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Russia’s 9/11 Conspiracy Theory

First we had crass comparisons between the invasion of Georgia and 9/11, and now this from the Weekly Standard:

As the post-Georgia chill in U.S.-Russian relations continues, the Russian government has repeatedly declared its readiness to resume a friendly partnership if the United States will reciprocate and abandon its Cold War rhetoric. Yet, at the same time, Moscow has encouraged an orgy of anti-American hysteria in the loyalist Russian media. On September 12, the America-bashing reached a new low: a prime-time special on national television peddling the notion that the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks of September 11, 2001, were an inside job by American warmongers. The special, aired in a program called Closed Screening on the government – controlled Channel One and viewed by up to 30 million people, was built around the documentary Zero made by Italian journalist and European Parliament member Giulietto Chiesa. Ignored in most of Europe and panned by the Italian press, Zero is a hodgepodge of familiar “truth about 9/11” claims (the Twin Towers were brought down by explosives inside the buildings, the Pentagon was hit by a missile, not a plane) accompanied by ominous music and insights from such “experts” as Nobel Prize-winning literary clown Dario Fo. Chiesa himself, a Soviet-era Italian Communist party apparatchik and Moscow correspondent for the Communist daily L’Unità – who seems to have smoothly transferred his loyalty from the USSR to the corrupt state-capitalist Russia of today – was on hand for the studio discussion. He bitterly lamented his inability to find distributors in Western Europe and the United States; thank heaven Russia still allows a forum for free speech.

Wow – I think we can mark that down as the first praise of Russia as a haven for free speech during the Putin era…