I was invited this week to write a commentary on a recent episode of CNN’s The Lead for the web site of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. The substance of that article has been incorporated into this one, but new material has also been added.
May 24, 2014
By Craig McKee
The 9/11 Truth movement is under attack once again – but this time there’s more good news than bad.
It seems that Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth’s decision to distribute “alternative” pamphlets at the site of the new National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City has pushed the media into a flurry of hysterical attacks against “truthers” (they call us “so-called truthers”) and what the media love to call “conspiracy theorists.”
These attacks, and the attention that the 9/11 Truth movement is getting as a result of the opening of the museum, mean that the public is being reminded that what happened on 9/11 is still very much in dispute. And that, on balance, is a good thing.
The pamphlets being given out by A&E volunteers mimic the design of the “official” ones (which has provoked much of the media outrage and resulting attention), but instead of the official story, they contain information about how the three World Trade Center towers had to have been brought down with explosives. Unlike the official version, the photo on the cover of the AE pamphlet shows the twin towers AND Building 7.
But beyond the pamphlets, it’s the very existence of the museum that could backfire on the propagandists and perpetrators of the 9/11 false flag operation. This building –which is an attempt to literally set in stone the paper-thin official story of Muslim extremist hijackers – offers a focal point for those opposed to the official lie. It has also given new energy to those determined to fight for the truth about what really happened on 9/11.
In its attacks this week, the media dusted off all their favorite talking points about how truthers are insensitive to the victims of 9/11, how they ignore all that terrific “evidence” in pushing their crazy theories, and how they want to believe in conspiracy theories because it helps them make sense of an increasingly upsetting and senseless world.
One wonders at times whether they read from a single script – if they don’t, they might as well.
Most notably, we had the cartoonishly inane installment of CNN’s The Lead with the smug Jake Tapper, featuring the laughable theories of Slate magazine editor Emily Bazelon. The two trotted out the usual attacks, but Bazelon went several steps further, contending that right-wing anti-government sentiment and people not wanting to pay their taxes are what’s really behind the persistence of the 9/11 Truth movement.
But before we get into the details of the CNN piece, let’s look at a few other print reactions to the A&E initiative at the museum:
The Toronto Star, in its article entitled “‘Truthers’ persist in the face of evidence,” went for the “it’s all been debunked” argument as staff reporter Jacques Gallant offers this gem: “Official investigations have always disproved the truthers’ versions of events, but they are relentless.”.
The “relentless” reference, another common talking point, suggests a kind of mindless dedication to a position when all the facts point elsewhere. The problem is that where 9/11 is concerned, all the facts contradict the official story, and any sincere journalist who cared to actually do a bit of research would see that very quickly.
The Star piece pulls out all the familiar clichés. There’s the insensitivity to the victims again (“Not surprisingly, these conspiracy theorists have angered many by loudly expressing their views with little regard for the feelings of those affected by a particular tragedy.”). Then there’s the lumping together of anyone who questions anything into one homogenous group (“Aside from the 9/11 group, other prominent truthers include climate change deniers (hello, Pat Sajak), those who questioned the veracity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate (the “birthers”) and those convinced that the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in 2012, in which 20 children and six adults were killed, was not the work of a lone gunman.”).
The Washington Times had this headline: “9/11 truthers to distribute propaganda at museum opening.” One wonders how the Times defines propaganda, exactly. Apparently, it’s any idea that differs from what they have already told their readers.
Then there’s The Village Voice, which we’re told “broke” the pamphlet story (as if it was ever meant to be a secret). The Voice noted that AE911Truth is not from New York and is raising money to fund the trip – as if that disqualifies them from having an opinion on 9/11 or this “national” museum. And then they offered this nugget of sarcasm: “If nothing else has worked to open the eyes of the non-conspiracy-minded public, surely fake brochures will do the trick.”
My favorite headline of a print piece on the campaign was by the web site The Week. Their blurb in the “Speed reads” section of their site (doesn’t that just suggest intellectual depth) was: “9/11 truthers plan subversive protest of terror attack museum.”
Ah, the old subversive free speech. I thought we got rid of that by now.
But it was with the CNN broadcast that things really got crazy. Tapper’s report is a hysterical compendium of all the empty slogans and anti-conspiracy-theory talking points that make up the mainstream media’s continuing attack on the 9/11 Truth movement. It didn’t take more than a couple of seconds into the report to know how Tapper was going to play the story.
He tells us that “the conspiracy group” AE911Truth plans to stand outside the museum and hand out fake museum pamphlets that look exactly like the real ones. The whole exercise is labelled an affront to the victims’ families.
“Can’t these people give it a rest for one day out of respect for the families?” an exasperated Tapper queries, adding that the 9/11 memorial is “sacred.”
Tapper states that truthers are using the opening of the museum as an opportunity to spread their lies about the attacks. He reads from the AE pamphlet: “Welcome to the other 9/11 story” but then adds, “the false one.”
Of AE, he says: “Of course they don’t prove anything except for man’s capacity to believe crazy things and man’s insensitivity to, for instance, the families of the approximately 3,000 people killed at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in a field in Pennsylania by Islamic terrorists with al-Qaeda as every credible investigation has actually proven.”
I’m not sure if he’s talking about the 9/11 Commission Report, which even commission members have called a “cover-up” or the NIST report, which AE911Truth research (and other research) has shown to be rooted in fantasy, not science.
It was Bazelon’s job to help Tapper figure out just what is psychologically motivating all these crazy and heartless truthers.
She says: “Usually with a conspiracy theory you imagine that people are trying to make sense of the senseless. But with 9/11 we have a real conspiracy called al-Qaeda. And so one has to imagine that the anti-government motivation of the 9/11 truthers is really what’s driving this. Because if you could imagine the government made up 9/11 as a hoax then the government is completely monstrous, and there’s no reason to believe anything any federal official says and certainly no reason to pay your taxes.”
She certainly likes to imagine.
First, she admits that her pet theory about making sense of the senseless (which we hear regularly from the official story apologists) doesn’t fit the situation. But that doesn’t deter her as her remarks then take a turn toward the surreal. In her world, if you don’t unquestioningly swallow whole the story of Islamic terrorists with box cutters then you must think EVERY government official is in on it, and therefore you don’t have to continue funding that government.
Perhaps Bazelon, who seems to pluck her theories out of thin air with absolutely no basis in fact or evidence, could provide us with even one example of a 9/11 truther whose views have their genesis in a desire to avoid paying taxes. I wonder if either Bazelon or Tapper could come up with anything at all to back up anything they say in this report.
The frowning Tapper then asks, “What happens when this nonsense hits the echo chamber of the Internet?” This prompts more incoherence from Bazelon.
“You see these dark corners of the Internet where people pile on, and there’s this minute parsing of the technicalities of the supposed evidence, and more and more detail gets added and accumulated, and it kind of feeds on itself,” she responds.
Huh? Is that sort of like saying that people on the Internet examine all the evidence and accumulate and discuss their findings? Perhaps if the mainstream media did some examining of evidence then the truth about 9/11 might be clearer to everyone by now, including their viewers. But that’s not really their role in this scenario, is it?
Not to be outdone, Tapper risks straining himself with some political analysis.
“Historically, we see that these conspiracies come after very upsetting events like the Kennedy assassination, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. – is there a pattern there?”
Could it be that people get upset by conspiracies to kill public figures for political reasons, and they get just as upset when the government and media collaborate in covering them up? And could it be that one of the reasons these events are so upsetting is that the conventional explanations for them are so transparently bogus?
And these explanations are always wrapped in phony emotion so that the rational doesn’t have to be addressed. Do we all see that pattern? Our “journalist” friends would have us believe that the only appropriate way that we can and should react to an event like 9/11 is emotionally. The museum itself focuses on the heroism and the emotion of the day – whatever it takes to stay away from the facts, which overwhelmingly contradict the official story.
Tapper attempts to clarify just what truthers are actually saying:
“And the idea here is not just that the three buildings were destroyed by explosives, but that it’s all part of this grand conspiracy where the U.S. government – and let me state, if I haven’t made it clear enough, none of this is true, this is all just crazy talk – that the U.S. government faked it, killed all these people intentionally, and it was just to start a war in Iraq and another one in Afghanistan. Is that the idea they’re going for here?”
Here’s where even Bazelon has to admit there were some problems with how the Iraq war started.
“That’s the idea, and just to state it is to show how horrifying it is. I suppose that given that the American government did put forward some false ideas to motivate going into Iraq – in particular the whole idea that there were weapons of mass destruction there – that’s the tiny, tiny kernel of truth that is in some way related to this completely crazy theory.”
Some false ideas? She means lies, but for some reason she won’t say that.
Bazelon minimizes the importance of these “false ideas,” which have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, and she makes sure to get the word “crazy” in there to counter her subtle admission that the war was started under false pretenses.
Up to this point in the report, the really big gun hasn’t been brought out, but Tapper takes care of that with his predictable accusation that truthers are motivated by anti-Semitism.
“There’s also a lot of scapegoating with the 9/11 truther stuff,” he says. “There’s anti-Semitism, anti-Israel, anti-corporations.”
Anti-corporations? Are we to understand that being critical of corporations now pegs one as a conspiracy theorist as well? From her place in the official story echo chamber, Bazelon responds:
“Exactly. And I think you see these virulent strains that are related to each other from familiar right-wing talk, and they all get weirdly braided together in this particular theory.”
I suspect she uses phrases like “weirdly braided together” more for sound than meaning.
The anti-Semitism charge is a common one, and it seems to be thrown at truthers more and more often as time goes on (the theme of the “contagion” in the form of the term “virulent strains” is also a part of this). We saw this with the attack on A&E’s Richard Gage by Sun News journalist Michael Coren, who accused truthers and Gage in particular of believing that all the Jews were told to stay away from the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Coren also used the word “virulent.” Of course, Gage made no such comment (I covered this in two recent articles on Truth and Shadows, here and here). All the same talking points were there in Coren’s report that we see in the CNN piece.
The CNN propaganda masquerading as news is actually a carefully crafted attack on anyone who questions what the media tells us and anyone who is not satisfied with the official cover-up of 9/11. And it is far from the only recent example. Newsweek, for example, has just produced a cover story ominously entitled, “The plots to destroy America.” In this attack on “conspiracy theorists” we are told that it goes beyond craziness and insensitivity – that public health and public policy are threatened by those who question the official line.
It seems that those of us who question 9/11 must be making progress if the mainstream media lapdogs have to dust off these kinds of attacks against us. It also seems that the purveyors of the 9/11 official story may have made an error when they decided to enshrine this story in a museum of glass, steel, and concrete, because now they have given the Truth movement a place where they can direct their efforts to expose the great 9/11 lie.