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Feature Story September 19, 2002
 
John O'Neill: An Unbelievable Life
By Mark Ames Browse author Email
 
 

The 9/11 anniversary was almost impossible to live through. It made me thank God, or Russia, again, that I'm not living in America. If you were moved by any of those articles or retrospectives, or if you thought that Americans really reflected on things, you're just wrong. 9/11 is no longer a tragedy -- it's a fiction, a thing. The patent is owned by someone else .

What was most remarkable and terrifying about the American media retrospectives was not just that they dished out all the sentimental patriotic crap we all expected. It would be strange, even scary, if they didn't. What's really disturbing is considering everything that they DIDN'T write about, and still won't.

There are so many stories out there connected with 9/11 that have still barely caused a blip on the media screen, stories that should rattle every decent American's insides, shake up his concept of the world, of good and evil, of who is really "with us" and who is "against us"... But everyone is getting stupid and crazy right at the point when, in previous crises in American history, Americans used to get smarter and meaner. It's all personified in the American president Bush -- dumb, corrupt, unintentionally reckless, and totally convinced of his moral righteousness.

For example, we know that the Bush Administration lied, just flat-out lied to the public, when they told us over and over that they had no idea and no warning that a terrorist attack of this type would happen. They said that such an attack couldn't even have been conceived of -- it wasn't humanly possible for a decent American to imagine that "such evil was possible." That was a lie. They knew that these very attacks were planned, ready and coming. They lied, and they knew that they lied when they told us. And when the lie fell apart this spring, when the FBI agents came forward and the intelligence reports were leaked about how they did expect this sort of attack, they lied again and jammed the airwaves with warnings of impending nuclear terror attacks. And the most amazing thing of all was how this was met with a collective shrug. We're not talking about a simple corruption story -- we're talking about the biggest attack ever on America, about war and our potential destruction.

The press seemed oddly cowed by the whole thing -- by the public's collective shrug (they STILL trust Bush!), and perhaps by the fear that they were onto something a little too scary. Fear is the only reason I can think of that the American press didn't push that story, the story of how the Bush people, our supposed friends, lied to us in the days and weeks after the attacks, and then scared the shit out of the country to cover up the lies when they were exposed.

In this special post-9/11 press review, rather than going through the depressing exercise of picking apart all that was grotesque and deluded in the press coverage of the anniversary, I'm instead offering a 9/11 anniversary story that has received far too little coverage than it deserves. I assumed that this would be a big story in the 9/11 retrospectives, because it's certainly one of the most bizarre stories about 9/11.

Of all of the bizarre circumstances and personages tied to the September 11th attack, no single character throws the official American version more into doubt than former FBI counter-terrorism chief John O'Neill. His fate is so strange that it seems to have been scripted by a B-movie director or a first-time spy novelist. And yet it's true. Perhaps the only thing stranger than O'Neill's fate is the mainstream American media's near-total reluctance to pursue the story of their former counter-terrorism chief.

The story really begins in 1993, when O'Neill, a lifetime FBI agent, was brought out from the Chicago field office to New York City as one of the FBI's six lead investigators of the World Trade Center bombing, which left six dead and over 1,000 injured. His success in the investigation into the first WTC bombing -- he coordinated the Pakistan arrest of Ramzi Yousef- -- propelled him two years later to head the FBI's counter-terrorism section in Washington.


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Ames
Browse author
Email Mark Ames at editor@exile.ru.
 
 
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