Tag Archives: New York City

NYC Mayor Bloomberg: Fingerprint public housing residents and visitors

Bloomberg needs to be locked up himself. Not in jail but in a mental institution. He has proven that he is a sociopath over and over. Put him on meds or do some good ole fashioned EST-sorry that’s barbaric but I am thinking of it in terms of burning out this guys brain so he can’t continue to hurt anyone else. Fortunately he leaves office soon, hopefully he will disappear from the political landscape for good. (E)

Moorbey'z Blog

by Jennifer Trent Parker

FingerprintingIn this morning’s John Gambling radio show, Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized Davis v. City of New York, a putative class action lawsuit filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) and co-counsel the Legal Aid Society on behalf of plaintiffs challenging the NYPD’s policy and practice of unlawfully stopping and arresting public housing residents and their guests for trespassing. Rather than addressing the overwhelming evidence that thousands of innocent people have been stopped – and sometimes arrested – for trespassing in public housing apartments, however, Mayor Bloomberg instead suggested that residents and guests should be “fingerprinted” before entering their own homes.

“Mayor Bloomberg’s derogatory statements about public housing residents are an outrage,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, LDF’s president and director-counsel. “Families live in public housing apartments, not criminals. Public housing residents, as well as their friends and family members visiting them, deserve the…

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5 Disturbing Revelations from the NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Trial About Aggressive, Racist Policing

Moorbey’z Blog

Original post: http://moorbey.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/5-disturbing-revelations-from-the-nypd-stop-and-frisk-trial-about-aggressive-racist-policing/

2013/04/19 · by 

The landmark class-action suit has revealed a lot about the NYPD, and it’s not pretty.
April 18, 2013  |

The city of New York is in the midst of a landmark class-action lawsuit. The suit, Floyd v. the City of New York, alleges that the NYPD has routinely violated the Constitution by stopping and searching black and Latino New Yorkers based on their skin color. Since Michael Bloomberg became mayor of New York City in 2002, stop-and-frisk increased by 600%, from 100,000 New Yorkers targeted to almost 685,000 in 2011. Nearly 90% of those stopped are black or Latino, and police are more likely to use force while stopping New Yorkers of color.

Grassroots community groups and national civil rights organizations have claimed for years that the NYPD’s aggressive tactics have inflicted too high a price on the “high-crime” areas affected. But the trial, expected to run well into May, has already presented some unbelievable revelations of police misconduct and abuse, with high-profile witnesses, including high-ranking NYPD officers, delivering gut-wrenching and shocking testimony. Here are five revelations from the trial.

1. Police are forced by their superiors to make up (illegal) quotas, encouraged to make bogus stops.

NYPD whistleblowers Pedro Serrano and Adhyl Polanco put their careers on the line when they secretly recorded supervisors demanding officers conduct a set amount of stops (five), summonses (20), and arrests (one) per month. Quotas for NYPD activity are illegal under New York labor law, but the city maintains that “performance standards” or “goals” that do not include punishments for officers who fail to meet them are perfectly legal. According to Polanco and Serrano, “performance standard” is just a euphemism for a quota forcing officers to meet numbers. Sometimes this requires them to break the law.

“We were handcuffing kids for no reason,” Polanco testified about the 41st Precinct in the Bronx. He said that supervisors questioning quantity “will never question the quality.” “They just want to make sure we have them. How we got them, they don’t really care about,” said Polanco.

In one of Polanco’s recordings, a supervisor says, “The goal is at least one arrest per month and 20 summons,” and an officer who fails to meet the quota may become a “Pizza Hut delivery man.”

“Things are not going to get any better. It is going to get a lot worse,” the supervisor says about numbers.

Polanco explained that superiors retaliated against officers who failed to meet or complained about quotas.

“They said, if we were willing to keep working with our partners, we better come up with the numbers; that if we want to ask for days off, we better come up with the numbers; that if we wanted overtime, the chiefs control the overtime, and that if we don’t do our numbers, we are not going to get it. We were told that it was non-negotiable, that they are going to force us to do it if we didn’t do it.”

“They can make your life very miserable,” he said.

2. NYPD cop admits to setting quotas.

Deputy Chief Michael Marino testified that when he became Commanding Officer of the 75th Precinct in 2002, he set “performance goals” or “standards” of 10 summonses and one arrest per month. When the judge asked, “So was there a performance goal of 10 summonses and one arrest?” Marino responded, “As per an administrative guide that was present at the time, I set the standards as was mandated to me by the police department, yes.”

Marino testified that upon entering the 75th Precinct, he learned that, “Surprisingly enough, the 400 or so officers assigned to patrol all saw exactly five summonses every month, no more, no less,” adding that “It told me that they had set their own quota.”

Marino testified that he did an analysis of crime conditions in the area and then, “I asked them to increase their summons production from five to 10. I asked them to try to make two good stops a month and to attempt to make one arrest a month.“

Still, he denied ever punishing officers solely for failing to meet his numbers.

3. Spinning evidence.

In 2007, the NYPD’s Office of Management Analysis and Planning (OMAP) commissioned a study by the RAND Corporation to determine whether the department’s stop-and-frisk tactic was driven by racial bias.

Given that close to 90% of police encounters involved non-whites, the report asked, “Do these statistics point to racial bias in police officers’ decisions to stop particular pedestrians? Do they indicate that officers are particularly intrusive when stopping nonwhites?”

In a summary of the report’s findings, RAND found, “small racial differences in these rates” based on which they made “communication, recordkeeping, and training recommendations to the NYPD for improving police-pedestrian interactions.”

That was the final report. But testimony at Thursday’s stop-and-frisk trial suggests that the NYPD pressured the reports’ authors to soften some of their original language. The project’s coordinator, Terry Riley, testified that in their contract the RAND Corporation agreed to take the NYPD’s concerns “into consideration.” The NYPD did indeed voice concerns about early drafts of the report, which plaintiffs say led to several alterations to the final product.

In the first draft, the report’s authors wrote of “disturbing evidence” that there was unequal treatment across race groups. After the NYPD objected to the language, that section was rewritten to say that there was “some evidence” of this. In another version of the report, they originally asked whether every stop that uncovered wrongdoing was worth stopping nine “innocent pedestrians.” The department apparently found the language offensive, and it was changed to “suspects who committed no crime.”

Darius Charney from the Center for Constitutional Rights,an attorney representing the plaintiffs, claims that the evidence they presented of emails complaining about these aspects of the report, and subsequent changes, show that the NYPD “clearly had a hand in spinning the results” even if they didn’t doctor the data.

4. Searching groins and socks…for guns?

Stop-and-frisk is supposed to get guns off the streets. Yet officers allegedly search areas where a gun cannot be reasonably hidden, and these searches are often the most invasive and humiliating.

There have been widespread allegations that NYPD frisks and searches go too far. As I recently reported, people have complained that police search their genital areas and buttocks for drugs, even though police are only allowed to search an area where they have observed a bulge and need to confirm it’s not a weapon.

A plaintiff in the case, 24-year-old Nicholas Peart, testified that, on two separate stops, officers searched him inappropriately. One day police demanded he and some relatives get down on the ground. He broke down when he described what happened next.

“They patted over my basketball shorts and I was touched,” he said, adding that they felt his groin.

In April 2011 Peart was on his way to pick up milk for his siblings. A police officer handcuffed him, removed his shoes and felt his socks, asking “if I had weed on me,” he said.

Queens College sociologist Harry Levine, an expert on stop-and-frisk, has linked the NYPD’s astonishing marijuana arrest rate to its use of stop-and-frisk. The NYPD arrests about 50,000 people annually for marijuana, the vast majority of them black or Latino and in the same neighborhoods where stop-and-frisk is prevalent. It’s telling that in 2012, after controversy surrounding stop-and-frisk heated up, both the policing tactic and marijuana arrests dropped by the same amount — 22% percent.

5) NY Senator: NYPD Commissioner told me stop-and-frisk is a fear tactic.

New York Senator Eric Adams (D-20th District) testified on April 1 that at a July 2010 meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo about a bill (which he co-sponsored) to ban a database of persons stopped but not charged, he raised his concern about the “disproportionate” number of young black and Latino men stopped by police, prompting the Commissioner to say the tactic is crucial for controversial reasons. “[Commissioner Kelly] stated that he targeted or focused on that group because he wanted to instill fear in them, every time they leave their home, they could be stopped by the police,” Adams testified.

“I told him that I believe it was illegal and that that was not what stop-and-frisk was supposed to be used for,” he testified, adding that Kelly responded by asking, “How else are we going to get rid of guns?”

Adams later told reporters he considered Kelly’s statement evidence that, “It was not the people on the ground,” provoking illegal stops but “a policy being blessed from the top down.”

Kristen Gwynne is an associate editor and drug policy reporter at AlterNet.
 

New research: post-9/11 architecture of fear turns cities into police state zones

 

 

 

Police State

Wednesday, January 05, 2011 by: S. L. Baker, features writer

 
(NaturalNews) Almost a decade after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., significant downtown areas in some of this country’s most prominent cities remain largely sealed off with metal gates and barriers. The explanation is that these urban areas allegedly need “security zones” to protect the populace from terrorist attacks. But a new study just published in the journal Environment and Planning A concludes this “architecture of fear” has done nothing but blight the landscape, limit public access and may promote paranoia.

“Our most open, public cities are becoming police states,”study author Jeremy Nemeth, a University of Colorado Denver assistant professor of planning and design, said in a statement to the press. “While a certain amount of security is necessary after terror attacks, no amount of anti-terror architecture would have stopped the 9/11 attacks, or the Madrid or London subway bombings. And by limiting access and closing off space, we limit the potential for more ‘eyes on the street’ to catch possible acts in the process.”

If supposed continued terror threats dictate the need for so-called “security zones”, Nemeth argues these areas should be planned and designed in ways that involve the public and are useful to downtown built environments. “Right now they consist of haphazard placement of metal gates, Jersey barriers and cones. But if these are to become permanent additions to the urban landscapes, we must understand how to integrate them into the existing built fabric,” he stated.

The new study is the first to compare public and private security districts in multiple cities. It included research into areas of downtown Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco and found that while each city values protecting potential terrorist targets, what each city considers off-limits varies widely.

In fact, almost 40 percent of New York‘s civic center district is now in a “security zone” where it can be accessed only by people with the “proper clearance”. On the other hand, less than four percent of San Francisco’s civic center area has the same designation. However, a huge 23 acres area of public space in Los Angeles has been placed in a hard-to-access “security zone”.

Not only do these designated “security zones” affect the way landmark buildings now look, but Nemeth also noted they reflect an actual architecture based on fear. For example, embassies and other perceived targets now frequently have a bunker-like appearance.

Although the “architecture of fear” and restricted areas are aimed at assuring both property developers concerned with investment risk and residents and tourists with the idea that any lurking terror threats are being addressed, Nemeth pointed out that there’s a question as to whether these measures actually do much to protect the public at all. “Indeed, overt security measures may be no more effective than covert intelligence techniques,” he concluded.

For more information:
http://www.ucdenver.edu/about/newsr…

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A Mosque, Some Muslims, and a Mob

by C.J. Maloney
by CJ Maloney

Recently by CJ Maloney: Count Our Holiday Blessings: At Least We’re Not Starving

Is it possible The People should ever be their own enemies?

~ Fischer Ames (1805)

Remember the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy? It took place last summer in New York City when some people – with no sense of how a democracy works – had the foolish notion to build on property they owned an Islamic cultural center to worship God as they pleased. In both Constitutional law and simple humanity they were well within their rights but their proposed location was, unfortunately, just two blocks from where the Twin Towers once stood. Crushed under a wave of populist indignation, the Islamic center has yet to be built.

Admittedly I hadn’t thought about it in some time, and would gather that most New Yorkers hadn’t thought about the “Ground Zero Mosque,” either, since the tabloids stopped telling us to think about it. The angry mobs that once gathered outside the proposed location have taken their pitchforks and torches and run off toward other distractions. (Call of Duty: Black Ops was released, for one.) Now emotions lay at low tide, all is calm. So it’s time to take stock of what it cost us.

The fact that a most basic human right – to worship in peace as you please – came under blatant assault in America, in our greatest, most liberal city no less, is tragic but predictable. This is what you get from nine (and counting) years of living under endless war, breathing the harsh, poisonous air of an increasingly militarized society, and the effects were shown in the tepid defense my great state’s political grandees’ offered in response to this populist rejection of religious freedom.

The political leaders of New York were, with but rare exception, either outright scoundrels or mealy-mouthed cowards. Steve Israel, my local House representative, took a few moments to defend our Constitution in a fuzzy, kind of, sort of way that characterizes those without any spine. “While they have a constitutional right to build the mosque,” he began (and history would be kinder to him had he stopped there), “it would be better if they had demonstrated more sensitivity to the families of 9/11 victims.”

So there we have it. Our Constitution, Israel laments, is too insensitive. Freedom isn’t free, the saying goes, and here Israel is unwilling to pay even the price of hurt feelings. Mr. Israel’s feeble gesture sums up all that New York’s timid Congressional representatives could muster in defense of religious freedom; highlights how bereft our leaders are of any courage to stand up to a howling mob.

The farce deepened as the one politician who came out the hero of this sad tale was none other than the Golden Tongue himself, Barack Obama, a man not exactly known for political courage. “In this country we treat everybody equally and in accordance with the law, regardless of race, regardless of religion. I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding.” For once I applauded the man and realized I was wrong about one thing – he has read the Constitution.

The entire sad episode of the “Ground Zero Mosque” gave warning that democracy is no bulwark for liberty; it never has been and cannot be. I look at America today and see the wisdom in Bertrand de Jouvenel’s assertion that democracy is “the time of tyranny’s incubation.” (de Jouvenel, 1978, 15) Americans have forgotten to remember that Hitler – who was elected – is not only a symbol of the vile Holocaust but of sweet democracy, too.

Like many of our ancestors these newly arrived Muslim immigrants pinned their hopes on America’s reputation as a nation of law and not of men but found, in this case, that reputation to be far short to its reality. Today, America’s reality starts for the Muslim immigrant as soon as they disembark onto freedom’s golden shores.

Where once our forefathers, upon entry into New York harbor, came up from steerage to gather on the ship’s deck and watch the Statue of Liberty slide by, today’s immigrants come through an airport. What do they think when they first spot a line of freedom-loving Americans, standing meek with shoes in hand and pants around the ankles as surly TSA agents bark orders and jam their hands into our crotch? Do any of them take a moment to think about the lawlessness they had fled and wonder, “Why did I bother?”

Don’t be alarmed, new Muslim-Americans, all you see and hear about you is from what democracy is made! As H.L. Mencken noted long ago, a citizen of a democracy will be met everywhere by “an assumption of his disingenuousness and dishonour.” (Mencken, 2009, 156) So take off your sandals, lift your robe, and wait for Uncle Sam’s frisk.

I don’t claim this anti-Muslim populism to be anything unusual. History tells us that all human societies need a dog to kick. Without exception every race and nationality has been through the ringer at one time or another and, also without exception, every race and nationality has behaved like a beast when given the opportunity to pummel some minority in their midst. Every dog has its day, and every society has its dog. Current dog in America are Muslims within our borders. Native born or no, these poor people now find themselves cursed to be Muslim in a land that doesn’t want them.

James Madison once looked about him at 1774 Virginia and its wave of religious persecutions and exclaimed that he had “nothing to brag of as to the State and Liberty of my country…that diabolical Hell conceived principle of persecution rages among some.” Now, over two hundred years on, some Texas Congressman named John Cornyn declared of President Obama’s defense of religious freedom “the president himself seems to be disconnected from the mainstream of America.” No truer words can be said of 2010 America. Democracy has spoken; The People have made themselves heard. Freedom of religion is conditional upon the mob’s approval, the Constitution be damned.

As things currently stand any Muslim who comes to America in search of freedom is to be pitied – they are like a drowning sailor climbing into a sinking lifeboat.

Sources Cited

Mencken, H.L. Notes on Democracy (Dissident Books, New York, 2009)

De Jouvenel, Bertrand. On Power: The Natural History of Its Growth (Liberty Fund, Indianapolis, IN, 1975)

December 24, 2010

CJ Maloney [send him mail] lives and works in New York City. He blogs for Liberty & Power on the History News Network website and the DailyKos. His first book Back to the Land (Arthurdale, FDR’s New Deal, and the Costs of Economic Planning) is to be released by John Wiley and Sons in February 2011.

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

The Best of C.J. Maloney



Frank Chodorov, Nonvoter

Mises Daily: Friday, December 24, 2010 by 

[Transcribed from the Libertarian Tradition podcast episode “Frank Chodorov, Non-Voter”]

Frank Chodorov, Nonvoter

It was 44 years ago this holiday season, on December 28, 1966, that Frank Chodorov died. Chodorov had been born nearly 80 years earlier, on the day after Valentine’s Day, February 15, 1887, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He was the youngest child of a pair of Russian Jewish immigrants, who gave him the name Fishel Chodorowsky. But he was the only one of their eleven children to be born in this country, and he seems to have known early on that he was an American who needed an American name. As a child, he rechristened himself “Frank” and shortened his last name to Chodorov.

He also showed an unusual enthusiasm for schooling. After spending the customary eight years in the local grammar school, he became one of only 400 students accepted at the first high school to be established in New York City. When he emerged a few years later as one of the 120 students who successfully completed that high school program — you might say in modern terminology that his graduating class had a dropout rate of 70 percent — he moved right on to another program of classes, this time at Columbia College, the heart of what we know today as Columbia University.

While there, he became interested in anarchism but was disillusioned by his discovery that

the various schools of anarchism then extant … took a dim view of the institution of private property, without which, it seemed to me even then, individualism was meaningless. If a man cannot enjoy the fruits of his labor, without let or hindrance, he is enslaved to the one who appropriates his property; a slave has no property rights. Besides … the abolition of private property could be accomplished only by the intervention of an all-powerful State, which the anarchists were so bent on destroying.

By the time he graduated from Columbia in 1907, Chodorov was no longer an anarchist. Instead, he had decided, he was a poet, like “Shelley and Keats and Byron.” But “I soon realized that my muse was not up to it. Besides, I acquired a wife who needed regular sustenance. Therefore, I turned to teaching as a career; that promised some regularity of income.” From teaching, Chodorov drifted into advertising.

During a stint as a copywriter in Chicago, when he was in his late 20s and Woodrow Wilson was in the White House, a friend recommended a book to him and even lent him a copy of it — Progress & Poverty by someone named Henry George.Download PDF The book impressed him immensely. He read it several times and decided that what it offered was nothing less than the simple, inescapable truth about political economy. But what was he, Frank Chodorov, supposed to do about that? He had a living to make. He had no time in his life for causes, however worthy they might be. So he put Henry George‘s Progress & Poverty on the bookshelf — by now he had his own copy — and went on with his daily routine.

Then, one night in the fall of 1936, when he was just a few months short of his 50th birthday, Chodorov stopped in at the Players Club for dinner. There he fell into conversation with “a dignified elderly gentleman [who was] playing pool” — avid conversation, you might call it, one of the most memorable conversations Chodorov had had in his entire life up to that time. The “dignified elderly gentleman” turned out to be the noted journalist and author Albert Jay Nock, another man who had been swept away in his youth by Henry George and had clung to George’s ideas ever since. The two men rapidly became good friends. In fact, during the last decade of Nock’s life, the period when his libertarianism was at its finest, purest pitch, Frank Chodorov may have been his closest friend. He wound up, in the summer of 1945, as executor of Nock’s modest estate. More important for our present purposes, Nock’s influence led Chodorov to walk away from his career in the world of profit-making business and take up a new one in the world of political journalism and nonprofit advocacy work.

He launched his new career in 1937, at the Henry George School of Social Science in New York. The school was at that time five years old, having been founded back in 1932, and it needed help of several different kinds. Chodorov advertised and promoted it, raised money to support it, oversaw its operations, taught many of its classes, and edited its monthly magazine, which he founded and named The Freeman in honor of the Georgist weekly edited by his friend Albert Jay Nock back in the early 1920s.

Ultimately, Chodorov was ousted from his editorship of The Freeman and from his position as director of the Henry George School because of his unpopular views on World War II. He had warned his readers as early as the fall of 1938 “that no war is justified; that no war benefits the people; … that war destroys liberty,” and after the war was over, nearly a generation after the war was over, in the early 1960s, at a time when that war was well on its way to being remembered fondly as “The Good War” nobly waged by “The Greatest Generation” to save us from the Most Evil Man in Mankind’s History, Adolf Hitler, and the Most Evil Political Movement in Mankind’s History, Nazism — at that point, Chodorov wrote this:

It is a well known fact that during a war the State acquires powers which it does not relinquish when hostilities are over. When the enemy is at the city gates, or the illusion that he is coming can be put into people’s minds, the tendency is to turn over to the captain all the powers he deems necessary to keep the enemy away. Liberty is downgraded in favor of protection. But, when the enemy is driven away, the State finds reason enough to hold onto its acquired powers. Thus, conscription, which Mr. Roosevelt re-introduced at the beginning of the war, has become the permanent policy of the government, and militarism, which is the opposite of freedom, has been incorporated in our mores. Whether or not this eventuality was in Mr. Roosevelt’s mind is not germane; it is inherent in the character of the State. Taxes imposed ostensibly “for the duration,” have become permanent, the bureaucracy built up during the war has not been dismantled, and interventions in the economy necessary for the prosecution of war are now held to be necessary for the welfare of the people. This, plus the fact that we are now engaged in preparing for World War III, was the net result of our entry into World War II. Whichever side won, the American people were the losers.

So Frank Chodorov left the Henry George School and its magazine and became editor-in-chief of another monthly called analysis. It was during his years in that job that he became the first editor to publish a promising newcomer, a 23-year-old Columbia University graduate student named Murray Rothbard. From analysis, in the early 1950s, Chodorov moved on to a weekly called Human Events, and from there back to another monthly called The Freeman, this one published by Leonard Read at the Foundation for Economic Education. When he left The Freeman in 1955, he was 68 years old and ready for a break from the constant deadlines that had defined his life for most of the preceding 20 years.

He didn’t stop working, though. He wrote his last two books, The Rise & Fall of Society: An Essay on the Economic Forces That Underlie Social Institutions, which was published in 1959, and Out of Step: The Autobiography of an Individualist, which was published in 1962. And in the summers he taught at Robert LeFevre’s Freedom School in Colorado.

What did he say in these books? What did he tell his students? Let him answer in his own words. “I should … like to see society organized so that the individual would be free to carry on his ‘pursuit of happiness’ as he sees fit and in accordance with his own capacities,” Chodorov wrote in Out of Step.

That is because I assume that the individual is endowed at birth with the right to do so. I cannot deny that right to my fellow man without implying that I do not have that right for myself, and that I will not admit. … The best that society can do in the circumstances is to see that one’s way of pursuing happiness does not interfere with that of another’s — and then to leave us all alone.

That is the way I should like to see society … organized; but it is not so organized and I find its rules quite distasteful. In the first place, it has instituted a system of taxation whereby one-third of our earnings is confiscated; to the extent of such confiscation the pursuit of happiness is delimited or circumscribed, for one cannot spend … what one does not have. And then, the spending of this vast amount of money calls for a bureaucracy of proportions, and this monstrous bureaucracy in order to justify its existence pays out largess to favored groups, who must conform to certain regulations and controls in order to get it.

Now, the people who have organized society in this way are known collectively as the state. In The Rise & Fall of Society, Chodorov wrote that

The State consists of a number of people who, having somehow got hold of it, make use of the machinery of coercion to the end that they might pursue their version of happiness without respect to the discipline of the market place.

In the beginning, he explains in Out of Step, the “gang of people” who later became the state were

a band of freebooters [who had] developed an appetite for other people’s property [and] went after it with vim and vigor. Repeated visitations of this nature left the victims breathless, if not lifeless, and propertyless to boot. So, as men do when they have no other choice, they made a compromise. They hired one gang of thieves to protect them from other gangs, and in time the price paid for such protection came to be known as taxation. The tax gatherers settled down in the conquered communities, possibly to make collections certain and regular, and as the years rolled on a blend of cultures and of bloods made of the two classes one nation. But the system of taxation remained after it had lost its original significance; lawyers and professors of economics, by deft circumlocution, turned tribute into “fiscal policy” and clothed it with social good. Nevertheless, the social effect of the system was to keep the citizenry divided into two economic groups: payers and receivers. Those who lived without producing became traditionalized as “servants of the people,” and thus gained ideological support. They further entrenched themselves by acquiring sub-tax-collecting allies; that is, some of their group … were granted subsidies, tariffs, franchises, patent rights, monopoly privileges of one sort or another.

This is the state. These people are the state. And Frank Chodorov was very firm about how these people should be treated by self-respecting members of society.

Having fixed in our minds the fact that the State consists of a number of people who are up to no good, we should proceed to treat them accordingly. You do not genuflect before an ordinary loafer; why should you pay homage to a bureaucrat? If a prominent politician hires a hall to make a speech, stay away.

How should you regard a government building?

You enter it under duress only, and you do not demean yourself by admiring its living or dead statuary. … You honor the tax-dodger and pay your respects to the man honorable enough to defy the law.

Above all, you stay away from elections entirely.

Why should a self-respecting citizen endorse an institution grounded in thievery? For that is what one does when one votes. If it be argued that we must let bygones be bygones, see what we can do toward cleaning up the institution so that it can be used for the maintenance of an orderly existence, the answer is that it cannot be done; we have been voting for one “good government” after another, and what have we got? Perhaps the silliest argument, and yet the one invariably advanced when this succession of failures is pointed out, is that “we must choose the lesser of two evils.” Under what compulsion are we to make such a choice? Why not pass up both of them?

The two evils that confront voters in a typical election, Chodorov pointed out, are not really, as they themselves insist, exemplars of opposing principles. For “with principles — that is, moral or philosophic concepts — politics simply has nothing to do, except as convenient slogans in the promotion of its business, which is the acquisition of power.” No politician stands for any principle. No politician even has an opinion of his or her own. “The politician’s opinion is the opinion of his following, and their opinion is shaped by what they believe to be in their own interest.” This is why, in a typical American election, “there is no difference in the political philosophies of the contending candidates.” The only “difference between the candidates is a matter of personality, or between Tweedledee and Tweedledum.”

I see no good reason for voting and have refrained from doing so for about a half century. During that time, my more conscientious compatriots (including, principally, the professional politicians and their ward heelers) have conveniently provided me with presidents and with governments. … They have put the nation into two major wars and a number of minor ones. Regardless of what party was in power, the taxes have increased and so did the size of the bureaucracy. Laws have been passed, a whole library of them, and most of these laws, since they are not self-enforcing, have called for enforcement agencies, who have interminably interpreted the laws which created them and thus have spawned more laws. The effect of these laws is (a) to put restraints on the individual and (b) to concentrate in the hands of the central government all the powers that once were assigned to local government; the states are now little more than administrative units of the national government. Political power has increased, social power has waned. Would it have been different if I had voted? I don’t think so. …

It is interesting to speculate, on what would happen if, say, seventy-five percent of the electorate refrained from casting their ballots; more than that is out of the question, for at least a quarter of the voting public are concerned with what they can get for themselves from the election of this or that candidate. … In the first place, the politicians would not take such a repudiation of their custodianship in good grace. We can take it for granted that they would undertake to make voting compulsory, bringing up the hoary argument that a citizen is morally obligated to do his duty. If military service can be made compulsory why not political service? And so, if three-quarters of the citizenry were to refrain from voting, a fine would be imposed on first offenders and more dire punishment meted out to repeaters. The politician must have the moral support of a goodly number of votes.

But

not only would the politicians undertake to counteract the revolutionary nonvoting movement, but many of the citizenry having a vested interest in the proceeds of taxation would raise a hue and cry about the “duty” of the citizen to vote. The teachers in our tax-supported schools would lecture their pupils on the lack of public spirit on the part of their parents. Propaganda would emanate from tax-exempt eleemosynary foundations, and from large manufacturers dependent on government contracts. Farmers’ organizations, with an eye to government largess, veterans’ societies asking for handouts, and particularly the bureaucracy, would denounce non-voting as a crime against society.

We would be told, most emphatically, that by not voting we would be turning the reins of government over to “rascals.” Probably so; but do we not regularly vote “rascals” out? And, after we have ousted one set, are we not called upon to oust another crew at the next election? It seems that rascality is endemic in government.

Don’t vote; it only encourages them — that, in essence, was Frank Chodorov’s message. But if we don’t seek to use the vote to steer American society away from the direction in which it has been moving for all these many decades, what do we do instead? For Chodorov, that was a question very easily answered: we put our efforts into education.

Jeff Riggenbach is a journalist, author, editor, broadcaster, and educator. A member of the Organization of American Historians and a Senior Fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute, he has written for such newspapers asThe New York TimesUSA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle; such magazines asReasonInquiry, and Liberty; and such websites as LewRockwell.com, AntiWar.com, and RationalReview.com. Drawing on vocal skills he honed in classical and all-news radio in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston, Riggenbach has also narrated the audiobook versions of numerous libertarian works, many of them available in Mises Media. Send him mail. See Jeff Riggenbach’s article archives.

This article is transcribed from the Libertarian Tradition podcast episode “Frank Chodorov, Non-Voter.”

 


New Video of World Trade Center 7 Released Showing Michael Hess Calling Down For Help While He is Stuck in the Building

Freedom Tower + World Trade Center 7

There are a lot of questions that remain about 9/11. Yet our government continues to insist that there are not. Far too many people who are experts in science, architecture, engineering, etc do not believe the official reports. (E)

New World Order Report Exclusive

After the first World Trade Center tower is hit, Barry Jennings, a City Housing Authority worker, and Michael Hess, New York’s corporation counsel, head up to the emergency command center of the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), which is on the 23rd floor of WTC 7.  Testimony from Barry Jennings and Michael Hess has rarely been confirmed, until now.  This video was just released via a FOIA (freedom of information act request) and New World Order Report has obtained and released it on the internet.

Take a look for yourself.  Michael Hess, clearly visible, is stuck in the building.  This corroborates the story they told that on the way down trying to evacuate the building, an explosion occurred inside of the building which trapped them.  The stairway, where the explosion occurred, blew out the last floors in the stairwell.  Barry Jennings gave an exclusive interview with Loose Change creator Dylan Avery where Barry stated that when he was finally found by firefighters, they stepped over dead bodies in the lobby on their way out. After the video publicly aired, Barry Jennings mysteriously died just before the BBC aired a piece about World Trade Center Building 7…

New footage just released:


Michael Hess on the News on 9/11 discussing his story:

Michael Hess Testimony:

Barry Jennings Testimony:

Info on WTC 7 and Michael Hess from HistoryCommons.org:

After the first World Trade Center tower is hit, Barry Jennings, a City Housing Authority worker, and Michael Hess, New York’s corporation counsel, head up to the emergency command center of the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), which is on the 23rd floor of WTC 7. [Associated Press, 9/11/2001] The center, opened in 1999, is intended to coordinate responses to various emergencies, including terrorist attacks (see June 8, 1999). [CNN, 6/7/1999]However, Hess and Jennings find no one there.[National Institute of Standards and Technology, 9/2005, pp. 109-110 pdf file; BBC, 7/6/2008]

Center Is Empty; Jennings Warned to Leave – Jennings will describe that, when he arrives at the emergency command center, “To my amazement, nobody’s there.” He says: “I saw coffee that was still hot, that was still smoldering. They had screens all over the place, but the screens were blank. So I didn’t know what was going on.” He then phones several individuals, including one of his superiors. When Jennings says where he is, the superior responds: “Get out of there. Get out of there now.” Hess then runs back into the center, after having found the stairwell, and says: “We’re the only ones up here. We gotta get out of here.” [Dylan Avery, 2007; BBC, 7/6/2008]

9/11 Commission Claims Command Center Not Evacuated until Later – Yet, according to the 9/11 Commission, “After the South Tower was hit [at 9:03], OEM senior leadership decided to remain in its ‘bunker’ and continue conducting operations, even though all civilians had been evacuated from 7 WTC.” The Commission will claim the emergency command center is not evacuated until 9:30 a.m. (see (9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 305] But according to the London Independent, Hess and Jennings arrive there by the time the South Tower is hit, which suggests the center is evacuated earlier than officially claimed. [Independent, 9/13/2001] Jennings himself will recall, “I had to be inside on the 23rd floor when the second plane hit.” [Dylan Avery, 2007] The possibility that the emergency command center is evacuated earlier than the 9/11 Commission claims is partly confirmed by OEM Commissioner John Odermatt, who later says that after the first plane hit the WTC, he left only two staffers there (see (Soon After 8:46 a.m.-9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [Barrett and Collins, 2006, pp. 34] Jennings and Hess subsequently head down the stairs, but will become trapped in WTC 7, and have to be rescued by firefighters (see 12:10 p.m.-12:15 p.m. September 11, 2001). [National Institute of Standards and Technology, 9/2005, pp. 109-110 pdf file]

Barry Jennings, a City Housing Authority worker, and Michael Hess, New York’s corporation counsel, hear unexplained explosions inside World Trade Center Building 7, where they become trapped. [UPN 9, 9/11/2001; BBC, 7/6/2008] The two men went up to the emergency command center on the 23rd floor of WTC 7 after the first attack occurred (see (Shortly Before 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [Associated Press, 9/11/2001; Independent, 9/13/2001] At some point, the power goes out in the building. They then start walking down the stairs to get out. According to Hess, when the two men get down to the eighth floor, “there was an explosion and we’ve been trapped on the eighth floor with smoke, thick smoke, all around us, for about an hour and a half.” [UPN 9, 9/11/2001] Jennings will also recall hearing explosions. He will say: “I made it to the sixth floor and there was an explosion. The explosion was beneath me.” [Dylan Avery, 2007] He will add, “[T]he staircase that I was standing on just gave way,” and, “Then we made it back to the eighth floor, I heard some more explosions.” [BBC, 7/6/2008] Jennings says to Hess: “This is it; we’re dead. We’re not gonna make it out of here.” [Penn State Public Broadcasting, 3/1/2002] The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will claim the two men head down the stairs after 9:59, when the first collapse occurs, and then become trapped around the time the second tower collapses, at 10:28. [National Institute of Standards and Technology, 9/2005, pp. 109-110 pdf file] But according to the London Independent, they start heading down the stairs after the second attack at 9:03, which suggests the explosions begin earlier on. [Independent, 9/13/2001] Jennings will confirm this, saying that when he hears the first explosion, “Both [of the Twin Towers] were still standing,” meaning it occurs before 9:59. He says: “I was trapped in there when both [Twin Towers] came down.… All this time I’m hearing explosions.” [Dylan Avery, 2007] The cause of the explosions is unclear. Later on, firefighters will rescue Hess and Jennings from the building (see 12:10 p.m.-12:15 p.m. September 11, 2001). [National Institute of Standards and Technology, 9/2005, pp. 109-110 pdf file]

Barry Jennings, a City Housing Authority worker who had become trapped in World Trade Center Building 7, finds the building’s lobby in ruins as he is being rescued from it, and steps over what feels to him like dead bodies. [Dylan Avery, 2007] After the first plane hit the WTC, Jennings had gone up to the emergency command center on the 23rd floor of WTC 7 along with Michael Hess, New York’s corporation counsel (see (Shortly Before 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [Associated Press, 9/11/2001; Dylan Avery, 2007] After heading down the stairs, the two men became trapped on the building’s eighth floor (see (Between 9:15 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001). Some time later, firefighters come into WTC 7 to help the two men out of the building. [UPN 9, 9/11/2001; National Institute of Standards and Technology, 9/2005, pp. 109-110 pdf file]
Lobby Is ‘Total Ruins’ – According to Jennings, when he gets down to the lobby, he is astonished to find it totally ruined. In a 2007 interview he will recall: “[W]hen I came in there, the lobby had nice escalators. It was a huge lobby.” But reaching it again, he asks the firefighter who is escorting him, “Where are we?” and the firefighter answers, “This was the lobby.” Jennings finds this “unbelievable,” and says, “You gotta be kidding me.” He will describe the lobby as being “total ruins.”
‘Stepping over People’ – Furthermore, Jennings steps over what may be dead bodies in the lobby. He will say: “[T]he firefighter that took us down kept saying, ‘Do not look down,’ and I kept saying, ‘Why is that?’ [He said,] ‘Do not look down.’ And, stepping over people. And you know you could feel when you’re stepping over people.” [Dylan Avery, 2007] Yet most people were evacuated from WTC 7 around 9:03 a.m., if not earlier (see (9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [National Institute of Standards and Technology, 9/2005, pp. 109 pdf file] The very latest that people left the building, according to official accounts, was 9:30 a.m. (see (9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 305] In a later interview, Jennings will clarify: “I never saw dead bodies.… [I]t felt like I was stepping over them but I never saw them.” The BBC will say, “There is no evidence that anyone died in Tower 7 on 9/11.” [BBC, 7/4/2008; BBC, 7/6/2008] According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), firefighters lead Jennings and Hess out of WTC 7 at around 12:10 p.m. to 12:15 p.m. (see 12:10 p.m.-12:15 p.m. September 11, 2001). [National Institute of Standards and Technology, 6/2004, pp. L-18 pdf file]

While most of Building 7 of the World Trade Center was evacuated around the time the South Tower was hit, if not earlier (see (9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001), firefighters now find three individuals who have become trapped inside it, and lead them out of the building. [National Institute of Standards and Technology, 6/2004, pp. L-18 pdf file; National Institute of Standards and Technology, 9/2005, pp. 109-110 pdf file] Among these individuals are Barry Jennings, a City Housing Authority worker, and Michael Hess, New York’s chief lawyer who is also a longtime friend of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The two had gone up to the 23rd floor emergency command center of the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management after the first attack occurred, but found it empty (see (Shortly Before 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [New York Times, 11/21/1997; Associated Press, 9/11/2001; Giuliani, 2002, pp. 20-21 and 244; Dylan Avery, 2007] They then headed downstairs but became trapped around the eighth floor by smoke and debris that filled the staircase. After breaking a window and calling for help, they were spotted by firefighters outside. When the firefighters go in, they also find a security officer for one of the businesses based in the building, who is trapped on the seventh floor by the smoke in the stairway. This officer headed up the building after the South Tower collapsed at 9:59, to check that all his personnel had left there (see (Shortly After 9:59 a.m.-12:10 p.m.) September 11, 2001). All three men are escorted out of the building. [Penn State Public Broadcasting, 3/1/2002; National Institute of Standards and Technology, 6/2004, pp. L-18 pdf file; National Institute of Standards and Technology, 9/2005, pp. 110 pdf file; National Institute of Standards and Technology, 11/2008, pp. 298-299 pdf file]

Soon after leaving his office of mayor of New York City, Rudolph Giuliani opens a consulting company, Giuliani Partners, specializing in security issues. According to a 2007 report, it will earn more than $100 million over the next five years, making Giuliani a wealthy man. Giuliani selects several long-time associates as business partners, including Michael D. Hess, a former corporation counsel for the city of New York and now the senior managing partner of the firm. (Hess was rescued from WTC7 before its collapse.) Giuliani also hires his former police commissioner, Bernard Kerik, despite warnings that Kerik has ties to organized crime figures. Kerik will later be convicted of tax fraud. Some of the firm’s clients will prove controversial. Seisint Inc., a data-mining software company, was advised by Giuliani Partners on how to do business with the federal and state governments. In 2003, press reports will reveal that Seisint’s founder, Hank Asher, is a confessed cocaine smuggler and that Giuliani had touted the company in public speeches without disclosing his financial relationship with Asher. Giuliani also joins a Texas law firm named Blackwell & Patterson, which is then renamed Blackwell & Giuliani. Blackwell is involved in the litigation surrounding both the 2000 and 2004 elections, which were marred by allegations of voting irregularities and fraud. Giuliani’s business deals will prove to be a source of controversy and criticism during his 2007-08 presidential bid. [Washington Post, 5/13/2007; Vanity Fair, 1/1/2008]


9/11 Cover-Up Remains While Questions Mount

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

Image via Wikipedia

by Eric Margolis

Recently by Eric Margolis: Mideast Peace Talk Kabuki

“America’s strategic and economic interests in the Mideast and Muslim world are being threatened by the agony in Palestine, which inevitably invites terrorist attacks against US citizens and property.”

Ever since 9/11, readers keep asking me my views on these attacks. I have been barraged with emails until my head spins with engineering studies about melting steel, controlled explosions, claims about nefarious plots, and wreckage analysis.

One of the most colorful theories comes from Gen. Hamid Gul, former director of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI. He insists that 9/11 was staged by Israel’s Mossad and a cabal of rightwing US Air Force generals.

I inspected the ruins of the New York’s Twin Towers, atop which I often dined, right after the attack. Downtown Manhattan was enveloped by a hideous, stinking miasma from the attack. I have never smelled anything so awful. It took me days to scrub the foul odor off my body. As a native New Yorker, I was shaken to the core by 9/11 – but hardly surprised, as I had predicted a major attack on the US nine days earlier.

While visiting the Pentagon to consult on the Mideast, I also inspected its outside wall hit by the third hijacked aircraft.

I saw photos of the impact site and could not understand what had happened to all the aircraft wreckage. There was almost none.

In 1993, I was hijacked over Germany on a Lufthansa flight bound for Cairo. The Ethiopian hijacker took us all the way back to New York City. The hijacker was threatening to crash our A310 jumbo jet into Wall Street.

Our flight was shadowed by US F-15 fighters that had orders to shoot, if necessary. Where, then, was US air defense on 11 Sept. 2001?

A day after 9/11, I was asked on CNN if Osama bin Laden was behind the attack. “We have yet to see the evidence,” I replied. I maintain this position today.

Bin Laden denied he or al-Qaida was behind 9/11 and the death’s of nearly 3,000 people. The plot was hatched in Hamburg, Germany and Madrid, Spain, not in Afghanistan. A Pakistani, Khaled Sheik Mohammed, claimed he was the mastermind – after being tortured by near-drowning 183 times by the CIA.

While denying involvement, Osama bin Laden did say he believed the attack on New York was in part motivated by Israel’s destruction of downtown Beirut during its 1982 invasion of Lebanon that inflicted some 18,000 civilian deaths.

Tapes that appeared to confirm bin Laden’s guilt were clumsy fakes. They were supposedly “found” in Afghanistan by the anti-Taliban Afghan Northern Alliance, which was created and funded by Russian intelligence.

I had met Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and told CNN viewers that he was not the man in the tapes.

After 9/11, Secretary of State Colin Powell promised Americans the State Department would issue a White Paper detailing bin Laden’s guilt. Afghanistan’s Taliban government asked for this document before it would extradite bin Laden, as the US was demanding. The White Paper was never produced, and the US ignored proper legal procedure and invaded Afghanistan. We still wait for evidence.

I remain uncertain that Osama bin Laden was really behind the attacks. Much circumstantial evidence points to him and al-Qaida, but conclusive proof still lacks. One thing is certain: the attacks were planned and mounted from Germany, not Afghanistan. Of the 19 hijackers, 15 were Saudis, two from the United Arab Emirates, one an Egyptian and a Lebanese.

By the way, I’ve said ever since 9/11 that the danger and size of al-Qaida has been vastly exaggerated – as an explosive report this week by the London’s esteemed International Institute for Strategic Studies has just confirmed. Al-Qaida, dedicated to fighting the Afghan Communists, never had more than 300 members at its peak.

Today, according to CIA chief Leon Panetta, there are no more than 50 al-Qaida men in Afghanistan. Yet President Barack Obama has tripled the number of US troops in Afghanistan to 120,000 because of what to calls the al-Qaida threat. What is going on?

Many people abroad believe al-Qaida is an American invention used to justify foreign military operations. I do not share this view. Osama bin Laden was never a US agent, though his group indirectly received funds from CIA to fight the Communists.


Back to 9/11. I still cannot understand how amateur pilots could manage to maneuver in low to hit the World Trade Center and Pentagon. As a Pakistani intelligence agent told me, “if they were really amateur Arab pilots, they would have crashed into one another, not the World Trade Center!”

The arrest of Israeli “movers” filming the attack and dancing with joy, and the subsequent arrest of groups of Israeli “students” supposedly tracking the would-be hijackers remains a deep mystery. So does the immobilization of US air defenses.

The US 9/11 Commission was a whitewash, as are all such government commissions. They are designed to obscure, not reveal, the truth.

A 2006, a Scripps Howard/Washington Post poll found that 36% of the 1,000 Americans sampled believed the US government was behind 9/11. Many Americans still do not believe the official version of 9/11.

Neither do many Europeans. The entire Muslim world believes 9/11 was the work of Israel and far right American neocons, led by Dick Cheney.

If the official story about 9/11 is true, the attacks caught the Bush administration asleep on guard duty. Bush’s incompetent national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, brushed off serious warnings of the impending attack and actually cut spending on anti-terrorism just before 9/11.

The White House and media were quick to blame Muslims who hated America’s lifestyle and values, launching the concept of “Islamic terrorism” – i.e. that the Muslim faith, not political issues, prompted the attacks.

This dangerous canard has infected America, leading to a rising tide of Islamophobia. This week’s continued uproar over a Muslim community center in downtown New York, and a Florida preacher’s threat to burn Korans, are the latest doleful example of cultivated religious hatred.

The suicide team that attacked New York and Washington made clear its aim was: a. to punish the US for backing Israel’s repression of Palestinians; and b. what they called US “occupation” of Saudi Arabia. Though they were all Muslims, religion was not the motivating factor.

As the CIA’s former bin Laden expert Michael Scheuer rightly observed, the Muslim world was furious at the US for what it was doing in their region, not because of America’s values, liberties or religion.

These motives for the 9/11 attack have been largely obscured by the whipping up hysteria over “Islamic terrorism.” The planting of anthrax in New York, Florida and Washington soon after 9/11 was clearly designed to promote further anti-Muslim furor. The perpetrators of this red herring remain unknown. But the anthrax attack hastened passage of the semi-totalitarian Patriot Act that sharply limited the personal freedoms of Americans and imposed draconian new laws.

Faked bin Laden videos and audio tapes. Planted anthrax. An intact Koran implausibly found at ground zero. Evidence in a hijacker’s bag that had somehow failed to make his ill-fated flight. Immediate claims that al-Qaida was behind the attacks. Those amateur kamikaze pilots and collapsing towers.


Perhaps most damning, tapes taken in London of meetings between President George Bush and PM Tony Blair revealed a sinister proposal by the US president to provoke war with Iraq by painting US aircraft in UN colors, then buzzing Iraqi air defenses until they fired on them, thus providing a “casus belli.” Bush also reportedly told Blair that after Iraq, he would “go on” to attack Saudi Arabia, Syria and Pakistan.

In 1939, Nazi Germany dressed up soldiers in Polish uniforms to provoke a border fire-fight to justify Berlin’s ensuing invasion of Poland. Bush’s plan was of the same ilk. A president who would contemplate such a criminal operation might go a lot further to achieve his imperial dreams.

As a veteran journalist, to me, all this smells to high heaven. There are just too many unanswered questions, too many suspicions, and that old Roman legal question, “cui bono” – “to whose benefit?”

On 28 February, 1933, fire, set by a Dutch Jew, ravaged the Germany’s parliament, the Reichstag. While the Reichstag’s ruins were still smoking, Adolf Hitler’s government declared a war against “terrorism.” A “Decree for the Protection of People and State” was promulgated suspending all legal protections of speech, assembly, property, and personal liberties. The Reichstag fire allowed the government to round up “terrorism” suspects without due process of law and made police powers near absolute.

Sound familiar? Here’s another startling coincidence. Two years before 9/11, a series of mysterious apartment building bombings in Russia killed over 200 people. “Islamic terrorists” from Chechnya were blamed.

Panic swept Russia and boosted former KGB agent Vladimir Putin into full power. Russian security agents of FSB were caught red-handed planting explosives in another building, but the story was hushed up. A former FSB agent, Alexander Litvinenko, who tried to reveal this story, was murdered in London by radioactive polonium.

Similarly, the Bush administration’s neocons shamelessly used 9/11 to promote the invasion of Iraq. Just before the attack, polls showed 80% of Americans erroneously believed Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. Dr. Goebbels would have been proud.

So what, in the end, can we conclude? 1. We still do not know the real story about 9/11. 2. The official version is not credible. 3. 9/11 was used to justify invading strategic Afghanistan and oil-rich Iraq. 4. The attacks plunged America into wars against the Muslim world and enriched the US arms industry. 5. 9/11 boosted pro-Israel neoconservatives, formerly a fringe group, into power, and with them America’s totalitarian far right. 6. Bush’s unprovoked war against Iraq destroyed one of Israel’s two main enemies. 7. 9/11 put America in what may turn out to be a permanent state of war with the Muslim world – a key goal of the neoconservatives .

But I’ve seen no hard evidence to date that 9/11 was a plot by America’s far right or by Israel or a giant cover-up. Just, perhaps, the Mother of All Coincidences. In the end, it may just have been 19 angry Arabs and a bumbling Bush administration looking for someone else to blame.

September 11, 2010

Eric Margolis [send him mail] is the author of War at the Top of the World and the new book, American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World. See his website.

Copyright © 2010 Eric Margolis

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