An Open Letter to Dr. Paul Viminitz: 9/11 Evidence vs. Straw Man Arguments

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“Viminitz presupposes the veracity of the wholly debunked Official Conspiracy Theory (OCT) of 9/11. I suspect not until I challenged him, during the period when I was his student, had he even considered the possibility that the OCT could be false.”

 

by Joshua Blakeney

 

Whilst studying for my undergraduate degree in Sociology at the University of Lethbridge I took a class in Critical Thinking (i.e. Logic) taught by Professor Paul Viminitz, a member of the Philosophy department who purports to be “Canada’s foremost philosopher-of-war” as “Canada’s only philosopher-of-war.” As a result of my interest in Professor Viminitz’s scholarship on the subject of War I decided to read his 2005 paper published in the Journal of Philosophical Research entitled “A Defence of Terrorism” in which he advances the thesis “that terrorism is not only permissible but permissible categorically. Moreover, where neither championing nor passive resistance are available, terrorism may even be morally mandatory.”  The case study he takes as the focus of his discussion is that of 9/11, a terrorist attack he inaccurately attributes to Osama bin Laden.

Prof. Viminitz prescribes to the debunked “Blowback Theory” of 9/11 in his paper, arguing that Islamist terrorists attacked the U.S. because of the U.S. and Israel’s deleterious policies in the Middle East. He writes, “By supporting the State of Israel militarily since its inception, the United States of America has been at war with the Palestinian people for over half a century. But not just against the Palestinians. American forces in Saudi Arabia are arguably all that stand between the Saudi royal family and ignominious overthrow. Likewise in Jordan and Egypt. Thus from the perspective of many Moslems, Egypt’s Mubarek and Jordan’s Hussein are no less Quislings than was the Shah of Iran, or the current regime in Pakistan. ” Thus, for him, “the attack on the World Trade Centre [was] an act of war rather than of mere criminality.”

Professor Paul Viminitz, Canada's "foremost philosopher-of-war", presupposes the veracity of the official story of 9/11 in his pedagogy and scholarship.

Throughout his article (and in his pedagogy) Viminitz presupposes the veracity of the wholly debunked Official Conspiracy Theory (OCT) of 9/11. I suspect not until I challenged him, during the period when I was his student, had he even considered the possibility that the OCT could be false. And that is the case with many academicians despite the efforts of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Pilots for 9/11 Truth, Scholars for 9/11 Truth, and many other individuals, including, for example, David Ray Griffin, Ph.D., the leading expert on the events of 9/11, who has now published no less than ten books on the subject, including Debunking 9/11 Debunking (2007) The New Pearl Harbor Revisited (2008), Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (2009), and Cognitive Infiltration (2010).  I would like to believe that a scholar of Viminitz’s distinction would be familiar with works by the leading expert on 9/11, including these, but from the incredibly elusive and vague responses he has provided, it appears not. Professor Anthony J. Hall, my MA supervisor, has addressed the subject of what did and did not happen on 9/11 in chapter 13 of his peer-reviewed text Earth into Property: Colonization, Decolonization and Capitalism which was selected by the UK Independent as one of the “best history books of 2010”. Prof. Viminitz has no qualms including his colleague, who disbelieves the OCT, among those he lumps together under the rubric of “conspiracy theorists”.

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Here is an example of four serious academics; Prof. Anthony J. Hall, Prof. Michael Keefer, Prof. John McMurtry and Prof. Graeme MacQueen addressing the subject of 9/11 in a manner that stands in stark contrast to that of Prof. Viminitz 

While Prof. Viminitz parrots the OCT, he offers no evidence to support it. One would have thought that a professor of Logic would realize that offering conclusions without premises to support them qualifies as begging the question by taking for granted an assumption that requires independent justification. If there were any reason to believe that his response was supposed to be serious rather than cynical, my inference would be that he offers no evidentiary support because there is no evidence to support his 9/11 conspiracy theory. He might, of course appeal to The 9/11 Commission Report (2004), but that would be embarrassing, insofar as Prof. Griffin has done such a masterful job of taking it apart in The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (2004). As a student in Prof. Viminitz’s Logic classes, which were almost entirely dedicated to distinguishing between valid arguments (whose conclusions cannot be false when their premises are true) and invalid ones (whose conclusions can still be false even when their premises are true), it has become apparent to me that the arguments he presents in “A Defence of Terrorism” are, more often than not, themselves based upon a false premise, namely, that al-Qaeda militants collaborating with their compadres ensconsed in caves in Afghanistan committed the atrocities of 9/11. Ironically Prof. Viminitz appears to have fallen victim to reasoning based upon false premises, which was among the logical fallacies that he was instructing us, his students, to avoid.

The book "Philosophy 9/11" provides students of 9/11 with fourteen essays all of which un-skeptically presuppose the veracity of the official story of 9/11 including one essay authored by an Israeli professor, Daniel Statman, who argues for extra-judicial assassinations of Muslims. Rather than proving that Islamists were involved in 9/11 all the authors take this for granted. Hannah Arendt might have viewed this book as illustrating the banality of evil.

Upon broaching the subject with Prof. Viminitz — that he might have been basing his scholarship and pedagogy on a false-premise — I found him to be dismissive and nonchalant. In response to my concern that “Canada’s only philosopher-of-war” might have misconstrued the origins of the most significant and prolonged war(s) in history Prof. Viminitz either cracked jokes about the “grassy-knoll” and “conspiracy theories” or employed abstract philosophical jargon to dismiss what I was asserting with no concern for empirical or other forms of evidence. When I told him that Professor John McMurtry, one of Canada’s foremost philosophers, was also a 9/11 skeptic, Professor Viminitz stated that he felt Prof. McMurtry was “making a mistake.” He offered no evidence, however, to demonstrate where Prof. McMurtry had gone wrong, advancing instead a priori speculations in a manner quite unbefitting a professor of Logic. Prof. McMurtry could legitimately argue that it is Prof. Viminitz who is making the “mistake”, especially since it has become increasingly apparent that, while Prof. McMurtry has actually studied the case, that does not appear to be the case for Prof. Viminitz.

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If Prof. Viminitz conceded that he’d never studied the case, that he was incorrect to have presupposed the OCT and that he was in fact an agnostic who had neither studied the 9/11 Commission Report nor the scholarly critiques of it, then he couldn’t be faulted. But, unfortunately Viminitz has chosen to dig himself deeper into the hole he entered with the publication of “A Defence of Terrorism.”

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In this video Prof. Viminitz wonders why he isn’t getting hastled at airports for writing his paper “A Defence of Terrorism.” The answer is that his paper reinforces the Islamophobic myth that 9/11 was perpetrated by Islamists and therefore helps rather than hinders the Israelocentric 9/11 wars. With most airport security being run by Israeli companies, including all airports implicated on 9/11, Viminitz should be fine travelling in the future due to his gullible belief in 9/11 miracles 

Viminitz Ups the Ante

 

I recently happened to walk past Professor Viminitz’s office and noticed that on his door he had posted a document penned by him entitled “Wrongmotive Theories”, which seemed to be regurgitating the multiple fallacious arguments that he proffered in response to the challenges I had posed to him in Spring of 2010 when I was his student in Logic. Those fallacies include the straw-man arguments (by exaggerating the position you want to debunk to make it easier to attack) and the supposition that, because many conspiracy theories in the past have turned out to be false (such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion), that post-2001 theories alleging CIA complicity in the events of 9/11 must therefore also be false. That, of course, is an inference from the past to the future, which, as a form of inductive reasoning, cannot possibly be valid.

Moreover, Viminitz fails to acknowledge that the theory he presupposes in his scholarship and pedagogy is a conspiracy theory itself, insofar as the “official conspiracy theory” (OCT) maintains that two or more individuals — 19, actually, acting under the control of a guy in a cave in Afghanistan — collaborated in the commission of a crime.  What this means is that, in fact, one cannot speak about the events of 9/11 unless one is willing to entertain one or more conspiracy theories. The most germaine question is of course: which of those conspiracy theories is best supported by the available evidence and which are not?

I wrote to Prof. Viminitz a polite and temperate email asking him to send me a copy of his paper on “Wrongmotive Theories.” I wrote on September 22nd,

On September 24th I followed up with this more forthright email which I ccd to three members of the Philosophy department including Professor Trudy Govier who, whilst being highly progressive when compared to Viminitz, regrettably contributed to the book, Philosophy 9/11: Thinking About the War on Terrorism (2005), which contains fourteen essays all of which presuppose the false, Islamophobia-inducing official narrative of 9/11.

Having waited for more than two months for a response, I received the following reply from Prof. Viminitz on Friday, November 25th:

 

My Response

 

Dr. Viminitz,

It becomes more and more clear that you’re not interested in the evidence (what Donald Rumsfeld would call the “known knowns”) about 9/11. If you had taken a cursory glance at any of the serious scholarship emanating from the 9/11 Truth movement, you would know that nobody alleges that Blackwater was involved in 9/11, which makes that argument a straw man. Furthermore, while it is the case that 15 of the 19 alleged hijackers were Saudi Arabians, the theory that Saudi Arabia as a state was implicated in 9/11 leads researchers on a wild goose chase and, as a result, was popularized by Michael Moore — whose agent and advisor is Rahm Emanuel’s brother, Ari Emanuel — to deflect attention from the actual perpetrators of 9/11, namely right-wing Israelis and their neocon allies (most of whom were Zionists who had a vested interest in Israel’s enemies being demonized). In case you may be unaware, Rahm and Ari’s father helped blow up the King David Hotel. Michael Moore’s agent and advisor is an ardent Zionist, who would have an interest in demonizing Saudi Arabia and deflecting attention away from Israel’s malfeasance. http://mondoweiss.net/2008/11/rahm-emanuels-daddy-was-in-jewish-terrorist-organization.html Immediately after 9/11 there was a slew of disinformation disseminated by the usual suspects to blame the Saudis for complicity in 9/11 which resulted in many anti-war activists and researchers barking up the wrong tree when it came to solving the 9/11 crime. Philip Weiss has offered one hypothesis to explain why there was an environment conducive to the spreading of anti-Saudi (and thus by extension pro-Israel) disinformation immediately after 9/11. It should be remembered that the goal of the Israeli government has always been to attain regional hegemony in the Middle East. U.S. sponsorship of the Saudis has always been disdained by the Israeli government which wants a balkanized and weakened Middle East ensemble.

Israel has long hated the U.S. government’s special relationship with Arab strongmen and therefore probably had books falsely implicating Saudi Arabia in 9/11 preprepared before 9/11 to make progressives bark up the wrong tree post-9/11. Bin Laden had nothing to do with 9/11 and those 15 Saudis weren’t Islamists and didn’t board any “planes”. Discussing the Saudis vis-a-vis 9/11 distracts us from exposing the real 9/11 criminals.

You talk of the pre-9/11 US “War on Islam.” Actually during the Cold War the U.S. collaborated extensively with Islamists because they shared an enemy of godless Communism. Israel conversely does have a vested interest in a War on Islam as I explained in one of my recent TV appearances:

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Joshua Blakeney Explains the Likudnik Origins of the Global War on Terror on Local TV on Vancouver Island

You’re assertion: “Now of course each view postulates a conspiracy both cleverer and more widespread than the one before it. We reach the limit only when the postulated theory involves ALL of us”, reflects your ignorance on the subject of 9/11 where it is the government and their mouthpieces offering theory and those of us who disbelieve that theory who offer facts which bring into question the plausibility of that theory.

You are implying that the OCT is the simplest and therefore the preferable theory to account for 9/11. But that would be the case only if the OCT were actually capable of explaining the available relevant evidence better than the alternative-hypotheses the straw-man versions of which you are attempting to debunk. Are you aware, however, that

(1) Scholars for 9/11 Truth has established “20 reasons the ‘official account’ of 9/11 is wrong”, including that the fires in the Twin Towers burned neither long enough nor hot enough to cause the steel to weaken, much less melt?

(2) Elias Davidsson, “There is no evidence that Muslims committed the crime of 9/11”, has shown that the U.S. government has never even been able to prove that the alleged hijackers were aboard any of those planes?

(3) David Ray Griffin, “Phone Calls from the 9/11 Airliners”, building on the previous research of A.K. Dewdney of UWO, ha shown that all of those alleged phone calls from all of those alleged airlines were faked?

(4) Leslie Raphael, “Jules Naudet’s 9/11 Film was Staged”, has demonstrated that around one hundred “coincidences” had to have been satisfied for Naudet to have been in exactly the right position to film?

(5) Jim Fetzer, “Inside Job: More Proof of 9/11 Duplicity”, has demonstrated that there are serious anomalies in the footage of the North and South Tower “hits” and the evidence about Shanksville?

(6) Craig Furlong and Gordon Ross, “Seismic Proof: 9/11 was an inside job”, have established that there were explosions in the subbasements of both towers 14 and 17 second before any plane hits?

(7) Jim Fetzer, “What Didn’t Happen at the Pentagon”, has established using photographs and evidence from Pilots for 9/11 Truth and CIT that a Boeing 757 flew over the building but did not hit it?

(8) Killtown has shown that there is no credible evidence that a second Boeing 757 actually crashed in Shanksville? actually crashed in Shanksville

(9) Jim Fetzer, “The BBC’s instrument of 9/11 misinformation”, who has been featured in both of its “Conspiracy Files” documentaries on 9/11, has proven it has been covering up 9/11?

(10) Jim Fetzer and Preston James, “Peeling the 9/11 Onion:  Layers of Plots within Plots”, have substantiated that 9/11 was an inside job driven by a neo-con/Israeli political agenda?

You will have noticed that I am citing several studies by Jim Fetzer for several highly appropriate reasons.  First, he, like you, is a professor of philosophy who spent 35 years offering courses in logic, critical thinking, and scientific reasoning.  Second, he is the founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, edited its first book, The 9/11 Conspiracy (2007), organized its first conference, “9/11: What’s Controversial, What’s Not”, in Madison, WI, and produced its first DVD, “The Science and Politics of 9/11”. Third, unlike you, Prof. Fetzer is doing serious research on 9/11, which comes to grips with the evidence in this case, which you are not.  He has presented lectures around the world, including a 3.5 hour appearance on television in Athens in 2006, which was broadcast by satellite around the world.  He has spoken in Buenos Aires twice, most recently as the keynote speaker at An International Symposium on 9/11 Truth and Justice held at The National Library of the Republic of Argentina on 11 September 2009.  And he organized the symposium, “Debunking the ‘War on Terror'”, in London on 14 July 2010, where he spoke with Kevin Barrett and Gilad Atzman and for which Ken O’Keefe served as the master of ceremonies.

Prof. Fetzer is McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth.  Among his most recent presentations on 9/11 are an interview on “The Unexplained” with Howard Hughes of the UK on 3 September 2011 and “False Flag Terror and the Rise of the Global Police State” in Portland on 9 September 2011. I think to provide students with some counterbalance to your presentations, which have struck me as speculative and uninformed, that the philosophy department should invite Prof. Fetzer to be next year’s distinguished lecturer.  In the past, I have asked Prof. Fetzer what he took to be the most telling indications of 9/11 duplicity, where he told me that anyone who has ever seen footage of the destruction of the North Tower, for example, should ask themselves the following: The government has told us that the Twin Towers collapsed because of the combined influence of the plane crashes, the fires that resulted and the effects of gravity.  Since gravity operates in only one direction, down, he observed, how can it be that these buildings are blowing apart in every direction from the top down?  That, after all, is what we would expect from the use of explosives, not gravity.  I have always thought that he made an excellent point, which I therefore address to you:  How do you explain this?

Motives and Evidence

In you’re falsely-premised essay “A Defense of Terrorism” you write “In fact if push came to shove, as a Jew I’d be fighting for Israel with nary a thought to the Palestinian children whose heads I’d be blasting off with the shells aimed at their hillside shanties. Two peoples, mine and theirs, each want the same piece of territory, and neither, it would seem, is prepared to share with the other. What choice is there but war?!”

I can identify two possible motives for your absurd attempts to discredit 9/11 skeptics: 1) you wrote an essay which was based on the false-premise that bin Laden and al-Qaeda did 9/11 when in fact, thanks to 9/11 skeptics, it has been demonstrated that there is scant evidence to support this theory and 2) because you’re someone who is evidently partisan to Israel at some guttural level you realize that if Israel did 9/11, as much evidence suggests, that this could have negative implications for you and therefore you’re willing to abandon traditional methods of distinguishing between fact and fiction because you have a vested interest in the public believing Muslims rather than Zionists orchestrated 9/11 and the 9/11 wars. I imagine if Israel had done 9/11 to get the U.S. to fight Israel’s adversaries and to prevent the U.S. from casting the ethnic nationalist state adrift — as the U.S. did with the Afrikaner-ethnic nationalists once their Cold War function had been served — that you as a Hobbsian would have no problem with this. After all you argue in “A Defence of Terrorism” “that terrorism is not only permissible but permissible categorically. Moreover, where neither championing nor passive resistance are available, terrorism may even be morally mandatory.” I suppose if one was to read “A Defence of Terrorism” esoterically we might see that you’re actually defending Israel doing 9/11 (and by extension other terrorist attacks such as 7/7 and the Norway massacre) whilst on the surface reaffirming the blood-lible that Islamists did 9/11 (when in fact British Intelligence documents suggest that Mossad controlled these mostly secular patsies who didn’t even board the planes on 9/11) thus serving your self-interest as someone who looks to Israel as a safe-haven.

How would you answer a student who asked you why, according to Ha’aretz, Odigo workers were warned about 9/11? Or one who asked about Hani Hanjour, according to FBI documents, being issued with a pilots licence by a former Israeli Defence Force paratrooper named Eddie Shalev? Or one who asked about the 180 Mossad agents reportedly arrested in 2001 and the five specifically arrested on 9/11? I’d be interested to know your answers to these questions. Surely Canada’s philosopher of war ought to have answers to such questions in his back pocket?

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An Israeli agent confesses to foreknowledge of 9/11

Now I’ve presented you with this information will you incorporate it into your curricula or will you willfully miseducate your students because it’s more expedient for you to repeat the 9/11 lies?

With appreciation,

Joshua Blakeney

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