Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nine Eleven Ten Thirteen, Revisited

Oopsy Daisy!

When rewatching Season Eight of The X-Files, I realized that the DVDs and Netflix don't reproduce the timeline, the world in which these episodes were airing. They don't tell you that following the epochal 'This is Not Happening,' the series was pre-empted for a few weeks by The Lone Gunmen spinoff.

This is no small detail because the brewing storm depicted in 'Happening' --of a new and considerably more dangerous conspiracy within the government using Body Snatcher/Terminator aliens later called "Super Soldiers"-- darkly mirrored the rise of the War Party within the Bush Administration, a real-world conspiracy that the world was blissfully unaware of in early 2001.

So the question is raised: what did Chris Carter and Co. know and when did they know it?

Let's wind back the clock, just for exposition's sake:
"Fans of the short-lived X-Files spinoff series The Lone Gunmen may recall that the pilot episode ended with an eerie foreshadowing of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Center. Though the show aired six months before the attack, its final scene featured a commercial airliner aiming at the [World Trade] center, veering away at the last minute, TV Guide Online reported.

But for some reason, the show's images escaped notice in the months following the real-life attacks—something that mystifies one of the show's writers, longtime X-Files producer Frank Spotnitz. It wasn't until the industry newsletter "The Myers Report" ran a story about the show this week that it caught the notice of TV Guide.

"I know! That's what I've been wondering," Spotnitz told TV Guide. He, Vince Gilligan and John Shiban wrote the episode. "I thought, 'Nobody noticed!' I guess so few people saw the show. But it's strange, too, because that was the pilot, and the ratings were actually quite good for [that episode], and yet we didn't hear anything."

Myers Report columnist Ed Martin wrote that "this seems to be collective amnesia of the highest order. The final act of the Gunmen pilot, which seemingly made no impact last year, now contains some of the most deeply disturbing images ever created for an entertainment program," according to TV Guide.

"I woke up on Sept. 11 and saw it on TV, and the first thing I thought of was The Lone Gunmen," Spotnitz told TV Guide. "But then in the weeks and months that followed, almost no one noticed the connection. What's disturbing about it to me is, you think as a fiction writer that if you can imagine this scenario, then the people in power in the government who are there to imagine disaster scenarios can imagine it, too." - Sci Fi Wire (6/21/01)
One thing this article doesn't mention is that Carter's name is also listed in the episode's writing credits and as exec, Carter often made uncredited changes- often major- to episodes written by his three junior execs.

Richard Thomas interviewed Lone Gunmen star Dean Haglund (himself a real-life version of his character, a computer geek and parapolitics researcher) on UFO Mystic and asked him the million-dollar question:
Richard Thomas: What was your reaction after 9/11 and what’s your current opinion on The Lone Gunmen pilot? In your interview with Alex Jones you said the writers would sometimes be approached by people from the CIA, FBI and NASA, was this the case with the pilot?

Dean Haglund: I asked Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad) this very question when he was on my podcast and he said that this was a case of an artist tapping into some bizarre collective un-conscience (sic) item, and he said that he read about the idea in a Tom Clancy novel, so there was no direct involvement in this case.

So, the trope of terrorists flying planes into buildings was nothing new --nor, for that matter was the trope of arms dealers and oil barons staging a false flag attack of that nature.

And the film The Medusa Touch- most assuredly a favorite in The X-Files writing room- featured a climatic scene (this time in London), way back in the 1970s.

And despite the protestations of Bush Administration officials, there was no end of warnings that something of that nature was in the works, warnings that were summarily dismissed up and down the chain of command. Warnings that "Al Qaeda" was planning a major attack.

Aside from the massive wealth and power of the Bin Laden family, Osama and the National Security State went back a long way, hooking up in the war on the Soviets in Afghanistan. There's no end of documentation of encounters between these BFFs, or the endless coverups every time some poor schmuck down the chain of command (ie., the guy who though he was being paid to protect his country) sounded the alarm on the doings of these characters, or the growing links between Islamic radicals and our own homegrown mass murderers (John Doe #2, anyone?).

From 'TrustNo1'

So I can't help but wonder if that Lone Gunmen story wasn't just a wacky coincidence. Carter's outlook darkened considerably in Season Eight after the Mytharc took a more mystical turn in Season Seven. The sharp return to deep paranoia might have been out of step in those innocent, pre-9/11 days- and the even gloomier and more strident mood of the Season Nine Mytharc out of step with a country who didn't want to hear any government conspiracy stories- but in retrospect it all seems rather prescient.

I thought so all along. Here's what I wrote all the back in 2007:
There are times when art becomes reality. The pilot for X-Files spinoff The Lone Gunmen , which eerily predicted a 9/11 scenario, is perhaps one of the most notorious examples of this.

Some theorists have pointed at that episode as proof of government foreknowledge of the attacks, yet if you actually pay attention to the dialog in the episode (included in the clip above), it seems unlikely that someone in the government would sign off on such inflammatory rhetoric.

But given the various contacts that Chris Carter had with people inside the government security apparatus, it's entirely possible that people within certain agencies were feeding Carter certain scenarios from intelligence briefings as story ideas. It's even possible that some factions within the intelligence community were using the show to warn people of what other, more nefarious factions were up to. Stranger things have happened.
I was reminded of all of this with the recent passing of Gore Vidal. An diehard critic of the official story on 9/11, Vidal wrote an essay detailing the endless holes in the narrative, the cozy relationship between US intel and "Al Qaeda", the warnings that went ignored by superiors (warnings from players as varied as Vladimir Putin, Hosni Mubarak and Mossad), all of the rest of it. Of course, Ten Thirteen were there first.

So when the X-Files Mytharc resumed in the last season with the silencing of government whistleblowers, broad-spectrum surveillance, and a ground war in Iraq you can't help but notice that all of this was being done by this new alien threat- the same threat that was introduced to America the week before the notorious Lone Gunmen pilot.

And in a scene that was cut for broadcast from the series finale, the apparent leader of the Supersoldiers reports directly to George W. Bush.

Details are everything.

So given the long list of CIA, FBI and other agents who were shut down by the Bush Administration when they tried to sound the alarm about a major terror event or were cut loose when they began to question the official narrative of 9/11, the War on Iraq and all the rest of it, it's worth taking a deeper look into who was whispering in Chris Carter's ear back in the day.
The show’s first episodes were based on actual unsolved FBI files that delved into paranormal strangeness. Haglund said that FBI agents would visit the set at times, and tell the cast and crew that they didn’t know how close to the truth the show really is. According to Haglund, there was a period of time where Carter had asked the actors not to speak at Science Fiction conventions. Carter said that he didn’t consider the X-Files Science Fiction, but “Science Probability”.

One of the more interesting stories is one that goes back to the inception of The X-Files. As Chris Carter was getting ready to pitch The X-Files, he met a psychic woman at an exclusive Hollywood party. She told him that whatever he was working on would make it big. Of course she was right, and Carter went on to create one of the most popular TV series in history. However, this woman’s strange story doesn’t end there.

According to this psychic woman she was hired by the CIA to go to Hollywood parties and report back to them the nature of her conversations. She said that she had no idea why they had chosen her, but she accepted the mission of course. She would be informed of the parties of the Hollywood elite and when she would show up, sure enough her name would be on the guest list. Afterwards she would be debriefed. Haglund believes that perhaps this was the CIA’s way of keeping up on what was going on in Hollywood.
Carter came into contact with a high-powered group of former FBI and Secret Service agents when he created Millennium. The original Millennium Group was based on The Academy Group, who acted as consultants on violent crime and serial killer cases. Later they'd be recast as mirror of the Syndicate from The X-Files, much to the displeasure of Millennium star Lance Henriksen. Carter:
I haven't had a lot of feedback from from the FBI. I think that, er, they've contacted us about the X-Files which they like very much (unofficially), and I don't know quite how they feel about Millennium, but the Academy Group likes it very much.

The Academy Group came to my attention through the FBI actually, and they suggested that I get in touch with them and they wouldn't return my phone calls for several months, they're a rather mysterious group themselves. So when they finally did I was able to get a meeting with them and sent the pilot for the series and they became very excited about being involved in it.
These contacts were not unusual. In the director's commentary track for 'The Truth', the late Kim Manners recalls a visit from a couple of CIA agents during an early season filming who told everyone that what they were doing wasn't so far from the truth. Typical fratboy gladhandling? Maybe.

But what we see is that is a well-documented history of interest from people from various agencies, active and retired, in what Ten Thirteen were up to. Keeping an eye on a potential subversive force? (X-Files episodes were typically delivered to network within hours of airtime, without giving network time to review them) Sure.

You have people like Michael Scheuer, former director of the CIA's Bin Laden office (which I'm sure was quite busy, given that family's exhaustive business dealings with the Bush Family et al), who are openly critical of American foreign policy. There are more like him, such as Richard Clarke, Sibel Edmonds and David Schippers and so on.

From the very start, Carter made clear that the conspirators of The X-Files were not the government per se, but were secret groups working within agencies towards their own agenda.

You know, actual conspiracies.

As Mulder's Syndicate contact 'Deep Throat' says in 'The Erlenmeyer Flask', "Inside the intelligence community, there are so-called "black organizations. Groups within groups conducting covert activities, unknown at the highest levels of power."

"Who's going to run this story?"

So was the character of Betram Byers, the whistleblower marked for death in the Lone Gunmen pilot, based on one of these people that Carter had through contacts like the Academy Group?

So, let's take a looksee at the dialogue here:
Bertram Byers: "What the hell are you doing? Why can't you stay out of this? Leave me buried?"
Byers: "What is Scenario 12D? We know, it's a war game scenario, that it has to do with airline counter-terrorism. Why is it important enough to kill for?"
Bertram Byers: "Because it's no longer a game."
Byers: "But if, some terrorist group wants to, act out this scenario, why target you for assassination?"
Bertram Byers: "Depends on who your terrorists are."
Byers: "The men who conceived of it in the first place. You're saying our government plans to commit a terrorist act against a domestic air..."
Bertram Byers: "There you go, indicting the entire government as usual. It's a faction, a small faction..."
Byers: "For what possible gain?"
Bertram Byers: "The Cold War's over, John. But with no clear enemy to stockpile against, the arms market's flat. But bring down a fully-loaded 727 into the middle of New York City; you'll find a dozen tin-pot dictators all over the world, just clamouring to take responsibility. And begging to be smart bombed."
Byers: "I can't believe it; this is about increasing arms sales?"
Bertram Byers: "Mm-hmm."
Byers: "When?"
Bertram Byers: "Tonight."
Byers: "How are you going to stop them? Why didn't you tell the world this? Go to the press?"
Bertram Byers: "You think I'd still be drawing breath 30 minutes after I made that call? The press? Who's going to run this story?"
Byers: "We would."
Bertram Byers: "This?" [He picks up one of the newspapers] "This is birdcage liner. Wild-eyed crap right up there with, Elvis is an alien and two-headed babies."
Byers: "You obviously read it."
Bertram Byers: "Don't be so damn naive. You think this is going to save the world?
Wow, "increasing arms sales." Why does that sound so familiar? Why does that sound so god-damned familiar, Mister Jones?

Now, the media narrative from day one was that this was the work of Osama Bin Laden alone, so what possible motive would someone in on the conspiracy have to give the game away on a high-profile TV show? What possible benefit would come of sowing suspicion over a hidden agenda over such a world-shaking event?

None at all. Of course.
The relative value of being able to dismiss the conspiracy theory as "something you saw on The X-Files" is so minimal (given the stakes involved) as to be beyond ludicrous, since the target audience of such a theory are exactly the kinds of people no one takes seriously anyway.

So the always-lame excuse of "Revelation of the Method" really doesn't hold much water. Neither does "predictive programming", since the plot doesn't actually fit the media narrative of 9/11 in terms of perpetrators or outcome, which it would have to if it were to predict anything, right?

A ground war in Iraq, from X-Files episode 9x11

"WHO'S GOING TO RUN THIS STORY?"

Given the amount of official foreknowledge of 9/11, the reported frustration of well-placed and high-ranking officials in getting their superiors to take this seriously, and the well-documented links between elements of the far right (which coincidentally controls the Conspiratainment market), Islamic militancy and power players in the military-industrial complex, I'd say the more probable theory is that 'Bertram Byers' is a stand-in for a individual or group of dissident intelligence agents who wanted to float a working theory (or something more) out there just in case their worst fears came true.

The intelligence community is not a monolith and there are people working within it who are not down with the Globalist agenda (people like Edward Snowden, to name just one). A TV show watched by millions would be the perfect place to sound an alarm and the dialogue certainly fits the bill to a T.