January 15, 2013

Just read an astute piece on the NPR Web site concerning the phony indignation displayed by Lance Armstrong in his many denials over the years of his doping, and it speaks to a number of things that have been on my mind lately. I'd like to take up a little space and a little time to ruminate on those things now.

It's almost 50 years now since the assassination of John Kennedy, and even though the actual anniversary is still nearly a year off, articles and commentaries on those events are starting to appear. E.g., Robert Kennedy Jr. was recently quoted as saying that neither he nor his father (who, of course, was also assassinated) put much credence in the Warren Commission report, and that he personally did not believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the only gunman. I was kinda skeptical of the official conclusions at the time and for a number of years afterward, but I went along because I was too young and green to know any better. After my military service, though, and ever since, I have been a confirmed doubter. Anyone who has seen the Zapruder film, read the accounts of the ER physicians at Parkland Hospital, and seen the autopsy photos cannot possibly doubt that John Kennedy was killed instantly by a single shot from the front. There were several shots, certainly, and Oswald may have fired one or more of them, but Lee Harvey Oswald did not kill John F. Kennedy from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Yet the official story still stands, assented to and defended by the mainstream, despite its obvious untruth.

Unlike the Kennedy assassination story, I never for one minute believed the official story of the 9/11 events. Incontrovertibly, two airliners did fly into each of the Twin Towers and did much damage - but those collisions did not cause the ensuing and near-immediate collapse of either tower. Such a conclusion directly contradicts all the engineering and architectural evidence that can be amassed. More than all that, though, for me the strongest evidence against the official story is this: I cannot imagine that even the dumbest-ass gaggle of radical ragheads could not have known that the magnitude of the US response to such an attack would have been overwhelmingly against their own best interests. And if such attacks were indeed their agenda, why have there not been further attacks in the ensuing 12 years, despite how ridiculously easily they can be perpetrated, even in the face of the best that Homeland Security can offer?

Finally, I note the recent mini-controversy over the treatment of CIA torture in the film Zero Dark Thirty. It seems that a few commentators are concerned that the US public may get the impression that such torture is somehow justifiable in the "War On Terror." Well, here's some propositions for you to consider: What if Zero Dark Thirty, and the books by Seals purportedly involved in the manhunt for Osama bin Laden, are all accounts of events that never happened? How is it that Saddam Hussein, a man with vastly more resources at his disposal than Osama bin Laden, could not evade even the US Army on the ground in Iraq for more than a few years, while it took the CIA and all the Special Ops forces the US could muster about 15 years to find bin Laden? How come bin Laden's supposed corpse was buried at sea within 24 hours of his supposed demise, without so much as even photos, never mind an autopsy or positive identification? What if Osama bin Laden has been CIA all along, and is now living incognito somewhere in Saudi Arabia, or Tuvalu, or Kansas, or any of a myriad of other out-of-the-way locales in the world?

Call me a tin-foil crackpot if you will, but I must tell you that I owe a great deal of my skepticism and paranoia to my 4-year stint in the Army Security Agency. Now, any ASA vet will tell you that we were not, essentially, a part of the military, at least after basic training. We became anonymous little cogs in the vast US intelligence gathering apparatus, and were only nominally in the Army. None of us knew much at all about that apparatus, being subject to the "need to know" doctrine, to be sure. Yet even that little sliver of exposure was a window to the whole of the enterprise, and anyone with a smidgen of curiosity and a little initiative could discover much more. The point is that all of this is stuff that the average citizen has no concept of; most would even deny that it exists at all. And, especially since the end of World War II, it has become the real government of the United States, accurately called a shadow government, running behind the charade of the government we see on TV and read about in the print media.

What it's all about is honesty - or more accurately, the lack thereof - in both public and private life. Now, if you believe that you can make it on your own, that you don't need other people to help you through this life, then deception and dissimulation are nothing more than tools to help you along your way. But if you understand that even the strongest, most well-armed, most cunning, most ambitious person cannot make it without other people, you must conclude that dishonesty, in any form, destroys utterly the basis for living as a human among other humans. I speak from experience: For many long years, I was a diligent practicer of deception, and it did help me - in some respects - to get what I thought I wanted. But in recent years I discovered just how tangled and strangling was the web I had woven, and I've since been trying very hard to hack my way out of it. It's been painful, and I very much regret the damage I've done to myself and to the relationships I've had with others. But I can tell you that it's also enormously freeing to drop all that bullshit and just shoot straight from the hip. (I must tell you that, though I'm no longer a believer in any religion, the faith I was raised in, Roman Catholicism, had [has?] a wonderful institution, one of the Seven Sacraments, called Confession. I always had a great deal of trouble with it, but I've come to understand just how useful it is. The only change I would make is to make it a public confession, so that one no longer has to maintain the deception in public.)

One more thing, and I'll shut up for a while: I think it's one of our highest priorities as a polity to start stripping away the layers of secrecy in our government. At this point, since I see no "enemies" out there bent on conquering this country, I think I'd go so far as to recommend no secrecy at all. And I think a good place to start is with the Kennedy assassination(s), 9/11, and the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. I know, that's asking a lot, but since we're dreaming anyway, what the hell ...

1 comment:

  1. please don't "shut up for a while" - some of us learn (and enjoy) your observations . . . rants . . . I suspect ObL is dead at the bottom of the sea . . . and I share some of your hesitation in accepting the JFK assassination story . . . the movie, I don't know (won't see it for at least a while) . . . but I like to parse your thoughts and reasoning . . . helps keep me ticking . . .