Civics 101

Szwaja's history class questions U.S. government's role in 9/11


Seattle City Council candidate Joe Szwaja's teaching a 9/11-themed American government and economics class at Nova alternative high school this fall. According to Szwaja's description of September 11/Iraq War: What happened, why did it happen and where do we go from here?, the class will ask the following:

"Did the attacks take place in the manner reported by the major U.S. news media? Were Osama Bin Laden and his followers indeed responsible for these brutal murders? Did the U.S. government do all they reasonably could to avert the attacks, or did the U.S. bungle its sincere attempts to stop this incidence of terrorism? On the other hand, was the U.S. government itself part of planning the attacks or at least involved in them in some way, perhaps to make sure nothing was done to avert them?"

Szwaja, a teacher and former Madison, Wis. city councilman, jumped into the race in May. He's taking on first-term incumbent Jean Godden and won about 22 percent of the vote in last month's primary.

The course description says it's intended for seniors. It will also delve into the issue of civil liberties post 9/11 as well as the roots of the disagreements between the U.S. and the Muslim world.

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