In a new book called "Perilous Power: The Middle East & U.S. Foreign Policy: Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice" by Noam Chomsky, Gilbert Achcar, and Stephen R. Shalom , a discussion (or dialogue) is published explaining the views of Noam Chomsky and Gilbert Achcar on various matters of current interest. Part of this dialogue includes comments on 9/11 conspiracy theories.
Progressives who have carefully reviewed the evidence of U.S. government complicity in the events of 9/11 as revealed by intellectuals and scientists such as Stephen Jones, David Ray Griffin, Jim Hoffman, Kevin Ryan and others would surely be keenly disappointed by the attitude and position of Dr. Chomsky. Dr. Chomsky states that he has not seriously investigated the issue, but feels that it would be incomprehensible to believe that the U.S. government would or could secretly and successfully coordinate the enterprise that occurred that fateful day. He feels that the evidence presented by prominent 9/11 truth seekers is of too low quality to be credible in comparison with "expert" accounts provided by government sources. And he feels that scrutiny of subsequent government actions is far more important than scrutiny of government involvement in the events of 9/11.
But how could scientific experts publish in peer reviewed journals the findings of scientific inquiry when the crime scene itself was sealed off and the materials of the buildings were scrapped in foreign lands as soon as possible after the events of 9/11/2001? What is the proper reaction of scientists who in good faith believed that the official story must have been true, and then had doubts later, when their own suspicions were aroused by obvious distortions that only became apparent over time after the events of that day? If the U.S. government was, indeed complicit in the planning and execution of the events of 9/11, would that not make subsequent actions even more unjustified and criminal, including the use of 9/11 to catalyze public support for wars, domestic surveillance, torture, and suppression of constitutional rights in the U.S. that have been unique in the history of the republic?
While Dr. Chomsky surely has his own priorities in which to focus his considerable intellectual skills and issues of grave concern to focus on, would it not seem important to seriously investigate this issue? After all, 9/11 did not bring terrorism to the world or to the U.S. for the first time, but 9/11 brought about a fundamental change in U.S. government policies and actions that may have catastrophic consequences for the future of America. If the entire events of 9/11 were foreknown, planned, and executed by the U.S. government, the entire response of Americans and nations of the world would reasonable be different than if the U.S. was an innocent victim of a bona fide enemy attack that day.
Moreover, if Dr. Chomsky is not sure of the truth of the matter because he has not done a serious investigation, then why should he speak out and state his opinion that it would be incomprehensible for the conspiracy theorists to have discovered hidden truths? Would it not be better for Dr. Chomsky to simply state that he does not know and does not have an opinion on the matter? After all, Dr. Noam Chomsky’s opinions matter a great deal to a great many people of this world, and his rigorous examination of other government secrets and hidden agendas is legendary.
In a period of history in which the U.S. government has obviously spied on its own citizens in violation of statutory law, in which the U.S. government lied to Americans in order to gain support for an illegal war, in which the separation of powers is degraded by government action and the constitution itself is placed at risk from multiple government actions, where the President seeks to openly nullify legislation through the use of "signing statements" and where the administration itself is staffed with corporate executives whose clients and colleagues have benefited enormously personally from many of these policies, why would it seem incomprehensible at this late date that the U.S. government would secretly plan and pull off a 9/11?
These are serious matters, not trivial ones, and the entire context of the American agenda seems to be related to 9/11/2001. Although 9/11 conspiracy theorists do not have all the answers, they have voluminous and powerful evidence that the U.S. government accounts and explanation of the events of that day are not believable, and that a government conspiracy of lies is virtually incontrovertible.
It would seem appropriate for Dr. Chomsky to either evaluate the evidence of 9/11 by seriously reviewing serious scholarship on the issue and if he believes it is false to state why, or to avoid the issue altogether. The recent comments published in "Perilous Power" tend to discredit the 9/11 truth movement altogether, and that means that U.S. government accountability for what may be the crime of the century is weakened.