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
Health Care & Environment

08.16 Planting the Seeds for Dramatic Changes in Agriculture [6:19 video]

08.16 Microplastics ‘significantly contaminating the air’, scientists warn

08.15 The rain in Spain: how an ancient Arabic technique saves Alicante from floods

08.15 40% of US honeybee colonies disappeared last year. This is what the world would look like without any bees at all.

08.15 Fracking Boom in US and Canada Largely to Blame for 'Massive' Rise of Global Methane Levels: Study [Will there be mass-murder criminal charges? With Trump-appointed judges allow criminal or civil-cases be fairly adjudicated?]

08.14 “Kochland” Examines the Koch Brothers’ Early, Crucial Role in Climate-Change Denial [For their gravestones, what best summarizes the vast death of life across the globe these two brothers have wrought?]

08.14 GM, VW Say They Won’t Build Hybrids Or Plug-in Hybrids, Only Battery Electric Cars

08.14 eHang Wants To Start An eVTOL Service In Guangzhou Soon [7:31 video]

08.14 Tesla Model 3 = 3rd Best Selling Vehicle In The Netherlands In July

08.14 China Is Leading The World To An Electric Future: Four Takeaways From My Recent Visit

08.14 India Approves Subsidy For 5,595 Electric Buses Across 64 Cities

08.14 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us

08.14 North Pole: multiple lightning strikes follow record-low sea ice levels

08.13 Tree-damaging pests pose ‘devastating’ threat to 40% of US forests

08.13 Playing Role of Pesticide 'Cheerleader,' EPA Rebukes Calif. With Ban on Warning Labels for Roundup

08.13 Regenerative Agriculture Is Key for a Sustainable Climate and Food System

08.12 Death toll from Indian floods reaches 147, thousands evacuated

08.12 Mexico City joins worldwide movement to ban single-use plastic

08.12 Australia will ban export of recyclable waste 'as soon as practicable', PM vows

08.12 Governments could become indifferent to climate disaster victims, expert warns [Especially those with sociopathic rulers, like Trump and Bolsonaro]

News Media Matters

08.15 Why Bernie Sanders Is Absolutely Correct About the Washington Post—and Corporate Media Overall [7:51 video]

08.11 Guess who said it: Tucker Carlson or a far-right shooter [How have Fox News and similar excretory news sources become such profitable engines of hate? They foment fear of people different than ‘you’ as the problem, and sell evisceration of ‘them’ as the solution. It’s all neatly packaged to make ‘you’ feel safer.]

08.09 'What Oligarchy Looks Like': Sanders Leads 140 Lawmakers in Condemning Trump Plan to Rip Food Stamps From 3 Million Americans [Why isn't this story covered in corporate media?]

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

08.16 As Warren and Sanders Swiftly Condemned Israel for Barring Congresswomen, Pelosi and Biden Hesitated [Corporate-Democrats caught wrong-footed again]

08.16 Steve King’s Views on Rape Are Inseparable From His Racism

08.16 Elizabeth Warren Sells Populism to Professionals

08.16 'Bees, not refugees': the environmentalist roots of anti-immigrant bigotry

08.15 American Taxpayers Forced to Pay For Don Jr.’s Sheep Hunting Vacation to Canada [Visit webpage to see the latest stone sheep he's 'proudly' killed.]

08.15 American unions have been decimated. No wonder inequality is skyrocking

08.15 Now Earning 278 Times More Than Average Worker, New Study Shows CEO Pay Has Grown More Than 1,000% Since 1978

08.14 To Stave Off 'Climate Disaster,' 29 States and Major Cities Sue Trump EPA Over 'Dirty Power' Rule

08.14 Indigenous and Green Groups Fighting Against Pipeline Urge 2020 Democrats to Take 'NoKXL Pledge'

Justice Matters

08.16 The FBI could fight far-right violence if they wanted to – but they don't

08.15 Fracking Boom in US and Canada Largely to Blame for 'Massive' Rise of Global Methane Levels: Study [Will there be mass-murder criminal charges? With Trump-appointed judges allow criminal or civil-cases be fairly adjudicated?]

08.09 Warning of 'Severe' Harm to Millions of People, UN Human Rights Chief Condemns Trump Embargo Against Venezuela

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

08.10 Turkey to annex northern Syria with US blessing [This unfairly favors Turkey—a dubious Russia-friendly ally—by allowing it to steal the Kurdish homeland it will expand and quicken the slow-motion genocide against the Kurdish people. What logic supports doing this to America's best ally for the last 16 years? How much was Trump bribed to support this?]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

08.15 Military Spending: Ignoring the $738 Billion Elephant in the Room

08.10 Why is it so difficult to stop your pension money making the climate crisis worse?

08.10 Neoliberalism Has Met Its Match in China

International & Futurism

08.15 US moves to block release of Iranian vessel in Gibraltar

08.13 The Museum Is the Refugee’s Home [Think about it: refugees—excluding bad criminal types—are naturally the best new citizens because they'll fight like hell for a better life.]

08.13 Hong Kong protests: airport suspends flights for second day [0:45 video]

08.11 Trump's influence is spreading like a virus

08.11 The very idea of a united kingdom is being torn apart by toxic nationalism

Google
This site Web

Public Service Ads: