Six Years and Counting
September 11, 2007Every time my tears have ever fallen
I keep 'em in my pocket for a rainy day
And when it's pouring I take them outside
And let the raindrops wash my tears away
But on a bad day when hearts are breaking
There's not enough rain to carry all the tears away
--Kasey Chambers, "On A Bad Day"
Commemorating a Bad Memory -- Here it is, the anniversary. Mercifully it's cloudy and cool in the New York area today, markedly different from that other Tuesday, September 11, six years ago that started as such a beautiful day with the WTC towers standing tall on the skyline, 110 stories of solid steel, before they crumbled into dust and uniform strips of steel (while Bush read "My Pet Goat") in ways, we are told, that contradict many laws of physics. But that's a big subject, much to go into and it's been gone into in great detail over and over during these six years. The fact of these impossibilities is not a secret, they've been well reasoned and presented, just not officially acknowledged. It remains to be seen by whoever wants to pull away the blinders and look. For now, the three imploding WTC towers remain symbolically standing, the pillars that support a false history, a false reality.
And in commemoration and support of that false reality, Bush's puppet general and "ambassador" spoke to congress yesterday telling them fables to enable them to stall and allow the hideous carnage and chaos to continue in Iraq, to keep the war contracts in place and keep the money flowing to Halliburton, Kellogg Brown & Root and all the other parasitic corporations that suck the blood from America through this megafraud called the "war in Iraq".
U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, a bleached out, soulless, gray, denatured human shell, delivered his mechanical speech to Congress, repeating historically evocative phrases in support of the continuation of the madness that kills our young men and women every day in a hostile, alien environment that they have no business being in, except as toy soldiers of the boy president. Where does Bush find people low enough in the human order to deliver his false message to the American people, knowing every word is a lie and every minute of delay is killing more people, destroying more minds and hearts.
Bush changes his story periodically until he's stated practically every possible position around the spectrum of possibility. He's going to get bin Laden. Then he's not spending any more time on it. Then he's back to going to get bin Laden. Major combat operations are over. Then we need more troops. The insurgence is in its last throes. Then "we're fighting to win". It's nothing like Vietnam. Then it is like Vietnam. But meanwhile, while he babbles meaningless phrases interminably, keeping anyone confused who tries to make sense of it, the war goes on. Cheney's Halliburton keeps bleeding America. They were in such a hurry to get into the war, to push past any resistance, to roll over any wish for understanding or caution. They just wanted to get started, and once they did, as they probably knew, it would be very hard to ever extricate American forces from the broken society they destroyed.
They knew, the real powers behind Bush had to have known that once they got the invasion going, there would be no way out for a long time. They launched their juggernaut of empire and we are all stuck with it. Now politicians say, "We can't just leave," and there is something to what they say because the country is in such violent chaos now that it needs some form of order -- not imposed by the U.S., that's the flaw in that reasoning, but something.
Ron Suskind, in his book The Price of Loyalty quoted a senior adviser to Bush saying, "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
September 13, 200789% Favor Impeachment! MSNBC ran a live online poll asking "Do you believe President Bush's actions justify impeachment?" It gave four possible answers to choose from. Here are the numbers pulled right from the site on Sept. 12, showing 553,839 responses, more than half a million:
Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial. 89%
No, like any president, he has made a few missteps, but nothing approaching "high crimes and misdemeanors." 4.2%
No, the man has done absolutely nothing wrong. Impeachment would just be a political lynching. 5.2%
I don't know. 1.9%
One wonders how far it can go before the power structure responds to the will of the people. How long can they keep up this pretense. Lucky for Bush the U.S. isn't a democracy. He'd be in trouble!
Voting Vetoed -- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation that would have allowed Californians to vote on an advisory measure calling for President Bush to immediately withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. (AP) This is a nonbinding vote, obviously, all it would have allowed Californians to do was express their preferences for the war. Arnie doesn't want that. We all know what it would be anyway. From the Hart -- Gary Hart, talking plain, writes: "The Bush administration was warned months before 9/11 that terrorists were going to attack America. They did nothing. They have yet to be held accountable for the preventable loss of American lives. Yet the administration blames its critics for not understanding the terrorist threat... The United States has suffered more than 30,000 casualties in another war that had nothing to do with those attacks. This folly is producing more haters of America than it can ever possibly eliminate. The backbone of domestic security, the National Guard, is deployed in that war and is thus not at home being trained, equipped, and deployed to protect America... The U.S. is currently pursuing a foreign policy in the Middle East and throughout the Arab world that is dementedly designed to promote a clash of civilizations. When this policy produces further attacks, our current policy makers will respond that this is what to expect from those who hate America and only tough-minded conservatives know how to deal with them."
September 14, 2007The strange days just keep on comin'. But given that these intensely interesting times we are living in often seem a fulfillment of the Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times," some of the worst of it has created its own backlashes and some of the villains of the age are getting just a little of what's coming to them. They've created such untold, incalculable damage, it's only basic Newtonian physics that some reaction is going to finally some day cause them a little trouble. They do a good job of appearing utterly impervious, completely unhindered by conscience or compassion, but can they be? Can human beings really be utterly impervious to the effect they have on the world? One wonders. Of course Pinochet died in his bed. Franco held power in Spain until his death. Idi Amin lived peacefully in exile till his death. It would not be healthy to believe that murderers do necessarily meet justice, or even that the world should be that way. It's certainly not wise to expect it or wait for it to happen. That ain't the way it is. If there is justice in the world, it is not on that level. But once one accepts that one must be a passive witness to such massive, mindless destruction of human life and of the finest human works, like the U.S. Constitution and the traditions that led to it and those that grew up to support it, then one realizes that this is the lot of humankind, it has been the lot of all those before us great and small, and we are not likely to be the first people to live in a just world. Dishonest, cruel men rise to power often in the world.
A dear friend recently wrote to me and said, "I can see how distressed you are by the 9/11 coverup..." But I'm not. I'm not distressed by that particular thing any more than other Americans are concerned about terrorism, which is certainly one thing we can all agree on: it was terrorism to the Nth degree. I'm distressed by many things I see going on at the moment, much of it directly related to the Bush corporatist regime, but plenty of it happening more or less independently. That one thing is only one thing, and I think most people are right to see it as an area of relatively little possible effectiveness. There are many areas people can focus that can produce tangible results and help counteract some of the bad things going on and can therefore make one little part of the world better for a while. That is all we really can do ever.
Those are right who rule it as an area that is largely futile at the moment in terms of choosing where one can focus one's energies in the face of a corporate onslaught on democracy and the quality of human life in America and around the world. And there are many more who avoid it because 9/11 truth has been considered such a fringe issue, so far out, that it discredits the rest of what someone says to get anywhere near the issue. These are matters of political pragmatism, and political pragmatism is essential in this world, the real world as opposed to the ideal world. So many who are seen as representatives of "the left", see it as a possible weakness in their credibility, and therefore their effectiveness to be tarnished in effect in having professed a belief, or even an openness to possibilities, that are seen to be far out, crazy.
Each of these considerations is worthwhile, reasonable, justifiable. Pragmatic considerations of ones perceived political positioning or even credibility are separate for a search for the truth. In western civilization, in religious tradition, in rationalistic traditions, the truth is traditionally seen to have value in itself. There are times when an unfettered search for the truth is appropriate, just as there are times when legal considerations come first and others when political pragmatism sets the groundrules. All of these areas operate simultaneously in our world and we all move in and out of these separate spheres from time to time.
I am not distressed about the 9/11 coverup. I accept that history has mysteries and that history lies. I know of a number of major incidents in my life time the truth of which is suppressed and denied by the ruling culture. That is also part of history. But though I am not choosing it for my central cause in life, I do think the discussion of it does have an appropriate place and is important. It's important for the sake of historical truth itself, for our understanding of who we are. And I believe ultimately it does have importance on the pragmatic political level. But the culture is not yet evolved to the point where it can be dealt with freely. The power structure of the country is not even to a place where a reliable hearing can be undertaken on an official level. A reliable inquiry would have to take place in another country. And the most reliable information we do have about it comes from outside official channels, not outside of the country necessarily, but in the public domain, from the grassroots. The poll numbers on all these issues that were absolutely verboten a few years ago are tantalizingly close to tipping points now. It's fascinating.
But I do think that the inquiry is vital and important and I salute those who have carried it on and led the way, always at risk to their reputations, their careers even their lives. Poll numbers on the subject are already almost unbelievable in terms of how much of the public strays from the official reality. Subjects like election tampering and impeachment were recently strictly reserved for lunatics, and have now crept into the mainstream. Even global warming was a taboo in the offical corporate culture, unless you gave equal time to, in effect, creationism. The evolution of all these ideas in the human culture, not the artificially constructed corporate culture, is fascinating.
Meanwhile, this history we are witnessing is fascinating. No one knows what will happen, even how long humanity as a whole will survive. Today it was reported that Colin Powell warned against a "terror industrial complex". Here perhaps is the conscience of the old man in part doing penance for allowing himself to be the tool of the Bush administration, to put his credibility on the line and lie to the world in order to justify a war that was being waged on false pretenses. That is big. And his move today is big. To restate Eisenhower's farewell address warning about the military industrial complex, but to update it to today's reality is an important statement, in a sense it reasserts an authority that he squandered as a pawn of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld. See the references to Powell's statement here and here.
Here is another incredible moment: When the War Party of One, Joe Leiberman, interviewed intelligence czar Mike McConnell, he got McConnell to credit Bush's new expanded spying powers for helping German authorities to catch the alleged terrorist cell in Germany. He asked McConnell if the law helped, McConnell said yes, even though these guys were already under surveillance before the law was passed. For that and many other reasons, say Newsweek's Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, the facts say the McConnell's claim that the president's new spying powers aided in the capture of the suspects is false. "In a new embarrassment for the Bush administration's top spymaster, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell is withdrawing an assertion he made to Congress this week that a recently passed electronic-surveillance law helped U.S. authorities foil a major terror plot in Germany," says the article. Oh well, what's one more lie. Giuliani's Big Lie -- Check out scenes from Robert Greenwald's The Real Rudy. Watch Rudy on TV lie open-faced and blame someone else for locating the terrorism command center in the World Trade Center, the only place in the city that had already been the target of terrorist attacks and was still a stated target. What a glib, skillful liar he is! How quickly he thinks up the ruse of blaming John Hauer, his director of emergency management when Chris Wallace presents him with evidence that it was Giuliani alone against much resistance who determined that the command center would be located at the World Trade Center. That's why he was walking the streets, in part, he had no command center. Also, his canny political nature sensed immediately a unique photo op, and he's made millions off it. This is a story that many New Yorkers, especially firefighters and first responders, believe should be told. Exit Polls Right, Except Florida and Ohio -- Daily Kos.
September 15, 2007The Persistence of Curiosity -- Interesting piece in Online Journal this week by By Joel S. Hirschhorn: Painful 9/11 truth. It's a eminently rational approach to the hanging questions by a former engineering professor with growing skepticism about the official WTC story, who joined Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Hirschhorn focuses on the still inadequately explained collapse of three WTC skyscrapers that day, the lack of sufficient explanation about which is almost as disturbing as the incidents themselves.
"When it comes to 9/11, we face the strong belief that only Al-Qaeda caused 9/11," says Hirschhorn. "But analyses by many experts reveal the collapse of three WTC buildings was not caused by the two airplanes exploding into the two towers. Without getting into details that one can spend many hours examining on a number of websites, the general view is that the buildings were brought down by controlled demolition. If correct -- IF -- the immediate reaction is like a cosmic big bang. It would have taken considerable effort by a number of people with expertise and access to the buildings to rig them so that they could be intentionally collapsed when the two jets hit the towers. Tough questions flood in: Who could have engineered all this? Could foreign agents accomplish such complex actions -- and if they did, why not take credit for it? If Americans did it, why would they intentionally inflict inevitable mass death and devastation? Worse, they seemingly knew about the plan to fly the jets into the towers."
Again, these questions do not force a rush to judgment. But the collapse of the buildings does inevitably bring certain questions to the fore that demand answers, and of course the only impetus for getting those answers comes from the public domain and has not yet trickled up to any official people. Dennis Kucinich is one of the very few in any public office who acknowledges that more investigation is needed. The lunatic label is still used to scare off any questions. But returning to the unexplained collapse of the three buildings, the questions begin with access to the buildings, who had the means, motives and opportunity to arrange the collapses and why.
Naturally the hysterical reaction to such questions is to simplify the issue, focus on the Bush administration, who had so much to gain, and dismiss the questioner on the basis of how outrageous such a theory is, though the questioner may not have raised the theory at all. Oddly enough, the particular questions about Bush and Cheney, though interesting and perhaps more than incidental, are not the ultimate questions. Bush is obviously a puppet, a trained monkey -- not stupid, but certainly of limited knowledge about what goes on and of limited range of power himself. He appears to be a good man for the job because he has no problem getting up and telling any lies he is told to tell, no matter how outrageous or unbelievable.
Cheney is obviously much more of an operator, much more hands-on, much more conspiracy oriented, in his publicly demonstrated role in the Plame smear for example. But Cheney is also not the all-powerful master of the U.S. corporatocracy. There are more powerful people than Cheney or Bush and neither of them would have power to even continue in office another day if they were to go against the broadest powers of the country. If Cheney had any role in such an enormous crime, it was not without the authority and sanction of some much bigger than him, who had the power to virtually guarantee that the crime would never be solved. As Roosevelt learned when he had to negotiate with the men who tried to launch a fascist coup against him -- Prescott Bush being one of them -- there are much more powerful forces than a president. (See BBC: "The White House Coup")
So the real questions are not conspiratorial in nature as much as institutional, beginning with just what we know to be unanswered questions: who is behind the demolition of those buildings and why. What is their relationship to the alleged hijackers, if any? Bush and Cheney are not irrelevant to such an inquiry, but they are not central. The investigation should start with the owner of the World Trade Center and anyone else who may have had access. Here is an interesting video presentation that looks at the demolitions, then examines some of the questions about where those inquiries lead when one looks at who had the means, motives and opportunity to plant those charges in the three WTC buildings that collapsed. Who benefitted? And there were a great many who did, a great deal of money has been made as a result of 9/11. This begins the kind of authentic inquiry that is needed, that a real prosecutor of organized crime figures might undertake.
Another fascinating piece on 9/11 on Online Journal by Paul Craig Roberts: " 9-11, six years later". It begins thusly: "On Sept. 7, National Public Radio reported that Muslims in the Middle East were beginning to believe that the 9-11 attacks on the WTC and Pentagon were false flag operations committed by some part of the U.S. and/or Israeli government. It was beyond the imagination of the NPR reporter and producer that there could be any substance to these beliefs, which were attributed to the influence of books by U.S. and European authors sold in bookstores in Egypt. NPR's concern was that books by Western authors questioning the origin of the 9-11 attack have the undesirable result of removing guilt from Muslims' shoulders." Roberts goes on to look into some of the problems with the 9/11 commission and with the official story.
Moyers on 9/11 -- Friday night, September 14, Bill Moyers Journal ran a piece called "9/11 For the Record", quite a fascinating look at the incident, the run-up to it, and focusing on the utter failure of the Bush administration to do anything to counteract the threats that were well known at the time. It's quite amazing without ever even having to get near the questions of how the commission failed to answer colossally important questions. Even given its strict limitations in terms of time, money, cooperation by the administration to provide documents, and an essential veto power over anything that would appear in the final report by the White House through Philip Zelikow, who ran the commission, had that veto power and was a close associate, insider and confidante of the Bush administration. Even given those limitations, the hearings themselves produced some pretty amazing questions and answers which should have been enough to send the Bush administration packing. Condi Rice was the very picture of arrogant incompetence, saying that the memos that she and Bush received warning of bin Laden's intentions to attack large U.S. buildings with hijacked planes were "historical" and did not demand action. As if the president and the national security adviser have to be explicitly directed to take action by such a memo before they are responsible to do so. She is a disgrace. Her main strategy for dealing with the questions was just to kill time and run out the clock babbling about irrelevancies. This is a worthy piece of work. Moyers succeeds in getting through the corporate media screen with a look at the incidents that is not strictly the Bush/corporatist/Disney/ABC/Fox fairy tale of what happened. It shows how the Republicans thwarted Clinton's attempts to deal with bin Laden by making it seem to be a distraction from the Real Issue, the moral issue of his hanky panky with Monica Lewinsky, and how once the Bush administration came in the Bushies thwarted any attempts to do anything meaningful about terrorism and bin Laden in particular. Morford on Iraq -- "There was never any coherent, justifiable heroic cause. Indeed, the truth about Iraq, as evidenced by Gen. David Petreaus' muted, bleak testimony before Congress just this week, is much more simple, nefarious, pathetic. Iraq is, was, and forever will be our very own massive strategic blunder, a failed land grab for position and power in a tinderbox region defined by furious instability and corruption and death. It's the great unspoken subtext. Iraq has always been a war between our dueling national identities, a battle over how we are to move and breathe and behave in the new millennium. Are we really this violently paranoid bully, this rogue pre-emptive screw-em-all ideological war machine defined by the dystopian Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld vision of permanent, ongoing global conflict? Or do we try, instead, to move forward and reinvent ourselves over and over again as the world's most commited, forceful peacekeeper, ever striving for balance and cooperation and tact, even in the face of hardship and fundamentalist rage, refusing to be taunted and dragged down lest we take the bait and lose our minds and engage in torture and misprision and ultraviolence and become little better, ideologically speaking, than our taunters? Have we already made our choice? Because the truth is, we are well past the point of salvaging anything noble or honest from Bush's massive, historic debacle. We have only this brutal reality: Iraq is, and forever will be, one of the most extraordinary wastes in all of American history." SF Gate Bob Herbert on Iraq -- The humanitarian nightmare Bush warns will take place in Iraq if the U.S. pulls out its military has already arrived. Turning the Equation on its Head -- By saying that his decisions to pull troops out of Iraq will depend on "success" there, he creates motivation to go along with his characterization of success in Iraq, and creates an ongoing justification for his occupation. CTA.ca
Sunday, September 16, 2007AntiWar Protest in the Forest -- An emergency sidelined my plans to attend the Antiwar March in Washington yesterday with a videogra pher who was going to be taking video of the event. Not being at the event itself, but only in the corporate media fishbowl, it feels as if nothing happened at all. A tree fell in the forest, but who knew? Al Jazeera did report on it, however. "Organisers said 100,000 people attended the protest, but police did not give confirm the figure," said Al Jazeera. News reports rarely capture the energy, the pure jubilation of tens of thousands of people gathering for a common cause. I always start those projects out of an urgent sense of duty, then find myself at a euphoric event, the best party going, the only party that affirms life against all this deadly inertia the grinds out war and war production in an endless circle. To the U.S. corporate media, a mere 100,000 people gathering in Washington D.C.to oppose Bush's idiot war is barely worth mentioning except as an expression of the futility of resistance. To the corporate media, who represent the heartless mind of the corporatocracy, these people are just party poopers, spoilsports who seek to disrupt a good thing, a gravy train for some of the heaviest fat cats in the country. What is their problem? Can't they just go home? It's okay to have their opinions, this is America after all, but they are so rude about it.
By evening news time the Washington Post's report was headlined, Why the Crowds Didn't Show Up. Later I guess they had to admit that maybe 100,000 people at an antiwar event when a vast majority of the public feels the same way is maybe not something to entirely discount, so they reported the lackluster "Antiwar Protest Held in Washington." The second paragraph says "Protesters and counter-protesters started to gather by 8:30 a.m." as if there was some sort of balance, 100,000 protesters, maybe 50 anti-protesters. What are they anti-protesting anyway? Are they saying the dig the war, that it's noble, a great success, anything better than a humiliation and a disgrace?
The stranglehold on the public dialogue held by the most powerful corporations has effectively muzzled anti-Bush, anti-war, anti-corporatist feeling for seven years, but the hatred of the Bush administration is overflowing into every corner of American life and is getting harder and harder to contain.
Greenspan Too Little Too Late -- After squandering his credibility in the early Bush II administration, essentially giving his blessings to Bush's tax cuts and outrageous deficit spending, Greenspan is now coming out and bashing Bush for just that in his new book. No profile in courage at this point, it would have been nice to hear about this when it still might have helped. AOL
September 17, 2007The Armed Camp of America -- God how strange America has become! Now Sally Fields is censored for saying "If women ruled the world, there wouldn't be any Goddamned wars!" What a shocking, offensive thing to say! My God. To actually speak the hope for peace. To insult the men of the world by objecting to war! How shocking! Why didn't they just tase her, or wire her up for shock treatments right there on stage? Here's the uncensored version. But when a college kid at a John Kerry speech in Gainesville, Fla., went beyond what is considered polite, asked too many questions, some of the wrong questions, like asking Kerry about his membership with Bush in Yale's secret society Skull & Bones, the cops went after the guy, and not only did they manhandle him, they tased him, they used a taser, an electroshock gun on him. Now if a person must somehow be subdued, if a young, slight, unarmed man is out of control and must be subdued -- which is a big question in this case -- can't a handful of police handle the guy without pulling out space age torture weapons? This is getting really really sick. These guys have these great weapons and they just can't wait for a chance to use them. And everyone just stands there, including Kerry, while they apply electroshock to this kid. It's like those experiments where they instruct people to shock some guy in a laboratory and most of the people did as they were told and shocked the guy even as he screamed for mercy. As weird as this country is right now, it is getting weirder as we speak. See the hideous footage for yourself here and here, and more here after the tasing. It would actually have been nice to hear the answers to his questions.
September 18, 2007World's Greatest Music Video -- "You Lied" by Tom Paine and the New Deciders. Check this one out! Premiered on ImpeachThem.com.
Heard Round the World -- Fidel Castro said the true story of 9/11 would probably never be known, but what is known is that the government put out "deliberate misinformation." See Reuters, The Guardian, cubanet.org. House of Mirrors -- Michael Dickinson on Counterpunch examines a transcript of the text of the speech on a video allegedly of Osama bin Laden. Greenspan: It's the Oil, Stupid -- According to the LA Times and the U.K.'s Telegraph,former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan wrote in his new book: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil." Sally Field Interrupted -- Fox censored Sally Field, who was receiving an Emmy Award and dared to mention the Iraq war. They just cut her off in the middle of a sentence: whack. The corporations rule. No one is allowed to express a dissenting opinion. Watch it at crooksandliars.com