Tuesday, December 31, 2013
OF BYTES & BULLYS
It cannot all be blamed on the Internet.
Parents really need to step up and into their children’s lives.
TAGS: TEEN BULLYING, CYBER BULLYING, TEEN PRESSURES,
DESENSITIZED YOUTH, MALADJUSTED FOR ACTUAL SOCIALIZATION,
TEACHING REAL VALUES IN THE HOME, PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY
(Tuesday December 31, 2013 Anytown, USA) This is the time of year when every news media outlet, magazine, publication and tabloid rate the best and worst of the year just about to be concluded. TIME magazine names their “Person of the Year” and there are endless lists and ranking of trends, fads and milestones in pop culture and our society as a whole. There are seemingly endless lists of winners and losers, of those to watch in the upcoming year and those that imploded in the one about to end. Some lists rate the best and worst news photos, defining moments in national and world events, politics, fame and infamy. There are no stones left unturned in this oddball subjective annual craze. From top notch sports teams and individual athletes, to journalists, politicians and, of course, that uniquely American breed that is considered “celebrity” for no apparent reason other than earning the ersatz tiara of celebrity. This is a ritual practice and often sheds light on some aspects of our lives and times that would otherwise remain unnoticed by the majority. Typically, The Brooding Cynyx refrain from this annual ritual compiling lists of Best This and Worst That and have generally avoided getting caught up in the muck and mire, the hype and hyperbole that others in the media seem to thrive on when it comes to quantifying, qualifying, critiquing, assessing and summarizing.
But this year is a bit different for us; this last twelve months have brought us events and stories that have compelled us to affix a label to 2013: we have designated it “The Year of the Bully”. This year has been tragically wrought by far too many stories of young lives destroyed, ruined and taken due to bullying. Technology and all its unintended consequences contribute to and add a level of stress in the lives of our teens never before possible. Now awkward adolescent moments can be caught on a cell phone camera and Tweeted, texted and shared in a truly viral form reaching an audience of dozens or hundreds within minutes. These moments are forever alive in whatever digital devices they have traveled though, the “social networks” that facilitate their spread and, in what becomes for many, the loss of the ability or means to defend themselves.
OH HOW THE TIMES HAVE CHANGED
In his brilliantly written 2001 book “Wireless Nation”, James B. Murray, Jr tells the fascinating story of the cell phone industry in America having been involved in it for over two decades, the time that took a concept that many in the communications and technology fields said was not viable, to the full out bandwidth wars between the “telcom” carriers. In the 1980’s one would have been hard pressed to find any serious support from investors for a national cellular network. Most of the heavy hitters in the industry from AT&T to a number of venture-capital backed startups simply lacked the vision to see beyond the familiar horizon. Those that had that foresight and vision took cellular communications technology from a small novel gadget accessible only to the very rich and nurtured it into what it has become today; a global force that has even defied “Moore’s Law” regarding the exponential growth of digital capacity. Cell phones have come a long way from their brick-like clumsiness of the late 1980’s into ultra-slim, lightweight, miniature computers with a broad array of capacities and applications. Cell phones have come to replace “landlines” in each of the last 4 years at a rate near 40% annually. Cellular is now the standard, now the norm.
But, as we have seen time and time again, the Law of Unintended Consequences is as embedded in our sophisticated technologies just as are the nano-sized silicon chips that make them operate as they do. Virtually every cell phone today has a camera built in and, with the explosive rise of “social networks” in just the last six years our connectivity has exceeded everyone’s wildest imaginations from the engineers behind the hardware and software, the carriers, investors and this connectivity has forever changed the world in which we live. Cellular technology has “downsized” the Earth. With the proper equipment, either a cell or satellite phone, there is nowhere on the planet that is too remote to not be accessible. So too is it that even within the realm of proximity there is a connectedness that no one could have truly anticipated and is just now beginning to be understood on many levels.
We are all aware of what is happening in this regard. No matter where we live or work, how we commute or communicate, cellular technology is ubiquitously obvious, often intrusively so, in America today. This reality is particularly evidenced in our children, adolescents and teenagers all seem to be forever listening through ear buds to music while texting and Tweeting friends that might be as close as the next table in the cafeteria. Through the social networks they are tethered to each other and can share anything from simple messages and video clips, to “selfies”, games and any of the over 400,000 apps now available for cell phones, sleek multiuse “pads” and “tablets” as well as the growing array of other hybrid miniaturized digital devices.
All of this advanced technology has created platforms for new ways to bully, embarrass, harass, tease, taunt and otherwise ridicule anyone. As if being a teenager wasn’t already sufficiently laden with the awkward, often difficult process of maturing, socialization and taking the first small steps into hormonally-charged new vistas of fear or desire or identity, now anyone else, a classmate, neighbor or stranger on the subway, can document it moment by moment and share it for all the world to see if they so choose. Any awkward moment, any mistake, miscue or misstep that every teen has ever made, can be captured for posterity’s sake or posted on YouTube for the enjoyment of others. Total strangers are interacting via social networks in truly “viral” ways that are more susceptible to be malignant than benign. What one person finds embarrassing can be viewed a virtually unlimited number of others on the small cellphone screens they appear to be riveted to despite what other activity they may be involved in.
Up until this new digital age the pitfalls and pains of the teen years where witnessed only by those in real proximity, in real time, in the actual physical presence of each other. Then all a teen had to worry about was being the brunt of a joke, being humiliated for a few days on the school bus or just forced to suffer from the cruel exclusionary - inclusivity practiced by teenagers probably since time immemorial. Whatever the clumsy moment or prank played, its effects never transferred further than your neighborhood, school or immediate peers. The high school years are notoriously perilous and each of us either looks back on them with wistful pleasure or grinding anger or something in between. But to have our lives open to a cruel sort of chroniclization is more than some teens can handle.
HOLD THE PHONE
Our technology is here to stay, there is no going back. That some of our advancement in technology has created some fallout is not a broad condemnation. It is merely stating the obvious, an after effect that can linger dangerously in cyberspace and have a detrimental influence on our children during their most formative and impressionable years. Is our “culture” or society to blame? Can we pin this disturbing trend of digital bullying on poor parenting skills? Broken families? Who knows? We do have a tendency in this country to extrapolate from the micro to the macro, from the local to the national, from the rare and isolated to the common and pervasive when it comes to looking at aspects of our lives. In this type of thinking there are inherent flaws and unquantifiable, unidentifiable variables that obscure other perspectives. This also allows us to jump to conclusions and proffer assumptions that serve only to further confuse and muddle the issues.
Is our “culture” partially complicit? Yes, in some ways. Are our children growing up more familiar with strangers on social networks than with their own Moms and Dads, brothers and sisters, kids next door? Sure, in many cases this is reality. The pace of our lives today is astonishingly rapid and blurrily confusing to most people over 30; perhaps even 25. It is hard to draw a generational line that demarcates the fork in the road that shunted us all onto the “Information Highway” of President Bill Clinton’s description yet maybe that was the point of bifurcation. My generation did not grow up with any of the sophisticated technology that was still a distant dream to futurists and some in the fields of engineering, computer science and associated disciplines in the 1950’s and ‘60’s. We had a black and white TV, three major networks and a rotary dial phone hanging on the wall in the kitchen. We went to libraries to get information for homework and projects, learned to type, used carbon paper and made mimeograph copies. In high school we took chemistry, calculus and physics with a slide ruler and scratch paper. In the simple linear nature of human and technological progress the road ahead seemed natural enough; a ride up a gently slopped gradient of advance that made our lives easier and impressed us mightily. We put a man on the moon in 1969 with no more computing power available on the Lunar Module than in a common microwave oven of today. We have not been back to the moon in decades however we have continually been moving forward and faster.
OF VIDEOS AND VALUES
There is a large vocal chorus laying all of society’s and, in particular our youths behavior on “violent” video games, graphic 3 dimensional movies filled with blood and gore and how their intimacy with these realms merge and have “desensitized” the children born during and since the 1980’s. This is a reasonable yet not complete assertion regarding some of the emerging trends evidenced by how our youth approach and perceive the wider world. Their experiences have largely been in relationships with the digitalized parallel universe of cyberspace in all its unlimited vistas. Certainly they are less well adapted, socialized, than we were. Yes, their endless hours travelling the social networks, gaming sites, chat rooms, Facebook pages, web sites has desensitized them, it can be argued, as have the real life news reporting from war zones around the world.
There appears to be the absence of a contravening force, any counterbalancing influence. This is not the fault of the nation as a whole. It is foolish to believe so. And this returns us to the “extrapolation affect”. We see a truly tragic, reprehensible news item about a school shooting and immediately the hue and cry to enact stricter gun control, screen children for mental illness or arm teachers can be heard. When we read about teens who had been the subject of intense cyber bullying who commits suicide automatically factions on both the political Left and Right toss out their own tired rhetorical grenades hoping to score political points and further fuel the flames of divisiveness that are constantly aglow just beneath the surface. What has become of person accountability? Why is it always a larger “them” to blame when it was just one person or a small number of people involved in the commission of whatever the atrocity might be?
The Right will blame the absence of “God” in our schools for all that ail our youth while the Left will stridently call for more regulation, laws and intervention. In both cases everyone is attempting to find the needle of causation in the haystack of a diverse and disparate population of over 400 million Americans.
What may be a beginning remedy must take place on the micro scale; at the level of individual families. Our children need to be taught values and that does not refer to the gauzy material once taught in civics classes and Sunday schools. Concepts of conscience, right and wrong, winners and losers should be instilled in our children to provide a counterweight to all they are consumed with in cyberspace and in their small cliques and groups. There is a strain of “meanness”, of callousness and cruelty throughout our culture that is naturally absorbed by those in their formative years. We live in a violent culture but, and this is no doubt a controversial point of view but, it is not nearly as violent, all things considered, as it could be. Yes, every crime of violence, every act of cruelty is troublesome but, given the composition of our country thins could be much worse.
Statistics and metrics are malleable. The numbers as illustrated in graphs and pie charts assembled by scholars and ‘experts’ in a wide range of disciplines can always find numbers to support their own beliefs or their favorite theory. Statistics as collected and analyzed for academic monographs and peer reviewed journals are notoriously flawed particularly as when they are extracted from polling data and other subjective means of acquisition. All the “Blue Ribbon Panels”, working groups and “national debate” engaged in amounts to just so much rubbish. We don’t need a “national dialogue” about anything even if such an activity were even possible. We have had far too much emphasis placed beyond an individual’s immediate reach, on factors and influences that are purportedly the cause of this or the reason for that. Again, the responsibility for our children and how they develop rests with us. Parents, Uncles, Aunts, Grandparents, our kin should have an active role with our children and extended family. Yes, over the years there has been much made of the “broken home syndrome” and the single Mom scenario and these are indeed the root of some problems for some of our youth. But many a good and decent child raised by a single parent, a grandparent or even an older sibling has developed into stable well-adjusted teen “normalcy”.
Perhaps the time has come for each of us to stop looking for the causes for what disturbs us about our youth’s indifference and behavior that may be completely baffling to us. The causes may be much closer to home; perhaps rooted within the home and it is at that level we must approach the issues. We must teach our children well.
Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2013 © All Rights Reserved
Friday, December 27, 2013
MILLER MAKING FAMILIAR LEAP
This April 18, 2012, file photo, released by CBS shows John Miller on the set of "CBS This Morning," in New York. CBS News correspondent Miller has bounced between journalism and law enforcement for many years. Now he's jumping back to work for incoming New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton. CBS confirmed Miller's exit on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013. Miller worked under Bratton when the incoming commissioner led the New York and Los Angeles police departments in the past.
CBS, HEATHER WINES, FILE — AP Photo
TAGS: NYPD, NYPD COMMISSIONER BILL BRATTON, LAPD, JOHN MILLER
JOURNALIST & CLOSE FRIEND OF BRATTON BACK TO NYPD, TRANSITION FROM KELLY
TO BRATTON, VULNERABILITY DURING TRANSITION, NYPD INTELLIGENCE DIVISION,
NYPD COUNTER TERRORISM UNIT, IMPORTANCE OF CONTINUITY OF COMMAND,
Al QAEDA, 9-11-2001, SECURING OUR CITY
(Friday December 27, 2013, UES, NYC) John Miller announced yesterday that he will be resigning from his job with CBS News to take a position as yet to be named, on Bill Bratton’s staff. There have been some rumors floated that Miller will have a position with the NYPD Counter Terrorism Unit although no one in a position to know is willing to confirm or deny these reports. This is not the first time the former beat reporter for WNBC and ABC has left a position in journalism to follow his friend Bill Bratton.
Miller became somewhat famous while working for the WNBC local newscast in New York City. In the 1980’s he became easily recognizable to New Yorker’s due to his extensive coverage and oddly cordial on-air relationship with former Mafia Don, John Gotti. During each of Gotti’s trials Miller enjoyed almost exclusive access to the “Teflon Don”, a moniker that Miller helped to promote. There were many who credited Miller’s nonstop obsession with Gotti for helping Gotti, himself, a convicted killer, to become a household name throughout the New York City Metropolitan Area. Miller used his access to Gotti to help the mobster to wear the persona of a local hero in some parts of the City, particularly in Little Italy and Brooklyn. During those years however, many in the NYPD Organized Crime Task Force began viewing Miller as a shill for one of the most notoriously violent, ruthless, coldblooded Dons of La Cosa Nostra in the long and storied annals of Italian organized crime in NYC.
Miller enjoyed his notoriety and was often found late at night in some of the swankiest watering holes and restaurants of the Upper East Side. When Mayor Rudy Giuliani appointed Bill Bratton as his Police Commissioner, Bratton tapped Miller to fill the post of NYPD Public Information Officer which was quickly re-designated as Deputy Commissioner for Public Information. Bratton and Miller had become fast friends when Bratton was the Chief of the NYPD Transit Division a few years before becoming Commissioner for the first time. Both men enjoyed the fine wining and dining they saw as the well-deserved “perks” of their jobs in One Police Plaza. In those days it was not uncommon to see Miller belligerently intoxicated, rude and boisterous waving around his Deputy Commissioner’s “Gold Shield” which is a grievous insult to members of NYPD and embarrassing for all to see. As it turned out, Mayor Giuliani came to feel overshadowed by his Commissioner and asked for Bratton’s resignation. Miller returned to his career as a journalist and his most famous coup was a sit down face to face interview (Link below) in 1998 with a lanky, soft spoken bearded Saudi millionaire living in caves and Bedouin-type tents in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan. In that interview Osama bin Laden announced to the world his evil intentions but no one in our government took him seriously. In a few short years we would all bear witness to bin Laden’s commitment and handiwork.
JOINED AT THE HIP
While Bratton was making a very substantial living in the private sector as a consultant, Miller once again returned to TV journalism. In 2002 the newly elected Mayor of Los Angeles, James Hahn appointed Bratton as the Chief of Police of the perpetually troubled LAPD. Bratton named Miller as LAPD's chief of counterterrorism and criminal intelligence despite the fact that Miller was woefully unqualified for that position. Bratton’s tenure consisted of two five year terms that were viewed positively as his methods and tactics, the same he implemented under Giuliani in New York, did in fact reduce crime and reform much of the LAPD. There is little known about Miller’s performance in Los Angeles aside from the fact that his ego and abrasive manner often found him alienated from the rank and file of LAPD and some members of the local press corps.
When Bratton was denied the opportunity for a third term as LAPD Chief he once again found himself in a lucrative position working as a security consultant and keynote speaker on the circuit. The former Boston street cop was travelling the world over and apparently enjoying the rewards of his years of public service. After Bratton’s departure from LA, Miller was appointed as Associate Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analytic Transformation and Technology. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Director of Public Affairs for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where he was the bureau's national spokesman. Once again there is little known about his on the job performance in these postings but many former employees felt he got his high ranking positions via “personal and professional connections” and that “good people were passed over” to fill those jobs.
Once Bill de Blasio won the Mayoralty here last month it was just a matter of weeks before de Blasio named Bratton as the new Commissioner of the NYPD. For many long time high ranking NYPD veterans, members of the “Upper Brass” and other observers, it was believed the appointment of Bratton was inevitability and would allow Miller to ride Bratton’s coattails back into a position of prominence in NYPD. For the better part of the last 20 years, for the most part, where ever Bratton has gone Miller has followed.
As was reported here and elsewhere on December 19 two of Ray Kelly’s top staffers, Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism Richard Daddario, and Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence David Cohen were resigning effect immediately after Bill de Blasio is sworn in to Office. The contributions these two men made to our City cannot be measured or quantified; they created the most effective and efficient municipal urban Intelligence Division and Counter Terrorism Units in the country if not the world. Their absence will leave gapping voids in two of the most important Commands in NYPD in our post 9 – 11 world. The notion that John Miller may be named as a replacement for one of these men is, as a Counter Terrorism Detective commented, “Absolutely ludicrous and, if it happens, it will be a huge, very large blunder on Bratton’s part. I mean, these Units did not even exist as they are now when Bratton was here in 1996. He has some very big shoes to fill and needs to fill all the vacancies that resignations and retirement are causing”.
The real issue at hand is not Bratton’s qualifications to lead NYPD but rather if he will have the same priorities that Kelly honored. Certainly he will be quickly at odds with Mayor de Blasio given the fact that much of de Blasio’s campaign rhetoric and “promises” to the “minority” communities are diametrically opposite of Bratton’s philosophy, strategy and tactics he has employed in the past. It is doubtful Bratton will morph into a “kinder, gentler” Commissioner just because de Blasio has repeatedly stated his intention to reform NYPD and broaden the scope of the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), revamp the “Stop, Question and Frisk” policy that has engendered so much animosity towards NYPD from factions of the African American and Latino population and otherwise make changes that will no doubt, if enacted, drastically alter the operations of NYPD as a whole and some of the most specialized Divisions and Units specifically. Our city can ill afford a prolonged transitionary period from the Kelly era to the new Bratton regime. Only time will tell if de Blasio made the proper choice with Bratton and if Bratton’s friend and ally, John Miller, is really up to the task. Hopefully we’ll not learn the hard way.
(YouTube video of John Miller’s 1998 interview with Osama bin Laden link below)
Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2013 © All Rights Reserved
Friday, December 20, 2013
THE COZY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE BUSH’S & THE HOUSE OF SAUD
Former President George W. Bush kissing Fahda bint Asi Al Shuraim’
The King of Saudi Arabia. Theirs was not a kiss and tell romance.
Just how many of their dealings were sealed with a kiss?
TAGS: 9-11-01 VICTIMS AND NEXT OF KIN OF VICTIMS GRANTED LEGAL AUTHORITY
TO SUE SAUDI ARABIA, HOUSE OF BUSH – HOUSE OF SAUD, SAUDIS PERMITTED
UNPRECEDENTED PERMISSION TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY AFTER 9-11-01, WHO GRANTED PERMISSION,
SAUDI GOVERNMENT AIDED AND ABETTED 9-11 HIJACKERS, SAUDI RELIGIOUS LEADERS
PROVIDED MATERIAL SUPPORT FOR THE 19 HIJACKERS, MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS,
WILL WE EVER KNOW THE TRUTH?
(Friday December 20, 2013, Falls Church, VA) The small northern Virginia city of Falls Church is like many other similar communities in Fairfax and Arlington Counties. These towns and suburban enclaves are primarily bedroom communities populated by the huge contingent of personnel it takes to keep all the federal government’s apparatus running. A significant number of the workforce required for the tasks involved from top political appointees to the legions of bureaucrats, functionaries, operatives and clerks opt to live around the periphery of Washington, DC. It could be argued that more federal employees live within a 25 mile radius of The District center than any other place. Many of the residents here are actively employed by the political-public relations-lobbyists complex and are as familiar with the minutiae of the law as they are the maneuvers of politics. These are the people who know the ins and outs of how government and politics work. They are all familiar with the DC axiom that usually assures a hot news item that could be potentially embarrassing to an Administration is best leaked to the press late on a Friday afternoon or while the bone-headed members of Congress have fled the District and returned to their homes to raise money for their next campaign.
Today the powers that be managed to pull a trifecta of a sort and from all indications it has been successful. Not only was a major news story dropped inside the Beltway yesterday but it landed while Congress has departed and the President himself is enjoying the sun, surf and sand of his native Hawaii. These three elements made yesterday a great time to make a revelation that will open a can of worm most Americans have long considered closed but if opened will be laden with an importance that could have far reaching implications.
Yesterday a three judge panel in the 2nd United States Court of Appeals reversed a previous ruling handed down by a different three judge panel in the same Court back in 2002. The announcement yesterday clearly stated the legal footing that plaintiffs, primarily surviving members of those lost to the attacks of September 11, 2001 can sue the government of Saudi Arabia for what amounts to but falls just short of overtly accusing them of providing funding and support for the 19 members of al Qaeda, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals alleged to have hijacked and crashed US based airplanes. There have long been serious doubts regarding the support provided to the members of al Qaeda who managed to infiltrate the US by members of the Saudi Royal family and wealthy religious and business leaders inside the Saudi Kingdom. That it has taken over 12 years for a decision such as that made public yesterday to be granted is not only proof of the lumbering nature of our Court system but more so of the unique influence and power the Saudis had over the Cheney/Bush administration. Actually, the relationship between the two dynastic governments, “The House of Bush and The House of Saud” was forged decades ago, built on partnerships in the oil industry and was dramatically strengthened during the Presidency of George H.W. Bush and his oil baron cronies. The Saudis have long enjoyed working with US administrations provided they were unflinching in their loyalty.
THE FIRST 40 HOURS
There are a substantial number of conspiracy theories and alternate accounts directly contrary to that provided by the Bush Administration, the 9-11-01 Commission, the Congressional Investigative report on 9-11-01 many of which are highly compelling. Some offer strong physical evidence to support their arguments and still others have garnered a staunch following of thinking Americans who see evidence that does not even closely comport with the official narrative.
Serious questions, claims and counterclaims were already in full flight within the first 40 hours after the dust began to settle at the World trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, DC and an anonymous grassy field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Some of those very same questions remain gnawingly unanswered despite the intervening 12 years.
By Presidential authority and Vice Presidential edict every private and commercial airplane over the continental United States was grounded within four hours of the terrorist attacks. As US military fighter jets were scrambled in a haphazard manner, to say the least, the airspace over the United States was closed to all traffic for the next 4 days. One of the first questions to arise from employees at two airports within the greater Washington, DC area was why were there jetliners flying under the state flag of Saudi Arabia granted clearance and permission to leave the US? It was during this same timeframe that several smaller luxurious private jets owned by the bin Laden Group, the family business of which the spiritual leader of al Qaeda was an heir, were also granted permission to extricate members of the extended bin Laden family who were studying abroad here in the USA back to Saudi Arabia. One Air Force General speaking not for attribution recently commented that, “It was more than odd the way the commands came down to us. In my mind it was as if the official “chain of command” had been severed and we were being ordered about by political operatives in the White House. One flight that departed Dulles on the 12th (September 12, 2001) had over 75 Saudi nationals the majority of whom were members of the extended bin Laden family. No one was asked to present so much as a passport to board that plane and I remember wondering, ‘what’s going on here’.”
AIDING AND ABETTING
Many people from top government, military and intelligence insiders to civil, forensic, and structural engineers, to metallurgists, physicists, architects and others from a host of related fields have never believed any of the party line. They have amassed a copious amount of data from the site, collapse and aftermath and subject it all to the most rigorous, objective standards of their respective disciplines. Individually and collectively these learned men and women have been able to substantiate their gut instincts with audio, video and physical proof.
Working on the darker side of the street have been members of our federal and military intelligence machinery and other agencies have professed to being motivated and focused investigating each and every aspect of the 9-11-2001 atrocities. For some, such a statement of purpose rings on hollow ears. Had our CIA and FBI been effectively communicating with each other, had the National Security (NSA) and Department of Defense (DoD) been able to extract “actionable intelligence” from the staggering amount of conventional and digital data; “chatter”, as they call it, the staggering amount of information they routinely intercept, then, possibly, 9-11-2001 would never have happened. It is highly disturbing now, this far out, to finally recognize that those 19 terrorists may have in fact been state-sponsored operatives of the Saudi regime.
If nothing else emerges from the release of more information that has been classified since 2001, the fact that no small number of Saudis, from members of their government to wealthy citizens as well as Imams preaching to and reaching a segment of the misguided zealots, the young male unemployed population in the Kingdom, it is now factually established that the 19 hijackers received financial and material support for their devious lethal mission.
Saudi Arabia has long been considered as an ally albeit a self-centered entity unreliable when it has come to American interests. American Administrations over the last 50 years have done the Saudi’s bidding ostensibly to have a “politically stable” government in their perpetually tumultuous, often violent, part of the world. While that may be the official party line, everyone knows our kinship with the Saudis has been based on one specific commodity; a commodity that we consume 25% of the world’s production of- crude oil. The geopolitical intricacies of oil have directed our foreign policy in the Middle East for two generations. As the royal Saudi family is aging and unrest among their citizens continues to fester and grow, the Saudi regime found it was easier to pacify their homegrown fundamentalist movement, known terrorist within their sovereign borders, and otherwise pay off their extremists so those dangerous entities would refrain from making trouble within Saudi Arabia. As long as a radicalized native son of a very wealthy Saudi construction company, Osama bin Laden, was fighting the Soviet troops in Afghanistan, the Saudis were ready and generous financiers of bin Laden’ mujahidin. When Sadaam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990 bin Laden offered his mujahidin fighters to defend against an advancing Iraqi army that could easily challenge the Saudi defense capabilities. Not only was bin Laden rebuffed by the House of Saud, the Saudis invited American troops to defend the land of the two holiest sites in Islam. Bin Laden would be heard from again.
THE SAUDIS CLOSED RANKS
Within hours of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 Saudi nationals, most of whom were attending some of the most prestigious universities in America, others working in high finance, banking and related fields in which Saudi Arabia had interests, began making arrangements for a quick departure. Some were members of the extended bin Laden family, others were part of the sizable diplomatic corps, employees of the Saudi Embassy and Consulates; others still were “businessmen” of dubious distinction. The planning for their departure was well coordinated and, in large part, logistically supported by the Saudi government.
By September 12th, 2001 most of those who were being spirited out of the country were assembling at Dulles Airport just miles from Washington, DC. Overnight numerous small private jets had picked up passengers from non-descript somewhat remote airfields from locations including Charlottesville, Virginia, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis and Los Angeles. Given the fact that there was a complete lock down in effect for the airspace over America, how was it that these flights were granted some sort of an exemption to the “no-fly” orders from the White House? By whose authority were these flights permitted to leave the United States? Clearly the decisions made in this regard came directly from the White House, specifically as the growing evidence has illustrated, from the Office of the Vice President Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney has enjoyed a cozy relationship with the Saudis for decades both while he was working in government and during his stints in the oil industry most notably when he was the CEO of Halliburton.
OATH OF SILENCE
From the highest ranks of the military including the Joint Chiefs down to the dozens of airmen who made this exodus possible were ordered to sign an oath of silence under the auspices of “national security”. Given the confusion and shock still palpable the day after the terrorist attacks, the men and women who worked the tarmacs, control towers and other support roles necessary for the long flight to Saudi Arabia, they signed the oaths put before them under penalty of disciplinary actions including the possibility of Court Marshall. Many dared not question what was going on and merely accepted their orders and carried out their duties. Now, over 12 years after the fact more details are emerging regarding the Saudi flights and some involved have decided to speak about the events in some detail.
A retired air traffic control who was working at a smaller airport that catered to private jets in central Virginia, speaking anonymously for fear of government retaliation recently commented, “You’re dammed right I was confused. I really did not know what was going on. We were receiving countervailing directives from the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation and even an Air Force General. I signed the nondisclosure agreement under protest but I was afraid I had no choice but to do so. I am still amazed that this story has not caught on. The press really dropped the ball on this one”.
It remains to be seen what details, if any, become known publically now that next of kin of those who perished that Tuesday morning in 2001 and survivors have been granted the legal right to sue the government of Saudi Arabia. But, as most will say this process is not about a financial settlement or money, it is about truth. There is so much to this odd chapter that was written on September 11, 2001 and the days immediately thereafter Perhaps some of the details will become known in a court of law but it is more likely that any potential lawsuit will take years of legal maneuvering and wrangling before it ever sees the inside of a courtroom. There are vitally important issues at stake here; there is the credibility of the Cheney/Bush Administration and they should be called to task to explain their roles in the great Saudi exodus of September 12 and 13, 2001. Nothing short of full disclosure should be acceptable. We, each of us as American citizens is entitled to the truth. In the past our government has conducted far too many amoral acts from testing LSD on unwitting servicemen, studying the effects of nuclear fallout on members of the military and a veritable cookbook of experiments and studies all conducted in the name of national security. If this particular story does come to light then those involved should be held accountable. Accountability is a rare commodity in Washington, DC but we can only hope, watch and wait to see how this develops.
Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2013 © All Rights Reserved