Research grant to fund conspiracy theories?

University of Lethbridge student awarded $7,714 investigate war on terror ‘truth’


To some it may seem the University of Lethbridge has decided to fund research in pursuit of the comedic and mirthful, but make no mistake—one graduate student has been awarded $7,714 to assess and analyze “the ‘government version’ of the events that gave rise to the GWOT [Global War On Terrorism].”

Masters student Joshua Blakeney has been granted the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship for his research entitled “The Origins of the Global War on Terror: Academic Debates and Interpretive Controversies.” Blakeney, former Media Coordinator of Globalization Studies at U of L, is a vocal adherent to the 9/11 “Truth Movement,” which contends that the World Trade Center attacks were orchestrated by the U.S. in order to justify future invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Blakeney has confronted reporters such as Peter Mansbridge for their compliance in propagating mainstream 9/11 “lies,” and also gleefully rejoiced in pundit Christopher Hitchens’ cancer diagnosis, calling it a “boon to humanity.”

Blakeney, who studies under well-known 9/11 truth-seeker Anthony Hall, has now been awarded money by the university to put these theories to paper. Money which, as Jonathan Kay in the National Post points out, comes in part from Alberta tax dollars. “Paying a British graduate student $7,714 to pursue his conspiracy theory that the 9/11 attacks were staged by Washington,” Kay writes, “Does anyone else see a problem with that?”

The lunacy, of course, is readily apparent. I’m sure few Albertans would rejoice in hearing that their dollars are being used to fund conspiracy theories. However, (and as much as it pains me to pen any sort of defense) the expectation of graduate research is that it challenges the status quo and seeks to break through conventional belief.

Granted, I have little faith that Blakeney will challenge his own beliefs, let alone that his thesis will amount to much beyond the 9/11 jabber he’s already touting, but academic freedom would be compromised if taxpayers could suddenly decide which theses were worth their dollar. Indeed, I think the outrage is warranted and the awards committee should give their heads a shake, but if anything, this situation just reinforces the need to establish a fully private post-secondary education system. At least in that case your provincial taxes won’t go towards proving the mendacity of the moon landing.


Research grant to fund conspiracy theories?

  1. “a fully private post-secondary education system. At least in that case your provincial taxes won’t go towards proving the mendacity of the moon landing.”

    Oh. So that what we need. Privatized post-secondary education under complete corporate control. I assume you know the history in Italy and Germany of “corporatism” as the primary instrument of public governance?

    Moon landing? Why raise that? Joshu and I certainly did not.

    Are you a loony conspiracy theorist Robyn Urback? Or are you a practitioner of disinformation and smear paid to prevent a real public inquiry into the Canadian facets of the lies and crimes of 9/11?

    Please see the response of Joshua and I to Michael Shermer, the fraudulent “Adjunct Professor of Economics” at Claremont Graduate University who also raises red herrings in the attempt to divert attention from the discredited official conspiracy theory of 9/11.

  2. I spent a lot of time looking on their personal websites and the UofL website but can’t seem to figure this out: What department is Dr. Hall in? (I get that he teaches in “Globalization studies” but that seems to be a program that just offers two courses and certainly no grad program) And what department is Blakeney an MA student in?

  3. As a recent graduate of a Ph.D. program here in Canada, I am fairly appalled at the fact that government-dispensed grant money is going to fund such nonsense. I know a great many talented researchers in many fields who are infinitely more deserving of scholarship/fellowship dollars to support their research projects. Granted, it is only about $8,000; certainly a drop in the proverbial bucket. What I cannot fathom is that some granting agency actually gave credence to a verifiably false thesis: that the United States government somehow orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. I absolutely can’t believe there are still people espousing this belief! Go ahead, call me a “sheep” for trusting in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s report on how the World Trade Center collapsed. Does anyone honestly believe that a government who cannot manage to keep literally HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of sensitive documents from leaking (Afghan War Logs, Iraq War Logs, the upcoming dissemination of confidential diplomatic cables), could possibly keep a MASSIVE conspiracy under wraps? Even for a WEEK, let along for nearly TEN YEARS? If so, then please give your head a shake. The government may have been guilty of negligence (at best), or willful ignorance (at worst), but they certainly did not execute the plan themselves.

  4. Putting aside my own beliefs about what happened on September 11, 2001, I do think that it is important to study how knowledge about the event is produced and how scientific authority is constructed in relation to national security concerns. It really would be useful to have a serious study, likely in the field of Science and Technology Studies, that looks at why some of the theories about the attacks were accepted by the mainstream and others (including the position of of Blakeney and Hall) have been marginalized. It might also be interesting to see someone explore the role that the “9/11 Truth” movement has played in undermining the attempts to have a serious discussion about American imperialism. It would also be enlightening to see someone study the unholy alliance that some ostensibly leftist academics and activists have found themselves in as they share the stage (often digital sometimes real) with right wing extremists.

    Of course, the question is can Blakeney actually write such a study? Based on his videos and the SOP posted on his website I have serious doubts about his ability to do so, but that is not at all relevant. He found a supervisor willing to supervise his research and a department full of trained academics who have gone through their own proper processes for selecting graduate students decided that he would be a good fit for their program. It is probably not the decision that most graduate programs would make, but that’s fine. If UofL’s department of whatever made that decision then that’s an internal matter and not one that we have any real ability to judge from the outside.

    The other thing to remember is that it doesn’t look like Blakeney’s funding is actually awarded directly from a granting agency. My understanding is that the grant he received is something that 10% of all graduate students in Alberta receive and that individual universities decide how to assign their allotment.

  5. Let’s ask ourselves a simple question. Why do Canadians continue to think it important to pay for publicly funded universities–including paying the salaries of real scholars who do actual research as well as teaching, and including the provision of research grants to support graduate students who will go on to become university researchers and teachers themselves?

    One reason, I would suggest, is that Canadians still see some value in being able to distinguish between critically sifted historical actualities and the miasmal deceptions of propaganda. We still see some value in being assisted to an understanding of the forces at work in contemporary history by people who (as Shakespeare’s Hamlet put it) can show “the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.”

    Professor Anthony Hall of Lethbridge University is a scholar of high distinction whose two books, The American Empire and the Fourth World (2004) and Earth Into Property: Colonization, Decolonization, and Capitalism (2010), both published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, are major contributions to an understanding of North American history.

    The sneering attacks by Jonathan Kay and now also by Robyn Urback on the quite modest research funding that the University of Lethbridge is offering to Professor Hall’s graduate student Joshua Blakeney are easily identifiable as McCarthyist gutter journalism. But it may not be immediately obvious how much is at stake in this apparently quite minor controversy.

    A significant number of young Canadians, serving in good faith and courageously in a war whose only justification is the official narrative of the events of 9/11, have been killed and maimed in Afghanistan. (Let us add that a much larger number of Afghans have been killed, maimed, or tortured as a result of our presence in their country.)

    But that official narrative about 9/11–that official conspiracy theory–is, from top to bottom, untrue. The key evidence adduced by the 9/11 Commission Report was all based upon torture, and the pseudo-scientific explanations of the destruction of the Twin Towers and World Trade Center 7 that were offered by the US government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology have been refuted by independent scientific studies which show that the buildings were brought down by explosive demolition.

    I am a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada. In early October of this year, I stood on the College’s parade square with several hundred other ex-cadets, including more than fifty from the class in which I graduated forty years ago, and watched as two currently serving officer cadets were presented with awards given to them by the bereaved families–parents, widows, and small children–of two RMC graduates recently killed in Afghanistan. I grieved then for the loss of those young lives, and I grieve now.

    I do not want to see any more young Canadians killed or maimed in a war that is grounded in a pack of lies about the events of 9/11.

    How then would I describe the behaviour of those, whether journalists or fellow citizens, who seek to obstruct, through mockery or through threats of de-funding, the honest research of scholars in Canadian universities into what happened on 9/11, and into the ways in which the events of that day have been so thoroughly obfuscated?

    I have one word to describe that mockery, and those threats. They are contemptible.

  6. How interesting: the British newspaper The Independent has named Professor Hall’s Earth Into Property as one of the best books of 2010. (See “The best books for Christmas: Our pick of 2010,” The Independent [26 November 2010].)

  7. You’re accusing the NIST of pseudo-science? Do you have advanced degrees in Civil, Structural, Mechanical, and Materials Engineering? Architecture? Physics? Do you even know what the NIST is actually tasked with, or how many other agencies and groups contributed to that report? The NIST is NOT the US Government – they are about as apolitical as you can get. Throw in for good measure the Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Society of Fire Protection Engineers, National Fire Protection Association, American Institute of Steel Construction, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, and the Structural Engineers Association of New York. But I guess all these groups are in on the conspiracy too hey? Just how many tens of thousands of people are “in the know” about “the truth,” and why have none of these people come forward with any shred of evidence to support the controlled demolition theory? And where are these independent scientific studies that refute the NIST report? Are they published? Certainly the NIST report is not perfect, no scientific paper ever is, but making the leap to controlled demolition is ludicrous. Ever heard of Occam’s Razor? Everyone in the entire world saw planes hit those buildings. Why is there a need to invoke an astronomically complex plan to blow the buildings up? And no, analyzing YouTube videos does not count as scientific.

    As for the actual “story” about the $8,000 scholarship – upon closer inspection I don’t see anything wrong with it. As a previous poster mentioned, it’s a University-given scholarship. So who cares. If this was a $40,000 SSHRC grant, then maybe I would have a problem.

    The assertion that we need privately-funded Universities is total garbage of course.

  8. Is the “lunacy” apparent to you, Robyn Urback, fourth year journalism student? Do you base this judgment on your years of study devoted to the complex event known as 9/11? Or is your judgment based on the fact that you, a self-described “conservative,” simply accept the word of the National Post and its resident propagandist Jonathan Kay?

    What a sad state of affairs in Canadian journalism. The country’s biggest newsmagazine assigns a journalism student to convey an opinion on such a massive historical event as 9/11. Even worse, that student then disparages an accomplished professor and an aspiring graduate student by declaring their collective intelligence on the subject of 9/11 “lunacy”. Urback demonstrates no understanding of the evidence for 9/11, and only slightly more ability to deploy ad hominems (what is “9/11 jabber,” anyway?).

    To conclude the “article” by declaring the need for a fully private university system demonstrates Urback is ready to be a primetime conservative hack like her hero Jonathan Kay. Personal attacks? Check. Absence of relevant information? Check. Neocon punchline? Check.

  9. My thoughts besides all the ad hominems, mostly against the author of this article. Did this unversity not produce something more substantial than this for the reward? I seriously could think of many other fields and venues to explore before this. I think this speaks to the unversity more then the person.

    Also I reject the notion of unversity “graduate research is that it challenges the status quo and seeks to break through conventional belief.”

    That kind of statement only reaffirms the post modern thought which undoubtedly Mr. Blakeney prescribes too. University should exist to create smarter and better citizens and people, however I am a dieing breed in this regard.

  10. I grew up in Toronto in the the days when Maclean’s Magazine was a credible media brand and not just another vehicle for the gutter tabloid journalism as advanced by the likes of Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, and their Canadian branch-plant imitators. Is The National Post and its propagandistic twin, Macleans, really proposing that universities should not conduct research on the background, substance, and outgrowths of 9/11, the single event that most dramatically transformed our global geopolitics; the event that was finessed to direct a flood of new public monies into the privatized terror economy?

    A fatwah on any graduate studies on 9/11 at Canadian universities? You can’t be serious.

    Should all the research be left to the likes of Jonathan Kay, who is writing his own book on 9/11? Who is financing Kay’s research? How much is he getting, from whom, and for what? Full disclosure please. Is Mr. Kay’s book being concocted to provide yet more propagandistic cover for lucrative political economy of the privatized terror economy?

    What are the financial arrangements that facilitate the work of Mr. Kay and the money-losing, perpetually bankrupt media venue that puts this man daily in the spotlight of what is sadly allowed to pass for mainstream political discourse in Canada these days? If The National Post and its editors do not offer up complete transparency on the financial arrangements surrounding Mr. Kay’s own agenda of 9/11 research and publication, something is terribly wrong. Even without knowing all the facts, however, I think I can make an educated that there is more in it for Mr. Kay in his own agenda of 9/11 research and publication than $7,800.

    And on the subject of publication, corruption, and the complete sabotage of meritocracy by the crass propagandists put in charge of Canada’s money-losing promotional vehicles for the military-industrial complex, I see huge my own recent work, Earth into Property, was not ignored in the UK. The Independent chose my second volume of The Bowl with One Spoon as one of the best works of English-language history in the world for 2010. Of course the existence, yet alone the substance, of this 900 page text, which is peer reviewed and published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, has yet to be noticed by The National Post or Macleans. I suppose after all the ink is spilled on the Levants and the Frums and the other lobbyists for the war machine, the oil conglomerates, and the privatized terror economy, that there is no space left for anything other than the kind of muck that began this discussion.

    Perhaps if Mr. Kay and Mr. Urback had taken the trouble to do some actual research on our scholarly progress in Globalization Studies at the University of Lethbridge, they might have come up with something a little less hysterical; something more fair and balanced. Full disclosure please, Mr. Kay. And good luck in the rest of your undergraduate studies Mr. Urback.

  11. I think Prof. Hall is accurate to describe the ongoing hostility towards 9/11 Studies as a fatwah. Where are the Salman Rushdie defenders now? Or do such individuals only like free speech if it criticizes Islam rather than helps exculpate framed Muslims who probably didn’t plan or execute 9/11? I suspect that the reason “journalists” at MacLeans and The National Post wish to cleanse 9/11 Studies from university campuses is because they are the ones who should have provided skeptical rather than gullible journalism in the aftermath of 9/11. They are the ones who should be keeping on top of the latest scholarship which addresses the subject of what did and did not happen on 9/11, reporting any new findings to the public. Could such “journalists” name the title of David Ray Griffin’s latest book if asked to do so? Of course not. They seek to create an environment in which students and professors are too petrified to author texts which expose the lies and crimes of 9/11. But they are failing and slowly but surely the state-sponsored interpretation of 9/11 is being exposed as implausible.

    I agree that Mr. Kay should disclose who is funding his 9/11 “Studies” and what their motive is. I am very excited to read Mr. Kay’s upcoming book “Among the Truthers.” It will, I anticipate, provide excellent content for my MA thesis. I intend in my thesis to scrutinize the arguments of those public “intellectuals” who are arrogating to themselves the role of “debunker” vis-à-vis the 9/11 truth movement. I am very curious to see if Mr. Kay will engage in any of the evidence which seems to contradict the Official Conspiracy Theory, or whether he will merely hope that his readers/paymasters are credulous or nefarious enough not to care whether or not he addresses the evidence adduced by 9/11 skeptics. Seeing how hostile Mr. Kay and his accomplices are to this Albertan tax payer – who is being funded to attempt to comprehend and interpret a vast body of knowledge about the most important event in contemporary history – makes me suspect that Mr. Kay and his accomplices hope their fatwah will achieve its goal of silencing or defunding me.

    Sadly, for Mr. Kay and his accomplices I fear nobody and will persist in my scholarship, journalism and research remorselessly and relentlessly. Most Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghani students don’t have the opportunity to study in peace because Arabs and Muslims were criminalized generically as a result of 9/11. Many Arabs and Muslims of my age have more than words being fired at them. I view my role as gathering evidence for the inevitable war crimes trials which will have to deal with the illegality which has prevailed since 9/11. Mr. Kay and his accomplices might consider googling “mens rea” and “Hans Fritzsche” some time.

  12. Hello Mr. Hall, Mr. Blakeney,

    Your points have been noted but I must correct you on one thing: I don’t believe I advocated a fatwa on graduate studies on 9/11 at Canadian universities. Indeed, quite the opposite. As I mentioned in my post, academic freedom is vital to the pursuit of knowledge at Canadian universities. Therefore, the collective conscience of the taxpayer should bear no weight on deciding which issues are deserving of study. That is not to say, however, that all criticism on the issue should be stifled. Indeed, you and I hold different opinions; I respect your right to express yours. I should hope you do mine.

    As well, and on the topic of research: For future reference, I generally go by “Ms. Urback.”

  13. To me Blakeney and Hall are quite obviously social scientists of a particular political bent who look at facts through the prism of their ideology. Its pretty clear from reading their political views that they object on a political basis to what has transpired post-9/11.

    The 9/11 “truth movement” is a bit of a black box in that without advanced education in engineering, physics, etc. we as the common folk have little way to analyze the competing claims with respect to the cause of the collapse of those buildings. Its easy to find a number of scientists to support a particular view and raisse some doubt. Heck my dear ole uncle is a signatory to a letter along with hundreds of other scientists questioning the science of AGW. I wouldn’t bother trying to argue with him but I still accept that he is probably wrong.

    From what I’ve seen and been able to understand the official explanation seems more plausible and has more widespread acceptance of people in the know. The US can’t even keep its diplomatic cables secret let a load a conspiracy of the magnitude of 9/11.

    Whatsmore, “truthers” tend to be almost unanimously of a particular political persuasion while anti-truthers span the spectrum. Noam Chomsky for instance, who one would think would be open and susceptible to 9/11 conspiracy theories, doesn’t buy it.

    As for funding for Mr. Blakeney’s research I see no reason why he shouldnt be approved. From my experience a lot of social science research by PhD candidates is of questionable public value, and Mr. Blakeney should not be denied simply for being a contrarian.

    But seriously Mr. Blakeney? Invoking Salman Rushdie? When you are living under state protection because of threats to your person, not to mention the murder and attempted murder of your translators and publishers THEN you can invoke Salman Rushdie. Having a couple editorialists question whether or not you should be receiving a government grant does not threaten your “free speech”.

  14. KC: You are wrong about Chomsky:

    Which “particular political persuasion” are the “truthers”? I am a Socialist. Many truthers are more in the Ron Paul school of thought. We are a really diverse group of analysts and investigators representing an array of political perspectives. Your speculation doesn’t seem to correspond with reality.

  15. KC refers to a “black box.” Interestingly the black boxes from the planes were never found in the debris at ground zero, a first for such crashes. But lo and behold the unburned passport of Atta apparently survived the debacle and was was discovered at the base of the pulverized towers. The three destroyed towers, hit by two jets, were vaporized and transformed in instants into masses of toxic, asbestos-laden powder that blanketed NYC. Human bodies and computers and such were obliterated beyond recognition but the paper passport miraculously survives.

    Meanwhile the evidence from the crime scene was hauled away as fast as possible, including human remains and all. And no investigation was started for over a year until the 9/11 families finally got the 9/11 Commission, which according to one of its Chairs was set up to fail. This Commission has been broadly condemned even by its own staff. John Farmer, for instance, the lead counsel for the 9/11 Commission, writes in his book about how government officials systematically lied about key aspects of the 9/11 episode, including the failures of NORAD.

    We need an investigation in Canada that goes far beyond $7,700 to help support the research of a single graduate student. We need to investigate the Canadian aspects of an episode that saw 24 Canadians murdered in the Twin Towers. We need a Canadian investigation of 9/11 that clarifies what did and did not happen to plunge Canadian armed forces into an illegal war of occupation in Afghanistan, where our soldiers are being killed even yet as they continue to be involved in killing and torturing Afghanis. We need a Canadian investigation, as well, because of our role in NORAD, the organization that failed so spectacularly to protect North American air space on that fateful when global geopolitics were refashioned.

    Stop the 9/11 Cover Up! Investigate 9/11.

  16. I didn’t know university of Lethbridge still existed. Wasn’t it turned into a highschool?

    Regardless, I don’t understand why they are wasting their precious funding on this stuff when they could put it into much more productive areas such as improving literacy and algebra skills of their graduates.

  17. Joshua – Hmmm so basically all anti-war ideologues? Thanks for proving my point.

    As for Chomsky, he also said this:

    Anthony – The ideology I refer to shows in your post. Its not about facts. Its about opposing an “illegal occupation” and the “killing and torturing [of] Afghanis”. But thats really beside the point as the issue is the facts.

    Its really not that hard to speculate how a passport court escape the inferno, get caught on a breeze and make it a few blocks from the WTC site. In fact its easy to see how a piece of paper could make that trip while a computer, human body or black box could not. This is the kind of pseudo scientific speculation that underlies the 9/11 “truth” movement.

    In any event, I’d ask for you to point out where in the 9/11 Commission Report where that is even cited as evidence for its conclusions?

    Furthermore, it is not true that there was no investigation until the 9/11 Commission. There was no investigation outside the executive branch until the 9/11 Commission.

  18. im pretty sure a tax payer from alberta who is pro-life would also disagree with their tax dollars going into research against that belief.
    Who are these journalists to judge what is important to research? or what research deserves funding?
    some Albertans might agree with this some wont….similare withe every other research.
    and this is ridiculous! how is this journalist so “SURE” of everything he claims to be Albertan public opinion?
    Even for those who are against the theory, the research has an advantage for them: assurance in their belief.
    also, according to traditional democratic theory, it is an essential requirement for the voter to be well informed on issues….and there is great consensus within the scientific community (there has been for decades) regarding the lack of this essential element within the US democracy. Therefore, without this essential element to maintain a “check” on democracy, it is rational to question the credibility of certain actions and events by the government.
    Certainly after the wall street mess and all the lying, cheating and deceiving (which is still occurring) people have the right to question the US and all their decisions!
    If the American people do not find importance in this….fine. But Canadians are affected everyday by US policies…namely their foreign policies…we DESERVE TO KNOW THE TRUTH.

  19. A quick seminar for David Leitch, who doesn’t like criticism of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology.

    1. “As apolitical as you can get?”

    NIST, an agency of the US Department of Commerce, was under direct Bush administration control. A NIST whistleblower went public in 2007, claiming that NIST had been “fully hijacked from the scientific into the political realm,” and that their work on 9/11 evidence was done under direct surveillance by the National Security Agency, senior officials of the Department of Commerce, and President Bush’s Office of Management and Budget. (See David Ray Griffin, ‘The New Pearl Harbor Revisited,’ pp. 11-12.)

    2. Some scientific studies:

    (a) Steven Jones et al., “Extremely high temperatures during the World Trade Center destruction,” ‘Journal of 9/11 Studies’ (January 2008);
    (b) Keven Ryan et al., “Environmental anomalies at the World Trade Center: evidence for energetic materials,” ‘The Environmentalist’ (August 2008);
    (c) Graeme MacQueen and Tony Szamboti, “The Missing Jolt: A Simple Refutation of the NIST-Bazant Collapse Hypothesis,” ‘Journal of 9/11 Studies’ (January 2009);
    (d) Niels Harrit et al., “Active Thermitic Material Dscovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” ‘The Open Chemical Physics Journal’ 2 (2009).

    3. Plus two studies of witness evidence, both by Graeme MacQueen:

    (a) “118 Witnesses: The Firefighters’ Testimony to Explosions in the Twin Towers,” ‘Journal of 9/11 Studies’ (August 2006);
    (b) “Waiting for Seven: WTC 7 Collapse Warnings in the FDNY Oral Histories,” ‘Journal of 9/11 Studies’ (January 2008).

    4. Occam’s Razor.

    Yes, I’ve heard of it. If David Leitch cares to look up William of Occam’s ‘Reportatio II’ (Book 3 of his ‘Super 4 Libros Sententiarum’), q. 150, he’ll learn that Occam himself thought the so-called “Razor”–his injunction against “multiplying entities” in causal explanations–doesn’t apply to observations of physical events.

    Of course two hijacked aircraft hit the Twin Towers. But NIST’s account of their destruction has been refuted, and the clear scientific evidence that explosives were used is massively supported by the testimony of witnesses.

    5. Since we’ve strayed into medieval philosophy…

    Let’s hear what another English Franciscan, Roger Bacon, said in the opening section of his ‘Opus Maius’ about the causes of error. “The four chief obstacles to grasping truth,” he says, “are submission to incorrect and unworthy authority; the influence of custom; popular prejudice; and concealment of our ignorance, accompanied by an ostentatious display of our knowledge.”

    Ouch. (That last phrase hurts.) Does the shoe pinch you as well, Dr. Leitch?

  20. Dear Michael Keefer,

    I hope you know your use of “scientific evidence” is terribly misguided, and that you are just pretending and are performing a study to see how people react to your statements…

    Sure, the Journal of 9/11 Studies and The Open Chemical Physics Journal contain peer-reviewed “science” – to the ability of those peers. There’s a reason why those “peers” are stuck submitting their articles into the open version of a real science journal, and the Journal of the 9/11 Conspiracy.

    “…the clear scientific evidence that explosives were used”
    What is this scientific evidence exactly? I fear you mean “the clear Youtube video analysis”…

  21. George,

    I’m sorry–I forgot to mention that the six studies I mentioned are all available online: Google will fetch them for you in an instant.

    Do please read them and form your own opinion of their significance.

  22. Anthony Hall,

    How do you have time to hunt down every possible disparaging comment on the internet about you and yours? Is this truly the best use of your time? Clearly your tenure is put to good use.

    Also, upon viewing your allegations about Shermer and the Claremont Institute I decided to go to the web site and search for myself. He is clearly identified as an adjunct professor. Further still, the institute has announced his return as a teacher. Unless you misspelled his first name, a simple mistake I grant you, his name appears in numerous entries that are dated well before your attack video on youtube. How did you miss those?

    Finally, as a current U of L undergrad looking to further my education in an MA program it shames me deeply that you insist on attacking visiting professors. The damage done to my school’s reputation across Canada is, frankly, unacceptable. There is a process for academic discourse and shouting at a lecturer till you get asked to leave the room is not part of it.

    As an academic, I’m sure you are well versed in the discovery of knowledge. Plato’s dialectic is quite explicit that calm and passionate discussion uncovers all truths. Might I humbly suggest a return to this practice?

  23. Anthony Hall,

    You may consider yourself and Mr. Blakeney to be revolutionaries and academics, simply seeking the “truth.” But what I often wonder is, what will both of you be doing in your old age, when everything you have said, erroneously posited, and claim to fight for, has amounted to nothing. This is what happens when adults act on fantasies, rebel against reality, and consider anyone who might question or disagree with them, an “enemy” of the truth. You regard other human beings as props in your own personal fantasy, and when these props disagree, you label them racist, prejudiced, ignorant, or part of a corporate conspiracy. Of course, the only objective, innately just, and caring human beings in this fantasy are Prof. Hall and his associates. But that’s not the point. The point is that everyone can be as objective and truly just as Prof. Hall, provided they agree with him about everything first. Intellectual? Try ideologue. Then again, revolutionaries seeking the “truth” man, usually are.

  24. I did my undergrad at the University of Lethbridge, and took a couple of courses with Dr. Hall. There is no question that Tony is a controversial figure. In fact, I think he revels in controversy. But a quick perusal of the comments and allegations made against him reveal that his critics focus almost entirely on his character, rather than on his arguments. Attacking the person rather than the argument is certainly simpler than critically reading his books and essays, and then balancing things out with books and essays making counter-arguments. It doesn’t accomplish much, however. The man likes a debate, so I encourage anyone with a critical mind and a suspicion of the credibility of Hall’s (or Blakeney’s) research to pick out where cracks in the arguments may lie, and challenge them on it.

    As far as Josh Blakeney’s funding goes, I say go for it, and congratulations on the scholarship! There are far too many unanswered questions regarding the events of September 11th, and the more we encourage people to do research from as many perspectives as possible, the closer we get to some semblance of truth. This is what universities are supposed to do. To those who are offended by the expenditure of academic funds on the topic, I say keep an open mind. At least this topic is interesting.

  25. Bravo to both Mr Blakeney and Dr Hall. I am heartened to hear that there are those in academia who seek the truth rather than bowing down to political expediency. Academic honesty, and indeed, honesty are in such short supply that they are a rare and precious commodity in nations where the minds of its citizens are so completely controlled. It seems that democracy, freedom of speech, and academic honesty, are only applicable to those who parrot the official party line. Consider the examples of Phil Donahue, Norman Finkelstein, and Susan Lindauer.

    As for Macleans, shame on you. At one time you were a respectable Canadian publication but now you are nothing more than a supermarket tabloid as evidenced by such gems as “Too Asian?”.

  26. I believe there is a great misunderstanding of what is and isn’t academic freedom. And I speak as a professor of 30 some years in a Canadian university.

    Academic freedom means the right of a professor to speak and publish in his domain of expertise without fear of reprisal. Also to guide graduate students in this same field. M. Hall is a “professor of globalization” (though I do not know what that means) – and not an expert in “conspiracy theories,” a field absent from all universities. So M. Hall can research globalization all he wants but given that he isn’t a professor of engineering, his views on how the twin towers fell are not protected by academic freedom.

    As far as I know how the twin towers fell is a subject that top engineers and scientists have studied in minute details, about heat, steel, the specifications of the building etc. Given that M. Hall lacks any recognized qualifications in these domains, his views on them is not covered by academic freedom.

    Professors are hired to teach in their sphere of competence, of their specialization. They do not have the right to stand up in classroom and lecture students about any idea that may cross their minds. Professors have the right to freedom of speech, of course. But not in the classrooms: imagine if business students interested in learning about how to solve tough political, financial, corruption, exchange related issues in a course about globalization, find out that their professors talk about the da Vinci Code.

    M. Hall is dragging academic research into disrepute. By all means he has the right to speculate, or believe in UFOs or in this case, in a vast conspiracy. And if he did solid research on the latter, and the university promoted him as professor because of his finding – then he could speak about it and be covered by academic freedom. But if this is not the case, perhaps universities should start imposing what contractual agreements and academic tradition required. It’s about time.

    Gabrielle A. Brenner