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War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it.
— General William Tecumseh Sherman

Fall 2011   Making War, Making Peace

Public Lecture - The Terrorist Attacks of September 11 2001. What Do We Know Ten Years Later? A Historical Investigation

Daniele GanserDaniele Ganser,
Basel University, Switzerland

LECTURE (Pre-Taped Video)
When: Thursday, October 20 @ 7:15-8:45 p.m.
Where: Fine Arts 015
This lecture is a pre-taped video lecture.

Monday, October 24 @ 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Where: Myers Hall 209

Departmental Sponsors:
College of Arts and Sciences, American Studies Program


Do we know today what happened on 9/11? As a historian facing this question, I find that there are two completely different narratives in the U.S. One narrative claims that 9/11 was carried out by Osama Bin Laden and a group of Muslim terrorists. This narrative can be labeled as that of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and is the official version of events. A completely different narrative of 9/11 was offered by U.S. Professor David Ray Griffin, who claims that the Bush administration manipulated 9/11 in one way or another and was thus involved in the crime and used it as a pretext for wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is the alternative version of events. I will present the most important claims of both Cheney and Griffin and show where and why they contradict each other. I will also demonstrate that this controversial 9/11 debate reaches audiences across the world including Japan, Switzerland, Pakistan, Germany and Russia.

Daniele Ganser is a Swiss historian who specializes in international relations and international history from 1945 to today.  He studied Ancient and Modern History, Philosophy, English Literature and International Relations at Basel University in Switzerland, Amsterdam University in the Netherlands, and at the London School of Economics and Political Science in England. He obtained his Masters degree in history summa cum laude and his PhD in history insigni cum laude. His PhD "NATO's Secret Armies. Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe" was translated into ten languages. He speaks German, Italian, English and French.

His research interests are peace research, geostrategy, secret warfare, resource wars, globalization and human rights. He served as Senior Researcher with the Think Tank Avenir Suisse and the Center for Security Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. In cooperation with the Swiss Foreign Ministry (the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs) he investigated the impact of globalization on war and peace and researched how Swiss and international companies support and profit from war, or alternatively, promote peace through corporate social responsibility. He teaches at Basel University in Switzerland and has been invited several times by the Swiss parliament and Swiss national television to offer his expertise on matters of foreign and security policy. 

Background reading:

Ganser D. 2005. Terrorism in Western Europe: An Approach to NATO's Secret Stay-behind Armies. Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy & International Relations. Winter/Spring 69-95.