Trevor Brookins

*Last week I detailed the reaction of Americans to the comments of NFL running back Rashard Mendenhall regarding the death of Osama bin Laden.

The number one concept to get from RM’s comments is that the United States cannot claim the moral high ground in this case.

This is partly because it seems particularly inhumane to cheer at the death of another person. But also because of the question of whether bin Laden was indeed the ultimate mastermind behind the September 11th attacks – and therefore whether he deserved to be assassinated.

The second aspect of RM’s comments was more upsetting to most Americans because of the implication that the American government would perpetrate such a conspiracy. Those who espouse such views are generally dismissed. But there are three reasons that RM’s position should at least be taken seriously.

First is the propensity of any government to be dishonest when communicating with its populace. Everyone believes the government is keeping some information from the general public (Area 51 for example), even if such withholding is in the best interest of the population.

Second is the likelihood of the government lying to forward a military or foreign policy goal. In fact American involvement in both World Wars was downplayed by the administration (President Wilson during World War I and President Roosevelt during World War II) while the United States was not a declared combatant. Nevertheless while the United States hadn’t declared war on anyone, it had become aligned with one side and was preparing to formally enter the hostilities.

With both of these reasons it might be said that the government is operating under the guise of “what the public doesn’t know won’t hurt them.” And ultimately the government is protecting the population.

But what if the American government was not protecting the population? Take a look at entry #9 on the following list: http://listverse.com/2008/04/29/top-10-declassified-secrets/. A scenario in which the government targets its own people is not out of the realm of possibility. Viewed through this prism RM’s comments about the way of the World Trade Center fell resembling a controlled demolition become much more intriguing.

This is not to say that the government did concoct September 11th. But the question should be able to be asked and taken seriously. And the answer to the question should contain solid evidence.

Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War.  His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected]