Thursday, May 24, 2007

Zinn's Endorsement of Griffin Quackery Comes Under Fire

Howard Zinn, whose People's History of the United States is probably one of the ten best-selling textbooks of the last 30 years, discovers that endorsing David Ray Griffin's latest batch of nuttery gives his critics a stick to use against him.

“I believe that David Ray Griffin’s provocative questions about 9/11 deserve to be investigated and addressed,” Zinn writes on the back of Griffin’s Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory. (Members of the “truth movement” helpfully keep me stocked with their latest salvos in case my resistance to paranoid fables happens to dissolve.)

In case you couldn’t guess, the “official conspiracy theory” mocked in Griffin’s book is the idea that hijacked planes brought down the towers, smashed into the Pentagon and crashed in a Pennsylvania field. The “truth movement” thinks it knows better than to accept this straightforward version of history. “The evidence that 9/11 was an inside job is overwhelming,” Griffin declares.

Your government pulled off the equivalent of a Pearl Harbor attack on its own people, you see, and has been engaged in a cover-up ever since, abetted by a compliant and corrupt press.

Will this theory someday worm its way into the best-selling People’s History, too? The 2003 hardback edition still accepts the hijackers as 9/11’s culprits. But since Zinn seems to blame the United States for most of the world’s maladies anyway, he might as well point the finger at it for 9/11, too.

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