By Kurt Osterhoff
August 07, 2009 "Information Clearing House" -- - …there wasn’t one today.” Sadly, it seems this memorable line from the charming comedy film classic, Groundhog Day, now carries a highly foreboding relevance to our present times. Indeed, what if there is no tomorrow?
What if the legal groundwork for our permanent police state, the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 are here to stay? What if torture is now the accepted norm? What if the NSA’s expanded domestic spying program is for keeps? What if the newly operational Rex-84 network of high capacity detention camps spread across the nation is permanent? What if Posse Comitatus remains effectively dormant? What if our quietly dismantled Bill of Rights is no more? What if the growing number of civilian deaths caused by our military only continues to climb? What if our massive troop deployment to the Middle East, like our phony wars on drugs and terror, goes on without end? And what if our two party system of representative democracy is in fact little more than an interminable, illusory puppet show orchestrated from behind the scenes by powers unaccountable?
Has Orwell’s 1984 become our infinitely looping Groundhog Day? Is this our inescapable fate? Perhaps so, but recall how early on the fate of Bill Murray’s character (weatherman, Phil Connors) appeared sealed and inescapable too. Remember also that somewhere along the way he had an epiphany, after which he got smart, got busy, got the girl, and broke free of the time loop.
Do “we the people” dare dream to do the same? Could we experience an awakening, our own collective epiphany of sorts, and then set about breaking free from this national Orwellian Groundhog Day nightmare? To contemplate the alternative is to see the answer: we must break free of it.
The Making of a Revolutionary
So what goes into the making of a contemporary American revolutionary? What turns an ordinary law abiding, relatively sedate and insular, American Idol watching couch potato into an informed and committed citizen prepared to incur risk and make meaningful prolonged personal sacrifice aimed at reclaiming our country? Two things: truth and suffering.
According to a New Mexico State University affiliated news service, Frontera Norte Sur (an on-line provider of US-Mexico border news) there is reason to believe a steadily growing money stream is, for the first time ever, flowing north from Mexico into the US, sent by the relatives of un- and underemployed immigrants. If this is true, surely we needn’t wonder whether real suffering (the longstanding hardship of Mexican immigrants notwithstanding) via our engineered economic tailspin has begun; likewise, anyone with internet access and the inclination to do research can readily confirm the dissemination of important truths inexorably linked to our burgeoning national impoverishment is also underway.
Well then, if we have these essential elements of truth and suffering, why is there still no large, forceful, coherent, and well organized body of popular grassroots resistance in the US? The main reason is simply that the requisite deep suffering and penetrating hard truths are not yet sufficiently widespread. Another reason is the extensive dumbing down of our society, along with the non-stop lies and propaganda spoon fed us daily by mainstream corporate media. Also there’s the ever present fear created by our government, using both rhetoric and legislation designed to consistently reinforce the clear threat so plainly put to us in the wake of 9-11 by George W. Bush: “You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists.”
In any case, with our Bush initiated upward spiraling national debt, exploding unemployment, and massive war related economic hemorrhaging, all continuing unabated under Obama and our wholly owned Congress, the furtherance of expanded suffering is a foregone conclusion. It will be left to the small but growing numbers of would-be resisters and truth-tellers (citizens Big Brother will vilify as home-grown terrorists) to advance the spread of truth.
Channeling Truth-tellers Past
In his famous “Letters from a Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King wrote:
I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.
While Socrates and MLK, widely separated by time, place, and circumstance, may well have been more different than alike, commonality of purpose in their respective missions to enlighten and inform cannot be denied. If we could somehow channel the spirits of these two men, what counsel might they offer our small army of truth-tellers to assist in finding words to create this necessary “tension” in the minds of individuals? And how would this consultation from the great beyond unfold?
Would it be consistent with the teachings of Socrates to think that he would agree to sift through the many pressing truths of our time and then kindly hand down his findings along with some helpful instructions? What about Dr. King, was he known to be a pontificator given to issuing directive? Is this the way these men taught? Isn’t the “tension in the mind” Dr. King refers to really about stirring individuals to think, reason, and act on things that matter?
As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked, and rightly so, "What about Vietnam?" They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.
- Martin Luther King, Beyond Vietnam speech, April 4, 1967
“The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.” Is this an example of one particularly powerful and ugly truth being pressed into service by Dr. King to create tension in the minds of fellow citizens? Are his words any less relevant today than they were forty years ago?
Gulf of Tonkin was an Inside Job
We now know the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which provided the pretext for President Johnson’s escalation of the Vietnam War, was a lie – the alleged attacks by North Vietnamese torpedo boats against US war ships did not occur and our government no longer denies this.
Suppose shortly following this incident a determined group of conscientious truth seeking citizens had done their own independent investigative research and within the course of a couple years constructed a very compelling case, based on credible circumstantial evidence, exposing Gulf of Tonkin for the staged false flag event that it was. Suppose further, while no mainstream or left gatekeeper media outlets of the time would agree to help in exposing this monumental lie, that these citizen investigators had something on the order of today’s internet at their disposal – a relatively cheap interactive means of reaching at least some of the population. And lastly, let’s suppose they’d successfully reached Dr. King with the details of this shocking revelation.
Would Dr. King have spoken this awful truth about the Gulf of Tonkin Incident publicly? Should we believe he would have dared drop such a bombshell in his Beyond Vietnam speech? Or would he have recoiled from it, believing, with the JFK assassination and all that followed still very much on people’s minds, that he would too easily be marginalized by his many powerful detractors for embracing and spreading a truth sure to be savagely maligned as conspiracy theory? Could public perception considerations ever have trumped the telling of such an important and relevant truth for a man like Martin Luther King?
Déjà Vu All Over Again
Fast forward thirty-seven years from the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. If our government is to be believed, on the morning of September 11, 2001, nineteen Arab hijackers wielding box cutters successfully commandeered four commercial passenger jetliners, not long afterwards slamming two into the World Trade Center towers, one into the Pentagon, and crash diving another (allegedly after struggling with passengers that had stormed the cockpit) into the ground in a remote area near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The official narrative also attributes the destruction of WTC towers I, II, and building 7, each of which collapsed neatly into their own respective footprints at near freefall speed, to structural damage, fire, and falling debris originating from the impact of the two planes said to have hit WTC I and II.
Is the government’s official version of the events of 9-11 credible? Fortunately, we are not simply left to wonder, as there is now a large and impressive body of diligent investigative research done by a loose-knit group of private citizens known as the Truth Movement. Here’s a small sample of video links highlighting some of this research: September Clues (90 min); Enlightening the Shadows (8 min); 9-11 NIST Report Debunked (20 min); Ret US Major General on the Pentagon hit (5 min); Shanksville (10 min); Architects and Engineers for Truth (16 min); Dr. David Ray Griffin interview (60 min); Sibel Edmonds: Kill the Messenger (52 min).
A Deafening Silence
After even a cursory objective examination of the accumulated evidence contradicting the official story, the utter absurdity of what we’ve been asked to believe by our own government concerning the events of 9-11 becomes painfully obvious. Further pain is felt in the realization that there is apparently no longer a free press (if there ever was one) in America. If we had one they would certainly be exposing the 9-11 cover-up. As things stand, it’s been nearly eight years and still nothing from either corporate mainstream, or left gatekeeper media – their silence is deafening.
This, of course, like the 9-11 investigative work, leaves responsibility for the dissemination of these and other important truths to fall squarely upon us, the citizenry. And we should treat it the same way Dr. King would have: as a duty.
We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood -- it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, "Too late." There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on."
- Martin Luther King, Beyond Vietnam speech, April 4, 1967
Time is not on our side, it rarely is. Please do what you can to help spread important truths.
Related: Armageddon Is Now
Also see: The Time Monks