That Bill Hicks Moment
Carved next to his name, his epitaph plain:
Only a pawn in their game. - Bob Dylan
Just trying to get my groove back, here.
I've written before that it's never been enough, or even likely correct, to say Bush Knew. As usual, it's the under-examined things that suggest why that may be.
From The Longboat Observer, September 26, 2001 (and it's a surprise to see this still online; so many of mainstream stories that don't make an easy fit to the official fabrication have become dead links):
At about 6 a.m. Sept. 11, Longboat Key Fire Marshall Carroll Mooneyhan was at the front desk of the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort as Bush prepared for his morning jog. From that vantage point, Mooneyhan overheard a strange exchange between a Colony receptionist and security guard.
A van occupied by men of Middle Eastern descent had pulled up to the Colony stating they had a "poolside" interview with the president, Mooneyhan said. The self-proclaimed reporters then asked for a Secret Service agent by name. Guards from security relayed the request to the receptionist, who had not heard of either the agent or plans for an interview, Mooneyhan said.
Possibly the same van was reported later that morning by a resident awaiting the presidential motorcade to pass, just minutes after Flight 11 struck the North Tower. Two men of Middle Eastern descent were seen "screaming out the windows, 'Down with Bush' and raising their fists in the air."
Earlier - "in the middle of the night" according to Monica Yadov's report for ABC's Sarasota affiliate - a "warning of imminent danger was delivered...to Secret Service agents guarding the President.' With peculiar precision, she noted it came "exactly four hours and thirty-eight minutes before Mohammad Atta flew an airliner into the World Trade Center." That would place the warning at 4:10 AM.
There are more than a few odd things here.
The Secret Service, allegedly in receit of a warning of imminent danger to their charge less than two hours earlier, simply turn the van away, telling its occupants to "contact the president’s public relations office in Washington." This, despite the fact that just two days earlier, the Taliban's greatest foe, Shah Massoud of the Northern Alliance, was assassinated under the ruse of a phony interview, by a bomb hidden inside the video camera.
If the "poolside interview" was an assassination attempt, it was less likely to succeed than the alleged plot of some Toronto kids to storm parliament and behead the Prime Minister. (Abandoned, sensibly enough, because they didn't know their way around Ottawa.) Showing up at six in the morning - any morning - dropping the name of a non-existent Secret Service agent and making the easily-checked false claim of an interview is not a winning tactic. The Secret Service would have had to be Dealey Plaza-negligent to have allowed them anywhere near Bush, yet they acted surprisingly nonchalant in light of the warning of "imminent danger" to the President they'd received just two hours previous and the recent example of death-by-interview of Shah Massoud.
Coincidentally, according to three eyewitnesses, including bartender Darlene Sieverts, Atta himself was in town September 7 "drinking rum and coke" at the Holiday Inn and meeting a man identified as Marwan Al-Shehhi, the alleged pilot of Flight 175. (Memorably, "he left a $20 bill to cover a $4 tab," Sieverts tells Daniel Hopsicker in Welcome to Terrorland.) Sepetember 7 was also the day Bush's visit to Booker Elementary was publically announced.
The poolside plot was not a serious assassination attempt, though it may have seemed as though it was to the men in the van who were permitted to go so far but no farther. But neither was it meant as a public shadow play that Bush was himself at risk. If it had been, the propaganda value of a thwarted assassination attempt would have been played up, rather than hushed up. I think, instead, it was a private display of power to the play-acting president that even a Bush had better not hold illusions of being his own man.
This lesson was reinforced later that morning, with the "credible threat" delivered, appropriately, by Dick Cheney, that "Angel is next", which effectively kept Bush out of both Washington and Cheney's alternate control and command loop until events had run their course. Remember? An anonymous White House caller, speaking in code, declared Air Force One a target. Though the administration soon quietly denied this awkward story that no longer fit, it's been supported by interviews with many principals, including Air Force One pilot Mark Tillman. "It was serious before that but now it is - no longer is it a time to get the president home," said Tillman. "We actually have to consider everything we say. Everything we do could be intercepted, and we have to make sure that no one knows what our position is." Tillman requested an armed guard at his cockpit door, and Secret Service double-checked every passengers' identity. This threat, at the highest level, was also made at the highest level.
What implication can we draw from the conflicting accounts? That there was no anonymous call to the White House, but Dick Cheney did phone in the threat to Air Force One. And Bush wasn't in on the hoax.
Bill Hicks famously said that he had "this feeling" that whoever's elected president,
no matter what promises you make on the campaign trail - blah, blah, blah - when you win, you go into this smoky room with the twelve industrialist, capitalist scumfucks that got you in there, and this little screen comes down... and it's a shot of the Kennedy assassination from an angle you've never seen before, which looks suspiciously off the grassy knoll.... And then the screen comes up, the lights come on, and they say to the new president, 'Any questions?'
"Just what my agenda is."
Message received, over and out.