Now the Stalinist regimes have mostly found their rightful place in the dustbin of history (North Korea apart) it is unusual to be treated to such a monologue as Webster Griffin Tarpley (WGT) offered us on Bonfire night, in the splendid Georgian surroundings of St John's Church, Waterloo, the first stop on his European tour spreading enlightenment (and selling merchandise) to anybody willing to stump up the readies (£5/£3). Larry O'Hara and Paul Stott dissect his talk.
There was much of interest in his talk - albeit accompanied by unsubstantiated claims as grandiose as they were amusing. Before the talk, O'Hara approached WGT to buy yet another edition of 9/11 Synthetic Terror (the 4th in two years), and flummoxed the deity by stating he was a fan of Italian leftist Toni Negri, somebody WGT has boasted of "framing and helping jail" (O'Hara's words). Indeed, the book boasts (p.9) that his research was the basis for Judge Calogero's prosecution of Negri.
Thus confronted by O'Hara, WGT showed all the composure of a goldfish on a bicycle. No wonder he did not take questions later. Moving onto the talk proper, all 2 hrs 41 minutes, it was a veritable Cook's Tour of world history and philosophy, almost perfectly designed for an internet-debased audience who barely read, never mind think critically. Thus, we heard figures as diverse as John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Francis Walsingham, Ben Johnson, Giordan Bruno and so on, were either plagiarists and/or agents of the Venetian overlords.
Fiction As Fact
The key source for this world conspiracy (aside from renowned political scientist William Shakespeare, who managed to write a few plays too apparently!) uncovered by WTG is, wait for it, an 1844 novel (Coningsby)by later Tory leader Benjamin Disraeli, who saw the Whigs (his political opponents) as basically Venetians in mufti. That novel (by definition unreferenced) cannot be seen as an unimpeachable (to coin a phrase) primary source, any more than Shakespeare can, eludes Mr Tarpley. As too the fact that citing two Jesuit historians as principal sources on the 1605 Gunpowder Plot is, shall we say, suspect methodologically. Now, there is a strong weight of evidence pointing to that plot has having been a state-inspired set-up from the start--though evidence it was at the behest of a (luckily invisible) Venetian shadow government is, shall we say politely, still awaited.
Intriguingly, WTG furiously attacked medieval philosopher William of Ockham, decrying especially his notion that the simplest explanation for an event is usually appropriate. This attack is interesting as it points to a fundamental element of WTG's method--any evidence contradicting, or not easily fitting, his pre-ordained ideological perspective is ruthlessly ignored, trivialised, or abused. At one point, speaking of 25 'practice drills' taking place on/around 9/11, WTG said "the details are not important, its the concepts that matter". For WTG, 'concept' is not a constantly-honed empirically-defined variable, but an ideologically-inspired straitjacket, imposed by legerdemain on a passive and gullible audience. Many of the drills he talks of actually ended months before 9/11 - but hey, who cares about the facts?
Playing to the conspiracy-theorist gallery, we were told that "concepts matter not the volume of information". Abraham Lincoln was claimed by WTG to be a "conspiracy theorist" - yet one instance he provided, of Lincoln wanting to examine the precise flashpoint that led to the US-Mexican War, shows Lincoln to be a man interested in empirical evidence, something that WGT cannot be credibly accused of. More snake oil madam?
Take, for example, the vitriol poured on Richard A. Clarke by WTG, who declared that Clarke, Presidential Security Adviser, was the man who "invented" the myth of Al Qaeda responsibility for 9/11 on the day itself, in the White House. Self-serving as Clarke undoubtedly is, for WTG to ignore all the warnings about Al Qaeda Clarke had been trying to place on the political agenda pre-9/11 is dishonest. As too, WTG not telling his audience that far from Clarke putting Al Qaeda in the frame on 9/11 being accepted without demur, Rumsfeld, Cheney & later Bush ignored him because they had their own game plan - invading Afghanistan, and their own fall-guy -Saddam Hussein.
An interesting aspect to the talk was the visceral anti-Leftism displayed by this old La Rouchite: Karl Marx dismissed as a sub-agent of the British Foreign Office, although with a typical lack of precision WTG said also of Marx "is he a dupe or an agent - only a psychiatrist could say for sure".
Veteran anarchist Emma Goldman was dismissed as an agent of the British, controller of the anarchist who assassinated President McKinlay in 1901. In the vernacular she "prepped" Czolgosz to kill him. WGT's is a sad and venal world, where the broad thrust of history and social forces, as well as thought, is reduced to the lowest possible denominator, constantly. There are in his world three types of historical actor--patsies (set up to do bad deeds, often unwittingly), moles (infiltrating organisations on behlf of the invisible government) and technicians (CIA/Special firces etc).
Beyond them is the 'corporate media' (brainwash machine), designated drills (as cover for false flag operations) and privately-run 'command centres'. Now, there are grains of truth in some of these things - but WTG in effect reduces history to such plots/plotters, leaving out social forces, economics and of course mass participation as anything more than a 'stage army' inspired by people who are often dismissed as 'agents' anyway, as though that would explain the totality of anybody's life. Complex ideas and historical events are reduced to simplistic gobbledy-gook - Stalin is described as following the ideas of Marx (Trotsky, Vera Zasulich and even Marx himself would dissent on that one), Nazism is a 'Frankenstein' amalgam of extreme nationalism (state-sponsored of course) and Marxism (Foreign office creation).
Finally Getting To The Point
The 9/11 addicted audience was eventually rewarded for its patience, with WGT purporting to analyse Bush's behaviour on the morning of the attacks. According to WGT, as Bush read to schoolchildren in Florida, the coup plotters message was passed on "Angel is Next" - Air Force 1 is next. Yet just a couple of minutes later, WGT moved this threat to the President of the Unites States as being made on board the Presidential flight away from the area. Make your mind up WGT!
While providing no evidence-based refutation of Clarke's contemporary account, WGT towards the peak of his monologue (by which time one audience member behind us was snoring loudly, others had begun to sneak out early) proceeded to slip in the claim that Bush on the day of 9/11 was negotiating with the 'coup plotters; who were in part in the White House - in the very room Clarke was in! Interesting claim - but no evidence given, other than a slide of Bush looking at some TV screens. Which proves nothing, other than that he was maybe wondering where Presidential Chief Adviser Homer Simpson was that morning!
It is perhaps a low blow to quote some of WTG's whackier claims, but lets do it anyway. Whilst most people associate the 1999 US attack on Serbia with Bill Clinton, to WTG this was ordered by Al Gore, to impress Prince Charles! What next - was the US invasion of Grenada an attempt to impress Prince Edward? Moving forward, he stated that the 2004 train bomb attacks in Madrid were carried out by NATO intelligence, to allow the 'neo-fascist" Aznar the opportunity to install himself as dictator. No evidence for this was cited, but then again the reader should not be expecting any by now.
We could say more about the content, but hopefully you will have got a flavour. What, exactly, did WTG propose the audience (or at least those awake at the end) do after being imparted with this earth-shattering knowledge? Certainly not critically discuss it - there was no time for any questions at all! Aside from a pipe-dream of impeaching George Bush/Dick Cheney - which we should all urgently ring up radio talk-shows to talk about apparently, the only practical suggestion is buy his books.
As Private Eye might say, er...that's it! Clearly, this last injunction does work - in two years WTG has brought out 4 editions of '9/11 Synthetic Terror', this last only differing from version 3 by a 20 page afterword and a couple of reprinted speeches. As the old saying goes, Enlightenment does indeed pay...