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9/11 and Manipulation of the USA

By Norman Solomon

Traveling from New York City in late September 2001, on a pre-scheduled
book tour, author Joan Didion spoke with audiences in several cities on the
West Coast. In the wake of 9/11, she later wrote, "these people to whom I
was listening -- in San Francisco and Los Angeles and Portland and
Seattle -- were making connections I had not yet in my numbed condition
thought to make: connections between [the American] political process and
what had happened on September 11, connections between our political life
and the shape our reaction would take and was in fact already taking. These
people recognized that even then, within days after the planes hit, there
was a good deal of opportunistic ground being seized under cover of the
clearly urgent need for increased security. These people recognized even
then, with flames still visible in lower Manhattan, that the words
'bipartisanship' and 'national unity' had come to mean acquiescence to the
administration's preexisting agenda..."

A lot of media coverage was glorifying people who died and/or showed
courage on September 11, 2001. "In fact," Didion contended, "it was in the
reflexive repetition of the word 'hero' that we began to hear what would
become in the year that followed an entrenched preference for ignoring the
meaning of the event in favor of an impenetrably flattening celebration of
its victims, and a troublingly belligerent idealization of historical

To observe the political manipulation of 9/11 after the towers
collapsed was to witness a multidimensional power grab exercised largely via
mass media. By the end of 2002, Didion concisely and incisively described
what occurred: "We had seen, most importantly, the insistent use of
September 11 to justify the reconception of America's correct role in the
world as one of initiating and waging virtually perpetual war." Instead of,
even in theory, being a war to end all wars, the new war for America would
be a war to end peace.

Like many of his colleagues in the upper reaches of the Bush
administration, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld went out of his way to
stress that this war -- with no single nation to defeat and no finite enemy
to vanquish -- would be open-ended. On September 27, 2001, a New York Times
op-ed piece under Rumsfeld's byline emphasized the theme: "Some believe the
first casualty of any war is the truth. But in this war, the first victory
must be to tell the truth. And the truth is, this will be a war like none
other our nation has faced."

Written two weeks after 9/11, the short Rumsfeld essay was an
indicative clarion call. And, from the outset, the trumpet was sounding
inside a tent pitched large enough to accommodate any number of
configurations: "This war will not be waged by a grand alliance united for
the single purpose of defeating an axis of hostile powers. Instead, it will
involve floating coalitions of countries, which may change and evolve."

Purporting to be no-nonsense, the message from the Pentagon's civilian
head was expansive to the point of limitlessness: "Forget about 'exit
strategies'; we're looking at a sustained engagement that carries no
deadlines." If the concepts of deadlines and exit strategies were suddenly
obsolete, so too was the idea that disfavored historical contexts should or
could matter a heck of a lot.

At once, the proclaimed war on terrorism was to be unending, and
impervious to information or analysis that might encourage critical
scrutiny. As soon as the basic premises of the ongoing war were accepted,
the irrelevance of any inconvenient part of the historical record was a

And so, when Rumsfeld's essay in the New York Times told a
still-shocked nation in late September 2001 that it was embarking on "a war
against terrorism's attack on our way of life" -- an attack coming from foes
"committed to denying free people the opportunity to live as they choose" --

some questions were off limits. Such as: Perhaps the attack was more against
our foreign policy than against our domestic "way of life" or our
opportunity to live as we choose? (Scandinavian countries, for instance,
were not notably different in the extent or character of their freedoms
compared to the United States, yet those nations did not seem to be in much
danger of an Al Qaeda attack.) Explorations along that line were out of

"By accepting the facile cliche that the battle under way against
terrorism is a battle against evil, by easily branding those who fight us as
the barbarians, we, like them, refuse to acknowledge our own culpability,"
journalist Chris Hedges has observed. "We ignore real injustices that have
led many of those arrayed against us to their rage and despair."

Numerous reporters seemed content to provide stenographic services for
official U.S. sources under the guise of journalism. During a September 17,
2001, appearance on David Letterman's show, the CBS news anchor Dan Rather
laid it on the line. "George Bush is the president," Rather said, "he makes
the decisions." Speaking as "one American," the newsman added: "Wherever he
wants me to line up, just tell me where. And he'll make the call."

Cokie Roberts, well known as a reporter-pundit for NPR and ABC,
appearing on the Letterman show a few weeks later, gushed: "I am, I will
just confess to you, a total sucker for the guys who stand up with all the
ribbons on and stuff, and they say it's true and I'm ready to believe it. We
had General Shelton on the show the last day he was chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff and I couldn't lift that jacket with all the ribbons and
medals. And so when they say stuff, I tend to believe it."

Long after September 11, 2001, most U.S. reporting seemed to be locked
into a zone that excluded unauthorized ironies. It simply accepted that the
U.S. government could keep making war on "terror" by using high-tech weapons
that inevitably terrorized large numbers of people. According to routine
news accounts, just about any measures deemed appropriate by Washington fit
snugly under the rubric of an ongoing war that might never end in any of our

A year after 9/11, Nicholas Lemann wrote in the New Yorker, the "war on
terror" was a phrase that "has entered the language so fully, and framed the
way people think about how the United States is reacting to the September 11
attacks so completely, that the idea that declaring and waging war on terror
was not the sole, inevitable, logical consequence of the attacks just isn't
in circulation." In late November 2002, a retired U.S. Army general, William
Odom, told C-SPAN viewers: "Terrorism is not an enemy. It cannot be
defeated. It's a tactic. It's about as sensible to say we declare war on
night attacks and expect we're going to win that war. We're not going to win
the war on terrorism. And it does whip up fear. Acts of terror have never
brought down liberal democracies. Acts of parliament have closed a few."

Variations on a simple dualism -- we're good and people who don't like
us are bad -- had never been far from mainstream American politics. But 9/11
concentrated such proclivities with great intensity and narrowed the range
of publicly acceptable questioning. "Inquiry into the nature of the enemy we
faced, in other words, was to be interpreted as sympathy for that enemy,"
Didion wrote. "The final allowable word on those who attacked us was to be
that they were 'evildoers,' or 'wrongdoers,' peculiar constructions which
served to suggest that those who used them were transmitting messages from
some ultimate authority." On the say-so of those in charge of the
government, we were encouraged to believe that their worldviews defined the
appropriate limits of discourse.

Four years after 9/11, those limits are less narrow than they were. But
mass media and politicians still facilitate the destructive policies of the
Bush administration. From Baghdad to New Orleans to cities and towns that
will never make headlines in the national press, the dominant corporate
priorities have made a killing. Those priorities hold sway not only for the
Iraq war but also for the entire "war on terrorism."

While military spending zooms upward, a downward slide continues for
education, health care, housing, environmental protection, emergency
preparedness and a wide array of other essentials. Across the United States,
communities are suffering grim consequences. "Now it should be
incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and
life of America today can ignore the present war," Martin Luther King Jr.
said in 1967. The same statement is profoundly true in 2005.


Norman Solomon is a syndicated columnist and author. This article is
excerpted from his new book "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep
Spinning Us to Death." For information, go to:


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Personal liberty is now DEAD! It was killed yesterday by the U.S. Appeals Court for the fourth circuit in its ruling that the president has authority to detain American citizens without charges.

The case of Jose Padilla is quite simply the most important case in the history of the American judicial system. Hanging in the balance are all the fundamental principles of American jurisprudence including habeas corpus, due process and "the presumption of innocence".

All of those basic concepts were summarily revoked by the three judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court. The Court ruled in favor of the Bush administration which claimed that it had the right to indefinitely imprison an American citizen without charging him with a crime. The resulting verdict confers absolute authority on the President to incarcerate American citizens without charge and without any legal means for the accused to challenge the terms of his detention. It is the end of "inalienable rights", the end of The Bill of Rights, and the end of any meaningful notion of personal liberty.

I remember reading 3 or 4 years ago, in Zbigniew Brzezinski's, "The Grand Chessboard", of a strategy to dominate the world that would result in the loss of freedom for American citizens. Brzezinski recognized the inherent threat that liberty posed to the development of empire. He stated:

"It is also a fact that America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America's power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public's sense of domestic well-being. The economic self-denial (that is, defense spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties, even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization." (p.35)

Brzezinski's prescient forecast has proved to be astonishingly accurate. The determination of the neocons, the Federalist Society, the far-right radio giants, the Olin, Scaife, Coors and Bradley foundations, and the entire stable of right-wing, quasi-fascist groups that operate openly within American society, have pounded the final wooden stake into the heart of the personal freedom. The basic legal protections that safeguard the citizen from the arbitrary and hostile action of the state have been rescinded. We all stand naked before the absolute power of the President.

The government has no case against Jose Padilla, a hapless Chicago gang-banger who allegedly visited Pakistan before he was arrested at O'Hare airport 3 and a half years ago. He is simply an unwitting victim of circumstance; a convenient scapegoat for eviscerating the rule of law. The Bush administration has used its extraordinary influence in the media to demagogue the case and keep him locked-away without producing one shred of evidence against him. The entire affair has been a grotesque mockery of justice. The hard-right groups that engineered this plot know exactly where the fault-lines in American jurisprudence lie; in the inalienable protections of its citizens.

Padilla became the test-case for shattering the Bill of Rights with one withering blow. It has succeeded beyond anyone's wildest expectation.

There's no chance that the Supreme Court will retry the case and draw more attention to the shocking details of this judicial-coup; they already punted once before preferring to pass it along to the lower court. Rather, the meaning of the case will be ignored until the president needs to exercise the newly-bestowed powers of supreme leader. That authority is now firmly rooted in the legal precedent established by the Padilla ruling.

Americans seem unaware of the great loss we've all suffered by the Padilla verdict. If the President is allowed to arbitrarily decide who has "inalienable rights", than those rights become the provisional gifts of the government rather than a reliable shield against the abuse of state power. It means that every American citizen is as vulnerable to the same violation of human rights as the men currently imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. It also means that the legal wall that shelters the citizen from the random violence of the political establishment has been reduced to rubble.

The Padilla ruling is the blackest day in American history. The icons of American liberty; the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Statue of Liberty; are empty shrines if they are not underscored by the guarantee of freedom. The Vietnam Memorial, the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, the 4th of July, the Federalist Papers, and the American flag; all gratuitous expressions of a principle that has vanished from the political landscape.

Every man and woman who ever wore an American uniform and died in the service of their country, died in vain. Their sacrifice has been rendered completely worthless by the action of the 4th Circuit Court.

George Bush has now extinguished every meaningful part of the American dream. The last vestige of the social contract has been defiled and desecrated by the administration and their court. Personal freedom is dead in America; it was impaled by the verdict against Jose Padilla. How many thousands or, perhaps, millions of Americans will die or endure incalculable suffering to regain what we have lost on this tragic day?

SOURCE: Information Clearinghouse - Mike Whitney

The decision to hold Jose Padilla, like the Patriot Acts, and other fraudulent legal rulings, are based upon the hoax of 9/11 as an urgent national security threat. Since 9/11 was an inside job and a hoax staged by Bush/Cheney , these decisions are merely the rulings of corrupt federal judges and a corrupt Congress. None of these rulings hold water when viewed in light of the facts, and the Constitution. The American people have been bamboozled to an extremely high degree by Bush/Cheney, and 9/11 is their masterpiece of mass manipulation and lies! As long as Americans swallow the lies and deceptions of 9/11 as the truth, our legal system as well as our Constitution will suffer! Americans have shown that they're not too bright when it comes to politics and national security issues. It is high time that they took advantage of the mountain of evidence that clearly proves that 9/11 was indeed an inside job! When the people of a nation get so dumb, as to refuse to think for themselves, and question their government, then that nation shall soon find itself under tyranny.

None of these rulings hold water? I'm not sure what that means. The plain fact is that a U.S. citizen is being held indefinitely (over 3 years so far) without charges, without trial and without any recourse to any of the common principles of justice whatsoever. And the U.S. court system says that's OK.

The most horrifying legal precedent in U.S. history is being set and no one seems to care. I simply can't believe the almost total lack of public indignation about this. But I suppose no amount of public ignorance and indifference should surprise me by now.

You might say that it's only one person and that he's probably guilty of something or other. But that's exactly how most precedents are established, by picking on some insignificant and/or unpopular individual or group of questionable character. You don't start out with a loud attack on a truckload of famous and adorable celebrities.

Oh well. This is hopeless. Carry on watching infomercials and mindless pap.

The fact of the matter is, the Constitution is still the highest law of the land. It can only be changed by formal ammendment. The ruling on Jose Padilla is a clear case of a corrupt court ruling in favor of a corrupt regime based upon the 9/11 hoax, and the bogus national security threats it involves. There are many cases of unconstitutional and actually illegal (the income tax for example) court rulings changing Federal practice as relates to clear Constitutional mandate. This does not make this ruling legal in the strictest sense. This is a blatant case of a corrupt executive abrogating the constitution by Federal practice, while watching to see if anyone is paying attention. As usual in this country, no one is.

So what? What's your point?

International treaty obligations undertaken in the name of the people of the United States are also "highest law" according to the constitution.

But it UN charters can be ignored by founding members and if citizens' rights and freedoms can be trampled underfoot as they have been in this case, just repeating over and over that it shouldn't happen that way doesn't alter the realities in the least. Ask the victims of Nazi "justice".

How is your statement regarding what's constitutional and what isn't the end of this or any other story?

The court having jurisdiction has ruled on the subject and, unless you think that you possess your own unilateral jurisdictional authority to overrule that court, their ruling stands. A US citizen remains under "indefinite detention" despite the rights that you say he has. It's certainly not the end of his story.

Can't say I'm very concerned about the "legal rights" of traitors and terrorists. The U.S. government knows criminals easily slip through our court system. Every day murderers, rapists and pedophiles are released to kill, rape and molest again. Some scumbag lawyer somewhere is just waiting to get Padilla back on the streets.

Padilla should stay right where he is.

Well, at least you're not shy or hypocritical about quaint old constitutional protections or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for that matter. But your faith in what the U.S. president knows and what he does about it unilaterally is much greater than mine.

I won't bother posting the rest of it as I'm quite sure that you're intelligent enough to know the wider implications of what you are saying. I suspect that you're just being provocative to enjoy the reactions.

It is a fact, however, that a large number of people do not seem to understand that principles (legal or otherwise) aren't something that can be switched on and off at whim. There certainly is a tendency to want to apply even the most basic rights only to those who are deemed "worthy" of their protection.

The obvious question, of course, is who do you then trust to decide whether YOU are worthy. I don't think I'd trust George Bush -- or you for that matter. Would you trust me?

Actually, I'm a bit surprised with the "Padilla" ruling. I understand this "precedent" has wider implications, and your concerns are somewhat justified. On the other hand, I have very little faith in the U.S. legal system, and I think the feds know Padilla will "walk" on some technicality. And, I think the feds may want to use him as an example - I know this is wrong but life is not fair. Without getting into gory details, I have some first-hand experience (on the receiving end) with our fine judicial system. George Bush could not be any worse than some of the "judges" I've seen.

I wish I had a better answer.

No other event in the history of the U.S. exposes how easy it is to manipulate the U.S. public than 9/11. Four years out, and many of us are still unable to fathom what actually occurred. Most of the world now knows that the 9/11 attacks were staged by the Bush/Cheney administration, but too many Americans still would rather just block that thought out. The official story after all, makes us feel alot better about ourselves. When compared with the collection of better known Bush/Cheney lies, 9/11 turns out to be the mother of all their scams! Like the Iraq war, and the recent Katrina debacle, 9/11 is based upon a pack of lies with a lot of 'shock and awe' thrown in for effect. Its nice to know you understand how Bush/Cheney took advantage of 9/11, it would be even more constructive if you understood the fact that Bush/Cheney's most powerful cause celebre 9/11, just like everything else about them, is based upon outright lies!

The latest Karl Rove cover up. Bush suggests a Katrina and 9-11 link.

The United States paused to remember the 11 September attacks four years ago in ceremonies overshadowed by the death and destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

Canada is looking better all the time.

The WTC towers were designed to withstand a direct hit from a fully loaded 707 (the largest plane at the time - slightly smaller that the 767), and actually could have survived being hit by multiple planes.

Before 9/11, no steel constructed building in the world had ever collapsed because of fire, and none has since.

The WTC towers each collapsed at free fall speed, in about 10-12 seconds, completely inconsistent with the "pancake" effect of floors failing under the weight of the building above.

in 1991, the Meridian building in Philadelphia burned for 19 straight hours and did not collapse. WTC 2 collapsed in less than an hour, and WTC 2 after about 90 minutes.

WTC 7, not hit by any plane and with two very small fires on different floors, collapsed around 5:3pm 9/11/01.


Bottom left, several floors below the actual collapse point, smoke and steel beams are shooting outward.

Those are the explosives detonating, shredding the steel and turning the concrete to powder.

Accept the truth and act on it.

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