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9/11 AND AMERICAN EMPIRE: Intellectuals Speak Out,
Reviewed, By Carolyn Baker
, Adjunct Professor of History, New Mexico State University
Surely there can be no higher duty for academics and other intellectuals at this time than to expose the big lie of 9/11, thereby undermining the primary pretext for the global domination project.
Morgan Reynolds, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Texas A& M University (P. 115 of 9/11 And American Empire)                 

Professors David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott have edited a masterpiece of critical thinking and scholarly analysis in this collection of articles by intellectuals who have broken silence on the atrocities of September 11, 2001. I have revered Peter Dale Scott for many years, having used his books and articles in my college history classes. This wise elder, professor emeritus of English, is one of few in academia who have addressed the United States government’s half-century role in drug trafficking and money laundering, and he has offered us the concept of deep politics, (1) which “posits that in every culture and society there are facts which tend to be suppressed collectively, because of the social and psychological costs of not doing so. Like all other observers, I too have involuntarily suppressed facts and even memories about the drug traffic that were too provocative to be retained with equanimity.”  Scott’s co-editing of this volume is particularly significant because if ever the issue of deep politics were germane, it is in relation to 9/11.

David Ray Griffin, professor emeritus of religion, theology, and philosophy is the critical thinker’s thinker, having authored two previous masterpieces, The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About The Bush Administration and 9/11 and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions And Distortions. If you have been privileged to watch Griffin on video or DVD, you must confess that his demeanor, as well as his research on 9/11, adds a human dimension to his analysis that conveys both compassion and objectivity.

As a member of academia myself, I am buoyed by the caliber of scholars included in the Griffin-Scott volume, particularly in the light of what I consider higher education’s abject paranoia regarding skepticism of the official story of 9/11. As I stated when recently interviewed by Jason Miller at Civil Libertarian Blogspot (2), professors at the end of their academic preparation often emerge with rigid concepts of how they “should” think or how they “should” teach, to such an extent that they become almost terrified of being viewed as conspiracy theorists and develop what I call “conspiracy phobia” in which case, they become as intellectually stilted and irrelevant as the tormenters of Galileo during the Spanish Inquisition. At one time in history the notion that microscopic organisms called bacteria even exist, let alone foster and spread disease, was considered an outlandish violation of reason and logic, as was the theory that the earth was not flat or that human beings would someday travel around the globe in “flying machines.” Academics of those eras took enormous pride in their ability to think critically and not engage in fallacies of logic, but history has proven that for these individuals, things were anything but what they seemed.

Currently in so-called progressive discourse about 9/11, there appear to be two perspectives regarding the political, economic, geopolitical, Constitutional, and social significance of the event. The first group believes that 9/11 was used opportunistically by the Bush administration to extend its global domination project and that the administration knew the attacks were coming but allowed them to happen; the second group believes that more than having foreknowledge, the Bush administration, in fact, orchestrated the event. Within these two perspectives, there exist myriad theories regarding the evidence for either allowing the event or orchestrating it.

Some individuals believe that physical evidence is important to analyze, while others do not. Still others believe that some other object besides a plane hit the Pentagon on the morning of September 11, while other individuals are virulently opposed to that notion. I personally believe that a consideration of the physical evidence, although it has virtually all been destroyed and removed from any possibility of examination, is relevant, and I disagree with those who assert that debates regarding the physical evidence are a distraction from the analysis of motive, means, and opportunity. For me, it is not either/or but both/and. Critical thinking demands an inclusive examination of all facets of any crime.

Although I’ve used the term critical thinking, I have done so without defining it. Here is one comprehensive definition:

Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness. (3)

In my opinion, one of the most important aspects of critical thinking is asking questions which is due, in part, to my preference for questions rather than answers written in stone. This is the paramount reason for my enthusiastic support for the 9/11 truth movement. As long as a community of thinkers, and indeed, the citizenry at large, continue to question the events of September 11, there is at least a spark of hope that at some point, with the proper conditions and at the right time, that spark might be fanned into a flame of revolution. And of course, as our Founding Fathers incessantly reminded us, there are many ways to make revolution besides the use of bombs and bullets, and if we are not willing to do so once a democratic republic has become antithetical to its principles, then we do not deserve to live in a democratic republic. Citizenry in a democratic republic, the Constitutional framers told us, is attended by momentous responsibilities, including the willingness to “alter and abolish” it should it cease to be a democratic republic.

Or as Professor and Ret. Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, states in her article in 9/11 American Empire, entitled “Assessing The Official 9/11 Conspiracy Theory” :

To question the official 9/11 story is simply, and fundamentally revolutionary. In this way, of course, questioning the official story is also simply and fundamentally American.

Two chapters in the book are devoted to physical evidence, one by Physics Professor, Steven Jones of Brigham Young University and engineer, Kevin Ryan. For those who insist that physical evidence is not important in the discourse regarding 9/11, I would simply ask: Why have Jones and Ryan been so harassed by their superiors for their assertions? If discussion of physical evidence is irrelevant, why would there be any backlash against the “peripheral distraction” of analyzing it?

Swiss history professor, Daniele Ganser, in his article, “The ‘Strategy Of Tension’ In The Cold War Period” makes one of the most profound statements in the book when he says that “It is important to stress that all of the theories about 9/11 are conspiracy theories,” adding that a conspiracy is merely a secret agreement between two or more persons to engage in a criminal act—nothing new or unusual in the field of historical research. Therefore, says Ganser, “Once we realize that none of the theories can be dismissed on the grounds that it is a ‘conspiracy theory’, the real question becomes: Which conspiracy theory correctly describes the 9/11 conspiracy?”(P. 80)

The “strategy of tension” is essentially psychological warfare which targets the emotions of humans and aims to spread maximum fear. Not only are political opponents discredited through incessant terrorist attacks, but most importantly the innocent are kept in a state of tension, which serves the purposes of those benefiting from the attacks.

Ganser takes on two very common arguments of those who insist that the U.S. government could not have been involved in orchestrating the attacks, namely, the assertion that our government would “never do such a thing” and the premise that if the U.S. government had helped carry out the attacks, the planning and execution of that could not have remained secret for long. Ganser emphasizes that both are a priori arguments—a priori simply meaning reasoning from a general law to a particular instance or a phenomenon that is valid independently of observation.(P.99)

Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of Law at Princeton University, in his article “Global Ambitions and Geopolitical Wars: The Domestic Challenge”, notes that many extraordinarily suspicious events have occurred in the United States in the last century—events which bear on the legitimacy of the process of governance, and these have been repeatedly shielded from mainstream inquiry by being re-inscribed as the wild fantasies of conspiracy theorists. Thus, “the issue never gets resolved and lingers in the domain of limbo, beclouded by suspicion, but unresolved so far as opinion-makers are concerned—and thus ignored.” (P.120) Certainly, individuals of my generation are all-too familiar with the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and Martin Luther King as stellar examples of suspicious events that have never gotten resolved.

Canadian philosophy professor, John McMurtry in “9/11 And The 9/11 Wars: Understanding The Supreme Crimes” examines denial among U.S. citizenry, including the so-called progressive media, which has ignored the Project For The New American Century (PNAC) and Zbigniew Brzezinski’s infamous The Grand Chessboard book of 1997, both of which clearly elucidated the ruling elite’s agenda for global domination on behalf of acquiring resources such as petroleum, gold, and water. McMurtry reminds us of the “staggering payoffs” that accrued to a plethora of beneficiaries of 9/11, but concludes that “With or without 9/11 as a pretext for ‘war without end’, the post-1991 global capitalist experiment has failed as a form of economic organization that serves human life and conditions on our planet.” (P. 148)

The grand conclusion to 9/11 American Empire is its final chapter, “Parameters Of Power In The Global Dominance Group: 9/11 And Election Irregularities In Context”, by Peter Phillips, with Bridget Thornton, and Celeste Vogler, a frightening termination to a collection of exceedingly thoughtful articles about September 11  in which the authors analyze very succinctly and incisively the principal players in the global dominance project, individuals as well as organizations and financial systems, and raise disturbing questions about the role of these in the 2000 election fraud and 9/11. The scope and power of these entities is nothing less than jaw-dropping, thus preparing the reader for the article’s and the book’s final paragraph:

We are past the brink of totalitarian fascist-corporatism. Challenging the neocons and the GDG (Global Dominance Group) agenda is only the beginning of reversing the long-term conservative reactions to the gains of the 1960s. Re-addressing poverty, the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and our own weapons of mass destruction is a long-term agenda for progressive scholars and citizen democrats. (P.188)
I strongly recommend 9/11 And American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out not just for members of academia, but for anyone interested in moving beyond the red herring of “conspiracy theory”. Even if one has already analyzed many of the unanswered questions of 9/11, one is certain to discover more in this book and experience further intellectual validation from these remarkable thinkers.

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