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 Invitation for Controversy



A 9/11 Truth “Salon des Refusés” ?
Madison, WI Science of 9/11 Conference Invites Controversy 

By Kevin Barrett, http://mujca.com 

A 9/11 truth conference devoted to controversy? Isn’t that repetitious and redundant? 

Many of us in the 9/11 truth movement are tired of being controversial. We long for consensus. We wish everyone could agree on the obvious: The official story of 9/11 is a fraud, and we need a new and genuine investigation ASAP. 

So why court controversy? Why give a platform to people like mechanical engineer Judy Wood, whose hypothesis that some form of directed-energy weapon contributed to the demolition of the Twin Towers appears, to many, highly improbable? Why listen to Bush’s former Chief Labor Department Economist Morgan Reynolds, who argues that some or all of the purported videos of the planes hitting the Twin Towers cannot possibly be authentic? Why honor Dave Von Kleist, whose documentary In Plane Site argues that the very videos Reynolds says are phony show pods on the bottom of the alleged passenger jets, suggesting that militarily-modified aircraft hit the Towers? 

All of these hypotheses are considered by a great many 9/11 skeptics to be somewhere between marginal and ridiculous. Yet Woods is a highly qualified engineer, Reynolds an accomplished scholar and acerbic writer, and Von Kleist an articulate, charismatic speaker and talented documentary director. All three have sensible views about the preponderance of evidence showing 9/11 to be an inside job—yet all three spend inordinate time and energy championing what many consider to be wacky, politically-counterproductive theories. What should we do with such people? 

Perhaps a bit of perspective is called for. Overwhelming evidence indicates that 9/11 was the “New Pearl Harbor” that PNAC called for in their September, 2000 manifesto Rebuilding America’s Defenses. The precise details of how the Twin Towers and WTC-7 were demolished, and the precise techniques used to generate the ridiculous cover story that the demolitions were the result of plane crashes and fires, are of secondary importance. 

So why get excited about the theories of Wood, Reynolds and Von Kleist? While I can see why Wood, Reynolds and Von Kleist are themselves excited—they think they have pioneered critically important new avenues of investigation—I fail to see why their harshest critics waste so much time and energy deriding them on the internet. 

Those who think that Wood, Reynolds and Von Kleist are either crazy or disinfo agents really ought to show a little more open-minded curiosity. What could lead such apparently sane, qualified people to such madness/treason? Or...(gasp)...could their heretical opinions actually be sane responses to apparent evidence? Is it conceivable that (double-gasp) they might even be barking up the right tree? If we do get a real investigation, and it turns out that at least one of these three heretics was at least partially right, will you survive the shock? Remember the lesson of the Salon des Refusés: 

 The Salon des Refusés (Salon of the Rejected) was an art exhibition in Paris.

In the 1860s, artists of the nascent realist and impressionist movements submitted works to the Salon de Paris, the official exhibition sponsored by the Académie des beaux-arts, selection committee only to be rejected...The first Salon des Refusés in 1863 invited art-works rejected for display at the Salon de Paris. 

Most were poor quality, leading to ridicule in the press. However, the exhibition included several important paintings including Édouard Manet's Le déjeuner sur l'herbe (The Luncheon on the Grass) and James McNeill Whistler's The White Girl. Other artists who showed at the Salon des Refusés include Henri Fantin-Latour, Paul Cézanne, Armand Guillaumin, Johan Jongkind, and Camille Pissarro. (Wikipedia 6/12/07) 

Those “several important paintings” and the artists who painted them were not recognized as important until much later. Few at the time—least of all the judges at the Salon de Paris—could tell the difference between the important paintings and the ones worthy of ridicule. They simply rejected all paintings that “looked ridiculous”—meaning that stood outside of the dominant artistic conventions of the moment.  

Similar situations have arisen repeatedly in the history of science. Theories that “looked ridiculous” because they stood outside of the dominant paradigm often really were ridiculous. As Groucho said of Chico, “My brother may look like an idiot, and he may talk like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you—he really is an idiot.” Yet some of these “ridiculous” theories later turned out to be true. From the Copernican overthrow of the geocentric universe, to the quantum mechanical disproof of “objective material reality,” yesterday’s common sense has all too often proven wrong.  

The same holds for the history of the 9/11 truth movement. In the early days, those arguing that the WTC had been demolished, or that the whole story of “hijackings” appeared to be bogus, were often derided as fools or disinfo agents. The effect was to slow the growth of the movement, preserve the myth of the “evil Arab-Muslim hijackers,” and enable the slaughter of more than half a million people. In hindsight, it is obvious that it was the go-slowers, not the early discerners of all-too-obvious controlled demolitions, who were knowingly or not, objectively serving the interests of the 9/11 perpetraitors. 

In recognition of their talents and qualifications, and regardless of what we think of their most controversial theories, I suggest we extend a warm welcome to Wood, Reynolds and Von Kleist, along with the others who will be exhibiting at the Madison Salon des 9/11 Refusés, all of whom have been the subject of controversy: 

Kevin Barrett, the guy Fox News loves to hate, made national news by denying that he had compared Bush to Hitler: “That would be unfair to Hitler, who had at least 30 IQ points on Bush.” His fourth book’s working title is Unfair to Hitler: Why the Neocons Are Worse than the Nazis. Barrett has raised the hackles of the Secret Service and many 9/11 activists with his satirical calls for the execution of top US officials. (See here, here and here.) 

Jim Fetzer’s loquacious, boisterous, cantankerous and occasionally obstreperous tendencies sometimes land him in hot water with fellow JFK and 9/11 researchers. He enjoys inviting Steve Jones on his radio show and then not letting him talk.  

Bob Fitrakis, like Barrett, is an academic who publicly compares the current US government to the Nazis. He has dubbed today’s USA “a budding Fourth Reich with better PR.” 

Frank Greening, Ph.D., physical chemistry, has been mocked, jeered and derided as an Official Conspiracy Theorist for his heroic attempts to show that the NIST report on the destruction of the Twin Towers could conceivably be true. As the only major scientist to date who has made a serious attempt to defend NIST, it is surely significant that Greening, in a fit of intellectual honesty, has backed off and now considers himself an agnostic rather than a supporter of the official story. 

Ed Haas is the Muckraking journalist who discovered that, according to our own FBI, Osama Bin Laden is “not wanted” for 9/11 because there is “no hard evidence” against him. He holds the ultra-controversial, wacked-out belief that the alleged Bin Laden “confession video” might conceivably be genuine, even if it isn’t “hard evidence.” 

Jerry Leaphart is a civil rights lawyer was the moving force behind the use of the DataQuality Act to submit a Request for Correction to the NIST report. He played a controversial role in the Scholars for 9/11 Truth controversies. 

Rick Ratjer, currently completing a Ph.D. in MaterialsScience and Engineering at MIT, has collaborated withMorgan Reyonds in several controversial studies suggesting there were no bigplane crashes on 9/11. 

If you have a bone to pick with any of these people, by all means please come to Madison and take it up with them in person. It is easier to get a sense of what kind of person you’re dealing with by talking to them in person, face to face, rather than through internet flame wars. You may discover that the person you thought was a nut or a plant is actually a perfectly nice, sensible individual who just happens to be wrong about one or two things. Who knows, you may even learn that some controversial idea is not as crazy as it looks. Or you may learn that so-and-so, as Groucho says, “really is an idiot.”  

So come on down to beautiful Madison, Wisconsin for “The Science of 9/11: What’s Controversial, What’s Not,” August 3-5 2007.  Official announcement and registration info here.

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