$56.00 donated in past month
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Anti-War
THE 9-11 REPORT: WHAT BUSH IS HIDING & THE POLITICIZATION OF 9-11
San Francisco Bay Area_Veterans for Peace, Chapter 69
THE 9-11 REPORT: WHAT BUSH IS HIDING & THE POLITICIZATION OF 9-11
Recently you may have heard about how the 9-11 report is being withheld, suppressed and an attempt is underway to classify this report by President George W. Bush. Some might ask what is Mr. Bush hiding? Here is what I think the report says and what they are hiding: I do not believe there was any sort of conspiracy. What I do believe is that Mr. Bush and the government he leads was grossly negligent which allowed 9-11 to happen. What they are really hiding is their gross incompetence characterized by the bureaucratic red-tape, poor managerial oversight, and lack of fluid interdepartmental communication that, had this information been properly synthesized and communicated freely, would have sent up red-flags and alerted us to the imminent danger posed by the threat of probable terrorist attacks. This threat was identified as early as the summer of 2001. In short, enough information was clearly available and warnings were voiced by agents at the FBI well in advance to the tragic events of 9-11. However, despite the known threat level that had been clearly identified, other detailed and relevant information that possibly could have prevented 9-11 was not shared cooperatively between Federal agencies due in part to long-standing turf-wars, interdepartmental squabbles and a general lack of fluid communication between intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
Thus, by failing to properly share vital information that indicated a lurking terrorist threat in conjunction with the failure of George W. Bush to either recognize the warnings and threat level identified by these agencies or by his failure to erect an appropriate defense mechanism against such a threat level indicates a failure to exercise strong and responsible leadership. In my view, the big revelation of the 9-11 report is that the government either ignored an alarming threat level or failed to craft an appropriate defense against it. Either the Bush Administration dropped the ball or the government proved once again its long-standing dilemma whereby their right hand doesn’t know what their left hand is doing. The reason why I think Bush is withholding the 9-11 report is due to the embarrassing and politically damaging revelation that such a report would likely reveal. In light of the fact that adequate information existed that warned of an imminent, potential, and large-scale terrorist threat against the United States, I challenge the notion that our civil liberties had any impact on the events surrounding the attack on September11. I think the revocation of many of our rights and liberties made possible by passing the nefarious Patriot Act is unjustified, unfair and legally questionable. Furthermore , I believe that our government’s failure to detect a terrorist plot or their failure to craft an effective net against it is where the problem lies and the blame should rest. I think revoking our civil liberties is a clear sign that this government desires greater power at the expense of our liberty and cares less than they claim for our collective security. Since enough ‘red-flag” information was clearly available, I question our governments decision, Bush’s decision, to arbitrarily revoke the civil liberties of the people given that the failure of September 11 was due to the government’s failure to capitalize upon known intelligence information by promoting fluidity between governmental agencies by sharing information and synthesizing that information appropriately in order to effectively craft and erect adequate defenses against known terrorist threats. Frankly, I find the government’s and Bush’s attempt to blame us for their mistake offensive and deserving of a public apology from them to us along with an immediate rescinding of the nefarious Patriot Act in its entirety.
Ever since that tragic September day nearly two years ago on the 11th when the carnage from the collapsing Twin Towers did unfold before us, I have felt compelled to spend time thinking about hard questions, ideas and potential solutions to contain the scourge of international terrorism. While I do not have all the answers, I have a few suggestions. As I continue to reflect on that fateful day, I become more aware that many basic questions still have yet to be asked and answered. The reason why some of these questions need to be asked is due to the failure of our elected politicians, (who masquerade around as “leaders” even though they are most often mere followers of polls than leaders of people), chose not to ask hard questions about September 11. It is critical for us to address hard questions that may help us better identify the causes of terrorism so that we may curb it. Asking relevant questions will enable us to discover the roots of terrorism, what it is; how it develops; and why it happens. I feel that in order to do justice to those who perished that fateful September day, we must as citizens assume the responsibility of asking and answering critical questions that may help us find the means to curb terrorist acts. To not ask any questions does a great injustice to those whom we lost on 9-11. Also, we must avoid accepting such ridiculous claims like “they attacked us because of our freedom” because such over-simplicity dishonors those who died. We know it is not that simple. So in order to do right and honest and affirm that the 9-11 deaths are not in vain, we must ask difficult questions about what terrorism is, how it can be curbed, and what range of factors create the conditions that drive people into terrorism. Lastly, we must find ways to protect our society without sacrificing our freedoms and liberties which make us who we are as a people. We must remember that our government has proven soundly and consistently that it is untrustworthy with respect to respecting civil liberties. We should distrust the government when matters of liberty are at issue. Further, since the government was aware of terrorist activity before the events of 9-11 unfolded and failed to act upon those signs, then that seems to clearly demonstrate that our liberties never contributed to the actions of the terrorists. To me, this fact demonstrates that bureaucratic red-tape and communications issues in the intelligence and law-enforcement community’s is the principal cause of their failure to protect us from terrorist acts. In order to do justice and honor those who perished, we must think independently about how to curb terrorism without creating bands of new terrorists who will likely emerge if our foreign policy rots into a perpetual war. We must be on guard against relinquishing freedoms for it was not us who caused 9-11. To pose no questions at all to the government about these issues would be a shameful dishonor to those who perished on 9-11, to our Founding Fathers who created Democracy and to ourselves by failing to uphold our duty as citizens. It is our citizen’s obligation to resist, question, express dissent when we disagree and speak freely in our country. If the government does not approve, well too bad, this is what America is all about. Deal with it or get over it.
Due to the obvious vacuum of leadership in our country today that asks few questions, I will take the initiative and ask a few questions: 1) How does terrorism come become a political weapon? What causes it? 2) What socio-economic factors and cultural elements create such animosity that leads a person to become a terrorist? 3) What life circumstances in society cause such intense anger and fanatic devotion that motivates a person to inflict violence, pain and death upon other human beings? 4) How can we curb the occurrence of terrorism in the world? 5) How can we best utilize the most effective tools at our disposal, government and otherwise, to protect people from the scourge of terrorist acts without comprising our human right to live free? 6) How can we best diminish such emotional intensity that drives people to kill, maim, and hurt other human beings? 7) Can we identify common elements between all terrorists that would help explain some of the basic root causes that drive a person toward such hatred and violence and thus help us craft creative solutions to steer people away from terrorism? Can we give them opportunities and outlets to express discontent without resorting to violence? 8) How can we best diminish acts of terrorism in the world today? 9) Is it realistic to think that one day our efforts to diminish terrorism will result in a total cease of all acts of terrorism for all time? 10) Put another way, is it realistic to think that one day all the criminals will come out with their hands up and crime will never again exist in the world…Is that realistic? 11) Is our goal of eradicating terrorism any more realistic than the goal of ceasing all crime? 12) Is terrorism really different from combat with the exception that terrorism is carried out by individuals whereas wars are carried out by states? 13) Isn’t war also a form of terrorism considered different only because it is state-sanctioned? 14) If Osama bin Laden were a President of an Arab State and used the weapons of that country’s military forces to attack another country, would it be considered terrorism or a war? 15) How would that differ from President Bush using our military? Both actions are the same actions aren’t they? 16) Is attacking foreign nations going to worsen the problem of terrorism since when our bombs fall on civilians we cultivate new generations of terrorists? 17) If an American bomb fell on your family, would you then love America or hate it? Why should Iraqi’s be any different? They are equal human beings to us aren’t they? 18) What sense is there in attacking foreign nations when terrorism is a product of individuals and small groups? 19) Since we all have a far greater chance of being killed in a car wreck than in a terrorist act, does it really make sense to hand over all of our liberties to the government when they had all of the evidence to stop the attacks but simply failed to act? Why should we pay for their mistakes? Shouldn’t we question their motives and resist unjustified grabs of power? 20) How can we best protect ourselves from terrorism? 21) Could it be possible that sacrificing liberties does not make us safer? Why should we trust the government especially when the Department of Homeland Security is being abused? Shouldn’t we monitor and question the government and revolt against them when we feel they are wrong? Isn’t individuality what America is all about? I will offer what I think is the best way to deal with terrorism near the end of this essay.
Now that I have asked some basic questions, allow me to address some of my principal concerns: First, I feel that George W. Bush did purposefully lead us, the American people to believe that waging perpetual military war upon certain nations of the world, as opposed to pursuing individual terrorist’s perpetrators, would be the best way to curb individuals from engaging in acts of terrorism. That makes no sense to me. Chase individuals not nations. Furthermore, by pronouncing the ridiculous claim that terrorists attacked us because they “hate our freedom,” President Bush has purposefully misled Americans away from the asking questions that would uncover root causes of terrorism. He tries to manipulate the American people this way in order to divert them from asking hard questions and investigating the historically ugly nature of past U.S. foreign policy. This attempt to mislead the American people illustrates how George W. Bush is failing to prosecute terrorism effectively as I will explain in a moment. In order to best do justice to the victims of the 9-11 tragedy, we should be leading the citizenry to ask such questions as above and begin addressing the real reasons that motivate terrorists to carry out their vicious acts. Failing to do so is a failure to effectively prosecute terrorists.
Don’t you think perpetual war is more likely to exacerbate terrorism as opposed to curbing it? I mean think about it. When little kids watch their mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters get blown to smithereens from falling American bombs, isn’t that more likely to fill them with hate and anger? If your family was killed, would you hate who did it? Hypothetical: If American bombs were killing your family and Saudi Arabians were feeding your family, then wouldn’t you likely hate the Americans and love the Saudi’s? I think the reason we were attacked has nothing to do with “freedom.” Rather, it has to do with bombs falling from the sky, sanctions that kill hundreds of thousands of people, an Occupation that is very demoralizing for a sovereign people and nation such as Iraq, and years of murderous, interventionist, nosy covert operations that have overthrown governments, caused chaos and killed many people. Our foreign policy program is murderous and then when blowback occurs our politicians cry about how freedom is under attack. It’s a load of bullshit like most things politicians say. Aren’t years of meddling in the affairs of sovereign nations a valid reason for some to hate the U.S.? I think so. I mean let’s be real: When was the last time you ever thought of or hated anyone’s freedom in another country? Take Amsterdam for example: A person can walk into any coffee shop and smoke a harmless joint. That is because Holland is freer than the U.S. I don’t hate them for that; in fact, I think the Dutch are pretty cool people. The argument we are hated because of our freedom is major load of crap. Once again, George W. Bush is selling a lemon and lying to you, the American people.
Unfortunately, most Americans eat the freedom line up, not because Americans are stupid because many are not, but because most Americans hold certainty dearer than truth. (Even though holding truth dearer is infinitely harder to do and a far more respectable position to be in as I see it). That is, many Americans simply cannot believe that their political leaders act in such a deplorable fashion. Further, I think that many also understand that political leaders are but mere puppets for some corporate money-makers like the oil and military industries who are widely known for their morally bankrupt ways, since they are but poor beggars of principles and standards, for while they have lots of money they lack basic moral standards and as such are the moral sludge of our society.
What I find truly deplorable about Bush’s misleading statements can be summed up this way: President Bush has intentionally tried to mislead the American people and convince them that perpetual warfare is the best means to curb terrorism. Mr. Bush has also politically manipulated the tragedy of September 11 to favor his business interests and the corporate sluts that fund the Republicans. Consequently, the questions that would flush out the root causes of terrorism remain unanswered. Mr. Bush instead opts to use counter-productive policy of unprovoked warfare against sovereign nations as the chief vehicle to curb terrorism by individuals. It makes no sense unless you begin to ask if building an Empire is what they are really after, not terrorism. However, his approach is designed to enrich those corporations most closely connected to Bush such as the oil companies and military arms manufacturers (merchants of death for dollars). I am sure the families of the dead from 9-11, not to mention the soldiers, will feel great about Halliburton’s and Bechtel’s new business from the Iraq war. Again, sludge profits. In my opinion, Mr. Bush has brought great shame and dishonor upon those who died at the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon because he chose to avoid addressing the root causes of terrorism; he chose to cynically manipulate the population by uttering such stupid claims like “they hate our freedom” fairytale. Mr. Bush, for you to so shamelessly use the tragedy of September 11 for political purposes by enriching those most closely connected to you; and for your party to use the tragedy of September 11 to stage the upcoming Republican Party’s national convention in New York on 9-11, I question your ability to lead this nation since I feel that such shameless politicization of such a tragic day in American history is truly deplorable, tasteless and incredibly disrespectful toward those who died and deserving of a public apology. I cannot stress how truly disgusting, repulsive and dishonorable I find the action of politicizing 9-11. Those who politicize 9-11 obviously do so because of their lack of conscience, lack of compassion and lack of human feeling which explains such their callous emotional nature. Such opportunistic politicization of an American tragedy to advance election ends is, in my opinion, reflective of a set of moral values better suited for a rat.
It only goes to show that once again, this Administration is grossly insensitive and self-centered since they shamelessly continue to use tragic events to engage in cheap political stunts. This only demonstrates their moral corruption, insensitivity, lack of compassion and lack of regard for basic human life. These are the values that mark this President and his Republican Party who seem to cares more for money, wealth and business than for basic human life (unless of course we are talking fetuses). And in the case of a fetus, I am sure that for Mr. Bush they only will care that the fetus is not aborted, while at the same time they offer no solution about who is going to take care of all the masses of children that will suddenly be around if abortion is outlawed. I am quite sure they will then also oppose Health Care for children since they obviously feel that killing a fetus is wrong but letting a kid die of a disease because Mom had no State health insurance is morally acceptable. At least that is the kind of typical Christian-Right hypocrisy usually uttered from these narrow-minded folks. Perhaps, the lack of high standards by such groups influences the Republican Party and contributes to the irresponsible leadership that marks today’s Republican Party. Why Democrats want to be more like Republicans is beyond me. If they become too much like the Republicans, then what we have before us is a neo-fascist State concealed by a transparent appearance of a two-party system. Fortunately, we progressives are going to break up the party as we intend to move in and reclaim the Democratic Party, driving a wedge between Democrats and Republicans, like it or not. We will win this fight so prepare for change. We can find commonality with centrist Democrats and we can inspire them to think big, be brave and speak out freely. Now Democrats who wish to become Republicans should get out of the Party. If you wish to be more like Republicans then take your lack of moral values, your cowardice, and your lack of regard for human life and go join the Party that celebrates those lowly values. Ever since Democrats started looking like Republicans, America has been looking like a neo-fascist State. But folks like myself are leading the rebellion to renew American Democracy and reclaim the Democratic Party. We will endeavor to succeed and we will. This government is owned by the people, for the people and of the people. Period. We aim to prove it.
Here are some of my ideas to best cope with international terrorism:
1) Rely heavily on the CIA and FBI to curb international terrorism and collaborate with foreign intelligence services (because we do not know it all). This will likely open information sharing venues and help us better access and synthesize data critical to the process of finding and detecting terrorist plots. It will also allow us to construct a vast web of intelligence in conjunction with foreign intelligence services. Most importantly, LISTEN to your people, ANALYSTS AND AGENTS, at the CIA and the FBI. These people know what they're talking about. Depend on them for quality information and expert analyses. If however all you want is to have smoke blown up your rear, I am sure Rumsfeld's DIA office or Wolfwitz's OSP office can accomodate. But for accurate, detailed, thorough, and deeply analyzed quality information go to best and rely on the true professionals and expertise: Listen to the CIA and the FBI.
2) Address economic issues such as poverty rates in Arab nations (which is a clear factor of despair that may give rise to terrorism) and offer greater foreign aid. You get a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar. Foreign aid instead of invasion is better able to engender foreign peoples to our values and our culture without having to spend countless billions on immorally invading and occupying them illegally. We can more effectively disperse Americanization via economic development and diplomatic exchange. Military conflict is only guaranteed to cause father-son relationships between Occupiers and the Occupied, strain international alliances and destroy the good will of nations and likely spurn resentment from those who have been invaded and occupied. It is a really dumb way to build an empire, frankly. Rely more on economic tools and demonstrate our values in deed to win respect from other nations and illustrate to them that we are willing to defend our interests and their interests by working interdependently with them and building relationships based on trust and mutual understanding. Stop being so pushy and listen to others. We do not know it all but by collaborating with foreign nations we will usher in a new era of successful economic development as we fuse economic and intelligence networks to build mutually beneficial economic relationships and secure intelligence networks. Avoid war at all costs and respect the sovereignty of foreign nations. Economic cooperation and fusion is a win-win situation. Military imperialism is harmful both to those being invaded and to our economic future too. Military imperialism also damages our credibility and reputation to show restraint. When one has real power, they demonstrate real strength by showing restraint, choosing cooperation over conflict. Unfortunately, when an ego-driven cabal of cowards and liars run the government, our policies are irresponsibly implemented with undue arrogance devoid of honor.
3) Do not use a sledgehammer approach to deal with terrorism. Terrorists are shadowy individuals. Using a big military approach is similar to using a sledgehammer on a bee-hive. You might get a few bees but you are also going to get stung. Treat terrorists like a malignant tumor and take great care to cut it out without damaging adjoining organs, metaphorically speaking. Utilize intelligence, law enforcement, and collaborations with foreign nations and Special Operations forces only when necessary.
4) Work with the international community and try to obey international law. This will help earn us the respect of foreign nations and will likely open doors of cooperation which could be very helpful in broadening and strengthening our intelligence networks.
5) Accept that the U.S. government screwed up in the days leading up to 9-11. Dear U.S. Government; Our Government: Leave us, the American people, alone and return our liberty to us. You are blaming our freedom for your failure and incompetence. Further encroachment on our liberty could be considered state-sponsored subversion of the Constitution. Such encroachment will elicit solid resistance. A government lacking a Constitutional mandate is illegitimate and should be treated as such and ignored. In light of the Patriot Act and its son-in-waiting, the people must take it upon themselves to be the guardians of their liberty and fight hard to restore liberty stolen without good cause for its revocation. Together we must fight to protect Democracy and our right to liberty. We must try to stop the FCC from opening the doors to media consolidation. Such actions could cause significant harm to Democracy by narrowing the viewpoints expressed via media outlets. If the FCC de-regulates the media on June 2, first boycott your television by refusing to watch it and second begin then urging Congress to bring anti-trust legislation against media monopolies. Monopolies are anti-thetical to the free-market economy and healthy competition. Also try to understand that this country belongs to American citizen’s first and corporations second. If corporations wish to have the same rights as individuals, fine, but at the end of day my voice is equal to Ford, Bechtel, or Nike, I assure you. Take ownership over your country and help guide it into the future. Remember that Resistance is NOT futile and we are not the BORG. Resist the collective mind. Think for yourself, feel free to disagree and make no apology for it.
6) Develop a plan for enhancing a fluid communication exchange between all relevant agencies that handle potential terrorist data. Constantly nurture such relationships to foster interdepartmental cooperation and synthesis of pertinent data relevant to terrorist threats.
7) Take a serious review of past foreign policy and consider the consequences of actions beyond simply the current market quarter. Develop and stick to a long-term plan that is both sustainable and can serve as a guidepost for the conduct of future foreign policy and erect a plan rooted in solid values even if they cannot always be maintained. Try. At least try. Resist pressure from corporations to carry out barbaric foreign policies such as the Death Squads currently being funded and trained by the CIA in Bolivia, or the mercenaries they are paying to fly and drop chemicals for Dyncorp over Columbia, or infiltrating Chavez’s cabinet, or other such interventions which only demonstrate the lack values and standards within our foreign policy program. Also, try to fund the CIA and FBI better since they currently are forced to scramble for adequate budgets to meet the new challenge of international terrorism. For example, you know those $300 toilet seats that the Army purchases? They are actually $10 for the seat while $290 is funneled into Black Ops, (Covert Operations). Provide these agencies with adequate budgets and get them out of the business of finding money in questionable ways, like for instance their historical reliance on illicit drug profits and other such unethical practices common among several noted government agencies.
8) Allocate money for the areas of the homeland that really need extra security and protection such as airports, boat ports, ports-of-entry, bridges, among other venues. Try not to use fear to intimidate people for what comes around goes around. And remember using fear as a weapon against dissent will earn you a solid response. Respect freedom and American Democracy and the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship.
SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER
REFUSE TO FEAR YOUR GOVERNMENT; YOU OWN YOUR GOVERNMENT
OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND SPEAK YOUR MIND!
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT AND OUR COUNTRY IS AS MUCH OURS AS IT IS BUSH'S OR ANY OF HIS BUDDIES. WE ARE ALL EQUAL. WE ALL PUT OUR PANTS ON THE SAME WAY. WE ARE MORE THAN MERE CONSUMERS, WE ARE AMERICAN CITIZENS AND THE RIGHTFUL OWNERS AND MASTERS OF THIS GOVERNMENT AND THIS COUNTRY. TAKE OWNERSHIP OVER YOUR COUNTRY AND YOUR GOVERNMENT. DEMAND THAT THEY SERVE YOU.
TRUST THEM NOT AND FEAR THEM NOT. SPEAK OPENLY WITHOUT APOLOGY.
Live free or die.
Below I share with you, my fellow American citizens, and some internet informational tools to help guide you in your patriotic pursuits as you remember your obligation as citizens to care for and watch over our common United States.
ALTERNATE SOURCES OF NEWS FOR YOU
My preferred 2004 Presidential Website:
Other Presidential Websites:
My Top Five Favorite Sites:
(The world is full of tragedy so take a moment to enjoy a good laugh now and then)
Radio and Television Programs in your Area:
NEWS sites - Non-Partisan
NEWS-sites - Liberal Perspective
NEWS-sites - Conservative Perspective
Veterans / Peace Issues
Good Organizations to Join or Follow:
Religion-Based Organizations to Join or Follow:
Eric E. Johansson
Ex-US Army Paratrooper and Infantryman
President, SF Bay Area Veterans for Peace, Chapter 69
San Francisco, CA
"There is no way to peace. Peace is the way." ---A.J. Muste
“Loyalty is the realization that America was born of revolt, flourished in dissent, became great through experimentation. Our tradition is one of protest and revolt, and it is stultifying to celebrate the rebels of the past while we silence the rebels of the present.”
---Henry Steele, Historian
"My pacifism is not based on any intellectual theory but on a deep antipathy to every form of cruelty and hatred." --Albert Einstein
"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official."
---Theodore Roosevelt, REPUBLICAN PARTY
"The world stands on three pillars: The truth, the justice and the peace. And these three are indeed one. When justice is served, truth is served, peace is served"
---Rabbi Shimon Ben-Gamliel, Talmudic sage
"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary." --Sir Cecil Beaton