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Under the Cloak of Questionable Premise

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Message Robert Johnson
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Progressive media have a mainstream spectrum: PBS, NPR, The Nation, Democracy Now!, The Huffington Post, Noam Chomski, Seymour Hersh and Greg Palast, as a sampling. It performs great service by shining light on malfeasance. It generally avoids yellow journalism and conducts due diligence in fact checking, but nevertheless finds a comfort zone delineated by where its bread is buttered or by how far its thinking may stretch beyond convention.

Despite the anomalies and cognitive dissonance of the official 9/11 story—the premise for today’s shape of the world—progressive mainstream rarely crosses that line in the sand. Mysteriously, it avoids discovery of what actually might have occurred. The official 9/11 story generates big emotions all around, but outside the swamp of rant and wild speculation, let’s look at some credible sources who challenge this cardboard assumption of world affairs and foreign and domestic policies.

The Jersey Girls, four suburban widows of victims of the events of September 11, 2001, had been programmed to believe that not only were they Americans, but upwardly mobile Americans, and had every right to know why their husbands died—in depth beyond the prattle of evening news and broad formulas of print journalism. They demanded investigation. After a year of dogged advocacy, they saw President Bush charter a bipartisan, independent, albeit handpicked, 9/11 commission.

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Then the Jersey Girls publicly asked the commission’s executive director, Philip Zelikow, to resign because of conflicts of interest. But it took a book, The Commission, by New York Times reporter Philip Shenon, released in 2008, to vividly illustrate why Zelikow should have resigned. 

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Zelikow began his career defending Vietnamese fishermen from the Klan, and moved on to close association with players like Condoleezza Rice, prior to, and Karl Rove, during the investigation. By his own account: “I had worked in Harvard's Intelligence and Policy Program, a public research program supported by the CIA, from 1992 to 2002. In that capacity and others I had worked well with many at CIA, including Directors Tenet, Deutch, Woolsey, and Gates.” 

The official 9/11 story is defined by the 9/11 Commission’s narrative of that day and is compromised. A Newsweek editor reviewed The Commission for the New York Times and concluded that the back story of the 9/11 story is that failures of people in high government are just all too human—an excuse that might even trickle down to editors’ desks at Newsweek. Michael Parenti long ago quipped: Of course there’s a conspiracy—the conspiracy of self-interest. 

Google the following folks with “9/11” by each name. You’ll find Neanderthal flack from right-wingers emboldened by bought-and-sold media and a posturing but tepid progressive mainstream. You’ll also find reasoned concerns and questions that cry for more attention—silent screams in a muffled media. 

Cynthia McKinney, as member of the House, questioned the official story from day one; was misrepresented and pilloried by media and political peers; faced death threats; and was finessed out of office. 

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Mike Gravel ran for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination, appeared in early televised debates and on primary ballots, but was then excluded from most debate. He supports the campaign in New York City for a ballot initiative to mandate a privately funded 9/11 commission with subpoena power. He was an Army intelligence officer in the ‘50s, but then “politically awoke.” As member of the Senate, he released the Pentagon Papers to Beacon Press before the Supreme Court could sequester them—the beginning of the end of the war in Viet Nam. 

In his autobiography, A Political Odyssey, he writes: 

Given Saudi, Pakistani, and US intelligence support for extremist groups in the murky world of black markets, black operations, and espionage, I’m not sure we will ever know why September 11 happened. The 9/11 Commission certainly didn’t tell us. That’s why I’ve called for a new investigation. The administration taking office in 2009 should have the guts to do it. These networks still operate inside the US. 

Sibel Edmonds began translating Turkish and Azerbaijani and monitoring Farsi for the FBI nine days after 9/11. After six months, she was fired for whistle-blowing. By request from the State Department and the Pentagon, she was gagged by the Justice Department, which later retroactively classified her statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the 9/11 Commission. She now leads a whistle-blowers coalition of over 70 members from intelligence and law enforcement including the FBI, CIA, DIA, DEA and Department of Homeland Security—with average 21 years of professional experience. 

David Ray Griffin, professor emeritus, has written seven books on 9/11. The first, a best seller, borrows a term from a neocon position paper for its title, The New Pearl Harbor. He began this work by compiling takes on 9/11 just for a look. He lost skepticism of 9/11 contentions as disparities in the official story became more glaring. Interviewed on Democracy Now!, Griffin was pitted against Chip Berlet, who has denounced a garden variety of people under the banner of fighting “prejudice, fear, disdain, misinformation, trivialization, patronizing stereotypes, demonization and even scare-mongering conspiracy theories.” 

An article in OpEdNews directs us to counter-terrorism experts, military leaders and intelligence professionals who don’t buy the official 9/11 story. 

This short list scratches the surface of credible information. Contrary to misinformation, 9/11 truth seeking isn’t limited to teenagers on YouTube, hallucinating crackpots and scaremongers. Hard information and solid leads can be gleaned from the Web and databases like NexisLexis. 

In quest for truth, any fool can blather any possibility that comes to mind or that is garnered from other fools following suit. A good mole will taint truth with enough bullshit to divert the gaze of sober inquiry, or spin truth as deftly as a swizzle stick to divert not-so-sober inquiry. 

In this haze, an elephant sits in the parlor, ignored by interested parties, polite company and those whose business should be to ask and keep asking about the huge piles of dung that soil their shoes. In social control, the big lies are the bottom line.



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Robert Johnson has worked blue- and white-collar jobs. He read marketing material for investment banks and corporate law for 20 years. He appreciates OEN's offer to the public to write. It provides venue not defined by career building and not (more...)
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