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July 1, 2006

Beneath Ward Churchill: Kevin Barrett

Hats off to Dad29 and Jessica McBride of Milwaukee's WTMJ for shining some light on tinfoil hat–wearing academic Kevin Barrett, who manages to make Ward Churchill look almost sane in comparison.

This fall Barrett is scheduled to teach a large introductory course on Islam at University of Wisconsin at Madison, a major publicly funded university, and a similar course at Edgewood College of Madison. Among the beliefs that Barrett may be sharing with his students:

  • Terrorists did not cause the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
  • The WTC towers were brought down by controlled demolition.
  • Vice President Dick Cheney is the likely mastermind of the plot to destroy the WTC.
  • Mohammad Atta was a pawn and patsy of the United States government.
  • Al Qaeda is either a myth fabricated by the U.S. government, or a U.S. government front group.
  • Many of the 9/11 hijackers are still alive.
  • The FBI was responsible for the 1993 WTC bombing.
  • The 9/11 attacks had nothing to do with Islam.

UW-Madison cannot use the tenure excuse with Barrett, who does not have tenure but works under a contract that is renewed each semester. He does not keep quite about his views. He is a member of multiple tinfoil hat cults (Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth, Scholars for 9/11 Truth, Scientific Panel for the Investigation of 9/11) and has been quoted in Madison newspapers. Here's a sample of Barrett's writings:

As a Ph.D. Islamologist and Arabist I really hate to say this, but I'll say it anyway: 9/11 had nothing to do with Islam. The war on terror is as phony as the latest Osama bin Laden tape... The real bin Laden, who insisted that he had nothing to do with 9/11, has been dead since late 2001 or early 2002. The fake messages have been fabricated by "al-CIA-duh" to support the Bush regime and its phony "war on terror." It is time for Americans to rise up in revolt against the fake terror masters who are looting U.S. taxpayers, torching our Constitution, destroying our economy, and threatening nuclear Armageddon.

Barrett openly admits that he discusses his conspiracy theories in the classroom, and that he has managed to persuade students that our own government was behind the 9/11 atrocities.

If Barrett were a lone schizophrenic subjecting his students to these sick delusions, he would not be employed. In the grotesquely decayed realm of academia, his views are no more out of place than they would be in a psychiatric ward. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published an article on the growing prevalence of bizarre 9/11 conspiracy theories among academics. Here's an excerpt from Barrett's response:

Personally, I find 9/11-triggered Islamophobia to be far beyond paranoid, while the common-sense hypothesis that this war, like all our wars, was set off by a fabricated war-trigger incident strikes me as sane, lucid, and in accord with Occam's razor. Indeed, after studying the issue intensively for more than two years, I am tempted to say that those who accept the by now thoroughly-discredited official myth of 9/11 (as, I am ashamed to admit, I once did) are stupid, paranoid, and racist — the moral and intellectual equivalent of the "good Germans" who succumbed to Nazi mythology.

Imagine being a student in a classroom run by a teacher who shrieks that anyone who doesn't agree that Dick Cheney blew up the World Trade Center is "stupid, paranoid, and racist," and you'll have an idea of the absurd madhouse into which education is degenerating.

It's no wonder Ward Churchill's warped views raised no eyebrows until the world outside the ivory tower found out about them. He thinks the terrorists who killed 3,000 innocent Americans on September 11 were heroes, but at least he doesn't pretend that it was really Republicans who did it. In some departments, that makes him a moderate.

Of course, it isn't only in academia that deranged points of view have gained increasing acceptance. As McBride observes of Barrett's ravings:

[A] lot of his rhetoric isn't that far removed from that which is espoused by the NY Times, anti-war referendum organizers, Cindy Sheehan, and the national Democratic Party. The rhetoric is characterized by an obsessive hatred of George Bush and any governmental authority or power, a tendency to give every benefit of the doubt to our enemy and none to our administration, a moral relativism that holds that we are just as evil as the other side... or, worse, that we are more evil than they are because we created them, and they are just misunderstood. Kevin Barrett just takes it a few steps farther than the rest, but really his views are on the same plane.
This worldview is harbored by too many of our elites in this country — in academia, in the media, particularly on the east coast, in Hollywood, and in the upper echelons of national Democratic leadership. And it's hobbling our ability to conduct the war on Terror. That's why it matters.

Who knows? Maybe moonbats will succeed, and future generations of Americans will accept as fact that the Bush Administration blew up the World Trade Center, and that the struggle against Islamic terrorism was all a big sham.

Will our grandchildren grow up thinking Americans did this?

Posted by Van Helsing at July 1, 2006 10:41 AM


This guy(kb) has had his 15min of fame. Forgettable.
Old hat.

Posted by: Bensittin at July 1, 2006 11:13 AM

The way the moonbat left works is the looniest and most hatred filled become the celebrities of the movement. (Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Ward Churchill, Noam Chomsky, Kos), so, in order to get to the top, you have to be loonier and more hateful than the people who are already there.

For the right, this is a good thing. Take the most outspoken people on the right... Ann Coulter, for example... and she doesn't even come close to the mainstream left ... let alone the moonbat left ... for sheer hateful, vitriolic lunacy.

Posted by: V the K at July 1, 2006 11:44 AM

"...and any governmental authority or power..."
Close, but not quite -- he leaves off "not held by the left". These folks aren't anarchists, they love governmental authority and power so long as they are the ones holding the reins.

Interesting pic, by the way...don't think I've seen that angle before. You can even see what is probably the long arc of plane debris coming out the other side of the tower, implying a large chunk of mass (a severed engine perhaps) traveling at high speed -- I wonder how Cheney faked that with his controlled demolitions?

Posted by: Anonymous at July 1, 2006 12:37 PM

Not only did Cheney wire the building with demolition explosives, but he also hid an entire plane in each of the buildings to simulate the debris.

Posted by: Brass at July 1, 2006 4:55 PM

My Wife told me the other day I need to stop hitting this brand of idiot when I run into them.

ME: "C'mon; he's telling what I seen with my own eyes was a myth. I have to kick him."

SHE: "You can't kick all of them."

ME: "Wanna bet?"

Posted by: TC@LeatherPenguin at July 2, 2006 2:47 AM

I've seen the future: 30 years from now, some Gen X Oliver Stone(d) is going to make an Academy Award winning film about 9/11 based on exactly these theories.

This is what 9 seasons of the X-Files will do to a nation.

Posted by: phil at July 2, 2006 11:41 AM

The planes hitting the towers and controlled demolitions are clearly not mutually exclusive events.

Posted by: Dan at July 2, 2006 4:25 PM

Anyone who actually knows how much time and preparation a controlled demolition takes, they would know how absurd those theories are. Steel support beams have to be cut, walls knocked out, tons of explosives planted with wires running everywhere. No way on Earth anyone could manage that without being detected.

Posted by: General Jack D. Ripper at July 2, 2006 8:28 PM

Dan, why do both? It adds complexity to the plot (and thus increases its chances of failure and/or discovery), for one thing, and for another, there is no added propaganda effect to doing both -- indeed, much impact is lost by doing both.

To the extent that they accept that actual 767s were flown into the towers, 9/11 "dissenters" frequently claim that the collapse of the buildings could not have resulted from the impact of the airplanes alone. However, if this is accepted as true, and only the planes were used, and the related impact damage and fires did not cause the towers to collapse, it would still have made a dramatic impression on the citizenry. Instead of nearly three thousand killed and two smoking holes in the ground, we would have had around a thousand killed (those above the impact zones) and the burned-out hulks of two landmark skyscrapers scarring the skyline of our largest city for months or years. Little that would have followed in such a "planes only wouldn't collapse the towers" scenario would have differed from what has happened in historical reality -- from the "dissenters'" perspective, non-collapse would have been of sufficient propaganda effect to have still spawned all that has followed from the 9/11 attacks.

Had only a controlled demolition been used, however, the propaganda effect would have been IMMENSELY greater. A controlled demolition could have been triggered at any time once the charges were in place and the strategic weakening of the towers' primary structures had been carried out (all in secret, of course), bringing down both towers with no warning but whatever time, if any, passed between the implosion of each tower. With no plane crashes to give warning to the surviving occupants of the towers, they would not have been able to flee from the danger -- not merely three thousand, but tens of thousands would have died as a result. If 9/11 "dissenters" believe that 9/11 as it happened in historical reality gave Bush et al a blank check to go to war, curtail civil liberties, muzzle free speech, set up death camps for leftist Democrats, etc., imagine what several times more casualties would have done.

"Doing both", however, adds nothing to the former and actually blunts the latter. "Airplanes only" would have been sufficent to have given justification to all that followed -- and since the left in general paints those consequences as the worst of all possible outcomes, we can safely guess that the Bush administration required nothing more. Used by itself, "controlled demolition" would have provided public support for a much more sweeping "response", but used along with airplanes crashing into the buildings would reduce the number of casualties by an order of magnitude or more, thereby reducing the impact.

Doing both would add little to no value to the effort, while greatly increasing the complexity of the plot and thereby the likelihood that it would fail or be uncovered. So, while in broad physical terms your statement is correct, planes crashing into the towers and controlled demolitions are not mutually exclusive events, their use together in the manner your statement is clearly intended to suggest makes no sense in practical terms. Just because something may be possible in physical reality does not mean that that is what happened in historical reality.

Posted by: prince of leaves at July 2, 2006 9:15 PM

Gads. It's amazing how quickly the al Qaeda web sites pick up on these same stories:

Posted by: the paperboy at July 3, 2006 2:39 PM

oops. It was this one I was referring to wrt this story:

Posted by: the paperboy at July 3, 2006 2:43 PM

There is no doubt in my mind that the moonbat liberal scum democrat idiots are suffering from severe Alzheimers disease and all of their supporters and hopefully they will die from it soon before it is to late.

Posted by: gene at July 5, 2006 3:35 PM

I seen this certified blue gum lunatic who should be in a mental inst, not in a university
the other day, the guy has smoked so much crack that his brain is stuck in reverse, kevin the lunatic barrett, I pray that all liberals like him self ,will fall into a sink hole fill with racid feces and diseased vomit.

Posted by: gene at July 12, 2006 10:08 AM

I was there I seen the planes hit the towers
with my own eyes, I told some idiot that the other day and he said well I talk to people who did not see them hit the towers, I knew quickly that this was not the brightest 25 year old still
in the first grade.

Posted by: gene at July 12, 2006 10:17 AM

Obviously, "Professor" Barrett, whose major in college was African-American Studies (how does he then call himself an Arabist?), didn't read the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Structural Engineers Institute (SEI) reports on the collapse of the World Trade Center or Pentagon. Of course, with nut jobs like him and Ward Churchill, reading objective reports employing mathmatics and science is the last thing you want to do.

Posted by: architect at July 13, 2006 10:49 AM

I find it difficult to have and intelligent conversation with anyone who call names (ie: certified blue gum lunatic who should be in a mental inst....the guy has smoked so much crack that his brain is stuck in reverse, kevin the lunatic barrett). I do not wish death or alzheimers to any other person, be they conservative, liberal, progressive, socialist. Come on, let's get serious about courtesy and understand each other. Afterall, we are all in this together, we are all Americans and members of the world. May god bless all of us.

Posted by: k at July 14, 2006 7:52 PM