Today, Friday the 13th, Erin Myers and I went to the Pentagon. Leafletting is illegal there, so we brought signs. Erin held a 6plus feet long patriotsquestion911.com. He held it over his head on a couple poles for 2 plus hours. I held "More Gin, Less Rummy". We started a little before 7AM and ended about 9 AM. It was a sublime experience.|
We stood near where I had stood a couple of years ago with the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker vigil. It's an interesting spot. A certain significant minority of passersby have no connection to the Pentagon. They either switch from subway to bus or vice versa at the US war HQ.
For 50 minutes we stood outside the cordoned off zone for vigilers. They had parade style moveable metal fences. I thought they had decided not to allow vigilers and was waiting to be shooed away. It turned out they were not so draconian, they just needed to reinforce their right to establish protest zones. It's not nearly as unreasonable as when the president ventures out. He's not allowed to see any signs. Everybody could see ours.
There were dozens of positive responses to my joke at the secretary's expense. Sometimes you'd hear people laugh loudly. Sometimes just the thumbs up sign. Sometimes a big smile. Sometimes just a glimmer. Erin and I agreed that Mr. Rumsfeld could easily be able to be amused rather than threatened by the joke. A couple of years ago when I first had the idea, I met a fellow who claimed acquaintance of Rummy in his Illinois days. He, at least, felt that Rummy would be amused. You can't tell me a man of those long years has never had to bear the brunt of a surname so close to the great temptation, "demon rum."
I must compare this feat of dozens of smiling peole to my many years of guerilla theater activities. I chose the standard of getting the police to smile as the highest honor for street theater. Pentagon workers are not actually police, but as the old saying goes, "it's close enough for government work."
The main reason we were there was Erin's sign. Three people came over separately to speak to us.
One fellow wanted us to speculate. He asked why anyone in the government would want to commit such an act. I said it was possible they wanted an excuse to invade Iraq. He asked why. I said it's possible they wanted the oil. Then I urged him to look at the site. I said he didn't even know my background to know whether listening to my speculation was worth his time, I reminded him that the 51 former government officials listed at the site had significant credentials, some even from DOD. He seemed to accept that.
Another fellow asked for clarification, and then claimed that issue wasn't his responsibility. I noted that as a citizen he should have great cause for concern if the official story was a lie. He seemed to see my point.
Then there was the colonel who had written 2 books. He was polite enough, but saddened me greatly. His main point was that since the 51 former government officials was such a tiny percentage of retired government workers, it's hardly impressive enough to examine. He said he's seen other 911 websites and thus need not look at this one.
He reminded me of a feeling I sometimes have that some of my closest relatives, who deserve praise for being as good to me as they are, don't seem to see any difference between a terrorist and a nonviolent activist. Almost like lumping Gandhi and Bin laden together. Maybe I'm being unfair to my relatives, but I was not unfair when I suggested this historian colonel was afraid to look at the evidence. He denied it, of course. Nevertheless, any so called, "debunker" should be encouraged to make actual critiques of what we assert, rather than calling us names. It's better to make it easier for those sophisticated at obfuscation to deal with the evidence we present.
Ultimately our scholar colonel was easily polite enough and deserving of praise on that front. He involved himself in sophistry over the Minetta testimony, but he was nowhere near mean spirited.
Ultimately, his biggest weakness was that he spent 15 minutes with 2 people who have no claim to professional authority on the issue so he could justify ignoring the assertions of some who can claim to have professional authority.
He did raise a discussion of Pierre Salinger's involvement in the analysis of the mystery of flight 800. His point was that Salinger was outside his "pay grade"( my words) , suggesting that Salinger's misplaced involvement should give other nonprofessionals pause.
Here's a respectful challenge to any debunker. Go through the patriots listed at patriotsquestion911.com and make your case that each of them should not be heeded.
The lone guard carrying an automatic weapon came over a little before 9. He asked if we were staying all day. I said no, we'd leave soon. He noted concern for our safety if he left. Erin exclaimed how little tension seemed to surround our effort. The guard reiterated how committed he was to free speech. I responded that one of the implications of a position like mine that 911 was an inside job is that they could do it again, declare martial law and round up people like me and put us in camps, which are already built. These camps exist ostensibly for illegal immigrants, but could still be used to hold activists born in this country, like me.
I realize I want very much to go back and raise the following question:
Since the rubble pile from the towers was so small, what sort of weapon could have caused whatever wasn't in the rubble to be transformed into dust sized particles. These tiny particles have wreaked havoc with the lungs of so many first responders, not to mention everyday residents of Lower Manhattan. How can all the concrete on every floor become dust?