Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Wicked Eunuch: Chomsky on 9/11

“It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear.”
—General Douglas MacArthur, 15 May 1951

“There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.”
—Sun Tzu

“…which is just gonna leave a lot of things unexplained, I mean that’s the way the world is.”
—Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky has bridled at the idea that 9/11 could have been to any significant degree the result of a state-level conspiracy, expressing his irritation at a recent presentation where he held forth for several minutes on the topic. Chomsky is a figure worthy in certain respects of the esteem accorded him, but his views on 9/11 reflect a common and dangerous mis-appraisal of the techniques of contemporary statecraft and, more shockingly (coming from him), of the long-worsening psychosis afflicting and increasingly characterizing the US military/industrial complex. The point made by Chomsky during his talk that 9/11 was a boon for authoritarian governments the world over is well-taken (if hardly original), yet beyond this his opinions regarding the attacks range from foolish to insidious.

Listed in the Arts and Humanities Citation Index (1992) as the most often-cited living author of the 1980s, Chomsky was recently touted on the floor of the UN’s General Assembly by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and, in another indication of his singular cultural status, has been referred to by international pop star Bono as a “rebel without a pause, the Elvis of academia.” Considering his academic and popular reputation, and his generally laudable contributions to letters historically, Chomsky’s irked condescension on the matter of 9/11 is especially perilous, given that—in light of critical studies by (among others) David Ray Griffin and Nafeez Ahmed—the psychosis of US state militarism appears to have manifested to a very real and criminal degree in Anglo-American state sponsorship of the September 11th 2001 attacks.

Not stooping to consider such sources, and bemoaning what he sees as the irrational interest in the subject of conspiracy on the part of many on the left, Chomsky recites the secularist mantra that a cover-up on the scale of 9/11 could never be maintained (not that it has been in other than his and other minds refusing to consider the relevant historical and forensic record). In support of his overall position he offers his rather incongruous and wholly unsubstantiated assurance that if the attacks had been pulled off by forces within the government those responsible would have been placed before firing squads and executed. The precise character of his detachment from reality here is difficult to gauge, since it’s not clear whom Chomsky’s assumes would (vigilante-style, apparently) dispatch the culprits, whether the US military and/or law enforcement, a proletariat finally taken to arms, or some anarchist or libertarian-socialist faction about which only he knows.

Assuming the first, one wonders which of Chomsky’s military contacts have assured him of such loyalty, against the public opinion of numerous former government officials and retired members of the armed forces and intelligence services of various ranks and experience who’ve expressed strong and apparently informed opinions that 9/11 was indeed an “inside job.” This considerable list includes Lt. Col. Shelton F. Lankford, a retired U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot, who remarks, “Your countrymen have been murdered and the more you delve into it the more it looks as though they were murdered by our government, who used it as an excuse to murder other people thousands of miles away. If you ridicule others who have sincere doubts and who know factual information that directly contradicts the official report and who want explanations from those who hold the keys to our government, and have motive, means, and opportunity to pull off a 9/11, but you are too lazy or fearful, or... to check into the facts yourself, what does that make you?”

Not giving the slightest indication that he’s bothered to consider the scholarly treatments on the matter by Ahmed or Griffin or dissents from the official narrative of the attacks by those who’ve actually worked within the military/industrial establishment, Chomsky arbitrarily limits the list of suspects to the “Bush administration.” In offering his personal assurance that an official conspiracy is “extremely unlikely,” he states, “for one thing they would have had to have been insane to try anything like that… If they had, it’s almost certain it would have leaked.” In hastening to assure us of the administration’s sanity Chomsky simply ignores revelations from a number of government personnel that strongly indicate official complicity in the attacks, such as that provided by (among others) Robert Wright and Colleen Rowley (both at the time of the FBI), as well as then-Counsel for the US House of Representatives David Schippers, who reports that a dozen FBI agents approached him five weeks before 9/11 with detailed and specific information regarding the impending terror attacks which, according to Schippers, the agents claimed they were being thwarted from preventing by superiors who’d threatened them with reprimand and prosecution under the National Security Act should they pursue their investigations further. If the extensive and damning testimonials of these figures does not comprise the sort of “leaks” to which Mr. Chomsky refers, it’s difficult to imagine what would. Yet heedless of them, the professor yammers on, “You know it’s a very poor system, secrets are hard to keep.”

“Something would have leaked out very likely…” he continues, as if reiterating the inevitability erases the fact. “…and if it had they would have all been before firing squads and that would have been the end of the Republican party forever.” Were it naiveté such spellbinding idiocy would almost be endearing, as it implies any number of irrational assumptions, not the least of which is that only Republicans would have been implicated, and that our military or law-enforcement agencies, wholly innocent of the affair themselves, would take matters, vigilante-style, into their own hands. Lost in his spaghetti-western daydream of frontier justice, Chomsky refuses to suspect, much less see, what should be obvious to him of all people: the systemic nature of the corruption afflicting the late- (i.e. corporate- or monopoly-) capitalist military/industrial power structure.

Continuing to insist in defiance of the public record that “what you can be almost certain of is that any hint of the plan would have leaked and it would have just destroyed them,” Chomsky heaps further rhetoric on a foundation of what’s either ignorance or stupidity, neglecting that “hints” of the plan not only “leaked,” but were so numerous that “the system was blinking red” according to then-CIA director Tenet, the very official described by 9/11 Commission member Jamie Gorelick as “running around town” prior to the attacks “with his hair on fire.” This state of affairs is confirmed (among other places) by former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, who asserts that the essential outlines of the attacks had been “common knowledge” throughout the FBI prior to 9/11.

In claiming that “anyone who knows anything about the sciences would instantly discount that evidence” indicating 9/11 was a conspiracy, Chomsky is ignoring, or outright smearing, the considerable and growing body of highly qualified academic and relevant professional opinion indicating official complicity, a body of critical judgment which appears to outweigh as well as outclass that offered by the actual (that is active) defenders of the official story, who’ve regularly resorted to distortion, denial and prevarication in defense of their nevertheless mercurial positions. This point is spelled out in such books as 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions as well as in more recent lectures and articles by David Ray Griffin and Kevin Ryan, including Ryan’s superb March 13, 2007 article, “9/11: Looking for Truth in Credentials: The Peculiar WTC ‘Experts’.”

Displaying his woeful ignorance of the technical expertise that’s been brought to bear on the matter by scholars, military personnel and other professionals, Chomsky glibly lays such contributions to “all kinds of elaborate conspiracy theories,” never pausing to consider that the greatly unverifiable (when not demonstrably false) version of events spoon-fed to him by the regime is precisely an “elaborate conspiracy theory.” In claiming such a plot could never be controlled Chomsky reveals his devoutly unreasoning acceptance of the basic tenets of the official story in spite of the lack of evidence supporting most every aspect of them, not to mention the broadly damning countervailing data, which again he merely ignores: “You couldn’t predict that the plane would actually hit the World Trade Center. I mean it happened that it did, but it could easily have missed.” According to Chomsky’s “reasoning,” it would never occur to folks at the top of a highly compartmentalized military/industrial bureaucracy capable of putting people in space and orbiting satellites around distant planets to switch planes and/or remotely control them into their targets in a secret operation with striking similarities to one signed off on in 1962 by a unanimous U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Such history, amply documented in renown journalist James Bamford’s Body of Secrets, is out of bounds for Chomsky, who would have us attribute all such references to the “huge industry” peddling “all kinds of elaborate conspiracy theories” that have hoodwinked so many lesser intelligences than his hermetic own.

(A digression: In a weird and perhaps telling subliminal moment Chomsky appears distinctly to state, “It’s completely unpredictable what was going to happen. I mean you couldn’t predict that the plane was going to hit the World Trade Center. I mean I’m happy that it did, but you know, it could easily have missed.” One must be especially careful on such slippery Freudian slopes, but Chomsky’s grim performance in nearly every other moment on the subject warrants the risk here; giving him the benefit of the doubt it’s clear that he’s merely garbled an expression, having meant to say that “it happened that” the plane hit the building. Chomsky’s remarks are off the cuff, and it’s arguable that one should not read too much into them, yet the mounting perversity of his ramblings exposes a latent nihilism common to much leftist discourse on 9/11, an attitude spelled out toward the end of his statements on the matter that’s more directly foreshadowed here when he goes on to state that for officials “to take a chance on something like [9/11] would be meaningless.” Until considering those later statements it will suffice to comment that, in his curious choice of terms, Chomsky implies that even if officials on the off off-chance had done it, this would merely place us in a realm beyond meaning itself…)

Next Chomsky appears to justify dismissing evidence he gives no indication of having considered by stating that, while there may have been “plenty of coincidences and unexplained phenomena” surrounding the matter of “why didn’t this happen, why didn’t that happen, and so on” on 9/11, “ the same is true” for a “controlled scientific experiment” or “a natural event.” “Afterwards you can put them into some kind of pattern, but beforehand you can’t. The pattern may be completely meaningless because you can put it into some other pattern too if you want to. That’s just the way complicated events are. So the evidence that’s been produced” indicating conspiracy “in my opinion is essentially worthless. And the belief that it could have been done…has such low credibility that I don’t really think it’s serious.”

Just what is Chomsky saying here? That analysis can’t meaningfully predict or anticipate any “natural events,” such as a major volcanic eruption or the course of a hurricane or disease? Or that no valid interpretations whatsoever may be drawn from experimental data? Or that the study of phenomena pertaining to such events is a waste of time? And that, by direct analogy, there is never any compelling reason for officials to take seriously the kind of multiple, concise, detailed and urgent advanced warnings from various credible foreign and domestic sources of an impending attack (such as our government had received before 9/11), since there’s no possible way to meaningfully interpret them? That we are stranded in a present bereft of any consequential contact with the past or future, reliant utterly upon corrupt regimes for explanations of any “complicated events?”

Such navel-gazing makes sinister politics. Against the amount and quality of evidence pertaining to the attacks in the public record—again, none of which he gives us the slightest reason to suspects he’s deigned to glance at—Chomsky, in making what’s essentially an a priori case against government complicity, adopts a virulent rationalism verging on outright denial of the validity of empirical science. One wonders how far into the realm of forensics he would extend such defiant incredulity. Is there no way to catch a murderer who’s fled the scene? Certainly not if the prosecution denies the validity of the evidence without giving any hint that it’s so much as looked at it! Or would Chomsky only advocate such resignation in the case of a “complicated event” like 9/11? And just where we would he instruct that we draw the line?

What state of affairs is Chomsky advocating here? Would he urge us to ignore our own rape because the assailant had blindfolded us?

What Chomsky is advancing is no more than a desperate and hostile ploy based in his own neurosis. His hand shows when, after claiming that talk of official complicity in 9/11 is “diverting people from serious issues” he implicitly reveals why he needn’t have paid any attention to evidence he’s nevertheless qualified to dismiss. “Even if it’s true” that 9/11 was an inside job, “…who cares? I mean, it doesn’t have any significance. I mean it’s a little bit like the huge amount of energy that’s put out on trying to figure out who killed John F. Kennedy. I mean, who knows, and who cares…plenty of people get killed all the time. Why does it matter that one of them happens to be John F. Kennedy?” Or three thousand predominantly middle and working class people in Washington DC and downtown Manhattan, presumably.

Cementing his analogy, Chomsky continues, “If there was some reason to believe that there was a high level conspiracy” involved in the JFK assassination, “it might be interesting, but the evidence against that is just overwhelming.” (As always, we’re left to take on faith that he’s thoroughly reviewed the matter.) “And after that it’s just a matter of, uh, if it’s a jealous husband or the mafia or someone else, what difference does it make?” (Those who’ve wasted their lives investigating the assassination of a United States president may now add to their repertoire of suspects the “jealous husband.”) “It’s just taking energy away from serious issues onto ones that don’t matter. And I think the same is true here,” with 9/11.

Such dizzying superciliousness bears recapping: no amount or quality of evidence (though we’re assured it isn’t any good anyway) could ever substantiate the inside-job hypothesis, since planning such a conspiracy (and we have the professor’s word on it) could “almost” never be kept secret (even though it wasn’t), and anyway “funny coincidences” (ha ha) and “unexplained phenomena” surround everything; meanwhile, even if 9/11 was a conspiracy, it simply doesn’t matter! Circling his rhetorical wagons (not to mention his logic), Chomsky provides two justifications for dismissing an argument whose fundamental tenets he refuses to consider: the evidence can’t prove anything on the one hand, and on the other, what it would prove “doesn’t have any significance.” The strategies Chomsky employs to trump those who would oppose him are as devious as they are absurd. Not only can we, a priori, never meaningful demonstrate the likelihood that our government attacked us (on 9/11 or, presumably, in any future incidence—unless heads have already rolled), the fact that it did would itself be a distraction from “serious issues.”

A more deluded impotence, or abject masochism, seems impossible.

Chomsky’s crude assumption that those responsible for a conspiracy such as 9/11 would be put before “firing squads” is vastly allusive in its farcicality, revealing his delusory grasp of the contemporary Anglo-American power-structure. Note the assurance with which Chomsky insists upon the immediate inevitability of a momentous, extra-Constitutional and entirely unprecedented coup d'état in the event of a state-sponsored conspiracy, doubtless executed by a guileless military command not in the least set on its heels by events. Here the man who once described the Pentagon as “the most hideous institution on Earth” not only appears to exempt it from all suspicion in the event of a state-sponsored terrorist act, he seems to rely upon it for the prompt remedying to the crime. Chomsky’s swoon over our valorous and invincible avengers ignores critical evidence and testimony pertaining to the abject corruption of key segments of the US armed (specifically aspects of the “special”) forces, as well as the debasing effects of prolonged states of militarization on nations historically. Chomsky also overlooks the historical threat, pointed out by Machiavelli, that’s posed to government by privatized military (or mercenary) entities (a formidable presence in the US at present). Add to this the various conflicts of interest at the top of the military command structure (with figures including Donald Rumsfeld deeply invested in companies that have reaped gargantuan profits in light of what have been termed “the 9/11 wars”) and the interpenetration of military brass (active and retired) and the boards of powerful private arms consortiums including Halliburton, DynCorp, Raytheon and Blackwater. In short, what General MacArthur revealingly characterized as “an artificially induced psychosis” is a condition in which the United States has been maintained more or less now for generations, and a considerable body of data suggests this has had a tragically deleterious effect upon the morale and morality of the US military, both official (public) and unofficial (private). (This issue is expanded upon in my essay “Tricks of Treason.”)

It must be noted that Chomsky’s “intellectual” predisposition appears remarkably tailored to authoritarian regimes, whose most audacious domestic crimes—impossible to demonstrate in any case (that is, without their having been already punished by the military arm of the state!)—are consigned to a “meaningless” realm, all for the sake of “serious issues.” The surreal futility prescribed by Chomsky in the face of 9/11 is, from a literary point of view—with reference to Milan Kundera and Franz Kafka—precisely that endured by victims of authoritarianism. In his presentation Chomsky endorses a profoundly neurotic state of being, one detached from any empirical analysis (at least in the case of a state-altering crime or “complicated event”) in which we’re reliant in our gauging of official conduct on vague truisms and testily avuncular assurances regarding the mercenary enforcement of justice by members of the military, all based on nothing more than the famous thinker’s undemonstrated expertise on such matters.

Additionally, by paternalistically denying (and thus, in psychological terms, perpetuating) the real and enduring trauma inflicted on 9/11, Chomsky would not only leave the collective psychological wound unfathomed, but brusquely dismiss (even as he falls prey to?) its deranging effects, as though we should be ashamed of ourselves for even considering the idea that anyone in our national power structure might have had a hand in murdering us (much less any evidence suggesting it), or of having any feelings whatsoever about the September 11th attacks.

Confirmed in his diatribe is what, in reference to his intellectual history, may fairly be regarded as Chomsky’s fundamentally Stalinist predilections, revealed on this crucial count by an irrational and ahistorical faith (of sorts) in a military establishment that has otherwise been the subject of his excoriations. Again, as is the case with so many “leftist critics” of the system, for Chomsky 9/11 marks an essentially magical exception to the malevolencies of US imperialism (not to mention the art and science of forensics), an exemption from history in which is preserved that immaculate, Janus-faced idol apparently sacrosanct to his didactics: the image of the terrorist as an essentially heroic or well-intentioned (however flawed) freedom-fighter, and the equally noble image of the patriotic and dutiful soldier sworn above all to protect the citizenry. Like the faith of some radical mullah or inquisitor, Chomsky’s secularism appears here as an idealizing adoration of power, a nigh-prurient beatification of a martial force he’s never participated in nor, judging from the evidence, studied in sufficient depth. Suggested here is a simplistic faith in the figure of the warrior (whether guerilla or soldier) that recalls the loyalty or “worship” accorded in the final analysis to the master by his fool—or the ravisher by the cuckold.

His sentimental 18th century impressions of military patriotism and martial conflict aside, Chomsky’s is, at least in this instance, not only a dogmatic but a voyeur’s leftism, one which, for all its intellectual pretensions, appears ultimately to aver to the glory of the greater or “final” conflict (those “serious issues?”) in whose name the academician is licensed to sanctify, or deny the relevance of, any intervening carnage. In that it insists we simply forget about an issue that would surely matter to a majority of the US if not world population (and which could impact like nothing else support for current US-imperialist war aims), Chomsky’s is a disgusting, vain and cruel intellectual elitism, a hallmark of which is his incessant ploy of substituting mere dismissal of arguments for serious engagement with them.

Chomsky’s stance on 9/11 is merely a reassertion of those tendencies which precluded his criticizing or distancing himself (until much belatedly) from Cambodia’s genocidal Pol Pot regime. Though the jig is up when he reasserts that ham-fistedly theatrical claim echoed among the doctrinaire—that 9/11 doesn’t matter—Chomsky raises the ante with a further asinine (if revelatory) provocation, contending that even if the attacks were an inside-job, “who cares? …it doesn’t have any significance.” Just like the JFK assassination, “People get killed all the time.”

Here, cold-blooded arrogance is the only mask sufficient to the intellectual authoritarian’s impotence. Though it’s disguised as consummate reasonableness, this “analytical” butchery emulates the physical carnage it envies. His pedantic sadism compensating for his historical irrelevance, Chomsky signals (however momentarily) a response to the possibility of 9/11’s state-sponsorship that’s far more craven and servile—if nevertheless predictable—than mere paralysis: an alignment with the attackers whomever they may be based in denial of their crime’s even mattering! This opportunistic concurrence with the killers, a squirming and obsequious capitulation to or veneration of their power is betrayed by a flippant readiness or unconcern (at least on the part of this moneyed old man and his “radical” discipleship) for whatever conflagration or apotheosis 9/11 might portend. The ugly armchair bluff (or is he leveling with us?) of this cynical fossil should sober those inured to his hagiography.

Claiming the minority position visa-vie 9/11, an ostensibly besieged Chomsky (here a cerebral warrior, at least) presents himself as the lone voice of reason on the matter. “I should say I’m pretty isolated on this in the west… A large part of the left completely disagrees with this and has all kinds of elaborate conspiracy theories, you know, about how it happened and why it happened and so forth… First of all I think it’s completely wrong but I also think it’s diverting people from serious issues.” If Chomsky represents a minority leftist position on 9/11 (which is doubtful), it’s curious indeed that practically no major left wing publication or forum has covered (much less endorsed) the inside-job hypothesis with other than begrudging timidity or outright contempt. (A recent article by David Ray Griffin in Tikkun is a welcome exception.) This may point to that disconnect between the left and those increasingly hackneyed and arrogant voices claiming to represent it. While interest in the truth about the attacks typically draws together a cross-section of working class people (including “first responders” to the attacks and various activists including students), those leftist voices ignoring, dismissing or deriding their efforts do so largely from tenured positions, graduate programs, endowed foundations, and editorships.

His conceit places Chomsky in denial of the possibility that those whose efforts he derides may have simply undertaken an entirely traditional and rational forensic procedure, basing their speculations on aspects of the public record relevant to the attacks—including scholarly, technical, military and professional expertise—and hashing out their positions in light of further research, revelations and behavior on the part of suspect or apparently complicit actors and entities. Especially in light of the abysmal and admitted failure of officials to have undertaken the essential task of adequately investigating 9/11, this would hardly seem the waste of time Chomsky portrays it as, but a critical endeavor based in self-respect, not to mention -preservation. Once again, had Chomsky demonstrated that he’d paid even modest consideration to the broad array of arguments and evidence—historical, circumstantial as well as physical—advanced by skeptics of the official 9/11 story, his posturing might be tolerable.

Fortunately, Chomsky’s anxiety here may reflect that the “fundamentalist” rationalism he represents is being effectively countered by a dynamic and nuanced historical empiricism (under)represented in the academy by (among others) Peter Dale Scott, the elder statesman of “deep politics” (the term Scott coined), a field of study that remains largely alien to that still-predominant strain of pedantry preferring the self-congratulatory pieties of its own hall of mirrors to the rigorous and detail-laden discipline of that class of intellects threatening not a moment too soon to supplant it.

In fairness, Chomsky has joined calls for a new investigation of 9/11. But even this is suspect, given his peevish performance critiqued here, in light of which this Stalinist, ever alert to power’s shifting nature, is merely covering his ass by having it both ways, while slanting—naturally—heavily to that position presently favored by public bias and intellectual chic. One wonders what Chomsky thinks a new investigation might reveal, given that 9/11 doesn’t matter regardless of who’s at fault! Perhaps he’s so sure his position will be born out that he’s willing to support a costly and in any case traumatic venture merely to enhance his own reputation? Or maybe he’d just like to see faith restored in the US government or the loyal military he so trusts to handle any civilians who—exclusively in his analysis—might get out of line? Given the record, one is hard pressed to make any sense of Chomsky’s “position,” other than to see it as reflective (and to this degree forgivable) of the schizophrenia which, as Webster Tarpley notes, is increasingly definitive of Anglo-American culture, and which the trauma of 9/11 has drastically worsened. (Chomsky’s own schizophrenia is apparent in the disconnect between his acknowledgement that 9/11 augmented authoritarianism world-wide, and his ensuing claim that the question of who’s responsible for the attacks is essentially “meaningless.”)

The screaming irony here is that it’s with nothing more than a kind of Norman Rockwell-idealization (however severe) of—of all things!—the United States military that Noam Chomsky—of all people!—denies—of all things!—the apparent reality that 9/11 was a direct attack (however covert) by the powerful Anglo-American elite upon the middle and working classes of the technological/industrial west aimed at marshalling them into aggression against the largely Arab/Islamic, resource-rich and strategically located nations (at least one of whose oil fields had already been divvied up by a vice president-elect’s Energy Task Force) of the lower-Caspian Sea region, all with the hoary imperialist (and clearly spelled-out US) aim of capturing control of central Eurasia and, thus, the world.

It’s in this context, which includes the parlous state of international affairs presently (with the US poised to attack Iran, a mercurial buckling of geopolitical alignments, instability in the world economy and heightened Russian bellicosity) that Chomsky’s supreme egotism in the face of 9/11 must be judged. In spite of precedent and the public record, this “critic” of the late-capitalist system is no more (or less!) than guaranteeing its infallibility in precluding a direct attack by the most powerful against the weaker among us. This is mere extolling of the power-principle at the expense of history and reason, an appliqué of legitimacy (courtesy of the system’s most illustrious detractor!) at just that forensically most tangled, revealing and vulnerable interstices of the regime’s legacy. There is every reason to reject as strident dilettantism, informed by little more than his own neurotic pretensions, Chomsky’s babbling about attacks that have triggered, in the vice-president’s words, “a war that will not end in our lifetime:” namely World War III, whose impending acceleration no amount of bullying obscurantism, however romantic its illusions, will ameliorate.

9/11 matters. Most especially if it’s an inside job. In a US hamstrung by terror-state cant, demonstrating state culpability in the attacks confronts people with a vision of monopoly-capitalist degeneracy more visceral than any number of Chomsky’s “serious issues” combined. It’s the truth about 9/11—all too apparent (however hazy certain of its details) to those who bother looking for it—that most immediately and fatally corrodes support for the criminal militarism that’s come to define “America.” At the very least, acknowledgement of 9/11 as an apparent act of state-sponsored terror inoculates, against the poisonous and incessant invective of Anglo-American state propaganda, those even moderately capable of grappling with the broader political issues facing humanity, as anyone who’s risked so harrowing a liberation can testify.

In spite of his aloof tut-tutting in the face of serious scholarship on the matter, the self-evident remains: the 9/11 conspiracy—if demonstrated with reasonable (what philosophers label moral) certainty—matters more than Chomsky dares imagine. His caviling contrarianism and obscene diffidence only detract from that most urgent task undertaken by serious scholars on the left, such as Nafeez Ahmed: facing the profound ramifications of 9/11’s actual nature. Meanwhile, however vague specific aspects of the attacks must for now remain, revealing the apparent reality behind 9/11 (as it’s ascertainable through consideration of the public record pertaining to the event overall) is the single most potent threat to oligarchic hegemony and its essentially predatory program of “globalization,” and is thus the “important issue” sine qua non.

Meanwhile, Chomsky’s drivel appears founded on little more than his neurotic defensiveness in regard to his legacy of denying apparent state-level conspiracies historically. His obdurate refusal to countenance serious scholarship on 9/11—his “invincible ignorance” (in the Jesuit’s phrase)—is, however galling, a measure of his own pinched and attenuated snobbery (a sort of anarchist vogue) and his humiliating failure to recognize the nature of present-day militarism, the techniques of secret intelligence agencies, as well as the essence of contemporary terrorism as a calculated if covert mechanism of statecraft, issues potently (if necessarily tentatively) analyzed by Ahmed and numerous others.

Chomsky’s intellectual dissipation, characterized by a carping if clinical detachment, could persuade only those who would imitate it. To anyone other than his most slavish acolytes, or those who in their own desperation or fatalism are inclined to credit his groundless assertions, what he’s demonstrated is that, when it comes to serious appraisal of 9/11—and much that’s related to it—it’s Noam Chomsky that doesn’t matter.

—March 2007

Sunday, January 21, 2007

None So Blind (a lament)

“The bigger the lie, therefore, the likelier it is to be believed.”
—Adolph Hitler

Liberal commentators regularly assert they “just can’t,” “won’t” or that they “simply refuse to believe” 9/11 could have been an inside job . Yet such irrational and emotive statements merely confirm the cognitive impairment of their speaker. It is a firm matter of historical record that governments, very much including our own, have planned and executed horrendous, even murderous acts of deceit in the past, including ones against their own people. Denying this would be denying the dynamics of power as they’ve been understood since remote antiquity, and those who decry even the possibility that 9/11 was an inside job (in spite of the vast array of evidence as well as eminent expert, professional, and military opinion clearly indicating it was) are stretching an already tenuous appeal to American Exceptionalism, the fallacy that “it could never happen here.”

Who would deny the Tuskegee experiments against African American prisoners, or the MK ULTRA mind control experiments of the ‘60s and ‘70s, or that the government recently legalized the testing of carcinogenic agents on members of minority communities, to cite just a few examples? What liberal voices reveal in their abjectly anti-intellectual denial that 9/11 might have been a “false flag” intelligence operation intended to trigger public support for the geopolitical aims of the new administration is their own arrogance, specifically their less-than subtle sense of their own privilege and superiority. “The government might dispose of members of social, racial and ethnic minorities,” their reasoning implies, “but it would never kill with such brazen indiscrimination as was the case on 9/11.” It would never, in other words, kill “me!”

Meanwhile, a critical look at the public record reveals that government officials have repeatedly lied about almost every aspect of 9/11, prior to which they a) reorganized the national security apparatus in a way that appears to have facilitated the attacks, b) obstructed field investigations that would have prevented them, and c) issued directives that confused longstanding national security procedures. They have alternately confessed to and denied receiving multiple advance detailed warnings of the attacks from an extensive variety of credible domestic and international sources. And they have sought to obscure their own close and deep historical and financial ties to international forces playing a part in 9/11. They have suppressed and destroyed material evidence pertaining to multiple aspects of the attacks and even reclassified published material supporting the “inside job” argument (meaning that it is no longer admissible in US courts). And they have deliberately contorted the public record to fit the official account of events. Ignoring the testimony of numerous witnesses to various aspects of the 9/11 tragedy that directly contradict the official account, and in manifest conflict of interest, officials have pointedly neglected to investigate 9/11 from any angle other than that presuming the entire government’s absolute innocence; this was the narrow—and given the record incredible—course to which the 9/11 Commission was hog-tied from the outset by the director of its “investigation,” Philip Zelikow, a neo-con close to the White House. (As the Commission concedes, its mandate did not include assigning “blame” for 9/11.) Meanwhile, people in and out of government have been harassed and threatened for speaking out about what they know, while many others (we must presume) remain effectively silenced.

It is not unreasonable but incumbent upon us to suspect that such blatant and determined obfuscation shields the guilty: those with the readiest means and clearest motives to plan, facilitate and effectively cover-up an event on the scale of 9/11, officials whose mentors and forbears leave a documented history of premeditating just such epochal crimes. Especially as it was these officials’ long-announced aim to implement a crusade for central Eurasian resources and global (or “full spectrum”) US military “dominance” (including the militarization of space)—a grand design contingent, in their own words, upon “a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat” to the nation such as might be announced in the form of “a new Pearl Harbor.”

Add to this the grotesque anomalies in the physical record pertaining to 9/11. Such as the strangely conflicting body of evidence pertaining to United Flight 93, or the government’s suspicious handling of the Flight 77/Pentagon evidence, or the fact that the virulently “weaponized” post-9/11 anthrax strain was cultured in laboratories at Ft. Dietrich in Maryland, or the several indications that the three towers to plunge from the lower Manhattan skyline at near freefall speed on 9/11 were demolished by controlled demolition. What’s been characterized by a cross-section of credible academic and expert opinion as the “physical impossibility” of the official narrative for these towers’ collapse has sparked bureaucratic battles—not elaborated upon in mainstream press—that have led in one case to the firing of Kevin Ryan, an official from Underwriters Laboratories, the company which certified the steel used in the towers, only days after he’d clearly spelled out, in a letter to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the implausibility of the official narrative of their destruction.

It is clear to anyone following the 9/11 debate that independent researchers skeptical of the official story are carrying the day in a broad variety of arguments against those attempting to shore up a hemorrhaging (if mercurial) official narrative. While those towing a slurring government line neglect to engage their detractors openly, their logistical efforts are clearly aimed at evading and obfuscating the latter’s coherent and devastating critiques. What’s frustrating to those of us following the drama is that, while the truth regarding 9/11 is slowly willing out, no one besides “conspiracy theorists” seems to be paying much attention.

In his bosom-clutching dereliction of intellectual duty, the liberal intellectual is denying—in curious lockstep with the lunkhead right—that he’s been duped. Snared by conceit, he forbids attribution of any historic event to any catalyst other than that delineated by the regime, no matter how tortured and self-contradictory this official conspiracy theory is proven to be, and no matter how many people of goodwill risk life, reputation and career to set the record straight.

If the liberal’s denial is outright, that of farther “leftist” sentiment manifests as avoidance. In its scurry from critical 9/11 dispute, a voice promoting itself as progressive or even radical asserts that we should just “get over” 9/11 already, even that it “doesn’t matter,” a statement advanced by a self-professed lefty to this writer based on the fact that more people die of AIDS everyday than were killed in the September 2001 catastrophe. The inanity of his reasoning is as obvious as it is prevalent in leftist discourse about 9/11—to the extent there is any—largely guided by the meretricious “blowback” theory of terrorism: by his token AIDS doesn’t matter, and neither does genocide, since more people die of starvation everyday than of the two other scourges combined.

It is not the aim of independent 9/11 researchers to make a fetish the human losses suffered that day , but to honor those slain by exposing their true murderers and deflating the malignant myth that because “they hate our way of life” 19 Arabs armed with box-cutters defeated the United States all on their own that day: a morally indefensible absurdity and singular pretext for a war consuming uncounted innocent lives.

Admittedly, part of the difficulty in pleading truth about 9/11 is that this also, in effect, asks the victims’ loved ones (and the nation overall) to re-enter that devastation, to awaken to it as if for the first time. Resentment is to be expected. But when emotion occludes reason so persistently it’s unhealthy. And as we redress our own grief and betrayal, mere messengers are beset with condescension, suspicion and dismissal.

However protective in intent, strident reactions to these messages are anti-rational, ahistorical and hysterical. Based not in logic but fear, these rationalizations, in an all-too apt analogy, recall those offered by victims of abusive families who refuse to acknowledge—and who secretly even feel they deserve—the abuse. This subconscious guilt is especially apparent in the left’s uncritical adoption of the “blowback” theory of terrorism (which sees the attacks as lucky breaks on the part the oppressed against a bumbling empire in real part responsible for their suffering). Outright dismissal of the possibility that 9/11 was an inside job may be said to indicate the left’s own repressed guilt over the event, a condition reaching its ludicrous apogee in my acquaintance’s statement that 9/11, inside job or not, “doesn’t matter.”

Indicative of the left’s blinkered response to the challenges presented by 9/11 are the reactions to the attacks, and to allegations they were state-sponsored, by Ward Churchill, who after claiming those who died deserved it (as cogs in the Zionist world-order) appeared to step back from this stance on a television program on which he shared a platform with the son of a 9/11 victim. In a tight spot, Churchill proceeded to barter with both the young man and the truth (at least as he saw it) when he offered sui generis that the young man’s father—whom Churchill claimed to have actually met—didn’t deserve it, in exchange for the young man’s conceding that many of those who died so horribly with his dad might have. (The son didn’t bite.) Add to this Churchill’s disgusting implication—voiced on Air America Radio—that doubting the official story is racist, based on his perversely equating the suggestion that Arabs didn’t pull off the attacks (at least by themselves) with saying they lacked the intelligence to.

Never mind that the public record provides ample cause to seriously question almost every aspect of the government’s narrative, not the least of which is that according to reputable press sources many of the alleged hijackers are still alive. This, as well as evidence Mohamed Atta and other “hijackers” were double-agents, is ignored by Churchill, whose dogma appears to dispense with such fussy obligations as consulting the labors of respected intellectuals who’ve actually scrutinized the matter. (Like David Ray Griffin or Nafeez Ahmed, chroniclers of multitudinous deficiencies in an official narrative suffering “death by a thousand cuts,” more than a few lethal.) In his racist defense of Arabs as righteous murderers, Churchill doesn’t pause in lending his leftist bona fides to support of the government’s theory, under whose pretext thousands of perfectly intelligent—not to mention innocent—Arabs are now routinely slaughtered. To Churchill, incarnation of leftist catatonia, Arabs did it because they’re smart and Americans deserve it, facts be damned. With flagellation passing for leftist opinion on 9/11, dare we marvel at rightist triumphs?

Webster Griffin Tarpley, quoted here at length, concisely characterizes the theoretical basis of “9 11 Truth’s” argument, which opposes the romantic or “naïve” view that terrorist acts grow “directly out of oppression, economic misery, and political despair,” with the oppressed and exploited supposedly “coming together spontaneously…to armed struggle against their oppressors or occupiers.” While acknowledging that intelligence agencies draw from among the subjugated in orchestrating “false-flag” or “black” operations such as 9/11, in the Truth Movement we start “from the strong presumption that terrorism is intrinsically an activity which is controlled by a faction of government [through the cooperative involvement of international secret intelligence agencies like CIA, FBI, NSA, ISI, MI 5, MI 6 and Mossad], probably acting under the influence of financier factions which are generally the ultimate source of authority in the globalized universe after 1991… Secret intelligence agencies are institutions in which the very essence of oligarchy is at work: as the enjoyment of oligarchical privileges comes inevitably at the expense of the people, covert methods of control become indispensable. Secret intelligence agencies in their modern forms go back to the Republic of Venice…the longest-lasting oligarchical system in world history…which was famous for its intelligence directorate, the Council of Ten, and its pervasive network of spies, informers, and provocateurs… Despite their cultural differences all of these secret intelligence agencies are fundamentally alike. Terrorism generally starts within these secret agencies, or nowadays more likely in their privatized tentacles—such as the intelligence community in the United States has had since President Reagan’s Executive Order 12333.”

According to Tarpley’s aptly chilling description, “the world of secret intelligence agencies is a realm of falsehood, camouflage, deception, violence, unspeakable cruelty, treachery, and betrayal. It is the most desolate and grim sector of human endeavor, where no human values can subsist. It knows neither hope, nor mercy, nor redemption. It is the one area of human life where Hobbes’s maxim holds true—it is the war of all against all.”

Paraphrasing Der Fuhrer, Marshall McLuhan observes, “Only the small secrets need to be protected. The big ones are kept secret by public incredulity.” Let’s allow for just a moment that there’s something to the vast array of information and evidence offered by so many experts from diverse backgrounds, all clearly combining to indicate that 9/11 was a “false flag” intelligence operation—a clandestine, collaborative procedure carefully orchestrated by Anglo/American intelligence agencies in coordination with powerful figures inside US military, industry and government. In that case each of us remains victim of the incredulity McLuhan notes, of the Hitlerian lie, not to mention the obscene crime it veils. Recall what blame for the attacks has been officially laid to: a failure of the imagination. Ironically, a diagnosis with which “9 11 Truth” researchers would concur, were that failure characterized as a prevailing collective, irrational and anti-historical refusal to imagine that certain of those charged with protecting us may be guilty of the deliberate and ultimate betrayal of the sacred—that is, blood—trust vested in them. The esteemed psychoanalyst Martin S. Bergmann contends that dread of this precise betrayal, of being in essence sacrificed by the parental or protective authority, is the most primal fear—however latent—experienced by human beings. It is precisely this fear that would blind us to the truth about 9/11.

The apparent fact that the crimes of 9/11 have been planned, executed, covered-up and exploited by longstanding clandestine elements within the US military/industrial complex in cooperation with Anglo/American secret intelligence agencies (extending, in this analysis, to the Israeli Mossad) has a subtly pernicious influence on the collective psyche of people in the United States in particular. In part a psychological or “mind-control” operation, the attacks have conditioned the US public for ever-increasing acceptance of lies within our social discourse as well as our very relation to the material world. This condition, which writers from George Orwell to Milan Kundera have recognized as symptomatic of authoritarian regimes, has led to radically diminished accountability on the part of public officials, military authorities and, most ominously, ourselves.

Charles Upton, in his critique of New Age and Postmodern thought, The System of Antichrist, chronicles the corrosive inroads made by irrationality into academic and cultural life. The cerebral anemia according to which 9/11 alternately “doesn’t matter” or its myriad anomalies are swept under the rug is sadly emblematic of this decay of intelligence. Upton notes that “once truth is abandoned, all that’s left is power,” which may explain doctrinaire leftist knee-jerking when it comes to 9/11. It can’t matter that reason and record are on the side of “9 11 Truth,” along with poor facts (as best mere mortals might know them). Hectoring, smug and quick to take offense, the opposition are trapped animals savagely defending any corner they’re narrowed to, with liberals huffing firm and final words on the matter, while to others reality itself founders in a “critique of empiricism” where “evidence” and “truth” being “historically problematic” are simply “not emphasized.” Seems it’s we conspiracy theorists who “just don’t understand.”

The painful irony is that “9 11 Truth” and affiliated groups are forming what leftists purport to advocate: a critical-minded, ecumenical and egalitarian movement whose exponents span the world’s religions, nationalities and ethnicities. Still, much of the left remains chary of the grassroots or any organization that doesn’t carry the imprimatur of institutional authority, especially movements considering that inflexibly taboo subject of “conspiracy.” Yet given the roles of secrecy, assassination and terrorism in authoritarian regimes historically, the unconscionable reluctance of much of the US left wing press to seriously consider evidence of official conspiracy has obscured public understanding of crimes ranging from the assassinations of JFK, Malcolm X, RFK, MLK, John Lennon and Senator Paul Wellstone to the terror attacks on the WTC in ’93, in Oklahoma City, and in the nation’s cultural and political capitols on 9/11. The evidence indicating official conspiracies in each of the aforementioned murders (not to mention many others) ranges from highly suggestive, as in the case of Lennon, to, as with 9/11, staggering.

Yet to the grim rigors of “deep politics”—the academic discipline concerned with the study of conspiratorial networks and tendencies in the contemporary state—the dilettante left, confused and enticed by the apparent inevitability of corporate globalization, swoons over the empire’s seductions (a coquetry ala Hardt and Negrie) rather than bothering with the messy, technicality-laden “truth” about 9/11, especially given “9 11 Truth’s” exposure of the explicit human predation underlying “globalization.”

It’s a truism that there’s a tendency on the part of subscribers to the conspiratorial view of history to “over-determine” the role played by conspiracy historically, particularly at the expense of economic forces (Richard Hofstadter’s position in his famous Harpers essay, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics”). Yet what can be over-determined has been insistently under-determined, along with the tendency among intelligentsia and media figures on the left to essentially side with demonstrably malfeasant state authority on the occasion of certain watershed events for which the record clearly indicates culpability on the part of state. Questioning who benefits from the prevailing cultural bias against intellectual positions—no matter how well-informed—smacking of “conspiracy,” Ralph Schoenman aptly characterizes as Stalinist this antirational bent on the part of “leftist” authorities. Whether they are conscious of it or not, these figures’ function, at the critical historical junctures such watershed crimes as 9/11 mark, is that of gatekeeper of official history, of the lies offered up by a criminalized state to obscure its essentially predatory nature.

Plainly, 9/11 does matter. Not only to those who lost loved ones, but those who sent sons and daughters to fight and die avenging them. It matters to those warriors, and to accruing millions in foreign lands invaded and threatened by the US. It matters to anyone meaningfully concerned about civil liberties, terrorism, honest public discourse, personal integrity and our collective future. And it matters the more to us who study it because of all the ugly, desperate truths it reveals about how our present system—at some macabre if principle level—operates, and because it’s our conviction that those responsible for the attacks are getting away with global murder, rape and pillage as a result of them. It matters because 9/11 marks the wanton increase in lethality of state-sponsored covert intelligence operations. It matters because historically states embarking on policies like those foisted on US bureaucracy by the 9/11 coup fair poorly quickly and bloodily. It matters because the world of decency, openness and nobility that is our birthright is receding under the banner of the official 9/11 myth into twilight, to be followed by what seems certain darkness.

Yet 9/11 cannot matter to anyone who, in their repressed dread and guilt, must deny its true aegis. If 9/11 becomes, as it does for many who part its veils, an obsession, it’s in part due to the unwillingness or inability of others to confront such anguishing data. Abandoning us to the hell which the quality and abundance of the material rips us into, those in denial are so many trite, jabbering goons smugly chirruping pop vernacular, the faux prudence of corporate opinion, or the snotty casuistry of academic chic. And worse than that they don’t know is that they don’t want to. That they’re content as the blatherers to which empire spectacle reduces them, with their participation in such big ol’ confusing matters simply not required, not that it would help anyway. Why it wasn’t them hurled to the meat-grinder of laconic apathy. And why just like the president they’re clever enough not to like (though they regard his idiocy as license), they’re “lucky,” and on that flying carpet to fame, romance, or at least self-fulfillment…

It’s all good. A fireman interviewed for an article about the 9 11 Truth Movement in New York Magazine told the reporter that he believes the government’s story on one basis. “Osama fucking bin Laden, like Bush says. If I thought it was someone else, then I’d have to do something about it.” Precisely. “And I don’t want to think about what I’d do.” This isn’t belief, but fear of truth and his castration before it, of the ignominy of his betrayal, of having hailed his brothers’ killers… Fear of rage.

Charles Upton again, in elucidating the metaphysical principles upon which the Perennial (or Traditionalist) philosophical school is based, writes that what he calls the “system of antichrist” not only makes reason and truth difficult to ascertain and/or acknowledge, it would make the very search for truth seem vain. Here’s what’s so dispiriting about the left’s overall response to 9/11. Commentator after commentator, person after person, friend after friend, without having confronted the material, begs the question, “yeah but how can you ever really know.” In an exchange with a journalist for a soft-left weekly who’d written a puerile article on the 9 11 Truth Movement, the reporter, in responding to me, adopted an attitude that might be summed, “if I can’t know exactly what happened I’m not going to go around pointing fingers, like you. And you can’t know exactly what happened either.”

As though adult conjecture was out of bounds, even given the surprisingly detailed record on the matter (of which—though he claimed familiarity with a considerable portion—he seemed oddly incurious and un-conversant, begrudging almost, yet at the same time as if waiting for still more to be discovered—not that his article mentioned much that had been—some dramatic breakthrough maybe, almost as if he was still on the job…). As though no one is ever justly held in suspicion, or those serving in government were somehow exempt from misgiving in just this instance, however incriminating the circumstances. As though 9/11 were sacred territory to be guarded from finger-pointing or all but perfect knowledge, a set of mystical circumstances beyond human adjudication.

Behind his posturing I heard the undead scratching. Shy of an impossible or “absolute” knowledge , the left, demanding all or nothing, mires in its veneration of ambiguity, neutered by a creed of uncertainly. Behold the antichrist, installed behind the implacability of our indeterminism, his dominion our doubt of him.

According to God’s biblical Covenant with the lineage of Cain (and in what some consider fair warning to free people) the beast is marked…the devil must tip his hat. (In Upton’s phrase, so apposite the 9/11 conundrum, “true evil always exhibits a tell-tale mixture of diabolical cunning and immense stupidity.”) Considering the glibness of their iniquity, a friend recalls that members of the administration don’t exactly lie (usually). Some have on a number of occasions all but confessed their crimes, acknowledging them with offhand phrases that dwindle to inaudibility. (And whatever else we might think of him, President Bush has been frank, if especially-so in moments we’re instructed by his handlers to discount. ) Accomplished postmodernists, it’s been observed these tricksters regularly offer flatly ambiguous statements that can be read past their face value as acridly ironic indications of truth. Sander Hicks, activist, gubernatorial candidate and author of a very good book on 9/11, tells an interesting story of meeting Vice President Cheney (who any “9 11 Truth-er” knows is a central suspect in the attacks) at a Republican benefit Hicks had finagled an invitation to. The moment comes to shake Cheney’s hand and Hicks, in Republican guise, looks him in the eye: “So Mr. Vice President, how do we respond to all these people who say 9/11 was an inside job?” “It can’t be,” answers Cheney. “Well why not…?” To which Dick replies (with understated candor, considering the illegal obliteration of the 9/11 crime scenes), “All the evidence is on our side.”

Well Dubya does dub ‘im “vice.”

Considering the official story’s blatant contortions, the seething anomalies in the public record, and the shameless cover-up of the scandal , those of us who follow independent 9/11 research often find ourselves shaking our heads: “How stupid do they think we are?” Yet considering the intransigence of so many on the left, practitioners of what Jesuits call “invincible ignorance,” that’s hardly the question…

How stupid are we? Mind-control 101 :

One of the many difficulties in discussing 9/11 critically is the inevitability that other outré topics muffled within postmodern discourse will arise. One is mind control, essentially the fostering and aggravating of schizophrenic mindsets within an individual or populace with the aim of inducing a form of Multiple Personality Disorder (termed by professionals Dissociative Identity Disorder) in persons and/or groups. While psy-ops (psychological operations) are considered within the military to be an essential aspect of any strategy against an enemy, many liberals and progressives again “fail to imagine” that psy-ops could ever be effectively turned on anyone so sophisticated as themselves.

Yet it would seem they have been, against us all, and for some time. Nestled in the just-upstate New York town of Cold Spring and overlooking the Hudson toward a southerly West Point lies the stately-named Tavistock Institute. More than a quaint throwback to the heady acme of Skinnerian psychology, Tavistock describes itself as an organization of “dynamic psychiatry” intended to practice what it calls “societry,” otherwise known as mass perceptual manipulation and management, on the planet as a whole. According to the late maverick researcher Jim Keith, Tavistock was born from “the collaboration of the international moneyed elite, military intelligence, and the materialist psychiatric community.” Keith notes that Kurt Lewin, co-founder of the American Office of Strategic Services (precursor to CIA) “is credited with much of the Original Tavistock research into mass brainwashing, applying the results” of government-sponsored mind-control experiments involving the “repeated traumatizing and torture of individuals to society at large.” Writing in the mid-‘90s, Keith characterized the theory behind Tavistock. “[I]f terror can be induced on a widespread basis then society…reverts to a tabula rasa…situation where control can easily be instituted from an exterior point… By the creation of controlled chaos the populace can be brought to the point where it willingly submits to increasing increments of control… Lewin maintained society must be driven into a state equivalent to an ‘early childhood situation’ which he termed ‘fluidity.’” Tavistock literature reiterates its “global vision,” admits its “military” orientation and makes it clear, according to Keith, “that the Institute intends to practice its long-term ‘societry’ on the world regardless of the wishes of the individuals who inhabit it.”
The awkward fact appears to be this: in the eyes of our oligarchical masters, those generally faceless entities behind the World Trade Organization, World Bank, “globalization,” Council on Foreign Relations, et. al., the human race is a malleable and ultimately controllable commercial material resource. As Plato observed, the sole function of the oligarchy is perpetuation of the oligarchy, which is why the “father of philosophy” also states that “the price of non-involvement in government is to be ruled by evil men.”

Such “non-involvement,” of course, is meticulously cultivated by the oligarchy. Zbignew Brezezinski, senior foreign policy statesman, one-time US Secretary of State, and uncanny prognosticator of oligarchy policy , wrote in 1968 of an information society with an “amusement focus” based on “spectator spectacles (mass sports and TV) providing an opiate for increasingly purposeless masses…” He stated that “new forms of social control may be needed to limit the indiscriminate exercise by the individual of their new powers,” mentioning the “possibility of extensive chemical mind control…” In what he called the “Technotronic Age,” the “nation state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state.” Crisply foreshadowing present NSA policy, Brezezinski continues, “At the same time the capacity to assert social and political control over the individual will vastly increase. It will soon be possible to assert almost continuous control over every citizen and to maintain up-to-date files, containing even the most personal details about health and personal behavior of every citizen in addition to the more customary data…These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities. Power will gravitate into the hands of those who control information.” From the ‘60s Brzezinski looked forward over the next several decades toward “a dictatorship leaving even less room for political procedures as we know them…” He saw no reason why such a “scientific dictatorship” in which the minds of the populace were effectively controlled by a mixture of narcotics, mass entertainment spectacles, and media control in the hands of a few, should ever fail.

As Webster Tarpley observes, the subliminal effects of 9/11 threaten to permanently distort our at-home-ness in reality, in the physical world, which on that day became a place where majestic state-of-the-art buildings, marvels of engineering and modernist architecture’s capstones, monuments (affirmed by cliché) to human ingenuity and spirit…unpeeled so strangely to dust. The question of how the towers fell isn’t merely academic, but in some measure crucial to our psychological health as a people. If, as some contend , they were destroyed by explosives planted in the structures in the week preceding the attacks, then we’ve been compelled to accept a counterfeit view of physical reality, marking the radical intensification of a schizophrenic mindset already endemic in—and increasingly definitive of—Anglo-American culture.

The effect of the Towers’ destruction is tied to the structures’ form as well as the place of the “tower” and “twin” archetypes in legend (whether in Tolkien, the Tarot or the Pentateuch for the former, or astrology, religious esoterism and classical myth for the latter). Anthropomorphic totems, the twin towers connoted a unity of two (or balanced duality), the harmonious couple (thus love, or lovers), or the self and its reflection: in short, completion, with the north tower (with its antennae) the yang to the south’s yin (slightly recessive, as if, from the greater Manhattan perspective, backing the other up). Their destruction, then, was an eidetic inscription, rooted in mortal shock, of the shattering of unity, the failure of love, the death of the iconic companions, God’s wrathful judgement (ala Babel) upon our aspirations (and the futility of endeavor) and the fracture of communion (language, community—or logos, word or idea embodied…meaning). Situated at the millennial cusp, at the crossroads of macrocosmic time and superhuman space, the structures’ spectacularly surreal dematerialization unmistakably declared the triumph of disunity, unreason, separation and loss—in short, the reign of antichrist, which 9/11 would appear to have been intended by certain of its architects to herald.

From tut-tut to sneering contempt, the sad range of knee-jerk responses to critical 9/11 discourse remains, alas, to be expected. For 9/11’s sponsorship by commanding elements within our government would make it, in essence, a human sacrifice —an explicit reassertion of the ancient carnal religion of empire, The Old Worship, defined ineluctably by that signature rite. As such, it is an epochal evolutionary throwback whose nature, in abject defiance of secular progress, must be denied, however irrationally, by those blind to 9/11’s esoteric implications. Only somewhat paradoxically, the same anxiety prevents many religious people from recognizing 9/11’s true nature as a state-sponsored secret intelligence operation, a contingency which subconsciously confronts them with the overthrow of God—or at least His Earthly Dominion—by the anthropologically more ancient deity in opposition to whom monotheism evolved: Moloch, the god of human—specifically child—sacrifice (to whom children were “passed,” according to scripture—and in chilling echo of 9/11—“through fire”).

With our bereavement defiled by vulgar bellicosity, we would rush the immolation behind us. Yet our wound remains unfathomed. Unable to mourn, commemorate and bring it to meaningful closure, we fixate at our initial shock, as our slaughtered are consumed by their butchers. Unavenged and hostage, their souls are doubly mocked in a cacophony we loiter as chattel. The undead.

As activists note, it is hardly out of the question that 9/11’s planners intended to be noticed; hence the conflicting layers of subterfuge, the contradictory elements of the attacks and cover-up. An essential measure of their control would be our knowing they are there, in charge, and that there’s nothing any of us can do. The consuming obsession of 9/11’s planners, this control is consummated in the Enlightenment’s capitulation to the forces of unreason; in its denial of the empire’s nature, the left genuflects before antichrist. In our abusive national family, the lefty is favored of the rapist father and according to profile loyal—however complaining—to the last.

The actual 9/11 terrorists are sociopaths; true to form, they desire attention, in fact need, as much as committing the crime, for their power to be discerned, however subconsciously, by their victims. We must sense them, if never all together and without quite being able to “prove” it, the point being very much for us to know they are there, whether or not we are capable of admitting it.

The idea that the empire, to advance its agendas, would sacrifice 3000 of its own sounds strange only to that vast majority of its subjects duped by imperial ritual. Whether consumed by poverty, labor, narcotics, mass entertainment and sports spectacles, or the Punch and Judy farce passing for national politics, the gross of empire subjects work, shop, root their favorite sports team on, ogle the celebrity couple de jour and smugly scan their preferred periodical for the opinions suitable to their own age group, racial, religious or cultural identity and/or sexual predilection, and assume the age in which they live is a secular one defined by market forces, technological advances and globalization, and that any truly major problems will be solved by science.

Meanwhile—and let’s conjure him with a commiserative glance—the conscientious minister of worldly power, as he confronts the chilling exigencies: flagging economies, dwindling resources, and a vulgar, sentimental and inebriated mass whose profligacy has traipsed it past the threshold of the greatest mass-extinction event in the four and a half billion year history of life on Earth… Given the state of material disparity and international factionalism in the immediate term, from the point of view of the cult of empire 3000 is a small price to pay, a drop in the bucket, compared to what might happen should certain feral elements of foreign sentiment be allowed to incubate without the judicious application of martial prophylaxis.

In a declassified State Department memo from 1948, George Kennan, a seminal voice in twentieth-century US state policy, wrote, “We have about 50 per cent of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3 per cent of its population… In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task is…to maintain this position of disparity without positive determent to our national security. To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming… We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction… We should cease to talk about vague and…unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we will have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.” John Foster Dulles, co-founder of CIA, put it more bluntly, “it is only by eliminating the lower members” of the human race “that a higher average is maintained.”

If leftists are uncomfortable with such language, they have every cause to be. Not the least of which is that it’s precisely this genocidal, eugenics-inspired agenda they license in their pusillanimous acquiescence to what Webster Tarpley calls the “myth of the twenty-first century,” that 19 hijackers working for Osama and Allah took upon themselves to foil the most technically sophisticated and powerful military state in world history. A David-and-Goliath romance playing into lone-wolf fantasies of landing a blow against an impervious system, it’s a nevertheless specious fable whose historical legitimacy dissipates under the critical analysis applied to it by established experts from myriad backgrounds the nation and world over, the self-same analysis the US left by and large cravenly refuses to acknowledge.

It’s clear to the judicious observer that the imperial war for the natural resources of central Eurasia was a fait accompli the moment Bush was installed. And so, as the dispassionate reader of history must recognize sooner or later, was 9/11. Meanwhile the terror state Pollyanna class—blushing moderate, fatuous conservative, meretricious liberal and the theory-fatted poseur who casually squawks “maybe they let it happen”—cower in their mutually-supporting antagonisms, sissy-slapping each other from their prescribed niches in a cultural circle-jerk necessarily excluding forensic analysis of 9/11. For that would confront each with something they simply don’t wish to imagine, an agency whose cold-bloodedness they are not intellectually, emotionally nor spiritually equipped to confront. Thus do our wan Narcissuses parade as skeptics, assuring the fallible conspiracies just don’t happen, that they can’t be covered up, that people aren’t that organized and the world is “more complicated,” that those who think “that way” are foolish really, a bit tardy mentally or not up to snuff…often lonely, perhaps deranged, even dangerous sometimes.

Yet fear of truth is a wish for betrayal. In the case of 9/11 the brutal facts indicate an agency more malevolent than irrational, more focused than accidental, and subtle rather than simple. Vastly sophisticated, it is by far more threatening to our sense of security or identity than any hatred born of anger, envy, material disparity or cultural misunderstanding. Something worse than a well-funded if obscure foreign entity bent on crippling or destroying the empire, and worse than alliances of fanatics, criminals more or less to be eradicated, however distasteful one may find the proposition… These are mere shibboleths dangled before the terror-state faithful. Necessary to the manufacture of an ephemerally multifaceted yet fundamentally uniform social consensus regarding terrorism, they obscure its true aegis, knowledge of which affronts us more deeply than “terror’s” crimes. (One naturally prefers the scene of the murder to the company of the murderer.) Unrestrained by collective acknowledgment or overt suspicion, terrorism's source proves the effect’s viler twin who, like the apparition some spy in the south tower’s plummet, mocks us from the cloud of dust.

The demon banished to the fancy of cranks, the ordained cognoscenti of our postmodern age obsess over the result, assigning it like obedient children to measured combinations of expedient abstractions—zealotry, economic despair, religious, ethnic and cultural antagonism—in order to rescue themselves from confronting terror's precise agency, nature and techniques. Meanwhile, terror-state propaganda frustrates sustained critical examination of the attacks and their circumstances. Before public attention can train on essential matters another crisis, scandal or mere vulgarity ripples the hallucination passing in our “virtual” age for culture.

While researchers identify a number of apparently complicit actors within our government and military, the larger question nevertheless remains: who ultimately did 9/11? That is, precisely who conceived, planned and—perhaps most crucially—gave the go-ahead…? Back in 1987, Hawaii Senator Daniel K. Inouye spoke what might serve as an approximate answer to that question when he observed, as a result of investigating the Iran/Contra Arms-for-Hostages scandal (involving a number of the same figures alleged to have had a hand in 9/11), that there operates in the US “a shadow government with its own Air Force, its own Navy, its own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national interest, free form all checks and balances, and free from the law itself.” We may also find a hint prefigured in a passage from a 1913 letter by Woodrow Wilson, “Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”

What we face is a clandestine, sophisticated and ruthless eminence or syndicate, vastly resourceful and international in scope, with ready reach into those highest halls and offices of power we naively regard as our own. We understand instinctively we are not supposed to know, believe or pursue any of this, that the matter in any case is well enough in hand, and that suggesting more than is appropriate to the contrary compromises something, rocks a listing boat, marks one as the crackpot…or a dead man. For to penetrate the labyrinth of the 9/11 conspiracy is to confront an archetypal violation, a truth to which, like Oedipus, we prefer stabbing out our eyes, which have glimpsed the twisting creatures we are in the gaze of our devouring father.

—May/June 2006 (revised Oct. ’06)

Selected Bibliography

Ahmed, Nafeez Mosaddeq, The War on Freedom. Tree of Life Publications, Joshua Tree, CA, 2002.

Ahmed, Nafeez Mosaddeq, The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism. Olive Branch Press, Northampton, Massachussetts, 2005.

Arrows, Four & Fetzer, Jim, American Assassination: the Strange Death of Senator Paul Wellstone. Vox Pop Press, Brooklyn, 2004.

Bergmann, Martin S., In the Shadow of Moloch: The Sacrifice of Children and Its Impact on Western Religions. Columbia University Press, New York, 1992.

“Chip Tatum Chronicles, (The): Testimony of Government Drug Running, ”, 1997.

DeCamp, John W., The Franklin Cover-Up: Child Abuse, Satanism, and Murder in Nebraska, second edition. AWT, Inc., Lincoln, Nebraska, 1996.

Griffin, David Ray, The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11, second edition. Olive Branch Press, Northampton, Massachusetts, 2004.

Griffin, David Ray, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. Olive Branch Press, Northampton, Massachusetts, 2005.

Hicks, Sander, The Big Wedding: 9/11, the Whistle-blowers, & the Cover-Up. Vox Pop Press, Brooklyn, 2005.

Hufschmid, Eric, Painful Questions: an Analysis of the September 11th Attack. Published by Eric Hufschmid,, 2002.

Keith, Jim, Mass Control: Engineering Human Consciousness. Adventures Unlimited Press, Kempton, Illinois, 2001.

Keith, Jim, Mind Control, World Control: the Encyclopedia of Mind Control. Adventures Unlimited Press, Kempton, Illinois, 1997.

Keith, Jim, ed., Secret and Suppressed: Banned Ideas and Hidden History. Feral House, Portland, Oregon, 1993.

Lee, Martin A., The Beast Reawakens: Fascism’s Resurgence from Hitler’s Spymasters to Today’s Neo-Nazi Groups and Right-Wing Extremists, Routledge, New York, 2000.

Madsen, Wayne, Jaded Tasks: Brass Plates, Black Ops, & Big Oil, the Blood Politics of George Bush & Co. Trine Day, Chicago, 2006

Marrs, Jim, Rule by Secrecy. Perennial/HarperCollins, New York, 2000.

McGowan, David, Programmed to Kill: The Politics of Serial Murder. IUniverse Inc., New York, 2004.

Millegan, Chris, ed., Fleshing Out Skull & Bones. TrineDay, LLC, Walterville, Oregon, 2003.

Morgan, Roland, Flight 93 Revealed: What Really Happened on the 9/11 “Let’s Roll” Flight? Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York, 2006.

“9/11: Conspiracy Theorists Run Amok,” Mark Jacobson, New York Magazine, 27 March 2006.

Paul, Don & Hoffman, Jim, Waking Up from Our Nightmare: The 9/11/01 Crimes in New York City. Irresistible/Revolutionary Press, San Francisco, 2004.

“Pegasus File, (The),” parts 1 & 2 by David G. Guyatt. Nexus, April-May & June-July 1997.

Ruppert, Michael C., Crossing the Rubicon, the Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, BC, Canada, 2004

Saussy, F. Tupper, Rulers of Evil, Useful Knowledge about Governing Bodies. HarperCollins, New York, 1999.

Scott, Peter Dale, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1993.

Tarpley, Webster Griffin, 9/11 Synthetic Terror, Made in USA. Progressive Press, Joshua Tree, California, 2005.

Thomas, Kenn & Keith, Jim, The Octopus, Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro. Feral House, Los Angeles, 2004.

Thompson, Paul & The Center for Cooperative Research, The Terror Timeline, Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute: a Comprehensive Chronicle of the Road to 9/11—and America’s Response. Regan Books/HarperCollins, New York, 2004.

Upton, Charles, The System of Antichrist: Truth & Falsehood in Postmodernism & the New Age. Sophia Perennis, Ghent, NY, 2001.

Wilson, Edward O., The Future of Life. Vintage, New York, 2002.