July 21, 2006

Wisconsin lawmakers want 9/11 conspiracy theorist axed

From the Chicago Tribune:

Sixty-one state lawmakers sent a letter Thursday calling on University of Wisconsin-Madison to fire an instructor who believes the U.S. government orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The letter signed by 52 Assembly representatives and nine state senators, including Republican leaders, condemns a decision earlier this month by UW-Madison Provost Pat Farrell allowing Kevin Barrett to teach an introductory class this fall on Islam.

Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, said the letter, which called Barrett's views "academically dishonest,'' sent a strong message to top UW leaders.

"When 61 legislators condemn a decision by UW-Madison and demand the dismissal of Kevin Barrett, the leadership of the UW System operates at its own peril if it continues to ignore views of the taxpayers,'' he said in a statement.

As I noted here, I don't think it's a big deal that Barrett teaches this course. Yeah, he's a nut, but apparently he uses his nutty theories as only "one perspective" of the course. I suppose I can see how "professional incompetence" could come into play (like allowing a professor to teach that the Holocaust did not really happen), but, again, Barrett claims his "alternate" theories are but a small part of the class and 9/11 is certainly very new history, not even five years old. I'm open to the possibility that additional information about the attacks could come to light; however, nothing I've seen in Barrett's "research" has swayed me even slightly.

Posted by Felix at July 21, 2006 01:10 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

As i was in the case of the disgusting Ward Churchill, I am troubled by legislators atteempting to fire a professor with unpopular views.

Prove wrongdoing on this clowns part (as ws done with Churchill) and I will support firing him.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at July 21, 2006 10:08 PM

I'm confused. You mean the government didn't orchestrate 9/11?

Ok, ok, they didn't, but they sure seem to use the incident to justify everything they do.

Posted by: PoliticalCritic at July 22, 2006 07:30 PM

How about this; let him teach but prohibit him from giving that "one perspective".

Posted by: Duffy at July 24, 2006 09:06 AM

Not to be a broken record, but this all goes back to the fact that the very notion of "objective truth" has been debased by various groups (both extreme left and extreme right) for years.

Happen to think that Bush took the "there is no truth - only different political perspectives" argument to a new level giving us the brave new academic world of "creation science" and "teach the 9/11 controversy" nonsense.

Posted by: jason at July 24, 2006 10:07 AM

Who on the extreme right denies absolute truth? (Seriously, I'm asking.) I'm not aware of anyone, but maybe I just haven't come across them.

Posted by: Paul Smith at July 24, 2006 03:57 PM