A BuzzFlash News Analysis
Notes from the Grassy Knoll
A BuzzFlash Analysis by guest writer William Rivers Pitt
April 24, 2002
There's a tree blooming outside my window, a riot of violet trembling in the warming breeze. The ground in its shadow is offering up a new carpet of grass, so green it seems cartoonish after the dry, cold winter. No cloud has dared yet today to sully the blue sky. My cat sits beside me and watches what I watch. She chitters when birds fly by, dreams of the hunt in her yellow eyes.
The glory of springtime in New England, a time that defies proper description, has returned at last. It is the region's most fleeting season; too quickly it is bunted aside by the heat and humidity of summer, but for a week or two each year Boston is a paradise of color and balm. The Fall lasts longer here, but that season is about slow death and the mental coming-to required to survive the snowy season. Spring is about life, new energy, and the birth-smell of earth as it is turned by newly grown flowers.
Every year of my life, this season has kindled a fire of joy in my chest. I become irresponsible, thoughtless, heeding nothing but the need to be outside and barefoot and warm in less clothes. My pale skin becomes freckled -- an Irish leopard on the prowl -- as the planet and I turn with smiling face to the mother sun.
This season is different. I am heavy with woe, and the weight of fear in my breast makes it difficult to breathe the sparkling air. I look at that bright blue sky and am reminded of a September morning. The sky looked the same on that day until it was stained with soot and ash and blood. I am afraid of blue skies now, and tremble at the planes that cross it.
I wish with all my soul to be innocent again. I wish I could accept simple words from simple men. I wish I could believe the horrors we endured seven months ago came because of evil people who hate our freedom. I wish the act of shopping could cure me of my sorrow. How easy life would be in this season of new life to be able to stand beside the President, wrapped in a feeling of confidence and patriotism. With us or against us, he said. I wish I could be with him, oh how I wish I could be on his side of that line in the sand he drew.
Instead, on this warm and greening day I am on the wrong side of that line, an agitator, jumping at shadows as I choke on lies. I made a terrible decision, you see. Rather than wrap myself in the American flag, rather than surrender to the horror of September 11th, rather than accept those simple words, I chose to seek answers. I refused to accept dubious explanations and began searching for some hard truth.
I found it, and it has given me no peace.
I learned of rich natural gas deposits around the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan. I learned of American petroleum giant Unocal's project to create a pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan and to a warm water port where that could be exported and sold. I learned of how the project was halted after the embassy bombings in 1998. I learned that Afghanistan's post-Taliban leader, Hamid Karzai, was once a Unocal consultant. I learned that America's new envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, was also a Unocal consultant, and was in fact deeply involved in the Unocal project back in 1998.
I learned of the Bush administration's vigorous and hard-fisted negotiations with the Taliban, begun almost immediately after the 2000 election, to re-start the Unocal pipeline project. I learned from the British press that the Taliban were balking, and that threats of war were levied against the Taliban by the Bush administration if they did not go along with the project. These reports surfaced in August of 2001, and were roundly ignored by the American media.
All this information was projected against the screen of my previous knowledge: the Bush administration is one made almost entirely of former energy corporation executives and operatives. The administration's priorities -- from the tax cut to the energy bill -- have been geared exclusively towards advancing the fortunes of that industry.
I learned that the simple act of putting two and two together can be a wretched experience. I came to believe that the Bush administration's desire to ram this pipeline down the throat of the Taliban, a desire framed by threats of war, may well have precipitated the September 11th attacks. In short, 9/11 was a pre-emptive strike. I believe the aftermath of those attacks have not changed the priorities of the administration one bit -- the installation of Karzai and the nomination of Khalilzad prove beyond doubt that the pipeline project remains front and center on the to-do list for the Enron White House.
I came to believe all of this not because I had it explained to me by anyone in a position of authority. I came to believe all this because of the pick-and-shovel research I performed over a series of long weeks and months. I despair of living long enough to see any aspect of the information I have gleaned reported by the mainstream American media, or described by a well-known American politician. Seven months have passed since that September morning, and not one Congressional or executive investigation has come forward to offer an explanation.
Those politicians that do dare to demand an explanation for 9/11, those that dare to speak aloud that Bush's people may have been able to prevent the attacks and are currently profiting from them, are burned in effigy by the press and by fellow politicians. Cynthia McKinney, a House member from Georgia, gave a radio interview at the beginning of April in which she spoke these very words. She has since been pilloried from all sides, and the conservative Southeastern Legal Foundation has begun a campaign to see her sanctioned by the House Committee on Standards of Conduct.
When Rep. McKinney's statements were offered up to White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer for comment, he responded with unrestrained disdain. "All I can tell you is the congresswoman must be running for the hall of fame of the Grassy Knoll Society," he said, and that was that. In one sentence, Fleischer attempted to discredit anyone asking hard questions about 9/11. Seek the truth behind that terrible day and you are a wild conspiracy theorist, a fool on the fringe reading tea leaves with your head wrapped in tinfoil to block transmissions from satellites operated by the Illuminati.
Yet I believe. I cannot leave aside the wretched addition, that collision of two plus two which has robbed me of sleep and brought more gray to my hair. I may be wrong. Ms. McKinney may be wrong. In my heart and soul, I pray that I am, because being right in this matter will be acid on my spirit. Until I see the proof of my error, however, I will stand firm. I read no tea leaves and the tinfoil remains in the drawer. I am an ordinary American who can read, and the threads of data I have found cannot be ignored.
Civil War staff officer once noted that General Grant constantly wore
the expression of a man who had made up his mind to ram his head through
a stone wall. I have seen a similar look staring back at me from my bathroom
mirror. It is the look of a man standing on that grassy knoll, a man whose
springtime has been stolen from him. The beauty of this new season has
not warmed the coldness in my heart. I do not want to be here. Yet here
I am, and here I shall remain. If you see me weeping there, turn your
face away. I cannot help my tears, and they will soon stop. They always
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