Friday, February 11, 2005

Revisiting "Paranoid Shift", Part 1

Somewhere along the line, we progressives picked up on using the phrase, "tin foil hat", as we attempted to decode some of the truly odd and bizarre political machinations that seem to be happening on a daily basis anymore. A few months back, Michael Hawkins at Spontaneous Arising suggested that perhaps we stop using this pejorative phrase. His reasoning was that the small minority of us who are actually paying attention to the historical context of what we're experiencing in the U.S. were just viewing the situation with a bit more clarity than, well, your run-of-the-mill yokel. Or maybe we're just non-linear thinkers. In any case, I agreed with Michael, and forever banished "tin foil hat" from my grammar checker.

Earlier today, I revisited an article from Michael Hasty that I had printed out over a year ago, titled "Paranoid Shift". It's almost serendipity that the weirdness sukabi describes in One Nation, Recruited Under God would surface on the same day that I once again pondered Hasty's article from January, 2004:

In his book, "Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower," William Blum warns of how the media will make anything that smacks of "conspiracy theory" an immediate "object of ridicule." This prevents the media from ever having to investigate the many strange interconnections among the ruling class, for example, the relationship between the boards of directors of media giants, and the energy, banking and defense industries. These unmentionable topics are usually treated with what Blum calls "the media's most effective tool -- silence." But in case somebody's asking questions, all you have to do is say, "conspiracy theory," and any allegation instantly becomes too frivolous to merit serious attention.

On the other hand, since my paranoid shift, whenever I hear the words "conspiracy theory" (which seems more often, lately) it usually means someone is getting too close to the truth.

Take September 11th, which I identify as the date my paranoia actually shifted, though I didn't know it at the time.

Unless I'm paranoid, it doesn't make any sense at all that George W. Bush, commander-in-chief, sat in a second-grade classroom for 20 minutes after he was informed that a second plane had hit the World Trade Center, listening to children read a story about a goat. Nor does it make sense that the Number 2 man, Dick Cheney, even knowing that "the commander" was on a mission in Florida, nevertheless sat at his desk in the White House, watching TV, until the Secret Service dragged him out by the armpits.

Unless I'm paranoid, it makes no sense that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sat at his desk until Flight 77 hit the Pentagon?well over an hour after the military had learned about the multiple hijacking in progress. It also makes no sense that the brand-new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sat in a Senate office for two hours while the 9/11 attacks took place, after leaving explicit instructions that he not be disturbed, which he wasn't.

In other words, while the 9/11 attacks were occurring the entire top of the chain of command of the most powerful military in the world sat at various desks, inert. Why weren't they in the "Situation Room"? Don't any of them ever watch "West Wing"?

In a sane world, this would be an object of major scandal. But here on this side of the paranoid shift, it's business as usual...

Business as usual, indeed.

Over the last couple of days, a bit of revealing information on 9/11 precursors has quietly hit the news -- so quietly that it's receiving scant media attention. Yet the information that's coming out only serves to reinforce the notion that maybe there is, indeed, some grander scheme in play. Since moments after the events of 9/11 began unfolding, it's been clear to me that what we all witnessed on that fateful day was so much more than the actions of 19 Arabic men with boxcutters, bent on changing the course of history.

I'll close Part I of this posting with some reading for the intrepid among you - none of it is light reading, but it's all the basis for understanding where I'm going with this in Part II. It will help to read in the suggested order:

NY Times, 2/10/05: New 9/11 Report Shows Warnings About Hijackings

Voices of September 11th, 2/10/05: Statement on the delayed release of the FAA Monographs

Newark Star-Ledger, 2/11/05: Newark Airport got warnings before 9/11

Ct. Post, 2/11/05: 9-11 families outraged by FAA report

Michael Hasty, 1/10/2004: Paranoid Shift