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Friday, June 30, 2006

Lecturer backed on talk about 9/11

A University of Wisconsin-Madison lecturer should have the right to speak in class about his theory that the U.S. government was behind the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, several students and staffers said in spot interviews this morning.

The interviews also revealed a surprising level of skepticism about the government.

"There's a lot that goes on, we never hear things that are covered up," said Susi Irwin, a classified staffer at UW-Madison enjoying a break with her colleagues on the Union Terrace. "As open as this country is, there are a lot of things we don't know."

And one heavily tattooed man, studying and too busy to chat, said in response to the lecturer's theory: "Wouldn't be surprised."

Kevin Barrett, a UW-Madison lecturer scheduled to teach an introductory class on Islam this fall, said on a Milwaukee radio talk show Wednesday that the United States helped bring down the World Trade Center towers to justify the war in Iraq. State Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, said Barrett should be fired.

Lecturer backed on talk about 9/11
Aaron Nathans, The Capital Times, June 30, 2006

It is noteworthy how people doubting the official line on the events of 9/11 are really not difficult to find any longer. I am always surprised how many strangers have started a conversation on this matter with me on their own accord, without my bringing up the topic. I still remember times, very recent in absolute terms, when 9/11 skeptics were often viewed as a tiny, insignificant minority. I don't think there is any denying now that this is no longer the case with tens of millions of Americans opining that those events were never properly investigated and a new independent investigation is necessary. Some my ask why so little action has so far materialized out of this mass disagreement. I don't know an answer here - though can point at some factors, such as social isolation, that may be to blame.

It is also interesting how those who would like to silence the 9/11 truth movement often resort to attempts to present this as a partisan issue. Enter Wisconsin state Rep. Stephen Nass, R-Whitewater:
"Mr. Barrett is free to stand on the street corner and advocate his nutty left-wing views. However, the taxpayers and tuition-paying families shouldn't pay this man one cent to perform his voodoo in a UW classroom,'' Nass' statement read.

I am really not sure why one's analysis of a certain event - especially if one makes an attempt at examining facts on the ground and performing some sort of a forensic analysis of kinds - must be a function of one's political beliefs. Do conservatives make better detectives than socialists? Are Christians better thinkers than proponents of environmental reforms? After all, who would object to the idea that those who committed hundreds or thousands of murders ought to be located, apprehended and tried in a court of law? And that is ultimately what the 9/11 truth movement tries to see happen. And that is why it is in my opinion about as non-partisan as any movement can get.

Now Kevin Barrett is a scholar of Islam and one of the founders of the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth. While he is likely far from unbiased on the issues here I am more inclined to read his generally well-worded articles than I am to listen to Rep. Nass and his ilk for what most of their pronouncements add up to is no more than ideologically-charged blather. In a word, to paraphrase Rep. Nass, I would say that he is free to stand on any street corner spewing his right-wing ignorant nonsense meanwhile we are free to ignore him and the academia definitely ought to ignore him in favor of men and women of knowledge - of whom Kevin Barrett is one. That is my opinion holds for all of us, regardless of how much we might disagree with some of Mr Barrett's ideas.

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