Noam Chomsky and the Willful Ignorance of 9/11
By Kevin Ryan
In response to a question at the University of Florida recently, Noam Chomsky claimedthat there were only “a miniscule 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.”
If signing your name and credentials to a public petition on the subject means being serious, then Noam Chomsky’s tiny number begins at 2,100, not counting scientists and other professionals. Why would Chomsky make such an obvious exaggeration when he has been presented with contradictory facts many times?
I’ve personally had over thirty email exchanges with Chomsky. In those exchanges, he has agreed that it is “conceivable” that explosives might have been used at the WTC. But, he wrote, if that were the case it would have had to be Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden who had made it so.
Of course, it doesn’t matter how many professionals or intellectuals are willing to 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 WTC7 or forthe 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.
The obviously bogus “tiny number” statement from Chomsky is only one of several such absurdities the man uttered in his lecture response. Here are a few of the others.
“[Scientists seeking the truth about 9/11] are not doing what scientists and engineers do when they think they’ve discovered something. What you do, when you think you have discovered something, is you write articles in scientific journals [he admits to “one or two minor articles”], give talks at the professional societies, and go to the Civil Engineering Department at MIT, or Florida or wherever you are, and present your results.”
I’ve copied Chomsky on more than two peer-reviewed scientific articles in mainstream journals that describe evidence for demolition at the WTC. Therefore he knows that this statement is not true. And I’ve given dozens of talks around the U.S. and Canada that focused on the WTC demolition theory, many of which were at universities.
I’ve also pointed out that MIT’s civil engineering professor Eduardo Kausel made elementary mistakes in his public comments about the WTC disaster. Kausel claimed inScientific American that the WTC towers were “never designed for the the intense jet fuel fires—a key design omission.” Kausel also claimed that jet fuel from the aircraft “softened or melted the structural elements—floor trusses and columns—so that they became like chewing gum.” At the risk of making a Chomsky-like exaggeration, I’ll venture that nearly everyone today knows that these statements are false.
Chomsky went on in an attempt to belittle, and downplay the sacrifices of, people seeking the truth.
“There happen to be a lot of people around who spent an hour on the internet who think they know a lot of physics but it doesn’t work like that.”
“Anyone who has any record of, any familiarity, with political activism knows that this is one of the safest things you can do. It’s almost riskless. People take risks far beyond this constantly, including scientists and engineers. I could, have run through, and can run through many examples. Maybe people will laugh at you but that’s about it. It’s almost a riskless position.”
Chomsky knows that I was fired from my job as Site Manager at Underwriters Laboratories for publicly challenging the government’s investigation into the WTC tragedy. He knows that many others have suffered similar responses as well, including Brigham Young University physicist Steven Jones and University of Copenhagen chemist Niels Harrit, who were forced into retirement for speaking out. And although everyone knows that researchers and universities today depend on billions of grant dollars from the government, Chomsky implies that such funding could never be impacted in any way by questioning of the government’s most sensitive political positions.
The “hour on the internet” nonsense is ludicrous, of course, and Chomsky knows it well. Jones and Harrit have better scientific credentials than some MIT professors and we have all spent many years studying the events of 9/11. I’ve spent over a decade, and have contributed to many books and scientific articles, on the subject.
Pandering to the hecklers in the crowd, Chomsky summarized his simplistic (public) position on the events of 9/11.
“However, there’s a much more deeper issue which has been brought up repeatedly and I have yet to hear a response to it. There is just overwhelming evidence that the Bush administration wasn’t involved—very elementary evidence. You don’t have to be a physicist to understand it, you just have to think for a minute. There’s a couple of facts which are uncontroversial:
#1—The Bush Administration desperately wanted to invade Iraq. (He goes on to say that there were good reasons, including that Iraq was “right in the middle if the world’s energy producing region.)
#2—They didn’t blame 9/11 on Iraqis, they blamed it on Saudis—that’s their major ally.
#3—Unless they’re total lunatics, they would have blamed it on Iraqis if they were involved in any way.” He continues to say that “there was no reason to invade Afghanistan” which “has been mostly a waste of time.”
Basically, these three “overwhelming” reasons boil down to one reason—Chomsky assumes that if the Bush Administration was involved it would have immediately blamed Iraq for 9/11. Of course, Bush Administration leaders did immediately blame Iraq for 9/11 and they did so repeatedly. That was one of the two original justifications given by the Bush Administration for invading Iraq.
Moreover, Chomsky most definitely received a response to his “deeper issue” when he received a copy of my new book Another Nineteen several months before his comments. The book gives ample reasons—meaning actual overwhelming evidence—to suspect that Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and nineteen of their colleagues were behind the 9/11 attacks. After writing that he was “glad to learn about the new book,” he sent his mailing address for a free copy. Chomsky acknowledged receiving the book in August and wrote to me that he was “pleased to have a copy of the book, and hope to be able to get to it before too long.”
Therefore, Chomsky has either ignored the response to his one major concern for several months or he knows that his concern is no longer valid. What would make him feign ignorance in such a way? Perhaps it is the fact that he would lose a great deal of face if he were to finally admit that there is much more to the story of 9/11.
Regardless, when a tiny number begins at 2,100 and “just overwhelming evidence” to exonerate the Bush Administration boils down to one bad assumption, we are again reminded of the power that 9/11 holds. When presented with substantial evidence for complicity on the part of corporate and government leaders, the obvious becomes either undeniable or an emotional cue to dissemble.