Paul Craig Roberts on 911: “Gullible Americans”


Richard Moore

Who is Paul Craig Roberts?

Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under Ronald Reagan 
(awarded the Treasury Department's Meritorious Service Award for "his 
outstanding contributions to the formulation of United States economic policy.")

Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and 
Research Fellow at the Independent Institute.

Former editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and columnist for 
Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service

Held the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at the Center for Strategic
and International Studies (1982 ­1993)

  Distinguished Fellow at the Cato Institute from 1993 to 1996
  Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy
  Nationally syndicated columnist for Investor's Business Daily

  Winner of the 1992 Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism

  Ranked "One of the top seven journalists" by the Forbes Media Guide (1993)

Author of, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, and Marx's Theory of Exchange, 
Alienation and Crisis

Dr. Roberts was educated at the Georgia Institute of Technology ( B.S.), the 
University of Virginia (Ph.D.), the University of California at Berkeley and 
Oxford University where he was a member of Merton College.

He is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World , The Dictionary of
International Biography, Outstanding People of the Twentieth Century, and 1000 
Leaders of World Influence.

Could anyone in their right mind consider this man a crackpot "conspiracy 

Original source URL:


Gullible Americans

By Paul Craig Roberts

08/14/06 "Information Clearing House" -- --

I was in China when a July Harris Poll reported that 50 percent of Americans 
still believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when Bush invaded that 
country, and that 64 percent of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein had 
strong links with Al Qaeda.

The Chinese leaders and intellectuals with whom I was meeting were incredulous. 
How could a majority of the population in an allegedly free country with an 
allegedly free press be so totally misinformed?

The only answer I could give the Chinese is that Americans would have been the 
perfect population for Mao and the Gang of Four, because Americans believe 
anything their government tells them.

Americans never check any facts.  Who do you know, for example, who has even 
read the Report of the 9/11 Commission, much less checked the alleged facts 
reported in that document.  I can answer for you.  You don¹t know anyone who has
read the report or checked the facts.

The two co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission Report, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton,
have just released a new book, ³Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 
Commission.²  Kean and Hamilton reveal that the commission suppressed the fact 
that Muslim ire toward the US is due to US support for Israel¹s persecution and 
dispossession of the Palestinians, not to our ³freedom and democracy² as Bush 
propagandistically claims.  Kean and Hamilton also reveal that the US military 
committed perjury and lied about its failure to intercept the hijacked 
airliners.  The commission even debated referring the military¹s lies to the 
Justice Department for criminal investigation.  Why should we assume that these 
admissions are the only coverups and lies in the 9/11 Commission Report?

How do you know that 9/11 was a Muslim terrorist plot?  How do you know that 
three World Trade Center buildings collapsed because two were hit by airliners?
You only ³know² because the government gave you the explanation of what you saw 
on TV. (Did you even know that three WTC buildings collapsed?)

I still remember the enlightenment I experienced as a student in Russian Studies
when I learned that the Czarist secret police would set off bombs and then blame
those whom they wanted to arrest..

When Hitler seized dictatorial power in 1933, he told the Germans that his new 
powers were made necessary by a communist terrorist attack on the Reichstag.  
When Hitler started World War II by invading Poland, he told the Germans that 
Poland had crossed the frontier and attacked Germany.

Governments lie all the time--especially governments staffed by neoconservatives
whose intellectual godfather, Leo Strauss, taught them that it is permissible to
deceive the public in order to achieve their agenda.

Some readers will write to me to say that they saw a TV documentary or read a 
magazine article verifying the government¹s explanation of 9/11. But, of course,
these Americans did not check the facts either--and neither did the people who 
made the documentary and wrote the magazine article.

Scientists and engineers, such as Clemson University Professor of Engineering 
Dr. Judy Woods and BYU Professor of Physics Dr. Steven Jones,  have raised 
compelling questions about the official account of the collapse of the three WTC
buildings.  The basic problem for the government's account is that the buildings
are known to have fallen at free fall speed, a fact that is inconsistent with 
the government's "pancaking" theory in which debris from above collapsed the 
floors below.  If the buildings actually "pancaked," then each floor below would
have offered resistance to the floors above, and the elapsed time would have 
been much longer.  These experts have also calculated that the buildings did not
have sufficient gravitational energy to accommodate  the government's theory of 
the collapse.  It is certainly a known and non-controversial fact among 
physicists and engineers that the only way   buildings can collapse at free fall
speed into their own footprints is by engineered demolition.  Explosives are 
used to remove the support of floors below before the debris from above arrives.
Otherwise, resistance is encountered and the time required for fall increases.  
Engineered demolition also explains the symmetrical collapse of the buildings 
into their own foot prints. As it is otherwise improbable for every point in 
floors below to weaken uniformly, "pancaking" would result in asymmetrical 
collapse as some elements of the floor would give sooner than others.

Scientific evidence is a tough thing for the American public to handle, and the 
government knows it.  The government can rely on people dismissing things that 
they cannot understand as "conspiracy theory."  But if you are inclined to try 
to make up your own mind, you can find Dr. Jones' and Dr. Woods¹ papers, which 
have been formally presented to their peers at scientific meetings, on line at

Experts have also pointed out that the buildings' massive steel skeletons 
comprised a massive heat sink that wicked away the heat from the limited, 
short-lived fires, thus preventing a heat buildup.  Experts also point out that 
the short-lived, scattered, low-intensity fires could barely reach half the 
melting point of steel even if they burned all day instead of merely an hour.

Don't ask me to tell you what happened on 9/11.  All I know is that the official
account of the buildings' collapse is improbable.

Now we are being told another improbable tale.  Muslim terrorists in London and 
Pakistan were caught plotting to commit mass murder by smuggling bottles of 
explosive liquids on board airliners in hand luggage. Baby formula, shampoo and 
water bottles allegedly contained the tools of suicide bombers.

How do we know about this plot?  Well, the police learned it from an ³Islamic 
militant arrested near the Afghan-Pakistan border several weeks ago.²  And how 
did someone so far away know what British-born people in London were plotting?

Do you really believe that Western and Israeli intelligence services, which were
too incompetent to prevent the 9/11 attack, can uncover a London plot by 
capturing a person on the Afghan border in Pakistan? Why would ³an Islamic 
militant² rat on such a plot even if he knew of it?

More probable explanations of the ³plot² are readily available.  According to 
the August 11 Wayne Madsen Report, informed sources in the UK report that ³the 
Tony Blair government, under siege by a Labor Party revolt, cleverly cooked up a
new Œterror¹ scare to avert the public¹s eyes away from Blair¹s increasing 
political woes.  British law enforcement, neocon and intelligence operatives in 
the US, Israel, and Britain, and Rupert Murdoch¹s global media empire cooked up 
the terrorist plot, liberally borrowing from the failed 1995 ŒOplan Bjinka¹ plot
by Pakistan- and Philippines-based terrorist Ramzi Ahmad Yousef to crash 11 
trans-Pacific airliners bound from Asia to the US.²

There are other plausible explanations.  For example, our puppet in Pakistan 
decided to arrest some people who were a threat to him.  With Bush¹s commitment 
to ³building democracy in the Middle East,² our puppet can¹t arrest his 
political enemies without cause, so he lays the blame on a plot.

Any testimony against Muslim plotters by ³an Islamic militant² is certain to 
have been bought and paid for.

Or consider this explanation. Under the Nuremberg standard, Bush and Blair are 
war criminals.  Bush is so worried that he will be held accountable that he has 
sent his attorney general to consult with the Republican Congress to work out 
legislation to protect Bush retroactively from his violations of the Geneva 

Tony Blair is in more danger of finding himself in the dock.  Britain is 
signatory to a treaty that, if justice is done, will place Blair before the 
International Criminal Court in the Hague.

What better justification for the two war criminals¹ illegal actions than the 
need to foil  dastardly plots by Muslims recruited in sting operations by 
Western intelligence services? The more Bush and Blair can convince their 
publics that terrorist danger abounds, the less likely Bush and Blair are ever 
to be held accountable for their crimes.

But surely, some readers might object, our great moral leaders wouldn¹t do 
something political like that!

They most certainly would.  As Joshua Micah Marshall wrote in the July 7 issue 
of Time magazine, the suspicion is ³quite reasonable² that ³the Bush 
Administration orchestrates its terror alerts and arrests to goose the GOP¹s 
poll numbers.²

Joshua Micah Marshall proves his conclusion by examining the barrage of 
color-coded terror alerts, none of which were real, and, yes, it all fits with 
political needs.

And don¹t forget the plot unearthed in Miami to blow up the Sears Tower in 
Chicago. Described by Vice President Cheney as a ³very real threat,² the plot 
turned out to be nothing more than a few harmless whackos recruited by an FBI 
agent sent out to organize a sting.

There was also the ³foiled plot² to blow up the Holland Tunnel and flood 
downtown New York City with sea water.  Thinking New Orleans, the FBI invented 
this plot without realizing that New York City is above sea level.  Of course, 
most Americans didn¹t realize it either.

For six years the Bush regime has been able to count on the ignorant and naive 
American public to believe whatever tale that is told them.  American 
gullibility has yet to fail the Bush regime.

The government has an endless number of conspiracy theories, but only people who
question the government¹s conspiracies are derided for ³having a conspiracy 

The implication is even worse if we assume that the explosive bottle plot is 
genuine.  It means that America and Britain by their own aggression in Iraq and 
Afghanistan, and by enabling Israel¹s war crimes in Palestine and Lebanon, have 
created such hatred that Muslims, who identify with Bush¹s, Blair¹s, and 
Israel¹s victims, are plotting retaliation.

But Bush is prepared.  He has taught his untutored public that ³they hate us for
our freedom and democracy.²

Gentle reader, wise up. The entire world is laughing at you.

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