Welcome to the New and Improved Police State
September 12, 2001
"We are going to see a great number of articles in the future from so-called experts and public officials. They will warn about more violence, more kidnappings, and more terrorists. Mass media, the armed forces, and intelligence agencies will saturate our lives with fascist scare tactics and 'predictions' that have already been planned to come true."
'Conspiracy theorist' Mae Brussell, 1974
I have a friend with whom I frequently disagree on matters of politics. He thinks that I am a crazed conspiracy theorist, and I think that he is a reactionary fascist. There was one thing that we agreed on though.
A few weeks ago, I told him that our fearless leaders seemed to be veering dangerously close to unleashing 'tactical' nuclear weapons upon the world. Although he seriously doubted that that was in fact the case, he readily agreed that such an action would be reckless and unconscionable. He stated that he couldn't envision any scenario under which such a strike would be justified and that we should avoid, at all costs, crossing that threshold. Opening that door, he believed, could only serve to escalate tensions and make this a much more dangerous world in which to live.
He was one of several people who called me yesterday to discuss the alleged terrorist attacks upon America. During the course of that call, he stated flatly that when the perpetrators were identified, they and their backers should be nuked. When I reminded him of our conversation of just a few weeks before, he said that things have changed now. I asked him if he had considered whether that wasn't perhaps precisely the point of the attacks. Unfazed, he reiterated his belief that I am a crazed conspiracy theorist.
Excuse my cynicism here, but have we Americans completely lost our ability to think? Are we now so thoroughly braindead that we are completely reliant on our media outlets, with their endless supply of 'experts,' to make sense of events in the world? Are we really that stupid – or do our leaders just think that we are?
The actions taken on the morning of September 11 were crimes – horrendous crimes against humanity, to be sure, but in the final analysis, not so very different from any other crimes. And the first step in solving any crime is to look at who had a motive and who had the means and opportunity to commit said crime.
As for motive, we are being asked to believe that a band of Islamic terrorists are the most likely suspects. But is that really the case? Was it a state-sponsored terrorist group that had the most to gain by launching such an assault? Or was it our own political, corporate and military leaders?
While the people of the Palestinian territories may well be dancing in the streets today in celebration of the blow struck against the United States, they certainly won't emerge as the winners in this national tragedy. When the bombs begin to rain down upon them, as they certainly will, the loss of life, property and hope will be far more profound for them than it will be for the people of New York. Their short-term 'victory' will be a hollow one indeed.
This is certainly not to suggest that there are no governments, groups, or organizations around the world – or within these borders – that have legitimate grudges against the United States government. The numbers of such entities are legion. Two hundred years of imperialistic covert and overt military ventures have created a lot of enemies of the American ship of state, and a tremendous amount of residual bitterness. Yet none of these groups stood to gain by launching such an attack.
The United States, on the other hand, has much to gain in the aftermath of this chapter of American history. I am not talking here, of course, about the people of this country, who will pay a steep price for the carnage of September 11. Big Brother has assured us that we will be protected from future acts of this sort, and we will welcome with open arms the repressive, overtly fascistic 'reforms' that will be enacted.
The people of this country, and of the world, are always the ones to pick up the tab for acts of gross governmental malfeasance. The people of some hapless country (or countries) that is identified as the culprit will pay with their lives and the lives of their children. The people of America, and much of the Western world, will pay with the wholesale stripping away of their remaining human, civil and privacy rights.
Such a scenario only serves to benefit those who sit at the top of the food chain. Our elected leaders – who are elected only in the sense that every couple of years we are given a choice between two interchangeable candidates – will revel in the free reign they will be given to ram through legislation so appallingly reactionary that it would have been unthinkable just days ago. Military spending and the militarization of the country will escalate to a fever pitch.
Welcome, my friends, to the new and improved police state – the largest, most powerful, and most technologically advanced police state the world has ever seen. With the much-lauded U.S. economy tanking, and unemployment figures hitting their highest levels in years, this will come in very handy for the 'powers that be.'
The ugly truth is that all 'anti-terrorist' measures are designed not to protect the American people from attack or to protect our 'freedoms,' but to protect wealth and power – specifically the unprecedented levels of wealth currently held by corporate America – and to restrict those very freedoms that threaten their hold on that wealth. This American tragedy, in other words, plays directly into the hands of the corporate and military elite of this nation, who have for years been propagandizing for a more belligerent and imperialistic foreign policy and for more repressive legislation here on the homefront. Having been presented with a pretext to enact such measures, it is our leaders – elected or otherwise – who stand to gain the most from yesterday's bloodshed.
As for the question of who had the means and opportunity to commit these crimes, the official story holds that they were the work of a well-organized foreign terrorist organization. Officials have acknowledged that the operation was an exceptionally well-planned and well-coordinated series of attacks that required months of planning and a large network of co-conspirators to pull off. So well-organized was the operation that government spokesmen and television talking-heads (which are really the same thing) have been at a loss to explain some of the day's events. Many questions have been left unanswered and some haven't been asked at all. Some of the answers that have been offered have strained credibility far past the breaking point.
One question that has gone unanswered is how a plane was able to penetrate so deeply into the Pentagon's airspace – even after two other planes had already plowed into the World Trade Center towers. Despite the ridiculous current claims, the airspace surrounding the Pentagon is perhaps the most tightly controlled, militarily secure airspace in the world. This would be all the more true in the immediate aftermath of a large-scale 'terrorist' attack on New York City.
Claims have been made that even if the approach of the aircraft had sounded an alarm, it would not have been targeted due to the fact that it was a commercial aircraft with many innocent lives aboard. Nonsense. Anyone who thinks that U.S. military/intelligence personnel would hesitate to target a commercial airliner, particularly in light of the fact that two such aircraft had already been used in suicide attacks, is living in a media-induced fantasy world. The question then of how this plane was able to 'elude' the Pentagon's formidable defenses is one that should receive close scrutiny from America's 'free' and 'independent' press. There is virtually no chance that that will happen.
Another question that begs for an answer is how teams of presumably armed hijackers were able to breach the security measures of no less than three major airports and successfully hijack four separate flights. Contrary to the claims now being made, security precautions currently in place in U.S. airports are anything but "lax." That fact was being implicitly acknowledged by this morning, as reports began to come in claiming that the hijackers had improvised weapons from razor blades and other items carried in their shaving kits. The network and cable news broadcasters reporting this story actually did so with straight faces.
This scenario would be laughable were this story not such a tragic one. According to the latest official accounts, three to five terrorists boarded each of the hijacked aircraft (all of these terrorists, of course, were such religious fanatics that they had agreed to give their lives for the cause they believed in, and none of them presumably had second thoughts about that decision once the operation was underway). Does anyone really believe that a few guys wielding toothbrush handles embedded with razor blades could quickly and efficiently gain control of a commercial airliner? I would think that such a group would have their hands full trying to hold-up a liquor store.
How could, as has been reported, such a 'terrorist cell' possibly simultaneously overpower the flight crews and corral all of the flights' passengers into the rear of the planes? I don't consider myself to be a particularly brave or heroic sort of guy, but I would not hesitate for a second to take on a couple of guys wielding toothbrushes, particularly if my life, or the life of my family, was on the line and if I knew that I had some sixty people (the average number of passengers on the flights) behind me who would back me up. Maybe that's just me, but somehow I think most Americans would rise to the occasion.
Nevertheless, these terrorist teams reportedly succeeded where so many other, better-armed terrorists have failed. The majority of hijacking attempts, as officials have acknowledged, end in failure. There hasn't been one to succeed in this country for a decade. And yet these teams succeeded, and on a spectacular scale, in four-out-of-four attempts and with only the most primitive of weapons. To what are we to attribute that fact? Don't look to the media for answers.
Perhaps the most obvious question raised by the attacks, and one that officials have feebly attempted to answer, is how the planning for such an operation could have escaped the attention of the country's intelligence services. Whenever such an event occurs, the intelligence agencies rather predictably hang their heads, slump their shoulders and sheepishly grin as they explain their powerlessness to predict such things: "We did the best we could," they explain, "but our resources are limited, our adversaries formidable, and our sources not infallible."
That's a real nice story, but the reality is that the CIA – along with the FBI, ONI, DIA, NSC, NSA, DEA, and virtually every other three-letter acronym you could think of – constitutes the largest and most insidious intelligence network the world has ever seen. Its agents have fully infiltrated every foreign government on the planet, as well as every significant 'terrorist' group and every domestic resistance movement that has ever posed even a remote threat to the goals of those who helm the American ship of state. It is simply inconceivable that such an ambitious attack could have been planned, coordinated and launched without the knowledge of numerous members of the national security state.
That is the inescapable reality that no amount of media and government spin can erase, though politicians and their media puppets will work overtime to do exactly that. One need only to turn their television set off and their brain on though to see how preposterous is the claim that these attacks took the intelligence community by surprise.
Perhaps the most disturbing question raised by the attacks is what exactly caused the twin towers of the WTC to collapse? The impact of the planes affected only the upper floors of the towers; their foundations were unaffected. The UK's Guardian acknowledged that the initial impact of the aircraft would result in less stress on the building than is normally caused by high winds. The buildings were specifically designed to handle such horizontal movement.
The Guardian and its expert consultants conclude that the collapse of the buildings was the result of secondary explosions, attributed to the delayed release of the large supply of jet fuel carried by the aircraft. How though could the ignition of the jet fuel have occurred as a delayed, secondary explosion? As the endlessly played videotapes of the attacks graphically illustrate, the initial impacts resulted in enormous fireballs and the immediate engulfing of a portion of the buildings in flames.
It is inconceivable that the aircraft's fuel tanks would not have burst upon impact, with their contents then immediately ignited. Indeed, if that wasn't in fact the case, then how are we to explain the initial explosions and fireballs that were witnessed by the world? What exactly was it that created the spectacular initial blasts if it wasn't the jet fuel? But if that was the case, what was it then that created the secondary explosions that appear to have occurred? These secondary blasts were acknowledged early in the day by an NBC newsman. The correspondent stated on the air that he had just talked with the fire department's public safety commissioner who verified that large secondary explosions precipitated the collapse of the towers.
A radio broadcaster on WLS in Chicago (according to a correspondent), whose former colleague* is a CBS journalist who was on the scene at the towers, said on the air that this colleague had witnessed an enormous fireball emanating from beneath one of the towers immediately before it came crashing down. What are we to make of these scattered reports, none of which received any follow-up coverage amidst the non-stop blizzard of media attention?
To be sure, the collapse of the towers, captured on tape for all the world to see, had the decided appearance of controlled implosions, facilitated by the precise placement of technologically advanced explosives. The world has never before witnessed such complete destruction of a targeted building by an act of war or a 'terrorist' assault. We have seen the United States target many a building for destruction. In the most recent military venture, we saw an embassy building and a television studio, among many others, take direct and multiple hits from state-of-the-art bombs and guided missiles. The buildings were devastated, to be sure, but the damage didn't come close to matching the pile of rubble that the Twin Towers were reduced to.
We also saw a highrise Israeli apartment building take a direct hit from an Iraqi Scud missile during the Gulf war (actually, most of us probably didn't see that, except for those who happened to be tuned in to CNN for the brief few moments when the footage was aired; as it turns out, that Scud missile was actually safely intercepted by a trusty Patriot missile, or so it was claimed, just as if the footage had never aired). The point though is that the building was hit and did suffer extensive damage, and undoubtedly at the cost of many lives. But again, the building – though sheared nearly in half – was in considerably better shape than the WTC towers.
It occurs to me then that perhaps America has invested entirely too much time and money in pursuit of creating ever more powerful and efficient weapons systems. Who would have ever thought that the best weapon with which to reduce an entire tower to rubble was the plane itself. It doesn't even have to be a military plane – any old commercial aircraft will do. Someone obviously should have followed up on the early work done in this area by the Japanese during World War II.
In the final analysis, we must ask ourselves the following questions: Who had the means to get highly-trained commando teams onto four commercial aircraft flying out of three separate airports? Who had the ability to violate the Pentagon's airspace, completely unmolested and unchallenged? What weapons were really used to commandeer those aircraft and who had the means to get them on the planes? Who had the ability to plan and execute such an ambitious, multi-pronged attack without the interference of the U.S. intelligence services? Who had the means to staff each of the four teams with at least one well-trained, and suicidal, pilot? Who had the means and opportunity to plant secondary explosive charges, if in fact these were used?
Finally, perhaps the most important question to be asked is: who stands to gain the most in the bleak aftermath? It is certainly not the American people, or any resistance movement within these borders. It's definitely not the still-to-be identified target(s) of the nation's wrath (which will likely include Iraq). That would seem to limit the remaining choices.
It is quite possible, indeed quite likely, that members of some 'extremist' group served as the foot soldiers of these attacks. But it is just as likely that they were used as pawns in the global chess game that serves as our collective reality. It is also likely that these 'terrorists' were motivated by legitimately perceived grievances with the U.S. government. Those motivations weren't likely shared by their puppeteers, however, who cynically manipulated those belief systems to serve their own ends. Most of the participants probably did not know that they were embarking on suicide missions. Quite likely only the pilots knew that, and they may very well have received a little more 'training' than your average pilot.
All of this is, by necessity, just speculation at this point. The true facts of the case will emerge over time in bits and pieces, mixed in with a healthy dose of disinformation. It matters little though in which direction those facts point. The official story has already been written.
* It was previously mistakenly reported here that the woman making the call was the broadcaster's wife. She was actually a long-time colleague. The correspondent who alerted me to this report contacted the station to inquire about purchasing an audiotape of the broadcast for September 11, and received the following brief reply: "Legally, we're not allowed to provide program tapes."