Friday, November 05, 2010

Rachel Uchitel, Bill Fennelly, Edward Halley, Daniel Mallo, Allison Clavert, Tom Bowen, Jeff Johnson, Sharon and Ken Ambrose, and all the rest.

In a recently unearthed 9/11 photo archive maintained by the West Virginia Herald-Dispatch, I found a number of images which bear captions identifying those who are portrayed in them---a practice which I thought was almost entirely unknown. It would appear that those early identifications couldn't stand up to the level of scrutiny being applied them, so over time the public record itself required suppression---an effort, which was successful until now.

For instance, Rachel Uchitel was identified early on in reports as a devastated survivor.

Rachel Uchitel makes an emotional plea as she searches for her fiance James Andrew O'Grady outside Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan on Sept. 13, 2001. O'Grady was working on the 104th floor of Tower 2 of New York's World Trade Center that was destroyed in the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/CP, Andrew Vaughan)

Her later newsworthiness as Tiger Wood's mistress required her once-intended father-in-law to publicly repudiate her, in a messy bit of scandal, as having "changed."

In what now looks like wanton public disclosure, an organizer of one of the public memorials in New York City, composed of those supposedly spontaneously arising public displays of missing-persons fliers and other assorted mementos, which served a purpose of validating the so-called victims, is identified at work outside Bellevue Hospital as being Edward Halley, in the same way that Jordan Schuster, a NYU student, was identified in the New York Times as undertaking the similar task in Union Square park.

Volunteer Edward Halley arranges candles and other mementos Saturday, Sept. 15, 2001, at the Wall of Prayers erected at New York's Bellevue Hospital for victims of Tuesday's World Trade Center terrorist attack. (AP Photo/Ryan Remiorz)

One group of three images share a common feature. They all name the personal identification within the caption itself, while simultaneously concealing the picture's actual visual identification---in a practice done, I should think, for coded, occult, or accounts-receivable purposes, since when seen in the dry context of the 9/11 record, such high-style, gratuitous disclosure could not be pointless.

New York City policeman Daniel Mallo stands guard wearing a protective mask near the New York Stock Exchange building in lower Manhattan, Sept. 16, 2001. Workers are preparing the building for the reopening of the stock market on Monday. The Stock Exchange has been closed since last Tuesday's terrorist attack. (AP Photo by Robert Spencer)

(With a backup shot taken by Kevin Coombs of Reuters0

New York State employee Allison Clavert shields her face from dust and soot as she walks past the New York Stock Exchange, background left, Monday morning, Sept. 17, 2001. Many workers returned to New York's financial district as stock markets and some other businesses reopened for the first time since last week's terrorist attack against the World Trade Center. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Such messaged signals would seem appropriate given they coincided with the reopening of the Stock Exchange a week afterward. But for one Long Island fireman to be exposed as an exhausted volunteer on the Thursday following the attacks, signifies he held a special status.

Bill Fennelly, a volunteer firefighter from Baldwin, N.Y., pauses for a moment at the World Trade Center collapse in New York, Sept. 13, 2001. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

Another category of images implicates persons having some personal religious or moral justification for an involvement in the plot---in addition to the political, or aspirational motivations that might have inspired other, less God-fearing men.

In the case of two men, who spent part of the first two weeks at ground zero providing chaplaincy services, such privledged early access given to out-of-towners almost guarantees they were foreknowledged participants, if only to the same degree as given Scientology.

On Sept. 26, 2001, Huntington Youth for Christ director Tom Bowen, left, and Jeff Johnson, pastor of the Bethel Temple Assembly of God, share their experiences as chaplains to the firefighters and other emergency work crews at the site of the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center. File photo/The Herald-Dispatch

Huntington Youth for Christ director Tom Bowen, left, listens as Jeff Johnson, pastor of the Bethel Temple Assembly of God, share their experiences as chaplains to the fire fighters and other emergency work crews at the site of the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center on Sept. 26, 2001. File photo/The Herald-Dispatch

Tom Jordan, a World Trade Center survivor, speaks about his experience during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony in 2006 at New Life Church in Huntington. Lori Wolfe/The Herald-Dispatch

In other cases, not enough information is provided to directly accuse those featured of some nefarious involvement in the undertaking of a crime. Since New York City was flooded in the weeks and months following 9/11 by retired military personnel and law-enforcement and firematics professionals from out-of-town, who welcomed any opportunity to participate, at whatever level they were invited in to do so, this vast class must, for the most part, be regarded as patsies who filled the roles of funeral attendance, and other memorial duties.

On Sept. 11, 2006, local residents discuss their involvement in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. They are, from left, Michael Manns, Ed Kittinger, Terry Wright and Tom Jordan. Jordan was in the South Tower of the World Trade Center when an airplane plowed into it; the others helped with rescue and recovery operations afterward. File photo/The Herald-Dispatch

The family members of the so-called victims played a major media role in forming public opinion within the local markets---those small-to-medium outlets where the possibility for emotional transference, and identification with the consumer, could hold sway over logic and understanding.

I have only my personal views in these matters to express, but in my many media encounters with the group, they invariably give themselves away through the errant details of their inconsistent narratives. Bad acting would be a step up from the inherent fraudulence they have to offer. Perhaps I'm just jaded, but as a class, I feel they moved beyond the Biblical injunction against lying, and well into real insanity a long time ago.

Sharon Ambrose holds her head as she and her husband, Ken, recall their son Paul's love and zest for life. Paul Ambrose was one of the passenger aboard the hijacked plane that was flown into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. File photo/The Herald-Dispatch

Raised in Huntington, Dr. Paul Ambrose was a promising young doctor who was killed at the Pentagon in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, at the age of 32. Submitted photo

I would classify many of the other, little-known images in the captioned Herald-Dispatch collection as simply giving too much information away---facts which would enable us, eventually to make informed decisions for ourselves. That's the sort of overview provided in an image like the following:

Rescue personnel respond along Liberty Street following the first explosion at New York's World Trade Center following the first explosion Sept. 11, 2001. Planes crashed into the upper floors of both World Trade Center towers minutes apart Tuesday in a horrific scene of explosions and fires that left gaping holes in the 110-story buildings. (AP Photo/Robin L. Marin)

But the kind of detail and variety originally intended for our narrative consumption, had to be homogenized over time, through an imperceptible suppression and reorganization of available facts, into the impoverished, pieced-together story of today, which leaves us with no cognitive options to oppose what everybody knows is a scam, but with our indifference and apathy.

A final note on the flat-footed public-relations manipulations, which look so heavy handed when they come back to haunt us. To limit or suppress something only makes it that much more powerful when it is eventually released. That is the effect I experienced with the following image, in full flower of the intention to paint Arabs, or Muslims, or the Palestinian people as scapegoats who carry blame for 9/11. What politics could be behind this do you think?

Palestinians dance in the street at the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp near the southern port city of Sidon, Sept. 11, 2001. Palestinians in Lebanon's refugee camps celebrated the attacks in the United States by firing into the air. (AP Photo/Mohamed Zatari) Copyright 2001 The Herald-Dispatch

That story line just doesn't work any more. You need only look at poor Rudy [or maybe Rudi] Dekkers' airplane to see what works, and what doesn't.

Rudy Dekkers, owner of Huffman Aviation in Venice, Fla., speaks Sept. 12, 2001, in front of one of the planes used to train two men in 2000 who were involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Dekkers said the FBI was looking at student records at the flight school, including copies of passports from the men. (AP Photo/The Sun, Chris Crook)

No comments:

Post a Comment