What Gore Vidal had to say about September 11, 2001
By Gabriele Zamparini and Gore Vidal
Aug 28, 2007, 07:28
Even I question the ‘truth’ about 9/11
As it was easily predictable, Independent’s Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk’s latest column, Even I question the ‘truth’ about 9/11, generated a mixture of deafening silences, sarcastic responses and the usual choir of accusations of conspiracy theories.
In Bravo! Mr. Fisk – Robert Fisk and 9/11, praising Robert Fisk’s courage, I quoted Gore Vidal, “Apparently, ‘conspiracy stuff’ is now shorthand for unspeakable truth.”
This is what Gore Vidal had to say on those 11 September 2001 events. [Quoted from my documentary XXI CENTURY and book American Voices of Dissent]
GORE VIDAL: The United States is not a normal country. We are under… we are a homeland now, under military surveillance and military control. The president asked the Congress right after 9/11 not to conduct a major investigation as it might deter our search for terrorism wherever it may be in the world. So, Congress obediently rolled over. . . I remember Pearl Harbor. I was a kid then, and within three years of it I enlisted in the Army. That’s what we did in those days. We did not go off to the Texas Air Force and hide.
I realize the country has totally changed, that the government is not responsive to the people either in protecting us from something like 9/11, which they should’ve done, could’ve done, did not do. And then when it did happen, to investigate, investigate, investigate. So, I wrote two little books. One called Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, in which I try to go into why Osama bin Laden, if it were he or whoever it was—why it was done.
Then I wrote another one, Dreaming War, on why we were not protected at 9/11, which ordinarily would’ve led to the impeachment of the president of the United States, would allow it to happen. They said they had no information. Since then, every day the New York Times prints another mountain of people who said they had warned the government, they had warned the government. President Putin of Russia; he had warned us. President Mubarak of Egypt; he had warned us. Three members of Mossad claimed that they had come to the United States to warn us that some time in September something unpleasant might come out of the sky in our direction. Were we defended? No, we were not defended. Has this ever been investigated? No, it hasn’t.
There was some attempt at the mid-term election. There was a pro forma committee in Congress, which has done nothing thus far. What are we? Three years later. This is shameful. The media, which is controlled by the great conglomerates which control the political system, has done an atrocious job of reporting. Though sometimes good stories get in. I’ve worn my eyes out studying the Wall Street Journal, which, despite its dreadful editorial policies, is a pretty good newspaper of record, which the New York Times is not.
If you read the Wall Street Journal very carefully, you can pretty much figure out what happened that day. At the time of the first hijacking, according to FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] law, it is mandatory, within four minutes of hijacking, [that] fighter planes from the nearest airbase military base go up to scramble; that means go up and force the plane down, find out who they are, find out what’s happening. For one hour and fifty minutes, I think it was, no fighter plane went up. During that hour and twenty minutes, we lost the two towers and one side of the Pentagon. Why didn’t they go up? No description from the government, no excuse. A lot of mumbling stories, which were then retracted, and new stories replaced them. That, to me, was the end of the republic. We no longer had a Congress, which would ask questions, which it was in place to do, of the Executive.
We have a commander-in-chief who likes strutting around in military uniform, which no previous commander-in-chief ever did, as they’re supposed to be civilians keeping charge of the military. This thing is surrealistic now, and it is getting nastier and nastier. This government is culpable, if nothing less, of negligence. Why were we not protected, with all the airbases [and] fighter planes up and down the eastern seaboard? Not one of them went aloft while the hijackings took place. Finally, two from Otis Field in Massachusetts arrived at the Twin Towers. I think at the time the second one was hit. If anybody had been thinking, they would’ve gone on to Washington to try and prevent the attack on the Pentagon. They went back to Otis, back to Massachusetts. So, I ask these questions, which Congress should ask, does not ask; which the press should ask. But it’s too frightened.
Also, in perpetual war for perpetual peace; that’s another question that goes unanswered. The head of the Pakistan Secret Service was in Washington a week or so before 9/11. While he was there, and it was just a ceremonial visit with the head of the CIA, they work together. And he sent back word to Islamabad for one of his henchmen to wire $100,000 to Mohammed Atta in the United States, which was duly done. The FBI—I think it was the Wall Street Journal, that’s where I got this story from—only said American Secret Services found out about this. They complained to the Pakistani government. What is the head of your Secret Service in Washington telling to send $100,000 to a guy that we now know was the lead hijacker just a week before 9/11? Times of India published the whole story. The Wall Street Journal did a pretty good version for them. Now, shouldn’t that be examined? Wouldn’t Congress be interested in what this guy in Washington, meeting with all of our top secret people, says? “Okay, send him $100,000”? Not one more word. Not one more word.
Now, in a country with any curiosity, in a public that was informed of anything, there would be a great deal of outcry. I couldn’t imagine this happening in England. There’d be questions in Parliament. Papers would be full of it until it was solved. This couldn’t happen in Italy, which dearly loves a conspiracy, or Germany. In the United States everybody listens to 19th-century FOX TV News, in which a bunch of loons just scream and scream and scream. And with each scream they tell another lie. How are we ever going to have an informed citizenry? Which means, then, how can we have an informed election?
No, I don’t have conspiracy theories to offer or to defend but even I question the ‘truth’ about 9/11.