Paul Craig Roberts: Truther as Patriot

April 1, 2014
Paul Craig Roberts with RT host Abby Martin

“During the decade that has passed (since 9/11), numerous 9/11 Truth organizations have formed.  There are Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Firefighters for 9/11 Truth, Pilots for 9/11 Truth, Scholars for 9/11 Truth, Remember Building, and a New York group which includes 9/11 families. These groups call for a real investigation.  David Ray Griffen (sic) has written 10 carefully researched books documenting problems in the government’s account. Scientists have pointed out that the government has no explanation for the molten steel. NIST has been forced to admit that WTC 7 was in free fall for part of its descent, and a scientific team led by a professor of nano-chemistry at the University of Copenhagen has reported finding nano-thermite in the dust from the buildings.  Larry Silverstein, who had the lease on the World Trade Center buildings, said in a PBS broadcast that the decision was made “to pull” Building 7 late in the afternoon of 9/11.” (source)

“The neoconservatives who advocate America’s hegemony over the world called for ‘a new Pearl Harbor’ that would allow them to launch wars of conquest … No evidence exists that supports the government’s 9/11 story … On this 12th anniversary of a false-flag event, it is unnecessary for me to report the voluminous evidence that conclusively proves that the official story is a lie. You can read it for yourself. It is available online.” (source)


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“The American people have suffered a coup d’etat, but they are hesitant to acknowledge it. The regime ruling in Washington today lacks constitutional and legal legitimacy. Americans are ruled by usurpers… The South African apartheid regime was more legitimate than the regime in Washington. The apartheid Israeli regime in Palestine is more legitimate. The Taliban are more legitimate. Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein were more legitimate.” (source)

“For the past 68 years, most military aggression can be sourced to the US and Israel.” (source)

Those are the words of Paul Craig Roberts, a man who banks on his impressive CV giving conspiracy theories and extremist politics a veneer of authority and patriotism. Roberts’ resume includes stints as an Assistant Secretary in Reagan’s Treasury Dept., an associate editor at the Wall Street Journal, and fellowships at the Hoover Institution, Cato Institute, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. All of that is in the past, though. Searches of the websites maintained by those institutions yield nothing of substance since he published an article critical of the legacy of the New Deal in Hoover’s Policy Review in August 2001. After 9/11, Roberts became convinced that the United States government was implicated in the attacks and that the government and media were involved in a massive cover-up. He had what he calls his epiphany, realizing first that the country needed to be saved from a hostile force that was taking it over. Since then, he seems to have concluded that this is pretty much a lost cause, writing last summer that he considers the US to be the moral equivalent of the Soviet Union (and Julian Assange and Edward Snowden to be the equivalents of József Cardinal Mindszenty, Hungary’s heroic spiritual leader and opponent of Nazi and Soviet oppression). A 2013 Cato Institute review of one of his books aptly called Roberts “a rambling, angry nationalist.”

Roberts’ name now graces the mastheads of institutions such as the conspiracist Centre for Research on Globalisation (about which you can read here), the racist, anti-immigrant website Vdare, and the bizarre hate-site Veterans Today (which, despite its innocuous-sounding name focuses on weird conspiracy theories and extremist politics, including neo-Nazi propaganda). Roberts’ columns can also be found at Alex Jones’ Infowars, Iran’s state-run Press TV, the racist blog Truthseeker, and the website of the Ron Unz Foundation, as well as a large number of other websites of this type. Posted on his website are scores of videos of interviews with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and scores more of his appearances on Iran’s state-run English language propaganda station Press TV.  Roberts has also been interviewed several times on the radio program of the white supremacist group Council of Conservative Citizens, formerly the White Citizens’ Council.

The Centre for Research on Globalisation frequently interviews Roberts for their video podcast, introducing him as the “father of Reaganomics” (a claim which is odd considering how far from Reagan they are on the ideological spectrum). In these interviews, Roberts puts his stamp of approval on false flag conspiracy theories and dire predictions of the collapse of civilization. For example, a May 2013 edition of their podcast entitled “The Dissolution of the West”, he informed viewers that “the constitution has lost all of its authority” and that the Department of Homeland Security plans to institute martial law. Based on his belief that 9/11 was a coup, Roberts concludes that everything done in response has been part of a plan to centralize power and deprive citizens of their rights.

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Roberts may be best known for the columns he contributes to Counterpunch, which say things like the Iraq War was designed to offset the US debt with oil money, that the US is becoming a fascist state and, of course, that 9/11 was an inside job. In his most recent piece there, Roberts writes: “Washington is the home of warmongering self-interested parties that have no concept of compassion or justice and serve only their own power and enrichment.” To clarify that point, he points his readers to the works of Howard Zinn and Oliver Stone. At Roberts’ own website, you currently can read columns by Diana Johnstone, John Pilger and “Israel Shamir” (the pseudonym for a disinformation writer with roots in Russia’s far-right), all of whose columns can be found alongside Roberts at innumerable websites which form a sort of anti-US echo chamber. Roberts also uses his website to post bizarre, anonymously written pieces of unknown provenance such as a recent one entitled “Israel Moves to Take Over the Federal Reserve“.

Roberts’ views on foreign policy are predictably isolationist and alarmist, assigning blame for every crisis to the work of a hidden hand attempting to lead the US into conflict. Roberts is also firmly pro-Putin, blaming the Ukraine crisis and the Syria civil war on a neocon plot. On the October 2013  edition of Truth Jihad, a 9/11 truth podcast on which he’s been a guest on several occasions, Roberts told the program’s host (Kevin Barrett) that all human rights NGOs working in Russia are part of a “US fifth column” working to undermine Putin. He went on to assert that “Washington supports the Muslim terrorists, the Czech-ans (sic)”, as a false flag operation designed to destabilize Russia, and that this is somehow connected to US Syria policy. His tone growing increasingly heated, Robert then blamed this on “neocons”, saying “the neocons are the worst thing that ever happened to the United States. (They’re) really the scum of the earth… They should all be picked up and shipped out of the country. They all belong in Israel. That’s where they should be. Pick ’em up, ship ’em to Israel, revoke their passports. If they can revoke the passport of Snowden, who’s a national hero, they can certainly revoke the passports of the neocons and ship them to Israel which is where they belong.” Roberts then agreed with the host’s observation that saying such things, criticizing international bankers, or “questioning the official story of 9/11” were sufficient to get one unjustly labeled an anti-Semite. The interview concluded with the two agreeing that, when the other side needs to resort to using that label, you can be certain that you’re in the right.

Paul Craig Roberts has long been a favorite on RT, always billed with either his Reagan administration title, as a former WSJ editor, or as “the father of Reaganomics”, and frequently shown with American flags or a portrait of Jefferson in the background. Robert’s website contains 103 posts dealing with his appearances there, and 17 more concerning his appearances elsewhere with RT host Max Keiser. A Google video search yields even more video of him on RT. What does he say there? Roberts tells RT audiences that the US is a police state. He says the US is on the verge of complete economic collapse. He says that “the US is a puppet government of Israel”. He criticizes the Federal Reserve system and praises the gold standard. He praises Russia’s economy and advises Obama to follow Putin’s economic advice. He predicts “the dollar’s demise”. He warns that “the US is driving the world to a nuclear war”. He decries the Federal Reserve’s “bias against the gold standard”, saying it proves that “the crooks run the Fed”. (At 12:00 of this video.)

Even when they’re not interviewing him, RT cites Roberts, alongside others with impressive former titles to lend an air of mainstream credibility to programs based largely on the assertions of true believers. Take, for example, a recent episode of a bizarre, conspiracy-minded show called “Truthseeker” which charged that the BBC falsified a report of a Syrian chemical weapons attack (in fact that a false attack was staged by the BBC, “a total fabrication from beginning to end”), and that they were similarly falsifying their reporting on Ukraine. After showing video, first of UK Member of Parliament George Galloway, then of an apparently deranged activist, supporting that claim, the program’s host quoted “former US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury” Roberts as calling western media coverage of Syria and the Ukraine “a new low in the history of the mainstream media, which is now simply a ministry of lies”. (Start at 9:40 of the video here).

Paul Craig Roberts has gone from making and analyzing economic policy for the government and elite universities and think tanks to presenting a simulacrum of that for the benefit of a political lunatic fringe. On RT, he does this at the behest of a regime that is increasingly hostile to the US, his rationale being that the US is no longer legitimate. Of course, this may matter much to Roberts anymore, since he thinks the end is near.

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