Painting Cats

“Rally around the Pentagon!” is a phrase you don’t hear every day.  It doesn’t have quite the same ring as “Support the Troops!”, which has been the undeclared war cry of the United States Propaganda Services for nearly three decades now.

Still considered to be the World’s largest office building, the Pentagon very literally keeps a low profile at a mere 5 stories tall.  Even if the Pentagon were one day surpassed as the biggest office building on the planet, then it surely would remain the squattiest in its class.  Nevertheless, in that event, “Rally around the World’s Squattiest Office Building!” would also fall well short of stirring the Public’s patriotic pride.

Indeed, the events of September the 11th provide a perfect example of the American Public’s general indifference to the Pentagon as a patriotic status symbol.  Although third on the list of shocking strikes that day, the Pentagon has always played fourth fiddle to the World Trade Towers, and the Plane that was shot down or crashed in Western Pennsylvania.

How can this be?  Wasn’t our squatty Pentagon the literal “Pearl Harbor” of 9/11?

Not exactly.  For one thing, the Trade Towers were destroyed on live TV, absorbing most of the Nation’s morbid curiosity on that fateful Tuesday.  The Pentagon, by contrast, was struck “off-camera,” as it were, because we’ll never know how many cameras the Pentagon strike was recorded by since all cameras in the vicinity were quickly confiscated by federal agents.  Which might be a good thing.  After all, who could bear to watch footage of the Pentagon being hit over and over and over again the way the TV kept re-playing the South Tower strike?  Even if it was a missile, who really cares?  Just give us a remotely credible villain, and we’ll all get back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Nevertheless, the blackout surrounding the Pentagon strike has tended to breed theorizings that deviate wildly from the official story.  Take the case of Hani Hanjour, for example. Hanjour, a Saudi Arabian, figures prominently in the 9/11 narrative as the pilot who dare-deviled Flight 77 into the first floor of the Pentagon’s unaccountably re-modeled West Wing, where all the accountants reporting to duty were.  Somehow, most certified 9/11 experts remain convinced that Hanjour was the pilot, even though he was denied a pilot’s license on more than one occasion in his home country, Saudi Arabia.  Perhaps the Saudis maintained stricter standards than the FAA?  In the event, Hanjour clearly failed to hit the World’s biggest target from above, like crushing a jumbo jet cigarette into an ashtray, but instead chose a curiously oblique angle to show off his crazy flying skills.  In retrospect, it can be said of Hani Hanjour, the oft-failed Flight School student, that if he smoked cigarettes, then he must have been a “Lucky Strike” brand of smoker.

The official 9/11 Report reports that Hanjour slammed Flight 77 into the Pentagon’s western side at a speed in excess of 500 miles per hour, doubling-down, as it were, on the insane precision of Hanjour’s crash landing.  Leave it to the “Terrorists” to take the Flight Path less traveled!  However, if this wild scenario overly strains one’s credulity, then what exactly struck the Pentagon?

No one really knows is the Socratic answer.  As Americans, we’re simply not privy to such details (“No Cameras, please!”).

Due to the inordinate implausibility of the 9/11 events, the idea occurs — just off-camera, of course — that maybe what we were all watching on TV like a Hollywood movie was, in fact, a coup d’etat.  The coup d’etat hypothesis not only carries water for the mysteriousness of the Pentagon strike, but also covers President Bush’s conspicuous absence during most of that day.

People forget (“Never Forget!”), but George Bush the Second ran on an “Education” platform.  So, it was more than ironic that Bush 2 was at an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida, attending a reading of “The Pet Goat,” when the attacks occurred.  Well away from the action (and in Florida, of all places!), the Junior Bush was whisked even further away from the action on 9/11.  Louisiana? Nebraska?  The Moon?  No one knew where the strangely elected new President was.  Evidently, he wasn’t much of a “decider” on 9/11; maybe his minders were too busy reading Bush “The Hanging Chad” on Air Force One for the young President to go about his deciderisms properly?

In any case, whether or not Hani Hanjour was a great pilot, or Bush the Second a coup-struck Supreme Court electee, I would like to return to the title of this foray into 9/11ness:  Painting Cats.

Over a dead pet goat, an older George Bush the Younger was just dipping his brush, easing up to the easel, trying to find his conscience in oil-based paints, on the canvas. What were the odds that he could be “JFK’d,” his advisers advised that day?  So, they gave George a script, which said: “Could you convince this connivance away into a War on Terror, say?”  Bush the coup hostage finally said “OK,” because he didn’t want to die at Guantanamo Bay, or the JFK way: and, like a True American, he blamed it all on somebody else, somebody far, far away…

Today, George Bush paints cats, painting his conscience in oil-based paints, trying to forget that day when things just blew up and away…

Todd Smith lives, writes, and observes the Brave New World Order in St. Louis. He can be reached at Read other articles by Todd.