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01 May, 2009

Where Howard and Noam Won’t Roam

I’m disappointed that Howard Zinn said the following statements about 9/11, BUT I’m not surprised that either Zinn or Noam Chomsky would call the 9/11 Truth Movement a “diversion” from the “real work” and “an enormous waste of good energy” that will “lead nowhere.” So everything they try to change has to have a high likelihood of success or they don’t try it? Is energy expended toward uncovering secrets of the state actually ever wasted? I don’t get this defeatist attitude coming from an activist!

The reason I’m not surprised is because they’re both part of the Far Left Intellectual Establishment that views “conspiracy theory” as “right wing paranoia.” Many leftist activists are so out of their element in this mind space that they spaz out and can’t see straight.

I’ll let Richard C. Cook say it better:

May 1, 2009: Say It Ain’t So, Howard Zinn!
by Richard C. Cook

Howard Zinn, 86-year old folk hero, activist, professor, historian, and author of one of the great books of American popular literature, A People’s History of the United States, is telling people that searching for the truth about what really happened on 9/11 “is a diversion.”

Say it ain’t so, Howard Zinn!

He used the word “diversion” several times during an interview on The Real News Network with senior editor Paul Jay.

Here are some excerpts:

“There are some issues that are interesting but are diversions from what we really have to do. This is one of them.”

“Maybe there was a conspiracy. Who knows?”

“It’ll go on and on and on and people will write books and talk about it; it’ll be an enormous waste of good energy….I just don’t think that it leads anywhere.”

In the interview, Paul Jay points out to Zinn that much of current U.S. foreign policy, such as the Afghan War, “still has its roots in 9/11.” Making it clear that no matter what we may think about conspiracies, Jay states that peculiarities about 9/11 are part of the historical record.

For instance, he cites the fact that then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice acknowledged to the 9/11 Commission that she had been warned about an attack by Osama bin Laden during the summer of 2001 but that she did nothing about it. Jay also points out that “hundreds of thousands or even millions of Americans” question the official version.

Zinn: “It will never be clear. It will be one of those situations where nobody will ever be able to prove anything, and it will lead us nowhere.”

To be fair to Zinn, he also states that “9/11 was used as an excuse by the Bush administration to go to war,” but adds that what should be investigated is, “Why are there people in the world who want to blow up our buildings, who want to scare the American people, who want to do terrorist [things],” and who “are enraged by American foreign policy.”

He says, “We should be concentrating on in what way is American foreign policy responsible for the terrorism that exist in the minds and hearts of so many people in the world and which in a small number of them results in violent acts.”

It reminds me of another famous 9/11 conspiracy debunker, Professor Noam Chomsky. On October 6, 2006, Chomsky said on ZNet: “One of the major consequences of the 9/11 movement has been to draw enormous amounts of energy and effort away from activism directed to real and ongoing crimes of state, and their institutional background, crimes that are far more serious than blowing up the WTC would be, if there were any credibility to that thesis.”

It would be easy to criticize Zinn for failing to be consistent. He knows how important the study and writing of history really is. In his People’s History of the United States he set out to correct the record about the role of the labor movement, U.S. imperialism in Latin America and around the world, the violence of our culture, and many other issues.

Zinn knows, as we all do who have worked in the genre, that the writing of history is about discovering the truth. We know that absolute truth about the past is an impossibility. But we can try to get close, because the truth matters. A good historian is a scientist, attempting to draw conclusions from factual data. A good historian knows that even small discoveries, properly validated, can change the way we view the past and make decisions in the present.

But doesn’t what Zinn is saying about 9/11 go beyond the writing of history? Isn’t he suggesting by talking about “the people who want to blow up our buildings” that it is probable that those who carried out the 9/11 attacks really were a few angry Arabs with box-cutters, just like the Bush administration told us? Isn’t he asking us to buy into the government’s own flawed conspiracy theory regardless of whether we think the World Trade Center towers were brought down by controlled demolition or the Pentagon was attacked by a missile rather than an airliner, or whatever?

It doesn’t seem to me Howard Zinn really is saying we’ll never know what actually happened on 9/11 or that trying to find out is a “diversion.” It seems to me that what he is saying is itself a diversion. Please correct me, Mr. Zinn, if I am wrong.

Richard C. Cook is a former federal analyst who writes on public policy issues. His book “We Hold These Truths: the Hope of Monetary Reform” is now available at His website is

See also:

"Where Noam will not roam:
Chomsky manufactures consent, supports the official stories of 9/11 and JFK"

"That's an internet theory and it's hopelessly implausible. Hopelessly implausible. So hopelessly implausible I don't see any point in talking about it."

Chomsky's attitude on 9/11 is really amazing. You must take some time to check it out. Here's part of it:

In a recent interview, Noam Chomsky has made an incredible assertion:

"There's by now a small industry on the thesis that the administration had something to do with 9-11. I've looked at some of it, and have often been asked. There's a weak thesis that is possible though extremely unlikely in my opinion, and a strong thesis that is close to inconceivable. The weak thesis is that they knew about it and didn't try to stop it. The strong thesis is that they were actually involved. The evidence for either thesis is, in my opinion, based on a failure to understand properly what evidence is. Even in controlled scientific experiments one finds all sorts of unexplained phenomena, strange coincidences, loose ends, apparent contradictions, etc. Read the letters in technical science journals and you'll find plenty of samples. In real world situations, chaos is overwhelming, and these will mount to the sky. That aside, they'd have had to be quite mad to try anything like that. It would have had to involve a large number of people, something would be very likely to leak, pretty quickly, they'd all be lined up before firing squads and the Republican Party would be dead forever. That would have happened whether the plan succeeded or not, and success was at best a long shot; it would have been extremely hard to predict what would happen."


  1. That's how the CIA establishment works--they have people that appear "anti-establishment" but are really agents of it.

  2. Yeah, it's completely preposterous that he would say these things:

    ZNet Sustainer:Considering the long history of false flag operations to wrongly justify wars, our most recent precedent being WMD in Iraq, The Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam, going back much further to Pearl Harbor (FDR knowingly allowing the Japanese to bomb Pearl Harbor – which is different from false flag operations), to the 1898 Spanish-American War, to the 1846 Mexican-American War, to Andrew Jackson’s seizing of Seminole land in 1812 (aka Florida).

    Noam Chomsky: The concept of "false flag operation" is not a very serious one, in my opinion. None of the examples you describe, or any other in history, has even a remote resemblance to the alleged 9/11 conspiracy. I'd suggest that you look at each of them carefully.

  3. Also see this comment at the above link:

    His attitude, post-9/11, is in many ways a repeat of an episode a decade ago, when he and a handful of other "leftist" figures signed onto a savage establishment media attack on Oliver Stone and his film JFK, which brought an interpretation of the JFK assassination conspiracy to the public. In addition to defending the Warren Commission report's "lone gunman" findings, these anti-conspiratorialists made a peculiar far-fetched hedge, claiming that the assassination did not result in any significant changes to US policy or the political power structure, and hence need not concern Left political analysis in the slightest!

  4. Good info. They're like state-sanctioned "intellectuals" or "dissidents", who just "oppose" the state on minor safe issues but align with it on major critical ones like 911, JFK, the privately-owned Federal Reserve, in spite of the convincing evidence to the contrary, thus revealing their true allegiance.