Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 - Just what do we know?

So, today is the day. It's been ten years since the Twin Towers were dropped and thousands of lives were lost... and saved. There is much about memorials. And this is good, we should remember, people should find closure, commiseration, compassion. And I prefer to see the towers in all their splendor, like this:

I'm so tired of seeing them on fire, or collapsing, or someone repeating ad nauseum "we should never forget!" and all that.  Yeah, of course, goes without saying. Today, I saw a bumper sticker that said: "Demand 9/11 Truth". That is such an ignorant comment. The only Truth in that statement, is that there is more to the story than we hear discussed openly. But was there some conspiracy? Did we attack ourselves, or set ourselves up to be attacked, so we can go to war, or get oil, or whatever?

I get so annoyed with the ignorance of people with these conspiracies. Conspiracies are the domain of the ignorant who are too lazy to go find not just the truth, but what is going on. Why? Because, it takes effort, and though. Conspiracies, are for lazy people. Truth is for the people who want to know and pay attention. Did you know that most of what is going on is right in front of us, most of the time? Sometimes, surely, you have to go looking for it, but much of the time, it is all out there, you just have to choose to listen, and listen at the right times, and at the right places. It's not that difficult, just use your mind. Consider who is best to hear an unbiased report from. But bias, also leads to the truth.

Still, it's not what has happened, that we need to remember. "Remember 9/11!" Yes, and?

You see, it's what has happened, that is going on that needs to be, not so much remembered, but paid attention to; because it's an ongoing, visceral thing. Then as now you see, what is most important is, the future.

So, what we need to do is to understand what happened, not just bleed over what happened, but to understand why and how it came to be, where we are now, where we are headed, and what we can expect to come. Those, are the most important things in the here and now. Talk about what happened leads us no where. It happened. People died. People, will die again. Actually, people die all the time but no one cares. People die of starvation, lack of medicine and medical care. Group them together, however, kill a lot of people on one day, have a named bad element involved who instigated and carried it out, and now people want a response, want it never to happen again, and want accountability.

Kind of hypocritical. Don't you think? But, okay. Still, we need to protect our futures, and that means protecting our assets, our people, our economy, our way of life.

I find it annoying when people talk about things like 9/11, how they talk about it. How circumspect, how narrow and specific to the event they talk. What happened with 9/11 had to do with a lot more than 9/11. It had to do with other terrorists attacks over the years previous. It had to do with the people who were running around the world doing things, who weren't stopped, tracked down, caught or killed. It also had to do with SOP: Standard Operating Procedures, as well as, Status Quo, how things are (or were), and what was accepted as "normal".

Allow me to explain....

WWII ended and the new world began. Yes, World War Two; it ended and there was a new paradigm in the world. Relax, I'll keep this as brief as possible and if you know it, I'm sorry, if you don't, you should and you should have known this a long, long, time ago. At the point of WWII ending, rather than having Nazis and Fascists to deal with, we know had a new enemy, our old (during WWII) ally. Stalin turned out to be the murderous tyrannical, paranoid psychopath we already knew him to be.

Enter, the KGB on the world stage, as well as the CIA. The World Wide Chess game was afoot. The Brits had been playing this game with the Soviets for years and we learned from them. During WWII there was a secret organization, even before America entered the war, known as the ABC (America, Britain, Canada), fragments of which evolved into the OSS, and later, the CIA.

The KGB has now been replaced by the FSB.

OSS Shoulder Insignia

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) of World War II, which was dissolved in October 1945 and its functions transferred to the State and War Departments. Eleven months earlier, in 1944, William J. Donovan, the OSS's creator, proposed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to create a new organization directly supervised by the President. The Central Intelligence Agency was created by Congress with the passage of the National Security Act of 1947.

This worked out pretty well for a long time. But things began to change by circumstance and with help from the Soviets. The 50s were set up to become paranoid. Let's skip the 60s because that is a whole book in itself.  There was a lot going on in the 70s in the middle east and much of that was a left over from the end of WWII. Technology advanced exponentially since the Space Race in the 60s. We felt pretty safe in the 80s and a belief became prevalent that technology could solve all our problems. Including, the cost of espionage. A seminal mistake that continued on into the 90s and in 2011, we saw the end result of our laziness, our over inflated image of ourselves and what technology could do for us, and greed.

We believed that we had friends in the Middle East. Israel, once we started to become more aligned with them, an alignment that has been too overplayed for decades, our historical "friends" in Iran, The Shah, and in Iraq later, Saddam Hussein, and so on it went.

The CIA was allowed to grow complacent, it began to be inexperienced, understaffed, underfunded. The media played it off as a bad entity due to the mistakes made in the 60s and general fiction genres of prose and film. A favorite of the Film Industry, James Bond, in the 70s, was so poorly thought of that Roger Moore was brought in to play Bond as the buffoon. It was the only way to continue the franchise. One can indeed tell much about a society from its media, News, Film, TV/Cable, magazines, etc.

During this zombification of the CIA, we lost touch with counties in the world, what was happening, what we needed to know, how we can fix issues that were festering under the surface, and in some cases, on top of the surface. Why weren't there those inside the CIA who knew what was going on? There were, of course. Robert Baer being only one. He was one of the CIA Officers deep in the business who repeatedly ran up against the complacency of Government. Rather than follow leads, he was told to do nothing. And nothing always leads to something.

Some of the mistakes made, to spell if out for you if you haven't already gathered what those things were: We thought we could spy on the cheap; we thought we could spy using technology (satellites rather than humans gathering intel and making friends, contacts, and agents); basically, not having a functional network in EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

And so, when things were building, we had no inkling. And because of management wanting to save money, agents were cut to the bare minimum, or less; and agents who saw what was happening were told to shut up. Satellites were used for intel and it was believed that they had in depth coverage of things in reality, we later "found" were little or no intel.

The point of all this is this, in a way? We kind of did this to ourselves. Of course, we did NOT fly planes into the Twin Towers, that conspiracy theory just annoys me. But we did, misuse or sometimes abuse people, cultures, countries, and in many cases, it wasn't even America per se, but American Corporations, their greed and their lobbies that caused things to happen.

We blinded our intelligence agencies, by giving them "eyes in the sky", a technology that is incredibly useful, if used in the right ways and by knowing its limitations. We blinded our intelligence agencies by cutting funding, pulling agents, not training them appropriately, losing valuable agents from WWII and not continuing much of their wise  knowledge and tactics. And finally by putting the wrong people in charge of our intelligence. When anything is taken over by management, it is usually the sign that things are over.

9/11 was a wake up call. Finally, we had to pay attention. Europe has thought for many years that we (America) has been living in a fantasy land, deluding ourselves by our distance and two oceans on either side of us, and our power of economy and military strength, and perception by the world that we were the promised land.

When 9/11 happened, we had CIA Officers on the ground in Afghanistan within eleven days. They liaised with local tribes and military to defeat the Taliban. It wasn't clean, nor easy, but it got done. How we muddled our way though it is more a tribute to the Officers in the middle of it all, rather than our military brilliance, strategic planning or the "wisdom" of our Leaders. Our once again trying to win a war from the halls of Washington DC, as we had tried and failed to do in Viet Nam, was again preparing us for failure only inhibited by luck, perseverance, clever maneuvers and a strong indigenous military force fighting for their own country. We did not kill or even find Bin Laden for a decade; but we broke the back of the Taliban that year.

In the many years since, after trying to rebuild our intelligence infrastructure and build an entirely new national security system, possible 75% of which is useless for its intended purpose, we have indeed seen al Qaeda's back broken and the loss of all its chief leaders.

So, what does it take to win a war on Terrorism? Can we do anything about it?


What this all comes down to is changing how we go about things, like not supporting a country (Israel) who is abusing a local populace (Palestinians). Not supporting poverty by acting on and letting people know we are trying to raise the level of existence for every man, woman and child on this planet. We need to care for everyone, not just ourselves. And we need to care, for ourselves.

A prime element in this is Education. Also, seeing that people can eat and survive, can earn a living, can find medical care, and are not abused by corporations, governments, or leaders, either with out or especially, with in, their own countries.

Sounds like a lot doesn't it? But to date, we have not even done what we could have done. And that is a key element as to why we have ended up with things as they are and as they have been. But understand that they don't need to be.

So, let's start to protect ourselves the right way. Let's start to pay attention. Only then, maybe then, we can avoid the next 9/11.

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