The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have since 2005, adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL:

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Anti-Zionist 911 truther = 'expert advisor' to Gail Asper's Human Rights Museum

One of Canada's most active 911 Truthers is advising Gail Asper on "guiding principles" for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Yup. You read that right.

Anthony Hall has been sitting on the museum's advisory committee since 2007.

"This group establishes general guiding principles and offers their expert opinions to Ralph Appelbaum Associates to enable the development of a proposed master plan." according to the CMHR's website.

Hall is formally described as Professor of History and Coordinator of Globalisation Studies University of Lethbridge.

He's better known as the biggest defender of Lesley Hughes, the Liberal Party's crash-and-burn candidate who was dumped for writing that Jewish businesses moved out of the World Trade Centre after getting advance warnings about the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York.

Hall has started to use his connections to the CMHR to give credibility to his 911 Truther views.

"I have worked along with a gifted team of colleagues from across Canada to help Gail Asper and a New York-based consulting firm to develop suitable content for the great pride of Winnipeg, the soon-to-be-built Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Although this is only speculation, I would be surprised if Lesley Hughes has not also been involved in that project in some way," he wrote in September is a widely reprinted essay on the Hughes affair, A Clash of Conspiracy Theories, Reflections on the Decision to Disqualify Lesley Hughes from Running as a Liberal Canadidate in the Canadian Election of 2008.

Hall admits that Hughes was dead wrong about the advance warning allegedly given to Jewish business owners. Anyone with the most rudimentary Google skills can prove that.

But, he writes, "It is simply wrong to suggest, as some have done, that each and every individual trying to see through even the most obvious official lies of 911 is expressing some form of overt or latent anti-Semitism. This kind of counter conspiracy theory does a profound injustice to all concerned."

It's not hard to see why Hall makes that argument.

You need only read his October posting, Hate Speech as Political Rhetoric: Stephen Harper and 911 in the Canadian Election of 2008 (

He writes:
"While Hughes was wrong in her details, she is far from alone in her more general position that many intelligence services had prior knowledge that something very drastic was about to happen in the days and weeks leading up to 911. One of those intelligence services was indeed that of Israel. The Israeli government's understanding of the situation was almost certainly connected to the activities of an Israeli spy ring posing as art students especially in the Hollywood Florida region. "

Here we go again:

Those sneaky Jews with their advance knowledge of everything is an integral part of the 911 Truth movement.

The 911 Truthers are divided into two streams.
* A. The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and the Pentagon were an inside job by the American government which wanted an excuse to launch a worldwide "War on Terror" that's really a cover for U.S. world domination.

*B. The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and the Pentagon were planned by the Mossad to force the U.S. to attack Israel's enemies, which would further the domination of the world by the Jews.

In Conspiracy B, the Jews play a leading role. In Conspiracy A, they're supporting characters; they know about the terror plans, they warn the U.S., but their warnings are ignored by evil Republicans who want the attacks to succeed to justify their plans to rule the world.

Anthony Hall is a proponent of Conspiracy A, although its sometimes hard for the layman to tell them apart.

A sub-group of Conspiracy B argues that the Israeli spies posing as art students were actually spying on the terrorists who launched the WTC attacks, but they failed to warn U.S. authorities.

Hall does his best to suck up to Gail Asper, whose influence he needs to validate his own anti-American conspiracy rants.

"Lesley Hughes has a history of deep involvement with (Canadian Dimension) this venerable old publication, one that is as deeply bound up with the long and fruitful academic career of the University of Manitoba political economist, Cy Gonig (sic). In my view Cy Gonig’s connection to Canadian Dimension is as significant an aspect of Canadian intellectual history as is the relationship of the Winnipeg-based Asper family to their Can West Global media empire. As I see both Gonig and the Aspers epitomize the continuing vitality and importance of old and illustrious Jewish community of Winnipeg." writes Hall in A Clash of Conspiracy Theories.

The good professor demonstrates his extensive research skills by mis-stating Cy Gonick's name. But more curious is his professed admiration for the "Can West Global media empire."

For, you see, when corresponding with a fellow 911 Truther, Hall demonstrated a different attitude.

Paul Graham is an editor and board member of Canadian Dimension magazine (and campaign manager for Marianne Cerilli in her 2006 mayoral election campaign.) He posted an article Sept. 30, on his website about the Lesley Hughes affair Conflating Anti-Semitism and 911 Truth (

Hall responded with an email to Graham in which he revealed his real opinion of the Aspers' Canwest global media empire. Let us quote some choice segments of his email:

"In this case, false allegations of antisemitism are being used as a tool to discredit a journalist who has asked for answers about 911. Reminiscent of the tactic used by apologists for Israeli foreign policy who brand every criticism as evidence of antisemitism, this kind of smear campaign is a step in the direction of conflating the 911 Truth Movement and antisemitism."


"I have recently seen a TV piece done by Paula Zahn at CNN where she conflated any questioning of the 911 Cover Up Scam with “anti-Semitism.” In my view the indiscriminate use of this powerful word to advance anti-Muslim war propaganda does a terrible injustice to all of us, but especially to liberal Jews and to the memory of the terrible crimes committed by right-wing regimes in the Holocaust."


"Harper and his henchmen belong way out on the political margins with the likes of the white supremacists and anti-Quebec zealots here in Alberta that started the xenophobic political movement this Calgarian currently leads...From the timing of this election to the Cadman affair to their myriad involvements with the organized criminals swirling around Julie Couillard, the so-called Conservatives have played fast and loose with the rule of law in spite of Can West Global’s effort to spruce up and market this radical bunch.

"In all my years of watching Canadian politics I don’t remember seeing anything like the so-called Conservative Party’s unrelenting character assassination aimed month after month at savaging Stephane Dion. Unfortunately Dion gave into the rhetorical blackmail to which he was subjected with plenty of help from the Winnipeg-based war propagandists at Can West Global."

"Let’s try to hold Can West Global, the CBC, the robotic Globe and Mail, and the next Parliament of Canada accountable for their tragic or maybe even treasonable ineptitude."

Keep up the good work.
Anthony J. Hall

Hall, we're sure, understands that Gail Asper wants to inspire youth to become activists for human rights, although we wonder if they have the same goal in mind.

He writes:
"In the long run one of the most devastating effects of the lies and crimes of 911 may reside in the prospect of alienating many of our brightest and most independent-minded young people who have good cause to question the potential for real democracy in even the most basic of our electoral processes... What lessons will be learned by the significant portion of Canadian youth who have decided to invest themselves wholeheartedly in the push for 911 truth? As demonstrated in scores of short clips on the Internet, many of the so-called “troofers” join their like-minded elders to head out into their communities, pamphlets, DVDs and video cameras firmly in hand.

They seek to make a difference in the public arena with the optimistic view that they can in the long run influence public policy through informed engagement with their fellow citizens, including workers, opinion makers, captains of industry and elected officials...what could be more reasonable, hopeful and democratic than this way of attempting to bring about meaningful change?"

What guiding principles does Hall have in mind for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights that would advance his goal to inspire and empower a new generation of 911 Truthers? Do his ideas have anything to do with the depiction of Israel in the new museum?

In a paper he read in September, 2008, at a 911 conference in Edmonton, The Lies and Crimes of 911: A Canadian View of the War on Terror’s Origins, Hall told how his view of the 2001 terrorist attacks changed.

"When I wrote the initial drafts of this section I accepted the reports that Osama bin Laden was behind the attacks. I took the liberal line that the attacks had more to do with the injustices imposed on the colonized world than with political Islam. I emphasized this point by highlighting the conference which had taken place in Durban just days before 911. The South African government hosted this World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance. In my initial draft I advanced the idea that the attacks might not have taken place if the very serious issues raised at the Durban assembly had been more seriously addressed. While I still want to emphasize the importance of creating more just regimes of human relations as the best guarantee of global security, I also had to incorporate my changing understanding of the crimes and lies of 911. He’s an excerpt from the revised text.

The Durban conference highlighted issues that would be swept from the headlines only days later when the events of September 11, 2001 changed history..."

Note how he references the Durban conference. Now compare with how other people saw the conference:

* The Jewish Telegraphic Agency Inc., a not-for-profit corporation that's been reporting news and analysis about events and issues of Jewish interest for 90 years, was at Duban:

"On the grounds of the U.N. conference itself, the Arab Lawyers Union distributed pamphlets filled with grotesque caricatures of hook-nosed Jews depicted as Nazis, spearing Palestinian children, dripping blood from their fangs, with missiles bulging from their eyes or with pots of money nearby. Attempts to have the group's U.N. accreditation revoked were refused."

"Under the tent where the final NGO declaration was approved over the weekend -- a document that indicts Israel as a "racist, apartheid state" guilty of genocide and ethnic cleansing -- fliers were found with a photo of Hitler and the following question: "What if Hitler had won? There would be no Israel, and no Palestinian bloodshed."

"In a Palestinian-led march with thousands of participants, a placard was held aloft that read "Hitler Should Have Finished the Job." Nearby, someone was selling the most notorious of anti-Jewish tracts, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

* At a press conference,U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, declared: "I have been distressed and disturbed by the vitriolic words and inappropriate content in the NGO document." She found especially unacceptable, the accusations that Israel was guilty of genocide.

* With the United Nations gearing up for a new world conference in 2009 to review the outcomes of the Durban conference, Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote in Haaretz,

Durban: Not again
By Abraham H. Foxman
... governments and NGOs have a responsibility to say "not again." Not again to virulent anti-Semitism, not again to vile demonizing and delegitimizing of Israel, not again to incitement to violence against Jews, not again to the inversion of principles of human rights.

Anthony Hall, on the other hand, saw the Durban conference as raising "very serious issues" that needed to be addressed. This may explain his comfort at repeating the Israeli spy ring canard.

The Israeli art students spy ring is an article of faith in the nutty world of 911 Truthers, notwithstanding its official debunking. In Conspiracy-land, there's no greater evidence of the truth of the most whacko claim than when the government denies it.

Here's what the Washington Post reported:

Reports of Israeli Spy Ring Dismissed
By John Mintz and Dan Eggen
Washington Post
Wednesday, March 6, 2002; Page A06
A wide array of U.S. officials yesterday dismissed reports that the U.S. government had broken up an Israeli espionage ring that consisted of young Israelis attempting to penetrate U.S. agencies by selling artwork in federal buildings.

"This seems to be an urban myth that has been circulating for months," said Justice Department spokeswoman Susan Dryden. "The department has no information at this time to substantiate these widespread reports about Israeli art students involved in espionage."

Several officials said the allegations - first reported by a French online publication and later by other news organizations - of a massive U.S. probe of Israeli spies appear to have been circulated by a single employee of the Drug Enforcement Administration who is angry that his theories have not gained currency.

This week, the Paris-based "Intelligence Online" service quoted from what it said was a 61-page report by a federal task force, led by the DEA, which said that 120 Israelis posing as art students had been deported as part of an espionage crackdown and that the spy scandal had been hushed up."

The reference to Intelligence Online perked our interest. The editor-in-chief of Intelligence Online, is none other than Guillaume Dasquié, who we wrote about just last month.

Dasquie is a hero of the 911 Truthers for an article he wrote in Le Monde in 2007 that they claim proves the French had advance knowledge of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

For a taste of the credibility of his sources, read the grovelling apology he had to write to escape defamation charges as a result of a 2001 book in which he argued George Bush blocked investigations of terrorists prior to advance the cause of U.S. oil barons who wanted to build a pipeline through Afghanistan.

But then, Desquie hasn't had his name attached to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.


Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home