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Wisconsin Instructor and 9/11 Skeptic Is Back in Hot Seat With Hitler-Bush Comparison

October 11, 2006

Kevin Barrett, the University of Wisconsin at Madison instructor who came under fire this past summer for his 9/11 conspiracy theories, is back in the spotlight. This week, a local television station, WKOW, reported that a textbook required for a course Mr. Barrett is teaching this fall includes an essay by him that compares President Bush to Adolf Hitler.

According to The Badger Herald, a student newspaper at Madison, this latest development prompted more calls for Mr. Barrett’s dismissal from state legislators and gubernatorial candidates.

Mr. Barrett put the textbook, 9/11 and American Empire: Muslims, Jews, and Christians Speak Out, which is due out this month from Olive Branch Press, on the syllabus for his course on Islam this fall, but he required students to read just three of the essays in it. He didn’t assign his own essay. Mr. Barrett said he was comparing the 9/11 attacks to the burning of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, in 1933. And in an interview with the Associated Press, he said, “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.”

Mr. Barrett’s conspiracy views drew attention in June, when he discussed them on a local conservative radio talk show. That prompted calls from legislators to fire him. The Madison provost reviewed his teaching but determined that he could continue to teach his course (The Chronicle, July 3 and July 12).