Because your upbringing instilled in you a generosity of spirit that is natural to liberalism, and firsthand understanding from your grandfather of what motivates a man to risk his life for his country and an African father's sense of freedom, unencumbered by Jim Crow oppression, you are a natural idealist who believes in the promise of America.
But you are also -- with laser-focused intensity -- a realist. A 'pragmatist,' as they say. And no one knows better than you how much danger you are in.
It's not just the racist crazies, one of whom could always, unexpectedly pop up through some weird quirk in the security system. But that's only a distant possibility. You know, better than anyone, I suspect, that your greatest danger is what 'the system' will do to protect itself, to what lengths it will go to protect itself, if certain lines are crossed. And you know exactly what lines you cannot cross.
Perhaps you didn't always know this, at least to the degree that you know it now. But you were born in the '60s, and grew up with your mother's hippie sensibilities, and you knew from personal experience that America's promise wasn't always delivered, that there are some worms in the apple pie. But you have always been adaptable, and you decided early on to adapt to the political environment, in order to do the work that you felt in your deepest soul called to do. Down the rabbit hole you went.
You would have learned, from the very beginning in Chicago, that what happens on the surface of American politics is usually not as important as what happens on a subterranean level. You learned early on that ex-Governor Blagojevich was right, that what he was doing to trade your seat was not intrinsically different from 'business' that goes on in every state capital, every single day. You know very well that American government lives on bribery, the true mother's milk of politics, and that the business of America is most definitely business.
You know that whether anything happens from your 'indiscretions' depends on whom you cross. You know the example of Eliot Spitzer, who tried to use the office of New York governor to interrupt the sub-prime Ponzi scheme before some major players had cashed out. We're all under surveillance -- especially politicians. J. Edgar Hoover lives in 21st Century America. You know that.
As an intellectual, you know that it is now said even in polite company like the New Yorker that 'everybody' knows that this is a government of, by and for the corporations. Just like Alan Greenspan told us that 'everybody' knew Iraq was all about oil. How wouldn't you know this, Barack, when among the rare handful of documents made public about Dick Cheney's infamous Energy Task Force (April 2001) were maps of Iraq's oilfields? It's well established that Bush instructed his counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke to try to connect the 9/11 attacks to Iraq. Clarke just didn't want to hear the unspoken command. The wily old bureaucrat.
As a new president, you know firsthand the phenomenon that Bob Woodward described in his first book about the Clinton administration, The Agenda, of how a new president is immediately surrounded by 'a phalanx of CEOs.' You know that the informal relationships among those CEOs are more important to what official policies are adopted than whatever is publicly said by the infinitely replaceable spokespersons of the American political hierarchy -- executive, legislative, and judicial. Including you.
You know -- as the presidents Roosevelt and Wilson admitted they knew -- that behind the American government is a secret government, intertwined with wealth and ancient legacies and the military industrial complex. Eisenhower knew that, too. And you especially know that Abraham Lincoln was far more worried about the bankers behind him than he was about the rebels in front of him.
As an obviously learned scholar of American political science, you know the work of the sociologist C. Wright Mills, who, in the early years of the national security state, defined those who rule America as the 'power elite,' who are 'in command of the major hierarchies and organizations of modern society. They rule the big corporations. They run the machinery of the state and claim its prerogatives. They direct the military establishment. They occupy the strategic command posts of the social structure.'
You know Mills went on to talk about the centrality of celebrity culture to the power elite's power, which was of a consequence not before equaled in human history, and how this power was concentrated in the economic, the political and the military domains. Mills then said, at the dawn of postwar expansion, As each of these domains becomes enlarged and centralized, the consequences of its activities become greater, and its traffic increases. The decisions of a handful of corporations bear upon military and political as well as upon economic developments around the world. The decisions of the military establishment rest upon and grievously affect political life as well as the very level of economic activity. The decisions made within the political domain determine economic activities and military programs. There is no longer, on the one hand, an economy, and, on the other hand, a political order containing a military establishment unimportant to politics and to money-making. There is a political economy linked, in a thousand ways, with military institutions and decisions.
Mills agreed with Ike. And, as you know, if you don't know C. Wright Mills, you don't know America. Psyops would never let a subversive like Mills get the media platform he got in the '50s, today.
When you were on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, you confirmed your analysis that bankers count more than politicians in foreign relations, and you wooed bankers with your practicality and charm, to further your ambitions. Because your beautiful wife is on the board of directors of the Chicago branch of the Council on Foreign Relations, you are aware that if you sit at the intersection of wealth and foreign policy, you can see the currents of the future. You know the connections between Wall Street and the Central Intelligence Agency predate the Agency's creation, in directors like Allen Dulles and Bill Casey, and that the CIA serves as Wall Street's Praetorian Guard.
You know that, just as there is a secret government within the US government, there is a CIA within the CIA -- still intertwined with ruling class good ol' boys, and involving the same nexus of oil, drugs, Mafias of every sort, terrorists, arms dealers and Cuban exiles -- but more military. More corporate. More 21st century. You know it's exactly like the high-level CIA insider told the Spytalk blog: Langley is just a Potemkin village of plump middle class bureaucrats, most of whom have no idea of what the fuck is going on, protecting their own little bureaucratic turf, and with the sole purpose of backing up the president's official story, whatever that may be. As you know very well, that's not the real CIA.
You know -- even if he doesn't remember it -- that George Herbert Walker Bush, the namesake of CIA headquarters, was in Dallas on November 22, 1963, the day Jack Kennedy was murdered.
Now that you're getting your presidential daily brief, you know it is true that the US government, like many governments, engages in 'false flag' terrorist operations, staging terrorist attacks that are then blamed on an enemy, to further foreign policy goals. You know the most famous example of US false flag terrorism was 'Operation Gladio,' which was coordinated with NATO allies for decades in postwar Europe. A bomb in a train station in Bologna killed eighty people, and was attributed to Italian leftists. Just about the time you were born, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff offered Kennedy a plan called 'Operation Northwoods,' to stage terrorist attacks on American soil and connect them to Fidel Castro, to justify an invasion of Cuba after the failure of the Bay of Pigs. JFK turned them down.
The generals never liked Kennedy. And neither did the organizers of the Bay of Pigs, who despised him for their embarrassment.
You have always wondered, ever since it happened, why the military response on the morning of September 11, 2001 seemed so . . . confused. You had always heard that the Pentagon was 'the most protected building in the world. You'd think that, a half hour after two airplanes had both struck bull's eyes on the jihadists favorite target, and there were reports of as many as thirteen hijackings in the air, Andrews Air Force Base, right next to DC, might have had something scrambled. Especially since that's supposed to be one of their missions. And why were so many military and intelligence, and even FEMA exercises scheduled on that very day? What a coincidence!
It's always interested you that the plane (or whatever it was -- Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who worked in the Office of Special Plans, went out right after it happened and didn't see any evidence of a plane) that hit the Pentagon, hit the section that held the records of the missing $2.3 trillion that Secretary Rumsfeld had just reported to Congress the day before. Another amazing coincidence! Just like the coincidence that when World Trade Center Building 7 for some mysterious reason collapsed on the evening of September 11, twenty minutes after the BBC had reported it had fallen, it took with it the records of the Security and Exchange Commission investigation of those old Bush family friends, the Enron Corporation.
Vladimir Putin wasn't merely joking when he told a state dinner that the KGB always kept a careful eye on Texas.
You know, because of your familiarity with the relationship between foreign policy and corporate interests, that Enron stood to gain greatly from the oil and natural gas pipelines that would flow from the Caspian region through Afghanistan to the power plant that Dick Cheney was acting as Enron's rep in India -- if only the Taliban would give the contract to an American corporation, Unocal (represented by Bush mobster and future ambassador to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad). The Taliban were escorted around Washington in the summer of 2001 by the niece of a former CIA director, and were essentially given a choice of a 'carpet of gold' if they chose Unocal, or a 'carpet of bombs' if they stuck with the Argentinians.
No deal had been struck by September 11.
You always found it strange how your predecessor had just sat there that morning, reading 'My Pet Goat' with those kids. Maybe he was struck by some kind of unconscious premonition that someday in the not too distant future, he himself would be a lot of people's pet goat. But he had to know what was going on. The Secret Service was plugged into the FAA-NORAD loop before the first plane hit the building, which happened before Bush entered the classroom. He is often a good liar, but not when he said his first thought was, 'What a terrible pilot.' Please.
You know all about the multiple warnings that were coming in from everywhere. You know that George Tenet and Dick Clarke were running around with their 'hair on fire' while George Bush couldn't be disturbed from his vacation, telling his CIA briefer informing him that bin Laden was determined to strike in the US that he had covered his ass, and Junior walks off to clear brush (and what fool clears brush in August?). You know from the Moussaoui trial testimony that the FBI got all kinds of warnings that were smothered by supervisors who were later rewarded with bonuses. You know the National Security Agency had all the information anybody needed. You know at least as much as Jersey Girl Patty Casazza knows, that even the FBI knew the date, target and method of the 9/11 attacks.
You know September 11 was no surprise.
But what do you do with that knowledge?
You're trying to do the best you can, and you know you can do a lot of good things. Within limits. And you know what those limits are.
As a patriot, you hate what the Bush mob has done to America, to its reputation and to its sense of identity. As a constitutional lawyer, you are in agony over the gross violations of the Constitution and of every principle that it stands for, over eight years of Bush mob malfeasance. As a human being, you recoil at the Bush mob's gross violations of all bounds of human decency, and the way the psychopathic brat president treated living humans no better than the frogs he used to blow up by sticking firecrackers in their asses, in his backyard pond in Midland, Texas. But you can maybe go after a few Addingtons and even a few Roves, but what else can you really do?
Because you know that the Bush mob acts as the enforcement arm of their patrons, the rulers of 21st century Earth. And you know the Bush mob will do whatever those patrons ask.
September 11 is a 'national security' issue. Just as the British film reviewer wrote in the London Sunday Times recently, if the truth of 9/11 gets out, it will essentially destroy the present world order. And the once and future New World Order will not allow that to happen. And it is the duty and responsibility of the President of the United States of America to maintain the national security.
You know that.
You know, just by watching the media in that same careful way of yours, that they can write any story they want. It's global irregular warfare on a total information battlefield. You know the world has been divided into the fiefdoms of global corporate warlords, like in the movie 'Rollerball,' with ever-shifting borders and alliances. You know you may have the left wing of the New World Order behind you, in people like Warren Buffett and George Soros and Ted Turner and the Clintons, and even the left wing of Skull and Bones, because they're as scared shitless about global warming as you are. But the Bushes have the media, thanks to George Senior, as CIA director, refusing to give the Church Committee the names of hundreds of CIA asset journalists. And they have the military industrial complex, with which they've been intermarrying and profiting for generations. And most importantly, in this case, they have the mob -- all the mobs. They are the mob.
A chance meeting of a private contractor and an ex-KGB sharpshooter now doing business in the Russian underworld, and you know you're history. Blamed on some patsy -- Muslim, no doubt. Like Sirhan. Assassination? Their stock in trade.
You see Sasha and Malia standing there, beautiful in their photogenic sorrow, like John-John and Caroline, iconic emblems of another century of lost hope and disillusioned innocence.
What do you do?
You know, life is funny.
When I started writing this essay, I thought that Barack Obama had to be a 9/11 truther, because he's too smart not to be, given all the evidence that's out there, and knowing (at least what the media tells me, which seems authentic in this case, and from his books) that he is a consumer of a broad base of information.
But I didn't know that Obama was a 9/11 truther until the first part of this essay was posted at 911 Blogger, and commenters replied with some very interesting information. (Just goes to show the value of networking.)
Early in 2007, when then-Senator Obama could still be approached by a couple guys from Student Scholars for 9/11 Truth with a video camera, and asked about re-opening the 9/11 investigation, Obama replied, 'I think that we need to investigate a whole range of options, although I have to admit that, some of the issues I understand that you guys have raised, I'm not entirely confident.'
Of course, the most important clause here is, 'we need to investigate.' But Obama's also providing some revealing information about what he already knows. He�s familiar enough with the 9/11 truth material that he can say that he's not 'entirely' confident with 'some' of the issues the movement has raised.
For Christ's sake, neither am I.
More stunning even than the SS911T video, however, was a letter that Obama sent in February 2007 to an Infowars supporter. It's worth quoting in full:
Thank you for contacting me regarding your belief that the US government was complicit in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. I appreciate hearing your passionate views on this matter.
While I do not believe the US government was complicit in the attacks, I do think it should be held accountable for the unacceptable mistakes it made in the run-up to that terrible day. The blunders that occurred prior to the 2001 attacks were inexcusable and often outrageous. The series of clear warnings about the potential use of hijacked planes as weapons is just one example of why the 'surprise' of 9/11 should have been anticipated. In my view, proof of government complicity is not necessary when making the argument that the US should accept some responsibility for what happened on 9/11.
Thank you again for writing.
Why would he put the word 'surprise' in quotation marks, if he's not a closet 9/11 truther?
So here's my take on Barack: I think he's basically a good guy who wants to do the right thing, but he's also a pragmatist who has proven beyond measure that he knows how the system works. I think he's a guy who has chosen to live within the limits set by imperial power, because he knows what that power is capable of when crossed -- especially with a guy as popular, and thus dangerous, as Barack Obama. He is a guy who makes compromises with the Empire every day, just like most of the rest of us, including me. He is a guy in an impossible situation. I can't honestly say that I know what I would do, myself, in his circumstances.
But I also know, based on an excellent portrait drawn of the early Obama by John Nichols in the Nation, that he is, at heart, a progressive who will do the right thing when pushed by the public. So I know that, just like he always says, what Obama does is not as important as what we do. It is our job, as a 9/11 truth movement, to apply the public pressure that will make Obama do what he already wants to do.
He knows, as well as you and I know, that a new, truly independent investigation of September 11 needs to take place. We need to hold him accountable to what he's already said.