Towers of Deception: a review
Towers of Deception – a review by reprehensor
Barrie Zwicker is a household name among the growing chorus of people who have trouble accepting the “official story” of 9/11 – the story that is more or less embodied by the 9/11 Commission Report. Zwicker has been both a producer and critic of mainstream media for 30+ years.
Zwicker’s skepticism of the official story began on 9/11/2001, which puts him in a fairly small category of doubters. I think it’s fair to say that most people who take issue with the official narrative didn’t start seriously questioning things until later, some within days, for some it took years. For Zwicker, the alarm bells started going off after the second plane hit the Twin Towers. Zwicker has some related experience with air defense, he was an Air Cadet in Canada in his youth, and as a journalist he followed the evolution of NORAD very closely. To Zwicker, there is no incompetence theory that NORAD can concoct, which will explain away years of drills, SOP (Standard Operating Procedures), and literally hundreds of commercial aircraft intercepts that were successfully undertaken by North America’s air defense system prior to 9/11.
In the days that followed 9/11, Zwicker waited for the flood of media coverage that would latch on to the bare-naked anomaly of NORAD’s failure to protect the skies on 9/11… but the stories never came. Not after days, weeks or months. No exposé, no investigation, no nothing, just a bland repetition of the Bush administration’s Party Line; 19 Arab hijackers got lucky that day, walking right through America’s trillion dollar security apparatus.
The failure of the corporate media, (in Canada as well as the United States), to critically examine 9/11 and to call for accountability at NORAD, (and other security and defense agencies), led Zwicker to examine 9/11 in depth. In Towers of Deception – The Media Cover-Up of 9/11, Zwicker presents his case against the lapdog corporate press, the Gatekeepers of the Left, and oligarchic networks (“multi-layered relationships between the most powerful owners and strategists on the one hand; and the vast tentacles of the military, covert and propaganda powers that serve them on the other”) that constitute an Invisible Government accountable to no one. He plainly states that 9/11 was a False Flag operation, conducted by elements within the American government and defense establishment.
Tired of waiting for news organizations to deconstruct the official story, Zwicker used his position at VisionTV to produce a series of broadcast-quality programs that did what the press would not do; challenge the official story with a barrage of 9/11 anomalies and interviews with other nascent 9/11 researchers starting in January, 2002. Zwicker became the first journalist to tackle the official story on a nation-wide television broadcast that went out to hundreds of thousands of Canadian cable subscribers. These programs have been compiled and made available as a DVD called “The Great Conspiracy”. This DVD is bundled with Towers of Deception, and is a good introduction to the mountain of evidence that has led Zwicker to conclude that they MIHOP (Made It Happen On Purpose).
The book is 400 pages long, (including a modest index and 28 pages of Endnotes), and fortunately, Zwicker makes it an enjoyable 400 pages. Throughout Towers of Deception (hereon TOD), he employs a writing style that reflects his personable nature, but does not get tangled up in personal emotional turmoil; even when discussing the most harrowing of subjects, like the possibility of a nuclear False Flag event;
“It’s an out-of-the-blue, in-your-face, screaming-horror surprise. A nuclear weapon blows up in the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina. It’s another 9/11. It’s Nuclear Jihad. A repulsed and confused world shudders at the burning devastation. A radioactive cloud drifts off over the Atlantic. The death toll is unknown. Hundreds of thousands of survivors evacuate. This time the White House is in charge. No more Katrinas. The military is your friend. The president addresses the nation and the world: a “suitcase nuke” from the old Soviet arsenal has been obtained by Islamic terrorists, almost certainly Iranian, he intones. Iran must be neutralized. A nuclear strike on that country now is necessary, appropriate and just. Because some people, even in America, may oppose this action and “choose to side with the terrorists,” new measures are required to “safeguard the homeland”. An unknown number of Americans, and citizens abroad, are rounded up and transported to detention centers. Thousands on FBI and other “watch lists” are permanently denied internet access. ...
An actual atomic False Flag op is the perverted dream of the Dr. Strangegloves currently infesting the White House, Number 10 Downing Street, the Pentagon and Langley. The ones who brought us 9/11.” – (TOD pp. 1-2)
No beating around the bush will be found in Zwicker’s book. He calls them like he sees them, and lets the chips fall where they may.
TOD is interspersed with entries from Zwicker’s “Diary of 9/11 and the Media” adding an extra expository dimension to Zwicker’s holistic approach. The diary entries are dioramas which detail the author’s struggle with omissive 9/11 media coverage, his efforts to convince influential media executives to critically challenge the 9/11 story, the birth of Ian Woods’ Global Outlook magazine, his disappointment with Senator Ted Kennedy’s uncritical endorsement of the “War on Terror”, and the diary entries end with a fictional entry from the future, when Zwicker’s granddaughter takes up the banner for 911Truth on September 11, 2020.
Also placed randomly within the book are profiles of 9/11 activists that the author knows and has worked with; Carol Brouillet, Paul Thompson, Kelly Reinhardt, Ian Woods, Blaine Machan, Gabriel Day, Webster G. Tarpley, hummux, Elias Davidsson and Jimmy Walter Jr. – however, one writer/activist gets a whole chapter; David Ray Griffin.
In a chapter titled “David Ray Griffin: Modern Day Prophet”, Zwicker presents Griffin’s story as a 9/11 activist, and reveals much about Griffin’s character, what drives him to do more, and how prolific his output really is. Griffin read early drafts of TOD for Zwicker, and I think the calm, logical, measured approach that readers of Griffin find in his remarkable books is positively reflected in TOD.
For Zwicker to intone that 9/11 was a False Flag operation is a serious charge. It is made by many. To bolster his claim, Zwicker presents 26 facts in the chapter titled “9/11 is a Number, Here are the Facts: Evidence Proves White House Complicity” to give credence to his charge;
Summary of Exhibits A-Z
“If a significant portion of the evidence summarized here holds up, the conclusion that the attacks of 9/11 succeeded because of official complicity would become virtually inescapable.” – David Ray Griffin, author of The New Pearl Harbor
- WTC 7 Collapsed at Near Free-Fall Speed at 5:20 p.m. 9/11
- Standard Operating Procedures Were Not Followed by NORAD on 9/11
- Otis Fighter Jets Were Put into a Delaying Holding Pattern over the Atlantic
- Langley Fighter Jets Were Ordered Out Over the Atlantic
- Fighters at Andrews AFB Did Not Protect Nation’s Capital or Pentagon
- NORAD Has Been Well-Prepared for Major Emergencies Since 1961
- War Games on 9/11 Helped Paralyze the US Air Force
- WTC Collapses Reveal 11 Features of Controlled Demolitions
- WTC Twin Towers Were Designed To Withstand Impact of a Boeing 707
- Proof Steel-Framed High Rise Towers Don’t Collapse Due to Fires
- Oral Evidence From Firefighters: the WTC Towers Were “Demolished”
- Federal Government Broke the Law by Rapid Removal of Steel Debris
- Bush Remaining in Florida Classroom Inconsistent With All Protocols
- Lies in the Pentagon’s Alleged Ignorance About Flight 77
- Anomalies in the Official Story of What Struck the Pentagon
- Flight 93 Was Shot Down: Debris Covers 5 Square Miles
- Cell Phones Don’t Work Above 8,000 feet or Over Areas Without Cell Relay Transmitters
- 9/11 Commission Delays and Obstructions = Bush Administration Cover-Up
- Executive Director of 9/11 Commission Closely Tied to the Bush White House
- The 9/11 Commission Report: “A 571 Page Lie” – Evidence of a Cover-Up
- CIA Creates, Trains and Runs Terrorists Around the World Including 9/11 Patsies
- FBI Involved in Protecting Persons Connected to Terrorism and 9/11
- CIA-Linked Pakistan ISI Financed “Lead Hijacker” Mohammed Atta
- 9/11 “Put” Options Prior to 9/11 Showed Advance Knowledge by Insiders
- Osama bin Laden Has Long and Close Ties to CIA
- Leading Neo-Con Organization called for “A New Pearl Harbor”
Some skeptics will rejoice at the choices that Zwicker has made, others will shake their heads in disapproval. Some “debunkers” will scan this list with glee as they seek one error from which they can erect a stance to pronounce that Zwicker’s entire thesis may be discarded forthwith.
Go ahead. This isn’t a game. Zwicker is not joking, and the chapter on evidence is not the book. If you seek a true-life detective story about 9/11, written by a former cop, go get Mike Ruppert’s Crossing the Rubicon. If you are looking for a forensic examination of Covert Operations and the controllers that pull the operator’s strings, go get Webster G. Tarpley’s Synthetic Terror. If you are insistent about examining the relationships between Western Intel and al Qaeda, you can’t top Nafeez Ahmed’s books, The War on Truth and The War on Freedom ( the latter not to be confused with Jim Marrs’ excellent but rare, War on Freedom ).
Zwicker fleshes each exhibit out with varying amounts of detail, but exhibits B-G make it clear where his heart is; the “failure” of NORAD on 9/11.
The 9/11 PsyOp
Before diving into the heart of the book, the “failure” of the media’s 9/11 coverage, Zwicker offers a survey of psychology to help explain why some people short-circuit when the 9/11 official story is questioned. In the chapter titled “9/11 Truth is Hidden in Plain Sight: 2001 Tricks for Avoiding the Obvious”, he draws upon research by Steven Pinker (How the Mind Works), Arthur Koestler (author of many books), Rita Carter (Mapping the Mind), Dr. Drew Westen, Gregory W. Lester (Why Bad Beliefs Don’t Die) and an examination of Douglas Rushkoff’s “Coercion – Why We Listen to What ‘They’ Say” and Kevin Barrett’s direct application of Rushkoff’s thesis to 9/11 skepticism.
The first part of the chapter draws upon the previously mentioned sources, and builds a surprisingly complex interplay of theory and fact to explain why humans rationalize the impossible. When presented with a situation that doesn’t make sense, or is incomplete, the brain, (specifically the left hemisphere), kicks into overdrive as a spin doctor making up stuff to fill in the blanks. When a person is traumatized, (say by a real-life pyrotechics display broadcast across the world on 9/11, or perhaps images of American destroyers being bombed to smithereens in Pearl Harbor), the brain becomes highly susceptible to suggestion, coercion, propaganda. When someone steps in projecting authority and seemingly rationally explains the unexplainable, the brainwashing is almost immediate. Barrett’s article Apocalypse of Coercion: Why We Listen to What ‘They’ Say About 9/11 expands this argument quite brilliantly and is freely available on the internet, I urge you to read it.
The second part of the chapter highlights Zwicker’s broad range of reading material again with the story of E. Martin Shotz (History Will Not Absolve Us: Orwellian Control, public denial, and the murder of President Kennedy), who went through great pains as a JFK researcher while trying to convince credible mainstream journalists that JFK was not murdered by a lone assassin, but was the victim of a broader conspiracy. No matter how good his evidence was, he could not convince the mainstream media to take up the charge, and bring JFK Truth to the masses.
Shotz ultimately concluded that there was some sort of psychological block mechanism automatically engaging, saving the journalists from challenging their pre-conceived notions about the government, and the assumed security that was derived from these pre-conceived notions.
“To the perpetrators of 9/11 involved in the psychological warfare aspects of it, all this is well known. This they depend upon as they exercise their powers to stifle any moves by independent-minded citizens or journalists to break out of the partly self-created ghetto of half-knowing. “The ‘powers that be,’” writes Shotz, “can count on the fact that the more important the person or institution which commits a crime and the more serious the crime in regard to the system, the more central will be the threat of knowledge of the truth to the ordinary citizen, the more [a psychological tendency toward] uncertainty and confusion.” ...
A value in studying denial and associated phenomena is that we will be better prepared to identify and offset the psychological warfare being practiced on us by the likes of the CIA, the military and the White House, with their disinformation and fear-mongering. It is not just advertising agencies that study our minds in pursuit of our wallets. Right-wing political machines study our minds to keep us a fearful and bewildered herd, ceding more and more of our rights and liberties to them so they will become ever more powerful.” – (TOD pp. 136-137)
(An additional article that Zwicker mentions is also available as an online resource; Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and 9/11: A Scandal Beyond What Has Been Seen Before by Matt Everett, highly recommended reading.)
The Corporate Press
Zwicker’s head-on collision with the stone wall of 9/11 media omission begins with the reluctance of Toronto’s Globe and Mail to independently investigate evidence suggesting a 9/11 cover-up in November of 2001. After making a phone call of inquiry, he gets an interview to present his case to head investigative reporter, Victor Malarek, who says, “I think you’re onto something. We should be looking into this. I’m going to speak to our team about it.” Zwicker follows up with an additional packet of information. Nearly 5 years later, the lead lays dormant. Zwicker never heard another peep from Malarek.
Jumping ahead to 2005, Zwicker submits an article for the “Ideas” section of the Sunday edition of The Toronto Star to hopefully be printed on or near the 4th anniversary of 9/11. Editor Peter Scowen is initially very interested;
”...I’m blown away … I think the strength of it is that you focus on the reasons for the media avoiding so-called conspiracy theories, and not on the conspiracies themselves…”
Later this becomes, in a phone message; ”...I’m not prepared to run it this Sunday. Although I think we can talk about some kind of version of it or changes to it for the future…”
Zwicker is amenable, he makes himself willing to talk, anytime, the last word emailed from Scowen, “We will definitely talk. There is some really good stuff in your piece.”
This turns out to be another trail that goes cold. From initial interest, to denial to avoidance, to the spike. Zwicker points out that Scowen had previously published a book called Rogue Nation: The America the Rest of the World Knows (not to be confused with Clyde Prestowitz’s Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions or William Blum’s Rogue State) which was harshly critical of Neocon foreign policy, and American Imperialism but internalized the official story of 9/11. Even though, in his book, Scowen himself relates a report from his sister that may suggest controlled demolition at one of the WTC Towers, ”...we heard a radio broadcaster describe how she had been at the base of the building when a huge fireball exploded out of the basement of the building. She was implying there was a bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center, as well.”
Zwicker then carefully parses 3 major stories by leading mainstream news sources and exposes them as witting, and unwitting spigots of disinformation and propaganda. The first under the knife is a segment called “NORAD in Cheyenne Mountain” broadcast nationwide on Canadian television on CBC’s The National on November 27, 2001. The report is uncritical, and merely repeats the official line on NORAD’s failure… as it stood at the time. The story has changed several times (researcher Paul Thompson counts around 5 “official” versions of what NORAD and the FAA did that day). Apparently the ever-morphing nature of the NORAD timeline did not merit a mention by the CBC. Nor did the fact that NORAD has AWACS that can and do supply radar information over North American air space. Nor did the fact that the War Games of 9/11 obviously confused FAA and NORAD personnel, according to audio tapes of real-time exchanges between pilots and air traffic controllers on 9/11. Nor did CBC attempt to find out who was in charge of the War Games of 9/11. Ultimately, CBC gave NORAD free PR with their report, buying the party line, hook, line and sinker.
Next up is the Gray Lady herself, the New York Times. In an article headlined “A Nation Challenged: The Response; Planning for Terror but Failing to Act” published beginning on December 30, 2001, the Times rolled out its star reality warper Judith Miller to enforce the party line;
“One example of her adherence to the official line is the curiosity that a word search shows that not once in her article about 9/11 do the words “accountable,” “incompetence” and “blame” appear. If these words were used, they would invite ensuing copy dealing with who is accountable or should have been, what incompetence there was, whether blame should be laid. In skirting the issue of accountability, and in most other respects, the Judith Miller-NYT version of 9/11 foreshadows the line the White House took and that the 9/11 Commission would take three years later. Commission co-chair Lee Hamilton declared the commission was “not out to blame anyone,” and the Commission’s report identified the final culprit as “failure of the imagination.” In the intervening period, the White House, the legislative branch, and law enforcement could find no one with identifiable responsibility who could be called to account. No one was called on the carpet, no one was reprimanded, no agency was given orders to smarten up, not even an individual scapegoat was dragged into the limelight to be suitably admonished. Articles such as this one by Judith Miller in the world’s leading newspaper make this inaction less surprising than it otherwise would be.” (TOD pp.156-157)
Zwicker portrays the NYTimes trendsetting 9/11 report as stenography for the Bush administration.
ABC’s 2002 9/11 anniversary program is dissected as well, exposing a by now familiar pattern of omission, ignoring a host of pre-9/11 warnings of an impending al Qaeda attack, ignoring their (ABC’s) own footage of an exchange between Peter Jennings and reporter John Cochrane detailing that President Bush knew about the first WTC collision before he was en route to Booker Elementary, selectively choosing a speed for the fighters that were scrambled (or were not scrambled depending on which report you use) on 9/11 that depicts them arriving just too late to do any good, all carefully designed to not consciously breathe a whisper of discrepancy with the official story.
There is also a parsing of terror buzz words dropped by reporters on the “terror beat” that Zwicker tags as “terrortalk”; “kingpin”, “jihadist”, “network”, “indicted”, “terrorist cell”, “recruits”, “murder”, “maim”, and “kidnap”. Sprinkle and re-apply as necessary.
The general picture that Zwicker paints is that of a corporate press that does not seriously engage any of the many and varied anomalies of 9/11 that beg for vigorous investigation. Instead, we see safe, near verbatim parroting of the message that the Bush administration wanted projected onto the general population, and by establishing these early reports as omissive, clean dictations with no intrinsic value beyond White House and defense establishment PR, the American public, and indeed the world have been left to fend for themselves when it comes to challenging the official story.
Can there be any doubt that with the enormous resources of just one National or International press organization focusing their attention on the 26 points of contention that Zwicker lists above, that the Bush administration would be on the defensive?
Zwicker writes of a media survey sent to 100 big city editors;
1. Do the US media purposely avoid disturbing news stories of 9/11 contradictions that conflict with the official government version of events?
2. Has your newspaper ever mentioned any significant news story (or stories) that disagreed with the official Kean Commission version of 9/11 events?
3. Is it treasonous, or patriotic, to claim that 9/11 attacks were partly or completely an “inside job,” as internet bloggers claim?
4. If you personally became suspicious that 9/11 was possibly an inside job – by a rogue element in the government – would you suppress the story rather than inform, and thus distress, your readers?
There was only one reply out of the 100 from The Toledo Blade, safe and non-committal.
Zwicker: “The formula is now clear … ‘I need proof but I’m not going to look at the proof.’”
The most controversial chapter in Zwicker’s book is clearly the chapter titled “The Shame of Noam Chomsky and the Gatekeepers of the Left”. It will be most uncomfortable reading for those like me, who have placed Chomsky on a pedestal.
Chomsky’s interviews on David Barsamian’s Alternative Radio played a formative role in my understanding of media and the ways that America’s elite get things done, within or outside of the confines of Lawful conduct.
Zwicker present us with a question asked of Chomsky after a public meeting, “Would you consider your media analysis as a ‘conspiracy theory’ at all?”
Chomsky replied, “It’s precisely the opposite of conspiracy theory, actually … ‘conspiracy theory’ has become the intellectual equivalent of a four-letter word: it’s something people say when they don’t want you to think about what’s really going on.”
Later, on a different occasion, in a different context (in a conversation with Zwicker) Chomsky had this to say about evidence suggestive of government involvement in 9/11, “Look, this is just conspiracy theory.” (TOD pp. 179-180)
This dismissive stance toward the subject of 9/11 skepticism is standard issue from Chomsky. Ask a 9/11 activist who has corresponded with Chomsky about 9/11 and the answer is ultimately the same, with some derivation, “There’s nothing to see here, move along.”
It should be noted that Chomsky has not always had an allergic reaction to the word “conspiracy”;
“Peter Dale Scott succeeds in achieving new insight into the American war in Indochina with his meticulous and fascinating analysis of intelligence conspiracies and the links between the “intelligence community” and corporate power. The logic of the Nixon doctrine leads to a still greater reliance on the devious workings of this system of bureaucratic and private power. The great importance of this book extends well beyond the new understanding it provides with regard to past escapades. Scott exposes an element in the American system of global power that poses an increasing threat to the victims of this system, the American people among them.” – Noam Chomsky, review blurb from Peter Dale Scott’s The War Conspiracy, 1972.
Chomsky has never received evidence about a JFK conspiracy with open arms either. Perhaps he should familiarize himself with Mark Lane’s work, and the Marchetti trial.
In just under 50 pages, Zwicker deconstructs this icon of the Left, examining Chomsky’s evasiveness and dismissive attitude when pushed to examine evidence of broader involvement regarding 9/11.
He also names a host of other media spigots and personalities as echoes of Chomsky’s stance; The Nation, Democracy Now!, Chip Berlet, David Barsamian, Z Magazine, Alexander Cockburn, Norman Solomon, The Progressive, Mother Jones, Alternet.org, Global Exchange, PBS, South End Press, Public Research Associates, FAIR/Extra!, Counterspin, Columbia Journalism Review, Deep Dish TV, Working Assets, Molly Ivins, Ms Magazine, Inter Press Service, MoveOn.org, Greg Palast, David Zupan and Northwest Media Project.
Zwicker’s critique is wide ranging, well referenced, and ultimately devastating. I can’t do it justice with a summary. Instead I’ll quote from Zwicker’s conclusion;
“…Chomsky, the most quoted “Leftist” in the Left media, systematically engages in deceptive discourse on certain key topics, such as JFK’s assassination, 9/11, and with regard to the CIA. In warning the Left against examining the evidence on JFK and 9/11, he lines himself up with George Bush and the corporate media, thereby advancing their agenda – which he otherwise opposes. When he is not appearing to undermine the American Empire, which is the main thing he does, he is buttressing it by undermining the most effective and therefore dangerous foe the Empire faces – the conscious Left.” (TOD p. 224)
No longer a bellwether of the Left, (to me at least), Chomsky looks more like Humpty Dumpty after the fall. Perhaps he can be rehabilitated.
The balance of Zwicker’s book consists of an examination of the labyrinthine makeup of the Invisible Government, and an excellent introduction to False Flag terror operations, including; examinations of the Gunpowder Plot, the provocation of the Mexican-American war, the sinking of the Maine, the sinking of the Lusitania, the Reichstag fire, Pearl Harbor, Canada’s shelling of the Estevan Light, Operation Gladio, Northwoods, Gulf of Tonkin, the Achille Lauro hijacking, the La Belle disco bombing, the Kuwaiti incubator baby deception, P2OG, the Madrid train bombings, Russia’s Beslan massacre, 7/7, and a brief look at the SAS soldiers captured last year in Iraq who were up to no good.
Zwicker closes with a brief journey through interactions between activists and the media, and how 9/11 activists can and must engage the present media, and become the alternative voice, which is happening on a steadily increasing basis.
TOD is broad in scope, rich in anecdote, a pleasure to read, challenging to paradigms on the Left and the Right, a valuable resource, and a more than worthy addition to a steadily growing canon of serious research about not only the events of 9/11, but how 9/11 shapes us, and how we can correct it.
Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-Up of 9/11
by Barrie Zwicker
New Society Publishers (2006)
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