by David Kubiak
"The decision 'not to do the story' appears to be multiplying all over the nation." -- Fred Powledge, ACLU
A Grieving New Hampshire widow who lost her man on 9/11 refuses the government's million dollar hush money payoff, studies the facts of the day for nearly two years, and comes to believe the White House "intentionally allowed 9/11 to happen" to launch a so-called "War on Terrorism" for personal and political gain.
She retains a prominent lawyer, a former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania, who served with distinction under both Democrats and Republicans and was once a strong candidate for the governor's seat.
The attorney files a 62-page complaint in federal district court (including 40 pages of prima facie evidence) charging that "President Bush and officials including, but not limited to Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Ashcroft and Tenet":
1.) had adequate foreknowledge of 911 yet failed to warn the county or attempt to prevent it;
2.) have since been covering up the truth of that day;
3.) have therefore abetted the murder of plaintiff's husband and violated the Constitution and multiple laws of the United States; and
4.) are thus being sued under the Civil RICO (Racketeering, Influence, and Corrupt Organization) Act for malfeasant conspiracy, obstruction of justice and wrongful death.
The suit text goes on to document the detailed forewarnings from foreign governments and FBI agents; the unprecedented delinquency of our air defense; the inexplicable half hour dawdle of our Commander in Chief at a primary school after hearing the nation was under deadly attack; the incessant invocation of national security and executive privilege to suppress the facts; and the obstruction of all subsequent efforts to investigate the disaster. It concludes that "compelling evidence will be presented in this case through discovery, subpoena power, and testimony [that] Defendants failed to act and prevent 9/11 knowing the attacks would lead to an 'International War on Terror' which would benefit Defendants both financially and politically."
Press releases detailing these explosive allegations are sent out to 3000 journalists in the print and broadcast media, and a press conference to announce the filing is held in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia on November 26th (commemorating the end of the first futile year of the independent National 9/11 Commission).
Imagine the world-churning implications of these charges. Imagine the furor if just one was proved true. Imagine the courage of this bribe-shunning widow and an eminent attorney with his reputation on the line. Then imagine a press conference to which nobody came.
(Well, more precisely, imagine a press conference at which only FOX News appears, tapes for 40 minutes, and never airs an inch.)
Now imagine the air time, column inches and talk show hysteria that same night devoted to the legal hassles of Michael, Kobe, and Scott Peterson, and divide that by the attention paid to our little case of mass murder, war profiteering and treason. (OK, this is really a trick question because no number divided by zero yields any answers whatsoever, which evidently in this case is the result preferred.)
When you present documented charges of official treachery behind the greatest national security disaster in modern history and the press doesn't show, doesn't listen, doesn't write - just what in fact is really being communicated? That despite all the deaths, lies, wars, and bizarre official actions that flowed from 9/11 there's actually nothing there to be investigated at all? That addressing desperate victim families' still unanswered cries for truth is not a legitimate journalistic concern? That news will now be what the corporate media say it will be, so drink your infotainment Kool-Aid and kindly shut up?
(While the 9/11 blackout is the most flagrant sign of current media dysfunction, it hardly stands alone. Where, for example, was our free and press when Pentagon powerbroker Richard Perle confessed to a London audience last month that yes indeed, our war on Iraq was illegal as hell? He calmly explained that "in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing?| [it] would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone, and this would have been morally unacceptable."
(Guardian/UK, 11/20/03) And what news have we seen of the thousands of Depleted Uranium deaths and birth defects now desolating Afghanis, Iraqis and our own Gulf War troops? And whose looking into the $1.2 trillion the Pentagon admits is "missing" or the half trillion in laundered funds now propping up our banks? And how many times have you seen it reported that unbid Iraq contracts have pushed the worth of VP Cheney's 433,333 Halliburton stock options to $26 million plus? But to return to 9/11, the funny business has just begun. If you thought press performance after JFK's death was a cynical farce, you ain't seen nothing yet.)
A few years back Harold Evans of the London Sunday Times, observed that the challenge facing American newspapers "is not to stay in business -- it is to stay in journalism.'' As corporations' authoritarian, profit-driven consciousness comes to dominate both media and governance, you can expect a lot more serial celebrity scandals and even less news on the way things work or anything that really counts. There is a clear method and message in this obscurantist madness. All this media consolidation and tightening control is strategically aligned with deregulation, privatization, social program-gutting deficits and free trade regimes. They are all convergent tactics to enforce corporations' full spectrum dominance over democratic humankind. If your progressive or conservative instincts bid you to arise against this coup, standing with our 9/11 widow is a good place to start. Her name is Ellen Mariani, her lawyer is Phillip Berg and their complaint is now online at http://www.nancho.net/911/mariani.html. Read it and weep, wail, or whack out a dozen letters to the editors around your town, but for god's sake make some noise. When 9/11 bombshells fall silent in the corporate media's forest it's up to us to make them resound.
W. David Kubiak is director of Big Medicine, a research and education institute studying the corporate takeover of our country, culture and consciousness.