Most people have never heard of Philip D. Zelikow, but he is best known as the executive director of the 9/11 Commission. He basically wrote the 9/11 Commission Report. Immediately prior to Bush appointing him to head the 9/11 Commission, Zelikow was the executive director of the little known Aspen Strategy Group whose members include Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rica, and Paul Wolfowitz. Although most people don’t know anything about Zelikow, they recognize Cheney, Rice and Wolfowitz as the Neoconservatives most responsible for stampeding America into the current unfortunate conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Zelikow’s record gets really interesting when we consider that he went on to write the 9/11 Commission Report. He earned a law degree from the University of Houston Law School and a Ph. D. from Tufts University. He wrote books too. He wrote a book on The Kennedy Tapes, and another on Why People Don’t Trust Government. One of his areas of expertise is PUBLIC MYTHOLOGY.
While at Harvard he actually wrote about the use, and misuse, of history in policymaking. As he noted in his own words, “contemporary” history is “defined functionally by those critical people and events that go into forming the public’s presumptions about its immediate past. The idea of ‘public presumption’,” he explained, “is akin to [the] notion of ‘public myth’ but without the negative implication sometimes invoked by the word ‘myth.’ Such presumptions are beliefs (1) thought to be true (although not necessarily known to be true with certainty), and (2) shared in common within the relevant political community.” So Zelikow, the guy who wrote The 9/11 Commission Report, was an expert in how to misuse public trust and create PUBLIC MYTHS.
If 9/11 was nothing but a huge HOAX, you would naturally expect that the event itself would have to be perfectly scripted.
In 1998, Zelikow actually wrote Catastrophic Terrorism about imagining “the transformative event” three years before 9/11. Here are Zelikow’s 1998 words:
Readers should imagine the possibilities for themselves, because the most serious constraint on current policy [nonaggression] is lack of imagination. An act of catastrophic terrorism that killed thousands or tens of thousands of people and/or disrupted the necessities of life for hundreds of thousands, or even millions, would be a watershed event in America’s history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented for peacetime and undermine Americans’ fundamental sense of security within their own borders in a manner akin to the 1949 Soviet atomic bomb test, or perhaps even worse. Constitutional liberties would be challenged as the United States sought to protect itself from further attacks by pressing against allowable limits in surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects, and the use of deadly force. More violence would follow, either as other terrorists seek to imitate this great “success” or as the United States strikes out at those considered responsible. Like Pearl Harbor, such an event would divide our past and future into a “before” and “after.” The effort and resources we devote to averting or containing this threat now, in the “before” period, will seem woeful, even pathetic, when compared to what will happen “after.” Our leaders will be judged negligent for not addressing catastrophic terrorism more urgently.
If we can get people to see that the guy who wrote The 9/11 Commission Report got his Ph.D. in PUBLIC MYTHS and actually had his hand in scripting the 9/11 event itself in 1998, they might be more receptive to the idea that the official story of 9/11 should be revisited.
The other problem is getting them to look again at an unhappy event. Don’t show them the unhappy pictures or the long videos of planes crashing into the WTC Towers or of the Towers collapsing. Instead show them short videos of what the first reporters said immediately after the explosions at the Pentagon and at Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
(1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C02dE5VKeck and (2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZekosYOmXc&mode=related&search
On September 11, 2001, the immediate reports on the ground told the truth. I think most people can see that it was later that the myth-makers retold the myth the way Zelikow scripted it to be remembered. This may be 2007, but when we consider the power of mythology the psychology of the average man hasn’t changed in 4000 years. And when everyone in the political community believes the same myth, it becomes a parallel reality. With TV reinforcing the 9/11 myth every single day, it has become stronger than any belief system that I can remember, but we must explore ways to challenge it.
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