Platon’s Cave and 9/11

Mathias Broeckers

9/11 and Platon’s Cave

Lecture at the International Citizens inquiry into 9/11,  Toronto,  May 28th, 2004

In his famous „cave parable“ the greek philosopher Platon reports how we have to imagine our cognition of the world: we are enchained in a huge cave and only able to look in one direction; a fire in our back is spending light, in front of which some jugglers are bearing materials, which throw shadows on the walls. Since we are only able to perceive these shadows we take them for the only „truthfull real“ reality. What would happen, Platon asks, if one of the inmates of the cave should become unchained and turns around to look in the opposite direction? First he would be dazzled by the fire, but then he would recognize the materials of the shadow play – and wouldn’t understand it. If he would come out of the cave into daylight he would be dazzled even more – but after adjusting  to the light he would finally become able to recognize the sun, the seasons and the whole world. So far this parable has been read as an example for Platons idealism, the ascent to the realm of ideas, it’s  wholeness and lucidity, of which the material world is only a shadow image.

We could see this story, which is 2500 years old, as an example for the current information age – with all of us being inmates of a huge cave, which is no longer operating with archaic shadow plays but with the technological advantages of multi-media, a cable-tv-cave with a multitude of channels and displays. And there are still those „jugglers“, as Platon named them, producing a light-show of phantoms and simulations… But before we come to the phantoms of September 11th, we should hear briefly what happens to the lucky one, who is liberated from Platons cognition-cave: out in the sunshine he starts worrying about his miserable chained companions and considers going back down and liberate them from their awkward predicament. At this point Platon utters an obvious warning: If he would go down he would be blinded in the darkness and become an object of mockery and scoff. The people down in the cave would say that he returned blind from his ascent and it wouldn’t be worth it to leave the cave.

But this is not the only difficulty he will face. Sokrates, who is telling the cave-story, asks:  „If he free them now and lead them upward, would  they not, if they could take hold of him, really kill him?“ (Platon, Politeia VII, 514)

This is not only one of the oldest warnings, that messengers might be killed for their message, it is also good advise for whistle-blowers of all kinds and I think a good description of the post- 9-11- situation. I think most of the speakers and participants of this conference have become objects of mockery and scoff – as un-patriotic un-american conspiracy-nuts and whatnots.  The good news are: we are alive, the bad news are: that’s only why  none of us really knows the truth about 9-11.

From the history of science we are familiar with the problem of prejudice in research: researchers tend to be more „theory-driven“ than „data driven“. This means, that researchers are uncomfortable with „facts“ unless a theory can explain them – and that they fail to see data that contradict their theoretical expectations. Not because the data is invisible, but since they have a strong tendency literally not to perceive the offending data – as we know from a lot of  psychologocial experiments on perception and cognition. Our minds tend to construct models of the world which are consistent and coherent – and do not threaten our expectations and beliefs. And if it’s inevitable to be confronted with offending data, we try to avoid them by all means – like the pope and his advisers kept a stiff upper lip and  refused to look through Galileis telescope. Even an enlighted genius like Albert Einstein balked to accept the new data of his college Heisenberg, proving in the 1920s  that in the quantumworld  it’s always the observer who decides what becomes manifest as „reality“.

This uncertainity, the role of the observer and the constructivist agenda of our cognition we should always bear in mind if it comes to perceive, proof and judge reality – not only while researching the microworld of particles, but in the macroworld of politics too. Especially in the realms of criminality, secrecy and intelligence –  like in the quantumworld we enter here the Hall of Mirrors and instead of hard matter we are confronted with something that Heisenberg once called  „possibility clouds“.  Unfortunately such kind of feasibility fog is not a piece of evidence that will lead to a court indictment, bring the perpetrators to justice and the officials to take responsibilty. But this is exactly  what in the case of 9/11is urgently needed, because nearly three years have passed since the murder of 3.000 innocent people… with no one brought to justice or taking responsibilty for anything at all.

So what this conference – in my opinion – should focus on is not the possibility clouds, but the alocatable particles. That means the ones that would enable a courageous general attorney – like Jim Garrison in the JFK- case – to indict the suspects; because a regular court procedure, a law suit, is the only way to come forward & finally dig out what really happened. One need not be a prophet to predict that the 9/11-commision will fail to do this – it’s a classic white-wash-institution designed by an administration to shift blame away from the ones in power –and the corporate media won’t do it either. But it won’t help if the „truth of 911“ is posted everywhere on the internet –  we depend on the leftovers of the last constitutional power which might still work: justice. If our inquiry is not able to bring some restless homicide detectives on the right track and an attorney to an indictment, it will be quite useless in the end.

The court cases in Hamburg against the  two so-called „20th Hijackers“ didn’t match any legal standard – there wasn’t any evidence against the defendants – and it was only consistent that these cases were reppeled by the higher courts. Still we are not so far that all judges rule guilty only on hearsay of the intelligence-agencys.  And this might be the reason, why until this day we do not have any legal case against the alleged perpetrators of the attacks: Osama Bin Ladin and the 19 hijackers. There doesn’t seem to be enough evidence against them, only some intel-hearsay, not enough to convince a jury…

Imagine any case of murder with just one percent of the victims of 9-11, 30 people – and after 30 monthes of largescale police investigation no hard evidence, no clues, no background at all is found. And try now to imagine a press conference where the police chief admittes just so – wouldn’t he be grilled by the reporters immediately? Wouldn’t that raise the painstaking question, wether the police had done their job right – or had they been following the wrong leads, the wrong suspects all the time? It sure would – and the fact that this hadn’t happened with 9-11, that nobody questioned or scrutinized and tried to get to the bottom of the story, shows as in a nutshell the decline of the media.

Lets look at a few examples: 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 30 months 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.

The first chapter of my second book on 9/11 takes a closer look at  these dubious identities and the fact, 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?

While writing this the news agencies reporting that the mexican airforce taped something looking like UFOs –  and one more time it depends on the observers beliefsystem which „reality“ he is going to extract from this luminous „possibility clouds“. For a proper 9-11 inquiry – avoiding to become edged out to a kind of flying saucer sect, discussing shadows on dubious video-footage – we should  look at first things first, and that means at the Unidentified Flying Subjects of 9/11: the 19 hijackers – and the smoking gun on ice: the nine unidentified bodies.

Since it 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 look at the 19 alleged perpatrators, the main suspects.

What I have found about them in the published records and reports broadly amounts to two categories –  the ghosts and the agents. From the first we know little to nothing and from the beginning they remain in their ghostly existence and partly dubious identity. From the second half – Atta, Al Midhar, Al Shehi – we know a lot more. They were like Atta on the watch-list of at least five secret agencies – including american, german, israeli intelligence – and as we know from the history of terrorism and intelligence the border between „watch list“ and „pay roll“ is kind of evasive…. In Hamburg where Atta and his cadre lived, their flat in Marienstrasse were beleagered by spooks who were even quarreling about who is who’s  asset…. And  what investigative reporter Daniel Hopsicker in his recent book „Welcome to Terrorland“ dug out on Attas life and connections in Florida seems to sum up to a new version of an Elvis song: „He walked like an agent, he talked like an agent“. And he even sniffed cocaine like an agent…  a real devil in disguise. Atta`s comrades in Florida – no bearded Taliban but smart pilots from Germany, Austria, Holland – his american girlfriend, his liking for striptease clubs and Beasty Boys-music – all this seems not to match the pure islamistic fundamentalist he pretends to be. But these informations never became part of the official record, these witnesses – friends, neighbours, house managers –  were not asked by the 9/11 commission and silenced instead by the FBI. Why? Is it for the same reason the FBI – directors shut down their own agents investigations on suspected flight-students ?

However – they walked and talked and moved and behaved indeed as if they had some protection. Once Atta flew into the US without an visa – and got two valid visas from the border inspectors.  Khalid Al Midhar was on the the terrorist suspect list  since 1998, when the CIA wiretaped the home of his father-in-law – a safehouse for Bin Ladin supporters in Yemen. Al Midhar was provided with fresh visa for the US until July 2001, even after he was suspected of being  part of the group which bombed the USS „Cole“ in October 2000 and was videotaped as participant of an Al Quaeda meeting in Malaysia.

Forty years ago, when the Warren- Kommission investigated the JFK-assassination, the public were at least provided with backgrounds and whereabouts of the pretended „lone nut“ Harvey Osswald – with 9/11 the situation seems much worse. Not only since any investigation  at all was blocked by the Bush-regime for more than a year – but also because the public is kept in the dark even on the very basic facts of the main suspect: his arrival in the US, his movements and contacts in Florida, the flight-school he choose and the amazing activities of their owners.

That the lone nut and pretended „Communist“ Oswald in fact was trained at a secret CIA-Camp with right-wing Cubans came out only 15 years later after the „House Select Commitee of Assassinations“ inquiry – and had to be covered up again. So time is not on our side with 9/11 and we should have an urgent look at the question, wether the pretended „Islamist“ Atta and his comrades were  possibly trained at a secret CIA-frontcompany, too. What Daniel Hopsicker has found on „Hufman Aviation“ points strongly in this direction – the real owner, Wally Hilliard,  a retired millionaire, maintains different aviation-companies which attracted attention – beside to be a trainingcamp for terrorpilots –  on two things only: not selling a single airline-ticket and losing money on a permanent scale – and  the  trafficing of 40 pounds of Heroin in one of their rental jets. Oops… this time the background of the „lone nut“ evildoers must not be labeled „Anti-Castro“ as with Oswald, instead „Iran-Contra“ as example seems more appropriate. That kind of long-running, secret  drug-, weapons, – and money-laundering- operation – with one end of the business-chain in Florida and the other in Afghanistan, with Osama Bin Laden in control of the worlds  main source of raw material –   seems to me  the most realistic background for what happend on 9/11 and for the non-investigation  and cover-ups  before and after.

One whistleblower, the former FBI-translator Sibel Edmonds, points in the same direction –money-laundring and drug business – and said in a recent interview: „ If they were to do real investigations we would see several significant high level criminal prosecutions in this country. And that is something that they are not going to let out. And, believe me; they will do everything to cover this up.”
( )

Mrs. Edmonds has been silenced by the Departement of Justice to speak in public on what the FBI knew on the  business-partners and foreign countries involved in this background – she told it to the 9/11 commission,  but since it was no public statement we have to worry it will not come out with the commisions report. However if we look at what we know about Agent Atta in Florida, we might name those countries that seem to be involved: Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan. From the latter, a top-agent of the pakistan secret service ISI – Saeed Omar Sheik –  whose chief General Mahmud happened to be in Washington on Sept. 11th and who was later indicted in the murder of  journalist Daniel Pearl –wired 100.000 $ to an account of Atta in August 2001. The months before Atta and Al-shehi had received similar large sums from an account in the Arabian Emirates. So far the FBI investigated the moneytrail of Atta very fast – but since then it has stopped and turned to cover-up these and other connections of  the supossed gang leader. CNN even blanked out the the Name of General Ahmed Mahmud in a transcript of Condoleeza Rice’s press-conference, where she was asked about his meetings in Washington on the days round Sept.11th.

In a similiar way  the Saudi-background of 9/11 is covered up – a recent book „House of  Saud, House of Bush“ and Michael Moores praised documentary have shed some light on this and it’s allready discussed in many mainstream media. I can add a small detail here confirming the ongoing cover-up:

In  my last book – documentating 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, it’s now a dead link.

When our book „Facts, forgeries and the suppressed evidence of 9-11“ 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, Gerhard Wisniewski and mine, so incredible, that I sued them for wrong allegations. To convince the judge what a bad journalist I am they sent in a huge pile of paper, 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.“

(Copy of the document: )

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 two years later 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 and the officials of the other countries involved do everything they can to keep it that way.  If they succeed these 19 will stay there for ever and become history.

How can this happen, since we have a free press scrutinizing and controlling the statements, allegations and actions of our governements ?  If you only look at this tiny example of the very basic question about the individuals who committed this crime you recognize, that such a media doesn’t exist anymore. With the collapse of the twin towers we have not only to be in mourning at the death of 3.000 innocent citizens, but also of 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 and letting them happen, 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. Welcome to Brainwashington D.C.

How could this happen ? Here we enter a phenomenon of the ongoing brainwashing-operation which one could call  „elusive information” – information that appears shortly – and reports some fragments of reality – and then disappears out of the media focus forever. There is no supression of any news or report, no old-style censorship with  Gestapo controllers on every editorial desk blacking out unwanted news – everything might be released. In this sense we still have a „free press”. But the simple appearance of a news-report does not mean that it really becomes „news”, because becoming news –  that is becoming part of the reality picture the media paints – means being repeated over and over again! Only the endless repetition of a report or a statement makes them “news” and foremost it is this repetition that gains them wider public attention. But what finally gains that public attention thru steady repetition– contrary to the simple, one time  appearance of a news report – is strictly controlled, and the more important, wider reaching the media are the stricter is their control. So nobody prevented articles on the dubious hijackers, but after they were printed or broadcasted first time, they never passed the door-check any more. No permanent repetition, no announcement in the radio-news every 10 minutes, no headline in the papers, no comments by the editors – and so those news were gone for good.  No one – except a handfull of journalists on the internet – asked further questions, in spite of the fact that the official version turned out to have all igredients of a exemplary conspiracy-theory: a simple claim, a lousy proof and a loud call to action. But instead of scrutnizing the incredible  tale,  that  Osama and  19 bandits from their afghan caves conducted  this deadly strike against the worlds superpower out of the blue and  all alone – the  trombone-orchestra of corporate media repeated this legend over and over and over  again.  And at the same time the media is promoting this conpiracy- theory ad nauseam, it is spitting the blame on any critical question to be just that: a conspiracy-theory.

Why are alternative viewpoints immediately branded as “conspiracy theories”? Is it the lack of evidence? Certainly not, because there is lot  of evidence and compared with the proof for the official version a quite convincing one. Convincing enough at least to lead to further and deeper investigations. So these alternative viewpoints are not made worthless by logic or rationality, but by definition, by a medieval banishing as „outrageous”, by a kind of new inquisition defining every non-believer as „unpatriotic”, „un-american”, „undemocratic” and lately even as a „terrorist”. This mechanism of declaring certain viewpoints a taboo in public opinion is at the core of the media manipulation –  thus the system works, like it did in the Middle Ages. With the diffenrence that –  thanks to mass-media – the new inquisition posseses more powerful tools to spread the dogma and to burn it into the brains of the public. As one of the pioneers of broadcasted propaganda and brainwasher in large, Hitlers secretary for propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, once said: you can make every lie become truth you only have to repeat it often enough. So the legend that Osama and his 19 bandits plotted and conducted the attacks became self-evident truth, though remaining under control of the Bush-administration and suitable for useful changes. While it seemed clear from Sept 13th 2001, that 15 of the alleged hijackers were Saudi nationals, the brainwashers turned that spin significantly  in the following 15 monthes. In Feb. 2003 polls showed the majority of the american people convinced, that the hijackers were Iraqi nationals – and Saddam Hussein behind the attacks. So we might expect they will turn to Syrians, Iranians or whatever arab scapegoat is needed for a war…

Once more  this shows to me the importance to investigate these hijackers, their true identity and their schedule in the days & monthes before the attacks; second their moneymen and backers; third their capacity to hijack these planes with boxcutters simulatneously, to sneak the air-defence of FAA and NORAD and conduct these high professional aviation tasks –if serious investigations of these three basic questions do not lead to an sufficient amount of evidence to indict these men –we would have to rehabalitate them posthumous and start a whole new search, now for  the ones who used them as patsies.  I am not a lawyer or a legal expert, but in my opinion it’s the onliest way to stick with the 19 alleged plotters and make them accountable, with the courts pressing FBI, CIA and White House to put on the table everything they have against them, and a jury deciding if this is sufficient to judge them guilty or not. I believe that we would have seen such a court case already if they had real  evidence – and if it happens I presume it would end like the cases against the two „“20th Hijackers“ in Hamburg. But this is the point to start.  It makes no sense to blame entities like  „The CIA“ , „The Military“, „The Illuminati“, „Big Oil“  or whatever sinister groups as long as we have no individual persons to make them accountable.

Since I plea for simple steps it might be a contradiction that I brought a new “Unkown“ into my lecture,  suggesting that an Iran-Contra-style drug operation might be background for the mysterious cover-up and non-investigation of the hijackers in Florida.  But it seems to makes sense to me: these Arabs were not allowed to move freely in and out the USA since  they were known islamic terrorists preparing an attack – they had a free pass as agents and handlers of a clandestine business, an official wildcard,  overruling any suspicions of honest border inspectors or FBI-field agents.   Like the 140 prominent Saudis who received a free pass to fly out despite the ordered standdown of all air-traffic. If it were a regular bussines connection between the Bushies & the Saudies only –  oil, defence, Carlyle-group-investments  – there would be no real chance for a sucessfull  cover-up, for the very reason  that the Democrats would have made it a partisan issue.  So there must be some irregular business in the closet, from which both parties profit, – like with the Iran-Contra-drugmoney  – making camouflage a bi-partisan task. We are not talking of peanuts-money like the  investments of some Saudis in G.W. Bush`s failing companies, but of an annual volume of 400 Billion $, as General Wesley Clarke recently estimated the flow of drugmoney on the Balkans route (which he opened –  in coalition with Osamas Al Quaeda-Fighters  and NATO – in the Jugoslavia  war.) If it’s always right to „follow the money“ – this seems the real jackpot we should  look at.

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 – however, if this could lead to an impeachment & to kick Bush  & his gang out of this office – wonderfull !  –  But this will not clear the case of 9/11 !!… and Bush’s possible successor  & Skull and Bones- brother John Kerry shold not be expected either to make strong efforts in this direction (as we already know from his role in the former  „Iran-Contra“-Commission). So we depend further on public pressure of the vitcims-families and the citizens to reach a full-blown prosecution by a courageous general-attorney. Thanks to the Cannes-Festival last week and Michael Moore  the 9/11-skeptics now finally become real mainstream – the cover of Brainwashington is started to be blown.  If we take Platons advice, we have to be carefull: with teaching the fools down in the cave  – and with the dangers of self-delusion outside.  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 attorney, 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.  But as the polls in Europe and now in Canada show we have the “vox populi” behind us.  Not the politicians, not the media, not corporate state but  – the huge majoritiy of the people. They know that they have been lied to into this „war on terror“, have been lied on 9/11  – and they are tired of it. The contradictions and inconsitencies of the official version are allready obvious to almost everybody. So I have some hope, that it will last not half a century – like the last time – to reveal the truth of the New Pearl Harbour. And that this conference may  layout the necessary steps to reach this goal. Thank you.

Mathias Broeckers , 05/25/04

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