Poisoned Keyboard

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Even Newer Pearl Harbor

"It’s absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we’ll get hit again and we’ll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States."
Dick Cheney in the run-up to the 2004 election

"What the Vice President was saying was whoever is elected will face the possibility of a terrible attack. The question is whether or not we have the right policies in place to protect the country."
VP Spokesperson Anne Womack about 2 hours later

A recent survey of "experts" put the chances of a WMD attack somewhere in the world over the next 5 years at 50%. Since this survey was commissioned by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I'm going to assume that "the world" means "The United States of America". I personally predict that there will be a "terrorist" attack on US soil much, much sooner than that.

After the shock of the events of September 11, 2001 wore off and I had digested and come to terms with my desire for some revenge of the ass-kicking kind, I should have felt a natural desire to more thoroughly examine the events of that fateful day. But my marked propensity to doubt & question had been buried under an avalanche of patriotism, righteous indignation, and propaganda. Well, the plucky little guy was recently excavated from his icy tomb by the snuffling St. Bernard of indefatiguable curiousity.

In the weeks since, I have devoured just about everything I could get my hands on regarding the technicalities and actual events of 9/11. I read the 9/11 commision report cover-to-cover. I tracked down and read the FEMA report on the World Trade Center. I even watched the recent NIST presentation on new Fire Saftey Regulations based on what they had learned from the collapse of the towers... I feel I have a pretty complete grasp on the official story.

But during my search for answers, I also came upon another story. A competing theory, if you will. One that stated that the current Administration either directly caused, or allowed to happen, those catastrophic and catalyzing events for their own insidious purposes. Never one to just ignore information, I began to educate myself on that theory as well. I watched "Confronting the Evidence, a Call to Reopen the 9/11 Investigation", and "Hijacking Catasrophe". I even watched "911 - In Plane Sight" one night. I also found copies of and read David Ray Griffin's 2 books "The New Pearl Harbor" and "The 9/11 Commision Report: Omissions and Distortions", and Eric Hufschmid's extensivly researched "Painful Questions: An analysis of the September 11th attack". I've also visited just about every serious website out there promoting or debunking these theories.

My point is, I am now probably about as well versed as you can get on both the official story and the competing theories. At the end of my journey I have found myself reaching a conclusion that I never would have expected on September 12, 2001. As much as I really want to, I'm not sure that I can buy the Government's story; and the implications of that are both tragic and horrifying.

The reason behind this piece is not to convert you to my line of thinking. You would probably need to digest the same amount of information that I have to convince yourself, and that is an undertaking you must do on your own. If you care to, the internet is a great place to start. I also highly recommend reading the books I have mentioned supporting both theories.

But that is neither here nor there.

The events of September 11th resulted in a great number of after effects. We went to war in Afgahnistan and Iraq as a direct result. We created the Department of Homeland Security, the TSA and the highly dubious & comical Color-Coded National Terrorism Threat Level Chart. But indulge me while I zero in an 2 other effects. President Bush's approval rating, which had seen a steady decline from a 65% in March of 2001, was languishing at around 50% by September of 2001. Immediately following the attacks, it skyrocketed to 90%. Higher than his dad during the first Gulf War. Higher than Harry Truman at the end of WWII. In fact, it was the highest ever recorded. The other effect was that, regardless of Karl Rove's recent assertions to the contrary, dissent utterly vanished. The American people were scared to death, the Congress was shocked numb, and it gave the President a rubber stamp and a blank check to do whatever he thought was necessary.

But those days seem awfully far away now. And with our President's current approval rating hovering in the low 40's and facing mounting dissent from both parties on the domestic and foreign fronts, I bet he truly misses those halcyon days of yore. What to do, oh what to do?

How about what worked last time?

Here's how I think it will go down, bearing in mind certain restrictions that the players have inadvertantly placed upon themselves. A so-called "dirty bomb" goes off in a relatively small town somewhere in the extreme northern part of the country. The town can't be too big because too many casualties will create too many angry families with bothersome questions and irritating demands for investigations. I think it will be a northern town because then the story can be something about slipping across the Canadian border "through a forbidding stretch of mountains" or some such. If they come in through the Mexican border then the Administraion catches even more flack about not closing it down earlier. As far as I know, nobody is complaining too loudly about the Canadian side of things.

The bomber turns out to to be a Syrian or Iraninan national, "with close ties to al-Qaeda", possibly sent with the blessing of one of those governments, and the radioactive material is traced back to a North Korean reactor. More casualties arise among the repsonding rescuers, because nobody suspects radiation yet and nobody brings a Geiger counter. By the time the hazmat guys arrive in their sealed up white suits, Fox News has helicopters and telephoto lenses on the scene to get the great video from a safe distance. Luckily the fallout is contained, because the bomb went off "in a relatively isolated area... imagine if this had been in downtown Chicago, or even New York!" they'll intone. The CIA starts reporting that they are picking up "increased chatter" about multiple other US cities. The threat level color goes to red, or purple, or whatever the highest one is. An audio tape of Osama surfaces promising that "the devastation of Mooseteeth, North Dakota is only the beginning of a new wave of terror that will sweep across the lands of the infidels!" The CIA announces that they are 100% certain the tape is authentic. Bush makes a solemn speech. Cheney and Condi do the news shows.

Then they wait for the tide to turn back their way. The President's legacy is saved, he'll go down as a "tough fighter, that stayed the course when weaker members of Congress were calling for withdrawals." The public, their thirst for revenge reinvigorated, now backs the finishing off of every terrorist in Iraq, or Syria, or Iran, or anywhere else it's necessary. This is truly a war of ideologies, us against them. "Remember Mooseteeth!!" the bumper stickers will cry...

Cynical? Yes. Effective? Highly. Scarily possible? Absolutely.

One of the first directives police follow when investigating a crime is to figure out who gained the most from it. Apply that reasoning to 9/11 and see what you think...

I have to go now, there are some nice men from the FBI at the door. My what lovely suits they ha


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