By Craig McKee
Over the past two or three decades, I have admired certain prominent members of the American political left: Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, and Gore Vidal among them. More “popular” journalistic voices like Michael Moore and Phil Donahue have also been in my good books for their progressive stances on various issues.
But since I’ve become more involved in questioning the official story of 9/11, my perspective about who really wields power and who is standing up for the truth in a meaningful way has radically changed.
As recently as 2008 when Barack Obama was elected, I viewed the victory of a Democratic candidate for president over a Republican as a victory for the good guys (not that I didn’t see the flaws in the Democrats, don’t get me wrong). I’ve come to realize, however, that the real power is being wielded behind the scenes, quite independent of who is elected president.
When it comes to commentary, it is easy to write off the irrationality of right-wingers like Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, or Rush Limbaugh (the thoroughly vile Ann Coulter gets a category all to herself). But it’s the voices that I used to listen to with admiration that have truly disappointed me.
The latest prominent progressive to lose their lustre is broadcaster Bill Moyers, the veteran journalist and commentator, who has brought intelligence to the exploration of the power structure and how freedom of thought and speech are threatened by it.
With his work at PBS over the past 25 years or so, I have admired Moyers more than I have any other broadcast journalist in America. But his view of the 9/11 Truth movement has led me to lose all faith in his ability to see through his own preconceived ideas about democracy – and the simple importance of fact over prejudice.
In a speech given in January 2011, Moyers attacked the Truth movement for having “no real evidence.” He said that truthers had cherry-picked “a few supposed anomalies” to propagate a “Big Lie.” I wonder how many of David Ray Griffin’s books he has read? Clearly the answer is none.
Joining the rest of the so-called liberal media, Moyers has ignored the evidence available to him and has reached an ill-informed and dismissive position. In his speech, he used the term “conspiracy theory” to write off any challenge to the official story. One would expect more from someone who has made a career of looking beyond what passes for truth in mainstream commentary.
Moyers says truthers built the “inside job” storyline by ignoring the al-Qaeda evidence. Ironically, Moyers has neatly described what he and other official story advocates have done. The official scenario of boxcutters, fundamentalist Muslims, exploding towers, disappearing planes, and incompetent pilots who suddenly became able to pilot 757s was built on a pile of lies that doesn’t stand up to even the most cursory examination.
Of course, Moyers (who was press secretary for Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s) is not the only prominent left leaning figure to completely miss the boat on 9/11. Noam Chomsky has rejected any notion of U.S. government involvement while failing to cite any factual justification for his position.
As was pointed out in great detail in Barrie Zwicker’s excellent book Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-up of 9/11, Chomsky has outright dismissed the 9/11 Truth movement – actively ignoring much of the evidence that the official theory is false. He takes the fashionable view of the left that the attacks were the logical result of U.S. imperialism around the world. This is what I used to think. This is what the perpetrators of 9/11 are quite happy to have us think.
Moore, although he has paid lip service to wanting more answers about 9/11, basically echoes what Chomsky says. Moore mocks the Bushes and questions whether their loyalties are more to the Saudi Arabian friends than they are to the American people. He says we haven’t been given all the facts concerning the Pentagon “crash,” but he stops there.
To his credit, Ralph Nader has openly called for a new investigation into 9/11. He points to the efforts of the Bush administration to block any inquiry as an indication that something is terribly wrong.
Let’s face it. The mainstream media (and this includes Moyers, Chomsky, and Moore) are not going to go to bat for the truth about 9/11. They’re going to remain non-committal (Moore) or downright hostile (Moyers and Chomsky).
Fortunately, the people who have driven the Truth movement since 2001 are still fighting for the break that will turn it all around. Instead of looking to Moyers and Chomsky for leadership, we’ll have to look to David Ray Griffin, Richard Gage (when he sticks to discussing the towers), many other committed individuals.
And we have to look to each other. Every individual has their part to play in demanding the truth about 9/11. One of my favourite political buttons sums up what must happen: “If the people will lead, the leaders will follow.”