Shuck and Jive

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

My 9/11 Story...So Far...

On the morning of September 11th, my daughter who was in high school at the time called me at the church office and told me to turn on the television because the World Trade Center had been hit by airplanes. In the church kitchen the staff and I and others who happened to be in the church building that morning watched the television reports and saw both buildings collapse.

As the day progressed I realized that the church community would need to have some kind of gathering for reflection and prayer. We contacted all of our members and invited the community through the media. We put together a service for the next day, September 12th.

By that time the spin had already begun. I didn't know it was spin at the time. The spin was that we were attacked by Muslim terrorists. Even then, one of my largest concerns was that this attack could start a desire for rage and revenge against Muslim people.

In the service I included a reading from the Qur'an and in my homily, I said:

This is a day of mourning for the victims of the unspeakable violence yesterday in New York City and at our nation's capitol. We stand with those who have lost loved ones with deep sorrow. Our sorrow will never reach the depths as that which has been experienced by those who have lost fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, life partners, children, loved ones.

The act of terror and violence against innocent people is inexcusable. There is no reason under heaven for an act so cowardly and so despicable as violence against innocent men, women, and children. Violence at this magnitude is beyond horror. It is not justified now, nor ever. The scars will remain with us for as long as any of us here will live as well as with the lives of our children and our children's children.

In response to this we feel justifiable rage. The Psalmist echoes our feelings even as we may not dare to speak the words aloud: "O daughter Babylon, you devastator! Happy shall they be who pay you back what you have done to us! Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock! (Psalm 137:8-9)

Our anger and sorrow is deep and will grow deeper still as we hear more about the victims and as we absorb the anger and the anguish of the nation. It will be tempting--so tempting--for us to seek vengeance quickly, something, anything, to soothe the rage.

It is at this point at which we need God. It is at this point at which we need to express our rage and anger toward God. We direct it toward God not because God caused it, but because God receives it. God became one with us on the cross in Jesus Christ for our anger and for our rage and for the injustice of the suffering. We must give our rage to Christ, for only Christ is large enough to receive it and to melt it.

The enemy is not the Muslim people or the Arab people. The enemy is violence itself. Violence bred by injustice and uncontrollable rage which has turned to hatred. The answer will not be more violence bred by more rage and more hatred and more injustice. This will only lead to the deaths and to the suffering of more innocent people and it will not bring peace to our world.

Yet, we must bring the perpetrators to justice. This is not an attack on the American people. It was an attack on the very fragile spirit of human life and morality. Violence is the evil. Justice will only come as the world itself puts the perpetrators of violence on trial. Virtually every nation has condemned this act of terror, including the Palestinian people. Muslims, Christians, Jews all have condemned this evil.

Now it is time for Muslims, Christians, and Jews, to seek peace. We must together seek peace with justice. We must work together for justice. We must work for a justice that will put these doers of violence on trial so the world may speak with one voice against violence and any who enacts violence. It is not the way to solve conflicts.

We must also work for a justice that is not blind to the cries of suffering and oppressed people. We may have the opportunity now to ask ourselves: "Why are so many of the Arab people so angry at America?" Asking that question in no way justifies or excuses the unspeakable acts of evil and terror that have been committed. But if we seek justice with peace for all people on this fragile globe we must truly seek the answers with openness and a desire for truth. It will take a miracle for this to happen. It will take a miracle of God for us to work for a true and lasting peace with all of our neighbors.

We must pray for that miracle. Else I fear for the survival of the human species. I do not think that I overstate that concern. Our technology and our weapons of destruction and our vulnerability to misuse them is so great that we human beings could make for our own destruction unless we learn the difficult, the courageous, the humble, the Christ-like way of peace.

To love our enemies does not mean that we do not do everything in our power to end violence and to bring the doers of violence to justice, and sometimes that requires force. Force blessed and enacted by the agreement of nations united for peace. To love our enemy means that we recognize that we become the enemy we despise when we let that hatred and rage consume us. We are to love our enemy for ourselves as much as the enemy.

I read passages from the Hebrew Psalter, the Muslim Qu'ran, and the Christian Gospel to demonstrate that these three great and peaceful religions are just that--great and peaceful. The people who faithfully pray and practice their beliefs around the world all want the same thing we do--to live in peace with neighbor, to seek happiness, to enjoy life, to live freely. We must not let those few who insist on violence to destroy that hope of peace and freedom that God has planted within our souls.

In these critical days and weeks to come, the leaders of our nation and of the world need our prayers to work a miracle. May we pray for that miracle each day. As followers of Jesus we can do no less.
We did a lot less. What I preached against is exactly what has happened. Two wars, the trashing of civil liberties, media paranoia regarding "terrorism", demonization of Muslims, and the refusal to look for truth.
Question: Why are the Arab people so angry at America?
Answer: They hate our freedoms.

End of introspection. Begin bombing.

The American people didn't make this up. We were imprinted with this script from the very beginning. We didn't have a prayer at seeing things for what they really were. The irony is that the "leaders of our nation", I now believe, wanted precisely what I preached against to happen. And it did.

Since 9/11 I became involved in the anti-war or peace movement. The 9/11 truth movement wasn't convincing to me. I didn't want to be convinced. Those two movements really didn't (and still don't) trust each other. The truthers think the peacers are naive and the peacers think the truthers are wasting time.

I went along with the official 9/11 conspiracy theory  because I didn't really want to look at it. When theologian David Griffin came out with his book, The Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11, I looked into it a little bit more. I wrote a response to it for Witherspoon Society. [Scroll down]. I began my review this way:

For three days the book sat on my coffee table before I dared to pick it up. I probably would not have purchased it had it not been published by Westminster John Knox Press and had not my conservative colleagues criticized the publisher for publishing it. Nevertheless, it sat on my coffee table because I knew the central thesis of the book (that 9/11 was an inside job) if true, would shatter all of my myths of American Exceptionalism. The implications would be staggering. That is an understatement.
I concluded being non-committal regarding Griffin's view, but appreciative of what he had done and appreciative that Presbyterians, Westminster/John Knox Press, published it. And not without some heat, as I also wrote at the time.

In the Witherspoon essay, I used my review of Griffin's book to talk about Peak Oil, which Griffin did not mention. Peak Oil is I believe the key motivation for the 9/11 false flag.

I have had a wishy/washy relationship with the 9/11 truth movement, in no small part because I am already marginalized because of my crazy views from gays to peak oil to Jesus. If I admit now that I am a truther I won't have any friends left.

But that isn't much of a reason, is it? That is just chickenshit.

I am writing autobiographically about this because the facts of the events surrounding 9/11 are not convincing to anyone who won't look at them. As far as facts and evidence are concerned, see this video and this video both on-line and that should be enough. To get you to even spend two hours watching the videos is a Herculean task. There is something prior to facts and evidence that must first be overcome.

I am trying to determine for myself when and why I decided to look at the evidence and accept my government's involvement. I think it is a spiritual issue. It is about who we are as human beings and how we are related to our neighbors and our leaders and our world. It is about our myths (and I mean by that the religious sense of the word myth or grand story that defines us). These are important questions we need to ask ourselves:

Who are we?
Where are we going?
How will we go?
Will we go like lemmings or human beings?
It has been Peak Oil [see Petroleum Man] that has changed my outlook and shattered my previous myths (esp. human progress). I believe that we have begun a long collapse and the project of industrial civilization is ending. That is a way bigger deal than 9/11.

My questions regarding Peak Oil and collapse led me to Michael Ruppert. Over the summer I read Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. That is no easy read but thorough and engaging. He did what Griffin didn't do, connect 9/11 and the geopolitics of empire-building with Peak Oil.

After I read that book I realized I couldn't hide anymore behind my fears.

But here's what pushed me. What made me decide to come out as a truther and to write these posts this week was something that appeared in the Johnson City Press about a month ago. It was a poll asking: Is It Fair to Deny Muslims a Place to Worship?

I wrote about it here,
Is It Fair to Deny Baptists a Place to Worship? and followed it a few days later with, Crazy Hysterical Christians in response to Christian hysteria regarding Muslims.

I realize it has been full circle. At the very beginning, directly following 9/11/2001, I was worried about how Muslim people would be treated. Now, nine years later, that event, in which the Muslim world was framed for an event that our own leaders perpetrated, is being used to foment more hatred against the Muslim people.

The lies of 9/11 are not going away. That is why I need to tell the truth.

Collapse is underway. There is no stopping it. There is no green solution or magic energy pill that will keep us happily motoring.

But, we can be decent. That begins by being honest with ourselves about the truth.

That is my far.


  1. John, your views on gays and Jesus aren't crazy. They are a touch out of the Presbyterian mainstream, but not crazy. Your views on peak oil are not crazy either, though you might be paid to look at that question with a tad more perspective and skepticism.

    9/11 Truth? I won't say crazy - just that it will cost you a lot of respect from me, and probably others. Yes, there are videos on the internet that cherry-pick and manipulate evidence to bolster the conspiracy theory. Guess what? There are videos on the internet that do the same thing to "prove" that all Muslims are violently intent on murdering all infidels and bringing America down. There are videos on the internet doing the same thing to "prove" the earth is 6000 years old and women were made out of ribs.

    Frankly, the videos that "prove" Mohamed Atta innocent are no better than the ones that "prove" Hitler innocent of the holocaust.

  2. You don't believe in much of anything about the Jesus you vow to serve as a minister but you do believe in all this conspiracy and doomer nonsense? Wow. I hear the theme song from The Twilight Zone playing, my friend.

  3. Sorry, you've lost me on this one, John. The speculation, insinuation, and correlation simply do not rise to the level of either "facts" nor "evidence."

    What is missing is obvious: Any actual evidence. Supposedly an enormous array of people were involved in an enormous array of activities (everyone, it seems from nearly everyone in the Bush administration to Bin Laden, all the way down to various random lowly air traffic controllers) were all part of this elaborate scheme. But yet no one has produced a single letter from, say Dick Cheney to the 100's of people involved about what they were supposed to do and when they were supposed to do it or anything from anyone even similar to such a thing. It is impossible for me to believe that people have found all this "evidence" of an enormous government cover-up, and yet have never found any evidence of any command and control documents whatsoever.

    Wikileaks can get tens of thousands of documents out of the Pentagon about the war in Afghanistan and yet not a single piece of paper, coded communique, email, or text can be found that actually connects all these people to do the things they supposedly did at the direction of someone who knew it was coming?

    Even if I were to take all your facts at face value, the only reasonable conclusion that one can reach is this: there is no way to know what happened. That is, if the people you think were involved in doing what you think they did actually did so, then they are so skilled at lying, cover-up, and misdirection that not only am I wrong about 9/11 but there is no way you could be right either.

    Out of curiosity, how does your list of facts qualitatively differ in any significant way from this guy's list:

  4. BTW, it's also very hard for me to believe that GW Bush was both a complete bumbling fool -- who was barely able to earn a gentleman's C as a Yale undergrad, who failed at nearly anything he tried before entering politics and who couldn't complete a sentence in standard English -- and yet is also an evil criminal mastermind.

    In my opinion, we have much more convincing evidence to support the former assertion than the latter. He may have been lucky, he may have been a figurehead, but all the evidence suggests that all the help in the world wouldn't have made him into Lex Luthor.



  5. Sorry, you've lost me on this one, John.

    My guess is that I will lose a lot of people. And that kind of sucks, but...

    But yet no one has produced a single letter from, say Dick Cheney to the 100's of people involved about what they were supposed to do and when they were supposed to do it or anything from anyone even similar to such a thing.

    That is part of the larger objection that this event would be too big for a government to conceal. David Griffin has a transcript of the speech to which I linked. He addresses that at Myth #3

    Ruppert addresses this more thoroughly in his book, Crossing the Rubicon. The basic idea is that you don't need a lot of people to know. Just a few to direct things.

    Again, for those who are interested in questioning the official conspiracy theory I would recommend the resources in the previous post.

    For those who would rather not look at it and compare those who are searching as kooks who believe the Apollo landing was a hoax, that is fine too.

  6. For those who would rather not look at it and compare those who are searching as kooks who believe the Apollo landing was a hoax, that is fine too.

    John..."kook" is a value-laden term. Look, man, I've believed some "crazy" shit in my day. I was practically an evangelist for astrology. And I'm not a "kook". In today's world, with today's internet, unless you rigorously practice your skeptical critical thinking every minute of every day, you're practically destined to believe some things that - from a better perspective - will easily be identified as "obviously wrong".

    9/11 truther-ism is probably a better developed ideology than moon-landing hoax-ism. But it does operate on the same faults in human cognition to bring a false sense of certainty about things we have no good reasons to believe.

  7. 9/11 truther-ism is probably a better developed ideology than moon-landing hoax-ism. But it does operate on the same faults in human cognition to bring a false sense of certainty about things we have no good reasons to believe.

    The thing is there are very good reasons to doubt the official conspiracy theory. It is because I am using my skeptical/critical skills that I write what I write.

    But hey, I don't insist. I am simply saying (as I always do) about what I think and how I am coming to what I think. If what I say is not persuasive, then there is no need to worry about it.

  8. The thing is there are very good reasons to doubt

    Yeah- there are reasons to doubt and reasons to believe just about anything. Usually a lot of them - on both sides.

    The key to critical thinking is being aware of the pervasive defects in our cognitive systems and how they may de-rail our ability to correctly evaluate those reasons.

    I appreciate that you aren't insisting. And yeah - you're free to say what you think. The reason I left a comment at all is that I read you regularly and admire your viewpoints on most things. I hate to see them discredited because people see you in the light of an anti-American conspiracy theorist.

  9. P.S. I would like to see you take the criticism seriously, and not just dismiss it because it seems insulting (and I'm sorry that it does)...

    Whether it is the moon-landing hoax or holocaust denial or whatever other conspiracy theory you find "kooky" - you should spend some time with the literature behind it and see if you can't identify the authors focusing on specific "reasons to believe/doubt", citing pages & pages of "evidence",... basically doing all of the same things that 9/11 Truthers do.

    Yes - they think they are engaged in critical thinking. But they are making mistakes. If you can read them and find their mistakes, it will make it easier for you to identify Griffin's mistakes.

  10. Now John, let's be fair. I didn't say you were a kook. I do think you should take a look at several of Michael Shermer's books as well as Matt Taibbi's most recent. I am, after all, chemist and therefore a professional skeptic. So, if asking questions about the official story about 9/11 is OK, then being similarly skeptical about alternative hypotheses should be OK too, right?

    The website I pointed to regarding moon landings is one of thousands. He's got evidence -- heck it's clear photographic evidence -- that he thinks proves the moon landings were faked. In fact, his evidence seems a lot more concrete than the evidence regarding 9/11.

    So, if it is OK for you to ask questions, then why shouldn't I be able to ask a concrete question and get a concrete answer: how does the evidence you point to regarding 9/11 qualitatively differ in any significant way from those who think that the moon landings were faked? What is the key difference you can point to that would clearly delineate the difference between your theory about 9/11 and his theory about the moon landings?

    BTW, regarding Griffin's Myth #3 counter-argument, he may be a philosopher and theologian, but he's no historian nor scientist. In fact, all the "secrets" he points to were 1) not really all that secret even here in the US (eg. many physicists and chemists knew what was going on with atomic weapon development, even if they weren't involved), 2) not secret at all to any number of foreign intelligence services (eg. Germany knew all about the project), and 3) eventually were found out (eg. the Manhattan Project only stayed secret from its inception around '42 to the dropping of bombs in '45.) And of course, conveniently, the "secrets" he points to all happened before the invention of the internet. His contention that people would remain quiet because of threats doesn't hold a lot of water when detailed documents can be leaked with a high degree of secrecy. Wikileaks has CIA documents from Feb 2010 that they've posted in August. That's 6 months. The Manhattan Project only stayed secret for about 3 years. It's been 9 years since 9/11. Where's the Wikileaks expose on 9/11?

    Again, we have mountains of publicly available evidence of the Bush Administration's staggering incompetence over 8 years in the handling of any number of political, national security, defense, and domestic issues. Why would we assume that this one episode they suddenly and inexplicably not only got it right, but got it completely right and have been able to keep it all secret? Either they were the Keystone Kops for 8 years or they were the Legion of Doom, but they couldn't have been both.

  11. The reason I left a comment at all is that I read you regularly and admire your viewpoints on most things. I hate to see them discredited because people see you in the light of an anti-American conspiracy theorist.

    I appreciate that. Don't think that hasn't crossed my mind, in fact, a lot, for a long time.

    If folks want to discredit whatever I say, one excuse is as good as another. I am sure I will receive a lot of heat and ridicule for this from a lot of quarters.

    It is not that I don't care. I do. But there comes a time when you need to say what you need to say.

    We can talk about "cognitive systems" and so forth or we can talk about actual reasons.

    I think if you would read David Griffin's transcript for instance, to which I linked, you might have questions, disagreements, and so forth. But I don't think you would say he isn't offering a reasonable and reasoned critique of the 9/11 commission report.

  12. And, I really would like to hear why you think, given all the misdirection, subterfuge, lies, and cover-ups that must have taken place for your hypothesis to be correct, how it would be possible that anyone could possibly know anything about 9-11 -- including yourself and the people you cite -- with any accuracy at all.

    If it's all a cover up, then how can you trust the information you have? How do you know it wasn't manufactured by a third party? If the cover-up goes that deep, how do you know it doesn't go at least another layer down?

    Occam's Razor, John. It seems to me that believing a scheme this complex is no more reasonable than believing one that's another order of magnitude more complex.

    In other words, how do you know that David Griffin isn't in on it too?

  13. BTW, John, let me say that I couldn't care less what you believe about 9/11 any more than I care what you believe about the resurrection. And I think you know I mean that in the best way possible. Right thinking on 9/11 (whatever that means) means as little to me as right thinking on Christian doctrine. As we well know, plenty of people in the PCUSA have got their theology right (or they think they do) and believe the conventional wisdom on 9/11 but they're still asses who spend all their time screwing with other people's lives for fun and profit.

    Who would I rather know? Well, I should hope that's obvious.

    So I'm just asking questions.

    People believe all sorts of weird things I'd never believe, but that doesn't mean I think less of them.

    How many of us know someone like this, for example: A guy goes to a doctor and finds out he's got cancer and 6 months to live. He goes for a second opinion and that doctor says 7 months. A third doctor says 5. He goes in for chemo and a year later, the tumor is gone. A year after that, complete remission. A year after that and there's no sign of any cancer at all.

    How many people do we know who would conclude that an invisible God picked them alone out of the millions of sick people in the world and cured them with some invisible healing force rather than conclude that they unfortunately went to 3 doctors who were morons?

    Most people believe weird things. I believe that a hick, penniless, peasant, Jewish carpenter changed the world.

    Just sayin'.

  14. If it's all a cover up, then how can you trust the information you have? How do you know it wasn't manufactured by a third party? If the cover-up goes that deep, how do you know it doesn't go at least another layer down?

    What information do I have?
    If we have doubts (serious doubts) about the 9/11 Commission we can't know anything?

    As far as Griffin is concerned, are you suggesting the governments are incapable of keeping secrets and of lying to their own people?
    Can you not think of these things happening in other countries?

    Is it that impossible to think if leaders within a government are motivated enough that they will fabricate an event in order to convince people of something?

    Is your statement that it can never happen or that it cannot happen in the U.S. or that it didn't happen in this particular situation?

  15. Alan,

    Our comments passed. I appreciate that. If it ends up that each of us just believes weird things the other doesn't, that's just fine!

  16. "If we have doubts (serious doubts) about the 9/11 Commission we can't know anything?"

    I'm saying that if the cover-up is as deep and broad as the folks you point to say it is, then no, we cannot possibly know anything and their theories are just as likely to be just as wrong as the conventional theory. There is no reason to believe that much of the evidence they say they have is not simply made up, either by them or by a third party.

    Frankly, if the US government is corrupt enough to do something like this, what makes you think that another government would not be corrupt enough to invent the evidence that the US government did what these sources say they did?

    You're not saying that other governments are above such dirty tricks, are you? ;)

    "As far as Griffin is concerned, are you suggesting the governments are incapable of keeping secrets and of lying to their own people?"

    Yes, I am saying that they are incapable of keeping secrets and lying to their own people forever. Even the Stasi gave up their secrets eventually. BTW, the Stasi and the Nazis and the USSR and the Iraqi government are examples of 1) the fact that the secrets always come out eventually, and 2) governments always produce and keep incriminating information whether they want to or not.

    "Is your statement that it can never happen or that it cannot happen in the U.S. or that it didn't happen in this particular situation?"

    None of the above. My statement is that eventually concrete evidence will be found to either corroborate the official story, or your story, or some other story, but that it will be concrete and not just speculation and coincidence. Because that is what has always happened.

    It is easy to find examples of secret government conspiracies. What people sometimes fail to acknowledge is that the reason we know about these secret government conspiracies is because nothing ever remains secret forever. In fact, every time someone points to another formerly secret government conspiracy as evidence for the government's ability to keep a secret, they self-evidently erode their own argument.

  17. Just wrote a long comment and got error 304 or something. Basically I said:

    I love ya John. Always will.

    I agree with Alan: too many people in the C-4 conspiracy to keep it a secret. Same thing if you forget the C-4 and just include the air traffic controllers and the folks who sent up and flew the fighters.

    You haven't yet said which part you think is the truth. So let me suggest one that is I think is possible but for which I have no evidence:

    Cheney (not Bush. He fails to be the leader on Alan's reasoning. Or extremely involved either.) somehow got a hold of Al Qaida and asked them to do the job. Maybe even slipped them some money.

    Problem is once again, no real evidence, no smoking gun, no secret tapes. I mean something you could take to court like the Nixon tapes.

    So, love ya John but disagree with ya. Although I have to wonder about the Cheney thing.

    BTW suggest you change your pic for this conversation. :) Just saying.

  18. Why change his pic, Bob? It's not a foil hat. ;^D

  19. Hey Alan and Bob,

    I'll try to be clearer regarding what I am saying and not saying.

    Some basics:

    1) There was a crime.
    2) There was conspiracy to commit murder and it was carried out.
    3) Who were the conspirators?
    4) There are some conspiracy theories. One says some Muslim hijackers did it. Another says leaders in our government are responsible perhaps in some sort of cooperation or allowing it to be carried out. I don't know.
    5) There was no trial. No one has been arrested or punished.
    6) There should be a trial. I advocate for that. I doubt it will ever come. Too much time has past. It is now mostly history.
    7) From the reports that I know about, I find it much more convincing that leaders in our government carried this out. They had both motive and means.
    8) Am I an expert? No. Just a country preacher with an opinion. You know what that's worth.
    9) If I were a member of the jury and was presented with the 911 commission report and Ruppert's book, I would find Ruppert more convincing.
    10) In the end, we have to make our own judgments.
    11) I think when more people allow themselves to question the official report and to look into what some very thorough scholars such as Griffin, Ruppert, and Paul Thompson have been doing, people will begin to have doubts about the story we were told to believe. Perhaps they might be more suspicious and skeptical about what our leaders are doing and want us to do.
    12) That is why I am taking this risk today.

    Thanks for talking with me!

    I love ya too!

  20. My statement is that eventually concrete evidence will be found to either corroborate the official story, or your story, or some other story, but that it will be concrete and not just speculation and coincidence. Because that is what has always happened.

    To that I agree. It may not happen for another 50 years or more. People who carry out a false flag don't have to keep it secret forever, just long enough to fulfill their purposes.

    That is why I advocate today for people to check it out for themselves.

  21. We do know who did it. Al Qaeda operatives did it. Those who planned it admitted to it to an Arab journalist before they were captured in Pakistan.

  22. Rulon - Al Qaeda has been bankrolled by the US for close to 30 years. Just so you know.

    Here are some interesting pieces about our ties to radical Islam:

  23. John

    I'm sorry, but I don't think the track you are on will go anywhere.

    In this country, we are on the slope, down hill. The empire is over. We have declining infrastructure and institutions. We are unwilling to pay for such renovations and upgrades because we think our taxes are to high. We are self absorbed. We are whiners. Our belief that we are entitled to an ever increasing life style, including an abundance of cheap oil, at the expense of the rest of the world is the cause. And if we don't get it it has to be someone else's fault. This is what the church is called confront at this time.

    James Baldwin wrote the we pay for our sins by the lives we live.

    My prayer for you is this does not become an obsession. peace.

  24. Hey John,

    Mike Ruppert might agree with what you say. He has decided the 9/11 business is over. The window for something productive has past. No one cares. 9/11 Truth is a lost cause. We are collapsing NOW and it is time to build lifeboats.

    Don't worry about me, John. This really is not an obsession. It is actually more of a confession.

    Every now and again a person needs to come clean and be honest. I may be wrong. I am very likely not popular. But I am going to be honest with what I think.

    I'll go back to talking about other things and I'll probably come back to this on occasion like I do with my other obsessions--er confessions(unless Ruppert is right and I'm scrounging for food out of a garbage dump this time next year).

    By the way, I take Ruppert very seriously. Not that he is right on everything, he's not, but he has a lot right. He's a modern day Jeremiah wearing an oxen yoke.

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  26. John

    If there is any data in government documents suggesting that the White House was somehow involved it will be available sooner or later at Bush's library.

    Of course he may do what Nixon did. Every year or every few years something becomes available at the Nixon library (like a new tape). My bet is that if there is any evidence Bush and his followers (or leaders as I think in the case of Cheney) were involved that it will only become available long after they all are dead. And I will probably be dead then too.

    See John one the advantages in believing in life after death is that we may have the possibility of finding things out that aren't revealed until after we are dead. :)

  27. John,

    I think you are barking in the right forest but way up the wrong tree. America’s leadership at the time of 9/11 is guilty of many things, but we want to be careful about what. Hubris and arrogance I would say. It’s not so much that there was an intentional desire to let or cause someone to attack us as much as there was an attitude that “they would not dare”.

    And then they did.

    And then it was so obvious that it was going to happen that there was then a true desire to cover up just how unprepared we were. Nobody wanted to be the object of another edition of “At dawn we slept”. But it was the same. Geopolitical events were leading to a high probability of an attack on American soil, maybe even a big one, but most military and political leadership just didn’t have their head in the game. They expected something, just not something so spectacular.

    They aren’t ten feet tall you know. They are just average people standing on top of 10 foot pedestals.

    Now, did Bush always plan to invade Iraq? You bet he did. Long before 9/11 it was known in military circles that we were going to back to Iraq under Bush. Did Bush take advantage of Bin Laden’s attack to do that? Of course. Did Bin Laden have anything to do with Iraq? No. Did Bush knowingly and falsely make it appear as if he did? Yup. And when he had Bin Laden cornered he let him go, probably on purpose. Why? How was he going to milk Bin Laden to invade Iraq if he captured or killed him? The man was most useful for the cause of invading Iraq by remaining free and alive and cursing at us.

    But we would have invaded Iraq no matter what. Bush would have found a reason. If not 9/11 then something else. He must have thought of 9/11 as a gift from God. A sign perhaps, that his cause was just.

    But then they blew the strategy. Invade Iraq and stay there? Invade Afghanistan and stay there? Every Empire on the planet since Alexander the Great has impaled itself on that piece of land!

    A much better strategy would have been to jump into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban, capture Bin Laden, and then leave. Before they new what hit them. The world would have cheered, and the Middle East would have been in awe of our might. It’s much better to negotiate terms when people only imagine what you could do to them then when you give it your best shot and they are still left standing, knowing whatever it is you got they can absorb. Bush made us look week and feeble.

    And the motivation for Iraq? Could be oil, could be father son competition. I personally don’t believe the bad intelligence theory because the LA times kept quoting (on page 10) their own insider intelligence sources that kept saying at the time that there were no WMDs , that the White House was making that up and picking and choosing which intelligence reports they were promoting. Fit the facts to the plan. The French were all aboard with invading Iraq until their own intelligence told them the WMD story was baseless, and they backed out.

    My point is, yes there were conspiracies; yes there were cover-ups, but Hocham’s razor my friend. The most obvious answer, the easiest solution, is usually the right one. 9/11 was exactly what it appeared to be. A plot by a small number of highly motivated and resourceful suicide bombers who picked our pockets that day.

  28. Now wait a minute Jodie. The Mongols held Afghanistan for at least a generation without revolution. Until an Afghani came along, kicked them out, took over the middle east, worked his way through central Asia and was on his way to China when he died.

    Then one of his son's took India and held it til the English came in.

    But still, the Mongols were there for a whole generation.

    In any case splitting your interests while in Afghanistan is really stupid.

    And while we have no proof I like your idea of attacking Iraq being a father/son thing. Bush 1 had the good sense NOT to take Iraq and Saddam Hussein. On the other hand he helped the Kurds and kept on helping but started to help the Shiites and then pulled out when they really needed help. But at least he wanted an Iraqi revolution not a US invasion.

    And yes, conquering Iraq was stupid for a lot of reasons but the most ironic one is that a whole lot LESS Iraqi oil flowed.

    So did Bush/Cheney use 9/11 to attack and hold Iraq? I think so. But it was stupid, just as stupid as staying in Afghanistan.

    So if, as John says, 9/11 was at least in part a US government plot the planners didn't know much about history or strategic thought.

  29. Jodie, thank you. Thank all of you. This is good stuff. This is what needs to happen. Bush told us how important 9/11 was. So if it is an important event we should be talking about it. We should be ripping it apart piece by piece, from every angle, leaving no stone unturned. We should be talking about this over coffee, in clubs, in classes, from the pulpit.

    This event has had incredible effects. As you all admitted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were responses to it. Patriot Act. Making me remove my shoes and all the other indignities we suffer on airplanes. The big deal over Muslims constructing a building in Manhattan.

    Everyday we should be critical about the events. We should create timelines, exegete the 911 Commission report, wonder about the make up of that commission, express curiosity over how the buildings collapsed and talk about exactly what Jodie is talking about.

    We should also talk about why it is we aren't supposed to talk about it. On this very thread, I am being prayed for in regards to my new "obsession" (which has been all of 3-4 posts, I think), advised to change my picture, told that I will lose respect. For what? Talking about the most significant event in my lifetime?

    Jodie, right on about the Bush admin. planning for Iraq and Afghanistan before. They needed a Pearl Harbor. A coincidence that they got one when they did? Occam's Razor says they made it happen.

    But hey, don't take my word for it, and I am sure you won't anyway. Let's check it out.

  30. John,

    President Roosevelt needed a Pearl Harbor. He might even have provoked it. But he didn't force the Empire of Japan to attack, or plan the attack, or even expect one in Hawaii. Japan initiated the attack, and for that they paid a hefty price.

    That is how the game is played. You taunt the other guy to draw first. Then you kill him.

    BTW, nobody questions to this day why it was that we had to declare war on Germany because Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. But if Germany had attacked us would that have led to a declaration of war against Japan? Not so clear.

    The point is, just because FDR needed a casus belli doesn't mean he faked it or was even responsible for it. But once he had one, he used it very effectively.

    Same is true for 9/11.

  31. I'll put this out there: i have no idea what to think about how the 9/11 attacks came about or who exactly was responsible.

    Was it a relatively small group of disgruntled extremists? In my opinion, most likely.

    Was it an inside job? I don't think so, but it's possible.

    Was it encouraged to some degree by how our government postures itself worldwide? I'd say that was a factor either way.

    Was it used by different groups to justify horrible things against others, from the mocking extremists, to those who want to vilify Muslims (and anyone who isn't a straight white American Christian) in general, to US government officials twisting it for blame and power? You betcha!

    I do agree that we should talk about it, try to heal past the unjustified hate brought by fear and brainwashing, and continue to see what we can do to finally heal some past this and bring more people to justice without continued knee-jerk hate reactions.

    And of course, we should see what we can do to keep this from happening again, though i don't know if humanity can do that, no matter how many freedoms are taken away or how "diplomatic" we may try to become. It's too instinctual for us to become tribal and warlike, and i think many people who try to go into politics are powerhungry for that. Deep down, we're still wired to fight and defend, even if there's no justifiable reason to act out on it.

  32. Jodie

    I think there is at least some evidence that Washington knew about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and that maybe the commander of forces in Hawaii knew too. I would have to look that up.

    As for Germany, the answer is simple. Hitler declared war on us. Talking about stupid things that national leaders should not do! The last thing Hitler needed was the US in the European war. Of course he was following his mutual protection treaty with Japan.

    Attacking Russia is a different question. That war would have happened sooner or later anyway. I suspect he figured Britain was on the ropes so he wasn't going to have a two front war. (Although the US was "lending" war supplies to Britain like you wouldn't believe. Fixed our economy too.

    But Russia is another one of those places you don't want to attack, reason being it is just too big. And Russian governments are willing to sacrifice millions of Russian soldiers to win wars.

  33. I think there is at least some evidence that Washington knew about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and that maybe the commander of forces in Hawaii knew too. I would have to look that up.


    I wonder if there is any evidence that Bush/Cheney had foreknowledge...

  34. "But Russia is another one of those places you don't want to attack, reason being it is just too big."

    He fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line"! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha...

    Sorry, couldn't resist

  35. Hi John.

    I haven't been spending much time in cyberspace but that will probably change now that it is past Labor Day and an incredibly busy and delightful summer is passing into history.

    I have become a Diamond this summer! You might become one too. I am talking about Marina and the Diamonds now touring the USA and Canada but not close enough for me to see her live. I just can't get enough of her album, THE FAMILY JEWELS.

    And then there's Goldfrapp.

    But now on to your post.


    I take you very seriously and, so, I will seriously consider your thoughts. Whether or not the attack was an inside job, it certainly has caused incredible harm to freedom and democracy around the planet. I am so glad you re-posted your original 2001 message because, you are right, you were extremely prophetic and that is even too painful to bear.

  36. Have you seen INVICTUS? I would love to see the leaders of the "free" world reach the level of forgiveness and reconciliation Nelson Mandela attained. Maybe we could then begin to deal with the enormous problems facing the planet with a much better attitude. The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu and Baclav Havel come to mind as well.

  37. Don't miss Enter the Haggis if they ever get near you. An amazing Toronto band doing Celtic, World and Rock.

  38. Hey John! Glad your back! Hope you had a great summer. I haven't heard of Marina and the Diamonds so I will check them out.

    For me a sign of hope is that the person who has taken this on in terms of scholarship and research is a theologian. David Ray Griffin does it because he has been trained as a theologian and is a person of faith.

    I haven't met him but I hope to some day. As I watch him through the various speeches he has given and are recorded on video, I think that he is exactly what a theologian should be about, searching and speaking truth to power. I am not saying everything he says is true. I don't know. I don't want to elevate him on a pedestal. As I watch him, I see a deeply sincere joyful person.

    I also think he is very measured and careful. He is looking at evil at its darkest and speaking the truth that he knows. That is precisely what theology is about, at least as I see it.

  39. Might I recommend the book The Looming Tower to cast serious skepticism on the lunacy of David Ray Griffin.

    This is an incredibly well researched, well written account by New Yorker vet Lawrence Wright. Wright did years of painstaking research to produce this brief, yet definitive account of the events leading up to 9/11, stretching back to the 1940s. David Ray Griffin cannot be said to have met those same standards, and quite frankly is an utter embarrassment.

  40. Thank you, Fergus. I have that book and I will read it. "Lunacy" and "embarrassment" you say. I don't find that to be the case. I do wish Griffin made more of a connection to Peak Oil as Michael Ruppert has done.