- "The decision 'not to do the story' appears to be
multiplying all over the nation." -- Fred Powledge, ACLU
- "Whoever said 'no news is good news,' was BADLY
misinformed." -- Dan Rather
- Think you're already amazed, alarmed or appalled enough
by the state of US journalism today? Chew on this a while and think again.
- Grieving New Hampshire widow who lost her man on 9/11
refuses the government's million dollar hush money payoff, studies the
facts of the day for nearly two years, and comes to believe the White House
"intentionally allowed 9/11 to happen" to launch a so-called
"War on Terrorism" for personal and political gain.
- She retains a prominent lawyer, a former Deputy Attorney
General of Pennsylvania, who served with distinction under both Democrats
and Republicans and was once a strong candidate for the governor's seat.
- The attorney files a 62-page complaint in federal district
court (including 40 pages of prima facie evidence) charging that "President
Bush and officials including, but not limited to Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice,
Ashcroft and Tenet":
- 1.) had adequate foreknowledge of 911 yet failed to warn
the county or attempt to prevent it;
- 2.) have since been covering up the truth of that day;
- 3.) have therefore abetted the murder of plaintiff's
husband and violated the Constitution and multiple laws of the United States;
- 4.) are thus being sued under the Civil RICO (Racketeering,
Influence, and Corrupt Organization) Act for malfeasant conspiracy, obstruction
of justice and wrongful death.
- The suit text goes on to document the detailed forewarnings
from foreign governments and FBI agents; the unprecedented delinquency
of our air defense; the inexplicable half hour dawdle of our Commander
in Chief at a primary school after hearing the nation was under deadly
attack; the incessant invocation of national security and executive privilege
to suppress the facts; and the obstruction of all subsequent efforts to
investigate the disaster. It concludes that "compelling evidence will
be presented in this case through discovery, subpoena power, and testimony
[that] Defendants failed to act and prevent 9/11 knowing the attacks would
lead to??| an 'International War on Terror' which would benefit Defendants
both financially and politically."
- Press releases detailing these explosive allegations
are sent out to 3000 journalists in the print and broadcast media, and
a press conference to announce the filing is held in front of Independence
Hall in Philadelphia on November 26th (commemorating the end of the first
futile year of the independent National 9/11 Commission).
- Imagine the world-churning implications of these charges.
Imagine the furor if just one was proved true. Imagine the courage of this
bribe-shunning widow and an eminent attorney with his rep on the line.
Then imagine a press conference to which nobody came.
- (Well, more precisely, imagine a press conference at
which only FOX News appears, tapes for 40 minutes, and never airs an inch.)
- Now imagine the air time, column inches and talk show
hysteria that same night devoted to the legal hassles of Michael, Kobe,
and Scott Peterson, and divide that by the attention paid to our little
case of mass murder, war profiteering and treason. (OK, this is really
a trick question because no number divided by zero yields any answers whatsoever,
which evidently in this case is the result preferred.)
- When you present documented charges of official treachery
behind the greatest national security disaster in modern history and the
press doesn't show, doesn't listen, doesn't write - just what in fact is
really being communicated? That despite all the deaths, lies, wars, and
bizarre official actions that flowed from 9/11 there's actually nothing
there to be investigated at all? That addressing desperate victim families'
still unanswered cries for truth is not a legitimate journalistic concern?
That news will now be what the corporate media say it will be, so drink
your infotainment Kool-Aid and kindly shut up?
- (While the 9/11 blackout is the most flagrant sign of
current media dysfunction, it hardly stands alone. Where, for example,
was our free and fearless press when Pentagon powerbroker Richard Perle
confessed to a London audience last month that yes indeed, our war on Iraq
was illegal as hell? He calmly explained that "in this case international
law stood in the way of doing the right thing??| [it] would have required
us to leave Saddam Hussein alone, and this would have been morally unacceptable."
- (Guardian/UK, 11/20/03) And what news have we seen of
the thousands of Depleted Uranium deaths and birth defects now desolating
Afghanis, Iraqis and our own Gulf War troops? And whose looking into the
$1.2 trillion the Pentagon admits is "missing" or the half trillion
in laundered funds now propping up our banks? And how many times have you
seen it reported that unbid Iraq contracts have pushed the worth of VP
Cheney's 433,333 Halliburton stock options to $26 million plus? But to
return to 9/11, the funny business has just begun. If you thought press
performance after JFK's death was a cynical farce, you ain't seen nothing
- A few years back Harold Evans of the London Sunday Times,
observed that the challenge facing American newspapers "is not to
stay in business -- it is to stay in journalism.'' As corporations' authoritarian,
profit-driven consciousness comes to dominate both media and governance,
you can expect a lot more serial celebrity scandals and even less news
on the way things work or anything that really counts.
- There is a clear method and message in this obscurantist
madness. All this media consolidation and tightening control is strategically
aligned with deregulation, privatization, social program-gutting deficits
and free trade regimes. They are all convergent tactics to enforce corporations'
full spectrum dominance over democratic humankind. If your progressive
or conservative instincts bid you to arise against this coup, standing
with our 9/11 widow is a good place to start. Her name is Ellen Mariani,
her lawyer is Phillip Berg and their complaint is now online at