Indy News Media Pick Up the Torch

Steven J. Searle

Web Master, TRON Web

That the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2001, have changed the course of world events is beyond question. Six months on, the U.S. has invaded Afghanistan, dislodged the Taliban regime there from power, and established a string of military bases throughout Central Asia. Plans are also under way to attack various countries in the Middle East and North Africa, either for allegedly sheltering anti-American terrorists or allegedly developing weapons of mass destruction. Even within the U.S., there have been staggering changes. The inaptly named "USA PATRIOT Act of 2001," which essentially guts what's left of the Bill of Rights, was enacted by the U.S. Congress, thus forcing American citizens to give up their sacred freedoms for some as yet unspecified form of security. In short, whoever planned and carried out these attacks has sent the whole human race hurtling toward an unknown future at breakneck speed.

I say "whoever" here because it has not been determined through an official inquiry exactly who did what. The U.S. government version of the events is that a group of 19 alcoholic, strip show loving Islamic fundamentalists who weren't qualified to fly Cessnas simultaneously commandeered four jumbo jets and slammed three of them into their intended targets. However, there were no Arabic names on the passenger lists, nor was security camera footage of all 19 boarding the aircraft released, and several of the people named as terrorists were actually alive in other countries after the attacks. So there are many people questioning the facts presented so far. Most interesting of all, the people raising these questions are not the mainstream media, but independent journalists who operate guerrilla news services via the World Wide Web. They have literally picked up the torch of journalism from the major news media to shed the light of the truth on the events surrounding the WTO and Pentagon attacks.

Now, I have neither the time nor the inclination here to go into all the unanswered questions surrounding the events of September 11, 2001, in the U.S. There are dozens of unanswered questions, and no one in a position of authority is attempting to answer even the simplest ones, such as who was doing the massive "short trading" in American and United airline stocks just prior to the attacks. However, I have become fascinated by these indy news media Web pages, since they are proving a point that Prof. Sakamura made a long time ago about networked computers. That is, when you link vast numbers of computers together, you will eventually end up creating new functions that you could have never dreamed about. This is exactly what has happened with the reporting of news in the U.S. Although the major news media are now comfortably under the control of the powers that be, an entirely new news media has been spawned via the World Wide Web, and they are gaining strength by the day.

One of my readers might be tempted to write to me and tell me that it was Matt Drudge who broke the Monica Lewinsky story via his Drudge Report Web site. Yes, I remember that, and I also remember the major news media trying to discredit him by pointing out that he had worked in a snack bar at one time. But there is a gigantic difference between the sexual improprieties of Bill Clinton, which apparently didn't even destroy his marriage, and the events leading to the launching of a world war, which threatens to destroy all of us. As a result of the catastrophic failure of the major news media to ask tough questions to U.S. government officials, the indy news media of the Web have been thrust into a role vastly more important than letting us know the scoop on the latest presidential peccadillo. They are now all that stands between us and the government version of events, the whole government version of events, and nothing but the government version of events.

Let us all hope that the indy news media succeed at this new and unexpected function that has developed from the networking of computers, for if they fail, we could all end up in the nightmarish world of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-four, a world in which individuals are under constant government surveillance and the populace is kept united through "perpetual war."