The 'Left' continues to be divided on the issue of investigating 9.11, even now, when the issue is breaking into the mainstream. One point of view holds that 9.11 was due to incompetence on the part of U.S. intelligence agencies (which is essentially the government's current story). Another sees clues that suggest foreknowledge or complicity by elements within the corporate/governmental power structure. A diverse array of theories and questions are being put forth by this second camp, and cynics from the first camp are broad-brushing them with the label 'conspiracy theories'. |
So which is it? Well, it's not an either-or situation. First, those putting forth questions and theories are not unified in their beliefs or assertions, and cannot be lumped together into one 'school'. Indeed, as Michael Albert of Z Magazine has correctly pointed out, various theories contradict each other, and cannot all be true. Each theory must be examined separately on its own merits. Secondly, there are those people who don't subscribe to any particular theory, but who want questions to be asked, and some type of investigation to be undertaken. After all, ~3000 people died in the U.S. on 9.11, and the U.S. government has spent time and money since then killing people overseas and eviscerating the Bill of Rights at home. Are either of these actions affecting those responsible for 9.11? Third, some of the most strident critics of alternative 9.11 theories have spent little-to-no energy applying their intellectual faculties to the government's official story, which has made others call their intellectual faculties into question.
This week, two new essays came out from 9.11 investigation skeptics. In 'The September 11 X-Files' David Corn, of the Nation, takes 9.11 investigators to task, but fails to put the government under the same sort of scrutiny: 'As of now, there is not confirmable evidence to argue that the conventional take on September 11--bin Laden surprise-attacked America as part of a jihad, and a caught-off-guard United States struck back--is actually a cover story.' His article has stirred up a lively debate on the newswire: [ Read more, join the discussion ]
In 'Conspiracies Or Institutions: 9-11 and Beyond', Stephen R. Shalom & Michael Albert of Z Magazine present a thesis that is at once ponderous and snide, and try to jam the entire discussion about 9.11 into a false dichotomy of 'institutional' vs. 'conspiracy' theories. Their effort is as unconvincing as it is overly-wrought. (Which is to say, 'very'.) This post, too, has spawned an active discussion: [ Read more, join the discussion ]
Not everyone on the 'left' is digging in like Corn, Shalom and Albert, though. Peter Phillips, the well-respected editor of the venerable 'Project Censored' series, has gone on record accusing the Corporate Media of "defaulting" on 9.11. The magazine In These Times has stepped out into the field with a well-balanced article entitled, "Nightmares of Reason: Sorting fact from fiction in 9/11 conspiracy theories". Alexander Cockburn's Counterpunch magazine published an article by Bernard Weiner called "The Bush 9/11 Scandal for Dummies" that lays the subject out clearly without a jot of venom or froth.
Still others feel that this is not an issue of 'Right' or 'Left' at all, but simply of truth.
When it comes down to it, it's too early to say if the full truth of 9.11 is already out or will never come out. The official government story has little evidence to support it, and is a rather grand and spindly conspiracy theory in and of itself. Pressure for an investigation -- to at least ask some questions -- is building around the country from a variety of sources, and my advice to Corn, Shalom, Albert, and the other self-appointed defenders of the credibility of the left is this: Either join us in demanding answers, or get out of our way. Who knows -- maybe we'll find out you're right. But we need proof, and we don't have that yet. We need a full and public investigation to unearth that. Time's a wastin' while you write your long-winded egg-headed screeds. Let's get to work digging !!