UQ Wire: Forget 9/11 - Just For a Minute
- Just For a Minute
What Should We Really Be Afraid
By W. David Jenkins III
Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence. ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Although tyranny...may successfully rule over foreign peoples, it can stay in power only if it destroys first of all the national institutions of its own people. ~Hannah Areddt
That’s right, I said it. Forget about 9/11. Just put all those horrible images away. I mean no disrespect but I think it’s time to put things in perspective.
9/11 has become an excuse for those who would exploit it and the world is a sadder and more dangerous place because of those who have used the tragedy for their own gains. This isn’t exactly a news flash but it is reality. An unfortunate reality that you and I had no part in making. That responsibility lays with the people who are still scared and those who would continue to exploit their fear. And that fear is the very foundation, the very source of strength of the present administration. Fear is now the guiding principle of almost every aspect of almost every person in America today. We have all become afraid — just for different reasons.
Lately I’ve been doing a bit of research on fear and the odds we all face when it comes to our eventual deaths. Let’s face it; we’re all going to go sometime.
With acknowledgements to The National Safety Council (NSC), the FBI, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and some great work by writer, John Schettler (Scare Tactics), I’ve come to the conclusion that many Americans are afraid of the wrong things.
The Bush administration has been able to thrive by not only perpetuating the fear that “the terrorists will strike again” but also, they’ve managed to keep secret the reasons why the terrorists were able to hit us in the first place. You can see the results of their efforts from those who defend Bush by always going back to 9/11.
So what if we torture people? So what if we have fewer liberties? So what if we cause “collateral damage” in other countries? So what if the Qu’ran gets thrown into a toilet? So what if we’re using all that leftover duct tape to silence the media? Bush is bringing the war to them so we don’t have to fight them here or experience another 9/11. You and I have heard all this alleged reasoning ad nauseum for years now but this line of reasoning (or lack thereof) is the real problem — not the solution.
There are people in this country who are still scared to death of another attack (even though they insist Bush has made us safer) by those dastardly terrorists but, guess what? These yahoos have a better chance of dying by committing suicide than being attacked by terrorists.
Really, I’m not kidding.
According to the CDC and NSC there’s a better chance that any one of us will die by our own hand rather than by a terrorist attack. And ya know what else? You better be on the look-out for falling vending machines more than that next-door neighbor about whom you’ve had suspicions. That’s because you have a one-in-six-million chance of dying in a terrorist attack but you have a one-in-three-million chance of dying from a Coke machine falling on top of you. Think about it; you have more chance of kicking it putting a dollar in the slot for a bag of Doritos than you do getting stuck in another 9/11. And don’t even get me started on the “eye” 4 in Orlando or I95 coming into Boston. If you’re from out of town and find yourself on either one of those interstates then just build yourself a box, climb in and nail it shut.
The Fear of Knowing the Truth
Look, not to make light of death or the tragedy which affected us all, but we have far more important things to be afraid of than al Qaeda or another 9/11. It’s just that the Bushies and their media pals don’t want anybody to know that and — so far — they’ve been quite successful. But as I’ve stated many times before; the fact that we haven’t been attacked again should raise more questions than it does. But it would appear that even the ‘independent” 9/11 Commission was too afraid to raise those questions. Take, for example, former Attorney General John Ashcroft’s testimony before the commission last year.
From the hearing transcript:
MR. BEN-VENISTE - “Let me ask you, as my time is expiring, one question which has been frequently put to members of this commission. Probably all of us have heard this one way or another and the -- we are mindful that part of the problem with the Warren Commission's work on the Kennedy assassination was the failure to address certain theories that were extant, and questions, and much of the work was done behind closed doors. So I would like to provide you with the opportunity to answer one question that has come up repeatedly.
At some point in the spring or summer of 2001, around the time of this heightened threat alert, you apparently began to use a private chartered jet plane, changing from your use of commercial aircraft on grounds, our staff is informed, of an FBI threat assessment.
And indeed, as you told us, on September 11th itself you were on a chartered jet at the time of the attack. Can you supply the detail, sir, on -- regarding the threat which caused you to change from commercial to private, leased jet?
You folks remember this little tidbit of information, right? Many of us were convinced that this was just one of the events that had come to light after the attacks which showed that the administration knew a hell of a lot more than they were letting on about what happened that day. Now here’s what Ashcroft told the commission:
ATTY. GEN. ASHCROFT: “Let me just indicate to you that I never ceased to use commercial aircraft for my personal travel. My wife traveled to Germany and back in August. My wife and I traveled to Washington, D.C. on the 3rd of September, before the 17th -- before the 11th attack, on commercial aircraft. I have exclusively traveled on commercial aircraft for my personal travel, continued through the year 2000, through the entirety of the threat period to the nation.”
Oh really, Reverend? You continued to use commercial aircraft for your “personal travel” right up until September 11? Shall we go back to the news story that started all this? From the CBS story dated July 26, 2001:
Fishing rod in hand, Attorney General John Ashcroft left on a weekend trip to Missouri Thursday afternoon aboard a chartered government jet, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart.
In response to inquiries from CBS News over why Ashcroft was traveling exclusively by leased jet aircraft instead of commercial airlines, the Justice Department cited what it called a "threat assessment" by the FBI, and said Ashcroft has been advised to travel only by private jet for the remainder of his term.
"There was a threat assessment and there are guidelines. He is acting under the guidelines," an FBI spokesman said. Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department, however, would identify what the threat was, when it was detected or who made it.
So there it is. Another source that contradicts Ashcroft’s testimony easily obtained on the Internet. But did the commission pursue the line of questioning?
MR. BEN-VENISTE: “Well, I'm pleased to have been able to give you the opportunity to clarify that issue for all who have written to this commission and communicated in other ways about their questions about that, sir.”
Apparently not. But are enough people asking why? Was the 9/11 Commission so hell-bent on appearing non-partisan that they just avoided the obvious contradictions in testimony by members of this administration? Were they afraid to pursue this and other contradictions?
Author David Ray Griffin has published two remarkable books that point out what Americans really need to be concerned about, even more than terrorism. And that is the unsettling fact that this administration has gone out of its way to hide what happened that grizzly day in September and the days that led up to it. And as Griffin points out in New Pearl Harbor, one would have to believe in an impossible set of coincidences and incompetence, which can only be applied to that one day, in order to accept the official version of the events of that day. In other words, one would have to be more of a conspiracy theorist in order to believe the official version rather than any alternative explanation. So basically, many Americans continue to live in fear because they’ve been convinced to have faith in an explanation that makes no sense and doesn’t hold up to even minimal scrutiny.
Ignorance of the Real Threat
This mindset of irrational fear based on a series of various illogical excuses and denials has allowed those in positions of power to implement policies and laws that otherwise would never have seen the light of day, let alone be embraced by a quivering electorate. And this choke-hold on the country is aided further by a fearful and derelict media.
For instance, there is an ongoing story out there right now that should demand the attention of anyone who truly cares about this country and what is happening to it and that would be the circumstances surrounding the Sibel Edmonds case. Unfortunately, far too many people, even those who don’t support the Bush administration, aren’t familiar with her story.
Edmonds is a former FBI translator who expressed concern to the Department of Defense, the Attorney General and members of Congress that intelligence data is being compromised by another FBI translator who happened to be the wife of Air Force major, Douglas Dickerson. She also stated that members of her family were threatened with arrest due to her actions. She has also made other statements regarding cover-ups in the FBI’s translation department, complete with documentation and corroborating witnesses. Edmonds was subsequently fired from the FBI and courageously filed suit to get her story out. In turn, she has been shut down repeatedly by the courts and gagged by the Department of Justice. Why? What is the government afraid of?
Obviously, they’re afraid of the truth coming out. The Edmonds case shows that there is more of a threat to our national security from within our own system than there is sitting behind a fence down in Guantanamo Bay. However, as long as the media continue to ignore this story and run out the clock, more people will continue to live in fear – of the wrong things.
Only through the destruction of the rights we hold dear (at least we used to) has this rogue administration been able to survive without question as long as they have. But imagine if there had been no 9/11 for them to exploit in order to destroy the fabric of this country. Does anybody remember where Bush was pre-9/11?
Like Flies to……….
George W. Bush was in the process of becoming the original first-term lame duck president in history. Half the country believed (correctly) that he pulled a fast one in order to slither into the White House in the first place. One of his first orders of business was to eliminate repetitive motion injury claims for working Americans. Vermont Senator, Jim Jeffords, defected to an independent status in order to hand power to the Democrats in protest of the bullying tactics displayed early on by the White House. Bush’s tax-cut package was already doing damage to the surplus. America was bumped off the UN Human Rights panel while Bush was letting Russia know that he was dumping the ABM Treaty. Cheney was holding fund raisers in the Veep Mansion (shades of Clinton White House Teas!) while his and Bush’s pals at Enron were laughing about soaking somebody’s grandma in California for a “C note” every time she used her toaster.
There were also the twenty-four military personnel that had been held hostage until Bush said he was really, really sorry for them colliding into a Chinese aircraft which prompted his neo-con buddies to weep and whine that Bush had been made to look “weak.” Oh, and let’s not forget about “faith-based environmentalism” which started getting airplay around the same time that Bush told everyone to go pound salt when it came to the Kyoto Treaty. Then there was his speech from Crawford, Texas, on that August night (after he saw the “Bin Laden is gonna get you good” PDB) regarding his tortuous policy on stem cell research where Bush shared the stage with a huge Texas-sized fly for all of America to see. It just kept buzzing around the set, occasionally causing the Boy King to divert his gaze while many Americans realized the irony of the situation. After all, we do know flies are attracted to…
And to make matters worse; the NORC recount results from the sham election of 2000 were due out the second week of September. One can almost imagine the bells clanging and whistles blowing in the White House. Talk about your “Maydays.”
That Blessed “Trifecta”
Does anybody really believe we would be stuck in the quagmire that is Iraq if it weren’t for the Bushies whoring of 9/11? Could the Patriot Act have been passed, let alone expanded without 9/11? Could this administration have gotten away with gagging the media, torture, arrests without charge or due process, or arresting citizens for speaking up during one of those orchestrated, pathetic Bush “town hall” meetings without 9/11? Could the administration have gotten away with impeding the investigations into the very crime that allowed them such lawless and arrogant behavior without 9/11? Do you see how this goes around and around? As Griffin asks in his writings of that day, when a crime is committed the first thing to ask is who benefits?
Folks need to put 9/11 away for just a second and take a real good hard look around at what’s happening to their country. We’re on the brink of reinstating the Draft in order to facilitate not only the continuing farce (illegal) in Iraq but also the designs these ideological vermin have on Iran, Syria, North Korea and possibly certain South American neighbors who might have a bit of that Texas Tea.
See, most Americans don’t even know what they should actually be afraid of. Although the fear of what happened on 9/11 is very real to many, those same people haven’t a clue as to what actually happened and, what’s worse, they’ve stopped asking.
Although terrorists were less of a threat four years ago than they are now (the Bushies have done a remarkable job inciting more and more Arabs into becoming anti-American recruits), the odds are still in your favor. For now, that looming vending machine poses a greater threat to your life than a terrorist attack. But as long as Americans are more concerned with the finals of American Idol rather than the dangers that are being cooked up and covered up by the Bush administration, then those odds are going to change.
When that happens, they’ll really have something to be scared of.
Writer/Activist, W. David Jenkins III resides in upstate New York with his wife and two children. His article "The Death of America" was featured in the book, "The Girl with Yellow Flowers in Her Hair" by Lisa Walsh Thomas (Pitchfork Publishing http://www.pitchforkpublishing.com/ ). He also contributed to the book, "Big Bush Lies" by Jerry Barrett due to be published in April 2004. Jenkins' writing is published on many political web sites and his website can be viewed here. http://www.wdavidjenkins3.com/
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