Saturday, July 08, 2006

My Idea for a Political Thriller

If I were to write a movie thriller, I would make it about 9/11. I would base the lead character on Bill Doyle who lost his son Joey that morning and who now represents the Coalition of 9/11 Families, half of whom he claims believe the United States government was complicit in the attack. I would base the villain on Dick Cheney. Osama would be in the mix of course, but the mastermind would be a Cheney-like figure. It would have to be one of those cheap Hollywood cop-outs where they deny any connection to real persons, but everyone in the audience knows who it's about.
I would go through the evidence. Try that sometime - it's really unusual. Or as Bill Doyle describes it: "If you want to believe what they want to snow you under on like the 9/11 Commission - that's a total fallacy," said Doyle. "The continuing cover-up is beyond belief." Still, by now most Americans who have the slightest interest have probably looked at this stuff, at least in passing. You wouldn't want it to be a rehash of Norad, Building 7, the evidence of incendiary devices in the three buildings, thermite, the way the White House fought the investigation, the stock market stuff...all that is common knowledge to many.
So what could I add? Okay, I have a screenwriting moment that would really work. You know how most thrillers have that realization point where you go from wondering if it's true, to knowing it's true? Here's how it would unfold. The lead character would be following Cheney's actions since 9/11, noting how this event was pivotal in Cheney's plan for a more authoritarian president. How the War Powers Act would be used to make the executive branch the sole governing body of America. How what Cheney wanted was a de facto dictatorship where the president could ignore any law if national security was at stake, and how the president would be the only one who was needed to determine that. In other words: What has come to pass.
The lead character would be mulling over Cheney's actions that morning - the military exercises that were based on airliners being hijacked and used as weapons, that just happened to allow our air forces to stand down and not respond. Even the 9/11 Commission has a mention of those. Still, the lead character can't quite let himself believe it. After all, it was before the Iraq War, and we had no evidence yet that this team was willing to lie about something, and create a bogus situation where thousands of Americans would be killed. That realization would come later.
Then the main character would start reviewing old clips of Cheney talking on TV in the run-up to the war. Knowing now that the Vice President's office had planted stories in the New York Times that were wrong, my lead star would note the way Cheney would appear and cite these stories as if he had just read them in the paper himself. The lead character would begin to see that Cheney liked playing both sides of the con. He would mislead the American People with the planted stories, and then he would reenforce them on the other end by citing them as if they were news to him.
There would also be an examination of Cheney's power struggle with the CIA's George Tenet, in which he ganged up with his old ally Rumsfeld to force Tenet out for bad intelligence that Cheney himself had promoted. Once more he was working both sides of the con. It was Washington Power Infighting at its worst; Survival of the Viscious.
All this would be swirling in the lead character's head when Cheney would appear on TV talking about how it was not an accident that there had not been another 9/11. That's when the creepy music would start and our lead would know in his heart that Cheney was once more playing the con: He had allowed 9/11 to happen for his own ends, and then taken credit for it not happening again. It's vintage Cheney, or at least a character in a fictional movie based on someone a lot like him. Hey, there's your movie poster: "If You Think You Know the Whole Truth About 9/11, You Don't Know Dick!" Of course, from a screenwriting point of view, it would be a real bear getting all the evidence of government complicity into one smooth-flowing 2-hour movie. There's an awful lot there. Still, if done right, 9/11 would make one hell of a political thriller. There's even talk of a sequel.


At 1:25 PM, Blogger darrelplant said...

Yeah, and in what country are you gonna get this one produced, Bill? :)

At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, why don't you just throw in that you're going to cast 'Corky' from Life Goes On as the President?

You don't actually believe the US was behind the attacks, do you?

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

What do you know about the War Games held on the morning of 9/11? That's a great place to start. I've grappled with this 9/11 complicity question emotinally for years now. I sure don't want to believe it, but there is a ton of stuff there. The book I read was called "Crossing the Rubicon".
Is the theory believable? It's certainly hard to believe, but frankly, I find a lot of what has happened these last few years extremely hard to believe. The urge to look elsewhere is great, but it's our civic duty to check this stuff out. Building 7 is another huge problem in the government's story.
It has happened in the past, you know. Governments have mobilized the People with an attack. That's why the Neo-Cons were postulating that one would sure be effective in pushing forward their agenda. Look for yourself.

At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said... You are officially a 'moonbat'. Are you also a "space skeptic" that thinks the entire lunar landing and space program were faked - filmed in a secret government movie studio? That is more plausible than your 9/11 theory.

While your at it, It'd be much appreciated if you could tell me where Elvis is......I have an original Jailhouse Rock single I'd like him to autograph. Thanks.

At 6:37 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I believe Elvis is dead, and I believe we did land on the moon.
I'm much more of a moonbat on the UFO question though, thanks. How about you? Where do you come down in the list? Remember to count all the seemingly farfetched stories, and that includes religion, too.
Do you always buy the official line? How did you feel about JFK?
I keep an open mind. There's also a difference between rationally wondering and believing on an emotional level. On the latter I'm still in a mild state of shock that anyone with George W.'s credentials could become President no matter how rigged it was. I'm also in disbelief about man's inhumanity to man. Do you believe we're using tons of depleted uranium in weapins? There's a real moonbat idea for you.

At 7:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When it comes to all of the "far fetched stories" - including religion - I am a ceritfied skeptic. I was born and raised Catholic (alter boy, etc). But I allowed logic and evidenece to overcome my ability to believe that which was implausible. I do believe in God because I can think of no other explanation as to the existence of the Universe - that first hunk of matter did't just appear from nothing, did it?

But here is where the difference lies. You take you vitriolic hatred of this Administration and turn it into something resembling religion. You hate them so much, you are willing to take that "leap of faith" to believe something impossible if it supports your ingrained hatred.

Sure, BushCo staged a controlled demolition of the WTC as an excuse to invade Iraq. And somehow not ONE of the thousands it would have taken to pull off such a conspiracy has leaked an iota about the plan. Pretty impressive for an Administration so plagued with leaks, isn't it? Scratch "impressive"....more like impossible.

That being said, I hope your activism garners much attention. People like you only enhance and solidify the status of those you are 'active' against.

At 7:45 PM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

Bill’s ideas are indeed farfetched.

But look at what has happened to this country in the last six years. Starting with the 2000 election (a third-world scenario if ever there was one) to the planted stories and the ‘people are saying’ intros Fox made famous for getting unsaid quotes into the media.

Itemize what the Bush administration has done to disassemble the Constitution and read that list all at once. You will be scared, I guarantee it.

Is it ‘farfetched’ that the right has demonized the ACLU, an organization devoted to preserving the Constitution? Or Bush’s give-aways to business at the expense of the environment and the rights of the people? Yeah, I know. This started with Reagan, But Bush (or his handlers) have perfected it.

Just for drill, I typed “list of Bush abuses” into Google and got more than 23,000,000 hits. One near the top was It gives a good summary with sources.

There are many reasons to believe, even if you don’t want to believe, that this administration is guilty of crimes we can’t conceive of, let alone know about. There are so many documented cases of outright law-breaking that you must consider that Bill’s movie plot is at least plausible.

It is sad to say that, but the evidence shows overwhelmingly that neo-con conspiracies could happen, and probably have happened in some way.

P.S. As I listen to the news tonight, I have to wonder how convenient the latest terror threats are for Bush and Co. They always seem to show up whenever the administration is found breaking the law or inept in some way.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

This ingrained hatred thing is such a cheap talking point. I'm surprised you'd use it. I have met George W, twice and chatted with him about the time I also met his mother and father. I shook hands with George W. twice and thought he was friendly in a Texas how-ya-doing kind of way.
I thought we owed it to the victims of 9/11 to investigate why and how it happened. Only after the 9/11 widows wouldn't let it go, did the White House finally change course and allow it be explored. You remember that, don't you? They wouldn't let President Bush testify unless Cheney was there with him.
Look, I don't care what you think of what really happened, but don't waste your time trying to say this is driven by vitriolic hatred of George Bush. I will give you credit for changing the original phrase. Normally it's all supposed to be driven by "blind hatred" of President Bush. It's the same strategy they used on John McCain saying he was unstable. You paint your adversary as imbalanced in some way.
I'd be more impressed if you looked at the evidence and argued against that. Start with Building 7. Go on. Dazzle me.

At 11:30 PM, Blogger darrelplant said...

I have no problem believing the collapse of Building 7 was triggered by the collapse of two enormous buildings in close proximity. For a demo crew to have placed charges where they needed in order to bring down the building and for nobody to have noticed that, or for the cleanup crew not to have stumbled across some evidence of the charges or equipment used to create an explosion, that's just not really credible. The prep work that goes into bringing down a building usually involves wrapping shaped charges around the girders, which typically need to be accessed by cutting into the walls. You'd think someone would have noticed.

I haven't seen any evidence of incendiary devices in the WTC case. I've heard a lot of speculation about how people think planes couldn't have brought the towers down, but people saw planes fly into the towers, so I know that happened. Speculation that the kinetic force of the impact, the explosion of jet fuel, and subsequent fire couldn't have caused the collapse is not evidence.

As for whether the administration got wind of the plot and decided to use it to their advantage, that's a whole other issue. They were already planning to invade Iraq -- an action that could kill tens of thousands of innocent people -- before 9/11; I suppose another 20,000 Americans (remember the early estimates of the dead in the towers) wouldn't have seemed too bad.

At 7:28 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

The proximity of the collapsing towers weakening building 7 doesn't explain the shape of the beams afterwards. There is no official explanation for Building 7. Try reading this report: It also has some of the pictures you seek. Also there is the mysterious conversation on tape from the man who leased the buildings in July, Larry Silverstein, WTC Leaseholder: "I remember getting a call from the, uh, fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, 'You know we've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is, is pull it.' Uh, and they made that decision to pull and then we watched the building collapse."

At 7:31 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I'm not sure that entire address printed. Search for Building 7 Steven Jones.

At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Laurelhurstdad, about those 'corporate tax giveaways' is an "inconvenient truth" from today's New York Times:

"An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year, even though spending has climbed sharply because of the war in Iraq and the cost of hurricane relief.

On Tuesday, White House officials are expected to announce that the tax receipts will be about $250 billion above last year's levels and that the deficit will be about $100 billion less than what they projected six months ago. The rising tide in tax payments has been building for months, but the increased scale is surprising even seasoned budget analysts and making it easier for both the administration and Congress to finesse the big run-up in spending over the past year."

So much for the 'tax cuts for the wealthy' meme. You're going to have to come up with a new boogeyman.

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

So what's the deficit, I mean without Iraq which they don't include? Come on, this is the oldest trick in the book. The actual number comes in lower then the projection so it looks like good news.
How many more trillions of dollars has this administration put us into debt, after decades of talk from the conservatives about fiscal responsibility?
Every day we're more than 1 billion dollars more in debt. If you want to see that as good news, then Karl Rove has you right where he wants you.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

Don't forget Bush's slight of hand with Social Security funds and other misrepresentations. He turned a budget surplus into the largest defecit ever, and even Republicans (those not married to the talking-points issued by the neo-cons) worry that this president has gone over the top, both in spending and in growing government.

It always amazes me how the right can say they are for less govenment and more individual responsibility, and then turn around and increase the size of the government, especially in the 'moral police' department.

The few dollars that Anonymous talks about wouldn't even register on a graph of the true state of the US debt.

At 1:13 PM, Blogger darrelplant said...

I've seen Jones's reports before, but you know, he was also one of the people involved with the whole "cold fusion" fiasco that came out of Utah in the '80s, so while I recognize that he's a professor of astronomy and all I'm not so sure I trust his expertise on metallurgy, combustion, or other specialized areas of physics.

Quite frankly, while I believe that a few dedicated Muslim terrorists armed with box cutters and an incredibly good plan managed to pull off an incredible act of terrorism, I don't think the Bush administration is capable of planning squat without screwing it up. They're too incompetent. They're not good enough scriptwriters. They're the kind of people who'd just get a camera and improvise and think that it was great cinema because -- look! -- they were on the TV screen.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I'm going to assume that last line is aimed at my cable access show, in which case that is my favorite comment ever. If it was just a lucky strike, I still sense great force in you, darrelplant. Arguing that the Bush administration is merely incompetent leaves me nowhere to go.
I will attempt to regroup and blog again, but I will hesitate to bring anything but my A game from now on, in case you are lurking near a computer.
The second strike involves the cold fusion claim. It turns out that I was at a reception that included Carl Sagan the week that came out. So my one question, I'll ever get to ask him was about that.
That's two painful references in one blog comment. Well done.

At 11:30 PM, Blogger darrelplant said...

Actually, Bill, I was unaware of the cable access show. When's it on? My only contacts with cable access are:

* DK Holm, who does/did a movie review show for a number of years was a friend of my wife's many years ago.

* I once bought a video camera from the late Jim Spagg (

I am curious about what Sagan had to say about the cold fusion story (although he, too, was an astronomer, so I'm going to brace myself).

At 11:46 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Sagan was skeptical of the story.
"They're the kind of people who'd just get a camera and improvise and think that it was great cinema because -- look! -- they were on the TV screen."
You summed up my show exactly, whether you knew it or not. The irony is that I'm actually a professional comedy writer but I try to avoid the stuff I sell Leno or the radio network, so I'm left with mindless prattle half the time, and the other half is even worse.

At 8:22 AM, Blogger darrelplant said...

That's where your concern about the specificity of my example breaks down, because the type of people I was talking about believe they're fantastic because they're on camera and you know what you're doing is mindless prattle, entertaining though it may be.

The only reason it hit close to home was because I was trying for a the scriptwriting metaphor. I don't think you'd argue that a country ought to be run like a cable access show.



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