Timely and incisive analysis, this is the text of a talk given by Prof. Graeme MacQueen at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, on Nov. 18, 2015.
Good evening. I have two sets of introductory comments.
First, my aim tonight is not to prove each of my assertions with a wealth of evidence but to survey four cases briefly in order to reveal a pattern. If you feel I may be on to something it will be up to you to look at these cases in more detail.
Secondly, as a Canadian addressing other Canadians, I want to note that I am aware of the taboos this talk is violating. I will be making claims, and pointing out patterns, that are unwelcome in mainstream society today in Canada. The taboos are held in place with heavy silence and with ridicule, and they are, in my opinion, crucial to the maintenance of the “War on Terror”.
The taboos are strong in the media, the universities, and in all sectors of government. Since my theme today has to do with legislatures, and since we have just experienced a federal election in Canada, I will give two recent examples from the political arena.
Although the two examples concern the Liberal Party, I am not implying this party is alone in its observance of this taboo. As far as I can discover the taboo is found in all of Canada’s major political parties.
While the election campaign was in full swing there was much searching through the records of all candidates (their social media records, for example) by opposing parties for material that could be used to discredit them. It turned out that two Liberal candidates had at one point in the past expressed skepticism about the official account of 9/11. The discovery of this material immediately created a crisis. Both candidates quickly made formal public statements:
(a) “I want to be extremely clear. I do not question any aspects of what occurred during the tragic events on September 11th, 2001. Let there be no doubt about it.”
Maria Manna, Liberal candidate in British Columbia
(b) “Let’s be crystal clear: I have never and do not question the events which took place on Sept. 11, 2001.”
David Graham, Liberal candidate in Quebec
These are peculiar statements. They do not seem to have been written independently and they verge on the incomprehensible. What, after all, does it mean to say you do not question an event? The verb “question” would normally mean in such a context “to doubt.” But how can we doubt an event?
An event is what it is. Perhaps the writer of these statements is using the verb to mean, “to have questions about.” But surely the candidates are not bragging that they have no questions about the events of that day? Over one-third of Canadians and Americans, as revealed by numerous polls, have serious questions about the events of the day. Why would their representatives have no questions? How could it be a virtue to have no questions? Have the candidates studied these events deeply and resolved all questions? Even the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which produced the most detailed official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, has admitted that it has been left with questions about these collapses. Perhaps Ms. Manna and Mr. Graham should explain to NIST how they have resolved all the confusions?
Or do these candidates mean they do not have any doubts about the official account of the events of 9/11? This would be a different statement altogether. And in this case, which account are they actually referring to? The Canadian government has no independent account of what happened on that day. A citizen’s petition for an independent investigation was rejected with contempt by Steven Blaney, the Minister of Public Safety under the Conservative government. So, is it the U.S. government’s account that the candidates are affirming? This account, to the extent that there is a single account, is the ultimate responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which was charged with investigating the crime. But do Ms. Manna and Mr. Graham even know what the FBI’s position is? Do they know, for example, that the FBI never even charged Osama bin Laden with the crimes of 9/11 because they had insufficient evidence? Do they know that the 9/11 Commission, tasked with writing a public report on the events of 9/11, made extensive use of the weakest of claims—claims made under torture?
Frankly, I do not think these candidates’ assertions have anything to do with evidence or reason. I believe they are best understood as loyalty oaths. I think they mean something like this:
“As far as this founding event in the War on Terror is concerned, we promise to accept as true, without investigation or critical inquiry, whatever Canadian authorities accept as true. If Canadian authorities, without conducting an investigation, have faith in statements made under torture and in unsupported claims made by a foreign intelligence agency, then we will share that faith.”
These loyalty oaths suggest that anyone who raises questions about the claims made by this foreign intelligence agency, and supported by acts that violate international law, will be excluded from the Canadian Parliament. Such people will not be permitted to represent the Canadian people or to help steer this country into the future. What a staggering notion.
The loyalty oaths I have been discussing serve well to introduce today’s talk because my theme is the bullying of legislatures in North America. But I wish to go beyond the sort of bullying indicated in loyalty oaths. I want to look at an even more gross form of bullying, the use of physical threat.
My basic claim is simple: physical intimidation of elected representatives, as suggested in the four instances I will discuss, is a core feature of the War on Terror. And this is a direct attack on representative democracy….