On November 27th, 2013, David Pakman, of “The David Pakman Show,” which is available at least in part on YouTube, posted a video called “Noam Chomsky Slaps Down 9/11 Truther: People Spend Hour on Internet, Think They Know Physics,” and needless to say, I was not impressed, either by Chomsky or by Pakman. It’s a shame, because I often find Pakman’s insights about modern sociopolitical issues to be quite entertaining and informative. Furthermore, I find him to be a rather likable guy.
I responded via comment, but as usual, my response was far more verbose than is typically appropriate for social media. While I did, in fact, post my comment, I have decided to post it here as a blog. I also elected to do that because I haven’t posted any blog since my introductory blog, and I’ve been trying to find a reason to add more to it. So, here we are.
The video is can be found here, and I recommend watching it for yourself before reading my response.
Re: Chomsky dodges 9/11 truther’s question; science politicized; a history of false-flag operations; 9/11; Why didn’t we attack Saudi Arabia?; and conspiracy theories
Chomsky Dodges 9/11 Truther’s Question
I like how Noam Chomsky says that architects, etc., who believe they have evidence that 9/11 was not what it was purported to be should’ve published articles in scientific journals…. Except, which mainstream scientific journals are going publish articles on the inconsistencies in the official story (or stories, as there were quite a few) when doing so would cost them credibility among the mainstream and draw insults from the likes of Noam Chomsky, who doesn’t address issues but insults those who bring them up? Actually, I think I just answered my own question.
His insults, in particular the statement about spending an hour on the internet and thinking they know about physics, is just plain arrogant and completely ignores the people–many of whom have degrees in engineering, physics, and other sciences that are much harder^1 than linguistics–who have spent years, even more than a decade, studying this travesty. I wish I could say it surprised me, but his arrogance never surprises me; it does, however, disappoint me.
I also like how Noam Chomsky, a linguist (and I’ve been trained in linguistics as well, so I’m not putting that down), thinks he knows which architects and engineers are “not serious” because of what kinds of things they’re saying, not because of any demonstrable evidence that they’re frauds. Might I add that no one has ever found the “Language Acquisition Device,” and generative linguistics completely ignores human psychology, treating language as a totally mechanical construct–which makes no sense, ’cause then they’d all be the same… which might explain why GL treats all languages as fundamentally the same. It boggles my mind that so many universities in the U.S. and the rest of the world still teach it, but I guess the quantity of articles and books published outweigh the issue of quality. Then again, is it not ever thus?
The matter of quantity versus quality, his dodging of that man’s question followed by insulting people whose ideas he doesn’t like, and his insistence that dissidents go through the motions with peer review panels made me think of this quote from “The Body Electric” by Robert Becker, MD, and Gary Selden, from page 332:
“The funds [for scientific studies] are dispensed by agencies staffed and run by bureaucrats who aren’t scientists themselves. As this system developed after World War II, the question naturally arose as to how these scientifically ignorant officials were to choose among competing grant applications. The logical solution was to set up panels of scientists to evaluate requests in their fields and then advise the bureaucrats.
“This method is based on the naïve assumption that scientists really are more impartial than other people, so the result could have been predicted decades ago. In general, projects that propose a search for evidence in support of new ideas aren’t funded. Most review committees approve nothing that would challenge the findings their members made when they were struggling young researchers who created the current theories, whereas projects that pander to these elder egos receive lavish support. Eventually those who play the game become the new members of the peer group, and thus the system perpetuates itself. As Erwin Chargaff has remarked, ‘This continual turning off and on of the financial faucets produces Pavlovian effects,’ and most research becomes mere water treading aimed at getting paid rather than finding anything new. The intuitive ‘lunatic twinge,’ the urge to test a hunch, which is the source of all scientific breakthroughs, is systematically excluded.
“There has even been a scientific study documenting how choices made by the peer review system depend almost entirely on whether the experts are sympathetic or hostile to the hypothesis being suggested. True to form, the National Academy of Sciences, which sponsored the investigation, suppressed its results for two years.” (emphasis in original)
So, no, there’s not a specific “collusion,” as Pakman puts in the mouths of “conspiracy theorists,” but there is a demonstrable prejudice in scientific journals against anything that goes against the grain, to so speak.
A History of False Flag Operations
That being a good segue into addressing so-called conspiratorial nonsense, I think it is an absolutely fine testament to human psychology that most people ignore, when disputing “conspiracy theories,” the documented fact that prior to our involvement in WWI, the Lusitania was intentionally sent into war-torn waters between England and Germany in order to provoke the Germans into attacking it and galvanizing public support in the United States for entry into WWI, in which the public had thitherto wanted no part. The Germans even took an ad out on the front page of the NY Times in 1915 *warning* Americans not to board the Lusitania or any other ship bound for contested waters. Of course, the American public was stupid enough for fall for it when the Lusitania was sunken by the Germans and we then happily sent thousands off to die.
Then the Gulf of Tonkin incident–a documented false-flag operation–brought us into Vietnam, which was intended to be a sustained conflict, not a winnable war. This is borne out by the fact that the U.S. was routinely broadcasting the arbitrary limitations that the U.S. was setting for its military in regard to its conflict with the North Vietnamese, such as the fact that we (for whatever reason) weren’t allowed to attack missile silos until they were completed. This allowed the Vietnamese to outpace and outmaneuver us at countless points during that war. Of course, they did a better job at hiding the fact that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a false-flag, as it wasn’t declassified until 2005 (if memory serves), when very few people would care anymore.
Operation Northwoods, the documents of which outlined several different false-flag operations in order to get us to invade Cuba, was thankfully rejected by Kennedy. And then he was shot. By a lone gunman. Who made a shot no one could make, and whose bullet magically hit Kennedy in the face from behind.
But nothing like that could ever happen here, in these “democratically controlled” United States, the Great Experiment where conspiracies never happen.
If the question the man asked, which Chomsky dodged, is too scary to address, then here are a few others that might be easier:
Why is it that the Project for the New American Century (PNAC)–which was comprised of most of the Bush Administration (which was illegally appointed by the Supreme Court), including Wolfowitz, Cheney, Ashcroft, Rice, Jeb Bush (but not surprisingly, Georgie-Boy was absent from that)–specifically stated in a document entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” in 1997 that what they needed was a “new Pearl Harbor” in order to galvanize the American people in support of ramping up the military budget and waging at least *two theater wars* that would establish American dominance in the world, particularly the Middle East?
Why did there appear to be an order from Cheney preventing the shooting down of the “plane” headed for the Pentagon? For a clip of Norman Mineta’s testimony on this, and for an analysis of the facts, watch this video clip from “Breaking the Set.” Also see a more complete record of Mineta’s testimony here.
Why were so many of the metal beams in the rubble sliced diagonally, as per controlled demolitions, rather than naturally broken asymmetrically? And why was most of the steel scrapped and sold overseas, particularly in China? To see Representative Joseph Crowley address this, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugCIIn6Nexs
How did the “terrorists” just manage to pick the day on which the Air Force was running war-games pertaining to *precisely* this kind of scenario; that is, they were running drills related to “terrorists flying planes into buildings.” One of the buildings? The WTC. That’s why NORAD had no idea if what they were seeing was real or not.
And why did Condoleezza Rice then say in open hearings in Congress that “no one could’ve foreseen that anyone would fly a plane into a building”?–a falsehood that was continually repeated by Rumsfeld, Cheney, and others in interviews on television for months afterward.
How is it that the Bush’s “Justice” Department had the USA Patriot and Homeland Security Bills ready to go so soon after 9/11? Why wasn’t Congress even allowed to read the former before voting on it?–It was “still warm in my hands,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) on the House floor. If they had such keen ideas about how to improve communication between various executive departments, why didn’t they bother heeding the warnings of 9/11 that passed over Bush’s desk in August of that year from agencies that were trying to communicate with them?
Why did it take YEARS of persistent demands from the 9/11 widows for the Bush Administration and Congress to open an investigation into the “worst attack in American history”?
Why did Cheney and Bush refuse to testify alone and/or under oath, as the 9/11 Commission requested? Were they hiding something? What other reason could there be not to testify under oath? If you’re telling the truth, nothing could go wrong, right? Or did logic, just like the laws of physics, stop working on 9/11? And if so, when will logic start working again?
Why did Paul Wellstone die in a freak “plane accident” so soon after vowing to reopen investigations into 9/11?
And finally, why are our civil liberties continuing to be eroded by the next president, President Obama? Why does his government persecute–I mean, prosecute–whistleblowers who reveal the warcrimes in the conflicts that started *because of 9/11*, like Chelsea (née Bradley) Manning, John Kiriakou, Thomas Drake, and so many others under archaic laws? Why is his NSA branching out in regard to the warrantless wiretapping that gained notoriety under the Bush Administration?
There are far more unanswered questions than those that I’ve mentioned here, but if these aren’t enough to at least bring questions to the minds of those who consider me and others like me to be “conspiracy theorists,” then there’s really no point. We’ll just have to wait for this generation to die off and for another to rise up and be able to review the events of 9/11 with some degree of objectivity, because the mainstream media, and those among the independent media that wish to retain an image of “rationalism” (see the quote from “The Body Electric” above), use no objectivity in regard to 9/11. They all react emotionally.
Why Didn’t We Attack Saudi Arabia?
To address David Pakman’s question about why the Bush Administration–if they’d been responsible for 9/11–didn’t simply blame it on Iraq, the fact is that there is no singular consensus among truthers about what the short-term goals of the administration were, but no one (at least that I know of) has suggested that 9/11 was fabricated in order to get us into Iraq specifically. The goal was to build up our war-machine to secure American military dominance through the waging of at least two prolonged theater wars–and look, we’re in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we aren’t showing any signs of actually leaving in the near future! By making the issue with Iraq the phantom WMDs–just one more lie from the Bush Administration–they were able to make the conflict last longer, since simply toppling a government is easy enough; finding WMDs that don’t exist keeps us there longer! Not to mention being able to use depleted uranium on Afghanistan and Iraq–labeling anyone who protested it “a traitor” or “unpatriotic”–has allowed them to devastate that whole region with cancer-causing DU for generations to come, leaving them unable to resist us effectively for decades or even centuries.
My question to David Pakman is, if the “hijackers” were from Saudi Arabia, why didn’t we attack Saudi Arabia? Why, after all of the planes were grounded in the U.S., did Bush give the Bin Laden family permission to leave via airplane, not allowing the FBI to question them in regard to the whereabouts of the supposed mastermind of 9/11, Osama Bin Laden? Why has Saudi Arabia, the source of the “hijackers,” not been bothered by the U.S.?
To call all of this “conspiracy theory” or “conspiratorial thinking” is to ignore one basic fact: the official stories are all conspiracy theories; the only difference is who is at the heart of the “conspiracy,” and the vitriolic and acidic responses that truthers get from “rational” people signifies to me that the debate has nothing to do with facts and everything to do with what people are capable of accepting. Furthermore, people who accept one of the official stories (or Statist) will expect “conspiracy theorists” to have a single, coherent description of everything that happened that day, and then when they can’t answer every single question, the Statist will dismiss the Truther entirely, regardless of how many discrepancies in the official stories the Truther can show the Statist. That basically boils down to saying, “You don’t have an explanation for everything that happened that day, and so I’m going to believe the guys who have one” (regardless of how many holes there are in it). This is like rejecting science and evolution in favor of creationism because the Bible provides a “story” of how the world came about, whereas science only has theories about the origins of the universe (and the Earth, for that matter). This is a rejection of facts in favor of a narrative that one finds more pleasing and fulfilling, and attacking Truthers for not having all the answers is no different. We don’t have all the answers; all we wanted–and all the widows of the 9/11 victims wanted–was an impartial, objective, and thorough investigation in which no one was above reproach, no one testifies in secret, everyone testifies under oath, and no agenda takes precedence over discerning the truth. We’re still waiting.
I, for one, wish that the official story were true, because it scares me to death to know that there are elements in this government that are willing and able to kill thousands of Americans and world citizens in order to jump-start their war-machines. Still, I prefer not to keep my head in the sand, no matter how warm and comfortable it might be.
^1: By “harder,” I don’t mean “greater in difficulty” but rather to indicate that on a cline ranging from the “hardest” sciences to the “softest” sciences, those sciences mentioned before linguistics fall much closer to the “hardest” side than the formal study of language does. Just as a cute side-note, when I was studying functional linguistics, some of my fellow students and I would joke about how linguistics isn’t just a “soft” science but rather a “squishy” science, given that there are virtually always exceptions to rules presented and that, as one of my favorite professors–Scott Delancey–had a fondness for saying, “grammars aren’t leakproof.” That said, I feel I must now defend the rigorousness of linguistics because although it’s a soft (or squishy) science, rules and other statements made regarding linguistic phenomena are dismissed and tossed aside if they don’t present an applicability of (an estimated) 95-99%–unlike of other social sciences where something can be said to be “true” if it applies roughly 70-80% of the time. [This note was added on June 7th, 2014]