On November 5, 2009, Nidal Malik Hasan shot and killed 13 people at Fort Hood in Texas. On November 8, Joe Lieberman called for an investigation as to whether or not the Army should have suspected that Hasan would carry out such an act. Upon hearing that request, President Obama urged Congress to restrain itself from turning the incident into a circus. On November 14, President Obama urged Congress not to turn the incident into political theater.As it turns out, Ozawa never had any intention of challenging the status quo. I should have known better. His personal catch-phrase is “change so we do not have to change.” To my knowledge, he has never said what he was willing to change and what he wanted to remain the same. But based on his recent actions, it appears that he doesn’t want to change anything.
“I know there will also be inquiries by Congress, and there should,” said President Obama. “But all of us should resist the temptation to turn this tragic event into the political theater that sometimes dominates the discussion here in Washington. The stakes are far too high.”
For the most part Congress and the media restrained itself during that incident. Unfortunately, they seem much less restrained this time around. Yesterday, someone shot a congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, and several other people. Once again, the media has turned a news story into an extravaganza. Once again, the media and the politicians are using violence to further their agenda.
The New York Times immediately blamed the shooting on the harsh political environment.
“It’s hard not to think he was at least partly influenced by a debate that often seems to conflate philosophical disagreement with some kind of political Armageddon,” said the New York Times.
Of course, the New York Times, being the New York Times, refused to take any responsibility for the current environment and instead blamed the politicians for the environment.
“The problem would seem to rest with the political leaders who pander to the margins of the margins, employing whatever words seem likely to win them contributions or TV time, with little regard for the consequences,” said the New York Times.
The New York Times even seemed to threaten the public, warning of more attacks unless everyone shuts up and starts being nice.
“The more pressing question, though, is where this all ends — whether we will begin to re-evaluate the piercing pitch of our political debate in the wake of Saturday’s shooting, or whether we are hurtling unstoppably into a frightening period more like the late 1960s,” said the New York Times.
“Tucson will either be the tragedy that brought us back from the brink, or the first in a series of gruesome memories to come,” said the New York Times.
As some commentators have noted, this whole sorry affair has a lot in common with the Oklahoma City bombing. At that time, we had a Democratic president who had just lost big in the midterm elections to the Republicans, just like we had at the end of 2010. We also had a lot of high decibel rhetoric just like we have now. And we have a political class who really, really doesn’t like it when the people don’t think highly of them. I don’t think that’s ever changed.
Here’s some food for thought.
On February 26, 2008, Dana Rohrabacher, a congressman from California, spoke before the House of Representatives. He said that the Bush administration was impeding his investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing. In his speech, he argued that the Oklahoma City bombing was connected to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. He offered four pieces of evidence which supported this conclusion. He noted that right before the attack, both Terry Nichols and Ramsey Yousef visited Cebu City at the same time. That implied that they knew each other. Rohrabacher also noted that, in the Oklahoma City bombing, Terry Nichols used the same type of bombs and techniques that Ramsey Yousef used in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. That suggests they were part of the same organization.
Rohrabacher also tried to connect an Iraqi called Samir Khahil to both attacks. Khahil lived in Oklahoma at the time of the bombing. Khahil employed another Iraqi immigrant who matches the description of John Doe II in the Oklahoma City bombing. The FBI failed to investigate Khahil and simply said John Doe II didn’t exist. The name Samir Khahil is also on the list of unindicted co-conspirators for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Rohrabacher asked the FBI if those two people were in fact the same individual. The FBI did not respond to his inquiry.
The last piece of evidence connecting the two attacks was the most compelling. In 1993, a few months before the attack on the World Trade Center, Ramsey Yousef made several calls to a house in New York. A relative of Terry Nichols – the cousin of his wife – lived in that house. The fact that the terrorist who carried out the bombing of the World Trade Center called a relative of the terrorist who carried out the Oklahoma City bombing right before the attack on the World Trade Center certainly suggests that the two terrorists knew each other and were part of the same organization.
Now suppose for a second that the two attacks are linked. That implies that America attacked – or allowed itself to be attacked – in Oklahoma City. If you look at the documents I’ve posted, there is overwhelming evidence that the government knew about the attack on World Trade Center in 1993 before it happened. Egypt warned us about the terrorists who carried out the attack before the attack. The FBI had those terrorists under surveillance for years – I think as many as 6 years – before the attack. It’s hardly surprising that the FBI knew about those people. Those terrorists were associated with the effort by our government to funnel weapons and personnel to Afghanistan during the war with the Soviet Union.
If our government allowed Ramzi Yousef to attack the World Trade Center and escape in 1993, and assuming he aided the attack in Oklahoma City in 1995 – that implies our government participated in the attack in Oklahoma City.
By the way, Ramzi Yousef also had a hand in the bombing of Philippine Airlines Flight 434, which killed one Japanese passenger.
If our government is responsible for all these attacks and our media and our government are using the aftermath of these attacks to try and convince everyone not to criticize government officials too heavily, you can probably assume that our government is doing these things to try to stifle dissenting voices.
In May of 2010, I was having a running dialogue with Jun Okumura about democracy. I argued that it was important in a democracy to limit the amount of government secrecy. Jun saw things somewhat differently. In any event, the following is a document that I wrote which contains some information which I hope sheds some light on the current situation.
It’s worth pointing out that at the time I wrote that America and Japan were trying to resolve the problems associated with having too large a U.S. military presence on Okinawa. Unfortunately, we made no progress on that issue.
America and Japan seem to be stuck going around in a circle. We keep doing the same thing over and over and it isn’t working. No one has the courage to stand up and tell the truth.
It’s also worth pointing out that right now Japan is stuck in a power struggle between Ichiro Ozawa and Naoto Kan. Kan, the current prime minister, seems determined to maintain the status quo. Ozawa has a long history. After the end of the Cold War, he wanted to transform Japan into a normal country. Yukio Hatoyama, the previous prime minister, is his close ally. During the Hatoyama administration, Japan tried to resolve the Okinawa issue and it came very close to telling the truth about the history between Japan and America. But for whatever reason, Hatoyama decided to give up and resign. Here’s hoping that Ichiro Ozawa can find the courage to complete the journey he started almost twenty years ago.