I bicycled to downtown Palo Alto for a newspaper interview, on my way to the FTAA Teach-In at Stanford University. My throat grew sorer and my responses fuzzier as the day went on, and I ended up in bed with a fever. I figured I had just overdone it; for two weeks- there were only two or three days when I wasn't out demonstrating or at events. Forced to slow down, rest, recover; I neglected to halt the passage of the Homeland Security Bill through Congress, that contains, amongst the creation of a nightmare Gestapo State Apparatus, provisions-
H.R. 5701 Specifically, Section 304, Subsection C "Administration of counter measures against smallpox" gives the Secretary of HHS these unchecked powers (pg. 76):
Also, if you are harmed, you cannot sue or take any other civil remedy.
This section will give the Secretary unlimited power to define a real or potential threat, to take any measures he decides, and to do it for as long as he wants. (see-www.aapsonline.org for the details.)
With war looming in the foreground, sometimes Congress slips through horrendous legislation without the proper oversight of concerned citizens and legislators. Sometimes it seems like a game, who can alert the public to the world situation in time to prevent or push forward the agenda. Will the forces of Repression be able to organize more quickly than the forces of Resistance? Will FEAR and WAR triumph over COURAGE, LOVE, HUMOR and the GLOBAL MAJORITY"S DESIRE for PEACE, JUSTICE, and a HEALTHY WORLD...
After the documentaries I asked those who were familiar with the material to stand, about a quarter of the people were. Then I asked people to stand who were moved, or touched by new information within the films, over half of the people stood. I believe film can have a very powerful effect upon us, and that it can transform lives- it changed my life, so I proceeded to tell my story and why I hope-
-could transform the consciousness and culture of the United States and help us to rein in a Rogue Government which is threatening the world. (I made a whole lot of digressions during the actual talk which was taped and includes the GNN documentaries, and is available at- http://www.lostartsmedia.com/videoaudio.html)
I introduced myself, Carol Brouillet, as an activist, or "hyperactivist," and wore my Women's International League for Peace and Freedom t-shirt, as they have been my favorite "umbrella" organization...
"As every flower fades, and all youth departs, so life at every stage, so every virtue, so our grasp of truth, blooms in its day, but may not last forever."
From Stages, a poem, in Herman Hesse's Glass Bead Game
Our grasp of truth, evolves, as we evolve; as our illusions are shattered, and replaced by intimate, direct knowledge of the world we live in.
Many Americans are born into a cocoon, which protects and cushions them from harsh realities experienced directly by minorities within the U.S. and the people living under dire circumstances in the Third World. Insulated by material comfort and a fabricated reality which seamlessly permeates and dominates the cultural landscape, privileged Americans must have contact outside of the protected enclaves, or must undergo some dramatic personal experience, or see some powerful film/documentary which contradicts and shatters mainstream illusions, pierces the propaganda veil, and challenges "the official truths," before they can see a larger reality.
Each person has a unique story, is touched differently by the currents of history, the waterfalls and eddies, which affect their lives, and which they, in turn, affect. I have often felt my life to be but a drop, part of a wave of human history, leading and pushed, surrounded by powerful forces of which I have no real control, but of which I am a part, hoping to turn a tide away from death and destruction, towards life, peace and hope.
I sincerely believe that the "Truth about 9-11" and humanity's understanding of those events will help us to grasp and understand the past, the present, and most importantly shape the future. I believe my life, our lives, our hopes for a future depend upon a revelation of the truth, the transformation of the current system, raising human consciousness, so that people cannot be manipulated, and controlled, through fear.
"Why 9-11?" "Wouldn't the truth about U.F.O.'s, genetically modified foods and lifeforms, the World Trade Organization, the I.R.S., profoundly transform everything, if people really understood those issues?" Maybe, and people who are passionate about those issues, should continue their work; I certainly have been working on other issues these past ten years. It is my own blind spots, my unique personal experiences that were the catalysts to change my own life, and which have helped me to understand 9-11, and to see how the "Truth about 9-11" could be a catalyst for the collective transformation of the American people. The greatest threat to the military/intelligence/industrial juggernaut, currently making an imperial grab for world dominance and using 9-11 as a pretext, is an informed American public, whom I believe, have the power to rein in those forces.
I grew up in Southern California and had a deep curiosity about the world. My Republican family taught me how to play the stock market and chess at a tender age. I had a trust fund and the good fortune to be able to attend the colleges of my choice (including Hawaii Loa & Reed), and sail around the world on yachts in my late teens and twenties. Despite having traveled around the world, living in Europe, spending time in Africa, South America, China; I had little grasp of political realities. I discovered "alternative medicine" in 1984, after nursing my fianc?, diagnosed with brain cancer, through three brain operations and radiotherapy; an ancient Chinese herbal remedy reversed his decline. From age 17, I never lived anywhere more than eleven months, until I became pregnant, at age thirty. Then I finally settled down, had kids, and married Jean-Luc Brouillet, a native of Montreal, Canada, in Palo Alto. I never heard of "the alternative press" nor saw any dissent during the first Gulf War. I "missed it; I remember hearing about it and having a bad feeling in my stomache, but I had no idea what was going on.
In 1992, at the urging of Jean-Luc's brother, I saw the film, J.F.K., by Oliver Stone. It disturbed me deeply, and I began my "political education" in earnest, learning about the C.I.A., covert operations, drug trafficking, secret armies, and the wars of terrorism waged against the Third World. I was outraged, and felt a deep sense of responsibility, since I was an American citizen, and it was my government behind outrageous acts of violence throughout the world. I had a three year old, a one year old, and I was pregnant when I became a "hyper-activist." My husband hates politics and does not share my passion for social change, but he helps me technologically, and practically, with the computer, fax machine, copier, and the children.
I began my activism by simply talking to people, learning more, discovering that there was an "alternative press," writing articles, promoting books and films, going to demonstrations, tabling at events. I was always reading, learning, trying to grasp the larger picture, and to apply my own public relations skills to nurturing a larger social movement. At the first Media and Democracy Congress held in San Francisco, I pushed "Global Economics" as the theme we should focus on, because all the other problems seemed to fit under its umbrella.
People that I knew personally, had "sold" their skills to the Democratic and Republican Parties. In particular, one of the guys who had sailed with me had told me, while sailing to Australia, that he raised money for politicians. He preferred the Democrats to Republicans, but worked for the Republicans, because they paid more. All of the politicians he had worked for were crooks, but he didn't feel too badly, because none of them had ever gotten elected. He left the boat in Brazil, and was the only person I knew, when I visited Washington D.C. in 1978.
"So tell me Rich, " I asked him, "Is this politician as crooked as all the others you worked for?"
He looked me straight in the eye, and said in tones, later echoed by his colleague, Oliver North, "Oh no, Carol, this is a really good guy." He later worked on Bush's staff during the Reagan years, became the head of the Republican Party, and the head of the Re-Elect Bush Campaign in 1992.
I usually tackled what I considered to be the larger issues, the major blind spots of our civilization- nuclear issues, the monetary system, corporate-globalization. I organized conferences, events, participated in demonstrations, direct actions, got arrested. I felt myself to be part of the "global majority," the historical evolution of people's liberation movements at a time when things were getting worser and worser, and better and better, faster and faster, all the time, with Nature and ecological catastrophe waiting in the wings, to cut humanity off if we didn't change direction before it was too late.
I organized three gatherings on "Strategies to Transform the Global Economy," which looked at how to transform a system which was concentrating wealth and power, destroying the Earth in the process, to one which served Life and nurtured peace, justice, and healthy relationships. By serendipity, the first "Gathering" coincided with the World Economic Forum's annual Davos' gathering where top government and corporate officials meet to figure out how to maintain and extend their control over the world's resources and people.
Following the suggestion of Kevin Danaher, a Co-Founder of Global Exchange, who kept saying "We should be doing this in the Southern Hemisphere." In 2000, I tried to mobilize a North American contingent to the first "World Social Forum" held in January 2001 in Porto Allegre, Brazil, where thousands of delegates from over a hundred countries met to challenge "Corporate Globalization," the I.M.F., the World Bank, the W.T.O.. "Another World is Possible" was the conference theme, placing life, not profits at the center of economic concerns.
I returned from Brazil, hopeful and energized, to discover that in Palo Alto, activists were depressed and paralyzed by the stolen election, retreating into local issues. I started working more with San Francisco and San Jose activists, doing coalition work, particularly outreach to the press, and participated in our coordinated international actions, with some success.
In September 2001, our affinity group were planning on getting gas masks and participating in the big international demonstrations against the IMF, the World Bank, and the Bush Administration at the end of September. We were plotting a media campaign against "Corporate Cannibalization" with a focus on "Chocolate," the use of child slave labor in the Ivory Coast which produced 42% of the world's cocoa- the high human and environmental cost of the "cheap goods" consumed by the "Industrialized World."
Our plans collapsed with the World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001, as we watched with shock and horror. I remember wondering, "Who could possibly benefit from such a terrible event?" Even more frightening than the images of the disaster was the spin coming out of the mainstream press, beating the drums of "war."
In the wake of 9-11, IMF/World Bank meetings, and plans to build a two and a half mile fence around a key part of DC, were cancelled, the major protests were cancelled, even criticism of Bush was curbed by the "Sierra Club," but about half of my "affinity group" chose to go to DC to support demonstrations against the IMF and the World Bank, but mainly, to oppose an impending war against "Afghanistan."
We marched in three large anti-war demonstrations, and that is where I first learned that the war had little to do with "catching terrorists" and a lot to do with "oil." We took flowers to Barbara Lee, lobbied our representatives against the attacks upon our civil rights, against military action against Afghanistan, and against legislature which would permit the World Bank to force even more brutal conditions upon indebted Third World countries.
In some ways, my deep concerns over Y2K, were manifested in the U.S. government's response to 9-11- the Patriot Act, Anti-Terrorist Legislation, the HomeLand Security Act, nightmare legislation, the new climate of fear, the selective imposition of Martial Law. The War on Terrorism was being used to pass legislation to blatantly destroy hard earned civil liberties, turn back the clock on the feminist, environmental, peace, justice, anti-nuclear, ever-increasing social movements, and especially target the growing coalition of diverse forces that were merging into a worldwide anti-globalization movement. Especially terrorized were people of color, people from the Middle East, over a thousand of them were disappeared in the U.S.. Immigrants, too have been targeted, reminding us of Pastor Neimoller's words-
"In Germany, first they came for the Communists and I did not speak up because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak up because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Trade Unionists and I did not speak up because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I did not speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me - and by that time there was no one left to speak."
Truly, I believe that is the best historical parallel to the present day, from the targeting of political opponents, to the dismantling of democracy, to the invasion of other countries; Bush II is plagiarizing Hitler.
Through the internet, I received articles, clues, bits and pieces, and eventually what I considered to be "the smoking guns" which made sense of the events of 9-11. I began to understand 9-11 as "A Special Operation" designed to gain public support for a war by the world's richest country against the world's poorest country, to justify a war without end against a new "elusive" enemy, justify a police state, and redefine opposition to corporate/government policies as domestic "terrorism," to give the green light to the crushing of dissent worldwide, to permit the militarization of space by a small minority to control the world's resources and people. It was a crime against humanity, with clear victims and clear beneficiaries, which demanded a loud public outcry.
On November 30, 2001, I was delivering letters to Senator Feinstein's office and I asked for a meeting with staff to discuss 9-11. I invited Senator Boxer's staff to attend the meeting, and sent both Senate offices hard copies of key articles about 9-11 which had raised my concerns. I spoke with other peace and human rights activists. Kevin Danaher, of Global Exchange, suggested that we demand a Congressional Investigation of 9-11. I sent out word, and invitations to people to join us for a March on Senator Feinstein's office, and to be part of the Delegation Demanding a Congressional Investigation of 9-11 on January 8, 2002. On January 7th, I learned of a Petition to Demand a Senate Inquiry of the Oddities of 9-11 with over 2000 signatures (Now up to 17,000!); we were not alone in our concerns, but the tip of an enormous iceberg.
While we didn't receive mainstream coverage, we did get some press, and the very next day, Bush asked Daschle to limit the investigation to why the CIA failed to prevent the attacks, and how the CIA could justify increasing its budget to prevent future terrorist attacks. The official whitewash began in earnest.
My article on our March/Demand for a Congressional Inquiry evoked a huge wave of response from people across the country and around the world. I received a flood of e-mails, more bits and pieces of evidence, articles, phone calls, encouragement, more information than I was able to handle, digest and disseminate; I felt I was witnessing the birth of a movement.
What surprised me the most, was the failure of the established Left to pick up the issue. Instead I learned about the "Gatekeepers" of the alternative press, who attacked those of us who were challenging the "official story about 9-11."
The attack upon "conspiracy theorists" totally caught me by surprise. It is ok to "attack a system, the structures, the institutions of power," but to actually name names, point out the specific crimes of power holders turned out to be the forbidden realm of "conspiracy theorists, paranoid people, who believe everything is corrupt."
Then it dawned on me at how social movements are manipulated, neutralized, deflected, controlled, to prevent serious, dramatic, substantial change, and infiltrated by false leaders whose very purpose is to mislead the many. To divide and conquer has always been the modus operandi of the ruling class; it is small wonder that Right is pitted against the Left, and rarely do we see analysis bringing together those on the Bottom against those at the Top. The truth about 9-11 could form bridges and alliances all across the spectrum, hence the attacks upon those who simply "Question" the official story.
My greatest mentor was Bill Moyer, who wrote Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements which indeed maps out the stages of social movements, explains how activists can play key roles effectively or ineffectively at the various stages, and how all social movements pull one another long. Bill recently died of liver cancer, but he had a tremendous effect on those who worked with him and came across his ideas. He looked at individual, social and global transformation from multiple angles and how we can move out of the "dominator" mode, which we unconsciously adopt growing up in a dysfunctional system, to a "peaceful" mode. He taught people how to really "listen" without feeling compelled to defend to the death their own "worldview or perception of themselves." Bill taught me that one person can start a social movement by questioning "something" that others accept without "question."
Recently, I saw the film J.F.K., again, and realized how insightful it is into the world of covert operations, and saw how understanding the assassination of President Kennedy, leads to insights into the why, and how of the attacks which occurred on September 11th. In the film, Mr. X, played by Donald Sutherland, meets with Jim Garrison, the New Orleans District Attorney who bravely launched the only case against one of the conspirators behind the assassination. Mr. X is based on the actual person, Fletcher Prouty who spent 9 of his 23 year military career in the Pentagon (1955-1964): 2 years with the Secretary of Defense, 2 years with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and 5 years with Headquarters, U.S. Air Force. In 1955 he was appointed the first "Focal Point" officer between the CIA and the Air Force for Clandestine Operations per National Security Council Directive 5412. He was Briefing Officer for the Secretary of Defense (1960-1961), and for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mr. X patiently explains how special operations work to Garrison in the film. In real life after he resigned from the government in 1964, Fletcher Prouty, wrote many articles and two books- The Secret Team, JFK, the CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, and spoke with my dear friend, Dave Ratcliffe, who recorded their conversations and edited them into a book entitled -Understanding Special Operations And Their Impact on The Vietnam War Era 1989 Interview with L. Fletcher Prouty Colonel USAF (Retired)." One of the key points that Prouty, Garrison, Ratcliffe made in the film, book, real life, was that the fingerprints of a special operation were the things that "didn't happen." For example in the J.F.K. assassination, the Secret Service was called off that day, standard operating procedures to protect the President "especially in hostile territory like Dallas" were violated, something that only could have been done at the highest levels of government, for example, by the General who sent Prouty out of the way, to Antarctica, when Kennedy was killed in Texas.
On September 11th, the most damning evidence pointing to the complicity of top U.S. officials was the utter failure of our multi trillion dollar Defense Department to stop those planes from crashing into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It was a violation of the most standard operating procedures. General Myers, the top Pentagon official at the time, testified that no planes were scrambled until after the Pentagon was hit. There were no reprimands or enquiries, no one lost their job for goofing up that day. Myers was then elevated to the highest military post in the country. There had to have been stand- down orders issued at the highest level of government on that day. This was never seriously examined or questioned by the mainstream press or Congress! The alibi for the general failure of our expensive military/intelligence complex "We were so surprised, totally unprepared... " has been shown to be a complete lie.
In the immediate wake of 9-11, however, the lies were flung out right and left, recorded by numerous media outlets, swallowed and disseminated by the "Press."
A great peace activist, John Galtung, when asked once what the difference was between the Russians and the Americans replied, "In Russia, when people hear the Party Line, they know it is the Party Line. In America they don't."
The sheer audacity of trying to pull such a stunt in the "information age"is one of the most frightening things about 9-11. The Press hardly bats an eyelash accepting, without question, the official narrative and lies. In a pamphlet, "NBC Spins 911", George Trinkaus focuses his analysis on NBC and writes
"Media critics commonly talk about "bias" or "distortion," but what we are dealing with here is proactive propaganda. NBC is spinning 911 out of whole cloth. Rigorous censorship is, of course, essential."
What doesn't fit into the official storyline, might appear once on live television, but is never referred to again. The culprits, themes, are planted from the very beginning, as all planes are grounded. The skies are silent for days; commercials disappear from the airwaves, as a continual bombardment of war propaganda and terror stream into the psyches and homes of Americans, compelling us to accept THE BIG LIE and to realize that as a consequence of the trusting, vulnerabilities of our open democracy, changes must occur to regain any sense of security; we must sacrifice our freedoms.
George W. Bush wasn't joking when he said on September 11th - "Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward," he just neglected to say who was really behind it, who profited the most from the attacks, and why he was going along with it.
I used to wonder whether those in power were evil or stupid or both, until someone kindly pointed out that "Evil is applied stupidity." The utter shortsightedness of short-term profit and neglecting the dire consequences of violent, criminal acts leads me to believe that it would be a kindness to rein in the war mongers, so eager to wreak havoc upon the world.
We asked Congress to investigate; we gave them the information; they went along with Bush and Cheney's request for a limited "Inquiry" overseen by the very men who breakfasted with the Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmad, the "Moneyman" who had $100,000 sent to Mohammed Atta, whom the FBI identified as the lead pilot in the WTC attacks.
The problem is that 9-11 can't simply be blamed on the Republicans drooling over the oil and heroin profits from Central Asia. There is a continuity to American Foreign Policy which transcends "party lines." CIA Director George Tenet served Clinton and Bush. Zbigniew Brzezinski who hatched the idea of destabilizing the U.S.S.R. with Islamic Extremists, and launched the first covert operations in Afghanistan under President Carter was a Counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Professor of American Foreign Policy, National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, Trustee and founder of the Trilateral Commission, International advisor of several major US/Global corporations, member of NSC-Defense Department Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy Under Ronald Reagan, The Council on Foreign Relations 1988, Co-chairman of the Bush National Security Advisory Task Force, Brzezinski is also a past attendee and presenter at several conferences of the Bliderberger Group. If we look at the long range planning documents, Zbigniew Brzezinski's own book, The Grand Chessboard, which details the need for an event like "Pearl Harbour" of "9-11" to gain public support for an imperialistic war; we can see how the groundwork for "9-11" was laid out over a series of decades.
The heart of our global economy is a war economy, weapons, drugs are a major part of the financial system. In order to justify an enormous military budget, the U.S. needs credible enemies, which is why we fund, train, arm so many countries, and created a "terrorist threat" to replace the waning "Communist threat." Al Qaeda was a creation of the CIA and Saudi Arabia funded to the tune of eight billion through the Pakistani ISI, in the biggest CIA operation in history. "Terrorism" is a complementary tool of "Corporate Globalization" seeking to destroy secular governments, dissolve national boundaries, destabilize regions where mercenary forces and global corporations can operate supreme.
Al Qaeda is a CIA asset, and is being supported militarily in selected parts of the world while loudly targeted, conveniently, where the U.S. wishes to deploy forces and build bases. Now Iraq, enemy of Al Qaeda, is the "new enemy," but with the broad stroke and support of the propagandists- Bin Laden, Saddam... they are all the same...
There are excellent books documenting the details, The War on Freedom by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, War and Globalization by Michel Chossudovsky is another. The French book, Forbidden Truth looks at how John O'Neil, at the FBI had investigation of Al Qaeda blocked by "multinational oil interests" and U.S. officials, which prompted him to resign. The composition of the National Security Council serves the interests of multinational oil companies more than the genuine security interests of the American people. Congressional testimony and the installation of Unocal, advisors as the head of the Interim government of Afghanistan and the American representative betray key reasons for "the war on that country." A bumper crop of heroin was also planted and harvested in a timely manner which certainly will please Wall Street. The Bin Laden/Bush family financial ties are extensive and outrageous especially since the Carlyle group profits so enormously from the Defense industry. Coincidence theories look more and more outlandish as the dots conveniently line themselves up. The Anthrax attacks and scare were dropped by the Press when the path led to U.S. military labs. The profits made on insider trading, that story, too disappeared despite the substantial amount of money made on the sale of puts before the attack and in the financial transactions that went through the World Trade Center on the actual day. Certainly the Patriot Bill wasn't written in response to September 11th, the legislators didn't even have a chance to read it, before they were threatened, bullied into passing it.
Then there are questions about the planes, themselves, who was really on them, and who was in control of them, and what really happened, and why were the black boxes and all information sealed from the public in the interests of National Security?
And any look into the buildings, the collapses of the towers and other buildings, where explosions occurred, which couldn't be blamed on the airplanes, that information, too is shrouded in secrecy.
Then there are the alleged highjackers, several of them mysteriously still alive and kicking in different parts of the world which casts even more doubt on the "cover story."
I believe the hope is that the truth might become buried under avalanches of mis-information and disinformation, that people won't dig to try to understand for themselves, what happened, whose lying, whose telling the truth, what is the best course of action to take in light of the actual situation facing us.
When things are cloudy and confused, people don't act. If they feel they do have a handle on where they are and what needs to be done, then they can do something.
I believe that at this time in history one or two enlightened people is woefully inadequate, we need five billion, even one billion would be a tremendous help! We need collective enlightenment, collective action, direct, participatory democracy, in the style of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez... simple things that anyone, everyone can do, an upswelling, leaderful movement. Ironically, I learned the key leadership principles from some corporate guys, but I think all activists should learn them-Challenge the System
Inspire a Vision
Model the Way
Enable others to Act
Encourage the Heart
We can shatter the paradigm of Fear with Humor and Love and Truth. There was another film, The Name of the Rose, about some bizare murders in a monastery in the fourteenth century, at the height of the Inquisition. At the heart of the mystery, one learns that the Church was trying to suppress a comedy, because it feared that humor, satire, would destroy its stranglehold of fear and terror and control over people. In the film, a man who had been tortured, laughed at the inquisitor, made fun of him, and emboldened the many to stand up to him.
The vast majority of small vigils which are happening throughout the country are going unreported. I know because I'm out in downtown Palo Alto every week with my enormous "REAL TERRORISTS- Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld..." banner, and I've been doing this for over a year and haven't been mentioned once in the local daily paper. There is a tremendous amount of creative resistance and humor, and art directed at "shrub," "ashkkkroft," and other powerholders at this time. Giant pretzels are being wielded by demonstrators. Michael Moore's work has emboldened millions. Laughing at Bush and his henchman, empowers people to act, to raise questions, to not silently witness the loss of their liberties and the attacks upon us and those people in other countries whose resources are coveted by the powerful interests whom the U.S. government serves...
P.S. On November 15, 2002, "The House, determined to make this the final day of its 107th Congress, worked well into the morning Friday, also approving a bill authorizing intelligence agency spending that includes creation of an independent commission to investigate the failure to anticipate the Sept. 11 attacks." The structure and composition of this commission looks like it was designed to be a whitewash. We are working to create a "People's Investigation of 9-11," a "9-11 Truth Alliance" to be sure to raise the questions the commission "overlooks," to bring forward "evidence, findings, that the commission "misses" or does not want to "see."
Dictatorships are always shrouded in secrecy.
Democracies demand accountability and transparency.
All depends now upon humanity's capacity to face, to comprehend, to see the truth of our history, of the current moment, and to democratize and hold accountable government, corporate and criminal behavior. Silence, blindness, would permit tyrants to seize world power at a tremendous cost to all Life.