In his conceited and unwise attack piece, Parry sidesteps the facts that has motivated many well-intentioned and concerned citizens across the political spectrum, and from all around the world, to demand a new 9/11 investigation, saying that 9/11 truth activists believe in "preposterous notions," that do not deserve any critical attention from the mainstream media, and what he regards as the responsible and serious-minded center in American politics.
For the most part, Parry's conventional critique of the 9/11 truth and accountability campaign is not different from other journalists and commentators who go halfway towards calling for reform and government accountability, saying that 9/11 truth activists are childish and crazy, and that we should discuss serious and provable government crimes and deceptions. None of Parry's talking points are original or well thought out, he just has the balls to actually write on the record what he thinks about 9/11 truth in a detailed manner, and risks appearing the fool in the opening eyes of history. And there is no question that Parry is spouting foolish opinions about 9/11. In general, his line of thinking about 9/11 truth reveals the same intellectual dishonesty that is widely shared among the journalistic and political class in the United States and the West.
If Parry wasn't so smug, I wouldn't care. But his attitude that he knows better because he is an expert, and a professional journalist is hard to respect. Like other professional journalists he probably can't even contemplate the thought that bloggers, and regular citizens bested him at his own job, which is about uncovering and reporting the truth. Parry doesn't want to accept his own incompetence and blindness, instead, he wants to give himself and his profession the air of respectability.
But while alluding to the rhetoric of responsibility, suggesting that we must avoid giving fair treatment to "conspiracy theories", Parry fails to live up to his own standards by injecting into the discussion about the validity of 9/11 truth the murderous and deranged act by Jared Lee Loughner, who believed that the Bush administration was behind the attacks, as if his views about 9/11 had anything to do with choice to kill innocent human beings in a public plaza. Parry writes:
On Sunday, in a profile of alleged Tucson gunman Jared L. Loughner, the New York Times reported that as "a curious teenager," Loughner "became intrigued by antigovernment conspiracy theories, including that the Sept. 11 attacks were perpetrated by the government. ...Blaming society for the crimes of mass murderers is a wrong position to take. But, Parry is right about one thing. How we handle, digest, and process information has a deep impact on how we act. However, if being "responsible" means to hold one's tongue and refrain from saying controversial truths such as the Bush administration had a hand in 9/11, then "responsible" journalists are not journalists at all, but cowards, and fools.
"His anger would well up at the sight of President George W. Bush, or in discussing what he considered to be the nefarious designs of government."
Given how a mentally disturbed young person can process information (or disinformation), it is incumbent on all of us who speak in today's public square to be responsible, especially when we make serious allegations like suggesting that Bush and the U.S. government "made" 9/11 happen.
The need for this careful behavior is true for the Right and it is true for the Left. The Center (including the mainstream press) also has a deep responsibility to examine suspicions of government wrongdoing when there is credible evidence and to have the courage to speak truth to power regardless of the pressures and consequences.
For the Center to renege on that duty (such as when the mainstream press attacked Gary Webb's Contra-cocaine reporting in the mid-to-late 1990s) may be rationalized as "good for the country" in the short-term (by discrediting ugly truths) but whitewashing only feeds the public's appetite for conspiracy theories on the Right and the Left.
In other words, to help avert future tragedies like the one in Tucson, all parts of the U.S. political/media system need to work better and take their responsibilities to the public more seriously. That would include not spreading wild accusations with weak or non-existent evidence, but it also would require holding Bush and his associates accountable for what they actually did.
According to Parry, the political center must hold government leaders accountable for documented crimes like torture and illegal spying, and use its influence to persuade people from looking too closely into the different accounts of what happened on 9/11, as he maintains that there is nothing there. But there is one problem. Who gets to define the center? The traditional left-center-right spectrum is outdated, and those who refer to it reveal their intellectual poverty about modern political discourse, and the changing nature of how voters view politics and government. What does the majority really believe in when it comes to September 11? According to a recent poll done in Germany, the nation of thinkers, almost 90 percent of Germans believe that the U.S. government lied about the events of September 11.
Parry and others in the media and politics who pride themselves on being rational, objective, and intellectually balanced, and for not being on either side of the political fringe, believe the impossible, that the Bush administration was not behind 9/11 despite all evidence to the contrary, such as the collapse of Building 7 (not hit by a plane), and the fact that Bush's younger brother, Marvin P. Bush, was connected to the security company Securacom that was appointed to provide security for the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11.
Parry and other truth deniers mistake their position as the center, deluding themselves that they are standing on the sacred middle ground, when it is really the position of the clueless, cowardly, and corrupted. If they are in the middle, it is not the middle of the political debate, but the middle in the race for the truth. And there is no honor to be gained by stopping at the mid-point in the race for the truth. A person dedicated to the truth and facts must complete the race. If they ever pick themselves up, and run to the finish line, they'll notice that the banner awaiting them reads, "9/11 = Inside Job" because that is the truth of our time. It is shocking and difficult to accept, but the truth should be celebrated upon first contact because it can bring an end to the wars in the Middle East, help us identify the real war criminals of our era, and restore constitutional government in the United States.
But the truth is not celebrated by the likes of Parry. Instead, it is mocked, and with it, any hope for freedom, justice, and democracy. The cry that is heard from many so-called "serious minded" liberals and progressives is this: that we should channel our energies into documenting and revealing real crimes, not obsessing over fanciful stories about government involvement in the 9/11 attacks, and other mysterious terrorist events like the bombings of 7/7. This view is mostly political motivated, contrary to what Parry and others say. It brings to mind the line, "Vote for Gore, not Nader" because Nader is unreasonable, radical, and won't win. It is all about winning for these political crackheads. The truth matters little.
A common idea that is held by members of the political and media elite, and uncritically accepted by the alternative media as well, is the idea that public discourse should be divided into two fields - proper criticism, and conspiracy theories - and issues like 9/11 truth deserve to be tossed on the side of conspiracy theories, to be ignored, and buried. People who say that the Bush administration was involved in 9/11 are uttering nonsense, and should not be given a platform to speak. They should be driven out of the political discussion, and excluded to the boundaries of society and politics.
Dividing the debate over what really happened on 9/11 into rational and irrational is a nice sleight of hand trick used by propagandists that is meant to fool naive and clueless people who believe in science and rationality, but are not independent thinkers, so that when they're told that something is unscientific and incorrect they take it at face value, and don't do any serious research into the topic on their own. I don't think Parry is knowingly using this slick propaganda trick to fool his readers, I think he is a well-intentioned fool who can't handle the truth and so diverts to the rational/irrational talking point.
It is natural that Parry wants to feel good about himself, and sticking by the official narrative allows him to feel good. Admitting that you were fooled by a big lie, after believing it and actively defending it for so long, could make a person undergo a deep emotional and psychological change, especially a journalist who takes his profession as seriously as Parry does. It is understandably difficult for someone in the position of Parry to accept that the people you've demonized and denounced as "truthers" and "nutjobs" were not crazy after all, but that they were right all along.
And so, in order to avoid the painful acceptance of their own gullibility, Parry and millions of others paint 9/11 truth activists as irrational, nonsensical, and wacky, rather than discuss the scientific, circumstantial, and political evidence, and really dig into the reasons for why people have come to conclusions about 9/11 that are completely different from the establishment, and the mainstream media.
Kevin Ryan wrote an excellent and detailed response to Parry's article on January 30, 2011, effectively checkmating Parry by exposing his faulty reasoning and lack of understanding about the basic facts that underpin the calls for a new 9/11 investigation. Ryan said:
In his own recent, over-the-top anti-truth screed, “The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game”, Parry exhibits the same disdain for facts and evidence that he attributes to these right-wing propagandists. Parry uses the derogatory term “truthers,” which he continues to put in quotation marks throughout the article, when referring to the people he is criticizing. This indicates that he knows he does not have the facts and evidence on his side and instead must resort to name-calling. Many 9/11 truth advocates, like myself, find this term to be offensive yet the corporate media and Robert Parry often use it in order to belittle us without addressing the evidence.
I recommend that you read Ryan's response in full. He makes so many good and truthful points that no honest person can dismiss them as conspiratorial, wacky, irrational, or irresponsible.
What could be more responsible than finding the facts about the biggest event of our lifetime? And what could be more irresponsible on the part of journalists and the wider public than refusing to face the truth and sheepishly sticking by a narrative about the threat of terrorism that was deviously constructed by criminals in the Bush administration and the national security apparatus of the United States government?
Maybe Parry and millions of others who still hold onto the official 9/11 myth will soon realize the truth. They'll discover what a lot of us already know, that none of us are perfect, that we can be wrong, and that we are not as rational as we like to think we are.