It is human nature that tragic events will be dwelled upon by the masses. Conspiracy theories aside, mass death engages our deepest fears, our most primal responses to danger and the reality of sudden unexpected death.
The sinking of the Titanic is an excellent example. Close to one hundred years of public fascination and people are still asking questions. Eighty-five years after the tradgedy of Titanic it was both a Broadway Musical and a Movie. The show won the Toni for Best Musical and the Movie not only won Best Picture, it was also the highest grossing movie of all time.
Add the fact that a tragedy is also a catalyst for war and people have more questions. Some of these theories get mulled about for generations. There are people who are otherwise analytical, who claim that William Randolph Hearst started the Spanish-American War. The battle cry of Americans during the Spanish-American War was "Remember the Maine!"
The sinking of another ship that drew the United States into World War I is also filled with conspiracy theories that still survive. The lost of the Lusitania provoked great outrage in the United States and helped create the climate of public opinion that would later allow America to join the war. Two years after the sinking, recruitment posters urged young American men to "Remember the Lusitania!"
A more recent war catalyst was Pearl Harbor. It is believed by many that by over-looking the obvious facts of an attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor, Franklin D. Roosevelt was able to control public opinion and override many Americans who believed in peace through isolationism. There are many Americans who wish to rehash the events on December 7, 1941. A webpage, PEARL HARBOR MOTHER OF ALL CONSPIRACIES, that seems to be devoted to an attack on FDR goes way overboard.
Conspiracy Theories have been around in American popular culture for many years. Conspiracy theories develop a life that just seems to go on and when evidence stacks up that the government is withholding evidence, the theories are steered by nature to grab the imagination of many people. The dirty little secrets of the White House administration is the catalyst for the build up of these people who sit in church basements looking for answers.
The three stories in the Village Voice that went with that very disturbing photo of a small boy, looking for answers is justification for these New Yorkers in pain.
Truth Out looks into the deliberate mishandling by the EPA. The fact that the White House, to get Wall St. up and running doctored the documents by the EPA and put New Yorkers in harms way.
Jenna Orkin doesn't expect to hear her truth about 9-11 unless someone forces the officials involved to tell it. For her, as for so many people downtown and in Brooklyn, 9-11 meant clouds of ash and smoke engulfing her apartment building, filtering down the halls of her son's Tribeca high school.
Within days of the World Trade Center collapse, someone ordered Environmental Protection Agency administrators to tell New Yorkers the air was safe. Reopen Wall Street, and bring back its thousands of workers. Reopen Stuyvesant High School, which Orkin's son attended. Ignore Brooklyn, where residents like her vacuumed inches-deep white ash from their windowsills. No matter that private tests showed the air remained full of lead, asbestos, mercury, benzene. No matter that, according to documents forced out of the EPA by a Freedom of Information request, the agency's own tests agreed that the air in Lower Manhattan--who wanted to bother with Brooklyn?--wasn't fit to breathe.
Jenna Orkin is one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that may force some of these facts to light. On February 2, U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Batts handed down a surprising pre-trial ruling, blasting the EPA for its response to 9-11 and allowing the case to go forward. In her 83-page ruling, Judge Batts found enough evidence for the case to proceed. She not only denied the EPA's motion to dismiss it, but refused to grant Christine Todd Whitman immunity.
These victims don't get a Tin Foil Hat! New Yorker who was forced to work in the area way too early, have a right to be very upset with the federal government for not finding and putting the responsible parties in jail.
Christine Whitman EPA administrator, Mayor Giuliani, the NY, and NYC health departmentsliedto New Yorkers and visitors from around the world that there were"No Significant Problems".
As a result,
Over 400,000 pounds of lead
·Over 200,000 pounds of asbestos
· More than enough mercury to contaminate 2,500 city blocks
· Radioactive americium 241 from thousands of smoke detectors
· Highest levels of vanadium ever recorded
· Children in nearby schools have developed serious respiratory problems
· Half of those who cleaned ground zero have serious health problems
· 100's of firefighters can no longer work
· 14 rescue dogs have died!
Scientists Dr. Cate Jenkins, Dr. Marjorie Clarke, Paul Bartlett, and others, warned about inhaling toxic dust and fumes, but were ignored by the agencies in charge.
The fact that the White House had pressured the EPA to sanitize its warnings wasn't the first sign that Bush places business before American life and it helps tear down the wall of denial that no American president is evil enough to let 9-11 take place.
The Usual Suspects tells us what it takes to make a conspiracy theory.
Imagine that a government illegally and secretly sells weapons to an enemy nation and diverts the proceeds to a guerrilla group. Or agents in one country, hoping to keep control of a second country, use spies in a third country to try to assassinate a religious leader. Let's say, in order to hurt a rival, operatives for a candidate cut a back-channel deal with hostage takers to delay the release of the captives. Better yet, what if three countries make a pact in which one starts a war so the others can play peacemakers and get what they want?
Bad things happen all the time; only some events turn out to be conspiracies and/or fodder for conspiracy theories. The above references (to Iran-Contra, the supposed KGB effort to kill Pope John Paul II, the purported October Surprise plot involving the 1980 Reagan campaign and the Iran hostages, and the 1956 Suez Canal crisis) are examples of the breadth of events that--accurately in only some cases--get stuck with the C label.
In a world filled with real conspiracies from evil leaders these theories are not such a leap. The reality is that George W. Bush and his co-conspirators are not interested in Americans and even if they were not willing participants, they are capable.
The Seeker which informs us about what is going on with these conspiracy theories also reveals some of the ways the Bush administration got the ball rolling;
The Bush administration claimed there had been no warnings of the attacks. A congressional inquiry was prevented from discussing information the intelligence community provided to the White House. The White House resisted forming an independent commission, stalled on releasing documents, delayed in allowing Condoleezza Rice to testify in public, and agreed to let the president meet with the commission only on the conditions that there be no oath administered, no formal transcript made, and that Vice President Dick Cheney be at his side. Several members of the commission had to recuse themselves from parts of the probe because their government or private-sector careers posed conflicts. And in its final report, the commission punted on such questions as where the money for the attacks originated, dubbing that issue "of little practical significance."
Too much information is too questionable and those questions that these hurting American's are asking have never been addressed. They deserve answers.
A handy little box in The Seeker called Conspiracy 101 list some of the facts that have many New Yorkers looking for answers;
Operation Northwoods This 1962 white paper from the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff suggested possible justifications for a war against Cuba, including a never executed idea in which the CIA would detonate a drone aircraft to make it look like Fidel Castro had shot down an American passenger plane. Theorists see the proposal as evidence that the U.S. government had contemplated faking air disasters as a pretext for military action.
Project for the New American Century As evidence of the motives behind a government-planned 9-11, theorists point to one 28-word passage in a September 2000 PANC report written with help from the likes of Scooter Libby and Paul Wolfo-witz: "The process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event--like a new Pearl Harbor." Bush and his cronies, the argument goes, were looking for that event, and they got it on 9-11.
Forewarning Theorists point to Attorney General John Ashcroft's decision to stop flying commercial in the summer of 2001, as well as a San Francisco Chronicle report that Mayor Willie Brown received a warning of 9-11, as evidence that some people had foreknowledge of the attack. (It seems the alert Brown was passed was a public warning from the State Department, and he planned to fly anyway.)
War games Truth movement members who believe the military was "neutralized" or told to "stand down" on 9-11 find it very suspicious that U.S. air defense units that day were supposed to play the war game Vigilant Guardian, a simulation of a Russian bomber attack, while simultaneously monitoring Russian exercises in the Arctic.
The rest of that box goes into what is considered Tin Foil Hat stories. Stories that many New Yorkers will be only too happy to share with anyone who will listen! People need answers and no one in government will help.
The Truth Movement seems to be growing. Judging by what I witnessed at the Harper's Town Hall meeting to discuss The Case for Impeachment, they may be the largest grass roots movment in Manhattan. The organized group that stood around the theatre was very large and well behaved. They had banners and seemed more like an informational picket line without the police officers. Everyone stayed off the pavement so as not to crowd the ticket holders. They just stayed out in the gutter in silence and presented their posters and banners.
One poster really grabbed me;
Spent to investigate WTC
To investigate Clinton.
I honestly don't know how true that poster is but I do remember how quickly New York cleaned up the WTC site. That is not like New York at all. There was even a confrontation between the N.Y.F.D. and the N.Y.P.D. because New York's Bravest wanted to keep looking for bodies and the police had orders to remove the Firemen so the clean up could begin.
As I interviewed these conspiracy theorists, I realized this is another group of Americans that have been left out in the cold by the Bush Regime. They are not crazy. They suffered through a horrendous experience and watch the government cover up all of the answers.
Most of the people I spoke with don't endorse any wild theories. They just want the government to run a proper investigation. One member engaged me with the facts of how much work is done by the NTSB after any other airplane crash.
Dubbing Truth movement members "conspiracy theorists" is inaccurate for two reasons. First, there's no doubt that 9-11 was a conspiracy--the question is whether it was among Muslim terrorists or others. Second, many Truth-ers deny having any theory at all. They resist efforts to construct an alternative story of the crime.
Now we have a movement of people who have a great distrust of government. The people who are looking for answers about the World Trade Center are kindred spirits to the progressives in the fact that they are also ignored by the media. We are also constantly looking for answers about what is going on in our "Top Secret" government.
In an odd way they tend to serve the Bush administration by often making progressives look a bit kooky. I'm sure I'm not the only one who printed up information on The Downing Street Memo last May and heard "You are just like those 9-11 people, a Bush hater that is willing to make anything up to make the President look bad."
This is the newest of the Grand Conspiracy Theories. Since conspiracies seem to live forever, this one will probably only grow. The obvious cover up by the government may work to the advantage of the worse representatives because here in New York most of the people I know who believe that Americans are responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Center used to be valid Democrats. Most of the New Yorkers that say the theories are crap are still valid Republicans. Which group do you think is the lunatic fringe?
A little light of day would help. Look what Oliver Stone did for the assassination of John F. Kennedy Jr. But we all know these people will never get any answers from the government.
At the same time as the attack on the World Trade Center, James Cameron who had so much success with Titanic was filming Ghosts of the Abyss.While exploring the remains of that great ship, his crew placed a commemorative plaque on the hull of the great ship;
THE 1500 SOULS LOST HERE
STILL SPEAK, REMINDING US
ALWAYS THAT THE
UNTHINKABLE CAN HAPPEN
BUT FOR OUR VIGILANCE
HUMANITY AND COMPASSION
Today ground was broken for the World Trade Center Memorial. May it bring some closure to those who still suffer.
The tragic events of September 11, 2001 have been both exploited by people who are only interested in profit and explored by people who just want answers.
There are now several books, movies and websites that feed the natural curiosity of people who are referred to as Tin Foil Hats.
Books like Crossing the Rubicon and 9/11 Synthetic Terror are essential to the theories.
The list of conspiracy movies are growing and becoming a means for a social event. People gather to watch Loose Change or Confronting the Evidence and agree with these presentations.
Successful websites with names like Reopen 9-11 include Serendipity, the Progressive Press, and Plaguepuppy take up many people's time and energy.
Like most New Yorkers, I still haven't gotten over 9-11. Every New Yorker has different means of dealing with that tragic day. One of my means for dealing with this tragedy was to avoid all of the theories. Not as a quest for ignorance but a means of insulation from revisiting the falling of two buildings that I watched from my terrace and watched over and over hundreds of times on my television.
Besides the pain of revisiting anything about the World Trade Center, logic prevailed. The manpower necessary for the speculation being put forth is just too many people to keep a heinous plot like that a secret. Demolitions experts wandering around three buildings in the days prior to September 11!
Although, ever since I watched Condoleezza Rice lie through her teeth to the 9-11 Commission, I had decided that the Bush administration was at least guilty of the sin of omission. That may seem like a stretch. She may have only been covering up Bush's incompetence. For those of us who have paid attention to the federal response to 9/11, the botched response to Katrina is no surprise.
But after the fact came out about Able Danger it's looking more and more like our leadership deliberately ignored the facts. As a means of promoting the industrial war machine or an excuse for getting their grubby little hands on Iraq, these guys are obviously dirty. What ever their motives, we were lied into a war in the aftermath so we know we are dealing with people who have little value for life.
Comments are closed on this story.