Gurus of the progressive community . . . Chomsky and Goodman
There was a time when I, like tens of thousands of my progressive partners, held Noam Chomsky and Amy Goodman in awe. After all, Amy informed us and Noam spoke for us, coherently explaining the issues. However, as I became more aware and more informed, I realized that there were great differences between their thinking and mine.
In many instances, our gurus spoke with forked tongue. Although Amy’s program Democracy Now! was informative, there were many areas of reporting that were out of bounds and were not reported on.
One could legitimately claim that reporters cannot report on everything and they would be right. But let us be honest. When 9/11 occurred, it was an historical event and an event that changed the course of history. Where was Amy? Relatively silent. She invited David Ray Griffin, who has written several books illustrating the lies and misdirections of the government’s narrative about that day, to Democracy Now! which one could claim was a significant journalistic move.
However, instead of interviewing him so that he could reveal to her listening audience the facts that he had accumulated that put into question the government’s explanations of that day, she paired him with a pro-government guest who spent the hour attacking Griffin personally and ignoring any of the data Griffin produced. It became a three-ring circus and helped sabotage any impetus the Truth Movement might have gained within the progressive community. Was that her goal? I’m not sure I can answer that but it was a successful strategy, progressives seemed reluctant to support the Truth Movement. The Movement was being portrayed as one in which there were marginal “conspiracy nuts” leading the charge and should be avoided.
Where was Noam Chomsky on this issue? Despite the significance of 9/11, Chomsky has remained relatively passive concerning this event.
During an interview on Democracy Now!, Noam Chomsky stated that he believes Osama bin Laden was probably behind the attacks of September 11, 2001. The statement was curious because in earlier interviews Chomsky described the evidence against bin Laden as thin to nonexistent, which was accurate and, no doubt, explains why the US Department of Justice never indicted bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks.
In two peer-reviewed papers published in 2008–2009, independent scientists reported finding residues of nanothermite, an incendiary, military level explosive which is capable of cutting through steel, in dust samples from the collapsed World Trade Center. The scientists also found tiny flakes of unexploded nanothermite.
How did this explosive material get into the dust at the WTC? Certainly, one could conclude that the explosives were used to bring down all three towers (WTC #7 collapsed later that day in free fall time despite the fact a plane never touched it).
This evidence of explosives coupled with the testimony of many New York City firemen, who claimed they heard a continuing series of explosions before the towers collapsed, and the testimony of Willie Rodriquez, a maintenance worker in the towers, who stated that there was an explosion in the sub-basement before any planes flew into the towers, make it clear that it was the explosives, not the planes that brought the towers down. The question now is, who planted these explosives in the three buildings that collapsed? It takes time to set up a controlled demolition which means the explosives had been placed in the buildings prior to 9/11. Does this sound like a conspiracy to anyone?
In response to a question at the University of Florida recently, Noam Chomsky claimed that there were only “a minuscule number of architects and engineers” who felt that the official account of WTC Building 7 should be treated with skepticism. Chomsky followed-up by saying, “a tiny number—a couple of them—are perfectly serious.” The reality is that close to 2,500 architects and engineers have expressed their doubts about the government’s explanation of how and why the towers fell. It doesn’t matter how many professionals or intellectuals are willing to admit it. The facts remain that the U.S. government’s account for the destruction of the WTC on 9/11 is purely false. There is no science behind the government’s explanation for WTC 7 or for the Twin Towers and everyone, including the government, admits that WTC Building 7 experienced free fall on 9/11. There is no explanation for that other than the use of explosives.
Also, Chomsky’s assumption that only a small number of architects and engineers have expressed support for the notion that the towers fell because of explosives planted in the buildings and that a much larger majority of architects and engineers have remained silent, is the argument of the absurd. It is equivalent to implying that if 10,000 New Yorkers claim the schools are substandard, because the rest of New Yorkers remain silent, the schools cannot be considered substandard.
Chomsky and Goodman are bright, knowledgeable, intelligent people. What has influenced them to avoid confronting the government regarding the events of 9/11?
The fact that 9/11 investigators had already presented substantial documented evidence for: prior warnings, Air Force stand-down, anomalous insider trading connected to the CIA, withdrawal of most of the U.S. fighter planes from the east coast to participate in military exercises on that particular day, cover-up of the domestic anthrax attacks, inconsistencies in identities and timelines of “hijackers” did not appear to influence either Amy or Noam.
Their influence on people who view themselves as progressive cannot be over estimated. When I began questioning the government’s role regarding 9/11, several of my friends responded to me negatively and said specifically that if my suspicions had any legitimacy, Chomsky and Goodman would be speaking out.
Ever since the events of 9/11, the American Left and even ultra-Left have been downright fanatical in combating notions that the U.S. government was complicit in the attacks or at least had foreknowledge of the events.
This kind of response from Chomsky regarding possible government conspiracies is not new. He still insists that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman in Dallas. Anyone who still supports the Warren Commission hoax after 50 years of countering proofs is either ill-informed, dumb, gullible, afraid to speak truths to power or a disinformation agent.
Michael Morrissey stated, in one of his articles, “Rethinking Chomsky,” in 1994, “we should be clear about the stand that ‘America’s leading intellectual dissident,’ as he is often called, has taken on the assassination. It is not significantly different from that of the Warren Commission or the majority of Establishment journalists and government apologists, and diametrically opposed to the view ‘widely held in the grassroots movements and among left intellectuals’ and in fact to the view of the majority of the population.”
Michael Parenti states, “Conspiracy is a legitimate concept in law: the collusion of two or more people pursuing illegal means to effect some illegal or immoral end. People go to jail for committing conspiratorial acts. Conspiracies are a matter of public record, and some are of real political significance. The Watergate break-in was a conspiracy, as was the Watergate cover-up, which led to Nixon’s downfall. Iran-contra was a conspiracy of immense scope, much of it still uncovered. The savings and loan scandal was described by the Justice Department as “a thousand conspiracies of fraud, theft, and bribery,” the greatest financial crime in history.”
However, the word conspiracy is often used by those in power, who have participated in a conspiracy to advance their own power and/or wealth, as a label to marginalize and neutralize those who seek to reveal the conspiracy. Thus we, as a society, have developed what Parenti calls conspiracy phobia.
The behavior of both Chomsky and Goodman have led me to conclude that they hesitate to see the conspiracies for fear that such acknowledgment would compromise their reputations. Either that or they are controlled by powerful people who censor their behavior. We cannot afford to accept what they say at face value.
Chomsky’s questionable political positioning is still evident today. On May 17, Chomsky appeared on Democracy Now! and was asked by Amy Goodman to speak on the Syrian crisis. Chomsky is a linguist and words are very meaningful to him. So what he said and how he said it is significant.
“It’s necessary to cut off the flow of arms, as much as possible, to everyone. That means to the vicious and brutal Assad regime, primarily Russia and Iran, to the monstrous ISIS, which has been getting support tacitly through Turkey, through—to the al-Nusra Front, which is hardly different, has just the—the al-Qaeda affiliate, technically broke from it, but actually the al-Qaeda affiliate, which is now planning its own—some sort of emirate, getting arms from our allies, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Our own—the CIA is arming them.”
I found it particularly informative that he describes Assad’s regime as vicious and brutal and places Russia and Iran right alongside ISIS.
If Assad’s government is really brutal and vicious, why did 86% of the Syrian people vote for him in the last election. Also, let it be clear that it was Russia’s entrance into the conflict last September that led to the retreat of ISIS from many cities and villages, a success that the U.S. had avoided for a year. Syrians who were freed from ISIS rule were openly happy to welcome Assad’s “brutal” army into their villages. Many Syrian refugees began returning to their homes.
Chomsky also managed to portray the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as terrorists in their conflict with Britain. He conveniently omitted the context for their behavior . . . the brutality of British rule against the Irish Catholics for hundreds of years.
Both Amy and Noam are extremely influential and have attained a degree of power amongst progressives. It is crucial that we remain aware of what they are telling us, how they are framing it, and what it is they are not telling us. Both seem to have provided, and continue to provide today, a cover from the left for the U.S.’s imperialist agenda.
Chomsky is called upon to address various issues periodically. Amy, on the other hand, is viewed every week, Monday through Friday. It is easy to identify her evolution into someone slightly to the left of MSNBC.
With the world collapsing around her, she offers relative silence on issues such as the U.S. supported takeover of the Ukrainian government by neo-Nazis, the surrounding of Russia by U.S. and NATO military forces, the threat of WW3 which would likely be a nuclear war, the Syrian crisis and the U.S. desire to overthrow Assad’s government, the humanitarian crisis in Libya, the coup to oust Dilma Rousseff from office in Brazil, the ongoing collapse of the Venezuelan economy and the threat to the Maduro government (please note: both Rousseff and Maduro are progressive thinkers—is the U.S. behind the collapse of their governments?). She does not address the continuous wars sponsored by the U.S. and NATO countries in their imperialistic ventures.
Instead, most of her time is spent covering the election and interviewing guests who have recently published books. Her program has mellowed. Most of her guests are establishment people, people MSNBC would not hesitate to have on. The radical view, the view that challenges the establishment, is no longer part of her coverage.
Amy’s audience expects to get the news coverage and the variety of views the MSM does not provide. Today’s Democracy Now! no longer provides that.
Dave Alpert has masters degrees in social work, educational administration, and psychology.