2009.05.08 9/11 Aletheia
This was published at OpEdNews.com on May 8, 2009.
I stumbled across this word (being, like Shakespeare, of small Latin and less Greek) looking for a name for my new Google group, after I decided that the idea of a 9/11 truth "coalition" (the name of my Yahoo group, now defunct) was dead, gone, and non-resuscitatable. "911truth" was already occupied, and "911veritas" is somebody's web moniker, so I found this. As it turns out, I like it. It's fuzzy and furry, doesn't make a lot of noise, and you can play with it.
Hence was born 911aletheia. The word (rhymes with panacea) has a long history, as one might expect of a Greek word (except for medical neologisms), but what I like most about it is that it is not related to words like truth, going back to words meaning "faith, trust" and "firmness" (hence the further connection with tree), or to veritas (English verity, verdict, French vérité) or the set of words connected with German Wahrheit (cf. English aware, beware), which are also rooted in concepts of faith or trustworthiness. Aletheia means "not forgetting," from a- "not" + the word for "forgetting" that comes from Lethe (rhymes with leafy), the river of forgetfulness. The American Heritage Dictionary, which is pretty good on etymology, has the river name (one of five rivers in Hades) from the word for forgetfulness, not vice versa, but it doesn't matter.
If we were ancient Greeks, and dead, we would take a swig from the Lethe to ease our passage into the next life. Today, we don't have the Lethe but we have the Teevee. Works great, and we don't even have to die to use it. All the bad stuff goes right down the tube as soon as the current crisis is over. Rarely does it last as long as Vietnam did, though Iraq/Afghanistan is running a close second. The mass larceny known as the "financial crisis" will be over the minute the stock markets bottom out and the bankers have robbed us of us of everything but our ditch-digging backs and toilet-scrubbing fingers, the AIDS depopulation scheme is long since forgotten by everyone except the presidents ex-preacher, and the 9/11 "truth movement" is hopelessly fragmented. Back in 2006, I failed even to get a significant number of leading "truthers" to unite behind impeachment, much less make common cause with antiwar groups. The chances of anything like that happening now seem even more remote, with a semi-popular president, despite polls that show a widening disjunct between what people believe and what passes as for "truth" in the mass media and official publications (e.g., the Warren Report, 9/11 Commission Report). It's still a good idea, but for that very reason it is unlikely. The propagandists have been much too hard at work.
It is not a matter of "protective stupidity," as Michael Green calls it. We are not too stupid to understand a world run by "privatized covert action mercenaries" created by the CIA and the Council on Foreign Relations. In his more recent essay, Green offers a hodgepodge of tired phrases ("invisible government," "ruling class"), obviously new to Green or he wouldn't spend 4 out of 14 pages repeating them in an article about thermitic dust, which I would not object to in principle any more than I do to Peter Scott's masterly elaboration of the same ideas in The Road to 9/11 (see my "Deep State Doublethink"). The key words in Green's amateurish analysis, if you look for them, are the standard wooly words like cooperate, coordinate, conjunction, high-ranking members, elements, ultimately, and fundamental source.
[The WTC demolition was] "coordinated through the security apparatus of the World Trade Center in conjunction with high-ranking members of the U.S. military...whose cooperation was required...
...the intelligence agencies that coordinated this grand act of political theater.
The USG, in cooperation with elements of private industry and finance capital, brought us 911.
Not all of the actors who served the cover-up were aware of their roles, but they were ultimately set into motion by those who were.
...the fundamental source of political power...known well only to those who participate regularly in it, and to a small number of personas...
...the "invisible government"...persons who control domestic covert action to effect profound changes...and who also own and control much of Congress.
The ruling class of the United States responded to threats to the U.S. dollar and U.S. global hegemony by generating a pretext for war in the Middle East...
All this, Green continues, is too much for "very good" researchers like David Ray Griffin and Niels Harrit to understand because they have "failed to learn the palpable lesson" that calling for a new congressional investigation is pointless.
This reminds me quite unpleasantly of the reaction I got from all sides (e.g., planers and no-planers, left and right) in 2006 when I tried to launch my 9/11 truth coalition to impeach Bush-Cheney, which drove me to verse. Things were quite a bit hairier then, I dare say. We have breathing space now, with Obama, and there's no telling how long it will last. Now is the time to put the pressure on, and no one as enlightened as Green says he is could fail to see this.
Perhaps if Green and his friends Jim Hoffman and Victoria Ashley spent less time trashing their fellow truthers (see here, here, here, and here) hope could be re-engendered for making common cause with myriad groups that have organized against the 9/11 lie and the wars and anti-constitutional laws it has brought us. Discrediting by association is the oldest trick in the book, and these three have used it systematically, first against Fetzer, Reynolds, and Wood by throwing them, with no justification whatever, into the same pot with anti-Semites like Eric Hufschmid, and then against a whole slew of people for allowing themselves to be "associated" with Fetzer, Reynolds, and Wood by belonging to the same organizations (Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Patriots Question 9/11). Even if membership in these organizations actually meant anything, such tactics are deplorable and hard to see as anything but purposely divisive -- which of course is what they accuse their designated enemies of being by daring to discuss or even support arguments about no-planes, video fakery, and non-conventional weaponry.
Since when did the suppression and demonization of ideas qualify as science? I am not a no-planer, but why shouldn't I be able to discuss it on the Scholars for Truth and Justice forum (of which Ashley is the moderator), and why shouldn't Congress be asked to investigate the claims of video fakery and directed energy weapons along with thermitic dust? The argument that "asking Congress to investigate many poorly defined, and highly implausible hypotheses minimizes the chances that Congress would be willing or able to investigate the actual evidence," as Ashley writes on behalf of S9/11TJ, begs the question, obviously, of what is plausible. The purpose of the investigation would be to find that out. If the investigation turned out to be as dishonest as the first one, and could not distinguish more plausible theses (such as thermitic dust) from implausible ones (e.g., 19 Arabs defeating the U.S. Air Force), there would be no point in having it at all. Nothing would be lost, and much gained. If nothing else, the "wayward" (or open-minded) truthers could be shown the error of their ways and brought back into the fold.
Discrediting by association, which Ashley risibly fails to see applies to her own piece more than it does to the organization she is trying to discredit, Patriots Question 9/11, is bad enough when used against people, but when it is also used against ideas, it is even more despicable (if that is possible). Of course there are limits to free speech. But video fakery and non-conventional weapons are not Holocaust denial. Nor are they arguments for the innate superiority of a certain race, the benefits of National Socialism or Communism, cannibalism, incest, or child rape. They are not morally reprehensible. If they are silly, let them be shown, or show themselves, to be silly.
It is shameful that this has to be said, but there is a more insidious consequence of this suppression of ideas (i.e., of the discussion of them, which amounts to the same thing). From the beginning, a faction of 9/11 truthers have vehemently opposed arguments for no-plane, a different plane, or a missile at the Pentagon, on the grounds (read "speculation") that at some future date the government could whip out one of the dozens of videos they have documenting the event and show us all up as idiots. Green says "the entire discussion of what hit the Pentagon is a tar baby designed to trap the 911 truth community in useless speculation."
This has always been a specious argument, and now that the likelihood of any videos appearing, much less any that would support the official story, is virtually nil, it is worse than worthless. Nothing would show more clearly the participation of the US military in 9/11 than evidence of a missile, or indeed of anything other than Flight 77, having hit the Pentagon. Compare this with the relatively limited consequences of proving controlled demolition. I can hear a hundred voices now asking, "How did those dang terrorists git hold of that thermite, and how did they git it into the buildings?" -- a question that would keep everyone busy forever. If it ever reaches the point where they need one, the government will choose this limited hangout, because it poses the least threat.
Controlled demolition is the real tar baby, and Br'er Green should know it. Why does he spend 4 pages in his discussion of the Harrit et al. paper lecturing us on the "invisible government" while ignoring the one passage that actually does point to a possible connection with the government? On page 26 they quote a report on an April 2001 conference disclosing that
...all of the military services and some DOE and academic laboratories have active R&D programs aimed at exploiting the unique properties of nanomaterials that have potential to be used in energetic formulations for advanced explosives…. nanoenergetics hold promise as useful ingredients for the thermobaric (TBX) and TBX-like weapons...
Why does someone so concerned about the invisible government ignore the one clear connection with the real and visible one? Why take the leap from nanothermite to the "ruling class" and ignore the one concrete point of support provided -- especially when his lame conclusion is that nothing can be done except wait for others to be blessed by the same sort of "epiphany" that struck him (when he saw NASA's thermal survey showing hot spots in the ground after 9/11). Even that wouldn't help much, though, since most people (unlike himself) are "ill-equipped" to use it.
Former Assistant Professor Green (self-described) would do well to consider that evidence of video fakery, missiles, remotely controlled airplanes, different airplanes, or non-conventional weapons is far more likely to cause an epiphany than thermitic materials in dust. Obviously, examining the dust is important. But there is no justification for suppressing other lines of investigation. All the evidence should be considered.
Maybe we need a new definition of "truth." I return to my newfound Greek word aletheia. It means "not forgetting." Not forgetting is not the same as truth, and not the same as a movement. But it is not forgetting, either. As I said in an earlier essay ("Martin Luther King and 9/11"), the closest we may be able to get to truth may be something analogous to King v. Jowers (1999). We can be thankful that we have William Pepper, whose book Act of State documents this truth about the King assassination and the struggle to get it, working with NYC CAN. He has warned us against infiltration, but I don't think he would warn us against the discussion of certain ideas or to ignore relevant evidence. The process, even more than the outcome, is the important thing. Even if we never get our day in court, we can testify. We can bear witness.
This is what the resisters to coalition initiatives fail to understand, or pretend to. It is pretty clear to most of us that Congress is not going to reinvestigate 9/11, and that if they do it will just be another whitewash, just as it was clear to most of us that Bush-Cheney would not be impeached. What matters is the political process. The process of impeachment, the process of any sort of investigation of 9/11, whether it ends in stringing up Bush and Cheney or not, would be progress -- or at least would provide an opportunity for progress. It would help inform the public and make more information available. The strategy least likely to have this effect, in fact most likely to have the opposite effect, is to limit discussion to "evidence that is simple, clear, and convincing, not abstract, obscure, dubious or debatable," as Green would have it.
This doesn't even make sense on it's face. What is simple about nanothermite and red/gray bi-layered chips shown by electron microscopy and x-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy to be highly energetic unreacted thermitic material? What is simple about the conclusion Green (not Harrit et al.) so glibly jumps to -- the connection to the USG and the "ruling class"? And what is simple about the same person warning us about tar babies at the Pentagon, and then throwing this obvious tar baby in our faces? Green says his "perspective" is "entailed by the thermitic dust," but this "entailment" means that "even those best equipped to understand it [including himself, presumably] also know the vagaries of research and look for further evidence to confirm or disconfirm it." So good luck to those brave and (most importantly) persistent researchers who will someday prove that the thermitic dust proves that the USG and the ruling elite did 9/11. It seems to me that Green is planting a herring redder than his face should be for calling Dylan Avery's work "naive, foolish, uninformed and ignorant," Jim Fetzer's work "essentially unintelligible," and Morgan Reynolds "a downright crank." If Avery is "a calculating mole or at best a naïf who has been used by such" because his first film wasn't flawless, what does that make Michael Green, who came out of nowhere (no previous publications) to become an instantly prominent (featured on Hoffman's influential website) Avery, Reynolds and Fetzer basher?
We live in an age of propaganda. Information Warfare aka Operations is only the military equivalent of a long-established principle that pervades society: the public mind, especially in democratic societies where physical coercion is discouraged, must be controlled. We don't need Orwell's or Huxley's futuristic visions to see this, or the platitudes of Michael Green. The Committee on Public Information was formed by the US government in 1917 to get public opinion behind the planned entry into World War I, and ten years later one of its members, Edward Bernays, wrote the bible on propaganda. As that word was later relegated to negative associations with the bad guys -- first Nazis and then Communists -- the same concept was re-dubbed "public relations." Bernays begins his first chapter, "Organizing Chaos," with a clear statement of the principle:
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.
Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.
They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons—a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty million—who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world. (Propaganda, 1928.)
Here we have it. Big Brother has been watching, and doing, for a long time. It is literally business as usual, and as American as apple pie. I don't know if Orwell read Bernays, but "inner cabinet" is easily substitutable for "Inner Party," Green's unoriginal "ruling class," C. Wright Mills' "power elite," the Soviet "nomenklatura," etc.
The internet is also a mass media, and we really would be as nuts as the likes of Bill O'Reilly says we all are not to assume that the information warriors, that is, "public relations" specialists, are out in force every day and night doing their job of "organizing chaos." This sounds oxymoronic because it is. More clinically, it is schizophrenic -- the same state of mind, of helplessness and paralysis, that I described in "MITOP and the Double Bind." We really do understand, at some level, we are meant to understand (Made It Transparent On Purpose), and at the same time we are meant to understand that the situation is normal, desirable, and that in any case there is nothing we can do about it. We are here to consume and cooperate "as a smoothly functioning society."
Truth may not be possible in this society, in which case we are chasing a chimera. But there are different kinds of truth, and the kind that is publishable in Time or Newsweek or on Teevee, or that can be established by a congressional inquiry, is not necessarily what we are after or will be satisfied with. I like my new word, aletheia. It's a little awkward, syntactically, but maybe it will open some new horizons and take us beyond measuring the worth of ideas in terms of what their imagined effect will be on others, or in terms of what other ideas they might be "associated" with. The word itself is a case in point, since it is often associated with Martin Heidegger, who is often associated with Nazism. Fortunately, being as unversed in philosophy as I am in Greek, I didn't realize this until I had already discovered the word and decided to adopt it. Now I have a sense of possession and refuse to give it up, no matter what Heidegger had to say about it or what others have had to say about Heidegger. I may read Heidegger someday, but for the moment I am glad to have a new word.
For one thing, I like the negative aspect of it. If 9/11 truthers agree on little else, they agree that the official account is false -- not only not true but a pack of lies, omissions and distortions. In addition, as I have said before, the best evidence for US government complicity in 9/11, which automatically means guilt given the incomparable power of that government, is that it happened at all. None of it would have been possible without government sponsorship, and even if part of it did happen by some fluke (e.g., one plane crash), an innocent government would have solved the case long ago, and not with a ridiculous fairy tale about suicidal whiskey-swigging lapdance-loving Muslims who couldn't fly a Cessna doing impossible acrobatics with commercial airliners, but with a credible story and convincing evidence. If a plane crashed in Shanksville or into the Pentagon, there would be proof, in the form of evidence nobody would question. Ditto for the WTC. We would not be going round and round about questions like "Were cell phone calls possible from airplanes flying over 5000 feet in 2001?" (the answer to that one now being clearly "No," but still unacknowledged by officialdom), "Can Boeing 767s hit buildings flying at 540 mph at 1000 feet, and can they even fly at that speed and altitude without breaking apart? (unanswered), "Can a backhoe pick up a piece of molten steel?" and "Can a video that shows a 767 penetrating a steel and concrete building like a hot knife into butter be real?" It is simply impossible to imagine that the federal government, with all its resources, could not have answered all these questions, and many more, a long time ago if they had wanted to. And what possible motive could there be for not answering them, and prevaricating, if the government itself was not guilty?
An unanswered question is not what we normally think of as truth. It is not "proof positive." We can't send anybody to jail on the basis of an unanswered question. But in this case the unanswered questions, particularly since there are so many of them, do constitute aletheia, whose literal meaning, according to the anonymous Wikipedia author, is "the state of not being hidden; the state of being evident." It is evident, simply from the unanswered questions, that 9/11 was an inside job. It is equally evident that the government is not going to indict itself. It is also evident, to me at least, that they want us to know they did it (MITOP). That is the only explanation for the obvious bungling of what could have been an undetectable false-flag operation. One can imagine a million ways a "terrorist" attack could have been feigned and blamed on a designated enemy, with no questions asked. I don't believe in "stupidity theory." Somebody made a conscious decision to do it this way, to "shock and awe" us into acceptance and resignation.
Green may not have read my articles (e.g., on "Transparency Theory"), but he has read Salandria, and should have understood more of what he read, instead of about 50%, which appears to be the case. In his 1971 essay "The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: A Model of Explanation," almost every word of which, with the appropriate substitutions, can be applied to 9/11, Salandria clearly says there are two reasons for the perps to show their hand. One is to prevent everybody from seeing the light at the same time by making "selectively orchestrated revelations of their bloody work," which Green seems to have understood, crediting himself with having this "epiphany" (his word) after seeing NASA's thermal survey showing inexplicably long-lasting hot spots at Ground Zero (apparently applying his experience as a psychologist to make this discovery). If he had read further, however, he would know that the second purpose of these purposeful revelations in the JFK case was intimidation -- to show those who did understand "what was in store for any quixotic citizens who saw fit to oppose the new rulers of our land."
Another point Salandria makes in the same passage that Green cites, but ignores, is apropos:
I have long believed that the killers actually preempted the assassination criticism by supplying the information they wanted revealed and also by supplying the critics whom they wanted to disclose the data. Does it not make sense that if they could perpetrate a coup and could control the press, they would have endeavored to dominate likewise the assassination criticism?
Though Green may not have read my articles, if he is a serious student of Salandria he has read my book (Correspondence with Vincent Salandria, 2007), or John Kelin's Praise from a Future Generation, 2007. From either book he could have learned something about the dangers, not to mention the immorality, of using guilt by association to discredit others. He might have thought twice about aligning himself with Victoria Ashley, who aligns herself with Josiah Thompson in her smear of Jim Fetzer et al. Vince has quite a bit to say in our correspondence about Thompson, e.g.:
(3/1/94) On Thompson, I believe he was an agent from the beginning. I met him when I was called to get him and other peace demonstrators out of jail. He then curled around me trying to get me to write Six Seconds in Dallas with him. I separated myself off when he saw the front entry throat hit as an exit [wound] caused by exiting bone. Perhaps this is a delusion of grandeur, but I feel that he was sent in to give me media exposure and thereby neutralize and/or co-opt me.
(4/7/2000) ...after Six Seconds in Dallas was published, I invited him over to my home for a party.
At the affair, I put to him how he could have written the last paragraph of Six Seconds which concluded with the question of what does all of this prove? He answered his question by flatly stating that it did not prove a conspiracy.
"Tink, how could you write that?" I asked him.
He answered: "An error in exposition, Vince. An error in exposition."
After comparing notes with Ray Marcus about it, he and I concluded that Thompson was an agent....
Now, so many years later, Thompson's "error in exposition" is converted into another explanation. Thompson currently describes himself as an agnostic on the issue of conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination.
We also know from the government documents that he was approached for possible employment by the CIA prior to the assassination.
Salandria wrote that "a full explanation of this thesis [of transparent conspiracy] must await another occasion." I'm afraid that 9/11 has supplied that occasion, and I have tried to articulate a fuller explanation, but it doesn't really go beyond what Salandria told us in 1971 (see "MITOP and the Double Bind"). What is different is the degree of disclosure, of evidence, of aletheia. Plausibility of denial has become pretense of denial. Green says "now, the facts that matter politically are in." No. Thermitic dust is not a smoking gun, and certainly not a basis for concluding that the "ruling class" did it. The stupidity of this leap is exactly contrary to the conservative strategy of the Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice, and will have the opposite effect to what (I hope) Green intended. The evidence has been in for a long time, at least since 2004 when David Griffin's New Pearl Harbor became available, and for many from the get-go. I was not one of the first to see it. I needed Griffin to lay it out for me, though I did have my suspicions. In hindsight, everything is clear, simply because it happened. It's like Big Brother (pun intended) hitting Little Sister in plain view of Mommy, and then exclaiming, "I didn't do it!"
You might think this is all a bit too subtle, overdrawn. Paranoid, even. In that case, draw a line under it and call it art. (See Heidegger on this if you like it real complicated.) Put it in your mental museum, or on your fiction shelf along with the Warren Report and the 9/11 Commission Report. Consider it a footnote to Orwell (1984+25) I can live with that. Just don't say I didn't tell you.