September 11 Disaster

" of the enduring legacies of 9/11 has been this [W. Bush] Administration's politicization of terror threats inside the United States, the media's lapdog hyping of the threats--its tendency to act as a megaphone instead of a filter, even in the wake of the Administration's clear record of distortion... news organizations remain much more willing to cheerlead terror warnings than seriously question them or put them in proper political context" (Eric Boehlert. "Politics, the Media and 9/11." The Nation, Sept 25, 2006: 30-32).

"In the first days after the terror attacks... Saudi Arabia supervised the urgent evacuation of 24 members of Osama bin Laden's extended family from the United States...

"..even though fifteen of the nineteen hijackers had been Saudi citizens -- the relatives of the number one suspect in the terror attacks were allowed not only to just up and leave the country, but they were assisted by our own authorities!" (Michael Moore. Dude, Where's My Country?. NY: Warner, 2003: 4).

"..not only has the family NOT cut ties to Osama, but they have continued to fund him..." (9).

"..the bin Ladens have had business relations with [the Bush] family.. for the past 25 years" (6).

Bush Sr. "learned that whenever the dirty work needed to be done, the United States could always turn to Saudi Arabia. When White House aide Oliver North needed money to buy arms for Iran in the Iran-Contra Affair, it was the Saudis who provided the $30 million in secret cash...

"..the Saudi ambassador is the only diplomat in Washintong who receives his own personal State Department security detail, compliments of the U.S. taxpayers...

"Prince Bandar donated $1 million to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Texas" (12).

"Bakar's firm [the Bushes' lawyer] would later represent the Saudi royals in the lawsuits against them by the families of the September 11 victims...

"A major chunk of the American economy is built on Saudi money. They have a trillion dollars invested in our stock market and another trillion dollars sitting in our banks" (13).

"Why have [Bush] and [his] father chosen to align [themselves] with a country that is considered by most human rights groups to be among the worst and most brutal dictatorships in the world?" (14).

"Who attacked the United States on September 11 -- a guy on dialysis from a cave in Afghanistan, or [Bush's] friends, Saudi Arabia?" (15).

"If fifteen of the nineteen hijackers had been North Korean, and they killed 3,000 people, do you think the headline the next day might read, "NORTH KOREA ATTACKS UNITED STATES"?

"Yet, when it comes to September 11, have you ever seen the headline... "SAUDI ARABIA ATTACKED THE UNITED STATES"?

" the question must--must--be asked: WHY NOT? Why, when Congress releases its own investigation into September 11, you, Mr. Bush, censor out twenty-eight pages that deal with the Saudi's role in the attack?" (17).

"..traveling by air was forbidden in the days following the attack" (19).

"Yet, members of the bin Laden family were allowed to fly in private jets, crisscrossing America as they prepared to leave the country... twenty-four members of the bin Laden family... were all flown to Paris, out of the reach of any U.S. officials... the FBI was "furious" that they were not allowed to keep the bin Ladens in the country to conduct a real investigation... none of the normal procedures were followed" (Michael Moore. Dude, Where's My Country?. NY: Warner, 2003: 20).

"The initial framing [of the 9/11 event] was as a crime with victims, and perpetrators to be "brought to justice" and "punished." The crime frame entails law, courts, lawyers, trials, sentencing, appeals, and so on. It was hours before CRIME changed to WAR, with casualties, enemies, military action, war powers, and so on" (56)...

The criminal frame for what happened on 9/11 is the liberal or progressive frame. The war frame is the radical right's frame. Notice what each frame involves.

"Calling for war instead of mere justice has given the conservatives free rein" (67).

"Expect any serious opposition to Bush's policies to be called traitorous" (George Lakoff. Don't Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate: 68).

"If U.S. intelligence agencies did not see the attack coming it was because they were told not to look.. the Bush administration blocked key investigations into allegations that top Saudi Arabian royals and some members of the bin Laden family, not just Osama, funded and supported Al-Quaeda and other terrorist organizations" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 92).

"FBI agents had wanted to check into two members of the bin Laden family.. but were told to stay away by superiors" (98).

"Khan Laboratories.. investigators had been tracking the funding for this so-called "Islamic [nuclear] Bomb" back to Saudi Arabia, under Bush.. the inquiry was stymied" (100).

"..the terrorists we are hunting today were trained and armed by the Reagan-Bush administration" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 103).

"Congresswoman McKinney.. cited our [BBC and Guardian stories about Bush protecting the Saudis] on the floor of Congress, calling for an investigation... She was labeled a traitor, a freak, a conspiracy nut and "a looney" -- the latter by her state's Democratic Senator, who led the mob in the political lynching of the uppity Black woman... She.. suggest[ed] that President Bush might have known in advance about the September 11 attacks but had done nothing so his supporters could make money in war... Dan Rather had warned her, shut up.. She didn't and it cost her her seat in Congress.

"McKinney's electoral corpse in the road silenced politicians [and] the media" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 105-106).

Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS