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Monday, Sep. 24, 2001 at 2:47 PM
Who had the most to gain?
All of us who has ever seen a rerun of Columbo, read an Agatha Christie novel, or seen any TV crime drama has heard that question when trying to figure out the most likely suspect of a murder.
Well it looks like five thousand people were just murdered. So ask the question. Well? For starters it's certainly not the hijackers. They lost their lives. What about the people that are supposedly behind them, like Osama bin Laden? It would seem not.
Some terrorist acts may give the perpetrator some street cred: blowing up a mid-air flight like the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie Scotland which was linked back to Libya, blowing a hole in the USS Cole, blowing up a couple of US embassies in some backwater country like Tanzania. You can make a name for yourself in your little region of the world and know that the US will definitely try to catch you, but it's only going to try so hard.
But anyone would have to realize that committing an act so horrifying in size and audacity is sure to commit the US to not rest until it has your head on a stick. It's like a gang member who will try to improve his gangsta rep by shooting a local cop, but knows better than to try to assassinate the president.
Decide for yourself what it means or doesn't mean but the ones who benefit the most from this incident are those in the Bush administration.
Fact: The economy was likely to enter recession. Rightly or wrongly the public tends to place blame for economic downturns on whichever president is in office at the time. Well now if the economy heads south, it's not their fault! It's this horrible tragedy of course that's shaken people's confidence!
Fact: The Bush administration had "nothing to do". No cause. The President was reading to school children when the planes hit. (He couldn't have been too busy with affairs of state). Bush himself has said that this has now become "the focus of (his) administration" They have found their issue, their cause to rally around, and their issue to campaign for reelection on in 3 years.
Fact: Declaring a "war on terrorism" is like declaring a war on vice. It is endless and can be used indefinitely as an excuse to push through whatever agendas they may have like the missile defense shield, increased defense spending, or whatever.
Fact: The label "terrorist" is a very easy one to apply. Especially so the label "harboring" a terrorist. And we now are finding out the "enemy is among us" (here in the US). This sounds an awful lot like the Red Scare of the 50's where the excuse of routing out the invisible communists was used to abuse people's civil rights and intimidate anyone and everyone opposed to the administration or US policy. Today we look back and condemn that as "McCarthyism" but are we so clear sighted about what's right in front of us now?
Fact: Congress just approved a FORTY BILLION "relief aid package" with little to no oversights on how Bush gets to spend it. That's Billion with a "B". And this is not just for disaster clean up and aid to the victims. It's also for the "ongoing" war Bush has told us to expect and "increasing our intelligence capability". Well what does that include exactly? Reading all emails? Eavesdropping on our phone calls? Who knows because they don't have to say. Congress has given the money in the heat of emotion with little or no conditions.
Fact: Congress will have to go along with just about anything the President's administration wants that can be tied in to this disaster. Any representative or senator that dissents will look "unpatriotic" if they say no. This is very dangerous. The founders created three branches of government so that no one branch would have too much power. One of those is the judicial branch and we saw what the Supreme Court did this most recent election. Many legal experts say it was unprecedented that they ruled to hand the election results to Bush rather than say they had no business deciding it and were unduly influenced by the fact that many of the justices were appointed by Bush Sr. So that's one branch that seems not to be performing its role of providing checks and balances. And now the other branch, Congress, is cow towed too.
Fact: This sudden disaster sure seems to have taken many people's attention off the fact that this President won the election under very fishy circumstances in Florida (where his brother is governor). Boy that sure is a big help.
Does this prospect seem horrendous? Too incredible to imagine? Well it's happened before. A great fire destroyed a huge part of Rome. The emperor Nero blamed it on the Christians and used it as an excuse to persecute them and this cause helped the unpopular emperor consolidate his political power and rally patriotic Rome around him. Historians generally feel that Nero himself probably had the fire set. In the 1930's the Reichstag (the German building where their representatives met...like our Capitol building) burned down. Hitler blamed it on the "communists among them" and used it to rally a patriotic Germany around him, consolidating his political power and to persecute his political enemies. People generally agree there is enough evidence to believe the Nazis themselves set fire to the building for just this purpose.
It's very likely the Roman citizens could never imagine their own Emperor setting fire to their own city, and the same with the Germans. And that is exactly why it worked.
After the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, people who suggested people in the government were behind it looked like conspiracy nuts. Even today there seems little motivation to that idea. Unless it was a test. A smaller scale test to see how the public would react. And to extrapolate how they might react to something much bigger in the future.
Back to the suspects: Shortly after the attacks a rental car was found in the parking lot of Boston's Logan airport. Inside was the Koran and an instructional video tape on how to fly airliners. Even some of the news anchors reporting this live seemed to say what an obvious plant this seemed like! It's just not plausible that the perpetrators would be watching a video the day before the attack. It seems they'd have learned how to fly the plane well before then. If they didn't have it down by the day before something's wrong.
And it also doesn't make sense to leave such obvious evidence behind. It might if the attackers/backers planned on taking credit for it. But they haven't. Just the opposite. Everyone is denying it. So if they didn't want to get blamed for it, wouldn't they be a little more careful about leaving behind such obvious evidence?
On Saturday, just days after the attack, they announced that in the rubble of the trade center they found one of the terrorist's passports. We all saw that fireball! The fire was so hot it turned the steel of the building into hot liquid molten metal. But his passport survived? And it was found even though they had only gone through 20,000 tons of debris out of a total of 1.4 million tons? In other words they only scratched the surface of the ruins and there it was? It's like reaching out and taking a pinch from the haystack and lo and behold! There's the needle!
Something about all of this just doesn't smell right. Does that seem unpatriotic? Un-American? Well this country has a long tradition of healthy Yankee skepticism and asking about what might really be going on, what we're not being told rather than falling lockstep behind whatever slogans and rhetoric government leaders are feeding the public like the masses do in totalitarian countries.
So now might be the time to use our heads and try to look beyond the superficial.
Real Americans are not afraid of debate, of different ideas, of free thought. So pass this email along and let people discuss it. If millions of people passed along the email hoax of that phony Nostradamus "prediction" then we owe it to ourselves to share with each other something that is actually relevant.
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