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9/11 Truth Movement vs. 9/11 Truth

David Rovics | 01.04.2008 10:14 | Analysis | Terror War

Or, who are these people and why do they keep yelling at me?

I found myself once again singing at an antiwar rally two weeks ago, and once again being confronted by a red-faced white man with an ominous hand-written sign reading, "9/11 was a lie." Most of the crowd was filing off for the post-rally march, aside from a few of my loyal fans who were sticking around for the rest of my set. Among them was the red-faced man, apparently not a fan, who walked towards the small stage with the wild-eyed certainty of a zealot.

"Wake up, David Rovics! David Rovics, wake up to the truth of 9/11!" He was screaming at the top of his lungs, standing about two feet from me. (I continued with the song.) In case I didn't get the message the first time, the red-faced man repeated his mantra. "Wake up! Wake up to the truth of 9/11!"

People like him, whoever he was, have become a fixture of antiwar and other protests since sometime soon after September 11th, 2001. They regularly call in to radio talk shows, they maintain many websites, produce innumerable documentaries, publish plenty of books, hold regular conferences, and show up with alarming predictability to heckle and denounce prominent progressive authors and activists at their speaking engagements.

Art Bell and company

For over a decade I've made a living as a touring musician. As a hardcore news junkie, when satellite radio came into existence I was one of its very first customers, and since I got one I've been able to saturate myself with BBC World Service and the English-language broadcasts of public radio from around the world to my heart's content. But for the many years before satellite radio, during my many late-night drives across the plains, deserts and corn fields of the US, choices were much slimmer.

In the early morning or late afternoon there was usually an NPR (Nationalist Petroleum Radio) station to be found, or, very occasionally, a Pacifica affiliate where I might listen to my favorite radio news programs, Democracy Now! and Free Speech Radio News. (At the very beginning, these programs could be heard on satellite radio via the Hispanic Radio Network, but that channel soon vanished from the satellite airwaves -- over one hundred choices offered, but no news channel to the left of Al Franken...)

But late at night, there were four choices. On the FM airwaves, commercial pop anti-music of various prefabricated genres brought to you by ClearChannel. On AM, you could choose from rightwing Christian evangelists, Rush Limbaugh and Art Bell. The evangelists don't really do anything for me, but when I was getting sleepy, I'd listen to Rush, because he's always good for waking me up -- the powerful desire to strangle someone tends to keep you alert. But most of the time, if I wasn't tired, I'd tune in to Art Bell.

For those unfamiliar with Art Bell's show, it was a corporate-sponsored, nightly, several-hour-long show that has since been passed on to other hosts last I heard, and can generally be found on at least two different AM signals anywhere in the country every weeknight, starting sometime after midnight, as I recall. He apparently broadcast from somewhere in Nevada near the infamous Area 51, where he and many of his guests seemed to believe the US military was experimenting with space aliens who had landed there some time ago.

His guests tended to be authors who had written books or made documentaries about aliens from outer space, telepathy, what all the ghosts are up to these days, Hitler being alive and living in the Antarctic, crop circles, and so on. Being a science fiction fan and one who has had personal experiences that have led me to at least consider the possibility that there is validity in some of these claims, about what Art called the paranormal, I listened with interest to Art and his guests, although usually it was fairly evident they were full of shit.

Listening to Art's guests and to the men (and very occasionally women) who called in, I remembered the excitement I felt as a child, before I developed a more three-dimensional understanding of the world around me, before I developed a fairly solid capability for critical thinking, before I began to understand how to read between the lines of the biases of the various authorities, experts and pundits out there in the textbooks, newspapers and airwaves. I remembered the excitement of having secrets with certain friends that only we "knew." My own pet theories as a child included the notion that cows were not as stupid as they looked, standing around chewing cud, that they were actually engaged in astral travel, using their apparent stupidity as a grand cover of some kind. I fairly well convinced myself in the existence of dragons and elves and other mythical creatures, long after I had realized there was no Santa Claus.

But the fantasy life of children can become very odd when practiced by grown men. Many, if not most, of Art's guests and callers seemed to believe that the things they "knew," such as their prevalent idea that the US military was hiding space aliens in Area 51, were phenomenae that only people like them and Art were being honest about. The rest of the media, society, and the powers-that-be were either ignorant about these realities, or, at least as often, were engaging in a huge, X-Files kind of coverup.

Especially in the context of a fundamentally alienated society, especially for a certain class of white men who seem to be somewhat on the margins of the US system of power and privilege, but are white and male enough to believe that they deserve better, the sort of feeling of brotherhood that comes with "knowing" something that the rest of society doesn't know is a powerful one. It's an obvious source of excitement, and gives people a sense of belonging. Without having had access to more rational ways of understanding their place in the world and the complexities of society, current events, history and power structures, they have found some kind of lens through which they can try to understand the world.

It's a faith-based sort of thing. These people are not looking for different points of view, they are looking for further confirmation of what they already believe -- and of course they share this with many, many others who we could call "people of faith," whether they are Christians who believe Jesus was the son of God, Muslims who believe there is one God, Allah is his name and Mohammed was his prophet, neoliberals who believe the unregulated market will make everybody rich, or Maoists who believe the Chinese cultural revolution was the greatest achievement of humankind. No evidence to the contrary will deter these people in their unswerving certainties.

What I always found most interesting as well as most disconcerting about listening to Art Bell, though, was how he would occasionally -- but regularly -- have on guests who were talking about very real and verifiable conspiracies. Things like the CIA's active role in the world drug trade, the State Department's role in overthrowing governments around the world, or the US, Saudi and Pakistani collaboration in creating, arming and funding the Taleban and Al-Qaeda.

Topics which the corporate media would almost never touch could find an occasional voice in Art Bell -- although Art was just as corporate-funded as ABC or CNN. It seemed that if most of the programming was clearly fantasy-based conspiracy theories, the corporate masters felt that it was politically acceptable to allow Art to have the occasional reality check. It would generally go unnoticed by most people, or be discounted as just another wacky conspiracy theory, so it was OK.

Fantasy undermining reality

And if giving a wide audience to the real conspiracies become harmless when they're presented within a sea of fictional conspiracies, the flip side of that is that the very legitimate investigative journalists such as Seymour Hersch and Robert Fisk who are uncovering and reporting on things like the US role in funding groups like Al-Qaeda can more easily get lost among the static, lost among the hundreds of documentaries purporting to prove that the World Trade Center was brought down by controlled explosives, that the planes that crashed into them were on autopilot and there really were no terrorists on board, that the cell phone conversations passengers had with their loved ones before they died were faked, that there was no plane that hit the Pentagon, and so on.

If you bother slogging through the volumes of books and stacks of documentaries that "9/11 Truth" people will foist on you if you let them, you will find that most of them are propaganda pieces and most of the "experts" are not experts in relevant fields. When you do look beyond this mass of misinformation for real experts, you will easily find pilots who can discount the claims of the Truthers that maneuvering the planes into the towers was a particularly challenging thing for people with only a little flight training to pull off. You will easily find mechanical engineers familiar with the structural flaws in the design of the WTC that allowed it to collapse in the first place, and physicists who can explain why such large buildings would appear to be imploding as if in a controlled demolition, or why people on the scene would have thought they were hearing explosions, etc. My purpose here is not to disprove all the hypothoses presented by the Truthers and their propaganda pieces -- if you want to look into "debunking the debunkers" yourself, there is plenty of information out there, and Popular Mechanics' issue on the subject is a good place to start.

The fact is, the scientific community, while certainly not immune to political pressure, is generally able to function with a grounding in actual science, and is not capable of participating, as a community, in some kind of mass conspiracy of silence or coverup. There is no way to bribe that many scientists. Too many of them believe in the importance of science for science's sake, in honesty. This can be amply demonstrated by the fact that with all the political pressure and money of the US government and ExxonMobil combined, there is still essentially unanimity among climate scientists worldwide that climate change is real, is caused by humans, and is dangerous for our species and others. Even after all the billions upon billions of dollars spent by the tobacco industry to obfuscate reality and bribe policymakers and the scientific community, the scientific community was able to study the issue and determine incontrovertibly the link between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer.

Sowing seeds of doubt

The "9/11 Truth Movement" undoubtedly is made up largely of earnest, decent people, the sorts of decent folks who make up most of Art Bell's guests and listeners. Since thousands of their fellow countrymen and women died on 9/11 and since this event -- whether it was a terrorist attack carried out by US-trained Mujahideen that could have been prevented, or an entirely "inside job" carried out by Dick Cheney with the aide of computers and plastic explosives, as many Truthers claim -- many people in many communities have become justifiably agitated and outraged by world-scale injustices, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and so on.

The old Art Bell listeners who used to be entertained by the fact that most people don't believe there are space aliens in Area 51 are now really extra worked up because the vast conspiracy they have come to believe in are resulting in the deaths of huge numbers of people around the world. And if the rest of us would just understand what they understand, everything would be different. If the media would report on reality as they see it, people would wake up and do something about this situation.

The particularly warped thing about this, though, is that the very media outlets, authors and activists who are doing their best to expose the very real conspiracies that are going on -- people like Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!, David Barsamian's Alternative Radio, Z Magazine, the Progressive Magazine, Norman Solomon and the Institute for Public Accuracy, Noam Chomsky, etc., seem to have become the primary targets of harassment by the Truthers.

Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky, Norman Solomon and others are now regularly heckled at speaking events, and denounced on websites as "gatekeepers." They are seen, it seems, as being even worse than the corporate media, because while reasonable people know not to trust Fox or CNN, they have faith in the integrity of people like Amy Goodman.

You don't have to know Norman Solomon, Amy Goodman or her producers personally to see what nonsense this "gatekeeper" stuff is. You needn't ever have met Amy to know that she has risked her life, and very nearly lost her life, in her decades-long efforts to report the truth. You needn't know her producers personally to recognize that these are all earnest young progressives working long hours to create a daily news program they deeply believe in. The notion that all of her producers are somehow maintaining a code of silence in exchange for the privilege of having their names mentioned at the end of the broadcast, or in exchange for their nominally middle-class salaries, is preposterous.

However, judging from numerous emails I get and conversations I have with fans and acquaintances from around the US and elsewhere, the efforts of the Truthers to sow seeds of doubt among readers and listeners of progressive media is having some palpable impact. Increasingly, I hear from people who have vaguely heard something about this "gatekeeper" phenomenon, something about Ford Foundation money undermining the entire progressive media.

As is so often the case, there are little grains of truth in here that can fester in the minds of people who are not looking at the information critically. For the cops among the Truthers (of course it's a matter of the public record that the FBI and other such agencies regularly write "newspaper articles" -- propaganda or disinformation of whatever sort they deem useful which they disseminate through newspapers, websites, etc.), undermining the legitimacy of the progressive media is exactly their goal, because they don't want the population to know the truth or to trust those who are reporting it. For the more earnest elements among the Truthers, undermining the progressive media is also their goal, because they don't see it as being distinct from the corporate media anyway -- so whether earnest or insidious, the effect is the same.

The grain of truth, of course, is that government, corporate and foundation money have undoubtedly succeeded in making PBS and NPR a shell of it's former self. Foundation money has also had a debilitating impact on the nonprofit world, since support for essential but illegal activities such as civil disobedience on the part of nonprofits will tend to cause them to lose foundation support. Also, nonprofits are prevented by law from participating openly in the electoral process, or they lose their nonprofit status. If progressive media is being influenced by the relatively small amount of foundation money it receives, I don't see it.

It seems evident to me that shows like Democracy Now! are quite willing -- and indeed, are doing their best -- to make waves as much as possible. If they don't report a story it's because they don't think it's a story, or it's not an important enough one to bother with. In the case of "theories" like the notion that controlled demolition brought down the World Trade Center or there were no members of Al-Qaeda on board the airplanes, this narrative has received little coverage in the progressive media because, upon investigation, most decide it's patently ridiculous.

The real gatekeepers

Sometime in 2002 I wrote a song called "Reichstag Fire," in which I asked many of the questions the Truthers were asking. The point of the song was primarily to say that 9/11 has been used as an excuse for the US to carry out a genocidal crusade on much of the Muslim world, and to further the US government's bipartisan agenda of world domination and control of valuable resources in other countries, such as oil. (This is something Truthers and most other people in the world can generally agree on.) In the song I also posed questions which I now feel have been adequately explained.

Were there really Arab terrorists on board the planes? Yes. Did the CIA know an attack was imminent? Yes. I don't regret writing the song, or becoming a very minor celebrity within the 9/11 Truth Movement, because I think these questions needed to be asked, and answered. But while some questions can only remain unanswered until certain people within the US government become whistleblowers, other questions have been answered, and my answers (and those of most people who have looked into these things) and those of what now constitutes the Truth Movement differ wildly. Particularly because I have been seen by some as part of this movement (although I seem to be increasingly getting lumped into the "gatekeeper" camp), I felt compelled to write this essay.

The truth is, in fact, out there. Much of it is certainly still there to be discovered, but many fundamental, essential truths are already known. The truth -- that, for example, the CIA funded and armed Al-Qaeda and the Taleban, that a tiny minority of very wealthy people control much of the US government and the "mainstream" (corporate/"public") media, that the US military systematically goes around the world overthrowing democracies, propping up dictatorships, and killing millions of people with bombs -- is what the progressive media is reporting on hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. These are the truths that people in the US most need to "wake up" to. These are the truths that are systematically unreported or severely under-reported by the corporate press, which, even in the age of the internet, is still where the vast majority of people in the US get their news, and thus, their understanding of the world.

These corporate media entities and the genocidal, ecocidal plutocracy they serve are the "gatekeepers" that need to be exposed. The truths they are trying to hide from us are the truths that need to be understood, and acted upon. The progressive media that is trying to do just that needs to be supported, not undermined with essentially baseless accusations (legitimate criticisms and suggestions notwithstanding).

The people who are trying, with some degree of success, to undermine these basic endeavors of the progressive movement and the progressive media need to be exposed for what they are -- whether they fall into the category of well-meaning but misguided fanatics or undercover government agents quite purposefully and systematically working to spread disinformation and sow confusion and distrust. And, beyond any reasonable doubt, the "Truth Movement" contains both of these elements. To both of these groups I beseech you -- wake up! Wake up to the real, easily-verifiable conspiracies -- which are extremely big ones! -- and quit trying to distract us with all the nonsense about gatekeepers and controlled demolitions!

David Rovics
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Schnews did it first

01.04.2008 16:26

Hats off to the multi talented Mr Rovics for his excellent article above. Great points and brilliantly written. But lets not forget this that appeared in SCHNEWS over 18 months ago:

TRUTH-ACHE (Schnews September 2006)

On the fifth anniversary, SchNEWS gingerly dips a toe into the murky waters of the great 9-11 debate...

It’s the big fight over ‘the truth’. In the blue corner we have the US government’s official version of 9-11 events and in all the other corners we have proponents of various ‘conspiracy’ theories. But in these days of governments caught telling outright lies about WMDs etc, and a massive groundswell of cynicism about any official pronouncement - just what is a conspiracy theory? What happens when ‘common sense’ is hijacked and the fringe goes mainstream? And does it matter anyway?

The self-proclaimed 9-11 truth movement, in many ways a genuine grassroots movement (or cult?), is growing and its ideas are gradually filtering into the mainstream. No anti-war event is complete now without a new 9-11 conspiracy DVD and flyers to some new talk / book launch - and our inbox often overflows with new ‘revelations’. Every possible, and some quite impossible angles are covered - from the relatively mainstream question marks hanging over the US administration’s possible advance knowledge of the plot, to off-planet assertions about holograms, missiles and alien DNA. This kind of thing will always delight the ‘Elvis faked the moon landings with a black helicopter’ Internet crowd, but with polls showing that a third of Americans and nearly half of New Yorkers believing US officials either knew about the attacks or were actively involved, this represents a major uprising of disbelief. This has forced the US govt into producing a series of rebuttals, asserting their ‘truth’ and challenging the accusations.

The two main strands of theorising could be summed up as “they knew in advance” and “the whole thing was faked”. At the more plausible end we have the idea that the Neo-Cons had anticipated or were complicit in the events of 9-11. In any case, the event enabled them to put into practice an agenda for global domination hatched years before. It is all laid out in the year 2000 paper, ‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses’ published by the Project for a New American Century, a think-tank whose members included Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz (See SchNEWS 387). It talked about the fact that a “catastrophic and catalyzing event - a new Pearl Harbor” would be needed to transform the public’s attitude to war. Certainly there were no flies on the Cheney-Bush axis when it came to taking advantage of 9-11’s propaganda value, and even now Bush routinely invokes it as an emblem of America’s need to be militarily aggressive.

At the other end of the reality spectrum, are those that are sure that all the buildings were pre-primed with explosives, that all the Jews who worked there were given advanced warning, that the planes never existed and were in fact holograms disguising missiles etc etc. The trouble with all these theories is that they require mind-boggling numbers of people to have been ‘in on it’. It seems unlikely that the clique responsible for the disaster in Iraq could have organised something so slickly. And why would they need to go to the trouble? Two planes striking the towers would have been more than enough to serve as the big catalytic terrorist event... And if you were orchestrating the whole thing, why bother faking it with missiles or holograms anyway? Just use real planes... much simpler.

Perhaps this is why too much speculation on these points leads inevitably to a paranoiac world view where only secret cabals who control everything from behind the scenes could pull the wool over everone’s eyes in such an all-encompassing way.


The ‘truths’ arrived at by some of these theories are so way out there, we began to wonder if they’d been spread deliberately to sow confusion, making it easier for the authorities to discredit the whole 9-11 debate by association. Conspiracy on conspiracy – where does it end?

There’s no doubt that big questions about the role of the US government remain unanswered (for example, relationships with Saudi elites), but it seems they’re in danger of being drowned out by the clamour of outright lunacy.

Poster-boy of the UK branch of the 9-11 Truth movement is former MI5 agent David Shayler. An acknowledged ‘insider’, he must have seemed a great asset to the fraternity. But at the Big Green Gathering this year, SchNEWS were confronted with the spectacle of a man who appeared to have swallowed and regurgitated the entire works of David “blame the lizards” Icke. No stone was left turned, no subject demystified as Dave told us how aliens have been negotiating with our government and 500 abductees are the only people who’ve got any real idea about all this 9-11 stuff. That includes 7/7 and 11/7 (date of Mumbai bombings by the way) - all evidence of an underground plot by a ‘shadow Zionist secret government’. Amongst other interesting points conjured forth were that the Royal family is descended from multi-dimensional Annunaki lizards (and ‘flaws’ in evolutionary theory prove it!) Riveting though this stuff is, it is, unfortunately, a load of bollocks.

On the other hand, the documented existence of a shadow world of CIA mounted black-ops and coups makes the idea that 9-11 was a ‘false flag’ operation seem within the realms of possibility. American intelligence has a long and bloody history of covert operations, instigating coups and funding opposition against those that challenge their authority. Coups such as the one on the less well remembered September 11th - 1973, when the CIA helped overthrow the democratically elected leader of Chile, Salvador Allende, and usher in a brutal military dictatorship. Doubts over 9-11, the cornerstone of the US’s ideological crusade, make it easier to appreciate that it’s just all in a days work for the US to fund and arm people like Saddam and the anti-Soviet forces in Afghanistan, which gave rise to Al-Qaeda.

The fact that these theories are catching on so widely is partly due to the huge growth of scepticism about the role of governments in the entire War on Terror™. In this country we already know that our government plotted the war on Iraq well in advance, lied about Iraq’s WMDs and engaged in a systematic propaganda campaign to support the invasion. We know that our government, in alliance with the US, is engaged in secret renditions, torture and aggressive war. Public awareness of the true nature of power has probably never been higher - and the fact that so many are willing to believe that the US government may have slaughtered its own citizens shows how the ideological ground is shifting. It’s not, in the end, the truth of the allegations but the effect they’re having that’s important.

The 9-11 truth movement clearly sees the anti-war crowd as fertile recruiting ground (maybe we should return the compliment). They argue that proving 9-11 a hoax should be the main focus of any faction opposing the Neo-Con-men. But in reality, whether or not 9-11 was orchestrated, we should be concentrating on the broader US-led capitalist agendas, and their catastrophic consequences. 9-11 was a symptom rather than a cause of a ‘big picture’ which doesn’t need science fiction to explain it. World power is not a neat pyramid structure with aliens, Jews or a cabal of men with a secret handshake at the top. It makes more sense to see a range of competing power blocks, alliances and cartels in a shifting, perpetual power play – with governments, nationalist and business interests doing what they’ve always done, battling for control of land, resources, workforces and populations. There is one conspiracy that doesn’t lurk in smoky rooms behind closed doors – it’s called global capitalism.


David Rovics Interview

11.04.2008 18:54

There is a follow-up interview with David Rovics here:



Hide the following 47 comments

Amen to that!

01.04.2008 10:55

The most sensible post on indymedia UK about '9/11 truth' ever!


Spot on!

01.04.2008 11:37

Totally. Truthers might as well be funded, employed or managed by the US elite for the damage they have done and continue to do.


One nutter does not change the facts

01.04.2008 12:30

It’s unfortunate that Dave’s set was ruined by an over-zealous campaigner. But it is equally unfortunate that he choses to use this as a launch pad from which to tar anyone who shares the basic opinion of the man with the same brush.

I’ve been to many a protest in my time, before and after 9/11, and anyone else who has (including Dave himself no doubt) is more than aware that zealotry is not an exclusive trait of people who question 9/11 – but a very human tendency held by a minority. Whatever cause they express – be it 9/11 Truth, anti-War, green issues, atheism or a chosen religion, these people will exist to shout in others faces and disrupt proceedings. A shame, but a truth.

Some, however, would like to claim that zealotry and 9/11 Truth campaigning go hand in hand and one does not apear without the other. To be sure, it is far easier to attack the person making the argument (ad hominem) than attack the argument itself (which Dave has failed here to do), and individuals like the one who disrupted Dave’s performance are as useful for this purpose as they are counter-productive for their own chosen cause.

Dave’s central attack on 9/11 truth is to link questioning of 9/11 to various other conspiracy theories as though to infer uncredibility by osmosis and the conclude that “It's a faith-based sort of thing. These people are not looking for different points of view, they are looking for further confirmation of what they already believe”. This is odd certainly, because 99% of people who now question the official version of events of 9/11 came from a stand poit of accepting them. A 9/11 Blogger poll shows that 2006 was a year which saw a huge upsurge in questioning 9/11 (the year I first came to taking a serious look at the facts) some 5 years after the event. To claim that all of these people who changed their view from “the official story is essentially correct” to “the official story is certainly wrong” did so because of faith in a pre-held view is a self-contradictory stance to hold.

Without attending to any particular argument Dave claims “If you bother slogging through the volumes of books and stacks of documentaries that "9/11 Truth" people will foist on you if you let them, you will find that most of them are propaganda pieces and most of the "experts" are not experts in relevant fields.”

Which begs two questions:

1) What, exactly, is the propaganda for – i.e. what is the political objective they are seeking to forward through deception?

2) What constitutes an expert in a relevant field?

One would think architects and engineers would be the experts of primary relevance – and (architects and engineers for 9/11 truth) would cover this criteria.

He goes on to claim that:

“You will easily find mechanical engineers familiar with the structural flaws in the design of the WTC that allowed it to collapse in the first place, and physicists who can explain why such large buildings would appear to be imploding as if in a controlled demolition, or why people on the scene would have thought they were hearing explosions, etc.”

To which I would recommend the reader really does seek out such “expert opinion” he claims is so easy to find, and compare the claims of groups such as and against any credible counter claims they are able to find.

Like so many before him, I suspect Dave has really not looked into this issue and is taking on faith the word of others that “all this has been explained”. Having done so it is easy to accept the meme that anyone who would question the events of 9/11 must surely be some kind of nutter or whack-job, which is lazy and unfortunate. All I can do is ask readers to do their own research and make their own minds up, and ask themselves the questions I have asked Dave here – what is the perceived gain of licenced and working architects like Richard Gage (the head of ae911truth and a designer of multi-million dollar steel framed, fire-proofed structures) when he says the building collapses we are being sold as coincidental structural failures cannot be so, if he does not genuinely consider this to be true?

Dave has laid down the gauntlet and accused Gage and others of “propaganda” – implying they know what they are saying is untrue but have some shaddowy motive for deceiving the masses. Ask your self what that might be. Or better still, ask Dave.

Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance. Albert Einstein


The dying gasps of the gatekeepers

01.04.2008 13:16

OWNED by Andy.

'fraid you can't brush this one under the rug old chap.

Sooner you come to terms with the obvious the less frustration you'll suffer in the long run.

do the right thing. Learn the facts. Come to terms with 911 truth. Take action.


Nice one David.

01.04.2008 13:56

Well it seems that our little truth activists are going to have to find themselves a new anthem. For some time I have noticed these losers pasting the words to 'Riechstag Fire' onto this and other websites. For the record I have known David for many years but have not publically mentioned his views on the 9/11 truth movement as that is his perogative. Now he has so eloquently set the record straight perhaps the CIA truthers can kindly remove him from their list of celebrity supporters?

I suppose they still have 'Lies, Lies, Lies' by industrial metal band Ministry to sing along to. I doubt that the fact that singer/songwriter Al Jourgason has a legendary crack habit and believes in UFO conspiracies will dampen their spirits.....


Give truth a chance

01.04.2008 14:25

A well-written article by Mr Rovics, and a good retort by Andy. In this age of universal deceit, I believe it is right to rigorously question the information presented to us, whether it comes from official sources, corporate media, or from those who would challenge them. It is right that we acknowledge other conspiracies based on incontrovertible evidence and that we act as we see fit. But why is it right, as Mr Rovics would seem to suggest, that we cease to scrutinise the evidence regarding the tragic events of 11 September 2001 and other incidents blamed on terrorist groups on the basis that doing so may detract from the task of drawing wider attention to less contested conspiracies? Are we merely to ignore the compelling and ever growing evidence that is before us? It is easy to instinctively dismiss that which makes us feel uncomfortable, or which at first sight may seem implausible. It takes something more to scrutinise the evidence with an open mind and then face reality head on, finding our own way of dealing with it.

love is all you need

Goodbye Truthers

01.04.2008 14:31

"A 9/11 Blogger poll shows that 2006 was a year which saw a huge upsurge in questioning 9/11"
Yes it did and now it is visibly dying and not a moment too soon. Like every other disposable fad, 911 truth has gone out of fashion.

"Like so many before him, I suspect Dave has really not looked into this issue"
You suspect? Where is the all-important evidence for that assumption? Ask any Scientologist/maoist/other discredited nutter why most people refuse to take them seriously and they will probably say that 'they have "really not looked into this issue" '

"Dave has laid down the gauntlet and accused Gage and others of “propaganda” – implying they know what they are saying is untrue but have some shaddowy motive for deceiving the masses. Ask your self what that might be."
The obvious answer is their egos. I have yet to meet a truther who does not believe that he/she can change the world (or at least US foreign policy) overnight by proving their favorite conspiracy to the masses.

What really hurts the likes of Andy is that slow nagging realisation that all that time and effort has been wasted on an damaging hoax that has just boosted the neocon project by undermining the real opposition to it. Far from being 'anti-imperialist' as they claim the 911 truthers are complimenting western imperialism by making the opposition look mad.
David Rovics has now joined the ranks of the many credible observers who have spoken out against these idiots. There will be many, many more.

Goodbye Truthers

Conspiracy is for those who do not understand history

01.04.2008 14:51

How does history work? How do the capitalists remain on top? Yes, there are many ordinary little conspiracies, but there is no grand conspiracy. The little conspiracies are the daily job carried out in corporate boardrooms, state agencies, media editorial desks etc. But these are just small links between the pure naked and openly visible nodes of power of corporate greed and governmental collaboration that we can see easily if we care to look. Capitalist power is openly reprodiced by the police on the picket line or protests, or the bombs that fall on Baghdad, or the privatisations of public assests.

Most of this is open and on show - and only linked together by little conspiracies such as the Iran / Contra drugs / arms deal etc. The capitalists stay on top becasue they are rich and powerful, because they own so much, because millions of people wanting to climb the greesy pole of suceess aspire to be like them and actively support them. There is no grand conspiracy to keep it all going - we can explain current events through the concepts provided by hitsorians and sociologists. The expoiters rule by forming ruling classes, broadly based and supported, not through some vast hidden but vast conspiracy.

However, in this post 9/11 age of mass discontent and suspicion, people are being radicalised - but in the absence of a powerfull socialist movement and critique of capitalist power. They want to know why power is never held to account for its atrocities, and some choose the simplest of explanations and fall for the 'Grand Conspiracy' paranoia. Thus history is never the contingent workings out of social forces such as states, corporations, classes and armies. Suddenly it is a conspiracy carried out by a tiny but all powerful secret elite - and blamed on the Jews, the Illuminati, the Freemasons or whatever. This is where the pathologies of paranoia replace political analysis. And its where people who might become a threat to the system instead become contained, become conspiracy nuts, truth cultists, freaks or neo-nazis.

And the conspiricy theorists damage our movement in so many ways - one being by portraying the enemy as being all powerful and hidden. Poweful enough to bring down the two towers through 'an inside job' but leaving no trace, no whistle blowers etc. So how can we even think of fighting them?

But if they could bring down the towers and cover it up, then why could they not plant weapons of mass distrution in Iraq? If 9/11 was such an elaborate hoax needed to justify the Iraq war, then why did these same forces not manage to plant a few chemical weapons in post invasion Iraq - the absence of which has stripped the warmongers of any credibility?

The truth is that history is the untidy working out of mainly visible social forces, rather than the tidy conspiracy of all powerfull elites. This means that if we unite the oppressed and exploited into mass movements and if we fight hard enough, then we actually have a chance to win, and free the earth from poverty, war, expoitation and ecological destruction. But the 9/11 truth cultists would hate this left wing agenda. They are essentially right wingers living in an age when their old cold war certainties are crumbling. Thus their feeble mindsets and explanatory systems are clutching feverishly at any answer which somehow adresses the contradctions of the 'war on terror' but which avoids really fighting capitalism.

Thats how I see it.

Barry Kade

At what point do you enlightened people define a conspiraloon?

01.04.2008 15:38

It seems to me that many of those who rubbish anyone who dares to question anything, even if it appears to be dodgy as hell, know the absolute truth.

I do not consider myself to be paranoid but I do look at this event and wonder how planes evaporate into thin air, as do bodies, buildings turn to dust and fall through themselves at almost speed of gravity and one large building just happens to do the same without explanation.

I don't care what any of you fools call me but sometimes I am not going to believe something just because it is on your tube or in your metro. I want more proof before I give my consent for slaughter and more draconian laws.

The truth about nine eleven is that we don't know the truth about 911. None of us.

It's not good enough. Give us the pentagon tapes and we can go from there..

mail e-mail:

About time!

01.04.2008 15:59

Judging the response from this great article it appears the majority of Indymedia does not want truthers to flood the newswire with their ramblings. I agree that truther groups like 'we are change' and 'truth action' have been allowed to distract us from real issues for long enough.

I'm glad Indymedia has spoken and I hope the newswire will stick to being a credible source of news and information, has it has been for all these years.

Indymedia has spoken!


01.04.2008 16:09

True Peace will only attained when truth prevails.


At last!

01.04.2008 16:10

THANKYOU DAVID ROVICS!!!!! At last someone is saying what so many of us are thinking. I for one am sick of being approached by these paranoid evangelicals at every war related event I attend. The worst thing is they seem to think that those who were murdered in the twin towers are more important those those who are murdered by war and poverty every day. Their USA-centric view of the world is bordering on racist. Most of the wars raging in Africa, South Asia and Latin America started long before nine eleven and have resulted in far more innocent lives lost. But these bigots think that dead marines in Iraq and dead yuppies in New York are so much more valuable. Do they watch anything other than CNN?


Well there's a surprise.

01.04.2008 20:20

The best the conspiraloons can do to counter the excellent article above is post some anti jewish crap hailing from Italy, the birthplace of fascism. Of course it was Mossad all along. Are they behind the chemtrails as well or was that the lizards?

Well, well, well

Are You April Foolin' Us, David?

01.04.2008 20:22

Nobody says flying the planes into the towers was difficult to pull
off--especially not if you have the benefit of a planted radio beacon
to track. What was so difficult as to be downright impossible
was the 270 degree turn simultaneous with a 7000 foot dive that
preceded flight 77's alleged crash into the Pentagon. You may
wish to consult members of Pilots for 9/11 Truth if you have
confusion on this point.

Your blithe reference to the authority of mechanical engineers
suggests that you do not know that the mechanical engineers'
purported explanations of the collapses are contradictory. Your
faith in physicists' explanations on the appearance of "implosion"
is unconvincing when anybody who looks at the pictures and the
videos can see that what we have is an explosion, not an
implosion. Neither set of authorities can explain to us what
caused the molten metal in the basements of the towers, or
how asymmetrical damage can yield a symmetrical collapse.

And I'll suppose that you cite Popular Mechanic's silly hit piece
only because you are unaware of Jim Hoffman's brilliant
dismemberment of it, "Popular Mechanics Attacks Its '9/11
LIES' Straw Man."

In any subject as vast and confusing as 9/11 there is plenty of
room for reasonable people to disagree in a reasonable manner.
Comparing Truthers to Art Bell is about as reasonable as
comparing you to Lawrence Welk. You are asserting very strong
opinions based on very sloppy thinking.

Brian Good

I think it's brilliant....

01.04.2008 21:51 David Shayler, ex-MI5 and one of the big names behind the '9/11 truth' movement, is now proclaiming himself to be the messiah. Watch here:


Soon to extinct?

01.04.2008 22:10

As I understood it the truth movement were going to stage a big show of streangth at the M15 demos? They were really going to show us all how big and unstoppable they have become. WelI, I can't speak for the other demos around the world but in London they were practically invisible both in folks carrying banners and those handing out dvds and literature. Less than half of those visible on the previous national stop the war march. Which in turn was less than a third of the deluded individuals seen with David Shayler in Manchester in 2006. Also notice how they fail to answer any of the fundamental points raised by Rovics, Schnews and the others posting above? Instead they have to churn out their useless recycled conspiracies in the same way that a cornered evangelical christian reaches for his bible. Going off on a tangent or changing the subject is the weakest form of argument and the last refuge of the defeated. The simple fact that these pitiful characters fail to grasp is that even if their ludicrous conspriracy theories were true; it just dosn't matter because by their own warped logic proving them would be impossible and would change nothing. Fortunately there are movements across the globe that think otherwise. From the Zapatistas to the victorious French students there are inspiring examples of how people can be empowered by real political action that geniunely threatens the corrupt rulers of this world. Far more than the reactionary fantasies of a few paranoid egotists sat behind their computer screens. Something that Rovics has summed up very well indeed.


Re. I think it's brilliant....

01.04.2008 22:40

Well if this is what happens to people who dedicate a mere two years of their lives to 9/11 Truth...then I think that the whole movement should carry a mental health warning. Ok the stuff he proclaims about 9/11 and 7/7 being false flag operations and his instruction to offer unconditional love to rapists and paedophiles, all that might seem logical to some people...but describing Gordon Brown as a socialist!!!???

He really has lost the plot....

Remember those grim adverts that were supposed to encourage teenagers not to try smack? Well if any sad, lonely or otherwise socially inept individuals feel that becoming a truther might solve their problems. I would would recommend hitting the links above first. Here endeth the lesson....



01.04.2008 23:43

The number of people who believe something to be true, and the strength of their belief, is irrelevant to whether it is true or not. Simply because a crazy person believes 911 was an inside job doesn't mean it wasn't. After all, more crazy people believe the official story. It is worth bearing in mind that the people who are praising Rovics today would have been dismissing him yesterday for having written Reichstag Fire. Rovics attack on 911ers should be seen in context of his attack last week on the peace movement for not encouraging artist-dissidents – which unsurprisingly wasn't reposted here. Last year I asked David two questions on behalf of other people, hoping to build on them as an interview for IM, one on the latest Green Scare prisoner Eric McDavid, and the other on David Ray Griffins and Peter Tatchells views on 911 . He hadn't heard of any of those people, surprisingly.

"many people in many communities have become justifiably agitated and outraged by world-scale injustices, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and so on."

I used to get annoyed at anyone who didn't prioritise stopping our wars above everything else, especially 911ers who flooded the newswire with fluff but never took any action - those days are gone though and the people who complain today are years too late. David also supports causes unrelated to Iraq and Afghanistan, for instance the email he posted this article with made clear his support for the Green Scare prisoners. I imagine most people in Iraq and Afghanistan might regard the Green Scare as an equal or greater distraction from their own priority of surviving the day than 911 investigations. I also doubt most people around the world are interested in animal rights, but I doubt David would attack the animals rights movement for that reason.

"whether they fall into the category of well-meaning but misguided fanatics or undercover government agents quite purposefully and systematically working to spread disinformation and sow confusion and distrust. And, beyond any reasonable doubt, the "Truth Movement" contains both of these elements"

That is true but that applies to the "Peace Movement" too. Or any movement nowadays I imagine. It tells us more about our government than any particular movement, while ignoring the various corporations that deploy agents( ie BAe vs CAAT). And he assumes the agents are working to put all activism in a bad light, whereas the 911 ones are more likely placed to discredit genuine 911 investigations. The undercover agents most likely to be discrediting your movement will be placed directly in your movement.


The truth about the truthers.

02.04.2008 11:24

Thankyou David Rovics and IMC UK.

The main point made clear in this article is that far from being an excentric minority these people are actually quite damaging. I have been trying to promote interest in our local No To ID grouip for some time. We have one resident nine eleven truth convert who is involved though he never comes to meetings alone. Always bringing one or two of his fellow travellers with him, one of which drives over 40 miles to attend our group. Their interventions are at best embarrassing, though at worst they put interested people off having anything to do with our campaign. Anyone who dares to even challenge the relevance of what they say gets accused of being in cahoots with MI5. ID cards are a very real threat to all our civil liberties, expecially those with connections to political activity or foreign regimes. By imposing their doctrine on our meetings these people are undermining our ability to get a serious local campaign going. We have a large Muslim community in our town who will be the first to suffer if this dreadful and irreversable proposal goes through.

Howard James
- Homepage:

I'm a better ~ than you

02.04.2008 13:26

Well I go from town to town
Just me and my guitar
You can see me at all the protests
Up on stage I'm such a star
But when the cops start charging
You can find me at the back
I'll be keeping safe my fingers
While all you kids' skulls get cracked
And afterwards I'll write songs poking fun at your whole crew
I'm a better folksinger than you

All this time spent traveling
It gets lonesome on the road
And you know I can't stand these rockstars
But I've got these seeds to sow
Why should I consider the power and privilege I possess
Baby when I get nervous up on stage, how 'bout I picture you undressed?
Save your talk of patriarchy, I'll go out and screw
I'm a better folk singer than you

And why eat dumpstered food that at Whole Foods could be bought?
And why wear patched up clothing when there's new clothes from sweatshops?
Your cultures of resistance are just silly and passe
Unless, of course, those cultures support gigs for me to play
Trite exaggerations of anarchists are cool
I'm a better folksinger than you

- Homepage:

@ howard

02.04.2008 16:05

You seem to be performing the same sweeping generalisation as the article. In fact I heard We Are Change broadcast a very good interview with Phil Booth on Resonance FM.

If these guys are disrupting your meeting then ask them to leave if they are that bad and are stopping you builidng a credible local campaign; or explain to them exactly the purposes and guidelines of your campaign and ask them to adhere to theses. Simple.

Like it or not the 9/11 thing isn't going to disappear, with the official narrative being such a crock of rubbish. Anybody who thinks they know the truth of 9/11 is the real crazy



02.04.2008 17:01

Those we are change truthers are just another conspiracy group and the fact they sometimes highlight real issues does not set them apart. A truther is still a truther even when he agrees with you. Remember there is always a hidden agenda behind their motives, we have known this for years.

By sometimes attaching themselves to factual issues they believe they will achieve some kind of credibility but they fail to see how they in fact risk the credibility of serious groups just by association.

If they cared, or wanted to make a difference they would leave well alone and not pollute factual campaigns with their conspiracy theories.

For James

Why they hijack other groups

02.04.2008 17:35

The reason that the truthers attempt to hijack the platforms of other campaigns is because like all evangelical sects they believe that they hold the cure to all our ills. The other reason is that NOONE takes them or what they have to say at all seriously. Think I'm being unfair? Then try and name a single left, anarchist or other credible progressive group/party/organisation that gives them the time of day. There aren't any! Their desparation to be taken seriously and spread their message leads them to constantly abuse open publishing forums like this one and open meetings like those organised by the NO to ID group posting above. Parasites!


Agents Provocateurs

02.04.2008 19:46

Considering the long history of Government Provocateurs, one must consider that the 'annoying' members of 911 Truth are agents, planted in order to make the swelling number of people demanding answers seem less credible.

They are obviously desperate on the 911 front.

But we don't need anyone to admit to their crimes.

The CIA and Mossad, under the direction of the Extremists of the US and Israel, whose Madness we're all witnessing on the world stage, carried out this False Flag in order to enable their war.

911=PNAC, CIA, Mossad

An Open Letter to the US Left on the Relevance of Culture

02.04.2008 21:50

If I Can’t Dance…

Being an activist is a hard, relatively thankless, generally unpaid job. There are some really wonderful people who are going to be offended by this essay, and I apologize in advance if you’re one of them, but what I say here had to be said. We’re all hopefully trying to make the world a better place, and sometimes that means having open disagreements. I welcome any and all feedback, public or private, and of course feel free to post and distribute this essay wherever you see fit.

Last weekend I sang at an antiwar protest in downtown Portland, Oregon, on the fifth anniversary of the ongoing slaughter in Iraq. In both its good and bad aspects, the event downtown was not unusual. Hard-working, unpaid activists from various organizations and networks put in long hours organizing, doing publicity, and sitting through lots of contentious meetings in the weeks and months leading up to the event. On the day of the event, different groups set up tents to network with the public and talk about matters of life and death. There was a stage with talented musicians of various musical genres performing throughout the day, and a rally with speakers in the afternoon, followed by a march. Attendance was pathetically low. In large part I’m sure this was due to the general sense of discouragement most people in the US seem to feel about our ability to effect change under the Bush regime. It was raining especially hard by west coast standards, and that also didn’t help.

The crowd grew to it’s peak size during the rally and march, but was almost nonexistent before the 2 pm rally. There was only a trickle of people visiting the various tents prior to the rally, and the musicians on the stage were playing to a largely nonexistent audience. The musical program, scheduled to happen from 10 am to 6 pm, was being billed as the World War None Festival. The term “festival” was contentious, however, and Pdx Peace, the local peace coalition responsible for the rally, couldn’t come to consensus on using the term “festival.” In their publicity they referred to the festival as an “action camp.” The vast majority of people have no idea what an “action camp” is, including me, and I’ve been actively involved in the progressive movement for my entire adult life. The local media, of course, also had no idea what an “action camp” was, and any publicity that could have been hoped for from them did not happen. Word did not spread about the event to any significant degree, at least in part because people didn’t know what they were supposed to be spreading the word about. Everybody from all political, social, class and ethnic backgrounds knows what a festival is, but certain elements within Pdx Peace didn’t want to use the term to describe what was quite obviously meant to be a festival (as well as a rally and march). Anybody above the age of three can tell you that when you have live music on a stage outdoors all day, that’s called a festival. But not Pdx Peace.

Why? I wasn’t at the meetings -- thankfully, I’m just a professional performer, not an organizer of anything other than my own concert tours, so I only know second-hand about what was said. There’s no need to name the names of individuals or the smaller groups involved with the coalition in this case -- the patterns are so common and so well-established that the names just don’t matter. Some people within the peace coalition were of the opinion that the war in Iraq was too serious a matter to have a festival connected to it. Because, I imagine, of some combination of factors including the nature of consensus decision-making, sectarianism on the part of a few, and muddled thinking on the part of some others, those who thought that a festival should happen -- and should be called a festival -- were overruled. My hat goes off to the World War None Festival organizers (a largely separate entity from Pdx Peace), and to those within Pdx Peace who tried and failed to call the festival what it was, and to organize a well-attended event.

As to those who succeeded in sabotaging the event, I ask, why is so much of the left in the US so attached to being so dreadfully boring? Why do so many people on the left apparently have no appreciation for the power and importance of culture? And when organizers, progressive media and others on the left do acknowledge culture, why is it usually kept on the sidelines? What are we trying to accomplish here?

It wasn’t always this way. Going back a hundred years, before we had a significant middle class in this country, before we had a Social Security system, Worker’s Compensation, Medicare, or anything approximating the actual (not just on paper) right to free speech, when most of the working class majority in this country were living in utter destitution and generally working (when they could find work) in extremely dangerous conditions for extremely long hours, often in jobs that required them to be itinerant, required them to forego the pleasure of having families that they might have a chance to see now and then, out of these conditions the Industrial Workers of the World was born.

The IWW at that time was a huge, militant union that could bring industrial production in the US to a halt, and on various regional levels, quite regularly did. It was a multi-ethnic union led by women and men of a wide variety of backgrounds, from all over the world. It’s most well-known member to this day was a singer-songwriter named Joe Hill, and he was only one of many of the musician-organizers that constituted both the leadership and membership of the IWW. While starving, striking, or being attacked by police on the streets of Seattle, Boston and everywhere in between, the IWW sang. Their publications were filled with poems, lyrics and cartoons. Everybody knew the songs and sung them daily. Some of the songs were instructive, meant to educate workers in effective organizing techniques. Others were battle cries of resistance, and still others celebrated victories or lamented defeats. Their cause was nothing short of the physical survival and spiritual dignity of the working class. They put their bodies on the line and were often killed and maimed for it, but they transformed this society profoundly, and they sang the whole way through. Was their cause serious? As serious as serious can get. And to this day, multitudes around the world remember the songs of Joe Hill, Ralph Chaplin, and T-Bone Slim, long after their speeches and pamphlets have been forgotten. Like many other singer-songwriters throughout the history of the class war, Joe Hill was executed by a firing squad in 1916. Why? Exactly because he was so serious -- a serious threat to the robber barons who ruled this country.

A very different, much more rigidly ideological organization that rose to prominence during the declining years of the IWW was the Communist Party. This is an organization whose early years are within the living memory of close friends of mine, such as my dear friend Bob Steck, who died last year at the age of 95, and spent most of his life fighting for humanity. I spent hundreds of hours over the course of many years interrogating Bob about his life and times (at least ten hours of which are recorded for posterity on cassettes somewhere). The Communist Party was very different from the IWW in many ways, but in it’s heyday it was also a huge, grassroots movement, whose leadership and membership took many cards from the IWW’s deck, including their emphasis on the vital importance of culture.

When Bob talked about the CP’s orientation with regards to organizing the revolution in the USA, he said there were three primary components: the unions, the streets, and the theater. Fighting for the welfare of the working class by organizing for the eight-hour day and decent wages (largely through the communist-led Congress of Industrial Organizations, the CIO), organizing the starving millions in the streets into the unions of the unemployed, and -- just as importantly -- fighting for the hearts and minds of the people through music, theater, and art. Among the musical vanguard of the communist movement of the 1930’s were people who are still household names today for millions of people in the US and around the world -- Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Paul Robeson, to name a few. Traveling theater companies brought the work of Clifford Odetts and Bertoldt Brecht to the people, educating and inspiring militant action throughout the US. I remember Bob describing the audience reaction to one of the early performances of Waiting for Lefty in New York City, the gasps of excitement and possibility in the packed theater when the actors on stage shouted those last lines of the play -- “Strike! Strike! Strike!” Ten curtain calls later, everyone in the theater was ready to take to the streets, and did.

Bob and his comrades organized and sang in New York, just as they sang going into battle in Spain in the first fight against fascism, the one in which the US was on the side of the fascists. Nothing unusual about that -- soldiers on every side in every war sing as they go into battle, whether the cause is just or unjust. They and their leadership, whether fascist or democrat, socialist or anarchist, know that the songs are just as powerful as the guns (regardless of what Tom Lehrer said). You can’t fire if you’re running away, and if you want to stand and fight you have to sing. Talk to anybody involved with the Civil Rights movement and they’ll tell you, if we weren’t singing, we surely would have lost heart and ran in the face of those hate-filled, racist police and their dogs, guns, and water cannon. Talk to anyone who lived through the 60’s -- who remembers any but the most eloquent of the speeches by the likes of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, or Mario Savio? But millions remember the songs. Bob Dylan, Buffy Sainte-Marie, James Brown, Aretha Franklin were the soundtrack to the struggle. Open any magazine or newspaper in this country to this day and you will find somewhere in the pages an unaccredited reference to a line in a Bob Dylan song. (Try it, it’s fun.)

Around the world it’s the same. Dedicated leftists may sit through the speeches of Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez, but transcendent poetry of Pablo Neruda and the enchanting melodies of Silvio Rodriguez cross all political and class lines. You will have to try hard to find a Spanish-speaking person anywhere in the Americas who does not love the work of that Cuban communist, Silvio. You'll have to search hard to find a Latino who does not have a warm place in their heart for that murdered Chilean singer-songwriter, Victor Jara.

Talk to any Arab of any background, no matter how despondent they may be about the state of the Arab world, try to find one whose eyes do not light up when you merely mention the names Mahmoud Darwish, Marcel Khalife, Feyrouz, Um Khultum. Try to find anyone in Ireland but the most die-hard Loyalist who doesn’t tear up when listening to the music of Christy Moore, whatever they think of the IRA. And ask progressives on the streets of the US today how they came to hold their political views that led them to take the actions they are now taking, and as often as not you will hear answers like, “I discovered punk rock, the Clash changed my life,” or “I went to a concert of Public Enemy, and that was it.”

Music -- and art, poetry, theater -- is powerful (if it’s good). The powers that be know this well. Joe Hill and Victor Jara are only a small fraction of the musicians killed by the ruling classes for doing what they do. By the same token, those who run this country (and so many other countries) know the power of music and art to serve their purposes -- virtually every product on the shelf in every store in the US has a jingle to go along with it, and often brilliant artistic imagery to go along with the jingle, shouting at us from every billboard and TV commercial. (The ranks of Madison Avenue are filled with brilliant minds who would rather be doing something more fulfilling with their creative energy.)

Enter 2008. Knowing the essential power of music, the very industry that sells us music mass-produced in Nashville and LA has done their best to kill music. For decades, the few multi-billion-dollar corporations that control the music business and the commercial airwaves have done their best to teach us all that music is something to have in the background to comfort you as you try to get through another mind-numbing day of meaningless labor in some office building or department store. It’s something to help you seduce someone perhaps, or to help you get over a breakup. It is not something to inspire thought, action, or feelings of compassion for humanity (other than for your girlfriend or boyfriend).

There are always exceptions to prove the rule, but by and large, the writers and performers in Nashville and LA know what they’re being paid to do, and what they’re being paid not to do -- if it ever occurred to them to do anything else in the first place. But even more potently, all those millions of musicians aspiring to become stars, or at least to make a living at their craft, know either consciously or implicitly that any hope of success rides on imitating the garbage that comes out of these music factories. Of course, there are the many others who write and sing songs (and create art, plays, screenplays, etc.) out of a need to express themselves or even out of a desire to make a difference in the world, but they are systematically kept off of the airwaves, out of the record deals, relegated largely to the internet, very lucky if they might manage to make a living at their craft. Fundamentally, though, they are made to feel marginal, and are looked at by much of society as marginal, novelties, exotic. Although they are actually the mainstream of the (non-classical) musical tradition in the US and around the world, although the kind of music they create has been and is still loved by billions around the world for centuries, in the current climate, especially in present-day US society, they are a marginal few.

And no matter how enlightened we would like to think we are, the progressive movement is part of this society, for good and for ill. Most of us have swallowed this shallow understanding of what music is. The evidence is overwhelming. There are, of course, exceptions. Folks like the organizers of the annual protests outside the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia -- School of the Americas Watch -- are well aware of the potency of culture, and use music and art to great effect, inspiring and educating tens of thousands of participants every November.

On the other end of the spectrum are the ideologically-driven people who have turned hatred of culture into a sort of art. I have to smile when I think of the small minority of Islamist wackos who tried to storm the stage at one rally I sang at in DC in 2002, shouting, “No music! No music!” Security for the stage was being provided by the Nation of Islam, who faced off with this group of Islamists, who ultimately decided that throwing down with the Jewels of Islam behind the stage that day wasn’t in their best interests, apparently.

But much more prevalent, and therefore much scarier, are groups like the ANSWER “Coalition.” (I put “coalition” in quotes because I have yet to meet a member of a group that theoretically makes up the “coalition” that has had any say in what goes on at their rallies, although the leadership of ANSWER is of course happy to receive the bus-loads of people that their “coalition” members bring to their rallies, which seems to be the only thing that makes ANSWER a “coalition.”) ANSWER, last I heard, is run by the ultra-left sectarian group known as the Worker’s World Party, which I strongly suspect is working for the FBI. (Although as Ward Churchill says, you don’t need to be a cop to do a cop’s job.)

Millions of people in the US who regularly go to antiwar protests are unaware of who is organizing them. They just want to go to an antiwar protest. ANSWER has become almost synonymous with “antiwar protest,” to the extent that many people on the periphery of the left (such as most people who go to their protests) refer to antiwar protests as “ANSWER protests,” as in “I went to an ANSWER protest,” whether or not the protest was actually organized by ANSWER. (Just as many people say “I was listening to NPR” when they were actually listening to a community radio station that has nothing to do with NPR, broadcasting programs such as Democracy Now!, which the vast majority of NPR stations still will not touch with a ten foot pole.)

I always find it unnerving and intriguing that ANSWER protests always seem to be mentioned on NPR and broadcast on CSPAN, whereas rallies organized by the bigger and actual coalition, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), almost never manage to make it onto CSPAN or get covered by the corporate media. ANSWER always seems to get the permits, whereas UFPJ seems to be systematically denied them. Anyway, I digress (a little). I tend to avoid anything having to do with ANSWER or the little-known, shadowy Worker’s World Party, but a few years ago I was driving across Tennessee listening to CSPAN on my satellite radio, and they broadcast the full four hours of an ANSWER protest in DC. I sat through it because I wanted to hear it from beginning to end, for research purposes, and Tennessee is a long state to drive through from west to east, had to do something during that drive. There was one song in the four-hour rally. Although I’ve been an active member of the left for twenty years, I recognized almost none of the names of the people who spoke at the rally. Every speech was full of boring, tired rhetoric, as if they were out of a screenplay written by a rightwing screenwriter who was trying to make a mockery out of leftwing political rallies. Judging from the names of the organizations involved, very few of which I recognized either, they were mostly tiny little Worker’s World Party front groups. And since the Worker’s World Party apparently doesn’t have any musicians in their pocket, there was no music to speak of. (Or, quite probably I suspect, they don't want music at their rallies because they don't want their rallies to be interesting.)

ANSWER is an extreme example, but a big one that most progressives are unfortunately familiar with, whether they know who ANSWER (or Worker’s World) is or not. Inevitably, most people leave ANSWER protests feeling vaguely used and demoralized -- aside from those who manage to stay far enough away from the towers of speakers so they can avoid hearing all the mindless rhetoric pouring out of them. Contrast the mood with the protests at the gates of Fort Benning, where most people leave feeling hopeful and inspired.

I know I have no more hope of influencing the leadership of Worker’s World with this essay than I have of influencing the behavior of the New York City police department with it. But neither of these organizations are my target audience. Those who I hope to reach are those who are genuinely trying to create rallies and other events in the hopes of influencing and inspiring public opinion, in the hopes of inspiring people to action, in the hopes of winning allies among the apolitical or even among conservatives. The people I hope to reach are those who have been unwittingly influenced by the corporate music industry’s implicit definition of what music and culture is and is not.

And, here we go, I would count among this group most of the hard-working, loving and compassionate people who are organizing rallies, who are organizing actions, who are organizing unions, and who are creating progressive media on the radio, on community television and on the internet in the US today.

I’d like to pause for a moment to make a disclosure. I am a professional politically-oriented musician, what the corporate media (and many progressives) would call a “protest singer,” though I reject the term. I’m not sure what, if anything, I have to gain personally by publishing these thoughts, but I think it behooves me to point out that I am one of the lucky ones who has performed at rallies and in progressive and mainstream media for hundreds of thousands of people on a fairly regular basis throughout the world, and I would like to hope that my words here will not be understood as Rovics whining that he’s not famous enough. I speak here for culture generally, not for myself as an individual singer-songwriter.

My desire is to reach groups like Pdx Peace and their sister organizations throughout the country. These are genuinely democratic groups, real coalitions made up of real people, not sectarian, unaccountable groups like ANSWER. These are groups, in short, made up of my friends and comrades, but these are groups also made up of people who grew up in this society and therefore generally have a lot to learn about the power of culture to educate and inspire people. It is not good enough to have music on the stage as people are gathering to rally and as they are leaving to march. It’s not good enough to have a song or two sandwiched in between another half hour of speeches -- no matter how many organizations want to have speakers representing them on stage, or whatever other very legitimate excuses organizers have for making their events, once again, long and boring (even if they’re not as long or as boring as an ANSWER rally). It is not good enough for wonderful, influential radio/TV shows like Democracy Now! to have snippets of songs in between their interviews, when only two or three of those interviews each year are related to culture. It is a sorry state of affairs that NPR news shows do a better job of covering pop culture than Pacifica shows do in terms of covering leftwing culture.

The vast majority of the contemporary, very talented, dedicated musicians represented by, say, the "links" page on, have rarely or never been invited to sing at a local or national protest rally (even if some few of us have, many times). The vast majority of progressive conferences do not even include a concert, or if they do, it's background music during dinner on Saturday night. I can count on one hand the number of times I have heard Democracy Now! or Free Speech Radio News mention that a great leftwing artist is doing a tour of the US. The number of fantastic musicians out there who have even been played during the station breaks on Democracy Now! is a tiny fraction of those that are out there -- of the dozens of musicians featured on my "links" page for example, only a small handful have even been played once. It is shameful that it's easier to get a national, mainstream radio show in the UK or Canada to plug a tour of such a musician than it is to get any national Pacifica program to do this.

Radical culture needs to be fostered and promoted, front and center, not sidelined as people are gathering, or when the radio stations are doing station ID's. Because if the point is to inspire people to action, a song is worth a hundred speeches. If the point is to educate people, a three-minute ballad is easily equal to any book. (They'll read the book after they hear the song, not the other way around.)

It is often said that we are in a battle for the hearts and minds of the people of this country. It is us versus CNN, NPR, Bush, Clinton, etc. In this battle, style matters, not just content. In this battle, it is absolutely imperative that we remember that it is not only the minds we need to win, but the hearts. At least in terms of the various forms of human communication, there is nothing on Earth more effective in winning hearts than music and art. We ignore or sideline music and art at our peril. It's time to listen to the music.

Please don't email
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I believe in the IWW,IWW,IWW....

02.04.2008 22:46

Yo to the Wobblies
But what a heaving load of crap between then and now



02.04.2008 23:45

The most important point in this debate is made above by 'Activista'. This so called movement is in its death throws and they know it.

Their presence at related events is tiny compared to a year ago.

The final cut of Loose Change was a total flop.

Just look at the photos they publish every month of their actions on the 11th. Less than ten people on every mobilisation. The Sparticists League can turn out more than that.

More importantly they can't agree on anything. Controlled demolition or energy weapon? Planes or holograms? CIA or Mossad? Zionists or Neo cons?

Rest in Pieces.

Ha Ha Ha

Gatekeeper (obviously)

London and Glasgow

02.04.2008 23:59

Sure Doh
The attacks there were welcoming events for this horrendous downing of the status quo under the murderous and dour eye of Brown and his cohorts. Watch this manipulated collapse of the economy
The registered phones in the non-exploding London car which led the police to all the conspirators, the burning-up guy who still found the strength to fight with airport employees and the police
Please understand how shit their stories are


Senator McCarthy, a question please

03.04.2008 10:43

"We are having the same debate year after year and still you refuse to respect the Indymedia editorial or the people who contribute each day."

Maybe if you stuck to one name on a thread then we'd all recognise you - at least DH has the courage of their convictions to stick to one name. How can you recncile saying DH floods the newswire when he hardly posts, and when you admit to posting everday. So apart from ad hominem attacks - often on people who haven't posted on this thread - what is your other contribution to the newswire ? What actions have you done that you can be proud of beyond your proven and rather suspiciously professional smear campaign ?


What I'd expect from a truther

03.04.2008 15:33

Typical truther response from Messy if ever I saw one, trying to tie people down and get their identity so they can arrange to send a barrage of abusive emails I guess. No thanks!


They like to think of themselves as militant but they will just try to convert you by phone and email.. your family, your friends, your work etc. Then call you names on the Internet, as they have done to a 7/7 survivor and anyone else who dares suggest they might be wrong.

As for a smear campaign, they have done that to themselves but I do admit I enjoy watching them unravel.


Typical huh ?

03.04.2008 16:02

"Typical truther response from Messy if ever I saw one"

The fact I am not a truther should maybe make you see you are acting a bit paranoid. I am not asking for your real name, just what you normally post under. You claim to make daily contributions here, so what are they ?


Link info

03.04.2008 17:52

In case you are wondering which link WTF! is referring to above it is here:

Click it and have a long hard listen. It will make interesting listening for anyone who wants to know the agenda that the 911 truthers have to hijack Indymedia. My original comment which contained it seems to have been removed. I apoligise to moderators if I have made more work for them by by contravening the guidlines. It wasn't intentional.


Never a truther!

03.04.2008 17:59

Don't you know truthers always deny being truthers.. see 'we are change' harassing Nick Cohen (skip ahead to 2:41)

Said I

Live From The WitchTrials

03.04.2008 18:18

"Don't you know truthers always deny being truthers"

So the fact I deny being a truther is proof I actually am a truther ? Wow. In that case I only have one question for you - are you a truther ? You are proof you don't need to be a truther to be madder than a bag of cats. Of course, I could ask for a link to anything truther I've posted - or are you just opposed to truth in general ?

Here is a more appropriate link :

-We've found a witch, can we burn her ?
-How do you know she is a witch ?
-She looks like one !
-So logically, if she weighs the same as a duck, she is made of wood...and therefore a witch!


Deadly serious

03.04.2008 18:54

I could have linked to the Red Scare or the Green Scare but I recognise old jokes when I see them. It is your standard witchtrial. Anonymous smearing of people that haven't posted on this thread, false allegations against anyone who doesn't support this, vicious language and one way vitriol. Instead of asking me what my views on 911 and the truthers is, you label me as one simply for denying it. That is laughable but only in a sick way.

FIRST VILLAGER: We have found a witch. May we burn her?
ALL: A Witch! Burn her!
BEDEVERE: How do you know she is a witch?
ALL: She looks like one. Yes, she does.
BEDEVERE: Bring her forward.
They bring her forward - a beautiful YOUNG GIRL (MISS ISLINGTON) dressed
up as a witch.
WITCH: I am not a witch. I am not a witch.
BEDEVERE: But you are dressed as one.
WITCH: They dressed me up like this.
ALL: We didn't, we didn't!
WITCH: This is not my nose, It is a false one.
BEDEVERE takes her nose off.
FIRST VILLAGER: ... Well, we did do the nose.
BEDEVERE: The nose?
FIRST VILLAGER: And the hat. But she is a witch.
ALL: A witch, a witch, burn her!
BEDEVERE: Did you dress her up like this?
FIRST VILLAGER: ... Um ... Yes ... no ... a bit ... yes... she has got a wart.
BEDEVERE: Why do you think she is a witch?
SECOND VILLAGER: She turned me into a newt.
SECOND VILLAGER (After looking at himself for some time): I got better.
ALL: Burn her anyway.
BEDEVERE: Quiet! Quiet! There are ways of telling whether she is a witch.
ARTHUR and PATSY ride up at this point and watch what follows with interest
ALL: There are? Tell up. What are they, wise Sir Bedevere?
BEDEVERE: Tell me ... what do you do with witches?
ALL: Burn them.
BEDEVERE: And what do you burn, apart from witches?
BEDEVERE: So why do witches burn?
SECOND VILLAGER (pianissimo): ... Because they're made of wood...?
PEASANTS stir uneasily then come round to this conclusion.
ALL: I see. Yes, of course.
BEDEVERE: So how can we tell if she is made of wood?
FIRST VILLAGER: Make a bridge out of her.
BEDEVERE: Ah ... but can you not also make bridges out of stone?
ALL: Ah. Yes, of course ... um ... err ...
BEDEVERE: Does wood sink in water?
ALL: No, no, It floats. Throw her in the pond Tie weights on her. To the pond.
BEDEVERE: Wait. Wait ... tell me, what also floats on water?
ALL: Bread? No, no, no. Apples .... gravy ... very small rocks ...
ARTHUR: A duck.
They all turn and look at ARTHUR. BEDEVERE looks up very impressed.
BEDEVERE: Exactly. So... logically ...
FIRST VILLAGER (beginning to pick up the thread): If she ... weighs the
same as a duck ... she's made of wood.
BEDEVERE: And therefore?
ALL: A witch! ... A duck! A duck! Fetch a duck.
FOURTH VILLAGER: Here is a duck, Sir Bedevere.
BEDEVERE: We shall use my largest scales.
He leads them a few yards to a very strange contraption indeed, made of
wood and rope and leather. They put the GIRL in one pan and the duck in
another. Each pan is supported by a wooden stave. BEDEVERE checks each pan
then ... ARTHUR looks on with interest.
BEDEVERE: Remove the supports.
Two PEASANTS knock them away with sledge hammers. The GIRL and the duck
swing slightly but balance perfectly.
ALL: A witch! A witch!
WITCH: It's a fair cop.
ALL: Burn her! Burn her! Let's make her into a ladder.


witch hunt accusations cut both ways

03.04.2008 20:47 about the hundreds of 'doubters' on this site and many others that are routinely accused of being agents of the state/plants/spooks, simply because they do not buy into the 'truthers' world view, how about the actual victims of both 9/11 and 7/7 hounded by members of so called 'truth' movements simply because their testimony did not fit with the pre-conceived belief systems of the 'converted'. I would like to pose a question - exactly how many incontrovertible facts has the 9/11 truth movement actually produced over the last seven years, could someone providea list, because the only ones I am aware of, are far from being facts - there is the commonly re-iterated nonsense about the small hole in the side of the pentagon drivel - a fact disputed by many even within the so called truth movement, then there is the long refuted bollocks about the so called terrorist survivors of 9/11. Please enlighten me, what actual 'facts' do you have.

As for the so called experts at your disposal - someone earlier posted, in all sincerity, about the refutation of the Popular mechanics evidence by David Ray Griffen - a theology professor with no scientific expertise whatsoever. Admittedly the truth movement now seem to be able to pull out one architect to go with their one physicist (the fact that the latter was a well established fuckin loonspud well before 9/11 with his 'Christ visited Ancient America' bollocks seems to have escaped their attention). Frankly I have doubts about Richard Gage also - sso you think people like Gage and Shayler have no agenda of their own. You people treat them like rock stars and frequently hand over your money to these people as well, just to hear them spout the same old crap that you believe in. I would do it myself if I had no scruples.

The fact is, you still have to explain why thousands upon thousands of architects, structural engineers, pilots, physicists etc the world over, do not go along with your nnsensical theories - there must be thousand upon thousand in places like China and Iran alone, so kinly spare me the ' they are too afraid to speak out against the government nonsense'

If you people want to continue to beleive this shite then that is entirely up to you, but there are thousands upon thousands of people who still consider themselves activits or progressives who do not - just learn to deal with it and get on on talking about some other issues for a change.

another non believer

'Loose Change' exposed.

03.04.2008 21:13

I note with little surprise that the 9/11 truthers have yet to challenge any of the fundamental points made by David Rovics, Schnews and Barry Kade above. Thinking outside of their own little bubble has always been too tough for them. So I won't hold my breath waiting for a real response to the expert demolition of 'Loose Change' below.

It was writted by that well know neocon and supporter of american foreign policy George Monbiot:


By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 6th February 2007

There is a virus sweeping the world. It infects opponents of the Bush government, sucks their brains out through their eyes and turns them into gibbering idiots. First cultivated in a laboratory in the United States, the strain reached these shores a few months ago. In the past fortnight it has become an epidemic. Scarcely a day now passes without someone possessed by this sickness, eyes rolling, lips flecked with foam, trying to infect me. The disease is called Loose Change. It is a film made by three young men which airs most of the standard conspiracy theories about the attacks of September 11 2001. Unlike the other 9/11 conspiracy films, Loose Change is sharp and swift, with a thumping soundtrack, slick graphics and a calm and authoritative voiceover. Its makers claim that it has now been watched by 100 million people.The Pentagon, the film maintains, was not hit by a commercial airliner. There was “no discernable trace” of a plane found in the wreckage, and the entrance and exit holes in the building were far too small. It was hit by a Cruise missile. The twin towers were brought down by means of “a carefully planned controlled demolition”. You can see the small puffs of smoke caused by explosives just below the cascading sections. All other hypotheses are implausible: the fire was not hot enough to melt steel and the towers fell too quickly. Building 7 was destroyed by the same means a few hours later.

Flight 93 did not crash, but was redirected to Cleveland Airport, where the passengers were taken into a NASA building and never seen again. Their voices had been cloned by the Los Alamos laboratories and used to make fake calls to their relatives. The footage of Osama Bin Laden, claiming responsibility for the attacks, was faked. The US government carried out this great crime for four reasons: to help Larry Silverstein, who leased the towers, to collect his insurance money; to assist insider traders betting on falling airline stocks; to steal the gold in the basement; and to grant George Bush new executive powers, so that he could carry out his plans for world domination.

Even if you have seen or read no other accounts of 9/11, and your brain has not yet been liquidised, a few problems must occur to you. The first is the complete absence of scientific advice. At one point the presenter asks “So what brought down the Twin Towers? Let’s ask the experts.” But they don’t ask the experts. The film makers take some old quotes, edit them to remove any contradictions, then denounce all subsequent retractions as further evidence of conspiracy.

The only people they interview are a janitor, a group of firemen and a flight instructor. They let the janitor speak at length, but cut the firemen off in mid-sentence. The flight instructor speaks in short clips, which give the impression that his pupil, the hijacker Hani Hanjour, was incapable of hitting the Pentagon. Elsewhere he has said the opposite: he had “no doubt” that Hanjour could have done it(1).

Where are the structural engineers, the materials scientists, the specialists in ballistics, explosives or fire? The film makers now say that the third edition of the film will be fact-checked by an expert, but he turns out to be “a theology professor”(2). They don’t name him, but I would bet that it’s David Ray Griffin, who also happens to be the high priest of the 9/11 conspiracists.

The next evident flaw is that the plot they propose must have involved tens of thousands of people. It could not have been executed without the help of demolition experts, the security firms guarding the World Trade Centre, Mayor Giuliani (who hastily disposed of the remains), much of the US Air Force, the Federal Aviation Administration and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the relatives of the people “killed” in the plane crashes, the rest of the Pentagon’s staff, the Los Alamos laboratories, the FBI, the CIA and the investigators who picked through the rubble.

If there is one universal American characteristic it is a confessional culture which permits no one with a good story to keep his mouth shut. People appear on the Jerry Springer Show to admit to carnal relations with their tractors. Yet none of the participants in this monumental crime has sought to blow the whistle - before, during or after the attacks. No one has volunteered to tell the greatest story ever told.

Read some conflicting accounts, and Loose Change’s case crumbles faster than the Twin Towers. Hundreds of people saw a plane hit the Pentagon. Because it collided with one of the world’s best- defended buildings at full speed, the plane was pulverised: even so, both plane parts and body parts were in fact recovered. The wings and tail disintegrated when they hit the wall, which is why the holes weren’t bigger(3).

The failure of the Twin Towers has been exhaustively documented by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Far from being impossible, the collapse turns out to have been inevitable. The planes cut some of the support columns and ignited fires sufficient to weaken (but not melt) the remaining steel structures. As the perimeter columns buckled, the weight of the collapsing top stories generated a momentum the rest of the building could not arrest. Puffs of smoke were blown out of the structure by compression as the building fell(4).

Counterpunch, the radical leftwing magazine, commissioned its own expert - an aerospace and mechanical engineer - to test the official findings(5). He shows that the institute must have been right. He also demonstrates how Building 7 collapsed. Burning debris falling from the twin towers ruptured the oil pipes feeding its emergency generators. The reduction in pressure triggered the automatic pumping system, which poured thousands of gallons of diesel onto the fire. The support trusses weakened and buckled and the building imploded(6). Popular Mechanics magazine polled 300 experts and came to the same conclusions(7).

So the critics - even Counterpunch - are labelled co-conspirators, and the plot expands until it comes to involve a substantial part of the world’s population. There is no reasoning with this madness.

People believe Loose Change because it proposes a closed world: comprehensible, controllable, small. Despite the great evil which runs it, it is more companionable than the chaos which really governs our lives, a world without destination or purpose. This neat story draws campaigners away from real issues - global warming, the Iraq war, nuclear weapons, privatisation, inequality - while permanently wrecking their credibility. Bush did capitalise on the attacks, and he did follow a pre-existing agenda, spelt out, as Loose Change says, by the Project for a New American Century. But by drowning this truth in an ocean of nonsense, the conspiracists ensure that it can never again be taken seriously.

The film’s greatest flaw is this: the men who made it are still alive. If the US government is running an all-knowing, all-encompassing conspiracy, why did it not snuff them out long ago? There is only one possible explanation. They are in fact agents of the Bush regime, employed to distract people from its real abuses of power. This, if you are inclined to believe such stories, is surely a more plausible theory than the one proposed in Loose Change.


Reply to George Monbiot (at 22:13 above)

04.04.2008 03:23

I am pleased to say we can now answer "where are the structural engineers?"

They are with Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, a fast-growing organization of 300 architectural and engineering professionals founded by architect Richard Gage, AIA, last year.

The group also counts licensed Fire Engineers and people with explosives experience amongst its

The "conspiracy of thousands" con is absurd. War games involving false radar blips confused the
air defense. How many people would it take to plant explosives in the elevator shafts of the
WTC, using the tops of the elevator cars as movable staging?

The failure of the Twin Towers has NOT been exhaustively documented by NIST. They never
explained how collapse initiation results in total progressive collapse, how asymmetrical damage
can result in a totally symmetrical collapse, or what caused the molten steel found in the
basements. They never explained what brought down Building 7. And they have no core
steel samples showing heating sufficient to damage the steel.

Counterpunch's facile explanation of the collapse of Building 7 has reportedly been repudiated
by NIST itself.

The final paragraph is self-contradicting. If the fact that Mr. Avery still walks this earth proves
that the official story is correct, then the officials are motivated to see that he prosper, not that
he be silenced.

Brian Good

The Devil's Wanton

04.04.2008 12:30

You know, I can remember when the SAS started getting up to dirty tricks against Iran, or when the UK and US started using banned weapons in Iraq. The raection on IM was mixed, between people who were prepared to speculate from limited facts to those who dismissed such speculation and investigation as 'conspiraloon nonsense'. Except it wasn't, it was true and is now openly admitted by the state. The right-wing IMers definition of conspiracy seems to cover all investigative reporting.

The person most to blame for trying to bury these stories was a right-wing faker who I assumed was an undercover agent - and who is certainly since proven to be a police informer. He would post here dismissively about 911 too, often under multiple names on the one thread, just like this thread.

My main priority is the Iraq war so I've little interest in 911, but it is saddening to see a return of the witch-trials here, back to the days when we can't even report what the mainstream have already reported out of fear of being labelled a nutter. Say I found out some evidence that David Kelly was murdered - I'd have to take it to the mainstream media in this climate.

witch-hunt n. An investigation carried out ostensibly to uncover subversive activities but actually used to harass and undermine those with differing views.

witch hunt noun
1 : a searching out for persecution of persons accused of witchcraft
2 : the searching out and deliberate harassment of those (as political opponents) with unpopular views


Persecution of minority political opponents or socially nonconformist groups without any regard for their guilt or innocence. Witch-hunts are often accompanied by a degree of public hysteria; for example, the McCarthy anticommunist hearings during the 1950s in the USA.

In modern terminology 'witch-hunt' has acquired usage referring to the act of seeking and persecuting any perceived enemy, particularly when the search is conducted using extreme measures and with little regard to actual guilt or innocence.

Homage to Catalonia

The Oxford English Dictionary describes the first recorded use of the term in its metaphorical sense in George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia (1938). The term is used by Orwell to describe how, in the Spanish Civil War, political persecutions became a regular occurrence.


Monbiots most damaging article on '9/11 truth'.

04.04.2008 13:49

Unbelievably wealk reply by Brian Good above. Though that was to be expected. Just more proof of Monbiot's claim that the 9/11 truthers 'cherry pick' their evidence while refusing to look at the bigger picture. Though to be honest his best analysis on the subject came in the form of his reply to the accusations from the truthers following his original article. Like Rovics and Schnews above he very eloquently describes the damage that these nutters can inflict on genuine movements against western imperialism:

Bayoneting a Scarecrow
Posted February 20, 2007

The 9/11 conspiracy theories are a coward’s cult.

By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 20th February 2007

“You did this hit piece because your corporate masters instructed you to. You are a controlled asset of the New World Order … bought and paid for.”(1) “Everyone has some skeleton in the cupboard. How else would MI5 and the Special Branch recruit agents?”(2) “Shill, traitor, sleeper”, “leftwing gatekeeper”, “accessory after the fact”, “political whore of the biggest conspiracy of them all.”

These are a few of the measured responses to my article, a fortnight ago, about the film Loose Change, which maintains that the US government destroyed the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. Having spent years building up my left-wing credibility on behalf of my paymasters in MI5, I’ve blown it. I overplayed my hand, and have been exposed, like Bush and Cheney, by a bunch of kids with laptops. My handlers are furious.

I believe that George Bush is surrounded by some of the most scheming, devious, ruthless men to have found their way into government since the days of the Borgias. I believe that they were criminally negligent in failing to respond to intelligence about a potential attack by Al Qaeda, and that they have sought to disguise their incompetence by classifying crucial documents. I believe, too, that the Bush government seized the opportunity provided by the attacks to pursue a long-standing plan to invade Iraq and reshape the Middle East, knowing full well that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. Bush deliberately misled the American people about the links between 9/11 and Iraq and about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. He is responsible for the murder of many tens of thousands of Iraqis.

But none of this is sufficient. To qualify as a true opponent of the Bush regime, you must also now believe that it is capable of magic. It could blast the Pentagon with a cruise missile, while persuading hundreds of onlookers that they saw a plane. It could wire every floor of the Twin Towers with explosives without attracting attention, and prime the charges (though planes had ploughed through the middle of the sequence) to drop each tower in a perfectly-timed collapse. It could make Flight 93 disappear into thin air, and somehow ensure that the relatives of the passengers collaborated with the deception. It could recruit tens of thousands of conspirators to participate in these great crimes, and induce them all to kept their mouths shut, for ever.

In other words, you must believe that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their pals are all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful, despite the fact that they were incapable of faking either weapons of mass destruction or any evidence at Ground Zero that Saddam Hussein was responsible. You must believe that the impression of cackhandedness and incompetence they have managed to project since taking office is a front. Otherwise you are a traitor and a spy.

Why do I bother with these morons? Because they are destroying the movements which some of us have spent a long time trying to build. Those of us who believe that the crucial global issues - climate change, the Iraq war, nuclear proliferation, inequality - are insufficiently debated in parliament or congress; that corporate power stands too heavily on democracy; that war criminals, cheats and liars are not being held to account, have invested our efforts in movements outside the mainstream political process. These, we are now discovering, are peculiarly susceptible to this epidemic of gibberish.

The obvious corollorary to the belief that the Bush administration is all-powerful is that the rest of us are completely powerless. In fact it seems to me that the purpose of the “9/11 truth movement” is to be powerless. The omnipotence of the Bush regime is the coward’s fantasy, an excuse for inaction used by those who don’t have the stomach to engage in real political fights.

Let me give you an example. The column I wrote about Loose Change two weeks ago The column I wrote about Loose Change two weeks ago generated 777 posts on Comment is Free, which is almost a record. Most of them were furious.. The response from a producer of the film, published last week, attracted 467(2). On the same day I published an article about a genuine, demonstrable conspiracy: a spy network feeding confidential information from an arms control campaign to Britain’s biggest weapons manufacturer, BAE. It drew 60 responses(3). The members of the 9/11 cult weren’t interested. If they were, they might have had to do something. The great virtue of a fake conspiracy is that it calls on you to do nothing.

The 9/11 conspiracy theories are a displacement activity. A displacement activity is something you do because you feel incapable of doing what you ought to do. A squirrel sees a larger squirrel stealing its hoard of nuts. Instead of attacking its rival, it sinks its teeth into a tree and starts ripping it to pieces. Faced with the mountainous challenge of the real issues we must confront, the chickens in the “truth” movement focus instead on a fairytale, knowing that nothing they do or say will count, knowing that because the perpetrators don’t exist, they can’t fight back. They demonstrate their courage by repeatedly bayoneting a scarecrow.

Many of those who posted responses on Comment is Free contend that Loose Change (which was neatly demolished in the BBC’s film The Conspiracy Files on Sunday night) is a poor representation of the conspiracists’ case. They urge us instead to visit websites like, and, and to read articles by the theology professor David Ray Griffin and the physicist Steven E. Jones. Concerned that I might have missed something, I have now done all those things, and have come across exactly the same concatenation of ill-attested nonsense as I saw in Loose Change. In all these cases you will find wild supposition raised to the status of incontrovertible fact; rumour and confusion transformed into evidence; selective editing; the citation of fake experts; the dismissal of real ones. Doubtless I will now be told that these are not the true believers: I will need to dive into another vat of tripe to get to the heart of the conspiracy.

The 9/11 truthers remind me of nothing so much as the climate-change deniers, cherry-picking their evidence, seizing any excuse for ignoring the arguments of their opponents. Witness the respondents to my Loose Change column who maintain that the magazine Popular Mechanics, which has ripped the demolition theories apart, is a government front. They know this because one of its editors, Benjamin Chertoff, is the brother/nephew/first cousin of the US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. (They are, as far as Benjamin can discover, unrelated, but what does he know?(4)).

Like the millenarian fantasies which helped to destroy the Levellers as a political force in the mid-17th century, this crazy distraction presents a mortal danger to popular oppositional movements. If I were Bush or Blair, nothing would please me more than to see my opponents making idiots of themselves, while devoting their lives to chasing a phantom. But as a controlled asset of the New World Order, I would say that, wouldn’t I? It’s all part of the plot.


What has the left achieved?

05.04.2008 17:25

I marched alongside the likes of Tariq Ali to the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square in 1968 to stop the Vietnam war. I have marched in so many demonstrations since against all kinds of injustice and tyranny including the massive demo against the war on Iraq which was ignored by Blair and his cronies.
None of this marching and singing of protest songs achieved anything! The wars went ahead and the injustice has worsened over the years. The likes of Billy Bragg and Monbiot have come and gone and achieved absolutely zilch!

We are rapidly approaching martial law and the police state and a new war on Iran and Syria at the behest of Israel is about to kick off. The left and their marching and guitar playing will not stop that either.
The lefties shouting slogans and marching in Cable Street did not stop the Nazis and the International Brigade did not defeat Franco. In Chile, the left could not stop American/Kissinger backed fascism from gaining power. It lost in Nicaragua too.
The Maoists in China have not stopped China turning into a slave labour camp and nobody on the left cares about the people of Burma.
Just who is running the left allowing it to be such a dismal failure as a movement for revolution and justice?
Who is posting all of these nasty slurs on the 9/11 truth movement? What are they afraid of? Why are they so worked up about it? Is there a certain megaphone device behind much of this?

There is plenty of good evidence for a controlled demolition of the three buildings in New York and for rejecting the official lies of the the London tube bombings if you care to do the research.

The left have been left behind and are irrelevent.


Reply to Monbiot at 14:49

05.04.2008 23:59

Mr. Monbiot's complaints about loony attacks on him have no bearing,
Who exactly attacked him, and how do we know they are real truthers?
Anybody can send an email, and a failure to recognize that many of
them may be fakirs is very naive.

That hundreds of people saw a plane near the Pentagon does not
mean that plane necessarily crashed unto the Pentagon. Pilots for
9/11 Truth will tell you the flight recorder data tells you that the plane
flew over the Pentagon at an altitude of 400 feet.

Planting charges in the World Trade Center without detection is not
difficult if you are working reasonably quietly in the elevator hoistways
after midnight. That the planes ploughed through the sequence
is no problem. If the charges were computer-controlled, their sequence
could have been easily reprogrammed.

I have never heard any reasonable accounting of the supposed tens of
thousands of co-conspirators necessary to achieve on operation of a
largely technical nature.

We are not powerless. By standing up publicly for truth and simple
common sense, we demonstrate our power.

Brian Good

Really Quite Silly

07.04.2008 05:02

So Doh, you level an ad hominem attack on an entire movement.

What's paranoid about wanting answers for the Jersey Widows'
questions? They gave 300 questions to the 9/11 Commission and
they only got 27 answers.

What's paranoid about asking what caused the molten steel in
the basements at the WTC? Jet fuel can not melt steel.

What's paranoid about asking why there was no air defense in the
US for 100 minutes on 9/11? How did loonies with boxcutters
manage that?

Brian Good

respectful behaviour

09.04.2008 20:52

One of the problems is that people who think they are campaigning against fanatics tend to become fanatical themselves. No one is more dangerous than when they hold the moral high ground. TruthWatchUK is nuttier than any 911ers I've come across in years - setting up a critical site and not allowing critical comments is pretty despicable but looking at it also makes me worry for the authors state of mind.

I love the accusation that I have busted IM's security by spell checking, date sorting and grammar checking anonymous posts My macro is 20 lines of visual basic, it is only indicative but it works better than I expected it to - I did warn people about this since obviously if I could do this, THEY certainly would be up to worse. You want to see what the establishment have been using for years :
Anyway, it is only sensible to assume there is someone who is smarter than you on the internet at any given point in time - or perhaps years or decades afterwards. The general rule is be nice or be careful.

My question about who is next out after you get rid of the 911ers is meant to illustrate IM is a very broad church, and there are tensions, contradictions and discrepancies between what different groups and individuals believe. Animal rights, gay rights and womens rights groups sit uneasily next to muslim or christian groups for instance. Some of the Reds don't like some of the Greens. So once we get rid of the 911ers, which is the next least popular ? If a subject doesn't interest you, then you don't need to read it, constant negative comments bring the place down and discourage activism.

I like Guidos reports and I hope Guido appears as Guido to distance himself from that stupid website at least, and from the smear by association on Chris Coverdale. I didn't like the tone of this thread after the first dozen comments, but it was the slur on Chris that was infuriating. I'm not still posting here because I am an obsessive undercover 911er as you seem to think, but because you just damaged someone I feel is beyond reproach for no valid reason. And the general tawdriness of the anti-911 tactics - jeez, I was OTT about them but I hope I never sank to that level so quickly. Plus back then evry foutrth posts seemed to be a 911 post, they did start out as an incredibly rude movement. This is quite a short thread compared to when I was arguing what you are arguing now, although most of my comments were hidden quite rightly. If you want to talk sensibly, I'll keep arguing the toss here. I like Rovics article, but I feel it is sightly clumsily worded, and I feel it is wrong to use it to demand a pogrom of 911ers.

And calm down, I seriously never had any problem from any of the 911ers except the Larouche cadets, and that was because I tried to investigate their Swedish front organisation. They still email me but I've never seen one of them that I know of. There are more realistic dangers to your life, like fascism or obesity. ( I am not implying you are a fat fascist, I am just stuck for a way to reword that ).



13.04.2008 07:23

well its all very interesting but I think we should all get on with our lives and if we are going to be activists concentrate on things that will improve the lives of those less fortunate or trying to highlight the life threatening problems that affect millions of people worldwide and the planet itself. And not dwell on things that actually wont change anything, its done now and the war in Iraq is in full flow finding that 9/11 truth now supporters are right wont make a blind bit of difference to events now.
Whatever your position I believe there are vastly more important issues to confront.
Its typical of the left movements lots of infighting and bickering amongst themselves so nothing anywhere gets done
Give it a break and put your energy into something that WILL make a difference to peoples lives.


So zcat

13.04.2008 09:19

You seem to have forgotten to tell us what it is that you do to make the world a better place!

As the imperial powers appear to be using the same tactics to foster war on Iran as they did war on Iraq, I can see some value in working to expose their tactics,

Perhaps when you've told me the correct and approved activities that I'm allowed to undertake, I'll have something more worthwhile to do with MY time.

Over to you.

You're a better anarchist than me

reply to schnews

26.05.2008 21:46


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