On this fourteenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist tragedy for America, I was searching for coverage of the occasion. After all, America still formally Remembers Pearl Harbor, The Alamo, and many other national events going back to our Revolution. Being out of the country now, I perused the International Edition of the New York Times and found nothing on its lead page about 9-11-01.
After finding the same sad result in several other national media, I went to my favorite, OpEdNews.com, and found 9/11 Fourteen Years Later by Paul Craig Roberts, a former Reagan Administration Assistant Treasury Secretary, staffer at The Wall Street Journal and Business Week, and author of such books as How America Was Lost -- and, now, self-proclaimed conspiracy theorist regarding September 11, 2001. Amazingly, at the end of the Roberts piece, there was this disclaimer: Author has requested that no comments be allowed on this content.
Reading that disclaimer, I must confess to being truly shocked! What right does any author or journalist on OpEdNews.com have to forbid the making of comments on his or her article? Surely, any such action inhibiting free speech and free expression does a disservice, not only to fellow authors and readers, but to the cause of truth itself. Further, it seems cowardly in the extreme to refuse to allow comments on what an author on OpEdNews.com has written -- and it seems wrongful for the editorial management of OpEdNews.com to honor any such demand that full and fair comments and discussion of posted articles not be allowed to occur.
While originally I had intended to write about how the September 11, 2001 terrorist tragedy seems to be fading away in the national consciousness, and while that great and grave loss of the importance of this pivotal event due to such neglect is indeed shameful, perhaps it is more urgent to challenge any author who refuses to allow comments on his or her articles.
The Roberts piece is riddled with conspiracy theories and unproven speculations about who has ultimate responsibility for 9-11-01, and it is indeed worthwhile to raise such issues as long as there are any material facts about the tragedy which may remain hidden. With that said, though, forbidding, preventing, or even limiting the right to comment on conspiracy theories, and anything and everything else about September 11, 2001, does a severe disservice to our ultimate understanding of that event, and to the cause of truth itself.
Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)