Sunday, September 19, 2021

Regarding The "Inconceivable" Idea That Many People Have No Trouble Imagining

Professor Graeme MacQueen
When I was younger and not quite so focused, I used to listen to hockey games on the radio. The local team's play-by-play announcer had some unique phrases which he used frequently, and which became known around town as signatures of his style. In particular, whenever an attacking player wove his way through a maze of defenders, he would say, "He was unable to be checked."

My friends and I always laughed at the way he reversed the "burden of skill", so to speak. In our view, the attacking player had been able to do whatever he wanted; the defenders had been unable to check him.

But much later, when the idea that the U.S. government had been complicit in the 9/11 attacks was presented to Noam Chomsky and most of the other "leading dissident intellectuals", and they used words like "inconceivable", I didn't find it very funny. I imagine I speak for most (or even all) 9/11 researchers when I say I felt a bit "betrayed".

But I shouldn't have taken it personally. Had I remembered those hockey broadcasts, and applied the same logic I used then, I would have realized that Chomsky wasn't saying anything about the idea. He was simply confessing his inability to imagine that it could possibly be correct.

Graeme MacQueen, about whom I've been saying nice things recently, was never fooled. Starting with the idea that the statements of the "leading dissident intellectuals" can be taken as honest, he explored the question of why these "leaders" are unable to see things that are quite obvious to many of their "followers".

MacQueen's exploration begins with aftermath of the JFK assassination, when so many of the "leading lights" of the left endorsed the conclusions of the Warren Commission, and draws important parallels with the aftermath of 9/11.

Chomsky falls under MacQueen's microscope, of course, as do Chris Hedges and Alexander Cockburn, and some allegedly credible publications and websites, such as:
Monthly Review, Common Dreams, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, The Nation, The Real News, Democracy Now!, Z Magazine, The Progressive, Mother Jones,, and
Even though he refrains from knocking down some of my favorite targets (such as Christopher Hitchens, Robert Parry, and all the other popular "dissident" websites), MacQueen's analysis is sharp, his essay is well-written and thoroughly documented, and I hope it'll be enough to make you think twice if you're expecting help from the "intellectuals" who we mistakenly think of as "leaders".

For my part, I have been exploring the question of why "leaders" who are unable to see things that are quite obvious to their "followers" are regarded as "intellectuals".

I think that's a much easier question to answer, especially if we start with the fact that the man who is regarded as America's greatest living dissident intellectual taught at the Pentagon's favorite research institution for more than 40 years.

Can we really expect anyone to be able to imagine all the evil that lies behind the trough at which he has slurped for most of his adult life?

As Graeme MacQueen shows, there's nothing wrong with the idea that the U.S. government was complicit in the 9/11 attacks. But there is surely something wrong with the way we choose our "leaders".

If you haven't clicked through to Graeme MacQueen's "The “Inside Job” Hypothesis of the 9/11 Attacks: JFK, Fidel Castro and the American Left", here's another chance.