Friday, March 22, 2024

Hollywood Bread and the Unanswered Questions

Was Israel involved with the 9/11 attacks?  It's classified.

In principle, I still agree with Noam Chomsky on most everything.  Half the time these days when I see his name mentioned in some social media thread, it's to criticize him for his perceived disinterest in getting to the bottom of various events, such as the assassination of JFK or the 9/11 attacks.  I still agree with Chomsky's basic orientation on these questions, and have long been parroting it myself.  

It goes something like this:  whoever committed various acts like these, the big problem we face is capitalism and empire, and that's what desperately needs to change, regardless of whatever nefarious activities intelligence agencies or terrorist networks are up to. 

Eight years ago, however, I had a personal experience which, though it didn't change my basic orientation politically in terms of the problems with capitalism and empire or the kind of country and world I yearn to live in, it did make me hone right in to the particular cataclysmic, world-shifting mass murder event that took place in multiple locations in the eastern US on September 11th, 2001.  It raised questions that seem to be very simple as well as very disturbing and exceedingly urgent, but which also seem to have no answers.

Eight years ago I got an email from an old friend who I hadn't been in touch with for many years.  One of the reasons we had been out of touch for so long was because for years he was in touch with no one, in fear for his life, basically living underground.  He wrote me a long email, catching me up on what had happened, particularly during the year, 2001.

Eight years ago, when I reconnected with my old friend, I published an anonymized version of his email to me on my blog, with his permission.  In 2022, I wrote and recorded a song called "Hollywood Bread."  Yesterday I received a rocking remix of the song from Chet Gardiner's studio in Hawai'i.  So this song will be another one on the upcoming album, which will be titled Bearing Witness.  On the occasion of the remix -- and on the occasion of the Israeli military very actively committing genocide, under explicit directions from Israeli leadership, while the western media engages in holocaust denial -- I thought I'd revisit that email I got back in 2016.

The details I would highlight, and the questions I would ask, are pretty much all in the song -- which is a long one, especially by my normally more punk rock standards of brevity.

In Hollywood, Florida, there used to be a building, since demolished, called Hollywood Bread.  My friend had an office on the 9th floor.  

The 10th floor was off-limits, though it used to be accessible.  The janitor of the building, who still was able to access the 10th floor but wasn't supposed to, was mysteriously found dead in the elevator on the 10th floor.  They said he was drunk and had an accident, but my friend said he knew the janitor, and the man never drank alcohol.

My friend shared the 9th floor with other businesses, mostly staffed by Israelis.  They had a lot of fancy IT equipment, but they said they were a moving company.  The staff often didn't seem to know they worked for a moving company, and had to be reminded on occasion.

The smoking area outside of the building was a smoking area shared by other nearby buildings, including one where a man named Mohammed Atta worked.  Mohammed smoked a lot, and often was at the smoking area when my friend was taking smoke breaks, along with lots of the Israelis, who seemed to know Mohammed.

On September 11th, 2001, Mohammed Atta died, along with the other hijackers and their thousands of victims.

By September 12th, 2001, the Israelis were all gone from the Hollywood Bread building, along with all of their equipment.

My friend contacted the FBI to tell them he knew Mohammed Atta and had some other things to talk about that might potentially be of interest to them, but they were never interested in following up on this with him.

None of these facts by themselves prove anything, but they certainly raise justifiable suspicions of all kinds -- suspicions made even more suspicious by the complete lack of believable answers to any of them.

Such as:

  • why does it appear from web listings that no one had offices in the Hollywood Bread building in September, 2001, when this is evidently not true?
  • what business was operating on the 10th floor in September, 2001?
  • how did the janitor die?
  • what was the Israeli "moving company" really doing?
  • what was the relationship between the Israeli "moving company" and Mohammed Atta?
  • why did they all quickly close their offices after September 11th?
  • why was the FBI not interested in my friend's stories about all of this?
I don't know if we'll ever know the answers to any of these questions.

Some things I do know is since I posted to my blog with my friend's testimony about this stuff, the online trolls who position themselves as "antifascists" consider me a "conspiracist," which seems to be a new term for people who spread "conspiracy theories."

I also know that as soon as I posted about this, I started hearing from people about all sorts of other conspiracy theories about 9/11 and many other things.

From my decades now of experience in two particular arenas -- speaking out against Israel's crimes, and speaking out in support of imprisoned journalist, Julian Assange -- there are clear patterns in terms of the reactions I've learned to expect.

From one end there will be the voices discounting your questions on the basis of them addressing apparent conspiracies -- whether they might be conspiracies between intelligence agencies and terrorist networks to carry out, assist in, or deflect responsibility for terrorist attacks; or conspiracies between various state actors to libel, silence, and imprison a journalist.  Regardless of how much circumstantial or whatever other kind of evidence there may be pointing to an actual conspiracy, there will be many loud voices responding with attacks, to anything that gets attention.

From another end there will be those who see someone capable of believing in the outrageous, and therefore someone to share their own outrageous ideas with, ideas about other wild conspiracies involving mass murder, secret coups d'etat, or some form of world governance plot -- in some cases theories which are well-known to be true and a matter of the public record, in other cases theories which are patently completely wacky, and a whole bunch in between as well.

There is no doubt at all that both those making the accusations of "conspiracism" and those sharing news of other conspiracies are a combination of well-meaning individuals as well as people working in one of various troll farms, paid to sustain a narrative and attack those who veer from it and get any attention for doing so.  (Anyone who pays attention to me via Facebook in late February and early March can attest to the obviously organized and paid trolling activities of the pro-Israel trolls apparently unleashed on me by UK Lawyers for Israel.)

It may perhaps be possible for an investigative journalist or someone else to get past the "it's classified" response from FBI investigators to Israeli involvement in 9/11.  But it's very clear that the costs of even raising such questions can involve loss of credibility, association with wild-eyed tin-hat people, losing your job as a journalist or university professor, and not having your music played on BBC, among other consequences.  

To say the least, it's a very chilling academic/intellectual environment for any serious inquiry into very serious matters.

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