As a left-wing journalist, media critic, documentary producer, and pundit, Barrie Zwicker comes with the most impeccable credentials. He studied with the philosopher Marshall McLuhan and went on to become an award-winning reporter with such newspapers as the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. He taught a media course at Toronto's venerable Ryerson Polytechnic University, and then spent 15 years as a program host with Ontario's multifaith Vision TV. He's been described as Canada's Michael Moore.
Zwicker is coming to Vancouver later this month as the featured speaker at a fundraising event for the Necessary Voices lecture series, and what he intends to say, among other things, is that we've all been duped about what happened on September 11, 2001. It wasn't a surprise attack by Islamist fanatics at all. It was really a cunning fabrication, a deception, a fiction, and a plot, all orchestrated by the White House.
The same White House plot, Zwicker says, was involved in the March 11, 2004, bomb blasts on commuter trains in Madrid that resulted in the murder of 192 people. The murder of 52 people in the July 7, 2005, suicide-bomb attacks in London was part of the same conspiracy. This month's British foiling of a terror plot to blow up several passenger airliners on transatlantic flights out of London is part of it too.
It's all “a gigantic terror fraud”, Zwicker told me during a long conversation the other day. It's all about establishing a climate of fear to justify the curtailment of civil liberties and the expenditure of billions of dollars on weapons and on war.
And to what end?
“It is a war against Islam,” Zwicker told me. “It is a war against millions of people who happen to share the same faith.”
Some proof would be handy in making such claims. But after having twice watched Zwicker's 2004 documentary, The Great Conspiracy: The 9/11 News Documentary You Never Saw, and after having carefully combed through the documentary's transcript, and after diligently checking Zwicker's “facts”, references, and sources, I'm sad to say the story is rather more banal, and perhaps more sad, than its billing suggests.
The film is mainly Zwicker talking into a camera, making an elaborate case that contains proof of nothing much more than the cock-up that the “official” 9/11 investigation commission became. We also see film- footage evidence that George W. Bush is perhaps not the brightest president in American history. The Great Conspiracy also reviews several infamous lies told by American warmongers, from the 1990 “Kuwait incubator babies” story, designed to inflame hysteria during the lead-up to the First Gulf War.
Yanks and their generals can be tremendous liars, then; it follows that we should all be quite skeptical about what the U.S. administration says and about what administration-friendly media corporations say. But isn't it a bit of a leap to conclude from all this that the culprits behind 9/11 were actually members of a shadowy cabal inside the White House?
“It is not a leap,” Zwicker told me. “Gosh, if we're not going to make some claims in this world, I mean, we just can't sit around being skeptical when all the evidence that's around points in the same direction.”
Zwicker's The Great Conspiracy was a follow-up to his 2002 Vision TV documentary The Great Deception, but he goes a much greater distance in a book he's written, just published by British Columbia's own New Society Publishers, of Gabriola Island. Its title is Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-Up of 9-11.
Zwicker said readers should find the fifth chapter very exciting. Its title is “The Shame of Noam Chomsky and the Gatekeepers of the Left”. You can probably guess the general drift of its contents. Sneak preview: it turns out that Chomsky, the famous MIT linguist, is an apologist for the CIA, and, worse, “he is a member of the community of apologists for the official story” about 9/11, Zwicker said. “When I really started to research him, I was shocked.” For instance, Chomsky never questioned the assassinations of John K. Kennedy, his brother Robert, or American black Muslim leader Malcolm X.
“There's something very strange here,” Zwicker said.
No harm, you might say. No harm to Zwicker, anyway. His 9/11 theories have done him no professional harm. “It hasn't hurt my career at all,” Zwicker said, citing a 2004 Maritz Research poll that found 16 percent of Canadians believed that the White House deliberately allowed those two passenger planes to be plunged into the World Trade towers.
And Tom Hicks, coordinator of the Necessary Voices series that's bringing Zwicker to Vancouver, is a true believer in Zwicker's 9/11 terror-fraud story. “I have committed myself,” Hicks told me.
Hear Zwicker for yourself on August 30, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at St. Andrew's–Wesley United Church at Nelson and Burrard streets (sliding-scale admission, $5 to $20).