You might know Pete Carroll as the fiery head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, but Carroll has a history of questioning 9/11 and U.S. foreign policy, which happened to come up during Tuesday’s annual Super Bowl Media Day, according to SB Nation.
In the spring of 2013, Peter Chiarelli, the former four-star general who commanded American forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom II, met with Carroll at Seahawks headquarters in Seattle. Both parties had reason to anticipate the meeting. Chiarelli grew up in Seattle and was an avid Seahawks fan, and Carroll figured to take interest in Chiarelli’s post-military research on traumatic brain injuries, a topic relevant to the NFL and its players. The meeting was expected to be cordial.
However, Carroll had other plans. When Chiarelli began discussing brain injuries suffered during the Iraq War, Carroll shifted the conversation and asked a blunt question. He asked whether or not the Sept. 11 attacks were planned or faked by the United States government, according to Deadspin.
Carroll seemed specifically interested in the attack on the Pentagon. After Carroll called the legitimacy of the attack into question, Chiarelli, who was the top-ranking Army official in the Pentagon on 9/11, explained that it had really happened. Chiarelli reminded Carroll that he lost many colleagues that day, but Carroll forced the issue and delved into a number of 9/11 truther conspiracies.
“Every 9/11 conspiracy theory you can think of, Pete asked about,” said Riki Ellison, the former NFL linebacker responsible for introducing Chiarelli to Carroll, according to Deadspin. While Ellison maintains that the exchange was friendly, a source close to Chiarelli claims that the meeting became so heated that Chiarelli had to leave the room.
Around the same time, Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer had an interesting discussion with Carroll. During the conversation, Carroll explained how he would have handled the Iraq War.
“Let’s say, after all the stuff that we heard about what was going on in Iraq, we sent 10,000 people to Iraq as peacefully as we could go. And we walked wherever they would let us go, and we just talked to people and listened to what their issues were. And then we tried to figure out the best way we could support them and change things, as opposed to bombing (expletive) thousands of people with shock and awe,” Carroll told Brewer. Carroll admitted that it would have been a longer process, but “nobody would’ve died.”
“Not tell them what to do. Not change them. Just help them go where they wanted to go. What if we had done that? How much money would that have cost us? Give me a thousand peace workers that would go over and do that. Just listen and talk. Think of what we could’ve done, as opposed to killing hundreds of thousands of people or whatever we did. And leave the wrath of what we did,” said Carroll.
This brings us to Tuesday’s Super Bowl Media Day. During Carroll’s question and answer session, PFT Commenter, a popular twitter personality who writes for SB Nation, asked Carroll about his views on 9/11 in relation to the aforementioned reports by Deadspin. Carroll stood in silence before asking him to repeat the question. PFT commenter asked, “Why would you doubt the official story behind 9/11?”
In relation to his well-documented meeting with Chiarelli, Carroll finally managed to stammer, “I don’t recall that conversation.”