Friday, January 16, 2004

Pearl Harbor & 9/11

In May of 2001, Mickey Mouse's studio released the Jerry Bruckheimer/Michael Bay monstrosity Pearl Harbor (which has now, thankfully, drifted into collective memory). For the gala premiere, the United States Navy loaned the Magic Kingdom - free of charge - the USS John C. Stennis, enlisted men included. To entertain the crowd, Navy SEAL paratroopers leaped from a Black Hawk helicopter as the stars, producers, and invited guests of the film walked a long red carpet onboard. The nuclear-powered Stennis is not some steamboat; less than six months later its set would be the northern Arabian Sea, where it helped provide air support for the war in Afghanistan. Fighter planes launched from the Stennis unloaded 275,000 pounds of bombage (this seems like a good place to mention that the prior Bruckheimer/Bay production was Armageddon which also featured Ben Affleck).

The last act of Pearl Harbor dramatizes the post-attack bombing raid over Tokyo led by James Doolittle. In a stirring speech just before the raid, Doolittle, portrayed by Alec Baldwin, tells the men what he'd personally do if his plane is shot down over Tokyo: "I wasn't built to be a prisoner so I would have my crew bail out. I'd find the sweetest military target I could and drive my plane right smack into the middle of it and kill as many of those bastards as I possibly could."

Come again.

"I'd find the sweetest military target I could and drive my plane right smack into the middle of it and kill as many of those bastards as I possibly could."

President Bush received an invitation to the Pearl Harbor premiere in Hawaii, yet couldn't attend (although his pops popped up and represented for the clan). But a month later, sometime in June, the movie was officially screened at the White House. That's when debonair Dubya purportedly paid a peck to the cheek of starlet Kate Beckinsale.

But who else in the administration attended this screening? Specifically, did the buns of Condi Rice or Laura Bush fill a seat in the aisle? In 2002, when stories examining Bush's possible foreknowledge finally swept the land (who can forget Fox's New York Post headline? "Bush Knew"), Bush's "better halves" came out and publicly proclaimed that no one ever-ever-ever could have imagined hijackers turning planes into weapons.

I didn't get to see the flick until it was released on video in December of 2001, and when I first heard Doolittle's words, I nearly lost it. In its first week of release, an astonishing 3.7 million dvds were sold but I guess nobody in the mainstream media took the time to rewatch it. Here we are, three years later, and I have yet to see or read anything about this antecedent anywhere else. In fact, Bill Maher is the sole person I can think of who ever even brought up the subject of kamikazes (and he was soundly threatened by Ari Liar Liar Fleischer, no matter what the ex-spokesman claims today).

A month ago, after Stephen Sondheim's Assassins finally opened in New York (it was delayed after the events of 9-11), some of the dailies finally noted Sam Byck's plot to crash a plane into the White House in 1974. Of course, three years ago, there was little mention of Byck or the bozo who flew his plane into the White House during Clinton's tenure.

How can people be so stupid? The Media don't need no stinkin' daily briefings to prove that 9-11 was not unimaginable.


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