- When you ask people
to revisit the events of 9/11 and reconsider what really happened, you
enter the twilight zone of public mythology where people don't want to
rethink unhappy events and where you challenge their personal egos. Did
you know that for the same reason that 2/3 of the women raped never report
it, 2/3 of the victims of fraud never seek redress either? They find themselves
at odds with their own egos; they simply don't want to admit that they
have been so violated or duped. I believe that the story of Philip Zelikow
is important to help people beyond their own egos and see how America is
- 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
- 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
- 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
- (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