Wednesday, April 30, 2014

9/11 and the Academy

Professor Kurtis Hagen has written an article that was re-published at, that I thought was worth re-publishing in its entirety here, as well.  The original can be accessed at 

 September 11th and the Academy
By Kurtis Hagen                          

According to the website, hundreds of professors
have publicly questioned the official story
of September 11, 2001. (Disclosure: I’m on that
list.) Also, two thousand architects and engineers
have signed a petition calling for a new investigation
into the destruction of the Twin Towers and
Building 7. Further, David Ray Griffin, a very
accomplished scholar, has written ten books challenging
the official 9/11 account. His books, full
of extensive and rigorous argumentation and clear
presentation of evidence, have been endorsed by
a long list of significant people, including Howard
Zinn. In addition, Peter Dale Scott’s Road to
9/11, published by the University of California
Press, is a meticulously documented analysis of
the “deep state” aspect of 9/11. And, technical
scientific papers challenging key elements of the
official story have appeared in peer-reviewed scientific
journals. (For a list of select academic articles see:

Nevertheless, on campus, it is as if none of this
has happened. Textbooks that address issues of war,
torture, international relations, or any other subject to
which the events of 9/11 are relevant, treat the official
story as an unquestioned fact. And the great majority
of academics, likewise, simply assume the standard
account is true, and reason on that basis. They make
no effort to deal with critiques of the official story in
any serious way. This is not because they are armed
with robust evidence against such critiques. On the
contrary, they are largely ignorant of the pertinent
details. And they don’t seem at all troubled by that.

It’s strange. After all, academics seem to enjoy
engaging with other subjects, even when they are of
relatively little practical significance. But, when it
comes to the defining event of this century, the justification
for war abroad and the continuing degradation
of rights at home, there is no curiosity.

Perhaps academics think there is no need for them
to discuss 9/11, or to think too hard about it.
Presumably they trust that others have already
objectively and exhaustively considered these issues,
and have judiciously concluded that the evidence
overwhelmingly supports the official story.

Unfortunately, in fact, there has never been a rigorous,
independent academic validation of the official
story. As mentioned above, there have been substantial
academic critiques. But where are the authoritative
academic responses to these critiques? One book that
is often cited is Debunking 9/11 Myths, produced
by Popular Mechanics. But is that it? It hardly even
counts. (See David Ray Griffin’s Debunking 9/11 Debunking
for a rebuttal to Popular Mechanics.)

Perhaps the reason academics shun critical study
of 9/11 is that they fear, no matter how reasonably
they conduct themselves, they will be stigmatized as a
“conspiracy theorist”. If so, that is unfortunate, because
all serious attempts to justify a dismissive attitude toward
conspiracy theories have failed. (See the work of
David Coady, Charles Pigden, and Lance DeHaven-

Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule’s article,
“Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures”, provides a
good example of a failed attempt to justify marginalizing
so-called “conspiracy theorists”. The work was so
shoddy that when Sunstein was asked if he stood by it,
he simply claimed not to remember it very well. (My
review of David Ray Griffin’s book-length refutation
of the article in question can be found at:

For more on the relevant academic climate, see the
following documentaries: Hypothesis, by Brett Smith,
and 9/11 in the Academic Community, by Adnan Zuberi.
For the best evidence against the official story, see
The Toronto Hearings, available in book form and as a
5-hour set of video presentations (accessible online).

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