In the begining there was conspiring…
Lecture at the conference “The New Pearl Harbour: Exploring Conflicting Interpretations of 9/11” – Cork/Ireland, Nov. 12th 2005
Thank you for the invitation to speak here. I want to start with nine general remarks on the underlying nature of conspiracies and conspiracy theories
In the beginning there was conspiring. In order to win out over a hostile planet, various bacteria united and formed the first creature with a definite cell nucleus. Not merely chance mutations and the competitive struggle for existence but conspiring and cooperation too made evolution possible. The bacteriological conspiring is probably the only world-conspiracy at all, it has been going over 2,5 billion years, and its only aim is Life.
Conspiracies are the most ordinary thing in the world: A and B agree behind the back of C, in order to gain some benefit. This happens in the business just as it does in nature, is just as common in politics as in the workplace – and above all, in love life. That the beloved secretly has another lover, is probably the most commonly held conspiracy theory of all.
Conspiracy theories are suppositions about real conspiracies, based on indications, suspicions, evidence. If the conspiracy theory is backed up by definitive proof– the partner is caught in flagrante delicto, the “Watergate” tapes on illegal political dirty tricks are given to the press – then the conspiracy is uncovered and ends. Often, however, such definite physical proof cannot be found. That is why real conspiracies are aften as long-lived as unproven conspiracy theories.
Conspiracy theories have a special quality that makes them so attractive: they reduce complexity. Many-layered, complex causes of events can be reduced to a single scapegoat. The blame game – or the tendency to ascribe an incomprehensible and painful reality to a specific guilty party – seems to be a basic characteristic of human behavior.
In the course of internally processing incomprehensible external catastrophes, the oldest and most important conspiracy theorie may have arisen, which is generally abbreviated under the name “God,” that is, the supposition of an invisible, secret, all-powerful creator and string-puller, concealed behind the universe and our own existence. The supposition of a divine conspiracy also reduces complexity: it makes our catastrophic, chaotic, incomprehensible cosmos understandable – giving it and our existence meaning.
The ability of conspiracy theories to reduce complex relationships to simple causes makes them an ideal instrument for propaganda and agitation. Without the specter of a sinister and bloodthirsty “Judeo-bolshevist world conspiracy,” Hitler could not have roused his constituents to a world war, nor could Stalin have long maintained his dictatorship without the supposed threat of a “Jewish-imperialist world conspiracy.”
To conspire, to conjure, to capture and to control are related. The conjuring of invisible powers of good or evil has something of the conspiratorial spirit, as well as something captivating, since it makes complicated things simple. Conspiration comes from conspirare, breathing together, or spiritus, spirit. The spirit of conspiracies is always a group or social phenomenon. Nothing is more convivial, nor more dangerous, than a group conspiring together.
The interaction of conspiracy, conjuration and captivation can be seen in the working of conspiracy theories: lacking definite proofs, the “truth” of the theorie must be conjured again and again, and it can captivate only as long as skepticism and doubt of this “truth” are controlled and kept out.
To immunize themselves against skepticism and doubt, conspiracy theories have a strange loop built in: every criticism is automatically turned into a further proof of the supposed Conspiracy. This immune system of modern conspiracies is the same one of their historical antecedent, the demonology of the Middle Ages: Whoever disputes the presence of the devil must be possessed by him.
So, on this general background, we may understand better the words given by George W. Bush shortly after the the 9/11 attacks – “You’re either with us – or with the terrorists” – Whoever disputes, that towelheaded devils from the caves of Tora Bora committed the attacks on Sep. 11th must be possesed by them – and also Bush’s speach to the United Nations attacks in November 2001 :
“We must speak the truth about terror. Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th, malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists themselves, away from the guilty.”
With the above mentioned general structures of conspiracies and conspiracy-theories in mind – and knowing that virtually nothing of the truth about the terror of 9/11 is really revealed – we may call this quote an abosultely perfect “double speak” – shifting away the blame from the guilty to some demonic evil-doers and hallowing the most outrageous conspiracy theory at all – the official version of the attacks – as a holy truth.
The Bush administrations official story has three basic premises:
The first is that Islamic terrorists, based in Afghanistan, who hate American freedom plotted and executed the attack – an attack which the U.S. government had no prior knowledge of nor any connection to.
The second premise is that in order to wage and win a war on terrorism the US must invade Afghanistan, Irak and every other nation harboring, funding or supporting terrorists and that a simultaneous suspension of domestic civil liberties is necessary for internal security.
The third basic premise is that the US-government is all good – while theirs is the very personification of evil, the “evil-doers” as President Bush likes to call them.
So far, summarized briefly, this is the official version of events and what followed. But if we look a little more closely, we have to notice that until today the criminal case of the 9-11 attacks has remained entirely unsolved. Investigations by police and authorities utterly failed, none of the real backers and perpatrators of these attacks were found, also no hard evidence and no terrorist was captured. In fact, after 4 years we do not know more than we knew 4 days after the attacks, when that list of the 19 Hijackers had been published. So the results of the greatest police-operation in history amount to virtually nothing.
I think there are two reasons for this zero-investigation:
First: the secrecy of the US-administration, which has stonewalled all evidence of 9-11 -flight-recorders, air-traffic-communication etc. – and buried it in the grave of “national security”.
Second: the nearly total breakdown of the media’s constitutional function in democratic societies as an instrument of power-control and critical investigation.
The coverage of 9-11 shows, that mass-media is doing a perfect job if it comes to grave criminal activities like presidential sex with White House trainees, but if it comes to small sins like the 9-11-events, there had been (and still is) no investigative journalism at all. The mainstream-media has gone to rack and ruin and became a brothel of propaganda.
To understand this you do not need any conspiracy-theories. All you need is a closer look at the official version of events – and the maountain of contradicting facts, which appeared shortly in the news, and then disappeared forever.But thanks to the memory and archives of the internet it has become possible to reconstruct the puzzle – not sufficiently yet to get a “true” picture, but more than enough to show, what the official version of 9-11 really is: a conspiracy theory which lacks any evidence whatsoever.
For the most of you here this is no news at all, but that for a majority of the population in the US and in Europe, this statement and the reality behind it is still really shocking. I remember visiting my mother in November 2001 and we where watching the news on TV, it was the time when the US-Troups had surrounded the Tora Bora caves in Afghanistan. While we watched I made some statements in between – „Do you know, that the US armed Bin Laden & Al Qaida?“ – „He was reported in an American Hospital last July“ – „He builded this cave-stronghold with the CIA and his own construction company“ – „ His family and the Bush’s investing in the same defence-company, they dinnered together on Sep 10th“ .
My mother had watched me increansingly skeptical, and than she asked: „Boy, is that true what you are telling me here?“ I said that it is at least, and most likely, more true than what is reported in the news. “Well then, you better stop going on about this. It’s getting too complicated for me. I’d rather stick to what they’re saying on TV…and the young Mr. Bush doesn’t cut such a bad figure.”
This reaction, it seems to me, is phenotypical, and not only in the case of old ladies but for the overwhelming majority of the population. It is the typical reaction if you confront somebody with some thruths of 9/11 – because it is expanding the simplicity of crude black & white and enhancing complexity. Therefore these unwanted facts of 9/11 are working in the opposite direction as conspiracy-theories do, which always tend to reduce complexity on a simple scapegoat-scheme.
The psychological shock; the number of casualties, initially estimated to be around 50,000; the incomprehensible, Babylonic-apocalyptic event constantly repeated in slow motion; the unhinged world of “nothing is as it was;” the deep and widespread confusion triggered by this chaos; all this cried out for an explanation, for a quick appraisal of the situation, for a plan. And this is what George W. Bush delivered in a way that was perfect because it was simple. He presented a culprit and declared war on him and on his supporters. It was no coincidence that the president’s congressional speech was met with rapturous cheers reminiscent of Nazi party conferences. Indeed, the moment endowed him with the halo of a leader and savior as he lifted the spirits of the frightened and paralyzed masses. This cathartic effect was in no way undermined by the fact that he was selling a simplistic conspiracy theory as the basis for a declaration of war – as you know, Hitler never had anything else to offer either.
Maybe as domesticated primates we have something of a scapegoat reflex genetically implanted into us, which in times of catastrophe and chaos provides us with an emotional outlet for fear, while guaranteeing the cohesion of the pack by focusing on a common “enemy.” It seems to me the success of Bush’s war policy can only be explained on the basis of such an instinctive reflex, of a reaction that is based more on an archaic herd instinct than on individual reason. The more dramatic the event and the more confusing the situation, the greater the pressure to resolve the situation. So, had Osama and his 40 robbers not existed, an enemy like him would have had to be invented then and there for reasons of group dynamics alone.
What would a more intelligent, less primate-like response have looked like? The decisive factor driving the whole event is horror and the fear it triggers. Whoever masterminded the attacks, their calculations were based entirely on the fear that is spread by the horror they unleashed. Yet the very thought that the perpetrators are counting on a reaction of fear and panic is a sign of more sophisticated reasoning, of a wider realization. Not only the horror is perceived as real, but those causing it and their intentions are also taken into account. This awareness, the conspiratorial, skeptical, paranoid perception, opens up the possibility of a whole range of responses to the horror, above and beyond panic. Herd panic reacts to disaster with cries for action for action’s sake, be it even blind action – so George W. Bush was generally described as “prudent” in the days following the attack, merely because he didn’t drop a few nuclear bombs here and there.
“Well, but what do you really believe now?” Those who asked this question in the seminars of “Cybernethics” professor Heinz von Foerster had to pay a dollar into the seminar kitty; for the word “truth,” the fine was doubled to two dollars. “The term truth means war,” says von Foerster. “It creates the lie, it divides people into those who are right and those who are wrong. I once said truth is the invention of a liar.”
In regard to 9/11, I advocate that all observations should be inextricably linked to the observer. As I deal with these matters, I sometimes find myself in the same situation as the quantum physicist who is plagued by the particle/wave paradox. The more thoroughly you focus on one aspect of the system, the more you lose sight of another. But aren’t Schrödinger’s cat and Einstein’s mouse irrelevant in a state of emergency? Wasn’t it a matter of having to open the box and establish certainty in order to take action? If that is so, if the frightened herd cries out for action, the primate mob clamors for revenge and a clear-cut friend-foe image must be created, and the time has come for those gruesome “truths” that mean war: then there is only one counter-strategy. The “outrageous conspiracy theories,” the “malicious lies” and the diversion from the “real culprits” must be further exposed and publicized.
Therefore in the first chapters of my second book on the attacks – “Facts, Forgerys & the supressed evidence of 9/11” – we focused the attention on these “real culprits”, the identities of the alleged perpetrators. About 48 hours after the attacks the FBI published a list of the 19 suspected hijackers. In the following week it turned out, that at least six of these 19 suicide-bombers were still alive. Four of them were interviewed by reporters – and they wondered and complained, how their names, pictures and birth dates happened to get onto this „most wanted” list. They had nothing to do with the attacks, were not in the US around 9-11 and had done their regular jobs at home instead: at a telecommunications company, an oil factory or the Saudi Airlines office. Two other suspected „hijackers” turned out to be pilots on a training-course, one in Morocco and the other in Tunisia, and these men also complained about being presented as massmurders. BBC, The Guardian and other „premium” papers reported in the weeks following Sep. 11th 2001, that the names of these „suicide-hijackers” were a case of mistaken identities– and the real hijackers must have stolen them. So far no problem: the use of fake identities is quite regular for criminals or terrorists. But what do you find when you take a look at the FBI-website today? Even four years later you still find those names and pictures of the same „19 suspected Hijackers” – and no mention of the fact, that at least six of these poeple cannot be the real terrorists. If you keep in mind, that the original passenger lists of the four flights were never published, that no video-footage exists of their boarding at Boston airport, no fingerprints found on the boarding cards, no proof that these 19 people even were on these planes. The Spiegel, Germanys leading News magazin, took this part of my book to brand me as nut researcher and crook, saying that the doubtfull names and pictures on the suspects-list were all cleared up when the FBI published a corrected version on Sept. 27th. But this is not the case at all – there are still hard and reasonable doubts on the real identities of the hijackers – and there are still nine skeletons in the closet. Nine dead bodies from the Pentagon- and the Pennsylvania -flights are still „on the rocks“ at a military base in Maryland, all with the same name: John Doe… they are not identified. Why? If the hotels, bars and rental cars these guys used in the days before are known – and they are according to the FBI – why then is there not a single piece of evidence, not a hair, no piece of fingernail, no little booger to identify these alleged terrorists?
Since this is the very basic question of every crime investigation – Who dunnit ?? – and it is still unanswered, we have to start here – the „Hows ?“ and „Whys ?“ and „for what purposes ?“ and „Cui Bonos“, all these questions are important, but they are secondary, in the intrinsic sense of the word. The answers to them stay worthless as long the very first step – the identification of the actual perpetrators – is not done. We have a least two dozens of anomalies of 9/11 and every one of them with quite good evidence, any of them worth a whole book… I don’t dispute these anomalies … But where does it lead, to discuss – lets say the inner explosion of the twin towers, the rockets slung underneath the Boeings or the size of the Pentagon-hole… ? Who can be brought to an indictment with this photoshop-evidences? Nobody I think and therefore I plea for the simple method to make the first step first and identify the 19 alleged perpatrators, the main suspects. In my documentation of the dubious identities of the hijackers I quoted from the press release of a Meeting of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Saud Al-Faisal and Pres. Bush on Sept. 20th 2001:
„Regarding the inclusion of Saudi names in the published list of the suspects, Prince Saud commented that haste in publishing the names of suspects has been acknowledged, and that it has been proven that five of the people listed had nothing to do with what happened, adding: “We very much hope that before being published, information, names and pictures will be verified.” (End of Quotation)
This press release was published on the website of the Saudi Embassy – but you will not find it there anymore, When our book came out in August 2003 – and the „Spiegel“-Magazin tried to ridicule my claim of the highly dubious hijackers identities, they asked the Saudi Embassy in Berlin about this quote of the Foreign Minister. Since the „Spiegel“ -guys aren’t cooperating with me, they didn’t provide me with the answers; but supported instead the befriended TV-Magazine „Panorama“ for an smear on the books of Andreas von Bülow and mine, so incredible, that I sued them for wrong allegations. To convince the judge what a bad journalist I am they gave a huge pile of paper to the court, and in this I found the document with the official answer of the Saudi Embassy to the „Spiegel“:
„Regarding your request from Aug. 27th 2003 on the alleged press-release of HRH Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal after his meeting with US-President George W.Bush on Sept 20th 2001, in which he is supposed to have said that five names on the FBI’s suspects-list had nothing to do with what happend, the Embassy of the Saudi Arabian Kingdom intimates, that HRH the Foreign Minister never gave such a statement and this means, that what is written in the book „Facts, Forgeries and the supressed evidence of 9-11“ lacks any foundation.“
Thanks to the memory of the internet we can proof the opposite, the Saudi Foreign Minister indeed gave the statement „that five of the people listed had nothing to do with what happened“ on Sept. 20th – and thanks to the involuntary help of „Spiegel“ we can proof now, that they officaly deny it entirely. Needless to say that this was no reason for the former leading news-magazin „Spiegel“ to look a bit closer at this mysterious denial. Why does the Saudi Secretary two years later deny that there had been errors in naming the suspects and he had dicussed this with Pres. Bush who had acknoleweged a certain „haste of publishing“? If errors happened in „haste“ and would have been corrected properly with the second FBI-list published a week later – why not simply state so? Why eliminate press-releases and deny given statements ? – Because until today the question of the true identity of the 19 hijackers is still totally unsolved – and the Bush- administration is doing everything they can to keep it that way. If they succeed these 19 will stay there for ever and become history. In spite of all the contradicting facts and witnesses that were revealed by one of the last specimen of investigative journalists in the US, Daniel Hopsicker, on the alleged ringleader Mohamed Atta in Florida – what we will hear from him later today. He won’t get a Pulitzer Price for his formidable research very soon – because these prices are still reserved for Pre$$stitutes of the likes of the NYTs Judy Miller– but the facts on Atta in Florida alone unmask the official version of the event as a web of fiction & lies – and the final report of the 9/11 commission as a phantasy book which proper title sould have been “Ali Plotter & the box-cutters of horror” or something like that…
My pleading to look closer on the identities and background of the alleged hijackers, doesn’t mean to deny all the other screaming contradictions of the official story – but following the golden rule „First things first“ it makes no sense to debate or divide on the width of the Pentagon-hole or the physics of the Trade Center crash in the beginning, only to come to the short-circuit conclusion: „Bush did it“ – or „the military“ – or „the Secret Service, the CIA “ – . Ok – but: so what ? Does this lead to anything, execept to the same simplicity like „Osama did it“. I don’t think so. Any proper criminal investigation will lead to these disturbing evidences on the crash site, but rising from the very basic question of real human beeings who committed this crime. If this investigation brings to light, that the alleged hijackers were only patsies – and I am convinced it would – than the second step would be to go after their helpers and handlers and masters and so on the ladder up. It might end right in the office of Dick Cheney – like it did with the manufacturing of the Iraq-lies – and having in mind that he was coordinating the wargames on the morning of 9/11 it seems safe to bet on the vice-president – but as long as we do not know, where Mohamed Atta learned to fly and how Hani Hanjour, who was not able to fly a Cessna, steered the Pentagon-Jetliner in this highly complicated operation, we are still on the very beginning of any chain of evidence.
We all have become witnesses and victims of the biggest brainwashing operation in history – Welcome to Brainwashington D.C. .
The complexity of 9-11 is huge and it’s important to keep track and not to get lost in the hall of mirrors. So „Keep it simple“ seems a good advice to me and I tried to follow it with my remarks here.
There can be no doubt at all that the Bush-regime exploited 9-11 for their long planed wars and their chronies profits – and at the same time did everything to prevent any reasonable investigation.
There are only very few doubts that the administration had foreknowledge of the attacks and moreover there are a lot of indications, that the attacks were engineered from high up in the military and intelligence. Since we are still in the phase of adjusting we should behave more like detectives than as self-assured politicians –at least for me, observing and researching since the attacks happened, the puzzle of 9/11 is fare from to be solved. If we are not driven by pre-fabricated theory, but by all the available data – than we have to put everything on the table, even if becomes complex and seemingly contradicting parts appear. But these parts mark the points were deeper investigation is needed – and as long no prosecutor, no court, no state-commission is willing to do it, as long it depends on us as citicizens to conduct it – and on the alternative media to communicate it. A huge majority of the people in the US and Europe allready know now the obvious lies of the Iraq war – it has become a topic of the mainstreammedia and lead to indictments of some top-officials. Even if I do not expect to see the whole gang of “Neocon”- warmongers in the White House and their collaborators in Dowing Street in prison soon, it’s important to note, that what three years before was blamed as “conspiracy theory”, is now an undisputed fact. And in a smiliar way, the contradictions and inconsitencies of the official version of 9/11 are allready obvious to almost everybody – so it will be only a question of time, when the truth of the New Pearl Harbour will be revealed.