by Michael Gilson de Lemos

Americans have the self-respect to defend themselves in the wake of the 9-11 horror. Many countries lack that spine. But that’s not the issue before us. I remember my father’s words: Can’t tell if you’re being fooled?

When I visited the WTC ruins, my three-year-old looked about saying: Wherdy go? Wherdy building go? Many sober Americans now ask the same question of many things. Some serious high-up people privately wonder if 9-11 was in part a hoax, a demented scheme by rogue elements in government within the government.

I don’t lather over conspiracy theories. But this entire affair begins to resemble a Copperfield disappearance act. Mesmerized by vanishing White Rabbits we look up and the entire Statue of Liberty is gone. Official involvement in execution or at least cover-up? I now wonder publicly what’s going on:

The Context blackout.

The context of events on September 11 has vanished. Unmentioned is Al Qaeda trying to get rid of bin Laden and the US refused, simultaneous downing of spy-planes over Iraq and assassinations creating a certain atmosphere; revelations the CIA had almost assassinated bin Laden while the FBI was forbidden to investigate leads. My wife was as it was collecting information that very morning and kept printouts of computer sites and news release sequences no longer available. Why were many WTC info sites blacked out at 8AM – to be restored later with missing info? Why were we in 59 minutes assured bin Laden was guilty even before cautions for people to stay in their homes went out? Why were concerns by foreign intelligence agencies that there were other groups involved now in the memory hole? Wherdy go?

The missing players.

Why were these usually packed AM flights all nearly empty? Why is there still no clear list on who died or if other passengers were diverted? Initial reports of witnesses said the Pentagon was hit by a van bomb, the first tower by a small plane and analysis of the fuzzy films seems to support or not contradict that, but we hear no more? In fact, where’s the plane debris, especially at the Pentagon, as a French best seller is asking? Why the black-out on the Flight 93 black-box? Why has the government remained silent on the replaced FAA controllers with NORAD persons while in Congressional testimony NORAD still has no non-conflicting explanation of what its people were doing on that day? I was on the phone with people in Israel who denied there were chanting Palestinians in the streets that day, they were at home, TV-agog like everyone else. And above all, where are the hijackers? The government produced lists reportedly unsupported by manifests and since said to be incorrect; the leader is reported alive and in hiding; publicity on the coming trial of the alleged surviving co-conspirator under-reports that defense attorneys are forbidden to take notes of secret prosecution evidence while the defendant was himself in government custody since a month before 9-11; pristine passports and confessions appear where black-boxes are expected soon denounced as government hoaxes. Why did phoning passengers say things inconsistent with their identities, such as the fellow who identified himself to his mama with his full name? Planes, passengers, controllers, soldiers, hijackers are missing. Wherdy go?

Terrorists everywhere, government nowhere.

Terrorist definitions have been subtly changed so not having terrorist objectives, lack of evidence, or smoking a joint proves terrorism under every bed, yet the alleged terrorists had red-carpet-visa special treatment or unfindable visas that just now turn up. Meanwhile, as on the day of JFK’s assassination, government is strangely present by absence. Why was Alan Greenspan being abroad reported on services such as Yahoo before the President’s whereabouts? Why were top people not in Washington? How is it that the Army and CIA demand more power though they couldn’t even defend their headquarters in WTC (CIA surveillance, and some say, torture) and the Pentagon itself? Latin sources reported flight 93 shot down while the US claimed it was still in the air, and we hear no more of eyewitnesses who were briefly on TV saying they saw something strange. Even success disappeared. The government claimed there were two more attempted hijackings foiled on the ground, and then we hear nothing after 1 PM. Where are those planes? It boasted of arrested bomb-terrorists on the George Washington bridge, of rounded-up Israeli fanatics then nothing. Wherdy go?

· Wild Palms. In that film Stone portrays a conflict between the Libertarian friends and pro-government fathers who stage phony terrorist attacks, put freedom-lovers in prison clinics, and where people are beaten and whisked away before uncaring onlookers. Is this the growing reality? Where are the 2500-5000 Wild Palms Patriot-Act arrestees? Why won’t the government release names, numbers, trial dates? Why’re victims relatives on TV been replaced by glorifying the most minor bureaucrat? Why does the reason for war keep changing until, in the incredible words of the Defense Secretary, its purpose is to show we must live with a war that has no end in sight? Where’s the parade of evidence we hear one day, is dismissed by independent experts, and then heard of no more, from risible mistranslations to convenient confessions? Why are we seeing little foreign press feedback, not told why allied support is evaporating, that many in Northern Alliance are pro-communist thugs who’ll cause headaches to come, that the US Government is in fact supporting their drug activities? When it was discovered the Anthrax scare was apparently master-minded by Capitol Police, why do we hear no more? Military claims of victory are everywhere, but reporters on ground say there are not hundreds of Taliban terrorists dead, so where’re the bodies? While towns such as Uruzgan where there are bodies are of, oops, anti-Taliban Afghanis? Where’s the budget surplus; the Enron billions supposedly tied up in financing government oil interests in Afghanistan; the CIA millions that financed the Taliban in the first place; the promised explanation for why the Draconian, Hitleresque Patriot Act was ready in days when it usually takes months to craft such a documents and Congress illegally passed it unread since it had not yet been printed? Wherdy go?


Argentina made dissidents disappear. Now US buildings vanish in plain sight. What destroyed the supposedly jet-crash-proof wonder-towers? Apparently, the laws of physics vanished too as some experts say the collapse is inexplicable unless there were bombs inside like the scheme claimed by the man convicted in the 1993 bombing, saying he was a US Government patsy in some sort of cover-up? Now numerous commissions investigate the mystery. There’s just one problem, the building evidence remains are vanishing, carted off to Asia (!) even as we’re told to seal our borders. Distinguished groups, including a firefighter’s association, have denounced this under-reported dismantling of the most remarkable crime scene in memory, and with it the chance for firm answers. Questioned, local politicians shrug. Wherdy go?

The outcry in the JFK assassination was that for plausible reasons meaningful evidence was not only contorted but vanished, even as in the hysteria the country was led to a massive government expansion in the opposite direction of JFK’s tentative anti-bureaucracy. Oswald, Witness statements, Film, JFK and then his brain disappeared.

A crime needs motivation, means, method. So where are bin Ladenâ even as his vehement denials are censored by the US press for questionable videos? Like a room of Cheshire cats, critical things from 5000 residents to 5 rascals, planes, passengers, buildings, bodies, billions are, if not mysteriously vanished, seemingly not quite there. As revelations of Bush/bin Laden business ties arise, bin Laden fades away, like legendary desert prophets, background actors, or CIA moles.