August 25, 2005 — Av 20, 5765
Conspiracy web site headed by Ottawa professor sets dangerous example for students
Michel Chossudovsky at McMaster university in Hamilton, Oct. 2003, giving a public lecture called 911: Pretext for War.
“There is no doubt about it. The material on the site is full of wild conspiracy theories that go so far as to accuse Israel, America and Britain of being behind the recent terrorist bombings in London. They echo the age-old antisemitic expressions that abound in the Arab world, which blame the Jews for everything from 9/11 to the more recent Tsunami disaster,” said Frank Dimant, executive vice president of B’nai Brith Canada.
“We have written to officials at the University of Ottawa, which appears to have no formal affiliation to Global Research, to convey our deep concern. We have asked the university to conduct its own investigation of this propagandist site and to take appropriate action under its academic policies. We trust that the university will fulfill its responsibility – first and foremost to its student body – to take all necessary steps to ensure that such poisoned messaging does not find its way into the classroom.”
The story broke last weekend in the Ottawa Citizen in an article by Pauline Tam.
The Citizen said the web site also reprints articles from other writers that accuse Jews of controlling the US media and masterminding the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Other postings suggest Israel, the U.S. and Britain are the real perpetrators of the recent attacks on London.
The site, which is not hosted by the university, is run by Chossudovsky, and came to the attention of B'nai Brith Canada after receiving public complaints.
The organization singles out a discussion forum, moderated by Chossudovsky, that features a subject heading called Some Articles On The Truth of the Holocaust. The messages have titles such as Jewish Lies of Omission (about the ‘Holocaust’), Jewish Hate Responsible For Largest Mass Killing at Dachau, and Did Jews Frame the Arabs for 9/11?
Another posting suggests the number of Jews who died at Auschwitz during the Second World War is inflated.
None of the postings is written by Mr. Chossudovsky.
However, under Canadian law, web site owners can be liable for material they knowingly post, even if they haven’t produced it themselves.
“I know this isn’t his own writing, but he’s certainly got a responsibility for the web site, which, I checked, is registered in his name,” Anita Bromberg, B’nai Brith’s legal counsel and human rights co-ordinator told the Citizen.
The site identifies Chossudovsky as the director of the Centre for Research on Globalization and editor of globalresearch.ca. His wife, Micheline Ladouceur, is listed as associate editor. They manage the site out of Montreal.
The site does not mention Chossudovsky’s position at the university, nor does his web site at the U of O refer to globalresearch.ca. However, an Internet search of Chossudovsky’s name shows he is listed as an adviser for a Swedish-based group called the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research. Its web site contains a biography of Chossudovsky, his contact information at the U of O and a link to globalresearch.ca.
When the Citizen reached him in South Korea, where he is on a research trip, Chossudovsky said the offending messages were removed from the forum after he was made aware of them by the Citizen.
However, according to the Citizen report, some of the postings were still on the site last Friday.
“We don’t choose the articles that go up, and when we see that there are texts which are racist or hateful, we do, to the best of our abilities, try to remove them,” Chossudovsky told the Citizen.
Chossudovsky claims to be of Jewish descent, and told the Citizen he has relatives who were Holocaust victims. “I’m the first person to withdraw any kind of hate material directed against the Jewish people.”
He defended the reprinted articles that have also sparked complaints, saying they are legitimate commentary representing views that are “anti-Zionist, not antisemitic.”
He also noted the site contains a disclaimer saying the articles posted don’t necessarily reflect his views as editor.
Bromberg said despite Mr. Chossudovsky’s efforts to distance the web site from the university, there is a chance students could happen upon it.
“The bottom line is, he is a professor at a leading university, which gives him credibility.... It worries me what students, who may be very ill-equipped, face. He has an obligation as a professor toward the young minds he teaches.”
B’nai Brith is monitoring the web site closely, and putting pressure on the university to act. “His connection with the university might put some responsibility on the university to hold him to a certain standard of acceptable civil discourse,” said Bromberg.
More recently, Chossudovsky has turned his attention to terrorism. He has written articles accusing the US of plotting to conquer the world with Britain and Israel, and suggesting Osama bin Laden is a CIA asset.
A forthcoming book entitled America's War on Terrorism In the Wake of 9/11 is described on globalresearch.ca as an expose that “blows away the smokescreen, put up by the mainstream media, that 9/11 was an ‘intelligence failure.’”