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Jones Report

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9/11 and more at

Aaron Dykes/ Jones Report | November 2, 2006

During his visit to the Texas Book Festival, author, historian and political commentator spoke with Alex Jones about the current state of the nation under the Bush Administration and what to expect in the near future.

Vidal discusses the importance of due process of law, "the very basis of this country." He contends that the eradication of the Bill of Rights under the 2006 Military Commissions Act has led to a 'Bill of Wrongs.'

"These are powers that have never been even thought of before by earlier Attorney Generals and Presidents and it's very scary that it all passes by so simply. Everybody yawns, 'Well, we've got to move on, you know.' Well, we've moved on into hell-- that is what has happened to the Republic of the United States," said Vidal.

He lines that problem up with a number of factors-- an under-read and largely ignorant populace as well as the media, which has been "bought and paid for 1000 times over."

He particularly chastises the New York Times for not picking up a story broken by the India Times, as well as covered by the Wall Street Journal: that fighter jets were, in fact, not scrambled on the morning of 9/11 to warn, redirect or shoot down the highjacked airliners.

"According to law, they all should have been up there. And not one went up," Vidal, who's father helped develop the Air Force procedures, charged.

"Well, that could have only happen if somebody told them to stand down- not to respond to what was, after all, their sworn duty. "

He went on to comment on his desire for a new investigation into the September 11 attacks.

"I think one advantage of having a Democratic House of Representatives after the coming election will be that we can have a new commission investigate 9/11 and the events leading up to our attacks on two innocent countries, Iraq and Afghanistan. It's about time that we begun to clean up our own house before we find that an international tribunal has summoned our leaders to The Hague in chains to put them on trial."

Watch the video below:


Alex Jones interviewed Vidal last week on his radio show, where he stated that he believed the Bush Administration allowed 9/11 to happen. Read about it here.


Alex Jones: Mr. Vidal, what brings you here to Austin.

Gore Vidal: Well, the Book Festival brings me here to Boston-- to Boston. To Austin. I'm sounding like Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson: Boston and Austin they both used to say in harmony.

AJ: Tell us about your new book.

GV: Well, it's called "Point-to-Point Navigation." I was first commander of an Army boat in the Second World War on the Allusian Islands and we never saw the Sun, the Moon, the Stars. We could never plot a course properly, so we did what was called point-to-point navigation. You just learn the landscape and hope that you wouldn't hit one of the rocks or reefs along the way.

AJ: Is that called dead-reckoning?

GV: Well, dead figures into it quite a bit, yes.

AJ: On the radio, we had a chance to talk about the Military Commissions Act known as the Torture Bill. Can you give us your perspective historically, being somewhat of a historian on that?

GV: Well it is as foul as a lot of other legislation coming out of the White House. Which, as it removes our Bill of Rights is creating a kind of...'Bill of Wrongs' the U.S. can now do to other people, like renditioning people we don't like. We kidnap them, send the to another country, hold them in prison. We can also put them on trial even if they don't have a lawyer. We can execute them. These are powers that have never been even thought of before by earlier Attorney Generals and Presidents and it's very scary that it all passes by so simply. Everybody yawns, 'Well, we've got to move on, you know.' Well, we've moved on into hell-- that is what has happened to the Republic of the United States.

AJ: Can you speak to due process? You talked about your grandfather.

GV: Well, my grandfather was the first Senator from Oklahoma; wrote the Constitution to the state and...great lawyer. And he always said I was brought up by him in Washington and he always said the basis of this country-- there's only one basis, it's very simple-- three words: due process of law. You cannot deprive somebody of liberty, you can't deprive him of his money and you can't deprive him of his life without there being due process of law.

Now this weird Attorney General and this even weirder President has decided that as Commander in Chief, the President has certain inherent powers. Well I'm here to tell you and your listeners, there are no inherent powers at all that accrue to the President of the United States. He has enumerated powers which are listed in the Constitution itself-- and it takes about five minutes to read them. And that's that. The President does not have the power to declare war on another country-- which he did by going into Iraq and making a god-awful mess. Also, he knocked down much of Afghanistan just because he felt like it and he knew no one would stop him.

AJ: You talked about the death of the Republic. You never thought you'd live to see the end of the Running Meade tradition. Can you speak to that?

GV: Well, Running Meade is where Magna Carta was signed by King John several hundred years ago and Magna Carta is the basis of all our liberties and has been since we where a colony. And when we became an independent Republic, it is still the basis of all of our law. And the biggest part of it is Habeas Corpus. And that has been removed by U.S.A. Patriot Act and other pieces of legislation-- which should be burned.

AJ: You spoke about some of your questions concerning 9/11 and how your father had helped in writing some of the rules for intercepts. Can you speak to your questions regarding 9/11, please?

GV: Well, there was a big story in the India Times, which is a very good newspaper, and it was about 9/11. And, we had just found out that Mohammad Atta, who was a Saudi Arabian guy, seemed to be working for Osama bin Laden, as far as anybody knows. That's probably true. That he was in charge of the planes that crashed into the New York buildings. Well, the story is really more complicated.

What struck me was immediately-- my father was Director of Air Commerce under Franklin Roosevelt. My father, who has been one of the original Army-Air Force flyers in World War I. He had put in a lot of sort of safety things. In the event of a hijacking of a passenger liner or any plane that they knew about, that fighter planes would be scrambled-- that is, sent up into the air immediately within minutes in order to force the plane down, to change course or shoot it down if you had to. And you don't need orders from the President, the Vice President or anybody else. That's the law.

Well, they didn't go up after 9/11. Everybody knew what happened. And the planes still were still on their way to Washington to hit the Pentagon, and suddenly from Otis Air Base comes one fighter plane. Otis Air Base is in Massachusetts-- it might just as well have been in Canada. That was the only fighter plane, which, according to law, they all should have been up there. And not one went up. Well, that could have only happen if somebody told them to stand down-- not to respond to what was after all their sworn duty.

That's, the Times of India broke the story and then that well-known radical rag, The Wall Street Journal, also wrote about it. I thought by then places like New York Times would have waked up, but the New York Times is incapable of waking up to anything important.

AJ: And then last question, sir. Can you speak to election fraud and the book that you worked with the Congressman on, concerning election fraud?

GV: Oh, John Conyers is a Congressman from Detroit. He's the ranking Democrat of the Judiciary Committee of the House and he'll be the head of the committee should the Democrats take back Congress. He went up with a team of researchers to Ohio not long after the election and they went all around the state and they interviewed everybody. They found many, many cases of electronic machinery that had been hacked in order to reverse votes, and they made a book out of it. I wrote the preface to the book. It's very persuasive about what happened. The New York Times would not review the book or mention it, nor would the Washington Post review or mention it. As far as I know, the only well known paper in the country was the Boston Globe-- had gave it a tiny review. What's going on; to what extent is the media totally subservient to corporate America, which is up to a lot of mischief electorally all round the nation?

AJ: Is President Bush-- we know he's announcing the powers of dictatorship. Can you just briefly speak to that and what it means to have someone announcing the power of dictatorship and where this country's going?

GV: Well, it's going over the cliff-- that's very clear. I think what we can't withstand any more is the emptying of the Treasury. It's trillions of dollars now that have gone for these two insane wars in the Middle East. And, that money isn't going to come back. People who are killed are not going to come back. It's going to take a generation-- at least-- of very good luck to get back to where we were before 9/11 and the Bush coup d'etat.

AJ: In closing, Mr. Vidal, do you have hope for America-- people starting to rouse and wake up and can you specifically speak to Bush saying this would be better if it were a dictatorship.

GV: Well, I think he thought he was making a joke. And certainly he is a joke, but he's a very sinister joke who's caused a lot of trouble.


Reporter: How much is an individual a product of their society and of government, and how do you keep from being a product of your society and government?

GV: Well, you are who you are; you are what you know; what you know is all important. It is very difficult to be well informed because we have the most secretive government on earth and if you want to find out what is going on in the U.S., read the foreign press. I learn a great many things that I'll never find in the New York Times, which is a company paper.

Reporter: You said in The Progressive in August that it would take two to three generations from now for the U.S. to return to the way it was twenty years ago in terms of laws and individual freedoms. What did you mean by that?

GV: I meant exactly what I said. Look, you don't throw away the Bill of Rights of a country like this which has nothing else to cling to. The Bill of Rights is the United States, it is the Republic. It is the formula, the secret formula. Throw that out and you don't have a country. We now have president's that don't get elected anymore. Nobody seems to bother much. But they should start bothering.

Reporter: You're also multiple times quoted as saying that Americans aren't familiar enough with their history. What do you recommend to Americans in order to maybe learn more about their history. How do you encourage Americans to do so?

GV: Go to the library. Learn how to read. This is a curious country, you know. We've got more good writers than we've got good readers.

Reporter: How do you create an environment that encourages people to learn about their history, or is that on the personal self?

GV: Well, if they don't have the curiosity, they're never going to have it.

Tiberius, when he became Emperor, the Senate sent him a message saying that whatever he wanted enacted would become law. And he sent it back to them and he said, 'Now don't be stupid. Suppose the Emperor has gone mad. Suppose he's ill. Suppose he's been replaced secretly. You can't give such powers.' And they sent it back to him, and he sent back a message, 'How eager you are to be slaves.'

AJ: But the people are starting to fight slavery, aren't they?

GV: Magali, as they say in Italy.

Reporter: What would you recommend to young people nowadays to avoid becoming slaves?

GV: Well, the more you know, the less likely you are to be enslaved. So they should start reading and thinking.

Reporter: Are young people nowadays slaves, do you feel?

GV: Don't know that many.

Repoter: The Texas Book Fest was founded by Laura Bush. You have an opinion of the Bush Administration, and I was just wondering, did you feel any conflict in coming here.

GV: No, I separate her from the administration.

Reporter: What are you hoping for in the next presidential election?

GV: Well, anything to get rid of this regime. That's mandatory. I am not one of those people who believes everything will be alright if we can just get a nice man or a nice woman in the White House. It doesn't work like that. What's wrong is systemic. We need a lot more thought about our arrangements electorally and intellectually.

Reporter: Your memoir is about to be released. Can you talk a little bit about that?

GV: The title is "Point-to-Point Navigation," which is what you do when you can't use your compass because the weather was so bad in the Allusions. And it's my last forty years.

Reporter: What are some highlights from the last forty years?

GV: Mostly low-lights...

Reporter: Okay, what are some lowlights?

GV: Death but not transfiguration.

AJ: You know, Mr. Vidal, I had one question I forgot to ask you. You had called for a new 9/11 investigation on the radio, saying we'd find something, or we might. Can you speak for the camera to that?

GV: I think one advantage of having a Democratic House of Representatives after the coming election will be that we can have a new commission investigate 9/11 and the events leading up to our attacks on two innocent countries, Iraq and Afghanistan. It's about time that we begun to clean up our own house before we find that an international tribunal has summoned our leaders to The Hague in chains to put them on trial.

AJ: So, obviously you don't like the investigation of the Bush appointees?

GV: No, I don't. A couple of them are pretty good, individually. But the report is...

AJ: How can the media call it an independent commission when it was appointed by Bush?

GV: Who cares what the media says about anything. They are bought and paid for a thousand times over. They couldn't tell the truth if they could find it.

AJ: But they are losing their market share to the alternative media.

GV: They're losing a lot of things. They're losing their readers, viewers, their listeners, you know. There are big changes coming.

AJ: Big changes?

GV: Big changes.

AJ: Good for the people or bad for the people?

GV: Depends.

Reporter: What do you think those changes are?

GV: The collapse of the newspaper culture. The New York Times is losing advertising, for which we can be greatful-- if it's a smaller paper.

Reporter: Thank you.

AJ: Thank you so much for the time. I really appreciate it.

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