All it takes is one locust to show the world how edible it is and suddenly it's suppertime. In the morning you wake up with a horrible stomachache, you look around and see an eaten world, you gasp, burp, and smell the grass on your own breath. Yes, you guilty jerk, you let the lies in, you let the lies out. You swallowed it, you spread it. Nice going. Grasshopper.
I often wonder why it took me so long to call these spades Spades. Why did it take me five years to suddenly see clearly that 9-11 could not possibly have happened the way we have been deliberately led to believe it happened? Why? Am I dumb? Or am I deluded?
Have I gone round the bend? Did I see one too many YouTube(TM) movies? Am I really suggesting that The U.S. Government is engaged in a coverup? Have I lost the Mother Ship?
Who am I kidding? If I spent more time studying New History, I'd know that conspiracy theories always rely on the improbable idea that any government is capable of pulling off something so difficult. I'd know I'm a lunatic in advance, and could have spared myself a lot of unnecessary typing.
Why can't I get it through my thick head that terrorists, specifically 18 al Qaida funded terrorists under the direction of Osama bin Laden were solely responsible for this horrible series of perfectly executed acts on the very day the entire air force had been sent away for war games?
Why is it so hard for me to believe that the US government had no prior knowledge of what was about to happen on September 11, 2001, but that the same government knew exactly what happened just 72 hours later when they released the pictures of all 18 men? Sometimes our government nails it. That's all. In this case, all 18 terrorists were identified, their stories were made known and haven't changed much since. They left a clearly marked trail of paper, videotape and eyewitnesses, Congress wrote a book about them, the case is closed! What's wrong with me?
Why do I think this case warrants further investigation? These weren't just routine plane crashes that the FAA would investigate thoroughly. This wasn't Lockerbie, where they completely reassembled the aircraft just to see what happened. These crashes were historical events on the scale of Pearl Harbor. These crashes occurred on sacred ground where monuments will be built.
Yet I callously disrespect the memory of the innocent dead, I insult the sanctity of their privacy. What dying person would want the world to hear their last desperate cries for help? I wouldn't. I wouldn't want anybody to know what really happened. It would have been too horrible. I would have wanted you spared.
Yet still I wish. I wish because I wonder. Why are these tapes sealed? Why can I read a transcript, but I cannot hear the real thing? Do you see how bad I am? My own government knows me well enough to know that I can't handle the truth--I'd break down in a puddle right there. And I appreciate my government looking out for my sensitivity, and for confiscating all those video recordings of the Pentagon being hit by a missile, I mean airplane.
You see? Why am I still asking questions? Is it medical? Do I have a chemical imbalance? Should I Talk To My Doctor?
I used to just wonder where everybody else was. Where's CNN? ABC, NBC, CBS, etc? Where's my backup? Oh, they come out now and then. They shoot, then go under cover again. It's weird.
What scared away the press? Were they cowed by inclusion, by being pronounced 'embedded,' as if that's a compliment? Was it the Daniel Pearl thing? Afraid if they talk too much, they'd lose their head? Couldn't be.
Was it the anthrax that somebody sent those big talkers like Tom Daschle and Tom Brokaw? Must have worked because they went away. But we forgot about the anthrax even before they were finished terrorizing us. Americans just aren't interested in mail. It really has to blow up. We didn't even notice when the anthrax investigation led to the United States Army. Yawn, we said.
So what scared the press? Could it have been all those unidentified guys with cameras who still take pictures of protesters, bloggers and out of line journalists? There could be something to that. Works for me. Email is enough to freak me out sometimes. Certain anonymous comments have been dissuasive, even for me, for a while. But that can't be it. America's not a nation of chickens, and neither is its press. We don't go to sleep when they pull a blanket over our cage. Do we, Tweety? Tweety?
Having written for a living I remember certain incentives for writing clearly. If you write for TIME, for example, it pays to remember your boss is Bugs Bunny and AOL. Journalists caught in this increasingly common predicament wisely opt for prose too thick with equivocation to be mistaken for opinion.
Paycheck signers who are publishers tend to get what they need in order to protect the franchise that is writing the checks, and the moment you understand this is the moment you will understand why your prose is so flabby.
This is probably the best explanation for the absence of heroes in the press. It explains why there are so few of these formerly very obnoxious types sticking their microphones where they don't belong and asking what the president knew and when did he know it.
Paycheckism might even explain why the mainstream peers are adding to the disinformation stream by marking the fifth anniversary of the day Bush attacked America with their own handmade propaganda. Everybody wants to re-revise history now that Bush has shown the way. It's fun, and easy.
But I'm so terribly ashamed of myself, for while my paid brothers and sisters are off promoting their local affiliate's 9-11 tribute to the brave whatevers, I'm still wondering when they're finally going to pull Flight 93 out of the ground.