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NH readers speak out on Prof. Woodward and 9/11

Union Leader | August 28 2006

Scores of readers have already commented on today's article on a UNH professor's views about a 9/11 conspiracy. A representative sample of local opinions follows:

As a graduate of UNH, a teacher and a citizen of this country, I believe Professor Woodward has the right to state whatever he believes, but I challenge his right to do so in a classroom without the presence of an opposing opinion. If he wants to set up a debate on campus, where students can freely attend, that would be fine. However, when students are in that classroom, like it or not, he is in a position of authority and power so his opinion holds more weight. If Political Psychology is a required course, this is even more troubling!

In a time of such turmoil in the world, what people like Professor Woodward fail to realize is that they unwittingly provide hope to our enemies, who are re-energized when Americans can believe that our government was involved in killing its own citizens. Instead of focusing on the real evil, they choose to believe that we are the enemy. Living with the Professor Woodwards of the world is one price the rest of us have to pay for freedom!

-- Mary-Ellen Azem

Prof. Woodward is clearly lacking any evidence for his theory that the US government orchestrated 9/11. However, he has every right to present those views as his opinions in an upper level class at a state university. I don't think our young people need Senator Gregg's protection from the indoctrination of a leftist professor. They are more than able to think for themselves.

-- Greg Opritza, Bedford

If a teacher in the NH educational system was teaching that 2 + 2 was 5, no matter how much he believed it himself, I would expect that he would be fired as incompetent. As long as he is teaching in a system heavily subsidized by public funds, his "personal reality" should not be taught as fact. I prefer my tax money to be used to pay teachers to educate my children in the known truth and not some attempt to undermine my government.

-- Ronald A. Tancrede, Rollinsford

Three years ago, I was fortunate enough to attend a media literacy conference at the University of New Hampshire where I learned how to read between the lines of the biased reporting like that in today's article - "Prof's 9/11 theories outrage NH leaders." There are basic flaws in your reporting. First, that there is no named reporter. Secondly, it is not clear just what this psychology professor is specifically teaching, and finally, rather than objectively stating what the professor is teaching at the beginning of your article, you first establish Judd Gregg's attack on him on the front page, so as to first engage the reader from his political point of view, and then quote Professor Woodward later on in the article - on page 10.

My daughter is a recent honors graduate of the University of New Hampshire, and until recently, I worked for UNH Cooperative Extension where I taught a program on media literacy to teens, initiated in part because of that media literacy conference I attended at UNH. What I have come to expect from the University of New Hampshire is an UNBIASED academic experience. I am proud to have been affiliated with it, and for my daughter to have graduated from this school. I am especially pleased the university has not abandoned the right of free speech.

Besides my objections to the less than objective manner of reporting, MY outrage is with Senator Gregg's comment. Freedom of speech is, after all, what we are fighting for. His position is an "affront to the sensibility" of those Americans like myself who believe in the foundation of the Constitution and the right to speak out against the government, ESPECIALLY in the classroom. The day when politicians determine curriculum rather than educators is a day when we have become the terrorists that we are fighting against. I am able to speak intelligently to this due to my education at a state university (in Connecticut) where I was taught - in a psychology class - that the foundation of a free society is how to think for yourself.

Bravo to Professor Woodward for having the courage to speak truth to power.

-- Deborah Whitaker, Hillsboro

9/11 "theories" have nothing to do with psychology. A real psychologist might speak about PTSD and the effects of this on the families and on the public. This is nothing but a left wing, anti government whacko misusing his position as a platform for political rhetoric.

Someone like this who has a "theory" should me made (by the Trustees) to come forward, in a public forum with the PROOF. Otherwise he is misusing his position and should be sanctioned.

He does and should have the right to his opinions, but voiced in the proper public forum, not the psychology classroom.

9/11 theories have nothing to do with and no place in a psychology class.

He is at UNH, at taxpayer expense to educate, not indoctrinate.

-- John M. Healy, Warner

Thanks for this wonderful news. Hooray for academia!!! We just dropped our daughter off at UNH on Friday and I'm very happy that such a fine university is able to have such a thoughtful professor on their staff. I applaud William Woodward's stance.

More information needs to be out there about 9/11, and the governments complicity in this 'EVENT'. I favor as much questioning of this horrific event as possible, and what better way for our kids to be educated than by questioning the 'official' government stance.

'Question authority' was a password back when I was in college during the Vietnam era. Numerous 'false flag' operations have now seen the light of day by investigative journalists, as well as MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in his piece called, "Terror and Politics in America". The US press propaganda spin that now grips this nation has become laughable around the world. I might point out that there are also GOP candidates and backers that support the mounting evidence of cover-up and complicity. Concord's, Mary Maxwell, stated this in Nashua this weekend.

Dr. Steven Jones, physics professor at Brigham Young University has cited in his writings that evidence of explosions at the NYC Twin Towers as well as Building #7, which was NOT hit by a plane.

The fact that C-SPAN aired several times the recent gathering in Los Angeles of professors and Scholars for Truth about 9/11 is admirable for a media station. Thank you for bringing this issue to NH, and thank you to Professor Woodward for stating the now growing evidence that grips us even now 5 years after 9/11.

-- Nancy J.M. White, Amherst

Bravo to Professor Woodward! An institution of higher learning should be a place to present ALL ideas regardless of how radical or out of the mainstream they may be. A university is a place to have meaningful debate about ideas. It sounds to me like Woodward presented a radical view about 9/11 to adult students. Adult students that can make their own judgments based on personal beliefs. Leave it to Senator Gregg to suggest that "there are limitations to academic freedom and freedom of speech." In the past few years, our country -- "the sensibility of most Americans," as Gregg puts it -- has been too quick to follow the official government report. Does WMD's in Iraq ring a bell?

-- James Osborne, Manchester

I think he should be fired! I don't know why these people should be tenured anyway. It's the only profession that does it. What makes them so special? I know they have an answer but it doesn't hold water. Sure we have freedom of speech and I'm all for it but freedom to teach what we want? I don't think so.

What he believes about 9/11 has been put out by the Iranians. Does he believe the Holocaust didn't happen, too? We don't need people like him.

We are at war. Apparently there are a lot of people who don't seem to understand that. It is treason when at war and you comfort the enemy.

-- Bob Fournier, Moultonborough

I must concur with the sense of former Governor Peterson, Zack Bazzi and others that although at first appearance, the money spent on Prof. Woodward's Yale education may have been money wasted, let the "court of public opinion" decide. If Mr. Bazzi's recollection of the class is correct, his bizarre theories will have little support, and as his reputation for this kind of "theory forms fact" teaching perspective permeates the campus, he will be hearing his own echo in the classroom before too long. Maybe the lack of teaching classes that don't generate any revenue for UNH will be enough of a reason for release of a tenured professor. No profit - no pulpit!

-- David Kenney, Fitzwilliam

The article starts out with the clue to the problem here. "A tenured professor of psychology at the University of New Hampshire believes an "elite" group within the federal government orchestrated the September 11th attacks on America." He believes this. He has every right to and he has the right to talk about it without fear of reprisal. But he has been hired by the State of New Hampshire to teach at a public university. What he believes is not necessarily fact. He needs to be teaching psychological facts to students to enable them to form their OWN opinion. Colleges and Universities have become brainwashing platforms for the liberal elitists in this country and as a result students cannot learn the facts and form their own opinion.

I can solve the problem in two words. "Fire Him."

-- George Lincoln, displaced New Hampshire native


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