Getting a head start on all the ritual remembrances of 9/11, I pose this question:
What do a neo-Nazi, a radical leftist, a former FBI bureau chief, and a high-ranking Reagan Administration economist have in common?
The answer: Some fucked-up analyses of the 9/11 attacks.
Makes me wonder whether the most poisonous fallout of those attacks was psychological. Was 9/11 so huge – like the Kennedy assassination – that many of us must reach beyond al-Qaeda to a more vast, more sinister conspiracy?
Blame the Illuminati... blame a Republican cabal... blame the Jews... Yes, the Jews! Now I can get my head around this thing!
I’ve gathered some audio bites reflecting the range of bizarre intellectual responses to 9/11. You can take it as entertainment... or as a depressing illustration of the design flaws of the human brain.
The speakers, pictured above, are (clockwise, from top left): William Pierce, founder of the neo-Nazi National Alliance (and now deceased); Ward Churchill, fake Cherokee Indian, proponent of “armed struggle” against “the system,” recently fired professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado; Paul Craig Roberts, syndicated columnist, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, architect of “supply-side economics”; and Ted Gunderson, retired FBI bureau chief, current full-time polymorphous conspiracy theorist.
We’ll begin with the Nazi – old-fashioned, reliable, easy to digest.
Within days of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, William Pierce, on his shortwave radio broadcast, delivered a speech titled “Provocation and Response.” To hear a 6-minute excerpt on my Vox blog, click here. It pays off with Pierce invoking the term “Final Solution.” (All roads lead there, I suppose.)
From far-right to far-left, we come to Ward Churchill, who is monstrous in his own way. He speaks with admiration for the 9/11 attackers! To Churchill, they were oppressed Third World people striking back at capitalist-imperialist America.
Churchill says the attackers earned “the dignity of dying on their own terms.” And Churchill expresses “disgust” at those on the left who condemn terroristic violence as immoral. Those who died in the Twin Towers he calls “little Eichmanns” who needed to be brought to justice.
Ward Churchill is a sick bastard.
Click here to listen to a streaming 7½-minute edit of his 2003 recording, “Pacifism and Pathology in the American Left.”
Now, Ted Gunderson... that’s a strange duck. A career FBI man, one-time Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles office, Mr. Gunderson seemed to jump the rails while investigating (as a private detective) the famous Jeffrey MacDonald case. Somehow, Gunderson became convinced that there’s a vast Satanic underground network that links the CIA to widespread child abductions.
Oh... and he says the official story of 9/11 is bullshit. Gunderson even doubts that hijacked commercial airliners flew into the World Trade Center.
On June 27, 2007, Ted Gunderson spoke with Christian radio host Stan Johnson on “The Prophecy Club.” To hear a 3½-minute slice of it, click here.
Finally, we come to a real head-scratcher. Paul Craig Roberts has reputable mainstream credentials up the ying-yang. Former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal... affiliations with the Hoover Institution and the Cato Institute and other conservative think tanks.
Well, on July 19, 2007, Mr. Roberts appeared on the liberal talk-radio network – on Air America’s “Thom Hartmann Show” – and warned America about the next 9/11.
Yes, this former Reagan Administration official believes the Republicans will “orchestrate” another mass-casualty terrorist attack (or series of attacks) on U.S. soil... in order to maintain their grip on power.
It’s such a mind-boggling claim that I’m streaming a 14-minute chunk of it. Click here to listen. A couple of times, Roberts likens the “Bush regime” and its rhetoric to Nazi Germany.
(To download the entire show from an online archive maintained by the White Rose Society, hit this link.)
And now we return to our regular programming.