All Posts Tagged With: "Joshua Blakeney"
9/11 skeptic now works for magazine that denies holocaust
“Josh Blakely was appointed as a staff writer at Veterans Today which is a quite popular media venue based in the US. He has also appeared on several media outlets in the U.S. and Canada discussing his research area. Congratulations Josh!,” the University of Lethbridge wrote on their website last week.
We think they mean Josh Blakeney, the 9/11 conspiracy theorist who was hired as a columnist for Veterans Affairs. The National Post came to the same conclusion, questioning why Lethbridge would want to congratulate someone who goes to work for a magazine that suggests “the main purpose of keeping alive the Holocaust is to protect Jewish banking practices.”
This isn’t the first time Blakeney was in the news. His master’s thesis The Origins of the Global War on Terror: Intellectual Debates and Interpretive Controversies, generated an outcry because it was subsidized by an $8,000 Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship from the province of Alberta.
In a recent column for Veterans Affairs about the Sept. 11 “truther” conference in Toronto, Blakeney argues that 9/11 was a plot by anti-Islamic Israelis and that Islamic jihadists were not involved. He writes “documents going back to the 1980s, emanating from Tel Aviv rather than Washington… suggest that the “war on terrorism” was an Israeli inspired initiative.”
University of Lethbridge student awarded $7,714 investigate war on terror ‘truth’
To some it may seem the University of Lethbridge has decided to fund research in pursuit of the comedic and mirthful, but make no mistake—one graduate student has been awarded $7,714 to assess and analyze “the ‘government version’ of the events that gave rise to the GWOT [Global War On Terrorism].”
Masters student Joshua Blakeney has been granted the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship for his research entitled “The Origins of the Global War on Terror: Academic Debates and Interpretive Controversies.” Blakeney, former Media Coordinator of Globalization Studies at U of L, is a vocal adherent to the 9/11 “Truth Movement,” which contends that the World Trade Center attacks were orchestrated by the U.S. in order to justify future invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Blakeney has confronted reporters such as Peter Mansbridge for their compliance in propagating mainstream 9/11 “lies,” and also gleefully rejoiced in pundit Christopher Hitchens’ cancer diagnosis, calling it a “boon to humanity.”
Blakeney, who studies under well-known 9/11 truth-seeker Anthony Hall, has now been awarded money by the university to put these theories to paper. Money which, as Jonathan Kay in the National Post points out, comes in part from Alberta tax dollars. “Paying a British graduate student $7,714 to pursue his conspiracy theory that the 9/11 attacks were staged by Washington,” Kay writes, “Does anyone else see a problem with that?”
The lunacy, of course, is readily apparent. I’m sure few Albertans would rejoice in hearing that their dollars are being used to fund conspiracy theories. However, (and as much as it pains me to pen any sort of defense) the expectation of graduate research is that it challenges the status quo and seeks to break through conventional belief.
Granted, I have little faith that Blakeney will challenge his own beliefs, let alone that his thesis will amount to much beyond the 9/11 jabber he’s already touting, but academic freedom would be compromised if taxpayers could suddenly decide which theses were worth their dollar. Indeed, I think the outrage is warranted and the awards committee should give their heads a shake, but if anything, this situation just reinforces the need to establish a fully private post-secondary education system. At least in that case your provincial taxes won’t go towards proving the mendacity of the moon landing.
U of L’s media coordinator of globalization studies says diagnosis is a ‘boon to humanity’
When U.S. right-wing pundit Ann Coulter attempted to speak at the University of Ottawa in March, protesters gathered outside the lecture hall and effectively shut down the event. The crowd boasted signs branded with “Love,” “Respect,” and “Free Speech Stops at Hate Speech,” and chanted “Ann go home!” until police and security advised Coulter to cancel her speech in the interest of her safety. The demonstration came after University of Ottawa vice-president academic and provost Francois Houle sent Coulter a letter advising her to “educate [her]self as to what is acceptable in Canada” and to “weigh [her] words with respect and civility in mind.”
Now, I cite this example in hopes that the security personnel at the University of Lethbridge will be adequately prepared for what I expect to be another vehement uproar. Indeed, I’ll bet those same demonstrative individuals are already making their way west to protest yet another exploitative exercise of expression. “Free speech stops at hate speech!” Yup . . . any day now . . .
Well, maybe they just haven’t heard yet. Joshua Blakeney, media coordinator of globalization studies at the University of Lethbridge, has written a piece for the alternative e-weekly The Canadian Charger where he gleefully rejoices in Christopher Hitchens’ recent throat cancer diagnosis. Hitchens, a journalist and pundit, is known for his stanch views on religion and unapologetic support for the war in Iraq. Contentious as his politics may be, it’s hard to deny he’s a brilliant speaker with a quick wit, a reputation he managed to uphold during a recent interview with Anderson Cooper where Hitchens discusses his impending death.
But for Blakeney writing in The Canadian Charger, it seems “impending” can’t come soon enough. The cancer is “something to be celebrated,” writes Blakeney, a U of L Masters student, “because it deprives the war propaganda machine of one of its most erudite apologists.”
“As I was contemplating this revelation, I couldn’t help feeling that the neoconservative armchair warrior was getting his just desserts,” Blakeney continues.
Then, after toting some 9/11 “truths” (Blakeney studies under prominent 9/11 conspiracy theorist Prof. Anthony J. Hall) and other wisdom about Iran and Israel, Blakeney concludes his “Hitchens deserves to die” thesis:
“It is fair to say that if cancer is good enough for babies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and soon Iran, then it is good enough for [Hitchens].”
Ironically, The Canadian Charger originated as an outlet to counter “hateful” messages printed in Maclean’s magazine, which were brought to (and later dismissed from) human rights commissions. Yet curiously, here beholds a piece where the terminal illness of someone is rejoiced because of his political beliefs.
“I wouldn’t rejoice in someone’s sickness unless it was someone as ghastly as Christopher Hitchens,” Blakeney told the National Post. His inability to write “could well reduce cancer rates,” he continued. “He is a dangerous demagogue who made a career out of selling aggressive wars that cause cancer. . . . I haven’t stooped to his level.”
Okay everyone; are we all ready with our placards? “Love,” “Respect,” “Free speech stops at hate speech!”
Of course not. Blakeney’s not entertaining in hate speech. Fallacious and vile cheap shots, but not hate speech. But then again, neither was Coulter. So I’m wondering where the student unions are on this one. Where’s the protest to ensure a “safe space” for Iraq war supporters on campus? After all, if we have the so-called “right to not be offended” in one case, aren’t we going to uphold it in another?