out of him

His "Chart No. 2" says: "(Right Wing) Populists Feel Squeezed from Above, So They Direct Anger & Conspiracism Upwards". In his group of the "upwards" parasites, namely the "Elite Parasite", he includes International Bankers and Government Bureaucrats.

The whole country, left and right, was furious at the bailout legislation passed in 2008, this was key in invigorating the Tea Parties, and this is common knowledge. So the anger was definitely directed upwards. As for conspiracism directed upwards, we got that even from Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who was interviewed in Michael Moore's film "Capitalism, a Love Story"

REP. MARCY KAPTUR: Everything was being handled by the Treasury Secretary from Goldman Sachs. They had Congress right where they wanted them. This was almost like an intelligence operation.

Well, you couldn't guess this by looking at Berlet's idiotic paper. And this paper was dated after the bailout of 2008! The question is, is Berlet an idiot, or a propagandist?

I vote for propagandist. We Are Change could educate the population by showing them Berlet's idiotic Chart #2, explaining what left gatekeepers are, and showing them the left gatekeeper funding flow diagram (after verifying it; I'm not aware that it was ever verified), and then asking the public what is more reasonable to presume - that Berlet is an idiot or a propagandist?

Berlet also says, "Conspiracists created the phrase "Left Gatekeeper" after 9/11 to attack progressive journalists who avoided conspiracy theories, criticized conspiracist authors, and refused to print or air conspiracy theories about the terror attack"

I'm not sure, but I think this is a lie. Some guy named Bob Feldman used to have a website called that certainly covered subjects pre-2001. Does anybody recall when made it's appearance?

2 votes for propagandist

I think "False Opposition" also applies.

Like Chomsky rendering the anti-war movement neutered by denying 9/11 Truth.

Well, my personal opinion of Chomsky is different

Chomsky is brilliant, and generally does excellent work. I think he either self-censored, or is a victim of his own mental constructs, which he actually has some belief in.

Rather than try and figure out exactly why he forsakes his usual brilliance to engage in dismissive rubbish when it comes to evidence for high-level conspiracies, I think it'd be better to challenge him to a point by point debate related to his conspiracy denialism. Here's a thought: Get Parenti to publicly challenge Chomsky to a debate on high level conspiracies re JFK, RFK and Martin Luther King. (I deliberately omitted 911, since I think the evidence is weaker, compared to those other 3) Regarding MLK, a civil trial found the FBI and Army intelligence guilty. Let me take a guess, here: Noam Chomsky never said anything about this. (Does anybody know, for sure?) I would make the challenge public - i.e., take out a full page ad in the student newspaper at MIT. This should make it harder for him to duck.

chomsky mlk

If I recall correctly, Chomsky expressed support for the "theory" that the MLK assassination was an act of state. I don't have the exact quote but the passage derives from "Understanding Power"; when questioned on the alleged conspiracy he says it is "plausible" or "would make sense" or something to that effect. In his lengthy piece on Cointelpro he also discusses false flag operations and assassinations directed at the new left during the civil rights/Vietnam era, while in "American addiction" he discusses CIA drug trafficking and money laundering through the big banks. So he's clearly not averse to (what is derided as) "conspiracy theory" per se. The two subjects where he balks are JFK and 911. You can draw your own conclusions as to why. Personally, I think he's either telling the truth when he says he believes it's a "waste of time" to devote significant energy to such topics, or that he's frightened of being labeled a conspiracy nut and having the rest of his work drawn into question.

Personally I don't see the point in beating the Chomsky horse. He has valuable things to say on various topics. 911 is not one of them. The evidence speaks for itself and does not need Chomsky's endorsement.

As for Berlet, this guy is nothing more than an incoherent clown.

Very Insightful Comment ...

... as to Chomsky believing in what he says when he makes the comment that it is "A waste of Time." I have had the same thought myself, and the statement probably needs to be qualified to make clear that "from his perspective" it is a waste of time. And then there are two possible explanations for that. One being futility and the other being that you don't point the finger at yourself.

On Chomsky, I recommend you watch this early debate between him and William F. Buckley, Jr.:

Now Buckley, admittedly, was "former" CIA. When I recalled this debate and went back to watch it again, it struck me that this could be a replica of an internal debate that was going on inside the CIA. Groups like that are rarely monolithic, and no doubt there are differences of opinion on policy inside the Company.

Seen in that light, you can see why it might make sense when Chomsky says, in effect, "Don't go there - it is a waste of time."

One thing is for sure --- it is an absolute waste of time trying to persuade this guy of the merits of your case. Whatever you may believe of him ... he's got a brilliant mind. There is not one chance in 1,000,000 that he is not fully aware of how hypocritical and ridiculous his positions on JFK and 9/11 are. Not any chance - don't waste your time on that. He knows.

I don't particularly care if he says it's generally plausible

Many things are generally plausible.

Also, what I'd like Chomsky to debate is not institutional analysis, but rather the validity of the sort of items that would take center stage in a criminal trial, such as:

1) the doctors that first examined JFK's body say that it didn't match what was in the final medical report produced by the team of doctors at Bethesda (I'm not sure about Bethesda; wherever the Washington, D.C. doctors were that produced an autopsy report)
2) more bullets/bullet holes found than were in Sirhan Sirhan's gun
3) Fletcher Prouty ID'ing Ed Lansdale in one of the pictures with the clean shaven "tramps" from the grassy knoll

It was in 1967 that Prouty discovered one of the most explosive proofs of CIA involvement, buried within a series of six photos snapped within minutes of the assassination. The infamous photos show three 'tramps' arrested behind the grassy knoll being marching through Dealey Plaza by two uniformed officers. The three men remain a mystery-no arrest records were made and no names were taken. For years it was speculated that two were CIA agents E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis, who would later gain notoriety for their part in the Watergate break in.

"What caught my eye right away was the fact that some other person is in the first photo walking in the opposite direction." says Prouty, singling out one particular shot. "Here he is, during one of the most important events in our history, casually walking past two police with guns and the tramps, not even looking at what could've been the killers of the President. This is all within 30 minutes or less after the assassination. It's unbelievable. And note that these tramps have not been handcuffed either, and a civilian is allowed to walk within inches of them."

Then Prouty looked even more closely at the photo. "I was stunned to realize that this unconcerned bystander was none other than my long-time friend and associate Ed Lansdale."

"Right away, since he was there, I just knew that he must be concerned with the cover story. That was his gift…his specialty."

Gen. Edward G. Lansdale was a celebrated CIA man who masterminded various assassination plots for the CIA and was heavily involved in Vietnam. He was CIA, but worked under the cover of an air force colonel. He and Prouty had worked closely together for several years before his resignation ("a paper resignation to comply with his CIA 'cover' assignment") in October 1963. At the time of the assassination, Lansdale was supposed to be visiting his son in San Antonio, but a claim check found in his personal papers places him at a hotel used by the presidential entourage the night before the assassination.

"I personally have no doubt that the photo is of Lansdale," affirms Prouty. "I knew him from 1952 in the Philippines to the time of his death. He was one of my neighbors."

Prouty sent copies of the photos to a friend - another high-ranking Kennedy-era officer who also knew Lansdale.

"The two policemen are carrying shotguns, not rifles," the friend wrote back. "Their caps are different (one a white chinstrap, one black). One has a Dallas Police shoulder patch, one does not, and their caps differ from that of another police officer in photo four. Reasonable conclusion -- they are either reservists or phoneys. And as you know, city cops don't have anything to do with sheriff's offices."

"And as to photo No. 1 - That is a picture of Ed Lansdale! The haircut, the stoop, the twisted left hand, the large class ring. It's Lansdale. What in the world was he doing there? Has anyone asked him?"

Prouty says he wasn't surprised when he realized Lansdale was in Dallas for the assassination -- he was there to make sure nothing went wrong.

"He was there like the orchestra leader, coordinating these things." Prouty says Lansdale "He's a 'producer' and the best one there was."

"He worked for years to overthrow the president of the Philippines - he did it almost all by himself."

These factoids have nothing to do with institutional analysis....

Regarding my 1)

You've either got a conspiracy of the Dallas doctors to obscure the murder of a President, or you've got a conspiracy of the Washington doctors to obscure the murder of a President.

I'd like to see Chomsky weasel out of that one!

The three tramps

have been claimed to be identified as well. Chauncey Holt has confirmed he was one of them in a later interview with Dankbaar. [Correction: iirc, in an interview that Dankbaar obtained] I don't know how you regard Dankbaar as a any case, I wanted to point this out.

Metamars, I am with you full swing on this one

Metamars, I am with you full swing on this one, and with respect to these three assassinations, I concur, but without any modesty whatsoever, this post completely destroys any critic of 9/11 truth using only two quotes by two 9/11 investigation insiders. It was devised with this purpose, and I emphatically encourage people to use it for this specific end.

Chomsky is a complex man, as well as a genius, who can inundate us all in mountains of geopolitical and sociological knowledge. 9/11 truth is a broad field. I have no doubt whatsoever, that after reading the blog post linked above, Chomsky would support 9/11 whistleblowers and the 9/11 families. It's about what 9/11 truth information is presented to him and in what way. If you understand Chomsky, you will not approach him with scientific evidence, but with "institutional analysis". Mind you, Chomsky respects Ellsberg immensely, and mind you also, that Ellsberg endorses Sibel Edmonds.

I do not wish to offend my friends in the truth movement by supporting Chomsky. But Chomsky, by way of his combined life's work, deserves many second chances from us. I'm well aware of what Chomsky said, and I'm well aware of Chomsky's dialogue with Jon Gold. Chomsky, like Assange (if quoted correctly by Matthew Bell), needs to overcome psychological barriers, and perhaps, more importantly, fear of academic ostracism. The cumulative argument for a 9/11 conspiracy, I'm sure we all agree, is untouchable and unassailable. That is, the full body of credible 9/11 research. And to put it a little more bluntly: until allegations against both Chomsky and Assange with respect to them being "CIA stooges" are substantiated with hard evidence, they are without merit.

Oh, and by the way, Adrian Lamo's ex works for, or is close to, Army Counterintelligence:

"Fearing such a breach would jeopardize national security, Lamo passed on what he knew to his ex, who happened to work for Army counterintelligence. His suspicions were apparently confirmed."

Source: Aolnews

"Later, speaking to Gizmodo, Lamo filled in details of his story. Lamo said Manning didn't necessarily have access to the materials he'd leaked as part of his job, Manning had "exceeded his authority," he'd hacked his way into classified data. Lamo said after Manning had told him about the cables he'd contacted Army Counterintelligence through an ex still involved with the military. He dropped the name of an ongoing counterintelligence program, and according to Lamo, the sensitivity of that name escalated the situation."

Source: Gizmodo

By the way, I remember first learning about this fact in an article from the New York Times. That article, best I can tell, if it existed, has now either been edited or removed. I can't find it anymore.

Oops; my reply above was for this comment of yours

Also, I agree that Chomsky deserves many second chances, in the sense that you can't just dismiss a prolific, brilliant, brave and at least generally ethical guy like Chomsky because he's so miserable on "conspiracy theories". (This is the simple-minded Alex Jones approach, IIRC).

"Hypothesis non fingo" regarding the reason for Chomsky's notable blind spot. However, it deserves being exposed.

Hypothesis non fingo

Had to Google that, although in Dutch we have a word that etymologically descends from the Latin fingere: "fingeren", (emphasis on first 'e', pronounced like the ea in 'ear', 'i' pronounced like the 'i' in 'fiddle') which means something along the lines of "to forge", "to fake" or to "fabricate".

And yeah, it deserves to be exposed, but I tend to think we should play to Chomsky's fancy for political, sociological and geostrategic analysis. That means focusing on means, motive and opportunity. Focusing on conflicts of interest. Evidence for a cover-up. The "manufacturing of consent" if you will. That said, you could probably corner and defeat him on the forensic evidence in each of those assassinations. You would win the debate, but the question is, is humiliating or otherwise snookering Chomsky a desirable strategy? We might be alienating people instead of influencing them. Again, you would win that debate. Decisively. But I would deploy such a weapon against those opponents on the other end of the ethical and moral spectrum. The "Popular Mechanics" and JREF types.

I on the other hand, like you, will accept evidence in any form, scientific, historical, contextual or testimonial, as long as it's credible, verifiable and reliable. And in the case of scientific lines of inquiry, reproducible. There are many ways to Rome. A cumulative approach will travel them all.

Chomsky MLK II


"I don't care if he thinks it's plausible".

Ok. Well you stated "Let me take a guess, here: Noam Chomsky never said anything about this. [MLK assassination] (Does anybody know, for sure"?

I offered you an answer based on a memory. Here's the actual passage:

"That's a case where you can imagine pretty plausible reasons why people would have wanted to kill him, and I would not be in the least surprised if there in fact was a real conspiracy behind that one, probably a high-level conspiracy. I mean, the mechanisms were there, maybe they would have hired somebody from the Mafia or something to do it -- but that conspiracy theory is perfectly plausible, I think."

He goes on to say that he doesn't see a plausible motive for the assassination (by state) of JFK (because JFK was a war criminal elitist etc.)

So there you have it.

As for getting Chomsky to publically debate, in person, the details of either JFK or 911 -- I'm pretty sure it would have happened by now if he had the slightest intention of ever doing so. He has not, I gather, because he knows he would lose such a debate.

I agree with you that Chomsky's "blindspot" re: JFK/911 should be exposed (though he is hardly the only public figure who has shied away from the two most explosive and controversial conspiracies in recent memory). And indeed it has been, numerous times, from figures like Parenti and Zwicker. At this point I don't see what is to be gained by hammering away at the old man.

Chomsky's "Don't waste your time..nothing there"

is one of the greatest obstacles thrown at us.

That and a controlled media, sell out politicians, etc.

"At this point I don't see what is to be gained by hammering away at the old man."

About that blindspot

Again, something from Parenti, possibly overlapping with material in some of the videos posted in a comment above. It concerns both Chomsky and Alexander Cockburn (of Counterpunch) and their dismissial of critiques of the JFK official story. It was written by Parenti in the mid-'90s, but opens with a preface written post 9/11 (by Brian Salter of making plain how relevant the analysis is to the strinkingly similar pose both those men have adopted towards 9/11 skepticism.

I've posted this link here before, but I find it so good on this topic I say why not do it again:

Two othewise intelligent individuals who have said valuable things on other topics both coming up short (and worse--being outright dismissive of critical reappraisals) where arguably the two most significant crimes in the U.S. of the last half-century are concerned. Mere coincidence?

I couldn't disagree more.

Danse said: "At this point I don't see what is to be gained by hammering away at the old man. (Chomsky)"

I couldn't disagree more. Chomsky, the "messiah" of the "progressive" population whose fans adore the very ground he walks upon, should understand the nature of the globalist beast better than most. He's been watching it come together like the malevolent octopus it is since before the Vietnam days. He should have the best sense of WHY such conspiracies would take place, if not an intuitive expectation of such things. With his incredible depth of analysis, and his grasp of what makes power tick, he has absolutely no rational excuse to deride those who suspect foul-play concerning the 2 most life-altering catastrophies of the last 50 years. His stubborn denial concerning the obvious truth surrounding 9/11 (that the official story is nothing other than implausible) is inexplicable at best, and I would say SUSPECT. Those within the 9/11 truth community who make justifications (EXCUSES) for this man's inexplicable attitude about the most important American event since the Native American holocaust are as bad as Chomsky's criticisms themselves, or worse. There's no legitimate reason to make excuses for such treacherous behavior. Chomsky, Amy Goodman, and Michael Moore are the 3 public figures who singlehandedly assured that the real 9/11 perps would most likely never see justice. And now we have 911blogger members backing Chomsky up? What the F? I know I've already used the term "inexplicable" twice, but I think that word sums up this discussion pretty well.

Remember, Chomsky didn't just say he doesn't believe 9/11 was an inside job, he also said..INEXPLICABLY..."even if it was, so what". COME AGAIN? So the fact that you aren't seeing the point in "hammering away" at the man is shortsighted. In fact that comment would only begin to make some small semblence of sense if it was said post-humously. Even then I'd have to object. Perhaps you should re-read Barry Zwicker's chapter on Noam Chomsky and the Gatekeepers of the left. He (Chomsky) may be the single most important reason why our movement continues to progress at a snail's pace year after year after year after year after year after year.

All I can say is that I

All I can say is that I disagree strongly with Chomsky on JFK and 9/11. I deeply appreciate most if not all of his other work. I do not think Chomsky is "suspect" in any way, just stubborn and self-knowing. There are wings in the 9/11 truth movement that do much more damage than Chomsky ever does. In my opinion, people are not either heroes or CIA agents, truthers or debunkers, and warriors or stooges. Most people are simply WRONG about 9/11, or know far too little about 9/11, and react according to personal bias, on an extremely limited amount of information, compared to dedicated 9/11 researchers.

SnowCrash, your thinking is

SnowCrash, your thinking is as someone who has never even heard of the 9/11 truth movement. OF COURSE most people are simply wrong about 9/11 or know too little, or haven't done their research. But ask yourself: is Mr. Noam Chomsky in the category of "most people"? I think, for the purposes of this discussion, he most certainly is anything but. Again, I'm finding excuses being made for one of the most famous academics within western civilization. To me, not only IS he suspect, but he is THE MOST suspect "progressive" on the entire planet. Again I will refer everyone reading this to Barry Zwicker's opinion on this matter. Of course not everyone is a hero and not everyone is an agent. we've all learned (or so I thought) some indeed are. I don't know what to think about Noam Chomsky but one thing is clear: he is not my ally when he says that the identity of the real culprits of 9/11 are unimportant. Someone please throw some ice-water on me, I'm not sure if I'm awake.


I don't see anyone "adoring the ground he walks on", nor making excuses for Chomsky's treatment of 911. Offering a plausible account of why he or other public figures may choose to distance themselves from the movement or even respond with hostility is not the same thing as saying they are right to do so. Obviously, if I agreed with his position I wouldn't be here. I think he SHOULD be criticized for his stance, and the fallacies of his arguments exposed.

That said, there is an unhealthy fixation on Chomsky within the movement that I think makes us look rather silly. Indeed, the constant insinuations that Chomsky and other figures on the left are "sekret agents" working for the government make us resemble the very "conspiracy nuts" that Berlet and other debunkers offer up as strawmen. Like I said, he's an old man, his wife recently passed away, he's probably not long for this earth; attacking him over and over and over again is utterly futile if not counterproductive. The fallacies of his arguments regarding 911 have already been exposed repeatedly by the likes of Parenti, Zwicker and DRG.

You claim that Chomsky "may be the single most important reason why our movement continues to progress at a snail's pace". That's absurd. Scores of highly credible left intellectuals have spoken out in support of 911 truth, only to be ignored. Were Chomsky to do so, he would probably just be labeled senile (as Hitchens did Gore Vidall). I'm not saying it wouldn't have some positive effects, but I think you're grossly overestimating Chomsky's power. I think he's appeared on CNN twice in his entire lifetime.

Again: we don't need Chomsky's ensorsement. And attacking him personally is a waste of time.

I do see where you're coming

I do see where you're coming from but I still don't entirely agree. One thing I do agree with you on though is the fact that Chomsky is not the biggest reason our movement is crawling. I take that back. The truth is, Amy Goodman holds that title. But yes, Chomsky's fans (most of whom disregard 9/11 truth) ARE adoring of him and deny 9/11 truth primarily because of his opinion on it. So in a way they do worship the ground he walks on. I never said you guys did. I just found it striking that so many excuses are seemingly being made for the celebrity.
Now, is it plausible that Chomsky is just "senile"? Yes. But I seriously doubt it. In fact I would bet my left nut that his mind is as sharp as it was when he was in his 40s.
Another thing you said that I don't get: the freqency of our "attacks" against Chomsky. First off, the word "attack" is too harsh (a word the corporate media would undoubtedly use to its full advantage). Second, I've only seen it done a handful of times on internet sites. So I don't know what you mean by "over and over again". Also I don't care what our accusations make us "resemble". In fact that's the least of my worries. Just the fact that we question 9/11 makes us resemble nutters in the minds of the brainwashed. I can't believe a 9/11 truth seeker would even say that. Because no matter what the elite will make us RESEMBLE anything horrid for the fact that our movement holds the key to their undoing. Get it? Do you yet realize that we are playing information-Chess with the Devil's Deputies?

Cognitive Dissonance central? I don't overestimate Chomsky's power. But I also understand the gravity of his words to the ears of his pathetic disciples, none of whom accept 9/11 truth. Lastly, we're not attacking him personally. We're challenging him publicly. Are you his Daddy? I'm getting annoyed.



You claim that "Chomsky's fans" "deny 911 truth" "because of his opinion on it". What evidence is there for this statement?

Re: senility. No, I don't believe he is senile. I said that were he to come out and claim "911 was an inside job", that his "conversion" would likely be attributed to senility or some other "defect". In other words, 911 truth would not suddenly become "acceptable", causing a massive sea change in public opinion. When Gore Vidal spoke out in support of LIHOP, he was dismissed as an old crank. Christopher Hitchens penned a piece implying that he had become senile. Something similar would probably occur with Chomsky.

Cindy Sheehan and Ralph Nader have both spoken out in support of 911 truth (without saying point blank that it was an inside job). Both are far more famous than Chomsky. Did this "turn the tide"? No. So in short, and to repeat: I think you're grossly overamplifying Chomsky's alleged "power" to sway public opinion. The truth is that most people have never heard of Noam Chomsky, and most of those who have learned of his existence through Matt Damon's Good Will Hunting.

"Are you his daddy"?

That's uncalled for. I do respect his work, notably on the subject of anarchism, but I agree with his critics on the subject of 911. What I object to is the over the top attacks suggesting that he is an "agent" etc., which make us look like kooks.

In short: I do see where you're coming from too, but I think the Chomsky bashing and/or attempts to persuade Chomsky of this or that are futile. I learned this about 5 years ago when I had a ten page email debate with him on the subject.

Unfortunately I'll have to end the conversation here, as I'm in the process of moving.

Cindy has said it.

Cindy Sheehan and Ralph Nader have both spoken out in support of 911 truth (without saying point blank that it was an inside job).

What evidence is there that

What evidence is there that Chomsky's fans deny 9/11 truth? Are you asking that question in seriousness? And you're also SPECULATING on the effect that would be had if Chomsky came out in support of 9/11 truth. You're ASSUMING, naively (or ignorantly) that everyone, including his many fans, would suddenly no longer support Chomsky because of his senility. Talk about taking a leap. As for Sheehan supporting a new 9/11 investigation, the reason her words didn't effect any change is because she is NOT famous, aside from those of us who are "awake". Having a small following does not equal fame. And Ralph Nader's support for 9/11 truth is as wishywashy as can be. Are they more famous than Noam Chomsky? I don't think so but I don't even think that matters too much, and if it does, it's a sad thing.
As for asking "are you his Daddy" I apologize for saying that and after reading your reply, I agree somewhat on some of the things you said. But I still believe that Chomsky has *something* to do with why our global movement remains in the sidelines after nearly a decade of existance. Amy Goodman, however, is even worse. I'm not saying I believe that they are agents, but shit man....they might as well be. If I was the high priest of the Satanic elite, I'd hire them in a heartbeat.

Because of the respect accorded to Chomsky by most of the Left

(I should say the educated Left; I once worked with a very smart but nasty guy who was a liberal/Democrat type, but had no idea who Chomsky was. I WISH all Americans knew who Chomsky was.)

Because of the respect accorded to Chomsky by most of the Left, I don't think it's wise to make any criticism of Chomsky too personal, or make any challenges (such as the debate challenge that I described) look like some sort of retribution for Chomsky's sins. Rather, I think the proper way to go about things is to issue a formal, polite challenge, that can't be ignored (say by advertising it in a newspaper). We would make it clear that we are challenging just one PART of Chomsky's thoughts.

Probably, Chomsky will duck. If he doesn't, all the better.

What we want to challenge is Chomsky's thoughts, and thus the hold that some of his more absurd thoughts have on the educated Left. Nobody should want to just beat up on an old man, for the sake of anger.

Having said all that, I don't think Chip Berlet, slime artist that he is, needs the same level of TLC.

I totally agree and respect

I totally agree and respect your thoughtful diplomacy. That's fine if you choose to walk on eggshells due to the massive brainwashing campaign against non-elite westerners, just as long as you don't fail to remember that you are playing chess with evil (the 9/11 perps, not the "feeble old man of incomptence" (oh that sounds familiar doesn't it!)

I just found an old

I just found an old conversation I had with Chip at Portland Indymedia in 2006:

I said..

When you told DemocracyNow listeners
that you can't find the Pentagon witnesses on the internet
"because they're not there",
you were lying, Chip.

Why would you do that?

and Chip replied:

Never said it. Check the transcript.

But he did say that, as you can see for yourself if you do check the transcript:

But if you go to searches on local newspapers for when people talked to their magazines, there were hundreds of witnesses who saw a jet commercial airliner hit the Pentagon. You cannot find them on the internet because they’re not there.

They are there.
You can't believe a word the man says.