In Defense of Anthony Hall, Canadian 9/11 Skeptic
Images and Words
Anthony Hall is like many other 9/11 skeptics. At some point, after examining the events of 9/11 and the international consequences of that foul deed, (particularly the consequences that befell countries with a predominantly Arab/Muslim population), Mr. Hall decided to speak out. The difference between Hall and most 9/11 skeptics, is that Mr. Hall is a sitting academic at a university in Lethbridge, Alberta, in Canada.
Hall joined a growing list of Canadian academics who have chosen to speak out publicly; John McMurtry, Graeme MacQueen, Michael Keefer, and of course, Michel Chossudovsky, a pioneer in 9/11 skepticism.
He made his debut as a skeptic of the 9/11 Official Conspiracy Theory (OCT) on September 6, 2008 in Edmonton, Alberta, with a reading of his paper, The Lies and Crimes of 911. The paper is an excellent introduction to a series of complex, related studies, that encompass globalization, US imperial tendencies, and false-flag terrorism. Hall is well-versed in these issues, and won an Alberta Book Award for his volume, The American Empire and the Fourth World;
The cover features provocative imagery; Apache-like helicopters in place of stars on the American flag, giving no doubt as to Hall's intent. The image is a very un-subtle, ironic reinterpretation of one of the prime symbols of the American dream; the very banner of Liberty itself is subverted to shock the viewer into a reevaluation of the iconic Red, White and Blue. Just as effectively, the book's publisher could have used an eagle... while once the American eagle flew with arrows in one taloned claw, and an olive branch in the other, increasingly, the olive branch has been discarded for the "smart" bomb, especially under the last eight years of Bush rule.
So, if Hall's critics had a beef with him, his conscious decision to be weighed down so heavily with such an intentionally provocative design like the radically redesigned American flag would be fair game. It would be a slippery slope for the critics in light of the never-ending wave of revelations concerning torture, and the body count in Iraq, but I'm sure some idiot would step up for a public flogging, all the same.
When in Doubt, Play the Anti-Semitism Card!
Shortly after the web publication of Hall's "Lies and Crimes" speech, it was picked up by a number of websites, including the "Facts not Fairies" blogspot, which Hall publicly distanced himself from, after reading some of the content on the site. (That particular blogspot also promotes the film "9/11 Missing Links", a Trojan horse documentary laden with misinformation, disinformation, and racist rhetoric.) Hall very clearly segregated his message from those who use ethnicity as a base point for 9/11 investigation, and specifically, from those eager to scapegoat people of Jewish heritage, merely because of their ancestry.
A couple of weeks later, Hall on one hand criticized the Canadian Jewish Congress for their part in the firing of Canadian politician Lesley Hughes from the Liberal Party, and re-emphasized the importance of clarity, careful language, and avoiding the pitfalls of scapegoating entire ethnic groups through myths like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In part, Hall said;
"There can be no honest escape for our civic duty to confront the substance of conspiracy and as well as layer upon layer of public mythology adhering to the real or imagined causes of 911. The stakes are immense in determining the outcome in this clash of conspiracy theories. Both extremes in this clash of conspiracy theories divert our attention away from rational debate on the events that have plunged the world into the weird nether zone of privatized espionage, torture and militarization that goes by the name of the War on Terror. What are the economics of this conflict? To extend basic questions presently being pressed on politicians during this period of worsening financial crisis, who is reaping the economic rewards of the new terror economy and who is being asked to pay the price? These are the kinds of questions that do not get posed, much less addressed, as long as public perceptions of the meaning of 911 are confined within the framework of competing conspiracy theories emphasizing religion and ethnicity."
However, despite all of these caveats, yellow-journalist smear-blog, "The Black Rod" coughed up a hit-piece on Hall, in reprisal for Hall's defense of Lesley Hughes. This is the same blog that initiated and inspired the series of attacks on Lesley Hughes that led to her sacking.
"The Black Rod" displays a knee-jerk reaction to any notion that there was any Israeli foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks, let alone the possibility that Israeli intelligence assets played any sort of operational role on 9/11, writing, "Those sneaky Jews with their advance knowledge of everything is an integral part of the 911 Truth movement."
Please note: it is "The Black Rod" which injects this venomous rhetoric into the equation, not Anthony Hall, and not 911blogger.com. By immediately reaching for the emotional reaction that a charge of bigotry will inspire in his/her readers, "The Black Rod" reaches for what retired CIA man Michael Scheuer recently called, "The Excalibur of American politics," at the Doha Debates episode, filmed at Georgetown University. He is referring to the accusation of bigotry, to stifle fair debate.
In this manner, "The Black Rod" fails anyone who reads the blog.
Israeli Advance Knowledge
In fact, it is absolutely not racist to list the facts that show Israeli advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks.
Shortly after 9/11, the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported;
"According to this newspaper, more than six months ago, western and near eastern news media received information and hints regarding planned attacks on “American and Israeli symbols, which stand out” by hijacked airplanes, not only in the United States.
According to the German secret service, the American, Israeli and apparently also the British secret services had adequate warnings. The American services had taken these warning seriously and increased the secret service measurements for the investigation."
In May, 2002, Paul Haven of the Associated Press reported;
"Israeli intelligence services were aware several months before Sept. 11 that bin Laden was planning a large-scale terror attack, but did not know what his targets would be, Israeli officials have said.
An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press shortly after the attacks that ''everybody knew about a heightened alert, and knew that bin Laden was preparing a big attack.''
He said information was passed on to Washington, but denied Israel had any concrete intelligence that could have been used to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks.
Boaz Ganor, head of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Israel, said the type of warning described by the Israeli official would have been too abstract for U.S. officials to act on.
''I don't think it would have helped American intelligence,'' Ganor said. ''That's not enough information to make a difference. The number of warnings that Western security services get in a day are in the hundreds and at the end of the day most do not pan out. Intelligence services need concrete warnings such as a date, the names of the perpetrators or their methods.''
On September 15, 2001, London's Telegraph reported;
"ISRAELI intelligence officials say that they warned their counterparts in the United States last month that large-scale terrorist attacks on highly visible targets on the American mainland were imminent.
The attacks on the World Trade Centre's twin towers and the Pentagon were humiliating blows to the intelligence services, which failed to foresee them, and to the defence forces of the most powerful nation in the world, which failed to deflect them.
The Telegraph has learnt that two senior experts with Mossad, the Israeli military intelligence service, were sent to Washington in August to alert the CIA and FBI to the existence of a cell of as many of 200 terrorists said to be preparing a big operation."
On October 2, 2002, the German Die Zeit reported;
"Langley, August 23, 2001. The Israeli Mossad intelligence agency handed its American counterpart a list of names of terrorists who were staying in the US and were presumably planning to launch an attack in the foreseeable future. According to documents obtained by Die ZEIT, Mossad agents in the US were in all probability surveilling at least four of the 19 hijackers, among them al-Midhar. The CIA now does what it should have done 18 months earlier. It informs the State Dept., the FBI and the INS."
These mainstream media reports begin very generally, but by the last of them, we learn that Mossad was even supplying the very names of the alleged hijackers in their warnings! And how would Mossad get this information? Well, thanks primarily to reporting by James Bamford, we know that the NSA subcontracted its domestic wiretapping and surveillance to Israeli firms. An arrangement that is still in effect. These wiretappers are heavily staffed with "former" members of Israeli intelligence agencies as well as Israeli military intelligence.
Employees of two firms identified by Bamford were listed in the DEA report that was leaked to the press in 2002. "The Black Rod" cites this 2002 report from The Washington Post as evidence that the DEA report has been "officially debunked". However, "The Black Rod" as well as the Post won't recognize the evidence that the DEA report is genuine.
When the report was covered for the first time in the US by John Sugg's Creative Loafing, Sugg noted that a DEA representative confirmed that the DEA had received many reports like the ones cited in the leaked report. Further, in the wake of the Post "official debunking", Sugg confirmed with serving DEA agents and a serving DEA supervisor that the report was accurate.
Three years later, Keith Phucas of the Norristown, PA Times New Herald got the DEA to acknowledge the reports, but says that they would not elaborate.
The firms were Amdocs and NICE Systems, and the employees were Tomer Ben Dor and Michal Gal.
Of course, "The Black Rod" does not mention the two Mossad agents that were picked up on 9/11, that had been celebrating and high-fiving in the wake of the first WTC plane crash. But that's okay, we'll get it from Marc Perelman, (reporter from The Forward, a Jewish Daily), and Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!;
We can understand technically how they could have obtained this information. We could speculate that the NSA put Israeli companies on specific targets, but even this does not comport with the OCT of "surprise" terrorist attacks on 9/11. The truth of the matter will have to be dragged out of the respective intelligence agencies. Broadly speaking, it seems like every intelligence agency on the planet knew that 9/11 was coming, including Egyptian intelligence, Russian intelligence, and French intelligence. Saudi intelligence was hard-wired into the operation, according to author Joseph Trento, and the CIA/FBI/US Army man-on-the-scene, Ali Mohammed, apparently had complete foreknowledge, so the notion that 9/11 was a surprise to anyone except for out-of-the-loop civilians is getting pretty hard to sustain.
(Lest we forget, we also have the Haaretz report on the Odigo warning.)
Kicking It Up a Notch
On March 6, 2009, Hall was invited to speak at the University of Winnipeg as their annual distinguished lecturer. There, he delivered his paper, Bush League Justice, calling for the arrest and international trial of George Walker Bush for War Crimes. Following the lecture he was accosted;
"After his lecture, Hall was confronted by a group including Rhonda Spivak, editor of local publication The Jewish Post and News, and U of W psychology professor Evelyn Schaefer.
The group accused Hall of anti-Semitism based on an unrelated article, in which he suggested Israeli intelligence services, among many others, had prior knowledge of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. The article appears on mtl911truth.org, a website that also features a swastika.
The 9-11 Truth movement believes the infamous terrorist attacks were an inside job orchestrated by the American government, possibly in conjunction with other nations.
“It was almost like they were conducting a trial,” Hall said of the confrontation.
Hall said the group physically blocked his exit from the classroom.
“It was very clear that the intention was to hurt me professionally,” he said."
Inspired by the yellow-journalism of "The Black Rod", Rhonda Spivak's Jewish Post dedicated the front-page of the publication to a National Enquirer style smear-job, along with a total of three articles dedicated to attacking Hall and Hughes (PDF - 8mb). The front-page article is titled; "Prof. who Alleges Advance Israeli Knowledge of 9/11 Invited by U of W’s Dept. of Sociology to speak", and prominently situates a swastika made by someone that Hall does not even know, and has no control over, right smack-dab in the middle of the headlined article.
This is really cheap, sensationalist "journalism"; the conflation of Hall with imagery intended to spark outrage from a very specific target audience, the Winnipeg Jewish community that supports Spivak's yellow rag (only $41.04 CDN per year! Mailed!).
Not only does Spivak's Jewish Post fail journalistically, it does a gross dis-service to its readers, by misrepresenting the mainstream media reports of Israeli spies on 9/11 as "urban myth". In certain circles, this could be called "Historical Revisionism".
Unlike the ironic display of the US flag on the cover of Hall's book, Hall had no input or control over this situation. The format of the Montréal 9/11 Truth site at the time of the appearance of Hall's article was a standard running scroll of news items. Many, many articles scrolled past the swastika image, but I doubt that spunky Spivak wrote to every single author of every article posted on the Montréal website to demand (!) that they in turn demand that their articles be removed from the site.
I think that the choice of a swastika to transmit the message of Montréal 9/11 Truth's concern of a hypothetical false-flag attack is a poor one. It's just too loaded with the horror of the atrocities of World War II to get people past their emotional responses to the image. My uncle fought in WWII against Hitler's army in Europe, and I doubt that he would have appreciated this use of the swastika. Add to that how easy it was for Spivak to cheaply associate Hall with the image, and you might as well be bending over and asking for abuse from critics like "The Black Rod" and Spivak & Co.
Use your damn heads, Truthers.
In Conclusion: Is somebody getting a little trigger-happy up North?
Of course, Anthony Hall is only one example. It does indeed seem that when Israel's atrocious foreign policy is thrust into the spotlight, charges of anti-semitism against any and all critics shortly follow, and Canada is no exception. In Calgary, Alberta, student Regan Boychuk details the extraordinary trouble he has had to endure as an activist for Palestinian human rights;
"Support for Israeli crimes by the Canadian government is reflected in our ideological institutions, universities and the media. In recent years, both have increased considerably.
To draw on personal experience as an undergraduate, organizing events and hosting speakers during the Second Intifada met obstacles from university administration and attacks in the media.
Though there had never been anything resembling an incident, our group was required to have security guards posted outside even the smallest events – at our expense.
When we brought in a major expert on the Israel-Palestine conflict in April 2004, we and our guest were viciously smeared in the media, who lamented that our group might somehow be tax-subsidized.
At the last minute, we were also forced to pay the costs of having a number of city police perform security for our guest speaker’s talk. The bill came to over a $1000 – enough to cripple the average student group, no doubt the objective.
Such tactics have long been familiar but, as Ottawa’s apologetics for Israel have risen to new heights, so has university repression and media demonization of Palestine activism."
As an example of the media harassment directed at his group, he cites the publication of an article by Ezra Levant, “Anti-Semites evolving”, by the Calgary Sun, in which Levant writes;
"I speak, in particular, of the Palestinian-Canadian Student Society at the University of Calgary. Their name is a misnomer, not just because many of their members are Canadian leftists or Arabs from everywhere except for "Palestine," but because their major events don't seem to be about Palestinians.
They're about Jews. More specifically, they're about discrediting Jews, Judaism, and Judaism's claim to the Holy Land. And last weekend, they were about discrediting the Holocaust, too...
...The first PCSS event I attended was stunning.
It was about how true Jews couldn't be Zionists. As I wrote in the Sun last February, the crowd cheered when an Arab student said "Jews planted bombs in synagogues. Do you think the same thing was done on Sept. 11?"
So Jews aren't victims of terror -- they bomb themselves and blame the Arabs. 9/11 was a Jewish conspiracy.
No talk of "Palestine." No talk of Israel. Just talk about those damn Jews, Jews, Jews, and how they lie, lie, lie."
Ironically, Levant goes on to repeat the lie that the infamous critic of Israel, Norman Finkelstein, is a Holocaust Denier;
Last week, the same club brought in Norman Finkelstein to speak. His greatest asset is that he has a Jewish last name, and that his parents survived the Holocaust. What a perfect deodorant for his toxic views.
Like Keegstra, Finkelstein denies that six-million Jews died in the Holocaust. He calls it The Holocaust Industry -- indeed, that's the title of his book -- and he claims that Jews trump up the Holocaust for profit, and as moral cover to be Nazi-like themselves. Again, this has very little to do with "Palestine." But if you find someone with a Jewish last name who is willing to do your anti-Semitic work for you, why not?
Finkelstein does not deny the Holocaust. His parents were survivors of the Holocaust, and beyond his parents, his entire family was wiped out in the genocide. Finkelstein is a critic of the use of the Holocaust (and anti-semitism) as a political (and economic) tool. He makes his views on the Holocaust clear in this video.
Last month, a group of Jewish Canadians (including Noami Klein) expressed their concern at this growing trend;
We are Jewish Canadians concerned about all expressions of racism, anti-Semitism, and social injustice. We believe that the Holocaust legacy "Never again" means never again for all peoples. It is a tragic turn of history that the State of Israel, with its ideals of democracy and its dream of being a safe haven for Jewish people, causes immeasurable suffering and injustice to the Palestinian people.
We are appalled by recent attempts of prominent Jewish organizations and leading Canadian politicians to silence protest against the State of Israel. We are alarmed by the escalation of fear tactics. Charges that those organizing Israel Apartheid Week or supporting an academic boycott of Israel are anti-Semites promoting hatred bring the anti-Communist terror of the 1950s vividly to mind. We believe this serves to deflect attention from Israel's flagrant violations of international humanitarian law.
B'nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress have pressured university presidents and administrations to silence debate and discussion specifically regarding Palestine/Israel. In a full-page ad in a national newspaper, B'nai Brith urged donors to withhold funds from universities because "anti-Semitic hate fests" were being allowed on campuses. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff have echoed these arguments. While university administrators have resisted demands to shut down Israel Apartheid week, some Ontario university presidents have bowed to this disinformation campaign by suspending and fining students, confiscating posters, and infringing on free speech.
We do not believe that Israel acts in self-defense. Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid, receiving $3 million/day. It has the fourth strongest army in the world. Before the invasion of Gaza on 27 December 2008, Israel's siege had already created a humanitarian catastrophe there, with severe impoverishment, malnutrition, and destroyed infrastructure. It is crucial that forums for discussion of Israel's accountability to the international community for what many have called war crimes be allowed to proceed unrestricted by specious claims of anti-Semitism.
We recognize that anti-Semitism is a reality in Canada as elsewhere, and we are fully committed to resisting any act of hatred against Jews. At the same time, we condemn false charges of anti-Semitism against student organizations, unions, and other groups and people exercising their democratic right to freedom of speech and association regarding legitimate criticism of the State of Israel.
Just over a week after the release of the Jewish Canadians' statement, British MP George Galloway was barred entry from Canada by the Conservative Stephen Harper government, spurred by an open letter from Canada's Jewish Defense League.
The attacks on Anthony Hall are symptoms of a broader reactionary complex running amok in Canadian political society. The trigger-happy reactionaries breathing that cool Canadian air should take a deep breath, and recognize what they are doing. They are unfairly dragging the names of well-meaning people through the mud. They are also distorting the actual historical record of events leading up to, and taking place on, 9/11.
I have no use for Holocaust Revisionists, and I will not support or defend them... and the same rules apply to "9/11 Revisionists" like "The Black Rod" and The Jewish Post.