Denial is not a river in Egypt

Not See's and Nazis

conspiracies against democracy don't need lots of people to participate in them, they need millions, however, to stay silent to ensure their success.


"It is not possible to awaken someone who is pretending to be asleep."
-- Navajo proverb

As the enemy drew nearer Moscow, instead of the Muscovites' view of their situation growing more serious, it became more frivolous, as is always the case with people who see a great danger approaching. At the threat of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal power in the human soul: one quite reasonably tells a man to consider the nature of the danger and the means of averting it; the other still more reasonably, says that it is too depressing and painful to think of the danger, since it is not in man's power to foresee everything and escape from the general march of events, and it is therefore better to disregard what is painful till it comes, and think about what is pleasant.
--Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

You know of the disease called "sleeping sickness." There also exists a sleeping sickness of the soul. Its most dangerous aspect is that one is unaware of its coming. That is why you have to be careful. As soon as you notice the slightest sign of indifference, the moment you become aware of the loss of a certain seriousness, of longing, of enthusiasm and zest, take it as a warning. You soul suffers if you live superficially.
--Albert Schweitzer

"One day you can tell all this to anyone who's willing to listen. No one will believe you. Despite the fact that anyone who makes the slightest effort can see what is waiting at the future."
-- Ingmar Bergman's The Serpent's Egg

"imposed silence about any area of our lives is a tool for separation and powerlessness .... your silence will not protect you."
- Audre Lorde

"The remnants of American liberalism are in a state of denial. They continue to treat the offensive against democratic rights as an aberration or misunderstanding. They seek to obscure from the American people the fact that a fundamental shift has taken place in the direction of dictatorial forms of rule."

"It also gives us a very special, secret pleasure to see how unaware the people around us are of what is really happening to them."
- Adolf Hitler

"It is no measure of health to be sane in an insane society."
-- Krishnamurti

"They say commonly in proverbial style: A wicked man who is thought to be good can do evil and yet not have it believed."
p. 217, The Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio, Translated by Richard Aldington Garden City Publishing Company 1930

"Monsters do exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, those functionaries willing to think and to act without asking questions."
-- Primo Levi


Not See's and Nazis

In 1941, the Nazis invaded Lithuania, imprisoned the Jews of Vilna into a ghetto, and started killing thousands of them in a pit outside of the town. After a while, a woman managed to stagger back to the ghetto after only being wounded at the shooting pits. The doctor who treated her became convinced she was telling the truth, and tried to warn the rest of the community about the fate the Nazis had in store for them. He found it extremely difficult to persuade people - not because they'd done any research of their own to discredit the story - but because psychologically it was too difficult to cope with, and therefore denial was used instead to get through the misery of their daily lives. Needless to say, everyone was eventually killed save those who hid or fled to the forests. This story is from the book "Treblinka" by Jean-Francois Steiner.

The reluctance of American society to examine the American Reichstag Fire is similar to this story.

On 31 August 1941, before the ghettos were established, Abba Kovner, a young Jew, witnessed an Aktion commence, as a result of which 2,019 Jewish women, 864 men and 817 children were taken from Vilnius in trucks to Ponary and murdered. Nobody knew of their fate until on 3 September 1941, a dishevelled Jewish woman arrived in the city. She spoke to a doctor, Meir Mark Dvorjetsky. Wounded, she had escaped from Ponary. It was not a labour camp but an extermination site. The woman was alive because men were shot first. Only by being amongst the last to be shot and thus not covered by the bodies of those already dead or mortally wounded, could a person survive.
On 1 September 1941, 4,000-5,000 (3,700 - according to EK3 chief SS-Standartenführer Karl Jäger) Vilnius Jews were herded together by the Germans. An endless column walked through the nocturnal streets. Nearly nobody knew what would happen to them. One day later, on 2 September 1941, the witness Sakowicz saw them arriving at the Ponary killing site. Only two girls survived this massacre by crawling out of the pits: the 16 years-old Pesia Szlos and the 11 years-old Judyta Trojak.
After 3 September 1941, six survivors are known to have crawled out of the pit alive. All of them were girls or women. Dvorjetsky related the woman’s story to a gathering of Vilnius' Jews. They refused to believe him, accusing him of panic mongering. The Aktion continued for four days, resulting in 8,000 deaths.

from the book Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally, regarding the refusal of the Judenrat (Nazi installed Jewish Council) in the Krakow Ghetto to disclose to their fellow Jews their knowledge of the Belzec death camp

"It was no use bringing such tidings to the Judenrat. The Judenrat Council did not consider it civilly advisable to tell the ghetto dwellers anything about the camps. people would merely be distressed; there would be disorder in the streets, and it would not go unpunished. It was always better to let people hear wild rumors, decide they were exaggerated, fall back on hope."



Chaim Engel, Sobibor survivor, interview with USHMM, discussing arriving at the death camp

Well let me say that we hear in Poland what happens with the Jews. They kill Jews and they gas Jews and things like that.
But we really as young people, we really didn't believe that something like that is possible. We thought, "Maybe the younger people will be taken to work – maybe only the older people….."
You just didn't want to believe, because it was so incomprehensible, so unbelievable that something like that can happen that you just – even if you had the intelligence, you didn't believe it.

Testimony from the Eichmann trial

Attorney General: When you came there, did you know what was the place you had arrived at?
Witness Lindwasser: No. I knew it was Treblinka, but we did not know the purpose.
Q. Had you heard about Treblinka in Warsaw?
A. We had heard about Treblinka.
Q. Did you know that Jews were being exterminated at Treblinka?
A. We did not believe it.
Q. You did not believe it. Why?
A. Why? This would, perhaps, be difficult to answer. Possibly, it is an individual matter for each person. One simply could not grasp that such a thing was possible - actual extermination. Rumours reached Warsaw that the Germans were sending people out to work. And simply, it was better to cling to this idea.


from the fourth leaflet of the White Rose (German student group that dared to publish leaflets about the Holocaust, 1942)

"With total brutality the chasm that separates the better portion of the nation from everything that is identified with National Socialism must be opened wide. For Hitler and his followers there is no punishment on this earth commensurate with their crimes. But out of love for coming generations we must make an example after the conclusion of the war, so that no one will ever again have the slightest urge to try a similar action. And do not forget the petty scoundrels in this regime; note their names, so that none will go free! They should not find it possible, having had their part in these abominable crimes, at the last minute to rally to another flag and then act as if nothing has happened!"


second leaflet of the White Rose, 1942

Why tell you these things, since you are fully aware of them - or if not of these, then of other equally grave crimes committed by this frightful sub-humanity? Because here we touch on a problem which involves us deeply and forces us all to take thought. Why do the German people behave so apathetically in the face of all these abominable crimes, crimes so unworthy of the human race? Hardly anyone thinks about that. It is accepted as fact and put out of mind. The German people slumber on in their dull, stupid sleep and encourage these fascist criminals; they give them the opportunity to carry on their depredations; and of course they do so. Is this a sign that the Germans are brutalized in their simplest human feelings, that no chord within them cried out at the sight of such deeds, that they have sunk into a fatal consciencelessness from which they will never, never awake? It seems to be so, and will certainly be so, if the German does not at least start up out of his stupor, if he does not protest wherever and whenever he can against this clique of criminals, if he shows no sympathy for these hundreds of thousands of victims. He must evidence not only sympathy; no, much more: a sense of complicity in guilt. For through his apathetic behavior he gives these evil men the opportunity to act as they do; he tolerates this "government" which has taken upon itself such an infinitely great burden of guilt; indeed, he himself is to blame for the fact that it came about at all! Each man wants to be exonerated of a guilt of this kind, each one continues on his way with the most placid, the calmest conscience. But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty, guilty, guilty! It is not too late, however, to do away with this most reprehensible of all miscarriages of government, so as to avoid being burdened with even greater guilt. Now, when in recent years our eyes have been opened, when we know exactly who our adversary is, it is high time to root out this brown horde. Up until the outbreak of the war the larger part of the German people were blinded; the Nazis did not show themselves in their true aspect. But now, now that we have recognized them for what they are, it must be the sole and first duty, the holiest duty of every German to destroy these beasts.

[-] Jerry McManus on May 5, 2008 - 3:59pm | Permalink | Subthread | Comments top
All sounds good. Only one thing in the way. Us.

This has all been written of, theorized about and sincerely pondered for at least 40 years.

Thanks for bringing that up, I had much the same reaction.

This is going to sound monstrously off-topic, but bear with me. There was a show on PBS the other night that dramatized the miraculous escape of two men from Auschwitz during WWII. After several days of severe hardship they managed to make it to the border and freedom, wherepon they immediately set out to warn the nearest Jewish council of what was happening in the death camps, something the Nazi's had largely been able to conceal through deception.

The reaction? No one believed them. The deportation of the Hungarian Jews went ahead as scheduled and 100's of thousands were sent to the gas chambers, choosing to believe instead they were only being relocated to work camps despite having been warned of the truth.

Similar stories have been told by other survivors in the camps who tried to warn people even as they were being herded naked into the "shower room", and they too were met with disbelief.

Even today, aid workers who have witnessed the death, er, I mean the refugee camps in Africa have found that they cannot talk about their experiences for more than a minute or two before their friends politely change the subject.

What's my point? If the truth is too terrible to hear, it's simply part of human nature to deny it. The ghastly and horrific prospect of the human population crashing and billions dying due to depleted resources, wasted soils, poisoned air and water, and devastated ecosystems has been clearly articulated for several decades now, but what do you know, no one wants to hear it.


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[-] teoc on May 5, 2008 - 4:23pm | Permalink | Subthread | Comments top
Thanks for that, much more eloquently profound in a blood freezing kind of way.

Denial is a powerful part of the human mind.

We are all frogs sitting in the proverbial pot of water that is being brought to a boil and this fact has been brought to our reptilian attention for at least 40 years in various persuasive and popular venues.

It is like the story about the frog and the scorpion looking for a ride across the river...well you know the story. The punch line/death scene comes with the scorpion having stung the frog is asked by said frog, "Why did you do that now we are both going to die!" To which the scorpion says "Couldn't be helped, it's in my nature."

I guess some of us have the nature of frogs and some of us have the nature of scorpions and so far the scorpions among us would seem to have the upper hand.

But I am rooting for my fellow frogs to pull it out in the final inning—can't be helped it's in my nature.

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[-] Carolus Obscurus on May 5, 2008 - 4:25pm | Permalink | Subthread | Comments top
You are monstrously on topic, actually.

There a still a handful of diehards who don't believe that Jews were murdered en masse during WWII -- and a very large number who don't believe that the Ukrainian famine ever occurred, or that there was an Armenian Holocaust. Etcetera. And yes, it's part of human nature to deny these realities.

No problem -- when I hear the word Africa, I reach for my remote control. I switch channels. That's the big question: if millions die in a famine, and the media are there to cover it, and you change programmes once you hear the A-word, did that famine really happen?

Ask a philosopher....


Denial about the implications of 9/11 foreknowledge
Conspiracy Kooks?
by Carol Wolman, MD., April 27, 2004

Remove from me the way of falsehood,
and favor me with your law.
The way of truth I have chosen;
I have set your ordinances before me.
Psalm 119: 29-30

"Reality is a thin line between denial and paranoia."- author unknown
"It is no measure of health to be sane in an insane society." -- Krishnamurti

Dear Friends,

Most Americans, including many liberals and critics of the Bush administration, have bought the official story that 9-11 was perpetrated by Al Qa'eda, and the only questions to be asked have to do with the failure of intelligence. Those who question this story and want to investigate other possibilities are dismissed as "conspiracy kooks".
As a practicing psychiatrist, I hear many stories from my patients about how they are being conspired against. Some of the stories are psychotic paranoia, others are all too real. A woman being abused by her spouse, for instance, is truly being persecuted, and the perpetrator may have the whole family convinced that she is "crazy". I would be remiss if I didn't take her story seriously.
I recommend a website, that examines the extent to which the liberal press has supported the party line on 9-11and suppressed or marginalized skeptics. Below, I have reprinted a review by historian Howard Zinn of a new book, The New Pearl Harbor- Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 by David Ray Griffin- "an eminent philosopher and theologian".
I have my own list of disturbing questions about 9-11, which any reputable DA would find basis enough to investigate a possible conspiracy on the part of the Bush bunch. No doubt my questions overlap a lot with Griffin's, and I think they bear repeating.

1) As the 9-11 Commission has pointed out, there were many, many egregious lapses of intelligence and failures to follow through on intelligence, prior to 9-11. Doesn't this indicate a pattern of permissiveness toward, if not complicity with, Al Qa'eda?
2) There are many instances of prior inside knowledge about 9-11 on the part of unnamed higher-ups, ranging from personal precautions and warnings to friends, to insider stock trading, to preparations for a large press corps at an elementary school where Bush was visiting that day. Who knew what, when? Prior knowlege amounts to aiding and abetting.
3) Bush's behavior on that terrible day is bizarre and inexplicable, and no attempt has made to explain or even question it. He was clearly not surprised by the news of 9-11, was not in charge of his own movements or of the country, and acted in a cowardly manner. Who was pulling his strings?
4) Many accounts of the actual attack have been questioned by reputable investigators, including who was on board the planes, what really hit the Pentagon, what caused the twin towers, and especially Building 7 which was never hit, to collapse, why did America's air defenses stand down, and on and on. These questions deserve investigation.
5) The behavior of the administration since the attack has been suspicious in many ways. They allowed a planeload of Bin Laden relatives to leave when all other flights were shut down. They have exploited 9-11 to invade two countries which were already on their agenda because of oil interests. They have also used it to pass legislation which shreds the Constitution and allows the institution of a fascist state. They have obstructed an investigation every way they can.
6) Many witnesses from within the administration have risked their jobs and reputations to come forward and testify that their bosses are lying, and that there is much more to the story than we have been told.

Americans have a right to the truth about 9-11. Co-conspirators are traitors, and deserve the maximum penalty.
Let us not allow the terrible mess they are making in Iraq to distract us from exposing their misdeeds and lies at home.

In the name of the God of truth, Carol Wolman
Narco News published Sgt. Stan Goff on Immediate History
"The So-Called Evidence Is a Farce"
October 10, 2001

.... This de facto regime then organizes a very interesting cabinet. The Vice President is an oil executive and the former Secretary of Defense. The National Security Advisor is a director on the board of a transnational oil corporation and a Russia scholar. The Secretary of State is a man with no diplomatic experience whatsoever, and the former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The other interesting appointment is Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense. Rumsfeld is the former CEO of Searle Pharmaceuticals. He and Cheney were featured as speakers at the May, 2000, Russian-American Business Leaders Forum. So the consistent currents in this cabinet are petroleum, the former Soviet Union, and the military.
Based on the record of Daddy Bush, in all his guises, and the general trajectory of US foreign policy as far back as the Carter Administration, I feel I can reasonably conclude that Middle Eastern and South Asian fossil fuels are one of their major preoccupations. Not just because this klavern has some very direct financial interests in fossil fuel, but because they surely know that worldwide oil production is peaking as we speak, and will soon begin a permanent and precipitous decline that will completely change the character of civilization as we know it within 20 years. Even the left seems to be in deep denial about this, but the math is available. And, no, alternative energies and energy technologies will not save us. All the alternatives in the world can not begin to provide more than a tiny fraction of the energy base now provided by oil. This makes it more than a resource, and the drive to control what's left more than an economic competition.
I further conclude that the economic colonization of the former Soviet Union is probably high on that agenda, and in fact has a powerful synergy with the issue of petroleum. Russia not only holds vast untapped resources that beckon to imperialism in crisis, it remains a credible military and nuclear challenger in the region.
We have not one, but three members of the Bush de facto cabinet with military credentials, which makes the cabinet look quite a lot like a military General Staff. All this way before September 11th.

Certainly, the Bush de facto administration was facing a confluence of crises from which they were temporarily rescued by this event. Whether they played a sinister role or not, there is little doubt that they have at the very least opportunistically pounced on this attack to overcome their lack of legitimacy, to shift the blame for the encroaching recession from capitalism to the September 11th terror attack, to legitimize their pre-existing foreign policy agenda, and to establish and consolidate repressive measures domestically and silence dissent. In many ways, September 11th pulled the Bush cookies out of the fire.
And given them the green light to begin constructing a long-term scenario within which to establish fascistic control measures at home and abroad as a citadel for the ruling class in the catastrophic conjuncture that we are entering based on the end of oil. The empire is beginning to unravel. We can hardly justify intervention in these places by saying they are not towing the economic line by allowing the absolute domination of their societies by transnational corporations. That exposes the agenda. So we simply claim they are supporting terrorism.
It's for all these reasons I say the left has missed the boat on this one, by allowing them to get away with rushing past the question of who did what on September 11th. If the official story is a lie, and I think the circumstantial case is strong enough to stay with this question, then we really do need to know what happened. And we need to understand concretely what the motives of this administration are.
And we need to understand more than just their immediate motives, but where the larger social forces that underwrite our situation right now are headed. I do not think this administration is engaged in the deliberative process of a political grouping that is on top of their game. They are putting together some very deliberative technical solutions in response to a larger situation that it slipping rapidly out of their control. Like clear cutting. There's a very smart technology being employed to do a very dumb thing.
What they are responding to is not September 11th, but the beginning of a permanent and precipitous decline in worldwide oil production, the beginning of a deep and protracted worldwide recession, and the unraveling of the empire.
The left, if it has the capacity to self-organize out of its oblivion, needs to understand its critical roles here. We have to play the role of credible, hard-working, and non-sectarian partners in a broader peace-movement. We have to study, synthesize, and describe our current historical conjuncture. And we have to prepare leadership for the decisive conflict that will emerge to first defeat fascism then take political power.
Rosa Luxemburg's words are truer than ever right now. We are not faced with a choice between socialism and capitalism, but socialism or barbarism.
And what we can least afford are denial and timidity.
Stan Goff
Why They Believe the Government: Left Denial on 9/11 by August West

Denial lies at the heart of this unusual Left reaction. Many activists have looked at the questions, thought about the answers for a bit, and retreated in horror in the face of implications. If the government had foreknowledge and let the attacks happen, or worse, actually took part in facilitating them, then the American state is far more vicious than they could have imagined. And if so, what would happen to them should they vocalize this? Needless to say, this would greatly raise the stakes of political action well beyond the relatively superficial level that even many leftists operate at. It would be impossible to go on living as before, being essentially a spectator whose life is work/shopping/entertainment, with the occasional political rally, lecture or movie to spice things up and make one feel involved. People like that, or even ones more involved with some regular effort at political reform, could no longer feel that the political situation could be changed for the better through small, incremental steps, a 100 year or even 500 year plan. This prospect is thoroughly unsettling, and is easier to deal with if simply dismissed outright. ...

Beneath unconscious motivations also lie some conscious agendas. Those on the Left who have embraced “critical support” for a “limited response” war will no doubt not wish to have their political bankruptcy exposed. But even most of those who oppose the War have nevertheless accepted the notion that the U.S. was attacked by a vicious enemy. For some, this represents an opportunity to promote their moralistic approach: let us respond in an appropriate, moral and non-military manner. Others, such as Chomsky, Michael Albert, Howard Zinn and Alex Cockburn, simply trot out the “blowback” explanation: this horrible attack happened because America has done bad things, has not listened to “us” (wag, wag the finger), and better start changing its policies (as if an empire can be run in a nice way!). Yet others who disagree with war boosters like Katrina van den Heuvel of The Nation nevertheless buy their thesis that the war promotes increasing state powers (e.g., making airport baggage inspectors federal employees), and this amounts to a move towards “socialism”. If the events of 9/11 were not what they seemed to be, this takes away the chance to promote these political programs, perhaps to even advance certain careers.
Denial in the "Progressive" Press
Ed Rippy 5/29/03
An Open Letter To Grassroots Media Folks

... Given this history, no-one can reasonably dismiss the possibility of US Government involvement - if only by looking the other way - in the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. And yet this is just what the overwhelming majority of Pacifica programming staff do.
Taking their cues from Norman Solomon, Chip Berlet, Steve Rendall et al ., and without bothering to look at any evidence as far as I can tell, they pooh-pooh some of the best research around and endorse a smear campaign against Mike Ruppert, one of the most honest, hardworking researchers I know. They do this despite serious input from their own reporters (including me) and repeated calls from listeners.
In short, ignore the evidence, ignore their own reporters, ignore their own listeners, they're gonna kill the story if they possibly can, citing vague concerns about "credibility."
For years Larry Bensky has cut off callers who raised issues ranging from Federal Reserve chicanery to 9-11 coverups. I have heard from another reporter that decades ago he had given Philip Maldari tape of a US Special Forces operative talking about the CIA's protection of Central American drug smuggling. The tape never aired, nor did Maldari ever respond. I'm told that Kris Welch told a caller that KPFA's Program Council, on the advice of people they "respect," decided that the issue of foreknowledge/complicity in 9-11 within the US Government was not worth airtime. (They were referring specifically to Ruppert's work, but reducing the issue to "Mike Ruppert" is ridiculous. There are lots of good sources; it is the issue, not the personalities, which counts.). I have emailed both Bensky and Welch, but have received no response.
Kellia Ramares and I have distributed 50 copies of an open letter to KPFA staff addressing the issue (which may have contributed to the survival of "Guns and Butter," one of the few exceptions to the culture of denial). I have spoken with Mark Mericle and Aileen Alfandary in person about the obscene attacks on Ruppert, and I know that neither had actually read the work they were panning. Aileen admitted it, and Mark's screechings revealed that he didn't know what he was talking about; he was merely parroting the party line as handed down by Solomon. The News Dept.'s written policy says that controversies within the station or network will get covered just like any other story; I approached Mark months ago pointing out that by that logic they needed to cover the furor over the 9-11 story, and he handed it off to Max Pringle. I haven't heard a peep out of either since.
I don't know what pressures they may be under. Undoubtedly if they step outside the box of "credibility" (defined for them by the Solomon/Korn/Berlet/Rendall camp) they will be mercilessly slammed by all of their supposed allies. But their behavior keeps important information off the air. As long as they and their ilk have any significant influence on programming, its integrity will suffer. If Pacifica is to be anything more than a chic cover for our government's worst abominations, it must face - and broadcast - reality. How can we make this safe?
In sadness,
Ed Rippy

Everyone is in on it. At a subconscious level, Americans want control of everything, think they are entitled to it. I don't mean every individual American of course, but the culture and mythos of the US has this in it very, very deep. So many flagarant lies. The media, the dems, the people... all look away and let it go on. From the outset, "manifest destiny" has been a self-evident truth to the populace. A very sick and sickening society. Apologies to decent individual Americans who are trying their best, but continually and forever keep getting ignored, and worse. And much more than apologies to those who have been bulldozed by the US, worldwide and for a long time. Wake up America, and look at your ugliness.
Posted by Sandalwood, Canada at October 23, 2003 02:03 PM
Outside the box
By Joseph Wanzala
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003

... There are certain types of progressives, of the Jim Hightower, Molly Ivins, Studs Terkel, Al Franken variety that move with ease between the liberal to moderate left spectrum - i.e. the polite radicals who do not really rudely offend the sensibilities of the liberal establishment (everybody is so fixated on 'the right' that we all forget the significance and power of the liberal elite at the commanding heights of the corporate state). Indeed, if you miss Molly Ivins on the Morning Show, you can rest assured that you will catch her on Michael Krasney's show on KQED. Beyond this, David Barsamian is from time to time able to get away with broadcasting Arhundhati Roy or Noam Chomsky - but again, even Chomsky is by now part of mainstream 'left' political discourse and not beyond the pale.

excerpt from:

I must say that I have been shocked by the behavior of "the progressive Left," since they cancelled the big protests against the White House last September [2001] and the Sierra Club suggested that people "lay off" the attacks on Bush. People that I have known, admired and whose work I have promoted over the years- Noam Chomsky, Michael Albert, Norman Solomon... instead of critically examining the events of September 11th, have accepted the official story and attacked those of us who are raising questions!!!! I honestly don't know if they are mentally impaired, stupid, scared, or have been co-opted into "protecting the status quo and their positions of honor and prestige." However, they are gatekeepers barring the dissemination of critical information, and I am frankly mad at them. Instead of wasting time bickering within the "movement for peace and justice"- we should be able to clearly recognize the fascist attack that we are facing now.


John McMurty wrote this in response to Michael Albert, of Z Magazine's attacks upon those "raising questions."

"What Did Bush Know, When?" Reply to ZNet Commentary of May 22, 2002

New Book Examines Possible White House Role in 9/11 Attacks 06-Dec-02 review by
In "The War on Freedom: How and Why America Was Attacked", Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed of the Institute for Policy Research and Development in the UK examines the big picture created by information from "respected sources including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Wall Street Journal" about what happened before, during, and after September 11, 2001. He reports on high-level orders preventing investigations of suspected terrorists before September 11; warnings that various well-known people received that caused them to cancel travel plans; the Air Force's deviation from standard procedures when the planes were hijacked on September 11; business connections between the Bushes and the bin Ladin family, and mysterious stock transactions just before September 11; and the inconsistencies in the stories from the White House about what happened that day and why.

"9/11 "Conspiracies" and the Defactualisation of Analysis
How Ideologues on the Left and Right Theorise Vacuously to Support Baseless Supposition

A Reply to ZNet's 'Conspiracy Theory?' Section," by By Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed (author of "The War on Freedom")

MalcontentX also wrote an excellent piece on the "Left" posted at
What's "LEFT" to Talk About?
A Discussion On Why Many of the Leading Voices on the "Left" Have Avoided Asking Questions About the "official story" Surrounding The Events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Left Denial on 9/11 Turns Irrational
by Jack Straw 6 May 2005

People like Noam Chomsky and Ward Churchill are turning toward the irrational as they continue to deny increasing signs that 9/11 was an inside job.
Ever since the events of 9/11, the American Left and even ultra-Left have been downright fanatical in combating notions that the U.S. government was complicit in the attacks or at least had foreknowledge of the events. Lately, this stance has taken a turn towards the irrational.


[note: the "Left Denial" article is generally very good about the strange myopia of the "left" about 9/11, but it is marred by a strange focus on alleged, unprovable assertions of temperature inside the burning towers that supposedly means they were demolished, and most of the web links for additional information are bogus. The "Left Denial" article ignores the evidence about foreknowledge, warnings to insiders, the stock trades on United and American Airlines just before 9/11, the anthrax attacks on the media and the Democrats, the motivation of Peak Oil and creating the pretext for invading the Middle East oil fields, among other issues that have very strong evidence for complicity. These omissions help the leftists in denial avoid the best evidence of complicity.]

Progressive Irrelevance?
(Anis Shivani, Counterpunch. 29 Aug 2002)

This is what the left has to ask: Will the ordinary political process get rid of Bush, can it slow down his assault? If the answer is yes, see exhibit A: Cynthia McKinney. If no, then what is the alternative strategy? If normal anti-war activism, such as what was seen during Vietnam, doesn't work as a practicable analog, then what is the way to go? Do you challenge a fascist dictator with rallies and demonstrations (that is, if people are not afraid of being put in jail)? Will the left continue to underestimate Bush's shrewdness? It wasn't just the accident of hanging chads and butterfly ballots that let the Bush brothers manipulate the result in their favor. The left doesn't want to throw the legitimacy of the political process into question, and so it treads softly. The mostly identity-politics driven left, with its few cautious moves toward including suburban progressives in an economic strategy that doesn't alienate anyone, is at a loss to deal with the fascist upsurge. DO YOU CONTEST FASCISM WITH MILD, MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD ALTERNATIVES? For too long the left has encouraged the culture of fear to promote its social agenda. Now this vocabulary is easily being appropriated by the fascists.
If the left radically questioned the official presumptions, it would have to embark on a path of thinking that it has not really considered. Its diagnosis of the problem would shift. It would have to ask this uncomfortable question (not exactly conducive to letting one continue being a pundit on Fox or MSNBC): What is the role of the liberal opposition during a fascist dictatorship?

It’s Time to Face the "Not-See" Menace

by Swami Beyondananda

My wife Trudy was born in Germany and came here as a young child. When she was in her late teens, she returned there for a year to live and work. As she began to reacquaint herself with family members, she felt bold and comfortable enough to ask them the difficult questions: How was it that the Holocaust could happen? What had they known? What had they done?

The answers she received could be summed up as: "We’d heard rumors about the death camps, but our government told us it was American propaganda -- and that’s what we believed." Now before we cast judgment about how bad the "good" Germans were, a little perspective. In his book Laughter In Hell: The Use of Humor During the Holocaust, Steve Lipman (who is Jewish) maintains that in the early days, Hitler was an object of ridicule. Many, if not most Germans didn’t like him. However, once Hitler came to power -- and showed muscle -- the average non-Jewish, non-communist, non-homosexual German faced a decision: Enroll themselves in Hitler’s vision of Deutschland Über Alles -- or make their lives unpleasant and their deaths untimely.

In "Matrix" language, they could either choose the Red Pill of painful awareness, or the Blue Pill of blissful ignorance. Those Germans whose conscience and consciousness offered them no choice but to choose the Red Pill realized they were very likely choosing a death sentence. For the Germans who swallowed the Blue Pill, the initial decision was easier. But as the war dragged on and the illusion shattered, they too ultimately had to face the awful truth about the devil’s mission they’d signed on to. While some continued, no doubt, to deny any wrongdoing until the day that they died, others had to live with the sad truth that there had been a "tipping point" which gave the Nazis absolute power -- and that the German people had missed the point.

Fast forward sixty or seventy years from Nazi Germany to Not-See America, and those of us who haven’t swallowed the pill of "American Security Through World Domination" are seeing that tipping point looming on the horizon and coming closer each day. To use a familiar analogy, when you throw a frog into boiling water (please don’t try this at home), he will immediately leap out and save himself. But if you put a frog in room temperature water and bring it to a slow boil, the frog will never sense the increase in temperature ... until he’s cooked.

As soon as Richard Nixon left office in disgrace nearly thirty years ago, a small cadre of conservatives made their own twisted vow of "never again." Beginning with the Reagan Administration (which friends of mine living in Washington at the time called "the meanest and most ruthless" they’d ever seen -- up until that point, of course), on through the Lee Atwater campaign for George the First, through Gingrich era in Congress, through the stealing of the election in 2000, and up to the current stonewalling going on, the temperature has been rising. And folks, we’re nearly cooked.

1 So what is it that will cause us to sit up, take notice, and jump out of the pot? When will we realize -- a la that 50s song "Stranded In the Jungle" -- that what we smell cooking is our cherished freedom and democracy? What will it take for us to say, "Great googamooga -- lemme outta here!"?

First we must face that it is the "Not-Sees" who enable the Nazis to come into power. In further conversation, Trudy’s relatives admitted that they believed what their government was telling them because it was easier to believe that than to face the huge lie and horrible truth. A little closer to home, here is an actual response that a real human being offered recently when confronted with a particularly egregious perpetration by our current Administration: "Well, it may be true but I don’t believe it."

Unbelievable? Believe it. Notice how out-of-the-comfort-zone topics get relegated to the box of "conspiracy theories." Here is my new working definition of "conspiracy theory": a conspiracy theory is something that if true, would be too threatening to face. So why even go there? Well, because we may be "going there" like it or not, and if we have the awareness we can stop the chain of events before we find that it is we who are in chains. And maybe it’s time for us to call those who refuse to connect the very connectable dots "coincidence theorists."

To put it another way, what if you had a life-threatening condition and finding out about it now would make it treatable and curable? Would it be worth the temporary discomfort -- if not outright horror -- in facing something too threatening to face? There are people, after all, who "wouldn’t face the truth to save their life." I assert the body politic -- or at least the design offered to us by the Founding Fathers -- is in grave danger. What Lincoln called "government of the people, by the people, for the people" has not yet perished from this earth. But it is on life support. And its life is in our hands.

So what are we not seeing? And what can we do?

First of all, I think it is wise to not strain the Nazi / Not-See analogy, but rather to use the parallel for clarity. So here is the point: Good, decent people can be manipulated by fear and prejudice to bring to power a force of evil disguised as security and protection. All it takes is for them to look the other way (i.e., not see) or wish it weren’t so, for that dark power to entrench itself absolutely. And we all know that in human affairs, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Here are a few dots, and you can make your own connections:

1. The 2000 Election. There is irrefutable evidence that tens of thousands of African-American voters in Florida were purposely disenfranchised by a plan implemented to weed out "felons." Most of the people turned away at the polls were not felons, but no matter. There was no redress, no revote, and the results stood. Tom DeLay dispatched a gang of intimidators disguised as "citizens" to disrupt the vote recount in Dade County. The Supreme Court made the final decision, and the selection results were 5-4, along ideological lines.

2. Sen. Jim Jeffords. In 2001, Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont actually left the Republican Party and switched to Independent so as to deny the Republicans a majority in the Senate. Why? He was concerned about the strong-arm tactics being used by the Republican leadership.

3. 9/11. On September 10th, President Bush’s popularity ratings were ... well, they were unpopularity ratings. Afterward? He became the Fearless Leader of the "Free" World. Four big unanswered questions about 9/11 still remain unanswered, and largely unasked:

* Why were the FBI agents on the trail of the actual hijackers in this country -- in their own words -- "thwarted"? Who did the thwarting and why?
* Who profited from United and American airlines stocks plummeting in the wake of 9/11? Who did the selling?
* Why were jets not scrambled immediately after the plane hit the first tower? Why the delay?
* Why were Osama bin Laden’s relatives whisked out of the country right after 9/11, and never interrogated by the FBI?

4. The 2002 Election. Let’s start with the elephant -- I mean the donkey -- in the living room, Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minnesota), and his death in a plane crash. Now imagining that this was "no accident" is far-fetched, and over a line not many of us would like to cross. But when a regime is ruthless and secretive, conspiracy theories proliferate and undermine trust. The fact that many non-paranoid citizens harbor suspicions about this event, should in itself be considered a cause for concern.

So I would leave this one entirely up to the coincidence theorists: Two elections over a two-year period, two Democratic Senators (one of them the leading liberal voice in the Senate, the other running against John Ashcroft in Missouri), and two plane crashes. What are the odds? Pete Rose, can you help us out here? Or, it could very well be that Pat Robertson is right, and God is indeed siding with the Republicans.

Meanwhile in Georgia, where Diebold touch screen voting machines were used, there were two electoral upsets that defied the polls done just days before the voting. Both the Democratic candidate for Governor and the popular war veteran Sen. Max Cleland were inexplicably defeated. Sen. Cleland, incidentally, was subject to a mean and merciless character assassination campaign. Guess that beats real assassination.

5. The War on Iraq. According to recent testimony by Richard Clarke and others, this war was being planned from the day George W. Bush set foot in the White House (earlier, actually) and that the "diplomatic efforts" were a charade while war plans proceeded unfettered (shades of Hitler). In the wake of 9/11 and based on what is now known to be "spun" information, Congress was leveraged into a new War Powers Act, giving President Bush the power to make war on Iraq. While the majority of Americans would have supported this war only with the full backing of the United Nations, the war went forward without the support of the UN, the majority of people in the world, or for that matter the majority of Americans.

6. The Joseph Wilson, Valerie Plame Case. When Joseph Wilson blew the whistle on the false report of Saddam getting nuclear weapons from Niger, someone at the White House leaked the identity of his wife, Valerie Plame, and blew her cover as an antiterrorist CIA operative, putting her life in danger and ending her career. This is not only an act of high treason, but we lost a valuable operative, someone it took years to establish and perhaps millions of dollars to train. So far ... no one has been prosecuted, and the White House has not been held accountable.

And on and on and on. We see an Administration that has put itself above the law in every way imaginable. We have a President who received less than 50% of the popular vote, who was elected by barely 25% of eligible voters. He proclaimed himself "a uniter, not a divider" and a "compassionate conservative," and yet he has consistently represented only two groups: The huge corporate interests that contributed to his campaign, and the Religious Right. He has ruled, not as an elected President but as a dictator who has forced his worldview (or more likely, his handlers’ worldview) onto all of us.

The Administration’s heavy-handed dictates have squeezed scientists who don’t buy the fundamentalist Christian ideology out of research positions, and pushed moderate Republicans and all others who don’t agree with him out the door as well. Think of Paul O’Neill, Richard Clarke and other lifelong Republicans who were drummed out of government service, then subjected to smear campaigns and worse. Think of the OMB employee who was prohibited from telling Congress the real cost of the Prescription Drug Bill under threat of losing his job.

And take the press -- please! We have an Administration playing full-on hardball and a press playing hardly-have-balls, lobbing hittable grapefruits and failing to field the easiest grounders. Where have you gone, Edward R. Murrow, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you? Why isn’t the press doing any pressing? Well, probably because the press is owned by the same corporate interests who’ve bought the Presidency.

Here is an interesting stat: Even when polls show George Bush trailing a Democratic opponent, a majority of people nonetheless believe that Bush will be reelected. What’s that about? It would seem to indicate a "disheartenment in the heartland," a sinking feeling that a regime that has consistently used lying and intimidation to thwart the will of the people and flaunt the rule of law will somehow find a way to stay in power once again this fall.

But seriously, folks ... we here in Not-See America may be coming very close to the tipping point where there is no longer any check or balance against a regime that knows no restraint. Or, we may just as likely be reaching a turning point where concerned citizens from all shades of the political spectrum begin speaking out and acting out to return the rule of law to America, and to reestablish a government that is truthful, just, and appropriately transparent.

I guess I am basically an idealist with a profound respect for the vision and courage of our Founding Fathers. They went up against a worldview that had dominated for centuries, proclaiming each individual a sovereign citizen, not a subject. The cliché is that every generation must defend freedom, liberty and our democratic way of life. In the past, this has looked like stepping onto foreign soil armed with a weapon. In our time it means standing on our own soil, unarmed except for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

So, what is to be done? What comes to mind (to the cynical part of my mind, anyway) is the classic cartoon. It’s a dungeon scene, and two very old men with long, white beards and in tatters, are strung up in chains. One is saying to the other, "Now, here’s my plan..." At the risk of sounding like that cartoon, here is my plan:

1. The Committee of 100. What if one hundred (or more) prominent Americans from all political stripes declared a state of Emerge ‘n See, where we emerge from our fear and our Not-See trance, and face the truth of where our nation has been going, and make the conscious and courageous choice to change direction? They say the truth shall set you free, but first it will piss you off. In order to face the truth, we need leadership. And in this case, one hundred leaders are better than one. One hundred leaders can speak in one hundred different places at once. And by sheer numbers, they can encourage other truth-tellers and whistle-blowers to stand up and speak up.

As for who would be involved, I see Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Libertarians, Independents -- people like Bill Moyers, Arianna Huffington, John Dean, Gen. Anthony Zinni, George Soros, Sen. Robert Byrd, and well-known names from the fields of entertainment and media, the clergy, science and academia, business and finance, arts and letters, organized labor. In fact, I would expect to be surprised by who shows up for this.

Imagine the sense of relief for Americans to realize that we need not fear our own government. Imagine the genuine inspiration for the democratic impulse around the world. Imagine a nation facing the threat of terrorism, and the need to create a just world order -- together, disagreeing agreeably, but focused on finding the wisest and most functional pathways.

The Declaration of Emerge ‘n See would be supported by two things: Truth and reconciliation. In other words, the declaration should proclaim that the truth will inevitably come out, and that the truth emerging for us to deal with is more important than punishing any particular perpetrators. Therefore, those who come forward now will experience leniency, if not outright pardon. This is a controversial notion, but it points us in the evolutionary direction of foregoing "getting even" for getting "odd." In seeing our collective complicity in the way things are, in creating a profound ceremony of both grief and forgiveness, we pardon not just the perpetrators, but ourselves -- the tacit participants.

2. The Canary Project. If we are going to ask the truth-tellers and whistle-blowers to emerge from hiding, we must take steps to protect them. The Canary Project is initially a website where anyone can see and hear video affidavits from the "canaries" who have been silenced, intimidated or worse. I say "canaries" for two reasons. First, canaries "sing." Secondly, there is the tradition of releasing canaries into mines to test for toxic gases. If the canaries die, then miners know not to enter. In our toxic political climate, if our own canaries cannot be protected -- well, then ... guess who’s next?

Who knows? Some of these people may need to have their voices disguised or wear cloth bags on their heads. In order for truth to out, there needs to be a place for anyone and everyone to hear the evidence, and the truth. These individuals may in the future testify in a court of law, once protections are guaranteed. And the best way for protection to be guaranteed is to have as many Americans as possible to know about these truth-tellers.

There is the legendary -- and it turns out, apocryphal -- story about King Christian of Denmark. As the story goes, when the Nazis invaded Denmark and announced that all Jews must wear a yellow star, the King and all Danes emerged wearing the star on their shoulders. While this never actually happened, the story accurately reflected the Danish attitude of solidarity with its Jewish citizens. Indeed, Danish citizens often sent care packages to Jews who had been taken to concentration camps, and just this concern made Danish Jews more protected from brutality. The lesson is, when we’re all "us" we cannot be separated, isolated, and picked off.

3. Concerned Clergy. Before the invasion of Iraq, many, many clergy people in this country expressed concern and opposition to preemptive warfare. Once the war began -- particularly in the light of Ari Fleischer’s ominous warning to "watch what you say" -- many of these concerned ministers, rabbis, priests and other religious people faded back into the "silenced majority."

Facing the truth requires moral authority, and not the moral authority of the Religious Right which rails against the "abomination" of two people of the same sex lying together in love, but looks the other way when an entire government lies together to perpetrate a "bomb-a-nation." Instead we need the simple moral authority of the Golden Rule, a version of which is the keynote of every major religion. We need right now the spiritual power of many, many people of conscience representing any and all faiths coming together to pray for the good of all.

Our national motto is E Pluribus Unum, out of many One. There are many paths, and One Spirit. In recognizing this, we see from a higher perspective, and religion becomes a true moral compass, not a tool for political manipulation. Why not have our spiritual leaders raise the question: How can we create a society where we are One Nation, Under Good -- instead of what we have now, one nation, under guard?

4. Mothers for a Healthier Future. Just as the principles of the Golden Rule (at the heart of every religious path) needs to inform our community and political life, we need the nurturing impulse of the real "pro-life" movement: mothers who care about their children’s future. Yes, we must take America back. And to do so, we must have a vision that takes America forward.

The current powers that be in power offer us perpetual warfare, environmental destruction, loss of civil liberties, growing gap between rich and poor, and rule by the Christian version of fundamentalist ayatollahs. They are pointing us directly backward, to a past of feudalism, theocracy and rule by royal decree. Let’s allow the mothers of our nation and the world -- the bringers of life -- to point us towards a life-affirming vision where we use our resources lovingly, wisely and creatively.

The fall of the Nixon presidency turned on one small decision that could have gone either way. Katherine Graham, still "green" as publisher of the Washington Post and not part of the old boy network, didn’t realize she was supposed to kill the Watergate story. She went ahead with it, and we all know what happened. Right now we have a regime which -- to paraphrase John Dean, who should know -- makes Mr. Nixon look like Mr. Rogers. They’ve learned their lessons well from the Vietnam and Nixon eras, to slam shut every possible door of inquiry, to make sure Americans don’t see pictures of dead soldiers in flag-draped coffins, or dead children, forever collaterally-damaged.

Look at us. The world’s biggest and baddest superpower, and we are afraid of our own shadow. Our delicate psyches need to be protected from pictures of returning coffins. It’s time to courageously face the heart of darkness – as our Founding Fathers did, and as we are asking our soldiers in Iraq to do – and shine the light of truth on all that we have been unwilling to see.

I propose that we declare this Fourth of July a day of courageous truth telling and visioning for the future of our republic and the healing of the world. We might even call it "Man Hog Day" and declare a State of Emerge ‘n See, where we emerge from fear and denial and see our shadow. Otherwise, we face a long, dark winter season that truth, justice and the real American way might not survive.


Steve Bhaerman is Swami_Beyondananda and a writer and comedian. His alter ego Swami Beyondananda has a new book out in May, Swami for Precedent: A 7-Step Plan to Heal the Body Politic and Cure Electile Dysfunction. Steve and Swami can be found online at