As I watched live news coverage of the burning WTC in New York on September 11, 2001, I remember thinking the story that would come out of the day -- beyond the planes hitting the buildings, of course -- would be the people stranded on the roof smothering to death on the smoke rising from the gashes in the buildings.
Then the first building fell.
Watching it, I experienced a sensation I hadn't felt since I was seven years old, when I fell out of a tree, landed on my back and knocked the wind out of myself. Not since that moment had I felt that supreme, blank, slate-wiping shock of complete and utter sensory overload.
The sight of the WTC buildings falling was the single most horrifying thing I'd ever seen.
I recall, while watching the coverage, hearing Peter Jennings of ABC News wonder aloud if, possibly, the planes were actually not part of a concerted attack; that the high-jackers of each plane were a pair of lone nuts who just happened to choose the same targets, method of attack and time of attack by sheer coincidence.
The most horrifying sight of my life was accompanied by the single most idiotic statement I'd ever heard.
Within hours of the attack, the name Osama Bin Laden -- infamous by that time for organizing the bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa and the U.S.S. Cole, docked in Yemen -- was mentioned on the news as a possible culprit.
Part of me was surprised a suspect could be determined so quickly, but then I recalled the terrorist bombings in Lebanon and Northern Ireland of the 1970s and '80's and how groups would detonate a bomb and then call authorities or journalists taking responsibility for the act.
When Condeleeza Rice announced, some time later, that Osama Bin Laden was, indeed, behind the 9/11 attacks, she promised that the U.S. government would be forthcoming with its evidence.
No such evidence was ever presented.
As with any such event, I wondered how long it would be before a formal investigation took place. I mean, the Warren Commission -- such as it was -- was formed a week after President Kennedy was assassinated. Whenever there was a plane crash, the NTSB began investigating immediately.
So, it was more than a little surprising and telling that George W. Bush didn't call for an investigation into the 9/11 attacks for some 400 days.
When he finally did call for an investigation, I nearly fell out of my chair with incredulity when it was announced Bush wanted Henry Kissinger to head the inquiry.
Henry Kissinger, notorious, slithering, Washington insider. A man who can no longer travel to most First World nations because he's a wanted war criminal in most corners of the civilized world.
Henry Kissinger, one of the most secretive, corrupt, compromised, deceitful people to ever work in the U.S. government.
If you want an investigation to get to the truth of a matter, you don't appoint Henry Kissinger to oversee it. He's the king of back room dealing and obfuscation.
To my amusement and relief, Kissinger bowed out nearly as soon as his name was mentioned for the matter due to his dealings with the Bin Laden family and Saudi Arabia, and the fact that he wouldn't disclose the nature of those dealings to public scrutiny.
Of course he wouldn't.
By that time, the war in Afghanistan was well underway. It seemed a hell of an undertaking to launch based on a dearth of evidence. I scoured the news looking for what exactly led the Americans to believe Osama Bin Laden was behind the 9/11 attacks. There was nothing -- only the reiteration of the charge that he was guilty. But no proof.
At one point in late 2001, the Taliban offered to turn Bin Laden over to the Americans, if only they'd produce some evidence that he was part of the attacks. The Americans preferred to keep bombing countless innocent civilians Afghanistan in its hunt-and-peck search its new bogeyman.
And then, by most accounts, Osama Bin Laden died in December 2001, though not to American social engineers, psy-ops specialists, intelligence operatives or politicians who milked Bin Laden's haunting specter for all it was worth.
As I waited and searched for evidence that Bin Laden was behind 9/11, George W. Bush and his administration ushered in the year 2003 by stating at every opportunity that Iraq had something to do with 9/11.
Again, I waited for proof. None was forthcoming. And I didn't such sit in my easy chair, arms folded, waiting, I actively searched for the evidence on the Internet, in the news, in conversations. There was none to be found.
The talk of Saddam Hussein's involvement in 9/11 soon morphed into some unsubstantiated desire on the part of Hussein to attack the U.S. with "weapons of mass destruction." The phrase was repeated by the Bush administration like an incantation; say it enough times and it will become true.
I was skeptical. Although I no love for Saddam Hussein, I did recognize that the charges against him were loaded, phrased like "Have you stopped beating your wife?" The charges demanded Hussein prove a negative. The charges against Hussein were framed in such a way that no answer or action would satisfy the American war machine's desire to invade another country.
And I certainly didn't trust George W. Bush, who'd come to office under very dubious circumstances.
I followed the "Florida recount" in 2000 as it happened and later read about the "purge lists" run on the Florida voting rolls and how an Atlanta company called Choicepoint oversaw an operation that disenfranchised tens of thousands of Florida voters; most of them Democrats. And then for the Supreme Court to merely hand Bush the keys to the Oval Office, halting all recounts.
This was the man telling us to trust him. The man who spoke about the future in his campaign, and filled his administration with phantoms of the past: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz. Christ, even Jim Baker came from whatever sorority house he was haunting to be Bush's spokesman during the Florida recount.
When it was announced that General Colin Powell would argue America's case against Iraq at the U.N., I watched the presentation with great anticipation. The sense of anti-climax I experienced, though, cannot be overstated.
The "case" Powell made was weak to the point of being embarrassing. My impression wasn't improved when it was later revealed that much of the presentation had been lifted, word-for-word, from a student essay on the subject dating back more than a decade.
By this time, as well, I was reading about people's skepticism that a steel structure building, like the WTC buildings, could collapse due to fire. I saw documentaries that pointed out what sure looked to my eyes like controlled demolition explosions in the buildings as they fell.
Then I heard about WTC Building 7 and saw it's collapse, along with Larry Silverstein's comment about agreeing with the NYFD to "pull" (demolish) the building on September 11, 2001.
Also, by this time, the PATRIOT Acts I & II had come into effect, and the broad outlines of what was happening all around me came into focus.
I heard about Operation Northwoods, the Reichstag fire in Nazi Germany, which was blamed on
A pattern was emerging.
CIA agent, Valerie Plame, was outed. The Dixie Chicks were vilified for criticizing George W. Bush. Freedom Fries were introduced to the menus of the restaurants and snack bars in Congress by Representatives Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) and Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-North Carolina).
It was like Abbott & Costello had gained control of the reins of reality.
It seemed the only freedom that remained in America was the freedom to agree with the Bush administration. Dissenters were demonized by "patriots" who equated patriotism with blind, unquestioning obedience.
That's "parrotism" not "patriotism." There's a difference.
And merely asking questions made one a dissenter.
And just when it was abundantly clear that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 and the country didn't possess weapons of mass destruction, America launched its war against Iraq.
It became clear that the so-called "war on terrorism" was a pretext for America to fulfill its empire-building ambitions. The wars, the waterboarding, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, the extraordinary renditions were all intended to manufacture an enemy.
Every once in a while the name Osama Bin Laden would come up in one of George W. Bush's choreographed press conferences, and he'd get all sour, testy and dismissive.
Having once stated it was America's priority to get Bin Laden "dead or alive", suddenly Bush was saying he wasn't really concerned about Bin Laden. Bush had a history of losing interest in things and walking away, the Texas Air National Guard among them, so this wasn't terribly surprising or out of character.
Whenever elections loomed, there'd be a video purportedly from Bin Laden. The Bin Ladens in the videos varied in appearance, seeming older, then younger, heavy, then gaunt and frail.
Once again, viewers of these videos had to rely on the Bush administration "experts" for translations. Doubtless the same caliber experts who were behind Colin Powell's presentation the U.N., or who felt that denouncing people questioning the ever more incredible official narrative of 9/11 equated to proving Bin Laden was guilty.
And every September, the rightwing American necrophiliacs would engage in their annual orgy with the 9/11 dead. The GOP held its 2004 national convention in New York a day or two before the anniversary of 9/11. It was one of the most disgraceful, disgusting acts of pandering to public emotion I've ever seen.
George W. then bookended his reign with another financial collapse brought on by cannibalistic corporate greed. With two full-blown wars underway and tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens engraved in stone, 2008 rolled around and the floor of the economy fell away.
W.'s final malevolent contribution to the lives of ordinary Americans: foreclosure frenzy, bail outs, corporate corruption that made Enron and Global Crossing seem almost pedestrian.
Christmas that year, a guy tried to detonate a bomb in his underwear in a plane over Detroit and in a New York second, Michael Chertoff sold body scanning machines to airports across America . . . and gropings all around, courtesy of the TSA.
* * *
Yesterday, the world was told that Osama Bin Laden had finally been killed by American forces.
I don't believe it.
The people telling me it's so are proven liars with a staggering track record of deceit.
I'd be a fool to believe them. Anybody would.
The 10th anniversary of 9/11 is around the corner and this one loose end of the official narrative had to be neatly tied off.
Buried at sea -- literally.
It's been a long, exhausting, maddening era in North America since 9/11: the day every ordinary American became a suspected terrorist.
Osama Bin Laden and his followers were funded and trained by the CIA in the 1980s to fight against Soviet forces in Afghanistan.
In the late 1990s, Bin Laden once again became a useful asset, upon whom blame could be hung for every random terrorist event.
In 2001, Bin Laden reached the apex of his utility to his handlers, as omnipresent bogeyman; the face of the horror of 9/11, a name to be trotted out, guaranteed to incite fear and loathing.
After reading thousands of articles and watching dozens of documentaries about 9/11, listening to every viewpoint available on the Internet, in conversations, in print, on TV, it's my conclusion that 9/11 was an inside job. The stand-down order of the U.S. Air Force, the war games and phony high-jacking scenarios on air traffic controllers' monitors were all well beyond the capabilities of Osama Bin Laden to orchestrate. The evidence of thermite in the WTC buildings and the manipulation of the 9/11 investigation could not be the work of Bin Laden.
In the months leading up to 9/11, when FBI agents were discouraged from pursuing terrorist suspects and plots emanating from Saudi Arabia -- in some cases, ardent agents being threatened with arrest if they persisted -- was all beyond the power and reach of Osama Bin Laden.
9/11 was orchestrated so that America could go to war with the middle east, could clamp down up on its own population with draconian laws and turn the U.S. into a Super Surveillance State.
In one of the worst twists of all, commentators are handing credit for the intelligence that allegedly led to Bin Laden to the torturers at CIA black sites overseas and at their concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Even in death, Bin Laden is proving useful. There is talk about radical Muslims perpetrating reprisal attacks against America due to his killing.
The American war machine needs an enemy. One that doesn't even exist seems to be the handiest of adversaries because it can be controlled.
Since 2001, America has been like an actor in a play, looking offstage, reacting to some terrifying entity. The audience only knows the existence of the frightening entity and what it's up to by the actor's reactions.
I'm calling that actor on his bullshit.
America, you're a liar, a war-monger, propagator of terrorism, torture and oppression.
I don't believe your story about the May 2nd killing of Osama Bin Laden.