To Jonathan Schell
hand-delivered, May 10 at the
Philadelphia conference of Project for Nuclear Awareness
Dear Mr Schell,
You don't know me, but I've been reading your work for over twenty-five years. I'm writing to propose a dangerous mission for you, an article which you are uniquely qualified to write, and which will crack a wall of silence that protects the Republican administration.
I want you to write about 9/11.
In the 1980s, you published a series of articles that galvanized public demand for global disarmament. As the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. raced to stockpile tens of thousands of warheads, the dread of nuclear holocaust was so numbing that its mention in print had become taboo. The insanity of the arms race had continued because sensitive people found the subject too painful. With patience and meticulous documentation, you put the truth before us in a way that we could not ignore.
Today, there is another painful truth that cries out for methodical logic which is your trademark. It is clear to everyone who has examined openly-available evidence that the accepted storyline concerning the events of 9/11, as embodied in the Kean Commission report, is replete with inconsistencies, glaring omissions and physical impossibilities.
"9/11 changed everything." It has been the excuse for the extra-constitutional arrogations of power, the wall of secrecy, the atrocities and the crimes of the Bush Administration. Two disastrous wars, trillions in new military spending, curtailment of civil rights at home are all the legacy of 9/11.
The exigencies of 9/11 have been used effectively to silence critics and to justify the cloak of secrecy around a criminal Administration. The Democrats cower in retreat when Republicans pronounce, "You just don't get it. We need to defend ourselves."
And what do we know about what happened that day? Mainstream news sources echo only what the Bush Administration has told us.
In the immediate wake of 9/11, how could we not give our President the benefit of the doubt and cooperate with his agenda? But knowing what we know now about this Administration's contempt for the public and disdain for truth - that every pronouncement of theirs serves a political purpose, and nothing they say can be taken at face value - why should we continue to accept their version of the 9/11 narrative?
The only reason is that the alternative is unthinkable. Unspeakable. Even to consider the idea that 9/11 was something very different from what we have been told is to place oneself outside the mainstream of American political thought, Left and Right.
There is a solid body of research that renders untenable the familiar story of Arabs with boxcutters. Hundreds of brave professionals - physicists, engineers, architects, academics, fire experts, military personnel and government officials - have put their reputations on the line, have risked public ridicule to register their expert opinions: it could not have happened the way we were told it happened.
There are a few Air America hosts who have taken this subject to the airwaves, but to date no American newspaper or magazine has published an analysis. There has been no public debate on the issue.
We need Jonathan Schell to take us through the logic, unflinchingly patient and methodical, to address every doubt, and demonstrate to us the imperative for an investigation de nouveau of the events of 9/11: an independent probe, insulated from political pressure, by smart, trusted experts in law and science and forensics, a committee with a big budget and subpoena power, hearings broadcast openly to the public, people who will take nothing for granted, and abide no limits to their investigation.
I am asking you to step forward in courage, to put your writing and investigative skills on the line, together with your persuasive powers, your press connections, and your well-deserved credibility. I am asking you to expose the central lie at the heart of the Bush Administration's power to perpetrate evil.
Thank you for your consideration.