I few days ago I wrote a review on Fox TV’s “Conspiracy: Did We Land on the Moon?” I was also asked to review Barrie Zwicker’s “The Great Conspiracy: the 9/11 News Special You Never Saw.” In it, Zwicker attempts to show that the tragic events of 9/11 were, in fact, orchestrated by our very own government. This is my review.
In (mis)quoting Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “The greatest thing we have to fear is fear itself,” Zwicker opens with “Fear may be the greatest single motivator. It can serve us and it can save us, but ill-founded fear – that’s another story.”
And there, in the first 2 minutes of this “documentary” Zwicker has provided the irony of his own theories. In attempting to show that instead of fighting fear, “today’s leaders traffic in it, chiefly the fear of terrorism,” he simply creates another fear - the fear that our government is somehow duping us in order to gain further control over us.
First off, I have to really wonder about the validity of someone’s claims when they cannot even get one of the most well-known quotes of American history right in the first two minutes of their program.
There are a couple of things that Zwicker gets exactly correct right off the bat. It would seem that a person’s level of patriotism is directly correlated to that person’s level of support for our military endeavors or what our government deems best. I agree that this should not necessarily be the case. Someone can still be extremely patriotic and not agree with the reasons for our being in
What is the great conspiracy? According to Zwicker, it is the “fact” of “bloody terrorist events carried out, not by foreign, but by our governments to trick the public into supporting war and police state agendas,” namely as evidenced in the 9/11 tragedy. Since in conspiracy theories such as this, you’ll hear the term “police state” quite frequently, let’s pause for a minute and define what exactly is meant by the term. The American Heritage Dictionary defines a police state as “a state in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic, and political life of the people, especially by means of a secret police force.” This is important to keep in mind.
Zwicker attempts to show how the
Next comes an historical misrepresentation from just before our involvement in WWII. No conspiracy theory is complete without some correlation to Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler and in this point, Zwicker does not disappoint. He recounts the burning of the Reichstag building in
Another claim made frequently by conspiracy theorists is that civil liberties have been reduced and dissent criminalized. But which civil liberties have been reduced has yet to be spelled out or detailed. Again, the ironic truth is that his dissenting “documentary” is still available for anyone to watch, conspiracy theory books are still available in bookstores, dissenting websites are still available, and authors of these works are not in jail. So much for a police state.
Zwicker makes what is perhaps the most ignorant statement when he says, “The designated scapegoats of 9/11 [the Muslim men] gained nothing positive from it.” Apparently, he is either completely ignorant of the teachings of radical Islam or is convinced that such a teaching is also a fabrication of the
As another example of linking one thing with another when it doesn’t necessarily follow is the statistic he gives from a Canadian study. The poll says that 63% of Canadians think that “individuals within the
The list and Zwicker’s droning goes on and includes such “facts” that the U.S. government had a “secretly contrived” hand in the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, the attack on Pearl Harbor, etc. Zwicker doesn’t provide any evidence whatsoever for these mentioned and the evidence that he does attempt to show does not provide proof or evidence of any kind other than that the government could have done such and such. And since it has been done before (argues Zwicker), then obviously “it wouldn’t be a first” for the Bush administration to do so either.
Zwicker finally gets to the main point of the “documentary” in discussing the government’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks. He quotes varying sources and documents, and includes an interview with Michael C. Ruppert, another conspiracy theorist, author and investigator. The ultimate motive behind the attacks is, of course, oil or the growing lack thereof. Once again, however, the problem with the so-called “evidence” and “facts” presented here is simply someone taking one thing said or done, reading into it their own preconceived notions of what actually happened, and presenting the results as “Here’s what actually happened!” However, this line of thinking takes a mistake and puts malice into the intents of those who made the mistake. It attempts to claim an inside scoop into what those who made the mistake were thinking, feeling, and wanting.
Zwicker questions what Bush knew and when he knew it. He begins with the classroom whisper in Bush’s ear that purportedly informed Bush of what was going on. Zwicker points out that this whisper came “20 minutes after the first aircraft smashed into the WTC, 18 minutes after CNN breaks into regular programming.” Later, in attempting to show that Bush knew about what was going on before he even got to the school, Zwicker quotes a report by ABC’s John Cochran in which Cochran claims to have asked Bush as he left his hotel, “Do you know what’s going on in New York?” to which Bush replies in the affirmative. Here’s the problem I have with that. Timelines put Bush leaving his hotel at approximately 8:30 a.m. The first plane did not hit the WTC until 8:46 a.m., a full 15 minutes later. How could the reporter know what had happened in
In yet another misrepresentation, Zwicker quotes the 9/11 Commission Report saying, “The Commission imagines, page 39, that as late as 9:30, quote ‘no one in the (president’s) traveling party had any information…that other aircraft were hijacked or missing.’ Wrong! The Commission imagines that it can get away with such claims, even though millions of people saw T.V. news reports about the hijackings on CNN beginning at 8:48.” Zwicker would have us believe that the Commission is saying the President didn’t know about either of the first two plane crashes. But what does the report actually say and what timeframe were they talking about? In the report just a few paragraphs before the one Zwicker quotes, it clearly states that the president was told about the second plane. The “other aircraft” mentioned are NOT the first two planes as Zwicker would want us to believe as evidenced by his reference to CNN coverage of those two crashes, but rather the report’s focus is the remaining two aircraft, the first of which did not crash until 9:43. The report is clear on this and I have a hard time believing Zwicker did not read the few paragraphs that came before the quote. Yet he seemingly purposefully misleads by insisting the report is talking about the first two aircraft.
In the end, was there some incredible incompetence in how the events and subsequent investigations were handled? Absolutely. But does this incompetence necessarily require both a pre-existing knowledge and an active role in bringing the events about? Absolutely not! And here Zwicker fails miserably in trying to prove his theories.
Zwicker does end on a correct note and one worth repeating: “Upholding the U.S. Constitution obligates one to guard against enemies, foreign and domestic. The founders of the country included that for a good reason. They knew that for centuries, governments had turned toxic. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and not just from outside threats.”