Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Washington State Greens promote "9/11 truth" conspiracy theories

Airplane wreckage near the Pentagon, 9/11/2001

[NOTE, June 30, 2009: the Washington State Green Party website is no longer fully funcitonal, so a number of the linked-to documents are no longer available. A notice at the Washington Green Party's URL (here, halfway down the page) states that the party itself is "dormant". I'm looking for archived copies of the linked-to material elsewhere. My apologies for the dead links below!]

In researching Washington State Green Party for a story on their advocacy of a deceptive referendum which would divest Seattle's pension fund from companies doing business in Israel (a story I hope to post soon), I was surprised to discover the extent to which they promote "9/11 truth" and other related conspiracy theories.

They have on their platform committee a working group devoted to "9/11 truth" (read here and here and here) which has succeeded in getting the national Green Party to consider a platform provision on that subject that seems likely to be approved. (Read that resolution here.) The resolution refers to "the purported crash of United Airlines Flight 93" and calls for an investigation by "impartial experts in the fields of physics, structural engineering (and) architecture".

The Washington State Greens' website features an essay called "9/11 Truth is THE Issue: A Lesson for Green Politics" by Richard Curtis, PhD. Curtis is adjunct professor of philosophy at Seattle University and a prominent member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, David Ray Griffin's group who also chairs the Green's "9/11 truth" working group. In addition to being an advocate for 9/11-related conspiracies, he's also an advocate of Pearl Harbor conspiracy theory (read here), arguing that FDR knew of the attack beforehand and let it happen to facilitate U.S. entry into the war. This extremely absurd belief, originated by "historical revisionist" / Holocaust denier Harry Elmer Barnes (read here) is common among "truthers". They are apparently unaware of how close Japan came to winning the war at Pearl Harbor. If the Japanese had destroyed our fuel supplies and aircraft carriers at Pearl Harbor, the U.S. very well might have lost the war in the Pacific. There is absolutely no way that risk would have been deliberately taken.

The failure of conspiracy theorists to consider the tremendous risks and minimal benefits of the inside jobs they imagine is just as true of 9/11 'inside job' conspiracies as well. Why would the Bush administration risk having an attack on the United States to start a war? Haven't these "9/11 truth" people ever heard of the Gulf of Tonkin? If the U.S. were seeking to create an illusory act of aggression as a pretext for a war, why would it have been an attack on New York and Washington, and not an attack on a U.S. aircraft or ship, or the border of an ally being breached, or something with fewer loose ends and risk of exposure. Not to mention, as evil as the conspiracy theorists believe our government to be, who would believe that they actually want that sort of harm to come to this country? Setting aside the innumerable errors of fact in their case, as well as the questionable (and always essential) belief that the conspiracy could be kept quiet, the "truther" theories never really give a plausible motive for taking such incredible risks when lesser ones would have been just as effective.

Dr. Curtis argues at length in his piece that the 9/11 "official conspiracy theory" was a lie generated by a corrupt two party system, thus linking the Green Party's reason for being (i.e. as an alternative to the two parties) with the "9/11 truth" movement. I strongly recommend that anyone considering support for the Greens or their proposals read this Green Party document (CLICK HERE [NOTE: the Washington State Green Party website is no longer fully funcitonal, so this document is unavailable. A notice at their URL states that the party itself is "dormant". I'm looking for archived copies of the linked-to material.]) before they do so to get an indication of where the Greens are coming from.

The document connects 115 disparate assertions in "proving" that 9/11 was an inside job, but, amazingly, cites this website: (Serendipity: Geopolitics, Drugs, Religion, Music and More!) as its sole source. It contains several demonstrably false assertions, including several to the effect that no plane hit the Pentagon. It does not address the hundreds of witnesses who ACTUALLY SAW THE PLANE HIT THE PENTAGON INCLUDING AN A.P. REPORTER (read here). (No explanation for the missing passengers and crew of that flight is offered. In fact, in a debate with Chip Berlet on Democracy Now, David Ray Griffin himself was unable to defend his assertion that a missile and not a plane struck the Pentagon other than to say that his case was cumulative as opposed to deductive, and therefor not as weak as its weakest links (read here). I spite of this, he and his associates such as Curtis still make these baseless allegations.)

Curtis also falsely re-asserts the commonly believed falsehood that there was an unusual spike in put orders for stocks which would reasonably be expected to go down in price as the result of the attack, an argument which is addressed and DEBUNKED HERE. Curtis also implies that Zbignew Brzezinski was in with Bush on the conspiracy, an allegation I'm sure that Brzezinski would find very puzzling indeed.

Green Party supporters: feel free to contact me to let me know why I shouldn't think this stuff is just plain mishuga.

By the way, if you haven't read the transcript of David Ray Griffin's DEMOCRACY NOW! debate with Chip Berlet, you should. You really get a sense of the twisted logic and shoddy research underlying the "truth" movement. READ IT HERE. Read the Popular Mechanics webpage on the attack on the Pentagon HERE.

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