Jon Gold Corresponds With Noam Chomsky About 9/11

This took place in November 2006. I have decided to gather our correspondence and place it into one page. It was originally posted here. Peter Dale Scott told me he enjoyed this.

Inspired by DBLS, I sent Noam Chomsky an email that had my "A Challenge To The Media" in it... that started some correspondence.

Mr. Chomsky, this is a challenge I sent to the media.

"A Challenge To The Media"

What would be your argument against this?

Thank you,


Jon Gold

His response...

If the last question is addressed to me, I don't have any argument against providing even more attention to the Truth Movement.

My response...

Do you endorse the family members' call for a new investigation?

His response...

I don't endorse it or object to it. In my opinion there are far more significant topics, but we have to use our own judgments.

My response...

It seems to me, and I could be wrong, but you don't comprehend the fact that both wars, Afghanistan and Iraq, our loss of civil liberties, the bankrupting of this nation, the loss of habeas corpus, etc... all stem from 9/11. If the truth of 9/11 were exposed, it would destroy the legitimacy for all of this. I don't understand your apprehension.

And incidentally, I don't know the truth of 9/11. I do know we were lied to about it.

His response...

The bankrupting of the nation began well before 9/11, as did Bush administration policies that literally threaten survival of the species. It is true that 9/11 served as a pretext for extending policies already undertaken and planned. That leaves us with a clear choice: (1) act energetically to terminate and reverse the crimes of the administration (which are mostly bipartisan); (2) become involvedin a largely academic debate about what exactly were the origins of 9/11. I have my priorities, you have every right to pursue yours.

That aside, my own view is that nothing will come of the debate over 9/11. Even the strongest proponents of the Truth Movement refuse to undertake the most elementary effort to substantiate their case, e.g., by submitting articles to scientific journals raising questions about what happened and about the reports of professional associations and independent specialists about it. Furthermore, the Truth Movement is drawing enormous energies away from (1), towards (2), which is a lot easier than serious dissent and activism. I suspect that is why the Truth Movement is treated so tolerantly, given time on public TV, etc., all very are for dissident movements.

However, I do question for a moment your right to pursue your priorities.


My response...

If I remember correctly, the Bush Administration inherited a surplus. It doesn't really matter though. This Administration has bankrupted this country. As I said in my last email, I don't know the truth about 9/11. However, what I do know, and as you stated, it served as a pretext for policies already undertaken and planned. It gave them the ability to do what they wanted. This is why when asked by Helen Thomas about wanting to go to war prior to 9/11, the President denied it. Reason being, the desire for a war, that would require an event like 9/11 to bring that desire to fruition, automatically makes the Administration a suspect in the crime if that event takes place. Which it did. If information out there exists that points in the direction of the Administration in regards to that crime, then to me it's a "no-brainer", and it should be pursued in a court of law. If our suspicions are correct, and this Administration, or elements within our Government had a hand in said crime, then that would terminate and reverse the crimes of the administration (which are mostly bipartisan).

To my knowledge, there are papers that have been peer-reviewed in existence. There have also been several books published by reputable companies like Harper Collins, etc... In regards to the Truth Movement being treated so tolerantly by the media, I guess you haven't seen the slanderous remarks like, "Nut, Tin-Foil", and so on.

2,973+ people were murdered on 9/11. I say "+" because a few people have died since from the environmental disaster that was 9/11. There is reason to believe elements within our Government were complicit in those murders. It is our responsibility as citizens to find out the truth to make sure it never happens again. If that truth terminates and reverses the crimes of the administration (which are mostly bipartisan), then I don't understand the logic in not pursuing that truth.

Thank you for your time.

His response...

It inherited a surplus, but immediately enacted a tax cut for the rich and other measures to drive the country to a "fiscal train wreck," following the early Reagan programs and probably for the same reasons (though the Reaganites, less extreme, later backed off). The Bush administration also immediately escalated the policies that threaten survival of the species, far more serious.

Since the crimes of the administration are mostly bipartisan, even demonstrating in a court of law that they were responsible for 9/11 would have little if any effect. That aside, it would never get to a court of law. If credible evidence surfaced that they were involved in 9/11 -- for example, the kinds of leaks that would be very likely in a massive operation like this -- they'd probably be lined up before firing squads and that would be the end of the Republican Party forever. That's one of the reasons why there is nothing remotely like it in history, and another reason to be skeptical about the claims (which, as I pointed out, even the proponents refuse to put to the minimal test).

However, all of this is peripheral to the main point. We -- you and I -- have the two choices I mentioned, (1) and (2). (2) is surely the easiest, butthose who think it's more important have every right topursue it, as I have every right to make my own judgments. I don't see what issue you are raising.

My response...

Being a member of this movement going on 4 years, I can tell you beyond the shadow of doubt that #2 is BY FAR the easiest. The issue that I'm raising is... if the possibility exists that this Administration or elements within our Government were complicit in the attacks, then it is irresponsible of us as citizens to let "them" get away with it. That is why Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution was written. Murdering 2,973+ individuals is most certainly treasonous.

I am asking that you look at the information, and please consider "jumping on the bandwagon" as it were. Feel free to watch 9/11: Press For Truth which shows the cover-up from the families' perspective.

Again, thank you for your time.


His response...

We're back to where we were. In my opinion, four years could be far better spent in the much harder task of opposing and terminating the crimes of the administration (most of them bipartisan), but I would never have the arrogance to suggest that you follow my judgment rather than yours.

As for letting administrations get away with complicity for crimes, this case ranks very low. How about the crime of escalating the threat of nuclear war and environmental catastrophe, which may bring human existence to an end. And hideous crimes of state going back well beyond. Take today's papers, on the recommendation to appoint Robert Gates as head of the CIA. Today we learned about newly released documents on his call to bomb Nicaragua in 1984 right after its free election turned out "the wrong way," when he was second in command at the CIA. The US was, after all, condemned by the World Court and the Security Council (twice, both resolutions vetoed by the US) for its criminal attack on Nicaragua, which was incomparably worse than what happened on 9/11. The number of Nicaraguans killed, on a per capita basis, was greater than all Americans killed in all wars, and the country was virtually destroyed and may never recover, even without following Gates's recommendation, obviously criminal. Or take a few days ago, when Bush visited the country where US aggression killed some 3-4 million people and left it a wreck and ruin, and where, we have recently learned, the bombing of Cambodia alone was 5 times as high as previously reported, practically creating the Khmer Rouge.Has anyone been charged with these crimes --all in violation of the US Constitution, Article VII. And on and on.


My response...

There is no question in my mind that 9/11 was "business as usual." And there is no doubt that the American Empire has most certainly caused horrific things around the world. However, that is around the world. Not here. 9/11 was here. Americans may be more prone to expose 9/11 because it did happen here, than they would be to expose crimes taking place in other parts of the world. If you expose 9/11, then you expose the corrupt portion of our Government responsible for all of the atrocities you mentioned. It has to stop. 9/11 Truth can do that.

If you can, please take the time to watch the movie. It is available for free online.

Thank you.


His response...

The threat of nuclear war and environmental catastrophe are here. The threat of fiscal train wreck and maintaining the worst health care system in the industrial world is here, and now, and causing far more deaths than 9/11. I do not happen to share your feeling that killing thousands of Americans is worse than killing tens of millions of others, but even if I did, 9/11 would rank low among crimes of Americans.

So we are back to the two choices: action to stop the crimes, or academic debates where even the proponents of one side are unwilling even to take the minimal steps to submit their claims to evaluation.

My response...

For the record, I didn't say murdering 2,973+ is worse than killing millions. I said, "Americans may be more prone to expose 9/11 because it did happen here, than they would be to expose crimes taking place in other parts of the world." There isn't a "Nicaragua Truth Movement." There is, however, a "9/11 Truth Movement."

His response...

Sorry if I misunderstood you.

I don't share your cynical view of Americans, but if it is correct, then we face another task that (in my judgment) is vastly more significant than debating the background of 9/11 (and would be even if adherents of the Truth Movement were willing to take the most elementary steps towards submitting their theses to examination): namely, overcoming the extremely dangerous imperial mentality and profound moral deficiency that you attribute to our fellow-citizens, which (to the extent that it exists, and to some extent it certainly does) lies at the root of major crimes against humanity, and worse to come.

You're quite wrong about the non-existence of a Nicaragua Truth Movement, in a revealing way. It not only existed, but it was vastly more significant than the 9/11 Truth Movement. During the 1980s, for the first time in the history of Western imperial atrocities, many thousands of Americans went to live with the victims of our crimes, to assist them, and to offer them the protection that comes from a white face. In Nicaragua in particular. That was entirely new. No one dreamed of living for these reasons in an Algerian or Vietnamese village, or ever in the history of Western imperial crimes Furthermore, the roots of these mass movements were in mainstream America: rural Kansas and Arizona and Maryland, etc., often evangelical churches. Furthermore, many are still there, doing exceptional work. And more significant, these movements have since expanded over much of the world: Christian peacemakers, International Solidarity Movement, others, making enormous contributions and facing dangers that are very real. Just a few days ago, for example, a young woman accompanying Palestinian children to school in Hebron -- necessary, to protect them from the brutality of mostly US immigrants supported by the US government in their illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank -- was attacked by settlers, beaten, her jaw broken by a bottle that one of them swung at her. The US-armed and -supported Israeli army, which is supposed to protect the children, stood by, but finally intervened to tell the settlers that it was enough, and a Palestinian ambulance was allowed to come to take her to a hospital. That happens regularly, thanks to the overt support or passivity of American citizens, who bear primary responsibility for these crimes, in this case, destruction of a nation before our eyes -- a rare event in history.

It's quite true that these movements are far less known than the groups debating 9/11. The reasons are pretty obvious, I think. They are taking courageous stands against systems of power, and therefore are reviled and marginalized. The last thing that centers of power want -- including media, journals, educational institutions -- is for people like you to know about authentic activism, and to decide to participate in it. In contrast, the 9/11 Truth Movement is quite harmless, therefore treated quite tolerantly. As perhaps I have mentioned to you before, I would not be at all surprised if a few years down the road internal government documents surface similar to those concerned with the JFK assassination, urging the executive to release material on the assassination periodically, to keep the assassination movements focused on this wild goose chase and to keep them away from real and serious crimes of state.

None of this, however, bears on the choice between (1) and (2), unless we believe that Americans do not even care about crimes against them and their children that are far more serious than destroying the WTC.

My response...

I don't assume that I am smarter than the great Noam Chomsky. I have no doubt that you have read, and studied more than I can ever know. That being said, your last statement about the seriousness of destroying the WTC reminded me of Sean Hannity. "The planes flew into the towers, and the towers came down." Simplifying the event essentially. If we agree that 9/11 has been used as a "pretext for policies already undertaken and planned", then that means upwards of 655,000 dead Iraqis, 3000 dead American soldiers, an $8Trillion+ deficit, 70,000 sick first responders and New Yorkers, the Patriot Act I & II, the Military Commissions Act, the Signing Statements, Wiretapping, and so on, would not have happened if not for 9/11. Proving that 9/11 is about a little bit more than just "destroying the WTC." I do not expect to change your mind. It is obvious that you have no intention of siding with the "harmless" and "tolerated" 9/11 Truth Movement. I am sorry that you are tolerant of the murder of 2,973+ people, and that you believe no one should be held accountable for that crime. Unless of course you believe the countries of Afghanistan and Iraq were responsible for that crime.

I guess I'm just going to have to continue flyering, writing articles, lobbying members of Congress, writing the media, helping others in their grassroots efforts, etc... It's a shame I don't know about "authentic activism."

His response...

Sorry that you don't seem willing to consider the simple fact that we have two choices: (1) do something to stop massive state crimes, including the killing of 650,000 Iraqis, sharply escalating the threat to survival of the species, etc.; (2) debate the origins of 9/11, which will do precisely nothing to stop those crimes -- and that would be true even if the advocates of the Movement undertook the minimal effort to submit their claims to evaluation in the way that is done by anyone serious.

That's what it comes down to. The rest, I'm afraid, is blowing smoke.

My response...

I believe 2 would bring about 1. If you take away their pretext, then you destroy the legitimacy of everything criminal they have done, and have been able to get away with. I don't see why this is so hard for you to comprehend.

Incidentally, does presenting Attorney General Eliot Spitzer with this:

Count as a "minimal effort to submit their claims to evaluation in the way that is done by anyone serious?"

I think it does. Why did Eliot Spitzer ignore the complaint? It included signatures from a lot of noteworthy individuals. A few I'm sure you're more than familiar with. I don't think you're as familiar with the 9/11 Truth Movement as your critique of it leads one to believe.

You're right. We have a choice. However, I don't think the choices are as you describe. I think those choices are 1) Let them get away with the murder of 2,973+ 2) Don't let them get away with the murder of 2,973+.

I'm going with 2.