We should learn how easily the public can be convinced of something that touches them emotionally. Almost everyone on September 11, 2001 reported the same sense of shock about the attacks, the same sense of sadness about the victims and the same sense of anger toward the perpetrators.
We should know by now to be careful to guard our judgments about events in which our leaders may well have reason to mislead us. Recent history has shown us a number of official lies, for example, President Lyndon Johnson’s acceptance of Israel’s explanation that it made a “mistake” in bombing the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967, President Reagan’s insistence that “we did not -- repeat did not -- trade weapons or anything else for hostages nor will we” and President George W. Bush’s persistent claim of “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq.
We should learn the value in deciding for ourselves how to respond to false statements made by our leaders and to reason to what extent it matters. The key is to understand why the lie is told.
President Johnson did not want to alienate the strong pro-Israeli support he had by publicly accusing Israel of acting with knowledge that it struck a United States ship. President Reagan likely could not believe that people in his Administration would resort to a wild ploy of selling weapons to the Ayatollah in Iran. President Bush wanted a war with Iraq and was willing to sell the idea with lies.
So why did our leaders lie about the events of 9/11?
One need only to look at the consequences of each lie told.
The naming of Osama bin Laden as the leader of the attacks gave our leaders a scapegoat that the public could focus on instead of upon our government.
The allegations of hijackers taking over airplanes and crashing them allowed our leaders to portray the attacks in an emotional, even numbing way.
The identification of passengers with their pictures convinced the public that people really died in airplane crashes. It was again the use of emotion over facts, facts that could not support commercial airplane crashes.
The story itself serves as a psychological operation to instill fear in the public about something almost all of us have done: take an airplane flight.
The greatest lesson of all is the awareness that anything could happen in the future and that we will not likely receive any warning that our leaders are lying to us. Our greatest gift to ourselves and to others is our ability to think for ourselves.
When does a current event become history?
I used to think something became history when I would see a movie about it. But with 9/11 I realize I had it wrong…
The events of 9/11 have always been best understood as a movie. The official sources gave us the story complete with the villain, Osama bin Laden, the plot, “the bad guys are about to destroy our freedoms,” the heroes, the passengers of United 93 who “fought back,” a battle cry “Let’s Roll!” and even an appeal to action, “Get them over there before they get us here (again)!”
My focus is on the planes and passengers. The official story tells us that they perished in plane crashes engineered by nineteen radical hijackers acting under bin Laden’s orders. They were the supporting cast in that the official story is supported by the presence of the planes and passengers and the actions, namely phone calls, of the passengers.
The mainstream media, speaking for our leaders, persuaded us to assume that passengers lined up in front of boarding gates, got on these flights and went on to become the first victims in the “War on Terror.” They persuaded us to assume that all passengers died at the scene of the “crashes” in New York, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania and that we should mourn their losses.
But no one forced us to make these assumptions.
Letting go of assumptions can lead to discovering facts, and even the most relevant ones at that. Instead of starting the story of the supposedly two hundred plus passengers boarding planes at Boston, Dulles and Newark airports, let’s start the story somewhere else.
Let’s try the Midwestern United States...
Editor's Note: Dean Hartwell will speak further on this topic at the Vancouver Hearings in June.
Thank you to Barnes & Noble for putting Planes without Passengers: the Faked Hijackings of 9/11 on the "Current Affairs" bookshelf of my local store! This is a personal milestone!!!