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December 2, 2010

Jonathan Kay attacks academic freedom

The Canadian Charger

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In 1998 Conrad Black - who was convicted in 2008 in the US for defrauding shareholders - handpicked a few extreme right wing writers to help him launch his Canadian newspaper the National Post. One of them - just out of university - was Jonathan Kay. Canadians rejected the paper and the National Post lost millions and still does. But Mr. Kay was promoted. Most of Mr. Kay's writings since 9/11 have been to defend the US official conspiracy theory regarding 9/11 and fiercely attack every academic who raises questions about its validity.

Kay graduated from McGill University in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in Metallurgical Engineering, and with a Master's Degree in Metallurgical Engineering in 1994. He then studied at Yale Law School, where he received his law degree in 1997. Before joining the National Post, Kay worked as a lawyer with the New York City office of Goodman Phillips Vineberg. During this time, his practice area consisted primarily of U.S. tax analysis of international corporate transactions. Kay became a member of the New York bar in 1998.

Now, after receiving a $7,714 scholarship to investigate 9/11, University of Lethbridge graduate student Joshua Blakeney has found himself in Mr. Kay's crosshairs.

On his website, Mr. Blakeney states the objective of his research in no uncertain terms:

“My objective is to evaluate the content, value and veracity of the body of literature that both supports and criticizes the government version of history used to justify the invasions and domestic transformations that make up the GWOT (Global War on Terror).”

In setting out to evaluate this above-mentioned body of literature, Mr. Blakeney will by examining evidence related to 9/11 – something Mr. Kay carefully avoids doing, for reasons known only to him and his benefactors.  Instead of examining the evidence, or lack thereof, surrounding 9/11, Mr. Kay is writing a book entitled Among the Truthers: 9/11 conspiracy theorists, Birthers, Armageddonites, vaccine hysterics, Hollywood know-nothings, Internet addicts, and the battle over reality.

In his National Post blog, Mr. Kay goes from disparaging those professors who've written reports doubting the official version of 9/11 to attacking academic freedom itself.

Mr. Kay said Professor Anthony Hall, founding coordinator of the Globalization Studies program at the University of Lethbridge, is free to believe in any conspiracy theories he likes, “as long as he keeps it out of the classroom.”

It seems that Mr. Kay believes his versions of controversial issues such as 9/11, vaccines and fluoride in drinking water should not be contradicted in classroom teachings, in particular, regardless of where the truth lies on any of these issues. There is only one correct version of these issues, according to Mr. Kay, and that's his version – which also happens to be the version of corporations with a vested interest in all of these issues.

In a previous Canadian Charger article, we pointed out that in researching his forthcoming book, Mr. Kay avoids evidence related to 9/11 and solely focuses on attacking the mental soundness of those academics and professors who've written papers disputing the official version of 9/11, even going so far as to call them delusional, although Mr. Kay has no psychiatric credentials whatsoever to be making such claims about anyone, let alone respected university professors. We also wondered – in that article – why a major newspaper such as the National Post would print such drivel.

In an email, Dr. Hall offers an explanation as to why the National Post and other right wing media outlets have no problem avoiding the facts as they condemn the messengers of information that threatens the neoconservative agenda worldwide.

“Jonathan's book is being published by a subsidiary of News Corporation, the company that created Fox News. That should explain a lot right there,” Professor Hall said.

“I think Jonathan was in a conflict of interest when he made a national story of Joshua Blakeney's receiving a scholarship for his academic excellence without revealing that he is doing 9/11 researcher himself, receiving outside funds for his agenda of research and publication. In Maclean's on campus  I have asked the editors of the perpetually-bankrupt National Post to come clean on the financial arrangements behind Mr. Kay's work on 9/11 Studies. Who is paying him, how much and for what?

It seems to me that The National Post and Maclean’s are essentially trying to put a fatwa on higher level university studies on 9/11. Such a fatwa would clear aside empirically-based research so Jonathan can engage in his own spinning of public mythology posing as the psychoanthropologist who has penetrated the deepest cultural mores of the... ta daaaa... the conspiracy theorists. How pathetic!”

Dr. Hall said the website advertising the book lauds Mr. Kay's success in “infiltrating” the “Truthers”, language Dr. Halls said is probably an accurate characterization of “Mr. Kay's mode of doing journalistic business as an agent of espionage and counterintelligence for those above him in the chain of command. He and the promoters at Maclean's of a privatized higher education system for Canada are good embodiments of the unfolding operations of the privatized terror economy.”

Referring to an array of seemingly unrelated subjects in the title of Mr. Kay's book, Dr. Hall said it looks as though Mr. Kay is using discredited tactics:  “grouping in a bewildering array of unrelated subjects, theories, issues, researchers, pseudoresearchers etc., as the stuff of a generic thing labelled as "conspiracy theories."

Mr. Blakeney commented, "Where are the Salman Rushdie defenders now? Or do such individuals only like free speech if it criticizes Islam rather than helps exculpate framed Muslims who probably didn’t plan or execute 9/11?"

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