Celsius 9-11 — Even Hotter than Michael Moore
Fahrenheit 9-11 is a timely film. Michael Moore breaks the sound barrier on many controversial political issues — and so some folks now swear the film must be full of lies. Surprise, surprise. G&G checked it out, and all of the movie's assertions are indeed the real, unembellished truth.
In fact, as it turns out, Moore soft-pedals the movie's most explosive scene: Bush's behavior on 9-11 itself. Moore lets Bush off the hook. What was really happening in that classroom? Bush sits there, pretending to listen to second graders read about a girl's pet goat. The camera zooms in on Bush's face. He looks confused, scared, and powerless — and it probably isn't anything about the goat. He knows one plane has hit the World Trade Center and another has been hijacked. Several minutes later, he's notified that the second plane has also crashed into the World Trade Center. Bush just nods. He appears to have expected the news. He resumes reading. And at this point, Moore lets Bush off the hook.
Remember Booker Elementary
Before Bush went into the classroom at Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida, at 8:55 that morning, a journalist asked him whether he had heard about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center. Bush responded, "I'll have something about it later." Then, at 8:58, he was taken into a secure communications room that had been set up in an unused classroom, and he was briefed by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice about the World Trade Center situation. She must have told him that another plane was hijacked, since United Flight 175, which would hit the WTC at 9:03, was definitely then known to have been hijacked. The Pentagon had been notified as early as 8:43.
So, as Bush proceeds into the classroom to sit for 20 minutes and read along in "The Pet Goat," with a class of second graders, he knows another hijacked airliner is on its way...somewhere.
Think about this for a moment. Why doesn't he leave the school? Bush and his Secret Service must have known Bush wasn't a target. This elementary school photo op had been announced long in advance — the date and time had been well publicized. Dozens of protestors had known enough to show up at the right time and place to harangue the president. Bush was a sitting duck. If he had truly been concerned for the safety of the children, he would have left the school immediately — or never even gone in. But Bush goes forward with the plan exactly as scheduled. How were he and his Secret Service so confident Bush was not a target?
Part way through "The Pet Goat," around 9:05, right after the second plane had slammed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center and
begun to burn, Andrew Card, Bush's Chief of Staff, approached Bush and whispered in his ear. He supposedly whispered, "A second plane has hit the World Trade Center. America is under attack." In any event, whatever it was that Andrew Card said, it wasn't enough to get Bush to excuse himself from the reading. Bush continues to sit there stationary for 12 more minutes. He listens to the children read aloud, "A—girl—got—a—pet—goat. She—played—with—her—pet—goat—in—her—house."
Perhaps since Bush already knew a second plane had been hijacked, he wasn't too surprised to hear it had flown into the World Trade Center. Maybe this is why he just nodded when he got the news. He seemed to take it as an expected development. Yet within moments a deep, conflicted, confusion comes over his face. It's an expression that is truly disturbing.
And as the video footage rolls, Bush goes from nervous and fidgety to pale and distant. This is where Michael Moore lets Bush off the hook. His voiceover at this point, while damning in its own way, is actually an apology of sorts. "Maybe Bush is thinking he should've read the security briefing that was given to him on August 6, 2001, which said that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes." But the obvious question, based on Bush's calm nods and sickly grimaces, is, Did Bush already know? Yet Moore quickly moves on. The camera pans to Bush's handlers, Andrew Card and Ari Fleischer, who appear intensely, breathlessly riveted as they monitor Bush's behavior. Their behavior, too, is mystifying, to say the least.
Perhaps Bush is thinking to himself, "OK, stay quiet. Look calm. Everything is happening just as they said it would."
This is a horrifying thing to contemplate, right? Bush — even Bush — wouldn't let something like 9-11 happen, right? We are almost psychologically wired not to contemplate this. Not to even think about it.
But we must. Something is amiss, and it's staring us in the face.
After the reading is finally finished, Bush gets up and poses for photos alongside the class's teacher, Sandra Kay Daniels. He sneaks his arm around her waist and smiles for the camera, grinning as if he doesn't have a care in the world. For a moment, he's comfortable in his role again — the charismatic people's politician. In the back of the room, handler Ari Fleischer catches Bush's eye and holds up a pad of paper for him to read. "DON'T SAY ANYTHING YET" is written on it in big block letters. And indeed Bush keeps quiet on the hijackings. Three minutes later, photo op completed, Bush finally leaves the classroom. At this point, both of the Twin Towers have been burning for 14 minutes.
The Hottest Questions
One obvious question is why hadn't that footage of Bush been widely seen before Fahrenheit 9-11? It's fascinating and has long been available on the Internet, yet no broadcast or cable TV news station ever picked it up.
Also, why has Bush never really been questioned about his behavior on 9-11? Perhaps the answer to this is fairly obvious. Bush hasn't been questioned about his behavior — or any of this — because he appointed both the chairman and the director of the 9-11 Commission that is charged with the investigation. The one time Bush has spoken with the Commission, he refused to testify under oath. The Commission let him off the hook.
When, over a year later, Bush finally agreed to set up a 9-11 Commission, he only gave it $3 million. This could buy quite a few copies of "The Pet Goat," but $3 million doesn't go anywhere in investigating a major international, political event like 9-11. The investigation into the crash of the Columbia, which killed seven people, was allocated $50 million. After considerable public pressure, and after sustained outcry from 9-11 widows and family members, Bush agreed to give the commission $11 million, but not a penny more. He's limited the time allotted for the Commission to do its work, and at other key moments the Bush Administration has denied Commission members the security clearance necessary just to review relevant documents.
Stephen Push, a leader of the 9-11 victims' families, maintains the White House has obstructed the Commission from day one. "They've never wanted the Commission," says Push. "I feel the White House has always been looking for a way to kill it without having their finger on the murder weapon."
More Hot Questions
In one sense, what else needs to be said? Why on earth has Bush blocked and evaded an investigation into 9-11? Yet, disturbing questions arise from every part of the official story. Why weren't the four hijacked airliners challenged in the air as they flew around the east coast for nearly two hours? Was the Air Force truly unprepared? In 2000, fighter jets had taken to the air to intercept airliners on 129 occasions for slight deviations from their flight paths or for improper radio communication protocol. The average time it took to intercept was 11 minutes. Also, why did the Twin Towers explode into microscopic dust? And why was the hole in the Pentagon too small for a 757 to fit into — and why was the debris around the Pentagon so light?
I could go on and on, but, again, these can be scary things to contemplate. We must approach them responsibly. Still, we must approach them. The problems in the official story are numerous and enormous, and the damage inflicted on our psyches, our nation, and our planet by the events of 9-11 and by what has transpired in response, is far too great to ignore.
Regular readers of G&G will remember that our third issue asked, 'Did Bush Know?' In that issue, we investigated with open minds some of the disturbing questions about the events of 9-11. We concluded then that because of the discrepancies, a full, public investigation was absolutely necessary. But in the sixteen months since, there has been no full investigation. We've watched the 9-11 Commission closely,
but it's a Bush Administration creation and we've had fears about its independence from its inception. Sure enough, as this issue of G&G goes live, the Commission is now prepared to conclude that 9-11 was merely a result of intelligence failures about al Qaeda. The Commission will probably recommend expanded surveillance, an increased intelligence budget, and a cabinet-level Intelligence Czar, or something along those lines.
Frankly, we come to you now with our answer. To the question, 'Did Bush Know?' G&G can only conclude, 'Probably.'
It has become the simplest, most complete, explanation for all of the facts and evidence. Once one overcomes the horror and emotions, it makes sense. Now, how much did they know in advance? Did they plan everything? Is 'they' the Pentagon, the CIA, or the White House? Who actually carried it out?
We don't know. And until we all stand up and make our demands for a full investigation known — the way the 9-11 widows have — we won't get the truth that the whole world deserves and needs.
Let us remember that if it weren't for the tireless work of the widows of 9-11, there never would have been a 9-11 Commission to begin with. Their work has led to the rapid growth in what is now called the 9-11 Truth Movement. Bush said, during the year in which he delayed creating the 9-11 Commission, that any prolonged investigation into 9-11 would distract America from the so-called War on Terrorism. Perhaps. But if the Bush Administration knew about — or even assisted with — the 9-11 crimes, this War on Terrorism will look very, very different. Let us thank the 9-11 widows and take their work as an inspiration. Let us each, in our own way, join the 9-11 Truth Movement.
How I Began to Question
It's almost a religious question. When did you begin to awaken? For me, the moment was when I discovered the minute-by-minute timeline of 9-11. The sequence of events on 9-11 were, first, fascinating. Then they grew suspicious. I did more reading and thinking. I sat up late many nights. I didn't want to believe what I was increasingly unable to ignore. I wanted someone to prove to me the official story was correct. But my confidence in the official story only dwindled as I watched Bush lie — time and again — to get the American people to support an invasion of Iraq. He implied Iraq was complicit in 9-11, something I knew was certainly false. If he could lie about this, I thought, with thousands of lives at stake...
I grew anxious. Should I try to convince others? How? After the timeline, I came across The War on Freedom, a highly detailed account of evidence from before and after 9-11 that also includes a large dose of geopolitics. A few months later, I paid a visit to the crowded International Inquiry Into 9-11 in San Francisco, and I finally saw that I wasn't alone. Hundreds were there, and I now know thousands of Americans — perhaps hundreds of thousands — of all stripes, classes, and colors have deep questions about the official story of 9-11.
Then came The New Pearl Harbor, a brilliant book by an eminent professor of philosophy. The book calmly investigated all the questions I had. It wasn't a radical lefty screed. It merely catalogued evidence put together by others, but it was far better written and organized than anything that preceded it, including The War on Freedom. It didn't skirt any major questions. It went right to the heart of the matter, with an admirable detachment and an unwavering commitment to truth. I found the book in May, and today it is still the best book that has come out about 9-11. People are reading it. It's selling out at bookstores.
And then came Fahrenheit 9-11. I saw it on its opening night. It's a great political polemic. It's a taste of truth in a time of lies. And people everywhere are watching it.
Yet here's the deal: Fahrenheit 9-11 shies away from the biggest questions. It explores all the connections that Saudi Arabia had to the 9-11 plot, but none of the connections to Israel and Pakistan, which in many ways are more disturbing. It implies at several moments that Bush may have known in advance about 9-11, yet it never presents any of the biggest reasons to suspect that he did. Instead, it seems satisfied to imply that whether or not Bush knew, he needs to be voted out of office. As if Bush's potential foreknowledge of 9-11 shouldn't affect his reelection chances. Quickly the film moves on to the Iraq War (which is also problematic, of course). Time and again during the film, it ignores the biggest smoking guns. Just when everyday moviegoers — those of us without the time or inclination to do our own research — would be ready to consider the bizarre discrepancies between the known facts about 9-11 and the official story, Michael Moore moves on.
The Time is Ripe
But with polls showing that 15% of likely voters have already seen the film, and as many as 50% saying they intend to, it is still creating a terrific opportunity.
The time is ripe. The 9-11 Truth Movement has finally come together nationally and put up an official website, www.911truth.org. There is no bigger political issue right now.
John Kerry, unfortunately, has been silent when asked about the discrepancies surrounding 9-11. So there seems to be little hope for debate between the two biggest candidates during the coming campaign season.
I personally approached Dennis Kucinich, Kerry's longshot opponent for the Democratic nomination, and asked him about the 9-11 Commission. We were on the sidewalk. He looked me in the eye and said, "They need to go deeper."
Encouraged by that, I handed him my copy of The New Pearl Harbor.
"Is this for me?" he asked.
I nodded. "It's an amazing book," I said.
Kucinich took it. "I'll read it," he declared firmly.
I hope he sticks to his word. He's been quiet when speaking publicly about the Commission and the 9-11 Truth Movement.
More encouraging were the unflinching words of David Cobb, the Green candidate for president. On June 26, after beating out Ralph Nader for the Green nomination, Cobb gave an impassioned acceptance speech. On the general topic of truth, he calmly declared, "We must force our elected representatives to tell the truth about whatever it was that happened on 9-11." The crowd applauded. This was a first — a visible political candidate calling in public for a real, open investigation. (Listen to his words [RM] — scroll the time manually to 1:50:15). Another candidate, John Buchanan, a Republican, actually calls himself a "911 Truth Candidate." He acknowledges he's a one-issue candidate. "But," he says, "if you consider that 9-11 has led us into fiscal ruin, endless war, and constitutional twilight, my one issue is the mother issue of our age."
The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
- Thomas Jefferson
Why the Democrats and the mainstream media haven't been louder about all of this is almost as big a scandal as the discrepancies about 9-11 themselves. But then, why didn't either group — the Democrats or the media — more forcefully challenge the Bush Administration in the lead-up to war? It was widely known by many left-leaning writers and analysts that Bush's premises for the war were weak if not altogether fabricated. Yet the Administration was allowed to get away with huge lies — lies that have cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives. The Administration lied to Congress and the American people in order to invade Iraq. They lied again and again: Iraq had WMD; Iraq was about to attack the U.S.; Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9-11. The Democrats and corporate media barely called them on any of it. And now thousands have died.
Let Us All Question
Now is the time. By taking a few minutes to read this, you have chosen to join the thousands who have an open mind about the events of 9-11. This, of course, isn't something to do lightly. But it may be that we are all part of one of the great awakenings of human history. Empires in Rome, Britain, and Germany all slid towards fascism and death by way of massive public lies. The United States does not have to go this way. Read, write, and spread the word. Explore the rest of Celsius 9-11. Follow links to other websites. Talk with your friends.
I leave you with some words from the website 911 Research:
If the official story was a tapestry of lies, and the September 11th attack was a meticulously engineered fraud perpetrated by officials sworn to protect us, we would all naturally have a difficult time confronting that reality. To reject a story so thoroughly entrenched in consensus reality means both ridicule from others and embarrassment at having been manipulated. Nonetheless, all of us who have not questioned the official 9-11 story owe it to ourselves, our nation, and our planet to consider what kind of world is possible if the official story were to fall apart. All of the attacks on privacy, dignity, civil liberties, justice, peace, and government accountability enacted in the name of fighting terrorism would become indefensible. The corporate media would be thoroughly discredited for its role as propagandist for the perpetrators. A truth commission or some such body would be empowered to find the truth, and people throughout our society would distance themselves from the perpetrators and all that they represented in duplicity, unaccountability, recklessness, and inhumanity. Truthfulness and independent thinking would be newly valued. Neglect of the people we punished for a crime they had nothing to do with would give way to contrition, sympathy, and reconstruction aid. And there would be vast resources to apply to such projects once the military budget was adjusted to fit newly perceived realities, in a world no longer dominated by the merchants of deception and fear. That might not be such a bad thing.
If the attack was a fraud, would you want to be the last to know? If you haven't re-examined the official story why not take another look? We have nothing to lose but an Orwellian nightmare, in which an unaccountable few plunder the earth's natural resources, and sap the human spirit through engineered fear.
Let's all spend a little time reading on own on the Internet — and sharing what we find. Let's all work for an investigation that asks questions that are hotter than those asked by Michael Moore. Let's all, together, raise the temperature.
Tony Brasunas is publisher of Garlic & Grass. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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