Newspaper logo  
 
 
  The Big Wedding: 9/11, the Whistle-Blowers and the Cover-Up

BOOK REVIEW:

The Big Wedding: 9/11, the Whistle-Blowers and the Cover-Up

Review by Russ Wellen
The Big Wedding: 9/11, the Whistle-Blowers and the Cover-Up
by Sander Hicks
Vox Pop, 2005
180 pages, $14.00
ISBN: 09752763
Includes Index, Over 100 Footnotes, and Bibliography

The term "conspiracy theory," with the image it invokes of a cabal of black-hearted men who convene on a regular basis to consolidate their power, reduces alternate history to a cartoon. By using it to discredit, however, journalists only reveal how inadequate their inability to untangle webs the powerful weave makes them feel.

One who's undaunted by the degree of difficulty is Sander Hicks, who endeavors to shed new light on events leading up to 9/11 mostly through meetings with, if not remarkable men, remarkable maniacs. In fact, his book, The Big Wedding, named after Al Qaeda code for 9/11, could just as easily be called "My Adventures Covering the Terror Beat."

The first portrait in his rogues' gallery is Randy Glass, an informant for an ATF/FBI terrorist sting. Pre-9/11, he dined out in Manhattan with a Pakistani arms dealer, who, gesturing toward the World Trade Center, exclaimed, "Those towers are coming down."

"The 9/11 Commission Report," Hicks concludes, "has topped the Warren Report...as the greatest cover-up of all time."

A State Department official told Glass they were aware of bin Laden's plans. But to keep Pakistani President Musharraf and his nuclear arsenal in their corner, they were banking on his guarantee that he could stop the attack. After all, as Hicks maintains, where Al Qaeda ends, Pakistan's ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) begins.

Then Hicks introduces us to the legendary Delmart Vreeland. While imprisoned in Canada in 2001, this near-schizoid former agent for the Office of Naval Intelligence prophesized 9/11, of which he allegedly learned while on a mission to Moscow. To some, Hicks's encounter with the dodgy Vreeland might undermine the credibility he's working hard to establish. But credit is due him for daring to assert that intelligence work attracts the erratic. Discounting their testimony only plays into intelligence agency's hands.

Hicks ranges beyond the rogues' gallery to the psycho ward, where, by all rights, Mohammed Atta should have been, instead of hanging out in Florida. Journalist Daniel Hopsicker followed Atta's trail for his book, Welcome to Terrorland, and Hicks follow in his footsteps.

Atta, however, got more than he bargained for when he tried on a spirited American girl for size. Amanda Keller denigrated the size of his penis, thus prompting Internet speculation on whether or not that was the tipping point of all tipping points, driving Atta to his apocalyptic aerobatics.

Having dealt with rogues and psychos, Hicks moves up in class--or maybe just parallel--to government officials. After 9/11, Congress established the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund and appointed Kenneth Feinberg its special master. One of the few who opted out of the fund was 9/11 widow Ellen Mariani, who, instead, sued the entire administration.

For a story on her, Hicks conducted an interview with Feinberg that turned ugly. Perhaps, he thinks, there might be some truth to Mariani's claim that Feinberg's role was "to ensure all 9/11 families joined the fund to prevent any questions of....negligence on the part of [the] administration."

His appetite for big game whetted, Hicks also goes after Richard Ben-Veniste, chairman of the 9/11 Commission. In a flagrant example of what-was-he-thinking, Ben-Veniste agreed to be interviewed by Hicks on INN World Report on Free Speech TV. Ultimately, he wound up dismissing Hicks as a "whackjob."

After then taking on Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff, he dissects the 9/11 Commission report. First he skewers each member of the panel, and then he details how the Commission either gave short shrift to 9/11's central questions or outright lied. For instance, the mujahadeens in Afghanistan "received little or no assistance from the United States."

Regarding one of the central questions of 9/11--how the terrorists knew to strike on the morning that NORAD, NEADS, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were preoccupied with three different air defense drills--the Commission mentions only one of these exercises as an afterthought. "The 9/11 Commission Report," Hicks concludes, "has topped the Warren Report...as the greatest cover-up of all time."

As The Big Wedding nears its conclusion, Hicks shares his feelings about the 9/11 Truth Movement. Its tendency to become bogged down on issues like what struck the Pentagon, he posits, explains how "the term 'conspiracy theories' came to be shorthand for 'discredited whacko' in the invisible guidebook of mainstream media."

Meanwhile, he maintains, the idea that "terrorists with box cutters were able to defeat a $400 billion-a-year war machine" is as "kooky" a theory as any. Ending on a hopeful note, however, he calls for a whistle-blowers' conference.

In The Big Wedding, Sander Hicks has not only told some rollicking tales, but gone a long way to sorting out 9/11 alternate history. If more clear-eyed reporters like him pitched in, independent investigations into 9/11 would no longer be tarred with the conspiracy theory brush.


© Russ Wellen 2005. Russ Wellen is an editor at Freezerbox.com.

Sander Hicks, an investigative journalist and independent publisher who started Soft Skull Press and Vox Pop/DKMC, has done reporting on 9/11 for the Long Island Press, INN World Report Television, and Guerrilla News Network. On the website of his coffeehouse/bookstore/media company (a venture shared with his wife, Holley Anderson), a bio says he is "the only reporter who can proudly claim he was verbally abused by a member of the 9/11 Commission."




Copyright © 2005 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on October 7, 2005.

 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

05.24 Pretty hurts: are chemicals in beauty products making us ill?

05.23 China factories releasing thousands of tonnes of illegal CFC gases, study finds [Instead of depleting the stratospheric ozone layer, which protects us from the sun’s ultra-violet radiation, we should enhance the ozone layer to also reduce infrared radiation CO2 absorbs and heats from—in a reversible way to be safe]

05.22 Over 1,351 Climate Strikes in 110 Countries Planned for Friday as Global Revolt Escalates

05.22 Much shorter working weeks needed to tackle climate crisis – study [Less supervised internet-based work from home would be more likely]

05.22 Internal emails reveal how the chemical lobby fights regulation [Political lobbying including unlimited bribes is terribly effective, especially when politicians are immoral]

05.22 Is modern life poisoning me? I took the tests to find out

05.19 The heat is on over the climate crisis. Only radical measures will work

05.18 The selfish case for saving bees: it’s how to save ourselves

05.17 Revealed: air pollution may be damaging 'every organ in the body’

05.16 Cambridge scientists create world’s first living organism with fully redesigned DNA

05.16 Electric 'flying taxi' prototype unveiled by German start-up

05.16 ‘Extraordinary thinning’ of ice sheets revealed deep inside Antarctica

05.15 Plastic pollution harms bacteria that produce 10 per cent of oxygen we breathe, study reveals [We keep learning more about ways we're killing life faster and faster]

News Media Matters

05.24 Rising sea levels could swamp major cities and displace almost 200 million people, scientists say [Its unusal for US mainstream media to mention global warming...]

05.23 Finland is winning the war on fake news. What it’s learned may be crucial to Western democracy [3:52 video]

05.22 What if we covered the climate crisis like we did the start of World War II?

05.22 Far-right Facebook groups 'spreading hate to millions in Europe'

05.22 Climate crisis more politically polarizing than abortion for US voters, study finds [Faux News spreads lies and distortion to millions in America, and mainstream news sources avoid annoying corporate advertisers—also programmed by Faux]

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

05.24 DID STEVEN MNUCHIN HELP HIS COLLEGE ROOMMATE STEAL $2 BILLION?

05.24 If Warren and Sanders want to beat Biden, one of them will need to drop out

05.24 Boy Scout sex abuse scandal’s stunning toll: Over 12,200 reported victims [5:07 video; abuse worse than the Catholic Church]

05.24 Slowly and Persistently, Elizabeth Warren Is on the Rise

05.24 Trump’s Cover-Up Accelerates

05.24 Kushner Cos. Gets $800 Million Federally-Backed Apartment Loan

05.24 Retirement should not mean hardship – but many older Americans live in poverty

05.23 Joe Biden, Warmonger

05.23 Republicans aren’t just climate deniers. They deny the extinction crisis, too [As taught by Fox News and bribed by fossil fuel companies]

05.23 Bernie Sanders Is Bringing Back the Most Underrated Education Policy

05.23 To 'Circumvent' White House Obstruction, New York Passes Bill to Give Congress Access to Trump Tax Returns

05.23 'A Small Tax on Wall Street to Make Big Change': Bernie Sanders and Barbara Lee Introduce New Financial Transaction Tax

05.22 Contempt or impeachment? Trump and Democrats locked in ultimate congressional battle

05.22 This Is How Republics Die

05.22 'It's a Sure Winner—Except for the Profiteers': 200+ Economists Send Letter to Congress Endorsing Medicare for All

Justice Matters

05.22 Outrage as Texas Senate Passes 'Unconstitutional' Bill That Would Hit Pipeline Protestors With Up to 10 Years in Prison

05.21 Rich white men rule America. How much longer will we tolerate that?

High Crimes

05.21 Palestinians need a state, not a 'business plan' [They have slow-motion genocide now...]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

05.22 Capitalism used to promise a better future. Can it still do that?

International & Futurism

05.24 Boris Johnson for Prime Minister, and Other Ways that the Brexit Mess Could Get Even Worse

05.24 School climate strikes expected to be largest yet – live coverage

05.24 Theresa May announces she will resign on 7 June [0:41 video]

05.23 Impeachment Should Be on the Table If Trump Bombs Iran

05.23 The Great Power Game is On and China is Winning

05.22 Austria’s crisis is a lesson for Europe: far-right parties are unfit to govern [We've seen this playbook before!]

05.21 Trump's China trade war risks damaging US economy, says OECD [Does Baby Trump know what he's doing?]

05.20 What longer paternity leave did for men in Spain

05.20 The rise of social supermarkets: 'It's not about selling cheap food, but building strong communities'

05.20 European elections: how the six biggest countries will vote

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web

Public Service Ads: