The Tahoma Activist

"Changing the Media, One Story at a Time"

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Independent Journalist and entrepreneur Sander Hicks

For the first in a series of interviews we're calling "Underground Notes", we're talking with Sander Hicks, independent publisher, journalist and author of the new book "The Big Wedding: 9/11, the Whistle-Blowers and the Cover-Up".

TA: Sander, you're a publisher, a journalist, an entrepreneur, a working-class rocker with an eye for interesting subjects. What made you decide to write about the 9/11 Truth Movement?

SH: The Spirit of History. I was on a leave of absence from Soft Skull, I had just moved out of Manhattan, to Huntington Station, Long Island. I set up an office in the basement of my Aunt's low little ranch suburban house and went to work. You're never alone when you have high speed internet.

I think people are inherently good, and that they eventually come around, and want to do the right thing, no matter what.

: You spent a long time researching the men you describe in the book, Randy Glass, Mohammed Atta, Delmart Vreeland. What sort of person goes into the intelligence and black ops field? What makes a person like that turn away from their criminal associations and decide to blow the whistle?

SH: I think people are inherently good, and that they eventually come around, and want to do the right thing, no matter what. Even Atta was a man of political passions, he was just so badly manipulated by his higher-ups, some of whom were almost certainly Americans. Did Atta have criminal behavior patterns and a record like Glass/Vreeland? Almost certainly, this is a guy who, by hand, killed a litter of kittens in his blonde American ex-girlfriend's pad in Venice, Florida. The kind of far-right pseudo Islamic politics that Atta got into, with the CIA-penetrated Muslim Brotherhood, sort of consumed him, just immolated him, in the end.

Glass is a different bird altogether. This is a guy who honestly does not give a f___ about bourgeois propriety, and realizes that there is a FBI hierarchy that does. That hierarchy has been threatening his life since he turned whistle-blower. Glass is strong-the kind of man who, under oath, tells the Senate/Congressional Joint Inquiry on 9/11 "go f___ yourself. I came here to tell you the truth, but you're only here to watch over the truth."

Vreeland I'm still trying to figure out, ex-crack head pedophile with Opus Dei/Reagan White House/Naval intel connections. He was fun to drink with. That I know for certain. No, Vreeland errs on the side of goodness, too, he too tried to stop 9/11 from happening, and of course he got in his own way the most. Being in jail didn't help.

Glass was in jail on 9/11 as well. Both guys wept that morning. Both had written notes, by hand, trying to warn the Feds, in desperate language. But evidence points to the Feds being closer to Atta, the man of a many languages, the man with multiple credentials, pilot licenses, and IDs, the man able to pass through US Customs on an expired Visa.

Bush has done EVERYTHING while invoking 9/11.

TA: No subject reaches into so many different avenues of our life more than September Eleventh. The events of that day have spawned countless adverse effects, from the impacts on our relationships with Muslim countries, to the effect of Bush's policies on our society, policies that likely could never have been put in place otherwise. What do you feel is the single most disturbing thing this President has done using September Eleventh as an excuse?

SH: It's a good question, but it's difficult to separate out one subject. Bush has done EVERYTHING while invoking 9/11. The invasion of Iraq probably uses it most often since that has been the longest-running embarrassment for the administration. Guantanamo, domestic spying on US Citizens, invasion of Afghanistan. The carte blanche that CIA was given to murder US Citizens abroad for suspicion of having "Al Qaeda" ties. Gee, that one is right up there. But I think the most disturbing thing about the post-9/11 world is the torture. It's Abu Ghraib. And the fact that Cheney still fetishizes the use of torture, and wants it approved. Did you see that? It just failed, post-NSA. This means that Gandhi's old law, that the enemy is still human, might be challenged by the form of Cheney.

TA: You think Cheney might not be human?

SH: No, he is human. To assert he's a lizard or an alien would be to mystify a man who is all too human: greedy, venal, short-sighted, and violent.

To build on Gandhi, we have a tendency to idealize our enemies. We resort to violence out of desperation. We think the enemy of imperialism is impregnable.

TA: Do you see any similiarities between Dick Cheney and other dangerous men in history?

SH: The answer is obvious. He's like every oligarch in history. Again, this should de-mystify him. Re-humanize him. To build on Gandhi, we have a tendency to idealize our enemies. We resort to violence out of desperation. We think the enemy of imperialism is impregnable. But somewhere deep inside Cheney there's still a shred of humanity left. I know that's hard to believe. And that his behavior spawns crazy theories about lizard people running the world. But that sort of stuff is ahistorical.

TA: The 9/11 Commission made many recomendations following their so-called investigation. Which of their recommendations do you think are sensible and should have been applied? Are there any that you disagreed with that have been implemented?

SH: They actually called for the protection of Civil Liberties, knowing full well what was going to be coming down, and then they sat backed and watched it go down. Who on the 9/11 Commission has spoken up and condemned the illegal, FISA-court ignoring NSA wiretaps on domestic US citizens? Not one. Meanwhile, you have Richard Ben-Veniste speaking on colleges and hawking books.

The really dangerous recommendations were lapped up by the neo-cons-the centralization of intelligence. Making intel a cabinet level position necessarily "politicizes" it and all the best CIA vets like Ray McGovern, very sensibly point out that this is suicide for the objectivity of intelligence. The neo-cons, of course, don't care. These very men (Cheney & Rumsfeld & Bush Sr.) have been twisting intelligence since the Ford Admin in 76. Go google Team B.

On tour, one very wise woman taught me to "manifest" a kind of "shield of white light" around myself and my family. It seems to work.

TA: Jim Hatfield [the author of "Fortunate Son"] was hounded into poverty and suicide by a system that didn't seem to care whether his story was true or not. Most mainstream commentators had no concern for the damning assertions raised in his book. Knowing what you know now about the mainstream media and the way that powerful media conglomerates have silenced critical voices in this country, are you at all worried about your own safety or financial well-being? Do you ever think you might become a casualty of the present global shift towards violent corporatism?

SH: On tour, one very wise woman taught me to "manifest" a kind of "shield of white light" around myself and my family. It seems to work. I pray a lot, have a pretty OK spiritual practice, and I know that I'm protected by the souls of the dead. The prophets, the saints. There's a ton of powerful energy out there if you know how to access it.

Regarding the neo-cons, their violence makes them weak. It surrounds them with enemies. I don't have to worry about them, THEY have to worry about me. I recently infiltrated the Republican National Congressional Committee and got to shake hands with Dick Cheney. Of course, I asked him about 9/11. Posing as a young GOP dude, I asked him about the massive allegations of an "inside job" I told him I had been hearing. He said "Just look at the evidence, it's not true!" But he was right there, right away with the answer. He seemed to be used to the question, not surprised, just trying really hard to seem sensitive to the seriousness of the question. Earnest. What a stretch.

TA: It reminds me of the time I asked Dennis Kucinich about the massive electronic election fraud in the 2004 election. I got the same sense - that he had heard it a thousand times and was just saying something to get me to go away.

SH: Right. There are some problems, like electronic voting, that are the 500 lb. gorilla in the living room: very ugly, everyone smells it, but no one in power will lower themselves to comment on it. John Kerry talked to author Mark Crispin Miller about how he did acknowledge that his 2004 election was stolen, blatantly. The next day Kerry's people denied that Kerry ever met Miller. This is the perfect example of what "bourgeois consciousness" is. When you care more about your reputation, in the eyes your fellow elitists, than you do about the health of the country, the mass population. Kerry is a shrill bourgeois. My source on this Kerry/Miller meeting is Miller himself-he was just here at Vox Pop.

I do think controlled demolition is more logical than the official story.

TA: You make a point in your book of breaking with the general consensus of 9/11 researchers around the issue of "plane sight" manipulations by the conspirators. You seem to be saying that worrying about whether planes actually hit the buildings is less important than dealing squarely with the issues of global corporate fascism. I would argue, however, that the precise details of the case are extremely important, given that a detailed investigation of the facts tends to lead toward a conclusion that can only be described as cooperative complicity in the attacks by the Bush administration. When you consider that no metal-framed structure had ever collapsed due to fire before or since 9/11, and given that on that day three metal structures collapsed in exactly the same way in exactly the same fashion, you begin to wonder if perhaps the "controlled demolitions" crowd could be right. Is there any way that you might be wrong on this, that maybe, just maybe, the administration did assist the attackers in prosecuting this attack?

SH: I do think controlled demolition is more logical than the official story. That's a whole different topic than the "blurry JPeg school" of the In Plane Sight video. On the Controlled Demoliton side you have serious scientists, people published in Scientific American, and Nature, i.e. Jim Hoffman, on the In Plane Sight side you have a kooky failure of logic. Very slick packaging, and some kind of financial energy is definitely putting the In Plane Sight video EVERYWHERE. This is not the actions of a free market. Someone is funding a major flow of this really poor, distracting, sugar-water dreck.

I am also interested in Controlled Demolition theories. I lead a group of public citizen researchers here at Vox Pop. We're currently following up leads. There's a lot of meat on the bone here, especially WTC #7. This is the building that collapsed at 5:30 PM that day, destroying lots of government and intelligence records, despite the fact that it had not been hit by a plane, and only had a minor fire inside, which was under control. Owner Larry Silverstein is the guy who blundered on Frontline, PBS, and told the cameras, that on 9/11, he made this decision about his World Trade Center building #7. He reported saying to the Fire Chief: "We've had such terrible loss of life. Maybe the smartest thing to do is to pull it."

"Pull it" in building construction terms means set off demolition charges. There's enough critical mass on this issue, that Silverstein this past September was forced to dig his hole deeper. He issued a statement through his PR hack that by "pull it" he actually meant pull the firefighters out of the building. But at that point, the firefighters were already out of the building. No one died when the building collapsed.

What's really hot is that, a couple weeks ago, I found a connection between Larry Silverstein and Kenneth Feinberg. Feinberg was the combative "Special Master" of the 9/11 victim's compensation fund. He's in my book, where he blows a gasket yelling at me on the phone. They both used the same PR wiz-kid, Dara McQuillan, to issue cover-up statements and lies.

TA: Several recent stories have highlighted the five or six different training exercises by FAA and NORAD that day.

SH: I JUST saw Webster Tarpley speak for 3.5 hours tonight, it was riveting. It's no longer six exercises, it was seven in his book, but he has know found an additional 8. So, with Tarpley, its a total of 15. AND he's got the historical chops to tell you what that means. Many times, drills have turned into the real thing, in order to fool an institution into having all the right parts in place for an operation. The operation was supposed to be a drill but a few people at the top know that it's real. This happened, for instance, during the assassination attempt on Reagan. Hinckley, the mental patient whose family is friends with Bush, was the patsy. Students of the incident later learned that there had been a "Presidential Succession" exercise planned for the day after Reagan happened to have gotten shot.

The "drill" always turns deadly. Otherwise, NORAD would have worked. NORAD worked 67 times in the 9 months before 9/11. There was a massive distraction effort, and the 15 drills explain why NORAD and all the other air-defense systems were inoperable, or under-staffed. You also had a lot of fake radar screen blips, because of these drills, so planes that were scrambled went after thin air. There are actual references to drills even in the 9/11 Commission Report.

HELEX 75 was a drill that the UK and USA ran in 1975 to pretend "what if" the fall of Saigon sparks a global revolution against the brittle power structure. "What if" we have a go into a nuclear war against the USSR? I.e. it was the kind of drill that might have acted as a real excuse to actually start nuclear war, but anti-war groups got wind of it via a leak to Die Spiegel, and citizen outrage in the US and Europe called it off.

The National Security State pigs who pulled off 9/11 also shot Reagan, hoping that he would die and that Bush would take power.

TA: Isn't that pretty much what they thought would happen here? That if all the planes had hit their intended targets, they could have claimed that Bush had been killed (or even that he had) and then moved to institute martial law with Darth Cheney at the helm?

SH: Yeah, and it seems that Bush was NOT running the show on 9/11. That would be Cheney/Rumsfeld/miscellaneous black operatives.

TA: When I think of prominent figures in the 9/11 truth movement, three names stand out: Alex Jones, editor of Prison Planet and; David Icke, author of "Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster", among other disturbing titles; and David Ray Griffin, professor at Claremont School of Theology and author of one of the seminal works on 9/11, "The New Pearl Harbor" . Of the three, I think that Griffin's work is the most readable and easy to understand. How do think you compare to these men, and how are you different?

SH: Griffin is the only one with the possibility to reach a massive amount of people.

TA: I like the idea for a Peoples' Intelligence Network, an idea you discuss in the last chapter of your book. Something like that would be very useful to those of us on the front lines of Bush's war on the working poor, who often wonder if they themselves are being spied upon by the FBI or other agencies. In addition to the PIN, what other bright ideas do you have for improving our democracy?

We need to YANK advertising, and military recruiters, out of our public schools!

SH: Well, I'm running for Governor, of New York State. It's tough to do with everything else I've got going on, but it's also a lot of fun, to be able to actually write a platform on how I'd change things in this state. Like, the Excelsior Venture Fund. New York State needs a state-owned venture capital fund to develop jobs, alternative energy, and light industry, especially in the de-industrialized areas of the land.

TA: Imagine you're talking to a potential New York voter. In 100 words or less, explain to me how you're going to make New York a better state to live in.

SH: You need health care. New York State will provide it under my administration. We've got cancer clusters around the state because of lax environmental enforcement. I will attack toxic polluters and put them in jail. 11 states have legalized marijuana for cancer and HIV patients. I will make NY the 12th. We need to YANK advertising, and military recruiters, out of our public schools! We need to cut down on wasteful SUVs, on junk mail, on bureaucracy. We need to make the State government a democratic, self-refining apparatus.

TA: Some folks have commented that a 9/11 coverup is not a serious issue. They feel that all that ground has been covered and now we know terrorists from Al Qaeda did it. Therefore, all we have to do is hunt 'em down and kill 'em, or throw 'em in a hole somewhere. What do you say to your critics, to people who might take an opposing view regarding the official story of 9/11?

SH: Well, if that's the opposing view, it sounds like you're talking about people who don't want a discussion, they just want to kill and throw people in holes.

Similarly, my "critics" don't really take on my research on its own terms. Case in point, Andrea Peyser of the New York Post came to Vox Pop, seemed really curious, and asked a few mild questions. Her article had all of this rancor and piss, but she wasn't really all that combative when she was here. It takes honesty to really debate.

TA: Is that the only negative experience you've had with the mainstream press?

SH: No, but that was the most prominent attack piece against the book. I've been ignored by most other papers. Except the Long Island Press, where I've worked as a freelancer, did publish a short and sweet review.

: Many prominent commentators are describing this period as a time of transition, from a badly-run war in Iraq to a time of great political upheaval here at home. What sort of political activities do you suggest people engage in, to take back this country and return power to the people?

SH: Boycott the Dems/Repubs and start new parties. Support Third Parties. Open your mind and hybridize the ideas around you, pull in different "best practices" from what's working in different areas. Be multi-disciplinary.

'by their fruits you shall know them.'

TA: I'm convinced that elements of a deep government conspiracy were deployed to assassinate John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Paul Wellstone, and John Lennon, among others. Such a conspiracy would require enormous powers of persuasion and intimidation to go unchecked in the mainstream media and in government. If such a cabal were to exist, I believe that it could manipulate independent journalists to create a false schism where none exists. Do you worry about the possibility of yourself being pegged as someone who might mislead the public to throw researchers off the scent? Has anyone confronted you about this issue?

SH: Yeah, I get that all the time. It's like this: if someone says "I'm not crazy" they sound crazy. Likewise, you can't say "I'm not a CIA agent!" because it sounds suspect. I like the way Ruppert is always quoting a certain section of the New Testament: "by their fruits you shall know them." If anyone calls me a "limited hangout" or a "left gatekeeper" it's usually people who haven't read my book. Eat the fruit!

: "Horns and Halos" introduced you to the world as the punk-rock manager of an apartment building in the Big City who spent all his free time pushing a book that no one knew existed that everyone who cared about democracy should have read. Did you feel betrayed by the mainstream media, or did you simply understand it to be a product of the so-called pack mentality, in which media types follow the PR dollars and run from dangerous controversy?

: Yes and yes. Both. And I name the names of the big media people who have ducked the story (about Bush and about 9/11) in my book. Rather than spend too much finite energy right now on this, I urge people to dis-engage, de-consume, and start anew. Start new independent media projects, or support the ones that are out there, today, now.

TA: So many terrible crimes committed by this President have gone underreported in the mainstream press, many that would have surely influenced the outcome of the election had they come out ahead of time. Do you think this country would have been better off had John Kerry won his campaign for President? Why or why not?

SH: Not too much. That guy cares more about his reputation than about principle. He too chickened out and ducked the story with his half-hearted Senate investigations of Iran/Contra and BCCI.

TA: When people ask me what they should do to get involved, one of the things I tell them to do is to write letters. Do you ever write letters to the editor?

SH: I AM the editor!
ha ha!

TA: Are there any groundbreaking innovations in democracy you think the rest of the country should try out? What are they?

SH: A lot of us Greens talk about run-off voting, which means that instead of one vote-one person, you can get 10 votes, so if you're a libertarian socialist you could spread your vote more accurately to promote your views. That way, there would be more libertarians, and more socialists, in a representative political body, and less boring corporate politicos.

[Here's a link to Washington State's IRV Organization]

TA: Do you plan to come out West anytime soon? Would you attend a conference in Tacoma if we put it together?

: Yes, sure!

TA: Are you still playing shows? Could you give us a few lyrics from one of your latest songs?

SH: I have temporarily given up on song-writing, and my band, White Collar Crime, has been in cold storage for a while.

: Are there any books you recommend to the 9/11 researcher or media critic out there?

SH: A lot of people have questions, because this guy used to be with LaRouche, but he broke with them, I'm talking about Webster Tarpley. He wrote "9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA" I learned a lot from this book. I highly recommend it. Tarpley's only major flaw is that he never saw a 9/11 conspiracy theory he didn't like, so he embraces all of them.

TA: What do you think of Air America?

SH: I think it's interesting to try to have left/liberal media supported by the free market, and the free market is obviously responding. But I also hate to have to listen to all the ads. There's got to be a way to reform the way that advertising saturates daily life. (go see, there's a great issue there: "adbusting.")

TA: Do any of their hosts impress you as honest investigators of truth, or are they just more Left-wingy versions of the same old predictable political chatterboxes we were used to before? Do you have a favorite talk radio personality?

SH: I want to say Randi Rhodes, or Mike Malloy, but despite all of their anger, they leave me longing for someone who has both passion AND some vision for the future. Both are so angry, they seem to lose focus.

TA: Okay, last question: Who do you think is more dangerous to our democracy, Karl Rove or Dick Cheney?

: Cheney. He's bloodthirsty and loves torture and is beyond caring who knows it. I met him, he seemed puffy and his skin was translucent. Like he was on heavy meds and had had heart attacks and strokes that hadn't leaked.

TA: Yuck. Well, on that note, Sander, I'd like to thank you for welcoming us into your world and the world of the 9/11 Truth Movement, as described in your book, "The Big Wedding: 9/11, the Whistle-Blowers and the Cover-Up", Vox Pop Publishing, 2005. We'd like to encourage all our readers to read the book and also they can check out your website, to learn more about you, your book, and your campaign for Governor of New York State.

[editor's note: Please buy Sander's book, for yourself or your neighborhood peace group. It's a great read, and the author is a creative small businessman trying to make a better world through peaceful means. Support your independent publishers and booksellers, and never stop seeking the truth!]

Yes, and for peace groups that want to buy the book as a fundraiser, we'll sell at 45% off for quantities of 10 or more! Contact the publisher directly at

Hicks sells "The Big Wedding", as well as Webster Tarpley's book, "9/11: Synthetic Terror", at prices that beat Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can find them at

Categories: Underground Notes, Coverups

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