2008.03.11 Back to Ground Zero

This was published at 911blogger.com on March 11 2008.

I am almost ashamed to see that it has been a year and a half since I wrote part 4 ("The Onion Peeled"), which ends on the optimistic note that Bush and Cheney might be impeached if the Democrats won the 2006 elections.

That optimism was born of desperation, because I felt the danger of another, and worse, 9/11 false flag event was imminent at that time. The fact that it did not occur, and the fact that the Democrats won that election, subsequently gaining control of the Senate as well as the House, coupled with the immediate declaration by the party leaders that impeachment was "off the table," makes it clear why we were spared a second "new Pearl Harbor" and, so far at least, war with Iran.

The Democrats are in control: damage control. There can be no better evidence that the Democrats and the Republicans are merely the left and right hands of the devil than what has happened since the 2006 election--namely, nothing. This extends in perfect continuity to the coming 2008 election, which has been predictably narrowed down to three candidates--McCain, Clinton and Obama--who have made it quite clear that the neo-con "war on terror," that is, the politics of fear, the pursuit of manufactured enemies and the expansion of the police state, will continue as planned, though perhaps at a less frenetic pace. There will be no prosecution of the crimes of the Bush administration, and no real investigation of 9/11. There will be more wars and, if necessary, more 9/11s to justify them. The concentration camps for dissidents, i.e. "potential terrorists," are already being built.

This is the scenario that all the factions of the powers-that-be have accepted. Whether they all accept it because they believe in it or because they are afraid not to doesn't make a lot of difference. There is obviously some disagreement in their ranks over "tactics," however; otherwise we would be even farther down the road to the Brave New World of fascism, perpetual war, Total Information Awareness and slavery than the Bush gang has taken us.

What we have gained, in other words, is a bit of time, a small window of hope. I say "we" because there can be no doubt that the dissension among the powerful that has put the brakes on the neo-con march to tyranny has been caused by popular protest on two fronts--9/11 truth and anti-war. The politics of fear does work both ways. There is one thing that our controllers fear, and that is the spread of ideas and subsequent mass action that they cannot control. Everything is about control. If one does not believe in democracy, one must believe in control. There is nothing in between.

I said that I am "almost" ashamed of not following up until now what I wrote in Part 4. It's not as if I have been totally inactive. I started a couple of Yahoo groups (911truthcoalition and davidraygriffin) which, who knows, may help to keep some channels of communication open. Getting people to do things, though, does not seem to be my forte. The one serious action I attempted to promote with 911truthcoalition--getting as many 9/11 truth groups as possible to support impeachment and join with as many anti-war sites as possible to do the same--failed. Even within my own group, a divisive argument immediately ensued as to how this goal should be pursued and whether it should be pursued at all. I still do not understand how some can argue that because impeachment is not a panacea, or even realistic, it should not be tried.

Worse, I am suspicious of such arguments. How can one lament the loss of democracy and at the same time refuse to even attempt to use one of the remaining tools the people have to assert themselves? What level of cynicism and hopelessness does this require? Or is it something worse, namely prevarication and complicity? By the same token, I am suspicious of arguments, coming mostly from the "left" (e.g., Noam Chomsky), that even though Washington, D.C. is the center of international terrorism there is no evidence of high-level complicity in acts of terror such as 9/11. Nor can I put any credence in arguments, these coming primarily from the "right," that the terrorists in Washington are merely the handmaidens of Israel or Zionist bankers. I have been repeatedly astounded by how widespread such thinking is in the 9/11 "truth movement," and again, I am highly suspicious for the simple and eminently transparent reason that any whiff of anti-Semitism is the surest possible way for any "movement" to destroy itself.

Another thing that I have done since September 2006 is publish two books comprised of things I wrote prior to 9/11, most of which is still available piecemeal on the internet. These are Looking for the Enemy and Correspondence with Vincent Salandria, both available as books on amazon.com. I doubt that many "9/11 truthers" will purchase these books, precisely because they were written prior to 9/11, but there is one point I want to emphasize because I think it may provide some perspective for people who have become "radicalized," to use a word from the 60s, for the first time. This includes not only younger people, but also older people of very diverse backgrounds, such as Bob McIlvaine, David Griffin, Ray McGovern, Paul Craig Roberts, Steven Jones, Morgan Reynolds, etc., just to name a few prominent ones, but the list could be expanded to include literally tens of millions of people who, prior to 9/11, would never have entertained for a moment the thought that their own government would be capable of such turpitude. Needless to say, that same bedrock of belief, which David Griffin calls nationalist faith and rightly, I think, interprets as having replaced religious faith in many minds, is the crucial element that keeps the truth about 9/11 from reaching even more than the approximately one third or even one half of the population it has already reached.

If we are to mobilize enough of the population to force political change, we must fight this psychological/"religious" battle. We cannot simply wait until "enough" (whatever that critical mass might be) people wake up. If we do, we might well find ourselves waking up with them in one of Kellog, Brown and Root's concentration camps.

An important part of this psychological war is avoiding burn-out. This is a real danger. It helps to understand that other people, many more than we suspect, have been down exactly the same dark path we are treading. For example, when I realized the truth about the JFK assassination, quite abruptly in November 1988, it was hard to appreciate the fact that some people, like Vincent Salandria, had felt the way I had just begun to feel for almost a quarter of a century. One thinks that one is discovering a new world, and that is exactly what is happening, except that it is the same old world being seen in a radically different light. The lies, the treachery, the brutality, the immorality, the evil that has always been there becomes revealed to us, and that process of discovery, once begun, is difficult to stop (though some may try). There is a steep learning curve. I have learned much, much more about the world, about reality, since November 1988 than I ever learned in the previous 42 years. (The catalyst, in my case, was the supremely banal event of watching a TV documentary about the JFK assassination, which I have tried to describe here.)

As an illustration of what I am trying to say here, I want to quote from my correspondence with Vincent Salandria, who was the first person (even before Mark Lane) to challenge the Warren Report (from 1965). This hardly qualifies as a premonition, but nevertheless I find it striking that the expression I chose in 1996 to describe the condition I had found myself in, and that I shared with Salandria and a dozen other correspondents, and perhaps even with thousands of other Americans was Ground Zero. Now I think it is fair to say that millions of Americans have joined us at "Ground Zero," as I described it seven years before 9/11.

MM (3/26/96)

I know you are a reluctant hero, Vince, but I submit that you, being one of the first denizens of what I call Ground Zero, and the very first person in the universe to systematically attack the Warren Report in print, are indeed, without question and with emphasis, a hero.

Not only for that, though. This correspondence is your child, yours alone. How many of us would do it, even if we too were multimillionaires, or maybe I should say especially if we were? How many of us would so kindly and indulgently respond, with never a harsh word for anyone, except in jest, and sign our letters "love," and mean it?

Why is our correspondence–over a foot high sitting on my desk now, and growing more or less bi-monthly–so important? It is the first literature of Ground Zero. This is the new age, I suspect the first significant change of consciousness in post-mortem America (which began on 11/22/63). You and the 100,000 others you say also knew were the first to occupy this landscape, and you were the first to explore it. It's quite fitting, then, that you are now the father–mother if you prefer–but in any case the creator and sustainer of the first coherent body of literature dealing with what you call the Macroanalysis.

I prefer "Ground Zero" because for me the word "analysis" sounds too scientific–not that I think we are unscientific but for me, science, and scholarship of any kind, are not enough to deal with the situation we are in.

… You [here I am addressing another member of the group, "John Thomas," a businessman and Vietnam vet, who prefers to remain anonymous] are right to say debate is a reflection of friendship and trust, and we cannot have debate with secrecy. It [secrecy] destroys everything, and to the extent that they [government apologists] convince us that we need it, for our "own good," we destroy ourselves. Secrecy is the enemy of freedom, trust, communication, understanding, curiosity, and love. In accepting it, we diminish our humanity. In fighting it, we are fighting for our humanity.

In a sense, even the most abject medieval peasant was freer and more enlightened than we are, because at least he knew who he was, and who the princes were, and how they related to each other. Can we say as much? I don't think so. We are essentially trying to figure out who is calling the shots, who is running the world, and we all have our own ideas about it. This is not the kind of curiosity I referred to above, which is the curiosity of science and art, man reflecting on and trying to come to terms with his existential condition. What we are left with is a much less noble curiosity–about other people and their secret machinations, their intrigues–and it is short-lived because we just get tired of it. We get tired of the shell game, as you put it. It is quintessentially boring to try to follow all the different ways the thugs and con men are screwing us, and it's their game. We can't win. We have to refuse to play.

That is the great contribution that our group can make. We can show others, first by showing ourselves, how it is possible to live and fight for our humanity at what I call Ground Zero, you call the other side of the looking glass (that is, reality), and Vince calls the level of the Macroanalysis. It's not easy. We can't just walk away from it as we would a shell game on the street. We are fully caught up in it, and are part of it, because this web of lies and manipulation is what our world has become. It is no longer a simple and transparent matter of the princes telling the peasants what to do. They have got us thinking we are little princes too, and to some extent I guess we are. The important thing is that we see our predicament as clearly as possible and fight against it. We do that every time we write to each other. It is not "mental masturbation"–or if it is, so what? We can't all fuck the princess, but if we can imagine doing so, what's wrong with that?"


… [addressing Vince again] And who are they [Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, Edward Jay Epstein]? The left hand of Big Brother, I'm afraid. This is a harder truth to face, I think, than the others–the truth about the coup, the media, AIDS, or what have you. The longer it stays with me, the more important I think it is. When you have been disabused of all the lies but this one, you've been marginalized but you still have a niche, the same one that Chomsky et al. occupy. Take that away and what have you got? Ground Zero.


… I am not as sure as you are that there is no mole among us. It is in Big Brother's interest to keep track of us, precisely because we are cutting edge. We are the candles in the garden, and there are damned few. Either we are all really nuts, or Big Brother is a reality. Dallas tells us Big Brother is real. Chomsky says Dallas tells us nothing–and that is how we know he is lying. Given that BB is real, then, it is only logical that he would like to see where our thinking leads us. Of course he must make sure none of our little candles become beacons. But it also behooves him to keep track of us in order to learn what to expect from others, later, when others hit Ground Zero. How can the people down here be best controlled?

… I don't want that to happen, but the only way I know to prevent it is to continue doing what we're doing. I'm not going to get paranoid about moles. But we cannot live here, at Ground Zero, and not know they are around, and that they can turn up in the most unpredictable places. The only thing we can do is talk. We cannot look behind each other's backs and see who has his fingers crossed. Talk is all we've got. A certain amount of mutual suspicion is bound to come up, and I fully agree that we should deal with it forthrightly whenever it does, and try to fight like gentlemen. When we stop doing that, it's war.


In one of your previous letters [here I am addressing "John Thomas" again] (I'm not going to fish it out now) you seemed to be giving in to what Vince was trying to get you to accept–that it was an institutional killing–but you were obviously quite peeved and upset at being "forced" into it. You felt that Vince and the rest of us were not listening to you closely enough, that we were stubbornly refusing to see what for you was a very clear and simple distinction. But you were–reluctantly and angrily–willing to accept our point of view. This was Anger winning out over Patriotism, and the anger you were expressing in your letter was anger that probably would eventually have been re-directed to its proper target (US government institutions). But after that letter, it appears that Patriotism came back strong and took control again.

I know you will think this is a ridiculous oversimplification. But I have been there. Have you? I'm talking about the true loss of patriotism. The state of mind of not being proud of being an American, and in fact being ashamed of being an American. The state of saying, "No, I will not fight for this country." I called this Ground Zero.

Now, I'm not saying I'm there all the time. It can be quite a depressing place. It is a depressing place. It is inhabited by people like Vince, Marty, Ralph, and me (I haven't heard enough from the others to tell). Our message to the world is not encouraging. I believe you are there, too, but with only one foot on the ground. (In the grave, part of you is saying.) The other foot is trying to lift off with that patriotic balloon. I don't think it's going to work. I think you will be better off if you let that balloon go, as we have. It won't hold us anymore. None of us are lightweights anymore. At least here you will be among friends. That's why our group exists.

Our situations are very similar. Once upon a time we were clean-cut kids and patriots. Then came the war. I became a disaffected patriot in time to avoid direct participation, you didn't, but you ended up in the same position after you were freed from the military machine.

Then came JFK. For you it was the Stone movie, in 1991. That's what you told me in Washington. It blew your mind. I understood that, because exactly that had happened to me when I saw the Turner film on TV on Nov. 30, 1988. It was a very dramatic and emotional experience, getting my head turned around like that in the course of a single evening. I think it must be similar to the experience of combat. I mean, what happens to that force of patriotism inside us when a friend's head gets blown open right in front of us? That's patriotism? Patriotism is worth that?

My point is a simple one, and not new, but worth repeating. Our struggle is ancient, and we must carry it forward.. It has gone under many names, and still does. Some of them are false. It is entirely up to us to read the writing on the wall each time it appears, and follow the right flags. Who are the true "freedom fighters," the true seekers of peace, truth, and justice? The assassins of 9/1l and the assassins of JFK (RFK, MLK, etc.) will claim that they are. We cannot both be right. There is such a thing as right and wrong. That is my "faith." We shall overcome, simply because there is no alternative.

Let me add a note of optimism. I think we are living in a crucial time. The message of Dealey Plaza 1963 may have been transparent to a few, but the message of 9/11 has become transparent to many. The message is, "Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate," or as I put it earlier, "We've got you by the balls." This message is devastating, of course, precisely as it is meant to be, but we must remember that it is a lie. No matter how true it may seem, it is a lie. It was Dante who wrote those discouraging words over the gate to hell, not God, and not even the Devil, and some Nazi hack who had the bright idea of writing "Jedem das Seine" ("Everybody gets what he deserves") into the iron gate at Buchenwald, so that it could be read from the inside.

Analogous with these messages is the message of 9/11, I'm afraid. This is the most logical way to understand the obvious unanswered questions, lies, contradictions, impossibilities, flagrant cover-up, etc.: they want us to know. We do know. Millions, tens of millions, of us know, or are within a hair's breadth of knowing. That is precisely the point: We know, and we are therefore also supposed to know there is nothing we can do about it. The more incredible the facts, the more blatant the lies, the more we are convinced that we are helpless. There is nothing new about the technique of the Big Lie or, as it was called in US advertising circles as early as 1928, the "philosophy of futility." These techniques work. They are tried and effective, though not true.

It is not true that we are helpless, that all resistance is futile. This is a lie. No matter how true it may seem, it is a lie, and this is what we have to remember. It would have been much, much harder to remember this in Buchenwald, or Auschwitz, and this, too, we must remember.

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