“This isn’t terrorism. This is business.”
Osama Bin Laden.
[Editor’s note: The titles and quotes are mine as they appear appropriate. This passage seems like an attempt to narrate a very real scene from his last few days of public school teaching as his behavior became increasingly “erratic.” The prose hereafter varies in style, form and substance.]
“Where were you on 9/11, Dole?” asked Evan Soler. Evan had just seen that wonderful piece of feel-good American propaganda called American Sniper and was really feeling his patriotic pride. In fact, he saw the movie three weekends in a row, using the excuse that he had to bring other people with him each time, friend, girls, whomever. He walked around randomly spouting out, “Murica” and claiming that he was kill “hajis” over the weekend. Of course, Evan actually wore an American flag on Patriot Day – a day in remembrance of 9/11 -- to Seminole Heights Intermediate Technical School. The whole irony was that he topped out at 5 foot 3 inches at best and had a pug face reminiscent of the Lollipop kids, but American Sniper made him feel 7 feet tall and as bad-ass as Chris Kyle himself.
“I don’t wanna talk about it,” I said. “Let’s just get going on those projects.”
Beowulf was the topic and it wasn’t garnering much interest here on Patriot Day. “Come on,” Kahner Smith implored, “you were up in New York at the time, right?”
“I don’t wanna talk about it,” I said again. I had heard that other teachers used to show prideful videos of the 9/11 attacks, replete with images of the towers falling perfectly straight down among all those Manhattan buildings, the explosions at each joist, the plumes of smoke and the horrified New Yorkers huddled in store doorways, dodging debris. I could imagine the sappy, teary soundtrack and the collage of images of random firefighters and police officers who supposedly died in those flames and whose names were deified on so many plaques, lists and t-shirts. Their little hearts would swell with a combination or pride for their country and hatred for those “haji’s”; they’d be willing to kill, maim or die for those documentaries and the heroes in them.
Kahner Smith whined again, “Come on, Dole.”
I had my thoughts on the subject; I was only a little over an hour away from the whole ordeal on 9/11; I had some key questions on the topic as well. In the interest of keeping my job, however, I decided to try to keep my mouth shut – “try” that is.
“Let’s just finish these projects up, guys,” I said. “Come on.”
“We’ll work and you can tell us about it,” Evan Soler said.
“Did you see it?” a kid in the back row asked.
“What was it like?”
“How close were you?”
I could answer that question, I told myself. How harmful could that be?
“About an hour and a half – right up north, on the Hudson River,” is all I said and swore to myself that was all I was going to say. Then I broke my vow, “In Poughkeepsie, but my brother was in the city, over in Queens and my cousin was working right downtown at the time.”
I knew I had to keep my mouth shut, but 44 years on earth had proven me wrong – I could never keep my mouth shut.
“Did he see it?”
“Yeah,” I said and I knew it was over. I had cracked. “They went up on their roof and they could see the smoke and the flames. He said you could actually see the buildings falling.”
“Did your cousin get out of it?”
“Yeah,” I told them. She was in this huge crowd – you ever see it? – that was walking just steps ahead of this huge mushroom cloud of smoke that was rolling down the streets and avenues.”
“So she got out?”
“Yeah, she had a funny story actually.”
“Typical New Yorkers,” I told them. “They have these little stands that sell post cards and stuff and this one guy takes out a marker and starts writing 9/11 on them and selling them for like twenty bucks.”
“That is funny.”
“What’s even funnier is these people are in the middle of a war scenario and they stop to buy a souvenir. That’s what got me,” I laughed.
Evan hung his head and slumped behind his desk slightly. The flag he had draped on his bowed shoulders went limp. “I just don’t get why they would do it.”
“Yeah,” Kahner piped up, “seems pretty stupid to pick a fight with the US when you’re this little patch of sand in the Middle East.”
“Does sound kind of stupid, doesn’t it?” I said and now I was all in. “What also seems pretty stupid is attacking a couple of buildings in the middle of downtown Manhattan when you could have taken out the whole Northeast just as easily.”
Evan snapped back to life. “How? Those hajis don’t have The Bomb.”
“Indian Point nuclear facility,” I stated curtly. “It’s 25 miles outside of the city. That’s minutes by plane. They crash into a nuclear facility and they could have really shown us infidels a thing or two. They could have blown up everything from Boston to Baltimore to the City of Brotherly Love. Makes sense, right?”
“So, why didn’t they do it?” Kahner asked.
“I don’t have the exact answer,” I confessed. “But it’s been one of my main questions since that day. I went to a wedding that Friday after the ‘attack’ and everyone was asking the same thing – that and a bunch of other questions.”
“Like what?” Evan asked.
“Well, like quite a few,” I began. “Another one was the fighters from Stewart Air Force Base.”
“What about them?”
“They were never scrambled,” I explained. “Never put in the air. As soon as those two planes that hit the towers dropped off the radar, those fighters should have been in the air and tracking them down – but they never were.”
“Why?” Kahner asked.
“I don’t know, but if you read the transcripts of the air traffic controllers, they just kind of keep blowing it off. Controllers noticed it but, and they kept mentioning it, but it just kept getting blown off by the higher-ups. So that was pretty questionable too.”
“You read the transcripts?”
“Weird hobby, I know. Getting at the truth is a weird disposition I have sometimes.”
“So what else was so sketchy?” Evan asked.
“Okay what else?” I leaned back and thought for a minute. “Okay, think about it, first four jet-liners disappear on the same morning, right? Second, no fighters are in the air at any time. Four rogue planes, as they called them are in the air over New York City, Pennsylvania and The Pentagon for crying out loud and nothing is done about it. Sketchy enough yet?”
“Kinda,” Kahner admitted.
“Okay, well, let’s continue. Two planes hit the World Trade Center, right? They were stolen or hijacked. We don’t really know how it actually went down because we never got the black box – notice we never get the black box and that’s where all the information is supposed to be. We have no boarding information – nothing – just this story about how these two guys trained in some flight school for a few sessions and then could handle a hijacked airliner. Sound realistic. The grandson of the guy who created Cessna airplanes, who was also a CIA pilot for years, said there’s no way a plane like the one that hit the first tower could be made by a human handling that plane. The guy who owned the school where these guys supposedly trained said the supposed pilots were totally incompetent; he said something like he wouldn’t give them a Pipercub, nonetheless a 747.”
“Okay,” Evan asked, “then who was the pilot?”
“No one,” I said. They looked puzzled. “Most people don’t know this but airliners also have remote controls in case both pilots happened to become incapacitated in some way. Air traffic control can land the plane from the ground.”
“The passengers got on a plane without a pilot?” Kahner asked. “That’s kinda dumb.”
“Who says there were passengers?” I countered.
I looked around for a minute and everyone was actually listening, which is rare for a high school classroom. No one wanted to say “yeah that could be true,” especially the likes of Evan who had woken up that day dying to be the next American Sniper, the next Audie Murphy or John Wayne on the beaches of Normandy. Now, however, I had to take his stunned silence as at least partial acceptance of what I was saying, which wasn’t good for me. I knew I should have kept my mouth shut, but as I said, that’s always been a problem. Then, Evan broke his silence: “So why did they hijack planes at all? Just to ruin some buildings? What was their point?”
“The planes,” I started to explain, “were just a trigger mechanism. See Marvin P. Bush, the president’s younger brother, was involved in a company called Securacom, a security firm that provided services for the World Trade Center, United Airlines, and Dulles International Airport. Perfect, right?’ The World Trade Center is left wide open, United Airlines has no one watching the planes and they fly right out of Dulles International. By the way, the Dulles brothers and the Bush clan have been in cahoots for most of the twentieth century. In fact, Dulles created the CIA after World War Two and let’s see who’s been head of the CIA? George Bush, sr., whose kid was in office during the 9/11 attacks, for 13 months in the seventies, and Rudy Guiliani, Mayor of New York City during the attack. President Bush's cousin should have been in the World Trade Center when it was attacked. Jim Pierce, managing director of AON Corporations, had arranged a business conference on the 105th floor of the South Tower where its New York offices were based. But his group was too large so they decided to move across the street to the Millennium Hotel. Even Bush was supposed to have a meeting there that day with the Carlyle Group but they moved to a hotel down the way. Interesting little fact: Osama Bin Laden’s brother was sitting at the same table with George Bush senior -- weird, huh? A lot of stuff got cancelled that day.
“My uncle worked there and he said this security team, led by Marvin Bush, was in doing ‘security upgrades’ for weeks before the explosions. I’m pretty sure that’s how they got the buildings to fall directly down and not damage anything but the buildings – and a third one blew up completely on its own.”
“Wait,” Kahner said, “what are you talking about? What’s this about the buildings?”
I put a stack of Styrofoam coffee cups on my desk. Took a glue stick and held up near the cups. “I’m no physicist and I don’t pretend to know math or science more any average high school kid, but it’s common sense. If something gets hit on its left side (I threw the glue stick at the left side of the stack and they fell to the left.) it falls to the right, right?”
Heads nodded in agreement.
“So why would it be different with buildings? Ever been to Manhattan? There’s no room. It’s 100% developed, so if you wanna demolish a building, it has to go right, straight down, just like the World Trade Center Towers.”
“So,” Evan asked, “how does that happen?”
“Explosives at the joists,” I told them. “If you have a security firm run by Bush’s brother, it would be pretty easy to get explosives at the joists, and all they do is call them ‘upgrades.’ Then you have two United Airlines planes out of Dulles, ‘secured’ by the same firm and then they have the perfect trigger mechanism for the surgical demolition of the towers.”
“That’s crazy,” Evan sad as the flag slipped off of his shoulders, “why would they do that?”
“It’s not that crazy, actually,” I went on. “War is big money and that’s how the Bushes have always made their money: on war. Way before 9/11, America has been getting involved in wars we had no quarrel in. But, hey, wars are big money, you know? They made all their money on the First World War. Every war has had some reason for us to get into it. Look at the one that made us an international player – the Spanish-American War, we had the sinking of the Battleship Maine, mysteriously just blew up by Spanish terrorists, right? Then you had the sinking of the Lusitania, which got us into the war to end all wars – World War I. The Bush crew made a killing off of that one. Then, everyone knows Roosevelt knew all about Pearl Harbor to get us into World War II. Then the Red Scare for Korea. The Gulf of Tonkin for Vietnam and now you have 9/11 for this ‘War on Terror’. What did that old TV show used to say, ‘mo money, mo money, mo money!’?”
“So, it’s just about the money?” Kahner asked.
“Money. But money is power. And there has to be something else but I just haven’t figured it all out just yet. That’s why they had FDR take us off the gold standard. If the dollar you have in your pocket has to be backed up by some rare metal like gold then its controlled by the individual naturally, you know? You have an actual standard. Then FDR takes us off the gold standard and brings in this arbitrary Federal Reserve to control some imaginary value of money. There’s no real value to it. Then, the Bush crew had the country enslaved basically because they control the means of exchange.”
“The means of exchange?” Kahner asked.
“Yeah,” I explained, “they control what you have to give for what you eat and where you live. They control the value of these things. The head of the Federal Reserve can cut a quarter of a percentage point any time he wants and totally change the landscape of the American economy, with one phone call, he changes everything. The people have no power. They’re just cows out in a field waiting to be fed.
“Then you keep everyone at a deficit for their whole lives and you have a whole new sharecropping system.”
“The sharecropping system ended a hundred years ago or something,” added Evan.
“It’s the new version,” told him. “You see you pay a wage that’s just barely enough to live to most people, if they’re lucky. And keep a lot of people below that level, so that those two groups need to borrow money just to live, like the sharecroppers were always in debt to the company store. We call it credit now, and living on installment. You’re a slave to the owners and there are only a few of them.”
“Get outta here,” Evan said.
“Just wait until you have a wife, two kids and Christmas is coming up and you’re trying to live on a teacher’s salary, my friend. You’ll break out that Mastercard – notice the name – and put the holiday gifts on credit and pay it off the rest of the year – cuz you gotta celebrate Christmas, but don’t get me started on that, man.”
“You’re getting off topic, Dole,” Kahner said. “You forgot about two other planes. There was the one that hit the Pentagon and the one that crashed in Pennsylvania. How can three of them be fakes?”
“Very easily, Kahner,” I said. “The Pentagon was a joke. It was hit on a side where they were doing ‘security upgrades’ so no one was in that part of the building. Coincidence? Uhhh, maybe. But how about this? There’s only one security camera on the whole area along I-95 and the CIA scooped that up minutes after the so-called plane hit the Pentagon. Yeah, people driving on I-95 that day said something loud and fast went over-head and yeah they said it hit the Pentagon, but they also said there were no windows and there were no wings on this thing. That is consistent with the evidence at the site. No debris on the lawn in front of the Pentagon, where a plane would have hit, no wing entry marks on the walls and whatever it was made it through five layers of steel reinforced concrete. That’s not a plane.”
“Then what is it?” asked Evan.
“A cruise missile from Annapolis Naval Base,” I said; “that fits the description best. Low, fast, destructive and seems like a plane enough to make the cover story, and pointed at a virtually empty part of the building.”
“I don’t know, Dole,” Evan said, pulling the flag back over his shoulders.
“Okay, look at plane number three, the Shanksville, Pennsylvania plane,” I challenged them.
“What about it?” Kahner retorted.
“Please,” I began, “this was 2001. Cell phones didn’t get reception across the room most times. That’s the era where the term ‘dropped call’ came from. And now you want to tell me that there just happened to be a rugby team on board who were able to call home on 2001 technology and tell them they were , ‘Going in,’ and were able to subdue terrorists with this?” I held up the plastic fork from my lunch. It was a bit of an exaggeration but they got my point.
“Have you seen the wreckage of flight 93, the Pennsylvania flight? There’s a hole in the ground but there’s no wreckage, and it looks as if it exploded outwards not inward, which it should have. Also, it looks like the plane literally went straight into the ground – no skidding, nothing. A very neat crash over all. And then, I’ll never forget the one quote I heard on TV: ‘‘It’s absolutely amazing. The plane landed where it did. It’s the only place within a 10-mile radius' where it could have crashed without claiming additional lives.’ Neat little package, huh?”
“And, as with all three, no black box, no third party perspective, no confirmation of any sort. Just what you were told on TV.”
“So what’s wrong with TV?” Evan asked.
“The Rothchilds,” I snapped back and then cooled down. “They own the media of the globe. So, what they put on that TV is what you believe is reality. For instance, right after 9/11 happened I was driving down route 9 in New York. All my students were out there with signs about blowing up Saddam, who Bush created by the way, and killing sand niggers and they were breaking up to gas stations and beating people up who looked middle eastern. Hell, one guy was Indian and he got his ass beat.
“Anyway, the next day, I asked them why they were doing that and they sad that they had seen Terrorists throwing candy to children for the destruction of the infidels or some-such nonsense. Turns out it was footage from the 80’s, and they were actually Palestinians supporting the PLO. Total news ploy. So I asked them if they watched that old show Friends and they said yes. Then I said so you must see Joey Tribiani. And they said, yes. And I said and he’s on TV, right? And they said yes. So I said, ‘Is he real?’ And they all kind of shut up.”
“Why?” Kahner asked.
“Because they realized that their reality might not be their reality. They realized they may have been duped and taken in. That what they see may not be real. It’s like that movie, The Wizard of Oz. It’s a beautiful illusion, and as long as you don’t look behind the veil and see that the Great and Mighty Oz isn’t what you think he is –he’s really just a little midget of a man – that all of reality was just an illusion fueled by falling asleep in a field of poppies, you’ll be okay.”
Kahner wasn’t the brightest bulb in the batch. He looked at me with vacant eyes and asked, “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I mean, Kahner, my little Straw Man,” I told him, “that what you see is not what you get. The whole thing was organized and orchestrated for years, very carefully, very meticulously. Some people say it started when George Bush senior announced A New World Order exactly eleven years before the World Trade Center went up in flames. You know, there was that one ‘botched attempt’ in the early 90’s when they supposedly tried to blow one of the towers up with a van full of explosives in an underground parking garage. Then – again supposedly – they caught the guys when they tried to get their deposit money back from the rental place … and that’s how they got caught. Really? They plan an international plot to destroy a piece of Manhattan and then they want their money back – really?
“But it goes even further back, to the 1970’s – actually it went all the way back to the 1800’s – but let’s stick to the 1970’s. George Bush – senior – bought a failing oil company called Valero. It was so bad that he needed capital, money, so looked for investors. Who was one of his main investors? The Bin Laden family, but, as I said, I’m sure it went much further back in time than that.”
“So you’re saying,” Evan said, sounding slightly frustrated, “that this was a set-up. But you think they would do this for money?”
“Of course, “I assured him, “but we’re not talking about ‘money’ like most of us think about money. We’re talking about kingdom kind of money, like world domination sort of money, you know?”
“There’s not enough money to make me sell out my country,” Evan exclaimed.
“Okay, American Sniper,” I began, “let me throw some numbers out to you. The Bin Laden family, the Bush family and whole bunch of other power brokers are heavily invested in something called the Carlyle Group, who, no small irony, were having a meeting in New York City the day of 9/11. Remember? Dick Cheney, the vice president, is one of the more notable members of this group. They’re all sitting there watching 9/11 unfold and they’re just licking their chops, knowing the contracts that are waiting for them, just waiting for George W. Bush to start handing them out. Cheney’s Halliburton firm, for instance, got the clean-up and renewal contract for the World Trade Center mess. Millions I’m sure. Then you have all these Carlyle Group subsidiaries like United Defense Industries who get billions of dollars in contracts once the war starts up. Cheney’s Haliburton got a 7-billion-dollar no-bid contract from the U.S. government before the wars even started—so don’t tell me the war wasn’t planned.”
“So it’s just all about the money?” Kahner asked.
“Not just cold, hard cash but it’s also about oil obviously,” I told him. “Just follow the path of the war and you’ll see that we’ve secured the entire Persian Gulf region, all with our fighting men and Dick Cheney’s Death Machines and private contractors and political assistance from the Bin Ladens. All we needed was a reason, so we kept inventing them. Iraq? Nuclear weapons – they never showed up but we went in anyway. Afghanistan – Al Qaeda. Iraq – Saddam Hussein. Al Qaeda was everywhere, right. The most powerful army and the most complex and intense intelligence network on the globe and we can’t find poorly armed, poorly supplied members of what is basically a Stone Age culture? Sound reasonable? Libya – we brought back an oldie-but-a-goodie as our excuse: Khadaffi. We dragged him right out of the 80’s for that one. Then of course we wanted all the oil in Syria so Al Qaeda shows up there too – along with a violent dictator who used poisonous gas on his own people, so we went in as a kind of humanitarian mission. We’re so good to people.
“And now we have ISIS out of nowhere. We missed that one on the intelligence radar, right? ISIS with their demonic black robes and obscured faces. ISIS with their lines of Christian faithful kneeling on the shorelines wearing Biblical robes like lambs to slaughter as the demons in black hack their heads off with scimitars. ISIS with the videos of burning humans who squirm and wretch against the bars of their cages – and do you know how the world gets to see these videos? Twitter. ISIS tweets? That’s pretty funny. Note to self, CIA, follow ISIS on Twitter, duh. And did you see that fleet of brand new Toyota Tacoma trucks they had? Where’d those come from?
“That’s my question about ISIS. Where did any of it come from? They have no country. They have no visible means of support, financially, socially or otherwise, yet they’re able to fight the greatest super powers in the world to a stand-still. They have cell phones, right? Where do they get them? Here’s another note to self for the CIA, find out who their carrier is, right? They have guns and ammunition – from where? And even if there is some super-secret source of cell phones, guns and ammo, where does their money come from?”
“They sell oil on the black market,” Evan offered.
“That’s hilarious,” I said, chuckling. “And impossible. They have no fixed country, right? They just rove around killing Christians and burning them, right?”
“Right,” Kahner agreed.
“So,” I told him, “you need land to get the oil from. You need land to have refineries and processing plants. They don’t have that. Then, how do they ship it? What port? What ships? And, note to self CIA, who’s buying theirs and not buying legitimate oils – pretty easy to track, right? And another thing, how are they using social media to recruit? And they have ‘sleeper cells’ all in America, growing and swelling like some sort of cancer? They have some sort of invisible supportive infrastructure that spans the globe, huh? Too sketchy for my taste.”
“So how do they do it?” Evan asked.
“If you want to know who is funding ISIS,” I offered, “just look at who’s getting mad that the Russians are bombing them.”
“Who’s that?” Evan queried.
“Dick Cheney,” I responded. “He’s the only one who’s getting mad about it and who is saying that an aggressive approach against ISIS would contradict the US track record. And he sure is making a ton of money on the shenanigans over there. And as long as the money’s there, the war will be there.
“See, nothing is what it seems. Nothing at all. We’re all sitting in the dark of a huge movie theater and there are images flickering in front of us on this massive screen. It’s a play of lights and sounds. There’s love and drama and tragedy and tears and explosions and comic relief on occasion, but one thing is for certain, only one thing, and that it is all unreal. It’s a script written by others, and acted by men and women and children pulled by puppet strings by the puppeteers up in the balcony. The words that are spoken like honor, valor, pity, courage, patriotism and progress are nothing but the shallow echoes of long-forgotten ideas.
“Yet, we listen and we sift through it all for some meaning which is like holding water with a colander – you just can’t do it. Then the movie ends and we’re all left there in the dark for a moment, wondering what had just happened and to where it had vanished because there is nothing. The lights come on and there’s just this blank screen – nothing. Slowly we get out of our seats and wander to the exits. The light creeps through the door and then we walk outside into the sunlight and the trees are darkened by the light behind them. They stay still in the wind and we realize how artificial it all is.”
“I think you’re losing your mind, Dole,” Kahner said, thinking he was joking.
In the moment that he giggled and smirked, I looked down at my desk and realized that he was right. “Yes, Kahner, I think you’re right. I believe I am.”
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