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9/11 Aletheia

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It is shameful that this has to be said, but there is a more insidious consequence of this suppression of ideas (i.e., of the discussion of them, which amounts to the same thing). From the beginning, a faction of 9/11 truthers have vehemently opposed arguments for no-plane, a different plane, or a missile at the Pentagon, on the grounds (read "speculation") that at some future date the government could whip out one of the dozens of videos they have documenting the event and show us all up as idiots. Green says "the entire discussion of what hit the Pentagon is a tar baby designed to trap the 911 truth community in useless speculation."

This has always been a specious argument, and now that the likelihood of any videos appearing, much less any that would support the official story, is virtually nil, it is worse than worthless. Nothing would show more clearly the participation of the US military in 9/11 than evidence of a missile, or indeed of anything other than Flight 77, having hit the Pentagon. Compare this with the relatively limited consequences of proving controlled demolition. I can hear a hundred voices now asking, "How did those dang terrorists git hold of that thermite, and how did they git it into the buildings?" -- a question that would keep everyone busy forever. If it ever reaches the point where they need one, the government will choose this limited hangout, because it poses the least threat.

Controlled demolition is the real tar baby, and Br'er Green should know it. Why does he spend 4 pages in his discussion of the Harrit et al. paper lecturing us on the "invisible government" while ignoring the one passage that actually does point to a possible connection with the government? On page 26 they quote a report on an April 2001 conference disclosing that

...all of the military services and some DOE and academic laboratories have active R&D programs aimed at exploiting the unique properties of nanomaterials that have potential to be used in energetic formulations for advanced explosives…. nanoenergetics hold promise as useful ingredients for the thermobaric (TBX) and TBX-like weapons...

Why does someone so concerned about the invisible government ignore the one clear connection with the real and visible one? Why take the leap from nanothermite to the "ruling class" and ignore the one concrete point of support provided -- especially when his lame conclusion is that nothing can be done except wait for others to be blessed by the same sort of "epiphany" that struck him (when he saw NASA's thermal survey showing hot spots in the ground after 9/11). Even that wouldn't help much, though, since most people (unlike himself) are "ill-equipped" to use it.

Former Assistant Professor Green (self-described) would do well to consider that evidence of video fakery, missiles, remotely controlled airplanes, different airplanes, or non-conventional weapons is far more likely to cause an epiphany than thermitic materials in dust. Obviously, examining the dust is important. But there is no justification for suppressing other lines of investigation. All the evidence should be considered.

Maybe we need a new definition of "truth." I return to my newfound Greek word aletheia. It means "not forgetting." Not forgetting is not the same as truth, and not the same as a movement. But it is not forgetting, either. As I said in an earlier essay ("Martin Luther King and 9/11"), the closest we may be able to get to truth may be something analogous to King v. Jowers (1999). We can be thankful that we have William Pepper, whose book Act of State documents this truth about the King assassination and the struggle to get it, working with us. He has warned us against infiltration, but I don't think he would warn us against the discussion of certain ideas or to ignore relevant evidence. The process, even more than the outcome, is the important thing. Even if we never get our day in court, we can testify. We can bear witness.

This is what the resisters to coalition initiatives fail to understand, or pretend to. It is pretty clear to most of us that Congress is not going to reinvestigate 9/11, and that if they do it will just be another whitewash, just as it was clear to most of us that Bush-Cheney would not be impeached. What matters is the political process. The process of impeachment, the process of any sort of investigation of 9/11, whether it ends in stringing up Bush and Cheney or not, would be progress -- or at least would provide an opportunity for progress. It would help inform the public and make more information available. The strategy least likely to have this effect, in fact most likely to have the opposite effect, is to limit discussion to "evidence that is simple, clear, and convincing, not abstract, obscure, dubious or debatable," as Green would have it.

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This doesn't even make sense on it's face. What is simple about nanothermite and red/gray bi-layered chips shown by electron microscopy and x-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy to be highly energetic unreacted thermitic material? What is simple about the conclusion Green (not Harrit et al.) so glibly jumps to -- the connection to the USG and the "ruling class"? And what is simple about the same person warning us about tar babies at the Pentagon, and then throwing this obvious tar baby in our faces? Green says his "perspective" is "entailed by the thermitic dust," but this "entailment" means that "even those best equipped to understand it [including himself, presumably] also know the vagaries of research and look for further evidence to confirm or disconfirm it." So good luck to those brave and (most importantly) persistent researchers who will someday prove that the thermitic dust proves that the USG and the ruling elite did 9/11. It seems to me that Green is planting a herring redder than his face should be for calling Dylan Avery's work "naive, foolish, uninformed and ignorant," Jim Fetzer's work "essentially unintelligible," and Morgan Reynolds "a downright crank." If Avery is "a calculating mole or at best a naïf who has been used by such" because his first film wasn't flawless, what does that make Michael Green, who came out of nowhere (no previous publications) to become an instantly prominent (featured on Hoffman's influential website) Avery, Reynolds and Fetzer basher?

We live in an age of propaganda. Information Warfare aka Operations is only the military equivalent of a long-established principle that pervades society: the public mind, especially in democratic societies where physical coercion is discouraged, must be controlled. We don't need Orwell's or Huxley's futuristic visions to see this, or the platitudes of Michael Green. The Committee on Public Information was formed by the US government in 1917 to get public opinion behind the planned entry into World War I, and ten years later one of its members, Edward Bernays, wrote the bible on propaganda. As that word was later relegated to negative associations with the bad guys -- first Nazis and then Communists -- the same concept was re-dubbed "public relations." Bernays begins his first chapter, "Organizing Chaos," with a clear statement of the principle:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.

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They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons—a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty million—who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world. (Propaganda, 1928.)

Here we have it. Big Brother has been watching, and doing, for a long time. It is literally business as usual, and as American as apple pie. I don't know if Orwell read Bernays, but "inner cabinet" is easily substitutable for "Inner Party," Green's unoriginal "ruling class," C. Wright Mills' "power elite," the Soviet "nomenklatura," etc.

The internet is also a mass media, and we really would be as nuts as the likes of Bill O'Reilly says we all are not to assume that the information warriors, that is, "public relations" specialists, are out in force every day and night doing their job of "organizing chaos." This sounds oxymoronic because it is. More clinically, it is schizophrenic -- the same state of mind, of helplessness and paralysis, that I described in "MITOP and the Double Bind." We really do understand, at some level, we are meant to understand (Made It Transparent On Purpose), and at the same time we are meant to understand that the situation is normal, desirable, and that in any case there is nothing we can do about it. We are here to consume and cooperate "as a smoothly functioning society."

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Born in Washington, D.C., academic training (Ph.D.) in linguistics, now retired after teaching English as a foreign language at a German university for many years, but still living in Germany.

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