Is There A Fatwa On 9/11 Studies?

joshua_blakeny Joshua Blakeny writing at Rabble.ca:

On Nov. 24, 2010 I received notification that I was to be the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship after being nominated by the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Lethbridge. I was jubilated to be awarded such a prestigious scholarship which has helped to fund my M.A. thesis research, the working title of which is The Origins of the Global War on Terror: Academic Debates and Interpretive Controversies. By Nov. 25, the National Post‘s editor Jonathan Kay was whipping up vigilantism against my funding calling on “the taxpayers of Alberta” to recognize this gross injustice.

Mr. Kay also admonished my thesis supervisor Professor Antony Hall, stating: “as long as he keeps it [9/11 Studies] out of the classroom, he’s free to believe in whatever [. . .] he likes.” This was a curious decree from the editorial offices of the National Post; if the conflicting interpretations of the most seminal event in contemporary history are not to be broached in the classrooms of Canadian universities, where can they be?

History departments dedicate much time and energy to analyzing the origins of historic wars such as WWI and WWII. Why should we shy away from questioning the origins of the Global War on Terror? Mr. Kay’s article backfired. I was actually quite pleased that Mr. Kay cited the passage from my letter of intent which legitimizes rather than discredits the academic field of 9/11 studies.

I don’t think any serious intellectual would join Mr. Kay and his co-thinkers at Maclean’s On Campus — the latter of whom used my scholarship as a case study to argue that universities should be fully privatized — and designate my research proposal unworthy of modest public funding. A key flaw in Mr. Kay’s hit-piece on 9/11 studies was his failure to distinguish between being skeptical about the official story of 9/11 and positing speculative alternative theories — two wholly disparate undertakings. After quoting from my letter ofintent, Mr. Kay spread the falsehood that I had already come to the conclusion that “the 9/11 attacks were staged by Washington.”

To be sure, I could speculate about what I think might have transpired on 9/11, but I would do so outside the parameters of my rather circumscribed graduate thesis and would not invoke “Washington” as the generalized culprit. I think it is more constructive to identify individuals such as Richard Cheney or Larry Silverstein who ought to be brought before a court of law and asked some hard and probing questions…

[continues at at Rabble.ca]

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  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    As an American…I’d like to apologize for our being the number one exporter of neo-conservative, ‘free’ market, Chicago school, gangster capitalism…and all the violent, xenophobic, dissent stifling manias that come with it. Canada in particular has been inundated in this drek for several decades now and the toll its taken is visible. I’ve always loved travel…which broadens the mind and widens perceptions…and Canada and its residents always seemed sublimely civilized. It didn’t take gun control to keep them from killing each other. Waves of immigration did not leave them paralyzed with terror. Religion never seemed like a heavy club in an iron fist waiting to crack the heads of non-believers. Somehow…they just seemed to have found that perfect middle ground of basic respect for ‘the other guy’ that made it possible for them to all get along (for the most part).

    And then the US exported its rising star of ideologies…the thrust for privatization, global connectedness for profit, divisiveness at home to muddy the waters and promote endless bickering instead of actual progress, the gutting of social programs, and the concept of government having a duty to serve and provide service slowly dying off.

    Obviously Canadians still bear most of the blame though. The US may pimp the ideas…but its your Vichy regime that is the collaborator…your politicians and analysts and policy wonks that have jumped on the brownshirt bandwagon and started singing the beerhall standards. I say this not as an excuse…just as cruel reminder. Look at the US. Remember what set us apart…the things that made your country unique and good. The areas where you led and the US grumbled about it not being a fair comparison. Do you really want to be us? A fair number of your political leaders do.

    So you might want to get on that and deal with it. Our freedoms didn’t die in a single day. They were slowly strangled to death in committee…repackaged as steps forward…and applauded by at least half the country. Learn from us…and don’t go there. Whether its 9/11 controversy or another sacred cow…the academic freedom to discuss and debate is the lynchpin of a free society…lose that and the downhill slide gets a lot faster. Good luck.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    As an American…I’d like to apologize for our being the number one exporter of neo-conservative, ‘free’ market, Chicago school, gangster capitalism…and all the violent, xenophobic, dissent stifling manias that come with it. Canada in particular has been inundated in this drek for several decades now and the toll its taken is visible. I’ve always loved travel…which broadens the mind and widens perceptions…and Canada and its residents always seemed sublimely civilized. It didn’t take gun control to keep them from killing each other. Waves of immigration did not leave them paralyzed with terror. Religion never seemed like a heavy club in an iron fist waiting to crack the heads of non-believers. Somehow…they just seemed to have found that perfect middle ground of basic respect for ‘the other guy’ that made it possible for them to all get along (for the most part).

    And then the US exported its rising star of ideologies…the thrust for privatization, global connectedness for profit, divisiveness at home to muddy the waters and promote endless bickering instead of actual progress, the gutting of social programs, and the concept of government having a duty to serve and provide service slowly dying off.

    Obviously Canadians still bear most of the blame though. The US may pimp the ideas…but its your Vichy regime that is the collaborator…your politicians and analysts and policy wonks that have jumped on the brownshirt bandwagon and started singing the beerhall standards. I say this not as an excuse…just as cruel reminder. Look at the US. Remember what set us apart…the things that made your country unique and good. The areas where you led and the US grumbled about it not being a fair comparison. Do you really want to be us? A fair number of your political leaders do.

    So you might want to get on that and deal with it. Our freedoms didn’t die in a single day. They were slowly strangled to death in committee…repackaged as steps forward…and applauded by at least half the country. Learn from us…and don’t go there. Good luck.

  • WhiteRose

    Bin Laden said in one of his rants that the Bush administration had negligence so that would mean that it was NOT an inside job rather US intelligence didn’t take appropriate action. http://www.debunking911.com/pull.htm While the US government has it’s issues, what is the rest of the western worlds excuse for letting the US get away with them? I think it’s time we start pointing the FU finger at them and not US! My grandparents left Canada for a new life in America for a reason….

  • WhiteRose

    Bin Laden said in one of his rants that the Bush administration had negligence so that would mean that it was NOT an inside job rather US intelligence didn’t take appropriate action. http://www.debunking911.com/pull.htm While the US government has it’s issues, what is the rest of the western worlds excuse for letting the US get away with them? I think it’s time we start pointing the FU finger at them and not US! My grandparents left Canada for a new life in America for a reason….

  • Tuna Ghost

    As much as it grinds my teeth when I hear about “investigations” into 9/11, I like the title of his paper and think it is a topic worth pursuing. Quite aside from that, as a once and future academic I froth at the mouth to consider people like Kay deciding what study is worthy of public funding and what isn’t.

  • Tuna Ghost

    As much as it grinds my teeth when I hear about “investigations” into 9/11, I like the title of his paper and think it is a topic worth pursuing. Quite aside from that, as a once and future academic I froth at the mouth to consider people like Kay deciding what study is worthy of public funding and what isn’t.

  • Paulx600

    One of the major arguments of the 9/11 conspiracy theorists is that the building colapsed even though it was constructed of steel. This would if fact hurt their argument. The burned building in the comments area of the article (apparently depicting how absurd it would be for a building to colapse) is built of reinforced concrete which has completely different fire performance from steel) Steel has a fire rating (unprotected) of zero or near zero. Failure begins at the approx temperature of the tip of a lit bic lighter. The Trade Towers were constructed of Open web steel joists exposing it to more heat (ie. more surface area as well as the joist webs having a small diameter – or support area). Wood has a much higher fire rating than steel does shown here http://www.woodworks.org/keyIssues/fire-protection.aspx
    This is why steel beams need to be sprayed with fire retardent materials. It seems highly likely that this fragile protective layer would have been damaged when hit as well as the extreme temperature the open web steel joists (more exposed surface area and small support area) would have had to endure.
    Just surprised how little both side bring up this point.

  • Paulx600

    One of the major arguments of the 9/11 conspiracy theorists is that the building colapsed even though it was constructed of steel. This would if fact hurt their argument. The burned building in the comments area of the article (apparently depicting how absurd it would be for a building to colapse) is built of reinforced concrete which has completely different fire performance from steel) Steel has a fire rating (unprotected) of zero or near zero. Failure begins at the approx temperature of the tip of a lit bic lighter. The Trade Towers were constructed of Open web steel joists exposing it to more heat (ie. more surface area as well as the joist webs having a small diameter – or support area). Wood has a much higher fire rating than steel does shown here http://www.woodworks.org/keyIssues/fire-protection.aspx
    This is why steel beams need to be sprayed with fire retardent materials. It seems highly likely that this fragile protective layer would have been damaged when hit as well as the extreme temperature the open web steel joists (more exposed surface area and small support area) would have had to endure.
    Just surprised how little both side bring up this point.