A comment on last week's column asked if I would study and analyze 9/11, perhaps raising questions that would contradict the government's theory.
I do have some interest in the topic, but I do not have the time for serious study. Moreover, it seems every plausible piece of evidence that suggests the government is lying or covering up, is countered with a debunking, followed by a debunking of the debunking, and on and on. I don't believe the full story will ever be known. For that reason, I can't say to what extent the attack might have been an "inside job." Maybe not at all, maybe there was some cooperation between terrorists and some elements of U.S. or allied intelligence, maybe most or all of it was orchestrated by higher-ups. Or maybe, when they saw the attack underway, senior officials, yearning for a "new Pearl Harbor" let it happen.
I don't know.
I do believe, however, that senior officials of the U.S. government are evil enough to do it, even if such a conspiracy would have been too large for them to pull it off in practice.
To believe that this is "unbelievable" because our leaders would not, in good conscience, have sacrificed their own people, presumes too much. That is, it presumes that the consciences of our leaders is like yours or mine. If their beliefs and values led them to conclude that America had to go to war in the Middle East and Central Asia, where the deaths of thousands of American soldiers and at least tens of thousands of foreign civilians was certain, then sacrificing a few thousand American civilians to get it started would not have been a moral hindrance to them.
Contempt for the people is what animates government leaders. They literally believe we the people are their property, and that our interests - even our lives - must be sacrificed to what they believe is good for the the State. Many who grow up hearing nothing but pro-government propaganda from schools and the media will believe that becoming armed agents of the State, doing the bidding of the Ruling Class, is honorable and heroic. The armed agents view themselves as the good guys. The bad guys are whomever their bosses, the Ruling Class, say they are. The more the armed agents suspend their judgment to keep secrets and obey orders, the more brutal they can be.
Think back to the Branch Davidian attack. Why did the government wipe out the entire community, burning women and children to death?
Could it have been because the gun charges against the cult leader David Koresh were minor and didn't justify a federal assault? Gore Vidal writes,
The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, exercising its mandate to "regulate" firearms, refused all invitations from cult leader David Koresh to inspect his licensed firearms. The A.T.F. instead opted for fun. More than 100 A.T.F. agents, without proper warrants, attacked the church's compound while, overhead, at least one A.T.F. helicopter fired at the roof of the main building. Six Branch Davidians were killed that day. Four A.T.F. agents were shot dead, by friendly fire, it was thought.
Following a 51-day siege, Attorney General Janet Reno "got tough":
On April 19 she ordered the F.B.I. to finish up what the A.T.F. had begun. In defiance of the Posse Comitatus Act (a basic bulwark of our fragile liberties that forbids the use of the military against civilians), tanks of the Texas National Guard and the army's Joint Task Force Six attacked the compound with a gas deadly to children and not too healthy for adults while ramming holes in the building. Some Davidians escaped. Others were shot by F.B.I. snipers. In an investigation six years later, the F.B.I. denied ever shooting off anything much more than a pyrotechnic tear-gas cannister. Finally, during a six-hour assault, the building was set fire to and then bulldozed by Bradley armored vehicles. God saw to it that no F.B.I. man was hurt while more than 80 cult members were killed, of whom 27 were children. It was a great victory for Uncle Sam, as intended by the F.B.I., whose code name for the assault was Show Time.
[. . .]
Later, 11 members of the Branch Davidian Church were put on trial for the "conspiracy to commit murder" of the federal agents who had attacked them. The jury found all 11 innocent on that charge. But after stating that the defendants were guilty of attempted murder—the very charge of which they had just been acquitted—the judge sentenced eight innocent church members up to 40 years on lesser charges. One disgusted juror said, 'The wrong people were on trial.'
The values of the government haven't changed in the 17 years since this slaughter. After all, President Obama has asserted the right to assassinate American citizens whom he says are "terrorists," with no due process and no trial.
Obama's first target of his illegal, murderous power is allegedly an anti-American Muslim cleric now based in Yemen.
But when Bill Clinton, the man responsible for the deaths in Waco, associates the anti-tax, anti-deficit, anti-corporate bailout Tea Party movement with domestic terrorists like Timothy McVeigh, one wonders how broadly Obama might use the word "terrorism." Can it be used against his political opponents?
The power that George W. Bush and Barack Obama asserted for themselves by invoking the "terrorist" threat does suggest that 9/11 was similar in intent and result as Germany's 1933 Reichstag fire - to give more power to The State. I'm not saying that the U.S. government was behind 9/11 in the same way it is assumed the Nazis were behind the Reichstag fire. And our democratic traditions are much stronger than they were in Germany, so we weren't about to fall for claims of "dictator for life" - and probably never will. But within the American context, it is clear that Washington DC exploited the event to advance its own power.
Was there a conspiracy behind 9/11? Debatable. Was there a conspiracy post-9/11? Unquestionably.
Over eight years earlier, Waco proved that government leaders and their armed agents will readily slaughter their own people. So the stage was set. Almost nine years after 9/11, we see warrantless surveillance, the revocation of habeas corpus, the invocation of "national security" to justify government coverup of its crimes and blunders, and now the Presidential "right" to assassinate. All in gross violation of the Constitution and of human rights.
Whether or not the historical revisionists and conspiracy theorists are correct, what must be recognized is that, today, government secrecy, lawlessness, and murder are becoming accepted as common practice. Institutionalized.
And for that reason, it is fair to call the federal government a criminal conspiracy.