Scott McLellan’s latest book “What Happened?” has revelations on how the Bush administration and a complicit corporate media manipulated the climate of fear in the US to justify the invasion of Iraq. It is undoubtedly true that the neo-cons in the Bush administration treated 9/11 as “a new Pearl Harbor,” as their blessing in disguise.
While some “9/11 Truth” researchers focus on contradictions in “the official story” and possible administrative complicity with the terrorists, others argue that 9/11 was an “inside job” that would facilitate the project of the political right to dismantle long established constitutional protections and build an authoritarian state inside America. Of course, both of these scenarios would involve the worst form of treason.
Yet, even skeptics of this “9/11 truth theory” must admit that this reveals a significant emotional fact – just how little trust many Americans have in their government under the reign of this duplicitous administration that has constantly lied to us. This is supported by an October 2006 New York Times CBS poll which revealed that 53% of the American people were skeptical about the official 9/11 account and 28% rejected it outright. Only 16% believed the official story!.
(NY Times, “Americans Question Bush On 9/11 Intelligence,” October 14, 2006)
In the last BPM, we covered “the three trillion dollar war” and many of the costs of the two counterinsurgency wars and military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. The continuation of these wars has meant more resources for a more thoroughly militarized America. Not surprisingly, the 2008 request of a $515 billion dollar “defense” budget was combined with attacks on Medicare, Social Security, and myriad relief programs for the poor. It also meant less money was available for the development of renewable energy resources.
What does the future promise? A vastly expanded and costly homeland security budget is in the cards. The foolish “neocons” in the Bush administration have articulated and implemented a policy of worldwide US military supremacy, what some call “full spectrum dominance.” To accomplish this they need greater authoritarian social control of the American population at home. Apparently, support from the established media alone are not enough. Of course, China and Russia, who have brokered a military and energy alliance, may ultimately have something to say about this. So may the rest of the world.
Since 9/11, the US significantly expanded the homeland security apparatus and built a large invasive state bureaucracy around it. Even Republicans like Ron Paul are upset about this. This meant increased resources going into surveillance of American citizens and to domestic national security under the banner of protection and safety from terrorists. Immigrants from Mexico remain the most vulnerable targets in this climate of fear. We are building walls to keep them out.
In fact, America is rapidly becoming a walled fortress, a military Leviathan of historic proportions. Militarization of the border and the construction of an immigration wall and border outposts fits with the larger trend. This means greater repression of the so called “terro-immigrants.” Raids, roundups, deportations are already a fact. This whole repressive trend dehumanizes immigrant laborers. We already have a long history of dehumanizing Native Americans and the dispossessed Palestinians.
In spite of all the talk about national security in the “homeland,” the government did a miserable job in coming to the rescue when Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, threatening the security of hundreds of thousands of Americans. When it counted, the Bush administration floundered in every conceivable way. New Orleans is still in a desperate condition.
While acknowledging these depressing trends, it is important to recognize that there are important counter trends since 9/11 that can still give us hope. People are fighting back. In spite of a lack of media coverage, there are signs that more young Americans are getting involved in the new peace movement. Also, many Americans are involved in sending relief to New Orleans. Citizen groups are fighting corporate encroachment. American border and immigration activists are providing relief and help to stressed out immigrants. These are the post 9/11 heroes we never hear about!
Right now it appears that many of the American people are asking questions and may be more progressive than their government. We can only hope.