Friday, June 03, 2005

What Should We Really Be Afraid Of?

Forget 9/11 — Just For a Minute

What Should We Really Be Afraid Of?

By W. David Jenkins III

Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be
maintained by violence. ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Although tyranny...may successfully rule over foreign peoples, it can
stay in power only if it destroys first of all the national
institutions of its own people. ~Hannah Areddt

That's right, I said it. Forget about 9/11. Just put all
those horrible images away. I mean no disrespect but I think it's time
to put things in perspective.

9/11 has become an excuse for those who would exploit it and the world
is a sadder and more dangerous place because of those who have used
the tragedy for their own gains. This isn't exactly a news flash but
it is reality. An unfortunate reality that you and I had no part in
making. That responsibility lays with the people who are still scared
and those who would continue to exploit their fear. And that fear is
the very foundation, the very source of strength of the present
administration. Fear is now the guiding principle of almost every
aspect of almost every person in America today. We have all become
afraid — just for different reasons.

Lately I've been doing a bit of research on fear and the
odds we all face when it comes to our eventual deaths. Let's face it;
we're all going to go sometime.

With acknowledgements to The National Safety Council (NSC), the FBI,
the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and some great work by writer,
John Schettler (Scare Tactics), I've come to the conclusion that many
Americans are afraid of the wrong things.

The Bush administration has been able to thrive by not
only perpetuating the fear that "the terrorists will strike again" but
also, they've managed to keep secret the reasons why the terrorists
were able to hit us in the first place. You can see the results of
their efforts from those who defend Bush by always going back to 9/11.

So what if we torture people? So what if we have fewer liberties? So
what if we cause "collateral damage" in other countries? So what if
the Qu'ran gets thrown into a toilet? So what if we're using all that
leftover duct tape to silence the media? Bush is bringing the war to
them so we don't have to fight them here or experience another 9/11.
You and I have heard all this alleged reasoning ad nauseum for years
now but this line of reasoning (or lack thereof) is the real problem —
not the solution.

There are people in this country who are still scared to death of
another attack (even though they insist Bush has made us safer) by
those dastardly terrorists but, guess what? These yahoos have a better
chance of dying by committing suicide than being attacked by

Really, I'm not kidding.

According to the CDC and NSC there's a better chance that any one of
us will die by our own hand rather than by a terrorist attack. And ya
know what else? You better be on the look-out for falling vending
machines more than that next-door neighbor about whom you've had
suspicions. That's because you have a one-in-six-million chance of
dying in a terrorist attack but you have a one-in-three-million chance
of dying from a Coke machine falling on top of you. Think about it;
you have more chance of kicking it putting a dollar in the slot for a
bag of Doritos than you do getting stuck in another 9/11. And don't
even get me started on the "eye" 4 in Orlando or I95 coming into
Boston . If you're from out of town and find yourself on either one of
those interstates then just build yourself a box, climb in and nail it

The Fear of Knowing the Truth

Look, not to make light of death or the tragedy which affected us all,
but we have far more important things to be afraid of than al Qaeda or
another 9/11. It's just that the Bushies and their media pals don't
want anybody to know that and — so far — they've been quite
successful. But as I've stated many times before; the fact that we
haven't been attacked again should raise more questions than it does.
But it would appear that even the 'independent" 9/11 Commission was
too afraid to raise those questions. Take, for example, former
Attorney General John Ashcroft's testimony before the commission last

>From the hearing transcript:

MR. BEN-VENISTE - "Let me ask you, as my time is expiring, one
question which has been frequently put to members of this commission.
Probably all of us have heard this one way or another and the -- we
are mindful that part of the problem with the Warren Commission's work
on the Kennedy assassination was the failure to address certain
theories that were extant, and questions, and much of the work was
done behind closed doors. So I would like to provide you with the
opportunity to answer one question that has come up repeatedly.

At some point in the spring or summer of 2001, around the time of this
heightened threat alert, you apparently began to use a private
chartered jet plane, changing from your use of commercial aircraft on
grounds, our staff is informed, of an FBI threat assessment.

And indeed, as you told us, on September 11th itself you were on a
chartered jet at the time of the attack. Can you supply the detail,
sir, on -- regarding the threat which caused you to change from
commercial to private, leased jet?

You folks remember this little tidbit of information,
right? Many of us were convinced that this was just one of the events
that had come to light after the attacks which showed that the
administration knew a hell of a lot more than they were letting on
about what happened that day. Now here's what Ashcroft told the

ATTY. GEN. ASHCROFT: "Let me just indicate to you that I never ceased
to use commercial aircraft for my personal travel. My wife traveled to
Germany and back in August. My wife and I traveled to Washington ,
D.C. on the 3rd of September, before the 17th -- before the 11th
attack, on commercial aircraft. I have exclusively traveled on
commercial aircraft for my personal travel, continued through the year
2000, through the entirety of the threat period to the nation."

Oh really, Reverend? You continued to use commercial
aircraft for your "personal travel" right up until September 11? Shall
we go back to the news story that started all this? From the CBS story
dated July 26, 2001 :

Fishing rod in hand, Attorney General John Ashcroft left on a weekend
trip to Missouri Thursday afternoon aboard a chartered government jet,
reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart.

In response to inquiries from CBS News over why Ashcroft was traveling
exclusively by leased jet aircraft instead of commercial airlines, the
Justice Department cited what it called a "threat assessment" by the
FBI, and said Ashcroft has been advised to travel only by private jet
for the remainder of his term.

"There was a threat assessment and there are guidelines. He is acting
under the guidelines," an FBI spokesman said. Neither the FBI nor the
Justice Department, however, would identify what the threat was, when
it was detected or who made it.

So there it is. Another source that contradicts Ashcroft's
testimony easily obtained on the Internet. But did the commission
pursue the line of questioning?

MR. BEN-VENISTE: "Well, I'm pleased to have been able to give you the
opportunity to clarify that issue for all who have written to this
commission and communicated in other ways about their questions about
that, sir."

Apparently not. But are enough people asking why? Was the
9/11 Commission so hell-bent on appearing non-partisan that they just
avoided the obvious contradictions in testimony by members of this
administration? Were they afraid to pursue this and other

Author David Ray Griffin has published two remarkable
books that point out what Americans really need to be concerned about,
even more than terrorism. And that is the unsettling fact that this
administration has gone out of its way to hide what happened that
grizzly day in September and the days that led up to it. And as
Griffin points out in New Pearl Harbor, one would have to believe in
an impossible set of coincidences and incompetence, which can only be
applied to that one day, in order to accept the official version of
the events of that day. In other words, one would have to be more of a
conspiracy theorist in order to believe the official version rather
than any alternative explanation. So basically, many Americans
continue to live in fear because they've been convinced to have faith
in an explanation that makes no sense and doesn't hold up to even
minimal scrutiny.

Ignorance of the Real Threat

This mindset of irrational fear based on a series of various illogical
excuses and denials has allowed those in positions of power to
implement policies and laws that otherwise would never have seen the
light of day, let alone be embraced by a quivering electorate. And
this choke-hold on the country is aided further by a fearful and
derelict media.

For instance, there is an ongoing story out there right
now that should demand the attention of anyone who truly cares about
this country and what is happening to it and that would be the
circumstances surrounding the Sibel Edmonds case. Unfortunately, far
too many people, even those who don't support the Bush administration,
aren't familiar with her story.

Edmonds is a former FBI translator who expressed concern
to the Department of Defense, the Attorney General and members of
Congress that intelligence data is being compromised by another FBI
translator who happened to be the wife of Air Force major, Douglas
Dickerson. She also stated that members of her family were threatened
with arrest due to her actions. She has also made other statements
regarding cover-ups in the FBI's translation department, complete with
documentation and corroborating witnesses. Edmonds was subsequently
fired from the FBI and courageously filed suit to get her story out.
In turn, she has been shut down repeatedly by the courts and gagged by
the Department of Justice. Why? What is the government afraid of?

Obviously, they're afraid of the truth coming out. The
Edmonds case shows that there is more of a threat to our national
security from within our own system than there is sitting behind a
fence down in Guantanamo Bay . However, as long as the media continue
to ignore this story and run out the clock, more people will continue
to live in fear – of the wrong things.

Only through the destruction of the rights we hold dear
(at least we used to) has this rogue administration been able to
survive without question as long as they have. But imagine if there
had been no 9/11 for them to exploit in order to destroy the fabric of
this country. Does anybody remember where Bush was pre-9/11?

Like Flies to……….

George W. Bush was in the process of becoming the original
first-term lame duck president in history. Half the country believed
(correctly) that he pulled a fast one in order to slither into the
White House in the first place. One of his first orders of business
was to eliminate repetitive motion injury claims for working
Americans. Vermont Senator, Jim Jeffords, defected to an independent
status in order to hand power to the Democrats in protest of the
bullying tactics displayed early on by the White House. Bush's tax-cut
package was already doing damage to the surplus. America was bumped
off the UN Human Rights panel while Bush was letting Russia know that
he was dumping the ABM Treaty. Cheney was holding fund raisers in the
Veep Mansion (shades of Clinton White House Teas!) while his and
Bush's pals at Enron were laughing about soaking somebody's grandma in
California for a "C note" every time she used her toaster.

There were also the twenty-four military personnel that
had been held hostage until Bush said he was really, really sorry for
them colliding into a Chinese aircraft which prompted his neo-con
buddies to weep and whine that Bush had been made to look "weak." Oh,
and let's not forget about "faith-based environmentalism" which
started getting airplay around the same time that Bush told everyone
to go pound salt when it came to the Kyoto Treaty. Then there was his
speech from Crawford, Texas, on that August night (after he saw the
"Bin Laden is gonna get you good" PDB) regarding his tortuous policy
on stem cell research where Bush shared the stage with a huge
Texas-sized fly for all of America to see. It just kept buzzing around
the set, occasionally causing the Boy King to divert his gaze while
many Americans realized the irony of the situation. After all, we do
know flies are attracted to…

And to make matters worse; the NORC recount results from
the sham election of 2000 were due out the second week of September.
One can almost imagine the bells clanging and whistles blowing in the
White House. Talk about your "Maydays."

That Blessed "Trifecta"

Does anybody really believe we would be stuck in the
quagmire that is Iraq if it weren't for the Bushies whoring of 9/11?
Could the Patriot Act have been passed, let alone expanded without
9/11? Could this administration have gotten away with gagging the
media, torture, arrests without charge or due process, or arresting
citizens for speaking up during one of those orchestrated, pathetic
Bush "town hall" meetings without 9/11? Could the administration have
gotten away with impeding the investigations into the very crime that
allowed them such lawless and arrogant behavior without 9/11? Do you
see how this goes around and around? As Griffin asks in his writings
of that day, when a crime is committed the first thing to ask is who

Folks need to put 9/11 away for just a second and take a
real good hard look around at what's happening to their country. We're
on the brink of reinstating the Draft in order to facilitate not only
the continuing farce (illegal) in Iraq but also the designs these
ideological vermin have on Iran, Syria, North Korea and possibly
certain South American neighbors who might have a bit of that Texas

See, most Americans don't even know what they should
actually be afraid of. Although the fear of what happened on 9/11 is
very real to many, those same people haven't a clue as to what
actually happened and, what's worse, they've stopped asking.

Although terrorists were less of a threat four years ago than they are
now (the Bushies have done a remarkable job inciting more and more
Arabs into becoming anti-American recruits), the odds are still in
your favor. For now, that looming vending machine poses a greater
threat to your life than a terrorist attack. But as long as Americans
are more concerned with the finals of American Idol rather than the
dangers that are being cooked up and covered up by the Bush
administration, then those odds are going to change.

When that happens, they'll really have something to be scared of.