Leading 9/11 untruther Cass Sunstein says the government should try to stop the spread of 9/11 “conspiracy theories” by infiltrating 9/11 truth groups.
Well, it looks like my family has been infiltrated!
A certain 13-year-old who calls himself Young Debunka has been fostering beneficial cognitive diversity in our family by attempting to refute what he takes as my arguments about 9/11.
So, after wandering for years like Diogenes with his lamp, looking for an intelligent person willing to defend the official version of 9/11 in a debate, it looks like I’ve finally found one! Boy, has it been a long search.
In summer 2006, WORT radio in Madison, WI contacted Representative Steve Nass, who was calling for me to be fired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to my beliefs about 9/11. WORT asked Nass to debate me on the air and show why my beliefs were wrong. He turned them down without explanation.
U.W.-Madison Political Science professor Donald Downs suggested that I should never be rehired at the University of Wisconsin due to my views, then backed down and defended academic freedom. But after tentatively agreeing to debate me and show why my views were wrong, he backed down.
When U.W.-Madison Law Professor Ann Althouse attacked and insulted me as comparable to a “white supremacist” or “Holocaust denier” for my views of 9/11, I publicly and privately requested a debate, and was brusquely refused. Many letter writers to Wisconsin newspapers criticized Althouse for insulting me based on my views, yet refusing to debate those views. http://www.truthjihad.com/althouse.htm, http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-174095538.html, http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=104540
In October 2006, the University of Wisconsin-Madison History Club booked me for a debate. They canvassed the entire history and political science departments, and discovered that not one University of Wisconsin-Madison professor was willing to defend the official version of 9/11. Jim Fetzer and I ended up “debating” empty chairs.
During the same month, after I was invited to speak at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, the Oshkosh Northwestern ran an editorial pleading with professors to debate me and put my “conspiracy theories” to rest. (Original url, since taken down: http://www.thenorthwestern.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061004/ OSH06/610040382/1190/OSHopinion Archived at http://www.mujca.com/northwestern.htm) Not one professor at Oshkosh, Madison, Whitewater, or any other U.W. campus accepted the Northwestern‘s plea, or my repeated requests for a debate or panel discussion.
In 2007, University of Michigan students brought me and Kevin Ryan to campus to debate 9/11 with one or more of their professors. Thousands of invitations were issued and more than 1000 DVDs given away. The only responses were from two engineering professors, both of whom privately admitted that the World Trade Center was obviously destroyed by controlled demolition, but that stating this in public would threaten their careers. Since no opposition could be found, Kevin Ryan and I staged our own debate, taking turns attacking and defending the 9/11 Commission Report and the NIST Report on the Twin Towers.
Since then, I have contacted most of the people one would expect to defend the official version of 9/11. (I even invited Cass Sunstein to spread beneficial cognitive diversity on my radio show!) The only takers: Canadian scientist Frank Greening, who has gradually gone from an official-story-defender to an agnostic who ridicules the government’s ludicrous position on WTC-7; and neo-PNACer Jonathan Kay, who is writing a book on the 9/11 truth movement.
So after this long, fruitless search, imagine my joy at finally discovering someone willing to defend the official version! Let the great debate begin!
I visited the DebunkDad blog last week, and responded to the most recent post, “Terrorists Not Muslim,” which has since been taken down. Below is the original post followed by my comments.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Terrorists Not Muslim
A favorite argument used by 9/11 Truthers is that the 9/11 hijackers were not devout Muslims, therefore somehow proving they did not commit the September Eleventh attacks.
It seems to me that those who use this argument are implying (though they appear not to know it), “Devout Muslims Are The Terrorists”! This is ridiculous since Islam is 100% against terrorism (which they admit).
In fact, throughout history, supposedly “devoutly religious” people have twisted Religion into an excuse for horrible crimes.
In fact, the majority of Muslims would not disagree that the 9/11 hijackers were not devout at all. The majority of Muslims would point out that the motivation of these hijackers was political.
They would not deny that they did 9/11.
Because the majority of Muslims in the world are not conspiracy theorists.
Posted by Young Debunka at 5:41 PM
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Kevin Barrett said…
Lots of misinfo here, YD!
“A favorite argument used by 9/11 Truthers is that the 9/11 hijackers were not devout Muslims, therefore somehow proving they did not commit the September Eleventh attacks.”
Wrong. In my seven years in the 9/11 truth movement I have never heard anyone make this argument. Instead, we argue that since the alleged hijackers were extremely un-Muslim, the 9/11 Commission was wrong when it blamed 9/11 on “radical Islam.” Worse, by ignoring rather than investigating all the reports of the alleged hijackers drinking, doping, relishing pork chops, speaking fluent Hebrew, and doing other very not-very-Muslim things, the Commission showed that it was not acting in good faith.
Here is a passage from my book Questioning the War on Terror, p.94:
The 9/11 Commission Report blames Islamic “extremism” and “fundamentalism” for the worst catastrophe in U.S. history. Specifically, it blames the “extreme Islamist version of history” and “what for want of a better term is often labeled ‘fundamentalism.’”261 Due to their extremist fundamentalism, the 9/11 Commission informs us, the 19 alleged hijackers were “fanatically” religious and formed a “cadre of trained operatives willing to die.”262 Yet overwhelming evidence shows that the 19 men accused of sacrificing their lives in an act of fanatical extremist fundamentalism were neither fanatics nor extremists nor fundamentalists. In fact, they were not even practicing Muslims…
As you can see, YD, you’ve invented a “straw man” – an imaginary truther that you set up in order to knock down. This is what the “debunkers” do all the time. Why? Because they have no arguments to counter what we actually say.
October 20, 2010 6:48 PM
Kevin Barrett said…
One more thing, Y.D. – you say “the majority of Muslims in the world are not conspiracy theorists.” First, anybody who has any conceptual framework to try to understand 9/11 – a “theory” – is obviously going to say this crime was carried out as a conspiracy, i.e. “a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act.” Whether you think 19 hijackers led by a guy on dialysis in a cave did it, or whether you blame neocons and spooks, it’s still a conspiracy. So everybody who thinks about 9/11 is a conspiracy theorist, including pretty much all the world’s Muslims.
So who was behind the 9/11 conspiracy? Polls show that most Muslims don’t believe al-Qaeda did 9/11. For example, a World Public Opinion poll of four of the biggest Muslim countries found: “On average less than one in four (Muslims) believes al Qaeda was responsible for September 11th attacks. Pakistanis are the most skeptical–only 3 percent think al Qaeda did it.” http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brmiddleeastnafricara/346.php
This is in line with what Gallup found back in 2002: “A sweeping poll of attitudes in the Islamic world shows that most Muslims don’t believe Arabs carried out the Sept. 11 attacks…Although U.S. officials say all 19 of the Sept. 11 hijackers were Arab men, only 18% of those polled in six Islamic countries say they believe Arabs carried out the attacks.” http://www.usatoday.com/news/sept11/2002/02/27/usat-poll.htm
I’m sure you know this from your own experience. Do you know a single Muslim in our local community who believes the government’s version of 9/11? You were too young to remember, but between 2001 and late 2003 I discussed 9/11 with people in our community quite a bit, and for the first year or two I was just about the only local Muslim who kinda sorta believed the official version! (Yes, we know one very cool guy in a Sufi group that likes to blame wahhabis for everything including 9/11 – he was the only local Muslim I know who seemed to believe the official version for the first few years – but even he’s coming around now.)
So as you can see, the majority of the world’s Muslims reject the Official Conspiracy Theory and prefer the Alternative Conspiracy Theory.
October 20, 2010 7:05 PM