Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"By his fruits we shall know him." sung to the tune of Lady of Spain

Sen. Lindsey Graham did a despicable thing back on February 6, 2006, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing held to discuss "Wartime Executive Power and the NSA’s Surveillance Authority" and it’s taken me this long to gather up the courage to address it.

In a soliloquy delivered to a smirking Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the South Carolina Republican enthused, “The administration has not only the right, but the duty, in my opinion, to pursue Fifth Column movements. I stand by this President’s ability, inherent to being Commander in Chief, to find out about Fifth Column movements, and I don’t think you need a warrant to do that,” Graham added.

The descriptor “fifth column” grew out of a battle for control of Madrid in 1936, when, as four rebel columns were advancing on the city, a group within the city comprised of secret sympathizers and supporters of the rebels was identified as engaging in espionage and sabotage. So, a fifth columnist is someone working covertly or clandestinely within his or her own sovereign national borders in opposition to the stated agenda, which sounds like the C.I.A to me. Fifth columnism, could describe a collective experience, or a shared ideology, but it is unlikely a word like that would ever come up outside a tenured venue, which is good, because I don't think George could get it out.

There can be no such thing as a fifth column movement; it is a self-contradicting term. Movement, in this case, defines the march of expressed public opinion: shoe leather, soap boxes, that sort of thing; column being only a statistical category or grouping. The defining characteristic of a fifth column being an absence of, or manipulation in, its public expression. They are havens for the self-identified non-reality-based, who organize those with secretive and duplicitous natures into links, where by the chains of command they can indulge in conspiratorial intrigue that leads to essentially, sabotage, or self-sabotage, depending on your point of view. It is a silly game, but everybody puts up with it as reality.

So a fifth columnist more accurately describes America’s covert intelligence communities, who have either failed miserably at pursuing our Constitutional agenda, or perhaps succeeded at one of their own. Whatever generated the harm of 9-11, followed by the pointless, debilitating, and amoral wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it cannot be extracted out from the utter failure of these officials to perform their oath-sworn, Constitutionally mandated responsibilities, and since accountability is impossible in a clandestine context, it leaves America dangerously vulnerable to threats from within. We cannot unring this bell.

Although not named by Sen. Graham, the American citizens he meant, in using remarks like “pursue” and “neutralize,” are doubtlessly those whose voices are raised in opposition to President Bush and his policies, voices which offer no support for militant fundamentalist terrorists of any religious stripe. This public expression of dissent has coalesced almost exclusively on the internet’s blogosphere. Mainstream media has begun only recently to report on the phenomena of this dissent, paying little attention yet to its content. Is this the split between "the elites" and "the masses?"

The Bush administration will go down in history not for what it knew, but for what it couldn’t imagine. Like, “No one ever thought they would fly airplanes into buildings,” or “No one anticipated the levees bursting.”
To oppose secret police, secret rendition, secret prisons, secret wiretaps, secret torture, and secret assassination does not aid an enemy like Al Qa’ida, or the Taliban—-the Moslem extremists and jihadists known collectively as “the terrorists.” When I oppose secret things, I think of those "terrorists” only in passing and always in sorrow, but rarely in sympathy.

I hope to redirect the resolve of President Bush. Many Americans have identified a problem within our nation’s command structure, a flaw that starts at the top and trickles down. For instance,

What penitential, pedagogical, or public relations value does the dissemination by our government of these photographs serve, to the coalition of the willing?

Or is it meant to serve the hounds of hell? These images frighten me, as they were meant to, and I identify the source as stemming from an obvious attempt by the present administration to intimidate me into silence and inaction. I am being terrorized by a United States government that has radically altered. To express my patriotism and loyalty to the ideals in our Constitution, I oppose President Bush and his policies in every non-violent kick-ass way possible. If he doesn’t like it, tough shit. This is my expression of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America!

The idealized patriotism and secure pride in my country that I felt as a youth was instilled early in an Iowa grade school, then abutted by corn fields. My American identity as a grown-up, is personified by Norman Rockwell’s painting Freedom of Speech,
Rockwell created the series, "Freedom of Speech," "Freedom from Want," "Freedom of Worship" and "Freedom from Fear," after hearing President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1943 radio speech addressing these four fundamental freedoms of all Americans. The power of these paintings galvanized a nation to action back then, and the message still resonates in this altered time. Maybe it can work again. God, as I understand Him, prompted Roosevelt’s words, gave him his tone of voice, nuanced the effect, which all combined together to inspire in Rockwell the spirit to create painted images that expressed His will, that the idea of a glorious nation was good, and the result galvanized us to overcome evil and malicious obstacles.
When God speaks to you President Bush, does it sound like this?
Is this what you hear? Are you clear about this Mr. Bush?

Or did He tell you to create this?

Your insistence on secrecy has been obscene. Now it is understandable
Are you Satan President Bush? Who are Falwell, Robertson, Bauer and the rest? Why didn’t they say something Are they devils too?

Nothing else matters now, not earning a living or vacuuming my floors, two things you know nothing about, Mr. Bush.

God sends me messages too. He uses good spelling.

Good Bye, Mr. Bush!

Monday, March 27, 2006

George "The Assassin" Bush: Another Article of Impeachment

Bush Was Set on Path to War,
Memo by British Adviser Says
Published: March 27, 2006 New York Times

“A brief clause in the memo refers to a third possibility, mentioned by Mr. Bush, a proposal to assassinate Saddam Hussein. The memo does not indicate how Mr. Blair responded to the idea.”

“The following document is an instructional guide on assassination found among the CIA's training files for "Operation PB Success" -- the agency's covert 1954 operation that overthrew the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in June 1954. The CIA released it to the public on May 23, 1997, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
“Assassination is an extreme measure not normally used in clandestine operations. It should be assumed that it will never be ordered or authorized by any U.S. Headquarters, though the latter may in rare instances agree to its execution by members of an associated foreign service. This reticence is partly due to the necessity for committing communications to paper. No assassination instructions should ever be written or recorded. Consequently, the decision to employ this technique must nearly always be reached in the field, at the area where the act will take place. Decision and instructions should be confined to an absolute minimum of persons. Ideally, only one person will be involved. No report may be made, but usually the act will be properly covered by normal news services, whose output is available to all concerned.”

The Institute for Counter-Terrorism at The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel, is affiliated with the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy. They post a list of Al Qa'ida Attacks from 1988 to the present (actually it runs from 1994 to 2002) Among 15 citations two are questionable. Two days before September 11, 2001, on September 9, Ahmed Shah Massood, the leader of Afghanistan's Northern Alliance, was fatally injured by two men posing as reporters. The I.T.C. attributes the assassination to Al-Qa'ida, saying, There has been speculation that the timing of the assassination--two days before the catastrophic terror attacks in New York and Washington--was no accident. Shah's death considerably weakened the Northern Alliance at a time when the Taliban was facing the prospect of American retaliatory strikes. The assassination of the Alliance's best military mind thus helped to "level the playing field" between the two sides.

Other then yes, the surface fact is a playing field was leveled by this act, the synopsis makes no sense in attributing motive or benefit—the “no accident” part. The Taliban had been warring with Massood for years, so “anytime,” is the “right” time to off your enemy’s #1 leader. You don’t wait until company’s coming to redo the bathroom, do you?. Working under an assumption that the only ones who know a major event will soon unfold is Al Qa'ida, does the I.T.C. logic seem to imply that 9-11 was undertaken as prospecting for retaliatory strikes? Which, I submit is true, but in reverse.

I’d like to offer up a suggestion that the CIA assassinated Massood with a definite agenda in mind, but you’ll also have to go along for a moment with the hypothesis that the Bush Administration aided and abetted the hijackers as silent co-conspirators, to co-opt, and "Pearl Harborize," a legitimate, but lame, Al Qa'ida terrorist plot, one which would have fizzled without a stand down, and the interjection of American IED's. Together and separately, Bush and bin Laden created the most transcendent piece of performance art in the history of mankind, which simultaneously altered consciousnesses in nearly all six billion of us; a result due primarily, it must be said, to the radiant glory that comes from preplanting explosives throughout the Twin Towers, as well as in Building 7, in the days before 9-11, allowing for a computer-orchestrated demolition culminating in dual mushroom clouds that chased people down the streets.

"There is no end to what men can accomplish, if they're willing to give others the credit."

Who could have ever thunk it?

The following from “The Assassination of Ahmad Shah Massood,” by Paul Wolf, 9/14/03

Used Without Explicit Permission

“At the time of Massood’s death, the Taliban were being supported by Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence service (ISI), an instrument of American influence since the campaign against the Soviets in the 1980s. (The ISI has often been described as a free-wheeling, rogue agency, yet it has maintained a close relationship with American intelligence and Pakistan has remained a close American ally -- before, during and after President Musharraf's military coup.)

“Although Massood had cast his lot with Russia and Iran, he was no stranger to the US State Department. According to United Front veterans I interviewed,[6] Massood met on several occasions with Robin Rafael, the American Deputy Foreign Minister for the East, between 1996 and 1998. Apparently, Commander Massood was extremely angry after his final meeting with Rafael, who'd suggested in the meeting that his best option might be to surrender to the Taliban. At the time, Massood’s forces had retreated into the rugged Panjshir valley, and the Taliban controlled some 95% of Afghanistan. According to the story, Massood threw his pakul -- a distinctive Afghan hat -- onto the table and pointed at it, announcing that as long as he controlled a territory that big, he would never surrender. Considered arrogant by his enemies, supporters describe Massood as an independent Afghan nationalist incapable of taking orders from foreigners. Massood would never have allowed foreign bases on Afghan soil, according to them [Emphasis Mine]

“Bob Woodward, in his insider account of White House deliberations following September 11th, writes that on September 13th, 2001, CIA Director George Tenet advised the President and the National Security Council that Massood’s assassination had severely fractured the United Front, "but with the CIA [paramilitary] teams and tons of money, the Alliance could be brought together into a cohesive fighting force." "All right," the President said. "Let's go. That's war. That's what we're here to win." 7

"Tenet was right: by the time the US invaded in October, most of Massood’s former commanders and allies were on the CIA payroll. Massood and the SCO “What makes all of this so interesting is that it provides an undeniable motive for the United States to have launched its own "war on terrorism" in Afghanistan: to establish military dominance in the region in the face of an embryonic Sino-Russian military alliance.

“The United Front veterans I met were certain that Ahmad Shah Massood attended at least one of the early "Shanghai Five" meetings, held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in June of 2000. He might have attended others, they said, but were certain he attended that meeting at least. Whatever Commander Massood said in the meeting is not known -- the meetings were held behind closed doors -- but his attendance speaks for itself.

"All of the above is meant to explain why the United States attacked Afghanistan. Was oil a motive? Probably so, there's no debating the importance of oil in the region. But I would argue that the larger issue was the possibility of Sino-Russian control over it. What about the attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the attack on the USS Cole? Also reasons to attack bin Laden's organization in Afghanistan, no doubt. But none of this is really related to the attacks in New York and Washington used to justify the invasion of Afghanistan. As far as I know, there is no evidence linking bin Laden or the Taliban to those attacks. The Taliban were disliked for other reasons, including their repression of Afghan women.

“The "Sino-Russian" alliance, barely mentioned in the western press, must have been taken seriously by the US government, though. To me it seems to have been, and still is, the most serious threat to American influence in Central Asia since the fall of the Soviets. Enough to justify our taking the initiative and launching a pre-emptive war on terrorism ourselves? No doubt. Enough to assassinate the legendary mujajadeen leader."

The painful conclusion I come to is Massood’s was a CIA-sponsored assassination of a charismatic national leader, necessarily linked to a planned covert black hijacking of a “hijacking," which mandated an enhanced “Shock and Awe” outcome far beyond the dreams of its instigators.

A little bit of proof is contained in, what is in my opinion the single piece of legitimate evidence ever offered to America by President Bush--even though it has been stupidly doctored by Karen Hughes--what Bush calls “the smoking gun;” the bin Laden tape released by the Pentagon on December 13, 2001, where bin Laden says he anticipated only the tops of the towers to come down.

To me this tape shouts out truth with the sound of a clarion trumpet making all the other fabricated bin Laden materials look sophomoric. It does implicate Bin Laden with plotting 9-11, in just the way Tom Clancy plots out a spy thriller. He is guilty of conspiracy, even if he had been put out to pasture as an eminence grise long before. He says he was “notified” the event would unfold five days earlier, and the translation puts me in mind of carrier pigeons.

Another piece of corroborating evidence for my theory is also on the tape. It is a reference the unnamed sheik makes about Mohammad Atta, describing him as very devout. It was at this point I could imagine the final double-cross taking place. Atta had become a double agent working for the C.I.A. months before, and he was stringing the conspirators along. He spent his last nights out carousing in stripper bars, drinking alcohol and eating pork, imagining he would be undergoing a hangover the next morning, not martyrdom.

He had been spoiled and corrupted the American way: with an 8-ball of cocaine and a $1000 hooker, the flip side to the sexual humiliation of Abu Ghraib. But the double-agent got double-crossed. If scheduled flights were flown into the twin towers on September 11, and that’s the simplest scenario, they were flown there on auto-pilot. I was always curious about a reference someone in the administration made early on after 9-11, denying that all of the hi-jackers knew it was a suicide mission. At the time, I took it as a way of discrediting a startling group commitment, and the 12-11-01 tape references that everybody knew it was a "martyrdom operation." Everybody but Atta, that is.

In a September 13, 2001 CNN interview, Dr. Raven Farhadi, the Northern Alliance permanent ambassador to the United Nations, replied “we have grave doubts,” when he was asked to judge the credibility of promises of aid and support for the United States made by Pakistan’s military ruler, President General Pervez Musharraf. Farhadi said that the military intelligence—not the government of Musharraf—controls the policy of Pakistan toward Afghanistan.

I note that if such power is vested in covert-intelligence operatives in shadow-government cells, co-existing within a military dictatorship, I imagine the reins of power aren’t any more tightly held in our constitutional democracy, and our foreign policy must be similarly driven by ungovernable impulses.

Weren’t we just beginning a new debate about reinstating the C.I.A.’s “right” to use the “tool” of assassination? Isn’t blithely discussing the assassination of the leader of a sovereign nation with a different leader, a possible article of impeachment? Which leads to still larger, yet even more painful conclusions…

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Father Stephen McGraw & Mark Faram: The Ties That Bind--At The Pentagon

A key to unraveling the mysteries of omission and commission behind which hide the real perpetrators responsible for the “attacks” of 9-11, can be found in the collection of photographs and videos taken at the Pentagon that day. Attempting to deconstruct the military-manufactured visual hagiography will pay as quick a dividend as rushed shipments of recycled steel overseas paid out.

We can use as our reference point images taken at Ground Zero in New York that same morning. Viewed side-by-side, the Pentagon “attack” in truth is seen as Ground Nothing, for no truth at all is captured in these images, only common American greed, cupidity, and imperialist lust for wealth. When our eyes open and the truth of US government effort comes into focus, the entire span of imagery looks as fake, artificial and stylized as a Kabuki actor would look in a Method acting class.

Some definite truth was experienced in New York on 9-11, but the whole truth only begins to be glimmered when first you bear witness to a simple fact: that World Trade Center Building Number Seven was demolished with pre-planted explosives—but those implications are for another day and blog.

One photograph in particular stands out in my mind as worthy of status as the iconic Pentagon image, not because it’s so good--although some effort was expended on it, clearly—-but there's no competition; in terms of credibility, impartiality or transparency. This photo was taken by a reporter, Mark Faram, who was working at the time as a writer for the Navy Times newspaper, an independent weekly owned by the Gannett Corporation, which also owns USA Today, in addition to other magazines targeting the uniformed services. A number of employees of the Gannett organization, quite coincidentally I’m sure, provided eyewitness accounts attesting to a 757 crashing into the Pentagon, which makes them all liars in my book.

Before I began researching, I was sure this evocative image had been published in major media outlets, perhaps as a Newsweek cover, or in big-city spreads, but my web search found it to be published in lesser outlets, but better than most of the photos taken that day, which were produced “in-house” and published in government organs similar to Navy Times, like the United States Army Military District of Washington (MDW) News Service, the NFPA Journal,,, Leatherneck Magazine of the Marines,, Stars & Strips, and The New American.

Our central image of Pentagon mayhem and martyrdom, sacrifice and valor, is as complex a composition as a pointillist Sunday in the Park with George. In the foreground a medical triage vignette is depicted. We see not one, but two Pentagon workers, one a suspendered civilian, the other an officer in a beret, helping out, gallantly holding aloft IV drips, and this is our first clue. Why is the Federal government so insecure about the work habits of those who suck at the public teat, that it resorts to overkill, showing employees “pitching in” and “lending a hand,” Me thinks thou doth assist too much, dear Federal workers, not that anyone is ever doing a productive thing in the images taken September 11.

In the middle-distance are personal clumped in twos and threes, with first-responder types scattered about, but their posture and focus is all wrong. They stand here and there, looking at this or that, some breaking at the hip, which gives a studied crease to cashmere slacks, by the way, making it all look rather more like a garden party. (This would be a good occasion to mention how universally fresh everybody looks in all the Pentagon images—collars and cuffs remain crisp and clean, with nary a sweaty armpit or untucked shirt in sight. Is that called military bearing and demeanor? Well, it doesn't work here.)

In the background the Pentagon smokes its two-packs-a-day habit, with thick black smoke alternating with foggy white, but always there to obscure any pesky little detail that threatens to emerge into the picture plane. (Another aside: how rare it is to find in the entire corpus of images any that contain both fire and hoses squirting water at it. We see endless, pointless shots of one, then the other, but rarely do they combine to depict the proper purpose of firefighting.)

The central emotional element around which the composition pivots is the kneeling figure of Father Stephen McGraw, a comely celibate secular Opus Die parochial vicar of only three-months standing on 9-11-01. Previously a lawyer with the Justice Department, Father McGraw is shown in prayer beside what we are told is a badly wounded man on a stretcher, although the spatial relationship between the two men seems distant and odd to me. Perhaps Father McGraw flung the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick onto the victim's chest, or maybe he sidled up later for a dousing.

Father McGraw was also an eyewitness to the 757 attack, having taken a wrong turn on his way to a funeral at Arlington Cemetery, he got stuck in traffic outside the Pentagon. In an interview with the Military District of Washington News Service, he put it this way: “The traffic was very slow moving, and at one point just about at a standstill. I was in the left hand lane with my windows closed. I did not hear anything at all until the plane was just right above our cars. The plane clipped the top of a light pole just before it got to us, injuring a taxi driver, whose taxi was just a few feet away from my car.

"I saw it crash into the building. My only memories really were that it looked like a plane coming in for a landing. I mean in the sense that it was controlled and sort of straight. That was my impression. I hadn’t heard about the World Trade Center at that point, and so I was thinking this was an accident. I figured it was just an accident.

"There was an explosion and a loud noise and I felt the impact. I remember seeing a fireball come out of two windows. I saw an explosion of fire billowing through those two windows. I remember hearing a gasp or scream from one of the other cars near me. Almost a collective gasp it seemed. I just knew right away what I needed to do.” Mark Faram, who witnessed Father McGraw in the first moments after the crash, was reported in the same article as saying, “He literally had the stole in one hand and a prayer book in the other and in one fluid motion crossed the guardrail.” The article goes on, “Within 45 seconds, McGraw was on the lawn of the Pentagon to provide spiritual comfort to the injured."

However, in an email reply to Dick Eastman, who led a forum on Yahoo discussing Pentagon conspiracy theories, at (The discussion was about another infamous image of Faram's, showing the one shiny, unburnt bread-box-sized piece of fuselage painted in American Airlines livery, posed lying on the verdant green lawn.)

Faram wrote Eastman: “I hate to disappoint anyone, but here is the story behind the photograph…..I was at the Navy Annex, up the hill from the Pentagon when I heard the explosion. I always keep a digital camera in my backpack briefcase just as a matter of habit. When the explosion happened I ran down the hill to the site and arrived there approximately 10 minutes after the explosion…..I also photographed a triage area where medical personnel were tending to a seriously burned man. A priest knelt in the middle of the area and started to pray. I took that image and left immediately…..I was out of the immediate area photographing other things within 20 minutes of the crash….My photos were on the wire by noon.”
Mark Faram’s “stole and prayer book/fluid motion over the guardrail” quote is just too colorful to pass off as the reporter's fancy, even though the author, Paul Haring, is identified as a “staff photographer for the Fort Myer Military Community’s Pentagram newspaper,” so, in typically convoluted military fashion, the reporter is taking the pictures and the photographer is doing the writing.
With the plane flying just a few feet off the ground at 450-miles-per-hour as it knocked down light poles--the wind turbulence alone should have flipped McGraw's car over if true, yet he could hear the still small voices of “a collective gasp” issuing from passengers in closed cars nearby. Must be spiritual ears he's using, I’d hazard.

The Group Pose Photo.

Contrast the image of Father McGraw, with these images holding some truth, that came out of New York:
Priest attending to a gentleman in pink shirt.

Father Raymond Nobiletti covered in dust like everyone else.

This is prayer, Father:

Father Raymond Nobiletti from the Church of the Transfiguration

When I first saw a picture of Father Stephen McGraw I thought, “Yum, what a dish—definitely clandestine-services material.” Not high-level I'd expect, but the American CIA/FBI Spook’s Club fancies itself as being dashing and debonair, and it prefers to recruit matinée-idol good-lookers, if at all possible—it feeds their buff, self-reverential James-Bondish identities. Which is all fine and dandy, as long as the secret-keeping charisma combines with a modicum of brains, even on a mission as simple as this one. It is hard to judge McGraw on the single example of his writing Google turned up, but if his first-person account of his Pentagon experience, published in the Arlington Catholic Herald on September 5, 2002, and titled, Jesus Is With You, is any indication, then he’s just a dreamy dolt. (His mug shot is posted here--go see for yourselves.)
And, of course, he is a liar.

It is no fun saying that, in my opinion, Father McGraw's account is a total fabrication, from patsy soup to stooge nuts.He seems sociopathic, like President Bush, when he writes in the third-person, "I believe that God, by a loving design of His providence, arraigned for a priest to be present at the Pentagon crash, not only for the sake of the injured victims to whom I ministered, but also for the sake of the dying, whom He Himself attended with great mercy. I think too of the priest who was on the second plane that crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, and the priest, Father Mychal Judge, who was killed in the subsequent rescue efforts."

McGraw fails to realize that a separate reality exists, like the one in which Father Judge died as he administered last rights to a firefighter killed by a person falling on him. Judge was a sober alcoholic who altruistically helped others to recover. He was an openly gay Catholic priest with a dream day job, and he was loved by all those blue-collar palukas. McGraw’s dissociation from any sincere and honest human emotive quality is chilling. It is even more chilling to realize that thousands of his fellow spooks, spies and well-behaved politicos talk themselves into believing that these lies are good for the United States, or Iraq for that matter.

Gary Bauer, the religious right-wing ideologue, also gave an eye-witness account of seeing a 757 plane fly into the Pentagon, and his account is also a total lie, in my humble opinion. The little details thrown in along the way for verisimilitude give it a different flavor however, tasting both nauseating and noxious, like dry thistles mixed with viper's venom, to mangle Pinter's phrase.

Ted Olson is a big bald-faced liar, in my opinion. Cell phones didn't work from airliners in flight in 2001. There is only one other supposed phone call from the flight, from a stewardess calling on an Airphone, to serve up as collaboration. Teddy's testimony is too tidy for my tastes. Lies, all lies, I say. An optimistic view, maybe, is Mrs. Olson underwent extreme rendition to a secret sunny clime, and awaits his retirement.

When I saw Lisa Jefferson’s final interview on CNN I knew every word out of her mouth was a lie, but I understood her motive and forgave her. She’s the Verizon supervisor who took Todd Beamer's last 13-minute phone call, but didn’t even try to patch him through to his wife Lisa for a final goodbye. Ms. Jefferson wasn’t lying for the usual reasons--money, money and more money. In a spiritual surmise, I saw a likely scenario: local politicos/law-enforcement agents had gotten damning evidence to charge someone she dearly loves, and who was facing heavy prison time, hypothetically speaking. However, she could make it all go away, with just some simple cooperation, and a passable performance. It was perfect leverage for a true Christian woman, and she kept her end of the bargain; however, the God-force inside of her just couldn’t be silenced, and I heard the truth He spoke out of her.

Once you begin to really see these sorts of things, you'd go insane if you didn't get some fun out of it. In my opinion, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson obviously had advanced knowledge of this US government conspiracy to commit acts of murder against its own citizens on 9-11, viewing the deaths as "collateral damage," thus maximizing the potential of a “New Pearl Harbor,” the terms used by the Neo-Cons writing a few years earlier. The universal catharsis the world underwent together altered us deeply as we responded to the loss—unless of course, it wasn’t such a shock to your system because you already knew, and you just had to act mournful, and be all terrorized.

On the CCN television program, The 700 Club, aired on September 13, 2001, Robertson welcomes Falwell to the show with, "Jerry, it's a delight to have you join us this morning on the show!" Delight? Shouldn't that line have some words like "sorrowful bereavement," or "compassionate presence," or almost anything, but not "delight," that is if they were truly one of us, altered post-9-11 beings.

The message the pair unleashed on the show that morning, blaming 9-11 on gays and lesbians, abortionists and pagan ACLU secularists, was so coolly calculated, it unfolded with such singularly graceful coordination that it had to have been planned and orchestrated well in advance, in my opinion. That it was universally condemned and reviled by every sane person is further proof of the pair's culpability and inequity. Like Bush&Co.'s comeuppance in Iraq, “By their fruits, we shall know them."

Father McGraw apparently left his position at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Falls Church, Virginia. This past February he delivered seven apologetical presentations at St. Francis de Sales Church in Purcellville. Apologetics is a formulaic defense of the teachings of faith. What he should do, in my humble opinion, is confess and seek redemption with a more personal sort of apology. Together we are standing at a threshold; either into the lie of the Apocalypse, or as I hope and prefer, the possibility for a new way of seeing collective truth for homo sapiens, whorling around on planet Earth, and I said whorling. The old way, the Bush/Kerry, Skull and Bones, balance of corruption--not balance of power--two-party system, is no longer an option for me to live quietly under, period. Exclamation point!

Once the scales have fallen from your eyes you can’t put them back. I live in the hope that a bright-light day is dawning, but for now, it's casting this immense evil shadow that presently darkens the world, as personified by an evil and vapid George Walker Bush.

But I also accept the remote possibility that somehow I got it all wrong. Then, I must accept a growing likelihood of my dying painfully at the torturer's hands in some secret prison far away. Each is a possibility.

In the photographic record of the attack on September 11, 2001 at the Pentagon it is exceedingly rare to find any cross references. Personages are seen in the roles they were intended to play and then never seen again. In fact, I know of only two such references in the entire corpus, and here's one--of a Father McGraw looking a bit distracted at a moment of supreme drama. Oh well, best not to judge.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Malignant Egophrenic Monster

The Diseased Malignant Egophrenic Monster

Satan's The Name. Genocide's The Game.
White Phosphorus' The Flame.
Tortures the Lame. Radical Islam's To Blame.
Laura's His Dame. Outs C.I.A.'s Plame.
Worse President His Everlasting Fame.

This is a terribly snarky introduction for my intended purpose, but I will leave it as I wrote it some days back because it neatly captures that day's mood and attitude, where I felt very afraid and very sick.

I gave this post its title in order to pay tribute to a 10-page psychological profile of George W. Bush, written by a Seattle-area therapist named Paul Levy, called The Madness Of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis. It is the first thing I've read in a long while which gives me genuine hope for the future. I recommend it highly, both for its insights into the President's make-up, but more importantly for me personally, how it steered me right back onto a useful, if not especially cheerful path, focusing on what part I, as an individual, can play. I didn't know I held a piece of the responsibility for this madness, Mr. Levy! Thanks for helping!

I had a different, much better picture of George posted originally, but it suddenly disappeared from the blog. Most likely it was my fault--technically, I'm still a washout as a Blogger--but the paranoid part of me wonders if it was lifted away by other forces, the least threatening of which would be copyright police.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

From the Smithsonian: The Phone Ted Answered Barbara's Last Phone Call On

Description: Ted Olson, U.S. solicitor general, received two calls on this office telephone from his wife, Barbara Olson, as her hijacked airplane headed toward the Pentagon.
Context: Telephones affected the way people experienced September 11. Barbara Olson, a well-known political commentator, made two phone calls to her husband while onboard American Airlines Flight 77 after it was hijacked by terrorists. She learned of the other hijacked planes and discussed with her husband what to do. Despite the terror of the situation, she remained cool and focused; her husband could only console her and listen. At 9:38 am, all fifty-three passengers, six crew members, and five hijackers were killed when the plane crashed into the Pentagon. All over the world, telephones mattered to people that day, as families and coworkers connected with each other to verify their safety or express their love.
The “attack” on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 was a private Shock & Awe performance-art piece. It was performed in concert with a nearly simultaneous public Shock & Awe piece held at the World Trade Center in downtown New York, which got the better reviews, and most of the public’s attention. Together with a touring company that closed prematurely in Pennsylvania, the four parts were designed as a single coup de théâtre. Various artists were involved in the project, but sorting out the understudies, walk-ons, voice-overs, and private backers from the claymation holograms will take the academy several years. The New York segment was brilliantly conceived in two acts, meant to play out in real time, with the second act packing the house, as anticipated. The Pentagon portion of the program was occult, as befits a semi-secret venue, and was designed for the public to consume only the media byproducts. All were contrived and orchestrated performances, but the Pentagon portion was burdened by an additional layer of non-reality. The production values were simply not high enough to withstand the scrutiny of modern American skepticism. It may also be pointed out that, it couldn’t have been easy to stage a Shock & Awe event on oneself. Anyone who has ever thrown a surprise-birthday party would appreciate this fact.

My thesis is that a review of the documentary record of the event at the Pentagon will reveal the truth faster than an analysis and review of material in the public domain relating to the New York segment does, although, it is strongly encouraged historians and law-enforcement personnel undertake both. Once our eyes open to the truth of these mock attacks, we awaken from an induced slumber, and the images look more F Troop than Dreamworks. We will study the initial work-product as it was unfolded, as well as review the stages at which other material was released as a response to ongoing criticism—our rubric being: it is always the cover-up, not the crime, that reveals the evil-doer.

We begin this review with an image of the white office telephone that conveyed Barbara Olson’s last two cell-phone calls to her husband, the Solicitor General of the United States, Ted Olson, as Flight 77, with her aboard, sped towards destiny at the Pentagon.

The phone now resides in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. Poor curatorship neglects to inform us of the make, or model number, but we do see that it is white. We hope this color-fact isn’t a benefit that might advantage a terrorist who means to do us harm. Perhaps national security is the reason the final cell-phone bill, which would indicate if roaming charges were in effect that morning, is not on display. One must note here, that the introduction of Mrs. Olson into the narrative of 9-11 was the only brilliant conceptual component of an otherwise flat military production. Perhaps the purge and dismissal of the homosexual element from within the military is regretted now, in hindsight. The practiced eye of the queer, with his abilities for story-telling and myth-making, would have been useful in the 9-11 campaign, since such skills are antithetical to the standard military issue of following orders and keeping secrets.

Someone who knew human nature only too well surmised that just the imaginary picture of Barbara Olson slamming into a limestone wall at 450 miles-per-hour in a fiery explosion would be compensation, provide the perfect cover, as haters of the Bush administration would be occupied with the mental arithmetic, calculating benefit to loss, ultimately to deny the Pentagon portion of 9-11 as truly being a part of the national tragedy.
However, the nation was naïve in the fall of 2001. We had not yet conceptualized extreme rendition as vacation.

All of the phone calls from the stricken airplanes were faked. Film at 11.

Bunker gear worn by fireman Mark Skipper, as he fought the fires at the Pentagon on 9-11. Working title: "A Conservator's Dream! It looks so fresh and clean! Like it just came out of the package!"

Collecting 9-11 e-Bay verses The Smithsonian, Dave Thomas, Dave Tarantino & Jerry Henson

"What began as just a small name tag led us to this incredible rescue story..."
The Smithsonian: "I began to seek the stories of rescuers and people that were trapped at the Pentagon, and was fortunate to come in contact with three individuals who had a few objects that survived from the Pentagon. What began as just a small name tag that belonged to a man named David Tarantino, led us to this incredible rescue story of a man named Jerry Henson, who worked at the Navy Command Center.

"Jerry was trapped by fallen debris, and Dave Tarantino and another gentleman named Dave Thomas entered the burning offices where Jerry was trapped and helped rescue him from the fallen debris. Once they were outside Dave Thomas reached over and tore off the name tag of Dave Tarantino, showed it to Jerry Henson and said, "This is a name we’ll always want to remember."

"The point is these individuals didn't know each other prior to September 11. This tragedy brought them together and it's a wonderful example of how these ordinary people put under extraordinary circumstances helped shape American History."
Lt. Comdr. David Tarantino, Jerry Henson, and Capt. David Thomas

Statement from David Tarantino at Smithsonian press conference, May, 2002 “We [Thomas, Henson, and I] think our stories just represent what a lot of people were doing that day. It was obviously a very trying day for us in the Pentagon and for the country, but I think hopefully the exhibit will show, and history will show, that it was a setback, but it was not a defeat. Even that day, people started responding. Jerry [Henson] didn’t give up. He could have easily given up.

(For a fuller, first-person account of Lieutenant Commander David Tarantino, of the US Navy Medical Corps, who was assigned to the Secretary of Defense in the Office of Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Affairs, see his recollections in Oral Histories: War Against Terrorism, September 11, 2001 to present.)

Out of the tiniest acorn grows this mighty oak of a mind-bendingly incredible parabola.

Harcourt Standard Dictionary, 1963, defines “incredible” as carrying the adjectival meaning of “not credible,” or “impossible to believe,” So the Smithsonian author of this item gets the CHRIST award for Coded Honesty Revealed in Slip of Tongue.

Perhaps a first-responder honcho, or retired military man, can get back to me with the etiquette on this one. What exactly is the ripping-name-tags-off-of-fellow-rescuers protocol? Is it allowed in special circumstances only? How about when in making-useless-points-to-crushed-victim mode? Is it O.K. for a senior officer to rip a junior officer’s tag, but not vice verse? How about epaulets with initials? Even braid and oak-leave clusters? Why is the little ditty,

Stranded on the toilet bowl!
What do you do when you’re stranded,
and you need another roll?

looping endlessly in my head as I write?

I don’t mean to quibble, but, why would a responder in rescue mode rip the name tag off of a fellow R.R.M., only to say to the rescued, “This is a name we’ll always want to remember?” If the story line is to have any continuity, shouldn’t he have ripped off his own name tag as well, and given both to Jerry Henson, saying “Well hell, here are two names, you’ll always want to remember?” Then a recovered Mr. Henson, coming out of his dazed stupor post-rescue, could suddenly stumble upon this “small” bit of evidence of heroism, and thus provide the crux, context and coordination necessary for the story to make any sense?

The curator said these three men had “a few objects that survived.” I for one, am very interested in what these other objects might reveal about the further heroics of that day.

Bonus plan award: who imagined this tidbit: "It was obviously a very trying day for us in the Pentagon?" Could the line, "It was obviously a very trying day for us at the World Trade Center." ever come out of a straight face? Doesn’t the army wish it had a nice homo story-line editor and dialog coach on staff right about now?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Calling All Patriots!

March 13, 2006

Calling All Patriots!

Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram

America’s horror and our responsibility.

What evil gave rise to secret wiretaps, secret courts, secret prisons, torture, war crimes, the trampling of our Bill of Rights and way of life?

America under Bush committed these acts in defiance of its Constitution. Torturing innocent humans isn’t pointless evil if the idea serves to enslave the passive citizens of the United States into individual prisons of fear and inaction.

Who will call it by its name? How much deeper into lock-down before thought prisons become stone prisons, and the fantasy of escape is forgotten?

Stand up America in fearsome non-violence immediately. Show the world the American ideal. Move, now. Our responsibility is to the future.

The straw man has no brain, no heart, and no courage. If need be, I will be silenced as an individual, in my own name, Steven Mark Welch.

I will not go quietly, as part of some faceless mass. I will not be corrupted by proximity to an evil vacuum.

Pray! Speak! Write! Publish! Assemble! March! These are the first of our inalienable rights as citizens of the United States of America. Never before have they been threatened as now.

Stand Up. Speak now, or forever hold your peace.

Steven M. Welch

Southampton, NY

United States of America