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Daniel Sunjata: Intellectual Dishonesty In The Age Of Universal Deceit

Posted in 9/11/2001, Uncategorized, War on Terror, WTC7 by radiodujour on August 29, 2009
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Daniel Sunjata, a fire fighter on TV and a hero in real life

May 4, 2009

By Daniel Sunjata

“The inert masses are mentally and spiritually ill equipped to deal with reality, so they block it out of their minds – aided of course, by the corporate media and the propaganda apparatus of the government itself. This is why fantasy is frequently substituted for reality, plutocracy is mistaken for democracy, and the majority of the people do not know the difference. Millions of good people thus refuse to allow into their psyche the suffering and misery that U.S. policies have produced and exported to the world, even as that reality is closing in upon them.”

– Charles Sullivan

“They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality…and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening.”

– George Orwell, 1984

“Article XXXIV OBSTRUCTION OF INVESTIGATION INTO THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001”

From the 35 articles of impeachment introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on 06/09/08 in H.Res. 1258 by Congressman Dennis Kucinich

The list is not a short one. It includes professors, architects, aerospace and aviation professionals, structural/mechanical/& aeronautical engineers, demolition experts, firefighters and other first responders, scientists, theologians, senior members of both the military and intelligence communities, Republican administration appointees, state department veterans, and other government officials from the United States and abroad; credible experts of impeccable pedigree with impressive track records from relevant fields of expertise, whose coolly rational intellects are not easily given to an unfounded belief in outlandish, unsubstantiated, or unverifiable claims. Individuals such as these are numbered among the ranks of skeptics and critics of the official theory of conspiracy regarding the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Some pose questions, others draw conclusions, still others (like Congressman Kucinich) go so far as to level accusations and to substantiate them with evidence.

Organizations like Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth (MP911truth.org), Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth (http://AE911Truth.org), Lawyers for 911 Truth (http://www.L911T.com), The Journal of 9/11 Studies (http://wwww.journalof911studies.com), Pilots for 911 Truth (http://wwww.PilotsFor911Truth.org), Fire Fighters for 911 Truth (http://www.FireFightersFor911Truth.org), and Veterans for 911 Truth (http://www.V911T.org), have posted carefully crafted signing statements for all the world to see, and online petitions calling for a new and independent investigation with power of subpoena. Their unanswered questions, the consequent implications that arise, and the fundamental inadequacies they point out in the official reports issued by FEMA, NIST, and the now infamous 9/11 Commission are disturbing to say the very least. Even more disturbing, however, is the corporate media’s revolving door of silence and violence with which those who pose such questions have been greeted. In most cases they are completely ignored, and what might otherwise be front-page news goes virtually unreported. Feigned and transparently disingenuous gestures aimed at affecting the appearance of fair and balanced news coverage occasionally result in an arguably credible expert being granted an interview only to be condescended to, constantly interrupted, shouted down, and verbally abused in the process. Examples abound. Thus, in spite of having shouted their findings from the proverbial rooftops for years, and in spite of such notorious historical precedents as the now declassified Operation Northwoods, there has yet to be any substantive debate, journalistically integrous investigation, or scrutinous inquiry by the establishment or its media into the claim that 9/11 bears all the hallmarks of a complex covert operation of state intelligence; false flag terror; an inside job.

This is not to say, however, that the issue has gone entirely unaddressed by mainstream sources. Hand in hand with the marginalization of informed dissent and deep concern expressed by qualified skeptics like Lt. Col. Robert M. Bowman, PhD (Director of Advanced Space Programs Development under Presidents Ford and Carter), Paul Craig Roberts (Assistant Sect. Of Treasury under Pres. Reagan), Lynn Margulis (National Medal of Science recipient), James Quintiere (former Chief of NISTs Fire Science Division), Commander Ralph Kolstad, U.S. Navy (retired fighter pilot and Topgun Air Combat Instructor), and Sibel Edmonds (former FBI translator specializing in counter-terror, and gag-ordered whistleblower) is the corporate media’s rabid eagerness to confront, shame, condemn, and discredit celebrities and other citizens who have tried to draw public attention to the same issue. Marion Cotilliard, Martin and Charlie Sheen, Rosie O’Donnell, Ed Asner, Willie Nelson, and former Governor Jesse Ventura among many others, have uniformly fallen under swift and venomous attack upon questioning the official theory of conspiracy, and for daring to utter the blasphemous assertion (recently echoed in sentiments expressed by Melissa Rossi in her recent Huffington Post article titled ‘Obama: Reopen The 911 Investigation’) that a new investigation is warranted given the innumerable inconsistencies, omissions, and outright distortions that permeate the aforementioned “official” reports.

Unfairly attacked based not upon the substance of the arguments they have advanced, but rather upon the basis of inane irrelevancies related to their private lives and public personas, they have been dismissed out of pocket as paranoid conspiracy fanatics, drug addicts, Nazis, and narcissists who should stick to playing their position as entertainers and leave the thinking up to the grown-ups when it comes to things they could not possibly understand. This is the classic ad hominem approach – to dismiss the source as a means to dismissing the message. Consequently, nothing of what they have actually said has been given its due diligence by our supposedly free press. Even though their questions and conclusions rest upon broad-shouldered analysis, expert testimony, diligent research, peer reviewed scientific studies (most notably that of Danish scientist Niels Harrit, whose findings on undetonated nano-thermite explosive residues found in WTC dust samples can be read online in The Open Chemical Physics Journal), and a preponderance of other damning forensic and circumstantial evidence, such prominent skeptics have been greeted with outright hostility and the most virulent brands of journalistic irresponsibility and intellectual dishonesty. This in fact is anti-journalism; the exact opposite of what one would expect to find in a society aspiring to exemplify the democratic ideal. If I didn’t know any better, I might think that such tactics were being employed just to shut these experts and celebrities up, and to keep the general public from paying them any mind. I might think that childish insults, character assassination, reductionist clichés, insipid platitudes, necessary illusions and emotionally potent oversimplifications had taken the place of journalistic integrity, objective scrutiny, and investigative rigor.

For instance, when Joe Scarborough covers a story about a 9/11 demonstrator being arrested during an appearance by Bill Clinton in Corpus Christi, and he and his MSNBC ‘Morning Joe’ co-hosts utter things like “Where is the taser? Tase him!” and “Led away in handcuffs…hopefully taken to one of those secret prisons in Eastern Europe and never to be heard from again. I hope we have a special prison for 9/11 conspiracy theorists” it is quite difficult to grant them high scores for anything other than spewing fascistic rhetoric. Similarly only willful ignorance or a deliberate contempt for accuracy and logic can explain Glen Beck’s lumping together of Congressmen, law abiding citizens, highly decorated military personnel, prominent artists, and CIA veterans with violent radicals, in sweeping statements such as his ridiculous contention that 9/11 activists are “insane, dangerous anarchists” who comprise “”the kind of group a Timothy McVeigh would come from.” It is an easily verifiable fact that in the thousands of 9/11 protests that have taken place since 2001, not a single individual has ever been arrested for violent conduct or convicted of a violent crime. It is also, shall we say, less than candid to assert that a movement whose implicit moral imperative arises from a desire to protect constitutional integrity could in any way be considered anarchistic in nature. Also, in one of the most irresponsible acts of journalism on record, Geraldo Rivera conflated the notoriously non-violent 9/11 activist community with terrorists in the following statement he made on FOX News Channel’s ‘FOX and Friends’ program while covering the 03/08 Times Square Bombing of a US Armed Forces recruiting station:

“I think that this bomber isn’t Al Qaeda, isn’t anything like that… He’s more like those ‘9/11 was an inside job’ kind of guys… Protesting in a violent way, but in a violent way almost like the eco-terrorists… where they don’t intend to inflict casualties.”

The most egregious examples of this type of filth masquerading as responsible news commentary can perhaps be found emanating from the twisted and blusterous mouth of Bill O’Reilly. When the story broke that Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, was set to finance the distribution of ‘Loose Change 911’ (the most downloaded documentary in internet history) with Charlie Sheen set to narrate, O’Reilly (conceding his hypocrisy by admitting to not having seen the film or looked at the evidence) responded by unleashing a blitzkrieg of idiotic non-sequiturs, calculated ambiguities, and thinly veiled threats. After an erroneous and lame attempt to dismiss and discredit 9/11 Truth as “lunacy” from the “far-left fringe” (the movement transcends both liberality and conservatism alike, is a mainstream phenomenon, and its basic premise is in fact eminently sane), he compounded his ignorance by comparing 9/11-dissent to Nazi propaganda and holocaust denial. Like…dude…SERIOUSLY?! It is the very height of disingenuity to suggest that by demanding truth and accountability one is somehow offending and dishonoring the victims or their families, when the only way to honor them is by finding out the truth and holding the guilty parties responsible for their crimes. It would be more apt to compare Nazi propagandists and holocaust deniers to an administration that skewed intelligence about Iraq in order to fear-monger the American people into supporting the doctrine of preemption, while evading the initiation of any official inquiry into the most catastrophic day in our nations history, for 441 days. Either O’Reilly didn’t know or he didn’t care to know that Bill Doyle, founder of World Trade Center United Family Group (one of the largest 9/11 victims’ family organizations, comprised of over 7000 members from 2,573 families) believes that the government was complicit in the attacks. He has also publicly stated that at least half of his members harbor deep suspicions about what happened on 9/11 and why. Mr. Bill also saw fit to put Mark Cuban and Charlie Sheen on notice, so to speak. Sounding not altogether unlike a mafia don threatening to issue a hit, O’Reilly states “this is a warning to Mark Cuban, who is distributing that film in a few weeks. This is a warning to you Bud, okay, you pull that movie or I’m gonna be your worst nightmare, because this is gonna lead to death.” “We’re looking out for you, Charlie Sheen. Don’t do this. You’re not going to come back from it, if you do…”

As I said, examples abound. Such pathetically transparent diversionary tactics smack of cowardice and a reluctance to engage the subject of 9/11 based upon the facts at hand, and have no place in the realm of professional journalism (or info-tainment as the case may be). This must cease. If we are to have any hope of change as a nation, then we must recognize that turning the page on one of the darkest chapters in American governmental history without having properly read it, would be a grave and disastrous error. Regardless of how inconvenient, uncomfortable, or outlandish the implications may at first appear, this subject demands to be substantively addressed, free of spin or bias, for neither it nor its advocates are going to just fade away. Only a ship of fools would blatantly disregard the opinions of such highly qualified and erudite critics as those listed on sites like patriotsquestion911.com without closely examining their actual and factual claims. Now that Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy has officially introduced a proposal to investigate the Bush administration for war-crimes and the subversion of Constitutional Law, it stands to reason that 9/11 should also be soberly looked into once and for all. Given the swirling cloud of criminal accusations and populist rage regarding the legalization of torture, the illegal wiretapping of American civilians (including the intentional targeting of journalists and intellectuals according to NSA whistleblower Russell Tice) as well as other allegations of treasonous conduct, and taking into consideration the claims, statements, and research of critical thinkers across a wide spectrum of expertise who publicly doubt the government’s official explanation, it shouldn’t (although apparently it does) take a rocket scientist to see the disturbingly plausible connections between the inside job hypothesis and every Orwellian legislative and militaristic act for which 9/11 and its victims have been invoked as justification. Indeed the logic of context is fundamentally derailed by the prevailing ring-pass-not approach of investigating every area to which 9/11 is crucially relevant and intimately related, while treating the subject itself as sacrosanct. Clearly this should be part of any investigation into the alleged criminality of the previous administration; indeed it should be given priority. This above all else is President Obama’s litmus test of integrity and the quintessence of this nation’s hope for change. For if 9/11 was in fact an inside job, then it places all of the evils that flowed from and followed that event into vivid contextual focus. Bogus claims of executive privilege should offer no protection to those towards whom the preponderance of evidence points; chips fall where they may.

My own reasons for speaking out on this issue are fairly simple. I didn’t choose it; it chose me. Upon being hired to act the part of a post-9/11 NYC firefighter on Rescue Me, my research for the character led me to take a more objective look at what actually happened versus what we were told in the wake of the event. Nothing added up. No matter from which angle I approached 911, it invariably unraveled into contradictions and inconsistencies requiring the suspension of my logic and common sense in addition to several laws of physics. Slowly I came to the determination that I had no choice but to speak out, because (as Franco Rivera) I presume to represent the memories of the heroes who died that day, as well as the reality of the heroes who still mourn their loss. I work with these men; looking them daily in the eye. Therefore it is a citizen’s act of moral conscience and social responsibility, nothing more. To know or even to merely suspect, and yet remain silent, would be anti-American, unpatriotic, and tantamount to betrayal. Therefore this is no stunt on my part to gain publicity or to garner attention for myself by appearing edgy and controversial. Believe it or not, I rather covet my relative anonymity as a quasi-celebrity/working actor. I would much rather direct media and public attention to those most credible dissenting experts who have looked at and analyzed the facts (circumstantial as well as forensic) and found that they do not fit the government’s theory of conspiracy. People like Professor Emeritus David Ray Griffin, Richard Gage (AIA), Physics Professor Steven Jones (co-author of the above mentioned peer reviewed study proving that explosives were in fact used to implode the WTC towers as well as WTC 7), William Christison (former CIA Station Chief and Director of Regional and Political Analysis), Ray McGovern (27 year CIA vet., and former Chair of National Intelligence Estimates), Coleen Rowley (former F.B.I. Special Agent and Minneapolis Division Counsel), and Sibel Edmonds must be given fair and open forums on mainstream media platforms, as well as access to those with the power and responsibility to reopen the 9/11 investigation; or rather, to finally conduct one as the case may be. Until that happens we will not be silent. We will not go away. We will not submit.

Recommended documentaries to view with family and friends

Zero: an investigation into 9/11
An Investigation into 9/11, has one central thesis – that the official version of the events surrounding the attacks on 9/11 can not be true.

Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup
Dramatically narrated by Daniel Sunjata of FX s Rescue Me, and an outspoken advocate for the First Responders, Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup first examines mysterious and infamous events that reshaped world history from the Reichstag Fire in 1933 that catapulted Hitler to dictatorship – to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in 1964 that led to the Vietnam War, and then takes viewers on a turbulent journey through several pivotal moments in history before delving into the most significant catastrophe in recent memory, 9/11.

9/11: Press For Truth
Out of the grieving thousands left behind on September 11th, a small group of activist families emerged to demand answers.

Neck Deep Secret: Gore Was Right

Posted in Bush, John Conners, Robert Parry, War Crimes by radiodujour on January 17, 2009

Peter B Collins talks with Robert Parry

Peter B Collins Show | January 16, 2009

Consortium News’ Robert Parry discusses his book, Neck Deep, and how he hopes that President Obama will not simply “turn the page” on the crimes of the Bush presidency

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15:09 | 2.9M

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Neck Deep Secret: Gore Was Right

By Robert Parry

Consortium News | August 27, 2007

Having written several books that span periods of years, I’m often surprised how patterns emerge that aren’t apparent to me in day-to-day news coverage. In Neck Deep, our new book about George W. Bush’s presidency, one of those surprises was how often former Vice President Al Gore turned up making tragically prescient comments.

Gore, whose admirers sometimes call him “the Goracle,” comes across more as a Cassandra, warning the nation of looming disasters and finding himself either ignored or mocked by the dominant politicians and media pundits.

Time and again – from Campaign 2000 to the post-9/11 “war on terror” to the invasion of Iraq to Bush’s expansion of presidential powers – Gore pointed to grave dangers when nearly all other national political leaders and media bigwigs were either running with the herd or keeping silent.

In our daily coverage of those political developments at Consortiumnews.com, we’d run stories citing Gore’s speeches, but it wasn’t until we pulled together the book that Gore’s extraordinary role jumped out.

Though there were a few other political leaders who made prophetic comments, such as Sen. Robert Byrd in his pre-Iraq War speeches on the Senate floor, none was as consistently on target as Al Gore.

Indeed, a poignant aspect of Neck Deep is the recognition that a less hostile press treatment of Gore during Campaign 2000 or a full-and-fair recount of votes in Florida after Election 2000 might have put the United States on a very different track.

Hearing Gore’s nuanced advice about how to proceed after the 9/11 attacks, why invading Iraq made little sense or what are the proper limits of presidential power, you can’t help but wonder where the United States would be now if the popular will of the American voters had been respected in November-December 2000.

There’s a good chance that more than 3,700 American soldiers would be alive today, along with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. The United States also might not be faced with the horrible choice of either continuing an open-ended occupation of Iraq or withdrawing troops with the prospect of a sectarian war engulfing the Middle East.

Even if Gore and his national security team could not have prevented the 9/11 attacks – and there’s a case to be made that they might have – President Gore surely would have focused American retaliation on Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, not left the job half done and gone after Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11.

Gore didn’t buy into the neoconservative agenda of invading Muslim countries to impose regime change designed to bring those governments in line with Israel’s goals for the region. Though a supporter of Israel who picked Sen. Joe Lieberman as his vice presidential running mate, Gore kept the neocon agenda at arm’s length.

Gore also didn’t share Dick Cheney’s agenda of establishing an imperial presidency that could ride roughshod over the rule of law, the constitutional checks and balances, and the inalienable rights of American citizens.

Like no other American politician, Gore perceived the challenges and the opportunities of the 21st century. He recognized the potential of the technological revolution and understood the threat of uncontrolled climate change.

Despite some weaknesses as a politician – he certainly lacked Bill Clinton’s glibness and George W. Bush’s swagger – Gore might have been a near ideal leader for the start of the new Millennium. And one could argue that the American people made that judgment by giving Gore a narrow plurality in the popular vote.

But, as Neck Deep explores, deep-seated problems in the U.S. political process and the U.S. news media kept Campaign 2000 close enough so Bush could exploit irregularities in Florida’s balloting to snake away with its electoral votes and thus the White House.

Now, as the nation is poised at the starting line for another presidential race, the same failings are still there. The tragic lessons of recent American history remain little understood by either the broad public or the political elite.

One of the chief reasons for writing Neck Deep was to place the troubling events of the George W. Bush era in the fullest historical context possible, a perspective informed by original investigative journalism that explodes some popular myths and spotlights many crucial facts that will change how people understand these extraordinary years.

Our hope is that an American public, armed with enough information, will not tolerate the kind of distorted political process that overturned the popular will in Election 2000 and launched the nation on a disastrous course.

(Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush is available both at the publisher’s Web site, http://www.neckdeepbook.com, and at Amazon.com. If you buy the book through the publisher’s Web site, $5 will be rebated to Consortiumnews.com to help defray the costs of the site’s original news articles and investigative journalism.)

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ are also available there.

To comment at Consortiumblog, click here. (To make a blog comment about this or other stories, you can use your normal e-mail address and password. Ignore the prompt for a Google account.) To comment to us by e-mail, click here. To donate so we can continue reporting and publishing stories like the one you just read, click here.

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Keith Olbermann – 8 years in 8 minutes

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Forgive and Forget?

By PAUL KRUGMAN

New York Times | January 15, 2009

Last Sunday President-elect Barack Obama was asked whether he would seek an investigation of possible crimes by the Bush administration. “I don’t believe that anybody is above the law,” he responded, but “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman

I’m sorry, but if we don’t have an inquest into what happened during the Bush years — and nearly everyone has taken Mr. Obama’s remarks to mean that we won’t — this means that those who hold power are indeed above the law because they don’t face any consequences if they abuse their power.

Let’s be clear what we’re talking about here. It’s not just torture and illegal wiretapping, whose perpetrators claim, however implausibly, that they were patriots acting to defend the nation’s security. The fact is that the Bush administration’s abuses extended from environmental policy to voting rights. And most of the abuses involved using the power of government to reward political friends and punish political enemies.

At the Justice Department, for example, political appointees illegally reserved nonpolitical positions for “right-thinking Americans” — their term, not mine — and there’s strong evidence that officials used their positions both to undermine the protection of minority voting rights and to persecute Democratic politicians.

The hiring process at Justice echoed the hiring process during the occupation of Iraq — an occupation whose success was supposedly essential to national security — in which applicants were judged by their politics, their personal loyalty to President Bush and, according to some reports, by their views on Roe v. Wade, rather than by their ability to do the job.

Speaking of Iraq, let’s also not forget that country’s failed reconstruction: the Bush administration handed billions of dollars in no-bid contracts to politically connected companies, companies that then failed to deliver. And why should they have bothered to do their jobs? Any government official who tried to enforce accountability on, say, Halliburton quickly found his or her career derailed.

There’s much, much more. By my count, at least six important government agencies experienced major scandals over the past eight years — in most cases, scandals that were never properly investigated. And then there was the biggest scandal of all: Does anyone seriously doubt that the Bush administration deliberately misled the nation into invading Iraq?

Why, then, shouldn’t we have an official inquiry into abuses during the Bush years?

One answer you hear is that pursuing the truth would be divisive, that it would exacerbate partisanship. But if partisanship is so terrible, shouldn’t there be some penalty for the Bush administration’s politicization of every aspect of government?

Alternatively, we’re told that we don’t have to dwell on past abuses, because we won’t repeat them. But no important figure in the Bush administration, or among that administration’s political allies, has expressed remorse for breaking the law. What makes anyone think that they or their political heirs won’t do it all over again, given the chance?

In fact, we’ve already seen this movie. During the Reagan years, the Iran-contra conspirators violated the Constitution in the name of national security. But the first President Bush pardoned the major malefactors, and when the White House finally changed hands the political and media establishment gave Bill Clinton the same advice it’s giving Mr. Obama: let sleeping scandals lie. Sure enough, the second Bush administration picked up right where the Iran-contra conspirators left off — which isn’t too surprising when you bear in mind that Mr. Bush actually hired some of those conspirators.

Now, it’s true that a serious investigation of Bush-era abuses would make Washington an uncomfortable place, both for those who abused power and those who acted as their enablers or apologists. And these people have a lot of friends. But the price of protecting their comfort would be high: If we whitewash the abuses of the past eight years, we’ll guarantee that they will happen again.

Meanwhile, about Mr. Obama: while it’s probably in his short-term political interests to forgive and forget, next week he’s going to swear to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” That’s not a conditional oath to be honored only when it’s convenient.

And to protect and defend the Constitution, a president must do more than obey the Constitution himself; he must hold those who violate the Constitution accountable. So Mr. Obama should reconsider his apparent decision to let the previous administration get away with crime. Consequences aside, that’s not a decision he has the right to make.