- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 11, 2006

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A university instructor who came under scrutiny for arguing that the U.S. government orchestrated the attacks of September 11 likens President Bush to Adolf Hitler in an essay his students are being required to buy for his course.

The essay by Kevin Barrett, “Interpreting the Unspeakable: The Myth of 9/11,” is part of a $20 book of essays by 15 authors, according to an unedited copy first obtained by WKOW-TV in Madison, Wis., and later by the Associated Press.

The book’s title is “9/11 and American Empire: Muslims, Jews, and Christians Speak Out.” It is on the syllabus for Mr. Barrett’s course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “Islam: Religion and Culture,” but only three of the essays are required reading, not including Mr. Barrett’s essay.

Mr. Barrett, a part-time instructor who holds a doctorate in African languages and literature and folklore from UW-Madison, is active in a group called Scholars for 9/11 Truth. The group’s members say U.S. officials, not al Qaeda terrorists, were behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

“Like Bush and the neocons, Hitler and the Nazis inaugurated their new era by destroying an architectural monument and blaming its destruction on their designated enemies,” he wrote.

Mr. Barrett said Tuesday he was comparing the attacks to the burning of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, in 1933, a key event in the establishment of the Nazi dictatorship.

“That’s not comparing them as people, that’s comparing the Reichstag fire to the demolition of the World Trade Center, and that’s an accurate comparison that I would stand by,” he said.

He added: “Hitler had a good 20 to 30 IQ points on Bush, so comparing Bush to Hitler would in many ways be an insult to Hitler.”

Moira Megargee, publicity director for the Northampton, Mass., publisher Interlink, said the book is due out at the end of next month and the editing isn’t finished.

“It is not final, and for all we know that essay may not be in the book or may be edited,” she said.

The university’s decision to allow Mr. Barrett to teach the course touched off a controversy over the summer when his views became widely known.

Sixty-one state legislators denounced the move. One county board cut its funding for the UW-Extension by $8,247 — the amount Mr. Barrett will earn for teaching the course — in a symbolic protest.

Gov. James E. Doyle, a Democrat, and his Republican challenger, Mark Green, have both said they think Mr. Barrett should be fired.

One essay Mr. Barrett is requiring students to read is titled “A Clash Between Justice and Greed.” It argues that conflicts between Islam and the Western world were made up after the “collapse of the Soviet Union to justify U.S. ‘defense’ spending, and to provide a pretext of controlling the world’s resources.”

The university’s chief academic officer, Provost Patrick Farrell, decided to retain Mr. Barrett for the course after reviewing his plans and qualifications. He said Mr. Barrett could present his ideas during one week of the course as long as students were allowed to challenge them.

He later warned Mr. Barrett to stop seeking publicity for his personal political views.

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