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The Left Gatekeepers

[Editor's Note: This essay is excerpted from Chapter 5 of Barrie Zwicker's book, Towers of Deception. Barrie squarely addresses the issue of Left Gatekeepers, those wonderful and sensitive souls of the Left who bring us the 'real story' on alternative radio. These include most of the regulars I hear over the only alternative FM radio station available here in southern California, Pacifica's Radio KPFK out of Los Angeles. Amy Goodman,  Lila Garrett, Sonali Kolhatkar, David Basarmian, Howard Zinn, and Noam Chomsky are but a handful of the more prominent names. What we hear from Chomsky, Zinn, and even Bill Moyers, are sublime and poignant commentary on the barbarities of our day- from the heartless profiteering by corporate fat cats to the incalculable misery imposed on the people of Afghanistan and Iraq by right wing 'neo cons' bent on ever- greater profits from oil, but we don't hear ONE word about 911 being an Inside Job. We don't hear one word about Chemtrails. We hear nothing of Rex 84, FEMA concentration camps, or any discussion of the more than 133 two-mile deep underground city/bases located all over America which every state governor and every member of congress has a ticket to enter. We hear zero criticism of the majority in congress who have voted for legislation or who sponsored bills which encouraged the hordes of illegal aliens to pour into this country from our southern border and deprive Americans of fair wage jobs, while saddling American taxpayers with the cost of incarceration, medical care, and schooling for roughly 32 million illegals. What we hear from Left Gatekeepers is what the Illuminati WANTS us to hear from a thoroughly controlled "alternative" news source   ...Ken Adachi]

By Barrie Zwicker
October 5, 2007

The Left Gatekeepers (May 4, 2008)

(Excerpted from Chapter 5 of Barrie Zwicker's Towers of Deception)

Original title: The Shame of Noam Chomsky and the Gatekeepers of the Left

A surprisingly large number of Left/ radical / alternative / non-establishment media outlets - most of them, in fact - have adopted the same stance on 9/11 as Chomsky: refuse to investigate 9/11, and discourage and ridicule those who do. Most wind up using the familiar "wacky conspiracy theorists" putdown to describe others on the Left who want to discuss the evidence of an inside job on 9/11. The almost total uniformity within the media (of all political alleged political persuasions) in sync with the White House is more puzzling. In other cases, the Left media pursue questions of malfeasance on the part of the power elites, including some conspiracies such as Iran-Contra.

Individuals and media outlets that have exhibited this stay-away-from 9/11 stance, entirely or in large part, for more than four years now include David Corn and The Nation; Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!; Chip Berlet, senior analyst at Political Research Associates in Somerville, Massachusetts; David Barsamian of Alternative Radio; Michael Albert of Z Magazine; Alexander Cockburn , Norman Solomon, The Progressive, Mother Jones,; Global Exchange; PBS; South End Press; Public Research Associates' FAIR / Extra; Counterspin; Columbia Journalism Review; Deep Dish TV working Assets; Molly Ivins; Ms Magazine; Inter Press Service;; Greg Palast; David Zupan; Northwest Media Project ....

Of course, different people can independently or through dialogue arrive at the same or similar conclusions. Bu it it's a startling anomaly for so many organs and leaders of the conscious Left to be seemingly unconscious regarding 9/22. More than a few on the Left share the opinion of progressive film maker Roy Harvey that "the greatest single obstacle to the spread of 9/11 Truth is the Left media." To my mind, the relationship of Chomsky and the Left Gatekeepers on 9/11 is analogous to the relationships of the White House and the 9/11 Commission. Both relationships are so tight as to invite close scrutiny. Elementary pattern recognition reveals a common agenda among these otherwise well-informed, intelligent, investigative critics of corporate greed, the power elite and the US hegemony. The agenda, completely atypical of their approach generally, is to vigorously reject investigation into 9/11. This is prima facie. One example, that of perhaps Chomsky's best known protégé and amplifier, David Barsamian, is typical of 9/11 blindness on the Left.

On March 7, 2006, Barsamian spoke at a small event in a church basement in his home city of Boulder, Colorado. He made points about the immorality and wrongness of the war in Iraq, the US imperial project, corporate greed, etc. His audience was appreciative of him, his approach, his knowledge of the territory and his ability to express himself. At the question period, the first hand up was that of a Denver man. It's worth nothing that, while Barsamian knew many in the room by name, he did not know who this questioner was except that he was sitting with a 9/11 Truth activist known to Barsamian. Barsamian recognized other hands one after the other, repeatedly ignoring the first hand up. Finally the Denver man's still raised arm could not be ignored any longer. His question in part: "There's been a lot of research into 9/11 in the four-plus years since it's happened." He then gave examples including the WTC Twin Towers, WTC7, the inadequate military response, the multiple war games. " question is this: given this regime is murderous - you have to use that word, you've been talking yourself about what's been going on in Iraq - when are we going to stop calling people 'conspiracy theorists' and dismissing them and be willing to look at 9/11 as an inside job, because it's been the thing that's been galvanizing this fear that's been gripping us?"

Barsamian replied: "I've looked into some of these things and I haven't found any convincing evidence that would persuade me..." he agreed the Bush administration has taken advantage of 9/11. "It's 9/11 24/7. That's their theme song. That's their national anthem." Barsamian said Osama bin Laden "took credit for what happened on September 11th 2001. Why don't we take him at his word?" This overlooked the first audio tape ostensibly from Osama, in September 2001, denying involvement. The murky December 2001 videotape allegedly [ostensibly from bin Laden,] "found" by US military in Kandahar, "took credit." There are many reasons to believe the second is fake. Barsamian pointed to statements by Zacarias Moussouai that he had foreknowledge of 9/11 and said famed investigative reporter Seymour Hersh "doesn't find compelling evidence."

Barsamian Says Pursuing the Truth About 9/11 is a "Black Hole"

"If there was a whiff, a whiff... this would be the greatest story in the history of the world... bigger than Watergate," Barsamian said. He then said "there's a little bit here and there (which sounds like a whiff) but it doesn't connect. It reminds me of the grassy knoll." He stated: "We know of criminal activities of this administration that can be proven beyond a scintilla of doubt. I think we should concentrate on those things." He did not specify which these were or who would concentrate on them or in what ways. He concluded by saying that pursuing the truth about 9/11 is a "black hole," worse than a waste of time. The questioner said later he was "shocked into silence by his response."50

Barsamian's response was remarkable for its synchronicity with Chomsky's and for the way it echoed that of David Ray Griffin's critics Chip Berlet and Robert Baer, David Corn of The Nation, Michael Albert of Z Magazine, and Matt Rothschild, editor of The Progressive.

That the agenda of Chomsky, Barsamian et al would be so widespread and pursued with such intensity begs explanation. One theory would be incompetence - that for some reason all these "thinkers", editors, producers and writers have just lost their curiosity and forgotten how to use the tools of their trade when it comes to 9/11. This theory requires the belief that such widespread persistent incompetence is also coincidental.

Another theory would be that some, perhaps a surprisingly large percentage, of these individuals are following instructions that benefit the national security state; that they are, in other words, agents. The nature and consistency of the anomalies they present prohibit a focus for potentially acrimonious debate. That is, indeed, a not unreasonably founded conspiracy theory. The situation beings to mind the line from the famous Sherlock Holmes mystery The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: "Whenever you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

Acrimony can be diminished in a proportion to facts being brought to bear on the discussion. Because of the suffocating secrecy that attends operations by agents of influence, finding direct evidence is next to impossible. That is why those who want to investigate this intensely troubling and important situation are obliged to turn to circumstantial evidence, intuition and principles of inquiry such as the identification of contradictions, pattern recognition, and the Latin cui bono? (To whose benefit?)

There are other possible, and possibly overlapping, explanations for near-uniform 9/11 blindness on the part of the Left leaders and alternative media. These lead back, in part, to the CIA. Left media increasingly have been seeking and receiving funding from the likes of the Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, Carnegie Endowment, and MacArthur Foundation. Bob Feldman of San Francisco has been a tireless researcher of Left-foundation connections. His articles paint a picture rarely mentioned because both Left and Right have an interest in perpetuating the paradigm and keeping quiet about it.

The accompanying chart shows recent money flows from establishment foundations to Left / alternative media. In a recent article for critical Sociology entitled "report from the Field, Left Media & Left Think Tanks: Foundation-Managed Protest?" Feldman begins ":Left media and their organizations of grants from liberal foundations has transformed their organizational priorities, subjected them to elite control, or channelled their energies into safe, legalistic, bureaucratic activities and mild reformism."

However, 5,000 words and dozens of charts later, he concludes: "... there is much evidence that the funded left has moved towards the mainstream as it has increased its dependence on foundations. This is shown by the "progressive", reformist tone of formerly radical organizations; the gradual disappearance of challenges to the economic and political power corporations or United States militarism and imperialism; and silence on the relationship of liberal foundations to either politics and culture in general, or to their own organizations."51

Specifically on the subject of 9/11, some subtle inducements and pressures on Left media by Right-wing and overtly CIA-connected foundations have come to light. For instance Deep Dish TV Inc was given $75,000 is 2002 by the Ford Foundation to enable "the television news series Democracy Now! to continue incorporating the aftermath of September 11th attacks into future broadcasts." 9/11 Truth activist Emanuel Sferios of Seattle, who found the information, commented at the time: "They never told us a reason [that Democracy Now!] refused to consider any programming about 9/11, but it's quite simple. The Ford Foundation, by supplying so much money to Democracy Now! so they can 'continue incorporating' 9/11 into their broadcasts, does not have to explicitly tell Democracy Now! how they want 9/11 to be covered. Democracy Now! will simply self-censor, because they want future money from the Ford Foundation."52

A few of the left-wing organisations are primarily concerned about threats to media independence, yet all their attention is focused on for-profit corporate (or government) control; they ignore the possible influence of large subventions from non-profit institutions such as foundations, says Feldman. Journalist Ron Curran maintains that: "The only money nonprofits can get these days is from private foundations - and those foundations want to control the political agenda and debate."53 Another critic of the grant system, Brain Salter, makes a strong case against foundation funding of left media and think tanks. After examining the corporate and political connections of Ford and similar foundations' board members, Salter concludes: "The big establishment foundations are likely to seek out 'alternative' media that is more bark than bite, which they can rely on to ignore and dimiss sensitive topics ... as 'irrational distractions' or 'conspiracy theory.'" [emphasis added]

"The Kind of Opposition the US Elite can Live with" and Chomsky as its leader

Salter points out that recipients of funding protest that they are not swayed by any conflicts of interest and don't allow the sources of funding to affect their decisions, "but whether or not these claims are actually true is already somewhat of a red herring. Judging by the journalism being offered (and not offered) by The Nation, FAIR, The Progressive, IPA, Mother Jones, and other recipients of their funding, the big establishment foundations are successfully sponsoring the kind of 'opposition' that the US ruling elite can tolerate and live with."54

During the cold War, the CIA utilized foundations such as Ford "to set up and finance a 'parallel' organization to counter known left-wing bodies.55 In 975, the radical US feminist group Redstockings asserted that: "one major CIA strategy" during the Cold war was "to create or support parallel organizations which provide alternatives to radicalism and yet appear progressive enough to appease dissatisfied elements of society."56 There are no grounds to imagine the CIA or their partners in the foundations have changed their tune or their methods - except to make them more effective. Chomsky's record shows little or no attention to this kind of subversion.

To conclude, Chomsky, the most quoted "radical progressive" or "Leftist" in the Left media, systematically engages in deceptive discourse on certain key topics, such as 9/11, the JFK assassination and with regard to the CIA. In warning the Left against examining the evidence on JFK and 9/11, he lines himself up with George Bush and the corporate media, thereby advancing their agenda - which he otherwise opposes. When he is not appearing to undermine the American Empire, which is the main thing he does, he is buttressing it by undermining the most effective and therefore dangerous for the Empire faces - a conscious radical intelligentsia.

A study of Chomsky's stands on particularly dreadful actions such as JFK's assassination, 9/11, and with regard to the roles of the CIA and FBI, shows Chomsky to be a de facto defender of the status quo's most egregious outrages and their covert agency engines. He conducts his de facto defence of the Empire he appears to oppose through applying the very propaganda methods against which he has warned, including use of the derogatory phrase "conspiracy theorist," which in one context he has characterized as "something people say when they don't want you to think about what's really going on."

His recommendation that people practice "intellectual self-defence" is well taken. But how many could dream the person warning you is one of the most perilous against whom you'll need to defend yourself? That he is the fire marshal who wires your house to burn down, the lifeguard who drowns you, the doctor with the disarming bedside manner who administers a fatal injection? If Noam Chomsky did not exist, the diaboligarchy would have to invent him. To the New World Order he is worth 50 armoured division.

Barrie Zwicker

[POSTSCRIPT: In preparing this book, I contacted Chomsky well in advance and asked him if he would respond to a few questions. No response was received.

]PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3

NOTES: (part 3 notes begin with number 50)

50. Timothy C. Boyle, of Denver, CO, in an e-mail to Barrie Zwicker, April 2006.

51.Bob Feldman, "Report from the Field: Left Media & Left Think Tanks: Foundation-Managed Protest?" in Critical Sociology, Winter 2006.

52. Emanuel Sferios, January 2005, in an e-mail to Charles Shaw, founder and editor of Newtopia Magazine.

53. Ron Curran, "Buying into the News", San Francisco Bay Guardian, October 8, 1997.

54. Brian Salter, " 'Alternative' media paymasters: Carlyle, ALCOA, Xerox and Coca Cola?" posted on, September 29, 2002. Cited at

55. Joan Coxsedge with Ken Coldicutt and Gerry Harant, Rooted in Secrecy: The Clandestine Element in Australian Politics, self-published by the Committee for the Abolition of Political Police (CAPP), p 70.

56. Ibid., p 74.


Subject: The Left Gatekeepers
From: John Howard
Date: Mon, May 5, 2008
To: Editor

Positively sizziling. I agree totally. If they can't get it from the articles that you have posted lately, geeezzzz, I guess the "few" will just have to
carry on forward for the "many" - and somehow we will.

John Howard
Broomfield, CO

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