Did Bush Know?
"Let us never tolerate outrageous
conspiracy theories concerning the attacks
of September the 11th."
- President Bush, speaking to the United Nations.
Several months ago I discovered Paul Thompson's now-famous timeline of the
events of Sept. 11. I then had trouble sleeping for days. The timeline isn't some
conspiratorial screed, but rather a readable, meticulous, relentless, well-documented
minute-by-minute account of the fateful day, laying out each fact and event
in a clear manner that is hard to find elsewhere. If you read only one thing
in this issue, read the timeline.
The timeline raises salient questions, such as: Why did Bush continue reading a story to an elementary school class for half an hour after he learned America was under attack? His Chief of Staff Andy Card walks up, interrupts Bush to tell him America has come under attack, then walks away without even waiting for a response. (Watch the video). Card seems to be delivering a routine
notification of an expected development, not shocking news. No one looks surprised. Bush could have immediately ordered fighter jets to track - but not necessarily shoot down - the other planes that were already known to be hijacked. But instead, plane after plane crashes while the world's most advanced, responsive air force sits idle. Yes, even the Pentagon itself, the nerve center of the world's top military, seated in the most protected airspace on the planet, does nothing as a large airliner takes an hour to approach, descend, and crash... Were they waiting for it to happen?
This issue of Garlic & Grass raises these and other highly controversial questions in an effort to shine on 9-11 the same unstinting light it has shone on electoral reform and media consolidation. Had there been a full investigation into how and why the 9-11 massacre took place - an investigation that is routine for every other plane crash - G&G might not need to ask these questions today. But the White House has stonewalled every effort to investigate how and why 9-11 happened, and we're left to assume someone has something to hide, as scary as it sounds. Could Bush have had impeachable foreknowledge that he sat on, in order to use 9-11 as a pretext for going forward with war in Afghanistan and passage of the Patriot Act? Both of these items were planned before September 2001.
One has to wonder whether the administration itself even believes its own story. If Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda really did it on their own, why are we attacking Iraq? Bush never mentions Al Qaeda anymore, Osama bin Laden has gotten away completely, and we now hear that Saddam Hussein and Iraq are our greatest threats. Iraq has done nothing to us.
The only thing we know is that nothing has been proven thus far in the non-investigation. All possibilities remain open. And as we look back at history, we see that fake terrorism has been used numerous times to
start wars and subvert democracy. Michael Rivero's article looks at this tradition. Indeed, conclusive evidence now reveals the Gulf of Tonkin incident that started the Vietnam War was fabricated. We once armed and trained Osama bin Laden as an ally; perhaps he remains our secret operative.
Or perhaps it really was an evil Al-Qaeda, acting alone.
But the time has come to investigate 9-11 with open minds. We should inquire, like a judge and jury: who had a motive for the massacre, who had the capability to do it, who benefited, and what does the evidence say?
Ultimately, as we hurtle into the "War on Terrorism," which we're told will be endless and which appears to mean an epoch of preventative wars and disappearing civil rights, we should endeavor to know how it all began. It is our duty as American citizens to know why it is that we must make these sacrifices and suffer this new age of war and lost liberty.
Tony Brasunas is publisher of Garlic & Grass.
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