Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: “A Critique of Noam Chomsky”

Peter B. Collins Presents Professor Anthony F. Greco

MIT Professor Noam Chomsky has been a major voice for the American Left for over 50 years. In his new book, Tony Greco offers detailed criticism of selected subjects of Chomsky’s writings, from the Cold War to Viet Nam, Central America, Indonesia and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. While Greco generally shares Chomsky’s analyses, he cites some key factual errors he says remain uncorrected, and argues with some of Chomsky's positions. Collins challenges Greco for relying on mainstream consensus to critique Chomsky, noting that Greco mostly ignores the legacy of US covert operations and the blowback they generate. And Collins takes on Greco and Chomsky for their shared view that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein “was a good thing” and for their refusals to show any skepticism for the official narrative of 9/11.

*Chomsky’s Challenge to American Power is the new book by Anthony F. Greco, who holds a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University and is an associate of the Columbia Seminar on Twentieth Century Politics and Society.

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  1. Peter B, Toward the end of the podcast you brought up 9/11. One of your critiques of the official narrative was to mention the “size of the hole” in the Pentagon. IMHO this is mistaken. May I suggest that you watch Massimo Mazzucco’s new documentary ‘September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor’ if you have not already done so: What I find most extraordinary about the Pentagon strike is that it occurred at all, some 30 minutes after the 2nd tower strike even though it was being tracked.

    • On the one hand Chomsky says get published in peer reviewed journals, then on the other hand says if the worst were true it would never get a hearing in a US court. He therefore recognizes what a poisonous issue this is and should realize that others also understand this and who will avoid it like the plague. He’s having it both ways. When he says that there are/were worse crimes (people killed, etc.) he’s right, but as you pointed out 9/11 justifies and gives inertia to everything else. The Iraq war (hundreds of thousands of casualties) would have been far more difficult absent 9/11. He doesn’t calculate this.

  2. Very good conversation. It illuminates the distinction between those who have actually studied 911, and those who are surprised by the question.
    Mr.Greco remains convinced only because his research has not taken him to the forensics available, as his silence attested.
    I think you approached it well. It is an academic study all of itself, just how the attentions of the intellectual unravelling the darkest nightmares of History, find the Official 911 narrative so compelling without any exercise of the same investigative rigour I am to assume determines them and their work otherwise.
    911 researchers have intellectually, academically and forensically fragged every possible line of the commission and creatioNIST reports yet our historians know NOTHING about it; are able to ‘Feel comfortable” within the presented OCT narrative.
    Respectfully Mr.Greco, if you do NOT KNOW what 2.25 second free fall of the 81 columned 47 storied steel framed high-rise WTC7 MEANS to the entire History of the world, you should not discuss 911 at all.
    Read the works of David Ray Griffin and watch the presentations “Experts speak out” and particularly “911 in the Academic Community” as a beginning to unravel your ‘Cambodian moment’.

  3. Exquisite program today, Peter. I think I agree with you all down the line, if I remember it all. The subject of Chomsky is uncomfortable for me as I had moved towards him after my voracious reader son read several of his books, then turned sore as a boil when I was confronted with a video of him saying “if there was any evidence at all, which of course there isn’t” for a high level conspiracy to kill JFK. From that moment all my temptation to quote him left me, and the tag of “gate-keeper” is ever before me when I think of him. Still, Mr. Greco is a very intelligent, quick of understanding, articulate, and careful scholar. I thought he handled all of your pinpricks reasonably well, until the end, when he became noticeably flustered, and to my mind, betrayed his own cowardice in adhering to the coup constituents. “Treason doth never prosper/What is the reason?/If it prosper/None dare call it treason!”

  4. Peter,

    I like the way you continue to press people on the 911 issue. You might like Ryan Dawson’s War by Deception. Not the greatest editing, but worth a look.

  5. Fred Mertz says:

    Well…I don’t think I will be buying this book by Anthony Greco or even read it for free! I can understand that he did not want to psychoanalyze Chomsky, THAT much is understandable. But, since he admits that he tip-toes around the facts and completely omits other very important facts about Chomsky, why did he bother to write it? Sounds like he published the EDITED version.
    Props to Bill though! Bill was prepared and a gracious host. This was an exercise in tact. Still, I am left wondering WHY Bill bothered to interview him. I am guessing that Bill having bothered to read it and this Greco eager to peddle his book succumbed to his pestering?

  6. Jamaal White says:

    Anyone still believing in the “humanitarian” war in Yugoslavia needs to read “fools crusade” by Diana Johnstone or “to kill a nation” by Micahe

  7. Jamaal White says:

    “To kill a nation” by Michael Parenti

  8. That was a real ‘deer in the headlights’ moment towards the end. Granted, when it comes to subjects like 9/11 and the JFK assassination (where Chomsky is again a complete coward) there is a lot of smoke and mirrors that make determining exactly what happened virtually impossible, and this makes academic types afraid to ‘go there’. Nevertheless, there are cold hard facts that render the official narratives as patently false; but when you present these to people like Greco you induce such cognitive dissonance reminiscent of that episode of Star Trek where Kirk causes a super-computer to self destruct by presenting it with a Godelian paradox… Similarly, if this had been a video interview I swear we would’ve seen smoke coming out of Greco’s ears at the end!

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