Friday, May 19, 2006

Seattle Post-Intelligencer Publishes 9/11 Conspiracy Theory

The Seattle P.I. has published an op-ed: 9/11 Commission report is a lie by Richard Curtis, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of philosophy at Seattle University and a member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth;

Among other things, the op-ed claims:
in the months after 9/11 all of the surviving New York City Fire Department personnel who were on the scene were interviewed. Those oral histories were recorded and withheld from the public until Aug. 15, 2005. Only after losing in court three times did the city of New York finally release them. All 503 are now posted on The New York Times Web site. Why did the city fight so hard to keep them from the public?

It turns out those oral histories reveal details about what was happening in the World Trade Center buildings that are completely inconsistent with the tale told by the commission. Dozens of firefighters and medics reported hearing, seeing and feeling explosives going off in the buildings that collapsed. Why were there explosives, very powerful explosives by all accounts, going off in the buildings? More disturbing, why was the pattern of those explosives identical in some important ways with the pattern used in a planned implosion (or controlled demolition of a building)?
And I thought it outrageous when the Vancouver Public Library allowed some Arab chap to sell 9/11 conspiracy DVDs at a talk given my Hans von Sponeck, former UN Assistant Secretary General & UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (1998-2000), and notable anti-American. This is where the world, in which The Da Vinci Code is a best seller, has come. Question: Do the humanities and social science professors in our universities ever teach anything besides sophisticated conspiracy theories? (HT: Pastorius via LGF)


Unknown said...

People have always done this, long before the Da Vinci Code came along people were saying FDR had a hand in the bombing of Pearl Harbor etc.

I think people find a kind of bizarre comfort in this kind of thinking and ofcourse all the experts in the world saying otherwise would not convince them.

BTW, I am sure there were sounds of explosions in the buildings, after two large passenger jets full of fuel had slammed into them.

Unknown said...


Now that sounds like my kind of job.

SMACK!! What's that for? he would ask, rubbing the side of his head..For being a moron is what, I would say.

Sign me up. I could do that all day every day.

truepeers said...

Terrye, you're right of course; this is nothing new. The French Revolution was a Masonic plot, the Jews rule the world, etc.etc. It's comforting for some to believe there are such forces at work, i guess. But more than that is is simply hard for people to grasp the mystery of how the world really works - how billions of people are co-ordinated, by no one in particular, to bring us our daily bread and much else besides. Only people with good faith get it.

vnjagvet said...

Philosophy has about as much to do with forensic analysis as theology does.

At least the Da Vinci Code is fiction. So is this guy's "theory. Dan Brown at least had the good sense to accurately classify his work for what it is. Escapist entertainment. The Seattle perfesser deserves contempt for being a complete fraud and a malicious one at that.

truepeers said...

Yes, philosophy has nothing much to do with forensic analysis. Yet I think it remarkable how diminished in ethical content metaphysics has become; I would claim that the fact that anyone with a Ph.D. in philosophy could be so ethically dense as to question whether 9/11 was an "inside job" is a sign of a sickness in the discipline.

buddy larsen said...

The market is the last bastion against relativism. Give a guy tenure, he's outta the market. Maybe the perfesser just hates cowboy boots, or the drawl. No matter.

Rick Ballard said...


When advanvement within education is predicated upon ability to articulate the proper political view with regard to any and all subject matter, why should a decline in quality come as any surprise? "Quality" within education has taken on precisely the same meaning as did "quality" within the USSR. Not to the same degree, certainly, but the confluence of reporting (by individuals who hold their positions and are advance according to their political views) tends to focus on the subset within education which adhere to the same tenets.

Eventually the market may root out the rot in education by paying closer attention to valuation of the degrees conferred by the most specious of the institutions involved.

Given that tenure is a fact, it's going to require a die off to clean matters up. If I were a young academic I would working on patience as the most important of virtues. That and choosing the institution where I will be spending time very carefully.

buddy larsen said...

How the very institutions which arose to champion freedom of thought, came to be closed shops of orthodoxy, is a mystery of our times. That it's being recognized possibly in time to prevent it sinking the ship of state, is a great gift of providence.

Rick Ballard said...

I would posit that the adoption of "scientistic" language by Hegel in his explication of Hobbes theories was instrumental in the imposition of orthodoxy. Nothing like writing 800 pages of gobblygook and slapping 'QED' at the end (at just the right moment) to screw things up. The conflation of scientific with scientistic has been the bane of academia e'er since.

Not that the university has ever lacked for orthodoxy. What is relatively new, perhaps, is the political orthodoxy required for advancement in fields having nothing to do with politics.

truepeers said...

I am no so much surprised as angered by what is going on. The most generally applicable explanation for the academic disaster is, to my way of thinking, Gnosticism, a habit of thought that long pre-dates Hegel and even the early Christians who made the term famous. Gnosticism originally is the mental condition that leads one to see the worldly creation as the product of a fallen god, and not of the real divinity and power behind the universe, the real God whose work is only apprehended by a worthy and brave few.

So many of today's academics are updated versions of Gnostics, no doubt for reasons having to do with their troubled socialization in the rough and tumble of youth. The world as it has come to us is something fallen, the product of some conspiratorial will to power, a white male patriarchy, etc. etc., and the academics are would-be liberators. This habit of thought could justify a lot of study, but at present there are only a few academics at the margins doing it; let us pray for them in the the wilderness that is price of loyalty to reality.