Epilogue

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO DICK CHENEY:

INTERVIEWER: What’s your favorite virtue?

VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: Integrity

INTERVIEWER: What do you appreciate most in your friends?

VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: Honesty

INTERVIEWER: What do you consider your main fault?

VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: My main fault — Um, well I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about my faults I guess would be the answer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RWM: In World War II they had Rationing, Recycling, and Salvage programs like: Share Your Cars and Spare Your Tires / Food for Victory / Make it Do or Do Without / Save Waste Fat for Explosives / Do With Less, So They’ll Have More. Surely something in that spirit of sacrifice would have been superior to empty slogans about “supporting the troops.” How could anyone could fervently favor a war but want no part of participating in its cost? Showing some out-of-pocket patriotism in the form of a war tax was warranted in my eyes — and it’s beyond belief that tax policy would poison the possibility of that discussion. Paying our fair share for the war effort could have supported an overwhelming force that would have changed the trajectory of the aftermath. On top of offering meaningful assistance, a war tax would have raised the bar for debate, and in so doing opened the door for accountability. As the exact opposite was done, catastrophic consequences followed.

GREG THIELMANN (Lessons for Handling Iran From the Sad Saga of Iraq, MARCH 8, 2013): It will be up to Iraqis to debate whether their country now has a brighter future than it otherwise would have had without foreign invasion and occupation in the first decade of the new century. But it is uniquely incumbent on Americans to understand who and what were responsible for an enterprise that proved so costly in terms of U.S. lives lost, money spent, international reputation tarnished, and a campaign against al Qaeda diverted.

RWM: And yet America just casually moves on — masking realities with more platitudes in celebration of freedom. I fail to find the liberty in allowing people to engineer your perception. And now we have a skyscraper to symbolize 1776 so that we’ll — “never forget.” I noticed we had no trouble forgetting 58,000 names on a wall in the run-up to Iraq. If nothing else, we could have shown some wisdom by demanding a Declaration of War. Instead, we rigged another resolution that echoes the Gulf of Tonkin that got us into Vietnam. Only this time we had a 24/7 news cycle bolstered by the internet — so we could calcify our beliefs more rapidly than ever. I saw the post-9/11 blitzkrieg of nationalism in another light — that by virtue of volume you can identify patterns of questionable integrity more easily. Condoleezza Rice struck me as someone working awfully hard to say something of little substance. Cheney’s robotic claims were devoid of complexity — and simplistic repetition is a telltale sign of propaganda. Colin Powell’s U.N. speech seemed more like a laundry list of complaints than a well-argued case. And the Democrats rolling with the tide could hardly be read as an indicator of authenticity. And once the trumped-up intelligence started seeping out after the invasion — anyone with an open mind could put that puzzle together. But to this day conservatives refuse to see the obvious for the same reason that liberals look away from logic to get in line over Trayvon — because that’s what party-line conditioning is designed to do. M. Scott Peck diagnosed this brand of duplicity in his masterpiece on human nature.

PEOPLE OF THE LIE: Probably the most powerful of these group cohesive forces is narcissism. In its simplest and most benign form, this is manifested in group pride. As the members feel proud of their group, so the group feels proud of itself. A less benign but practically universal form of group narcissism is what might be called “enemy creation,” or hatred of the “out-group.” We can see this naturally occurring in children as they first learn to develop groups. It is almost common knowledge that the best way to cement group cohesiveness is to [foment] the group’s hatred of an external enemy. Deficiencies within the group can be easily and painlessly overlooked by focusing attention on the deficiencies or sins of the out-group.

NEWSWEEK: LIFE OF THE CLOSED MIND (by  Anna Quindlen , May 30th, 2005): Four years have passed — and it occurs to me — surveying the Columbia undergraduates with their blue gowns mimicking the sky — that the terrorists did win. Since September 11th we’ve become more like them. The essence of the way zealots think about the world is polar: good and evil, holy and profane, them and us. “At times it can seem like your day-to-day life is an exercise in choosing sides,” Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia, said in his commencement address. In the years since the class of 2005 entered college, America has become a country that sets its young people the terrible example of closed minds. The terrorists wanted to kill infidels — we only aim to silence them. President Bollinger described intellectual inquiry thus: “To learn to ask: ‘Is that true? Maybe there’s something to what she just said. Let me think about it. That’s interesting. Maybe I should change my mind. I changed my mind’.” When is the last time you can honestly remember a public dialogue — or even a private conversation — that followed that useful course?

RWM: That quote epitomizes how fanaticism over Travon parallels the everlasting absurdity of the Bush years. America has gone totally off the rails in its worship of the wildly undeserving — and that includes the so-called Rock Star running the show right now. Intellectually honest discussion was not on Obama’s mind when injected his imaginary son into the Trayvon tale — opening the floodgates for folly. An honorable leader would have withheld commentary until after the trial. And in the event of unrest, the President would educate the nation instead of pandering to it. How I would love to look upon a leader who has the guts to inspire intellectual inquiry when it comes at a price. THAT– would be some change to believe in.

RWM: I’m sorry about Trayvon — for all I know he was a great kid in other ways, but we all have our negative sides — and in his case it got him killed. As Zimmerman’s brother perfectly put it:  “He had the greater hand in his own demise.” Trayvon apologists spurn anyone who dares to consider the case purely on the merits — and they ignore anything that doesn’t serve their interests. Refusing to argue in good faith obfuscates the issues, and in so doing you create the conditions for conflict. The surest road to civil discourse is having both the courtesy and courage to entertain questions with a genuine desire to know the answers. Steadfastly refusing to take incongruities into account is prejudice by definition. Exemplifying that point: In blog commentary on the HUBRIS documentary, I found the following that I have seen people slinging untold times before.

ROANOKE.COM (some guy named Frank, February 19th, 2013): In order to provide a little rain on the “happy libs parade with Rachel Maddow,” I think it makes sense to show my fellow bloggers what the LIBS had to say during president Clinton’s administration, and after, concerning W.M.Ds  during the lead-up to the war in Iraq. It will be familiar reading for the informed, and a good reminder for those not afflicted with “Bush is evil” syndrome.

RWM: How could something so immense be so casually explained away? In my seemingly endless research on this subject matter, I came across the tiniest of discrepancies that did nothing to change the truth of what took place.
Nevertheless, I sought to square those inconsistencies — because accuracy is of paramount importance to me. With rare exception, issuing the facts was equally imperative to those who wrote the original material — but I had the luxury of looking at all of it together. . . . So I found a few things that didn’t match up, and it’s just in my nature to want to know why. No one harboring a “Bush hater” mentality would go so far to understand every single element of this story.

RWM: Frank’s on the other end of the spectrum — even after a decade he couldn’t muster up any curiosity to simply wonder if there was something more to see. The Franks of the world find no contradiction in mocking Rachel Maddow in one breath — then relying on the word of her party in the next. They seem entirely incapable of insightful analysis when their interests are at risk — and therein lies the point of my program. I can reasonably conclude that Frank and I agree on the Zimmerman verdict, and I’ll bet that he could cite evidence up and down that makes perfect sense on the subject. In a post-9/11 world, any honest person would acknowledge that seeing suspicious behavior by a Middle Eastern Muslim on a plane will register differently than anyone else. It’s not fair — but human nature dictates that reality in our time. But if anyone acted on their suspicions and the Muslim took offense to what turned out to be nothing — would the misunderstood Muslim have the right to pummel the passenger for the perceived harassment? The truth has a wonderful way of almost invariably making sense, but it takes an objective observer to recognize that in an attempt to square all the accounts. Rachel Maddow had no such notion when she walked right into the Trayvon Trap.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW (March 21st, 2012): Three weeks ago, February 26th, the 17-year-old was walking through his father’s Florida neighborhood when a local neighborhood watch captain saw him, called police and told them he suspected Trayvon Martin was up to no good. He followed Trayvon Martin. He CHASED him despite the police dispatcher telling him not to. And then after a series of events currently in dispute, the neighborhood watch captain OPENED FIRE on the teenager. He OPENED FIRE. That is not in dispute. Trayvon Martin, unarmed but for a bag of candy and an iced tea that he was carrying, was pronounced dead at the scene.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RWM: I don’t recall any running in the entire incident. Sounds like there should have been since Trayvon apparently had plenty of time to run away. Then you took liberties with the language with “opened fire on the teenager.” “OPENED FIRE” has connotations entirely unwarranted, and such concocted language has ulterior motives written all over it. “Unarmed but for a bag of candy and an iced tea.” Except that it wasn’t iced tea, WAS IT!

THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ  (March 20th, 2012): We now know what Trayvon Martin was doing in the moments before he was killed by George Zimmerman. The 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was talking on the phone with his 16-year-old girlfriend. He was not casing houses, as Zimmerman suggested. He was coming back to the neighborhood with a bag of skittles and was CHASED by a VIGILANTE with a 9-millimeter handgun.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN JEALOUS(THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW (July 15th 2013): And the reality is that there was no reason to think that Trayvon Martin was doing anything other than what he was doing, which was walking down the street with a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles, and trying to get away from a man he thought was creepy. That man kept tracking him. Got out of the car, taunted him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RWM: Every Trayvon loyalist acts like they know exactly what happened. taunted him? Tried to get away? Those who insist on slinging snippets of certitude are never open to exploring any possibility beyond what they believe. It doesn’t dawn on them that their real motives are corrupting their judgment. As president and C.E.O. of the N.A.A.C.P, Ben Jealous was peddling a plotline to further the interests of his organization — and dishonored it by doing so. I would think that a Rhodes Scholar would have higher standards.

RWM: Now Frank, I hope you’re watching, because undoubtedly you see such asinine efforts for exactly what they are: Hyped-up rhetoric designed to serve their network narrative. You and I both know that their claims don’t square with the evidence, and if they did — the purveyors of poppycock wouldn’t feel the need to manipulate emotions in the first place.  And Ms. Maddow, I really enjoyed that Spent Nuclear Fuel Rods story you did in 2011. That took a meticulous mindset — the one you entirely abandoned in pushing Trayvon.

RWM: Rather than rehash the evidence, I prefer to point you to the most compelling 10 minutes I’ve seen on last summer’s Spectacle of Certitude.  A friend of mine sent me a link called “The Lynching” — available on a youtube channel called AFTERBURNER WITH BILL WHITTLE. I had never heard of the guy until then, but I was impressed with his work. But unsurprisingly, his hypocrisy is staggering when his own interests are at stake. I found a segment he did on Iraq called “What We Did Right” — where Whittle makes a mockery of the sound consideration that he displayed in the Trayvon video. And that’s the distorted art of self-delusion — where you surrender your intellect in service of ulterior motives.

RWM: That’s exactly what Colin Powell did when he shoveled that sham at the U.N. That speech is a monument to the difference between an assertion and an argument. A wonderful depiction of the distinction is on a blog I stumbled across called Duane’s Mind: A Christian’s Perspective: “An assertion is just a point of view, an opinion. An argument goes further. An argument is a point of view supported by reasons that demonstrate the view is a good one.” Powell offered nothing in the realm of an argument on the aluminum tubes — and weak arguments at best on everything else. Naturally, Colin claims otherwise — always at the ready to unleash his canned answers to excuse his timeless disgrace. He loves to tout how he spent 5 days over at the C.I.A. in preparation for the speech — and how insistent he was that the intelligence be multiple sourced. I’ll return to that momentarily. First let’s look at the following scene from Bob Woodward’s 2nd book on the Bush Administration — which offers some insight into what Powell was dealing with well before 9/11.

PLAN OF ATTACK: On March 1st, [2001 — 41 days into the Bush presidency,] the principals met again and Powell was given the task of devising a plan and strategy to refocus the U.N. economic sanctions on weapons control in Iraq. Rumsfeld and others from Defense repeatedly voiced concern about dual-use items — equipment that might seem innocent but could be used or converted to assist Iraq’s weapons programs.  “Look what they are buying,” Rumsfeld complained to Powell at one point. “They are buying these dumptrucks. They can take off the hydraulic cylinder that pushes the truck bed up and they can use it for a launcher for a rocket. You want to sell them the means to erect rockets to shoot at us or Israel?” For Christ’s sake, Powell said, if somebody wants a cylinder to erect a rocket, they don’t have to buy a $200,000 dumptruck to get one!

RWM: That’s the version of Powell that could have prevented a war — or at the very least, demanded that it be fought intelligently. His stature was unrivaled, so he had a bargaining chip to play. Short of doing the right thing by resigning in protest, this was the next best move: “Mr. President, I’ll spin your yarn at the U.N. — so long as you invade with overwhelming force so that we can crush the enemy and shut the place down from the start. Furthermore, you allow the State Department to fully implement its comprehensive post-war plans called The Future of Iraq Project — which has been entirely ignored by the Pentagon.” I’m not informed enough on Powell’s early history to offer educated commentary on it. But if a man of his stature wouldn’t buck the system when he had enough clout to start a war or stop one — I’d say he’s always played it on the safe side. The following scene shows just that in a striking contrast between the Powell that put Rumsfeld in his place on that dumptruck deal — and the “good soldier” who put on that performance at the U.N.

AMERICAN SOLDIER by General Tommy Franks (September 5th, 2002): Colin had concerns. He was from a generation of generals who believed that overwhelming military force was found in troop strength — sheer numbers of soldiers and tanks on the ground. Indeed, the principle of overwhelming force was often referred to as the Powell Doctrine. “I’m going to critique your plan up at Camp David,” the Secretary said. “I’ve got problems with force size and support of that force.”

RWM: Powell had repeatedly warned Franks about the smaller force that Rumsfeld had conned him into, but at Camp David with the President on site, he stayed silent –opting for deference over diligence. That theme is consistent throughout Powell’s record in the Bush Administration — that he pushed back — but only so far. Apparently Powell feels that lukewarm resistance absolves him of accountability. That doesn’t get it done, Mr. Secretary — especially since there’s overwhelming evidence that you knew exactly what they were up to the entire time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUBRIS: SELLING THE IRAQ WAR

LARRY WILKERSON: He walked into my office with a sheaf of papers in my hand and he threw them down on the desk and he said, “That`s the script of my presentation at the United Nations. It came from the vice president`s office.”

It was junk. It was pure junk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RWM: In the days leading up to the U.N. speech — Cheney, Scooter Libby, Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, Tenet and John McLaughlin were pressuring the Secretary on what to say. To Powell and Wilkerson’s credit, they rejected a good bit — but simply insisting on something palatable to preach is a far cry from integrity. When people are peddling that much garbage — even the more appealing stuff should be considered highly suspect.

HUBRIS: “What happened to Atta-in-Prague?” Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley asked during one discussion. Powell fixed him with a cold stare: “Steve, we took that out, don’t you remember? And it’s staying out.” Hadley, according to Wilkerson, “kind of shrunk in his chair, looked at the secretary, and said, ‘Oh yeah, I remember that.'” Amid the fighting over what he should say in the speech, Powell received little support from Condoleezza Rice. She seemed almost dismissive of Powell’s concerns and, as Wilkerson saw it, showed him little respect. “I was taken aback by the way Dr. Rice talked to him. She would just say, ‘Oh, come on, you know that ought to be in there.'”

RWM: The White House was repeatedly warned not to cite the bogus claim about uranium from Africa — and yet it still found its way into the 2003 State of the Union.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(Videotape, January 28, 2003):

PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH: The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

(End videotape)

MEET THE PRESS, September 28, 2003

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: In October for the Cincinnati speech, not for the State of the Union, but the Cincinnati speech, George Tenet asked that this be taken out of the Cincinnati speech, the reference to yellowcake. It was taken out of the Cincinnati speech because whenever the director of Central Intelligence wants something out, it’s gone.

 MR. RUSSERT: How’d it get back in?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: It’s not a matter of getting back in. It’s a matter, Tim, that three-plus months later, people didn’t remember that George Tenet had asked that it be taken out of the Cincinnati speech and then it was cleared by the agency.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RWM: In THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF BUSH, Wilkerson offers a colorful way of how they managed it: “Stick that baby in there forty-seven times and on the forty-seventh time it will stay. At every level of the decision-making process you had to have your ax out, ready to chop their fingers off. Sooner or later you would miss one and it would get in there.” And yet he managed to say the following with a straight face:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUBRIS: SELLING THE IRAQ WAR

LARRY WILKERSON: Though neither Powell nor anyone else in the State Department team intentionally lied, we did participate in a hoax. . . . Both of us convinced ourselves if the intelligence community believed what we were presenting, then we had to believe it, because they were the experts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RWM: Wilkerson is a master at doing the Potomac Two-Step around the fact that both he and Powell were complicit in marketing the war to the public. You don’t get a pass for flagrantly failing to ask the most basic questions when you’re well aware of the unscrupulous environment you’re in. Moreover, as the aluminum tubes were debunked by the A-Team of experts using crystal-clear science — the only possible way that someone wouldn’t recognize the truth is because they didn’t want to — making Powell’s speech as insincere as it gets.

RWM: At the heart of why we fail to live up to our potential as a society is because we excel at polluting even the purist form of fact. How can we possibly solve serious problems when we refuse to adhere to some semblance of the fundamentals of making sense? And instead of the media helping to sort things out, their highly-selective standards prevent the possibility of rational discourse. Perhaps my offering will serve as a reminder to all the networks — that even with all your credentials, you miserably failed to inform the nation on the most important matter of our time. No collective body that big could screw up so royally without ulterior motives in mind. And it’s astounding how they can switch modes so easily and act like they embodied integrity all along. In the wake of the verdict last July, Fox was after the truth, and the rest of the gang — something far from it. But on the war, the frantic on Fox drove its viewers down an expressway of self-delusion — shamelessly roping Iraq into 9/11. Kind of like how its competitors indiscriminately conflate race relations with the Zimmerman trial.

How could so many intelligent people turn on a dime to deny the patently obvious? That’s what social scientist Leon Festinger set out to study almost 60 years ago. In December 1954 an article came out in the Chicago Tribune about a doomsday prophecy foretelling a cataclysmic flood. The founder of this fiction claimed that aliens from the planet Clarion contacted her and telepathically transmitted instructions for how to survive. Obeying every warning would earn a ticket into outer space just a few hours before life on Earth would end. A small clan dubbed The Seekers heard her calling and wanted to be on board that ship. Festinger saw the perfect opportunity to put his theory to the test. He assembled a team of psychologists to infiltrate The Seekers to see how they would react when time continued to tick. He and his undercover operatives wrote WHEN PROPHECY FAILS to document their observations. In the forward to a 2008 edition of that book, another famous psychologist named Elliot Aronson wrote the following:

Suppose that The Seekers are not wild-eyed kooks wearing white robes and carrying signs saying “REPENT!” — but are intelligent, sensible people with nice homes, loving families, and good jobs.

No doubt you had another image in mind — I know I did. So serious were The Seekers in their adherence to alien law that one member even removed a filling from a tooth — as no metal of any kind was allowed on their journey to the stars. Another example of allegiance was the guy who “meticulously stripped tin foil from each stick of a pack of gum he was carrying.” The fervor in their faith fit right into the predictions of the study — that the disciples would double down on their convictions in the aftermath of unfulfilled beliefs. When midnight arrived on the day of their departure, they opted to count on the slower of the two clocks. Surely that was the reason the saucer had not yet appeared at the mandated strike of twelve. Hope was fading fast by 4:00 A.M., but 45 minutes later The Founder received a message from above. As the book tells it: “The cataclysm had been called off. The little group, sitting all night long, had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction.” . . . That very afternoon The Seekers sought the publicity they had previously shunned — and the theory of cognitive dissonance was born.

COGNITIVE DISSONANCE: 50 YEARS OF A CLASSIC THEORY (by Joel M. Cooper): So that was it. The beliefs had not been wrong after all. God had been planning to destroy the Earth. All of the preparations for the cataclysm had not been in vain. In fact, it was precisely and only because of the preparations, sacrifices, and faith of the group that the Earth still existed. Festinger’s team had hypothesized that The Seekers — who initially shunned publicity and notoriety, would take their cause to the public following the disconfirmation — and they did that with gusto. As soon as their new belief was in place — as soon as they had generated the story that their actions had saved the world — they took their case to the public. They looked for social support for their story. They desperately wanted others to see that their actions had not been in vain — that their prophecy had not been disconfirmed, that there was no inconsistency in their belief. Festinger had made a very basic observation about the social lives of human beings: We do not like inconsistency. It upsets us and it drives us to action to reduce our inconsistency. The greater the inconsistency we face — the more agitated we will be — and the more motivated we will be to reduce it.

RWM: And with atomic clock timing, Bill Whittle predictably peddled the new narrative right on cue — never burdened by the slightest curiosity to wonder how Cheney’s absolute certainty could be so hollow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AFTERBURNER WITH BILL WHITTLE, September 13, 2011: But since we now know that the fear of the invasion caused Saddam to destroy his stockpiles before the invasion, WMDs were not in fact found. And you’ve been told that this means that the war was based on a lie — despite the fact that every intelligence agency in the world thought that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RWM: Those tortured talking points need to be put out of their misery — and I know of no one better for that than Greg Thielmann. I emailed him to ask how he would respond to Whittle’s common claim, and one of the most telling aspects to his answer was the technicality of literal truth in the manufactured myth. Thielmann acknowledged that nearly everybody thought that Saddam had hidden away some mustard agent left over from the 1980s, but he added that the Bush administration did not make its case for war on the strength of suspicions that Iraq retained World War One-era munitions.

It’s the second half of that statement that Whittle & Company conveniently ignore.

Thielmann also pointed out that few intelligence agencies had independent means of evaluating U.S. intelligence. He brings up the infamous Downing Street Memos that explicitly state that

Bush wanted to wanted to remove Saddam through military action — justified by the conjunction of terrorism and W.M.D. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

Thielmann elucidates one fine point after another for over a page: Germans on the unreliability of Curveball. I.A.E.A. on the tubes and “uranium from Africa” reports. D.I.A. reversing its position on the drones before the invasion. And as Thielmann talked about on P.B.S. FRONTLINE, a senior Australian intelligence analyst resigned in protest over the fabricated intelligence. I have included his email in its entirety as part of “Supplemental Materials Exhibit A” — which includes a clip of Prime Minister Tony Blair ignoring British intelligence that rejected the aluminum tubes. As for that abysmal absurdity about Saddam destroying his stockpiles out of fear: Bill Whittle and his world gleefully turned a technicality into a fairytale. That he could stand there and make that claim without a scrap of evidence is on par with The Seekers and their saucer. Same goes for the crowd that saturated the airwaves to manufacture an image of innocence around Trayvon.

RWM: Sir Roger Bannister was the first person to break the four-minute mile by turning a time of 3 minutes 59.4 seconds in 1954. Subtract sixteen years and you’ll find a track star by the name of Louis Zamperini who should have been the first to crack what was considered impossible in those days. Louis’ fantastic tale is told in Laura Hillenbrand’s book — UNBROKEN: “A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.”  In 1938 word was getting around that Louis just might capture the ever-elusive record. His competition at the N.C.A.A. Championships was not too keen on that, so under orders from their coaches, some runners sharpened their spikes to cut into Louis during the race. They surrounded the star to prevent him from breaking away from the pack. The notion of sportsmanship was lost on those who were willing to jam their shoes into Zamperini’s shins, stab him in the foot with a spike, and crack a rib with an elbow. Amazingly, he managed to break through the mob that encircled him and just missed the mark by barely over eight seconds. Considering that he was assaulted by the crowd that contained him for a lap and a half, Louie would have crossed the finish line in under four had he not had to escape his attackers. As you can tell from the title, Louis’ destiny lay elsewhere when war came calling.

Who wouldn’t be appalled by such an injustice? How many of us would commit such an affront to fairness to win a race? Is that the height of our standards though — that we stop short of physically gouging our fellow man while in pursuit of our precious ideals? In 1805 John Adams wrote the following in a letter to Benjamin Rush, a friend and fellow signer of the Declaration of Independence: “Our  electioneering racers have started for the prize. Such a whipping and spurring and huzzaing! Oh what rare sport it will be! Through thick and thin, through mire and dirt, through bogs and fens and sloughs, dashing and splashing and crying out, the devil take the hindmost. How long will it be possible that honor, truth, or virtue should be respected among a people who are engaged in such a quick and perpetual succession of such profligate collisions and conflicts?”

This concludes The Trayvon Travesty: A Saga of Self-deception. My name is Richard W. Memmer and I would to thank my panel members for being such good sports. My profound gratitude also goes out to a number of others who helped me put the polish on my program. And many thanks to Shane Killian of skmedia.org for his film work and delivering such top-notch video editing with exceptional ingenuity and extraordinary instincts. I would like to give a very special thanks to Professor Houston Wood at the University of Virginia, David Albright at the Institute for Science and International Security, and Greg Thielmann at the Arms Control Association. Their contributions to this subject matter cannot possibly be overstated, and they were very gracious in entertaining my barrage of questions. I would also like to express my appreciation to all the writers who never let up in pursuit of the story behind the story. And I take my hat off to all those who helped them uncover the truth — in the face of so many dead set on concealing it. As M. Scott Peck put it: “Mental health is an ongoing process of dedication to reality at all costs.” I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for watching!

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CORKBOARD CREDITS ANIMATION

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHITE RABBIT ANIMATION

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHEEL MAN & FRANCIS BACON QUOTE

Shown here is a somewhat dehumanized, life-size bronze figure of a human being of no particular sex, age, race, culture, or environment. Compressed between the two wheels, it seems to present humanity as the victim of its own complicated inventions. The wheels also symbolize the blind ups and downs of fortune. The date 1965 is inscribed on the base, and the whole sad assemblage seems to say that human history and civilization have not exactly turned out as was once more hopefully expected.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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