A Dark Decade

Conference Examines Post-9/11 Democracy

Photo Sam Slotnick
Graphic Alex Manley

“Though we are not immune to the threat of terrorism, our society is vigilant and resilient. Canada will stand firm with our allies, defending and protecting our democratic values—freedom, human rights and the rule of the law—in the hope of a more secure and peaceful world.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke those words in New York City on Sunday, where he was honouring the victims of 9/11 on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack. Not everyone shares Harper’s beliefs about the matter, however.

Three days earlier, a large crowd of disillusioned individuals assembled in Montreal’s Cinéma du Parc to hear four speakers—Michel Chossudovsky, Wayne Madsen, Cynthia McKinney and Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya—discuss not only the attacks themselves, but also the deteriorating state of democracy over the past ten years.

The event, titled After 9/11: Ten Years of War, was supposed to be held at the Université de Québec à Montréal. For unknown reasons, however, UQAM revoked the use of their campus, and the four guest speakers were forced to find an alternative space.

“Over the last two decades, the United States and its allies have been engaged in a process which can be called ‘nation building,’” said Nazemroaya, the author of Today’s 9/11 War Machine: Report from the Middle East War Theatre, who has been reporting from Tripoli during the NATO assault.

“Everything they’ve done is creating a fascist military state”

“The Constitution of the United States has blatantly been trampled on. Everything they’ve done is creating a fascist military state,” he continued. “All these laws being put into place could potentially be used against us. The airport surveillance, the increased police measures, the emergency laws, the Patriot Act, the spying on citizens, the disregard for privacy, all of this is part of that equation.”

With security coming at the expense of freedom and truth, political deceit—what George Orwell called “doublespeak” in his famous book 1984—was apparent to fellow panelist McKinney almost immediately after the 2001 attacks. Author of 9/11 Truth: The War at Home and Abroad, McKinney is a former member of the US Congress and Green Party candidate in the US presidential elections.

“Of course we were all afraid, and we didn’t know what had actually happened. But when I was given those talking points that said I should go out and tell my 630,000 constituents that we were hit because we are free, as a black person in the United States, I knew that wasn’t the truth. As a person who has understood the workings of the Counter Intelligence Program [an FBI operation debuted in 1956 to spy on and infiltrate the African-American community], I understood that wasn’t the truth,” McKinney told the crowd.

McKinney went on to talk about the manipulation of what Harper would define three days later as democratic values: freedom, human rights, and the rule of the law.

“Now we have politicians who proselytize hate, and they are congratulated,” she argued. “We have the media that repeat the lies and they do it with impunity,” she explained. “During the days of the Counter Intelligence Program era, Senator Frank Church, when he was exposed to these documents, said that these activities were illegal and un-American.

“But now after the passage of the Patriot Act, the funding for the War on Terrorism Act, the Secret Evidence Act, we have so many provisions that have been put into law now, that I would say they are still un-American, but they are no longer illegal.”

For more information on the speakers, visit globalresearch.ca .