In January of 2002, Noam Chomsky was asked the following question by an audience member at a speaking engagement for FAIR in New York: "Is there credible evidence that some part of the US government was complicit in the 9/11 attacks?" His answer: "That's an internet theory and it's hopelessly implausible. Hopelessly implausible. So hopelessly implausible I don't see any point in talking about it." As a matter of fact, the accusation of evidence for USG complicity had been made just days before by former top German minister and widely recognized intelligence expert Andreas von Buelow in an interview with Tagesspiel, adding weight to a number of independent investigations that had already been very effectively raising serious questions for several months. No, not quite an "internet theory."
For those who had spent every spare minute of their time for months studying the issue of 9/11 prior knowledge and discovering the utter absurdity of the official narrative, Chomsky was obviously out to lunch. But, you can't fault him for not being consistent. His attitude, post-9/11, is in many ways a repeat of an episode a decade ago, when he and a handful of other "leftist" figures signed onto a savage establishment media attack on Oliver Stone and his film JFK, which brought an interpretation of the JFK assassination conspiracy to the public. In addition to defending the Warren Commission report's "lone gunman" findings, these anticonspiratorialists made a peculiar far-fetched hedge, claiming that the assassination did not result in any significant changes to US policy or the political power structure, and hence need not concern Left political analysis in the slightest!
Hmmm. Not only have the latter arguments been very soundly demolished by recent (mainstream) historical work, but another recent news item made light of the whole situation, although it slipped by with very little notice during the uproar over Israel's incursion into Palestinian territory last Spring. This was the completion of a top-flight official scientific study of audio recordings from Dealey Plaza, reported in the Washington Post, which finally confirmed the existence of a second gunman at the notorious "grassy knoll" with almost total certainty (repeating the results of a similar study carried out for the House Assassinations Cmte. in the 1970s). So, now science has spoken: those who continue to accept the "lone gunman" findings of the Warren Commission Report are, well, frauds.
Still, a lot of people seem gullible enough to believe that "America's leading intellectual dissident" can be trusted to give them the real scoop on 9/11; his lightweight pamphlet, '9/11', has been a bestseller, becoming for many the default "dissident" view of the "War on Terror". Meanwhile, a number of political scholars and security experts are now openly discussing the very strong evidence suggesting that 9/11 was probably an inside job and the al Qaeda terrorists were setup patsies, with the overwhelmingly critical implication that the trigger for the "War on Terrorism" was a fabricated deception. Chomsky, true to form, seems to pretend the evidence doesn't exist.
There is one piece of documentation, however that Chomsky did seem to find interesting, which he made sure to include in his book's appendix: The US State Department's Report on Foreign Terrorist Organizations, from the Office of the Coordinator of Counterterrorism.
My Beef With Chomsky (Michael Morrissey, Sep 2000)
Concerning Chomsky's arrogant evasions of fact and truly bizarre double standards about trusting official sources, in regards to several critical conspiracy issues (including the JFK assassination). Also, he points out Chomsky's change of mind from his keen interest in the JFK assassination in the late 60s, something he doesn't seem to have anything to say about these days.
Rethinking Chomsky (Michael Morrissey, May 1994)
Rethinking Camelot (Boston: South End Press, 1993) "Noam Chomsky's worst book. I don't think it merits a detailed review, but we should be clear about the stand that 'America's leading intellectual dissident,' as he is often called, has taken on the assassination. It is not significantly different from that of the Warren Commission or the majority of Establishment journalists and government apologists, and diametrically opposed to the view 'widely held in the grassroots movements and among left intellectuals' (p. 37) and in fact to the view of the majority of the population."
Max Holland Rescues the Warren Commission and the Nation (Gary Aguilar, PROBE. Sep 2000)
A very detailed and lengthy rebuttal of Max Holland (who has been featured in The Nation) and his defence of the Warren Commission. On the subject of the JFK assassination, Holland is roughly in the same camp as Chomsky and Cockburn.
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