Truth as the Competition

The truth protects itself, right? Truth tellers are protected by the sheer fact that their story remains the same, no matter how many times they tell it. Written records, signatures, videotape, all kinds of PROOF to back you up endlessly, if you know what you’re talking about, right? Not so.

Actually, the American government (and other governments of the world) have made the truth a matter of national security. It must be protected by the powers that be. Telling the truth means that someone else has an unfair advantage over you and governments need to hide it in order to protect their interests. Which of course, we are told, are our interests. (I’m wondering how $5 a gallon gas prices are in my interest but that’s another story.)

We say we fight for the truth, but that’s what we are supposed to say. It’s actually what we want to believe, and belief is much more powerful than the truth. This belief keeps decent people in corporate news, spinning facts so fast, we no longer know a lie when we hear it. And besides, it’s much more fun to watch “Do You Want to Become a Millionaire”. Finding the correct answer on that show, telling the TRUTH in public on that TV show, at least means you’ll get applause and lots of money when it’s over.

Today is the anniversary of a very sad event for America. Seven years later, the truths about 9/11 are still in question, but you wouldn’t know that if you watched CNN or read the New York Times. The truth of many people’s experience that day was simple: they lost someone they loved. That’s enough of a truth to know. That loss is so deeply personal, that it might have to overshadow any further examination. I think a loss like that would devastate me, and I wouldn’t care how it happened, just that my husband or wife was no longer with me and that my life would never be the same on account of it.

This anniversary also makes a good case for free speech or the lack of it in the USA. If you accept what you have been told about what happened to the Twin Towers, you can safely hate an enemy. Or better put, only Bad Americans or crazy people ask questions about 9/11.

Good Americans who have received a target for their frustration, will not require more information. That enemy is far away, but if we send our young men and women to kill said enemy, we will be safe in our homes at night. “Support our troops” is the sticker we see on every SUV. But it could have easily said “Our kids are being used to fight wars we don’t understand, but please don’t hate them for doing that. This war is not their fault”. Too long, not catchy, but probably more honest. That sticker also means I agree with this war, because I was told to. Disagreeing means I’m not a good American.

Doublespeak is in full bloom. Good Americans believe lies without question and work to discredit the truth. Good Americans don’t even want to be bothered with the truth…it’s too much damn trouble.

I do all the things Good Americans do and one more thing that only Good Americans will do. I ask questions. I saw it the Towers fall with my own eyes in real time, but I really don’t think I really know what happened that day. One thing for sure though: whatever it was, there should be no secrets about it. Any controversy around any of it should be intelligently examined by the best minds of our time. All the people in charge should be happy to leave no stone unturned.

But seven years later, the event is still under investigation. Nothing is conclusive they say. Workers are still awaiting financial and health compensations, families of victims continue to appeal for answers to their questions. Did the towers come down because a large group of Arab militants hate the fact that we shop at WalMart? Did that happen because we didn’t think Arabs would do it, so we weren’t paying attention? Are you planning to build WalMarts over there so they won’t do it again?

The search for 9/11 truth is totally taboo in mainstream media, the media that most Americans pay attention to. It just can’t be discussed by anyone who hopes to keep their corporate news jobs or stay in the public eye. Our best reporters will never speak of it, unless to ridicule it. Bill Maher, Keith Oberman, Jon Stewart…there can be no heroes to this kind of investigation; it is simply not allowed to be considered seriously in popular media. For a while there, Lionel on Air America asked 9/11 questions on his show repeatedly. Strangely enough, soon after, he was taken off the air. Of course, this was purely a coincidence. And Michael Moore is just a kook anyway, right? At the last Republican Convention in 2004, Bush told him to get a real job- you know, like the one he got, where you really get to make a difference in the lives of millions.