Death Has Gotten in the Way Part 2: Asking the Questions
Exclusive: Death Has Gotten in the Way, Part Two: How to get people to start asking questions and still love America
by Jeff Ogrisseg
for Challenging Scientism
“[They] never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough, people will sooner or later believe it.” – Bush Administration tactics? Close, but not this time — the Office of Strategic Services, predecessor of the CIA, describing during World War II how Nazi Germany used the Big Lie.
Why do I get the feeling that in some distance future, once we’ve finally succeeded in destroying our world and ourselves, the signposts next to the ruins of some ancient crap we’ve built will describe us as a species of control-hungry liars and cheats? Deny it if you want, but by and large, betrayal is our default behavior.
OK! I’m delighted that you’re coming along with me. Not everybody will, you know. Some didn’t even make it to the end of the first part. I don’t blame them: Despite all the lies that we allow ourselves to tell, the possibility of being confronted by a lie we can’t forgive never ceases to make us uncomfortable.
Plus, some folks will think I am “just a wingnut.” And I really can’t give a damn if they think that way, because most of them don’t even know there is a difference between expatriate and ex-patriot. I’m as much of a patriot today as I was in the Cold War U.S. military. (Don’t worry, I have more than a handful of ribbons and medals somewhere in a box. It’s incredible how not one of them means squat now, even though I’m in the same field.)
– The FEMA and WTC photos in this article were obtained by a 9/11 truther’s Freedom of Information Act request. The photographer primarily credited is Kurt Sonnenfeld, who has been called a 9/11 whistleblower. This is the pass that let him do his thing.
Guilt Wrapped Inside a Culture of Fear
If you were thinking that this is where I start whacking you over the head with, say, 50 reasons to question what happened on 9/11,” or even just 40 reasons, I’ll just have to disappoint you. It’s far less threatening and maybe more expedient to go about seeing what we can do to begin removing the weight of that guilt we are still shouldering about 9/11. The guilt, and shame, that is keeping the American public from asking questions.
Now what would that take, really? What would take your guilt away? Because it is doubtful that within our generation somebody is going to stand up and admit what a growing number of people already believe. Oh, yes, The Fear . . . we gotta get over that, too.
The funny thing about official stories is how they tend to be immune to scrutiny, despite never having to prove themselves true. You are expected to accept what you’re told and pass it on. Or, something unpleasant happens, I imagine.
Take a look around you and witness the 21st Century Culture of Fear. We invited it. We said we wanted the safety and convenience of it. Never crossed our minds to put any limits on it, because we trusted that they would never misuse its power, not in America. Right? This is stuff we carry around in our pockets and bags. It must be harmless.
We have some of The Fear here in Japan, too. Its possible reach is being constantly extended as smartphones, IC cards, biometrics and millions of “security” cameras find different ways to take over our lives.
It’s worse for non-Japanese. We’re advised to carry our IDs even if we are taking out the trash, to avoid “misunderstandings.” And while all these wonderful enhancements and digitization and networking of systems are keeping an eye on me, hundreds and possibly thousands of supposedly living centenarians are unaccounted for, missing apparently, it was learned this summer. Some hadn’t been seen for decades, and some were still drawing pensions and being honored with annual “longevity” gifts. (Japan’s funniest scandal yet. How anyone can “lose” someone over 99 is beyond me.)
It’s Time to Stop Asking the Wrong Questions
So, which kind of person are you: the kind who takes the truth as the authority, or authority as the truth? Because the former one can now carry some ridiculous consequences, you know. And the “reliable information” about the secret things you are being protected from is coming from people in authority who get paid a helluva lot of money, some of it from your pocket perhaps. They wouldn’t steer you wrong, would they? Could they? Do you dare ask.
– Which chapter of your high school science books would explain why this leaning, crumbling section did not continue falling in the direction it is going in this photo? And why did the rest of it fall down and crumble into dust along with it?
Before we get to the task of easing your guilt by, say, by lowering the body count of 9/11, let’s do something about The Fear.
By design, a big part of The Fear comes from the notion that there is an evil super-network of bad guys out there just waiting to strike America at home again. We “know” they are bad guys (says so in our report!). That’s why we absolutely must look in your underwear with expensive backscatter X-ray machines.
In the meantime, these crafty bad guys keep blowing shit up in Africa, South Asia, wherever something makes a loud noise, or so the mainstream media quite faithfully reports. The bad guys must be stopped! They could be sleeping in your town, or perhaps worse: shaving and showering!
This would be terrifying if only it were true. You see, as dutifully documented by BBC filmmaker Adam Curtis in “The Power of Nightmares” and never refuted, the bogeyman called Al Qaida does not exist. This is a long movie, released in 2004, but worth the viewing since it was blacklisted for release in the U.S. I guarantee that the morning headlines will start to look more interesting from now on.
Some day, people will get around to properly refuting one element of the Curtis masterpiece – that the 19 Muslim hijackers identified by the FBI boarded separate commercial flights and carried out suicide missions.
I’m not judging, but several, or maybe seven, of these guys had long since stood up in their home countries alive and well, legally employed, and graciously not as pissed as they could have been. Reincarnating as yourself in another country would be a good skill to have for a career suicide hijacker. Not sure what Islam’s take on the idea of racking up martyrdoms would be. Would you get the honeyed cakes and virgins every time around?
A bunch of the other fellows, it seems, took their version of fundamentalist extremism to topless joints and other places, drinking, swearing, singing out the attack and loads of other stuff that their left-behind-in-a-rental-car Quran probably forbade a good Muslim to do. Their alleged terror manuals apparently failed to convey that before a surprise attack on American infidels, you do not run around yelling “death to the American infidels.” Or use the credit card that leads the authorities right to your secret lair. Idiots.
If you assumed that the ramped-up machinery of U.S. domestic security and its on-the-ball, well-paid staff would verify this and maybe update the list with new hijack suspects or issue a correction, then you assumed wrong. Nine years later, they still haven’t even gathered enough evidence to charge Osama bin Laden with a 9/11-related crime. Yes, read that again – the FBI does not have enough evidence to charge bin Laden with any crime for 9/11.
– These walls still standing at the base of the World Trade Center Towers are completely inconsistent with the amount of debris that would accompany the employment of tens of thousands of people plus all the fixed equipment to support these alleged workers. The basements did not just swallow up tens of thousands of desks, chairs, computers, telephones, refrigerators, thick steel elevator doors, acres of carpet and lots and lots more everyday stuff. These walls should be flattened with debris if all those people really worked there.
Let’s Have a Little Internet Fun
Are you feeling better now that the terrorism bogeyman is starting to look a lot like that monster you were certain lived in the closet? Sure it’s scary, and you’ll probably have to do it night after night for a spell, but this is about charging that closet door and shining a light in there. Soon you will understand the power of the “T” word.
Technology, that wicked bitch. What did you think the “T” word was? Forget it, because you’re gonna love this, but only if you have the Mozilla Firefox browser running and have the plug-in EXIF Viewer installed. (Piece of cake, you with me?)
In the days after 9/11, a “tribute wall” appeared on the CNN Web site in memory of the victims. This became the de facto public list and its pages have been viewed by millions. For years people have been looking at these photos when they should have been looking inside of them. (This is gonna get a bit geeky.)
Embedded in the file structure of digital photos is an area for meta-tags, which is where your digital camera, or scanner, or photo-editing program can store all kinds of information. The original spark for meta-tagging came from the press telecommunications sector for transmitting and archiving news photos – image and caption, credits, special instructions and copyright all in one EZ-to-send file.
In digital cameras, the Exchangeable image file format (Exif) was created by the Japan Electronic Industries Development Association and version 2.1 of the specification went online in the summer of 1998. So this is established tech.
If you want to see what kind of information is being recorded by your digital camera or smartphone, open one of the original (not re-saved) photos in your Firefox browser — Exif Plug-in installed — and right-click to see the selection for viewing the Exif data. Voila! The more recent and expensive your camera platform, the more details you will find in there.
Now if you open that image in, say, PhotoShop, and go into the File Info section, you would be able to add even more information. Save the photo and view it again the same way, and your additions and descriptions will be there, including the date and time that you modified the picture. (If you “Save As” a new file name, take note that there will be a new date for when the image was created.)
Back at the CNN memorial wall for 9/11 victims, several months ago some curious folks found something really peculiar in doing research about the 9/11 victims inside the Pentagon. They found that for 63 of the victims, their photos were created on 2/15/2000, 1 year, 6 months and 26 days before 9/11. They are sourced from various places, like Army Times Publishing, The Washington Post, and were sent over an Associated Press network, arriving at CNN complete with descriptions of when and where they died – obituary captions.
Within days of the announcements about the Exif data discovery on the Let’s Roll 911 forum, hundreds of photos were removed from the CNN website – 404’d, I think is the term. However a large number of them are still intact in the Wayback Machine archives, and their Exif data is there for all to see.
Give that a minute to sink in while you’re thinking of possibilities – you are thinking of possibilities, right? You can explore the archived tribute pages yourselves just by changing the final number in the html address I’m about to give you.
– This screen capture by 9/11 researchers at the Let’s Roll Community Forums shows how the Exif data inside this CNN memorial photo of UA93 fame, complete with obituary, reveals it was scanned in 13 days in advance of 9/11. This is a photo of Bingham from his college graduation photo 8 years earlier, sourced from a “hometown” newspaper for transmission over an Associated Press photo system. For an astounding 63 Pentagon victims, their photos with obits were created a year and a half in advance, and sent from various sources.
Mark Bingham was one of the alleged heroes of the hijacked United 93 “Let’s Roll” in-flight takeover that the FBI admitted “probably didn’t happen.” His CNN photo – a scan of his 1993 college graduation photo – was created on Aug. 30, 2001, a whole 13 Days before 9/11. Great obituary in there, too! The source appears to be his hometown paper in California. “Why” may not really be the right question here.
“How many” is the better query, because there are identity uncertainties all over the place and way too many weird coincidences to swallow. It’s possible that we’ve been carrying around the guilt of a couple thousand more deaths than we should be.
– How the Exif data might look using your Firefox browser (Exif Plug-in installed) for the archived photo of Mark Bingham, the guy who allegedly called his mom from the plane and said, “Hi, Mom. This is Mark Bingham.” Maybe it was a weird family custom, but you can catch his Mom on YouTube.
– Now you see me, now you don’t! This is how the CNN memorial page for Mark Bingham looks today. His image, along with hundreds of others also with questionable Exif dates, have been removed — 404′d — since the Exif revelation was announced online by 9/11 truthers. But praise the maker, the Wayback Machine still has the original image, revealing that it was created 13 days in advance of 9/11 and sent over AP complete with an obituary. Go figure.
Closing Arguments, American TV Courtroom Drama-Style
Wouldn’t that be fun? I’m torn between a dream combo from “L.A. Law” or “The Practice” or a good old black-and-white “Perry Mason.” But what I’m about to say may be cut off by a commercial break, or a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. Picture me in a sharp suit with impeccable shoes that snap a distinctive repeat with every step . . .
“Folks, Al Qaida is a myth, Osama bin Laden didn’t do it, some of the suicide hijackers are alive and some of the alleged victims appear to be fakes. How many more wedges of reasonable doubt will it take to set you free so that serious discourse about the future of America may finally begin? How many more things are allowed to be proved untrue before people finally wake up?”
It’s quite possible that I’ve got it completely wrong. Humans do have that habit, getting stuff wrong. And despite having the specific faculties for the task, human history is paved with examples that prove we can’t learn from our mistakes.
Sometimes we can’t even learn from the stuff we were supposed to have learned in high school science.
A Groundswell for the Truth Felt in Tokyo
A funny thing happened on my way to the computer tonight. Just a few hours ago, I attended the first public screening in Japan of a 9/11 investigation movie.
Long familiar with Japanese apathy toward politics and controversies in which someone was killed, I had expected at most 50 people. An associate of the team that spearheaded the showing confessed that 30 would have been considered a success.
At least 150 showed up, almost a third could not get in – fire safety rules – despite the addition of a dozen folding chairs along the back wall. The turnout gave me goosebumps. Public showings of “ZERO: An investigation into 9-11” were held from Sept. 11 through Sept. 21.
Japan allegedly lost 22 of its citizens on 9/11, although only two family members have ever stood up in public. But curiously enough, included in the hundreds of CNN memorial photos that were removed (404’d as described above) were 11 Japanese victims.
Who knows what’s going to happen when the Japanese people finally realize that they’ve been lied to about at least half of their alleged victims. The government in power is the one that finally admitted to the U.S.-Japan secret nuclear agreements from the 1960s. And you can ask North Korea, they take rather seriously each and every Japanese soul that does not make it home.
Written Sept. 11, 2010. Jeff Ogrisseg is a Tokyo-based expat with 14 years of military experience in air traffic control and journalism and another 14 plus change as an editor. Read Jeff’s work on Plate Tectonics and Expanding Earth theory, and CS’s related articles.