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9/11 and Internet credibility

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By Mary Maxwell, Ph.D.

How long must we wait to judge the validity of the September 11th conspiracy theories that have floated around on the Internet for years? I believe there is a way to grant status and authority to the many excellent reports and analyses whose only sin is that they appear in electronic form instead of newsprint. Moreover, we should start this process right away. After all, if our government is behaving maliciously, we need to know it, communicate it to others, and act on it with urgency. This will require that we make judgments about September 11th now and not wait for “perfect proof.”

Here is the system I propose for rating the credibility of online journalism. Without a doubt, there is plenty of junk on the Internet; as always, we must jettison the junk. Then, casting our eyes to the universe of non-junk material on the Internet, we should assess the relative worth of what we see there. Two newly coined terms, trutho and truthilla, can help us grade the material.

Let us append the label trutho to a report on the Internet, if we would accept a similar report in a newspaper as being true. (The news reporter passed through some sort of vetting procedure before getting published, which cannot be assumed of an at-home Internet writer.) Trutho, then, should imply a basic degree of reliability. The standards are not as demanding as, say, those that a court applies to evidence or that a lab scientist must use for measuring.

The term truthilla will be applied to those statements on the Internet that an individual or organization has put forward, but which await confirmation or refutation. In other words, it is perfectly legitimate to speculate, to hypothesize, and to proffer bits of data that may be of some benefit to readers. Why ridicule a writer because she fails to take her idea to completion? Truthilla, then, is a little truth, or a part of the truth. Again I say, it is not junk.

There is nothing to prevent an author from declaring, “this is trutho” or “this is truthilla” regarding his own work. Since he would be awarding himself a seal of approval, readers must still be critical of his writing. So what does a writer gain by labeling his work trutho? It is not the writer that gains, but the whole Internet community. Once we show confidence in our medium, we can stop accepting the stigma, which the mixed quality of the Internet conferred on us.

The inside-job theory concerning September 11th — which accuses the government of collusion with the “hijackers” — is already backed up by hundreds of trutho pages on the Internet. Almost any reasonable person would be persuaded by this denuded-of-junk material. Luckily, there is a good structure to the research that was contributed by many people over the four years since 2001. The main four parts of that structure are as follows:

  • speculation as to motive. E.g., the government conjured up a fearsome enemy, Osama, because that would give the green light for military invasion of Afghanistan, and it would prepare Americans to surrender many of their political freedoms;
  • evidence that suggests insider foreknowledge. E.g., the telltale fact that Larry Silverstein leased the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers only six weeks before the event and set himself up for large reimbursement by insurance companies, and the fact that many FBI whistleblowers claim that the White House obstructed their pre-9/11 trailing of suspected terrorists;
  • the flimsiness of the official story. E.g., the government’s highly implausible claim that NORAD, with its superb surveillance system, lost track of four planes, and the allegation that someone found the passport of one of the hijackers on the ground in New York — a miraculous occurrence if it fell from a burning plane;
  • lack of any proper investigation or prosecutions. E.g., the official 9/11 Commission did not require sworn testimony from Vice President Cheney, and the firefighters’ request for a proper incident report has gone unheeded. Even public debate was suppressed by dubbing it “unpatriotic” or “paranoid.”

More evidence can be found, in abundance, at websites such as the Center for Cooperative Research and the Centre for Research on Globalization.

I do not aim to be the person who coordinates the whole September 11th argument. I merely want to highlight the intellectual respectability of Internet work, such as the above. It’s trutho. The word truthilla would be an appropriate label for many of the bits and pieces. If only one FBI agent had ever questioned the activities at a flight school, her report of that, which is a truthilla, would have ended up on the cutting room floor. (Note: even on the cutting room floor it still has truthilla quality, except now it is not going to be used.)

I feel no embarrassment in saying that I accept the inside-job theory. To me it makes perfect sense. Once I have admitted this, however, I am forced to move to the next stage and face the truly frightening question, “What should we do now that our government seems to be our violent enemy”? For the moment, let us look at one more conspiracy theory that has been canvassed on the Internet.

The Hinckley Case

In March 1981, shortly after Pres. Reagan took office, he was the target of an assassin’s bullet, which missed his heart by less than an inch. Was this event, in reality, a bold coup d’etat attempt by his vice president, G. H. W. Bush? Here are some of the items I have read on the Internet about this: 1) John Hinckley, the person who fired the shot at Pres. Reagan, was a friend of Neil Bush, the son of the vice president. (Strictly speaking, it is John’s brother Scott, who is pals with Neil.) 2) Another shot came from the window of the hotel. 3) Pres. Reagan wrote in his memoirs that he felt the pain near his ribs only after the Secret Service man had bundled him into the limousine. 4) That limousine arrived at the hospital 15 minutes later than another car that left at the same time, the excuse being that the driver, a man based in Washington, D.C., had got lost in Washington, D.C. 5) Hinckley’s motive for attempting to kill Reagan was, supposedly, that he had a crush on the actress Jodie Foster and wanted to impress her. 6) The senior Bushes and senior Hinckleys changed their stories twice in 24 hours as to whether the two families knew each other. 7) Hinckley pleaded “not guilty” by reason of insanity. 8) His psychiatrist was from Tavistock Clinic in England, home of the infamous experiments on mind control, which can be used to program assassins (“Manchurian candidates”).

As to the question of whodunit, there is no machine that can process the above information and yield a definitive answer. It falls to the mind of the individual to make a judgment. The first thing I did when considering the above facts, was to evaluate my sources. Much of the information had come from George Bush: An Unauthorized Biography by Webster G. Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin, which is available in full on the Internet. The publisher, Executive Intelligence Review, gets its funding from Lyndon LaRouche. I take LaRouche to be a very intelligent man, but he has developed a cult around himself, which makes me wary. So I double-sourced the information, e.g., by checking Reagan’s memoirs as to the timing of the pain in his chest.

I also summoned the courage to attend a conference in Hartford, Connecticut, presented by middle-aged survivors of government mind control. There, I met the author Kathleen Sullivan (a retired assassin) and purchased her book, Unshackled. I also met Carol Rutz, author of A Nation Betrayed, in which she details the torture she received at the hands of Dr. Josef Mengele — not at Auschwitz, but in America in the 1950s! (Note: In 1999, the International Committee of the Red Cross issued an apology for having let Mengele escape from a displaced persons camp.) It seemed to me that these two women spoke with credibility. Now I am even more inclined to accept the coup d’etat interpretation of the March 1981 attempted assassination of Reagan.

Interestingly, I have found an updated report on Hinckley that says he became eligible for release from the hospital after many years, but the release was denied. Why? Because the staff had found a letter that he had recently composed to Jodie. For my money, that means that the Bushes cannot afford to let him out into free society, where he may be questioned by those who suspect that his role was that of a mind-controlled patsy. As to why the elder Bush may have “needed” to perform a coup d’état, many recent books, such as Joseph Trento’s Prelude to Terror and Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith’s The Octopus claim that the then vice president was overseeing a massive importation of illegal drugs.

Would that I did not believe the coup d’etat theory! Would that I could accept the Arab hijacker explanation of September 11th! Would that I were not scared out of my wits right now! If the father of the current president goes in for untimely succession to office, and if the current president is comfortable with the ghosts of 3,000 New Yorkers, then I need to rethink my whole world. Quite frankly, I have lost interest in planning my spring garden party.

Mary Maxwell, Ph.D., P.O. Box 4307, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, USA, is a political scientist. She can be emailed as “mary” at her website marymaxwell.us She hereby permits anyone to distribute this article provided it is unaltered and credits the author.
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