The Logical Reconstruction of Reality: A Reply to Time
Time magazine, the flagship corporate-government mouthpiece, has always been good primarily for one thing--to let us know what Big Brother is thinking, and by the same token, to tell us what we should think. (If you have to ask who Big Brother is, see below.)
Before I reached the age of reason, at the age of 42 when I realized that the mainstream media had been lying for at least a quarter of a century, since the murder of JFK, Time and Newsweek were my teddy bears. Read them and before you know it, you're fast asleep in a world that is in control, no matter how bad it seems. The right people are doing the right things.
That was true, of course, only not in the way I thought. I was the one who was under control. Instead of shouting bloody murder from the rooftops, I was dutifully reading myself to sleep, taking my soma every week.
This latest attempt (Time, Sep. 3, 2006 ) to pacify the herd, to anesthetize us with the idea that "conspiracy theories" are defense mechanisms to protect ourselves from the big, bad, complex world, "empowering" us "to make sense of grand events" is striking, even for Time, in its illogic.
Far from "empowering," the notion that the government itself perpetrated 9/11 has the opposite effect on most people. Who wants to believe that our elected leaders are ruthless, mass-murdering demonic pigs? Fear of having to believe this, and subsequent denial of whatever evidence and arguments would lead to this belief, are by far the most common reactions. Lev Grossman, Big Brother's hack in this instance, knows this as well as anyone else with common sense, and the ploy here is to skirt the fear by making the denial easier. It's not the idea that our leaders are monsters that we have to deal with, he is telling us, but the idea that some people (actually, as he says, 36% of the population) need an idea like this to feel as if they are "participating in the great American tradition of self-reliance and nonconformist, antiauthoritarian dissent." A mature thinker, like Grossman himself, knows that "conspiracy theories are part of the process by which Americans deal with traumatic public events like Sept. 11, "an American form of national mourning," and that--here is the overriding wisdom--"the past, even the immediate past, is ultimately unknowable."
So we know what Big Brother is about in this article, as always: Do not consider "outrageous conspiracy theories," as George II told us himself, shortly after promulgating the most outrageous conspiracy theory of all, namely that a cave dweller in Afghanistan and 19 Arabs with box cutters could defeat the multi-billion dollar U.S. Air Force and national defense establishment, not just once, but four times on a single day. Do not question this, or anything else I say, and do not look for facts, because the past is "unknowable."
Granted, some people will fall for this. Maybe the other 64% of the population. Still, it is very bad propaganda. Big Brother may be losing his touch. Subtlety has never been his strong point, and since selection 2000 it has all but disappeared. I suppose we should be glad of that. The Bush government, a "Nixon imperial presidency on steroids," as John Dean (who should know) called it recently on C-Span, has made it quite clear what we are dealing with: fascisim. We are one step, one more terror attack, away from the jackboots, as Gen. Tommy Franks http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/11/20/185048.shtml has told us in so many words, and the Patriot Acts have already gutted the Constitution and created the legal structure for a police state. (Don't believe me; read the recent speeches of former Vice-President Al Gore.)
If Big Brother were more concerned with subtlety, there are several different ploys he could have taken, and may yet, but again, that is what Time is good for--showing his hand.
Most conspicuously, he has given us only two alternatives, two views of reality: world No. 1 and world No. 2. No. 1 is the official line. No. 2 is actually described quite correctly and straightforwardly:
In world No. 2, al-Qaeda is not responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Center. The U.S. government is. The Pentagon was not hit by a commercial jet; it was hit by a cruise missile. United Flight 93 did not crash after its occupants rushed the cockpit; it was deliberately taken down by a U.S. Air Force fighter. The entire catastrophe was planned and executed by federal officials in order to provide the U.S. with a pretext for going to war in the Middle East and, by extension, as a means of consolidating and extending the power of the Bush Administration.
This is in fact an accurate statement of what most of those 108 million Americans (and 95% of the rest of the world) actually think. It does not say, as all too many 9/11 "truthlings" say, that a "rogue faction" of the government did it, or that "factions of the government may have been involved" or "complicit." It does not differentiate between LIHOP ("Let It Happen on Purpose") and MIHOP ("Make It Happen on Purpose"), or say, as Kyle Hence, one of the most prominent "9/11 Truth" leaders did recently:
Any simplistic speculations or accusations such as "the government did it" are irresponsible and pre-mature in my view as all the evidence 'isn't in' and the reality is likely far more complex. What we know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that agencies across the board within the government covered-up, many officials lied, and some destroyed key evidence. We know that excessive secrecy, over-classification and delays in releasing CIA and FBI Inspector General and NIST reports have kept much vital information from the general public and official investigations about what happened or didn't happen and how it was covered-up. It is entirely conceivable that systemic or bureaucratic faults, incompetence, negligence (including criminal negligence) complicity and co-conspiracy ALL occurred within the gargantuan, byzantine government and global military-industrial-intelligence complex relative to the 9/11 attacks. Even a cursory examination of Operation Gladio, the 7/7 attacks in London, etc. suggests a far wider circle of co-conspirators. Any new investigation must consider all the evidence within the frame of the questions 1) who most benefited and 2) was 9/11 as Chris Floyd has suggested a 'secret army' Gladio-type operation designed to advance an extreme right wing agenda? SFC Donald Buswell, now under investigation in Texas, framed suspicion this way -- rejecting the official conspiracy theory and Commission findings and pointing in the direction of the military-industrial complex. In the end we may find the reality more complex still given the huge power of drug, banking, illicit weapons and other criminal cartels and the fact that US officials may have acted the part of guilty parties in some cases to cover-up their own incompetence or criminal negligence even as they were aware the official story didn't hold any water. (email to me and others, Aug. 28, 2006).
Now here is subtlety. Could any of Big Brother's hacks have put it more eloquently? My question to Hence, to which this was his reply, was:
Do you agree with David Griffin that "the Bush-Cheney administration orchestrated 9/11 in order to promote this [American] empire under the pretext of the so-called war on terror" (p. viii, Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11)?
Griffin was not subtle at all, having come to this conclusion after examining all the available evidence and presenting it in three books. Hence and many other 9/11 "truth-seekers" claim to support and agree with Griffin, but when it comes down to it, they hedge. They squirm and wriggle and hem and haw and inundate us with "complexities" and all the "research" that needs to be done before we can say what Big Brother himself has said quite openly--at least if world No. 2 is real: The government did it.
Similarly, Grossman gives a quite acceptable summary of the facts about the Pentagon strike:
…the crash site doesn't look right. There's not enough damage. The hole smashed in the Pentagon's outer wall was 75 ft. wide, but a Boeing 757 has a 124-ft. wingspan. Why wasn't the hole wider? Why does it look so neat?
Experts will tell you that the hole was punched by the plane's fuselage, not its wings, which sheared off on impact. But then what happened to the wings? And the tail and the engines? Images of the crash site show hardly any of the wreckage you would expect from a building that's been rammed by a commercial jet. The lawn, where the plane supposedly dragged a wing on approach, is practically pristine. The plane supposedly clipped five lampposts on its way in, but the lampposts in question show surprisingly little damage. And could Hani Hanjour, the man supposedly at the controls, have executed the maneuvers that the plane performed? He failed a flight test just weeks before the attack. And Pentagon employees reported smelling cordite after the hit, the kind of high explosive a cruise missile carries.
And the counterarguments are sparse indeed:
…if the Pentagon was hit by a cruise missile, then what happened to American Airlines Flight 77? Where did all the real, documented people on it go? Assassinated? Relocated? What about eyewitnesses who saw a plane, not a missile? And what are the chances that an operation of such size--it would surely have involved hundreds of military and civilian personnel--could be carried out without a single leak? Without leaving behind a single piece of evidence hard enough to stand up to scrutiny in a court? People, the feds just aren't that slick. Nobody is.
That's it. That's all Big Brother has to counter the accusations summarized in David Ray Griffin's three books and literally hundreds of websites and other books. Anyone who does the least bit of reading will soon learn that the eyewitnesses contradict each other drastically, and that what happened to the passengers (not "documented" by an impartial authority but only by the government; autopsy results have not been released) is indeed an ongoing mystery but secondary to the examination of the physical evidence.
Then we have the old canard and patently absurd argument--which doesn't stop people like Noam Chomsky, to the distress of many of his left-oriented admirers (see "My Beef with Chomsky" http://www.geocities.com/mdmorrissey/chomweb.htm for my own take), from repeating it--that such a high-level conspiracy could not have happened without a leak. Then how did Osama and his 19 helpers do it? Their "leak" was the 9/11 Commission Report, a "571-page lie," http://www.serendipity.li/wot/571-page-lie.htm as Griffin calls it (and proves amply in The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions).
Time could have produced a far more effective propaganda piece not only by repeating the arguments of Kyle Hence, but also by mentioning all the other theories about what actually happened on 9/11, including first and foremost the "no planes" theorists, who argue that no planes hit the WTC, that it was all video fakery. This is very much a bone of contention among the researchers, and a beautiful opportunity to paint the whole "truth movement" as ridiculous. Instead, they have given us a straightforward summary of what most of us do believe, and virtually nothing to contradict it. It's as if George Bush were telling us again, "You're either with us or against us." That does seem to be the real message. It is a declaration of war, and in war there is no more need for subtlety.
Now I'm finished, and I haven't told you who Big Brother is, as promised. Let's make it easy. If you're in world No. 1, there is none. If you're in world No. 2, he is either what Kyle Hence says he is, or what Time and David Griffin says he is. My money's on the latter.
--Michael D. Morrissey, Sept. 7, 2006
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