The VigilanceVoice

-- June 22, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 283

Conspiracy Theory: 
U.S. Attacked U.S. On 9.11.01
Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, June 22--Conspiracy theories abound in the U.S. on just about everything from the Kennedy assassination to the faking of our famous moon landing.   But the most bizarre of all conspiracy theories for the 21st Century has taken root in France.   It claims the events of 9.11.01 were conducted by right wing U.S. factions, not by Osama bin Laden.   And the incredible story is the author of the book promoting the conspiracy has sold over 200,000 copies to people who are supporting it--at least, that is, by buying his book.
       What makes this conspiracy theory even more bizarre is my personal experience at Ground Zero on the morning of September 11, 2001.   Before I share what happened to me regarding the "conspiracy theory," let me share what's happening in France.

Author Thierry Meyssan

      In his book, "L'Effroyable Imposture," or "The Horrifying Fraud," Thierry Meyssan challenges the entire official version of the Sept. 11 attacks.
         The author claims the Pentagon was not hit by a plane, but by a guided missile fired on orders of far right-wingers inside the United States government. He says, the planes that struck the World Trade Center were not flown by Osama bin Laden Terrorists, but were programmed by the same right-wingers to fly into the Twin Towers.
         Motive for the attacks was prompted, he claims, by right wingers seeking to launch a coup against President Bush unless he went to war with Afghanistan and Iraq to promote the conspirators' oil interests.
         The 44-year-old author claims the Pentagon was blown up from the inside, and bases his theory on the fact that no parts of the Boeing 757 that crashed into it could be found.
         The 232-page book is scheduled to be published in the U.S., and currently is being sold in sixteen other countries.
         Normally, I would not give such a story a second glance.  However, this morning as I scanned the New York Times on-line edition (,  I stopped dead in my tracks.
          The story brought back a bizarre "conspiracy memory" that happened to me on the morning of September 11.
          I was standing near the burning Twin Towers, trying to get as close as possible to see if I could help.  It was agonizing.  I watched bodies leaping from the building, flailing as they plummeted nearly a quarter mile to their death.  Then, as though the bowels of the city had been ripped apart, the ground heaved and 1.6 million tons of steel crumbled, exploding with such force I was sure we were all about to meet our Maker.

        I grabbed two armsful of women standing next to me and shoved them against a wall for protection.   Debris splattered everywhere as a black, suffocating cloud settled over us.   I was sure it was contaminated with bio-chemicals.  I held my breath as long as possible, mentally preparing myself for death.
         Coughing, gasping, gagging, we clutched one another in what we thought were our "final moments."  The eerie sounds of human wailing pierced the darkness. Beating hearts filled the silence, the ominous thick silence of death.
         When the blackness turned a pasty concrete gray, stunned survivors staggered through the ashen rain, compassing their way uptown, away from the epicenter.    I chose to move toward it--driven by my desire to see first-hand the devastation and to record it for history.  Paternally, I moved toward the heap of twisted metal in hopes of hooking up with my daughter, a federal agent whom I was sure would have been called to duty as the city mobilized its resources against any further attacks.
         I stumbled down a narrow street toward the rubble of the Twin Towers, barely able to see my hand in front of me as the ash blanketed down.  The street was deserted.  Stores were empty, their doors open.  Chunks of concrete littered the ground forming an obstacle course of jagged pieces of rebar spearing out like punji stakes the V.C. used in pits, hoping we would fall upon them.    I felt I was in the middle of the nuclear holocaust, alone, the last man on earth.   A deafening silence hung in the thickened air as over a 100 stories of pulverized concrete snowed down.

          Bizarre thoughts cross one's mind in the madness of such situations.  As I picked my way through the debris, I remembered being pinned down in Vietnam.   The V.C. caught us in a three-way crossfire.   I dived into a narrow furrow of earth the farmers had been cultivating, hoping the small precipices of dirt might protect and disguise me.   Bullets chewed their way toward me, exploding the earth, showering my face with the clumps.   A few inches above me an intertwining web of lead criss-crossed, making it impossible to stand or crouch without being cut down.   My body shook in fear as I felt the sensation of death's breath hissing on my neck.  Then, as I worked to rid myself of the fear, hugging the earth as much as possible, a calmness swept through me.
         Scenes from old WWII movies flashed in the cacophony.  I saw John Wayne stick his helmet on the end of his rifle to draw enemy fire.   I had this incredible urge to replicate the scene, to see if it would work.  Fear of death gave way to boyish challenge--I wanted to pit reality against celluloid illusion.
       Cautiously, I slipped off my helmet and stuck it on the muzzle of my M-14 and pushed my rifle down the row of dirt in front of me as far as I could reach..  Slowly,  I lifted the barrel up so my helmet would be exposed to enemy fire.  "Zing...splat..."   Enemy bullets blasted my helmet off, sending it careening into the adjacent rows.  That's when I knew if I stayed there I would die.  I leapt up and ran, zigzagging, trying to beat the bullets.   I got lucky.

        I thought about that experience as I worked my way through the haze of death's destruction on Nine Eleven.   Then I realized I had to go to the bathroom.   I began to laugh.  I was worrying about finding a restroom in the middle of a war zone.
       No one was around.   It was just me and the  fallout, the rubble, and flakes of dirty concrete snow fluttering somnolently.
       Despite the absence of any other human being, I still discreetly slipped into a narrow alley and relieved myself.   I chuckled at the insanity of it all--worrying about trying to find a bathroom in the middle of madness.   Then I felt the presence of someone nearby.
       I looked to my right, down the foggy alley.  I made out the silhouette of a figure sitting on a window ledge.   My heart raced.  I thought there was at least one other person here in the middle of the end of the earth.
       Moving slowly, I approached the figure.  It was a man.  He sat with his head hung low.  His clothes, as mine, were covered with ash, the tuxedo of destruction.  
       "Are you okay?"
       He didn't look up.   His head bobbed methodically, as though in deep contemplation, chanting words I didn't understand at first because they were strung together, without punctuation, in a monotone that escaped detection.   A pile of clothes bundled in a grocery bag rested between his legs on the ground, a symbol of a street person who carries his homestead in his hand.   His face was gaunt, unshaven and his recessed eyes were accentuated by the chalky dust piling on his skin.

    "Are you okay?"  I repeated the words, holding my distance.   Some people emit barriers--walls if you will--that warn one not to invade their space.   He radiated such a feeling.  Most street people do.
      "It was them...the coup...the military...they did it...they are taking over the country...I knew it...I knew they were going was our planes...U.S. military planes...fighters...we're under attack by our own people...."
       "Are you okay?"   I wondered if he had been wounded and was delirious.   I moved in an arc around him, looking for any blood on his head, a sign perhaps that his peculiar  mutterings were caused by a concussion.
        He finally looked at me.   His eyes were fierce, penetrating mine, warning me about the invasion of our own people, the coup he believed was underfoot by the U.S. military to take control of the country.
       "They did was their planes...they did it...the military...we're under martial law..."
       I stood silent.  I was accustomed to street peoples' madness, their diatribes.  But this was different..   The "next-to-the-last person on earth" that day was in the alley proclaiming as the dust was falling that the United States was in a revolt--that Americans were killing Americans.   I knew better than to challenge him.   I thought it ironic, that the only human other than myself left in the shroud of battle's aftermath was a madman. Here I was in the middle of one of the world's most historic events with the only other human being I could find, ranting about a military coup, blaming the U.S. for attacking the U.S.  I just stood, soaking it up.
       His lips didn't stop.  He kept muttering about the invasion, the impending assault on New York City by the military that finally had the guts to take control of the country.

       I again asked if I could help him.   He didn't answer.  He just kept mumbling his conspiracy theory.   So I moved on, down the alley, stumbling over the debris.   A few yards farther I saw another figure. 
      "Here!  Here!"
      A young man with short-cropped hair appeared in the pale of the ash still falling like wounded snowflakes.  
      "I'm Mike, with the Secret Service."  He stuck out his hand eagerly and flashed his badge to me.  "Get in the doorway.  We don't know what's going to happen next.   Did you see anyone else?"
      "Yeah...there's a guy up the alley, sitting on a ledge.  I think he's out of it."
      "I know.  He won't leave.  He's muttering things about a conspiracy."
      Mike opened a big green door.  A young woman, perhaps nineteen or twenty, stood shivering and crying in the doorway.  Her name was Lisa.  She had been taking pictures with her friends when the building collapsed.  She had the Kodak disposable camera clutched in her hands. 
      "Cliff, stay here with Lisa.  I don't know what's going on.  I'll try and find out."
      Mike shut the door.  I stood with Lisa, comforting her the best I could.   A few minutes later the Secret Service Agent opened the door.   "Okay, you can go.  Head uptown. Be careful."
      I offered to guide Lisa but she said she'd be okay, that she had to find her friends.   Mike asked if I had anything he could use to cover his face so he could breathe better.   He was coughing, rasping.  I dug through my backpack and gave him an extra washcloth I carried to wipe clean my computer screen.  He shoved it over his face and waved.
     I exited the alley and turned toward the epicenter, looking for my daughter, searching the scene with my eyes, taking pictures in my mind for the stories I would write later of the event.
     I paid little heed to the "crazy person's" comments that day.  Nine months ago, when I was reporting on the events, I mentioned him, and related the bizarre story he told me as the ash was falling--an incredible and incredulous belief that the United States government had orchestrated an attack upon itself.  Then I forgot about him and the conspiracy theory until, that is, this morning.
     This morning, as I do each morning, I flick on the computer and scan the New York Times on-line edition. I stopped at the story about Thierry Meyssan's book--The Horrifying Fraud--being a best seller in France.  My thoughts rocketed back to a street person sitting on the ledge of a window in an alley 283 days ago, telling me just moments after the attack, that it was all a conspiracy--all a right-wing U.S. plot to take over the country.
      I am a firm believer that nothing happens by accident.   As a skeptic, I ran many scenarios through my own mental sifter post Nine Eleven, scouring up various alternatives as to what happened that day.   I interviewed what I thought were credible sources, a former Israeli intelligence officer was one of my key "deep throats".   We bantered about various viewpoints.   His take was that Osama bin Laden was only a puppet for the Arabs, and that the real engines behind the plot were the Middle Eastern leaders who wanted to eradicate Israel and used Osama as their point man.
      Today, the conspiracy theorists are having a field day.   Many claim that President Bush knew about the impending attack and let it happen so he could become a "war President" and gain control of the Middle East oil and gas reserves, as well as entrench American military presence in the Middle East.
      Some claim that Osama bin Laden has been dead for a long time, and the President has his body on "ice" and uses his threat to keep increasing his power and that one day he will thaw the body and present it to the public--probably just before the eve of his reelection campaign.
      There is no end to the permutations or machinations one can create if he or she is looking to find fault with America.   As I've said many times, the more we turn our attention inwardly and cannibalize our own confidence in government, the more vulnerable we are to Terrorism.   Terrorism is about Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, and what better venom is there to paralyze a nation than to turn its citizens against its government.
      The entire strategy of the Afghanistan war was to turn the populace against the Taliban, to rip out its grass roots support.   The more we feed our thirst for conspiracy, the more we ravage our own grass roots.
     But a conspiracy theory is like a toothache--it gnaws at you.  It throbs.   When you bite down too hard, it reminds you of an exposed nerve.
      That street bum nine months was my toothache.
      I can see his face.  Feel his eyes.   Hear his Voice mumbling a warning, telegraphing to anyone who would listen that the attack of September 11 was from "within" not "without."
     That's why I am such an advocate of "Internal Terrorism."   Internal Terrorism is the self-created, or self-imposed Fear, Intimidation and Complacency we generate from inside.   A Conspiracy Theory is only one form of Internal Terrorism.
     It tells us that those who are in "charge of our security" are really our wardens, our jailors, our despots who, at a whim, would ravish us all for their greedy goals.

        A child who feels his or her parents don't care about him or her, feels the same way.  A father or mother too busy to listen to a child, too self-indulged to sit down with a child and share the child's dreams, to play within the boundaries of the child's imagination, to show the child unconditional love, ends up a conspirator against the child--at least in the child's mind.
      "You don't love me--if you did, you'd know how I feel. You don't care about me--you care only about yourself!"
      How many children have felt that feeling, thought those thoughts?
      Conspiracy is about selfishness.  
     A child who feels disenfranchised from his or her parents--who is left alone in the alleys of destruction to mumble to himself or herself--is not unlike that street person I ran into on Nine Eleven.  He or she is alone.  The world is conspiring around him or her, to beat the child into submission either emotionally or physically.
     Almost every teenage movie sends the signal of Parental Conspiracy--that parents are far too busy developing their own agenda to care about the child.   Thus, the child is left alone in the ashes of a Nine Eleven, muttering to himself or herself about the emptiness of life.
      This Internal Terrorism never seems to leave us as we mature.  As we grow into adults, the Terror of being a victim of a conspiracy remains glued to our psyche, as though a gene were imprinted within us that we are a "Loser!"

      How many of us look in the mirror and see a "Loser!"  How many of us look out at the world and feel as though we are getting  the "short end of the stick?"  How many of us see others appearing happy, joyous and free and feel sad, lonely and trapped in a life that has become a rut?
      How many of us feel we are underpaid, overworked?  That the bills will never be paid?  That we will never overcome the obstacles that life has exploded in our path, creating rubble and debris and fallout that seem impassable?
      Internal Terrorism is created by the idea of a "Conspiracy Against The Self!"  We believe the world has conspired against us, and know this to be true when we utter the words:  "...if only....if only...if only I had the same as....if only I was as lucky as....if only I was a rich as....if only I were as good looking as...if only...if only..."
      We become Victims Of The Conspiracy Of Life.
      It all starts back when we were a child.   It starts when we build the walls of distrust between ourselves and our parents, or our guardians.

      Authority becomes our enemy and our oppressor.   We become its slaves.
     Our retaliation is to blame those above us.
     That's why we love conspiracy theories.  It is our way of retaliating against authority by demeaning its intent.
     Unfortunately, it only makes us more of a victim.
     A friend of mine startled me out victimization.   I was whining to him once about my life not being what it should be, and he laughed and said to me, "Get off the Cross, Cliff, we need the wood!"
      I recoiled and then began to laugh.  I was indeed, crucifying myself by thinking the world had singled me out to oppress me.   I had grown to believe that when people were talking in a telephone booth, they were talking about me--conspiring to make my life miserable.   I was just Terrorizing myself.  I was my own Osama bin Laden.  I had grown to believe the world was flying airplanes into my Twin Towers, creating rubble in my life.
       This French-authored book on the idea of a conspiracy is a good tool to remind us to put up our Shield of Vigilance when we start believing the world is conspiring against us to limit our potential, to inhibit our growth and stunt our evolution.
       But none of us needs to read it to know what it says.   It simply says, "point the finger at someone else--like your father or mother."

       It tells us that we need to spend more time building trust and confidence with our children.  It tells us we need to break the legacy of "conspiracy" that may have rooted itself in our lives when we begin to feel the world at large is against us, and that no matter what we do, or how hard we try, we are doomed.
       A child's vision to the future is directly proportional to the doors of trust and confidence its parents open or close.   To build a child's Courage, Conviction and ability to take the Right Action means that a child must learn to take responsibility for his or her destiny, and not learn to blame others for its absence.

      When parents whine or complain about their lives being oppressed by the jobs they do, or the dashed dreams that have never turned into reality, or by the drudgery of daily existence, the child who hears these thoughts and feelings begins to develop his or her own "conspiracy theory."    Before they start in life, they "feel" the world is a battleground, and they have lost before they can fight.
      I believe that's what happened to the street guy on Nine Eleven.   He had lived a life of self-flagellation for so long, that before the ash settled from the destruction of that day, he was convinced the leaders of his country had conspired against him, and all Americans.
      Now, a guy in France who has never been to the United States, never walked the streets of Lower Manhattan or the Pentagon, is claiming that Americans, not Osama bin Laden, attacked America.
     It is ultimately the story of the father eating his children.

    And, for us who might be curious about the book, we have to remember that we don't have to read it to know what it contains.   All we have to do is look in the mirror.
     And when we do, we can edit it.  We can change the book.  We can become more Vigilant.  We can take the Pledge of Vigilance and rewrite our lives through our children.  We can break the chains of the legacy of victimization, and stand up to Terrorism within.
     When we do, our children will be safer, and we, a lot more happy, joyous and free.


Go To June 21--Fat People Terrorized By Rump Size    

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