May 22, 2006

Reluctant Curiosity : 9-11 Questions (Part 1)

Since few read this blog anyhow, I thought it would be good place to post my thoughts on the very, very controversial and provocative dialogue surrounding the WTC attack on Sept. 11th, 2001. Over the last four and half years I have racked my brain and searched my conscience over details of the event, aftermath, and consequence of the attack, both in terms of the effects our nation and around the world. It is not a pretty picture.

To say that I was ‘searching my conscience’ implies two important things. First, would I blindly accept the government’s rendition of the events and, if I were to question my government, would I ever be courageous enough to publicize my skepticism, especially in a political atmosphere dominated by fervent nationalism? It may be honorable and a free-thinking man’s right to question the government, but it can be equally dangerous as well. I have walked away from a least few heated debates on the issue, and I advise most people to do the same. It’s not worth getting beat up over. (If you’ve been reading this blog, you would already know how outspoken I am on most subjects. So my reluctance here, in this case, should tell you just what level of apprehension I feel.)

It is not as if I thought the Bush administration was lying about the attack immediately after it happened. Like most Americans, I went along with what seemed to be a plausible and reasonable series of events and the identities of the alleged players in this disaster. I am an American, born and bred, and though I believe that all governments tend toward some level of deceit and corruption, I also believed there was some limit to what they would be willing to do. Banking scams, favors for international corporations, supporting dictators, etc. were old news in D.C., but there wasn’t any reason to assume our government would have the audacity to participate in the killing of innocent American citizens on such a large and public scale, no matter what the political ends may be. I may have been wrong about that and I wish, oh how I wish, that I was not.

If you bring up questions about the government’s account you can be pretty sure that eyes will roll and you will be lumped in with the “Grassy Knoll” Kennedy assassination theorists, the Roswell Area 51 cover-up bunch, Moon Landing deniers, and the latest reports of the ‘Bigfoot.’ All this, even before the real discussion begins. I agree that there are some wacky theories out there for just about everything one can imagine, so I’ll set the record straight on my position here. I do not subscribe to the other ‘conspiracy theories’ or crypto-zoological nonsense. I approach the event as any detective would try to analyze a suspect’s testimony to ascertain its truthfulness. I do not have to know what the truth is to know that the suspect in question might be lying to me and, once I discover that his credibility is lacking, I have reason to probe further into the mystery.

Already having a suspicious nature when it comes to government makes it both easier and harder to ask questions. I have to make sure that I am not ‘wishing’ the questions into reality based upon my preconceived, although justified, mistrust of government. It is that very justification for such skepticism, well supported by history, that I base my initial assumption; this even before I begin to consider the facts of 9-11.

History, however, doesn’t tell me that governments always tell lies, but that they are willing to do so for specific purposes. The sinking of the Maine in 1898, along with the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, provided the United States with the opportunity to escalate military involvement in certain regions of the world, even though the evidence was scanty and the reasoning specious. The governments of the day, with the help of willing journalists, knew they could ‘sell’ the war by appealing to the people’s justifiable outrage and sense of patriotism. It has happened more than once.

1. An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act.
2. A group of conspirators.
3. An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.
4. A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design

The reason I posted the various definitions of ‘conspiracy’ is so there would be no doubt as to what I am referring when I use the word. Generally, those who question the official story are labeled ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ and dismissed out of hand. Truth is, that whether you favor the government’s account or the other possible scenarios, you will end up supporting one conspiracy theory or the other, depending which you prefer. The question remains as to who the conspirators are, how they conspired, and why they conspired to commit those acts. The 9-11 Commission Report tells us that nineteen Moslem men, from various Moslem nations, without any formal military or aviation training, armed only with box-cutters, coordinated and executed, with almost military precision, the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. This was done under the direction and leadership of a dissident Saudi and Al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden.

The government’s account is actually quite tidy, but it smacks to me of “rounding up the usual suspects”, and then pasting placards all over town stating what everyone would think is the obvious anyhow. It reminds me of other famous cases wherein the suspects were naturally assumed to be African-American or Hispanic and then, once evidence came to light, the actual criminals were not only Caucasians, but the accusers themselves! (Susan Smith blamed a ‘black guy’ for abducting and drowning her children, and the ‘Runaway Bride’ claimed to have been kidnapped by Mexicans.)

In this day and age there is no better scapegoat than the Moslem. Fact is, you have Moslem groups all over the world committing horrible acts of terror on non-military civilians and each other. Suicide bombings, hijackings, kidnappings, roadside bomb attacks on US personnel, and international drug trafficking are just a few of the violently criminal acts perpetrated by radical Islamic groups who, by the way, aren’t shy about taking credit for their handiwork. So, if my government is going to tell me that Islamist hijackers committed horrific acts of terrorism anywhere at anytime, I would be apt to believe their story without question. Wouldn’t you? If you were to hear on the news about a mugging in an inner city neighborhood, would you not think to yourself “The black guy did it”?

This ‘scapegoating’ of Moslems gets even easier when you consider all the cultural, religious, genetic, and nationalistic differences between them and the average American. If you need a good scapegoat, find a guy who doesn’t look like you, comes from a place you’ve never heard of, speaks a language you can’t understand, worships a deity not of your liking, and who has co-religionists who already display a propensity for terror. The truth is, the government could have easily pulled nineteen random photographs from the Tunisia High School Class of 1988 yearbook, posted them up on the evening news, and we would be none the wiser as to their real identities. It’s just that easy. After all, if your own government tells you that the third picture from the left is Mohammed Atta, how are you going to argue with them? You’d never think to question, and no one could blame you for not asking.

So what makes me ask? “Curiosity!” said the cat. Ultimately, we have to accept one conspiracy theory or the other. My curiosity as to the other possibilities is sparked by questions surrounding the chronology of events, the unusual deviation of government agencies from normal operation procedures, lack of transparency, and a careful analysis of the science behind the collapse (or demolition) of the WTC and Building 7. I am driven to question, and in that inquiry, I have already learned a great deal, even if the ultimate question goes unanswered.

More to come! When? I don’t know.

“A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions--as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.” (Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844 – 1900)

Kol Tuv


At 2:30 AM , Blogger The Hedyot said...

> ...then, once evidence came to light, the actual criminals were not only Caucasians, but the actual criminals themselves!

Huh? The criminals were the actual criminals themselves? I know you meant something else here, but I can't figure it out.

At 6:11 AM , Blogger Shlomo said...

Yeah, that language needs revising. It made sense when I said it, but not when it was written.

This is what it means:

"...not only were the real criminals Causcasians, but in those particular cases, the accuusers themselves turned out to be the criminals."

Thanks for pointing that out. I always appreciate help with the editing.

Kol Tuv

At 6:24 AM , Blogger mnuez said...

Anything's possible.

That said, R' Shlaimeh, let me be the first of your friends to tell you that I'm proud of your willingness to publicly look like a fuckin idiot for a theory that you consider probable, but at the end of the day you're still a fuckin idiot. You may be the most intellectually capable fuckin idiot I've yet come across but a fuckin idiot you most certainly are.

REB SHLAIMEH WAKE UP!! Your dislike for the "values" of this administration has fried your brain! Remember the line about Sinah mekalkeles es hashurah? It appears to me that that's what's occured with you.

I mean, sure, anything's possible, but are you looking at this matter the same way as you'd look at any other? Don't enough "questions" persist regarding the historical accuracy of whether there was in fact ever a holocaust? I mean, isn't it strange that there's no order from Hitler on this major "fact" of his having all of Europe's Jews killed?

And how about UFOs? would you say that tens of thousands of people around the world are all making this up? Everyone from elementary school students to farmers to businessmen?

I mean seriously R' Shlaimeh, looked at through the looking glass that you've chosen for your own private viewing of 9-11, all of these things seem equally likely.

At the end of the day though THIS WOULD HAVE TO BE A MAJOR COVER-UP INVOLVING HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE AT THE VERY VERY VERY LEAST. And presidents can't keep covered stupid little things like wiretapping, blowjobs and the fact that their second-in-command shot someone.

Now look, no doubt you can modify your "alternative possibilities" by saying something stupid like "I think that even the president didn't know about this and this was done by a select group of, blah, blah, blah..." and eventually by farenfering all of the rational HUGE attacks on the idiocy of believing that which you do, you'll twister yourself into some wacko scenario that farenfers all the kushyas but that will look so strangely twisted that it will be funny to everyone to everyone but its proud creator.

Just my pov.

Oh, and, as always, I could be wrong.


At 7:52 AM , Blogger Shlomo said...


reb yid hehr zich ayn

You must understand that this isn't about the Bush adminstration. If you had read the post, you'd have seen in the begining where I ask of myself whether or not my skepticism is infact driven by politics. It is not.

Is it your overwhelming love for the Bush administration or your undying hatred of Arabs, that leads you to believe that 19 Arabs MUST have done this?

I'm not so sure myself. As Jews, it's easy to find Arabs guilty of everything imaginable and even if we blame them for what they didn't do, well so what? They deserve it anyhow, because they probably cheered when Jews were being killed by somebody else.

Is that why you can't imagine that Arabs might NOT have done it? Or at the least had some help from inside?

I plan on probing the questions more than the possible answers. Like you, I'm not sure what we will ever know, but I'm not happy not trying to sort it out.

"yeder falshkeit hoybt ohn mit a shtikl emmes"

At 11:09 AM , Blogger The Jewish Freak said...

My good friend SL: Very interesting post. I wish to point out a few facts that you may have missed:

1. Regarding your mistrust of government (which I share) you seem to be inconsistent. You don't seem to have the same mistrust of government when it comes to gov't spending, or gov't regulation. I will make this easy for you to conceptualize - just think of the government as the biggest, baddest, most selfish and least accountable for-profit corporation that exists.

2. Osama Bin Laden (may his evil name be erased) has admitted to the world on video that he and his evil organization planned and executed the events of 9/11.

3. You talk about Moslems being responsible for commiting horrible acts of terror around the world. Why do you believe these accounts any more than you believe the account of 9/11?

4. If it looks like a duck, flies like a duck, quacks like a duck, and shits like a duck, then it's a fucking duck!

At 11:31 AM , Blogger Shlomo said...

Jewish Freak,

Touche! I'll answer each in order.

1)I have a very healthy mistrust of government in every way. That does not mean that I am an anarchist or a fatalist that assumes government CANNOT do the job right. They certainly can, but it's up to the people to demand transparency and accountability.

2)The video that America was shown of Osama bin Laden admitting to the attack is not conclusive. I will address that issue later in anther post.

3)There are certain sorts of attacks that these groups commonly employ; attacks that do not involve a great deal of precision or technical know how. As I stated in the post, it seems odd, though not impossible, the 19 untrained and unskilled men could pull this off with relative ease.

4)Re:Ducks. Even other ducks are fooled by well-designed decoys.

Kol Tuv

At 9:36 PM , Blogger KiddushClubGuy said...

Having lived in Brooklyn for your formative years it would be interesting to hear your take on the child molestation crap going on in that part of the world


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home