A controversial Ivy League academic stirred the pot on the 12th anniversary of 9/11 by defending the so-called "truthers," who claim the U.S. government was behind the single biggest terror attack ever committed on American soil.
Princeton University professor Cornel West, while speaking to reporters Wednesday at a rally originally dubbed the Million Muslim March in Washington, acknowledged that Usama bin Laden “had something” to do with the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001, but also stressed the need to keep an open mind on the 12th anniversary of deadliest terror attack in U.S. history.
“From what I see, I think that certainly bin Laden said he did it and had connections,” West, who teaches African-American studies, told the Media Research Center. “And that provides some evidence, but I’m also open to the conversation … But I think bin Laden had something to do with it.”
Asked directly why he attended the event, the 60-year-old West replied: “I’m here to bear witness to precious, priceless human beings made in the image of God who have been killed, be they be killed by gangsters who kill Americans in New York, be it precious babies in Syria, be it precious babies in Yemen, Somalia, in Tel Aviv … Each baby no matter what color or culture is precious and priceless. I’m here to bear witness to that.”
West did not return messages seeking clarification of his remarks.
West – no stranger to controversy – publicly criticized President Obama earlier this month, saying a strike on Syria without congressional approval would be “downright dictatorial” and grounds for impeachment.
“It doesn’t make sense to commit more war crimes,” West reportedly said on Sept. 8 during the syndicated radio show Smiley and West. “It would be an illegal war. It would be an immoral war for the United States to begin bombing and sending missiles to Syria and killing more innocent people, so the United States would be committing its war crimes in response to war crimes already committed.”